by Jerome K. Jerome
There are two kinds of clocks. There is the clock that is always
wrong, and that knows it is wrong, and glories in it; and there is the
clock that is always right--except when you rely upon it, and then it
is more wrong than you would think a clock _could_ be in a civilized
I remember a clock of this latter type, that we had in the house when
I was a boy, routing us all up at three o'clock one winter's morning.
We had finished breakfast at ten minutes to four, and I got to school
a little after five, and sat down on the step outside and cried,
because I thought the world had come to an end; everything was so
The man who can live in the same house with one of these clocks, and
not endanger his chance of heaven about once a month by standing up
and telling it what he thinks of it, is either a dangerous rival to
that old established firm, Job, or else he does not know enough bad
language to make it worth his while to start saying anything at all.
The great dream of its life is to lure you on into trying to catch a
train by it. For weeks and weeks it will keep the most perfect time.
If there were any difference in time between that clock and the sun,