BLTC Press Titles

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Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

Fairy tales

by Hans Christian Andersen


As soon as the children are asleep, good old Ole seats himself at the foot of their bed. He is well dressed; his coat is of silken stuff; but to say what color it is would be an impossibility, for it is so glossy, and is green, and red, and blue, according as he turns. Under each arm he carries an umbrella; one with pictures, which he holds over the good children, and then they dream the whole night the prettiest stories; and one on which there is nothing, and this one he holds over naughty children, who then sleep on dully the whole night, and when they awake in the morning have dreamed nothing at all.

Let us hear now how Ole came every night for a whole week to a little boy called Hialmar, and what he related to him. That makes seven stories; for a week, you know, has seven days.


"Now, then, listen to me !" said the kind old man, when he had got Hialmar to bed. "Now I'll show you a pretty sight!" and suddenly all the flowers in the flower-pots were changed into great trees, that spread their long branches up to the very ceiling, and along the walls, so that the whole room looked like the prettiest bower; and all the boughs were full of flowers, and every flower was more beautiful than a rose, and smelt delightfully. If one chose to eat it, it tasted sweeter than sugar-plums. The fruits shone, like gold; and plum-cakes were then almost bursting with raisins: there was nothing could be compared to it! But at the same moment a terrible lamentation was heard in the table-drawer, where Hialmar's school-books were lying.

"What's that?" said Ole, going to the drawer and pulling it out. There lay the slate, on which the figures were pushing and knocking each other; for a wrong number had got into the sum, so that the whole was on the point of breaking down: the pencil jumped and hopped about, chained as he was to the slate by a piece of string, just like a little dog: he wanted to help the sum, but was not able. And a little further lay Hialmar's copy-book: here, too, was a moaning and lamentation within. On every leaf, from top to bottom, were capital letters, each with a small one beside it, and so all the way down. That was the copy; and by these some other letters were standing, that fancied they looked like them. Hialmar had written these; but there they lay, pretty much as if they had tumbled over the pencil-line on which they were meant to stand.

"Look! you must stand so!" said the copy; "look!—so, sideways, with a bold front."

"Oh! we should be glad enough to do so," said Hialmar's letters, "but we can't; we are such poor wretched creatures!"

"Then you must have some pepper," said Ole.

"Oh, no!" they all cried, and stood so upright that it was a pleasure to look at them.

"Well, I can't tell you any more stories now," said the kind old man; "I must go and drill the letters: one, two! one, two! one, two!" And then they stood as straight and as well as only a copy can stand; but when Ole went away, and Hialmar looked at them next morning, there they were all just as wretched-looking as before.

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