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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The old box that lies yonder may be the background ; and we'll turn the bottom outwards. The stage represents a room, as every one may see. Now we want the actors. Let us see what we can find in the play-box. First the personages, and then we will get the play ready : one after the other, that will be capital ! Here's a pipe-head, and yonder an odd glove ; they will do very well for father and daughter.'
* But those are only two characters,' said little Anna. 1 Here's my brother's old waistcoat—could not that play in our piece, too ? '
' It's big enough, certainly,' replied Godfather. ' It shall be the lover. There's nothing in the pockets, and that's very interesting, for that's half of an unfortunate attachment. And here we have the nut-crackers' boots, with spurs to them. Row, dow, dow ! how they can stamp and strut! They shall represent the unwelcome wooer, whom the lady does not like. What kind of play will you have now ? Shall it be a tragedy, or a domestic drama ? '
' A domestic drama, please,' said little Anna ; ' for the others are so fond of that. Do you know one ? '
* I know a hundred,' said Godfather. ' Those that are most in favour are from the French, but they are not good for little girls. In the meantime, we may take one of the prettiest, for inside they're all very much alike. Now I shake the pen ! Cock-a-lorum! So now, here 's the play, brin-bran-span new ! Now listen to the play-bill.'
And Godfather took a newspaper, and read as if he were reading from it:
Mr. Pipe-head, a father.               Mr. Waistcoat, a lover.
Miss Glove, a daughter.               Mr. de Boots, a suitor.
1 And now we're going to begin. The curtain rises : we have no curtain, so it has risen already. All the characters are there, and so we have them at hand. Now I speak as Papa Pipe-head! he's angry to-day. One can see that he's a coloured meerschaum.
1" Snip-snap-snurre, bassellurre! I'm master in my own