The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

But the jewel in the head of the toad ?
Look for it in the sun, see it there if you can. The splendour there is too strong. We have not yet got the eyes to look into all the glories which God has created, but some day we shall get them, and that will be the loveliest story, for we shall be in it ourselves !
Godfather could tell stories, ever so many and ever so long ; he could cut out paper figures and draw pictures, and when it came near Christmas, he would bring out a copy-book, with clean white pages ; on this he pasted pictures, taken out of books and newspapers ; if he had not enough for the story he wished to tell, he drew them himself. When I was little, I got several such picture-books, but the loveliest of them all was the one from ' the memorable year when Copenhagen got gas in place of the old oil-lamps ', and that was set down on the first page.
' Great care must be taken of this book,' said Father and Mother ; ' it must only be brought out on grand occasions.'
Yet Godfather had written on the cover :
Though the book be torn, it is hardly a crime; Other young friends have done worse in their time.
Most delightful it was when Godfather himself showed the book, read the verses and the other inscriptions, and told so many things besides ; then the story became a real story.
On the first page there was a picture cut out of ' The Flying Post ', in which one saw Copenhagen with its Round Tower, and Our Lady's Church; to the left of this was pasted an old lantern, on which was written ' Train-oil ', to the right was a chandelier—on it was written ' Gas'. ' See, that is the placard,' said Godfather; ' that is the prologue to the story you are going to hear. It could also be given as a whole play, if one could have acted it : " Train-oil and Gas, or the Life and Doings of Copenhagen." That is a very good title ! At the foot of'the page there is still another little picture ; it is not so easy to understand, so I shall explain it. That is a Death-horse. He ought