ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES - Novels
by Hans Christian Andersen
English Children Stories
Many years ago, there was an Emperor, who was so excessively fond of new clothes, that he spent all his money in dress. He did not trouble himself in the least about his soldiers; nor did he care to ...Read Moreeither to the theatre or the chase, except for the opportunities then afforded him for displaying his new clothes. He had a different suit for each hour of the day; and as of any other king or emperor, one is accustomed to say, “he is sitting in council,” it was always said of him, “The Emperor is sitting in his wardrobe.”
Time passed merrily in the large town which was his capital; strangers arrived every day at the court. One day, two rogues, calling themselves weavers, made their appearance. They gave out that they knew how to weave stuffs of the most beautiful colors and elaborate patterns, the clothes manufactured from which should have the wonderful property of remaining invisible to everyone who was unfit for the office he held, or who was extraordinarily simple in character.
Hans Christian Andersen 1 THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES Many years ago, there was an Emperor, who was so excessively fond of new clothes, that he spent all his money in dress. He did not trouble himself in the least ...Read Morehis soldiers; nor did he care to go either to the theatre or the chase, except for the opportunities then afforded him for displaying his new clothes. He had a different suit for each hour of the day; and as of any other king or emperor, one is accustomed to say, “he is sitting in council,” it was always said
2 THE SWINEHERD There was once a poor Prince, who had a kingdom. His kingdom was very small, but still quite large enough to marry upon; and he wished to marry. It was certainly rather cool of him to ...Read Moreto the Emperor's daughter, “Will you have me?” But so he did; for his name was renowned far and wide; and there were a hundred princesses who would have answered, “Yes!” and “Thank you kindly.” We shall see what this princess said. Listen! It happened that where the Prince's father lay buried, there grew a rose tree—a most beautiful rose
3 THE REAL PRINCESS There was once a Prince who wished to marry a Princess; but then she must be a real Princess. He travelled all over the world in hopes of finding such a lady; but there was ...Read Moresomething wrong. Princesses he found in plenty; but whether they were real Princesses it was impossible for him to decide, for now one thing, now another, seemed to him not quite right about the ladies. At last he returned to his palace quite cast down, because he wished so much to have a real Princess for his wife. One evening
4 THE SHOES OF FORTUNE I. A Beginning Every author has some peculiarity in his descriptions or in his style of writing. Those who do not like him, magnify it, shrug up their shoulders, and exclaim—there he is again! ...Read Morefor my part, know very well how I can bring about this movement and this exclamation. It would happen immediately if I were to begin here, as I intended to do, with: “Rome has its Corso, Naples its Toledo”—“Ah! that Andersen; there he is again!” they would cry; yet I must, to please my fancy, continue quite quietly, and add:
5 THE FIR TREE Out in the woods stood a nice little Fir Tree. The place he had was a very good one: the sun shone on him: as to fresh air, there was enough of that, and round ...Read Moregrew many large-sized comrades, pines as well as firs. But the little Fir wanted so very much to be a grown-up tree. He did not think of the warm sun and of the fresh air; he did not care for the little cottage children that ran about and prattled when they were in the woods looking for wild-strawberries. The children
6 THE SNOW QUEEN FIRST STORY. Which Treats of a Mirror and of the Splinters Now then, let us begin. When we are at the end of the story, we shall know more than we know now: but to ...Read MoreOnce upon a time there was a wicked sprite, indeed he was the most mischievous of all sprites. One day he was in a very good humor, for he had made a mirror with the power of causing all that was good and beautiful when it was reflected therein, to look poor and mean; but that which was good-for-nothing and
7 THE LEAP-FROG A Flea, a Grasshopper, and a Leap-frog once wanted to see which could jump highest; and they invited the whole world, and everybody else besides who chose to come to see the festival. Three famous jumpers ...Read Morethey, as everyone would say, when they all met together in the room. “I will give my daughter to him who jumps highest,” exclaimed the King; “for it is not so amusing where there is no prize to jump for.” The Flea was the first to step forward. He had exquisite manners, and bowed to the company on all sides;
8 THE ELDERBUSH Once upon a time there was a little boy who had taken cold. He had gone out and got his feet wet; though nobody could imagine how it had happened, for it was quite dry weather. ...Read Morehis mother undressed him, put him to bed, and had the tea-pot brought in, to make him a good cup of Elderflower tea. Just at that moment the merry old man came in who lived up a-top of the house all alone; for he had neither wife nor children—but he liked children very much, and knew so many fairy tales,
9 THE BELL People said “The Evening Bell is sounding, the sun is setting.” For a strange wondrous tone was heard in the narrow streets of a large town. It was like the sound of a church-bell: but it ...Read Moreonly heard for a moment, for the rolling of the carriages and the voices of the multitude made too great a noise. Those persons who were walking outside the town, where the houses were farther apart, with gardens or little fields between them, could see the evening sky still better, and heard the sound of the bell much more distinctly.
10 THE OLD HOUSE In the street, up there, was an old, a very old house—it was almost three hundred years old, for that might be known by reading the great beam on which the date of the year ...Read Morecarved: together with tulips and hop-binds there were whole verses spelled as in former times, and over every window was a distorted face cut out in the beam. The one story stood forward a great way over the other; and directly under the eaves was a leaden spout with a dragon's head; the rain-water should have run out of the
11 THE HAPPY FAMILY Really, the largest green leaf in this country is a dock-leaf; if one holds it before one, it is like a whole apron, and if one holds it over one's head in rainy weather, it ...Read Morealmost as good as an umbrella, for it is so immensely large. The burdock never grows alone, but where there grows one there always grow several: it is a great delight, and all this delightfulness is snails' food. The great white snails which persons of quality in former times made fricassees of, ate, and said, “Hem, hem! how delicious!” for
12 THE STORY OF A MOTHER A mother sat there with her little child. She was so downcast, so afraid that it should die! It was so pale, the small eyes had closed themselves, and it drew its breath ...Read Moresoftly, now and then, with a deep respiration, as if it sighed; and the mother looked still more sorrowfully on the little creature. Then a knocking was heard at the door, and in came a poor old man wrapped up as in a large horse-cloth, for it warms one, and he needed it, as it was the cold winter season!
13 THE FALSE COLLAR There was once a fine gentleman, all of whose moveables were a boot-jack and a hair-comb: but he had the finest false collars in the world; and it is about one of these collars that ...Read Moreare now to hear a story. It was so old, that it began to think of marriage; and it happened that it came to be washed in company with a garter. “Nay!” said the collar. “I never did see anything so slender and so fine, so soft and so neat. May I not ask your name?” “That I shall not
14 THE SHADOW It is in the hot lands that the sun burns, sure enough! there the people become quite a mahogany brown, ay, and in the HOTTEST lands they are burnt to Negroes. But now it was only ...Read Morethe HOT lands that a learned man had come from the cold; there he thought that he could run about just as when at home, but he soon found out his mistake. He, and all sensible folks, were obliged to stay within doors—the window-shutters and doors were closed the whole day; it looked as if the whole house slept, or
15 THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening—the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, ...Read Morewith naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast. One
16 THE DREAM OF LITTLE TUK Ah! yes, that was little Tuk: in reality his name was not Tuk, but that was what he called himself before he could speak plain: he meant it for Charles, and it is ...Read Morewell enough if one does but know it. He had now to take care of his little sister Augusta, who was much younger than himself, and he was, besides, to learn his lesson at the same time; but these two things would not do together at all. There sat the poor little fellow, with his sister on his lap, and
17 THE NAUGHTY BOY Along time ago, there lived an old poet, a thoroughly kind old poet. As he was sitting one evening in his room, a dreadful storm arose without, and the rain streamed down from heaven; but ...Read Moreold poet sat warm and comfortable in his chimney-corner, where the fire blazed and the roasting apple hissed. “Those who have not a roof over their heads will be wetted to the skin,” said the good old poet. “Oh let me in! Let me in! I am cold, and I'm so wet!” exclaimed suddenly a child that stood crying at
18 THE RED SHOES There was once a little girl who was very pretty and delicate, but in summer she was forced to run about with bare feet, she was so poor, and in winter wear very large wooden ...Read Morewhich made her little insteps quite red, and that looked so dangerous! In the middle of the village lived old Dame Shoemaker; she sat and sewed together, as well as she could, a little pair of shoes out of old red strips of cloth; they were very clumsy, but it was a kind thought. They were meant for the little