“But I cannot see the path,” said the Prince.
“You must find it,” said Necessity, and gave him a great push, which sent him on at a very rapid rate.
For some time he continued to grope his way almost in darkness, but soon a light began to shine before him, which grew bigger and bigger as he advanced, and he perceived that he was coming to another mouth of the cave, leading to an open but very rough country. The Prince was very glad indeed to issue forth and breathe the fresh air, and he looked at the clear sky with great satisfaction. Just before him, however, there was a large house, with a great number of doors and windows; and as he felt very hungry, he determined to knock, and see if he could get any breakfast.
Almost as soon as he had touched the knocker the door was opened by a little old woman, plainly dressed, but neat and tidy: and when the Prince told her who he was, and what he wanted, she answered him with a good-humored smile, very different from the frown of stern Necessity: “Every one can have food in my house who chooses to work for it; nobody without. I can help you on your way, too; and as for your poor horse you talk about, he shall be provided for. My name is Industry, and Industry always takes care of her beasts. Come in, young man; come in.”
The Prince went in with a glad step, and found the house quite full of people, all as busy as bees in a field of clover, and all looking as bright and cheerful as if they had washed their faces in sunshine.
It would take me an hour to tell you all the different things they were employed in, every one working by himself on his separate task, although two or three were often seen doing different pieces of the same work. But there were two very nice, pretty girls there whom I must speak of, who seemed to be handmaidens to the mistress of the house. One was a thoughtful-looking, careful girl, who was busy in every part of the room alternately, picking up all the little odds and ends which were left after any piece of work was completed—little bits of string, ends of tape or thread, stray nails, chips of wood, or pieces of paper. These, as soon as she had gathered them up, she put safely by, where she could find them again; and it is wonderful how often she was called upon by the workmen for some little scrap or another, just sufficient to complete what they were about. Her name was Economy.
The other was a brighter, quicker-looking person, with very clear eyes, like two stars, who went continually through the room, putting everything to rights. If a chair was out of its place, or a table turned awry, or a tool put down where it should not be, she could not bear to see it for a minute, but put all things straight again, so that nobody was at a loss where to find anything, She was called Order.
The hungry Prince was somewhat mortified to find a good, large piece of work assigned him to do before he could get his breakfast, and at first he was exceedingly awkward, and did not know how to set about it; but Industry showed him the way, Order helped him a good deal, and Economy supplied him with the materials.