utmost importance to me to get this lamp; I would not go to bed to-night; my drama was raging in my brain, and I hoped so surely to be able to write a good portion of it before morning. I put forward my request very humbly to her, as I had noticed that she made a dissatisfied face on my re-entering the sitting-room. I said that I had almost completed a remarkable drama, only a couple of scenes were wanting; and I hinted that it might be produced in some theatre or another, in no time. If she would only just render me this great service now. . . .
But madam had no lamp. She considered a bit, but could not call to mind that she had a lamp in any place. If I liked to wait until after twelve o'clock, I might perhaps get the kitchen lamp. Why didn't I buy myself a candle?
I held my tongue. I hadn't a farthing to buy a candle, and she knew that right well. Of course I was foiled again! The servant-girl sat inside with us—simply sat in the sitting-room, and was not in the kitchen at all; so that the lamp up there was not even lit. And I stood and thought over this, but said no more. Suddenly the girl remarked to me: