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AT the rich merchant's there was a children's party;rich people's children and grand people's children were there.The merchant was a learned man:he had once gone through the college examination,for his honest father had kept him to this,his father who had at first only been a cattle dealer;but always an honest and industrious man.The trade had brought money,and the merchant had man-aged to increase the store.Clever he was,and he had also a heart,but there was less said of his heart than of his money.At the merchant's,grand people went in and out—people of blood,as it is called,and people of intellect,and people who had both of these,and people who had neither.Now there was a children's party there,and children's prattle,and children speak frankly from the heart.Among the rest there was a beautiful little girl,and the little one was terribly proud.However,the servants had taught her that,not her parents,who were far too sensible people.Her father was a groom of the bed-chamber,and that is a very grand office,and she knew it.

“I am a child of the bed-chamber,”she said.

Now she might just as well have been a child of the cellar,for nobody can help his birth;and then she told the other children that she was“well born”,and said that no one who was not well born could get on far in the world:it was of no use to read and be industrious;if one was not well born one could not achieve anything.

“And those whose names end with‘sen’,”said she,“they cannot be anything at all.One must put one's arms akimbo,and keep them at a great distance,these‘sen’!”

And she stuck out her pretty little arms,and made the elbows quite pointed,to show how it was to be done and her little arms were very pretty.She was sweet.

But the little daughter of the merchant became very angry at this speech,for her father's name was Madsen,and she knew that the name ended in‘sen’and therefore she said,as proudly as ever she could,

“But my papa can buy a hundred dollars’worth of bon-bons,and throw them to the children!Can your papa do that?”

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“Yes,but my papa,”said an author's little daughter,“can put your papa and everybody's papa into the newspaper.All people are afraid of him,my mamma says,for it is my father who rules in the paper.”

And the little maiden looked exceedingly proud,as though she had been a real Princess,who is expected to look proud.

But outside at the door,which was ajar,stood a poor boy,peeping through the crack.He was of such lowly station that he was not even allowed to enter the room.He had turned the spit for the cook,and she had allowed him to stand behind the door,and to look at the well-dressed children who were making a merry day within,and for him that was a great deal.

“Oh,to be one of them!”thought he;and then he heard what was said,which was certainly calculated to make him very unhappy.His parents at home had not a penny to spare to buy a newspaper,much less could they write one;and what was worst of all,his father's name,and consequently his own,was a common one,ending in “sen”,and so he could not turn out well.That was terrible.But,after all,he had been born,and very well born as it seemed to him;there was no getting over that.

And that is what was done on that evening.

Many years have elapsed since then,and in the course of years children become grown-up persons.

In the town stood a splendid house;it was filled with all kinds of beautiful objects and treasures,and all people wished to see it;even people who dwelt out of town came in to see it.Which of the children of whom we have told might call this house his own?To know that is very easy.No,no;it is not so very easy.The house be-longed to the poor little boy—he had become something great,although his name ended in“sen”,—Thorwaldsen.

And the three other children?The children of blood and of money,and of spiritual pride?Well,they had nothing where with to reproach each other—they turned out well enough,for they had been well dowered by na-ture;and what they had thought and spoken on that evening was mere children's prattle.




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