The Baldwin Library
7 F W ?
CA iWAN AD
The Goose-Girl and the Pedlar
Everything in its Right Place
EVERYTHING IN ITS
AND OTHER STORIES.
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.
H. W. DULCKEN, PH.D.
ILLUSTRATED WITH NINETEEN PICTURES.
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE . I
THE ANGEL 17
WHAT THE MOON SAW 23
IB AND CHRISTINE . 97
EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT
T is more than a hundred and fifty years
ago. Behind the wood, by the great
lake, stood the old baronial mansion.
Round about it lay a deep moat, in
which grew reeds and grass. Close by the bridge,
near the entrance-gate, rose an old willow tree
that bent over the reeds.
"Up from the hollow lane sounded the clang of
horns and the trampling of horses; therefore the
little girl who kept the geese hastened to drive
her charges away from the bridge, before the hunt-
ing company should come gallopping up. They
drew near with such speed that the girl was
obliged to climb up in a hurry, and perch herself
on the coping-stone of the bridge, lest she should
be ridden down. She was still half a child, and
had a pretty light figure, and a gentle expression
in her face, with two clear blue eyes. The noble
z Everything in its Right Place.
baron took no note of this, but as he gallopped
past the little goose-herd he reversed the whip he
held in his hand, and in rough sport gave her such
a push in the chest with the butt-end, that she fell
backwards into the ditch.
Everything in its place," he cried; "into the
puddle with you "
And he laughed aloud, for this was intended
for wit, and the company joined in his mirth; the
whole party shouted and clamoured, and the dogs
barked their loudest.
Fortunately for herself, the poor girl in falling
seized one of the hanging branches of the willow
tree, by means of which she kept herself sus-
pended over the muddy water, and as soon as the
baron and his company had disappeared through
the castle gate, the girl tried to scramble up again;
but the bough broke off at the top, and she would
have fallen backward among the reeds, if a strong
hand from above had not at that moment seized
her. It was the hand of a pedler, who had seen
from a short distance what had happened, and who
now hurried up to give aid.
"Everything in its right place," he said, mimick-
ing the gracious baron; and he drew the little
maiden up to the firm ground. He would have
Everything in its Right Place. 3
restored the broken branch to the place from
which it had been torn, but everything in its
right place cannot always be managed, and there-
fore he stuck the piece in the ground.
"Grow and prosper till you can furnish a good
. ."._.\ .\. .
The Goose-girl on the Bridge.
flute for them up yonder," he said; for he would
have liked to play the "rogue's march" for my
lord the baron and my lord's whole family.
And then he betook himself to the castle, but
not into the ancestral hall, he was too humble for
that He went to the servants' quarters, and the
men and maids turned over his stock of goods, and
4 Everything in its Right Place.
bargained with him; and from above, where the
guests were at table, came a sound of roaring and
screaming that was intended for song, and indeed
they did their best. Loud laughter, mingled with
the barking and howling of dogs, sounded through
the windows, for there was feasting and carousing
up yonder. Wine and strong old ale foamed in the
jugs and glasses, and the dogs sat with their masters
and dined with them. They had the pedler sum-
moned up stairs, but only to make fun of him.
The wine had mounted into their heads, and the
sense had flown out. They poured wine into a stock-
ing, that the pedler might drink with them, but
that he must drink quickly; that was considered
a rare jest, and was a cause of fresh laughter. And
then whole farms, with oxen and peasants too, were
staked on a card, and lost and won.
"Everything in its right place !" said the pedler,
when he at last made his escape out of what he
called the Sodom and Gomorrah up yonder."
"The open high road is my right place," he said;
"I did not feel at all happy there."
And the little maiden who sat keeping the geese
nodded at him in a friendly way, as he strode along
beside the hedges.
And days and weeks went by; and it became
J'verything zn its Right Place. 5
manifest that the willow branch which the pedler
had stuck into the ground beside the castle moat
remained fresh and green, and even brought forth
young twigs. The little goose-girl saw that the
branch must have taken root, and rejoiced greatly
at the circumstance; for this tree, she said, was
now her tree.
The tree certainly came forward well; but every-
thing else belonging to the castle went very rapidly
back, what with feasting and gambling-for these
two things are like wheels, upon which no man can
Six years had not passed away before the noble
lord passed out of the castle gate, a beggared man,
and the mansion was bought by a rich dealer; and
this purchaser was the very man who had once
been made a jest of up there, for whom wine had
been poured into a stocking; but honesty and in-
dustry are good winds to speed a vessel; and now
the dealer was possessor of the baronial estate.
But from that hour no more card-playing was
"That is bad reading," said he: "when the
Evil One saw a Bible for the first time, he wanted
to put a bad book against it, and invented card-
6 Everything in its Right Place.
The new proprietor took a wife; and who might
that be but the goose-girl, who had always been
faithful and good, and looked as beautiful and
fine in her new clothes as if she had been born a
great lady. And how did all this come about?
That is too long a story for our busy time, but it
really happened, and the most important part is to
It was a good thing now to be in the old mansion.
The mother managed the domestic affairs, and the
father superintended the estate, and it seemed as
if blessings were streaming down. When rectitude
enters in, prosperity is sure to follow. The old
house was cleaned and painted, the ditches were
cleared and fruit trees planted. Everything wore
a bright and cheerful look, and the floors were as
polished as a draught-board. In the long winter
evenings the lady sat at the spinning-wheel with
her maids, and every Sunday evening there was a
reading from the Bible by the Councillor of Justice
himself-this title the dealer had gained, though
it was only in his old age. The children grew up
-for children had come-and they received the
best education, though all had not equal abilities,
as we find indeed in all families.
In the meantime the willow branch at the castle
Everything in its Right Place. 7
gate had grown to be a splendid tree, which stood
there free and self-sustained. That is our genea-
logical tree," the old people said, and the tree was
to be honoured and respected- so they told all the
children, even those who had not very good heads.
And a hundred and fifty years rolled by.
It was in our own time. The lake had been
converted into moorland, and the old mansion had
almost disappeared. A pool of water and the ruins
of some walls, this was all that was left of the old
baronial castle, with its deep moat; and here stood
also a magnificent old willow, with pendent boughs,
which seemed to show how beautiful a tree may be
if left to itself. The main stem was certainly split
from the root to the crown, and the storm had
bowed the noble tree a little; but it stood firm,
for all that, and from every cleft into which wind
and weather had carried a portion of earth, grasses
and flowers sprang forth: especially near the top,
where the great branches parted, a sort of hanging
garden had been formed of wild raspberry bush,
and even a small quantity of mistletoe had taken
root, and stood, slender and graceful, in the midst
of the old willow which was mirrored in the dark
water. A field-path led close by the old tree.
8 Everything in its Right Place.
High by the forest hill, with a splendid prospect
in every direction, stood the new baronial hall,
large and magnificent, with panes of glass so
clearly transparent, that it looked as if there were
no panes there at all. The grand flight of steps
that led to the entrance looked like a bower of
roses and broad-leaved plants. The lawn was as
freshly green as if each separate blade of grass were
cleaned morning and evening. In the hall hung
costly pictures; silken chairs and sofas stood there,
so easy that they looked almost as if they could run
by themselves; there were tables of great marble
slabs, and books bound in morocco and gold. Yes,
truly, wealthy people lived here, people of rank:
the baron with his family.
All things here corresponded with each other.
The motto was still Everything in its right
place;" and therefore all the pictures which had
been put up in the old house for honour and glory,
hung now in the passage that led to the servants'
hall: they were considered as old lumber, and
especially two old portraits, one representing a
man in a pink coat and powdered wig, the other a
lady with powdered hair and holding a rose in her
hand, and each surrounded with a wreath of willow
leaves. These two pictures were pierced with many
Everything in its Right Place. 9
holes, because the little barons were in the habit
of setting up the old people as a mark for their
crossbows. The pictures represented the Councillor
of Justice and his lady, the founders of the present
But they did not properly belong to our
family," said one of the little barons. He was
a dealer, and she had kept the geese. They were
not like papa and mamma."
The pictures were pronounced to be worthless;
and as the motto was "Everything in its right
place," the great-grandmother and great-grand-
father had been sent into the passage that led to
the servants' hall.
The young son of the neighboring clergyman
was tutor in the great house, One day he was out
walking with his pupils, the little barons and their
eldest sister, who had just been confirmed; they
came along the field-path, past the old willow, and
as they walked on the young lady bound a wreath
of field flowers, Everything in its right place,"
and the flowers formed a pretty whole. At the
same time she heard every word that was spoken,
and she liked to hear the clergyman's son talk of
the power of nature and of the great men and
women in history. She had a good hearty dis-
Io Everything in its Right Place.
position, with true nobility of thought and soul,
and a heart full of love for everything that God
The party came to a halt at the old willow tree.
The youngest baron insisted on having such a flute
cut for him from it as he had had made of other
willows. Accordingly the tutor broke off a branch.
"Oh, don't do that !" cried the young baroness;
but it was done already. "That is our famous
old tree," she continued, "and I love it dearly.
They laugh at me at home for this, but I don't
mind. There is a story attached to this tree."
And she told what we all know about the tree,
about the old mansion, the pedler and the goose-
girl, who had met for the first time in this spot,
and had afterwards become the founders of the
noble family to which the young barons belonged.
"They would not be ennobled, the good old
folks !" she said. "They kept to the motto 'Every-
thing in its right place;' and accordingly they
thought it would be out of place for them to pur-
chase a title with money. My grandfather, the
first baron, was their son: he is said to have been
a very learned man, very popular with Princes and
Princesses, and a frequent guest at the court fes-
tivals. The others at home love him best; but,
The old Willom Tree.
I don't know how, there seems to me something
about that first pair that draws my heart towards
them. How comfortable, how patriarchal it must
have been in the old house, where the mistress sat
12 Everything in its Right Place.
at the spinning-wheel among her maids, and the
old master read aloud from the Bible !"
"They were charming, sensible people," said the
clergyman's son. And with this the conversation
naturally fell upon nobles and citizens. The young
man scarcely seemed to belong to the citizen class,
so well did he speak concerning the purpose and
meaning of nobility. He said,
"It is a great thing to belong to a family that
has distinguished itself, and thus to have, as it
were, in one's blood, a spur that urges one on to
make progress in all that is good. It is delightful
to have a name that serves as a card of admission
into the highest circles. Nobility means that which
is great and noble: it is a coin that has received a
stamp to indicate what it is worth. It is the fallacy
of the time, and many poets have frequently main-
tained this fallacy, that nobility of birth is accom-
panied by foolishness, and that the lower you go
among the poor, the more does everything around
shine. But that is not my view, for I consider it
entirely false. In the higher classes many beau-
tiful and kindly traits are found. My mother told
me one of this kind, and I could tell many more.
My mother was on a visit to a great family in
town. My grandmother, I think, had been house-
Everything in its Right Place. 13
keeper to the count's mother. The great noble-
man and my mother were alone in the room, when
the former noticed that an old woman came limping
on crutches into the courtyard. Indeed, she was
accustomed to come every Sunday, and carry away
a gift with her. Ah, there is the poor old lady,'
said the nobleman: 'walking is a great toil to her;'
and before my mother understood what he meant,
he had gone out of the room and run down the
stairs, to save the old woman the toilsome walk, by
carrying to her the gift she had come to receive.
Now, that was only a small circumstance, but,
like the widow's two mites in the Scripture, it has
a sound that finds an echo in the depths of the heart
of human nature; and these are the things the poet
should show and point out; especially in these
times should he sing of it, for that does good, and
pacifies and unites men. But where a bit of mor-
tality, because it has a genealogical tree and a coat
of arms, rears up like an Arabian horse, and prances
in the street, and says in the room,' People out of
the street have been here,' when a commoner has
been-that is nobility in decay, and become a mere
mask-a mask of the kind that Thespis created;
and people are glad when such an one is turned
14 Everything in its Right Place.
This was the speech of the clergyman's son. It
was certainly rather long, but then the flute was
being finished while he made it.
At the castle there was a great company. Many
guests came from the neighbourhood and from the
capital. Many ladies, some tastefully and others
tastelessly dressed, were there, and the great hall
was quite full of people. The clergymen from the
neighbourhood stood respectfully congregated in a
corner, which made it look almost as if there were
to be a burial there. But it was not so, for this
was a party of pleasure, only that the pleasure had
not yet begun.
A great concert was to be performed, and con-
sequently the little baron had brought in his willow
flute; but he could not get a note out of it, nor
could his papa, and therefore the flute was worth
nothing. There was instrumental music and song,
both of the kind that delight the performers most
"You are a performer?" said a cavalier-his
father's son and nothing else-to the tutor. You
play the flute and make it too -that's genius.
That should command, and should have the place
of honour !"
"No, indeed," replied the young man, I only
Everything in its Right Place. 15
advance with the times, as every one is obliged to
Oh, you will enchant us with the little instru-
ment, will you not?"
And with these words he handed to the clergy-
man's son the flute cut from the willow tree by the
pool, and announced aloud that the tutor was about
to perform a solo on that instrument.
Now, they only wanted to make fun of him,
that was easily seen; and therefore the tutor would
not play, though indeed he could do so very well;
but they crowded round him and importuned him
so strongly, that at last he took the flute and put
it to his lips.
That was a wonderful flute A sound, as sus-
tained as that which is emitted by the whistle of
a steam engine, and much stronger, echoed far
over courtyard, garden, and wood, miles away into
the country; and simultaneously with the tone
came a rushing wind that roared, "Everything in
its right place And papa flew as if carried by
the wind straight out of the hall and into the
shepherd's cot; and the shepherd flew, not into
the hall, for there he could not come-no, but
into the room of the servants, among the smart
lackeys who strutted about there in silk stockings;
16 Everything in its Right Place.
and the proud servants were struck motionless with
horror at the thought that such a personage dared
to sit down to table with them.
But in the hall the young baroness flew up to
the place of honour at the top of the table, where
she was worthy to sit; and the young clergyman's
son had a seat next to her; and there the two sat
as if they were a newly-married pair. An old
count of one of the most ancient families in the
country remained untouched in his place of honour;
for the flute was just, as men ouglt to be. The
witty cavalier, the son of his father and nothing
else, who had been the cause of the flute-playing,
flew head-over-heels into the poultry-house-but
For a whole mile round about the sounds of the
flute were heard, and singular events took place.
A rich banker's family, driving along in a coach
and four, was blown quite out of the carriage, and
could not even find a place on the footboard at the
back. Two rich peasants who in our times had
grown too high for their corn-fields, were tumbled
into the ditch. It was a dangerous flute, that:
luckily, it burst at the first note, and that was a
good thing, for then it was put back into the
owner's pocket. "Everything in its right place."
The Angel. 17
The day afterwards not a word was said about
this marvellous event; and thence has come the
expression pocketing the flute." Everything was
in its usual order, only that the two old portraits
of the dealer and the goose-girl hung on the wall
in the banqueting-hall. They had been blown up
yonder, and as one of the real connoisseurs said
they had been painted by a master's hand, they
remained where they were, and were restored.
"Everything in its right place."
And to that it will come; for hereafter is long
-longer than this story.
? HENEVER a good child dies, an angel from
-heaven comes down to earth and takes the
dead child in his arms, spreads out his great white
"wings, and flies away over all the places the child
has loved, and picks quite a hand-full of flowers,
which he carries up to the Almighty, that they
18 The Angel.
may bloom in heaven more brightly than on earth.
And the Father presses all the flowers to His heart,
but He kisses the flower that pleases Him best,
and the flower is then endowed with a voice, and
can join in the great chorus of praise.
See "-this is what an angel said as he carried
a dead child up to heaven, and the child heard as
if in a dream, and they went on over the regions
of home, where the child had played, and they
came through gardens full of beautiful flowers-
" which of these shall we take with us to plant in
heaven?" asked the angel.
Now, there stood near them a beautiful slender
rose bush; but some wicked hand had broken the
stem, so that all the branches, covered with half-
opened buds, were hanging around quite withered.
"The poor rose bush!" said the child. "Take
it, that it may bloom up yonder."
And the angel took it, and kissed the child, and
the little one half opened his eyes. They plucked
some of the rich flowers, but also took with them
the despised buttercup and the wild pansy.
"Now we have flowers," said the child, and the
But he did not yet fly upwards to heaven. It
was night and quite silent: they remained in the
The Angel. 19
great city, and floated about there in a small street,
where lay whole heaps of straw, ashes, and sweep-
ings, for it had been removal-day. There lay frag-
ments of plates, bits of plaster, rags, and old hats,
and all this did not look well. The angel pointed
amid all this confusion to a few fragments of a
flower-pot, and to a lump of earth which had fallen
out, and which was kept together by the roots of a
great dried field flower, which was of no use, and
had therefore been thrown out into the street.
"We will take that with us," said the angel.
"I will tell you why as we fly onward.
"Down yonder in the narrow lane, in the low
cellar, lived a poor sick boy; from his childhood
he had been bedridden. When he was at his best
he could go up and down the room a few times,
leaning on crutches; that was the utmost he could
do. For a few days in summer the sunbeams
would penetrate for a few hours to the ground of
the cellar, and when the poor boy sat there, and the
sun shone on him, and he looked at the red blood
in his three fingers as he held them up before his
face, he would say, 'Yes, to-day he has been out!'
He knew the forest, with its beautiful vernal green,
only from the fact that the neighbour's son brought
him the first green branch of a beech tree, and he
20 The Angel.
held that up over his head, and dreamed he was in
the beech wood, where the sun shone and the birds
sang. On a spring day the neighbour's boy also
brought him field flowers, and among these was, by
chance, one to which the root was hanging; and so
it was planted in a flower-pot, and placed by the
bed, close to the window. And the flower had been
planted by a fortunate hand: it grew, threw out
new shoots, and bore flowers every year. It be-
came as a splendid flower garden to the sickly boy
"-his little treasure here on earth. He watered
it, and tended it, and took care that it had the
benefit of every ray of sunlight, down to the last
that struggled in through the narrow window;
and the flower itself was woven into his dreams,
for it grew for him, and gladdened his eyes, and
spread its fragrance about him; and towards it he
turned in death, when the Father called him. He
has now been with the Almighty for a year; for a
year the flower has stood forgotten in the window,
and is withered; and thus, at the removal, it has
been thrown out into the dust of the street. And
this is the flower, the poor withered flower, which
we have taken into our nosegay; for this flower
has given more joy than the richest flower in a
The sick Boy and the little Flower.
But how do you know all this?" asked the
child which the angel was carrying to heaven.
"I know it," said the angel, "because I myself
22 The Angel.
was that little boy who walked on crutches! I
know my flower well !"
And the child opened his eyes, and looked into
the glorious, happy face of the angel; and at the
same moment they entered the regions where there
is peace and joy. And the Father pressed the dead
child to His bosom, and then it received wings like
the angel, and flew hand in hand with him. And
the Almighty pressed all the flowers to His heart;
but He kissed the dry, withered field flower, and it
received a voice and sang with all the angels hover-
ing around-some near, and some in wider circles,
and some in infinite distance, but all equally happy.
And they all sang, the little and great, the good
happy child and the poor field flower that had lain
there withered, thrown among the dust in the rub-
bish of the removal-day, in the narrow, dark lane.
WHAT THE MOON SAW.
T is a strange thing, that when I feel most
fervently and most deeply, my hands and
tongue seem alike tied, so that I cannot rightly
describe or accurately portray the thoughts that
are rising within me; and yet I am a painter: my
eye tells me as much as that, and all my friends
who have seen my sketches and fancies say the
I am a poor lad, and live in one of the narrowest
*of lanes; but I do not want for light, as my room
is high up in the house, with an extensive prospect
over the neighboring roofs. During the first few
days I went to live in the town, I felt low-spirited
and solitary enough. Instead of the forest and
green hills of former days, I had here only a forest
of chimney-pots to look out upon. And then I
24 What the Moon saw.
had not a single friend; not one familiar face
So one evening I sat at the window, in a de-
sponding mood; and presently I opened the case-
ment and looked out. Oh, how my heart leaped
"up with joy! Here was a well-known face at
last--a round, friendly countenance, the face of
a good friend I had known at home. In fact, it
was the MOON that looked in upon me. He was
quite unchanged, the dear old Moon, and had the
same face exactly that he used to show when he
peered down upon me through the willow trees on
the moor. I kissed my hand to him over and over
again, as he shone far into my little room; and
he, for his part, promised me that every evening,
when he came abroad, he would look in upon me
for a few moments. This promise he has faithfully
kept. It is a pity that he can only stay such a
short time when he comes. Whenever he appears,
he tells me of one thing or another that he has seen
on the previous night, or on that same evening.
Just paint the scenes I describe to you"-
this is what he said to me-" and you will have
a very pretty picture-book."
I have followed his injunction for many even-
ings. I could make up a new Thousand and One
2ly post of observation.
26 ffW at the Moon saw.
Nights," in my own way, out of these pictures, but
the number might be too great, after all. The pic-
tures I have here given have not been chosen at
random, but follow on in proper order, just as they
were described to me. Some great lifted painter, or
some poet or musician, may make something more
of them if he likes; what I have given here are
only hasty sketches, hurriedly put upon the paper,
with some of my own thoughts interspersed; for
the Moon did not come to me every evening- a
cloud sometimes hid his face from me.
"LAST night"-I am quoting the Moon's own
words-" last night I was gliding silently through
the cloudless Indian sky. My face was mirrored in
the waters of the Ganges, and my beams strove to
pierce through the thick intertwining boughs of
the bananas, arching beneath me like the tortoise's
shell. Forth from the thicket tripped a Hindoo
maid, light as a gazelle, beautiful as Eve. Airy
and ethereal as a vision, and yet sharply defined
amid the surrounding shadows, stood this daughter
of Hindostan: I could read on her delicate brow
the thought that had brought her hither. The
The Indian Girl.
thorny creeping plants tore her sandals, but for all
that she came rapidly forward. The deer that had
come down to the river to quench their thirst,
sprang by with a startled bound, for in her hand
the maiden bore a lighted lamp. I could see the
blood in her delicate finger-tips, as she spread
them for a screen before the dancing flame. She
came down to the stream, and set the lamp upon
the water, and let it float away. The flame
flickered to and fro, and seemed ready to expire;
but still the lamp burned on, and the girl's black
sparkling eyes, half veiled behind their long silken
lashes, followed it with a gaze of earnest intensity.
She knew that if the lamp continued to burn as
28 What the Moon saw.
long as she could keep it in sight, her betrothed
was still alive; but if the lamp was suddenly
extinguished, he was dead. And the lamp burned
bravely on, and she fell on her knees and prayed.
Near her in the grass lay a speckled snake, but
she heeded it not-she thought only of Bramah
and of her betrothed. 'He lives!' she shouted
joyfully, 'he lives !' And from the mountains the
echo came back upon her, he lives !'"
"YESTERDAY," said the Moon to me, "I looked
down upon a small courtyard surrounded on all
sides by houses. In the courtyard sat a clucking
hen with eleven chickens; and a pretty little girl
was running and jumping around them. The hen
was frightened, and screamed, and spread out her
wings over the little brood. Then the girl's father
came out and scolded her; and I glided away and
thought no more of the matter.
But this evening, only a few minutes ago, I
looked down into the same courtyard. Everything
was quite quiet. But presently the little girl came
forth again, crept quietly to the hen-house, pushed
back the bolts, and slipped into the apartment of,
The little Girl and tlhe chickens.
the hen and chickens. They cried out loudly, and
came fluttering down from their perches, and ran
about in dismay, and the little girl ran after them.
I saw it quite plainly, for I looked through a hole
in the hen-house wall. I was angry with the
wilful child, and felt glad when her father came
out and scolded her more violently than yesterday,
holding her roughly by the arm: she held down
her head, and her blue eyes were full of large
tears. 'What are you about here?' he asked.
30 What the iMoon saw.
She wept and said, I wanted to kiss the hen and
beg her pardon for frightening her yesterday; but
I was afraid to tell you.'
And the father kissed the innocent child's fore-
head, and I kissed her on the mouth and eyes."
"IN the narrow street round the corner yonder
-it is so narrow that my beams can only glide for
a minute along the walls of the house, but in that
minute I see enough to learn what the world is
made of-in that narrow street I saw a woman.
Sixteen years ago that woman was a child, playing
in the garden of the old parsonage in the country.
The hedges of rose bush were old, and the flowers
were faded. They straggled wild over the paths,
and the ragged branches climbed up among the
boughs of the apple trees; here and there were a
few roses still in bloom-not so fair as the queen
of flowers generally appears, but still they had
some colour and scent too. The clergyman's little
daughter appeared to me a far lovelier rose, as
she sat on her stool under the straggling hedge,
hugging and caressing her doll with the battered
What the Moon saw. 31
"Ten years afterwards I saw her again. I
beheld her in a splendid ball-room: she was the
beautiful bride of a rich merchant. I rejoiced at
her happiness, and sought her out on calm quiet
evenings-ah, nobody thinks of my clear eye and
my silent glance! Alas! my rose ran wild, like
the rose bushes in the garden of the parsonage.
There are tragedies in every-day life, and to-night
I saw the last act of one.
She was lying in bed in a house in that narrow
street: she was sick unto death, and the cruel
landlord came up, and tore away the thin coverlet,
her only protection against the cold. Get up '
said he; 'your face is enough to frighten one.
Get up and dress yourself, give me money, or I'll
turn you out into the street! Quick-get up !'
She answered, Alas! death is gnawing at my
heart. Let me rest.' But he forced her to get
up and bathe her face and put a wreath of roses
in her hair; and he placed her in a chair at the
window, with a candle burning beside her, and
"I looked at her, and she was sitting motionless,
with her hands in her lap. The wind caught the
open window and shut it with a crash, so that a
pane came clattering down in fragments; but still
32 W[hat the Mloon saw.
she never moved. The curtain caught fire, and
the flames played about her face; and I saw that
she was dead. There at the open window sat the
dead woman, preaching a sermon against sin-my
poor faded rose out of the parsonage garden!"
"THIS evening I saw a German play acted,"
said the Moon. "It was in a little town. A
stable had been turned into a theatre; that is to
say, the stable had been left standing, and had
been turned into private boxes, and all the timber
work had been covered with coloured paper. A
little iron chandelier hung beneath the ceiling,
and that it might be made to disappear into the
ceiling, as it does in great theatres, when the
ting-ting of the prompter's bell is heard, a great
inverted tub had been placed just above it.
"' Ting-ting!' and the little iron chandelier
suddenly rose at least half a yard and disappeared
into the tub, and that was the sign that the play
was going to begin. A young nobleman and his
lady, who happened to be passing through the
little town, were present at the performance, and
consequently the house was crowded. But under
The Play in a Stable,
34 What the Moon saw.
the chandelier was a vacant space like a little
crater: not a single soul sat there, for the tallow
was dropping, drip, drip! I saw everything, for
it was so warm in there that every loophole had
been opened. The male and female servants stood
outside, peeping through the chinks, although a
real policeman was inside, threatening them with
a stick. Close by the orchestra could be seen the
noble young couple in two old arm-chairs, which
were usually occupied by his worship the mayor
and his lady; but these latter were to-day obliged
to content themselves with wooden forms, just as
if they had been ordinary citizens; and the lady
observed quietly to herself, 'One sees, now, that
there is rank above rank;' and this incident gave
an air of extra festivity to the whole proceedings.
The chandelier gave little leaps, the crowd got
their knuckles rapped, and I, the Moon, was pre-
sent at the performance from the beginning to the
"YESTERDAY," began the Moon, "I looked down
upon the turmoil of Paris. My eye penetrated
into an apartment of the Louvre, An old grand-
[What the Moon saw. 35
mother, poorly clad-she belonged to the working
class was following one of the under-servants
into the great empty throne-room, for this was the
apartment she wanted to see-that she was re-
solved to see; it had cost her many a little sacri-
fice, and many a coaxing word, to penetrate thus
far. She folded her thin hands, and looked round
with an air of reverence, as if she had been in a
"'Here it was!' she said, 'here !' And she
approached the throne, from which hung the rich
velvet fringed with gold lace. 'There,' she ex-
claimed, there!' and she knelt and kissed the
purple carpet. I think she was actually weeping.
"'But it was not this very velvet !' observed
the footman, and a smile played about his mouth.
'True, but it was this very place,' replied the old
woman, and it must have looked just like this.'
'It looked so, and yet it did not,' observed the
man: 'the windows were beaten in, and the doors
were off their hinges, and there was blood upon
the floor.' 'But for all that you can say, my
grandson died upon the throne of France. Died!'
mournfully repeated the old woman. I do not
think another word was spoken, and they soon
quitted the hall. The evening twilight faded, and
36 What the Moon saw.
my light shone doubly vivid upon the rich velvet
that covered the throne of France.
Now, who do you think this poor woman was?
Listen, I will tell you a story.
"It happened, in the Revolution of July, on
the evening of the most brilliantly victorious day,
when every house was a fortress, every window a
breastwork. The people stormed the Tuileries.
Even women and children were to be found among
the combatants. They penetrated into the apart-
ments and halls of the palace. A poor half-
grown boy in a ragged blouse fought among the
older insurgents. Mortally wounded with several
bayonet thrusts, he sank down. This happened in
the throne-room. They laid the bleeding youth
,.upon the throne of France, wrapped the velvet
around his wounds, and his blood streamed forth
upon the imperial purple. There was a picture !
the splendid hall, the fighting groups! A torn
flag lay upon the ground, the tricolor was waving
above the bayonets, and on the throne lay the
poor lad with the pale glorified countenance, his
eyes turned towards the sky, his limbs writhing in
the death agony, his breast bare, and his poor
tattered clothing half hidden by the rich velvet
embroidered with silver lilies. At the boy's cradle
What the Moon saw. 37
a prophecy had been spoken: He will die on the
throne of France.' The mother's heart dreamed
of a second Napoleon.
"My beams have kissed the wreath of immor-
telles on his grave, and this night they kissed the
forehead of the old grandame, while in a dream
the picture floated before her which thou mayest
draw-the poor boy on the throne of France."
"I HAVE been in Upsala," said the Moon: I
looked down upon the great plain covered with
coarse grass and the barren fields. I mirrored
my face in the Tyris river, while the steamboat
drove the fish into the tall rushes. Beneath me
floated the waves, throwing long shadows on the
so-called graves of Odin, Thor, and Friga. In the
scanty turf that covers the hill-side names have
been cut. There is no monument here, no me-
morial on which the traveller can have his name
"* Travellers on the Continent have frequent opportunities
of seeing how universally this custom prevails among travel-
lers. In some places on the Rhine, pots of paint and brushes
are offered by the natives to the traveller desirous of "im-
38 What the Moon saw.
carved, no rocky wall on whose surface he can get
it painted; so visitors have the turf cut away for
that purpose. The naked earth peers through in
the form of great letters and names; these form a
network over the whole hill. Here is an immor-
tality, which lasts till the fresh turf grows !
"Up on the hill stood a man, a poet. He
emptied the mead horn with the broad silver rim,
and murmured a name. He begged the winds not
to betray him, but I heard the name. I knew it.
A count's coronet sparkles above it, and therefore
he did not speak it out. I smiled, for I knew that
a poet's crown adorns his own name. The nobility
of Eleanora d'Este is attached to the name of
Tasso. And I also know where the Rose of Beauty
Thus spake the Moon, and a cloud came be-
tween us. May no cloud separate the poet from
"ALONG the margin of the shore stretches a
forest of firs and beeches, and fresh and fragrant is
this wood; hundreds of nightingales visit it every
spring. Close beside it is the sea, the ever-changing
What the Moon saw. 39
sea, and between the two is placed the broad high
road. One carriage after another rolls over it;
but I did not follow them, for my eye loves best
to rest upon one point. A Hun's Grave* lies
there, and the sloe and blackthorn grow luxuri-
antly among the stones. Here is true poetry in
And how do you think men appreciate this
poetry? I will tell you what I heard there last
evening and during the night.
First, two rich landed proprietors came driving
by. Those are glorious trees !' said the first.
'Certainly; there are ten loads of firewood in
each,' said the other: 'it will be a hard winter,
and last year we got fourteen dollars a load'-
and they were gone. The road here is wretched,'
observed another man who drove past. 'That's
the fault of those horrible trees,' replied his neigh-
bour; 'there is no free current of air; the wind
can only come from the sea'-and they were gone.
The stage coach went rattling past. All the pas-
sengers were asleep at this beautiful spot. The
postillion blew his horn, but he only thought, 'I
"* Large mounds similar to the barrows" found in Britain,
are thus designated in Germany and the North.
40 What the Moon saw.
can play capitally. It sounds well here. I wonder
if those in there like it ?'-and the stage coach
vanished. Then two young fellows came gallopping
up on horseback. There's youth and spirit in the
blood here! thought I; and, indeed, they looked
with a smile at the moss-grown hill and the thick
forest. I should not dislike a walk here with the
miller's Christine,' said one-and they flew past.
"The flowers scented the air; every breath of
air was hushed : it seemed as if the sea were a
part of the sky that stretched above the deep
valley. A carriage rolled by. Six people were
sitting in it. Four of them were asleep; the fifth
was thinking of his new summer coat, which
would suit him admirably; the sixth turned to
the coachman and asked him if there were any-
thing remarkable connected with yonder heap of
stones. 'No,' replied the coachman, 'it's only a
heap of stones; but the trees are remarkable.'
'How so?' 'Why, I'll tell you how they are
very remarkable. You see, in winter, when the
snow lies very deep, and has hidden the whole
road so that nothing is to be seen, those trees
serve me for a landmark. I steer by them, so as
not to drive into the sea; and so, you see, that is
why the trees are remarkable.'
T2he poor Girl rests on the HTe's Grave,
"Now came a painter. He spoke not a word,
but his eyes sparkled. He began to whistle. At
this the nightingales sang louder than ever. 'Hold
your tongues !' he cried testily; and he made accu-
rate notes of all the colours and transitions-blue,
and lilac, and dark brown. 'That will make a
beautiful picture,' he said. He took it in just as
a mirror takes in a view; and as he worked he
whistled a march of Rossini.
42 What the Moon saw.
And last of all came a poor girl. She laid aside
the burden she carried, and sat down to rest upon
the Hun's Grave. Her pale handsome face was
bent in a listening attitude towards the forest. Her
eyes brightened, she gazed earnestly at the sea and
the sky, her hands were folded, and I think she
prayed, 'Our Father.' She herself could not under-
stand the feeling that swept through her, but I
know that this minute, and the beautiful natural
scene, will live within her memory for years, far
more vividly and more truly than the painter could
portray it with his colours on paper. My rays
followed her till the morning dawn kissed her pen-
HEAVY clouds obscured the sky, and the Moon
did not make his appearance at all. I stood in
my little room, more lonely than ever, and looked
up at the sky where he ought to have shown him-
self. My thoughts flew far away, up to my great
friend, who every evening told me such pretty
tales, and showed me pictures. Yes, he has had
an experience indeed. He glided over the waters
What the Moon saw. 43
of the Deluge, and smiled on Noah's ark just as
he lately glanced down upon me, and brought
comfort and promise of a new world that was to
spring forth from the old. When the Children of
Israel sat weeping by the waters of Babylon, he
glanced mournfully upon the willows where hung
the silent harps. When Romeo climbed the bal-
cony, and the promise of true love fluttered like a
cherub toward heaven, the round Moon hung, half
hidden among the dark cypresses, in the lucid air.
He saw the Captive Giant at St. Helena, looking
from the lonely rock across the wide ocean, while
great thoughts swept through his soul. Ah, what
tales the Moon can tell! Human life is like a
story to him. To-night I shall not see thee again,
old friend. To-night I can draw no picture of the
memories of thy visit. And, as I looked dreamily
towards the clouds, the sky became bright. There
was a glancing light, and a beam from the Moon
fell upon me. It vanished again, and dark clouds
flew past; but still it was a greeting, a friendly
good night offered to me by the Moon.
THE air was clear again. Several evenings had
44 IWhat the loon saw.
passed, and now the Moon was in the first quarter.
Again he gave me an outline for a sketch. Listen
to what he told me.
"I have followed the polar bird and the swim-
ming whale to the eastern coasts of Greenland.
Gaunt ice-covered rocks and dark clouds hung
over a valley, where dwarf willows and barberry
bushes stood clothed in green, and the blooming
lychnis exhaled sweet odours. My light was faint,
my face pale as the water lily that, torn from its
stem, has been drifting for weeks with the tide.
The crown-shaped Northern Light burned fiercely
in the sky. Its ring was broad, and from its cir-
cumference the rays shot like whirling shafts of
fire across the whole sky, flashing in changing
radiance from green to red. The inhabitants of
that icy region were assembling for dance and fes-
tivity; but, accustomed to this glorious spectacle,
they scarcely deigned to glance at it. Let us
leave the souls of the dead to their ball-play with
the heads of the walruses,' they thought in their
superstition, and they turned their whole attention
to the song and dance. In the midst of the circle,
and divested of his furry cloak, stood a Green-
lander, with a small pipe, and he played and sang
a song about catching the seal, and the chorus
What the Moon saw. 45
around chimed in with, Eia, Eia, Ah.' And in
their white furs they danced about in the circle,
till you might fancy it was a polar bear's ball.
"And now a Court of Judgment was opened.
Those Greenlanders who had quarrelled stepped
forward, and the offended person chanted forth
the faults of his adversary in an extempore song,
turning them sharply into ridicule, to the sound
of the pipe and the measure of the dance. The
defendant. replied with satire as keen, while the
audience laughed, and gave their verdict. The
rocks heaved, the glaciers melted, and great masses
of ice and snow came crashing down, shivering to
fragments as they fell: it was a glorious Green-
land summer night. A hundred paces away, under
the open tent of hides, lay a sick man. Life still
flowed through his warm blood, but still he was
to die-he himself felt it, and all who stood round
him knew it also; therefore his wife was already
sewing round him the shroud of furs, that she
might not afterwards be obliged to touch the dead
body. And she asked, 'Wilt thou be buried on
the rock, in the firm snow ? I will deck the spot
with thy kayak, and thy arrows, and the angekokk
shall dance over it. Or wouldst thou rather be
buried in the sea?" 'In the sea,' he whispered,
46 2What the Moon saw.
and nodded with a mournful smile. 'Yes, it is a
pleasant summer tent, the sea,' observed the wife.
'Thousands of seals sport there; the walrus shall
lie near thy feet, and the hunt will be safe and
merry !' And the yelling children tore the out-
spread hide from the window-hole, that the dead
man might be carried to the ocean, the billowy
ocean, that had given him food in life, and that
now, in death, was to afford him a place of rest.
For his monument, he had the floating, ever-
changing icebergs, whereon the seal sleeps, while
the storm bird flies round and round their gleam-
ing summits !'
"I KNEW an old maid," said the Moon. Every
winter she wore a wrapper of yellow satin, and it
always remained new, and was the only fashion
she followed. In summer she always wore the
same straw hat, and I verily believe the very same
"She never went out, except across the street
to an old female friend; and in later years she did
not even take this walk, for the old friend was
dead. In her solitude my old maid was always
The Old MIaid.
busy at the window, which was adorned in sum-
mer with pretty flowers, and in winter with cress,
grown upon felt. During the last months I saw
her no more at the window, but she was still alive,
48 What the Moon saw.
I knew that, for I had not yet seen her begin the
'long journey,' of which she often spoke with her
friend. Yes, yes,' she was in the habit of saying,
'when I come to die, I shall take a longer journey
than I have made my whole life long. Our family
vault is six miles from here. I shall be carried
there, and shall sleep there among my family and
relatives.' Last night a van stopped at the house.
A coffin was carried out, and then I knew that she
was dead. They placed straw round the coffin, and
the van drove away. There slept the quiet old
lady, who had not gone out of her house once for
the last year. The van rolled out through the
town gate as briskly as if it were going for a plea-
sant excursion. On the high road the pace was
quicker yet. The coachman looked nervously
round every now and then-I fancy he half ex-
pected to see her sitting up on the coffin in her
yellow satin wrapper. And because he was startled,
he foolishly lashed his horses, while he held the
reins so tightly that the poor beasts were in a
foam: they were young and fiery. A hare jumped
across the road and startled them, and they fairly
ran away. The old sober maiden, who had for
years and years moved quietly round and round
in a dull circle, was now, in death, rattled over
What the Moon saw. 49
stocks and stones on the public highway. The
coffin in its covering of straw tumbled out of the
van, and was left on the high road, while horses,
coachman, and carriage flew past in wild career.
The lark rose up carolling from the field, twitter-
ing her morning lay over the coffin, and presently
perched upon it, pecking with her beak at the
straw covering, as though she would tear it up.
The lark rose up again, singing gaily, and I with-
drew behind the red morning clouds."
"I WILL give you a picture of Pompeii," said the
Moon. "I was in the suburb, in the Street of
Tombs, as they call it, where the fair monuments
stand, in the spot where, ages ago, the merry
youths, their temples bound with rosy wreaths,
danced with the fair sisters of Lai's. Now the
stillness of death reigned around. German mer-
cenaries, in the Neapolitan service, kept guard,
played cards, and diced; and a troop of strangers
from beyond the mountains came into the town,
accompanied by a sentry. They wanted to see
the city that had risen from the grave illumined
by my beams; and I showed them the wheel-ruts
50 JWhat the Moon saw.
in the streets paved with broad lava slabs; I
showed them the names on the doors, and the
signs that hung there yet: they saw in the little
courtyard the basins of the fountains, ornamented
with shells; but no jet of water gushed upwards,
no songs sounded forth from the richly-painted
chambers, where the bronze dogs still kept the
It was the City of the Dead; only Vesuvius
thundered forth his everlasting hymn, each sepa-
rate verse of which is called by men an eruption.
We went to the temple of Venus, built of snow-
white marble, with its high altar in front of the
broad steps, and the weeping willows sprouting
freshly forth among the pillars. The air was
transparent and blue, and black Vesuvius formed
the background, with fire ever shooting forth from
it, like the stem of the pine tree. Above it
stretched the smoky cloud in the silence of the
night, like the crown of the pine, but in a blood-
red illumination. Among the company was a lady
singer, a real and great singer. I have witnessed
the homage paid to her in the greatest cities of
Europe. When they came to the tragic theatre,
they all sat down on the amphitheatre steps, and
thus a small part of the house was occupied bh an
What the Moon saw. I
audience, as it had been many centuries ago. The
stage still stood unchanged, with its walled side-
scenes, and the two arches in the background,
through which the beholders saw the same scene
that had been exhibited in the old times-a scene
painted by nature herself, namely, the mountains
between Sorrento and Amalfi. The singer gaily
mounted the ancient stage, and sang. The place
inspired her, and she reminded me of a wild Arab
horse, that rushes headlong on with snorting nos-
trils and flying mane-her song was so light and
yet so firm. Anon I thought of the mourning
mother beneath the cross at Golgotha, so deep
was the expression of pain. And, just as it had
done thousands of years ago, the sound of applause
and delight now filled the theatre. 'Happy, gifted
creature!' all the hearers exclaimed. Five mi-
nutes more, and the stage was empty, the com-
pany had vanished, and not a sound more was
heard-all were gone. But the ruins stood un-
changed, as they will stand when centuries shall
have gone by, and when none shall know of the
momentary applause, and of the triumph of the
fair songstress; when all will be forgotten and
gone, and even for me this hour will be but a
dream of the past."
52 /hat the Moon saw.
"I LOOKED through the windows of an editor's
house," said the Moon. "It was somewhere in
Germany. I saw handsome furniture, many books,
and a chaos of newspapers. Several young men
were present: the editor himself stood at his desk,
and two little books, both by young authors, were
to be noticed. 'This one has been sent to me,'
said he. I have not read it yet: what think you
of the contents ?' 'Oh,' said the person addressed
-he was a poet himself-' it is good enough; a
little broad, certainly; but, you see, the author is
still young. The verses might be better, to be
sure; the thoughts are sound, though there is,
certainly, a good deal of commonplace among
them. But what will you have? You can't be
always getting something new. That he'll turn
out anything great I don't believe, but you may
safely praise him. He is well read, a remarkable
Oriental scholar, and has a good judgment. It
was he who wrote that nice review of my Reflec-
tions on Domestic Life.' We must be lenient
towards the young man."
"'But he is a complete hack !' objected another
What the Moon saw. 53
gentleman. 'Nothing is worse in poetry than me-
diocrity, and he certainly does not go beyond this.'
"' Poor fellow!' observed a third, and. his aunt
is so happy about him. It was she, Mr. Editor,
who got together so many subscribers for your
"'Ah, the good woman Well, I have noticed
the book briefly. Undoubted talent-a welcome
offering-a flower in the garden of poetry-pret-
tily brought out-and so on. But this other book
-I suppose the author expects me to purchase it ?
I hear it is praised. He has genius, certainly:
don't you think so?'
Yes, all the world declares as much,' replied
the poet, but it has turned out rather wildly.
The punctuation of the book, in particular, is
"' It will be good for him if we pull him to
pieces, and anger him a. little, otherwise he will
get too good an opinion of himself.'
"'But that would be unfair,' objected the
fourth. 'Let us not carp at little faults, but re-
joice over the real and abundant good that we
find here: he surpasses all the rest.'
Not so. If he be a true genius, he can bear
the sharp voice of censure. There are plenty of
54 What the Moon saw.
people to praise him. Don't let us quite turn his
Decided talent,' wrote the editor, with the
usual carelessness. That he can write incorrect
verses may be seen in page 25, where there are
two false quantities. We recommend him to study
the ancients, etc.'
"I went away," continued the Moon, "and
looked through the windows in the aunt's house.
There sat the be-praised poet, the tame one; all
the guests paid homage to him, and he was happy.
"I sought the other poet out, the wild one;
him also I found in a great assembly at his patron's,
where the tame poet's book was being discussed.
"' I shall read yours also,' said Maecenas; but
to speak honestly -you know I never hide my
opinion from you -I don't expect much from it,
for you are much too wild, too fantastic. But it
must be allowed that, as a man, you are highly
A young girl sat in a corner; and she read in
a book these words:
"'In the dust lies genius and glory,
But ev'ry-day talent will pay.
It's only the old, old story,
But the piece is repeated each day.'"
IThat the Moon sawo. 55
THE Moon said, "Beside the woodland path
there are two small farm-houses. The doors are
low, and some of the windows are placed quite
high, and others close to the ground, and white-
thorn and barberry bushes grow around them.
The roof of each house is overgrown with moss
and with yellow flowers and houseleek. Cabbage
and potatoes are the only plants cultivated in the
gardens, but out of the hedge there grows a willow
tree, and under this willow tree sat a little girl,
and she sat with her eyes fixed upon the old oak
tree between the two huts.
"It was an old withered stem. It had been
sawn off at the top, and a stork had built his nest
upon it; and he stood in this nest clapping with
his beak. A little boy came and stood by the
girl's side: they were brother and sister.
What are you looking at?' he asked.
"'I'm watching the stork,' she replied: 'our
neighbours told me that he would bring us a little
brother or sister to-day; let us watch to see it come!'
"'The stork brings no such things,' the boy
declared, 'you may be sure of that. Our neigh-
watching the Stork.
bour told me the same thing, but she laughed
when she said it, and so I asked her if she could
say On my honour," and she could not, and I
know by that that the story about the storks is
What the Moon saw. 57
not true, and that they only tell it to us children
"'But where do the babies come from, then?'
asked the girl.
"'Why, an angel from heaven brings them
under his cloak, but no man can see him; and
that's why we never know when he brings them.'
At that moment there was a rustling in the
branches of the willow tree, and the children
folded their hands and looked at one another: it
was certainly the angel coming with the baby.
They took each other's hand, and at that moment
the door of one of the houses opened, and the
"' Come in, you two,' she said. 'See what the
stork has brought. It is a little brother.'
And the two children nodded gravely at one
another, for they had felt quite sure already that
the baby was come."
I WAs gliding over the Liineburg Heath," the
Moon said. "A lonely hut stood by the way-side,
a few scanty bushes grew near it, and a nightin-
gale who had lost his way sang sweetly. He died
58 What the Mloon saw.
in the coldness of the night: it was his farewell
song that I heard.
The morning dawn came glimmering red. I
saw a caravan of emigrant peasant families who
were bound to Hamburgh, there to take ship for
America, where fancied prosperity would bloom
for them. The mothers carried their little chil-
dren at their backs, the elder ones tottered by
their sides, and a poor starved horse tugged at a
cart that bore their scanty effects. The cold wind
whistled, and therefore the little girl nestled closer
to the mother, who, looking up at my decreasing
disc, thought of the bitter want at home, and
spoke of the heavy taxes they had not been able
to raise. The whole caravan thought of the same
thing; therefore the rising dawn seemed to them
a message from the sun, of fortune that was to
gleam brightly upon them. They heard the dying
nightingale sing: it was no false prophet, but a
harbinger of fortune. The wind whistled, there-
fore they did not understand that the nightingale
sung, 'Fare away over the sea! Thou hast paid
the long passage with all that was thine, and poor
and helpless shalt thou enter Canaan. Thou must
sell thyself, thy wife, and thy children. But your
griefs shall not last long. Behind the broad fra-
What the Moon saw. 59
grant leaves lurks the goddess of death, and her
welcome kiss shall breathe fever into thy blood.
Fare away, fare away, over the heaving billows.'
And the caravan listened well pleased to the song
of the nightingale, which seemed to promise good
fortune. Day broke through the light clouds; the
country people went across the heath to church:
the black-gowned women with their white head-
dresses looked like ghosts that had stepped forth
from the church pictures. All around lay a wide
dead plain, covered with faded brown heath, and
black charred spaces between the white sand hills.
The women carried hymn-books, and walked into
the church. Oh, pray, pray for those who are
wandering to find graves beyond the foaming
"I KNOW a Pulcinella," the Moon told me.
"The public applaud vociferously directly they
see him. Every one of his movements is comic,
and is sure to throw the house into convulsions of
"* The comic or grotesque character of the Italian ballet,
from which the English "Punch" takes his origin.
60 What the Moon saw.
laughter; and yet there is no art in it all--it is
complete nature. When he was yet a little boy,
playing about with other boys, he was already
Punch. Nature had intended him for it, and
had provided him with a hump on his back, and
another on his breast; but his inward man, his
mind, on the contrary, was richly furnished. No
one could surpass him in depth of feeling or in
readiness of intellect. The theatre was his ideal
world. If he had possessed a slender well-shaped
figure, he might have been the first tragedian on
any stage: the heroic, the great, filled his soul;
and yet he had to become a Pulcinella. His very
sorrow and melancholy did but increase the comic
dryness of his sharply-cut features, and increased
the laughter of the audience, who showered plaudits
on their favourite. The lovely Columbine was
indeed kind and cordial to him; but she preferred
to marry the Harlequin. It would have been too
ridiculous if beauty and ugliness had in reality
When Pulcinella was in very bad spirits, she
was the only one who could force a hearty burst
of laughter or even a smile from nim: first she
would be melancholy with him, then quieter, and
at last quite cheerful and happy. I know very
""- -- --
Pulinezla 0on Columnbine's Grave.
62 What the Moon saw.
well what is the matter with you,' she said; yes,
you're in love !' And he could not help laughing.
' I and Love !' he cried, that would have a very
absurd look. How the public would shout !' 'Cer-
tainly, you are in love,' she continued; and added
with a comic pathos, and I am the person you
are in love with.' You see, such a thing may be
said when it is quite out of the question and,
indeed, Pulcinella burst out laughing, and gave a
leap into the air, and his melancholy was forgotten.
"And yet she had only spoken the truth. He
did love her, love her adoringly, as he loved what
was great and lofty in art. At her wedding he
was the merriest among the guests, but in the
stillness of night he wept: if the public had seen
his distorted face then, they would have applauded
And a few days ago Columbine died. On the
day of the funeral, Harlequin was not required to
show himself on the boards, for he was a discon-
solate widower. The director had to give a very
merry piece, that the public might not too pain-
fully miss the pretty Columbine and the agile
Harlequin. Therefore Pulcinella had to be more
boisterous and more extravagant than ever; and
he danced and capered, with despair in his heart;
What the Moon saw. 63
and the audience yelled, and shouted bravo, bra-
vissimo!' Pulcinella was actually called before
the curtain. He was pronounced inimitable.
But last night the hideous little fellow went
out of the town, quite alone, to the deserted
churchyard. The wreath of flowers on Colum-
bine's grave was already faded, and he sat down
there. It was a study for a painter. As he sat
with his chin on his hands, his eyes turned up to-
wards me, he looked like a grotesque monument
- a Punch on a grave peculiar and whimsical!
If the people could have seen their favourite, they
would have cried as usual, Bravo, Pulcinella!
bravo, bravissimo "
HEAR what the Moon told me. I have seen
the cadet who had just -been made an officer put
on his handsome uniform for the first time; I have
seen the young bride in her wedding dress, and
the Princess girl-wife happy in her gorgeous robes;
but never have I seen a felicity equal to that of a
little girl of four years old, whom I watched this
evening. She had received a new blue dress and
a new pink hat, the splendid attire had just been
64 fVhat the Moon saw,
put on, and all were calling out for a candle, for
my rays, shining in through the windows of the
room, were not bright enough for the occasion,
and further illumination was required. There
stood the little maid, stiff and upright as a doll,
her arms stretched painfully straight out away
from the dress, and her fingers apart; and oh,
what happiness beamed from her eyes and from
her whole countenance To-morrow you shall go
out in your new clothes,' said her mother; and
the little one looked up at her hat, and down at
her frock, and smiled brightly. 'Mother,' she
cried, 'what will the little dogs think, when they
see me in these splendid new things ?' "
"I HAVE spoken to you of Pompeii," said the
Moon; "that corpse of a city, exposed in the
view of living towns: I know another sight still
more strange, and this is not the corpse, but the
spectre of a city. Whenever the jetty fountains
splash into the marble basins, they seem to me to
be telling the story of the floating city. Yes, the
spouting water may tell of her, the waves of the
sea may sing of her fame I On the surface of the
What the Moon saw. 65
ocean a mist often rests, and that is her widow's
veil. The Bridegroom of the Sea is dead, his
palace and his city are his mausoleum Dost
thou know this city? She has never heard the
rolling of wheels or the hoof-tread of horses in
her streets, through which the fish swim, while the
black gondola glides spectrally over the green
water. I will show you the place," continued the
Moon, "the largest square in it, and you will
fancy yourself transported into the city of a fairy
tale. The grass grows rank among the broad flag-
stones, and in the morning twilight thousands of
tame pigeons flutter around the solitary lofty
tower. On three sides you find yourself sur-
rounded by cloistered walks. In these the silent
Turk sits smoking his long pipe, the handsome
Greek leans against the pillar and gazes at the
upraised trophies and lofty masts, memorials of
power that is gone. The flags hang down like
mourning scarves. A girl rests there: she has
put down her heavy pails filled with water, the
yoke with which she has carried them rests on one
of her shoulders, and she leans against the mast
of victory. That is not a fairy palace which you
see before you yonder, but a church: the gilded
domes and shining orbs flash back my beams; the
66 WFhat the Moon saw.
glorious bronze horses up yonder have performed
journeys, like the bronze horse in the fairy tale:
they have come hither, and gone hence, and have
returned again. Do you notice the variegated
splendour of the walls and windows ? It looks as
if Genius had followed the caprices of a child in
the adornment of these singular temples. Do you
see the winged lion on the high pillar ? The gold
glitters still, but his wings are tied-the lion is
dead, for the King of the Sea is dead; the great
halls stand desolate, and where gorgeous paintings
hung of yore, the naked wall now peers through.
The lazzarone sleeps under the arcade, whose pave-
ment in old times was to be trodden only by the
feet of high nobility. From the deep wells, and
perhaps from the prisons by the Bridge of Sighs,
rise the accents of woe, as at the time when the
tambourine was heard in the gay gondolas, and
the golden ring was cast from the Bucentaur to
Adria, the Queen of the Seas. Adria! shroud
thyself in mists: let the veil of thy widowhood
shroud thy form, and clothe in the weeds of woe
the mausoleum of thy bridegroom--the marble,
What the Moon saw. 67
"I LOOKED down upon a great theatre," said the
Moon. "The house was crowded, for a new actor
was to make his first appearance that night. My
ray glided over a little window in the wall, and I
saw a painted face with the forehead pressed close
against the panes. It was the hero of the evening.
The knightly beard curled crisply about the chin;
but there were tears in the man's eyes, for he had
been hissed off, and indeed with reason. The poor
Incapable! But Incapables cannot be admitted
into the empire of Art. He* had deep feeling,
and loved his art enthusiastically, but the art
loved not him. The prompter's bell sounded;
'the hero enters with a determined air,' so ran the
stage direction in his part, and he had to appear
before an audience who turned him into ridicule.
When the piece was over, I saw a form wrapped in
a mantle, creeping down the steps: it was the
vanquished knight of the evening. The scene-
shifters whispered to one another, and I followed
the poor fellow home to his room. To hang one-
self is to die but a mean death, and poison is not
always at hand, I know; but he thought of both.
68 What the Moon saw.
I saw how he looked at his pale face in the glass,
with eyes half closed, to see if he should look well
as a corpse. A man may be very unhappy, and
yet exceedingly affected. He thought of death,
of suicide. I believe he pitied himself, for he
wept bitterly, and when a man has had his cry out
he doesn't kill himself.
Since that time a year had rolled by. Again
a play was to be acted, but in a little theatre, and
by a poor strolling company. Again I saw the
well-remembered face, with the painted cheeks and
the crisp beard. He looked up at me and smiled;
and yet he had been hissed off only a minute be-
fore-hissed off from a wretched theatre by a mi-
serable audience. And to-night a shabby hearse
rolled out of the town gate. It was a suicide-
our painted, despised hero. The driver of the
hearse was the only person present, for no one
followed except my beams. In a corner of the
churchyard the corpse of the suicide was shovelled
into the earth, and nettles will soon be growing
rankly over his grave, and the sexton will throw
earth and thorns and weeds from the other grave,
What the Moon saw. 69
I COME from Rome," said the Moon. "In
the midst of the city, upon one of the seven hills,
lie the ruins of the imperial palace. The wild fig
tree grows in the clefts of the wall, and covers the
nakedness thereof with its broad greyish-green
leaves; trampling among heaps of rubbish, the
ass treads upon green laurels, and rejoices over the
rank thistles. From this spot, whence the eagles
of Rome once flew abroad, whence they 'came,
saw, and conquered,' one door leads into a little
mean house, built of clay between two pillars;
the wild vine hangs like a mourning garland over
the crooked window. An old woman and her
little granddaughter live there: they rule now in
the palace of the Coesars, and show to strangers
the remains of its past glories. Of the splendid
throne-hall only a naked wall now stands, and a
black cypress throws its dark shadows on the spot
where the throne once stood. The dust lies several
feet deep on the broken pavement; and the little
maiden, now the daughter of the imperial palace,
often sits there on her stool when the evening bells
ring. The keyhole of the door close by she calls
70 What the Moon saw.
her turret window; through this she can see half
Rome, as far as the mighty cupola of St. Peter's.
"On this evening, as usual, stillness reigned
around; and in the full beam of my light came
the little granddaughter. On her head she carried
an earthen pitcher of antique shape filled with
water. Her feet were bare, her short frock and
her white sleeves were torn. I kissed her pretty
round shoulders, her dark eyes, and black shining
hair. She mounted the stairs; they were steep,
having been made up of rough blocks of broken
marble and the capital of a fallen pillar. The
coloured lizards slipped away, startled, from before
her feet, but she was not frightened at them.
Already she lifted her hand to pull the door-bell-
a hare's foot fastened to a string formed the bell-
handle of the imperial palace. She paused for a
moment-of what might the girl be thinking ?
Perhaps of the beautiful Christ-child, dressed in
gold and silver, which stood down below in the
chapel, where the silver candlesticks gleamed so
bright, and where her little friends sung the hymns
in which she could join? I know not. Presently
she moved again-she stumbled; the earthen vessel
fell from her head, and broke on the marble steps.
She burst into tears. The beautiful daughter of
lWhat the Moon saw. 71
the imperial palace wept over the worthless broken
pitcher; with her bare feet she stood there weep-
ing, and dared not pull the string-the bell-rope
of the imperial palace !"
IT was more than a fortnight since the Moon
had shone. Now he stood once more, round and
bright, above the clouds, moving slowly onward.
Hear what the Moon told me.
From a town in Fezzan I followed a caravan.
On the margin of the sandy desert, in a salt plain,
that shone like a frozen lake, and was only covered
in spots with light drifting sand, a halt was made.
The eldest of the company-the water gourd hung
at his girdle, and on his head was a little bag of
unleavened bread drew a square in the sand
with his staff, and wrote in it a few words out of
the Koran, and then the whole caravan passed
over the consecrated spot. A young merchant, a
child of the East, as I could tell by his eyes and
his figure, rode pensively forward on his white
snorting steed. Was he thinking, perchance, of
his fair young wife? It was only two days ago
that the camel, adorned with furs and with costly
72 What the Moon saw.
shawls, had carried her, the beauteous bride, round
the walls of the city, while drums and cymbals
had sounded, the women sang, and festive shots,
of which the bridegroom fired the greatest number,
resounded round the camel; and now he was
journeying with the caravan across the desert.
"For many nights I followed the train. I saw
them rest by the well-side among the stunted
palms; they thrust the knife into the breast of
the camel that had fallen, and roasted its flesh by
the fire. My beams cooled the glowing sands, and
showed them the black rocks, like dead islands in
the immense ocean of sand. No hostile tribes
met them in their pathless route, no storms arose,
no columns of sand whirled destruction over the
journeying caravan. At home the beautiful wife
prayed for her husband and her father. 'Are they
dead?' she asked of my golden crescent; 'Are
they dead?' she cried to my full disc. Now the
sandy desert lies behind them. This evening they
sit beneath the lofty palm trees, where the crane
flutters round them with its long wings, and the
Pelican watches them from the branches of the
mimosa. The luxuriant herbage is trampled down,
crushed by the feet of the elephants. A troop of
negroes are returning from a market in the interior
lWhat the Moon saw. 73
of the land: the women, with copper buttons in
their black hair, and decked out in clothes dyed
with indigo, drive the heavy-laden oxen, on whose
backs slumber the naked black children. A negro
leads a young lion which he has bought, by a thin
string. They approach the caravan: the young
merchant sits pensive and motionless, thinking of
his beautiful wife, dreaming, in the land of the
blacks, of his white fragrant lily beyond the desert.
He raises his head, and- "
But at this moment a cloud passed before the
Moon, and then another. I heard nothing more
from him this evening.
I SAw a little girl weeping," said the Moon;
" she was weeping over the depravity of the world.
She had received a most beautiful doll as a present.
Oh, that was a glorious doll, so fair and delicate!
She did not seem created for the sorrows of this
world. But the brothers of the little girl, those
great naughty boys, had set the doll high up in
the branches of a tree, and had run away.
"The little girl could not reach up to the doll,
and could not help her down, and that is why she
T2w little Girl's trouble.
was crying. The doll must certainly have been
crying too, for she stretched out her arms among
the green branches, and looked quite mournful.
Yes, these are the troubles of life of which the
What the Moon saw.
little girl had often heard tell. Alas, poor doll!
it began to grow dark already; and suppose night
were to come on completely Was she to be left
sitting there alone on the bough all night long?
No, the little maid could not make up her mind
to that. 'I '11 stay with you,' she said, although
she felt anything but happy in her mind. She
could almost fancy she distinctly saw little gnomes,
with their high-crowned hats, sitting in the bushes;
and farther back in the long walk, tall spectres
appeared to be dancing. They came nearer and
nearer, and stretched out their hands towards the
tree on which the doll sat; they laughed scorn-
fully, and pointed at her with their fingers. Oh,
how frightened the little maid was! 'But it one
has not done anything wrong,' she thought, 'no-
thing evil can harm one. I wonder if I have done
anything wrong ?' And she stood to consider about
it. 'Oh, yes I laughed at the poor duck with the
red rag on her leg; she limped along so funnily, I
could not help laughing; but it's a sin to laugh at
animals.' And she looked up at the doll. 'Did
you laugh at the duck too?' she asked; and it
seemed as if the doll shook her head."
76 What the Moon saw.
"I LOOKED down upon Tyrol," said the Moon,
" and my beams caused the dark pines to throw
long shadows upon the rocks. I looked at the
pictures of St. Christopher carrying the Infant
Jesus that are painted there upon the walls of the
houses, colossal figures reaching from the ground
to the roof. St. Florian was represented pouring
water on the burning house, and the Lord hung
bleeding on the great cross by the way-side. To
the present generation these are old pictures, but
I saw when they were put up, and marked how
one followed the other. On the brow of the lofty
mountain yonder is perched, like a swallow's nest,
a lonely convent of nuns. Two of the sisters
stood up in the tower tolling the bells; they were
both young, and therefore their glances flew over
the mountain out into the world. A travelling
coach passed by below, the postillion wound his
horn, and the poor nuns looked after the carriage
for a moment with a mournful glance, and a tear
gleamed in the eyes of the younger one. And the
horn sounded faint and more faintly, and the con-
vent bell drowned its expiring echoes."
What the Moon saw. 77
HEAR what the Moon told me. Some years
ago, here in Copenhagen, I looked through the
window of a mean little room. The father and
mother slept, but the little son was not asleep. I
saw the flowered cotton curtains of the bed move,
and the child peep forth. At first I thought he
was looking at the great clock, which was gaily
painted in red and green. At the top sat a cuckoo,
below hung the heavy leaden weights, and the
pendulum with the polished disc of metal went to
and fro, and said 'tick! tick But no, he was not
looking at the clock, but at his mother's spinning-
wheel, that stood just underneath it. That was
the boy's favourite piece of furniture, but he dared
not touch it, for if he meddled with it he got
a rap on the knuckles. For hours together, when
his mother was spinning, he would sit quietly by
her side, watching the murmuring spindle and the
revolving wheel, and as he sat he thought of many
things. Oh, if he might only turn the wheel him-
self! Father and mother were asleep; he looked
at them, and looked at the spinning-wheel, and
presently a little naked foot peered out of the bed,
78 What the Moon saw.
and then a second foot, and then two little white
legs. There he stood. He looked round once
more, to see if father and mother were still asleep
-yes, they slept; and now he crept softly, softly,
in his short little nightgown, to the spinning-wheel,
and began to spin. The thread flew from the
wheel, and the wheel whirled faster and faster. I
kissed his fair hair and his blue eyes, it was such a
"At that moment the mother awoke. The
curtain shook, she looked forth, and fancier she
saw a gnome or some other kind of little spectre.
'In Heaven's name!' she cried, and aroused her
husband in a frightened way. He opened his eyes,
rubbed them with his hands, and looked at the
brisk little lad. 'Why, that is Bertel,' said he.
And my eyes quitted the poor room, for I have so
much to see. At the same moment I looked at
the halls of the Vatican, where the marble gods
are enthroned. I shone upon the group of the
Laocoon; the stone seemed to sigh. I pressed a
silent kiss upon the lips of the Muses, and they
seemed to stir and move. But my rays lingered
longest about the Nile group with the colossal god.
Leaning against the Sphinx, he lies there thought-
ful and meditative, as if he were thinking on the
,, i i
*1 V ^
t I t
Little Bertel's ambition.
rolling centuries; and little love-gods sport with
him and with the long crocodiles. In the horn of
plenty sits with folded arms a little tiny love-god,
contemplating the great solemn river-god, a true
80 What the Moon saw.
picture of the pretty boy at the spinning-wheel-
the features were exactly the same. Charming and
lifelike stood the little marble form, and yet the
wheel of the year has turned more than a thousand
times since the time when it sprang forth from the
stone. Just as often as the boy in the little room
turned the spinning.-wheel had the great wheel
murmured, before the age could again call forth
marble gods equal to those he afterwards formed.
"Years have passed since all this happened,"
the Moon went on to say. Yesterday I looked
down on a bay on the eastern coast of Denmark.
Glorious woods are there, and high trees, an old
knightly castle with red walls, swans floating in
the ponds, and in the background appears, among
the orchards, a little town with a church. Many
boats, the crews all furnished with torches, glided
over the silent expanse-but these fires had not
been kindled for catching fish, for everything had
a festive look. Music sounded, a song was sung,
and in one of the boats a man stood erect, to
whom homage was paid by the rest, a tall sturdy
man, wrapped in a cloak. He had blue eyes and
long white hair. I knew him, and thought of the
Vatican, and of the group of the Nile, and the
old marble gods. I thought of the simple little
What the Moon saw. 8I
room where little Bertel sat in his nightshirt by
the spinning-wheel. The wheel of time has turned,
and new gods have come forth from the stone.
From the boats there arose a shout: 'Hurrah!
hurrah for Bertel Thorwaldsen "
"I WILL now give you a picture from Frankfort,"
said the Moon. I especially noticed one build-
ing there. It was not the house in which Goethe
was born, nor the old council-house, through whose
grated windows peered the horns of the oxen that
were roasted and given to the people when the
Emperors were crowned. No, it was a private
house, plain in appearance, and painted green. It
stood near the old Jews' Street. It was Roths-
"I looked through the open door. The stair-
case was brilliantly lighted : servants carrying wax
candles in massive silver candlesticks stood there,
and bowed low before an aged woman, who was
being brought down stairs in a litter. The pro-
prietor of the house stood bare-headed, and re-
spectfully imprinted a kiss on the hand of the old
woman. She was his mother. She nodded in a
82 F that the Moon saw.
friendly manner to him and to the servants, and
they carried her into the dark narrow street, into
a little house, that was her dwelling. Here her
children had been born, from hence the fortune of
the family had arisen. If she deserted the despised
street and the little house, fortune would also desert
her children. That was her firm belief."
The Moon told me no more; his visit this even-
ing was far too short. But I thought of the old
woman in the narrow despised street. It would
have cost her but a word, and a brilliant house
would have arisen for her on the banks of the
Thames-a word, and a villa would have been pre-
pared in the Bay of Naples.
"If I deserted the lowly house, where the for-
tunes of my sons first began to bloom, fortune
would desert them !" It was a superstition, but a
superstition of such a class, that he who knows
the story and has seen this picture, need have only
two words placed under the picture to make him
understand it; and these two words are: "A
What the Moon saw. 83
IT was yesterday, in the morning twilight"-
these are the words the Moon told me-" in the
great city no chimney was yet smoking, andit was
just at the chimneys that I was looking. Suddenly
The little Chimney-Swneeper.
a little head emerged from one of them, and then
half a body, the arms resting on the rim of the
chimney-pot. 'Ya-hip! ya-hip!' cried a voice.
It was the little chimney-sweeper, who had for the
84 What the Moon saw.
first time in his life crept through a chimney, and
stuck out his head at the top. Ya..hip ya-hip !'
Yes, certainly that was a very different thing from
creeping about in the dark narrow chimneys the
air blew so fresh, and he could look over the whole
city towards the green wood. The sun was just
rising. It shone round and great, just in his face,
that beamed with triumph, although it was very
prettily blacked with soot.
"'The whole town can see me now,' he ex-
claimed, and the moon can see me now, and the
sun too. Ya-hip! ya-hip!' And he flourished
his broom in triumph."
"LAST night I looked down upon a town in
China," said the Moon. My beams irradiated
the naked walls that form the streets there. Now
and then, certainly, a door is seen; but it is locked,
for what does the Chinaman care about the outer
world? Close wooden shutters covered the win-
dows behind the walls of the houses; but through
the windows of the temple a faint light glimmered.
I looked in and saw the quaint decorations within.
From the floor to the ceiling pictures are painted
What the Moon saw. 85
in the most glaring colours and richly gilt-pic-
tures representing the deeds of the gods here on
earth. In each niche statues are placed, but they
are almost entirely hidden by the coloured drapery
and the banners that hang down. Before each
.1 ,,1 -4 .
idol (and they are all made of tin) stood a little
altar of holy water, with flowers and burning wax
lights on it. Above all the rest stood Fo, the chief
deity, clad in a garment of yellow silk, for yellow
is here the sacred colour. At the foot of the altar
sat a living being, a young priest. He appeared
86' What the Moon saw.
to be praying, but in the midst of his prayer he
seemed to fall into deep thought, and this must
have been wrong, for his cheeks glowed and he
held down his head. Poor Soui-hong Was he,
perhaps, dreaming of working in the little flower
garden behind the high street wall? And did that
occupation seem more agreeable to him than watch-
ing the wax lights in the temple? Or did he wish
to sit at the rich feast, wiping his mouth with
silver paper between each course? Or was his
sin so great that, if he dared utter it, the Celestial
Empire would punish it with death? Had his
thoughts ventured to fly with the ships of the bar-
barians, to their homes in far distant England ?
No, his thoughts did not fly so far, and yet they
were sinful, sinful as thoughts born of young
hearts, sinful here in the temple, in the presence
of Fo and the other holy gods.
I know whither his thoughts had strayed. At
the farther end of the city, on the flat roof paved
with porcelain, upon which stood the handsome
vases covered with painted flowers, sat the beau-
teous Pu, of the little roguish eyes, of the full
lips, and of the tiny feet. The tight shoe pained
her, but her heart pained her still more. She
lifted her graceful round arm, and her satin dress
What the Moon saw. 87
rustled. Before her stood a glass bowl contain-
ing four goldfish. She stirred the bowl carefully
with a slender lacquered stick, very slowly, for
she, too, was lost in thought. Was she thinking,
perchance, how the fishes were richly clothed in
gold, how they lived calmly and peacefully in their
crystal world, how they were regularly fed, and
yet how much happier they might be if they were
free? Yes, that she could well understand, the
beautiful Pu. Her thoughts wandered away from
her home, wandered to the temple, but not for the
sake of holy things. Poor Pu! Poor Soui-hong!
Their earthly thoughts met, but my cold beam
lay between the two, like the sword of the cherub."
"THE air was calm," said the Moon: "the
water was transparent as the pure ether through
which I was gliding, and deep below the surface
I could see the strange plants that stretched up
their waving arms towards me like the gigantic
trees of the forest. The fishes swam to and fro
above their tops. High in the air a flight of wild
swans were winging their way, one of which sank
lower and lower, with wearied pinions, his eyes
88 What the Moon saw.
following the airy caravan, that melted farther and
farther into the distance. With outspread wings
he sank slowly, as a soap bubble sinks in the still
air, till he touched the water. At length his head
lay back between his wings, and silently he lay
there, like a white lotus flower upon the quiet
lake. And a gentle wind arose, and crisped the
quiet surface, which gleamed like the clouds that
poured along in great broad waves; and the swan
raised his head, and the glowing water splashed
like blue fire over his breast and back. The morn-
ing dawn illuminated the red clouds, the swan
rose strengthened, and flew towards the rising sun,
towards the bluish coast whither the caravan had
gone; but he flew all alone, with a longing in his
breast. Lonely he flew over the blue swelling
"I WILL give you another picture of Sweden,"
said the Moon. Among dark pine woods, near
the melancholy banks of the Stoxen, lies the old
convent church of Wreta. My rays glided through
the grating into the roomy vaults, where Kings
sleep tranquilly in great stone coffins. On the wall,
What the Moon saw. 89
above the grave of each, is placed the emblem of
earthly grandeur, a kingly crown; but it is made
only of wood, painted and gilt, and is hung on a
wooden peg driven into the wall. The worms
have gnawn the gilded wood, the spider has spun
her web from the crown down to the sand, like a
mourning banner, frail and transient as the grief
of mortals. How quietly they sleep I can re-
member them quite plainly. I still see the bold
smile on their lips, that so strongly and plainly
expressed joy or grief. When the steamboat winds
along like a magic snail over the lakes, a stranger
often comes to the church, and visits the burial
vault: he asks the names of the Kings, and they
have a dead and forgotten sound. He glances
with a smile at the worm-eaten crowns, and if he
happens to be a pious, thoughtful man, something
of melancholy mingles with the smile. Slumber
on, ye dead ones The Moon thinks of you, the
Moon at night sends down his rays into your silent
kingdom, over which hangs the crown of pine
"CLOSE by the high road," said the Moon, "is
90 WIhat the Moon saw.
an inn, and opposite to it is a great waggon-shed,
whose straw roof was just being re-thatched. I
looked down between the bare rafters and through
the open loft into the comfortless space below.
The turkey-cock slept on the high beam, and the
saddle rested in the empty crib. In the middle
of the shed stood a travelling carriage; the pro-
prietor was inside, fast asleep, while the horses were
being watered. The coachman stretched himself,
though I am very sure that he had been most
comfortably asleep half the last stage. The door
of the servants' room stood open, and the bed
looked as if it had been turned over and over; the
candle stood on the floor, and had burned deep
down into the socket. The wind blew cold through
the shed: it was nearer to the dawn than to mid-
night. In the wooden frame on the ground slept a
wandering family of musicians. The father and
mother seemed to be dreaming of the burning
liquor that remained in the bottle. The little liale
daughter was dreaming too, for her eyes were wet
with tears. The harp stood at their heads, and the
dog lay stretched at their feet."
What the Moon saw. 91
IT was in a little provincial town," the Moon
said; "it certainly happened last year, but that
has nothing to do with the matter. I saw it quite
plainly. To-day I read about it in the papers,
but there it was not half so clearly expressed. In
the tap-room of the little inn sat the bear leader,
eating his supper; the bear was tied up outside,
behind the wood pile-poor Bruin, who did nobody
any harm, though he looked grim enough. Up
in the garret three little children were playing by
the light of my beams; the eldest was perhaps six
years old, the youngest certainly not more than
two. Tramp tramp !-somebody was coming up
stairs: who might it be? The door was thrust
open-it was Bruin, the great, shaggy Bruin!
He had got tired of waiting down in the court-
yard, and had found his way to the stairs. I saw
it all," said the Moon. "The children were very
much frightened at first at the great shaggy animal;
each of them crept into a corner, but he found
them all out, and smelt at them, but did them
no harm. 'This must be a great dog,' they said,
and began to stroke him. He lay down upon the
ground, the youngest boy clambered on his back,
92 W[hat the Moon saw.
and bending down a little head of golden curls;
played at hiding in the beast's shaggy skin. Pre-
sently the eldest boy took his drum, and beat upon
it till it rattled again; the bear rose up on his hind
legs and began to dance. It was a charming sight
to behold. Each boy now took his gun, and the
bear was obliged to have one too, and he held it
up quite properly. Here was a capital playmate
they had found and they began marching-one,
ing-one, two! one, two!
Suddenly some one came to the door, which
opened, and the mother of the children appeared.
You should have seen her in her dumb terror,
with her face as white as chalk, her mouth half
open, and her eyes fixed in a horrified stare. But
the youngest boy nodded to her in great glee, and
called out in his infantile prattle, 'We're playing
at soldiers.' And then the bear leader came
THE wind blew stormy and cold, the clouds flew
hurriedly past; only for a moment now and then
did the Moon become visible. He said, I looked
down from the silent sky upon the driving clouds,
The Bear' playing at soldierss qvith the Chidnrem.