“Yes,” cried Philip, “I tell you it’s quite true, every word of it. Susan’s too modest to say it herself, but I tell you all, that Sir Arthur has given us this play-green just because she is so good.”
Limby lumpy was the only son of his mother. His father was called the “Pavior’s Assistant,” for he was so large and heavy that, when he used to walk through the streets, the men who were ramming the stones down with a large wooden rammer would say, “Please to walk over these stones, sir,” and then the men would get a rest.
Limby was born on April 1—I do not know how long ago; but before he came into the world such preparations were made! There was a beautiful cradle, and a bunch of coral with bells on it, and lots of little caps, and a fine satin hat, and tops and bottoms for pap, and two nurses to take care of him. He was, too, to have a little chaise, when he grew big enough; after that, he was to have a donkey, and then a pony. In short, he was to have the moon for a plaything, if it could be got; and, as to the stars, he would have had them, if they had not been too high to reach.
Limby made a rare to-do when he was a little baby. But he never was a little baby—he was always a big baby; nay, he was a big baby till the day of his death.
“Baby Big,” his mother used to call him; he was “a noble baby,” said his aunt; he was “a sweet baby,” said old Mrs. Tomkins, the nurse; he was “a dear baby,” said his papa—and so he was, for he cost a good deal. He was “a darling baby,” said his aunt, by the mother’s side; “there never was such a fine child,” said everybody, before the parents; when they were at another place they called him, “a great, ugly fat child.”
Limby was almost as broad as he was long. He had what some people called an open countenance—that is, one as broad as a full moon. He had what his mother called beautiful auburn locks, but what other people said were carroty—not before the mother, of course.
Limby had a flattish nose and a widish mouth, and his eyes were a little out of the right line. Poor little dear, he could not help that and therefore it was not right to laugh at him.
Everybody, however, laughed to see him eat his pap, for he would not be fed with the patent silver pap-spoon which his father bought him, but used to lay himself flat on his back, and seize the pap-boat with both hands, and never let go of it till its contents were fairly in his dear little stomach.
So Limby grew bigger and bigger every day, till at last he could scarcely draw his breath, and was very ill; so his mother sent for three apothecaries and two physicians, who looked at him, and told his mother there were no hopes: the poor child was dying of overfeeding. The physicians, however, prescribed for him—a dose of castor-oil.