The goloshes of fortune


Material Information

The goloshes of fortune and other stories
Series Title:
The Hans Andersen library
Uniform Title:
Physical Description:
4, 150 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Andersen, H. C ( Hans Christian ), 1805-1875
Dulcken, H. W ( Henry William ), 1832-1894 ( Translator )
George Routledge and Sons ( Publisher )
Dalziel Brothers
Camden Press ( Printer )
George Routledge and Sons
Place of Publication:
Dalziel Brothers ; Camden Press
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Fairy tales -- 1875   ( rbgenr )
Gold stamped cloth (Binding) -- 1875   ( local )
Bldn -- 1875
Fairy tales   ( rbgenr )
Gold stamped cloth (Binding)   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London


Statement of Responsibility:
by Hans Christian Andersen ; translated by H.W. Dulcken ; illustrated with many pictures.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved and signed by Dalziel.
Brittle Books Program

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002218559
oclc - 41754975
notis - ALF8736
System ID:

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Full Text

Z"'r 41


The Councillor and the Picture.
The Goloshes of Fortune,




















THE Stories and Tales of HANS C. ANDERSEN
have established their position as standard works
for young people, therefore it is thought that the
present plan of publishing them in the form of a
Library will be acceptable.
In selecting the Stories for the separate Books,
care has been taken to combine the "grave and
gay," thus giving each Volume a varied interest.
The more simple Stories have been taken for the
-earlier Volumes, and thus the reader, gradually
progressing, will find the most advanced in the
concluding Volumes, each Book being complete
in itself.

=TffE:HNS. 3D.


A Beginning.
N a house in Copenhagen, not far from
the King's New Market, a company
-a very large company-had assem-
bled, having received invitations to
an evening party there. One-half of the company
already sat at the card tables, and the other half
awaited the result of the hostess's question, "What
shall we do now ?" They had progressed so far,
and the entertainment began to take some degree
of animation. Among other subjects the conver-
sation turned upon the Middle Ages. Some con-
sidered that period much more interesting than
our own times: yes, Councillor Knap defended this
view so zealously that the lady of the house went
over at once to his side; and both loudly exclaimed
against Oersted's treatise in the Almanac on old



2 The Goloshes of Fortune.

and modern times, in which the chief advantage is
given to our own day. The councillor considered
the times of the Danish King Hans as the noblest
and happiest age.
While the conversation takes this turn, only in-
terrupted for a moment by the arrival of a news-
paper, which contained nothing worth reading, we
will betake ourselves to the ante-chamber, where
the cloaks, sticks, and goloshes had found a place.
Here sat two maids-an old one and a young one.
One would have thought they had come to escort
their mistresses home; but, on looking at them
more closely, the observer could see that they were
not ordinary servants: their shapes were too grace-
ful for that, their complexions too delicate, and the
cut of their dresses too uncommon. They were
two fairies. The younger was not Fortune, but
lady's-maid to one of her ladies of the bed-chamber,
who carry about the more trifling gifts of Fortune.
The elder one looked somewhat more gloomy-she
was Care, who always goes herself in her own
exalted person to perform her business, for thus
she knows that it is well done.
They were telling each other where they had
been that day. The messenger of Fortune had
only transacted a few unimportant affairs, as, for

The Goloshes left at the door.

instance, she had preserved a new bonnet from a
shower of rain, had procured an honest man a bow
from a titled Nobody, and so on; but what she
had still to relate was something quite extraor-
"I can likewise tell," said she, "that to-day is
my birthday; and in honour of it a pair of goloshes
has been entrusted to me, which I am to bring to
the human race. These goloshes have the property
that every one who puts them on is at once trans-
ported to the time and place in which he likes best
to be-every wish in reference to time, place, and

The Goloshes of Fortune.

circumstance is at once fulfilled; and so for once
man can be happy here below !"
Believe me," said Care, "he will be very un-
happy, and will bless the moment when he can get
rid of the goloshes again."
"What are you thinking of?" retorted the
other. Now I shall put them at the door. Some-
body will take them by mistake, and become the
happy one!"
You see, that was the dialogue they held.


What happened to the Councillor.

IT was late. Councillor Knap, lost in contem-
plation of the times of King Hans, wished to get
home; and fate willed that instead of his own
goloshes he should put on those of Fortune, and
thus went out into East Street. But by the power
of the goloshes he had been put back three hun-
dred years-into the days of King Hans; and
therefore he put his foot into mud and mire in the
street, because in those days there was not any
"Why, this is horrible-how dirty it is here!"

The Goloshes of Fortune.

said the councillor. The good pavement is gone,
and all the lamps are put out."
The moon did not yet stand high enough to give
much light, and the air was tolerably thick, so
that all objects seemed to melt together in the
darkness. At the next corner a lamp hung before
a picture of the Madonna, but the light it gave
was as good as none; he only noticed it when he
stood just under it, and his eyes fell upon the
painted figure.
"That is probably a museum of art," thought
he, "where they have forgotten to take down the
"How queer they look they must have come
from a masquerade," he said, as a'couple of men in
the costume of those past days went by him.
Suddenly there was a sound of drurs and fifes,
and torches gleamed brightly. The councillor
started. And now he saw a strange procession go
*past. First came a whole troop of drummers,
beating their instruments very dexterously; they
were followed by men-at-arms, with longbows and
crossbows. The chief man in the procession was
a clerical lord. The astonished councillor asked
what was the meaning of this, and who the man
might be.

The Goloshes of Fortune.

"That is the Bishop of Zealand."
"What in the world has come to the bishop ?"
said the councillor, with a sigh, shaking his head.
"This could not possibly be the bishop "
Ruminating on this, and without looking to the
right or to the left, the councillor went through
the East Street, and over the Highbridge Place.
The bridge which led to the Palace Square was
not to be found; he perceived the shore of a shal-
low water, and at length encountered two people,
who sat in a boat.
"Do you wish to be ferried over to the Holm,
sir?" they asked.
"To the Holm repeated the councillor, who
did not know, you see, in what period he was. I
want to go to Christian's Haven and to Little Turf
The men stared at him.
"Pray tell me where the bridge is," said he.
" It is shameful that no lanterns are lighted here;
and it is as muddy, too, as if one were walking in
a marsh." But the longer he talked with the
boatmen the less could he understand them. "I
don't understand your Bornholm talk," he at last
cried, angrily, and turned his back upon them.
He could not find the bridge, nor was there any

The Goloshes of Fortune.

paling. "It is quite scandalous how things look
here!" he said-never had he thought his own
times so miserable as this evening. "I think it
will be best if I take a cab," thought he. But
where were the cabs ?-not one was to be seen. "I
shall have to go back to the King's New Market,
where there are many carriages standing, other-
wise I shall never get as far as Christian's Haven."
Now he walked towards East Street, and had
almost gone through it when the moon burst forth.
"What in the world have they been erecting
here ?" he exclaimed, when he saw the East Gate,
-which in those days stood at the end of East
-In the meantime, however, he found a passage
spen, and through this he came out upon our New
Market; but it was a broad meadow. Single
bushes stood forth, and across the meadow ran a
great canal or stream. A few miserable wooden
booths for Dutch skippers were erected on the
:opposite shore.
"Either I behold a Fata Morgana, or I am
tipsy," sighed the councillor. "What can that
be? what can that be?"
SHe turned back, in the full persuasion that he
must be ill. In walking up the street he looked

The Goloshes of Fortune.

more closely at the houses; most of them were
built of laths, and many were only thatched with
"No, I don't feel well at all!" he lamented.
"And yet I only drank one glass of punch! But
I cannot stand that; and besides, it was very
foolish to give us punch and warm salmon. I shall
inention that to our hostess -the agent's lady.
Suppose I go Back, and say how I feel? But that
looks ridiculous, and it is a question if they will
be up still."
He looked for the house, but could not find it.
"That is dreadful he cried; I don't know
East Street again. Not one shop is to be seen;
old, miserable, tumble-down huts are all I see, as
if I were at Roeskilde or Ringstedt. Oh, I am
ill! It's no use to make ceremony. But where
in all the world is the agent's house ? It is no
longer the same; but within there are people up
still. I certainly must be ill !"
He now reached a half-open door, where the
light shone through a chink. It was a tavern of
that date-a kind of beer-house. The room had
the appearance of a Dutch wine shop; a number
Sof people, consisting of seamen, citizens of Copen-
hagen, and a few scholars, sat in deep conversation

The Goloshes of Fortune.

over their jugs, and paid little attention to the
new comer.
"I beg your pardon," said the councillor to the
hostess, "but I feel very unwell; would you let
somebody get a fly to take me home to Christian's
-The woman looked at him and shook her head;
then she spoke to him in German.
The councillor now supposed that she did not
understand Danish, so he repeated his wish in the
German language. This, and his costume, con-
vinced the woman that he was a foreigner. She
soon,understood that he felt unwell, and therefore
brought him a jug of water. It certainly tasted a
little of sea water, though it had been taken from
the spring outside.
The councillor leaned his head upon his hand,
drew a deep breath, and thought of all the strange
things that were happening about him.
"Is that to-day's number of the Day' ?" he
.said, quite mechanically, for he saw that the woman
Was putting away a large sheet of paper.
She did not understand what he meant, but
handed him the leaf: it was a woodcut representing
.a strange appearance in the air which had been
seen in the city of Cologne.

':o The Goloshes of Fortune.

" That is very old!" said the councillor, who
became quite cheerful at sight of this antiquity.
" How did you come by this strange leaf? That
is very interesting, although the whole thing is a
fable. Now-a-days, these appearances are ex-
plained to be Northern Lights that have been seen;
probably they arise from electricity."
Those who sat nearest to him and heard his
speech, looked at him in surprise, and one of them
rose, took off his hat respectfully, and said, with a
very grave face,
"You must certainly be a very learned man."
Oh, no !" replied the councillor; "I can only
say a word or two about things that one ought to
Modestia is a beautiful virtue," said the man.
" Moreover, I must say to your speech,' mihi secus
videtur,' yet I will gladly suspend my judicium."
"May I ask with whom I have the pleasure of
speaking? asked the councillor.
I am a bachelor of theology," replied the man.
This answer sufficed for the councillor; the title
corresponded with the garb.
Certainly," he thought, "this must be an old
village schoolmaster, a queer character, such as
one finds sometimes over in Jutland."

- ~Nz~ ~\


iTe Councillor is alarmed.

"This is certainly not a locus docendi," began
the man; "but I beg to trouble you to speak.
You are doubtless well read in the ancients? "
S"Oh, yes," replied the councillor. "I am fond

12 The Goloshes of Fortune.

of reading useful old books; and am fond of the
modern ones, too, with the exception of the 'Every-
day Stories,' of which we have had enough, in all
"Every-day Stories?" said the bachelor, in-
Yes, I mean the new romances we have now."
"Oh!" said the man, with a smile, "they are
very witty, and are much read at court. The King
is especially partial to the romance by Messieurs
Iffven and Gaudian, which talks about King
Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. He
has jested about it with his noble lords."
"That I have certainly not yet read," said the
councillor: that must be quite a new book pub-
lished by Heiberg."
"No," retorted the man, "it is not published
by Heiberg, but by Godfrey von Gehmen." *
"Indeed! is he the author?" asked the coun-
cillor. That is a very old name: was not that
the name of about the first printer who appeared
in Denmark?"
"Why, he is our first printer," replied the man.

The first printer and publisher in Denmark, under King
hans. 0

The Goloshes of Fortune.

So far it had gone well. But now one of the
men began to speak of a pestilence which he said
had been raging a few years ago: he meant the
plague of 1484. The councillor supposed that he
meant the cholera, and so the conversation went
on tolerably. The Freebooters' War of 1490 was
so recent that it could not escape mention. The
English had taken ships from the very wharves,
said the man; and the. councillor, who was well
acquainted with the events of 1801, joined in man-
fully against the English. The rest of the talk,
however, did not pass over so well; every moment
there was a contradiction. The good bachelor was
S terribly ignorant, and the simplest assertion of the
councillor seemed too bold or too fantastic. They
looked at each other, and when it became too bad,
the bachelor spoke Latin, in the hope that he
would be better understood; but it was of no use.
"How are you now ?" asked the hostess, and
she plucked the councillor by the sleeve.
Now his recollection came back: in the course
S of the conversation he had forgotten everything
that had happened.
"Good heavens! where am I ?" he said, and he
felt dizzy when he thought of it.
We'll drink claret, mead, and Bremen beer,"

14 The Goloshes oj Fortune.

cried one of the guests, and you shall drink with
Two girls came in. One of them had on a cap
of two colours. They poured out drink and bowed:
the councillor felt a cold shudder running all down
his back. "What's that? what's that?" he
cried; but he was obliged to drink with them.
They took possession of the good man quite po-
litely. He was in despair, and when one said that
he was tipsy he felt not the slightest doubt re-
garding the truth of the statement, and only
begged them to procure him a droschky. Now
they thought he was speaking Muscovite. Never
had he been in such rude vulgar company.
"One would think the country was falling hack
into heathenism," was his reflection. This is
the most terrible moment of my life."'
. But at the same time the idea occurred to him
to bend down under the table, and then to creep
out at the door. He did so; but just as he had
reached the entry the others discovered his inten-
tion. They seized him by the feet; and now the
goloshes, to his great good fortune, came off, and
-the whole enchantment vanished.
The councillor saw quite plainly, in front of
him, a lamp burning, and behind it a great build-

The Goloshes of Fortune.

ing; everything looked familiar and splendid. It
was East Street, as we know it now. He lay with
his legs turned towards a porch, and opposite to
him sat the watchman asleep.
Good gracious! have I been lying here inthe
street dreaming?" he exclaimed. Yes, this is
East Street sure enough! how splendidly bright
and gay! It is terrible what an effect that one
glass of punch must have had on me !"
Two minutes afterwards he was sitting in a fly,
which drove him out to Christian's Haven. He
thought of the terror and anxiety he had under-
goi,, ald praised from his heart the happy present,
our own time, which, with -all its shortcomings,
was far better than the period in which he had
been placed a short time before.


The It lechman's Adventures.

"ON my word, yonder lies a pair a goloshes!"
said.the watchman. They must certainly belong
to the lieutenant who lives up stairs. They are
S.jing close to the door."
l The honest man would gladly have rung the

16 The Goloshes of Fortune.

bell and delivered them, for up stairs there was a
light still burning; but he did not wish to disturb
the other people in the house, and so he let it
"It must be very warm to have a pair of such
things on," said he. "How nice and soft the
leather is!" They fitted his feet very well. How
droll it is in the world! Now, he might lie down
in his warm bed, and yet he does not! There he
is pacing up and down the room. He is a happy
man! He has neither wife nor children, and every
evening he is at a party. Oh, I wish I were he,
then I should be a happy man "
As he uttered the wish, the goloshes he had put
on produced their effect, and the watchman was
transported into the body and being of the lieu-
tenant. Then he stood up in the room, and held
a little pink paper in his fingers, on which was a
poem, a poem written by the lieutenant himself.
For who is there who has not once ii his life had
a poetic moment? and at such a moment, if one
writes down one's thoughts, there is poetry.
Yes, people write poetry when they are in love;
but a prudent man does not print such poems.
The lieutenant was in love-and poor-that's a
triangle, or, so to speak, the half of a broken

The Goloshes of Fortune.

square of happiness.. The lieutenant felt that very,
keenly, and so he laid his head against the window-
frame, and sighed a deep sigh.
"The poor watchman in the street yonder is far
happier than I. He does not know what I call

TIR Watkcman thinks of going to the Moon.

want. He has a home, a wife, and children, who
weep at his sorrow and rejoice at his joy. Oh! I
should be happier than I am, could I change my
being for his, and pass through life with his hum--
ble desires and hopes. Yes, he is happier than I "
In that same moment the watchman became a
watchman again; for through the power of the

18 The Goloshes of Fortune.

goloshes of Fortune he had assumed the personality
of the lieutenant; but then ive know he felt far
less content, and preferred to be just what he had
despised a short time before. So the watchman
became a watchman again.
That was an ugly dream," said he, but droll
enough. It seemed to me that I was the lieu-
tenant up yonder, and that it was not pleasant at
all. I was without the wife and the boys, who are
now ready to half stifle me with kisses."
He sat down again and nodded. The dream
would not go quite out of his thoughts. He had
the goloshes still on his-feet. A falling star glided
down along the horizon.
There went one," said he, but for all that,
there are enough left. I should like to look at
those things a little nearer, especially the moon,
for that won't vanish under one's hands. The
student for whom my wife washes says that when
we die we fly from one star to another. That's
not true, but it would be very nice. If I cold
only make a little spring up there, then my body
might lie here on the stairs for all I care."
Now there are certain assertions we should be
very cautious of making in this world, but doubly
careful when we have goloshes of Fortune on.

The Goloshes of Fortune.

Just hear what happened to the watchman.
So far as we are concerned, we all understand
the rapidity of dispatch by steam; we have tried
it either in railways, or in steamers across the sea.
But this speed is as the crawling of the sloth or
the march of the snail in comparison with the
swiftness with which light travels. That flies nine-
teen million times quicker. Death is an electric
shock we receive in our hearts, and on the wings
of electricity the liberated soul flies away. The
sunlight requires eight minutes and a few seconds
for a journey of more than ninety-five millions of
miles; on the wings of electric power the soul
requires only a few moments 'to accomplish the
same flight. The space between the orbs of the
universe is, for her, not greater than, for us, the
distances between the houses of our friends dwel-
ling in the same town and even living close toge.
their. Yet this electric shock costs us the life of
the body here below, unless, like the watchman,
we have the magic goloshes on.
In a few seconds the watchman had traversed
the distance of two hundred and sixty thousand.
miles to the moon, which body, as we know, con-
sists of a much lighter material than that of our
earth, and is, as we should say, soft as new-fallen

1o The Goloshes of Fortune.

snow. He found himself on one of the many ring
mountains with which we are familiar from Dr.
MAdler's great map of the moon. Within the
ring a great bowl-shaped hollow went down to the
depth of a couple of miles. At the base of the
hollow lay a town, of whose appearance we can
only form an idea by pouring the white of an egg
into a glass of water: the substance here was just
as soft as white of egg, and formed similar towers,
and cupolas, and terraces like sails, transparent
and floating in the thin air. Our earth hung over
his head like a great dark red ball.
He immediately became aware of a number of
beings, who were certainly what we call "men,"
but their appearance was very different from ours.
If they had been put up in a row and painted, one
would have said, Thai's a beautiful arabesque !"
They had also a language, but no one could expect
that the soul.of the watchman should understand
it. But the watchman's soul did understand it,
for our souls have far greater abilities than we
suppose. Does not its wonderful dramatic talent
show itself in our dreams ? Then every one of our
acquaintances appears speaking in his own cha-
racter and with his own voice, in a way that not
one of us could imitate in our waking hours. How

The Goloshes of Fortune.

does our soul bring back to us people of whom we
have not thought for many years ? Suddenly
they come into our souls with their smallest pecu-
liarities about them. In fact, it is a fearful thing,
that memory which our souls possess: it can repro-
duce every sin, every bad thought. And then, it
may be asked, shall we be able to give an account
of every idle word that has been in our hearts and
on our lips?
Thus the watchman's soul understood the lan-
guage of the people in the moon very well. They
disputed about this earth, and doubted if it could
be inhabited; the air, they asserted, must be too
thick for a sensible moon-man to live there. They
considered that the moon alone was peopled; for
that, they said, was the real body in which the
old-world people dwelt. They also talked of po-
But let us go down to the East Street, and see
how it fared with the body of the watchman.
He sat lifeless upon the stairs. His pike had
fallen out of his hand, and his eyes stared up at
the moon, which his honest body was wondering
What's o'clock, watchman? asked a passer
by. But the man who didn't answer was the

22 The Goloshes of Fortune.

watchman. Then the passengers tweaked him
quite gently by the nose, and then he lost his
balance. There lay the body stretched out at full
length-the man was dead. All his comrades
were very much frightened: dead he was, and dead
he remained. It was reported, and it was dis-
cussed, and in the morning the body was carried
out to the hospital.
That would be a pretty jest for the soul if it
should chance to come back, and probably seek its
body in the East Street, and not find it! Most
likely it would go first to the police and afterwards
to the address office, that inquiries might be made
'from thence respecting the missing goods; and
thence it would wander out to the hospital. But we
may console ourselves with the idea that the soul
is most clever when it acts upon its own account;
it is the body that makes it stupid.
As we have said, the watchman's body was taken
to the hospital, and brought into the washing-
room; and naturally enough the first thing they
did there was to pull off the goloshes; and then
the soul had to come back. It took its way
directly towards the body, and in a few seconds
there was life in the man. He declared that this
had been the most terrible night of his life ; he

The Goloshes of Fortune.

would not have such feelings again, not for a shil-
ling; but now it was past and over.
The same day he was allowed to leave; but the
goloshes remained at the hospital.


A Great Moment.-A very Unusual Journey.

EVERY one who belongs to Copenhagen knows
the look of the entrance to the Frederick's Hos-
pital in Copenhagen; but as, perhaps, a few will
read this story who do not belong to Copenhagen,
it becomes necessary to give a short description
of it.
The hospital is separated from the street by a
tolerably high railing, in which the thick iron rails
stand so far apart, that certain very thin inmates
are said to have squeezed between them, and thus
paid their little visits outside the premises. The
part of the body most difficult to get through was
the head; and here, as it 6ften happens in the
world, small heads were the most fortunate. This
will be sufficient as an introduction.
One of the young volunteers, of whom one could
only say in one sense that he had a great head, had

24 The Goloshes of Fortune.

the watch that evening. The rain was pouring
down; but in spite of this obstacle he wanted to
go out, only for a quarter of an hour. It was
needless, he thought, to tell the porter of his wish,
especially if he could slip through between the
rails. There lay the goloshes which the watchman
had forgotten. It never occurred to him in the
least that they were goloshes of Fortune. They
w6uld do him very good service in this rainy wea-
ther, and he pulled them on. Now the question
was whether he could squeeze through the bars;
till now he had never tried it. There he stood.
"I wish to goodness I had my head outside !"
cried he.
And immediately, though his head was very thick
and big, it glided, easily and quickly through.
The goloshes must have understood it well; but
now the body was to slip through also, and that
could not be done.
"-I'm too fat," said he. I thought my head
was the thickest. I sha'n't get through."
Now he wanted to pull his head back quickly,
but he could not manage it: he could move his
neck, but that was all. His first feeling was one
of anger, and then his spirits sank down to zero.
The goloshes of Fortune had placed him in this

The Goloshes of Fortune.

terrible condition, and, unfortunately, it never oc-
curred to him to wish himself free. No: instead
of wishing, he only strove, and could not stir from
the spot. The rain poured down; not a creature
was to be seen in the street; he could not reach
the gate bell, and how was he to get loose? He
foresaw that he would have to remain here until
the morning, and then they would have to send
for the blacksmith, to file through the iron bars.
But such a business is not to be done quickly,
The whole charity school would be upon its legs;
the whole sailors' quarter close by would come up
and see him standing in the pillory; and a fine
crowd there would be.
Ugh! he cried, "the blood's rising to my
head, and I shall go mad! Yes, I'm going mad!
If I were free, most likely it would pass over."
That's what he ought to have said at first. The
very moment he had uttered the thought his head
was free; and now he rushed in, quite dazed with
the fright the goloshes of Fortune had given him.
But we must not think the whole affair was over;
there was much worse to come yet.
The night passed away, and the following day
too, and nobody sent for the goloshes. In the
evening a display of oratory was to take place in

26 'The Goloshes of Fortune.

an amateur theatre in a distant street. The house
was crammed; and among the audience was the
volunteer from the hospital, who appeared to have
forgotten his adventures of the previous evening.
He had the goloshes on, for they had not been
sent for; and as it was dirty in the streets, they
might do him good service. A new piece was
recited: it was called "My Aunt's Spectacles."
These were spectacles which, when any one put
them on in a great assembly of people, made all
present look like cards, so that one could prophesy
from them all that would happen in the coming
The idea struck him: he would have liked to
possess such a pair of spectacles. If they were
used rightly, they would perhaps enable the wearer
to look into people's hearts; and that, he thought,
would be more interesting than to see what was
going to happen in the next year; for future events
would be known in time, but the people's thoughts
"Now I '11 look at the row of ladies and gentle-
men on the first bench: if one could look directly
into their hearts! Yes, that must be a hollow, a
sort of shop. How my eyes would wander about
in that shop! In every lady's, yonder, I should

The Goloshes of Fortune.

doubtless find a great milliner's warehouse: with
this one here the shop is empty, but it would do
no harm to have it cleaned out. But would there
really be such shops? Ah, yes! he continued,
sighing, "I know one in which all the goods are
first-rate, but there's a servant in it already, that's
the only drawback in the whole shop From one
and another the word would be 'Please to step in !'
Oh that I might only step in, like a neat little
thought, and slip through their hearts !"
That was the word of command for the goloshes.
The volunteer shrivelled up, and began to take a
very remarkable journey through the hearts of the
first row of spectators. The first heart through
which he passed was that of a lady; but he imme-
diately fancied himself in the Orthopaedic Institute,
in the room where the plaster casts of deformed
limbs are kept hanging against the walls; the only
difference was, that these casts were formed in the
institute when the patients came in, but here in
the heart they were formed and preserved after the
good persons had gone away. For they were casts
of female friends, whose bodily and. mental faults
were preserved here.
Quickly he had passed into another female heart.
But this seemed to him like a great holy church

28 The Goloshes of Fortune.

the white dove of innocence fluttered over the
high altar. Gladly would he have sunk down on
his knees; but he was obliged to go away into the
next heart. Still, however, he heard the tones oT
the organ, and it seemed to him that he himself
had become another and a better man. He felt
himself not unworthy to enter into the next sanc-
tuary, which showed itself in the form of a poor
garret, containing a sick mother. But through
the window the warm sun streamed in, and two
sky-blue birds sang full of childlike joy, while the
sick mother prayed for a blessing on her daughter.
Now he crept on his hands and knees through
an over-filled butcher's shop. There was meat,
and nothing but meat, wherever he went. It was
the heart of a rich respectable man, whose name
is certainly to be found in the address-book.
Now he was in the heart of this man's wife:
this heart was an old dilapidated pigeon-house.
. The husband's portrait was used as a mere weather-
cock: it stood in connection with the doors, and-
these doors opened and shut according as the hus-
band turned.
Then he came into a cabinet of mirrors, such as
we. find in the castle of Rosenburg; but these
mirrors magnified in a great degree. In the middle

The Goloshes of Fortune.

of the floor sat, like a Grand Lama, the insignifi-
cant I of the proprietor, astonished in the contem-
plation of his own greatness.
Then he fancied himself transported into a
narrow needle-case full of pointed needles; and he

The Volunteer tries a blister.

thought, "This must decidedly be the heart of an
old maid! But that was not the case. It was
a young officer, wearing several orders, and of
whom people said, He's a man of intellect and
Quite confused was the poor volunteer when he-
emerged from the heart of the last person in the

30 The Goloshes of Fortune.

first row, He could not arrange his thoughts, and
fancied it must be his powerful imagination which
had run away with him.
." Gracious powers !" he sighed, "I must cer-
tainly have a great tendency to go mad. It is also
unconscionably hot in here : the blood is rising to
my head !"
And now he remembered the great event of the
last evening, how his head had been caught between
the iron rails of the hospital.
"That's where I must have caught it," thought
he. I must do something at once. A Russian
bath might be very good. I wish I were lying on
the highest board in the bath-house."
Arid there he lay on the highest board in the
yapour bath; but he was lying there in all his
clothes, in boots and goloshes, and the hot drops
from the ceiling were falling on his face.
Hi! he cried, and jumped down to take a
plunge bath.
The attendant uttered a loud cry on seeing a
person there with all -his clothes on. The volun-
teer had, however, enough presence of mind to
whisper to him, "It's for a wager!" But the
first thing he did when he got into his own room
was to put a big blister on the nape of his neck,

The Goloshes of Fortune.

and another on his back, that they might draw out
his madness.
Next morning he had a very sore back; and
that was all he had got by the goloshes of Fortune.

The Transformation of the Copying Clerk.
THE watchman, whom we surely have not yet
forgotten, in the meantime thought of the goloshes,
which he had found and brought to the hospital.
lie took them away; but as neither the lieutenant
nor any one in the street would own them, they
were taken to the police office.
They look exactly like my own goloshes," said
one of the copying gentlemen, as he looked at the
unowned articles and put them beside his own.
"More than a shoemaker's eye is required to dis-
tinguish them from one another."
"Mr. Copying Clerk," said a servant, coming
in with some papers.
The copying clerk turned and spoke to the man :
when he had done this, he turned to look at the
goloshes again; he was in great doubt if the right-
hand or the left-hand pair belonged to him.
"It must be those that are wet," he thought.

32 The Goloshes of Fortune.

Now here he thought wrong, for these were the
goloshes of Fortune; but why should not the
police be sometimes mistaken? He put them on,
thrust his papers into his pocket, and put a few
manuscripts under his arm, for they were to be
read at home, and abstracts to be made from them.
But now it was Sunday morning, and the weather
was fine.
A walk to Fredericksburg would do me good,"
said he; and he went out accordingly.
There could not be a quieter, steadier person
than this young man. We grant him his little
walk with all our hearts; it will certainly do him
good after so much sitting. At first he only walked
like a vegetating creature, so the goloshes had no
- opportunity of displaying their magic power.
In the avenue he met an acquaintance, one of
bur younger poets, who told him that he was going
to start, next day, on a summer trip.
"Are you going away again already?" asked
the copying clerk; "What a happy, free man you
are! You can fly wherever you like; we others
have a chain to our foot."
But it is fastened to the bread tree replied
the poet. You need not be anxious for the mor-
row; and when you grow old you get a pension.".

The Goloshes of Fortune.

"But you are better off, after all," said the
copying clerk. It must be a pleasure to sit and
write poetry. Everybody says agreeable things to
you, and then you are your own master. Ah, you
should just try it, poring over the frivolous affairs
in the court."
The poet shook his head, and the copying clerk
shook his head also: each retained his own opinion;
and thus they parted.
They are a strange race, these poets !" thought
the copying clerk. I should like to try and enter
into such a nature-to become a poet myself. I am
certain I should not write such complaining verses
as the rest. What a splendid spring day for a
poet! the air is so remarkably clear, the clouds
are so beautiful, and the green smells so sweet.
For many years I have not felt as I feel at this
We already notice that he has become a poet.
To point this out would, in most cases, be what the
Germans call mawkish." It is a foolish fancy
to imagine a poet different from other people, for
among thelatter there may be natures more poet-
ical than those of many an acknowledged poet.
The difference is only that the poet has a better
spiritual memory: his ears hold fast the feeling

34 The Goloshes of Fortune.

and the idea until they are embodied clearly and
firmly in words; and the others cannot do that.
But the transition from an every-day nature to
that of a poet is always a transition, and as such.
it must be noticed in the copying clerk.
What glorious fragrance he cried. How
it reminds me of the violets at Aunt Laura's!
Yes, that was when I was a little boy. 1 have
not thought of that for a long time. The good
old lady! She lies yonder, by the canal. She
always had a twig or a couple of green shoots in
the water, let the winter be as severe as it might.
The violets bloomed, while I had to put warm
farthings against the frozen window-panes to make
peep-holes. That was a pretty view. Out in the
canal the ships were frozen in, and deserted by the
whole crew; a screaming crow was the only living
creature left. Then, when the spring breezes
blew, it all became lively: the ice was sawn apart
amid great shouting and cheers, the ships were
tarred and rigged, and then they sailed away to
strange lands. I remained here, and must always.
remain, and sit at the police office, and let others
take passports for abroad.- That's my fate. Oh,
yes !" and he sighed deeply. Suddenly he paused.
" Good Heaven! what is come to me? I never

The Goloshes of Fortune.

thought or felt as I do now. It must be the
spring air: it is just as dizzying as it is charming !"
He felt in his pockets for his papers. "These will
give me something else to think of," said he, and
let his eyes wander over the first leaf. There he
read: "'Dame Sigbirth; an original tragedy in
five acts.' What is that? And it is my own
hand. Have I written this tragedy ? 'The Intrigue
on the Promenade; or, the Day of Penance.-Vau-
deville.' But where did I get that from? It must
have been put into my pocket. Here is a letter.
Yes, it was from the manager of the theatre; the
pieces were rejected, and the letter is not at all
politely worded. H'm! H'm'!" said the copying
clerk, and he sat down upon a bench: his thoughts
were elastic; his head was quite soft. Involun-
tarily he grasped one of the nearest flowers; it
was a common little daisy. What the botanists
require several lectures to explain to us, this flower
told in a minute. It told the glory of its birth;
it told of the strength of the sunlight, which spread
out the delicate leaves and made them give-out
fragrance. Then he thought of the battles of life,
which likewise awaken feelings in our breasts.
Air and light are the lovers of the flower, but light
is the favoured one. Towards the light it turned,

36 The Goloshes of Fortune.

and only when the light vanished the flower rolled
her leaves together and slept in the embrace of
the air.
"It is light that adorns me !" said the Flower.
"But the air allows you to breathe," whispered
the poet's voice.-
Just by him stood a little boy, knocking with
his stick upon the marshy ground. The drops of
water spurted up among the green twigs, and the
copying clerk thought of the millions of infusoria
which were cast up on high with the drops, which
was the same to them, in proportion to their size,
as it would be to us if we were hurled high over
the region of the clouds. And the copying clerk
thought of this and of the great change which had
taken place within him; he smiled.
"I sleep and dream! It is wonderful, though,
how naturally one can dream, and yet know all
the time that it is a dream. I should like to be
able to remember it all clearly to-morrow when I
wake. I seem to myself quite unusually excited.
What a clear appreciation I have of everything,
and how free I feel! But I am certain that if I
remember anything of it to-morrow, it will be
.. nonsense. That has often been so with me before.
It is with all the clever famous things one says

The Goloshes of Fortune.

and hears in dreams as with the money of the
elves under the earth; when one receives it, it is
rich and beautiful, but looked at by daylight, it
is nothing but stones and dried leaves. Ah!" he
sighed, quite plaintively, and gazed at the chirping
birds, as they sprang merrily from bough to bough,
"they are much better off than I. Flying is a
noble art. Happy he who is born with wings.
Yes, if I could change myself into anything, it
should be into a lark."
- In a moment his coat-tails and sleeves grew
together and formed wings; his clothes became
feathers, and his goloshes claws. He noticed it
quite plainly, and laughed inwardly.
Well, now I can see that I am dreaming, but
so wildly I have never dreamed before."
Ard he flew up into the green boughs and sang;
but there was no poetry in the song, for the poetic
nature was gone. The goloshes, like every one
who wishes to do any business thoroughly, could
only do one thing at a time. He wished to be a
poet, and he became one. Then he wished to be
a little bird, and, in changing thus, the former
peculiarity was lost.
"That is charming! he said. "In the day-
time I sit in the police office among the driest of

38 The Goloshes of Fortune.

law papers; at night I can dream that I am flying
about, as a lark, in the Fredericksburg Garden.
One could really write a popular comedy upon it."
Now he flew down into the grass, turned his
head in every direction, and beat with his beak
upon the bending stalks of grass, which, in pro-
portion to his size, seemed to him as long as palm
branches of Northern Africa.
It was only for a moment, and then all around
him became as the blackest night. It seemed to
him that some immense substance was cast over
him: it was a great cap, which a sailor boy threw
over the bird. A hand came in and seized the
copying clerk by the back and wings in a way that
made him whistle. In his terror he cried aloud,
The impudent rascal 1 I am copying clerk at
the police office! "
But that sounded to the boy only like "piep!
piep!" and he tapped the bird on the beak and
wandered on with him.
In the alley the boy met two other boys, who
belonged to the educated classes, socially speaking,
but, according to abilities, they ranked in the
lowest class in the school. These bought the bird
for a few Danish shillings; and so the copying
clerk was carried back to Copenhagen.

The Goloshes of Fortune.

"It's a good thing that I am dreaming," he
said, "or I should become really angry. First I
was a poet, and now I'm a lark! Yes, it must
have been the poetic nature which transformed me
into that little creature. It is a miserable state

17w Copying CLer changes lunds.

of things, especially when one falls into the hands
of boys. I should like to know what the end of
it will be."
The boys carried him into a very elegant room.
A stout smiling lady received them. But she was
not at all gratified to see the common field bird, as
she called the lark, coming in too. Only for one

40 The Goloshes of Fortune.

day she would consent to it; but they must .put
the bird in the empty cage which stood by the
"Perhaps that will please Polly," she added,
and laughed at a great Parrot swinging himself
proudly in his ring in the handsome brass cage.
"It's Polly's birthday," she said, simply, "so
the little feld bird shail congratulate him."
Polly did not answer a single word; he only
swung proudly to and fro. But a pretty Canary,
who had been brought here last summer out of his
warm fragrant fatherland, began to sing loudly.
"Screamer!" said the lady; and she threw a
white handkerchief over the cage.
Piep piep !" sighed he; here's a terrible
snow-storm." And thus sighing, he was silent.
The copying clerk, or, as the lady called him,
the field bird, was placed in a little cage close to
the Canary, and not far from the Parrot. The
only human words which Polly could say, and
which often sounded very comically, were Come,
let's be men now!" Everything else that he
screamed out was just as unintelligible as the
song of the Canary bird, except for the copying
clerk, who was now also a bird, and who under-
stood his comrades very well.

The Goloshes of Fortune.

"I flew under the green palm tree and the
blossoming almond tree !" sang the Canary. "I
flew with my brothers and sisters over the beau-
tiful flowers and over the bright sea, where the
plants waved in the depths. I also saw many
beautiful parrots, who told the merriest stories."
"Those were wild birds," replied the Parrot.
"They had no education. Let us be men now!
Why don't you laugh? If the lady and all the
strangers could laugh at it, so can you. It is a
great fault to have no taste for what is pleasant.
No, let us be men now."
Do you remember the pretty girls who danced
under the tents spread out beneath the blooming
trees? Do you remember the sweet fruits and
cooling juice in the wild plants ?"
"Oh, yes!" replied the Parrot; "but here I
am far better off. I have good care and genteel
treatment. I know I've a good head, and I don't
ask for more. Let us be men now. You are what
they call a poetic soul. I have thorough know-
ledge and wit. You have genius, but no pru-
dence. You mount up into those high natural
notes of yours, and then you get covered up. That
is never done to me; no, no, for I cost them a
little more. I make an impression with my beak,

42 The Goloshes of Fortune.

and can cast wit around me. Now let us be
O my poor blooming fatherland!" sang the
Canary. "I will praise thy dark green trees and
thy quiet bays, where the branches kiss the clear
watery mirror; I'll sing of the joy of all my shining
brothers and sisters, where the plants grow by the
desert springs."
Now, pray leave off these dismal tones," cried
the Parrot. Sing something at which one can
laugh! Laughter is the sign of the highest mental
development. Look if a dog or a horse canlaugh!
No: they can cry; but laughter-that is given to
men alone. Ho! ho! ho! screamed Polly, and
finished the jest with Let us be men now."
You little grey Northern bird," said the Ca-
nary, "so you have also become a prisoner. It is
certainly cold in your woods, but still liberty is
there. Fly out i they have forgotten to close your
cage; the upper window is open. Fly fly !"
Instinctively the copying clerk obeyed, and flew
forth from his prison. At the same moment the
half-opened door of the next room creaked, and
stealthily, with pierce sparkling eyes, the house cat
crept in, and made chase upon him. The Canary
fluttered in its cage, the Parrot flapped its wings,

The Goloshes of Fortune.

and cried "Let us be men now." The copy Ing
clerk felt mortally afraid, and flew through the
Window, away over the houses and streets; at last
he was obliged to rest a little.
The house opposite had a homelike look: one
of the windows stood open, and he flew in. It.
was his own room: he perched upon the table.
"Let us be men now," he broke out, invo-
luntarily imitating the Parrot; and in the same
moment he was restored to the form of the copy-
ing clerk; but he was sitting on the table.
"Heaven preserve me!" he cried. -"How-
could I have come here and fallen so soundly
asleep? That was an unquiet dream, too, that I
had. The whole thing was great nonsense."


The Best that the Goloshes brought.

ON the following day, quite early in the morn-
ing, as the clerk still lay in bed, there came a.
tapping at his door: it was his neighbour who,
lodged on the same floor, a young theologian; and
he came in.
"Lend me your goloshes," said he. "It is

44 The Goloshes of Fortune,

very wet in the garden, but the sun shines glo-
riously, and I should like to smoke a pipe down
He put on the goloshes, and was soon in the
garden, which contained a plum tree and an apple
tree. Even a little garden like this is highly prized
in the midst of great cities.
The theologian wandered up and down the path;
it was only six o'clock, and a post-horn sounded
out in the street.
"Oh, travelling! travelling! he cried out,
"that's the greatest happiness in all the world.
That's the highest goal of my wishes. Then this
disquietude that I feel would be stilled. But it
would have to be far away. I should like to see
beautiful Switzerland, to travel through Italy,
Yes, it was a good thing that the goloshes took
effect immediately, for he might have gone too far
even for himself and for us others too. He was
travelling; he was in the midst of Switzerland,
packed tightly with eight others in the interior of
a diligence. He had a headache and a weary
feeling in his neck, and his feet had gone to sleep,
for they were swollen by the heavy boots he had
on. He was hovering in a condition between

The Goloshes of Fortune.

sleeping and waking. In his right-hand pocket
he had his letter of credit, in his left-hand pocket
his passport, and a few louis d'or were sewn into
a little bag he wore on his breast. Whenever he
dozed off, he dreamed he had lost one or other of
these possessions; and then he would start up in
a feverish way, and the first movement his hand
made was to describe a triangle from left to right,
and towards his breast, to feel whether he still
possessed them or not. Umbrellas, hats, and
walking sticks swang in the net over him, and
almost took away the prospect, which was impres-
sive enough: he glanced out at it, and his heart
sang what one poet at least, whom we know, has
sung in Switzerland, but has not yet printed:

"'Tis a prospect as fine as heart can desire,
Before me Mont Blanc the rough:
'T is pleasant to tarry here and admire,
If only you've money enough."

Great, grave, and dark was all nature around him.
The pine woods looked like little mosses upon the
high rocks, whose summits were lost in cloudy
mists; and then it began to snow, and the wind
blew cold.
Ugh! he sighed; if we were only the other

46 The Goloshes of Fortune.

'side of the Alps, then it would be summer, and I
should have got money on my letter of credit: my
anxiety about this prevents me from enjoying
Switzerland. Oh, if I were only at the other side !"
And then he was on the other side, in the midst
of Italy, between Florence and Rome. The lake
Thrasymene lay spread out in the evening light,
like flaming gold among the dark blue hills.
Here, where Hannibal beat Flaminius, the grape-
vines held each other by their green fingers; pretty
half naked children were keeping a herd of coal-
black pigs under a clump of fragrant laurels by
the way-side. If we could reproduce this scene
accurately, all would cry, "Glorious Italy!" But
neither the theologian nor any of his travelling
companions in the carriage of the vetturino thought
Poisonous flies and gnats flew into the carriage
by thousands. In vain they beat the air fran-
tically with a myrtle branch-the flies stung them
nevertheless. There was not one person in the
carriage whose face was not swollen and covered
with stings. The poor horses looked miserable,
the flies tormented them wofully, and it only
mended the matter for a moment when the coach-
man dismounted and scraped them clean from the

The Goloshes of Fortune.

insects that sat upon them in great swarms. Now
the sun sank down; a short but icy coldness per-
vaded all nature; it was like the cold air of a
funeral vault after the sultry summer day; and all
around the hills and clouds put on that remark-
able green tone which we notice on some old pic-
tures, and consider so unnatural unless we have
ourselves witnessed a similar play of colour. It
was a glorious spectacle; but the stomachs of all
were empty and their bodies exhausted, and every
wish of the heart turned towards a resting-place
for the night; but how could that be won? To
descry this resting-place all eyes were turned more
eagerly to the road than towards the beauties of
The way now led through an olive wood: he
could have fancied himself passing between knotty
willow trunks at home. Here, by the solitary inn,
a dozen crippled beggars had taken up their posi-
tions: the quickest among them looked, to quote
an expression of Marryat's, like the eldest son of
Famine, who had just come of age. The others
were either blind, or had withered legs, so that
they crept about on their hands, or they had wi-
thered arms with fingerless hands. This was misery
in rags indeed. "Eccellenza, miserabili!" they

48 The Goloshes of Fortune.

sighed, and stretched forth their diseased limbs.
The hostess herself, in untidy hair, and dressed in
a dirty blouse, received her guests. The doors
were tied up with string; the floor of the room
was of brick, and half of it was grubbed up; bats
flew about under the roof, and the smell with-
Yes, lay the table down in the stable," said
one of the travellers. "There, at least, one knows
what one is breathing."
The windows were opened, so that a little fresh
air might find its way in; but quicker than the
air came the withered arms and the continual
whining, Miserabili, Eccellenza! On the walls
were many inscriptions; half of them were against
"La bella Italia."
The supper was served. It consisted of a watery
soup, seasoned with pepper and, rancid oil. This
last dainty played a chief part in the salad; musty
eggs and roasted cocks'-combs were the best dishes.
Even the wine had a strange taste-it was a dread-
ful mixture.
At night the boxes were placed up against the
doors, and one of the travellers kept watch while
the rest slept. The theologian was the sentry.
Oh, how close it was in there. The heat oppressed

The Goloshes of Fortune..

him; the gnats buzzed and stung, and the misera-
bili outside moaned in their dreams.
"Yes, travelling would be all very well," said
the theologian, "if one had no body. If the body
could rest, and the mind fly! Wherever I go, I
find a want that oppresses my heart: it is some-
thing better than the present moment that I desire.
Yes, something better-the best; but what is that,
and where is it? In my own heart I know very
well what I want: I want to attain to a happy
goal, the happiest of all! "
And so soon as the word was spoken he found
himself at home. The long white curtains hung
down from the windows, and in the middle of the
room stood a black coffin; in this he was lying in
the quiet sleep of death: his wish was fulfilled
-his body was at rest and his spirit roaming.
"Esteem no man happy who is not yet in his
grave," were the words of Solon; here their force
was proved anew.
Every corpse is a sphinx of immortality; the
sphinx here also in the black sarcophagus answered
what the living man had laid down two days be-
Thou strong, stern Death! Thy silence waketh fear;
Thou leaves mould'ring gravestones for thy traces.

50 The Goloshes of Fortune.

Shall not the soul see Jacob's ladder here ?
No resurrection type but churchyard grasses ?
The deepest woes escape the world's dull eye:
Thou that alone on Duty's path hast sped,
Heavier those duties on thy heart would lie
Than lies the on thy coffin'd head."

Two forms were moving to and fro in the room.
We know them both. They were the Fairy of
Care and the Ambassadress of Happiness. They
bent down over the dead man.
"Do you see?" said Care. "What happiness
have your goloshes brought to men ?"
They have at least brought a permanent bene-
fit to him who slumbers here," replied Happiness.
Oh, no!" said Care. He went away of
himself, he was not summoned. His spirit was
not strong enough to lift the treasures which he
had been destined to lift. I will do him a favour."
And she drew the goloshes from his feet; then
the sleep of death was ended, and the awakened
man raised himself up. Care vanished, and with
her the goloshes disappeared too: doubtless she
looked upon them as her property.




Which treats of the Mirror and Fragments,

S OOK you, now we're going to begin, When:
we are at the end of the story we shall know
more than we do now, for he was a bad goblin.
He was one of the very worst, for he was a demon,
One day he was in very good spirits, for he had
made a mirror which had this peculiarity, that
everything good and beautiful that was reflected
in it shrank together into almost nothing, but
that whatever was worthless and looked ugly be-
came prominent and looked worse than eyer. The
most lovely landscapes seen in this mirror looked
like boiled spinach, and the best people became
hideous, or stood on their heads and had no bodies;
their faceswere so distorted as to be unrecognizable,
and a single freckle was shown spread out over nose

The Snow Queen.

and mouth. That was very amusing, the demon
said. When good pious thoughts passed through
any person's mind, these were again shown in the
mirror, so that the demon chuckled at his artistic
invention. Those who visited the goblin school
-for he kept a goblin school--declared every-
where that a wonder had been wrought; for now,
they asserted, one could see, for the first time, how
the world and the people in it really looked. Now
they wanted to fly up to heaven, to sneer and scoff
at the angels themselves. The higher they flew
with the mirror, the more it grinned; they could
scarcely hold it fast. They flew higher and higher,
and then the mirror trembled so terribly amid its
grinning that it fell down out of their hands to
the earth, where it was shattered into a hundred
million million and more fragments. And now
this mirror occasioned much more unhappiness
than before, for some of the fragments were
scarcely so large as a barleycorn, and these flew
about in the world, and whenever they flew into
any one's eyes they stuck there, and those people
saw everything wrongly, or had only eyes for the
bad side of a thing, for every little fragment of the
mirror had retained the same power which the
whole glass possessed. A few persons even got a

The magic Mirror.

fragment of the mirror into their hearts, and that
was terrible indeed, for such a heart became a
block of ice. A few fragments of the mirror were
so large that they were used as window-panes, but
it was a bad thing to look at one's friends through
these panes; other pieceswere made into spectacles,
and then it went badly when people put on these
spectacles to see rightly and to be just; and then
the demon laughed till his paunch shook, for it
tickled him so. But without, some little fragments

The Snow Queen.

of glass still floated about in the air-and now we
shall hear.


A Little Boy and a Little Girl.

IN the great town where there are many houses
and so many people that there is not room enough
for every one to have a little garden, and where
consequently most persons are compelled to be con-
tent with some flowers in flower-pots, were two poor
children who possessed a garden somewhat larger
than a flower-pot. They were not brother and
sister, but they loved each other quite as much as
if they had been. Their parents lived just opposite
each other in two garrets, there where the roof of
one neighbour's house joined that of another; and
where the water-pipe ran between the two houses
was a little window; one had only to step across
the pipe to get from one window to the other.
The parents of each child had a great box, in
which grew kitchen herbs that they used, and a
little rose bush; there was one in each box, and
they grew famously. Now, it had occurred to the
parents to place the boxes across the pipe, so that
they reached from one window to the other, and

The Snow Queen.

looked quite like small embankments of flowers.
Pea plants hung down over the boxes, and the rose
bushes pushed forth long twigs, which clustered
round the windows and bent down towards each
other: it was almost like a triumphal arch of flowers
and leaves. As the boxes were very high, and the
children knew that they might not creep upon
them, they often obtained permission to step out
upon the roof behind the boxes, and to sit upon
their little stools under the roses, and there they
could play capitally.
In the winter there was an end of this amuse-
ment. The windows were sometimes quite frozen
all over. But then they warmed copper shillings
on the stove, and held the warm coins against the
frozen pane, and this made a capital peep-hole, so
round, so round and behind it gleamed a pretty
mild eye at each window; and these eyes belonged
to the little boy and the little girl. His name was
Kay and hers Gerda.
In the summer they could get to one another at
one bound; but in the winter they had to go down
and up the long staircase, while the snow was
pelting without.
"-Those are the white bees swarming," said the
old grandmother.

The Snow Queen.

Have they a Queen-bee ?" asked the little boy,
for he knew that there is one among the real bees.
"Yes, they have one," replied grandmamma.
" She always flies where they swarm thickest. She
is the largest of them all, and never remains quiet
upon the earth; she flies up again into the black
cloud. Many a midnight she is flying through
the streets of the town, and looks in at the windows,
and then they freeze in such a strange way, and
look like flowers."
Yes, I 've seen that!" cried both the children;
and now they knew that it was true.
"Can the Snow Queen come in here?" asked
the little girl.
"Only let her come," cried the boy; "I'll set
her upon the warm stove, and then she'll melt."
But grandmother smoothed his hair, and told
some other tales.
In the evening, when little Kay was at home
and half undressed, he clambered upon the chair
by the window, and looked through the little hole:
a few flakes of snow were falling outside, and one
of them, the largest of them all, remained lying
on the edge of one of the flower-boxes. The
snow-flake grew larger and larger, and at last be-
came a maiden clothed in the finest white gauze,

Gerda and Kay..

put together of millions of starry flakes. She was
beautiful and delicate, fut of ice -of shining,
glittering ice. Yet she was Alive; her eyes flashed
like two clear stars, but there was no peace or rest


: -A

The Snow Queen.

in them., She nodded towards the window, and
beckoned with her hand. The little boy was fright-
ened, and sprang down from the chair; then it
seemed if a great bird flew by outside, in front of
the window.
Next day there was a clear frost, and then the
spring came; the sun shone, the green sprouted
forth, the swallows built nests, the windows were
opened, and the little children again sat in their
garden high up in the roof, over all the floors.
How splendidly the roses bloomed this summer!
And the little girl had learned a psalm, in which
mention was made of roses; and, in speaking of
roses, she thought of her own; and she sang it to
the little boy, and he sang, too,-

The roses will fade and pass away,
But we the Christ-child shall see one day."

And the little ones held each other by the hand,
kissed the roses, looked at God's bright sunshine,
and spoke to it, as if the Christ-child were there.
What splendid summer days those were! How
.beautiful it was without, among the fresh rose
bushes, which seemed as if they would never leave
off blooming!
SKay and Gerda sat and looked at the picture-

The Snow Queen.

book of beasts and birds. Then it was, while the
clock was just striking twelve on the church tower,
that Kay said,
"Oh! something struck my heart and pricked
me in the eye."
The little girl fell upon his neck; he blinked
his eyes. No, there was nothing at all to be seen.
"I think it is gone," said he.
But it was not gone. It was just one of those
glass fragments which sprang from the mirror-
the magic mirror that we remember well, the ugly
glass that made everything great and good which
was mirrored in it to seem small and mean, but in
which the mean and the wicked things were brought
out in relief, and every fault was noticeable at once.
Poor little Kay had also received a splinter just in
his heart, and that will now soon become like a
lump of ice. It did not hurt him now, but the
splinter was still there.
Why do you cry ?" he asked. "You look ugly
like that. There's nothing the matter with me.
Oh, fie!" he suddenly exclaimed, "that rose is
worm-eaten, and this one is quite crooked. After.
all, they're ugly roses. They're like the box in
which they stand." And then ~e kicked the box
with his foot, and tore both the roses off.

The Snow Queen.

"Kay, what are you about ?" cried the little
And when he noticed her fright he tore off
another rose, and then sprang in at his own win-
dow, away from pretty little Gerda.
When she afterwards camewith her picture-book,
he said it was only fit for babies in arms; and
when grandmother told stories, he always came in
with a but; and when he could manage it, he
would get behind her, put on a pair of spectacles,
and talk just as she did; he could do that very
cleverly, and the people laughed at him. Soon he
could mimic the speech and the gait of everybody
in the street. Everything that was peculiar or
ugly about him Kay could imitate; and people
said, That boy must certainly have a remarkable
head." But it was the glass that stuck deep in
his heart; so it happened that he even teased little
Gerda, who loved him with all her heart.
His games now became quite different from what
they had been before; they became quite sensible.
One winter's day when it snowed he came out with
a great burning-glass, held up the blue tail of his
coat, and let the snow-flakes fall upon it.
"'Now look at the glass, Gerda," said he.
And every flake of snow was magnified, and

The Snow Queen.

looked like a splendid flower, or a star with ten
points; it was beautiful to behold.
See how clever that is," said Kay. That's
much more interesting than real flowers, and there
is not a single fault in it,-they're quite regular
until they begin to melt."
Soon after Kay came in thick gloves, and with
his sledge upon his back. He called up to Gerda,
" I've got leave to go into the great square where
the other boys play," and he was gone.
In the great square the boldest among the boys
often tied their sledges to -the country people's
carts, and thus rode with them a good way. They
went capitally. When they were in the midst of
their playing there came a great sledge. It was
painted quite white, and in it sat somebody wrapped
in a rough white fur, and with a rough white cap
on his head. The sledge drove twice round the
square, and Kay bound his little sledge to it, and
so he drove on with it. It went faster and faster,
straight into the next street. The man who drove
turned round and nodded in a friendly way to Kay;
it was as if they knew one another: each time
when Kay wanted to cast loose his little sledge,
the stranger nodded again, and then Kay remained
where he was, and thus they drove cut of the town

The Snow Queen.

gate. Then the snow began to fall so rapidly that
the boy could not see a hand's breadth before him,
but still they drove on. Now he hastily dropped
the cord, so as to get loose from the great sledge,
but that was no use, for his sledge was fast bound to
the other, and now they went on like the wind;
Then he called out quite loudly, but nobody heard
him; and the snow beat down, and the sledge flew
onward; every now and then it gave a jump, and
they seemed to be flying over hedges and ditches.
The boy was quite frightened. He wanted to say
his prayers, but could remember nothing but the
multiplication table.
The snow-flakes became larger and larger, till at
last they looked like great white fowls. All at once
they sprang aside and the great sledge stopped, and
the person who had driven it rose up. The fur and
the cap were made altogether of ice. It was a lady,
tall and slender, and brilliantly white; it was the
Snow Queen.
"We have driven well!" said she. But why
do you tremble with cold? Creep into my warm
And she seated him beside her in her own sledge,
and wrapped the fur round him, and he felt as if he
Ailk into a snow-drift.

The Snow Queen.

"Are you still cold?" asked she, and then she
kissed him on the forehead.
Oh, that was colder than ice; it went quite
through. to his heart, half of which was already a
lump of. ice : he felt as if he were going to die;
hut only for a moment; for then he seemed quite
well, and he did not notice the cold all about him.
My sledge don't forget my sledge."
That was the first thing he thought of; and it was
bound fast to one of the white chickens, and this
chicken flew behind him with the sledge upon its
back. The Snow Queen kissed Kay again, and
then he had forgotten little Gerda, his grandmother,
and all at home.
Now you shall have no more kisses," said she,
" for if you did I should kiss you to death."
Kay looked at her. She was so beautiful, he
could not imagine a more sensible or lovely face;
she did not appear to him to be made of ice now as
before, when she sat at the window and beckoned
to him. In his eyes she was perfect; he did not
fetlat all afraid. He told her that he could do
mental. arithmetic as far as fractions; that he
knew the number of square miles and the number
of inhabitants in the country.. And she always
smiled, and then it seemed to him that what he

The Snow Queen.

knew was not enough, and he looked up into the
wide sky, and she flew with him high up upon the
black cloud, and the storm blew and whistled; it
seemed as though the wind sang old songs. They
flew over woods and lakes, over sea and land: below
them roared the cold wind, the wolves howled, the
snow crackled; over them flew the black screaming
crows; but above all the moon shone bright and
clear, and Kay looked at the long, long winter
night; by day he slept at the feet of the Queen.


The Flower Garden of the Woman who could

BUT how did it fare with little Gerda when Kay
did not return? What could have become of him ?
No one knew, no one could give information. The
boys only told that they had seen him bind his
sledge to another very large one, which had driven
along the street and out at the town gate. Nobody
knew what had become of him; many tears were
shed, and little Gerda especially wept long and
bitterly: then she said he was dead-he had been
drowned in the river which flowed close by their

The Snow Queen.

school. Oh, those were very dark long winter days !
But now spring came, with warmer sunshine.
"Kay is dead and gone !" said little Gerda.
"I don't believe it !" said the Sunshine.
"He is dead and gone !" she said to the Sparrows.
"We don't believe it !" they replied.
And at last little Gerda did not believe it herself.
"I will put on my new red shoes," she said
one morning,-" those that Kay has never seen;
and then I will go dowif to the river, and ask for
It was still very early; she kissed the old grand-
mother, who was still asleep, put on her red shoes,
and went quite alone out of the town gate towards
the river.
Is it true that you have taken away my little
playmate from me? I will give you my red shoes
if you will give him back to me."
And it seemed to her as if the waves nodded
quite strangely; and then she took her red shoes,
that she liked 'best of anything she possessed, and
thr6w them both into the river; but they fell close
to the shore, and the little wavelets carried them
back to her on the land. It seemed as if the river
would not take from her the dearest things she
possessed because he had not her little Kay; but

The Snow Queen.

she thought she had not thrown the shoes quite
far enough out; so she crept into a boat that lay
among the reeds; she went to the other end of the
boat, and threw the shoes from thence into the
water; but the boat was not bound fast, and at
the movement she made, it glided away from the
shore. She noticed it, and hurried to get back,
but before she reached the other end the boat was
a yard from the bank, and it drifted away faster
than before.
Then little Gerda was very much frightened, and
began to cry; but no one heard her except the
Sparrows, and they could not carry her to land;
but they flew along by the shore, and sang, as if
to console her," Here we are! here we are !" The
boat drove on with the stream, and little Gerda sat
quitee still, with only her stockings on her feet; her
little red shoes floated alopg behind her, but they
could not come up to the boat, for that made more
It was very pretty on both shores: there were
beautiful flowers, old trees, and slopes with sheep
and cows; but not one person was to be seen.
"Perhaps the river will carry me to little Kay,"
thought Gerda.
And then she became more cheerful, and rose

..- _


Gerda and t7w strange Woman.

up, and for many hours she watched the charming
green banks; then she came to a great cherry
orchard, in which stood a little house with remark-
able blue and red windows; it had a thatched
roof, and without stood two wooden soldiers, who
presented arms to those who sailed past.
Gerda called to them, for shethought they were
alive; but of course they did not answer. She
came quite close to them; the river carried the
boat towards the shore.

The Snow Queen.

Gerda called still louder, and then there came out
of the house an old woman leaning on a crutch:
she had on a great velvet hat painted over with the
finest flowers.
You poor little child !" said the old woman,
"how did you manage to come on the great rolling
river, and to float thus far out into the world?"
And then the old woman went quite into the
water, seized the boat with her crutch-stick, drew
it to land, and lifted little Gerda out. And Gerda
was glad to be on the dry land again, though she
felt a little afraid of the strange old woman.
Come and tell me who you are, and how you
came here," said the old lady.
And Gerda told her everything; and the old
woman shook her head, and said "Hem hem !"
and when Gerda had told everything, and asked
if she had not seen little Kay, the woman said
that he had not yet come by, but that he pro-
bably would soon come. Gerda was not to be
sorrowful, but to look at the flowers and taste
the cherries, for they were better than any picture-
book, for each one of them could tell a story.
Then she took Gerda by the hand and led her
into the little house, and the old woman locked the

The Snow Queen.

The windows were very high, and the panes were
red, blue, and yellow; the daylight shone in a re-
markable way, with different colours. On the
table stood the finest cherries, and Gerda ate as
many of them as she liked, for she had leave to
do so. While she was eating them, the old lady
combed her hair with a golden comb, and the hair
hung in ringlets of pretty yellow round the friendly
little face, which looked as blooming as a rose.
"I have long wished for such a dear little girl
as you," said the old lady. "Now you shall see
how well we shall live with one another."
And as the ancient dame combed her hair, Gerda
forgot her adopted brother Kay more and more;
for this old woman could conjure, but she was not
a wicked witch. She only practised a little magic
for her own amusement, and wanted to keep little
Gerda. Therefore she went into the garden,
stretched out her crutch towards the rose bushes,
and, beautiful as they were, they all sank into the
earth, and one could not tell where they had stood.
The old woman was afraid that if the little girl
saw roses, she would think of her own, and re-
member little Kay, and run away.
Now Gerda was led out into the flower garden.
What fragrance was there, and what loveliness !

The Snow Queen.

Every conceivable flower was there in full bloom;
there were some for every season; no picture-book
could be gayer and prettier. Gerda jumped high
for joy, and played till the sun went down behind
the high cherry trees; then she was put into a
lovely bed with red silk pillows stuffed with blue
violets; and she slept there, and dreamed as glori-
ously as a Queen on her wedding-day.
Day after day she played with the nice flowers
in the warm sunshine; and thus many days went
by. Gerda knew every flower; but, as many as
there were of them, it still seemed to her as if one
were wanting, but which one she did not know.
One day she sat looking at the old lady's hat with
the painted flowers, and the prettiest of them all
was a rose. The old lady had forgotten to efface
it from her hat when she caused the others to dis-
appear. But so it is when one does not keep one's
wits about one.
What, are there no roses here ?" cried Gerda.
And she went among the beds, and searched and
searched, but there was not one to be found. Then
she sat down and wept: her tears fell just upon a
spot where a rose-bud lay buried, and when the
warm tears moistened the earth, the tree at once
sprouted up as blooming as when it had sunk;

The Snow Queen.

and Gerda embraced it, and kissed the Roses, and
thought of the beautiful roses at home, and also
of little Kay.
Oh, how I have been detained !" said the little
girl. I wanted to seek for little Kay. Do you
not know where he is?" she asked the Roses: do
you think he is dead ?"
He is not dead," the Roses answered. We
have been in the ground. All the dead people are
there, but Kay is not there."
Thank you," said little Gerda; and she went
to the other flowers, looked into their cups, and
asked, "Do you not know where little Kay is ?"
But every flower stood in the sun thinking only
of her own story or fancy tale: Gerda heard many,
many of them; but not one knew anything of
And what did the Tiger-Lily say?
Do you hear the drum rub-dub !' There are
only two notes, always 'rub-dub !' Hear the morn-
ing song of the women, hear the call of the priests.
The Hindoo widow stands in her long red mantle
on the funeral pile, the flames rise up around her
and her dead husband, but the Hindoo woman is
thinking of the living one here in the circle, of him
whose eyes, burn hotter than flames, whose fiery

72t The Snow Queen.

glances have burned in her soul more ardently than
the flames themselves, which are soon to burn her
body to ashes. Can the flame of the heart die in
the flame of the funeral pile ?"
"I don't understand that at all!" said little
"That's my story," said the Lily.
What says the Convolvulus ?
Over the narrow road looms an old knightly
castle: thickly the ivy grows over the crumbling
red walls, leaf by leaf up to the balcony, and
there stands a beautiful girl; she bends over the
balustrade and glances up the road. No rose on
its branch is fresher than she; no apple blossom
wafted onward by the wind floats more lightly
along. How her costly silks rustle! Comes he
not yet ?"
"Is it Kay whom you mean?" asked little
"I'm only speaking of a story-my dream,"
replied the Convolvulus.
What said the little Snowdrop ?
Between the trees a long board hangs by ropes.
That is a swing. Two pretty little girls, with clothes
white as snow, and long green silk ribbons on their
hats, are sitting upon it, swinging; their brother,

The Snow Queen.

who is greater than they, stands in the swing, and
has slung his arm round the rope to hold himself,
for in one hand he has a little saucer, and in the
other a clay pipe; he is blowing bubbles. The swing
flies, and the bubbles rise with beautiful changing
colours; the last still hangs from the pipe-bowl,
swaying in the wind. The swing flies on: the little
black dog, light as the bubbles, stands up on his
hind legs, and wants to be taken into the swing;
it flies on; the dog falls, barks, and grows angry,
for he is teased; and the bubble bursts. A swing-
ing board and a bursting bubble, that is my song."
It may be very pretty, what you're telling,
but you speak it so mournfully, and you don't
mention little Kay at all."
What do the Hyacinths say?
There were three beautiful sisters, transparent
and delicate. The dress of one was red, that of the
second blue, and that of the third quite white:
hand in hand they danced by the calm lake in the
bright moonlight. They were not elves, they were
human beings. It was very sweet and fragrant
there. The girls disappeared in the forest, and the
sweet fragrance became stronger: three coffins,
with the three beautiful maidens lying in them,
glided from the wood-thicket across the lake; the

74 The Snow Queen.

glowworms flew gleaming about the like little
hovering lights. Are the dancing girls sleeping,
or are they dead ? The flower-scent says they are
dead, and the evening bell tolls their knell."
You make me quite sorrowful," said little
Gerda. "You scent so strongly, I cannot help
thinking of the dead maidens. Ah! is little Kay
really dead ? The roses have been down in the
earth, and they say no."
"Kling-klang!" tolled the Hyacinth Bells; "we
are not tolling for little Kay-we don't know him;
we only sing our song, the only dne we know."
And Gerda went to the Buttercup, gleaming
forth from the green leaves.
You are a bright little sun," said Gerda. "Tell
me if you know where I may find my companion."
And the Buttercup shone very gaily, and looked
back at Gerda. What song might the Buttercup
sing? It was not about Kay.
In a little courtyard the clear sun shone warm
on the first day of spring. The sunbeams glided
down the white wall of the neighboring house;
close by grew the first yellow flower, glancing like
gold in the bright sun's ray. The old grandmother
sat out of doors in her chair; her granddaughter,
a poor handsome maid-servant, was coming home

The Snow Queen.

or a short visit: she kissed her old grandmother.
There was gold, heart's gold, in that blessed kiss,
gold in the mouth, gold in the south, gold in the
morning hour. See, that's my little story," said
the Buttercup.
"My poor old grandmother !" sighed Gerda.
"Yes, she is surely longing for me and grieving
for me, just as she did for little Kay. But I shall
soon go home and take Kay with me. There is no
use of my asking the flowers, they only know their
own song, and give me no information. And then
she tied her little frock round her, that she might
run the faster; but the Jonquil struck against her
leg as she sprang over it, and she stopped to look
at the tall yellow flower, and asked, "Do you,
perhaps, know anything of little Kay ?"
And she bent quite down to the flower, and
what did it say?
"I can see myself I can see myself !" said
the Jonquil. Oh! oh! how I smell! Up in the
little room, in the gable, stands a little dancing
girl; she stands sometimes on one foot, sometimes
on both; she seems to tread on all the world. She's
nothing but .an ocular delusion: she pours water
out of a tea-pot on a bit of stuff-it is her boddice.
'Cleanliness is a fine thing,' she says: her white

The Snow Queen.

frock hangs on a hook; it has been washed in the
tea-pot too, and dried on the roof: she puts it on,
and ties her saffron handkerchief round her neck,
and the dress looks all the whiter. Point your
toes! look how she seems to stand on a stalk. I
can see myself I can see myself !"
"I don't care at all about that," said Gerda.
"You need not tell me that."
And then she ran to the end of the garden.
The door was locked, but she pressed against the
rusty lock, and it broke off, the door sprang open,
and little Gerda ran with naked feet out into the
wide world. She looked back three times, but no
one was there to pursue her; at last she could run
no longer, and seated herself on a great stone, and
when she looked round the summer was over-
it was late in autumn: one could not notice that
in the beautiful garden, where there was always
sunshine, and the flowers of every season always
"Alas how I have loitered !" said little Gerda.
"Autumn has come. I may not rest again."
And she rose up to go on. Oh how sore and
tired her little feet were. All around it looked
cold and bleak; the long willow leaves were quite
yellow, and the dew fell down like water; one leaf

The Snow Queen..

after another dropped; only the sloe-thorn still
bore fruit, but the sloes were sour, and set the
teeth on edge. Oh! how grey and gloomy it
looked, the wide world !


The Prince and Princess.

GERDA was compelled to rest again; then there
came hopping across the snow, just opposite the
spot where she was sitting, a great Crow. This
Crow stopped a long time to look at her, nodding
its head-now it said, Krah! krah! Good day!
good day !" It could not pronounce better, but it
felt friendly towards the little girl, and asked where
she was going all alone in the wide world. The
word alone Gerda understood very well, and felt
how much it expressed, and she told the Crow the
whole story of her life and fortunes, and asked if
it had not seen Kay.
And the Crow nodded very gravely, and said,
"That may be! that may be !"
"What, do you think so?" cried the little girl,
and nearly pressed the Crow to death, she kissed it
so delightedly.

78 The Snow Queen.

Gently, gently!" sai he Crow. I think I
know; I believe it may be little Kay, but he has
certainly forgotten you, with the Princess."
Does he live with a Princess ?" asked Gerda.
Yes; listen," said the Crow. But it's so diffi-
cult for me to speak your language. If youi know
the crows' language, I can tell it much better."
"No, I never learned it," said Gerda; "but
my grandmother understood it, and could speak
the language too. I only wish I had learned it."
"That doesn't matter," said the Crow. "But
it will go badly."
And then the Crow told what it knew.
"In the country in which we are now lives a
Princess who is quite wonderfully clever, but then
she has read all the newspapers in the world, and
has forgotten them again, she's so clever. Lately
she was sitting on the throne-and that's not so
pleasant as is generally supposed-and she began
to sing a song, and it was just this, Why should
I not marry yet?' You see, there was something
in that," said the Crow. And so she wanted to.
marry, but she wished for a husband who could
answer when he was spoken to, not one who only
stood and looked handsome, for that was weari-
some. Now she had all her maids of honour sum-

Gerda and the Coow.

moned, and when they heard her intention they
were very glad. 'I like that,' said they; I thought
the very thing the other day.' You may be sure
that every word I'm telling you is true," added
the Crow. I have a tame sweetheart who goes
aboeat freely in the castle, and she told me every-
Of course the sweetheart was a crow, for one
crow always finds out another, and birds of a
feather flock together.


The Snow Queen.

"Newspapers were published directly, with a
border of hearts and the Princess's initials. One
could read in them that every young man who was
good looking might come to the castle and speak
with the Princess, and him who spoke so that one
could hear he was at home there, and who spoke
best, the Princess would choose for her husband..
Yes, yes," said the Crow, "you may believe me.
It's as true as I sit here. Young men came flock-
ing in; there was a great crowding and much run-
ing to and fro, but no one succeeded the first or
second day. They could all speak well when they
were out in the streets, but when they entered at
the palace gates, and saw the guards standing in
their silver lace, and went up the staircase, and
saw the lackeys in their golden liveries, and the
great lighted halls, they became confused. And
when they stood before the throne itself, on which
the Princess sat, they could do nothing but repeat
the last word she had spoken, and she did not care
to hear her own words again. It was just as if the
people in there had taken some narcotic and fallen
asleep till they got into the street again, for not
till then were they able to speak. There stood a
whole row of them, from the town' gate to the
palace gate. I went out myself to see it," said

The Snow Queen. 81

the Crow. "They were hungry and thirsty, but in
the palace they did not receive so much as a glass
of lukewarm water. A few of the wisest had
brought bread and butter with them, but they
would not share with their neighbours, for they
thought, Let him look hungry, and the Princess
won't have him.'"
But Kay, little Kay ?" asked Gerda. "When
did he come ? Was he among the crowd ?"
Wait, wait! We're just coming to him. It
was on the third day that there came a little per-
.sonage, without horse or carriage, walking quite
merrily up to the castle; his eyes sparkled like
yours, he had fine long hair, but his clothes were
"That was Kay!" cried Gerda, rejoicingly.
"Oh, then I have found him !" And she clapped
her hands.
"He had a little knapsack on his back," ob-
served the Crow.
"No, that must certainly have been his sledge,"
said Gerda, for he went away with a sledge."
That may well be," said the Crow, for I did
not look to it very closely. But this much I know
from my tame sweetheart, that when he passed
under the palace gate and saw the Life Guards in

The Snow Queen.

silver, and mounted the staircase and saw all the
lackeys in gold, he was not in the least embar-
rassed. He nodded, and said to them, It must
be tedious work standing on the stairs-I 'd rather
go inside.' The halls shone full of lights; Privy
Councillors and Excellencies walked about with
bare feet and carried golden vessels; any one
might have become solemn; and his boots creaked
most noisily,,but he was not embarrassed."
"That is certainly Kay !" cried Gerda. He
had new boots on; I've heard them creak in
grandmother's room."
"Yes, certainly they creaked," resumed the
Crow. And he went boldly in to the Princess
herself, who sat on a pearl that was as big as a
spinning-wheel; and all the maids of honour with
their attendants and their attendants' attendants,
and all the cavaliers with their followers, and the
followers of their followers, who themselves kept a
page apiece, were standing round; and the nearer
they stood to the door, the prouder they looked.
The followers' followers' pages, who always went
in slippers, could hardly be looked at, so proudly
they stood in the doorway !"
"That must be terrible !" faltered little Gerda.
" And yet Kay won the Princess?"

The Snow Queen.

If I had not been born a crow, I would have
married her myself, notwithstanding that I am en-
gaged. They say he spoke as well as I can when
I speak the crows' language; I heard that from
my tame sweetheart. He was merry and agree-
able; he had not come to marry, but only to hear
the wisdom of the Princess; and he approved of
her, and she of him."
"Yes, certainly that was Kay!" said Gerda.
" He was so clever, he-could do mental arithmetic
up to fractions. Oh! won't you lead me to the
castle too?"
"That's easily said," replied the Crow; "but
how are we to manage it ? I'11 talk it over with
my tame sweetheart; she can probably advise us :
for this I must tell you-a little girl like yourself
will never get leave to go completely in."
"Yes, I shall get leave," said Gerda. "When
Kay hears that I'm there, he '11 come out directly
and bring me in."
"Wait for me yonder at the grating," said the
Crow; and he wagged his head and flew away.
It was already late in the evening before the
Crow came back.
"Rlax! rax!" he said. "I'm to greet you
,kindly from my sweetheart, and here's a little
G 2

The Snow Queen.

loaf for you. She took it from the kitchen. There's
plenty of bread there, and you must be hungry.
You can't possibly get into the palace, for you are
barefoot, and the guard in silver and the lackeys
in gold would not allow it. But didn't cry; you
shall go up. My sweetheart knows a little back
staircase that leads up to the bed-room, and she
knows where she can get the key."
And they went into the garden, into the great
avenue where one leaf was falling down after an-
other; and when the lights were extinguished in
the palace one after the other, the Crow led Gerda
to a back door, which stood ajar.
Oh, how Gerda's-heart beat with fear and long-
ing It was just as if she had been going to do
something wicked ; and yet she only wanted to
know if it was little Kay. Yes, it must be he;
she thought so deeply of his clear eyes and his
long hair, she could fancy she saw how he smiled
as he had smiled at home when they sat among
the roses. He would certainly be glad to see her;
to hear what a long. distance she had come for his
sake; to know how sorry they had all been at home
when he did not come back. Oh, what a fear and
what a joy that was i
Now they were on the staircase. A little lamp

The Snow Queen.

was burning upon a cupboard; in the middle of
the floor stood the tame Crow, turning her head on
every side and looking at Gerda, who courtesied as
her grandmother had taught her to do.
My betrothed has spoken to me very favour-
ably of you, my little lady," said the tame Crow.
" Your history, as it may be called, is very moving.
Will you take the lamp? then I will precede you.
We will go the straight way, and then we shall
meet nobody."
I feel as if some one were coming after us,"
said Gerda, as something rushed past her: "it
seemed like a shadow on the wall; horses with
flying manes and thin legs, hunters, and ladies and
gentlemen on horseback."
These are only dreams," said the Crow; they
are come to carry the high-born masters' thoughts
out hunting. That's all the better, for you may
look at them the more closely in bed. But I hope
when you are taken into favour and get promotion
you will show a grateful heart."
Of that we may be sure," observed the Crow
from the wood.
Now they came into the first hall: it was hung
with rose-coloured satin, and artificial flowers were
worked on the walls; and here the dreams came

86 The Snow Queen.

already flitting by them, but they moved so quickly
that Gerda could not see the high-born lords and
ladies. Each hall was more magnificent than the
last; yes, one could almost become bewildered!
Now they were in the bed-chamber. Here the
ceiling was like a great palm tree with leaves of
glass, of costly glass, and in the middle of the floor
two, beds hung on a thick stalk of gold, and each
of them looked like a lily. One of them was white,
and in that lay the Princess; the other was red,
and in that Gerda was to seek little Kay. She
bent one of the red leaves aside, and then she saw
a little brown neck. Oh, that was Kay! She
called out his name quite loud, and held the lamp
towards him. 'The dreams rushed into the room
again on horseback-he awoke, turned his head,
and-it was not little Kay! -
The Prince was only like him in the neck, -but
he was young and good looking; and the Princess
looked up, blinking, from the white lily, and asked
who was there. Then little Gerda wept, and told
her whole history, and all that the Crows had done
for her.
"You poor child," said the Prince and Princess.
And they praised the Crows, and said that they
were not angry with them at all, but the Crows

The Snow Queen.

were not to do it again. However, they should
be rewarded.
Will you fly out free," asked the Princess,
"or will you have fixed positions as court crows,
with the right to everything that is left in the
And the two Crows bowed, and begged for fixed
positions, for they thought of their old age, and
said, "It'is so good to have some provisions for
one's old days," as they called them.
*And the Prince got up out of his bed, and let*
Gerda sleep in it, and he could not do more than
that. She folded her little hands, and thought,
"How good men and animals are !" and then she
shut her eyes and went quietly to sleep. All the
dreams came flying in again, looking like angels;
and they drew a littJe sledge, on which IKy sat
nodding; but all this was only a dream, and there-
fore it was gone again as soon as she awoke.
The next day she was clothed from head to foot
in velvet, and an offer was made to her that she
should stay in the castle and enjoy pleasant times;
but she only begged for a little carriage, with a
horse to draw it, and a pair of little boots; then she
would drive out into the world and seek for Kay.
And she received not only boots, but a muff

The Snow Queen.

likewise, and she was neatly dressed; and when
she was ready to depart, a coach made of pure gold
stopped before the door. Upon it shone like a
star the coat of arms of the Prince and Princess;
coachmen, footmen, and outriders (for there were
outriders too) sat on horseback with gold crowns
on their heads. The Prince and Princess them-
selves helped her into the carriage, and wished her
all good fortune. The forest Crow, who was now
married, accompanied her the -first three miles;
he sat by Gerda's side, for he could not bear riding
backwards. The other Crow stood in the door-
way flapping her wings; she did not go with them,
for she suffered from headache,, that had come on
since she had obtained a fixed position and was
allowed to eat too much. The coach was lined
with sugar-biscuits, and in the seat there were
gingerbread-nuts and fruit.
"Farewell! farewell!" cried the Prince and
And little Gerda wept, and the Crow wept. So
they went on for the first three miles, and then
the Crow said good bye, and that was the heaviest
parting of all. The Crow flew up on a tree, and
beat his black wings as long as he could see the
coach, which glittered like the bright sunshine.

The Snow Queen.


The Little Robber Girl.

THEY drove on through the thick forest; but
the coach gleamed like a torch, that dazzled the
robbers' eyes, and they could not bear it.
That is gold! that is gold !" cried they, and
rushed forward and seized the horses, killed the
postillions, the coachman, and the footmen, and
then pulled little Gerda out of the carriage.
She is fat, she is pretty, she is fed with nut-
kernels," said the old robber woman, who had a
very long matted beard and shaggy eyebrows that
hung down over her eyes. '" She's as good as a
little pet lamb; how I shall relish her!"
And she drew out her shining knife, that gleamed
in a horrible way.
"Oh!" screamed the old woman at the same
moment, for her own daughter, who hung at her
back, bit her ear in a very naughty and spiteful
manner. "'You ugly brat!" screamed the old
woman; and she had not time to kill Gerda.
She shall play with me," said the little robber
girl. She shall give me her muff and her pretty
dress, and sleep with me in my bed."

The Snow Queen.

And then the girl gave another bite, so that the
woman jumped high up and turned right round.
And all the robbers laughed, and said,
Look how she dances with her calf."
I want to go into the carriage," said the little
robber girl.
And she would have her own way, for she was
spoiled and very obstinate; and she and Gerda sat
in the carriage, and drove over stock and stone
deep into the forest. The little robber girl was as
big as Gerda, but stronger and more broad shoul-
dered; and she had a brown skin; her eyes were
quite black, and they looked almost mournful.
She clasped little Gerda round the waist, and said,
They shall not kill you as long as I am not
angry with you. I suppose you are a Princess ?"
No," replied Gerda.
And she told all that had happened to her, and
how fond she was of little Kay.
The robber girl looked at her quite seriously,
nodded slightly, and said,
They shall not kill you even if I do get angry
with you, for then I will do it myself."
And then she dried Gerda's eyes, and put her
two hands into the beautiful muff that was so soft
and warm.

The Snow Queen.

Now the coach stopped, and they were in the
courtyard of a robber castle. It had burst from
the top to the ground; ravens and crows flew out
of the great holes; and big bulldogs each of
which looked as if he could devour a man -
jumped high up, but they did not bark, for that.
was forbidden.
In the great old smoky hall a bright fire was
burning upon the stone floor; the smoke passed
along under the ceiling, and had to seek an exit
for itself. A great cauldron of soup was boiling,
and hares and rabbits were roasting on the spit.
"You shall sleep to-night with me and all my
little animals," said the robber girl.
They got something to eat and drink, and then
went to a corner, where straw and carpets were
spread out. Above these sat on laths and perches.
more than a hundred pigeons: they all seemed
asleep, but they turned slightly when the two little
girls came.
All these belong to me," said the little robber
girl; and she quickly seized one of the nearest,
held it by the feet, and shook it so that it flapped
its wings. Kiss it," she cried, and beat it in
Gerda's face. "There sit the wood rascals," she
continued, pointing to a number of laths that had

The Snowz Queen.

been nailed in front of a hole in the wall. Those
are wood rascals, those two; they fly away directly
if one does not keep them well locked up; and
here's my old sweetheart 'Ba.'" And she pulled
out by the horn a Reindeer, that was tied up and
had a polished copper ring round its neck. We're
obliged to keep him tight too, or he'd run away
from us. Every morning I tickle his neck with a
sharp knife, and he's very frightened at that."
And the little girl drew a long knife from a cleft
in the wall and let it glide over the Reindeer's neck.
The poor creature kicked out its legs, and the little
robber girl laughed, and drew Gerda into bed with
"Do you keep the knife while you're asleep?"
asked Gerda, and looked at it in rather a frightened
"I always sleep with my knife," replied the
little robber girl. One does not know what may
happen. But now tell me again what you told me
just now about little Kay, and why you came out
into the wide world ?"
And Gerda told it again from the beginning, and
the Wood Pigeons cooed above them in their cage,
and the other pigeons slept. The tittle robber girl
put her arm round Gerda's neck, held her knife

The Snow Queen.

in the other hand, and slept so that one could hear
her; but Gerda could not close her eyes at all; she
did not know whether she was to live or to die.
.The robbers sat round the fire, sang and drank,
and the old robber woman tumbled about. It was
quite terrible for a little girl to behold.
Then the Wood Pigeons said,
"Coo coo! we have seen little Kay. A white
owl was carrying his sledge: he sat in the Snow
Queen's carriage, which drove close by the forest
as we lay in our warm nests. She blew upon us
young pigeons, and all died except us two. Coo!
"What are you saying there?" asked Gerda.
"Whither was the Snow Queen travelling? Do
you know anything about it?"
"She was probably journeying to Lapland, for
there they always have ice and snow. Ask the
Reindeer that is tied to the cord."
"There is ice and snow yonder, and it is glorious
and fine," said the Reindeer. "There one may
Srun about free in great glittering plains. There
the Snow Queen has her summer tent; but her
strong castle is up towards the North Pole, on the
island that's called Spitzbergen."
Oh, Kay, little Kay !" cried Gerda.