MacMillan's Reading Books eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 344 pages of information about MacMillan's Reading Books.

Whang, however, with all his eagerness for riches, was in reality poor; he had nothing but the profits of his mill to support him; but though these were small, they were certain; while his mill stood and went, he was sure of eating; and his frugality was such that he every day laid some money by, which he would at intervals count and contemplate with much satisfaction.  Yet still his acquisitions were not equal to his desires; he only found himself above want, whereas he desired to be possessed of affluence.

One day, as he was indulging these wishes, he was informed that a neighbour of his had found a pan of money under ground, having dreamed of it three nights running before.  These tidings were daggers to the heart of poor Whang.  “Here am I,” says he, “toiling and moiling from morning till night for a few paltry farthings, while neighbour Hunks only goes quietly to bed, and dreams himself into thousands before morning.  Oh that I could dream like him! with what pleasure would I dig round the pan; how slily would I carry it home; not even nay wife should see me; and then, oh, the pleasure of thrusting one’s hand into a heap of gold up to the elbow!”

Such reflections only served to make the miller unhappy; he discontinued his former assiduity; he was quite disgusted with small gains, and his customers began to forsake him.  Every day he repeated the wish, and every night laid himself down in order to dream.  Fortune, that was for a long time unkind, at last, however, seemed to smile upon his distresses, and indulged him with the wished-for vision.  He dreamed that under a certain part of the foundation of his mill there was concealed a monstrous pan of gold and diamonds, buried deep in the ground, and covered with a large flat stone.  He rose up, thanked the stars that were at last pleased to take pity on his sufferings, and concealed his good luck from every person, as is usual in money dreams, in order to have the vision repeated the two succeeding nights, by which he should be certain of its veracity.  His wishes in this also were answered; he still dreamed of the same pan of money, in the very same place.

Now, therefore, it was past a doubt; so, getting up early the third morning, he repairs alone, with a mattock in his hand, to the mill, and began to undermine that part of the wall which the vision directed.  The first omen of success that he met was a broken mug; digging still deeper, he turns up a house tile, quite new and entire.  At last, after much digging, he came to the broad flat stone, but then so large, that it was beyond one man’s strength to remove it.  “Here,” cried he, in raptures, to himself, “here it is! under this stone there is room for a very large pan of diamonds indeed!  I must e’en go home to my wife, and tell her the whole affair, and get her to assist me in turning it up.”  Away, therefore, he goes, and acquaints his wife with every circumstance of their good fortune.  Her raptures on this occasion may easily be imagined; she flew round his neck, and embraced him in an agony of joy:  but those transports, however, did not delay their eagerness to know the exact sum; returning, therefore, speedily together to the place where Whang had been digging, there they found—­not indeed the expected treasure, but the mill, their only support, undermined and fallen.

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MacMillan's Reading Books from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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