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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CHARMING                              703
who had been .absorbed in the contemplation of the highly coloured prints, threw a glance at the pale drawing, and cried in astonishment,
' Did you see it throw up white fire ? '
For a moment Alfred's respect for Kala's mamma suffered a sudden diminution ; but, dazzled by the light that illumined Kala, he soon found it quite natural that the old lady should have no eye for colour. After all, it was of no consequence, for Kala's mamma had the best of all things—namely, Kala herself.
And Alfred and Kala were betrothed, which was natural enough, and the betrothal was announced in the little newspaper of the town. Mamma purchased thirty copies of the paper, that she might cut out the paragraph and send it to their friends and acquaintances. And the betrothed pair were happy, and the mother-in-law elect was happy too, for it seemed like connecting herself with Thorwaldsen.
1 For you are a continuation of Thorwaldsen/ she said to Alfred.
And it seemed to Alfred that mamma had in this instance said a clever thing. Kala said nothing ; but her eyes shone, her lips smiled, her every movement was graceful. Yes, she was beautiful; that cannot be too often repeated.
Alfred undertook to make a bust of Kala and of his mother-in-law. They sat to him accordingly, and saw how he moulded and smoothed the soft clay with his fingers.
' I suppose it 's only on our account,' said mamma-in-law, ' that you undertake this commonplace work, and don't leave your servant to do all that sticking together?'
1 It is necessary that I should mould the clay myself,' he replied.
' Ah, yes, you are so very polite, retorted mamma ; and Kala silently pressed his hand, still soiled by the clay.
And he unfolded to both of them the loveliness of nature in creation, how the living stood above the dead, the plant above the mineral, the animal above the plant, and man above the animal. How mind and beauty become manifest in outward form, and how the sculptor gave that beauty its manifestation in his works.