Successful Recitations eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 540 pages of information about Successful Recitations.


   “The Sun will give out in ten million years more;
   It will sure give out then, if it doesn’t before.” 
               And he worried about it;
   It would surely give out, so the scientists said
   And they proved it in many a book he had read,
   And the whole mighty universe then would be dead. 
               And he worried about it.

   “Or some day the earth will fall into the sun,
   Just as sure and as straight, as if shot from a gun.” 
               And he worried about it. 
   “For when gravitation unbuckles her straps,
   Just picture,” he said, “what a fearful collapse! 
   It will come in a few million ages, perhaps.” 
               And he worried about it.

   “The earth will become far too small for the race,
   And we’ll pay at a fabulous rate for our space.” 
               And he worried about it. 
   “The earth will be crowded so much without doubt,
   There will hardly be room for one’s tongue to stick out,
   Nor room for one’s thoughts when they’d wander about.” 
               And he worried about it.

   “And in ten thousand years, there’s no manner of doubt,
   Our lumber supply and our coal will give out.” 
               And he worried about it: 
   “And then the Ice Age will return cold and raw,
   Frozen men will stand stiff with arms stretched out in awe,
   As if vainly beseeching a general thaw.” 
               And he worried about it.

   His wife took in washing (two shillings a day). 
               He didn’t worry about it. 
   His daughter sewed shirts, the rude grocer to pay. 
               He didn’t worry about it. 
   While his wife beat her tireless rub-a-dub-dub
   On the washboard drum in her old wooden tub,
   He sat by the fire and he just let her rub. 
               He didn’t worry about it,


I saw and heard him as I was going home the other evening.  A big telescope was pointed heavenward from the public square, and he stood beside it and thoughtfully inquired,—­

“Is it possible, gentlemen, that you do not care to view the beautiful works of nature above the earth?  Can it be true that men of your intellectual appearance will sordidly cling to ten cents, rather than take a look through this telescope and bring the beauties of heaven within one and a half miles of your eyes?”

The appeal was too much for one young man to resist.  He was a tall young man, with a long face, high cheek bones, and an anxious look.  He looked at the ten cents and then at the telescope, hesitated for a single moment, and then took his seat on the stool.

“Here is a young man who prefers to feast his soul with scientific knowledge rather than become a sordid, grasping, avaricious capitalist,” remarked the astronomer, as he arranged the instrument.  “Fall back, you people who prefer the paltry sum of ten cents to a view of the starry heavens, and give this noble young man plenty of room!”

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Successful Recitations from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.