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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1040                         THE CANDLES
better in the silver candlestick ? I would like to know that before I am burned out.'
And it thought of the two happy ones, the one lighted by the wax-candle, and the other by the tallow-candle.
Yes, that is the whole story !
The one who could do the most incredible thing should have the king's daughter and the half of his kingdom.
The young men, and even the old ones, strained all their thoughts, sinews, and muscles ; two ate themselves to death, and one drank until he died, to do the most incredible thing according to their own taste, but it was not in this way it was to be done. Little boys in the streets practised spitting on their own backs, they considered that the most incredible thing.
On a certain day an exhibition was to be held of what each had to show as the most incredible. The judges who were chosen were children from three years old to people up in the sixties. There was a whole exhibition of incredible things, but all soon agreed that the most incredible was a huge clock in a case marvellously designed inside and out.
On the stroke of every hour living figures came out, which showed what hour was striking: there were twelve representations in all, with moving figures and with music and conversation.
1 That was the most incredible thing,' the people said.
The clock struck one, and Moses stood on the mountain and wrote down on the tables of the law the first command­ment, ' There is only one true God.'
The clock struck two, and the garden of Eden appeared, where Adam and Eve met, happy both of them, without having so much as a wardrobe ; they did not need one either.
On the stroke of three, the three kings from the East were shown; one of them was coal-black, but he could not help that,—the sun had blackened him. They came with incense and treasures.