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Fabulous Fairy Tales for children and adults. From our vast collection of old traditional fairy tales and fables.

The Goloshes Of Fortune - Part 2

The hospital is separated from the street by an iron
railing, in which the bars stand so wide apart that, it is
said, some very slim patients have squeezed through, and gone
to pay little visits in the town. The most difficult part of
the body to get through was the head; and in this case, as it
often happens in the world, the small heads were the most
fortunate. This will serve as sufficient introduction to our
tale. One of the young volunteers, of whom, physically
speaking, it might be said that he had a great head, was on
guard that evening at the hospital. The rain was pouring down,
yet, in spite of these two obstacles, he wanted to go out just
for a quarter of an hour; it was not worth while, he thought,
to make a confidant of the porter, as he could easily slip
through the iron railings. There lay the goloshes, which the
watchman had forgotten. It never occurred to him that these
could be goloshes of Fortune. They would be very serviceable
to him in this rainy weather, so he drew them on. Now came the
question whether he could squeeze through the palings; he
certainly had never tried, so he stood looking at them. 'I
wish to goodness my head was through,' said he, and instantly,
though it was so thick and large, it slipped through quite
easily. The goloshes answered that purpose very well, but his
body had to follow, and this was impossible. 'I am too fat,'
he said; 'I thought my head would be the worst, but I cannot
get my body through, that is certain.' Then he tried to pull
his head back again, but without success; he could move his
neck about easily enough, and that was all. His first feeling
was one of anger, and then his spirits sank below zero. The
goloshes of Fortune had placed him in this terrible position,
and unfortunately it never occurred to him to wish himself
free. No, instead of wishing he kept twisting about, yet did
not stir from the spot. The rain poured, and not a creature
could be seen in the street. The porter's bell he was unable
to reach, and however was he to get loose! He foresaw that he
should have to stay there till morning, and then they must
send for a smith to file away the iron bars, and that would be
a work of time. All the charity children would just be going
to school: and all the sailors who inhabited that quarter of
the town would be there to see him standing in the pillory.
What a crowd there would be. 'Ha,' he cried, 'the blood is
rushing to my head, and I shall go mad. I believe I am crazy
already; oh, I wish I were free, then all these sensations
would pass off.' This is just what he ought to have said at
first. The moment he had expressed the thought his head was
free. He started back, quite bewildered with the fright which
the goloshes of Fortune had caused him. But we must not
suppose it was all over; no, indeed, there was worse to come
yet. The night passed, and the whole of the following day; but
no one sent for the goloshes. In the evening a declamatory
performance was to take place at the amateur theatre in a
distant street. The house was crowded; among the audience was
the young volunteer from the hospital, who seemed to have
quite forgotten his adventures of the previous evening. He had
on the goloshes; they had not been sent for, and as the
streets were still very dirty, they were of great service to
him. A new poem, entitled 'My Aunt's Spectacles,' was being
recited. It described these spectacles as possessing a
wonderful power; if any one put them on in a large assembly
the people appeared like cards, and the future events of
ensuing years could be easily foretold by them. The idea
struck him that he should very much like to have such a pair
of spectacles; for, if used rightly, they would perhaps enable
him to see into the hearts of people, which he thought would
be more interesting than to know what was going to happen next
year; for future events would be sure to show themselves, but
the hearts of people never. 'I can fancy what I should see in
the whole row of ladies and gentlemen on the first seat, if I
could only look into their hearts; that lady, I imagine, keeps
a store for things of all descriptions; how my eyes would
wander about in that collection; with many ladies I should no
doubt find a large millinery establishment. There is another
that is perhaps empty, and would be all the better for
cleaning out. There may be some well stored with good
articles. Ah, yes,' he sighed, 'I know one, in which
everything is solid, but a servant is there already, and that
is the only thing against it. I dare say from many I should
hear the words, 'Please to walk in.' I only wish I could slip
into the hearts like a little tiny thought.' This was the word
of command for the goloshes. The volunteer shrunk up together,
and commenced a most unusual journey through the hearts of the
spectators in the first row. The first heart he entered was
that of a lady, but he thought he must have got into one of
the rooms of an orthopedic institution where plaster casts of
deformed limbs were hanging on the walls, with this
difference, that the casts in the institution are formed when
the patient enters, but here they were formed and preserved
after the good people had left. These were casts of the bodily
and mental deformities of the lady's female friends carefully
preserved. Quickly he passed into another heart, which had the
appearance of a spacious, holy church, with the white dove of
innocence fluttering over the altar. Gladly would he have
fallen on his knees in such a sacred place; but he was carried
on to another heart, still, however, listening to the tones of
the organ, and feeling himself that he had become another and
a better man. The next heart was also a sanctuary, which he
felt almost unworthy to enter; it represented a mean garret,
in which lay a sick mother; but the warm sunshine streamed
through the window, lovely roses bloomed in a little flowerbox
on the roof, two blue birds sang of childlike joys, and the
sick mother prayed for a blessing on her daughter. Next he
crept on his hands and knees through an overfilled butcher's
shop; there was meat, nothing but meat, wherever he stepped;
this was the heart of a rich, respectable man, whose name is
doubtless in the directory. Then he entered the heart of this
man's wife; it was an old, tumble-down pigeon-house; the
husband's portrait served as a weather-cock; it was connected
with all the doors, which opened and shut just as the
husband's decision turned. The next heart was a complete
cabinet of mirrors, such as can be seen in the Castle of
Rosenberg. But these mirrors magnified in an astonishing
degree; in the middle of the floor sat, like the Grand Lama,
the insignificant I of the owner, astonished at the
contemplation of his own features. At his next visit he
fancied he must have got into a narrow needlecase, full of
sharp needles: 'Oh,' thought he, 'this must be the heart of an
old maid;' but such was not the fact; it belonged to a young
officer, who wore several orders, and was said to be a man of
intellect and heart.

The poor volunteer came out of the last heart in the row
quite bewildered. He could not collect his thoughts, and
imagined his foolish fancies had carried him away. 'Good
gracious!' he sighed, 'I must have a tendency to softening of
the brain, and here it is so exceedingly hot that the blood is
rushing to my head.' And then suddenly recurred to him the
strange event of the evening before, when his head had been
fixed between the iron railings in front of the hospital.
'That is the cause of it all!' he exclaimed, 'I must do
something in time. A Russian bath would be a very good thing
to begin with. I wish I were lying on one of the highest
shelves.' Sure enough, there he lay on an upper shelf of a
vapor bath, still in his evening costume, with his boots and
goloshes on, and the hot drops from the ceiling falling on his
face. 'Ho!' he cried, jumping down and rushing towards the
plunging bath. The attendant stopped him with a loud cry, when
he saw a man with all his clothes on. The volunteer had,
however, presence of mind enough to whisper, 'It is for a
wager;' but the first thing he did, when he reached his own
room, was to put a large blister on his neck, and another on
his back, that his crazy fit might be cured. The next morning
his back was very sore, which was all he gained by the
goloshes of Fortune.

THE CLERK'S TRANSFORMATION

The watchman, whom we of course have not forgotten,
thought, after a while, of the goloshes which he had found and
taken to the hospital; so he went and fetched them. But
neither the lieutenant nor any one in the street could
recognize them as their own, so he gave them up to the police.
'They look exactly like my own goloshes,' said one of the
clerks, examining the unknown articles, as they stood by the
side of his own. 'It would require even more than the eye of a
shoemaker to know one pair from the other.'

'Master clerk,' said a servant who entered with some
papers. The clerk turned and spoke to the man; but when he had
done with him, he turned to look at the goloshes again, and
now he was in greater doubt than ever as to whether the pair
on the right or on the left belonged to him. 'Those that are
wet must be mine,' thought he; but he thought wrong, it was
just the reverse. The goloshes of Fortune were the wet pair;
and, besides, why should not a clerk in a police office be
wrong sometimes? So he drew them on, thrust his papers into
his pocket, placed a few manuscripts under his arm, which he
had to take with him, and to make abstracts from at home.
Then, as it was Sunday morning and the weather very fine, he
said to himself, 'A walk to Fredericksburg will do me good:'
so away he went.

There could not be a quieter or more steady young man than
this clerk. We will not grudge him this little walk, it was
just the thing to do him good after sitting so much. He went
on at first like a mere automaton, without thought or wish;
therefore the goloshes had no opportunity to display their
magic power. In the avenue he met with an acquaintance, one of
our young poets, who told him that he intended to start on the
following day on a summer excursion. 'Are you really going
away so soon?' asked the clerk. 'What a free, happy man you
are. You can roam about where you will, while such as we are
tied by the foot.'

'But it is fastened to the bread-tree,' replied the poet.
'You need have no anxiety for the morrow; and when you are old
there is a pension for you.'

'Ah, yes; but you have the best of it,' said the clerk;
'it must be so delightful to sit and write poetry. The whole
world makes itself agreeable to you, and then you are your own
master. You should try how you would like to listen to all the
trivial things in a court of justice.' The poet shook his
head, so also did the clerk; each retained his own opinion,
and so they parted. 'They are strange people, these poets,'
thought the clerk. 'I should like to try what it is to have a
poetic taste, and to become a poet myself. I am sure I should
not write such mournful verses as they do. This is a splendid
spring day for a poet, the air is so remarkably clear, the
clouds are so beautiful, and the green grass has such a sweet
smell. For many years I have not felt as I do at this moment.'

We perceive, by these remarks, that he had already become
a poet. By most poets what he had said would be considered
common-place, or as the Germans call it, 'insipid.' It is a
foolish fancy to look upon poets as different to other men.
There are many who are more the poets of nature than those who
are professed poets. The difference is this, the poet's
intellectual memory is better; he seizes upon an idea or a
sentiment, until he can embody it, clearly and plainly in
words, which the others cannot do. But the transition from a
character of every-day life to one of a more gifted nature is
a great transition; and so the clerk became aware of the
change after a time. 'What a delightful perfume,' said he; 'it
reminds me of the violets at Aunt Lora's. Ah, that was when I
was a little boy. Dear me, how long it seems since I thought
of those days! She was a good old maiden lady! she lived
yonder, behind the Exchange. She always had a sprig or a few
blossoms in water, let the winter be ever so severe. I could
smell the violets, even while I was placing warm penny pieces
against the frozen panes to make peep-holes, and a pretty view
it was on which I peeped. Out in the river lay the ships,
icebound, and forsaken by their crews; a screaming crow
represented the only living creature on board. But when the
breezes of spring came, everything started into life. Amidst
shouting and cheers the ships were tarred and rigged, and then
they sailed to foreign lands.

'I remain here, and always shall remain, sitting at my
post at the police office, and letting others take passports
to distant lands. Yes, this is my fate,' and he sighed deeply.
Suddenly he paused. 'Good gracious, what has come over me? I
never felt before as I do now; it must be the air of spring.
It is overpowering, and yet it is delightful.'

He felt in his pockets for some of his papers. 'These will
give me something else to think of,' said he. Casting his eyes
on the first page of one, he read, ''Mistress Sigbirth; an
original Tragedy, in Five Acts.' What is this?- in my own
handwriting, too! Have I written this tragedy?' He read again,
''The Intrigue on the Promenade; or, the Fast-Day. A
Vaudeville.' However did I get all this? Some one must have
put them into my pocket. And here is a letter!' It was from
the manager of a theatre; the pieces were rejected, not at all
in polite terms.

'Hem, hem!' said he, sitting down on a bench; his thoughts
were very elastic, and his heart softened strangely.
Involuntarily he seized one of the nearest flowers; it was a
little, simple daisy. All that botanists can say in many
lectures was explained in a moment by this little flower. It
spoke of the glory of its birth; it told of the strength of
the sunlight, which had caused its delicate leaves to expand,
and given to it such sweet perfume. The struggles of life
which arouse sensations in the bosom have their type in the
tiny flowers. Air and light are the lovers of the flowers, but
light is the favored one; towards light it turns, and only
when light vanishes does it fold its leaves together, and
sleep in the embraces of the air.'

'It is light that adorns me,' said the flower.

'But the air gives you the breath of life,' whispered the
poet.

Just by him stood a boy, splashing with his stick in a
marshy ditch. The water-drops spurted up among the green
twigs, and the clerk thought of the millions of animalculae
which were thrown into the air with every drop of water, at a
height which must be the same to them as it would be to us if
we were hurled beyond the clouds. As the clerk thought of all
these things, and became conscious of the great change in his
own feelings, he smiled, and said to himself, 'I must be
asleep and dreaming; and yet, if so, how wonderful for a dream
to be so natural and real, and to know at the same time too
that it is but a dream. I hope I shall be able to remember it
all when I wake tomorrow. My sensations seem most
unaccountable. I have a clear perception of everything as if I
were wide awake. I am quite sure if I recollect all this
tomorrow, it will appear utterly ridiculous and absurd. I have
had this happen to me before. It is with the clever or
wonderful things we say or hear in dreams, as with the gold
which comes from under the earth, it is rich and beautiful
when we possess it, but when seen in a true light it is but as
stones and withered leaves.'

'Ah!' he sighed mournfully, as he gazed at the birds
singing merrily, or hopping from branch to branch, 'they are
much better off than I. Flying is a glorious power. Happy is
he who is born with wings. Yes, if I could change myself into
anything I would be a little lark.' At the same moment his
coat-tails and sleeves grew together and formed wings, his
clothes changed to feathers, and his goloshes to claws. He
felt what was taking place, and laughed to himself. 'Well, now
it is evident I must be dreaming; but I never had such a wild
dream as this.' And then he flew up into the green boughs and
sang, but there was no poetry in the song, for his poetic
nature had left him. The goloshes, like all persons who wish
to do a thing thoroughly, could only attend to one thing at a
time. He wished to be a poet, and he became one. Then he
wanted to be a little bird, and in this change he lost the
characteristics of the former one. 'Well,' thought he, 'this
is charming; by day I sit in a police-office, amongst the
dryest law papers, and at night I can dream that I am a lark,
flying about in the gardens of Fredericksburg. Really a
complete comedy could be written about it.' Then he flew down
into the grass, turned his head about in every direction, and
tapped his beak on the bending blades of grass, which, in
proportion to his size, seemed to him as long as the
palm-leaves in northern Africa.

In another moment all was darkness around him. It seemed
as if something immense had been thrown over him. A sailor boy
had flung his large cap over the bird, and a hand came
underneath and caught the clerk by the back and wings so
roughly, that he squeaked, and then cried out in his alarm,
'You impudent rascal, I am a clerk in the police-office!' but
it only sounded to the boy like 'tweet, tweet;' so he tapped
the bird on the beak, and walked away with him. In the avenue
he met two school-boys, who appeared to belong to a better
class of society, but whose inferior abilities kept them in
the lowest class at school. These boys bought the bird for
eightpence, and so the clerk returned to Copenhagen. 'It is
well for me that I am dreaming,' he thought; 'otherwise I
should become really angry. First I was a poet, and now I am a
lark. It must have been the poetic nature that changed me into
this little creature. It is a miserable story indeed,
especially now I have fallen into the hands of boys. I wonder
what will be the end of it.' The boys carried him into a very
elegant room, where a stout, pleasant-looking lady received
them, but she was not at all gratified to find that they had
brought a lark- a common field-bird as she called it. However,
she allowed them for one day to place the bird in an empty
cage that hung near the window. 'It will please Polly
perhaps,' she said, laughing at a large gray parrot, who was
swinging himself proudly on a ring in a handsome brass cage.
'It is Polly's birthday,' she added in a simpering tone, 'and
the little field-bird has come to offer his congratulations.'

Polly did not answer a single word, he continued to swing
proudly to and fro; but a beautiful canary, who had been
brought from his own warm, fragrant fatherland, the summer
previous, began to sing as loud as he could.

'You screamer!' said the lady, throwing a white
handkerchief over the cage.

'Tweet, tweet,' sighed he, 'what a dreadful snowstorm!'
and then he became silent.

The clerk, or as the lady called him the field-bird, was
placed in a little cage close to the canary, and not far from
the parrot. The only human speech which Polly could utter, and
which she sometimes chattered forth most comically, was 'Now
let us be men.' All besides was a scream, quite as
unintelligible as the warbling of the canary-bird, excepting
to the clerk, who being now a bird, could understand his
comrades very well.

'I flew beneath green palm-trees, and amidst the blooming
almond-trees,' sang the canary. 'I flew with my brothers and
sisters over beautiful flowers, and across the clear, bright
sea, which reflected the waving foliage in its glittering
depths; and I have seen many gay parrots, who could relate
long and delightful stories.

'They were wild birds,' answered the parrot, 'and totally
uneducated. Now let us be men. Why do you not laugh? If the
lady and her visitors can laugh at this, surely you can. It is
a great failing not to be able to appreciate what is amusing.
Now let us be men.'

'Do you remember,' said the canary, 'the pretty maidens
who used to dance in the tents that were spread out beneath
the sweet blossoms? Do you remember the delicious fruit and
the cooling juice from the wild herbs?'

'Oh, yes,' said the parrot; 'but here I am much better
off. I am well fed, and treated politely. I know that I have a
clever head; and what more do I want? Let us be men now. You
have a soul for poetry. I have deep knowledge and wit. You
have genius, but no discretion. You raise your naturally high
notes so much, that you get covered over. They never serve me
so. Oh, no; I cost them something more than you. I keep them
in order with my beak, and fling my wit about me. Now let us
be men.

'O my warm, blooming fatherland,' sang the canary bird, 'I
will sing of thy dark-green trees and thy quiet streams, where
the bending branches kiss the clear, smooth water. I will sing
of the joy of my brothers and sisters, as their shining
plumage flits among the dark leaves of the plants which grow
wild by the springs.'

'Do leave off those dismal strains,' said the parrot;
'sing something to make us laugh; laughter is the sign of the
highest order of intellect. Can a dog or a horse laugh? No,
they can cry; but to man alone is the power of laughter given.
Ha! ha! ha!' laughed Polly, and repeated his witty saying,
'Now let us be men.'

'You little gray Danish bird,' said the canary, 'you also
have become a prisoner. It is certainly cold in your forests,
but still there is liberty there. Fly out! they have forgotten
to close the cage, and the window is open at the top. Fly,
fly!'

Instinctively, the clerk obeyed, and left the cage; at the
same moment the half-opened door leading into the next room
creaked on its hinges, and, stealthily, with green fiery eyes,
the cat crept in and chased the lark round the room. The
canary-bird fluttered in his cage, and the parrot flapped his
wings and cried, 'Let us be men;' the poor clerk, in the most
deadly terror, flew through the window, over the houses, and
through the streets, till at length he was obliged to seek a
resting-place. A house opposite to him had a look of home. A
window stood open; he flew in, and perched upon the table. It
was his own room. 'Let us be men now,' said he, involuntarily
imitating the parrot; and at the same moment he became a clerk
again, only that he was sitting on the table. 'Heaven preserve
us!' said he; 'How did I get up here and fall asleep in this
way? It was an uneasy dream too that I had. The whole affair
appears most absurd.

THE BEST THING THE GOLOSHES DID

Early on the following morning, while the clerk was still
in bed, his neighbor, a young divinity student, who lodged on
the same storey, knocked at his door, and then walked in.
'Lend me your goloshes,' said he; 'it is so wet in the garden,
but the sun is shining brightly. I should like to go out there
and smoke my pipe.' He put on the goloshes, and was soon in
the garden, which contained only one plum-tree and one
apple-tree; yet, in a town, even a small garden like this is a
great advantage.

The student wandered up and down the path; it was just six
o'clock, and he could hear the sound of the post-horn in the
street. 'Oh, to travel, to travel!' cried he; 'there is no
greater happiness in the world: it is the height of my
ambition. This restless feeling would be stilled, if I could
take a journey far away from this country. I should like to
see beautiful Switzerland, to travel through Italy, and,'- It
was well for him that the goloshes acted immediately,
otherwise he might have been carried too far for himself as
well as for us. In a moment he found himself in Switzerland,
closely packed with eight others in the diligence. His head
ached, his back was stiff, and the blood had ceased to
circulate, so that his feet were swelled and pinched by his
boots. He wavered in a condition between sleeping and waking.
In his right-hand pocket he had a letter of credit; in his
left-hand pocket was his passport; and a few louis d'ors were
sewn into a little leather bag which he carried in his
breast-pocket. Whenever he dozed, he dreamed that he had lost
one or another of these possessions; then he would awake with
a start, and the first movements of his hand formed a triangle
from his right-hand pocket to his breast, and from his breast
to his left-hand pocket, to feel whether they were all safe.
Umbrellas, sticks, and hats swung in the net before him, and
almost obstructed the prospect, which was really very
imposing; and as he glanced at it, his memory recalled the
words of one poet at least, who has sung of Switzerland, and
whose poems have not yet been printed:-


'How lovely to my wondering eyes
Mont Blanc's fair summits gently rise;
'Tis sweet to breathe the mountain air,-
If you have gold enough to spare.'

Grand, dark, and gloomy appeared the landscape around him. The
pine-forests looked like little groups of moss on high rocks,
whose summits were lost in clouds of mist. Presently it began
to snow, and the wind blew keen and cold. 'Ah,' he sighed, 'if
I were only on the other side of the Alps now, it would be
summer, and I should be able to get money on my letter of
credit. The anxiety I feel on this matter prevents me from
enjoying myself in Switzerland. Oh, I wish I was on the other
side of the Alps.'

And there, in a moment, he found himself, far away in the
midst of Italy, between Florence and Rome, where the lake
Thrasymene glittered in the evening sunlight like a sheet of
molten gold between the dark blue mountains. There, where
Hannibal defeated Flaminius, the grape vines clung to each
other with the friendly grasp of their green tendril fingers;
while, by the wayside, lovely half-naked children were
watching a herd of coal-black swine under the blossoms of
fragrant laurel. Could we rightly describe this picturesque
scene, our readers would exclaim, 'Delightful Italy!'

But neither the student nor either of his travelling
companions felt the least inclination to think of it in this
way. Poisonous flies and gnats flew into the coach by
thousands. In vain they drove them away with a myrtle branch,
the flies stung them notwithstanding. There was not a man in
the coach whose face was not swollen and disfigured with the
stings. The poor horses looked wretched; the flies settled on
their backs in swarms, and they were only relieved when the
coachmen got down and drove the creatures off.

As the sun set, an icy coldness filled all nature, not
however of long duration. It produced the feeling which we
experience when we enter a vault at a funeral, on a summer's
day; while the hills and the clouds put on that singular green
hue which we often notice in old paintings, and look upon as
unnatural until we have ourselves seen nature's coloring in
the south. It was a glorious spectacle; but the stomachs of
the travellers were empty, their bodies exhausted with
fatigue, and all the longings of their heart turned towards a
resting-place for the night; but where to find one they knew
not. All the eyes were too eagerly seeking for this
resting-place, to notice the beauties of nature.

The road passed through a grove of olive-trees; it
reminded the student of the willow-trees at home. Here stood a
lonely inn, and close by it a number of crippled beggars had
placed themselves; the brightest among them looked, to quote
the words of Marryat, 'like the eldest son of Famine who had
just come of age.' The others were either blind, or had
withered legs, which obliged them to creep about on their
hands and knees, or they had shrivelled arms and hands without
fingers. It was indeed poverty arrayed in rags. 'Eccellenza,
miserabili!' they exclaimed, stretching forth their diseased
limbs. The hostess received the travellers with bare feet,
untidy hair, and a dirty blouse. The doors were fastened
together with string; the floors of the rooms were of brick,
broken in many places; bats flew about under the roof; and as
to the odor within-

'Let us have supper laid in the stable,' said one of the
travellers; 'then we shall know what we are breathing.'

The windows were opened to let in a little fresh air, but
quicker than air came in the withered arms and the continual
whining sounds, 'Miserabili, eccellenza. On the walls were
inscriptions, half of them against 'la bella Italia.'

The supper made its appearance at last. It consisted of
watery soup, seasoned with pepper and rancid oil. This last
delicacy played a principal part in the salad. Musty eggs and
roasted cocks'-combs were the best dishes on the table; even
the wine had a strange taste, it was certainly a mixture. At
night, all the boxes were placed against the doors, and one of
the travellers watched while the others slept. The student's
turn came to watch. How close the air felt in that room; the
heat overpowered him. The gnats were buzzing about and
stinging, while the miserabili, outside, moaned in their
dreams.

'Travelling would be all very well,' said the student of
divinity to himself, 'if we had no bodies, or if the body
could rest while the soul if flying. Wherever I go I feel a
want which oppresses my heart, for something better presents
itself at the moment; yes, something better, which shall be
the best of all; but where is that to be found? In fact, I
know in my heart very well what I want. I wish to attain the
greatest of all happiness.'

No sooner were the words spoken than he was at home. Long
white curtains shaded the windows of his room, and in the
middle of the floor stood a black coffin, in which he now lay
in the still sleep of death; his wish was fulfilled, his body
was at rest, and his spirit travelling.

'Esteem no man happy until he is in his grave,' were the
words of Solon. Here was a strong fresh proof of their truth.
Every corpse is a sphinx of immortality. The sphinx in this
sarcophagus might unveil its own mystery in the words which
the living had himself written two days before-


'Stern death, thy chilling silence waketh dread;
Yet in thy darkest hour there may be light.
Earth's garden reaper! from the grave's cold bed
The soul on Jacob's ladder takes her flight.

Man's greatest sorrows often are a part
Of hidden griefs, concealed from human eyes,
Which press far heavier on the lonely heart
Than now the earth that on his coffin lies.'

Two figures were moving about the room; we know them both.
One was the fairy named Care, the other the messenger of
Fortune. They bent over the dead.

'Look!' said Care; 'what happiness have your goloshes
brought to mankind?'

'They have at least brought lasting happiness to him who
slumbers here,' she said.

'Not so,' said Care, 'he went away of himself, he was not
summoned. His mental powers were not strong enough to discern
the treasures which he had been destined to discover. I will
do him a favor now.' And she drew the goloshes from his feet.

The sleep of death was ended, and the recovered man raised
himself. Care vanished, and with her the goloshes; doubtless
she
looked upon them as her own property.



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