104 THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE
his feet very well. ' How droll it is in the world ! Now, he might lie down in his warm bed, and yet he does not! There he is pacing up and down the room. He is a happy man ! He has neither wife nor children, and every evening he is at a party. Oh, I wish I were he, then I should be a happy man ! '
As he uttered the wish, the goloshes he had put on produced their effect, and the watchman was transported into the body and being of the lieutenant. Then he stood up in the room, and held a little pink paper in his fingers, on which was a poem, a poem written by the lieutenant himself. For who is there who has not once in his life had a poetic moment ? and at such a moment, if one writes down one's thoughts, there is poetry.
Yes, people write poetry when they are in love ; but a prudent man does not print such poems. The lieutenant was in love—and poor—that's a triangle, or, so to speak, the half of a broken square of happiness. The lieutenant felt that very keenly, and so he laid his head against the window-frame and sighed a deep sigh.
' The poor watchman in the street yonder is far happier than I. He does not know what I call want. He has a home, a wife, and children, who weep at his sorrow and rejoice at his joy. Oh ! I should be happier than I am, if I could pass right over into him, for he is happier than I!'
In that same moment the watchman became a watchman again ; for through the power of the goloshes of Fortune he had assumed the personality of the lieutenant; but then we know he felt far less content, and preferred to be what he really was. So the watchman became a watchman again.
' That was an ugly dream,' said he, ' but droll enough. It seemed to me that I was the lieutenant up yonder, and that it was not pleasant at all. I missed the wife and the boys, who are now ready to half stifle me with kisses.'
He sat down again and nodded. The dream would not go quite out of his thoughts. He had the goloshes still on his feet. A falling star glided down the sky.
" There went one,' said he, * but for all that, there are enough left. I should like to look at those things a little