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IT was in Copenhagen, in East Street, and in one of the houses not far from the King' s New Market, that a large company had assembled, for one must occasionally give a party, in order to be invited in return. Half of the company already sat at the card-tables, the other half awaited the result of the hostess's question, “What shall we do now?” They had progressed so far, and the conversation went as best it could. Among other subjects the conversation turned upon the Middle Ages . Some considered that period much more interesting than our own times : Yes , Councillor Knap defended this view so zealously that the lady of the house went over at once to his side; and both loudly exclaimed against Oersted's treatise in the Almanac on old and modem times , in which the chief advantage is given to our own day. The councillor considered the times of the Danish King Hans as the noblest and happiest age .

While the conversation takes this turn , only interrupted for a moment by the arrival of a newspaper, which contains nothing worth reading, we will betake ourselves to the antechamber, where the cloaks , sticks , and goloshes had found a place . Here sat two maids----an old one and a young one. One would have thought they had come to escort their mistresses home; but, on looking at them more closely, the observer could see that they were not ordinary servants : their hands were too fine for that , their bearing and all their movements too majestic, and the cut of their dresses too uncommon . They were two fairies . The younger was not Fortune, but, lady's-maid to one of her ladies of the bed-chamber, who carry about the more trifling gifts of Fortune .The elder one looked somewhat more gloomy----shewas Care, who always goes herself in her own exalted person to perform her business, for then she knows that it is well done .

They were telling each other where they had been that day. The messenger of Fortune had only transacted a few unimportant affairs, as, for instance, she had preserved a new bonnet from a shower of rain, had procured an honest man a bow from a titled Nobody , and so on ; but what she had still to relate was something quite extraordinary.

“I can likewise tell,” said she, “that today is my birthday; and in honour of it a pair of goloshes has been entrusted to me , which I am to bring to the human race . These goloshes have the property that everyone who puts them on is at once transported to the time and place in which he likes best to be----every wish in reference to time, place, and circumstance is at once fulfilled; and so for once man can be happy here below!”

“Believe me,” said Care, “he will be very unhappy, and will bless the moment when he can get rid of the goloshes again.”

“What are you thinking of ?” retorted the other. “Now I shall put them at the door. Somebody will take them by mistake, and become the happy one!”

You see , that was the dialogue they held .




It was late. Councillor Knap, lost in contemplation of the times of King Hans, wished to get home; and fate willed that instead of his own goloshes he should put on those of Fortune , and thus went out into East Street . But by the power of the goloshes he had been put back three hundred years----into the days of King Hans; and therefore he put his foot into mud and mire in the street, because in those days there was not any pavement .

“Why, this is horrible----how dirty it is here!” said the councillor. “The good pavement is gone, and all the lamps are put out . ”

The moon did not yet stand high enough to give much light, and the air was tolerably thick, so that all objects,seemed to melt together in the darkness . At the next corner a lamp hung before a picture of the Madonna, but the light it gave was as good as none; he only noticed it when he stood just under it, and his eyes fell upon the painted figure of the mother and child .

“That is probably a museum of art ,” he thought , “where they have forgotten to take down the sign .”

A couple of men in the costume of those past days went by him.

“How they look!” he said . “They must come from a masquerade .”

Suddenly there was a sound of drums and fifes, and torches gleamed brightly . The councillor started . And now he saw a strange procession go past . First came a whole troop of drummers , beating their instruments very dexterously; they were followed by men-at-arms, with longbows and crossbows . The chief man in the procession was a clerical lord . The astonished councillor asked what was the meaning of this, and who the man might be.

“That is the Bishop of Zealand.”

“What in the world has come to the bishop ?” said the councillor, with a sigh, shaking his head. “This could not possibly be the bishop!”

Ruminating on this , and without looking to the right or to the left , the councillor went through the East Street , and over the Highbridge Place . The bridge which led to the Palace Square was not to be found; he perceived the shore of a shallow water, and at length encountered two people, who sat in a boat .

“Do you wish to be ferried over to the Holm, sir ?” they asked.

“To the Holm! ” repeated the councillor, who did not know, you see, in what period he was. “I want to go to Christian' s Haven and to Little Turf Street .”

The men stared at him.

“Pray tell me where the bridge is?” said he. “It is shameful that no lanterns are lighted here; and it is as muddy , too , as if one were walking in a marsh .” But the longer he talked with the boatmen the less could he understand them. “I don' t understand your Bornholm talk,” he at last cried , angrily , and turned his back upon them.He could not find the bridge, nor was there any paling.

“It is quite scandalous how things look here!” hesaid----Never had he thought his own times so miserable as this evening .

“I think it will be best if I take a cab,” thought he. But where were the cabs? ----Not one was to be seen.“I shall have to go back to the King' s New Market, where there are many carriages standing, otherwise I shall never get as far as Christian' s Haven .”

Now he went towards East Street , and had almost gone through it when the moon burst forth .

“What in the world have they been erecting here?” he exclaimed, when he saw the East Gate, which in those days stood at the end of East Street .

In the meantime, however, he found a passage open, and through this he came out upon our New Market; but it was a broad meadow. Single bushes stood forth, and across the meadow ran a great canal or stream . A few miserable wooden booths for skippers from Holland were erected on the opposite shore .

“Either I behold a Fata Morgana , or I am tipsy,” sighed the councillor. “What can that be ? What can that

He turned back, in the full persuasion that he must be ill. In walking up the street he looked more closely at the houses; most of them were built of laths, and many were only thatched with straw.

“No , I don' t feel well at all !” he lamented .“And yet I only drank one glass of punch ! But I cannot stand that; and besides, it was very foolish to give us punch and warm salmon. I shall mention that to our hostess----the agent' s lady . Suppose I go back , and say how I feel ? But that looks ridiculous, and it is a question if they will be up still .”

He looked for the house, but could not find it. “That is dreadful!” he cried; “I don' t know East Street again . Not one shop is to be seen ; old , miserable , tumble-down huts are all I see , as if I were at Roskilde or Ringstedt . Oh , I am ill ! It ' s no use to make ceremony. But where in all the world is the agent' s house? It is no longer the same; but within there are people up still. I certainly must be ill ! ”

He now reached a half-open door, where the light shone through a chink . It was a tavern of that date----a kind of beer-house . The room had the appearance of a farmhouse kitchen in Holstein; a number of people, consisting of seamen, citizens of Copenhagen, and a few scholars, sat in deep conversation over their jugs, and paid little attention to the new-comer.

“I beg pardon ,” said the councillor to the hostess , “but I feel very unwell; would you let them get me a fly to go to Christian's Haven ?”

The woman looked at him and shook her head; then she spoke to him in German.

The councillor now supposed that she did not understand Danish, so he repeated his wish in the German language .This , and his costume , convinced the woman that he was a foreigner. She soon understood that he felt unwell, and therefore brought him a jug of water. It certainly tasted a little of sea water, though it had been taken from the spring outside .

The councillor leaned his head on his hand , drew a deep breath , and thought of all the strange things that were happening about him.

“Is that today's number of the Day?” he said, quite mechanically , for he saw that the woman was putting away a large sheet of paper .

She did not understand what he meant , but handed him the leaf : it was a woodcut representing a strange appearance in the air which had been seen in the city of Cologne .

“That is very old!” said the councillor, who became quite cheerful at sight of this antiquity . “How did you come by this strange leaf ? That is very interesting, although the whole thing is a fable . Nowadays these appearances are explained to be northern lights that have been seen ; probably they arise from electricity .”

Those who sat nearest to him and heard his speech, looked at him in surprise, and one of them rose, took off his hat respectfully, and said, with a very grave face,

“You must certainly be a very learned man , sir!”

“Oh, no!” replied the councillor; “I can only say a word or two about things one ought to understand .”

“ Modestia is a beautiful virtue , ” said the man . “Moreover, I must say to your speech, mihi secus videtur; yet I will gladly suspend my judicium . ”

“May I ask with whom I have the pleasure of speaking?” asked the councillor.

“I am a bachelor of theology ,” replied the man .

This answer sufficed for the councillor; the title corresponded with the garb.

“Certainly,” he thought, “this must be an old village schoolmaster, a queer character, such as one finds sometimes over in Jutland . ”

“This is certainly not a locus docendi,” began the man ; “but I beg you to take the trouble to speak . You are doubtless well read in the ancients ?”

“Oh, yes,” replied the councillor. “I am fond of reading useful old books; and am fond of the modem ones , too , with the exception of the ‘Everyday Stories’, of which we have enough, in all conscience.”

“Everyday Stories ?” replied the bachelor, inquiringly .

“Yes , I mean the new romances we have now .”

“Oh ! ”said the man , with a smile ,“they are verywitty , and are much read at court . The king is especially partial to the romance by Messieurs Iffven and Gaudian, which talks about King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table . He has jested about it with his noble lords.”

“That I have certainly not yet read,” said the councillor; “that must be quite a new book published by Heiberg .”

“No,” retorted the man, “it is not published byHeiberg , but by Godfrey von Gehmen .”

“Indeed! Is he the author?” asked the councillor. “That is a very old name : was not that the name of the first printer who appeared in Denmark ?”

“Why, he is our first printer,”replied the man.

So far it had gone well . Now one of the men began to speak of a pestilence which he said had been raging a few years ago : he meant the plague of 1484. The councillor supposed that he meant the cholera, and so the conversation went on tolerably . The Freebooters' War of 1490 was so recent that it could not escape mention .

The English pirates had taken ships from the very wharves, said the man; and the councillor, who was well acquainted with the events of 1801, joined in manfully against the English. The rest of the talk, however, did not pass over so well ; every moment there was a contradiction . The good bachelor was terribly ignorant, and the simplest assertion of the councillor seemed too bold or too fantastic . They looked at each other, and when it became too bad, the bachelor spoke Latin , in the hope that he would be better understood ; but it was of no use .

“ How are you now? ” asked the hostess , and she plucked the councillor by the sleeve .

Now his recollection came back : in the course of the conversation he had forgotten everything that had happened.

“Good heavens! Where am I?” he said, and he felt dizzy when he thought of it .

“We'll drink claret , mead , and Bremen beer ,”cried one of the guests ,“and you shall drink with us .”

Two girls came in . One of them had on a cap of two colours . They poured out drink and bowed : the councillor felt a cold shudder running all down his back . “What' s that? What' s that?” he cried; but he was obliged to drink with them. They took possession of the good man quite politely . He was in despair, and when one said that he was tipsy he felt not the slightest doubt regarding the truth of the statement, and only begged them to procure him a droshky. Now they thought he was speaking Muscovite .

Never had he been in such rude vulgar company.

“One would think the country was falling back intoheathenism,” was his reflection. “This is the most terrible moment of my life.”

But at the same time the idea occurred to him to bend down under the table , and then to creep to the door. He did so; but just as he had reached the entry the others discovered his intention. They seized him by the feet; and now the goloshes , to his great good fortune, came off, and----the whole enchantment vanished.

The councillor saw quite plainly, in front of him, a lamp burning, and behind it a great building; everything looked familiar and splendid. It was East Street, as we know it now. He lay with his legs turned towards a porch, and opposite to him sat the watchman asleep.

“Good heavens ! Have I been lying here in the street dreaming?” he exclaimed .

“Yes, this is East Street sure enough! How splendidly bright and gay! It is terrible what an effect that one glass of punch must have had on me !”

Two minutes afterwards he was sitting in a fly, which drove him out to Christian's Haven. He thought of the terror and anxiety he had undergone, and praised from his heart the happy present, our own time, which, with all its shortcomings, was far better than the period in which he had been placed a short time before.




“On my word, yonder lies a pair o' goloshes!” said the watchman . “They must certainly belong to the lieutenant who lives upstairs. They are lying close to the door.”

The honest man would gladly have rung the bell and delivered them, for upstairs there was a light still burning; but he did not wish to disturb the other people in the house , and so he let it alone .

“It must be very warm to have a pair of such things on , ” said he . “How nice and soft the leather is ! ” They fitted his feet very well. “How droll it is in the world! Now, he might lie down in his warm bed, and yet he does not! There he is pacing up and down the room. He is a happy man! He has neither wife nor children, and every evening he is at a party . Oh , I wish I were he, then I should be a happy man!”

As he uttered the wish, the goloshes he had put onproduced their effect , and the watchman was transported into the body and being of the lieutenant . Then he stood up in the room, and held a little pink paper in his fingers, on which was a poem, a poem written by the lieutenant himself . For who is there who has not once in his life had a poetic moment ? And at such a moment , if one writes down one' s thoughts , there is poetry .

Yes, people write poetry when they are in love; but a prudent man does not print such poems. The lieutenant was in love----and poor----that's a triangle, or, so to speak, the half of a broken square of happiness . The lieutenant felt that very keenly , and so he laid his head against the window-frame and sighed a deep sigh .

“The poor watchman in the street yonder is far happier than I . He does not know what I call want . He has a home, a wife, and children, who weep at his sorrow and rejoice at his joy. Oh! I should be happier than I am, if I could pass right over into him, for he is happier than I !”

In that same moment the watchman became a watch man again; for though the power of the goloshes of For tune he had assumed the personality of the lieutenant ; but then we know he felt far less content , and preferred to be what he really was. So the watchman became a watchman again .

“That was an ugly dream ,” said he , “ but droll enough . It seemed to me that I was the lieutenant up yonder, and that it was not pleasant at all. I missed the wife and the boys, who are now ready to half stifle me with kisses .”

He sat down again and nodded . The dream would not go quite out of his thoughts . He had the goloshes still on his feet. A falling star glided down the sky.

“There went one , ” said he , “but for all that , there are enough left . I should like to look at those things a little nearer, especially the moon, for that won't vanish under one' s hands . The student for whom my wife washes says that when we die we fly from one star to another. That's not true. but it would be very nice. If I could only make a little spring up there , then my body might lie here on the stairs for all I care . ”

Now there are certain things we should be very cautious of uttering in this world, but doubly careful when we have goloshes of Fortune on our feet . Just hear what happened to the watchman .

So far as we are concerned , we all understand the rapidity of dispatch by steam; we have tried it either in railways, or in steamers across the sea . But this speed is as the crawling of the sloth or the march of the snail in comparison with the swiftness with which light travels. That flies nineteen million times quicker than the best racer, and yet electricity is still quicker. Death is an electric shock we receive in our hearts, and on the wings of electricity the liberated soul flies away .

The sunlight requires eight minutes and a few seconds for a journey of more than ninety-five millions of miles; on the wings of electric power the soul requires only a few moments to accomplish the same flight . The space between the orbs of the universe is, for her, not greater than, for us, the distances between the houses of our friends dwelling in the same town and even living close together. Yet this electric shock costs us the life of the body here below, unless, like the watchman, we have the magic goloshes on.

In a few seconds the watchman had traversed the distance of two hundred and sixty thousand miles to the moon, which body, as we know, consists of a much lighter material than that of our earth , and is , as we should say , soft as new-fallen snow. He found himself on one of the many ring mountains with which we are familiar from Dr. M dler's great map of the moon. Within the ring a great bowl-shaped hollow went down to the depth of a couple of miles. At the base of the hollow lay a town, of whose appearance we can only form an idea by pouring the white of an egg, into a glass of water : the substance here was just as soft as white of egg, and formed similar towers, and cupolas, and terraces like sails, transparent and floating in the thin air. Our earth hung over his head like a great fiery red ball .

He immediately became aware of a number of beings, who were certainly what we call “men”, but their appear-ance was very different from ours . They had also a language, but no one could expect that the soul of the watchman should understand it. But it did understand, nevertheless .

Thus the watchman's soul understood the language of the people in the moon very well. They disputed about this earth, and doubted if it could be inhabited; the air, they asserted , must be too thick for a sensible moon-man to live there. They considered that the moon alone was peopled; for that, they said, was the real body in which the oldworld people dwelt . [They also talked of politics .]

But let us go down to the East Street , and see how it fared with the body of the watchman .

He sat lifeless upon the stairs .

His pike had fallen out of his hand, and his eyes stared up at the moon , after his honest soul which was going about up there.

“What 's o'clock , watchman?” asked a passer-by. But the man who didn' t answer was the watchman . Then the passenger tweaked him quite gently by the nose , and then he lost his balance. There lay the body stretched out at full length----the man was dead . Great fear fell upon the man who had tweaked him; dead the watchman was, and dead he remained. It was reported, and it was discussed, and in the morning the body was carried out to the hospital.

That would be a pretty jest for the soul if it should chance to come back, and probably seek its body in the East Street, and not find it ! Most likely it would go first to the police and afterwards to the address office, that inquiries might be made from thence respecting the missing goods; and then it would wander out to the hospital. But we may console ourselves with the idea that the soul is most clever when it acts upon its own account; it is the body that makes it stupid.

As we have said , the watchman' s body was taken to the hospital, and brought into the washing-room; and naturally enough the first thing they did there was to pull off the goloshes ; and then the soul had to come back . It took its way directly towards the body, and in a few seconds there was life in the man . He declared that this had been the most terrible night of his life; he would not have such feelings again, not for a shilling; but now it was past and over.

The same day he was allowed to leave ; but the goloshes remained at the hospital.




Every one who belongs to Copenhagen knows the look of the entrance to the Frederick's Hospital in Copenhagen; but as, perhaps, a few will read this story who do not belong to Copenhagen, it becomes necessary to give a short description of it .

The hospital is separated from the street by a tolerably high railing, in which the thick iron rails stand so far apart , that certain very thin inmates are said to have squeezed between them, and thus paid their little visits outside the premises . The part of the body most difficult to get through was the head ; and here , as it often happens in the world , small heads were the most fortunate . This will be sufficient as an introduction .

One of the young volunteers , of whom one could only say in one sense that he had a great head , had the watch that evening. The rain was pouring down; but in spite of this obstacle he wanted to go out, only for a quarter of an hour . It was needless , he thought , to tell the porter of his wish , especially if he could slip through between the rails .There lay the goloshes which the watchman had forgotten . It never occurred to him in the least that they were goloshes of Fortune . They would do him very good service in this rainy weather, and he pulled them on . Now the question was whether he could squeeze through the bars ; till now he had never tried it . There he stood .

“I wish to goodness I had my head outside! ”cried he . And immediately, though his head was very thick and big, it glided easily and quickly through . The goloshes must have understood it well; but now the body was to slip through also, and that could not be done.

“I' m too fat , ” said he .“ I thought my head would be theworst thing . I shan' t get through .”

Now he wanted to pull his head back quickly , but he could not manage it : he could move his neck , but that was all. His first feeling was one of anger, and then his spirits sank down to zero. The goloshes of Fortune had placed him in this terrible condition, and, unfortunately, it never occurred to him to wish himself free. No: instead of wishing, he only strove , and could not stir from the spot .

The rain poured down ; not a creature was to be seen in the street ; he could not reach the gate-bell , and how was he to get loose ? He foresaw that he would have to remain here until the morning, and then they would have to send for a blacksmith, to file through the iron bars. But such a business is not to be done quickly. The whole charity school opposite would be upon its legs; the whole sailors' quarter close by would come up and see him standing in the pillory; and a fine crowd there would be.

“Ugh !” he cried , “the blood' s rising to my head, and I shall go mad! Yes, I' m going mad! 0 I wish I were free again , then most likely it would pass over . ”

That's what he ought to have said a little sooner. The very moment he had uttered the thought his head was free; and now he rushed in, quite dazed with the fright the goloshes of Fortune had given him. But we must not think the whole affair was over; there was much worse to come yet .

The night passed away, and the following day too, and nobody sent for the goloshes. In the evening a representation was to take place in an amateur theatre in a distant street . The house was crammed ; and among the audience was the volunteer from the hospital , who appeared to have forgotten his adventure of the previous evening. He had the goloshes on, for they had not been sent for; and as it was dirty in the streets , they might do him good service. A new piece was recited: it was called My Aunt's Spectacles. These were spectacles which, when any one put them on in a great assembly of people, made all present look like cards, so that one could prophesy from them all that would happen in the coming year.

The idea struck him : he would have liked to possess such a pair of spectacles. If they were used rightly, they would enable the wearer to look into people' s hearts ; and that , he thought , would be more interesting than to see what was going to happen in the next year; for future events would be known in time, but the people's thoughts never.

“Now I'll look at the row of ladies and gentlemen on the first bench: if one could look directly into their hearts! Yes, that must be a hollow, a sort of shop. How my eyes would wander about in that shop!

In ever............

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