Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/33

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9
CHILDHOOD DAYS.

One evening we were together and she had undressed Chrissie for bed, when she opened her own dress and showed us how her breasts had grown while Chrissie's still remained small, and indeed "Nita's" were ever so much larger and prettier and round like apples. Nita let us touch them gently and was evidently very proud of them. She sent Chrissie to bed in the next room while I went on learning a lesson beside her. Nita left the room to get something, I think, when Chrissie called me and I went into the bedroom wondering what she wanted. She wished me to know that her breasts would grow too, and be just as pretty as Nita's. "Don't you think so?" she asked, and taking my hand put it on them, and I said, "Yes", for indeed I liked her better than Nita who was all airs and graces and full of affectations.

Suddenly Nita called me, and Chrissie kissed me, whispering "don't tell her" and I promised. I always liked Chrissie and Vernon. Chrissie was very clever and pretty, with dark curls and big hazel eyes, and Vernon was a sort of hero and always very kind to me.

I learned nothing from this happening. I had hardly any sex-thrill with either sister, indeed, nothing like so much as I had had, five years before, through the girl's legs in Mrs. Frost's school, and I record the incident here chiefly for another reason. One afternoon about 1890, Aubrey Beardsley and his sister Mabel, a very pretty girl, had been lunching with me in Park Lane Afterwards we went into the Park. I accompanied them as far as Hyde Park Corner. For some reason or other, I elaborated the theme that men of thirty or forty usually corrupted young girls, and women of thirty or forty in turn corrupted youths.

"I don't agree with you", Aubrey remarked: "It's