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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998
THE DRYAD
and laughed and smiled, blissfully happy, ready to embrace the whole world.
The Dryad felt herself carried away in the dance. About her slender little foot fitted the silken shoe, chestnut-brown, like the ribbon which floated from her hair over her un≠covered shoulders. The green silk garment waved in great folds, but did not conceal the beautifully formed limb with the pretty foot, which seemed as if it wished to describe magic circles in the air. Was she in the enchanted garden of Armida ? What was the place called ? The name shone outside in gas-jets,
' Mabille .'
Sounds of music and clapping of hands, rockets, and murmuring water, popping of champagne corks mingled here. The dance was wildly bacchanalian, and over the whole sailed the moon, with a rather wry face, no doubt. The sky was cloudless, clear and serene ; it seemed as if one could see straight into Heaven from ' Mabille \
A consuming desire of life thrilled through the Dryad ; it was like an opium trance.
Her eyes spoke, her lips spoke, but the words were not heard for the sound of flutes and violins. Her partner whispered words in her ear, they trembled in time to the music of the can-can; she did not understand them,ówe do not understand them either. He stretched his arms out towards her and about her, and only embraced the trans≠parent, gas-filled air.
The Dryad was carried away by the stream of air, as the wind bears a rose-leaf. On high before her she saw a flame, a flashing light, high up on a tower. The light shone from the goal of her longing, from the red lighthouse on the ' Fata Morgana ' of the Field of Mars. She fluttered about the tower ; the workmen thought it was a butterfly which they saw dropping down to die in its all too early arrival.
The moon shone, gas-lights and lamps shone in the great halls and in the scattered buildings of all lands, shone over the undulating greeneward, and the rocks made by the ingenuity of men, where the waterfall poured down by the strength of ' Mr. Bloodless '. The depths of the ocean and of the fresh water, the realms of the fishes were opened