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DID you ever hear the story of the old Street Lamp? It is not so remarkably entertaining, but it may be listened to for once in a way.

It was a very honest old Lamp, that had done its work for many, many years, but which was now to be pensioned off. It hung for the last time to its post, and gave light to the street. It felt as an old dancer at the theatre, who is dancing for the last time, and who tomorrow will sit forgotten in her garret. The Lamp was in great fear about the morrow, for it knew that it was to appear in the councilhouse, and to be inspected by the mayor and the council, to see if it were fit for further service or not.

And then it was to be decided whether it was to show its light in future for the inhabitants of some suburb, or in the country in some manufactory : perhaps it would have to go at once into an iron foundry to be melted down. In this last case anything might be made of it; but the question whether it would remember, in its new state, that it had been a Street Lamp, troubled it terribly. Whatever might happen, this much was certain, that it would be separated from the watchman and his wife, whom it had got to look upon as quite belonging to its family. It became a lamp when he became a watchman. The wife was a little proud in those days. Only in the evening, when she went by, she deigned to glance at the Lamp; in the daytime never. But now, in these latter years, when all three, the watchman, his wife, and the Lamp, had grown old, the wife had also tended it, cleaned it, and provided it with oil. The two old people were thoroughly honest; never had they cheated the Lamp of a single drop of the oil provided for it.

It was the Lamp's last night in the street, and tomorrow it was to go to the council-house; ----those were two dark thoughts! No wonder that it did not burn brightly. But many other thoughts passed through its brain. On what a number of events had it shone----how much it had seen! Perhaps as much as the mayor and the whole council had beheld. But it did not give utterance to these thoughts, for it was a good honest old Lamp, that would not willingly hurt any one, and least of all those in authority. Many things passed through its mind, and at times its light flashed up. In such moments it had a feeling that it, too, would be remembered.

“There was that handsome young man----it is certainly a long while ago----he had a letter on pink paper with a gilt edge. It was so prettily written, as if by a lady's hand. Twice he read it, and kissed it, and looked up to me with eyes which said plainly, ‘I am the happiest of men!’ Only he and I know what was written in this first letter from his true love. Yes, I remember another pair of eyes. It is wonderful how our thoughts fly about! There was a funeral procession in the street: the young beautiful lady lay in the decorated hearse, in a coffin adorned with flowers and wreaths; and a number of torches quite darkened my light. The people stood in crowds by the houses, and all followed the procession. But when the torches had passed from before my face, and I looked round, a single person stood leaning against my post, weeping. I shall never forget the mournful eyes that looked up to me! ”

This and similar thoughts occupied the old Street lantern, which shone tonight for the last time.

The sentry relieved from his post at least knows who is to succeed him, and may whisper a few words to him; but the Lamp did not know its successor; and yet it might have given a few useful hints with respect to rain and fog, and some information as to how far the rays of the moon lit up the pavement, and from what direction the wind usually came.

On the bridge of the gutter stood three persons who wished to introduce themselves to the Lamp, for they thought the lamp itself could appoint its successor. The first was a herring's head, that could gleam with light in the darkness. He thought it would be a great saving of oil if they put him up on the post. Number two was a piece of rotten wood, which also glimmers in the dark, and always more than a piece of fish, it said to itself; besides, it was the last piece of a tree which had once been the pride of the forest. The third person was a glow-worm. Where this one had come from, the Lamp could not imagine; but there it was, and it could give light. But the rotten wood and the herring's head swore by all that was good that it only gave light at certain times, and could not be brought into competition with themselves.

The old lamp declared that not one of them gave sufficient light to fill the office of a street lamp; but not one of them would believe this. When they heard that the Lamp had not the office to give away, they were very glad of it, and declared that the Lamp was too decrepit to make a good choice.

At the same moment the Wind came careering from the comer of the street, and blew through the air-holes of the old Street Lamp.

“What's this I hear?” he asked. “Are you to go away tomorrow? Is this the last evening that I shall find you here? Then I must make you a present at parting. I will blow into your brain-box in such a way that you shall be able in future not only to remember everything you have seen and heard, but that you shall have such light within you as shall enable you to see all that is read of or spoken of in your presence.”

“Yes, that is really much, very much! ” said the old Lamp. “I thank you heartily. I only hope I shall not be melted down.”

“That is not likely to happen at once,” said the Wind. “Now I will blow up your memory: if you receive several presents of this kind, you may pass your old days very agreeably. ”

“If only I am not melted down!” said the Lamp again. “Or should I retain my memory even in that case?”

“Be sensible, old Lamp,” said the Wind. And he blew, and at that moment the Moon stepped forth from behind the clouds.

“What will you give the old Lamp?” asked the Wind.

“I'll give nothing,” replied the Moon. “I am on the wane, and the lamps never lighted me; but, on the contrary, I've often given light for the lamps.”

And with these words the Moon hid herself again behind the cloud, to be safe from further importunity.

A drop now fell upon the Lamp, as if from the roof; but the drop explained that it came from the clouds, and was a present----perhaps the best present possible.

“I shall penetrate you so completely that you shall receive the faculty, if you wish it, to turn into rust in one night, and to crumble into dust.”

The Lamp considered this a bad present, and the Wind thought so too.

“Does no one give more? Does no one give more?” it blew as loud as it could.

Then a bright shooting star fell down, forming a long bright stripe.

“What was that?” cried the Herring's Head. “Did not a star fall? I really think it went into the Lamp! Certainly if such high-born personages try for this office, we ............

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