fright to confess their own faults—which is so cruel and unfair that no judge on the bench dare do it to the wickedest thief or murderer, for the good British law forbids it—ay, and even punish them to make them confess, which is so detestable a crime that it is never committed now, save by Inquisitors, and Kings of Naples, and a few other wretched people of whom the world is weary. And then they say, “We have trained up the child in the way he should go, and when he grew up he has departed from it. Why then did Solomon say that he would not depart from it?” But perhaps the way of beating, and hurrying and frightening, and questioning, was not the way that the child should go; for it is not even the way in which a colt should go if you want to break it in and make it a quiet serviceable horse.
Some folks may say, “Ah! but the Fairy does not need to do that if she knows everything already.” True. But, if she did not know, she would not surely behave worse than a British judge and jury; and no more should parents and teachers either.
So she just said nothing at all about the matter, not even when Tom came next day with the rest for sweet things. He was horribly afraid of coming: but he was still more afraid of staying away, lest any one should suspect him. He was dreadfully afraid, too, lest there should be no sweets—as was to be expected, he having eaten them all—and lest then the fairy should inquire who had taken them. But, behold! she pulled out just as many as ever, which astonished Tom, and frightened him still more.
And, when the fairy looked him full in the face, he shook from head to foot: however she gave him his share like the rest, and he thought within himself that she could not have found him out.
But, when he put the sweets into his mouth, he hated the taste of them; and they made him so sick that he had to get away as fast as he could; and terribly sick he was, and very cross and unhappy, all the week after.
Then, when next week came, he had his share again; and again the fairy looked him full in the face; but more sadly than she had ever looked. And he could not bear the sweets: but took them again in spite of himself.
And when Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby came, he wanted to be cuddled like the rest; but she said very seriously:
“I should like to cuddle you; but I cannot, you are so horny and prickly.”
And Tom looked at himself: and he was all over prickles, just like a sea-egg.
Which was quite natural; for you must know and believe that people’s souls make their bodies just as a snail makes its shell (I am not joking, my little man; I am in serious, solemn earnest). And therefore, when Tom’s soul grew all prickly with naughty tempers, his body could not help growing prickly, too, so that nobody would cuddle him, or play with him, or even like to look at him.
What could Tom do now but go away and hide in a corner and cry? For nobody would play with him, and he knew full well why.
And he was so miserable all that week that when the ugly fairy came and looked at him once more full in the face, more seriously and sadly than ever, he could stand it no longer, and thrust the