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1 Once upon a time there was a poor boy who lived in Demark. His father, a shoemaker, had died, and his mother had married again.|
2 One day the boy went to ask a favour of the Prince of Denmark. When the Prince asked him what he wanted, the boy said,” I want to write plays in poetry and to act at the Royal Theatre.” The Prince looked at the boy, at his big hands feet, at his big nose and large serious eyes, and gave a sensible answer. “It is one thing to act in plays, another to write them. I tell you this for your own good; learn a useful trade like shoemaking.
3 So the boy, who was not sensible at all, went home. There he took what little money he had, said good-bye to his mother and his step-father and started out to seek his fortune. He was sure that some day the name Hans Christian Andersen would be known all over Denmark.
4 To believe such a story one would have to believe in fairy tales! Hans Christian knew many such tales. He had heard some of them from his father, who had worked hard at his trade, but liked to read better than to make shoes. In the evenings, he had read aloud from The Arabian Nights. His wife understood very little of the book, but the boy, pretending to sleep, understood every word.
5 By day, Hans Christian went to a house where old women worked as weavers. There he listened to the tales that the women told as they worked at their weaving. In those days, there were almost as many tales in Denmark as there were people to tell them.
6 Among the tales told in the town of Odense, where Andersen was born in 1805, was one about a fairy who brought death to those who danced with her. To this tale, Hans Christian later added a story from his own life安徒生于是1805年出生在欧登塞镇。在那里，人们一直传诵着这样一个童话。有一个小神仙会将死亡带给每一个与她跳舞的人。后来，汉斯•克里斯琴将自己的生活经历加入到故事情节中去。
7 Once, when his father was still alive, a young lady ordered a pair of red shoes. When she refused to pay for them, unhappiness filled the poor shoemaker’s house. From that small tragedy and the story of the dancing fairy, the shoemaker’s son years later wrote the story that millions of people now know as The Red shoes. The genius of Andersen is that he put so much of everyday life into the wonder of his fairy tales.
8 When Hans Christian’s mother was a little girl, she was sent out on the streets to beg. She did not want to beg, so she sat out of aight under one of the city bridges. She warmed her cold feet in her hands, for she had no shoes. She was afraid to go home. Years later, her son, in his pity for her and his anger at the world, wrote the angry She’s No Good and the famous tale The Little Match Girl.
9 Through his genius, he changed every early experience, even his father’s death, into a fairy tale. One cold day the boy had stood looking at the white patterns formed on the window by the frost. His father showed his a white, woman-like figure among the frost patterns. “That is the Snow Queen,” said the shoemaker. “Soon she will be coming for me.” A few months later he was dead. And years later, Andersen turned that sad experience into a fairy tale, The Snow Queen.
通过他的才华 ，他将自己早期的生活经历，甚至他父亲的死亡，经过改编写进了童话故事里。在一个寒冷的冬天 ，小男孩站在窗前，盯着窗上的霜花：“看了许久。他的父亲指给他一个形状有些像女人样子的霜花：“那是白雪公主，”鞋匠说到：“她很快会来找我的。”几个月后他就去世了。许多年以后，安徒生将那段痛苦的经历写进了他的童话故事《白雪公主》之中。
10 After the Prince told him to learn a trade, Hans Christian went to Copenhagen. He was just fourteen years old at the time.
11 When he arrived in the city, he went to see as many important people as he could find—dancers, writers and theatre people of Copenhagen. But none of them lent a helping hand to the boy with the big hands, the big feet and the big nose. Finally, he had just seven pennies left.
12 The boy had a beautiful high, clear voice. One day a music teacher heard him singing and decided to help him. He collected money from his friends and gave it to the boy so that he could buy food and clothing while he studied singing.
13 Hans Christian was happier then he had ever been in his life. But soon his boy’s voice broke. The beautiful high voice was gone forever.
14 The boy soon found new friends who admired his genius. There was even a princess who gave him a little money from time to time for food and clothes. But Hans Christian bought little food and no clothes. Instead, he bought books and went to the theatre.
1 In Copenhagen, Hans Christian lived in an attic in an old house, where he had a good view of the city. But there was one big fact that he could not see right under his own nose. The plays and poetry that he wrote were not very good.
2 Hans Christian made friends with a few kind people. Among them was Jonas Collin of the Royal Theatre. This kind man collected funds from friends to send the young writer to school. Hans felt most at ease with children. He ate his dinner in turn at the homes of six friends. In each home the children begged him for stories.
3 Hans told a tale so vividly that you could see and hear toy soldiers marching and toy horses galloping. And he could make the most wonderful papercuts. These are kept today in the Andersen Museum, which is in the house where he was born in Odense.
4 Andersen remained single all his life. The good Collin family—three generations of them –became all the family he was ever to have. They all loved him, and to try to get a government job. They talked as he later made the animals talk in his stories: “I tell you this for your own good,” said the Hen to the Ugly Duckling, “you should learn to lay eggs like me.” In The Ugly Duckling Hans Christian told the story of his own life.
5 When his first book of fairy tales was published in 1835, Andersen didn’t think it would be successful, but children read the stories and wanted more. So encouraged by their interest, he began what we know today as his great work. For 37 years, a new book of Andersen’s fairy tales came out each Christmas. The books were full of everyday truth, of wonder, of sad beauty, of humour. Children and their parents had never read such tales before.
6 Andersen’s tales are a poet’s way of telling us the truth about ourselves. He looked deeply into the heart of things. Even in a child’s toy lost in the street, he could see some story with the light of gold in it. All of us laugh at the humour of The Emperor’s New Clothes, but we remember the story every time men pretend to be something that they are not.
7 Although he was now famous, he was more kind hearted than ever. One day on the street he met a man who had once treated him badly. The old and unhappy man said that he was sorry for what he had done. Andersen forgave the man and comforted him. The Prince who had told Andersen to learn a useful trade was now the King. He invited the writer to his palace and told him that he might ask for any favour. Andersen replied simply, “But I don’t need anything at all.”
8 He was already loved all over the world. The awkward figure and kind ugly face had become so famous that his friends, the children, recognized him wherever he was. His books were translated into many different languages and read all over the world. He was received at the royal courts of Europe and admired by many kings.
9 The greatest writers of the day, from Dickens to Victor Hugo, looked upon him as one of themselves. Among the, he at last learned happily that “it doesn’t matter if you are born in a duck-yard, as long as you come from a swan’s egg.”
10 Happiest of all was the day he returned to the “duck-yard,” nearly 50 years after he had left it. All Odense took part in the great celebration for the shoemaker’s son who was now the prince of fairy tales. A great dinner was held in his honour. That night, hundreds of people came to his window and called to him.
11 What was then in his full heart—that gentle heart that had been lonely for so long—was best expressed in his own words: “To God and man, my thanks, my love.”