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injure your sight." He then placed the dog upon the apron, and no sooner did he see all the silver in the box, than he threw away the copper money he had, and filled his pockets and knapsack with that more valuable metal. He then went into the third room, and oh! what an ugly beast he saw there! The dog's eyes were indeed as large as the Round Tower, and kept turning round in his head exactly like mill-wheels.
"Good day to you," the soldier said, touching his cap, for he had never seen such a dog in all his life; but after looking at him for a time he thought he would go on, so he took him up, placed him upon the apron, and opened the box. Oh, what a large quantity of gold there was there! With that he could buy the whole of Copenhagen, and all the gingerbread horses, all the tin soldiers, whips, and rocking-horses in the whole world. He now threw out all the silver he had in his pockets and knapsack, and put gold in them instead. Yes, his pockets, his knapsack, his cap, and even his boots were filled with it, so that he could scarcely walk. He was now rich, so he put the dog back on the box, shut the door, and called to the old witch
"Now pull me up."
"And have you got the tinder-box?" she asked.
Well, to be sure, I had clean forgotten that," the soldier said; so he went back and fetched it. The witch now pulled him up, and there he stood again on the high road, but this time with his pockets, knapsack, cap, and boots filled with gold,
"And what do you think of doing with the tinder-box?" he asked.
"That is no business of yours," the witch replied. "You have got your gold, so give me my tinder-box."
"What does all this mean?" the soldier said: "tell me at once what you are going to do with the tinder-box, or I'll draw my sword and cut off your head."
"No," the witch said.
So the soldier drew his sword, and the witch hastily ran away. But he tied up all his gold in her apron, slung it across his shoulder, and putting the tinder-box in his pocket, walked on straight to the town.
That was a beautiful town, and he turned into the finest hotel, where he ordered the best rooms, and told the landlord to get him a good dinner, for he was rich now he had got so much money.
It certainly appeared to the servant, as he cleaned his boots, that they were paltry things to belong to so wealthy a person, for he had not yet bought him new ones, so the next day he obtained new boots and fine clothes. The soldier now became a gentleman of rank, and people told him all sorts of wonderful things about the town, and the king, and the beautiful princess his daughter. "How can any one get to see her?" the soldier asked.
"No one is allowed to see her," the people said, 'for she lives in a castle made of brass, surrounded by many walls and towers. No one but the king
himself has the right of entrance, for it has been foretold that the princess will be married to a common soldier, to which the king is not willing to agree." "I should like to see her," the soldier thought, but he could in no way obtain permission.
Now he led a happy life, went to the theatre, visited the king's garden, and gave a great deal of money to the poor, which was a good thing to do. He was now a wealthy man, had fine clothes and many friends, who all praised him as being a thorough gentleman, which the soldier was pleased to hear. But by spending money every day and receiving none, it came to pass after a while that he had only a shilling left; so he was obliged to leave his grand house and live in a garret under the tiles, and no more of his friends came to see him, for there were so many stairs to mount.
THE TINDER BOX.
It had grown quite dark, and he had not even money sufficient to buy a candle; but then he remembered that there was a small taper in the tinder box which he had brought out of the hollow tree. He fetched the flint and steel out of the box, and when he had struck a few sparks, the dog which had eyes as big as a tea cup stood before him to know his commands.
"How is this?" the soldier said. "This is a
good tinder box, if I can so easily get all I want by it. Give me some money," he said to the dog. It was gone in an instant, and almost in the same moment returned with a purse of money in its jaws.
Now the soldier saw what a precious box it was. If he struck the flint once the dog that guarded the pence appeared; if he struck it twice the dog came that guarded the silver; if he struck it three times it produced the dog that guarded the gold. The soldier now went back to his splendid house, and all his friends came round him again:
It seemed to him that it was very strange that there was no way by which he could see the princess. Rumour said she was very beautiful, but what was the use of being beautiful if she was to be always confined in the castle of brass with the many towers. "Is it impossible to see her by any means?" he thought. "Where is my tinder box?" He struck fire, and in an instant the dog with eyes like a tea cup appeared.
"It is the middle of the night, certainly," said the soldier, "but I should like to see the princess, if only for a moment."
The dog went away in a moment, and before the soldier thought it was possible, returned with the princess. She was lying asleep on the dog's back, and was so beautiful that every one could see she was a real princess. The soldier could not
help kissing her, for he was a true soldier.
Then the dog ran back with the princess; but the next morning, when she was breakfasting with
the king and queen, she told them she had had a very strange dream about a dog and a soldier. She dreamt that she had ridden on the dog, and that the soldier had kissed her.
"That is a very pretty story, indeed," the queen said.
It was now arranged that one of the old ladies of the court should stay by the bedside of the princess the next night to see whether it was really a dream, or what else it might be.
The soldier had a great desire to see the princess again; so the dog came in the night, and ran off with her as quickly as possible. The old lady, however, put on a pair of magic boots, and ran after her, and when she saw her go into the soldier's house, she made a cross with some chalk on the soldier's door. The dog saw that, and so he went round and made a cross on all the doors of the town.
But the queen was a very clever woman, and could do more things than ride in her carriage; so she took her large golden scissors, cut up a large piece of silk, and made a neat little bag, which she filled with meal, and tied it round the neck of the princess. When she had done this she cut a small hole in the bag, so that the meal might fall out as she went along, and thus enable them to find the house to which the dog took her.
In the middle of the night the dog again came and carried the princess to the soldier, who loved her dearly, and wished heartily he were a prince himself so that he might marry her.