Gifts of Genius eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about Gifts of Genius.
sermon, both summarily criticised, approved, condemned, partly with looks and winks, and partly with loud words in the porch, there is now a little space for kind inquiries after the absent, the sick, and the poor; a few solitary spinsters, and one old soldier, lame and indigent, are seized on and carried off to homes, where certain blessed Mothers in Israel, are wont to keep a vacant chair for a poor soul that might feel desolate if left alone on this sociable day.  Some full-handed visits are paid on the way home to scattered and rickety houses; but by one o’clock, all the people are beneath their own roofs, never so attractive as on this glorious day.  The married children from the neighboring towns have come home, and the old house is full.

The great event of the day is at hand.  It is dinner-time.  The table of unnatural length, narrower at one end, where it has been eked out for the occasion, groans with the choicest gifts of the year.  There is but one course, but that possesses infinite variety and reckless profusion.  For one day, at least, the doctrine of an apostle is in full honor.  “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”  The long grace sanctifies the feast with the word of God and with prayer.  The elders and males are distributed to front the substantial of the board—­the round of a-la-mode, the brown crisp pig with an apple in his mouth, the great turkey who has frightened the little red-cloaked girls and saucy pugs for months past, the chicken-pie with infinite crimping and stars and knobs, decorating its snowy face.  The mothers and daughters are placed over against the puddings and pies, which have exercised their ambition for weeks—­vying with rival housekeepers in the number and variety of sorts—­and which, after the faint impression made on them to-day, shall be found for a month, filling the shelves of spare-closets and lending a delicious though slightly musty odor to the best wardrobe of the family.  Children of all ages—­to the toddling darling, the last babe of the youngest daughter—­fill up the interstices, while the few books in the house are barely sufficient to bring the little ones in their low chairs to an effective level with the table.  Incredible stowage having been effected, the sleepy after-dinner hours are somewhat heavily passed; but with the lamps and the tea-board, sociability revives.  The evening passes among the old people, with chequers and back-gammon.  Puss-in-the-corner, the game of forfeits—­blind-man’s-buff entertain the young folks.  Apples, nuts and cider come in at nine o’clock, and perhaps a mug of flip—­but it is rather for form’s sake than for appetite.  At ten o’clock the fire is raked up, and the household is a-bed.  Excepting some bad-dreams, Thanksgiving day is over.




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Gifts of Genius from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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