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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544            THE STONE OF THE WISE MEN
green meadows of his home into the castle of his father ; and the jewel threw such a heavenly light and radiance upon the leaves of the book, that everything was illuminated that stood written concerning the life beyond the grave. But the sister dreamed nothing about going out into the wide world : it never entered her mind. Her world was her father's house.
' I shall ride forth into the wide world,' said the eldest brother. ' I must try what life is like there, and go to and fro among men. I will practise only the good and the true ; with these I will protect the beautiful. Much shall change for the better when I am there.'
Now his thoughts were bold and great, as our thoughts generally are at home in the corner of the hearth, before we have gone forth into the world and have encountered wind and rain, and thorns and thistles.
In him and in all his brothers the five senses were highly developed, inwardly and outwardly; but each of them had one sense which in keenness and development surpassed the other four. In the case of the eldest this was Sight. This was to do him especial service. He said he had eyes for all time, eyes for all nations, eyes that could look into the depths of the earth, where the treasures lie hidden, and deep into the hearts of men, as though nothing but a pane of glass were placed before them : he could read more than we can see on the cheek that blushes or grows pale, in the eye that weeps or smiles. Stags and antelopes escorted him to the boundary of his home towards the west, and there the wild swans received him and flew north-west. He followed them. And now he had gone far out into the world—far from the land of his father, that extended eastward to the end of the earth.
But how he opened his eyes in astonishment ! Many things were here to be seen ; and many things appear very different, when a man beholds them with his own eyes, from when he merely sees them in a picture, as the son had done in his father's house, however faithful the picture may be. At the outset he nearly lost his eyes in astonishment at all the rubbish and all the masquerading stuff put forward to represent the beautiful; but he did not quite lose them, he had other use for them. He wished to go thoroughly