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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516                        IB AND CHRISTINE
turf blazed up cheerily in the chimney; for within was sunlight, the beaming sunlight of a child's two eyes ; and the tones of the spring birds sounded in the words that came from the child's rosy lips : she sat on Ib's knee, and lb was to her both father and mother, for her own parents were dead, and had vanished from her as a dream vanishes alike from children and grown men. lb sat in the pretty neat house, for he was a prosperous man, while the mother of the little girl rested in the churchyard at Copenhagen, where she had died in poverty.
lb had money, and was said to have provided for the future. He had won gold out of the black earth, and he had a Christine for his own, after all.
Out in the country lay an old mansion, and in it lived an old proprietor, who had two sons, which two young men thought themselves too clever by half. They wanted to go out and woo the King's daughter ; for the maiden in question had publicly announced that she would choose for her husband that one that she thought could best speak for himself.
So these two prepared themselves a full week for the wooing—this was the longest time that could be granted them ; but it was enough, for they had previous accom­plishments, and these are useful. One of them knew the whole Latin dictionary by heart, and three whole years of the daily paper of the little town, and that either back­wards or forwards. The other was deeply read in the corporation laws, and knew by heart what every alderman ought to know ; and accordingly he thought he could talk of affairs of state. And he knew one thing more : he could embroider braces, for he was a tasty, light-fingered fellow.
* I shall win the Princess ! ' So cried both of them. Therefore their father gave to each a handsome horse. The youth who knew the dictionary and newspaper by heart had a black horse, and he who knew all about the corporation laws received a milk-white steed. Then they