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The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Raven Edition Volume 3


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Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

UNCLE. "Yes, yes, yes -- I remember it very well -- very queer indeed! Both of you gone just one year. A very strange coincidence, indeed! Just what Doctor Dubble L. Dee would denominate an extraordinary concurrence of events. Doctor Dub-"

KATE. [Interrupting.] "To be sure, papa, it is something strange; but then Captain Pratt and Captain Smitherton didn't go altogether the same route, and that makes a difference, you know."

UNCLE. "I don't know any such thing, you huzzy! How should I? I think it only makes the matter more remarkable, Doctor Dubble L. Dee-

KATE. Why, papa, Captain Pratt went round Cape Horn, and Captain Smitherton doubled the Cape of Good Hope."

UNCLE. "Precisely! -- the one went east and the other went west, you jade, and they both have gone quite round the world. By the by, Doctor Dubble L. Dee-

MYSELF. [Hurriedly.] "Captain Pratt, you must come and spend the evening with us to-morrow -- you and Smitherton -- you can tell us all about your voyage, and well have a game of whist and-

PRATT. "Wist, my dear fellow -- you forget. To-morrow will be Sunday. Some other evening-

KATE. "Oh, no. fie! -- Robert's not quite so bad as that. To-day's Sunday."

PRATT. "I beg both your pardons -- but I can't be so much mistaken. I know to-morrow's Sunday, because-"

SMITHERTON. [Much surprised.] "What are you all thinking about? Wasn't yesterday, Sunday, I should like to know?"

ALL. "Yesterday indeed! you are out!"

UNCLE. "To-days Sunday, I say -- don't I know?"

PRATT. "Oh no! -- to-morrow's Sunday."

SMITHERTON. "You are all mad -- every one of you. I am as positive that yesterday was Sunday as I am that I sit upon this chair."

KATE. [jumping up eagerly.] "I see it -- I see it all. Papa, this is a judgment upon you, about -- about you know what. Let me alone, and I'll explain it all in a minute. It's a very simple thing, indeed. Captain Smitherton says that yesterday was Sunday: so it was; he is right. Cousin Bobby, and uncle and I say that to-day is Sunday: so it is; we are right. Captain Pratt maintains that to-morrow will be Sunday: so it will; he is right, too. The fact is, we are all right, and thus three Sundays have come together in a week."

SMITHERTON. [After a pause.] "By the by, Pratt, Kate has us completely. What fools we two are! Mr. Rumgudgeon, the matter stands thus: the earth, you know, is twenty-four thousand miles in circumference. Now this globe of the earth turns upon its own axis- revolves -- spins round -- these twenty-four thousand miles of extent, going from west to east, in precisely twenty-four hours. Do you understand Mr. Rumgudgeon?-"

UNCLE. "To be sure -- to be sure -- Doctor Dub-"

SMITHERTON. [Drowning his voice.] "Well, sir; that is at the rate of one thousand miles per hour. Now, suppose that I sail from this position a thousand miles east. Of course I anticipate the rising of the sun here at London by just one hour. I see the sun rise one hour before you do. Proceeding, in the same direction, yet another thousand miles, I anticipate the rising by two hours -- another thousand, and I anticipate it by three hours, and so on, until I go entirely round the globe, and back to this spot, when, having gone twenty-four thousand miles east, I anticipate the rising of the London sun by no less than twenty-four hours; that is to say, I am a day in advance of your time. Understand, eh?"

UNCLE. "But Double L. Dee-"

SMITHERTON. [Speaking very loud.] "Captain Pratt, on the contrary, when he had sailed a thousand miles west of this position, was an hour, and when he had sailed twenty-four thousand miles west, was twenty-four hours, or one day, behind the time at London. Thus, with me, yesterday was Sunday -- thus, with you, to-day is Sunday -- and thus, with Pratt, to-morrow will be Sunday. And what is more, Mr. Rumgudgeon, it is positively clear that we are all right; for there can be no philosophical reason assigned why the idea of one of us should have preference over that of the other."

UNCLE. "My eyes! -- well, Kate -- well, Bobby! -- this is a judgment upon me, as you say. But I am a man of my word -- mark that! you shall have her, boy, (plum and all), when you please. Done up, by Jove! Three Sundays all in a row! I'll go, and take Dubble L. Dee's opinion upon that."

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