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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954            GODFATHER'S PICTURE-BOOK
to have come only at the end of the book, but he has run on ahead to say, that neither the beginning, the middle, nor the end is any good ; he could have done it better himself—if he could have done it at all. The Death-horse, I must tell you, stands during the day tethered to the newspaper ; but in the evening he slips out and posts himself outside the poet's door and neighs, so that the man inside may die instantly; but he does not die if there is any real life in him. The Death-horse is nearly always a poor creature who cannot understand himself, and cannot get a livelihood ; he must get air and food by going about and neighing. I am convinced that he thinks nothing of Godfather's picture-book, but for all that it may well be worth the paper it is written on.
' Now, that is the first page of the book; that is the placard.
* It was just the last evening on which the old oil-lamps were lighted ; the town had got gas, and it shone so that the old lamps seemed to be quite lost in it.
' I was in the street myself that evening,' said Godfather. ' The people walked up and down to look at the old and the new lighting. There were many people, and twice as many legs as heads. The watchmen stood about gloomily; they did not know when they might be dismissed, like the lamps ; these themselves thought so far back—they dared not think forward. They remembered so much from the quiet evenings and the dark nights. I leaned up against a lamp-post,' said Godfather; * there was a sputtering in the oil and the wick; I could hear what the lamp said, and you shall also hear it.
- " We have done what we could," said the lamp, " we have been sufficient for our time, have lighted up for joy and for sorrow ; we have lived through many remarkable things ; we have, so to speak, been the night-eyes of Copenhagen. Let new lights now take our place and undertake our office ; but how many years they may shine, and what they may light up, remains to be seen ! They certainly shine a little stronger than we old ones, but that is nothing, when one is made like a gas-chandelier, and has such connexions, as they have, the one pours into the