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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344                  THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL
under a beautiful Christmas tree ; it was greater and more ornamented than the one she had seen through the glass door last Christmas at the rich merchant's. Thousands of candles burned upon the green branches, and coloured pictures like those in the print shops looked down upon them. The little girl stretched forth her hand towards them ; then the match went out. The Christmas lights
mounted higher. She saw them now as stars in the sky : one of them fell down, forming a long line of fire.
' Now some one is dying,' thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star fell down a soul mounted up to God.
She rubbed another match against the wall; it became bright again, and in the brightness the old grandmother stood clear and shining, mild and lovely.
' Grandmother ! ' cried the child. ' Oh ! take me with you ! I know you will go when the match is burned out.