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A NEW TRANSLATION
MRS. H. B. PAULL,
Editor of Grimm's Fairy Tales."
Mitb originall RInstrations,
AND SIXTEEN PAGE PLATES PRINTED IN COLOURS.
LONDON AND NEW YORK:
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
THIS new edition of Hans Andersen contains
several additional Fairy Tales, for the first time
translated from the Danish by Mrs. Paull, to whose
able pen we are indebted for the previous editions.
The sixteen Coloured Plates and the Woodcut
Illustrations are from the hand of a Danish Artist,
who is considered to have an especial gift for
depicting the scenes described by his celebrated
The Fir-Tree... ... ... *... I
The Brave Tin Soldier ... ... ... ... ... 7
Little Tiny ... *** ..* 18
The Goblin and the Huckster ... *** **
A Great Sorrow ... ...** 21
2he Silver Shilling ... ... ... ... 22
The Ugly Duckling ..... ... ... 25
The Roses and the Sparrows ... ... ... ... 33
Little Tuk ... ... **.. ** ...... 41
Grandmother ... ...** ... 44
The Old Gravestone ... ... ... ... 46
The Bell-Deep ... .. .... 50
The Beetle who went on his Travels ... ... 53
Elder- Tree Mother ... ** *. ... 5
The Nightingale ... .** ... .. ...
Ole Luk-Oie, the Dream-God ... ... .. ... 7
The Old Bachelor's Nightcap .. ... ... 79
The Elf of the Rose ... ... ... ... 9
The Angel ... ... ... ... ... ...
The Pea Blossom ... ...... ... 94
Ib and Little Christina ... ... *... ... 97
The Bottle Neck ... ** ..... o6
The Flax ... .. .... 13
The Last Dream of the Old Oak ... ... ... 117
The Girl who Trod on the Loaf .. ... .. 126
The Daisy ... ... **... ... 126
The Old House ... ** *. *** 129
The Happy Family ... ... ... 135
The Metal Pig .. ** ** .. 37
The Emperor's New Clothes ... ... ... 145
The Last Pearl ... ... ..* *. 149
The Tinder-Box ... .. .. *156
The Red Shoes ... ..* 16
The Golden Treasure .. ... ... ... .. 16
The Butterfly... ... .* .* 1768
The Dumb Book ... ... ..* *... 17
The Gardener ... .. ... ... 72
She was Good for Nothing ... ... ... .. 78
Little Ida's Flowers ... .. .. .. ..
The Conceited Afple-Branch .. ... **.. 189
The Sunbeam and the Captive ... ... .* *.. 19
The Storks ... ...1 *. *. 93
The Philosohers' Stone... ... ... ... ... 97
The Loveliest Rose in the World ... ... .. ... 207
The Snow Man ... ... ... ... ... 209
The Story of the Year ... ... ... ... ... 214
The Story of a Mother ... ... ... ... ... 220
The 7ewish Maiden ... ... ... ... .. 225
The Darning-Needle ... ... ... .. .. 229
The Little Match-seller .. ... .... 232
The Travelling Companion ... ... ... .. 234
The Jumpers ... ... ... .. ... 247
The Swineherd ... ... ... .. .. 249
A Leaf from Heaven ... ... ... .. .. 254
Anne Lisbeth ... ... ... .. .. 257
A Cheerful Temper ... ... ... .... 264
The Top and Ball ... ... ... ... ... 268
The Wild Swans ... ... .. .. ... 270
Everything in its Right Place ... .. ... .. 281
The Money-Box .. ... .. ... 287
The Shadow ... ... ... .. 289
The Racers ... ... ... ........ 298
It is quite True ... ... ... ... 300
The Buckwheat ... ... ... ... 303
Soupf from a Sausage Skewer ... ... .. .. 305
The Bell, or Nature's Music ... ... .. .. 315
The Farm-yard Cock and the Weather-Cock ... .. .. 319
The Snow Queen .. ... ... .. 321
The Portuguese Duck ... ... .... 344
The Flying Trunk ... ... ... ... 348
The Little Mermaid ... ... .. 353
The Pen and the Inkstand ... ... .. .. 370
What the Moon Saw ... ... ... .. .. 373
What the Old Man does is always Right ... .. .. 379
A Rose from Homer's Grave ... ... .... 383
The Garden of Paradise ... ... ... ... ... 385
The Mail-Coach Passengers ... ... .. 395
The Mischievous Boy ... ... ... .. 398
Under the Willow-Tree ... ... .. .... 401
The Old Man and the Angel ... ... .. .. 412
Little Claus and Big Claus ... ... .. 417
The Shepherdess and the Swee ... ... .. ,. 426
The Pufet-Show Man ... ... ... .. .. 430
The Shepherd's Story of the Bond of Friendship ... ... 433
The Old Street Lamp ... ... .. ... .. 439
The Old Church Bell ... ... ... ... 445
The Mother's Love ... .. ... ... .. 449
The Shirt Collar ... ... .. ... .. 453
Children's Prattle ... ... ... .. .. 455
Beauty of Form and Beauty of Mind ... .. 457
The Story of the Wind ... ... ... ... .. 462
A Story ... ........ ... .. 470
Something ... ... ... ... 475
A Story from the Sand-Hills .. ... ... ... 481
The Elfn Hill ... ... ... .. ... 504
Holger Danske ... ... ... ... ... 509
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.
REMINISCENCES OF HANS C. ANDERSEN.
"A PROPHET has no honour in his own country." To no one can this
bitter proverb be more truly applied, in the early part of his career, than to
the author of "Fairy Tales," now so well known and read in many
languages, not only in the Netherlands but in all civilized countries.
Hans Christian Andersen was not descended from the high and noble in
the land. The only child of poor parents; he was born at Odense, on the
island of Funen, on the 2nd of April, 1805. This town of Odense has been
immortalized by Andersen in one of his tales, the "The Bell-Deep," which
is no doubt founded on a legend he had been acquainted with from his
Hans Andersen's father was a shoemaker, who, it is said, had not the
means of giving him much education, but he sent him to the grammar school
x REMINISCENCES OF HANS C. ANDERSEN.
in the town, and the boy's natural abilities and love of reading made him
take advantage of the instruction he there received.
Not, however, for long; his father's death in 1814, left his mother a sor-
rowing widow, in poor circumstances, with an orphan boy of nine years. It
therefore became necessary for him to leave school, and try to help his
mother in earning a home for them both. An opportunity for him to work
at a factory in the town was offered to his mother, and eagerly accepted by
-----*--.--" --;-----------'-"' .-' ---_,w.- 7 :..
There was a something, however, so different in the coarse and illiterate
her, and for some years the now famed and renowned poet and author,
worked as a factory boy.
There was a something, however, so different in the coarse and illiterate
workmen at the factory to the refined and tender-hearted child, that his
patient sufferings of their taunts and torments must have been terrible to
bear. At last he complained to his mother, and she removed him.
An opening for the youth, now in his fourteenth year, to become a tailor
presented itself; but the boy of intellectual tastes implored his mother, even
with tears, to allow him to choose his own career in life.
REMINISCENCES OF HANS C. ANDERSEN. xi
His mother at last consented, and with a small sum of money in his
pocket, he left his home to travel to Copenhagen alone.
Who can tell how much of a mother's love and pride in her son gave her
the courage to part with him, and to utter a farewell which cost her so much.
No doubt she already looked forward to a glorious future for her imagina-
tive child, who most probably inherited from her the refined and poetic
fancy which in after years made him so famous.
Her fancies, indeed, had a tinge of the superstition still holding sway in
the land of the Norsemen; and, strange to say, she looked forward to a
time when her son would revisit his native town, and Odense would be
illuminated in his honour.
This really happened many years afterwards, when the great poet and
author, covered with glory and fame, entered the town of his birth.
And now the boy of fourteen was launched on the ocean of life to seek for
that renown which only became his after years of disappointment and trial.
His spirit swelled with hope as he thought of the glory he could gain, and
he was at that moment the veritable little drummer-boy whom he so clearly
portrays in the story of "The Golden Treasure," when the energy of his
character enabled him to reach Copenhagen, the chief city of his native land.
How little he was appreciated in this great city is well known. From
early childhood his keen susceptibility to the emotions of joy or sorrow
made them sometimes overpowering. At nine years of age he had laughed at
a comedy, or wept at a tragedy performed on a stage by Marionettes! and in
after years the real, living actors would move him with equal power.
On his arrival at Copenhagen he met with a friend in one of the profes-
sors at the University, and as the boy was fond of music he proposed that
Andersen should learn to sing on the stage. But this effort failed, for the
boy's voice, though harmonious, was thin and weak, and could not be heard
even at a moderate distance.
After some years of struggling to earn a living, even while writing down
the curious thoughts with which his imagination teemed, he determined to
visit Germany; but his friend had obtained for him instruction in Latin
and German, which enabled him to remain and to bring out in 1829 his
first work, a play entitled "The Life of a Nicolaton," which was very suc-
cessful; and in the next year he published his first story, and soon after
another,-" Shadow Pictures."
In 1832 he carried out his intention and visited Germany, and here his
books at once obtained notice, which gave him courage to continue the
work he so loved with renewed zeal.
During the years from 1832 to 1838 Andersen wrote his far-famed works
a Picture Book without Pictures;" The Improvisatore; He was only
an Actor;" The Story of the Year; and several others.
But the works that made him famous were his Fairy Tales," the first of
which appeared in 1838, while others so quickly followed that they obtained
for Hans Andersen the name of The Children's Friend."
These stories, though highly imaginative, were full of interest, and evi-
dently the work of a man of deep conscientiousness and moral principle.
xii REMINISCENCES OF HANS C. ANDERSEN.
But the poetic figures, the emotional language, and the brilliant pictures
presented so vividly to the reader, whether young or old, thrilled to the
heart; and not only testified to the wonderful imagination of the writer, but
to the purity and youthful freshness which breathed through every page,
and lived in the heart of Andersen to the latest hours of his life.
In the early part of Andersen's career he had been greatly pained, but
not daunted, by the severe and even mocking criticisms which his writings
received, in Copenhagen especially.
The first to notice them were the editors of comic periodicals, and in
these they were criticised and made a mock of, often with a want of delicacy
most painful to the sensitive author.
By others his style was pronounced to be intricate, confused, and crude.
At the same time, it was acknowledged that the writer possessed great
power of language, and a remarkable richness of thought and imagination,
rendering the word-pictures his fancy drew too attractive to be passed over
One of Andersen's oldest friends was Count Conrad of Rantzsan-Breiten-
burgh. This gentleman, who had been Prime Minister in the Duchy of
Schleswig-Holstein, had given Andersen his first step as an author, which
the narrow limits of his own poor dwelling rendered almost impossible.
The Count had, however, heard of him, sought him out, and recognized at
once that the humble-minded young writer was destined to become a
popular poet and author.
This was the turning point in Andersen's career, the unkind criticisms
referred to had so disheartened him that he was tempted to despair of
success. The Count's opinion gave him fresh courage and energy for
renewed efforts, which, as we now know, brought him glory and fame.
When the Count left Copenhagen he did not forget Andersen, but made
him promise that at the first opportunity he would come and visit him at
The opportunity presented itself after some years, and Andersen used to
say that the weeks and months of his stay at Castle Breitenburgh, belonged
to the most beautiful period of his life, and truly he might say this; for
Count Conrad, the owner of the castle was in the highest degree a man
calculated to arouse and console the tender-hearted, poetic, and often sad
spirit of his guest.
Andersen was one of those clever men who are totally devoid of vanity,
and he would often express in a straightforward and touching manner his
modest opinion of his own talents, and yet at the same time acknowledging
how greatly he longed for and needed encouragement. And -all this time
within his soul, thoughts were pressing full on his creative fancy which he
longed to send forth to the world, yet dreaded with pain these adverse
Not even in his old age, when he had been recognized by the whole
civilized world as a poet and author, could Andersen harden himself
to treat with indifference the unjust criticisms of the most insignificant
REMNiSCEANCES OF HANS C. ANDERSEN. xiii
Count Conrad died in the year 1844, while Andersen was in Germany,
and the loss of such a friend was to the poet very great. And although
iliy to visit tem at teir c te memy of his fit kid fi
the owner of Breitenburgh Castle, held the foremost place in his heart
-. ---__ -__. .
he was now a popular author, and often invited by the Danish and German
the owner of Breitenburgh Castle, held the foremost place in his heart.-
xiv REMINISCENCES OF HANS C. ANDERSEN.
He was popular in Denmark now, although his name as a story-writer
was first recognized by the common people,- who quickly appreciated and
understood the vein of simplicity which runs through every page of Hans
The characters in these stories, whether of men or animals, whether
animate or inanimate, became living breathing creatures when he read his
stories aloud, for in spite of his humble birth, his pronunciation of his
native language was pure, correct, and noble.
While listening, it seemed not impossible that the objects described
might be beings possessing souls, and the power of becoming sad or
joyous, sublime or ridiculous as the author represented.
In the year 1845, King Christian VIII. of Denmark, placed a very
pleasant shooting box, situated in the thickest covert of the magnificent
part of Fredericksburg, at the disposal of Hans Andersen, who had been
a widower for many years.
This unused building was now named Pheasant Court," it had a large
garden and was to be used by the poet as his own, for life.
It was about this time that Andersen made a tour of the different
countries of Europe, and those who knew him personally speak with
delight of having met him at dinner parties, and of the glowing descriptions
he would give of the places he had visited, and the Dersons he had met
during his travels.
Scottish scenery charmed him, and he would speak of Sir Walter Scott
and Robert Burns, to whom he was introduced, in the most glowing terms.
Among his friends nearer home were the two renowned Swedish ladies,
'Frederika Bremer, and Jenny Lind," both of whom had a touching sisterly
affection for the poet.
His love of flowers was a poet's love of the beautiful, and even from the
first appearance of' that decay of nature which was to remove him at last
from earth, he would have fresh flowers in his room daily, often remarking
on their beauty and fragrance.
In 1872 Andersen had suffered from a severe illness, while visiting at
Rolighed, the country residence of a merchant named Melchior. Finding
himself as he thought better he returned home, but was still obliged to keep
in his room the whole winter.
In the spring of 1873 he travelled to Switzerland, and there went
through a course of goats' milk, among the mountains at Glion, on the
lake of Geneva.
He there became so much better and stronger that he was able to take
long drives, and returned to his home full of hope, that his health was quite
But this hope soon faded, and in the spring of 1875 it became evident
that his days were numbered. But he was not forsaken by his friends.
Frau Melchior watched over him with tender care, and as the summer passed
and he became weaker, she had him removed to their country house,
The king came to visit him many times, and the crown prince much
REMINISCENCES OF HANS C. ANDERSEN. xv
oftener, and he was also visited frequently by men and women of high
position. Not only were his last days brightened by these attentions, but
from his own hopeful and poetic character.
Days passed and as he grew weaker he was greatly comforted by the
tender care that surrounded him, and while talking with his visitors he
would often cut out and paste together a little figure in which the poetic
art would show itself, even as in his fairy tales the charm of the characters
introduced would represent his own poetic imagination.
Hans Christian Andersen died August 4th, 1875, at the age of 70. He
had on that day been sleeping peacefully for some hours, and at about
eleven o'clock at night Frau Melchior left the bedside for a moment- and
would often cut out and paste together a little figure in which the poetic
art would show itself, even as in his fairy tales the charm of the characters
introduced would represent his own poetic imagination.
Hans Christian Andersen died August 4th, 1875, at the age of 7o. He
had on that day been sleeping peacefully for some hours, and at about
eleven o'clock at night Frau Melchior left the bedside for a moment- and
xvi REMINISCENCES OF HANS C. ANDERSEN
when she returned, after scarcely two minutes absence, he was gone. He
had only breathed one gentle sigh and awoke, not again on earth, but
A statue bearing his name and called "The Asylum for Little children,"
has been erected among the very old trees of the Rosenburg Castle gardens,
not many steps from that of Christian IV., the most celebrated and
popular of the Oldenburg line of kings. In the Danish National Songs,
this king is extolled in a verse beginning-
King Christian stood by the top-mast high."
Andersen's statue was unveiled June 26th, i880.
'' :2' ..'; .t- .'
HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
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2 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
the fir-tree, and say, "Is it not a pretty little tree?" which made it feel more
unhappy than before. And yet all this while the tree grew a notch or joint
taller every year; for by the number of joints in the stem of a fir-tree we
can discover its age. Still, as it grew, it complained, "Oh 1 how I wish I
were as tall as the other trees, then I would spread out my branches on
every side, and my top would overlook the wide world. I should have the
birds building their nests on my boughs, and when the wind blew, I should
bow with stately dignity like my tall companions." The tree was so dis-
contented, that it took no pleasure in the warm sunshine, the birds, or the
rosy clouds that floated over it morning and evening. Sometimes, in
winter, when the snow lay white and glittering on the ground, a hare would
come springing along, and jump right over the little tree; and then how
mortified it would feel! Two winters passed, and when the third arrived,
the tree had grown so tall that the hare was obliged to run round it. Yet
it remained unsatisfied and would exclaim, Oh, if I could but keep on
growing tall and old! There is nothing else worth caring for in the
world!" In the autumn, as usual, the woodcutters came and cut down
several of the tallest trees, and the young fir-tree, which was now grown to
its full height, shuddered as the noble trees fell to the earth with a crash.
After the branches were lopped off, the trunks looked so slender and bare,
that they could scarcely be recognized. Then they were placed upon
waggons, and drawn by horses out of the forest. "Where were they
going? W'.VI .. would become of them ?" The young fir-tree wished very
much to know; so in the spring, when the swallows and the storks came, it
asked, Do you know where those trees were taken? Did you meet them ?"
The swallows knew nothing; but the stork, after a little reflection,
nodded his head, and said, "Yes, I think I do. I met several new ships
when I flew from Egypt, and they had fine masts that smelt like fir. I
think these must have been the trees; I assure you they were stately, very
"Oh, how I wish I were tall enough to go on the sea," said the fir-tree.
"What is this sea, and what does it look like ? "
"It would take too much time to explain," said the stork, flying quickly
"Rejoice in thy youth," said the sunbeam; "rejoice in thy fresh growth,
and the young life that is in thee."
And the wind kissed the tree, and the dew watered it with tears; but the
fir-tree regarded them not.
Christmas-time drew near, and many i .:.. n trees were cut down, some
even smaller and younger than the fir-tree, who enjoyed neither rest nor
peace with longing to leave its forest home. These young trees, which were
chosen for their beauty, kept their branches, and were also laid on waggons
and drawn by horses out of the forest.
Where are they going ?" asked the fir-tree. They are not taller than I
am: indeed, one is much less; and why are the branches not cut off?
Where are they going ?"
"We know, we know," sang the sparrows; "we have looked in at the
THE FIR REE. 3
windows of the houses in the town, and we know what is done with them.
They are dressed up in the most splendid manner. We have seen them
standing in the middle of a warm room, and adorned with all sorts of
beautiful things,-honey cakes, gilded apples, playthings, and many
hundreds of wax tapers."
"And then," asked the fir-tree, trembling through all its branches, "and
then what happens?"
"We did not see any more," said the sparrows; "but this was enough
I wonder whether anything so brilliant will ever happen to me," thought
the fir-tree. "It would be much better than crossing the sea. I long for
it almost with pain. Oh when will Christmas be here? I am now as tall
and well grown as those which were taken away last year. Oh that I were
now laid on the waggon, or standing in the warm room, with all that bright-
ness and splendour around me! Something better and more beautiful is to
come after, or the trees would not be so decked out. Yes, what follows
will be grander and more splendid. What can it be? I am weary with
longing. I scarcely know how I feel."
"Rejoice with us," said the air and the sunlight. "Enjoy thine own
bright life in fresh air."
But the tree would not rejoice, though it grew taller every day; and
winter and summer, its dark-green foliage might be seen in the forest, while
passers by would say, "What a beautiful tree "
A short time before Christmas, the discontented fir-tree was the first to
fall. As the axe cut through the stem, and divided the pith, the tree fell
with a groan to the earth, conscious of pain and faintness, and forgetting all
its anticipations of happiness, in sorrow at leaving its home in the forest.
It knew that it should never again see its dear old companions, the trees,
nor the little bushes and many-coloured flowers that had grown by its side;
perhaps not even the birds. Neither was the journey at all pleasant. The
tree first recovered itself while being unpacked in the courtyard of a house,
with several other trees; and it heard a man say, "We only want one, and
this is the prettiest."
Then came two servants in grand livery, and carried the fir-tree into a
large and beautiful apartment. On the walls hung pictures, and near the
great stove stood great china vases, with lions on the lids. There were
rocking-chairs, silken sofas, large tables, covered with pictures, books, and
playthings, worth a great deal of money,-at least, the children said so.
Then the fir-tree was placed in a large tub, full of sand; but green baize
hung all round it, so that no one could see it was a tub, and it stood on a
very handsome carpet. How the fir-tree trembled! "What was going to
happen to him now?" Some young ladies came, and the servants helped
them to adorn the tree. On one branch they hung little bags cut out of
coloured paper, and each bag was filled with sweetmeats; from other
branches hung gilded apples and.walnuts, as if they had grown there; and
above, and all round, were hundreds of red, blue, and white tapers, which
were fastened on the branches. Dolls, exactly like real babies, were placed
4 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
under the green leaves,-the tree had never seen such things before,-and
at the very top was fastened a glittering star, made of tinsel. Oh, it was
very beautiful !
This evening," they all exclaimed, "how bright it will be "Oh, that
the evening were come," thought the tree, "and the tapers lighted then I
shall know what else is going to happen. Will the trees of.the forest come
to see me? I wonder if the sparrows will peep in at the windows as they
fly? shall I grow faster here, and keep on all these ornaments during
summer and winter?" But guessing was of very little use; it made his
bark ache, and this pain is as bad for a slender fir-tree, as headache is for
us. At last the tapers were lighted, and then what a glistening blaze of
light the tree presented! It trembled so with joy in all its branches, that
one of the candles fell among the green leaves and burnt some of them.
" Help help !" exclaimed the young ladies, but there was no danger, for
they quickly extinguished the fire. After this, the tree tried not to tremble
at all, though the fire frightened him; he was so anxious not to hurt any of
the beautiful ornaments, even while their brilliancy dazzled him. And now
the folding doors were thrown open, and a troop of children rushed in as if
they intended to upset the tree; they were followed more slowly by their
elders. For a moment the little ones stood silent with astonishment, and
then they shouted for joy, till the room. rang, and they danced merrily
round the tree, while one present after another was taken from it.
What are they doing? What will happen next ?" thought the fir. At
last the candles burnt down to the branches and were put out. Then the
children received permission to plunder the tree.
Oh, how they rushed upon it, till the branches cracked, and had it not
been fastened with the glistening star to the ceiling, it must have been
thrown down. The children then danced about with their pretty toys, and
ho one noticed the tree, except the children's maid, who came and peeped
among the branches to see if an apple or a fig had been forgotten.
"A story, a story," cried the children, pulling a little fat man towards the
Now we shall be in the green shade," said the man, as he seated himself
under it, and the tree will have'the pleasure of hearing also, but I shall
only relate one story; what shall it be ? Ivede-Avede, or Humpty Dumpty,
who fell downstairs, but soon got up again, and at last married a princess."
Ivede-Avede," cried some. Humpty Dumpty," cried others, and
there was a fine shouting and crying out. But the fir-tree remained quite
still, and thought to himself, Shall I have anything to do with all this ?"
but he had already amused them as much as they wished. Then the old
man told them the story of Humpty Dumpty, how he fell downstairs, and
was raised up again, and married a princess. And the children clapped
their hands and cried, "Tell another, tell another," for they wanted to hear
the story of "Ivede-Avede;" but they only had "Humpty Dumpty."
After this the fir-tree became quite silent and thoughtful; never had the
birds in the forest told such tales as "Humpty Dumpty," who fell down-
stairs, and yet married a princess.
THE FIR TREE. 5
"Ah! yes, so it happens in the world," thought the fir-tree; he believed
it all, because it was related by such a nice man. "Ah ] well," he thought,
"who knows ? perhaps I may fall down too, and marry a princess;" and
he looked forward joyfully to the next evening, expecting to be again
decked out with lights and playthings, gold and fruit. To-morrow I will
not tremble," thought he; "I will enjoy all my splendour, and I shall hear
the story of Humpty Dumpty again, and perhaps Ivede-Avede." And the tree
remained quiet and thoughtful all night. In the morning the servants and the
housemaid came in. Now," thought the fir, all my splendour is going
to begin again." But they dragged him out of the room and upstairs to the
garret, and threw him on the floor, in a dark corner, where no daylight
shone, and there they left him. "What does this mean ?" thought the tree,
"What am I to do here? I can hear nothing in a place like this," and he
leant against the wall, and thought and thought. And he had time enough to
think, for days and nights passed and no one came near him, and when at
last somebody did come, it was only to put away large boxes in a corner.
So the tree was completely hidden from sight as if it had never existed. "It
is winter now," thought the tree, "the ground is hard and covered with
snow, so that people cannot plant me. I shall be sheltered here I dare say,
until spring comes. How thoughtful and kind everybody is to me Still I
wish this place were not so dark, as well as lonely, with not even a little
hare to look at. How pleasant it was out in the forest while the snow lay
on the ground, when the hare would run by, yes, and jump over me
too, although I did not like it then. Oh i it is terribly lonely here."
"Squeak, squeak," said a little mouse, creeping cautiously towards the
tree; then came another, and they both sniffed at the fir-tree and crept be-
tween the branches.
"Oh, it is very cold," said the little mouse, "or else we should be so com-
fortable here, shouldn't we, you old fir-tree ? "
"I am not old," said the fir-tree, "there are many who are older than I
"Where do you come from? and what do you know?" asked the mice,
who were full of curiosity. "Have you seen the most beautiful places
in the world, and can you tell us all about them? and have you been in the
storeroom, where cheeses lie on the shelf, and hams hang from the ceiling ?
One can run about on tallow candles there, and go in thin and come out
"I know nothing of that place," said the fir-tree, "but I know the wood
where the sun shines and the birds sing." And then the tree told the little mice
all about its youth. They had never heard such an account in their lives;
and after they had listened to it attentively, they said, "What a number of
things you have seen! you must have been very happy."
Happy exclaimed the fir-tree, and then as he reflected upon what he
had been telling them he said, "Ah, yes after all, those were happy days."
But when he went on and related all about Christmas-eve, and how he had
been dressed up with cakes and lights, the mice said, How happy you
must have been, you old fir-tree."
6 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
"I am not old at all," replied the tree, "I only came from the forest this
winter, I am now checked in my growth."
"What splendid stories you can relate," said the little mice. And the
next night four other mice came with them to hear what the tree had to tell.
The more he talked the more he remembered, and then he thought to him-
self, "Those were happy days, but they may come again. Humpty
Dumpty fell downstairs, and yet he married the princess; perhaps I may
marry a princess too." And the fir-tree thought of the pretty little birch-tree
that grew in the forest, which was to him a real beautiful princess.
"Who is Humpty Dumpty?" asked the little mice. And then the tree
related the whole story; he could remember every single word, and the little
mice were so delighted with it, that they were ready to jump to the top of
the tree. The next night a great many more mice made their appearance,
and on Sunday two rats came with them; but they said it was not a pretty
story at all, and the little mice were very sorry, for it made them also think
less of it
"Do you know only one story?" asked the rats.
"Only one," replied the fir-tree; "I heard it on the happiest evening in
my life; but I did not know I was so happy at the time."
"We think it is a very miserable story," said the rats. Don't you know
any story about bacon, or tallow in the storeroom?"
"No," replied the tree.
Many thanks to you then," replied the rats, and they marched off.
The little mice also kept away after this, and the tree -;,- ... 1 and said,
" It was very pleasant when the merry little mice sat round me and listened
while I talked. Now that is all passed too. However, I shall consider
myself happy when some one comes to take me out of this place." But
would this ever happen? Yes; one morning people came to clear out the
garret, the boxes were packed away, and the tree was pulled out of the
corner, and thrown roughly on the garret floor; then the servant dragged it out
upon the staircase where the daylight shone. "Now life is beginning again,"
said the tree, rejoicing in the sunshine and fresh air. Then it was carried
downstairs and taken into the courtyard so quickly, that it forgot to think
of itself, and could only look about, there was so much to be seen. The
court was close to a garden, where everything looked blooming. Fresh and
fragrant roses hung over the little palings. The linden-trees were in blossom;
while the swallows flew here and there, crying, Twit, twit, twit, my mate
is coming,"-but it was not the fir-tree they meant. Now I shall live,"
cried the tree, joyfully spreading out its branches; but alas they were all
withered and yellow, and it lay in a corner amongst weeds and nettles. The
star of gold paper still stuck in the top of the tree and glittered in the sun-
shine. In the same courtyard two of the merry children were playing who
had danced round the tree at Christmas, and had been so happy. The
youngest saw the gilded star, and ran and pulled it off the tree. Look
what is sticking to the ugly old fir-tree," said the child, treading on the
branches till they crackled under his boots. And the tree saw all the fresh
bright flowers in the garden, and then looked at itself, and wished it had
THE BRAVE TIN SOLDIER. 7
remained in the dark corner of the garret. It thought of its fresh youth in
the forest, of the merry C'lhi in, I, evening, and of the little mice who had
listened to the story of Humpty Dumpty." Past past! said the old
tree ; Oh, had I but enjoyed myself while I could have done so but now
it is too late." Then a lad came and chopped the tree into small pieces,
till a large bundle lay in a heap on the ground. The pieces were placed in a
fire under the copper, and they quickly blazed up brightly, while the tree
sighed so deeply that each sigh was like a little pistol-shot. Then the
children, who were at play, came and seated themselves in front of the fire,
and looked at it, and cried, "Pop, pop." But at each "pop," which was a
deep sigh, the tree was thinking of a summer day in the forest, or of some
winter night there, when the stars shone brightly; and of Christmas evening,
and of Humpty Dumpty," the only story it had ever heard or knew how
to relate, till at last it was consumed. The boys still played in the garden,
and the youngest wore the golden star on his breast, with which the tree had
been adorned during the happiest evening of its existence. Now all was
past; the tree's life was past, and the story also,-for all stories must come
to an end at last.
THE BRAVE TIN SOLDIER.
THERE were once five-and-twenty tin soldiers, who were all brothers, for
they had been made out of the same old tin spoon. They shouldered arms
and looked straight before them, and wore a splendid uniform, red and
blue. The first thing in the world they ever heard were the words, "Tin
soldiers !" uttered by a little boy, who clapped his hands with delight when
the lid of the box, in which they lay, was taken off. They were given him
for a birthday present, and he stood at the table to set them up. The
soldiers were all exactly alike, excepting one, who had only one leg; he had
been left to the last, and then there was not enough of the melted tin to
finish him, so they made him to stand firmly on one leg, and this caused
him to be very remarkable.
The table on which the tin soldiers stood, was covered with other play-
things, but the most attractive to the eye was a pretty little paper castle.
Through the small windows the rooms could be seen. In front of the
castle a number of little trees surrounded a piece of looking-glass, which
was intended to represent a transparent lake. Swans, made of wax, swam
on the lake, and were reflected in it. All this was very pretty, but the
prettiest of all was a tiny little lady, who stood at the open door of the
castle; she, also, was made of paper, and she wore a dress of clear muslin,
with a narrow blue ribbon over her shoulders just like a scarf. In front of
this was fixed a glittering tinsel rose, as large as her whole face. The little
8 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
lady was a dancer, and she stretched out both her arms, and raised one of
her legs so high, that the tin soldier could not see it at all, and he thought
that she, like himself, had only one leg. "That is the wife for me," he
thought; but she is too grand, and lives in a castle, while I have only a
box to live in, five-and-twenty of us altogether, that is no place for her.
Still I must try and make her acquaintance." Then he laid himself at fulK
length on the table behind a snuff-box that stood upon it, so that he could
--- "11''L: :- : --- -- _. --
playthings began to have their own games together, to pay visits, to have
sham fights, and to give balls. The tin soldiers rattled in their box they
,ii i 4i- '- .-- .
-' H -i--*--
and in poetry too. Only the tin soldier and the dancer remain ed in their
places. She stood on ti -toe. with her arms stretched out. as firmly as he
safsan giv. The tin sodiersratted,. intheir. box; t
peep at the little delicate lady, who continued to stand on one leg without
lid. The nut-crackers played at leap-frog, and the pencil jumped about the
table. There was such a noise that the canary woke up and began to talk,
and in poetry too. Only the tin soldier and the dancer remained in their
places. She stood on tip-toe, with her arms stretched out, as firmly as he
THE BRAVE TIN SOLDIER. 9
did on his one leg. He never took his eyes from her for even a moment.
The clock struck twelve, and, with a bounce, up sprang the lid of the snuff-
box; but, instead of snuff, there jumped up a little black goblin; for the
snuff-box was a toy puzzle.
"Tin soldier," said the goblin, "don't wish for what does not belong to you."
But the tin soldier pretended not to hear.
"Very well ; wait till to-morrow, then," said the goblin.
When the children came in the next morning, they placed the tin soldier
in the window. Now, whether it was the goblin who did it, or the draught,
is not known, but the window flew open, and out fell the tin soldier, heels
over head, from the third story, into the street beneath. It was a terrible
fall; for he came head downwards, his helmet and his bayonet stuck in
between the flagstones, and his one leg up in the air. The servant-maid and
the little boy went downstairs directly to look for him; but he was nowhere,
Sto be seen, although once they nearly trod upon him. If he had called out.
" Here I am," it would have been all right; but he was too proud to cry
out for help while he wore a uniform.
Presently it began to rain, and the drops fell faster and faster, till there
was a heavy shower. When it was over, two boys happened to pass by,
and one of them said, Look, there is a tin soldier. He ought to have a
boat to sail in."
So they made a boat out of a newspaper, and placed the tin soldier in it,
and sent him sailing down the gutter, while the two boys ran by the side of
it, and clapped their hands. Good gracious, what large waves arose in that
gutter and how fast the stream rolled on for the rain had been very heavy.
The paper boat rocked up and down, and turned itself round sometimes so
quickly that the tin soldier trembled; yet he remained firm ; his countenance
did not change; he looked straight before him, and shouldered his musket.
Suddenly the boat shot under a bridge which formed part of a drain, and
then it was as dark as the tin soldier's box.
"Where am I going now?" thought he. This is the black goblin's
fault, I am sure. Ah, well, if the little lady were only here with me in the
boat, I should not care for any darkness."
Suddenly there appeared a great water-rat, who lived in the drain.
Have you a passport?" asked the rat, "give it to me at once." But
the tin soldier remained silent and held his musket tighter than ever. The
boat sailed on and the rat followed it. How he did gnash his teeth and
cry out to the bits of wood and straw, Stop him, stop him; he has not
paid toll, and has not shown his pass." But the stream rushed on stronger
and stronger. The tin soldier could already see daylight shining where the
arch ended. Then he heard a roaring sound quite terrible enough to frighten
the bravest man. At the end of the tunnel the drain fell into a large canal
over a steep place, which made it as dangerous for him as a waterfall would
be to us. He was too close to it to stop, so the boat rushed on, and the
poor tin soldier could only hold himself as stiffly as possible, without
moving an eyelid, to show that he was not afraid. The boat whirled round
three or four times, and then filled with water to the very edge; nothing
ro HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
could save it from sinking. He now stood up to his neck in water, while
deeper and deeper sank the boat, and the paper became soft and loose with
the wet, till at last the water closed over the soldier's head. He thought of
the elegant little dancer whom he should never see again, and the words of
the song sounded in his ears-
Farewell, warrior, ever brave,
Drifting onward to thy grave."
Then the paper boat fell to pieces, and the soldier sank into the water and
immediately afterwards was swallowed up by a great fish. Oh, how dark it
was inside the fish a great deal darker than in the tunnel, and narrower
too, but the tin soldier continued firm, and lay at full length, el".:.,i1.l.:i;n.
his musket. The fish swam to and fro, making the most wonderful move-
ments, but at last he became quite still. After a while, a flash of
lightning seemed to pass through him, and then the daylight ap-
peared, and a voice cried out, I declare here is the tin soldier." The
fish had been caught, taken to the market and sold to the cook, who took
him into the kitchen and cut him open with a large knife. She picked up
the soldier and held him by the waist between her finger and thumb, and
carried him into the room. They were all anxious to see this wonderfulsoldier
who had travelled about inside a fish; but he was not at all proud. They
placed him on the table, and-how many curious things do happen in the
world !-there he was in the very same room from the window of which he
had fallen, there were the same children, the same playthings standing on
the table, and the pretty castle with the elegant little dancer at the door;
she still balanced herself on one leg, and held up the other, so she was as
firm as himself. It touched the tin soldier so much to see her that he
almost wept tin tears, but he kept them back. He only looked at her, and
they both remained silent. Presently one of the little boys took up the tin
soldier, and threw him into the stove. He had no reason for doing so,
therefore it must have been the fault of the black goblin who lived in the
snuff-box. The flames lighted up the tin soldier, as he stood; the heat was
very terrible, but whether it proceeded from the real fire or from the fire of
love he could not tell. Then he could see that the bright colours were
faded from his uniform, but whether they had been washed off during his
journey, or from the effects of his sorrow, no one could say. He looked at
the little lady, and she looked at him. He felt himself melting away, but
he still remained firm with his gun on his shoulder. Suddenly the door of
the room flew open, and the draught of air caught up the little dancer, she
fluttered like a sylph right into the stove by the side of the tin soldier, and
was instantly in flames and was gone. The tin soldier melted down into a
lump, and the next morning, when the maid-servant took the ashes out of the
stove, she found him in the shape of a little tin heart. But of the little
dancer nothing remained but the tinsel rose, which was burnt black as a
THERE was once a woman who wished very much to have a little child,
but she could not obtain her wish. At last she went to a fairy, and said,
"I should so very much like to have a little child; can you tell me where
I can find one?"
Oh, that can be easily managed," said the fairy. Here is a barley-
corn of a different k;nd to those which grow in the farmers' fields, and which
the chickens eat; put it into a flower-pot, and see what will happen."
"Thank you," said the woman, and she gave the fairy twelve shillings,
which was the price of the barleycorn. Then she went home and planted
it, and immediately there grew up a large handsome flower, something like
a tulip in appearance, but with its leaves tightly closed as if it were still a
bud. It is a beautiful flower," said the woman, and she kissed the red
and golden-coloured leaves, and while she did so the flower opened, and
she could see that it was a real tulip. Within the flower, upon the green
velvet stamens, sat a very delicate and graceful little maiden. She was
scarcely half as long as a thumb, and they gave her the name of Little
Thumb," or Tiny, because she was so small. A walnut-shell, elegantly
polished, served her for a cradle; her bed was formed of blue violet-leaves,
with a rose-leaf for a counterpane. Here she slept at night, but during the
day she amused herself on a table, where the woman had placed a plate full
of water. Round this plate were wreaths of flowers with their stems in the
water, and upon it floated a large tulip-leaf, which served Tiny for a boat.
Here the little maiden sat and rowed herself from side to side, with two
oars made of white horse-hair. It really was a very pretty sight. Tiny
could also sing so softly and sweetly that nothing like her singing had ever
before been heard. One night, while she lay in her pretty bed, a large,
ugly, wet toad crept through a broken pane of glass in the window, and
leaped right upon the table where Tiny lay sleeping under her rose-leaf
quilt. What a pretty little wife this would make for my son," said the
toad, and she took up the walnut-shell in which little Tiny lay asleep, and
jumped through the window with it into the garden.
In the swampy margin of a broad stream in the garden lived the toad, with
her son. He was uglier even than his mother, and when he saw the pretty
little maiden in her elegant bed, he could only cry, "Croak, croak, croak."
"Don't speak so loud, or she will wake," said the toad, "and then she
12 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
might run away, for she is as light as swan's down. We will place her on
one of the water-lily leaves out in the stream; it will be like an island to
her, she is so light and small, and then she cannot escape; and, while she
is away, we will make haste and prepare the state-room under the marsh,
in which you are to live when you are married."
Far out in the stream grew a number of water-lilies, with broad green
leaves, which seemed to float on the top of the water. The largest of these
leaves appeared farther off than the rest, and the old toad swam out to it
with the walnut-shell, in which little Tiny lay still asleep. The tiny little
creature woke very early in the morning, and began to cry bitterly when
she found where she was, for she could see nothing but water on every side
of the large green leaf, and no way of reaching the land. Meanwhile the
old toad was very busy under the marsh, decking her room with rushes and
wild yellow flowers, to make it look pretty for her new daughter-in-law.
Then she swam out with her ugly son to the leaf on which she had placed
poor little Tiny. She wanted to fetch the pretty bed, that she might put
it in the bridal chamber to be ready for her. The old toad bowed low to
her in the water, and said, Here is my son; he will be your husband, and
you will live happily together in the marsh by the stream."
"Croak, croak, croak," was all her son could say for himself; so the toad
took up the elegant little bed, and swam away with it, leaving Tiny all alone
on the green leaf, where she sat and wept. She could not bear to think of
living with the old toad, and having her ugly son for a husband. The little
fishes, who swam about in the water beneath, had seen the toad, and heard
what she said, so they lifted their heads above the water to look at the little
maiden. As soon as they caught sight of her, they saw she was very pretty,
and it made them very sorry to think that she must go and live with the
ugly toads. "No, it must never be !" so they assembled together in the
water, round the green stalk which held the leaf on which the little maiden
stood, and gnawed it away at the root with their teeth. Then the leaf
floated down the stream, carrying Tiny far away out of reach of land.
Tiny sailed past many towns, and the little birds in the bushes saw her,
and sang, What a lovely little creature !" So the leaf swam away with her
farther and farther, till it brought her to other lands. A graceful little white
butterfly constantly fluttered round her, and at last alighted on the leaf. Tiny
pleased him, and she was glad of it, for now the toad could not possibly
reach her, and the country through which she sailed was beautiful, and the
sun shone upon the water, till it glittered like liquid gold. She took off
her girdle and tied one end of it round the butterfly, and the other end of
the ribbon she fastened to the leaf, which now glided on much faster than
ever, taking little Tiny with it as she stood. Presently a large cockchafer
flew by; the moment he caught sight of her, he seized her round her deli-
cate waist with his claws, and flew with her into a tree. The green leaf
floated away on the brook, and the butterfly flew with it, for he was fastened
to it, and could not get away.
Oh, how frightened little Tiny felt when the cockchafer flew with her to
the tree But especially was she sorry for the beautiful white butterfly
LITTLE TINY. 13
which she had fastened to the leaf, for if he could not free himself he would
die of hunger. But the cockchafer did not trouble himself at all about the
matter. He seated himself by her side on a large green leaf, gave her some
honey from the flowers to eat, and told her she was very pretty, though not
in the least like a cockchafer. After a time, all the cockchafers who lived
in the tree came to visit her. They stared at Tiny, and then the young
lady-cockchafers turned up their feelers, and said, "She has only two legs !
how ugly that looks." She has no feelers," said another. Her waist
is quite slim. Pooh! she is like a human being."
"Oh! she is ugly," said all the lady-cockchafers, although Tiny was very
pretty. Then the cockchafer who had run away with her, believed all the
others when they said she was ugly, and would have nothing more to say to
her, and told her she might go where she liked. Then he flew down with
her from the tree, and placed her on a daisy, and she wept at the thought
that she was so ugly that even the cockchafers would have nothing to say
to her. And all the while she was really the loveliest creature that one
could imagine, and as tender and delicate as a beautiful rose-leaf. During
the whole summer poor little Tiny lived quite alone in the wide forest. She
wove herself a bed with blades of grass, and hung it up under a broad leaf,
to protect herself from the rain. She sucked the honey from the flowers
for food, and drank the dew from their leaves every morning. So passed
away the summer and the autumn, and then came the winter,-the long,
cold winter. All the birds who had sung to her so sweetly were flown away,
and the trees and the flowers had withered. The large clover leaf, under the
shelter of which she had lived, was n'ow rolled together and shrivelled up,
nothing remained but a yellow withered stalk. She felt dreadfully cold, for
her clothes were torn, and she was herself so frail and delicate, that poor little
Tiny was nearly frozen to death. It began to snow too; and the snow-flakes,
as they fell upon her, were like a whole shovelful falling upon one of us,
for we are tall, but she was only an inch high. Then she wrapped herself
up in a dry leaf, but it cracked in the middle, and could not keep her warm
and she shivered with cold. Near the wood in which she had been living,
lay a large corn-field, but the corn had been cut a long time; nothing re-
mained but the bare dry stubble standing up out of the frozen ground. It
was to her like struggling through a large wood. Oh how she shivered
with the cold. She came at last to the door of a field-mouse, who had a
little den under the corn-stubble. There dwelt the field-mouse in warmth
and comfort, with a whole roomful of corn, a kitchen, and a beautiful dining-
room. Poor little Tiny stood before the door just like a little beggar-girl,
and begged for a small piece of barley-corn, for she had been without a
~iorsel to eat for two days.
You poor little creature," said the field-mouse, who was really a good
old field-mouse, "come into my warm room and dine with me," She was
very pleased with Tiny, so she said, "You are quite welcome to stay with
me all the winter, if you like; but you must keep my rooms clean and neat,
and tell me stories, for I shall like to hear them very much." And Tiny
did all the field-mouse asked her, and found herself very comfortable.
14 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
"We shall have a visitor soon," said the field-mouse one day; my neigh-
bour pays me a visit once a week. He is better off than I am; he has
large rooms, and wears a beautiful black velvet coat. If you could only
have him for a husband, you would be well provided for indeed. But he is
blind, so you must tell him some of your prettiest stories."
But Tiny did not feel at all interested about this neighbour, for he was
a mole. However, he came and paid his visit, dressed in his black velvet coat.
"He is very rich and learned, and his house is twenty times larger than
mine," said the field-mouse.
He was rich and learned, no doubt, but he always spoke slightingly of
1he sun and the pretty flowers, because he had never seen them. Tiny was
obliged to sing to him, "Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away home," and many
other pretty songs. And the mole fell in love with her because she had
such a sweet voice; but he said nothing yet, for he was very cautious. A
short time before, the mole had dug a long passage under the earth, which
led from the dwelling of the field-mouse to his own, and here she had per-
mission to walk with Tiny, whenever she liked. But he warned them not
to be alarmed at the sight of a dead bird which lay in the passage. It was
a perfect bird, with a beak and feathers, and could not have been dead long,
and was lying just where the mole had made his passage. The mole took
a piece of phosphorescent wood in his mouth, and it glittered like fire in
the dark; then he went before them to light them through the long, dark
passage. When they came to the spot where lay the dead bird, the mole
pushed his broad nose through the ceiling, the earth gave way, so that there
was a large hole, and the daylight shone into the passage. In the middle
of the floor lay a dead swallow, his beautiful wings pulled close to his sides,
his feet and his head drawn up under his feathers; the poor bird had evi-
dently died of the cold. It made little Tiny very sad to see it, she did so
love the little birds; all the summer they had sung and twittered for her so
beautifully. But the mole pushed it aside with his crooked legs, and said,
" He will sing no more now. How miserable it must be to be born a little
bird! I am thankful that none of my children will ever be birds, for they
can do nothing but cry, 'Tweet, tweet,' and always die of hunger in the
"Yes, you may well say that, as a clever man 1" exclaimed the field-
mouse, "What is the use of his twittering, for when winter comes he must
either starve or be frozen to death. Still birds are very high bred."
Totty said nothing; but when the two others had turned their backs on
the bird, she stooped down and stroked aside the soft feathers which covered
the head, and kissed the closed eyelids. "Perhaps this was the one who
sang to me so sweetly in the summer," she said; "and how much pleasure
it gave me, you dear, pretty bird."
The mole now stopped up the hole through which the daylight shone,
and then accompanied the ladies home. But during the night Tiny could
not sleep; so she got out of bed and wove a large, beautiful carpet of hay;
then she carried it to the dead bird, and spread it over him, with some down
from the flowers which she had found in the field-mouse's room. It was
LITTLE TINY. 15
as soft as wool, and she spread some of it on each side of the bird, so that
he might lie warmly in the cold earth. Farewell, you pretty little bird,"
said she, farewell; thank you for your delightful singing during the sum-
mer, when all the trees were green, and the warm sun shone upon us."
Then she laid her head upon the bird's breast, but she was alarmed imme-
diately, for it seemed as if something inside the bird went "thump, thump."
It was the bird's heart; he was not really dead, only benumbed with the
cold, and the warmth had restored him to life. In autumn, all the swallows
fly away into warm countries, but if one happens to linger, the cold seizes
it, it becomes frozen, and falls down as if dead; it remains where it fell,
and the cold snow covers it. Tiny trembled very much; she was quite
frightened, for the bird was large, a great deal larger than herself,-she was
only an inch high. But she took courage, laid the wool more thickly over the
poor swallow, and then took a leaf which she had used for her own counter-
pane, and laid it over the head of the poor bird. The next night she again
stole out to see him. He was alive but very weak; he could only open
his eyes for a moment to look at Tiny, who stood by holding a piece of
decayed wood in her had, for she had no other lantern. "Thank you,
pretty little maiden," said the sick swallow; I have been so nicely warmed,
that I shall soon regain my strength, and be able to fly about again in the
Oh," said she, "it is cold out of doors now; it snows and freezes. Stay
in your warm bed; I will take care of you."
Then she brought the swallow some water in a flower-leaf, and after he
had drank, he told her that he had wounded one of his wings in a thorn-
bush, and could not fly as fast as the others, who were soon far away on
their journey to warm countries. Then at last he had fallen to the earth,
and could remember no more, nor how he came to be where she had found
him. The whole winter the swallow remained underground, and Tiny
nursed him with care and love. Neither the mole nor the field-mouse knew
anything about it, for they did not like swallows. Very soon the spring
time came, and the sun warmed the earth. Then the --. -II..., bade farewell
to Tiny, and she opened the hole in the ceiling which the mole had made.
The sun shone in upon them so beautifully, that the swallow asked her if
she would go with him; she could sit on his back, he said, and he would
fly away with her into the green woods. But Tiny knew it would make
the field-mouse very grieved if she left her in that manner, so she said, No,
Farewell, then, farewell, you good pretty little maiden," said the swallow;
and he flew out into the sunshine.
Tiny looked after him, and the tears rose in her eyes. She was very fond
of the poor swallow.
"Tweet, tweet," sang the bird, as he flew out into the green woods, and
Tiny felt very sad. She was not allowed to go out into the warm sunshine.
The corn which had been sown in the field over the house of the field-
mouse had grown up high into the air, and formed a thick wood to Tiny,
who was only an inch in-height.
16 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
"You are going to be married, Tiny," said the field-mouse. "My neigh.
bour has asked for you. What good fortune for a poor child like you!
Now we will prepare your wedding clothes. They must be both woollen
and linen. Nothing must be wanting when you are the mole's wife."
Tiny had to turn the spindle, and the field-mouse hired four spiders,
who were to weave day and night. Every evening the mole visited her,
and was continually speaking of the time when the summer would be over.
Then he would keep his wedding day with Tiny; but now the heat of the
sun was so great that it burned the earth, and made it quite hard, like a
stone. As soon as the summer was over, the wedding should take place.
But Tiny was not at all pleased; for she did not like the tiresome mole.
Every morning when the sun rose, and every evening when it went down,
she would creep out at the door, and as the wind blew aside the ears of
corn, so that she could see the blue sky, she thought how beautiful and
bright it seemed out there, and wished so much to see her dear swallow
again. But he never returned; for by this time he had flown far away
into the lovely green forest.
When autumn arrived, Tiny had her outfit quite ready; and the field-
mouse said to her, "In four weeks the wedding must take place."
Then Tiny wept, and said she would not marry the disagreeable mole.
"Nonsense," replied the field-mouse. "Now don't be obstinate, or I
shall bite you with my white teeth. He is a very handsome mole; the
queen herself does not wear more beautiful velvets and furs. His kitchens
and cellars are quite full. You ought to be very thankful for such good
So the wedding-day was fixed, on which the mole was to fetch Tiny away
to live with him, deep under the earth, and never again to see the warm
sun, because he did not like it. The poor child was very unhappy at the
thought of saying farewell to the beautiful sun, and as the field-mouse had
given her permission to -tand at the door, she went to look at it once
"Farewell, bright sun," she cried, stretching out her arm towards it; and
then she walked a short distance from the house; for the corn had been cut,
and only the dry stubble remained in the fields. Farewell, farewell," she
repeated, twining her arm ronnd a little red flower that grew just by her
side. Greet the little swallow from me, if you should see him again."
"Tweet, tweet," sounded over her head suddenly. She looked up, and
there was the swallow himself flying close by. As soon as he spied Tiny,
he was delighted; and then she told him how unwilling she felt to marry
the ugly mole, and to live always beneath the earth, and never to see the
bright sun any more. And as she told him, she wept.
Cold winter is coming," said the swallow, and I am going to fly away
into warmer countries. Will you go with me? You can sit on my back,
and fasten yourself on with your sash. Then we can fly away from the
ugly mole and his gloomy rooms,-far away, over the mountains, into
warmer countries, where the sun shines more brightly than here; where it
is always summer, and the flowers bloom in greater beauty. Fly now with
LITTLE TINY. 17
me, dear little Tiny; you saved my life when I lay frozen in that dark,
Yes, I will go with you," said Tiny; and she seated herself on the bird's
back, with her feet on his outstretched wings, and tied her girdle to one of
his strongest feathers.
Then the swallow rose in the air, and flew over forest and over sea, high
above the highest mountains, covered with eternal snow. Tiny would have
been frozen in the cold air, but she crept under the bird's warm feathers,
keeping her little head uncovered, so that she might admire the beautiful
lands over which they passed. At length they reached the warm countries,
where the sun shines brightly, and the sky seems so much higher above the
earth. Here, on the hedges, and by the wayside, grew purple, green, and
white grapes; lemons and oranges hung from trees in the woods; and the
air was fragrant with myrtles and orange blossoms. Beautiful children ran
along the country lanes, playing with large gay butterflies; and as the
swallow flew farther and farther, every place appeared still more lovely.
At last they came to a blue lake, and by the side of it, shaded by trees
of the deepest green, stood a palace of dazzling white marble, built in the
olden times. Vines clustered round its lofty pillars, and at the top were
many swallows' nests, and one of these was the home of the swallow who
This is my house," said the swallow; but it would not do for you to
live there-you would not be comfortable. You must choose for yourself
one of those lovely flowers, and I will put you down upon it, and then you
shall have everything that you can wish to make you happy."
"That will be delightful," she said, and clapped her little hands for
A large marble pillar lay on the ground, which, in falling, had been
broken into three pieces. Between these pieces grew the most beautiful
large white flower; so the swallow flew down with Tiny, and placed her on
one of the broad leaves. But how surprised she was to see, in the middle
of the flower, a tiny little man, as white and transparent as if he had been
made of crystal He had a gold crown on his head, and delicate wings at
his shoulders, and was not much larger than Tiny herself. He was the
angel of the flower! for a tiny man and a tiny woman dwell in every
flower; and this was the king of them all.
Oh, how beautiful he is whispered Tiny to the swallow.
The little prince was at first quite frightened at the bird, who was like a
giant, compared to such a delicate little creature as himself; but when he
saw Tiny, he was delighted, and thought her the prettiest little maiden he
had ever seen. He took the gold crown from his head, and placed it on
hers, and asked her name, and if she would be his wife, and queen over all
This certainly was a very different sort of husband to the son of the toad,
or the mole, with his black velvet and fur; so she said, "Yes," to the
handsome prince. Then all the flowers opened, and out of each came a
little lady or a tiny lord, all so pretty it was quite pleasure to look at them.
18 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
Each of them brought Tiny a present; but the best gift was a pair of
beautiful wings, which had belonged to a large white fly, and they fastened
them to Tiny's shoulders, so that she might fly from flower to flower. Then
there was much rejoicing, and the little swallow, who sat above them, in his
nest, was asked to sing a wedding song, which he did as well as he could;
but in his heart he felt sad, for he was very fond of Tiny, and would have
liked never to part from her again.
You must not be called Tiny any more," said the spirit of the flowers
to her. It is an ugly name, and you are so very pretty. We will call you
"Farewell, i., .-..Il," said the swallow, with a heavy heart, as he left the
warm countries, to fly back into Denmark. There he had a nest over the
window of a house in which dwelt the writer of fairy tales. The swallow
sang, Tweet, tweet," and from his song came the whole story.
THE GOBLIN AND THE HUCKSTER.
THERE was once a regular student, who lived in a garret, and had no
possessions. And there was also a regular huckster, to whom the house
belonged, and who occupied the ground floor. Agoblin lived with the
huckster, because at Christmas he always had a large dish full of jam, with
a great piece of butter in the middle. The huckster could afford this; and
therefore the goblin remained with the huckster, which was very cunning
One evening the student came into the shop through the back door to
buy candles and cheese for himself; he had no one to send, and therefore
he came himself; he obtained what he wished, and then the huckster and
his wife nodded good evening to him, and she was a woman who could do
more than merely nod, for she had usually plenty to say for herself. The
student nodded in return as he turned to leave, then suddenly stopped, and
began reading the piece of paper in which the cheese was wrapped. It was
a leaf torn out of an old book-a book that ought not to have been torn
up, for it was full of poetry.
"Yonder lies some more of the same sort," said the huckster: "I gave
an old woman a few coffee berries for it; you shall have the rest for six-
pence, if you will."
"Indeed I will," said the student; "give me the book instead of the
cheese; I can eat my bread and butter without cheese. It would be a sin
to tear up a book like this. You are a clever man, and a practical man;
but you understand no more about poetry than that cask yonder."
THE GOBLIN AND THE HUCKSTER. 19
This was a very rude speech, especially against the cask; but the huckster
and the student both laughed, for it was only said in fun. But the goblin
felt very angry that any man should venture to say such things to a huckster
who was a householder and sold the best butter. As soon as it was night,
and the shop closed, and every one in bed except the student, the goblin
stepped softly into the bedroom where the huckster's wife slept, and took
away her tongue, which, of course, she did not then want. Whatever object
in the room he placed his tongue upon immediately received voice and
speech, and was able to express its thoughts and feelings as readily as the
lady herself could do. It could only be used by one object at a time, which
was a good thing, as a number speaking at once would have caused great
confusion. The goblin laid the tongue upon the cask, in which lay a quan-
tity of old newspapers.
"Is it really true," he asked, that you do not know what poetry is ?"
"Of course, I know," replied the cask : poetry is something that always
stands in the corner of a newspaper, and is sometimes cut out; and I may
venture to affirm that I have more of it in me than the student has, and I
am only a poor tub of the huckster's."
Then the goblin placed the tongue on the coffee mill; and how it did go,
to be sure Then he put it on the butter tub and the cash box, and they
all expressed the same opinion as the waste-paper tub; and a majority must
always be respected.
"Now I shall go and tell the student," said the goblin; and with these
words he went quietly up the back stairs to the garret where the student
lived. He had a candle burning still, and the goblin peeped through the
keyhole and saw that he was reading in the torn book which he had bought
out of the shop. But how light the room was From the book shot forth
a ray of light which grew broad and full, like the stem of a tree, from which
bright rays spread upward and over the student's head. Each leaf was
fresh, and each flower was like beautiful female head; some with dark and
sparkling eyes, and others with eyes that were wonderfully blue and clear.
The fruit gleamed like stars, and the room was filled with sounds of beau-
tiful music. The little goblin had never imagined, much less seen or heard
of, any sight so glorious as this. He stood still on tiptoe, peeping in, till
the light went out in the garret. The student no doubt had blown out his
candle and gone to bed; but the little goblin remained standing there
nevertheless, and listening to the music which still sounded on, soft and.
beautiful, a sweet cradle-song for the student, who had lain down to rest.
"This is a wonderful place," said the goblin; I never expected such a
thing. I should like to stay here with the student;" and then the little man
thought it over, for he was a sensible little sprite. At last he sighed, "But
the student has no jam !" So he went downstairs again into the huckster's
shop, and it was a good thing he got back when he did, for the cask had
almost worn out the lady's tongue; he had given a description of all that
he contained on one side, and was just about to turn himself over to the
other side to describe what was there, when the goblin entered and restored
the tongue to the lady. But from that time forward, the whole shop, from
20 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
the cash-box down to the pinewood logs, formed their opinions from that of
the cask; and they all had such confidence in him, and treated him with
so much respect, that when the huckster read the criticisms on theatricals
and art of an evening, they fancied it must all come from the cask.
But after what he had seen, the goblin could no longer sit and listen
quietly to the wisdom and understanding downstairs; so, as soon as the
evening light glimmered in the garret, he took courage, for it seemed to him
as if the rays of light were strong cables, drawing him up, and obliging him
to go and peep through the keyhole; and, while there, a feeling of vastness
came over him such as we experienced by the ever-moving sea, when the
storm breaks forth; and it brought tears into his eyes. He did not himself
know why he wept, yet a kind of pleasant feeling mingled with his tears.
"How wonderfully glorious it would be to sit with the student under such
a tree;" but that was out of the question, he must be content to look through
the keyhole, and be thankful for even that.
There he stood on the cold landing, with the autumn wind blowing down
upon him through the trap-door. It was very cold; but the little creature
did not really feel it, till the light in the garret went out, and the tones of
music died away. Then how he shivered, and crept downstairs again to
his warm corner, where it felt home-like and comfortable. And when
Christmas came again, and brought the dish of jam and the great lump of
butter, he liked the huckster best of all.
Soon after, in the middle of the night, the goblin was awoke by a terrible
noise and knocking against the window shutters and the house doors, and
by the sound of the watchman's horn for a great fire had broken out, and
the whole street appeared full of flames. Was it in their house, or a neigh-
bour's ? No one could tell, for terror had seized upon all. The huckster's
wife was so bewildered that she took her gold ear-rings out of her ears and
put them in her pocket, that she might save something at least. The
huckster ran to get his business papers, and the servant resolved to save
her black silk mantle, which she had managed to buy. Each wished to
keep the best things they had. The goblin had the same wish; for, with
one spring, he was upstairs and in the student's room, whom he found
standing by the open window, and looking quite calmly at the fire, which
was raging at the house of a neighbour opposite. The goblin caught up the
wonderful book which lay on the table, and popped it into his red cap,
which he held tightly with both hands. The greatest treasure in the house
was saved; and he ran away with it to the roof, and seated himself on the
chimney. The flames of the burning house opposite illuminated him as he
sat, both hands pressed tightly over his cap, in which the treasure lay; and
then he found out what feelings really reigned in his heart, and knew exactly
which way they tended. And yet, when the fire was extinguished, and the
goblin again began to reflect, he hesitated, and said at last, I must divide
myself between the two; I cannot quite give up the huckster, because of
And this is a representation of human nature. We are like the goblin;
we all go to visit the huckster "because of the jam,"
A GREAT SORROW.
THIS story has two parts. The first part might be left out; but it explains
a few particulars, we will relate it.
I was staying once for a few days at a gentleman's house in the country
while the master was absent. In the meantime, a lady called from the
next town to see him, as she wished, she said, to dispose of shares in her
tan-yard. She had her papers with her, and I advised her to put them in
an envelope, and address them to the General Commissary of War,
Knight, etc." She listened attentively, and then seized the pen; hesitated,
and then begged me to repeat the address more slowly. I did so, and she
began to write, but when she got half through the words, she stopped and
sighed deeply, and said, "I am only a woman." She had a pug dog with
her, and while she wrote Puggie seated himself on the ground and growled.
She had brought him for his health and amusement, and it was not quite
polite to offer a visitor only the bare floor to sit upon. Puggie had a snub
nose, and he was very fat. He doesn't bite," said the lady; "he has no
teeth; he is like one of the family, very faithful, but sometimes glumpy.
That is the fault of my grandchildren, they teaze him so; when they play
at having a wedding, they want to make him the bride's-maid, and he does
not like it, poor old fellow." Then she finished her writing, gave up her
papers, and went away, taking Puggie on her arm. And this ends the first
part of the story.
PUGGIE DIED. And that begins the second part.
I arrived at the town about a week afterwards, and put up at an inn.
The windows of the inn looked into a courtyard, which was divided into
two parts by a wooden partition; in one half hung a quantity of skins and
hides, both raw and tanned. It was evidently a tan-yard, containing all the
materials required for tanning, and it belonged to the widow lady, Puggie's
mistress. Puggie had died the morning I arrived there, and was to be buried
in the yard. The grandchildren of the widow, that is to say, the tanner's
widow, for Puggie had never been married, filled up the grave. It was a
beautiful grave, and must have been quite pleasant to lie in. They bor-
dered the grave with pieces of flower-pots, and strewed it over with sand.
In the centre they stuck half a beer bottle, with the neck uppermost, which
certainly was not allegorical. Then the children danced round the grave,
22 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
and the eldest of the boys among them, a practical youngster of seven
years, proposed that there should be an exhibition of Puggie's burial place,
for all who lived in the lane. The price of admission was to be a trouser
button, which every boy was sure to have, as well as one to spare for a little
girl. This proposal was agreed to with great exclamations of pleasure. All
the children from the street, and even from the narrow lane at the back,
came flocking to the place, and each gave a button, and many were seen
during the afternoon going about-with their trousers held up by only one
brace, but then they had seen Puggie's grave, and that was a sight worth
much more. But in front of the tan-yard, close to the entrance, stood a
very pretty little girl clothed in rags, with curly hair, and eyes so blue and
clear it was a pleasure to look into them. The child spoke not a word, nor
did she cry; but each time the little door opened, she gave a long, lingering
look into the yard. She had not a button, she knew that too well, and
therefore she remained standing sorrowfully outside, till all the other children
had seen the grave, and were gone away; then she sat down, covered her
eyes with her little brown hands, and burst into tears. She was the only
one who had not seen Puggie's grave. It was as great a grief to her as
any grown person could experience. I saw this from above; and how
many a grief of our own and others can make us smile, if looked at from
This is the story: and whoever does not understand it may go and pur-
chase a share in the widow's tan-yard.
THE SILVER SHILLING.
THERE was once a shilling which came forth from the mint springing and
shouting, Hurrah now I am going out into the wide world." And truly
it did go out into the wide world. The children held it with warm hands,
the miser with a cold and convulsive grasp, and the old people turned it
about, goodness knows how many times, while the young people soon allowed
it to roll away from them. The shilling was made of silver, it contained very
little copper, and considered itself quite out in the world when it had been
circulated for a year in the country in which it had been coined. One day,
it really did go out into the world, for it belonged to a gentleman who was
about to travel in foreign lands. This gentleman was not aware that the
shilling lay at the bottom of his purse when he started, till he one day found
it between his fingers. "Why," cried he, "here is a shilling from home;
well, it must go on its travels with me now 1" and the shilling jumped and
rattled for joy, when it was put back again into the purse.
THE SILVER SHILLING. 23
Here it lay amongst a number of foreign companions, who were always
coming and going, one taking the place of another; but the shilling from
home was always put back, and had to remain in the purse, which was cer-
tainly a mark of distinction. Many weeks passed, during which the shilling
had travelled a long distance in the purse, without in the least knowing
where he was. He had found out that the other coins were French and
Italian; and one coin said they were in this town, and another said they
were in that, but the shilling was unable to make out or imagine what they
meant. A man certainly cannot see much of the world if he is tied up in
a bag, and this was really the shilling's fate. But one day, as he was lying
in the purse, he noticed that it was not quite closed, and so he slipped near
to the opening to have a little peep into society. He certainly had not the
least idea of what would follow, but he was curious, and curiosity often
brings its own punishment. In his eagerness, he came so near the edge of
the purse that he slipped out into the pocket of the trousers; and when, in
the evening, the purse was taken out, the shilling was left behind in the
corner to which it had fallen. As the clothes were being carried into the
hall, the shilling fell out on the floor, unheard and unnoticed by any one.
The next morning the clothes were taken back to the room; the gentleman
put them on, and started on his journey again; but the shilling remained
behind on the floor. After a time it was found, and being considered a good
coin, was placed with three other coins. Ah," thought the shilling, this
is pleasant; I shall now see the world, become acquainted with other people,
and learn other customs."
"Do you call that a shilling ? said some one the next moment. That
is not a genuine coin of the country,-it is false; it is good for nothing."
Now begins the story as it was afterwards related by the shilling himself.
"'False good for nothing !' said he. That remark went through and
through me like a dagger. I knew that I had a true ring, and that mine
was a genuine stamp. These people must at all events be wrong, or they
could not mean me. But yes, I was the one they called 'false, and good
'Then I must pay it away in the dark,' said the man who had received
me. So I was to be got rid of in the darkness, and be again insulted in
"False good for nothing !" Oh, I must contrive to get lost, thought I.
And I trembled between the fingers of the people every time they tried to
pass me off slyly as a coin of the country. Ah unhappy shilling that I
was I Of what use were my silver, my stamp, and my real value here,
where all these qualities were worthless. In the eyes of the world, a man
is valued just according to the opinion formed of him. It must be a shock-
ing thing to have a guilty conscience, and to be sneaking about on account
of wicked deeds. As for me, innocent as I was, I could not help shudder-
ing before their eyes whenever they brought me out, for I knew I should be
thrown back again upon the table as a false pretender. At length I was
paid away to a poor old woman, who received me as wages for a hard day's
work. But she could not again get rid of me; no one would take me. I
24 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIR Y TALES.
was to the woman a most unlucky shilling. 'I am positively obliged to
pass this shilling to somebody,' said she; I cannot, with the best inten-
tions, lay by a bad shilling. The rich baker shall have it,-he can bear the
loss better than I can. But, after all, it is not a right thing to do.'
Ah !' sighed I to myself,' am I also to be a burden on the conscience
of this poor woman ? Am I then in my old days so completely changed ?'
The woman offered me to the rich baker, but he knew the current money
too well, and as soon as he received me he threw me almost in the woman's
face. She could get no bread for me, and I felt quite grieved to the heart
that I should be the cause of so much trouble to another, and be treated as
a cast-off coin. I who, in my young days, felt so joyful in the certainty of
my own value, and knew so well that I bore a genuine stamp. I was as
sorrowful now as a poor shilling can be when nobody will have him. The
woman took me home again with her, and looking at me very earnestly,
she said, 'No, I will not try to deceive any one with thee again. I will
bore a hole through thee, that every one may know that thou art a false and
worthless thing; and yet, why should I do that? Very likely thou art a
lucky shilling. A thought has just struck me that it is so, and I believe it.
Yes, I will make a hole in the shilling,' said she, 'and run a string through
it, and then give it to my neighbour's little one to hang round her neck, as
a lucky shilling.' So she drilled a hole through me.
"It is really not all pleasant to have a hole bored through one, but we
can submit to a great deal when it is done with a good intention. A string
was drawn through the hole, and I became a kind of medal. They hung
me round the neck of a little child, and the child laughed at me and kissed
me, and I rested for one whole night on the warm, innocent breast of a
"In the morning the child's mother took me between her fingers, and
had certain thoughts about me, which I very soon found out. First, she
looked for a pair of scissors, and cut the string.
"' Lucky shilling !' said she, 'certainly that is what I mean to try.' Then
she laid me in vinegar till I became quite green, and after that she filled
up the hole with cement, rubbed me a little to brighten me up, and went
out in the twilight hour to the lottery collector, to buy herself a ticket, with
a shilling that should bring luck. How everything seemed to cause me
trouble. The lottery collector pressed me so hard that I thought that I
should crack. I had been called false, I had been thrown away,-that I
knew; and there were many shillings and coins with inscriptions and
stamps of all kinds lying about. I well knew how proud they were, so I
avoided them from very shame. With the collector were several men who
seemed to have a great deal to do, so I fell unnoticed into a chest among
several other coins.
"Whether the lottery ticket gained a prize, I know not; but this I know,
that in a very few days after, I was recognized as a bad shilling, and laid
aside. Everything that happened seemed always to add to my sorrow.
Even if a man has a good character, it is no use for him to deny what is
said of him, for he is not considered an impartial judge of himself.
The ugly duckling.
THE UGLY DUCKLING. 25
"A year passed, and in this way I had been changed from hand to hand;
always abused, always looked at it with displeasure, and trusted by no one;
but I trusted in myself, and had no confidence in the world. Yes, that was
a very dark time.
"At length one day I was passed to a traveller, a foreigner, the very
same who had brought me away from home; and he was simple and true-
hearted enough to take me for current coin. But would he also attempt to
pass me ? and should I again hear the outcry, 'False good-for-nothing!'
The traveller examined me attentively, 'I took thee for good coin,' said he;
then suddenly a smile spread all over his face. I have never seen such a
smile on any other face as on his. Now this is singular,' said he, it is a
coin from my own county; a good, true shilling from home. Some one has
bored a hole through it, and people have no doubt called it false. How
curious that it should come into my hands. I will take it home with me to
my own house.'
Joy thrilled through me when I heard this. I had been once more
called a good, honest shilling, and I was to go back to my own home,
where each and all would recognize me, and know that I was made of good
silver, and bore a true, genuine stamp. I should have been glad in my joy
to throw out sparks of fire, but it has never at any time been my nature to
sparkle. Steel can do so, but not silver. I was wrapped up in fine, white
paper, that I might not mix with the other coins and be lost; and on special
occasions, when people from my own country happened to be present, I
was brought forward and spoken of very kindly. They said I was very
interesting, and it was really quite worth while to notice that those who are'
interesting have often not a single word to say for themselves.
"At length I reached home. All my cares were at an end. Joy again
overwhelmed me; for was I not good silver, and had I not a genuine stamp ?
I had no more insults or disappointments to endure; although, indeed, there
was a whole through me, as if I were false ; but suspicions are nothing when
a man is really true, and every one should persevere in acting honestly, for
all will be made right in time. That is my firm belief," said the shilling.
THE UGLY DUCKLING.
IT was lovely summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the
green oats, and the haystacks piled up in the meadows looked beautiful.
The stork walking about on his long red legs chattered in the Egyptian
language, which he had learnt from his mother. The corn-fields and
meadows were surrounded by large forests, in the midst of which were deep
pools. It was, indeed, delightful to walk about in the country. In a sunny
26 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
spot stood a pleasant old farm-house close by a deep river, and from the
house down to the water side grew great burdock leaves, so high, that under
the tallest of them a little child could stand upright. The spot was as wild
as the centre of a thick wood. In this snug retreat sat a duck on her nest,
watching for her young brood to hatch; she was beginning to get tired of
her task, for the little ones were a long time coming out of their shells, and
she seldom had any visitors. The other ducks liked much better to swim
about in the river than to climb the slippery banks, and sit under a burdock
leaf, to have a gossip with her. At length one shell cracked, and then
another, and from each egg came a living creature that lifted its head and
cried, Peep, peep." Quack, quack," said the mother, and then they all
quacked as well as they could, and looked about them on every side at the
large green leaves. Their mother allowed them to look as much as they
liked, because green is good for the eyes. How large the world is," said
the young ducks, when they found how much more room they now had than
while they were inside the egg-shell. Do you imagine this is the whole
world?" asked the mother; Wait till you have seen the garden; it stretches
far beyond that to the parson's field, but I have never ventured to such a
distance. Are you all out?" she continued, rising; "No, I declare, the
largest egg lies there still. I wonder how long this is to last, I am quite
tired of it;" and she seated herself again on the nest.
Well, how are you getting on ?" asked an old duck, who paid her a visit.
One egg is not hatched yet," said the duck, it will not break. But
just look at all the others, are they not the prettiest little ducklings you ever
saw? They are the image of their father, who is so unkind, he never comes
to see me."
Let me see the egg that will not break," said the old duck; "I have no
doubt it is a turkey's egg. I was persuaded to hatch some once, and after
all my care and trouble with the young ones, they were afraid of the water.
I quacked and clucked, but all to no purpose. I could not get them to
venture in. Let me look at the egg. Yes, that is a turkey's egg; take my
advice, leave it where it is, and teach the other children to swim."
I think I will sit on it a little while longer," said the duck; "as I have
sat so long already, a few days will be nothing."
"Please yourself," said the old duck, and she went away.
At last the large egg broke, and a young one crept forth, crying, Peep,
peep." It was very large and ugly. The duck stared at it, and exclaimed,
" It is very large, and not at all like the others. I wonder if it really is a
turkey. We shall soon find it out, however, when we go to the water. It
must go in, if I have to push it in myself."
On the next day the weather was delightful, and the sun shone '"lii.l
on the green burdock leaves, so the mother duck took her young brood
down to the water and jumped in with a splash. Quack, quack," cried
she, and one after another the little ducklings jumped in. The water closed
over their heads, but they came up again in an instant, and swam about
quite prettily with their legs paddling under them as easily as possible, and
the ugly duckling was also in the water swimming with them.
THE UGLY DUCKLING. 27
Oh," said the mother, that is not a turkey; how well he uses his legs,
and how upright he holds himself! Ie is my own child, and he is not so
very ugly after all if you look at him properly. Quack, quack come with
me now, I will take you into grand society, and introduce you to the farm-
yard, but you must keep close to me or you may be trodden upon; and,
above all, beware of the cat."
When they reached the farmyard, there was a great disturbance, two
families were fighting for an eel's head, which, after all, was carried off
by the cat. "See, children, that is the way of the world," said the mother
duck, whetting her beak, for she would have liked the eel's head herself
" Come, now, use your legs, and let me see how well you can behave. You
must bow your heads prettily to that old duck yonder; she is the highest
born of them all, and has Spanish blood, therefore she is well of. Don't
you see she has a red rag tied to her leg, which is something very grand,
and a great honour for a duck; it shows that every one is anxious not to
lose her, as she can be recognized both by man and beast. Come, now,
don't turn in your toes, a well-bred duckling spreads his feet wide apart, just
like his father and mother, in this way; now bend your neck, and say' Quack.'"
The ducklings did as they were bid, but the other ducks stared, and said,
"Look, here come another brood, as if there were not enough of us
already and what a queer-looking object one of them is; we don't want
him here," and then one flew out and bit him in the neck.
"Let him alone," said the mother; "he is not doing any harm."
"Yes, but he is so big and ugly," said the spiteful duck, "and therefore
he must be turned out."
"The others are very pretty children," said the old duck with the rag
on her leg, "all but that one; I wish his mother could improve him a little."
"That is impossible, your grace," replied the mother; "he is not pretty;
but he has a very good disposition, and swims as well or even better than
the others. I think he will grow up pretty, and perhaps be smaller; he has
remained too long in the egg, and therefore his figure is not properly
formed ;" and then she stroked his neck and smoothed the feathers, say-
ing, It is a drake, and therefore not of so much consequence. I think he
will grow up strong, and be able to take care of himself."
"The other ducklings are graceful enough," said the old duck. Now
make yourself at home, and if you find an eel's head, you can bring it to me."
And so they made themselves comfortable; but the poor duckling, who
had crept out of his shell last of all, and looked so ugly, was bitten and pushed
and made fun of, not only by the ducks, but by all the poultry. He is too
big," they all said, and the turkey cock, who had been born into the world
with spurs, and fancied himself really an emperor, puffed himself out like
a vessel in full sail, and flew at the duckling, and became quite red in the
head with passion, so that the poor little thing did not know where to go,
and was quite miserable because he was so ugly and laughed at by the
whole farmyard. So it went on from day to day till it got worse and worse.
The poor duckling was driven about by everyone; even his brothers and
sisters were unkind to him, and would say, Ah, you ugly creature, I wish
-`--_ --_'-- ^-----)- :
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THE UGLY DUCKLING. 29
the cat would get you," and his mother said she wished he had never been
born. The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed
the poultry kicked him with her feet. So at last he ran away, frightening
the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the palings.
They are afraid of me, because I am so ugly," he said. So he closed
his eyes, and flew still farther, until he came out on a large moor, inhabited
by wild ducks. Here he remained the whole night, feeling very tired and
In the morning, when the wild ducks rose in the air, they stared at their
new comrade. What sort of a duck are you ? they all said, coming round
He bowed to them, and was as polite as he could be, but he did not
reply to their question. You are exceedingly ugly," said the wild ducks,
"but that will not matter if you do not want to marry one of our family."
Poor thing i he had no thoughts of marriage; all he wanted was per-
mission to lie among the rushes, and drink some of the water on the moor.
After he had been on the moor two days, there came two wild geese, or
rather goslins, for they had not been out of the egg long, and were very
saucy. "Listen, friend," said one of them to the duckling, "you are so
ugly, that we like you very well. Will you go with us, and become a bird
of passage ? Not far from here is another moor, in which there are some
pretty wild geese, all unmarried. It is a chance for you to get a wife; you
may be lucky, ugly as you are."
Pop, pop," sounded in the air, and the two wild geese fell dead among
the rushes, and the water was tinged with blood. "Pop, pop," echoed far
and wide in the distance, and whole flocks of wild geese rose up from the
rushes. The sound continued from every direction, for the sportsmen
surrounded the moor, and some were even seated on branches of trees,
overlooking the rushes. The blue smoke from the guns rose like clouds
over the dark trees, and as it floated away across the water, a number of
sporting dogs bounded in among the rushes, which bent beneath them
wherever they went. How they terrified the poor duckling He turned
away his head to hide it under his wing, and at the same moment a large
terrible dog passed quite near him. His jaws were open, his tongue hung
from his mouth, and his eyes glared fearfully. He thrust his nose close to
the duckling, showing his sharp teeth, and then "splash, splash," he went
into the water without touching him. "Oh," sighed the duckling, "how
thankful I am for being so ugly; even a dog will not bite me." And so he
lay quite still, while the shot rattled through the rushes, and gun after gun
was fired over him. It was late in the day before all became quiet, but
even then the poor young thing did not dare to move. He waited quietly for
several hours, and then, after looking carefully around him, hastened away
from the moor as fast as he could. He ran over field and meadow till a
storm arose, and he could hardly struggle against it. Towards evening he
reached a poor little cottage that seemed ready to fall, and only remained
standing because it could not decide on which side to fall first. The storm
continued so violent, that the duckling could go no farther; he sat down
30 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
by the cottage, and then he noticed that the door was not quite closed in
consequence of one of the hinges having given way. There was therefore
a narrow opening near the bottom large enough. for him to slip through,
which he did very quietly, and got a shelter for the night. A woman, a
tom cat, and a hen lived in this cottage. The tom cat, whom his mistress
called, My little son," was a great favourite; he could raise his back, and
purr, and could even throw out sparks from his fur if it were stroked the
wrong way. The hen had very short legs, so she was called, "Chickie
short legs." She laid good eggs, and her mistress loved her as if she had
been her own child. In the morning, the strange visitor was discovered,
and the tom cat began to purr, and the hen to cluck.
What is that noise about?" said the old woman, looking round the
room, but her sight was not very good; therefore, when she saw the
duckling she thought it must be a fat duck, that had strayed from home.
"Oh, what a prize !" she exclaimed, I hope it is not a drake, for then I
shall have some duck's eggs. I must wait and see." So the duckling was
allowed to remain on trial for three weeks, but there were no eggs. Now
the tom cat was the master of the house, and the hen was mistress, and
they always said, "We and the world," for they believed themselves to be
half the world, and the better half too. The duckling thought that others
might hold a different opinion on the subject, but the hen would not listen
to such doubts. "Can you lay eggs?" she asked. "No." "Then have
the goodness to hold your tongue." "Can you raise your back, or purr, or
throw out sparks ?" said the tom cat. "No." "Then you have no right
to express an opinion when sensible people are speaking." So the duckling
sat in a corner, feeling very low-spirited, till the sunshine and the fresh air
came into the room through the open door, and then he began to feel such a
great longing for'a swim on the water, that he could not help telling the hen.
"What an absurd idea," said the hen. "You have nothing else to do,
therefore you have foolish fancies. If you could purr or lay eggs, they
would pass away."
But it is so delightful to swim about on the water," said the duckling,
"and so refreshing to feel it close over your head, while you dive down to
"Delightful indeed!" said the hen, why you must be crazy Ask the
cat, he is the cleverest animal I know, ask him how he would like to swim
about on the water, or to dive under it, for I will not speak of my own
opinion; ask our mistress, the old woman-there is no one in the world
more clever than she is. Do you think she would like to swim, or to let)
the water close over her head ?"
"You don't understand me," said the duckling.
"We don't understand you? Who can understand you, I wonder? Do
you consider yourself more clever than the cat, or the old woman? I will
say nothing of myself. Don't imagine such nonsense, child, and thank your
good fortune that you have been received here. Are you not in a warm
room, and in society from which you may learn something. But you are a
chatterer, and your company is not very agreeable. Believe me, I speak
THE UGLY DUCKLING. 31
only for your good. I may tell you unpleasant truths, but that is a proof
of my friendship. I advise you, therefore, to lay eggs, and learn to purr as
quickly as possible."
"I believe I must go out into the world again," said the duckling.
"Yes, do," said the hen. So the duckling left the cottage, and soon found
water on which it could swim and dive, but was avoided by all other animals,
because of its ugly appearance. Autumn came, and the leaves in the forest
turned to orange and gold; then, as winter approached, the wind caught
them as they fell and whirled them in the cold air. The clouds, heavy with
hail and snow-flakes, hung low in the sky, and the raven stood on the ferns
crying, "Croak, croak." It made one shiver with cold to look at him. All
this was very sad for the poor little duckling. One evening, just as the
sun set amid radiant clouds, there came a large flock of beautiful birds out
of the bushes. The duckling had never seen any like them before. They
were swans, and they curved their graceful necks, while their soft plumage
shone with dazzling whiteness. They uttered a singular cry, as they spread
their glorious wings and flew away from those cold regions to warmer
countries across the sea. As they mounted higher and higher in the air,
the ugly little duckling felt quite a strange sensation as he watched them.
He whirled himself in the water like a wheel, stretched out his neck towards
them, and uttered a cry so strange that it frightened himself. Could he
ever forget those beautiful, happy birds; and when at last they were out of
his sight, he dived under the water, and rose again almost beside himself
with excitement. He knew not the names of these birds, nor where they
had flown, but he felt towards them as he had never felt for any other bird in
the world. He was not envious of these beautiful creatures, but wished to be
as lovely as they. Poor ugly creature, how gladly he would have lived
even with the ducks had they only given him encouragement. The winter
grew colder and colder; he was obliged to swim about on the water to
keep it from freezing, but every night the space on which he swam became
smaller and smaller. At length it froze so hard that the ice in the water
crackled as he moved, and the duckling had to paddle with his legs as well
he could, to keep the space from closing up. He became exhausted at
last, and lay still and helpless, frozen fast in the ice.
Early in the morning, a peasant, who was passing by, saw what had hap-
pened. He broke the ice in pieces with his wooden shoe, and carried the
duckling home to his wife. The warmth revived the poor little creature;
but when the children wanted to play with him, the duckling thought they
would do him some harm; so he started up in terror, fluttered into the
milk-pan, and splashed the milk about in the room. Then the woman
clapped her hands, which frightened him still more. He flew first into the
butter-cask, then into the meal-tub, and out again. What a condition he
was in! The woman screamed, and struck at him with the tongs; the
children laughed and screamed, and tumbled over each other, in their efforts
to catch him; but luckily he escaped. The door stood open; the poor
creature could just manage to slip out among the bushes, and lie down
quite exhausted in the newly fallen snow.
32 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
It would be very sad, were I to relate all the misery and privations which
the poor little duckling endured during the hard winter; but when it had
passed, he found himself lying one morning in a moor, amongst the rushes.
He felt the warm sun shining, and heard the lark singing, and saw that all
around was beautiful spring. Then the younger bird felt that his wings
were strong, as he flapped them against his sides, and rose high into the
air. They bore him onwards, until he found himself in a large garden,
before he well knew how it had happened. The apple-trees were in full
blossom, and the fragrant elders bent their long green branches down to the
stream which wound round a smooth lawn. Everything looked beautiful,
in the freshness of early spring. From a thicket close by came three beau-
tiful white swans, rustling their feathers, and swimming lightly over the
smooth water. The duckling remembered the lovely birds, and felt more
strangely unhappy than ever.
I will fly to these royal birds," he exclaimed, "and they will kill me,
because I am so ugly, and dare to approach them; but it does not matter;
better be killed by them than pecked by the ducks, beaten by the hens,
pushed about by the maiden who feeds the poultry, or starved with hunger
in the winter."
Then he flew to the water, and swam towards the beautiful swans. The
moment they espied the stranger, they rushed to meet him with outstretched
"Kill me," said the poor bird; and he bent his head down to the surface
of the water, and awaited death.
But what did he see in the clear stream below? His own image; no
longer a dark, grey bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and
beautiful swan. To be born in a duck's nest, in a farmyard, is of no con-
sequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan's egg. He now felt glad at
having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much
better all the pleasure and happiness around him; for the great swans swam
round the new comer, and stroked his neck with their beaks, as a welcome.
Into the garden presently came some little children, and threw bread and
cake into the water
"See," cried the youngest, "there is a new one;" and the rest were de-
lighted, and ran to their father and mother, dancing and clapping their hands
and, shouting joyously, "There is another swan come; a new one has arrived."
Then they threw more bread and cake into the water, and said, "The
new one is the most beautiful of all; he is so young and pretty." And the
old swans bowed their heads before him.
Then he felt quite ashamed, and hid his head under his wing; for he did
not know what to do, he was so happy, and yet not at all proud. He had
been as persecuted and despised for his ugliness, and now he heard them
say he was the most beautiful of all the birds. Even the elder-tree bent
down its boughs into the water before him, and the sun shone warm and
bright. Then he rustled his feathers, curved his slender neck, and cried
joyfully, from the depths of his heart, "I never dreamed of such happiness
as this, while I was an ugly duckling."
THE ROSES AND THE SPARROWS.
IT really appeared as if something very important was going on by the
duck pond; but this was not the case. A few minutes before, all the ducks
had been resting on the water, or standing on their heads, for they can do
so, and then they all swam in a bustle to the shore; the traces of their feet
could be seen on the wet earth, and far and wide could be heard their
quacking. The water, so lately clear and bright as a mirror, became quite
in a commotion. A moment before, every tree and bush near the old farm-
house, and the house itself, with the holes in the roof, and the swallows'
nests, and above all, the beautiful rose-bush covered with roses, had been
clearly reflected in the water. The rose-bush on the wall hung over the
water, which resembled a picture, only every thing appeared upside down;
but when the water was set in motion, it all vanished and the picture dis-
appeared. Two feathers dropped by the fluttering ducks floated to and fro
on the water; all at once they took a start, as if the wind were coming; but
it did not come, so they were obliged to lie still, as the water became again
quiet and at rest. The roses could once more behold their own reflections;
they were very beautiful, but they knew it not, for no one had told them.
The sun shone between the delicate leaves, everywhere the sweet fragrance
spread itself, creating sensations of deep happiness.
"How beautiful is our existence," said one of the roses, I feel as if I
should like to kiss the sun, it is so bright and warm. I should like to kiss the
roses, too, our images in the water, and the pretty birds in their nests. There
Share some birds too in a nest above us, they stretch out their heads and cry,
'Tweet, tweet,' very faintly, they have no feathers yet, as their father and
mother have; they are good neighbours both above us and below us. How
beautiful is our life !" The young birds above, and the young ones below were
the same; they were sparrows, and their nest was reflected in the water.
Their parents were sparrows also, and they had taken possession of an
34 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
empty swallow's nest of the year before, and occupied it now as if it were
Are those ducks' children that are swimming about ? asked the young
sparrows, as they spied the feathers on the water.
If you must ask questions, pray ask sensible ones," said the mother.
"Can you not see that these are feathers, the living stuff for clothes, which
I wear and which you will wear soon; but ours is much finer. I should
like, however, to have them up here in the nest, they would make it so
warm. I am rather curious to know why the ducks were so alarmed just
now, it could not be from fear of us, certainly, though I did say tweet'
rather loudly. The thick-headed roses really ought to know, but they are
very ignorant, they only look at one another and smell. I am heartily tired
of such neighbours."
"Listen to the sweet little birds above us," said the roses; "they are
trying to sing; they cannot manage it yet, but it will be done in time; what
a pleasure it will be, and how nice to have such lively neighbours."
Suddenly two horses came prancing along to drink at the water; a pea-
sant boy rode on one of them; he had a broad-brimmed black hat on, but
had taken off most of his other clothes that he might ride into the deepest
part of the pond; he whistled like a bird, and while passing the rose-bush
he plucked a rose and placed it in his hat, and then rode on, thinking him-
self very fine. The other roses looked at their sister, and asked each other
where she could be going, but they did not know.
I should like for once to go out into the world," said one, "although
it is very lovely here in our home of green leaves. The sun shines warmly
by day, and in the night we can see that heaven is more beautiful still, as it
sparkles through the holes in the sky."
She meant the stars, for she knew no better.
"We make the house very lively," said the mother sparrow, and people
say that a swallow's nest brings luck, therefore they are pleased to see us;
but as to our neighbours, a rose-bush on the wall produces damp. It will
most likely be removed, and perhaps corn will grow here instead of it,
Roses are good for nothing but to be looked at, and smelt, or, perhaps, one
may chance to be stuck in a hat. I have heard from my mother that they
fall off every year. The farmer's wife preserves them by laying them in salt,
and then they receive a French name, which I neither can nor will pro-
nounce; then they are sprinkled on the fire to produce a pleasant smell.
Such you see is their life. They are only formed to please the eye and the
nose. Now you know all about them."
As evening approached, the gnats played about in the warm air be-
neath the rosy clouds, and the nightingale came and sang to the roses, that
the beautifrd was like sunshine to the world, and that the beautiful lives for
ever. The roses thought that the nightingale was singing of herself, which
any one, indeed, could easily suppose; they never imagined that her song
could refer to them. But it was a joy to them, and they wondered to them-
selyes whether all the little sparrows in the nest would become nightin-
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THE P P C"G A
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36 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
"We understand that bird's song very well," said the young sparrows;
"but one word was not clear. What is the beautiful ?"
Oh, nothing of any consequence," replied the mother sparrow. It is
something relating to appearances o'er yonder at the nobleman's house.
The pigeons have a house of their own, and every day they have corn and
peas spread for them. I have dined there with them sometimes, and so
shall you by-and-by, for I believe the old maxim-' Tell me what company
you keep, and I will tell you what you are.' Well, over at the noble house
there are two birds with green throats and crests on their heads. They can
spread out their tails like large wheels, and they reflect so many beautiful
colours that it dazzles the eyes to look at them. These birds are called
peacocks, and they belong to the beautiful, but if only a few of their feathers
were plucked off they would not appear better than we do. I would my-
self have plucked some out had they not been so large."
I will pluck them," squeaked the youngest sparrow, who had as yet no
feathers of his own.
In the cottage dwelt two young married people, who loved each other
very much, and were industrious and active, so that everything looked neat
and pretty around them. On Sunday mornings early the young wife came
out, gathered a handful of the most beautiful roses, and put them in a glass
of water, which she placed on a side-table.
"I see now that it is Sunday," said the husband as he kissed his little
wife. Then they sat down and read, in their hymn-books, holding each
other's hands, while the sun shone down upon the young couple, and upon
the fresh roses in the glass.
This sight is really too wearisome," said the mother sparrow, who from
her nest could look into the room, and she flew away.
The same thing occurred the next Sunday, and indeed every Sunday,
fresh roses were gathered and placed in a glass, but the rose-tree continued
to bloom in all its beauty. After a while the young sparrows were fledged,
and wanted to fly, but the mother would not allow it, and so they were
obliged to remain in the nest for the present, while she flew away alone.
It so happened that some boys had fastened a snare, made of horsehair, to
the branch of a tree, and before she was aware, her leg became entangled in
the horsehair so tightly as almost to cut'it through. What pain and terror
she felt The boys ran up quickly and seized her, not in a very gentle
It is only a sparrow," they said. However, they did not let her fly, but
took her home with them, and every time she squeaked they knocked her
on the beak.
In the farmyard they met an old man, who knew how to make soap for
shaving and washing, in cakes or in balls. When he saw the sparrow which
the boys had brought home, and which they said they did not know what to
do with, he said, "Shall we make it beautiful?"
A cold shudder passed over the sparrow when she heard this. The old
man then took a shell containing a quantity of glittering gold leaf, from a
box full of beautiful colours, and told the youngsters to fetch the white of
THE ROSES AND THE SPARROWS. 37
an egg, with which he besmeared the sparrow all over, and then laid the
gold leaf upon it; so that the mother sparrow was now gilded from head to
tail. But she thought not of her appearance but trembled in every limb.
Then the soap-maker tore a little piece out of the red lining of his jacket,
cut notches in it, so that it looked like a cock's comb, and stuck it on the
bird's head. Now you shall see gold-jacket fly," said the old man, and he
released the sparrow, which flew away in deadly terror, with the sun-light
shining upon her. How she did glitter, all the sparrows, and even a crow,
who is a knowing old boy, were scared at the sight; yet still they followed it
to discover what foreign bird it could be. Driven by anguish and terror
she flew homewards, almost ready to sink to the earth for want of strength.
The flock of birds that were following increased, and some even tried to
Look at him Look at him !" they all cried. Look at him Look
at him!" cried the young ones as their mother approached the nest, but
they did not know her. That must be a young peacock, for he glitters in
all colours, it quite hurts one's eyes to look at him, as mother told us;
'tweet,' this is the beautiful." And then they pecked the bird with their
little beak, so that she was quite unable to get into the nest, and was too
much exhausted even to say "tweet," much less to say I am your mother."
So the other birds fell upon the sparrow and pulled out feather after feather,
till she sunk bleeding into the rose-bush.
"You poor creature," said the roses, "be at rest, we will hide you, lean
your little head against us."
The sparrow spread out her wings once more, then drew them in close
to her, and lay dead amongst the roses, her fresh and lovely neighbours.
"Tweet," sounded from the nest, "where can our mother be staying? it
is quite unaccountable. Can this be a trick of hers to show us that we are
now to take care of ourselves ? She has left us the house as an inheritance,
but as it cannot belong to us all when we have families, who is to have it ?"
It won't do for you all to stay with me when I increase my household
with a wife and children," remarked the youngest.
I shall have more wives and children than you," said the second.
"But I am the eldest," cried a third.
Then they all became angry, beat each other with their wings, pecked
with their beaks, till one after another bounced out of the nest. There they
lay in a rage, holding their heads on one side and twinkling the eye that
looked upwards. This was their way of looking sulky. They could all fly
a little, and by practice they soon learnt to do so much better. At length
they agreed upon a sign by which they might be able to recognize each
other, in case they should meet in the world after they had separated. This
sign was to be the cry of "tweet, tweet," and a scratching on the ground
three times with the left foot. The youngster, who was left behind in the
nest, spread himself out as broad as ever he could, he was the householder
now. But his glory did not last long; for during that night red flames of
fire burst through the windows of the cottage, they seized the thatched roof
and blazed up frightfully; the whole house was burned down and the
38 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
sparrow perished with it, while the young couple fortunately escaped with
their lives. When the sun rose again, and all nature looked refreshed as
after a quiet sleep, nothing remained of the cottage but a few blackened
charred beams, leaning against the chimney that now was the only master
of the place. Thick smoke still rose from the ruins, but outside on the
wall the rose-bush still remained unhurt, blooming and fresh as ever, while
each flower and each spray was mirrored in the clear water beneath.
"How beautifully the roses are blooming on the walls of that ruined
cottage," said a passer-by. "A more lovely picture could scarcely be ima-
gined. I must have it."
And the speaker took out of his pocket a little book, full of white leaves
of paper, for he was an artist, and with a pencil he took a sketch of the
smoking ruins, the blackened rafters, and the chimney that overhung them,
and which seemed more and more to totter; and quite in the foreground
stood the large, blooming rose-bush, which added beauty to the picture,
and indeed, for the sake of the roses the sketch had been made. Later in
the day two of the sparrows who had been born there, came by.
"Where is the house?" they asked. "Where is the nest? 'tweet, tweet;'
all is burnt down, and our strong brother with it. That is all that he has
got by keeping the nest. The roses have escaped famously; they look as
well as ever, with their rosy cheeks: they do net trouble themselves about
their neighbour's misfortunes. I won't speak to them: and really, in my
opinion, the place looks very ugly;" so he flew away.
On a fine, bright sunny day in autumn, so bright that any one might
have supposed it was still the middle of summer, a number of pigeons were
hopping about in the nicely kept courtyard of the nobleman's house, in
front of the great steps. Some were black, others white, and some of
various colours, and their plumage glittered in the sunshine. An old mother
pigeon said to her young ones, "Place yourselves in groups! place yourselves
in groups I it has a much better appearance."
What are those little grey creatures which are running about behind
us? asked an old pigeon, with red and green round her eyes. "Little
grey ones, little grey ones," she cried.
They are sparrows; good little creatures enough. We have always had
the character of being very good-natured, so we allow them to pick up some
corn with us; and they do not interrupt our conversation, and they draw
back their left foot so prettily."
Sure enough so they did, three times each, and with the left foot too, and
said tweet," by which we recognize them as the sparrows that were brought
up in the nest on the house that was burnt down.
"The food here is very good," said the sparrows; while the pigeons
strutted round each other, puffed out their throats, and formed their own
opinions on what they observed.
"Do you see the pouter pigeon?" said one of another. "Do you see
how he swallows the peas? He takes too much, and always chooses the
best of everything. Coo-oo, coo-oo. How the ugly, spiteful creature erects
his crest." And all their eyes sparkled with malice. "Place yourselves in
THE ROSES AND THE SPARROWS. 39
groups, place yourselves in groups. Little grey coats; little grey coats.
So they went on, and it will be the same a thousand years hence. The
sparrows feasted bravely, and listened attentively; they even stood in ranks
like the pigeons, but it did not suit them. So having satisfied their hunger,
they left the pigeons passing their own opinions upon them to each other,
and then slipped through the garden railings. The door of a room in the
house leading into the garden stood open, and one of them feeling brave
after his good dinner, hopped upon the threshold, crying, "Tweet; I can
venture so far."
"Tweet," said another; I can venture that and a great deal more," and
into the room he hopped.
The first followed, and seeing no one there, the third became courageous,
and flew right across the room, saying, "Venture everything, or do not
venture at all. This is a wonderful place, a man's nest I suppose, and,
look !-what can this be ?"
Just in front of the sparrows stood the ruins of the burnt cottage; roses
were blooming over it, and their reflection appeared in the water beneath,
and the black, charred beams rested against the tottering chimney. How
could it be? How came the cottage and the roses in a room in the noble-
man's house? And then the sparrows tried to fly over the roses and the
chimney, but they only struck themselves against a flat wall. It was a
picture,-a large beautiful picture, which the artist had painted from the
little sketch he had taken.
"Tweet," said the sparrows, "it is really nothing after all; it only looks
like reality. Tweet, I suppose that is the beautiful. Can you understand
it? I cannot."
Then some persons entered the room, and the sparrows flew away.
Years and years passed; the pigeons had often "coo-oo-d," we must not
say quarrelled, though perhaps they did, naughty things. The sparrows
had suffered from cold in the winter, and lived gloriously in summer. They
were all betrothed, or married, or whatever you like to call it. They had
little ones, and of course each considered his own brood the wisest and the
prettiest. One flew in this direction, and another in that, and when they
met, they recognized each other by saying "tweet," and three times drawing
back the left foot. The eldest remained single, she had no nest, nor young
ones; her great wish was to see a large town, so she flew to Copenhagen.
Near to the castle that stood by the channel could be seen a large house,
which was richly decorated with various colours. Down the channel sailed
many ships, laden with apples and earthenware. The windows were broader
below than at the top, and when the sparrows peeped through, they saw a
room that looked to them like a tulip, with beautiful colours of every shade.
Within the tulip were white figures of human beings, made of marble, some
few of plaster, but this is the same thing to a sparrow. Upon the roof
stood a metal chariot and horses; and the goddess of victory, also of metal,
was seated in the chariot driving the horses. It was Thorwalsden's
Museum. "How it shines and glitters," said the maiden sparrow, "this
40 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
must be the beautiful-tweet-only this is larger than a peacock." She re-
membered what her mother had told them in her childhood, that the pea-
cock was one of the greatest examples of the beautiful. She flew down into
the courtyard, where everything also was very grand. The walls were painted
to represent palm branches, and in the midst of the court stood a large,
blooming rose tree, spreading its young, sweet, rose-covered branches over
a grave. Thither the maiden sparrow flew, for she saw many others of
her own kind.
"Tweet," said she, drawing back her foot three times. She had, during
the years that had passed, often made the usual greeting to the sparrows
she met, but without receiving any acknowledgment, for friends who are
once separated do not meet every day. This manner of greeting was
becoming a habit to her, and to-day two old sparrows and a young one re-
turned the greeting,
"Tweet," they replied, and drew back the left foot three times. They
were two old sparrows out of the nest, and a young one belonging to the
family. "Ah, good-day; how do you do ? To think of our meeting here !
This is a very grand place, but there is not much to eat; this is the beauti-
A great many people now came out of the side rooms, in which the
marble statues stood, and approached the grave where slept the remains of
the great master who had carved these marble statues. Each face had a
reflected glory as they stood round Thorwalsden's grave, and some few
gathered up the fallen rose-leaves to preserve them. They had all come
from afar. One from mighty England, others from Germany and France.
One very handsome lady plucked a rose, and concealed it in her bosom.
Then the sparrows thought that the roses ruled in this place, and that the
whole house had been built for them, which seemed really too much
honour; but as all the people showed their love for the roses, the sparrows
thought they would not remain behind-hand in paying their respects.
" Tweet," they said, and swept the ground with their tails, and glanced with
one eye at the roses. They had not looked at them very long, however,
before they felt convinced that they were old acquaintances, and so they
actually were. The artist who had sketched the rose-bush and the ruins of
the cottage, had since then received permission to transplant it, and had
given it to the architect, for more beautiful roses had never been seen.
The architect had planted it on the grave of Thorwalsden, where it con-
tinued to bloom, the image of the beautiful, scattering its fragrant rosy
leaves to be gathered and carried away into distant lands in memory of the
spot on which they fell.
Have you obtained a situation in town?" then asked the sparrows of
The roses nodded; they recognized their little brown neighbours, and
were rejoiced to see them again.
"It is very delightful," said the roses, "to live here and to blossom, to
meet old friends, and to see cheerful faces every day. It is as if each day
were a holiday."
LITTLE TUK 41
"Tweet," said the sparrows to each other. "Yes, these really are our
old neighbours. We remember their origin near the pond. Tweet; how
they have risen, to be sure. Some people seem to get on while they are
asleep. Ah there's a withered leaf, I can see it quite plain."
And they pecked at the leaf till it fell. But the rose-bush continued
fresher and greener than ever. The roses bloomed in the sunshine on
Thorwalsden's grave, and thus became linked with his immortal name.
YEs, they called him Little Tuk, but it was not his real name; he had
called himself so before he could speak plainly, and he meant it for
Charles. It was all very well for those who knew him, but not for
Little Tuk was left at home to take care of his little sister, Gustava, who
was much younger than himself, and he had to learn his lessons at the
same time, and the two things could not very well be performed together.
The poor boy sat there with his sister on his lap, and sung to her all the
songs he knew, and now and then he looked into his geography lesson that
lay open before him. By the next morning he had to learn by heart all the
towns in Zealand, and all that could be described of them.
His mother came home at last, and took Gustava in her arms. Then
Tuk ran to the window, and read so eargerly that he nearly read his eyes
out; for it became darker and darker every minute, and his mother had no
money to buy a light.
"There goes the old washerwoman up the lane," said the mother, as she
looked out of the window; "the poor woman can hardly drag herself
along, and now she has to drag a pail of water from the well. Be a good
boy, Tuk, and run across and help the old woman, won't you ?"
So Tuk ran across quickly, and helped her, but when he came back into
the room it was quite dark, and there was not a word said about a light, so
he was obliged to go to bed on his little truckle bedstead, and there he lay
and thought of his geography lesson, and of Zealand, and of all the master
had told him. He ought really to have read it over again, but he could not
for want of a light. So he put the geography book under his pillow, for he
had heard that this was a great help towards learning a lesson, but not
always to be depended upon. He still lay thinking and thinking, when all
at once it seemed as if some one kissed him on his eyes and mouth. He slept
42 H~ANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
and yet he did not sleep; and it appeared as if the old washerwoman
.:-. 1 at him with kind eyes, and said, "It would be a great pity if
you 1i not know your lesson to-morrow morning; you helped me, and
now I wil. 1h.1 you, and Providence will always help those who help them-
S-" -: the same time the book under Tuk's pillow began to move
about "C o 1 : ..c k, cluck, uck," cried a hen as she crept towards him. "I
am a hen from K il.:.."* and then she told him how many inhabitants the
town contained, and about a battle that had been fought there, which really
was not woi i : .1:.. of.
"Crack, :- :.:. .. a i- i' something. It was a wooden bird, the parrot
which is used as a target at Prdst6e.t He said there were as many inhabi-
tants in that town as he had nails in his body. He was very proud, and
said, "T .: I;::'. L .i close to me,+ and here I am now, quite comfort-
But now L_. Tuk was no longer in bed; all in a moment he found him-
-. on horseback. Gallop, gallop, away he went, seated in front of a
-. : .-, with a waving plume, who held him on the saddle,
and so '1.- rode -l:t-.i :i the wood by the old town of Wordingburg,
which was very large and busy. The king's castle was surrounded by lofty
towers, :-. i radiant light streamed from all the windows. Within there
were songs and ':. I..- King Waldemar and the young gaily-dressed
ladies of the court were dancing together. Morning dawned, and as the
sun rose, the whole city and the king's castle sank suddenly down together.
One tower after another fell, till at last only one remained standing on
the hill where the castle had formerly been.
The town now appeared small and poor, and the school-boys read in
their books, which -'.-: carried under their arms, that it contained two
thousand :. ... -. ; but this was a mere boast, for it did not contain so
And ,'-r. '.1: Tuk 1;, in his bed, scarcely knowing whether he was
---- or not, for some one stood by him.
.i -, Tuk !" said a voice. It was a very little person who spoke.
He was dressed as a .. r, and looked small enough to be a middy, but he
was not one. "I bring you many greetings from Cors6r.jI It is a rising
town, full of life. It has steamships and mail-coaches. In times past they
used to call it ugly, but that is no longer true. I lie on the sea-shore,"
little tow .._. :. L;',r,.-: children by placing the hands on each
side is: .1i.. the -. 2: hens."
i P 1' smaller town,
+ About a hundred paces from Pristde lies the estate of Nys6e, where Thorwalsden
Ii resided while in Denmark, and where he executed many memorable works.
S ;i under .. i : alderar was a place of great importance; now it is a very
town: only .. tower and the remains of a well show where the castle
I '- it r ', used to be called the most tiresome town in Denmark
bef'... I I .. .... "- of steamers. Travellers had to wait for a favourable wind. The
title of "tiresome" was ingeniously added to the Danish escutcheon by a witticism of
Vaudeville Heibergs. The poet 1ir .-.:r was born here.
LITTLE TUK. 43
said Corsor; I have high-roads and pleasure-gardens; I have given birth
to a poet who was witty and entertaining, which they are not all. I once
want>d to fit out a ship to sail round the world, but I did not accomplish
it, though most likely I might have done so. But I am fragrant with per-
fume, for close to my gates most lovely roses bloom."
Then before the eyes of little Tuk appeared a confusion of colours, red
and green; but it cleared off, and he could distinguish a cliff close to the
bay, the slopes of which were quite overgrown with verdure, and on its
summit stood a fine old church with pointed towers. Springs of water
flowed out of the cliff in thick waterspouts, so that there was a continual
splashing. Close by sat an old king with a golden crown on his white head.
This was King Hroar of the Springs,* and near the springs stood the town
of Roeskilde, as it is called. Then all the kings and queens of Denmark
went up the ascent to the old church hand in hand, with golden crowns on
their heads, while the organ played and the fountains sent forth jets of
Little Tuk saw and heard it all. Don't forget the names of these
towns," said King Hroar.
All at once everything vanished; but where It seemed to him like
turning over the leaves of a book. And now there stood before him an
old peasant woman, who had come from Sor6e,t where the grass grows in
the market-place. She had a green linen apron thrown over her head and
shoulders, and it was quite wet, as if it had been raining heavily. Yes,
that is has," said she, and then, just as she was going to tell him a great many
pretty stories from Holberg's comedies, and about Waldemar and Absalom,
she suddenly shrunk up together, and wagged her head as if she were a
frog about to spring. Croak," she cried; it is always wet, and as quiet
as death in Sor6e." Then little Tuk saw she was changed into a frog.
" Croak," and again she was an old woman. One must dress according
to the weather," said she. It is wet, and my town is just like a bottle.
By the cork we must go in, and by the cork we must come out again. In
olden times I had beautiful fish, and now I have fresh, rosy-cheeked
boys in the bottom of the bottle, and they learn wisdom, Hebrew and
"Croak." How it sounded like the cry of the frogs on the moor, or
like the creaking of great boots when some one is marching,-always the
same tone, so monotonous and wearing, that little Tuk at length fell fast
asleep, and then the sound could not annoy him. But even in this sleep
came a dream, or something like it. His little sister Gustava, with her
blue eyes, and fair curly hair, had grown up a beautiful maiden all at once,
Roeskilde (from Roesquelle, rose-spring, falsely called Rothschild), once the capital
of Denmark. The town took its name from King Hroar, and from the numerous springs
in the neighbourhood. In its beautiful cathedral most of the kings and queens of Den-
mark are buried. In Roeskilde the Danish States used to assemble.
+ SorBe, a very quiet little town in a beautiful situation, surrounded by forests and lakes.
Holberg, the Moliere of Denmark, founded a noble academy here. The poets Hanck and
Jugeman were professors here. Letztern lives there still.
44 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
and without having wings she could fly. And they flew together over
Zealand, over green forests and blue lakes.
"Hark, do you hear the cock crow, little Tuk. 'Cock-a-doodle-doo.'
The fowls are flying out of Kjoge. You shall have a large farm-yard. You
shall never suffer hunger or want. The bird of good omen shall be yours,
and you shall become a rich and happy man; your house shall rise up like
King Waldemar's towers, and shall be richly adorned with marble statues,
like those at Pristoe. Understand me well; your name shall travel with
fame round the world like the ship that was to sail from Corsor, and at
Roeskilde,-Don't forget the names of the towns, as King Hroar said,-
you shall speak well and clearly little Tuk, and when at last you lie in your
grave you shall sleep peacefully, as"-
"As if I lay in Sor6e," said little Tuk awaking. It was bright daylight,
and he could not remember his dream, but that was not necessary, for we
are not to know what will happen to us in the future. Then he sprang out
of bed quickly, and read over his lesson in the book, and knew it all at
once quite correctly. The old washerwoman put her head in at the door,
and nodded to him quite kindly, and said, "Many thanks, you good child,
for your help yesterday. I hope all your beautiful dreams will come
Little Tuk did not at all know what he had dreamt, but One above
GRANDMOTHER is very old, her face is wrinkled, and her hair is quite
white; but her eyes are like two stars, and they have a mild, gentle ex-
pression in them when they look at you, which does you good. She wears
a dress of heavy, rich silk, with large flowers worked on it; and it rustles
when she moves. And then she can tell the most wonderful stories.
Grandmother knows a great deal, for she was alive before father and
mother-that's quite certain. She has a hymn-book, with large silver clasps,
in which she often reads; and in the book, between the leaves, lies a rose,
quite flat and dry; it is not so pretty as the roses which are standing in the
glass, and yet she smiles at it most pleasantly, and tears even come into her
eyes. I wonder why grandmother looks at the withered flower in the old
book in that way ? Do you know?" Why, when grandmother's tears fall upon
the rose, and she is looking at it, the rose revives, and fills the room with its
fragrance; the walls vanish as in a mist, and all around her is the glorious
green wood, where in summer the sunlight streams through thick foliage;
and grandmother, why she is young again, a charming maiden, fresh as a
rose, with round, rosy cheeks, fair, bright, ringlets, and a figure pretty and
graceful; but the eyes, those mild, saintly eyes, are the same,-they have
been left to grandmother. At her side sits a young man, tall and strong;
he gives her a rose and she smiles. Grandmother cannot smile like that
S'' i, ,,' i II '
,_I WI /
and recollections of the past; but the handsome young man is gone, and
the rose has withered in the old book; and grandmother is sitting there,
again an old woman, looking down upon the withered rose in the book.
Grandmother is dead now. She had been sitting in her arm-chair, telling
I j- I i
us a long, beautiful tale ; and when it was finished, she said she was tired,
and leaned her head back to sleep awhile. We could hear her gentle
..... ... !i,/ ,
breathing as she slept; gradually it became quieter and calmer, and on her
countenance beamed happiness and peace. It wnas as if lighted up with a
ray of sunshine. She smiled once more, and then people said she was dead.
She was laid in a black coffin, looking mild and beautiful in the white folds
She was laid in a black coffin, looking mild and beautiful in the white folds
46 HANS ANDERSENS FAIRY TALES.
of the shrouded linen, though her eyes were closed; but every wrinkle had
vanished, her hair looked white and silvery, and around her mouth lingered
a sweet smile. We did not feel at all afraid to look at the corpse of her
who had been such a dear, good grandmother. The hymn-book, in which
the rose still lay, was placed under her head, for so she had wished it; and
then they buried grandmother.
On the grave, close by the churchyard wall, they planted a rose-tree; it
was soon full of roses, and the nightingale sat among the flowers, and sang
over the grave. From the organ in the church sounded the music and the
words of the beautiful psalms, which were written in the old book under the
head of the dead one.
The moon shone down upon the grave, but the dead was not there; every
child could go safely, even at night, and pluck a rose from the tree by the
churchyard wall. The dead know more than we do who are living. They
know what a terror would come upon us if such a strange thing were to
happen, as the appearance of a dead person among us. They are better off
than we are; the dead return no more. The earth has been heaped on the
coffin, and it is earth only that lies within it. The leaves of the hymn-book
are dust; and the rose, with all its recollections, has crumbled to dust also.
But over the grave fresh roses bloom, the nightingale sings, and the organ
sounds; and there still lives a remembrance of the old grandmother, with
the loving, gentle eyes that always looked young. Eyes can never die. Ours
will once again behold dear grandmother, young and beautiful as when, for
the first time, she kissed the fresh, red rose, that is now dust in the grave.
THE OLD GRAVE-STONE.
IN a house, with a large courtyard, in a provincial town, at that time of
the year in which people say the evenings are growing longer, a family circle
were gathered together at their old home. A lamp burned on the table,
although the weather was mild and warm, and the long curtains hung down
before the open windows, and without the moon shone brightly in the dark-
But they were not talking of the moon, but of a large, old stone that lay
below in the courtyard not very far from the kitchen door. The maids often
laid the clean copper saucepans and kitchen vessels on this stone, that they
might dry in the sun, and the children were fond of playing on it. It was,
in fact, an old grave-stone.
THE OLD GRAVE-STONE. 47
"Yes," said the master of the house, "I believe the stone came from the
graveyard of the old church of the convent which was pulled down, and
the pulpit, the monuments, and the grave-stones sold. My father bought
the latter; most of them were cut in two and used for paving-stones, but
that one stone was preserved whole, and laid in the courtyard."
Any one can see that it is a grave-stone," said the eldest of the children;
"the representation of an hour-glass and part of the figure of an angel can
still be traced, but the inscription beneath is quite worn out, excepting the
name 'Preben,' and a large 'S' close by it, and a little farther down the
name of Martha' can be easily read. But nothing more, and even that
cannot be seen unless it has been raining, or when we have washed the
Dear me i how singular. Why that must be the grave-stone of Preben
Schwane and his wife."
The old man who said this looked old enough to be the grandfather of
all present in the room.
Yes," he continued, these people were among the last who were buried
in the churchyard of the old convent. They were a very worthy old couple,
I can remember them well in the days of my boyhood. Every one knew
them, and they were esteemed by all. They were the oldest residents in
the town, and people said they possessed a ton of gold, yet they were
always very plainly dressed, in the coarsest stuff, but with linen of the purest
whiteness. Preben and Martha were a fine old couple, and when they both
sat on the bench, at the top of the steep stone steps, in front of their house,
with the branches of the linden-tree waving above them, and nodded in a
gentle, friendly way to passers by, it really made one feel quite happy.
They were very good to the poor; they fed them and clothed them, and in
their benevolence there was judgment as well as true Christianity. The old
woman died first; that day is still quite vividly before my eyes. I was a
little boy, and had accompanied my father to the old man's house. Martha
had fallen into the sleep of death just as we arrived there. The corpse lay
in a bedroom, near to the one in which we sat, and the old man was in
great distress, and weeping like a child. He spoke to my father, and to a
few neighbours who were there, of how lonely he should feel now she was
gone, and how good and true she, his dead wife, had been during the num-
ber of years that they had passed through life together, and how they had
become acquainted, and learnt to love each other. I was, as I have said,
a boy, and only stood by and listened to what the others said; but it filled
me with a strange emotion to listen to the old man, and to watch how the
colour rose in his cheeks as he spoke of the days of their courtship, of how
beautiful she was, and how many little tricks he had been guilty of, that he
might meet her. And then he talked of his wedding-day; and his eyes
brightened, and he seemed to be carried back, by his words, to that joyful
time. And yet there she was, lying in the next room, dead-an old woman,
and he was an old man, speaking of the days of hope, long passed away.
Ah, well, so it is; then I was but a child, and now I am old, as old as Preben
Schwane then was. Time passes away, and all things change. I can re-
48 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
member quite well the day on which she was buried, and how Old Preben
walked close behind the coffin.
"A few years before this time the old couple had had their grave-stone
prepared, with an inscription and their names, but not the date. In the
n ing the s e ws t n to the churchyrd, ad laid on the gre.
ll l l ll l l l l l -- l" ll! --
if. T y did n le bid t wl, Iy lt bhid tm
_i ll l __ -, i
. The o ld house, with its balcony of wickerwork, andt the bench at the top of
I ',' 'ilI- l-*l 66 llll I ii II l
l ll, r p l I
ili l ll n I n I h
T!hi i i ..
OLD PREBEN AND HIS WIFE.
evening the stone was taken to the churchyard, and laid on the grave. A
year later it was taken up, that Old Preben might be laid by the side of his
wife. They did not leave behind them wealth, they left behind them far
less than people had believed they possessed; what there was went to
families distantly related to them, of whom, till then, no one had ever heard.
The old house, with its balcony of wickerwork, and the bench at the top of
THE OLD GRA VE-STONE. 41
the high steps, under the lime-tree, was considered, by the road-inspectors,
too old and rotten to be left standing. Afterwards, when the same fate
befel the convent church, and the graveyard was destroyed, the grave-stone
of Preben and Martha, like everything else, was sold to whoever would buy
it. And so it happened that this stone was not cut in two as many others
had been, but now lies in the courtyard below, a scouring block for the
maids, and a playground for the children. The paved street now passes
over the resting-place of Old Preben and his wife; no one thinks of them
any more now."
And the old man who had spoken of all this shook his head mournfully,
and said, "Forgotten Ah, yes, everything will be forgotten!" And then
the conversation turned on other matters.
But the youngest child in the room, a boy, with large, earnest eyes,
mounted upon a chair behind the window curtains, and looked out into the
yard, where the moon was pouring a flood of light on the old grave-stone,-
the stone that had always appeared to him so dull and flat, but which lay
there now like a green leaf out of a book of history. All that the boy had
heard of Old Preben and his wife seemed clearly defined on the stone, and
as he gazed on it, and glanced at the clear, bright moon shining in the
pure air, it was as if the light of God's countenance beamed over His
"Forgotten! Everything will be forgotten !" still echoed through the
room, and in the same moment an invisible spirit whispered to the heart of
the boy, "Preserve carefully the seed that has been entrusted to thee, that
it may grow and thrive. Guard it well. Through thee, my child, shall the
obliterated inscription on the old, weather-beaten grave-stone go forth to
future generations in clear golden characters. The old pair shall again
wander through the streets arm-in-arm, or sit with their fresh, healthy cheeks
on the bench under the lime-tree, and smile and nod at rich and poor. The
seed of this hour shall ripen in the course of years into a beautiful poem.
The beautiful and the good are never forgotten, they live always in story or
"Ding dong, ding dong," how the sound rises up from the Bell-deep, in
the little river by the Odense on the island of Funen. Do you call the
Au a river ?" Yes; every child in the town knows the Au, which streams
round the gardens, and flows under the wooden bridges, and turns the
In this river grow yellow water-lilies and brown feathery reeds, the velvet
leaves of the flag droop over the stream, tall and thickly, near the monastery
meadow, and where the linen is washed and bleached by rubbing and
But on the slopes of the town are gardens upon gardens, some of them
filled with all sorts of pretty flowers and shrubs, forming tiny bowers and
pleasure-grounds, while others have only cabbage and vegetables.
Sometimes these gardens cannot be seen at all from a distance, for the
large elder trees that grow near them spread out their branches and hang
over the flowing waters, which here are so deep that even an oar cannot
touch the bottom.
Opposite the old nunnery is the deepest spot, and there dwells what is
called the "Bell-deep," and people say it is a "Water Spirit," who sleeps
4he whole day while the sun shines on the water; but when night comes,
and the moon shines, or the stars twinkle, his deep voice is heard.
He is very old; grandmamma says she has heard her own grandmother
speak of him. He dwells there mostly alone, although in years gone by he
had a friend in the old church bell, which then hung in the tower; but the
old church and the bell, even the tower itself, are gone now, and no traces
of where the building once stood can be found. It was named the Church
of the Holy St. Albans.
Ding dong, ding dong," said the bell one evening, while the church and
the tower were still standing; and while the sun was setting, and the bell
swinging, it suddenly broke loose and came flying down through the air,
the brilliant metal glistening in the rays of the setting sun. Ding dong,
THE BELL-DEEP. 51
ding dong," said the bell, "now I can have a long sleep," as he went
plump into the river at its deepest part, which on that account is called the
But there was neither sleep nor rest for the bell. It is still heard by the
watermen, ringing and sounding at all hours, and the tones sometimes come
up through the water. When they do, men say it is a sign that someone
is going to die; but that is a mistake. It is only the bell talking to the
water-sprite, so that now he is not alone.
"And what is the bell talking about?" Why he is as old as Methuselah.
Long, long before grandmamma was born he was there, and yet the bell
is a young thing compared to the water sprite, who is quite an old man.
Yet he has a strange appearance with his stockings made of the skins
of eels, his seal-skin coat with yellow lilies for buttons, a wreath of reeds in
his hair, and seaweed twisted in his beard. How funny he looks we need
"What else does the bell say ?" Why it would take years and years to
repeat all the stories the bell can tell. Sometimes they are short and
at other times long, just as it suits him; but they are all about old days
and dark days, and hard times.
One of his stories was about St. Alban's church, when the patron saint
was a monk, and once mounted up into the tower where the bell hung. He
was young and handsome then, and uncommonly thoughtful. The bed of
the river was at that time very broad, and the monastery meadow still
a lake. He could see it all through a loop-hole of the tower, but presently
he went and looked at the prospect from the green wall, which people called
the Nuns'-hill. It was near the convent, in which there was not a single
light burning excepting from the cell of a nun with whom he had been
a long time acquainted, and at the thought of her his heart beat rapidly-
"Ding dong, ding dong."
You must wait," said the bell. Then the half-witted man-servant of the
bishop came up into the tower, and now the bell must tell his own tale:-
"I am made of metal," said the bell, "and as I swung to and fro I might
have beaten out his brains. The man seated himself right under me, and
began playing with two sticks, as if they were musical instruments, and sung
to the imaginary music.
"Now I may ring out sounds which at another time I could not even
whisper," said the bell. "I can tell of things that are locked up behind
bolts and bars. The rats are eating ker up alive! No one knows of it.
No one hears of it. Not even while the bell is booming and ringing 'Ding
dong, ding dong.'
In those days there lived a king whom they called Canute. He bowed
low before a bishop and a monk, but when he imposed heavy taxes on the
peasants and gave them hard words, they seized their weapons and hunted
him like a wild deer. He sought refuge in the church, and closed the doors
behind him, but the enraged peasants surrounded the church, and there he
had to stay. 'I was there,' said the bell, and I heard it all.'
The crows, the ravens, and the magpies flew about in terror when they
52 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
heard the yelling and shouting outside. They flew into the tower, and out
again when they saw the crowd below, and glared into the church windows,
making the most hideous cries and caws.
"King Canute was kneeling and praying before the altar. His brothers,
Eric and Benedict stood by him with drawn swords, but the King's servant,
the false-hearted Blake, betrayed his master. He showed the wild crowd
outside, the window through which a stone could reach his master. The
stone was aimed at the King, and in a few moments he fell dead !
"The cries and yells of the incensed peasants and of the frightened birds
were heard by me, and I joined in the din by singing 'Ding dong, ding
"The church bell hangs high, and can see far and near. The language
of the birds is understood by the bell, and the wind, which knows every-
thing, roars round the tower and through the windows and loop-holes, and
gets all its knowledge from the air, and the bell understands, and rings it out
to the whole world, 'Ding dong, ding dong.'
"But at last," said the bell, "the work became too heavy for me. I
could no longer ring out for the whole world to hear. -I became so heavy
that the beam broke, and I flew out through the air to the place where the
river is deepest, and where the water sprite dwells, solitary and alone, and
year by year I tell him all I have heard and what I know. Ding dong, ding
All this is what my grandmother told me, but the bell's deep tones have
a melancholy sound when they are heard from the river by Odense.
But our mother says there is no bell in the water that can ring of itself,
and that the water sprite does not live in the water, because there is
no such thing as a water sprite, and when dther church bells sound so
sweetly, it is the air that makes them sound and not the bells alone, even
when they ring loudly.
Grandmother says the bell itself told her it was the air that made it
sound. So they are both agreed. Therefore take care and think before
you say or do anything, and be sure it is right, for the air knows everything
-it is over us,-it is in us,-and around us.
It tells of our thoughts and actions, and speaks more distinctly of them
than the bell in the depths of any river could do, for it rings out in
the vault of heaven, and will do so far and near, for ever and ever, even
after the bells of heaven are sounding "Ding dong, ding dong."
THE BEETLE WHO WENT ON HIS TRAVELS.
THERE was once an Emperor who had a horse shod with gold. He had
a golden shoe on each foot, and why was this ? He was a beautiful crea-
ture, with slender legs, bright, intelligent eyes, and a mane that hung down
over his neck like a veil. He had carried his master through fire and smoke
in the battle field, with the bullets whistling round him; he had kicked
and bitten, and taken part in the fight when the enemy advanced; and,
with his master on his back, he had dashed over the fallen foe, and saved
the golden crown and the Emperor's life, which was of more value than the
brightest gold. This is the reason of the Emperor's horse wearing golden
A beetle came creeping forth from the stable, where the farrier had been
shoeing the horse. Great ones first, of course," said he, and then the
little ones; but size is not always a proof of greatness." He stretched out
his thin leg as he spoke.
"And pray what do you want?" asked the farrier.
"Golden shoes," replied the beetle.
"Why, you must be out of your senses," cried the farrier. "Golden
shoes for you, indeed !"
"Yes, certainly; golden shoes," replied the beetle. "Am I not just as
good as that great creature yonder, who is waited upon and brushed, and
has food and drink placed before him ? And don't I belong to the royal
But why does the horse have golden shoes ? asked the farrier; of
course, you understand the reason ? "
"Understand Well, I understand that it is a personal slight to me,"
cried the beetle. It is done to annoy me, so I intend to go out into the
world and seek my fortune."
"Go along with you," said the farrier.
"You're a rude fellow," cried the beetle, as he walked out of the stable;
and then he flew for a short distance, till he found himself in a beautiful
54 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
flower-garden, all fragrant with roses and lavender. The lady-birds, with
red and black shells on their backs, and delicate wings, were flying about,
and one of them said, "Is it not sweet and lovely here? Oh, how beau-
tiful everything is "
"I am accustomed to better things," said the beetle. Do you call this
beautiful? Why, there is not even a dung-heap." Then he went on, and
under the shadow of a large haystack he found a caterpillar crawling along.
"How beautiful this world is !" said the caterpillar. "The sun is so warm,
I quite enjoy it. And soon I shall go to sleep, and die as they call it; but
I shall wake up with beautiful wings to fly with, like a butterfly."
"How conceited you are !" exclaimed the beetle. Fly about as a but-
terfly, indeed! what of that. I have come out of the Emperor's stable, and
no one there, not even the Emperor's horse, who in fact wears my cast-off
golden shoes, has any idea of flying, excepting myself. To have wings and
fly why, I can do that already;" and so saying, he spread his wings and
flew away. I don't want to be disgusted," he said to himself, and yet I
can't help it." Soon after, he fell down upon an extensive lawn, and for a
time pretended to sleep, but at last fell asleep in earnest. Suddenly a heavy
shower of rain came falling from the clouds. The beetle woke up with the
noise, and would have been glad to creep into the earth for shelter, but he
could not. He was tumbled over and over with the rain, sometimes swim-
ming on his stomach and sometimes on his back; and as for flying, that was
out of the question. He began to doubt whether he should escape with his
life, so he remained, quietly lying where he was. After a while the weather
cleared up a little, and the beetle was able to rub the water from his eyes,
and look about him. He saw something gleaming, and he managed to
make his way up to it. It was linen which had been laid to bleach on the
grass. He crept into a fold of the damp linen, which certainly was not so
comfortable a place to lie in as the warm stable, but there was nothing
better, so he remained lying there for a whole day and night, and the rain
kept on all the time. Towards morning he crept out of his hiding place,
feeling in a very bad temper with the climate. Two frogs were sitting on
the linen, and their bright eyes actually glistened with pleasure.
"Wonderful weather this," cried one of them, "and so refreshing. This
linen holds the water together so beautifully, that my hind legs quiver as if
I were going to swim."
"I should like to know," said another, "if the swallow who flies so far in
her many journeys to foreign lands, ever met with a better climate than
this. What delicious moisture! It is as pleasant as lying in a wet
ditch. I am sure any one who does not enjoy this has no love for his
Have you ever been in the emperor's stable ?" asked the beetle. "There
the moisture is warm and refreshing; that's the climate for me, but I could
not take it with me on my travels. Is there not even a dunghill here in
this garden, where a person of rank, like myself, could take up his abode
and feel at home?" But the frogs either did not or would not under-
THE BEETLE. 55
"I never ask a question twice," said the beetle, after he had asked this
one three times, and received no answer. Then he went on a little farther
and stumbled against a piece of broken crockery-ware, which certainly ought
not to have been lying there. But, as it was there, it formed a good shelter
against wind and weather to several families of earwigs who dwelt in it.
Their requirements were not many; they were very sociable, and full of
affection for their children, so much so that each mother considered her
own child the most beautiful and clever of them all.
Our son has engaged himself," said one mother; "dear innocent boy;
his greatest ambition is that he may one day creep into a clergyman's ear.
That is a very artless and lovable wish; and being engaged will keep him
steady. What happiness for a mother !"
Our son," said another, had scarcely crept out of the egg, when he
was off on his travels. He is all life and spirits ; I expect he will wear out
his horns with running. How charming this is for a mother, is it not, Mr.
Beetle ?" for she knew the stranger by his horny coat.
You are both quite right," said he; so they begged him to walk in, that
is to come as far as he could under the broken piece of earthenware.
"Now you shall also see my little earwigs," said a third and a fourth
mother; "they are lovely little things, and highly amusing. They are never
ill behaved, excepting when they are uncomfortable in their insides, which
unfortunately often happens at their age."
Thus each mother spoke of her baby, and their babies talked after their
own fashion, and made use of .the little nippers they have in their tails to
nip the beard of the beetle.
They are always busy about something, the little rogues," said the mother,
beaming with maternal pride; but the beetle felt it a bore, and he therefore
inquired the way to the nearest dung-heap.
That is quite out in the great world, on the other side of the ditch,"
answered an earwig. "I hope none of my children will ever go so far, it
would be the death of me."
"But I shall try to get so far," said the beetle, and he walked off without
taking any formal leave, which is considered a polite thing to do.
When he arrived at the ditch, he met several friends, all of them beetles.
"We live here," they said, "and we are very comfortable. May we ask
you to step down into this rich mud; you must be fatigued after your
"Certainly," said the beetle, I shall be most happy. I have been ex-
posed to the rain, and have had to lie upon linen, and cleanliness is a thing
that greatly exhausts me; I have also pains in one of my wings from stand-
ing in the draught under a piece of broken crockery. It is really quite
refreshing to be with one's own kindred again."
"Perhaps you came from a dung-heap," observed the oldest of them.
"No, indeed, I came from a much grander place," replied the beetle;
" I came from the emperor's stable, where I was born, with golden shoes on
my feet, I am travelling on a secret embassy, but you must not ask me
any questions, for I cannot betray my secret."
56 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
Then the beetle stepped down into the rich mud, where sat three young.
lady beetles, who tittered, because they did not know what to say.
"None of them are engaged yet," said their mother, and the beetle
maidens tittered again, this time quite in confusion.
"I have never seen greater beauties, even in the royal stables," exclaimed
the beetle, who was now resting himself.
"Don't spoil my ;1 .." said the mother; "and don't talk to them, pray,
unless you have serious intentions."
But of course the beetle's intentions were serious, and after a while our
friend was engaged. The mother gave them her blessing, and all the other
beetles cried Hurrah !"
Ti,, i-I il; r.- 1 .: ir the betrothal came the marriage, for there was no reason
to delay. The following day passed very pleasantly, and the next was tole-
rably comfortable; but on the third it became necessary for him to think of
getting food for his wife, and perhaps for children.
"I have allowed myself to be taken in," said our beetle to himself, "and
now there 's nothing to be done but to take them in, in return."
No sooner said than done. Away he went, and stayed away all day and
all night, and his wife remained a forsaken widow.
Oh," said the other beetles, this fellow that we have received into our
family is nothing but a complete vagabond. He has gone away and left his
wife a burden upon our hands."
"'.:..!lI, she can be unmarried again, and remain here with my other
daughters," said the mother. "Fie on the villain that forsook her !"
In the meantime the beetle, who had sailed across the ditch on a cabbage
leaf, had been journeying on the other side. In the morning two persons
came up to the ditch. When they saw him they took him up and turned
him over and over, looking very learned all the time, especially one, who
was a boy. "Allah sees the black beetle in the black stone, and the black
rock. Is not that written in the Koran ?" he asked.
Then he translated the beetle's name into Latin, and said a great deal
upon the creature's nature and history. The second person, who was older
and a scholar, proposed to carry the beetle home, as they wanted just such
good specimens as this. Our beetle considered this speech a great insult,
so he flew suddenly out of the speaker's hand. His wings were dry now,
so they carried him to a great distance, till at last he reached a hothouse,
where a sash of the glass roof was partly open, so he quietly slipped in and
buried himself in the warm earth. It is very comfortable here," he said
to himself, and soon after fell asleep. Then he dreamed that the emperor's
horse was dying, and had left him his golden shoes, and also promised that
he should have two more. All this was very delightful, and when the beetle
woke up he crept forth and looked around him. What a splendid place
the hothouse was At the back, large palm-trees were growing, and the
sunlight made the leaves look quite glossy; and beneath them what a pro-
fusion of luxuriant green, and of flowers red like flame, yellow as amber,
or white as new-fallen snow "What a wonderful quantity of plants," cried
the beetle ; "how good they will taste when they are decayed I This is a
THE BEETLE. 57
capital store-room. There must certainly be some relations of mine living
here; I will just see if I can find any one with whom I can associate. I'm
proud, certainly; but I 'm also proud of being so." Then he prowled about in
the earth, and thought what a pleasant dream that was about the dying horse,
and the golden shoes he had inherited. Suddenly a hand seized the beetle,
and squeezed him, and turned him round and round. The gardener's little
son and his playfellow had come into the hothouse, and, seeing the beetle,
wanted to have some fun with him. First, he was wrapped in a vine-leaf,
and put into a warm trousers' pocket. He twisted and turned about with
all his might, but he got a good squeeze from the boy's hand, as a hint for
him to keep quiet. Then the boy went quickly towards a lake that lay at
the end of the garden. Here the beetle was put into an old broken wooden
shoe, in which a little stick had been fastened upright for a mast, and to
this mast the beetle was bound with a piece of worsted. Now he was a
sailor, and had to sail away. The lake was not very large, but to the beetle
it seemed an ocean, and he was so astonished at its size that he fell over on
his back, and kicked out his legs. Then the little ship sailed away; some-
times the current of the water seized it, but whenever it went too far from
the shore one of the boys turned up his trousers, and went in after it, and
brought it back to land. But at last, just as it went merrily out again, the
two boys were called, and so angrily, that they hastened to obey, and ran
away as fast as they could from the pond, so that the little ship was left to
its fate. It was carried away farther and farther from the shore, till it reached
the open sea. This was a terrible prospect for the beetle, for he could not
escape in consequence of being bound to the mast. Then a fly came and
paid him a visit. What beautiful weather," said the fly; "I shall rest here
and sun myself. You must have a pleasant time of it."
You speak without knowing the facts," replied the beetle; don't you
see that I am a prisoner ?"
"Ah, but I'm not a prisoner," remarked the fly, and away he flew.
"Well, now I know the world," said the beetle to himself; "it's an
abominable world; I'm the only respectable person in it. First, they refuse
me my golden shoes; then I have to lie on damp linen, and to stand in a
draught; and to crown all, they fasten a wife upon me. Then, when I have
made a step forward in the world, and found out a comfortable position,
just as I could wish it to be, one of these human boys comes and ties me up,
and leaves me to the mercy of the wild waves, while the emperor's favourite
horse goes prancing about proudly on his golden shoes. This vexes me
more than anything. But it is useless to look for sympathy in this world.
My career has been very interesting, but what's the use of that if nobody
knows anything about it? The world does not deserve to be made ac-
quainted with my adventures, for it ought to have given me golden shoes
when the emperor's horse was shod, and I stretched out my feet to be shod,
too. If I had received golden shoes I should have been an ornament to
the stable; now I am lost to the stable and to the world. It is all over
But all was not yet over. A boat, in which were a few young girls, came
58 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
rowing up. "Look, yonder is an old wooden shoe sailing along," said one
of the young girls.
"And there's a poor little creature bound fast in it," said another.
The boat now came close to our beetle's ship, and the young girls fished
it out of the water. One of them drew a small pair of scissors from her
pocket, and cut the worsted without hurting the beetle, and when she stepped
on shore she placed him on the grass. "There," she said, "creep away, or
fly, if thou canst. It is a splendid thing to have thy liberty." Away flew
the beetle, straight through the open window of a large building; there he
sank down, tired and exhausted, exactly on the mane of the emperor's
favourite horse, who was standing in his stable; and the beetle found him-
self at home again. For some time he clung to the mane, that he might
recover himself. "Well," he said, "here I am, seated on the emperor's
favourite horse,--sitting upon him as if I were the emperor himself. But
what was it the farrier asked me? Ah, I remember now-that's a good
thought-he asked me why the golden shoes were given to the horse. The
answer is quite clear to me, now. They were given to the horse on my
account." And this reflection put the beetle into a good temper. The
sun's rays also came streaming into the stable, and shone upon him, and
made the place lively and bright. "Travelling expands the mind very
much," said the beetle. "The world is not so bad after all, if you know
how to take things as they come."
THERE was once a little boy who had taken cold by going out and getting
his feet wet. No one could think how he had managed to do so, for the
weather was quite dry. His mother undressed him and put him to bed,
and then she brought in the teapot to make him a good cup of elder-tea,
which is so warming. At the same time, the friendly old man, who lived all
alone at the top of the house, came in at the door. He had neither wife
nor child, but he was very fond of children, and knew so many fairy tales
and stories that it was a pleasure to hear him talk. "Now, if you drink
your tea," said the mother, very likely you will have a story in the mean-
Yes, if I could think of a new one to tell," said the old man. But
how did the little fellow get his feet wet ?" asked he.
ELDER-TREE MOTHER. 59
"Ah," said the mother, that is what we cannot find out."
"Will you tell me a story?" asked the boy.
Yes, if you can tell me exactly how deep the gutter is in the little street
through which you go to school."
Just half way up to my knee," said the boy, "that is, if I stand in the
It is easy to see how we got our feet wet," said the old man. Well,
now I suppose I ought to tell a story, but I don't know any more."
"You can make up one, I know," said the boy. Mother ays that you
can turn everything you look at into a story, and everything, even, that you
"Ah, but those sort of tales and stories are worth nothing. The real
ones come of themselves; they knock at my forehead, and say, Here we
Won't there be a knock soon?" said the boy. And his mother laughed,
while she put elder-flowers in the teapot, and poured boiling water over
them. Oh, do tell me a story."
"Yes, if a story comes of itself; but tales and stories are very grand,
they only come when it pleases them. Stop," he cried all at once, "here
we have it; look there is a story in the teapot now."
The little boy looked at the teapot, and saw the lid raise itself gradually,
and long branches sprouted out, even from the spout, in all directions, till
they became larger and larger, and there appeared a large elder-tree, covered
with flowers white and fresh. It spread itself even to the bed, and pushed
the curtains aside, and oh, how fragrant the blossoms smelt. In the midst
of the tree, sat a pleasant-looking old woman, in a very strange dress. The
dress was green, like the leaves of the elder-tree, and was decorated with
large white elder-blossoms. It was not easy to tell whether the border was
made of some kind of stuff, or of real flowers.
"What is that woman's name ?" asked the boy.
"The Romans and Greeks called her a dryad," said the old man, "but
we do not understand that name; we have a better one for her in the
quarter of the town where the sailors live. They call her Elder-flower
mother, and you must pay attention to her now, and listen while you look
at the beautiful tree."
"Just such a large blooming tree as this stands outside in the corner of
a poor little yard ; and under this tree, one bright sunny afternoon sat two
old people, a sailor and his wife. They had great-grandchildren, and would
soon celebrate the golden wedding, which is the fiftieth anniversary of the
wedding-day in many continental countries, and the Elder-mother sat in the
tree and looked as pleased as she does now. 'I know when the golden
wedding is to be,' said she, but they did not hear her, they were talking of
olden times. 'Do you remember,' said the old sailor, 'when we were quite
little, and used to run about and play in the very same yard where we are
now sitting, and how we planted little twigs in one corner, and made a
garden ?' Yes,' said the old women, 'I remember it quite well, and how
we watered the twigs, and one of them was a sprig of elder that took root,
60 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
and put forth green shoots, until it became in time the great tree under
which we old people are now seated.' To be sure,' he replied; and in
that corner yonder, stands the water-butt in which I used to swim my boat
that I had cut out all myself, and it sailed well, too; but since then I have
learnt a very different kind of sailing.' 'Yes, but before that, we went to
school,' said she, and then we were prepared for confirmation,-how we
both cried on that day but in the afternoon we went, hand in hand, up to
the round tower, and saw the view over Copenhagen, and across the water;
their beautiful boat on the river.' '.But I had to sail on a very different
he old sailor. A yes, and I used to cry about you,' said she 'for I thought
,' i ,,, ', ": 1, 4 4.
u mt e d lyig d d a t b of t s, wih
see if the weathercock had turned ; it turned often enough, but you came
THE OLD wMAN TELLInG HIS STORY.
then we went to Fredericksburg, where the king and queen were sailing in
their beautiful boat on the river.' 'But I had to sail on a very different
voyage elsewhere, and be away from home for years on long voyages,' said
the old sailor. Ah yes, and I used to cry about yo,' said she 'for I thought
you must be dead, and lying drowned at the bottom of the sea, with the
waves sweeping over you. And many a time have I got up in the night to
see if the weathercock had turned; it turned often enough, but you came
not. How well I remember one day, the rain pouring down from the skies,
ELDER-TREE MOTHER. 61
and the man came to the house where I was in service, to fetch away the
dust. I went down to him with the dust box, and stood for a moment at
the door,-what shocking weather it was !--and while I stood there, the
postman came up and brought me a letter from you. How that letter had
travelled about I tore it open and read it. I laughed and wept at the
same time, I was so happy. It said that you were in warm countries, where
the coffee berries grew, and what a beautiful country it was, and described
many other wonderful things; and so I stood reading by the dust-bin, with
the rain pouring down, when, all at once, somebody came, and clasped me
round the waist.' 'Yes; and you gave him such a box on the ears, that
they tingled,' said the old man. 'I did not know that it was you,' she
replied, 'but you had arrived as quickly as your letter, and you looked so
handsome, and, indeed, so you are still. You had a large yellow silk hand-
kerchief in your pocket, and a shiny hat on your head. You looked quite
fine. And, all the time, what weather it was! and how dismal the street
looked !' And then do you remember,' said he, 'when we were married,
and our first boy came, and then Marie, and Niels, and Peter, and Hans
Christian ?' Indeed I do,' she replied; 'and they are all grown up respect-
able men and women, whom every one likes.' 'And now their children
have little ones,' said the old sailor. 'There are great-grandchildren for us,
strong and healthy too.' Was it not about this time of the year that we
were married?' 'Yes; and to-day is the golden wedding-day,' said the
Elder-tree mother, popping her head out just between the two old people;
and they thought it was a neighbour nodding to them. Then they looked
at each other, and clasped their hands together. Presently came their
children and grandchildren, who knew very well that it was the golden
wedding-day. They had already wished them joy on that very morning;
but the old people had forgotten it, although they remembered so well all
that had happened many years before. And the elder-tree smelt sweetly,
and the setting sun shone upon the faces of the old people till they looked
quite ruddy; and the youngest of their grandchildren danced round them
joyfully, and said they were going to have a feast in the evening, and there
were to be hot potatoes. Then the Elder-mother nodded in the tree, and
cried Hurrah,' with all the rest."
"But that is not a story," said the little boy, who had been listening.
"Not till you understand it," said the old man; "but let us ask the
Elder-mother to explain it."
"It was not exactly a story," said the Elder-mother; "but the story is
coming now, and it is a true one. For out of truth grow the most wonder-
ful stories, just as my beautiful elder-bush has sprung out of the tea-pot."
And then she took the little boy out of bed, and laid him on her bosom;
and the blooming branches of elder closed over them, so that they sat as it
were in a leafy bower; and the bower flew with them through the air in the
most delightful manner. Then the Elder-mother all at once changed to a
beautiful young maiden; but her dress was still of the same green stuff,
ornamented with a border of white elder-blossoms, such as the Elder-mother
had worn. In her bosom she wore a real elder-flower, and a wreath of the
62 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
same was entwined in her golden ringlets. Her large blue eyes were very
beautiful to look at. She was the same age as the boy; and they kissed
each other, and felt very happy. They left the arbour together, hand in
hand, and found themselves in a beautiful flower-garden, which belonged
to their home. On the green lawn their father's stick was tied up. There
was life in this stick for the little ones; for no sooner did they place them-
selves upon it than the white knob changed into a pretty neighing head,
with a black flowing mane, and four long slim legs sprung forth. The crea-
ture was strong and spirited, and galloped with them round the grass-plot.
"Hurrah now we will ride many miles away," said the boy; "we'll ride
to the nobleman's estate, where we went last year." Then they rode round
the grass-plot again; and the little maiden, who, we know, was Elder-tree
mother, kept crying out, Now we are in the country. Do you see the
farmhouse, with a great baking-oven, which sticks out from the wall by the
roadside like a gigantic egg ? There is an elder spreading its branches over
it, and a cock is marching about, and scratching for the chickens. See
how he struts! Now we are near the church. There it stands on the hill,
shaded by the great oak-trees, one of which is half dead. See, here we
are at the blacksmith's forge. How the fire burns And the half-clad
men are striking the hot iron with the hammer, so that the sparks fly about.
Now then, away to the nobleman's beautiful estate." And the boy saw all
that the little girl spoke of as she sat behind him on the stick; for it passed
before him, although they were only galloping round the grass-plot. Then
they played together in a side-walk, and raked up the earth, to make a little
garden. Then she took elder-flowers out of her hair, and planted them;
and they grew just like those which he had heard the old people talking
about, and which they had planted in their young days. They walked
about hand-in-hand, too, just as the old people had done when they were
children; but they did not go up the round tower, nor to Fredericksburg
garden. No; but the little girl seized the boy round the waist, and they rode
all over the whole country,-sometimes it was spring, then summer, then
autumn, and winter followed,-while thousands of images were presented
to the boy's eyes and heart, and the little girl constantly sung to him, "You
must never forget all this." And, through their whole flight, the elder-tree
sent forth the sweetest fragrance.
They passed roses and fresh beech-trees, but the perfume of the elder-
tree was stronger than all, for its flowers hung round the little maiden's
heart, against which the boy so often leaned his head during their flight.
It is beautiful here in the spring," said the maiden, as they stood in a
grove of beech-trees covered with fresh green leaves, while at their feet the
sweet-scented thyme and blushing anemone lay spread amid the green
grass in delicate bloom. Oh, that it were always spring in the fragrant
"Here it is delightful in summer," said the maiden, as they passed old
knights' castles, telling of days gone by, and saw the high walls and pointed
gables mirrored in the rivers beneath, where swans were sailing about and
peeping into the cool green avenues. In the fields the corn waved to and fro
ELDER-TREE MOTHER. 63
like the sea. Red and yellow flowers grew amongst the ruins, and the hedges
were covered with wild hops and blooming convolvulus. In the evening
the moon rose round and full, and the hay stacks in the meadows filled the
air with their sweet scent. These were scenes never to be forgotten. It
is lovely here also in autumn," said the little maiden; and then the scene
changed. The sky appeared higher and more beautifully blue, while the
forest glowed with colours of red, green, and gold. The hounds were off
to the chase, large flocks of wild birds flew screaming over the Huns'
graves, where the blackberry bushes twined round the old ruins. The dark-
blue sea was dotted with white sails, and in the barns sat old women,
maidens, and children, picking hops into a large tub. The young ones
sang songs, and the old ones told Fairy tales of wizards and witches.
There could be nothing more pleasant than all this. "Again," said the
maiden, it is beautiful here in winter." Then in a moment all the trees
were covered with hoar-frost, so that they looked like white coral. The
snow crackled beneath the feet as if every one had on new boots, and one
shooting star after another fell from the sky. In warm rooms there could
be seen the Christmas trees decked out with presents, and lighted up amid
festivities and joy. In the country farm-houses could be heard the sound
of the violin, and there were games for apples, so that even the poorest
child could say, It is beautiful in winter." And beautiful indeed were all
the scenes which the maiden showed to the little boy, and always around
them floated the fragrance of the elder-blossom, and ever above them
waved the red flag with the white cross under which the old seaman had
sailed. The boy who had become a youth, and who had gone as a sailor
out into the wide world, and sailed to warm countries where the coffee
grew, and to whom the little girl had given an elder-blossom from her
bosom for a keepsake, when she took leave of him, placed the flower in his
hymn-book, and when he opened it in foreign lands, he always turned to
the spot where this flower of remembrance lay, and the more he looked at
it, the fresher it appeared. He could, as it were, breathe the home-like
fragrance of the woods, and see the little girl looking at him from between
the petals of the flower with her clear blue eyes, and hear her 1 lI :.. *,.r
"It is beautiful here at home in spring and summer, in autumn and in
winter," while hundreds of these home scenes passed through his memory.
Many years had passed, and he was now an old man seated with his old
wife under an elder-tree in full blossom. They were holding each other's
hands just as the great-grandfather and grandmother had done, and spoke,
as they did, of olden times and the golden wedding. The little maiden
with the blue eyes and with the elder-blossoms in her hair sat in the tree
and nodded to them and said, To-day is the golden wedding." And then
she took two flowers out of her wreath and kissed them, and they shone
first like silver and then like gold; and as she placed them on the heads
of the old people each flower became a golden crown. And there they sat
like a king and queen under the sweetly-scented tree, which still looked
like an elder-bush. Then he related to his old wife the story of the Elder-
tree mother, just as he had heard it told when he was a little boy, and they
64 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
both fancied it very much like their own story, especially in some parts
which they liked the best.
"Well, and so it is," said the little maiden in .ne tree. "Some call me
Elder-mother, others a dryad, but my real name is Memory,' It is I who
sit in the tree as it grows and grows, and I can think of the past and relate
many things. Let me see if you have still preserved the flower."
Then the old man opened his hymn-book, and there lay the elder-flower
as fresh as if it had only just been placed there, and Memory nodded,
and the two old people with the golden crowns on their heads sat in the red
glow of the evening sunlight, and closed their eyes, and-and-the story
The little boy lay in his bed and did not quite know whether he had been
dreaming or listening to a story. The teapot stood on the table, but no
elder-bush grew out of it, and the old man who had really told the tale was
on the threshold, and just going out at the door.
"How beautiful it was," said the little boy. Mother, I have been to
"I can quite believe it," said his mother. When any one drinks two
full cups of elder-flower tea, he may well get into warm countries;" and
then she covered him up that he should not take cold. You have slept
well while I have been disputing with the old man as to whether it was a
real story or a fairy legend."
"And where is the Elder-tree mother? asked the boy.
"She is in the teapot," said the mother, "and there she may stay."
-.' .. ._ .. .. : : -.. .
IN China, you know, the emperor is a Chinese, and all those about him
are Chinamen also. The story I am going to tell you happened a great
many years ago, so it is well to hear it now before it is forgotten. The em-
peror's palace was the most beautiful in the world. It was built entirely of
porcelain, and very costly, but so delicate and brittle that whoever touched
it was obliged to be careful. In the garden could be seen the most singular
flowers, with pretty silver bells tied to them, which tinkled so that every one
that passed could not help noticing the flowers. Indeed, everything in the
emperor's garden was remarkable, and it extended so far that the gardener
himself did not know where it ended. Those who travelled beyond its limits
knew that there was a noble forest, with lofty trees, sloping down to the
deep blue sea, and the great ships sailed under the shadow of its branches.
In one of these trees lived a nightingale, who sang so beautifully that even
the poor fishermen, who had so many other things to do, would stop and
listen. Sometimes, when they went at night to spread their nets, they would
hear her sing, and say, "Oh, is not that beautiful?" But when they re-
turned to their fishing, they forgot the bird until the next night. Then they
would hear it again, and exclaim, "Oh, how. beautiful is the nightingale's
Travellers from every country in the world came to the city of the em-
peror, which they admired very much, as well as the palace and gardens;
but when they heard the nightingale, they all declared it to be the best of
all. And the travellers, on their return home, related what they had seen;
and learned men wrote books, containing descriptions of the town, the
palace, and the gardens; but they did not forget the nightingale, which was
really the greatest wonder. And those who could write poetry composed
beautiful verses about the nightingale, who lived in a forest near the deep
sea. The books travelled all over the world, and some of them came into
the hands of the emperor; and he sat in his golden chair, and, as he read,
he nodded his approval every moment, for it pleased him to find such a
beautiful description of his city, his palace, and his gardens. But when
he came to the words, "the nightingale is the most beautiful of all," he ex-
claimed, "What is this ? I know nothing of any nightingale. Is there such
66 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
a bird in my empire ? and even in my garden? I have never heard of it.
Something, it appears, may be learnt from books."
Then he called one of his lords-in-waiting, who was so high-bred, that
when any in an inferior rank to himself spoke to him, or asked him a
question, he would answer, Pooh," which means nothing.
There is a very wonderful bird mentioned here, called a nightingale,"
said the emperor; they say it is the best thing in my large kingdom. Why
have I not been told of it ? "
I have never heard the name," replied the cavalier; she has not been
presented at court."
"It is my pleasure that she shall appear this evening," said the emperor;
" the whole world knows what I possess better than I do myself."
"I have never heard of her," said the cavalier; "yet I will endeavour
to find her."
But where was the nightingale to be found ? The nobleman went up-
stairs and down, through halls and passages; yet none of those whom he
met had heard of the bird. So he returned to the emperor, and said that
it must be a fable, invented by those who had written the book. Your
imperial majesty," said he, cannot believe everything contained in books;
sometimes they are only fiction, or what is called the black art."
But the book in which I have read this account," said the emperor,
"was sent to me by the great and mighty emperor of Japan, and therefore
it cannot contain a falsehood. I will hear the nightingale, she must be here
this evening; she has my highest favour; and if she does not come the
whole court shall be trampled upon after supper is ended."
"Tsing-pe cried the lord-in-waiting, and again lie ran up and down
stairs, through all the halls and corridors; and half the court ran with him,
for they did not like the idea of being trampled upon. There was a great
inquiry about this wonderful nightingale, whom all the world knew, but who
was unknown to the court.
At last they met with a poor little girl in the kitchen, who said, Oh, yes
I know the nightingale quite well; indeed, she can sing. Every evening I
have permission to take home to my poor sick mother the scraps from the
table; she lives down by the seashore, and as I come back I feel tired,
and I sit down in the wood to rest, and listen to the nightingale's song.
Then the tears come into my eyes, and it is just as if my mother kissed
"Little maiden," said the lord-in-waiting, "I will obtain for you constant
employment in the kitchen, and you shall have permission to see the em-
peror dine, if you will lead us to the nightingale ; for she is invited for this
evening to the palace." So she went into the wood where the nightingale
sang, and half the court followed her. As they went along, a cow began
Oh," said a young courtier, "now we have found her; what wonderful
power for such a small creature; I have certainly heard it before."
"No, that is only a cow lowing," said the little girl; "we are a long way
from the place yet."
THE NIGH TINGALE. 67
Then some frogs began to croak in the marsh.
Beautiful," said the young courtier again. "Now I hear it, tinkling
like little church bells."
"No, those are frogs," said the little maiden ; "but I think we shall soon
hear her now :" and presently the nightingale began to sing.
Hark, hark 1 there she is," said the girl, "and there she sits," she added,
pointing to a little grey bird who was perched on a bough.
Is it possible ? said the lord-in-waiting, I never imagined it would be
a little, plain, simple thing like that. She has certainly changed colour at
seeing so many grand people around her."
"Little nightingale," cried the girl, raising her voice, "our most gracious
emperor wishes you to sing before him."
"With the greatest pleasure," said the nightingale, and began to sing most
"It sounds like tiny glass bells," said the lord-in-waiting, "and see how
her little throat works. It is surprising that we have never heard this before;
she will be a great success at court."
Shall I sing once more before the emperor ? asked the nightingale, who
thought he was present.
"My excellent little nightingale," said the courtier, "I have the great
pleasure of inviting you to a court festival this evening, where you will
gain imperial favour by your charming song."
My song sounds best in the green wood," said the bird; but still she
came willingly when she heard the emperor's wish.
The palace was elegantly decorated for the occasion. The walls and
floors of porcelain glittered in the light of a thousand lamps. Beautiful
flowers, round which little bells were tied, stood in the corridors: what with
the running to and fro and the draught, these bells tinkled so loudly that
no one could speak to be heard. In the centre of the great hall, a golden
perch had been fixed for the nightingale to sit on. The whole court was
present, and the little kitchen-maid had received permission to stand by the
door. She was now !L:trl:..! as a real court cook. All were in full dress,
and every eye was turned to the little grey bird when the emperor nodded
to her to begin. The nightingale sang so sweetly that the tears came into
the emperor's eyes, and then rolled down his cheeks, as her song became
still more touching and went to every one's heart. The emperor was so
delighted that he declared the nightingale should have his gold slipper to
wear round her neck, but she declined the honour with thanks: she had
been sufficiently rewarded already. "I have seen tears in an emperor's
eyes," she said, "that is my richest reward. An emperor's tears have won-
derful power, and are quite sufficient honour for me;" and then she sang
again more -:i,:h-lJ inii.1, than ever.
"That singing is a lovely gift," said the ladies of the court to each other;
and then they took water in their mouths to make them utter the gurgling
sounds of the nightingale when they spoke to any one, so that they might
fancy themselves nightingales. And the footmen and chambermaids also
expressed their satisfaction, which is saying a great deal, for they are very
68 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
difficult to please. In fact the nightingale's visit was most successful. She
was now to reihain at court, to have her own cage, with liberty to go out
twice a day, and once during the night. Twelve servants were appointed
to attend her on these occasions, who each held her by a silken string
fastened to her leg. There was certainly not much pleasure in this kind
The whole city spoke of the wonderful bird, and when two people met,
one said "nightin," and the other said "gale," and they understood what
was meant, for nothing else was talked of. Eleven pedlers' children were
named after her, but not one of them could sing a note.
One day the emperor received a large packet on which was written "The
Nightingale." Here is no doubt a new book about our celebrated bird,"
said the emperor. But instead of a book, it was a work of art contained in
a casket, an artificial nightingale made to look like a living one, and covered
all over with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. As soon as the artificial bird
was wound up, it could sing like the real one, and could move its tail up and
down, which sparkled with silver and gold. Round its neck hung a piece
of ribbon, on which was written The Emperor of China's nightingale
is poor compared with that of the Emperor of Japan's."
"This is very beautiful," exclaimed all who saw it, and he who had
brought the artificial bird received the title of Imperial nightingale-
"Now they must sing together," said the court, and what a duet it will
be." But they did not get on well, for the real nightingale sang in its own
natural way, but the artificial bird sang only waltzes.
"That is no fault," said the music-master, it is perfect to my taste," so
then it had to sing alone, and was as successful as the real bird; besides, it
was so much prettier to look at, for it sparkled like bracelets and breast-
pins. Three and thirty times did it sing the same tunes without being tired:
the people would gladly have heard it again, but the emperor said the
living nightingale ought to sing something. But where was she? No one
had noticed her when she flew out at the open window, back to her own green
"What strange conduct," said the emperor, when her flight had been dis-
covered; and all the courtiers blamed her, and said she was a very ungrate-
But we have the best bird after all," said one, and then they would have
the bird sing again, although it was the thirty-fourth time they had
listened to the same piece, and even then they had not learnt it, for it was
rather difficult. But the music-master praised the bird in the highest
degree, and even asserted that it was better than a real nightingale, not
only in its dress and the beautiful diamonds, but also in its musical power.
"For you must perceive, my chief lord and emperor, that with a real night-
ingale we can never tell what is going to be sung, but with this bird every-
thing is settled. It can be opened and explained, so that people may
understand how the waltzes are formed, and why one note follows upon
THE NIGHTINGALE. 69
"That is exactly what we think," they all replied, and then the music-
master received permission to exhibit the bird to the people on the following
Sunday, and the emperor commanded that they should be present to hear it
sing. When they heard it they were like people intoxicated; however it
must have been with drinking tea, which is quite a Chinese custom. They
all said "Oh!" and held up their forefingers and nodded, but a poor fisher-
man, who had heard the real nightingale, said, It sounds prettily enough,
and the melodies are all alike; yet there seems something wanting, I can-
not exactly tell what."
And after this the real nightingale was banished from the empire, and
the artificial bird placed on a silk cushion close to the emperor's bed. The
presents of gold and precious stones which had been received with it were
round the bird, and it was now advanced to the title of "Little Imperial
Toilet Singer," and to the rank of No. i on the left hand; for the emperor
considered the left side, on which the heart lies, as the most noble, and the
heart of an emperor is in the same place as that of other people.
The music-master wrote a work, in twenty-five volumes, about the artifi-
cial bird, which was very learned and very long, and full of the most diffi-
cult Chinese words; yet all the people said they had read it, and understood
it, for fear of being thought stupid and having their bodies trampled upon.
So a year passed, and the emperor, the court, and all the other Chinese
knew every little turn in the artificial bird's song; and for that same reason
it pleased them better. They could sing with the bird, which they often
did. The street-boys sang, "Zi-zi-zi, cluck, cluck, cluck," and the emperor
himself could sing it also. It was really most amusing.
One evening, when the artificial bird was singing its best, and the em-
peror lay in bed listening to it, something inside the bird sounded whizz."
Then a spring cracked. "Whir-r-r-r" went all the wheels, running round,
and then the music stopped. The emperor immediately sprang out of bed,
and called for his physician; but what could he do? Then they sent for a
watchmaker; and, after a great deal of talking and examination, the bird
was put into something like order; but he said that it must be used very
carefully, as the barrels were worn, and it would be impossible to put in
new ones without injuring the music. Now there was great sorrow, as the
bird could only be allowed to play once a year; and even that was dan-
gerous for the works inside it. Then the music-master made a little speech,
full of hard words, and declared that the bird was as good as ever; and, of
course, no one contradicted him.
Five years passed, and then a real grief came upon the land. The
Chinese really were fond of their emperor, and he now lay so ill that he
was not expected to live. Already a new emperor had been chosen, and
the people who stood in the street asked the lord-in-waiting how the old
emperor was; but he only said, "Pooh !" and shook his head.
Cold and pale, lay the emperor in his royal bed; the whole court thought
he was dead, and every one ran away to pay homage to his successor. The
chamberlains went out to have a talk on the matter, and the ladies'-maids
invited company to take coffee. Cloth had been laid down on the halls
7o HANS ANDERSEN'S AIRY TALES.
and passages, so that not a footstep should be heard, and all was silent and
still. But the emperor was not yet dead, although he lay white and stiff
on his gorgeous bed, with the long velvet curtains and heavy gold tassels.
A window stood open, and the moon shone in upon the emperor and the
artificial bird. The poor emperor, finding he could scarcely breathe with a
strange weight on his chest, opened his eyes, and saw Death sitting there.
He had put on the emperor's golden crown, and held in one hand his sword
of state, and in the other his beautiful banner. All around the bed, and
peeping through the long velvet curtains, were a number of strange heads,
some very ugly, and others lovely and gentle-looking. These were the
emperor's good and bad deeds, which stared him in the face now Death
sat at his heart.
"Do you remember this?" "Do you recollect that?" they asked one
after another, thus bringing to his remembrance circumstances that made
the perspiration stand on his brow.
"I know nothing about it," said the emperor. Music I music!" he
cried; "the large Chinese drum I that I may not hear what they say." But
they still went on, and Death nodded like a Chinamen to all they said.
" Music music !" shouted the emperor, ."You little precious golden bird,
sing, pray sing! I have given you gold and costly presents; I have even
hung my golden slipper round your neck. Sing! sing!" But the bird
remained silent. There was no one to wind it up, and therefore it could
not sing a note.
Death continued to stare at the emperor with his cold, hollow eyes, and
the room was fearfully still. Suddenly there came through the open window
the sound of sweet music. Outside, on the bough of a tree, sat the living
nightingale. She had heard of the emperor's illness, and was therefore
come to sing to him of hope and trust. And as she sung, the shadows
grew paler and paler; the blood in the emperor's veins flowed more rapidly,
and gave life to his weak limbs; and even Death himself listened, and said,
"Go on, little nightingale, go on."
Then will you give me the beautiful golden sword and that rich banner ?
and will you give me the emperor's crown?" said the bird.
So Death gave up each of these treasures for a song; and the nightingale
continued her singing. She sung of the quiet churchyard, where the white
roses grow, where the elder-tree wafts its i-F' ... on the breeze, and the
fresh, sweet grass is moistened by the mourners' tears. Then Death longed
to go and see his garden, and floated out through the window in the form of
a cold, white mist.
Thanks, thanks, you heavenly little bird. I know you well. I banished
you from my kingdom once, and yet you have charmed away the evil faces
from my bed, and banished Death from my heart, with your sweet song.
How can I reward you ?"
You have already rewarded me," said the nightingale. I shall never
forget that I drew tears from your eyes the first time I sang to you. These
are the jewels that rejoice a singer's heart. But now sleep, and grow strong
and well again. I will sing to you again."
OLE-LUK-OIE, THE DREAM-GOD. 71
And as she sung, the emperor fell into a sweet sleep; and how mild and
refreshing that slumber was When he awoke, strengthened and restored,
the sun shone brightly through the window; but not one of his servants had
returned-they all believed he was dead; only the nightingale still sat beside
him, and sang.
"You must always remain with me," said the emperor. You shall
sing only when it pleases you; and I will break the artificial bird into a
"No; do not do that," replied the nightingale; "the bird did very well
as long as it could. Keep it here still. I cannot live in the palace, and
build my nest; but let me come when I like. I will sit on a bough outside
your window, in the evening, and sing to you, so that you may be happy,
and have thoughts full of joy. I will sing to you of those who are happy,
and those who suffer; of the good and the evil, who are hidden around you.
The little singing bird flies far from you and your court to the home of the
fisherman and the peasant's cot. I love your heart better than your crown;
and yet something holy lingers round that also. I will come, I will sing to
you, but you must promise me one thing."
"Everything," said the emperor, who, having dressed himself in his
imperial robes, stood with the hand that held the heavy golden sword pressed
to his heart.
"I only ask one thing," she replied; "let no one know that you have a
little bird who tells you everything. It will be best to conceal it." So
saying, the nightingale flew away.
The servants now came in to look after the dead emperor; when lo !
there he stood, and, to their astonishment, said, Good morning."
OLE-LUK-OIE, THE DREAM-GOD.
THERE is nobody in the world who knows so many stories as Ole-Lu:-
Oie, or who can relate them so nicely. In the evening, while the children
are seated at the table or in their little chairs, he comes up the stairs very
softly, for he 1. :Ak in his socks; then he opens the doors without the
slightest noise, and throws a small quantity of very fine dust in their eyes,
just enough to prevent them from keeping them open, and so they do not
see him. Then he creeps behind them, and blows softly upon their necks,
till their heads begin to droop. But Ole-Luk-Oie does not wish to hurt'
them, for he is very fond of children, and only wants them to be quiet that
he may relate to them pretty stories, and they never are quiet until they are
in bed and asleep. As soon as they are asleep, Ole-Luk-Oie seats himself
upon the bed. He is nicely dressed; his coat is made of silken stuff; it
72 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
is impossible to say of what colour, for it changes from green to red, and
from red to blue as he turns from side to side. Under each arm he carries
an umbrella; one of them, with pictures on the inside, he spreads over the
good children, and then they dream the most beautiful stories the whole
night. But the other umbrella has no pictures, and this he holds over the
naughty children, so that they sleep heavily, and wake in the morning with-
out having dreamed at all.
(-,.l ( '1 _, > C '. .a
.-r- I W
Now we shall hear how Ole-Luk-Oie came every night during a whole
week to a little boy named Hjalmar, and what he told him. There were
seven stories, as there are seven days in the week.
Now pay attention," said Ole-Luk-Oie, in the evening, when Hjalmar
was in bed, "and I will decorate the room."
Immediately all the flowers in the flower-pots became large trees, with
long branches reaching to the ceiling, and stretching along the walls, so that
the whole room was like a greenhouse. All the branches were loaded with
flowers, each flower as beautiful and as fragrant as a rose; and, had any one
OLE-LUK-OIE, THE DREAM-GOD. 73
tasted them, he would have found them sweeter even than jam. The fruit
glittered like gold, and there were cakes so full of plums that they were
nearly bursting. It was incomparably beautiful. At the same time sounded
dismal moans from the table-drawer in which lay Hjalmar's school books.
"What can that be now?" said Ole-Luk-Oie, going to the table and
pulling out the drawer.
It was a slate, in such distress because of a false number in the sum, that
it had almost broken itself to pieces. The pencil pulled and tugged at its
string as if it were a little dog that wanted to help, but could not.
And then came a moan from Hjalmar's copy-book. Oh, it was quite
terrible to hear! On each leaf stood a row of capital letters, every one
having a small letter by its side. This formed a copy under these were
other letters, which Hjalmar had written: they fancied they looked like the
copy, but they were mistaken; for they were leaning on one side as if they
intended to fall over the pencil-lines.
See, this is the way you should hold yourselves," said the copy. Look
here, you should slope thus, with a graceful curve.
"Oh, we are very willing to do so, but we cannot," said Hjalmar's
letters; "we are so wretchedly made."
You must be scratched out, then," said Ole-Luk-Oie.
"Oh, no !" they cried, and then they stood up so gracefully it was quite
a pleasure to look at them.
"Now we must give up our stories, and exercise these letters," said Ole-
Luk-Oie; "One, two-one, two-" So he drilled them till they stood up
gracefully, and looked as beautiful as a copy could look. But after Ole-Luk-
Oie was gone, and Hjalmar looked at them in the morning, they were as
wretched and as awkward as ever.
As soon as Hjalmar was in bed, Ole-Luk-Oie touched, with his little
magic wand, all the furniture in the room, which immediately began to
chatter, and each article only talked of itself.
Over the chest of drawers hung a large picture in a gilt frame, represent-
ing a landscape, with fine old trees, flowers in the grass, and a broad stream,
which flowed through the wood, past several castles, far out into the wild
ocean. Ole-Luk-Oie touched the picture with his magic wand, and imme-
diately the birds commenced singing, the branches of the trees rustled, and
the clouds moved across the sky, casting their shadows on the landscape
beneath them. Then Ole-Luk-Oie lifted little Hjalmar up to the frame, and
placed his feet in the picture, just on the high grass, and there he stood
with the sun shining down upon him through the branches of the trees.
He ran to the water, and seated himself in a little boat which lay there,
and which was painted red and white. The sails glittered like silver, and
six swans, each with a golden circlet round its neck, and a bright blue star
on its forehead, drew the boat past the green wood, where the trees talked
of robbers and witches, and the flowers of beautiful little elves and fairies,
whose histories the butterflies had related to them. Brilliant fish, with scales
74 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
like silver and gold, swam after the boat, sometimes making a spring and
splashing the water round them, while birds, red and blue, small and great,
flew after him in two long lines. The gnats danced round them, and the
cockchafers cried "Buz, buz." They all wanted to follow Hjalmar, and all
had some story to tell him. It was a most pleasant sail. Sometimes the
forests were thick and dark, sometimes like a beautiful garden, gay with
sunshine and !id :. ; then he passed great palaces of glass and of marble,
and on the balconies stood princesses, whose faces were those of little girls
whom Hjalmar knew well, and had often played with. One of them held
out her hand, in which was a heart made of sugar, more beautiful than any
confectioner ever sold. As Hjalmar sailed by he caught hold of one side
of the sugar heart, and held it fast, and the princess held fast also, so that
it broke in two pieces. Hjalmar had one piece, and the princess the other,
but Hjalmar's was the largest. At each castle stood little princes acting as
sentinels. They presented arms, and had golden swords, and made it rain
plums and tin soldiers, so that they must have been real princes.
Hjalmar continued to sail, sometimes through woods, sometimes as it
were through large halls, and then by large cities. At last he came to the
town where his nurse lived, who had carried him in her arms when he was
a very little boy, and had always been kind to him. She nodded and
beckoned to him, and then sang the little verses she had herself composed
and sent to him,-
"How oft my memory turns to thee,
My own Hjalmar, ever dear !
When I could watch thy infant glee,
Or kiss away a pearly tear.
'T was in my arms thy lisping tongue
First spoke the half-remembered word,
While o'er thy tottering steps I hung,
My fond protection to afford.
Farewell I pray the Heavenly Power
To keep thee till thy dying hour."
And all the birds sang the same tune, the flowers danced on their stems, and
the old trees nodded as if Ole-Luk-Oie had been telling them stories as well.
How the rain did pour down i Hjalmar could hear it in his sleep; and
when Ole-Luk-Oie opened the window, the water flowed quite up to the
window-sill. It had the appearance of a large lake outside, and a beautiful
ship lay close to the house.
"Wilt thou sail with me to-night, little Hjalmar?" said Ole-Luk-Oie;
"then we shall see foreign countries, and thou shalt return here in the
All in a moment, there stood Hjalmar, in his best clothes, on the deck of
the noble ship; and immediately the weather became fine. They sailed
through the streets, round by the church, and on every side rolled the wide,
great sea. They sailed till the land disappeared, and then they saw a flock
of storks, who had left their own country, and were travelling to warmer
climates. The storks flew one behind the other, and had already been a
OLE-LUK-OIE, THE DREAM-GOD. 75
long, long time on the wing. One of them seemed so tired that his wings
could scarcely carry him. He was the last of the row, and was soon
left very far behind. At length he sunk lower and lower, with out-
stretched wings, flapping them in vain, till his feet touched the rigging of
the ship, and he slided from the sails to the deck, and stood before them.
Then a sailor-boy caught him, and put him in the hen-house, with the fowls,
the ducks, and the turkeys, while the poor stork stood quite bewildered
"Just look at that fellow," said the chickens.
Then the turkey-cock puffed himself out as large as he could, and
inquired who he was; and the ducks waddled backwarks, crying, "Quack,
Then the stork told them all about warm Africa, of the pyramids, and of
the ostrich, which, like a wild horse, runs across the desert. But the ducks
did not understand what he said, and quacked amongst themselves, "We
are all of the same opinion; namely, that he is stupid."
"Yes, to be sure, he is stupid," said the turkey-cock; and gobbled.
Then the stork remained quite silent, and thought of his home in Africa.
"Those are handsome thin legs of yours," said the turkey-cock. "What
do they cost a yard ?"
"Quack, quack, quack," grinned the ducks; but the stork pretended not
"You may as well laugh," said the turkey; "for that remark was rather
witty, or perhaps it was above you. Ah, ah, is he not clever? He will be
a great amusement to us while he remains here." An then he gobbled, and
the ducks quacked, "Gobble, gobble; Quack, quack."
What a terrible uproar they made, while they were having such fun among
Then Hjalmar went to the hen-house; and, opening the door, called to
the stork. Then he hopped out on the deck. He had rested himself now,
and he looked happy, and seemed as if he nodded to Hjalmar, as if to
thank him. Then he spread his wings, and flew away to warmer countries,
while the hens clucked, the ducks quacked, and the turkey-cock turned quite
scarlet in the head.
To-morrow you shall be made into soup," said Hjalmar to the fowls;
and then he awoke, and found himself lying in his little bed.
It was a wonderful journey which Ole-Luk-Oie had made him take this
What do you think I have got here ?" said Ole-Luk-Oie. "Do not be
frightened, and you shall see a little mouse." And then he held out his
hand to him, in which lay a lovely little creature. It has come to invite
you to a wedding. Two little mice are going to enter into the marriage state
to-night. They reside under the floor of your mother's store-room; and that
must be a fine dwelling-place."
But how can I get through the little mouse-hole in the floor ?" asked
75 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
Leave me to manage that," said Ole-Luk-Oie. I will soon make you
small enough." And then he touched Hjalmar with his magic wand, where-
upon he became less and less, until at last he was not longer than a little
finger. "Now you can borrow the dress of the tin soldier. I think it will
just fit you. It looks well to wear a uniform when you go into company."
"Yes, certainly," said Hjalmar; and in a moment he was dressed as
neatly as the neatest of all tin soldiers.
Will you be so good as to seat yourself in your mamma's thimble," said the
little mouse, that I may have the pleasure of drawing you to the wedding."
Will you really take so much trouble, young lady?" said Hjalmar. And
so in this way he rode to the mouse's wedding.
First they went under the floor, and then passed through a long passage,
which was scarcely high enough to allow the thimble to drive under, and the
whole passage was lit up with the phosphorescent light of rotten wood.
Does it not smell delicious ?" asked the mouse, as she drew him along.
"The wall and the floor have been smeared with bacon-rind; nothing can
Very soon they arrived at the bridal hall. On the right stood all the
little lady-mice, whispering and giggling, as if they were making game of
each other. To the left were the gentlemen-mice, stroking their whiskers
with their fore-paws; and in the centre of the hall could be seen the bridal
pair, standing side by side, in a hollow cheese-rind, and kissing each other,
while all eyes were upon them; for they had already been betrothed, and
were soon to be married. More and more friends kept arriving, till the mice
were nearly treading each other to death; for the bridal pair now stood in
the doorway, and none could pass in or out.
The room had been rubbed over with bacon-rind, like the passage, which
was all the refreshment offered to the guests. But for dessert they produced
a pea, on which a mouse belonging to the bridal pair had bitten the first
letters of their names. This was something quite uncommon. All the mice
said it was a very beautiful wedding, and that they had been very agreeably
After this, Hjalmar returned home. He had certainly been in grand
society; but he had been obliged to creep under a room, and to make him-
self small enough to wear the uniform of a tin soldier.
"It is incredible how many old people there are who would be glad to
have me at night," said Ole-Luk-Oie, "especially those who have done
something wrong. Good little Ole,' say they to me, we cannot close our
eyes, and we lie awake the whole night and see all our evil deeds sitting on
our beds like little imps, and sprinkling us with hot water. Will you come
and drive them away, that we may have a good night's rest?' and then they
sigh so deeply and say, 'We would gladly pay you for it. Good night,
Ole-Luk, the money lies in the window.' But I never do anything for gold."
"What shall we do to-night?" asked Hjalmar. "I do not know whether
you would care to go to another wedding," he replied, although it is quite
OLE-LUK-OIE, THE DREAM-GOD. 77
a different affair to the one we saw last night. Your sister's large doll, that
is dressed like a man, and is called Herman, intends to marry the doll
Bertha. It is also the doll's birthday, and they will receive many presents."
Yes, I know that already," said Hjalmar, "my sister always allows her
dolls to keep their birthdays or to have a wedding when they require new
clothes ; that has happened already a hundred times, I am quite sure."
Yes, so it may; but to-night is the hundred and first wedding, and when
that has taken place it must be the last, therefore this is to be extremely
beautiful. Only look."
Hjalmar looked at the table, and there stood the little card-board doll's-
house, with lights in all the windows, and drawn up before it were the tin
soldiers presenting arms. The bridal pair were seated on the floor, leaning
against the leg of the table, looking very thoughtful, and with good reason.
Then Ole-Luk-Oie dressed up in grandmother's black gown married them.
As soon as the ceremony was concluded, all the furniture in the room joined
in singing a beautiful song, which had been composed by the lead pencil,
and which went to the melody of a military tattoo.
SWhat merry sounds are on the wind,
As marriage rites together bind
A quiet and a loving pair,
Though formed of kid, yet smooth and fair !
Hurrah If they are deaf and blind,
We '11 sing, though weather prove unkind."
And now came the presents; but the bridal pair had nothing to eat, for
love was to be their food.
"Shall we go to a country house, or travel ? asked the bridegroom.
Then they consulted the swallow who had travelled so far, and the old
hen in the yard, who had brought up five broods of chickens.
And the swallow talked to them of warm countries, where the grapes
hang in large clusters on the vines, and the air is soft and mild, and about
the mountains glowing with colours more beautiful than we can think of.
"But they have no red c 11._- like we have," said the hen; "I was
once in the county with my chickens for a whole summer, there was a large
sand-pit, in which we could walk about and scratch as we liked. Then we
got into a garden in which grew red cabbage ; oh, how nice it was, I cannot
think of anything more delicious."
"But one cabbage stalk is exactly like another," said the swallow; "and
here we have often bad weather."
Yes, but we are accustomed to it," said the hen.
But it is so cold here, and freezes sometimes."
Cold weather is good for cabbages," said the hen; besides, we do
have it warm here sometimes. Four years ago, we had a summer that
lasted more than five weeks, and it was so hot one could scarcely breathe.
And then in this country we have no poisonous animals, and we are free
from robbers. He must be wicked who does not consider our country the
finest of all lands. He ought not to be allowed to live here." And then
78 HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES.
the hen wept very much and said, "I have also travelled. I once went
twelve miles in a coop, and it was not pleasant travelling at all."
"The hen is a sensible woman," said the doll Bertha. "I don't care for
travelling over mountains, just to go up and come down again. No, let us go to
the sand-pit in front of the gate, and then take a walk in the cabbage garden."
And so they settled it.
"Am I to hear any more stories ?" asked little Hjalmar, as soon as Ole-
Luk-Oie had sent him to sleep.
We shall have no time this evening," said he, spreading out his prettiest
umbrella over the child. "Look at these Chinese," and then the whole
umbrella appeared like a large china-bowl, with blue trees and pointed
bridges, upon which stood little Chinamen nodding their heads. "We
must make all the world beautiful for to-morrow morning," said Ole-
Luk-Oie, "for it will be a holiday, it is Sunday. I must now go to the
church steeple and see if the little sprites who live there have polished the
bells, so that they may sound sweetly. Then I must go into the fields and
see if the wind has blown the dust from the grass and the leaves, and the
most difficult task of all which I have to do, is to take down all the stars
and brighten them up. I have to number them first before I put them in
my apron, and also to number the places from which I take them, so that
they may go back into the right holes, or else they would not remain, and
we should have a number of falling stars, for they would all tumble down
one after the other."
Hark ye Mr. Luk-Oie," said an old portrait which hung on the wall
of Hjalmar's bedroom. Do you know me? I am Hjalmar's great grand-
father. I thank you for telling the boy stories, but you must not confuse
his ideas. The stars cannot be taken down from the sky and polished;
they are spheres like our earth, which is a good thing for them."
"Thank you, old great-grandfather," said Ole-Luk-Oie. I thank you;
you may be the head of the family, as no doubt you are, but I am older
than you. I am an ancient heathen. The old Romans and Greeks named
me the Dream-god. I have visited the noblest houses, and continue to do
so; still I know how to conduct myself both to high and low, and now you
may tell the stories yourself;" and so Ole-Luk-Oie walked off, taking his
umbrellas with him.
"Well, well, one is never to give an opinion, I suppose," grumbled the
portrait. And it woke Hjalmar.
Good evening," said Ole-Luk-Oie.
Hjalmar nodded, and then sprang out of bed, and turned his great-grand-
father's portrait to the wall, so that it might not interrupt them as it had
done yesterday. "Now," said he, "you must tell me some stories about
five green peas that lived in one pod; or of the chickseed that courted the
chickweed; or of the darning needle, who acted so proudly because she
fancied herself an embroidery needle."
THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP. 79
"You may have too much of a good thing," said Ole-Luk-Oie.
You know that I like best to show you something, so I will show you
my brother. He is called Ole-Luk-Oie, but he never visits any one but
once, and when he does come, he takes him away on his horse, and tells
him stories as they ride along. He knows only two stories. One of these
is so wonderfully beautiful, that no one in the world can imagine anything
at all like it; but the other is just as ugly and frightful, so that it would be
impossible to describe it." Then Ole-Luk-Oie lifted Hjalmar up to the,
window. There now, you can see my brother, the other Ole-Luk-Oie;
he is also called Death. You perceive he is not so bad as they represent
him in the picture books; there he is a skeleton, but now his coat is em-
broidered with silver, and he wears the splendid uniform of a hussar, and a
mantle of black velvet flies behind him, over the horse. Look, how he
gallops along." Hjalmar saw, that as this Ole-Luk-Oie rode on, he lifted
up old and young, and carried them away on his horse. Some he seated in
front of him, and some behind, but always inquired first, How stands the
"Good," they all answered.
"Yes, but let me see for myself," he replied; and they were obliged to
give him the books. Then all those who had "Very good," or Exceed-
ingly good," came in front of the horse, and heard the beautiful story; while
those who had "Middling," or "Tolerably good," in their books, were
obliged to sit behind, and listen to the frightful tale. They trembled and
cried, and wanted to jump down from the horse, but they could not
get free, for they seemed fastened to the seat.
Why, Death is a most splendid Luk-Oie," said Hjalmar. I am not in
the least afraid of him."
You need have no fear of him," said Ole-Luk-Oie, "if you take care
and keep a good conduct book."
"Now I call that very instructive," murmured the great-grandfather's
portrait. "It is useful sometimes to express an opinion;" so he was quite
These are some of the doings and sayings of Ole-Luk-Oie. I hope he
may visit you himself this evening, and relate some more.
THE OLD BACHELOR'S NIGHTCAP.
THERE is a street in Copenhagen with a very strange name. It is called
" Hysken" street. Where the name came from, and what it means is very
uncertain. It is said to be German, but this is unjust to the Germans, for
it would then be called Hauschen," and not Hysken." Hauschen,"
means a little house; and for many years it consisted only of a few small
houses, which were scarcely larger than the wooden booths we see in the
market places at a fair time. They were perhaps a little higher, and had
,S HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALE.
windows ; but the panes consisted of horn or bladder-skins, for glass was
then too dear to have glazed windows in every house. This was a long
time ago, so long indeed that our grandfathers, and even great-grandfathers,
would speak of those days as "olden times;" indeed, many centuries have
passed since then.
The rich merchants in Bremen and Lubeck, who carried on trade in
Copenhagen, did not reside in the town themselves, but sent their clerks,
who dwelt in the wooden booths in the Hauschen Street, and sold beer and
spices. The German beer was very good, and there were many sorts-from
Bremen, Prussia, and Brunswick-and quantities of all sorts of spices,
saffron, aniseed, ginger, and especially pepper; indeed pepper was almost
the chief article sold here; so it happened at last that the German clerks in
Denmark got their nickname of pepper gentry." It had been made a
condition with these clerks that they should not marry; so that those who
lived to be old had to take care of themselves, to attend to their own com-
forts, and even to light their own fires, when they had any to light. Many
of them were very aged; lonely old boys, with strange thoughts and
eccentric habits. From this, all unmarried men, who have attained a
certain age, are called, in Denmark, pepper gentry;" and this must be re-
membered, by all those who wish to understand the story. These pepper
gentlemen," or, as they are called in England, "old bachelors," are often
made a butt for ridicule; they are told to put on their nightcaps, draw
them over their eyes, and go to sleep. The boys in Denmark make a song
of it, thus :-
Poor old bachelor, cut your wood,
Such a nightcap was never seen;
Who would think it was ever clean ?
Go to sleep, it will do you good."
So they sing about the pepper gentlemen ;" so do they make sport of the
poor old bachelor and his nightcap, and all because they really know nothing
of either. It is a cap that no one need wish for, or laugh at. And why not ?
Well, we shall hear in the story.
In olden times, Hauschen Street was not paved, and passengers would
stumble out of one hole into another, as they generally do in unfrequented
highways; and the street was so narrow, and the booths leaning against
each other were so close together, that in the summer time a sail would be
stretched across the street from one booth to another opposite. At these
times the odour of the pepper, saffron, and ginger became more powerful
than ever. Behind the counter, as a rule, there were no young men. The
clerks were almost all old boys; but they did not dress as we are ac-
customed to see old men represented wearing wigs, nightcaps, and knee-
breeches, and with coat and waistcoat buttoned up to the chin. We have
seen the portraits of our great-grandfathers dressed in this way; but the
"pepper gentlemen had no money to spare to have their portraits taken,
though one of them would have made a very interesting picture for us now,
if taken as he appeared standing behind the counter, or going to church, or
on holidays. On these occasions they wore high-crowned, broad-brimmed