"You should not stare so hard at me," said the Soldier; "you might strain your eyes." And he set the dog upon the Witch's apron. And when he saw the silver money in the chest, he threw away all the copper money he had and filled his pockets and his knapsack with silver only.
Then he went into the third chamber. Oh, but that was horrid! The dog there really had eyes as big as towers, and they turned round and round in his head like wheels.
"Good evening!" said the Soldier; and he touched his cap, for he had never seen such a dog as that before. When he had looked at him a little more closely, he thought: "That will do," and lifted him down to the floor, and opened the chest. Mercy! What a quantity of gold was there! He could buy with it the whole town, and the sugar sucking pigs of the cake woman, and all the tin soldiers, whips, and rocking-horses in the whole world. Yes, that was a quantity of money! Now the Soldier threw away all the silver coin with which he had filled his pockets and his knapsack, and took gold instead; yes, all his pockets, his knapsack, his boots, and his cap were filled, so that he could scarcely walk. Now indeed he had plenty of money. He put the dog on the chest shut the door, and then called up through the tree: "Now pull me up, you old Witch!"
"Have you the Tinder-box?" asked the Witch.
"Plague on it!" exclaimed the Soldier, "I had clean forgotten that."
And he went and brought it.
The Witch drew him up, and he stood on the high road again, with pockets, boots, knapsack, and cap full of gold.
"What are you going to do with the Tinder-box?" asked the Soldier.
"That's nothing to you," retorted the Witch. "You've had your money; just give me the Tinder-box."
"Nonsense!" said the Soldier. "Tell me directly what you're going to do with it or I'll draw my sword and cut off your head."
"No!" cried the Witch.
So the Soldier cut off her head. There she lay! But he tied up all his money in her apron, took it on his back like a bundle, put the Tinder-box in his pocket, and went straight off toward the town.
That was a splendid town! And he put up at the very best inn, and asked for the finest rooms, and ordered his favorite dishes, for now he was rich, as he had so much money. The servant who had to clean his boots certainly thought them a remarkably old pair for such a rich gentleman; but he had not bought any new ones yet. The next day he procured proper boots and handsome clothes. Now our Soldier had become a fine gentleman; and the people told him of all the splendid things which were in their city, and about the King, and what a pretty Princess the King's daughter was.
"Where can one get to see her?" asked the Soldier.
"She is not to be seen at all," said they all together; "she lives in a great copper castle, with a great many walls and towers round about it: no one but the King may go in and out there, for it has been prophesied that she shall marry a common soldier, and the King can't bear that."
"I should like to see her," thought the Soldier; but he could not get leave to do so. Now he lived merrily, went to the theater, drove in the King's garden, and gave much money to the poor; and this was very kind of him, for he knew from old times how hard it is when one has not a shilling.
Now he was rich, had new clothes, and gained many friends, who all said he was a rare one, a true cavalier; and that pleased the Soldier well.
But as he spent money every day and never carried any, he had at last only two shillings left; and he was obliged to turn out of the fine rooms in which he had dwelt, and had to live in a little garret under the roof, and clean his boots for himself, and mend them with a darning-needle. None of his friends came to see him, for there were too many stairs to climb.
It was quite dark one evening, and he could not even buy himself a candle, when it occurred to him that there was a candle end in the Tinder-box which he had taken out of the hollow tree into which the Witch had helped him. He brought out the Tinder-box and the candle end; but as soon as he struck fire and the sparks rose up from the flint, the door flew open, and the dog who had eyes as big as a couple of teacups, and whom he had seen in the tree, stood before him, and said:
"What are my lord's commands?"
"What is this?" said the Soldier. "That's a famous Tinder-box, if I can get everything with it that I want! Bring me some money," said he to the dog; and whisk! the dog was gone, and whisk! he was back again, with a great bag full of shillings in his mouth.
Now the Soldier knew what a capital Tinder-box this was. If he struck it once, the dog came who sat upon the chest of copper money; if he struck it twice, the dog came who had the silver; and if he struck it three times, then appeared the dog who had the gold. Now the Soldier moved back into the fine rooms, and appeared again in handsome clothes; and all his friends knew him again, and cared very much for him indeed.
Once he thought to himself: "It is a very strange thing that one cannot get to see the Princess. They all say she is very beautiful; but what is the use of that, if she has always to sit in the great copper castle with the many towers? Can I not get to see her at all? Where is my Tinder-box?" And so he struck a light, and whisk! came the dog with eyes as big as teacups.
"It is midnight, certainly," said the Soldier, "but I should very much like to see the Princess, only for one little moment."
And the dog was outside the door directly, and, before the Soldier thought it, came back with the Princess. She sat upon the dogs back and slept; and everyone could see she was a real Princess, for she was so lovely. The Soldier could not refrain from kissing her, for he was a thorough soldier. Then the dog ran back again with the Princess.
But when morning came, and the King and Queen were drinking tea, the Princess said she had had a strange dream the night before about a dog and a soldier-that she had ridden upon the dog, and the soldier had kissed her.
"That would be a fine history!" said the Queen.
So one of the old court ladies had to watch the next night by the Princess's bed, to see if this was really a dream, or what it might be.
The Soldier had a great longing to see the lovely Princess again; so the dog came in the night, took her away, and ran as fast as he could.
But the old lady put on water boots, and ran just as fast after him.
When she saw that they both entered a great house, she thought: "Now I know where it is; and with a bit of chalk she drew a great cross on the door. Then she went home and lay down, and the dog came up with the Princess; but when he saw that there was a cross drawn on the door where the Soldier lived, he took a piece of chalk too, and drew crosses on all the doors in the town. And that was cleverly done, for now the lady could not find the right door, because all the doors had crosses upon them.
In the morning early came the King and Queen, the old court lady and all the officers, to see where it was the Princess had been. "Here it is!" said the King, when he saw the first door with a cross upon it.
"No, my dear husband, it is there!" said the Queen, who descried another door which also showed a cross. "But there is one, and there is one!" said all, for wherever they looked there were crosses on the doors. So they saw that it would avail them nothing if they searched on.
But the Queen was an exceedingly clever woman, who could do more than ride in a coach. She took her great gold scissors, cut a piece of silk into pieces, and made a neat little bag; this bag she filled with fine wheat flour, and tied it on the Princess's back, and when that was done, she cut a little hole in the bag, so that the flour would be scattered along all the way which the Princess should take.
In the night the dog came again, took the Princess on his back, and ran with her to the Soldier, who loved her very much, and would gladly have been a prince, so that he might have her for his wife. The dog did not notice at all how the flour ran out in a stream from the castle to the windows of the Soldier's house, where he ran up the wall with the Princess. In the morning the King and Queen saw well enough where their daughter had been, and they took the Soldier and put him in prison.
There he sat. Oh, but it was dark and disagreeable there! And they said to him: "To-morrow you shall be hanged." That was not amusing to hear, and he had left his Tinder-box at the inn. In the morning he could see, through the iron grating of the little window, how the people were hurrying out of the town to see him hanged. He heard the drums beat and saw the soldiers marching. All the people were running out, and among them was the shoemaker's boy with leather apron and slippers, and he galloped so fast that one of his slippers flew off, and came right against the wall where the Soldier sat looking through the iron grating.
"Halloo, you shoemaker's boy! you needn't be in such a hurry," cried the Soldier to him: "it will not begin till I come. But if you will run to where I lived and bring me my Tinder-box, you shall have four shillings: but you must put your best leg foremost."
The shoemaker's boy wanted to get the four shillings, so he went and brought the Tinder-box, and-well, we shall hear now what happened.
Outside the town a great gallows had been built, and round it stood the soldiers and many hundred thousand people. The King and Queen sat on a splendid throne, opposite to the judges and the whole council. The soldiers already stood upon the ladder; but as they were about to put the rope round his neck, he said that before a poor criminal suffered his punishment an innocent request was always granted to him. He wanted very much to smoke a pipe of tobacco, and it would be the last pipe he should smoke in the world. The King would not say "No" to this; so the Soldier took his Tinder-box and struck fire. One-two- three! - and there suddenly stood all the dogs-the one with eyes as big as teacups, the one with eyes as large as mill wheels, and the one whose eyes were as big as round towers.
"Help me now, so that I may not be hanged," said the Soldier.
And the dogs fell upon the judges and all the council, seized one by the leg and another by the nose, and tossed them many feet into the air, so that they fell down and were all broken to pieces.
"I won't!" cried the King; but the biggest dog took him and the Queen, and threw them after the others. Then the soldiers were afraid, and the people cried: "Little Soldier, you shall be our king, and marry the beautiful Princess."
So they put the Soldier into the King's coach, and all the three dogs darted on in front and cried "Hurrah!" and the boys whistled through their fingers, and the soldiers presented arms. The Princess came out of the copper castle, and became Queen, and she liked that well enough.
The wedding lasted a week, and the three dogs sat at the table too, and opened their eyes wider than ever at all they saw.
THE CONSTANT TIN SOLDIER
By Hans Christian Andersen
THERE were once five-and-twenty tin soldiers; they were all brothers, for they had all been born of one old tin spoon. They shouldered their muskets, and looked straight before them; their uniform was red and blue, and very splendid. The first thing they had heard in the world, when the lid was taken off the box, had been the words "Tin soldiers!"
These words were tittered by a little boy, clapping his hands; the soldiers had been given to him, for it was his birthday; and now he put them upon the table. Each soldier was exactly like the rest; but one of them had been cast last of all, and there had not been enough tin to finish him; but he stood as firmly upon his one leg as the others on their two; and it was just this soldier who became remarkable.
On the table on which they had been placed stood many other playthings, but the toy that attracted most attention was a neat castle of cardboard. Through the little windows one could see straight into the hall. Before the castle some little trees were placed round a little looking-glass, which was to represent a clear lake. Waxen swans swam on this lake, and were mirrored in it. This was all very pretty; but the prettiest of all was a little Lady, who stood at the open door of the castle; she was also cut out in paper, but she had a dress of the clearest gauze, and a little narrow blue ribbon over her shoulders that looked like a scarf; and in the middle of this ribbon was a shining tinsel rose, as big as her whole face. The little Lady stretched out both her arms, for she was a dancer, and then she lifted one leg so high that the Tin Soldier could not see it at all, and thought that, like himself, she had but one leg.
"That would be the wife for me," thought he; "but she is very grand.
She lives in a castle, and I have only a box, and there are five-and- twenty of us in that. It is no place for her. But I must try to make acquaintance with her."
And then he lay down at full length behind a snuffbox which was on the table; there he could easily watch the little dainty lady, who continued to stand on one leg without losing her balance.
When the evening came, all the other tin soldiers were put into their box, and the people in the house went to bed. Now the toys began to play at "visiting," and at "war," and "giving balls." The tin soldiers rattled in their box, for they wanted to join, but could not lift the lid. The Nutcracker threw somersaults, and the Pencil amused itself on the table; there was so much noise that the Canary woke up, and began to speak too, and even in verse. The only two who did not stir from their places were the Tin Soldier and the Dancing Lady; she stood straight up on the point of one of her toes, and stretched out both her arms: and he was just as enduring on his one leg; and he never turned his eyes away from her.
Now the clock struck twelve-and, bounce! -the lid flew off the snuffbox; but there was not snuff in it, but a little black goblin; you see, it was a trick.
"Tin Soldier," said the Goblin, "don't stare at things that don't concern you."