THE instinct that prompts the normal little girl to play the part of mother to her dolls is not the less interesting and charming that it is common to all female infancy; but it becomes something more characteristic when to this is added a touch of art and a strong note of imagination. And if the picture of any little girl amongst her dolls is one that attracts us, if we delight to discover premonitions of unfolded individuality and winged fancies that will presently bear fruit, how much more absorbing and interesting does this study become when that little player is a child-princess who is at once a child like any other, and yet at the same time how unlike. A little being, as yet unweighted with a crown, yet set apart and shadowed by sovereignty.
We remember the duties and responsibilities awaiting her, the momentous yea and nay that will some day have to be pronounced by those soft young lips; and then is it any wonder that we turn and watch her amongst her Liliputian subjects, stitching, devising, cutting, and measuring infinitesimal garments, with a feeling that is something deeper than what is usually aroused by a child's play?
An hour spent among the dolls that Queen Victoria played with as a child is not only a liberal education in the evanescent influences and fashions of the early part of this century, but an abiding study of her imaginative infancy. We see the scenes that affected her, the stories that enchanted her, the characters that caught her fancy and left an impresS' on her imagination; and we see also in these childish achievements the same qualities of self control, patience, steadiness of purpose, and womanliness which have been consistently exercised by Queen Victoria in the prominent part played by her on the theatre of life.