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AND OTHER FAIRY TALES
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
ILLUSTRATED BY E. A. LEMANN
37 BEDFORD STREET, STRAND, W.C.
lp.blisher to the Enbia Office
BILLING AND SONS, PRINTERS, GUILDFORD.
THE approval accorded to the first series of Hans Andersen's
" Fairy Tales," illustrated by Miss E. A. Lemann, which
appeared last autumn, has encouraged the publisher, with
the.'co-operation of the same artist, to issue a fresh series,
which, it is hoped, will be found no less acceptable than the
THE SNOW QUEEN ... ...
BUCKWHEAT ... ...
THE FIR-TREE ...
THE LOVING PAIR ... ..
THE PRINCESS AND THE PARCHED PEA
THE GALOSHES OF HAPPINESS ...
LITTLE TUK ... ...
THE STORY OF A MOTHER
WHAT THE MOON SAW
HOLGER DANSKE ... ...
THE OLD STREET LAMP
THE LITTLE MATCH-GIRL ..
THE HAPPY FAMILY ... ...
GRANDMOTHER ... ..
... ... 52
... ... 56
... ... 76
... ... ... 80
S ... ... 120
.. ... 138
... ... 194
... ... 202
... ... 215
... ... 223
... ... 229
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
DOLLY IN THE TREE ... ...
THE SNOW QUEEN ...
IN THE SNOW QUEEN'S SLEDGE ...
GERDA ADRIFT IN THE BOAT ...
THE OLD WOMAN RESCUES GERDA ...
THE CROW'S STORY ... ...
THE ROBBER GIRL'S HOME
FAREWELL TO THE ROBBER GIRL ...
THE ICE PUZZLE ...
THE WILLOW IN THE STORM ...
THE HARE BY THE FIR-TREE... .
THE FIR-TREE TELLS HIS STORY ...
A PRINCESS STOOD OUrSIDE ... .
CARE AND THE MAID OF HAPPINESS ...
"I MIND ME ONCE IN EARLY YOUTH"...
THE HOSPITAL ASSISTANT AND THE RAILINGS
THE CAT AND THE CLERK ...
CARE VANISHES WITH THE GALOSHES ...
LITTLE TUK ..
THE GARRET WINDOW
THE CHILD AND THE CHICKENS
UNDER THE BEECHES...
LOOKING FOR THE BABY
... Page 5
... ... 10
... ... 13
... ... 25
... ... 39
... ... 47
... ... 69
... ... 77
... ... 93
... ... 100
... ... 113
THE CHILD'S NEW CLOTHES ...
THE SWAN RESTING ON THE LAKE
A GAME WITH BRUIN... ...
SAYING PRAYERS TO MOTHER... .
CARVING HOLGER DANSKE
THE HAPPIEST MAN ALIVE
THE LAMP IN ITS OLD AGE ...
WARMING HERSELF WITH THE MATCHES
THE LITTLE MATCH-GIRL'S VISION ...
THE SNAIL'S WEDDING ...
GRANDMOTHER'S STORY ... ...
List of Illustrations.
... ... 170
... ... 189
... .. 192
... ... 196
... ... 211
... ... 217
... ... 227
... ... 230
THE SNOW QUEEN.
IN SEVEN STORIES.
STORY THE FIRST.-WHICH TREATS OF A LOOKING-GLASS AND
ITS BROKEN FRAGMENTS.
Now, then, we will begin. When we have got to the end of
the story we shall know more than we do now-for it is about
a very wicked hobgoblin! He was one of the craftiest that
ever lived: in short, he was the arch-fiend in person. One
day, when he was in a facetious humour, he made a looking-
glass which possessed the power of diminishing, almost to
nothing, everything good and beautiful mirrored on its surface,
while all that was worthless or ill-looking was brought out
into stronger relief than before. Seen in this glass, the most
zA W are eu'en ois.prays5
,ta'hl fS.fayr o da, s
2 T'he Snow Q.ueen.
lovely landscapes looked like cooked spinach, and the best
amongst mankind appeared repulsive, and as though standing
on his head; countenances were so distorted that they were
not recognisable; and if one had a single freckle, one would
have been led to believe that it extended over one's nose and
mouth. The arch-fiend said this was extremely entertaining.
If a good, pious thought entered a human being's brain, a flaw
appeared in the looking-glass, and made the arch-fiend laugh
at his cunning invention. All those who attended the hob-
goblin's school-for he kept one-spread the fame of the
wonderful glass in all directions, and maintained that people
might now see, for the first time, how the world and its in-
habitants really looked. They carried the glass about every-
where, till at last there was not a land nor a human being left
which had not been seen distorted on its surface. They now
presumed to attempt to scale the regions of the blessed; but
the higher they flew with the glass the more it cracked: they
could scarcely hold it fast, yet they flew higher and higher,
and still nearer the sun, till the glass shook so dreadfully in
the process of fusion, that it slipped out of their hands and fell
upon the earth, where it split into millions and billions of
pieces; and by this means it became still more mischievous
than heretofore, for some of the shivers were scarcely so large
as a grain of sand, and these flew about the world, and when
they lodged in anybody's eye, there they remained, and the
person, thenceforth, saw everything through a distorted
medium, or only approved the perverse side of a question; for
every minute fragment of the glass possessed the same qualities
that formerly belonged to the whole glass. Some human
beings had a piece right through their heart, and this was
A Little Boy and a Little Girl. 3
shocking, for it made their hearts as cold as a lump of ice.
Some of these fragments were so large that they served for
window-panes; but it would not have done to look at one's
friends through such panes as those. Other pieces were set as
spectacles, and it was hard for those who wore them to see
anything in its proper light, or to have the least sense of
justice; and the arch-fiend laughed till he shook his sides, so
amazingly was he tickled by all the mischief that arose. And
many little glass shivers flew besides through the air, as we
shall presently hear.
STORY THE SECOND.-A LITTLE BOY AND A LITTLE GIRL.
In a large town, where the population was so dense, and
the houses so closely packed, that there was not room for
everybody to have a little garden, and, consequently, the bulk
of the inhabitants were obliged to rest satisfied with the
possession of a few plants in flower-pots, there lived two poor
children who had a garden somewhat larger than a mere
flower-pot. They were not brother and sister, though they
loved one another quite as much as if they had been.
Their parents lived opposite each other, in two garrets,
where the roof of a neighboring house joined theirs, and a
gutter ran all along between the two roofs. In each house was
a little window, and by stepping over the gutter, it was easy to
go from one window to the other.
The parents on both sides had a large wooden box, in which
they reared pot-herbs for their own use, and a little rose-tree.
There was one in each box, and they flourished amazingly !
The parents now took it into their heads to place these boxes
The Snow .u een.
across the gutter, so that they nearly reached from one window
to another, and looked like two flowery banks. Blooming peas
flung their tendrils over the edge of the boxes, and the rose-
trees put forth their long sprigs that twined about the windows,
and leaned towards each other. In short, it was almost like a
triumphal arch of leaves and flowers.
As the boxes were very high, and the children knew that
they must not climb up to them, they often had leave to get
down out of the window to each other, and to sit on their
little stools under the roses. And then they played together
so prettily !
In winter there was an end to such pleasures. The windows
were frequently covered with frost; but then they warmed
copper pieces on the stove, and laid a warm coin on the frozen
pane, and that made such a nice round hole to peep through !
And then a soft, bright eye beamed from each window; this
was the little boy and the little girl looking at each other.
His name was Kay, and hers Gerda. In summer they needed
but to take a leap to be side by side, but in winter they had
many stairs to go down, and then to go up again, before
they could meet; and now the snow-flakes were flying about
The white bees are swarming," said grandmother.
Have they, too, a queen bee ?" asked the little boy.
"To be sure," said the grandmother; "she is flying in the
thickest of the swarm. She is the largest of them all, and
never remains upon the ground, but flutters upwards again
towards the black clouds. She often flies through the streets
of the town at midnight, and peeps in at the windows, and
then they freeze into such odd shapes, and look like flowers."
A Little Boy and a Little Girl. 5
Yes, I have seen that," said both the children, and now
they knew it was true.
"Can the Snow Queen come in here ?" asked the little girl.
.... .. S / -.7-U
THE SNOW QUEEN.
Let her come," said the boy, "and I'll put her on the
warm stove, and then she must melt."
The Snow Queen.
But grandmother stroked his hair, and told them other
In the evening, when little Kay had returned home, and
was half-undressed, he climbed on a chair up to the window,
and peeped through the little hole, when he saw some snow-
flakes falling, the largest among which alighted on the edge of
one of the flower-boxes, and kept increasing and increasing till
it became a full-grown woman, dressed in the most aerial
white gauze, that seemed to consist of millions of star-like
flakes fastened together. She was delicately beautiful, but
made of ice-dazzling, glittering ice. Yet was she living; her
eyes sparkled like two bright stars, and there seemed to be no
rest or calmness ih them. She nodded towards the window,
and waved her hand. The little boy was frightened, and
jumped down from the chair, and then he thought he saw a
large bird fly past the window.
On the following day there was a clear frost; and then, at
last, the spring came, the sun shone, the earth was clothed in
green, the swallows built their nests, the windows were opened,
and the little children once more sat in their small garden on
the roof, high above all the other stories.
S.. The roses blossomed most beautifully that summer. The
little girl had learned a psalm in which roses were mentioned,
"..nd -the roses reminded her of it; and she sang it to the little
boy, and'he joined her in singing:
"The roses bloom but one short hour, then die,
But th' infant Jesus ever lives on high !"
And the little ones held each other by the hand, and kissed
the roses, and looked up at God's bright sunshine and
A Little Boy and a Little Girl. 7
addressed it as though it were the infant Jesus. Oh, those
were pleasant summer days! It was so delightful up there
near the fresh rose-trees, that seemed never to mean to have
done blossoming !
Kay and Gerda sat looking in their book at the pictures of
quadrupeds and birds, when, just as the great church-clock
struck five, Kay said: Oh, dear! Something pricks my
heart, and something has flown into my eye."
The little girl put her arm round his neck, and his eyes
twinkled, but there was nothing to be seen in them. "I think
it is gone," said he; but gone it was not. It was one of those
bits of glass, no bigger than a grain of sand, being a particle of
the magic glass, which we have not forgotten-of that nasty
glass that made everything great and good look small and
ugly, while all that was bad and disagreeable stood out in
strong relief, and every fault in anything became immediately
perceptible. Poor Kay had likewise received a grain right
through his heart, which was soon to grow as hard as h lump
of ice. He now ceased to feel any pain, but there the grain
Why do you cry?" asked he. You look so ugly! No-
thing ails me. Fie !" cried he suddenly, "there's a maggot
in that rose! And look, that one is quite crooked! Alto-
gether, they are nasty roses-as bad as the boxes in which
they are set." And then he kicked the boxes, and tore off the
"Kay, what are you doing?" cried the little girl; and
when he saw how frightened she was, he tore off another
rose, and then leaped in at his window, away from sweet little
The Snow .ueen.
The next time she brought out the picture-book, he said it
was only fit for babies in long clothes; and when his grand-
mother related a story, he was sure to interrupt her with
some ifs and buts "; and whenever he could manage it,
he would place himself behind her, put on a pair of spectacles,
and speak just like her, and he mimicked her so well that
everybody laughed. He could soon mimic both the voice and
the gait of every soul in the street. Kay was sure to imitate
to the life the disagreeable attributes of each person, and
people said, That boy will surely be a genius." But it was
only the bit of glass that had stuck in his eye and in his heart,
and which made him tease even little Gerda, who loved him
His amusements were now quite different from what they
were formerly; they savoured more of a grown person. One
winter's day, when it had snowed, he came with a burning-
glass, and held out the skirt of his blue coat to catch some
flakes of snow.
Now look in the glass, Gerda," said he. And every flake
was magnified, and looked like a beautiful flower or a
brilliant star, and very pretty it was to see. Now is not this
scientific ?" said Kay; "and how far more interesting than
real flowers There is not a fault in them; they are quite
correct, provided they don't melt away."
Soon after, Kay appeared with thick gloves on his hands
and his sledge at his back, and called out to Gerda: I have
leave to go to the great square, where other boys are playing."
And away he went.
The boldest amongst the boys who used to play there often
fastened their sledges to the carts of the country people who
A Little Boy and a Little Girl.
passed by, and went a good way with them. And this amused
them vastly. In the height of their play, there came along a
large sledge, painted white, in which sat someone huddled up in
a rough white skin, and wearing a rough white cap. The sledge
went twice round the square, and Kay, having hastily bound
his little sledge to it, drove away in its wake. It went faster,
and still faster, right down the adjoining street. The driver
turned round and gave Kay a friendly nod, just as if they were
acquainted, and every time that Kay wanted to unfasten his
little sledge, the driver nodded again, and Kay sat still, and
thus they drove out at one of the gates of the town. It now
began to snow so heavily that the little boy could not see a
hand's length before him; but on they went, and though he
suddenly let go the string in order to get loose from the large
sledge, it proved of no use, for his little craft still clung fast to
the other, and they went with the speed of the wind. He then
screamed aloud, but nobody heard him, and the snow kept
fluttering about, and the sledge kept flying, and anon there
was a violent shock, as if they were leaping over hedges and
ditches. The boy was frightened, and tried to repeat the
Lord's Prayer, but he could only think of the multiplication
The flakes of snow grew larger and larger, and at last looked
like great white fowls; these suddenly jumped on one side, the
large sledge stopped, and the person who had driven it rose.
The skin and the cap were of snow, and he saw a tall and
slender lady of dazzling whiteness-and this was the Snow
"We have come along at a good pace," said she, "but if
you don't wish to freeze, creep into my bear-skin." And she
S10 The Snow Pueen.
placed him beside her in the sledge and wrapped the skin
round him, and it was just as if he were sinking into a snow-
Are you still freezing?" said she as she kissed his forehead.
Oh! that kiss was colder than ice It seemed to shoot right
through his heart, half of which was already a lump of ice, and
he felt as if he were going to die, but only for a moment, and
IN THE SNOW QUEEN'S SLEDGE.
then he was better than ever, and ceased to feel the coldness
of the atmosphere that surrounded him.
My sledge Don't forget my sledge !" That was his first
thought; and so it was fastened to one of the white fowls, who
flew behind with the sledge on his back. The Snow Queen
kissed Kay once more, and then he clean forgot little Gerda
and his grandmother and everybody at home.
Te Conjuring Woman. II
Now, you shall have no more kisses," said she, "or I
should kiss you to death."
Kay looked at her, and she was beautiful to behold. A
more clever or lovely countenance he could not imagine
and she no longer seemed to him to be made of ice, as she did
formerly, when she sat outside the window and nodded to him.
In his eyes she appeared perfect, nor did she inspire him with
the slightest fear. He told her that he could reckon by heart
and even reduce fractions, and he knew how many square
miles there were in the land, and the number of its inhabi-
tants. And she continued smiling; and then he thought that
what he knew was not sufficient, and he looked up towards
the vast expanse of air above them, and she flew with him
high above the black clouds where the storm was raging, and
it seemed as if it were singing old songs. Then they flew over
forests and lakes, across the sea and the lands beyond. Under
them blew the cold wind, the wolves howled, the snow crackled,
and the black, cawing crows were hovering about, but high
above all shone the clear, large moon, and Kay witnessed the
long, long winter's night. In the daytime he slept at the feet
of the Snow Queen.
STORY THE THIRD.-THE FLOWER-GARDEN OF THE
But how fared little Gerda when Kay did not return?
Where could he be ? Nobody knew, nobody could give any
tidings of him. Only the boys said they had seen him fasten
his sledge to a mighty large one, that had driven through the
streets and out by the town-gate. Nobody knew whither he
T le Snow 9ueen.
had gone; many tears were shed; little Gerda cried so
bitterly and so long-and then people said he was dead; that
he had got drowned in the river that flowed past the school.
Oh what long, dreary winter days were those!
The spring now returned, and brought a warmer sunshine.
" Kay is dead and gone," said little Gerda.
I don't believe it," answered the sunshine.
He is dead and gone !" said she to the swallows.
"We don't believe it," answered they; and at length little
Gerda ceased to believe it any longer.
I will put on my new red shoes," said she one morning,
"those which Kay never saw, and then I'll go down to the
river and ask after him."
It was quite early. She kissed her old grandmother, who
was yet asleep, put on the red shoes, and went all alone out
through the town-gate, towards the river.
Is it true that you have taken my little playfellow away
from me ?" said she. I will make you a present of my red
shoes if you will give him me back."
And it seemed to her as if the waves nodded to her in a
singular fashion; and then she took off her red shoes, which
she was so fond of, and threw them into the water, but they
fell near the bank, and the little waves brought them back to
land, just as if the river would not accept of what she most
valued, as it had not little Kay to give in exchange. But now
she fancied that she had not thrown the shoes out far enough,
and so she crept into a boat that lay amongst the sedges, and
went to the farthest end of it, and then flung the shoes from
thence into the water; but as the boat was not fastened, her
motion set it gliding away from the strand; perceiving this,
'The Conjuring Woman. 13
she hastened to get out of the boat, but before she had time to
do so, it was above an ell distant from land, and soon floated
along still faster.
Little Gerda was now frightened, and began to cry; but
nobody heard her except the sparrows, and they could not
carry her ashore. But they flew along the banks, and, as if to
comfort her, they kept singing-" Here we are! Here we
are!" The boat followed the tide. Little Gerda sat still,
GERDA ADRIFT IN THE BOAT.
with only her stockings on her feet; her little red shoes
followed in the wake of the boaf, but without being able to
reach it, as it went much faster.
The banks on each side of the river were very pretty.
There were beautiful flowers, aged trees, and grassy slopes, on
which sheep and cows were grazing; but not a human being
was to be seen.
Perhaps the river will carry me to little Kay," thought
14 'The Snow Zueen.
Gerda; and then she grew more cheerful, and rose and looked
for hours at the pretty green banks of the river, till she
reached a large cherry orchard, in which stood a little house
with strange red and blue windows; it had, besides, a thatched
roof, and before it stood two wooden soldiers, who presented
arms to all who sailed past.
Gerda called to them, thinking they were alive, but of
course they did not answer; she now approached them, and
the stream drove the boat straight towards the shore.
Gerda called out in a still louder voice, when a very old
woman, leaning on a crutch, came out of the house; she wore
a broad hat to screen her from the sun, and it was painted
with the prettiest flowers.
You poor little child!" said the old woman, "to think of
your coming out into the wide world on this broad and rapid
stream 1" and the old woman waded through the water, towed
the boat ashore with her crutch, and lifted little Gerda out.
Gerda was glad to be once more on dry land, although she
was somewhat afraid of the strange old woman.
Come and tell us who you.are, and how you came hither,"
And Gerda told her all; and the old woman shook her head,
and said: "Hem, hem!" And after Gerda had told her
everything, and had asked in turn if she had not seen little
Kay, the woman said he had not yet passed that way, but he
might come still; and so she had better take heart, and taste
her cherries, and look at her flowers, that were prettier than
any picture-book, for every one of them could tell a story.
She then took Gerda by the hand and led her into the house,
and the old woman shut the door.
THE OLD WOMAN RESCUES GERDA.
The Conjuring Woman.
The windows were very high, and the panes were red, blue,
and yellow, so that the light shone through them in a variety
of strange colours; but on the table were the finest cherries,
and Gerda was allowed to eat as many of them as she chose.
While she was eating, the old woman combed her hair with a
golden comb, and her yellow locks curled and looked beauti-
fully glossy round her cheerful little face, that was round and
fresh as a rose.
I have long wished for such a nice little girl," said the old
woman, and now you shall see how comfortably we shall live
together." And while she was combing little Gerda's hair,
Gerda gradually forgot all about her adopted brother Kay,
for the old woman was learned in witchcraft, though not a
wicked sorceress: she only made use of magic arts for her
amusement, and because she wished to keep little Gerda.
Therefore she went into the garden, and extended her crutch
towards all the rose-trees, every one of which, however bloom-
ing, sank into the dark ground, without leaving a trace of
where it had stood. The old crone was fearful lest the sight
of rose-trees would have reminded Gerda of her own, when she
would have recollected little Kay, and run away.
She now took Gerda into the garden. How fragrant and
how lovely it was! Every imaginable flower, and for every
season, too, was to be seen there in full bloom; no picture-
book could be more varied or more beautiful. Gerda jumped
for joy at the sight, and played till the sun sank behind the
tall cherry-trees, and then she lay down in an elegant bed
with red silk pillows, stuffed with variegated violets, and
slept and dreamed as pleasantly as any queen on her wedding-
iThe Snow QZueen.
Next morning she was free to play again with the flowers
in the warm sunshine; and many days flew by in the same
manner. Gerda knew each flower; but numerous as were the
flowers, there still seemed to be one missing, although she
could not tell which it was. One day, however, as she sat and
gazed at the old woman's garden-hat with its painted flowers,
the prettiest amongst them happened to be a rose. The old
woman had forgotten to take it out of the hat, when she
buried the others in the earth. But that is the way when
one's thoughts are not always present. What are there no
roses here ?" said Gerda, jumping amongst the flower-beds,
and looking for what, alas! was not to be found. She then
sat down and cried, and her tears fell just on the spot where
one of the rose-trees had sunk into the ground; and when her
warm tears bedewed the earth, the rose-tree shot up once
more as blooming as ever, and Gerda embraced it, and kissed
the roses, and thought of the lovely roses at home, and with
them of little Kay.
Oh, how I have been detained !" said the little girl; I
wanted to look for little Kay. Do you not know where he
is ?" asked she of the roses. Do you think he is dead ?"
He is not dead," answered the roses; "we have been
into the ground where all the dead lie, and Kay was not
I thank you," said little Gerda, and went to the other
flowers, and peeped into each calyx, and asked, Do you know
where little Kay is ?"
But each flower stood dreaming in the sun, and thinking of
its own story; and Gerda heard a great many of these, but
none of the flowers knew anything about Kay.
The Conjuring Woman.
What said the yellow lily ?
Do you hear the drum? Boom! boom! It has only
two sounds; it always says: 'Boom! boom!' Listen to the
dirge of the women, and the call of the priests. The Hindoo
widow stands, wrapped in her long red mantle on the funeral
pile: the flames encircle her and her husband's dead body;
but the Hindoo widow thinks of the living ones who surround
her, and of him whose eyes shone brighter than the flames
-of him whose fiery eyes affect her heart far more than
the flames that will consume her body to ashes. Can the
flame of the heart be extinguished in the flames of a funeral
I don't understand anything about it," said little Gerda.
That is my story," said the yellow lily.
What said the bindweed ?
"An old feudal castle hangs over the narrow crossway;
thick house-leek is climbing, leaf by leaf, up its old red walls,
and round the balcony, where stands a fair maiden, who bends
over the railing and looks into the road below. No rose on its
spray is fresher than she; no apple-blossom when blown off
the tree floats more lightly than she walks; and how her
gorgeous silk gown rustles 'Is he not yet coming?' "
Do you mean Kay ?" asked little Gerda.
I'm speaking of my story-of my dream," replied the
What said the little snowdrop ?
Between the trees hangs a plant fastened by ropes; it is
a swing, and two little girls, in snow-white dresses, and with
long green ribbons fluttering from their bonnets, sit swinging
themselves. Their brother, who is bigger than they, stands
The Snow Queen.
on the swing; he has flung his arm round the rope to steady
himself, for in one hand he holds a little bowl, and in the
other a clay-pipe. He is blowing soap-bubbles; the swing
keeps going, and the pretty variegated bubbles fly about, while
the last still clings to the stem of the pipe, and rocks in the
wind. The swing keeps going; the little black dog, as light
as the bubbles, raises himself on his hind paws, and will get
into the swing amongst the rest; and off goes the swing, and
the dog falls, barks, and is angry; the children tease him, and
the bubbles' burst. A rocking plank, and scattered foam-such
is my song."
It may be all very pretty, but you tell it in so mournful a
tone, and you don't even mention little Kay."
What said the hyacinths ?
There were three beautiful sisters, most delicate and
transparent; one was dressed in red, another in blue, and the
third in pure white; and they danced, hand in hand, near the
silent lake, in the bright moonshine. They were no elves, but
daughters of the earth. There was a sweet fragrance, and the
girls disappeared in the wood. The fragrance waxed stronger;
three coffins, in which lay the beautiful girls, glided from the
thicket across the lake; the glow-worms flew beside them, like
so many little floating torches. Are the dancing girls asleep,
or are they dead ? The perfume of the flowers says they are
corpses, and the evening bell is tolling their knell."
You make me quite sad," said little Gerda. "You smell
so strong, that you make me think of the dead girls. Alas is
little Kay really dead ? The roses who went down into the
earth say he is not."
Ding, dong !" sounded the hyacinth bells. We are not
The Conjuring Woman. 21
tolling for little Kay, for we don't know him: we are merely
singing our song, the only one we can sing."
And Gerda then went up to the buttercup that peeped out
of its shining green leaves.
You are a little bright sun," said Gerda. Tell me, if
you know, where I can find my playfellow ?"
And the buttercup sparkled so prettily, and looked at Gerda.
What song could the buttercup sing ? Not one that said any-
thing about Kay.
The bright sunshine shone warmly, one spring morning,
upon a little courtyard. The beams glided down the white
walls of the neighboring house, and close by bloomed the
first yellow flower, and sparkled like gold in the warm sun-
shine. The old grandmother sat out in the air on her chair,
and her granddaughter, a poor and pretty serving-girl, returned
home from a short visit. She kissed her grandmother. There
was gold-the gold of the heart-in that blessed kiss. There
was gold in the sunbeams of that morning, and she was worth
her weight in gold. That's my little story," said the buttercup.
My poor old grandmother !" sighed Gerda; "Yes, no
doubt she is longing to see me, and fretting about me, as she
did about little Kay. But I'll soon go home and bring Kay
with me. It is no use asking the flowers, who know nothing
but their own song.; they can give me no tidings." And then
she tucked up her little gown that she might run the faster;
but the narcissus caught her foot as she was jumping over it;
so she stopped short and looked at the tall yellow flower, and
said: "Perhaps you know something." And she stooped
down close to the narcissus, and what did it tell ?
"I can see myself to the very life," said the narcissus.
22 The Snow Queen.
"Oh, oh! how beautifully I do smell! Up there, in that
small room with a balcony, is a little dancer, who stands some-
times on one leg and sometimes on both legs; she tramples on
the whole world; she is nothing but deceit from head to foot;
she pours water out of the teapot upon a. piece of stuff she
holds in her hand, which is her bodice.. Cleanliness is a
virtue. Her white dress hangs upon a peg; that, too, has
been washed in the teapot and dried upon the roof. She puts
it on and wraps a saffron-coloured handkerchief round her
,throat, which makes her dress look whiter. Now she twirls
her leg, and see how proudly she stands on her stem. It is
just like seeing myself-just like myself."
What do I care about that ?" said Gerda. You had no
need to tell me this stuff." And she ran to the further end of
The gates were shut; but she pressed upon the rusty latch,
and it gave way.
The gates flew open, and little Gerda ran forth, with bare
feet, into the wide world. She looked back thrice, but nobody
was pursuing her. At last, she could run no longer, and sat
down upon a large stone, and, on looking round her, found
that summer was over and autumn already far advanced,
which she had been unable to perceive in the beautiful garden,
where there were flowers and sunshine all the year round.
'Dear me! how long I have stayed!" said little Gerda.
"It is now autumn; I must not dally," and she rose to go
Oh how tired and sore were her poor little feet! And
everything around looked so bleak and so cheerless. The long
willow-leaves were quite yellow, and dew trickled down like
The Prince and Princess. 23
water. One leaf kept falling after another, and the sloe-tree
alone still bore fruit, only it was so sour that one could not eat
it without making wry faces. Oh how gray and how dreary
seemed the whole world !
STORY THE FOURTH.-THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS.
Gerda was obliged to rest again, when a large crow hopped
through the snow, right opposite the place where she was
sitting, and after looking at her a long while and wagging his
-head, said, "Caw, caw! goo' day, goo' day !" He could not
speak any plainer, but he meant kindly towards the little girl,
and asked whither she was going, all alone in the wide world.
Gerda understood perfectly the word "alone," and knew its
full import; so she told the crow her whole story, and asked
him if he had seen Kay.
The crow nodded his head thoughtfully, and said, May
be, may be."
No-have you though ?" cried the little girl, and came
near to hugging the crow to death, so fondly did she kiss him.
Steady, steady," said the crow. "I think-I know-I
believe-it may be little Kay, but he has certainly forgotten
you by this time for the princess."
Is he living at a princess's ?" asked Gerda.
Yes, listen," said the crow; only I find it so hard to
speak your language. If you understand crows' language,1
then I shall be able to tell you better."
1 Crows' language" is a jocose term for a kind of gibberish in use
amongst children, and produced by the addition of syllables and letters to
The Snow Queen.
"No, I never learned it," said Gerda, "but my grandmother
knows it, and she could speak it too. I wish I had learned it."
Never mind," said the crow; I'll tell it as well as I can,
though I can't tell it properly." And then he told what he
In the kingdom where we now are lives a princess who is
desperately clever. It is true she has read and forgotten all the
newspapers that exist in the world, so learned is she. Lately, as
she was sitting on the throne-which, people say, is not so very
agreeable either-she began to sing a song which ran thus:
"' Wherefore shouldn't I marry?'
'Why not, indeed ?' added she; And then she determined to
marry, only she wished to find a husband who knew how to
answer when he was spoken to, and not one who could merely
stand and look grand, because that is so tiresome. So she
assembled all her ladies-in-waiting by the beat of a drum; and
when they heard of her intention, they were much pleased.
'We are glad of it,' said they; we had thought of it lately
ourselves.'-You may believe every word I utter," continued
the crow, "for I have a tame sweetheart who hops about the
palace and told me all that passed."
Of course his sweetheart was a crow, as like seeks like, and
a crow is sure to choose a crow.
"The newspapers immediately sported a border of hearts
with the princess's initials, and proclaimed that every good-
looking young man was at liberty to go to the palace and
speak to the princess; and he who could say anything worth
hearing would be welcome to the run of the palace, while
he who spoke the best would be chosen as a husband for the
THE CROW'S STORV.
IThe Prince and Princess. 27
princess.-Yes, yes," continued the crow, you may believe
me; it is every word as true as that I'm sitting here. The
people all crowded helter-skelter to the palace, and there was
such crushing and pushing; but nobody succeeded, either the
first or the second day. They could all speak well enough
while they were outside in the street, but when they had
passed through the palace gate and came to behold the body-
guards in silver and the lackeys all over gold standing along
the staircase, and the large rooms so finely lighted up, they
were quite confounded. And when they approached the
throne where the princess sat, they found nothing to say, and
could only repeat the last word that she uttered, which she
had no mind to hear a second time. It was exactly as if the
people inside had taken snuff into their stomachs, and had
fallen asleep till they came back into the street and recovered
their speech. There was a whole row of them, reaching from
the town-gate to the palace. I went myself to see them,"
added the crow. They were hungry and thirsty, but they
did not get as much as a glass of water in the palace. Some
of the wisest had, to be sure, taken slices of bread-and-butter
with them, but they did not share them with their next neigh-
bour, for each thought, 'Let him look hungry, and then the
princess won't have him.' "
But tell me about Kay-little Kay," said Gerda. When
did he come ?-and was he amongst the crowd ?"
"Stop a bit; we are coming to him presently. On the
third day, there came marching cheerfully along towards the
palace a little body, who had neither horse nor coach. His
eyes sparkled like yours, and he had beautiful long hair, but
was shabbily dressed."
Tzhe Snow 9ueen.
"That was Kay !" cried Gerda in high delight. "Oh, then,
I have found him now !" And she clapped her hands for joy.
He had a little knapsack on his back," said the crow.
"No; it must have been his sledge," said Gerda, "for he
went away with his sledge."
"That may be," said the crow; "I was not so particular
about it. But this I know from my tame sweetheart, that
when he came through the palace-gate and saw the bodyguards
all over silver, and the lackeys on the stairs all bedizened with
gold, he was not the least flustered, but nodded to them,
saying : 'It must be very tiresome to stand on the staircase;
I prefer going in.' And the rooms were in a blaze of light;
privy councillors and excellencies were walking about on their
bare feet, and carrying golden vases-it was enough to inspire
one with profound respect. His boots creaked so dreadfully
loud, but he did not care a fig about that."
"It must be Kay," said Gerda; "I know he had new
boots on: I have heard them creak in grandmother's room."
Yes, they did creak, indeed !" said the crow. But he
went up boldly to the princess, who was sitting on a huge
pearl as large as a spinning-wheel; and all the court ladies
with their maids and their maids' maids, and all the lords with
their gentlemen and their gentlemen's gentlemen, who each
had a page to attend them, stood all around, and the nearer
they stood to the door, the prouder they looked. Indeed, one
could hardly venture to look at a gentleman's gentleman's
page, who always wears slippers, so important an air did each
assume as he stood in the doorway.
It must be quite awful !" said little Gerda. "But did
Kay win the princess ?"
Wze Prince and Princess.
"If I had not been a crow, I would have taken her
myself, although I am engaged. He spoke just as well as
I do, when I am speaking the crows' language-so I heard
from my tame sweetheart. He was cheerful and pleasant;
he had not come to woo her, but to see how clever the
princess might be; and he was pleased with her, and she
"To be sure, it must be Kay!" said Gerda. He was so
clever; he could reckon by heart even fractions. Oh will
you not take me to the palace ?"
"That is 'easily said," answered the crow; but how can
we manage it ? I will, however, speak to my tame sweetheart
about it, and she will give us some advice; for I must tell you
candidly, a little girl of your sort would never obtain leave to
enter the palace."
Yes, I shall," said Gerda. "When Kay hears that I am
there, he will immediately come out to fetch me in."
Wait for me there, near yonder trellis," said the crow,
wagging his head as he flew away.
It was not till late in the evening that the crow returned.
" Caw caw !" said he. She sends her love to you, and here
is a little roll which she took in the kitchen, on purpose for
you. There is bread enough there, and you must be very
hungry. It is not possible for you to enter the palace, as you
are barefooted; the guards in silver and the footmen in gold
would not allow you to pass. But don't cry. We shall
manage to get you in. My sweetheart knows a small back
staircase that leads to the bedroom, and she knows where she
can find the key."
And they went through the long alley in the garden, where
30 The Snow Zueen.
the leaves were falling one after the other; and when the lights
in the palace were extinguished one after another, the crow
led little Gerda to a back-door that was only fastened with a
Oh, how Gerda's heart beat with anxious longing! She
felt as if about to do something wrong; yet she only wanted
to know whether it was little Kay. It must be he," thought
she, as she pictured to herself his intelligent eyes and his long
hair, and fancied she saw him smile as he did formerly, when
they used to sit under the roses at home. He would surely be
glad to see her, to hear what a long way she had come for his
sake, and to know how afflicted they all were at home when he
did not come back. Oh, how her heart was thrilled with fear
and joy !
They were now on the stairs, where a small lamp was
burning in a closet. In the middle of the floor stood
the tame crow, twisting her head in all directions as she
gazed at Gerda, who curtsied as her grandmother had taught
her to do.
My betrothed has spoken highly of you, my little missy,"
said the tame crow, and your story is extremely touching.
If you will take the lamp I will walk before. We will go straight
along this way, and then we shall meet no one."
Somebody seems to be behind us," said Gerda, as a rustling
noise went past her, and horses, with flying manes and thin legs,
whippers-in, and ladies and gentlemen on horseback, all appeared
like shadows on the wall.
"They are only dreams," said the crow, "that come and
fetch royalty's thoughts to go a-hunting. So much the better,
as you can look at them in their beds all the more safely. But
/Te Prince and Princess. 31
I hope, when you rise to high honours, you will show a grateful
Of course," said the crow from the woods.
They now entered the first room, that was hung with rose-
coloured satin, ornamented with artificial flowers, and where
the dreams were already rushing past them, only they went so
fast that Gerda could not manage to see the royal personages.
Each room was more magnificent than the last-it was enough
to bewilder one. Now they reached a bedroom. The ceiling
was like a large palm-tree, with glass leaves of the most costly
crystal; and in the middle of the floor, two beds, each re-
sembling a lily, hung from a golden stem; the one in which
the princess lay was white, the other was red, and it was in the
latter that Gerda was to seek for little Kay. She pushed one
of the red leaves aside, and perceived a brown neck-oh, that
must be Kay She called out his name aloud, and held the
lamp over him-the dreams again rushed into the chamber on
horseback-he woke, turned his head round, and showed that
he was not little Kay.
The prince's neck alone resembled his; still he was young
and pretty. Then the princess peeped out of the white lily,
and asked what was the matter, when little Gerda began to
cry, and related her whole story, and all that the crows had
done to help her.
Poor child !" said the prince and princess, praising the
crows, and assuring them that they were not angry with them,
though they were not to make a practice of doing such things;
and that they should even be rewarded.
Would you like to have your freedom given you ?" asked
the princess, or would you prefer being appointed court
32 The Snow Queen.
crows, and having for your perquisites all the leavings in the
The two crows bowed, and begged leave to have the fixed
appointment, for they thought of their old age, and said it
would be so comfortable to have a certain provision for their
old days, as they called it.
And the prince got out of his bed to give it up to Gerda, and
more he could scarcely do. She folded her little hands and
thought, "How kind are both human beings and animals!"
And then she closed her eyes, and fell into a sweet sleep. All
the dreams came flying back into the chamber, looking like
angels, and drawing in a little sledge, in which sat Kay, who
nodded to her. But it was only a dream, so of course it vanished
the moment she woke.
On the following day she was dressed in silk and velvet
from head to foot, and they offered to let her stay in the palace
and enjoy a good time of it; but all she asked for was a little
coach and a horse, and a pair of little boots, that she might go
into the wide world to look for Kay.
And she not only obtained boots, but a muff; she was
elegantly dressed, and on going away, she found waiting at the
door a new coach of pure gold, with coachman, footmen, and
postilions, wearing gold crowns on their heads. The prince
and princess themselves helped her into the coach, and wished
her every happiness. The wild crow, who was now married,
accompanied her for the first three miles, and sat by her side,.
for he could not bear riding backwards; the tame crow stood
in the doorway flapping her wings, but went no further, because
she had been suffering from headache ever since she had had
a fixed appointment, and too much to eat. The coach was
The Little Robber Girl.
amply stored inside with sweet cakes, and under the seat were
fruit and gingerbread-nuts.
"Farewell! farewell!" cried the prince and princess, and
little Gerda wept, and the crow wept. And then after the
first few miles, the wild crow took leave of her likewise; and
his was the saddest leave-taking of all : he perched upon a tree,
and flapped his black wings as long as he could see the coach
glancing in the bright sunshine.
STORY THE FIFTH.-THE LITTLE ROBBER GIRL.
They now drove through a gloomy forest; but the coach lit
up the way like a torch, and glared in the eyes of some robbers,
who could not withstand such a sight.
It is gold it is gold !" said they, rushing forward; and
seizing hold of the horses, they struck the little jockeys, the
coachman and footmen, dead, and dragged little Gerda out
of the coach.
"She is fat and nice, and fed with the kernels of nuts,"
said the old robber woman, who had a long bristly beard, and
eyebrows that overshadowed her eyes.
It's as good as a little fat lamb-how nice it will taste !"
So saying, she drew forth a shining knife, and most frightfully
did it glitter.
Oh, dear !" screamed the woman, whose ear was bitten at
that very moment by her own daughter, a froward, naughty
girl who was hanging on her back. You ugly thing !" said
the mother, forgetting to kill Gerda.
"She shall play with me," said the little robber girl. She
shall give me her muff, and her pretty dress, and sleep with me in
34 T we Snow ,ueen.
my bed." And she bit her mother again, till she leaped into
the air, and twirled round again. And all the robbers laughed,
saying: See how she is dancing with her cub !"
I will take a ride in the coach," said the little robber girl.
And she must and would have her way, she was so ill-bred and
obstinate. She and Gerda then got in, and away they went
into the depths of the wood. The little robber girl was as big
as Gerda, but stronger, with broader shoulders, and a darker
skin; her eyes were quite black, and she looked almost
melancholy. She took little Gerda round the waist, and said:
"They shan't kill you, as long as I don't wish you ill. I
suppose you are a princess ?"
No," said Gerda, relating her whole history, and how fond
she was of little Kay.
The robber girl looked at her earnestly, and, slightly
nodding her head, she said: "They shan't kill you, even if I
should wish you ill; for then I'd do it myself." And then she
dried Gerda's eyes, and put both her hands into the handsome
muff that was so soft and so warm.
The coach now stopped. They were in the middle of a
courtyard belonging to a robber's castle, that was full of
crevices from top to bottom. Crows and ravens flew out of
the open holes, and great bulldogs, every one of which looked
as though it could swallow a whole man, were jumping about,
though they did not bark, because it was not allowed.
In a large, old, smoky hall, a bright fire was burning on the
stone floor. The smoke went up to the ceiling, and found an
outlet as best it might. Soup was boiling in a large caldron,
and hares and rabbits were roasting on spits.
You shall sleep to-night with me and all my little animals,"
The Little Robber Girl. 35
said the robber girl. They then had something to eat and
drink given to them; after which they went into a corner,
where straw and carpets were laid on the floor. Upwards of a
hundred doves were perched on laths and poles, and were
THE ROBBER GIRL'S HOME.
apparently asleep, though they turned round slightly when the
two little girls approached.
They all belong to ine," said the little robber girl; and
seizing hold of the one nearest to her, she held it by the feet,
and shook it till it flapped its wings. "Kiss it!" cried she,
36 'The Snow ,ueen.
flapping it into Gerda's face. There sits a rabble of wild
doves," continued she, pointing behind a number of staves that
were fixed in front of a hole high up in the wall. "Those two
are a couple of rascally wild doves, who would fly away directly
if they were not kept locked up. And here stands my dear old
ba-a!" So saying, she took by the horn a reindeer, who
wore a bright brass collar round his neck, and was tied up.
" We must keep him pretty tightly too, or else he would give
us the slip. I tickle his neck every evening with my sharp
knife, which he is vastly afraid of." And the little girl took
out a long knife from a cleft in the wall, and drew it slightly
across the reindeer's neck. The poor animal began to kick,
and the little robber girl laughed, and then drew little Gerda
into bed with her.
Do you mean to keep the knife with you when you are
asleep ?" asked Gerda, looking at it with some alarm.
I always sleep with the knife," said the little robber girl.
" One never knows what may happen. But tell me now over
again all that you told me about Kay, and why you went out
into the wide world."
And Gerda related what she had told before, while the wild
doves kept cooing in their prison above, and the other doves
slept. The little robber girl put her arm round Gerda's
neck, and held the knife in her other hand, and.snored aloud ;
but Gerda could not close her eyes, not knowing whether she
was to live or to be put to death. The robbers sat round the
fire, singing and drinking, and the robber woman became
quite tipsy. Oh! it was shocking for the little girl to witness
such a scene !
Then the wild doves said: Coo coo we have seen little
T'he Little Robber Girl. 37
Kay. A white fowl carried his sledge. He sat in the Snow
Queen's carriage, which drove right over the forest as we lay
in our nests. She blew upon us young ones, who all died
except our two selves. Coo i coo !"
What are you saying up there ?" cried Gerda. Where
was the Snow Queen going? Do you know anything
about it ?"
She was probably going to Lapland, where there is
always snow and ice. Ask the reindeer that is fastened to a
Yes, there is ice and snow, and a delightful place it is,"
said the reindeer. "There one can leap about in freedom in
the large glittering valleys, and there the Snow Queen pitches
her summer tent; but her stronghold lies near the north pole,
on an island called Spitzbergen."
Oh, Kay little Kay !" sighed Gerda.
"Lie still," said the robber girl, "or I'll run the knife
through your body."
Next morning Gerda told her all that the wild doves had
said, when the little robber girl looked serious, though she
nodded her head, saying: "That's no matter! that's no
matter! Do you know where Lapland lies ?' asked she of the
"Who can know better than I?" said the animal, while
his eyes sparkled. I was born and brought up there, and I
have frisked about on its snow-fields."
Hark !" said the robber girl to Gerda; you see that all
our men are gone, and only mother remains at home; but
towards noon she drinks out of a large bottle, and takes a little
nap afterwards, and then I'll do something for you." She now
38 The Snow Queen.
jumped out of bed, took her mother by the neck, pulled her
beard, and said: My own dear mammy! good-morning to
The mother, in return, filliped her nose till it was red and
blue; and all this was out of love.
When the mother had drunk freely out of her bottle, and
had gone off to sleep, the robber girl went to the reindeer, and
said : I should like vastly to tickle you many times more with
the sharp knife, for then you make yourself so ridiculous;
but never mind, I will untie your rope, and help you out, that
you may run off to Lapland. But you must put your best leg
foremost, to carry this little girl to the Snow Queen's palace,
where she will find her playfellow. You have heard all she
told, for she spoke loud enough, and you were listening."
The reindeer jumped for joy. The robber girl lifted little
Gerda on to the animal, and took the precaution to bind her
fast, and.even to give her a little cushion to sit upon.
And there are your fur boots," said she, "for it is getting
cold; but as to the muff, I shall keep that, it is so pretty.
Yet, you shan't be frozen by the cold, either; here are my
mother's large mittens, which will reach to your elbows. Creep
into them. Now your hands look just like my mother's."
And Gerda wept for joy.
I don't like to see you whimpering," said the little robber
girl; you ought now to look pleased. Here are a couple of
loaves and a ham, so now you won't starve." These were
fastened to the reindeer, and then the little robber girl opened
the doors, enticed all the dogs into the house, and lastly, cut
the rope that bound the reindeer with her sharp knife, saying to
him: Now run away; but take good care of the little girl."
The Little Robber Girl. 39
And Gerda stretched forth her hands, in the large mittens,
towards the robber girl, and bade her farewell, and then away
the reindeer flew, through thick and thin, across the wide
forest, over bogs and steppes, as quick as he could fly. The
wolves howled, and ravens screeched. Fizz! fizz !" said the
sky, as if it were sneezing red.
FAREWELL TO THE ROBBER GIRL.
There's my old friend the Aurora borealis," cried the rein-
deer; "see how it shines !" And he ran still faster, both day
and night. The loaves were eaten, and the ham too, and by
that time they had reached Lapland.
40 'he Snow Zueen.
STORY THE SIXTH.-THE LAPLANDER AND THE FINLANDER.
They stopped in front of a miserable-looking little house,
whose roof reached down to the ground, and whose door was
so low that the family were obliged to creep on all-fours when
they wanted to go out or in. Nobody was at home just then
but an old Laplandish woman, who was cooking fish by the
light of a train-oil lamp, and the reindeer told her Gerda's
whole story, after having first told his own-which seemed to
him far the more important of the two-and Gerda was so
benumbed with the cold that she could not speak a word.
Why, you poor creatures," said the Laplander, you have
still a long way to go. You must go a hundred miles into
Finland; for it is there the Snow Queen lives in the summer,
and burns Bengal lights every evening. I will write a few
words on a dried stock-fish, for I have no paper, and give it
you for the Finlandish woman up there, and she will direct
you better than I can."
And when Gerda was warmed, and had eaten and drunk,
the Laplandish woman wrote a few words on a dried stock-fish,
and, telling Gerda to take good care of it, tied her once more
upon the reindeer, who made off with great speed.
Fizz! fizz !" said the air, and during the whole night
there shone the prettiest blue aurora borealis. And then they
reached Finland, and knocked at the chimney of the Finlandish
woman, for door she had none.
It was so terribly hot within, that their hostess had scarcely
any"clothes on her back. She was small and dirfy-looking.
She immediately loosened little Gerda's dress, and took off her
mittens and boots, or else she would have been oppressed by
the heat, and put a lump of ice on the reindeer's head, and then
read what was written on the stock-fish. After perusing it
three times she knew its contents by heart, and then put the
stock-fish into the saucepan where the broth was cooking, as
it was fit to be eaten, and she never wasted anything.
The reindeer now related first, his own story, and then little
Gerda's, and the Finlandish woman's intelligent eyes twinkled,
though she said nothing.
As you are so wise," said the reindeer, that you can bind
all the winds in the world with a bit of thread, so that if a sea-
man loosens one knot it will bring him a fair wind, and if he
loosens another there will blow a stiff gale, and by untying a
third and fourth, he could raise a hurricane that would over-
throw forests-cannot you give this little girl a potion to endow
her with the power of twelve men, so that she should conquer
the Snow Queen ?"
The power of twelve men !" said the Finlandish woman;
" that would be of much use, indeed !" and then she went to a
shelf, and took down a large skin roll, which she unfurled, and
upon which she read strange characters, till the perspiration
trickled down from her forehead.
But the reindeer begged so hard for little Gerda, and she
looked at the Finlandish woman with such tearful and entreat-
ing eyes, that the eyes of the latter began to twinkle, and
taking the reindeer into a corner, she whispered into his ear
as she laid a fresh lump of ice on his head :
Little Kay is sure enough with the Snow Queen, and finds
everything in her palace so much to his taste and his liking
that he thinks it the finest place in the world ; but this comes
The Snow .ueen.
of his having a glass fragment in his heart, and a little speck
of glass in his eye. They must be removed, or else he'll never
be a human being again, and the Snow Queen will retain her
power over him."
"But can't you give little Gerda something that shall
endow her with power over all these things ?"
"I can't give her any greater power than she already
possesses; do you not see how great it is even now ? Do you
not see how men and animals must serve her, and how she has
come on in the world with bare feet ? She can't receive any
power from us : its seat is in her heart, and consists in her
being such a dear, innocent child as she is. If she can't gain
access to the Snow Queen by her own means, and remove the
glass shivers out of little Kay, we can do nothing to bring
about such a result. The Snow Queen's garden begins two
miles from hence. You can carry the little girl thither, and set
her down near the large bush which stands covered with red
berries amidst the snow. Don't stay gossiping, but make
haste and come back hither."' And then the Finlandish
woman lifted little Gerda on to the reindeer's back, who ran
off as fast as he could.
Oh, I have forgotten my boots and my mittens !" cried
little Gerda, the moment she was in the biting cold, yet she
dared not stop-the reindeer, who ran till he reached the bush
with the red berries, where he set down Gerda, and kissed her
mouth, while large, bright tears trickled down the animal's
cheeks, and away he ran back. There stood poor Gerda with-
out shoes or gloves in the middle of dreary, icy cold Finland.
She ran forwards as quick as she could, when she was met
by a whole regiment of snow-flakes, which did not, however,
Te Finlander. 43
fall from the sky, that was bright and lit up by an aurora
borealis, but ran along the ground, and grew bigger the nearer
they approached. Gerda remembered how large and artfully-
fashioned snow-flakes looked, when she saw them through a
burning-glass. But here they were far larger, and more
alarming, for they were alive; they were the Snow Queen's
sentries, and were of the oddest shapes. Some looked like
ugly great porcupines; others like a knot of serpents, with
their heads poking out; others again like fat little bears,
with bristling hairs: all were dazzlingly white, and all were
Little Gerda then repeated the Lord's Prayer, while the
cold was so intense that she could see her own breath which
came out of her mouth like so much smoke. These clouds of
breath became thicker, and took the shape of little angels, who
grew larger the moment they touched the earth; and all wore
helmets on their heads, and carried spears and shields in their
hands; their numbers kept increasing, and by the time Gerda
had finished her prayer, a whole legion of them surrounded
her, and they pierced the frightful snow-flakes with their spears
till they shivered them into a hundred pieces, and little Gerda
went on in safety and in good spirits. The angels stroked her
hands and feet so that she felt the cold less, and hastened on
to the Snow Queen's castle. But now we must see what Kay
is after. In truth, he was not thinking of little Gerda at
all, much less of her being outside the castle at that very
Thle Snow Queen.
STORY THE SEVENTH.-OF THE SNOW QUEEN'S CASTLE, AND
WHAT TOOK PLACE IN IT LATER.
The walls of the castle were made of drifted snow, and the
windows and doors were made of biting winds. There were
above a hundred rooms in it, just as the snow had blown them
together; the largest was several miles long; they were all lit
up by the vivid aurora borealis, and they were so large, so
empty, so icy cold, and so glittering No festivities were ever
held there; not so much as a little ball for bears, to which the
tempest might have played tunes, and where the bears might
have danced on their hind legs, and shown their good breeding;
nor even a game of hot cockles, nor a gossiping coffee party for
white fox spinsters: the Snow Queen's halls were empty, cold,
and dreary. The aurora borealis shone so plain throughout
the castle, that one could reckon when it stood at the highest
or the lowest point in the heavens. In the middle of this
empty and endless snow-hall lay a frozen lake that was broken
into a thousand pieces, only each piece was so like the'other,
that it formed a complete work of art; and in the centre of
the lake sat the Snow Queen when she was at home, and then
she said she was sitting on the mirror of reason, which was the
best and only one in the world.
Little Kay was quite blue, nay, almost black with cold;
but he did not perceive it, for she had kissed away his shiver-
ing feelings, and his heart was like a lump of ice. He was
dragging about some sharp, flat pieces of ice, and placing them
in all manner of ways, for he wanted to make something out
of them. It was just as when we make use of little wooden
VTie Snow _ueen's Castle.
squares and triangles to compose figures, which we call
a Chinese puzzle. Kay, too, was making figures, and very
clever ones. This was the ice-game of reason. In his eyes
the figures were very remarkable, and of the highest import-
ance-owing to the little glass shiver that still stuck in his eye.
He composed complete figures that formed a written word, but
he never could manage to form the word he wanted, which was
" Eternity." And the Snow Queen had said: "If you can
find out this figure, you shall then be your own master, and
I'll give you the whole world, besides a new pair of skates."
But he could not accomplish it.
"Now I will rush off to warm lands," said the Snow
Queen; I will go and look into the black pipkins." It was
the volcanoes Etna and Vesuvius that she designated in this
manner. "I will whiten them a bit! It will be good for
them, and benefit the lemons and grapes." And away the
Snow Queen flew, and Kay remained all alone in the large ice-
hall that was so many miles long, and kept looking at the
pieces of ice, and thinking and thinking till his head was ready
to split; and he sat so stiff and so motionless, that one might
have thought he was frozen.
Just then it happened that little Gerda came through the
large gate into the castle. Cutting winds were raging within,
but she said an evening prayer, and the winds abated as if they
were going to sleep; and she entered the large, empty, cold
rooms-and there she beheld Kay. She immediately recog-
nised him, and flew to embrace him, and held him fast, while
she exclaimed: Kay dear little Kay So I have found you
But he sat quite motionless, stiff, and cold; and then little
The Snow ueen.
Gerda shed warm tears that fell upon his breast, and pene-
trated to his heart and melted the lump of ice, and washed
away the little, glass fragment at the same time ; he looked at
her while she sang:
"The roses bloom but one short hour, then die,
But the infant Jesus ever lives on high."
Then Kay burst into tears, and he cried so abundantly that
the little bit of glass swam out of his eye when he recognized
her, and exclaimed joyously: "Gerda! dear little Gerda!
Where have you stayed away so long ? And where have I
been ?" And he looked all about him. How cold it is here!
How large and how empty it all seems !" And he clung to
Gerda, who laughed and cried for joy; and the scene was so
moving, that even the pieces of ice jumped about for joy, and
when they were tired and lay down again, they formed them-
selves into the very letters the Snow Queen had said he must
find out before he could become his own master, and she
would make him a present of the whole world and a pair of
Then Gerda kissed his cheeks, and they became blooming;
she kissed his eyes, and they beamed like hers; she kissed his
hands and feet, and he became healthy and cheerful. The
Snow Queen might now come home if she pleased; for there
stood his letters-patent of freedom, written in glittering pieces
And they took each other by the hand and walked out of the
castle, and talked of grandmamma, and of the roses on the roof;
and wherever they went the winds were laid to rest, and the
sun shone forth; and when they reached the bush with red
THE~, IC ruzi
The Snow .ueen's Castle.
berries, they found the reindeer waiting for them, accompanied
by a younger reindeer, whose udders were full of warm milk,
which she gave the children to drink, and then kissed their
mouths. They then carried Kay and Gerda to the Finlandish
woman, where they warmed themselves thoroughly in the hot
room, and obtained directions about their journey homewards,
and next to the Laplandish woman, who had made new clothes
for them, and set their sledge in order.
The reindeer and his companion ran beside them, and
followed them to the frontiers of the land, where the first
green shoots were to be seen; and here the little travellers
took leave of the reindeer and of their Laplandish hostess.
Farewell!" was said on all sides. And the first little birds
began to twitter, and the forest was full of green buds; and
there emerged from it a beautiful horse (that Gerda recognized
as having belonged to the golden coach) mounted by a girl
wearing a shining red cap, and with pistols in her belt. This
was the little robber girl, who was tired of staying at home,
and was going first to the north, and then, if that did not
suit her, to some other part of the world. She and Gerda
instantly recognized each other, and delighted they were to
You are a pretty fellow to have gone a-gadding in such a
manner !" said she to little Kay: "I wonder whether you
deserve that anybody should have taken the trouble to run to
the world's end for your sake."
But Gerda patted her cheeks, and asked after the prince
"They are travelling in foreign lands," said the robber
TThe Snow Queen.
And what is become of the crow ?" said Gerda.
He is dead," returned she.: "His tame sweetheart is
become a widow, and wears a bit of black woollen thread
round her leg. She makes great lamentations, but it's all
mere stuff. But now tell me how you fared, and how you
managed to get him back."
Then Gerda and Kay related all that had taken place.
"Snip-snap-snorum!" said the robber girl, who shook their
hands, and promised, should she ever pass through their town,
that she would pay them a visit; and then she rode forth into
the wide world. Meantime, Kay and Gerda walked on hand
in hand, and the farther they went the lovelier the spring
appeared with its flowers and verdure; the church-bells were
ringing, and they recognized the tall. steeples, and the large
town where they lived; and they entered it, and found their
way to their grandmother's door, then up the stairs, and into
the room, where all looked the same as it used to do: the
clock was still going, "tick-tack 1" and the hands were point-
ing to the hour; but, as they passed through the doorway,
they perceived they were now grown up. The roses on the
roof were in, full bloom, and peeping in at the open window;
and there stood their little chairs which they used as children,
upon which Kay and Gerda-now sat down, one on each chair,
holding each other by the hand, while the cold, empty
splendour of the Snow Queen's palace vanished from their
thoughts like a painful dream. The grandmother sat in God's
bright sunshine, reading aloud the following passage in the
Bible : Unless ye become as little children, ye shall not enter
into the kingdom of heaven."
The Snow Q.ueen's Castle. 51
And Kay and Gerda exchanged looks, and they now under-
stood the meaning of the old hymn :
"The roses bloom but one short hour, then die,
But the infant Jesus ever lives on high."
And there they both sat, grown up, yet children still, for
they were children in their hearts; arid it was summer-warm
glorious summer !
IT frequently happens, when one passes through a field of
buckwheat after a storm, that one sees it looking quite black
and singed, just as if a fierce flame had passed over it, and
then a countryman says, That comes of the lightning !" But
how did it come about? Well, I'll tell you what a sparrow
told me, and the sparrow heard it from an aged willow that
stood in a -meadow next to a field of buckwheat, and is still
standing for the matter of that. It is a most venerable, large
willow, though crippled and aged; its trunk is split right
through the middle, and grass and blackberry tendrils are
peeping out through the cleft. The tree is bending forwards,
and its branches are hanging down to the ground-just like
long green hair.
There grew corn in the surrounding fields, not only rye and
barley, but oats-pretty oats that, when ripe, look like a flight
of little yellow canary birds, sitting on a branch. The harvest
was blessed with plenty, and the heavier and richer the ears of
corn, the lower did they bow their heads in pious humility.
The Willow's Answer. 53
Now, there was a field of buckwheat just opposite the old
willow. The buckwheat did not bow its head like the rest of
the corn, but flaunted away in stiff-necked pride.
"I am as rich as the other ears of corn," said he, "and,
moreover, I am much more sightly. My flowers are as pretty
THE WILLOW IN THE STORM.
as apple-blossoms, and it is a treat to look at me and mine.
Do you know of anything more beautiful than ourselves, you
old willow ?"
And the willow nodded his head, as much as to say, In-
deed, I do!"
But the buckwheat bridled proudly, saying, Stupid tree !
He is so old that the grass is growing on his body."
There now arose a violent storm. All the flowers of the
field folded up their leaves or bent their little heads down-
wards, while the storm swept over them; but the buckwheat
stood erect in all its pride.
Bow your head, as we do," said the flowers.
There is no need of that for me," answered the buck-
Hang your head down as we do," cried the corn. The
angel of the storm is approaching. He has wings that reach
from the clouds above down to our earth, and he'll smite you
before you have time to beg for mercy."
"But I don't choose to bow down," said the buckwheat.
Fold up your flowers and bend your leaves," said the old
willow. Do not look at the lightning when the cloud bursts
open; even human beings dare not do that, for, in the midst
of lightning, one may see right into heaven, but the sight
strikes even human beings blind; and what would not happen
to us-the produce of the earth-if we ventured on such a
thing, so much humbler as we are?"
Humbler, indeed !" said the buckwheat. Now, I happen
to have a mind to take a peep into heaven." And in his pride
and arrogance he dared to do so. The flashes of lightning
were so awful that it seemed as if the whole world were in
When this dreadful storm was quite over, both the flowers
and the corn felt refreshed by the rain as they stood in the pure,
quiet air, but the buckwheat was burnt as black as a cinder by
the lightning, and was like a dead weed upon the field.
The Weeping Willow. 55
And the old willow's branches rustled in the wind, and
large drops fell from his green leaves, just as though he were
Then the sparrows inquired: Why are you weeping,
when all around seems blest ? Look how the sun shines, and
how the clouds are sailing Do you not smell the sweet per-
fume of flowers and bushes ? Wherefore do you weep, aged
And the willow told of the buckwheat's pride, of his stub-
bornness, and of the punishment which is sure to follow.
I who am telling the tale heard it from the sparrows. They
told it me one evening when I asked them for a story.
IN the depths of the forest there stood a pretty little fir-
tree. It was placed very nicely, for it could get as much
sunshine and air as it wanted, and it was surrounded by a
number of taller companions, both firs and pines. But the
little fir-tree did so long to grow taller It thought nothing
of the warm sun and the fresh air, and cared still less for the
peasant children who strolled about and chattered whenever
they came to gather wild strawberries and raspberries. They
would often bring a pipkin full of berries, or lay them out on a
handful of straw, and then seat themselves near the little fir-
tree, saying : Well, this is a sweet little tree !" But the tree
was quite insensible to any such praise.
In the following year, it had grown a notch taller, and the
year after it was taller still by another notch; for with fir-trees
it is easy to ascertain, by the number of notches, how many
years old they are.
Oh how I wish I were as tall as the other trees !" sighed
Could I but Grow!" 57
the diminutive fir; and then I should spread my branches
all around, and my top would overlook the wide world. Birds
would then build nests in my branches, and when the wind
blew I should be able to bow with as much dignity as the rest
of my companions."
It took no delight in the sunshine, or the birds, or the rosy
clouds that sailed over its head morning and evening. When
it was winter, and the white snow lay in dazzling sheets upon
the ground, a hare would frequently jump right over the little
tree, and that vexed it so sorely! But after two more winters,
the tree had grown so tall, that by the time it had reached the
third, the hare was obliged to run round it. Oh! could I
but grow and grow, and become tall and old! That is the
only thing worth caring for in this world," thought the tree.
In the autumn, the woodcutters always came and felled
several of the tallest trees. As this happened regularly every
year, the young fir-tree, who was now grown up, shuddered at
the fate that perhaps awaited him; for the fine large trees fell
with a loud crashing and creaking to the ground. Their
branches were lopped off, and the trunks looked so naked, so
lank, and so narrow, that they were scarcely to be recognized.
Then they were placed on waggons, and the horses drew them
out of the forest.
Whither were they bound ? What was to be their fate ?
In spring, when the swallows and storks made their
appearance, the tree inquired of them : Do you know where
they have been taken to ? Did you not meet them ?"
The swallows knew nothing of the matter; but the stork,
after due reflection, nodded his head, saying: Yes, I think I
did; for I met a great many new ships as I flew out of Egypt,
and the ships had very handsome masts ; so I conclude that it
must have been they, particularly as they smelt like firs. I
congratulate you upon your friends; really they are very
"Oh! if I were but tall enough to cross the sea! What is
this sea, and what does it look like ?"
Why, it would take too much time to explain," replied
the stork, going away.
"Enjoy your youth," said the sunbeams; "enjoy your
fresh growth, and your young existence, while it lasts."
And the wind kissed the tree, and the dew shed tears over
it; but the fir-tree could not understand either of them.
When Christmas was drawing near, some very young trees
were felled; several trees, indeed, that were neither so tall
nor so old as this particular fir-tree, which could not rest for
longing to get away from its native place. These young trees,
which were chosen as being the prettiest of all, were not
deprived of their branches, and were laid upon waggons, and
taken away from the forest.
Whither can they be going ?" asked our fir-tree. They
are not taller than I am; on the contrary, there was one
much smaller than myself. And why are they allowed to
retain their branches ? What is to be done with them ?"
We know-we know," twittered the sparrows, for we
have looked in at the windows, in yonder town! We know
what is to be done with them. Oh, they are raised to the
very highest honours, I promise you! We saw through the
windows how they were stuck up in a warm room, and
ornamented with a host of fine things, such as gilt apples,
ginger-bread, and playthings, besides hundreds of tapers."-
THE HARE BY THE FIR-TREE.
Farewell to the Flowers! 6 I
And then," asked the fir-tree with trembling eagerness-
" and then-what next ?"
Why, we saw nothing further-but it was an incom-
parable sight !"
I wonder whether I am destined to so brilliant a career !"
exclaimed the fir-tree, in ecstasy. "That is even better than
crossing the seas. How I do long for Christmas to come
round again I am now grown as tall as the others that were
taken away last year. Oh, how I wish I were already placed
on the waggon How I wish I were in the warm room with
all the fine things about me! And then-why surely some-
thing still better must be in store, something far finer still, or
else they would not deck me out so smartly There must be
something much grander and more magnificent yet to come-
only what can it be ? Oh! I am so weary with longing-I
can't tell how I feel !"
Enjoy our gifts," said the air and the sunbeams; enjoy
your bright young days in the open air."
But the tree would not enjoy himself, and kept growing
and growing. Through both winter and summer he stood
clothed in dark green, and all who saw him said: "That is a
beautiful tree." So towards Christmas he was felled before
any of the others. The axe clove right through his pith, and
down he fell with a groan; it was like a pang, or a fainting fit,
and the tree ceased to think of the honours that awaited him,
in his affliction at leaving his home, and the spot where he
had grown into beauty; for he knew but too well that he
would never see his old companions again, nor the little rushes
and flowers that once surrounded him; nor, perhaps, even the
birds. Moreover, the journey was far from pleasant.
The tree revived a little when he was unpacked, together
with the other trees, in a courtyard, and he heard a man
observe: "This is a beauty. We only want one."
Two well-dressed servants now came, and carried off the
fir-tree to a fine large room. The walls were adorned with
pictures, and beside the earthenware stove stood large china
vases, with lions on their lids; and there were rocking-chairs,
silk sofas, large tables loaded with books full of prints, and
playthings, to the amount of a hundred times a hundred
'dollars-at least, so said the children. The fir-tree was
placed in a large barrel filled with sand; but nobody could
perceive it was a barrel, as it was covered round with green
baize, and stood on a handsome carpet. Oh! how the tree
What was going to be done ? Both the servants and the
young ladies helped to adorn it. On one branch they hung
little nets cut out of coloured paper, and each net was filled
with sweetmeats; gilt apples and walnuts- hung down from
others, as if they had grown there; and above a hundred
tapers-white, blue, and red-were fastened to the branches.
Beneath the green leaves were placed dolls, that looked for
all the world like living creatures-the tree had never seen
any such before; and on the topmost summit was fastened a
star, all over spangles, that was right royally splendid to
"This evening it will shine most gloriously!" they all
Oh !" thought the tree, if it were but evening! If the
tapers could but be lighted! And then what is to be done
next ? I wonder whether the trees from our forest will come
The Christmas Tree.
and admire me ? And whether the sparrows will peep in
through the window-panes ? And whether I have taken root
here, and shall remain decked out in this fashion through both
winter and summer ?"
These reflections were all very well, only the tree's long-
ings were so intense that his bark ached again through im-
patience; and barkache is just as bad for a tree as headache is
At length the tapers were lit; and a grand sight it was, to
be sure. The tree trembled so in all his branches that one
of the tapers set fire to the leaves and regularly singed
Help help !" shrieked the young ladies, as they hastily
extinguished the flame.
So the tree endeavoured not to tremble again, frightened
as he was-for he was most anxious not to lose any of
his ornaments--and though bewildered by so brilliant a
scene. And now the folding-doors were thrown open, and
in rushed a whole troop of children, as though they would
overturn the tree, while their elders followed in a more
leisurely manner. The little ones stood for a moment
stricken dumb, and then directly after set up such shouts of
joy, that the room rang with the sound. They danced round
the tree, and one present after another was plucked off from
What are they about ?" thought the tree. What will
come next ?" And as each taper burnt down to the branches,
it was put out, and then the children had leave given them to
rifle the tree. Oh, how they did set upon it, to be sure! And
how its branches cracked! Had it not been fastened by the
64 The Fir-Tree.
gold star at the top to the ceiling, it would have been over-
turned to a certainty.
The children danced about with their pretty toys, and
nobody took any further notice of the tree, except the old
nurse, who came and rummaged amongst the branches to see
if a fig or an apple had not been left there by chance.
"A story let's have a story!" cried the children, pulling a
little thick-set man towards the tree, under which he took his
seat, saying: "Now we are in the shade; and of course the
tree will reap great advantage by listening to what we say.
But mind I shall only tell one story, so which shall it be ?
Ivede-Avede, or Humpty-Dumpty, who fell downstairs, and
yet was raised to high honours, and obtained the princess's
"Ivede-Avede!" cried some. "Humpty-Dumpty!" cried
others. And a fine screaming and squalling there was The
fir-tree alone was silent, though he said to himself-" Am I
not to have a finger in the pie ?" For he had played his part
as well as anybody else that evening.
And the man told the story of Humpty-Dumpty, who fell
downstairs, and yet was raised to high honours, and obtained
the princess's hand. And the children clapped their hands,
and cried: "Go on! Go on!" for they wanted to hear the
story of Ivede-Avede besides; but they only got Humpty-
Dumpty. The fir-tree stood in pensive silence. The birds in
the wood had never told him anything of the kind.
"Humpty-Dumpty fell downstairs, and yet obtained a
princess Yes, yes that's the way of the world," argued the
fir-tree, thinking it must be a true story, because it was told
by such a well-dressed man. So who knows but what I may
In the Loft. 65
fall downstairs and obtain a princess ?" And he rejoiced to
think that next day he would again be decked out with tapers,
playthings, gold, and fruit.
"To-morrow I will not tremble," thought the tree. "I
will enjoy my grandeur. To-morrow I shall hear the story of
Humpty-Dumpty again, and perhaps that of Ivede-Avede."
And the tree remained silent and thoughtful throughout the
Next morning the man-servant and the maid came in.
"Now I'm going to be tricked out again in all my finery !"
thought the tree. But they dragged him out of the room, and
upstairs, and then flung him on the floor in a dark corner,
where daylight never shone. What's the meaning of this ?"
thought the tree. What shall I do here ? And what can I
hear in such a place ?" And he leaned against the wall, still
thinking and thinking. And he had plenty of time for reflection,
as days and nights passed by, and nobody came up; and when
at length somebody did come, it was only to stow away some
large chests in the corner. So the tree was now as com-
pletely concealed as though his existence had been entirely
It is winter abroad," thought the tree; the ground must
now be hard and covered with snow, so they can't plant me;
therefore, I am to be kept safe here until spring. That is
no bad plan. Really, people are very kind! I only wish it
was not so dark, and so terribly lonely here! There's not even
a little hare to enliven one How nice it was to be in the
forest when the snow was lying on the ground, and the hare
used to jump past me-or even when he leaped over me,
though I was not well pleased at the time, I remember.
66 The Fir-Tree.
It is so dreadfully lonely up here !" Peep peep !" squeaked
a little mouse, stealing forth, followed by another. They
sniffed at the fir-tree, and then ensconced themselves between
It is bitterly cold," said the little mice, or else we should
be very well off here-shouldn't we, you old fir-tree ?"
"I'm not old," said the fir-tree; "there are many a great
deal older than I."
"Where do you come from?" inquired the mice, "and
what's your name ?" for they were vastly curious. Tell us
something about the prettiest place in the world. Have you
been there ? Have you been in the store-room, where there
is cheese lying on the shelves, and hams are hanging from
the ceiling; where one may dance upon tallow candles, and
from which one may come out twice as fat as one goes in ?"
I don't know of any such place," said the tree; "but I
know of our forest where the sun shines, and the birds sing."
And then he related the story of his youth; and the mice, who
had never heard of the like before, listened very attentively,
and then observed: "How much you have seen, and how
happy you have been !"
I happy!" exclaimed the fir-tree; and then he thought
over all he had told. "Well! those were, to be sure, rather
pleasant times." And then he related all about Christmas Eve,
and how he was decked out with cakes and tapers.
Oh !" cried the little mice, how happy you have been,
you old fir-tree!"
I am not old," said the tree. It's only this winter that
I have come from the forest, and so I have been thrown back
in my growth."
What pretty things you do relate!" said the little mice.
And the following night they returned with four other little
mice, that they might hear the tree tell his story; and the
oftener he told it the more distinctly he remembered every-
thing, and he could not help thinking, "Those were right
pleasant times, but they will not come over again. Still,
as Humpty-Dumpty fell downstairs, and yet obtained the
princess, perhaps I may still have a princess myself." And
the fir-tree fondly recollected an elegant little birch that grew
in the forest, and was a beautiful princess for a fir-tree.
Who is Humpty-Dumpty ?" inquired the little mice.
The fir-tree then related the whole story, every word of
which he remembered; and.the little mice were fit to jump to
the top of the tree with delight. Next night there came a great
many more mice, and by Sunday they were joined by a couple
of rats; but the latter said the story was not a pretty one,
which vexed the little mice, because it made them think less
of it themselves.
"Do you know nothing but this one story ?" inquired
"Only this one," replied the tree. "I heard it on the
happiest evening of my life. I did not think then how happy
"It is a pitiful story, anyway. Don't you know any
stories about lard or tallow? Can't you tell us some store.
room tales ?"
No," said the tree.
"Your servant," answered the rats, and they returned to
their own set.
The little mice finished by staying away likewise, and then
the tree said, with a sigh, It was very nice when those sym-
pathizing little mice used to sit all round me, and listen to my
story. Now, that is over too. But I shall think of those times,
and enjoy the recollection of them, when I am removed from
this place once more."
But what, think you, happened ? Why, one morning, there
came some people, who made a great to-do upon the floor;
the chests were shoved aside, and the tree was drawn forth.
It's true they flung it somewhat roughly on the floor; but a
servant immediately dragged it towards the stairs, on which
shone the daylight.
Now I am going to begin life anew," thought the tree, as
he felt the fresh air and the welcome sunbeams on reaching the
court below. The court led to a garden, where everything
was in full bloom. The roses hung over the little trellis, and
looked so fresh, and smelt so sweet; while the lime-trees
were in blossom, and the swallows were flying about saying,
"Twit-twit-twit-my mate is coming." But it was not the
fir-tree they meant.
"Now I shall really live !" cried the latter, rejoicing and
spreading out his branches, that were, alas all withered
and yellow; and there he lay in a corner amongst weeds and
nettles. The gilt-paper star was still stuck in the top of the
tree, and sparkled in the bright sunshine.
Two of the lively children who had danced round the tree and
taken such delight in it at Christmas happened to be playing
in the court. The youngest ran and tore off the gold star.
See what is still sticking to the ugly old fir-tree," said the
child, as he trampled on the branches till they cracked.
And the tree looked upon the bright flower-garden, and
THE FIR-TREE TELLS HIS STORY.
then thought of himself, and wished he had been left in his
dark corner on the floor. He recalled his early youth in the
forest, the merry Christmas evening, and the little mice who
were so pleased at hearing the story of Humpty-Dumpty.
It's all gone and past," said the old tree. Would that I
had known my own happiness while it lasted !"
A lad now came and chopped the tree into small fagots,
and made them up into a bundle. A fire soon burned up
briskly under a large washing-copper, and the tree sighed so
deeply that every sigh was like a little pistol-shot. So the
children left off playing, and came and sat near the fire, and
looked at it, saying Pop-pop !" and then the tree was burnt
And as all was over with the tree, so it must be with the
story ; for all stories finish at last.
THE LOVING PAIR.
A WHIPPING-TOP and a little ball lay together in a box,
amongst other playthings. One day the top said to the ball:
" Shall we make a match of it, since we are living here in the
same box ?" But the ball being made of morocco leather, and
thinking quite as much of herself as any high-bred young lady
might do, did not even vouchsafe an answer.
On the following day came the little boy to whom the play-
things belonged; and he painted the top red and yellow, and
drove a brass nail right through the middle of it, so that it
looked very smart indeed when it spun round.
Look at me," said the top to the ball. What do you
think of me now? Shan't we make a match of it ? We are
so well suited to each other, for you jump and I dance. There
would not be a happier pair in the whole world."
"Do you think so?" said the ball. "You are, perhaps,
not aware that my father and mother were morocco slippers,
and that I have a Spanish cork in my body ?"
Top and Ball.
Yes; but I am made of mahogany," said the top, "and
the burgomaster turned me himself. He has a lathe of his own,
and he took great delight in me."
Can I depend upon what you say ?" asked the ball.
May I never be whipped if I'm telling a fib !" returned
You plead your own cause vastly well," said the ball, but
I can't accept your proposal. I am as good as betrothed to
a swallow. As often as I fly up into the air, he pokes his head
out of his nest, and says, 'Will you ?' And as I have inwardly
answered, 'Yes,' it is almost as binding as a betrothal; but I'll
promise never to forget you."
"A deal of good that will do me !" said the top. -And so
they left off speaking to each other.
On the following day the boy took out the ball. The top
saw it flying up into the air like any bird, till at last it was out
of sight. Each time it returned it gave a rebound as it touched
the earth, either because it longed to jump upwards or be-
cause it had a Spanish cork in its body. But the ninth time
it was flung into the air, it stayed away and did not return.
The boy sought and sought, but all in vain, for it was gone.
I know where she is," sighed the top; "in the swallow's
nest, to be sure, where she has married the swallow by this
The more the top thought about the ball, the more in-
fatuated he was with her charms. His love increased just
because he could not obtain her, and most of all, perhaps,
because another had taken her away from him. So the top
twirled round and hummed, but still kept thinking of the ball,
who grew more and more beautiful in his imagination. And
74 The Loving Pair.
years passed away in this manner, till his love had grown quite
an old story.
The top himself was no longer young, when one day he
was gilt all over. He had never looked so handsome before;
he was now a gold top, and hopped about till he hummed
again. So this was something quite grand Only one day he
leaped too high, and was out of sight.
He was looked for everywhere -even the cellar was searched,
but he was nowhere to be found.
Where could he be ?
He had jumped into the dust-bin amongst the cabbage-
stalks, sweepings, and rubbish that had fallen from the gutter
of the roof.
Now I'm in a pretty pickle !" quoth he; my gilding will
soon come off at this rate. Oh dear! What a set of raga-
muffins I have got amongst !" And he looked askance at a
long, bare cabbage-stalk, and at a strange round thing that
appeared like an old apple-though it was not an apple, but an
old ball that had lain for years in the gutter of the roof till it
was saturated with water.
Thank goodness! Here comes somebody of my own
sort, with whom I can converse," said the ball, examining the
gilt top. I am, in point of fact, made of morocco, and was
sewed together by a young lady, and have a Spanish cork in
my body, though nobody would think it now. I was very
near marrying a swallow, only I fell into the gutter of the roof,
where I have lain these five years, and been drenched through
and through. Believe me, it is a long time for a young
The top said nothing; but he thought of his old flame, and
Old Acquaintance. 75
the more he listened the more convinced he felt that this must
Then came the housemaid to empty the dust-bin.
Holloa !" cried she, "why there's the gold top !"
So the top was again brought to light to be honoured and
admired, while nothing more was heard of the ball. And the
top never said a word more about his old flame, which may
well be quenched when one's beloved has lain five years in a
gutter, and been soaked through-nay, one may even be
excused for cutting her acquaintance on meeting her in a dust-
=. ,, ,o ,,," "-* .-"'" .
-_. -. -. --- -
THE PRINCESS AND THE PARCHED
THERE was once a prince who wished to marry a princess;
but he wanted her to be a real princess. He travelled all
round the world to find such an one, but there was always
something wrong. Not that there was any lack of princesses,
but as to whether or no they were real ones he could not
always make out. There was sure to be something in the way
that was not quite satisfactory. At length he returned home,
quite out of spirits, for he wished so to find a real princess.
One evening there was a fearful storm. It thundered
and lightened, and poured with rain, till it was quite dreadful.
There came a knock at the town-gate, and the old king went
and opened it.
A princess stood outside the gate; but, oh dear! what a
state she was in from the rain and the bad weather! The
water was dripping down from her hair and her clothes, and
A PRINCESS STOOD OUTSIDE.
A Real Princess.
running in at the tips of her shoes and coming out at the heels.
Yet she said she was a real princess.
Well, that we'll presently see," thought the old queen.
But she said nothing, and went into a spare room, and took off
all the bedding, and laid a pea on the sacking of the bedstead.
She then took twenty mattresses and laid them upon the pea,
and then piled twenty eider-down quilts on the top of the
The princess lay upon them the whole night. On the
following morning she was asked how she had slept.
"Oh, most shockingly!" said the princess. "I scarcely
closed my eyes all night! I do not know what was in the bed;
I lay upon some hard substance, which has made me black and
blue all over. It is quite dreadful !"
It was now evident that she was a real princess, since she
perceived the pea through twenty mattresses and twenty eider-
down quilts. None but a real princess could have such delicate
So the prince married her, for he knew that he had now
found a real princess; and the pea was preserved in the cabinet
of curiosities, where it is still to be seen, unless somebody has
And this, mind you, is a real story.
THE GALOSHES OF HAPPINESS.
THERE was company in a house in Copenhagen, not far
from the King's New Market, where a great many persons had
been invited. Half the company had already sat down to the
card-table, and the other half was awaiting the result of the
hostess's question : "Well, what shall we do ?" They had got
thus far, and the entertainment was beginning to go on smoothly
enough. Amongst other things, the conversation happened to
fall upon the Middle Ages, which some few persons deemed
far more interesting than our own times. The councillor of
justice, Knap, maintained this opinion so warmly that the lady
of the house immediately went over to his side, and both fell
foul of those views about old and modern times in which the
preference, in all essential points, is given to our own age.
The councillor of justice looked upon the era of the Danish
King Hans' as the noblest and most happy of all.
-1 He died in 1513. He was married to Christine, daughter of the
Electoral Prince Ernest of Saxony.
Two Maidens. 81
While this topic forms the groundwork of the conversation,
which was only momentarily disturbed by the arrival of a
newspaper containing nothing worth reading, we will go out
into the ante-room, where the mantles, sticks, and galoshes were
CARE AND THE MAID OF HAPPINESS.
laid by. Here sat two maidens, a young one and an old one,
just as if they had come to accompany their mistress home;
but, on a nearer inspection, one could have perceived that they
were no common abigails. Their noble figures, delicate skins,
82 TVhe Galoshes of Happiness.
and the very cut of their clothes forbade such a possibility.
They were a couple of fairies. The younger was not Happiness
herself, but a waiting-maid of one of her lady's-maids, who dis-
tribute the minor gifts of Happiness. The elder looked rather
gloomy; she was Care; she always looks after her own affairs
personally, and then she knows they are properly attended to.
They related to each other where they had been that day.
The messenger of Happiness had only performed some trifling
acts, coming more under the denomination of luck, such as
saving a new hat from a shower, obtaining for an honourable
man a bow from a titled nonentity, and so forth. But what
remained was something quite unusual.
I must tell you," said she, "that it is to-day my birth-
day, in honour of which I have been entrusted with a pair of
galoshes that I am to introduce amongst mankind. These
galoshes have the property instantly to transport whosoever
shall put them on to the place and times he best likes. Every
wish relative to time, place, or existence will be instantly ful-
filled, and one mortal, at least, will be happy for the time being
So you fancy," said Care. Most likely he will be very
unhappy, and will bless the moment when he gets rid of the
What are you thinking about ?" said the other. Now,
I'll place them near the door; someone will get hold of them,
and be happy."
Such was the conversation that passed between the two.
Councillor Knap. 83
II.-WHAT BEFELL THE COUNCILLOR OF JUSTICE.
It was late. Councillor Knap, who was deep in his specu-
lations about King Hans' days, now wanted to go home, and
Fate so ordained it that he drew on the Galoshes of Happiness
instead of his own and stepped out into East Street. Only,
being transported back to the times of King Hans, by the
magic spell of the galoshes, he immediately set his foot into
the mire and swamp of the street, which in those days boasted
"How dreadfully dirty it is here !" said the councillor.
"The whole pavement has vanished, and all the lamps are
The moon had not risen high enough, and the air was,
besides, so thick, that all the surrounding objects were con-
fused in the gloom. At the nearest corner there hung a lantern
in front of an image of the Madonna; but the light was as
good as nothing at all, for he only perceived it when he was
just under it, and his eyes fell on the painted Child and His
"Probably," thought he, this is some curiosity shop,
where they have forgotten to take down the sign."
A couple of men, in the dress of the Middle Ages, passed
"What odd figures!" thought he. "Surely they come
from a masquerade."
There suddenly struck up a sound of drums and fifes, while
torches shed a brilliant light. The councillor started back in
amaze, and now beheld a most singular procession pass before
84 The Galoshes of Happiness.
him. First came a whole troop of drummers, who were be-
labouring their instruments-amain ; these were followed by body-
guards with bows and cross-bows. The principal person in
the procession was a clerical gentleman. The astonished
councillor asked what it all meant, and who the man could be.
The Bishop of Zealand."
"Good gracious! What is the bishop thinking about ?"
sighed the councillor, shaking his head. Surely it could not
be the bishop!" While trying to make out the truth, the
councillor, who could see neither to the right nor to the left,
went through East Street and across the Habro-platz. The
bridge leading to the square in front of the palace was not to
be found, and he perceived he was near the bank of a shallow
sheet of water, and at length met two people in a boat.
Does his honour wish to be ferried over to the Holme?"
"To the Holme !" echoed the councillor of justice, not
knowing the age he was in. I want to go to Christianshaven,
and to Little Market Street."
The people stared at him.
"Tell me where the bridge is," said he. It is really
shameful that the lamps are not lighted hereabouts; and, be-
sides, it is as dirty as if one were wading through a swamp."
The more he talked with the boatmen, the more incompre,
hensible they appeared to him.
"I don't understand your gibberish," said he at last in a
pet, and turned his back upon them. He could not find the
bridge, and there was no parapet. It is scandalous what a
state the place is in !" said he. And the age he lived in had
never appeared more pitiful than it did this evening. I think
"What's This?" 85
the best thing I could do would be to have a droschka," thought
he. But where were the droschkas ? Not one was to be seen.
" I must go back to the stand in the King's New Market and
find a coach, or else I shall never reach Christianshaven."
He now went to East Street, and was nearly through it,
when the moon emerged from a cloud.
Good gracious What is this scaffold put up here for ?"
said he, on seeing the East Gate, which in those days stood at
the end of East Street.
He managed, however, to find an opening, which led him
to what is now our New Market, but was then a large meadow.
A few bushes stood around, and a wide canal or stream crossed
right through the meadow. A few miserable wooden booths,
for the convenience of Dutch ships, stood on the opposite
Either I am deceived by a fata morgana, or I must
be tipsy !" said the councillor. What's this? what's this ?"
He turned back, in the full persuasion that he must be ill;
and, on again retracing his steps through the street, he looked
more attentively at the houses. They were mostly built of
boards, and had only thatched roofs.
I am ill, to a certainty !" sighed he ; "and yet I only drank
one glass of punch. But I never can stand it, and, moreover,
it was quite monstrous to give us punch and hot salmon; I
must mention it to the lady. Suppose I went back and said
how I feel ? Only it looks so ridiculous, and then it is a
question, after all, whether they are still up."
He looked for the house, but it was not to be found.
It is really frightful! but I can't recognize East Street.
There is not a shop to be seen, and nothing but wretched old
TThe Galoshes of Happiness.
tumble-down houses, just as if I were in Roeskilde or Ringstedt.
Surely I must be ill! So there's no use making any ceremony.
But where in the world is the house ? It is no longer the
same; only there are still persons stirring in it. Oh I must
be very ill!"
He now pushed against a half-open door, through a chink
in which a light was streaming. It was an inn such as existed
in those times, being a kind of ale-house. The room looked
like a Dutch interior: a knot of people, composed of seamen,
Copenhagen citizens, together with a couple of learned men,
were in deep converse over their pitchers, and paid little atten-
tion to the new-comer.
Excuse me," said the councillor of justice to the landlady;
" I am very ill, and should be glad if you could accommodate
me by sending for a droschka to drive to Christianshaven."
The woman stared at him, and shook her head, and then
spoke to him in German. The councillor thought that she did
not know Danish, and therefore repeated his request in German,
which, together with his clothes, confirmed her in the opinion
that he must be a foreigner. She soon understood that he
was ill, and brought him a pitcher of water, which did, to be
sure, smack somewhat of salt water, though it was drawn from
the well outside.
The councillor leant his head on his hand, fetched his breath,
and then endeavoured to sift the meaning of all the strange
things that had befallen him.
Is that the last number of the News of the Day ?" asked he
mechanically, seeing the landlady laying by a large piece of
paper, which he took for the newspaper of his own times.
She did not understand what he meant, but handed him the
A Learned Discourse. 87
paper. It was a woodcut, representing a meteor that had
been seen in the town of Cologne.
This is very old," said the councillor, brightening up at
the sight of this piece of antiquity. How did you come by
this singular sheet ? It is extremely interesting, although the
whole is but a fiction. Such phenomena are now accounted
for as being a kind of aurora borealis; and they probably arise
Those who sat near him, and heard what he said, looked at
him in great astonishment, and one of them rose, and doffed
his hat respectfully, saying, with a serious face : "You must
certainly be a most learned man, monsieur."
Oh, by no means," returned the councillor; I can only
discuss those topics that everybody must know something
"Modestia is a great virtue," said the stranger; "moreover,
I may add to your speech, mihi secus videtur ; though, in this
case, I willingly suspend my judicium."
May I ask whom I have the pleasure of addressing ?"
returned the councillor.
I am a Baccalaureus Scripturce Sacrca," said the man.
This answer satisfied the councillor; for in this case, the
title agreed with the dress. This is surely," thought he,
" some old village schoolmaster-one of those odd fellows one
still meets with occasionally in Jutland."
This is no locus docendi," observed the stranger; yet, I
wish you would favour us with your conversation. You are
assuredly deeply versed in antiquarian lore."
"Why, yes," replied the councillor of justice; "I like to
read all useful old writings; but I like the modern ones as
The Galos/2es of Happiness.
well, with the exception of the 'Domestic Tales,' of which we
really have a surfeit."
"' Domestic Tales' ?" inquired our baccalaureus.
"Yes, I allude to the new novels that come out."
"And yet," said the bookworm, smiling, "they are very
witty, and are read at court. The king is especially fond of
the romance of Sir Iwain and Sir Gawain, which treats of
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He joked
about it with the gentlemen of his court."
Well, I have not read that," said the councillor, it must
be quite a new one, published by Heiberg."
No," said the other, not by Heiberg, but by Godfred von
Oh, is that the publisher ?" said the councillor. That's
a very old name. Why, the first printer and publisher in
Denmark was called the same."
"Yes, he is our first printer," said the man.
So far, so good; then one of the citizens spoke of the plague
that raged a few years previous, meaning 1484. The councillor
thought it was the cholera that was alluded to, and so the
conversation got on. The buccaneers' war of 149P was so
recent that it could not fail to be touched upon. The English
buccaneers had captured ships in the Roads, and the councillor,
being versed in the events of 18oi, quite agreed with them in
blaming the English. The rest of the conversation, however,
did not turn out so well, and was continually assuming the
tone of a funeral oration. The good baccalaureus was too
ignorant not to look upon the very simplest observations of the
councillor as both bold and fantastical. They stared at each
other, and when they could not get on at all, the baccalaureus