I never had a room to myself. I never had
a sofa, nor an easy chair, and there was
not a single carpet that was not threadbare.'
THE KING'S LITTLE NIECE, VICTORIA, was now eight months old. She had not been well at Sidmouth, suffering from a heavy cold for most of the time; and she had been 'very upset by the frightful jolting' of the carriage that brought her back to Kensington. But she was a strong child, as her father had been pleased to note of his 'little joy'; and at six months she had, in his opinion, been 'as advanced as children generally are at eight'. She had been vaccinated without ill effects and having been weaned -- her mother having caused some disapproval by indelicately insisting on giving what her husband described as 'maternal nutriment' -- 'she did not appear to thrive the less for the change'. The Duchess was delighted with her little 'Vickelchen, as she called her, although she had to admit that she was already showing 'symptoms of wanting to get her own little way'.
This stubbornness and independence of spirit became more pronounced as she grew older. So did her impatience, her wilfulness, outbursts of temper and defiant truthfulness. Frustrated, she would stamp her feet and would burst into tears when told to sit still or to pay closer attention during her reading lessons; and once, in a tantrum, she hurled a pair of scissors at her governess. Before her lessons began one day, her mother was asked if she had been a good girl that morning. 'Yes,' the Duchess replied, 'she has been good this morning but yesterday there was a little storm.' 'Two storms,' corrected the little girl, pertly interrupting her mother's account, intent as always on speaking and hearing the truth, 'one at dressing and