The Nightingale

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The Nightingale is a wonder tale written by the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen.

Writ[edit]

In China, as thou likely knowest, the Coaser is a Chinishman, and all his hoffmen are also Chinishmen. The tale I am going to tell thee happened many years ago, but it is worthwhile to listen to it before it is forgotten. The Coaser's raked was the greatest of the world, all made of hend porcelain, but so brittle and nesh that one must take great care on how one rone it. In the garden were the wonderfullest blossoms, and on the loveliest of them were tied silver bells that tinkled so that if one went by, one could not help looking at the blossoms. Everything in the Coaser's garden was hendly set up, and the garden was so great that even the gardener himself did not know where it ended. If one ever got beyond it, one came to a lovely wold with great trees and deep lakes in it. The wold went straight down to the sea, which was blue and deep. Great ships could sail under the trees' boughs, and in these trees lived a Nightingale. She sang so blessedly that even the arm fisherman who had so much to do stood and listened when he came at night to pull up his nets. "How sheen it is!" he said, but he had to go to his work, and forgot about the bird. But when she sang the next night, and the fisherman came there again, he said the same thing again, "How sheen it is!".

From all the world's lands came wayfarers to the Coaser's town, who bewondered the raked and the garden. But when they heard the Nightingale, they all said, "That is truly the best!".

The wayfarers told all about it when they went home, and learned scholars wrote many books about the town, the raked, and the garden. But they did not forget the Nightingale; she was set allerfirst, and all the leethers wrote torghtly leeths about the Nightingale in the wold by the deep sea.

The books went throughout the world, and some of them reached the Coaser. He sat in his golden seld, and read and read. He nodded his head every eyeblink, for he liked reading the wonderful bewritings of the town, the raked, and the garden. "But the Nightingale was the allerbest!", he saw written.

"What is that?" asked the Coaser. "I know nothing about the Nightingale! Is there such a bird in my coaserdom, and so near as in my garden? I have never heard of it! One must learn of this for the first time from a book!"

And he called his First Lord to him. He was so proud that if anyone of lower standing than his own talked to him or asked him anything, he would say nothing but "P!", which does not mean anything.

"Here is a most ferly bird that is called a Nightingale!" said the Coaser. "They say she is the allerbest in my great coaserdom! Why has no one ever said anything to me about her?"

"I have never heard of her," said the First Lord. "She has never been shown at hoff."

"I want her to come here tonight and sing to me!" said the Coaser. "The whole world knows what I have, and I do not know!"

"I have never heard of her!" said the First Lord. "I will look for her and find her!"

But where was she to be found? The First Lord ran up and down stairs, through the rooms and hallways, but none of those he met had ever heard of the Nightingale. And the First Lord ran again to the Coaser, and told him that it must be a leaspel of those who had written the books. "Thy Coaserly Majesty cannot believe all that is written. It is findles and something called the black craft!"

"But the book in which I read this," said the Coaser, "is sent me by His Great Majesty the Coaser of Japan, so it cannot be untrue, and I will hear the Nightingale! She must be here this evening! She has my highest est! If she does not come, then the whole hoff shall be trampled upon after mease!"

"Tsing pe!" said the First Lord, and he ran up and down stairs, through the rooms and hallways, and half the hoff ran with him, for they did not want to be trampled upon. All were asking after the ferly Nightingale, whom all the world knew of, but those at hoff.

At last, they met an arm little maiden in the kitchen, who said “Oh! I know the nightingale well. Oh, how she sings! Every evening, I have leave to take home the scraps from the hoff to my arm sick mother; she lives down at the beach, and when I go back home, tired, rest in the wold, and then I hear the Nightingale sing! Then tears come into my eyes, and it is as if my mother kissed me!”

“Little kitchenmaid!” said the First Lord. “I will give thee a fast onstelling in the kitchen, and thou shalt have leave to see the Coaser mease if thou canst lead us to the Nightingale, for she is called for this evening.”

And so they all went into the wold where the Nightingale was wont to sing, and half the hoff went too. When they were on the way, a cow began to low.

“Oh!” said the hoffmen. “Now we have her! What a ferly might for such a small deer! I have iwis heard it before!”

“No, that is a cow lowing!” said the little kitchenmaid. “We are still far away from the stead!”

Then the frogs croaked in the marsh.

“Wonderful!” said the Chinish handpriest. “Now we hear her; it sweys like a little church-bell!”

“No, those are frogs!” said the little kitchenmaid. “But now, I think we shall soon hear her!”

Then the Nightingale began to sing.

“There she is!” said the little maiden. “Listen, listen! There she sits!”

And she wised to a little gray bird on the branches.

“Is it mightly!” said the First Lord. “I should have never thought it! How onefold she looks! She must iwis have lost her blee from seeing so many thungen men umb her!”

“Little Nightingale,” called out the little kitchenmaid, “our eestiest Coaser wishes thee to sing before him!”

“With the greatest glee!” said the Nightingale and sang liefsomely.

“It sweys like glass bells!” said the First Lord. “And see how her little throat works! It is weird that we have never heard her before! She will be a success at hoff!”

“Shall I sing once more before the Coaser?” asked the Nightingale, thinking that the Coaser was there.

“My torghtly little nightingale,” said the First Lord, “I have the great glee to lathe thee to hoff this evening, where thou wilt bewitch His Eesty Coaserly Majesty with thy galing song!"

"It sweys best in the green wood," said the Nightingale, but still, she came gladly when she heard the Coaser had wished it.

At the raked, everything was torghtly readied. The porcelain walls and floors glittered in the light of many thousand gold lightvats; the loveliest blossoms that tinkled out well were put in the hallways. There was a hurrying and a draft, and all the bells so jingled that one could not hear oneself speak. In the middle of the great hall, where the Coaser sat, was a golden perch, on which the Nightingale should sit. The whole hoff was there, and the little kitchenmaid was aleaved to stand behind the door, now that she was a hoff-cook. Everyone was clad in his best, and everyone was looking toward the little gray bird to whom the Coaser nodded.

The Nightingale sang so liefsomely that tears came into the Coaser's eyes and ran down his cheeks. Then the Nightingale sang even more sheenly; it went right to the heart. The Coaser was so glad that he said that she should wear his golden slipper umb her neck. But the Nightingale thanked him and said that she had had enough meed already.

"I have seen tears in the Coaser's eyes—that is for me the richest fratow! A Coaser's tears have a wonderful might, and God knows I am meeded enough!" Then she sang again with her sweet, blessed steven.

"That is the most galing liveting that I know!" said the ladies all umb. And then they took water into their mouths, so that they might gurgle when anyone talked to them. Then they thought themselves nightingales. Yes, the lackeys and the chambermaids melded that they were quemed, which means a great deal, for they are the hardest to queme. In short, the Nightingale was a true success. She must now blive at hoff; she had her own cage and leave to to walk out twice in the day and once at night. She was given twelve servants, who each had a silken string that was fastened umb her leg. There was little glee in flying about like this.

The whole town was talking about the wonderful bird, and when two people met each other, one would say "Nightin", and the other "Gale", and then they would both sigh and understand each other. Yes, and eleven grocer's children were called after her, but not one of them could sing a note.

One day, the Coaser got a great parcel on which was written "The Nightingale".

"Here is another new book about our namecouth bird!" said the Coaser.

But it was not a book but a little mechanical plaything, which lay in a box—an artificial nightingale that was like the real one, but it was studded with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. When one wound it up, it could sing the piece the real bird sang, moved its tail up and down, and shone with silver and gold. Umb its neck was a little collar on which was written "The Nightingale of the Coaser of Japan is armer than that of the Coaser of China".

"This is wonderful!" they all said, and the man who had brought the clockwork bird got on the spot the title of "Bringer of the Coaserly Nightingale".

"Now they must sing together; what a duet we shall have!"

And so they sang together, but their stevens did not blend, for the real Nightingale sang in her way, and the clockwork bird sang waltzes.

"It is not its shild!" said the bandmaster. "It keeps ever so good time and is rather of my style!"

Then the artificial bird must sing alone. It gave evenly as much glee as the real one, and then it was so much prettier to look at; it sparkled like bracelets and necklaces. Thirty-three times it sang the same piece without being tired. Folk would have liked to hear it again, but the Coaser thought that the living Nightingale should sing now—but where was she? No one had noticed that she had flown out of the open window away to her green woods.

"What SHALL we do!" said the Coaser. And all the Hoff scolded and said that the Nightingale was ever so unthankful. "But we still have the best bird!" they said, and the artificial bird must sing again, and that was the thirty-fourth time they had heard the same piece. But they did not yet know it by heart; it was much too hard. And the Bandmaster praised the bird greatly; yes, he assured them that it was better than a real nightingale not only as far as clothes and the many liefsome diamonds are concerned but also on the inside.

"Ye see, my lords and ladies and Thy Coaserly Majesty above all, with the real nightingale, one can never tell what will come out, but with the artificial bird, all is determined! One can explain it, one can open it and show human thought, how the waltzes lie, how they go, and how one follows the other!"

"That is exactly what I thought!" said all, and the bandmaster got special leave to show the folk the bird next Sunday. They should hear it sing, bade the Coaser. And they heard it, and they were as quemed as if they had merrily drunk on tea, for it was wholly Chinish, and they said "Oh!" and held up their forefingers and nodded time. But the arm fisherman who had heard the real nightingale said: "This one sings well enough and sounds like the bird's song; but something is missing—I do not know what!"

The real nightingale was fleemed from the coaserdom.

The artificial bird was put on silken cushions by the Coaser's bed, all the gifts that it got, gold and worthful stones, lay umb it, and it was given the title of Coaserly Night-singer, First from the left. For the Coaser reckoned that side as the more thungen, being the side on which the heart is; the Coaser's heart is also on the left.