THE OLD STREET LAMP 355
been taken to the iron foundry to' be melted down. It felt as much alarmed as on that day whwi it was to appear in the council-house to be inspected by the mayor and council. But though the power had been given to it to fall into rust and dust at will, it did not use this power. It was put into the furnace, and turned into an iron candlestick, as fair a candlestick as you would desire—one on which wax lights were to be burned. It had received the form of an angel holding a great nosegay ; and the wax light was to be placed in the middle of the nosegay.
The candlestick had a place assigned to it on a green writing-table. The room was very comfortable ; many books stood round about the walls, which were hung with beautiful pictures ; it belonged to a poet. Everything that he wrote or composed showed itself round about him. The room was changed to thick dark forests, sometimes to beautiful meadows, where the storks strutted about, sometimes again to a ship sailing on the foaming ocean.
1 What faculties lie hidden in me ! ' said the old Lamp, when it awoke. ' I could almost wish to be melted down ! But no ! that must not be so long as the old people live. They love me for myself ; I am like a child to them ; they have cleaned me and have given me oil. I am as well off now as the whole Congress.'
And from that time it enjoyed more inward peace ; and the honest old Street Lamp had well deserved to enjoy it.
THE NEIGHBOURING FAMILIES
One would really have thought that something important was going on by the duck-pond ; but nothing was going on. All the ducks lying quietly upon the water, or standing on their heads in it—for they could do that—swam suddenly to the shore. One could see the traces of their feet on the wet clay, and their quacking sounded far and wide. The water, lately clear and bright as a mirror, was quite in a commotion. Before, every tree, every neighbouring bush, the old farm-house with the holes in the roof and the swallow's nest, and especially the great rose bush covered