Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The little mermaid
 The tinderbox
 Little Claus and Big Claus
 A real princess
 Little Ida's flowers
 The naughty boy
 The travelling companion
 The emperor's new clothes
 The marsh king's daughter
 The swineherd
 "She's good for nothing"
 The story of the year
 The rose elf
 The buckwheat
 There's the difference
 The wicked prince
 The wild swans
 The garden of Eden
 The flying trunk
 The girl who trod on a loaf
 The steadfast tin soldier
 The ugly duckling
 The little match girl
 Ib and little Christina
 Oli Lockeye
 Danish Holger
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Group Title: Tales.
Title: The little mermaid and other stories
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082310/00001
 Material Information
Title: The little mermaid and other stories
Uniform Title: Tales
Physical Description: xxiii, 384 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Andersen, H. C ( Hans Christian ), 1805-1875
Bain, R. Nisbet ( Robert Nisbet ), 1854-1909 ( Translator )
Weguelin, J. R ( John Reinhard ), 1849-1927 ( Illustrator )
Lawrence & Bullen ( Publisher )
Richard Clay and Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: Lawrence and Bullen
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: R. Clay and Sons
Publication Date: 1893
Subject: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Fairy tales   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1893   ( lcsh )
Fairy tales -- 1893   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations -- 1893   ( local )
Bldn -- 1893
Genre: Children's stories
Fairy tales   ( rbgenr )
Hand-colored illustrations   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Hans Christian Andersen ; translated by R. Nisbet Bain ; illustrated by J.R. Weguelin.
General Note: Baldwin Library copy illustrations are hand-colored: probably by young owner.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082310
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002222537
notis - ALG2782
oclc - 05882789

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Title Page
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
        Page xxiii
    The little mermaid
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    The tinderbox
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Little Claus and Big Claus
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    A real princess
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Little Ida's flowers
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    The naughty boy
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
    The travelling companion
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    The emperor's new clothes
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    The marsh king's daughter
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
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        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
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        Page 144
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        Page 148
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        Page 150
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        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
    The swineherd
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
    "She's good for nothing"
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
    The story of the year
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    The rose elf
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
    The buckwheat
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
    There's the difference
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
    The wicked prince
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
    The wild swans
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
    The garden of Eden
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
    The flying trunk
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
    The girl who trod on a loaf
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
    The steadfast tin soldier
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
    The ugly duckling
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
    The little match girl
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
    Ib and little Christina
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
    Oli Lockeye
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
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        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
    Danish Holger
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
    Back Matter
        Page 385
        Back Matter 2
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

The Baldwin Library
m .i3s I
























S 37

S 49

S 66

S 69


S 85


S 121

S 175

S 183





S 223

S 238













HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN was born at Odense in Funen on the
2nd of April, 1805. His father was a cobbler, a sensitive, dreamy,
fanciful nature with a strong taste for reading and a passion for
building castles in the air. Hans Christian was, in these respects,
his father's own child, and his peculiarities, set off as they were
by an odd gawkiness and an almost comical ugliness, made the
morbidly self-conscious lad a fair butt for his humble comrades,
whose natural impulse was to ridicule whatever they' could not
understand. Fortunately for his own happiness, his self-confidence
was always in excess of his shyness, and in his fourteenth year,
shortly after being confirmed, he set out to seek his fortune at
the capital.. Here, for a time, he led a sort of vagabond life,
picking up a trifle here and there, as best he could, and sustained
by the fixed idea that his universal genius was bound to succeed
in the long run. The things he attempted seem almost incredible


in these mratter-of-fact days. He danced figure dances before the
most famous dansezse of the capital, who not unnaturally regarded
the queer creature as an escaped lunatic; he sang arias before
the director of the Copenhagen Conservatoire, who gave him sing-
ing lessons there till his voice broke; he wrote high-flown dramas
which were unconscious plagiarisms of Oehlenschliger and Ingemann;
he haunted the back-doors of theatres in hopes of being employed
as a supernumerary, till, at last, the enlightened and sympathetic
Jonas Collin, at that time manager of the Royal Theatre, took pity
on him and represented his case to the King, who readily granted
him a small pension, and sent him, free of charge, to the Latin
-School at Slagelse, about 12-1. Danish miles from Copenhagen. The
pride of the sensitive hobbledehoy of eighteen must have suffered
acutely when he took his place among the little urchins at the bottom
of the lowest form at Slagelse School; but he seems to have suffered
even more from the sarcasms of the rector, Simon Meisling, whose
sense of the ridiculous was never disturbed by any charitable
scruples. In 1826 Meisling was transferred to Elsinore, and with
him Andersen quitted Slagelse-or Plagelse' as he preferred to
call it, "not merely for the rhyme's sake," as he is careful to tell
us. He lodged for a time with Meisling at Elsinore, but master
and pupil never could hit it off together, and Andersen gladly
took advantage of his friend Collin's offer to remove him to
1 Plague.


Copenhagen, where his education was privately completed by the
theologian Ludwig Christian Mtillcr. It was at Elsinore that
Andersen composed his first poem, "The Dying Child," which,
with some others in Heine's manner, was printed in the celebrated
Flying Post of Copenhagen. His first important work was the
Fodreise fra Holmens canal til Ostpynten af Amager Aarene,
1828 og 1829 ("Tour on Foot from Holm's Canal to Amager,
1828-29"), a humorously fantastic itinerary, clearly written
under the influence of Hoffmann's Fantasiestiicken. Although
superficial and pedantic, it is not without a delicate irony and some
fine touches of that naive childlike fancy which was one day to
make the young author famous. The Fodreise was received
with favour. Even such an Aristarchus as Heiberg wrote it up
in the Flying Post. A comic vaudeville, entitled Kjarlighed
paa Nicolai Taarn (" Love on Nicholas' Tower"), which appeared
a couple of months later, was also successful. It was a
smart parody on the high-flying, heroic dramas of the day
and many began to see a future satirist of promise in
the young author. But an unhappy love affair at this time,
from which he never seems to have quite recovered, turned
him aside from the affectation of cynicism which he had
borrowed from Heine, and his next work, a collection of poems
entitled Phadtasier og Skizzer ("Fantasies and Sketches"),
1831, was the most natural thing he had yet written It


was now too, that he met with his first literary reverse.

The great satirist. Baggesen, in -his famous polemical poem,

Gjengangeren (" Spectre"), did not spare even Andersen, and

the latter's irregular, defective prosody and frequent solecisms

were hit off in the following stinging lines:

"Drunk with the thin small-beer of Fancy,
And mounted on Slagelsian Nancy,
The Muses' ancient, night-mare hack,
With drooping flanks and broken back,
Behold Saint Andersen comes riding,
Whom the unlettered mob takes pride in.
They hold him-their applause show it-
For quite a prophet of a poet "

Such ridicule in the leading critical periodical of. the day

Andersen never could forget. His morbidly sensitive vanity always

saw a deliberate insult, an irreparable calamity in the lightest, the

mildest criticism, whilst even the grossest praise from the most

incompetent admirers used to raise him into the seventh heaven

of rapture. No man moreover was ever a worse judge of his
own writings. He always regarded his latest, as his incomparably

best -work, and the childish enthusiasm with which he raved

about his own favourite productions drew down upon him all

manner of ridicule, which was so much torture to him. It was

well for him that he had such an asylum at. this time as the


Collins' house, where he was always treated as a member of the
family, and within whose patriarchal walls his sickly fancies and
morbid broodings were always met by wise remonstrance or good-
humoured badinage. His frequent. foreign tours moreover (he
was as much a bird of passage as his prime favourite, the Stork) did
much to take him out of himself. His first little excursion was
made in 1831 to North Germany, and he has left us an account
of it in the charming Skyggebilder af en Reisen til Halrzen
("Silhouettes of a Journey to the Harz.") His second tour
(1833), at the expense of the State, took in Germany,
France, Switzerland and Italy. At Rome, where he lived on
the most friendly terms with his literary opponent Hertz, and in
daily intercourse with the Scandinavian artist colony, whose leading
spirit was Thorvaldsen, he began his first novel, Improvisatoren,
which was published in 1835. The hero, .a young Improvisatore
who fights his way to the front in the face of adverse
circumstances and unjust neglect, is transparently the author
himself, and the same may be said. of the heroes of the
subsequent novels, 0. T. (1836) and Kun en Spillemand
1837 (" Only a Fiddler "). All three romances show Andersen at
his best and at his worst. What we may call the scaffolding of the
story, the descriptions of nature, the impressions of travel, the
humorous episodes, and the fanciful observations of men and things
are admirable; but the characterisation is generally feeble and the


exalted sensitiveness and omnipresent egotism of the author are
disturbing elements.
A few months after the appearance of Improvisatoren,

Andersen had published a little volume of tales for children con-
taining "The Tinder-box," "Little Claus and Big Claus," "The
Princess on the Pea and Little Ida's Flowers," which was to be the
foundation of his future fame. "After a long fumbling about," a
great critichas finely said,1 after many years of aimless wander-
ing . Andersen found himself standing, one '-~viing, outside a
little unpretentious but. mysterious door, the door of Fairy-Tale; he
touched it, it flew open, and he saw, -1.rkling inside there in the
darkness, the little tinder-box which was to be his Aladdin's lamp.
He struck fire with it and the Spirits of. the Lamp-the dogs with
the eyes like tea-cups, like mill-wheels, and like the Round Tower-
stood by him and brought him the three huge chests full of all the
fairy copper money, silver money and gold money. The first fairy
tale was there and it drew all the others after it. Happy the
man who finds his right tinder-box !"
"I have begun upon some tales as told to children," wrote
Andersen on this occasion to a friend, "and I fancy I have succeeded.
I have given [the public] a copy of the fairy tales which used to
please me when I was little and which are not known, I think. I
have written them just as if I were telling them to a child." It is
1 G. Brandes Kritiker og Portraiter.


remarkable that Andersen should from the very first have so closely
set before him what was to be the essential peculiarity of his fairy
tales distinguishing them sharply from all others. All previous
fairy tales had been written for children, his were told to them. His
tales appealed directly to the childish fancy, they accommodated
themselves absolutely to the child's point of view, to that faculty of
childhood which animates and personifies everything in nature.
That this was the right way to tell a fairy-tale there can be no
doubt, but its very novelty struck the public at first as odd and
eccentric. People thought them rather childish than childlike-" un
peu trop enfantin," perhaps, as Professor Brandes' young Frenchman
considered them-and so far as they were noticed by the press at all,
they were noticed unfavourably. Only a single eye saw more
deeply into the matter, but that eye happened to be the clearest in
Denmark. Hans Christian Orsted assured Andersen that while the

Improvisatoren would make him famous, the fairy tales would make
him immortal. They are," said Orsted, "the most perfect things
you have yet written." The readily impressionable Andersen,
however, was at first rather inclined to believe the verdict of the
Public. He regarded the little fairy tales," he said, as "a juggler's
sleight of hand with Fancy's golden apples." He meant to make
his reputation by "greater works." The first modest -collection of
fairy tales was, nevertheless regularly followed by subsequent
little companion volumes, the public gradually got to like them, and


its respect for them increased vastly when the actors at the Royal
Theatre condescended to recite them from the stage.
These "greater works which chiefly occupied Andersen at the
time of the appearance of the first fairy tales were, besides the
novels already mentioned, the romantic drama, The Mulatto and
the tragedy The Moorish Girl (1840), both of which were ap-
plauded indeed by playgoers, but fiercely assailed by the critics.
Heiberg in his Aristophanic comedy, A Soul after Death, placed
both plays in the repertoire of Triviality in Hell, and his satiric lash
drove the smarting dramatist away from Denmark again. This
time Andersen visited Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Hungary,
subsequently describing his impressions in the exquisite little col-
lection of tales and sketches En Digters Bazar (" A Poet's
Bazar"), 1842. Fresh tours to Paris and North Germany quickly
followed, while in the summer-time, Andersen usually stayed, a
welcome guest, at the country houses of the gentry in Zealand
and Funen. He-was also frequently a guest of King Christian VIII.
at Fdhr. In 1846 he produced his one good comedy, Den nye
Barselstue (" The New Lying-in Room"), in Holberg's vein, which
appeared anonymously and was enthusiastically applauded by critics
and public alike, Much less successful were his epic poem Ash-
uerus, an aphoristic series of historical tableaux from the birth of
Christ to the discovery of America (1848), and his romance, The
Two Baronesses (1849). From 1850 to the end of his life Andersen


was constantly on the move, scouring Europe from north to south
and from east to west, venturing even to Barbary, and only pre-
vented from accepting an invitation to America for fear of crossing
the ocean, especially as a dear lady friend of his had predicted
his death on the other side under mysteriously terrifying
circumstances. *

Andersen celebrated his fiftieth birthday by publishing (1855)

Mit Livs Eventyr ("The Story of My Life"), perhaps the most

subjective autobiography ever written. This work, with its

subsequent supplements and his correspondence, edited three years
after his death by Bille and Bagh, are the documents upon which
his future biographer (for he has not yet found one) must
mainly depend. In the latter years of his life, Andersen
dabbled in metaphysics to the decided detriment of his
literary reputation. The last and worst of his novels, At

vcere eller ikke vcere (" To Be or Not to Be"), is an
ambitious attempt to combat the materialistic view of life and
"reconcile Nature and the Bible." Andersen, with his usual

enthusiasm for his latest production, confidently expected that this
work would completely revolutionize modern thought, but it fell

flat. Some of the later fairy tales also suffer slightly from the
author's well-meaning but mistaken efforts to settle the most
difficult problems of life on purely speculative grounds.
In 1875, on the occasion of Andersen's seventieth birthday, his



beautiful Story of a Mother was'published in fifteen languages at
Copenhagen. Andersen was now as full of honours as of years.
All his youthful ambitions had been more than gratified. He had
a distinguished title and no end of orders of knighthood, both native
and foreign; he was the personal friend of his sovereign and the
darling of the people ; he had obtained the freedom of his native
city, and finally had the unusual but not unpleasant experience
of sitting for the statue which was to be raised to him in the capital.
His joy on this occasion was, however, considerably dashed because
the sculptor had, in the first instance, represented him surrounded
by a group of listening children against which appendage he
protested with whimsical but characteristic vehemence. Not one
of the sculptors," he complains, seems to know that I never could
tell tales whenever anyone is sitting behind me, or close up to me,
still less.when I have children in my lap, or on my back, or young
Copenhageners leaning right against me. To call me 'the children's
poet' is a mere figure of speech. My aim has always been to be the
poet of elder people of all sorts: children alone cannot represent me."
Nevertheless it is as the children's poet that Andersen has now his
truest and most enduring fame. His dramatic works are forgotten;
his poems are unimportant; his novels never read; but his fairy
tales will live as long as there is such a thing as Literature at all.
Andersen died on the 4th August, 1875, at his country house,
Rolighed," near Copenhagen, surrounded by loving and sorrowing



friends. Despite his weaknesses and peculiarities he was beloved
as few have been.

The ideal translation of the fairy tales is Victor Rydberg's
monumental version, but that it should be so, was, apart from the
peculiar genius of the translator, only to be expected considering
that the idioms of the two Scandinavian languages are almost
identical.' Some of the German translations are also very good.
In no country, however, is Andersen so well known and so highly

appreciated as in England, though here, unfortunately, he has not
been very happy in his translators. Omitting school editions and
minor selections, there are, roughly speaking, ten English versions
and of these (taking them, as far as possible, by order of merit) the
earliest is still, on the whole and as far as it goes, the best. We
allude, of course, to the ten tales translated by Mrs. Howitt
(Wondegful Tales, 1846). Mrs. Howitt's Danish is miserably

faulty; occasionally she commits blunders which would be the ruin
of the average translator now-a-days ;1 but nobody ever caught the
spirit of Andersen as she has done; she is both loyally literal and
fearlessly free as occasion. demands; while her masterly rendering
of those extremely difficult nonsense rhymes in "Ole Lukoie"
beginning: Vor Sang skall koomme some en Vind," is an un-
approachable model for all future translators. Another excellent
1 e.g. In Ole Luk'ie," der gjorde cour til" is translated who cured,"
instead of who courted." The word court might have suggested that this was
one of Andersen's frequent Gallicisms, i.e. "faisait la court ."


minor collection (it consists of but eight of the best stories)
is the beautifully printed and gorgeously illustrated 4to of
1872 (Sampson Low), by H. L. D. Ward and A. Plesner.
Their knowledge of Danish, though not always above reproach,
is more thorough than Mrs. Howitt's; but their English, though
very good, is somewhat tawdry beside hers, and, where comparison
is possible, we in nine cases out of ten prefer the language of the
modest little 16mo of 1846 to the language of its magnificent
successor. By far the ablest of the larger collections is certainly
Madame de Chatelain's translation (Routledge, 1852). This lady,
who had considerable experience as a translator, is scrupulously
exact and painstaking; her English too, is pure and simple, and her
knowledge of Danish much more intimate than that of any
other of Andersen's translators. All the remaining English versions
of Andersen are distinctly inferior to the first three. Least
irritating, perhaps, are the numerous and well-known versions of
Mr. Dulcken, to whom the British public owes its first complete
Andersen. Mr. Dulcken evidently knows Danish very well,
though his slavish literalness constantly reminds us of the
fact that we are reading a translation. His English also
leaves very much to be desired. Still less can we commend
the English of Mr. Sievert's version (Sampson Low, 1887).
Even when accurate (and he is generally accurate) he
repeatedly vulgarises his original, and not infrequently both


garbles the more difficult and debases the more beautiful passages.
I am also inclined to think, from internal evidence, that he owes
something to Rydberg's Swedish version. Of Mrs. Paull's version

(Warne, 1882) we can only say that it is feebly accurate and wildly
slipshod. The humour of Andersen, always his strong point, is
frequently missed altogether; but the translator compensates us
somewhat by an unconscious humour of her own, especially remark-
able in her notes, which reveal a perfect genius for blundering. The
numerous anonymous versions published by Messrs. Ward, Lock
and Co. are fairly correct, but their English is, generally speaking,
wooden and wayward. Nevertheless they are preferable to the
translations (1846, 1852, Bohn) for which Miss Peachey is
responsible. Other translators may misunderstand and therefore
misinterpret their Andersen: Miss Peachey presumes to beautify and
even bowdlerise him. In The Tinder-Box," the dog that had the

gold is expanded into the monstrous guardian of the golden
treasure." The soldier, who, by the way, puts up not at an inn, but

at a hotel, is so modest that he "kneels down and kisses the
Princess's hand." This will be news to Andersen's admirers. We
remember that the Queen, in the same story, is described as a wise
woman who could do something more than ride in a coach." Miss
Peachey is careful to add, and look very grand and condescending."
Four adjectives suffice Andersen for describing the little match-girl's

grandmother: Miss Peachey requires three sentences. Mr. Wehnert,


however (Bell, 1869), is still more presumptuous, for his fondness for
big words goes hand-in-hand with a perfect mania for moralising.
Andersen himself would scarcely recognize The Wild Swans when
it emerges from beneath Mr. Wehnert's deforming pen. The
heroine, poor Elisa, to take but a few instances, leans against the
stump of a tree "which in all probability had been destroyed by
lightning." When she plaits her hair it is simply but prettily."
When-her elder brother tells her they must all fly away on the
inorrow, the other ten confirmed these words with evident emotion."
Elisa puts her trust not in God but in the Ruler of the destinies

of man "-all the italicised words being of course gratuitous em-
bellishments of the translator. The ne plus ultra of pretentious
pedantry, however, is reached by Mr. Gardiner (Heywood, 1889),
who takes unheard-of liberties with his text; devotes a note of ten
lines to prove that the boots which the old Court lady in The
Tinder-Box wore were goloshes, and substitutes the name Ludvig
for that of Hjalmar in Ole Lukoie," "as conveying the general
idea of the original; and also because a foreign name better suits
the spirit of the story."
It seems strange at first sight, that most of the English ver-
sions of Andersen should be so inadequate, for Andersen is, on the
whole, anything but a difficult writer.. We. may go further, and say
that no writer of equal genius can bear to be so literally translated
into English as he. His meaning is, generally, transparently ob-



vious and his Danish is perfectly simple and straightforward. It is

never paradoxical like Kiekegaard's, or elusively subtle like Jacob-
sen's, or obscurely concentrated like Ibsen's and Bjdrnson's. How is
it then that he has fared so ill at the hands of his English trans-
lators ? The reason seems to me a want of reverence on their part,

a feeling that he was, after all, a mere teller of fairy tales, of trifles
which might be Englished anyhow and by anybody. Translators
who approach the great Dane in such a profane spirit are bound to
fail. They have no sense for the quaint conceits, the delicate
nuances, the, child-like naevet and the lightsome bird-like humour
which are of the very essence of his simple but unique art. They
must become children again themselves before they can hope to
understand him.




("The Little Mermaid," written in 1836, "Thumbelisa," and "Little Ida's
Flowers" were the first original stories that Andersen wrote. The
immortal Tinder-Box" is a good old nursery-tale re-told as only Andersen
could re-tell it.)
FAR out in the sea the water is as blue as the leaves of the
loveliest cornflower and as clear as the purest glass, but it is very
deep, deeper than ever anchor yet reached; many church-towers
would have to be piled one on the top of the other to reach right up
from the bottom to the surface of the water. Down there dwell
the Sea-folk. Now you must by no means fancy that there is
nothing there but a bare white sandbank; no, the most wondrous trees
and plants grow there, the stalks and leaves of which are so supple
that they move to and fro at the least motion of the water, just as
if they were living beings. All the fish, small and great, dart about
among the branches just as the birds do in the air up here. In the
deepest spot of all lies the Sea-King's palace. The walls are of coral
and the long, pointed windows of the clearest sort of amber, but
the roof is of mussel-shells which open and shut according as the
water flows; it looks lovely, for in every one of the shells lies
a gli.t-ili.: i per1. Any one of these pearls would be the glory of a
Queen's crown.


The Sea-King down there had been a widower for many years,
but his old mother kept house for him; she was a wise woman, but
proud of her noble birth, and that was why she always went about
with twelve oysters on her tail, the other notabilities being only
allowed to carry six. Nevertheless she was very popular, especially
because she doated upon the little sea-princesses, her grand-
daughters. They were six pretty children, but the youngest
was the loveliest of them all; her skin was as delicately tinted
as a rose leaf, her eyes as blue as the deepest lake, but, like all the
others, she had no feet, her body ended in a fish's tail. The
livelong day they used to play in the palace down there in the great
saloon where living flowers grew out of the walls. The large amber
windows were opened and so the fishes swam into them just as the
swallows fly in to us when we open our windows, but the fishes
swam right up to the little princesses, ate out of their hands and
let themselves be patted.
Outside the palace was a large garden full of blood-red and
dark blue trees; the fruits there shone like gold, and the flowers like
burning fire, arid the stalks and leaves were always moving to and
fro. The soil itself was of the finest sand, but as blue as sulphur-
flames. A wondrous blue gleam lay over everything down there;
one would be more inclined to fancy that one stood high up in the
air and saw nothing but sky above and beneath than that one
was at the bottom of the sea. During a calm, too, one could catch
a glimpse of the sun; it looked like a purple flower from the cup of
which all light streamed forth.
Every one of the little princesses had her own little garden-
plot where she could dig and plant as. she liked; one gave her


flower-plot the form of a whale, another preferred hers to look like
a little mermaid, but the youngest made hers quite round like the
sun and would only have flowers which shone red like it. She was
a strange child, silent and pensive, and when the other sisters
adorned their gardens with the strangest thingl, which they got
from stranded vessels, all that she would have, besides the rosy-red
flowers which resembled the sun up above, was a pretty marble
statue of a lovely- boy, hewn out of bright white stone, which
had sunk to the bottom of the sea during a shipwreck. She
planted by this statue a i:isy-r-.::- weeping willow, it grew splendidly
and hung over the statue with its fresh branches, right down towards
the blue sandy bottom where the shadows took a violet hue and
moved to and fro like the branches; it looked as if roots and
tree-top were pl.aiing, at kissing each other.
Her greatest joy was to hear about the world of mankind up
above. She made her old grandmother tell her all she knew about
ships and towns, men and beasts; and what especially struck her as
wonderfully nice was that the flowers which grew upon the earth
should give forth fragrance, which they did not do at the bottom of
the sea ; and that the woods there were green and the fish which
were to be seen there among the branches could sing so loudly and
beautifully that it was a joy to listen to them; it was the little
birds that her grandmother called fishes, they would not otherwise
have understood her, for they had never seen a bird
"When you have reached your fifteenth year," said her grand-
mother, "you shall have leave to duck up out of the sea and sit in
the moonshine on the rocks and see the big ships which sail by;
woods and cities you shall also see."


In the following year one of the sisters would befifteen years
old, but how about the others ? Each one was a year younger than
the one before, and so the youngest had to wait five whole years
before she could come up from the bottom of the sea and see how
things are with us. But each one had promised to tell the others
what she had seen and what' she had thought the loveliest on the

-.~9e- _.y .-. r-

first day; for their grandmother did not tell them half enough,
there was so much they wanted to know about.
None of them was so full of longing as the youngest, just the
very one who had the longest time to wait and was so silent and
pensive. Many a time she stood by the open window and looked
up through the dark blue water where the fishes steered about with
their fins and tails. She could see the moon and stars; of course,
they shone quite faintly, but at the same time they looked twice as


large through the water as they look to us, and when something like
a dark cloud glided across them, she knew that it was either a
whale swimming over them, or else a ship with many people on
board; they certainly never dreamt that a pretty little mermaid
stood down below and stretched her white arms up towards
the keel.
And now the eldest princess was fifteen years, old and might
ascend to the surface of the water. When she came back she had
hundreds of things to tell about, but the nicest of all, she'said, was
to lie in the moonshine on a sandbank in the calm sea, and see,
close by the shore, the large town where the lights were twinkling,
like hundreds of stars, and hear the music and the noise and bustle
of carts and men, and look at the many church towers and spires,
and hear the bells ringing; it was just because she could not go
ashore that she longed so for all these things.
Oh how the youngest sister listened, and ever afterwards,
when she stood in the evening close by the open window, and
looked up through the dark blue water, she thought of the great
city with all its noise and bustle, and then she thought she heard
the church bells ringing down where she was.
The .next year the second sister got leave to mount up through
the water and swim where she liked. She ducked up just as the
sun was going down and she thought that the prettiest sight of all.
The whole sky had looked like gold, she said, and the clouds-well,
their beauty she absolutely could not describe. All red and violet
they had sailed right over her; but far quicker than they, a flock of
wild swans had flown right over the place where the sun stood, like
a long white veil; she also swam towards the sun, but it sank; and


the rosy gleam it left behind it was swallowed up by the sea and
the clouds.
A year after that the third sister came up to the surface; she
was the boldest of them all, so she swam up a broad river which ran
into the sea. She saw pretty green hillocks with vines around
them, castles and country houses peeped forth from among the


woods; she heard all the birds singing and the sun shone so hotly
that she frequently had to duck down under the water to cool her
burning face. In a little creek she came upon a whole swarm of
human children ; they were running about quite naked and splashing
about in the water. She wanted to play with them but they ran
away in terror, and a little black beast came up. It was a dog, but



she had never seen a dog before; it barked so savagely at her that
she got frightened and sought the open sea again, but never could
she forget the splendid woods, the green heights and the pretty
children who could swim in the water although they had no fishes'
The fourth sister was not so bold; she remained- out in the
middle of the wild sea and said that that was the nicest of all; you
could see for miles and miles round about, and the sky above stood
there just like a large glass bell. Ships she had seen too, but far
away they looked like sea-mews; the merry dolphins had turned
somersaults and the big whales had spirted water up out of their
nostrils, so that it looked like hundreds of fountains playing
all around.
And now it was the turn of the fifth sister. Her birthday
happened to be in the winter time, and therefore she saw what the
others had not seen the first time. The sea took quite a green
colour and round about swam huge icebergs; each one looked like a
pearl, she said, and yet was far larger than the church towers which
men build. They showed themselves in the strangest shapes and
gleamed like diamonds. She had sat upon one of the largest, and
all vessels had cruised far out of their reach in terror while she sat
there and let* the blast flutter her long streaming hair; but
towards evening the sky was overcast with clouds, it thundered and
lightened while the black sea lifted the large ice-blocks high up and
let them shine in the strong glare of the lightning. On all the
ships they took in the sails; distress and horror were there, but she
sat calmly on her -swimming iceberg and saw the blue thunderbolts
strike down in zigzags into the shining sea.


The first time any of the sisters rose to the surface of the
water she was always enraptured at the new and beautiful things
she saw, but when they now, as grown-up girls, had leave to go up
whenever they chose, they became quite indifferent about it; they
longed for home, and in about a month's time or so would say that
it was nicest of all down below, for there one felt so thoroughly
at home.
Very often in the evenings the five sisters would take each
other's arms and mount up in a group to the surface of the water;
they had nice voices, sweeter than any human voice, and when it
was blowing a gale and they had good reason to believe that a ship
might be lost, they would swim before that ship and sing so sweetly
of how pleasant it was at the bottom of the sea, and bid the sailors not
be afraid to come down. But the sailors could not understand their
words. They fancied it was the storm, nor did they ever get to sec
any of the beautiful things down below, for when the ship sank the
crew were drowned and only came as dead men to the Sea-King's
Now when her sisters thus ascended, arm in arm, high up
through the sea, the little sister would remain behind all alone and
look up after them, and she felt as if she must cry; but the mermaid
has no tears and so she suffers all the more.
Oh, if only I were fifteen years old said she. "I know that
I shall quite get to love the world up above there and the men wxno.
live and dwell there."
And at last she was fifteen years old.
Well, now at last we have you off our hands," said her
grandmother, the old Queen Dowager. "Come here and let me


make you look nice like your sisters," and she placed a wreath of
white lilies on her hair, but every petal in every flower was the half
of a pearl, and the old lady made eight large oysters cling fast on
to the Princess's tail to show her high rank.
But it hurts me so !" said the little mermaid.
"Yes, one must suffer a little for the sake. of appearances,"
said the old lady.
Oh, how much she would have liked to have torn off all this
finery and laid aside her heavy wreath, the little red flowers from
her garden suited her much better; but she dared not do it.
"Farewell!" she said and mounted, light and bright as a bubble,
up through the water.
I The sun had just gone down as she lifted her head above the
sea, but all the clouds were still shining like roses and gold, and in
the midst of the pale pink sky sparkled the evening star, so
clear and lovely. The air was mild and fresh and the sea as still as
a mirror. A black ship with three masts lay upon it, only a single
sail was up, for not a breath of wind was stirring and the sailors were
sprawling all about on the masts and rigging. Music and singing were
going on, and as the evening grew darker hundreds of variegated lamps
were lit; it looked as if the flags of all nations were waving in the
air. The little mermaid swam right up to the cabin window and
every time the water raised her in the air she could look in through
the mirror-bright panes where so many stylishly-dressed people were
standing. The handsomest of them all was certainly the young
Prince with the large black eyes (he could not have been more than
sixteen years old); it was his birthday and that was why they were
making all this display. The sailors were dancing upon the deck,


and when the young Prince stepped out, more than a hundred
rockets rose into the air; they shone as bright as day, so that the
little mermaid was quite frightened and ducked down beneath the
water, but she soon stuck up her head again and then it was as if all
the stars of heaven were falling down to her. Never had she -seen
such fire-works. Large suns whizzed round and round, splendid
fiery fish swung about in the blue air, and everything was reflected
back from the clear, calm sea. On the ship itself it was so light
that you could see every little rope and spar, to say nothing of the
men. But oh! how lovely the young Prince was, and how he
pressed people's hands and laughed and smiled while the music
sounded through the lovely night.
It grew late, but the little mermaid could not tear her eyes
away from the ship and the handsome Prince. The variegated
lights were put out. No more rockets rose into the air, no more
salvos were fired, but deep down in the sea there was a murmuring
and a roaring. She meanwhile sat upon the water and rocked up
and down with it so that she could look into the cabin. But the
ship now took a swifter course, one sail spread out after the other,
the roll of the billows grew stronger, it lightened far away. Oh !
there will be a frightful storm, that is why the sailors are now
reefing the sails. The huge ship rocked to and fro as it flew along
the wild ocean; the water rose like big black mountains, which
would roll right over the masts, but the ship ducked like a swan
down among the lofty billows and let herself be lifted up again on
the towering water. The little mermaid thought it rich sport, but
not so the sailors; the ship strained and cracked, the thick
planks bent at the violent shock of the sea, the mast snapped


right in the middle like a reed, and the ship heeled over
on her side while the water rushed into the cabin. And now the
little mermaid saw that they were in danger, she herself had to
beware of the spars and wreckage of the ship which drove along
upon the water. For a moment it was so pitch dark that she could
see nothing at all, but when it lightened it was bright enough for

V ".

-. *, :

her to see everything on the ship. Everybody there was tumbling
about anyhow. She looked out for the young Prince especially and
she saw him, when the ship went to pieces, sink down into the deep
sea. She immediately became quite delighted, for now he would
come down to her, but then it occurred to her that men cannot live
in the water and that it was only as a corpse that he could reach


her father's palace. Die he must not, oh no; and so she swam
among the spars and planks which were drifting about on the sea,
quite forgetting that they might have crushed her, ducked down
beneath the water and rose aloft again on the billows; and so, at last,
she came up to the young Prince, who could scarcely swim a bit
more in the raging sea. His arms and legs began to fail him, his
beautiful eyes closed, he must have died if the little mermaid had
not come up. She held his head above the water and let the billows
drive him and her wherever they listed.
When morning dawned the storm had-passed away, but not
a fragment of the ship was to be seen. The sun rose so red
and shining above the water, it seemed as if the Prince's cheeks
regained the hue of life, but his eyes remained closed. The
mermaid kissed his lofty handsome brow and stroked back his
wet locks. He looked just like the marble statue down in her
little garden; she kissed him again and wished that he might live.
And now she saw in front of her the mainland, the lofty blue
mountains, on the summits of which the snow shone as if it
were swans that lay there; down on the shore were lovely
green woods and right in front lay a church or cloister, she did
not exactly know what it was, but it was a building of some
sort. Lemon and oranges trees grew in the garden there, and
in front of the gate stood tall palm-trees. The sea formed a
little creek here, it was quite calm but very deep, right up to
the very cliff where the sea had washed up the fine white sand;
thither she swam with the handsome Prince and laid him on
the sand, taking particular care that his head should lie high in
the warm sunshine.


And now the bells in the large white building fell a-ringing,
and a number of young girls came walking through the garden.
Then the little mermaid swam further out behind some lofty
rocks which towered up out of the water, laid sea foam on her
hair and breast that no one might see her face, and watched to
see who would come to the poor Prince.
It was not very long before a young girl came by that
way; she appeared quite frightened when she saw him, but only
for a moment. Then she went and brought a lot of people, and
the mermaid saw that the Prince came to life again, and smiled
on all around him, but he did not send a smile to her, for of
course he did not know that she had saved him. She felt so
grieved that when he was carried away into the large building
she ducked down under the water full of sorrow and sought
her father's palace.
She had always been silent and pensive, but now she
became still more so. Her sisters asked her what she had seen
up there the first time, but she told them nothing. Many a
morning and many an evening she ascended to the spot where she
had seen the Prince. She saw how the fruits of the garden
ripened and were plucked, she saw how the snow melted upon
the lofty mountains, but the Prince she did not see, and therefore
she returned home more and more sorrowful every time. Her
only consolation was to sit in the little garden and wind her
arms round the pretty marble statue which was so like the Prince.
But she did not attend to her flowers at all; they grew as if in
a wilderness right over the paths and wreathed their long
stalks and leaves among the branches of the trees till it was


quite gloomy there. At last she could endure it no longer, but
told it to one of her sisters, and so all the others immediately
got to know about it; but no one else knew it save they and
a couple of other mermaids, who told it to nobody but their
closest friends. One of these knew who the Prince was and all
about him; she had also seen the merry-making on board the
ship and knew whence he was and where his kingdom lay.
Come, little sister !" said the other Princesses, and with their
arms around each other's shoulders, they rose in a long row
above the water in the place where they knew the Prince's palace
lay. This palace was built of a light yellow glistening sort of
stone with large marble staircases, one of which went straight
down into the sea. Gorgeous gilded cupolas rose above the roof,
and between the columns, which went round about the whole
building, stood marble statues which looked like living beings.
Through the clear glass in the lofty windows you looked into
magnificent rooms hung with costly silk curtains and tapestries,
and all the walls were adorned with large pictures, so that it
was quite a pleasure to look at them. In the midst of the
largest room plashed a large fountain, the water-jets rose high
into the air towards the, glass cupola, through which the sun
shone upon the water and upon the beautiful plants which grew
in the huge basin.
So now she knew where he dwelt, and many an evening and
night she rose upon the water there. She swam much nearer
to the land than any of the others had ventured to do; nay, she
went right up the narrow canal, beneath the magnificent marble
balcony which cast a long shadow across the water. Here she


used to sit and look at the young Prince, who fancied he was
quite alone in the bright moonshine.
Many an evening she saw him sail with music in his splendid
boat where the banners waved; she peeped forth from the green
rushes, and when the wind played with her long silvery white
veil and people saw it, they fancied it was a swan lifting
its wings.
Many .a night when the fishermen were fishing by torch-light
on the sea, she heard them speaking so well of the young Prince,
and she was glad that she had saved his life when he was drifting
half dead upon the billows, and she thought how fast his head had
rested on her breast, and how ardently she then had kissed him;
he knew nothing at all about it, he could not even dream
about her.
And so she got to love mankind more and more, more and
more she desired to be among them. Their world seemed to her
far grander than her own; why, they could fly across the sea in
ships, ascend the lofty mountains high above the clouds, and the
lands they called their own extended with their woods and
meadows farther than her eye could reach. There was so much
she would have liked to know, but her sisters would not answer
everything she asked, and therefore she asked her old grandmother,
for she knew all about the upper world, which she very correctly
called the lands above the sea.
When men don't drown," asked the little mermaid, can they
live for ever ? Don't they die as we do down in the sea here ?"
Yes," said the old grandmother, they also must die; and
indeed their life is even shorter than ours. We can last for three


hundred years, but when at last we do cease to be, we become mere
foam upon the water, we have not even a grave down here among
our dear ones. We have no immortal soul; we never live again;
we are like the green rushes, if once they be cut down, they
cannot grow green again. Men, on the other hand, have souls
which always live-live when the body has become earth; they rise
up through the clear air, right up to the shining stars; just as we
duck up out of the sea and see the lands of men, so they mount
up to beautiful unknown places of which we shall never catch
a glimpse."
Why have not we got an immortal soul ? said the little
mermaid sorrowfully. "I would, give. all the hundreds of years
I have to live to be a human being but for a single day that so
I might have my portion in the w'ild above the sky! "
"You must not bother your head about that!" said
the old irandrii.:thl.r. '"we have a much better and happier lot
than mankind up --there."
"'So I am to die and scud away like foam upon the sea,
hear no more the music of the billows, see. no more the pretty
flowers and the red sun. Can I then do nthiii- at all to win
an immortal soul ?"
S" No !". said, the old: grandmother, only, if a man got to
love thee so -dearly that thou wert more to him than father or
mother, if he clave to thee with all his heart and soul, and let
the priest lay his right hand in thine and vow fidelity to thee
here and in all eternity, then his soul would flow over into thy
body and thou wouldst have thy portion of human bliss. He
would have given thee a soul, and yet have kept his own. But

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that can never be! The very thing that is so pretty in the sea
here, thy fish's tail, is looked upon as hideous upon earth; they
don't know any better. Up there one must have a couple of clumsy
columns called feet to be thought handsome!"
Then the little mermaid -sighed and looked sorrowfully at
her fish's tail.
Let us be content with our lot, said the old grandmother,
"we'll hop and skip about to our hearts' content in the three
hundred years we have to live in. Upon my word we have a
nice long time of it, and after it is all over one can rest all the
more contentedly in one's grave.1 We'll have a court ball this very
evening !"
And indeed it was a gorgeous sight such as one never sees
on earth. The walls and ceiling of the vast dancing-hall were
of glass, thick but clear. Many hundreds of colossal shells,
rosy red and grass-green, stood in rows on each side full of a blue
blazing fire which lit up the whole saloon and shone right through
the walls so that the sea beyond them was quite illuminated.
You could see all the countless fishes, both small and great,
swimming towards the glass walls; the shells of some of them
shone purple red, the shells of others seemed like gold and silver.
In the midst of the saloon flowed a broad running stream, and
on this danced the mermen and the mermaids to their own
pretty songs. Such lovely voices are unknown on earth. The
little mermaid sang sweetest of them all and' they clapped her
loudly, arid for a moment her heart was glad, for she knew that

1 The old grandmother's memory here played her false. She forgot that
there are no graves at the bottom of the sea.


she had the loveliest voice of all creatures on the earth or in the
sea. But very soon she began once more to think of the world
above her; she could not forget the handsome Prince and her
sorrow at not possessing, like him, an immortal soul. So she
stole quietly out of her father's palace, and while everything
there was mirth and melody, she sat full of sorrow in her little
Sa'd,:i. Then she heard the bugle-horn ringing down through
the water and she thought, "Now I know he is sailing up there,
he whom I love more than father or mother, he to whom the
thoughts of my heart cleave and in whose hands I would
willingly lay my life's happiness. Everything will I venture to win
him and an immortal soul! While my sisters are dancing within
my' father's palace, I will go to the sea-witch; I have always
been frightened of her, but she, perchance, may help and
counsel me."
So the little mermaid went out of her own sea right towards
the raging whirlpool behind which the witch dwelt. She had
never gone that way before. No flowers, no sea-grasses grew there,
only the bare grey sandy bottom stretched out towards the whirl-
pools where the water, like a rushing mill-wheel, whirled round and
round, tearing everything it caught hold of away with it into the
deep; she had to go right through the midst of these buffeting whirl-
pools to get to the sea-witch's domain, and here, for a, long stretch,
there was no other way than across hot bubbling mire which the
witch called her turf moss. Right behind lay her house in the
midst of a strange wood. All the trees and bushes were polypi,
half animal, half vegetable, they looked like hundred-headed serpents
growing out of the earth; all their branches were long slimy


arms, with fingers like supple snakes, and joint by joint they
were twisting and twirling from the roots to the outermost tips
of their branches. Everything in the sea which they could catch
hold of they wound themselves about and never let go of it

again. The little Princess was quite terrified and remained
standing outside there; her heart thumped for fear, she was
very near turning back again, but then she thought of the Prince
and of the human soul, and her courage came back to her. She
bound her long fluttering hair close to her head so that the


polypi might not grip hold of her thereby, then she crossed' both
hands over her breast, and away she flew through the water as only
fishes can fly, right between the hideous polypi which stretched
out their long supple arms and fingers after her. She saw
that every one of them still had something which it had gripped,
hundreds of little fingers held it like iron bands. Men who had
perished in the sea and sunk down thither peeped forth from
the arms of the polypi in the shape of white skeletons. Ships'
rudders and coffers too they held fast; there were also the skeletons
of land animals and even a little mermaid whom they had caught
and tortured to death, and. that was to her -the most terrible
sight of all.
And now she came to a large slimy open space in the wood
where big fat water-snakes were wallowing and airing their ugly
whity-yellow bellies. In the midst of the empty space a house had
been raised from the white bones of shipwrecked. men; here sat the
sea-witch and let a toad eat out of her mouth just as men let little
canary-birds pick -sugar. She called the hideous fat water-snakes
her chicks and let them roll about over her large spongy
"I know very well what you want!" said the sea-witch;
"you're a fool for your pains Nevertheless you shall have your
own way, for it will get you into trouble, my pretty Princess. You
want to get rid of your fish's tail, eh? and have a couple of
stumps. to walk about on as men have, so that the young Prince
may fall in love with you, and you may get him and an
immortal soul into the bargain !" And with that, the witch
laughed so loudly and hideously that the toad and the snakes fell

,^ i


down upon the ground and began wallowing there. You have
come at the very nick of time," said the witch; "if you had put it
off till to-morrow, at sunrise, I should not have been able to help
you for another year. I'll brew you a potion, but you must swim
to land, sit down on the shore, and drink it off before sunrise, and
then your tail will split and shrivel up into what men call nice
legs; but it will hurt, it will be like a sharp sword piercing through
you. All who see you will say that you are the loveliest child of
man they ever saw. You will keep your lightsome gait, no dancing
girl will be able to float along like you; but every stride you take
will be to you like treading on some sharp knife till the blood
flows. If you like to suffer all this, I'll help you."
"I will," said the little mermaid with a trembling voice; she
thought of the Prince and of winning an immortal soul.
"But remember this," said the witch, when once you have
got a human shape you can never become a mermaid again You can
never again descend down through the water to your sisters and to
your father's palace, and if you do not win the Prince's love so that,
for your sake, he forgets father and mother and cleaves to you
with all his soul, and lets the priest lay your hands together and
make you man and wife, you will get no immortal soul at all!
The very first morning after he has married another your heart will
break and you will become foam upon the water !"
"Be it so!" said the little mermaid, but she was as pale
as death.
But you must pay me too," said the witch, "and it will not
be a small thing either that I demand. You have the loveliest
voice of all things down below here at the bottom of the sea, you


fancy you will enchant him with that, I know; not a bit of it, you
must.give that voice to me. I mean to have your best possession
in return for my precious potion, for have I not to give you of my
own blood in it, so that the potion may be as sharp as a two-edged
sword ?"
But if you take my voice, what will be left for me ?" asked
the little mermaid..
"Your lovely, shape," said the witch, your lightsome gait and
your speaking eye; you can fool a man's heart -with them, I suppose?
Well! have you lost heart, eh ? Put out your little tongue and I'll
cut it off in payment, and you shall have the precious potion !"
Be it so, then !" said the little mermaid, and the witch put her
kettle on to brew the magic potion. "Cleanliness is a good thing,"
said she, and she scoured out the cauldron with the snakes, which
she tied into a knot; then she gashed herself in the breast and let
her black blood drip down into the cauldron. The steam that rose
from it took the strangest shapes, so that one could not but feel
anguish and terror. Every moment the witch put something fresh
into the cauldron, and when it was well on the boil it sounded like
a crying crocodile. At last the drink was ready, it looked like the
clearest water!
"There you are!" said the witch, and cut out the tongue of
the little mermaid who was now quite dumb; she could neither
sing nor talk.
"If the polypi grip at you when you go back through the
wood," said the witch, "just you throw a single drop of this
potion upon them, and their arms and fingers will burst into a
thousand bits !" But the little mermaid had no need to do this,


the' polypi shrank back from her in terror when they saw the
shining potion which sparkled in her hand like a dazzling star. So
very soon she got through the wood, the morass and the raging
whirlpool. She could see her father's palace; the lights :in the long
dancing-hall had been put out; all within there were doubtless
sleeping; but she dared not venture thither to visit them now that
she was dumb, and wanted to go away from them for ever. Yet
her heart felt as if it must burst asunder for sorrow. She crept
down into the garden, plucked a flower from each of her sister's
flower-beds, threw a thousand kisses towards the palace, and
ascended again through the dark blue sea. The sun had not yet
risen when she beheld the Prince's palace, and mounted the splendid
marble staircase. The moon was -Iliiing 1:right and beautiful.
The little mermaid drank the sharp .ui;.iii g potion, and it was as
though a tw'.i-- dgl sword pierced right through her body; she
moaned with the agony and lay there as one dead.
When the sun shone over the sea she woke up and felt a
sharp p'..:', but right in front of her stood the handsome young
Prince. He fixed his coal-black eyes upon her, so that she cast her
own eyes down and saw that her fish tail had gone, and that she had
the prettiest little white legs, but she was quite naked, so she
wrapped herself in her large long locks. The Prince asked who
she was and how she came thither; and she looked at him with her
dark blue eyes so mildly, and yet so sadly, for speak she-could not.
Then he took her by the hand and led her into his palace. Every
step she took was, as the witch said it would be beforehand, as if
she were treading on pointed awls or sharp knives, but she willingly
bore it; holding.the Prince's ]!.:,;d she mounted the staircase as

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light as a bubble, and he and every one else were amazed at her
graceful, lightsome gait. She was arrayed in the most costly garments,
all silk and muslin, none in the whole palace was so lovely as she;
but she was dumb, she could neither sing. nor speak. Lovely slave-
girls, clad in silk and gold, came forth and sang to the Prince and
his royal parents; one of them sang more sweetly than all the rest,
and the Prince clapped his hands and s iti-,l at her. Then the little
mermaid was troubled, she knew that she herself had sung far
more sweetly, and she thought: Oh, would that he might know that
for the sake of being near him, I have given away my voice for ever
and ever !"
And. now the :.s-i..-girls danced the graceful, lightsome dance
to the loveliest music, and then the little mermaid raised on
high her lovely white arms, raised, herself on the tips of her
toes, and danced and swept across the floor as none ever danced
before; at every movement her loveliness became more and more
visible and her eyes spoke more deeply to the heart than ever the
songs of the slave-girl. They were all enchanted with her, especially
the Prince, who called her his little foundling, and she danced
more and more, though every time her feet touched the ground it
was as if she trod upon a sharp knife. The Prince said she should
always be with him, and she got leave to sit outside his door on
a velvet cushion.
He had a male costume made for her that she might ride out
with him. They rode through the fragrant woods- where the
green branches smote her on the shoulders and the little birds sang
behind the fresh leaves. She clambered with the Prince right up
the high mountains, and although her tender feet bled, so that the


others could see it, she only laughed at it and followed him till they
saw the clouds sailing below them like flocks of birds departing
to a foreign land.
At night, in the Prince's palace, while others slept, she went
out upon the broad marble staircase, and it cooled her burning feet
to stand in the cold sea-water, and then she thought of them in the
depths below.
One night her sisters came up arm in arm, they sang so
sorrowfully as they swam in the water, and she nodded to them,
and they recognized her, and told her how miserable she had made
them all. After that, they visited her every night, and one night
she saw, a long way out, her old grandmother who had. not been
ei:bov-, the sea for many years, and the Sea-King with his crown upon
his head; they stretched out their hands towards her, but dared not
come so close to land as her sisters.
She became dearer to the Prince every day. He loved her as
one might love a dear, good child; but to make her his queen never
entered his mind, and his wife she must be, or she would never
have an immortal soul, but would become foam upon the sea upon
his bridal morn.
"Do you love me most of all ? the eyes of the little mermaid.
seemed to say when he took her in his arms and kissed her fair brow.
Yes, you are dearest of all to me," said the Prince, for you
have the best heart of them all, you are most devoted to me, and
you are just like a young girl I once saw but certainly shall never
see again. I was on a ship which was wrecked, the billows drifted
me ashore near a holy temple, where many young girls were the
ministrants. The youngest, who found me on the sea-shore and saved


my life, I only saw twice; she is the only girl I can love in this
world, but you are like her, you almost expel her image from my
soul; she belongs to that holy temple, and therefore my good
fortune has sent me you instead, we will never part "
"Alas he knows not that 'twas I who saved his life thought
the little mermaid. 1 bore him right over the sea to the wood
where the temple stands, I sat behind the foam and looked to see if
any one would come; I saw the pretty girl whom he loves better
than me !" And the mermaid drew a deep sigh, weep she could
not. He says the girl belongs to that holy temple, she will never
come forth into the world, they will never meet again. I am with
him, I see him every day, I will cherish him, love him, sacrifice
my life for him!"
But now the Prince was to be married and take the lovely
daughter of the neighboring king to wife, and that was why he
now set about equipping a splendid ship. The Prince is travelling
to see the land of the neighboring king, that is what they said;
but it was to see the neighboring king's- daughter that he went
forth with such a grand retinue. But the little mermaid shook her
head and laughed; she knew the Prince's thoughts much better than
all the others. "I must travel," he had said to her, "I must see
the fair Princess, my parents require it of me; but they shall not
compel me to bring her home as my bride. I cannot love her, she
is not like the lovely girl in the temple whom you are like. Should
I ever choose me a bride, it would rather be you, my dumb found-
ling with the speaking eyes And he kissed her red mouth, played
with her long hair, and laid his head close to her heart till her heart
dreamt of human bliss and an immortal soul.


Surely you are not frightened at the sea, my dumb child !"
said he, as they stood on the gorgeous ship which was to carry
him to the land of the neighboring king; and he told her about
storm and calm, about the strange fishes of the deep, and what the
divers had seen down there, and she smiled at his telling, for
she knew better than any one else all about the bottom of
the sea.
In the moonlight nights when all were asleep save the man at
the helm, she sat at the side of the ship and looked down through
the clear water and seemed to see her father's palace, and at the very
top of it stood the old grandmother with the silver crown upon her
head, and stared up at the ship's keel through the contrary currents.
Then her sisters came up to the surface of the water, they gazed
sadly at her iv1nd :ti.ig their white hands. She beckoned to them,
smiled, and would have told them that everything was going on
well and happily, but the cabin-boy drew near at that moment and
her sisters ducked down again, so that she half fancied that
the white things she had seen were the foam upon the sea,.
The. next morning the ship sailed into the-haven of the
neighboring king's splendid capital. All the church bells were
ringing, they blew blasts with the bassoons from the tops of the
high towers, while the soldiers stood drawn up with waving banners
and flashing bayonets. Every day had its own special feast. Balls
and assemblies followed each other in rapid succession, but the
Princess was not yet there, she had been brought up in a holy
temple far away, they said, where she had learnt all royal virtues.
At last she arrived.
Full of eagerness, the little mermaid stood there to see her


loveliness; and recognize it she must, a more beauteous shape she
had never seen. Her skin was so transparently fine, and from
behind the long dark eyelashes smiled a pair of dark blue, faithful
"'Tis thou said the Prince, thou who hast saved me when
I lay like a corpse on the sea-shore !" and he embraced his blushing
bride. Oh I am so happy, I don't know what to do said he to
the little mermaid. "The very best I dared to hope has come to
pass. You too will rejoice at my good fortune, for you love me more
than them all! And the little mermaid kissed his hand, and she
felt that her heart was like to break. Yes, his bridal-morn would be
the death of her, and change her into sea-foam.
All the bells were ringing, and the heralds rode about the streets
to proclaim the espousals.
Fragrant oil in precious silver lamps burned upon every altar.
The priests swung their censers, and the bride and bridegroom gave
each other their hands and received the bishop's benediction. The
little mermaid stood there in cloth of gold and held the bride's train,
but her ears did not hear the festal music, her eyes did not see the
sacred ceremony, she thought of her night of death, she thought of
all she had lost in this world.
The same evening the bride and bridegroom went on board the
ship, the cannons were fired, all the flags waved, and in the midst
of the ship a royal tent was raised of cloth of.gold and purple and
precious furs; there the bridal pair were to sleep in the still, cool
The sails swelled out in the breeze, and te ship glided, lightly
rocking, away over the bright ocean. When it grew dark, coloured


lamps were lit, and the mariners danced merry dances on the deck.
The little mermaid could not help thinking of the first time she had
ducked up above the sea, and seen the self-same gaiety and splendour,
and she whirled round and round in the dance, skimming along as
the swallow skims when it is pursued, and they all applauded her
enthusiastically, never before had she danced so splendidly. There
was.a piercing as of sharp knives in her feet, but she felt it not; the
anguish of her heart was far more piercing. She knew it was the
last evening she was to see him for whom she had forsaken house
and home, surrendered her lovely voice, and suffered endless tortures
day by day, without his having any idea of it all. It was the last
night she was to breathe the same air as he, and look upon the deep
sea and the star-lit sky; an eternal night without a thought,
without a dream, awaited her who had no soul and could not win
one. And all was joy and jollity on board the ship till long past
midnight, and she laughed and danced with the thought of death in
her heart. The Prince kissed his lovely bride, and she toyed with
his black hair, and arm in arm they went to rest in the gorgeous
It grew dark and still on board; only the steersman was there,
standing at the helm. The little mermaid laid her white arms on the
railing and looked towards the east for the rosy dawn, the first
sunbeam, she knew it well, must kill her. Then she saw her sisters
rise up from the sea, they were as pale as she was ; their long fair
hair fluttered no longer in the breeze, it was all cut off.
We have given it to the witch that she might bring help so
that you may not die to-night She has given us a knife, here it is,
look how sharp it is Before the sun rises you must thrust it into


the Prince's heart, and then, when his warm blood sprinkles your
feet, they will grow together into a fish's tail, and you will become a
mermaid again, and may sink down through the water to us, and
live out your three hundred years before you become dead, salt
sea-foam. But hasten Either you or he must die before sun-rise.
Our old grandmother has sorrowed so that her hair has fallen off,
just as ours has fallen off beneath the witch's shears. Kill the Prince
and come back to us Hasten! Don't you see the red strip in the
sky yonder ? A few minutes more and the sun will rise and you
must die." And they heaved a wondrously deep sigh and sank
beneath the billows.
The little mermaid drew aside the purple curtains from the
tent door, and she saw the beauteous bride sleeping with her head
on the Prince's breast, and she bent down, kissed him on his fair
brow, looked at the sky where the red dawn shone brighter and
brighter, looked at the sharp knife, and again fixed her eyes on the
Prince, who, in his dreams, named his wife by her name, she alone
was in his thoughts. And the knife quivered in the mermaid's hand-
but then she cast it out far into the billows, they shone red where it
fell, it looked as if drops of blood were there bubbling up out of the
water. Once again she looked with half-breaking eyes at the Prince,
plunged from the ship into the sea, and felt her whole body dissolving
into foam.
And now the sun rose out of the sea, his rays fell with so gentle
a warmth upon the death-cold sea foam, and the little mermaid did
not feel death; she saw the bright sun, and right above her
hundreds of beauteous, transparent shapes were hovering.- Through
them she could see the white sails of the ship and the red clouds of


the sky, their voice was all melody, but so ethereal that no human ear
could hear it, just as no human eye could see them; they had no
wings, but their very lightness wafted them up and down in the air.
The little mermaid saw that she had a body like them, it rose
higher and higher out of the foam. "To whom have I come ?"
said she, and her voice sounded like the voices of the other beings,
so ethereal that no earthly music can render it.
"To the daughters of the air," answered the others; "the
mermaid has no immortal soul and can never have one unless she
wins a man's love, her eternal existence depends upon a Power
beyond her. The daughters of the air, likewise, have no immortal
soul, but they can make themselves one by good deeds. We fly to
the hot countries, where the sultry, pestilential air slays the children
of men ; there we waft coolness. We spread the fragrance of flowers
through the air and send refreshment and healing. When for three
hundred years we have striven to do all the good we can, we get an
immortal soul and have a share in the eternal destinies of mankind.
Thou, poor little mermaid, thou also hast striven after good with thy
whole heart; like us, thou hast suffered and endured, and raised
thyself into the sphere of the spirits of the air; now, therefore, thou
canst also win for thyself an immortal soul after three hundred years
of good deeds."
And the little mermaid raised her bright arms towards God's
sun, and for the first time she felt tears in her eyes. There was
life and bustle on board the ship again, she saw the Prince with his
fair bride looking for her, and they gazed sadly down upon the
bubbling foam, as if they knew she had plunged into the billows.
Invisible as she was, she kissed the bride's brow, smiled upon the


Prince, and ascended with the other children of the air up to the
rosy red clouds which were, sailing along in the sky. "For three
hundred years we shall float and float till we float right into God's
Yea, and we may also get there still sooner," whispered one of
them. "Invisibly we sweep into the houses of men, where there
are children, and every day we find there a good child who gladdens
his parents' hearts, and deserves their love, God shortens our time of
trial. The child does not know when we fly through the room, but
when we can smile with joy over it, a whole year is taken from off
the three hundred; but whenever we see a bad, naughty child, we
nmst, perforce, weep tears of sorrow, and every tear adds a day to
oar time of trial !"



A SOLDIER came marching along the highway: Left, right!
left, right! He had his knapsack on his back and a sword by his
side, for he had been to the wars and was now coming home. Then
he met an old witch on the highway; she was so ugly, her underlip
hung right down upon her breast.
Good evening, soldier," said she; "what a nice sword you've
got, and a big knapsack, too; you are something like a soldier!
You shall have as much money as you know what to do with."
Thanks to you, old witch! said the soldier.
Do you see that large tree ?" said the witch, and she pointed
to a tree which" -.t,:. close beside them. It is quite hollow inside.
You must creep up to the top of it, and then you'll see a hole
through. which you can let yourself glide, and so you'll come deep
down into the tree. I will fasten a cord round your body so that I
may hoist you up again when you call to me."
And what am I to do right down in the tree ?" asked
the soldier.
"Fetch money! said the witch I must tell you that when


you get to the very bottom of the tree you will see a large passage;
it is quite light, for hundreds and hundreds of lamps are burning
there. Presently you'll come to three doors, you can open them
all, for the keys are in them. When you go into the- first
chamber, you will see in the middle of the floor a large chest, on the
top of which sits a dog; he has eyes as large as teacups, but you
must not mind about that. I will give you my blue-striped apron,
that you may spread it out on the floor; then march briskly up to
the dog, seize him, place him on my apron, open the chest and take
as many pieces of money as you like. They are of copper, the whole
lot of them; but if you would rather have -ilvti, you must go into
the next chamber ; there sits a dog who has eyes as large as mill-
wheels, but you must not mind-about that, only put him on my
apron and help yourself to the money. If, however, you would pre-
fer gold, you can have that abi.- .--- as much ofit as you can
carry, if only you go into the third chamber. But the dog that sits
on the money-chest there has two eyes, each one of which is as big
as "The Round Tower." 1 That is something like a dog, I can tell
you But just you put him on my apron and he won't hurt you a
bit, and then you can take out of the chest as much gold as
you like."
"It doesn't sound so bad," said the soldier. "But what am I
to give you then, eh, old witch ?-for you mean to have something
out of me for it, I know."
"No," said the witch, "I won't have a single tiiti1iig. You

1 Not "Round Towers," as sometimes translated. The famous "Round
Tower" at Copenhagen, built by Tycho Bi, L,'-. pupil, Kristen Langberg, is meant,
and would' occur at once to every -Danish child.


must only bring me an old tinderbox which my grandmother forgot
when she was last down there."
"All right! Let me fasten the cord round my body," said
the soldier.
"Here it is," said the witch, "and here is my blue-striped
So the soldier crept up the tree, let himself plump down into
the hole, and now stood, as the witch had said, in the large passage
where hundreds and hundreds of lamps were burning.
And now he unlocked the first door. Ugh there sat the dog
with the eyes as large as teacups, and glared at him.
"You're a pretty chap !" said the soldier, putting him on the
witch's apron, and taking as many copper coins as he could cram into
his pockets. Then he locked the chest, put the dog on the top of
it v.ra iu, and went into the second chamber. Ugh there sat the dog
with eyes as big as mill-wheels.
You shouldn't stare at me so much," said the soldier, "you
ii'.lit injure your eyesight !" And with that he placed the dog on
the witch's apron, but when he saw the heaps of silver money in the
chest he pitched away all the copper money he had and filled his
pockets and his Lii-;,:iid: with nothing but silver. Then he went
into the third chamber. Nay it was truly hideous. The dog in that
room really had two eyes, each one of which was as large as The
Round Tower," and they ran- round in his head just like
"Good evening said the soldier, and touched his cap, for a
dog like that he had never seen before; but. after looking at him a
bit longer, ome, come," thought le, "Ive stared enough now,

u /


surely and lifting him down on to the floor he unlocked the chest.-
Gracious me !, what a lot of gold was there Why, with all that
money he might have bought the whole of Copenhagen, and all the
sugar pigs of all the cake-women there, together with all the tin
soldiers, whips, and rocking-horses in the whole world Yes, there
was money there, and no mistake! Then the soldier threw away all
the silver pieces he had filled his pockets and his knapsack with, and
took gold instead--yes, he filled his pockets, his knapsack, his cap,
and his shoes so that he could hardly walk. Now he really had money !
Then he lifted the dog on to the chest again, banged to the door,
and bawled up the tree, "Hoist me up now, you old witch !"
Have you got the tinderbox with you ?" asked the witch.
Right you are !" said the soldier. I had clean foi.'tg:-tt it,"
and he went back and fetched it. The witch hoisted him up, and so
he stood again upon the highway, with his pockets, boots, knapsack,
and cap crammed full of money.
"What do you want with this tinderbox ?" asked the
"That doesn't i-.,,_:e1i you," said the witch. "You've got
your money, haven't you ? Give me the tinderbox, that's all
I want."
Rubbish !" said the soldier. "Will you tell me this instant
what ybu want with it ? If not, I'll draw my sword and cut your
head off!"
"No," said the witch, I won't "
So the soldier chopped off her head. There she lay, but he
tied up all his money in her apron, slung it over his shoulder, put
the tinderbox in his pocket, and went straight to town.


It was a pretty town, and he put up at the prettiest inn there,
demanded the very best rooms they had and the food he was fondest
of, for now he was rich-he had lots of money.
To the servant who cleaned his boots it seemed absurd that so
rich a gentleman should have such ridiculous old boots, but he

had not yet had time to buy himself new ones. Next day he got
proper walking boots and really beautiful clothes. So the soldier
now became a fine gentleman, and they told him all about their
town and its ri:h,. and :1pliniii ur, and about their King, and what
a charming daughter he had.


Where can one get a peep at her ? asked the
"You can't see her -at all," they all said; "she dwells in a
large copper castle with walls and no end of towers all around it.
None but the King may go.in and out of it to see her, for it has
been foretold that she will become the wife of a mere common
soldier, and the King cannot endure the thought of that."
"Would that I might but see her!" thought the soldier; but
of course it was quite out of the ,iu..til:i.
And now he lived right merrily,, went to the theatre, drove
in the King's park, and gave lots of money to the poor,
which was very handsome of him. He knew indeed, of old,
how bad it was to be without a ftirhiu-g. But now he was rich
and had fine clothes, and a lot of friends who all said what
a fine fellow, what a perfect gentleman he was, and the soldier
rather liked it than otherwise. But as he was paying money
away every day, and none was coming in, he at last found that
he had only two farthings left, and was obliged to quit the
handsome apartments where he had been living, and make the
best of a little bit of a room right under the roof, where he had
to clean his own boots, and ni;e-d them with a darning needle,
and not one of his friends came to see him-they did not like going
up so many stairs.
It was a very dark i\.--ning, and he hlid not ieni:u.h to even
buy himself a i,:adle, when it occurred to him that there might.
be the fag end of one in the tinderbox he had picked up in the
hollow tree where the witch had. helped him down. So he took
out the tinderbox and the candle stImp, but while he was -trikigo


a light and the sparks were flying from the flintstone, the door
flew open and the dog with eyes as big as tea-cups, whom he
had seen down in the tree, stood before him and said, What does
my lord command ? .
"Well, I never!"' said the soldier. "It would be a funny
sort of tinderbox if I can get whatever I want! Fetch me
some m.a-n:-y," said he to the dog, and whisk! it was gone-
whisk and it was back again, and held in its mouth a large bag
full of copper coins.
And now the soldier understood what a very nice sort of
tinderbox it really was. If he struck it once, the dog came who
sat upon the chest full of copper coins; if he struck it twice, the
dog came who had the silver money; and if he struck it thrice, the
dog came who had the gold. So the soldier flitted down stairs
again to his handsome apartments, got more good clothes, and all
his old frimi-, immediately recognized and made much of him.
One day he fell a-tlhiki ng : "How very ridiculous it is that
one cannot get a peep at the Princess Every one says how lovely
she is, but what's the good of that if she is to mope away all her
days in the big copper castle with the many towers ? Can't I get to
see her somehow ? Where's my tinderbox ? And so he struck a
light, and whisk! there stood the dog with the eyes as big as tea-
"I know very well that it is midnight," said the soldier, but
I should so very much like to see the Princess, if it were only for a
tiny moment" '
The dog was immediately out of the house, and before the
soldier had time to think about it, he saw him reappear with the


Princess-she lay asleep on the dog's back, and was so lovely that
any one could see at once she was a real Princess. The soldier
could not let well alone. Kiss her he must, for he was a true
The dog ran back again with the Princess, but when it was
morning, and the King and Queen were having breakfast, the Princess
said that she had dreamed such a strange dream in the night about a
dog and a soldier. She had ridden on the dog,, and the soldier
had kissed-her.
A very pretty story truly said the Queen.
And now one of the old ladies-in-waiting was told off to watch by
the Princess's bed next night to see if it were really a dream or what
else it could be.
The soldier longed so fi. ihttull for another glimpse of the
Princess, and so the dog ,o-iie g1-1i.ii at night, took her, andran away
with all its might; but the old lady-in-waiting put on waterproof
boots and ran just as quickly behind them. When she saw them
disappear iut ttu;i ;-ige house, she thought, "Now I know where it is,"
and marked a great cross on the door with a piece of chalk. Then
she wi-nt i_.i1u and lay down, and the dog also came along that way
again with the Princess; but when he saw that a cross had been
marked on the door where the soldier dwelt, he also took a piece
of chalk and marked crosses on all the doors in the town, and very
clever it was of him, for now indeed the Court dame could not
possibly find the right door among so mli;-v.
Very early in the morning the King and the Queen, the old
Court dame and all the Court officials, came to see where it was the
Princess had been.



~" i:



It is there said the King, when he saw the first door with a
cross upon it.
No, it is there, my darling husband !" said the Queen, who saw
the second door with the cross upon it.
"But there is one here, and there is one there !" cried all the
courtiers. Wherever they looked there were crosses on the doors.
So they soon saw that it was no good searching any farther.
But the Queen was a very wise woman, who could do much
more than merely ride about in a coach. She took her large gold
scissors, snipped a large pier-e of silk-stuff into small bits and sewed
them into a lpi.tty little bag; this she filled with small fine grains of
buckwheat, f-ten~ed it to the Princess's back, and when this was
done, she cut a little hole in the bag so that the grains might
dribble thr: ugh l lo the whlle wayg te iy the Princess went.
At night the dog, canme agaiiu, took the -Princess on his back,
iill ran away with her to the soldier, who was so fond of her and
longed so much to be a Prince that he might have her to wife.
The dog did not observe at all how the grains were dribbling
all the way from the Palace to the soldier's dwelling, where it ran
right up the wall with the Princess; so in the morning the King
and Q(ueen saw at once where their daughter had been, wherefore
they seized the soldier and threw him into jail.
There he sat. UhA how dark and horrid it -w'. and they
said to him, To-morrow you shiall be hanged!" It was not a
pleasant thing to hear, and he had forgotten his tide-Lrlo:i:x at the
inn. In the morning he could see tliihroug the iron bars of the little
window all the i qpeopl hastening out of the town to see him hanged.
He heard the drums and saw the soldiers marching. Every one was


running that way as fast as they could. Among them was a
cobbler's lad with a leather apron and slippers on; he was galloping
along at such a rate that one of his slippers flew off right
against the wall where the soldier was peeping out between the
iron bars.
"Hi! you cobbler-lad, don't be in such a hurry!" said the
soldier to him. '' No:thinu will take place till I arrive, but if you
will just skip over to where I have been living and fetch me my
tinderbox, you shall have five copper pieces, but you must stir your
stumps a bit The cobbler's lad wanted the five copper pieces very
much, so off he set for the tindi'rI.:x, gave it to the soldier, and-yes,
now you shall hear something !
Outside the town a large gallows had been erected, round about
it stood the soldiers and many hundreds of thousands of people.
The King and Queen sat upon a beautiful throne right opposite the
Judge and the whole Council.
The soldier already stood upon the ladder, but just as they were
about to throw the cord round his neck, he said that it had always been
the custom for a criminal before undergoing his sentence to have one
innocent wish gratified. He would so much like, he said, to smoke
a pipe of tobacco-it was, after all, the last pipe he would ever
smoke in this world The King did not like to say no to that, and
so the soldier took out his tinderbox and struck a light-one, two,
three and there stood all the dogs, the one with eyes as big as tea-
cups, the one with eyes as big as mill-wheels, and the one with eyes
as big as The R:,ound Tower."
".Sav me ie now from being hanged!" said the soldier, and
with that the dogs rushed upon the Judges and the whole

5 '. ,


Council, took one by the legs and another by the nose and
pitched them up fathoms high into the air so that they fell
down and were dashed to pieces.
Won't have it! said the King; but the biggest dog took
both him and the Queen and hurled them ever so much farther than
all the others; then the soldiers grew frightened. and all the people
:.i ied. "Little soldi:il, you shall be our King and have the pretty
Princess !"
So the soldier sat in the King's carriage, and all three dogs
danced in front and cried, Hurrah and the boys whistled through
their fingers; and the soldiers presented arms, and the Princess came
out of the copper castle and became Queen, and rather liked it than
otherwise. The w,-ddinj lasted eight days, and the dogs sat at the
table and made big eyes.


THERE were two men in one city who both had the self-same
name-both of them were called Claus; but one owned four horses
and the other only one horse, so to distinguish them from one
another-they called him with the four horses Big Claus, and him
with-only one horse Little Claus. We shall now hear how it fared
with these two men, for this is a true story.
The whole week through Little Claus had to plough for Big
Claus and lend him his one horse, and Big Claus helped him again
with all his four horses, but only once a week, and that was on
Sunday. Huzzah how Little Claus cracked his whip over all four
horses-they were as good as his own that one day. The sun shone
so charmingly; and all the bells in the church tower were ringing for
church; the people were all so .i:ti tly dressed and walked along
with their hyniui-bool.,. under the arms to hear their parson preach,
and they looked at Little Claus who was ploughing with his five
horses, and he was so delighted that he cracked his whip again and
cried, Gee up, my five horses !"
"You iin-(t not say that," said Big Claus; "it is only one
horse, you know, which is yours."


Soon afterwards some one else passed by to church, and little
Claus forgot that he was not to say it, and cried again, "Gee up,
all my five horses !"
"Let us have no more*of this, d'ye hear ?" said Big Claus;
"for if you say it once more, I'll give your horse a blow on the
forehead that will make him drop down dead on the spot, and then
we'll have done with him !"'
"I re,,llb will not say it again," said little Claus; but when
more people p I e-,d by that way, and nodded and said good-day, he
was so delighted, and it seemed to him such a fine thing to have
five horses to plough his land with, that he cracked his whip again
and cried, Gee up, all my five horses !"
I'll gee up your horse for you!" said Big Claus, and he took
up the tetherpin and struck little Claus's one ho:,i on the forehead
so that it fell down dead on the spot.
Alas now I have no horse at all! said little Claus, so he
fell a-weeping. But after a while he flayed the horse, took away
the hide, and, after letting it dry well in the wind, put it in a bag,
which he threw over his shoulders, and went to town to sell his
-He had such a long way to go. He had to go right
through a large wood, and it had become terribly bad wv' -t.iL-r.
He quite lost his way, and before he found it again it was
i:v-uniug, and too far:to get to town or home again before
Close by.the wayside lay a large farm; the shutters had been
put up in front of the windows outside, but the light -ln,' out
above them.


I should think I could get leave to stay the night there,"
thought Little Claus, so he went up and knocked.
The farmer's wife opened the door, but when she heard what
he wanted, she told him to be off; her husband was not at home,
she said, and she did not receive strangers.
Well, I suppose I must lie outside," said Little Claus, and the
farmer's wife shut the door in his face.
Close by stood a large haystack, and between it and the house
a little shed with a flat straw roof had been built.
I can lie up there," said Little Claus, when he saw the roof;
"a splendid bed it will be, and I don't. think the stork will fly
down and nibble my legs." For there on the top of the, roof stood
a live stork, which had built its uii-t there.
So Little Claus crept up on to the shed, and there he
lay down and turned about to make himself quite comfortable. The
wooden shutters before the farm-windows did not fit close atop, and
so he could see right into the room.
A large table was spread with wine and roast meat and such a
nice fish, and the farmer's wife and the clerk sat at table, and none
besides; -and she was filling his glass for him, and he was well
to work with the fish, for it was a dish that he loved.
If only I could have a finger in that pie !" said Little Claus,
and he stretched his head out towards the window. Heavens!
what lovely cakes he could see standing inside there. Why, it was
. regular feast !
Aud now he heard some one riding along the highway
towords tih- h':use- : it was the husband coming home. He was such
a ,o':d man, 'ut lI- had.a sitraiau failing : he could not endure the


sight of a clerk If a clerk caught his eye, he became down-
right frantic. That was why the clerk had looked in to say good-
day to the wife when he knew that the husband was not at home,
and the good wife had set before him all her best dishes. Now,
when they heard the husband coming, they were so scared that the
wife begged the clerk to creep into a large empty chest which
stood on one side in a corner. He did so, for he knew very well
that the wretched husband could not endure the sight of a clerk.
The wife hastily concealed ; l-the :-iinlty- meats and wine
inside her baking oven, for had her h!i-b.: iii caught sight
of them, he minr:it have asked what was the meaning of
it all.
Ah me! sighed Little Claus on the top of the shed, when
he saw all the meat smuggled away.
"Is there any one up there ? asked the farmer, and peered up
at Little Claus. "Why do you lie there ? Hadn't you better come
into the room along with me ?"
So Little Claus told how he had lost his way, and begged that-
he miilht stay the night there.
"Yes, certainly!" said the farmer; "but first let us have a
little bit of something to eat."
The wife welcomed the pair of them miot. kindly, spread a long
table, and gave them a large dish of greens. The farmer was hungry
and ate with a rare good appetite, but Little Claus could not help
thinking of the dainty meat, fish, and cakes which he knew to be
inside the oven.
Under the table at his feet he had laid his sack with the horse-
hide inside it, for we know that he had left home in order to sell it



: .r'.-'---rrj

-.77-' -. R' ~ -r uw

4- ~
H:b :

0 8~

ce .i ~ 5,


in the town. The greens he could not stomach at all, and so
he trod upon his bag, and the dry hide in the sack crackled
quite loudly.
"Hush !" said Little Claus to his sack, but at the same time he
trod upon it ig in, and again it crackled much more loudly than
"Why, what have you- got in that sack?" asked the
"Oh, it is a wizard!" said Little Cl.iu-; "he says that we
ought not to eat greens, he has-charmed the whole oven full of roast
. meat and fish and cakes."
What an idea said the farmer, and in a trice he had opened
the oven, where he saw all the savoury.meat his wife had concealed,
Sbut which he thought had been spirited tl, i,: for them by the wizard
in the 1~oi The wife dared not say anything, but immediately
placed the food on the table, so they both of them feasted upon the
fish and the roast and .the cakes. Shortly afterwards Little Claus
again trod upon his bag so that the hide crackled.
"What does he say now ?" asked the farmer.
He says," said Little Claus, "that he has also c(Iiijinedl up
for us three flasks of wine; they also stand in the oven." And
now the woman was obliged to bring forth the wine that she had
hidden, and the farmer -drank and grew merry. Such a wizard
as Little Claus had in his bag he would have been right glad to
call his own.
Can he call up the devil also ? asked the farmer. 1 should
like to see him now anyway, I feel so jolly."
"Yes," said Little Claus, my wizard can do everything that I


desire. Eh, can't you ? he asked, and trod upon the bag till it
crackled again. "Don't you hear ?-he says yes But the devil is
really so ugly that he is not worth looking at."
Oh, I am not a bit afraid, whatever he looks like !"
"Very well, he will show himself in the shape of a clerk as
large as life."
"Ugh!" said the farmer, "that's ugly certainly! You must
know that I cannot bear the sight, of a clerk. But 'tis all one. I
know very well that it is only the devil, so I'll put up with it
for once. I've lots of pluck you know, but pray don't let him come
too near."
"Now I will ask my wizard," said Little Claus, and he trod
upon the bag and put his eai to it.
Whot. does he say ? "
He says that if you go yonder and open the chest which
stands in the corner, you will see the devil lurking there, but you
must hold fast the lid in case he slips out."
"Won't you help me to hold it?" said the farmer, and he
went towards the chest where his wife had hidden the real clerk,
who sat there trembling in every limb.
The farmer lifted the lid a little and peeped under it. "Ugh !"
he shrieked, and sprang back. "Yes, yes I saw him-he looks
just like our clerk It was truly horrible !"
They were bound to take a glass or two on the strength of it,
and so they drank and drank till far into the night.
"You uiif -.ell me that wizard," said the farmer; "ask what-
ever 'y.:J lik' fo.r him. Yes, I say, I'll give you half a bushel of
money on the -,pot."


No, I can't do it !" said Little Claus; "just think what a lot
I make out of this wizard."
"Ah! I should like to have it above all things," said the
farmer, and never ceased begging and praying for it.
"Well," said Little Claus at last, "as you have been so kind
and given me a night's lodging, be it so, I don't much care. You
shall have the wizard for half a bushel of money, but I must have
the half-bushel brimful."
That indeed you shall," said the farmer.; but you must take
that chest along with you, I won't have it in my house an hour
longer, there's no knowing whether he may not be sitting there
Little Claus gave the farmer his sack with the dry hide in it,
and got in exchange for it a whole half-bushel of money, and brimful
too. The farmer gave him besides a large wheelbarrow to carry the
chest away.
"Farewell!" said Little Claus, and off he bowled with his
money and the large chest in which the clerk was still sitting.
On the other side of the wood was a large deep river; the
current ran so swiftly that one could scarcely swim against it. A
large i-ew bridge had been built over it; in the middle of this !:i idl:e
Little Claus stopped short, and said quite loudly,. so that the clerk
in the chest might hear it, "Now, what shall I do with this stupid
chest ? It is as heavy as if it were full of stones. I am quite tired
of bowling it along, so I'll pitch it into the'river; if it sails home to
me, well and good; and if it doesn't, it is all one to me." Thi.i he
took the chest- with one hand and tilted it up a little as if he were
about to pitch it into the water.


"No, stop !" cried the clerk in the chest. "Let me come
out, do Let me come out !"
"Ugh !" said Little Claus, and pretended to be frightened.
" He is still sitting inside, then. Into the river he goes this very
instant, and there let him drown !"
"Don't, don't cried the clerk; I'll give you a whole half-
bushel of money if you will let me out! "
"Ah, that now is quite another thing said Little Claus, and
he opened the chest. The clerk immediately crept out, and, after
piusliing the empty chest into the water; went to his home, where
Little Claus got another half-bushel of money. One half-bushel he
had already got from the farmer, so now he had his wheelbarrow
quite full of money.
Look now, I made a good bargain out of that horse, said
he to himself, when he found himself at home in his own room and
pitched all the money in a large heap in the middle of the floor.
"It will vex Big Claus when he gets. to know how rich I have
become with my one horse; but I don't mean to tell him all about
it straight off." So he -sent a boy to Big Claus to borrow a
"What does he want that for, I should like to know ? thought
Big Claus, and he smeared the bottom of it with tar so that a little
of what was going to be measured might stick to it; and that was
just what did happen, for when he got the measure back again,
three new silver penny pieces were sticking to it.
"Well I never !" said Big Claus, and with that he ran straight
off-to Littlb, Claus. "Where have you got all that money from ?"
asked he.

_ si


"Oh that is, for my horse-hide. I sold it yesterday."
It was a good bargain !" said Big Claus; then he ran home,
took an axe, poleaxed all his four horses, flayed them, and set off
townwards with the hides.
"Hides, hides Who will buy hides ? cried he, through
the streets.
All the shoemakers and tanners came running up, and asked
him what he wanted for them.
Half a bushel of money for each one said Big Claus.
Are you crazy ?" they all cried; "do you suppose we have
bushels of money ?"
"Hides, hides.! W1, will buy hides ?" he cried again, but to
all who asked the price ,f tC i.- hides he answered, "Half a bushel of
money." "H' wi nt.- to make a fool of us," they said, so the
shoemakers t,:,.1k their straps and the tanners their leather aprons
and began to lIptt Big Cl'iu.-. "Hides, hides!" they :cried
derisively,-' y-.; ,-l! give you a hide that shall sweat pigslard!
Out of the town with him !" they cried, and Big Claus had to
stir his stumps, for never in all his life had he been so cudgelled.
"Never mind," said he, when he got home, "Little Claus
shall pay for this. I'll kill him for it! "
Now, Little Claus's old grandmother had just died in his house.
She had always been a ci.- piat:li. and behaved downright badly to
him, but yet he was quite distressed about it, and took the dead
woman and laid her in his own warm bed. Even if she could not
come to life- j_ .-iiu. she should lie tli-.re all night. He lii,-.lf m:it
to sit in the corner and sleep on a chair; as he had often done 1ef:,r,-.
Now, when night came, and he was sitting there, the door op:-in-d


and Big Claus came in with his axe. He knew very well where
Little Claus's bed was, went straight up to it, and struck the dead
grandmother on the forehead, for he fancied it was Little Claus.
"There," said he, you won't make a fool of me any more and so
he went home again. That is a bad wicked man if you like !" said
Little Claus; "why, he wanted to kill me! It was a good thing

\ -j 7- ,

for the old grandmother that she was dead already, or he would
certainly have killed her." Then he dressed the old grandmother
in her Sunday clothes, borrowed a horse from his neighboun,
harnessed it to his cart, and put the old grandmother up behind so
that she could not fall out when he drove, and so he rattled away
through the wood. By sunrise they had got to a large tavern.


Thi--r. Little Claus stopped, and went in to get something to eat.
The inn-keeper, had lots and lots of money, he was also a very good
man, but hasty, just as if he were full of snuff and pepper. Good
morning," said he to Little Claus; "'you have jumped into your
best clothes early this morning."
"Yes," said Little Claus, "I have to go to town with my old
grandmother; she is sitting outside in the waggon, I cannot get her
to come in. Won't you take her a glass of mead ? But don't
forget to speak up, she's rather hard of hearing." "All right, I'll
take care of that!" said the innkeeper, and he poured out a large
glass of mead, and went out with it to the dead grandmother who
was perched up in the \Wia -:oj. Here is a glass of mead from your
grandson," said the landlord; 1.ult the dead woman said not a word, and
-,t 1ite tilll. Di'ty;u heair '" ,awled the innkeeper asloudly
as he could; here is a 1ass of mead from your grandson Once
more he bl iwled thed satini, thing at her, and once again, but as
she absolutely did not stir from the spot, he grew angry and threw
the glass right into her face so that the mead ran down over her
nose, and she fell backwards into the waggon, for she was only
perched'up there and not tied up. "What's all this ?" cried
Little Claus, and he sprang out of the door and seized hold of the
landlord. "Why, look there! If you haven't killed my grand-
mother Just look, there is a great hole in her fu.i vi,:idI !" Oh,
luckless wretch that I am!" cried the innkeeper, "that all comes
from my, hastiness Dear Little Claus, I will give you a whole
half-bushel of money, and bury your grandmother into the bargain
as if she were my own, only do 'but hold your tongue about it
else they will cut off my head, and that is so nasty !"


So Little Claus got a half-bushel of money, and the landlord
buried the dead grandmother as if she had been his own.
Now, when Little Claus got home again with heaps of money,
.he immediately sent his boy over to Big Claus to beg the loan of
his corn-measure. "'Why, what's the meaning of this? said Big
Claus; didn't I strike him dead I must look to this myself!
And so he went over to Little Claus with the measure. "Now,
where have you got all that money from ?" he asked; and didn't
he open his eyes when he saw what a lot there was "It was my
grandmother, and not me whom you killed," said Little Claus, and
I have just sold her for half a bushel of money !"-" That was a
good bargain and no mistake!" said Big Claus, and he hastened
home, took an axe, and immediately struck his old grandmother
dead within, laid her on the top of a w'ua,~:on, drove into the town
to the apothecary, and asked him whether he wanted to buy a
"Where is it, and where did you get it from ?" asked the
apothecary. "It's my grandmother," said Big Claus; "I have
killed her in order to get half a bushel of money." God preserve
us! said the apothecary, "you must be mad! Don't talk like
that, for you might lose your head !" And now he showed him
plainly what a frightful crime he had committed, and what a bad
man he was,'and how he ought to be punished. Big Claus grew
Sso frightened that he jumped with one bound out of the apothecary's
shop into the cart, whipped up his horses, and drove home; but
the apothecary and all the people thought that he was mad, so
they let him go his own way.
I'll pay you off for this !" said Big Claus, when he was


fairly on the high-road. "Yes, Little CL-,i. won't I make you pay
for this !" And as soon as he got home he took the largest sack he
could final. went over to Little Claus, and said, Look now, you
have made a fool of me again First I killed my horses, and then
my grandmother. It is all your fault; but you shall never make
a fool of me again,!." And so he took Little Claus by the waist,
put him into the sack, threw him over his shoulder, and bawled to
him, "Now, I am going to drown you !"
It was a stiffish walk to the riv;-r. and Little Claus was no
light weight. The road went hard by the church, the organ was
playing, and the people inside were singing so prettily. So Big
I-'i;i- put down the sack with Little ('liusi-in it close to the church
door, and thought that it would be nice to go in and hear a hymn
first, before he went any farther. Little Claus could never get out,
and all the people were at church, so in he went.
"Alas, alas !" sighed Little Cln i-, inside the sack. He twisted
and he turned, but it was quite impossible, he found, to loosen the
strings. At that moment up came an old cattle-drover with chalk-
white hair, and a large wall, ilg-sti 'l.: in his hand. He was driving
before him a whole, herd of "cows and bull:,io and they ran
right over the sack in which Little Claus was -ittii.-, so that
it fell over.
Alas .iglied Little Cls.:i so-young that I am, and yet must
go to Heaven ireadly !"
And I, miserable wretch said the cattle-drover, "am so old,
and cannot get there yet "
Open the sack cried Little Claus; creep into it instead of
me, and in that way you'll go straight to Heaven."


"Right gladly will I do so," said itli cattle-drover, and li.
unloosed the sack for Little C'l iu., who inlr:i:JI,.l,- ,:r:i.ij_ out.
Will you look I ft.._r my cattle ? said the old man, and crept
into the bag, which Little Claus tied up again, and went his way
with all the cows and bullocks.
Shortly afterwards Big Claus came out of church; he -i., -.i -1
his sack again, and thought, sure ,n'.i'..:l, that it had grown rul.'.i
lighter, for the old cattle-drover was not half so I.~, '. as Little
Claus. "How much light. he has become Y.-, to be sure I t is
because I have been singing hymnZ Soi on he went to the river,
which was broad and deep, threw the sack, with the old cattle-drover
inside it, right into mid-stream, and bawled ;oil:.i liin. :r of course
he fancied it was Little Claus-" ,There now, you won't fool me any
more Then he went homewards, but when he came to the cross
roads, he met Little. Claus driving all his cattle before him.
"Why, what's this ? said Big Claus; haven't I ldr,.-,,-1,l you,
then ?"
Well," said Little Claus, "you certainly did throw me into the
water a wee half-hour ago."
"But how, then, did you get all those fine cattle.?" asked D:i
They are -er,-attl-," said Little Claus. "I will tell Vy:u the
whole story; and how can I ever thank you for having drowned me !
Now that I'm up here on my legs again, I'm pretty rich, I can tI-ll
you. I was so frightened as I lay inside the sack, and the wind
whi-tled in my ears when you threw me down from the bridge into
the '.1ld wvte not hurt myself, for down.below there the filn-st, .s:ft,.t. gra.ss -'ows.

_ _


In fact, I fell upon it, and immediately the bag was opened, and the
most lovely maiden in chalk-white clothes, and with a green garland
round her wet hair, seized my hands and said, 'Is that you, Little
Claus ? Accept from me first of all some cattle. A mile farther up
the road a whole herd of them is browsing, and I give them all to
you.' Then I saw that the river was the great highway of these sea-
folk. Down at the bottom they walked and drove out of the sea
right into the land as far as the river goes. It was so lovely there,
what with the flowers and the fresh grasses, and the fishes that swam
in the water and whisked about my ears, just as the birds do here in
the air. Oh, what nice people were t hlr. :, and what cattle wandering
among the hedges and ditches !"
"But why, then, were you in such a hurry to leave it all and
comu e up to uS agan :" a.,ked Big Clau-. I would u...t I :ivi- d,,-
that if it was all so lovely down below."
Well," UKid Littl: Claus, I fear I have been a little sly about
it. You heard what I said to you about the sea-maiden telling me
that a mile higher up the road (and of course by the road she means
the river, for that's the only way she can go) a whole drove of cattle
was waiting for me. But I know how the river turns and winds in
every direction-it is a terribly round-about way; so, if you can
manage it, it is a much shorter cut to come up on -the land again
and go right across the river again by the bridge, by which means I
spared myself half a mile at least, and got all the quicker to my sea-
"Oh, what a lucky man you are !" said Big Claus. "Do you
think that I, top, could get some sea-cattle if I went right down to
the bottom of the river ? "


I should think so, indeed," said Little Claus; "but I cannot
carry you in the sack all the way to the river, you are much too
heavy for me. If you will go there yourself, and then creep into the
bag, I will pitch you in with the greatest of pleasure."
"Thank you kindly," said Big Claus; "but if I don't get the
sea-cattle when I get down, I'll give you a good drubbing, take my
word for it!"
"Oh no, don't be so wicked !"
So they went together to the river. When the cattle, which
were thirsty, saw the water, they ran towards it as fast as they could
in order to get down to the edge and drink. Look how they are
iru1inji ," said Little Claus ; they want to get to the bottom again."
"Yes, but you must help me first," said Big Claus,-" or else
vou'll '.-.t u I tinllu~: '" iil .-l., hei crept into the large sack which
had been thrown across the back of one of the beasts. "Put a stone
in as well, or else I am afraid I sha'n't sink," said Big Claus.
It will do as it is," said Little Claus, but for all that he put a
large stone into the sack, tied the cord fast, and pushed it off. Down
it wi:.It-p-1lumii There lay Big Claus in the middle of the river
and sank at once to the "'ttc'.ii.
I am afraid. he won't fiudl the cattle !" said Little Claus, and
so he drove home with what he had.



THERE was oine iipnU a time. :l Prince who was bentupon having
a P;'ini:e.*-. l.ut it w a. t; 1:Ia, 'rd Prin.cess.. So he roamed the whole
world, ivert tu find .ii sh a uie. but tliere v as always -:omething the
lmItter. Of Pini:>;- rs theie vt, eit enoiiiih iind to .spare, buithe could
unot qiuit' 1 make up hi. minUd :as to -vheIthber they were Priinres"res
theie was :ilw\avys soilethinug that was not .quite right. So home he
>.umie :a1i, andil was iu.-h Ji:.4tesil. for he abl.'.-lutely yearned after
a real Pii'i'-es. -
One evening- their. was a teiil: ,le .-torm. it thundered and
lightened,. the rain poured in t,:,rrent,--it was positively frightful !
Then there came a ku':ii-ii2g at the ,.it\- tt.- and ti, ,, old Kiin,, went
and opened it.
It was a Princess -whl: stood outside, lbut oh, what a fiighlt she
looked in the rain and wet weatilh. The, water ran all down her
hair aiuI I.lothes. and it ran iuti., the tip oft hei .-ie aio l out again at
the heel. jiidl ,-t .,-Ie said she was a real Prinie. .-..
Indeed : We'll see .l...ut that 'pie-tutl," thought the iol
Queen.. 8i said inoithiiig. but she went into her 1:lr:'.-.i:n, ti:,:k off


r ..
.. ;' -

.-- .- -


'~r '-r~'

- -T

~f~4;s ...lr~IV


-, .

.LZ *~I


all the bed-clothes, and laid a pea at the bottom of the bed; then
she took twenty lhatfres es, laid them on the top of the pea, and
finally on the top of the mattresses she put twenty eider-down
There the Princess was to rest that night.
In the morning the Queen mother asked her how she had slept.
"Oh, horribly!" said the Princess. I have scarcely had
a wink of sleep all night. God knows what there was in my bed! I
have been lying on something hard, for my whole body is black and
blue !- It is perfectly frightful "
So they: ould see at once that this was a real Princess, For she
had felt the pea through twenty mattresses and twenty-eider down
quilts. No one but a real Princess (cu6ld have had such a sensitive
skin as that.
Then the Prince took her to wife, for now he knew that she was
a real Princess; aud the pea was preserved in the Art Museum,
where it may still be seen if no one has taken it away.
There now, that was something like -a story !


"MY poor flowers are quite dead said little Ida. "They were
so pretty yesterday, and now all their leaves hang down and wither.
Why do they do that ? she asked the student who was sitting on
the sofa. She was. very fond of the student. He could tell the most
deligfitf.il .-t- ii-, and could clip out the funniest figures-hearts with
tiny diu-cing ladies inside them; flowers and large castles with doors
that opened and shut. Was there ever such a merry student?
"Why do the fln-.we-, look so poorly to-day ?" she asked again, and
.shiiwed him a \xwhI:i? bouquet that was quite witiiherl.
"Don't you know whlat ails them ? said the student. ." Well,
I'll tell you. The flowers were at a ball 1;.-t night, that is why they
l1iin. their heads."
"But flowers can't dance, I'm sure !" said little Ida.
Yes," said the student, when it gets dark, and we are all
:-leep.l they spring al1:out. 'right merrilv. Why, they have a ball
nearly ,very mci : l lniiiht. !"
And can no child go to the ball, too ? "
Oh yes aiid the student; "wee, wee groundsels and lilies of
the valley c-an. -ertitainul."


"Where do the loveliest flowers dance ?" asked little Ida.
Haye you ever been inside the gates near the large palace
where the King dwells in the summer-time, and where are all the
lovely flower-beds with such lots of flowers ? You know where the
swans are that come swimming to you when you want to give them
bread-crumbs? Well, it's there. You could have "'s.irnething like a
ball there, I can tell you "
"I was out in the gardens ye-sterday with mother,"- said Ida,
"but all the leaves were off the trees, and there ivasn not a single
flower left. Where are they all? In the summer-time I saw so
"They are inside the palace," said "the student; you must know
that as soon as ever the King and all the Court go to town, the flowers
ilirne-diatelV run away from the gardens into the palace, and have a
fine time of it. That's a sight worth seeing The two loveliest of
the roses sit down upon the throne, and so they are the King and
Queen. All the red cockscombs range themselves beside it and stand
andl biow; they are the gentlemen-in-waiting. Then all the prettiest
flowers come dropping in, and then there is a big ball.. The blue violets
are the midshipmen, and they dance with the hyacinths and
crocuses, whom they call Miss. The tulips and the large yellow
lilies are the old ladies who take care that the dancing is proper and
everything goes off nicely."
"But," asked little Ida, "is .there no one who gives the flowers
a good scolding for dancing in the King's palace ?
"Nobody knows anything about it, you see," replied the
-tuldeut. It. is true that at. iight, si:metiries. the old seneschal, who
has to see to things there, comes round with his big biunc:h of keys,


but as soon as the flowers hear the keys rattle, they keep quite still,
hide themselves behind the long curtains, and pop their heads out.
'There are some flowers here, I can smell 'em,' says the old
seneschal; but he cannot see them."
"That is funny!" cried little Ida, and clapped her hands.
"But couldn't I see the flowers, then?"
Yes," said the student, "when you go there again,
remember to peep through the window, and then you'll see
them well enough. That's what I did the other day, and I saw a
long yellow daffodil lying at full length on the sofa-she thought
she was a Court lady."
"And ,r-i the flroiwe-s in the botanical gardens, get in there
too ? Can tliv- go all that long way "
"I should rather think so !" said the student, "for they can fly
whenever they've anmind too. Haven't you seen the pretty yellow,
whit,:, and red l-utterfli-, ?-they look just like flowers, and they
,'1 ,' flowers once. They :-i.,n: offt the,-i stalks 'and flapped with
their leaves ju.-.t 1:- if they were tiny wings; and then they flew away,
1nl as. they held tl!em.-elve- nicely up and did not fall, they got
leave to fly cibl.i.t, in the ,dayf-tiii as -v\--l1, instead of going home
again inid -.ittini. on their stalks; and so their leaves became real
wingr at last. Why, you've seen that yourself At the same time,
it is quite 1,: 1'i1l, ti.it, the flowers in the botanical gardens have
never lben in the King's pol.-e, or even know that such fun goes on
there at ni-lit. And now I'll tell you something. You know the
PIo:te.,.s.: .,;f I:.taijv who, livedi- close by the ard.ei.,- ? Very well!
He woutil be s i, s'ii:rpirie.I if v1u do: what I tell you. When you go
into lis .ai'i-dlen. just :ou tell oiie of the flowers that there is a great


ball in the palace; it will be sure to tell all the others, and they will
all fly away; so when the Professor comes into the garden he won't
find a single flower there, and will not be able to make out whither
they all have gone."
"But how can the flo:\ Ner tell it to the others Flowers can't
talk, you know."
"No, they can't exactly talk perhaps," said the student; "but
they do everything in pantomime. ; Ha-ve you.never noticed that
when there's a breeze the fl:owerI nod their heads, oalnd move all
their greeii leaves; it is just as if tlhe were tolldki.'.
"Then can the Professor understand. pantomime?" asked
"I should i thli.- think so! LWhyV. one ii:,tiiiug he came down
into his g.ildeiu ai'.l. saw. a' large: .-tini,,ing-n'.tt.l standing. and
lpe',kiig in pantomime with its le.Ive- .to a lovely red pink. It
:id,J, 'You are .-', nice, and I am: so: fond of v-.'u.'. Tlii. the
Professor could not .tayind at 'all, so he immediately struck the
-t,-iui;-n,:ttle on its leaves (they are its tiigli.-, you know), but it
stung him, and since that time he, has never, dared to touch ,a
stinging-nettle again."
"That was fiiiny!" said little Ida, and sh,- laughed.
"Why do you fill the child's head with su!-h i-tuff ?" said the
horrid Sttei-.. .unc:ill:r who had ilo:,ipled in to pnyv a call, and was
hitting on the sofa. He II:Iuild not endure the student, and always
snapped ;iind -niaiel when he clipped out the funny, rdi.-uilu.-. figures
-such, for ii.-tnii:-e, as a man nii- i n on a gallows anld oldiAng a
heart iu his hand 1c.u.-;i- e h,:d stolen hearts away; or an old T it.:-l
riding on ali .!.i .-mti,-lt with her husband on her nose. The State-


i /


councillor, I say, could not stand such things. and he always said
what he said now, "Why .do you fill the child's head with such
-tuti It is all silly fancy!"
But to little Ida all that the student told her about the flowers
seemed so funny, and she thought so much about it. The flowers
hung-their heads because they were tired out through dancing all
ii-lht. They were certainly sick. So she went away with them to
her other playthings, which stood upon a pretty litt 1- table with a
drawer quite full of all sorts of finery. In the Id11l', bed lay her
doll, Sophie, .-i, .--p.; but little Ida said to her, "You jmu- t really get
up, Sophie, and be satisfied with d,-..i,' in the dr...i-r to-night.
The poor flowers, are ill, so they must lie in your bed, perhaps that
will do them good." So she took up the doll, but it l. k-.d so
cross and said not a single word, for it was angry because its bed
was taken away from it. So Ida laid the flowers in the doll's bed,
tucked them well up with the little.counterpane, and told them
they must lie good and quiet, and she -,:,.ulld boil them some tea.,
that they miil-ht get -wll. and be able to get up in the morning;
and she drew the curtains close round the little bed, so tli:t the sun
might not shine in their eyes.
All that cv ienin she could not help tlinkin.n of what the
student had told her, and when her own 1-:,litinii .-:jiii, she insisted,
first of all, upon looking behind the curtains which hung down
before the windows where her mother's 1..:.iutiiful flower -,tood. both
hyacinths and tulip.s, and she wlhi-p:ere-d -quite Voftly, "I tell you
what-you are going to a ball t,-iight, I know!" The flowers
pretended that they did inot understand, and never stirred a leaf;
but little Ida knew all about it.


When she was put to bed she lay awake a long time thinking
how nice it would be to see the pretty flowers dancing inside the
King's.palace. I wonder if my flowers will be there, too." But
theh she fell asleep. In-the middle of the night she awoke agailu.
She had been dreaming about the flowers and the student whom the
Stitte-councillor had snubbed and chided for filling her head with
nonsense. It was quite still in the bed-chamber where Ida lay.
The night-lamp was shining on the table, and her father and mother
were fast asleep. "I wonder if my flowers are still lying in Sophie's
bed," she said to herself; how very much I should like to know! "
So she raised ier.1-.If a little' in her bed, and looked towards the door.
It stood ajar, beyond it lay the flowers and all her toys.. She
listened, and then she seemed to hear some one inside the room
playing on the piano, but very softly and so nicely that she had
never heard anything like it before. "I am certain all the flowers
are dancing inside there !" she said. "Oh, how I should like to see
it all! But she dared not get up, for she would have awakened
her father and mother. ."If they would only come in. here said
she; but the flowers did not come, and the music went on plyiviIg.
T-Ti, .-l~ could not stand it any longer, for it was really too lovely,
so she crept out of her little bed and went quite softly to the door
and peeped into the room. Was there ever anything so funny as
what she sl\\ there 11:,w ?
There was no night-lamp at all in the room, and yet it was
. lult' light; the moon shone through the window on to the middle
of the flo,1 ; it was ilh o~t :.- bright as day. All the hyacinths and
tunip. .t,.,:,.1 in two ',u:l rows upon the floor; there was not one of
them left oii the window-sill, but the empty pots still stood there.

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