Monday, May 19, 2008

The Old Clock

1895

Mr. Gratebar's Valued Friend Suffering From a Strange Complaint.

"Among our household possessions," said Mr. Gratebar, "is an old clock, an old wooden clock of the kind you hang upon the wall. Its constant ticking has long been a familiar, friendly sound. We have other clocks, flower clocks, with quicker ticks, chipper and friendly enough, no doubt, but their quick, incessant ticking makes them seem shallow compared with the old clock, which has a slow, dignified, measured tick. If you should be awake in the night, how easily you could tell it among all the rest! You hear at first but the chatter of the newer ones, but presently you hear back of them all, and growing upon the ear as you listen, the sturdy old clock, ticking on, calmly conscious of its own superiority and of its much longer standing in the family.

"One day the old clock stopped. We took it down and listened and shook it gently. It started up, and we hung it up again, but soon it stopped again, and then we took it down again and laid it on a table and looked at it and wondered what we could do next. It ticked all right lying down, and after it had been lying there awhile we thought that perhaps it had got over its little indisposition and was all right again. So we hung it up once more, and this time we thought it was going to go all right, and it did go longer than it had before, but then it stopped. So we took it down and laid it on its back again, and it's been lying so over since. Nothing that we can do for it seems to help it.

"When I wind the old clock at night, lying there prone upon its back and yet ticking away so bravely, my hand trembles. It has been with us so long — not through any very desperate vicissitudes, to be sure, but through life. It has seen the children come and seen them grow up to be young men and young women, it has seen our own hair grow gray, it has been with us always, and whether our fortunes waxed or waned it has been always the same constant friend.

"Well, well. Brave old clock!" — New York Sun.

1 comment:

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