THE SILVER SHILLING 871
companions, who came and went, each making room for a successor ; but the Shilling from home always remained in the bag ; which was a distinction for it.
Several weeks had gone by, and the Shilling had travelled far out into the world without exactly knowing where he was, though he learned from the other coins that they were French or Italian. One said they were in such and such a town, another that they had reached such and such a spot; but the Shilling could form no idea of all this. He who has his head in a bag sees nothing ; and this was the case with the Shilling. But one day, as he lay there, he noticed that the purse was not shut, and so he crept forward to the opening, to take a look around. He ought not to have done so ; but he was inquisitive, and people often have to pay for that. He slipped out into the fob : and when the purse was taken out at night the Shilling remained behind, and was sent out into the passage with the clothes. There he fell upon the floor : no one heard it, no one saw it.
Next morning the clothes were carried back into the room; the gentleman put them on, and continued his journey, while the Shilling remained behind. The coin was found, and was required to go into service again, so he was sent out with three other coins.
' It is a pleasant thing to look about one in the world,' thought the Shilling, ' and to get to know other people and other customs.'
1 What sort of a shilling is that ? ' was said at the same moment; ' that is not a coin of the country, it is false, it's of no use/
And now begins the history of the Shilling, as told by himself.
1 " Away with him, he 's bad—no use." These words went through and through me,' said the Shilling. ' I knew I was of good silver, sounded well and had been properly coined. The people were certainly mistaken. They could not mean me ! but, yes, they did mean me. I was the one of whom they said, " He's bad—he's no good." ' I must get rid of that fellow in the dark," said the man who had received me ; and I was passed at night, and abused in the daytime. " Bad—no good ! " was the cry : "we must make haste and get rid of him."