SHEPHERDESS AND CHIMNEY-SWEEPER 333
place her little foot upon the carved corners and the gilded foliage down the leg of the table ; he brought his ladder, too, to help her, and they were soon together upon the floor. But when they looked up at the old cupboard there was great commotion within : all the carved stags were stretching out their heads, rearing up their antlers, and turning their necks ; and the Billygoat-legs-Lieutenant-and-Major-General-War-Commander-Sergeant sprang high in the air, and called across to the old Chinaman,
' Now they're running away! now they're running away !'
Then they were a little frightened, and jumped quickly into the drawer of the window-seat. Here were three or four packs of cards which were not complete, and a little puppet-show, which had been built up as well as it could be done. There plays were acted, and all the ladies, diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades, sat in the first row, fanning themselves with their tulips ; and behind them stood all the knaves, showing that they had a head above and below, as is usual in playing-cards. The play was about two people who were not to be married to each other, and the Shepherdess wept, because it was just like her own history.
11 cannot bear this ! ' said she. ' I must go out of the drawer.'
But when they arrived on the floor, and looked up at the table, the old Chinaman was awake and was shaking over his whole body—for below he was all one lump.
' Now the old Chinaman 's coming ! ' cried the little Shepherdess ; and she fell down upon her porcelain knee, so startled was she.
' I have an idea,' said the Chimney-Sweeper. ' Shall we creep into the great pot-pourri vase which stands in the corner ? Then we can lie on roses and lavender, and throw salt in his eyes if he comes.'
' That will be of no use,' ehe replied. * Besides, I know that the old Chinaman and the pot-pourri vase were once engaged to each other, and a kind of liking always remains when people have stood in such a relation to each other. No, there 's nothing left for us but to go out into the wide world.'
1 Have you really courage to go into the wide world with me ? ' asked the Chimney-Sweeper. ' Have you