made myself giddy. ‘Why don’t you mind your Commandments and honor your parent, you naughty old boy?’ I said to him all the time. But he only whimpered and stared at me.”

“What shall be changed, after him?” asked Riah in a compassionately playful voice.

“Upon my word, godmother, I am afraid I must be selfish next, and get you to set me right in the back and the legs. It’s a little thing to you with your power, godmother, but it’s a great deal to poor weak aching me.”

There was no querulous complaining in the words, but they were not the less touching for that.

“And then?”

“Yes, and then — you know, godmother. We’ll both jump up into the coach and six and go to Lizzie. This reminds me, godmother, to ask you a serious question. You are as wise as wise can be (having been brought up by the fairies), and you can tell me this: Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?”

“Explain, god-daughter.”

“I feel so much more solitary and helpless without Lizzie now, than I used to feel before I knew her.” (Tears were in her eyes as she said so.)

“Some beloved companionship fades out of most lives, my dear,” said the Jew, — “that of a wife, and a fair daughter, and a son of promise, has faded out of my own life — but the happiness was.”

“Ah!” said Miss Wren thoughtfully, by no means convinced, and chopping the exclamation with that sharp little hatchet of hers; “then I tell you what change I think you had better begin with, godmother. You had better change Is into Was and Was into Is, and keep them so.”

“Would that suit your case? Would you not be always in pain then?” asked the old man tenderly.

“Right!” exclaimed Miss Wren with another chop. “You have changed me wiser, godmother. — Not,” she added with the quaint hitch of her chin and eyes, “that you need be a very wonderful godmother to do that deed.”

Thus conversing, and having crossed Westminster Bridge, they traversed the ground that Riah had lately traversed, and new ground likewise; for, when they had recrossed the Thames by way of London Bridge, they struck down by the river and held their still foggier course that way.

But previously, as they were going along, Jenny twisted her venerable friend aside to a brilliantly-lighted toy-shop window, and said: “Now look at ’em! All my work!”

This referred to a dazzling semicircle of dolls in all the colours of the rainbow, who were dressed for presentation at court, for going to balls, for going out driving, for going out on horseback, for going out walking, for going to get married, for going to help other dolls to get married, for all the gay events of life.”

“Pretty, pretty, pretty!” said the old man with a clap of his hands. “Most elegant taste!”

“Glad you like ’em,” returned Miss Wren, loftily. “But the fun is, godmother, how I make the great ladies try my dresses on. Though it’s the hardest part of my business, and would be, even if my back were not bad and my legs queer.”

He looked at her as not understanding what she said.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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