458 THE GOBLIN AND THE HUCKSTER
1 There lies more of it,' said the huckster : * I gave an old woman a few coffee beans for it; give me three pence and you shall have the remainder.'
* Thanks,' said the student, ' give me the book instead of the cheese: I can eat my bread and butter without cheese. It would be a sin to tear the book up entirely. You are a capital man, a practical man, but you understand no more about poetry than does that cask yonder.'
Now, that was an impolite speech, especially towards the cask; but the huckster laughed and the student laughed, for it was only said in fun. But the Goblin was angry that any one should dare to say such things to a huckster who lived in his own house and sold the best butter.
When it was night, and the shop was closed and all were m bed except the student, the Goblin came forth, went into the bedroom, and took away the good lady's tongue ; for she did not want that while she was asleep ; and whenever he put this tongue upon any object in the room, the said object acquired speech and language, and could express its thoughts and feelings as well as the lady herself could have done; but only one object could use it at a time, and that was a good thing, otherwise they would have interrupted each other.
And the Goblin laid the tongue upon the Cask in which the old newspapers were lying.
' Is it true,' he asked, ' that you don't know what poetry means ?'
' Of course I know it,' replied the Cask : ' poetry is something that always stands at the foot of a column in the newspapers, and is sometimes cut out. I dare swear I have more of it in me than the student, and I'm only a poor tub compared to the huckster.'
Then the Goblin put the tongue upon the coffee-mill, and, mercy ! how it began to go ! And he put it upon the butter-cask, and on the cashbox: they were all of the waste-paper Cask's opinion, and the opinion of the majority must be respected.
* Now I shall tell it to the student!'
And with these words the Goblin went quite quietly up the back stairs to the garret, where the student lived. The student had still a candle burning, and the Goblin peeped