The Pedler of Dust Sticks
Eliza Lee Cabot Follen
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The Pedler of Dust Sticks is a fiction short story. One day I went to visit a friend, a lady, who came from Hamburg, in Germany. I was much pleased with a portrait which was hanging up in her room, and I was particularly struck by the ornamental drawings with which the picture was surrounded. They consisted of whip handles, canes, piano keys, mouth pieces for wind instruments, all sorts of umbrellas, and many more things, of every sort, made of cane and whalebone. The arrangement was so ingenious, the designs so fanciful, and the execution so good, that nothing could be prettier. But what of course was of the most importance, was the face and head that they were meant to ornament. "What a benevolent, what a beautiful face!" I said. "Who is it?" "My father", the lady replied; "and he is more beautiful than the picture, and he is still more kind than he looks there". "What is the meaning of all these bits of bamboo and these little canes, so fancifully arranged around the picture?" I asked. "These little sticks", she replied, "tell the story of my father's success, and of the beginning of his greatness. He began his noble and honorable life as a little Pedler of Dust Sticks". "Pedler of Dust Sticks?" "Yes", she said; "if you would like to hear his history, I will relate it".