gested itself to him, in spite of his immense good-will to accept any suggestion which the spirit of coming Christmas might be kind enough to offer; and if he could do nothing else, he could at least work at his machine, and try to devise some means of constructing the tangent-balance, with the materials he had left, and perhaps, by the time he was thoroughly grimy and the workshop smelt like the Biblical bottomless pit, something would occur to him for Newton.
He could also write a letter to his wife, a sort of anticipatory Christmas letter, and send her the book he had bought as a little gift, wrapping it in nice white paper first, tied with a bit of pale green ribband which she had left behind her, and which he had cherished nearly a year, and marking it "to be opened on Christmas morning"; and the parcel should then be done up securely in good brown grocer's paper and addressed to her, and even registered, so that it could not possibly be lost. It was a pretty book, and also a very excellent book, whic
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