The Hidden GalleryeBook - 2011
Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, "They must have been raised by wolves."
The Incorrigible children actually were.
Thanks to the efforts of Miss Penelope Lumley, their plucky governess, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia are much more like children than wolf pups now. They are accustomed to wearing clothes. They hardly ever howl at the moon. And for the most part, they resist the urge to chase squirrels up trees.
Despite Penelope's civilizing influence, the Incorrigibles still managed to ruin Lady Constance's Christmas ball, nearly destroying the grand house. So while Ashton Place is being restored, Penelope, the Ashtons, and the children take up residence in London. Penelope is thrilled, as London offers so many opportunities to further the education of her unique students. But the city presents challenges, too, in the form of the palace guards' bearskin hats, which drive the children wild--not to mention the abundance of pigeons the Incorrigibles love to hunt. As they explore London, however, they discover more about themselves as clues about the children's--and Penelope's--mysterious past crop up in the most unexpected ways. . . .
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Things were not looking up at all. In fact, they were looking decidedly glum - at least for Penelope, they were. But when the seesaw of good fortune sinks downward for one person, it is very often on its way up for someone else. This little-known law of physics is called the Fulcrum of Fortune, and although most people prefer to think of fortune as a wheel that spins, the fulcrum (that is, seesaw) is a more accurate depiction for most of us, since the worse our luck becomes, the more likely we are to notice the good fortune of those around us and brood about the injustice of it all.
Penelope had never been to London. However, she had read a great deal about it: a noisy, odorous, fogbound city where gaslight made the nighttime bright as day, yet the air was so thick with coal soot that the daytime was dim as dusk, and where poor orphans were likely to have terrifying encounters with escaped convicts, but were just as likely to inherit large fortunes willed to them by long-lost relatives they never knew they had. Surely such a paradoxical place would be well worth a visit.
“Within reason” is not the sort of place one can easily find on a map; in fact, its location may vary considerably from one day to the next.
Lady Constance sounded merry in the sort of brightly exaggerated way that made it clear she was trying not to cry, and perhaps not entirely succeeding.
perhaps Mr. Burns was using his poetic license. This is the license that allows poets to say things that are not precisely true without being accused of telling lies. Anyone may obtain such a license, but still, the powers it grants must be wielded responsibly.
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