Parker's Second Reader eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 134 pages of information about Parker's Second Reader.

7.  “Think, I beseech you, how you would like to be shut up for life in this dark closet, and to wag backwards and forwards, year after year, as I do.”

8.  “As to that,” said the dial, “is there not a window in your house, on purpose for you to look through?”—­“For all that,” resumed the pendulum, “it is very dark here; and although there is a window, I dare not stop, even for an instant, to look out at it.

9.  “Besides, I am really tired of my way of life; and, if you wish, I’ll tell you how I took this disgust at my employment.  I happened this morning to be calculating how many times I should have to tick in the course of only the next twenty-four hours; perhaps some of you, above there, can give me the exact sum.”

10.  The minute-hand, being quick at figures, presently replied, “Eighty-six thousand four hundred times.”

11.  “Exactly so,” replied the pendulum; “well, I appeal to you all, if the very thought of this was not enough to fatigue one; and when I began to multiply the strokes of one day by those of months and years, really, it is no wonder if I felt discouraged at the prospect:  so, after a great deal of reasoning and hesitation, thinks I to myself, I’ll stop.”

12.  The dial could scarcely keep its countenance during this harangue; but, resuming its gravity, thus replied:  “Dear Mr. Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful, industrious person as yourself, should have been overcome by this sudden action.

13.  “It is true, you have done a great deal of work in your time; so have we all, and are likely to do; which, although it may fatigue us to think of, the question is, whether it will fatigue us to do.  Would you now do me the favor to give about half a dozen strokes, to illustrate my argument?”

14.  The pendulum complied, and ticked six times in its usual pace.  “Now,” resumed the dial, “may I be allowed to inquire if that exertion was at all fatiguing or disagreeable to you?”

15.  “Not in the least,” replied the pendulum; “it is not of six strokes that I complain, nor of sixty, but of millions.”

16.  “Very good,” replied the dial; “but recollect, that though you may think of a million strokes in an instant, you are required to execute but one; and that, however often you may hereafter have to swing, a moment will always be given you to swing in.”

17.  “That consideration staggers me, I confess,” said the pendulum.—­“Then I hope,” resumed the dial-plate, “we shall all immediately return to our duty; for the maids will lie in bed, if we stand idling thus.”

18.  Upon this, the weights, who had never been accused of light conduct, used all their influence in urging him to proceed; when, as with one consent, the wheels began to turn, the hands began to move, the pendulum began to swing, and, to its credit, ticked as loud as ever; while a red beam of the rising sun, that streamed through a hole in the kitchen window, shining full upon the dial-plate, it brightened up, as if nothing had been the matter.

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Parker's Second Reader from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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