Citation
Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales

Material Information

Title:
Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales
Creator:
Andersen, H. C ( Hans Christian ), 1805-1875
Robinson, W. Heath ( William Heath ), 1872-1944 ( Illustrator )
Hodder and Stoughton ( Publisher )
Boots Pure Drug Company, Ltd., Nottingham, Eng
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Published by Hodder and Stoughton for Boots Pure Drug Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
319 p. : ill., (some col.) ; 26 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Fairy tales ( lcsh )
Fairy tales -- 1932
Bldn -- 1932
Genre:
Fairy tales
fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- Londond

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
with illustrations by W. Heath Robinson.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027037211 ( ALEPH )
876862572 ( OCLC )
ALJ0970 ( NOTIS )

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Full Text


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CONTENTS

PAGE
THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER . . . . . 16
OMMPISHiGe iia 2 te a ete | eed
DHE SNOWS@QUEUNG te 62

PART THE FIRST—WHICH TREATS OF THE MIRROR
ANDEUISHERAGMHUNTS 985 8 8 ay

PART THE SECOND—A LITTLE BOY AND A LITTLE
CIR a ce

PART THE THIRD—THE ENCHANTED FLOWER-
CARDEN) (3) ] oe 08

PART THE FOURTH—THE PRINCE AND THE
PRINCESS (10d

PART THE FIFTH—THE LITTLE ROBBER-MAIDEN 115

PART THE SIXTH—THE LAPLAND WOMAN AND
THE FINLAND WOMAN . . . . - 128
7



8 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

PART THE SEVENTH—WHICH TREATS OF THE
SNOW QUEEN’S PALACE, AND OF WHAT CAME
TO PASS THEREIN . . . . . .

ELFIN-MOUNT

THE LITTLE MERMAID . ; 8 . . . .
THE STORKS . .

THE NIGHTINGALE

THE WILD SWANS .

THE REAL PRINCESS 5 i 6 6 . .
THE RED SHOES .

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES . : . .
THE SWINEHERD ., . . 7 : : ci .

(DEIN ETS GUN GST ee ee et
DEE EAP ING MUNCH: ee eee a aes
THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER
DEM U CH Ye DUCKING #5

THE NAUGHTY BOY Ries eR Ecce eae eae ead em eae

PAGH

128

195
213
238
244
257
265
275
287
293
800
815





LIST OF COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS

THE BUD OPENED INTO A FULL-BLOWN FLOWER,
IN THE MIDDLE OF WHICH LAY A BEAUTIFUL

CHILD . . . : : ; : : Frontispiece
SHE STOOD AT THE DOOR AND BEGGED FOR A PIECE
OF BARIENN-CORN 99 3 0

“YES, I WILL GO WITH THEE!” SAID TOMMELISE,
AND SHE SEATED HERSELF ON THE BIRD’S BACK 77

THE SWING MOVES AND THE BUBBLES FLY UPWARD
WITH BRIGHT, EVER-CHANGING COLOURS . - 9%

“HE DID NOT COME TO WOO HER,” HE SAID, “HE
HAD ONLY COME TO HEAR THE WISDOM OF THE

PRINCESS”, . : . . : . 109
ROUND AND ROUND THEY WENT, SUCH WHIRLING
AND TWIRLING . ‘ i . . a . - 143

9 2



10 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

SHE PUT THE STATUE IN HER GARDEN . . .

WITH THE REST OF THE CHILDREN OF AIR, SOARED
HIGH ABOVE THE ROSY CLOUD

WE WILL BRING HIM TWO LITTLE ONES, A BROTHER
AND A SISTER

THEN BEGAN THE NIGHTINGALE TO SING . .

THE PEASANT’S WIFE SAT ON SUNDAYS AT THE DOOR
OF HER COTTAGE READING HER HYMN-BOOK

PRINCESSES HE FOUND IN PLENTY, BUT WHETHER
THEY WERE REAL PRINCESSES IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE
FOR HIM TO DECIDE

SHE SAT DOWN ONE DAY AND MADE OUT OF SOME
OLD PIECES OF RED CLOTH A PAIR OF LITTLE
SHOES .

THE SWINEHERD SCOLDED AND THE RAIN POURED
DOWN .

SHE SAT THE LIVELONG DAY UPON THE ROOF OF
HER PALACE, EXPECTING HIM

HE JUMPED DOWN FROM THE OLD MAN’S LAP AND
DANCED AROUND HIM ON THE FLOOR .

PAGE

153

181

191
199

215

239

245

271

817





LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

The marsh king’s daughter . , : o i 5 wo kS
She understood the speech of birds : 6 . . 2 LG
It was he who pulled her down . : . : : asa
The Nile flood had retired . : : : : é seam
There was a little bird that beat its wings . : : - 89
Placed the golden circuit about his neck : : : - AT
Then she saw the storks . . : 5 : : . 58
The swallow soared high into the air . ; ; 5 oo 6)
“Thou poor little thing,” said the field-mouse ; : - 62
“This is just the wife for my son,” said the toad. 5 SOD
Oh, how terrified was poor Tommelise . . . sued
That was the greatest of pleasures ° é * . - 76
They carried the mirror from place to place . . . - §&1

He chuckled with delight . . ¢ . . 6 - 88

She wore a large hat, with most beautiful flowers painted on it 91
11



12 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

PAGE
Gerda knew every flower in the garden ; 6 ; - 101

Suddenly a large raven hopped upon the snow in front of her. 105
Cabinet councillors were walking about barefooted . ; - 118
And the nearer they were to the door the prouder they looked 119
And flapped his black wings at the carriage till it was out of sight 122
The little robber-maiden . . : ; 2 ; - 125
The snow queen . . ° . . : : , - 128
She ran on as fast as she could . . : ; : . 181
She entered. the large, cold, empty hall . : ; : - 188
The elfin-king’s housekeeper . . . . 5 : - 186
The mer-king must be invited first 3 x : : - 140
They felt quite as if they were at home f : - 145
I will have thee myself to wife . A 5 5 , . 147
The little mermaid . . . . 0 : ; - 149

She was on the whole a sensible sort of lady ; : - 156
The youngest was the most lovely ie 3 : : . 159
They ate from their hands . ; s 2 5 : . 166
Many an evening she rose to the place . ; e . . 178
When the sun arose she awoke . A : : : ey ld ee
Father-stork . . . 5 ‘. . : - 184
“Stork! stork! long-legged stork!” . : : : - 188
And fetch one for each of the boys : 2 : : - 190

“Oh! how pretty that is!” he would say . 4 : . 194
Among the branches dwelt a nightingale : ‘ : - 201
They admired the city, the palace, and the garden : . 2038
The kitchen-maid . ; fs . . : . : - 205
The chief imperial nightingale bringer . : z i - 208
He was quite as successful as the real nightingale : - 210
The wild swans . . . . ; : . a - 212
So Elise took off her clothes and stepped into the water - 220
And met an old woman with a basket full of berries, - 228



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Not a boat was to be seen . . . . . : 0
There was only just room for her and them . : . .
I must venture to the churchyard 2 * : . ‘
I have scarcely closed my eyes the whole night through ;

The old king himself went out to open it . : : :

The peas were preserved in the cabinet of curiosities . :
Karen . . . ° . . . . a " .
And Karen was dressed very neatly 3 a : 5

Karen and the old lady walked to church . ‘

He sat there nodding at her. . . 6 fs .
Dance she must, over field and meadow

Two rogues calling themselves weavers made their appearance
“Oh, it is excellent!” replied the minister . p

As if in the act of holding something up : : . ‘

So now the emperor walked under his high canopy 7 :
The two rogues . . ° . ° ; . . .
The emperor’s daughter : . , . .

All cares and sorrows were forgotten by him who inhaled its
fragrance . : .

And he wept like a chil : _ : : . |
“Ach! du lieber Augustin ” 5 . : : : :
Up flew the trunk . . . .

The son lived merrily . 5 : : :

** Will you tell us a story?” asked the queen : : 5
“But let it make us laugh,” said the king

Their slippers flew about their ears é ‘ : d :
And thus the frog won the princess . . . : .
The old councillor . : . . : : : .
‘IT say nothing for the present,” remarked the king

It may not be perfectly true . c . : ,

The shepherdess and the chimney-sweeper_ . ; . .

13

PAGH

226
229
233
237

242
243
248
250
251
254

259
261
262
263

266
268
270
274
276
279
280
282
286

289
290
291



14 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

The poor duckling was scorned by all . °

He came to a large moor . : . . . .
And the cat said, ‘Can you purr?”

And every one said, ‘‘ The new one is the best” .

Beware of him, dear child! .

PAGE

299
304
809
311
314














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PAIN AW LA HAS SACU,

SHE UNDERSTOOD THE SPEECH OF BIRDS

THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER

Tue storks tell their young ones ever so many fairy
tales, all of them from the fen and the moss. Generally
the tales are suited to the youngsters’ age and under-
standing. The baby birds are pleased if they are told
just “‘kribly, krably, plurry-murry!” which they think
wonderful; but the older ones will have something with
more sense in it, or, at the least, a tale about themselves.
Of the two oldest and longest tales which have been told
among the storks, one we all know—that about Moses,
who was placed by his mother in an ark on the waters of
the Nile, was found by the king’s daughter, and then was
taught all learning, and became a great man, and no one
knows where he was buried. Everybody has heard that
tale.

16



THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 17

But the other story is not known at all even now;
perhaps because it is really a chimney-corner tale. It has
been handed down by mother-stork to mother-stork for
hundreds of years, and each in turn has told it better,
till now we are telling it best of all.

The first pair of storks who knew it had their summer
quarters on a Viking’s log-house by the moor in Wendsyssel,
which is in the county of Hjérring, near Skagen in Jut-
land, if we want to be accurate. To this day there is still
an enormous great moss there. You can read all about it
in your geography book. The moss lies where was once
the bottom of the sea, before the great upheaval of the
land; and now it stretches for miles, surrounded on all
sides by watery meadows and quivering bog, with turf-moss
cloud-berries and stunted trees growing. A fog hangs
over it almost continually, and till about seventy years
ago wolves were still found there. It may certainly be
called a wild moor, and you can imagine what lack of
paths and what abundance of swamp and sea was there
thousands of years ago. In that waste man saw ages
back just what he sees to-day. The reeds were just as
high, with the same kind of long leaves and _purplish-
brown, feathery flowers as they have now; the birches
stood with white bark and fine, loose-hung leaves just
as they now stand ; and for the living creatures that came
there, why, the fly wore its gauze suit of just the same cut
as now, and the colour of the stork’s dress was white and
black, with red stockings. On the other hand, the men of
that time wore different clothes from those we wear. But
whoever it was, poor peasant or free hunter, that trod
on the quagmire, it happened thousands of years ago just
as it does to-day—in he went and down he sank, down to
the Marsh King, as they called him, who reigned beneath
in the great Moss Kingdom. He was called also the
Mire King, but we will call him by the stork’s name for
him—Marsh King. People know very little about how

he governed, but perhaps that is just as well.



18 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Near to the moss, and right in the Liim Fjord, stood the
Viking’s log-house, with paved cellar and tower two
storeys high. On the roof the storks had built their nest.
Mother-stork sat on her eggs, and was positive they would
turn out well.

One evening father-stork had been out for a long time,
and when he came home he seemed excited and flurried.

“ve dreadful news for you! ” he said to mother-stork.

“Don’t get excited,” said she. ‘‘ Remember I’m sit-
ting on my eggs, and I might be upset by it, and then the
eggs would suffer.”

‘You must know it!” he answered. ‘‘ She has come
here, our landlord’s daughter in Egypt! She has ven-
tured on the journey here, and she is lost!”

“Why, she is of fairy descent! Tell me all about it;
you know I can’t bear to wait at this time, when I’m
sitting.”

“Listen, mother. It’s as you told me. She has be-
lieved what the doctor said, that the moor-flowers here
could do her sick father good, and so she has flown here in
a feather-dress with the other winged princesses, who have
to come to the north every year to bathe and renew their
youth. She has come, and she is lost ! ”

“You're getting too long-winded ! ” said mother-stork.
“The eggs may be chilled! I can’t bear to be excited ! ”

“ [have watched,” said father-stork, ‘“‘ and in the even-
ing, when I went into the reeds, where the quagmire is able
to bear me, there came three swans. Something in the
way they flew told me, ‘ Watch; that isn’t a real swan;
it’s only swan feathers.’ You know the feeling, mother,
as well as Ido; you can tell if it is right.”

“Yes, certainly,” said she; ‘but tell me about the
princess. I’m tired of hearing about the swan’s feathers.”

‘Here, in the middle of the moor, you know,” said
father-stork, “is a kind of lake ; you can see a part of it if
you stand up. There, by the reeds and the green quag-
mire, lies a great elder-stump. The three swans lighted



THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 19

on it, flapped their wings, and looked round them. Then
one of them threw off her swan’s plumage, and I saw it
was our own princess, of our house in Egypt. Then she
sat down, and she had no other covering than her own
long, black hair. I heard her ask the two others to take
great care of her swan-skin while she plunged under the
water to gather a flower which she thought she saw. They
nodded, and lifted up the loose feather-dress. ‘ I wonder
what they mean to do with it,’ said I to myself; and no
doubt she asked them the same. And she got an answer,
something she could see for herself. They flew aloft with
her feather-dress! ‘Sink down,’ they cried; ‘ you shall
never fly in the swan-skin again; never see Egypt again !
Stay in the moss!’ And so they tore her feather-dress
into a hundred pieces, till the feathers flew about as if
it was snowing, and off flew the two good-for-nothing
princesses.”

“Oh, how dreadful! ’’ said mother-stork. “I can’t
bear to hear it. But, tell me, what else happened ?”

“Our princess moaned and wept. Her tears fell on
the elder-stump, and it was quite moved, for it was the
Marsh King himself, who lives in the quagmire. I saw
the stump turn itself, so it wasn’t only a trunk, for it put
out long, muddy boughs like arms. Then the unhappy
girl was frightened, and sprang aside into the quivering
marsh, which will not bear me, much less her. In at once
she sank, and down with her went the elder-stump—it was
he who pulled her down. Then a few big black bubbles,
and no trace of her left. She is engulfed in the marsh, and
will never return to Egypt with her flower. You couldn’t
have borne to see it, mother!”

“You shouldn’t have told me anything of the sort just
now; it may affect the eggs. The princess can take good
care of herself. She’ll get help easily enough. Had it
been you or I, there would have been an end of us.”

‘““ However, I’ll go day by day to see about it,” said
father-stork ; and so he did.



20 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

The days and months went by. He saw at last one day
that right from the bottom of the marsh a green stalk
pushed up till it reached the surface of the water. Out of
it grew a leaf, that grew wider and wider, and close to it a
bud put out. Then one morning, as the stork was flying
over it, it opened, with the sun’s warmth, into a full-blown
flower, in the middle of which lay a beautiful child, a
little girl, as if she were fresh from the bath. So like was
the child to the princess from Egypt, that at first the stork
believed it to be herself turned a child again. But when
he thought it over, he decided that it was more likely to
be the child of the princess and the Marsh King, and that
was why she was lying in a water lily.

“She mustn’t be left lying there,” thought father-
stork, “ and there are too many already in my nest. But
IT have it! The Viking’s wife has no children, and she has
often wished for a little one. Yes, I get the name for
bringing the babies; I will do it in sober truth for once!
Pll fly to the Viking’s wife with the child. They’ll be
delighted ! ”

So the stork took the little girl, flew to the log-house,
made a hole with his beak in the window, with panes made
of bladder, laid the child on the bosom of the Viking’s wife,
and flew away to mother-stork to tell her all aboutit. Her
young ones heard it too, for they were now old enough.

“Listen; the princess is not dead. She has sent her
little one up, and the child has a home found for her.”

“Yes, so I said from the first,” said mother-stork.
* Now think a little about your own children. It’s almost
time for our journey. I begin to feel atingling under my
wings. The cuckoo and the nightingale are off already,
and I hear the quails chattering about it, and saying that
we shall soon have a favourable wind. Our young ones
are quite fit for training, I’m sure.”

Glad indeed was the Viking’s wife when she woke in
the morning to find the beautiful little child near her side.
She kissed and fondled it, but it screamed with passion,





IT WAS HE WHO PULLED HER DOWN



22 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

and threw out its arms and legs, and seemed utterly miser-
able. At last it cried itself to sleep, and there it lay, one
of the prettiest babies you could set eyes on.

The Viking’s wife was so happy, so gay, so well, that
she could not but hope that her husband and his men would
return as suddenly as the little one had come, and so she
and all her household busied themselves to get everything
into order. The long coloured tapestries, which she and
her maidens had woven with figures of their gods—Odin,
Thor, Freya, as they were called—were hung up; the
slaves were set to polish the old shields used for decoration p
cushions were arranged on the benches, and dry wood
placed on the hearth in the middle of the hall, so that the
fire could be lit ina moment. The Viking’s wife took her
share in the work, so that by the evening she was very
tired, and slept soundly.

When she woke towards daybreak she was terribly
frightened. The little child had vanished! She sprang
up, lighted a brand, and looked everywhere around.
There, just at the foot of the bed where she had lain, was,
not a baby, but a great ugly toad! In utter disgust at it
she took a heavy stick to kill it, but the creature looked
at her with such wonderfully sad eyes that she could not
destroy it. Once more she gazed round; the toad uttered
a faint, mournful croak. She started, and sprang from
the bedside to the window, and opened it. At that mo-
ment the sun rose, and cast its rays upon the bed and upon
the great toad. All at once it seemed that the creature’s
wide mouth shrank, and became small and rosy; the
limbs filled out into the most charming shape. It was her
own beautiful babe that lay there, not the hideous reptile !

“ What is this?” cried the dame. “ Was it an ill
dream? Yes, there is my own sweet elfin child lying
there!” She kissed it, and pressed it to her heart; but
it fought and bit like a wild kitten !

The Viking, however, did not come that day, nor the
next; for though he was on his way, the wind was against



THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 23

him as it blew to the south for the storks. Fair wind for
one is foul for the other.

In those two days and nights the Viking’s wife saw
clearly how it was with her little child. And dreadfulindeed
was the spell that lay on it. By day it was as beautiful as
an angel of light, but it had a bad, evil disposition. By
night, on the other hand, it was a hideous toad, quiet, sad,
with sorrowful eyes. It had two natures, which changed
with its outward form. And so it was that the baby,
brought by the stork, had by daylight its mother’s own
rightful shape, but its father’s temper; while again, night
made the kinship with him evident in the bodily form, in
which, however, dwelt the mother’s mind and heart. Who
could loose the spell cast by the power of witchcraft ?
The Viking’s wife was worn and distressed about it, and her
heart was heavy for the unhappy being, of whose condition
she did not think that she dared tell her husband if he came
home then, for he would certainly follow the custom and
practice of the time, and expose the poor child on the high-
road for anyone that liked to take away. The good dame
had not the heart to do this: her husband should see the
child only by daylight.

One morning the wings of storks were heard above
the roof. More than a hundred pairs of the birds had
rested themselves for the night after their heavy exer-
cise, and they now flew up, preparatory to starting
southwards.

** All ready, and the wives and children ?”’ was their
cry.
“Oh, I’m so light,” said the young storks. “ My
bones feel all kribly-krably, as if I was filled with live
frogs! How splendid it is to have to go abroad!”

‘“* Keep up in the flight,” said father and mother, “ and
don’t chatter so much ; it tires the chest.”

And they flew.

At the same moment a horn sounded over the moor.
The Viking had landed with all his men, returning laden



24 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

with booty from the coasts of Gaul, where the people, like
those of Britain, used to chant in their terror: ‘* From
the rage of the Northmen, Lord, deliver us!” Guess
what stir and festival now came to the Viking’s stronghold
near the moor! A barrel of mead was brought into hall ;
a huge fire was lighted; horses were slaughtered ; every-
thing went duly. The heathen priest sprinkled the slaves
with warm blood, to begin their new life; the fire crackled;
the smoke curled under the roof; the soot fell down from
the beams—but they were used to that. Guests were
invited, and received valuable gifts. Plots and treachery
were forgotten; they drank deep and threw the picked
bones in each other’s faces in good-humoured horse-play.
The bard—a kind of musician, but a warrior as well, who
went with them, saw their exploits, and sang about them—
gave them a song in which they heard all their warrior-

deeds and feats of prowess. Each verse ended with the
refrain :

““ Wealth, kindred, life cannot endure,
But the warrior’s glory standeth sure.”

And they all clashed upon their shields, and beat upon the
table with knives and fists, and made great clamour.
The Viking’s wife sat on the cross-bench in the open
banqueting-hall. She wore a robe of silk, with bracelets
of gold and beads of amber. She had put on her dress of
state, and the bard sang of her, and told of the golden
treasure she had brought to her wealthy lord, while he was
delighted with the beautiful child, for he could see it by
day in all its loveliness. He was well pleased with the
baby’s wildness, and said she would become a right warrior-
maid, and fight as his champion. She did not even blink
her eyes when a skilful hand cut her eyelashes with a sharp
sword as a rough joke.
_~ The barrel of mead was drained, and a second brought
In, and all got well drunk, for they were folk who loved to



THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 25

drink their fill, They had a proverb: “‘ The kine know
when to go to stall from pasture, but the fool never knows
when he has had enough.” They knew it well enough, but
know and do are different things. They had another
proverb, too: ‘‘ The dearest friend grows wearisome when
he outstays his welcome.’”’ But on they stayed. Meat
and mead are good: it was glorious!—and the slaves
slept in the warm ashes, and dipped their fingers in the
fat and licked them. Oh, it was a great time!

Once again that year the Viking went on a raid, though
the autumn gales were rising. He led his men to the coast
of Britain—‘“‘ just over the water,” he said; and his wife
remained with the little girl. And truth to tell, the foster-
mother soon grew fonder of the unhappy toad with the
gentle eyes and deep sigh than of the beautiful child that
fought and bit all about her.

The raw, dank autumn mist, ‘‘ Mouthless,’? which
devours the leaves lay over forest and moor; “ Bird
Featherless,” as they called the snow, flew closely all
around ; winter was nigh at hand. The sparrows took
the storks’ nests for themselves, and criticized the ways of
the late owners during their absence. And where were
mother- and father-stork and their young ones all the time ?
Down in the land of Egypt, where the sun shone warm,
as it does on a fine summer’s day with us. Tamarinds and
acacias bloomed round them; the crescent of Mahomet
gleamed bright from the cupolas of the mosques ; pairs and
pairs of storks sat on the slender turrets, and rested after
their long journey. Great flocks of them had built nest by
nest on the huge pillars and broken arches of temples and
forgotten cities. The date-palm raised its foliage on high,
as if to keep off the glare of the sun. Grey-white pyramids
stood out against the clear sky across the desert, where the
ostrich raced at speed, and the lion crouched with great,
wise eyes, and saw the marble sphinx that lay half-buried
in the sand. The Nile flood had retired; the whole bed
of the river was swarming with frogs, and to the stork

4



26 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

family that was quite the best thing to be seen in the
country. The young ones thought their eyes must be
playing them tricks, it all seemed so wonderful.

“We always have it just like this in our warm coun-
try,” said mother-stork; and the young ones felt their
appetites grow.

“Will there be anything more to see?” said they.
“Shall we go much farther into the country ?”

“There is nothing better to see,” said mother-stork.
“ At that green border is only a wild wood, where the trees
crowd one upon another, and are entangled together with
thorny creepers. Only an elephant with his clumsy legs
can make a way there. The snakes are too large for us,
and the lizards too lively. If you try to go into the desert
you get your eyes full of sand in fair weather, and if there
is much wind, you find yourself buried under a sand-heap.
No, this is the best place. Here are frogs and locusts. I
shall stop here, and you must stay with me.” And they
stayed.

The old ones sat in their nest on the slender minaret
and rested themselves, while yet they were busy preening
their feathers and rubbing their beaks on their red-
stockinged legs. They would raisetheir necks, bow gravely,
and hold up their heads with their high foreheads, fine,
smooth feathers, and brown eyes glancing sharply. The
young hen-storks walked gravely about among the coarse
reeds, stealing glances at the other young storks, and
devouring a frog at every third step, or else a small snake,
which they found so good for their health, and so tasty.
The young males began to quarrel, beat each other with
their wings, pecked, yes, stabbed till the blood flowed!
And so one and another got betrothed, for that was the
whole purpose of life. They built nests, and from that
sprang new quarrels, for in hot countries tempers are so
quick! Nevertheless, it was all delightful, especially to
the old ones. Everything that one’s own youngsters do
becomes them. Every day there was sunshine; every





THE NILE FLOOD HAD RETIRID



28 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

day was so much taken up with eating that there was
hardly time to think of amusement.

But inside the rich palace of their Egyptian landlord,
as they called him, joy was unknown. Rich and mighty
lord, there he lay on a couch, his limbs rigid, stretched out
like a mummy, in the midst of the great hall with its many-
coloured walls ; it looked just as if he was lying in a tulip.
His kinsmen and servants stood around him; he was not
dead; you could not call him alive; he existed. The
healing moss-flower from the northern land, which should
have been searched for and gathered by her who loved
him most dearly, would never be brought. His young and
beautiful daughter, who flew in swan’s plumage over sea
and land, far towards the north, would never return. “She
is dead and gone!” the two swan-maidens had told him
on their return. They had invented a whole history of it.
Said they:

“We all three flew high in the air: a hunter saw us
and shot an arrow; it struck our friend, and singing her
farewell, like a dying swan, she slowly sank, in the midst
of a forest lake. There we buried her, near the shore of
the lake, under a fragrant weeping-birch. But we took
our revenge! We bound fire under the wings of a swallow
which had built under the hunter’s thatched roof! The
thatch caught ; the house blazed up! He was burned in
it, and the light shone over the lake as far as the drooping
birch tree under which she is buried. She will never come
back to the land of Egypt.”

And so they both wept; and the father-stork, when he
heard it, chattered with his beak till it rattled again.

“Lies and make-up!” said he. “I have a great
mind to drive my beak into their hearts.”

“ And break it off!” said mother-stork. “ And what
good would that do? Think first of yourself and your
own family; everything else is of no consequence ! ”’

Ss However, I will seat myself on the edge of the open
court in the morning, when all the learned doctors are met





THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 29

to talk about the illness. Perhaps they will come a little
nearer the truth.”

And the learned doctors came together, and talked and
talked all about, so that the stork could not make head or
tail of it—nor did anything come of it for the sickness, or
for the daughter in the moor; but, nevertheless, we shall
be glad to hear something about it, for we are obliged to
listen to a great deal.

But now it will be a very good thing to learn what had
gone before this meeting, in order to understand the story
better, for at least we know as much as father-stork.

“Love brings life! The highest love supports the
highest life! Only through love will he be able to secure
the preservation of his life ! ’ was what they said ; and very
wisely and well said it was, according to the learned.

“That’s a pretty thought!” said father-stork.

“I don’t rightly understand it!” said mother-stork,
“and it isn’t my fault, but the expressions! However, be
that as it may, I’ve something else to think about!”

Then the learned men had spoken of love for one thing
to another, of the difference there is between the affection
of lovers and that of parent and child; of the love of plant
and sunbeam, where the rays of the sun touch the bud and
the young shoot thus comes forth—all this was expounded
at such great length and in so learned a way that it was
impossible for father-stork to follow it, much less to repeat
it. He was quite thoughtful about it, and half closed his
eyes and stood on one leg a whole day afterwards; such
learning was too heavy for him to bear.

However, he understood one thing. He had heard
both the common folk and those of the highest rank say
the same thing from the bottom of their hearts—that it
was a great misfortune for thousands of people, for the
country at large, that this man should be ill and not
recover ; it would be a joy and blessing if he were restored
to health. ‘‘ But where does the flower of health grow for
him ? ” that was what they had all inquired. They sought



80 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

it from the scrolls of wisdom, from the twinkling stars, and
from the winds ; they had asked in all by-ways where they
might find it, and at last the learned and wise announced,
as we have said: “* Love brings forth life, the life of a
father,” and so they said more than they themselves
understood. They repeated it, and wrote it as a prescrip-
tion: ‘*‘ Love brings forth life ’’ ; but how was the thing to
be done from this prescription ? There lay the difficulty.
At length they came to an agreement about it; the help
must come from the princess, who was attached to her
father with her whole soul and heart. And then they
decided how it was to be brought about (all this was more
than a year and a day before): she must go by night, at
the new moon, to the marble sphinx near the desert, must
clear away the sand from the door with her feet, and then
go through the long passage that led into the middle of
one of the great pyramids, where in his mummy-case lay
one of the mighty kings of old, surrounded by splendour
and magnificence. Here she was to hold her ear to the
lips of the dead, and then it would be revealed to her
how she was to gain life and health for her father.

All this she had done, and had learned in vision that,
from the deep marsh in the land of Denmark, a spot most
clearly indicated, she might bring home the marsh-flower,
which there in the depth of the water had touched her
breast. Then he would be healed. So she flew in swan’s
plumage from the land of Egypt to the moor.

You see, father-stork and mother-stork were aware of
all this, and now we know the story more fully than
before. We remember that the Marsh King dragged her
down to him; we know that for those at home she is
dead and gone; only the wisest of them all said still, with
mother-stork: “She takes good care of herself!” and
they were obliged to wait, for that was all they knew
about it.

“I believe I can steal the swans’ plumage from the two
good-for-nothing princesses!” said father-stork, “then they



THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 31

will not be able to go to the moor to work mischief. I
will hide the swans’ skins themselves till they are wanted.”

“Where will you hide them?” asked mother-stork.

“In our nest on the moor!” said he. “I and the
youngest of our brood can be helped along with them, and
if they are troublesome to us, there are plenty of places
on the way where we can hide them till next time of
moving. One swan’s dress would be enough for her,
but two are better ; it is well to have plenty of luggage in
a northern climate! ”

“You will get no thanks for it! ” said mother-stork.
“‘ However, you are the master. I have nothing to say,
except when I am sitting.”

* * * * *

In the Viking’s stronghold near the moor, whither the
storks flew at the spring, the little girl had received her
name. They had called her Helga, but that was far too
sweet for such a disposition as the one possessed by this
most beautiful child. Month after month it became more
evident, and as years went by—whilst the storks pursued
the same journey, in autumn towards the Nile, in spring
towards the moor—the little child became a grown girl,
and before people thought of it, she was in her sixteenth
year, and the most beautiful of maidens. But the fruit
was a beautiful shell, the kernel hard and rough. She
was wilder than most people even in that hard, gloomy
age.
It was a delight to her to splash with her white hands
in the hot blood of the horse which had been slaughtered
as a sacrifice; in her wildness she bit off the neck of the
black cock which should have been slain by the heathen
priest ; and she said in sober earnest to her foster-father :

“Tf thine enemy came and tied a rope to the beams of
the roof, and lifted it over thy chamber, whilst thou wast
asleep, I should not wake thee, even if I could! I would
not hear it, my blood still so hums in my ears where thou
didst slap me years ago! Thou! I remembcr!”



32 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

But the Viking did not believe what she said; he was,
like the others, infatuated with her beauty ; and he did not
know how disposition and appearance changed in little
Helga. She would sit without a saddle, as if she had
grown to the horse, when it galloped at full speed; and
she would not leap off, even when it fought with other
vicious horses. In all her clothes she would often cast
herself from the bank into the strong current of the fjord
and swim to meet the Viking when his boat was steering
towards the land. She cut off the longest lock from her
beautiful long hair, and made it into a string for her
bow. “‘Self-made is well made!” she said.

The Viking’s wife, according to the age and custom,
was strong in will and in disposition, but towards the
daughter she seemed a mild, anxious woman, for she knew
that the dreadful child was bewitched.

When her mother stood on the balcony, or walked out
into the courtyard, it seemed as if Helga took an evil
delight in placing herself on the edge of the well, extending
her arms and legs, and then leaping plump into the narrow,
deep hole, where she, with her frog-nature, dived, and rose
again, crawled out, just as if she was a cat, and came,
dripping with water, into the lofty hall, so that the green
leaves which were scattered on the floor floated about in
the watery stream.

But there was one bond that restrained little Helga,
and that was the dusk of the evening. Then she became
quiet and pensive, and would allow herself to be called
and led. She seemed to be drawn by some internal feeling
to her mother, and when the sun went down and the
transformation without and within her took place, she
sat there quiet and melancholy, shrunken together into
the figure of a toad. Her body, indeed, was now far
larger than that creature’s, but it was only so much the
more disgusting. She looked like a miserable dwarf
with frog’s head, and web between the fingers. There was
something of the deepest melancholy in the expression of





THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 33

her eyes; she had no voice but a hollow moan, just like
a child that sobs in its dreams. The Viking’s wife could
then take her on her knees: she forgot the ugly form,
and looked only at the sorrowful eyes, and more than once
she said :

“I could wish almost that thou wast always my dumb
frog-child! Thou art more frightful to look at when thy
beauty returns to thee.”

And she wrote runes against witchcraft and disease, and
cast them over the wretched girl, but she saw no change.

““ Now that she is a full-grown woman, and so like the
Egyptian mother,” said father-stork, ‘one could not
believe that she was once so little that she lay in a water-
lily. We have never seen her mother since! She did not
take care of herself, as you and the learned men thought.
Year out, year in, I have flown now in all directions over the
moor, but she has never made any sign. Yes, let me tell
you that every year when I have come up here some days
ahead of you, to mend the nest and put one thing and
another straight, I have flown for a whole night, like an
owl or a bat, to and fro over the open water, but it was
no use! Nor have the two swan-dresses been any use
which the young ones and I dragged hither from the land
of the Nile. Toilsome work it was, and it took us three
journeys to do it. They have now lain for many years
at the bottom of the nest, and if such a disaster as a fire
should happen at any time, and the log-house be burnt,
they would be lost!”

** And our good nest would be lost also!” said mother-
stork. ‘* You think too little of that, and too much of the
feather-dress, and your moss-princess! You had better
take it to her and stay in the bog! You are a useless
father to your own family; I have said that ever since I
sat on an egg for the first time! I only hope that we
or our young ones may not get an arrow in the wing
from that mad Viking girl! She does not know what

she is doing. We have lived here a little longer than she,
5



34 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

she should remember! We never forget our obligations ;
we pay our taxes yearly, a feather, an egg, and a young
one, as is right. Do you think, when she is outside, I feel
inclined to go down there, as in the old days, and as I do
in Egypt, where I am half a companion with them, with-
out their forgetting me, and peep into tub and pot? No,
I sit up here worrying myself about her—the hussy !—and
about you too! You ought to have let her lie in the
water-lily, and there would have been an end of her!”

“You are kinder than your words!” said father-
stork. ‘I know you better than you know yourself.”

And so he gave a jump, two heavy strokes of his
wings, stretched his legs behind him, and off he flew. He
sailed away, without moving his wings. At a good dis-
tance off he gave a powerful stroke; the sun shone on his
white feathers; he stretched his neck and head forward !
That was speed and flight !

‘“‘But he is still the handsomest of them all!” said
the mother-stork, ‘‘ only I don’t tell him that.”

of * X X 2

Early that autumn the Viking came home with spoil
and captives. Among these was a young Christian priest,
one of those men who preached against the idols of the
northern countries. Often at that period did the talk in
the hall and in the bower of the women refer to the new
faith, which had made its way into all the countries of the
south, and by the holy Anskarius had been brought even
to Haddeby on the Schlei. Helga herself had heard of the
faith in the White Christ, who out of love to men had given
Himself to save them ; but for her, as they say, it had gone
in at one ear and out at the other. She seemed to have
only a perception of that word “‘ love ’’ when she crouched
in that closed room in her miserable frog-form. But
the Viking’s wife had listened to it, and felt herself wonder-
fully affected by the story and traditions of the Son of
the only true God. The men, on coming home from their
expedition, had told of the splendid temples of costly







THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 35

hewn stone, erected for Him whose message was love;
and they brought home with them a pair of heavy golden
vessels, elaborately pierced, and with a fragrant odour
about them, for they were censers, which the Christian
priests used to swing before the altar where no blood was
ever shed, but wine and consecrated bread changed into
His body and blood who had given Himself for generations
yet unborn.

In the deep paved cellar of the log-house the young
captive Christian priest was confined, his feet and hands
securely bound. The Viking’s wife said that he was ** as
fair as Baldur,”? and she was touched by his distress ;
but young Helga wished that a rope should be drawn
through his legs, and that he should be tied to the tails of
wild oxen.

‘“¢Then I would set the dogs loose. Halloo ! away over
bog and fen, out to the moor! That would be jolly
to see ! jollier still to be able to follow him on his course tes

But the Viking did not choose that he should be put to
death that way, but, as a denier and opposer of the high
gods, he should be offered the next morning on the blood-
stone in the grove—the first time that a human sacrifice
had been offered there.

Young Helga asked that she might sprinkle the images
of the gods and the people with his blood. She sharpened
her gleaming knife, and when one of the great, ferocious
dogs, of which there were a good many in the courtyard,
ran across her feet, she drove the knife into its side.
“That is to test it,” said she; and the Viking’s wife
looked sadly at the wild, ill-tempered girl, and, when the
night came, and the beautiful bodily form of her daughter
was changed for the beauty of soul, she spoke glowing
words of sorrow to her from her own afflicted spirit.

The hideous toad with the goblin’s body stood before
her, and fixed its brown, sorrowful eyes on her; listening
and seeming to understand with the intelligence of a
human being.



36 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

‘‘ Never, even to my husband, has a word fallen from
my tongue about the twofold nature I endure in cen
said the Viking’s wife. ‘‘ There is more pity in my heart
for thee than I could have believed! Great is the love
of a mother; but affection never comes into thy mind!
Thy heart is like the cold clod! Whence didst thou then
come into my house?”

At that the hideous form trembled and shook. It
seemed as if the word touched some connexion between
body and soul; great tears came into its eyes.

“Thy bitter trial will come some time!” said the
Viking’s wife; ‘“‘ and terrible will it be for me! Better
hadst thou been abandoned on the highway as a child,
and the night-frost had lulled thee into death!” And
the Viking’s wife wept bitter tears, and, wrathful and sad,
passed behind the loose curtains which hung over the
beam and divided the room.

The shrunken toad sat alone in the corner. There was
silence, but after a short interval there came from her
breast a half-smothered sigh. It was as if, painfully, a
soul awoke to life in a corner of her heart. She took
one step forward, listened, took another step, and then
with her awkward hands she seized the heavy bar that
was placed before the door. Gently she put it back,
and quietly she drew out the peg that was stuck in over
the latch. She took the lighted lamp that stood in front
of the rooms; it seemed as if a strong will gave her
power. She drew the iron pin out of the bolted shutter,
and moved gently towards the prisoner. He was asleep.
She touched him with her cold, damp hand, and when
he awoke and saw that hideous form, he shuddered, as if
at an evil vision. She drew her knife, severed his bonds,
and made signs to him to follow her.

He called upon the holy Name, made the sign of the
cross, and as the figure stood unchanged, he repeated
the words of the Bible:

“““The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive:







THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 387

the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.’ Who art
thou? Whence is this reptile shape that yet is so full of
deeds of compassion ? ”

The toad-figure beckoned and guided him behind
sheltering curtains by a solitary way out to the stable,
pointed at a horse; he mounted it, and she seated herself
before him and held on by the mane of the animal. The
prisoner understood her, and they rode away at a quick
trot, by a path he would never have discovered, out to the
open heath.

He forgot her hideous form, for the favour and mercy
of the Lord were acting through this hobgoblin. He
offered up pious prayers, and began to sing holy songs ;
and she trembled ; was it the power of the prayers and
hymns that acted upon her ? or was it the coldness of the
morning which was so quickly coming ? What was it that
she felt ? She raised herself up in the breeze, and wished
to stop the horse and spring off; but the Christian priest
held her fast with all his strength, and sang aloud a
Psalm, as if that would have power to loose the spell
that held her in that hideous frog shape, and the horse
galloped forward yet more wildly. The heaven became
red; the first ray of the sun shot through the cloud, and
with that clear spring of light came the change of form
—she was the beautiful young girl with the demoniac,
evil temper! In his arms he held a peerless maiden, and
in utter terror he sprang from the horse and stopped it,
for he thought he was encountering a new and deadly
witchcraft. But young Helga at the same time leapt
to the ground; the short child’s frock reached only to
her knees; she drew the sharp knife from her belt, and
rushed at the startled man.

“Let me get at you!’ she cried; “let me get at
you, and you shall feel the knife. Yes, you are as pale as
hay! Slave! Beardless boy!”

She pressed him hard; they were engaged in a severe
conflict, but it was as if an unseen power gave strength



38 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

to the Christian. He held her fast, and the old oak tree
hard by came to his help, for its roots, half loosened from
the earth, caught her feet as they slipped under them. A
spring gushed forth quite close to them; he sprinkled
her with the fresh water on breast and face, and charged
the unclean spirit to come out of her, signing her with
the cross, according to the Christian rite. But the water
of baptism had no power there, where the spring of faith
had not yet arisen within.

Yet herein also was he strong; more than a man’s
strength against the rival power of evil lay in his act, and
as if it overwhelmed her, she dropped her arms, looked
with a surprised glance and pale cheeks at him, who
seemed a powerful sorcerer, strong in wizardry and secret
lore. They were dark runes which he spoke, mystic signs
which he was making in the air! She would not have
blinked if he had swung an axe or a sharp knife before
her eyes, but she did when he made the sign of the cross
on her forehead and breast; she now sat like a tame
bird, her head bowed down on her bosom.

Gently he told her of the work of love she had done for
him in the night, that she had come in the hideous skin
of a frog, and had loosed his bonds, and brought him
out to light and life. He said that she also was bound—
bound in a closer bondage than he had been, but she, too,
with him should come to light and life. He would bring
her to Haddeby, to the holy Anskarius. There, in the
Christian city, the enchantment would be broken. But
he would not dare to carry her in front of him on the
horse, although she herself was willing to sit there.

“You must sit behind me on the horse, not in front of
me! Thy witch-beauty has a power that is from the
evil one. I dread it—and yet there is victory for me in
Christ !

He bent his knees and prayed gently and earnestly.
It was as if the silent glades of the forest were consecrated
thereby into a holy church. The birds began to sing as



E

THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 39

if they belonged to a new brotherhood ; the mint poured
forth its fragrance as if it would take the place of incense.
The priest proclaimed aloud the words of Holy Writ:

“¢*The Dayspring from
on high hath visited us, to
give light to them that sit in
darkness and in the shadow
of death, and to guide our
feet into the way of peace!’”’

And he spoke about the
longing of the whole Crea-
tion, and whilst he spoke the
horse, which had _ carried
them in its wild race, stood
quiet, and shook the great
brambles, so that the ripe,
juicy berries fell on little
Helga’s hand, offering them-
selves for her refreshment.

Patiently she let herself
be lifted on to the back of
the horse, and sat there like
one walks in his sleep, who
is not awake, but yet is not
moving in his dream. The
Christian fastened two
boughs together with a strip
of bark to form a cross, and
held it aloft in his hands.
So they rode through the
forest, which became denser
as the way grew deeper, or
rather, there was no way at
all. Sloes grew across the




gt ting pt 3 2b NE

erin |
ape eet te ix0ta Een



THERE WAS A LITTLE BIRD
THAT BEAT ITS WINGS

path ; one was obliged to ride around them. The spring
did not become a running brook, but a standing bog,
and one had to ride around that. There was strength



40 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

and refreshment in the fresh forest air; there was not
less power in the word of gentleness which sounded in
faith and Christian love, in the heartfelt desire to bring
the possessed to light and life.

They say that the drops of rain can hollow the hard
stone, the billows of the sea can in time wear smooth
the broken, sharp-edged pieces of rock. The dew of
Grace, which had descended upon little Helga, pierced
the hardness and rounded the ruggedness of her nature,
although it was not yet evident, and she was not yet
aware of it herself. But what does the germ in the
earth know of the refreshing moisture and the warm
rays of the sun, while yet it is hiding within itself plant
and flower ?

As a mother’s song for her child imperceptibly fastens
itself into its mind, and it babbles single words after
her, without understanding them, although they after-
wards collect themselves in its thoughts, and become clear
in the course of time, so in her the Word worked which
is able to create.

They rode out of the forest, away over the heath,
again through pathless forest, and towards evening they
met some robbers. :

“Where have you stolen that fair maiden?” they
shouted; they stopped the horse, and snatched the two
riders from it, for they were strong men. The priest
had no other weapon than the knife which he had taken
from little Helga to defend himself with; one of the
robbers swung his axe, but the young Christian avoided it,
and lightly sprang aside, or he would have been struck ;
but the edge of the axe sank deep into the horse’s neck, so
that the blood streamed out, and the animal fell to the
earth. Then little Helga started, as if awakened out of a
long, deep meditation, and threw herself down on the
expiring animal. The Christian priest placed himself
before her in order to defend her, but one of the robbers
dashed a ponderous iron mace against his forehead,



THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 41

crushing it. The blood and brains spurted around, and
he fell dead to the earth.

The robbers seized little Helga by her white arm.
At that moment the sun went down, and as the last ray -
faded, she was changed to a hideous toad. Her greenish
mouth opened across half her face; her arms became
thin and slimy, and her hands grew broad and covered
with webbing. Terror seized the robbers at the sight.
She stood among them, a hideous monster; then, frog-
like, hopped away, with bounds higher than she was
herself, and vanished in the thicket. The robbers knew
it for an evil trick of Loge, or secret magic art, and
hurried away in affright.

* 2 * a 2

The full moon was already rising, and soon shone
forth in splendour, and little Helga crept forth from the
thicket in the skin of a wretched toad. She stood by the
bodies of the Christian priest and of the horse, and she
looked at them with eyes that seemed to weep. Her
frog’s head uttered a moan like a child beginning to ery.
She threw herself now upon one, now upon the other;
she took water in her hand, which the webbed skin had
made larger and more hollow, and poured it over them.
They were dead, and would remain dead ; she understood
that. Wild animals would soon come and devour their
bodies; but that must not be! So she dug in the earth
as deep as she could. To open a grave for them was her
wish, but she had nothing to dig it with except a strong
bough of a tree and her weak hands; but on them there
was webbing stretched between her fingers. She tore it,
and the blood flowed. These means would be of no
use, she could see. Then she took water and washed the
dead man’s face, covered it with fresh green leaves, fetched
great boughs and laid them over him, shook leaves between
them, then took the heaviest stones she was able to lift,
laid them over the dead bodies, and filled up the openings
with moss. Then the mound seemed strong and protected,

6



42 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

but this arduous task had occupied the entire night—
the sun now burst forth, and little Helga stood in all her
beauty, with bleeding hands, and, for the first time, with
tears on her flushed maiden cheeks.

In this transformation, it seemed as if the two natures
struggled within her. She trembled, and gazed around her
as if she had awoke from a frightful dream. Running
to a slender beech, she held fast to it for support, then
climbed to the top of the tree, as lithely as a cat, and
clung fast to it. There she sat like a frightened squirrel,
sat there all through the long day in the deep solitude
of the forest, where all is still and death-like as they say.
Yet a pair of butterflies fluttered about at play or in
quarrel; there were ant-hills close by with many hundreds
of busy little creatures that crowded backwards and
forwards. Countless gnats danced in the air, swarm upon
swarm; hosts of buzzing flies chased each other about ;
birds, dragon-flies, and other small winged creatures filled
the air. The earth-worm crept out from the moist soil,
the mole raised itself above the ground. In all else it
was still and death-like around, or what one calls death-like
indeed! Nothing took any notice of little Helga, except
the jays, which flew screaming around the top of the tree
where she was sitting. They jumped along the branches
near her in daring inquisitiveness. One glance of her
eye was enough to chase them away again; but they
could not quite make her out, neither could she understand
herself.

When evening was near, and the sun began to go down,
her approaching change called her to movement again.
She let herself slide down from the tree, and when the
last ray of the sun disappeared, she sat there in the toad’s
shrunken form, with the webbed skin of her hands lacer-
ated, but her eyes now sparkled with a brilliancy of
beauty which they had scarcely possessed before, even in
her beautiful human shape. They were now the gentle
eyes of a pious maiden that looked from behind the



THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 43

reptile’s outward shape, and told of a deepened mind, of a
true human heart. The beautiful eyes swam with tears,
heavy tears that relieved her heart.

The cross of boughs bound together with a strip of
bark, the last work of him who now lay dead and buried,
was still lying on the grave she had made. Little Helga
now took it, at some unprompted impulse, and planted it
amongst the stones, over him and the slain horse. The
sadness of the recollection brought tears to her eyes, and
with the grief in her heart she traced the same sign in
the earth around the grave that so honourably enclosed
the dead. As with both hands she traced the sign of the
cross, the webbing fell off like a torn glove! She washed
herself in the water of the spring, and looked with astonish-
ment at her fine white hands. Again she made the
sien of the cross in the air between herself and the grave ;
her lips quivered, her tongue moved, and that Name,
which she had heard pronounced most frequently on her
ride through the forest, came audibly from her mouth—
she said, ‘‘ Jesus Christ !”

The toad’s skin fell off: she was a beautiful young
maiden; but her head drooped wearily, her limbs
needed repose—she slept.

Her slumber was short; at midnight she awoke. The
dead horse was standing before her, shining, and full of
life, that gleamed in light from its eyes and from its
wounded neck. Close by she saw the murdered Christian
priest, “‘ more beautiful than Baldur!’ as the Viking’s
wife would have said; and he appeared surrounded with
a glory of fire.

There was an earnest look in his large, gentle eyes, just
and searching, so penetrating a gaze that it seemed to
shine into the inmost recesses of her heart. Little Helga
trembled before it, and her memory was awakened with
a power as if it was the Day of Judgment. Every kind
action that had been done for her, every kindly word that
had been spoken to her, seemed endued with life; she



4A HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

understood that it was mercy which had taken care of
her during her days of trial, in which the child of spirit
and clay works and strives. She owned that she had
only followed the bent of her own desire, and had done
nothing on her own part. Everything had been given to
her, everything had been allowed, so to speak. She
bowed herself humbly, ashamed before Him who alone
can read the hidden things of the heart; and in that
instant there seemed to come to her a fiery touch of
purifying flame—the flame of the Holy Spirit.

*“* Thou daughter of the mire,”’ said the Christian priest,
““from the mire, from the earth thou art sprung; from
earth thou shalt again arise. The fire within thee returns
in personality to its source; the ray is not from the sun,
but from God. No soul shall perish, but far distant is the
time when life shall be merged in eternity. I come from
the land of the dead; so shalt thou at some time travel
through the deep valley to the shining hill-country, where
grace and fulness dwell. I may not lead thee to Hadde
for Christian baptism. First thou must burst the water-
shield over the deep moorland, and draw up the living
root that gave thee life and cradled thee. Thou must
do thy work before the consecration may come to thee.”

And he lifted her on to the horse, handed her a golden
censer, like that which she had seen in the Viking’s castle,
from which there came a sweet, strong fragrance. The
open wound on the forehead of the slain shone like a radiant
diadem. He took the cross from the grave, raised it on
high ; and now they went off through the air, over the
rustling forest, then over the mounds where the warriors
were buried, sitting on their dead steeds; and these
majestic forms arose, and rode out to the tops of the
hills. A broad golden hoop with a gold knob gleamed
on their foreheads in the moonlight, and their cloaks
fluttered in the wind. The dragon that sits and broods
over treasure raised its head, and looked after them.
Dwarfs peered forth from the hills, and the furrows swarmed









THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 45

with red, blue, and green lights, like a cluster of sparks in
a burnt piece of paper.

Away over wood and heath, stream and pool, they
flew to the moor, and floated over that in great circles.
The Christian priest raised the cross on high; it shone
like gold, and from his lips came the eucharistic chant.
Little Helga sang with him, as a child joins in the song
of its mother. She swung the censer, and there came a
fragrance as if from an altar, so powerful, so subtly oper-
ating, that the rushes and reeds of the moor put forth
their flowers. All the germs sprang up from the deep
soil; everything that had life arose. A veil of water-
lilies spread itself like an embroidered carpet of flowers,
and on it lay a sleeping woman, young and beautiful.
Little Helga thought she saw herself mirrored in the
still water; but it was her mother that she saw, the
Marsh King’s wife, the princess from the waters of the
Nile.

The dead Christian priest bade the sleeper be lifted
on to the horse; but that sank under the burden as if
its body was only a winding-sheet flying in the breeze ;
but the sign of the cross made the airy phantom strong,
and all three rode to the firm ground.

A cock crowed in the Viking’s stronghold. The
phantoms rose up in the mist, and were dispersed in the
wind, but mother and daughter stood there together.

“Ts that myself that I see in the deep water?” said
the mother.

“Is that myself that I see in the bright shield?”
exclaimed the daughter; and they came close together,
breast to breast in each other’s arms. The mother’s heart
beat strongest, and she understood it all.

‘““My child! My own heart’s flower! My lotus from
the deep waters!”

And she embraced her child, and wept over her; and

the tears were as a baptism of new life and affection for
little Helga.



46 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

““T came hither in a swan’s skin, and I took it off,”
said the mother. ‘‘I sank through the quivering swamp,
deep into the mire of the bog, that enclosed me as with a
wall. But soon I found a fresher current about me; a
power seemed to draw me ever deeper and deeper. I felt
a pressure of sleep on my eyelids; I slept, I dreamt—lI
seemed to lie again in the pyramids of Egypt; but there
still stood before me the moving elder-stump, which had
frightened me on the surface of the moor. I looked at
the crevices in the bark, and they shone forth in colours
and became hieroglyphics—it was the case of a mummy
which I was looking at. That burst, and out of it stepped
a lord a thousand years old, a mummy form, black as
pitch, shining black like a wood-snail or the slimy black
mud—the Marsh King, or the mummy of the pyramid, I
did not know which. He flung his arms about me, and
I felt that I should die. When I first returned to life
again, and my breast became warm, there was a little
bird which beat its wings, and twittered and sang. It
flew up from my breast towards the dark, heavy roof,
but a long green band still fastened it to me. I heard
and understood its longing notes: ‘‘ Liberty! sunshine!
to my father!’? ThenI thought of my father in the sun-
lit land of my home, my life, my affection! and I loosed
the band and let him flutter away—home to his father.
Since that hour I have not dreamed; I slept a long and
heavy sleep till the moment when the sounds and fragrance
arose and raised me.”

That green band from the mother’s heart to the bird’s
wings, whither had it passed now? where was it lying
cast away? Only the stork had seen it. The band was
that green stalk; the knot was that shining flower which
served as a cradle for the child who now had grown in
beauty, and again reposed near the mother’s heart.

And whilst they stood there in close embrace, the
father-stork flew in circles about them, made speed to his
nest, fetched from thence the feather-dresses kept for so






!

a

On



C=)



oe

PLACED TUE GOLDEN CIRCUIT ABOUT HIS NECK



48 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

many years and threw one over each of them; and they
flew, and raised themselves from the earth like two white
swans.

‘Let us talk,” said father-stork, ‘‘now that we can
understand each other’s speech, although the beak is cut
differently on one bird and on the other! It is the most
lucky thing possible that you came to-night. In the
morning we should have been off, mother, and I, and the
young ones! We are flying to the south! Yes, look at
me! Iam an old friend from the land of the Nile, and
that is the mother; she has more in her heart than in her
chatter. She always believed that the princess was only
taking care of herself. I and the young ones have brought
the swan-skins here. Well, how glad Iam! And what
a fortunate thing it is that I am here still! At daybreak
we shall set off, a large party of storks. We fly in front;
you can fly behind, and then you will not mistake the
way. I and the young ones will then be able to keep an
eye upon you!”

“And the lotus flower, that I ought to bring,” said
the Egyptian princess, “it flies in swan’s plumage by my
side! I have the flower of my heart with me; thus it
has released itself. Homeward! homeward !”

But Helga said that she could not leave the land of
Denmark till she had once more seen her foster-mother,
the kind wife of the Viking. In Helga’s thoughts came
up every beautiful remembrance, every affectionate word,
every tear which her foster-mother had shed, and it almost
seemed at that instant as if she clung closest to that
mother.

“Yes, we will go to the Viking’s house,”’ said the
stork-father. “There I expect mother and the young
ones. How they will open their eyes and chatter about
it! Yes, mother doesn’t say so very much; what she
does is short and pithy, and so she thinks the best! I
will sound the rattle directly, so that she will hear we are
coming.”



THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 49

And so father-stork chattered his beak, and flew with
the swans to the Viking’s stronghold.

Every one there was lying deep in slumber. The
Viking’s wife had not gone to rest till late that night;
she was still in fear for little Helga, who had disappeared
three days ago with the Christian priest. She must have
helped him to escape, for it was her horse that was missing
from the stable. By what power had all this been brought
about ? The Viking’s wife thought about the wonderful
works which she had heard were performed by the White
Christ, and by those who believed in Him and followed
Him. Her changing thoughts shaped themselves into a
dream. It appeared to her that she was still sitting on
her bed, awake, and meditating, and that darkness shrouded
everything outside. A storm arose; she heard the rolling
of the sea in the west and the east, from the North Sea
and the waters of the Cattegat. That huge serpent which
encircles the earth in the depths of the ocean shook con-
vulsively ; it was Ragnaroék, the twilight of the gods, as
the heathen called the last hour, when everything should
pass away, even the high gods themselves. The trumpet
sounded, and the gods rode forth over the rainbow, arrayed
in steel, to take part in the last contest. Before them
flew the winged warrior-maidens, and behind them in
array marched the forms of dead warriors. The whole
sky was illuminated by the northern lights, but the dark-
ness again prevailed. It was an appalling hour.

And close by the frightened Viking’s wife little Helga
sat on the floor in the hideous form of a toad, trembling
and nestling herself up against her foster-mother, who
took her on her lap and affectionately held her fast,
although she seemed more hideous than a toad. The air
was full of the sound of sword-strokes and the blows of
maces, of arrows whizzing, as if a furious hail-storm was
raging above them. The hour had come when earth and
heaven should fail, the stars should fall, and everything

be burned up in the fire of Surtr; but the dreamer knew
7



50 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

that a new earth and heaven would come, and the corn
wave where the sea now rolled over the barren sand
bottom; that the God who cannot be named rules, and
up to Him rose Baldur, the gentle and kind, loosed from
the realm of death. He came—the Viking’s wife saw him,
and knew his face. It was the captive Christian priest.

‘White Christ !’’? she cried aloud; and as she men-
tioned that Name she pressed a kiss on the hideous fore-
head of her frog-child; the toad’s skin fell off, and little
Helga stood there in all her beauty, gentle as she had
never been before, and with beaming eyes. She kissed
her foster-mother’s hands, blessed her for all her care and
affection with which she had surrounded her in the days
of her distress and trial; thanked her for the thoughts
to which she had given birth in her; thanked her for
mentioning the Name which she repeated, ‘‘ White Christ !”’
and then little Helga rose up as a noble swan, her wings
expanded themselves wide, wide, with a rustling as when a
flock of birds of passage flies away !

With that the Viking’s wife awoke, and still heard
outside the same strong sound of wings. She knew that
it was time for the storks to depart, and no doubt that
was what she heard. Still, she wished to see them once
before their journey, and to bid them farewell. She stood
up, went out on to the balcony, and there she saw on the
ridge of the outhouse rows of storks, and round the
courtyard and over the lofty trees crowds of others were
flying in great circles. But straight in front of her, on
the edge of the well, where little Helga had so often sat
and frightened her with her wildness, two swans now sat
and looked at her with intelligent eyes. Her dream came
to her mind; it still quite filled her as if it had been
reality. She thought of little Helga in the form of aswan,
she thought of the Christian priest, and she felt a strange
joy in her heart.

The swans beat their wings, and bent their necks, as
if they wished so to salute her; and the Viking’s wife



THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 51

stretched out her arms towards them as if she understood,
and smiled at them through her tears.

Then, with a noise of wings and chattering, all the
storks arose to start on their journey to the south.

‘* We cannot wait for the swans!” said mother-stork.
“If they wish to come with us they may; but we can’t
wait here till the plovers start! It is a very good thing
to travel in family parties; not like the chaffinches and
ruffs, where the males fly by themselves and the females
by themselves; that is certainly not proper! And what
are those swans flapping their wings for?”

‘‘ Every one flies in his own way!” said father-stork.
“The swans go in slanting line, the cranes in a triangle,
and the plovers in a wavy, snake-like line.”

‘“* Don’t mention serpents when we are flying up here!”
said mother-stork; ‘‘it only excites the appetites of our
young ones when they can’t be satisfied.”

* * * 2 *

*““ Are those the high mountains down there which I
have heard of ?”’ asked Helga in the swan’s skin.

““Those are thunder-clouds which drive below us,”
said the mother.

‘What are those white clouds which lift themselves
so high?” asked Helga.

“Those are the everlasting snow-clad hills which you
see,” said the mother; and they flew over the Alps, down
towards the blue Mediterranean.

* ** *# * **

“Land of Africa! Coast of Egypt!” jubilantly sang
the daughter of the Nile in her swan form, when, high in
the air, she descried her native land, like a yellowish white,
undulating streak.

And as the birds saw it, they hastened their flight.

. I smell the mud of the Nile and the wet frogs!”
said mother-stork. ‘It quite excites me! Yes, now you
shall taste them; now you shall see the adjutant bird,
the ibis, and the cranes! They all belong to our family,



52 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

but they are not nearly so handsome as we are. They
stick themselves up, especially the ibis; he is now quite
pampered by the Egyptians—they make a mummy of
him, and stuff him with aromatic herbs. I would rather
be stuffed with live frogs, and so would you, and so you
shall be. It is better to have something inside you while
you live than to be in state when you are dead! That is
my opinion, and that is always right!”

‘** Now the storks are come!” they said in the rich
house on the bank of the Nile, where, in the open hall on
soft cushions covered with a leopard’s skin, the royal
master lay outstretched, neither living nor dead, hoping
for the lotus flower from the deep marsh in the north.
Kinsmen and servants stood around him.

And into the hall flew two beautiful white swans,
which had come with the storks! They threw off their
dazzling feather-dress, and there stood two beautiful
women, as much alike as two drops of dew! They bent
down over the pale, withered old man; they put back
their long hair, and when little Helga stooped over her
grandfather, the colour returned to his checks, his eyes
sparkled, and life came into his stiffened limbs. The old
man raised himself healthy and vigorous; daughter and
granddaughter held him in their arms as if they were giving
him a morning salutation in their joy after a long, heavy
dream.

* * * * *

And there was joy over all the house and in the storks’
nest, but there it was chiefly over the good food, and the
swarming hosts of frogs ; and whilst the learned men made
haste to note down in brief the history of the two prin-
cesses and the flower of health, which was such a great
event and a blessing for house and country, the parent
storks related it in their fashion to their own family, but
not till they had all satisfied their hunger, or else they

would have had something else to do than to listen to
stories,



Ee SCL TIN SDN Tt nae aD







THEN SHE SAW THE STORKS



54 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

“* Now you will become somebody ! ”? whispered mother-
stork; ‘‘ that is certain!”

“Well! what should I become ?” said father-stork ;
“and what have I done? A mere nothing!”

“You have done more than all the others! But for
you and the young ones the two princesses would never
have seen Egypt again, and made the old man well.
You will become somebody! You will certainly receive a
Doctor’s degree, and our young ones will bear it after-
wards, and their young ones will have it in turn. You
look already like an Egyptian doctor—in my eyes!”

The wise and learned expounded the fundamental idea,
as they called it, that ran through the whole history:
“ Love brings forth life!’—they gave that explanation
in different ways—‘ the warm sunbeam was the Egyptian
princess, she descended to the Marsh King, and in their
meeting the flower sprang forth——”

“I can’t repeat the words quite right,” said father-
stork, who had heard it from the roof, and was expected
to tell them all about it in his nest. “‘ What they said
was so involved, it was so clever, that they immediately
received honours and gifts. Even the head cook obtained
a high mark of distinction—that was for the soup!”

“ And what did you receive ? ” inquired mother-stork ;
“they ought not to forget the most important, and that
is yourself. The learned have only chattered about it
all, but your turn will come!”

Late that night, while peaceful slumber enwrapped the
now prosperous house, there was one who was still awake ;
and that was not the father-stork, though he stood on one
leg in the nest and slept like a sentinel. No, little Helga
was awake. She leaned out over the balcony and gazed
at the clear sky, with the great, bright stars, larger and
purer in their lustre than she had seen them in the north,
and yet the same. She thought of the Viking’s wife by
the moor, of her foster-mother’s gentle eyes, and the tears
she had shed over her poor toad-child, who now stood in





THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 55

the light and splendour of the stars by the waters of the
Nile in the soft air of spring. She thought of the love
in that heathen woman’s breast, that love which she had
shown to a miserable creature who, in human form, was
an evil brute, and in the form of an animal, loathsome to
look at and to touch. She looked at the shining stars,
and called to mind the splendour on the forehead of the
dead man, when they flew away over forest and moor;
tones resounded in her recollection, words she had heard
pronounced when they rode away, and she sat as ifparalysed
—words about the great Author of Love, the highest
Love, embracing all generations.

Yes, how much had been given, gained, obtained !
Little Helga’s thoughts were occupied, night and day,
with all her good fortune, and she stood in contemplation
of it like a child which turns quickly from the giver to all
the beautiful presents that have been given; so she rose
up in her increasing happiness, which could come and would
come. She was indeed borne in mysterious ways to even
higher joy and happiness, and in this she lost herself one
day so entirely that she thought no more of the Giver.
It was the strength of youthful courage that inspired her
bold venture. Her eyes shone, but suddenly she was
called back by a great clamour in the courtyard beneath.
There she saw two powerful ostriches running hurriedly
about in narrow circles. She had never before seen that
creature, so great a bird, so clumsy and heavy. Its wings
looked as if they were clipped, the bird itself as if it had
been injured, and she inquired what had been done to
it, and for the first time heard the tradition which the
Egyptians relate about the ostrich.

The race had at one time been beautiful, its wings
large and powerful; then, one evening, a mighty forest
bird said to it: ‘‘ Brother, shall we fly to the river in
the morning, if God will, and drink?’ And the ostrich
replied: ‘I will.” When day broke they flew off, at
first high up towards the sun—the eye of God—ever



56 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

higher and higher, the ostrich far above all the others;
it flew in its pride towards the light; it relied on its own
strength, and not on the Giver; it did not say, “ If God
will!’? Then the avenging angel drew back the veil
from the burning flame, and in that instant the bird’s
wings were burnt; it sank miserably to the earth. Its
descendants are no longer able to raise themselves; they
fly in terror, rush about in circles in that narrow space.
It is a reminder to us men, in all our thoughts, in all our
actions, to say: “If God will!”

And Helga thoughtfully bowed her head, looked at
the hurrying ostrich, saw its fear, saw its silly delight at
the sight of its own great shadow on the white sunlit wall.
And deep seriousness fixed itself into her mind and
thoughts. So rich a life, so full of prosperity, was given,
was obtained—what would happen? What was yet to
come? The best thing: ‘‘If God will!”

* * # * *

In the early spring, when the storks again started for
the north, little Helga took her gold bracelet, scratched
her name on it, beckoned to the stork-father, placed the
golden circlet about his neck, and asked him to bear it
to the Viking’s wife, by which she would understand that
her foster-daughter was alive, and that she was happy,
and thought of her.

“That is heavy to carry!” thought the father-stork
when it was placed around his neck; ‘‘ but one does not
throw gold and honour on the high-road. They will find
it true up there that the stork brings fortune!”

“You lay gold, and I lay eggs!” said the mother-
stork; ‘“‘ but you only lay once, and I lay every year!
But it vexes me that neither of us is appreciated.”

“But we are quite aware of it ourselves, mother!”
said father-stork.

** But you can’t hang that on you,” said mother-stork.
“It neither gives us fair wind nor food.”

And so they flew.







THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 57

The little nightingale, that sang in the tamarind-bush,
also wished to start for the north immediately. Little
Helga had often heard him up there near the moor; she
wished to give him a message, for she understood the
speech of birds when she flew in the swan’s skin, and she
had often since that time used it with the stork and the
swallow. The nightingale would understand her, and she
asked him to fly to the beech-forest on the peninsula of
Jutland, where she had erected the grave of stones and
boughs ; there she asked him to bid all the small birds
to protect the grave, and always to sing their songs around
it And the nightingale flew—and time flew also.

* * * * *

The eagle stood on the pyramid in the autumn, and
saw a magnificent array of richly laden camels, with armed
men in costly clothing, on snorting Arabian steeds, shining
as white as silver, and with red quivering nostrils, their
heavy thick manes hanging down about their slender legs.
Rich visitors, a royal prince from the land of Arabia,
beautiful as a prince ought to be, came to that noble
house, where the storks’ nest now stood empty, its former
occupants now far away in the northern land, but soon
to return. And they came exactly on that day which
was most filled with joy and mirth. There was a grand
wedding, and little Helga was the bride arrayed in silk
and jewels; the bridegroom was the young prince from
the land of Arabia; and the two sat highest at the table
between the mother and grandfather. But she did not
look at the bridegroom’s brown, manly cheek, where his
black beard curled; she did not look at his dark, fiery
eyes, which were fastened upon her; she looked outwards
and upwards towards the twinkling, sparkling stars, which
beamed down from Heaven.

Then there was a rustling sound of strong wing-strokes
outside in the air—the storks had returned; and the old
couple, however tired they might be with the journey,

and however much they needed rest, still flew on to the
8



58 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

railing of the verandah immediately they were aware
whose festivity it was. They had already heard, at the
frontier of the country, that little Helga had allowed
them to be painted on the wall because they belonged
to her history.

“That is very nicely borne in mind,” said father-
stork.

** It is very little!’ said the mother-stork ; ‘‘ she could
not have done less.”

And when Helga saw them, she got up and went out
into the verandah to them to pat them on the back. The
old storks curtsied with their necks, and the youngest of
their young ones looked on, and felt themselves honoured.

And Helga looked up to the bright stars which shone
clearer and clearer; and between them and her a form
seemed to move still purer than the air, and seen through
it, that hovered quite near her—it was the dead Christian
priest ; so he came on the day of her festivity, came from
the Kingdom of Heaven.

“The splendour and glory which are there surpass
everything that earth knows!” he said.

And little Helga prayed gently and from her heart,
as she had never prayed before, that she only for one
single minute might dare to look within, might only cast
one single glance into the Kingdom of Heaven, to the
Father of all.

And he raised her into the splendour and glory, in
one current of sounds and thoughts; it was not only
round about her that it shone and sounded, but within
her. No words are able to describe it.

‘““Now we must return; you are wanted!’ he said.

“Only one glance more!” she entreated; ‘‘ only one
short minute!”

“We must go back to the earth; all the guests have
gone away.”

“Only one glance! the last a
* , * # *





THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 59

And little Helga stood outside in the verandah; but
all the torches outside were extinguished, all the lights
in the wedding chamber were gone, the storks were gone,
no guests to be seen, no bridegroom ; everything seemed
to be blown away in three short minutes.

Then Helga was filled with terror, and she went through
the great, empty hall, into the next room. Strange
soldiers were sleeping there. She opened a side door that
led into her apartment, and when she expected to stand
there, she found herself outside in the garden; but it
was not like this before—the heaven was red and shining,
it was towards daybreak.

Only three minutes in Heaven, and a whole night had
passed on the earth !
* ** * * *

Then she saw the storks; she cried to them, speaking
their language, and father-stork turned his head, listened,
and drew near her.

“You are speaking our language!” said he; “ what
do you want? Why do you come here, you strange
woman ?”’

“Ttis I! it is Helga! Don’t you know me? Three
minutes ago we were talking together, yonder in the
verandah.”’

“That is a mistake!” said the stork ; ‘“‘ you must have
dreamt it!”

“No, no!” she said, and reminded him of the Viking’s
stronghold and the moor, and of the journey hither !

Then father-stork blinked his eyes: “ That is a very
old story; I have heard it from my great-great-great-
grandmother’s time! Yes, certainly, there was such a
princess in Egypt from the land of Denmark, but she dis-
appeared on the night of her wedding many hundreds of
years ago, and never came back again. That you may
read for yourself on the monument in the garden ; there
are sculptured both swans and storks, and at the top
you yourself stand in white marble.”



60 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

It was indeed so. Little Helga saw it, understood it,
and fell on her knees.

The sun broke forth, and as in former times at the touch
of its beams the toad-form disappeared and the beautiful
shape was seen, so she raised herself now at the baptism
of light in a form of brighter beauty, purer than the air,
a ray of light—to the Father of all.

Her body sank in dust ; there lay a faded lotus-flower
where she had stood.

* * x * *

“Then that was a new ending to the story!’ said the
father-stork. “TI had not at all expected it ! but I rather
like it!”

‘I wonder what my young ones will say about it!”
said the mother-stork.

“ Yes, that is certainly the principal thing ! ”’ answered
the father.







THE SWALLOW SOARED HIGH INTO THE AIR





“THOU POOR LITTLE THING!” SAID THE FIELD-MOUSE

TOMMELISE

ONcE upon a time there lived a young wife who longed
exceedingly to possess a little child of her own, so she
went to an old witch-woman and said to her, ‘‘ I wish so
very much to have a child, a little tiny child; won’t you
give me one, old mother ? ”

“Oh, with all my heart!” replied the witch. ‘“‘ Here
is a barley-corn for you; it is not exactly of the same
sort as those that grow on the farmer’s fields, or that are
given to the fowls in the poultry yard, but do you sow it in
a flower-pot, and then you shall see what you shall see!”

“ Thank you, thank you!” cried the woman, and she
gave the witch a silver sixpence, and then having returned
home sowed the barley-corn as she had been directed,
whereupon a large and beautiful flower immediately shot
forth from the flower-pot. It looked like a tulip, but the

petals were tightly folded up; it was still in bud.
62



i i Nl ll a it a

TOMMELISE 63

“What a lovely flower!’ exclaimed the peasant-
woman, and she kissed the pretty red and yellow leaves,
and as she kissed them the flower gave a loud report and
opened. It was indeed a tulip, but on the small green
pointal in the centre of the flower there sat a little tiny
girl, so pretty and delicate, but her whole body scarcely
bigger than the young peasant’s thumb. So she called her
Tommelise.

A pretty varnished walnut-shell was given her as a
cradle, blue violet leaves served as her mattresses, and a
rose-leaf was her coverlet; here she slept at night, but
in the daytime she played on the table. The peasant-
wife had filled a plate with water, and laid flowers in it,
their blossoms bordering the edge of the plate, while the
stalks lay in the water; on the surface floated a large
tulip-leaf, and on it Tommelise might sit and sail from
one side of the plate to the other, two white horse hairs
having been given her for oars. That looked quite
charming! And Tommelise could sing too, and she sang
in such low sweet tones as never were heard before.

One night, while she was lying in her pretty bed, a
great ugly toad came hopping in through the broken
window-pane. The toad was such a great creature, old
and withered-looking, and wet too; she hopped at once
down upon the table where Tommelise lay sleeping under
the red rose petal.

‘That is just the wife for my son,” said the toad; and
she seized hold of the walnut-shell, with Tommelise in it,
and hopped away with her through the broken pane down
into the garden. Here flowed a broad stream; its banks
were muddy and swampy, and it was amongst this mud
that the old toad and her son dwelt. Ugh, how hideous
and deformed he was! just like his mother.

““ Coax, coax, brekke-ke-kex !’’ was all he could find
i. re on seeing the pretty little maiden in the walnut-
shell.

‘* Don’t make such a riot, or you’ll wake her!” said old



64 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES —

mother toad. ‘‘ She may easily run away from us, for she
is as light as a swan-down feather. I'll tell you what we’ll
do; we’ll take her out into the brook, and set her down on
one of the large water-lily leaves ; it will be like an island
to her, who is so light and small. Then she cannot run
away from us, and we can go and get ready the state-
rooms down under the mud, where you and she are to
dwell together.”

Out mm the brook there grew many water-lilies, with
their broad green leaves, each of which seemed to be
floating over the water. The leaf which was the farthest
from the shore was also the largest ; to it swam old mother
toad, and on it she set the walnut-shell, with Tommelise.

The poor little tiny creature awoke quite early next
morning, and, when she saw where she was, she began to
weep most bitterly, for there was nothing but water on all
sides of the large green leaf, and she could in no way reach
the land.

Old mother toad was down in the mud, decorating her
apartments with bulrushes and yellow buttercups, so as to
make it quite gay and tidy to receive her new daughter-in-
law. At last, she and her frightful son swam together to
the leaf where she had left Tommelise; they wanted to
fetch her pretty cradle and place it for her in the bridal
chamber before she herself was conducted into it. Old
mother toad bowed low in the water, and said to her,
‘** Here is my son, he is to be thy husband, and you will
dwell together so comfortably down in the mud!”

** Coax, coax, brekke-ke-kex ! ’’ was all that her son could
say. ‘

Thenthey took the neat little bed and swam away with
it, whilst Tommelise sat alone on the green leaf, weeping,
for she did not like the thought of living with the withered
old toad, and having her ugly son for a husband. The
little fishes that were swimming to and fro in the water
beneath had heard what mother toad had said, so they
now put up their heads—they wanted to see the little maid.



TOMMELISE 65

And when they saw her, they were charmed with her deli-
cate beauty, and it vexed them very much that the hideous
old toad should carry her off. No, that should never be!
They surrounded the green stalk in the water, whereon
rested the water-lily leaf, and gnawed it asunder with their
teeth, and then the leaf floated away down the brook, with



‘“SmHIS IS JUST THE WIFE FOR MY SON,” SAID THE TOAD

Tommelise on it; away, far away, where the old toad
could not follow.

Tommelise sailed past so many places, and the wild
birds among the bushes saw her and sang, “ Oh, what a
sweet little maiden!’? On and on, farther and farther,
floated the leaf: Tommelise was on her travels.

A pretty little white butterfly kept fluttering round and

round her, and at last settled down on the leaf, for he loved
9



66 | HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Tommelise very much, and she was so pleased. There was
nothing to trouble her now that she had no fear of the
old toad pursuing her, and wherever she sailed everything
was so beautiful, for the sun shone down on the water,
making it bright as liquid gold. And now she took off
her sash, and tied one end of it round the butterfly, fasten-
ing the other end firmly into the leaf. On floated the leaf,
faster and faster, and Tommelise with it.

Presently a great cock-chafer came buzzing past; he
caught sight of her, and immediately fastening his claw
round her slender waist, flew up into a tree with her. But
the green leaf still floated down the brook, and the butter-
fly with it; he was bound to the leaf and could not get
loose.

Oh, how terrified was poor Tommelise when the cock-
chafer carried her up into the tree, and how sorry she felt,
too, for the darling white butterfly which she had left tied
fast to the leaf; she feared that if he could not get away,
he would perish of hunger. But the cock-chafer cared
nothing for that. He settled with her upon the largest leaf
in the tree, gave her some honey from the flowers to eat,
and hummed her praises, telling her she was very pretty,
although she was not at all like a hen-chafer. And by
and by all the chafers who lived in that tree came to pay
her a visit ; they looked at Tommelise, and one Miss Hen-
chafer drew in her feelers, saying, “ She has only two legs,
how miserable that looks!” “ She has no feelers,” cried
another. “ And see how thin and lean her waist is; why
she is just like a human being!” observed a third. “ How
very, very ugly she is!” at last cried all the lady-chafers
in chorus. The chafer who had carried off Tommelise still
could not persuade himself that she was otherwise than
pretty, but, as all the rest kept repeating and insisting
that she was ugly, he at last began to think they must be
in the right, and determined to have nothing more to do
with her; she might go wherever she would, for aught he
cared, he said. And so the whole swarm flew down from





SHE STOOD AT THE DOOR AND BEGGED FOR A PIECE OF BARLEY-CORN







TOMMELISE 69

the tree with her, and set her on a daisy; then she wept
because she was so ugly that the lady-chafers would not
keep company with her, and yet Tommelise was the
prettiest little creature that could be imagined, soft and
delicate and transparent as the loveliest rose-leaf.

All the summer long poor Tommelise lived alone in the
wide wood. She wove herself a bed of grass-straw, and
hung it under a large burdock-leaf which sheltered her
from the rain; she dined off the honey from the flowers,
and drank from the dew that every morning spangled the
leaves and herblets around her. Thus passed the summer
and autumn, but then came winter, the cold, long winter.
All the birds who had sung so sweetly to her flew away,
trees and flowers withered, the large burdock-leaf under
which Tommelise had lived rolled itself up and became a
dry, yellow stalk, and Tommelise was fearfully cold, for
her clothes were wearing out and she herself was so slight
and frail, poor little thing ! she was nearly frozen to death.
It began to snow, and every light flake that fell upon her
made her feel as we should if a whole shovelful of snow were
thrown upon us, for we are giants in comparison with a
little creature only an inch long. She wrapped herself up
in a withered leaf, but it gave her no warmth ; she shud-
dered with cold.

Close outside the wood, on the skirt of which Tommelise
had been living, lay a large cornfield, but the corn had
been carried away long ago, leaving only the dry, naked
stubble standing up from the hard-frozen earth. It was
like another wood to Tommelise, and oh, how she shivered
with cold as she made her way through. At last she came
past the field-mouse’s door; for the field-mouse had made
herself a little hole under the stubble, and there she dwelt
snugly and comfortably, having a room full of corn, and a
neat kitchen and _ store-chamber besides. And poor
Tommelise must now play the beggar-girl; she stood at
the door and begged for a little piece of a barley-corn, for
she had had nothing to eat during two whole days.



70 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

“Thou poor little thing!” said the field-mouse, who
was indeed a thoroughly good-natured old creature, “‘ come
into my warm room and dine with me.”

And as she soon took a great liking to Tommelise, she
proposed to her to stay. ‘* You may dwell with me all the
winter if you will, but keep my room clean and neat, and
tell me stories, for I love stories dearly.”

And Tommelise did all that the kind old field-mouse
required of her, and was made very comfortable in her new
abode.

“We shall have a visitor presently,” observed the
field-mouse; ‘‘ my next-door neighbour comes to see me
once every week. He is better off than I am, has large
rooms in his house, and wears a coat of such beautiful
black velvet. It would be a capital thing for you if you
could secure him for your husband, but unfortunately
he is blind, he cannot see you. You must tell him the
prettiest stories you know.”

But Tommelise did not care at all about pleasing their
neighbour Mr. Mole, nor did she wish to marry him. He
came and paid a visit in his black-velvet suit, he was so
rich and so learned, and the field-mouse declared his
domestic offices were twenty times larger than hers, but
the sun and the pretty flowers he could not endure, he was
always abusing them, though he had never seen either.
Tommelise was called upon to sing for his amusement, and
by the time she had sung “ Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away
home!” and “ The Friar of Orders Grey,” the mole had
quite fallen in love with her through the charm of her sweet
voice; however, he said nothing, he was such a prudent,
cautious animal.

He had just been digging a long passage through the
earth from their house to his, and he now gave permission
to the field-mouse and Tommelise to walk in it as often as
they liked; however, he bade them not be afraid of the
dead bird that lay in the passage ; it was a whole bird, with
beak and feathers entire, and therefore he supposed it must



TOMMELISE 71

have died quite lately, at the beginning of the winter, and
had been buried just in the place where he had dug his
passage.

The mole took a piece of tinder, which shines like fire
in the dark, in his mouth, and went on first to light his
friends through the long dark passage, and when they came
to the place where the dead bird lay, he thrust his broad



OH, HOW TERRIFIED WAS POOR TOMMELISE !

nose up against the ceiling and pushed up the earth, so as
to make a great hole for the light to come through. In
the midst of the floor lay a swallow, his wings clinging
firmly to his sides, his head and legs drawn under the
feathers ; the poor bird had evidently died of cold. Tom-
melise felt so very sorry, for she loved all the little birds,
who had sung and chirped so merrily to her the whole



72 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

summer long; but the mole kicked it with his short legs,
saying, ‘‘ Here’s a fine end to all its whistling! a miserable
thing it must be to be born a bird. None of my children
will be birds, that’s a comfort! Such creatures have
nothing but their ‘ quivit,’ and must be starved to death
in the winter.”

“Yes, indeed, a sensible animal like you may well say
so,” returned the field-mouse; ‘‘ what has the bird got
by all his chirping and chirruping ? when winter comes it
must starve and freeze; and it is such a great creature
too!”

Tommelise said nothing, but when the two others had
turned their backs upon the bird, she bent over it, smoothed
down the feathers that covered its head, and kissed the
closed eyes. ‘‘ Perhaps it was this one that sang so de-
lightfully to me in the summer-time,”’ thought she; “‘ how
much pleasure it has given me, the dear, dear bird!”

The mole now stopped up the hole through which the
daylight had pierced, and then followed the ladies home.
But Tommelise could not sleep that night, so she got out
of her bed, and wove a carpet out of hay, and then went out
and spread it round the dead bird; she also fetched some ~
soft cotton from the field-mouse’s room, which she laid
over the bird, that it might be warm amid the cold earth.

“* Farewell, thou dear bird,” said she; ‘“‘ farewell, and
thanks for thy beautiful song in the summer-time, when all
the trees were green, and the sun shone: so warmly upon
us!” And she pressed her head against the bird’s breast,
but was terrified to feel something beating within it. It
was the bird’s heart. The bird was not dead ; it had lain
in a swoon, and now that it was warmer its life returned.

Every autumn all the swallows fly away to warm coun-
tries; but if one of them linger behind, it freezes and
falls down as though dead, and the cold snow covers it.

Tommelise trembled with fright, for the bird was very
large compared with her, who was only an inch in length.
However, she took courage, laid the cotton more closely



TOMMELISE 73

round the poor swallow, and fetching a leaf which had
served herself as a coverlet, spread it over the bird’s head.

The next night she stole out again, and found that the
bird’s life had quite returned, though it was so feeble that
only for one short moment could it open its eyes to look at
Tommelise, who stood by with a piece of tinder in her
hand—she had no other lantern.

‘ Thanks to thee, thou sweet little child!” said the sick
swallow. ‘I feel delightfully warm now; soon I shall
recover my strength, and be able to fly again, out in the
warm sunshine.” .

“Oh, no,” she replied, ‘‘ it is too cold without, it snows
and freezes! Thou must stay in thy warm bed; I will
take care of thee.”

She brought the swallow water in a flower-petal and he
drank, and then he told her how he had torn one of his wings
in a thorn-bush, and therefore could not fly fast enough
to keep up with the other swallows who were all migrating
to the warm countries. He had at last fallen to the earth,
and more than that he could not remember ; he did not
at all know how he had got underground.

However, underground he remained all the winter long,
and Tommelise was kind to him, and loved him dearly, but
she never said a word about him either to the mole or the
field-mouse, for she knew they could not endure the poor
swallow.

As soon as the spring came and the sun’s warmth had
penetrated the earth, the swallow said farewell to Tom-
melise, and she opened for him the covering of earth which
the mole had thrown back before. The sun shone in upon
them so deliciously, and the swallow asked whether she
would not go with him; she might sit upon his back, and
then they would fly together far out into the greenwood.
But Tommelise knew it would vex the old field-mouse if
she were to leave her.

‘No, I cannot, I must not go,” said Tommelise.

‘Fare thee well, then, thou good and pretty maiden,”
10



74 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

said the swallow, and away he flew into the sunshine.
Tommelise looked after him and the tears came into her
eyes, for she loved the poor swallow so much.

“ Quivit, quivit,” sang the bird, as he flew into the green-
wood. And Tommelise was now sad indeed. She was not
allowed to go out into the warm sunshine; the wheat that
had been sown in the field above the field-mouse’s house
grew up so high that it seemed a perfect forest to the poor
little damsel who was only an inch in stature.

“ This summer you must work at getting your wedding
clothes ready,” said the field-mouse, for their neighbour,
the blind dull mole in the black-velvet suit, had now made
his proposals in form to Tommelise. ‘ You shall have
worsted and linen in plenty; you shall be well provided
with all manner of clothes and furniture before you become
the mole’s wife.” So Tommelise was obliged to work
hard at the distaff, and the field-mouse hired four spiders
to spin and weave night and day. Every evening came
the mole, and always began to talk about the summer soon
coming to an end, and that then, when the sun would no
longer shine so warmly, scorching the earth till it was as
dry as a stone, yes, then, his nuptials with Tommelise
should take place. But this sort of conversation did not
please her at all; she was thoroughly wearied of his dul-
ness and his prating. Every morning when the sun rose,
and every evening when it set, she used to steal out at the
door, and when the wind blew the tops of the corn aside,
so that she could see the blue sky through the opening,
she thought how bright and beautiful it was out here, and
wished most fervently to see the dear swallow once more :
but he never came, he must have been flying far away in
the beautiful greenwood.

Autumn came, and Tommelise’s wedding clothes were
ready.

“Four weeks more, and you shall be married!” said
the field-mouse. But Tommelise wept, and said she would
not marry the dull mole.



TOMMELISE 75

** Fiddlestick !’? exclaimed the field-mouse; ‘“‘ don’t
be obstinate, child, or I shall bite thee with my white teeth !
Is he not handsome, pray ? Why, the Queen has not got
such a black-velvet dress as he wears! And isn’t he rich ?
rich both in kitchens and cellars? Be thankful to get
such a husband!”

So Tommelise must be married. The day fixed had
arrived, the mole had already come to fetch his bride, and
she must dwell with him, deep under the earth, never
again to come out into the warm sunshine which she loved
so much, and which he could not endure. The poor child
was in despair at the thought that she must now bid fare-
well to the beautiful sun of which she had at least been
allowed to catch a glimpse every now and then while she
lived with the field-mouse.

** Farewell, thou glorious sun ! ’’ she cried, throwing her
arms up into the air, and she walked on a little way beyond
the field-mouse’s door; the corn was already reaped, and
only the dry stubble surrounded her. ‘‘ Farewell, fare-
well! ’’ repeated she, as she clasped her tiny arms round a
little red flower that grew there. ‘‘ Greet the dear swallow
from me, if thou shouldst see him.”

* Quivit.! quivit !’’—there was a fluttering of wings
just over her head ; she looked up, and behold! the little
swallow was flying past. And how pleased he was when
he perceived Tommelise! She told how that she had been
obliged to accept the disagreeable mole as a husband, and
that she would have to dwell deep underground where
the sun never pierced. And she could not help weeping as
she spoke.

“* The cold winter will soon be here ! ’’ said the swallow ;
“*T shall fly far away to the warm countries. Wilt thou go
with me? Thou canst sit on my back, and tie thyself
firmly to me with thy sash, and thus we shall fly away
from the stupid mole and his dark room, far away over the
mountains to those countries where the sun shines so
brightly, where it is always summer, and flowers blossom



76 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

all the year round. Come and fly with me, thou sweet
little Tommelise, who didst save my life when I lay frozen
in the dark cellars of the earth!” :

“Yes, I will go with thee!” said Tommelise. And she
seated herself on the bird’s back, her feet resting on the
outspread wings, and tied her girdle firmly round one of
the strongest feathers, and then the swallow soared high



THAT WAS THE GREATEST OF PLEASURES

into the air, and flew away over forest and over lake, over
mountains whose crests are covered with snow all the year
round. How Tommelise shivered as she breathed the
keen frosty air! However, she soon erept down under
the bird’s warm feathers, her head still peering forth,
eager to behold all the glory and beauty beneath her.
At last they reached the warm countries. There the sun
shone far more brightly than in her native clime. The





“ YES, I WILL GO WITH THEE!’ SAID TOMMELISE, AND SHE SEATED
HERSELF ON THE BIRD’S BACK







TOMMELISE 79

heavens seemed twice as high, and twice as blue; and
ranged along the sloping hills grew, in rich luxuriance, the
loveliest green and purple grapes. Citrons and melons
were seen in the groves, the fragrance of myrtles and
balsams filled the air, and by the wayside gambolled
groups of pretty merry children, chasing large bright-
winged butterflies.

But the swallow did not rest here; still he flew on;
and still the scene seemed to grow more and more beautiful.
Near a calm, blue lake, overhung by lofty trees, stood a
half-ruined palace of white marble, built in times long
past; vine-wreaths trailed up the long slender pillars,
and on the capitals, among the green leaves and waving
tendrils, many a swallow had built his nest, and one of
these nests belonged to the swallow on whose back Tom-
melise was riding.

‘“‘This is my house,” said the swallow, ‘‘ but if thou
wouldst rather choose for thyself one of the splendid
flowers growing beneath us, I will take thee there, and
thou shalt make thy home in the loveliest of them all.”

“That will be charming ! ’? exclaimed she, clapping her
tiny hands.

On the green turf beneath there lay the fragments of
a white marble column which had fallen to the ground,
and around these fragments twined some beautiful large
white flowers. The swallow flew down with Tommelise,
and set her on one of the broad petals. But what was
her surprise when she saw sitting in the very heart of the
flower a little mannikin, fair and transparent as though
he were made of glass! wearing the pretticst gold crown
on his head, and the brightest, most delicate wings on
his shoulders, yet scarcely one whit larger than Tom-
melise herself. He was the spirit of the flower. In every
blossom there dwelt one such faéry youth or maiden,
but this one was the king of all these flower-spirits.

- “Oh, how handsome he is, this king!” whispered
Tommelise to the swallow. The faéry prince was quite



80 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

startled at the sudden descent of the swallow, who was a
sort of giant compared with him; but when he saw
Tommelise he was delighted, for she was the very loveliest
maiden he had ever seen. So he took his gold crown
off his own head and set it upon hers, asked her name, and
whether she would be his bride, and reign as queen over
all the flower-spirits. This, you see, was quite a different
bridegroom from the son of the ugly old toad, or the
blind mole with his black-velvet coat. So Tommelise
replied “‘ Yes” to the beautiful prince, and then the lady
and gentlemen faéries came out, each from a separate
flower, to pay their homage to Tommelise; so gracefully
and courteously they paid their homage: and every one
of them brought her a present.

But the best of all the presents was a pair of transparent
wings ; they were fastened on Tommelise’s shoulders, and
enabled her to fly from flower to flower. That was the
greatest of pleasures; and the little swallow sat in his
nest above and sang to her his sweetest song; in his
heart, however, he was very sad, for he loved Tommelise,
and would have wished never to part from her.

“Thou shalt no longer be called Tommelise,” said the
king of flowers to her, “for it is not a pretty name,
and thou art so lovely! We will call thee Maia.”

“* Farewell ! farewell!” sang the swallow, and away he
flew from the warm countries, far away back to Denmark.
There he had a little nest just over the window of the
man who writes stories for children. ‘“ Quivit, quivit,
quivit !”” he sang to him, and from him we have learned
this history.





HEATR.
Ropinson



THEY CARRIED THE MIRROR FROM PLACE TO PLACE

11



THE SNOW QUEEN
IN SEVEN PARTS

PART THE FIRST

WHICH TREATS OF THE MIRROR AND ITS FRAGMENTS

Listen! We are beginning our story! When we
arrive at the end of it we shall, it is to be hoped, know
more than we do now. There was once a magician!
a wicked magician!! a most wicked magician!!! Great
was his delight at having constructed a mirror possessing
this peculiarity, viz. :—that everything good and beauti-
ful, when reflected in it, shrank up almost to nothing,
whilst those things that were ugly and useless were
magnified, and made to appear ten times worse than
before. The loveliest landscapes reflected in this mirror
looked like boiled spinach; and the handsomest persons
appeared odious, or as if standing upon their heads,
their features being so distorted that their friends could
never have recognized them. Moreover, if one of them
had a freckle, he might be sure that it would seem to
spread over the nose and mouth; and if a good or pious
thought glanced across his mind, a wrinkle was seen in
the mirror. All this the magician thought highly enter-
taining, and he chuckled with delight at his own clever
invention. Those who frequented the school of magic
where he taught spread abroad the fame of this wonderful
mirror, and declared that by its means the world and its
inhabitants might be seen now for the first time as they
really were. They carried the mirror from place to place,

82



THE SNOW QUEEN 83

till at last there was no country nor person that had not
been misrepresented in it. Its admirers now must needs
fly up to the sky with it, to see if they could carry on
their sport even there. But the higher they flew the
more wrinkled did the mirror become; they could scarcely
hold it together. They flew on and on, higher and higher,
till at last the mirror trembled so fearfully that it escaped
from their hands, and fell to the earth, breaking into
millions, billions, and trillions of pieces. And then it
caused far greater unhappiness than before, for fragments



HE CHUCKLED WITH DELIGHT

of it, scarcely so large as a grain of sand, would be flying
about in the air, and sometimes get into people’s eyes,
causing them to view everything the wrong way, or to
have eyes only for what was perverted and corrupt ; each
little fragment having retained the peculiar properties of
the entire mirror. Some people were so unfortunate as
to receive a little splinter into their hearts—that was
terrible! The heart became cold and hard, like a lump
of ice. Some pieces were large enough to be used as
window-panes, but it was of no use to look at one’s
friends through such panes as those. Other fragments



84 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

were made into spectacles, and then what trouble people
had with setting and re-setting them !

The wicked magician was greatly amused with all
this, and he laughed till his sides ached.

There are still some little splinters of this mischievous
mirror flying about in the air. We shall hear more about
them very soon,



PART THE SECOND
A LITTLE BOY AND A LITTLE GIRL

In a large town, where there are so many houses and
inhabitants that there is not room enough for all the
people to possess a little garden of their own, and therefore
many are obliged to content themselves with keeping a
few plants in pots, there dwelt two poor children, whose
garden was somewhat larger than a flower-pot. They
were not brother and sister, but they loved each other as
much as if they had been, and their parents lived in two
attics exactly opposite. The roof of one neighbour’s
house nearly joined the other, the gutter ran along between,
and there was in each roof a little window, so that you
could stride across the gutter from one window to the
other. The parents of each child had a large wooden
box in which grew herbs for kitchen use, and they had
placed these boxes upon the gutter, so near that they
almost touched each other. A beautiful little rose-tree
grew in each box, scarlet runners entwined their long
shoots over the windows, and, uniting with the branches
of the rose-trees, formed a flowery arch across the street.
The boxes were very high, and the children knew that
they might not climb over them, but they often obtained
leave to sit on their little stools, under the rose-trees, and
thus they passed many a delightful hour.

But when winter came there was an end to these
pleasures. The windows were often quite frozen over, and
then they heated halfpence on the stove, held the warm
copper against the frozen pane, and thus made a little
round peep-hole, behind which would sparkle a bright
gentle eye, one from each window.

The little boy was called Kay, the little girl’s name was
Gerda. In summer-time they could get out of window and

85



86 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

jump over to each other; but in winter there were stairs
to run down, and stairs to run up, and sometimes the
wind roared, and the snow fell without-doors.

“ Those are the white bees swarming there!” said the
old grandmother.

“* Have they a Queen bee?” asked the little boy, for
he knew that the real bees have one.

“They have,” said the grandmother. “She flies
yonder where they swarm so thickly ; she is the largest of
them, and never remains upon the earth, but flies up
again into the black cloud. Sometimes on a winter’s night
she flies through the streets of the town, and breathes with
her frosty breath upon the windows, and then they
are covered with strange and beautiful forms, like trees
and flowers.”’

“Yes, I have seen them!” said both the children—
they knew that this was true.

‘Can the Snow Queen come in here ?”’ asked the little
girl.

“If she do come in,” said the boy, ‘‘I will put her on
the warm stove and then she will melt.”

And the grandmother stroked his hair and told him
Some stories.

That same evening, after little Kay had gone home,
and was half undressed, he crept upon the chair by the
window and peeped through the little round hole. Just
then a few snow-flakes fell outside, and one, the largest of
them, remained lying on the edge of one of the flower-pots.
The snow-flake appeared larger and larger, and at last
took the form of a lady dressed in the finest white crape,
her attire being composed of millions of star-like particles.
She was exquisitely fair and delicate, but entirely of ice,
glittering, dazzling ice; her eyes gleamed like two bright
stars, but there was no rest or repose in them. She
nodded at the window, and beckoned with her hand. The
little boy was frightened and jumped down from the chair;
he then fancied he saw a large bird fly past the window.



THE SNOW QUEEN 87

There was a clear frost next day, and soon afterwards
came spring—the trees and flowers budded, the swallows
built their nests, the windows were opened, and the little
children sat once more in their little garden upon the
gutter that ran along the roofs of the houses.

The roses blossomed beautifully that summer, and the
little girl had learned a hymn in which there was something
about roses; it reminded her of her own. So she sang it
to the little boy, and he sang it with her.

“Our roses bloom and fade away,
Our Infant Lord abides alway ;
May we be blessed His face to see,
And ever little children be!”

And the little ones held each other by the hand,
kissed the roses, and looked up into the blue sky, talking
away all the time. What glorious summer days were
those ! how delightful it was to sit under those rose-trees
which seemed as if they never intended to leave off blos-
soming! One day Kay and Gerda were sitting looking
at their picture-book full of birds and animals, when
suddenly—the clock on the old church tower was just
striking five—Kay exclaimed, ‘“‘ Oh, dear! what was that
shooting pain in my heart: and now again, something
has certainly got into my eye!”

The little girl turned and looked at him. He winked
his eyes; no, there was nothing to be seen.

“‘T believe it is gone,” said he; but gone it was not.
It was one of those glass splinters from the Magic Mirror,
the wicked glass which made everything great and good
reflected in it to appear little and hateful, and which
magnified everything ugly and mean. Poor Kay had
also received a splinter in his heart; it would now become
hard and cold like a lump of ice. He felt the pain no
longer, but the splinter was there.

“Why do you cry?” asked he; ‘ you look so ugly
when you cry! there is nothing the matter with me.



88 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Fie !’? exclaimed he again, ‘‘ this rose has an insect in it,
and-just look at this! After all, they are ugly roses!
and it is an ugly box they grow in!” then he kicked
the box, and tore off the roses.

**O Kay, what are you doing?” cried the little girl,
but when he saw how it grieved her, he tore off another
rose, and jumped down through his own window, away
from his once dear little Gerda.

Ever afterwards when she brought forward the picture-
book, he called it a baby’s book, and when her grand-
mother told stories, he interrupted her with a “‘ but,” and
sometimes, whenever he could manage it, he would get
behind her, put on her spectacles, and speak just
as she did; he did this in a very droll manner, and so
people laughed at him. Very soon he could mimic
everybody in the street. All that was singular and
awkward about them could Kay imitate, and his neigh-
bours said, ‘‘ What a remarkable head that boy has!”
But no, it was the glass splinter which had fallen into his
eye, the glass splinter which had pierced into his heart—it
was these which made him regardless whose feelings he
wounded, and even made him tease the little Gerda who
loves him so fondly.

His games were now quite different from what they
used to be, they were so rational! One winter’s day when
it was snowing, he came out with a large burning-glass in
his hand, and holding up the skirts of his blue coat let the
snow-flakes fall upon them. ‘‘ Now look through the
glass, Gerda!” said he, returning to the house. Every
snow-flake seemed much larger, and resembled a splendid
flower, or a star with ten points; they were quite beauti-
ful. ‘‘See, how curious!” said Kay, “these are far
more interesting than real flowers, there is not a single
blemish in them; they would be quite perfect if only they
did not melt.”

Soon after this Kay came in again, with thick gloves on
his hands, and his sledge slung across his back. He called



THE SNOW QUEEN 89

out to Gerda, “‘I have got leave to drive on the great
square where the other boys play!” and away he went.

The boldest boys in the square used to fasten their
sledges firmly to the wagons of the country people, and
thus drive a good way along with them ; this they thought
particularly pleasant. Whilst they were in the midst of
their play, a large sledge painted white passed by; in it
sat a person wrapped in a rough white fur, and wearing a
rough white cap. When the sledge had driven twice
round the square, Kay bound to it his little sledge,
and was carried on with it. On they went, faster and
faster, into the next street. The person who drove the
large sledge turned round and nodded kindly to Kay, just
as if they had been old acquaintances, and every time
Kay was going to loose his little sledge turned and nodded
again, as if to signify that he must stay. So Kay sat
still, and they passed through the gates of the town.
Then the snow began to fall so thickly that the little
boy could not see his own hand, but he was still carried
on. He tried hastily to unloose the cords and free himself
from the large sledge, but it was of no use; his little
carriage could not be unfastened, and glided on swift
as the wind. Then he cried out as loud as he could,
but no one heard him, the snow fell and the sledge flew;
every now and then it made a spring as if driving over
hedges and ditches. He was very much frightened; he
would have repeated ‘‘ Our Father,”’ but he could remember
nothing but the multiplication table.

The snow-flakes seemed larger and larger, at last they
looked like great white fowls. All at once they fell
aside, the large sledge stopped, and the person who drove
it arose from the seat. He saw that the cap and coat were
entirely of snow, that it was a lady, tall and slender, and
dazzlingly white—it was the Snow Queen!

“We have driven fast!’ said she, ‘“‘ but no one likes
to be frozen ; creep under my bear-skin,” and she seated
him in the sledge by her side, and spread her cloak around

12



90 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

him—he felt as if he were sinking into a drift of snow.

*“ Are you still cold ? ”? asked she, and then she kissed
his brow. Oh! her kiss was colder than ice. It went to
his heart, although that was half frozen already; he
thought he should die. It was, however, only for a
moment; directly afterwards he was quite well, and no
longer felt the intense cold around.

“My sledge! do not forget my sledge ! —he thought
first of that—it was fastened to one of the white fowls
which flew behind with it on his back. The Snow Queen
kissed Kay again, and he entirely forgot little Gerda,
her grandmother, and all at home.

““Now you must have no more kisses!” said she,
“else I should kiss thee to death.”

Kay looked at her, she was so beautiful; a more
intelligent, more lovely countenance, he could not imagine ;
she no longer appeared to him ice, cold ice as at the time
when she sat outside the window and beckoned to him;
in his eyes she was perfect; he felt no fear. He told
her how well he could reckon in his head, even fractions ;
that he knew the number of square miles of every country,
and the number of the inhabitants contained in different
towns. She smiled, and then it occurred to him that,
after all, he did not yet know so very much. He looked
up into the wide, wide space, and she flew with him high
up into the black cloud while the storm was raging;
it seemed now to Kay as though singing songs of olden
time.

They flew over woods and over lakes, over sea and over
land; beneath them the cold wind whistled, the wolves
howled, the snow glittered, and the black crow flew
cawing over the plain, whilst above them shone the
moon, so clear and tranquil.

Thus did Kay spend the long, long winter night; all
day he slept at the feet of the Snow Queen.





SUE WORE A LARGE HAT, WITH MOST BEAUTIFUL
FLOWERS PAINTED ON IT



PART THE THIRD

THE ENCHANTED FLOWER-GARDEN

But how fared it with little Gerda when Kay never
returned ? Where could he be? No one knew, no one
could give any account of him. The boy said that they
had seen him fasten his sledge to another larger and very
handsome one which had driven into the street, and thence
through the gates of the town. No one knew where he
was, and many were the tears that were shed; little
Gerda wept much and long, for the boys said he must be
dead, he must have been drowned in the river that flowed
not far from the town. Oh, how long and dismal the
winter days were now! At last came the spring, with its
warm sunshine.

““ Alas, Kay is dead and gone,” said little Gerda.

““That I do not believe,” said the sunshine.

“He is dead and gone,” said she to the swallows.

“That we do not believe,” returned they, and at last
little Gerda herself did not believe it.

“* T will put on my new red shoes,” said she one morn-
ing, “those which Kay has never seen, and then I will
go down to the river and ask after him.”

It was quite early. She kissed her old grandmother,
who was still sleeping, put on her red shoes, and went
alone through the gates of the town towards the river.

“Ts it true,” said she, “‘ that thou hast taken my little
playfellow away? I will give thee my red shoes if thou
wilt restore him to me!”

And the wavelets of the river flowed towards her in a
manner which she fancied was unusual; she fancied that

92



THE SNOW QUEEN 93

they intended to accept her offer, so she took off her red
shoes—though she prized them more than anything else
she possessed—and threw them into the stream ; but they
fell near the shore, and the little waves bore them back
to her, as though they would not take from her what she
most prized, as they had not got little Kay. However,
she thought she had not thrown the shoes far enough, so
she stepped into a little boat which lay among the reeds
by the shore, and, standing at the farthest end of it,
threw them from thence into the water. The boat was
not fastened, and her movements in it caused it to glide
away from the shore. She saw this, and hastened to get
out, but by the time she reached the other end of the
boat it was more than a yard distant from the land;
she could not escape, and the boat glided on.

Little Gerda was much frightened and began to cry,
but no one besides the sparrows heard her, and they could
not carry her back to the land; however, they flew along
the banks, and sang, as if to comfort her, ‘‘ Here we are,
here we are!” The boat followed the stream. Little
Gerda sat in it quite still; her red shoes floated behind
her, but they could not overtake the boat, which glided
along faster than they did.

Beautiful were the shores of that river ; lovely flowers,
stately old trees, and bright green hills dotted with
sheep and cows, were seen in abundance, but not a single
human being.

“Perhaps the river may bear me to my dear Kay,”
thought Gerda, and then she became more cheerful, and
amused herself for hours with looking at the lovely country
around her, At last she glided past a large cherry-garden,
wherein stood a little cottage with thatched roof and
curious red and blue windows; two wooden soldiers stood
at the door, who presented arms when they saw the little
vessel approach.

Gerda called to them, thinking that they were alive,
but they, naturally enough, made no answer. She came



94 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

close up to them, for the stream drifted the boat to the
land.

Gerda called still louder, whereupon an old lady came
out of the house, supporting herself on a crutch; she
wore a large hat, with most beautiful flowers painted on
it.

“Thou poor little child!’ said the old woman, “ the
mighty flowing river has indeed borne thee a long, long
way,” and she walked right into the water, seized the
boat with her crutch, drew it to land, and took out the
little girl.

Gerda was glad to be on dry land again, although
she was a little afraid of the strange old lady.

““Come and tell me who thou art, and how thou
camest hither,” said she.

And Gerda told her all, and the old lady shook her
head, and said, ‘“‘Hem! hem!” And when Gerda asked
if she had seen little Kay, the lady said that he had not
arrived there yet, but that he would be sure to come
soon, and that in the meantime Gerda must not be sad ;
that she might stay with her, might eat her cherries, and
look at her flowers, which were prettier than any picture-
book, and could each tell her a story.

She then took Gerda by the hand; they went together
into the cottage, and the old lady shut the door. The
windows were very high and their panes of different-coloured
glass, red, blue, and yellow, so that when the bright
daylight streamed through them, various and beautiful
were the hues reflected upon the room. Upon a table in
the centre was placed a plate of very fine cherries, and of
these Gerda was allowed to eat as many as she liked.
And whilst she was eating them, the old dame combed her
hair with a golden comb, and the bright flaxen ringlets
fell on each side of her pretty, gentle face, which looked as
round and as fresh as a rose.

“TI have long wished for such a dear little girl,” said
the old lady. ‘“ We shall see if we cannot live very



THE SNOW QUEEN 95

happily together.” And, as she combed little Gerda’s
hair, the child thought less and less of her foster-brother
Kay, for the old lady was an enchantress. She did not,
however, practise magic for the sake of mischief, but
merely for her own amusement. And now she wished
very much to keep little Gerda, to live with her; so,
fearing that if Gerda saw her roses, she would be reminded
of her own flowers and of little Kay, and that then she
might run away, she went out into the garden, and extended
her crutch over all her rose-bushes, upon which, although
they were full of leaves and blossoms, they immediately
sank into the black earth, and no one would have guessed
that such plants had ever grown there.

Then she led Gerda into this flower-garden. Oh how
beautiful and how fragrant it was! Flowers of all seasons
and all climes grew there in fulness of beauty—certainly
no picture-book could be compared withit. Gerda bounded
with delight, and played among the flowers till the sun
set behind the tall cherry-trees ; after which a pretty little
bed, with crimson silk cushions, stuffed with blue violet-
leaves, was prepared for her, and here she slept so sweetly
and had such dreams as a queen might have on her bridal
eve.

The next day she again played among the flowers in
the warm sunshine, and many more days were spent
i the same manner. Gerda knew every flower in the
garden, but, numerous as they were, it seemed to her
that one was wanting, she could not tell which. She
was sitting one day, looking at her hostess’s hat, which had
flowers painted on it, and, behold, the loveliest among
them was a rose! The old lady had entirely forgotten
the painted rose on her hat, when she made the real
Toses to disappear from her garden and sink into the
ground. This is often the case when things are done
hastily.

“What,” cried Gerda, “are there no roses in the
garden?” And she ran from one bed to another, sought



96 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

and sought again, but no rose was to be found. She
sat down and wept, and it so chanced that her tears fell
on a spot where a rose-tree had formerly stood, and as soon
as her warm tears had moistened the earth, the bush shot
up anew, as fresh and as blooming as it was before it
had sunk into the ground; and Gerda threw her arms
around it, kissed the blossoms, and immediately recalled
to memory the beautiful roses at home, and her little
playfellow Kay. ‘Oh, how could I stay here so long!”
exclaimed the little maiden. “TI left my home to seek
for Kay. Do you know where he is?” she asked of the
roses; “think you that he is dead?”

‘Dead he is not,” said the roses. ‘ We have been
down in the earth; the dead are there, but not Kay.”

“I thank you,” said little Gerda, and she went to the
other flowers, bent low over their cups, and asked, ‘‘ Know
you not where little Kay is?”

But every flower stood in the sunshine dreaming its
own little tale. They related their stories to Gerda, but
none of them knew anything of Kay.

“And what think you?” said the tiger-lily.

“Listen to the drums beating, boom! boom! They
have but two notes, always boom! boom! Listen to the
dirge the women are singing! Listen to the chorus of
priests! Enveloped in her long red robes stands the
Hindoo wife on the funeral pile; the flames blaze around
her and her dead husband, but the Hindoo wife thinks
not of the dead. She thinks only of the living, and the
anguish which consumes her spirit is keener than the
fire which will soon reduce her body to ashes. Can the
flame of the heart expire amid the flames of the funeral
pile ?”

“I do not understand that at all!” said little Gerda.

“That is my tale!” said the tiger-lily.

“What says the convolvulus ? ”

‘* Hanging over a narrow mountain causeway, behold
an ancient, baronial castle. Thick evergreens grow









FLY UPWARD WITH BRIGHT,
EVER-CHANGING COLOURS

E BUBBLES

THE SWING MOVES AND TH

13



oh
isu
ok





THE SNOW QUEEN 99

amongst the time-stained walls, their leafy branches
entwine about the balcony, and there stands a beautiful
maiden; she bends over the balustrades and fixes her
eyes with eager expectation on the road winding beneath.
The rose hangs not fresher and lovelier on its stem than
she; the apple-blossom which the wind threatens every
moment to tear from its branch is not more fragile and
trembling. Listen to the rustling of her rich silken robe !
Listen to her half-whispered words, ‘He comes not
yet.’ 9

“Ts it Kay you mean?” asked little Gerda.

‘“‘T do but tell you my tale—my dream,” replied the
convolvulus.

‘* What says the little snowdrop ?”’

“ Between two trees hangs a swing. Two pretty little
maidens, their dress as white as snow, and long green
ribbands fluttering from their hats, sit and swing them-
selves in it. Their brother stands up in the swing, he has
thrown his arms round the ropes to keep himself steady,
for in one hand he holds a little cup, in the other a pipe
made of clay; he is blowing soap bubbles. The swing
moves and the bubbles fly upwards with bright, ever-
changing colours; the last hovers on the edge of the
pipe, and moves with the wind. The swing is still in
motion, and the little black dog, almost as light as the
soap bubbles, rises on his hind feet and tries to get into
the swing also; away goes the swing, the dog falls, is out
of temper, and barks; he is laughed at, and the bubbles
burst. A swinging board, a frothy, fleeting image is my
song.”

‘““What you describe may be all very pretty, but
ee speak so mournfully, and there is nothing about

ay.”

“What say the hyacinths?”

‘“ There were three fair sisters, transparent and delicate
they were; the kirtle of the one was red, that of the
second blue, of the third pure white; hand in hand they



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CONTENTS

PAGE
THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER . . . . . 16
OMMPISHiGe iia 2 te a ete | eed
DHE SNOWS@QUEUNG te 62

PART THE FIRST—WHICH TREATS OF THE MIRROR
ANDEUISHERAGMHUNTS 985 8 8 ay

PART THE SECOND—A LITTLE BOY AND A LITTLE
CIR a ce

PART THE THIRD—THE ENCHANTED FLOWER-
CARDEN) (3) ] oe 08

PART THE FOURTH—THE PRINCE AND THE
PRINCESS (10d

PART THE FIFTH—THE LITTLE ROBBER-MAIDEN 115

PART THE SIXTH—THE LAPLAND WOMAN AND
THE FINLAND WOMAN . . . . - 128
7
8 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

PART THE SEVENTH—WHICH TREATS OF THE
SNOW QUEEN’S PALACE, AND OF WHAT CAME
TO PASS THEREIN . . . . . .

ELFIN-MOUNT

THE LITTLE MERMAID . ; 8 . . . .
THE STORKS . .

THE NIGHTINGALE

THE WILD SWANS .

THE REAL PRINCESS 5 i 6 6 . .
THE RED SHOES .

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES . : . .
THE SWINEHERD ., . . 7 : : ci .

(DEIN ETS GUN GST ee ee et
DEE EAP ING MUNCH: ee eee a aes
THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER
DEM U CH Ye DUCKING #5

THE NAUGHTY BOY Ries eR Ecce eae eae ead em eae

PAGH

128

195
213
238
244
257
265
275
287
293
800
815


LIST OF COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS

THE BUD OPENED INTO A FULL-BLOWN FLOWER,
IN THE MIDDLE OF WHICH LAY A BEAUTIFUL

CHILD . . . : : ; : : Frontispiece
SHE STOOD AT THE DOOR AND BEGGED FOR A PIECE
OF BARIENN-CORN 99 3 0

“YES, I WILL GO WITH THEE!” SAID TOMMELISE,
AND SHE SEATED HERSELF ON THE BIRD’S BACK 77

THE SWING MOVES AND THE BUBBLES FLY UPWARD
WITH BRIGHT, EVER-CHANGING COLOURS . - 9%

“HE DID NOT COME TO WOO HER,” HE SAID, “HE
HAD ONLY COME TO HEAR THE WISDOM OF THE

PRINCESS”, . : . . : . 109
ROUND AND ROUND THEY WENT, SUCH WHIRLING
AND TWIRLING . ‘ i . . a . - 143

9 2
10 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

SHE PUT THE STATUE IN HER GARDEN . . .

WITH THE REST OF THE CHILDREN OF AIR, SOARED
HIGH ABOVE THE ROSY CLOUD

WE WILL BRING HIM TWO LITTLE ONES, A BROTHER
AND A SISTER

THEN BEGAN THE NIGHTINGALE TO SING . .

THE PEASANT’S WIFE SAT ON SUNDAYS AT THE DOOR
OF HER COTTAGE READING HER HYMN-BOOK

PRINCESSES HE FOUND IN PLENTY, BUT WHETHER
THEY WERE REAL PRINCESSES IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE
FOR HIM TO DECIDE

SHE SAT DOWN ONE DAY AND MADE OUT OF SOME
OLD PIECES OF RED CLOTH A PAIR OF LITTLE
SHOES .

THE SWINEHERD SCOLDED AND THE RAIN POURED
DOWN .

SHE SAT THE LIVELONG DAY UPON THE ROOF OF
HER PALACE, EXPECTING HIM

HE JUMPED DOWN FROM THE OLD MAN’S LAP AND
DANCED AROUND HIM ON THE FLOOR .

PAGE

153

181

191
199

215

239

245

271

817


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

The marsh king’s daughter . , : o i 5 wo kS
She understood the speech of birds : 6 . . 2 LG
It was he who pulled her down . : . : : asa
The Nile flood had retired . : : : : é seam
There was a little bird that beat its wings . : : - 89
Placed the golden circuit about his neck : : : - AT
Then she saw the storks . . : 5 : : . 58
The swallow soared high into the air . ; ; 5 oo 6)
“Thou poor little thing,” said the field-mouse ; : - 62
“This is just the wife for my son,” said the toad. 5 SOD
Oh, how terrified was poor Tommelise . . . sued
That was the greatest of pleasures ° é * . - 76
They carried the mirror from place to place . . . - §&1

He chuckled with delight . . ¢ . . 6 - 88

She wore a large hat, with most beautiful flowers painted on it 91
11
12 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

PAGE
Gerda knew every flower in the garden ; 6 ; - 101

Suddenly a large raven hopped upon the snow in front of her. 105
Cabinet councillors were walking about barefooted . ; - 118
And the nearer they were to the door the prouder they looked 119
And flapped his black wings at the carriage till it was out of sight 122
The little robber-maiden . . : ; 2 ; - 125
The snow queen . . ° . . : : , - 128
She ran on as fast as she could . . : ; : . 181
She entered. the large, cold, empty hall . : ; : - 188
The elfin-king’s housekeeper . . . . 5 : - 186
The mer-king must be invited first 3 x : : - 140
They felt quite as if they were at home f : - 145
I will have thee myself to wife . A 5 5 , . 147
The little mermaid . . . . 0 : ; - 149

She was on the whole a sensible sort of lady ; : - 156
The youngest was the most lovely ie 3 : : . 159
They ate from their hands . ; s 2 5 : . 166
Many an evening she rose to the place . ; e . . 178
When the sun arose she awoke . A : : : ey ld ee
Father-stork . . . 5 ‘. . : - 184
“Stork! stork! long-legged stork!” . : : : - 188
And fetch one for each of the boys : 2 : : - 190

“Oh! how pretty that is!” he would say . 4 : . 194
Among the branches dwelt a nightingale : ‘ : - 201
They admired the city, the palace, and the garden : . 2038
The kitchen-maid . ; fs . . : . : - 205
The chief imperial nightingale bringer . : z i - 208
He was quite as successful as the real nightingale : - 210
The wild swans . . . . ; : . a - 212
So Elise took off her clothes and stepped into the water - 220
And met an old woman with a basket full of berries, - 228
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Not a boat was to be seen . . . . . : 0
There was only just room for her and them . : . .
I must venture to the churchyard 2 * : . ‘
I have scarcely closed my eyes the whole night through ;

The old king himself went out to open it . : : :

The peas were preserved in the cabinet of curiosities . :
Karen . . . ° . . . . a " .
And Karen was dressed very neatly 3 a : 5

Karen and the old lady walked to church . ‘

He sat there nodding at her. . . 6 fs .
Dance she must, over field and meadow

Two rogues calling themselves weavers made their appearance
“Oh, it is excellent!” replied the minister . p

As if in the act of holding something up : : . ‘

So now the emperor walked under his high canopy 7 :
The two rogues . . ° . ° ; . . .
The emperor’s daughter : . , . .

All cares and sorrows were forgotten by him who inhaled its
fragrance . : .

And he wept like a chil : _ : : . |
“Ach! du lieber Augustin ” 5 . : : : :
Up flew the trunk . . . .

The son lived merrily . 5 : : :

** Will you tell us a story?” asked the queen : : 5
“But let it make us laugh,” said the king

Their slippers flew about their ears é ‘ : d :
And thus the frog won the princess . . . : .
The old councillor . : . . : : : .
‘IT say nothing for the present,” remarked the king

It may not be perfectly true . c . : ,

The shepherdess and the chimney-sweeper_ . ; . .

13

PAGH

226
229
233
237

242
243
248
250
251
254

259
261
262
263

266
268
270
274
276
279
280
282
286

289
290
291
14 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

The poor duckling was scorned by all . °

He came to a large moor . : . . . .
And the cat said, ‘Can you purr?”

And every one said, ‘‘ The new one is the best” .

Beware of him, dear child! .

PAGE

299
304
809
311
314











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PAIN AW LA HAS SACU,

SHE UNDERSTOOD THE SPEECH OF BIRDS

THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER

Tue storks tell their young ones ever so many fairy
tales, all of them from the fen and the moss. Generally
the tales are suited to the youngsters’ age and under-
standing. The baby birds are pleased if they are told
just “‘kribly, krably, plurry-murry!” which they think
wonderful; but the older ones will have something with
more sense in it, or, at the least, a tale about themselves.
Of the two oldest and longest tales which have been told
among the storks, one we all know—that about Moses,
who was placed by his mother in an ark on the waters of
the Nile, was found by the king’s daughter, and then was
taught all learning, and became a great man, and no one
knows where he was buried. Everybody has heard that
tale.

16
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 17

But the other story is not known at all even now;
perhaps because it is really a chimney-corner tale. It has
been handed down by mother-stork to mother-stork for
hundreds of years, and each in turn has told it better,
till now we are telling it best of all.

The first pair of storks who knew it had their summer
quarters on a Viking’s log-house by the moor in Wendsyssel,
which is in the county of Hjérring, near Skagen in Jut-
land, if we want to be accurate. To this day there is still
an enormous great moss there. You can read all about it
in your geography book. The moss lies where was once
the bottom of the sea, before the great upheaval of the
land; and now it stretches for miles, surrounded on all
sides by watery meadows and quivering bog, with turf-moss
cloud-berries and stunted trees growing. A fog hangs
over it almost continually, and till about seventy years
ago wolves were still found there. It may certainly be
called a wild moor, and you can imagine what lack of
paths and what abundance of swamp and sea was there
thousands of years ago. In that waste man saw ages
back just what he sees to-day. The reeds were just as
high, with the same kind of long leaves and _purplish-
brown, feathery flowers as they have now; the birches
stood with white bark and fine, loose-hung leaves just
as they now stand ; and for the living creatures that came
there, why, the fly wore its gauze suit of just the same cut
as now, and the colour of the stork’s dress was white and
black, with red stockings. On the other hand, the men of
that time wore different clothes from those we wear. But
whoever it was, poor peasant or free hunter, that trod
on the quagmire, it happened thousands of years ago just
as it does to-day—in he went and down he sank, down to
the Marsh King, as they called him, who reigned beneath
in the great Moss Kingdom. He was called also the
Mire King, but we will call him by the stork’s name for
him—Marsh King. People know very little about how

he governed, but perhaps that is just as well.
18 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Near to the moss, and right in the Liim Fjord, stood the
Viking’s log-house, with paved cellar and tower two
storeys high. On the roof the storks had built their nest.
Mother-stork sat on her eggs, and was positive they would
turn out well.

One evening father-stork had been out for a long time,
and when he came home he seemed excited and flurried.

“ve dreadful news for you! ” he said to mother-stork.

“Don’t get excited,” said she. ‘‘ Remember I’m sit-
ting on my eggs, and I might be upset by it, and then the
eggs would suffer.”

‘You must know it!” he answered. ‘‘ She has come
here, our landlord’s daughter in Egypt! She has ven-
tured on the journey here, and she is lost!”

“Why, she is of fairy descent! Tell me all about it;
you know I can’t bear to wait at this time, when I’m
sitting.”

“Listen, mother. It’s as you told me. She has be-
lieved what the doctor said, that the moor-flowers here
could do her sick father good, and so she has flown here in
a feather-dress with the other winged princesses, who have
to come to the north every year to bathe and renew their
youth. She has come, and she is lost ! ”

“You're getting too long-winded ! ” said mother-stork.
“The eggs may be chilled! I can’t bear to be excited ! ”

“ [have watched,” said father-stork, ‘“‘ and in the even-
ing, when I went into the reeds, where the quagmire is able
to bear me, there came three swans. Something in the
way they flew told me, ‘ Watch; that isn’t a real swan;
it’s only swan feathers.’ You know the feeling, mother,
as well as Ido; you can tell if it is right.”

“Yes, certainly,” said she; ‘but tell me about the
princess. I’m tired of hearing about the swan’s feathers.”

‘Here, in the middle of the moor, you know,” said
father-stork, “is a kind of lake ; you can see a part of it if
you stand up. There, by the reeds and the green quag-
mire, lies a great elder-stump. The three swans lighted
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 19

on it, flapped their wings, and looked round them. Then
one of them threw off her swan’s plumage, and I saw it
was our own princess, of our house in Egypt. Then she
sat down, and she had no other covering than her own
long, black hair. I heard her ask the two others to take
great care of her swan-skin while she plunged under the
water to gather a flower which she thought she saw. They
nodded, and lifted up the loose feather-dress. ‘ I wonder
what they mean to do with it,’ said I to myself; and no
doubt she asked them the same. And she got an answer,
something she could see for herself. They flew aloft with
her feather-dress! ‘Sink down,’ they cried; ‘ you shall
never fly in the swan-skin again; never see Egypt again !
Stay in the moss!’ And so they tore her feather-dress
into a hundred pieces, till the feathers flew about as if
it was snowing, and off flew the two good-for-nothing
princesses.”

“Oh, how dreadful! ’’ said mother-stork. “I can’t
bear to hear it. But, tell me, what else happened ?”

“Our princess moaned and wept. Her tears fell on
the elder-stump, and it was quite moved, for it was the
Marsh King himself, who lives in the quagmire. I saw
the stump turn itself, so it wasn’t only a trunk, for it put
out long, muddy boughs like arms. Then the unhappy
girl was frightened, and sprang aside into the quivering
marsh, which will not bear me, much less her. In at once
she sank, and down with her went the elder-stump—it was
he who pulled her down. Then a few big black bubbles,
and no trace of her left. She is engulfed in the marsh, and
will never return to Egypt with her flower. You couldn’t
have borne to see it, mother!”

“You shouldn’t have told me anything of the sort just
now; it may affect the eggs. The princess can take good
care of herself. She’ll get help easily enough. Had it
been you or I, there would have been an end of us.”

‘““ However, I’ll go day by day to see about it,” said
father-stork ; and so he did.
20 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

The days and months went by. He saw at last one day
that right from the bottom of the marsh a green stalk
pushed up till it reached the surface of the water. Out of
it grew a leaf, that grew wider and wider, and close to it a
bud put out. Then one morning, as the stork was flying
over it, it opened, with the sun’s warmth, into a full-blown
flower, in the middle of which lay a beautiful child, a
little girl, as if she were fresh from the bath. So like was
the child to the princess from Egypt, that at first the stork
believed it to be herself turned a child again. But when
he thought it over, he decided that it was more likely to
be the child of the princess and the Marsh King, and that
was why she was lying in a water lily.

“She mustn’t be left lying there,” thought father-
stork, “ and there are too many already in my nest. But
IT have it! The Viking’s wife has no children, and she has
often wished for a little one. Yes, I get the name for
bringing the babies; I will do it in sober truth for once!
Pll fly to the Viking’s wife with the child. They’ll be
delighted ! ”

So the stork took the little girl, flew to the log-house,
made a hole with his beak in the window, with panes made
of bladder, laid the child on the bosom of the Viking’s wife,
and flew away to mother-stork to tell her all aboutit. Her
young ones heard it too, for they were now old enough.

“Listen; the princess is not dead. She has sent her
little one up, and the child has a home found for her.”

“Yes, so I said from the first,” said mother-stork.
* Now think a little about your own children. It’s almost
time for our journey. I begin to feel atingling under my
wings. The cuckoo and the nightingale are off already,
and I hear the quails chattering about it, and saying that
we shall soon have a favourable wind. Our young ones
are quite fit for training, I’m sure.”

Glad indeed was the Viking’s wife when she woke in
the morning to find the beautiful little child near her side.
She kissed and fondled it, but it screamed with passion,


IT WAS HE WHO PULLED HER DOWN
22 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

and threw out its arms and legs, and seemed utterly miser-
able. At last it cried itself to sleep, and there it lay, one
of the prettiest babies you could set eyes on.

The Viking’s wife was so happy, so gay, so well, that
she could not but hope that her husband and his men would
return as suddenly as the little one had come, and so she
and all her household busied themselves to get everything
into order. The long coloured tapestries, which she and
her maidens had woven with figures of their gods—Odin,
Thor, Freya, as they were called—were hung up; the
slaves were set to polish the old shields used for decoration p
cushions were arranged on the benches, and dry wood
placed on the hearth in the middle of the hall, so that the
fire could be lit ina moment. The Viking’s wife took her
share in the work, so that by the evening she was very
tired, and slept soundly.

When she woke towards daybreak she was terribly
frightened. The little child had vanished! She sprang
up, lighted a brand, and looked everywhere around.
There, just at the foot of the bed where she had lain, was,
not a baby, but a great ugly toad! In utter disgust at it
she took a heavy stick to kill it, but the creature looked
at her with such wonderfully sad eyes that she could not
destroy it. Once more she gazed round; the toad uttered
a faint, mournful croak. She started, and sprang from
the bedside to the window, and opened it. At that mo-
ment the sun rose, and cast its rays upon the bed and upon
the great toad. All at once it seemed that the creature’s
wide mouth shrank, and became small and rosy; the
limbs filled out into the most charming shape. It was her
own beautiful babe that lay there, not the hideous reptile !

“ What is this?” cried the dame. “ Was it an ill
dream? Yes, there is my own sweet elfin child lying
there!” She kissed it, and pressed it to her heart; but
it fought and bit like a wild kitten !

The Viking, however, did not come that day, nor the
next; for though he was on his way, the wind was against
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 23

him as it blew to the south for the storks. Fair wind for
one is foul for the other.

In those two days and nights the Viking’s wife saw
clearly how it was with her little child. And dreadfulindeed
was the spell that lay on it. By day it was as beautiful as
an angel of light, but it had a bad, evil disposition. By
night, on the other hand, it was a hideous toad, quiet, sad,
with sorrowful eyes. It had two natures, which changed
with its outward form. And so it was that the baby,
brought by the stork, had by daylight its mother’s own
rightful shape, but its father’s temper; while again, night
made the kinship with him evident in the bodily form, in
which, however, dwelt the mother’s mind and heart. Who
could loose the spell cast by the power of witchcraft ?
The Viking’s wife was worn and distressed about it, and her
heart was heavy for the unhappy being, of whose condition
she did not think that she dared tell her husband if he came
home then, for he would certainly follow the custom and
practice of the time, and expose the poor child on the high-
road for anyone that liked to take away. The good dame
had not the heart to do this: her husband should see the
child only by daylight.

One morning the wings of storks were heard above
the roof. More than a hundred pairs of the birds had
rested themselves for the night after their heavy exer-
cise, and they now flew up, preparatory to starting
southwards.

** All ready, and the wives and children ?”’ was their
cry.
“Oh, I’m so light,” said the young storks. “ My
bones feel all kribly-krably, as if I was filled with live
frogs! How splendid it is to have to go abroad!”

‘“* Keep up in the flight,” said father and mother, “ and
don’t chatter so much ; it tires the chest.”

And they flew.

At the same moment a horn sounded over the moor.
The Viking had landed with all his men, returning laden
24 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

with booty from the coasts of Gaul, where the people, like
those of Britain, used to chant in their terror: ‘* From
the rage of the Northmen, Lord, deliver us!” Guess
what stir and festival now came to the Viking’s stronghold
near the moor! A barrel of mead was brought into hall ;
a huge fire was lighted; horses were slaughtered ; every-
thing went duly. The heathen priest sprinkled the slaves
with warm blood, to begin their new life; the fire crackled;
the smoke curled under the roof; the soot fell down from
the beams—but they were used to that. Guests were
invited, and received valuable gifts. Plots and treachery
were forgotten; they drank deep and threw the picked
bones in each other’s faces in good-humoured horse-play.
The bard—a kind of musician, but a warrior as well, who
went with them, saw their exploits, and sang about them—
gave them a song in which they heard all their warrior-

deeds and feats of prowess. Each verse ended with the
refrain :

““ Wealth, kindred, life cannot endure,
But the warrior’s glory standeth sure.”

And they all clashed upon their shields, and beat upon the
table with knives and fists, and made great clamour.
The Viking’s wife sat on the cross-bench in the open
banqueting-hall. She wore a robe of silk, with bracelets
of gold and beads of amber. She had put on her dress of
state, and the bard sang of her, and told of the golden
treasure she had brought to her wealthy lord, while he was
delighted with the beautiful child, for he could see it by
day in all its loveliness. He was well pleased with the
baby’s wildness, and said she would become a right warrior-
maid, and fight as his champion. She did not even blink
her eyes when a skilful hand cut her eyelashes with a sharp
sword as a rough joke.
_~ The barrel of mead was drained, and a second brought
In, and all got well drunk, for they were folk who loved to
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 25

drink their fill, They had a proverb: “‘ The kine know
when to go to stall from pasture, but the fool never knows
when he has had enough.” They knew it well enough, but
know and do are different things. They had another
proverb, too: ‘‘ The dearest friend grows wearisome when
he outstays his welcome.’”’ But on they stayed. Meat
and mead are good: it was glorious!—and the slaves
slept in the warm ashes, and dipped their fingers in the
fat and licked them. Oh, it was a great time!

Once again that year the Viking went on a raid, though
the autumn gales were rising. He led his men to the coast
of Britain—‘“‘ just over the water,” he said; and his wife
remained with the little girl. And truth to tell, the foster-
mother soon grew fonder of the unhappy toad with the
gentle eyes and deep sigh than of the beautiful child that
fought and bit all about her.

The raw, dank autumn mist, ‘‘ Mouthless,’? which
devours the leaves lay over forest and moor; “ Bird
Featherless,” as they called the snow, flew closely all
around ; winter was nigh at hand. The sparrows took
the storks’ nests for themselves, and criticized the ways of
the late owners during their absence. And where were
mother- and father-stork and their young ones all the time ?
Down in the land of Egypt, where the sun shone warm,
as it does on a fine summer’s day with us. Tamarinds and
acacias bloomed round them; the crescent of Mahomet
gleamed bright from the cupolas of the mosques ; pairs and
pairs of storks sat on the slender turrets, and rested after
their long journey. Great flocks of them had built nest by
nest on the huge pillars and broken arches of temples and
forgotten cities. The date-palm raised its foliage on high,
as if to keep off the glare of the sun. Grey-white pyramids
stood out against the clear sky across the desert, where the
ostrich raced at speed, and the lion crouched with great,
wise eyes, and saw the marble sphinx that lay half-buried
in the sand. The Nile flood had retired; the whole bed
of the river was swarming with frogs, and to the stork

4
26 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

family that was quite the best thing to be seen in the
country. The young ones thought their eyes must be
playing them tricks, it all seemed so wonderful.

“We always have it just like this in our warm coun-
try,” said mother-stork; and the young ones felt their
appetites grow.

“Will there be anything more to see?” said they.
“Shall we go much farther into the country ?”

“There is nothing better to see,” said mother-stork.
“ At that green border is only a wild wood, where the trees
crowd one upon another, and are entangled together with
thorny creepers. Only an elephant with his clumsy legs
can make a way there. The snakes are too large for us,
and the lizards too lively. If you try to go into the desert
you get your eyes full of sand in fair weather, and if there
is much wind, you find yourself buried under a sand-heap.
No, this is the best place. Here are frogs and locusts. I
shall stop here, and you must stay with me.” And they
stayed.

The old ones sat in their nest on the slender minaret
and rested themselves, while yet they were busy preening
their feathers and rubbing their beaks on their red-
stockinged legs. They would raisetheir necks, bow gravely,
and hold up their heads with their high foreheads, fine,
smooth feathers, and brown eyes glancing sharply. The
young hen-storks walked gravely about among the coarse
reeds, stealing glances at the other young storks, and
devouring a frog at every third step, or else a small snake,
which they found so good for their health, and so tasty.
The young males began to quarrel, beat each other with
their wings, pecked, yes, stabbed till the blood flowed!
And so one and another got betrothed, for that was the
whole purpose of life. They built nests, and from that
sprang new quarrels, for in hot countries tempers are so
quick! Nevertheless, it was all delightful, especially to
the old ones. Everything that one’s own youngsters do
becomes them. Every day there was sunshine; every


THE NILE FLOOD HAD RETIRID
28 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

day was so much taken up with eating that there was
hardly time to think of amusement.

But inside the rich palace of their Egyptian landlord,
as they called him, joy was unknown. Rich and mighty
lord, there he lay on a couch, his limbs rigid, stretched out
like a mummy, in the midst of the great hall with its many-
coloured walls ; it looked just as if he was lying in a tulip.
His kinsmen and servants stood around him; he was not
dead; you could not call him alive; he existed. The
healing moss-flower from the northern land, which should
have been searched for and gathered by her who loved
him most dearly, would never be brought. His young and
beautiful daughter, who flew in swan’s plumage over sea
and land, far towards the north, would never return. “She
is dead and gone!” the two swan-maidens had told him
on their return. They had invented a whole history of it.
Said they:

“We all three flew high in the air: a hunter saw us
and shot an arrow; it struck our friend, and singing her
farewell, like a dying swan, she slowly sank, in the midst
of a forest lake. There we buried her, near the shore of
the lake, under a fragrant weeping-birch. But we took
our revenge! We bound fire under the wings of a swallow
which had built under the hunter’s thatched roof! The
thatch caught ; the house blazed up! He was burned in
it, and the light shone over the lake as far as the drooping
birch tree under which she is buried. She will never come
back to the land of Egypt.”

And so they both wept; and the father-stork, when he
heard it, chattered with his beak till it rattled again.

“Lies and make-up!” said he. “I have a great
mind to drive my beak into their hearts.”

“ And break it off!” said mother-stork. “ And what
good would that do? Think first of yourself and your
own family; everything else is of no consequence ! ”’

Ss However, I will seat myself on the edge of the open
court in the morning, when all the learned doctors are met


THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 29

to talk about the illness. Perhaps they will come a little
nearer the truth.”

And the learned doctors came together, and talked and
talked all about, so that the stork could not make head or
tail of it—nor did anything come of it for the sickness, or
for the daughter in the moor; but, nevertheless, we shall
be glad to hear something about it, for we are obliged to
listen to a great deal.

But now it will be a very good thing to learn what had
gone before this meeting, in order to understand the story
better, for at least we know as much as father-stork.

“Love brings life! The highest love supports the
highest life! Only through love will he be able to secure
the preservation of his life ! ’ was what they said ; and very
wisely and well said it was, according to the learned.

“That’s a pretty thought!” said father-stork.

“I don’t rightly understand it!” said mother-stork,
“and it isn’t my fault, but the expressions! However, be
that as it may, I’ve something else to think about!”

Then the learned men had spoken of love for one thing
to another, of the difference there is between the affection
of lovers and that of parent and child; of the love of plant
and sunbeam, where the rays of the sun touch the bud and
the young shoot thus comes forth—all this was expounded
at such great length and in so learned a way that it was
impossible for father-stork to follow it, much less to repeat
it. He was quite thoughtful about it, and half closed his
eyes and stood on one leg a whole day afterwards; such
learning was too heavy for him to bear.

However, he understood one thing. He had heard
both the common folk and those of the highest rank say
the same thing from the bottom of their hearts—that it
was a great misfortune for thousands of people, for the
country at large, that this man should be ill and not
recover ; it would be a joy and blessing if he were restored
to health. ‘‘ But where does the flower of health grow for
him ? ” that was what they had all inquired. They sought
80 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

it from the scrolls of wisdom, from the twinkling stars, and
from the winds ; they had asked in all by-ways where they
might find it, and at last the learned and wise announced,
as we have said: “* Love brings forth life, the life of a
father,” and so they said more than they themselves
understood. They repeated it, and wrote it as a prescrip-
tion: ‘*‘ Love brings forth life ’’ ; but how was the thing to
be done from this prescription ? There lay the difficulty.
At length they came to an agreement about it; the help
must come from the princess, who was attached to her
father with her whole soul and heart. And then they
decided how it was to be brought about (all this was more
than a year and a day before): she must go by night, at
the new moon, to the marble sphinx near the desert, must
clear away the sand from the door with her feet, and then
go through the long passage that led into the middle of
one of the great pyramids, where in his mummy-case lay
one of the mighty kings of old, surrounded by splendour
and magnificence. Here she was to hold her ear to the
lips of the dead, and then it would be revealed to her
how she was to gain life and health for her father.

All this she had done, and had learned in vision that,
from the deep marsh in the land of Denmark, a spot most
clearly indicated, she might bring home the marsh-flower,
which there in the depth of the water had touched her
breast. Then he would be healed. So she flew in swan’s
plumage from the land of Egypt to the moor.

You see, father-stork and mother-stork were aware of
all this, and now we know the story more fully than
before. We remember that the Marsh King dragged her
down to him; we know that for those at home she is
dead and gone; only the wisest of them all said still, with
mother-stork: “She takes good care of herself!” and
they were obliged to wait, for that was all they knew
about it.

“I believe I can steal the swans’ plumage from the two
good-for-nothing princesses!” said father-stork, “then they
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 31

will not be able to go to the moor to work mischief. I
will hide the swans’ skins themselves till they are wanted.”

“Where will you hide them?” asked mother-stork.

“In our nest on the moor!” said he. “I and the
youngest of our brood can be helped along with them, and
if they are troublesome to us, there are plenty of places
on the way where we can hide them till next time of
moving. One swan’s dress would be enough for her,
but two are better ; it is well to have plenty of luggage in
a northern climate! ”

“You will get no thanks for it! ” said mother-stork.
“‘ However, you are the master. I have nothing to say,
except when I am sitting.”

* * * * *

In the Viking’s stronghold near the moor, whither the
storks flew at the spring, the little girl had received her
name. They had called her Helga, but that was far too
sweet for such a disposition as the one possessed by this
most beautiful child. Month after month it became more
evident, and as years went by—whilst the storks pursued
the same journey, in autumn towards the Nile, in spring
towards the moor—the little child became a grown girl,
and before people thought of it, she was in her sixteenth
year, and the most beautiful of maidens. But the fruit
was a beautiful shell, the kernel hard and rough. She
was wilder than most people even in that hard, gloomy
age.
It was a delight to her to splash with her white hands
in the hot blood of the horse which had been slaughtered
as a sacrifice; in her wildness she bit off the neck of the
black cock which should have been slain by the heathen
priest ; and she said in sober earnest to her foster-father :

“Tf thine enemy came and tied a rope to the beams of
the roof, and lifted it over thy chamber, whilst thou wast
asleep, I should not wake thee, even if I could! I would
not hear it, my blood still so hums in my ears where thou
didst slap me years ago! Thou! I remembcr!”
32 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

But the Viking did not believe what she said; he was,
like the others, infatuated with her beauty ; and he did not
know how disposition and appearance changed in little
Helga. She would sit without a saddle, as if she had
grown to the horse, when it galloped at full speed; and
she would not leap off, even when it fought with other
vicious horses. In all her clothes she would often cast
herself from the bank into the strong current of the fjord
and swim to meet the Viking when his boat was steering
towards the land. She cut off the longest lock from her
beautiful long hair, and made it into a string for her
bow. “‘Self-made is well made!” she said.

The Viking’s wife, according to the age and custom,
was strong in will and in disposition, but towards the
daughter she seemed a mild, anxious woman, for she knew
that the dreadful child was bewitched.

When her mother stood on the balcony, or walked out
into the courtyard, it seemed as if Helga took an evil
delight in placing herself on the edge of the well, extending
her arms and legs, and then leaping plump into the narrow,
deep hole, where she, with her frog-nature, dived, and rose
again, crawled out, just as if she was a cat, and came,
dripping with water, into the lofty hall, so that the green
leaves which were scattered on the floor floated about in
the watery stream.

But there was one bond that restrained little Helga,
and that was the dusk of the evening. Then she became
quiet and pensive, and would allow herself to be called
and led. She seemed to be drawn by some internal feeling
to her mother, and when the sun went down and the
transformation without and within her took place, she
sat there quiet and melancholy, shrunken together into
the figure of a toad. Her body, indeed, was now far
larger than that creature’s, but it was only so much the
more disgusting. She looked like a miserable dwarf
with frog’s head, and web between the fingers. There was
something of the deepest melancholy in the expression of


THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 33

her eyes; she had no voice but a hollow moan, just like
a child that sobs in its dreams. The Viking’s wife could
then take her on her knees: she forgot the ugly form,
and looked only at the sorrowful eyes, and more than once
she said :

“I could wish almost that thou wast always my dumb
frog-child! Thou art more frightful to look at when thy
beauty returns to thee.”

And she wrote runes against witchcraft and disease, and
cast them over the wretched girl, but she saw no change.

““ Now that she is a full-grown woman, and so like the
Egyptian mother,” said father-stork, ‘one could not
believe that she was once so little that she lay in a water-
lily. We have never seen her mother since! She did not
take care of herself, as you and the learned men thought.
Year out, year in, I have flown now in all directions over the
moor, but she has never made any sign. Yes, let me tell
you that every year when I have come up here some days
ahead of you, to mend the nest and put one thing and
another straight, I have flown for a whole night, like an
owl or a bat, to and fro over the open water, but it was
no use! Nor have the two swan-dresses been any use
which the young ones and I dragged hither from the land
of the Nile. Toilsome work it was, and it took us three
journeys to do it. They have now lain for many years
at the bottom of the nest, and if such a disaster as a fire
should happen at any time, and the log-house be burnt,
they would be lost!”

** And our good nest would be lost also!” said mother-
stork. ‘* You think too little of that, and too much of the
feather-dress, and your moss-princess! You had better
take it to her and stay in the bog! You are a useless
father to your own family; I have said that ever since I
sat on an egg for the first time! I only hope that we
or our young ones may not get an arrow in the wing
from that mad Viking girl! She does not know what

she is doing. We have lived here a little longer than she,
5
34 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

she should remember! We never forget our obligations ;
we pay our taxes yearly, a feather, an egg, and a young
one, as is right. Do you think, when she is outside, I feel
inclined to go down there, as in the old days, and as I do
in Egypt, where I am half a companion with them, with-
out their forgetting me, and peep into tub and pot? No,
I sit up here worrying myself about her—the hussy !—and
about you too! You ought to have let her lie in the
water-lily, and there would have been an end of her!”

“You are kinder than your words!” said father-
stork. ‘I know you better than you know yourself.”

And so he gave a jump, two heavy strokes of his
wings, stretched his legs behind him, and off he flew. He
sailed away, without moving his wings. At a good dis-
tance off he gave a powerful stroke; the sun shone on his
white feathers; he stretched his neck and head forward !
That was speed and flight !

‘“‘But he is still the handsomest of them all!” said
the mother-stork, ‘‘ only I don’t tell him that.”

of * X X 2

Early that autumn the Viking came home with spoil
and captives. Among these was a young Christian priest,
one of those men who preached against the idols of the
northern countries. Often at that period did the talk in
the hall and in the bower of the women refer to the new
faith, which had made its way into all the countries of the
south, and by the holy Anskarius had been brought even
to Haddeby on the Schlei. Helga herself had heard of the
faith in the White Christ, who out of love to men had given
Himself to save them ; but for her, as they say, it had gone
in at one ear and out at the other. She seemed to have
only a perception of that word “‘ love ’’ when she crouched
in that closed room in her miserable frog-form. But
the Viking’s wife had listened to it, and felt herself wonder-
fully affected by the story and traditions of the Son of
the only true God. The men, on coming home from their
expedition, had told of the splendid temples of costly




THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 35

hewn stone, erected for Him whose message was love;
and they brought home with them a pair of heavy golden
vessels, elaborately pierced, and with a fragrant odour
about them, for they were censers, which the Christian
priests used to swing before the altar where no blood was
ever shed, but wine and consecrated bread changed into
His body and blood who had given Himself for generations
yet unborn.

In the deep paved cellar of the log-house the young
captive Christian priest was confined, his feet and hands
securely bound. The Viking’s wife said that he was ** as
fair as Baldur,”? and she was touched by his distress ;
but young Helga wished that a rope should be drawn
through his legs, and that he should be tied to the tails of
wild oxen.

‘“¢Then I would set the dogs loose. Halloo ! away over
bog and fen, out to the moor! That would be jolly
to see ! jollier still to be able to follow him on his course tes

But the Viking did not choose that he should be put to
death that way, but, as a denier and opposer of the high
gods, he should be offered the next morning on the blood-
stone in the grove—the first time that a human sacrifice
had been offered there.

Young Helga asked that she might sprinkle the images
of the gods and the people with his blood. She sharpened
her gleaming knife, and when one of the great, ferocious
dogs, of which there were a good many in the courtyard,
ran across her feet, she drove the knife into its side.
“That is to test it,” said she; and the Viking’s wife
looked sadly at the wild, ill-tempered girl, and, when the
night came, and the beautiful bodily form of her daughter
was changed for the beauty of soul, she spoke glowing
words of sorrow to her from her own afflicted spirit.

The hideous toad with the goblin’s body stood before
her, and fixed its brown, sorrowful eyes on her; listening
and seeming to understand with the intelligence of a
human being.
36 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

‘‘ Never, even to my husband, has a word fallen from
my tongue about the twofold nature I endure in cen
said the Viking’s wife. ‘‘ There is more pity in my heart
for thee than I could have believed! Great is the love
of a mother; but affection never comes into thy mind!
Thy heart is like the cold clod! Whence didst thou then
come into my house?”

At that the hideous form trembled and shook. It
seemed as if the word touched some connexion between
body and soul; great tears came into its eyes.

“Thy bitter trial will come some time!” said the
Viking’s wife; ‘“‘ and terrible will it be for me! Better
hadst thou been abandoned on the highway as a child,
and the night-frost had lulled thee into death!” And
the Viking’s wife wept bitter tears, and, wrathful and sad,
passed behind the loose curtains which hung over the
beam and divided the room.

The shrunken toad sat alone in the corner. There was
silence, but after a short interval there came from her
breast a half-smothered sigh. It was as if, painfully, a
soul awoke to life in a corner of her heart. She took
one step forward, listened, took another step, and then
with her awkward hands she seized the heavy bar that
was placed before the door. Gently she put it back,
and quietly she drew out the peg that was stuck in over
the latch. She took the lighted lamp that stood in front
of the rooms; it seemed as if a strong will gave her
power. She drew the iron pin out of the bolted shutter,
and moved gently towards the prisoner. He was asleep.
She touched him with her cold, damp hand, and when
he awoke and saw that hideous form, he shuddered, as if
at an evil vision. She drew her knife, severed his bonds,
and made signs to him to follow her.

He called upon the holy Name, made the sign of the
cross, and as the figure stood unchanged, he repeated
the words of the Bible:

“““The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive:




THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 387

the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.’ Who art
thou? Whence is this reptile shape that yet is so full of
deeds of compassion ? ”

The toad-figure beckoned and guided him behind
sheltering curtains by a solitary way out to the stable,
pointed at a horse; he mounted it, and she seated herself
before him and held on by the mane of the animal. The
prisoner understood her, and they rode away at a quick
trot, by a path he would never have discovered, out to the
open heath.

He forgot her hideous form, for the favour and mercy
of the Lord were acting through this hobgoblin. He
offered up pious prayers, and began to sing holy songs ;
and she trembled ; was it the power of the prayers and
hymns that acted upon her ? or was it the coldness of the
morning which was so quickly coming ? What was it that
she felt ? She raised herself up in the breeze, and wished
to stop the horse and spring off; but the Christian priest
held her fast with all his strength, and sang aloud a
Psalm, as if that would have power to loose the spell
that held her in that hideous frog shape, and the horse
galloped forward yet more wildly. The heaven became
red; the first ray of the sun shot through the cloud, and
with that clear spring of light came the change of form
—she was the beautiful young girl with the demoniac,
evil temper! In his arms he held a peerless maiden, and
in utter terror he sprang from the horse and stopped it,
for he thought he was encountering a new and deadly
witchcraft. But young Helga at the same time leapt
to the ground; the short child’s frock reached only to
her knees; she drew the sharp knife from her belt, and
rushed at the startled man.

“Let me get at you!’ she cried; “let me get at
you, and you shall feel the knife. Yes, you are as pale as
hay! Slave! Beardless boy!”

She pressed him hard; they were engaged in a severe
conflict, but it was as if an unseen power gave strength
38 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

to the Christian. He held her fast, and the old oak tree
hard by came to his help, for its roots, half loosened from
the earth, caught her feet as they slipped under them. A
spring gushed forth quite close to them; he sprinkled
her with the fresh water on breast and face, and charged
the unclean spirit to come out of her, signing her with
the cross, according to the Christian rite. But the water
of baptism had no power there, where the spring of faith
had not yet arisen within.

Yet herein also was he strong; more than a man’s
strength against the rival power of evil lay in his act, and
as if it overwhelmed her, she dropped her arms, looked
with a surprised glance and pale cheeks at him, who
seemed a powerful sorcerer, strong in wizardry and secret
lore. They were dark runes which he spoke, mystic signs
which he was making in the air! She would not have
blinked if he had swung an axe or a sharp knife before
her eyes, but she did when he made the sign of the cross
on her forehead and breast; she now sat like a tame
bird, her head bowed down on her bosom.

Gently he told her of the work of love she had done for
him in the night, that she had come in the hideous skin
of a frog, and had loosed his bonds, and brought him
out to light and life. He said that she also was bound—
bound in a closer bondage than he had been, but she, too,
with him should come to light and life. He would bring
her to Haddeby, to the holy Anskarius. There, in the
Christian city, the enchantment would be broken. But
he would not dare to carry her in front of him on the
horse, although she herself was willing to sit there.

“You must sit behind me on the horse, not in front of
me! Thy witch-beauty has a power that is from the
evil one. I dread it—and yet there is victory for me in
Christ !

He bent his knees and prayed gently and earnestly.
It was as if the silent glades of the forest were consecrated
thereby into a holy church. The birds began to sing as
E

THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 39

if they belonged to a new brotherhood ; the mint poured
forth its fragrance as if it would take the place of incense.
The priest proclaimed aloud the words of Holy Writ:

“¢*The Dayspring from
on high hath visited us, to
give light to them that sit in
darkness and in the shadow
of death, and to guide our
feet into the way of peace!’”’

And he spoke about the
longing of the whole Crea-
tion, and whilst he spoke the
horse, which had _ carried
them in its wild race, stood
quiet, and shook the great
brambles, so that the ripe,
juicy berries fell on little
Helga’s hand, offering them-
selves for her refreshment.

Patiently she let herself
be lifted on to the back of
the horse, and sat there like
one walks in his sleep, who
is not awake, but yet is not
moving in his dream. The
Christian fastened two
boughs together with a strip
of bark to form a cross, and
held it aloft in his hands.
So they rode through the
forest, which became denser
as the way grew deeper, or
rather, there was no way at
all. Sloes grew across the




gt ting pt 3 2b NE

erin |
ape eet te ix0ta Een



THERE WAS A LITTLE BIRD
THAT BEAT ITS WINGS

path ; one was obliged to ride around them. The spring
did not become a running brook, but a standing bog,
and one had to ride around that. There was strength
40 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

and refreshment in the fresh forest air; there was not
less power in the word of gentleness which sounded in
faith and Christian love, in the heartfelt desire to bring
the possessed to light and life.

They say that the drops of rain can hollow the hard
stone, the billows of the sea can in time wear smooth
the broken, sharp-edged pieces of rock. The dew of
Grace, which had descended upon little Helga, pierced
the hardness and rounded the ruggedness of her nature,
although it was not yet evident, and she was not yet
aware of it herself. But what does the germ in the
earth know of the refreshing moisture and the warm
rays of the sun, while yet it is hiding within itself plant
and flower ?

As a mother’s song for her child imperceptibly fastens
itself into its mind, and it babbles single words after
her, without understanding them, although they after-
wards collect themselves in its thoughts, and become clear
in the course of time, so in her the Word worked which
is able to create.

They rode out of the forest, away over the heath,
again through pathless forest, and towards evening they
met some robbers. :

“Where have you stolen that fair maiden?” they
shouted; they stopped the horse, and snatched the two
riders from it, for they were strong men. The priest
had no other weapon than the knife which he had taken
from little Helga to defend himself with; one of the
robbers swung his axe, but the young Christian avoided it,
and lightly sprang aside, or he would have been struck ;
but the edge of the axe sank deep into the horse’s neck, so
that the blood streamed out, and the animal fell to the
earth. Then little Helga started, as if awakened out of a
long, deep meditation, and threw herself down on the
expiring animal. The Christian priest placed himself
before her in order to defend her, but one of the robbers
dashed a ponderous iron mace against his forehead,
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 41

crushing it. The blood and brains spurted around, and
he fell dead to the earth.

The robbers seized little Helga by her white arm.
At that moment the sun went down, and as the last ray -
faded, she was changed to a hideous toad. Her greenish
mouth opened across half her face; her arms became
thin and slimy, and her hands grew broad and covered
with webbing. Terror seized the robbers at the sight.
She stood among them, a hideous monster; then, frog-
like, hopped away, with bounds higher than she was
herself, and vanished in the thicket. The robbers knew
it for an evil trick of Loge, or secret magic art, and
hurried away in affright.

* 2 * a 2

The full moon was already rising, and soon shone
forth in splendour, and little Helga crept forth from the
thicket in the skin of a wretched toad. She stood by the
bodies of the Christian priest and of the horse, and she
looked at them with eyes that seemed to weep. Her
frog’s head uttered a moan like a child beginning to ery.
She threw herself now upon one, now upon the other;
she took water in her hand, which the webbed skin had
made larger and more hollow, and poured it over them.
They were dead, and would remain dead ; she understood
that. Wild animals would soon come and devour their
bodies; but that must not be! So she dug in the earth
as deep as she could. To open a grave for them was her
wish, but she had nothing to dig it with except a strong
bough of a tree and her weak hands; but on them there
was webbing stretched between her fingers. She tore it,
and the blood flowed. These means would be of no
use, she could see. Then she took water and washed the
dead man’s face, covered it with fresh green leaves, fetched
great boughs and laid them over him, shook leaves between
them, then took the heaviest stones she was able to lift,
laid them over the dead bodies, and filled up the openings
with moss. Then the mound seemed strong and protected,

6
42 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

but this arduous task had occupied the entire night—
the sun now burst forth, and little Helga stood in all her
beauty, with bleeding hands, and, for the first time, with
tears on her flushed maiden cheeks.

In this transformation, it seemed as if the two natures
struggled within her. She trembled, and gazed around her
as if she had awoke from a frightful dream. Running
to a slender beech, she held fast to it for support, then
climbed to the top of the tree, as lithely as a cat, and
clung fast to it. There she sat like a frightened squirrel,
sat there all through the long day in the deep solitude
of the forest, where all is still and death-like as they say.
Yet a pair of butterflies fluttered about at play or in
quarrel; there were ant-hills close by with many hundreds
of busy little creatures that crowded backwards and
forwards. Countless gnats danced in the air, swarm upon
swarm; hosts of buzzing flies chased each other about ;
birds, dragon-flies, and other small winged creatures filled
the air. The earth-worm crept out from the moist soil,
the mole raised itself above the ground. In all else it
was still and death-like around, or what one calls death-like
indeed! Nothing took any notice of little Helga, except
the jays, which flew screaming around the top of the tree
where she was sitting. They jumped along the branches
near her in daring inquisitiveness. One glance of her
eye was enough to chase them away again; but they
could not quite make her out, neither could she understand
herself.

When evening was near, and the sun began to go down,
her approaching change called her to movement again.
She let herself slide down from the tree, and when the
last ray of the sun disappeared, she sat there in the toad’s
shrunken form, with the webbed skin of her hands lacer-
ated, but her eyes now sparkled with a brilliancy of
beauty which they had scarcely possessed before, even in
her beautiful human shape. They were now the gentle
eyes of a pious maiden that looked from behind the
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 43

reptile’s outward shape, and told of a deepened mind, of a
true human heart. The beautiful eyes swam with tears,
heavy tears that relieved her heart.

The cross of boughs bound together with a strip of
bark, the last work of him who now lay dead and buried,
was still lying on the grave she had made. Little Helga
now took it, at some unprompted impulse, and planted it
amongst the stones, over him and the slain horse. The
sadness of the recollection brought tears to her eyes, and
with the grief in her heart she traced the same sign in
the earth around the grave that so honourably enclosed
the dead. As with both hands she traced the sign of the
cross, the webbing fell off like a torn glove! She washed
herself in the water of the spring, and looked with astonish-
ment at her fine white hands. Again she made the
sien of the cross in the air between herself and the grave ;
her lips quivered, her tongue moved, and that Name,
which she had heard pronounced most frequently on her
ride through the forest, came audibly from her mouth—
she said, ‘‘ Jesus Christ !”

The toad’s skin fell off: she was a beautiful young
maiden; but her head drooped wearily, her limbs
needed repose—she slept.

Her slumber was short; at midnight she awoke. The
dead horse was standing before her, shining, and full of
life, that gleamed in light from its eyes and from its
wounded neck. Close by she saw the murdered Christian
priest, “‘ more beautiful than Baldur!’ as the Viking’s
wife would have said; and he appeared surrounded with
a glory of fire.

There was an earnest look in his large, gentle eyes, just
and searching, so penetrating a gaze that it seemed to
shine into the inmost recesses of her heart. Little Helga
trembled before it, and her memory was awakened with
a power as if it was the Day of Judgment. Every kind
action that had been done for her, every kindly word that
had been spoken to her, seemed endued with life; she
4A HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

understood that it was mercy which had taken care of
her during her days of trial, in which the child of spirit
and clay works and strives. She owned that she had
only followed the bent of her own desire, and had done
nothing on her own part. Everything had been given to
her, everything had been allowed, so to speak. She
bowed herself humbly, ashamed before Him who alone
can read the hidden things of the heart; and in that
instant there seemed to come to her a fiery touch of
purifying flame—the flame of the Holy Spirit.

*“* Thou daughter of the mire,”’ said the Christian priest,
““from the mire, from the earth thou art sprung; from
earth thou shalt again arise. The fire within thee returns
in personality to its source; the ray is not from the sun,
but from God. No soul shall perish, but far distant is the
time when life shall be merged in eternity. I come from
the land of the dead; so shalt thou at some time travel
through the deep valley to the shining hill-country, where
grace and fulness dwell. I may not lead thee to Hadde
for Christian baptism. First thou must burst the water-
shield over the deep moorland, and draw up the living
root that gave thee life and cradled thee. Thou must
do thy work before the consecration may come to thee.”

And he lifted her on to the horse, handed her a golden
censer, like that which she had seen in the Viking’s castle,
from which there came a sweet, strong fragrance. The
open wound on the forehead of the slain shone like a radiant
diadem. He took the cross from the grave, raised it on
high ; and now they went off through the air, over the
rustling forest, then over the mounds where the warriors
were buried, sitting on their dead steeds; and these
majestic forms arose, and rode out to the tops of the
hills. A broad golden hoop with a gold knob gleamed
on their foreheads in the moonlight, and their cloaks
fluttered in the wind. The dragon that sits and broods
over treasure raised its head, and looked after them.
Dwarfs peered forth from the hills, and the furrows swarmed






THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 45

with red, blue, and green lights, like a cluster of sparks in
a burnt piece of paper.

Away over wood and heath, stream and pool, they
flew to the moor, and floated over that in great circles.
The Christian priest raised the cross on high; it shone
like gold, and from his lips came the eucharistic chant.
Little Helga sang with him, as a child joins in the song
of its mother. She swung the censer, and there came a
fragrance as if from an altar, so powerful, so subtly oper-
ating, that the rushes and reeds of the moor put forth
their flowers. All the germs sprang up from the deep
soil; everything that had life arose. A veil of water-
lilies spread itself like an embroidered carpet of flowers,
and on it lay a sleeping woman, young and beautiful.
Little Helga thought she saw herself mirrored in the
still water; but it was her mother that she saw, the
Marsh King’s wife, the princess from the waters of the
Nile.

The dead Christian priest bade the sleeper be lifted
on to the horse; but that sank under the burden as if
its body was only a winding-sheet flying in the breeze ;
but the sign of the cross made the airy phantom strong,
and all three rode to the firm ground.

A cock crowed in the Viking’s stronghold. The
phantoms rose up in the mist, and were dispersed in the
wind, but mother and daughter stood there together.

“Ts that myself that I see in the deep water?” said
the mother.

“Is that myself that I see in the bright shield?”
exclaimed the daughter; and they came close together,
breast to breast in each other’s arms. The mother’s heart
beat strongest, and she understood it all.

‘““My child! My own heart’s flower! My lotus from
the deep waters!”

And she embraced her child, and wept over her; and

the tears were as a baptism of new life and affection for
little Helga.
46 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

““T came hither in a swan’s skin, and I took it off,”
said the mother. ‘‘I sank through the quivering swamp,
deep into the mire of the bog, that enclosed me as with a
wall. But soon I found a fresher current about me; a
power seemed to draw me ever deeper and deeper. I felt
a pressure of sleep on my eyelids; I slept, I dreamt—lI
seemed to lie again in the pyramids of Egypt; but there
still stood before me the moving elder-stump, which had
frightened me on the surface of the moor. I looked at
the crevices in the bark, and they shone forth in colours
and became hieroglyphics—it was the case of a mummy
which I was looking at. That burst, and out of it stepped
a lord a thousand years old, a mummy form, black as
pitch, shining black like a wood-snail or the slimy black
mud—the Marsh King, or the mummy of the pyramid, I
did not know which. He flung his arms about me, and
I felt that I should die. When I first returned to life
again, and my breast became warm, there was a little
bird which beat its wings, and twittered and sang. It
flew up from my breast towards the dark, heavy roof,
but a long green band still fastened it to me. I heard
and understood its longing notes: ‘‘ Liberty! sunshine!
to my father!’? ThenI thought of my father in the sun-
lit land of my home, my life, my affection! and I loosed
the band and let him flutter away—home to his father.
Since that hour I have not dreamed; I slept a long and
heavy sleep till the moment when the sounds and fragrance
arose and raised me.”

That green band from the mother’s heart to the bird’s
wings, whither had it passed now? where was it lying
cast away? Only the stork had seen it. The band was
that green stalk; the knot was that shining flower which
served as a cradle for the child who now had grown in
beauty, and again reposed near the mother’s heart.

And whilst they stood there in close embrace, the
father-stork flew in circles about them, made speed to his
nest, fetched from thence the feather-dresses kept for so



!

a

On



C=)



oe

PLACED TUE GOLDEN CIRCUIT ABOUT HIS NECK
48 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

many years and threw one over each of them; and they
flew, and raised themselves from the earth like two white
swans.

‘Let us talk,” said father-stork, ‘‘now that we can
understand each other’s speech, although the beak is cut
differently on one bird and on the other! It is the most
lucky thing possible that you came to-night. In the
morning we should have been off, mother, and I, and the
young ones! We are flying to the south! Yes, look at
me! Iam an old friend from the land of the Nile, and
that is the mother; she has more in her heart than in her
chatter. She always believed that the princess was only
taking care of herself. I and the young ones have brought
the swan-skins here. Well, how glad Iam! And what
a fortunate thing it is that I am here still! At daybreak
we shall set off, a large party of storks. We fly in front;
you can fly behind, and then you will not mistake the
way. I and the young ones will then be able to keep an
eye upon you!”

“And the lotus flower, that I ought to bring,” said
the Egyptian princess, “it flies in swan’s plumage by my
side! I have the flower of my heart with me; thus it
has released itself. Homeward! homeward !”

But Helga said that she could not leave the land of
Denmark till she had once more seen her foster-mother,
the kind wife of the Viking. In Helga’s thoughts came
up every beautiful remembrance, every affectionate word,
every tear which her foster-mother had shed, and it almost
seemed at that instant as if she clung closest to that
mother.

“Yes, we will go to the Viking’s house,”’ said the
stork-father. “There I expect mother and the young
ones. How they will open their eyes and chatter about
it! Yes, mother doesn’t say so very much; what she
does is short and pithy, and so she thinks the best! I
will sound the rattle directly, so that she will hear we are
coming.”
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 49

And so father-stork chattered his beak, and flew with
the swans to the Viking’s stronghold.

Every one there was lying deep in slumber. The
Viking’s wife had not gone to rest till late that night;
she was still in fear for little Helga, who had disappeared
three days ago with the Christian priest. She must have
helped him to escape, for it was her horse that was missing
from the stable. By what power had all this been brought
about ? The Viking’s wife thought about the wonderful
works which she had heard were performed by the White
Christ, and by those who believed in Him and followed
Him. Her changing thoughts shaped themselves into a
dream. It appeared to her that she was still sitting on
her bed, awake, and meditating, and that darkness shrouded
everything outside. A storm arose; she heard the rolling
of the sea in the west and the east, from the North Sea
and the waters of the Cattegat. That huge serpent which
encircles the earth in the depths of the ocean shook con-
vulsively ; it was Ragnaroék, the twilight of the gods, as
the heathen called the last hour, when everything should
pass away, even the high gods themselves. The trumpet
sounded, and the gods rode forth over the rainbow, arrayed
in steel, to take part in the last contest. Before them
flew the winged warrior-maidens, and behind them in
array marched the forms of dead warriors. The whole
sky was illuminated by the northern lights, but the dark-
ness again prevailed. It was an appalling hour.

And close by the frightened Viking’s wife little Helga
sat on the floor in the hideous form of a toad, trembling
and nestling herself up against her foster-mother, who
took her on her lap and affectionately held her fast,
although she seemed more hideous than a toad. The air
was full of the sound of sword-strokes and the blows of
maces, of arrows whizzing, as if a furious hail-storm was
raging above them. The hour had come when earth and
heaven should fail, the stars should fall, and everything

be burned up in the fire of Surtr; but the dreamer knew
7
50 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

that a new earth and heaven would come, and the corn
wave where the sea now rolled over the barren sand
bottom; that the God who cannot be named rules, and
up to Him rose Baldur, the gentle and kind, loosed from
the realm of death. He came—the Viking’s wife saw him,
and knew his face. It was the captive Christian priest.

‘White Christ !’’? she cried aloud; and as she men-
tioned that Name she pressed a kiss on the hideous fore-
head of her frog-child; the toad’s skin fell off, and little
Helga stood there in all her beauty, gentle as she had
never been before, and with beaming eyes. She kissed
her foster-mother’s hands, blessed her for all her care and
affection with which she had surrounded her in the days
of her distress and trial; thanked her for the thoughts
to which she had given birth in her; thanked her for
mentioning the Name which she repeated, ‘‘ White Christ !”’
and then little Helga rose up as a noble swan, her wings
expanded themselves wide, wide, with a rustling as when a
flock of birds of passage flies away !

With that the Viking’s wife awoke, and still heard
outside the same strong sound of wings. She knew that
it was time for the storks to depart, and no doubt that
was what she heard. Still, she wished to see them once
before their journey, and to bid them farewell. She stood
up, went out on to the balcony, and there she saw on the
ridge of the outhouse rows of storks, and round the
courtyard and over the lofty trees crowds of others were
flying in great circles. But straight in front of her, on
the edge of the well, where little Helga had so often sat
and frightened her with her wildness, two swans now sat
and looked at her with intelligent eyes. Her dream came
to her mind; it still quite filled her as if it had been
reality. She thought of little Helga in the form of aswan,
she thought of the Christian priest, and she felt a strange
joy in her heart.

The swans beat their wings, and bent their necks, as
if they wished so to salute her; and the Viking’s wife
THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 51

stretched out her arms towards them as if she understood,
and smiled at them through her tears.

Then, with a noise of wings and chattering, all the
storks arose to start on their journey to the south.

‘* We cannot wait for the swans!” said mother-stork.
“If they wish to come with us they may; but we can’t
wait here till the plovers start! It is a very good thing
to travel in family parties; not like the chaffinches and
ruffs, where the males fly by themselves and the females
by themselves; that is certainly not proper! And what
are those swans flapping their wings for?”

‘‘ Every one flies in his own way!” said father-stork.
“The swans go in slanting line, the cranes in a triangle,
and the plovers in a wavy, snake-like line.”

‘“* Don’t mention serpents when we are flying up here!”
said mother-stork; ‘‘it only excites the appetites of our
young ones when they can’t be satisfied.”

* * * 2 *

*““ Are those the high mountains down there which I
have heard of ?”’ asked Helga in the swan’s skin.

““Those are thunder-clouds which drive below us,”
said the mother.

‘What are those white clouds which lift themselves
so high?” asked Helga.

“Those are the everlasting snow-clad hills which you
see,” said the mother; and they flew over the Alps, down
towards the blue Mediterranean.

* ** *# * **

“Land of Africa! Coast of Egypt!” jubilantly sang
the daughter of the Nile in her swan form, when, high in
the air, she descried her native land, like a yellowish white,
undulating streak.

And as the birds saw it, they hastened their flight.

. I smell the mud of the Nile and the wet frogs!”
said mother-stork. ‘It quite excites me! Yes, now you
shall taste them; now you shall see the adjutant bird,
the ibis, and the cranes! They all belong to our family,
52 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

but they are not nearly so handsome as we are. They
stick themselves up, especially the ibis; he is now quite
pampered by the Egyptians—they make a mummy of
him, and stuff him with aromatic herbs. I would rather
be stuffed with live frogs, and so would you, and so you
shall be. It is better to have something inside you while
you live than to be in state when you are dead! That is
my opinion, and that is always right!”

‘** Now the storks are come!” they said in the rich
house on the bank of the Nile, where, in the open hall on
soft cushions covered with a leopard’s skin, the royal
master lay outstretched, neither living nor dead, hoping
for the lotus flower from the deep marsh in the north.
Kinsmen and servants stood around him.

And into the hall flew two beautiful white swans,
which had come with the storks! They threw off their
dazzling feather-dress, and there stood two beautiful
women, as much alike as two drops of dew! They bent
down over the pale, withered old man; they put back
their long hair, and when little Helga stooped over her
grandfather, the colour returned to his checks, his eyes
sparkled, and life came into his stiffened limbs. The old
man raised himself healthy and vigorous; daughter and
granddaughter held him in their arms as if they were giving
him a morning salutation in their joy after a long, heavy
dream.

* * * * *

And there was joy over all the house and in the storks’
nest, but there it was chiefly over the good food, and the
swarming hosts of frogs ; and whilst the learned men made
haste to note down in brief the history of the two prin-
cesses and the flower of health, which was such a great
event and a blessing for house and country, the parent
storks related it in their fashion to their own family, but
not till they had all satisfied their hunger, or else they

would have had something else to do than to listen to
stories,
Ee SCL TIN SDN Tt nae aD







THEN SHE SAW THE STORKS
54 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

“* Now you will become somebody ! ”? whispered mother-
stork; ‘‘ that is certain!”

“Well! what should I become ?” said father-stork ;
“and what have I done? A mere nothing!”

“You have done more than all the others! But for
you and the young ones the two princesses would never
have seen Egypt again, and made the old man well.
You will become somebody! You will certainly receive a
Doctor’s degree, and our young ones will bear it after-
wards, and their young ones will have it in turn. You
look already like an Egyptian doctor—in my eyes!”

The wise and learned expounded the fundamental idea,
as they called it, that ran through the whole history:
“ Love brings forth life!’—they gave that explanation
in different ways—‘ the warm sunbeam was the Egyptian
princess, she descended to the Marsh King, and in their
meeting the flower sprang forth——”

“I can’t repeat the words quite right,” said father-
stork, who had heard it from the roof, and was expected
to tell them all about it in his nest. “‘ What they said
was so involved, it was so clever, that they immediately
received honours and gifts. Even the head cook obtained
a high mark of distinction—that was for the soup!”

“ And what did you receive ? ” inquired mother-stork ;
“they ought not to forget the most important, and that
is yourself. The learned have only chattered about it
all, but your turn will come!”

Late that night, while peaceful slumber enwrapped the
now prosperous house, there was one who was still awake ;
and that was not the father-stork, though he stood on one
leg in the nest and slept like a sentinel. No, little Helga
was awake. She leaned out over the balcony and gazed
at the clear sky, with the great, bright stars, larger and
purer in their lustre than she had seen them in the north,
and yet the same. She thought of the Viking’s wife by
the moor, of her foster-mother’s gentle eyes, and the tears
she had shed over her poor toad-child, who now stood in


THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 55

the light and splendour of the stars by the waters of the
Nile in the soft air of spring. She thought of the love
in that heathen woman’s breast, that love which she had
shown to a miserable creature who, in human form, was
an evil brute, and in the form of an animal, loathsome to
look at and to touch. She looked at the shining stars,
and called to mind the splendour on the forehead of the
dead man, when they flew away over forest and moor;
tones resounded in her recollection, words she had heard
pronounced when they rode away, and she sat as ifparalysed
—words about the great Author of Love, the highest
Love, embracing all generations.

Yes, how much had been given, gained, obtained !
Little Helga’s thoughts were occupied, night and day,
with all her good fortune, and she stood in contemplation
of it like a child which turns quickly from the giver to all
the beautiful presents that have been given; so she rose
up in her increasing happiness, which could come and would
come. She was indeed borne in mysterious ways to even
higher joy and happiness, and in this she lost herself one
day so entirely that she thought no more of the Giver.
It was the strength of youthful courage that inspired her
bold venture. Her eyes shone, but suddenly she was
called back by a great clamour in the courtyard beneath.
There she saw two powerful ostriches running hurriedly
about in narrow circles. She had never before seen that
creature, so great a bird, so clumsy and heavy. Its wings
looked as if they were clipped, the bird itself as if it had
been injured, and she inquired what had been done to
it, and for the first time heard the tradition which the
Egyptians relate about the ostrich.

The race had at one time been beautiful, its wings
large and powerful; then, one evening, a mighty forest
bird said to it: ‘‘ Brother, shall we fly to the river in
the morning, if God will, and drink?’ And the ostrich
replied: ‘I will.” When day broke they flew off, at
first high up towards the sun—the eye of God—ever
56 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

higher and higher, the ostrich far above all the others;
it flew in its pride towards the light; it relied on its own
strength, and not on the Giver; it did not say, “ If God
will!’? Then the avenging angel drew back the veil
from the burning flame, and in that instant the bird’s
wings were burnt; it sank miserably to the earth. Its
descendants are no longer able to raise themselves; they
fly in terror, rush about in circles in that narrow space.
It is a reminder to us men, in all our thoughts, in all our
actions, to say: “If God will!”

And Helga thoughtfully bowed her head, looked at
the hurrying ostrich, saw its fear, saw its silly delight at
the sight of its own great shadow on the white sunlit wall.
And deep seriousness fixed itself into her mind and
thoughts. So rich a life, so full of prosperity, was given,
was obtained—what would happen? What was yet to
come? The best thing: ‘‘If God will!”

* * # * *

In the early spring, when the storks again started for
the north, little Helga took her gold bracelet, scratched
her name on it, beckoned to the stork-father, placed the
golden circlet about his neck, and asked him to bear it
to the Viking’s wife, by which she would understand that
her foster-daughter was alive, and that she was happy,
and thought of her.

“That is heavy to carry!” thought the father-stork
when it was placed around his neck; ‘‘ but one does not
throw gold and honour on the high-road. They will find
it true up there that the stork brings fortune!”

“You lay gold, and I lay eggs!” said the mother-
stork; ‘“‘ but you only lay once, and I lay every year!
But it vexes me that neither of us is appreciated.”

“But we are quite aware of it ourselves, mother!”
said father-stork.

** But you can’t hang that on you,” said mother-stork.
“It neither gives us fair wind nor food.”

And so they flew.




THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 57

The little nightingale, that sang in the tamarind-bush,
also wished to start for the north immediately. Little
Helga had often heard him up there near the moor; she
wished to give him a message, for she understood the
speech of birds when she flew in the swan’s skin, and she
had often since that time used it with the stork and the
swallow. The nightingale would understand her, and she
asked him to fly to the beech-forest on the peninsula of
Jutland, where she had erected the grave of stones and
boughs ; there she asked him to bid all the small birds
to protect the grave, and always to sing their songs around
it And the nightingale flew—and time flew also.

* * * * *

The eagle stood on the pyramid in the autumn, and
saw a magnificent array of richly laden camels, with armed
men in costly clothing, on snorting Arabian steeds, shining
as white as silver, and with red quivering nostrils, their
heavy thick manes hanging down about their slender legs.
Rich visitors, a royal prince from the land of Arabia,
beautiful as a prince ought to be, came to that noble
house, where the storks’ nest now stood empty, its former
occupants now far away in the northern land, but soon
to return. And they came exactly on that day which
was most filled with joy and mirth. There was a grand
wedding, and little Helga was the bride arrayed in silk
and jewels; the bridegroom was the young prince from
the land of Arabia; and the two sat highest at the table
between the mother and grandfather. But she did not
look at the bridegroom’s brown, manly cheek, where his
black beard curled; she did not look at his dark, fiery
eyes, which were fastened upon her; she looked outwards
and upwards towards the twinkling, sparkling stars, which
beamed down from Heaven.

Then there was a rustling sound of strong wing-strokes
outside in the air—the storks had returned; and the old
couple, however tired they might be with the journey,

and however much they needed rest, still flew on to the
8
58 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

railing of the verandah immediately they were aware
whose festivity it was. They had already heard, at the
frontier of the country, that little Helga had allowed
them to be painted on the wall because they belonged
to her history.

“That is very nicely borne in mind,” said father-
stork.

** It is very little!’ said the mother-stork ; ‘‘ she could
not have done less.”

And when Helga saw them, she got up and went out
into the verandah to them to pat them on the back. The
old storks curtsied with their necks, and the youngest of
their young ones looked on, and felt themselves honoured.

And Helga looked up to the bright stars which shone
clearer and clearer; and between them and her a form
seemed to move still purer than the air, and seen through
it, that hovered quite near her—it was the dead Christian
priest ; so he came on the day of her festivity, came from
the Kingdom of Heaven.

“The splendour and glory which are there surpass
everything that earth knows!” he said.

And little Helga prayed gently and from her heart,
as she had never prayed before, that she only for one
single minute might dare to look within, might only cast
one single glance into the Kingdom of Heaven, to the
Father of all.

And he raised her into the splendour and glory, in
one current of sounds and thoughts; it was not only
round about her that it shone and sounded, but within
her. No words are able to describe it.

‘““Now we must return; you are wanted!’ he said.

“Only one glance more!” she entreated; ‘‘ only one
short minute!”

“We must go back to the earth; all the guests have
gone away.”

“Only one glance! the last a
* , * # *


THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER 59

And little Helga stood outside in the verandah; but
all the torches outside were extinguished, all the lights
in the wedding chamber were gone, the storks were gone,
no guests to be seen, no bridegroom ; everything seemed
to be blown away in three short minutes.

Then Helga was filled with terror, and she went through
the great, empty hall, into the next room. Strange
soldiers were sleeping there. She opened a side door that
led into her apartment, and when she expected to stand
there, she found herself outside in the garden; but it
was not like this before—the heaven was red and shining,
it was towards daybreak.

Only three minutes in Heaven, and a whole night had
passed on the earth !
* ** * * *

Then she saw the storks; she cried to them, speaking
their language, and father-stork turned his head, listened,
and drew near her.

“You are speaking our language!” said he; “ what
do you want? Why do you come here, you strange
woman ?”’

“Ttis I! it is Helga! Don’t you know me? Three
minutes ago we were talking together, yonder in the
verandah.”’

“That is a mistake!” said the stork ; ‘“‘ you must have
dreamt it!”

“No, no!” she said, and reminded him of the Viking’s
stronghold and the moor, and of the journey hither !

Then father-stork blinked his eyes: “ That is a very
old story; I have heard it from my great-great-great-
grandmother’s time! Yes, certainly, there was such a
princess in Egypt from the land of Denmark, but she dis-
appeared on the night of her wedding many hundreds of
years ago, and never came back again. That you may
read for yourself on the monument in the garden ; there
are sculptured both swans and storks, and at the top
you yourself stand in white marble.”
60 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

It was indeed so. Little Helga saw it, understood it,
and fell on her knees.

The sun broke forth, and as in former times at the touch
of its beams the toad-form disappeared and the beautiful
shape was seen, so she raised herself now at the baptism
of light in a form of brighter beauty, purer than the air,
a ray of light—to the Father of all.

Her body sank in dust ; there lay a faded lotus-flower
where she had stood.

* * x * *

“Then that was a new ending to the story!’ said the
father-stork. “TI had not at all expected it ! but I rather
like it!”

‘I wonder what my young ones will say about it!”
said the mother-stork.

“ Yes, that is certainly the principal thing ! ”’ answered
the father.




THE SWALLOW SOARED HIGH INTO THE AIR


“THOU POOR LITTLE THING!” SAID THE FIELD-MOUSE

TOMMELISE

ONcE upon a time there lived a young wife who longed
exceedingly to possess a little child of her own, so she
went to an old witch-woman and said to her, ‘‘ I wish so
very much to have a child, a little tiny child; won’t you
give me one, old mother ? ”

“Oh, with all my heart!” replied the witch. ‘“‘ Here
is a barley-corn for you; it is not exactly of the same
sort as those that grow on the farmer’s fields, or that are
given to the fowls in the poultry yard, but do you sow it in
a flower-pot, and then you shall see what you shall see!”

“ Thank you, thank you!” cried the woman, and she
gave the witch a silver sixpence, and then having returned
home sowed the barley-corn as she had been directed,
whereupon a large and beautiful flower immediately shot
forth from the flower-pot. It looked like a tulip, but the

petals were tightly folded up; it was still in bud.
62
i i Nl ll a it a

TOMMELISE 63

“What a lovely flower!’ exclaimed the peasant-
woman, and she kissed the pretty red and yellow leaves,
and as she kissed them the flower gave a loud report and
opened. It was indeed a tulip, but on the small green
pointal in the centre of the flower there sat a little tiny
girl, so pretty and delicate, but her whole body scarcely
bigger than the young peasant’s thumb. So she called her
Tommelise.

A pretty varnished walnut-shell was given her as a
cradle, blue violet leaves served as her mattresses, and a
rose-leaf was her coverlet; here she slept at night, but
in the daytime she played on the table. The peasant-
wife had filled a plate with water, and laid flowers in it,
their blossoms bordering the edge of the plate, while the
stalks lay in the water; on the surface floated a large
tulip-leaf, and on it Tommelise might sit and sail from
one side of the plate to the other, two white horse hairs
having been given her for oars. That looked quite
charming! And Tommelise could sing too, and she sang
in such low sweet tones as never were heard before.

One night, while she was lying in her pretty bed, a
great ugly toad came hopping in through the broken
window-pane. The toad was such a great creature, old
and withered-looking, and wet too; she hopped at once
down upon the table where Tommelise lay sleeping under
the red rose petal.

‘That is just the wife for my son,” said the toad; and
she seized hold of the walnut-shell, with Tommelise in it,
and hopped away with her through the broken pane down
into the garden. Here flowed a broad stream; its banks
were muddy and swampy, and it was amongst this mud
that the old toad and her son dwelt. Ugh, how hideous
and deformed he was! just like his mother.

““ Coax, coax, brekke-ke-kex !’’ was all he could find
i. re on seeing the pretty little maiden in the walnut-
shell.

‘* Don’t make such a riot, or you’ll wake her!” said old
64 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES —

mother toad. ‘‘ She may easily run away from us, for she
is as light as a swan-down feather. I'll tell you what we’ll
do; we’ll take her out into the brook, and set her down on
one of the large water-lily leaves ; it will be like an island
to her, who is so light and small. Then she cannot run
away from us, and we can go and get ready the state-
rooms down under the mud, where you and she are to
dwell together.”

Out mm the brook there grew many water-lilies, with
their broad green leaves, each of which seemed to be
floating over the water. The leaf which was the farthest
from the shore was also the largest ; to it swam old mother
toad, and on it she set the walnut-shell, with Tommelise.

The poor little tiny creature awoke quite early next
morning, and, when she saw where she was, she began to
weep most bitterly, for there was nothing but water on all
sides of the large green leaf, and she could in no way reach
the land.

Old mother toad was down in the mud, decorating her
apartments with bulrushes and yellow buttercups, so as to
make it quite gay and tidy to receive her new daughter-in-
law. At last, she and her frightful son swam together to
the leaf where she had left Tommelise; they wanted to
fetch her pretty cradle and place it for her in the bridal
chamber before she herself was conducted into it. Old
mother toad bowed low in the water, and said to her,
‘** Here is my son, he is to be thy husband, and you will
dwell together so comfortably down in the mud!”

** Coax, coax, brekke-ke-kex ! ’’ was all that her son could
say. ‘

Thenthey took the neat little bed and swam away with
it, whilst Tommelise sat alone on the green leaf, weeping,
for she did not like the thought of living with the withered
old toad, and having her ugly son for a husband. The
little fishes that were swimming to and fro in the water
beneath had heard what mother toad had said, so they
now put up their heads—they wanted to see the little maid.
TOMMELISE 65

And when they saw her, they were charmed with her deli-
cate beauty, and it vexed them very much that the hideous
old toad should carry her off. No, that should never be!
They surrounded the green stalk in the water, whereon
rested the water-lily leaf, and gnawed it asunder with their
teeth, and then the leaf floated away down the brook, with



‘“SmHIS IS JUST THE WIFE FOR MY SON,” SAID THE TOAD

Tommelise on it; away, far away, where the old toad
could not follow.

Tommelise sailed past so many places, and the wild
birds among the bushes saw her and sang, “ Oh, what a
sweet little maiden!’? On and on, farther and farther,
floated the leaf: Tommelise was on her travels.

A pretty little white butterfly kept fluttering round and

round her, and at last settled down on the leaf, for he loved
9
66 | HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Tommelise very much, and she was so pleased. There was
nothing to trouble her now that she had no fear of the
old toad pursuing her, and wherever she sailed everything
was so beautiful, for the sun shone down on the water,
making it bright as liquid gold. And now she took off
her sash, and tied one end of it round the butterfly, fasten-
ing the other end firmly into the leaf. On floated the leaf,
faster and faster, and Tommelise with it.

Presently a great cock-chafer came buzzing past; he
caught sight of her, and immediately fastening his claw
round her slender waist, flew up into a tree with her. But
the green leaf still floated down the brook, and the butter-
fly with it; he was bound to the leaf and could not get
loose.

Oh, how terrified was poor Tommelise when the cock-
chafer carried her up into the tree, and how sorry she felt,
too, for the darling white butterfly which she had left tied
fast to the leaf; she feared that if he could not get away,
he would perish of hunger. But the cock-chafer cared
nothing for that. He settled with her upon the largest leaf
in the tree, gave her some honey from the flowers to eat,
and hummed her praises, telling her she was very pretty,
although she was not at all like a hen-chafer. And by
and by all the chafers who lived in that tree came to pay
her a visit ; they looked at Tommelise, and one Miss Hen-
chafer drew in her feelers, saying, “ She has only two legs,
how miserable that looks!” “ She has no feelers,” cried
another. “ And see how thin and lean her waist is; why
she is just like a human being!” observed a third. “ How
very, very ugly she is!” at last cried all the lady-chafers
in chorus. The chafer who had carried off Tommelise still
could not persuade himself that she was otherwise than
pretty, but, as all the rest kept repeating and insisting
that she was ugly, he at last began to think they must be
in the right, and determined to have nothing more to do
with her; she might go wherever she would, for aught he
cared, he said. And so the whole swarm flew down from


SHE STOOD AT THE DOOR AND BEGGED FOR A PIECE OF BARLEY-CORN

TOMMELISE 69

the tree with her, and set her on a daisy; then she wept
because she was so ugly that the lady-chafers would not
keep company with her, and yet Tommelise was the
prettiest little creature that could be imagined, soft and
delicate and transparent as the loveliest rose-leaf.

All the summer long poor Tommelise lived alone in the
wide wood. She wove herself a bed of grass-straw, and
hung it under a large burdock-leaf which sheltered her
from the rain; she dined off the honey from the flowers,
and drank from the dew that every morning spangled the
leaves and herblets around her. Thus passed the summer
and autumn, but then came winter, the cold, long winter.
All the birds who had sung so sweetly to her flew away,
trees and flowers withered, the large burdock-leaf under
which Tommelise had lived rolled itself up and became a
dry, yellow stalk, and Tommelise was fearfully cold, for
her clothes were wearing out and she herself was so slight
and frail, poor little thing ! she was nearly frozen to death.
It began to snow, and every light flake that fell upon her
made her feel as we should if a whole shovelful of snow were
thrown upon us, for we are giants in comparison with a
little creature only an inch long. She wrapped herself up
in a withered leaf, but it gave her no warmth ; she shud-
dered with cold.

Close outside the wood, on the skirt of which Tommelise
had been living, lay a large cornfield, but the corn had
been carried away long ago, leaving only the dry, naked
stubble standing up from the hard-frozen earth. It was
like another wood to Tommelise, and oh, how she shivered
with cold as she made her way through. At last she came
past the field-mouse’s door; for the field-mouse had made
herself a little hole under the stubble, and there she dwelt
snugly and comfortably, having a room full of corn, and a
neat kitchen and _ store-chamber besides. And poor
Tommelise must now play the beggar-girl; she stood at
the door and begged for a little piece of a barley-corn, for
she had had nothing to eat during two whole days.
70 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

“Thou poor little thing!” said the field-mouse, who
was indeed a thoroughly good-natured old creature, “‘ come
into my warm room and dine with me.”

And as she soon took a great liking to Tommelise, she
proposed to her to stay. ‘* You may dwell with me all the
winter if you will, but keep my room clean and neat, and
tell me stories, for I love stories dearly.”

And Tommelise did all that the kind old field-mouse
required of her, and was made very comfortable in her new
abode.

“We shall have a visitor presently,” observed the
field-mouse; ‘‘ my next-door neighbour comes to see me
once every week. He is better off than I am, has large
rooms in his house, and wears a coat of such beautiful
black velvet. It would be a capital thing for you if you
could secure him for your husband, but unfortunately
he is blind, he cannot see you. You must tell him the
prettiest stories you know.”

But Tommelise did not care at all about pleasing their
neighbour Mr. Mole, nor did she wish to marry him. He
came and paid a visit in his black-velvet suit, he was so
rich and so learned, and the field-mouse declared his
domestic offices were twenty times larger than hers, but
the sun and the pretty flowers he could not endure, he was
always abusing them, though he had never seen either.
Tommelise was called upon to sing for his amusement, and
by the time she had sung “ Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away
home!” and “ The Friar of Orders Grey,” the mole had
quite fallen in love with her through the charm of her sweet
voice; however, he said nothing, he was such a prudent,
cautious animal.

He had just been digging a long passage through the
earth from their house to his, and he now gave permission
to the field-mouse and Tommelise to walk in it as often as
they liked; however, he bade them not be afraid of the
dead bird that lay in the passage ; it was a whole bird, with
beak and feathers entire, and therefore he supposed it must
TOMMELISE 71

have died quite lately, at the beginning of the winter, and
had been buried just in the place where he had dug his
passage.

The mole took a piece of tinder, which shines like fire
in the dark, in his mouth, and went on first to light his
friends through the long dark passage, and when they came
to the place where the dead bird lay, he thrust his broad



OH, HOW TERRIFIED WAS POOR TOMMELISE !

nose up against the ceiling and pushed up the earth, so as
to make a great hole for the light to come through. In
the midst of the floor lay a swallow, his wings clinging
firmly to his sides, his head and legs drawn under the
feathers ; the poor bird had evidently died of cold. Tom-
melise felt so very sorry, for she loved all the little birds,
who had sung and chirped so merrily to her the whole
72 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

summer long; but the mole kicked it with his short legs,
saying, ‘‘ Here’s a fine end to all its whistling! a miserable
thing it must be to be born a bird. None of my children
will be birds, that’s a comfort! Such creatures have
nothing but their ‘ quivit,’ and must be starved to death
in the winter.”

“Yes, indeed, a sensible animal like you may well say
so,” returned the field-mouse; ‘‘ what has the bird got
by all his chirping and chirruping ? when winter comes it
must starve and freeze; and it is such a great creature
too!”

Tommelise said nothing, but when the two others had
turned their backs upon the bird, she bent over it, smoothed
down the feathers that covered its head, and kissed the
closed eyes. ‘‘ Perhaps it was this one that sang so de-
lightfully to me in the summer-time,”’ thought she; “‘ how
much pleasure it has given me, the dear, dear bird!”

The mole now stopped up the hole through which the
daylight had pierced, and then followed the ladies home.
But Tommelise could not sleep that night, so she got out
of her bed, and wove a carpet out of hay, and then went out
and spread it round the dead bird; she also fetched some ~
soft cotton from the field-mouse’s room, which she laid
over the bird, that it might be warm amid the cold earth.

“* Farewell, thou dear bird,” said she; ‘“‘ farewell, and
thanks for thy beautiful song in the summer-time, when all
the trees were green, and the sun shone: so warmly upon
us!” And she pressed her head against the bird’s breast,
but was terrified to feel something beating within it. It
was the bird’s heart. The bird was not dead ; it had lain
in a swoon, and now that it was warmer its life returned.

Every autumn all the swallows fly away to warm coun-
tries; but if one of them linger behind, it freezes and
falls down as though dead, and the cold snow covers it.

Tommelise trembled with fright, for the bird was very
large compared with her, who was only an inch in length.
However, she took courage, laid the cotton more closely
TOMMELISE 73

round the poor swallow, and fetching a leaf which had
served herself as a coverlet, spread it over the bird’s head.

The next night she stole out again, and found that the
bird’s life had quite returned, though it was so feeble that
only for one short moment could it open its eyes to look at
Tommelise, who stood by with a piece of tinder in her
hand—she had no other lantern.

‘ Thanks to thee, thou sweet little child!” said the sick
swallow. ‘I feel delightfully warm now; soon I shall
recover my strength, and be able to fly again, out in the
warm sunshine.” .

“Oh, no,” she replied, ‘‘ it is too cold without, it snows
and freezes! Thou must stay in thy warm bed; I will
take care of thee.”

She brought the swallow water in a flower-petal and he
drank, and then he told her how he had torn one of his wings
in a thorn-bush, and therefore could not fly fast enough
to keep up with the other swallows who were all migrating
to the warm countries. He had at last fallen to the earth,
and more than that he could not remember ; he did not
at all know how he had got underground.

However, underground he remained all the winter long,
and Tommelise was kind to him, and loved him dearly, but
she never said a word about him either to the mole or the
field-mouse, for she knew they could not endure the poor
swallow.

As soon as the spring came and the sun’s warmth had
penetrated the earth, the swallow said farewell to Tom-
melise, and she opened for him the covering of earth which
the mole had thrown back before. The sun shone in upon
them so deliciously, and the swallow asked whether she
would not go with him; she might sit upon his back, and
then they would fly together far out into the greenwood.
But Tommelise knew it would vex the old field-mouse if
she were to leave her.

‘No, I cannot, I must not go,” said Tommelise.

‘Fare thee well, then, thou good and pretty maiden,”
10
74 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

said the swallow, and away he flew into the sunshine.
Tommelise looked after him and the tears came into her
eyes, for she loved the poor swallow so much.

“ Quivit, quivit,” sang the bird, as he flew into the green-
wood. And Tommelise was now sad indeed. She was not
allowed to go out into the warm sunshine; the wheat that
had been sown in the field above the field-mouse’s house
grew up so high that it seemed a perfect forest to the poor
little damsel who was only an inch in stature.

“ This summer you must work at getting your wedding
clothes ready,” said the field-mouse, for their neighbour,
the blind dull mole in the black-velvet suit, had now made
his proposals in form to Tommelise. ‘ You shall have
worsted and linen in plenty; you shall be well provided
with all manner of clothes and furniture before you become
the mole’s wife.” So Tommelise was obliged to work
hard at the distaff, and the field-mouse hired four spiders
to spin and weave night and day. Every evening came
the mole, and always began to talk about the summer soon
coming to an end, and that then, when the sun would no
longer shine so warmly, scorching the earth till it was as
dry as a stone, yes, then, his nuptials with Tommelise
should take place. But this sort of conversation did not
please her at all; she was thoroughly wearied of his dul-
ness and his prating. Every morning when the sun rose,
and every evening when it set, she used to steal out at the
door, and when the wind blew the tops of the corn aside,
so that she could see the blue sky through the opening,
she thought how bright and beautiful it was out here, and
wished most fervently to see the dear swallow once more :
but he never came, he must have been flying far away in
the beautiful greenwood.

Autumn came, and Tommelise’s wedding clothes were
ready.

“Four weeks more, and you shall be married!” said
the field-mouse. But Tommelise wept, and said she would
not marry the dull mole.
TOMMELISE 75

** Fiddlestick !’? exclaimed the field-mouse; ‘“‘ don’t
be obstinate, child, or I shall bite thee with my white teeth !
Is he not handsome, pray ? Why, the Queen has not got
such a black-velvet dress as he wears! And isn’t he rich ?
rich both in kitchens and cellars? Be thankful to get
such a husband!”

So Tommelise must be married. The day fixed had
arrived, the mole had already come to fetch his bride, and
she must dwell with him, deep under the earth, never
again to come out into the warm sunshine which she loved
so much, and which he could not endure. The poor child
was in despair at the thought that she must now bid fare-
well to the beautiful sun of which she had at least been
allowed to catch a glimpse every now and then while she
lived with the field-mouse.

** Farewell, thou glorious sun ! ’’ she cried, throwing her
arms up into the air, and she walked on a little way beyond
the field-mouse’s door; the corn was already reaped, and
only the dry stubble surrounded her. ‘‘ Farewell, fare-
well! ’’ repeated she, as she clasped her tiny arms round a
little red flower that grew there. ‘‘ Greet the dear swallow
from me, if thou shouldst see him.”

* Quivit.! quivit !’’—there was a fluttering of wings
just over her head ; she looked up, and behold! the little
swallow was flying past. And how pleased he was when
he perceived Tommelise! She told how that she had been
obliged to accept the disagreeable mole as a husband, and
that she would have to dwell deep underground where
the sun never pierced. And she could not help weeping as
she spoke.

“* The cold winter will soon be here ! ’’ said the swallow ;
“*T shall fly far away to the warm countries. Wilt thou go
with me? Thou canst sit on my back, and tie thyself
firmly to me with thy sash, and thus we shall fly away
from the stupid mole and his dark room, far away over the
mountains to those countries where the sun shines so
brightly, where it is always summer, and flowers blossom
76 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

all the year round. Come and fly with me, thou sweet
little Tommelise, who didst save my life when I lay frozen
in the dark cellars of the earth!” :

“Yes, I will go with thee!” said Tommelise. And she
seated herself on the bird’s back, her feet resting on the
outspread wings, and tied her girdle firmly round one of
the strongest feathers, and then the swallow soared high



THAT WAS THE GREATEST OF PLEASURES

into the air, and flew away over forest and over lake, over
mountains whose crests are covered with snow all the year
round. How Tommelise shivered as she breathed the
keen frosty air! However, she soon erept down under
the bird’s warm feathers, her head still peering forth,
eager to behold all the glory and beauty beneath her.
At last they reached the warm countries. There the sun
shone far more brightly than in her native clime. The


“ YES, I WILL GO WITH THEE!’ SAID TOMMELISE, AND SHE SEATED
HERSELF ON THE BIRD’S BACK

TOMMELISE 79

heavens seemed twice as high, and twice as blue; and
ranged along the sloping hills grew, in rich luxuriance, the
loveliest green and purple grapes. Citrons and melons
were seen in the groves, the fragrance of myrtles and
balsams filled the air, and by the wayside gambolled
groups of pretty merry children, chasing large bright-
winged butterflies.

But the swallow did not rest here; still he flew on;
and still the scene seemed to grow more and more beautiful.
Near a calm, blue lake, overhung by lofty trees, stood a
half-ruined palace of white marble, built in times long
past; vine-wreaths trailed up the long slender pillars,
and on the capitals, among the green leaves and waving
tendrils, many a swallow had built his nest, and one of
these nests belonged to the swallow on whose back Tom-
melise was riding.

‘“‘This is my house,” said the swallow, ‘‘ but if thou
wouldst rather choose for thyself one of the splendid
flowers growing beneath us, I will take thee there, and
thou shalt make thy home in the loveliest of them all.”

“That will be charming ! ’? exclaimed she, clapping her
tiny hands.

On the green turf beneath there lay the fragments of
a white marble column which had fallen to the ground,
and around these fragments twined some beautiful large
white flowers. The swallow flew down with Tommelise,
and set her on one of the broad petals. But what was
her surprise when she saw sitting in the very heart of the
flower a little mannikin, fair and transparent as though
he were made of glass! wearing the pretticst gold crown
on his head, and the brightest, most delicate wings on
his shoulders, yet scarcely one whit larger than Tom-
melise herself. He was the spirit of the flower. In every
blossom there dwelt one such faéry youth or maiden,
but this one was the king of all these flower-spirits.

- “Oh, how handsome he is, this king!” whispered
Tommelise to the swallow. The faéry prince was quite
80 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

startled at the sudden descent of the swallow, who was a
sort of giant compared with him; but when he saw
Tommelise he was delighted, for she was the very loveliest
maiden he had ever seen. So he took his gold crown
off his own head and set it upon hers, asked her name, and
whether she would be his bride, and reign as queen over
all the flower-spirits. This, you see, was quite a different
bridegroom from the son of the ugly old toad, or the
blind mole with his black-velvet coat. So Tommelise
replied “‘ Yes” to the beautiful prince, and then the lady
and gentlemen faéries came out, each from a separate
flower, to pay their homage to Tommelise; so gracefully
and courteously they paid their homage: and every one
of them brought her a present.

But the best of all the presents was a pair of transparent
wings ; they were fastened on Tommelise’s shoulders, and
enabled her to fly from flower to flower. That was the
greatest of pleasures; and the little swallow sat in his
nest above and sang to her his sweetest song; in his
heart, however, he was very sad, for he loved Tommelise,
and would have wished never to part from her.

“Thou shalt no longer be called Tommelise,” said the
king of flowers to her, “for it is not a pretty name,
and thou art so lovely! We will call thee Maia.”

“* Farewell ! farewell!” sang the swallow, and away he
flew from the warm countries, far away back to Denmark.
There he had a little nest just over the window of the
man who writes stories for children. ‘“ Quivit, quivit,
quivit !”” he sang to him, and from him we have learned
this history.


HEATR.
Ropinson



THEY CARRIED THE MIRROR FROM PLACE TO PLACE

11
THE SNOW QUEEN
IN SEVEN PARTS

PART THE FIRST

WHICH TREATS OF THE MIRROR AND ITS FRAGMENTS

Listen! We are beginning our story! When we
arrive at the end of it we shall, it is to be hoped, know
more than we do now. There was once a magician!
a wicked magician!! a most wicked magician!!! Great
was his delight at having constructed a mirror possessing
this peculiarity, viz. :—that everything good and beauti-
ful, when reflected in it, shrank up almost to nothing,
whilst those things that were ugly and useless were
magnified, and made to appear ten times worse than
before. The loveliest landscapes reflected in this mirror
looked like boiled spinach; and the handsomest persons
appeared odious, or as if standing upon their heads,
their features being so distorted that their friends could
never have recognized them. Moreover, if one of them
had a freckle, he might be sure that it would seem to
spread over the nose and mouth; and if a good or pious
thought glanced across his mind, a wrinkle was seen in
the mirror. All this the magician thought highly enter-
taining, and he chuckled with delight at his own clever
invention. Those who frequented the school of magic
where he taught spread abroad the fame of this wonderful
mirror, and declared that by its means the world and its
inhabitants might be seen now for the first time as they
really were. They carried the mirror from place to place,

82
THE SNOW QUEEN 83

till at last there was no country nor person that had not
been misrepresented in it. Its admirers now must needs
fly up to the sky with it, to see if they could carry on
their sport even there. But the higher they flew the
more wrinkled did the mirror become; they could scarcely
hold it together. They flew on and on, higher and higher,
till at last the mirror trembled so fearfully that it escaped
from their hands, and fell to the earth, breaking into
millions, billions, and trillions of pieces. And then it
caused far greater unhappiness than before, for fragments



HE CHUCKLED WITH DELIGHT

of it, scarcely so large as a grain of sand, would be flying
about in the air, and sometimes get into people’s eyes,
causing them to view everything the wrong way, or to
have eyes only for what was perverted and corrupt ; each
little fragment having retained the peculiar properties of
the entire mirror. Some people were so unfortunate as
to receive a little splinter into their hearts—that was
terrible! The heart became cold and hard, like a lump
of ice. Some pieces were large enough to be used as
window-panes, but it was of no use to look at one’s
friends through such panes as those. Other fragments
84 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

were made into spectacles, and then what trouble people
had with setting and re-setting them !

The wicked magician was greatly amused with all
this, and he laughed till his sides ached.

There are still some little splinters of this mischievous
mirror flying about in the air. We shall hear more about
them very soon,
PART THE SECOND
A LITTLE BOY AND A LITTLE GIRL

In a large town, where there are so many houses and
inhabitants that there is not room enough for all the
people to possess a little garden of their own, and therefore
many are obliged to content themselves with keeping a
few plants in pots, there dwelt two poor children, whose
garden was somewhat larger than a flower-pot. They
were not brother and sister, but they loved each other as
much as if they had been, and their parents lived in two
attics exactly opposite. The roof of one neighbour’s
house nearly joined the other, the gutter ran along between,
and there was in each roof a little window, so that you
could stride across the gutter from one window to the
other. The parents of each child had a large wooden
box in which grew herbs for kitchen use, and they had
placed these boxes upon the gutter, so near that they
almost touched each other. A beautiful little rose-tree
grew in each box, scarlet runners entwined their long
shoots over the windows, and, uniting with the branches
of the rose-trees, formed a flowery arch across the street.
The boxes were very high, and the children knew that
they might not climb over them, but they often obtained
leave to sit on their little stools, under the rose-trees, and
thus they passed many a delightful hour.

But when winter came there was an end to these
pleasures. The windows were often quite frozen over, and
then they heated halfpence on the stove, held the warm
copper against the frozen pane, and thus made a little
round peep-hole, behind which would sparkle a bright
gentle eye, one from each window.

The little boy was called Kay, the little girl’s name was
Gerda. In summer-time they could get out of window and

85
86 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

jump over to each other; but in winter there were stairs
to run down, and stairs to run up, and sometimes the
wind roared, and the snow fell without-doors.

“ Those are the white bees swarming there!” said the
old grandmother.

“* Have they a Queen bee?” asked the little boy, for
he knew that the real bees have one.

“They have,” said the grandmother. “She flies
yonder where they swarm so thickly ; she is the largest of
them, and never remains upon the earth, but flies up
again into the black cloud. Sometimes on a winter’s night
she flies through the streets of the town, and breathes with
her frosty breath upon the windows, and then they
are covered with strange and beautiful forms, like trees
and flowers.”’

“Yes, I have seen them!” said both the children—
they knew that this was true.

‘Can the Snow Queen come in here ?”’ asked the little
girl.

“If she do come in,” said the boy, ‘‘I will put her on
the warm stove and then she will melt.”

And the grandmother stroked his hair and told him
Some stories.

That same evening, after little Kay had gone home,
and was half undressed, he crept upon the chair by the
window and peeped through the little round hole. Just
then a few snow-flakes fell outside, and one, the largest of
them, remained lying on the edge of one of the flower-pots.
The snow-flake appeared larger and larger, and at last
took the form of a lady dressed in the finest white crape,
her attire being composed of millions of star-like particles.
She was exquisitely fair and delicate, but entirely of ice,
glittering, dazzling ice; her eyes gleamed like two bright
stars, but there was no rest or repose in them. She
nodded at the window, and beckoned with her hand. The
little boy was frightened and jumped down from the chair;
he then fancied he saw a large bird fly past the window.
THE SNOW QUEEN 87

There was a clear frost next day, and soon afterwards
came spring—the trees and flowers budded, the swallows
built their nests, the windows were opened, and the little
children sat once more in their little garden upon the
gutter that ran along the roofs of the houses.

The roses blossomed beautifully that summer, and the
little girl had learned a hymn in which there was something
about roses; it reminded her of her own. So she sang it
to the little boy, and he sang it with her.

“Our roses bloom and fade away,
Our Infant Lord abides alway ;
May we be blessed His face to see,
And ever little children be!”

And the little ones held each other by the hand,
kissed the roses, and looked up into the blue sky, talking
away all the time. What glorious summer days were
those ! how delightful it was to sit under those rose-trees
which seemed as if they never intended to leave off blos-
soming! One day Kay and Gerda were sitting looking
at their picture-book full of birds and animals, when
suddenly—the clock on the old church tower was just
striking five—Kay exclaimed, ‘“‘ Oh, dear! what was that
shooting pain in my heart: and now again, something
has certainly got into my eye!”

The little girl turned and looked at him. He winked
his eyes; no, there was nothing to be seen.

“‘T believe it is gone,” said he; but gone it was not.
It was one of those glass splinters from the Magic Mirror,
the wicked glass which made everything great and good
reflected in it to appear little and hateful, and which
magnified everything ugly and mean. Poor Kay had
also received a splinter in his heart; it would now become
hard and cold like a lump of ice. He felt the pain no
longer, but the splinter was there.

“Why do you cry?” asked he; ‘ you look so ugly
when you cry! there is nothing the matter with me.
88 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Fie !’? exclaimed he again, ‘‘ this rose has an insect in it,
and-just look at this! After all, they are ugly roses!
and it is an ugly box they grow in!” then he kicked
the box, and tore off the roses.

**O Kay, what are you doing?” cried the little girl,
but when he saw how it grieved her, he tore off another
rose, and jumped down through his own window, away
from his once dear little Gerda.

Ever afterwards when she brought forward the picture-
book, he called it a baby’s book, and when her grand-
mother told stories, he interrupted her with a “‘ but,” and
sometimes, whenever he could manage it, he would get
behind her, put on her spectacles, and speak just
as she did; he did this in a very droll manner, and so
people laughed at him. Very soon he could mimic
everybody in the street. All that was singular and
awkward about them could Kay imitate, and his neigh-
bours said, ‘‘ What a remarkable head that boy has!”
But no, it was the glass splinter which had fallen into his
eye, the glass splinter which had pierced into his heart—it
was these which made him regardless whose feelings he
wounded, and even made him tease the little Gerda who
loves him so fondly.

His games were now quite different from what they
used to be, they were so rational! One winter’s day when
it was snowing, he came out with a large burning-glass in
his hand, and holding up the skirts of his blue coat let the
snow-flakes fall upon them. ‘‘ Now look through the
glass, Gerda!” said he, returning to the house. Every
snow-flake seemed much larger, and resembled a splendid
flower, or a star with ten points; they were quite beauti-
ful. ‘‘See, how curious!” said Kay, “these are far
more interesting than real flowers, there is not a single
blemish in them; they would be quite perfect if only they
did not melt.”

Soon after this Kay came in again, with thick gloves on
his hands, and his sledge slung across his back. He called
THE SNOW QUEEN 89

out to Gerda, “‘I have got leave to drive on the great
square where the other boys play!” and away he went.

The boldest boys in the square used to fasten their
sledges firmly to the wagons of the country people, and
thus drive a good way along with them ; this they thought
particularly pleasant. Whilst they were in the midst of
their play, a large sledge painted white passed by; in it
sat a person wrapped in a rough white fur, and wearing a
rough white cap. When the sledge had driven twice
round the square, Kay bound to it his little sledge,
and was carried on with it. On they went, faster and
faster, into the next street. The person who drove the
large sledge turned round and nodded kindly to Kay, just
as if they had been old acquaintances, and every time
Kay was going to loose his little sledge turned and nodded
again, as if to signify that he must stay. So Kay sat
still, and they passed through the gates of the town.
Then the snow began to fall so thickly that the little
boy could not see his own hand, but he was still carried
on. He tried hastily to unloose the cords and free himself
from the large sledge, but it was of no use; his little
carriage could not be unfastened, and glided on swift
as the wind. Then he cried out as loud as he could,
but no one heard him, the snow fell and the sledge flew;
every now and then it made a spring as if driving over
hedges and ditches. He was very much frightened; he
would have repeated ‘‘ Our Father,”’ but he could remember
nothing but the multiplication table.

The snow-flakes seemed larger and larger, at last they
looked like great white fowls. All at once they fell
aside, the large sledge stopped, and the person who drove
it arose from the seat. He saw that the cap and coat were
entirely of snow, that it was a lady, tall and slender, and
dazzlingly white—it was the Snow Queen!

“We have driven fast!’ said she, ‘“‘ but no one likes
to be frozen ; creep under my bear-skin,” and she seated
him in the sledge by her side, and spread her cloak around

12
90 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

him—he felt as if he were sinking into a drift of snow.

*“ Are you still cold ? ”? asked she, and then she kissed
his brow. Oh! her kiss was colder than ice. It went to
his heart, although that was half frozen already; he
thought he should die. It was, however, only for a
moment; directly afterwards he was quite well, and no
longer felt the intense cold around.

“My sledge! do not forget my sledge ! —he thought
first of that—it was fastened to one of the white fowls
which flew behind with it on his back. The Snow Queen
kissed Kay again, and he entirely forgot little Gerda,
her grandmother, and all at home.

““Now you must have no more kisses!” said she,
“else I should kiss thee to death.”

Kay looked at her, she was so beautiful; a more
intelligent, more lovely countenance, he could not imagine ;
she no longer appeared to him ice, cold ice as at the time
when she sat outside the window and beckoned to him;
in his eyes she was perfect; he felt no fear. He told
her how well he could reckon in his head, even fractions ;
that he knew the number of square miles of every country,
and the number of the inhabitants contained in different
towns. She smiled, and then it occurred to him that,
after all, he did not yet know so very much. He looked
up into the wide, wide space, and she flew with him high
up into the black cloud while the storm was raging;
it seemed now to Kay as though singing songs of olden
time.

They flew over woods and over lakes, over sea and over
land; beneath them the cold wind whistled, the wolves
howled, the snow glittered, and the black crow flew
cawing over the plain, whilst above them shone the
moon, so clear and tranquil.

Thus did Kay spend the long, long winter night; all
day he slept at the feet of the Snow Queen.


SUE WORE A LARGE HAT, WITH MOST BEAUTIFUL
FLOWERS PAINTED ON IT
PART THE THIRD

THE ENCHANTED FLOWER-GARDEN

But how fared it with little Gerda when Kay never
returned ? Where could he be? No one knew, no one
could give any account of him. The boy said that they
had seen him fasten his sledge to another larger and very
handsome one which had driven into the street, and thence
through the gates of the town. No one knew where he
was, and many were the tears that were shed; little
Gerda wept much and long, for the boys said he must be
dead, he must have been drowned in the river that flowed
not far from the town. Oh, how long and dismal the
winter days were now! At last came the spring, with its
warm sunshine.

““ Alas, Kay is dead and gone,” said little Gerda.

““That I do not believe,” said the sunshine.

“He is dead and gone,” said she to the swallows.

“That we do not believe,” returned they, and at last
little Gerda herself did not believe it.

“* T will put on my new red shoes,” said she one morn-
ing, “those which Kay has never seen, and then I will
go down to the river and ask after him.”

It was quite early. She kissed her old grandmother,
who was still sleeping, put on her red shoes, and went
alone through the gates of the town towards the river.

“Ts it true,” said she, “‘ that thou hast taken my little
playfellow away? I will give thee my red shoes if thou
wilt restore him to me!”

And the wavelets of the river flowed towards her in a
manner which she fancied was unusual; she fancied that

92
THE SNOW QUEEN 93

they intended to accept her offer, so she took off her red
shoes—though she prized them more than anything else
she possessed—and threw them into the stream ; but they
fell near the shore, and the little waves bore them back
to her, as though they would not take from her what she
most prized, as they had not got little Kay. However,
she thought she had not thrown the shoes far enough, so
she stepped into a little boat which lay among the reeds
by the shore, and, standing at the farthest end of it,
threw them from thence into the water. The boat was
not fastened, and her movements in it caused it to glide
away from the shore. She saw this, and hastened to get
out, but by the time she reached the other end of the
boat it was more than a yard distant from the land;
she could not escape, and the boat glided on.

Little Gerda was much frightened and began to cry,
but no one besides the sparrows heard her, and they could
not carry her back to the land; however, they flew along
the banks, and sang, as if to comfort her, ‘‘ Here we are,
here we are!” The boat followed the stream. Little
Gerda sat in it quite still; her red shoes floated behind
her, but they could not overtake the boat, which glided
along faster than they did.

Beautiful were the shores of that river ; lovely flowers,
stately old trees, and bright green hills dotted with
sheep and cows, were seen in abundance, but not a single
human being.

“Perhaps the river may bear me to my dear Kay,”
thought Gerda, and then she became more cheerful, and
amused herself for hours with looking at the lovely country
around her, At last she glided past a large cherry-garden,
wherein stood a little cottage with thatched roof and
curious red and blue windows; two wooden soldiers stood
at the door, who presented arms when they saw the little
vessel approach.

Gerda called to them, thinking that they were alive,
but they, naturally enough, made no answer. She came
94 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

close up to them, for the stream drifted the boat to the
land.

Gerda called still louder, whereupon an old lady came
out of the house, supporting herself on a crutch; she
wore a large hat, with most beautiful flowers painted on
it.

“Thou poor little child!’ said the old woman, “ the
mighty flowing river has indeed borne thee a long, long
way,” and she walked right into the water, seized the
boat with her crutch, drew it to land, and took out the
little girl.

Gerda was glad to be on dry land again, although
she was a little afraid of the strange old lady.

““Come and tell me who thou art, and how thou
camest hither,” said she.

And Gerda told her all, and the old lady shook her
head, and said, ‘“‘Hem! hem!” And when Gerda asked
if she had seen little Kay, the lady said that he had not
arrived there yet, but that he would be sure to come
soon, and that in the meantime Gerda must not be sad ;
that she might stay with her, might eat her cherries, and
look at her flowers, which were prettier than any picture-
book, and could each tell her a story.

She then took Gerda by the hand; they went together
into the cottage, and the old lady shut the door. The
windows were very high and their panes of different-coloured
glass, red, blue, and yellow, so that when the bright
daylight streamed through them, various and beautiful
were the hues reflected upon the room. Upon a table in
the centre was placed a plate of very fine cherries, and of
these Gerda was allowed to eat as many as she liked.
And whilst she was eating them, the old dame combed her
hair with a golden comb, and the bright flaxen ringlets
fell on each side of her pretty, gentle face, which looked as
round and as fresh as a rose.

“TI have long wished for such a dear little girl,” said
the old lady. ‘“ We shall see if we cannot live very
THE SNOW QUEEN 95

happily together.” And, as she combed little Gerda’s
hair, the child thought less and less of her foster-brother
Kay, for the old lady was an enchantress. She did not,
however, practise magic for the sake of mischief, but
merely for her own amusement. And now she wished
very much to keep little Gerda, to live with her; so,
fearing that if Gerda saw her roses, she would be reminded
of her own flowers and of little Kay, and that then she
might run away, she went out into the garden, and extended
her crutch over all her rose-bushes, upon which, although
they were full of leaves and blossoms, they immediately
sank into the black earth, and no one would have guessed
that such plants had ever grown there.

Then she led Gerda into this flower-garden. Oh how
beautiful and how fragrant it was! Flowers of all seasons
and all climes grew there in fulness of beauty—certainly
no picture-book could be compared withit. Gerda bounded
with delight, and played among the flowers till the sun
set behind the tall cherry-trees ; after which a pretty little
bed, with crimson silk cushions, stuffed with blue violet-
leaves, was prepared for her, and here she slept so sweetly
and had such dreams as a queen might have on her bridal
eve.

The next day she again played among the flowers in
the warm sunshine, and many more days were spent
i the same manner. Gerda knew every flower in the
garden, but, numerous as they were, it seemed to her
that one was wanting, she could not tell which. She
was sitting one day, looking at her hostess’s hat, which had
flowers painted on it, and, behold, the loveliest among
them was a rose! The old lady had entirely forgotten
the painted rose on her hat, when she made the real
Toses to disappear from her garden and sink into the
ground. This is often the case when things are done
hastily.

“What,” cried Gerda, “are there no roses in the
garden?” And she ran from one bed to another, sought
96 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

and sought again, but no rose was to be found. She
sat down and wept, and it so chanced that her tears fell
on a spot where a rose-tree had formerly stood, and as soon
as her warm tears had moistened the earth, the bush shot
up anew, as fresh and as blooming as it was before it
had sunk into the ground; and Gerda threw her arms
around it, kissed the blossoms, and immediately recalled
to memory the beautiful roses at home, and her little
playfellow Kay. ‘Oh, how could I stay here so long!”
exclaimed the little maiden. “TI left my home to seek
for Kay. Do you know where he is?” she asked of the
roses; “think you that he is dead?”

‘Dead he is not,” said the roses. ‘ We have been
down in the earth; the dead are there, but not Kay.”

“I thank you,” said little Gerda, and she went to the
other flowers, bent low over their cups, and asked, ‘‘ Know
you not where little Kay is?”

But every flower stood in the sunshine dreaming its
own little tale. They related their stories to Gerda, but
none of them knew anything of Kay.

“And what think you?” said the tiger-lily.

“Listen to the drums beating, boom! boom! They
have but two notes, always boom! boom! Listen to the
dirge the women are singing! Listen to the chorus of
priests! Enveloped in her long red robes stands the
Hindoo wife on the funeral pile; the flames blaze around
her and her dead husband, but the Hindoo wife thinks
not of the dead. She thinks only of the living, and the
anguish which consumes her spirit is keener than the
fire which will soon reduce her body to ashes. Can the
flame of the heart expire amid the flames of the funeral
pile ?”

“I do not understand that at all!” said little Gerda.

“That is my tale!” said the tiger-lily.

“What says the convolvulus ? ”

‘* Hanging over a narrow mountain causeway, behold
an ancient, baronial castle. Thick evergreens grow






FLY UPWARD WITH BRIGHT,
EVER-CHANGING COLOURS

E BUBBLES

THE SWING MOVES AND TH

13
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THE SNOW QUEEN 99

amongst the time-stained walls, their leafy branches
entwine about the balcony, and there stands a beautiful
maiden; she bends over the balustrades and fixes her
eyes with eager expectation on the road winding beneath.
The rose hangs not fresher and lovelier on its stem than
she; the apple-blossom which the wind threatens every
moment to tear from its branch is not more fragile and
trembling. Listen to the rustling of her rich silken robe !
Listen to her half-whispered words, ‘He comes not
yet.’ 9

“Ts it Kay you mean?” asked little Gerda.

‘“‘T do but tell you my tale—my dream,” replied the
convolvulus.

‘* What says the little snowdrop ?”’

“ Between two trees hangs a swing. Two pretty little
maidens, their dress as white as snow, and long green
ribbands fluttering from their hats, sit and swing them-
selves in it. Their brother stands up in the swing, he has
thrown his arms round the ropes to keep himself steady,
for in one hand he holds a little cup, in the other a pipe
made of clay; he is blowing soap bubbles. The swing
moves and the bubbles fly upwards with bright, ever-
changing colours; the last hovers on the edge of the
pipe, and moves with the wind. The swing is still in
motion, and the little black dog, almost as light as the
soap bubbles, rises on his hind feet and tries to get into
the swing also; away goes the swing, the dog falls, is out
of temper, and barks; he is laughed at, and the bubbles
burst. A swinging board, a frothy, fleeting image is my
song.”

‘““What you describe may be all very pretty, but
ee speak so mournfully, and there is nothing about

ay.”

“What say the hyacinths?”

‘“ There were three fair sisters, transparent and delicate
they were; the kirtle of the one was red, that of the
second blue, of the third pure white; hand in hand they
100 .- HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

danced in the moonlight beside the quiet lake; they were
not fairies, but daughters of men. Sweet was the fragrance
when the maidens vanished into the wood ; the fragrance
grew stronger; three biers, whereon lay the fair sisters,
glided out from the depths of the wood, and floated upon
the lake; the glow-worms flew shining around like little
hovering lamps. Sleep the dancing maidens, or are they
dead? The odour from the flowers tells us they are
corpses, the evening bells peal out their dirge.”

‘You make me quite sad,” said little Gerda. ‘‘ Your
fragrance is so strong I cannot help thinking of the dead
maidens. Alas! and is little Kay dead? The roses
have been under the earth, and they say no!”

“Ding dong! ding dong!” rang the hyacinth bells.
““ We toll not for little Kay, we know him not! We do
but sing our own song, the only one we know!”

And Gerda went to the buttercup, which shone so
brightly from among her smooth green leaves.

“* Thou art like a little bright sun,” said Gerda; “tell
me, if thou canst, where I may find my playfellow.”

And the buttercup glittered so brightly, and looked at
Gerda. What song could the buttercup sing? Neither
was hers about Kay. “‘ One bright spring morning, the
sun shone warmly upon a little courtyard. The bright
beams streamed down the white walls of a neighbouring
house, and close by grew the first yellow flower of spring,
glittering like gold in the warm sunshine. An old grand-
mother sat without in her arm-chair, her granddaughter,
a pretty, lowly maiden, had just returned home from a
short visit; she kissed her grandmother; there was
gold, pure gold, in that loving kiss:

“Gold was the flower !
Gold the fresh, bright, morning hour!’

“That is my little story,” said the buttercup.
““My poor old grandmother!” sighed Gerda; “‘ yes,
she must be wishing for me, just as she wished for little












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GERDA KNEW EVERY FLOWER IN THE GARDEN
102 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Kay. But I shall soon go home again, and take Kay with
me. It is of no use to ask the flowers about him; they
only know their own song, they can give me no infor-
mation.”’ And she folded her little frock round her, that
she might run the faster; but, in jumping over the
narcissus, it caught her foot, as if wishing to stop her,
so she turned and looked at the tall yellow flower, ‘‘ Have
you any news to giveme?” She bent over the narcissus,
waiting for an answer.

And what said the narcissus ?

“I can look at myself !—I can see myself! Oh, how
sweet is my fragrance! Up in the little attic-chamber
stands a little dancer. She rests sometimes on one leg,
sometimes on two. She has trampled the whole world
under her feet ; she is nothing but an illusion. She pours
water from a teapot upon a piece of cloth she holds in
her hand—it is her bodice; cleanliness is a fine thing!
Her white dress hangs on the hook, that has also been
washed by the water from the teapot, and dried on the
roof of the house. She puts it on, and wraps a saffron-
coloured handkerchief round her neck; it makes the
dress look all the whiter. With one leg extended, there
she stands, as though on a stalk. I can look at myself!
—I see myself!”

“I don’t care if you do!” said Gerda. ‘ You need
not have told me that!’ and away she ran to the end of
the garden.

The gate was closed, but she pressed upon the rusty
lock till it broke. The gate sprang open, and little Gerda,
with bare feet, ran out into the wide world. Three times
she looked back, there was no one following her; she ran
till she could run no longer, and then sat down to rest upon
a large stone. Casting a glance around, she saw that the
summer was past, that it was now late in the autumn.
Of course, she had not remarked this in the enchanted
garden, where there were sunshine and flowers all the year
round;
THE SNOW QUEEN 103

“How long I must have stayed there!” said little
Gerda. “So, it is now autumn! Well, then, there is
no time to lose!” and she rose to pursue her way.

Oh, how sore and weary were her little feet ; and all
around looked so cold and barren. The long willow-
leaves had already turned yellow, and the dew trickled
down from them like water. The leaves fell off the
trees, one by one; the sloe alone bore fruit, and its berries
were so sharp and bitter! Cold, and grey, and sad
seemed the world to her that day.


PART THE FOURTH

THE PRINCE AND THE PRINCESS

GERDA was again obliged to stop and take rest. Sud-
denly a large raven hopped upon the snow in front of her,
saying, ‘* Caw !—Caw !—Good-day !—Good-day!” He
sat for some time on the withered branch of a tree
just opposite, eyeing the little maiden, and wagging his
head, and he now came forward to make acquaintance
and to ask her whither she was going all alone. That
word “‘alone’”’ Gerda understood right well—she felt
how sad a meaning it has. She told the raven the his-
tory of her life and fortunes, and asked if he had seen
Kay.

And the raven nodded his head, half doubtfully, and
said, “‘ That is possible—possible.”’

““Do you think so?” exclaimed the little girl, and
she kissed the raven so vehemently that it is a wonder she
did not squeeze him to death.

‘““More moderately !—moderately !”’ said the raven.
“J think I know. I think it may be little Kay; but
he has certainly forsaken thee for the princess.”

“‘Dwells he with a princess?” asked Gerda.

** Listen to me,”’ said the raven, ‘‘ but it is so difficult
to speak your language! Do you understand Ravenish ?
If so, I can tell you much better.”

““No! I have never learned Ravenish,” said Gerda,
“but my grandmother knew it, and Pye-language also.
Oh, how I wish I had learned it! ”’

“* Never mind,” said the raven, ‘“‘ I will relate my story
104


SUDDENLY A LARGE RAV ONT O HER
L. U W

14
106 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

in the best manner I can, though bad will be the hest’”’;
and he told all he knew.

“In the kingdom wherein we are now sitting, there
dwells a princess, a most uncommonly clever princess.
All the newspapers in the world has she read, and forgotten
them again, so clever is she. It is not long since she
ascended the throne, which I have heard is not quite so
agreeable a situation as one would fancy ; and immediately
after she began to sing a new song, the burden of which
was this, ‘Why should I not marry me?’ ‘There is
some sense in this song!’ said she, and she determined
she would marry, but at the same time declared that
the man whom she would choose must be able to answer
sensibly whenever people spoke to him, and must be
good for something else besides merely looking grand and
stately. The ladies of the court were then all drummed
together, in order to be informed of her intentions, where-
upon they were highly delighted, and one exclaimed,
‘That is just what I wish’; and another, that she
had lately been thinking of the very same thing. Believe
me,” continued the raven, ‘‘ every word I say is true, for
I have a tame beloved who hops at pleasure about the
palace, and she has told me all this.”

Of course the ‘“‘ beloved ” was also a raven, for birds of
a feather flock together.

** Proclamations, adorned with borders of hearts, were
immediately issued, wherein, after enumerating the style
and titles of the princess, it was set forth that every well-
favoured youth was free to go to the palace and converse
with the princess, and that whoever should speak in such
wise as showed that he felt himself at home, there would
be the one the princess would choose for her husband.

‘Yes, indeed,” continued the raven, “you may
believe me; all this is as true as that I sit here. The
people all crowded to the palace; there was famous
pressing and squeezing ; but it was all of no use, either the
first or the second day; the young men could speak well
THE SNOW QUEEN 107

enough while they were outside the palace gates, but
when they entered, and saw the royal guard in silver
uniform, and the lackeys on the staircase in gold, and the
spacious saloon, all lighted up, they were quite confounded.
They stood before the throne where the princess sat, and
when she spoke to them, they could only repeat the last
word she had uttered, which, you know, it was not par-
ticularly interesting for her to hear over again. It was
just as though they had been struck dumb the moment
they entered the palace, for as soon as they got out, they
could talk fast enough. There was a regular procession
constantly moving from the gates of the town to the gates
of the palace. I was there, and saw it with my own eyes,”
said the raven. “They grew both hungry and thirsty
whilst waiting at the palace, but no one could get even
so much as a glass of water; to be sure, some of them,
wiser than the rest, had brought with them slices of bread
and butter, but none would give any to his neighbour,
for he thought to himself, ‘Let him look hungry, and
then the princess will be sure not to choose him.’ Hi

“But Kay, little Kay, when did he come?” asked
Gerda; ‘‘ was he among the crowd ?”

‘Presently, presently; we have just come to him.
On the third day arrived a youth with neither horse nor
carriage; gaily he marched up to the palace; his eyes
sparkled, like yours; he had long beautiful hair, but was
very meanly clad.”

“That was Kay!” exclaimed Gerda. ‘Oh, then I
have found him,” and she clapped her hands with delight.

“He carried a knapsack on his back,” said the raven.

“No, not a knapsack,” said Gerda, “a sledge, for he
had a sledge with him when he left home.”

“It is possible,” rejoined the raven, “I did not look
very closely, but this I heard from my beloved, that when
he entered the palace gates and saw the royal guard in
silver, and the lackeys in gold upon the staircase, he did
not seem in the least confused, but nodded pleasantly
108 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

and said to them, ‘It must be very tedious standing
out here; Iprefer going in.’ The halls glistened with light,
cabinet councillors and excellencies were walking about
barefooted and carrying golden keys—it was just a
place to make a man solemn and silent—and the youth’s
boots creaked horribly, yet he was not at all afraid.”

“That most certainly was Kay!” said Gerda; “JT
know he had new boots; I have heard them creak in my
grandmother’s room.”

“ Indeed they did creak,” said the raven, ‘“‘ but merrily
went he up to the princess, who was sitting upon a pearl
as large as a spinning-wheel, whilst all the ladies of the
court, with the maids of honour and their handmaidens,
ranged in order, stood on one side, and all the gentlemen
in waiting, with their gentlemen, and their gentlemen’s
gentlemen, who also kept pages, stood ranged in order on
the other side, and the nearer they were to the door
the prouder they looked. The gentlemen’s gentlemen’s
page, who always wears slippers, one dare hardly look at,
so proudly he stands at the door.”

“That must be dreadful!’ said little Gerda. ‘‘ And
has Kay really won the princess ?”

‘““Had I not been a raven I should have won her
myself, notwithstanding my being betrothed. The young
man spoke as well as I speak when I converse in Ravenish ;
that I have heard from my tame beloved. He was
handsome and lively—‘ He did not come to woo her,’ he
said, ‘ he had only come to hear the wisdom of the princess,’
and he liked her much, and she liked him in return.”

“Yes, to be sure, that was Kay,” said Gerda; ‘he
was so clever, he could reckon in his head, even fractions !
Oh, will you not take me into the palace?”

“Ah! that is easily said,” replied the raven, “ but
how is it to be done? I will talk it over with my tame
beloved; she will advise us what to do, for I must tell
you that such a little girl as you are will never gain per-
mission to enter publicly.”


“HE HAD ONLY COME TO

*? HE SAID,

9
HEAR THE WISDOM OF THE PRINCESS ”

“HE DID NOT COME TO WOO HER
a
Patni
a

iH

Ce
:
; i

na


THE SNOW QUEEN 111

Yes, I shall!” cried Gerda. “ When Kay knows
that I am here, he will immediately come out and fetch
me.”’

“Wait for me at the trellis yonder,” said the raven.
He wagged his head and away he flew.

The raven did not return till late in the evening.
“Caw, caw,” said he. ‘‘My tame beloved greets you
kindly, and sends you a piece of bread which she took from
the kitchen; there is plenty of bread there, and you must
certainly be hungry. It is not possible for you to enter the
palace, for you have bare feet; the royal guard in silver
uniform, and the lackeys in gold, would never permit
it; but do not weep, thou shalt go there. My beloved
knows a little back staircase leading to the sleeping
apartments, and she knows also where to find the key.”

And they went into the garden, down the grand avenue,
where the leaves dropped upon them as they passed along,
and, when the lights in the palace one by one had all been
extinguished, the raven took Gerda to a back-door which
stood half open. Oh, how Gerda’s heart beat with fear
and expectation! It was just as though she was about
to do something wrong, although she only wanted to
know whether Kay was really there—yes, it must be he, she
remembered so well his bright eyes and long hair. She
would see if his smile were the same as it used to be
when they sat together under the rose-trees. He would
be so glad to see her, to hear how far she had come for his
sake, how all his home mourned his absence. Her heart
trembled with fear and joy.

They went up the staircase. A small lamp placed
on a cabinet gave a glimmering light; on the floor stood
the tame raven, who first turned her head on all sides, and
then looked at Gerda, who made her curtsy, as her
grandmother had taught her.

““ My betrothed has told me much about you, my good
young maiden,”’ said the tame raven; ‘‘ your adventures,
too, are extremely interesting! If you will take the lamp,
112 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

I will show you the way. We are going straight on, we
shall not meet anyone now.”

“It seems to me as if some one were behind us,” said
Gerda; and in fact there was a rushing sound as of
something passing ; strange-looking shadows flitted rapidly
along the wall, horses with long, slender legs and fluttering
manes, huntsmen, knights, and ladies.

“These are only dreams!” said the raven; ‘they
come to amuse the great personages here at night; you
will have a better opportunity of looking at them when
you are in bed. I hope that when you arrive at honours
and dignities you will show a grateful heart.”

‘Do not talk of that!” said the wood-raven.

They now entered the first saloon; its walls were
covered with rose-coloured satin, embroidered with gold
flowers. The Dreams rustled past them, but with such
rapidity that Gerda could not see them. The apartments
through which they passed vied with each other in splen-
dour, and at last they reached the sleeping-hall. In
the centre of this room stood a pillar of gold resembling
the stem of a large palm-tree, whose leaves of glass, costly
glass, formed the ceiling, and depending from the tree,
hung near the door, on thick golden stalks, two beds
in the form of lilies—the one was white, wherein reposed
the princess, the other was red, and here must Gerda
seek her playfellow, Kay. She bent aside one of the
red leaves and saw a brown neck. Oh, it must be Kay!
She called him by his name aloud, held the lamp close to
him, the Dreams again rushed by—he awoke, turned his
head, and behold! it was not Kay.

The prince resembled him only about the throat; he
was, however, young and handsome; and the princess
looked out from the white lily petals, and asked what was
the matter. Then little Gerda wept and told her whole
story, and what the ravens had done for her. ‘‘ Poor
child ! ” said the prince and princess ;_ and they praised the
ravens, and said they were not at all angry with them.
THE SNOW QUEEN 113

Such liberties must never be taken again in their palace,
but this time they should be rewarded.

‘* Would you like to fly away free to the woods?”
asked the princess, addressing the ravens, “ or to have the
appointment secured to you as Court-Ravens with the
perquisites belonging to the kitchen, such as crumbs
and leavings ?”

And both the ravens bowed low and chose the appoint-



CABINET COUNCILLORS WERE WALKING ABOUT BAREFOOTED

ment at Court, for they thought of old age, and said it
would be so comfortable to be well provided for in their
declining years. Then the prince arose and made Gerda
sleep in his bed; and she folded her little hands, thinking,
“How kind both men and animals are to me!” She
closed her eyes and slept soundly and sweetly, and all the
Dreams flitted about her; they looked like ene from
114 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

heaven, and seemed to be drawing a sledge whereon
Kay sat and nodded to her. But this was only fancy,
for as soon as she awoke all the beautiful visions had
vanished.

The next day she was dressed from head to foot in silk
and velvet. She was invited to stay at the palace and
enjoy all sorts of diversions, but she begged only for a little
carriage and a horse, and a pair of little boots—all she
desired was to go again into the wide world to seek Kay.

And they gave her the boots and a muff besides; she
was dressed so prettily. And as soon as she was ready
there drove up to the door a new carriage of pure gold with
the arms of the prince an 1 princess glittering upon it like a
star, the coachman, the footman, and outriders, all wearing
gold crowns. The prince and princess themselves helped
her into the carriage and wished her success. The wood-
raven, who was now married, accompanied her the first
three miles ; he sat by her side, for riding backwards was a
thing he could not bear. The other raven stood at the
door flapping her wings; she did not go with them on
account of a headache she had felt ever since she had
received her appointment, in consequence of eating too
much. The carriage was well provided with sugar-plums,
fruit, and gingerbread nuts.

** Farewell! farewell!” cried the prince and princess.
Little Gerda wept, and the raven wept out of sympathy.
But his farewell was a far sorer trial; he flew up to the
branch of a tree and flapped his black wings at the carriage
till it was out of sight.


PART THE FIFTH

THE LITTLE ROBBER-MAIDEN

Tury drove through the dark, dark forest ; the carriage
shone like a torch. Unfortunately its brightness attracted
the eyes of the robbers who dwelt in the forest-shades ;
they could not bear it.

“That is gold! gold!” cried they. Forward they
rushed, seized the horses, stabbed the outriders, coachman,
and footmen to death, and dragged little Gerda out of the
carriage.

‘She is plump, she is pretty, she has been fed on nut-
kernels,” said the old robber-wife, who had a long, bristly
beard, and eyebrows hanging like bushes over her eyes.
““She is like a little fat lamb, and how smartly she is
dressed !’? and she drew out her bright dagger, glittering
most terribly.

“Oh, oh!” cried the woman, for at the very moment
she had lifted her dagger to stab Gerda, her own wild and

115
116 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

wilful daughter jumped upon her back and bit her ear
violently. “You naughty child!” said the mother.

“* She shall play with me,” said the little robber-maiden,
“ she shall give me her muff and her pretty frock, and sleep
with me in my bed!”’ And then she bit her mother again,
till the robber-wife sprang up and shrieked with pain,
whilst the robbers all laughed, saying, ‘“‘ Look at her playing
with her young one!”

“‘T will get into the carriage,” and so spoiled and way-
ward was the little robber-maiden that she always had her
own way, and she and Gerda sat together in the carriage,
and drove over stock and stone farther and farther into
the wood. The little robber-maiden was about as tall as
Gerda, but much stronger; she had broad shoulders, and a
very dark skin; her eyes were quite black, and had an
expression almost melancholy. She put her arm round
Gerda’s waist, and said, ‘“‘ She shall not kill thee so long as
I love thee! Art thou not a princess ? ”

““No!” said Gerda; and then she told her all that
had happened to her, and how much she loved little
Kay.

The robber-maiden looked earnestly in her face, shook
her head, and said, ‘“‘ She shall not kill thee even if I do
quarrel with thee; then, indeed, I would rather do it
myself!” And she dried Gerda’s tears, and put both
her hands into the pretty muff that was so soft and
warm.

The carriage at last stopped in the middle of the court-
yard of the robbers’ castle. This castle was half ruined ;
crows and ravens flew out of the openings, and some fear-
fully large bulldogs, looking as if they could devour a man
in a moment, jumped round the carriage; they did not
bark, for that was forbidden.

The maidens entered a large, smoky hall, where a
tremendous fire was blazing on the stone floor; the smoke
rose up to the ceiling, seeking a way of escape, for there was
no chimney ; a large caldron full of soup was boiling over
THE SNOW QUEEN 117

the fire, whilst hares and rabbits were roasting on the
spit.

“Thou shalt sleep with me and my little pets to-night!”
said the robber-maiden. Then they had some food, and
afterwards went to the corner wherein lay straw and a
piece of carpet. Nearly a hundred pigeons were perched on
staves and laths around them; they seemed to be asleep,
but were startled when the little maidens approached.

“These all belong to me,” said Gerda’s companion,
and seizing hold of one of the nearest, she held the poor
bird by the feet and swungit. ‘“‘ Kiss it,” said she, flapping
it into Gerda’s face. ‘‘ The rabble from the wood sit up
there,”? continued she, pointing to a number of laths
fastened across a hole in the wall; ‘‘ those are wood-
pigeons, they would fly away if I did not keep them shut
up. And here is my old favourite!” She pulled forward
by the horn a reindeer who wore a bright copper ring round
his neck, by which he was fastened to a large stone. “ We
are obliged to chain him up, or he would run away from us ;
every evening I tickle his neck with my sharp dagger ; it
makes him fear me so much!” and the robber-maiden
drew out a long dagger from a gap in the wall, and passed
it over the reindeer’s throat; the poor animal struggled
and kicked, but the girl laughed, and then she pulled Gerda
into bed with her.

“Will you keep the dagger in your hand whilst you
sleep ?”? asked Gerda, looking timidly at the dangerous
plaything.

‘“T always sleep with my dagger by my side,” replied
the little robber-maiden; ‘‘ one never knows what may
happen. But now tell me all over again what you told
me before about Kay, and the reason of your coming into
the wide world all by yourself.”

And Gerda again related her history, and the wood-
pigeons imprisoned above listened, but the others were fast
asleep. The little robber-maiden threw one arm round
Gerda’s neck, and holding the dagger with the other, was
118 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

also soon asleep ; one could hear her heavy breathing, but
Gerda could not close her eyes throughout the night—she
knew not what would become of her, whether she would
even be suffered to live. The robbers sat round the fire
drinking and singing. Oh, it was a dreadful night for the
poor little girl !

Then spoke the wood-pigeons, ‘* Coo, coo, coo! we have
seen little Kay. A white fowl carried his sledge, he himself
was in the Snow Queen’s chariot, which passed through
the wood whilst we sat in our nest. She breathed upon us
young ones as she passed, and all died of her breath except-
ing us two—coo, coo, coo!”

“ What are you saying?” cried Gerda; “ where was
the Snow Queen going? Do you know anything about
ib 2”

“She travels most likely to Lapland, where ice and
snow abide all the year round. Ask the reindeer bound to
the rope there.”

“Yes, ice and snow are there all through the year; it
is a glorious land!” said the reindeer. “ There, free and
happy, one can roam through the wide sparkling valleys!
There the Snow Queen has her summer-tent ; her strong
castle is very far off, near the North Pole, on the island
called Spitsbergen.”

“O Kay, dear Kay!” sighed Gerda.

“You must lie still,” said the robber-maiden, ‘‘ or I
will thrust my dagger into your side.”

When morning came Gerda repeated to her what the
wood-pigeons had said, and the little robber-maiden looked
grave for a moment, then nodded her head, saying, ‘‘ No
matter! no matter! Do you know where Lapland is?”
asked she of the reindeer.

“Who should know but I?” returned the animal, his
eyes kindling. ‘“‘ There was I born and bred, there how
often have I bounded over the wild icy plains!”

“Listen to me!” said the robber-maiden to Gerda.
“You see all our men are gone; my mother is still here


ia i laa Ni a









a nr

AND THE NEARER THEY WERE TO THE DOOR THE PROUDER THEY LOOKED
120 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

and will remain, but towards noon she will drink a little
out of the great flask, and after that she will sleep—then I
will do something for you!’’ And so saying she jumped
out of bed, sprang upon her mother, pulled her by the
beard, and said, ‘‘ My own dear mam, good morning ! ’’ and
the mother caressed her so roughly that she was red and
blue all over; however, it was from pure love.

When her mother was fast asleep, the robber-maiden
went up to the reindeer, and said, “‘I should have great
pleasure in stroking you a few more times with my sharp
dagger, for then you look so droll, but never mind, I will
unloose your chain and help you to escape, on condition
that you run as fast as you can to Lapland, and take this
little girl to the castle of the Snow Queen, where her play-
fellow is. You must have heard her story, for she speaks
loud enough, and you know well how to listen.”

The reindeer bounded with joy, and the robber-maiden
lifted Gerda on his back, taking the precaution to bind her
on firmly, as well as to give her a little cushion to sit on.
“And here,” said she, “‘ are your fur boots, you will need
them in that cold country ; the muff I must keep myself,
it is too pretty to part with; but you shall not be frozen.
Here are my mother’s huge gloves, they reach up to the
elbow ; put them on—now your hands look as clumsy as
my old mother’s!”

And Gerda shed tears of joy.

““I cannot bear to see you crying!” said the little
robber-maiden, ‘“‘ you ought to look glad; see, here are two
loaves and a piece of bacon for you, that you may not be
hungry on the way.”’ She fastened this provender also on
the reindeer’s back, opened the door, called away the great
dogs, and then cutting asunder with her dagger the rope
which bound the reindeer, shouted to him, ‘‘ Now then,
run! but take good care of the little girl.”

And Gerda stretched out her hands to the robber-
maiden and bade her farewell, and the reindeer flected
through the forest, over stock and stone, over desert and


THE SNOW QUEEN 121

heath, over meadow and moor. The wolves howled and
the ravens shrieked. ‘‘Isch! Isch!” a red light flashed
—one might have fancied the sky was sneezing.

‘‘ Those are my dear old Northern Lights!”’ said the
reindeer; ‘“‘look at them, how beautiful they are!”
And he ran faster than ever, night and day he ran—the
loaves were eaten, so was the bacon—at last they were in
Lapland.

16





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AND FLAPPED HIS BLACK WINGS AT THE CARRIAGE TILL IT WAS OUT OF SIGHT
PART THE SIXTH
THE LAPLAND WOMAN AND THE FINLAND WOMAN

TuEY stopped at a little hut, a wretched hut it was;
the roof very nearly touched the ground, and the door was
so low that whoever wished to go either in or out was
obliged to crawl upon hands and knees. No one was at
home except the old Lapland woman, who was busy boiling
fish over a lamp filled with train oil. The reindeer related
to her Gerda’s whole history, not, however, till after he had
made her acquainted with his own, which appeared to him
of much more importance. Poor Gerda, meanwhile, was
so overpowered by the cold that she could not speak.

“Ah, poor things!” said the Lapland woman, “ you
have still a long way before you! You have a hundred
miles to run before you can arrive in Finland: the Snow
Queen dwells there, and burns blue lights every evening.
I will write for you a few words on a piece of dried stock-
fish—paper I have none—and you may take it with you
to the wise Finland woman who lives there; she will
advise you better than I can.”

So when Gerda had well warmed herself and taken some
food, the Lapland woman wrote a few words on a dried
stock-fish, bade Gerda take care of it, and bound her once
more firmly on the reindeer’s back.

Onwards they sped, the wondrous Northern Lights,
now of the loveliest, brightest blue colour, shone all through
the night, and amidst these splendid illuminations they
arrived in Finland, and knocked at the chimney of the
Wise-woman, for door to her house she had none.

Hot, very hot was it within—so much so that the wise-

123
124 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

woman wore scarcely any clothing; she was low in stature
and very dirty. She immediately loosened little Gerda’s
dress, took off her fur boots and thick gloves, laid a piece of
ice on the reindeer’s head, and then read what was written
on the stock-fish. She read it three times. After the
third reading she knew it by heart, and threw the fish
into the porridge-pot, for it might make a very excellent
supper, and she never wasted anything.

The reindeer then repeated his own story, and when
' that was finished he told of little Gerda’s adventures, and
the wise-woman twinkled her wise eyes, but spoke not a
word.

“Thou art so powerful,” continued the reindeer,
“that I know thou canst twist all the winds of the world
into a thread, of which if the pilot loosen one knot he will
have a favourable wind; if he loosen the second it will
blow sharp, and if he loosen the third, so tremendous a
storm will arise that the trees of the forest will be uprooted,
and the ship wrecked. Wilt thou not mix for this little
maiden that wonderful draught which will give her the
strength of twelve men, and thus enable her to overcome
the Snow Queen ? ”’

“The strength of twelve men!” repeated the wise-
woman, “‘ that would be of much use to be sure! ”’ and she
walked away, drew forth a large parchment roll from a
shelf and began to read. What strange characters were
seen inscribed on the scroll as the wise-woman slowly
unrolled it! She read so intently that the perspiration
ran down ‘her forehead.

But the reindeer pleaded so earnestly for little Gerda,
and Gerda’s eyes were raised so entreatingly and tearfully,
that at last the wise-woman’s eyes began to twinkle again
out of sympathy, and she drew the reindeer into a corner,
and putting a fresh piece of ice upon his head, whispered
thus :

“Little Kay is still with the Snow Queen, in whose
abode everything is according to his taste, and therefore he


THE LITTLE ROBBER-MAIDEN
126 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

believes it to be the best place in the world. But that is
because he has a glass splinter in his heart, and a glass
splinter in his eye—until he has got rid of them he will
never feel like a human being, and the Snow Queen will
always maintain her influence over him.”

“But canst thou not give something to little Gerda
whereby she may overcome all these evil influences ? ”’

**T can give her no power so great as that which she
already possesses. Seest thou not how strong she is?
Seest thou not that both men and animals must serve her
—a poor little girl wandering barefoot through the world ?
Her power is greater than ours ; it proceeds from her heart,
from her being a loving and innocent child. If this power
which she already possesses cannot give her access to the
Snow Queen’s palace, and enable her to free Kay’s eye and
heart from the glass fragment, we can do nothing for her !
Two miles hence is the Snow Queen’s garden; thither
thou canst carry the little maiden. Put her down close
by the bush bearing red berries and half covered with
snow: lose no time, and hasten back to this place!”

And the wise-woman lifted Gerda on the reindeer’s
back, and away they went.

‘““Oh, I have left my boots behind! I have left my
gloves behind,” cried little Gerda, when it was too late.
The cold was piercing, but the reindeer dared not stop;
on he ran until he reached the bush with the red berries.
Here he set Gerda down, kissed her, the tears rolling
down his cheeks the while, and ran fast back again—which
was the best thing he could do. And there stood poor
Gerda, without shoes, without gloves, alone in that barren
region, that terribly icy-cold Finland.

She ran on as fast as she could; a whole regiment of
snow-flakes came to meet her. They did not fall from the
sky, which was cloudless and bright with the Northern
Lights ; they ran straight along the ground, and the farther
Gerda advanced the larger they grew. Gerda then remem-
bered how large and curious the snow-flakes had appeared
THE SNOW QUEEN 127

to her when one day she had looked at them through a
burning-glass ; these, however, were very much larger,
they were living forms, they were in fact the Snow Queen’s
guards. Their shapes were the strangest that could be
imagined ; some looked like great ugly porcupines, others
like snakes rolled into knots with their heads peering forth,
and others like little fat bears with bristling hair—all,
however, were alike dazzlingly white—all were living snow-
flakes. Little Gerda began to repeat “‘Our Father”:
meanwhile, the cold was so intense that she could see her
own breath, which, as it escaped her mouth, ascended into
the air like vapour ; the cold grew intense, the vapour more
dense, and at length took the forms of little bright angels
which, as they touched the earth, became larger and more
distinct. They wore helmets on their heads, and carried
shields and spears in their hands; their number increased
so rapidly that, by the time Gerda had finished her prayer,
a whole legion stood around her. They thrust with their
spears against the horrible snow-flakes, which fell into
thousands of pieces, and little Gerda walked on unhurt
and undaunted. The angels touched her hands and feet,
and then she scarcely felt the cold, and boldly approached
the Snow Queen’s palace.

But before we accompany her there, let us see what
Kay is doing. He is certainly not thinking of little Gerda ;
least of all can he imagine that she is now standing at the
palace gate.


PART THE SEVENTH

WHICH TREATS OF THE SNOW QUEEN’S PALACE, AND OF WHAT
CAME TO PASS THEREIN

‘THE walls of the palace were formed of the driven snow,
its doors and windows of the cutting winds. . There were
above a hundred halls, the largest of them many miles
in extent, all illuminated by the Northern Lights, all alike
vast, empty, icily cold, and dazzlingly white. No sounds
of mirth ever resounded through these dreary spaces;
no cheerful scene refreshed the sight—not even so much as
a bear’s ball, such as one might imagine sometimes takes
place, the tempest forming a band of musicians, and the
polar bears standing on their hind paws and exhibiting
themselves in the oddest positions. Nor was there ever a
card-assembly, wherein the cards might be held in the

mouth and dealt out by paws; nor even a small select
128
THE SNOW QUEEN 129

coffee-party for the white young lady foxes. Vast, empty,
and cold were the Snow Queen’s chambers, and the
Northern Lights flashed, now high, now low, in regular
gradations. In the midst of the empty, interminable
snow saloon lay a frozen lake; it was broken into a thou-
sand pieces, but these pieces so exactly resembled each
other, that the breaking of them might well be deemed a
work of more than human skill. The Snow Queen, when
at home, always sat in the centre of this lake; she used
to say that she was then sitting on the Mirror of Reason,
and that hers was the best, indeed the only one, in the
world.

Little Kay was quite blue, nay, almost black with
cold, but he did not observe it, for the Snow Queen had
kissed away the shrinking feeling he used to experience,
and his heart was like a lump of ice. He was busied
among the sharp icy fragments, laying and joining them
together in every possible way, just as people do with
what are called Chinese puzzles. Kay could form the
most curious and complete figures—this was the ice-
puzzle of reason—and in his eyes these figures were
of the utmost importance. He often formed whole
words, but there was one word he could never suc-
ceed in forming—it was Eternity. The Snow Queen
had said to him, ‘‘ When thou canst put that figure
together, thou shalt become thine own master and I will
give thee the whole world, and a new pair of skates
besides.”

But he could never do it.

‘*“Now I am going to the warm countries,” said the
Snow Queen. ‘I shall flit through the air, and look into
the black caldrons ’’—she meant the burning mountains,
Etna and Vesuvius. ‘“‘I shall whiten them a little;
that will be good for the citrons and vineyards.’ So
away flew the Snow Queen, leaving Kay sitting all alone
in the large empty hallofice. He looked at the fragments,

and thought and thought till his head ached. He sat
17
130 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

so still and so stiff that one might have fancied that he too
was frozen.

Cold and cutting blew the winds when little Gerda
passed through the palace gates, but she repeated her
evening prayer, and they immediately sank to rest. She
entered the large, cold, empty hall: she saw Kay, she
recognized him, she flew upon his neck, she held him
fast, and cried, ‘‘ Kay! dear, dear Kay! I have found
thee at last!”

But he sat still as before, cold, silent, motionless ; his
unkindness wounded poor Gerda deeply. Hot and bitter
were the tears she shed; they fell upon his breast, they
reached his heart, they thawed the ice and dissolved the
tiny splinter of glass within it. He looked at her whilst
she sang her hymn—

*“ Our roses bloom and fade away,
Our Infant Lord abides alway ;
May we be blessed His face to see,
And ever little children be!”’

Then Kay burst into tears. He wept till the glass
splinter floated in his eye and fell with his tears; he
knew his old companion immediately, and exclaimed with
joy, ‘‘ Gerda, my dear little Gerda, where hast thou been
all this time ?—and where have I been?”

He looked around him. ‘“ How cold it is here! how
wide and empty!’’ and he embraced Gerda, whilst she
laughed and wept by turns. Even the pieces of ice took
part in their joy; they danced about merrily, and when
they were wearied and lay down they formed of their own
accord the mystical letters of which the Snow Queen had
said that when Kay could put them together he should
be his own master, and that she would give him the whole
world, with a new pair of skates besides.

And Gerda kissed his cheeks, whereupon they became
fresh and glowing as ever; she kissed his eyes, and they
sparkled like her own; she kissed his hands and feet, and
THE SNOW QUEEN 131

he was once more healthy and merry. The Snow Queen
might now come home as soon as she liked—it mattered
not; Kay’s charter of freedom stood written on the
mirror in bright icy characters.

They took each other by the hand, and wandered
forth out of the palace, talking meanwhile about the aged
grandmother and the rose-trees on the roof of their houses ;

‘(Cs pan Ta a a



SHE RAN ON AS FAST AS SHE COULD

and as they walked on, the winds were hushed into a
calm, and the sun burst forth in splendour from among
the dark storm-clouds. When they arrived at the bush
with the red berries, they found the reindeer standing
by awaiting their arrival; he had brought with him
another and younger reindeer, whose udders were full,
and who gladly gave her warm milk to refresh the young
travellers.
132 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

The old reindeer and the young hind now carried Kay
and Gerda on their backs, first to the little hot room of
the wise-woman of Finland, where they warmed them-
selves, and received advice how to proceed in their
journey home, and afterwards to the abode of the Lap-
land woman, who made them some new clothes and pro-
vided them with a sledge.

The whole party now ran on together till they came to
the boundary of the country ; but just where the green
leaves began to sprout, the Lapland woman and the two
reindeers took their leave. ‘‘ Farewell! farewell!” said
they all. And the first little birds they had seen for many
a long day began to chirp, and warble their pretty songs ;
and the trees of the forest burst upon them full of rich
and variously tinted foliage. Suddenly the green boughs
parted asunder, and a spirited horse galloped up. Gerda
knew it well, for it was the one which had been harnessed
to her gold coach; and on it sat a young girl wearing a
bright scarlet cap, and with pistols on the holster before
her. It was indeed no other than the robber-maiden,
who, weary of her home in the forest, was going on
her travels, first to the north and afterwards to other
parts of the world. She at once recognized Gerda, and
Gerda had not forgotten her. Most joyful was their
greeting.

** A fine gentleman you are, to be sure, you graceless
young truant!” said she to Kay. ‘‘I should like to
know if you deserved that anyone should be running to
the end of the world on your account ! ”

But Gerda stroked her cheeks, and asked after the
prince and princess.

“They are gone travelling into foreign countries,”
replied the robber-maiden.

*“* And the raven ?”’ asked Gerda.

‘““ Ah! the raven is dead,” returned she. ‘ The tame
beloved has become a widow; so she hops about with a
piece of worsted wound round her leg; she moans most


er
HEAT
KO BINSON

ae TR

SHE ENTERED THE LARGE, COLD, EMPTY HALL
134 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

piteously, and chatters more than ever! But tell me
now all that has happened to you, and how you managed
to pick up your old playfellow.”

And Gerda and Kay told their story.

** Snip-snap-snurre-basselurre!*? said the robber-
maiden. She pressed the hands of both, promised that
if ever she passed through their town she would pay
them a visit, and then bade them farewell, and rode away
out into the wide world.

Kay and Gerda walked on hand in hand, and wherever
they went it was spring, beautiful spring, with its bright
flowers and green leaves.

They arrived at a large town, the church bells were
ringing merrily, and they immediately recognized the high
towers rising into the sky—it was the town wherein they
had lived. Joyfully they passed through the streets,
joyfully they stopped at the door of Gerda’s grandmother.
They walked up the stairs and entered the well-known
room. The clock said ‘‘ Tick, tick!’? and the hands
moved as before. Only one alteration could they find,
and that was in themselves, for they saw that they were
now full-grown persons. The rose-trees on the roof
blossomed in front of the open window, and there beneath
them stood the children’s stools. Kay and Gerda went
and sat down upon them, still holding each other by the
hands; the cold, hollow splendour of the Snow Queen’s
palace they had forgotten, it seemed to them only an un-
pleasant dream. The grandmother meanwhile sat amid
God’s bright sunshine, and read from the Bible these
words: “ Unless ye become as little children, ye shall
not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

And Kay and Gerda gazed on each other ; they now
understood the words of their hymn—

‘Our roses bloom and fade away,
‘Our Infant Lord abides alway ;
May we be blessed His face to see,
And ever little children be!”
THE SNOW QUEEN 135

There they sat, those two happy ones, grown up and
yet children—children in heart, while all around them
glowed bright summer—warm, glorious summer.




THE ELFIN-KING’S HOUSEKEEPER
ELFIN-MOUNT

SEVERAL large lizards were running nimbly in and out
among the clefts of an old tree ; they could understand
each other perfectly well, for they all spoke the lizards
language. ‘‘ Only hear what a rumbling and grumbling
there is in the old Elfin-mount yonder!” observed one
lizard. ‘I have not been able to close my eyes for the
last two nights ; I might as well have had the toothache,
for the sleep I have had!”

‘“‘There is something in the wind, most certainly !”’
rejoined the second lizard. “* They raise the Mount upon
four red pillars till cock-crowing; there is a regular
cleaning and dusting going on, and the Elfin-maidens are
learning new dances—such a stamping they make in
them! There is certainly something in the wind i

“Ves; I have been talking it over with an earth-
worm of my acquaintance,” said a third lizard. ‘* The
earth-worm has just come from the Mount ; he has been
grubbing in the ground there for days and nights together,
and has overheard a good deal; he can’t see at all, poor
wretch! but no one can be quicker than he is at feeling
and hearing. They are expecting strangers at the Elfin-
mount—distinguished strangers; but who they are, the
earth-worm would not say; most likely he did not know
All the wills-o’-the-wisp are engaged to form a procession
of torches—so they call it; and all the silver and gold,
of which there is such a store in the Elfin-mount, is
pees fresh rubbed up, and set out to shine in the moon-

ig t.?
‘But who can these strangers be?” exclaimed all
137 18
138 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

the lizards with one voice. ‘‘ What can be in the wind ?
Only listen !—what buzzing and humming!”

Just then the Elfin-mount parted asunder; and an
elderly Elfin-damsel came tripping out—she was the old
Elfin-King’s housekeeper, and distantly related to his
family, on which account she wore an amber heart on
her forehead, but was otherwise plainly dressed. Like
all other elves, she was hollow in the back. She was very
quick and light-footed; trip—trip—trip, away she ran,
straight into the marsh, to the night-raven. ‘‘ You are
invited to Elfin-mount, for this very evening,” said she ;
“but will you not first do us a very great kindness, and
be the bearer of the other invitations? You do not
keep house, yourself, you know ; so you can easily oblige
us. We are expecting some very distinguished strangers,
Trolds in fact; and his Elfin Majesty intends to welcome
them in person.”

‘“* Who are to be invited ? ”’ inquired the night-raven.

“Why, to the grand ball all the world may come;
even men, if they could but talk in their sleep, or do a
little bit of anything in our way. But the first banquet
must be very select ; none but guests of the very highest
rank must be present. To say the truth, I and the King
have been having a little dispute; for I insist, that not
even ghosts may be admitted to-night. The Mer-King
and his daughters must be invited first ; they don’t much
like coming on land, but I’ll promise they shall each have
a wet stone, or, perhaps, something better still, to sit on ;
and then, I think, they cannot possibly refuse us this
time. Allold Trolds of the first rank we must have ; also,
the River-Spirit and the Nisses; and, I fancy, we cannot
pass over the Death-Horse and Kirkegrim ; true, they do
not belong to our set, they are too solemn for us, but
they are connected with the family, and pay us regular
visits.”

“Caw!” said the night-raven; and away he flew to
bear the invitations.
ELFIN-MOUNT 139

The Elfin-maidens were still dancing in the Elfin-
mount; they danced with long scarfs woven from mist
and moonlight, and for those who like that sort of thing
it looks pretty enough. The large state-room in the
Mount had been regularly cleaned and cleared out ; the
floor had been washed with moonshine, and the walls
rubbed with witches’ fat till they shone as tulips do when
held up to the light. In the kitchen, frogs were roasting
on the spit; while divers other choice dishes, such as
mushroom seed, hemlock soup, etc., were prepared or
preparing. These were to supply the first courses ;
rusty nails, bits of coloured glass, and such-like dainties,
were to come in for the dessert; there was also bright
saltpetre wine, and ale brewed in the brewery of the Wise
Witch of the Moor.

The old Elfin-King’s gold crown had been fresh rubbed
with powdered slate-pencil; new curtains had been
hung up in all the sleeping rooms—yes, there was indeed
a rare bustle and commotion.

““Now, we must have the rooms scented with cows’
hairs and swine’s bristles ; and then, I think, I shall have
done my part!” said the Elfin-King’s housekeeper.

‘Dear papa,” said the youngest of the daughters,
‘‘ won’t you tell me now who these grand visitors are ?”’

“Well!” replied His Majesty, ‘‘ I suppose there’s no
use in keeping it a secret. Let two of my daughters get
themselves ready for their wedding-day, that’s all! Two
of them most certainly will be married. The Chief of
the Norwegian Trolds, he who dwells in old Dofrefield,
and has so many castles of freestone among these rocky
fastnesses, besides a gold-mine—which is a capital thing,
let me tell you—he is coming down here with his two
boys, who are both to choose themselves a bride. Such
an honest, straightforward, true old Norseman is this
mountain chief! so merry and jovial! he and I are old
comrades ; he came down here years ago to fetch his wife ;
she is dead now; she was the daughter of the Rock-King
140 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

at Méen. Oh, how I long to see the old Norseman again !
His sons, they say, are rough unmannerly cubs, but per-
haps report may have done them injustice, and at any
rate they are sure to improve in a year or two, when they
have sown their wild oats. Let me see how you will
polish them up!”

‘* And how soon are they to be here?” inquired his
youngest daughter again.

‘* That depends on wind and weather !”’ returned the



THE MER-KING MUST BE INVITED FIRST

Elfin-King. ‘‘ They travel economically ; they come at
the ship’s convenience. I wanted them to pass over by
Sweden, but the old man would not hear of that. He
does not keep pace with the times, that’s the only fault
I can find with him.”

Just then two wills-o’-the-wisp were seen dancing up
in a vast hurry, each trying to get before the other, and
to be the first to bring the news.

““They come, they come!” cried both with one
voice.
ELFIN-MOUNT 141

‘“‘ Give me my crown, and let me stand in the moon-
light !? said the Elfin-King.

And his seven daughters lifted their long scarfs and
bowed low to the earth.

There stood the Trold Chief from the Dofrefield, wear-
ing a crown composed of icicles and polished pine cones ;
for the rest, he was equipped in a bear-skin cloak and
sledge-boots; his sons were clad more slightly, and
kept their throats uncovered, by way of showing that
they cared nothing about the cold.

“Ts that a mount?’ asked the youngest of them,
pointing to it. ‘‘ Why, up in Norway we should call it
a cave!”

“* You foolish boy !’’ replied his father; ‘‘ a cave you
go into, a mount you go up! Where are your eyes, not
to see the difference ? ”’

The only thing that surprised them in this country,
they said, was that the people should speak and under-
stand their language.

‘“Behave yourselves now!” said the old man;
‘don’t let your host fancy you never went into decent
company before!”

And now they all entered the Elfin-mount, into the
grand saloon, where a really very select party was as-
sembled, although at such short notice that it seemed
almost as though some fortunate gust of wind had blown
them together. And every possible arrangement had been
made for the comfort of each of the guests; the Mer-
King’s family, for instance, sat at table in large tubs of
water, and they declared they felt quite as if they were
at home. All behaved with strict good-breeding except
the two young northern Trolds, who at last so far forgot
themselves as to put their legs on the table.

“Take your legs away from the plates!” said their
father, and they obeyed, but not so readily as they might
have done. Presently they took some pine cones out of
their pockets and began pelting the lady who sat between
142 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

them, and then, finding their boots incommode them,
they took them off, and coolly gave them to this lady to
hold. But their father, the old mountain Chief, conducted
himself very differently ; he talked so delightfully about
the proud Norse mountains, and the torrents, white with
dancing spray, that dashed foaming down their rocky
steeps with a noise loud and hoarse as thunder, yet musical
as the full burst of an organ, touched by a master hand ;
he told of the salmon leaping up from the wild waters
while the Neck was playing on his golden harp; he told
of the starlight winter nights when the sledge bells
tinkled so merrily, and the youths ran with lighted torches
over the icy crust, so glassy and transparent that through
it they could see the fishes whirling to and fro in deadly
terror beneath their feet ; he told of the gallant northern
youths and pretty maidens singing songs of old time, and
dancing the Hallinge dance—yes, so charmingly he de-
scribed all this, that you could not but fancy you heard
and saw it all. Oh fie, for shame: all of a sudden the
mountain Chief turned round upon the elderly Elfin-
maiden, and gave her a cousinly salute, and he was not
yet connected ever so remotely with the family.

- The young Elfin-maidens were now called upon to
dance. First they danced simple dances, then stamping
dances, and they did both remarkably well. Last came
the most difficult of all, the ‘‘ Dance out of the dance,”’
as it was called. Bravo! how long their legs seemed
to grow, and how they whirled and spun about! You
could hardly distinguish legs from arms, or arms from
legs. Round and round they went, such whirling and
twirling, such whirring and whizzing there was that it
made the death-horse feel quite dizzy, and at last he grew
so unwell that he was obliged to leave the table.

_ “ Hurrah!” cried the mountain Chief, “ they know
how to use their limbs with a vengeance! but can they
do nothing else than dance, stretch out their feet, and
spin round like a whirlwind ? ”
———



ROUND AND ROUND THEY WENT, SUCH WHIRLING AND TWIRLING

ELFIN-MOUNT 145

“You shall judge for yourself,” replied the Elfin-
King, and here he called the eldest of his daughters to
him. She was transparent and fair as moonlight; she
was, in fact, the most delicate of all the sisters; she put
a white wand between her lips and vanished: that was
her accomplishment.

But the mountain Chief said he should not at all like
his wife to possess such an accomplishment as this, and
he did not think his sons would like it either.

The second could walk by the side of herself, just as



THEY FELT QUITE AS IF THEY WERE AT HOME

though she had a shadow, which elves and Trolds never
have.

The accomplishment of the third sister was of quite
another kind: she had learned how to brew good ale from
the Wise Witch of the Moor, and she also knew how to
lard alder-wood with glow-worms.

‘She will make a capital housewife,” remarked the
old mountain Chief.

And now advanced the fourth Elfin-damsel ;_ she car-

ried a large gold harp, and no sooner had she struck the
19
146 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

first chord than all the company lifted their left feet—
for elves are left-sided—and when she struck the second
chord, they were all compelled to do whatever she wished.

“A dangerous lady, indeed!’ said the old Trold
Chief. Both of his sons now got up and strode out of the
Mount; they were heartily weary of these accomplish-
ments.

“And what can the next daughter do?” asked the
mountain Chief.

“I have learned to love the north,” replied she, “‘ and
I have resolved never to marry unless I may go to
Norway.”

But the youngest of the sisters whispered to the old
man, “‘ That is only because she has heard an old Norse
rhyme, which says that when the end of the world shall
come, the Norwegian rocks shall stand firm amid the
ruins; she is very much afraid of death, and therefore
she wants to go to Norway.”

‘** Ho, ho! ”’ cried the mountain Chief, ‘‘ sits the wind
in that quarter? But what can the seventh and last
do?”

** The sixth comes before the seventh,” said the Elfin-
King; for he could count better than to make such a
mistake. However, the sixth seemed in no hurry to
come forward.

“I can only tell people the truth,” said she. ‘“ Let no
one trouble himself about me; I have enough to do to sew
my shroud!”

And now came the seventh and last, and what could
she do? Why, she could tell fairy tales, as many as any-
one could wish to hear.

“ Here are my five fingers,” said the mountain Chief ;
“tell me a story for each finger.”

And the Elfin-maiden took hold of his wrist, and told
her stories, and he laughed till his sides ached, and when
she came to the finger that wore a gold ring, as though it
knew it might be wanted, the mountain Chief suddenly
ELFIN-MOUNT 147

exclaimed, “* Hold fast what thou hast ; the hand is thine !
I will have thee myself to wife!’ But the Elfin-maiden
said that she had still two more stories to tell, one for the
ring-finger, and another for the little finger.

“Keep them for next winter, we'll hear them then,”
replied the mountain Chief. ‘ And we'll hear about the
‘ Loves of the Fir-Tree and the Birch,’ about the Valkyria’s
gifts too, for we all love fairy legends in Norway, and no
one there can tell them so charmingly as thou dost. And



I WILL HAVE THEE MYSELF TO WIFE

then we will sit in our rocky halls, whilst the fir-logs are
blazing and crackling in the stove, and drink mead out of
the golden horns of the old Norse kings; the Neck has
taught me a few of his rare old ditties, besides the Garbo
will often come and pay us a visit, and he will sing thee all
the sweet songs that the mountain maidens sang in days
of yore—that will be most delightful! The salmon in
the torrent will spring up and beat himself against the rock
walls, but in vain, he will not be able to get in. Oh, thou
148 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

canst not imagine what a happy, glorious life we lead in
that dear old Norway! But where are the boys?”

Where were the boys? Why, they were racing about
in the fields and blowing out the poor wills-o’-the-wisp,
who were just ranging themselves in the proper order to
make a procession of torches.

“What do you mean by making all this riot?”
inquired the mountain Chief. ‘‘ I have been choosing you
a mother; now you come and choose yourselves wives
from among your aunts.”

But his sons said they would rather make speeches and
drink toasts; they had not the slightest wish to malry.
And accordingly they made speeches, tossed off their
glasses and turned them topsy-turvy on the table, to
show that they were quite empty ; after this they took off
their coats, and most unceremoniously lay down on the
table and went to sleep. But the old mountain Chief,
the while, danced round the hall with his young bride, and
exchanged boots with her, because that is not so vulgar as
exchanging rings.

“Listen, the cock is crowing!” exclaimed the lady-
housekeeper. “‘We must make haste and shut the
window-shutters close, or the sun will scorch our com-
plexions.”’

And herewith Elfin-mount closed.

But outside, in the cloven trunk, the lizards kept
running up and down, and one and all declared, ‘‘ What a
capital fellow that old Norwegian Trold is!” “ For my
part, I prefer the boys,” said the earth-worm—but he,
poor wretch, could see nothing either of them or of their
father, so his opinion was not worth much.


MERMAID
THE LITTLE MERMAID

Far out in the wide sea—where the water is blue
as the loveliest cornflower, and clear as the purest
crystal, where it is so deep that very, very many church-
towers must be heaped one upon another in order to reach
from the lowest depth to the surface above—dwell
the Mer-people.

Now you must not imagine that there is nothing
but sand below the water: no, indeed, far from it!
Trees and plants of wondrous beauty grow there, whose
stems and leaves are so light, that they are waved to
and fro by the slightest motion of the water, almost
as if they were living beings. Fishes, great and small,
glide in and out among the branches, just as birds fly
about among our trees.

Where the water is deepest stands the palace of the
Mer-king. The walls of this palace are of coral, and the
high, pointed windows are of amber; the roof, however,
is composed of mussel-shells, which, as the billows pass
over them, are continually opening and shutting. This
looks exceedingly pretty, especially as each of these
mussel-shells contains a number of bright, glittering pearls,
one only of which would be the most costly ornament
in the diadem of a king in the upper world.

The Mer-king, who lived in this palace, had been
for many years a widower; his old mother managed the
household affairs for him. She was, on the whole, a
sensible sort of a lady, although extremely proud of
her high birth and station, on which account she wore

twelve oysters on her tail, whilst the other inhabitants
150
THE LITTLE MERMAID 151

of the sea, even those of distinction, were allowed only
six. In every other respect she merited unlimited praise,
especially for the affection she showed to the six little
princesses, her granddaughters. These were all very
beautiful children; the youngest was, however, the
most lovely ; her skin was as soft and delicate as a rose-
leaf, her eyes were of as deep a blue as the sea, but like
all other mermaids, she had no feet, her body ended in
a tail like that of a fish.

The whole day long the children used to play in the
spacious apartments of the palace, where beautiful
flowers grew out of the walls on all sides around them.
When the great amber windows were opened, fishes
would swim into these apartments as swallows fly into
our rooms; but the fishes were bolder than the swallows,
they swam straight up to the little princesses, ate from
their hands, and allowed themselves to be caressed.

In front of the palace there was a large garden, full
of fiery red and dark blue trees, whose fruit glittered like
gold, and whose flowers resembled a bright, burning sun.
The sand that formed the soil of the garden was of a
bright blue colour, something like flames of sulphur ;
and a strangely beautiful blue was spread over the whole,
so that one might have fancied oneself raised very high
in the air, with the sky at once above and below, certainly
not at the bottom of the sea. When the waters were
quite still, the sun might be seen looking like a purple
flower, out of whose cup streamed forth the light of
the world.

Each of the little princesses had her own plot in the
garden, where she might plant and sow at her pleasure.
One chose hers to be made in the shape of a whale,
another preferred the figure of a mermaid, but the
youngest had hers quite round like the sun, and planted
in it only those flowers that were red, as the sun seemed
to her. She was certainly a singular child, very quiet
and thoughtful. Whilst her sisters were adorning them-
152 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

selves with all sorts of gay things that came out of a ship
which had been wrecked, she asked for nothing but a
beautiful white marble statue of a boy, which had been
_ foundinit. She put the statue in her garden, and planted
a red weeping-willow by its side. The tree grew up
quickly, and let its long boughs fall upon the bright blue
ground, where ever-moving shadows played in violet hues,
as if boughs and root were embracing.

Nothing pleased the little princess more than to hear
about the world of human beings living above the sea.
She made her old grandmother tell her everything she
knew about ships, towns, men, and land animals, and was
particularly pleased when she heard that the flowers of the
upper world had a pleasant fragrance (for the flowers of
the sea are scentless), and that the woods were green, and
the fishes fluttering among the branches of various gay
colours, and that they could sing with a loud clear voice.
The old lady meant birds, but she called them fishes,
because her grandchildren, having never seen a bird, would
not otherwise have understood her.

“When you have attained your fifteenth year,” added
she, ‘‘ you will be permitted to rise to the surface of the
sea; you will then sit by moonlight in the clefts of the
rocks, see the ships sail by, and learn to distinguish towns
and men.”

The next year the eldest of the sisters reached this
happy age, but the others—alas! the second sister was a
year younger than the eldest, the third a year younger
than the second, andsoon; the youngest had still five whole
years to wait till that joyful time should come when she
also might rise to the surface of the water and see what
was going on in the upper world; however, the eldest
promised to tell the others of everything she might see,
when the first day of her being of age arrived; for the
grandmother gave them but little information, and there
was so much that they wished to hear.

But none of all the sisters longed so ardently for the day






SHE PUT THE STATUE IN HER GARDEN

20

THE LITTLE MERMAID 155

when she should be released from childish restraint as the
youngest, she who had longest to wait, and was so quiet
and thoughtful. Many a night she stood by the open
window, looking up through the clear blue water, whilst
the fishes were leaping and playing around her. She
could see the sun and the moon; their light was pale, but
they appeared larger than they do to those who live in the
upper world. If a shadow passed over them, she knew it
must be either a whale or a ship sailing by full of human
beings, who indeed little thought that, far beneath them, a
little mermaid was passionately stretching forth her white
hands towards their ship’s keel.

The day had now arrived when the eldest princess had
attained her fifteenth year, and was therefore allowed to
rise up to the surface of the sea.

When she returned she had a thousand things to relate.
Her chief pleasure had been to sit upon a sandbank in the
moonlight, looking at the large town which lay on the coast,
where lights were beaming like stars, and where music was
playing; she had heard the distant noise of men and
carriages, she had seen the high church-towers, had listened
to the ringing of the bells ; and just because she could not
go there she longed the more after all these things.

How attentively did her youngest sister listen to her
words! And when she next stood at night-time by her
open window, gazing upward through the blue waters, she
thought so intensely of the great noisy city that she fancied
she could hear the church-bells ringing.

Next year the second sister received permission to swim
wherever she pleased. She rose to the surface of the sea,
just when the sun was setting; and this sight so delighted
her, that she declared it to be more beautiful than anything
else she had seen above the waters.

“The whole sky seemed tinged with gold,” said she,
“and it is impossible for me to describe to you the beauty
of the clouds. Now red, now violet, they glided over me ;
but still more swiftly flew over the water a flock of white
156 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

swans, just where the sun was descending; I looked after
them, but the sun disappeared, and the bright rosy light
on the surface of the sea and on the edges of the clouds
was gradually extinguished.”

It was now time for the third sister to visit the upper
world. She was the boldest of
the six, and ventured up a
river. On its shores she saw
green hills covered with woods
and vineyards, from among
which arose houses and castles ;
she heard the birds singing,
and the sun shone with so
much power, that she was
continually obliged to plunge
below, in order to cool her
burning face. In a little bay
she met with a number of
children, who were bathing and
jumping about; she would
have joined in their gambols,
but the children fled back to
land in great terror, and a
little black animal barked at
her in such a manner, that she
herself was frightened at last,
and swam back to the sea.
She could not, however, for-

SHE WAS ON THE wHorz a get the green woods, the ver-

SENSIBLE SORT OF LADY dant hills, and the pretty

children, who, although they

had no fins, were swimming about in the river so fear-
lessly.

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


THE LITTLE MERMAID 157

the merry dolphins gambolling in the water, and the
enormous whales, sending up into the air a thousand
sparkling fountains.

The year after, the fifth sister attained her fifteenth
year. Her birthday happened at a different season to that
of her sisters; it was winter, the sea was of a green colour,
and immense icebergs were floating on its surface. These,
she said, looked like pearls; they were, however, much
larger than the church-towers in the land of human beings.
She sat down upon one of these pearls, and let the wind play
with her long hair, but then all the ships hoisted their sails
in terror, and escaped as quickly as possible. In the even-
ing the sky was covered with sails; and whilst the great
mountains of ice alternately sank and rose again, and
beamed with a reddish glow, flashes of lightning burst
forth from the clouds, and the thunder rolled on, peal after
peal. The sails of all the ships were instantly furled, and
horror and affright reigned on board, but the princess sat
still on the iceberg, looking unconcernedly at the blue Z1g-
zag of the flashes.

The first time that either of these sisters rose out of the
sea, she was quite enchanted at the sight of so many new
and beautiful objects, but the novelty was soon over, and
it was not long ere their own home appeared more attrac-
tive than the upper world, for there only did they find
everything agreeable.

Many an evening would the five sisters rise hand in hand
from the depths of the ocean. Their voices were far sweeter
than any human voice, and when a storm was coming on,
they would swim in front of the ships, and sing—oh ! how
sweetly did they sing! describing the happiness of those
who lived at the bottom of the sea, and entreating the
sailors not to be afraid, but to come down to them.

The mariners, however, did not understand their words ;
they fancied the song was only the whistling of the wind,
and thus they lost the hidden glories of the sea; for
if their ships were wrecked, all on board were drowned,
158 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

and none but dead men ever entered the Mer-king’s
palace.

Whilst the sisters were swimming at evening-time, the
youngest would remain motionless and alone, in her
father’s palace, looking up after them. She would have
wept, but mermaids cannot weep, and therefore, when they
are troubled, suffer infinitely more than human beings do.

“* Oh, if I were but fifteen!” sighed she, ‘‘ I know that
I should love the upper world and its inhabitants so much.”

At last the time she had so longed for arrived.

“Well, now it is your turn,” said the grandmother ;
““come here, that I may adorn you like your sisters.”
And she wound around her hair a wreath of white lilies,
whose every petal was the half of a pearl, and then com-
manded eight large oysters to fasten themselves to the
princess’s tail, in token of her high rank.

“But that is so very uncomfortable!” said the little
princess.

““One must not mind slight inconveniences when one
wishes to look well,’ said the old lady.

How willingly would the princess have given up all this
splendour, and exchanged her heavy crown for the red
flowers of her garden, which were so much more becoming
to her. But she dared not do so. ‘* Farewell,” said she;
and she rose from the sea, light as a flake of foam.

When, for the first time in her life, she appeared on the
surface of the water, the sun had just sunk below the
horizon, the clouds were beaming with bright golden and
rosy hues, the evening star was shining in the pale western
sky, the air was mild and refreshing, and the sea as smooth
as a looking-glass. A large ship with three masts lay on
the still waters; one sail only was unfurled, but not a
breath was stirring, and the sailors were quietly seated on
the cordage and ladders of the vessel. Music and song
resounded from the deck, and after it grew dark hundreds
of lamps all on a sudden burst forth into light, whilst
innumerable flags were fluttering overhead. The little
THE LITTLE MERMAID 159

mermaid swam close up to the captain’s cabin, and every
now and then when the ship was raised by the motion of
the water, she could look through the clear window-panes.
She saw within many richly dressed men; the hand-



THE YOUNGEST WAS THE MOST LOVELY

somest among them was a young prince with large black
eyes. He could not certainly be more than sixteen years
old, and it was in honour of his birthday that a grand
festival was being celebrated. The crew were dancing on
160 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

the deck, and when the young prince appeared among
them, a hundred rockets were sent up into the air, turning
night into day, and so terrifying the little mermaid, that for
some minutes she plunged beneath the water. However,
she soon raised her little head again, and then it seemed as
if all the stars were falling down upon her. Such a fiery
shower she had never even seen before, never had she heard
that men possessed such wonderful powers. Large suns
revolved around her, bright fishes swam in the air, and
everything was reflected perfectly on the clear surface of
the sea. It was so light in the ship, that everything could
be seen distinctly. Oh, how happy the young prince was !
He shook hands with the sailors, laughed and jested with
them, whilst sweet notes of music mingled with the silence
of night.

It was now late, but the little mermaid could not tear
herself away from the ship and the handsome young prince.
She remained looking through the cabin window, rocked
to and fro by the waves. There was a foaming and fer-
mentation in the depths beneath, and the ship began to
move on faster; the sails were spread, the waves rose high,
thick clouds gathered over the sky, and the noise of distant
thunder was heard. The sailors perceived that a storm
was coming on, so they again furled the sails. The great
vesscl was tossed about on the tempestuous ocean like a
light boat, and the waves rose to an immense height,
towering over the ship, which alternately sank beneath
and rose above them. To the little mermaid this seemed
most delightful, but the ship’s crew thought very differ-
ently. The vessel cracked, the stout masts bent under
the violence of the billows, the waters rushed in. For a
minute the ship tottered to and fro, then the main-mast
broke, as if it had been a reed; the ship turned over, and
was filled with water. The little mermaid now perceived
that the crew was in danger, for she herself was forced to
beware of the beams and splinters torn from the vessel,
and floating about on the waves. But at the same time
THE LITTLE MERMAID 161

it became pitch dark so that she could not distinguish any-
thing; presently, however, a dreadful flash of lightning
disclosed to her the whole of the wreck. Her eyes sought
the young prince—the same instant the ship sank to the
bottom. At first she was delighted, thinking that the
‘prince must now come to her abode; but she soon remem-
bered that man cannot live in water, and that therefore
if the prince ever entered her palace, it would be as a
corpse.

‘““Die! no, he must not die!’”? She swam through the
fragments with which the water was strewn regardless of
the danger she was incurring, and at last found the prince
all but exhausted, and with great difficulty keeping his
head above water. He had already closed his eyes, and
must inevitably have been drowned, had not the little
mermaid come to his rescue. She seized hold of him and
kept him above water, suffering the current to bear them
on together.

Towards morning the storm was hushed; no trace,
however, remained of the ship. The sun rose like fire out
of the sea; his beams seemed to restore colour to the
prince’s cheeks, but his eyes were still closed. The mer-
maid kissed his high forehead and stroked his wet hair
away from his face. He looked like the marble statue
in her garden; she kissed him again and wished most
fervently that he might recover.

She now saw the dry land with its mountains glittering
with snow. at the entrance of the wood stood a chapel or convent, she
could not be sure which. Citron and lemon trees grew in
the garden adjoining it, an avenue of tall palm trees led
up to the door. The sea here formed a little bay, in which
the water was quite smooth but very deep, and under the
cliffs there were dry, firm sands. Hither swam the little
mermaid with the seemingly dead prince; she laid him
upon the warm sand, and took care to place his head high,
and to turn his face to the sun.

21
162 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

The bells began to ring in the large white building
which stood before her, and a number of young girls
came out to walk in the garden. The mermaid went
away from the shore, hid herself behind some stones,
covered her head with foam, so that her little face could
not be seen, and watched the prince with unremitting
attention.

It was not long before one of the young girls approached.
She seemed quite frightened at finding the prince in this
state, apparently dead; soon, however, she recovered
herself, and ran back to call her sisters. The little mermaid
saw that the prince revived, and that all around smiled
kindly and joyfully upon him—for her, however, he looked
not, he knew not that it was she who had saved him, and
when the prince was taken into the house she felt so sad,
that she immediately plunged beneath the water, and
returned to her father’s palace.

If she had been before quiet and thoughtful, she now
grew still more so. Her sisters asked her what she had
seen in the upper world, but she made no answer.

Many an evening she rose to the, place where she had
left the prince. She saw the snow on the mountains melt,
the fruits in the garden ripen and gathered, but the prince
she never saw, so she always returned sorrowfully to her
subterranean abode. Her only pleasure was to sit-in her
little garden gazing on the beautiful statue so like the
prince. She cared no longer for her flowers; they grew
up in wild luxuriance, covered the steps, and entwined
their long stems and tendrils among the boughs of the trees,
so that her whole garden became a bower.

At last, being unable to conceal her sorrow any longer,
she revealed the secret to one of her sisters, who told it to
the other princesses, and they to some of their friends.
Among them was a young mermaid who recollected the
prince, having been an eye-witness herself to the festivities
in the ship ; she knew also in what country the prince lived,
and the name of its king.
THE LITTLE MERMAID 163

“ Come, little sister ! ” said the princesses, and embrac-
ing her, they rose together arm in arm, out of the water,
just in front of the prince’s palace.

This palace was built of bright yellow stones, a flight of
white marble steps led from it down to the sea. A gilded
cupola crowned the building, and white marble figures,
which might almost have been taken for real men and
women, were placed among the pillars surrounding ais
Through the clear glass of the high windows one might
look into magnificent apartments hung with silken curtains,
the walls adorned with magnificent paintings. It was a
real treat to the little royal mermaids to behold so splendid
an abode; they gazed through the windows of one of the
largest rooms, and in the centre saw a fountain playing,
whose waters sprang up so high as to reach the glittering
cupola above, through which the sunbeams fell dancing
on the water, and brightening the pretty plants which
grew around it.

The little mermaid now knew where her beloved prince
dwelt, and henceforth she went there almost every even-
ing. She often approached nearer the land than her
sisters had ventured, and even swam up the narrow
channel that flowed under the marble balcony. Here on
a bright moonlight night, she would watch the young
prince, who believed himself alone.

Sometimes she saw him sailing on the water in a gaily
painted boat with many coloured flags waving above.
She would then hide among the green reeds which grew
on the banks, listening to his voice, and if anyone in the
boat noticed the rustling of her long silver veil, which
was caught now and then by the light breeze, they only
fancied it was a swan flapping his wings.

Many a night when the fishermen were casting their
nets by the beacon’s light, she heard them talking of the
prince, and relating the noble actions he had performed.
She was then so happy, thinking how she had saved his
life when struggling with the waves, and remembering
164 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

how his head had rested on her bosom, and how she had
kissed him when he knew nothing of it, and could never
even dream of such a thing.

Human beings became more and more dear to her
every day ; she wished that she were one of them. Their
world seemed to her much larger than that of the mer-
people; they could fly over the ocean in their ships, as
well as climb to the summits of those high mountains
that rose above the clouds; and their wooded domains
extended much farther than a mermaid’s eye could
penetrate.

There were many things that she wished to hear
explained, but her sisters could not give her any satis-
factory answer ; she was again obliged to have recourse
to the old queen mother, who knew a great deal about
the upper world, which she used to call “ the country
above the sea.”

** Do men when they are not drowned live for ever ? ”
she asked one day. ‘‘ Do they not die as we do, who
live at the bottom of the sea?”

“ Yes,” was the grandmother’s reply, ‘“‘ they must die
like us, and their life is much shorter than ours. We live
to the age of three hundred years, but when we die, we
become foam on the sea, and are not allowed even to
share a grave among those that are dear to us. We have
no immortal souls, we can never live again, and are like
the grass which, when once cut down, is withered for ever.
Human beings, on the contrary, have souls that continue
to live when their bodies become dust, and as we rise out
of the water to admire the abode of man, they ascend
to glorious unknown dwellings in the skies which we are
not permitted to see.”

‘“ Why have not we immortal souls ?” asked the little
mermaid. ‘I would willingly give up my three hundred
years to be a human being for only one day, thus to
become entitled to that heavenly world above.”

“You must not think of that,” answered her grand-
THE LITTLE MERMAID 165

mother, “‘it is much better as it is; we live longer and
are far happier than human beings.”

‘** So I must die, and be dashed like foam over the sea,
never to rise again and hear the gentle murmur of the
ocean, never again see the beautiful flowers and the bright
sun! Tell me, dear grandmother, are there no means
by which I may obtain an immortal soul?”

‘““ No!” replied the old lady. ‘“‘ It is true that if thou
couldst so win the affections of a human being as to
become dearer to him than either father or mother; if
he loved thee with all his heart, and promised whilst the
priest joined his hands with thine to be always faithful
to thee; then his soul would flow into thine, and thou
wouldst then become partaker of human bliss. But
that can never be! for what in our eyes is the most
beautiful part of our body, the tail, the inhabitants of the
earth think hideous; they cannot bear it. To appear
handsome to them, the body must have two clumsy
props which they call legs.”

The little mermaid sighed and looked mournfully at
the scaly part of her form, otherwise so fair and delicate.

““ We are happy,” added the old lady, ‘‘ we shall jump
and swim about merrily for three hundred years; that
is a long time, and afterwards we shall repose peacefully
in death. This evening we have a court ball.”

The ball which the queen-mother spoke of was far
more splendid than any that earth has ever seen. The
walls of the saloon were of crystal, very thick, but yet
very clear; hundreds of large mussel-shells were planted
in rows along them ; these shells were some of rose-colour,
some green as grass, but all sending forth a bright light,
which not only illuminated the whole apartment, but also
shone through the glassy walls so as to light up the
waters around for a great space, and making the scales
of the numberless fishes, great and small, crimson and
purple, silver and gold-coloured, appear more brilliant
than ever.
166 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Through the centre of the saloon flowed a bright,
clear stream, on the surface of which danced mermen and
mermaids to the melody of their own sweet voices, voices
far sweeter than those of the dwellers upon earth. The



THEY ATE FROM THEIR INANDS

little princess sang more harmoniously than any other,
and they clapped their hands and applauded her. She
was pleased at this, for she knew well that there was
neither on earth nor in the seaa more beautiful voice than
hers. But her thoughts soon returned to the world above
THE LITTLE MERMAID 167

her: she could not forget the handsome prince; she
could not control her sorrow at not having an immortal
soul. She stole away from her father’s palace, and whilst
all was joy within, she sat alone lost in thought in her
little neglected garden. Ona sudden she heard the tones
of horns resounding over the water far away in the dis-
tance, and she said to herself, ‘‘ Now he is going out to
hunt, he whom I love more than my father and my
mother, with whom my thoughts are constantly occupied,
and to whom I would so willingly trust the happiness of
my life! All! all, will I risk to win him—and an
immortal soul! Whilst my sisters are still dancing in
the palace, I will go to the enchantress whom I have
hitherto feared so much, but who is, nevertheless, the
only person who can advise and help me.”

So the little mermaid left the garden, and went to the
foaming whirlpool beyond which dwelt the enchantress.
She had never been this way before—neither flowers nor
sea-grass bloomed along her path; she had to traverse
an extent of bare grey sand till she reached the whirlpool,
whose waters were eddying and whizzing like mill-wheels,
tearing everything they could seize along with them into
the abyss below. She was obliged to make her way
through this horrible place, in order to arrive at the terri-
tory of the enchantress. Then she had to pass through
a boiling, slimy bog, which the enchantress called her
turf-moor: her house stood in a wood beyond this, and
a strange abode it was. All the trees and bushes around
were polypi, looking like hundred-headed serpents shoot-
ing up out of the ground; their branches were long
slimy arms with fingers of worms, every member, from
the root to the uttermost tip, ceaselessly moving and ex-
tending on all sides. Whatever they seized they fastened
upon so that it could not loosen itself from their grasp.
The little mermaid stood still for a minute looking at this
horrible wood; her heart beat with fear, and she would
certainly have returned without attaining her object, had
168 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

she not remembered the prince—and immortality. The
thought gave her new courage; she bound up her long
waving hair, that the polypi might not catch hold of it,
crossing her delicate arms over her bosom, and, swifter
than a fish can glide through the water, she passed these
unseemly trees, who stretched their eager arms after her
in vain. She could not, however, help seeing that every
polypus had something in his grasp, held as firmly by a
thousand little arms as if enclosed by iron bands. The
whitened skeletons of a number of human beings who
had been drowned in the sea, and had sunk into the abyss,
grinned horribly from the arms of these polypi; helms,
chests, skeletons of land animals were also held in their
embrace ; among other things might be seen even a little
mermaid whom they had seized and strangled! What
a fearful sight for the unfortunate princess !

But she got safely through this wood of horrors, and
then arrived at a slimy place, where immense, fat snails
were crawling about, and in the midst of this place stood
a house built of the bones of unfortunate people who had
been shipwrecked. Here sat the witch caressing a toad
in the same manner as some persons would a pet bird.
The ugly fat snails she called her chickens, and she per-
mitted them to crawl about her.

‘I know well what you would ask of me,” said she to
the little princess. ‘‘ Your wish is foolish enough, yet it
shall be fulfilled, though its accomplishment is sure to
bring misfortune on you, my fairest princess. You wish
to get rid of your tail, and to have instead two stilts like
those of human beings, in order that a young prince may
fall in love with you, and that you may obtain an immortal
soul. Is it not so!” Whilst the witch spoke these
words, she laughed so violently that her pet toad and
snails fell from her lap. “You come just at the right
time,” continued she; “had you come after sunset, it
would not have been in my power to have helped you
before another year. I will prepare for you a drink with
THE LITTLE MERMAID 169

which you must swim to land, you must sit down upon
the shore and swallow it, and then your tail will fall and
shrink up to the things which men call legs. This trans-
formation will, however, be very painful; you will feel
as though a sharp knife passed through your body. All
who look on you after you have been thus changed will
say that you are the loveliest child of earth they have
ever seen; you will retain your peculiar undulating
movements, and no dancer will move so lightly, but
every step you take will cause you pain all but unbear-
able; it will seem to you as though you were walking
on the sharp edges of swords, and your blood will flow.
Can you endure all this suffering? If so, I will grant
your request.”

‘** Yes, I will,’’ answered the princess, with a falter-
ing voice; for she remembered her dear prince, and the
immortal soul which her suffering might win.

‘* Only consider,”’ said the witch, ‘‘ that you can never
again become a mermaid, when once you have received a
human form. You may never return to your sisters, and
your father’s palace ; and unless you shall win the prince’s
love to such a degree that he shall leave father and mother
for you, that you shall be mixed up with all his thoughts
and wishes, and unless the priest join your hands, so that
you become man and wife, you will never obtain the
immortality you seek. The morrow of the day on which
he is united to another will see your death; your heart
will break with sorrow, and you will be changed to foam
on the sea.”

“* Still I will venture! ”’ said the little mermaid, pale
and trembling as a dying person.

** Besides all this, I must be paid, and it is no slight
thing that I require for my trouble. Thou hast the
sweetest voice of all the dwellers in the sea, and thou
thinkest by its means to charm the prince; this voice,
however, I demand as my recompense. The best thing

thou possessest I require in exchange for my magic drink;
22
170 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

for I shall be obliged to sacrifice my own blood, in order to
give it the sharpness of a two-edged sword.”

** But if you take my voice from me,”’ said the prin-
cess, ‘‘ what have I left with which to charm the prince ? ”’

“Thy graceful form,’’ replied the witch, “‘ thy modest
gait, and speaking eyes. With such as these, it will be
easy to infatuate a vain human heart. Well now! hast
thou lost courage ? Put out thy little tongue, that I may
cut it off, and take it for myself, in return for my magic
drink.”

‘“* Be it so!’ said the princess, and the witch took up
her caldron, in order to mix her potion. ‘‘ Cleanliness is
a good thing,’? remarked she, as she began to rub the
caldron with a handful of toads and snails. She then
scratched her bosom, and let the black blood trickle
down into the caldron, every moment throwing in new
ingredients, the smoke from the mixture assuming such
horrible forms, as were enough to fill beholders with terror,
and a moaning and groaning proceeding from it, which
might be compared to the weeping of crocodiles. The
magic drink at length became clear and transparent as
pure water; it was ready.

‘“‘ Here it is!’ said the witch to the princess, cutting
out her tongue at the same moment. The poor little
mermaid was now dumb: she could neither sing nor
speak.

““ If the polypi should attempt to seize you, as you pass
through my little grove,’”’ said the witch, ‘‘ you have only
to sprinkle some of this magic drink over them, and their
arms will burst into a thousand pieces.” But the prin-
cess had no need of this counsel, for the polypi drew hastily
back, as soon as they perceived the bright phial, that
glittered in her hand like a star; thus she passed safely
through the formidable wood over the moor, and across
the foaming mill-stream.

She now looked once again at her father’s palace ;
the lamps in the saloon were extinguished, and all the
THE LITTLE MERMAID 171

family were asleep. She would not go in, for she could
not speak if she did ; she was about to leave her home for
ever; her heart was ready to break with sorrow at the
thought; she stole into the garden, plucked a flower
from the bed of each of her sisters as a remembrance,
kissed her hand again and again, and then rose through
the dark blue waters to the world above.

The sun had not yet risen when she arrived at the
prince’s dwelling, and ascended those well-known marble
steps. The moon still shone in the sky when the little
mermaid drank off the wonderful liquid contained in her
phial. She felt it run through her like a sharp knife, and
she fell down in a swoon. When the sun rose, she awoke ;
and felt a burning pain in all her limbs, but—she saw
standing close to her the object of her love, the handsome
young prince, whose coal-black eyes were fixed inquir-
ingly upon her. Full of shame she cast down her own,
and perceived, instead of the long fish-like tail she had
hitherto borne, two slender legs ; but she was quite naked,
and tried in vain to cover herself with her long thick hair.
The prince asked who she was, and how she had got there ;
and she, in reply, smiled and gazed upon him with her
bright blue eyes, for alas! she could not speak. He then
led her by the hand into the palace. She found that the
witch had told her true—she felt as though she were walk-
ing on the edges of sharp swords, but she bore the pain
willingly ; on she passed, light as a zephyr, and all who
saw her wondered at her light, undulating movements.

When she entered the palace, rich clothes of muslin
and silk were brought to her; she was lovelier than all
who dwelt there, but she could neither speak nor sing.
Some female slaves, gaily dressed in silk and gold brocade,
sang before the prince and his royal parents; and one
of them distinguished herself by her clear sweet voice,
which the prince applauded by clapping his hands. This
made the little mermaid very sad, for she knew that she
used to sing far better than the young slave. “Alas!”
172 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

thought she, ‘‘if he did but know that, for his sake, I
have given away my voice for ever.”

The slaves began to dance; our lovely little mer-
maiden then arose, stretched out her delicate white arms,
and hovered gracefully about the room. Every motion —
displayed more and more the perfect symmetry and
elegance of her figure; and the expression which beamed
in her speaking eyes touched the hearts of the spectators
far more than the song of the slaves.

All present were enchanted, but especially the young
prince, who called her his dear little foundling. And she
danced again and again, although every step cost her
excessive pain. The prince then said she should always
be with him; and accordingly a sleeping-place was pre-
pared for her on velvet cushions in the anteroom of
his own apartment.

The prince caused a suit of male apparel to be made
for her, in order that she might accompany him in his
rides; so together they traversed the fragrant woods,
where green boughs brushed against their shoulders, and
the birds sang merrily among the fresh leaves. With
him she climbed up steep mountains, and although her
tender feet bled, so as to be remarked by the attendants,
she only smiled, and followed her dear prince to the
heights, whence they could see the clouds chasing each
other beneath them, like a flock of birds migrating to
other countries.

During the night she would, when all in the palace were
at rest, walk down the marble steps, in order to cool her
feet in the deep waters; she would then think of those
beloved ones who dwelt in the lower world.

One night, as she was thus bathing her feet, her sisters
swam together to the spot, arm in arm and singing, but
alas! so mournfully! She beckoned to them, and they
immediately recognized her, and told her how great was
the mourning in her father’s house for her loss. From
this time the sisters visited her every night; and once
THE LITTLE MERMAID 173

they brought with them the old grandmother, who had
not seen the upper world for a great many years; they
likewise brought their father, the Mer-king, with his
crown on his head; but these two old people did not
venture near enough to land to be able to speak to her.

The little mermaiden became dearer and dearer to the
prince every day ; but he only looked upon her as a sweet
gentle child, and the thought of making her his wife never
entered his head. And yet his wife she must be, ere she
could receive an immortal soul; his wife she must be, or
she would change into foam, and be driven restlessly over
the billows of the sea!



MANY AN EVENING SHE ROSE TO THE PLACE

“Dost thou not love me above all others ? ” her eyes
seemed to ask, as he pressed her fondly in his arms, and
kissed her lovely brow.

‘ Ves,” the prince would say, ‘‘ thou art dearer to me
than any other, for no one is as good as thou art! Thou
lovest me so much ; and thou art so like a young maiden
whom I have seen but once, and may never see again. I
was on board a ship, which was wrecked by a sudden
tempest ; the waves threw me on the shore, near a holy
temple, where a number of young girls are occupied con-
stantly with religious services. The youngest of them
found me on the shore, and saved my life. I saw her only
174 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

once, but her image is vividly impressed upon my memory,
and her alone can I love. But she belongs to the holy
temple; and thou who resemblest her so much hast been
given to me for consolation ; never will we be parted!”

“ Alas! he does not know that it was I who saved his
life,” thought the little mermaiden, sighing deeply; ‘I
bore him over the wild waves, into the wooded bay, where
the holy temple stood; I sat behind the rocks, waiting
till some one should come. I saw the pretty maiden
approach, whom he loves more than me ’’—and again she
heaved a deep sigh, for she could not weep. ‘“‘ He said
that the young girl belongs to the holy temple; she never
comes out into the world, so they cannot meet each other
again—and I am always with him, see him daily; I will
love him, and devote my whole life to him.”

“So the prince is going to be married to the beautiful
daughter of the neighbouring king,” said the courtiers,
“that is why he is having that splendid ship fitted out.
It is announced that he wishes to travel, but in reality
he goes to see the princess; a numerous retinue will
accompany him.” The little mermaiden smiled at these
and similar conjectures, for she knew the prince’s in-
tentions better than anyone else.

“I must go,” he said to her, ‘‘ Imust see the beautiful
princess ; my parents require me to do so; but they will
not compel me to marry her, and bring her home as my
bride. And it is quite impossible for me to love her, for
she cannot be so like the beautiful girl in the temple as
thou art ; and if I were obliged to choose, I should prefer
thee, my little silent foundling, with the speaking eyes.”
_ And he kissed her rosy lips, played with her locks, and
folded her in his arms, whereupon arose in her heart a
sweet vision of human happiness and immortal bliss.

“Thou art not afraid of the sea, art thou, my sweet
silent child ? ” asked he tenderly, as they stood together
in the splendid ship, which was to take them to the coun-
try of the neighbouring king. And then he told her of
THE LITTLE MERMAID 175

the storms that sometimes agitate the waters; of the
strange fishes that inhabit the deep, and of the wonderful
things seen by divers. But she smiled at his words, for
she knew better than any child of earth what went on in
the depths of the ocean.

At night-time, when the moon shone brightly, and when
all on board were fast asleep, she sat in the ship’s gallery,
looking down into the sea. It seemed to her, as she gazed
through the foamy track made by the ship’s keel, that she
saw her father’s palace, and her grandmother’s silver
crown. She then saw her sisters rise out of the water,
looking sorrowful and stretching out their hands towards
her. She nodded to them, smiled, and would have ex-
plained that everything was going on quite according
to her wishes; but just then the cabin boy approached
upon which the sisters plunged beneath the water so
suddenly that the boy thought what he had seen on the
waves was nothing but foam.

The next morning the ship entered the harbour of the
king’s splendid capital. Bells were rung, trumpets
sounded, and soldiers marched in procession through
the city, with waving banners, and glittering bayonets.
Every day witnessed some new entertainments, balls
and parties followed each other; the princess, however,
was not yet in the town; she had been sent to a distant
convent for education, and had there been taught the
practice of all royal virtues. At last she arrived at the
palace.

The little mermaid had been anxious to see this
unparalleled princess; and she was now obliged to
confess that she had never before seen so beautiful a
creature. ;

The skin of the princess was so white and delicate
that the veins might be seen through it, and her dark
eyes sparkled beneath a pair of finely formed eye-
brows.

** It is herself ! ’? exclaimed the prince, when they met,
176 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

‘it is she who saved my life, when I lay like a corpse on
the sea-shore ! ’’ and he pressed his blushing bride to his
beating heart.

“Oh, I am all too happy!” said he to his dumb
foundling. ‘‘ What I never dared to hope for has come to
pass. Thou must rejoice in my happiness, for thou lovest
me more than all others who surround me.’’—And the
little mermaid kissed his hand in silent sorrow; it seemed
to her as if her heart was breaking already, although the
morrow of his marriage-day, which must inevitably see
her death, had not yet dawned.

Again rung the church-bells, whilst heralds rode
through the streets of the capital, to announce the
approaching bridal. Odorous flames burned in silver
candlesticks on all the altars; the priests swung their
golden censers ; and bride and bridegroom joined hands,
whilst the holy words that united them were spoken.
The little mermaid, clad in silk and cloth of gold, stood
behind the princess, and held the train of the bridal
dress; but her ear heard nothing of the solemn music ;
her eye saw not the holy ceremony; she remembered
her approaching end, she remembered that she had lost
both this world and the next.

That very same evening bride and bridegroom went on
board the ship ; cannons were fired, flags waved with the
breeze, and in the centre of the deck stood a magnificent
pavilion of purple and cloth of gold, fitted up with the
richest and softest couches. Here the princely pair were
to spend the night. A favourable wind swelled the sails,
and the ship glided lightly over the blue waters.

As soon as it was dark, coloured lamps were hung out
and dancing began on the deck. The little mermaid was
thus involuntarily reminded of what she had seen the
first time she rose to the upper world. The spectacle
that now presented itself was equally splendid—and she
was obliged to join in the dance, hovering lightly as a
bird over the ship boards. All applauded her, for never








WHEN THE SUN AROSE SHE AWOKE

23
178 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

had she danced with more enchanting grace. Her little
feet suffered extremely, but she no longer felt the pain ;
the anguish her heart suffered was much greater. It
was the last evening she might see him, for whose sake she
had forsaken her home and all her family, had given away
her beautiful voice, and suffered daily the most violent
pain—all without his having the least suspicion of it.
It was the last evening that she might breathe the same
atmosphere in which he, the beloved one, lived; the
last evening when she might behold the deep blue sea,
and the starry heavens—an eternal night, in which she
might neither think nor dream, awaited her. And all
was joy in the ship ; and she, her heart filled with thoughts
of death and annihilation, smiled and danced with the
others, till past midnight. Then the prince kissed his
lovely bride, and arm in arm they entered the magnificent
tent prepared for their repose.

All was now still; the steersman alone stood at the
ship’s helm. The little mermaid leaned her white arms
on the gallery, and looked towards the east, watching for
the dawn; she well knew that the first sunbeam would
witness her dissolution. She saw her sisters rise out of
the sea; deadly pale were their features; and their long
hair no more fluttered over their shoulders, it had all
been cut off.

‘* We have given it to the witch,” said they, “‘ to induce
her to help thee, so that thou mayest not die. She has
given to us a penknife: here it is! Before the sun
rises, thou must plunge it into the prince’s heart; and
when his warm blood trickles down upon thy feet they will
again be changed to a fish-like tail; thou wilt once more
become a mermaid, and wilt live thy full three hundred
years, ere thou changest to foam on the sea. But hasten!
either he or thou must die before sunrise. Our aged
mother mourns for thee so much her grey hair has fallen
off through sorrow, as ours fell before the scissors of the
witch. Kill the prince, and come down to us! Hasten!
THE LITTLE MERMAID 179

hasten! dost thou not see the red streaks on the eastern
sky, announcing the near approach of the sun? A few
minutes more and he rises, and then all will be over with
thee.” At these words they sighed deeply and vanished.

The little mermaid drew aside the purple curtains of
the pavilion, where lay the bride and bridegroom ; bending
over them, she kissed the prince’s forehead, and then
glancing at the sky, she saw that the dawning light became
every moment brighter. The prince’s lips unconsciously
murmured the name of his bride—he was dreaming of her,
and her only, whilst the fatal penknife trembled in the
hand of the unhappy mermaid. All at once, she threw
far out into the sea that instrument of death; the
waves rose like bright blazing flames around, and the
water where it fell seemed tinged with blood. With eyes
fast becoming dim and fixed, she looked once more at
her beloved prince; then plunged from the ship into
the sea, and felt her body slowly but surely dissolving
into foam.

The sun rose from his watery bed; his beams fell so
softly and warmly upon her, that our little mermaid was
scarcely sensible of dying. She still saw the glorious
sun; and over her head hovered a thousand beautiful,
- transparent forms; she could still distinguish the white
sails of the ship, and the bright red clouds in the sky ; the
voices of those airy creatures above her had a melody so
sweet and soothing, that a human ear would be as little
able to catch the sound as her eye was capable of dis-
tinguishing their forms; they hovered around her with-
out wings, borne by their own lightness through the air.
The little mermaid at last saw that she had a body as
transparent as theirs; and felt herself raised gradually
from the foam of the sea to higher regions.

‘“‘Where are they taking me?” asked she, and her
words sounded just like the voices of those heavenly
beings.

“* Speak you to the daughters of air ?” was the answer.
180 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

“The mermaid has no immortal soul, and can only acquire
that heavenly gift by winning the love of one of the sons
of men; her immortality depends upon union with man.
Neither do the daughters of air possess immortal souls,
but they can acquire them by their own good deeds. We
fly to hot countries, where the children of earth are sinking
under sultry pestilential breezes—our fresh cooling breath
revives them. We diffuse ourselves through the atmos-
phere; we perfume it with the delicious fragrance of
flowers; and thus spread delight and health over the
earth. By doing good in this manner for three hundred
years, we win immortality, and receive a share of the
eternal bliss of human beings. And thou, poor little
mermaid ! who, following the impulse of thine own heart,
hast done and suffered so much, thou art now raised to
the airy world of spirits, that by performing deeds of
kindness for three hundred years, thou mayest acquire an
immortal soul.”

The little mermaid stretched out her transparent
arms to the sun; and, for the first time in her life, tears
moistened her eyes.

And now again all were awake and rejoicing in the
ship; she saw the prince, with his pretty bride; they
had missed her; they looked sorrowfully down on the
foamy waters, as if they knew she had plunged into the
sea; unseen she kissed the bridegroom’s forehead, smiled
upon him, and then, with the rest of the children of air,
soared high above the rosy cloud which was sailing so
peacefully over the ship.

** After three hundred years we shall fly in the kingdom
of Heaven!”

“We may arrive there even sooner,” whispered one
of her sisters. ‘‘ We fly invisibly through the dwellings of
men, where there are children; and whenever we find a
good child, who gives pleasure to his parents and deserves
their love, the good God shortens our time of probation.
No child is aware that we are flitting about his room,


WITH THE REST OF THE CHILDREN OF AIR, SOARED HIGH ABOVE THE
ROSY CLOUD
2

b
i
ed
ie uy
i


THE LITTLE MERMAID 183

and that whenever joy draws from us a smile, a year is
struck out of our three hundred. But when we see a rude
naughty child, we weep bitter tears of sorrow, and every
tear we shed adds a day to our time of probation.”


WEE

AIR



FATHER-STORK
THE STORKS

On the roof of a house situated at the extremity of a
small town, a stork had built his nest. There sat the
mother-stork, with her four young ones, who all stretched
out their little black bills, which had not yet become
red. Not far off, upon the parapet, erect and proud,
stood the father-stork; he had drawn one of his legs
under him, being weary of standing on two. You might
have fancied him carved in wood, he stood so motionless.
‘Tt looks so grand,” thought he, “‘ for my wife to have a
sentinel to keep guard over her nest ; people cannot know
that I am her husband; they will certainly think that I
am commanded to stand here—how well it looks!” and
so he remained standing on one leg.

In the street below, a number of children were playing
together. When they saw the storks, one of the liveliest
amongst them began to sing as much as he could remember
of some old rhymes about storks, in which he was soon
joined by the others:

** Stork! stork! long-legged stork !
-Into thy nest I prithee walk ;
There sits thy mate,

With her four children so great.
The first we'll hang like a cat,
The second we'll burn,

The third on a spit we’ll turn,
The fourth drown dead as a rat!”

** Only listen to what the boys are singing,”’ said the
little storks ; ‘‘ they say we shall be hanged and burnt! ”
‘* Never mind,” said the mother, ‘‘ don’t listen to them ;
they will do you no harm.”
185 2
186 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

But the boys went on singing, and pointed their fingers
at the storks; only one little boy, called Peter, said “‘ it
was a sin to mock and tease animals, and that he would
have nothing-to do with it.”

The mother-stork again tried to comfort her little ones.
““ Never mind,” said she; “see how composedly your
father is standing there, and upon one leg only.”

“But we are so frightened!” said the young ones,
drawing their heads down into the nest.

The next day, when the children were again assembled
to play together, and saw the storks, they again began their
song :

“The first we'll hang like a cat,
The second we’ll burn!”

“* And are we really to be hanged and burnt ?” asked
the young storks.

*““ No, indeed!” said the mother. ‘* You shall learn to
fly : I will teach you myself. Then we can fly over to the
meadow, and pay a visit to the frogs. They will bow to us
in the water, and say, ‘ Croak, croak!’ and then we shall
eat them; will not that be nice?”

““ And what then?” asked the little storks.

“ Then all the storks in the country will gather together,
and the autumnal exercise will begin. It is of the greatest
consequence that you should fly well then; for every one
who does not, the general will stab to death with his bill ;
so you must pay great attention when we begin to drill
you, and learn very quickly.”

“Then we shall really be killed after all, as the boys
said? Oh, listen! they are singing it again!”

“ Attend to me, and not to them!” said the mother.
“* After the grand exercise, we shall fly to warm countries,
far, far away from here, over mountains and forests. We
shall fly to Egypt, where are the three-cornered stone
houses whose summits reach the clouds; they are called
pyramids, and are older than it is possible for storks to
THE STORKS 187

imagine. There is a river too, which overflows its banks,
so as to make the whole country like a marsh, and we shall
go into the marsh and eat frogs.”

“Oh!” said the young ones.

“Ves, it is delightful! one does nothing but eat all
the day long. And whilst we are so comfortable, in this
country not a single green leaf is left on the trees, and it is
so cold that the clouds are frozen, and fall down upon
the earth in little white pieces.’—She meant snow, but
she could not express herself more clearly.

*“* And will the naughty boys be frozen to pieces too?”
asked the young storks.

‘No, they will not be frozen to pieces ; but they will be
nearly as badly off as if they were; they will be obliged to
crowd round the fire in their little dark rooms ; while you,
on the contrary, will be flying about in foreign lands,
where there are beautiful flowers and warm sunshine.”

Well, time passed away, and the young storks grew so
tall, that when they stood upright in the nest they could
see the country around to a great distance. The father-
stork used to bring them every day the nicest little frogs,
as well as snails, and all the other stork tit-bits he could
find. Oh! it was so droll to see him show them his
tricks; he would lay his head upon his tail, make a
rattling noise with his bill, and then tell them such charm-
ing stories all about the moors.

‘““Now you must learn to fly!” said the mother one
day; and accordingly, all the four young storks were
obliged to come out upon the parapet. Oh, how they
trembled! And though they balanced themselves on
their wings, they were very near falling.

‘* Only look at me,” said the mother. ‘‘ This is the
way you must hold your heads; and in this manner place
your feet—one, two! one, two! this will help you to get
on.” She flew a little way, and the young ones made an
awkward spring after her—bounce! down they fell; for
their bodies were heavy.

=
188 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

“T will not fly,” said one of the young ones, as he
crept back into the nest. ‘I do not want to go into the
warm countries!”

‘Do you want to be frozen to death during the winter ?
Shall the boys come, and hang, burn, or roast you? Wait
a little, I will call them!”

“Oh no!’ said the little stork; and again he began



“stork! sToRK! LONG-LEGGED STORK! ”?

to hop about on the roof like the others. By the third
day they could fly pretty well, and so they thought
they could also sit and take their ease in the air; but
bounce ! down they tumbled, and found themselves obliged
to make use of their wings. The boys now came into the
street, singing their favourite song—

“ Stork ! stork! long-legged stork!”
THE STORKS 189

‘Shall not we fly down and peck out their eyes?”
said the young ones.

‘No, leave them alone!” said the mother. “ Attend
to me, that is of much more importance !—one, two, three,
now to the right !—one, two, three, now to the left, round
the chimney-pot! That was very well; you managed
your wings so neatly last time, that I will permit you to
come with me to-morrow to the marsh: several first-
rate stork families will be there with their children.
Let it be said that mine are the prettiest and best behaved
of all; and remember to stand very upright, and to
throw out your chest; that looks well, and gives such
an air of distinction!”

‘But are we not to take revenge upon those rude
boys ?”’ asked the young ones.

“Let them screech as much as they please! You
will fly among the clouds, you will go to the land of the
pyramids, when they must shiver with cold, and have
not a single green leaf to look at, nor a single sweet apple
to eat!”

‘Yes, we shall be revenged !’? whispered they one to
another. And then they were drilled again.

Of all the boys in the town, the forwardest in singing
nonsensical verses was always the same one who had
begun teasing the storks, a little urchin not more than
six years old. The young storks indeed fancied him a
hundred years old, because he was bigger than either
their father or mother, and what should they know
about the ages of children, or grown-up human beings !
All their schemes of revenge were aimed at this little
boy; he had been the first to tease them, and continued
to do so. The young storks were highly excited about it,
and the older they grew, the less they were inclined to
endure persecution. Their mother, in order to pacify
them, at last promised that they should be revenged,
but not until the last day of their stay in this place.

‘* We must first see how you behave yourselves at the
190 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES



AND FETCH ONE FOR
EACH OF THE BOYS

grand exercise; if then you should
fly badly, and the general should
thrust his beak into your breast,
the boys will, in some measure, be
proved in the right. Let me see
how well you will behave!”

““Yes, that you shall!” said the
young ones. And now they really
took great pains, practised every
day, and at last flew so lightly and
prettily, that it was a pleasure to
see them.

Well, now came the autumn.
All the storks assembled, in order
to fly together to warm countries
for the winter. What a practising
there was! Away they went over
woods and fields, towns and vil-
lages, merely to see how well they
could fly, for they had a long
journey before them. The young
storks distinguished themselves so
honourably that they were pro-
nounced “worthy of frogs and
serpents.”” This was the highest

character they could obtain; now

they were allowed to eat frogs and
serpents, and accordingly they did
eat them.

‘“Now we will have our re-
venge !”’ said they.

‘“* Very well!” said the mother ;
** T have been thinking what will be
the best. I know where the pool
is in which all the little human
children lie until the storks come
and take them to their parents:
WE WILL BRING HIM TWO LITTLE ONES, A BROTHER AND A SISTER



THE STORKS 193

the pretty little things sleep and dream so pleasantly as
they will never dream again. All parents like to have a
little child, and all children like to have a little brother
or sister. We will fly to the pool and fetch one for
each of the boys who has not sung that wicked song,
nor made a jest of the storks; and the other naughty
children shall have none.”

‘“‘But he who first sung those naughty rhymes! that
great ugly fellow! what shall we do to him?” cried the
young storks.

“‘In the pool there lies a little child who has dreamed
away his life; we will take it for him, and he will weep
because he has only a little dead brother. But as to the
good boy who said it was a sin to mock and tease animals,
surely you have not forgotten him? We will bring him
two little ones, a brother and a sister. And as this little
boy’s name is Peter, you too shall for the future be called
pee rena ins

And it came to pass just as the mother said; and all
the storks were called ‘‘ Peter,” and are still so called to
this very day.

25


“on! HOW PRETTY THAT 18!’? HE WOULD SAY
THE NIGHTINGALE

In China, as you well know, the Emperor is Chinese,
and all around him are Chinese also. Now what I am
about to relate happened many years ago, but even on
that very account it is the more important that you
should hear the story now, before it is forgotten.

The Emperor’s palace was the most magnificent palace
in the world; it was made entirely of fine porcelain,
exceedingly costly ; but at the same time so brittle, that
it was dangerous even to touch it.

The choicest flowers were to be seen in the garden ;
and to the most splendid of all these little silver bells
were fastened, in order that their tinkling might prevent
anyone from passing by without noticing them. Yes!
everything in the Emperor’s garden was excellently well
arranged; and the garden extended so far, that even
the gardener did not know the end of it; whoever
walked beyond it, however, came to a beautiful wood,
with very high trees; and beyond that, to the sea. The
wood went down quite to the sea, which was very deep
and blue; large ships could sail close under the
branches; and among the branches dwelt a nightingale
who sang so sweetly, that even the poor fisherman, who
had so much else to do, when he came out at night-
time to cast his nets, would stand still and listen to her
song. ‘Oh! how pretty that is!’ he would say—but
then he was obliged to mind his work, and forget the
bird; yet the following night, if again the nightingale
sang, and the fisherman came out, again he would say,
“Oh! how pretty that is!”

195
196 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Travellers came from all parts of the world to the
Emperor’s city; and they admired the city, the palace,
and the garden; but if they heard the nightingale, they
all said, “‘ This is the best.’”” And they talked about
her after they went home, and learned men wrote books
about the city, the palace, and the garden; nor did
they forget the nightingale: she was extolled above
everything else; and poets wrote the most beautiful
verses about the nightingale of the wood near the sea.

These books went round the world, and one of them
at last reached the Emperor. He was sitting in his golden
arm-chair; he read and read, and nodded his head every
moment; for these splendid descriptions of the city, the
palace, and the garden pleased him greatly. “ But the
nightingale is the best of all,” was written in the book.

‘“‘ What in the world is this?’ said the Emperor.
“The nightingale! I do not know it at all! Can there
be such a bird in my empire, in my garden even, without
my having even heard of it? Truly one may learn
something from books.”

So he called his Cavalier; now this was so grand a
personage, that no one of inferior rank might speak to
him; and if one did venture to ask him a question,
his only answer was ‘“‘ Pish!” which has no particular
meaning.

“There is said to be a very remarkable bird here,
called the nightingale,’? said the Emperor; “her song,
they say, is worth more than anything else in all my
dominions ; why has no one ever told me of her?”

“TI have never before heard her mentioned,” said
the Cavalier; ‘‘ she has never been presented at court.”

‘“‘ T wish her to come and sing before me this evening,”’
said the Emperor. “The whole world knows what I
have, and I do not know it myself!”

‘“*T have never before heard her mentioned,’ said
the Cavalier, ‘‘ but I will seek her, I will find her.”

1Gentleman in waiting.
THE NIGHTINGALE 197

But where was she to be found? The Cavalier ran up
one flight of steps, down another, through halls, and
through passages; not one of all whom he met had ever
heard of the nightingale; and the Cavalier returned to
the Emperor, and said, ‘‘ It must certainly be an invention
of the man who wrote the book. Your Imperial Majesty
must not believe all that is written in books; much in
them is pure invention, and there is what is called the
Black Art.”

“But the book in which I have read it,” said the
Emperor, “ was sent me by the high and mighty Emperor
of Japan, and therefore it cannot be untrue. I wish
to hear the nightingale; she must be here this evening,
and if she do not come, after supper the whole court
shall be flogged.”

“Tsing-pe!”? said the Cavalier; and again he ran
upstairs, and downstairs, through halls, and through
passages, and half the court ran with him; for not one
would have relished the flogging. Many were the questions
asked respecting the wonderful nightingale, whom the
whole world talked of, and about whom no one at court
knew anything.

At last they met a poor little girl in the kitchen, who
said, “Oh yes! the nightingale! I know her very well.
Oh! how she can sing! Every evening I carry the
fragments left at table to my poor sick mother. She
lives by the sea-shore ; and when I am coming back, and
stay to rest a little in the wood, I hear the nightingale
sing; it makes the tears come into my eyes! it is just
as if my mother kissed me.”

“Little kitchen maiden,” said the Cavalier, “I will
procure for you a sure appointment in the kitchen,
together with permission to see His Majesty the Emperor
dine, if you will conduct us to the nightingale, for she is
expected at court this evening.”

So they went together to the wood, where the nightin-
gale was accustomed to sing; and half the court went
198 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

with them. Whilst on their way, a cow began to low.

‘““Oh!” said the court pages, ‘““now we have her!
It is certainly an extraordinary voice for so small an
animal; surely I have heard it somewhere before.”

‘“* No, those are cows you hear lowing,” said the little
kitchen-maid, “we are still far from the place.”

The frogs were now croaking in the pond.

“That is famous!” said the chief court-preacher,
“now I hear her ; it sounds just like little church-bells.”

‘““No, those are frogs,” said the little kitchen-maid,
“but now I think we shall soon hear her.”

Then began the nightingale to sing.

“* There she is!’ said the little girl. ‘* Listen! listen!
there she sits,”’ and she pointed to a little grey bird up in —
the branches.

““Is it possible?” said the Cavalier. ‘I should not
have thought it. How simple she looks! she must
certainly have changed colour at the sight of so many
distinguished personages.”

“Little nightingale!” called out the kitchen-maid,
“our gracious Emperor wishes you to sing something to
him.”

“With the greatest pleasure,”’ said the nightingale,
and she sang in such a manner that it was delightful to
hear her.

“It sounds like glass bells,”’ said the Cavalier. ‘ And
look at her little throat, how it moves! It is singular
that we should never have heard her before; she will
have great success at court.”

“Shall I sing again to the Emperor?” asked the
nightingale, for she thought the Emperor was among
them.

‘Most excellent nightingale!” said the Cavalier, “I
have the honour toinvite you to a court festival, which is
to take place this evening, when His Imperial Majesty
will be enchanted with your delightful song.”

“My song would sound far better among the green


THEN BEGAN THE NIGHTINGALE TO SING

THE NIGHTINGALE 201

trees,” said the nightingale; however, she followed
willingly when she heard that the Emperor wished it.

There was a regular trimming and polishing at the
palace; the walls and the floors, which were all of porce-
lain, glittered with a thousand gold lamps; the loveliest
flowers, with the merriest tinkling bells, were placed in
the passages; there was a running to and fro, which
made all the bells to ring, so that one could not hear
his own words.



AMONG THE BRANCHES DWELT A NIGHTINGALE

In the midst of the grand hall where the Emperor
sat, a golden perch was erected, on which the nightingale
was to sit. The whole court was present, and the little
kitchen-maid received permission to stand behind the
door, for she had now actually the rank and title of
‘Maid of the Kitchen.” All were dressed out in their
finest clothes; and all eyes were fixed upon the little
grey bird, to whom the Emperor nodded as a signal for
her to begin.

And the nightingale sang so sweetly, that tears came

26
202 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

into the Emperor’s eyes, tears rolled down his cheeks;
and the nightingale sang more sweetly still, and touched
the hearts of all who heard her; and the Emperor was
so merry, that he said, ‘“‘ The nightingale should have his
golden slippers, and wear them round her neck.” But
the nightingale thanked him, and said she was already
sufficiently rewarded. —

‘“‘T have seen tears in the Emperor’s eyes; that is the
greatest reward I can have. The tears of an Emperor
have a particular value. Heaven knows I am sufficiently
rewarded.” And then she sang again with her sweet,
lovely voice.

“It is the most amiable coquetry ever known,” said
the ladies present; and they put water into their mouths,
and tried to move their throats as she did when they
spoke; they thought to become nightingales also. Indeed
even the footmen and chamber-maids declared that
they were quite contented; which was a great thing to
say, for of all people they are the most difficult to satisfy.
Yes indeed ! the nightingale’s success was complete. She
was now to remain at court, to have her own cage; with
permission to fly out twice in the day, and once in the
night. Twelve attendants were allotted her, who were
to hold a silken band, fastened round her foot ; and they
kept good hold. There was no pleasure in excursions
made in this manner.

All the city was talking of the wonderful bird; and
when two persons met, one would say only “ night,” and
the other “ gale,” and then they sighed, and understood
each other perfectly ; indeed eleven of the children of the
citizens were named after the nightingale, but none of them
had her tones in their throats.

One day a large parcel arrived for the Emperor, on
which was written ‘“‘ Nightingale.”

*“ Here we have another new book about our far-famed
bird,” said the Emperor. But it was not a book; it was
a little piece of mechanism, lying in a box; an artificial


TUEY ADMIRED THE CITY, TUE PALACE, AND THE GARDEN
204 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

nightingale, which was intended to look like the living one,
but was covered all over with diamonds, rubies, and
sapphires. When this artificial bird had been wound up,
it could sing one of the tunes that the real nightingale
sang; and its tail, all glittering with silver and gold,
went up and down all the time. A little band was fastened
round its neck, on which was written, ‘“‘ The nightingale of
the Emperor of China is poor compared with the nightin-
gale of the Emperor of Japan.”

“That is famous!” said every one; and he who had
brought the bird obtained the title of ‘‘ Chief Imperial
Nightingale Bringer.” ‘‘ Now they shall sing together ;
we will have a duet.”

And so they must sing together; but it did not suc-
ceed, for the real nightingale sang in her own way, and the
artificial bird produced its tones by wheels. ‘It is not
his fault,” said the artist, ‘“ he keeps exact time and quite
according to method.”

So the artificial bird must now sing alone; he was
quite as successful as the real nightingale; and then he
was so much prettier to look at ; his plumage sparkled like
jewels.

Three and thirty times he sang one and the same
tune, and yet he was not weary ; every one would willingly
have heard him again ; however, the Emperor now wished
the real nightingale should sing something—but where was
she? No one had remarked that she had flown out of the
open window; flown away to her own green wood.

“What is the meaning of this?” said the Emperor ;
and all the courtiers abused the nightingale, and called
her a most ungrateful creature. ‘‘ We have the best
bird at all events,” said they, and for the four and thirtieth
time they heard the same tune, but still they did not
quite know it, because it was so difficult. The artist
praised the bird inordinately ; indeed he declared it was
superior to the real nightingale, not only in its exterior,
all sparkling with diamonds, but also intrinsically.


THE KITCHEN-MAID
206 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

** For see, my.noble lords, his Imperial Majesty especi-
ally, with the real nightingale, one could never reckon on
what was coming; but everything is settled with the
artificial bird ; he will sing in this one way, and no other:
this can be proved, he can be taken to pieces, and the
works can be shown, where the wheels lie, how they move,
and how one follows from another.”

“That is just what I think,” said everybody ; and the
artist received permission to show the bird to the people
on the following Sunday. ‘‘ They too should hear him
sing,” the Emperor said. So they heard him, and were
as well pleased if they had all been drinking tea; for it is
tea that makes Chinese merry, and they all said oh!
and raised their fore-fingers, and nodded their heads.
But the fisherman, who had heard the real nightingale,
said, ‘‘ It sounds very pretty, almost like the real bird ;
but yet there is something wanting, I do not know what.”

The real nightingale was, however, banished the empire.

The artificial bird had his place on a silken cushion,
close to the Emperor’s bed; all the presents he received,
gold and precious stones, lay around him; he had obtained
the rank and title of ‘‘ High Imperial Dessert Singer,’
and, therefore, his place was number one on the left
side; for the Emperor thought that the side where the
heart was situated must be the most honourable, and the
heart is situated on the left side of an Emperor, as well as
with other folks.

And the artist wrote five and twenty volumes about the
artificial bird, with the longest and most difficult words
that are to be found in the Chinese language. So, of
course, all said they had read and understood them,
otherwise they would have been stupid, and perhaps
would have been flogged.

Thus it went on for a year. The Emperor, the court,
and all the Chinese knew every note of the artificial
bird’s song by heart; but that was the very reason
they enjoyed it so much, they could now sing with him.
THE NIGHTINGALE 207

The little boys in the street sang ‘* Zizizi, cluck, cluck,
cluck !’? and the Emperor himself sang too—yes indeed,
that was charming !

But one evening, when the bird was in full voice,
and the Emperor lay in bed, and listened, there was
suddenly a noise, ‘‘ bang,” inside the bird, then something
sprang “‘ fur-r-r-r,”’ all the wheels were running about, and
the music stopped.

The Emperor jumped quickly out of bed, and had his
chief physician called; but of what use could he be?
Then a clockmaker was fetched, and at last, after a great
deal of discussion and consultation, the bird was in some
measure put to rights again; but the clockmaker said he
must be spared much singing, for the pegs were almost
worn out, and it was impossible to renew them, at least
so that the music should be correct.

There was great lamentation, for now the artificial bird
was allowed to sing only once a year, and even then there
were difficulties ; however, the artist made a short speech
full of his favourite long words, and said the bird was
as good as ever: so then, of course, it was as good as
ever.

When five years were passed away, a great affliction
visited the whole empire, for in their hearts the people
thought highly of their Emperor; and now he was ill,
and it was reported that he could not live. Anew Emperor
had already been chosen, and the people stood in the
street, outside the palace, and asked the Cavalier how the
Emperor was ?

**Pish !”? said he, and shook his head.

Cold and pale lay the Emperor in his magnificent bed ;
all the court believed him to be already dead, and every
one had hastened away to greet the new Emperor; the
men ran out for a little gossip on the subject, and the
maids were having a grand coffee-party.

The floors of all the rooms and passages were covered
with cloth, in order that not a step should be heard—it
208 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

was everywhere so still! so still! But the Emperor was
not yet dead; stiff and pale he lay in his splendid bed,
with the long velvet curtains, and heavy gold tassels. A
window was opened above, and the moon shone down on
the Emperor and the artificial bird.



THE CHIEF IMPERIAL NIGHTINGALE BRINGER

The poor Emperor could scarcely breathe; it appeared
to him as though something was sitting on his chest; he
opened his eyes, and saw that it was Death, who had put
on the Emperor’s crown, and with one hand held the
golden scimitar, with the other the splendid imperial
banner; whilst, from under the folds of the thick velvet
THE NIGHTINGALE _ 209

hangings, the strangest-looking heads were seen peering
forth; some with an expression absolutely hideous, and
others with an extremely gentle and lovely aspect.
they were the bad and good deeds of the Emperor, which
were now all fixing their eyes upon him, whilst Death sat
on his heart.

“Dost thou know this?” they whispered one after
another. ‘‘ Dost thou remember that?” And _ they
began reproaching him in such a manner that the sweat
broke out upon his forehead.

“TI have never known anything like it,” said the
Emperor. ‘‘ Music, music, the great Chinese drum!”
cried he; “‘let me not hear what they are saying.”

They went on, however; and Death, quite in the
Chinese fashion, nodded his head to every word.

“Music, music!’ cried the Emperor. ‘‘ Thou dear
little artificial bird ! sing, I pray thee, sing !—I have given
thee gold and precious stones, I have even hung my
golden slippers round thy neck—sing, I pray thee, sing!”

But the bird was silent; there was no one there to
wind him up, and he could not sing without this. Death
continued to stare at the Emperor with his great hollow
eyes! and everywhere it was still, fearfully still!

All at once the sweetest song was heard from the
window ; it was the little living nightingale who was sit-
ting on a branch outside—she had heard of her Emperor’s
severe illness, and was come to sing to him of comfort
and hope. As she sang, the spectral forms became paler
and paler, the blood flowed more and more quickly
through the Emperor’s feeble members, and even Death
listened and said, ‘“‘ Go on, little nightingale, go on.”

“Wilt thou give me the splendid gold scimitar?
Wilt thou give me the gay banner, and the Emperor’s
crown ? ”

And Death gave up all these treasures for a song;
and the nightingale sang on : she sang of the quiet church-

yard, where white roses blossom, where the lilac sends
27
210 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

forth its fragrance, and the fresh grass is bedewed with
the tears of the sorrowing friends of the departed. Then
Death was seized with a longing after his garden, and
like a cold white shadow, flew out at the window.
‘Thanks, thanks,” said the Emperor, ‘“‘ thou heavenly
little bird, I know thee well. I have banished thee from
my realm, and thou hast sung away those evil faces



HE WAS QUITE AS SUCCESSFUL AS THE REAL NIGHTINGALE

from my bed, and Death from my heart; how shall I
reward thee ?”

‘Thou hast already rewarded me,” said the nightingale ;
‘“‘T have seen tears in thine eyes, as when I sang to thee
for the first time: those I shall never forget, they are
jewels which do so much good to a minstrel’s heart!
but sleep now, and wake fresh and healthy; I will sing
thee to sleep.”
THE NIGHTINGALE 211

And she sang—and the Emperor fell into a sweet
sleep. Oh, how soft and kindly was that sleep!

The sun shone in at the window when he awoke, strong
and healthy. Not one of his servants had returned, for
they all believed him dead; but the nightingale still sat
and sang.

‘“* Thou shalt always stay with me,” said the Emperor,
“thou shalt only sing when it pleases thee, and the
artificial bird I will break into a thousand pieces.”

“Do not so,” said the nightingale; “truly he has
done what he could; take care of him. I cannot stay in
the palace; but let me come when I like: I will sit on
the branches close to the window, in the evening, and sing
to thee, that thou mayest become happy and thoughtful.
I will sing to thee of the joyful and the sorrowing, I will
sing to thee of all that is good or bad, which is concealed
from thee. The little minstrel flies afar to the fisherman’s
hut, to the peasant’s cottage, to all who are far distant
from thee and thy court. I love thy heart more than
thy crown, and yet the crown has an odour of something
holy about it. I will come, I will sing. But thou must
promise me one thing.”

“* Everything,” said the Emperor. And now he stood
in his imperial splendour, which he had put on him-
self, and held the scimitar so heavy with gold to his heart.
“One thing I beg of thee: let no one know that thou
hast a little bird, who tells thee everything, then all will
go on well.” And the nightingale flew away.

The attendants came in to look at their dead Emperor.
Lo! there they stood—and the Emperor said, ‘“ Good
morning | ”

THE WILD SWANS

Far hence, in a country whither the Swallows fly in
our winter-time, there dwelt a King who had eleven sons,
and one daughter, the beautiful Elise. The eleven
brothers (they were princes) went to school with stars on
their breasts and swords by their sides; they wrote on
golden tablets with diamond pens, and could read
either with a book or without one—in short, it was easy
to perceive that they were princes. Their sister Elise
used to sit upon a little glass stool, and had a picture-
book which had cost the half of a kingdom. Oh, the
children were so happy! but happy they were not to
remain always.

Their father the King married a very wicked Queen,
who was not at all kind to the poor children; they found
this out on the first day after the marriage, when there
was a grand gala at the palace; for when the children
played at receiving company, instead of having as many
cakes and sweetmeats as they liked, the Queen gave them
only some sand in a little dish, and told them to imagine
that was something nice.

The week after, she sent the little Elise to be brought
up by some peasants in the country, and it was not long
before she told the King so many falsehoods about
the poor princes that he would have nothing more to do
with them.

‘“‘ Away, out into the world, and take care of your-
selves,” said the wicked Queen; “fly away in the form
of great speechless birds.”” But she could not make their
transformation so disagreeable as she wished,—the Princes

213
214 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

were changed into eleven white swans. Sending forth a
strange cry, they flew out of the palace windows, over
the park and over the wood.

Tt was still early in the morning when they passed
by the place where Elise lay sleeping in the peasant’s
cottage; they flew several times round the roof, stretched
their long necks, and flapped their wings, but no one
either heard or saw them; they were forced to fly away,
up to the clouds and into the wide world, so on they
. went to the forest, which extended as far as the sea-
shore.

The poor little Elise stood in the peasant’s cottage
amusing herself with a green leaf, for she had no other
plaything. She pricked a hole in the leaf and peeped
through it at the sun, and then she fancied she saw her
brothers’ bright eyes, and whenever the warm sunbeams
shone full upon her cheeks, she thought of her brothers’
kisses.

One day passed exactly like the other. When the
wind blew through the thick hedge of rose-trees in front
of the house, she would whisper to the roses, ‘“‘ Who is
more beautiful than you?” but the roses would shake
their heads and say, Elise.” And when the peasant’s
wife sat on Sundays at the door of her cottage reading
her hymn-book, the wind would rustle in the leaves and
say to the book, “Who is more pious than thou?”
—** Elise,” replied the hymn-book. And what the roses
and the hymn-book said, was no more than the truth.

Elise was now fifteen years old, she was sent for
home; but when the Queen saw how beautiful she was,
she hated her the more, and would willingly have
transformed her like her brothers into a wild swan, but
she dared not do so, because the King wished to see his
daughter.

So the next morning the Queen went into a bath
which was made of marble, and fitted up with soft
pillows and the gayest carpets; she took three toads,
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READING HER HYMN



THE WILD SWANS 217

kissed them, and said to one, “ Settle thou upon Elise’s
head that she may become dull and sleepy like thee.”
—‘ Settle thou upon her forehead,”’ said she to another,
“and let her become ugly like thee, so that her father
may not know her again.” And “ Do thou place thyself
upon her bosom,” whispered she to the third, “ that
her heart may become corrupt and evil, a torment to
herself.” She then put the toads into the clear water,
which was immediately tinted with a green colour, and
having called Elise, took off her clothes and made her
get into the bath—one toad settled among her hair,
another on her forehead, and the third upon her bosom,
but Elise seemed not at all aware of it; she rose up and
three poppies were seen swimming on the water. Had
not the animals been poisonous and kissed by a witch,
they would have been changed into roses whilst they
remained on Elise’s head and heart—she was too good for
magic to have any power over her. When the Queen
perceived this, she rubbed walnut juice all over the maiden’s
skin, so that it became quite swarthy, smeared a nasty
salve over her lovely face, and entangled her long thick
hair—it was impossible to recognize the beautiful Elise
after this.

When her father saw her he was shocked, and said
she could not be his daughter; no one would have any-
thing to do with her but the mastiff and the swallows;
but they, poor things, could not say anything in her
favour.

Poor Elise wept, and thought of her eleven brothers,
not one of whom she saw at the palace. In great distress
she stole away and wandered the whole day over fields
and moors, till she reached the forest. She knew not
where to go, but she was so sad, and longed so much
to see her brothers, who had been driven out into the
world, that she determined to seek and find them.

She had not been long in the forest when night came on,
and she lost her way amid the darkness. So she lay down

28
218 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

on the soft moss, said her evening prayer, and leaned her
head against the trunk of a tree. It was so still in the
forest, the air was mild, and from the grass and mould
around gleamed the green light of many hundred glow-
worms, and when Elise lightly touched one of the branches
hanging over her, bright insects fell down upon her like
falling stars.

All the night long she dreamed of her brothers. They
were all children again, played together, wrote with
diamond pens upon golden tablets, and looked at the
pictures in the beautiful book which had cost half of a
kingdom. But they did not as formerly make straight
strokes and pothooks upon the tablets; no, they wrote of
the bold actions they had performed, and the strange
adventures they had encountered, and in the picture-
book everything seemed alive—the birds sang, men and
women stepped from the book and talked to Elise and her
brothers ; however, when she turned over the leaves, they
jumped back into their places, so that the pictures did not
get confused together.

When Elise awoke the sun was already high in the
heavens. She could not see it certainly, for the tall trees
of the forest entwined their thickly leaved branches closely
together, which, as the sunbeams played upon them, looked
like a golden veil waving to and fro. And the air was so
fragrant, and the birds perched upon Elise’s shoulders.
She heard the noise of water, there were several springs
forming a pool, with the prettiest pebbles at the bottom,
bushes were growing thickly round, but the deer had
trodden a broad path through them, and by this path
Elise went down to the water’s edge. The water was so
clear that had not the boughs and bushes around been
moved to and fro by the wind, you might have fancied they
were painted upon the smooth surface, so distinctly was
each little leaf mirrored upon it, whether glowing in the
sunlight or lying in the shade.

As soon as Elise saw her face reflected in the water, she
THE WILD SWANS 219

was quite startled, so brown and ugly did it look ; however,
when she wetted her little hand, and rubbed her brow and
eyes, the white skin again appeared.—So Elise took off her
clothes, stepped into the fresh water, and in the whole
world there was not a king’s daughter more beautiful than
she then appeared.

After she had again dressed herself, and had braided her
long hair, she went to the bubbling spring, drank out of the
hollow of her hand, and then wandered farther into the
forest. She knew not where she was going, but she thought
of her brothers, and of the good God who, she felt, would
never forsake her. He it was who made the wild crab-
trees prow in order to feed the hungry, and who showed her
a tree whose boughs bent under the weight of their fruit.
She made her noonday meal under its shade, propped up
the boughs, and then walked on amid the dark twilight
of the forest. It was so still that she could hear her own
footsteps, and the rustling of each little withered leaf that
was crushed beneath her feet ; not a bird was to be seen,
not a single sunbeam penetrated through the thick foliage,
and the tall stems of the trees stood so close together,
that when she looked straight before her, she seemed
enclosed by trellis-work upon trellis-work. Oh! there was
a solitariness in this forest such as Elise had never known
before.

And the night was so dark ! not a single glow-worm sent

forth its light. Sad and melancholy she lay down to sleep,
and then it seemed to her as though the boughs above her
opened, and that she saw the Angel of God looking down
upon her with gentle aspect, and a thousand little cherubs
all around him. When she awoke in the morning she could
not tell whether this was a dream, or whether she had
really been so watched .

She walked on a little farther and met an old woman
with a basket full of berries ; the old woman gave her some
of them, and Elise asked if she had not seen eleven princes
ride through the wood.
WUT
Roweniow



80 ELISE TOOK OFF HER CLOTHES AND STEPPED INTO THE WATER
THE WILD SWANS 221

“No,” said the old woman, “but I saw yesterday
eleven Swans with golden crowns on their heads swim
down the brook near this place.”

And she led Elise on a little farther to a precipice, the
base of which was washed by a brook; the trees on each
side stretched their long leafy branches towards each other,
and where they could not unite, the roots had disengaged
themselves from the earth and hung their interlaced fibres
over the water.

Elise bade the old woman farewell, and wandered by
the side of the stream till she came to the place where it
reached the open sea.

The great, the beautiful sea lay extended before the
maiden’s eye, but not a ship, not a boat was to be seen ;
how was she to goon? She observed the numberless little
stones on the shore, all of which the waves had washed into
a round form; glass, iron, stone, everything that lay
scattered there, had been moulded into shape, and yet the
water which had effected this was much softer than Elise’s
delicate little hand. ‘It rolls on unweariedly,” said she,
** and subdues what is so hard ; I will be no less unwearied !
Thank you for the lesson you have given me, ye bright
rolling waves; some day, my heart tells me, you shall
carry me to my dear brothers! °’

There lay upon the wet sea-grass eleven white swan-
feathers ; Elise collected them together; drops of water
hung about. them, whether dew or tears she could not tell.
She was quite alone on the sea-shore, but she did not care
for that ; the sea presented an eternal variety to her, more
indeed in a few hours than the gentle inland waters would
have offered in a whole year. When a black cloud passed
over the sky, it seemed as if the sea would say, “‘ I too can
look dark,’’ and then the wind would blow and the waves
fling out their white foam ; but when the clouds shene with
a bright red tint, and the winds were asleep, the sea also
became like a rose-leaf in hue; it was now green, now
white, but as it reposed peacefully, a slight breeze on the
222 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

shore caused the water to heave gently like the bosom of a
sleeping child.

At sunset Elise saw eleven Wild Swans with golden
crowns on their heads fly towards the land; they flew one
behind another, looking like a streaming white ribbon.
Elise climbed the precipice, and concealed herself behind a
bush ; the swans settled close to her, and flapped their long
white wings.

As the sun sank beneath the water, the swans also
vanished, and in their place stood eleven handsome princes,
the brothers of Elise. She uttered a loud cry, for although
they were very much altered, Elise knew that they were,
felt that they must be, her brothers; she ran into their
arms, called them by their names—and how happy were
they to see and recognize their sister, who was now grown so
tall and so beautiful! They laughed and wept, and soon
told each other how wickedly their stepmother had acted
towards them.

““ We,” said the eldest of the brothers, “ fly or swim as
long as the sun is above the horizon, but when it sinks
below, we appear again in our human form; we are there-
fore obliged to look out for a safe resting-place, for if at
sunset we were flying among the clouds, we should fall
down as soon as we resumed our own form. We do not
dwell here, a land quite as beautiful as this lies on the
opposite side of the sea, but it is far off. To reach it, we
have to cross the deep waters, and there is no island mid-
way on which we may rest at night; one little solitary
rock rises from the waves, and upon it we only just find
room enough to stand side by side. There we spend the
night in our human form, and when the sea is rough, we
are sprinkled by its foam; but we are thankful for this
resting-place, for without it we should never be able to
visit our dear native country. Only once in the year is
this visit to the home of our fathers permitted ; we require
two of the longest days for our flight, and can remain
here only eleven days, during which time we fly over the
THE WILD SWANS 223

large forest, whence we can see the palace in which we were
born, where our father dwells, and the tower of the church
in which our mother was buried. Here even the trees and
bushes seem of kin to us, here the wild horses still race over
the plains, as in the days of our childhood, here the char-
coal-burner still sings the same old tunes to which we used
to dance in our youth, here we are still attracted, and here



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AND MET AN OLD WOMAN WITH A BASKET FULL OF BERRIES

we have found thee, thou dear little sister! We have yet
two days longer to stay here, then we must fly over the
sea to a land beautiful indeed, but not our fatherland.
ae shall we take thee with us ? we have neither ship nor
oat!”

** How shall I be able to release you ?” said the sister.
And so they went on talking almost the whole of the night.
They slumbered only a few hours.


224 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Elise was awakened by the rustling of swans’ wings which
were fluttering above her. Her brothers were again trans-
formed, and for some time flew around in large circles. At
last they flew far, far away ; one of them remained behind,
it was the youngest ; he laid his head in her lap and she
stroked his white wings; they remained the whole day
together. Towards evening the others came back, and
when the sun was set, again they stood on the firm ground
in their natural form.

** To-morrow we shall fly away, and may not return for
a year, but we cannot leave thee; hast thou courage to
accompany us? My arm is strong enough to bear thee
through the forest; shall we not have sufficient strength
in our wings to transport thee over the sea?”

“Yes, take me with you,” said Elise. They spent the
whole night in weaving a mat of the pliant willow bark and
the tough rushes, and their mat was thick and strong.
Elise lay down upon it, and when the sun had risen, and
the brothers were again transformed into wild swans, they
seized the mat with their beaks and flew up high among the
clouds with their dear sister, who was still sleeping. The
sunbeams shone full upon her face, so one of the swans flew
over her head, and shaded her with his broad wings.

They were already far from land when Elise awoke:
she thought she was still dreaming, so strange did it appear
to her to be travelling through the air, and over the sea.
By her side lay a cluster of pretty berries, and a handful of
savoury roots. Her youngest brother had collected and
laid them there; and she thanked him with a smile, for
she knew him as the swan who flew over her head and
shaded her with his wings.

They flew so high, that the-first ship they saw beneath
them seemed like a white sea-gull hovering over the water.
Elise saw behind her a large cloud, it looked like a moun-
tain, and on it she saw the gigantic shadows of herself and
the eleven swans—it formed a picture more splendid than
any she had ever yet seen; soon, however, the sun rose
THE WILD SWANS 225

higher, the cloud remained far behind, and then the float-
ing shadowy picture disappeared.

The whole day they continued flying with a whizzing
noise somewhat like an arrow, but yet they went slower
than usual—they had their sister to carry. A heavy
tempest was gathering, the evening approached ; anxiously
did Elise watch the sun, it was setting. Still the solitary
rock could not be seen; it appeared to her that the swans
plied their wings with increasing vigour. Alas! it would
be her fault if her brothers did not arrive at the place in
time ; they would become human beings when the sun set,
and if this happened before they reached the rock, they
must fall into the sea, and be drowned. She prayed to
God most fervently, still no rock was to be seen; the black
clouds drew nearer, violent gusts of wind announced the
approach of a tempest, the clouds rested perpendicularly
upon a fearfully large wave which rolled quickly forwards,
one flash of lightning rapidly succeeded another.

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

By daybreak the air was pure and still, and as soon as

the sun rose, the swans flew away with Elise from the rock.
29
226 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

The waves rose higher and higher, and when they looked
from the clouds down upon the blackish-green sea, covered
as it was with white foam, they might have fancied that
millions of swans were swimming on its surface.

As day advanced, Elise saw floating in the air before her
a land of mountains intermixed with glaciers, and in the
centre a palace a mile in length, with splendid colonnades,
surrounded by palm-trees and gorgeous-looking flowers as
large as mill-wheels. She asked if this were the country
to which they were flying, but the swans shook their heads,
for what she saw was the beautiful airy castle of the fairy
Morgana, where no human being was admitted ; and whilst
Elise still bent her eyes upon it, mountains, trees, and



NOT A BOAT WAS TO BE SEEN

castle all disappeared, and in their place stood twelve
churches with high towers and pointed windows—she
fancied she heard the organ play, but it was only the
murmur of the sea. She was now close to these churches,
but behold! they have changed into a large fleet sailing
under them; she looked down and saw it was only a, sea-
mist passing rapidly over the water. An eternal variety
floated before her eyes, till at last the actual land to which
she was going appeared in sight. Beautiful blue moun-
tains, cedar woods, towns, and castles rose to view. Long
before sunset Elise sat down among the mountains, in
front of a large cavern; delicate young creepers grew
around so thickly, that it appeared covered with gay
embroidered carpets.
THE WILD SWANS 227

** Now we shall see what thou wilt dream of to-night!”
said her youngest brother, as he showed her the sleeping-
chamber destined for her.

“Oh, that I could dream how you might be released
from the spell!” said she; and this thought completely
occupied her. She prayed most earnestly for God’s assist-
ance, nay, even in her dreams she continued praying, and
it appeared to her that she was flying up high in the air
towards the castle of the fairy Morgana. The fairy came
forward to meet her, radiant and beautiful, and yet she
fancied she resembled the old woman who had given her
berries in the forest, and told her of the swans with golden
crowns.

““ Thou canst release thy brothers,” said she, “ but hast
thou courage and patience sufficient ? The water is indeed
softer than thy delicate hands, and yet can mould the hard
stones to its will, but then it cannot feel the pain which thy
tender fingers will feel; it has no heart, and cannot suffer
the anxiety and grief which thou must suffer. Dost thou
see these stinging-nettles which I have in my hand?
There are many of the same kind growing round the cave
where thou art sleeping ; only those that grow there or on
the graves in the churchyard are of use, remember that !
Thou must pluck them, although they will sting thy
hand; thou must trample on the nettles with thy feet,
and get yarn from them, and with this yarn thou must
weave eleven shirts with long sleeves—throw them over
the eleven wild swans, and the spell is broken. But mark
this: from the moment that thou beginnest thy work till
it is completed, even should it occupy thee for years, thou
must not speak a word ; the first syllable that escapes thy
lips will fall like a dagger into the hearts of thy brothers ;
on thy tongue depends their life. Mark well all this!”

And at the same moment the fairy touched Elise’s
hands with a nettle, which made them burn like fire, and
Elise awoke. It was broad daylight, and close to her lay a
nettle like the one she had seen in her dream. She fell
228 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

upon her knees, thanked God, and then went out of the
cave in order to begin her work. She plucked with her
own delicate hands the disagreeable stinging-nettles; they
burned large blisters on her hands and arms, but she bore
the pain willingly in the hope of releasing her dear brothers.
She trampled on the nettles with her naked feet, and spun
the green yarn.

At sunset came her brothers. Elise’s silence quite
frightened them, they thought it must be the effect of some
fresh spell of their wicked stepmother ; but when they saw
her blistered hands, they found out what their sister was
doing for their sakes. The youngest brother wept, and
when his tears fell upon her hands, Elise felt no more
pain, the blisters disappeared.

The whole night she spent in her work, for she could
not rest till she had released her brothers. All the follow-
ing days she sat in her solitude, for the swans had flown
away; but never had time passed so quickly. One shirt
was ready; she now began the second.

Suddenly a hunting-horn resounded among the moun-
tains. Elise was frightened. The noise came nearer, she
heard the hounds barking; in great terror she fled into
the cave, bound up the nettles which she had gathered and
combed into a bundle, and sat down upon it.

In the same moment a large dog sprang out from the
bushes ; two others immediately followed; they barked
loudly, ran away and then returned. It was not long
before the hunters stood in front of the cave; the hand-
somest among them was the King of that country; he
stepped up to Elise. Never had he seen a lovelier maiden.

‘* How camest thou here, thou beautiful child ? ”’ said
he. Elise shook her head; she dared not speak, a word
might have cost her the life of her brothers; and she hid
her hands under her apron lest the King should see how
she was suffering.

“*Come with me,” said he, “‘ thou must not stay here!
If thou art good as thou art beautiful, I will dress thee in


THERE WAS ONLY JUST ROOM FOR HER AND THEM
230 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

velvet and silk, I will put a gold crown upon thy head, and
thou shalt dwell in my palace!’ So he lifted her upon
his horse, while she wept and wrung her hands; but the
King said, “I only desire thy happiness! thou shalt
thank me for this some day!” and away he rode over
mountains and valleys, holding her on his horse in front,
whilst the other hunters followed. When the sun set, the
King’s magnificent capital with its churches and cupolas
lay before them, and the King led Elise into the palace,
where, in a high marble hall, fountains were playing, and
the walls and ceiling displayed the most beautiful paintings.
But Elise cared not for all this splendour; she wept and
mourned in silence, even whilst some female attendants
dressed her in royal robes, wove costly pearls in her hair,
and drew soft gloves over her blistered hands.

And now she was full dressed, and as she stood in her
splendid attire, her beauty was so dazzling, that the
courtiers all bowed low before her; and the King chose
her for his bride, although the Archbishop shook his head,
and whispered that the “beautiful lady of the wood
must certainly be a witch, who had blinded their eyes,
and infatuated the King’s heart.”

But the King did not listen; he ordered that music
should be played. A sumptuous banquet was served up,
and the loveliest maidens danced round the bride; she
was led through fragrant gardens into magnificent halls,
but not a smile was seen to play upon her lips or beam from
her eyes. The King then opened a small room next her
sleeping apartment; it was adorned with costly green
tapestry, and exactly resembled the cave in which she
had been found ; upon the ground lay the bundle of yarn
which she had spun from the nettles, and by the wall
hung the shirt she had completed. One of the hunters
had brought all this, thinking there must be something
wonderful in it.

‘‘ Here thou mayest dream of thy former home,” said
the King; “here is the work which employed thee;
THE WILD SWANS 231

amidst all thy present splendour it may sometimes give
thee pleasure to fancy thyself there again.”

When Elise saw what was so dear to her heart, she
smiled, and the blood returned to her cheeks ; she thought
her brothers might still be released, and she kissed the
King’s hand ; he pressed her to his heart and ordered the
bells of all the churches in the city to be rung, to announce
the celebration of their wedding. The beautiful dumb
maiden of the wood was to become Queen of the land.

The Archbishop whispered evil words in the King’s ear,
but they made no impression upon him ; the marriage was
solemnized, and the Archbishop himself was obliged to put
the crown upon her head. In his rage he pressed the
narrow rim so firmly on her forehead that it hurt her; but
a heavier weight (sorrow for her brothers) lay upon her
heart, she did not feel bodily pain. She was still silent,
a single word would have killed her brothers; her eyes,
however, beamed with heartfelt love to the King, so good
and handsome, who had done so much to make her happy.
She became more warmly attached to him every day.
Oh, how much she wished she might confide to him all her
sorrows !| but she was forced to remain silent, she coulda not
speak until her work was completed. To this end she stole
away every night, and went into the little room that was
fitted up in imitation of the cave; there she worked at
her shirts, but by the time she had begun the seventh
all her yarn was spent.

She knew that the nettles she needed grew in the
churchyard, but she must gather them herself; how was
she to get them ?

“Oh, what is the pain in my fingers compared to the
anguish my heart suffers?” thought she. ‘I must ven-
ture to the churchyard; the good God will not withdraw
His protection from me!”

Fearful as though she were about to do something
wrong, one moonlight night she crept down to the garden,
and through the long avenues got into the lonely road
232 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

leading to the churchyard. She saw sitting on one of the
broadest tombstones a number of ugly old witches. They
took off their ragged clothes as if they were going to bathe,
and digging with their long lean fingers into the fresh grass,
drew up the dead bodies and devoured the flesh. Elise
was obliged to pass close by them, and the witches fixed
their wicked eyes upon her; but she repeated her prayer,
gathered the stinging-nettles, and took them back with her
into the palace. One person only had seen her ; it was the
Archbishop, he was awake when others slept ; now he was
convinced that all was not right about the Queen: she
must be a witch, who had through her enchantments
infatuated the King, and all the people.

In the Confessional he told the King what he had seen,
and what he feared ; and when the slanderous words came
from his lips, the sculptured images of the saints shook their
heads as though they would say, “‘ It is untrue, Elise is
innocent!” But the Archbishop explained the omen
quite otherwise ; he thought it was a testimony against
her that the holy images shook their heads at hearing of
her sin.

Two large tears rolled down the King’s cheeks. He
returned home in doubt; he pretended to sleep at night,
though sleep never visited him; and he noticed that Elise
rose from her bed every night, and every time he followed
her secretly and saw her enter her little room.

His countenance became darker every day; Elise per-
ceived it, though she knew not the cause. She was much
pained, and besides, what did she not suffer in her heart for
her brothers! Her bitter tears ran down on the royal
velvet and purple; they looked like bright diamonds, and
all who saw the magnificence that surrounded her, wished
themselves in her place. She had now nearly finished her
work, only one shirt was wanting; unfortunately, yarn
was wanting also, she had not a single nettle left. Once
more, only this one time, she must go to the churchyard
and gather a few handfuls. She shuddered when she
THE WILD SWANS 233

thought of the solitary walk and of the horrid witches, but.
her resolution was as firm as her trust in God.

Elise went ; the King and the Archbishop followed her ;
tney saw her disappear at the churchyard door, and when



I MUST VENTURE TO THE CHURCHYARD

they came nearer, they saw the witches sitting on the tomb-
Stones as Elise had seen them, and the King turned away,
for he believed her whose head had rested on his bosom that

very evening to be amongst them. ‘“ Let the people judge
30
234 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

her!” said he. And the people condemned her to be
burnt.

She was now dragged from the King’s sumptuous apart-
ment into a dark, damp prison, where the wind whistled
through the grated window. Instead of velvet and silk,
they gave her the bundle of nettles she had gathered; on
that must she lay her head, the shirts she had woven must
serve her as mattress and counterpane—but they could
not have given her anything she valued so much; and she
continued her work, at the same time praying earnestly
to her God. The boys sang scandalous songs about her
in front of her prison; not a soul comforted her with one
word of love.

Towards evening she heard the rustling of Swans’ wings
at the grating. It was the youngest of her brothers, who
had at last found his sister, and she sobbed aloud for joy,
although she knew that the coming night would probably
be the last of her life; but then her work was almost
finished and her brother was near.

The Archbishop came in order to spend the last hour
with her; he had promised the King he would; but she
shook her head and entreated him with her eyes and
gestures to go—this night she must finish her work, or all
she had suffered, her pain, her anxiety, her sleepless nights,
would be in vain. The Archbishop went away with many
angry words, but the unfortunate Elise knew herself to
be perfectly innocent, and went on with her work.

Little mice ran busily about and dragged the nettles
to her feet, wishing to help her; and the thrush perched on
the iron bars of the window, and sang all night as merrily
as he could, that Elise might not lose courage.

It was still twilight, just one hour before sunrise, when
the eleven brothers stood before the palace gates, request-
ing an audience with the King; but it could not be, they
were told, it was still night, the King was asleep, and they
dared not wake him. They entreated, they threatened,
the guard came up, the King himself at last stepped out to
THE WILD SWANS 235

ask what was the matter—at that moment the sun rose,
the brothers could be seen no longer, and eleven white
Swans flew away over the palace.

The people poured forth from the gates of the city;
they wished to see the witch burnt. One wretched horse
drew the cart in which Elise was placed ; a coarse frock of
sackcloth had been put on her, her beautiful long hair
hung loosely over her shoulders, her cheeks were of a
deadly paleness, her lips moved gently, and her fingers
wove the green yarn: even on her way to her cruel death
she did not give up her work; the ten shirts lay at her
feet, she was now labouring to complete the eleventh.
The rabble insulted her.

** Look at the witch, how she mutters! She has not a
hymn-book in her hand; no, there she sits with her accursed
hocus-pocus. Tear it from her, tear it into a thousand
pieces |” .

And they all crowded about her, and were on the point
of snatching away the shirts, when eleven white Swans
came flying towards the cart; they settled all round her,
and flapped their wings. The crowd gave way in terror.

“It is a sign from Heaven ! she is certainly innocent ! ”
whispered some; they dared not say so aloud.

The Sheriff now seized her by the hand—in a moment
she threw the eleven shirts over the Swans, and eleven
handsome Princes appeared in their place. The youngest
had, however, only one arm, and ua wing instead of the
other, for one sleeve was deficient in his shirt, it had not
been quite finished.

“Now I may speak,” said she: “I am innocent!”

And the people who had seen what had happened bowed
before her as before a saint. She, however, sank lifeless in
her brothers’ arms; suspense, fear, and grief had quite
exhausted her.

“Yes, she is innocent,” said her eldest brother, and he
now related their wonderful history. Whilst he spoke a
fragrance as delicious as though it proceeded from millions
236 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

of roses, diffused itself around, for every piece of wood in
the funeral pile had taken root and sent forth branches, a
hedge of blooming red roses surrounded Elise, and above all
the others blossomed a flower of dazzling white colour,
bright as a star; the King plucked it and laid it on Elise’s
bosom, whereupon she » woke from her trance with peace
and joy in her heart.

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


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I HAVE SCARCELY CLOSED MY EYES THE WHOLE NIGHT THROUGH

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THE REAL PRINCESS

THERE was once a Prince who wished to marry a
Princess; but then she must be a real Princess. He
travelled all over the world in hopes of finding such a lady ;
but there was always something wrong. Princesses he
found in plenty ; but whether they were real Princesses it
was impossible for him to decide, for now one thing, now
another, seemed to him not quite right about the ladies.
At last he returned to his palace quite cast down, because
he wished so much to have a real Princess for his wife.

One evening a fearful tempest arose ; it thundered and
lightened, and the rain poured down from the sky in
torrents ; besides, it was as dark as pitch. All at once
there was heard a violent knocking at the door, and the old
King, the Prince’s father, went out himself to open it.

It was a Princess who was standing outside the door.
What with the rain and the wind, she was in a sad con-
dition: the water trickled down from her hair, and her
clothes clung to her body. She said she was a real Princess.

*“* Ah, we shall soon see that!” thought the old Queen-
mother; however, she said not a word of what she was
going to do, but went quietly into the bedroom, took all
the bedclothes off the bed, and put three little peas on
the bedstead. She then laid twenty mattresses one upon
another over the three peas, and put twenty feather-beds
over the mattresses.

Upon this bed the Princess was to pass the night.

The next morning she was asked how she had slept.
“Oh, very badly indeed!” she replied. ‘‘ I have scarcely
closed my eyes the whole night through. I do not know

what was in my bed, but I had something hard under me,
238
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PRINCESSES HE FOUND IN PLENTY, BUT WHETHER THEY WERE REAL
PRINCESSES IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO DECIDE
ay

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ate


THE REAL PRINCESS 241

and am all over black and blue. It has hurt me so
much !”?
Now it was plain that the lady must be a real Princess,



THE OLD KING HIMSELF WENT OUT TO OPEN IT

since she had been able to feel the three little peas through
the twenty mattresses and twenty feather-beds. None
but a real Princess could have had such a delicate sense
of feeling.

31
242 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

The Prince accordingly made her his wife, being now -
convinced that he had found a real Princess. The three







OCTETS,

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THE PEAS WERE PRESERVED IN THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES

peas were, however, put into the cabinet of curiosities,
where they are still to be seen, provided they are not lost.
Was not this a lady of real delicacy ?

ABR

THE RED SHOES

THERE was once a little girl, very pretty and delicate,
but so poor that in summer-time she always went barefoot,
and in winter wore large wooden shoes, so that her little
ankles grew quite red and sore,

In the village dwelt the shoemaker’s mother. She sat
down one day and made out of some old pieces of red cloth
a pair of little shoes ; they were clumsy enough, certainly,
but they fitted the little girl tolerably well, and she gave
them to her. The little girl’s name was Karen.

Tt was the day of her mother’s funeral when the red
shoes were given to Karen; they were not at all suitable
for mourning, but she had no others, and in them she
walked with bare legs behind the miserable straw bier.

Just then a large old carriage rolled by ; init sat alarge
old lady; she looked at the little girl and pitied her, and’
she said to the priest, “ Give me the little girl and I will
take eare of her.”

And Karen thought it was all for the sake of the red
shoes that the old lady had taken this fancy to her, but
the old lady said they were frightful, and they were burnt.
And Karen was dressed very neatly ; she was taught to
read and to work; and people told her she was pretty —
but the mirror said, “‘ Thou art more than pretty, thou art
beautiful!”

It happened one day that the Queen travelled through
that part of the country with her little daughter, the
Princess; and all the people, Karen amongst them,
crowded in front of the palace, whilst the little Princess
stood, dressed in white, at a window, for every one to see

244
MWHEATH Ropittson,



SHE SAT DOWN ONE DAY AND MADE OUT OF SOME OLD PIECES OF RED
CLOTH A PAIR OF LITTLE SHOES

THE RED SHOES 247

her. She wore neither train nor gold crown; but on her
feet were pretty red morocco shoes, much prettier ones
indeed than those the shoemaker’s mother had made for
little Karen. Nothing in the world could be compared
to these red shoes!

Karen was now old enough to be confirmed; she was to
have both new frock and new shoes. The rich shoemaker
in the town took the measure of her little foot. Large glass
cases full of neat shoes and shining boots were fixed round
theroom; however, the old lady’s sight was not very good,
and, naturally enough, she had not so much pleasure in
looking at them as Karen had. Amongst the shoes was a
pair of red ones, just like those worn by the Princess. How
gay they were! and the shoemaker said they had been
made for a count’s daughter, but had not quite fitted her.

“ They are of polished leather,” said the old lady, “‘ see
how they shine!”

“Yes, they shine beautifully!’ exclaimed Karen.
And as the shoes fitted her, they were bought; but the
old lady did not know that they were red, for she would
never have suffered Karen to go to confirmation in red
shoes. But Karen did so. Everybody looked at her feet,
and as she walked up the nave to the chancel, it seemed to
her that even the antique sculptured figures on the monu-
ments, with their stiff ruffs and long black robes, fixed
their eyes on her red shoes. Of them only she thought
when the Bishop laid his hand on her head, when he spoke
of Holy Baptism, of her covenant with God, and how that
she must now be a full-grown Christian. The organ sent
forth its deep, solemn tones, the children’s sweet voices
mingled with those of the choristers, but Karen still thought
only of her red shoes.

That afternoon, when the old lady was told that Karen
had worn red shoes at her confirmation, she was much
vexed, and told Karen that they were quite unsuitable,
and that, henceforward, whenever she went to church, she
must wear black shoes, were they ever so old.


AND KAREN WAS DRESSED VERY NEATLY
THE RED SHOES 249

Next Sunday was the communion day. Karen looked
first at the red shoes, then at the black ones, then at the
red again, and—put them on.

It was beautiful sunshiny weather ; Karen and the old
lady walked to church through the corn-fields; the path
was very dusty.

At the church door stood an old soldier ; he was leaning
on crutches, and had a marvellously long beard, not white,
but reddish hued, and he bowed almost to the earth, and
asked the old lady if he might wipe the dust off her shoes.
And Karen put out her little foot also. ‘‘ Oh, what pretty
dancing-shoes !”” quoth the old soldier; “ take care, and
mind you do not let them slip off when you dance nase eit cl
he passed his hands over them.

The old lady gave the soldier a halfpenny, and then
went with Karen into church.

And every one looked at Karen’s red shoes ; and all the
carved figures, too, bent their gaze upon them; and when
Karen knelt before the altar, the red shoes still floated
before her eyes; she thought of them and of them only,
and she forgot to join in the hymn of praise—she forgot
to repeat ‘“‘ Our Father.”

At last all the people came out of church, and the old
lady got into her carriage. Karen was just lifting her foot
to follow her, when the old soldier standing in the porch
exclaimed, ‘Only look, what pretty dancing-shoes ae
And Karen could not help it, she felt she must make afew
of her dancing steps; and after she had once begun, her
feet continued to move, just as though the shoes had
received power over them; she danced round the church-
yard, she could not stop. The coachman was obliged to
run after her; he took hold of her and lifted her into the
carriage, but the feet still continued to dance, so as to
kick the good old lady most cruelly. At last the shoes
were taken off, and the feet had rest.

And now the shoes were put away in a press, but Karen

could not help going to look at them every now and then.
32
250 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

The old lady lay illin bed ; the doctor said she could not
live much longer. She certainly needed careful nursing,
and who should be her nurse and constant attendant but
Karen? But there was to be a grand ball in the town.
Karen was invited; she looked at the old lady who was
almost dying—she looked at the red shoes—she put them
on, there could be no harm in doing that, at least; she
went to the ball, and began to dance. But when she
wanted to move to the right, the shoes bore her to the left ;



KAREN AND THE OLD LADY WALKED TO CHURCH

and when she would dance up the room, the shoes danced
down the room, danced down the stairs, through the streets,
and through the gates of the town. Dance she did, and
dance she must, straight out into the dark wood.
Something all at once shone through the trees. She
thought at first it must be the moon’s bright face, shining
blood-red through the night mists; but no, it was the old
soldier with the red beard—he sat there, nodding at her,
and repeating, “‘ Only look, what pretty dancing-shoes !”
She was very much frightened and tried to throw off her
THE RED SHOES

red shoes, but could not
unclasp them. She hastily
tore off her stockings ; but
the shoes she could not
get rid of—they had, it
seemed, grown on to her
feet. Dance she did, and
dance she must, over field
and meadow, in rain and
in sunshine, by night and
by day. By night! that
was most horrible! She
danced into the lonely
churchyard, but the dead
there danced not, they
were at rest. She would
fain have sat down on the
poor man’s grave, where
the bitter tansy grew, but
for her there was neither
rest nor respite. She
danced past the open
church door; there she saw
an angel clad in long white
robes, and with wings that
reached from his shoulders
to the earth; his coun-
tenance was grave and
stern, and in his hand he
held a broad glittering
sword.

‘*Dance thou shalt,”
said he; ‘‘dance on, in
thy red shoes, till thou art
pale and cold, and thy skin
shrinks and crumples up
like a skeleton’s! Dance

HE SAT THERE NODDING AT
HER


252 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

thou shalt still, from door to door, and wherever proud,
vain children live thou shalt knock, so that they may
hear thee and fear! Dance shalt thou, dance on——”

“Mercy!” cried Karen; but she heard not the angel’s
answer, for the shoes carried her through the gate, into the
fields, along highways and by-ways, and still she must
dance.

One morning she danced past a door she knew well;
she heard psalm-singing from within, and presently a
coffin, strewn with flowers, was borne out. Then Karen
knew that the good old lady was dead, and she felt herself
a thing forsaken by all mankind, and accursed by the Angel
of God.

Dance she did, and dance she must, even through the
dark night; the shoes bore her continually over thorns
and briars, till her limbs were torn and bleeding. Away
she danced over the heath to a little solitary house; she
knew that the headsman dwelt there, and she tapped with
her fingers against the panes, crying:

‘““Come out! come out !—I cannot come in to you, I
am dancing.”

And the headsman replied, “ Surely thou knowest not
whoTam. I cut off the heads of wicked men, and my axe
is very sharp and keen.”

“Cut not off my head!” said Karen; “for then I
could not live to repent of my sin; but cut off my feet
with the red shoes.”

And then she confessed to him all her sin, and the
headsman cut off her feet with the red shoes on them ;
but even after this the shoes still danced away with those
little feet over the fields, and into the deep forests.

And the headsman made her a pair of wooden feet and
hewed down some boughs to serve her as crutches, and he
taught her the psalm which is always repeated by criminals,
and she kissed the hand that had guided the axe, and went
her way over the heath. ‘ Now I have certainly suffered

quite enough through the red shoes,” thought Karen,
THE RED SHOES 258

“TI will go to church and let people see me once more!”
and she went as fast as she could to the church-porch, but
as she approached it, the red shoes danced before her and
she was frightened and turned her back.

All that week through she endured the keenest anguish
and shed many bitter tears ; however, when Sunday came,
she said to herself, ‘‘ Well, I must have suffered and striven
enough by this time, I dare say I am quite as good as
many of those who are holding their heads so high in
church.” So she took courage and went there, but she
had not passed the churchyard gate before she saw the
red shoes again dancing before her, and in great terror she
again turned back, and more deeply than ever bewailed
her sin.

She then went to the pastor’s house, and begged that
some employment might be given her, promising to work
diligently and do all she could; she did not wish for any
wages, she said, she only wanted a roof to shelter her, and
to dwell with good people. And the pastor’s wife had pity
on her, and took her into her service. And Karen was
grateful and industrious.

Every evening she sat silently listening to the pastor,
while he read the Holy Scriptures aloud. All the children
loved her, but when she heard them talk about dress and
finery, and about being as beautiful as a queen, she would
sorrowfully shake her head.

Again Sunday came, all the pastor’s household went to
church, and they asked her if she would not go too, but
she sighed and looked with tears in her eyes upon her
crutches,

When they were all gone, she went into her own little,
lowly chamber—it was but just large enough to contain a
bed and chair—and there she sat down with her psalm-
book in her hand, and whilst she was meekly and devoutly
reading in it, the wind wafted the tones of the organ from
the church into her room, and she lifted up her face to
heaven and prayed, with tears, ‘“‘O God, help me!”
254 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

Then the sun shone brightly, so brightly !—and behold!
close before her stood the white-robed Angel of God, the
same whom she had seen on that night of horror at the
church-porch, but his hand wielded not now, as then, a
sharp, threatening sword—he held a lovely green bough,
full of roses. With this he touched the ceiling, which
immediately rose to a great height, a bright gold star
spangling in the spot where the Angel’s green bough had



DANCE SHE MUST, OVER FIELD AND MEADOW

touched it. And he touched the walls, whereupon the
room widened, and Karen saw the organ, the old monu-
ments, and the congregation all sitting in their richly
carved seats and singing from their psalm-books.

For the church had come home to the poor girl in her
narrow chamber, or rather the chamber had grown, as it
were, into the church; she sat with the rest of the pastor’s
household, and, when the psalm was ended, they looked
THE RED SHOES 255

up and nodded to her, saying, “‘ Thou didst well to come,
Karen!”

‘** This is mercy!” said she.

And the organ played again, and the children’s voices
in the choir mingled so sweetly and plaintively with it!
The bright sunbeams streamed warmly through the win-
dows upon Karen’s seat; her heart was so full of sunshine,
of peace and gladness, that it broke; her soul flew upon a
sunbeam to her Father in heaven, where not a look of
reproach awaited her, not a word was breathed of the
red shoes.




a
HEAne
Roaisen



TWO ROGUES CALLING THEMSELVES WEAVERS MADE THEIR APPEARANCR
THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

Many years ago, there was an Emperor, who was so
excessively fond of new clothes that he spent all his money
in dress. He did not trouble himself in the least about his
soldiers ; nor did he care to go either to the theatre or the
chase, except for the opportunities then afforded him for
displaying his new clothes. He had a different suit for
each hour of the day ; and as of any other king or emperor
one is accustomed to say, ‘* He is sitting in council,” it
was always said of him, ‘“‘ The Emperor is sitting in his
wardrobe.”

Time passed away merrily in the large town which was
his capital; strangers arrived every day at the court.
One day, two rogues, calling themselves weavers, made
their appearance. They gave out that they knew how to
weave stuffs of the most beautiful colours and elaborate
patterns, the clothes manufactured from which should
have the wonderful property of remaining invisible to
every one who was unfit for the office he held, or who was
extraordinarily simple in character.

“ These must indeed be splendid clothes ! ” thought the
Emperor. ‘‘ Had I such a suit, I might, at once, find out
what men in my realms are unfit for their office, and also
be able to distinguish the wise from the foolish! This
stuff must be woven for me immediately.” And he caused
large sums of money to be given to both the weavers, in
order that they might begin their work directly.

So the two pretended weavers set up two looms, and
affected to work very busily, though in reality they did
nothing at all. They asked for the most delicate silk and

257 33
258 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

the purest gold thread, put both into their own knapsacks,
and then continued their pretended work at the empty
looms until late at night.

““T should like to know how the weavers are getting on
with my cloth,”’ said the Emperor to himself, after some
little time had elapsed; he was, however, rather em-
barrassed, when he remembered that a simpleton, or one
unfit for his office, would be unable to see the manufacture.
“To be sure,” he thought, “‘ he had nothing to risk in his
own person; but yet, he would prefer sending somebody
else, to bring him intelligence about the weavers, and their
work, before he troubled himself in the affair.’? All the
people throughout the city had heard of the wonderful
property the cloth was to possess; and all were anxious
to learn how wise, or how ignorant, their neighbours might
prove to be.

“I will send my faithful old minister to the weavers,”
said the Emperor at last, after some deliberation, ‘‘ he will
be best able to see how the cloth looks; for he is a man
of sense, and no one can be more suitable for his office
than he is.”

So the faithful old minister went into the hall, where
the knaves were working with all their might at their empty
looms. ‘ What can be the meaning of this?’ thought
the old man, opening his eyes very wide. ‘‘I cannot dis-
cover the least bit of thread on the looms!” However,
he did not express his thoughts aloud.

The impostors requested him very courteously to be so
good as to come nearer their looms; and then asked him
whether the design pleased him, and whether the colours
were not very beautiful, at the same time pointing to the
empty frames. The poor old minister looked and looked,
he could not discover anything on the looms, for a very
good reason, viz., there was nothing there. ‘‘ What!”
thought he again, ‘“‘is it possible that I am a simpleton ?
I have never thought so myself ; and no one must know it
now ifIam so. Can it be that I ain unfit for my office?
THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES 259

No, that must not be said either. I will never confess that
I could not see the stuff.”

‘“‘ Well, Sir Minister,” said one of the knaves, still
pretending to work, ‘“‘ you do not say whether the stuff
pleases you.”

‘“* Oh, it is excellent ! ’’ replied the old minister, looking
at the loom through his spectacles. ‘“* This pattern, and
the colours—yes, I will tell the Emperor without delay
how very beautiful I think them.”

‘“‘ We shall be much obliged to you,” said the impostors,
and then they named the different colours and described
the pattern of the pretended stuff.
The old minister listened atten-
tively to their words, in order that
he might repeat them to the Em-
peror; and then the knaves asked
for more silk and gold, saying that
it was necessary to complete what
they had begun. However, they
put all that was given them into
their knapsacks, and continued to
work with as much apparent dili-
gence as before at their empty
looms.

The Emperor now sent another
officer of his court to see how the men were getting on, and
to ascertain whether the cloth would soon be ready. It
was just the same with this gentleman as with the minis-
ter; he surveyed the looms on all sides, but could see
nothing at all but the empty frames.

‘* Does not the stuff appear as beautiful to you as it did
to my lord the minister?” asked the impostors of the
Emperor’s second ambassador; at the same time making
the same gestures as before, and talking of the design and
colours which were not there.

““T certainly am not stupid! ’’ thought the messenger.
““It must be that I am not fit for my good, profitable



“ OH, IT IS EXCELLENT!”
REPLIED THE MINISTER
260 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

office! That is very odd; however, no one shall know
anything about it.” And accordingly he praised the stuff
he could not see, and declared that he was delighted with
both colours and patterns. ‘‘ Indeed, please your Imperial
Majesty,” said he to his sovereign, when he returned, “ the
cloth which the weavers are preparing is extraordinarily
magnificent.”

The whole city was talking of the splendid cloth which
the Emperor had ordered to be woven at his own expense.

And now the Emperor himself wished to see the costly
manufacture whilst it was still on the loom. Accom-
panied by a select number of officers of the court, among
whom were the two honest men who had already admired
the cloth, he went to the crafty impostors, who, as soon
as they were aware of the Emperor’s approach, went on
working more diligently than ever, although they still did
not pass a single thread through the looms.

“Is not the work absolutely magnificent ?”’ said the
two officers of the Crown, already mentioned. “If your
Majesty will only be pleased to look at it! what a splendid
design! what glorious colours!’ and, at the same time,
they pointed to the empty frames; for they imagined that
every one else could see this exquisite piece of workman-
ship.

“* How is this ?”’ said the Emperor to himself, “I can
see nothing! this is indeed a terrible affair! Am Ia
simpleton, or am I unfit to be an Emperor? that would
be the worst thing that could happen. Oh! the cloth is
charming,” said he aloud. ‘‘ It has my complete approba-
tion.” And he smiled most graciously, and looked closely
at the empty looms ; for on no account would he say that
he could not see what two of the officers of his court had
praised so much. All his retinue now strained their eyes,
hoping to discover something on the looms, but they could
see no more than the others; nevertheless, they all ex-
claimed, ‘‘ Oh, how beautiful!” and advised his Majesty
to have some new clothes made from this splendid material,
THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES 261

for the approaching procession. ‘‘ Magnificent! charm-
ing! excellent !’’ resounded on all sides; and every one
was uncommonly gay. The Emperor shared in the general
satisfaction ; and presented the impostors with the riband
of an order of knighthood, to be worn in their button-holes,
and the title of ‘‘ Gentlemen Weavers.”

The rogues sat up the whole of the night before the day
on which the procession was to take place, and had six-
teen lights burning, so that every
one might see how anxious they were
to finish the Emperor’s new suit.
They pretended to roll the cloth off
the looms; cut the air with their
scissors ; and sewed with needles with-
out any thread in them. ‘‘See!”
cried they at last, ‘“‘the Emperor’s
new clothes are ready!”

And now the Emperor, with all
the grandees of his court, came to
the weavers; and the rogues raised
their arms, as if in the act of hold-
ing something up, saying, ‘‘ Here are
your Majesty’s trousers! here is the
scarf! hereisthe mantle! The whole
suit is as light as a cobweb; one might
fancy one has nothing at all on, when as wm rue act or
dressed in it; that, however, is the SO eee
great virtue of this delicate cloth.”

‘“*'Yes, indeed!” said all the courtiers, although not
one of them could see anything of this exquisite manu-
facture.

‘* Tf your Imperial Majesty will be graciously pleased to
take off your clothes, we will fit on the new suit in front of
the looking-glass.”’

The Emperor was accordingly undressed, and the rogues
pretended to array him in his new suit; the Emperor
turning round, from side to side, before the looking-glass.


262 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

“* How splendid his Majesty looks in his new clothes!
and how well they fit!’’ every one cried out. ‘‘ What a
design! what colours! these are indeed royal robes!”

* The canopy which is to be borne over your Majesty
in the procession is waiting,’ announced the chief master
of the ceremonies.

“T am quite ready,” answered the Emperor. ‘‘ Do
my new clothes fit well ? ” asked he, turning himself round
again before the looking-glass, in order that he might appear
to be examining his handsome suit.

The lords of the bed-chamber, who were to carry his



SO NOW THE EMPEROR WALKED UNDER HIS HIGH CANOPY

Majesty’s train, felt about on the ground, as if they were
lifting up the ends of the mantle, and pretending to be
carrying something ; for they would by no means betray
anything like simplicity or unfitness for their office.
So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in
the midst of the procession, through the streets of his
capital; and all the people standing by, and those at the
windows, cried out, ‘‘ Oh! how beautiful are our Emperor’s
new clothes! what a magnificent train there is to the
mantle! and how gracefully the scarf hangs!”’—in short,
no one would allow that he could not see these much-
admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have
THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES 263

declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office.
Certainly, none of the Emperor’s various suits had ever
made so great an impression as these invisible ones,

“* But the Emperor has nothing at all on!” said a little
child. “Listen to the voice of innocence!” exclaimed



his father; and what the child had said was whispered
from one to another.

“ But he has nothing at all on!” at last cried out all
the people. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the
people were right; but he thought the procession must
go on now! And the lords of the bed-chamber took
greater pains than ever to appear holding up a train,
although, in reality, there was no train to hold.



THE SWINEHERD

THERE was once a poor Prince, who had a kingdom ;
his kingdom was very small, but still quite large enough
to marry upon; and he wished to marry.

It was certainly rather cool of him to say to the Em-
peror’s daughter, Will you have me? But so he did;
for his name was renowned far and wide; and there were
a hundred princesses who would have answered “ Yes!”
and “ Thank you kindly.”” We shall see what this Princess
said.

Listen !

It happened that where the Prince’s father lay buried,
there grew a rose-tree—a most beautiful rose-tree, which
blossomed only once in every five years, and even then
bore only one flower, but that was a rose! It smelt so
sweet, that all cares and sorrows were forgotten by him
who inhaled its fragrance.

And furthermore, the Prince had a nightingale, who
could sing in such a manner that it seemed as though all
sweet melodies dwelt in her little throat. So the Princess
was to have the rose, and the nightingale; and they were
accordingly put into large silver caskets, and sent to her.

The Emperor had them brought into a large hall, where
the Princess was playing at “‘ Visiting,”’ with the ladies of
the court ; and when she saw the caskets with the presents,
she clapped her hands for joy.

** Ah, if it were but a little pussy-cat !’’ said she—but
the rose-tree with its beautiful rose came to view.

“Oh, how prettily it is made!’’ said all the court
ladies.

265 34
266 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

>

““It is more than pretty,’
charming ! ”
But the Princess touched it, and was almost ready to cry.

said the Emperor, “it is



ALL CARES AND SORROWS WERE FORGOTTEN BY HIM WHO
INHALED ITS FRAGRANCE

“Fie, papa!” said she, “it is not made at all, it is
natural!”

‘* Let us see what is in the other casket, before we get
into a bad humour,” said the Emperor. So the nightingale
THE SWINEHERD 267

came forth, and sang so delightfully that at first no one
could say anything ill-humoured of her.

“* Superbe! charmant!’ exclaimed the ladies; for
they all used to chatter French, each one worse than her
neighbour.

‘“* How much the bird reminds me of the musical box
that belonged to our blessed Empress,” said an old knight.
“‘Oh yes! these are the same tones, the same execution.”

“Yes! yes!” said the Emperor, and he wept like a
child at the remembrance.

**T will still hope that it is not a real bird,” said the
Princess.

‘* Yes, it is a real bird,” said those who had brought it.
‘* Well, then, let the bird fly,’’ said the Princess ; and she
positively refused to see the Prince.

However, he was not to be discouraged; he daubed
his face over brown and black, pulled his cap over his ears,
and knocked at the door.

‘“* Good day to my lord the Emperor!” said he. “ Can
I have employment at the palace ? ”

“Why, yes,” said the Emperor, “‘ I want some one to
take care of the pigs, for we have a great many of them.”

So the Prince was appointed ‘“‘ Imperial Swineherd.”
He had a dirty little room close by the pig-sty ; and there
he sat the whole day, and worked. By the evening he
had made a pretty little kitchen-pot. Little bells were
hung all. round it; and when the pot was boiling, these
bells tinkled in the most charming manner, and played the
old melody :

“Ach! du lieber Augustin,
Alles ist weg, weg, weg!” ?

But what was still more curious, whoever held his
finger in the smoke of the kitchen-pot, immediately smelt
all the dishes that were cooking on every hearth in the

1« Ah! dear Augustine,
All is gone, gone, gone!”
268 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

city.—This, you see, was something quite different from
the rose.

Now the Princess happened to walk that way; and
when she heard the tune, she stood quite still, and seemed

Cr

ez ing Fe



AND HE WEPT LIKE A CHILD °-

pleased ; for she could play ‘“‘ Lieber Augustin’; it was
the only piece she knew ; and she played it with one finger.

“Why, there is my piece,” said the Princess; ‘‘ that
swineherd must certainly have been well educated! Go
in and ask him the price of the instrument.”
THE SWINEHERD 269

So one of the court ladies must run in; however, she
drew on wooden slippers first.

‘* What will you take for the kitchen-pot ?”’ said the
lady.

‘‘T will have ten kisses from the Princess,” said the
swineherd.

** Yes, indeed !”’ said the lady.

**T cannot sell it for less,’’ rejoined the swineherd.

‘“* He is an impudent fellow ! ” said the Princess, and she
walked on; but when she had gone a little way, the bells
tinkled so prettily,

“Ach! du leber Augustin,
Alles ist weg, weg, weg!”

“‘ Stay,” said the Princess. “‘ Ask him if he will have
ten kisses from the ladies of my court.”

‘““ No, thank you!” said the swineherd, “ten kisses
from the Princess, or I keep the kitchen-pot myself.”

‘‘ That must not be either!’ said the Princess; ‘‘ but
do you all stand before me that no one may see us.”

And the court ladies placed themselves in front of her,
and spread out their dresses: the swineherd got ten kisses,
and the Princess—the kitchen-pot.

That was delightful! the pot was boiling the whole
evening, and the whole of the following day. They knew
perfectly well what was cooking at every fire throughout
the city, from the chamberlain’s to the cobbler’s: the
court ladies danced, and clapped their hands.

‘“‘ We know who has soup, and who has pancakes for
dinner to-day ; who has cutlets, and who has eggs. How
interesting !”

“Yes, but keep my secret, for I am an Emperor’s
daughter.”

The swineherd—that is to say, the Prince, for no one
knew that he was other than an ill-favoured swineherd—
let not a day pass without working at something ; he at last
constructed a rattle, which, when it was swung round,
270 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

played all the waltzes and jig-tunes which have ever been
heard since the creation of the world.

“Ah, that is superbe!” said the Princess when she
passed by. “I have never heard prettier compositions !
Go in and ask him the price of the instrument ; but mind,
he shall have no more kisses ! ””

** He will have a hundred kisses from the Princess!”
said the lady who
had been to ask.

“TI think he is
not in his right
senses!’’ said the
Princess, and walked
on; but when she
had gone a little
way, she stopped
again. ‘‘ One must
encourage art,” said
she. “I am _ the
Emperor’s daughter.
Tell him he shall, as
on yesterday, have
ten kisses from me,
and may take the
rest from the ladies
of the court.”

‘*Oh!—Dut we

“acu! DU LIEBER AUGUSTIN” should not like that

at all!” said they.
‘What are you muttering ?”’ asked the Princess; “‘if I
can kiss him, surely you can! Remember that you owe
everything to me.” So the ladies were obliged to go to
him again.

‘** A hundred kisses from the Princess!” said he, “* or
else let every one keep his own.”

“Stand round!’ said she; and all the ladies stood
round her whilst the kissing was going on.




THE SWINEHERD SCOLDED AND THE RAIN POURED DOWN

THE SWINEHERD 2738

‘* What can be the reason for such a crowd close by the
pig-sty ?”’ said the Emperor, who happened just then to
step out on the balcony; he rubbed his eyes and put on
his spectacles. ‘‘ They are the ladies of the court ; I must
go down and see what they are about!’ So he pulled up
his slippers at the heel, for he had trodden them down.

As soon as he had got into the court-yard, he moved
very softly, and the ladies were so much engrossed with
counting the kisses that all might go on fairly, that they
did not perceive the Emperor. He rose on his tiptoes.

‘* What is all this?’ said he, when he saw what was
going on, and he boxed the Princess’s ears with his slipper,
just as the swineherd was taking the eighty-sixth kiss.

“March out!” said the Emperor, for he was very
angry; and both Princess and swineherd were thrust out
of the city.

The Princess now stood and wept, the swineherd
scolded, and the rain poured down.

‘“‘ Alas! unhappy creature that I am!” said the Prin-
cess. “If I had but married the handsome young Prince!
Ah, how unfortunate I am!”

And the swineherd went behind a tree, washed the black
and brown colour from his face, threw off his dirty clothes,
and stepped forth in his princely robes ; he looked so noble
that the Princess could not help bowing before him.

‘Tam come to despise thee,” said he. “* Thou wouldst
not have an honourable prince! thou couldst not prize
the rose and the nightingale, but thou wast ready to kiss
the swineherd for the sake of a trumpery plaything.
Thou art rightly served.”

He then went back to his own little kingdom, and shut
the door of his palace in her face. Now she might well
sing :

“Ach! du lieber Augustin,
Alles ist weg, weg, weg !”’

35


UP FLEW THE TRUNK
THE FLYING TRUNK

THERE was once a merchant, so rich that he might have
paved the whole street where he lived and an alley besides
with pieces of silver, but this he did not do; he knew
another way of using his money, and whenever he laid out
a shilling he gained a crown in return: a merchant he
lived, and a merchant he died.

All his money then went to his son. But the son lived
merrily and spent all his time in pleasures, went to mas-
querades every evening, made bank-notes into paper kites,
and played at ducks and drakes in the pond with gold
pieces instead of stones. In this manner his money soon
vanished, until at last he had only a few pennies left, and
his wardrobe was reduced to a pair of slippers and an old
dressing-gown. His friends cared no more about him,
now that they could no longer walk abroad with him ;
one of them, however, more good-natured than the rest,
sent him an old trunk, with this advice, ‘‘ Pack up, and
be off!’? This was all very fine, but he had nothing that
he could. pack up, so he put himself into the trunk.

It was a droll trunk! When the lock was pressed close
it could fly. The merchant’s son did press the lock, and
lo! up flew the trunk with him through the chimney,
high into the clouds, on and on, higher and higher; the
lower part cracked, which rather frightened him, for if it
had broken in two, a pretty fall he would have had!

However, it descended safely, and he found himself in
Turkey. He hid the-trunk under a heap of dry leaves in a
wood, and walked into the next town: he could do so very
well, for among the Turks everybody goes about clad as he

275
276 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

was, in dressing-gown and slippers. He met a nurse,
. carrying a little child in her arms. “Hark ye, Turkish
nurse,’ quoth he; “what palace is that with the high
windows close by the town?”

‘* The King’s daughter dwells there,” replied the nurse ;
‘““it has been prophesied of her that she shall be made
very unhappy by a lover, and therefore no one may visit _
her, except when the
King and Queen are
with her.”

“Thank you,” said
the merchant’s son, and
he immediately went
back into the wood, sat
down in his trunk, flew
up to the roof of the
palace, and crept
through the window into
the Princess’s apart-
ment.

She was lying asleep
on the sofa. She was so
beautiful that the mer-
chant’s son could not
help kneeling down to
kiss her hand, where-
upon she awoke, and
was not a little fright-

THE SON LIVED MERRILY ened at the sight of this
unexpected visitor; but

he told her, however, that he was the Turkish prophet, and
had come down from the sky on purpose to woo her, and on
hearing this she was well pleased. So they sat down side
by side, and he talked to her about her eyes, how that they
were beautiful dark blue seas, and that thoughts and feel-
ings floated like mermaidens therein ; and he spoke of her
brow, how that it was a fair snowy mountain, with splendid


THE FLYING TRUNK 277

halls and pictures, and many other such-like things he
told her.

Oh, these were charming stories! and thus he wooed
the Princess, and she immediately said “ Yes!”

‘*But you must come here on Saturday,” said she;
“the King and Queen have promised to drink tea with
me that evening; they will be so proud and so pleased
when they hear that I am to marry the Turkish prophet !
And mind you tell them a very pretty story, for they are
exceedingly fond of stories ; my mother likes them to be
very moral and aristocratic, and my father likes them to
be merry, so as to make him laugh.”

‘* Yes, I shall bring no other bridal present than a tale,”
replied the merchant’s son ; and here they parted, but not
before the Princess had given her lover a sabre all covered
with gold. He knew excellently well what use to make of
this present.

So he flew away, bought a new dressing-gown, and then
sat down in the wood to compose the tale which was to be
ready by Saturday, and certainly he found composition
not the easiest thing in the world.

At last he was ready, and at last Saturday came.

The King, the Queen, and the whole court were wait-
ing tea for him at the Princess’s palace. The suitor was
received with much ceremony.

“Will you not tell us a story?” asked the Queen ;
“‘a story that is instructive and full of deep meaning.”

“ But let it make us laugh,” said the King.

‘“‘ With pleasure,” replied the merchant’s son ; and now
you must hear his story

There was once a bundle of matches, who were all ex-
tremely proud of their high descent, for their genealogical
tree, that is to say, the tall fir-tree, from which each of
them was a splinter, had been a tree of great antiquity, and
distinguished by his height from all the other trees of the
forest. The matches were now lying on the mantelpiece,
278 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

between a tinder-box and an old iron saucepan, and to
these two they often talked about their youth. “ Ah,
when we were upon the green branches,” said they ;
“when we really lived upon green branches—that was a
happy time! Every morning and evening we had diamond-
tea—that is, dew; the whole day long we had sunshine, at
least whenever the sun shone, and all the little birds used
to tell stories to us. It might easily be seen, too, that we
were rich, for the other trees were clothed with leaves only
during the summer, whereas our family could afford to wear
green clothes both summer and winter. But at last came
the wood-cutters: then was the great revolution, and
our family was dispersed. The paternal trunk obtained
a situation as mainmast to a magnificent ship, which could
sail round the world if it chose; the boughs were trans-
ported to various places, and our vocation was henceforth
to kindle lights for low, common people. Now you will
understand how it comes to pass that persons of such high
descent as we are should be living in a kitchen.”

“To be sure, mine is a very different history,” re-
marked the iron saucepan, near which the matches were
lying. ‘From the moment I came into the world until
now, I have been rubbed and scrubbed, and boiled over and
over again—oh, how many times! I love to have to do
with what is solidly good, and am really of the first import-
ance in this house. My only recreation is to stand clean
and bright upon this mantelpiece after dinner, and hold
some rational conversation with my companions. How-
ever, excepting the water-pail, who now and then goes out
into the court, we all of us lead a very quiet domestic life
here. Our only newsmonger is the turf-basket, but he
talks in such a democratic way about ‘government’
and the ‘ people’—why, I assure you, not long ago, there
was an old jar standing here, who was so much shocked
by what he heard said that he fell down from the mantel-
piece, and broke into a thousand pieces! That turf-
basket is a Liberal, that’s the fact.”
THE FLYING TRUNK 279

* Now, you talk too much,” interrupted the tinder-box,
and the steel struck the flint, so that the sparks flew out.
‘‘Why should we not spend a pleasant evening ? ”

“Yes, let us settle who is of highest rank among us!”
proposed the matches.

“Oh no; for my part I would
rather not speak of myself,” ob-
jected the earthenware pitcher.
‘Suppose we have an intellectual
entertainment ? I will begin; I
will relate something of everyday
life, such as we have all experi-
enced; one can easily transport
oneself into it, and that is so inter-
esting! Near the Baltic, among
the Danish beech-groves——”’

‘That is a capital beginning !”’
cried all the plates at once; “it
will certainly be just the sort of
story for me!”

“Yes, there I spent my youth
in a very quiet family; the furni-
ture was rubbed, the floors were
washed, clean curtains were hung
up every fortnight.”

‘* How very interesting! what a
charming way you have of describ-
ing things!” said the hair-broom.
““Anyone might guess immediately



that it is a lady who is speaking; “ ee CUE
oe a E
the tale breathes such a spirit of 7" " Quay

cleanliness ! ”’

“Very true; so it does!” exclaimed the water-pail,
and in the excess of his delight he gave a little jump, so
that some of the water splashed upon the floor.

And the pitcher went on with her tale, and the end
proved as good as the beginning.
280 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

All the plates clattered applause, and the hair-broom
took some green parsley out of the sand-hole and crowned
the pitcher, for he knew that this would vex the others ;
and, thought he, ‘‘ If I crown her to-day, she will crown
me to-morrow.”

‘* Now I will dance,” said the fire-tongs, and accordingly
she did dance, and oh! it was wonderful to see how high
she threw one of her legs up into the air; the old chair-



“ BUT LET IT MAKE US LAUGH,” SAID THE KING

cover in the corner tore with horror at seeing her. “‘ Am
not 1 to be crowned too ?”’ asked the tongs, and she was
erowned forthwith.

‘“‘ These are the vulgar rabble! ”’ thought the matches.

The tea-urn was now called upon to sing, but she had a
cold; she said she could only sing when she was boiling ;
however, this was all her pride and affectation. The fact
was she never cared to sing except when she was standing
on the parlour-table before company.
THE FLYING TRUNK 281

On the window-ledge lay an old quill-pen, with which
the maids used to write; there was nothing remarkable
about her, except that she had been dipped too low in the
ink; however, she was proud of that. “If the tea-urn
does not choose to sing,”’ quoth she, “‘ she may let it alone ;
there is a nightingale in the cage hung just outside—he can
sing; to be sure, he had never learnt the notes—never
mind, we will not speak evil of anyone this evening!”

“IT think it highly indecorous,” observed the tea-
kettle, who was the vocalist of the kitchen, and a half-
brother of the tea-urn’s, “that a foreign bird should be
listened to. Is it patriotic? I appeal to the turf-basket.”

‘*T am only vexed,” said the turf-basket. “I am
vexed from my inmost soul that such things are thought of
at all. Is it a becoming way of spending the evening ?
Would it not be much more rational to reform the whole
house, and establish a totally new order of things, rather
more according to nature? Then every one would get
into his right place, and I would undertake to direct the
revolution. What say you to it? That would be some-
thing worth the doing!”

‘* Oh yes, we will make a grand commotion!” cried they
all. Just then the door opened—it was the servant-maid.
They all stood perfectly still, not one dared stir, yet there
was not a single kitchen utensil among them all but was
thinking about the great things he could have done, and
how great was his superiority over the others.

** Ah, if I had chosen it,” thought each of them, “* what
a merry evening we might have had!”

The maid took the matches and struck a light—oh, how
they sputtered and blazed up !

‘* Now every one may see,”’ thought they, “ that we are
of highest rank ; what a splendid, dazzling light we give,
how glorious ! ””—and in another moment they were burnt
out.

“That is a capital story,” said the Queen; “I quite
36
282 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

felt myself transported into the kitchen—yes, thou shalt
have our daughter!”

‘* With all my heart,” said the King; ‘‘ on Monday thou
shalt marry our daughter.” They said “‘ thou” to him
now, since he was so soon to become one of the family.

The wedding was a settled thing; and on the evening



THEIR SLIPPERS FLEW ABOUT THEIR EARS

preceding, the whole city was illuminated; cakes, buns,
and sugar-plums were thrown out among the people; all
the little boys in the streets stood upon tiptoes, shouting
‘‘ Hurrah!” and whistling through their fingers—it was
famous !

‘‘ Well, I suppose I ought to do my part too,” thought
the merchant’s son, so he went and bought sky-rockets,


SUE SAT THE LIVELONG DAY UPON THE ROOF OF TIER PALACE,

EXPECTING HIM

THE FLYING TRUNK 285

squibs, Catherine-wheels, Roman-candles, and all kinds of
fireworks conceivable; put them all into his trunk, and
flew up into the air, letting them off as he flew.

Hurrah! what a glorious sky-rocket was that!

All the Turks jumped up to look, so hastily that their
slippers flew about their ears; such a meteor they had
never seen before. Now they might be sure that it was
indeed the prophet who was to marry their Princess.

As soon as the merchant’s son had returned in his trunk
to the wood, he said to himself, “* I will now go into the city
and hear what people say about me, and what sort of figure
I made in the air.” And, certainly, this was a very natural
idea.

Oh, what strange accounts were given! Every one
whom he accosted had beheld the bright vision in a way
peculiar to himself, but all agreed that it was marvellously
beautiful.

“‘T saw the great prophet with my own eyes,” declared
one; “he had eyes like sparkling stars, and a beard like
foaming water.”

‘“* He flew enveloped in a mantle of fire,” said another ;
“the prettiest little cherubs were peeping forth from under
its folds.”

Yes; he heard of many beautiful things, and the
morrow was to be his wedding-day.

He now went back to the wood, intending to get into
his trunk again, but where was it ?

Alas! the trunk was burnt. One spark from the fire-
works had been left in it, and set it on fire; the trunk now
lay in ashes. The poor merchant’s son could never fly
again—could never again visit his bride. :

She sat the livelong day upon the roof of her palace,
expecting him ; she expects him still; he, meantime, goes
about the world telling stories, but none of his stories
now are so pleasant as that one which he related in the
Princess’s palace about the Brimstone Matches.

THE LEAPING MATCH

Tur flea, the grasshopper, and the frog once wanted to
try which of them could jump highest ; so they invited
the whole world, and anybody else who liked, to come
and see the grand sight. Three famous jumpers were
they, as was seen by every one when they met together
in the room.

“JT will give my daughter to him who shall jump
highest,” said the King; “it would be too bad for you
to have the trouble of jumping, and for us to offer you no
prize.”

The flea was the first to introduce himself; he had
such polite manners, and bowed to the company on
every side, for he was of noble blood; besides, he was
accustomed to the society of man, which had been a great
advantage to him.

Next came the grasshopper ; he was not quite so slightly
and elegantly formed as the flea; however, he knew per-
fectly well how to conduct himself, and wore a green
uniform, which belonged to him by right of birth. More-
over, he declared himself to have sprung from a very
ancient and honourable Egyptian family, and that in his
present home he was very highly esteemed, so much
so, indeed, that he had been taken out of the field and
put into a card-house three stories high, built on purpose
for him, and all of court-cards, the coloured sides being
turned inwards ; as for the doors and windows in his house,
they were cut out of the body of the Queen of Hearts.
‘“* And I can sing so well,” added he, “‘ that sixteen parlour-
bred crickets, who have chirped and chirped ever since

287

i
288 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

they were born and yet could never get anybody to build
them a card-house, after hearing me have fretted them-
selves ten times thinner than ever, out of sheer envy



THE OLD COUNCILLOR

and vexation!”’ Both the flea and the grasshopper knew
excellently well how to make the most of themselves,
and each considered himself quite an equal match for a
princess.
THE LEAPING MATCH 289

The frog said not a word; however, it might be that
he thought the more, and the house-dog, after going
-snuffing about him, confessed that the frog must be of

q

(©/ aE an



“Tl SAY NOTHING FOR THE PRESENT,’ REMARKED THE KING

a good family. And the old councillor, who in vain
received three orders to hold his tongue, declared that the
frog must be gifted with the spirit of prophecy, for that

one could read on his back whether there was to be a
37
290 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

severe or a mild winter, which, to be sure, is more than
can be read on the back of the man who writes the weather
almanack.

‘Ah, I say nothing for the present!’ remarked the
old King, “ but I observe everything, and form my own
private opinion thereupon. And now the match began.



The flea jumped so high that no one could see what had
become of him, and so they insisted that he had not
jumped at all, “ which was disgraceful, after he had made
such a fuss!”

The grasshopper only jumped half as high, but he
jumped right into the King’s face, and the King declared
he was quite disgusted by his rudeness.
THE LEAPING MATCH 291

The frog stood still as if lost in thought; at last
people fancied he did not intend to jump at all.

“I’m afraid he is ill!’ said the dog; and he went
snuffing at him again, when lo! all at once he made a
little sidelong jump into the lap of the Princess, who was
sitting on a low stool close by.

Then spoke the King: “ There is nothing higher than
my daughter, therefore he who Jumps up to her jumps
highest ; but only a person of good understanding would
ever have thought of that, and thus the frog has shown us
that he has understanding. He has brains in his head,
that he has !”

And thus the frog won the Princess.

““T jumped highest for all that!” exclaimed the
flea. ‘But it’s all the same to me; let her have the
stiff-legged, slimy creature, if she likes him! I jumped
highest, but I am too light and airy for this stupid world ;
the people can neither see me nor catch me; dulness and
heaviness win the day with them.”

And so the flea went into foreign service, where, it is
said, he was killed.

And the grasshopper sat on a green bank, meditating
on the world and its goings on, and at length he repeated
the flea’s last words—‘ Yes, dulness and heaviness win
the day! dulness and heaviness win the day!” And
then he again began singing his own peculiar, melancholy
song, and it is from him that we have learnt this history ;
and yet, my friend, though you read it here in a printed
book, it may not be perfectly true.


THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE CHIMNEY-SWEEPER


THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE CHIMNEY-
SWEEPER

Have you never seen an old-fashioned oaken-wood
cabinet, quite black with age and covered with varnish
and carving-work? Just such a piece of furniture, an
old heirloom that had been the property of its present
mistress’s great-grandmother, once stood in a parlour.
It was carved from top to bottom—roses, tulips, and
little stags’ heads with long, branching antlers, peering
forth from the curious scrolls and foliage surrounding
them. Moreover, in the centre panel of the cabinet was
carved the full-length figure of a man, who seemed to be
perpetually grinning, perhaps at himself, for in truth he
was a most ridiculous figure; he had crooked legs, small
horns on his forehead, and a long beard. The children
of the house used to call him “the crooked-legged Field-
marshal-Major-General-Corporal-Sergeant,” for this was a
long, hard name, and not many figures, whether carved
in wood or in stone, could boast of such a title. There he
stood, his eyes always fixed upon the table under the
pier-glass, for on this table stood a pretty little porcelain
shepherdess, her mantle gathered gracefully round her,
and fastened with a red rose; her shoes and hat were
gilt, her hand held a crook—oh, she was charming !
Close by her stood a little chimney-sweeper, likewise of
porcelain. He was as clean and neat as any of the other
figures, indeed, the manufacturer might just as well have

293
294 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

made a prince as a chimney-sweeper of him, for though
elsewhere black as a coal, his face was as fresh and rosy
as a girl’s, which was certainly a mistake—it ought to
have been black. His ladder in his hand, there he kept
his station, close by the little shepherdess ; they had been
placed together from the first, had always remained on
the same spot, and had thus plighted their troth to each
other; they suited each other so well, they were both
young people, both of the same kind of porcelain, both
alike fragile and delicate.

Not far off stood a figure three times as large as the
others. It was an old Chinese mandarin who could nod
his head; he too was of porcelain and declared that
he was grandfather to the little shepherdess. He could not
prove his assertion; however, he insisted that he had
authority over her, and so, when “the crooked-legged
Field - marshal - Major-General-Corporal-Sergeant”’ made
proposals to the little shepherdess, he nodded his head,
in token of his consent.

“Now you will have a husband,” said the old man-
darin to her, ‘“‘a husband who, I verily believe, is of
mahogany-wood ; you will be the wife of a Field-marshal-
Major-General-Corporal-Sergeant, of a man who has a
whole cabinet full of silverplate, besides a store of no one
knows what in the secret drawers!”

““T will not go into that dismal cabinet !”’ declared the
little shepherdess. ‘‘ I have heard say that eleven porce-
lain ladies are already imprisoned there.”

“Then you shall be the twelfth, and you will be in good
company!” rejoined the mandarin. ‘This very night,
when the old cabinet creaks, your nuptials shall be cele-
brated, as sure as I am a Chinese mandarin !”’

Whereupon he nodded his head and fell asleep.

But the little shepherdess wept, and turned to the
beloved of her heart, the porcelain chimney-sweep.

“IT believe I must ask you,” said she, “to go out
with me into the wide world, for here we cannot stay.”
SHEPHERDESS AND CHIMNEY-SWEEPER 295

“IT will do everything you wish,” replied the little
chimney-sweeper; ‘‘let us go at once. I think I can
support you by my profession.”

“If you could but get off the table!” sighed she;
“TI shall never be happy till we are away, out in the
wide world.”

And he comforted her, and showed her how to set her
little foot on the carved edges and gilded foliage twining
round the leg of the table, till at last they reached the floor.
But turning to look at the old cabinet, they saw everything
in a grand commotion, all the carved stags putting their
little heads farther out, raising their antlers, and moving
their throats, whilst “‘ the crooked-legged Field-marshal-
Major-General-Corporal-Sergeant ”’ sprang up, and shouted
out to the old Chinese mandarin, “‘ Look, they are
eloping! they are eloping!’’ They were not a little
frightened, and quickly jumped into an open drawer for
protection.

In this drawer there were three or four incomplete
packs of cards, and also a little puppet-theatre; a play
was being performed, and all the queens, whether of
diamonds, hearts, clubs, or spades, sat in the front row
fanning themselves with the flowers they held in their
hands; behind them stood the knaves, showing that
they had each two heads, one above and one below, as
most cards have. The play was about two persons who
were crossed in love, and the shepherdess wept over it, for
it was just like her own history.

“IT cannot bear this!” said she. ‘‘ Let us leave the
drawer.” But when they had again reached the floor,
on looking up at the table, they saw that the old Chinese
mandarin had awakened, and was rocking his whole body
to and fro with rage.

“Oh, the old mandarin is coming!” cried the little
shepherdess, and down she fell on her porcelain knees in
the greatest distress. ‘‘ A sudden thought has struck me,”
said the chimney-sweeper: ‘‘ suppose we creep into the
296 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

large pot-pourri vase that stands in the corner; there
we can rest upon roses and lavender, and throw salt in his
eyes if he come near us.”

“That will not do at-all,” said she; “ besides, I know
that the old mandarin was once betrothed to the pot-pourri
vase, and no doubt there is still some slight friendship
existing between them. No, there is no help for it,
we must wander forth together into the wide world.”

“Hast thou indeed the courage to go with me into the
wide world ?” asked the chimney-sweeper. ‘Hast thou
considered how large it is, and that we may never return
home again ? ” ;

““T have,” replied she.

And the chimney-sweeper looked keenly at her, and
then said, “‘ My path leads through the chimney ! hast
thou indeed the courage to creep with me through the
stove, through the flues and the tunnel? Well do I know
the way! We shall mount up so high that they cannot
come near us, and at the top there is a cavern that leads
into the wide world.”

And he led her to the door of the stove.

** Oh, how black it looks ! ” sighed she; however, she
went on with him, through the flues and through the
tunnel, where it was dark, pitch dark.

““ Now we are in the chimney,” said he; ‘ and look,
what a lovely star shines above us!”

And there was actually a star in the sky, shining right
down upon them, as if to show them the way. And they
crawled and crept—a fearful path was theirs—so high, so
very high! but he guided and supported her, and showed
her the best places whereon to plant her tiny porcelain
feet, till they reached the edge of the chimney, where they
sat down to rest, for they were very tired, and indeed
not without reason.

Heaven with all its stars was above them, and the
town with all its roofs lay beneath them; the wide, wide
world surrounded them. The poor shepherdess had never
SHEPHERDESS AND CHIMNEY-SWEEPER 297

imagined all this ; she leant her little head on her chimney-
sweeper’s arm, and wept so vehemently that the gilding
broke off from her waistband.

“This is too much!” exclaimed she. “‘ This can I
not endure! The world is all too large! Oh that I were
once more upon the little table under the pier-glass! I
shall never be happy tillI am there again. Ihave followed
thee out into the wide world, surely thou canst follow me
home again, if thou lovest me!”

And the chimney-sweeper talked very sensibly to her,
reminding her of the old Chinese mandarin and ‘“‘ the
crooked-legged Field- marshal - Major-General - Corporal-
Sergeant,” but she wept so bitterly, and kissed her little
chimney-sweep so fondly, that at last he could not but
yield to her request, unreasonable as it was.

So with great difficulty they crawled down the chimney,
crept through the flues and the tunnel, and at length
found themselves once more in the dark stove; but they
still lurked behind the door, listening, before they would
venture to return into the room. Everything was quite
still; they peeped out: alas! on the ground lay the
old Chinese mandarin. In attempting to follow the
runaways, he had fallen down off the table and had
broken into three pieces; his head lay shaking in a
corner ; “‘ the crooked-legged Field-marshal-Major-General-
Corporal-Sergeant ’’ stood where he had always stood,
thinking over what had happened.

‘Oh, how shocking ! ”” exclaimed the little shepherdess ;
“old grandfather is broken in pieces, and we are the
cause! I shall never survive it!’ and she wrung her
delicate hands.

“He can be put together again,” replied the chimney-
sweeper. ‘‘ He can very easily be put together ; only be
not so impatient! If they glue his back together, and put
a strong rivet in his neck, then he will be as good as
new again, and will be able to say plenty of unpleasant

things to us.”
38
298 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

““Do you really think so?” asked she. And then
they climbed up the table to the place where they had
stood before.

‘““ See how far we have been!” observed the chimney-
sweeper, “‘we might have spared ourselves all the
trouble.”

“If we could but have old grandfather put together!”
said the shepherdess. ‘‘ Will it cost very much ? ”’

And he was put together; the family had his back
glued and his neck riveted; he was as good as new, but
could no longer nod his head.

‘* You have certainly grown very proud since you broke
in pieces !’? remarked the crooked-legged Field-marshal-
Major-General-Corporal-Sergeant, ‘“‘ but I must say, for
my part, I do not see that there is anything to be proud
of. Am I to have her or am I not? Just answer me
that!”

And the chimney-sweeper and the little shepherdess
looked imploringly at the old mandarin; they were so
afraid lest he should nod his head. But nod he could not,
and it was disagreeable to him to tell a stranger that he
had a rivet in his neck: so the young porcelain people
always remained together; they blessed the grandfather’s
rivet, and loved each other till they broke in pieces,


THE POOR DUCKLING WAS SCORNED BY ALL
THE UGLY DUCKLING

Ir was beautiful in the country, it was summer-time ;
the wheat was yellow, the oats were green, the hay was
stacked up in the green meadows, and the stork paraded
about on his long red legs, discoursing in Egyptian, which
language he had learned from his mother. The fields and
meadows were skirted by thick woods, and a deep lake
lay in the midst of the woods.—Yes, it was indeed
beautiful in the country! The sunshine fell warmly on
an old mansion, surrounded by deep canals, and from the
walls down to the water’s edge there grew large burdock-
leaves, so high that children could stand upright among
them without being perceived. This place was as wild
and unfrequented as the thickest part of the wood,
and on that account a duck had chosen to make her nest
there. She was sitting on her eggs; but the pleasure
she had felt at first was now almost gone, because she
had been there so long, and had so few visitors, for the
other ducks preferred swimming on the canals to sitting
among the burdock-leaves gossiping with her.

At last the eggs cracked one after another, ‘* Tchick,
tchick!” All the eggs were alive, and one little head
after another appeared. ‘‘ Quack, quack,” said the
duck, and all got up as well as they could; they peeped
about from under the green leaves, and as green is good
for the eyes, their mother let them look as long as they
pleased.

‘* How large the world is!’ said the little ones, for
they found their present situation very different to their

former confined one, while yet in the egg-shells.
300
THE UGLY DUCKLING 801

“Do you imagine this to be the whole of the world ?”
said the mother; ‘it extends far beyond the other side of
the garden, to the pastor’s field; but I have never been
there. Are you allhere?’’ And then she got up. ** No,
I have not got you all, the largest egg is still here. How
long will this Jast ? I am so weary of it 1? And then she
sat down again.

“Well, and how are you getting on?” asked an
old duck, who had come to pay her a visit.

“This one egg keeps me so long,” said the mother, “‘ it
will not break. But you should see the others; they are
the prettiest little ducklings I have seen in all my days ;
they are all like their father—the good-for-nothing
fellow! he has not been to visit me once.”

“Let me see the egg that will not break,” said the old
duck; ‘depend upon it, it is a turkey’s egg. I was
cheated in the same way once myself, and I had such
trouble with the young ones; for they were afraid of the
water, and I could not get them there. I called and
scolded, but it was all of no use. But let me see the
ege—ah yes ! to be sure, that is a turkey’s egg. Leave it
and teach the other little ones to swim.”

‘“T will sit on it a little longer,” said the duck. “TI
have been sitting so long, that I may as well spend the
harvest here.”

“Tt is no business of mine,” said the old duck, and
away she waddled.

The great egg burst at last, “ Tchick, tchick,” said the
little one, and out it tumbled—but oh, how large and ugly
it was! The duck looked at it. ‘‘ That is a great, strong
creature,” said she; ‘‘ none of the others are at all like
it; can it be a young turkey-cock ? Well, we shall soon
find out; it must go into the water, though I push it in
myself!”

The next day there was delightful weather, and the
sun shone warmly upon all the green leaves when mother-
duck with all her family went down to the canal ; plump
802 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

she went into the water, ‘‘ Quack, quack,” cried she, and
one duckling after another jumped in. The water closed
over their heads, but all came up again, and swam together
in the pleasantest manner; their legs moved without
effort. All were there, even the ugly grey one.

“No ! it is not a turkey,” said the old duck ; “ only see
how prettily it moves its legs, how upright it holds itself ;
it is my own child! it is also really very pretty when one
looks more closely at it; quack, quack, now come with
me, I will take you into the world, introduce you in the
duck-yard ; but keep close to me, or some one may tread
on you, and beware of the cat.”

So they came into the duck-yard. There was a
horrid noise; two families were quarrelling about the
remains of an eel, which in the end was secured by the
cat.

“See, my children, such is the way of the world,”
said the mother-duck, wiping her beak, for she too was
fond of roasted eels. ‘‘ Now use your legs,” said she,
““ keep together, and bow to the old duck you see yonder.
She is the most distinguished of all the fowls present, and
is of Spanish blood, which accounts for her dignified
appearance and manners. And look, she has a red rag
on her leg; that is considered extremely handsome,
and is the greatest distinction a duck can have. Don’t
turn your feet inwards; a well-educated duckling
always keeps his legs far apart, like his father and
mother, just so—look, now bow your necks, and say
* quack.’”’

And they did as they were told. But the other ducks
who were in the yard looked at them and said aloud,
““ Only see, now we have another brood, as if there were
not enough of us already. And fie! how ugly that one
is! We will not endure it”; and immediately one
of the ducks flew at him, and bit him in the neck.

“Leave him alone,” said the mother, “ he is doing no
one any harm.”
THE UGLY DUCKLING 303

“ Yes, but he is so large, and so strange-looking, and
therefore he shall be teased.”

“Those are fine children that our good mother has,”
said the old duck with the red rag on her leg. “ All are
pretty except one, and that has not turned out well; I
almost wish it could be hatched over again.”

“That cannot be, please your highness,” said the mother.
“Certainly he is not handsome, but he is a very good
child, and swims as well as the others, indeed rather
better. I think he will grow like the others all in good
time, and perhaps will look smaller. He stayed so long
in the egg-shell, that is the cause of the difference,” and
she scratched the duckling’s neck, and stroked his whole
body. ‘‘ Besides,” added she, “he is a drake; I think he
will be very strong, therefore it does not matter so much ;
he will fight his way through.”

“The other ducks are very pretty,” said the old
duck, ‘‘ pray make yourselves at home, and if you find an
eel’s head you can bring it to me.”

And accordingly they made themselves at home.

But the poor little duckling, who had come last out of
its egg-shell, and who was so ugly, was bitten, pecked, and
teased by both ducks and hens. “It is so large,” said
they all. And the turkey-cock, who had come into the
world with spurs on, and therefore fancied he was an
emperor, puffed himself up like a ship in full sail, and
marched up to the duckling quite red with passion.
The poor little thing scarcely knew what to do; he was
quite distressed because he was so ugly, and because he
was the jest of the poultry-yard.

So passed the first day, and afterwards matters grew
worse and worse; the poor duckling was scorned by all.
Even his brothers and sisters behaved unkindly, and were
constantly saying, “The cat fetch thee, thou nasty
creature!?? The mother said, “ Ah, if thou wert only
far away!” The ducks bit him, the hens pecked him,
and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him. He ran
304 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

over the hedge; the little birds in the bushes were terrified.
“That is because I am so ugly,” thought the duckling,
shutting his eyes, but he ran on. At last he came to a
wide moor, where lived some wild ducks; here he lay the
whole night, so tired and so comfortless. In the morning
the wild ducks flew up, and perceived their new com-



HE CAME TO A WIDE MOOR

panion. ‘‘ Pray, who are you?” asked they; and our
little duckling turned himself in all directions, and greeted
them as politely as possible.

“You are really uncommonly ugly,” said the wild
ducks ; ‘‘ however, that does not matter to us, provided
you do not marry into our families.” Poor thing! he
had never thought of marrying; he only begged per-
THE UGLY DUCKLING 805

mission to lie among the reeds, and drink the water of the:
moor.

There he lay for two whole days—on the third day there
came two wild geese, or rather ganders, who had not been
long out of their egg-shells, which accounts for their
impertinence.

‘Hark ye,” said they, ‘‘ you are so ugly that we like
you infinitely well; will you come with us, and be a bird
of passage? On another moor, not far from this, are
some dear, sweet, wild geese, as lovely creatures as have
ever said ‘hiss, hiss.’ You are truly in the way to make
your fortune, ugly as you are.”

Bang ! a gun went off all at once, and both wild geese
were stretched dead among the reeds; the water became
red with blood—bang! a gun went off again, whole
flocks of wild geese flew up from among the reeds, and
another report followed.

There was a grand hunting party: the hunters lay in
ambush all around; some were even sitting in the trees,
whose huge branches stretched far over the moor. The
blue smoke rose through the thick trees like a mist,
and was dispersed as it fell over the water; the hounds
splashed about in the mud, the reeds and rushes bent in
all directions. How frightened the poor little duck was!
He turned his head, thinking to hide it under his wings,
and in a moment a most formidable-looking dog stood
close to him, his tongue hanging out of his mouth, his
eyes sparkling fearfully. He opened wide his jaws at the
sight of our duckling, showed him his sharp white teeth,
and, splash, splash! he was gone, gone without hurting
him.

“Well! let me be thankful,” sighed he, “I am so
ugly, that even the dog will not eat me.”

And now he lay still, though the shooting continued
among the reeds, shot following shot.

The noise did not cease till late in the day, and even

then the poor little thing dared not stir; he waited several
39
306 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

hours before he looked around him, and then hastened
away from the moor as fast as he could. He ran over
fields and meadows, though the wind was so high that he
had some difficulty in proceeding.

Towards evening he reached a wretched little hut, so
wretched that it knew not on which side to fall, and
therefore remained standing. The wind blew violently,
so that our poor little duckling was obliged to support
himself on his tail, in order to stand against it; but it
became worse and worse. He then remarked that the
door had lost one of its hinges, and hung so much awry
that he could creep through the crevice into the room,
which he did.

In this room lived an old woman, with her tom-cat
and her hen; and the cat, whom she called her little
son, knew how to set up his back and purr; indeed, he
could even emit sparks when stroked the wrong way.
The hen had very short legs, and was therefore called
‘* Cuckoo Shortlegs ”’ ; she laid very good eggs, and the old
woman loved her as her own child.

The next morning the new guest was perceived; the
cat began to mew, and the hen to cackle.

‘What is the matter?” asked the old woman, look-
ing round; however, her eyes were not good, so she
took the young duckling to be a fat duck who had lost
her way. ‘ This is a capital catch,” said she, ‘‘I shall
now have duck’s eggs, if it be not a drake: we must
UNG

And so the duckling was put to the proof for three
weeks, but no eggs made their appearance.

Now the cat was the master of the house, and the
hen was the mistress, and they used always to say,
‘** We and the World,” for they imagined themselves to
be not only the half of the world, but also by far the
better half. The duckling thought it was possible to
be of a different opinion, but that the hen would not
allow.
THE UGLY DUCKLING 807

“Can you lay eggs?” asked she.

66 No.”

““ Well, then, hold your tongue.”

And the cat said, “‘Can you set up your back? can
you purr?”

ce No.”

‘* Well, then, you should have no opinion when reason-
able persons are speaking.”

So the duckling sat alone in a corner, and was in a very
bad humour ; however, he happened to think of the fresh
air and bright sunshine, and these thoughts gave him such
a strong desire to swim again that he could not help
telling it to the hen.

‘“‘ What ails you?” said the hen. ‘‘ You have nothing
to do, and, therefore, brood over these fancies; either
lay eggs, or purr, then you will forget them.”

“But it is so delicious to swim,” said the duckling,
“so delicious when the waters close over your head, and
you plunge to the bottom.”

‘“‘ Well, that is a queer sort of a pleasure,” said the
hen; “I think you must be crazy. Not to speak of
myself, ask the cat—he is the most sensible animal I
know—whether he would like to swim or to plunge to the
bottom of the water. Ask our mistress, the old woman
—there is no one in the world wiser than she—do you
think she would take pleasure in swimming, and in the
waters closing over her head?”

“You do not understand me,” said the duckling.

‘“What, we do not understand you! so you think
yourself wiser than the cat, and the old woman, not to
speak of myself. Do not fancy any such thing, child,
but be thankful for all the kindness that has been shown
you. Are you not lodged in a warm room, and have
you not the advantage of society from which you can
learn something? But you are a simpleton, and it is
wearisome to have anything to do with you. Believe me,
I wish you well. I tell you unpleasant truths, but it is
808 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

thus that real friendship is shown. Come, for once
give yourself the trouble to learn to purr, or to lay
eggs.”

“I think I will go out into the wide world again,”
said the duckling.

‘* Well, go,” answered the hen.

So the duckling went. He swam on the surface of the
water, he plunged beneath, but all animals passed him
by, on account of his ugliness. And the autumn came, the
leaves turned yellow and brown, the wind caught them
and danced them about, the air was very cold, the clouds
were heavy with hail or snow, and the raven sat on the
hedge and croaked :—the poor duckling was certainly not
very comfortable !

One evening, just as the sun was setting with unusual
brilliancy, a flock of large beautiful birds rose from out of
the brushwood; the duckling had never seen anything so
beautiful before ; their plumage was of a dazzling white and
they had long, slender necks. They were swans; they
uttered a singular cry, spread out their long, splendid
wings, and flew away from these cold regions to warmer
countries, across the open sea. They flew so high, so
very high! and the little ugly duckling’s feelings were
so strange; he turned round and round in the water
like a mill-wheel, strained his neck to look after them,
and sent forth such a loud and strange cry, that it almost
frightened himself.—Ah ! he could not forget them, those
noble birds ! those happy birds! When he could see them
no longer, he plunged to the bottom of the water, and
when he rose again was almost beside himself. The
duckling knew not what the birds were called, knew not
whither they were flying, yet he loved them as he had
never before loved anything; he envied them not, it
would never have occurred to him to wish such beauty for
himself; he would have been quite contented if the duck
in the duck-yard had but endured his company —the poor
ugly animal !


AND THE CAT SAID, “CAN YOU PURR?”
310 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

And the winter was so cold, so cold! The duckling
was obliged to swim round and round in the water, to
keep it from freezing; but every night the opening in
which he swam became smaller and smaller; it froze
so that the crust of ice crackled ; the duckling was obliged
to make good use of his legs to prevent the water from
freezing entirely ; at last, wearied out, he lay stiff and cold
in the ice.

Early in the morning there passed by a peasant, who
saw him, broke the ice in pieces with his wooden shoe, and
brought him home to his wife.

He now revived ; the children would have played with
him, but our duckling thought they wished to tease him,
and in his terror jumped into the milk-pail, so that the
milk was spilled about the room: the good woman
screamed and clapped her hands; he flew thence into
the pan where the butter was kept, and thence into the
meal-barrel, and out again, and then how strange he
looked !

The woman screamed, and struck at him with the
tongs; the children ran races with each other trying to
catch him, and laughed and screamed likewise. It was
well for him that the door stood open; he jumped out
among the bushes into the new-fallen snow—he lay there
as in a dream.

But it would be too melancholy to relate all the trouble
and misery that he was obliged to suffer during the severity
of the winter—he was lying on a moor among the reeds,
when the sun began to shine warmly again, the larks
sang, and beautiful spring had returned.

And once more he shook his wings. They were
stronger than formerly, and bore him forwards quickly,
and before he was well aware of it, he was in a large garden
where the apple-trees stood in full bloom, where the
syringas sent forth their fragrance and hung their long
green branches down into the winding canal. Oh, every-
thing was so lovely, so full of the freshness of spring!


”
AND EVERY ONE SAID, ‘“‘ THE NEW ONE IS THE BEST
312 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

And out of the thicket came three beautiful white swans.
They displayed their feathers so proudly, and swam so
lightly, so lightly! The duckling knew the glorious
creatures, and was seized with a strange melancholy.

“I will fly to them, those kingly birds!” said he.
** They will kill me, because I, ugly as Iam, have presumed
to approach them; but it matters not, better to be killed
by them than to be bitten by the ducks, pecked by the
hens, kicked by the girl who feeds the poultry, and to have
so much to suffer during the winter!’ He flew into
the water, and swam towards the beautiful creatures
—they saw him and shot forward to meet him. ‘“* Only
kill me,” said the poor animal, and he bowed his head
low, expecting death—but what did he see in the water ?
—he saw beneath him his own form, no longer that
of a plump, ugly, grey bird—it was that of a swan.

It matters not to have been born in a duck-yard, if
one has been hatched from a swan’s egg.

The good creature felt himself really elevated by all
the troubles and adversities he had experienced. He
could now rightly estimate his own happiness, and
the larger swans swam round him, and stroked him with
their beaks.

Some little children were running about in the garden ;
they threw grain and bread into the water, and the
youngest exclaimed, “‘ There is a new one !”’—the others
also cried out, ‘‘ Yes, there is a new swan come!” and
they clapped their hands, and danced around. They ran
to their father and mother, bread and cake were thrown
into the water, and every one said, ‘‘ The new one is the
best, so young, and so beautiful!’ and the old swans
bowed before him. The young swan felt quite ashamed,
and hid his head under his wings; he scarcely knew what
to do, he was all too happy, but still not proud, for a good
heart is never proud.

He remembered how he had been persecuted and
derided, and he now heard every one say he was the
THE UGLY DUCKLING 3138

most beautiful of all beautiful birds. The syringas bent
down their branches towards him low into the water, and
the sun shone so warmly and brightly—he shook his
feathers, stretched his slender neck, and in the joy of
his heart said, ‘‘ How little did I dream of so much happi-
ness when I was the ugly, despised duckling!”







HEATH
ROBINI ON:
THE NAUGHTY BOY

THERE was once an old poet, such a good, honest old
poet! He was sitting alone in his own little room on
a very stormy evening; the wind was roaring without,
and the rain poured down in torrents. But the old man
sat cosily by his warm stove, the fire was blazing brightly,
and some apples were roasting in front of it.

‘“‘' Those poor people who have no roof to shelter them
to-night will, most assuredly, not have a dry thread left
on their skin,” said the kind-hearted old man.

“Qh, open the door! open the door! I am so cold,
and quite wet through besides—open the door!” cried a
voice from without. The voice was like a child’s, and
seemed half-choked with sobs. ‘Rap, rap, rap!” it
went on knocking at the door, whilst the rain still kept
streaming down from the clouds, and the wind rattled
among the window-panes.

‘Poor thing!’ said the old poet; and he arose and
opened the door. There stood a little boy, almost naked ;
the water trickled down from his long flaxen hair; he was
shivering with cold, and had he been left much longer
out in the street, he must certainly have perished in the
storm.

“Poor boy!” said the old poet again, taking him
by the hand, and leading him into his room. ‘Come to
me, and we'll soon make thee warm again, and I will give
thee some wine, and some roasted apples for thy supper,
my pretty child!” 4

And, of a truth, the boy was exceedingly pretty. His
eyes shone as bright as stars, and his hair, although

315
816 HANS ANDERSEN’S FAIRY TALES

dripping with water, curled in beautiful ringlets. He
looked quite like a little cherub, but he was very pale,
and trembled in every limb with cold. In his hand he
held a pretty little cross-bow, but it seemed entirely spoilt
by the rain, and the colours painted on the arrows all ran
one into another.

The old poet sat down again beside the stove, and
took the little boy in his lap; he wrung the water out of
his streaming hair, warmed the child’s hands within his
own, and gave him mulled wine to drink. The boy
soon became himself again, the rosy colour returned to
his cheeks, he jumped down from the old man’s lap, and
danced around him on the floor.

“Thou art a merry fellow!” said the poet. “Thou
must tell me thy name.”

“They call me Cupid,” replied the boy. “ Don’t you
know me? There lies my bow; ah, you can’t think how
capitally I can shoot! See, the weather is fine again
now; the moon is shining bright.”

“But thy bow is spoilt,” said the old man.

“That would be a sad disaster, indeed,’ remarked the
boy, as he took the bow in his hand and examined it
closely. “Oh, it is quite dry by this time, and it is not a
bit damaged; the string, too, is quite strong enough, I
think. However, I may as well try it!” He then drew
his bow, placed an arrow before the string, took his aim,
and shot direct into the old poet’s heart. “Now you
may be sure that my cross-bow is not spoilt !” cried he,
as, with a loud laugh, he ran away.

The naughty boy! This was, indeed, ungrateful of
him, to shoot to the heart the good old man who had so
kindly taken him in, warmed him, and dried his clothes,
given him sweet wine, and nice roasted apples for supper !

The poor poet lay groaning on the ground, for the arrow
bad wounded him sorely. ‘“ Fie, for shame, Cupid!”
cried he, “‘thou art a wicked boy! I will tell all good
children how thou hast treated me, and bid them take heed


D DANCED AROUND

HE JUMPED DOWN FROM THE OLD MAN’S LAP AN
HIM ON THE FLOOR

THE NAUGHTY BOY 319

and never play with thee, for thou wilt assuredly do them
a mischief, as thou hast done to me.”

All the good boys and girls to whom he related this
story were on their guard against the wicked boy, Cupid;
but, notwithstanding, he made fools of them again and
again, he is so terribly cunning! When the students are
returning home from lecture, he walks by their side, dressed
in a black gown, and with a book under his arm. They
take him to be a fellow-student, and so they suffer him
to walk arm-in-arm with them, just as if he were one of
their intimate friends. But whilst they are thus familiar
with him, all of a sudden he thrusts his arrows into their
bosoms. Even when young girls are going to church,
he will follow and watch for his opportunity: he is
always waylaying people. In the theatre, he sits in the
great chandelier, and kindles such a bright, hot flame,
men fancy it a lamp, but they are soon undeceived. He
wanders about in the royal gardens and all the public
walks, making mischief everywhere; nay, once he even
shot thy father and mother to the heart! Only ask them,
dear child, and they will certainly tell thee all about
it. In fine, this fellow, this Cupid, is a very wicked boy !
Do not play with him! He waylays everybody, boys and
girls, youths and maidens, men and women, rich and poor,
old and young. Only think of this: he once shot an
arrow into thy good old grandmother’s heart! It hap-
pened a long time ago, and she has recovered from the
wound, but she will never forget him, depend upon it.

Fie, for shame! wicked Cupid! Is he not a mis-
chievous boy ?

Beware of him, beware of him, dear child!


THE END

Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London

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xml record header identifier oai:www.uflib.ufl.edu.ufdc:UF0008694900001datestamp 2008-10-21setSpec [UFDC_OAI_SET]metadata oai_dc:dc xmlns:oai_dc http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc xmlns:dc http:purl.orgdcelements1.1 xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc.xsd dc:title Hans Andersen's Fairy Talesdc:creator Andersen, H. C. (Hans Christian), 1805-1875Boots Pure Drug Company, Ltd.Robinson, W. Heath (William Heath), 1872-1944 ( Illustrator )Butler and Tanner Ltd.Hodder and Stoughton. ( Contributor )dc:subject Fairy tales.Bldn -- 1932.dc:publisher Hodder and Stoughton Limiteddc:date 19--?dc:type Bookdc:format 319 p. : ill., (some col.) ; 26 cm.dc:identifier http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc/?b=UF00086949&v=00001002240421 (ALEPH)06174869 (OCLC)ALJ0970 (NOTIS)dc:source University of Floridadc:language English