460 THE GOBLIN AND THE HUCKSTER
never expected such a thing ! I should like to stay here with the student.'
And then he thought it over—and thought sensibly; then he sighed, ' The student has no porridge !' And then he went down again to the huckster's shop : and it was a very good thing that he got down there again at last, for the Cask had almost worn out the good woman's tongue, for it had spoken out at one side everything that was contained in it, and was just about turning itself over, to give it out from the other side also, when the Goblin came in, and restored the tongue to its owner. But from that time forth the whole shop, from the cashbox down to the firewood, took its tone from the Cask, and paid him such respect, and thought so much of him, that when the huckster afterwards read the critical articles on theatricals and art in the newspaper, they were persuaded the information came from the Cask itself.
But the Goblin could no longer sit quietly and contentedly listening to all the wisdom down there : as soon as the light glimmered from the garret in the evening, he felt as if the rays were strong cables drawing him up, and he was obliged to go and peep through the keyhole; and there a feeling of greatness rolled around him, such as we feel beside the ever-heaving sea when the storm rushes over it, and he burst into tears ! He did not know himself why he was weeping, but a peculiar feeling of pleasure mingled with his tears. How wonderfully glorious it must be to sit with the student under the same tree ! But that might not be—he was obliged to be content with the view through the keyhole, and to be glad of that. There he stood on the cold landing-place, with the autumn wind blowing down from the loft-hole: it was cold, very cold; but the little mannikin only felt that when the light in the room was extinguished and the tones in the tree died away. Ha ! then he shivered, and crept down again to his warm corner, where it was homely and comfortable.
And when Christmas came, and brought with it the porridge and the great lump of butter, why, then he thought the huckster the better man.
But in the middle of the night the Goblin was awakened by a terrible tumult and knocking against the window-