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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "A Good Humor"

A Good Humor

From my father I have inherited that most worthy of bequests-a cheerful temper. And who was my father? Well, that really has nothing to do with a good humor. He was thrifty and lively, fat and round; in fact, his exterior and interior were both at variance with his office.

And what was his office, his position in the community? Why, if the answer to that question were written and printed at the very beginning of a book, most people would lay the book down as soon as they opened it, saying, "There is something dismal about it. I don't want anything like this."

And yet my father was neither a hangman nor a headsman. On the contrary, his office often brought him into contact with the most honorable men of the state, and he was certainly entitled to be there; he had to be ahead of them, even ahead of bishops and princes of the royal blood, for, to tell the truth, he was the driver of a hearse!

Now you know it! But I must add that when one saw my father sitting high up on the carriage of death, dressed in his long black mantle and crape-bordered, three-cornered hat, his face as round and smiling as the sun, one could not think of sorrow and graves, for that face said, "Never mind, it's going to be much better than you think."

You see, then, that from him I have my good humor and also the habit of frequently visiting the churchyard; and that is rather amusing, if one goes there in a cheerful temper. Oh, yes, I also subscribe to the Advertiser, just as he used to do.

I am not exactly young, and I have neither wife, nor children, nor library to divert me. But, as I have told you, I read the Advertiser - that's all I need; it was my father's favorite newspaper, and it's mine, too. It is a most useful paper, and contains everything a person ought to know.

From it I learn who is preaching in the churches and who preaches in the new books; I know where I may obtain houses, servants, clothes, and food; I know who is selling out and who is buying up. Then, too, I learn of so many deeds of charity, and I read so many innocent verses, which are quite free of any offense, and of marriages desired.

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