come to ? Forsake and forgotten a garden tree by the hedge, in the
field, and on the public way ! There it stands unprotected, plundered,
and broken ! It has certainly not died, but in the course of years the
number of blossoms will diminish ; at last the fruit will cease altogether ;
and at last at last all will be over ! "
Such were Anthony's thoughts under the tree ; such were his thoughts
during many a night in the lonely chamber of the wooden house in the
distant land in the Hauschen Street in Copenhagen, whither his rich,
employer, the Bremen merchant, had sent him, first making it a con-
dition that he should not marry.
" Marry ! Ha, ha ! " he laughed bitterly to himself.
AVinter had set in early ; it was freezing hard. Without, a snow-
storm was raging, so that every one who could do so remained at home ;
thus, too, it happened that those who lived opposite to Anthony did not
notice that for two days his house had not been unlocked, and that he
did not show himself; for who would go out unnecessarily in such
They were grey, gloomy days ; and in the house, whose windows were
not of glass, twilight only alternated with dark night. Old Anthony
had not left his bed during the two days, for he had not the strength to
rise ; he had for a long time felt in his limbs the hardness of the weather.
Forsaken by all, lay the old bachelor, unable to help himself. He could
scarcely reach the water-jug that he had placed by his bed-side, and the
last drop it contained had been consumed. It was not fever, nor sick-
ness, but old age that had struck him down. Up yonder, where his
couch was placed, he was overshadowed as it were by continual night.
A little spider, which, however, he could not see, busily and cheerfully
span its web around him, as if it were weaving a little crape banner
that should wave when the old man closed his eyes.
The time was very slow, and long, and dreary. Tears he had none
to shed, nor did he feel pain. The thought of Molly never came into
his mind. He felt as if the world and its noise concerned him no
longer as if he were lying outside the world, and no one were thinking
of him. For a moment he felt a sensation of -hunger of thirst. Yes,
he felt them both. But nobody came to tend him nobody. He thought
of those who had once suffered want; of Saint Elizabeth, as she had
once wandered on earth ; of her, the saint of his home and of his child-
hood, the noble Duchess of Thuriugia, the benevolent lady who had
been accustomed to visit the lowliest cottages, bringing to the inmates
refreshment and comfort. Her pious deeds shone bright upon his soul.
He thought of her as she had come to distribute words of comfort,
binding up the wounds of the afflicted and giving meat to the hungry,
though her stern husband had chidden her for it. He thought of the
legend told of her, how she had been carrying the full basket contain-
290 Stories for the Household.
in- food and wine, when her husband, who watched her footsteps, came
forth and asked angrily what she was carrying, whereupon she answered,
in fear and trembling, that the basket contained roses which she had
plucked in the garden ; how he had torn away the white cloth from the
basket, and a miracle had been performed for the pious lady ; for bread
and wine, and everything in the basket, had been transformed into
Thus the saint's memory dwelt in Anthony s quiet mind ; thus she
stood bodily before his downcast face, before his warehouse in the
simple booth in the Danish land. He uncovered his head, and looked
THE OPPOSITE NEIGHBOUR LOOKS AFTEK OLD ANTHONY.
into her gentle eyes, and everything around him was beautiful and
roseate. Yes, the roses seemed to unfold themselves in fragrance.
There came to him a sweet, peculiar odour of apples, and he saw a
blooming apple tree, which spread its branches above him it was the
tree which Molly and he had planted together.
And the tree strewed down its fragrant leaves upon him, cooling his
burning brow. The leaves fell upon his parched lips, and were like
strengthening bread and wine ; and they fell upon his breast, and he
felt reassured and calm, and inclined to sleep peacefully.
"Now I shall sleep," he whispered to himself. "Sleep is refreshing.
To-morrow I shall be upon my feet again, and strong and well glorious,
A Rose from the Grave of Homer. 291
wonderful ! That apple tree, planted in true affection, now stands
before me in heavenly radiance '
And he slept.
The day afterwards it was the third day that his shop had remained
closed the snow-storm had ceased, and a neighbour from the opposite
house came over towards the booth where dwelt old Anthony, who had
not yet shown himself. Anthony lay stretched upon his bed dead
with his old cap clutched tightly in his two hands ! They did not put
that cap on his head in his coffin, for he had a new white one.
Where were now the tears that he had wept ? What had become of
the pearls ? They remained iu the nightcap and the true ones do not
come out in the wash they were preserved in the nightcap, and in time
forgotten ; but the old thoughts and the old dreams still remained in
the " bachelor's nightcap." Don't wish for such a cap for yourself.
It would make your forehead very hot, would make your pulse beat
feverishly, and conjure up dreams which appear like reality. The first
who wore that identical cap afterwards felt all that at once, though it
was half a century afterwards ; and that man was the burgomaster him-
self, who, with his wife and eleven children, was well and firmly estab-
lished, and had amassed a very tolerable amount of wealth. He was
immediately seized with dreams of unfortunate love, of bankruptcy,
and of heavy times.
" Hallo ! how the nightcap burns ! " he cried, and tore it from his head.
And a pearl rolled out. and another, and another, and they sounded
"This must be gout," said the burgomaster. "Something dazzles my
eyes ! "
They were tears, shed half a century before by old Anthony from
Every one who afterwards put that nightcap upon his head had
visions and dreams which excited him not a little. His own history
was changed into that of Anthony, and became a story ; in fact, many
stories. But some one else may tell them. We have told the first.
And our last word is don't wish for " the Old Bachelor's Nightcap."
A ROSE FROM THE GRAVE OF HOMER.
ALL the songs of the East tell of the love of the nightingale to the
rose ; in the silent starlit nights the winged songster serenades his
Not far from Smyrna, under the lofty plantains, where the merchant
drives his loaded camels, that proudly lift their long necks and tramp
over the holy ground, I saw a hedge of roses. Wild pigeons flew among
the branches of the high trees, and their wings glistened, while a sun-
beam glided over them, as if they were of rnother-o'-pearl.
292 Stories for the Household.
The rose hedge bore a flower which was the most beautiful among aE,
and the nightingale sang to her of his woes ; but the Eose was silent-
not a dew-drop lay, like a tear of sympathy, upon her leaves : she bent
down over a few great stones.
" Here rests the greatest singer of the world ! " said the Rose : over
his tomb will I pour out my fragrance, and on it I will let fall my leaves
.vhen the storm tears them off. He who sang of Troy became earth,
and from that earth I have sprung. I, a rose from the grave of Homer,
am too lofty to bloom for a poor nightingale !
And the nightingale sang himself to death.
THE EOSE TBEASCEED BT THE POET.
The camel driver came with his loaded camels and his black slaves :
his little son found the dead bird, and buried the little songster in the
grave of the great Homer. And the Rose trembled in the wind. The
evening came, and the Rose wrapped her leaves more closely together,
and dreamed thus :
" It was a fair sunshiny day ; a crowd of strangers drew near, for they
had undertaken a pilgrimage to the grave of Homer. Among the
strangers was a singer from the North, the home of clouds and of the
Northern Light. He plucked the Rose, placed it in a book, and carried
it away into another part of the world, to his distant fatherland. The
Rose faded with grief, and lay iu the narrow book, which he opened in
his home, sayirg, ' Here is a rose from the grave of Homer.' '
Waldemar Daa and his Daughters. 293
Tins the flower dreamed ; and sne awoke and trembled in the wind.
A drop of dew fell from the leaves upon the singer's grave. The sun
rose, and the Eose glowed more beauteous than before ; it was a hot day,
and she was in her own warm Asia. Then footsteps were heard, and
Prankish strangers came, such as the Eose had seen in her dream ; and
among the strangers was a poet from the North : he plucked the Eose,
pressed a kiss upon her fresh mouth, and carried her away to the home
of the clouds and of the Northern Light.
Like a mummy the flower corpse now rests in his " Iliad," and, as in
a dream, she hears him open the book and say, " Here is a rose from the
grave of Homer."
THE WIND TELLS ABOUT WALDEMAR DAA
AND HIS DAUGHTERS.
N the wind sweeps across the grass, the field has a ripple like a
pond, and when it sweeps across the corn the field waves to and fro like
a high sea. That is called the wind's dance ; but the wind does not
dance only, he also tells stories ; and how loudly he can sing out of his
deep chest, and how different it sounds in the tree-tops in the forest, and
through the loopholes and clefts and cracks in walls ! Do you see how
the wind drives the clouds up yonder, like a frightened flock of sheep ?
Do you hear how the wind howls down here through the open valley,
like a watchman blowing his horn ? With wonderful tones he whistles
and screams down the chimney and into the fireplace ! The fire crackles
and flares up, and shines far into the room, and the little place is warm
and snug, and it is pleasant to sit there listening to the sounds. Let the
"Wind speak, for he knows plenty of stories and fairy tales, many more
than are known to any of us. Just hear what the Wind can tell.
"Huh uh ush ! roar along!" That is the burden of the song.
" By the shores of the Great Belt, one of the straits that unite the
Cattegat with the Baltic, lies an old mansion with thick red walls," says
the Wind. " I know every stone in it ; I saw it when it still belonged to
the castle of Marsk Stig on the promontory. But it had to be pulled
down, and the stone was used again for the walls of a new mansion in
another place, the baronial mansion of Borreby, which still stands by
"I knew them, the noble lords and ladies, the changing races that
dwelt there, and now I 'in going to tell about Waldemar Daa and his
daughters. How proudly he carried himself he was of royal blood !
He could do more than merely hunt the stag and empty the wine-can.
' It shall be done,' he was accustomed to say.
" His wife walked proudly in gold-embroidered garments over the
polished marble floors. The tapestries were gorgeous, the furniture
was expensive and artistically carved. She had brought gold and silver
294 Stories for the Household.
plate with her into the house, and there was German beer in the cellar.
Black fiery horses neighed in the stables. There was a wealthy look
about the house of Borreby at that time, when wealth was still at home
" Pour children dwelt there also ; three delicate maidens, Ida, Joanna,
and Anna Dorothea : I have never forgotten their names.
' : They were rich people, noble people, born in affluence, nurtured in
" Huh sh ! roar along ! " sang the "Wind ; and then he continued :
" I did not see here, as in other great noble houses, the high-born lady
sitting among her woman in the great hall turning the spinning-wheel :
here she swept the sounding chords of the cithern, and sang to the
THE HOME OF TVALDEMAK DAA.
sound, but not always old Danish melodies, but songs of a strange land.
It was ' live and let live ' here : stranger guests came from far and near,
the music sounded, the goblets clashed, and I was not able to drown the
noise," said the Wind. " Ostentation, and haughtiness, and splendour,
and display, and rule were there, but the fear of the Lord was not there.
"And it was just on the evening of the first day of May," the AVind
continued. " I came from the west, and had seen how the ships were
being crushed by the waves, with all on board, and flung on the west
coast of Jutland. I had hurried across the heath, and over Jutland's
wood-girt eastern coast, and over the Island of Fiinen, and now I drove
over the Great Belt, groaning and sighing.
" Then I lay down to rest on the shore of Seeland, in the neighbour-
hood of the great house of Borreby, where the forest, the splendid oak
orest, still rose.
' The young men-servants of the neighbourhood were collecting
branches and brushwood under the oak trees ; the largest and driest
Waldemar Daa and his Daughters. 295
they could find they carried into the village, and piled them up in a
heap, and set them on fire ; and men and maids danced, singing in a
circle round the blazing pile.
" I lay quite quiet," continued the Wind ; " but I silently touched a
branch, which had been brought by the handsomest of the men-servants,
and the wood blazed up brightly, blazed up higher than all the rest ;
and now he was the chosen oue, and bore the name of Street-goat, and
might choose his Street-lamb first from among the maids ; and there was
mirth and rejoicing, greater than I had ever heard before in the halls
of the rich baronial mansion.
" And the noble lady drove towards the baronial mansion, with her
three daughters, in a gilded carriage drawn by six horses. The daughters
were young and fair three charming blossoms, rose, lily, and pale
hyacinth. The mother was a proud tulip, and never acknowledged the
salutation of one of the men or maids who paused in their sport to do
her honour : the gracious lady seemed a flower that was rather stiff in
" Rose, lily, and pale hyacinth ; yes, I saw them all three ! Whose
lambkins will they one day become ? thought I ; their Street-goat will
be a gallant knight, perhaps a Prince. Huh sh ! hurry along ! hurry
" Yes, the carriage rolled on with them, and the peasant people re-
sumed their dancing. They rode that summer through all the villages
round about. But in the night, when I rose again," said the Wind,
" the very noble lady lay down, to rise again no more: that thing came
upon her which comes upon all there is nothing new in that.
" Waldemar Daa stood for a space silent and thoughtful. ' The
proudest tree can be bowed without being broken,' said a voice within
him. His daughters wept, and all the people in the mansion wiped
their eyes ; but Lady Daa had driven away and I drove away too, and
rushed along, huh sh ! " said the Wind.
" I returned again ; I often returned again over the Island of Fiinen
and the shores of the Belt, and I sat down by Borreby, by the splendid
oak wood ; there the heron made his nest, and wood pigeons haunted
the place, and blue ravens, and even the black stork. It was still
spring ; some of them Avere yet sitting on their eggs, others had already
hatched their young. But how they flew up, how they cried ! The axe
sounded, blow upon blow : the wood was to be felled. Waldemar Daa
wanted to build a noble ship, a man-of-war, a three-decker, which the
King would be sure to buy ; and therefore the \vood must be felled, the
landmark of the seamen, the refuge of the birds. The hawk startled up
and flew away, for its nest was destroyed ; the heron and all the birds
of the forest became homeless, and flew about in fear and in anger : I
could well understand how they felt. Crows and ravens croaked aloud
as if in scorn. ' Crack ! crack ! the nest cracks, cracks, cracks ! '
" Far in the interior of the wood, where the noisy swarm of labourers
were working, stood Waldemar Daa and his three daughters ; and all
29G Stories for the Household.
laughed at the wild cries of the birds ; only one, the youngest, Anna
Dorothea, felt grieved in her heart ; and when they made preparations
to fell a tree that was almost dead, and on whose naked branches the
black stork had built his nest, whence the little storks were stretching
out their heads, she begged for mercy for the little things, and tears
came into her eyes. Therefore the tree with the black stork's nest was
left standing. The tree was not worth speaking of.
" There was a great hewing and sawing, and a three-decker was built.
The architect was of low origin, but of great pride ; his eyes and fore-
head told how clever he was, and "Waldeinar Daa was fond of listening
to him, and so was Waldemar's daughter Ida, the eldest, who was now
fifteen years old ; and while he built a ship for the father, he was build-
ing for himself an airy castle, into which he and Ida were to go as a
married couple which might indeed have happened, if the castle with
stone walls, and ramparts, and moats had remained. But in spite of
his wise head, the architect remained but a poor bird ; and, indeed, what
business has a sparrow to take part in a dauce of peacocks ? Huh sh !
I careered away, and he careered away too, for he was not allowed to
stay ; and little Ida very soon got over it, because she was obliged to
get over it.
" The proud black horses? were neighing in the stable ; they were worth
looking at, and accordingly they were looked at. The admiral, who had
been sent by the King himself to inspect the new ship and take measures
for its purchase, spoke loudly in admiration of the beautiful horses.
" I heard all that," said the "Wind. " I accompanied the gentlemen
through the open door, and strewed blades of straw like bars of gold
before their feet. Waldemar Daa wanted to have gold, and the admiral
wished for the proud black horses, and that is why lie praised them so
much ; but the hint was not taken, and consequently the ship was not
bought. It remained on the shore covered over with boards, a Noah's
ark that never got to the water Huh sh ! rush away! a\vav ! and
that was a pity.
" In the winter, when the fields were covered with snow, and the
water with large blocks of ice that I blew up on to the coast," continued
the Wind, "crows and ravens came, all as black as might be, great flocks
of them, and alighted on the dead, deserted, lonely ship by the shore,
and croaked in hoarse accents of the wood that was no more, of the
many pretty birds' nests destroyed, and the little ones left without a
home ; and all for the sake of that great bit of lumber, that proud ship
that never sailed forth.
'' I made the snow-flakes whirl, and the snow lay like a - reat lake
high around the ship, and drifted over it. I let' it hear my voice,
that it might know what a storm has to say. Certainly I did my part
towards teaching it seamanship. Huh sh'! push along !
And the winter passed away ; winter aud summer, both passed away,
and they are still passing away, even as I pass away; as the snow whirls
along and the apple blossom whirls along, and the leaves fall away J
away ! away ! and men are passing away too !
IN THE WOOD.
" But the daughters were still young, and little Ida was a rose, as
fair to look upon as on the day when the architect saw her. I often
seized her long brown hair, when she stood in the garden by the apple
tree, musing, and not heeding how I strewed blossoms on her hair, and
298 Stories for the Household.
loosened it, while she was gazing at the red sun and the golden sky,
through the dark underwood and the trees of the garden.
"Her sister was bright and slender as a lily. Joanna had height
and deportment, but was like her mother, rather stiff in the stalk. She
was very fond of walking through the great hall, where hung the
portraits of her ancestors. The women were painted in dresses of silk
and velvet, with a tiny little hat, embroidered with pearls, on their
plaited hair. They were handsome women. The gentlemen were repre-
sented clad in steel, or in costly cloaks lined with squirrel's skin ; they
wore little ruifs, and swords at their sides, but not buckled to their
hips. Where would Joanna's picture find its place on that wall some
day ? and how would Tie look, her noble lord and husband ? This is
what she thought of, and of this she spoke softly to herself. I heard it
as I swept into the long hall and turned round to come out again.
"Anna Dorothea, the pale hyacinth, a child of fourteen, was quiet
and thoughtful ; her great deep blue eyes had a musing look, but the
childlike smile still played around her lips : I was not able to blow it
away, nor did I wish to do so.
" We met in the garden, in the hollow lane, in the field and meadow ;
she gathered herbs and flowers which she knew would be useful to her
father in concocting the drinks and drops he distilled. Waldemar Daa
was arrogant and proud, but he was also a learned man, and knew a
ijreat deal. That was no secret, and many opinions were expressed con-
cerning it. In his chimney there was fire even in summer-time. He
would lock the door of his room, and for days the fire would be poked
and raked ; but of this he did not talk much the forces of nature must
be conquered in silence ; and soon he would discover the art of making
the best thing of all the red gold.
" That is why the chimney was always smoking, therefore the flames
crackled so frequently. Yes, I was there too," said the Wind. " ' Let
it go,' I sang down through the chimney : ' it will end in smoke, air,
coals and ashes! You will burn yourself! Hu-uh-ush ! drive away!
drive away ! ' But Waldemar Daa did not drive it away.
"The splendid black horses in the stable what became of them?
what became of the old gold and silver vessels in cupboards and chests,
the cows in the fields, and the house and home itself? Yes, they may
melt, may melt in the golden crucible, and yet yield no gold.
" Empty grew the barns and store-rooms, the cellars and magazines.
The servants decreased in number, and the mice multiplied. Then a
window broke, and then another, and I could get in elsewhere besides
at the door," said the Wind. " ' Where the chimney smokes the meal ia
being cooked,' the proverb says. But here the chimney smoked that
devoured all the meals, for the sake of the red gold.
" I blew through the courtyard gate like a watchman blowing bia
horn," the Wind went on, " but no watchman was there. I twirled the
weathercock round on the summit of the tower, and it creaked like the
snoring of the warder, but no warder was there ; only mice and rats
were there. Poverty laid the table-cloth ; poverty sut in the wardrobe
Waldemar Daa and his Daughters. 299
and in the larder ; the door fell off its hinges, cracks and fissures made
their appearance, and I went in and out at pleasure ; and that is how I
know all about it.
" Amid smoke and ashes, amid sorrow and sleepless nights, the hair
and beard of the master turned grey, and deep furrows showed them-
selves around his temples ; his skin turned pale and yellow, as his eyes
looked greedily for the gold, the desired gold.
" I blew the smoke and ashes into his face and beard : the result of
his labour was debt instead of pelf. I sung through the burst window-
panes and the yawning clefts in the Avails. I blew into the chests of
drawers belonging to the daughters, wherein lay the clothes that had
become faded and threadbare from being worn over and over again.
That was not the song that had been sung at the children's cradle. The
lordly life had changed to a life of penury. I was the only one who
rejoiced aloud in that castle," said the Wind. " I snowed them up,
and they say snow keeps people warm. They had no wood, and the
forest from which they might have brought it was cut down. It was
a biting i'rost. I rushed in through loopholes and passages, over gables
and roofs, that I might be brisk. They were lying in bed because of
the cold, the three high-born daughters, and their father was crouching
under his leathern coverlet. Nothing to bite, nothing to break, no fire
on the hearth there was a life for high-born people ! Huh-sh ! let it
go ! But that is what my Lord Daa could not do he could not let it go.
" ' After winter comes spring,' he said. ' After want, good times will
come : one must not lose patience ; one must learn to wait ! Now my
house and lands are mortgaged, it is indeed high time ; and the gold will
soon come. At Easter!'
" I heard how he spoke thus, looking at a spider's web. ' Thou cun-