BLTC Press Titles

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Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

Grimm's Goblins

by Jacob Grimm


more than was usual; and so much that the Shoemaker was able to buy with it leather for two pairs. By the evening he had got his leather shaped out; and when he arose the next morning, he prepared to work with fresh spirit; but there was no need,— for the shoes stood all perfect on his board. He did not want either for customers; for two came who paid him so liberally for the shoes, that he bought with the money material for four pairs more. These also — when he awoke — he found all ready-made, and so it continued; what he cut out overnight was, in the morning, turned into the neatest shoes possible. This went on until he had regained his former appearance, and was even becoming a prosperous man.

One evening — not long before Christmas — as he had cut out the usual quantity, he said to his wife before going to bed, "What say you to stopping up this night, to see who it is that helps us so kindly?" His wife was satisfied, and fastened up a light; and then they hid themselves in the corner of the room, where hung some clothes which concealed them. As soon as it was midnight in came two little mannikins, who squatted down on the board; and, taking up the prepared work, set to with their little fingers, stitching and sewing, and hammering so swiftly and lightly, that the Shoemaker could not take his eyes off them for astonishment. They did not cease until all was brought to an end,x and the shoes stood ready on the table; and then they sprang quickly away.

The following morning the wife said, "The little men have made us rich, and we must show our gratitude to "them; for although they run about they must be cold, for they have nothing on their bodies. I will make a little shirt, coat, waistcoat, trousers, and stockings for each, and do you make a pair of shoes for each."

The husband assented; and one evening, when all was ready, they laid presents, instead of the usual work, on the board, and hid themselves to see the result.

At midnight in came the Elves, jumping about, and soon prepared to work; but when they saw no leather, but the natty little clothes, they at first were astonished, but soon showed their rapturous glee. They drew on their coats, and smoothing them down, sang, —

"Smart and natty boys are we;
Cobblers we '11 no longer be";

and so they went on hopping and jumping over the stools and chairs, and at last out at the door. After that evening they did not come again; but the Shoemaker prospered in all he undertook, and lived happily to the end of his days.


Once upon a time there was a' poor servant girl, who was both industrious and cleanly, for every day she dusted the house and shook out the sweepings on a great heap before the door. One morning, just as she was going to throw them away, she saw a letter lying among them, and, as she could not read, she put her broom by in a corner, and took it to her master. It contained an invitation from the Elves, asking the girl to stand godmother to one of their children. The girl did not know what to do, but at last, after much consideration, she consented, for the little men will not easily take a refusal. So there came three Elves, who conducted her to a hollow mountain where they lived. Everything was very small of course, but all more neat and elegant than I can tell you. The mother lay in a bed of ebony studded with pearls, and the coverings were all wrought with gold; the cradle was made of ivory, and the bath was of gold. The girl stood godmother, and afterwards wished to return home, but the little Elves pressed her earnestly to stay three days longer. So she remained, passing the time in pleasure and play, for the Elves behaved very kindly to her. At the end of the time she prepared to return home, but first they filled her pockets full of gold, and then led her out of the hill. As soon as she reached the house, she took the broom, which still stood in the corner, and went on with her sweeping; and presently out of the house came some strange people, who asked her who she was, and what she was doing there. Then she found out that it was not three days, as she had supposed, but seven years, that she had passed with the little Elves in the hill, and that her former master had died in her absence.

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