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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670                OLE THE TOWER-KEEPER
' In the fourth glass is neither herb, bird, nor urchin : in that glass is the pause drawn by reason, and one may never go beyond that sign.
' Take the fifth glass, and you will weep at yourself, you will feel such a deep emotion ; or it will affect you in a different way. Out of the glass there will spring with a bang Prince Carnival, impertinent and extravagantly merry : he'll draw you away with him, you'll forget your dignity, if you have any, and you'll forget more than you should or ought to forget. All is dance, song, and sound ; the masks will carry you away with them, and the daughters of vanity, clad in silk and satin, will come with loose hair and alluring charms ;—tear yourself away if you can !
* The sixth glass ! Yes, in that glass sits a demon, in the form of a little, well-dressed, attractive and very fascinating man, who thoroughly understands you, agrees with you in everything, and becomes quite a second self to you. He has a lantern with him, to give you light as he accom­panies you home. There is an old legend about a saint who was allowed to choose one of the seven deadly sins, and who accordingly chose drunkenness, which appeared to him the least, but which led him to commit all the other six. The man's blood is mingled with that of the demon —it is the sixth glass, and with that the germ of all evil shoots up within us ; and each one grows up with a strength like that of the grains of mustard seed, and shoots up into a tree, and spreads over the whole world ; and most people have no choice but to go into the oven, to be recast in a new form.
1 That's the history of the glasses,' said the tower-keeper Ole, ' and it can be told with lacquer or only with grease ; but I give it you with both !'
That was my second visit to Ole, and if you want to hear about more of them, then the visits must be— continued.