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My father thinks it would be a good plan for Amanda to go to the Lectures on Physics. She has lived with us a great many years, and she still breaks as many things as she did at the beginning.
Dr. Murtrie, who was here the other night, said he learned when quite a boy, from some book on Physics, that if he placed some cold water in the bottom of a pitcher, before pouring in boiling-hot water, it would not break. Also, that in washing a glass or china pitcher in very hot water, the outside and inside should be in the hot water, or, as he said, should feel the hot water at the same time. I don’t quite understand exactly how, unless the pitcher has a large mouth, when it might be put in sideways.
He told the reasons, which, being scientific, I cannot remember or understand.
If Amanda had known about this, she might have saved a great deal of valuable glass and china. Though it has not always been from hot water, the breaking, for I often think she has not the water hot enough; but often from a whole tray-full sliding out of her hand, as she was coming up-stairs, and everything on it broke.
But Dr. Murtrie said if she had learned more of the Laws of Physics she would not probably so often tip over the waiter.
The trouble is, however, remembering at the right time. She might have known the law perfectly well, and forgotten it just on the moment, or her dress coming in the way may have prevented.
Still, I should like very well myself to go to the Lectures on Physics. Perhaps I could find out something about scissors,—why it is they do always tumble down, and usually, though so heavy, without any noise, so that you do not know that they have fallen. I should say they had no law, because sometimes they are far under the sofa in one direction, or hidden behind the leg of the table in another, or perhaps not even on the floor, but buried in the groove at the back of the easy-chair, and you never find them till you have the chair covered again. I do feel always in the back of the chair now; but Amanda found mine, yesterday, in the groove of the sofa.
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It is possible Elizabeth Eliza may have taken the remaining sheets of her commonplace-book abroad with her. We have not been able to recover them.
The Peterkins practise travelling.
Long ago Mrs. Peterkin had been afraid of the Mohammedans, and would have dreaded to travel among them; but since the little boys had taken lessons of the Turk, and she had become familiar with his costume and method of sitting, she had felt less fear of them as a nation.
To be sure, the Turk had given but few lessons, as, soon after making his engagement, he had been obliged to go to New York to join a tobacconist’s firm. Mr. Peterkin had not regretted his payment for instruction in advance; for the Turk had been very urbane in his manners, and had always assented to whatever the little boys or any of the family had said to him.