The Sabbath of a Great Author
by Edgar Wilson Nye
I awake at an unearthly hour on Sunday morning, after which I turn over
and go to sleep again. This second, or beauty sleep, I find to be almost
invaluable. I do it also with much more earnestness and expression than
that in the earlier part of the night. All the other people in the house
gradually wake up as I begin to get in my more fancy strokes.
By eight o'clock everybody is stirring, and so I get up and glide about
in my pajamas, which makes me look almost like the "Clémenceau Case" in
search of an engagement.
Mr. Rogers is going to have me sit to him in my pajamas for a group of
statuary. He also wishes to model an iron hitching post from me.
On waking I at once take to me tub and give myself a good cold bath.
I then put in my teeth.
After doing some little studies in chiropody I throw a silk-velvet
dressing gown over my shoulders and look at my bright and girlish beauty
in a full-length mirror, comparing the dimpling curves, as I see them
reflected, with those shown in the morning paper.
After reading a little from the chess column of some good author, I
descend to the salon and greet my family smilingly in order to open
the day auspiciously. We all then sing around the parlor organ a little
pean entitled, "It's Funny When You Feel That Way."
We now go to the breakfast room, where the children are taught to set
aside the daintiest bits for papa, because he might die some time and
then it would be a life-long regret to those who are spared that they
did not give him the tender part of the steer or the second joint of the
After breakfast, which consists of chops, hashed brown potatoes, muffins
and coffee, preceded by canteloupe or baked beans, we proceed to
quarrel over who shall go to church and who shall remain at home to keep
the cattle out of the corn.
We then go to church, those who can, at least, whilst the others remain
and read something that is improving. Sometimes I shave myself on Sunday
mornings. Then it takes me quite a while to get back into a religious
frame of mind. I do not manage very well in shaving myself, and people
who go by the house are often attracted by my yells.
I go to church quite regularly and enjoy the sermon unless it is too
firm or personal. If it goes into doctrine too much I am apt to be quite
fatigued at its end on account of the mental reservations I have made
along through it.
I like to go and hear about God's love, but I am rarely benefited by a
discourse which enlarges upon his jealousy. When I am told also that God
spares no pains in getting even with people, I not only do not enjoy the
information, but I would sit up till a late hour at night to doubt it.
He sometimes succeeds in getting himself disliked by
some other dog and then I can observe the fight (Page 67)
I shake hands with the pastor, and after suggesting something for him to
preach about on the following Sabbath, I go home.
In the afternoon I go walking if no one calls. We have dinner at 2
o'clock on Sunday, consisting of jerked beef smothered in milk gravy.
This is the remove. For side dishes we have squash or meat pie. We
sometimes open with soup and then have clean plates all around, with
fowl and greens, tapering off with some kind of rich pie.
After dinner I sometimes nap a little and then fool with the colt. This
is done quietly, however, so as not to break in upon the devotional
spirit of the day. After this I go for a walk or converse intelligently
with any foreign powers who may be visiting our shores.
When I walk I am generally accompanied by a restless Queen Anne dog,
which precedes me about a mile. He sometimes succeeds in getting himself
disliked by some other dog and then I can observe the fight when I catch
up with him.
As the twilight gathers all seem ready again for more food and we begin
to clamor for pabulum, keeping it up until either square or round
crackers and smearcase are produced. These are washed down with foaming
beakers of sarsaparilla.
As the evening lamp is now lighted, I produce some good book or pamphlet
like "The Greatest Thing in the World," and read from it, occasionally
cuffing a child in order to keep everything calm and reposeful. At 9
o'clock the cat is expelled and the eight-day clock is wound up for the
week. Gazing up at the bright cold stars after kicking forth the cat, I
realize that another Sabbath has been filed away in the great big brawny
bosom of the past, and with a little remorseful sigh and an incipient
sob when I think that I am not making a better record, I drive a fence
nail in over the door latch and seek my library which, on being properly
approached, opens and becomes a beautiful couch.