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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daughter's bridal wreath,' said the old maid. : You shall have a beautiful little nosegay from me> full of blossoms. Do you see how splendidly that tree has come on ? yes, that has been raised from a spray of the myrtle you gave me on the day after my betrothal, and from which I was to have made my own wreath when the year was past; but that day never came ! The eyes closed that were to have been my joy and delight through life. In the depths of the sea he sleeps sweetly, my dear one ! The myrtle has become an old tree, and I have become a yet older woman ; and when it faded at last, I took the last green shoot, and planted it in the ground, and it has become a great tree ; and now at length the myrtle will serve at the wedding—as a wreath for your daughter.'
There were tears in the eyes of the old maid. She spoke of the beloved of her youth, of their betrothal in the wood ; many thoughts came to her, but the thought never came • that, quite close to her, before the very window, was a remembrance of those times—the neck of the bottle which had shouted for joy when the cork flew out with a bang on the betrothal day. But the Bottle-neck did not recognize her either, for he was not listening to what she said—partly because it only thought about itself.
Of course you know the story of Holger the Dane ; we are not going to tell you that, but will ask if you remember from it that ' Holger the Dane won the great land of India, east as far as the world's end, even to the tree which is called the Tree of the Sun,' as Christian Pedersen puts it. Do you know Christian Pedersen ? it doesn't matter if you don't. Holger the Dane gave Prester John power and authority over the land of India. Do you know Prester John ? it doesn't matter either if you don't know him, for he doesn't come into this story at all. You are to hear about the Tree of the Sun ' in India, east as far as the world's end', and it was then understood by men who had not learned