• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The wild swans
 The ugly duckling
 The little mermaid
 The storks
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Tales
Title: Tales from Hans Andersen
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084216/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tales from Hans Andersen
Uniform Title: Tales
Physical Description: ix, 194, 2 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Andersen, H. C ( Hans Christian ), 1805-1875
Stratton, Helen ( Illustrator )
Archibald Constable & Co ( Publisher )
T. and A. Constable ( Printer )
Publisher: Archibald Constable and Co.
Place of Publication: Westminster
Manufacturer: T. and A. Constable
Publication Date: 1896
 Subjects
Subject: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Fairy tales -- 1896   ( rbgenr )
Children's stories -- 1896   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1896   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre: Fairy tales   ( rbgenr )
Children's stories
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- Westminster
Scotland -- Edinburgh
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: with numerous illustrations by Helen Stratton.
General Note: Title page printed in red and black.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084216
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002221197
notis - ALG1418
oclc - 233022999

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
        Page v
    Table of Contents
        Page vi
    List of Illustrations
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
    The wild swans
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    The ugly duckling
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    The little mermaid
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    The storks
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Advertising
        Page 195
        Page 196
    Back Cover
        Page 197
        Page 198
    Spine
        Page 199
Full Text




















TALES FROM

HANS ANDERSEN






TALES


FROM


HANS ANDERSEN

WITH NUMEROUS
ILLUSTRATIONS BY


HELEN


STRATTON


cOeatminer
ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND CO.
2 WHITEHALL GARDENS, S.W.
1896
































































Edinburgh: T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty
























CONTENTS

PAGE

THE WILD SWANS I

THE UGLY DUCKLING 38

THE LITTLE MERMAID 60

THE STORKS III

THE SNOW QUEEN 125




















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


THE WILD SWANS
PAGE
INITIAL LETTER F I

A PICTURE-BOOK WORTH HALF A KINGDOM I

MADE HER GET INTO THE BATH 5

THE BROOK .

SHE STROKED HIS WHITE WINGS .15

THE SWANS FLEW AWAY WITH ELISE 19

HOLDING HER ON HIS HORSE 25

THE CHURCHYARD 29

THE RUSTLING OF SWAN'S WINGS AT THE GRATING 33

THE PEOPLE WERE EAGER TO SEE THE WITCH BURNT 35

SHE AWOKE FROM HER TRANCE 37



THE UGLY DUCKLING

INITIAL LETTER I 38

THE GIRL WHO FED THE POULTRY KICKED HIM 44

'WHAT IS THE MATTER?' ASKED THE OLD WOMAN 49

SAT ALONE IN A CORNER 51

HE TURNED ROUND AND ROUND IN THE WATER LIKE A MILL-

WHEEL 54

THE CHILDREN WOULD HAVE PLAYED WITH HIM. 56

TAILPIECE (SWAN) 59











viii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


THE LITTLE MERMAID

INITIAL LETTER F

THE FISHES ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE CARESSED

A BEAUTIFUL WHITE MARBLE STATUE OF A BOY .

THE CHILDREN FLED BACK TO THE LAND IN TERROR

SHE KEPT HIM ABOVE WATER

THE MERMAID AND HER GRANDMOTHER

HERE SAT THE WITCH

WHEN THE SUN ROSE, SHE AWOKE

SHE WAS BATHING HER FEET

HE KISSED HER ROSY LIPS .

SHE WAS OBLIGED TO JOIN THE DANCE

HER SISTERS ROSE OUT THE WATER, STRETCHING OUT THEIR

HANDS TOWARDS HER


THE STORKS


INITIAL LETTER O

STORK STORK LONG-LEGGED STORK INTO THY NEST I PRITHEE

WALK'


STORK AND FROGS

THE STORKS .

A LITTLE URCHIN NOT MORE THAN SIX YEARS OLD

THE STORKS HAVE THEIR REVENGE

IN THE POOL LIES A LITTLE DEAD CHILD

TAILPIECE (STORK AND FROGS IN OVAL FRAME)


118


121

123

124

124


III


112









LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ix



THE SNOW QUEEN
PAGE
INITIAL LETTER L 125

INITIAL LETTER I 28

KAY PEEPED THROUGH THE LITTLE ROUND HOLE 131

SHE SPREAD HER CLOAK AROUND HIM 137

INITIAL LETTER B 39

THE OLD DAME COMBED HER HAIR 144

GERDA KNEW EVERY FLOWER IN THE GARDEN 146

INITIAL LETTER G 154

SHE KISSED THE RAVEN VIOLENTLY 155

'STOOD BEFORE THE THRONE WHERE THE PRINCESS SAT' 158

GERDA MADE HER A CURTSY 164

STRANGE-LOOKING SHADOWS 165

INITIAL LETTER T 169

AT LAST THEY WERE IN LAPLAND 177

INITIAL LETTER T 178

THE WISE WOMAN OF FINMARK ISO

INITIAL LETTER T 185

HE SAT STILL AS BEFORE-COLD, SILENT, MOTIONLESS 88












THE WILD SWANS


AR hence,.in a country whither
the swallows fly in our winter-
time, there dwelt a King-who
had eleven sons, and one
daughter, the beautiful Elise.
The eleven brothers -they
were
princes
-went to school with stars
on their breasts and swords
by their sides ; they wrote on
golden tablets with diamond
pens, and could read either
with a book or without one;
in short, it was easy to per- .
ceive that they were princes.
Their sister, Elise, used to A PICTURE-BOOK WORTH
sit upon a little glass stool, HALF A KINGDOM
and had a picture-book which had cost the half of






2 THE WILD SWANS
a kingdom. Oh! the children were so happy! but
happy they could not be always.
Their father, the King, married a very wicked
Queen, who was not at all kind to the poor
children; they found this out on the first day
after the marriage, when there was a grand gala
at the palace; for when the children played at
receiving company, instead of having as many
cakes and sweetmeats as they liked, the Queen
gave them only some sand in a little dish, and
told them to imagine that was something nice.
The week after, she sent little Elise to be
brought up by some peasants in the country, and
it was not long before she told the King so
many falsehoods about the poor Princes that he
would have nothing more to do with them.
'Away! out into the world, and take care of
yourselves!' said the wicked Queen; 'fly away
in the form of great speechless birds.' But she
could not make their transformation as disagreeable
as she wished; the Princes were .changed into
eleven white Swans. Sending forth a strange
cry, they flew out of the palace windows, over
the park and over the wood.






THE WILD SWANS


It was still early in the morning when they
passed by the place where Elise lay sleeping in
the peasant's cottage. They flew several times
round the roof, stretched their long necks, and
flapped their wings, but no one either heard or
saw them; they were forced to fly away, up to
the clouds and into the wide world; so on they
went to the deep, dark forest which stretched as
far as the seashore.
The poor little Elise stood in the peasant's
cottage amusing herself with a green leaf, for
she had no other plaything. She pricked a hole
in the leaf and peeped through it at the sun, and
then she fancied she saw her brothers' bright
eyes; and whenever the warm sunbeams shone
full upon her cheeks, she thought of her brothers'
kisses.
One day passed exactly like the other. When
the Wind blew through the thick hedge of rose-
trees in front of the house, he would whisper to
the Roses, 'Who is more beautiful than you?'
but the Roses would shake their heads, and say,
'Elise.' And when the peasant's wife sat on
Sunday at the door of her cottage reading her






THE WILD SWANS


hymn-book, the Wind would rustle in the leaves
and say to the book, 'Who is more pious than
thou?' 'Elise,' replied the Hymn-book. And
what the Roses and the Hymn-book said was
no more than the truth.
Elise being fifteen years old, she was sent for
to return home; but when the Queen saw how
beautiful she was, she hated her the more, and
would willingly have transformed her, like her
brothers, into a wild swan, but she dared not do
so, because the King wished to see his daughter.
So the next morning the Queen went into a
bath made of marble, and fitted up with soft
pillows and the gayest carpets: she took three
toads, kissed them, and said to one, 'Settle thou
upon Elise's head, that she may become dull and
sleepy like thee.' 'Settle thou upon her fore-
head,' said she to another, 'and let her become
ugly like thee, so that her father may not know
her again.' And 'Do thou place thyself upon
her bosom,' whispered she to the third, 'that her
heart may become corrupt and evil, a torment
to herself.' She then put the toads into the
clear water, which was immediately tinted with






THE WILD SWANS 5
a green colour, and having called Elise, took off
her clothes and made her get into the bath. And
one toad settled among her hair, another on her
forehead, and a third upon
her bosom; but Elise seemed
not at all aware of it; she rose
up, and three poppies were
seen floating on the water.
Had not the animals been
poisonous and kissed by a
witch, they would have been
changed into roses whilst they
rested on Elise's head and
heart,-:she was too good for
magic to have any power over
her. When the Queen saw
this, she 'rubbed walnut-juice
all over the maiden's skin, so
that it became quite swarthy,
smeared a nasty salve over her
MADE HER GET INTO
lovely face, and entangled her THE BATH
long thick hair. It was impossible to recognize
the beautiful Elise after this.
So when her father saw her he was shocked,






THE WILD SWANS


and said she could not be his daughter; no one
would have anything to do with her but the
mastiff and the swallows; but they, poor things,
could not say anything in her favour.
Poor Elise wept, and thought of her eleven
brothers, not one of whom she saw at the palace.
In great distress she stole away and wandered
the whole day over fields and moors, till she
reached the forest. She knew not where to go,
but she was so sad, and longed so much to see
her brothers, who had been driven out into the
world, that she made up her mind to seek and
find them.
She had not been long in the forest when
night came on, and she lost her way amid the
darkness. So she lay down on the soft moss,
said her evening prayer, and leaned her head
against the trunk of a tree. It was very still in
the forest, the air was mild, and from the grass
and mould around gleamed the green light of
many hundred glow-worms, and when Elise lightly
touched one of the branches hanging over her,
bright insects fell down upon her like falling
stars.






THE WILD SWANS


All the night long she dreamed of her brothers.
They were all children again, played together,
wrote with diamond pens upon golden tablets,
and looked at the pictures in the beautiful book
which had cost half a kingdom. But they did
not, as formerly, make straight strokes and pot-
hooks upon the tablets,-no, they wrote of the
bold deeds they had done, and of the strange
adventures they had met with, and in the picture-
book everything seemed alive; the birds sang,
men and women stepped from the book and talked
to Elise and her brothers: however, when she
turned over the leaves, they jumped back into
their places, so that the pictures did not get
confused together.
When Elise awoke the sun was already high
in the heavens. She could not see it certainly,
for the tall trees of the forest closely entwined
their thickly leaved branches, which, as the sun-
beams played upon them, looked like a golden
veil waving to and fro. And the air was fragrant,
and the birds perched upon Elise's shoulders.
She heard the noise of water; there were several
springs forming a pool with the prettiest pebbles






THE WILD SWANS


at the bottom, bushes were growing thickly round,
but the .deer had trodden a broad path through
them, and by this path Elise went down to the
water's edge. The water was so clear that, had
not the boughs and bushes around been-moved
to and fro by the wind, you might have fancied
they were painted upon the smooth surface, so dis-
tinctly was each little leaf mirrored upon it, whether
glowing in the sunlight or lying in the shade.
As soon as Elise saw her face reflected in the
water she was quite startled, so brown and ugly
did it look: however, when she had wetted her
little hand and rubbed her brow and eyes, the
white skin showed again. So Elise took off her
clothes, stepped into the fresh water, and in the
whole world there was not a king's daughter
more beautiful than she then appeared.
After she had dressed herself, and had braided
her long hair, she went to the bubbling spring,
drank out of the hollow of her hand, and then
wandered farther into the forest. She knew not
where she was going, but she thought of her
brothers, and of the good God, who, she felt,
would never forsake her. He it was who made






THE WILD SWANS


the wild crab-trees grow in order 'to feed the
hungry, and who showed her a tree whose boughs
bent under the weight of their fruit. She made
her noonday meal under its shade, propped up
the boughs, and then walked on amid the dark
twilight of the forest. It was so still that she
could hear her own footsteps, and the rustling of
each little withered leaf that was crushed beneath
her feet; not a bird was to be seen, not a single
sunbeam pierced through the thick foliage, and
the tall stems of the trees stood so close together,
that when she looked straight before her, she
seemed enclosed by trellis-work upon trellis-work.
Oh! there was a solitariness in this forest such
as Elise had never known before.
And the night was so dark! not a single glow-
worm sent forth its light. Sad and melancholy,
she lay down to sleep, and then it seemed to her
as though the boughs above her opened, and that
she saw the Angel of God looking down upon her
with gentle aspect, and a thousand little cherubs
all around Him. When she awoke in the morning
she could not tell whether this was a dream, or
whether she had really been so watched.






THE WILD SWANS


She walked on a little farther and met an old
woman with a basketful of berries; the old woman
gave her some of them, and Elise asked if she had
not seen eleven Princes ride through the wood.
'No,' said the old woman, 'but I saw yesterday
eleven Swans with golden crowns on their heads
swim down the brook near this place.'
















THE BROOK

And she led Elise on a little farther to a
precipice, the base of which was washed by a
brook; the trees on each side stretched their long
leafy branches towards each other, and where they






THE WILD SWANS


could not unite, the roots had disengaged them-
selves from the earth and hung their interlaced
fibres over the water.
Elise bade the old woman farewell, and wandered
by the side of the stream till she came to the place
where it reached the open sea.
The great, the beautiful sea lay extended before
the maiden's eyes, but not a ship, not a boat was
to be seen; how was she to go on ? She observed
the numberless little stones on the shore, all of
which the waves had washed into a round form;
glass, iron, stone, everything that lay scattered
there, had been moulded into shape, and yet the
water which had effected this was much softer
than Elise's delicate, little hand. It rolls on
unweariedly,' said she, 'and subdues what is so
hard; I will be no less unwearied! Thank you for
the lesson you have given me, ye bright rolling
waves! some day, my heart tells me, you shall
carry me to my dear brothers!'
There lay upon the wet seaweed eleven white
swan-feathers; Elise collected them together; drops
of water hung about their, whether dew or tears
she could not tell. She was quite alone on the






THE WILD SWANS


seashore, but she did not mind that; the sea
presented an eternal variety to her-more, indeed,
in a few hours than the gentle inland waters would
have offered in a whole year. When a black
cloud passed over the sky, it seemed as if the sea
would say, 'I, too, can look dark': and then the
wind would blow and the waves fling out their
white foam; but when the clouds shone with a
bright red tint, and the winds were asleep, the sea
also became like a rose-leaf in hue. It was now
green, now white, but it ever reposed peacefully;
sometimes a light breeze would be astir on the
shore, causing the water to heave gently, like the
bosom of a sleeping child.
At sunset Elise saw eleven Wild Swans with
golden crowns on their heads fly towards the
land; they flew one behind another, looking like
a streaming white riband. Elise climbed the
precipice, and concealed herself behind a bush:
the Swans settled close to her, and flapped their
long white wings.
As the sun sank beneath the water the Swans
also vanished, and in their place stood eleven
handsome Princes, the brothers of Elise. She






THE WILD SWANS


uttered a loud cry, for although they were very
much altered, Elise knew that they were, felt
that they must be, her brothers; she ran into
their arms, called them by their names-and how
happy were tIey to see and recognize their sister,
now grown so tall and so beautiful! They laughed
and wept, and soon told each other how wickedly
their stepmother had acted towards them.
'We,' said the eldest of the brothers, 'fly or
swim as long as the sun is above the horizon, but
when it sinks below, we appear again in our
human form; we are therefore obliged to look
out for a safe resting-place, for if, at sunset, we
were flying among the clouds, we should fall down
as soon as we resumed our own form. We do not
dwell here; a land quite as beautiful as this lies on
the opposite side of the sea, but it is far off. To
reach it we have to cross the deep waters, and
there is no island midway on which we may rest
at night; one little solitary rock rises from the
waves, and upon it we only just find room enough
to stand side by side. There we spend the night
in our human form, and when the sea is rough, we
are sprinkled by its foam; but we are thankful for






THE WILD SWANS


this resting-place, for without it we should never
be able to visit our dear native country. Only
once in the year is this visit to the home of our
fathers allowed; we require two of the longest
days for our flight, and can remain here only
eleven days, during which time we fly over the
large forest, whence we can see the palace in which
we were born, where our father dwells, and the
tower of the church in which our mother was
buried. Here, even the trees and bushes seem of
kin to us; here the wild horses still race over the
plains, as in the days of our childhood; here the
charcoal-burner still sings the same old tunes to
which we used to dance in our youth; hither we
are still attracted; and here we have found thee,
thou dear little sister! We have yet two days
longer to stay here, then we must fly over the sea
to a land beautiful indeed, but not our fatherland.
How shall we take thee with us? we have neither
ship nor boat!'
'How shall I be able to release you?' said the
sister. And so they went on talking almost the
whole of the night; they slumbered only a few
hours.






THE WILD SWANS


Elise was awakened by the rustling of swans'
wings, which were fluttering above her. Her
brothers were again transformed, and for some
time flew round in large circles; at last they flew
far, far away. Only one of them remained behind-
it was the youngest; he laid his head in her lap,















SHE STROKED HIS WHITE WINGS

and she stroked his white wings; they remained
the whole day together. Towards evening the
others came back, and when the sun was set, again
they stood on the firm ground in their natural form.
'To-morrow we shall fly away, and may not
return for a year, but we cannot leave thee; hast






THE WILD SWANS


thou courage to accompany us? My arm is strong
enough to bear thee through the forest: shall we
not have sufficient strength in our wings to trans-
port thee over the sea?'
'Yes, take me with you,' said Elise. They
spent the whole night in weaving a mat of the
pliant willow bark and the tough rushes, and their
mat was thick and strong. Elise lay down upon
it; and when the sun had risen, and the brothers
were again transformed into Wild Swans, they
seized the mat with their beaks, and flew up high
among the clouds with their dear sister, who was
still sleeping. The sunbeams shone full upon her
face, so one of the Swans flew over her head, and
shaded her with his broad wings.
They were already far from land when Elise
awoke: she thought she was still dreaming, so
strange did it appear to her to be travelling
through the air, and over the sea. By her side
lay a cluster of pretty berries, and a handful of
savoury roots. Her youngest brother had collected
and laid them there; and she thanked him with a
.smile, for she knew him as the Swan who flew
overhead and shaded her with his wings.






THE WILD SWANS


They flew so high, that the first ship they saw
beneath them seemed like a white seagull skimming
over the water. Elise saw behind her a large
cloud; it looked like a mountain; and on it she
saw the gigantic shadows of herself and the eleven
Swans: it formed a picture more splendid than
any she had ever yet seen. Soon, however, the
sun rose higher, the cloud remained far behind,
and then the floating, shadowy picture disappeared.
The whole day they continued flying with a
whizzing noise somewhat like an arrow, but yet
they went slower than usual-they had their sister
to carry. A heavy tempest was gathering-the
evening approached; anxiously did Elise watch
the sun-it was setting; still the solitary rock
could not be seen; it appeared to her that the
Swans plied their wings with increasing vigour.
Alas! it would be her fault if her brothers did not
arrive at the place in time; they would become
human beings when the sun set; and if this
happened before they reached the rock, they must
fall into the sea and be drowned. She prayed to
God most fervently-still no rock was to be seen;
the black clouds drew nearer-violent gusts of
B






THE WILD SWANS


wind announced the approach of a tempest-the
clouds rested perpendicularly upon a fearfully large
wave which rolled quickly forwards-one flash of
lightning rapidly succeeded another.
The sun was now on the rim of the sea. Elise's
heart beat violently; the Swans shot downwards
so swiftly that she thought she must fall, but again
they began to hover; the sun was half sunk
beneath the water, and at that moment she saw
the little rock below her; it looked like a seal's
head when he raises it just above the water. And
the sun was sinking fast-it seemed scarcely larger
than a star; her foot touched the hard ground, and
it vanished altogether, like the last spark on a
burnt piece of paper. Arm in arm stood her
brothers around her; there was only just room
for her and them; the sea beat tempestuously
against the rock, flinging over them a shower of
foam; the sky seemed in a continual blaze with
the fast-succeeding flashes of fire that lightened it,
and peal after peal rolled on the thunder, but sister
and brothers kept firm hold of each others' hands.
,They sang a psalm, and their psalm gave them
comfort and courage.






THE WILD SWANS 19
By daybreak the air was pure and still, and as
soon as the sun rose, the Swans flew away with
Elise from the rock. The waves rose higher and
higher, and when they looked from the clouds down
upon the blackish-green sea, covered as it was with
white foam, they might have
fancied that millions of swans
were swimming on its surface.
Y As day advanced, Elise saw
floating in the air before her a
land of mountains intermixed
With glaciers, and in the centre
\CV a palace a mile in length, with
Splendid colonnades rising one


THE SWANS FLEW AWAY WITH ELISE






THE WILD SWANS


above another, palm-trees and gorgeous-looking
flowers as large as mill-wheels growing beneath.
She asked if this were the country to which
they were flying, but the Swans shook their
heads, for what she saw was the beautiful fairy
castle of the fairy Morgana, where no human
being was admitted: and whilst Elise still bent
her eyes upon it, mountains, trees, and castle
all disappeared, and in their place stood twelve
churches with high towers and pointed windows.
She fancied she heard the organ play, but it
was only the murmur of the sea. She was now
close to these churches, but, behold! they have
changed into a large fleet sailing under them. She
looked down, and saw it was only a sea-mist pass-
ing rapidly over the water. An eternal variety
floated before her eyes, till at last the actual land
whither she was bound appeared in sight. Beautiful
blue mountains, cedar woods, towns, and castles
rose to view. Long before sunset Elise sat down
among the mountains, in front of a large cavern;
delicate young creepers grew around so thickly,
that it appeared covered with gay embroidered
carpets.






THE WILD SWANS


Now we shall see what thou wilt dream of to-
night!' said her youngest brother, as he showed her
the sleeping-chamber destined for her.
'Oh that I could dream how you might be re-
leased from the spell!' said she; and this thought
completely occupied her; she prayed most earnestly
for God's assistance; nay, even in her dreams she
continued praying; and it appeared to her that she
was flying up high in the air towards the castle of
the fairy Morgana. The fairy came forward to
meet her, radiant and beautiful, and yet she fancied
she resembled the old woman who had given her
berries in the forest, and told her of the Swans with
golden crowns.
Thou canst release thy brothers,' she said, 'but
hast thou courage and patience sufficient? The
water is indeed softer than thy delicate hands, and
yet can mould the hard stones to its will, but then
it cannot feel the pain which thy tender fingers will
feel: it has no heart, and cannot suffer the anxiety
and grief which thou must suffer. Dost thou see
these stinging nettles which I have in my hand?
there are many of the same kind growing round the
cave where thou art sleeping; only those that grow






THE WILD SWANS


there or on the graves in the churchyard are of
use-remember that! Thou must pluck them,
although they will sting thy hand; thou must
trample on the nettles with thy feet, and get yarn
from them; and with this yarn thou must weave
eleven shirts with long sleeves;-throw them over
the eleven Wild Swans, and the spell is broken.
But, mark this! from the moment that thou be-
ginnest thy work till it is completed, even should it
occupy thee for years, thou must not speak a word;
the first syllable that escapes thy lips will fall like
a dagger into the hearts of thy brothers; on thy
tongue depends their life. Mark well all this!'
And at the same moment the fairy touched
Elise's hands with a nettle, which made them burn
like fire, and Elise awoke. It was broad daylight,
and close to her lay a nettle like the one she had
seen in her dream. She fell upon her knees,
thanked God, and then went out of the cave in
order to begin her work. She plucked with her
own delicate hands the disagreeable stinging nettles:
they burned large blisters on her hands and arms,
but she bore the pain willingly in the hope of
releasing her dear brothers. She trampled on the







THE WILD SWANS


nettles with her naked feet, and spun the green
yarn.
At sunset came her brothers. Elise's silence
quite frightened them; they thought it must be the
effect of some fresh spell of their wicked step-
mother; but when they saw her blistered hands,
they found out what their sister was doing for their
sakes. The youngest brother wept, and when his
tears fell upon her hands, Elise felt no more pain-
the blisters disappeared.
The whole night she spent in her work, for she
could not rest till she had released her brothers.
All the following day she sat in her solitude, for
the Swans had flown away; but never had time
passed so quickly. One shirt was ready; she now
began the second.
Suddenly a hunting-horn resounded among the
mountains. Elise was frightened. The noise came
nearer; she heard the hounds barking. In great
terror she fled into the cave, bound up the nettles
which she had gathered and combed into a bundle,
and sat down upon it.
In the same moment a large dog sprang out from
the bushes; two others immediately followed; they






THE WILD SWANS


barked loudly, ran away, and then returned. It
was not long before the hunters stood in front of
the cave; the handsomest among them was the
King of that country; he stepped up to Elise.
Never had he seen a lovelier maiden.
How camest thou here, thou beautiful child?'
said he. Elise shook her head: she dared not
speak; a word might have cost her the life of her
brothers, and she hid her hands under her apron
lest the King should see how she was suffering.
'Come with me,' said he, 'thou must not stay
here! If thou art good as thou art beautiful, I will
dress thee in velvet and silk; I will put a gold
crown upon thy head, and thou shalt dwell in my
palace!' So he lifted her upon his horse, while
she wept and wrung her hands; but the King said,
' I only desire thy happiness! thou shalt thank me
for this some day i' and away he rode over moun-
tains and valleys, holding her on his horse in front,
whilst the other hunters followed. When the sun
set, the King's magnificent capital, with its churches
and cupolas, lay before them, and the King led
Elise into the palace, where, in a high marble hall,
fountains were playing, and the walls and ceiling







THE WILD SWANS 25
displayed the most beautiful paintings. But Elise
cared not for all this splendour; she wept and
mourned in silence, even while some female atten-
dants dressed her in royal robes, wove costly pearls














HOLDING HER ON HIS HORSE

in her hair, and drew soft gloves over her blistered
hands.
And now she was fully dressed, and as she stood
in her splendid attire, her beauty was so dazzling
that the courtiers all bowed low before her, and the
King chose her for his bride, although the Arch-
bishop shook his head, and whispered that 'the
beautiful lady of the wood must certainly be a






THE WILD SWANS


witch, who had blinded their eyes, and infatuated
the King's heart.'
But the King did not listen; he ordered music
to be played, and a sumptuous banquet served up;
the loveliest maidens danced round the bride, and
she was led through fragrant gardens into magni-
ficent halls, but not a smile was seen to play upon
her lips or beam from her eyes. The King then
opened a small room next her sleeping-apartment;
it was adorned with costly green tapestry, and
exactly resembled the cave in which she had been
found: upon the ground lay the bundle of yarn
which she had spun from the nettles, and by the
wall hung the shirt she had completed. One of the
hunters had brought all this, thinking there must
be something wonderful in it.
Here thou mayest dream of thy former home,'
said the King; 'here is the work which employed
thee: amidst all thy present splendour it may some-
times give thee pleasure to fancy thyself there
again.'
When Elise saw what was so dear to her heart
she smiled, and the blood returned to her cheeks;
she thought her brothers might still be released,







THE WILD SWANS 27
and she kissed the King's hand; he pressed her to
his heart, and ordered the bells of all the churches
in the city to be rung, to announce the celebration
of their wedding. The beautiful dumb maiden of
the wood was to become Queen of the land.
The Archbishop whispered evil words in the
King's ear, but they made no impression upon him;
the marriage was solemnised, and the Archbishop
himself was obliged to put the crown upon her
head. In his rage he pressed the narrow rim so
firmly on her forehead that it hurt her; but a
heavier weight-sorrow for her brothers-lay upon
her heart: she did not feel bodily pain. She was
still silent-a single word would have killed her
brothers; her eyes, however, beamed with heart-
felt love to the King, so good and handsome, who
had done so much to make her happy. She be-
came more warmly attached to him every day.
Oh, how much she wished she might confide to
him all her sorrows! but she was forced to remain
silent; she could not speak until her work was
completed! To this end she stole away every
night, and went into the little room that was fitted
up in imitation of the cave; there she worked at






THE WILD SWANS


her shirts, but by the time she had begun the
seventh all her yarn was spent.
She knew that the nettles she needed grew in
the churchyard, but she must gather them herself:
how was she to get them?
'Oh, what is the pain in my fingers compared
to the anguish my heart suffers ?' thought she. 'I
must venture to the churchyard; the good God
will not withdraw His protection from me !'
Fearful, as though she were about to do some-
thing wrong, one moonlight night she crept down
to the garden, and through the long avenues got
into the lonely road leading to the churchyard.
She saw sitting on one of the broadest tombstones
a number of ugly old witches. They took off their
ragged clothes as if they were going to bathe, and
digging with their long lean fingers into the fresh
grass, drew up the dead bodies and devoured the
flesh. Elise was obliged to pass close by them,
and the witches fixed their wicked eyes upon her;
but she repeated her prayer, gathered the stinging-
nettles, and took them back with her into the
palace. One person only had seen her-it was
the Archbishop; he was awake when others slept.









































































THE CHURCHYARD






THE WILD SWANS


Now he was convinced that all was not right about
the Queen; she must be a witch, who had through
her enchantments infatuated the King and all the
people.
In the confessional he told the King what he
had seen and what he feared; and when the
slanderous words came from his lips, the sculptured
images of the saints shook their heads, as though
they would say, 'It is untrue; Elise is innocent!'
But the Archbishop explained the omen quite
otherwise; he thought it was a testimony against
her that the holy images shook their heads at
hearing of her sin.
Two large tears rolled down the King's cheeks;
he returned home in doubt; he pretended to sleep
at night, though sleep never visited him; and he
noticed that Elise rose from her bed every night,
and every time he followed her secretly and saw
her enter her little room.
His countenance became darker every day;
Elise perceived it, though she knew not the cause.
She was much pained, and, besides, what did she
not suffer in her heart for her brothers ? Her bitter
tears ran down on the royal velvet and purple;






THE WILD SWANS


they looked like bright diamonds, and all who
saw the magnificence that surrounded her wished
themselves in her place. She had now nearly
finished her work-only one shirt was wanting;
unfortunately, yarn was wanting also-she had not
a single nettle left. Once more, only this one
time, she must go to the churchyard and gather a
few handfuls. She shuddered when she thought of
the solitary walk and the horrid witches, but her
resolution was as firm as her trust in God.
Elise went; the King and the Archbishop
followed her : they saw her disappear at the church-
yard door, and when they came nearer, they saw
the witches' sitting on the tombstones, as Elise had
seen them, and the King turned away, for he
believed her whose head had rested on his bosom
that very evening to be amongst them. 'Let the
people judge her!' said he. And the people
condemned her to be burnt.
She was now dragged from the King's sumptuous
apartments into a dark, damp prison, where the
wind whistled through the grated window. Instead
of velvet and silk, they gave her the bundle of
nettles she had gathered-on that must she lay her






THE WILD SWANS


head; the shirts she had woven must serve her as
mattress and counterpane; but they could not have
given her anything she valued so much: and she
continued her work, at the same time praying
earnestly to her God. The boys sang scandalous
songs about her in front of her prison; not a soul
comforted her with one word of love.
Towards evening she heard the rustling of
Swan's wings at the
grating. It was the
youngest of her
brothers, who had at
last found his sister,
and she sobbed aloud
for joy, although she
knew that the coming
night would probably THE RUSTLING OF SWAN'S WINGS AT THE
be the last of her GRATING
life; but then her work was almost finished, and
her brother was near.
The Archbishop came in order to spend the last
hour with her; he had promised the King he
would; but she shook her head and entreated him
with her eyes and gestures to go: this night she






THE WILD SWANS


must finish her work, or all she had suffered-her
pain, her anxiety, her sleepless nights-would be in
vain. The Archbishop went away with many
angry words, but the unfortunate Elise knew
herself to be perfectly innocent, and went on with
her work.
Little mice ran busily about and dragged the
nettles to her feet, wishing to help her; and the
thrush perched on the iron bars of the window, and
sang all night as merrily as he could, that Elise
might not lose courage.
It was still twilight, just an hour before sunrise,
when the eleven brothers stood before the palace-
gates, requesting an audience with the King; but
it could not be, they were told: it was still night,
the King was asleep, and they dared not wake him.
They entreated, they threatened, the guard came
up, the King himself at last stepped out to ask
what was the matter: at that moment the sun rose,
the brothers could be seen no longer, and eleven
white Swans flew away over the palace.
The people poured forth from the gates of the
city, all eager to see the witch burnt. One
wretched horse drew the cart in which Elise was






THE WILD SWANS


placed, a coarse frock of sackcloth had been put on
her, her beautiful long hair hung loosely over her
shoulders, her cheeks were of a deadly paleness,
her lips moved gently, and her fingers wove the
green yarn. Even on her way to her cruel death
she did not give up her work; the ten shirts lay at













THE PEOPLE WERE EAGER TO SEE THE WITCH BURNT

her feet-she was now labouring to complete the
eleventh. The rabble insulted her.
Look at the witch, how she mutters! she has
not a hymn-book in her hand: no, there she sits,
with her accursed witchery. Tear it from her!
tear it into a thousand pieces!'
And they all crowded about her, and were on the






THE WILD SWANS


point of snatching away the shirts, when eleven
white Swans came flying towards the cart; they
settled all round her, and flapped their wings.
The crowd gave way in terror.
'It is a sign from Heaven! she is certainly
innocent!' whispered some; they dared not say
so aloud.
The Sheriff now seized her by the hand-in a
moment she threw the eleven shirts over the Swans,
and eleven handsome Princes appeared in their
place. The youngest had, however, only one arm,
and a wing instead of the other, for one sleeve
was deficient in his shirt-it had not been quite
finished.
'Now I may speak,' said she: 'I am innocent!'
And the people who had seen what had happened
bowed before her as before a saint. She, however,
sank lifeless in her brothers' arms; suspense, fear,
and grief had quite exhausted her.
'Yes, she is innocent,' said her eldest brother,
and he now related their wonderful history. Whilst
he spoke a fragrance as delicious as though it
proceeded from millions of roses filled the air, for
every piece of wood in the funeral pile had taken







THE WILD SWANS


root and sent forth branches, a hedge of bloom-
ing red roses surrounded Elise, and above all the
others blossomed a flower of dazzling white colour,
bright as a star; the King plucked it and laid it on
Elise's bosom, whereupon she awoke from her
trance with peace and joy in her heart.


SHE AWOKE FROM HER TRANCE
SHE AWOKE FROM HER TRANCE


And all the church-bells began to ring of their
own accord, and birds flew to the spot in flocks, and
there was a joyful procession back to the palace,
such as no King has ever seen equalled.














THE UGLY DUCKLING


T was beautiful in the country; it was
summer-time; the wheat was yellow,
the oats were green, the hay was
stacked up in the green meadows,
and the stork paraded about on
his long red legs, discoursing in
Egyptian, which language he had
learned from his mother. The fields
and meadows were skirted by thick woods, and a
deep lake lay in the midst of the woods. Yes, it
was indeed beautiful in the country! The sunshine
fell warmly on an old mansion, surrounded by deep
canals, and from the walls down to the water's edge
there grew large burdock-leaves, so high that
children could stand upright among them without
being seen. The spot was as wild and unfre-
quented as the thickest part of the wood, and on
that account a duck had chosen to make her nest
38 8






THE UGLY DUCKLING


there. She was sitting on her eggs; but the
pleasure she had felt at first was now almost gone,
because she had been there so long, and had so few
visitors, for the other ducks preferred swimming on
the canals to sitting among the burdock-leaves
gossiping with her.
At last the eggs cracked one after another,
'Tchick, tchick!' All the eggs were alive, and one
little head after another peered forth. 'Quack,
quack!' said the Duck, and all got up as well as
they could; they peeped about from under the
green leaves; and as green is good for the eyes,
their mother let them look as long as they pleased.
'How large the world is!' said the little ones,
for they found their present situation very different
to their former confined one, while yet in the egg-
shells.
Do you imagine this to be the whole of the
world?' said the mother; 'it extends far beyond
the other side of the garden to the pastor's field;
but I have never been there. Are you all here?'
And then she got up. No, not all, but the largest
egg is still here. How long will this last ? I am
so weary of it!' And then she sat down again.






40 THE UGLY DUCKLING
'Well, and how are you getting on ?' asked an
old Duck, who had come to pay her a visit.
'This one egg keeps me so long,' said the mother,
'it will not break; but you should see the others!
they are the prettiest little ducklings I have seen in
all my days; they are all like their father,-the
good-for-nothing fellow, he has not been to visit me
once!'
'Let me see the egg that will not break,' said the
old Duck; 'depend upon it, it is a turkey's egg.
I was cheated in the same way once myself, and I
had such trouble with the young ones; for they
were afraid of the water, and I could not get them
there. I called and scolded, but it was all of no
use. But let me see the egg-ah, yes! to be sure,
that is a turkey's egg. Leave it, and teach the
other little ones to swim.'
I will sit on it a little longer,' said the Duck.
'I have been sitting so long, that I may as well
spend the harvest here.'
It is no business of mine,' said the old Duck,
and away she waddled.
The great egg burst at last. 'Tckick tchick!'
said the little one, and out it tumbled-but, oh!







THE UGLY DUCKLING


how large and ugly it was! The Duck looked at
it. 'That is a great, strong creature,' said she;
'none of the others are at all like it; can it be a
young turkey-cock? Well, we shall soon find out;
it must go into the water, though I push it in
myself.'
The next day there was delightful weather, and
the sun shone warmly upon all the green leaves
when Mother Duck with all her family went down
to the canal: plump she went into the water.
'Quack quack !' cried she, and one duckling after
another jumped in. The water closed over their
heads, but all came up again, and swam together in
the pleasantest manner; their legs moved without
effort. All were there, even the ugly, grey one.
'No! it is not a turkey,' said the old Duck;
'only see how prettily it moves its legs! how
upright it holds itself! it is my own child : it is also
really very pretty, when one looks more closely at
it. Quack! quack! now come with me, I will take
you into the world, introduce you in the duck-yard;
but keep close to me, or some one may tread on
you; and beware of the cat.'
So they came into the duck-yard. There was a






42 THE UGLY DUCKLING
horrid noise; two families were quarrelling about
the remains of an eel, which in the end was secured
by the cat.
'See, my children, such is the way of the world,'
said the Mother Duck, wiping her beak, for she,
too, was fond of eels. 'Now use your legs,' said
she, 'keep together, and bow to the old Duck you
see yonder. She is the most distinguished of all
the fowls present, and is of Spanish blood, which
accounts for her dignified appearance and manners.
And look, she has a red rag on her leg! that is con-
sidered extremely handsome, and is the greatest
distinction a duck can have. Don't turn your feet
inwards; a well-educated duckling always keeps
his legs far apart, like his father and mother,
just so-look! now bow your necks, and say,
"quack."'
And they did as they were told. But the other
Ducks who were in the yard looked at them, and
said aloud, 'Only see, now we have another brood,
as if there were not enough of us already; and fie!
how ugly that one is; we will not endure it'; and
immediately one of the Ducks flew at him, and bit
him in the neck.






THE UGLY DUCKLING


'Leave him alone,' said the mother, 'he is doing
no one any harm.'
Yes, but he is so large, and so strange-looking,
and therefore he shall be teased.'
Those are fine children that our good mother
has,' said the old Duck with the red rag on her leg.
'All are pretty except one, and that has not turned
out well; I almost wish it could be hatched over
again.'
That cannot be, please your highness,' said the
mother. 'Certainly he is not handsome, but he is
a very good child, and swims as well as the others,
indeed rather better. I think he will grow like the
others all in good time, and perhaps will look
smaller. He stayed so long in the egg-shell, that
is the cause of the difference'; and she scratched
the Duckling's neck, and stroked his whole body.
'Besides,' added she, 'he is a drake: I think he
will be very strong, therefore it does not matter so
much; he will fight his way through.'
The other ducks are very pretty,' said the old
Duck. Pray make yourselves at home, and if you
find an eel's head you can bring it to me.'
And accordingly they made themselves at home.






44 THE UGLY DUCKLING
But the poor little Duckling, who had come last
out of its egg-shell, and who was so. ugly, was
bitten, pecked, and teased by both Ducks and Hens.
'It is so large!' said they all. And the Turkey-
cock, who had come into
the world with spurs on,
and therefore fancied he
was an emperor, puffed
himself out like a ship
in full sail, and marched
upto the Duckling quite
red with passion. The
poor little thing scarcely
knew what
to do; he
was quite


THE GIRL WHO FED THE POULTRY KICKED HIM






THE UGLY DUCKLING


distressed, because he was so ugly, and because he
was the jest of the poultry-yard.
So passed the first day, and afterwards matters
grew worse and worse-the poor Duckling was
scorned .,by all. Even his brothers and sisters
behaved unkindly, and were constantly saying,' The
cat fetch thee, thou nasty creature !' The mother
said, 'Ah, if thou wert only far away !' The Ducks
bit him, the Hens pecked him, and the girl who
fed the poultry kicked him. He ran over the
hedge ; the little birds in the bushes were terrified.
'That is because I am so ugly,' thought the
Duckling, shutting his eyes, but he ran on. At
last he came to a wide moor, where lived some
Wild Ducks; here he lay the whole night, so
tired and so comfortless. In the morning the Wild
Ducks flew up, and perceived their new companion.
'Pray, who are you ?' asked they; and our little
Duckling turned himself in all directions, and
greeted them as politely as possible.
You are really uncommonly ugly!' said the
Wild Ducks; 'however, that does not matter to
us, provided you do not marry into our families.'
Poor thing! he had never thought of marrying;






THE UGLY DUCKLING


he only begged permission to lie among the reeds,
and drink the water of the moor.
There he lay for two whole days-on the third
day there came two Wild Geese, or rather Ganders,
who had not been long out of their egg-shells,
which accounts for their impertinence.
'Hark ye,' said they, 'you are so ugly that we
like you infinitely well; will you come with us, and
be a bird of passage? On another moor, not far
from this, are some dear, sweet wild geese, as lovely
creatures as have ever said hiss, hiss." You are
truly in the way to make your fortune, ugly as you
are.
Bang a gun went off all at once, and both
Wild Geese were stretched dead among the reeds;
the water became red with blood; bang! a gun
went off again; whole flocks of wild geese flew
up from among the reeds, and another report
followed.
There was a grand hunting-party : the hunters
lay in ambush all around; some were even sitting
in the trees, whose huge branches stetched far over
the moor. The blue smoke rose through the
thick trees like a mist, and was dispersed as it fell






THE UGLY DUCKLING


over the water; the hounds splashed about in the
mud, the reeds and rushes bent in all directions.
How frightened the poor little Duck was! he turned
his head, thinking to hide it under his wings, and
in a moment a most formidable-looking dog stood
close to him, his tongue hanging out of his mouth,
his eyes sparkling fearfully. He opened wide his
jaws at the sight of our Duckling, showed him his
sharp white teeth, and splash, splash he was gone,
-gone without hurting him.
Well! let me be thankful,' sighed he; I am so
ugly, that even the dog will not eat me.'
And now he lay still, though the shooting con-
tinued among the reeds, shot following shot.
The noise did not cease till late in the day, and
even then the poor little thing dared not stir; he
waited several hours before he looked around him,
and then hastened away from the moor as fast as
he could; he ran over fields and meadows, though
the wind was so high that he had some difficulty in
proceeding.
Towards evening he reached a wretched little
hut, so wretched that it knew not on which side to
fall, and therefore remained standing. The wind







48 THE UGLY DUCKLING
blew violently, so that our poor little Duckling was
obliged to support himself on his tail, in order to
stand against it; but it became worse and worse.
He then noticed that the door had lost one of its
hinges, and hung so much awry that he could creep
through the crevice into the room, which he did.
In this room lived an, old woman, with her Tom-
cat and her Hen; and the Cat, whom she called her
little son, knew how to set up his back and purr ;
indeed, he could even emit sparks when stroked
the wrong way. The Hen had very short legs,
and was therefore called Cuckoo Short-legs'; she
laid very good eggs, and the old woman loved her
as her own child.
The next morning the new guest was perceived;
the Cat began to mew, and the Hen to cackle.
'What is the matter ?' asked the old woman,
looking round. However, her eyes were not good,
so she took the young Duckling to be a fat duck
who had lost her way. 'This is a capital catch,'
said she; I shall now have duck's eggs, if it be
not a drake : we must try.'
And so the Duckling was put to the proof for
three weeks, but no eggs made their appearance.
































































'WHAT IS THE MATTER?' ASKED THE OLD WOMAN

D







THE UGLY DUCKLING 51
Now the Cat was the master of the house, and
the Hen was the mistress, and they used always to
say, 'We and the world,' for they imagined them-
selves to be not only the half of the world, but also
by far the better half. The Duckling thought it
was possible to be of a different opinion, but that
the Hen would not allow.
'Can you lay eggs ?' she asked.
*No.'
'Well, then, hold your tongue.'
And the Cat said, 'Can you set up your back ?
can you purr ?'
No.'
'Well, then, you should have no opinion when
reasonable persons are speaking.'
So the Duckling sat alone in a corner, and was
in a very bad humour; how-
ever, he happened to think of IF
the fresh air and bright sun-
shine, and these thoughts 4i
gave him such a strong desire
to swim again, that he could
not help telling it to the Hen. SAT ALONE IN A CORNER
'What ails you?' said the Hen. 'You have






THE UGLY DUCKLING


nothing to do, and therefore brood over these
fancies; either lay eggs or purr, then you will forget
them.'
But it is so delicious to swim!' said the Duck-
ling; 'so delicious when the waters close over your
head, and you plunge to the bottom!'
'Well, that is a queer sort of pleasure,' said the
Hen; 'I think you must be crazy. Not to speak
of myself, ask the Cat-he is the most sensible
animal I know-whether he would like to swim, or
to plunge to the bottom of the water. Ask our
mistress, the old woman,-there is no one in the
world wiser than she; do you think she would take
pleasure in swimming, and in the waters closing
over her head ?'
You do not understand me,' said the Duckling.
'What, we do not understand you! So you
think yourself wiser than the Cat and the old
woman, not to speak of myself. Do not fancy
any such thing, child, but be thankful for all the
kindness that has been shown you. Are you not
lodged in a warm room, and have you not the
advantage of society from which you can learn
something ? But you are a simpleton, and it is






THE UGLY DUCKLING 53
wearisome to have anything to do with you. Be-
lieve me, I wish you well. I tell you unpleasant
truths, but it is thus that real friendship is shown.
Come, for once give yourself the trouble to learn to
purr, or to lay eggs.'
'I think I will go out into the wide world again,'
said the Duckling.
'Well, go,' answered the Hen.
So the Duckling went. He swam on the surface
of the water, he plunged beneath, but all animals
passed him by, on account of his ugliness. And
the autumn came, the leaves turned yellow and
brown, the wind caught them and danced them
about, the air was very cold, the clouds were heavy
with hail or snow, and the raven sat on the hedge
and croaked :-the poor Duckling was certainly not
very comfortable !
One evening, just as the sun was setting with
unusual brilliancy, a flock of large, beautiful birds
rose from out of the brushwood; the Duckling had
never seen anything so beautiful before; their
plumage was of a dazzling white, and they had long,
slender necks. They were swans; they uttered a
singular cry, spread out their long, splendid wings,






54 THE UGLY DUCKLING
and flew away from these cold regions to warmer
countries, across the open sea. They flew so high,
so very high! and the little Ugly Duckling's feel-
ings were so strange; he turned round and round
in the water like a mill-wheel, strained his neck to
look after them, and sent forth such a loud and








-4~





HE TURNED ROUND AND ROUND IN THE WATER LIKE A MILL-WHEEL

strange cry, that it almost frightened himself. Ah!
he could not forget them, those noble birds those
happy birds 1 When he could see them no longer,
he plunged to the bottom of the water, and when
he rose again was almost beside himself. The
Duckling knew not what the birds were called,






THE UGLY DUCKLING


knew not whither they were flying, yet he loved
them as he had never before loved anything; he
envied them not, it would never have occurred to
him to wish such beauty for himself; he would
have been quite contented if the ducks in the duck-
yards had but endured his company-the poor,
ugly animal!
And the winter was so cold, so cold! The
Duckling was obliged to swim round and round in
the water, to keep it from freezing; but every night
the opening in which he swam became smaller and
smaller ; it froze so that the crust of ice crackled;
the Duckling was obliged to make good use of his
legs to prevent the water from freezing entirely; at
last, wearied out, he lay stiff and cold in the ice.
Early in the morning there passed by a peasant,
who saw him, broke the ice in pieces with his
wooden shoe, and brought him home to his wife.
He now revived; the children would have played
with him, but our Duckling thought they wished to
tease him, and in his terror jumped into the milk-
pail, so that the milk was spilled about the room:
the good woman screamed and clapped her hands;
he flew thence into the pan where the butter was






56 THE UGLY DUCKLING
kept, and thence into the meal-barrel, and out
again, and then how strange he looked!
The woman screamed, and struck at him with
the tongs, the children ran races with each other





-.


THE CHILDREN WOULD HAVE PLAYED WITH HIM


trying to catch him, and laughed and screamed
likewise. It was well for him that the door stood
open; he jumped out among the bushes into the
new-fallen snow-he lay there as in a dream.
But it would be too melancholy to relate all the
trouble and misery that he was obliged to suffer
during the severity of the winter: he was lying on
a moor among the reeds, when the sun began to






THE UGLY DUCKLING 57
shine warmly again, the larks sang, and beautiful
spring had returned.
And once more he shook his wings. They were
stronger than formerly, and bore him forwards
quickly, and before he was well aware of it, he was
in a large garden where the apple-trees stood in full
bloom, where the syringas sent forth their fra-
grance, and hung their long green branches down
into the winding canal. Oh! everything was so
lovely, so full of the freshness of spring! And out
of the thicket came three beautiful white Swans.
They displayed their feathers so proudly, and swam
so lightly, so lightly! The Duckling knew the
glorious creatures, and was seized with a strange
melancholy.
'I will fly to them, those kingly birds!' said he.
'They will kill me, because I, ugly as I am, have
presumed to approach them; but it matters not,
better to be killed by them than to be bitten by the
ducks, pecked by the hens, kicked by the girl who
feeds the poultry, and to have so much to suffer
during the winter!' He flew into the water, and
swam towards the beautiful creatures; they saw
him and shot forward to meet him. 'Only kill me,'






THE UGLY DUCKLING


said the poor animal, and he bowed his head low,
expecting death; but what did he see in the water?
He saw beneath him his own form, no longer that
of a plump, ugly, grey bird-it was that of a Swan.
It matters not to have been born in a duck-yard,
if one has been hatched from a swan's egg.
The good creature felt himself really elevated by
all the troubles and adversities he had experienced.
He could now rightly estimate his own happiness,
and the larger Swans swam round him, and stroked
him with their beaks.
Some little children were running about in the
garden; they threw grain and bread into the water,
and the youngest exclaimed, 'There is a new one!'
the others also cried out, 'Yes, there is a new swan
come!' and they clapped their hands, and danced
around. They ran to their father and mother,
bread and cake were thrown into the water, and
every one said, 'The new one is the best, so young
and so beautiful!' and the old Swans bowed before
him. The young Swan felt quite ashamed, and hid
his head under his wings; he scarcely knew what
to do, he was all too happy, but still not proud, for
a good heart is never proud.






THE UGLY DUCKLING 59
He remembered how he had been persecuted and
derided, and he now heard every one say, he was
the most beautiful of all beautiful birds. The
syringas bent down their branches towards him low
into the water, and the sun shone so warmly and
brightly-he shook his feathers, stretched his
slender neck, and in the joy of his heart said, How
little did I dream of so much happiness when I was
the ugly, despised Duckling !'










-dh












THE LITTLE MERMAID

AR out in the wide sea, where
the water is blue as the love-
liest corn-flower, and clear as
the purest crystal, where it is
so deep that very, very many
church-towers must be heaped one
upon another in order to reach
from the lowest depth to the surface
above, dwell the Mer-people.
Now you must not imagine that
there is nothing but sand below the
water: no, indeed, far from it! Trees
and plants of wondrous beauty grow
there, whose stems and leaves are so
light, that they are waved to and fro
by the slightest motion of the water, almost as if
they were living beings. Fishes, great and small,
glide in and out among the branches, just as birds
fly about among our trees.
60






THE LITTLE MERMAID


Where the water is deepest stands the palace of
thl Mer-king. The walls of this palace are of
coral, and the high, pointed windows are of amber;
the roof, however, is composed of mussel-shells,
which, as the billows pass over them, are continu-
ally opening and shutting. This looks exceedingly
pretty, especially as each of these mussel-shells
contains a number of bright, glittering pearls, one
only of which would be the most costly ornament
in the diadem of a king in the upper world.
The Mer-king, who lived in this palace, had been
for many years a widower; his old mother managed
the household affairs for him. She was, on the
whole, a sensible sort of a lady, although extremely
proud of her high birth and station, on which
account she wore twelve oysters on her tail, whilst
the other inhabitants of the sea, even those of dis-
tinction, were allowed only six. In every other
respect she merited unlimited praise, especially for
the affection she showed to the six little Princesses,
her grand-daughters. These were all very beauti-
ful children; the youngest was, however, the most
lovely; her skin was as soft and delicate as a rose-
leaf, her eyes were of as deep a blue as the sea,






62 THE LITTLE MERMAID
but, like all other mermaids, she had no feet; her
body ended in a tail like that of a fish.
The whole day long the children used to play in
the spacious apartments of the palace, where beauti-
ful flowers grew out of the walls on all sides around
them. When the great amber windows were
opened, fishes would swim into these apartments as
swallows fly into our rooms; but the fishes were









THE FISHES ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE CARESSED
bolder than the swallows-they swam straight up
to the little Princesses, ate from their hands, and
allowed themselves to be caressed.
In front of the palace there was a large garden,
full of fiery red and dark blue trees; the fruit upon
them glittered like gold, and the flowers resembled
a bright, burning sun. The sand that formed the
soil of the garden was of a bright blue colour,






THE LITTLE MERMAID


somewhat like flames of sulphur; and a strangely
beautiful blue was spread over the whole, so that
one might have fancied oneself raised very high in
the air, with the sky at once above and below-
certainly not at the bottom of the sea. When the
waters were quite still, the sun might be seen
looking like a purple flower, out of whose cup
streamed forth the light of the world.
Each of the little Princesses had her own plot
in the garden, where she might plant and sow at
her pleasure. One chose hers to be made in the
shape of a whale, another preferred the figure of a
mermaid, but the youngest had hers quite round
like the sun, and planted in it only those flowers
that were red, as the sun seemed to her. She was
certainly a singular child, very quiet and thought-
ful. Whilst her sisters were adorning themselves
with all sorts of gay things that came out of a
ship which had been wrecked, she asked for
nothing but a beautiful white marble statue of a
boy, which had been found in it. She put the
statue in her garden, and planted a red weeping
willow by its side. The tree grew up quickly,
and let its long boughs fall upon the bright blue







64 THE LITTLE MERMAID


A BEAUTIFUL WHITE MARBLE STATUE OF A BOY


ground, where
ever-m o v i n g
shadows played
in violet hues,
as if boughs
and root were
embracing.
Nothing
pleased the little
Princess more
than to hear
about the world
of human beings
living above the
sea. She made
her old grand-
mother tell her
everything she
knew about
ships, towns,
men, and land
animals, and
was particularly
pleased when






THE LITTLE MERMAID


she heard that the flowers of the upper world had a
pleasant fragrance (for the flowers of the sea are
scentless), and that the woods were green, and the
fishes fluttering among the branches of various gay
colours, and that they could sing with a loud, clear
voice. The old lady meant birds, but she called
them fishes, because her grandchildren, having
never seen a bird, would not otherwise have under-
stood her.
'When you have attained your fifteenth year,'
added she, 'you will be permitted to rise to the
surface of the sea; you will then sit by moonlight
in the clefts of the rocks, see the ships sail by,
and learn to distinguish towns and men.'
The next year the eldest of the sisters reached
this happy age, but the others-alas! the second
sister was a year younger than the eldest, the third
a year younger than the second, and so on. The
youngest had still five whole years to wait till
that joyful time should come when she also might
rise to the surface of the water and see what was
going on in the upper world; however, the eldest
promised to tell the others about everything she
might see, when the first day of her being of age
E







66 THE LITTLE MERMAID
arrived; for the grandmother gave them but little
information, and there was so much that they
wished to hear.
But none of all the sisters longed so ardently
for the day when she should be released from
childish restraint as the youngest-she who had
longest to wait, and was so quiet and thoughtful.
Many a night she stood by the open window,
looking up through the clear blue water, whilst
the fishes were leaping and playing around her.
She could see the sun and the moon; their light
was pale, but they appeared larger than they do
to those who live in the upper world. If a shadow
passed over them, she knew it must be either a
whale, or a ship sailing by full of human beings.
Never could these last have imagined that, far
beneath them, a little mermaiden was passionately
stretching forth her white hands towards their
ship's keel.
The day had now arrived when the eldest
Princess had attained her fifteenth year, and was
therefore allowed to rise up to the surface of the
sea.
When she returned she had a thousand things






THE LITTLE MERMAID


to relate. Her chief pleasure had been to sit
upon a sand-bank in the moonlight, looking at
the large town which lay on the coast, where
lights were beaming like stars, and where music
was playing; she had heard the distant noise of
men and carriages, she had seen the high church-
towers, had listened to the ringing of the bells;
and just because she could not go on shore she
longed the more after all these things.
How attentively did her youngest sister listen
to her words! And when she next stood, at night-
time, by her open window, gazing upward through
the blue waters, her thoughts dwelt so eagerly
upon the great city, full of life and sound, that
she fancied she could hear the church-bells ringing.
Next year the second sister received permission
to swim wherever she pleased. She rose to the
surface of the sea, just when the sun was setting;
and this sight so delighted her, that she declared
it to be more beautiful than anything else she
had seen above the waters.
The whole sky seemed tinged with gold,' said
she; 'and it is impossible for me to describe to
you the beauty of the clouds. Now red, now







68 THE LITTLE MERMAID
violet, they glided over me; but still more swiftly
flew over the water a flock of white swans, just
where the sun was descending: I looked after
them, but the sun disappeared, and the bright
rosy light on the surface of the sea and on the
edges of the clouds died gradually away.'
It was now time for the third sister to visit
the upper world. She was the boldest of the
six, and ventured up a river. On its shores she
saw green hills, covered with woods and vineyards,
from among which arose houses and castles. She
heard the birds singing, and the sun shone
with so much power, that she was continually
obliged to plunge below, in order to cool her
burning face. In a little bay she met with a
number of children, who were bathing and jumping
about; she would have joined in their gambols,
but the children fled back to land in great terror,
and a little black animal barked at her in such
a manner, that she herself was frightened at last,
and swam back to the sea. But never could she
forget the green woods, the verdant hills, and the
pretty children, who, although they had no fins,
were swimming about in the river so fearlessly.







THE LITTLE MERMAID


The fourth sister was not so bold; she remained
in the open sea, and said, on her return home, she
thought nothing could be more beautiful. She
had seen ships sailing by -so far off that they
looked like sea-gulls; she had watched the merry









f -- ---1



THE CHILDREN FLED BACK TO THE LAND IN TERROR

dolphins gambolling in the water, and the enor-
mous whales sending up into the air a thousand
sparkling fountains.
The year after, the fifth sister attained her
fifteenth year,-her birthday happened at a different
season to that of her sisters; it was winter, the
sea was of a green colour, and immense icebergs
were floating on its surface. These, she said,






70 THE LITTLE MERMAID
looked like pearls, although all were much larger
than the church-towers in the land of human
beings. She sat down upon one of these pearls,
and let the wind play with her long hair, but
then all the ships hoisted their sails in terror,
and escaped as quickly as possible. In the evening
the sky was covered with clouds; and whilst the
great mountains of ice alternately sank and rose
again, and beamed with a reddish glow, flashes
of lightning burst forth from the clouds, and the
thunder rolled on, peal after peal. The sails of
all the ships were instantly furled, and horror
and affright reigned on board; but the Princess
sat still on the iceberg, looking unconcernedly at
the blue zig-zag of the flashes.
The first time that either of these sisters rose
out of the sea, she was quite enchanted at the
sight of so many new and beautiful objects; but
the novelty was soon over, and it was not long
ere their own home appeared far more attractive
than the upper world.
Many an evening would the five sisters rise
hand in hand from the depths of the ocean. Their
voices were far sweeter than any human voice,






THE LITTLE MERMAID


and when a storm was coming on, they would
swim in front of the ships and sing,--oh, how
sweetly did they sing!-describing the happiness
of those who lived at the bottom of the sea, and
entreating the sailors not to be afraid, but to
come down to them.
But the mariners did not understand their words,
-they fancied the song was only the whistling
of the wind,-and thus they lost the hidden glories
of the sea; for if their ships were wrecked, all on
board were drowned, and none but dead men
ever entered the Mer-king's palace.
Whilst the sisters were swimming at evening-
time, the youngest would remain motionless and
alone in her father's palace, looking up after them.
She would have wept, but mermaids cannot weep,
and therefore, when they are troubled, they suffer
infinitely more than human beings do.
'Oh! if I were but fifteen!' sighed she; 'I
know that I should love the upper world and its
inhabitants so much!'
At last the time she had so longed for arrived.
'Well, now it is your turn,' said the grand-
mother; 'come here, that I may adorn you like






72 THE LITTLE MERMAID
your sisters.' And winding around her hair a
wreath of white lilies, whose every petal was the
half of a pearl, she commanded eight large oysters
to fasten themselves to the Princess's tail, in token
of her high rank.
But that is so very uncomfortable!' said the
little Princess.
One must not mind slight inconveniences when
one wishes to look well,' said the old lady.
How willingly would the Princess have given
up all this splendour, and exchanged her heavy
crown for the red flowers of her garden, which
were so much more becoming to her. But she
dared not do so. 'Farewell!' said she; and she
rose from the sea, light as a flake of foam.
When, for the first time in her life, she appeared
on the surface of the water, the sun had just sunk
below the horizon, the clouds were beaming with
bright golden and rosy hues, the evening star was
shining in the pale western sky, the air was mild
and refreshing, and the sea as smooth as a looking-
glass. A large ship with three masts lay on the
still waters; one sail only was unfurled, for not a
breath was stirring, and the sailors were quietly







THE LITTLE MERMAID


seated on the cordage and ladders of the vessel.
Music and song resounded from the deck, and
after it grew dark hundreds of lamps all on a
sudden burst forth into light, whilst innumerable
flags were fluttering overhead. The little Mer-
maid swam close up to the captain's cabin, and
every now and then, when the ship was raised
by the motion of the water, she could look through
the clear window-panes. She saw within many
richly dressed men; the handsomest among them
was a young Prince with large black eyes. He
could not certainly be more than sixteen years
old, and it was in honour of his birthday that
a grand festival was being celebrated. The crew
were dancing on the deck, and when the young
Prince appeared among them, a hundred rockets
were sent up into the air, turning night into day,
and so terrifying the little Mermaid, that for some
minutes she plunged beneath the water. How-
ever, she soon raised her little head again, and
then it seemed as if all the stars were falling
down upon her. Such a fiery shower she had
never seen before, never had she heard that
men possessed such wonderful powers. Large







74 THE LITTLE MERMAID
suns revolved around her, bright fishes floated in
the air, and all these marvels were reflected on
the clear surface of the sea. It was so light in
the ship that everything could be seen distinctly.
Oh, how happy the young Prince was! He shook
hands with the sailors, laughed and jested with
them, whilst sweet notes of music mingled with
the silence of the night.
It was now late, but the little Mermaid could
not tear herself away from the ship and the
handsome young Prince. She remained looking
through the cabin window, rocked to and fro by
the waves. There was a foaming and fermenta-
tion in the depths beneath, and the ship began to
move on faster,-the sails were spread, the waves
rose high, thick clouds gathered over the sky, and
the noise of distant thunder was heard. The
sailors perceived that a storm was coming on, so
they again furled the sails. The great vessel was
tossed about on the tempestuous ocean like a light
boat, and the waves rose to an immense height,
towering over the ship, which alternately sank
beneath and rose above them. To the -little
Mermaid this seemed most delightful, but the






THE LITTLE MERMAID 75
ship's crew thought very differently. The vessel
cracked, the stout masts bent under the violence
of the billows, the water rushed in. For a minute
the ship tottered to and fro, then the main-mast
broke, as if it had been a reed; the ship turned
over, and was filled with water. The little
Mermaid now perceived that the crew was in
danger, for she herself was forced to beware of
the beams and splinters torn from the vessel, and
floating about on the waves. But at the same
time it became pitch dark, so that she could not
distinguish anything; presently, however, a dread-
ful flash of lightning disclosed to her the whole of
the wreck. Her eyes sought the young Prince;
the same instant the ship sank to the bottom. At
first she was delighted, thinking that the Prince
must now come to her abode, but she soon
remembered that man cannot live in water, and
that therefore, if the Prince ever entered her
palace, it would be as a corpse.
Die no, he must not die!' She swam through
the fragments with which the water was strewn,
regardless of the danger she was incurring, and at
last found the Prince all but exhausted, and with






76 THE LITTLE MERMAID
great difficulty keeping his head above water. He
had already closed his eyes, and must inevitably
have been drowned, had not the little Mermaid
come to his rescue. She seized hold of him and
kept him above water, suffering the current to
bear them on together.













SHE KEPT HIM ABOVE WATER

Towards morning the storm was hushed; no
trace, however, remained of the ship. The sun
rose like fire out of the sea; his beams seemed
to restore colour to the Prince's cheeks, but his
eyes were still closed. The Mermaid kissed his
high forehead and stroked his wet hair away from
his face. He looked like the marble statue in her






THE LITTLE MERMAID


garden; she kissed him again, and wished most
fervently that he might recover.
She now saw the dry land, with its mountains
glittering with snow. A green wood extended
along the coast, and at the entrance of the wood
stood a chapel or convent, she could not be sure
which. Citron and melon trees grew in the garden
adjoining it, an avenue of tall palm-trees led up to
the door. The sea here formed a little bay, in
which the water was quite smooth, but very deep,
and under the cliffs there were dry, firm sands.
Hither swam the little Mermaid with the seemingly
dead Prince; she laid him upon the warm sand,
and took care to place his head high, and to turn
his face to the sun.
The bells began to ring in the large white
building which stood before her, and a number of
young girls came out to walk in the garden. The
Mermaid went away from the shore, hid herself
behind some stones, covered her head with foam,
so that her little face could not be seen, and
watched the Prince with unremitting attention.
It was not long before one of the young girls
approached; she seemed quite frightened at finding






78 THE LITTLE MERMAID
the Prince in this state, apparently dead; soon,
however, she recovered herself, and ran back to
call her sisters. The little Mermaid saw that the
Prince revived, and that all around smiled kindly
and joyfully upon him; for her, however, he looked
not; he knew not that it was she who had saved
him; and when the Prince was taken into the
house, she felt so sad that she immediately plunged
beneath the water, and returned to her father's
palace.
If she had been before quiet and thoughtful, she
now grew still more so. Her sisters asked her
what she had seen in the upper world, but she
made no answer.
Many an evening she rose to the place where
she had left the Prince. She saw the snow on the
mountains melt, the fruits in the garden ripen and
gathered, but the Prince she never saw; so she
always returned sorrowfully to her home under the
sea. Her only pleasure was to sit in her little
garden, gazing on the beautiful statue so like the
Prince. She cared no longer for her flowers; they
grew up in wild luxuriance, covered the steps, and
entwined their long stems and tendrils among the






THE LITTLE MERMAID


boughs of the trees, until her whole garden
became a bower.
At last, being unable to conceal her sorrow any
longer, she revealed the secret to one of her sisters,
who told it to the other Princesses, and they to
some of their friends. Among them was a young
mermaid who recollected the Prince, having been
an eye-witness herself to the festivities in the ship;
she knew also in what country the Prince lived,
and the name of its king.
'Come, little sister!' said the Princesses, and,
embracing her, they rose together arm in arm, out
of the water, just in front of the Prince's palace.
This palace was built of bright yellow stones, a
flight of white marble steps led from it down to the
sea. A gilded cupola crowned the building, and
white marble figures, which might almost have
been taken for real men and women, were placed
among the pillars surrounding it. Through the
clear glass of the high windows one might look
into magnificent apartments hung with silken
curtains, the walls adorned with beautiful paintings.
It was a real treat to the little royal mermaids to
behold so splendid an abode; they gazed through






80 THE LITTLE MERMAID
the windows of one of the largest rooms, and in
the centre saw a fountain playing, whose waters
sprang up so high as to reach the glittering cupola
above, through which fell the sunbeams, dancing
on the water, and brightening the pretty plants
which grew around it.
The little Mermaid now knew where her beloved
Prince dwelt, and henceforth she went there almost
every evening. She often approached nearer the
land than her sisters had ventured, and even swam
up the narrow channel that flowed under the marble
balcony. Here, on bright moonlight nights, she
would watch the young Prince, whilst he believed
himself alone.
Sometimes she saw him sailing on the water in
a gaily painted boat, with many coloured flags
waving above. She would then hide among the
green reeds which grew on the banks, listening to
his voice; and if any one in the boat noticed the
rustling of her long silver veil, when it was caught
now and then by the light breeze, they only fancied
it was a swan flapping his wings.
Many a night, when the fishermen were casting
their nets by the beacon's light, she heard them






THE LITTLE MERMAID


talking of the Prince, and relating the noble actions
he had performed. She was then so happy, think-
ing how she had saved his life when struggling
with the waves, and remembering how his head
had rested on her bosom, and how she had kissed
him when he knew nothing of it, and could never
even dream of her existence.
Human beings became more and more dear to
her every day; she wished that she were one of
them. Their world seemed to her much larger
than that of the mer-people; they could fly over
the ocean in their ships, as well as climb to the
summits of those high mountains that rose above
the clouds; and their wooded domains extended
much farther than a mermaid's eye could penetrate.
There were many things that she wished to hear
explained, but her sisters could not give her any
satisfactory answer; she was again obliged to have
recourse to the old Queen-mother, who knew a
great deal -about the upper world, which she used
to call 'the country above the sea.'
'Do men, when they are not drowned, live for
ever ?'.she asked one day; 'do they not die as we
do who live at the bottom of the sea ?'






82 THE LITTLE-MERMAID
'Yes,' was the grandmother's reply, 'they must
die like us, and their life is much shorter than ours.
We live to the age of three hundred years, but,
when we die, we become foam on the sea, and are
not allowed even to share a grave among those
that are dear to us. We have no immortal souls,
we can never live again, and are like the green
rushes which when once cut down are withered for
ever. Human beings, on the contrary, have souls
that continue to live when their bodies become
dust, and as we rise out of the water to admire
the abode of man, even so these souls ascend to
glorious unknown dwellings in the skies, which we
are not permitted to see.'
'Why have not we immortal souls?' asked the
little Mermaid. I would willingly give up my
three hundred years to be a human being for
only one day, thus to become entitled to that
heavenly world above.'
'You must not think of that,' answered her
grandmother, 'it is much better as it is; we live
longer, and are far happier than human beings.'
'So I must die, and be dashed like foam over the
sea, never to rise again and hear the gentle murmur







THE LITTLE MERMAID


of the ocean, never again to see the beautiful
flowers and the bright sun! Tell me, dear grand-
mother, are there no means by which I may obtain
an immortal soul?'
'No!' replied the old lady. 'It is true that if
thou couldest so win the affections of a human being
as to become dearer to him than either father or












THE MERMAID AND HER GRANDMOTHER

mother; if he loved thee with all his heart, and
promised, whilst the priest joined his hands with
thine, to be always faithful to thee; then his soul
would flow into thine, and thou wouldest become
partaker of human bliss. But that can never be!
for what in our eyes is the most beautiful part of
our body, the tail, the inhabitants of the earth think






84 THE LITTLE MERMAID
hideous: they cannot bear it. To appear handsome
to them, the body must have two clumsy props,
which they call legs.
The little Mermaid sighed, and looked mournfully
at the scaly part of her form, otherwise so fair and
delicate.
'We are happy,' added the old lady; 'we shall
jump and swim about merrily for three hundred
years; that is a long time, and afterwards we shall
repose peacefully in death. This evening we have
a court-ball.'
The ball which the Queen-mother spoke of was
far more splendid than any that earth has ever seen.
The walls of the saloon were of crystal, very thick,
but yet very clear; hundreds of large mussel-shells
were planted in rows along them: these shells were
some of rose-colour, some green as grass, but all
sending forth a bright light, which not only illu-
minated the whole apartment, but also shone
through the glassy walls so as to light up the
waters around, and making the scales of the
numberless fishes, great and small, crimson and
purple, silver and gold-coloured, appear more bril-
liant than ever.






THE LITTLE MERMAID


Through the centre of the saloon flowed a bright,
clear stream, on the surface of which danced mer-
men and mermaids to the melody of their own
sweet voices-voices far sweeter than those of the
dwellers upon earth. The little Princess sang most
sweetly of. all, and they clapped their hands and
applauded her. For a moment it pleased her to be
thus reminded that there was neither on earth nor
in the sea a more beautiful voice than hers. But
her thoughts soon returned to the world above her;
she could not forget the handsome Prince; she
could not control her sorrow at not having an im-
mortal soul. She stole away from her father's
palace, and whilst all was joy within, she sat alone,
lost in thought, in her little neglected garden. On
a sudden she heard the tones of horns resounding
over the water far away in the distance, and she
said to herself, 'Now he is going out to hunt-he
whom I love more than my father and my mother,
with whom my thoughts are constantly occupied,
and to whom I would so willingly trust the happi-
ness of my life! All, all! will I risk to win him-
and an immortal soul! Whilst my sisters are still
dancing in the palace, I will go to the enchantress






86 THE LITTLE MERMAID
whom I have hitherto feared so much, but who is,
nevertheless, the only person who can advise and
help me.'
So the little Mermaid left the garden and went
to the foaming whirlpool beyond which dwelt the
enchantress. She had never been this way before;
neither flowers nor sea-grass bloomed along her
path; she had to traverse an extent of bare, grey
sand till she reached the whirlpool, whose waters
were eddying and whizzing like mill-wheels, tearing
everything they could seize along with them into
the abyss below. She was obliged to make her
way through this horrible place, in order to arrive
at the territory of the enchantress. Then she had
to pass through a boiling, slimy bog, which the
enchantress called her turf-moor; her house stood
in a wood beyond this, and a strange abode it was.
All the trees and bushes around were polypi, look-
ing like hundred-headed serpents shooting up out
of the ground; their branches were long, slimy arms
with fingers of worms, every member, from the root
to the uttermost tip, ceaselessly moving and extend-
ing on all sides. Whatever they seized they fast-
ened upon so that it could not loosen itself from






THE LITTLE MERMAID 87
their grasp. The little Mermaid stood still for a
minute looking at this horrible wood; her heart beat
with fear, and she would certainly have returned
without attaining her object had she not remem-
bered the Prince-and immortality. The thought
gave her new courage, she bound up her long, wav-
ing hair, that the polypi might not catch hold of it,
crossed her delicate arms over her bosom, and,
swifter than a fish can glide through the water, she
passed these unseemly trees, who stretched their
eager arms after her in vain. She could not, how-
ever, help seeing that every polypus had something
in its grasp, held as firmly by a thousand little arms
as if enclosed by iron bands. The whitened skulls
of a number of human beings who had been drowned
in the sea, and had sunk into the abyss, grinned
horribly from the arms of these polypi; helms,
chests, skeletons of land animals were also held in
their embrace; among other things might be seen
even a little mermaid whom they had seized and
strangled! What a fearful sight for the unfortunate
Princess!
But she got safely through this wood of horrors,
-and then arrived at a slimy place, where immense,







88 THE LITTLE MERMAID
fat snakes were .crawling about, and in the midst of
this place stood a house built of the bones of
unfortunate people who
had been shipwrecked.
Here sat the witch
caressing a toad in the
same manner as some
Persons would a pet
bird. The ugly fat
snakes she called her
chickens, and she per-
mitted them 'to- crawl
HERE SAT THE WITCH
about her..
I know well what you would ask of me,' said she
to the little Princess. Your wish is foolish enough,
yet it shall be fulfilled,' though its accomplishment
is sure to bring misfortune on you, my fairest
Princess.. You wish to get rid of your tail, and to
have instead two stilts, like those of human beings,
in order that the young Prince may fall in love with
you, and that you may obtain an immortal soul-is
it not so?' Whilst the witch spoke th6se words
.she laughed so violently that her .pet toad and
,snakes fell from her' lap. 'You come just at" the






THE LITTLE MERMAID


right time,' continued she ; had you come after sun-
set, it would not have been in my power to have
helped you before anbther'year. I will prepare for
you a drink, with which you must swim to land;
you must sit down upon the shore and swallow it,
and then your tail will fall and shrink up to the
things which men call legs. This transformation
will, however, be very painful: you will feel as
though a sharp knife passed through your body.
All who look on you, after you have been thus
changed, will say that you are the loveliest child of
earth they have ever seen: you will retain your
peculiar undulating movements, and no dancer, will
move so lightly; but every step you take will cause
you pain all but unbearable; it will seem to you
as -though you were walking on the sharp edges
of swords, and your blood will flow. Can you
endure all this suffering? If so, I will grant your
request.'
'Yes, I will,' answered the Princess, with a
faltering voice; for she remembered her dear Prince,
arid the immortal soul which her suffering might
win.
'Only'consider,' said the witch, 'that you can






90 THE LITTLE MERMAID
never again become a mermaid when once you have
received a human form. You may never return to
your sisters and your father's palace; and unless
you shall win the Prince's love to such a degree
that he shall leave father and mother for you, that
you shall be mixed up with all his thoughts and
wishes, and unless the priest join your hands, so
that you become man and wife, you will never
obtain the immortality you seek. The morrow of
the day on which he is united to another will see
your death; your heart will break with sorrow, and
you will be changed to foam on the sea.'
Still I will venture!' said the little Mermaid,
pale and trembling as a dying person.
Besides all this, I must be paid, and it is no
slight thing that I require for my trouble. Thou
hast the sweetest voice of all the dwellers in the
sea, and thou thinkest by its means to charm the
Prince; this voice, however, I demand as my re-
compense. The best thing thou possessest I require
in exchange for my magic drink; for I shall be
obliged to sacrifice my own blood in order to give
it the sharpness of a two-edged sword.'
'But if you take my voice from me,' said the







THE LITTLE MERMAID


Princess, 'what have I left with which to charm
the Prince?'
'Thy graceful form,' replied the witch, 'thy un-
dulating motion, and speaking eyes. With such as
these it will be easy to infatuate a vain human
heart. Well now! hast thou lost courage ? Put
out thy little tongue that I may cut it off,
and take it for myself in return for my magic
elixir.'
'Be it so!' said the Princess, and the witch took
up her caldron, in order to mix her potion.
'Cleanliness is a good thing,' remarked she, as she
began to rub the caldron with a handful of snails.
She then scratched her bosom, and let the black
blood trickle down into the caldron, every moment
throwing in new ingredients, the smoke from the
mixture assuming such horrible forms as were
enough to fill beholders with terror, and a moaning
and groaning proceeding from it which might be
compared to the weeping of crocodiles. The magic
drink at length became clear and transparent as
pure water: it was ready.
'Here it is!' said the witch to the Princess,
cutting out her tongue at the same moment. The




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