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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The ship had been stranded some distance south of Nissum Bay. The hard inhuman days, in which, as people say, the inhabitants of the Jutland shores did evil to the shipwrecked, were long past. Affection and sympathy and self-sacrifice for the unfortunate were to be found, as they are to be found in our own time, in many a brilliant example. The dying mother and the unfortunate child would have found succour and help wherever the wind blew them ; but nowhere could they have found more earnest care than in the hut of the poor fisherwife, who had stood but yester­day, with a heavy heart, beside the grave which covered her child, which would have been five years old that day if God had spared it to her.
No one knew who the dead stranger was, or where she came from. The pieces of wreck said nothing on the subject.
To the rich house in Spain no tidings penetrated of the fate of the daughter and the son-in-law. They had not arrived at their destined port, and violent storms had raged during the past weeks. At last the verdict was given, 1 Foundered at sea—all lost.'
But on the sand-hills near Husby, in the fisherman's hut, they now had a little boy.
Where Heaven sends food for two, a third can manage to make a meal, and in the depths of the sea is many a dish of fish for the hungry.
And they called the boy Jurgen.
' It must certainly be a Jewish child,' the people said, • it looks so swarthy.'
'It might be an Italian or a Spaniard,' observed the clergyman.
But to the fisherwpman these three nations seemed the same, and she consoled herself with the idea that the child was baptized as a Christian.
The boy throve. The noble blood in his veins was warm, and he_became strong on his homely fare. He grew apace in the humble house, and the Danish dialect spoken by the West Jutes became his language. The pomegranate seed from Spanish soil became a hardy plant on the coast of West Jutland. Such may be a man's fate ! To this home he clung with the roots of his whole being. He was to have experience of cold and hunger, and the misfortunes