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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesO. T., A Danish Romance - Chapter 30
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O. T., A Danish Romance - Chapter 30 Post by :twoelfling Category :Long Stories Author :Hans Christian Andersen Date :May 2012 Read :2571

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O. T., A Danish Romance - Chapter 30


... "We live through others,
We think we are others; we seem
Others to be ... And so think others of us."

When the buds burst forth we will burst forth also! had Otto and Wilhelm often said. Their plan was, in the spring to travel immediately to Paris, but on their way to visit the Rhine, and to sail from Cologne to Strasburg.

"Yes, one must see the Rhine first!" said Cousin Joachim; "when one has seen Switzerland and Italy, it does not strike one nearly as much. That must be your first sight; but you should not see it in spring, but toward autumn. When the vines have their full variety of tint, and the heavy grapes hang from the stems, see, it is then the old ruins stand forth. These are the gardens of the Rhine! Another advantage which you have in going there in autumn is that you then enter Paris in winter, and that one must do; then one does not come post festum; then is the heyday of gayety--the theatre, the soirees, and everything which can interest the beau monde."

Although Otto did not generally consider the cousin's words of much weight, he this time entered wonderfully into his views. "It would certainly be the most prudent to commence their journey toward autumn," he thought: "there could be no harm in preparing themselves a little more for it!"

"That is always good!" said Joachim; "but, what is far more advantageous abroad than all the preparations you can make at home, is said in a few words--give up all intercourse with your own country-people! Nowadays every one travels! Paris is not now further from us than Hamburg was some thirty years ago. When I was in Paris I found there sixteen or seventeen of my countrymen. O, how they kept together! Eleven of them dwelt in the same hotel: they drank coffee together, walked out together, went to the restaurateur's together, and took together half a bench in the theatre. That is the most foolish thing a person can do! I consider travelling useful for every one, from the prince to the travelling journeyman. But we allow too many people to travel! We are not rich, therefore restrictions should be made. The creative artist, the poet, the engineer, and the physician must travel; but God knows why theologians should go forth. They can become mad enough at home! They come into Catholic countries, and then there is an end of them! Wherefore should book-worms go forth? They shut themselves up in the diligence and in their chambers, rummage a little in the libraries, but not so much as a pinch of snuff do they do us any good when they return! Those who cost the most generally are of the least use, and bring the country the least honor! I, thank God! paid for my journey myself, and am therefore free to speak my opinion!"

We will now hear what Miss Sophie said, and therefore advance a few days.

"We keep you then with us till August!" said she, once when she was alone with Otto. "That is wise! You can spend some time with us in Funen, and gather strength for your journey. Yes, the journey will do you good!"

"I hope so!" answered Otto. "I am perhaps able to become as interesting as your cousin, as amiable!"

"That would be requiring too much from you!" said Sophie, bantering him. "You will never have his humor, his facility in catching up character. You will only preach against the depravity of the Parisians; you will only be able to appreciate the melancholy grandeur of Switzerland and the solitude of the Hungarian forests."

"You would make a misanthrope of me, which I by no means am."

"But you have an innate talent for this character!" answered Sophie. "Something will certainly be polished away by this journey, and it is on account of this change that I rejoice."

"Must one, then, have a light, fickle mood to please you?" asked Otto.

"Yes, certainly!" answered Sophie, ironically.

"Then it is true what your cousin told me!" said Otto. "If one will be fortunate with the ladies, one must at least be somewhat frivolous, fond of pleasure, and fickle,--that makes one interesting. Yes, he has made himself acquainted with the world, he has experience in everything!"

"Yes, perfectly!" said Sophie, and laughed aloud.

Otto was silent, with contracted brow.

"I wish you sunshine!" said Sophie, and smiling raised her finger. Otto remained unchanged--he wrinkled his brow.

"You must change very much!" said she, half gravely; and danced out of the room.

Three weeks passed by, rich in great events in the kingdom of the heart; it was still a diplomatic secret: the eyes betrayed it by their pantomimic language, the mouth alone was silent, and it is after all the deciding power.

Otto visited the merchant's family. Maren had departed just the day before. In vain had she awaited his visit throughout the three weeks.

"You quite forget your true friends!" said the ladies. "Believe us, Maja was a little angry with you, and yet we have messages. Now she is sailing over the salt sea."

This was not precisely the case; she was already on land, and just at this moment was driving over the brown heath, thinking of Copenhagen and the pleasures there, and of the sorrow also--it is so sad to be forgotten by a friend of childhood! Otto was so handsome, so clever--she did not dream at all how handsome and clever she herself would appear at home. Beauty and cleverness they had discovered in her before she left; now she had been in the capital, and that gives relief.

The little birds fluttered round the carriage; perhaps they sang to her what should happen in two years: "Thou wilt be a bride, the secretary's lovely little bride; thou shalt have both him and the musical-box! Thou wilt be the grandest lady in the town, and yet the most excellent mother. Thy first daughter shall be called Maja --that is a pretty name, and reminds thee of past days!"

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O. T., A Danish Romance - Chapter 31 O. T., A Danish Romance - Chapter 31

O. T., A Danish Romance - Chapter 31
CHAPTER XXXI"The monastery is still called 'Andersskov' (the wood of Anders) in memory of its being the habitation of the pious Anders. "The hill on which he awoke, comforted by sleep, is still called 'Hvile hoi' (the hill of rest). A cross having a Latin inscription, half-effaced, marks the spot."--J. L. HEIBERG. It was spring, fresh, life-bearing spring! Only one day and one night, and the birds of passage were back again; the woods made themselves once more young with green, odorous leaves; the Sound had its swimming Venice of richly laden vessels; only one day and one night, and Sophie

O. T., A Danish Romance - Chapter 26 O. T., A Danish Romance - Chapter 26

O. T., A Danish Romance - Chapter 26
CHAPTER XXVI "I wish I was air, that I could beat my wings, could chase the clouds, and try to fly over the mountain summits: that would be life."--F. RUCKERT. The first evening after Otto's return to Copenhagen he spent with Sophie, and the conversation turned upon his little journey. "The pretty Eva has vanished!" said he. "You had rejoiced in the prospect of this meeting, had you not?" asked Sophie. "No, not in the least!" answered Otto. "And you wish to make me believe that? She is really pretty, and has something so unspeakably refined, that a young gentleman might