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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 69 pages of information about Verses for Children.
relations, for I asked
him; and now he’s afraid she will never belong to him
any more. 
I like him.  I’ve seen him three times out walking with two sticks, when
I was driving in the bath-chair, but I never talked to him
till to-day. 
He’d only one stick and a telescope, and he let me look through it at
the big ship that was coming round the corner into the bay. 
He was very kind, and let me ask questions.  I said, “Are you a
sea-captain?” and he said, “Yes.”  And I said, “How funny it
is about land things and sea things! 
There are captains and sea-captains, and weeds and sea-weeds, and
serpents and sea-serpents.  Did you ever meet one, and is it
really like the dragons on our very old best blue tea-things?”
But he never did.  So I asked him, “Have you got convalescence?  Does
your doctor say it is fairly established?  Do your eyes ache
if you try to read, and your neck if you draw, and your back
if you sit up, and your head if you talk? 
Don’t you get tired of doing nothing, and worse tired still if you do
anything; and does everything wobble about when you walk? 
Wouldn’t you rather go back to bed?  I think I would.  Don’t you wish
you were well?  Wouldn’t you rather be ill than only better? 
I do hate convalescence, don’t you?”
Then I stopped asking, and he shut up his telescope, and sat down on
the shingle, and said, “When you come to my age, little chap,
you won’t think ‘What is it I’d rather have?’ but, ’What is
it I’ve got to do?’
’What have I got to do or to bear; and how can I do it or bear
it best?’
That’s the only safe point to make for, my lad.  Make for it, and
leave the rest!”
I said, “But wouldn’t you rather be in battles than in bed, with
your head aching as if it would split?”
And he said, “Of course I would; so would most men.  But, my little
convalescent, that’s not it. 
What would you think of a man who was ordered into battle, and went
grumbling and wishing he were in bed?”
“What should I think of the fellow?  Why, I should know he was a
coward,” I said. 
“And if he were confined to bed,” said the Sea-captain, “and lay
grumbling and wishing he were in battle, I should give
him no better a name;
For the courage that dares, and the courage that bears, are really
one and the same.” 
Hold my hand, little Sister, and nurse my head, for I’m thinking, and
I very much fear
You’ve had no good of being well since I was ill; I’ve led you such a
life; but indeed I am obliged to you, dear! 
Is it true that Nurse has got something the matter with her legs, and
that Mary has gone home because she’s worn out with nursing,
And won’t be fit to work for months? (will she be convalescent,
because it was such hard work waiting on me?) and did Cook
say, “So much grumbling and complaining is nigh as big a sin
as swearing and cursing”? 
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