Thanksgiving Dinner

From Miscellaneous Writings by

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         It was a beautiful group! needing but canvas and the
         touch of an artist to render it pathetic, tender, gorgeous.

Page 231

1      Age, on whose hoary head the almond-blossom formed a
         crown of glory; middle age, in smiles and the full fruition
         of happiness; infancy, exuberant with joy, — ranged side
         by side. The sober-suited grandmother, rich in ex-
5      perience, had seen sunshine and shadow fall upon ninety-
         six years. Four generations sat at that dinner-table.
         The rich viands made busy many appetites; but, what
         of the poor! Willingly—though I take no stock in
         spirit-rappings—would I have had the table give a
10    spiritual groan for the unfeasted ones.

         Under the skilful carving of the generous host, the
         mammoth turkey grew beautifully less. His was the
         glory to vie with guests in the dexterous use of knife and
         fork, until delicious pie, pudding, and fruit caused un-
15    conditional surrender.

         And the baby! Why, he made a big hole, with two
         incisors, in a big pippin, and bit the finger presump-
         tuously poked into the little mouth to arrest the peel!
         Then he was caught walking! one, two, three steps,—
20    and papa knew that he could walk, but grandpa was
         taken napping. Now! baby has tumbled, soft as thistle-
         down, on the floor; and instead of a real set-to at crying,
         a look of cheer and a toy from mamma bring the soft
         little palms patting together, and pucker the rosebud
25    mouth into saying, “Oh, pretty!” That was a scientific
         baby; and his first sitting-at-table on Thanksgiving Day—
         yes, and his little rainbowy life—brought sunshine
         to every heart. How many homes echo such tones of
         heartfelt joy on Thanksgiving Day! But, alas! for the
30    desolate home; for the tear-filled eyes looking longingly
         at the portal through which the loved one comes not, or
         gazing silently on the vacant seat at fireside and board—

Page 232

1      God comfort them all! we inwardly prayed—but the
         memory was too much; and, turning from it, in a bumper
         of pudding-sauce we drank to peace, and plenty, and
         happy households.

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Love is the liberator.