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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830
THE ICE MAIDEN
able to confess to him ? He felt as if his heart would burst when he thought of her. What a number of recol­lections arose within him! He saw her, as if she were standing bodily before him, laughing like a wayward child. Many a sweet word she had spoken out of the fullness of her heart now crept into his breast like a sunbeam, and soon there was nothing but sunshine within him when he thought of Babette.
Yes, she would be able to confess to him, and she should do so. Accordingly he went to the mill, and the con­fession began with a kiss, and ended in the fact that Rudy was declared to be the sinner. His great fault had been that he had doubted Babette's fidelity—it was quite wicked of him. Such distrust, such headlong anger, might bring sorrow upon them both. Yes, certainly they could ; and accordingly Babette read him a short lecture, to her own great contentment, and with charming grace. But in one point she agreed with Rudy: the nephew of her godmother was a booby, and she would burn the book he had given her, for she would not keep the slightest thing that reminded her of him.
' That's all past and gone,' said the Parlour Cat. ' Rudy is here again, and they understand one another, and that's the greatest happiness, they say.'
' I heard from the rats last night,' observed the Kitchen Cat, * that the greatest happiness was to eat tallow candles and to have plenty of rancid bacon. Now, whom is one to believe, the rats or the lovers ?'
' Neither,' said the Parlour Cat ; ' that's always the safest way.'
The greatest happiness of Rudy and Babette—the fairest day, as they called it—the wedding day, now approached rapidly.
But the wedding was not to be celebrated at the church at Bex and in the mill. Babette's godmother wished her godchild to be married from her house, and the service was to be read in the beautiful little church at Montreux. The miller insisted upon having his way in this matter. He alone knew what were the English lady's intentions with respect to her godchild, and declared that the lady intended making such a wedding present that they were