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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oneself—the little ones made a tremendous noise, which is not a becoming thing when one stands on a hill as I do ; there one must remember that one stands in a strong light— that of public opinion. Well, as I was saying, the young ones made a terrible noise. The youngest jumped up into my hat, and shouted there so that it tickled me. The little thoughts may grow ; I know that very well ; and out in the world thoughts come too, and not only of my kind, for as far as I can see I cannot discern anything like myself ; but the wingless houses, whose throats make no noise, have thoughts too, and these come to my thoughts, and make love to them, as it is called. It's wonderful enough—yes, there are many wonderful things. Something has come over me, or into me,—something has changed in the mill-work : it seems as if the one-half, the father, had altered, and had received a better temper and a more affectionate helpmate —so young and good, and yet the same, only more gentle and good through the course of time. What was bitter has passed away, and the whole is much more comfortable.
' The days go on, and the days come nearer and nearer to clearness and to joy ; and then a day will come when it will be over with me ; but not over altogether. I must be pulled down that I may be built up again ; I shall cease, but yet shall live on. To become quite a different being, and yet remain the same ! That's difficult for me to understand, however enlightened I may be with sun, moon, stearine, train oil, and tallow. My old wood-work and my old brick-work will rise again from the dust!
11 will hope that I may keep my old thoughts, the father in the mill, and the mother, great ones and little ones—the family ; for I call them all, great and little, the company of thoughts, because I must, and cannot refrain from it.
' And I must also remain " myself ", with my throat in my chest, my wings on my head, the gallery round my body; else I should not know myself, nor could the others know me, and say, " There 's the mill on the hill, proud to look at, and yet not proud at all." '
That is what the mill said. Indeed, it said much more, but that is the most important part.
And the days came, and the days went, and yesterday was the last day.