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a-maze'ment, wonder, surprise. hand'some-ly (han'sum-ly), largely, be-times', early.
liberally. bus'tled (bus'ld), moved quickly. ply, to work hard. con’science [kon'shens], that which pros'per-ous, well-to-do, thriving.
tells us what is right and wrong. thriv'ing, well-to-do, prosperous. cus'tom-er, a buyer.
serv'ice (serv'iss), that which does fin'ished (fin'isht), done, brought to good to another, a benefit. an end.
waist'coat, a vest.
1. THERE was once a shoemaker who worked very hard, and was very honest. Yet he could not earn enough to live upon, and at last all he had in the world was gone, — all except just leather enough to make one pair of shoes. In the evening he cut out the leather, meaning to get up early in the morning to work. His conscience was clear and his heart light amidst all his troubles ; so he went peaceably to bed, left all his cares to God, and fell asleep.
2. In the morning he sat down to his work; but what did he see? The pair of shoes already made! There
they were on his work-bench. The poor man could scarcely believe his eyes, and did not know what to say: He took up the shoes to look at them more closely. There was not a false stitch in them: they were just like shoes made for a prize.
3. That day a customer came, and the shoes pleased him so well that he willingly paid a higher price than usual for them. With the money the shoemaker was able to buy leather for two pairs more. In the evening he cut out the work, and went to bed early that he might get up betimes next day; but he was saved all the trouble, for when he got up in the morning the work was already done. Presently in came customers who paid him handsomely for his goods, so that he bought leather enough for four pairs more.
4. Again he cut out the work over night, and again found it finished in the morning. And so it went on for some time: what was got ready in the evening was always done by daybreak, and the good man soon became thriving and prosperous again.
5. One evening about Christmas time, as he and his wife were sitting over the fire chatting together, he said to her, “I should like to sit up and watch to-night, that we may see who it is that comes and does my work for me.” The wife liked the idea. So they left a light burning, and hid themselves in the corner of the room behind a curtain that was hung up there, and watched what should happen.
6. As soon as it was midnight, there came two little naked dwarfs. They sat down upon the shoemaker's bench, took up all the work that was cut out, and began to ply with their little fingers, stitching and rapping
and tapping away at such a rate that the shoemaker was all amazement, and could not take his eyes off for a moment. On they went till the task was quite finished, and the shoes stood ready for use upon the table. This was long before daybreak; and then they bustled away as quick as lightning.
7. The next day the wife said to the shoemaker, “ These little folk have made us rich, and we ought to be thankful to them, and do them a service in return. I am quite vexed to see them run about as they do; they have nothing upon their backs to keep
off the cold. I'll tell you what: I will make each of them a shirt, and a coat and waistcoat, and a pair of pantaloons. Do you make each of them a little pair of shoes.”
8. The thought pleased the good shoemaker very much; and one evening, when all the things were ready, they laid them on the table instead of the work that they used to cut out, and then went and hid themselves to watch what the little elves would do. About inidnight they came in, and were going to sit down to their work as usual; but when they saw the clothes lying there for them, they laughed and were greatly delighted. Then they dressed themselves in the twinkling of an eye, and danced and capered and sprang about as merry as could be, till at last they danced out of the door over the green. The shoemaker saw them no more; but every thing went well with him from that time forward, as long as he lived.
2.- THE LITTLE DREAMER.
1. A LITTLE boy was dreaming,
Upon his nurse's lap,
And the stars fell into his cap.
2. So, when his dream was over,
What should that little boy do?
And found it wasn't true.