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ALTEMUS' YOUNG PEOPLE'S LIBRARY
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
WITH EIGHTY ILLUSTRATIONS
IN UNIFORM STYLE
THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS & WHAT ALICE FOUND THERE
THE CHILD'S STORY OF THE BIBLE
THE CHILD'S LIFE OF CHRIST
LIVES OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
THE FABLES OF AESOP
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS AND THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA
MOTHER GOOSE'S RHYMES, JINGLES AND FAIRY TALES
EXPLORATION AND ADVENTURE IN THE FROZEN SEAS
THE STORY OF DISCOVERY AND EXPLORATION IN AFRICA
ARABIAN NIGHTS' ENTERTAINMENTS
WOOD'S NATURAL HISTORY
A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND, by CHARLES DICKENS
BLACK BEAUTY, by ANNA SEWELL
ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES
GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES
GRANDFATHER'S CHAIR, by NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE
FLOWER FABLES, by LOUISA M. ALCOTT
Price o5 Cents Each
HENRY ALTEMUS, PHILADELPHIA
Copyright 1898 by Henry Altemus
THE SWINEHERD ....................
THE OLD HOUSE . . . . ..
THE STORY OF A MOTHER . . . .
THE BELL . . . . . .
-THE RED SHOES . . . . .
THE SHIRT-COLLAR . . . . .
THE NIGHTINGALE ...................
THE LEAPING MATCH . . . . .
THE SAUCY BOY . . . . .
THE UGLY DUCKLING . . . . .
THE DARNING NEEDLE . . . ..
THE EMPEROR'S NEW SUIT . . . .
THE STORKS . . . . . .
THE DAISY ................... .. .
THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER . . . .
THE ANGEL . . . . . .
THUMBELINA . . . . . .
THE FLAX . . . . . .
THE REAL PRINCESS . . . .
THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE SWEEP
THE FLYING TRUNK . .
THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL . .
OLE LUK-OIE ............
. . .
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN, the most
widely popular of Danish authors, and one of
the great story-tellers of the world, was born
at Odense, in Denmark, on April 2, 1805, and died
ac Copenhagen, on August 6, 1895.
His father was a shoemaker in very indigent cir-
cumstances, although he belonged to a family that had
once been rich. He used to seek relief from the bit-
terness of his lot by relating to his children and his
friends stories of the wealth and splendor of his an-
cestors. Hans was only nine years old when his father
died. He worked for some time in a factory, but his
wonderful singing and his extraordinary talent soon
procured him friends. He went to Copenhagen hoping
to obtain an engagement in the theatre, but was re-
jected because of his lack of education. He next tried
to become a singer, but soon found that his heavy
face and ungraceful form were not fitted for the stage.
Through the assistance of generous friends, he was
placed at an advanced school, and was thus enabled
to remedy his defects of education.
He published his first volume of poems in 1830,
and in 1831 a second volume. Some of these poems
were well received. A traveling pension granted him
by the King in 1833, offered him opportunities for
mental development, and some of its fruits were his
Traveling Sketches; Agnes and the Merman; and The
Improvisitore. It was through these that he first at-
tained general popularity. In 1840 he made a some-
what lengthened tour in Italy and the East, and in
1844 visited the Court of Denmark by special invita-
tion, receiving an annuity the following year. The
Tales for Children were issued in 1861. His original
genius is most conspicuous in his fairy tales. They are
characterized by quaint humor, rich imagination ai'd
sometimes by deep pathos. His numerous works have
been translated into most of the European languages.
In making the selection here presented to young
readers, the aim has been to include examples of each
of the classes of stories that best exhibit Andersen's
varied powers of invention, and of his adaptation of
the matter-of-fact occurrences of every-day life to the
inculcating of moral and social duties.
ONCE upon a time lived a poor prince; his king-
dom was very small, but it was large enough to
enable him to marry, and marry he would. It
was rather bold of him that he went and asked the
emperor's daughter: "Will you marry me ?" but he
ventured to do so, for his name was known far and
wide, and there were hundreds of princesses who would
have gladly accepted him, but would she do so? Now
we shall see.
On the grave of the prince's father grew a rose-tree,
the most beautiful of its kind. It bloomed only once
in five years, and then it had only one single rose upon
it, but what a rose! It had such a sweet scent that
one instantly forgot all sorrow and grief when one
smelt it. He had also a nightingale, which could sing
as if every sweet melody was in its throat. This rose
and the nightingale he wished to give to the princess;
and therefore both were put into big silver cases and
sent to her.
The emperor ordered them to be carried into the
great hall where the princess was just playing "Visitors
are coming" with her ladies-in-waiting; when she saw
the large cases with the presents therein, she clapped
her hands for joy.
"I wish it were a little pussy cat," she said. But
then the rose-tree with the beautiful rose was un-
8 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
"Oh, how nicely it is made," exclaimed the ladies.'
"It is more than nice," said the emperor, "it is
The princess touched it and nearly began to cry.
"For shame, pa," she said, "it is not artificial, it is
For shame, it is natural," repeated all the ladies.
Let us first see what the other case contains before
we are angry," said the emperor; then the nightingale
was taken out, and it sang so beautifully that no one
could possibly say anything unkind about it.
"Superbe, charmant," said the ladies of the court,
for they all prattled French, one worse than the other.
How much the bird reminds me of the musical
box of the late lamented empress," said an old courtier,
"it has exactly the same tone, the same execution."
"You are right," said the emperor, and began to
cry like a little child.
"I hope it is not natural," said the princess.
"Yes, certainly it is natural," replied those who had
brought the presents.
"Then let it fly," said the princess, and refused to
see the prince.
But the prince was not discouraged. He painted
his face, put on common clothes, pulled his cap over
his forehead, and came back.
Good day, emperor," he said, "could you not give
me some employment at the court?"
"There are so many," replied the emperor, who
apply for places, that for the present I have no vacancy,
but I will remember you. But wait a moment; it just
io Andersen's Fairy Tales.
comes into my mind, I require somebody to look after
my pigs, for I have a great many."
Thus the prince was appointed imperial swineherd,
and as such he lived in a wretchedly small room near
the pigsty; there he worked all day long, and when it
was night he made a pretty little pot. There were little
bells round the rim, and when the water began to boil
in it, the bells began to play the old tune :
"A jolly old sow once lived in a sty,
Three little piggies had she," &-c.
But what was more wonderful was that, when one put
a finger into the steam rising from the pot, one could
at once smell what meals they were preparing on every
fire in the whole town. That was indeed much more
remarkable than the rose. When the princess with her
ladies passed by and heard the tune, she stopped and
looked quite pleased, for she also could play it-in fact,
it was the only tune she could play, and she played it
with one finger.
"That is the tune I know," she exclaimed. "He
must be a well-educated swineherd. Go and ask him
Show much the instrument is."
One of the ladies had to go and ask; but she put
"What will you take for your pot?" asked the
I will have ten kisses from the princess," said the
"God forbid, said the lady."
"Well, I cannot sell it for less," replied tne swine-
"What did he say? said the princess.
"I really cannot tell you," replied the lady.
"You can whisper it into my ear."
It is very naughty," said the princess, and walked
But when she had gone a little distance, the bells
rang again so sweetly:
"A jolly old sow once lived in a sty,
Three little piggies had she," &-c.
"Ask him," said the princess, "if he will be satis-
fied with ten kisses from one of my ladies."
"No, thank you," said the swineherd: "ten kisses
from the princess, or I keep my pot."
"That is tiresome," said the princess. "But you
must stand before me, so that nobody can see it."
The ladies placed themselves in front of her and
spread out their dresses, and she gave the swineherd
ten kisses and received the pot.
That was a pleasure Day and night the water in
the pot was boiling; there was not a single fire in the
whole town of which they did not know what was
preparing on it, the chamberlain's as well as the shoe-
maker's. The ladies danced and clapped their hands
We know who will eat soup and pancakes; we
know who will eat porridge and cutlets; oh, how
"Very interesting, indeed," said the mistress of the
household. But you must not betray me, for I am
the emperor's daughter."
"Of course not," they all said.
12 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
The swineherd-that is to say, the prince-but
they did not know otherwise than that he was a real
swineherd-did not waste a single day without doing
something; he made a rattle, which, when turned
quickly round, played all the waltzes, galops, and
polkas known since the creation of the world.
"But that is superbe" said the princess passing by.
"I have never heard a more beautiful composition.
Go down and ask him what the instrument costs; but
I shall not kiss him again."
"He will have a hundred kisses from the princess,"
said the lady, who had gone down to ask him.
I believe he is mad," said the princess, and walked
off, but soon she stopped. One must encourage art,"
she said. "I am the emperor's daughter! Tell him
I will give him ten kisses, as I did the other day; the
remainder one of my ladies can give him."
But we do not like to kiss him," said the ladies.
"That is nonsense," said the princess; "if I can
kiss him, you can also do it. Remember that I give
you food and employment." And the lady had to go
down once more.
"A hundred kisses from the princess," said the
swineherd, "or everybody keeps his own."
"Place yourselves before me," said the princess
then. They did as they were bidden, and the princess
I wonder what that crowd near the pigsty means!"
said the emperor, who had just come out on his balcony.
He rubbed his eyes and put his spectacles on.
"The ladies of the court are up to some mischief,
I think. I shall have to go down and see." He
14 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
pulled up his shoes, for they were down at the heels,
and he was very quick about it. When he had come
down into the courtyard he walked quite softly, and
the ladies were so busily engaged in counting the
kisses, that all should be fair, that they did not notice
the emperor. He raised himself on tiptoe.
"What does this mean? he said, when he saw
that his. daughter was kissing the swineherd, and then
hit their heads with his shoe just as the swineherd
received the sixty-eighth kiss.
"Go out of my sight," said the emperor, for he
was very angry; and both the princess and the swine-
herd were banished from the empire. There she stood
and cried, the swineherd scolded her, and the rain
came down in torrents.
"Alas, unfortunate creature that I am!" said the
princess, "I wish I had accepted the prince. Oh, how
'wretched I am !"
The swineherd went behind a tree, wiped his face,
threw off his poor attire and stepped forth in his
princely garments; he looked so beautiful that the
princess could not help bowing to him.
"I have now learned to despise you," he said. "You
refused an honest prince; you did not appreciate the
rose and the nightingale; but you did not mind kiss-
ing a swineherd for his toys; you have no one but
yourself to blame!"
And then he returned into his kingdom and left
her behind. -She could now sing at her leisure:
"A jolly old sow once lived in a sty,
Three littlepiggies had she," 'c.
The Old House.
DOWN yonder in the street stood an old, old house.
It was almost three hundred years old accord-
ing to the inscription on one of the beams,
which bore the date of its erection, surrounded by
tulips and trailing hops. There one could read whole
verses in old-fash-
ioned letters, and
over each window
a face, making all
kinds of grimaces,
had been carved in S
One story pro-
jected a long way
beyond the other,
and close under
the roof- was a
leaden gutter with
a dragon's head. I
was to run out of
the jaws, but it ran
out of the animal's stomach, for there was a hole in
All the other houses in the street were still new
and neat, with large window-panes and smooth walls.
It was plainly to be seen that they wished to have
16 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
nothing to do with the old house. Perhaps they were
thinking: "How long is that tumbled-down old thing
to remain a scandal to the whole street? The parapet
projects so far that no one can see from our windows
what is going on on the other side. The steps are as
broad as those of a castle, and as high as if they led to
a church steeple. The iron railings looked like the
gate of a family vault, and they have brass knobs too.
It is really too silly!"
Opposite, there were some more new neat houses,
and they thought just as the others; but at the win-
dow sat a little boy with fresh rosy cheeks and clear
sparkling eyes, and he was particular fond of the old
house, both by sunshine and by moonlight. And
when he gazed across at the wall where the plaster had
fallen off he could make out the strangest pictures of
how the street had formerly looked, with its open
staircases, parapets, and pointed gables; he could see
soldiers with halbreds, and gutters in the form of
dragons and griffins. It was a house worth looking
at, and in it lived an old man who went about in
leather knee-breeches, and wore a coat with great brass
buttons, and a wig which it was easy to see was a real
one. Every morning another old man came to clean
the place for him and to run on errands. With this
exception, the old man in the knee-breeches lived
quite alone in the old house. Occasionally he came to
the window and looked out, and the little boy would
nod to him, and the old man would nod back, and so
they became acquainted and became friends, although
they had never spoken to each other. But indeed that
was not at all necessary.
The Old House. 17
The little boy once heard his parents say: "The
old man opposite is very well off; but he is alone!"
On the following Sunday the little boy wrapped
something up in a piece of paper, went into the street
with it, and addressing the old man, who ran errands,
said: "Here! will you take this to the old man who
lives opposite, from me? I have two tin soldiers; this
is one of them, and he shall have it, because I know
he is quite alone."
And the old attendant looked pleased, nodded, and
took the tin soldier into the old house. Afterwards
word was sent over whether the little boy would not
like to come himself and pay a visit. His parents
gave him leave to do so, and he went over to the old
The brass knobs on the staircase railings shone
brighter than ever; one would have thought that they
had been polished on account of the visit. And it
looked just as if the carved trumpeters-for on the
door trumpeters had been carved all in tulips-were
blowing with all their might; their cheeks were more
blown out than before. Yes, they blew, "Ta-ta-ra-ta!
The little boy is coming! Ta-ta-ra-ta!" And then
the door opened. The whole hall was hung with old
portraits of knights in armor, and ladies in silk
dresses; and the armor clattered and the silk dresses
rustled. And then came a staircase which went up a
long way and then down a little bit, and then one
found oneself upon a balcony, which was certainly
very rickety, with large holes and long cracks; out of
all these grew grass, for the whole balcony, the court-
18 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
yard, and the wall was so overgrown with green that
it looked like a garden; but it was only a balcony.
Here stood old flower-pots which had faces and asses'
ears; but the flowers grew just as it pleased them. In
one pot pinks were growing over on all sides-that is
to say, the green part of them-sprout upon sprout.
And they said quite plainly: "The air has caressed
me, the sun has kissed me and promised me a little
flower on Sunday-a little flower on Sunday."
And then one came to a room where the walls
were covered with pigskin, and on the pigskin golden
flowers had been stamped.
"Gilding fades fast,
But pigskin will last!''
said the walls.
And there stood chairs with high backs, all carved
and with arms on each side. "Sit down," they said.
"Oh, how it cracks inside me! I am certainly getting
gouty, like the old cupboard. Gout in the back-
And then the little boy came to the room where
the old man was sitting.
"Thank you for the tin soldier, my little friend,"
said he, "and thank you for coming over to me."
"Thanks, thanks!" or rather, "Crick, crack.!" said
all the furniture. There was so much of it that the
pieces almost stood in each other's way to see the little
And in the middle of the wall hung a picture of a
beautiful lady, of young and cheerful appearance, but
dressed in the old-fashioned way, with powdered hair
THE TIN SOIDMER COMPPLAINS TO THE LITTLE BOY.
20 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
and clothes that stood out stiff. She said neither;
"Thanks" nor Crack," but looked down with kind
eyes upon the little boy, who immediately asked the
old man, Where did you get her from? "
"From the second-hand dealer over the way," said
the old man. "There are always a lot of portraits
hanging there; no
one knows who they
were or troubles
about them, for they
are all buried. But
I knew this lady
many years ago, and
now she has been
dead and gone these
And under the
portrait hung, in a
-frame, a bouquet of
faded flowers; they
were certainly half
A a century old. too-
at least they looked
:- ______. .And the pendu-
lum of the great
clock swung to and fro, and the hands moved, and
everything in the room grew older still; but no one
"They say at home," said the little boy, "that you
are always alone."
The Old House.
Oh!" replied the old man, the old thoughts, with
all that they bring with them, come and visit me; and
now you come too. I am very comfortable, I'm
And then he took from a shelf a book with pictures;
there were long processions and the most wonderful
coaches, such as are never seen now-a-days; soldiers
like the knave of clubs, and citizens with waving
banners. The tailors had a banner with a pair of
shears on it, held by two lions, and the shoemakers a
banner without any shoes, but with an eagle that had
two heads, for shoemakers must have everything in
such a way that they can say, "That's a pair!" What
a picture-book it was!
The old man went into the next room to get some
22 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
preserves, apples, and nuts. It was really glorious in
the old house.
"I can't stand it any longer !" said the tin soldier,
who was standing o0i the chest of drawers. "It is
quite too lonely and dull here. No; when once one
knows what family life is, there is no getting accus-
tomed to this kind of thing. I cannot stand it! The
day seemsalready long enough; but the evening is longer
still. Here it is not at all like it is at your house,
where your father and mother always talked pleasantly,
and where you and the other sweet children made a
capital noise. Dear me! how lonely it is here at the
old man's! Do you think he gets any kisses? Do
you think he gets friendly looks or a Christmas tree?
He'll get nothing but a grave I can't stand it!"
"You mustn't look at it from the dark side," said
the little boy. "All this seems to me extremely beau-
tiful, and all the old thoughts, with all that they bring
with them, come and visit here."
Yes, but I don't see them and I don't know them,"
said the tin soldier. "I can't stand it!"
"You must!" said the little boy.
The old man came with a most pleased look on his
face, and with the finest preserved fruits and apples
and nuts; then the little boy thought no more of
the tin soldier.
The little boy came home happy and pleased.
Days and weeks passed by, during which there was
a great deal of nodding both to and from the old
house; then the little boy went across again.
The carved trumpeters blew "Ta-ta-ra-ta There's
The Old House.
the little boy! Ta-ta-ra-ta!" The swords and armor
on the old knights' portraits clattered, and the silk
dresses rustled; the pigskin told tales, and the old
chairs had gout in their backs: "Oh!" It was just
like the first time, for over there one day or one
hour was just like another.
"I can't stand it!" said the tin soldier. "I have
wept tin. It is too dull here. Let me rather go to
war and lose my arms and legs. That would be at
least a change. I can't stand it Now I know what
it means to be visited by one's old thoughts, with
all that they bring with them. I have had visits
from mine, and you may believe me, that's no pleasure
in the long run. I was at last nearly jumping down
from the chest of drawers. I saw you all in the
house over there as plainly as if you were really
here. It was again Sunday morning, and you children
were all standing round the table singing the hymn
that you sing every morning. You were- standing
devoutly with folded hands, and father and mother
were also feeling very solemn; then the door opened
and your little sister Mary, who is not yet two years
old, and who always dances when she hears music
and singing, of whatever kind it may be, was brought
in. She ought not to have done so, but she began
to dance, though she could not get into the right
time, for the notes were too long drawn; so she
stood first on one leg and held her head forward,
but she could not keep it up long enough. You all
looked very earnest, though it was rather difficult to
do so; but I laughed inwardly, and therefore fell
24 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
down from the table and got a bump, which I have
still. It was certainly not right of me to laugh.
All this, and everything else that I have gone through,
now passes through me again, and these are, no doubt,
the old thoughts with all that they bring with them.
Tell me, do you still sing on Sundays? And tell me
something about little Mary. And how is my comrade,
the other tin soldier? He is certainly a very happy
fellow. I can't stand it !"
"You have been given away," said the little boy;
"you must stay. Can't you see that? "
Then the old man came with a chest in which there
were many things to be seen: little rouge-boxes and
scent-boxes and old cards, so large and so thickly gilt
as one never sees now-a-days. Many little boxes were
opened; the piano too, and on the inside of the lid of
this were painted landscapes. But it sounded quite
hoarse when the old man played upon it; then he nod-
ded to the portrait that he had bought at the second-
t hand dealer's, and his eyes sparkled quite brightly.
"I'll go to war! I'll go to war!" cried the tin
soldier, as loud as he could, and threw himself down
upon the floor.
Yes, but where had he gone ? The old man looked
for him and the little boy looked too, but away he
was, and away he stopped. "I'll find him some day,"
said the old man, but he never did; the flooring was
too open and full of holes. The tin soldier had fallen
through a crack, and there he now lay as in an open
The day passed, and the little boy came home.
The Old House.
Several weeks passed by; the windows were quite
frozen up, and the little boy had to breathe upon the
panes to make a peep-hole to look at the old house.
The snow had blown into all the carvings and inscrip-
tions, and covered the whole staircase, as if there were
no one in the house. And there was no one in the
house, either: the old man had died In the evening
a carriage stopped
at the door, and
upon that he was
placed in his cof-
fin; he was to rest
in his family vault ,. ,
in the country. So
he was carried "
away;.but no one
followed him, for i.
all his friends were
dead. The little
boy threw kisses i -"''
after the coffin as
it was driven by.
A few days
afterwards an auc-
tion was held in the old house, and the little boy saw
from his window how the old knights and the old
ladies, the flower-pots with the long ears, the chairs
and the old cupboards, were carried away. One went
this way, another that way; her portrait, that had been
bought from the second-hand dealer went back to his
26 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
shop, and there it remained hanging, for no one cared
about the old picture.
In the spring the old house itself was pulled down;
it was an old piece of lumber,-people said. You could
see from the street straight into the room with the pig-
skin wall-covering, which was torn down all in tatters,
and the green of the balcony hung in confusion around
the beams, which threatened a total downfall. And
now the place was cleared up.
"That's a good thing!" said the neighboring
A noble house was built, with large windows and
smooth white walls; but in front of the place where
the old house had stood a little garden was laid out and
wild vines crept up the neighbor's wall. Before the
garden were placed great iron railings with an iron
gate, looking very stately. People remained standing
before it and looked through. And the sparrows sat in
dozens upon the vine branches, all chattering at once
as loud as they could, but not about the old house, for
that they could not remember, many years having
passed-so many, that the little boy had grown into a
man, a sturdy man who was a great joy to his parents.
He was just married, and had moved with his wife into
the house which had the garden in front of it; and here
he stood beside her while she planted a field flower which
she thought very pretty; she planted it with her little
hand, pressing the earth close round it with her fingers.
"Oh! what was that?" She had pricked herself.
Out of the soft ground something pointed was sticking
up. It was-just fancy !-the tin soldier, the same
The Old House.
that had been lost up at the old man's, that had been
roaming about for a long time amongst old wood and
rubbish, and that had now lain already many years in
The young wife first dried the soldier with a green
leaf, and then with her dainty handkerchief, which
The tin soldier felt just as if he were waking up out
of a swoon.
"Let me see him!" said the young man. He
smiled and then shook his head. "No, it can hardly
be the same one; but it reminds me of the story of a
tin soldier which I had when I was a little boy." And
then he told his wife about the old house and the old
man, and the tin soldier which he had sent across to
him because he was so lonely; and the tears came into
the young wife's eyes when she heard of the old house
and the old man.
"But it is quite possible that this is the very tin
soldier! said she. "I will take care of him and re-
member what you have told me; but you must show
me the old man's grave."
"I don't know where it is," he replied, "and no one
knows. All his friends were dead; no one tended it,
and I was only a little boy."
"Oh how lonely he must have been !" said she.
"Yes, very lonely !" said the tin soldier; but it is
glorious not to be forgotten."
Glorious !" exclaimed a voice close by; but no one
except the tin soldier saw that it came from a rag of
28 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
the pigskin hangings, which had now lost all its gild-
ing. It looked like wet earth; but still it had an
opinion which it expressed as follows:
But pgskin will last!
But the tin soldier did not believe it.
The Story of a Mother.
A MOTHER was sitting by her little child; she
was very sad, for she was afraid that it was going
to die. Its little face was pale, and the little
eyes were closed. The child breathed with difficulty,
and at times as deeply as if it were sighing, and the
mother looked more and more sadly at the little being.
There was a knock at the door, and a poor old man
came in wrapped up in a large horse-cloth to keep him
warm; he had need of it, too, for it was in the depth
of winter. Outside every thing was covered with ice
and snow, and the wind blew so keenly that it cut one's
As the old man was shivering with cold and the
child was asleep for a moment, the woman got up and
warmed some beer in the oven in a little pot. The old
man sat down and rocked the cradle, while the mother
also sat down on an old chair next to him, looking at her
sick child, who was breathing so heavily, and holding
his little hand.
"You don't think I am going to lose it, do you?"
she asked. "Heaven will not take it from me."
The old man-it was Death-nodded his head in
such a strange way that it might just as well have
meant "Yes" as "No." The mother looked down and
tears rolled over her cheeks. Her head began to feel
heavy; for three days and three nights she had not
closed her eyes, and now she slept, but only for a min-
30 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
ute; then she jumped up shivering with cold. "What
is it?" she asked, looking all around her; but the old
man was gone and her little child too. He had taken
it with him. The wheels of the old clock in the
corer went whirring round; the heavy leaden weight
ran right down to the ground, and then the clock stood
The poor mother rushed out of the house, calling
for her child.
Outside, in the midst of the snow, sat a woman in
long black clothes, who said: Death has been in your
room; I saw him hurry away with your little child.
He strides along more quickly than the wind, and
never brings back what he has taken."
"Only tell me which way he went," said the
mother. "Tell me the way, and I will find him."
"I know the way," said the woman in black; "but
before I. tell it you, you must sing me all the songs
you sung to your child. I like those songs; I have
heard them before, for I am Night and saw your tears
when you were singing them."
"I will sing them all-all!" said the mother.
"But do not detain me now; let me overtake him, so
that I may get my child back."
But Night sat dumb and motionless. The mother
wrung her hands, singing and weeping. There were
many songs, but still more tears. Then Night said:
"Go to the right into the dark pine forest; thither I
saw Death wend his way with the little child."
In the depths of the forest the road divided, and
she did not know in which direction to go. There
THE OLD MAN WAS SHIVERING WITH COrD.
32 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
stood a blackthorn bush, without any leaves, or flow-
ers; for it was winter time, and icicles hung from its
"Have you seen Death pass by with my little
"Yes," replied the blackthorn bush; "but I shall
not tell you which road he took unless you first warm
me at your bosom. I am freezing to death here-I
am turning into pure ice!"
So she pressed the blackthorn bush close to her
bosom in order to thaw it completely. The thorns
pierced her flesh and her blood flowed in large drops.
But the blackthorn bush put forth fresh green leaves
and blossomed in the cold winter's night; so warm is
the heart of a sorrowing mother. Then the bush told
her which road she was to take.
She came to a great lake upon which there was
neither ship nor boat. The lake was not frozen hard
enough to bear her, nor was it shallow and even
enough for her to wade through it, and yet she must
cross it if she wished to find her child. Then she lay
down to drink the lake dry, but that was impossible
for one person to do. The sorrowing mother, how-
ever, thought that perhaps a miracle might be
"No, that will never do," said the lake. "Let us
rather see whether we can come to some agreement.
I love to collect pearls, and your eyes are two of the
brightest I have ever seen; if you will weep them out
into me, I will carry you over to the great hothouse
The Story of a Mother. 33
where Death lives and where he grows flowers and
trees, each one of which is a human life."
"Oh, what would I not give to get back my
child!" said the sobbing mother. She wept still more,
and her eyes fell down to the bottom of the lake and
became two costly pearls. Then the lake took her up
as though she was sitting in a swing, and in one
sweep wafted her to the opposite shore, where stood a
wonderful house, miles in length. It was difficult to
say whether it was a mountain with forests and caves,
or whether it had been built. But the poor mother
could not see it; she had cried out her eyes.
"Where shall I find Death, who took my little
child away?" she asked.
"He has not arrived here yet," said an old grey-
haired woman, who was walking to and fro and
guarding Death's hothouse. "But how did you find
your way here, and who helped you? "
"Heaven has helped me," she answered. "It is
merciful, and that you will be too. Where shall I
find my little child?"
"I don't know it," said the old woman, "and you
can't see. Many flowers and trees have faded during
the night, and Death will soon come to transplant
them. You know very well that every human being
has his treat of life or his flower of life, according to
how it has been arranged for each. They look just
like other plants, but their hearts beat. Children's
hearts can beat too. If you try, perhaps you may be
able to recognize the heart-beat of your child. But
Andersen's Fairy Tales.
what will you give me if I tell you what else you
I have nothing to give," said the unhappy mother.
"But I will go to the end of the world for you."
I have nothing there for you to do," said the old
woman; "but you can give me your long black hair.
I daresay you know yourself'that it is beautiful; it
pleases me. You can have my white locks for it; they
are better than nothing."
"Is that all you want?" she said. "I will give
that with pleasure." And she gave her her beautiful
hair, receiving for it the snow-white locks of the old
Then they went into Death's great hothouse, where
flowers and trees grew strangely intermingled. Here
stood some delicate hyacinths under glass bells, and
great strong peonies. There grew water-plants, some
quite fresh, others somewhat sickly; water-snakes lay
upon them, and black crabs clung fast to the stalks. In
another place were splendid palm-trees, oaks, and plan-
tains, parsley and blooming thyme. All the trees and
flowers bore names; each one was a human life, and
the people they represented were still living, some in
China, others in Greenland, and all over the world.
There were great trees planted in small pots, so that
they were cramped and almost bursting the pots; and
there was also many a weakly little flower set in rich
mould, with moss all round it, and well taken care of
and tended. The anxious mother bent down over all
the little plants to hear the human heart beating in
The Story of a Mother. 35
each, and from among millions she recognized that of
"There it is !" she cried, and stretched out her hand
towards a little crocus, which was feebly hanging over
on one side.
"Don't touch the flower!" said the old woman,
"but stand here, and when Death comes-I expect him
36 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
every moment-don't let him tear up the plant, but
threaten him that you will do the same with the other
flowers; that will frighten him He is responsible for
them to Heaven; not one may be pulled up before
permission has been given."
Suddenly an icy blast swept through the hall, and
the blind mother felt that it was Death who was ap-
"How could you find the way here?" he asked.
"How were you able to come here more quickly
"I am a mother! she replied.
Death stretched out his long hand towards the
small delicate flower; but she held her hands firmly
round it, held them clasped-oh! so closely, and yet
full of anxious care lest she should touch one of the
petals. Then Death breathed upon her hands, and she
felt that this was colder than the cold wind; and her
hands sank down powerless.
"You have no power to resist me !" said Death.
"But Heaven has said she.
"I only do its will," said Death. "I am its
gardener. I take up all its flowers and trees and trans-
plant them into the great Garden of Paradise, into the
Unknown Land. How they thrive there and what that
life is like I may not tell you."
"Give me back my child !" said the mother, weep-
ing and imploring.
Suddenly she grasped two pretty flowers'firmly in
her hands, and called out to Death: I will tear up all
your flowers, for I am in despair."
The Story of a Mother. 37
Do not touch them said Death. You say that
you are so unhappy, and would you now make another
mother as unhappy as yourself? "
"Another mother!" exclaimed the poor mother,
and immediately let both flowers go.
Here are your eyes," said Death. I fished them
up out of the lake; they were sparkling brightly at the
bottom; I did not know that they were yours. Take
them back-they are now even brighter than before-
and then look down into this deep well. I will utter
the names of the flowers you were about to tear up,
and you will see what you were on the point of de-
She looked down into the well; it was a glorious
thing to see how one of the lives became a blessing to
the world, to see how much happiness and joy diffused
itself around it. She also saw the life of the other,
which consisted in sorrow and want, trouble and
"Both are the will of God !" said Death.
"Which of them is the flower of unhappiness, and
which the blessed one?" she asked.
"That I will not tell you," answered Death; but
this you shall learn from me, that one of the flowers is
that of your own child. It was the fate of your child
that you saw-the future of your own child."
Then the mother shrieked with terror. "Which
of them is that of my child? Tell me that! Liberate
the innocent child! Release my child from all this
misery I Rather take it away Take it to the King-
3'8 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
dom of God! Forget my tears, forget my entreaties
and all that I have done!"
"I don't understand you," said Death. "Will you
have your child back, or shall I take it to that place
that you do not know?"
Then the mother wrung her hands, and falling on
her knees, prayed to the good God: "Hear me not
when I pray contrary to Thy will, for Thy will is ever
best Hear me not! Hear me not! "
Her head sank down upon her breast, and Death
went with her child to the Unknown Land.
N the narrow streets of a large town people often
heard in the evening, when the sun was setting,
and his last rays gave a golden tint to the chimney-
pots, a strange noise which resembled the sound of a
church bell; it only lasted an instant, for it was lost
in the continual roar of traffic and hum of voices
which rose from the town. "The evening bell is
ringing," people used to say; "the sun is setting!"
Those who walked outside the town, where the houses
were less crowded and interspersed by gardens and
little fields, saw the evening sky much better, and
heard the sound of the bell much more clearly. It
seemed as though the sound came from a church, deep
in the calm, fragrant wood, and thither people looked
with devout feelings.
A considerable time elapsed: one said to the other,
"I really wonder if there is a church out in the wood.
The bell has indeed a strange sweet sound Shall we
go there and see what the cause of it is?" The rich
drove, the poor walked, but the way seemed to them
extraordinarily long, and when they arrived at a num-
ber of willow trees on the border of the wood they sat
down, looked up into the great branches and thought
they were now really in the wood. A confectioner
from the town also came out and put up a stall there;
then came another confectioner who hung a bell over
40 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
his stall, which was covered with pitch to protect it
from the rain, but the clapper was wanting.
When people came home they used to say that it
had been very romantic, and that really means some-
thing else than merely taking tea. Three persons
declared that they had gone as far as the end of the
wood; they had always heard the strange sound, but
there it seemed to them as if it came from the town.
One of them wrote verses about the bell, and said that it
was like the voice of a mother speaking to an intelligent
and beloved child; no tune, he said, was sweeter than
the sound of the bell.
The emperor of the country heard of it, and de-
clared that he who would really find out where the
sound came from should receive the title of Bellringer
to the World," even if there was no bell at all.
Now many went out into the wood for the sake of
this splendid berth; but only one of them came back
with some sort of explanation. None of them had
gone far enough, nor had he, and yet he said that the
sound of the bell came from. a large owl in a hollow
tree. It was a wisdom owl, which continually knocked
its head against the tree, but he was unable to say with
certainty whether its head or the hollow trunk of the
tree was the cause of the noise.
He was appointed "Bellringer to the World," and
wrote every year a short dissertation on the owl, but
by this means people did not become any wiser than
they had been before.
It was just confirmation-day. The clergyman had
delivered a beautiful and touching sermon, the candi-
dates were deeply moved by it; it was indeed a very
important day for them: they were all at once trans-
formed from mere children to grown-up people; the
childish soul was to fly over, as it were, into a more
The sun shone most brightly; and the sound of
the great unknown bell was heard more distinctly than
ever. They had a mind to go thither, all except three.
One of them wished to go home and try on her ball
dress, for this very dress and the ball were the cause of
her being confirmed this time, otherwise she would not
have been allowed to go. The second, a poor boy, had
borrowed a coat and a pair of boots from the son of his
landlord to be confirmed in, and he had to return them
at a certain time. The third said that he never went
into strange places if his parents were not with him;
he had always been a good child, and wished to remain
so, even after being confirmed, and they ought not to
tease him for this; they, however, did it all the same.
These three, therefore, did not go; the others went on.
The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the
confirmed children sang too, holding each other by the
hand, for they had no position' yet, and they were all
equal in the eyes of God. Two of the smallest soon
became tired and returned to the town; two little girls
sat down and made garlands of flowers, they, therefore,
did not go on. When the others arrived at the willow
trees, where the confectioner had put up his stall, they
said: "Now we are out here; the bell does not in
reality exist-it is only something that people imagine!"
Then suddenly the sound of the bell was heard so
Andersen's Fairy Tales.
beautifully and solemnly from the wood that four or five
made up their minds to go still further on. The wood
was very thickly grown. It was difficult to advance:
wood lilies and anemones grew almost too high; flow-
ering convolvuli and brambles were hanging like gar-
lands from tree to tree; while the nightingales were
singing and the sunbeams played. That was very
beautiful! But the way was unfit for the girls; they
would have torn their dresses. Large rocks, covered
with moss of various hues, were lying about; the fresh
spring.water rippled forth with a peculiar sound. I
don't think that can be the bell," said one of the con-
firmed children, and then he lay down and listened.
"We must try to find out if it is!" And there he
remained, and let the others walk on.
They came to a hut built of the bark of trees and
branches; a large crab-apple tree spread its branches
over it, as if it intended to pour all its fruit on the roof,
upon which roses were blooming; the long boughs
covered the gable, where a little bell was hanging.
Was this the one they had heard? All agreed that it
must be so, except one who said that the bell was too
small and too thin to be heard at such a distance, and
that it had quite a different sound to that which had so
touched men's hearts.
He who spake was a king's son, and therefore the
others said that such a one always wishes to be cleverer
than other people.
Therefore they let him go alone; and as he walked
on, the solitude of the wood produced a feeling of
reverence in his breast; but still he heard the little bell
TH- KING'S SON HEARS THE BIEL.
44 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
about which the others rejoiced, and sometimes, when
the wind blew in that direction, he could hear the
sounds from the confectioner's stall, where the others
were singing at tea. But the deep sounds of the bell
were much stronger; soon it seemed to him as if an
organ played an accompaniment-the sound came from
the left, from the side where the heart is. Now some-
thing rustled among the bushes, and a little boy stood
before the king's son, in wooden shoes and such a short
jacket that the sleeves did not reach to his wrists.
They knew each other: the boy was the one who had
not been able to go with them because he had to take
the coat and boots back to his landlord's son. That he
had done, and had started again in his wooden shoes
and old clothes, for the sound of the bell was too en-
ticing-he felt he must go on.
"We might go together," said the king's son.
But the poor boy with the wooden shoes was quite
ashamed; he pulled at the short sleeves of his jacket,
and said that he was afraid he could not walk so fast;
besides, he was of opinion that the bell ought to be
sought at the right, for there was all that was grand
"Then we shall not meet," said the king's son,
nodding to the poor boy, who went into the deepest
part of the wood, where thorns tore his shabby clothes
and scratched his hands, face, and feet until they bled.
The king's son also received several good scratches, but
the sun was shining on his way, and it is he whom we
will now follow, for he was a quick fellow. "I will
and must find the bell," he said, "if I have to go to
the end of the world."
Ugly monkeys sat high in the branches and
clenched their teeth. "Shall we beat him?" they
said. "Shall we thrash him? He is a king's son!"
But he walked on undaunted, deeper and deeper
into the wood, where the most wonderful flowers were
growing; there were standing white star lilies with
blood-red stamens, sky-blue tulips shining when the
wind moved them; apple-trees covered with apples
like large glittering soap bubbles: only think how re-
splendent these trees were in the sunshine! All around
were beautiful green meadows, where hart and hind
played in the grass. There grew magnificent oaks
and beech-trees; and if the bark was split of any
of them, long blades of grass grew out of the clefts;
there were also large smooth lakes in the wood, on
which the swans were swimming about and flapping
their wings. The king's son often stood. still and
listened; sometimes he thought that the sound of the
bell rose up to him out of one of these deep lakes, but
soon he found that this was a mistake, and that the
bell was ringing still farther in the wood. Then the
sun set, the clouds were as red as fire; it became quiet
in the wood; he sank down on his knees, sang an
evening hymn and said: "I shall never find what I
am looking for! Now the sun is setting, and the
night,. the dark night, is approaching. Yet I may
perhaps see the round sun once more before he disap-
pears beneath the horizon. I will climb up these
rocks, they are as high as the highest trees!" And
46 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
then, taking hold of the creepers and roots, he climbed
up on the wet stones, where water-snakes were wrig-
gling and the toads, as it were, barked at him: he
reached the top before the sun, seen from such a
height, had quite set. "Oh, what a splendour!"' The
sea, the great majestic sea, which was rolling its long
waves against the shore, stretched out before him, and
the sun was standing like a large bright altar out
there where sea and heaven met-all melted together
in the most glowing colors; the wood was singing,
and his heart too. The whole of nature was one large
holy church, in which the trees and hovering clouds
formed the pillars, the flowers and grass the woven
velvet carpet, and heaven itself was the great cupola;
up there the flame col6r vanished as soon as the sun
disappeared, but millions of stars were lighted; dia-
mond lamps were shining, and the king's son
stretched his arms out towards heaven, towards the
sea, and toward the wood. Then suddenly the poor
boy with the short-sleeved jacket and the wooden
shoes appeared; he had arrived just as quickly on the
road he had chosen. And they ran towards each
other and took one another's hand, in the great cathe-
dral of nature and poesy, and above them sounded the
invisible holy bell; happy spirits surrounded them,
singing hallelujahs, and rejoicing.
The Red Shoes.
ONCE upon a time there was a little girl, pretty
and dainty. But in summer-time she was
obliged to go barefooted because she was poor,
and in winter she had to wear large wooden shoes, so
that her little instep grew quite red.
In the middle of the village lived an old shoemaker's
wife; she sat down and made, as well as she could,
a pair of little shoes out of some old pieces of red
cloth. They were clumsy, but she meant well, for
they were intended for the little girl, whose name was
Karen received the shoes and wore them for the
first time on the day of her mother's funeral. They
were certainly not suitable for mourning; but she had
no others, and so she put her bare feet into them and
walked behind the humble coffin.
Just then a large old carriage came by, and in it
sat an old lady; she looked at the little girl, and taking
48 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
pity on her, said to the clergyman, Look here, if you
will give me the little girl, I will take care of her."
Karen believed that this was all on account of the
red shoes, but the old lady thought them hideous, and so
they were burned. Karen herself was dressed very neatly
and cleanly; she was taught to read and to sew, and
people said that she was pretty. But the mirror told
her, "You are more than pretty-you are beautiful."
One day the Queen was travelling through that
part of the country, and had her little daughter, who
was a princess, with her. All the people, amongst them
Karen too, streamed towards the castle, where the little
princess, in fine white clothes, stood before the win-
dow and allowed herself to be stared at. She wore
neither a train nor a golden crown, but beautiful red
morocco shoes ; they were indeed much finer than those
which the shoemaker's wife had sewn for little Karen.
There is really nothing in the world that can be com-
pared to red shoes!
Karen was now old enough to be confirmed; she
received some new clothes, and she was also to have
some new shoes. The rich shoemaker in the town
took the measure of her little foot in his own room,
in which there stood great glass cases full of pretty
shoes and white slippers. It all looked very lovely,
but the old lady could not see very well, and therefore
did not get much pleasure out of it. Amongst the
shoes stood a pair of red ones, like those which the
princess had worn. How beautiful they were! and the
shoemaker said they had been made for a count's
daughter, but that they had not fitted her.
'I., I I,
/ I' "i '
THE RID SHOES.
2K, 7/ rx,/
I- i .: -
Andersen's Fairy Tales.
"I suppose they are of shiny leather?" asked the
old lady. "They shine so."
Yes, they do shine," said Karen. They fitted her,
and were bought. But the old lady knew nothing of
their being red, for she would never have allowed Karen
to be confirmed in red shoes, as she was now to be.
Everybody looked at her feet, and the whole of the
way from the church door to the choir it seemed to her
as if even the ancient figures on the monuments, in
their stiff collars and long black robes, had their eyes
fixed on her red shoes. It was only of these that she
thought when the clergyman laid his hand upon her
head and spoke of the holy baptism, of the covenant
with God, and told her that she was now to be a grown-
up Christian. The organ pealed forth solemnly, and
the sweet children's voices mingled with that of their
old leader; but Karen thought only of her red shoes.
In the afternoon the old lady heard from everybody
that Karen had worn red shoes. She said that it was
a shocking thing to do, that it was very improper, and
that Karen was always to go to church in future in
black shoes, even if they were old.
On the following Sunday there was Communion.
Karen looked first at the black shoes, then at the red
ones-looked at the red ones again, and put them on.
The sun was shining gloriously, so Karen and the
old lady went along the footpath through the corn,
where it was rather dusty.
At the church door stood an old crippled soldier
leaning on a crutch; he had a wonderfully long beard,
more red than white, and he bowed down to the ground
The Red Shoes.
and asked the old lady whether he might wipe her
shoes. Then Karen put out her little foot too. "Dear
me, what pretty dancing shoes !" said the soldier. "Sit
fast, when you dance," said he, addressing the shoes,
and slapping the soles with his hand.
The old lady gave the soldier some money and then
went with Karen into the church.
And all the people inside looked at Karen's red
shoes, and all the figures gazed at them; when Karen
knelt before the altar and put the golden goblet to her
mouth, she thought only of the red shoes. It seemed
to her as though they were swimming about in the
goblet, and she forgot to sing the psalm, forgot to say
the Lord's Prayer."
Now every one came out of church, and the old
lady stepped into her carriage. But just as Karen was
52 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
lifting up her foot to get in too, the old soldier said:
" Dear me, what pretty dancing shoes!" and Karen
could not help it, she was obliged to dance a few steps;
and when she had once begun, her legs continued to
dance. It seemed as if the shoes had got power over
them. She danced round the church corner, for she
could not stop; the coachman had to run after her and
seize her. He lifted her into the carriage, but her feet
continued to dance, so that she kicked the good old
lady violently. At last they took off her shoes, and
her legs were at rest.
At home the shoes were put into the cupboard, but
Karen could not help looking at them.
Now the old lady fell ill, and it was said that she
would not rise from her bed again. She had to be
nursed and waited upon, and this was no one's duty
more than Karen's. But there was a grand ball in the
town, and Karen was invited. She looked at the red
shoes, saying to herself that there was no sin in that;
she put the red shoes on, thinking there was no harm
in that either; and then she went to the ball and com-
menced to dance.
But when she wanted to go to the right, the shoes
danced to the left, and when she wanted to dance up
the room, the shoes danced down the room, down the
stairs through the street, and out through the gates of
the town. She danced, and was obliged to dance, far
out into the dark wood. Suddenly something shone
up among the trees, and she believed it was the moon,
for it was a face. But it was the old soldier with the
The Red Shoes. 53
red beard; he sat there nodding his head and said:
"Dear me, what pretty dancing shoes "
She was frightened, and wanted to throw the red
shoes away; but they stuck fast. She tore off her
stockings, but the shoes had grown fast to her feet.
She danced and was obliged to go on dancing over
field and meadow, in rain and sunshine, by night and
by day-but by night it was most horrible.
She danced out into the open churchyard; but the
dead there did not dance. They had something better
to do than that. She wanted to sit down on the pau-
per's grave where the bitter fern grows; but for her
there was neither peace nor rest. And as she danced
past the open church door she saw an angel there in
54 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
long white robes, with wings reaching from his
shoulders down. to the earth; his face was stern and
grave, and in his hand he held a broad shining sword.
"Dance you shall," said he, "dance in your red
shoes till you are pale and cold, till your skin shrivels
up and you are a skeleton! Dance you shall, from
door to door, and where proud and wicked children
live you shall knock, so that they i-ay hear you and
fear you! Dance you shall, dance-- "
: Mercy cried Karen. But she did not hear what
the angel answered, for the shoes carried her through
the gate" into the fields, along highways and byways,
and unceasingly she had to dance.
One morning she danced past a door that she knew
well; they were singing a psalm inside, and a coffin
was being carried out covered with flowers. Then she
knew that she was forsaken by every one and damned
by the angel of God.
She danced, and was obliged to go on dancing
through the dark night. The shoes bore her away
over thorns and stumps till she was all torn and bleed-
ing; she danced away over the heath to a lonely little
house. Here, she knew, lived the executioner; and
she tapped with her finger at the window and said:
Come out, come out! I cannot come in, for I must
And the executioner said: I don't suppose you
know who I am. I strike off the heads of the wicked,
and I notice that my axe is tingling to do so."
Don't cut off my head !" said Karen, for then I
The Red Shoes.
could not repent of my sin. But cut off my feet with
the red shoes."
And then she confessed all her sin, and the execu-
tioner struck off her feet with the red shoes; but the
shoes danced away with the little feet across the field
into the deep forest.
And he carved her a pair of wooden feet and. some
crutches, and taught her a psalm which is always sung
by sinners; she kissed the hand that had guided the
axe, and went away over the heath.
Now, I have suffered enough for the red shoes,"
she said; "I will go to church, so that people can see
me." And she went quickly up to the church-door;
56 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
but when she came there, the red shoes were dancing
before her, and she was frightened, and turned back.
During the whole week she was sad and wept many
bitter tears, but when Sunday came again she said:
" Now I have suffered and striven enough. I believe
I am quite as good as many of those who sit in church
and give themselves airs." And so she went boldly
on; but she had not got farther than the churchyard
gate when she saw the red shoes dancing along before
her. Then she became terrified, and turned back and
repented right heartily of her sin.
She went to the parsonage, and begged that she
might be taken into service there. She would be in-
dustrious, she said, and do everything that she could;
she did not mind about the wages as long as she had
a roof over her, and was with good people. The pas-
tor's wife had pity on her, and took her into her ser-
,vice. And she was industrious and thoughtful. She
sat quiet and listened when the pastor read aloud from
the Bible in the evening. All the children liked her
very much, but when they spoke about dress and
grandeur and beauty she would shake her head.
On the following Sunday they all went to church,
and she was asked whether she wished to go too; but,
with tears in her eyes, she looked sadly at her crutches.
And then the others went to hear God's Word, but she
went alone into her little room; this was only large
enough to hold the bed and a chair. Here she sat down
with her hymn-book, and as she was reading it with a
pious mind, the wind carried the notes of the organ
The Red Shoes.
over to her from the church, and in tears she lifted up
her face and said: 0 God help me !"
Then the sun shone so brightly, and right before
her stood an
angel of God in
white robes; it
was the same
one whom she
had seen that
night at the
He no longer
but a beautiful
full of roses;
with this he
rose up very
high, and where
he had touched
it there shone a
golden star. He
apart, and she saw the organ which was pealing forth;
she saw the pictures of the old pastors and their wives,
and the congregation sitting in the polished chairs and
58 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
singing from their hymn-books. The church itself
had come to the poor girl in her narrow room, or the
room had gone to the church. She sat in the pew
with the rest of the pastor's household, and when they
had finished the hymn and looked up, they nodded
and said, It was right of you to come, Karen."
"It was mercy," said she.
The organ played and the children's voices in the
choir sounded soft and lovely. The bright warm sun-
shine streamed through the window into the pew
where Karen sat, and her heart became so filled with
it, so filled with peace and joy, that it broke. Her
soul flew on the sunbeams to Heaven, and no one was
there who asked after the Red Shoes.
THERE lived once a rich gentleman whose whole
goods and chattels consisted of a boot-jack and
a hair-brush, but he wore the finest shirt-collar
in the world, and it is about this very shirt-collar that
we shall hear a story. The shirt-collar had now
become so old that it thought of getting married; and
it happened that it was sent to the laundress together
with a garter.
"Truly," said the shirt-collar, "I have never seen
anybody so slender and refined, so tender and nice
before! May I ask for your name?"
"I shall not answer you," replied the garter.
"Where do you live?" continued the shirt-collar,
But the garter was somewhat shy, and thought it
strange to be expected to answer such questions.
"I suppose you are a girdle," said the shirt-collar,
"a sort of inside girdle. I see you are useful as well
as ornamental, my little lady!"
"Do not speak to me," said the garter, "I think I
have given you no encouragement to do so!"
"If one is as beautiful as you are," said the shirt-
collar, "is this not encouragement enough?"
"Go way, and do not come too close to me!" said
the garter, "you look exactly like a man."
"I am a gentleman, indeed," said the shirt-collar,
"I possess a boot-jack and a hair-brush !"
But that was not true, for it was his master who
possessed these articles.
60 Andersen's. Fairy Tales.
Do not come too near me! said the garter, I
am not accustomed to that."
"Conceited thing!" said the shirt-collar.
Then they were taken out of the wash-tub,
stretched and put on a chair in the sunshine to dry,
and put on the ironing-board. And now came the hot
"Mistress widow!" cried the shirt-collar, "little
mistress widow, I am getting very warm! I am turn-
ing quite another being, all my creases are coming
out; you are burning a hole in me! Ugh! I propose
"Wretch !" said the iron, proudly passing over.the
shirt-collar, for it imagined itself a steam-engine
which was to run on metals and draw carriages.
"Wretch!" it repeated.
As the edges of the shirt-collar were a little frayed,
the scissors were brought to trim it. "I believe," said
the shirt-collar, addressing the scissors, "you must be a
first-class dancer. How you can throw your legs up!
I have never seen anything more charming; no
human being can do what you do."
I know," replied the scissors.
"You deserve to be made a countess," continued
the shirt-collar. "All I possess is a gentleman, a
boot-jack, and a hair-brush. I wish, for your sake,
that I had an earl's estate."
"What! He will propose to me!" said the scissors,
and became so angry, that they cut too deeply into
the shirt-collar, and it had to be turned out as useless.
"I shall have to propose to the hair-brush,"
62 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
thought the shirt-collar. One day it said, speaking to
the hair-brush: "What remarkably beautiful hair you
have, my little lady! Have you never thought of be-
coming engaged? "
"Of course. How could you have any doubt
about this?" replied the hair-brush. "I am engaged
to the boot-jack."
"Engaged?" said the shirt-collar. And there was
now nobody left to propose to, the shirt-collar began
to despise all love-makings.
A long time passed after this; the shirt-collar came
at last into the bag of the paper-maker! There was a
large company of rags, the fine ones lay apart from the
coarse ones, as it ought to be. They had all a great
deal to tell, but most of all the shirt-collar, for it was a
"I have had no end of love-affairs," said the shirt-
collar; "they never left me alone; but, of course, I was
a distinguished gentleman, and well starched. I pos-
sessed a boot-jack and a hair-brush, which I never
used. You ought to have seen me-seen me when I
was put aside! I shall never forget my first love! It
was a girdle, and how fine, soft and nice it was! My
first love threw itself for my sake into a large wash-
ing-tub. There was also a widow, which loved me
very ardently, but I left it and it turned quite black!
Then there was a first-class dancer, the very person
which inflicted the wound upon me which you still
see; it was a very excitable being. My own hair-
brush was in love with me-and lost all its hairs
because I disappointed it. I have seen a great deal of
The ShirtCollar. 63
this sort of thing, but most of all I am sorry for the
garter-girdle, I intended to say-which -threw itself
into a washing-tub. I have a great deal to answer for;
it is time that I should be turned into white paper.
And to this the collar was transformed at last, the
very same paper on which this story here is printed,
because it had bragged so much and told things which
were not true. And we ought to remember this, and
never imitate the shirt-collar, for who knows if we
may not one day also come into the rag-bag and be
turned to white paper, upon which our whole story,
even its most secret parts, might be printed, so that
we should be obliged, like the shirt-collar, to run
about and tell it ourselves.
IN China, as you know, the emperor is a Chinaman,
and all those he has about him are Chinamen too.
The following story happened many years ago, but
that is just why it is worth hearing before it is forgot-
ten. The emperor's castle was the most beautiful in
the world and was entirely of fine porcelain; it was
very costly, but so brittle and delicate to touch, that
one had to be very careful. In the garden were seen
the most wonderful flowers, to the finest of which tink-
ling silver bells were tied, lest people should pass
without noticing them. Indeed, everything in the
emperor's garden was well thought out, and it was such
a large one that the gardener himself did not know
where it ended. If you kept on walking you came to
a noble forest with high trees and deep lakes. The
forest sloped straight down to the deep blue sea, and
large ships could sail right up under the branches of
the trees. In one of these trees there lived a night-
ingale who sang so beautifully that even the poor fish-
ermen, who had plenty of other things to do, would
stop and listen when, on going out at night to spread
their nets, they heard it sing. Heavens how beau-
tiful that is," they would say; but they had to attend
to their work and forget the bird. So if it sang again
next night, and the fishermen came that way, they
would again exclaim, How beautiful that bird sings !"
Travellers came from every country in the world to
The Nightingale. 65
the emperor's city, which they admired very much, as
well as the castle and the garden. But when they
heard the nightingale, they would exclaim, "That is
the best of all!" And when the travellers returned
home they told of these things, fand the learned ones
wrote many books about the town, the castle, and the
garden. Neither did they forget the nightingale: that
was praised most of all, and those who could write
poetry wrote most beautiful poems about the night-
ingale in the wood by the deep sea.
These books travelled all over the world, and some
of them came into the hands of the emperor. He sat
in his golden chair reading and reading on; every mo-
ment he nodded his head, for it pleased him to find the
beautiful descriptions of the city, the castle and the
garden. Then he came to the words:
"But the nightingale is the best of all I"
"What is this?" said he. "I don't know the
nightingale at all: Is there such a bird in my empire,
and even in my garden? I have never heard of it
Fancy learning such a thing for the first time from a
Hereupon he called his chamberlain, who was so
important that when any one of lower rank than him-
self dared to speak to him or ask him anything, he
would only answer Pooh! and that meant nothing.
"There is said to be a most remarkable bird here,
called the nightingale," said the emperor. "They say
it is the finest thing in my great empire. Why have
I never been told about it?"
I have never heard it mentioned before," said the
66 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
chamberlain. "It has never been presented at court."
"I wish it to come and sing before me this evening,"
said the emperor. "The whole world knows what I
possess, while I myself do not"
"I have never heard it mentioned before," said the
chamberlain; "but I shall look for it and I shall
But where was it to be found? The chamberlain
ran up and down all the stairs, through halls and
corridors, but not one of those whom he met had heard
of the nightingale. So he ran back to the emperor,
and said that it must certainly be an invention of
those people who wrote books.
"Your Imperial Majesty will scarcely believe," said
he, "what things are written in books. It is all fiction
and something that is called the black art."
"But the book in which I have read this," said the
emperor, "has been sent to me by the high and mighty
Emperor of Japan, and there cannot therefore be any-
thing untrue in it. I will hear the .nightingale It
must be liere this evening It has my highest favor,
and if it does not come, the whole court shall be
trampled upon after supper."
"Tsing pe!" said the chamberlain, and ran up and
down all the stairs again, and through all the halls and
corridors; -and half the court ran with him, for they
were not at all desirous of being trampled upon. Thet
there was a great inquiry after the remarkable nightin-
gale which was known to all the world except to the
people at court.
The Nightingale. 67
At last they came upon a poor little girl in the
kitchen, who said, Dear me, I know the nightingale
well, and it can sing too! Every 'evening I have
leave to take home to my poor sick mother the scrap's
from the table; she lives down by the seashore, and
when I am tired I sit down to rest in the wood as I
come back, and then I hear the nightingale sing. It
makes the tears come into my eyes, and I feel just as
if my mother were kissing me."
said the chamber-
lain, "I will get
you an appoint-
ment in the kitch- -
en, and permission
to see the emperor
dine, if you will
lead us to the
nightingale, for it
has been com-
manded to appear
So they all went out into the wood, where the
nightingale was wont to sing; half the court was
there. When they were well on their way a cow began
to low. Oh," said the courtiers, now we've got it !
What wonderful power in such a small creature! I
have certainly heard it before."
"No, those are cows lowing," said the little maid;
"we.are a long way from the place yet."
68 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
Some frogs then began to croak in the marsh.
"Beautiful !" said the Chinese court chaplain.
"Now I hear it; it sounds exactly like little church
"No," said the little maid, "those are frogs. But I
think we shall soon hear it now." And then the
nightingale began to sing.
S"That's it!" said the little girl. "Hark, hark;
there it sits And she pointed out a little grey bird
up in the branches.
Is it possible? said the chamberlain. "I should
never have imagined it like that. How simple it
looks! I suppose it has lost its color at seeing so
.many grand people around it."
Little nightingale," the little maid called out in a
loud tone, our most gracious emperor wishes you to
sing to him."
"With the greatest pleasure," said the nightingale,
and sang so nicely that it was a pleasure to hear it.
It sounds exactly like glass bells," said the cham-
berlain. "And look at its little throat, how it works.
It is remarkable that we never heard it before; it will
be a great success at court."
"Shall I sing before the emperor again?" asked
the nightingale, believing that the emperor was also
My excellent little nightingale," said the chamber-
lain, I have great pleasure in inviting you to a court
festival this evening, when you will bewitch His
Imperial Majesty with your charming song."
"That is best heard in the woods," said the night-
THE NIGHTINGAIX SINGS.
Andersen's Fairy Tales.
ingale; but still it came willingly when it heard the
emperor wished it.
The castle had been elegantly decorated. The-walls
and the floors, which were of porcelain, glittered in the
light of many thousands of golden lamps; the most
beautiful flowers, which tinkled merrily, stood in the
corridors. In fact, what with the running to and fro
and the draught, the bells tinkled so loudly .that you
could not hear yourself speak.
In the centre of the great hall in which the em-
peror sat, a golden perch had been fixed for the night-
ingale. The whole court was present, and the little
kitchen maid, having now received the title of a real
court cook, had obtained permission to stand behind
the door. All were dressed in their very best, and all
had their eyes on the little grey bird, to whom the
The nightingale sang so beautifully that tears came
into the emperor's eyes and ran down his cheeks, and
when the bird sang still more beautifully it went
straight to one's heart. The emperor was so pleased
that he said the nightingale should have his golden
slipper to wear round its neck. But the nightingale
declined with thanks, saying that it had already received
"I have seen tears in the emperor's eyes, and that
is the greatest treasure for me. An emperor's tears
have a wonderful power. Heaven knows, I have been
sufficiently rewarded." Thereupon she again sang in
her beautiful, sweet voice.
This is the sweetest coquetry that we know," said
The Nightingale. 71
the ladies who were standing round, and then took
water in their mouths to make them cluck when any
one spoke to them. This made them think they were
nightingales too. Even the footmen and the chamber-
maids allowed themselves to express their satisfaction
-that is saying a good deal, for they are the hardest
to please. In a word, the nightingale was a great
It was now to remain at court, have its own cage,
and liberty to go out twice a day and once during the
night. It was then accompanied by twelve servants,
72 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
each of whom held it fast by a silken string attached
to its leg. There was by no means any pleasure in
The whole city talked about the wonderful bird,
and if two people met, one would say to the other
"Nightin," and the other would answer "gale." And
then they sighed and understood each other. Eleven
pedlars' children had even been named after the bird,
though not one of them could sing a note.
One day the emperor received a large parcel, on
which was written: "The nightingale."
"Here we have a new book about our celebrated
bird," said the emperor. It was no book, however, but
a small work of art, which lay in a casket; an artificial
nightingale, supposed to look like the living one, but
covered all over with diamonds, rubies and sapphires.
As soon as the imitation bird had been wound up, it
could sing one of the pieces that the real bird sang, and
then it would move its tail up and down, all glittering
with silver and gold. Round its neck hung a little
ribbon on which was written: "The Emperor of
Japan's nightingale is poor compared with the
Emperor of China."
"How beautiful !" they all cried; and he who had
brought the artificial bird immediately received the
title of Imperial Nightingale-bringer-in-chief.
"Now they must sing together; what a lovely
duet that will be "
And so they had to sing together; but it did not
go very well, for the real bird sang in its own way, and
the imitation one sang only waltzes.
"That is not the new one's fault," said the music-
master; it sings in perfect time, and quite according
to my method." So the imitation bird had to sing
alone. It had quite as great a success as the real one;
besides, it was much prettier to look at, glittering like
bracelets and breast-pins.
Thirty-three times it sang one and the same tune
and still was not tired.
The courtiers would like to have heard it all over
again, but the emperor thought that the live nightin-
gale ought now to sing something as well. But where
was it? No one had noticed it flying out of the win-
dow back to its green woods.
But how is that? said the emperor. And all the
courtiers blamed the nightingale, and thought it a
most ungrateful creature. In any way, we have the
best bird," they said; and so the imitation one had to
sing again, which made the thirty-fourth time that
they had heard the same tune. Even then they did
not know it by heart, for it was much too difficult. The
music-master praised the bird exceedingly; indeed, he
assured them that it was better than a nightingale, not
only in its dress and the number of beautiful diamonds,
but also in its inside.
"For, see, your gracious majesty and my lords, with
a real nightingale we never know what is coming next,
but with the artificial one everything is arranged.
You can open it, you can explain it, and make people
understand how the waltzes lie, how they work, and
why one note follows the other."
"That is just what we think too," they all said;
Andersen's Fairy Tales.
and the music-master received permission to show the
bird to the people on the following Sunday. The em-
peror commanded that they should also hear it sing.
When they did so, they were as pleased as if they had
all got drunk on tea, which is a Chinese fashion; and
they all said "Oh !" and held up their first fingers and
nodded. But the poor fishermen, who had heard the
real nightingale, said, "It sounds pretty enough, tle
tunes are all alike too, but there is something wanting
-I don't know what."
The real nightingale was banished from the country
and the empire. The imitation bird had its place on
a silk cushion close to the emperor's bed; and all the
presents which it had received lay around it, and it had
been promoted to the rank of Number One on the Left,
with the title of Grand Imperial Toilet-table Singer.
The emperor considered the left side, on which the
heart lies, as the most noble, and an emperor has his
heart on the left just like other people. The music-
master, too, wrote a work of twenty-five volumes about
the artificial bird; it was so learned and so long, so full
of the most difficult Chinese words, that all the people
said they had read it and understood it, for otherwise
they would have been thought stupid and had their
bodies trampled upon.
For a whole year it went on Jike that. The em-
peror, the court, and all the other Chinamen knew
every turn in the artificial bird's song by heart, and
that was just why it pleased them now more than ever.
They could sing with it, and often did so, too. The street
boys sang "Tseetseetsee! Cluck, cluck, cluck!" and the
The Nightingale. 75
emperor did just the same. It was really most beautiful.
One evening, when the artificial bird was singing
its best and the emperor was lying in bed and listening
to it, something inside the bird snapped with a bang.
All the wheels ran round with a "whirr-r-r," and then
the music stopped.
The emperor immediately jumped out of bed and
sent for his physician; but what could he do? Then
they fetched the watchmaker, and, after a good deal of
talking and examining, he got the bird into something
like order; but he said that it must not be used too
much, as the barrels were worn out, and it was impos-
sible to put in new ones with any certainty of the
music going right. Now there was great sorrow; the
Andersen's Fairy Tales.
imitation bird could only be allowed to sing once a
y=r, and even that was almost too much. On these
occasions the music-master would make a little speech
fill of big words, and say that the singing was just as
good as ever; and after that of course the court were
as well pleased as before.
Five years had now passed, and a great sorrow fell
upon the land. The Chinese were all really very fond
of their emperor, and now he was ill and could not
live long, they said. A new emperor had already been
chosen, and the people stood out in the street and asked
the chamberlain how their old emperor was.
Pooh he said, and shook his head.
Cold and pale lay the emperor in his great, splendid
bed; the whole court thought he was dead, and every
one ran away to greet the new emperor. The pages
ran out to gossip about it, and the maids-of-honor had
a grand tea-party. Cloth had been laid down in all
.the halls and corridors, so that no footstep should be
heard, and it was therefore very, very quiet. But the
emperor was not dead yet; stiff and pale he lay on the
splendid bed with the long velvet curtains and the
heavy gold tassels, and high up a window stood open,
and the moon shone in upon him and the artificial bird.
The poor emperor could hardly breathe; he felt as
though something were sitting on his chest. He
opened his eyes and saw that it was Death who was
sitting there; he had put on the emperor's golden
crown, and held his golden sword in one hand, and his
beautiful flag in the other.
All around, strange heads peeped out from the folds
of the large velvet bed-curtains: some were hideous,
others were sweet and gentle.
These were all the emperor's bad and good deeds,
which were staring at him now that Death ivas sitting
on his heart.
"Do you remember this ?" they whispered one
after another. "Do you recollect that?" And then
they told him of so much that the perspiration ran
down from his brow.
"That I did not know," cried the emperor.
78 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
"Music! music! the great Chinese drum!" he shouted;
"so that.I may not have to hear what they say."
But they went on, and Death nodded like a China-
man to all that was said.
"Music! music !" shrieked the emperor. "You
precious little golden bird! Sing, do sing! I have
given you gold and jewels, I have hung even my gold
Slipper round your neck. Sing, I say, sing!"
But the bird was silent: it could not sing without
being wound up, and there was no one to do it. Death
continued to stare at the emperor with his large, hollow
eyes, and all was still, terribly still. Suddenly from the
window came the sound of sweetest singing; it was
Sthe real little nightingale sitting on a bough outside.
It had heard how the emperor was suffering, and had
therefore come to console him and bring him hope by
its singing. And as it sang, the ghostly heads grew
paler and paler, the blood began to flow faster and
faster through the emperor's weak limbs and even
Death listened and said: "Go on, little nightingale,
Yes, but will you give me the beautiful golden
sword? Will you give me the rich banner? Will you
give me the emperor's rich crown ?"
And Death gave up each of these treasures for a
song, while the nightingale still went on singing. It
sang of the quiet churchyard where the white roses
grow, where the elder tree scents the air, and where the
fresh grass is moistened by the tears of those who are
left behind. Then Death longed to be in his garden, and
floated out through the window like a cold white mist.
The Nightingale. 79
"Thanks, thanks," said the emperor. "You heavenly
little bird! I know you well. It was you that I drove
out of my country and my empire. And still you
have charmed away the evil faces from my bed, and re-
moved Death from my heart. How can I reward you?"
"You have rewarded me," said the nightingale. "I
drew tears from your eyes when for the first time I
Ssang to you; that I shall never forget. They are
jewels that gladden the heart of a singer. But sleep
now and get well and strong again. I will sing you
And as it sang the emperor fell into a sweet
slumber. Oh, how mild and refreshing was that sleep!
The sun shone in upon him through the window when
Andersen's Fairy Tales.
he awoke strong and well. None of his servants had
yet returned, for they believed he was dead; only the
nightingale was still sitting by him singing.
"You must always stay with me," said the emperor.
"You shall now sing only when you like, and I shall
smash the imitation bird into a thousand pieces."
"Don't do that," said the nightingale. "It did its
best, as long as it could. Keep it, as before. I cannot
build by nest and live in the castle; but let me come
just when I like. In the evening I will sit on that
bough near. your window and sing something to you,
so that you shall be joyful and pensive at the same
time. I will sing of those who are happy and of those
who suffer. I will sing of the good and of the bad
that are hidden all around you. The little singing
bird flies far away, to the poor fisherman, to the
peasant's cottage, to all who are far removed from
you and your court. I love your heart more than your
crown, and yet the crown has almost a halo of holiness
around it. I will come and I will sing to you. But
you must promise me one thing."
Everything," said the emperor, and standing there
in his imperial robes, which he had himself put on, he
pressed his sword, all heavy with gold, to his heart.
"I only ask one thing. Let no one know that you.
have a little bird that tells you everything; it will be
for the best."
Saying this the nightingale flew away.
The servants came in to look after their dead em-
peror. .When they saw him they stood aghast, and
the emperor said, "Good morning !"
The Leaping Match.
THE flea, the grasshopper, and the frog once wanted
to try which of them could jump highest; so
they invited the whole world, and anybody else
who liked to come and see the grand sight. Three
famous jumpers were they, as was seen by every one
when they met together in the room.
I will give my daughter to him who shall jump
highest," said the King; "it would be too bad for you
to have the trouble of jumping and for us to offer you
The flea was the first to introduce himself; he had
such polite manners, and bowed to the company on
every side, for he was of noble blood; besides, he was
accustomed to the society of man, which had been a
great advantage to him.
Next came the grasshopper; he was 'not quite so
slightly and elegantly formed as the flea; however, he
knew perfectly well how to conduct himself and wore
a green uniform, which belonged to him by right of
birth. Moreover, he declared himself to have sprung
from a very ancient and honorable Egyptian family,
and that in his present home he was very highly es-
teemed, so much so, indeed, that he had been taken
out of the field and put into a card-house three stories
high, built on purpose for him, and all of court-cards,
the colored sides being turned inwards: as for the
doors and windows of the house, they were cut out of
the body of the Queen of Hearts. "And I can sing so
82 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
well," added he, "that sixteen parlor-bred crickets,
who have chirped and chirped ever since.they were
born and yet could never get anybody to build them
a card-house, after hearing me have fretted themselves
ten times thinner than ever, out of sheer envy and
vexation !" Both the flea and the grasshopper knew
excellently well how to make the most of themselves,
and each considered himself quite an equal match for a
The frog said not a word; however, it might be
that he thought the more, and the house-dog, after
going snuffing about him, confessed that the frog must
be of a good family. And the old councillor, who in
vain received three orders to hold his tongue, declared
that the frog must be gifted with the spirit of prophecy,
for that one could read on his back whether there was
to be a severe or a mild winter, which, to be sure, is
more than can be read on the back of the man who
writes the weather almanac.
Ah, I say nothing for the present remarked the
old King, "but I observe everything, and form my
own private opinion thereupon." And, now the match
began. The flea jumped so high that no one could
see what had become of him, and so they insisted that
he had not jumped at all, which was disgraceful, after
he had made such a fuss!"
The. grasshopper only jumped half as high, but he
Jumped right into the king's face, and the king de-
clared he was quite disgusted by his rudeness.
The frog stood still as if lost in thought; at last
people fancied he did not intend to jump at all.
THE LEAPING MATCH.
84 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
"I'm afraid he is ill! said the dog; and he went
snuffing at him again, whenlo all at once he made a
little side-long jump into the lap of the Princess, who
was sitting on a low stool close by.
Then spoke the king: "There is nothing higher
than my daughter, therefore he who jumps up to her
jumps highest; but only a person of good understand-
ing would ever have thought of that, and thus the frog
has shown us that he has understanding. He has
brains in his head, that he has !"
And thus the frog won the Princess.
"I jumped highest for all that!" exclaimed the flea.
"But it's all the same to me; let her have the stiff-
legged, slimy creature, if she like him! I jumped
highest, but I am too light and airy for this stupid
world; the people can neither see me nor catch me;
dulness and heaviness win the day with them !"
And so the flea went into the foreign service,
where, it is said, he was killed.
And the grasshopper sat on a green bank, medi-
tating on the world and its goings on, and at length he
repeated the flea's last words-" Yes, dulness and
heaviness win the day! dulness and heaviness win the
day!" And then he again began singing his own
peculiar, melancholy song, and it is from him that we
have learned this history; and yet, my friend, though
you read it here in a printed book, it may not be per-
The Saucy Boy.
ONCE upon a time there was an old poet, one of
those right good old poets.
One evening, as he was sitting at home, there
was a terrible storm. going on outside; the rain was
pouring down, but the old poet sat comfortably in his
chimney-corner, where the fire was burning and the
apples were roasting.
There will not be a dry thread on the poor people
who are out in this weather," he said.
"Oh, open the door! I am so cold and wet
through," called a little child outside. It was crying
and knocking at the door, whilst the rain was pouring
down and the wind was rattling all the windows.
"Poor creature!" said the poet, and got up and
opened the door. Before him stood a little boy; he
was naked, and the water flowed from his long fair
locks. He was shivering with cold; if he had not
been let in, he would certainly have perished in the
"Poor little thing!" said the poet, and took him by
the hand. "Come to me; I will soon warm you. You
shall have some wine and an apple, for you are such a
And he was, too. His eyes sparkled like two bright
stars, and although the water flowed down from his
fair locks, they still curled quite beautifully.
He looked like a little angel, but was pale with
86 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
cold, and trembled all over. In his hand he held a
splendid bow, but it had been entirely spoilt by the
lain, and the colors of the pretty arrows had run into
one another by getting wet.
The old man sat down by the fire, and taking the
little boy on his knee, wrung the water out of his locks
and warmed his hands in his own.
He then made him some hot spiced wine, which
quickly revived him; so that, with reddened cheeks,
She sprang upon the floor and danced around the old
You are a merry boy," said the latter. What is
My name is Cupid," he answered. "Don't you
know me? There lies my bow. I shoot with that,
you know. Look, the weather is getting fine again-
the moon is shining."
"But your bow is spoiled," said the old poet.
"That would be unfortunate," said the little boy,
taking it up and looking at it. Oh, it's quite dry
and isn't damaged at all. The string is quite tight;
I'll try it." So, drawing it back, he took an arrow,
aimed, and shot the good old poet right in the heart.
Do you see now that my bow was not spoiled ? he
said, and, loudly laughing, ran away. What a naughty
boy to shoot the old poet like that, who had taken him
into his warm room, had been so good to him, and had
given him the nicest wine and the best apple.
The''good old man lay upon the floor crying; he
was really shot in the heart. Oh he cried, "what
a naughty boy this Cupid is I shall tell all the good
THB SAUCY BOY.
88 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
children about this, so that they take care never to
play with him, lest he hurt them."
And all good children, both girls and boys, whom
he told about this, were on their guard against wicked
Cupid; but he deceives them all the same, for he is
very deep. When the students come out of class, he
walks beside them with a book under his arm, and
wearing a black coat. They cannot recognize him.
And then, if they take him by the arm, believing him
to be a student too, he sticks an arrow into their chest.
And when the girls go to church to be confirmed, he is
amongst them too. In fact, he is always after people.
He sits in the large chandelier in the theatre and
blazes away, so that people think it is a lamp; but they
soon find out their mistake. He walks about in the
castle garden and on the promenades. Yes, once he
shot your father and your mother in the heart too.
Just ask them, and you will hear what they say. Oh I
he is a bad boy, this Cupid, and you must never have
anything to do with him, for he is after every one.
Just think, he even shot an arrow at old grandmother;
but that was a long time ago. The wound has long
been h.ed, but such things are never forgotten.
Nod you know what a bad boy this wicked
The Ugly Duckling.
THE country was looking beautiful. It was sum-
mer; the wheat was yellow, the oats were green,
the hay stood in stacks on the green meadows,
and the stork strutted about on his long red legs chat-
tering Egyptian, for he had learned that language from
his mother. All around the fields and meadows were
large forests, and in the middle of these forests deep
lakes. Yes, it was really glorious out in the country.
In the sunshine
one could see
an old country
by deep canals,
and from the
to the water,
there grew large
which were so
high that little
stand upright under the tallest. It was as wild there as
in the thickest wood. A duck, who was hatching her
young, sat on her nest here, but she got very tired of
waiting for the young ones to come. She rarely had
visitors, for the other ducks preferred swimming about
in the canals to waddling up and sitting down under a
burdock leaf to gossip with her.
90 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
At last one egg cracked after another. "Chick,
chick;" all the yolks were alive, and the little heads
"Quack, quack!" said the duck; so they all
hurried up as fast as they could, and'looked about on all
sides under the green leaves. Their mother let them
look as much as they liked, because green is good for
"How large the world is," said all the little ones;
for, of course, they had much more room now than in
Do you think this is the whole world? said the
mother; why, that stretches far beyond the other side
of the garden, ,right into the parson's field, but I have
never been there yet I suppose you are all here? "
she continued, getting up. "No, you are not; the
largest egg is still lying here. How long will this
last? I'm getting tired of it !" And so saying she
sat down again.
Well, how are you getting on ?" said an old duck,
who had come to pay her a visit.
"This egg takes such a long time," answered the
sitting duck; it will not break. But just look at the
others; are they not the daintiest ducklings that were
ever seen? They all look like their father, the rascal
-he doesn't come to pay me a visit"
Let me see the egg that will not break," said the
old duck. Depend upon it, it is a turkey's egg. I
was once deceived in the same way myself, and had a
lot of trouble and bother with the young ones, for they
are afraid of the water. I couldn't get them into it; I
The Ugly Duckling. 9'
quacked at them and I hacked at them, but it was of
no use. Let me see the egg. Yes, that is a turkey's
egg. Let it alone and rather teach the other little ones
"I'll just sit on it a little while longer," said the
duck; "having sat so long now, I may as well sit a
few days more."
"As you like," said the old duck, and went away.
At last the big egg broke. "Tweet, tweet," said
the young one, creeping out. It was very big and
ugly. The duck looked at it. "That's a mighty big
duckling," said she; "none of the others look like
that; could he be a young turkey-cock? Well, we
shall soon get to know that; he will have to go into
the water, if I have to push him in myself."
The next day the weather was gloriously fine; the
sun shone down 'on all the green leaves, and the
mother duck went down to the canal with her whole
family. She sprang with a splash into the water, and
as she went Quack, quack!" one duckling after
another jumped in. The water closed over their heads,
but they soon came up again, and swam beautifully;
their legs moved by themselves, and all were in the
water. Even the ugly little grey one was swimming
"No, he is not a turkey," said the duck; "look how
beautifully he moves its legs, and how upright he holds
itself; he is my own child. And if you only look at
him properly, he is really very pretty. Quack, quack!
Come with me; I will take you into society, and intro-
duce you to the duck-yard; but mind you always keep
92 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
near me, so that "no one treads on you; and beware of
So they came into the duck-yard. There was a
terrible noise inside, for there were two families who
were fighting about the head of an eel; and after all
the cat got it
"You see, such is the way of the world," said the
mother-duck, sharpening her beak, for she, too, wanted
the eel's head. Now, use your legs," said she; try to
hurry along, and bend your necks before the old duck
there; she is the most distinguished of all here. She
is of Spanish blood, that is why she is so fat; and you
see she has a red rag round her leg. That is some-
thing extremely grand, and the greatest. distinction a
duck can attain; it is as much as to say that they don't
want her to get lost, and that she may be recognized
by man and beast. Hurry up Don't turn your feet
inwards; a well-educated duckling turns his feet out-
wards as much as possible, just like his father and
mother. Look, like that! Now bend your neck and
And they did as she told them; but the other ducks
all around looked at them and said, quite loud: "Look
there! Now we are to have that lot too; as if we were
not enough already. And, fie how ugly that one duck-
ling is; we will not stand that." And one of the
ducks immediately flew at him, and bit him in the
Leave him alone," said the mother; he is doing
no one any harm."
"Yes, but he is too big and strange-looking," said
\'M~lI IL ,
THE UGLY DUCKLING.
94 Andersen's Fairy Tales.
the duck who had bitten him; "and therefore he must
"They are pretty children which the mother has,"
said the old duck with the rag round, her leg; they
are all fine, except one, which has turned out badly.
I wish she could hatch him over-again."
"That cannot be, your highness," said .the duck--
ling's mother; "he is not handsome, but he has a very
good heart, and swims as beautifully as any other; in-
deed,. I may say, somewhat better. I think he will
grow prettier and get to look a little smaller in time.
He has lain too long in the egg, and therefore not re-
ceived the right shape." And with this she scratched
the little one's neck and smoothed his feathers. Be-
sides," she said, "he is a drake, and therefore it does
not matter so much. I think he will become very
strong and fight his way through the world."
S" The other ducklings are very pretty," said the old
duck; pray make yourselves at home, and if you find
an eel's head, you may bring it to me."
SSo now they felt at home. But the poor duckling
who had been the last to. leave his shell, and who was
so ugly, was bitten, pushed, and made a fool of, and
that by the hens as well as by the ducks. He is too
big," they all said, and the turkey-cock, who had come
into the world with spurs, and therefore thought him-
self an emperor, puffed himself up like a ship'in full
sail, and bore down upon him, gobbling and getting
quite red in the face. The poor duckling did not
know where to stand or where to go; he was distressed
at being so ugly and the jest of the whole duck-yard.
The Ugly Duckling. 95
So passed the first day, and afterwards things grew
worse and worse. The poor duckling was chased
about by all; even his sisters were unkind to him, and
kept on saying: If only the cat would catch you, you
hideous creature !" And his mother said, "Would
that you were far away!" The ducks bit him, the
hens beat him, and the girl who had to feed the poul-
try kicked him away with her foot.
So he ran and flew over the hedge, frightening
away the little birds in the bushes. "That is because
I am so ugly," thought the duckling, closing his eyes,
but running on just the same. So he came to a great
moor, where some wild ducks lived; here he lay the
whole night, being tired and sorrowful.