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READING SHAKESPEARE AND BAKING BREAD 27
My mother, seeing my delight in the play, promised that, if we deserved it, my brother and I should occasionally attend the weekly matinees. With such a reward as two theatre tickets in view, any amount of good conduct was cheap in payment. I became less mischievous and forgetful.
We were blessed with but little of this world's goods at the time, and, my help in the household being needed, I was taught the culinary art. In a few months I could cook an excellent dinner when called upon. I remember sitting by the stove with a basting-spoon (to be used on a turkey) in one hand, and Charles Reade's " Put Yourself in His Place" in the other. " The Winter's Tale," "Julius Caesar," and "Richard the Third" were also read as I sat by the kitchen-fire baking bread. The theory that it is impossible to do two things at once did not appeal to me. I felt certain that no one could enjoy the poet's inspiration more than I, and at the same time turn out a better loaf. Thankful I have always been for the knowledge of these useful arts—which I think every girl should master—as they are wholesome both for mind and body.
When the longed-for Saturday came, little Joe