342 HOLGER THE DANE
many forms, so that one hears in every country in the world of Denmark's strength. Shall we now drink the health of Thorwaldsen ? '
But the little lad in the bed saw plainly the old Kronborg with the Ore Sound, the real Holger the Dane, who sat deep below, with his beard grown through the marble table, dreaming of all that happens up here. Holger the Dane also dreamed of the little humble room where the carver sat; he heard all that passed, and nodded in his sleep, and said,
' Yes, remember me, ye Danish folk; remember me. I shall come in the hour of need.'
And without by Kronborg shone the bright day, and the wind carried the notes of the hunting-horn over from the neighbouring land; the ships sailed past, and saluted—' Boom ! boom !' and from Kronborg came the reply, ' Boom ! boom !' But Holger the Dane did not awake, however loudly they shot, for it was only ' Good day ' and ' Thank you !' There must be another kind of shooting before he awakes ; but he will awake, for there is strength in Holger the Dane.
THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL
It was terribly cold ; it snowed and was already almost dark, and evening came on, the last evening of the year. In the cold and gloom a poor little girl, bareheaded and barefoot, was walking through the streets. When she left her own house she certainly had had slippers on; but of what use were they ? They were very big slippers, and her mother had used them till then, so big were they. The little maid lost them as she slipped across the road, where two carriages were rattling by terribly fast. One slipper was not to be found again, and a boy had seized the other, and run away with it. He said he could use it very well as a cradle, some day when he had children of his own. So now the little girl went with her little naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the cold. In an old apron she carried a number of matches, and a bundle of them