Jeff," sighed my mother, with a shake of her head, "you'll never leave off till you get blown up. But I suppose you must have your way. You always had, dear boy."
"But never in opposition to your wishes, had I? Now be just, mother."
"Quite true, Jeff, quite true. How comes it, I wonder, that you are so fond of fire, smoke, fumes, crash, clatter, and explosions?"
"Really," said I, somewhat amused by the question, "I cannot tell, unless it be owing to something in that law of compensation which appears to permeate the universe. You have such an abhorrence of fire, fumes, smoke, crash, clatter, and explosions, that your only son is bound, as it were, to take special delight in chemical analysis and combination, to say nothing of mechanical force and contrivance, in order that a balance of some sort may be adjusted which would otherwise be thrown out of order by your--pardon me--comparative ignorance of, and indifference to such matters."
"Nay, Jeff," replied my mother, gently, with a