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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944                                  AUNTIE
the beginning of the next act, besides being muzzled ; and then began ' The Judgement Bay at the Theatre '.
' Mere spite, which Our Lord knows nothing of,' said Auntie.
The scene-painter, if he wished to get into Heaven, had to go up a stair which he had painted himself, but which no man could walk up. That was only a sin against perspective, however. All the plants and buildings, which the stage-carpenter had with great trouble placed in countries to which they did not belong, the poor man had to move to their right places, and that before cock-crow, if he wished to get into Heaven. Mr. Fab had better see that he himself got in there; and what he now told about the actors, both in comedy and tragedy, in song and in dance, was the worst of all. He did not deserve to get into the flies ; Auntie would not repeat his words. He had said that the whole account was written down, and would be printed after he was dead and gone—not before ; he did not want to be skinned alive.
Auntie had only once been in anguish and terror in her temple of happiness, the theatre. It was one winter's day, one of the days when we have two hours' daylight and that only grey. It was cold and snowy, but Auntie must go to the theatre. They were playing ' Herman von Unna,' besides a little opera and a great ballet, a prologue and an epilogue ; it would last right into the night. Auntie must go there ; her lodger had lent her a pair of sledging-boots with fur both outside and inside ; they came high up on the legs.
She came into the theatre, and into her box ; the boots were warm, so she kept them on. All at once a cry of 'Fire' was raised. Smoke came from one of the wings, smoke came from the flies; there was a frightful commotion; people rushed out; Auntie was the last in the box— ' the second tier to the left—the decorations look best from there,' she said, ' they are placed always to look most beautiful from the royal side '—Auntie wished to get out, but those in front of her, had thoughtlessly slammed the door in their terror. There sat Auntie ; she could not get out, nor in either, that is to say into the next box, the partition was too high. She shouted, no one heard ; she