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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862 ' WILL-O'-THE-WISPS ARE IN THE TOWN '
morning visit to inspect the brewery. She saw the girl gliding down, and asked to have her as a remembrance of her visit, and got her too ; while I received a present that's of no use to me—a travelling druggist's shop— a whole cupboardful of poetry in bottles. Grandmother told me where the cupboard was to be placed, and there it's standing still. Just look ! You've your seven four-leaved clovers in your pocket, one of which is a six-leaved one, and so you will be able to see it.'
And really in the midst of the moor lay something like a great knotted block of alder, and that was the old grand­mother's cupboard. The Moor-woman said that this was always open to her and to every one in all lands and at all times, if they only knew where the cupboard stood. It could be opened either at the front or at the back, and at every side and corner—a perfect work of art, and yet only an old alder stump in appearance. The poets of all lands, and especially those of our own country, had been arranged here ; the spirit of them had been extracted, refined, criticized and renovated, and then stored up in bottles. With what may be called great aptitude, if it was not genius, the grandmother had taken as it were the flavour of this and of that poet, and had added a little devilry, and then corked up the bottles for use during all future times.
' Pray let me see,' said the man.
' Yes, but there are more important things to hear,' replied the Moor-woman.
' But now we are at the cupboard ! ' said the man. And he looked in. ' Here are bottles of all sizes. What is in this one ? and what in that one yonder ? '
' Here is what they call may-balm,' replied the woman : ' I have not tried it myself, but I know that if one sprinkles ever so little of it on the floor, there immediately appears a beautiful woodland lake, with water-lilies, and calla and wild mint. One need only pour two drops on an old exercise-book, even one from the lowest class at school, and the book becomes a whole drama of perfume, which one may very well perform and fall asleep over, the scent of it is so powerful. It is intended as a compliment to me that the label on the flask bears the words, ' The Moor-woman's Brewing \