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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say a good thing, and at last he felt convinced in his own mind that he had got one, and was so glad of it that he died of pure joy at having caught an idea at last. Nobody derived any benefit from it, for nobody even heard what the good thing was. Now, I can fancy that this same good thing won't let him lie quiet in his grave ; for let us suppose that it is a good thing which can only be brought out at breakfast if it is to make an effect, and that he, according to the received opinion concerning ghosts, can only rise and walk at midnight. Why, then the good thing does not suit the time, no one laughs, and the man must carry his good idea down with him again. That is a melancholy grave.
Here rests a remarkably stingy woman. During her life­time she used to get up at night and mew, so that the neigh­bours might think she kept a cat—she was so remarkably stingy.
Here lies a lady of good family ; in company she always wanted to let her singing be heard, and then she sang ' mi manca la voce ', that was the only true thing in her life.
Here is a maiden of another kind. When the canary bird of the heart begins to chirp, reason puts her fingers in her ears. The maiden was going to be married, but—well, it's an everyday story, and we will let the dead rest.
Here sleeps a widow who carried melody in her mouth and gall in her heart. She used to go out for prey in the families round about; and the prey she hunted was her neighbours' faults, and she was an indefatigable hunter.
Here 's a family sepulchre. Every member of this family held so firmly to the opinions of the rest, that if all the world, and the newspapers into the bargain, said of a certain thing it is so and so, and the little boy came home from school and said, ■ I've learned it thus and thus,' they declared his opinion to be the only true one, because he belonged to the family. And it is an acknowledged fact, that if the yard cock of the family crowed at midnight, they would declare it was morning, though the watchmen and all the clocks in the city were crying out that it was twelve o'clock at night.
The great poet Goethe concludes his ' Faust' with the words * may be continued '; and our wanderings in the churchyard may be continued too. I come here often. If