TWO BROTHERS 745
under full sail. Did he dream ? or what was happening to him ? It glided onward over the rolling waters and the great ocean of time, and he heard the voTce of Solon. In a strange tongue, and yet intelligible to him, he heard the Danish motto, * With law the land is ruled.'
And the Genius of the human race stood in the humble room, and bent down over the bed, and printed a kiss on the boy's forehead.
' Be thou strong in fame, and strong in the battle of life ! With the truth in thy breast, fly thou towards the land of truth ! '
The elder brother was not yet in bed ; he stood at the window gazing out at the mists that rose from the meadows. They were not elves dancing there, as the old nurse had told him ; he knew better : they were vapours, warmer than the air, and consequently they mounted. A shooting star gleamed athwart the sky, and the thoughts of the boy were roused from the mists of the earth to the shining meteor. The stars of heaven twinkled, and golden threads seemed to hang from them down upon the earth.
' Fly with me ! ' it sang and sounded in the boy's heart ; and the mighty genius, swifter than the bird, than the arrow, than anything that flies with earthly means, carried him out into space where rays stretching from star to star bind the heavenly bodies to each other ; our earth revolved in the thin air ; its cities seemed quite close together ; and through the sphere it sounded, 'What is near, what is far to men, when the mighty genius of mind lifts them up ? '
And again the boy stood at the window and gazed forth, and the younger brother lay in his bed, and their mother called them by their names, ' Anders ' and ' Hans Christian.'
Denmark knows them, and the world knows the two brothers—Oersted.
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