LITTLE TUK 367
yonder as he had nails in his body ; and he was very proud. 1 Thorwaldsen lived close to me. Plumps ! Here I lie very comfortably.'
But now little Tuk no longer lay in bed ; on a sudden he was on horseback. Gallop, gallop ! hop, hop ! and so he went on. A splendidly-attired knight, with shining helmet and flowing plume, held him on the front of his saddle, and so they went riding on through the wood to the old town of Vordingborg, and that was a great and very busy town. On the King's castle rose high towers, and the radiance of lights streamed from every window ; within was song and dancing, and King Waldemar and the young gaily-dressed maids of honour danced together. Now the morning came on, and so soon as the sun appeared the whole city and the King's castle suddenly sank down, one tower falling after another ; and at last only one remained standing on the hill where the castle had formerly been ; and the town was very small and poor, and the schoolboys came with their books under their arms, and said, ' Two thousand inhabitants ' ; but that was not true, for the town had not so many.
And little Tuk lay in his bed, as if he dreamed, and yet as if he did not dream ; but some one stood close beside him.
* Little Tuk ! little Tuk ! ' said the voice. It was a seaman, quite a little personage, as small as if he had been a cadet ; but he was not a cadet. 'I'm to bring you a greeting from Korsor ; that is a town which is just in good progress—a lively town that has steamers and mail coaches. In times past they used always to call it ugly, but that is now no longer true.
"I lie by the sea-shore," said Korsor. ' I have highroads and pleasure gardens ; and I gave birth to a poet who was witty and entertaining, and that cannot be said of all of them. I wanted once to fit out a ship that was to sail round the world ; but I did not do that, though I might have done it. But I smell deliciously, for close to my gates the loveliest roses bloom.'J'
Little Tuk looked, and it seemed red and green before his eyes ; but when the confusion of colour had a little passed by, then there appeared a wooded declivity close by a bay, and high above it stood a glorious old church