“‘Mine has been a very different fate,’ said the iron pot, which stood by the matches; ‘from my first entrance into the world I have been used to cooking and scouring. I am the first in this house, when anything solid or useful is required. My only pleasure is to be made clean and shining after dinner, and to sit in my place and have a little sensible conversation with my neighbors. All of us, excepting the water-bucket, which is sometimes taken into the courtyard, live here together within these four walls. We get our news from the market-basket, but he sometimes tells us very unpleasant things about the people and the government. Yes, and one day an old pot was so alarmed, that he fell down and was broken to pieces. He was a liberal, I can tell you.’
“‘You are talking too much,’ said the tinder-box, and the steel struck against the flint till some sparks flew out, crying, ‘We want a merry evening, don’t we?’
“‘Yes, of course,’ said the matches, ‘let us talk about those who are the highest born.’
“‘No, I don’t like to be always talking of what we are,’ remarked the saucepan; ‘let us think of some other amusement; I will begin. We will tell something that has happened to ourselves; that will be very easy, and interesting as well. On the Baltic Sea, near the Danish shore’—
“‘What a pretty commencement!’ said the plates; ‘we shall all like that story, I am sure.’
“‘Yes; well in my youth, I lived in a quiet family, where the furniture was polished, the floors scoured, and clean curtains put up every fortnight,’
“‘What an interesting way you have of relating a story,’ said the carpet-broom; ‘it is easy to perceive that you have been a great deal in women’s society, there is something so pure runs through what you say.’
“‘That is quite true,’ said the water-bucket; and he made a spring with joy, and splashed some water on the floor.