The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

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There was once a King's son; no one had so many beautiful books as he : everything that had happened in this world he could read there, and could see represented in lovely pictures. Of every people and of every land he could get intelligence ; but there was not a word to tell where the Garden of Paradise could be found, and it was just that of which he thought most.
His grandmother had told him, when he was quite little but was about to begin his schooling, that every flower in this Garden of Paradise was a delicate cake, and the pistils contained the choicest wine; on one of the flowers history was written, and on another geography or tables, so that one had only to eat cake, and one knew a lesson ; and the more one ate, the more history, geography, or tables did one learn.
At that time he believed this. But when he became a bigger boy, and learned more and became wiser, he understood well that the splendour in the Garden of Paradise must be of quite a different kind.
' Oh, why did Eve pluck from the Tree of Knowledge ? Why did Adam eat the forbidden fruit ? If I had been he it would never have happened—then sin would never have come into the world.'
That he said then, and he still said it when he was seventeen years old. The Garden of Paradise filled all his thoughts.
One day he walked in the wood. He was walking quite alone, for that was his greatest pleasure. The evening came, and the clouds gathered together ; rain streamed down as if the sky were one single sluice from which the water was pouring ; it was as dark as it usually is at night in the deepest well. Often he slipped on the smooth grass, often he fell over the smooth stones which stuck up out of the wet rocky ground. Everything was soaked with water, and there was not a dry thread on the poor Prince. He was obliged to climb over great blocks of stone, where the water oozed from the thick moss. He was nearly