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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "Godfather's Picture Book"

Godfather's Picture Book

There is weeping, shrieking; there is great panic. The old King rides through the tumult, commanding and encouraging. There is blowing up with gunpowder, and the tearing down of houses. Now the fire has swept into the north quarter, and the churches are burning, St. Peter's and Our Lady's. Listen to the bells playing their last tune, 'Turn from Us Thy Wrath, O Lord God of Mercy!'

"Only the 'Round Tower' and the castle are left standing, with smoking ruins about them. King Frederick is kind to the people; he is a friend to the homeless; he comforts and feeds them and is with them constantly. Blessed be Frederick IV!

"Now look at this page!

"See that gilded carriage with footmen around it and armed riders before and behind it, coming from the castle, where an iron chain is stretched to keep the people from coming too near! Every common man must cross the square with bare head; and therefore few are seen there; they avoid the place. There comes one now, with downcast eyes, and with hat in hand, and he is the one man of that time whom we can name with pride:

His voice like a cleansing storm wind rang.

To sunshine in the days which yet were to come!

Then smuggled-in tunes like grasshoppers sprang

In haste to return to where they were from.

"Witty and humorous - that is Ludvig Holberg. The Danish stage, the castle of his greatness, has been closed as if it were the dwelling place of shame. All merriment is banished; dance, song, and music are forbidden and gone. For the dark side of religion is now in power.

" 'The Danish prince!' his mother used to call him. Now come his days of sunshine, with the song of birds, with gladness and true Danish gaiety. Frederick V is King, and the chain is taken from the square beside the castle; the Danish theater is reopened; there are laughter and pleasure and good cheer. And the peasants again hold their summer festivals, for it is a time of joy after the time of fast and oppression. The beautiful lives again, blossoming and bearing fruit in sound, color, and creative art.

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