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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All things here corresponded with each other. The motto was still ' Everything in its right place ' ;->*and therefore all the pictures which had been put up in the old house for honour and glory, hung now in the passage that led to the servants' hall: they were considered as old lumber, and especially two old portraits, one representing a man in a pink coat and powdered wig, the other a lady with powdered hair and holding a rose in her hand, and each surrounded with a wreath of willow leaves. These two pictures were pierced with many holes, because the little barons were in the habit of setting up the old people as a mark for their crossbows. The pictures represented the Councillor of Justice and his lady, the founders of the present family.
1 But they did not properly belong to our family,' said one of the little barons. ' He was a dealer, and she had kept the geese. They were not like papa and mamma.'
The pictures were pronounced to be worthless ; and as the motto was ' Everything in its right place', the great-grandmother and great-grandfather were sent into the passage that led to the servants' hall.
The son of the neighbouring clergyman was tutor in the great house. One day he was out walking with his pupils, the little barons and their eldest sister, who had just been confirmed ; they came along the field-path past the old willow, and as they walked on, the young lady bound a wreath of field flowers. ' Everything in its right place,' and the flowers formed a pretty whole. At the same time she heard every word that was spoken, and she liked to hear the clergyman's son talk of the powers of nature and of the great men and women in history. She had a good-hearted disposition, with true nobility of thought and soul, and a heart full of love for all that God hath created.
The party came to a halt at the old willow tree. The youngest baron insisted on having such a flute cut for him from it as he had had made of other willows. Accordingly the tutor broke off a branch.
1 Oh, don't do that!' cried the young baroness ; but it was done already. ' That is our famous old tree,' she continued, ' and I love it dearly. They laugh at me at home for this, but I don't mind. There is a story attached to this tree.'