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in the second line? Meaning of " merely" in the third line ? How does " work make the soul to shine"? What is the effect of labor upon rest? Is“ being poor” represented as a desirable thing, in the last line ? Explain the last two lines ? What “heritage” is meant here?
Etymology and meaning of state ? weariness ? merely? fragrant ? benign ?
Inflection on the word state? [The injunction here is positive.] Determine the other inflections and emphases in this stanza ?
Ninth Stanza. What is referred to in the first two lines? Why “six feet”? Force of some"? Meaning of "at last”? In what sense are both children of the same dear God”?. What is the “ vast heirship” spoken of in the fourth line ? What is meant by the “record of a well-filled past”? Is life spoken of as valuable or otherwise, in the last line ? What “ heritage" is meant in the last line but one ?
Etymology of heirs ? equal ? little? record? vast? prove?
Inflection on equal? on earth? Does the phrase "at last”. express a positive statement or a condition? What inflection therefore ? Explain the inflections and emphases throughout the stanza.
the press a positive qual? on qual? little but one last line ? Whals
MRS. H. B. STOWE. 1. The holidays passed away hilariously, and, at New Year's, I, according to time-honored custom, went forth to make my calls, and see my fair friends, while my wife and daughters stayed at home, to dispense the hospitalities of the day to their gentlemen friends. All was merry and cheerful, and it was agreed, on all hands, that a more joyous holiday season had never flown over us. But, somehow, the week after, I began to be sensible of a running down in the wheels. I had an article to write for the “ Atlantic,” but felt mopish, and
could not write. My dinner had not its usual relish, and I had an indefinite sense everywhere of something going wrong. My coal bill came in, and I felt sure we were being extravagant, and that our John Furnace wasted coal. My grand-sons and grand-daughters came to see us, and I discovered that they had high-pitched voices, and burst in without wiping their shoes, and it suddenly occurred powerfully to my mind, that they were not being well brought up, -evidently they were growing up rude and noisy.
2. I discovered several tumblers and plates, with the edges chipped, and made bitter reflections on the carelessness of Irish servants; our crockery was going to destruction along with the rest. Then, on opening one of my paper-drawers, I found that Jennie's one drawer of worsted had overflowed into two or three; Jennie was growing careless; besides, worsted is dear, and girls knit away small fortunes, without knowing it, on little duds that do nobody any good. Moreover, Maggie had three times put my slippers into the hall-closet, instead of leaving them where I wanted them,—under my studytable. Mrs. Crowfield ought to look after things more; every servant, from end to end of the house, was getting out of the traces; it was strange she did not see it.
3. All this I vented, from time to time, in short, crusty sayings and doings, as freely as if I had not just written an article on “ Little Foxes,” in the “ Atlantic,” till at length my eyes were opened on my own state and condition.
It was evening, and I had just laid up the fire in the most approved style of architecture, and, projecting my feet into my slippers, sat, spitefully cutting the leaves of a caustic review. Mrs. Crowfield took the tongs and altered the disposition of a stick.
"My dear," I said, “I do wish you'd let the fire alone, you always put it out."
“I was merely admitting a little air between the sticks," said my wife.
“You always make matters worse, when you touch the fire.”
4. As if in contradiction, a bright tongue of flame darted up between the sticks, and the fire began chattering and snapping at me. Now, if there's anything which would provoke a saint, it is to be jeered and snapped at, in that way, by a man's own fire. It's an unbearable impertinence. I threw out my leg impatiently, and hit Rover, who yelped a yelp that finished the upset of my nerves. I gave him a hearty kick, that he might have something to yelp for, and, in the movement, upset Jennie's embroidery-basket.
“Confound your baskets and balls ! — they are everywhere, so that a man can't move; useless, wasteful things, too."
“Wasteful ?” said Jennie, coloring indignantly; for if there's anything Jennie piques herself upon, it's her economy.
“Yes, wasteful, - wasting time and money both. Here are hundreds of shivering poor to be clothed, and Christian females sit and do nothing but crochet worsted into useless knick-knacks. If they would be working for the poor, there would be some sense in it. But it's all just alike; no real Christianity in the world, - nothing but organized selfishness and self-indulgence.”
5. “Why, dear,” said Mrs. Crowfield, you are not well tonight. Things are not quite so desperate as they appear. You hav’n’t got over Christmas-week.” .
“I am well. Never was better. But I can see, I hope, what's before my eyes; and the fact is, Mrs. Crowfield, things must not go on as they are going. There must be more care, more attention to details. There's Maggie,
– that girl never does what she is told. You are too slack with her, ma'am. She will light the fire with the last paper, and she won't put my slippers in the right place; and I can't have my study made the general catch-all and mėnagerie for Rover and Jennie, and her basket and balls, and for all the family litter.” Just at this moment, I overheard a sort of a sigh from Jennie, who was swelling with repressed indignation at my attack on her worsted. She sat, with her back to me, knitting energetically, and said, in a low, but very decisive tone, as she twitched her yarn :
“Now, if I should talk in that way, people would call me cross,—and that's the whole of it.”
6. I pretended to be looking into the fire in an absent-minded state; but Jennie's words had started a new idea. Was that it? Was that the whole matter? Was it, then, a fact, that the house, the servants, Jennie and her worsted, Rover and Mrs. Crowfield, were all going on pretty much as usual, and that the only difficulty was, that I was — cross? How many times had I encouraged Rover to lie just where he was lying when I kicked him! How many times, in better moods, had I complimented Jennie on her neat little fancy-works, and declared that I liked the social companionship of ladies' work-baskets among my papers! Yes, it was clear. After all, things were much as they had been, only I was cross.
7. Cross! I put it to myself, in that simple, old-fashioned word, instead of saying that I was out of spirits, or nervous, or using any of the other smooth phrases with which we, good Christians, cover up our little sins of temper. “Here you are, Christopher,” said I to myself, “a literary man, with * a somewhat delicate, nervous organization, and a sensitive stomach, and you have been eating like a sailor or a plowman; you have been merry-making and playing the boy, for two weeks; up at all sorts of irregular hours, and into all sorts of boyish performances; and the consequence is, that, like a thoughtless young scape-grace, you have used up, in
ten days, the capital of nervous energy that was meant to last you ten weeks.
8. “You can't eat your cake and have it too, Christopher. When the nervous fluid, source of cheerfulness, giver of pleasant sensations and pleasant views,—is all spent, you can't feel cheerful; things cannot look as they did when you were full of life and vigor. When the tide is out, there is nothing but unsightly, ill-smelling tide-mud, and you can't help it; but you can keep your senses,—you can know what is the matter with you,—you can keep from visiting your overdose of Christmas mince-pies, and candies, and jocularities on the heads of Mrs. Crowfield, Rover, and Jennie, whether in the form of virulent morality, pungent criticism, or a free kick, such as you just gave the poor brute.”
9. “Come here, Rover, poor dog!" said I, extending my hand to Rover, who cowered at the farther corner of the room, eyeing me wistfully,—" come here, you poor doggie, and make up with your master. There, there! Was his master cross? Well, he knows it. We must forgive and forget, old boy, musn't we?” And Rover nearly broke his own back and tore me to pieces, with his tremulous tail-waggings.
“ As to you, puss,” I said to Jennie, “I am much obliged to you for your free suggestion. You must take my cynical moralities for what they are worth, and put your little traps into as many of my drawers as you please.”
10. In short, I made it up handsomely all around, -even apologizing to Mrs. Crowfield, who, by the by, has summered me and wintered me so many years, and knows all my airs and cuts and crinkles, so well, that she took my irritable, unreasonable spirit as tranquilly as if I had been a baby cutting a new tooth.
“Of course, Chris., I knew what the matter was; don't disturb yourself,” she said, as I began my apology; "we