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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Gloomy, quiet, absorbed in his own thoughts, he sat there through the long day ; he heard nothing of what was going on around him, and no man guessed what was passing in this human soul.
And days and weeks went by, but the nights passed more slowly than the days. The flashing Star beheld him one morning as he rose, pale and trembling with fever, from his sad couch ; then he stepped towards the statue, threw back the covering, took one long sorrowful gaze at his work, and then, almost sinking beneath the burden, he dragged the statue out into the garden. In that place was an old dry well, now nothing but a hole: into this he cast the Psyche, threw earth in above her, and covered up the spot with twigs and nettles.
' Away ! begone ! ' Such was the short epitaph he spoke.
The Star beheld all this from the pink morning sky, and its beam trembled upon two great tears on the pale feverish cheeks of the young man ; and soon it was said that he was sick unto death, and he lay stretched upon a bed of pain.
The monk Ignatius visited him as a physician and a friend, and brought him words of comfort, of religion, and spoke to him of the peace and happiness of the Church, of the sinfulness of man, of rest and mercy to be found in heaven.
And the words fell like warm sunbeams upon a teeming soil. The soil smoked and sent up clouds of mist, fantastic pictures, pictures in which there was reality; and from these floating islands he looked across at human life. He found it vanity and delusion—and vanity and delusion it had been to him. They told him that art was a sorcerer, betraying us to vanity and to earthly lusts; that we are false to ourselves, unfaithful to our friends, unfaithful towards Heaven; and that the serpent was always repeating within us, ' Eat, and thou shalt become as God.'
And it appeared to him as if now, for the first time, he knew himself, and had found the way that leads to truth and to peace. In the Church was the light and the bright­ness of God—in the monk's cell he should find the rest through which the tree of human life might grow on into eternity.