Rm of I-1
FRANCIS & 00.'S
L I I IL IB ISA Y S
FOR YOUNG PERSONS OF VARIOUS AGo.,
THE STORY TELLER. '
BY HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSBN.
THE WIL~h- I
tjt 5tnrq ttllnr.
TALES FROM THE DANISH
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.
0. 8. FRANCIS & 00., 251 BROADWAY.
J. FriAeN 18 WAlaUI OII mrsV.
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OLs LUCIOII-T-I BSTOT TELLER u
Turn BSocKWlKAT .. 40
Tits WILD SWAN* 4
Tn. ANGEL .w..ns .. .......5
TIts ANaL* . . gl
Tna PFLLOW-TRATi. 63
Tun ELFI MouND 10
TIll FLYING T i *.. . . 14
THuE BUDLI OF MIATC Ma 1
TO MISS MITFORD.
My DEAR MIss MITFORD,
You will not, I dare say, have forgotten the
tales I read to you, when sitting comfortably by your
fire-side some weeks ago. As you were so delighted
with the few you then heard, and expressed yourself so
favorably of the translation, it gives me great pleasure
to be able to present you now with the complete collec-
tion. I trust you will receive it kindly, and as a token
that the pleasant fifteenth of October is well remem-
bered by me.
How glad should I be if, as on that evening, I could
read them to you myself, and again enjoy with you the
humor and pathos of these charming tales.
MY DEAR Miss MITrORD,
Very truly yours,
Eo tMe Young rtabsers ot t)est Eals.
MY DEAR LITTLE FRIENDS,
THE task of translating this volume
into English was to me as a labor of love;
for when I read these charming stories for
the first time the thought immediately oc-
curred to me, "How delightful a book
would this be for English children to have!
How many persons would be enchanted
with the book if they could but read it!"
And so, wishing that others-many others,
as I hope-might share my pleasure with
me, wishing that the name of Andersen
might become as familiar and be as joy-
fully greeted in England as it is every
where throughout Denmark, I thought the
best thing I could do would be to translate
what he has here written; and then I
doubted not of finding some bookseller
who would take my book and publish it.
Well, I set about the work; and at every
pretty passage I thought to myself, how
some bright, playful eyes would sparkle
still more brightly, and some sweet rosy
mouth send forth a happy laugh, when the
words I was then writing would be read:
and so I translated story after story, and
was as impatient to get on as though I had
not read the book before, and wanted to
know myself what was coming. Then I
took them with me to England, and read
them to different persons,-the young, and
those who had been young,-and all were
equally delighted with the pretty descrip-
tions, the beautiful thoughts, the quaint
drollery, and the kindly feeling to be found
throughout. For these stories though, it is
true, not all strictly speaking fairy-tale,
yet seem to me to come from Fairy-land;
for they have the strange witchery about
them that when a child reads he sees just
such pictures as delight his young fancy;
and when a grown-up person takes them
in his hand he is equally delighted, though
he sees them quite differently to the child,
for to him there are hidden meanings and
deep wisdom in what appears to some a
mere childish tale. It may seem very
magical for a thing to appear quite dif-
ferent to two persons at the same time, and
yet remain unchanged; but so it is. As a
proof of this, the lady to whom I have
taken the liberty of dedicating my little
book wrote to me some time ago: "I look
forward with great interest to the publica-
tion of that charming book, which I shall
enjoy quite as much as if I were one of
your legitimate readers of eight years old,
instead of fifty-eight next Tuesday:" so
you see that not only the school-boy but
one'whose genius has delighted thousands,
can read them with enjoyment. However,
I suppose this is because the good and the
gentle-natured, be their age what it may,
are all children in heart; taking delight in
the same simple things, and moved like
most of yourselves by the expression of
natural feeling. At Copenhagen, too, these
tales are read in the theatre to the audi-
ence between the acts; so great and so
general is the interest they excite.
How Andersen could imagine such charm-
ing things I cannot tell, nor do I know if
the elves and pixies of Denmark gave him
a hint or not; but I should think the beau-
tiful thoughts and words so full of pathos
were brought him rather by some good
angel, a messenger from heaven.
A friend of mine, Count Pocci, of
nich, (you all know where Munich is
told me if I could find a publisher, he
would make the drawings for the book. I
was particularly glad of this, because he
has already illustrated a great many such
works: tales of his own, about little or-
phan children being left all alone in the
world, without any being but God to take
care of them; and pretty verses of four or
five lines for every day in the month; be-
sides the books of other authors: and they
were all done in the feeling and spirit I
Here, in Bavaria, I can assure you,
All children know,
They know and love him 4ll;
And clap their hands with joy to hear
The'tales that he can tell.
And in the men he draws for them,
And in his tales, is shown
Full well he knows that childhood has
SA world that's all its own."
But it is really time to end. I intended
to say a few'words only, and I have stayed
to talk with you for more than half an
hour. Farewell, my pretty ones; and like
the children in the vignette, plucking fruits
and flowers from the overhanging boughs,
may you derive gladness and much amuse-
ment from these Tales from Denmark."
Farewell for a time: I hope some day to
meet you all again.
-' ID you ever see
any body who
knows so many
stories as good
old Ole Luck6ie
-and then, too,
asuc stories !-
Yes, of an eve-
the children be
sitting never so
nicely and pet-
tily behaved at table, or on their footatoola,
up stairs Ole Luckoie comes quite softly.
He has, in reality, list shoes on, he opens
te door very gently, and then what should
do but strew a certain powder on the
children's eyelids. It is so fine, so very
fine; but still it is always enough to make
it impossible for them to keep their eyes
open any longer; and that is the reason
they do not see him: then he glides behind
them, and breathes gently on their neck;
and then their heads feel so heavy! But it
does not hurt them, for good old Ole Luck6ie
'"oves the children, and wishes them well;
he only wants them to be quiet, and they
are most so when they are in bed. He
wants them to be still, that he may be able
to tell them his stories.*
Ole Luckoie, that is, old kind-hearted Ole," is
he whose business it is in ae family to close the
children's eyes when thmy go to bbd-in short, to sing
them their lullaby. In Germany the same nursery-
genius is to be found : he is called The Sandman,"
who, when it is time for the little ones to go to bed,
strews sand in their eyes, so that .they can no longer *
keep them open. It is an every-day expression, when
4tlr rnk, i. E, ....
As soon as the children are asleep, good
old Ole seats himself at the foot of their bed.
He is well dressed; his coat is of silken
stuff; but to say what color it is would
an impossibility, for it is so glossy, and I
green, and red, and blue, according as he
turns. Under each arm he carries an um-
brella; one with pictures, which he holds
over the good children, and then they dream
the whole night the prettiest stories; and
one on which there is nothing, and this one
he holds over naughty children, who then
sleep on dully the whole night, and when
they awake in the morning have dreamed
nothing at all.
Let us hear now how Ole came every
night for a whole week to a little boy called
Hialmar, and what he related to him.
That makes seven stories; for a week, you
know, has seven' days.
of an evening a person look leepy, ad winks sa
rubs his eyes, to ay, Ha, ha! I se the Seadma is
come!"-NOrz or Tzs TaUS.LATOR.
SNow, then, listen to me !" said the kind
old man, when he had got Hialmar to bed.
"Now I'll show you a pretty sight!" and
suddenly all the flowers in the flower-pots
were changed into great trees, that spread
their long branches up to the very ceiling,
and along the walls, so that the whole room
looked like the prettiest bower; and all the
boughs were full of flowers, and every flow-
er was more beautiful than a rose, and smelt
delightfully. If one chose to eat it, it tasted
sweeter than sugar-plums. The fruits shone
like gold; and plum-cakes were then almost
bursting with raisins: there was nothing
could be compared to it! But at the same
moment a terrible lamentation was heard in
the table-drawer, where Hialmar's school-
books were lying.
"What's that?" said Ole, going to the
drawer and pulling it out. There lay thb
slate, on which the figures were pushing and
knocking each other; for a wrong number
had got into the sum, so that the whole was
on the point of breaking down: the pencil
jumped and hopped about, chained as he was
to the slate by a piece of string, just like a
little dog: he wanted to help the sum, but
was not able. And a little further lay Hial-
mar's copy-book: here, too, was a moafi
and lamentation within. On every le4
from top to bottom, were capital letters, each
with a small one beside it, and so all the
way down. That was the copy; and by
these some other letters were standing, that
fancied they looked like them. Hialmar
had written these; but there they lay, pret-
ty much as if they had tumbled over the
pencil-line on which they were meant to
"I.ook! you must stand sol" said the
copy; "look !-so, sideways, with a bold
Oh! we should be glad enough to do
so," said Hialmar's letters, but we eaa't;
we are such poor wretched creatures I''
Then you must have some pepper," sld
"Oh, no I" they all cried, and eed so
upright that it was a pleasure to look at
Well, I can't tell you any more stories
now," said the kind old man; I must go
and drill the letters: one, two! one, two!
one, two!" And then they stood as straight
and as well as only a copy can stand; but
when Ole went away, and Hialmar looked
at them next morning, there they were all
just as wretched-looking as before.
As soon as Hialmar was in bed, Ole
touched al the furniture in the room with
his magic wand, and it immediately began
to speak; and each thing spoke of itself.
Over the chest of drawers there hung a
large picture in a gilded frame. It was a
landscape; and in it were to be seen high
old trees, flowers in the grass, and a broad
piece of water, with a river that flowed
round the wood, past many castles, away
into the mighty sea.
The kind old man touched the picture
with his wand; and the birds began to sing,
the boughs of the trees moved, and the
clouds floated by, so that one could see their
shadows moving over the landscape. Ole
now lifted Hialmar up to the frame, and
Hialmar put his feet in the picture, right in
among the high grass, and there he stood.
He ran to the water and seated himself in a
little boat; it was painted red and white,
the sails shone like silver, and six swans,
with golden chains around their necks, and
a brilliant blue star on their heads, drew the
boat past a green wood, where the trees re-
lated stories of robbers and witches, and the
flowers told about the pretty little elves, and
about what the butterflies had said to them.
The most beautiful fishes, with scales like
gold and silver, swam after the boat; some-
times they gave a jump, so that they made
a splashing in the water; and birds, red and
blue, large and small, came flying behind in
two long rows; the gnats danced, and the
chafers hummed; they all would acoom-
pany Hialmar, and each one had a story to
That was an excursion Sometimes the
woods were thick and gloomy; now they
were like the most pleasing gardens, full of
flowers and sunshine, and there were two
large castles of marble and crystal. On the
balconies Princesses were standing, all of
whom were quite little girls, acquaintances
of Hialmar, with whom he had often played.
They stretched out their hands, each one
holding the nicest little sucking-pig imagi-
nable, made of sugar; and Hialmar took
hold of one end as he sailed by, and a Prin-
cess held the other; so that each got a piece
-she the smaller, and he the larger one.
Before each castle little Princes were stand-
ing sentry; they shouldered arms with their
golden swords, and sent down showers of
raisins and games of soldiers. They were
the right sort of Princes! Hialmar now
sailed through a wood, now through large
halls, or the middle of a town; he passed,
too, through the town where his nurse lived,
she who had carried him about when he was
quite a little boy, and had loved him so
dearly. She nodded and beckoned to him,
and sang the pretty verse which she had
composed herself and had sent to Hial-
" I think of thee, my darling, I think of thee, my joy,
At morning and at evening, my little prattling bey;
For I it was who treasured the first words which
In infancy did utter, and on thy accents hung.
Twas I who kissed thy forehead, 'twas I who kis-
ed thy ckeek
So rosy and so dimpled, when thou didst try to
And I have rocked thy cradle, and sung thy lulla,
And watqh'd till thine eyes opened, as blue the
And so thou wast a part of my life and of my joy
No ne'er shall I forget thee, my darling, darling
And all the birds sang, too, the flowers
danced on their stems, and the old trees
bowed their heads, while the kind-hearted
old man told his story.
Well, to be sure How the rain is pour-
ing down without! Hialmar could hear it
even in his sleep; and when Ole opened the
window the water reached to the very sill;
it was quite a lake: but the most magnifi-
cent ship lay just before the house.
"Will you sail with me, little Hialmar7"
said Ole; if you will, you can go and visit
foreign countries with me to-night, and be
here again in the morning."
And all at once there stood Hialmar in
his Sunday clothes on the deck of the splen-
did ship; and it grew beautiful weather im-
mediately, and they sailed through the
streets, and round about by the church, and
the whole place was now a large wild sea.
They sailed on so long till at last no land
was to be seen, and they perceived a flight
of storks coming from Hialmar's home, and
going to warmer climes. They always flew
one behind the other, and they had already
flown so very, very far! One of them was
dOt t Ikuir.
so tired, that his wings could scarcely carry
him further; he was the last of all, and he
soon remained a great way behind. At last,
with outspread wings, he sank lower and
lower, beat the air a few times with his pin-
ions, but in vain. His wings touched the
rigging of the ship, he slipped down from
the sail, and, plump !-there he stood on the
Upon this a sailor-boy took him and put
him into a hen-coop with the poultry, along
with the ducks and turkeys. The poor
stork stood among them quite out of coun-
"Only look, what an odd sort of fellow
that is !" said all the cocks and hens. And
the turkey-cock puffed himself up as much
as he could, and asked him who he was.
And the ducks walked backwards, and nod-
ded to each other.
And the stork told them of sultry Africa,
of the pyramids, and of the ostrich that races
over the desert like a wild horse. But the
ducks did not understand him, and again
nodded their heads, and said one to another,
"Shall we not agree that he is a simple-
Yes, to be sure, he is a simpleton," said
the turkey-cock. gobbling.
So the stork was silent, and thought of
his dear Africa.
"Those are very pretty thin legs of
yours," said the turkey; "pray, what do
they cost a yard ?"
"Quack! quack! quack !" giggled all
the ducks; but the stork did as if he had
not heard them.
"Oh, you might very well have laughed,
too," said the turkey to the stork, for the
joke was a good one. But perhaps it was
not high enough for you! Ha! ha! ha!
he is a shallow fellow, so let us not waste
our words upon him, but keep our clever
things for ourselves!" And then he gob-
bled, and the ducks gabbled, "quack!
quack! quack !" It was. really laughable
to see how amused they were.
But Hialmar went to Abe hen-coop, and
called the stork, who hopped out to him on
the deck. He had now rested, and it seem-
ed as if he nodded to Hialmar to thank him;
then he spread out his wings and flew away
to warm lands; but the fowls clucked, the
ducks gabbled, and the turkey grew as red
"We'll make soup of you to-morrow,"
said Hialmar; and saying these words he
awoke, and was lying in his own little bed.
That was a strange journey.that Ole had
taken him in the night I
"What do you think 7" said Ole; but
don't be afraid: I'll show you a little
mouse." And he held out his hand to him
with the pretty little creature. "She is
come to invite you to a wedding. There
are here two little mice that are to be mar-
ried this evening. They live under the floor
of your larder; and they say it is a won-
drous charming residence !"
"But how can I get through the little
mouse-hole ?" asked Hialmar.
"Leave that to me," said the old man:
"I'll take care to make you small enough."
And he touched Hialmar with his wand,
and he grew smaller and smaller immedi-
ately, till at last he was not bigger than a
finger. "Now, then, you can put on the
little leaden soldier's clothes; I think they'll
fit you, and it looks so well to have on uni-
form when one is in company."
Very well," said Hialmar; and in the
same moment he was dressed like the nicest
little leaden soldier.
If you will have the goodness to take a
seat in your mamma's thimble," said the
little mouse, I will do myself the honor to
Oh, your ladyship surely won't take the
trouble yourself!" said Hialmar, and on
they drove to the wedding.
First they came into a long gallery under
the floor, that was just high enough to drive
through with the thimble, and was lighted
the whole way with touchwood, which
shone in the dark brilliantly.
"Does it not smell deliciously here"
said the mouse that drew him along; the
whole corridor has been rubbed with bacon-
rind-there can be nothing nicer!"
Now they came into the hall where was
the bridal pair. On the right stood the lady
mice, who whispered as if they were amus-
ing themselves at the others' expense; and
on the left stood the gentlemen mice, strok-
ing their whiskers with their paws; and in
the middle of the room one beheld the mar-
riage pair, standing in a hollow cheese; and
they kissed each other before every body,
for they were betrothed and were just going
to be married. More and more company
came; the mice almost trampled each other
to death, and the two whose wedding was
to be celebrated stationed themselves right
in the door-way, so that there was no going
in or out. The whole room, like the corri-
dor, had been rubbed with bacon-rind; this
was all the refreshment they got; but as
dessert, a pea was shown, in which a little
mouse of the family had bitten the names of
the wedding pair; that is to say, the initials
only. It was beautiful beyond all descrip-
All the mice said the wedding was very
grand, and that the conversation, too, had
been very good.
Now Hialmar drove home again. He
had, it is true, been in very high society;
but he had been obliged to bend, and creep,
and make himself very small, and put on a
leaden soldier's uniform.
"It is incredible what a quantity of old
people are always wanting to have me,"
said Ole Luckoie; "particularly those who
have done something wicked 'Good, dear
Ole Luckoie,' say they to me, 'we cannot
close our eyes; and we lie the whole night,
and see all our misdeeds, that sit like little
ugly goblins at the foot of the bed, and
sprinkle us with hot water. Do come and
drive them away, that we may get a little
sound sleep!' And then they heave deep
..sighs. 'We will williUgly pay you:-good
night, Ole; the money lies on the window-
sill!' But I don't do it for money," said
the old man.
"What shall we undertake to-night1"
Why, I don't know if you would like to
go to a wedding: it is quite a different sort
of one to yesterday's. Your sister's large
doll, that looks like a man, and is called
Herman, is to marry the doll Bertha; be-
sides, it is her birthday; so many presents
"Yes, I know," said Hialmar; "every
time the doll -wants new clothes, my sister
says it is her birth-day, or her wedding.
That has happened a hundred times already
Yes, but to-night is the wedding for the
hundred-and-first time; and after it has
happened a hundred and one times, then all
is over. This time, therefore, it will be un-
paralleled: only look !"
And Hialmar looked on the table. There
stood the little pasteboard baby-house, with
lights in the windows, and before the door
were all the rleep soldiers presenting arms;
the wedding pair were sitting on the floor,
leaning thoughtfully against the leg of the
table. Then Ole Luckoie put on grand-
mamma's black gown, and married them.
When the wedding was over, all the furni-
ture in the room began singing the following
song, which the lead-pencil had written for
Ho, for the bridegroom! and ho, for the bride
That's standing beside him in beauty's pride !
Her skin it is made of a white kid-glove,
And on her he looks with an eye of love.
Joy to the husband, and joy to the wife,
And happiness, too, and a long, long life !"
And then presents were made them;
but no eatables- were given: this they had
themselves desired; for they had quite
enough with love.
"Shall we go into the country now, or
make a tour abroad ?" asked the bride-
groom; and the swallow, who was a great
traveller, and the old hen in the court that
had brooded six times, were called in to give
their advice; and the swallow related about
the beautiful warm countries where large
and clustering grapes hang on the vines,
where the air is mild, and where the moun-
tains have tints that are here unknown.
But you have not our green cabbages
there," said the Hen. I passed one sum-
mer in the country with all my young fami-
ly: there was a sandpit there, in which we
could go and scratch; besides that, we were
allowed to be in a garden full of green cab-
bages. Oh, how green it was! I cannot
imagine any thing more lovely I"
But one cabbage-head looks just like
the other," said the Swallow; "and then
here you have so often bad weather."
"One is accustomed to it," said the Hen.
"But it is cold here, it freezes!"
"That is good for the cabbage," said the
Hen. Besides it can be warm here, too.
Had we not four years ago a summer that
lasted five weeks i It was so hot that one
could hardly breathe. Moreover, here are
none of the poisonous animals that are found
abroad. Here we have no robbers I He
must be a blockhead that does not think our
60 Vlt furknir.
country the finest in the world! Such a
one does not deserve to live in it!" And at
these words tears ran down the Hen's cheeks.
"I have travelled, too I have travelled in
a hamper more than twelve miles. There
is no such great pleasure in travelling that
I can see!"
"Yes, the Hen is a sensible person," said
the Doll Bertha. "I have no great wish to
travel over mountains either; for that is
nothing else but going up and then coming
down again. No, we will take a trip to the
sand-pit, and go walking in the cabbage-
And so the matter was settled.
"Am I to hear a story ?" said little Hial-
mar, as soon as the good-natured Ole had
got him to sleep.
We have no time this evening," said
Ole, spreading out his handsomest umbrella
over him. "Look at these Chinese!" And
the large umbrella looked like a great china
plate with blue trees and pointed bridges,
full of little Chinese standing and nodding
We must get the whole in order for to-
morrow," said Ole Luck6ie; to-morrow is
a holyday, it is Sunday. I must go up to
the church-tower, to see if all the little
church-sprites have polished the bells, that
they may sound melodiously. I must away
into the fields, to see if the winds have
swept the dust from the grass and the leaves;
I must take down all the stars and polish
them. I take them all in my apron; but
they must first be numbered, and the holes
where they belong must be numbered, too,
so that each may get his right place again,
otherwise they would not fit tight; and we
should have a quantity of falling stars if one
after the other were to tumble down."
"I'll tell you what, Mr. Ole Luck6ie,"
said an old Portrait, that hung on the wall
near which Hialmar slept. "I am Hial-
mar's great-grandfather. I am very much
obliged to you for telling the boy pretty
stories, but you must not set his ideas im.
confusion. Stars cannot be taken down and
polished. Stars are globes like our world,
and that is the very best thing about them."
"Many thanks, old great-grandfather!"
said Ole. "Very many thanks! You are,
it is true, an old great-grandfather, but I am
older than you. I am an old heathen; the
Greeks and Romans named me the God of
Dreams. I have been in the houses of the
great, and still go there. I know how to
deal with great and little Now, then, do
you tell a story !" And old Ole went away
and took his umbrella with him.
Now-a-days one dares not say what one
thinks!" murmured the old Portrait.
And here Hialmar awoke.
Good evening," said Ole; and Hialmar
nodded, and ran quickly to the portrait of
his great-grandfather, and turned it with the
face to the wall, in order that it might not
mix in the conversation as it did yesterday
Now you must tell me a story about the
five green peas that lived in a pea-shell, and
about the cock that paid his addresses to the
hen, and of the darning-needle that wanted
to be very fine, and fancied itself a sewing-
One can have too much of a good thing,"
said Ole. "I will rather show you something.
I will show you my brother; but he never
comes but once; and when he does come to
any body he takes him on his horse, and
tells him stories. He knows only two; the
one is indescribably beautiful, such as no
one in the world can imagine; and the other
is so horrible and frightful-I cannot-say
how dreadful!" And he lifted little Hial-
mar up to the window, and said: There,
look at my brother, the other Ole; he is, it
is true, sometimes called Death! You see,
he does not look half so horrid as he is made
in picture-books, where he is all bones. All
that is silver embroidery that he has on his
dress it is the richest hussar uniform I a
cloak of black velvet flies behind him over
his horse: look! how he gallops !"
And Hialmar saw how Ole Luckdie's
brother rode away, and took the young and
the old up with him on his horse. Some he
set before him, and others behind; but he
always asked first what testimonials they
"Oh, good ones," said they all. Yes,
but let me look myself," said he; and then
they were obliged to show him the book:
and all those who had VERY GOOD," or
"PARTICULARLY GOOD," came before him on
horseback, and heard the beautiful story;
but those who had "PRETTY WELL," or
" BAD," in their books, were obliged to get
behind and hear the dreadful one. They
trembled and cried, and wanted to jump
down from the horse, but they could not, for
they and the horse had grown together.
But Death is the more beautiful of the
two," said Hialmar; I am not afraid of
"Nor should you be," said Ole; "only
take care that you have a good certificate in
"Yes, that is instructive," murmured the
great-grandpapa's portrait; "it is, however,
a good thing to express one's opinion after
all;" and now the old gentleman was
Well, that is the story of Ole Luckoie,
and this evening he can tell you some more
F, after a thunder-
storm, you go into a
field where Buck-
S wheat is growing,
you will sometimes
see that it looks
quite black and sing-
ed; just as if a
stream of flame had passed over it: and
then the farmer says, "The lightning has
done this." But how is it that the lightning
does it 7 I will tell you what the Sparrow
told me, and the sparrow heard it from an
old Willow-tree that stood in a field of
tot % nUtkmoat.
Buckwheat, and is still standing there. It
is a large and quite a venerable Willow, but
old and wrinkled, and is cleft from top to
bottom; and out of the clefts grow black-
berry-bushes and grass. The tree bends
forwards, and the branches almost reach the
ground-it looks like long green hair hang-
ing down. In all the fields around grain
was growing: Rye, Buckwheat, and Oats.
Yes, beautiful Oats, that look, when ripe,
like a whole sea of little golden canaries sit-
ting on a bough. The grain stood there in
such blessed fulness; and the heavier it was
the lower it bowed in pious humility.
A field of Buckwheat was there, too, and
it lay just before the old Willow-tree. But
the Buckwheat bowed not down as did the
other grain; stiff and proud, there it stood.
I am quite as rich as the ears of Corn,"
it said, "and, besides, I am much more
beautiful: my flowers are as lovely as the
blossom of the Apple-tree: it is quite a plea-
sure to look at me! Did you ever see any
thing more splendid than we are, old Wil-
And the Willow nodded as though he
would saf, "Yes, certainly I have." But
the Buckwheat was puffed up with pride,
and said, "The stupid tree he is so old
that grass is growing over his body !"
Now, a dreadful thunder-storm drew
near; all the flowers of the field folded their
leaves, or bowed their heads, while the
tempest passed: but the Buckwheat, in his
pride, stood quite erect.
Bow thy head, as we do," said the
"I shall do no such thing!" said the
Bow thy head, as we do," said the
Corn; the Spirit of the storm is about to
rush by. He hath wings which reach from
the clouds unto the earth; he will dash thee
down before thou hast time to implore him
to be mercifull"
No, I will not bend," said the Buck-
"Close thy flowers, and bend down thy
leaves," said the old Willow-tree; "look
not into the glare of the lightning when the
cloud bursts: men even dare not do that;
for in the lightning one seeth into God's own
heaven, and THAT sight is enough to dazzle
even man: how would it fare with us, mere
plants of the earth, if we dared to do it I we
are so much less!"
"So much less!" said the Buckwheat;
"now just for that I will gaze into God's
own heaven!" and he did do so in his pride
and presumption. It was as if the whole
world was in fire and flame, so terribly did
Later, when the storm was over, there
stood the Flowers and the Corn in the calm
pure air refreshed by the rain; but the
Buckwheat was burned by the lightning as
black as a coal: it lay a dead useless plant
upon the field.
And the old Willow moved its branches
in the wind, and large drops fell from the
green leaves, as though the tree wept. And
the Sparrows asked: What are you weep-
ing for ? It is so beautiful here! Look
how the sun is shining; look how the clouds
are sailing on! Do you not smell the fra-
grance of the flowers and of the bushes
What are you weeping for, then, you old
And the Willow told them of the pride
and presumption of the Buckwheat, and of
the punishment that is sure to follow. I,
who relate the story, heard it from the Spar-
rows: they told it me one evening when I
begged for a fairy-tale.
AR, far from here,
in the land whi-
ther the swallows fly
when with us it is winter,
there dwelt a King, who had
eleven sons, and one daugh-
ter named Elise. The
eleven brothers, princes all,
went to school with stars on their breast,
and swords at their side. They wrote on
golden tablets with pencils of diamond; and
they could read in any book, and out of any
book: you heard in a moment that they
were Princes. Their sister Elise sat on a
',Xlrt lilb Ininiu.
little stool of looking-glass, and had a pic-
ture-book that had cost half a kingdom.
What a happy life the children led! but
it was not to last long.
Their father, the King of the whole coun-
try, married a wicked Queen, who treated
the children very ill. On the very first day
they felt the difference. There was a great
festival at the palace, and the children play-
ed at visiting; but instead of having roasted
apples and cakes, as formerly, the Queen
gave them only sand in little saucers, and
said, they must fancy it was something
good to eat."
The following week she sent little sister
Elise to some peasants in the country; and
it was not long before she had something
bad of the Princes to tell the King, so that
he no longer cared much about them.
"Be off! go into the world, and take
care of yourselves !" said the wicked Queen.
Fly off in the shape of large dumb birds!"
But yet she could not make it quite so bad
as she wished; and into eleven beautiful
white swans were the Princes changed.
With a strange cry, they flew out of the
windows of the palace, and disappeared over
the park and the wood.
It was still very early in the morning
when they passed by the place where Elise
was lying asleep in the peasant's cottage.
They flew in circles round the roof, turned
their long necks here and there, and beat
the air with their wings; but nobody heard
or saw them, and they were obliged to con-
tinue their flight up into the clouds, and
over the wide world. Then they flew to
the great gloomy wood, which extended to
Poor little Elise stood in the peasant's
room, and played with a green leaf; for it
was the only thing she had to play with.
She made a hole in the leaf, and through it
peeped at the sun; and it seemed to her as
though she saw the bright eyes of her bro-
thers; and as often as the warm sunbeams
fell on her cheeks, she thought of her bro-
Each day passed like the other. If the
wind blew through the great rose-tree be-
fore the house, it whispered to the roses,
" Who is more lovely than ye are ?" But
the roses shook their heads and said, Elise
is far more lovely !" And if the old wife
sat on a Sunday before the cottage-door,
and read in her book of hymns, the wind
turned over the leaves, and said to the book,
" Who is more pious than thou 7" Elise!"
answered the hymn-book; and what the
roses and the hymn-book said was quite
When Elise was fifteen years old, she was
to return home; but as soon as the Queen
saw how beautiful she was, she took such
an aversion to her that she would have liked
to change her into a wild swan like her
brothers. However, she did not dare to do
so, because the King wanted to see his daugh-
One morning early, the Queen went
into her bath, which was of marble, and
ornamented with soft cushions and costly
carpets. She took three toads, kissed them,
and said to one of them, Do thou sit on
the head of Elise when she goes to bathe,
(4t Wilih nma.
that she may become as lazy and drowsy as
thou art." "Sit thou on her forehead,"
said she to another, that she may grow as
ugly as thou art, so that her father may not
recognize her." "Do thou lie in her bo-
som," said she to the third, "that her heart
may be tainted, and that she may grow
wicked, and be her own punishment."
Then she put the toads into the clear wa-
ter, which immediately assumed a greenish
color; and she called Elise, undressed her,
and made her step into the bath, and put
her head under the water. And then one
toad sat in her hair, the other on her fore-
head, and the third on her bosom; but Elise
did not seem to remark it. When she left
the bath there swam three red poppies on
the water; and had the animals not been
poisonous, and kissed by the witch, they
would have been turned into roses, from
tarrying a while on Elise's heart and head.
She was too pious for witchcraft to have
any power over her.
When the wicked Queen saw this, she
rubbed the child all over with wahnit-juice,
4 a 49
14 W il *manom.
till she was of a dark-brown color; smeared
her lovely face with a stinking ointment,
and made her fine long hair hang in wild
confusion. To recognize the beautiful Elise
was now impossible.
When her father saw her he started, and
said that she was not his daughter. No-
body knew her again, except the house-dog
and the swallow; but they were poor crea-
tures, who had nothing to say in the matter.
Poor Elise wept bitterly, and thought of
her eleven brothers, not one of whom did
she see at the palace. Much afflicted, she
stole away, and walked across field and
moor to the large forest. She knew not
whither she wanted to go; but she was very
dejected, and had such a longing after her
brothers, who, no doubt, had been turned
adrift in the world, too; them would she
seek, and she was determined to find them.
She had not been long in the forest before
night came on, and she lost her way in the
dark. So she laid herself down in the soft
moss, said her evening prayer, and leaned
her head on the stump of a tree. It was so
still in the forest, the air was so mild, and
around in the grass and on the tors there
gleamed the green light of many hundred
glow-worms; and when she gently touched
one of the branches with her hand, the radi-
ant insects came down to her like falling
The whole night she dreamed of her bro-
thers: they played again like children, wrote
on golden tablets with pencils of diamond,
and looked at the pretty picture-book that
had cost half a kingdom; but on the tablets
they did not merely write as formerly,
strokes and 0's; no, now they described the
bold deeds that they had accomplished, and
the strange fortunes they had experienced;
and in the picture-book all was animated-
the birds sang, the men stepped out of the
book and spoke with Elise and her brothers:
but when she turned over a leaf, in they
jumped again directly, in order that the pic-
tures might not get into confusion.
When Elise awoke, the sun was already
high in the heaven: it is true she could not
see it, the high trees interwove tlijtlafy
410l WDii Ainnns.
branches so closely; but the sunbeams play-
ed upon them, and looked like a waving
golden gauze. There was such a fragrance
from the verdure; and the birds almost
perched on Elise's shoulder. She heard the
water splashing; for there were many con-
siderable brooks which all met in a pond
with a beautiful sandy bottom: 'tis true
thick bushes grew all around it; but the
deer had broken a broad way through, and
on this path Elise went to the water. It
was so clear, that if the boughs and the
bushes had not been waved backwards and
forwards by the wind, one Niald have been
forced to believe that they were painted, and
lay down at the bottom, so distinctly was
every leaf reflected, those that glowed in the
sunlight as well as those which lay in the
When Elise saw her face in the water she
was much frightened, so brown and ugly
did she look; but when she wetted her little
hand and rubbed her eyes and forehead, the
white skin appeared again; and Elise laid
her clothes aside and stepped into the fresh
water,-a more lovely royal child than she
was not to be found in the whole world.
After she had dressed herself and braided
her long hair, she went to the bubbling
spring, drank out of the hollow of her hand,
and wandered farther into the wood-she
herself knew not whither. She thought of
her brothers, thought of the ever-watchful
and good God, Who would certainly not
forsake her; for it was He Who made the
wild apples to grow, to give food to the
hungry; and He showed her a tree whose
branches bent down under the weight of the
fruit. Here she dined, put props under the
branches, and then went into the thickest
part of the wood. It was so still there that
she heard her own footsteps, and the rustle
of every withered leaf that bent beneath her
feet. Not a bird was to be seen, not a sun-
beam penetrated the thick foliage-roof; and
the high trunks stood so near together, that
when she looked straight forward, a grating
of wooden beams seemed to close around
her: oh, it was a solitude such as Bin had
never known! And the night was so dark
4 i Wih manw.
--not a single glow-worm shone! Much
afflicted, she lay down to sleep; and there
it seemed to her as if the boughs above her
parted, and the ever-watchful and good God
looked down upon her with an eye of love,
and a thousand little angels peeped forth to
gaze at her from the clouds:
On awaking the next morning, she did not
know if it were a dream, or if it had really
She went a few steps further on, when
she met an old woman with a basket full of
berries. The old woman gave her some.
Elise asked her if she had not seen eleven
Princes riding through the wood.
No," answered the woman; "but yes-
terday I saw eleven swans, with golden
crowns on their heads, swim down the
stream near here."
And she led Elise to a hill, at whose foot
a brook flowed winding along; the trees on
either bank stretched their long leafy
branches towards each other, and where on
account of their natural growth they were
unable to meet, the roots had loosened them-
tht Wili imaw.
selves from the earth and hung interwoven
over the water.
Elise bade the old woman fagrwell, and
walked on by the side of the brook to the
spot where it flowed into the great and open
The whole sea lay spread out before the
maiden; but not a sail, not a boat was to be
seen : how was she to go on ? She looked
at the countless pebbles on the shore; they
were all smooth and rounded by the water; -
glass, iron, stones-all that lay on the shore
had received this form from the water; and
yet it was much softer than her little deli-
cate hand. It rolls on untiringly, Ead
even what is hard is made smooth. Not les
untiring will I be: thanks for the lesson, ye
clear rolling waves; some day, so my heart
tells me, ye will bear me to were my dear
brothers are !"
On the sea-weed which was washed up on
the shore lay eleven white swans' feathers;
Elise collected them into a nosegay: some
drops were hanging on them, but whether
lew or tears it was impobible to distinguish.
?br With mwa.
On the shore it was very solitary, but she
felt it not; for the sea presented an eternal
change-more in one single hour than the
lakes could show in a whole year. If a
black cloud came, it was as if the sea would
say, "I, too, can look gloomy;" and then
the wind blew, and the waves turned their
white sides outermost; but if the clouds
looked red, and the winds slept, then the
sea was like a rose-leaf-now it was green,
now white; but however still it might rest,
there was on the shore a gentle motion, and
the water heaved slightly, like a sleeping
As the sun was going down, Elise saw
eleven wild swans, with golden crowns on
their heads, flying towards the land: they
flew one behind the other, and looked like a
long white pennon. Then Elise climbed up
the hill, and hid herself behind some bushes;
the swans alighted close to her, and fluttered
their large white wings.
The sun sank into the water, and sud-
denly the swan-like forms disappeared, and
eleven handsome Princes, Elise's brothers,
stood before her. She uttered a loud cry;
for although they were greatly changed,
Elise knew-felt they were her brothers;
and she threw herself in their arms, calling
them by name; and the brothers were so
happy when they saw and recognized their
dear little sister, who was now grown so tall
and beautiful. They laughed and wept;
and they had soon told each other how ill
their step-mother had treated them all.
"We fly as wild swans," said the eldest
of the brothers, as long as the sun is above
the horizon; but when he has set we ap-
pear in our human form again. We must,
therefore, take good heed at such time to
have a resting-place; for were we flying
then in the clouds, we should drop down as
men into the deep below. This is not our
dwelling-place: a land as beautiful as this
lies beyond the sea; but the way is long,-
we must cross the vast ocean, and there is
no island on our passage where we could
pass the night: there is but a small solitary
rock that rises out of the waves; it is only
large enough for us to stand side by side
-Toe Wilh knans.
upon it, and so to take our rest: if the sea
be troubled, then the water dashes high over
our heads. But yet we thank Heaven for
even this resting-place: there we pass the
night in our human form; and without this
cliff we should never be able to visit our be-
loved country; for it takes two of the long-
est days of the year to accomplish our flight.
Once a year only are we permitted to re-
visit the home of our fathers: we may stay
here eleven days; and then we fly over the
large forest, whence we can espy the palace
in which our father dwells, and where we
were born; whence we can see the high
tower of the church in which our mother
lies. Here the very trees and bushes seem
familiar to us; here the wild horses still
dash over the plains as when we saw them
in our childhood; the charcoal-burner sings
the same old tune to which we danced in our
youth;-all here has charms for us, and
here we have found thee, dear little sister !
Two days more are we permitted to stay,
and then we must away over the sea to a
pleasant land; but, lovely as it is, it is not
the country of our birth. And thou, Elise,
how can we take thee with us-we have
neither ship nor boat ?"
Oh, how can I set ye free ?" said their
sister. And so they spoke together nearly
the whole night; a few hours only were
given to sleep.
The next morning Elise was awakened
by the rustling of swans' wings rushing by
over her head. Her brothers were again
changed into swans, and flew around in
large circles, and at last they were far, far
off. But one of them, the youngest, stayed
with her; he laid his head on her lap, and
she stroked his large white wings: the
whole day they stayed together. Towards
evening the others returned; and when the
sun was gone down, there they stood again
in their natural shapes.
"To-morrow," said the youngest, "we
must fly hence, and may not return before
the end of another year: but we cannot
leave thee here. Hast thou courage to fol-
low us I My arm is strong enough to carry
thee through the wood: the wings of us all
would surely then be powerful enough to
bear thee over the sea."
"Yes, take me with you," said Elise.
And they spent the whole night in weaving
a sort of mat of the flexible bark of the wil-
low and of tough bull-rushes; and when
finished it was large and strong. Elise laid
herself upon it; and when the sun appeared,
and her brothers were again changed into
wild swans, they took the mat in their bills,
and flew with their dear sister, who still
slept, high up into the clouds. The rays of
the sun fell full upon her face ; so one of the
swans flew above her head, that he might
overshadow her with his broad wings.
They were far distant from land when
Elise awoke. She thought she must be in
a dream, so strange did it seem to her to be
borne thus through the air high above the
ocean. Beside her lay a branch with ripe
juicy berries, and a bundle of palatable
roots; these her youngest brother had ga-
thered and placed near her; and she looked
up to him with a smile of gratitude; for
she recognized him in the swan that flew
to( Wilb AMRs.
above her head and shaded her with his
They flew so high, that the first ship they
saw below them seemed like a white iea-
mew hovering over the waves. Elise be-
held a large cloud behind them: it was a
mountain, and on it she saw in gigantic
proportions the shadows of herself and of
the eleven swans. It was a picture more
magnificent than eye had ever gazed on;
but as the sun rose higher and the cloud was
left behind, the shadowy picture vanished.
The whole day they flew on like a whizzing
arrow; but yet it was more slowly than
usual, for they had their sister to carry.
The sky looked threatening; the evening
was closing in; and Elise, full of anxiety,
saw the sun sinking down; but the solitary
rock was not to be discerned. She fancied
by the beating of their wings that the swans
were exerting themselves very much. Alas,
it was her fault that her brothers could not
advance more quickly! Should the sun set,
then they would be men,-they would fall
into the sea and be drowned. From her
very inmost heart did she pray to God; but
as yet no rock was to be seen: the black
cloud drew nearer; the violent gusts of wind
announced a storm; the clouds stood up-
reared on a frightfully large wave, that
rolled onwards with the speed of the hurri-
cane; and it lightened, one flash quickly
following the other.
The sun was now on the very margin of
the sea. Elise's heart beat violently; when
suddenly the swans darted downwards so
rapidly that she thought she was falling;
but now again she floated in the air. The
sun was half in the water when she per-
ceived for the first time the small rock be-
low her, which to her eyes did not appear
larger than the head of a seal when the
creature holds it out of the water. And the
sun went down so fast: already it was only
like a star; when at the same moment her
foot touched the firm ground, and the sun
vanished like the last spark of a piece of
burning paper. She saw her brothers stand-
ing round her arm-in-arm; but there was
not more room than just enough for them
and for her. The sea dashed boisterously
against the rock, and fell on them like a
heavy shower of rain; the sky was one con-
tinual blaze of fire, and the thunder rolled
uninterruptedly; but the brothers and their
sister held each other by the hand and sang
a psalm, and it gave them consolation and
At daybreak the air was clear and still;
and as soon as the sun rose the swans ew
away from the island with Elise. There
was yet a high sea; and when they were
up in the clouds, and looked down on the
blackish-green ocean full of white foam, it
seemed as if a million swans were skimming
over the water.
As the sun rose higher, Elise saw before
her, half swimming as it were in the air, a
mountainous country with glittering gla-
ciers; and amid them stood a palace, miles
long, with one bold colonnade rising over
the other, and surrounded with palm-groves
and beautiful flowers, each as large as a
mill-wheel. She asked if that was the land
to which they were flying: but the swan
Cit Sia Atins.
shook their heads; for what she saw was
the glorious and ever-changing cloud-palace
of the Fata Morgana,*-thither they dare
bring no one; and while Elise's gaze was
still fixed upon it, mountains, groves, and
palace all tumbled down together, and
twelve proud churches stood in their place,
all like each other, with high towers and
pointed windows. She thought she could
hear the organ pealing; but what she heard
waseerely the roar of the sea. She was
now quite near the churches, when sudden-
ly they were changed into a fleet that sailed
below. She looked down, but there was
only the haze of the sea driving along over
the water. There was a continual change
before her eyes; but at last she really saw
the land she was to go to. There beautiful
blue mountains lifted themselves on high,
with forests of cedars, and towers, and
palaces. Long before sunset she was sitting
on a hill before a large cavern, which was
Mirage. An optical illusion, presenting an image
of objects on the earth or sea, as if elevated into the
so thickly covered by green creeping-plants,
that it looked as if overspread with embroi.
"Let us see, now, what you dreary to-
night!" said the youngest brother, as he
showed her the chamber where she was to
Would that I might dream how I could
disenchant you!" said she. And this
thought possessed her entirely; she prayed
heartily to God for aid, and even'in her
dreams continued her prayer. Then it
seemed to her as if she were flying high
through the air to the cloud-palace of the
Fata Morgana; and the Fairy advanced to
meet her in light and loveliness; and yet,
after all, it was the old woman who had
given her berries in the wood, and told her
of the swans with golden crowns on their
"Thy brothers may be released," said
the Fairy; "but hast thou patience and
fortitude l 'Tis true the sea is softer than
thy delicate hands, and yet it changes the
form of the hard stones; but it feels not the
5 1 0
-494t wilh Amsnli.
'pain which your tender fingers would suf-
fer. It has no heart, and suffereth not the
anguish and suspense which thou wouldst
have to endure. Dost thou see these nettles
in my hand I Many such grow around the
cave where thou sleepest; these only, and
such as shoot up out of the graves in the
churchyard, are of use; and mark this-
thou must gather them although they sting
thy hands; thou must brake* the nettles
with thy feet, and then thou wilt have yarn;
and of this yarn, with weaving and winding,
thou must make eleven shirts of mail with
long sleeves; and if thou wilt throw these
over the eleven wild swans, then the en-
chantment will be at an end. But remember,
from the moment thou beginnest thy work
until its completion, even should years pass
by meanwhile, thou must not utter a single
word: the first sound of thy lips will pass
like a fatal dagger through thy brothers'
hearts-on thy tongue depends their life.
Mark well all that I say !"
A brake is an instrument for dreeing flax.
-At With lmans.
And at the same moment the Fairy touch-
ed Elise's hand with the nettle: it was like
burning fire; and it awoke her. It was
bright day; and close beside her bed lay a
nettle like that she had seen in her dream.
Then she fell on her knees, thanked God,
and went out of the cavern to begin her
With her delicate hands she seized the
horrid nettles that burned like fire. Her
hands and arms were blistered; but she
minded it not, could her dear brothers be
but freed. She trampled on each nettle
with her naked feet, and twisted the green
At sunset her brothers returned: they
were sadly frightened at Elise's dumbnes,
and thought it was a new enchantment un-
der which she was laid by their wicked
step-mother; but when they saw her blis-
tered hands, they knew what their sister
was doing for their sakes, and the youngest
brother wept; and whenever his tears fell
Elise felt no pain-the burning smart ceased
Aft NiOW $uu.
The whole night she was occupied with
her work; for she could not rest till she had
freed her dear brothers. All the following
day she sat in solitude, while the swans
were flying afar; but never did time seem
to pass so quickly. One shirt of mail was
finished; and now she begun the second.
Suddenly the horn of a hunter was heard
among the mountains. She grew frightened
-the sound came nearer-she heard the
bark of the dogs. Full of apprehension, she
flew into the cavern, tied the nettles which
she had gathered and hackled into a bundle,
and seated herself upon it.
At the same moment a large dog sprang
forward out of the bushes, and immediately
after another and another: they barked
loudly, then ran back and came again. It
was not long before the hunters themselves
stood in front of the cave, and the hand-
somest of them all was the King of the
country. He advanced towards Elise; a
maiden more beautiful than she had he
"Whence comest thou, lovely child "
said he.. Elise shook her head; she dared
not speak, for the deliverance and the life
of her brothers depended on her silence.
She hid her hands underneath her apron,
that the King might not see what she was
obliged to suffer.
"Come with me," said he; "thou must
not stay here. If thou art as good as thou
art beautiful, I will clothe thee in silk and
velvet, I will put a golden crown upon thy
head, and thou shalt dwell in my palace
with me." So saying, he lifted her on his
horse. She wept and wrung her hands;
but the King said, "I only seek thy happi-
ness! one day thou wilt be thankful to me!"
And he galloped away over hill and valley,
holding her fast before him; and the hunts-
men followed at full speed.
As the sun was going down, she saw be-
fore her the magnificent capital, with its
churches and domes; and the King led her
to the palace, where jets of water were
splashing on the high marble walls; where
wall and ceiling shone with the richest
paintings: but all this delighted not her
10 tiItl hmauns.
eyes; she mourned and wept, and in silence
suffered the women to array her in royal
robes; to braid her hair with pearls, and to
put soft gloves on her burned hands.
At last there she stood in all her glory,
and was so dazzlingly beautiful that the
whole court bowed before her; and the King
chose her as his betrothed; although the
archbishop shook his head, and whispered
to the King that the lovely forest maiden
must certainly be a witch, who had intoxi-
cated his heart and dazzled his eye by her
But the King gave no heed to his words:
he ordered the music to sound, and the rich-
est meats were served, and the loveliest girls
danced before her, and she was led through
odorous gardens to the most magnificent
halls. But no smile played on her lip, nor
in her eye: affliction oiy was hers; it was
her sole possession. Then the King opened
a small chamber adjoining her sleeping-
room: it was covered with costly green car-
peting, and resembled exactly the cavern in
which she had formerly been. On the floor
,4 iMa jmmal.
lay a bundle of flax, which she had spun
from the fibres of the nettles; and from the
ceiling hung the shirt of mail which she had
completed. All this had been collected and
brought hither by one of the hunters as a
Here thou canst dream that thou art in
thy former home," said the King. "Here
is the work which occupied thee there. Now
amid all thy splendor it will delight thee to
live in fancy that time over again."
When Elise saw what was so dear to her
heart, a smile played about her mouth, and
the blood came back again to her cheeks.
She thought of the deliverance of her bro-
thers, and kissed the King's hand. He
pressed her to his heart, and ordered that all
the church-bells should announce the wed-
ding-fcstival. The beautiful forest maiden
became Queen of the country.
Then the archbishop whispered words of
evil import in the King's ear; but they did
not sink deep in his heart. The marriage
was celebrated; the archbishop even was
obliged to set the crown on her head; and in
'got %iltb R1utOU.
his wicked rage he pressed the narrow cir-
clet of gold so hard upon her forehead, that
it pained her; but a heavier weight, grief
for her brothers, lay on her heart; so that
she felt not the bodily smart. She spoke
not; for a single word would have caused
her brothers' death; but in her eyes was an
expression of deep love for the good and
handsome King, who did every thing to
make her happy. With her whole heart
she grew every day more attached to him:
oh! had she but dared to confide to him her
sorrows, and tell him all she felt! But dumb
she must remain; in silence must she ac-
complish her task. And so at night she
slipped away, went into the small room
which was decked like the cavern, and wove
one shirt of mail after the other; but wheii
she began the seventh, behold, the flax was
She well knew that such nettles as she
could use grew in the churchyard; but then
she herself must gather them, and how was
she to get out to do so 7
"Oh, what's the smarting of my fingers
(S4t ilva *lunM .
compared to the anguish that my heart en-
dures ?" thought she: "venture I must;
and God will surely not withdraw His hand
Trembling as though she were going to
commit a wicked action, she one moonlight
night crept down into the garden, and went
through the long avenues, and on the soli-
tary road to the churchyard. There she
saw on one of the broadest gravestones a
troop of Lamias sitting-ugly witches, who
took off their ragged covering as though they
were going to bathe, and then dug with their
long thin fingers amid the fresh grass, and
drew forth the dead bodies, and devoured
the flesh. Elise was forced to pass near
them; and the witches fixed upon her their
malicious eyes; but she said a prayer, ga-
thered the stinging-nettles, and carried them
home to the palace.
Only a single person had seen her: It was
the archbishop. He watched while the others
slept. Now he was sure he was right when
he said the Queen was not what she should
be: that she was a witch; and that the
tjr wn iih ^mns.
King and the people were beguiled by her
When the King went to confess, the arch-
bishop told him what he had seen, and what
he feared; and as these wicked words pass-
ed his lips, the carved figures of saints
around the confessional shook their heads,
as though they would say, It is not true!
Elise is innocent !" But the archbishop ex-
plained it otherwise; he said it was a sign
of her guilt, and that the figures shook their
heads at her sins.
Then two large tears rolled down the
cheeks of the King; and it was with a
heavy heart that he went home. In the
night he pretended to be asleep; but no
sleep came to his eyes; and he observed
that Elise rose every night; and each time
he followed her softly, and saw how she
disappeared in her little room.
Each day the countenance of the King
grew darker. Elise saw it, and knew not
the cause; but it made her uneasy: and
what did her heart not suffer on her bro-
thers' account! Her bitter tears rolled
A\st Wim Uns.
down on the royal velvet and purple, and
lay there like sparkling diamonds; and all
who saw the splendor and magnificence
with which she was surrounded, wished
themselves in Elise's place.
In the meantime, however, her work was
nearly completed; one shirt of mail only was
wanting, but her flax was exhausted: she
had not a single nettle more. Once more,
only once, would she be obliged to go to the
churchyard and pluck a handful. She
thought with terror of the lonely walk, and
of the horrible Lamias; but her resolve was
as firm as her trust in God.
Elise went; but the King and the arch-
bishop followed her. They saw her vanish
at the churchyard gate; and, on approach-
ing nearer, they saw the Lamias sitting on
a grave-stone, as Elise had seen them; and
the King turned away at the sight; for he
thought that she, whose head had that
evening rested on his bosom, was one of
"She shall be judged by the people!"
said he, with a faltering voice. And the
Z hr tuiil *wnng.
sentence of the people was--" That she
should be burnt alive !"
From the magnificent royal hall she was
now led to a dismal damp cell, where the
wind whistled through the grated window.
Instead of velvet and silk, they gave her the
bundle of nettles which she had collected in
the churchyard, tied together with a thick
piece of rope. "These," they said, "she
might lay under her head as a pillow;" and
the coarse hard shirts of mail were to serve
her as bed and covering: but nothing could
have delighted her more; and she set to
work again, and prayed fervently to God.
Before her prison-door the populace sang
jeering songs about her : not a soul comforted
her with one word of affection.
All at once, towards evening, she heard
the rustling of swans' wings close to her
window. It was her youngest brother, who
had found his sister; and she sobbed aloud
for joy, although she knew that the coming
night would perhaps be the last of her life.
But then the work was nearly done, and her
brothers were at hand.
Ot WA$il R UoS.
The archbishop came to pass the last
hour with her, for he had promised the King
to do so; but she shook her head, and
begged him, by look and gesture, to leave
her. This night her task must be accom-
plished, or all would have been in vain;
all her tears, her sorrows, her silence, and
her many sleepless nights. The archbishop
went away with angry words upon his lips;
but poor Elise knew she had done nothing
wrong, and continued her work.
The little mice ran busily backwards and
forwards about the dungeon, and dragged
the nettles to her feet, in order to help her
a little; and the thrush sat an the grating
of her window, and sang the whole night
as merrily as he could, that Elise might not
It began to dawn; it was still an hour
before the sun would rise and shine in all
his summer splendor, when the eleven bro-
thers stood before the palace-gates, and
asked to be led into the presence of the King.
They were told it could not be, for it was
still night; besides, the King was asleep,
and no one dared to wake him. They e-.
treated, they threatened; the guard came,
and at last even the King appeared, and
asked what was the matter; when just at
that moment the sun rose, and there were
no longer any brothers to be found: there
were only eleven white swans to be seen fly-
ing away over the palace.
The people streamed out of the city-gates;
for all wished to see the witch burnt. A
miserable horse dragged the cart on which
she sat: they had dressed her in a sort of
frock of coarse sackcloth ; her beautiful long
hair hung loose around her head; her cheeks
were deathly pale; her lips moved almost
imperceptibly'vhile she spun the green-flax;
for even on the way to death she ceased not
from the work she had begun. The ten
shirts of mail lay at her feet; she was weav-
ing the eleventh.
The people cruelly laughed at her all this
time. "Look at the witch!" shouted they;
"how she is muttering She has no book
of psalms in her hand; no, there she sits
with her accursed conjuration: take it from
her! let us tear the witch stuff in a thou-
to wilt P1m s.
So saying, they all rushed towards her,
intending to rob her of her treasure and de-
stroy the shirts of mail; when suddenly
eleven white swans were seen. They flew
to Elise, formed a circle round her, and beat
the air with their wings. The frightened
crowd gave way.
"'Tis a sign from heaven! she is surely
innocent!" whispered some; but they dared
not say it aloud.
The executioner seized her hand; when
quickly she threw the eleven shirts of mail
over the swans, and eleven handsome princes
stood before her; but the youngest had one
swans' wing instead of an arm, for a sleeve
was wanting on his shirt of mail; since his
good sister Elise, with all her zeal, une-
qualled as it was, had not been quite able to
finish it. And the populace, that had seen
what had happened, bowed before her as
before a saint; but she sank insensible in the
arms of her brothers, overcome by suspense,
pain, and sorrow.
"Yes, she is innocent !" said the eldest
brother; and he related all that had befallen
her. While he spake, an odor as of a million
14?r Will mwas.
roses spread around; for each billet of wood
in the pile had taken root, and put forth
branches and blossoms; so that instead of
the horrid flames which were expected, there
was now a sweetly smelling hedge full of
red roses: and on the top of all was a flow-
er of dazzling whiteness, and shining like a
star. The King plucked this flower, and
laid it on Elise's bosom; and she awoke
with joy and peace in her heart.
Then all the church-bells began ringing
of their own accord, and the birds came in
swarms; and the procession to the palace
was such as no King had ever seen before.
8 soon as
tle child -
takes the dead child in his arms, spreads out
his large white wings, and flies over all the
places that were dear to the little one wha
it was alive; and'on the way he gathers a
handful of flowers, which he then carries to
Heaven, in order that they may bloom still
more beautifully there than they did here on
Earth. The loving God presseth all these
flowers to His bosom; but the flower that
He loveth best He kisseth; and then it re-
ceives a sweet clear voice, so that it can sing
and rejoice with the happy hosts around.
An Angel of God related this as he bore a
dead Child to Heaven; and the Child heard
as in a dream; and they flew over all the
spots around the home where the little one
had played in its lifetime, and they passed
through gardens with the loveliest flowers.
" Which flower shall we take with us and
plant afresh in Heaven 7" asked the Angel.
And a beautiful slender rose-tree was
standing there; but a rude hand had wan-
tonly broken the stem, so that all the branch-
es, that a short time before were so fair and
green, and which were full of large half-
open rose-buds, now hung down quite
withered and sad, upon the soft, smooth
carpet of urf.
SThe poor tree !" said the Child; "takp
it, so that it may bloom again on high with
the loving God."
And the Angel took it, and kissed the
Child; and the little one half-opened his
eyes. They gathered some of the superb
flowers; but they took the despised daisy
and the wild pansy, too.
Now we have flowers," said the Child,
and the Angel nodded, as if to say, "yes;"
but they did not yet fly up to Heaven.
It was night: it was quite still. They
stayed a while in the great city, near which
the child had lived, they floated to and fro
in one of the narrowest streets, where great
heaps of straw, of ashes and rubbish, lay
about: there had been a removal. The
streets looked disordered and dirty. There
lay broken pots and plates, plaster figures,
rags, the crowns of old hats; nothing but
things that were displeasing to the sight.
And amidst the devastation the Angel
pointed to the fragments of a flower-pot, and
to a clod of earth that had fallen out of it,
and which was only held together by the
roots of a great withered wild flower; but
it was good for nothing now, and was there-
fore thrown out into the street.
"We will take that one with us," said
the Angel, "and I will tell you about it
while we are flying."
And now they flew on; and the Angel
"Down yonder, in the narrow street, in
the low cellar, lived once a poor sickly boy.
He had been bedridden from his very in-
fancy, for an incurable disease had seized
upon his tender frame. When he was very
well indeed, he could just go a few times up
and down the little room on his crutches;
that was all. Some days in summer the
sunbeams fell for half an hour on the little
cellar-window; and then, when the boy sat
there, and let the warm sun shine upon him,
and saw the red blood through his small
thin fingers, then it was said, Yes, he has
Been out to-day.' All he knew of the won-
drously beautiful spring-time, the green and
beauty of the woods, was from the first
bough of a beech-tree that a neighbor's son
once brought him as a May-day token; and
he held it over his head, and dreamed he
was under the green shelter of the beech-
trees, where the sun shone and the birds
were singing around him.
"One day in spring his neighbor's son
brought him some wild flowers also, and
among them was by chance one with a root;
it was therefore planted in a flower-pot and
placed in the window close by his bedside.
And a fortunate hand had planted the flow-
er; it thrived, put forth new shoots, and
every year it bore sweet-smelling flowers.
To the eyes of the sick boy it became the
the most beautiful garden-his little treasure
upon earth: he watered and tended it, and
took care that it got every sunbeam, to the
very last that glided by on the lowest pane.
And the flower grew up in his very dreams,
with its colors and its fragrance; it was
overlooked by others, and for him alone it
bloomed and smelt so sweetly: to it he turn-
ed in dying, when the loving God called
him to Himself. He has now been a year
with God-a year has the flower stood in
the window withered and forgotten, and
now, at the removal, it has been thrown
among the rubbish into the street. And
that is the flower, the same poor faded flow-
er, which we have taken into our garland;
for this flower has caused more joy than the
rarest flower in the garden of a queen."
But how do you know all this asked
the Child whom the Angel was carrying up
I know it." said the Angel; "I was
myself the little sick boy that went on
crutches; I must surely know my own
And the Child opened his eyes and looked
in the beautiful calm face of the Angel; and
at the same moment they were in Heaven,
where was only joy and blessedness.
And God pressed the dead Child to His
bosom: thereon it became winged like the
other Angel, and flew hand in hand with
him; and God pressed all the flowers to His
bosom, but the poor withered flower He
kissed; and a voice was given to it, and it
sang a song of triumph with all the angels
that moved around God in Heaven, some
sweeping on their bright wings quite near to
him, others round these in larger circles, al-
ways further away in immensity, but all
And they all sang, great and small; the
good, innocent little child, who once limped
about on his toilsome crutches, and the poor
field-flower that had lain withered among
the sweepings in the narrow, dingy street
4Lt ftllnm-Crna tltr.
OOR Johnny was ve-
ry melancholy; for
his father lay griev-
ously ill, and could
not hope to live. He
was quite alone with the sick
S man in his small chamber; the
lamp burned faintly, and gave
but a glimmering light, and the
evening was already far ad-
"You have always been a
good son to me, Johnny," said
the dying father, "and God will therefore
certainly help you through the world !"
He cast a tender look upon his son, heaved
a deep sigh, and died. There he lay as
though he were asleep. But Johnny wept;
for now he had not a friend in the whole
world-neither father nor mother, brother
nor sister. Poor John! he knelt beside the
bed, kissed his dead father's hands, and
wept bitterly; but at last he fell asleep, and
his wearied head sank on the hard bedstead.
Then he dreamed that he saw the sun
and the moon bowing before him, and his
father recovered, and laughing merrily: and
he laughed just as he did when he was alive.
A lovely maiden, wearing a golden crown
in her long and beautiful hair, stretched out
her hand to him; and his father said, Look
at her, the most lovely maiden in the world,
who one day will be thy wife !" and then
he awoke. The vision he had beheld in his
dream had vanished; his father lay dead
and cold on the bed, and he was alone.
The next week was the funeral. John
followed close behind the coffin, and wept
again most bitterly; for he would never see
his good father more-he who had thought
so much of him He heard the earth fall
upon the coffin, he still saw the last corner
of it; but with the next shovelful of earth
even that was no longer visible. Then it
seemed to him as though his heart would
break, so very wretched did he feel. Yet
he felt some consolation from the singing of
the children round the grave; his tears
flowed and relieved his heavy grief. The
sun shone with a friendly look upon the
green trees, as though it would say, Be
not so sorrowful, John! Seest thou not how
blue and beautiful the heaven is? Thy
father is there now, and implores a merciful
God to take thee under his protection, that
thou mayest be happy !"
"I will always behave well," thought
John, and then one day I shall go to hea-
ven to my father. Oh, how shall we re-
joice when we see each other again And
he will again show me many things, and
teach me what is heavenly felicity, as he
did when here on earth. Oh, how happy
shall I be!"
John pictured this heavenly meeting so
vividly to himself, that he smiled through
his tears. The little birds sat in the chest-
nut-tree, and chirped their gladsome song;
they were happy, although they had come
with him to the funeral. But they knew
very well that the dead man was now in
heaven, and that he had wings which were
much larger and more beautiful than their
own; for he had led a good life, and there-
fore was it that they rejoiced. John saw
how they flew from the green trees out into
the world, and he felt a wish to fly away,
too. But he first made a large cross of
wood, to put over his father's grave; and
when he carried it there in the evening, he
found the grave decorated with flowers.
Others had done this; for everybody loved
the good old father that was now no more.
Early in the morning John buckled on his
little knapsack, put his whole fortune, con-
sisting of fifty crowns, carefully into his gir-
dle, and intended to set out on his travels.
ln 0 lin0-CDtinf.
But, before doing so, he went to the church-
yard, repeated a pious thanksgiving at the
grave of his father, and said: "Farewell,
dear father! I vow that I will always act
uprightly, and then you will be able to pray
God to protect and aid me."
In the fields the flowers displayed them-
selves fresh and beautiful in the warm sun-
shine, and appeared to nod him their wel-
coming. John returned once more to the
old church where, when a little child, he
had been baptized, and where he had gone
every Sunday with his father to hear the
service, and where, too, he had sung many
a psalm. There he saw how the little sprite
of the church stood in the belfry-window, in
a pointed red cap, and with one hand shaded
'his eyes from the sun, which was shining
directly in his face. John waved .him -a
farewell; and the little sprite waved his red
cap in return; laid one hand on his heart,
and kissing the other, gave him to under-
stand how sincerely he wished him well,
and that he might have a right happy jour-
John now thought of all the fine things
he should see in the great and splendid
world, and kept going on farther and farther
than he had ever been before, till at last he
did not know a single place that he passed
through, or the people whom he met. So
he was now a good way off, and amid per-
The first night he was forced to pass on
a haycock in the open air: other bed had
he none. But this seemed to him very beau-
tiful; the king, he thought, could not have
a better. The whole large meadow watered
by a stream, the haycock, and the blue sky
above, seemed to him a splendid bedcham-
ber. The green grass, with the many red
and white flowers, was his carpet; the elder
and the wild roses his flower-bed; and the
stream, with its fresh blue waves, his bath,
outof which the sedge nodded him a friend-
ly "good night" and "good morrow." The
moon was the large night-lamp, which burnt
high up on the blue ceiling of heaven, with-
out any danger of setting his bed-curtains
on fire. Here he might sleep quietly; and
ISO ftrllm- vratlltr.
he did so, too, and only awoke just as the
sun was rising, and the little birds all around
sang, "Good morrow good morrow! are
you not up yet?"
When he set out again on his wayfaring,
and had reached the next village, he heard
the ringing of bells, and saw the people go-
ing to church. He therefore entered. the
house of God, heard the sermon, and joined
in the song of thanksgiving; and it seemed
to him as if he were again in his own church
with his father.
In the churchyard were many graves, on
some of which rank grass was growing.
The mound over my father's grave will
soon look so, too," thought he in sorrowful
silence; "for no one will weed up the grass
and plant flowers upon it !" While he thus
talked to himself, he pulled up some of the
weeds about the graves, set up the crosses
that had fallen down, and hung on them the
wreaths of evergreens that had been blown
away by the wind. Perhaps another may
do as much for my father's grave, as I am
no longer able," said he. At the gate of the
churchyard stood an old beggar, who sup-
ported himself on crutches. John gave him
a piece of silver, and then, contented and
happy, continued his journey.
Towards evening a storm came on; John
tried to find a place of shelter, but it was
dark before he could reach a house. At last
he saw a small church on a hill before him,
and when he reached it he found the door
ajar. So he went in, intending to remain
there till the storm had subsided.
"I will sit here in the corner," said he;
"I am quite tired, and have need of a little
rest." He leaned his head against the wall,
folded his hands as he repeated his evening
prayer, and soon fell into a sound sleep, the
while it thundered and lightened without.
It was midnight when he awoke; but the
storm had passed, and the moon shone
through the high church-windows. On the
pavement of the church stood an open coffin,
in which a dead man lay, placed there for
burial. John was not the least frightened at
the sight; for he had a good conscience, and
knew for certain that the dead harm no one;
&j ^llnm- tautl .
but that it is the wicked only who can work
us evil. And such were the two men now
standing beside the corpse in the open cof-
fin, that had been only placed in the church
until the funeral. They would leave him
no place even in death, and intended to fling
the dead man out into the churchyard.
"Why will you do that asked John.
"It is wrong of you: let the corpse rest, in
Christ's name !"
"Hallo what now !" answered the two
villains. He has cheated us; he owed us
money that he could not pay, and now he
has chosen to die into the bargain; so that
we shall never get a farthing of our money.
We will have our revenge, and fling him
out of his coffin, and let him lie on the earth
like a dog."
"I have only fifty crowns," said John;
"they are all my inheritance; but I will
give them to you if you will only promise me
faithfully to leave the poor corpse in peace."
If you choose to pay for him," continued
the two men, we will do him no harm,
that you may be sure of."
Then they took the money that John of-
fered them, laughed scornfully at his good
nature, and left the church. But John laid
out the dead body carefully, folded the
hands over the breast, and bade it adieu.
He, too, then left the little church, and went
with a light heart through the wood.
All around, where the waning moon could
shine through the trees, he saw the pretty
little elves at play, who did not allow his
arrival to interrupt them, because they
knew that good people only are permitted
to see them. Some were hardly as big as
one's finger, and had their long yellow hair
done ip with golden combs. They rocked
themselves on the large dewdrops that
sparkled on the leaves of the trees and the
high grass; and if a drop rolled down, and
one or the other of the little creatures tumbled
head over heels on the long grass, the rest
laughed and danced for joy. It was a droll
sight to see. They began, too, to sing; and
John knew all the airs. Large brown spi-
ders, with silver crowns, were obliged to
stretch long suspension-bridges from one
7 1 9?
e1 llum- trautlr.
hedge to the other, which, when the dew-
drops fell on them, looked like a web of spun
glass. Thus they amused themselves in all
manner of ways till the sun appeared. Then
the little elves crept into the cups of the flow-
ers, and the wind broke their suspension-
bridges and their aerial castles, and wafted
them through the air.
Joln had just reached the skirt of the
wood, when the loud voice of a man called
after him, Hallo, comrade where are you
bound for T1
"Into thh wide world," answered John.
"I have neither father nor mother-I am a
poor youth; but I trust confidently in God,
who, I do not doubt, will help me on."
"I, too, am going into the world," said
the strange man. "Shall we two go to-
"With all my heart," answered John;
and now on they both went in company,
and soon began to like each other very much;
for they both were good persons. But John
soon remarked that his companion possessed
much greater experience than himself; for