BROWNIE AND THE DAME
YOU know the brownie，butdoyou know thedame，
the gardener's dame？ She had learning， knew verses by heart， could even write them herself with ease； only therhymes，"clinchings"， she called them， caused her a lit－tle trouble． She had the gift of writing， and of talking；shemight verywellhavebeen a pastor， or atleast a pas- tor's wife．"The earth is lovely in its Sunday gown，"saidshe， and this thought she had put intowordsand"clinch－ing" ， and had set it in a poem， so long and beautiful．The student， Mr．Kisserup（thenamehasnothing to do ith the story），wasanephew， and on a visit to the gar－dener；he heardthedame's poem，and it did him good， hesaid—ever so much good．"You have soul， madam，"
"Stuff and nonsense， said the gardener，"don't be putting such ideas into herhead！ a woman shouldbea body， a decent body， and look afterherpot，sothatthe porridge may not be burned．"
"I will takeawaythat burnt taste with a piece of burning charcoal，" said the dame，"and thenI will take the burnt taste from you with a little kiss． One wouldthink that you only thought of cabbages and potatoes，and yet you love theflowers！"anesoshe kissed him．"The flowers are the soul，" said she．
"Lookafter your pot， saidhe， and went into the garden： that was hispot， and he looked after it． But thestudent sat and talked with the dame．Her beautiful words，"The earth is lovely"， hemade quite a sermonabout，in his ownway．
"The earth is lovely，make it subject unto you！was said， and we became its rulers． Some are so with the mind， some with the body；one is sent into theworld likean exclamation mark， another like a Printer's dash， sothat one may well ask，'What is he doing here？' One be－comes a bishop， another only a poor schoolmaster， but all is wisely ordered． The earth is lovely， and always in itsSunday dress！Thatwasathought-stirring poem，dame, full of feeling and geography．"
"You have soul， Mr． Kisserup，" said the dame，"muchsoul， Iassure you！Onegets clearness in oneself，when one talks with you．"
And so theywent on talking， as beautifully and as well； but out in the kitchen， there was also one who talked， and that was the brownie， the little browniedressed in grey with a red cap． Youknow him！Brownie sat in thekitchen，and was thepot-watcher；he talked， but no oneheard him except thebigblack pussy cat，
"Cream-thief"， as the dame called him．The brownie was so angry with her， because she did not believe in his existence， he knew； she had certainly never seen him， but still she must， with all her learning，know that he did exist， and might have shown him a littleattention． It never occurred to her on Christmas Eve， tosetso much as a spoonful of porridge down forhim；all his ancestors had got that， and had got it from dames who had；absolutely no learning； the porridge had been swim-ming in butter and cream． Itmade the cat's mouth water to hear ofit．
"She calls me an idea!"said thebrownie，"thatis beyond all my ideas．She actually denies me！That Ihave listenedto，andnow Ihave listened again；she sitsand wheezes to that boy-whacker， the student． Isay with the goodman，' Mind your pot！' that she doesn't do；nowIshall make it boil over！" And Brownie puffed at the fire，which blazed and burned．" Hubble－bubble- hish，"——thepot boiled over．"Now Ishall go inand make holes in the goodman'ssocks！ said Brownie，"Iwillunravela big hole in the toe and the heel， so there willbesomethingto darn， unless she must go and make poetry． Dame poet- ess， darnthe goodman's stockings！"
The cat sneezed at that； he had a cold， although healways wore furs．
"Ihave opened the dining－room，door，"said Brown- ie，"there is clotted cream there， as thick as gruel．If you won't lick it， Ishall．"
"IfI shall have the blame and the blows，" said thecat，"let me also lick the cream．"
"First the cream，thenthe licking，"said the brown－ ie．"ButnowIshall go into the student's room，hang his braces on the looking－glass，and put his socks in thewa－ ter-jug； then hewillthinkthatthepunch has been too strong，andthathe is giddy in thehead．Las nightI sat on the wood－stack beside the dog－kennel； Itake a great pleasure in teasing the watch－dog； Ilet my legs hangdownanddangle．Thedogcouldnotreachthem，however high he jumped； that made him angry； he barked andbarked， Idingled and dangled； itwas aracket． The stu－dentwoke up with itand got upthree times to look out；but he did notseeme， althoughhe had spectacles on； healways sleeps withspectacles．"
"Say mew， when the dame is coming，"said the cat．"Iam rather deaf； Iam not well today！"
"You arelicking－sick，" said Brownie，"lick away, lick the sickness away！butdry your whiskers，sothatthe cream may not hang there.NowI will go and listen．"
And Browniestoodbythedoor，andthedoorstood ajar；therewasno one inthe room exceptthedame and the student； they talked about what the student so finelycalled"that whichoneought tosetaboveallpotsand pansin every household； the gifts of the soul！"
"Mr．Kisserup，"said thedame，"now Ishallshow you something in this connection， whichI have never yetshown to any earthly soul， least of all to a man， my littlepoems； some arerather long， however． Ihave calledthem'Clinchingsby 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 ismuchthatisearnestinthis book，"saidshe．"Ihavethe
strongest feeling for what is sorrowful．Here now is'The sigh in the Night'，'My Evening－Red'， and'WhenI got Klemmensen， my husband． You can pass over that，al- though it has feeling and thought．'The House－wife's Du－ ties' is the best piece！ all verymelancholy， in that lies mystrength． Onlyonepiece is jocular； it contains some lively thoughts， such as onemayalso have， thoughts about，—— you mustnot laugh atme—about being a poetess！ Itis on－ ly known to myself and my drawer，and now also to you， Mr． Kisserup！ Iam veryfondofpoetry， it comes over me， it teases， and rules， and reigns over me． Ihave expressedit in thetitle，'Little Brownie．' You know the old peasant belief in the brownie，who in always playing tricks in the house． Ihave imagined thatI myself was the house， andthatpoetry， thefeeling within me， was the brownie，the spiritwhichrules in me．His power and greatness I have sungin'Thelittle Brownie，but you must promise me with hand and mouth， never to disclose it to my husband orany one． Read it aloud， so thatI can hear if you under－ stand my writing！"
And the student read， and the dame listened， and thelittle brownie listened too；hewas eavesdropping，you know，andhad just come when the title"The little Brown- ie" was read．
" That concerns me，" said he；"what can she have writtenabout me？Oh！ Ishall pinch her， pinch her eggs， pinch her chickens，hound the fat off her fat calf．What a dame！"
And he listened with pursed－up mouth and long ears， but as he heard about Brownie's glory and power，and his lordship over the dame（it was Poetry， you know， that shemeant， but the brownie took it literally） the little fellowsmiledmoreandmore， his eyes sparkled with joy，there came somethingof a superior air into the corners of his mouth， he lifted his heels and stood on his toes， and be－came awholeinch taller than before； hewasdelighted with what was said about the little brownie．
"The dame has soul and great breeding！ Ihave done the woman greatinjustice．Shehas set me inher' Clinch－ ings'， which will be printed and read． Now， the cat willnotget leave todrinkher cream， Iwill dothatmyself！One drinks less than two，that is always a saving， andthatI willintroduce，and respectandhonour the dame．"
"What a human creature he is， the brownie，" saidthe old cat；" only a sweet mew from the dame，a mew about himself， and he at once changes hismind．The dameissly．
But she wasnot sly； it was thebrowniewho was ahuman being．
If you cannot understand thisstory， then ask， butyou must not ask the brownie， nor the dame， either．