BROWNIE AND THE DAME 907
to darn, unless she must go and make poetry. Dame poetess, darn the goodman's stockings I'
The cat sneezed at that; he had a cold, although he always wore furs.
* I have opened the dining-room door,' said Brownie, ' there is clotted cream there, as thick as gruel. If you won't lick it, / shall.'
' If I shall have the blame and the blows/ said the cat, ' let me also lick the cream/
1 First the cream, then the licking,' said the brownie. ' But now I shall go into the student's room, hang his braces on the looking-glass, and put his socks in the water-jug ; then he will think that the punch has been too strong, and that he is giddy in the head. Last night I sat on the wood-stack beside the dog-kennel; I take a great pleasure in teasing the watch-dog ; I let my legs hang down and dangle. The dog could not reach them, however high he jumped ; that made him angry ; he barked and barked, I dingled and dangled ; it was a racket. The student woke up with it and got up three times to look out; but he did not see me, although he had spectacles on ; he always sleeps with spectacles.'
' Say mew, when the dame is coming,' said the cat. ' I am rather deaf ; I am not well to-day !'
' You are licking-sick,' said Brownie, ' lick away, lick the sickness away ! but dry your whiskers, so that the cream may not hang there. Now I will go and listen.'
And Brownie stood by the door, and the door stood ajar; there was no one in the room except the dame and the student; they talked about what the student so finely called ' that which one ought to set above all pots and pans in every household ; the gifts of the soul ! '
' Mr. Kisserup,' said the dame, ' now I shall show you something in this connexion, which I have never yet shown to any earthly soul, least of all to a man, my little poems ; some are rather long, however. I have called them " Clinchings by a gentlewoman ".'
And she took out of the drawer a writing-book with a light-green cover and two blots of ink on it. * There is much that is earnest in this book,' said she. * I have the strongest feeling for what is sorrowful. Here now is " The