1124 A PICTURE-BOOK WITHOUT PICTURES
too painfully miss the pretty Columbine and the agile Harlequin. Therefore Punchinello had to be more boisterous and extravagant than ever ; and he danced and capered, with despair in his heart; and the audience yelled, and shouted, " Bravo ! bravissimo ! " Punchinello was called before the curtain. He was pronounced inimitable.
' But last night the hideous little fellow went out of the town, quite alone, to the deserted churchyard. The wreath of flowers on Columbine's grave was already faded, and he sat down there. It was a study for a painter. As he sat with his chin on his hands, his eyes turned up towards me, he looked like a grotesque monument—a Punch on a grave—peculiar and whimsical! If the people could have seen their favourite, they would have cried as usual, " Bravo, Punchinello ! bravo, bravissimo I '* *
Hear what the Moon told me. 'I have seen the cadet who had just been made an officer put on his handsome uniform for the first time ; I have seen the young girl in her ball-dress, and the Prince's young wife happy in her gorgeous robes ; but never have I seen a felicity equal to that of a little girl of four years old, whom I watched this evening. She had received a new blue dress and a new pink hat; the splendid attire had just been put on, and all were calling for a candle, for my rays, shining in through the windows of the room, were not bright enough for the occasion, and further illumination was required. There stood the little maid, stiff and upright as a doll, her arms stretched painfully straight out away from the dress, and her fingers apart; and, oh, what happiness beamed from her eyes and from her whole countenance ! " To-morrow you shall go out in your new clothes," said her mother; and the little one looked up at her hat and down at her frock, and smiled brightly. " Mother," she cried, " what will the little dogs think when they see me in these splendid new things ? " '