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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their roofs of snow, while outside it froze in far different fashion than in the hardest winter here with us. In our regions it was still the late autumn-time ; and they thought of that up there, and thought of the sunshine at home, and of the yellow and red leaves on the trees. The clock showed that it was evening, and time to go to sleep ; and in one of the huts two men had already stretched them­selves out to rest. The younger of these had his best, dearest treasure, that he had brought from home—the Bible which his grandmother had given him on his depar­ture. Every night it lay beneath his head, and he knew from his childish years what was written in it. Every day he read in the book, and often the holy words came into his mind where it is written, ' If I take the wings of the morning, and flee into the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Thou art with me, and Thy right hand shall uphold me '; and, under the influence of these words of truth and in faith, he closed his eyes, and sleep came upon him, and dreams—the manifestation of Providence to the spirit. The soul lived and was working while the body was enjoying its rest: he felt this life, and it seemed to him as if dear old well-known melodies were sounding, as if the mild breezes of summer were playing around him ; and over his bed he beheld a brightness, as if something were shining in through the roof of snow. He lifted up his head, and behold, the bright gleam was neither wall nor roof, but came from the mighty pinions of an angel, into whose beaming face he was gazing. As if from the cup of a lily the angel arose from among the leaves of the Bible, and on his stretching out his arm, the walls of the snow hut sank down around, as though they had been a light airy veil of mist; the green meadows and hillocks of home, and its russet woods, lay spread around him in the quiet sunshine of a beauteous autumn day ; the nest of the stork was empty, but ripe fruit still clung to the wild apple tree, although the leaves had fallen ; the red hips gleamed, and the magpie whistled in the green cage over the window of the peasant's cottage that was his home ; the magpie whistled the tune that had been taught him, and the grandmother hung green food around the cage, as he, the grandson, had been accustomed to do ; and the daughter