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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704                             CHARMING
Kala stood silent, and nodded approbation of the expressed thought, while mamma-in-law made the following confession :
' It's difficult to follow all that. But I manage to hobble after you with my thoughts, though they whirl round and round, but I contrive to hold them fast.'
And Kala's beauty held Alfred fast, filled his whole soul, and seized and mastered him. Beauty gleamed forth from Kala's every feature—from her look, from the corners of her mouth, and in every movement of her fingers. Alfred the sculptor saw this : he spoke only of her, thought only of her, and the two became one ; and thus it may be said that she spoke much, for he spoke very much.
Such was the betrothal; and now came the wedding, with bridesmaids and wedding presents, all duly mentioned in the wedding speech.
Mamma-in-law had set up Thorwaldsen's bust at the end of the table, attired in a dressing-gown, for he was to be a guest; such was her whim. Songs were sung and cheers were given, for it was a gay wedding, and they were a handsome pair. * Pygmalion received his Galatea/ so one of the songs said.
* Ah, that's your mythology,' said mamma-in-law.
Next day the youthful pair started for Copenhagen, where they were to live. Mamma-in-law accompanied them, ' to take care of the commonplace,' as she said, meaning the domestic economy. Kala was like a doll in a doll's house, all was so bright, so new, and so fine. There they sat, all three ; and as for Alfred, to use a proverb that will describe his position, we may say that he sat like the friar in the goose-yard.
The magic of form had enchanted him. He had looked at the case, and cared not to inquire what the case con­tained, and that omission brings unhappiness, much un-happiness, into married life ; for the case may be broken and the gilt may come off, and then the purchaser may repent his bargain. In a large party it is very disagreeable to observe that one's buttons are giving way, and that there are no buckles to fall back upon ; but it is worse still in a great company to become aware that wife and mother-in-law are talking nonsense and that one cannot