« ZurückWeiter »
Then the princess ran to the door and opened it, and there she saw the frog, whom she had quite forgotten; she was terribly frightened, and shutting the door as fast as she could, came back to her seat. The king her father asked her what had frightened her. "There is a nasty frog," said she, "at the door, who lifted my ball out of the spring last evening: I promised him that he should live with me here, thinking that he could never get out of the spring; but there he is at the door and wants to come in!" While she was speaking, the frog knocked again at the door, and said:
Open the door, my princess dear,
Open the door to thy true love here!
And mind the words that thou and I said,
The king said to the young princess, "As you have made a promise, you must keep it; so go and let him in.” She did so, and the frog hopped into the room, and came up close to the table. "Pray lift me upon a chair,” said he to the princess, "and let me sit next to you." As soon as she had done this, the frog said, "Put your plate closer to me that I may eat out of it." This she did, and when he had eaten as much as he could, he said, "Now I am tired; carry me upstairs and put me into your little bed." And the princess took him up in her hand and put him upon the pillow of her own little bed, where he slept all night long. As soon as it was light, he jumped up, hopped downstairs, and went out of the house. "Now," thought the princess, "he is gone, and I shall be troubled with him no more."
But she was mistaken; for when night came again, she heard the same tapping at the door, and when she opened it, the frog came in and slept upon her pillow as before till the morning broke: and the third night he did the same; but when the princess awoke on the following morning, she was astonished to see, instead of the frog, a handsome prince standing at the head of her bed, and gazing on her with the most beautiful eyes that ever
He told her that he had been enchanted by a malicious fairy, who had changed him into the form of a frog, in which he was fated to remain till some princess should take him out of the spring and let him sleep upon her bed for three nights. "You," said the prince, "have broken this cruel charm, and now I have nothing to wish for but that you should go with me into my father's kingdom, where I will marry you, and love you as long as you live."
The young princess, you may be sure, was not long in giving her consent; and as they spoke, a splendid carriage drove up with eight beautiful horses decked with plumes of feathers and golden harness, and behind rode the prince's servant, the faithful Henry, who had bewailed the misfortune of his dear master so long and bitterly that his heart had well-nigh burst. Then all set out full of joy for the prince's kingdom, where they arrived safely, and lived happily a great many years.
THE BRAVE TIN SOLDIER.
Hans Christian Andersen.
THERE were once five-and-twenty tin soldiers, who were all brothers, for they had been made out of the same old tin spoon. They shouldered arms and looked straight before them. They wore splendid red and blue uniforms. The first thing in the world they ever heard were the words, "Tin soldiers!" uttered by a little boy, who clapped his hands with delight when the lid of the box in which they lay was taken off. They were given him for a birthday present, and he stood at the table to set them up. The soldiers were all exactly alike, except one, who had only one leg; he had been left till the last, and then there was not enough of the melted tin to finish him; but he stood just as firmly on one leg as the others did on two, and on that account he was very noticeable.
The table on which the tin soldiers stood was covered with other playthings, but the most attractive one was a pretty little paper castle. Through the small windows, the rooms could be seen. In front of the castle, a number of little trees surrounded a piece of looking-glass, which was intended to represent a transparent lake. Swans, made of wax, swam on the lake, and were reflected in it. All this was very pretty, but the prettiest of all was a tiny little lady, who stood at the open door of the castle. She, also, was made of paper, and she wore a dress of the thinnest muslin, with a narrow blue ribbon over her shoulders just like a scarf. In the middle of this was fixed a glittering tinsel rose, as large as her whole face.
The little lady was a dancer, and she stretched out both her arms, and raised one of her legs so high that the tin soldier could not see it at all, and he thought that she, like himself, had only one leg. "That is the wife for me," he thought; "yet she is too grand, and lives in a castle, while I have only a box to live in, five-and-twenty of us all together; that is no place for her. Still I must try to make her acquaintance." Then he laid himself at full length on the table behind a snuff-box that stood. upon it, so that he could peep at the delicate little lady who continued to stand on one leg without losing her balance.
When evening came, the other tin soldiers were all placed in the box, and the people of the house went to bed. Then the playthings began to have their own games together, to pay visits, to have sham-fights, and to give balls. The tin soldiers rattled in their box; they wanted to get out and join the amusements, but they could not open the lid. The nut-crackers played at leapfrog, and the pencil jumped about the table. There was such a noise that the canary woke up and began to talk, and in poetry too. Only the tin soldier and the dancer remained in their places. She stood on the tip of one toe, with her arms stretched out, as firmly as he did on his one leg. He never took his eyes from her even for a moment. The clock struck twelve, and, with a bounce, up sprang the lid of the snuff-box; but, instead of snuff, there jumped up a little black goblin; for the snuff-box was a toy puzzle.
"Tin soldier," said the goblin, "don't wish for what does not belong to you."
But the tin soldier pretended not to hear. "Very well; wait till to-morrow, then," said the goblin.
When the children came in the next morning, they placed the tin soldier in the window. Now, whether it was the goblin that did it, or the draught, at all events the window flew open, and out fell the tin soldier, heels over head, from the third story, into the street beneath. It was a terrible fall; for he came head downwards, his helmet and his bayonet stuck in between the flagstones, and his one leg up in the air. The servant-maid and the little boy went downstairs directly to look for him; but, although once they nearly trod upon him, they did not see him. If he had called out, "Here I am," it would have been all right; but he was too proud to cry out for help while he wore a uniform.
Presently it began to rain, and the drops fell faster and faster, till there was a heavy shower. When it was over, two boys happened to pass by, and one of them said, "Look, there is a tin soldier! He ought to have a boat to sail in."
So they made a boat out of a newspaper, and placed the tin soldier in it, and sent him sailing down the gutter, while the two boys ran by the side of it, and clapped their hands. Good gracious, what large waves arose in that The rain had
gutter! and how fast the stream rolled on!
been very heavy.
The paper boat rocked up and down, and turned itself round sometimes so quickly that the tin soldier trembled; yet he remained firm; his countenance did not change; he looked straight before him, and shouldered his musket. Suddenly the boat shot under a bridge which crossed the drain, and then it was as dark as the tin soldier's box.