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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550            THE STONE OF THE WISE MEN
' Those are altars erected to thy honour ! ' said the Wind, who wished to say something agreeable to him.
He sat boldly up there, and looked down upon the people in the street. There was one stepping along, proud of his purse, another of the key he carried at his girdle, though he had nothing to unlock ; one proud of his moth-eaten coat, another of his wasted body.
' Vanity ! I must hasten downward, dip my finger in the pot, and taste !' he said. ' But for a while I will still sit here, for the wind blows so pleasantly against my back. I'll sit here as long as the wind blows. I'll enjoy a slight rest. "It is good to sleep long in the morning, when one has much to do," says the lazy man, but laziness is the root of all evil, and there is no evil in our family. I'll stop here as long as this wind blows, for it pleases me.'
And there he sat, but he was sitting upon the weather­cock of the steeple, which kept turning round and round with him, so that he thought that the same wind still blew ; so he might stay up there a goodly while.
But in India, in the castle in the Tree of the Sun, it was solitary and still, since the brothers had gone away one after the other.
* It goes not well with them,' said the father; * they will never bring the gleaming jewel home; it is not made for me : they are gone, they are dead ! '
And he bent down over the Book of Truth, and gazed at the page on which he should read of life after death ; but for him nothing was to be seen or learned upon it.
The blind daughter was his consolation and joy ; she attached herself with sincere affection to him, and for the sake of his peace and joy she wished the costly jewel might be found and brought home. With sorrow and longing she thought of her brothers. Where were they ? Where did they live ? She wished sincerely that she might dream of them, but it was strange, not even in dreams could she approach them. But at length, one night she dreamed that the voices of her brothers sounded across to her, calling to her from the wide world, and she could not refrain, but went far far out, and yet it seemed in her dream that she was still in her father's house. She did not meet