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Scene 75
Christening Minerva's Children

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  This morning before breakfast I did go to the cathedral to say thanks for the goodness of one William Wordsworth, for this is the day of his borning in 1770. With me did go Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus . And Brave Horatius came a-following after.
  After the morning's work was done, I took my little basket most full of christening robes to the pen-place near the hen-house where is Minerva and her fourteen baby chickens. One baby chicken didn't hatch. I had most enough christening robes ready on yesterday afternoon but one. When I did go to sing her baby to sleeps, Elsie did help me to fix that one while I did carry in some wood for her. She put a little ruffle of lace on it and a little blue bow of ribbon. It looked very nice. I did have thinks how nice they would look if all of the christening robes for the baby chickens of Minerva did have little bows of ribbon on them.
  Elsie had asks what was my thoughts about, and I did tell her. And she did say she had thinks that way too. And she did make a go to her work-basket that was under the shelf where does set the bottle of vaseline that her young husband does smooth back his pumpadoor with. That vaseline jar is most empty again. When Elsie did find some little ribbons in her work-basket, she did go and raise up the trunk-lid and she did find some more little ribbons in the tray of the trunk. She tied them all into little bows. And some were pink and some were lavande and some were blue and some were rose. There was enough for every baby chicken to have one on his christening robe . And I did sew them all on at night-time on yesterday when the mamma did put me under the bed. Light enough came from the lamp on the kitchen table so I could have sees to sew them all on.
  When we was come near unto the cathedral , I made a stop to put on their christening robes . Nicolas Boileau and Jean Molière did have lavande ribbon bows on theirs. They waited waits in a corner of the basket while I did put on the others. Sir Walter Raleigh had a little pink bow on his. He would not keep still while I was getting him into his robes. He peeped three times. But Sir Francis Bacon was more fidgety than he was. It took quite a time to get his christening robe on. Ben Jonson did wear the christening robe with the ruffle of lace around it, and before I did get him put back in the basket there, he did catch his toe in that ruffle of lace. Then he peeped. I took his toe out of the ruffle, and put a christening robe with a rose ribbon bow on it on Francis Beaumont and one like it on John Fletcher , because their names was together in the book Angel Mother did write in.
  After I did get little brown Oliver Goldsmith and all the rest of the children of Minerva into their christening robes , then I did take out of my pocket her little white cap with the ruffles on it like the ruffles on the morning-cap of Jenny Strong . I tied it under Minerva's bill. She was a sweet picture in it coming down the cathedral aisle by my side. Minerva is a plump hen of gentle ways. It is not often she does talk, but she did chuckle all of the time while her baby chickens was getting christened.
  Brave Horatius stood by the altar and Lars Porsena of Clusium did perch upon his back. Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil did sit on a log close by. And Mathilde Plantagenet watched from the pasture-bars. Menander Euripides Theocritus Thucydides did walk by my side when we went goes to have asks for the blessing of Saint Louis on all Minerva's baby chickens after they were christened. Then I did sing " Hosanna in Excelsis." And Ben Jonson peeped and so did Francis Beaumont and Pius VII . He was wiggling so that his christening robe was most off him. I put it on again. Then I did stop to straighten up Minerva's cap with the ruffles on it. It had had a slip-back. Then we had more prayers. Afterward we all did have goes back to the chicken-yard pen. I took off Minerva's cap so it would be clean for cathedral service on Sundays. Then I put her and all her children back in their pen, after they did have their christening robes off.
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