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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The great nobleman and my mother were alone in the room, when the former noticed that an old woman came limping on crutches into the courtyard. Indeed, she was accustomed to come every Sunday, and carry away a gift with her. " Ah, there is the poor old lady," said the nobleman : " walking is a great toil to her ; " and before my mother understood what he meant, he had gone out of the room and run down the stairs, to save the old woman the toilsome walk, by carrying to her the gift she had come to receive.
1 Now, that was only a small circumstance, but, like the widow's two mites in the Scriptures, it has a sound that finds an echo in the depths of the heart in human nature ; and these are the things the poet should show and point out; especially in these times should he sing of it, for that does good, and pacifies and unites men. But where a bit of mortality, because it has a genealogical tree and a coat of arms, rears up like an Arab horse, and prances in the street, and says in the room, ' People from the street have been here," when a commoner has been present,—that is nobility in decay and turned into a mere mask, a mask of the kind that Thespis created ; and people are glad when such a one is made a subject of satire.'
This was the speech of the clergyman's son. It was certainly rather long, but then the flute was finished while he made it.
At the castle there was a great company. Many guests came from the neighbourhood and from the capital. Many ladies, some tastefully dressed and others dressed without taste, were there, and the great hall was quite full of people. The clergymen from the neighbourhood stood respectfully congregated in a corner, which made it look almost as if it was a burial. But it was not so, for this was a party of pleasure, only that the pleasure had not yet begun.
A great concert was to be performed, and consequently the little baron had brought in his willow flute; but he could not get a note out of it, nor could his papa, and therefore the flute was worth nothing. There was instru­mental music and song, both of the kind that delight the performers most—quite charming !
4 You are a performer ?' saidia fine gentleman—his father's son and nothing else—to the tutor. ' You play the flute and