Now we see men all around us who have been swallowed by monstrous misfortunes. Some of them sit down on a piece of whalebone and give up. They say: “No use! I will never get back my money, or restore my good name, or recover my health.” They float out to sea and are never again heard of. Others, the moment they go down the throat of some great trouble, begin immediately to plan for egress. They make rapid estimate of the length of the vertebrate, and come to the conclusion how far they are in. They dig up enough spermaceti out of the darkness to make a light, and keep turning this way and that, till the first you know they are out. Determination to get well has much to do with recovered invalidism. Firm will to defeat bankruptcy decides financial deliverance. Never surrender to misfortune or discouragement. You can, if you are spry enough, make it as uncomfortable for the whale as the whale can make it uncomfortable for you. There will be some place where you can brace your foot against his ribs, and some long upper tooth around which you may take hold, and he will be as glad to get rid of you for tenant as you are to get rid of him for landlord. There is a way, if you are determined to find it. All our sympathies are with the plaintiff in the suit of Jonah versus Leviathan.
Something under the sofa.
Not more than twenty-five miles from New York city, and not more than two years ago, there stood a church in which occurred a novelty. We promised not to tell; but as we omit all names, we think ourselves warranted in writing the sketch. The sacred edifice had stood more than a hundred years, until the doors were rickety, and often stood open during the secular week. The window glass in many places had been broken out. The shingles were off and the snow drifted in, and the congregation during a shower frequently sat under the droppings of the sanctuary. All of which would have been a matter for sympathy, had it not been for the fact that the people of the neighborhood were nearly all wealthy, and lived in large and comfortable farm houses, making the appearance of their church a fit subject for satire.
The pulpit was giving way with the general wreck, was unpainted, and the upholstery on book-board and sofa seemed calling out with Jew’s voice, “Any old clo’? Any old clo’?” One Sabbath, the minister felt some uneasiness under the sofa while the congregation were singing, and could not imagine the cause; but found out the next day that a maternal cat had made her nest there with her group of offspring, who had entered upon mortal life amid these honorable surroundings.