Around The Tea-Table eBook

Thomas De Witt Talmage
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about Around The Tea-Table.
pie that has fallen off the end of the writing table.  You mistake his essay on the “Copernican System” for blotting paper.  Many of his books are bereft of the binding; and in attempting to replace the covers, Hudibras gets the cover which belongs to “Barnes on the Acts of the Apostles.”  An earthquake in the room would be more apt to improve than to unsettle.  There are marks where the inkstand became unstable and made a handwriting on the wall that even Daniel could not have interpreted.  If, some fatal day, the wife or housekeeper come in, while the occupant is absent, to “clear up,” a damage is done that requires weeks to repair.  For many days the question is, “Where is my pen?  Who has the concordance?  What on earth has become of the dictionary?  Where is the paper cutter?” Work is impeded, patience lost, engagements are broken, because it was not understood that the study is a part of the student’s life, and that you might as well try to change the knuckles to the inside of the hand, or to set the eyes in the middle of the forehead, as to make the man of whom we speak keep his pen on the rack, or his books off the floor, or the blotting paper straight in the portfolio.

The study is a part of the mental development.  Don’t blame a man for the style of his literary apartments any more than you would for the color of his hair or the shape of his nose.  If Hobbes carries his study with him, and his pen and his inkstand in the top of his cane, so let him carry them.  If Lamartine can best compose while walking his park, paper and pencil in hand, so let him ramble.  If Robert Hall thinks easiest when lying flat on his back, let him be prostrate.  If Lamasius writes best surrounded by children, let loose on him the whole nursery.  Don’t criticise Charles Dickens because he threw all his study windows wide open and the shades up.  It may fade the carpet, but it will pour sunshine into the hearts of a million readers.  If Thomas Carlyle chose to call around an ink-spattered table Goethe, and Schiller, and Jean Paul Frederick Richter, and dissect the shams of the world with a plain goose-quill, so be it.  The horns of an ox’s head are not more certainly a part of the ox than Thomas Carlyle’s study and all its appointments are a part of Thomas Carlyle.

The gazelle will have soft fur, and the lion a shaggy hide, and the sanctum sanctorum is the student’s cuticle.


Behavior at church.

Around the door of country meeting-houses it has always been the custom for the people to gather before and after church for social intercourse and the shaking of hands.  Perhaps because we, ourselves, were born in the country and had never got over it, the custom pleases us.  In the cities we arrive the last moment before service and go away the first moment after.  We act as though the church were a rail-car, into which we go when the time for starting arrives,

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