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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THE BELL
311
barrassed. He pulled at the short' sleeves of his jacket, and said he was afraid he could not come quickly enough ; besides, he thought the bell must be sought on the right hand, for there the place was great and glorious.
' But then we shall not meet at all,' said the Prince ; and he nodded to the poor boy, who went away into the darkest, thickest part of the forest, where the thorns tore his shabby garments and scratched his face, his feet, and his hands. The Prince also had two or three brave rents, but the sun shone bright on his path ; and it is he whom we will follow, for he was a brisk lad.
' I must and will find the bell,' said he, ' though I have to go to the end of the world.'
Ugly apes sat up in the trees, and grinned and showed their teeth.
' Shall we beat him ? ' said they. ' Shall we smash him ? He 's a King's son ! '
But he went courageously farther and farther into the forest, where the most wonderful trees grew : there stood white star-lilies with blood-red stamens, sky-blue tulips that glittered in the breeze, and apple trees whose apples looked quite like great shining soap bubbles: only think how those trees must have gleamed in the sunbeams ! All around lay the most beautiful green meadows, where hart and hind played in the grass, and noble oaks and beech trees grew there ; and when the bark of any tree split, grass and long climbing plants grew out of the rifts ; there were also great wooded tracts with quiet lakes, on which white swans floated and flapped their wings. The Prince often stood still and listened ; often he thought that the bell sounded upwards to him from one of the deep lakes; but soon he noticed that the sound did not come from thence, but that the bell was sounding deeper in the wood.
Now the sun went down. The sky shone red as fire ; it became quite quiet in the forest, and he sank on his knees, sang his evening hymn, and said,
* I shall never find what I seek, now the sun is going down, and the night, the dark night, is coming. But perhaps I can once more see the round sun before he dis­appears beneath the horizon. I will climb upon the rocks, for they are higher than the highest trees/