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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A STRING OF PEARLS                    687
to Copenhagen, the town of all towns, as we considered it. My parents wished, after twenty years, once again to pay a visit to it, and I was to accompany'them. We had talked of the journey for years, and now it was really to take place ; I thought that quite a new life would begin, and, in a way, a new life really began for me.
There was such sewing and packing, and when it was time to depart, how many good friends came to bid us good-bye ! It was a big journey we had before us ! It was in the forenoon that we drove out of Odense in my parents' carriage ; acquaintances nodded from the windows all the way up the street, almost until we were out of St. George's Gate. The weather was lovely, the birds sang, all was delightful ; one forgot that it was a long, difficult road to Nyborg. Towards evening we came there. The post did not arrive until late in the night, and the boat did not leave before that, but we went on board. The great water lay before us, as far as we could see, so smooth and still. We lay down in our clothes and slept. When I wakened and came on deck in the morning, nothing could be seen on either side, there was such a fog. I heard the cocks crowing, observed that the sun had risen, and heard the bells ringing. Where could we be ? The fog lifted, and we actually were still lying just out from Nyborg. During the day a slight wind blew, but dead against us ; we tacked and tacked, and finally we were fortunate enough to get to Korsor a little after eleven in the evening, after we had spent twenty-two hours in traversing the eighteen miles.
' It was nice to get on land, but it was dark ; the lamps burned badly, and everything was so perfectly strange to me, who had never been in any town except Odense.
' " Look," said my father, " here Baggesen was born, and here Birckner lived." Then it seemed to me that the old town with the little houses grew at once brighter and larger ; we also felt so glad to have firm land under us. I could not sleep that night for thinking of all that I had already seen and experienced since I left home the day before last.
1 We had to rise early next morning, as we had before us a bad road with very steep hills and many holes, until we