The Professor at the Breakfast-Tableby Oliver Wendell Holmes
I intended to have signalized my first appearance by a certain large statement, which I flatter myself is the nearest approach to a universal formula, of life yet promulgated at this breakfast-table. It would have had a grand effect. For this purpose I fixed my eyes on a certain divinity-student, with the intention of exchanging a few phrases, and then forcing my court-card, namely, The great end of being.-I will thank you for the sugar,-I said.-Man is a dependent creature.
It is a small favor to ask,-said the divinity-student,-and passed the sugar to me.
-Life is a great bundle of little things,-I said.
The divinity-student smiled, as if that were the concluding epigram of the sugar question.
You smile,-I said.-Perhaps life seems to you a little bundle of great things?
The divinity-student started a laugh, but suddenly reined it back with a pull, as one throws a horse on his haunches.-Life is a great bundle of great things,-he said.
(NOW, THEN!) The great end of being, after all, is....
Hold on!-said my neighbor, a young fellow whose name seems to be John, and nothing else,-for that is what they all call him,-hold on! the Sculpin is go'n' to say somethin'.
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