The Puppet Show of Memory

The Puppet Show of Memory

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The Puppet Show of Memory

The Puppet Show of Memory

Read FREE!

Excerpt

When people sit down to write their recollections they exclaim with regret, "If only I had kept a diary, what a rich store of material I should now have at my disposal!" I remember one of the masters at Eton telling me, when I was a boy, that if I wished to make a fortune when I was grown up, I had only to keep a detailed diary of every day of my life at Eton. He said the same thing to all the boys he knew, but I do not remember any boy of my generation taking his wise advice.

On the other hand, for the writer who wishes to recall past memories, the absence of diaries and notebooks has its compensations. Memory, as someone has said, is the greatest of artists. It eliminates the unessential, and chooses with careless skill the sights and the sounds and the episodes that are best worth remembering and recording. The first thing I can remember is a Christmas tree which I think celebrated the Christmas of 1876. It was at Shoreham in Kent, at a house belonging to Mr. H. B. Mildmay, who married one of my mother's sisters. I was two years old, and I remember my Christmas present, a large bird with yellow and red plumage, which for a long time afterwards lived at the top of the nursery wardrobe. It was neither a bird of Paradise nor a pheasant; possibly only a somewhat flamboyant hen; but I loved it dearly, and it irradiated the nursery to me for at least two years.

The curtain then falls and rises again on the nursery of 37 Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London. The nursery . . .

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