FA iRm TAs
The Baldwin Library
J ( of
FAIRY TALES AND STORIES.
KAREN AND THE AN
The Red Shoes.
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
DR. H. W. DULCKEN
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
NEW YORK: 9 LAFAYETTE PLACE
UNIFORM WITH THIS VOLUME.
GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
WITH NUMBER 0US ILL USTRA TIONS
BY E. H. WEHNERT,
AND COLOURED PLATES.
-- -* CONTENTS.
The Silver Shilling .....,... ... ..... .. ....,.... ... ...................* 9
The Old Church Bell ...... ................ ........ .................... ........ .................. 13
Little Ida's Flowers ......................... ............ ... ... ...............................
The Tinder-Box ............................ T......... ..................... ..... ............ .......... 26
Great Claus and Little Claus ................. ................. ................... .............. 32
Thumbelina ............................................................................... .... 42
The Goloshes of Fortune ............................................................... .......... 5
The Hardy Tin Soldier ................... ....... .................................................. 73
The Story of a M other ............................ .............. ................... ................ 77
The Daisy ................................................................................................ 81
A Great Grief .......................................................... .......................... 85
The Shirt Collar .......... ......................... .... ................................ ................ 86
Ole Luk-Oie ....................... ..... ............ ..... ........ .......... ....... ...................... 89
The Beetle ..... .................................................. ............ ................. ....... 98
Good Humour .................................................................. ..................... og9
Children's Prattle........... ........ ............. ........................ 4 .... .... 113
The Flying Trunk .... .... ..... ...... .................................... .......... ............... 115
The Last Pearl ............................................................................................... 11
The Storks........ ............................................................................... 121
The Ugly Duckling ................................................................................... 28
The Loveliest Rose in the W world ............................................................... 136
Holger Danske .......................................................................................... 39
The Puppet Showman ........................................ ................................ 143
A Picture from the Fortress W all ................................................. ............. 146
In the Duck-yard ............... ..................................... ............................a... 147
The Red Shoes............................................................................................... 152
Soup on a Sausage-Peg ................................. ................................. ...... 158
The Shepherdess and the Chimney-Sweeper ................................................ 169
The Old Street Lamp ,.p.................... ......................................... ........... ....... .. 174
T he L overs ............................ .... ......... ............... ............... ..................... 180
Little T uk ........ ....... ............. ........... ........................................... ....... 182
T he Flaxe.................... ........................................................................... .... 186
The Girl who Trod on the Loaf ........................ ................................................... 190
T he oney-Pig .................. ............. .................................................. 197
The Darning-Needle ................................................................................. 199
The Fir T ree ............................ ..... ............. .............................................. 203
Som thing ................................................................................................ 210
A Leaf from the Sky ................................................................................. 216
The Jewish Girl ............................. ......... ..................................... .... 218
The Elder Tree Mother .......................................................................... .. 223
The Farm-yard Cock and the Weatherock .................................................... 2-9
The Old Gravestone ........... ........ ................ .................................... .. 231
The Ol Bachelor's Nightcap ........................................................................ 235
A Rose from the Grave of Homer ............................................. ................ 245
The Wind tells about Waldemar Daa and his Daughters .............................. 246
Five out of One Shell .................................................................................... ... 256
The M etal Pig ............................................................................ ............ 259
The Snow Queen. In Seven Stories........................................................... 268
The N ightingale ....................................................................................... 293
The Neighbouring Families......................................... ........................... 302
The Little Match Girl ...................................... ........................................... 310
The Elf-H ill ...,.. .. ............ ... .... ....... ......... ......... ...... .......... ........ .......... 313
The l Buckwheat .......................eg....... *g................@e&e s*G..eee.se@866.. ..... g.e....... 318
The O ld H house l***.......................*a9 *aa0*****aa*a* *a*8. a a a a a*a0a*a*a*aa 940 a0aa a a ..9a 320
The Happy Family............. ..................... ...................................* ...... ..*.* 327
T he R ose-E lf........................................................................................... 330
The Shadow ....................................................... ..8............... ....... 334
T he A ngel ................... ............................... .......................... ................... 345
Tw elve by the M ail..................................................................................... 347
Twelve by the Mail e. ....... ...............e. 347
What the Moon Saw e ..........................................................a.... ............... 351
The Little Sea Maid ......................... ................................................... .... ... 379
'&he Story of the Year................ ...... ............................... ................... .. 396
The Racers ........,....,.........,....,...,.*GlosaglossaGo.....g..... ..e.... .a..... ,,aee s g.e.,, aeee g. 403
The Wild Swans .......I.*to..sea Salee@9161a1096968see gs.... .... .....e e o..s. e 406
She was Good for Nothing .............................................. .. ................. 418
There is a Difference *................... ............................................................ 425
Everything in its Right Place .......... ....................... ................... ................ 428
The Goblin and the Huckster ................ ............... .... ................ ............ 434
The Bond of Friendship.................... ............................................... 438
The Bottle-neck ................................... ..................................................... 445
Ib and Christine ....................................................................................... 453
The Snow M an....................................................... .............................. 463
Under the W illow Tree ............................................ ........ ..... ... ................. 467
Charming ................................................................................................. 480
The Butterfly .......................................................................................... 486
Anne Lisbeth ........................... ........... ................ ...................................... 488
The Last Dream of the Old Oak Tree ................. ........ ..................... 497
The Child in the Grave ................ .............................................................. 502
The Thorny Road of Honour ....... ........ ................................................. 506
In the Uttermost Parts of the Sea ...................,.... .................. ............. .... 510
ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
THE SILVER SHILLING.
D HERE was once a Shilling. He came out quite bright
from the Mint, and sprang up, and rang out, Hurrah I
now I 'm off into the wide world." And into the wide
world he certainly went.
The child held him with soft warm hands ; the miser clutched
him in a cold avaricious palm ; the old man turned him goodness
knows how many times before parting with him ; while careless
youth rolled him lightly away. The Shilling was of silver, and
had very little copper about him: he had been now a whole year
in the world-that is to say, in the country in which he had been
struck. But one day he started on his foreign travels: he was
the last native coin in the purse borne by his travelling master.
The gentleman himself was not aware that he still had this coin
until he came across it by chance.
Why, here's a shilling from home left to me," he said. "Well,
he can make the journey with me."
And the Shilling rattled and jumped for joy as it was thrust
back into the purse. So here it lay among strange companions,
who came and went, each making room for a successor; but the
Shilling from home always remained in the bag, which was a
distinction for it.
Several weeks had gone by, and the Shilling had travelled far
out into the world without exactly knowing where he was, though
he learned from the other coins that they were French or Italian.
One said they were in such and such a town, another that they
had reached such and such a spot; but the Shilling could form
no idea of all this. He who has his head in a bag sees nothing;
and this was the case with the Shilling. But one day, as he lay
there, he noticed that the purse was not shut, and so he crept
Io THE SIL VER SHILLING.
forward to the opening, to take a look around. He ought not to
have done so; but he was inquisitive, and people often have to
pay for that. He slipped out into the fob; and when the purse
was taken out at night the Shilling remained behind, and was
sent out into the passage with the clothes. There he fell upon
the floor : no one heard it, no one saw it.
Next morning the clothes were carried back into the room;
the' gentleman put them on, and continued his journey, while the
Shilling remained behind. The coin was found, and was re-
quired to go into service again, so he was sent out with three
It is a pleasant thing to look about one in the world," thought
the Shilling, "and to get to know strange people and foreign
And now began the history of the Shilling, as told by himself.
"'Away with him, he's bad- no use These words went
through and through me," said the Shilling. I knew I sounded
well and had been properly coined. The people were certainly
mistaken. They could not mean me! but, yes, they did mean
me. I was the one of whom they said, He's bad-he's no good.'
'I must get rid of that fellow in the dark,' said the man who had
received me; and I was passed at night and abused in the day-
time. Bad-no good,' was the cry: 'we must make haste and
get rid of him.'
"And I trembled in the fingers of the holder each time I was
to be passed on as a coin of the country.
What a miserable shilling I am 1 Of what use is my silver
to me, my value, my coinage, if all these things are looked on as
worthless? In the eyes of the world one has only the value the
world chooses to put upon one. It must be terrible indeed to
have a bad conscience, and to creep along on evil ways, if I, who
am quite innocent, can feel so badly because I am only thought
"Each time I was brought out I shuddered at the thought of
the eyes that would look at me, for I knew that I should be re-
jected and flung back upon the table, like an impostor and a
cheat. Once I came into the hands of a poor old woman, to
whom I was paid for a hard day's work, and she could not get
rid of me at all. No one would accept me, and I was a perfect
worry to the old dame.
"' I shall certainly be forced to deceive some one with this
shilling,' she said; 'for, with the best will in the world, I can't
hoard up a false shilling. The rich baker shall have him; he
will be able to bear the loss-but it's wrong in me to do it, after
"' And I must lie heavy on that woman's conscience, too,'
sighed I. 'Am I really so much changed in my old age?'
"And the woman went her way to the rich baker; but he knew
THE SIL VER SHILLING, II
The old Woman hangs the Shilling round the Child's neck.
too well what kind of shillings would pass to take me, and he
threw me back at the woman, who got no bread for me. And I
?.al; ~i 1-2
I2 7 HE SIL VER SHILLING.
felt miserably low to think that I should be the cause of distress to
others-I who had been in my young days so proudly conscious
of my value and of the correctness of my mintage. I became
as miserable as a poor shilling can be whom no one will accept;
but the woman took me home again, and looked at me with a
friendly, hearty face, and said,
"'No, I will not deceive any one with thee. I will bore a hole
through thee, that every one may see thou art a false thing. And
yet-it just occurs to me-perhaps this is a lucky shilling; and
the thought comes so strongly upon me that I am sure it must
be true! I will make a hole through the shilling, and pass a
string through the hole, and hang the coin round the neck of my
neighbour's little boy for a lucky shilling.'
So she bored a hole through me. It is certainly not agree-
able to have a hole bored through one; but many things can be
borne when the intention is good. A thread was passed through
the hole, and I became a kind of medal, and was hung round the
neck of the little child; and the child smiled at me, and kissed
me, and I slept all night on its warm, innocent neck.
When the morning came, the child's mother took me up in
her fingers and looked at me, and she had her own thoughts
about me, I could feel that very well. She brought out a pair
of scissors, and cut the string through.
"' A lucky shilling !' she said. Well, we shall soon see that.'
"And she laid me in vinegar, so that I turned quite green.
Then she plugged up the hole, and carried me, in the evening
twilight, to the lottery collector, to buy a lottery ticket that should
bring her luck.
How miserably wretched I felt! There was a stinging feel-
ing in me, as if I should crumble to bits. I knew that I should
be called false and thrown down-and before a crowd of shillings
and other coins, too, who lay there with an image and superscrip-
tion of which they might be proud. But I escaped that disgrace,
for there were many people in the collector's room: he had a great
deal to do, and I went rattling down into the box among the other
coins. Whether my ticket won anything or not I don't know;
but this I do know, that the very next morning I was recognized
as a bad shilling, and was sent out to deceive and deceive again.
That is a very trying thing to bear when one knows one has a
good character, and of that I am conscious.
For a year and a day I thus wandered from house to house
and from hand to hand, always abused, always unwelcome; no
one trusted me; and I lost confidence in the world and in myself.
It was a heavy time. At last, one day a traveller, a strange gen-
tleman, arrived, and I was passed to him, and he was polite
enough to accept me for current coin; but he wanted to pass me
on, and again I heard the horrible cry, 'No use-false !'
"'I received it as a good coin,' said the man, and he looked
7HE OLD CHURCH BELL. 13
closely at me: suddenly he smiled all over his face; and I had
never seen that expression before on any face that looked at me.
'Why, whatever is that?' he said. 'That's one of our own
country coins, a good honest shilling from my home, and they 've
bored a hole through him, and they call him false. Now, this is
a curious circumstance. I must keep him and take him home
"A glow of joy thrilled through me when I heard myself called
a good honest shilling; and now I was to be taken home, where
each and every one would know me, and be sure that I was real
silver and properly coined. I could have thrown out sparks for
very gladness; but, after all, it's not in my nature to throw out
sparks, for that's the property of steel, not of silver.
I was wrapped up in clean white paper, so that I should not
be confounded with the other coins, and spent; and on festive
occasions, when fellow-countrymen met together, I was shown
about, and they spoke very well of me : they said I was interest-
ing-and it is wonderful how interesting one can be without
saying a single word.
And at last I got home again. All my troubles were ended,
joy came back to me, for I was of good silver, and had the right
stamp, and I had no more disagreeables to endure, though a hole
had been bored through me, as through a false coin; but that
does not matter if one is not really false. One must wait for the
end, and one will be righted at last-that's my belief," said the
THE OLD CHURCH BELL.
N the German land of Wurtemberg, where the acacias
bloom by the high road, and the apple trees and pear trees
bend in autumn under their burden of ripe fruit, lies the
little town of Marbach. Although this place can only be ranked
among the smaller towns, it is charmingly situated on the
Neckar stream, that flows on and on, hurrying past villages and
old castles and green vineyards, to pour its waters into the proud
It was late in autumn. The leaves still clung to the grape-
vine, but they were already tinged with red. Rainy gusts swept
over the country, and the cold autumn winds increased in violence
and roughness. It was no pleasant time for poor folk.
The days became shorter and gloomier; and if it was dark
out in the open air, in the little old-fashioned houses it was
darker still. One of these houses was built with its gable end
towards the street, and stood there, with its small narrow win-
dows, humble and poor enough in appearance; the family was
74 THLE OLD CHURCH BELL.
poor, too, that inhabited the little house, but good and indus-
trious, and rich in a treasure of piety concealed in the depth of
the heart. And they expected that God would soon give them
another child: the hour had come, and the mother lay in pain
and sorrow. Then from the church tower opposite the deep rich
sound of the bell came to her. It was a solemn hour, and the
song of the bell filled the heart of the praying woman with trust-
fulness and faith; the thoughts of her inmost heart soared upward
towards the Almighty, and in the same hour she gave birth to a
son. Then she was filled with a great joy, and the bell of the
tower opposite seemed to be ringing to spread the news of her
happiness over town and country. The clear child-eyes looked
at her, and the infant's hair gleamed like gold. Thus was the
little one ushered into the world with the ringing of the church
bell on the dark November day. The mother and father kissed
it, and wrote in their Bible: On the loth of November, 1759,
God gave us a son;" and soon afterwards the fact was added that
the child had been baptized under the name of Johann Christoph
And what became of the little fellow, the poor boy in the pretty
town of Marbach ? Ah, at that time no one knew what would
become of him, not even the old church bell that had sung at
his birth, hanging so high in the tower, over him who was one
day himself to sing the beautiful "Lay of the Bell."
Well, the boy grew older, and the world grew older with him.
His parents certainly removed to another town, but they had
left dear friends in little Marbach; and thus it was that mother
and son one day arose and drove over to Marbach on a visit.
The lad was only six years old, but he already knew many things
out of the Bible, and many a pious psalm; and many an evening
he had sat on his little stool listening while his father read aloud
from Gellert's Fables," or from the lofty Messiah" of Klopstock;
and he and his sister, who was his senior by two years, had wept
hot tears of pity for Him who died on the cross that we might
At the time of this first visit to Marbach the little town had
not greatly changed; and indeed they had not long left it. The
houses stood as on the day of the family's departure, with their
pointed gables, projecting walls, the higher storeys leaning over
the lower, and their tiny windows ; but there were new graves in
the churchyard; and there, in the grass, hard by. the wall, lay
the old bell. It had fallen from its position, and had sustained
such damage that it could sound no more, and accordingly a new
bell had been put in its place.
Mother and son went into the churchyard. They stopped
where the old bell lay, and the mother told the boy how for centu-
ries this had been a very useful bell, and had rung at christen-
ings, at weddings, and at burials ; how it had spoken at one time
THE OLD CHURCH BELL. 15
The old Bell of Marbach.
to tell of feasts and rejoicings, at another to spread the alarm of
fire; and how it had, in fact, sung the whole life of man. And
the boy never forgot what his mother told him that day. It re-
sounded and echoed at intervals in his heart, until, when he was
grown a man, he was compelled to sing it. The mother told him
also how the bell had sung of faith and comfort to her in the
time of her peril, that it had sung at the time when he, her little
son, was born. And the boy gazed, almost with a feeling of de-
votion, at the great old bell; and he bent over it and kissed it,
as it lay all rusty and broken among the long grass and nettles.
The old bell was held in kindly remembrance by the boy, who
grew up in poverty, tall and thin, with reddish hair and freckled
face ;--yes, that's how he looked; but he had a pair of eyes,
clear and deep as the deepest water. And what fortune had he ?
Why, good fortune, enviable fortune. We find him graciously
received into the military school, and even in the department
where sons of people in society were taught, and was that not
honour and fortune enough? And they educated him to the
words of command, Halt! march! front!" and on such a system
much might be expected.
16 THE OLD CHURCH BELL.
Meanwhile the old church bell had been almost completely
forgotten. But it was to be presumed that the bell would find
its way into the furnace, and what would become of it then ? It
was impossible to say, and equally impossible to tell what sounds
would come forth from the bell that kept echoing through the
young heart of the boy from Marbach; but that bell was of bronze,
and kept sounding so loud that it must at last be heard out in the
wide world; and the more cramped the space within the school
walls, and the more deafening the dreary shout of March! halt!
front!" the louder did the sound ring through the youth's breast;
and he sang what he felt in the circle of his companions, and the
sound was heard beyond the boundaries of the principality. But
it was not for this that they had given him a presentation to the
military school, and board, and clothing. Had he not been
already numbered and destined to be a certain wheel in the great
watchwork to which we all belong as pieces of practical machinery?
How imperfectly do we understand ourselves! and how, then,
shall others, even the best men, understand us? But it is the
pressure that forms the precious stone. There was pressure
enough here; but would the world be able, some day,'to recognize
In the capital of the prince of the country, a great festival was
being celebrated. Thousands of candles and lamps gleamed
brightly, and rockets flew towards the heavens in streams of fire.
The splendour of that day yet lives in the remembrance of men,
but it lives through him, the young scholar of the military school,
who was trying in sorrow and tears to escape unperceived from
the land: he was compelled to leave all-mother, native country,
those he loved-unless he could resign himself to sink into the
stream of oblivion among his fellows.
The old bell was better off than he, for the bell would remain
peaceably by the churchyard wall in Marbach, safe, and almost
forgotten. The wind whistled over it, and might have told a fine
tale of him at whose birth the bell had sounded, and over whom
the wind had but now blown cold in the forest of a neighboring
land, where he had sunk down, exhausted by fatigue, with his
whole wealth, his only hope for the future, the written pages of
his tragedy Fiesco :" the wind might have told of the youth's
only patrons, men who were artists, and who yet slunk away to
amuse themselves at skittles while his play was being read: the
wind could have told of the pale fugitive, who sat for weary weeks
and months in the wretched tavern, where the host brawled and
drank, and coarse boozing was going on while he sang of the
ideal. Heavy days, dark days The heart must suffer and
endure for itself the trials it is to sing.
Dark days and cold nights also passed over the old bell. The
iron frame did not feel them, but the bell within the heart of man
is affected by gloomy times. How fared it with the young man?
THE OLD CHURCH BELL. .I
How fared it with the old bell? The bell was carried far away,
farther than its sound could have been heard from the lofty tower
in which it had once hung. And the youth ? The bell in his
heart sounded farther than his eye should ever see or his foot
should ever wander; it is sounding and sounding on, over the
ocean, round the whole earth. But let us first speak of the belfry
bell. It was carried away from Marbach, was sold for old metal,
and destined for the melting furnace in Bavaria. But when and
how did this happen? In the capital of Bavaria, many years
after the bell had fallen from the tower, there was a talk of its
being melted down, to be used in the manufacture of a memorial
in honour of one of the great ones of the German land. And
behold how suitable this was-how strangely and wonderfully
things happened in the world! In Denmark, on one of those
green islands where the beech woods rustle, and the many Huns'
Graves are to be seen, quite a poor boy had been born. He had
been accustomed to walk about in wooden shoes, and to carry
a dinner wrapped in an old handkerchief to his father, who carved
figureheads on the ship-builders' wharves ; but this poor lad had
become the pride of his country, for Thorwaldsen knew how to
hew marble blocks into such glorious shapes as made the whole
world wonder, and to him had been awarded the honourable
commission that he should fashion of clay a noble form that was
to be cast in bronze-a statue of him whose name the father in
Marbach had inscribed in the old Bible as Johann Christoph
And the glowing metal flowed into the mould. The old belfry
bell--of whose home and of whose vanished sounds no one
thought--this very old bell flowed into the mould, and formed
the head and bust of the figure that was soon to be unveiled,
which now stands in Stuttgard, before the old palace-a repre-
sentation of him who once walked to and fro there, striving and
suffering, harassed by the world without-he, the boy of Marbach,
the pupil of the Karlschule," the fugitive, Germany's great im-
mortal poet, who sang of the liberator of Switzerland and of the
Heaven-inspired Maid of Orleans.
It was a beautiful sunny day; fags were waving from roofs
and steeples in the royal city of Stuttgard; the bells rang for joy
and festivity; one bell alone was silent, but it gleamed in another
form in the bright sunshine-it gleamed from the head and
breast of the statue of honour. On that day, exactly one hundred
years had elapsed since the day on which the bell at Marbach
had sung comfort and peace to the suffering mother, when she
bore her son, in poverty, in the humble cottage,-him who was
afterwards to become the rich man, whose treasures enriched
the world, the poet who sang of the noble virtues of woman, who
sang of all that was great and glorious-JOHANN CHRISTOPH
THE SNAIL AND THE ROSE TREE.
SROUND the garden ran a hedge of hazels; beyond this
hedge lay fields and meadows, wherein were cows and
sheep; but in the midst of the garden stood a blooming
Rose Tree; and under this Rose Tree lived a Snail, who had a
good deal in his shell-namely, himself.
"Wait till my time comes !" he said: "I shall do something
more than produce roses, bear nuts, or give milk, like the Rose
Tree, the hazel bush, and the cows!"
I expect a great deal of you," said the Rose Tree. "But
may I ask when it will appear?"
I take my time," replied the Snail. "You're always in such
a hurry. You don't rouse people's interest by suspense."
When the next year came, the Snail lay almost in the same
spot, in the sunshine under the Rose Tree, which again bore
buds that bloomed into roses, until the snow fell and the weather
became raw and cold ; then the Rose Tree bowed its head and
the Snail crept into the ground.
A new year began, and the roses came out, and the Snail
came out also.
"You're an old Rose Tree now!" said the Snail. "You must
make haste and come to an end, for you have given the world
all that was in you : whether it was of any use is a question that
I have had no time to consider; but so much is clear and plain,
that you have done nothing at all for your own development, or
you would have produced something else. How can you answer
for that? In a little time you will be nothing at all but a stick.
Do you understand what I say?"
"You alarm me !" replied the Rose Tree. "I never thought
of that at all."
No, you have not taken the trouble to consider anything.
Have you ever given an account to yourself, why you bloomed,
and how is it that your blooming comes about-why it is thus,
and not otherwise ?"
"No," answered the Rose Tree. "I bloomed in gladness,
because I could not do anything else. The sun shone and
warmed me, and the air refreshed me. I drank the pure dew
and the fresh rain, and I lived, I breathed. Out of the earth
there arose a power within me, from above there came down a
strength: I perceived a new ever-increasing happiness, and
consequently I was obliged to bloom over and over again; that
was my life: I could not do otherwise."
"You have led a very pleasant life," observed the Snail.
"Certainly. Everything I have was given to me," said the
Rose Tree. "But more still was given to you. 'You are one of
F1IE SNAIL AND 7HE ROSE TREE. 19
those deep thoughtful characters, one of those highly gifted
spirits, which will cause the world to marvel."
I've no intention of doing anything of the kind," cried the
Snail. The world is nothing to me. What have I to do with,
the world ? I have enough of myself and in myself."
"But must we not all, here on earth, give to others the best
that we have, and offer what lies in our power ? Certainly I have
only given roses. But you-you who have been so richly gifted
-what have you given to the world? what do you intend to
"What have I given-what do I intend to give? I spit at it.
It's worth nothing. It's no business of mine. Continue to give
your roses, if you like: you can't do anything better. Let the
hazel bush bear nuts, and the cows and ewes give milk: they
have their public; but I have mine within myself- I retire
within myself, and there I remain; the world is nothing to me."
And so saying the Snail retired into his house, and closed up
the entrance after him.
That is very sad!" said the Rose Tree. "I cannot creep into
myself, even if I wish it-I must continue to produce roses. They
drop their leaves, and are blown away by the wind. But I saw
how a rose was laid in the matron's hymn-book, and one of my
roses had a place on the bosom of a fair young girl, and another
was kissed by the lips of a child in the full joy of life. That did
me good: it was a real blessing. That's my remembrance-
And the Rose Tree went on blooming in innocence, while the
Snail lay and idled away his time in his house-the world did
not concern him.
And years rolled by.
The Snail had become dust in the dust, and the Rose Tree was
earth in the earth; the rose of remembrance in the hymn-book
was faded, but in the garden bloomed fresh rose trees, and under
the trees lay new snails; and these still crept into their houses,
and spat at the world, for it did not concern them.
Suppose we begin the story again, and read it right through.
It will never alter.
LITTLE IDEA'S FLOWERS.
Y poor flowers are quite dead i" said little Ida. "They
were so pretty yesterday, and now all the leaves hang
withered. Why do they do that?" she asked the
student, who sat on the sofa ; for she liked him very much. He
knew the prettiest stories, and could cut out the most amusing
pictures-hearts, with little ladies in them who danced, flowers,
and great castles, in which one could open the doors : he was a
merry student. "Why do the flowers look so faded to-day ?"
she asked again, and showed him a nosegay, which was quite
"Do you know what's the matter with them?" said the
student. The flowers have been at a ball last night, and that's
why they hang their heads."
"But flowers cannot dance !" cried little Ida.
"Oh, yes," said the student, "when it grows dark, and we are
asleep, they jump about merrily. Almost every night they have
Can children go to this ball ?~
Yes," said the student, quite little daisies, and lilies of the
"Where do the beautiful flowers dance ?" asked little Ida.
Have you not often been outside the town-gate, by the great
castle, where the King lives in summer, and where the beautiful
garden is with all the flowers ? You have seen the swans, which
swim up to you when you want to give them bread-crumbs? There
are capital balls there, believe me."
"I was out there in the garden yesterday, with my mother,"
said Ida; but all the leaves were off the trees, and there was
not one flower left. Where are they? In the summer I saw so
"They are within, in the castle," replied the student. "You
must know, as soon as the King and all the Court go to town, the
flowers run out of the garden into the castle, and are merry. You
should see that. The two most beautiful roses seat themselves
on the throne, and then they are King and Queen; all the red
coxcombs range themselves on either side, and stand and bow;
they are the chamberlains. Then all the pretty flowers come,
and there is a great ball. The blue violets represent little naval
cadets: they dance with the hyacinths and crocuses, which they
call young ladies; the tulips and great tiger-lilies are old ladies
who keep watch that the dancing is well done, and that everything
goes on with propriety."
But," asked little Ida, "is nobody there who hurts the flowers,
for dancing in the King's castle ?"
LITTLE IDEA'S FLOWERS. 21
Slihe Student telling little Ida the story of the Flowers.
"There is nobody who really knows about it," answered the
student. Sometimes, certainly, the old steward of the castle
comes at night, and he has to watch there. He has a great bunch
of keys with him; but as soon as the flowers hear the keys rattle
they are quite quiet, hide behind the long curtains, and only poke
their heads out. Then the old steward says, 'I smell that there
are flowers here,' but he cannot see them."
That is famous !" cried little Ida, clapping her hands. But
should I not be able to see the flowers ?"
Yes," said the student; "only remember, when you go out
again, to peep through the window; then you will see them.
22 LITTLE IDA'S FLOWERS.
That is what I did to-day. There was a long yellow lily lying
on the sofa and stretching herself. She was a Court lady."
Can the flowers out of the Botanical Garden get there ? Can
they go the long distance?"
"Yes, certainly," replied the student: "if they like they can
fly. Have you not seen the beautiful butterflies, red, yellow, and
white? They almost look like flowers, and that is what they have
been. They have flown off their stalks high into the air, and
have beaten it with their leaves, as if these leaves were little
wings, and thus they flew. And because they behaved them-
selves well, they got leave to fly about in the day-time too, and
were not obliged to sit still upon their stalks at home; and thus
at last the leaves became real wings. That you have seen your-
self. It may be, however, that the flowers in the Botanical
Garden have never been in the King's castle, or that they don't
know of the merry proceedings there at night. Therefore I will
tell you something: he will be very much surprised, the botanical
professor, who lives close by here. You know him, do you not?
When you come into his garden, you must tell one of the flowers
that there is a great ball yonder at the castle. Then that flower
will tell it to all the rest, and then they will fly away : when the
professor comes out into the garden there will not be a single
flower left, and he won't be able to make out where they are
But how can one flower tell it to another? For, you know.
flowers cannot speak."
That they cannot, certainly," replied the student; "but then
they make signs. Have you not noticed that when the wind
blows a little the flowers nod at one another and move all their
green leaves? They can understand that just as well as we when
we speak together."
"Can the professor understand these signs ?" asked Ida.
"Yes, certainly. He came one morning into his garden and
saw a great stinging-nettle standing there, and making signs to
a beautiful red carnation with its leaves. It was saying, 'You
are so pretty, and I love you with all my heart' But the pro-
fessor does not like that kind of thing, and he directly slapped
the stinging-nettle upon its leaves, for those are its fingers; but
he stung himself, and since that time he has not dared to touch
"That is funny," cried little Ida; and she laughed.
How can any one put such notions into a child's head ?"
said the tiresome privy councillor, who had come to pay a visit,
and was sitting on the sofa. He did not like the student, and
always grumbled when he saw him cutting out the merry funny
pictures-sometimes a man hanging on a gibbet and holding a
heart in his hand, to show that he stole hearts; sometimes an
old witch riding on a broom and carrying her husband on her
LITTLE IDEA'S FLOWERS. 23
nose. The councillor could not bear this, and then he said, just
as he did now, How can any one put such notions into a child's
head? Those are stupid fancies I"
But, to little Ida, what the student told about her flowers
seemed very droll; and she thought much about it. The flowers
hung their heads, for they were tired, because they had danced
all night: they were certainly ill. Then she went with them to
her other toys, which stood on a pretty little table, and the whole
drawer was full of beautiful things. In the doll's bed lay her
doll Sophy, asleep; but little Ida said to her,
"You must really get up, Sophy, and manage to lie in the
drawer for to-night. The poor flowers are ill, and they must lie
in your bed; perhaps they will then get well again."
And she at once took the doll out; but the doll looked cross,
and did not say a single word; for she was cross because she
could not keep her own bed.
Then Ida laid the flowers in the doll's bed, pulled the little
coverlet quite up over them, and said they were to lie still and be
good, and she would make them some tea, so that they might
get well again, and be able to get up to-morrow. And she drew
the curtains closely round the little bed, so that the sun should
not shine in their eyes. The whole evening through she could
not help thinking of what the student had told her. And when
she was going to bed herself, she was obliged first to look behind
the curtain which hung before the windows where her mother's
beautiful flowers stood-hyacinths as well as tulips; then she
whispered, "I know you're going to the ball to-night !" But the
flowers made as if they did not understand a word, and did not
stir a leaf; but still little Ida knew what she knew.
When she was in bed she lay for a long time thinking how
pretty it must be to see the beautiful flowers dancing out in the
King's castle. I wonder if my flowers have really been there ?"
And then she fell asleep. In the night she woke again: she
had dreamed of the flowers, and of the student with whom the
councillor found fault. It was quite quiet in the bed-room where
Ida lay; the night-lamp burned on the table, and father and
mother were asleep.
I wonder if my flowers are still lying in Sophy's bed ?" she
thought to herself. How I should like to know it!" She raised
herself a little, and looked at the door, which stood ajar; within
lay the flowers and all her playthings. She listened, and then
it seemed to her as if she heard some one playing on the piano
in the next room, but quite softly and prettily, as she had never
heard it before.
"Now all the flowers are certainly dancing in there!" thought
she. Oh, how glad I should be to see it !" But she dared not
get up, for she would have disturbed her father and mother.
If they would only come in !" thought she. But the flowers
24 LITTLE IDEA'S FLOWERS.
did not come,'and the music continued to play beautifully; then
she could not bear it any longer, for it was too pretty; she crept
out of her little bed, and went quietly to the door, and looked
into the room. Oh, how splendid it was, what she saw !
There was no night-lamp burning, but still it was quite light:
t he moon shone through the window into the middle of the floor;
it was almost like day. All the hyacinths and tulips stood in
two long rows in the room; there were none at all left at the
window. There stood the empty flower-pots. On the floor all
the flowers were dancing very gracefully round each other, making
perfect turns, and holding each other by the long green leaves as
they swung round. But at the piano sat a great yellow lily, which
little Ida had certainly seen in summer, for she remembered how
the student had said, How like that one is to Miss Lina." Then
he had been laughed at by all; but now it seemed really to little
Ida as if the long yellow flower looked like the young lady; and
it had just her manners in playing-sometimes bending its long
yellow face to one side, sometimes to the other, and nodding in
tune to the charming music No one noticed little Ida. Then
she saw a great blue crocus hop into the middle of the table,
where the toys stood, and go to the doll's bed and pull the cur-
tains aside: there lay the sick flowers, but they got up directly,
and nodded to the others, to say that they wanted to dance too.
The old chimney-sweep doll, whose under lip was broken off,
stood up and bowed to the pretty flowers: these did not look at
all ill now; they jumped down to the others, and were very merry.
Then it seemed as if something fell down from the table. Ida
looked thit way. It was the birch rod which was jumping down !
it seemed almost as if it belonged to the flowers. At any rate, it
was very neat; and a little wax doll, with just such a broad hat
on its head as the councillor wore, sat upon it. The birch rod
hopped about among the flowers on its three stilted legs, and
stamped quite loud, for it was dancing the mazurka; and the
other flowers could not manage that dance, because they were too
light, and unable to stamp like that.
The wax doll on the birch rod all at once became quite great
and long, turned itself over the paper flowers, and said, How
can 'one put such things in a child's head? those are stupid
fancies !" and then the wax doll was exactly like the councillor
with the broad hat, and looked just as yellow and cross as he.
But the paper flowers hit him on his thin legs, and then he shrank
up again, and became quite a little wax doll. That was very
amusing to see; and little Ida could hot restrain her laughter.
The birch rod went on dancing, and the councillor was obliged
to dance too; it was no use, he might make himself great and
long, or remain the little yellow wax doll with the big black hat.
Then the other flowers put in a good word for him, especially
those who had lain in the doll's bed, and then the birch rod gave
LITTLE IDEA'S FLOWERS. 25
over. At the same moment there was a loud knocking at the
drawer, inside where Ida's doll, Sophy, lay with many other toys.
The chimney-sweep ran to the edge of the table, lay flat down
on his stomach, and began to pull the drawer out a little. Then
Sophy raised herself, and looked round quite astonished.
There must be a ball here," said she; "why did nobody tell
"Will you dance with me ?" asked the chimney-sweep.
"You are a nice sort of fellow to dance !" she replied, and
turned.her back upon him.
Then she seated herself upon the drawer, and thought that one
of the flowers would come and ask her; but not one of them
came. Then she coughed," Hem hem hem !" but for all that
not one came. The chimney-sweep now danced all alone, and
that was not at all so bad.
As none of the flowers seemed to notice Sophy, she let herself
fall down from the drawer straight upon the floor, so that there
was a great noise. The flowers now all came running up, to ask
if she had not hurt herself; and they were all very polite to her,
especially the flowers that had lain in her bed. But she had not
hurt herself at all; and Ida's flowers all thanked her for the nice
bed, and were kind to her, took her into the middle of the room,
where the moon shone in, and danced with her; and all the other
flowers formed a circle round her. Now Sophy was glad, and
said they might keep her bed; she did not at all mind lying in
But the flowers said, "We thank you heartily, but in any way
we cannot live long. To-morrow we shall be quite dead. But
tell little Ida she is to bury us out in the garden, where the
canary lies; then we shall wake up again in summer, and be far
"No, you must not die," said Sophy ; and she kissed the
Then the door opened, and a great number of splendid flowers
came dancing in. Ida could not imagine whence they had come;
these must certainly all be flowers from the King's castle yonder.
First of all came two glorious roses, and they had little gold
crowns on; they were a King and a Queen. Then came the
prettiest stocks and carnations ; and they bowed in all directions.
They had music with them. Great poppies and peonies blew
upon pea-pods till they were quite red in the face. The blue
hyacinths and the little white snowdrops rang just as if they had
been bells. That was wonderful music Then came many other
flowers, and danced all together; the blue violets and the pink
primroses, daisies and the lilies of the valley. And all the flowers
kissed one another. It was beautiful to look at!
At last the flowers wished one another good night; then little
Ida, too, crept to bed, where she dreamed of all she had seen.
26 THE TINDER-BOX.
When she rose next morning, she went quickly to the little
table, to see if the little flowers were still there. She drew aside
the curtains of the little bed: there were they all, but they were
quite faded, far more than yesterday. Sophy was lying in the
drawer where Ida had laid her; she looked very sleepy.
Do you remember what you were to say to me ? asked little
But Sophy looked quite stupid, and did not say a single word.
"You are not good at all!" said Ida. "And yet they all
danced with you."
Then she took a little paper box, on which were painted beau-
tiful birds, and opened it, and laid the dead flowers in it.
That shall be your pretty coffin," said she, and when my
cousins come to visit me by-and-bye, they shall help me to bury
you outside in the garden, so that you may grow again in summer,
and become more beautiful than ever."
These cousins were two merry boys. Their names were
Gustave and Adolphe; their father had given them two new
crossbows, and they had brought these with them to show to
Ida. She told them about the poor flowers which had died, and
then they got leave to bury them. The two boys were first, with
their crossbows on their shoulders, and little Ida followed with
the dead flowers in the pretty box. Out in the garden a little
grave was dug. Ida first kissed the flowers, and then laid them
in the earth in the box, and Adolphe and Gustave shot with their
crossbows over the grave, for they had neither guns nor cannons.
H HERE came a soldier marching along the high road-
one, two! one, two He had his knapsack on his back
and a sabre by his side, for he had been in the wars, and
now he wanted to go home. And on the way he met with an old
witch; she was very hideous, and her under lip hung down upon
her breast. She said, "Good evening, soldier. What a fine
sword you have, and what a big knapsack! You're a proper
soldier Now you shall have as much money as you like to
"I thank you, you old witch !" said the soldier.
"Do you see that great tree?" quoth the witch; and she
pointed to a tree which stood beside them. "It's quite hollow
THE TINDER-BOX. / 27
inside. You must climb to the top, and then you'll see a hole,
through which you can let yourself down and get deep into the
tree. I'11 tie a rope round your body, so that I can pull you up
again when you call me."
"What am I to do down in the tree ?" asked the soldier.
"Get money," replied the witch. Listen to me. When you
come down to the earth under the tree, you will find yourself in
a great hall: it is quite light, for above three hundred lamps are
burning there. Then you will see three doors; these you can
open, for the keys are hanging there. If-you go into the first
chamber, you'Jl see a great chest in the middle of the floor; on
this chest sits a dog, and he's got a pair of eyes as big as two
tea-cups. But you need not care for that. I '11 give you my blue-
checked apron, and you can spread it out upon the floor; then go
up quickly and take the dog, and set him on my apron; then
open the chest, and take as many shillings as you like. They
are of copper: if you prefer silver, you must go into the second
chamber. But there sits a dog with a pair of eyes as big as mill-
wheels. But do not you care for that. Set him upon my apron,
and take some of the money. And if you want gold, you can
have that too-in fact, as much as you can carry-if you go into
the third chamber. But the dog that sits on the money-chest
there has two eyes as big as round towers. He is a fierce dog,
you may be sure; but you needn't be afraid, for all that. Only
set him on my apron, and he won't hurt you; and take out of
the chest as much gold as you like."
"That's not so bad," said the soldier. "But what am I to
give you, you old witch ? for you will not do it for nothing, I
No," replied the witch, "not a single shilling will I have.
You shall only bring me an old tinder-box which my grandmother
forgot when she was down there last."
Then tie the rope round my body," cried the soldier.
"Here it is," said the witch, and here's my blue-checked
Then the soldier climbed up into the tree, let himself slip down
into the hole, and stood, as the witch had said, in the great hall
where the three hundred lamps were burning.
Now he opened the first door. Ugh there sat the dog with
eyes as big as tea-cups, staring at him. "You 're a nice fellow!"
exclaimed the soldier; and he sat him on the witch's apron, and
took as many copper shillings as his pockets would hold, and
then locked the chest, set the dog on it again, and went into the
second chamber. Aha! there sat the dog with eyes as big as
You should not stare so hard at me," said the soldier; you
might strain your eyes." And he set the dog upon the witch's
apron. And when he saw the silver money in the chest, he threw
28 THE TINDER-BOX.
The Witch induces the Soldier to climb the Tree.
away all the copper money he had, and filled his pockets and his
knapsack with silver only. Then he went into the third chamber.
Oh, but that was horrid! The dog there really had eyes as ')ig
as towers, and they turned round and round in his head like
"Good evening !" said the soldier; and he touched his cap,
for he had never seen such a dog as that before. When he had
looked at him a little more closely,.he thought, "That will do,"
and lifted him down to the floor, and opened the chest. Mercy !
what a quantity of gold was there He could buy with it the
whole town, and the sugar sucking-pigs of the cake woman, and
THE TINDER-BOX. 29
all the tin soldiers, whips, and rocking-horses in the whole world.
Yes, that was a quantity of money I Now the soldier threw away
all the silver coin with which he had filled his pockets and his
knapsack, and took gold instead: yes, all his pockets, his knap-
sack, his boots, and his cap were filled, so that he could scarcely
walk. Now indeed he had plenty of money. He put the dog
on the chest, shut the door, and then called up through the tree,
Now pull me up, you old witch."
"Have you the tinder-box ? asked the witch.
"Plague on it !" exclaimed the soldier, "I had clean forgotten
that." And he went and brought it.
The witch drew him up, and he stood on the high road again,
with pockets, boots, knapsack, and cap full of gold.
"What are you going to do with the tinder-box? asked the
"That's nothing to you," retorted the witch. "You've had
your money-just give me the tinder-box."
Nonsense !" said the soldier. Tell me directly what you're
going to do with it, or I '11 draw my sword and cut off your head."
No !" cried the witch.
So the soldier cut off her head. There she lay But he tied
up all his money in her apron, took it on his back like a bundle,
put the tinder-box in his pocket, and went straight off towards
That was a splendid town And he put up at the very best
inn, and asked for the finest rooms, and ordered his favourite
dishes, for now he was rich, as he had so much money. The
servant who had to clean his boots certainly thought them a re-
markably old pair for such a rich gentleman ; but he had not
bought any new ones yet. The next day he procured proper boots
and handsome clothes. Now our soldier had become a fine gen-
tleman; and the people told him of all the splendid things which
were in their city, and about the King, and what a pretty Princess
the King's daughter was.
"Where can one get to see her ? asked the soldier.
"She is not to be seen at all," said they, all together; she
lives in a great copper castle, with a great many walls and towers
round about it; no one but the King may go in and out there,
for it has been prophesied that she shall marry a common soldier,
and the King can't bear that."
I should like to see her," thought the soldier; but he could
not get leave to do so. Now he lived merrily, went to the theatre,
drove in the King's garden, and gave much money to the poor;
and this was very kind of him, for he knew from old times how
hard it is when one has not a shilling. Now he was rich, had
fine clothes, and gained many friends, who all said he was a rare
one, a true cavalier; and that pleased the soldier well. But as
he spent money every day and never earned any, he had at last
30 THIE TINDER-BOX.
only two shillings left; and he was obliged to turn out of the fine
rooms in which he had dwelt, and had to live in a little garret
under the roof, and clean his boots for himself, and mend them
with a darning-needle. None of his friends came to see him, for
there were too many stairs to climb.
It was quite dark one evening, and he could not even buy him-
self a candle, when it occurred to him that there was a candle-
end in the tinder-box which he had taken out of the hollow tree
into which the witch had helped him. He brought out the
tinder-box and the candle-end ; but as soon as he struck fire and
the sparks rose up from the flint, the door flew open, and the
dog who had eyes as big as a couple of tea-cups, and whom he
had seen in the tree, stood before him, and said,
"What are my lord's commands?"
"What is this ?" said the soldier. "That's a famous tinder-
box, if I can get everything with it that I want! Bring me some
money," said he to the dog ; and whisk the dog was gone, and
whisk! he was back again, with a great bag full of shillings in
Now the soldier knew what a capital tinder-box this was. If
he struck it once, the dog came who sat upon the chest of copper
money ; if he struck it twice, the dog came who had the -silver;
and if he struck it three times, then appeared the dog who had
the gold. Now the soldier moved back into the fine rooms, and
appeared again in handsome clothes; and all ,his friends knew
him again, and cared very much for him indeed.
Once he thought to himself, It is a very strange thing that
one cannot get to see the Princess. They all say she is very
beautiful; but what is the use of that, if she has always to sit in
the great copper castle with the many towers ? Can I not get to
see her at all ? Where is my tinder-box ?" And so he struck a
light, and whisk / came the dog with eyes as big as tea-cups.
"It is midnight, certainly," said the soldier, "but I should
very much like to see the Princess, only for one little moment."
And the dog was outside the door directly, and, before the
soldier thought it, came back with the Princess. She sat upon
the dog's back and slept ; and every one could see she was a real
Princess, for she was so lovely. The soldier could not refrain
from kissing her, for he was a thorough soldier. Then the dog
ran back again with the Princess. But when morning came, and
the King and Queen were drinking tea, the Princess said she had
had a strange dream, the night before, about a dog and a soldier
-that she had ridden upon the dog, and the soldier had kissed
"That would be a fine history I" said the Queen.
So one of the old Court ladies had to watch the next night by
the Princess's bed, to see if this was really a dream, or what it
THE TINDER-BOX. 31
The soldier had a great longing to see the lovely Princess
again; so the dog came in the night, took her away, and ran as
fast as he could. But the old lady put on water-boots, and ran
just as fast after him. When she saw that they both entered a
great house, she thought Now I know where it is; and with
a bit of chalk she drew a great cross on the door. Then she
went home and lay down, and the dog came up with the Princess;
but when he saw that there was a cross drawn on the door where
the soldier lived, he took a piece of chalk too, and drew crosses
on all the doors in the town. And that was cleverly done, for
now the lady could not find the right door, because all the doors
had crosses upon them.
In the morning early came the King and the Queen, the old
Court lady and all the officers, to see where it was the Princess
had been. "Here it is !" said the King, when he saw the first
door with a cross upon it. No, my dear husband, it is there I"
said the Queen, who described another door which also showed a
cross. But there is one, and there is one !" said all, for where-
ever they looked there were crosses on the doors. So they saw
that it would avail them nothing if they searched on.
But the Queen was an exceedingly clever woman, who could
do more than ride in a coach. She took her great gold scissors,
cut a piece of silk into pieces, and make a neat little bag : this
bag she filled with fine wheat flour, and tied it on the Princess's
back; and when that was done, she cut a little hole in the bag,
so that the flour would be scattered along all the way which the
Princess should take.
In the night the dog came again, took the Princess on his
back, and ran with her to the soldier, who loved her very much,
and would gladly have been a Prince, so that he might have her
for his wife. The dog did not notice at all how the flour ran out
in a stream from the castle to the windows of the soldier's house,
where he ran up the wall with the Princess. In the morning the
King and Queen saw well enough where their daughter had been,
and they took the soldier and put him in prison.
There he sat. Oh, but it was dark and disagreeable there!
And they said to him, To-morrow you shall be hanged." That
was not amusing to hear, and he had left his tinder-box at the
inn. In the morning he could see, through the iron grating of
the little window, how the people were hurrying out of the town
to see him hanged. He heard the drums beat and saw the sol-
diers marching. All the people were running out, and among
them was a shoemaker's boy with leather apron and slippers, and
he galloped so fast that one of his slippers flew off, and came
right against the wall where the soldier sat looking through the
"Halloo, you shoemaker's boy! you needn't be in such a
hurry," cried the soldier to him: "it will not begin till I come.
32 GREAT CLA US AND LITTLE CLA US.
But if you will run to where I lived, and bring me my tinder-box,
you shall have four shillings; but you must put your best leg
The shoemaker's boy wanted to get the four shillings, so he
went and brought the tinder-box, and-well, we shall hear now
Outside the town a great gallows had been built, and round it
stood the soldiers and many hundred thousand people. The
King and Queen sat on a splendid throne, opposite to the Judges
and the whole Council. The soldier already stood upon the
ladder; but as they were about to put the rope round his neck,
he said that before a poor criminal suffered his punishment an
innocent request was always granted to him. He wanted very
much to smoke a pipe of tobacco, as it would be the last pipe
he should smoke in the world. The King would not say "No"
to this; so the soldier took his tinder-box and struck fire. One
-two-three !-and there suddenly stood all the dogs-the one
with eyes as big as tea-cups, the one with eyes as large as mill-
wheels, and the one whose eyes were as big as round towers.
".Help me now, so that I may not be hanged," said the soldier.
And the dogs fell upon the Judge and all the Council, seized one
by the leg and another by the nose, and tossed them all many feet
into the air, so that they fell down and were all broken to pieces.
I won't! cried the King; but the biggest dog took him and
the Queen and threw them after the others. Then the soldiers
were afraid, and the people cried, Little soldier, you shall be our
King, and marry the beautiful Princess!"
So they put the soldier into the King's coach, and all the three
dogs darted on in front and cried Hurrah!" and the boys
whistled through their fingers, and the soldiers presented arms.
The Princess came out of the copper castle, and became Queen,
and she liked that well enough. The wedding lasted a week,
and the three dogs sat at the table too, and opened their eyes
wider than ever at all they saw.
GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS.
E HERE lived two men in one village, and they had the
same name-each was called Claus; but one had four
horses and the other only a single horse. To distinguish
them from each other, folks called him who had four horses Great
Claus, and the one who had only a single horse Little Claus.
GREAT CLA US AND LITTLE CLA US. 33
Now we shall hear what happened to each of them, for this is
a true story.
The whole week through little Claus was obliged to plough for
Great Claus, and to lend him his one horse; then Great Claus
helped him out with all his four, but only once a week, and that
on a holiday. Hurrah I how little Claus smacked his whip over
all five horses, for they were as good as his own on that one day.
The sun shone gaily, and all the bells in the steeples were ringing;
the people were all dressed in their best, and were going to church.
with their hymn-books under their arms, to hear the clergyman
preach, and they saw little Claus ploughing with five horses; but
he was so merry that he smacked his whip again and again, and
cried, Gee up, all my five !"
You must not talk so," said Great Claus, "for only the one
horse is yours."
But when no one was passing Little Claus forgot that he was
not to say this, and he cried, "Gee up, all my horses !"
"Now, I must beg of you to let that alone," cried Great Claus,
"for if you say it again, I shall hit your horse on the head so that
it will fall down dead, and then it will be all over with him."
I- will certainly not say it any more," said Little Claus.
But when people came by soon afterwards, and nodded good
day" to him, he became very glad, and thought it looked very
well after all that he had five horses to plough his field; and so
he smacked his whip again, and cried, "Gee up, all my horses !"
I '11 gee up' your horses l" said Great Claus. And he took
the hatchet and hit the only horse of Little Claus on the head,
so that it fell down and was dead immediately.
Oh, now I haven't any horse at all !" said Little Claus, and
began to cry.
Then he flayed the horse, and let the hide dry in the wind, and
put it in a sack and hung it over his shoulder, and went to the
town to sell his horse's skin.
He had a very long way to go, and was obliged to pass through
a great dark wood, and the weather became dreadfully bad. He
went quite astray, and before he got into the right way again it
was evening, and it was too far to get home again or even to the
town before nightfall.
Close by the road stood a large farm-house. The shutters
were closed outside the windows, but the light could still be seen
shining out over them.
I may be able to get leave to stop here through the night,"
thought Little Claus; and he went and knocked.
The farmer's wife opened the door; but when she heard what
he wanted she told him to go away, declaring that her husband
was not at home, and she would not receive strangers.
Then I shall have to lie outside," said Little Claus. And the
farmer's wife shut the door in his face.
31 GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS.
Little Claus deploring the Death of his Horse.
Close by stood a great haystack, and between this and the
'farm-house was a little outhouse thatched with straw.
"Up there I can lie," said Little Claus, when he looked up at
the roof; that is a capital bed. I suppose the stork won't fly
down and bite me in the legs." For a living stork was standing
- on the roof, where he had his nest.
Now Little Claus climbed up to the roof of the shed, where he
lay, and turned round to settle himself comfortably. The wooden
shutters did not cover the windows at the top, and he could look
straight into the room. There was a great table, with the cloth
laid, and wine and roast meat and a glorious fish upon it. The
GREAT CLA US AND LITTLE CLA US. 35
farmer's wife and the clerk were seated at table, and nobody
besides. She was filling his glass, and he was digging his fork
into the fish, for that was his favourite dish.
If one could only get some too!" thought Little Claus, as he
stretched out his head towards the window. Heavens what a
glorious cake he saw standing there Yes, certainly, that was a
Now he heard some one riding along the high road. It was
the woman's husband, who was coming home. He was a good
man enough, but he had the strange peculiarity that he could never
bear to see a clerk. If a clerk appeared before his eyes he became
quite wild. And that was the reason why the clerk had gone to
the wife to wish her good day, because he knew that her husband
was not at home; and the good woman therefore put the best
fare she had before him. But when they heard the man coming
they were frightened, and the woman begged the clerk to creep
into a great empty chest which stood there; and he did so, for
he knew the husband could not bear the sight of a clerk. The
woman quickly hid all the excellent meat and wine in her baking-
oven ; for if the man had seen that, he would have been certain
to ask what it meant.
"Ah, yes !" sighed Little Claus, up in his shed, when he saw
all the good fare put away.
"Is there any one up there?" asked the farmer; and he looked
up at Little Claus. "Who are you lying there ? Better come
with me into the room."
And Little Claus told him how he had lost his way, and asked
leave to stay there for the night.
Yes, certainly," said the peasant; "but first we must have
something to live on."
The woman received them both in a very friendly way, spread
the cloth on a long table, and gave them a great dish of porridge.
The farmer was hungry, and ate with a good appetite; but Little
Claus could not help thinking of the capital roast meat, fish, and
cake, which he knew were in the oven. Under the table, at his
feet, he had laid the sack with the horse's hide in it; for we know
that he had come out to sell it in the town. He did not relish
the porridge, so he trod upon the sack, and the dry skin inside
crackled quite loudly.
"Why, what have you in your sack ?" asked the farmer.
Oh, that's a magician," answered Little Claus. "He says
we are not to eat porridge, for he has conjured the oven full of
roast meat, fish, and cake."
"Wonderful!" cried the farmer; and he opened the oven in a
hurry, and found all the dainty provisions which his wife had
hidden there, but which, as he thought, the wizard had conjured
forth. The woman dared not say anything, but put the things
at once on the table; and so they both ate of the meat, the fish,
36 GREAT 7 CLA US AND LITTLE CLAUS.
and the cake. Now Little Claus again trod on his sack, and
made the hide creak.
What does he say now ?" said the farmer.
"He says," replied Claus, "that he has conjured three bottles
of wine for us too, and that they are standing there in the corner
behind the oven."
Now the woman was obliged to bring out the wine which she
had hidden, and the farmer drank it and became very merry.
He would have been very glad to see such a conjuror as Little
Claus had there in the sack.
"Can he conjure the demon forth?" asked the farmer. "I
should like to see him, for now I am merry."
Oh, yes," said little Claus, "my conjuror can do anything
that I ask of him.-Can you not ?" he added, and trod on the
hide, so that it crackled. He says 'Yes.' But the demon is
very ugly to look at: we had better not see him."
"Oh, I'm not at all afraid. Pray, what will he look like ?"
Why, he'll look the very image of a clerk."
Ha !" said the farmer," that is ugly! You must know, I can't
bear tL- sight of a clerk. But it doesn't matter now, for I know
that he's a demon, so I shall easily stand it. Now I have courage,
but he must not come too near me."
1" Now I will ask my conjuror," said Little Claus; and he trod
on the sack and held his ear down.
"What does he say ?"
"He says you may go and open the chest that stands in the
corner, and you will see the demon crouching in it; but you
must hold the lid so that he doesn't slip out."
Will you help me to hold him ?" asked the farmer. And he
went to the chest where the wife had hidden the real clerk, who
sat in there and was very much afraid. The farmer opened the
lid a little way and peeped in underneath it.
"Hu I" he cried, and sprang backward. "Yes, now I 've seen
him, and he looked exactly like our clerk. Oh, that was dread-
Upon this they must drink. So they sat and drank until
late into the night.
"You must sell me that conjuror," said the farmer. "Ask as
much as you like for him: I '11 give you a whole bushel of money
"No, that I can't do," said Little Claus: "only think how
much use I can make of this conjuror."
Oh, I should so much like to have him !" cried the farmer;
and he went on begging.
Well," said Little Claus, at last, as you have been so kind
as to give me shelter for the night, I will let it be so. You shall
have the conjuror for a bushel of money; but I must have the
bushel heaped up."
GREAT OLA US AND LITTLE CLAUS. 37
That you shall have," replied the farmer. But you must
take the chest yonder away with you. I will not keep it in my
house an hour. One cannot know,-perhaps he may be there
Little Claus gave the farmer his sack with the dry hide in it,
and got in exchange a whole bushel of money, and that heaped
up. The farmer also gave him a big truck, on which to carry
off his money and chest.
Farewell!" said Little Claus; and he went off with his money
and the big chest, in which the clerk was still sitting.
On the other side of the wood was a great deep river. The
water rushed along so rapidly that one could scarcely swim
against the stream. A fine new bridge had been built over it.
Little Claus stopped on the centre of the bridge, and said quite
loud, so that the clerk could hear it,
Ho, what shall I do with this stupid chest ? It's as heavy
as if stones were in it. I shall only get tired if I drag it any
farther, so I '11 throw it into the river: if it swims home to me,
well and good; and if it does not, it will be no great matter."
And he took the chest with one hand, and lifted it up a little,
as if he intended to throw it into the river.
No! let be!" cried the clerk from within the chest; "let me
out first !"
"Hu!" exclaimed Little Claus, pretending to be frightened,
"he's in there still! I must make haste and throw him into the
river, that he may be drowned."
"Oh, no, no !" screamed the clerk. "I '11 give you a whole
bushel-full of money if you 'll let me go."
"Why, that's another thing!" said Little Claus; and he
opened the chest.
The clerk crept quickly out, pushed the empty chest into the
water, and went to his house, where Little Claus received a whole
bushel-full of money. He had already received one from the
farmer, and so now he had his truck loaded with money.
"See, I 've been well paid for the horse," he said to himself
when he had got home to his own room, and was emptying all
the money into a heap in the middle of the floor. That will
vex Great Claus when he hears how rich I have grown through
my one horse; but I won't tell him about it outright."
So he sent a boy to Great Claus to ask for a bushel measure.
What can he want with it ?" thought Great Claus. And he
smeared some tar underneath the measure, so that some part of
whatever was measured should stick to it. And thus it happened;
for when he received the measure back, there were three new
eight-shilling pieces adhering thereto.
"What's this ?" cried Great Claus; and he ran off at once to
Little Claus. "Where did you get all that money from ?"
Oh, that's for my horse's skin. I sold it yesterday evening."
38 GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS.
That's really being well paid," said Great Claus. And he
ran home in a hurry, took an axe, and killed all his four horses;
then he flayed them, and carried off their skins to the town.
Hides hides who'll buy any hides ?" he cried through the
All the shoemakers and tanners came running, and asked how
much he wanted for them.
"A bushel of money for each!" said Great Claus.
"Are you mad ?" said they. Do you think we have money
by the bushel ?"
"Hides hides !" he cried again; and to all who asked him
what the hides would cost, he replied, "A bushel of money."
He wants to make fools of us," they all exclaimed. And the
shoemakers took their straps, and the tanners their aprons, and
they began to beat Great Claus.
"Hides! hides 1" they called after him, jeeringly. "Yes, we'll
tan your hide for you till the red broth runs down. Out of the
town with him !" And Great Claus made the best haste he could,
for he had never yet been thrashed as he was thrashed now.
Well," said he, when he got home, Little Claus shall pay
for this. I '11 kill him for it."
Now, at Little Claus's the old grandmother had died. She had
been very harsh and unkind to him, but yet he was very sorry,
and took the dead woman and laid her in his warm bed, to see
if she would not come to life again. There he intended she should
remain all through the night, and he himself would sit in the
corner and sleep on a chair, as he had often done before. As
he sat there, in the night the door opened, and Great Claus came
in with his axe. He knew where Little Claus's bed stood; and,
going straight up to it, he hit the old grandmother on the head,
thinking she was Little Claus.
D' ye see," said he, "you shall not make a fool of me again."
And then he went home.
That's a bad fellow, that man," said Little Claus. He wanted
to kill me. It was a good thing for my old grandmother that
she was dead already. He would have taken her life."
And he dressed his grandmother in her Sunday clothes, bor-
rowed a horse from his neighbour, harnessed it to a car, and put
the old lady on the back seat, so that she could not fall out when
he drove. And so they trundled through the wood. When the
sun rose they were in front of an inn; there Little Claus pulled
up, and went in to have some refreshment.
The host had very, very much money; he was also a very good
,man, but exceedingly hot, as if he had pepper and tobacco in
"Good morning," said he to Little Claus. You 've put on
your Sunday clothes early to-day."
SYes," answered Little Claus; I 'm going to town with my
GRLAT CLA US AND LITTLE CLAUS. 39
old grandmother: she's sitting there on the car without. I
can't bring her into the room. Will you give her a glass of
mead? But you must speak very loud, for she can't hear well."
Yes, that I'11 do," said the host. And he poured out a great
glass of mead, and went out with it to the dead grandmother,
who had been placed upright in the carriage.
Here's a glass of mead from your son," quoth mine host.
But the dead woman replied not a word, but sat quite still.
"Don't you hear?" cried the host, as loud as he could, "here is
a glass of mead from your son!"
Once more he called out the same thing, but as she persisted
in not hearing him, he became angry at last, and threw the glass
in her face, so that the mead ran down over her nose, and she
tumbled backwards into the car, for she had only been put up-
right, and not bound fast.
"Hallo !" cried Little Claus, running out at the door, and
seizing the host by the breast,; you 've killed my grandmother
now See, there's a big hole in her forehead."
Oh, here's a misfortune !" cried the host, wringing his hands.
"That all comes of my hot temper. Dear Little Claus, I '11 give
you a bushel of money, and have your grandmother buried as if
she were my own; only keep quiet, or I shall have my head cut
off, and that would be so very disagreeable !"
So Little Claus again received a whole bushel of money, and
the host buried the old grandmother as if she had been his own.
And when Little Claus came home with all his money, he at
once sent his boy to Great Claus to ask to borrow a bushel
What's that ?" said Great Claus. "Have I not killed him?
I must go myself and see to this." And so he went over himself
with the bushel to Little Claus.
"Now, where did you get all that money from?" he asked;
and he opened his eyes wide when he saw all that had been
You killed my grandmother, and not me," replied Little Claus;
"and I 've been and sold her, and got a whole bushel of money
"That's really being well paid," said Great Claus; and he
hastened home, took an axe, and killed his own grandmother
directly. Then he put her on a carriage, and drove off to the
town with her, to where the apothecary lived, and asked him if
he would buy a dead person.
"Who is it, and where did you get him from?" asked the
It's my grandmother," answered Great Claus. "I 've killed
her to get a bushel of money for her."
"Heaven save us!" cried the apothecary, "you're raving!
Don't say such things, or you may lose your head." And he told
40 GREAT 7 CLA US AND LITTLE CLA US.
him earnestly what a bad deed this was that he had done, and
what a bad man he was, and that he must be punished. And
Great Claus was so frightened that he jumped out of the surgery
straight into his carriage, and whipped the horses, and drove
home. But the apothecary and all the people thought him mad,
and so they let him drive whither he would.
You shall pay for this !" said Great Claus, when he was out
upon the high road: yes, yes, you shall pay me for this, Little
Claus !" And directly he got home he took the biggest sack he
could find, and went over to Little Claus, and said, Now, you've
tricked me again! First I killed my horses, and then my old
grandmother! That's all your fault; but you shall never trick
me any more." And he seized Little Claus round the body, and
thrust him into the sack, and took him upon his back, and called
out to him, "Now I shall go off with you and drown you."
It was a long way that he had to travel before he came to the
river, and Little Claus was not too light to carry. The road led
him close to a church: the organ was playing, and the people
were singing so beautifully! Then Great Claus put down his
sack, with Little Claus in it, close to the church door, and thought
it would be a very good thing to go in and hear a psalm before
he went farther; for Little Claus could not get out, and all the
people were in church; and so he went in.
"Ah, yes! yes !" sighed Little Claus in the sack. And he
turned and twisted, but he found it impossible to loosen the cord.
Then there came by an old drover with snow-white hair, and a
great staff in his hand: he was driving a whole herd of cows and
oxen before him, and they stumbled against the sack in which
Little Claus was confined, so that it was overthrown.
Oh, dear !" sighed Little Claus, "I 'm so young yet, and am
to go to heaven directly !"
And I, poor fellow," said the drover, am so old already, and
can't get there yet !"
Open the sack," cried Little Claus; creep into it instead
of me, and you will get to heaven directly."
"With all my heart," replied the drover; and he untied the
sack, out of which Little Claus crept forth immediately.
But will you look after the cattle ?" said the old man; and
he crept into the sack at once, whereupon Little Claus tied it up,
and went his way with all the cows and oxen.
Soon afterwards great Claus came out of the church. He took
the sack on his shoulders again, although it seemed to him as if
the sack had become lighter; for the old drover was only half
as heavy as Little Claus.
How light he is to carry now! Yes, that is because I have
heard a psalm."
So he went to the river, which was deep and broad, threw the
sack with the old drover in it into the water, and called after him,
GREAT CLA US AND LITTLE CLAUS. 41
thinking that it was Little Claus, "You lie there! Now you
shan't trick me any more !"
Then he went home; but when he came to a place where there
was a cross road, he met Little Claus driving all his beasts.
"What's this?" cried Great Claus. "Have I not drowned
Yes," replied Little Claus, "you threw me into the river less
than half an hour ago."
But wherever did you get all those fine beasts from?" asked
These beasts are sea-cattle," replied Little Claus. I'11 tell
you the whole story,--and thank you for drowning me, for now
I 'm at the top of the tree. I am really rich How frightened
I was when I lay huddled in the sack, and the wind whistled
about my ears when you threw me down from the bridge into the
cold water! I sank to the bottom immediately; but I did not
knock myself, for the most splendid soft grass grows down there.
Upon that I fell; and immediately the sack was opened, and the
loveliest maiden, with snow-white garments and a green wreath
upon her wet hair, took me by the hand, and said, Are you come,
Little Claus ? Here you have some cattle to begin with. A mile
farther along the road there is a whole herd more, which I will
give to you.' And now I saw that the river formed a great high-
way for the people of the sea. Down in its bed they walked and
drove directly from the sea, and straight into the land, to where
the river ends. There it was so beautifully full of flowers and of
the freshest grass ; the fishes, which swam in the water, shot past
my ears, just as here the birds in the air. What pretty people
there were there, and what fine cattle pasturing on mounds and
in ditches I"
But why did you come up again to us directly ? asked Great
Claus. "I should not have done that, if it is so beautiful down
Why," replied Little Claus, in that I just acted with good
policy. You heard me tell you that the sea-maiden said,' A mile
farther along the road '-and by the road she meant the river, for
she can't go anywhere else-' there is a whole herd of cattle for
you.' But I know what bends the stream makes-sometimes
this, sometimes that; there's a long way to go round: no, the
thing can be managed in a shorter way by coming here to the
land, and driving across the fields towards the river again. In
this manner I save myself almost half a mile, and get all the
quicker to my sea-cattle "
"Oh, you are a fortunate man !" said Great Glaus. "Do you
think I should get some sea-cattle too if I went down to the
bottom of the river ? "
"Yes, I think so," replied Little Claus. But I cannot carry
you in the sack as far as the river; you are too heavy for me
But if you will go there, and creep into the sack yourself, I will
throw you in with a great deal of pleasure."
"Thanks !" said Great Claus; but if I don't get any sea-
cattle when I am down there, I shall beat you, you may be sure."
Oh, no; don't be so fierce !"
And so they went together to the river. When the beasts,
which were thirsty, saw the stream, they ran as fast as they could
to get at the water.
See how they hurry 1" cried Little Claus. "They are longing
to get back to the bottom."
Yes, but help me first !" said Great Claus, "or else you shall
And so he crept into the great sack, which had been laid
across the back of one of the oxen.
Put a stone in, for I 'm afraid I shan't sink else," said Great
That can be done," replied Little Claus ; and he put a big
stone into the sack, tied the rope tightly, and pushed against it.
Plump There lay Great Claus in the river, and sank at once
to the bottom.
I 'm afraid he won't find the cattle !" said Little Claus ; and
then he drove homeward with what he had.
HERE was once a woman who wished for a very little
child; but she did not know where sheshould procure
one. So she went to an old witch and'said,
I do so very much wish for a little child can you not tell
me where I can get one ?"
Oh! that could easily be managed," said the witch. "There
you have a barleycorn: that is not of the kind which grows in
the countryman's field, and which the chickens get to eat. Put
that into a flower-pot, and you shall see what you shall see."
Thank you," said the woman; and she gave the witch twelve
shillings, for that is what it cost.
Then she went home and planted the barleycorn, and imme-
diately there grew up a great handsome flower, which looked
like a tulip; but the leaves were tightly closed, as though it were
still a bud.
That is a beautiful flower," said the woman; and she kissed
its yellow and red leaves. But just as she kissed it the flower
opened with a jof It was a real tulip, as one could now see;
but in the middle of the flower there sat upon the green velvet
stamens a little maiden, delicate and graceful to behold. She
was scarcely half a thumb's length in height, and therefore she
was called Thumbelina.
A neat polished walnut-shell served Thumbelina for a cradle,
blue violet-leaves were her mattresses, with a rose-leaf for a
coverlet. There she slept at night; but in the day-time she
played upon the table, where the woman had put a plate with a
wreath of flowers around it. whose stalks stood in water; on the
water swam a great tulip-leaf, and on this the little maiden could
sit, and row from one side of the plate to the other, with two
white horse-hairs for oars. That looked pretty indeed She
could also sing, and, indeed, so delicately and sweetly, that the
like had never been heard.
Once as she lay at night in her pretty bed, there came an old
Toad creeping through the window, in which one pane was
Thumbelina and the Toads.
broken. The Toad was very ugly, big and damp: it hopped
straight down upon the table, where Thumbelina lay sleeping
under the rose-leaf.
That would be a handsome wife for my son," said the Toad;
and she took the walnut-shell in which Thumbelina lay asleep,
and hopped with it through the window down into the garden.
There ran a great broad brook; but the margin was swampy
and soft, and here the Toad dwelt with her son. Ugh he was
ugly, and looked just like his mother. "Croak! croak; brek-
kek-kex that was all he could say when he saw the graceful
little maiden in the walnut-shell.
Don't speak so loud, or she will awake,n said the old Toad.
"She might run away from us, for she is as light as a bit of
swan's-down. We will put her out in the brook upon one of the
broad water-lily leaves. That will be just like an island for her,
she is so small and light. Then she can't get away, while we
put the state room under the marsh in order, where you are to
live and keep house together."
Out in the brook grew many water-lilies with broad green
leaves, which looked as if they were floating on the water. The
leaf which lay farthest out was also the greatest of all, and to
that the old Toad swam out and laid the walnut-shell upon it
with Thumbelina. The little tiny Thumbelina woke early in the
morning, and when she saw where she was she began to cry
very bitterly; for there was water on every side of the great
green leaf, and she could not get to land at all. The old Toad
sat down in the marsh decking out her room with rushes and
yellow weed-it was to be made very pretty for the new daughter-
in-law; then she swam out, with her ugly son, to the leaf on
which Thumbelina was. They wanted to take her pretty bed,
which was to be put in the bridal chamber before she went in
there herself. The old Toad bowed low before her in the water,
Here is my son ; he will be your husband, and you will live
splendidly together in the marsh."
Croak croak brek-kek-kex !" was all the son could say.
Then they took the delicate little bed, and swam away with
it; but Thumbelina sat all alone upon the green leaf and wept,
for she did not like to live at the nasty Toad's, and have her
ugly son for a husband. The little fishes swimming in the water
below had both seen the Toad, and had also heard what she
said; therefore they stretched forth their heads, for they wanted
to see the little girl. So soon as they saw her they considered
her so pretty that they felt very sorry she should have to go down
to the ugly Toad. No, that must never be! They assembled
together in the water around the green stalk which held the leaf
on which the little maiden stood, and with their teeth they
gnawed away the stalk, and so the leaf swam down the stream;
and away went Thumbelina far away, where the Toad could not
get at her.
Thumbelina sailed by many cities, and the little birds which
sat in the bushes saw her, and said, "What a lovely little girl 1"
The leaf swam away with them, farther and farther; so Thum-
belina travelled out of the country.
A graceful little white butterfly always fluttered round her, and
at last alighted on the leaf. Thumbelina pleased him, and she
was very glad of this, for now the Toad could not reach them ;
and it was so beautiful where she was floating along-the sun
shone upon the water, and the water glistened like the most
splendid gold. She took her girdle and bound one end of it
round the butterfly, fastening the other end of the ribbon to the
leaf. The leaf now glided onward much faster, and Thumbelina
too, for she stood upon the leaf.
There came a big Cockchafer flying up; and he saw her, and
immediately clasped his claws round her slender waist, and flew
with her up into a tree. The green leaf went swimming down
the brook, and the butterfly with it; for he was fastened to the
leaf, and could not get away from it.
Mercy how frightened poor little Thumbelina was when the
Cockchafer flew with her up into the tree I But especially she
was sorry for the fine white butterfly whom she had bound fast
to the leaf, for, if he could not free himself from it, he would be
obliged to starve. The Cockchafer, however, did not trouble
himself at all about this. He seated himself with her upon the
biggest green leaf of the tree, gave her the sweet part of the
flowers to eat, and declared that she was very pretty, though she
did not in the least resemble a cockchafer. Afterwards came all
the other Cockchafers who lived in the tree to pay a visit: they
looked at Thumbelina, and said,
"Why, she has not even more than two legs !-that has a
"She has not any feelers !" cried another.
"Her waist is quite slender---fie she looks like a human
creature-how ugly she is !" said all the lady Cockchafers.
And yet Thumbelina was very pretty. Even the Cockchafer
who had carried her off saw that; but when all the others de-
clared she was ugly, he believed it at last, and would not have
her at all-she might go whither she liked. Then they flew down
with her from the tree, and set her upon a daisy, and she wept,
because she was so ugly that the Cockchafers would have nothing
to say to her; and yet she was the loveliest little being one could
imagine, and as tender and delicate as a rose-leaf.
The whole summer through poor Thumbelina lived quite alone
in the great wood. She wove herself a bed out of blades of
grass, and hung it up under a shamrock, so that she was pro-
tected from the rain; she plucked the honey out of the flowers
for food, and drank of the dew which stood every morning upon
the leaves. Thus summer and autumn passed away; but now
came winter, the cold long winter. All the birds who had sung
so sweetly before her flew away; trees and flowers shed their
leaves; the great shamrock under which she had lived shrivelled
up, and there remained nothing of it but a yellow withered stalk;
and she was dreadfully cold, for her clothes were torn, and she
herself was so frail and delicate-poor little Thumbelina! she
was nearly frozen. It began to snow, and every snow-flake that
fell upon her was like a whole shovel-full thrown upon one of us,
for we are tall, and she was only an inch long. Then she wrapped
herself in a dry leaf, and that tore in the middle, and would not
warm her-she shivered with cold.
Close to the wood into which she had now come lay a great
corn-field, but the corn was gone long ago; only the naked dry
stubble stood up out of the frozen ground. These were just like
a great forest for her to wander through; and, oh! how she
trembled with cold. Then she arrived at the door of the Field
Mouse. This Mouse had a little hole under the stubble. There
the Field Mouse lived, warm and comfortable, and had a whole
room-full of corn -a glorious kitchen and larder. Poor Thum-
belina stood at the door just like a poor beggar girl, and begged
for a little bit of a barleycorn, for she had not had the smallest
morsel to eat for the last two days.
"You poor little creature," said the Field Mouse-for after all
she was a good old Field Mouse-" come into my warm room
and dine with me."
As she was pleased with Thumbelina, she said, If you like
you may stay with me through the winter, but you must keep my
room clean and neat, and tell me little stories, for I am very fond
And Thumbelina did as the kind old Field Mouse bade her,
and had a very good time of it.
Now we shall soon have a visitor," said the Field Mouse.
"My neighbour is in the habit of visiting me once a week. He
is even better off than I am, has great rooms, and a beautiful
black velvety fur. If you could only get him for your husband
you would be well provided for. You must tell him the prettiest
stories you know."
But Thumbelina did not care about this; she thought nothing
of the neighbour, for he was a Mole. He came and paid his
visits in his black velvet coat. The Field Mouse told how rich
and how learned he was, and how his house was more than
twenty times larger than hers; that he had learning, but that he
did not like the sun and beautiful flowers, for he had never seen
Thumbelina had to sing, and she sang "Cockchafer, fly away,"
and When the parson goes afield." Then the Mole fell in love
with her, because of her delicious voice; but he said nothing, for
he was a sedate Mole.
A short time before, he had dug a long passage through the
earth from his own house to theirs; and Thumbelina and the
Field Mouse obtained leave to walk in this passage as much as
they wished. But he begged them not to be afraid of the dead
bird which was lying in the passage. It was an entire bird, with
wings and beak. It certainly must have died only a short time
before, and was now buried just where the Mole had made his
, The Mole took a bit of decayed wood in his mouth, and it
glimmered like fire in the dark; then he went first and lighted
them through the long dark passage. When they came where
the dead bird lay, the Mole thrust up his broad nose against the
ceiling, so that a great hole was made, through which the day-
light could shine down. In the middle of the floor lay a dead
Swallow, his beautiful wings pressed close against his sides,
and his head and feet drawn back under his feathers : the poor
bird had certainly died of cold. Thumbelina was very sorry for
this : she was very fond of all the little birds, who had sung and
twittered so prettily before her through the summer; but the
Mole gave him a push with his crooked legs, and said, Now he
doesn't pipe any more. It must be miserable to be born a little
bird. I 'm thankful that none of my children can be that: such
a bird has nothing but his tweet-tweet,' and has to starve in the
Yes, you may well say that, as a clever man," observed the
Field Mouse. Of what use is all this 'tweet-tweet' to a bird
when the winter comes ? He must starve-and freeze. But they
say that 's very aristocratic."
Thumbelina said nothing; but when the two others turned
their backs on the bird, she bent down, put the feathers aside
which covered his head, and kissed him upon his closed eyes.
Perhaps it was he who sang so prettily before me in the sum-
mer," she thought. "How much pleasure he gave me, the dear
beautiful bird !"
The Mole now closed up the hole through which the daylight
shone in, and accompanied the ladies home. But at night Thum-
belina could not sleep at all; so she got up out of her bed, and
wove a large beautiful carpet of hay, and carried it and spread it
over the dead bird, and laid the thin stamens of flowers, soft as
cotton, and which she had found in the Field Mouse's room, at
the bird's sides, so that he might lie soft in the ground.
"Farewell, you pretty little bird !" said she. "Farewell! and
thanks to you for your beautiful song in the summer, when all
the trees were green, and the sun shone down warmly upon us."
And then she laid the bird's head upon her heart. But the bird
was not dead; he was only lying there torpid with cold ; and now
he had been warmed, and came to life again.
In autumn all the swallows fly away to warm countries ; but if
one happens to be belated, it becomes so cold that it falls down
as if dead, and lies where it fell, and then the cold snow covers it.
Thumbelina fairly trembled, she was so startled; for the bird
was large, very large, compared with her, who was only an inch
in height. But she took courage, laid the cotton closer round the
poor bird, and brought a leaf that she had used as her own
coverlet, and laid it over the bird's head.
The next night she crept out to him again-and now he was
alive, but quite weak; he could only open his eyes for a moment t
and look at Thumbelina, who stood before him with a bit of
decayed wood in her hand, for she had not a lantern.
I thank you, you pretty little child," said the sick Swallow;
"I have been famously warmed. Soon I shall get my strength
back again, and I shall be able to fly about in the warm sunshine."
Oh !" she said, it is so cold without. It snows and freezes.
Stay in your warm bed, and I will nurse you."
Then she brought the Swallow water in the petal of a flower;
and the Swallow drank, and told her how he had torn one of his
wings in a thorn-bush, and thus he had not been able to fly so
Fast as the other swallows, which had sped away, far away, to the
warm countries. So at last he had fallen to the ground; but he
could remember nothing more, and did not know at all how he
had come where she had found him.
The whole winter the Swallow remained there, and Thumbelina
nursed and tended him heartily. Neither the Field Mouse nor
the Mole heard anything about it, for they did not like the poor
Swallow. So soon as the spring came, and the sun warmed the
earth, the Swallow bade Thumbelina farewell, and she opened the
hole which the Mole had made in the ceiling. The sun shone in
upon them gloriously, and the Swallow asked if Thumbelina
would go with him ; she could sit upon his back, and they would
fly away far into the green wood. But Thumbelina knew that
the old Field Mouse would be grieved if she left her.
No, I cannot!" said Thumbelina.
Farewell, farewell, you good, pretty girl!" said the Swallow;
and he flew out into the sunshine. Thumbelina looked after him,
and the tears came into her eyes, for she was heartily and sin-
cerely fond of the poor Swallow.
"Tweet-weet tweet-weet I" sang the bird, and flew into the
green forest. Thumbelina felt very sad. She did not get per-
mission to go out into the warm sunshine. The corn which was
sown in the field over the house of the Field Mouse grew up high
into the air; it was quite a thick wood for the poor girl, who was
only an inch in height.
You are betrothed now, Thumbelina," said the Field Mouse.
"My neighbour has proposed for you. What great fortune for a
poor child like you Now you must work at your outfit, woollen
and linen clothes both; for you must lack nothing when you have
become the Mole's wife."
Thumbelina had to turn the spindle, and the Mole hired four
spiders to weave for her day and night. Every evening the Mole
paid her a visit; and he was always saying that when the summer
should draw to a close, the sun would not shine nearly so hot, for
that now it burned the earth almost as hard as a stone. Yes,
when the summer should have gone, then he would keep his wed-
ding day with Thumbelina. But she was not glad at all, for she
did not like the tiresome Mole. Every morning when the sun
rose, and every evening when it went down, she crept out at the
door; and when the wind blew the corn-ears apart, so that she
could see the blue sky, she thought how bright and beautiful it
was out here, and washed heartily to see her dear Swallow again.
But the Swallow did not come back; he had doubtless flown far
away, in the fair green forest. When autumn came on, Thumbe-
lina had all her outfit ready.
In four weeks you shall celebrate your wedding," said the
Field Mouse to her.
But Thumbelina wept, and declared she would not have the
Nonsense !" said the Field Mouse; "don't be obstinate, or I
will bite you with my white teeth. He is a very fine man whom
you will marry. The Queen herself has not such a black velvet
fur; and his kitchen and cellar are full. Be thankful for your
Now the wedding was to be held. The Mole had already come
to fetch Thumbelina; she was to live with him, deep under the
earth, and never to come out into the warm sunshine, for that he
did not like. The poor little thing was very sorrowful; she was
now to say farewell to the glorious sun, which, after all, she had
been allowed by the Field Mouse to see from the threshold of
Farewell, thou bright sun !" she said, and stretched out her
arms towards it, and walked a little way forth from the house of
the Field Mouse, for now the corn had been reaped, and only the
dry stubble stood in the fields. Farewell !" she repeated,
twining her arms round a little red flower which still bloomed
there. "Greet the little Swallow from me, if you see him again."
Tweet-weet! tweet-weet "a voice suddenly sounded over her
head. She looked up: it was the little Swallow, who was just
flying by. When he saw Thumbelina he was very glad; and
Thumbelina told him how loth she was to have the ugly Mole for
her husband, and that she was to live deep under the earth, where
the sun never shone. And she could not refrain from weeping.
1" The cold winter is coming now," said the Swallow; I am
going to fly far away into the warm countries. Will you come
with me ? You can sit upon my back, then we shall fly from the
ugly Mole and his dark room-away, far away, over the moun-
tains, to the warm countries, where the sun shines warmer than
here, where it is always summer, and there are lovely flowers.
Only fly with me, you dear little Thumbelina, you who have saved
my life when I lay frozen in the dark earthy passage."
Yes, I will go with you !" said Thumbelina; and she seated
herself on the bird's back, with her feet on his outspread wing,
and bound her girdle fast to one of his strongest feathers ; then
the Swallow flew up into the air over forest and over sea, high up
over the great mountains, where the snow always lies; and
Thumbelina felt cold in the bleak air, but then she hid under the
bird's warm feathers, and only put out her little head to admire
all the beauties beneath her.
At last they came to the warm countries. There the sun shone
far brighter than here; the sky seemed twice as high; in ditches
and on the hedges grew the most beautiful blue and green grapes ;
lemons and oranges hung in the woods; the air was fragrant
with myrtles and balsams, and on the roads the loveliest children
ran about, playing with the gay butterflies. But the Swallow
flew still farther, and it became more and more beautiful. Under
the more glorious green trees by the blue lake stood a palace of
dazzling white marble, from the olden time. Vines clustered
around the lofty pillars ; at the top were many swallows' nests,
and in one of these the Swallow lived who carried Thumbelina.
That is my house," said the Swallow ; but it is not right
that you should live there. It is not yet properly arranged by a
great deal, and you will not be content with it. Select for your-
self one of the splendid flowers which grow down yonder, then I
will put you into it, and you shall have everything as nice as you
That is capital," cried she, and clapped her little hands.
A great marble pillar lay there, which had fallen to the ground
and had been broken into three pieces ; but between these pieces
grew the most beautiful great white flowers. The Swallow flew
down with Thumbelina, and set her upon one of the broad leaves.
But what was the little maid's surprise? There sat a little man
in the midst of the flower, as white and transparent as if he had
been made of glass; he wore the neatest of gold crowns on his
head, and the brightest wings on his shoulders; he himself was
not bigger than Thumbelina. He was the Angel of the flower.
In each of the flowers dwelt such a little man or woman, but this
one was King over them all.
"Heavens! how beautiful he is !" whispered Thumbelina to
The little Prince was very much frightened at the Swallow,
for it was quite a gigantic bird to him, who was so small. But
when he saw Thumbelina, he became very glad; she was the
prettiest maiden he had ever seen. Therefore he took off his
golden crown, and put it upon her, asked her name, and if she
would be his wife, and then she should be Queen of all the flowers.
Now this was truly a different kind of man to the son of the Toad,
and the Mole with the black velvet fur. She therefore said Yes"
to the charming Prince. And out of every flower came a lady or
a lord, so pretty to behold that it was a delight; each one brought
Thumbelina a present; but the best gift was a pair of beautiful
wings which had belonged to a great white fly; these were fas-
tened to Thumbelina's back, and now she could fly from flower to
flower. Then there was much rejoicing; and the little Swallow
7H~E GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE. 51
sat above them in the nest, and was to sing the marriage song,
which he accordingly did as well as he could ; but yet in his heart
he was sad, for he was so fond, oh so fond of Thumbelina, and
would have liked never to part from her.
You shall not be called Thumbelina," said the Flower Angel
to her; "that is an ugly name, and you are too fair for it-we
will call you Maia."
THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE.
N a house in Copenhagen,not far from the King's New Mar-
ket, a company-a very large company-had assembled,
having received invitations to an evening party there.
One-half of the company already sat at the card-tables, the other
half awaited the result of the hostess's question, "What shall we
do now?" They had progressed so far, and the entertainment
began to show some degree of animation. Among other subjects
the conversation turned upon the Middle Ages. Some considered
that period much more interesting than our own time: yes, Coun-
cillor Knap defended this view so zealously that the lady of the
house went over at once to his side; and both loudly exclaimed
against Oersted's treatise in the Almanac on old and modern times,
in which the chief advantage is given to our own day. The coun-
cillor considered the times of the Danish King Hans as the noblest
and happiest age.
While the conversation takes this turn, only interrupted for a
moment by the arrival of a newspaper, which contained nothing
worth reading, we will betake ourselves to the antechamber, where
the cloaks, sticks, and goloshes bad found a place. Here sat two
maids-an old one and a young one. One would have thought
they had come to escort their mistresses home; but, on looking
at them more closely, the observer could see that they were not
ordinary servants : their shapes were too graceful for that, their
complexions too delicate, and the cut of their dresses too uncom-
mon. They were two fairies. The younger was not Foitune, but
lady's-maid to one of her ladies of the bed-chamber, whb carry
about the more trifling gifts of Fortune. The elder one looked
somewhat more gloomy-she was Care, who always goes herself
52 THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE.
in her own exalted person to perform her business, for thus she
knows that it is well done.
They were telling each other where they had been that day.
The messenger of Fortune had only transacted a few unimportant
affairs, as, for instance, she had preserved a new bonnet from a
shower of rain, had procured an honest man a bow from a titled
Nobody, and so on; but what she had still to relate was some-
thing quite extraordinary.
S"I can likewise tell," she said,," that to-day is-my birthday ; and
in honour of it a pair of goloshes has been entrusted to me, which
The Goloshes left at the Door.
I am to bring to the human race. These goloshes have the pro-
-perly that every one who puts them on is at once transported to
the time and place in which he likes best to be-every wish in
reference to time,place, and circumstance isat once fulfilled; and
so for once man can be happy here below !"
"Believe me," said Care, "he will be very unhappy, and will
bless the moment when he can get rid of the goloshes again."
What are you thinking of ?" retorted the other. Now I shall
put them at the door. Somebody will take them by mistake, and
put, mistake and
The Goloshes left at thze Door.
I am to bring to the human race. These goloshes have the pro-
.perry that every one who puts them on is at once transported to
the time and place in which he likes best to be--every wish in
reference to time, place, and circumstance is at once fulfilled ; and
so for once man can be happy here below "
"1 Believe me," said Care, "he will be very unhappy, and will
bless the moment when he can get rid of the goloshes again."
"What are you thinking of ?" retorted the other. "N ow I shall
put them at the door. Somebody will take them by mistake, and
become the happy one."
You see, this was the dialogue they held.
7YlE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE. 53
What happened to the Councillor.
It was late. Councillor Knap, lost in contemplation of the times
of King Hans, wished to get home; and fate willed that instead
of his own goloshes he should put on those of Fortune, and thus
went out into East Street. But by the power of the goloshes he
had been put back three hundred years-into the days of King
Hans; and therefore he put his foot into mud and mire in the
street, because in those days there was not any pavement.
Why, this is horrible-how dirty it is here said the coun-
cillor. "The good pavement is gone, and all the lamps are put
The moon did not yet stand high enough to give much light,
and the air was tolerably thick, so that all objects seemed to melt
together in the darkness. At the next corner a lamp hung before
a picture of the Madonna, but the light it gave was as good as
none, he only noticed it when he stood just under it, and his eyes
fell upon the painted figure.
That is probably a museum of art," thought he, "where they
have forgotten to take down the sign."
A couple of men in the costume of those past days went by him.
How they look !" he said. "They must come from a mas-
Suddenly there was a sound of drums and fifes, and torches
gleamed brightly. The councillor started. And now he saw a
strange procession go past. First came a whole troop of drum-
mers, beating their instruments very dexterously; they were fol-
lowed by men-at-arms, with longbows and crossbows. The chief
man in the procession was a clerical lord. The astonished coun-
cillor asked what was the meaning of this, and who the man
"That is the Bishop of Zealand."
"What in the world has come to the bishop?" said the coun-
cillor, with a sigh, shaking his head. "This could not possibly
be the bishop !"
Ruminating on this, and without looking to the right or to the
left, the councillor went through the East Street, and over the
Highbridge Place. The bridge which led to the Palace Square
was not to be found; he perceived the shore of a shallow water
and at length encountered two people, who sat in a boat.
"Do you wish to be ferried over to the Holm, sir ? they asked,
"To the Holm repeated the councillor, who did not know,
you see, in what period he was. I want to go to Christian's
Haven and to Little Turf Street."
The men stared at him.
54 THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE.
"Pray tell me where the bridge is ?" said he. "It is shameful
that no lanterns are lighted here; and it is as muddy, too, as if
one were walking in a marsh." But the longer he talked with
the boatmen the less could he understand them. I don't under-
stand your Bornholm talk," he at last cried, angrily, and turned
his back upon them. He could not find the bridge, nor was there
any paling. It is quite scandalous how things look here !" he
said-never had he thought his own times so miserable as this
evening. "I think it will be best if I take a cab," thought he.
But where were the cabs ?-not one was to be seen. "I shall
have to go back to the King's New Market, where there are many
carriages standing, otherwise I shall never get as far as Christian's
Now he went towards East Street, and had almost gone through
it when the moon burst forth.
What in the world have they been erecting here?" he ex-
claimed, when he saw the East Gate, which in those days stood
at the end of East Street.
In the meantime, however, he found a passage open, and
through this he came out upon our New Market; but it was a
broad meadow. Single bushes stood forth, and across the meadow
ran a great canal or stream. A few miserable wooden booths for
Dutch skippers were erected on the opposite shore.
"Either I behold a Fata Morgana, or I am tipsy," sighed the
councillor. "What can that be ? what can that be ?"
He turned back, in the full persuasion that he must be ill. In
walking up the street he looked more closely at the houses; most
of them were built of laths, and many were only thatched with
No, I don't feel well at all !" he lamented. "And yet I only
drank one glass of punch! But I cannot stand that; and besides,
it was very foolish to give us punch and warm salmon. I shall
mention that to our hostess-the agent's lady. Suppose I go
back and say how I feel? But that looks ridiculous, and it is a
question if they will be up still."
He looked for the house, but could not find it.
"That is dreadful !" he cried; "I don't know East Street again.
Not one shop is to be seen; old, miserable, tumble-down huts
are all I sce, as if I were at Roeskilde or Ringstedt. Oh, I am
ill! It's no use to make ceremony. But where in all the world
is the agent's house? It is no longer the same; but within there
are people up still. I certainly must be ill!"
He now reached a half-open door,where the light shone through
a chink. It was a tavern of that date-a kind of beer-house.
The room had the appearance of a Dutch wine-shop; a number
of people, consisting of seamen, citizens of Copenhagen, and a few
scholars, sat in deep conversation over their jugs, and paid little
attention to the new-comer.
THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE. 5
The Councillor is alarmed.
SI beg pardon," said the councillor to the hostess, "but I feel
very unwell; would you let them get me a fly to go to Christian's
The woman looked at him and shook her head; then she spoke
to him in German.
The councillor now supposed that she did not understand
Danish, so he repeated his wish in the German language. This,
and his costume, convinced the woman that he was a foreigner.
She soon understood that he felt unwell, and therefore brought
him a jug of water. It certainly tasted a little of sea-water,
though it had been taken from the spring outside.
The councillor leaned his-head upon his hand, drew a deep
breath, and thought of all the strange things that were happening
Is that to-day's number of the 'Day'?" he said, quite mechani-
cally, for he saw the woman was putting away a large sheet of
She did not understand what he meant, but handed him the
56 THIE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE.
leaf: it was a woodcut representing a strange appearance in the
air which had been seen in the city of Cologne.
"That is very old," said the councillor, who became quite
cheerful at sight of this antiquity. How did you come by this
strange leaf? This is very interesting, although the whole thing
is a fable. Now-a-days these appearances are explained to be
northern lights that have been seen; probably they arise from
Those who sat nearest to him and heard his speech looked at
him in surprise, and one of them rose, took off his hat respect-
fully, and said, with a very grave face,
"You must certainly be a very learned man, sir !"
"Oh, no !" replied the councillor; I can only say a word or
two about things one ought to understand."
"1Modestia is a beautiful virtue," said the man. "Moreover,
I must say to your speech, mihisecus videtur;' yet I will gladly
suspend my judicium."
"May I ask with whom I have the pleasure of speaking?"
asked the councillor.
I am a bachelor of theology," replied the man.
This answer sufficed for the councillor; the title corresponded
with the garb.
Certainly," he thought," this must be an old village school-
master, a queer character, such as one finds sometimes over in
"This is certainly not a locus docendi," began the man; but
I beg you to take the trouble to speak. You are doubtless well
read in the ancients ?"
Oh, yes," replied the councillor. I am fond of reading use-
ful old books; and am fond of the modern ones too, with the
exception of the 'Every-day Stories,' of which we have enough, in
"Every-day Stories ?" said the bachelor, inquiringly.
." Yes, I mean the new romances we have now."
"Oh !" said the man, with a smile, "they are very witty, and
are much read at Court. The King is especially partial to the
romance by Messieurs Iffven and Gaudian, which talks about
King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. He has jested
about it with his noble lords."
That I certainly have not yet read," said the councillor : "that
must be quite a new book published by Heiberg."
"No," retorted the man, "it is not published by Heiberg, but
by Godfrey von Gehmen."*
Indeed I is he the author?" asked the councillor. "That is
~ very old name : was not that the name of about the first printer
who appeared in Denmark ?"
"Why, he is our first printer," replied the man.
The first printer and publisher in Denmark under King Hans.
THA GOLOSHES OP FORTUNE. 57
So far it had gone well. But now one oi the men began to
speak of a pestilence which he said had been raging a few years
ago: he meant the plague of 1484. The councillor supposed he
meant the cholera, and so the conversation went on tolerably.
The Freebooters' War of 1490 was so recent that it could not
escape mention. The English pirates had taken ships from the
very wharves, said the man; and the councillor, who was well
acquainted with the events of ISoi, joined in manfully against
the English. The rest of the talk, however, did not pass over so
well; every moment there was a contradiction. The good bache-
lor was terribly ignorant, and the simplest assertion of the coun-
cillor seemed too bold or too fantastic. They looked at each
other, and when it became too bad, the bachelor spoke Latin,
in the hope that he would be better understood, but it was of
Hdw are you now ?" asked the hostess, and she plucked the
councillor by the sleeve.
Now his recollection came back; in the course of the conver-
sation he had forgotten everything that had happened.
"Good Heavens! where am I?" he said, and he felt dizzy when
he thought of it.
We'll drink claret, mead, and Bremen beer," cried one of the
guests, and you shall drink with us."
Two girls came in. One of them had on a cap of two colours.
They poured out drink and bowed: the councillor felt a cold
shudder running all down his back. What's that? what's that?"
he cried; but he was obliged to drink with them. They took
possession of the good man quite politely. He was in despair,
and when one said that he was tipsy he felt not the slightest doubt
regarding the truth of the statement, and only begged them to
procure him a droschky. Now they thought he was speaking
Never had he been in such rude vulgar company.
One would think the country was falling back into heathen-
ism," was his reflection. This is the most terrible moment of
But at the same time the idea occurred to him to bend down
under the table, and then to creep to the door. He did so; but
just as he had reached the entry, the others discovered his in-
tention. They seized him by the feet, and now the goloshes, to
his great good fortune, came off, and-the whole enchantment
The councillor saw quite plainly, in front of him, a lamp burning,
and behind it a great building; everything looked familiar and
splendid. It was East Street, as we know it now. He lay with
his legs turned towards a porch, and opposite to him sat the
"Good Heavens have I been lying here in the street dream-
58 T7E GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE.
ing?" he exclaimed. Yes, this is East Street sure enough! how
splendidly bright and gay! It is terrible what an effect that one
glass of punch must have had on me!"
Two minutes afterwards he was sitting in a fly, which drove
him out to Christian's Haven. He thought of the terror and
anxiety he had undergone, and praised from his heart the happy
present, our own time, which, with all its shortcomings, was far
better than the period in which he had been placed a short time
The Watchman's Adventures.
"On my word, yonder lies a pair of goloshes !" said the watch-
man. They must certainly belong to the lieutenant who lives
upstairs. They are lying close to the door."
The honest man would gladly have rung the bell and delivered
them, for upstairs there was a light still burning ; but he did not
wish to disturb the other people in the house, and so he let it
It must be very warm to have a pair of such things on," said
he. "How nice and soft the leather is!" They fitted his feet very
well. "How droll it is in the world! Now, he might lie down in
his warm bed, and yet he does not! There he is pacing up and
down the room. He is a happy man! He has neither wife nor
children, and every evening he is at a party. Oh, I wish I were
he, then I should be a happy man !"
As he uttered this wish, the goloshes he had put on produced
their effect, and the watchman was transported into the body and
being of the lieutenant. Then he stood up in the room, and held
a little pink paper in his fingers, on which was a poem, a poem
written by the lieutenant himself. For who is there who has not
once in his life had a poetic moment? and at such a moment, if
one writes down one's thoughts, there is poetry.
Yes, people write poetry when they are in love; but a prudent
man does not print such poems. The lieutenant was in love-
and poor-that's a triangle, or, so to speak, the half of a broken
square of happiness. The lieutenant felt that very keenly, and so
he laid his head against the window-frame and sighed a deep
The poor watchman in the street yonder is far happier than
I. He does not know what I call want. He has a home, a wife,
and children, who weep at his sorrow and rejoice at his joy. Oh!
I should be happier than I am, could I change my being for his,
and pass through life with his humble desires and hopes. Yes,
he is happier than I "
In that same moment the watchman became a watchman
again; for through the power of the goloshes of Fortune he had
THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE. g9
assumed the personality of the lieutenant; but then we know he
felt far less content, and preferred to be just what he had de-
spised a short time before. So the watchman became a watch-
That was an ugly dream," said he, but droll enough. It
seemed to me that I was the lieutenant up yonder, and that it
was not pleasant at all. I was without the wife and the boys,
who are now ready to half stifle me with kisses."
He sat down again and nodded. The dream would not go
quite out of his thoughts. He had the goloshes still on his feet.
A falling star glided down along the horizon.
There went one," said he, but for all that, there are enough
left. I should like to look at those things a little nearer, espe-
cially the moon, for that won't vanish under one's hands. The
student for whom my wife washes says that when we die we fly
from one star to another. That's not true, but it would be very
nice. If I could only make a little spring up there, then my body
might lie here on the stairs for all I care."
Now there are certain assertions we should be very cautious of
making in this world, but doubly careful when we have goloshes
of Fortune on our feet. Just hear what happened to the watch-
So far as we are concerned, we all understand the rapidity of
dispatch by steam; we have tried it either in railways, or in
steamers across the sea. But this speed is as the crawling of the
sloth or the march of the snail in comparison with the swiftness
with which light travels. That flies nineteen million times quicker.
Death is an electric shock we receive in our hearts, and on the
wings of electricity the liberated soul flies away. The sunlight
requires eight minutes and a few seconds for a journey of more
than ninety-five millions of miles; on the wings of electric power
the soul requires only a few moments to accomplish the same
flight. The space between the orbs of the universe is, for her,
not greater than, for us, the distances between the houses of our
friends dwelling in the same town, and even living close together.
Yet this electric shock costs us the life of the body here below,
unless, like the watchman, we have the magic goloshes on.
In a few seconds the watchman had traversed the distance of
two hundred and sixty thousand miles to the moon, which body,
as we know, consists of a much lighter material than that of our
earth, and is, as we should say, soft as new-fallen snow. He
found himself on one of the many ring mountains with which we
are familiar with Dr. Ma^dler's great map of the moon. Within
the ring a great bowl-shaped hollow went down to the depth of a
couple of miles. At the base of the hollow lay a town, of whose
appearance we can only form an idea by pouring the white of an
egg into a glass of water: the substance here was just as soft as
white of egg, and formed similar towers, and cupolas, and ter-
6o THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE.
races like sails, transparent and floating in the thin air. Out
earth hung over his head like a great dark red ball.
He immediately became aware of a number of beings, who were
certainly what we call men," but their appearance was very
different from ours. If they had been put up in a row and painted,
one would have said, "That's a beautiful arabesque !" They
had also a language; but no one could expect that the soul of
the watchman should understand it. But the watchman's soul
did understand'it, for our souls have far greater abilities than we
suppose. Does not its wonderful dramatic talents show itself in
our dreams ? Then every one of our acquaintances appears
speaking in his own character and with his own voice, in a way
that not one of us could imitate in our waking hours. How does
our soul bring back to us people of whom we have not thought
for many years? Suddenly they come into our souls with their
smallest peculiarities about them. In fact, it is a fearful thing,
that memory which our souls possess: it can reproduce every sin,
every bad thought. And then, it may be asked, shall we be able
to give an account of every idle word that has been in our hearts
and on our lips ?
Thus the watchman's soul understood the language of the
people in the moon very well. They disputed about this earth,
and doubted if it could be inhabited; the air, they asserted, must
be too thick for a sensible moon-man to live there. They con-
sidered that the moon alone was peopled; for that, they said,
was the real body in which the old-world people dwelt. They
also talked of politics.
But let us go down to the East Street, and see how it fared
with the body of the watchman.
He sat lifeless upon the stairs. His pike had fallen out of his
hand, and his eyes stared up at the moon, which his honest body
was wondering about.
"What's o'clock, watchman?" asked a passer-by. But the
man who didn't answer was the watchman. Then the passengers
tweaked him quite gently by the nose, and then he lost his
balance. There lay the body stretched out at full length-the
man was dead. All his comrades were very much frightened:
dead he was, and dead he remained. It was reported, and it was
discussed, and in the morning the body was carried out to the
That would be a pretty jest for the soul if it should chance to
come back, and probably seek its body in the East Street, and
not find it Most likely it would go first to the police and after-
wards to the address office, that inquiries might be made from
thence respecting the missing goods; and then it would wander
out to the hospital. But we may console ourselves with the idea
that the soul is most clever when it acts upon its own account;
it is the body that makes it stupid.
THL GOLOSHES O1 FORTUNE. 61
As we have said, the watchman's body was taken to the hos.
pital, and brought into the washing-room; and naturally enough
the first thing they did there was to pull off the goloshes; and
then the soul had to come back. It took its way directly towards
the body, and in a few seconds there was life in the man. He
declared that this had been the most terrible night of his life;
he would not have such feelings again, not for a shilling; but
now it was past and over.
The same day he was allowed to leave but the goloshes
remained at the hospital.
A Great Moment.-A very Unusual journey.
Every one who belongs to Copenhagen knows the look of the
entrance to the Frederick's Hospital in Copenhagen; but as,
perhaps, a few will read this story who do not belong to Copen-
hagen, it becomes necessary to give a short description of it.
The hospital is separated from the street by a tolerably high
railing, in which the thick iron rails stand so far apart, that cer-
tain very thin inmates are said to have squeezed between them,
and thus paid their little visits outside the premises. The part
of the body most difficult to get through was the head; and here,
as it often happens in the world, small heads were the most for-
tunate. This will be sufficient as an introduction.
One of the young volunteers, of whom one could only say in
one sense that he had a great head, had the watch that evening.
The rain was pouring down; but in spite of this obstacle he
wanted to go out, only for a quarter of an hour. It was needless,
he thought, to tell the porter of his wish, especially if he could
slip through between the rails. There lay the goloshes which
the watchman had forgotten. It never occurred to him in the
least that they were goloshes of Fortune. They would do him
very good service in this rainy weather, and he pulled them on.
Now the question was whether he could squeeze through the bars;
till now he had never tried it. There he stood.
I wish to goodness I had my head outside !" cried he. And
immediately, though his head was very thick and big, it glided
easily and quickly through. The goloshes must have understood
it well; but now the body was to slip through also, and that could
not be done. I am too fat," said he. "I thought my head was
the thickest. I shan't get through."
Now he wanted to pull his head back quickly, but he could
not manage it: he could move his neck, but that was all. His
first feeling was one of anger, and then his spirits sank down to
zero. The goloshes of Fortune had placed him in this terrible
condition, and, unfortunately, it never occurred to him to wish
himself free. No : instead of wishing, he only strove, and could
62 TIlE GOLOSHIES 01' FIOR TUNE.
not stir from the spot. The rain poured down; not a creature
was to be seen in the street; he could not reach the gate bell,
and how was he to get loose ? He foresaw that he would have to
remain here until the morning, and then they would have to send
for a blacksmith, to file through the iron bars. But such a busi-
ness is not to be done quickly. The whole charity school would
be upon its legs ; the whole sailors' quarter close by would come
up and see him standing in the pillory; and a fine crowd there
Hu !" he cried, "the blood's rising to my head, and I shall
go mad! Yes, I 'm going mad If I were free, most likely it
would pass over."
That is what he ought to have said at first. The very moment
he had uttered the thought his head was free; and now he rushed
in, quite dazed with the fright the goloshes of Fortune had given
him. But we must not think the whole affair was over; there
was much worse to come yet.
The night passed away, and the following day too, and nobody
sent for the goloshes. In the evening a display of oratory was
to take place in an amateur theatre in a distant street. The house
was crammed, and among the audience was the volunteer from
the hospital, who appeared to have forgotten his adventure of the
previous evening. He had the goloshes on, for they had not been
sent for; and as it was dirty in the streets, they might do him
good service. A new piece was recited: it was called My Aunt's
Spectacles." These were spectacles which, when any one put
them on in a great assembly of people, made all present look like
cards, so that one could prophesy from them all that would
happen in the coming year.
The idea struck him: he would have liked to possess such a
pair of spectacles. If they were used rightly, they would perhaps
enable the wearer to look into people's hearts; and that, he
thought, would be more interesting than to see what was going
to happen in the next year; for future events would be known in
time, but the people's thoughts never.
Now I'll look at the row of ladies and gentlemen on the first
bench : if one could look directly into their hearts yes, that must
be a hollow, a sort of shop. How my eyes would wander about
in that shop In every lady's, yonder, I should doubtless find a
great milliner's warehouse : with this one here the shop is empty,
but it would do no harm to have it cleaned out. But would there
really be such shops? Ah, yes !" he continued, sighing," I know
one in which all the goods are first-rate, but there's a servant in
it already; that's the only drawback in the whole shop! From
one and another the word would be 'Please to step in!' Oh,
that I might only step in, like a neat little thought, and slip through
their hearts !'
That was the word of command for the goloshes. The volun-
THE GOLOSIES OF FOR TUNE. 63
teer shrivelled up, and began to take a very remarkable journey
through the hearts of the first row of spectators. The first heart
through which he passed was that of a lady; but he immediately
fancied himself in the Orthopaedic Institute. in the room where
the plaster casts of deformed limbs are kept hanging against the
walls; the only difference was, that these casts were formed in
the institute when the patients came in, but here in the heart they
were formed and preserved after the good persons had gone away.
For they were casts of female friends, whose bodily and mental
faults were preserved here.
Quickly he had passed into another female heart. But this
seemed to him like a great holy church; the white dove of inno-
cence fluttered over the high altar. Gladly would he have sunk
down on his knees ; but he was obliged to go away into the next
heart. Still, however, he heard the tones of the organ, and it
seemed to him that he himself had become another and a better
man. He felt himself not unworthy to enter into the next sanc-
tuary, which showed itself in the form of a poor garret, containing
a sick mother. But through the window the warm sun streamed
in, and two sky-blue birds sang full of childlike joy, while the sick
mother prayed for a blessing on her daughter.
Now he crept on his hands and knees through an over-filled
butcher's shop. There was meat, and nothing but meat, where-
ever he went. It was the heart of a rich respectable man, whose
name is certainly to be found in the address book.
Now he was in the heart of this man's wife; this heart was an
old dilapidated pigeon-house. The husband's portrait was used
as a mere weathercock: it stood in connection with the doors,
and these doors opened and shut according as the husband
Then he came into a cabinet of mirrors, such as we find in the
Castle of Rosenburg ; but the mirrors magnified in a great degree.
In the middle of the floor sat, like a Grand Lama, the insignificant
I of the proprietor, astonished in the contemplation of his own
Then he fancied himself transported into a narrow needle-case
full of pointed needles ; and he thought," This must decidedly
be the heart of an old maid But that was not the case. It
was the heart of a young officer, wearing several orders, and of
whom one said, "He's a man of intellect and heart."
Quite confused was the poor volunteer when he emerged from
the heart of the last person in the first row. He could not arrange
his thoughts, and fancied it must be his powerful imagination
which had run away with him.
Gracious powers he sighed, I must certainly have a great
tendency to go mad. It is also unconscionably hot in here: the
blood is rising to my head !"
And now he remembered the great event of the last evening,
64 THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE.
how his head had been caught between the iron rails of the hos-
That's where I must have caught it," though he. I must
do something at once. A Russian bath might be very good. I
wish I were lying on the highest board in the bath-house."
An 1 there he lay on the highest board in the vapour bath; but
he was lying there in all his clothes, in boots and goloshes, and
the hot drops from the ceiling were falling on his face.
Hi !" he cried, and jumped down to take a plunge bath.
The attendant uttered a loud cry on seeing a person there with
all his clothes on. The volunteer had, however, enough presence
of mind to whisper to him," it's for a wager !" But the first thing
he did when he got into his own room was to put a big blister on
the nape of his neck, and another on his back, that they might
draw out his madness.
Next morning he had a very sore back ; and that was all he
had got by the goloshes of Fortune.
The Transformation oj the Copying Clerk.
The watchman, whom we surely have not yet forgotten, in the
meantime thought of the goloshes, which he had found and
brought to the hospital. He took them away; but as neither the
lieutenant nor any one in the street would own them, they were
taken to the police office.
They look exactly like my own goloshes," said one of the
copying gentlemen, as he looked at the unowned articles and put
them beside his own. More than a shoemaker's eye is required
to distinguish them from one another."
"Mr. Copying Clerk," said a servant, coming in with some
The copying clerk turned and spoke to the man: when he had
done this, he turned to look at the goloshes again; he was in
great doubt if the right-hand or the left-hand pair belonged to
"It must b2 those that are wet," he thought. Now here he
thought wrong, for these were the goloshes of Fortune; but why
should not the police be sometimes mistaken ? He put them on,
thrust his papers into his pocket, and put a few manuscripts
under his arm, for they were to be read at home, and abstracts
to be made from them. But now it was Sunday morning, and
the weather was fine. "A walk to Fredericksburg would do me
good," said he; and he went out accordingly.
There could not be a quieter, steadier person than this young
man. We grant him his little walk with all our hearts; it will
certainly do him good after so much sitting. At first he only
THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE. 65
walked like a vegetating creature, so the goloshes had no opportu-
nity of displaying their magic power.
In the avenue he met an acquaintance, one of our younger poets,
who told him he was going to start, next day, on a summer trip.
"Are you going away again already?" asked the copying clerk.
"What a happy, free man you are You can fly wherever you
like; we others have a chain to our foot."
"But it is fastened to the bread tree 1" replied the poet. "You
need not be anxious for the morrow; and when you grow old you
get a pension."
But you are better off, after all," said the copying clerk. "It
must be a pleasure to sit and write poetry. Everybody says agree-
able things to you, and then you are your own master. Ah, you
should just try it, poring over the frivolous affairs in the court."
The poet shook his head; the copying clerk shook his head
also : each retained his own opinion; and thus they parted.
"They are a strange race, these poets !" thought the copying
clerk. I should like to try and enter into such a nature-to
become a poet myself. I am certain I should not write such
complaining verses as the rest. What a splendid spring day for
a poet The air is so remarkably clear, the clouds are so beauti-
ful, and the green smells so sweet. For many years I have not
felt as I feel at this moment."
We already notice that he has become a poet. To point this
out would, in most cases, be what the German's call mawkish."
It is a foolish fancy to imagine a poet different from other people,
for among the latter there may be natures more poetical than
those of many an acknowledged poet. The difference is only that
the poet has a better spiritual memory: his ears hold fast the
feeling and the idea until they are embodied clearly and firmly
in words; and the others cannot do that. But the transition
from an every-day nature to that of a poet is always a transition,
and as such it must be noticed in the copying clerk.
What glorious fragrance !" he crie,. How it reminds me
of the violets at aunt Laura's Yes, that was when I was a little
boy. I have not thought of that for a long time. The good old
lady! She lies yonder, by the canal. She always had a twig or
a couple of green shoots in the water, let the winter be as severe
as it might. The violets bloomed, while I had to put warm
farthings against the frozen window-panes to make peep-holes.
That was a pretty view. Out in the canal the ships were frozen
in, and deserted by the whole crew; a screaming crow was the
only living creature left. Then, when the spring breezes blew,
it all became lively: the ice was sawn asunder amid shouting and
cheers, the ships were tarred and rigged, and then they sailed
away to strange lands. I remained here, and must always remain,
and sit at the police office, and let others take passports for abroad.
That's my fate. Oh, yes i" and he sighed deeply. Suddenly he
66 THE GOLOSIES OF FORTUNE.
paused. "Good Heaven! what is come to me? I never thought
or felt as I do now. It must be the spring air: it is just as dizzy-
ing as it is charming !" He felt in his pockets for his papers.
"These will give me something else to think of," said he, and
let his eyes wander over the first leaf. There he read: "'Dame
Sigbirth; an original tragedy in five acts.' What is that? And
it is my own hand. Have I written this tragedy? The Intrigue
on the Promenade; or, the Day of Penance--Vaudeville.' But
where did I get that from? It must have been put into my
pocket. Here is a letter. Yes, it was from the manager of the
theatre; the pieces were rejected, and the letter is not at all
politely worded. H'm! H'ml" said the copying clerk, and he
sat down upon a bench: his thoughts were elastic; his head was
quite soft. Involuntarily he grasped one of the nearest flowers;
it was a common little daisy. What the botanists require several
lectures to explain to us, this flower told in a minute. It told the
glory of its birth; it told of the strength of the sunlight, which
spread out the delicate leaves and made them give out fragrance.
Then he thought of the battles of life, which likewise awaken
feelings in our breasts. Air and light are the lovers of the flower,
but light is the favoured one. Towards the light it turned, and
only when the light vanished the flower rolled her leaves together
and slept in the embrace of the air.
It is light that adorns me!" said the Flower.
"But the air allows you to breathe," whispered the poet's voice.
Just by him stood a boy, knocking with his stick upon the
marshy ground. The drops of water spurted up among the green
twigs, and the copying clerk thought of the millions of infusoria
which were cast up on high with the drops, which were the same
to them, in proportion to their size, as it would be to us if we
were hurled high over the region of clouds. And the copying
clerk thought of this, and of the great change which had taken
place within him; he smiled. I sleep and dream I it is wonderful,
though, how naturally one can dream, and yet know all the time
that it is a dream. I should like to be able to remember it all
clearly to-morrow when I wake. I seem to myself quite unusually
excited. What a clear appreciation I have of everything, and
how free I feel! But I am certain that if I remember anything of
it to-morrow, it will be nonsense. That has often been so with
me before. It is with all the clever famous things one says and
hears in dreams, as with the money of the elves under the earth;
when one receives it, it is rich and beautiful, but, looked at by
daylight, it is nothing but stones and dried leaves. Ah!" he
sighed, quite plaintively, and gazed at the chirping birds, as they
sprang merrily from bough to bough, they are much better off
than I. Flying is a noble art. Happy he who is born with wings.
Yes, if I could change myself into anything, it should be into a
THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE. 67
In a moment his coat-tails and sleeves grew together and
formed wings; his clothes became feathers, and his goloshes
claws. He noticed it quite plainly, and laughed inwardly.
"Well, now I can see that I am dreaming, but so wildly I have
never dreamed before." And he flew up into the green boughs
and sang; but there was no poetry in the song, for the poetic
nature was gone. The goloshes, like every one who wishes to do
any business thoroughly, could only do one thing at a time. He
wished to be a poet, and he became one. Then he wished to be
a little bird, and, in changing thus, the former peculiarity was
"That is charming !" he said. In the day-time I sit in the
i fJT h
The Copying Clerk changes hands.
police office among the driest of law papers; at night I can dream
that I am flying about as a lark in the Fredericksburg Garden.
One could really write quite a popular comedy upon it."
Now he flew down into the grass, turned his head in every
direction, and beat with his beak upon the bending stalks of grass,
which, in proportion to his size, seemed to him as long as palm
branches of Northern Africa.
It was only for a moment, and then all around him became as
the blackest night. It seemed to him that some immense sub-
stance was cast over him ; it was a great cap, which a sailor boy
threw over the bird. A hand came in and seized the copying
clerk by the back and wings in a way that made him whistle.
In his first terror he cried aloud, "The impudent rascal! I am
copying clerk at the police office !" But that sounded to the boy
only like "piep piep !" and he tapped the bird on the beak and
wandered on with him.
68 fHE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE.
In the alley the boy met with two other boys, who belonged to
the educated classes, socially speaking; but, according to abilities,
they ranked in the lowest class in the school. These bought the
bird for a few Danish shillings; and so the copying clerk was
carried back to Copenhagen.
It's a good thing that I am dreaming,' he said, "or I should
become really angry. First I was a poet, and now I 'm a lark!
Yes, it must have been the poetic nature which transformed me
into that little creature. It is a miserable state of things, espe-
cially when one falls into the hands of boys. I should like to
know what the end of it will be."
The boys carried him into a very elegant room. A stout and
smiling lady received them. But she was not at all gratified to
see the common field bird, as she called the lark, coming
in too. Only for one day she would consent to it; but they
must put the bird in the empty cage which stood by the
Perhaps that will please Polly," she added, and laughed at a
great Parrot swinging himself proudly in his ring in the hand-
some brass cage. "It's Polly's birthday," she said, simply, "so
the little field bird shall congratulate him."
Polly did not answer a single word; he only swung proudly to
and fro. But a pretty Canary bird, who had been brought here
last summer out of his warm fragrant fatherland, began to sing
Screamer !" said the lady; and she threw a white handker-
chief over the cage.
"Piep! piep sighed he; "here's a terrible snow-storm."
And thus sighing, he was silent.
The copying clerk, or, as the lady called him, the field bird,
was placed in a little cage close to the Canary, and not far from
the Parrot. The only human words which Polly could say, and
which often sounded very comically, were "Come, let's be men
now!" Everything else that he screamed out was just as unin-
telligible as the song of the Canary bird, except for the copying
clerk, who was now also a bird, and who understood his comrades
I flew under the green palm tree and the blossoming almond
tree!" sang the Canary. I flew with my brothers and sisters
over the beautiful flowers and over the bright sea, where the
plants waved in the depths. I also saw many beautiful parrots,
who told the merriest stories."
Those were wild birds," replied the Parrot. "They had no
education. Let us be men now! Why don't you laugh ? If the
lady and all the strangers could laugh at it, so can you. It is a
great fault to have no taste for what is pleasant. No, let us be
Do you remember the pretty girls who danced under the
THIE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE. 69
tents spread out beneath the blooming trees ? Do you remember
the sweet fruits and the cooling juice in the wild plants?"
Oh, yes !" replied the Parrot; "but here I am far better off.
I have good care and genteel treatment. I know I've a good
head, and I don't ask for more. Let us be men now. You are
what they call a poetic soul. I have thorough knowledge and
wit. You have genius, but no prudence. You mount up into
those high natural notes of yours, and then you get covered up.
This is never done to me; no, no, for I cost them a little more.
I make an impression with my beak, and can cast wit round me.
Now let us be men !"
0 my poor blooming fatherland !" sang the Canary. "I will
praise thy dark green trees and thy quiet bays, where the branches
kiss the clear watery mirror ; 1 '11 sing of the joy of all my shining
brothers and sisters, where the plants grow by the desert springs."
Now, pray leave off these dismal tones," cried the Parrot.
"Sing something at which one can laugh! Laughter is the sign
of the highest mental development. Look if a dog or a horse can
laugh No: they can cry; but laughter-that is given to men
alone. Ho! ho! ho I" screamed Polly, and finished the jest with
" Let us be men now."
"You little grey Northern bird," said the Canary; "so you
have also become a prisoner. It is certainly cold in your woods,
but still liberty is there. Fly out they have forgotten to close
your cage; the upper window is open. Fly fly 1"
Instinctively the copying clerk obeyed, and flew forth from his
prison. At the same moment the half-opened door of the next
room creaked, and stealthily, with fierce sparkling eyes, the house
cat crept in, and made chase upon him. The Canary fluttered in
its cage, the Parrot flapped its wings, and cried Let us be men
now !" The copying clerk felt mortally afraid, and flew through
the window, away over the houses and streets; at last he was
obliged to rest a little.
The house opposite had a homelike look: one of the windows
stood open, and he flew in. It was his own room: he perched
upon the table.
Let us be men now," he broke out, involuntarily imitating the
Parrot; and in the same moment he was restored to the form of
the copying clerk; but he was sitting on the table.
Heaven preserve me !" he cried. How could I have come
here and fallen so soundly asleep ? That was an unquiet dream
too, that I had. Tb.e whole thing was great nonsense."
The Best that the Goloshes brought.
On the following day, quite early in the morning, as the clerk
still lay in bed, there came a tapping at his door: it was his neigh.
70 THE GOLOSIES OF FORTUNE.
bour who lodged on the same floor, a young theologian; and he
Lend me your goloshes," said he. It is very wet in the gar-
den. But the sun shines gloriously, and I should like to smoke
a pipe down there."
He put on the goloshes, and was soon in the garden, which con-
tained a plum tree and an apple tree. Even a little garden like
this is highly prized in the midst of great cities.
The theologian wandered up and down the path; it was only
six o'clock, and a post-horn sounded out in the street.
Oh, travelling! travelling I he cried out, "that 's the greatest
happiness in all the world. That's the highest goal of my wishes.
Then this disquietude that I feel would be stilled. But it would
have to be far away. I should like to see beautiful Switzerland,
to travel through Italy, to-"
Yes, it was a good thing that the goloshes took effect im-
mediately, for he might have gone too far even for himself, and
for us others too. He was travelling; he was in the midst of
Switzerland, packed tightly with eight others in the interior of a
diligence. He had a headache and a weary feeling in his neck,
and his feet had gone to sleep, for they were swollen by the heavy
boots he had on. He was hovering in a condition between sleep-
ing and waking. In the right-hand pocket he had his letters of
credit, in his left-hand pocket his passport, and a few louis d'or
were sewn into a little bag he wore on his breast. Whenever he
dozed off, he dreamed he had lost one or other of these posses-
sions ; and then he would start up in a feverish way, and the first
movement his hand made was to describe a triangle from left to
right, and towards his breast, to feel whether he still possessed
them or not. Umbrellas, hats, and walking-sticks swung in the
net over him, and almost took away the prospect, which was im-
pressive enough; he glanced out at it, and his heart sang what
one poet at least, whom we know, has sung in Switzerland, but
has not yet printed:
"'T is a prospect as fine as heart can desire,
Before me Mont Blanc the rough:
'T is pleasant to tarry here and admire,
If only you've money enough."
Great, grave, and dark was all nature around him. The pine
woods looked like little mosses upon the high rocks, whose sum-
mits were lost in cloudy mists; and then it began to snow, and
the wind blew cold.
Hu !" he sighed; if we were only on the other side of the
Alps, then it would be summer, and I should have got money on
my letter of credit: my anxiety about this prevents me from
enjoying Switzerland. Oh, if I were only at the other side !"
And then he was on the other side, in the midst of Italy, be-
tween Florence and Rome, The Lake Thrasymene lay spread
THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE. 71
out in the evening light, like flaming gold among the dark blue
hills. Here, where Hannibal beat Flaminius, the grape-vines
held each other by their green fingers ; pretty half-naked children
were keeping a herd of coal-black pigs under a clump of fragrant
laurels by the way-side. If we could reproduce this scene accu-
rately, all would cry, "Glorious Italy I But neither the theolo-
gian nor any of his travelling companions in the carriage of the
vetturino thought this.
Poisonous flies and gnats flew into the carriage by thousands.
In vain they beat the air frantically with a myrtle branch-the
flies stung them nevertheless. There was not one person in the
carriage whose face was not swollen and covered with stings.
The poor horses looked miserable, the flies tormented them
wofully, and it only mended the matter for a moment when the
coachman dismounted and scraped them clean from the insects
that sat upon them in great swarms. Now the sun sank down;
a short but icy coldness pervaded all nature ; it was like the cold
air of a funeral vault after the sultry summer day ; and all around
the hills and clouds put on that remarkable green tone which we
notice on some old pictures, and consider unnatural unless we
have ourselves witnessed a similar play of colour. It was a
glorious spectacle; but the stomachs of all were empty and their
bodies exhausted, and every wish of the heart turned towards a
resting-place for the night; but how could that be won? To
descry this resting-place all eyes were turned more eagerly to the
road than towards the beauties of nature.
The way now led through an olive wood: he could have
fancied himself passing between knotty willow trunks at home.
Here, by the solitary inn, a dozen crippled beggars had taken up
their positions: the quickest among them looked, to quote an
expression of Marryat's, like the eldest son of Famine, who had
just come of age. The others were either blind or had withered
legs, so that they crept about on their hands, or they had withered
arms with fingerless hands. This was misery in rags indeed.
Eccellenza miserabili!" they sighed, and stretched forth their
diseased limbs. The hostess herself, in untidy hair, and dressed
in a dirty blouse, received her guests. The doors were tied up
with string; the floor of the room was of brick, and half of it
was grubbed up ; bats flew about under the roof, and the smell
Yes, lay the table down in the stable," said one of the travel-
lers. There, at least, one knows what one is breathing."
The windows were opened, so that a little fresh air might find
its way in; but quicker than the fresh air came the withered
arms and the continual whining, Miserabili, Eccellenza!" On
the walls were many inscriptions: half of them were against
" La bella Italia."
The supper was served. It consisted of a watery soup, seasoned
72 THE GOLOSHES OF FORTUNE.
with pepper and rancid oil. This last dainty played a chief part in a
salad; musty eggs and roasted cocks'-combs were the best dishes.
Even the wine had a strange taste-it was a dreadful mixture.
At night the boxes were placed against the doors. One of the
travellers kept watch while the rest slept. The theologian was
the sentry. Oh, how close it was in there The heat oppressed
him, the gnats buzzed and stung, and the miserabili outside
moaned in their dreams.
Yes, travelling would be all very well," said the theologian,
"if one had no body. If the body could rest and the mind fly!
Wherever I go, I find a want that oppresses my heart: it is
something better than the present moment that I desire. Yes,
something better--the best; but what is that, and where is it?
In my own heart I know very well what I want : I want to attain
to a happy goal, the happiest of all !"
And so soon as the word was spoken he found himself at home.
The long white curtains hung down from the windows, and in
the middle of the room stood a black coffin; in this he was lying
in the quiet sleep of death : his wish was fulfilled-his body was
at rest and his spirit roaming. Esteem no man happy who is
not yet in his grave," were the words of Solon ; here their force
was proved anew.
Every corpse is a sphinx of immortality; the sphinx here also
in the black sarcophagus answered, what the living man had laid
down two days before:
"Thou strong, stern Death Thy silence waketh fear :
Thou leaves mould'ring gravestones for thy traces.
Shall not the soul see Jacob's ladder here ?
No resurrection type but churchyard grasses?
The deepest woes escape the world's dull eye:
Thou that alone on duty's path hast sped,
Heavier those duties on thy heart would lie
Than lies the earth now on thy confined head,"
Two forms were moving to and fro in the room. We know
them both. They were the Fairy of Care and the Ambassadress
of Happiness. They bent down over the dead man.
"Do you see?" said Care. "What happiness have your goloshes
brought to men?"
They have at least brought a permanent benefit to him who
slumbers here," replied Happiness.
Oh, no!" said Care. He went away of himself, he was not
summoned. His spirit was not strong enough to lift the treasures
which he had been destined to lift. I will do him a favour."
And she drew the goloshes from his feet; then the sleep of
death was ended, and the awakened man raised himself up. Care
vanished, and with her the goloshes disappeared too; doubtless
she looked upon them as her property.
THE HARDY TIN SOLDIER. 3
The Birthday present of Tin Soldiers.
THE HARDY TIN SOLDIER.
HERE were once five and twenty tin soldiers; they were
all brothers, for they had all been born of one old tin
spoon. They shouldered their muskets, and looked
straight before them: their uniform was red and blue, and very
splendid. The first thing they had heard in the world, when the
lid was taken off their box, had been the words Tin soldiers!"
These words were uttered by a little boy, clapping his hands: the
soldiers had been given to him, for it was his birthday; and
74 THE HA RDY TIN SOLDIER.
now he put them upon the table. Each soldier was exactly like
the rest; but one of them had been cast last of all, and there
had not been enough tin to finish him; but he stood as firmly
upon his one leg as the others on their two; and it was just this
Soldier who became remarkable.
On the table on which they had been placed stood many other
playthings, but the toy that attracted most attention was a neat
castle of cardboard. Through the little windows one could see
straight into the hall. Before the castle some little trees were
placed round a little looking-glass, which was to represent a clear
lake. Waxen swans swam on this lake, and were mirrored in it.
This was all very pretty; but the prettiest of all was a little lady,
who stood at the open door of the castle; she was also cut out
in paper, but she had a dress of the clearest gauze, and a little
narrow blue ribbon over her shoulders, that looked like a scarf;
and in the middle of this ribbon was a shining tinsel rose as big as
her whole face. The little lady stretched out both her arms, for
she was a dancer; and then she lifted one leg so high that the
Tin Soldier could not see it at all, and thought that, like himself,
she had but one leg.
That would be the wife for me," thought he; "but she is very
grand. She lives in a castle, and I have only a box, and there
are five and twenty of us in that. It is no place for her. But I
must try to make acquaintance with her."
And then he lay down at full length behind a snuff-box which
was on the table; there he could easily watch the little dainty
lady, who continued to stand upon one leg without losing her
When the evening came, all the other tin soldiers were put into
their box, and the people in the house went to bed. Now the
toys began to play at "visiting," and at "war," and "giving balls."
The tin soldiers rattled in their box, for they wanted to join, but
could not lift the lid. The nutcracker threw somersaults, and
the pencil amused itself on the table : there was so much noise
that the canary woke up, and began to speak too, and even in
verse. The only two who did not stir from their places were the
Tin Soldier and the dancing lady: she stood straight up on the
point of one of her toes, and stretched out both her arms; and
he was just as enduring on his one leg; and he never turned his
eyes away from her.
Now the clock struck twelve-and, bounce! the lid flew off
the snuff-box; but there was not snuff in it, but a little black
Goblin: you see, it was a trick.
"Tin Soldier!" said the Goblin, "don't stare at things that
don't concern you."
But the Tin Soldier pretended not to hear him.
"Just you wait till to-morrow !" said the Goblin.
But when the morning came, and the children got up, the Tin
THE HARDY TIN SOLDIiR. 75
Soldier was placed in the window; and whether it was the Goblin
or the draught that did it, all at once the window flew open, and
the Soldier fell head over heels out of the third storey. That was
a terrible passage He put his leg straight up, and stuck with
helmet downwards and his bayonet between the paving-stones.
The servant-maid and the little boy came down directly to look
for him, but though they almost trod upon him, they could not
see him. If the Soldier had cried out "Here I am I' they would
have found him; but he did not think it fitting to call out loudly,
because he was in uniform.
Now it began to rain; the drops soon fell thicker, and at last
it came down into a complete stream. When the rain was past,
two street boys came by.
"Just look !" said one of them, there lies a tin soldier. He
must come out and ride in the boat."
And they made a boat out of a newspaper, and put the Tin
Soldier in the middle of it; and so he sailed down the gutter, and
the two boys ran beside him and clapped their hands. Goodness
preserve us I how the waves rose in that gutter, and how fast the
stream ran! But then it had been a heavy rain. The paper
boat rocked up and down, and sometimes turned round so rapidly
that the Tin Soldier trembled ; but he remained firm, and never
changed countenance, and looked straight before him, and
shouldered his musket.
All at once the boat went into a long drain, and it became as
dark as if he had been in his box.
"Where am I going now?" he thought. "Yes, yes, that's the
Goblin's fault. Ah if the little lady only sat here with me in
the boat, it might be twice as dark for what I should care."
Suddenly there came a great Water Rat, which lived under the
Have you a passport ?" said the Rat. "Give me your pass-
But the Tin Soldier kept silence, and held his musket tighter
The boat went on, but the Rat came after it. Hu I how he
gnashed his teeth, and called out to the bits of straw and wood,
Hold him! hold him! He hasn't paid toll--he hasn't shown
But the stream became stronger and stronger. The Tin Soldier
could see the bright daylight were the arch ended; but he heard
a roaring noise, which might well frighten a bolder man. Only
think-just where the tunnel ended, the drain ran into a great
canal; and for him that would have been as dangerous as for
us to be carried down a great waterfall.
Now he was already so near it that he could not stop. The
boat was carried out, the poor Tin Soldier stiffening himself as
much as he could, and no one could say that he moved an eyelid.
76 THE HARD Y TIN SOLDIER.
The boat whirled round three or four times, and was full of water
to the very edge-it must sink. The Tin Soldier stood up to his
neck in water, and the boat sank deeper and deeper, and the
paper was loosened more and more; and now the water closed
over the soldier's head. Then he thought of the pretty little
dancer, and how he should never see her again; and it sounded
in the soldier's ears :
"Farewell, farewell, thou warrior brave,
For this day thou must die !"
And now the paper parted, and the Tin Soldier fell out; but
at that moment he was snapped up by a great fish.
Oh, how dark it was in that fish's body! It was darker yet
than in the drain tunnel; and then it was very narrow too. But
the Tin Soldier remained unmoved, and lay at full length shoulder-
ing his musket.
The fish swam to and fro; he made the most wonderful move-
ments, and then became quite still. At last something flashed
through him like lightning. The daylight shone quite clear, and a
voice said aloud, "The Tin Soldier!" The fish had been caught,
carried to market, bought, and taken into the kitchen, where the
cook cut him open with a large knife. She seized the Soldier
round the body with both her hands, and carried him into the
room, where all were anxious to see the remarkable man who had
travelled about in the inside of a fish; but the Tin Soldier was
not at all proud. They placed him on the table, and there-no I
What curious things may happen in the world: The Tin Soldier
was in the very room in which he had been before I he saw the
same children, and the same toys stood on the table; and there
was the pretty castle with the graceful little dancer. She was
still balancing herself on one leg, and held the other extended in
the air. She was hardy too. That moved the Tin Soldier. he
was very nearly weeping tin tears, but that would not have been
proper. He looked at her, but they said nothing to each other.
Then one of the little boys took the Tin Soldier and flung him
into the stove. He gave no reason for doing this. It must have
been the fault of the Goblin in the snuff-box.
The Tin Soldier stood there quite illuminated, and felt a heat
that was terrible; but whether this heat proceeded from the real
fire or from love he did not know. The colours had quite gone
off from him; but whether that had happened on the journey, or
had been caused by grief, no one could say. He looked at the
little lady, she looked at him, and he felt that he was melting;
but he still stood firm, shouldering his musket. Then suddenly
the door flew open, and the draught of air caught the dancer, and
she flew like a sylph just into the stove to the Tin Soldier, and
flashed up in a flame, and she was gone. Then the Tin Soldier
THE STORY OF A MOTHER. 77
melted down into a lump; and when the servant-maid took the
ashes out next day, she found him in the shape of a little tin
heart. But of the dancer nothing remained but the tinsel rose,
and that was burned as black as a coal.
THE STORY OF A MOTHER.
MOTHER sat by her little child: she was very sorrow-
ful, and feared that it would die. Its little face was pale,
and its eyes were closed. The child drew its breath with
difficulty, and sometimes so deeply as if it were sighing; and
then the mother looked more sorrowfully than before on the little
Then there was a knock at the door, and a poor old man came
in wrapped up in something that looked like a great horse-cloth,
for that keeps warm; and he required it, for it was cold winter.
Without, everything was covered with ice and snow, and the
wind blew so sharply that it cut one's face.
And as the old man trembled with cold, and the child was quiet
for a moment, the mother went and put some beer on the stove
in a little pot, to warm it for him. The old man sat down and
rocked the cradle, and the mother seated herself on an old chair
by him, looked at her sick child that drew its breath so painfully,
and seized the little hand.
"You think I shall keep it, do you not ?" she asked. "The
good God will not take it from me!"
And the old man-he was Death-nodded in such a strange
way, that it might just as well mean yes as no. And the mother
cast down her eyes, and tears rolled down her cheeks. Her head
became heavy: for three days and three nights she had not closed
her eyes; and now she slept, but only for a minute; then she
started up and shivered with cold.
"What is that?" she asked, and looked round on all sides;
but the old man was gone, and her little child was gone; he had
taken it with him. And there in the corner the old clock was
humming and whirring; the heavy leaden weight ran down to
the floor-plump !-and the clock stopped.
But the poor mother rushed out of the house crying for her
Out in the snow sat a woman in long black garments, and she
said, Death has been with you in your room; I saw him hasten
78 7 HE STORY OF A MOTHER.
away with your child : he strides faster than the wind, and never
brings back what he has taken away."
"Only tell me which way he has gone," said the mother.
" Tell me the way, and I will find him."
I know him," said the woman in the black garments; "but
before I tell you, you must sing me all the songs that you have
sung to your child. I love those songs; I have heard them before.
I am Night, and I saw your tears when you sang them."
"I will sing them all, all!" said the mother. "But do not
detain me, that I may overtake him, and find my child."
But Night sat dumb and still. Then the mother wrung her
hands, and sang and wept. And there were many songs, but
yet more tears, and then Night said, Go to the right into the
dark fir wood; for I saw Death take that path with your little
Deep in the forest there was a cross road, and she did not
know which way to take. There stood a Blackthorn Bush, with
not a leaf nor a blossom upon it; for it was in the cold winter-
time, and icicles hung from the twigs.
Have you not seen Death go by, with my little child ?"
"Yes," replied the Bush; "but I shall not tell you which way
he went unless you warm me on your bosom. I 'm freezing to
death here, I 'm turning to ice."
And she pressed the Blackthorn Bush to her bosom, quite
close, that it might be well warmed. And the thorns pierced
into her flesh, and her blood oozed out in great drops. But the
Blackthorn shot out fresh green leaves, and blossomed in the
dark winter night: so warm is the heart of a sorrowing mother I
And the Blackthorn Bush told her the way that she should go.
Then she came to a great Lake, on which there was neither
ships nor boat. The Lake was not frozen enough to carry her,
nor sufficiently open to allow her to wade through, and yet she
must cross it if she was to find her child. Then she laid herself
down to drink the Lake ; and that was impossible for any one to
do. But the sorrowing mother thought that perhaps a miracle
might be wrought.
No, that can never succeed," said the Lake. "Let us rather
see how we can agree. I 'm fond of collecting pearls, and your
eyes are the two clearest I have ever seen: if you will weep them
out into me I will carry you over into the great greenhouse,
where Death lives and cultivate flowers and trees; each of these
is a human life."
Oh, what would I not give to get my child l" said the afflicted
mother; and she wept yet more, and her eyes fell into the depths
of the Lake, and became two costly pearls. But the Lake lifted
her up, as if she sat in a swing, and she was wafted to the oppo-
site shore, where stood a wonderful house, miles in length. One
could not tell if it was a mountain containing forests and caves,
THE STORY OF A MOFlTIER. 79
or a place that had been built. But the poor mother could not
see it, for she had wept her eyes out.
"Where shall I find Death, who went away with my little
child ?" she asked.
He has not arrived here yet," said an old grey-haired woman,
who was going about and watching the hot-house of Death.
"How have you found your way here, and who helped you ?"
The good God has helped me," she replied. He is merciful,
and you will be merciful too. Where-where shall I find my
I do not know it," said the old woman, and you cannot see.
Many flowers and trees have faded this night, and Death will
soon come and transplant them. You know very well that every
human being has his tree of life, or his flower of life, just as each
is arranged. They look like other plants, but their hearts beat.
Children's hearts can beat too. Think of this. Perhaps you
may recognize the beating of your child's heart. But what will
you give me if I tell you what more you must do?"
"I have nothing more to give," said the afflicted mother.
"But I will go for you to the ends of the earth."
"I have nothing for you to do there," said the old woman,
"but you can give me your long black hair. You must know
yourself that it is beautiful, and it pleases me. You can take my
white hair for it, and that is always something."
Do you ask for nothing more ?" asked she. "I will give you
that gladly." And she gave her beautiful hair, and received in
exchange the old woman's white hair.
And then they went into the great hothouse of Death, where
flowers and trees were growing marvellously intertwined. There
stood the fine hyacinths under glass bells, some quite fresh, others
somewhat sickly; water-snakes were twining about them, and
black crabs clung tightly to the stalks. There stood gallant palm
trees, oaks, and plantains, and parsley and blooming thyme.
Each tree and flower had its name; each was a human life : the
people were still alive, one in China, another in Greenland, scat-
tered about in the world. There were great trees thrust into
little pots, so that they stood quite crowded, and were nearly
bursting the pots; there was also many a little weakly flower in
rich earth, with moss round about it, cared for and tended. But
the sorrowful mother bent down over all the smallest plants, and
heard the human heart beating in each, and out of millions she
recognized that of her child.
"That is it!" she cried, and stretched out her hands over a
little crocus flower, which hung down quite sick and pale.
"Do not touch the flower," said the old dame; "but place
yourself here; and when Death comes-I expect him every
minute-then don't let him pull up the plant, but threaten him that
you will do the same to the other plants; then he 'll be frightened.
So 1THE STORY OF A AMOTHPR.
He has to account for them all; not one may be pulled up till he
receives commission from Heaven."
And all at once there was an icy cold rush through the hall,
and the blind mother felt that Death was arriving.
How did you find your way hither?" said he. "How have
you been able to come quicker than I ?"
I am a mother," she answered.
And Death stretched out his long hands towards the little deli-
cate flower; but she kept her hands tight about it, and held it
fast; and yet she was full of anxious care lest he should touch
one of the leaves. Then Death breathed upon her hands, and
she felt that his breath was colder than the icy wind; and her
hands sank down powerless.
"You can do nothing against me," said Death.
"But the merciful God can," she replied.
"I only do what He commands," said Death. "I am His gar-
dener. I take all His trees and flowers, and transplant them into
the great Paradise gardens, in the unknown land. But how they
will flourish there, and how it is there, I may not tell you."
Give me back my child," said the mother; and she implored
and wept. All at once she grasped two pretty flowers with her
two hands, and called to Death, I'll tear off all your flowers,
for I am in despair."
Do not touch them," said Death. "You say you are so un-
happy, and now you would make another mother just as un-
"Another mother?" said the poor woman; and she let the
There are your eyes for you," said Death. I have fished
them out of the lake ; they gleamed up quite brightly. I did
not know that they were yours. Take them back-they are
clearer now than before-and then look down into the deep well
close by. I will tell you the names of the two flowers you wanted
to pull up, and you will see what you were about to frustrate and
And she looked down into the well, and it was a happiness to
see how one of them became a blessing to the world, how much
joy and gladness she diffused around her. And the woman
looked at the life of the other, and it was made up of care and
poverty, misery and woe.
"Both are the will of God," said Death.
"Which of them is the flower of misfortune, and which the
blessed one ? she asked.
That I may not tell you," answered Death, "but this much
you shall hear, that one of these two flowers is that of your child.
It was the fate of your child that you saw-the future of your
Then the mother screamed aloud for terror.
THE DAISY. 8
"Which of them belongs to my child ? Tell me that! Release
the innocent child Let my child free from all that misery !
Rather carry it away Carry it into God's kingdom Forget
my tears, forget my entreaties, and all that I have done !"
I do not understand you," said Death. '" Will you have your
child back, or shall I carry it to that place that you know not ?"
Then the mother wrung her hands, and fell on her knees, and
prayed to the good God.
Hear me not when I pray against Thy will, which is at all
times the best! Hear me not I hear me not 1" And she let her
head sink down on her bosom.
And death went away with her child into the unknown land.
OW you shall hear!
Out in the country, close by the road-side, there was a
country house: you yourself have certainly once seen it.
Before it is a little garden with flowers, and a paling which is
painted. Close by it, by the ditch, in the midst of the most
beautiful green grass, grew a little Daisy. The sun shone as
warmly and as brightly upon' it as on the great splendid garden
flowers, and so it grew from hour to hour. One morning it stood
in full bloom, with its little shining white leaves spreading like
rays round the little yellow sun in the centre. It never thought
that no man would notice it down in the grass, and that it was a
poor despised floweret; no, it was very merry, and turned to the
warm sun, looked up at it, and listened to the Lark carolling high
in the air.
The little Daisy was as happy as if it were a great holiday, and
yet it was only a Monday. All the children were at school; and
while they sat on their benches learning, it sat on its little green
stalk, and learned also from the warm sun, and from all around,
how good God is. And the Daisy was very glad that everything
it silently felt was sung so loudly and charmingly by the Lark.
And the Daisy looked up with a kind of respect to the happy bird
who could sing and fly; but it was not at all sorrowful because
it could not fly and sing also.
"I can see and hear," it thought: "the sun shines on me, and
the forest kisses me. Oh, how richly have I been gifted !"
Within the palings stood many stiff, aristocratic flowers-the
less scent they had the mQre they flaunted. The peonies blew
82 THE DAISY.
themselves out to be greater than the roses, but size will not do
it; the tulips had the most splendid colours, and they knew that,
and held themselves bolt upright, that they might be seen more
plainly. They did not notice the little Daisy outside there, but
the Daisy looked at them the more, and thought, How rich and
beautiful they are Yes, the pretty birds flies across to them and
visits them. I am glad that I stand so near them, for at any rate
I can enjoy the sight of their splendour And just as she thought
that-" keevit! "-down came flying the Lark, but not down to
the peonies and tulips-no, down into the grass to the lowly
Daisy, which started so with joy that it did not know what to
The little bird danced round about it, and sang,
Oh, how soft the grass is and see what a lovely little flower,
with gold in its heart and silver on its dress !"
For the yellow point in the Daisy looked like gold, and the little
leaves around it shone silvery white.
How happy was the little Daisy-no one can conceive how
happy! The bird kissed it with his beak, sang to it, and then
flew up again into the blue air. A quarter of an hour passed, at
least, before the Daisy could recover itself. Half ashamed, and
yet inwardly rejoiced, it looked at the other flowers in the garden;
for they had seen the honour and happiness it had gained, and
must understand what a joy it was. But the tulips stood up twice
as stiff as before, and they looked quite peaky in the face and
quite red, for they had been vexed. The peonies were quite
wrong-headed: it was well they could not speak, or the Daisy
would have received a good scolding. The poor little flower
could see very well that they were not in a good humour, and that
hurt it sensibly. At this moment there came into the garden a
girl with a great sharp shining knife; she went straight up to the
tulip, and cut off one after another of them.
Oh! sighed the little Daisy, "this is dreadful; now it is all
over with them."
Then the girl went away with the tulips. The Daisy was glad
to stand out in the grass, and to be only a poor little flower; it
felt very grateful; and when the sun went down it folded its leaves
and went to sleep, and dreamed all night long about the sun and
the pretty little bird.
Next morning, when the flower again happily stretched out all
its white leaves, like little arms, towards the air and the light, it
recognized the voice of the bird, but the song he was singing
sounded mournfully. Yes, the poor Lark had good reason to be
sad: he was caught, and now sat in a cage close by the open
window. He sang of free and happy roaming, sang of the young
green corn in the fields, and of the glorious journey he might
make on his wings high through the air. The poor Lark was not
in good spirits, for there he sat a prisoner in a cage.
THE DAISY. 83
The Little Boys cut the Turf with the Daisy on it.
The little Daisy wished very much to help him. But what was
it to do? Yes, that was difficult to make out. It quite forgot
how everything was beautiful around, how warm the sun shone,
and how splendidly white its own leaves were. Ah it could think
only of the imprisoned bird, and how it was powerless to do any-
thing for him.
Just then two little boys came out of the garden. One of them
carried in his hand the knife which the girl had used to cut off
the tulips. They went straight up to the little Daisy, which could
not at all make out what they wanted.
Here we may cut a capital piece of turf for the Lark," said
84 THE DAISY.
one of the boys ; and he began to cut off a square patch round
about the Daisy, so that the flower remained standing in its piece
Tear off the flower !" said the other boy.
And the Daisy trembled with fear, for to be torn off would be
to lose its life ; and now it wanted particularly to live, as it was
to be given with the piece of turf to the captive Lark.
"No, let it stay," said the other boy; it makes such a nice
And so it remained, and was put into the Lark's cage. But
the poor bird complained aloud of his lost liberty, and beat his
wings against the wires of his prison ; and the little Daisy could
not speak-could say no consoling word to him, gladly as it
would have done so. And thus the whole morning passed.
Here is no water," said the captive Lark. They are all gone
out, and have forgotten to give me anything to drink. My throat
is dry and burning. It is like fire and ice within me, and the air
is close. Oh, I must die I must leave the warm sunshine,
the fresh green, and all the splendour that God has created "
And then he thrust his beak into the cool turf to refresh him-
self a little with it. Then the bird's eye fell upon the Daisy, and
he nodded to it, and kissed it with his beak, and said,
"You also must wither in here, you poor little flower. They
have given you to me with a little patch of green grass on which
you grow, instead of the whole world which was mine out there !
Every little blade of grass shall be a great tree for me, and every
one of your fragrant leaves a great flower. Ah, you only tell me
how much I have lost !"
If I could only comfort him!" thought the little Daisy.
It could not stir a leaf; but the scent which streamed forth
from its delicate leaves was far stronger than is generally found
in these flowers ; the bird also noticed that, and though he was
fainting with thirst, and in his pain plucked up the green blades
of grass, he did not touch the flower.
The evening came, and yet nobody appeared to bring the poor
bird a drop of water. Then he stretched out his pretty wings
and beat the air frantically with them; his song changed to a
mournful piping, his little head sank down towards the flower,
and thebird's heart broke with want andyearning. Then theflower
could not fold its leaves, as it had done on the previous even-
ing, and sleep ; it drooped, sorrowful and sick, towards the earth.
Not till the text morning did the boys come; and when they
found the bird dead they wept-wept many tears-and dug him
a neat grave, which they adorned with leaves of flowers. The
bird's corpse was put into a pretty red box, for he was to be
royally buried--the poor bird! While he was alive and sang
they forgot him, and let him sit in his cage and suffer want; but
now that he was dead he had adornment and many tears.
A GREAT GRIEF. 85
But the patch of turf with the Daisy on it was thrown out into
the high road: no one thought of the flower that had felt the
most for the little bird, and would have been so glad to console
A GREAT GRIEF.
SH IS story really consists of two parts; the first part might
be left out, but it gives us a few particulars, and these
We were staying in the country at a gentleman's seat, where
it happened that the master was absent for a few days. In the
meantime there arrived from the next town a lady; she had a
pug dog with her, and came, she said, to dispose of shares in her
tan-yard. She had her papers with her, and we advised her to
put them in an envelope, and to write thereon the address of the
proprietor of the estate, "General War-Commissary Knight," &c.
She listened to us attentively, seized the pen, paused, and begged
us to repeat the direction slowly. We complied, and she wrote;
but in the midst of the General War . ." she stuck fast,
sighed deeply, and said, "I am only a woman !" Her Puggie
had seated itself on the ground while she wrote, and growled;
for the dog had come with her for amusement and for the sake
of its health; and then the bare floor ought not to be offered to
a visitor. His outward appearance was characterized by a snub
nose and a very fat back.
"He doesn't bite," said the lady; "he has no teeth. He is
like one of the family, faithful and grumpy; but the latter is my
grandchildren's fault, for they have teazed him: they play at
wedding, and want to give him the part of the bridesmaid, and
that's too much for him, poor old fellow."
And she delivered her papers, and took Puggie upon her arm.
And this is the first part of the story, which might have been left
PUGGIE DIED!! That's the second part.
It was about a week afterwards we arrived in the town, and
put up at the inn. Our windows looked into the tan-yard, which
was divided into two parts by a partition of planks; in one half
were many skins and hides, raw and tanned. Here was all the
apparatus necessary to carry on a tannery, and it belonged to
the widow. Puggie had died in the morning, and was to be
buried in this part of the yard: the grandchildren of the widow
(that is, of the tanner's widow, for Puggie himself had never
86 THE SHIRT COLLAR.
been married) filled up the grave, and it was a beautiful grave
-it must have been quite pleasant to lie there.
The grave was bordered with pieces of flower-pots and strewn
over with sand; quite at the top they had stuck up half a beer
bottle, with the neck upwards, and that was not at all allegorical.
The children danced round the grave, and the eldest of the
boys among them, a practical youngster of seven years, made a
proposition that there should be an exhibition of Puggie's burial-
place for all who lived in the lane; the price of admission was to
be a trouser button, for every boy would be sure to have one, and
each might also give one for a little girl This proposal was
adopted by acclamation.
And all the children out of the lane-yes, even out of the little
lane at the back-flocked to the place, and each gave a button.
Many were noticed to go about on that afternoon with only one
brace, but then they had seen Puggie's grave, and the sight was
worth much more.
But in front of the tan-yard, close to the entrance, stood a little
girl clothed in rags, very pretty to look at, with curly hair, and
eyes so blue and clear that it was a pleasure to look into them.
The child said not a word, nor did she cry; but each time the
little door was opened she gave a long, long look into the yard.
She had not a button-that she knew right well, and therefore
she remained standing sorrowfully outside, till all the others had
seen the grave and had gone away; then she sat down, held her
little brown hands before her eyes, and burst into tears: this girl
alone had not seen Puggie's grave. It was a grief as great to her
as any grown person can experience.
We saw this from above; and, looked at from above, how many
a grief of our own and of others can make us smile I That is the
story, and whoever does not understand it may go and purchase
a share in the tan-yard from the widow.
THE SHIRT COLLAR.
E HERE was once a rich cavalier whose whole effects con-
sisted of a Bootjack and a Hair-brush, but he had the
finest Shirt Collar in the world, and about this Shirt
Collar we will tell a story.
The Collar was now old enough to think of marrying, and it
happened that he was sent to the wash together with a Garter.
My word!" exclaimed the Shirt Collar. I have never seen
THE SHIRT COLLAR. 87
anything so slender and delicate, so charming and genteel. May
I ask your name?"
I shall not tell you that," said the Garter.
"Where is your home ?" asked the Shirt Collar.
But the Garter was of rather a retiring nature, and it seemed
such a strange question to answer.
I presume you are a girdle?" said the Shirt Collar-" a sort
of under girdle? I see that you are useful as well as ornamental,
my little lady."
"You are not to speak to me," said the Garter. "I have not,
I think, given you any occasion to do so."
Oh! when one is as beautiful as you are," cried the Shirt
Collar, I fancy that is occasion enough."
"Go said the Garter; "don't come so near me: you look to
me q,'te like a man."
I am a fine cavalier too," said the Shirt Collar. I possess
a bootjack and a hair-brush."
And that was not true at all, for it was his master who owned
these thing,. but he was boasting.
"Don't come too near me," said the Garter; I'm not used
"Affectation I" cried the Shirt Collar.
And then they were taken out of the wash, and starched, and
hung over a chair in the sunshine, and then laid on the ironing.
board; and now came the hot Iron.
"Mrs. Widow!" said the Shirt Collar, "little Mrs. Widow,
I 'm getting quite warm; I 'm being quite changed; I 'm losing
all my creases; you 're burning a hole in me! Ugh! I propose
You old rag!" said the Iron, and rode proudly over the Shirt
Collar, for it imagined that it was a steam boiler, and that it
ought to be out on the railway dragging carriages. "You old
rag!" said the Iron.
The Shirt Collar was a little frayed at the edges, therefore the
Paper Scissors came to smooth away the frayed places.
Ho, ho!" said the Shirt Collar; I presume you are a first-
rate dancer. How you can point your toes! no one in the world
can do that like you."
"I know that," said the Scissors.
"You deserve to be a countess," said the Shirt Collar. "All
that I possess consists of a genteel cavalier, a bootjack, and a
comb. If I had only an estate!"
"What! do you want to marry?" cried the Scissors; and they
were angry, and gave such a deep cut that the Collar had to be
I shall have to propose to the Hair-brush," thought the Shirt
Collar.-" It is wonderful what beautiful hair you have, my little
lady. Have you never thought of engaging yourself?"
88 THE SHIRT COLLAR.
The Shirt Collar in its glory.
Yes, you can easily imagine that," replied the Hair-brush,
SI am engaged to the Bootjack."
Now there was no one left to whom he could offer himself, and
so he despised love-making.
A long time passed, and the Shirt Collar was put into the sack
of a paper dealer. There was a terribly ragged company, and
the fine ones kept to themselves, and the coarse ones to them-
selves, as is right. They all had much to tell, but the Shirt
Collar had most of all, for he was a terrible Jack Brag.
"I have had a tremendous number of love affairs," said the
OLE L UK OIE. 89
Shirt Collar. They would not leave me alone; but I was a fine
cavalier, a starched one. I had a bootjack and a hair-brush that
I never used: you should only have seen me then, when I was
turned down. I shall never forget my first love: it was a girdle;
and how delicate, how charming, how genteel it was! And my
first love threw herself into a washing-tub, and all for me! There
was also a widow desperately fond of me, but I let her stand alone
till she turned quite black. Then there was a dancer, who gave
me the wound from which I still suffer-she was very hot tem-
pered. My own hair-brush was in love with me, and lost all her
hair from neglected love. Yes, I 've had many experiences of this
kind; but I am most sorry for the Garter-I mean for the girdle,
that jumped into the wash-tub for love of me. I've a great deal
on my conscience. It's time I was turned into white paper."
And to that the Shirt Collar came. All the rags were turned
into white paper, but the Shirt Collar became the very piece of
paper we see here, and upon which this story has been printed,
and that was done because he boasted so dreadfully about things
that were not at all true. And this we must remember, so that
we may on no account do the same, for we cannot know at all
whether we shall not be put into the rag bag and manufactured
into white paper, on which our whole history, even the most
secret, shall be printed, so that we shall be obliged to run about
and tell it, as the Shirt Collar did.
SHERE 'S nobody in the whole world who knows so many
stories as Ole Luk-Oie. He can tell capital histories.
Towards evening, when the children still sit nicely
at table, or upon their stools, Ole Luk-Oie comes. He comes
up the stairs quite softly, for he walks in his socks: he opens
the door noiselessly, and whisk! he squirts sweet milk in the
children's eyes, a small, small stream, but enough to prevent
them from keeping their eyes open; and thus they cannot see
him. He creeps just among them, and blows softly upon their
necks, and this makes their heads heavy. Yes, but it doesn't
hurt them, for Ole Luk-Oie is very fond of the children; he only
wants them to be quiet, and that they are not until they are
taken to bed : they are to be quiet in order that he may tell them
When the children sleep, Ole Luk-Oie sits down upon their
90 OLE LUK-OIE.
bed. He is well dressed: his coat is of silk, but it is impossible
to say of what colour, for it shines red, green, and blue, accord-
ing as he turns. Under each arm he carries an umbrella: the
one with pictures on it he spreads over the good children, and
then they dream all night the most glorious stories; but on his
other umbrella nothing at all is painted : this he spreads over the
naughty children, and these sleep in a dull way. and when they
awake in the morning they have not dreamed of anything.
Now we shall hear how Ole Luk-Oie, every evening through
one whole week, came to a little boy named Hjalmar, and what
he told him. There are seven stories, for there are seven days in
Listen," said Ole Luk-Oie in the evening, when he had put
Hjalmar to bed; "now I'11 clear up."
And all the flowers in the flower-pots became great trees,
stretching out their long branches under the ceiling of the room
and along the walls, so that the whole room looked just like a
beauteous bower; and all the twigs were covered with flowers,
and each flower was more beautiful than a rose, and smelt so
sweet that one wanted to eat it-it was sweeter than jam. The
fruit gleamed like gold, and there were cakes bursting with
raisins. It was incomparably beautiful. But at the same time
a terrible wail sounded from the table drawer, where Hjalmar's
Whatever can that be ?" said Ole Luk-Oie; and he went to
the table, and opened the drawer. It was the slate, which was
suffering from convulsions, for a wrong number had got into the
sum, so that it was nearly falling in pieces ; the slate pencil tugged
and jumped at its string, as if it had been a little dog who wanted
to help the sum; but he could not. And thus there was great
lamentation in Hjalmar's copy-book; it was quite terrible to hear.
On each page the great letters stood in a row, one beneath the
other, and each with a little one at its side: that was the copy;
and next to these were a few more letters which thought they
looked just like the first; and these Hjalmar had written; but
they lay down just as if they had tumbled over the pencil-lines
on which they were to stand.
See, this is how you should hold yourselves," said the Copy.
"Look, sloping in this way, with a powerful swing !"
"Oh, we shall be very glad to do that," replied Hjalmar's
Letters, "but we cannot; we are too weakly."
Then you must take medicine," said Ole Luk-Oie.
Oh, no," cried they ; and they immediately stood up so grace-
fully that it was beautiful to behold.
"Yes, now we cannot tell any stories," said Ole Luk-Oie;
"now I must exercise them. One, two one two !" and thus he
OLE LUK- OI. 91
exercised the Letters; and they stood quite slender, and as
beautiful as any copy can be. But when Old Luk-Oie went
away, and Hjalmar looked at them next morning, they were as
weak and miserable as ever.
As soon as Hjalmar was in bed, Ole Luk-Oie touched all the
furniture in the bed-room with his little magic squirt, and they
immediately began to converse together, and each one spoke of
itself, with the exception of the spittoon, which stood silent, and
was vexed that they should be so vain as to speak only of them-
selves, and think only of themselves, without any regard for him
who stood so modestly in the corner for every one's use.
Over the chest of drawers hung a great picture in a gilt frame
-it was a landscape. One saw therein large old trees, flowers
in the grass, and a broad river which flowed round about a forest,
past many castles, and far out into the wide ocean.
Old Luk-Oie touched the painting with his magic squirt, and
the birds in it began to sing, the branches of the trees stirred,
and the clouds began to move across it; one could see their
shadows glide over the landscape.
Now Old Luk-Oie lifted little Hjalmar up to the frame, and
put the boy's feet into the picture, just in the high grass; and
there he stood; and the sun shone upon him through the branches
of the trees. He ran to the water, and seated himself in a little
boat which lay there; it was painted red and white; the sails
gleamed like silver, and six swans, each with a gold circlet round
its neck and a bright blue star on its forehead, drew the boat
past the great wood, where the trees tell of robbers and witches,
and the flowers tell of the graceful little elves, and of what the
butterflies have told them.
Gorgeous fishes, with scales like silver and gold, swam after
their boat: sometimes they gave a spring, so that it splashed in
the water; and birds, blue and red, little and great, flew after
them in two long rows; the gnats danced, and the cockchafers
said, "Boom I boom!" They all wanted to follow Hjalmar, and
each one had a story to tell.
That was a pleasure voyage. Sometimes the forest was thick
and dark, sometimes like a glorious garden full of sunlight and
flowers; and there were great palaces of glass and of marble; on
the balconies stood Princesses, and these were all little girls
whom Hjalmar knew well-he had already played with them.
Each one stretched forth her hand, and held out the prettiest
sugar heart which ever a cake-woman could sell; and Hjalmar
took hold of each sugar heart as he passed by, and the Princess
held fast, so that each of them got a piece-she the smaller share,
and Hjalmar the larger. At each palace little Princes stood
92 OLE L UK-OIE.
sentry. They shouldered golden swords, and caused raisins and
tin soldiers to shower down: one could see that they were real
Princes. Sometimes Hjalmar sailed through forests, sometimes
through halls or through the midst of a town. He also came to
the town where his nurse lived, who had always been so kind to
him; and she nodded and beckoned, and sang the pretty verse
she had made herself and had sent to Hjalmar.
"I've loved thee, and kissed thee, Hjalmar, dear boy;
I 've watched thee waking and sleeping :
May the good Lord guard thee in sorrow, in joy,
And have thee in His keeping."
And all the birds sang too, the flowers danced on their stalks,
and the old trees nodded, just as if Ole Luk-Oie had been telling
stories to them.
How the rain was streaming down without! Hjalmar could
hear it in his sleep; and when Ole Luk-Oie opened a window,
the water stood quite up to the window-sill : there was quite a
lake outside, and a noble ship lay close by the house.
If thou wilt sail with me, little Hjalmar," said Ole Luk-Oie,
"thou canst voyage to-night to foreign climes, and be back again
And Hjalmar suddenly stood in his Sunday clothes upon the
glorious ship, and immediately the weather became fine, and they
sailed through the streets, and steered round by the church; and
now everything was one great wild ocean. They sailed on until
the land was no longer to be seen, and they saw a number of
storks, who also came from their home, and were travelling to-
wards the hot countries ; these storks flew in a row, one behind
the other, and they had already flown far-far! One of them
was so weary that his wings would scarcely carry him farther;
he was the very last in the row, and soon remained a great way
behind the rest; at last he sank, with outspread wings, deeper
and deeper; he gave a few more strokes with his pinions, but it
was of no use; now he touched the rigging of the ship with his
feet, then he glided down from the sail, and-bump !-he stood
upon the deck.
Now the cabin-boy took him and put him into the hencoop
with the Fowls, Ducks,and Turkeys ; the poor Stork stood among
them quite embarrassed.
*' Just look at the fellow !" said all the Fowls.
And the Turkey-cock swelled himself up as much as ever he
could, and asked the Stork who he was; and the Ducks walked
backwards and quacked to each other, "' Quackery I quackery !"
And the Stork told them of hot Africa, of the pyramids, and
of the ostrich which runs like a wild horse through the desert;
OLE LUK-OIE. 93
but the ducks did not understand what he said, and they said
to one another,
"We're all of the same opinion, namely, that he's stupid."
"Yes, certainly he's stupid," said the Turkey-cock; and he
Then the Stork was quite silent, and thought of his Africa.
Those are wonderful thin legs of yours," said the Turkey-
cock. Pray, how much do they cost a yard ? "
Quack quack qua-a-ck I" grinned all the Ducks; but the
Stork pretended not to hear it at all.
You may just as well laugh too," said the Turkey-cock to him,
"for that was very wittily said. Or was it, perhaps, too high for
you ? Yes, yes, he isn't very penetrating. Let us continue to be
interesting among ourselves."
And then he gobbled, and the Ducks quacked, Gick gack
gick gack !" It was terrible how they made fun among them-
But Hjalmar, went to the hencoop, opened the back door, and
called to the Stork; and the Stork hopped out to him on to the
deck. Now he was quite rested, and it seemed as if he nodded
at Hjalmar, to thank him. Then he spread his wings, and flew
away to the warm countries; but the Fowls clucked, and the
Ducks quacked, and the Turkey-cock became fiery red in the face.
To-morrow we shall make songs of you," said Hjalmar; and
so saying he awoke, and was lying in his linen bed. It was a
wonderful journey that Ole Luk-Oie that caused him to take that
I tell you what," said Ole Luk-Oie, "you must not be fright-
ened. Here you shall see a little Mouse," and he held out his
hand with the pretty little creature in it. It has come to invite
you to a wedding. There are two little Mice here who are going
to enter into the marriage state to-night. They live under the
floor of your mother's store-closet: that is said to be a charming
But how can I get through the little mouse-hole in the floor?"
Let me manage that," said Ole Luk-Oie. "I will make you
And he touched Hjalmar with his magic squirt, and the boy
began to shrink and shrink and shrink, until he was not so long
as a finger.
Now you may borrow the uniform of a tin soldier: I think it
would fit you, and it looks well to wear a uniform when one is
Yes, certainly," said Hjalmar.
94 OLE LUK-OIE.
And in a moment he was dressed like the spiciest of tin
Will your honour not be kind enough to take a seat in your
amma's thimble?" asked the Mouse. "Then I shall have the
pleasure of drawing you."
"Will the young lady really take so much trouble?" cried
And thus they drove to the Mouse's wedding. First they
came into a long passage beneath the boards, which was only
just so high that they could drive through it in the thimble; and
the whole passage was lit up with rotten wood.
Is there not a delicious smell here?" observed the Mouse.
"The entire road has been greased with bacon-rinds, and there
can be nothing more exquisite."
Now they came into the festive hall. On the right hand stood
all the little lady mice; and they whispered and giggled as if
they were making fun of each other; on the left stood all the
gentlemen mice, stroking their whiskers with their fore paws;
and in the centre of the hall the bridegroom and bride might be
seen standing in a hollow cheese-rind, and kissing each other
terribly before all the guests; for this was the betrothal, and the
marriage was to follow immediately.
More and more strangers kept flocking in. One mouse was
nearly treading another to death; and the happy couple had
stationed themselves just in the little doorway, so that one could
neither come in nor go out. Like the passage, the room had
been greased with bacon-rinds, and that was the entire banquet;
but for the dessert a pea was produced, in which a mouse belong-
ing to the family had bitten the name of the betrothed pair-that
is to say, the first letter of the name: that was something quite
out of the common way.
All the mice said it was a beautiful wedding, and that the
entertainment had been very agreeable. And then Hjalmar
drove home again: he had really been in grand company; but
he had been obliged to crawl through a mouse-hole..to make
himself little, and to put on a tin soldier's uniform.
"It is wonderful how many grown-up people there are who
would be very glad to have me!" said Ole Luk-Oie; "especially
those who have done something wrong. 'Good little Ole,' they
say to me, 'we cannot close our eyes, and so we lie all night and
see our evil deeds, which sit upon the bedstead like ugly little
goblins, and throw hot water over us; will you not come and
drive them away, so that we may have a good sleep ?'-and then
they sigh deeply-' we would really be glad to pay for it. Good
OLE LUK-OIE. 95
night, Ole: the money lies on the window-sill.' But I do nothing
for money," says Ole Luk-Oie.
"What shall we do this evening?" asked Hjalmar.
"I don't know if you care to go to another wedding to-night.
It is a different kind from that of yesterday. Your sister's great
doll, that looks like a man, and is called Hermann, is going to
marry the doll Bertha. Moreover, it is the dolls' birthday, and
therefore they will receive very many presents."
Yes, I know that," replied Hjalmar. Whenever the dolls
want new clothes, my sister lets them either keep their birthday
or celebrate a wedding; that has certainly happened a hundred
"Yes, but to night is the hundred and first wedding; and when
number one hundred and one is past, it is all over: and that is
why it will be so splendid. Only look"
And Hjalmar looked at the table. There stood the little card-
board house with the windows illuminated, and in front of it all
the tin soldiers were presenting arms. The bride and bridegroom
sat quite thoughtful, and with good reason, on the floor, leaning
against a leg of the table. And Ole Luk-Oie, dressed up in the
grandmother's black gown, married them to each other. When
the ceremony was over, all the pieces of furniture struck up the
following beautiful song, which the pencil had written for them.
It was sung to the melody of the soldiers' tattoo.
"Let the song swell like the rushing wind,
In honour of those who this day are joined,
Although they stand here so stiff and blind,
Because they are both of a leathery kind.
Hurrah! hurrah! though they're deaf and blind.
Let the song swell like the rushing wind."
And now they received presents-but they had declined to accept
provisions of any kind, for they intended to live on love.
"Shall we now go into a big summer lodging, or start on a
journey?" asked the bridegroom.
And the Swallow, who was a great traveller, and the old yard
Hen, who had brought up five broods of chickens, were con-
sulted on the subject. And the Swallow told of the beautiful
warm climes, where the grapes hung in ripe heavy clusters, where
the air is mild, and the mountains glow with colours unknown
But you have not our brown cole there !" objected the Hen.
"I was once in the country, with my children, in one summer
that lasted five weeks. There was a sand-pit, in which we could
walk about and scratch; and we had the entire to a garden where
brown cole grew: it was so hot there that one could scarcely
breathe. And then we have not all the poisonous animals that
infest these warm countries of yours, and we are free from robbers.
He is a villian who does not consider our country the most beau-
tiful-he certainly does not deserve to be here!" And then the
96 OLE LUK-OIE.
Hen wept, and went on: "I have also travelled. I rode in a
coop about twelve miles; and there is no pleasure at all in
"Yes, the Hen is a sensible- woman !" said the doll Bertha.
"I don't think anything of travelling among mountains, for you
only have to go up, and then down again. No, we will go into
the sand-pit beyond the gate, and walk about in the cabbage
And so it was settled.
"Am I to hear some stories now?" asked little Hjalmar, as
soon as Ole Luk-Oie had sent him to sleep.
This evening we have no time for that," replied Ole Luk-Oie;
and he spread his finest umbrella over the lad. "Only look at
And the whole umbrella looked like a great China dish, with
blue trees and pointed bridges with little Chinamen upon them,
who stood there nodding their heads.
We must have the whole world prettily decked out for to-
morrow morning," said Ole Luk-Oie, for that will be a holiday
-it will be Sunday. I will go to the church steeples to see that
the little church goblins are polishing the bells, that they may
sound sweetly. I will go out into the field, and see if the breezes
are blowing the dust from the grass and leaves; and, what is the
greatest work of all, I will bring down all the stars, to polish
them. I take them in my apron; but first each one must be
numbered, and the holes in which they are to be placed up there
must be numbered likewise, so that they may be placed in the
same grooves again; otherwise they would not sit fast, and we
should have too many shooting stars, for one after another would
Hark ye! Do you know, Mr. Ole Luk-Oie," remarked an old
Portrait which hung upon the wall where Hjalmar slept, "I am
Hjalmar's great-grandfather! I thank you for telling the boy
stories; but you must not confuse his ideas. The stars cannot
come down and be polished! The stars are world-orbs, just like
our own earth, and that is just the good thing about them."
"I thank you, old great-grandfather," said Ole Luk-Oie, "I
thank you I You are the head of the family; you are the ancestral
head. But I am older than you! I am an old heathen: the
Romans and Greeks called me the Dream God. I have been in
the noblest houses, and am admitted there still! I know how to
act with great people and with small! Now you may tell your
own story!" And Ole Luk-Oie took his umbrella, and went
"Well, well! May one not even give an opinion now-a-days?"
grumbled the old Portrait. And Hjalmar awoke.
OLE L UK- OIE. 9
"Good evening!" said Ole Luk-Oie; and Hjalmar nodded,
and then ran and turned his great-grandfather's Portrait against
the wall, that it might not interrupt them, as it had done yester-
Now you must tell me stories-about the five green peas that
lived in one shell, and about the cock's foot that paid court to
the hen's foot, and of the darning-needle who gave herself such
airs because she thought herself a working-needle."
There may be too much of a good thing !" said Ole Luk-Oie.
"You know that I prefer showing you something. I will show
you my own brother. His name, like mine, is Ole Luk-Oie, but
he never comes to any one more than once; and he takes him
to whom he comes upon his horse, and tells him stories. He only
knows two. One of these is so exceedingly beautiful that no one
in the world can imagine it, and the other so horrible and dread-
ful that it cannot be described."
And then Ole Luk-Oie lifted little Hjalmar up to the window,
There you will see my brother, the other Ole Luk-Oie. They
also call him Death! Do you see? he does not look so terrible
as they make him in the picture-books, where he is only a skeleton.
No, that is silver embroidery that he has on his coat; that is a
splendid hussar's uniform; a mantle of black velvet flies behind
him over the horse. See how he gallops along!"
And Hjalmar saw how this Ole Luk-Oie rode away, and took
young people as well as old upon his horse. Some of them he
put before him, and some behind; but he always asked first-
"How stands it with the mark-book ?" Well," they all replied.
Yes, let me see it myself," he said. And then each one had to
show him the book; and those who had very well" and re-
markably well" written in their books, were placed in front of
his horse, and a lovely story was told to them; while those who
had "middling" or "tolerably well," had to sit up behind, and
hear a very terrible story indeed. They trembled and wept, and
wanted to jump off the horse, but this they could not do, for they
had all, as it were, grown fast to it.
"But Death is a most splendid Ole Luk-Oie," said Hjalmar.
"I am not afraid of him!"
Nor need you be," replied Ole Luk-Oie; but see that you
have a good mark-book!"
"Yes, that is improving!" muttered the great-grandfather's
Picture. "It is of some use giving one's opinion." And now he
You see, that is the story of Ole Luk-Oie; and now he may
tell you more himself, this evening!
* HE Emperor's favourite horse was shod with gold. It
had a golden shoe on each of its feet.
And why was this ?
He was a beautiful creature, with delicate legs, bright intelli-
gent eyes, and a mane that hung down over his neck like a veil.
He had carried his master through the fire and smoke of battle,
and heard the bullets whistling around him, had kicked, bitten,
and taken part in the fight when the enemy advanced, and had
sprung with his master on his back over the fallen foe, and had
saved the crown of red gold, and the life of the Emperor, which
was even more valuable than the red gold; and that is why the
Emperor's horse had golden shoes.
And a Beetle came creeping forth.
First the great ones," said he, "and then the little ones; but
greatness is not the only thing that does it." And so saying, he
stretched out his thin legs.
"And pray what do you want?" asked the smith.
"Golden shoes, to be sure," replied the Beetle.
"Why, you must be out of your senses!" cried the smith. "Do
you want to have golden shoes too?"
"Golden shoes? certainly," replied the Beetle. "Am I not
just as good as that big creature yonder, that is waited on, and
brushed, and has meat and drink put before him? Don't I
belong to the imperial stable ?"
But why is the horse to have golden shoes? Don't you under-
stand that ?" asked the smith.
Understand ? I understand that it is a personal slight offered
to myself," cried the Beetle. It is done to annoy me, and there-
fore I am going into the world to seek my fortune."
"Go along!" said the smith.
"You're a rude fellow!" cried the Beetle: and then he went
out of the stable, flew a little way, and soon afterwards found
himself in a beautiful flower garden, all fragrant with roses and
Is it not beautiful here ?" asked one of the little Lady-Birds
that flew about, with their delicate wings and their red-and-black
shields on their backs. "How sweet it is here-how beautiful
"I 'm accustomed to better things," said the Beetle. "Do you
call this beautiful? Why, there is not so much as a dung-heap."
Then he went on, under the shadow of a great stack, and
found a Caterpillar crawling along.
"How beautiful the world is 1" said the Caterpillar: "the sun