The Little Cup

APART from the world's strife dwelt a hermit, and he worked patiently at the making of certain vessels for holding the water of Life. Finely formed were the bowls of Obedience and Sacrifice, and skilfully wrought the pitchers of Intelligence, Study, and Effort, the cups of Patience, Suffering, Aspiration, and many another; yet was the worker tired and wan, as one that worketh without reward. Then came there a laughing child, who, standing at the doorway of the rude hut, watched the hermit with wide-eyed interest; and not content with long silence, "Prithee, good sir," he prattled, "wherefore makest thou so many and such pretty vessels?"

"I fashion them," replied the man, "to carry the water of Life. For months, nay years, have I worked at them; and for that there are so many, it is because I am apt to cast aside the one just finished as perhaps not worthy the sacred purpose. I would fain please the man at the fountain, and they say he is somewhat stern and difficult to please."

"But," said the boy, "already thou seemest tired and thirsty, as though in very need of the water."

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"Ye shall know the truth."
September 2, 1905

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