Andersen's Fairy Tales
And the brass balls on the iron railings shone much brighter than ever; one would have
thought they were polished on account of the visit; and it was as if the carved-out
trumpeters-for there were trumpeters, who stood in tulips, carved out on the door--blew
with all their might, their cheeks appeared so much rounder than before. Yes, they blew--
"Trateratra! The little boy comes! Trateratra!"--and then the door opened.
The whole passage was hung with portraits of knights in armor, and ladies in silken gowns;
and the armor rattled, and the silken gowns rustled! And then there was a flight of stairs
which went a good way upwards, and a little way downwards, and then one came on a
balcony which was in a very dilapidated state, sure enough, with large holes and long
crevices, but grass grew there and leaves out of them altogether, for the whole balcony
outside, the yard, and the walls, were overgrown with so much green stuff, that it looked
like a garden; only a balcony. Here stood old flower-pots with faces and asses' ears, and the
flowers grew just as they liked. One of the pots was quite overrun on all sides with pinks,
that is to say, with the green part; shoot stood by shoot, and it said quite distinctly, "The air
has cherished me, the sun has kissed me, and promised me a little flower on Sunday! a little
flower on Sunday!"
And then they entered a chamber where the walls were covered with hog's leather, and
printed with gold flowers.
"The gilding decays,
But hog's leather stays!"
said the walls.
And there stood easy-chairs, with such high backs, and so carved out, and with arms on
both sides. "Sit down! sit down!" said they. "Ugh! how I creak; now I shall certainly get the
gout, like the old clothespress, ugh!"
And then the little boy came into the room where the projecting windows were, and where
the old man sat.
"I thank you for the pewter soldier, my little friend!" said the old man. "And I thank you
because you come over to me."
"Thankee! thankee!" or "cranky! cranky!" sounded from all the furniture; there was so
much of it, that each article stood in the other's way, to get a look at the little boy.
In the middle of the wall hung a picture representing a beautiful lady, so young, so glad,
but dressed quite as in former times, with clothes that stood quite stiff, and with powder in
her hair; she neither said "thankee, thankee!" nor "cranky, cranky!" but looked with her
mild eyes at the little boy, who directly asked the old man, "Where did you get her?"