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Thomas De Witt Talmage
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 260 pages of information about Around The Tea-Table.

Seated on the boxes, you take tea, and then down with the carpets.  They must be stretched, and pieced, and pulled, and matched.  The whole family are on their knees at the work, and red in the face, and before the tacks are driven all the fingers have been hammered once and are taking a second bruising.  Nothing is where you expected to find it.  Where is the hammer?  Where are the tacks?  Where the hatchet?  Where the screw-driver?  Where the nails?  Where the window-shades?  Where is the slat to that old bedstead?  Where are the rollers to that stand?  The sweet-oil has been emptied into the blackberry-jam.  The pickles and the plums have gone out together a-swimming.  The lard and the butter have united as skillfully as though a grocer had mixed them.  The children who thought it would be grand sport to move are satiated, and one-half the city of New York at the close of May-day go to bed worn out, sick and disgusted.  It is a social earthquake that annually shakes the city.

It may be that very soon some of our rich relatives will, at their demise, “will” us each one a house, so that we shall be permanently fixed.  We should be sorry to have them quit the world under any circumstances; but if, determined to go anyhow, they should leave us a house, the void would not be so large, especially if it were a house, well furnished and having all the modern improvements.  We would be thankful for any good advice they might leave us, but should more highly appreciate a house.

May all the victims of moving-day find their new home attractive!  If they have gone into a smaller house, let them congratulate themselves at the thought that it takes less time to keep a small house clean than a big one.  May they have plenty of Spaulding’s glue with which to repair breakages!  May the carpets fit better than they expected, and the family that moved out have taken all their cockroaches and bedbugs with them!

And, better than all—­and this time in sober earnest—­by the time that moving-day comes again, may they have made enough money to buy a house from which they will never have to move until the House of many mansions be ready to receive them!

CHAPTER XLVII.

Advantage of small libraries.

We never see a valuable book without wanting it.  The most of us have been struck through with a passion for books.  Town, city and state libraries to us are an enchantment.  We hear of a private library of ten thousand volumes, and think what a heaven the owner must be living in.  But the probability is that the man who has five hundred volumes is better off than the man who has five thousand.  The large private libraries in uniform editions, and unbroken sets, and Russia covers, are, for the most part, the idlers of the day; while the small libraries, with broken-backed books, and turned-down leaves, and lead-pencil scribbles in the margin, are doing the chief work for the world and the Church.

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