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

the little house, and so to the whole street. It flares in the air, so that the clouds shine. The flames increase ! There is food for the fire; there is hay and straw, bacon and tar, there are piles of firewood for the winter-time, and everything burns. There is weeping and shrieking and great confusion. In the tumult rides the old king, encouraging and commanding. There is blowing up with powder, and pulling down of houses. Now there is fire also in the north quarter, and the churches are burning, St. Peter's and Our Lady's. Listen to the bells playing their last tune : " Turn away thy wrath, Lord God of Mercy ! "
' Only the '; Round Tower " and the castle are left stand­ing ; round about them are smoking ruins. King Frederick is good to the people ; he comforts and feeds them ; he is with them ; he is the friend of the homeless. Blessed be Frederick IV!
' See this page now !
' See the gilded carriage with footmen round it, with armed riders before and behind it, coming from the castle, where an iron chain is stretched to prevent the people from coming too near. Every plebeian man must go over the square with bare head ; because of this not many are seen there, they avoid the place. There comes one now with downcast eyes, with hat in hand, and he is just the man of that time, whom we name with pride :
His words like a cleansing storm-wind rang
For sunshine in days yet to come; And smuggled-in fashions like grasshoppers sprang
In haste to escape and get home.
It is wit and humour in person ; it is Ludwig Holberg. The Danish theatre, the scene of his greatness, has been closed, as if it were the dwelling-place of infamy. All merriment is coffined ; dance, song, and music are for­bidden and banished. The dark side of religion is now in power.
1" The Danish prince ! " as his mother called him ; now comes his time with sunshiny weather, with the song of birds, with gladness and gaiety, and true Danish ways.