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A STORY In the garden all the apple-trees were in blossom. They had hastened to bring forth flowers before they got green leaves, and in the yard all the ducklings walked up and down, and the cat too: it basked in the sun and licked the sunshine from its own paws. And when one looked at the fields, how beautifully the corn stood and how green it shone, without comparison! and there was a twittering and a fluttering of all the little birds, as if... more...

INTRODUCTION. It is a strange thing, that when I feel most fervently and most deeply, my hands and my tongue seem alike tied, so that I cannot rightly describe or accurately portray the thoughts that are rising within me; and yet I am a painter: my eye tells me as much as that, and all my friends who have seen my sketches and fancies say the same. I am a poor lad, and live in one of the narrowest of lanes; but I do not want for light, as my... more...

CHAPTER I. My life is a lovely story, happy and full of incident. If, when I was a boy, and went forth into the world poor and friendless, a good fairy had met me and said, "Choose now thy own course through life, and the object for which thou wilt strive, and then, according to the development of thy mind, and as reason requires, I will guide and defend thee to its attainment," my fate could not, even then, have been directed more happily, more... more...

The Sand-hills of Jutland.   his is a story from the Jutland sand-hills, but it does not commence there; on the contrary, it commences far away towards the south, in Spain. The sea is the highway between the two countries. Fancy yourself there. The scenery is beautiful; the climate is warm. There blooms the scarlet pomegranate amidst the dark laurel trees; from the hills a refreshing breeze is wafted over the orange groves and the... more...

I. LITTLE RUDY. Let us visit Switzerland and look around us in the glorious country of mountains, where the forest rises out of steep rocky walls; let us ascend to the dazzling snow-fields, and thence descend to the green plains, where the rivulets and brooks hasten away, foaming up, as if they feared not to vanish, as they reached the sea. The sun beams upon the deep valley, it burns also upon the heavy masses of snow; so that after the... more...


FIRST STORY WHICH DEALS WITH A MIRROR AND ITS FRAGMENTS   One day he was in a high state of delight because he had invented a mirror with this peculiarity, that every good and pretty thing reflected in it shrank away to almost nothing. Now we are about to begin, and you must attend; and when we get to the end of the story, you will know more than you do now about a very wicked hobgoblin. He was one of the worst kind; in fact... more...

TROLLHÄTTA Who did we meet at Trollhätta? It is a strange story, and we will relate it. We landed at the first sluice, and stood as it were in a garden laid out in the English style. The broad walks are covered with gravel, and rise in short terraces between the sunlit greensward: it is charming, delightful here, but by no means imposing. If one desires to be excited in this manner, one must go a little higher up to the older... more...

CHAPTER I "Quod felix faustumque sit!" There is a happiness which no poet has yet properly sung, which no lady-reader, let her be ever so amiable, has experienced or ever will experience in this world. This is a condition of happiness which alone belongs to the male sex, and even then alone to the elect. It is a moment of life which seizes upon our feelings, our minds, our whole being. Tears have been shed by the innocent, sleepless nights been... more...

THE FLAX   HE flax was in full bloom; it had pretty little blue flowers, as delicate as the wings of a moth. The sun shone on it and the showers watered it; and this was as good for the flax as it is for little children to be washed and then kissed by their mothers. They look much prettier for it, and so did the flax. "People say that I look exceedingly well," said the flax, "and that I am so fine and long that I shall make a beautiful... more...

THE FIR TREE   AR away in the forest, where the warm sun and the fresh air made a sweet resting place, grew a pretty little fir tree. The situation was all that could be desired; and yet the tree was not happy, it wished so much to be like its tall companions, the pines and firs which grew around it. The sun shone, and the soft air fluttered its leaves, and the little peasant children passed by, prattling merrily; but the fir tree did not... more...