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                              705
depend upon oneself for a happy piece of wit to carry off the stupidity of the thing.
The young married pair often sat hand in hand, he speak­ing and she letting fall a word here and there—the same melody, the same two or three tones of the bell. It was a mental relief when Sophy, one of her friends, came to pay a visit.
Sophy was not pretty. She was certainly free from bodily deformity, though Kala always asserted she was a little crooked ; but no eye save a friend's would have remarked it. She was a very sensible girl, and it never occurred to her that she might become at all dangerous here. Her appearance was like a pleasant breath of air in the doll's house ; and air was certainly required there, as they all acknowledged. They felt they wanted airing, and consequently they came out into the air, and mamma-in-law and the young couple travelled to Italy.
1 Thank Heaven that we are in our own four walls again/ was the exclamation of mother and daughter when they came home a year after.
' There 's no pleasure in travelling,' said mamma-in-law. ' To tell the truth, it's very wearisome—I beg pardon for saying so. I found the time hang heavily, although I had my children with me ; and it 's expensive work, travelling, very expensive ! And all those galleries one has to see, and the quantity of things you are obliged to run after ! You must do it for decency's sake, for you're sure to be asked when you come back ; and then you're sure to be told that you've omitted to see what was best worth seeing. I got tired at last of those end­less Madonnas : one seemed to be turning a Madonna oneself ! '
1 And what bad living you get! ' said Kala.
1 Yes,' replied mamma, ' no such thing as an honest meat soup. It's miserable trash, their cookery.'
And the travelling fatigued Kala : she was always fatigued, that was the worst of it. Sophy was taken into the house, and she did good there.
Mamma-in-law acknowledged that Sophy understood both housewifery and art, though a knowledge of the latter
ANDERSEN                                                A ft