156 The Princess and the Goblin
" It is very wonderful!" said Irene thoughtfully. Then suddenly becoming aware, she jumped up, crying—" Oh, grandmother! here have I been sitting all this time in your chair, and you standing! I beg your pardon."
The lady laid her hand on her shoulder, and said—
" Sit down again, Irene. Nothing pleases me better than to see anyone sit in my chair. I am only too glad to stand so long as anyone will sit in it."
" How kind of you!" said the princess, and sat down again.
" It makes me happy," said the lady.
"But," said Irene, still puzzled, "won't the thread get in somebody's way and be broken, if the one end is fast to my ring, and the other laid in your cabinet?"
"You will find all that arrange itself.—I am afraid it is time for you to go."
"Mightn't I stay and sleep with you to-night, grandmother?"
" No, not to-night. If I had meant you to stay to-night, I should have given you a bath; but you know everybody in the house is miserable