Part 3 out of 11
Although it fall and die that night;
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauty see;
And in short measures, life may perfect be.
THE CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE
Sir Henry Wotton
How happy is he born and taught,
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armor is his honest thought,
And simple truth, his utmost skill;
Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame or private breath;
Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise,
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;
Who hath his life from rumors freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;
Who God doth late and early pray,
More of his grace than gifts to lend,
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book, or friend.
This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands,
And having nothing, yet hath all.
SAY NOT, THE STRUGGLE NOUGHT AVAILETH
Arthur Hugh Clough
Say not, the struggle nought availeth,
The labor and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light,
In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.
FOR A' THAT AN' A' THAT
Is there for honest poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that?
The coward slave, we pass him by,--
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Our toils obscure, an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.
What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hodden gray, an' a' that?
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine--
A man's a man for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a 'that:
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.
Ye see yon birkie ca'd "a lord,"
Wha' struts an' stares, an' a 'that?
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a cuif for a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
His riband, star, an' a' that,
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.
A prince can mak' a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that!
But an honest man's aboon his might,--
Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that,
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.
Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's comin' yet, for a' that,
That man to man, the world o'er,
Shall brithers be for a' that.
William Ernest Henly
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Edward Rowland Sill
This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:--
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle's edge,
And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel--
That blue blade that the king's son bears,--but this
Blunt thing--!" he snapt and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.
A PSALM OF LIFE
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!--
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Finds us farther than today.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living Present,
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;--
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
THE DOG AND THE SHADOW
A Dog, crossing a little rivulet with a piece of meat in his mouth,
saw his own shadow represented in the clear mirror of the limpid
stream; and, believing it to be another dog, who was carrying a
larger piece of meat, he could not forbear catching at it; but was
so far from getting anything by his greedy design, that he dropped
the piece he had in his mouth, which immediately sank to the bottom,
and was irrecoverably lost.
THE FOX AND THE GRAPES
A Fox, very hungry, chanced to come into a vineyard, where there
hung branches of charming ripe grapes; but nailed up to a trellis so
high that he leaped till he quite tired himself without being able
to reach one of them. At last, "Let who will take them!" says he;
"they are but green and sour; so I will even let them alone."
THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE
A Hare laughed at a Tortoise upon account of his slowness, and
vainly boasted her own great speed in running. "Let us make a
match," replied the Tortoise; "I will run with you five miles for a
wager, and the fox yonder shall be the umpire of the race." The
Hare agreed; and away they both started together. But the Hare,
by reason of her exceeding swiftness, outran the Tortoise to such a
degree, that she made a jest of the matter; and thinking herself sure
of the race, squatted in a tuft of fern that grew by the way, and
took a nap, thinking that, if the Tortoise went by, she could at
any time overtake him with all the ease imaginable. In the meanwhile
the Tortoise came jogging on with slow but continued motion;
and the Hare out of a too great security and confidence of victory,
oversleeping herself, the Tortoise arrived at the end of the race
THE SHEPHERD'S BOY
A certain Shepherd's Boy kept his sheep upon a common, and in
sport and wantonness would often cry out, "The wolf! the wolf!"
By this means he several times drew the husbandmen in an adjoining
field from their work; who, finding themselves deluded, resolved
for the future to take no notice of his alarm. Soon after, the
wolf came indeed. The Boy cried out in earnest; but no heed being
given to his cries, the sheep were devoured by the wolf.
THE HUSBANDMAN AND THE STORK
The Husbandman set a net in his fields to take the cranes and geese
which came to feed upon the new-sown barley. He succeeded in
taking several, both cranes and geese, and among them a Stork,
who pleaded hard for his life, and, among other apologies which
he made, alleged that he was neither goose nor crane, but a poor
harmless Stork, who performed his duty to his parents to all intents
and purposes, feeding them when they were old, and, as occasion
required, carrying them from place to place upon his back. "All
this may be true," replied the Husbandman; "but, as I have taken
you in bad company, and in the same crime, you must expect to
suffer the same punishment."
THE WIND AND THE SUN
A dispute once arose betwixt the North Wind and the Sun about
the superiority of their power; and they agreed to try their strength
upon a traveler, which should be able to get his cloak off first. The
North Wind began, and blew a very cold blast, accompanied with
a sharp, driving shower. But this, and whatever else he could do,
instead of making the man quit his cloak, obliged him to gird it
about his body as close as possible. Next came the Sun; who, breaking
out from a thick watery cloud, drove away the cold vapors from
the sky, and darted his warm, sultry beams upon the head of the
poor weather-beaten traveler. The man growing faint with the
heat, and unable to endure it any longer, first throws off his heavy
cloak, and then flies for protection to the shade of a neighboring
THE TORTOISE AND THE GEESE
[Footnote: This and the following fable are from _The Tortoise and
the Geese, and Other Fables of Bidpai,_ retold by Maude Barrows
A Tortoise and two Geese lived together in a pond for many years.
At last there came a drought and dried up the pond. Then the
Geese said to one another,--
"We must seek a new home quickly, for we cannot live without
water. Let us say farewell to the Tortoise and start at once."
When the Tortoise heard that they were going, he trembled with
fear, and besought them by their friendship not to desert him.
"Alas," the Geese replied, "there is no help for it. If we stay
here, we shall all three die, and we cannot take you with us, for you
Still the Tortoise begged so hard not to be left behind that the
Geese finally said,--
"Dear Friend, if you will promise not to speak a word on
the journey, we will take you with us. But know beforehand, that
if you open your mouth to say one single word, you will be in instant
danger of losing your life."
"Have no fear," replied the Tortoise, "but that I shall be silent
until you give me leave to speak again. I would rather never open
my mouth again than be left to die alone here in the dried-up pond."
So the Geese brought a stout stick and bade the Tortoise grasp it
firmly in the middle by his mouth. Then they took hold of either
end and flew off with him. They had gone several miles in safety,
when their course lay over a village. As the country people saw this
curious sight of a Tortoise being carried by two Geese, they began
to laugh and cry out,--
"Oh, did you ever see such a funny sight in all your life!" And
they laughed loud and long.
The Tortoise grew more and more indignant. At last he could
stand their jeering no longer. "You stupid..." he snapped, but
before he could say more he had fallen to the ground and was
dashed to pieces.
THE PARTRIDGE AND THE CROW
A Crow flying across a road saw a Partridge strutting along the
"What a beautiful gait that Partridge has!" said the Crow. "I
must try to see if I can walk like him."
She alighted behind the Partridge and tried for a long time to
learn to strut. At last the Partridge turned around and asked the
Crow what she was about.
"Do not be angry with me," replied the Crow. "I have never
before seen a bird who walks as beautifully as you can, and I am
trying to learn to walk like you."
"Foolish bird!" responded the Partridge. "You are a Crow, and
should walk like a Crow. You would look silly indeed if you were
to strut like a Partridge."
But the Crow went on trying to learn to strut, until finally she
had forgotten her own gait, and she never learned that of the Partridge.
JEAN DE LA FONTAINE
THE FOX AND THE GRAPES
A fox, almost with hunger dying,
Some grapes upon a trellis spying,
To all appearance ripe, clad in
Their tempting russet skin,
Most gladly would have eat them;
But since he could not get them,
So far above his reach the vine,--
"They're sour." he said; "such grapes as these
The dogs may eat them if they please."
--Did he not better than to whine?
THE WOLF AND THE STORK
The wolves are prone to play the glutton.
One, at a certain feast, 'tis said,
So stuffed himself with lamb and mutton,
He seemed but little short of dead.
Deep in his throat a bone stuck fast.
Well for this wolf, who could not speak,
That soon a stork quite near him passed.
By signs invited, with her beak
The bone she drew
With slight ado,
And for this skillful surgery
Demanded, modestly, her fee.
"Your fee!" replied the wolf,
In accents rather gruff;
"And is it not enough
Your neck is safe from such a gulf?
Go, for a wretch ingrate,
Nor tempt again your fate!"
THE OLD WOMAN AND HER PIG
An old woman was sweeping her house, and she found a little
crooked sixpence. "What," said she, "shall I do with this little
sixpence? I will go to market, and buy a little pig."
As she was coming home, she came to a stile: but the piggy
wouldn't go over the stile.
She went a little further, and she met a dog. So she said to him:
"Dog! dog! bite pig; piggy won't go over the stile; and I shan't
get home tonight." But the dog wouldn't.
She went a little further, and she met a stick. So she said:
"Stick! stick! beat dog! dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get
over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight." But the stick
She went a little further, and she met a fire. So she said:
"Fire! fire! burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig;
piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight." But
the fire wouldn't.
She went a little further, and she met some water. So she said:
"Water! water! quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't
beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and
I shan't get home tonight." But the water wouldn't.
She went a little further, and she met an ox. So she said: "Ox!
ox! drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn stick;
stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get over the
stile; and I shan't get home tonight." But the ox wouldn't.
She went a little further, and she met a butcher. So she said:
"Butcher! butcher! kill ox; ox won't drink water; water won't
quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't
bite pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home
tonight." But the butcher wouldn't.
She went a little further, and she met a rope. So she said:
"Rope! rope! hang butcher; butcher won't kill ox; ox won't drink
water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't
beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and I
shan't get home tonight." But the rope wouldn't.
She went a little further, and she met a rat. So she said: "Rat!
rat! gnaw rope; rope won't hang butcher; butcher won't kill ox;
ox won't drink water; water won't quench fire; fire won't burn
stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite pig; piggy won't get over
the stile; and I shan't get home tonight." But the rat wouldn't.
She went a little further, and she met a cat. So she said:
"Cat! cat! kill rat; rat won't gnaw rope; rope won't hang butcher;
butcher won't kill ox; ox won't drink water; water won't quench
fire; fire won't burn stick; stick won't beat dog; dog won't bite
pig; piggy won't get over the stile; and I shan't get home tonight."
But the cat said to her, "If you will go to yonder cow and
fetch me a saucer of milk, I will kill the rat." So away went the
old woman to the cow.
But the cow said to her: "If you will go to yonder haystack
and fetch me a handful of hay, I'll give you the milk." So away
went the old woman to the haystack; and she brought the hay to the
As soon as the cow had eaten the hay, she gave the old woman
the milk; and away she went with it in a saucer to the cat.
As soon as the cat had lapped up the milk, the cat began to kill
the rat; the rat began to gnaw the rope; the rope began to hang
the butcher; the butcher began to kill the ox; the ox began to drink
the water; the water began to quench the fire; the fire began to burn
the stick; the stick began to beat the dog; the dog began to bite the
pig; the little pig in fright jumped over the stile; and so the old
woman got home that night.
THE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS
There was once an old sow with three little pigs, and as she
had not enough to keep them, she sent them out to seek their
fortune. The first that went off met a man with a bundle of straw,
and said to him:
"Please, man, give me that straw to build me a house."
Which the man did, and the little pig built a house with it.
Presently came along a wolf, and knocked at the door, and said:
"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."
To which the pig answered:
"No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin."
The wolf then answered to that:
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."
So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house in, and ate up
the little pig.
The second little pig met a man with a bundle of furze, and said:
"Please, man, give me that furze to build a house."
Which the man did, and the pig built his house. Then along came
the wolf, and said:
"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."
"No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin."
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."
So he huffed, and he puffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and at
last he blew the house in, and he ate up the little pig.
The third little pig met a man with a load of bricks, and said:
"Please, man, give me those bricks to build a house with."
So the man gave him the bricks, and he built his house with
them. So the wolf came, as he did to the other little pigs, and said:
"Little pig, little pig, let me come in."
"No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin."
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."
Well, he huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed, and he puffed,
and he puffed and huffed; but he could _not_ get the house down.
When he found that he could not, with all his huffing and puffing,
blow the house down, he said:
"Little pig, I know where there is a nice field of turnips."
"Where?" said the little pig.
"Oh, in Mr. Smith's Home-field, and if you will be ready tomorrow
morning, I will call for you, and we will go together and
get some for dinner."
"Very well," said the little pig, "I will be ready. What time
do you mean to go?"
"Oh, at six o'clock."
Well, the little pig got up at five, and got the turnips before the
wolf came (which he did about six), who said:
"Little pig, are you ready?"
The little pig said: "Ready? I have been and come back again,
and got a nice potful for dinner."
The wolf felt very angry at this, but thought that he would be
up to the little pig somehow or other, so he said:
"Little pig, I know where there is a nice apple tree."
"Where?" said the pig.
"Down at Merry-garden," replied the wolf, "and if you will
not deceive me, I will come for you at five o'clock tomorrow and
get some apples."
Well, the little pig bustled up the next morning at four o'clock,
and went for the apples, hoping to get back before the wolf came;
but he had further to go, and had to climb the tree, so that just as
he was coming down from it, he saw the wolf coming, which, as you
may suppose, frightened him very much. When the wolf came up,
"Little pig, what! are you here before me? Are they nice
"Yes, very," said the little pig. "I will throw you down
And he threw it so far, that, while the wolf was gone to pick it
up, the little pig jumped down and ran home. The next day the
wolf came again, and said to the little pig:
"Little pig, there is a fair at Shanklin this afternoon. Will you
"Oh, yes," said the pig, "I will go; what time shall you be
"At three," said the wolf. So the little pig went off before the
time as usual, and got to the fair, and bought a butter churn, which
he was going home with when he saw the wolf coming. Then he
could not tell what to do. So he got into the churn to hide, and by
so doing turned it round, and it rolled down the hill with the pig in
it, which frightened the wolf so much that he ran home without
going to the fair. He went to the little pig's house, and told him
how frightened he had been by a great round thing which came down
the hill past him. Then the little pig said:
"Hah, I frightened you, then. I had been to the fair and bought
a butter churn, and when I saw you, I got into it and rolled down
Then the wolf was very angry indeed, and declared he would eat
up the little pig, and that he would get down the chimney after
him. When the little pig saw what he was about, he hung on the
pot full of water and made up a blazing fire, and, just as the wolf
was coming down, took off the cover, and in fell the wolf; so the
little pig put on the cover again in an instant, boiled him up, and
ate him for supper, and lived happy ever afterwards.
HANS IN LUCK
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Hans had served his master seven years, and at last said to him,
"Master, my time is up; I should like to go home and see my
mother; so give me my wages." And the master said, "You have
been a faithful and good servant, so your pay shall be handsome."
Then he gave him a piece of silver that was as big as his head.
Hans took out his pocket handkerchief, put the piece of silver
into it, threw it over his shoulder, and jogged off homewards. As
he went lazily on, dragging one foot after the other, a man came in
sight, trotting along gayly on a capital horse. "Ah!" cried Hans
aloud, "what a fine thing it is to ride on horseback! he trips
against no stones, spares his shoes, and yet gets on he hardly knows
how." The horseman heard this, and said, "Well, Hans, why do
you go on foot, then?" "Ah!" said he, "I have this load to carry;
to be sure it is silver, but it is so heavy that I can't hold up my
head, and it hurts my shoulders sadly." "What do you say to
changing?" said the horseman; "I will give you my horse, and you
shall give me the silver." "With all my heart," said Hans; "but
I tell you one thing,--you'll have a weary task to drag it along."
The horseman got off, took the silver, helped Hans up, gave him the
bridle into his hand, and said, "When you want to go very fast,
you must smack your lips loud, and cry 'Jip.'"
Hans was delighted as he sat on the horse, and rode merrily on.
After a time he thought he should like to go a little faster, so he
smacked his lips and cried, "Jip." Away went the horse full gallop;
and before Hans knew what he was about, he was thrown off,
and lay in a ditch by the roadside; and his horse would have run
off, if a shepherd who was coming by, driving a cow, had not stopped
it. Hans soon came to himself, and got upon his legs again. He
was sadly vexed, and said to the shepherd, "This riding is no joke
when a man gets on a beast like this, that stumbles and flings him
off as if he would break his neck. However, I am off now once for
all; I like your cow a great deal better; one can walk along at one's
leisure behind her, and have milk, butter, and cheese every day into
the bargain. What would I give to have such a cow!" "Well,"
said the shepherd, "if you are so fond of her, I will change my
cow for your horse." "Done!" said Hans merrily. The shepherd
jumped upon the horse, and away he rode.
Hans drove off his cow quietly, and thought his bargain a very
lucky one. "If I have only a piece of bread, I can, whenever I
like, eat my butter and cheese with it; and when I am thirsty, I can
milk my cow and drink the milk: what can I wish for more?"
When he came to an inn, he halted, ate up all his bread, and gave his
last penny for a glass of beer: then he drove his cow towards his
mother's village; and the heat grew greater as noon came on, till
he began to be so hot and parched that his tongue clave to the roof
of his mouth. "I can find a cure for this," thought he; "now will
I milk my cow and quench my thirst;" so he tied her to the stump
of a tree, and held his leather cap to milk into; but not a drop was
to be had.
While he was trying his luck and managing the matter very clumsily,
the uneasy beast gave him a kick on the head that knocked him
down, and there he lay a long while senseless. Luckily a butcher
soon came by, wheeling a pig in a wheelbarrow. "What is the matter
with you?" said the butcher, as he helped him up. Hans told
him what had happened, and the butcher gave him a flask, saying,
"There, drink and refresh yourself; your cow will give you no
milk, she is an old beast good for nothing but the slaughterhouse."
"Alas, alas!" said Hans, "who would have thought it? If I kill
her, what would she be good for? I hate cow beef, it is not tender
enough for me. If it were a pig now, one could do something
with it; it would, at any rate, make some sausages." "Well," said
the butcher, "to please you I'll change, and give you the pig for
the cow." "Heaven reward you for your kindness!" said Hans. as
he gave the butcher the cow, and took the pig off the wheelbarrow,
and drove it off, holding it by the string that was tied to its leg.
So on he jogged, and all seemed now to go right with him. The
next person he met was a countryman, carrying a fine white goose
under his arm. The countryman stopped to ask what o'clock it was;
and Hans told him all his luck, and how he had made so many
good bargains. The countryman said he was going to take the
goose to a christening. "Feel," said he, "how heavy it is, and yet
it is only eight weeks old. Whoever roasts and eats it, may cut
plenty of fat off it, it has lived so well!" "You're right," said
Hans, as he weighed it in his hand; "but my pig is no trifle." Meantime
the countryman began to look grave, and shook his head.
"Hark ye," said he, "my good friend; your pig may get you into a
scrape; in the village I have just come from, the squire has had a
pig stolen out of his sty. I was dreadfully afraid, when I saw you,
that you had got the squire's pig; it will be a bad job if they
catch you; the least they'll do will be to throw you into the horse
Poor Hans was sadly frightened. "Good man," cried he, "pray
get me out of this scrape; you know this country better than I; take
my pig and give me the goose." "I ought to have something into
the bargain," said the countryman; "however, I will not bear hard
upon you, as you are in trouble." Then he took the string in his
hand, and drove off the pig by a side path; while Hans went on
the way homewards free from care.
As he came to the last village, he saw a scissors grinder, with
his wheel, working away, and singing. Hans stood looking for a
while, and at last said, "You must be well off, master grinder, you
seem so happy at your work." "Yes," said the other, "mine is a
golden trade; a good grinder never puts his hand in his pocket
without finding money in it:--but where did you get that beautiful
goose?" "I did not buy it, but changed a pig for it." "And
where did you get the pig?" "I gave a cow for it." "And the
cow?" "I gave a horse for it." "And the horse?" "I gave a
piece of silver as big as my head for that." "And the silver?"
"Oh, I worked hard for that seven long years." "You have thriven
well in the world hitherto," said the grinder; "now if you could find
money in your pocket whenever you put your hand into it, your
fortune would be made." "Very true: but how is that to be managed?"
"You must turn grinder like me," said the other: "you only want a
grindstone; the rest will come of itself. Here is one that is a
little the worse for wear: I would not ask more than the value of
your goose for it;--will you buy?" "How can you ask such a question?"
replied Hans; "I should be the happiest man in the world if I could
have money whenever I put my hand in my pocket; what could I want
more? there's the goose!" "Now," said the grinder, as he gave him
a rough stone that lay by his side, "this is a most capital stone;
do but manage it cleverly, and you can make an old nail cut with
Hans took the stone and went off with a light heart; his eyes
sparkled for joy, and he said to himself, "I must have been born in
a lucky hour; everything that I want or wish for comes to me of
Meantime he began to be tired, for he had been traveling ever
since daybreak; he was hungry, too, for he had given away his
last penny in his joy at getting the cow. At last he could go no
further, and the stone tired him terribly; he dragged himself to the
side of a pond, that he might drink some water and rest awhile; so he
laid the stone carefully by his side on the bank: but as he stooped
down to drink, he forgot it, pushed it a little, and down it went
plump into the pond. For a while he watched it sinking in the deep,
clear water, then sprang up for joy, and again fell upon his knees,
and thanked heaven with tears in his eyes for its kindness in taking
away his only plague, the ugly heavy stone. "How happy am I,"
cried he: "no mortal was ever so lucky as I am." Then up he got
with a light and merry heart, and walked on free from all his
troubles, till he reached his mother's house.
THE VALIANT LITTLE TAILOR
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
One summer's morning a little tailor was sitting on his table by
the window; he was in good spirits, and sewed with all his might.
Then came a peasant woman down the street, crying, "Good jams,
cheap! Good jams, cheap!" This rang pleasantly in the tailor's
ears; he stretched his delicate head out of the window, and called,
"Come up here, dear woman; here you will get rid of your goods."
The woman came up the three steps to the tailor with her heavy
basket, and he made her unpack the whole of the pots for him. He
inspected all of them, lifted them up, put his nose to them, and at
length said, "The jam seems to me to be good, so weigh me out
four ounces, dear woman, and if it is a quarter of a pound that is
of no consequence." The woman, who had hoped to find a good
sale, gave him what he desired, but went away quite angry and
grumbling. "Now God bless the jam to my use," cried the little
tailor, "and give me health and strength;" so he brought the bread
out of the cupboard, cut himself a piece right across the loaf and
spread the jam over it. "That won't taste bitter," said he, "but I
will just finish the jacket before I take a bite." He laid the bread
near him, sewed on, and, in his joy, made bigger and bigger stitches.
In the meantime the smell of the sweet jam ascended so to the
wall, where the flies were sitting in great numbers, that they were
attracted and descended on it in hosts. "Hola! who invited you?"
said the little tailor, and drove the unbidden guests away. The
flies, however, who understood no German, would not be turned
away, but came back again in ever increasing companies.
Then the little tailor lost all patience, and got a bit of cloth from
the hole under his work table, and saying, "Wait, and I will give it
to you," struck it mercilessly on them. When he drew it away
and counted, there lay before him no fewer than seven, dead and
with legs stretched out.
"Art thou a fellow of that sort?" said he, and could not help
admiring his own bravery. "The whole town shall know of this!"
And the little tailor hastened to cut himself a girdle, stitched it, and
embroidered on it in large letters, "Seven at one stroke!" "What,
the town!" he continued, "the whole world shall hear of it!" and
his heart wagged with joy like a lamb's tail. The tailor put on
the girdle, and resolved to go forth into the world, because he
thought his workshop was too small for his valor.
Before he went away, he sought about in the house to see if there
was anything which he could take with him; however, he found
nothing but an old cheese, and that he put in his pocket. In front
of the door he observed a bird which had caught itself in the thicket.
It had to go into his pocket with the cheese.
Now he took to the road boldly, and as he was light and nimble,
he felt no fatigue. The road led him up a mountain, and when he
had reached the highest point of it, there sat a powerful giant looking
about him quite comfortably.
The little tailor went bravely up, spoke to him, and said, "Good
day, comrade, so thou art sitting there overlooking the wide-spread
world! I am just on my way thither, and want to try my luck. Hast
thou any inclination to go with me?" The giant looked contemptuously
at the tailor, and said, "Thou ragamuffin! Thou miserable creature!"
"Oh, indeed?" answered the little tailor, and unbuttoned his coat
and showed the giant the girdle. "There mayst thou read what
kind of a man I am!" The giant read, "Seven at one stroke!" and
thought that they had been men whom the tailor had killed, and
began to feel a little respect for the tiny fellow. Nevertheless he
wished to try him first, and took a stone in his hand and squeezed
it together so that the water dropped out of it. "Do that likewise,"
said the giant, "if thou hast strength." "Is that all?"
said the tailor, "that is child's play with us!" and put his hand into
his pocket, brought out the soft cheese, and pressed it until the
liquid ran out of it. "Faith," said he, "that was a little better,
The giant did not know what to say and could not believe it of the
little man. Then the giant picked up a stone and threw it so high
that the eye could scarcely follow it. "Now, little mite of a man,
do that likewise." "Well thrown," said the tailor, "but after all
the stone came down to earth again; I will throw you one which shall
never come back at all," and he put his hand into his pocket, took
out the bird, and threw it into the air. The bird, delighted with its
liberty, rose, flew away, and did not come back. "How does that
shot please you, comrade?" asked the tailor.
"Thou canst certainly throw," said the giant, "but now we will
see if thou art able to carry anything properly." He took the little
tailor to a mighty oak tree which lay there felled to the ground,
and said, "If thou art strong enough, help me to carry the tree
out of the forest." "Readily," answered the little man; "take thou
the trunk on thy shoulders, and I will raise up the branches and
twigs; after all, they are the heaviest." The giant took the trunk on
his shoulder, but the tailor seated himself on a branch, and the
giant, who could not look round, had to carry away the whole tree
and the little tailor into the bargain. He, behind, was quite merry
and happy and whistled the song, "Three tailors rode forth from the
gate," as if carrying the tree were child's play. The giant, after
he had dragged the heavy burden part of the way, could go no
further, and cried, "Hark you, I shall have to let the tree fall!"
The tailor sprang nimbly down, seized the tree with both arms as if
he had been carrying it, and said to the giant, "Thou art such a
great fellow, and yet thou canst not even carry the tree!"
They went on together; and as they passed a cherry tree, the
giant laid hold of the top of the tree where the ripest fruit was
hanging, bent it down, gave it into the tailor's hand, and bade him
eat. But the little tailor was much too weak to hold the tree;
and when the giant let it go, it sprang back again, and the tailor
was hurried into the air with it. When he had fallen down again
without injury, the giant said, "What is this? Hast thou not
strength enough to hold the weak twig?" "There is no lack of
strength," answered the little tailor. "Dost thou think that could
be anything to a man who has struck down seven at one blow?
I leapt over the tree because the huntsmen are shooting down there
in the thicket. Jump as I did, if thou canst do it." The giant
made the attempt, but could not get over the tree, and remained
hanging in the branches, so that in this also the tailor kept the
The giant said, "If thou art such a valiant fellow, come with me
into our cavern and spend the night with us." The little tailor was
willing, and followed him. When they went into the cave, other
giants were sitting there by the fire, and each of them had a roasted
sheep in his hand and was eating it. The little tailor looked round
and thought, "It is much more spacious here than in my workshop."
The giant showed him a bed and said he was to lie down in it and
sleep. The bed was, however, too big for the little tailor; he did
not lie down in it but crept into a corner. When it was midnight,
and the giant thought the little tailor was lying in a sound sleep,
he got up, took a great iron bar, cut through the bed with one blow,
and thought he had given the grasshopper his finishing stroke. With
the earliest dawn the giants went into the forest, and had quite
forgotten the little tailor, when all at once he walked up to them
quite merrily and boldly. The giants were terrified; they were afraid
that he would strike them all dead, and ran away in a great hurry.
The little tailor went onwards, always following his own pointed
nose. After he had walked for a long time, he came to the courtyard
of a royal palace, and as he felt weary he lay down on the grass
and fell asleep. Whilst he lay there, the people came and inspected
him on all sides, and read on his girdle, "Seven at one stroke!"
"Ah!" said they, "what does a great warrior here in the midst
of peace? He must be a mighty lord." They went and announced
him to the King, and gave it as their opinion that if war should
break out, this would be a weighty and useful man, who ought on no
account to be allowed to depart. The counsel pleased the King, and
he sent one of his courtiers to the little tailor to offer him military
service when he awoke. The ambassador remained standing by the sleeper,
waited until he stretched his limbs and opened his eyes, and then
conveyed to him this proposal. "For this very reason have I come here,"
the tailor replied; "I am ready to enter the King's service." He was
therefore honorably received, and a separate dwelling was assigned to
The soldiers, however, were set against the little tailor, and wished
him a thousand miles away. "What is to be the end of this?" they
said amongst themselves. "If we quarrel with him and he strikes
about him, seven of us will fall at every blow; not one of us can
stand against him." They came therefore to a decision, betook
themselves in a body to the King, and begged for their dismissal.
"We are not prepared," said they, "to stay with a man who kills
seven at one stroke." The King was sorry that for the sake of one he
should lose all his faithful servants, wished that he had never set
eyes on the tailor, and would willingly have been rid of him again.
But he did not venture to give him his dismissal, for he dreaded lest
he should strike him and all his people dead and place himself on the
royal throne. He thought about it for a long time and at last found
good counsel. He sent to the little tailor and caused him to be informed
that as he was such a great warrior, he had one request to make to him.
In a forest of his country lived two giants, who caused great mischief
with their robbing, murdering, ravaging, and burning, and no one could
approach them without putting himself in danger of death. If the tailor
conquered and killed these two giants, he would give him his only
daughter to wife and half his kingdom as a dowry, likewise one hundred
horsemen should go with him to assist him. "That would indeed be a fine
thing for a man like me!" thought the little tailor. "One is not
offered a beautiful princess and half a kingdom every day of one's
life!" "Oh, yes," he replied, "I will soon subdue the giants, and do
not require the help of the hundred horsemen to do it; he who can hit
seven with one blow has no need to be afraid of two."
The little tailor went forth, and the hundred horsemen followed
him. When he came to the outskirts of the forest, he said to his
followers, "Just stay waiting here, I alone will soon finish off the
giants." Then he bounded into the forest and looked about right
and left. After a while he perceived both giants. They lay sleeping
under a tree and snored so that the branches waved up and
down. The little tailor, not idle, gathered two pocketfuls of stones
and with these climbed up a tree. When he was halfway up, he
slipped down by a branch until he sat just above the sleepers, and
then let one stone after another fall on the breast of one of the
giants. For a long time the giant felt nothing, but at last he awoke,
pushed his comrade, and said, "Why art thou knocking me?"
"Thou must be dreaming," said the other; "I am not knocking
thee." They laid themselves down to sleep again, and then the
tailor threw a stone down on the second. "What is the meaning of
this?" cried the other. "Why art thou pelting me?" "I am not
pelting thee," answered the first, growling. They disputed about
it for a time, but as they were weary they let the matter rest, and
their eyes closed once more. The little tailor began his game again,
picked out the biggest stone, and threw it with all his might on the
breast of the first giant. "That is too bad!" cried he, and sprang
up like a madman, and pushed his companion against the tree until
it shook. The other paid him back in the same coin, and they got
into such a rage that they tore up trees and belabored each other so
long that at last they both fell down dead on the ground at the
same time. Then the little tailor leapt down. "It is a lucky
thing," said he, "that they did not tear up the tree on which I was
sitting, or I should have had to spring on to another like a squirrel;
but we tailors are nimble." He drew out his sword and gave each of
them a couple of thrusts in the breast, and then went out to the
horsemen and said, "The work is done; I have given them both their
finishing stroke, but it was hard work! They tore up trees in
their sore need, and defended themselves with them, but all that is
to no purpose when a man like myself comes, who can kill seven
at one blow." "But are you not wounded?" asked the horsemen.
"You need not concern yourself about that," answered the tailor.
"They have not bent one hair of mine." The horsemen would not
believe him, and rode into the forest; there they found the giants
swimming in their blood, and all round about lay the torn-up
The little tailor demanded of the King the promised reward; he,
however, repented of his promise, and again bethought himself
how he could get rid of the hero. "Before thou receivest my daughter
and the half of my kingdom," said he to him," thou must perform
one more heroic deed. In the forest roams a unicorn which
does great harm, and thou must catch it first." "I fear one unicorn
still less than two giants. Seven at one blow is my kind of affair."
He took a rope and an ax with him, went forth into the forest, and
again bade those who went with him to wait outside. He had not to
seek long. The unicorn soon came towards him and rushed directly
on the tailor, as if it would spit him on its horn without more
ceremony. "Softly, softly; it can't be done as quickly as that,"
said he, and stood still and waited until the animal was quite close,
and then sprang nimbly behind the tree. The unicorn ran against
the tree with all its strength, and struck its horn so fast in the
trunk that it had not strength enough to draw it out again, and
thus it was caught. "Now I have got the bird," said the tailor, and
came out from behind the tree and put the rope round its neck, and
then with his ax he hewed the horn out of the tree, and when all
was ready he led the beast away and took it to the King.
The King still would not give him the promised reward, and made
a third demand. Before the wedding the tailor was to catch him a
wild boar that made great havoc in the forest, and the hunts--
men should give him their help. "Willingly," said the tailor, "that
is child's play!" He did not take the huntsmen with him into the
forest, and they were well pleased that he did not, for the wild boar
had several times received them in such a manner that they had
no inclination to lie in wait for him. When the boar perceived the
tailor, it ran on him with foaming mouth and whetted tusks, and
was about to throw him to the ground, but the active hero sprang into
a chapel, which was near, and up to the window at once, and in one
bound was out again. The boar ran in after him, but the tailor
ran round outside and shut the door behind it, and then the raging
beast, which was much too heavy and awkward to leap out of the
window, was caught. The little tailor called the huntsmen thither,
that they might see the prisoner with their own eyes. The hero, however,
went to the King, who was now, whether he liked it or not, obliged to
keep his promise, and gave him his daughter and the half of his kingdom.
Had he known that it was no warlike hero but a little tailor who was
standing before him, it would have gone to his heart still more than
it did. The wedding was held with great magnificence and small joy,
and out of the tailor a king was made.
After some time the young Queen heard her husband say in his
dreams at night, "Boy, make me the doublet and patch the pantaloons,
or else I will rap the yard measure over thine ears." Then
she discovered in what state of life the young lord had been born,
and next morning complained of her wrongs to her father, and
begged him to help her to get rid of her husband, who was nothing
else but a tailor. The King comforted her and said, "Leave thy
bedroom door open this night, and my servants shall stand outside,
and when he has fallen asleep shall go in, bind him, and take him
on board a ship which shall carry him into the wide world." The
woman was satisfied with this; but the King's armor-bearer, who
had heard all, was friendly with the young lord, and informed him of
the whole plot. "I'll put a screw into that business," said the little
tailor. At night he went to bed with his wife at the usual time, and
when she thought that he had fallen asleep, she got up, opened the
door, and then lay down again. The little tailor, who was only
pretending to be asleep, began to cry out in a clear voice, "Boy, make
me the doublet and patch me the pantaloons, or I will rap the yard
measure over thine ears. I smote seven at one blow, I killed two
giants, I brought away one unicorn and caught a wild boar, and am I to
fear those who are standing outside the room?" When these men
heard the tailor speaking thus, they were overcome with a great
dread, and ran as if the wild huntsman were behind them, and none
of them would venture anything further against him. So the little
tailor was a king and remained one, to the end of his life.
CINDERELLA, OR THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER
Once upon a time there was a gentleman who married, for his
second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that ever was
seen. She had two daughters of her own, who were, indeed, exactly
like her in all things. The gentleman had also a young daughter, of
rare goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her
mother, who was the best creature in the world.
The wedding was scarcely over, when the stepmother's bad temper
began to show itself. She could not bear the goodness of this
young girl, because it made her own daughters appear the more
odious. The stepmother gave her the meanest work in the house
to do; she had to scour the dishes, tables, etc., and to scrub the floors
and clean out the bedrooms. The poor girl had to sleep in the
garret, upon a wretched straw bed, while her sisters lay in fine
rooms with inlaid floors, upon beds of the very newest fashion, and
where they had looking-glasses so large that they might see themselves
at their full length. The poor girl bore all patiently, and
dared not complain to her father, who would have scolded her if she
had done so, for his wife governed him entirely.
When she had done her work, she used to go into the chimney corner,
and sit down among the cinders; hence she was called Cinderwench.
The younger sister of the two, who was not so rude and uncivil as
the elder, called her Cinderella. However, Cinderella, in spite of
her mean apparel, was a hundred times more handsome than her sisters,
though they were always richly dressed.
It happened that the King's son gave a ball, and invited to it
all persons of fashion. Our young misses were also invited, for
they cut a very grand figure among the people of the countryside.
They were highly delighted with the invitation, and wonderfully
busy in choosing the gowns, petticoats, and head-dresses
which might best become them. This made Cinderella's lot still
harder, for it was she who ironed her sisters' linen and plaited
their ruffles. They talked all day long of nothing but how they
should be dressed.
"For my part," said the elder, "I will wear my red velvet suit
with French trimmings."
"And I," said the younger, "shall wear my usual skirt; but then,
to make amends for that, I will put on my gold-flowered mantle, and
my diamond stomacher, which is far from being the most ordinary
one in the world." They sent for the best hairdressers they could
get, to make up their hair in fashionable style, and bought patches
for their cheeks. Cinderella was consulted in all these matters,
for she had good taste. She advised them always for the best,
and even offered her services to dress their hair, which they were
very willing she should do..
As she was doing this, they said to her:
"Cinderella, would you not be glad to go to the ball?"
"Young ladies," she said, "you only jeer at me; it is not for
such as I am to go there."
"You are right," they replied; "people would laugh to see a
Cinderwench at a ball."
Any one but Cinderella would have dressed their hair awry, but
she was good-natured, and arranged it perfectly well. They were
almost two days without eating, so much were they transported with
joy. They broke above a dozen laces in trying to lace themselves
tight, that they might have a fine, slender shape, and they were
continually at their looking-glass.
At last the happy day came; they went to Court, and Cinderella
followed them with her eyes as long as she could, and when she
had lost sight of them, she fell a-crying.
Her godmother, who saw her all in tears, asked her what was
"I wish I could--I wish I could--" but she could not finish for
Her godmother, who was a fairy, said to her, "You wish you
could go to the ball; is it not so?"
"Alas, yes," said Cinderella, sighing.
"Well," said her godmother, "be but a good girl, and I will see
that you go." Then she took her into her chamber, and said to
her, "Run into the garden, and bring me a pumpkin."
Cinderella went at once to gather the finest she could get, and
brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this
pumpkin could help her to go to the ball. Her godmother scooped
out all the inside of it, leaving nothing but the rind. Then she
struck it with her wand, and the pumpkin was instantly turned into
a fine gilded coach.
She then went to look into the mousetrap, where she found six
mice, all alive. She ordered Cinderella to lift the trapdoor, when,
giving each mouse, as it went out, a little tap with her wand, it was
that moment turned into a fine horse, and the six mice made a fine
set of six horses of a beautiful mouse-colored, dapple gray.
Being at a loss for a coachman, Cinderella said, "I will go and
see if there is not a rat in the rat-trap--we may make a coachman
"You are right," replied her godmother; "go and look."
Cinderella brought the rat-trap to her, and in it there were three
huge rats. The fairy chose the one which had the largest beard,
and, having touched him with her wand, he was turned into a fat
coachman with the finest mustache and whiskers ever seen.
After that, she said to her:
"Go into the garden, and you will find six lizards behind the
watering pot; bring them to me."
She had no sooner done so than her godmother turned them into
six footmen, who skipped up immediately behind the coach, with
their liveries all trimmed with gold and silver, and they held on
as if they had done nothing else their whole lives.
The fairy then said to Cinderella, "Well, you see here a carriage fit
to go to the ball in; are you not pleased with it?"
"Oh, yes!" she cried; "but must I go as I am in these rags?"
Her godmother simply touched her with her wand, and, at the
same moment, her clothes were turned into cloth of gold and
silver, all decked with jewels. This done, she gave her a pair of
the prettiest glass slippers in the whole world. Being thus attired,
she got into the carriage, her godmother commanding her, above all
things, not to stay till after midnight, and telling her, at the same
time, that if she stayed one moment longer, the coach would be a
pumpkin again, her horses mice, her coachman a rat, her footmen
lizards, and her clothes would become just as they were before.
She promised her godmother she would not fail to leave the ball
before midnight. She drove away, scarce able to contain herself
for joy. The King's son, who was told that a great princess, whom
nobody knew, was come, ran out to receive her. He gave her his
hand as she alighted from the coach, and led her into the hall where
the company were assembled. There was at once a profound silence;
every one left off dancing, and the violins ceased to play, so attracted
was every one by the singular beauties of the unknown newcomer.
Nothing was then heard but a confused sound of voices saying:
"Ha! how beautiful she is! Ha! how beautiful she is!"
The King himself, old as he was, could not keep his eyes off her,
and he told the Queen under his breath that it was a long time since
he had seen so beautiful and lovely a creature.
All the ladies were busy studying her clothes and head-dress, so
that they might have theirs made next day after the same pattern,
provided they could meet with such fine materials and able hands to
The King's son conducted her to the seat of honor, and afterwards
took her out to dance with him. She danced so very gracefully that
they all admired her more and more. A fine collation was served,
but the young Prince ate not a morsel, so intently was he occupied
She went and sat down beside her sisters, showing them a thousand
civilities, and giving them among other things part of the oranges
and citrons with which the Prince had regaled her. This very
much surprised them, for they had not been presented to her.
Cinderella heard the clock strike a quarter to twelve. She at
once made her adieus to the company and hastened away as fast as
As soon as she got home, she ran to find her godmother, and
after having thanked her, she said she much wished she might go
to the ball the next day, because the King's son had asked her to do
so. As she was eagerly telling her godmother all that happened
at the ball, her two sisters knocked at the door; Cinderella opened
it. "How long you have stayed!" said she, yawning, rubbing her
eyes, and stretching herself as if she had been just awakened. She
had not, however, had any desire to sleep since they went from
"If you had been at the ball," said one of her sisters, "you
would not have been tired with it. There came thither the finest
princess, the most beautiful ever was seen with mortal eyes. She
showed us a thousand civilities, and gave us oranges and citrons."
Cinderella did not show any pleasure at this. Indeed, she asked
them the name of the princess; but they told her they did not know
it, and that the King's son was very much concerned, and would
give all the world to know who she was. At this Cinderella, smiling,
"Was she then so very beautiful? How fortunate you have been!
Could I not see her? Ah! dear Miss Charlotte, do lend me your
yellow suit of clothes which you wear every day."
"Ay, to be sure!" cried Miss Charlotte; "lend my clothes to
such a dirty Cinderwench as thou art! I should be out of my
mind to do so."
Cinderella, indeed, expected such an answer and was very glad
of the refusal; for she would have been sadly troubled if her sister
had lent her what she jestingly asked for. The next day the two
sisters went to the ball, and so did Cinderella, but dressed more
magnificently than before. The King's son was always by her
side, and his pretty speeches to her never ceased. These by no
means annoyed the young lady. Indeed, she quite forgot her godmother's
orders to her, so that she heard the clock begin to strike
twelve when she thought it could not be more than eleven. She
then rose up and fled, as nimble as a deer. The Prince followed, but
could not overtake her. She left behind one of her glass slippers,
which the Prince took up most carefully. She got home, but quite
out of breath, without her carriage, and in her old clothes, having
nothing left her of all her finery but one of the little slippers, fellow
to the one she had dropped. The guards at the palace gate were
asked if they had not seen a princess go out, and they replied they
had seen nobody go out but a young girl, very meanly dressed, and
who had more the air of a poor country girl than of a young lady.
When the two sisters returned from the ball, Cinderella asked them
if they had a pleasant time, and if the fine lady had been there.
They told her, yes; but that she hurried away the moment it struck
twelve, and with so much haste that she dropped one of her little
glass slippers, the prettiest in the world, which the King's son had
taken up. They said, further, that he had done nothing but look
at her all the time, and that most certainly he was very much in
love with the beautiful owner of the glass slipper.
What they said was true; for a few days after the King's son
caused it to be proclaimed, by sound of trumpet, that he would
marry her whose foot this slipper would fit exactly. They began
to try it on the princesses, then on the duchesses, and then on all the
ladies of the Court; but in vain. It was brought to the two sisters,
who did all they possibly could to thrust a foot into the slipper, but
they could not succeed. Cinderella, who saw this, and knew her
slipper, said to them, laughing:
"Let me see if it will not fit me."
Her sisters burst out a-laughing, and began to banter her. The
gentleman who was sent to try the slipper looked earnestly at
Cinderella, and, finding her very handsome, said it was but just
that she should try, and that he had orders to let every lady try it
He obliged Cinderella to sit down, and, putting the slipper to her
little foot, he found it went on very easily, and fitted her as if it had
been made of wax. The astonishment of her two sisters was great,
but it was still greater when Cinderella pulled out of her pocket the
other slipper and put it on her foot. Thereupon, in came her godmother,
who, having touched Cinderella's clothes with her wand,
made them more magnificent than those she had worn before.
And now her two sisters found her to be that beautiful lady they
had seen at the ball. They threw themselves at her feet to beg
pardon for all their ill treatment of her. Cinderella took them up,
and, as she embraced them, said that she forgave them with all her
heart, and begged them to love her always.
She was conducted to the young Prince, dressed as she was. He
thought her more charming than ever, and, a few days after, married
her. Cinderella, who was as good as she was beautiful, gave her two
sisters a home in the palace, and that very same day married them to
two great lords of the Court.
THE HISTORY OF DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT
In the reign of the famous King Edward the Third, there was
a little boy called Dick Whittington, whose father and mother died
when he was very young, so that he remembered nothing at all about
them, and was left a dirty little fellow running about a country village.
As poor Dick was not old enough to work, he was in a sorry plight. He
got but little for his dinner, and sometimes nothing at all for his
breakfast, for the people who lived in the village were very poor
themselves, and could spare him little more than the parings of potatoes,
and now and then a hard crust.
For all this, Dick Whittington was a very sharp boy, and was always
listening to what every one talked about.
On Sundays he never failed to get near the farmers, as they sat talking
on the tombstones in the churchyard before the parson was come; and
once a week you might be sure to see little Dick leaning against the
signpost of the village alehouse, where people stopped to drink as they
came from the next market town; and whenever the barber's shop door was
open Dick listened to all the news he told his customers.
In this manner Dick heard of the great city called London; how
the people who lived there were all fine gentlemen and ladies;
that there were singing and music in it all day long; and that the
streets were paved all over with gold.
One day a wagoner, with a large wagon and eight horses, all with
bells at their heads, drove through the village while Dick was
lounging near his favorite signpost. The thought immediately
struck him that it must be going to the fine town of London; and
taking courage he asked the wagoner to let him walk with him by
the side of the wagon. The man, hearing from poor Dick that he
had no parents, and seeing by his ragged condition that he could
not be worse off, told him he might go if he would; so they set off
Dick got safe to London; and so eager was he to see the fine streets
paved all over with gold that he ran as fast as his legs would carry
him through several streets, expecting every moment to come to
those that were all paved with gold, for Dick had three times seen
a guinea in his own village, and observed what a great deal of money
it brought in change; so he imagined he had only to take up some
little bits of the pavement to have as much money as he desired.
Poor Dick ran till he was tired, and at last, finding it grow dark,
and that whichever way he turned he saw nothing but dirt instead
of gold, he sat down in a dark corner and cried himself asleep.
Little Dick remained all night in the streets; and next morning,
finding himself very hungry, he got up and walked about, asking
those he met to give him a halfpenny to keep him from starving; but
nobody stayed to answer him, and only two or three gave him anything,
so that the poor boy was soon in the most miserable condition.
Being almost starved to death, he laid himself down at the door of
one Mr. Fitzwarren, a great, rich merchant. Here he was soon
perceived by the cook-maid, who was an ill-tempered creature, and
happened just then to be very busy dressing dinner for her master
and mistress; so, seeing poor Dick, she called out, "What business
have you there, you lazy rogue? There is nothing else but beggars;
if you do not take yourself away, we will see how you will
like a sousing of some dishwater I have here that is hot enough to
make you caper."
Just at this time Mr. Fitzwarren himself came home from the city
to dinner, and, seeing a dirty, ragged boy lying at the door, said to
him, "Why do you lie there, my lad? You seem old enough to
work. I fear you must be somewhat idle." '"No, indeed, sir," says
Whittington, "that is not true, for I would work with all my heart,
but I know nobody, and I believe I am very sick for want of food."
"Poor fellow!" answered Mr. Fitzwarren.
Dick now tried to rise, but was obliged to lie down again, being
too weak to stand, for he had not eaten anything for three days,
and was no longer able to run about and beg a halfpenny of people
in the street; so the kind merchant ordered that he should be taken
into his house, and have a good dinner immediately, and that
he should be kept to do what dirty work he was able for the
Little Dick would have lived very happily in this worthy family
had it not been for the crabbed cook, who was finding fault and
scolding him from morning till night, and was withal so fond of
roasting and basting that, when the spit was out of her hands, she
would be at basting poor Dick's head and shoulders with a broom,
or anything else that happened to fall in her way, till at last her
ill usage of him was told to Miss Alice, Mr. Fitzwarren's daughter,
who asked the ill-tempered creature if she was not ashamed to use
a little friendless boy so cruelly; and added she would certainly be
turned away if she did not treat him with more kindness.
But though the cook was so ill-tempered, Mr. Fitzwarren's footman
was quite the contrary. He had lived in the family many years,
was rather elderly, and had once a little boy of his own, who died
when about the age of Whittington, so that he could not but feel
compassion for the poor boy.
As the footman was very fond of reading, he used generally in
the evening to entertain his fellow servants, when they had done
their work, with some amusing book. The pleasure our little hero
took in hearing him made him very much desire to learn to read,
too; so the next time the good-natured footman gave him a halfpenny,
he bought a hornbook with it; and, with a little of his help,
Dick soon learned his letters, and afterwards to read.
About this time Miss Alice was going out one morning for a walk,
and the footman happening to be out of the way, little Dick, who
had received from Mr. Fitzwarren a neat suit of clothes to go to
church on Sundays, was ordered to put them on, and walk behind
her. As they walked along, Miss Alice, seeing a poor woman with
one child in her arms and another at her back, pulled out her
purse, and gave her some money; and, as she was putting it again
into her pocket, she dropped it on the ground, and walked on.
Luckily Dick, who was behind, saw what she had done, picked it up,
and immediately presented it to her.
Besides the ill-humor of the cook, which now, however, was somewhat
mended, Whittington had another hardship to get over. This
was, that his bed, which was made of flock, was placed in a garret,
where there were so many holes in the floor and walls that he never
went to bed without being awakened in his sleep by great numbers of
rats and mice, which generally ran over his face, and made such a
noise that he sometimes thought the walls were tumbling down about
One day a gentleman who paid a visit to Mr. Fitzwarren happened
to have dirtied his shoes, and begged they might be cleaned.
Dick took great pains to make them shine, and the gentleman gave
him a penny. This he resolved to lay out in buying a cat, if possible;
and the next day, seeing a little girl with a cat under her
arm, he went up to her, and asked if she would let him have it for
a penny, to which the girl replied she would with all her heart,
for her mother had more cats than she could maintain, adding
that the one she had was an excellent mouser.
This cat Whittington hid in the garret, always taking care to carry
her a part of his dinner; and in a short time he had no further
disturbance from the rats and mice, but slept as sound as a top.
Soon after this the merchant, who had a ship ready to sail, richly
laden, and thinking it but just that all his servants should have some
chance for good luck as well as himself, called them into the parlor,
and asked them what commodity they chose to send.
All mentioned something they were willing to venture, but poor
Whittington, who, having no money nor goods, could send nothing
at all, for which reason he did not come in with the rest; but Miss
Alice, guessing what was the matter, ordered him to be called, and
offered to lay down some money for him from her own purse; but
this, the merchant observed, would not do, for it must be something
of his own.
Upon this, poor Dick said he had nothing but a cat, which he
bought for a penny that was given him.
"Fetch thy cat, boy," says Mr. Fitzwarren, "and let her go."
Whittington brought poor puss, and delivered her to the captain
with tears in his eyes, for he said, "He should now again be kept
awake all night by the rats and mice."
All the company laughed at the oddity of Whittington's adventure; and
Miss Alice, who felt the greatest pity for the poor boy, gave him some
halfpence to buy another cat.
This, and several other marks of kindness shown him by Miss
Alice, made the ill-tempered cook so jealous of the favors the poor
boy received that she began to use him more cruelly than ever, and
constantly made game of him for sending his cat to sea, asking him
if he thought it would sell for as much money as would buy a
At last the unhappy little fellow, being unable to bear this
treatment any longer, determined to run away from his place. He
accordingly packed up the few things that belonged to him, and set
out very early in the morning on Allhallow Day, which is the
first of November. He traveled as far as Holloway, and there sat
down on a stone, which to this day is called Whittington's Stone,
and began to consider what course he should take.
While he was thus thinking what he could do, Bow Bells, of which
there were then only six, began to ring, and it seemed to him that
their sounds addressed him in this manner--
"Turn again, Whitlington,
Lord mayor of London."
"Lord mayor of London!" says he to himself. "Why, to be
sure, I would bear anything to be lord mayor of London, and ride in
a fine coach! Well, I will go back, and think nothing of all the
cuffing and scolding of old Cicely, if I am at last to be lord mayor
So back went Dick, and got into the house, and set about his
business before Cicely came downstairs.
The ship, with the cat on board, was long beaten about at sea,
and was at last driven by contrary winds on a part of the coast of
Barbary, inhabited by Moors that were unknown to the English.
The natives in this country came in great numbers, out of curiosity,
to see the people on board, who were all of so different a color from
themselves, and treated them with great civility, and, as they became
better acquainted, showed marks of eagerness to purchase the fine
things with which the ship was laden.
The captain, seeing this, sent patterns of the choicest articles he
had to the king of the country, who was so much pleased with
them that he sent for the captain and his chief mate to the palace.
Here they were placed, as is the custom of the country, on rich
carpets flowered with gold and silver; and, the king and queen being
seated at the upper end of the room, dinner was brought in, which
consisted of the greatest rarities. No sooner, however, were all the
dishes set before the company than an amazing number of rats
and mice rushed in, and helped themselves plentifully from every
dish, scattering pieces of flesh and gravy all about the room.
The captain, extremely astonished, asked if these vermin were not
"Oh, yes," said they, "very offensive; and the king would give
half his treasure to be free of them, for they not only destroy his
dinner, but they disturb him even in his chamber, so that he is
obliged to be watched while he sleeps."
The captain, who was ready to jump for joy, remembering poor
Whittington's hard case, and the cat he had entrusted to his care, told
him he had a creature on board his ship that would kill them all.
The king was still more overjoyed than the captain. "Bring this
creature to me," says he; "and if she can really perform what you
say I will load your ship with wedges of gold in exchange for her."
Away flew the captain, while another dinner was providing, to
the ship, and, taking puss under his arm, returned to the palace in
time to see the table covered with rats and mice, and the second
dinner in a fair way to meet with the same fate as the first.
The cat, at sight of them, did not wait for bidding, but sprang
from the captain's arms, and in a few moments laid the greatest part
of the rats and mice dead at her feet, while the rest, in the greatest
fright imaginable, scampered away to their holes.
The king, having seen and considered of the wonderful exploits
of Mrs. Puss, and being informed she would soon have young ones,
which might in time destroy all the rats and mice in the country,
bargained with the captain for his whole ship's cargo, and afterwards
agreed to give a prodigious quantity of wedges of gold, of still
greater value, for the cat, with which, after taking leave of their
Majesties, and other great personages belonging to the court, he,
with all his ship's company, set sail, with a fair wind, and, after a
happy voyage, arrived safely in the port of London.
One morning Mr. Fitzwarren had just entered his counting-house,
and was going to seat himself at the desk, when who should arrive
but the captain and mate of the merchant ship, the _Unicorn,_ just
arrived from the coast of Barbary, and followed by several men,
bringing with them a prodigious quantity of wedges of gold that had
been paid by the king of Barbary in exchange for the merchandise,
and also in exchange for Mrs. Puss. Mr. Fitzwarren, the instant he
heard the news, ordered Whittington to be called, and, having desired
him to be seated, said, "Mr. Whittington, most heartily do I rejoice
in the news these gentlemen have brought you, for the captain has
sold your cat to the king of Barbary, and brought you in return
more riches than I possess in the whole world; and may you long
Mr. Fitzwarren then desired the men to open the immense treasure
they had brought, and added that Mr. Whittington had now nothing
to do but to put it in some place of safety.
Poor Dick could scarce contain himself for joy. He begged his
master to take what part of it he pleased, since to his kindness he
was indebted for the whole. "No, no, this wealth is all your own,
and justly so," answered Mr. Fitzwarren; "and I have no doubt you
will use it generously."
Whittington, however, was too kind-hearted to keep all himself;
and accordingly made a handsome present to the captain, the mate,
and every one of the ship's company, and afterwards to his excellent
friend the footman, and the rest of Mr. Fitzwarren's servants, not
even excepting crabbed old Cicely.
After this, Mr. Fitzwarren advised him to send for tradespeople,
and get himself dressed as became a gentleman, and made him the
offer of his house to live in till he could provide himself with a
When Mr. Whittington's face was washed, his hair curled, his
hat cocked, and he was dressed in a fashionable suit of clothes, he
appeared as handsome and genteel as any young man who visited
at Mr. Fitzwarren's; so that Miss Alice, who had formerly thought
of him with compassion, now considered him as fit to be her lover;
and the more so, no doubt, because Mr. Whittington was constantly
thinking what he could do to oblige her, and making her the prettiest
Mr. Fitzwarren, perceiving their affection for each other, proposed
to unite them in marriage, to which, without difficulty, they each
consented; and accordingly a day for the wedding was soon fixed,
and they were attended to church by the lord mayor, the court of
aldermen, the sheriffs, and a great number of the wealthiest merchants
in London; and the ceremony was succeeded by a most elegant
entertainment and splendid ball.
History tells us that the said Mr. Whittington and his lady lived
in great splendor, and were very happy; that they had several children;
that he was sheriff of London in the year 1340, and several
times afterwards lord mayor; that in the last year of his mayoralty
he entertained King Henry the Fifth on his return from the battle
of Agincourt. And sometime afterwards, going with an address
from the city on one of his Majesty's victories, he received the honor
Sir Richard Whittington constantly fed great numbers of the poor.
He built a church and college to it, with a yearly allowance to poor
scholars, and near it erected a hospital.
The effigy of Sir Richard Whittington was to be seen, with his cat
in his arms, carved in stone, over the archway of the late prison of
Newgate that went across Newgate Street.
THE UGLY DUCKLING
Hans Christian Andersen
It was glorious out in the country. It was summer, and the cornfields
were yellow, and the oats were green; the hay had been put
up in stacks in the green meadows, and the stork went about on his
long red legs, and chattered Egyptian, for this was the language he
had learned from his good mother. All around the fields and
meadows were great forests, and in the midst of these forests lay
deep lakes. Yes, it was really glorious out in the country. In the
midst of the sunshine there lay an old farm, surrounded by deep
canals, and from the wall down to the water grew great burdocks,
so high that the children could stand upright under the loftiest of
them. It was just as wild there as in the deepest wood. Here sat
a Duck upon her nest, for she had to hatch her young ones; but she
was almost tired out before the little ones came; and then she so
seldom had visitors. The other Ducks liked better to swim about in
the canals than to run up to sit down under a burdock and cackle
At last one eggshell after another burst open. "Piep! piep!" it
cried, and in all the eggs there were little creatures that stuck out
"Rap! rap!" they said; and they all came rapping out as fast as
they could, looking all round them under the green leaves; and the
mother let them look as much as they chose, for green is good for
the eyes. "How wide the world is!" said the young ones, for they
certainly had much more room now than when they were in the eggs.
"Do you think this is all the world!" asked the mother. "That
extends far across the other side of the garden, quite into the parson's
field, but I have never been there yet. I hope you are all together,"
she continued, and stood up." No, I have not all. The largest egg
still lies there. How long is that to last? I am really tired of it."
And she sat down again.
"Well, how goes it?" asked an old Duck who had come to pay
her a visit.
"It lasts a long time with that one egg," said the Duck who sat
there. "It will not burst. Now, only look at the others; are they
not the prettiest ducks one could possibly see? They are all like
their father; the bad fellow never comes to see me."
"Let me see the egg which will not burst," said the old visitor.
"Believe me, it is a turkey's egg. I was once cheated in that way,
and had much anxiety and trouble with the young ones, for they
are afraid of the water. I could not get them to venture in. I
quacked and clucked, but it was of no use. Let me see the egg.
Yes, that's a turkey's egg. Let it lie there, and you teach the other
children to swim."
"I think I will sit on it a little longer," said the Duck. "I've sat
so long now that I can sit a few days more."
"Just as you please," said the old Duck; and she went away.
At last the great egg burst. "Piep! piep!" said the little one,
and crept forth. It was very large and very ugly. The Duck
looked at it.
"It's a very large duckling," said she; "none of the others look
like that; can it really be a turkey chick? Now we shall soon find
out. It must go into the water, even if I have to thrust it in myself."
The next day the weather was splendidly bright, and the sun
shone on all the green trees. The Mother Duck went down to the
water with all her little ones. Splash! she jumped into the water.
"Quack! quack!" she said, and then one duckling after another
plunged in. The water closed over their heads, but they came up
in an instant and swam capitally; their legs went of themselves, and
there they were, all in the water. The ugly gray Duckling swam
"No, it's not a turkey," said she; "look how well it can use its
legs, and how upright it holds itself. It is my own child! On the
whole it's quite pretty, if one looks at it rightly. Quack! quack!
come with me, and I'll lead you out into the great world, and
present you in the poultry yard; but keep close to me, so that no
one may tread on you; and take care of the cats!"
And so they came into the poultry yard. There was a terrible
riot going on there, for two families were quarreling about an eel's
head, and the cat got it after all.
"See, that's how it goes in the world!" said the Mother Duck;
and she whetted her beak, for she, too, wanted the eel's head. "Only
use your legs," she said. "See that you bustle about, and bow your
heads before the old Duck yonder. She's the grandest of all here;
she's of Spanish blood--that's why she's so fat; and do you see,
she has a red rag round her leg; that's something particularly
fine, and the greatest distinction a duck can enjoy; it signifies that
one does not want to lose her, and that she's to be recognized by
man and beast. Shake yourselves--don't turn in your toes: a well-brought-up
Duck turns its toes quite out, just like father and mother,
so! Now bend your necks and say 'Rap!'"
And they did so; but the other Ducks round about looked at them
and said quite boldly:
"Look there! now we're to have these hanging on, as if there were
not enough of us already! And--fie--! how that Duckling yonder
looks; we won't stand that!" And one Duck flew up immediately,
and bit it in the neck.
"Let it alone," said the mother; "it does no harm to any one."
"Yes, but it's too large and peculiar," said the Duck who had
bitten it; "and therefore it must be buffeted."
"Those are pretty children that the mother has there," said the
old Duck with the rag round her leg. "They're all pretty but that
one; that was a failure. I wish she could alter it."
"That cannot be done, my Lady," replied the Mother Duck. "It
is not pretty, but it has a really good disposition, and swims as well
as any other; I may even say it swims better. I think it will grow
up pretty, and become smaller in time; it has lain too long in the
egg, and therefore is not properly shaped." And then she pinched
it in the neck and smoothed its feathers. "Moreover, it is a drake,"
she said, "and therefore it is not of so much consequence. I think
he will be very strong; he makes his way already."
"The other ducklings are graceful enough," said the old Duck.
"Make yourself at home; and if you find an eel's head, you may
bring it me."
And now they were at home. But the poor Duckling which had
crept last out of the egg, and looked so ugly, was bitten and pushed
and jeered, as much by the Ducks as by the chickens.
"It is too big!" they all said. And the turkey-cock, who had
been born with spurs and therefore thought himself an emperor,
blew himself up like a ship in full sail and bore straight down upon
it; then he gobbled and grew quite red in the face. The poor
Duckling did not know where it should stand or walk; it was quite
melancholy, because it looked ugly and was scoffed at by the whole
So it went on the first day, and afterward it became worse and
worse. The poor Duckling was hunted about by every one; even
its brothers and sisters were quite angry with it, and said, "If the
cat would only catch you, you ugly creature!" And the mother
said, "If you were only far away!" And the Ducks bit it and the
chickens beat it, and the girl who had to feed the poultry kicked
at it with her foot.
Then it ran and flew over the fence, and the little birds in the
bushes flew up in fear.
"That is because I am so ugly!" thought the Duckling; and it
shut its eyes, but flew no further; thus it came out into the great
moor, where the Wild Ducks lived. Here it lay the whole night
long; and it was weary and downcast.
Toward morning the Wild Ducks flew up and looked at their new
"What sort of a one are you?" they asked; and the Duckling
turned in every direction, and bowed as well as it could. "You are
remarkably ugly!" said the Wild Ducks. "But that is very indifferent
to us, so long as you do not marry into our family."
Poor thing! It certainly did not think of marrying, and only
hoped to obtain leave to lie among the reeds and drink some of the
Thus it lay two whole days; then came thither two Wild Geese,
or, properly speaking, two wild ganders. It was not long since each
had crept out of an egg, and that's why they were so saucy.
"Listen, comrade," said one of them. "You're so ugly that I
like you. Will you go with us and become a bird of passage?
Near here, in another moor, there are a few sweet lovely wild geese,
all unmarried and all able to say 'Rap!' You've a chance of
making your fortune, ugly as you are!"
"Piff! paff!" resounded through the air; and the two ganders
fell down dead in the swamp, and the water became blood-red.
"Piff! paff!" it sounded again, and the whole flock of wild geese
rose up from the reeds. And then there was another report. A
great hunt was going on. The hunters were lying in wait all round
the moor and some were even sitting up in the branches of the
trees, which spread far over the reeds. The blue smoke rose up like
clouds among the dark trees, and was wafted far away across the
water; and the hunting dogs came--splash, splash!--into the
swamp, and the rushes and reeds bent down on every side. That
was a fright for the poor Duckling! It turned its head and put it
under its wing; but at that moment a frightful great dog stood close
by the Duckling. His tongue hung far out of his mouth and his
eyes gleamed horrible and ugly; he thrust out his nose close against
the Duckling, showed his sharp teeth, and--splash, splash!--on
he went without seizing it.
"Oh, heaven be thanked!" sighed the Duckling. "I am so ugly
that even the dog does not like to bite me!"
And so it lay quiet, while the shots rattled through the reeds and
gun after gun was fired. At last, late in the day, silence; but the
poor Duckling did not dare to rise up; it waited several hours before
it looked round, and then hastened away out of the moor as fast as it
could. It ran on over field and meadow; there was such a storm
raging that it was difficult to get from one place to another.
Toward evening the Duck came to a little miserable peasant's hut.
This hut was so dilapidated that it did not know on which side it
should fall; and that's why it remained standing. The storm whistled
round the Duckling in such a way that the poor creature was
obliged to sit down, to stand against it; and the tempest grew worse
and worse. Then the Duckling noticed that one of the hinges of the
door had given way, and the door hung so slanting that the Duckling
could slip through the crack into the room; and it did so.
Here lived an old woman, with her Tom Cat and her Hen. And the
Tom Cat, whom she called Sonnie, could arch his back and purr, he
could even give out sparks; but for that one had to stroke his fur
the wrong way. The Hen had quite little legs, and therefore she
was called Chickabiddy-short-shanks; she laid good eggs, and the
woman loved her as her own child.
In the morning the strange Duckling was at once noticed, and
the Tom Cat began to purr and the Hen to cluck.
"What's this?" said the woman, and looked all round; but she
could not see well, and therefore she thought the Duckling was a
fat duck that had strayed. "This is a rare prize," she said. "Now
I shall have duck's eggs. I hope it is not a drake. We must try
And so the Duckling was admitted on trial for three weeks; but
no eggs came. And the Tom Cat was master of the house, and the
Hen was the lady, and they always said "We and the world!" for
they thought they were half the world, and by far the better half.
The Duckling thought one might have a different opinion, but the
Hen would not allow it.
"Can you lay eggs?" she asked.
"Then you'll have the goodness to hold your tongue."
And the Tom Cat said, "Can you curve your back, and purr, and
give out sparks?
"Then you cannot have any opinion of your own when sensible
people are speaking."
And the Duckling sat in a corner and was melancholy; then the
fresh air and the sunshine streamed in; and it was seized with such
a strange longing to swim on the water that it could not help telling
the Hen of it.
"What are you thinking of?" cried the Hen. "You have nothing
to do, that's why you have these fancies. Purr or lay eggs, and
they will pass over."
"But it is so charming to swim on the water!" said the Duckling,
"so refreshing to let it close above one's head, and to dive down
to the bottom."
"Yes, that must be a mighty pleasure truly," quoth the Hen. "I
fancy you must have gone crazy. Ask the Cat about it--he's the
cleverest animal I know--ask him if he likes to swim on the water,
or to dive down: I won't speak about myself. Ask our mistress,
the old woman; no one in the world's cleverer than she. Do you
think she has any desire to swim, and to let the water close above