CHILDHOOD AND BOYHOOD
Sisters and brothers-Sisterly teachings--Schools at Boulogne,
Kenilworth, and Birmingham
I WAS born into a family of four sisters and two brothers, who were older than myself by ages ranging from seven to fourteen years, the brothers being all younger than the sisters. M y third sister, Adele, was twelve years my senior. She had spinal curvature, and was obliged to lie all day on her back upon a board, and was thus cut off from the romps and companionship of her sisters, though all were greatly attached to her. She hailed my arrival into the world as a fairy gift, and begged hard to be allowed to consider me as her sole ward, and in her simple way educated herself as best she could, in order to be able to teach me. Her idea of education at that time was to teach the Bible as a verbally inspired book, to cultivate memory, to make me learn the merest rudiments of Latin, and above all
great deal of English verse. This she did effect ally, and the rc*stilt was that she believed, and
ceded in making others believe, that I was a sort of infant prodigy.
There exist numerous records of my early performances, and it is certain that I really knew at a very