Around The Tea-Table eBook

Thomas De Witt Talmage
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 260 pages of information about Around The Tea-Table.
too dark so as to cast a gloom, but a subdued light that makes the plainest face attractive.  He rings the bell merrily for Christmas festival, and tolls it sadly for the departed.  He has real pity for the bereaved in whose house he goes for the purpose of burying their dead—­not giving by cold, professional manner the impression that his sympathy for the troubled is overpowered by the joy that he has in selling another coffin.  He forgets not his own soul; and though his place is to stand at the door of the ark, it is surely inside of it.  After a while, a Sabbath comes when everything is wrong in church:  the air is impure, the furnaces fail in their work, and the eyes of the people are blinded with an unpleasant glare.  Everybody asks, “Where is our old sexton?” Alas! he will never come again.  He has gone to join Obededom and Berechiah, the doorkeepers of the ancient ark.  He will never again take the dusting; whisk from the closet under the church stairs, for it is now with him “Dust to dust.”  The bell he so often rang takes up its saddest tolling for him who used to pull it, and the minister goes into his disordered and unswept pulpit, and finds the Bible upside down as he takes it up to read his text in Psalms, 84th chapter and 10th verse:  “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness!”

CHAPTER XV.

The old cradle.

The historic and old-time cradle is dead, and buried in the rubbish of the garret.  A baby of five months, filled with modern notions, would spurn to be rocked in the awkward and rustic thing.  The baby spits the “Alexandra feeding-bottle” out of its mouth, and protests against the old-fashioned cradle, giving emphasis to its utterances by throwing down a rattle that cost seven dollars, and kicking off a shoe imported at fabulous expense, and upsetting the “baby-basket,” with all its treasures of ivory hair brushes and “Meen Fun.”  Not with voice, but by violence of gesture and kicks and squirms, it says:  “What!  You going to put me in that old cradle?  Where is the nurse?  My patience!  What does mother mean?  Get me a ’patented self-rocker!’”

The parents yield.  In comes the new-fangled crib.  The machine is wound up, the baby put in, the crib set in motion, and mother goes off to make a first-rate speech at the “Woman’s Rights Convention!”

Conundrum:  Why is a maternal elocutionist of this sort like a mother of old time, who trained four sons for the holy ministry, and through them was the means of reforming and saving a thousand souls, and through that thousand of saving ten thousand more?  You answer:  “No resemblance at all!” You are right.  Guessed the conundrum the first time.  Go up to the head of the class!

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Project Gutenberg
Around The Tea-Table from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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