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AUNTIE TOOTHACHE_安徒生童话全集



WHERE did we get the story from?

Would you like to know that?

We got it from the barrel, the one with the old pa-

pers in it.Many good and rare books have gone to the chandler's and the greengrocer's, not as reading, but asnecessary articles. They must have paper at the grocer'sfor starch and coffee-beans,paper for salt herrings, but-ter, and cheese. Written things are also useful. Oftenthere goes into the barrel what should not go there.

I know a greengrocer's boy,the son of a chandler;he has risen from the cellar to the shop: a man of greatreading, psper-bag reading,both the printed and the written kind.He has an interesting collection,and in itseveral important documents from the waste-paper basketof one and another, absent-minded and too much occu- pied official; confidential letters from lady friends to eachother;scandal-communications,which must go no far- ther, and not be spoken of to anyone.He is a living res-cue-institution for no small part of literature, and has alarge field to work in; he has the shops of his employerand his parents, and in these he has rescued many a book, or pages of a book, which might well deserve a second reading.

He has shown me his collection of printed and writ- ten things from the barrel,mostly from the chandler's.There were two or three leaves of a bigger copy book: itspeculiarly beautiful and distinct writing drew my attentionto it at once.

"The student has written that,"he said,"the stu-dent who lived right opposite here, and died about a month ago.One can see he has suffered severely fromtoothache. It is very amusing to read! Here is only a littlepart of what was written ; it was a whole book and a littlemore; my parents gave half a pound of green soap for it,to the student's landlady. Here is what I rescued."Iborrowed it,and read it, and now I communicate it. Thetitle was:

 

Auntie Toothache

 

 

Auntie gave me sweet things when I was little. My teeth held out and were not destroyed;now I am older,and have become a student, she spoils me still with sweet things, and says that I am a poet. I have something of thepoet in me, but not sufficient. Often when I am walking inthe streets of the town, it seems to me as if I walk in a biglibrary. The houses are bookcases, every floor a shelf withbooks. There stands an everyday story, there a good old comedy, scientific works in all departments, here filthy literature and there good reading. I can both exercise my fancy and philosophize over all the literature.There is some-thing of the poet in me, but not sufficient.Many people have certainly as much in themselves as I,and yet wear neither badge nor neckband with the name"Poet".

There is given to them and to me a gift of God, ablessing big enough for oneself,but far too small to be given out again to others. It comes like a sunbeam,and fills the soul and the thoughts. It comes as the scent of flowers,as a melody which one knows and remembers, but cannot tell from where.

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