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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SOMETHING                              583
own. But how can houses build a house ? If you ask them they will not answer you, but people will-answer, and say, 1 Certainly, it was the street that built his house for him.' It was little, and the floor was covered with clay ; but when he danced with his bride upon this clay floor, it be­came polished oak ; and from every stone in the wall sprang forth a flower, and the room was gay, as if with the costliest paperhanger's work. It was a pretty house, and in it lived a happy pair. The flag of the guild fluttered before the house, and the journeymen and apprentices shouted hurrah ! Yes, that was something ! And at last he died ; and that was something too.
Now came the architect, the third brother, who had been at first a carpenter's apprentice, had worn a cap, and served as an errand boy, but had afterwards gone to the academy, and risen to become an architect, and to be called 1 honoured sir '. Yes, if the houses of the street had built a house for the brother who had become a bricklayer, the street now received its name from the architect, and the handsomest house in it became his. That was something, and he was something ; and he had a long title before and after his name. His children were called genteel children, and when he died his widow was ' a widow of rank ', and that is something !—and his name always remained at the corner of the street, and lived on in the mouth of every one as the street's name—and that was something !
Now came the genius, the fourth brother, who wanted to invent something new and original, and an additional story on the top of it. But the top story tumbled down, and he came tumbling down with it, and broke his neck. Nevertheless he had a splendid funeral, with guild flags and music, poems in the papers, and flowers strewn on the paving-stones in the street ; and three funeral orations were held over him, each one longer than the last, which would have rejoiced him greatly, for he was always fond of being talked about; a monument also was erected over his grave. It was only one story high, but that is always something.
Now he was dead, like the three other brothers ; but the last, the one who was a critic, outlived them all : and that was quite right, for by this means he got the last word, and