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home, and his wife was very glad to see him, and to hear how well everything had gone with him. He gave the three golden hairs to the king, who could no longer object to him as his son-in-law. When he saw all the treasure, he cried out in a transport of joy, “Dear son, where did you find all this gold ?" "By the side of a lake," said the youth, "where there is plenty more to be had.” Pray tell me,” said the king, “ that I may go and get some too.” “As much as you please,” replied the other. You will see the ferryman on the lake; let him carry you across, and there you will see plenty of gold
Away went the greedy king; and when he came to the lake, he beckoned to the ferryman, who took him into his boat, and as soon as he was there, gåve the rudder into his hand, and sprang ashore, leaving the old king to ferry away as a reward for his sins.
"And is his majesty plying there still ?” “You may be sure of that, for who do you think will be at the trouble to take the rudder out of his hands?”
Down in a green and shady bed,
A modest violet grew;
As if to hide from view.
And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colour bright and fair ;
Instead of hiding there.
In modest tints arrayed;
Within the silent shade.
This pretty flower to see;
(From Hans Christian Anderson's Tales for Children.)
PART I. A pretty little fir-tree once stood in the forest. It had a good place which was open to the sunshine and the air, and around it grew many of its taller brothers. But the little tree thought of nothing but growing; it did not care for the sun, or the fresh air, or the children who came in the forest to gather fruit. These children would often sit down near the fir-tree, and
“ What a pretty little tree that is !” But the fir-tree did not like to be thought little.
The next year it was a joint taller, and the year after, another joint taller, and so on; for in fir-trees you can tell how old they are by the number of joints in the stem.
“Oh, if I were only a tall tree like the others!” sighed the little fir-tree," for then I could stretch out my branches, and lift up my head so as to look out upon the wide world. The birds could build their nests upon my branches, and when the wind blows I could nod my head proudly like the others.
It felt no pleasure in the sun, or the birds, or the clouds which sailed over it night and morning.
When the snow covered the ground in winter, a hare would come running that way, and instead of going round the tree, jump over it. This vexed the fir very much. But the third winter it had grown so tall that the hare had to run round it.
The wood-cutters came in the autumn, and felled some of the largest trees. The young tree, which had now grown to a good height, felt a shudder; for the stately trees fell crashing to the earth. Their brancbes were cut off, and they were placed on carts, and drawn out of the forest.
In the spring, when the storks and swallows came, the little fir-tree said to them, “Did you meet the tall firs on the way ?” The swallows knew nothing, but the storks looked thoughtful and said, “I met a great number of ships as I flew here from Egypt; in these ships there were stately masts, and I will be bound they were the
firs, for they had the smell of firs about them.". “Oh, if I were but tall enough to sail across the
!” said the little fir-tree. Rejoice in your youth," said the sunbeams; rejoice in your power of growing, and in your
” And the wind kissed the tree, the dew shed tears over it; but the fir-tree did not understand their meaning
When Christmas drew near, quite young trees were cut down,-trees that were neither so tall por so old as this fir-tree, that had neither peace nor rest, but was always longing to get away. These young trees were laid on wagons with all their branches on, and drawn out of the wood. “Where can they be going to ?” said the fir-tree. “We know, we know !” said the sparrows. “We have peeped in at the windows, and have seen young trees planted straight upright, in the middle of nice warm rooms, and decked out with all sorts of fine things, apples, nuts, gingerbreads, pretty toys, and hundreds of candles."
That is better than sailing across the sea," shouted the joyful fir-tree. “How I long to be among them! Oh! to think of being in the wagon, and then to be in the warm room, with all those fine things hanging on one; and there must be something better after all than that, or else why do they deck one out so ?”
“Rejoice in us !” the air and light cried. “Rejoice in your youth out in the open air !" But it did not rejoice at all. It grew and grew;
winter and summer it stood there equally green, and all who saw it said, “Is not that a beautiful fir-tree !” When Christmas came, it was cut down first of all. The axe cut through to the marrow, and it fell to the earth with a sigh. It could not think of any pleasure, for it was sad at having to leave the place of its birth, and it was sorry it would never see its old friends, the bushes and flowers again.
PART II. When the fir-tree was cut down, it was placed upon a wagon and drawn out of the wood. But it did not come to itself properly, till it was taken out with some other trees, and then it heard a man say,
« This is indeed a fine one-this will do.”
It was now carried into a fine drawing-room, and placed in a large tub filled with sand; but no one could see it was a tub, for it was hung all round with green twigs, and was standing on a gay carpet. The walls all round were hung with pictures, and by the side of the stove stood two large Chinese vases, with lions on the lids. There were rocking-chairs, satin sofas, and large tables covered with picture books, besides playthings which cost large sums of money.
Oh, how the tree trembled ! At once the young ladies and the servants began to deck it out. They stuck apples and walnuts upon it, and hung