Diferenças entre edições de "Contos de Andersen/A pedra filosofal"

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You know the story of Holger Danske, so we won't repeat it, but will ask you if you remember how "Holger Danske conquered the great land of India, eastward at the end of the world, to the tree called 'the Tree of the Sun,' " as Christen Pedersen says. Do you know Christen Pedersen? It makes no difference if you don't.
Far away towards the east, in India, which seemed in those days the world’s end, stood the Tree of the Sun; a noble tree, such as we have never seen, and perhaps never may see.
 
Holger Danske gave Prester John his power and rule over India. Have you heard about Prester John? Yes? Well, it makes no difference if you haven't, because he doesn't come into our story. You are going to hear about the Tree of the Sun "in India, eastward at the end of the world," as people believed it to be then, for they hadn't studied their geography the way we have - but that makes no difference, either!
The summit of this tree spread itself for miles like an entire forest, each of its smaller branches forming a complete tree. Palms, beech-trees, pines, plane-trees, and various other kinds, which are found in all parts of the world, were here like small branches, shooting forth from the great tree; while the larger boughs, with their knots and curves, formed valleys and hills, clothed with velvety green and covered with flowers. Everywhere it was like a blooming meadow or a lovely garden. Here were birds from all quarters of the world assembled together; birds from the primeval forests of America, from the rose gardens of Damascus, and from the deserts of Africa, in which the elephant and the lion may boast of being the only rulers. Birds from the Polar regions came flying here, and of course the stork and the swallow were not absent. But the birds were not the only living creatures. There were stags, squirrels, antelopes, and hundreds of other beautiful and light-footed animals here found a home.
 
The Tree of the Sun was a magnificent tree, such as we have never seen and most likely never will see. Its crown stretched out for miles around; it was really an entire wood, for each of its smallest branches formed, in turn, a whole tree. Palms, beech pines, plane trees, yes, and many other kinds of trees grew here, trees that are to be found all over the world; they sprang forth, as small branches, from the great branches, and these, with their knots and windings, were like hills and valleys, carpeted with soft, velvety green, and covered with thousands of flowers. Each branch was like a great blooming meadow or the most beautiful garden. The blessed Sun shone down upon it, for, remember, it was the Tree of the Sun.
The summit of the tree was a wide-spreading garden, and in the midst of it, where the green boughs formed a kind of hill, stood a castle of crystal, with a view from it towards every quarter of heaven. Each tower was erected in the form of a lily, and within the stern was a winding staircase, through which one could ascend to the top and step out upon the leaves as upon balconies. The calyx of the flower itself formed a most beautiful, glittering, circular hall, above which no other roof arose than the blue firmament and the sun and stars.
 
Here the birds from all over the world gathered together, birds from the primeval forests of America, the rose gardens of Damascus, or the wild woods of Africa, where the elephant and the lion imagine that they alone reign. Polar birds came here, and the stork and swallow naturally did, too. But the birds were not the only living creatures here; the stag, the squirrel, the antelope, and hundreds of other beautiful and light-footed animals were at home in this place. The crown of the tree was a spreading, fragrant garden, and in the very center of it, where the great branches rose up into a green hill, there stood a castle of crystal, with a view toward every country in the world. Each tower rose up in the form of a lily, and one could ascend through the stem, for inside there were winding stairs. One could step out onto the leaves - these were the balconies; and up in the cup of the flower was a beautiful, brilliant round hall, with no roof above it, only the blue sky, with either the sun or the stars.
Just as much splendor, but of another kind, appeared below, in the wide halls of the castle. Here, on the walls, were reflected pictures of the world, which represented numerous and varied scenes of everything that took place daily, so that it was useless to read the newspapers, and indeed there were none to be obtained in this spot. All was to be seen in living pictures by those who wished it, but all would have been too much for even the wisest man, and this man dwelt here. His name is very difficult; you would not be able to pronounce it, so it may be omitted. He knew everything that a man on earth can know or imagine. Every invention already in existence or yet to be, was known to him, and much more; still everything on earth has a limit. The wise king Solomon was not half so wise as this man. He could govern the powers of nature and held sway over potent spirits; even Death itself was obliged to give him every morning a list of those who were to die during the day. And King Solomon himself had to die at last, and this fact it was which so often occupied the thoughts of this great man in the castle on the Tree of the Sun. He knew that he also, however high he might tower above other men in wisdom, must one day die. He knew that his children would fade away like the leaves of the forest and become dust. He saw the human race wither and fall like leaves from the tree; he saw new men come to fill their places, but the leaves that fell off never sprouted forth again; they crumbled to dust or were absorbed into other plants.
 
Down below, in the wide halls of the castle, there was just as much splendor, though of a different sort. Here the whole world was reflected on the walls. One could see everything that happened, so there was no need to read newspapers; there were no newspapers here, anyway. Everything could be seen in living pictures, if one wanted to or was able to see it all; for too much is too much, even for the wisest man. And the wisest of all men lived here.
“What happens to man,” asked the wise man of himself, “when touched by the angel of death? What can death be? The body decays, and the soul. Yes; what is the soul, and whither does it go?”
 
His name is too difficult for you to pronounce, and it makes no difference, anyway. He knew everything that a man on earth can know or hope to know; he knew every invention that had been made or was yet to be made; but he knew nothing more than that, for everything in the world has its limits. Wise old King Solomon was only half as wise as this man, and yet he was very wise indeed, and governed the forces of nature and ruled over mighty spirits; even Death itself was forced to report every morning with a list of those who were to die during the day. But King Solomon himself had to die, too, and this was the thought that often occupied the mind of the learned, mighty ruler of the castle on the Tree of the Sun. However high he might rise above men in wisdom, he also must die someday. He knew that he and his children, too, must fade like the leaves of the forest and become dust. He could see the human race fade away like leaves on the trees and new men come forth to take their places. But the leaves that fell never lived again; they became dust about other plants.
“To eternal life,” says the comforting voice of religion.
 
What happened to man when the Angel of Death came to him? What could Death be? The body became decayed. And the soul? Yes, what was the soul? What became of it? Where did it go? "To the life eternal," the comforting voice of religion said. But what was the transition? Where did one dwell, and how? "In heaven above," said the pious people; "it is there we go." "Above?" repeated the Wise Man, and gazed up at the moon and stars. "Up there?"
“But what is this change? Where and how shall we exist?”
 
From the earthly globe he saw that "above" and "below" could be one and the same, depending upon where one stood on the revolving earth. And if he ascended as high as the earth's loftiest mountains rear their peaks, there in the air that we below call clear and transparent - "the pure heaven" - would be a black darkness, spread over all like a cloth, and the sun would have a coppery glow without giving forth rays, and our earth would lie wrapped in an orange mist. How narrow were the limits of the mortal eye, and how little could be seen by the eye of the soul! Even the wisest knew little of that which is the most important of all to us.
“Above; in heaven,” answers the pious man; “it is there we hope to go.”
 
In the most secret chamber of that castle lay earth's greatest treasure - the Book of Truth. Page after page, the Wise Man had read it through. Every man may read in this book, but only parts of it; to many and eye the letters seem to fade, so that the words cannot even be spelled; on some pages the writing is so pale that they seem like blank leaves. But the wiser a man becomes, the more he can read; and the wisest men read the most. The Wise Man knew how to unite the sunlight and the starlight with the light of reason and the hidden powers of his soul, and under this dazzling light many things stood out clearly on the pages before him. But in the chapter of the book entitled "Life After Death" there was not so much as one single letter to see. That grieved him. Could he not somewhere on earth obtain a light by which everything written in the Book of Truth would become clear to him?
“Above!” repeated the wise man, fixing his eyes upon the moon and stars above him. He saw that to this earthly sphere above and below were constantly changing places, and that the position varied according to the spot on which a man found himself. He knew, also, that even if he ascended to the top of the highest mountain which rears its lofty summit on this earth, the air, which to us seems clear and transparent, would there be dark and cloudy; the sun would have a coppery glow and send forth no rays, and our earth would lie beneath him wrapped in an orange-colored mist. How narrow are the limits which confine the bodily sight, and how little can be seen by the eye of the soul. How little do the wisest among us know of that which is so important to us all.
 
Like wise King Solomon, he understood the language of the animals and could interpret their talk and their songs. But that made him none the wiser. He had learned the powers of plants and metals, powers that could be used for the cure of diseases or for delaying death, but none that could destroy death. In all created things that he could reach he sought the light that would shine upon the certainty of eternal life, but he did not find it. Blank leaves still appeared in the Book of Truth before him. Christianity gave him words of promise of an eternal life in the Bible, but he wanted to read it in his book; and there he could see nothing about it.
In the most secret chamber of the castle lay the greatest treasure on earth—the Book of Truth. The wise man had read it through page after page. Every man may read in this book, but only in fragments. To many eyes the characters seem so mixed in confusion that the words cannot be distinguished. On certain pages the writing often appears so pale or so blurred that the page becomes a blank. The wiser a man becomes, the more he will read, and those who are wisest read most.
 
The Wise Man had five children, four sons, educated as well as the sons of the wisest of fathers should be, and a daughter, lovely, gentle, and clever, but blind. Yet this affliction was no deprivation to her, for her father and brothers were mortal eyes to her, and her own keen perception gave her clear mental vision.
The wise man knew how to unite the sunlight and the moonlight with the light of reason and the hidden powers of nature; and through this stronger light, many things in the pages were made clear to him. But in the portion of the book entitled “Life after Death” not a single point could he see distinctly. This pained him. Should he never be able here on earth to obtain a light by which everything written in the Book of Truth should become clear to him? Like the wise King Solomon, he understood the language of animals, and could interpret their talk into song; but that made him none the wiser. He found out the nature of plants and metals, and their power in curing diseases and arresting death, but none to destroy death itself. In all created things within his reach he sought the light that should shine upon the certainty of an eternal life, but he found it not. The Book of Truth lay open before him, but, its pages were to him as blank paper. Christianity placed before him in the Bible a promise of eternal life, but he wanted to read it in his book, in which nothing on the subject appeared to be written.
 
The sons had never ventured farther from the castle than the extent of the branches of the tree, nor had the sister ever left the home. They were happy children in the home of their childhood - the beautiful, fragrant Tree of the Sun. Like all children, they were happy to have stories told them, and their father told them many things that other children would never have understood, but these children were as clever as most of our old people are. He explained to them the pictures of life that they saw on the castle walls - the labors of men and the march of events in all the lands of the earth. Often the sons wished that they could go into the world and take part in the great deeds of other men, and then their father explained to them that it was hard and wearisome out in the world, that the world was not as they saw it from their beautiful home.
He had five children; four sons, educated as the children of such a wise father should be, and a daughter, fair, gentle, and intelligent, but she was blind; yet this deprivation appeared as nothing to her; her father and brothers were outward eyes to her, and a vivid imagination made everything clear to her mental sight. The sons had never gone farther from the castle than the branches of the trees extended, and the sister had scarcely ever left home. They were happy children in that home of their childhood, the beautiful and fragrant Tree of the Sun.
 
He told them of the good, the true, and the beautiful, and explained that these three clung together in the world, and that under the pressure they endured they hardened into a precious stone, purer than the water of a diamond - a splendid jewel of value to God Himself, whose brightness outshone all things; this was called the "Stone of the Wise Man." He told them that, just as man could gain knowledge of the existence of God by seeking it, so was it within the power of man to gain proof that such a jewel as the "Stone of the Wise Man" existed. This explanation would have been beyond the understanding of other children, but these children could grasp it, and in time other children, too, will learn to understand its meaning.
Like all children, they loved to hear stories related to them, and their father told them many things which other children would not have understood; but these were as clever as most grownup people are among us. He explained to them what they saw in the pictures of life on the castle walls—the doings of man, and the progress of events in all the lands of the earth; and the sons often expressed a wish that they could be present, and take a part in these great deeds. Then their father told them that in the world there was nothing but toil and difficulty: that it was not quite what it appeared to them, as they looked upon it in their beautiful home.
 
They asked their father about the true, the beautiful, and the good, and he told them many things - how when God made man from the dust of the earth, He gave to His work five kisses, fiery kisses, heart kisses, which we now call the five senses. Through these, that which is the true, the beautiful, and the good is seen, felt, and understood; through them, it is valued, protected, and augmented. Five senses have been given, physically and mentally, inwardly and outwardly, to body and soul.
He spoke to them of the true, the beautiful, and the good, and told them that these three held together in the world, and by that union they became crystallized into a precious jewel, clearer than a diamond of the first water—a jewel, whose splendor had a value even in the sight of God, in whose brightness all things are dim. This jewel was called the philosopher’s stone. He told them that, by searching, man could attain to a knowledge of the existence of God, and that it was in the power of every man to discover the certainty that such a jewel as the philosopher’s stone really existed. This information would have been beyond the perception of other children; but these children understood, and others will learn to comprehend its meaning after a time.
 
By day and by night the children thought deeply about all these things. Then the eldest of the brothers had a wonderful dream; and, strangely enough, the second brother had the same dream, and the third did, too, and the fourth - all of them dreamed exactly the same thing. They dreamed that each went out into the world and found the "Stone of the Wise Man," which gleamed like a radiant light on his forehead when, in the morning dawn, he rode his swift horse back over the velvety green meadows of home to the castle of his father. Then the jewel threw such a divine light and brilliance upon the pages of the book that everything written there on the life beyond the grave was illuminated. But the sister dreamed nothing about venturing out into the world, for it had never entered her mind. Her world was her father's castle.
They questioned their father about the true, the beautiful, and the good, and he explained it to them in many ways. He told them that God, when He made man out of the dust of the earth, touched His work five times, leaving five intense feelings, which we call the five senses. Through these, the true, the beautiful, and the good are seen, understood, and perceived, and through these they are valued, protected, and encouraged. Five senses have been given mentally and corporeally, inwardly and outwardly, to body and soul.
 
"I shall ride out into the wide world," said the eldest brother. "I must find what life is like there, and mix with people. I shall do only what is good and true, and with these I shall protect the beautiful. Many things shall change for the better when I am there."
The children thought deeply on all these things, and meditated upon them day and night. Then the eldest of the brothers dreamt a splendid dream. Strange to say, not only the second brother but also the third and fourth brothers all dreamt exactly the same thing; namely, that each went out into the world to find the philosopher’s stone. Each dreamt that he found it, and that, as he rode back on his swift horse, in the morning dawn, over the velvety green meadows, to his home in the castle of his father, that the stone gleamed from his forehead like a beaming light; and threw such a bright radiance upon the pages of the Book of Truth that every word was illuminated which spoke of the life beyond the grave. But the sister had no dream of going out into the wide world; it never entered her mind. Her world was her father’s house.
 
Yes, his thoughts were bold and big, as our thoughts always are at home, before we have gone out into the world and have met with wind and rain, thorns and thistles.
“I shall ride forth into the wide world,” said the eldest brother. “I must try what life is like there, as I mix with men. I will practise only the good and true; with these I will protect the beautiful. Much shall be changed for the better while I am there.”
 
Now these thoughts were great and daring, as our thoughts generally are at home, before we have gone out into the world, and encountered its storms and tempests, its thorns and its thistles. In him, and in all hisof these brothers, the five senses were highly cultivateddeveloped, both inwardly and outwardly; but in each of them had one sense whichhad inreached a keenness and development surpassedsurpassing the other four. In the case of the eldest, this pre-eminentoutstanding sense was sight,Sight. whichThis hewas hoped wouldto be of special servicebenefit to him. He had eyes for all times, he said, and eyes for all people;nations, eyes that could discoverlook ininto the very depths of the earth, hiddenwhere treasures lie hidden, and lookor into the heartsdepths of menpeople's hearts, as throughthough only a clear pane of glass were before them; hein couldother readwords, he saw more than iswe oftencould seen onin the cheek that blushes or growsturns pale, in the eye that droopscries or smileslaughs.
 
Stags and antelopes accompaniedescorted him to the western boundaryboundaries of his home, and there he found the wild swans. Thesereceived he followed,him and foundled himselfhim on into the northwest. And now he was far awayout ininto the northworld, far from the land of his father, which extended eastward to the ends of the earth. How he opened his eyes with astonishment! How many things were to be seen here! and so different to the mere representation of pictures such as those in his father’s house. At first he nearly lost his eyes in astonishment at the rubbish and mockery brought forward to represent the beautiful; but he kept his eyes, and soon found full employment for them. He wished to go thoroughly and honestly to work in his endeavor to understand the true, the beautiful, and the good.
 
How widely his eyes opened in amazement! There were many things to be seen here; and things appear very different when a man look at them with his own eyes instead of merely in a picture, as he had done in his father's house, however good the picture may be, and those in his father's house were unusually good. At first he nearly lost his eyes in astonishment at all the rubbish, all the carnival-like decorations that were supposed to represent the beautiful; but he did not quite lose, them, and soon found full use for them. He wished to work thoroughly and honestly to understand the beautiful, the true, and the good. But how were theythese represented in the world? He observedsaw that often the wreathpraise which rightlyby right belonged to the beautiful, was often given to the hideousugly; that the good was often passed by unnoticedoverlooked, whileand mediocrity was applauded, when it should have been hissed. People looklooked at the dress, and not at the wearer;, thoughtasked more offor a name thaninstead of doinga their duty;value, and trustedwere guided more toby reputation than toby real serviceworth. It was everywhere the same everywhere.
 
"I must attack these things," he thought, and he did so.
“I see I must make a regular attack on these things,” said he; and he accordingly did not spare them. But while looking for the truth, came the evil one, the father of lies, to intercept him. Gladly would the fiend have plucked out the eyes of this Seer, but that would have been a too straightforward path for him; he works more cunningly. He allowed the young man to seek for, and discover, the beautiful and the good; but while he was contemplating them, the evil spirit blew one mote after another into each of his eyes; and such a proceeding would injure the strongest sight. Then he blew upon the motes, and they became beams, so that the clearness of his sight was gone, and the Seer was like a blind man in the world, and had no longer any faith in it. He had lost his good opinion of the world, as well as of himself; and when a man gives up the world, and himself too, it is all over with him.
 
But while he was seeking the truth there came the Devil, who is the father of all lies. Gladly would he have plucked out the eyes of this seer, but that would have been too blunt, for the Devil works in a more cunning way. He let him continue to seek and see the true and the good; but while the young man was doing so, the Devil blew a mote into his eye, into both eyes, one mote after another; this, of course, would harm even the clearest sight. Then the fiend blew upon the motes until they became beams, and the eyes were destroyed. There the Seer stood like a blind man in the great world and had no faith in it, for he had lost his good opinion of it and of himself. And when a man loses confidence in the world and himself, it is all over with him.
“All over,” said the wild swan, who flew across the sea to the east.
 
“All"All over,”!" twitteredsang the swallowswild swans, whoflying wereacross the sea toward the east. "All over!" repeated the swallows, also flying eastward towardstoward the Tree of the Sun. It was nonot good news whichthat they carriedwere carrying to the young man's home.
 
“I think the"The Seer hasmust beenhave badlydone servedbadly," said the second brother, “but"but the Hearer may behave morebetter successfulluck. " For in this son the sense of hearing was developed to a very high degree; so keen was it that he could hear the very grass grow.
 
He lovingly bade farewell and rode away from home, full of sound abilities and good intentions. The swallows followed him, and he followed the swans, until he was far from his home, far out in the wide world.
This one possessed the sense of hearing to a very high degree: so acute was this sense, that it was said he could hear the grass grow. He took a fond leave of all at home, and rode away, provided with good abilities and good intentions. The swallows escorted him, and he followed the swans till he found himself out in the world, and far away from home. But he soon discovered that one may have too much of a good thing. His hearing was too fine. He not only heard the grass grow, but could hear every man’s heart beat, whether in sorrow or in joy. The whole world was to him like a clockmaker’s great workshop, in which all the clocks were going “tick, tick,” and all the turret clocks striking “ding, dong.” It was unbearable. For a long time his ears endured it, but at last all the noise and tumult became too much for one man to bear.
 
ThereThen werehe rascallydiscovered that one may have too much of a good things. For his hearing was too fine. Not only could he hear the grass grow, but he could hear every man's heart beat, whether in sorrow or in joy. To him the whole world was like the great workshop of a clockmaker, with all the clocks going "Tick, tock," and all the tower clocks striking "Ding, dong." The noise was unbearable. For a long time his ears held out, but at last all the noise, the shrieking, became too much for one man. Then "street boys," of some sixty years old—forof yearsage do- notfor years alone don't make amen man—who- raised a tumult, at which might have made the Hearer laughwould have laughed, butexcept for the applauseslanderous whichtalk that followed, echoingand echoed through every streethouse and house,street; andit was even heard even in the country roadslanes. Falsehood thrustpushed itself forward and playedpretended theto hypocrite;be the master; bells on the fool’sfools' capcaps jingled,jangled and declaredinsisted they were church- bells, anduntil the noise became sotoo badmuch for the Hearer thatand he thrust his fingers into his ears. Still,But still he could hear false notessinging and badevil singingsounds, gossip and idle words, scandal and slander, groaning and moaning, withouton andall withinsides - none of it worth listening to. “HeavenHeaven help us! It was impossible to endure; it was all too mad! He thrust his fingers fartherdeeper and fartherdeeper into his ears, tilluntil at last thehis drumseardrums burst. And nowNow he could hearheard nothing moreat ofall; he could not hear the true, the beautiful, and the good; for his hearing was to have been the meansbridge by which he hopedwould tohave acquirecrossed histo knowledgeit. He became silentmorose and suspicious, and at last trustedtrusting no one, not even himself, and nothat longerwas most unfortunate. He would not be hopingable to finddiscover and bring home the costlydivine jewel, and so he gave it up,; andhe even gave himself up too, whichand that was worsethe thanworst of all. The birds that flew eastward brought the tidings of this also to the father's castle in the Tree of the Sun; no letters arrived there, for there was no mail service.
 
"Now I'll try," said the third brother. "I have a sharp nose."
The birds in their flight towards the east, carried the tidings, and the news reached the castle in the Tree of the Sun.
 
It wasn't a very good practice for him to boast like that, but that was his way, and we must take him as he was. He had a happy disposition and was a poet, a great poet; he could sing many things that he could not speak, and ideas came to him far more quickly than they did to others.
“I will try now,” said the third brother; “I have a keen nose.” Now that was not a very elegant expression, but it was his way, and we must take him as he was. He had a cheerful temper, and was, besides, a real poet; he could make many things appear poetical, by the way in which he spoke of them, and ideas struck him long before they occurred to the minds of others. “I can smell,” he would say; and he attributed to the sense of smelling, which he possessed in a high degree, a great power in the region of the beautiful. “I can smell,” he would say, “and many places are fragrant or beautiful according to the taste of the frequenters. One man feels at home in the atmosphere of the tavern, among the flaring tallow candles, and when the smell of spirits mingles with the fumes of bad tobacco. Another prefers sitting amidst the overpowering scent of jasmine, or perfuming himself with scented olive oil. This man seeks the fresh sea breeze, while that one climbs the lofty mountain-top, to look down upon the busy life in miniature beneath him.”
 
"I can smell a rat!" he said. And it was his highly developed sense of smell to which he attributed his great range of knowledge about the realm of the beautiful.
As he spoke in this way, it seemed as if he had already been out in the world, as if he had already known and associated with man. But this experience was intuitive—it was the poetry within him, a gift from Heaven bestowed on him in his cradle. He bade farewell to his parental roof in the Tree of the Sun, and departed on foot, from the pleasant scenes that surrounded his home. Arrived at its confines, he mounted on the back of an ostrich, which runs faster than a horse, and afterwards, when he fell in with the wild swans, he swung himself on the strongest of them, for he loved change, and away he flew over the sea to distant lands, where there were great forests, deep lakes, lofty mountains, and proud cities. Wherever he came it seemed as if sunshine travelled with him across the fields, for every flower, every bush, exhaled a renewed fragrance, as if conscious that a friend and protector was near; one who understood them, and knew their value. The stunted rose-bush shot forth twigs, unfolded its leaves, and bore the most beautiful roses; every one could see it, and even the black, slimy wood-snail noticed its beauty. “I will give my seal to the flower,” said the snail, “I have trailed my slime upon it, I can do no more.”
 
"Every fragrant spot in the realm of the beautiful has its denizens," he said. "Some like the smell of apple blossoms; some like the smell of a stable. One man is at home in the atmosphere of the tavern, among the smoking tallow candles, where the smell of spirits mingles with the fumes of cheap tobacco. Another prefers to be near the heavy scent of jessamine, or to scent himself with strong oil of cloves. Some seek the fresh sea breezes, while others climb the highest mountain to look down on the bustling little life beneath."
“Thus it always fares with the beautiful in this world,” said the poet. And he made a song upon it, and sung it after his own fashion, but nobody listened. Then he gave a drummer twopence and a peacock’s feather, and composed a song for the drum, and the drummer beat it through the streets of the town, and when the people heard it they said, “That is a capital tune.” The poet wrote many songs about the true, the beautiful, and the good. His songs were listened to in the tavern, where the tallow candles flared, in the fresh clover field, in the forest, and on the high-seas; and it appeared as if this brother was to be more fortunate than the other two.
 
Yes, thus he spoke. It seemed to him as if he had already been out in the wide world and known people from close association with them. But this conviction arose from within himself; it was the poet within him, the gift heaven had bestowed on him in his cradle.
But the evil spirit was angry at this, so he set to work with soot and incense, which he can mix so artfully as to confuse an angel, and how much more easily a poor poet. The evil one knew how to manage such people. He so completely surrounded the poet with incense that the man lost his head, forgot his mission and his home, and at last lost himself and vanished in smoke.
 
He bade farewell to his ancestral home in the Tree of the Sun and went on foot through the pleasant countryside. When he arrived at the boundaries of his home, he mounted an ostrich, which runs faster than a horse, and when he later met the wild swans, he swung himself onto the strongest of them, for he loved variety. Away he flew across the sea to distant lands of great forests, deep lakes, towering mountains, and proud cities. And wherever he appeared it seemed as if sunlight traveled with him across the countryside, for every flower and bush gave forth a new fragrance, conscious that near by was a friend and protector who understood them and knew their value. Then the crippled rosebush stretched out its branches, opened its leaves, and gave bloom to the most beautiful roses; even the black, slimy wood snail saw its beauty.
But when the little birds heard of it, they mourned, and for three days they sang not one song. The black wood-snail became blacker still; not for grief, but for envy. “They should have offered me incense,” he said, “for it was I who gave him the idea of the most famous of his songs—the drum song of ’The Way of the World;’ and it was I who spat at the rose; I can bring a witness to that fact.”
 
"I will put my mark on the flower," said the snail. "Now I have spit on it, and there is nothing more I can do for it."
But no tidings of all this reached the poet’s home in India. The birds had all been silent for three days, and when the time of mourning was over, so deep had been their grief, that they had forgotten for whom they wept. Such is the way of the world.
 
"Thus the beautiful always fares in this world! " said the Poet.
“Now I must go out into the world, and disappear like the rest,” said the fourth brother. He was as good-tempered as the third, but no poet, though he could be witty.
 
Then he sang a song about it in his own way, but nobody listened. So he gave a drummer two pennies and peacock's feather, and then arranged the song for the drum, and had it drummed throughout the town, in all the streets and lanes. When the people heard it they said that they understood it - it was very profound!
The two eldest had filled the castle with joyfulness, and now the last brightness was going away. Sight and hearing have always been considered two of the chief senses among men, and those which they wish to keep bright; the other senses are looked upon as of less importance.
 
And so the Poet sang other songs about the beautiful, the good, and the true, and people listened to them among the smoking tavern candles, listened in the fresh meadows, in the forests, and on the high seas. It seemed as if this brother was going to have better luck than the other two.
But the younger son had a different opinion; he had cultivated his taste in every way, and taste is very powerful. It rules over what goes into the mouth, as well as over all which is presented to the mind; and, consequently, this brother took upon himself to taste everything stored up in bottles or jars; this he called the rough part of his work. Every man’s mind was to him as a vessel in which something was concocting; every land a kind of mental kitchen. “There are no delicacies here,” he said; so he wished to go out into the world to find something delicate to suit his taste. “Perhaps fortune may be more favorable to me than it was to my brothers. I shall start on my travels, but what conveyance shall I choose? Are air balloons invented yet?” he asked of his father, who knew of all inventions that had been made, or would be made.
 
But that angered the Devil, and so he promptly set to work with all the incense powder and smoke to be found, the very strongest, which can stifle anyone, and which he can prepare artfully enough to even confuse an angel - and surely, therefore, a poor poet! The Devil knows how to take hold of a man like that! He surrounded the Poet so completely with incense that the poor man lost his head, forgot his mission, his home, everything - even himself; he then vanished in smoke.
Air balloons had not then been invented, nor steam-ships, nor railways.
 
When the little birds heard about this they were sad, and for three days they didn't sing. The black wood snail became blacker still, not from grief but from envy.
“Good,” said he; “then I shall choose an air balloon; my father knows how they are to be made and guided. Nobody has invented one yet, and the people will believe that it is an aerial phantom. When I have done with the balloon I shall burn it, and for this purpose, you must give me a few pieces of another invention, which will come next; I mean a few chemical matches.”
 
"They should have burned incense for me," he said, "for it was I who gave him the idea for the most famous of his songs, the drum song about the way of the world. It was I who spat at the rose! I can bring witnesses to prove that!"
He obtained what he wanted, and flew away. The birds accompanied him farther than they had the other brothers. They were curious to know how this flight would end. Many more of them came swooping down; they thought it must be some new bird, and he soon had a goodly company of followers. They came in clouds till the air became darkened with birds as it was with the cloud of locusts over the land of Egypt.
 
But no news of this reached the Poet's home in India, for all the little birds were mourning and silent for three days; and when their time of mourning was over, their grief had been so profound that they had forgotten for whom they wept. That's the way it goes.
And now he was out in the wide world. The balloon descended over one of the greatest cities, and the aeronaut took up his station at the highest point, on the church steeple. The balloon rose again into the air, which it ought not to have done; what became of it is not known, neither is it of any consequence, for balloons had not then been invented.
 
"Now I'll have to go into the world, and stay away like the others," said the fourth brother.
There he sat on the church steeple. The birds no longer hovered over him; they had got tired of him, and he was tired of them. All the chimneys in the town were smoking.
 
He had as good a humor as the third, though he was no poet, which was a fine reason for him to have a good humor. Those two had filled the castle with gaiety, and now the last of that gaiety was leaving. Men have always considered sight and hearing the two most important senses, those that it is most desirable to strengthen and sharpen; the other three senses are generally looked upon as subordinate. But that was not the belief of this son, for he had especially cultivated his taste in every way possible, and taste is very powerful indeed. It governs what goes into the mouth and into the mind; hence this brother tasted everything there was in pots and pans, in bottles and barrels, explaining that this was the uncouth side of his function. To him every man was a vessel with something cooking within, and every country was an enormous kitchen, a kitchen of the mind - this he considered fine indeed, and he wanted to go out into the world and taste of it.
“There are altars erected to my honor,” said the wind, who wished to say something agreeable to him as he sat there boldly looking down upon the people in the street. There was one stepping along, proud of his purse; another, of the key he carried behind him, though he had nothing to lock up; another took a pride in his moth-eaten coat; and another, in his mortified body. “Vanity, all vanity!” he exclaimed. “I must go down there by-and-by, and touch and taste; but I shall sit here a little while longer, for the wind blows pleasantly at my back. I shall remain here as long as the wind blows, and enjoy a little rest. It is comfortable to sleep late in the morning when one had a great deal to do,” said the sluggard; “so I shall stop here as long as the wind blows, for it pleases me.”
 
"Perhaps I'll have better luck than my brothers. I shall be on my way - but how shall I travel? Are balloons invented yet?" he asked his father,
And there he stayed. But as he was sitting on the weather-cock of the steeple, which kept turning round and round with him, he was under the false impression that the same wind still blew, and that he could stay where he was without expense.
 
who knew about all inventions that had been made or would be in the future. But men had not yet invented balloons, or steamships, or railways. "Then I'll go by balloon," he said. "My father knows how they're made and steered, and that I can learn. They aren't invented yet, so people will think it's some spirit of the air. When I have finished with the balloon I'll burn it, and for that you must give me some pieces of another invention to come - matches."
But in India, in the castle on the Tree of the Sun, all was solitary and still, since the brothers had gone away one after the other.
 
When he had received what he wanted, he flew away. The birds flew much farther along with him than they had with his brothers. They were curious to know how the flight would come out, for they thought it was some new kind of bird. More and more came sweeping up until the air was black with birds; they came on like the cloud of locusts over the land of Egypt. And so now he, the last brother, was out in the wide world.
“Nothing goes well with them,” said the father; “they will never bring the glittering jewel home, it is not made for me; they are all dead and gone.” Then he bent down over the Book of Truth, and gazed on the page on which he should have read of the life after death, but for him there was nothing to be read or learned upon it.
 
"The East Wind is a good friend and helper to me," he said.
His blind daughter was his consolation and joy; she clung to him with sincere affection, and for the sake of his happiness and peace she wished the costly jewel could be found and brought home.
 
"You mean the East Wind and the West Wind!" said the winds. "You couldn't have flown northwest if we both hadn't helped you."
With longing tenderness she thought of her brothers. Where were they? Where did they live? How she wished she might dream of them; but it was strange that not even in dreams could she be brought near to them. But at last one night she dreamt that she heard the voices of her brothers calling to her from the distant world, and she could not refrain herself, but went out to them, and yet it seemed in her dream that she still remained in her father’s house. She did not see her brothers, but she felt as it were a fire burning in her hand, which, however, did not hurt her, for it was the jewel she was bringing to her father. When she awoke she thought for a moment that she still held the stone, but she only grasped the knob of her distaff.
 
But he didn't hear what the wind said, and that makes no difference. The birds tired of flying along with the balloon. Too much had been made of that thing, said a pair of them. It had become conceited! "It isn't worth flying with; it's nothing!" And then they withdrew; they all withdrew, for indeed too much had been made of nothing.
During the long evenings she had spun constantly, and round the distaff were woven threads finer than the web of a spider; human eyes could never have distinguished these threads when separated from each other. But she had wetted them with her tears, and the twist was as strong as a cable. She rose with the impression that her dream must be a reality, and her resolution was taken.
 
The balloon descended over one of the greatest cities, and the aeronaut landed on the highest point, the church steeple. The balloon rose into the air again, which it shouldn't have done; we don't know where it went, but that doesn't matter, for it was not yet invented. There the young man sat on the church steeple, the birds no longer hovering around him; he had grown as tired of them as they had of him.
It was still night, and her father slept; she pressed a kiss upon his hand, and then took her distaff and fastened the end of the thread to her father’s house. But for this, blind as she was, she would never have found her way home again; to this thread she must hold fast, and trust not to others or even to herself. From the Tree of the Sun she broke four leaves; which she gave up to the wind and the weather, that they might be carried to her brothers as letters and a greeting, in case she did not meet them in the wide world. Poor blind child, what would become of her in those distant regions? But she had the invisible thread, to which she could hold fast; and she possessed a gift which all the others lacked. This was a determination to throw herself entirely into whatever she undertook, and it made her feel as if she had eyes even at the tips of her fingers, and could hear down into her very heart. Quietly she went forth into the noisy, bustling, wonderful world, and wherever she went the skies grew bright, and she felt the warm sunbeam, and a rainbow above in the blue heavens seemed to span the dark world. She heard the song of the birds, and smelt the scent of the orange groves and apple orchards so strongly that she seemed to taste it. Soft tones and charming songs reached her ear, as well as harsh sounds and rough words—thoughts and opinions in strange contradiction to each other. Into the deepest recesses of her heart penetrated the echoes of human thoughts and feelings. Now she heard the following words sadly sung,—
 
All the chimneys of the town smoked fragrantly.
“Life is a shadow that flits away
In a night of darkness and woe.”
But then would follow brighter thoughts:
“Life has the rose’s sweet perfume
With sunshine, light, and joy.”
And if one stanza sounded painfully—
“Each mortal thinks of himself alone,
Is a truth, alas, too clearly known;”
Then, on the other hand, came the answer—
“Love, like a mighty flowing stream,
Fills every heart with its radiant gleam.”
She heard, indeed, such words as these—
“In the pretty turmoil here below,
All is a vain and paltry show.”
Then came also words of comfort—
“Great and good are the actions done
By many whose worth is never known.”
And if sometimes the mocking strain reached her—
“Why not join in the jesting cry
That contemns all gifts from the throne on high?”
In the blind girl’s heart a stronger voice repeated—
“To trust in thyself and God is best,
In His holy will forever to rest.”
 
"Those are altars erected in your honor," said the Wind, which thought it ought to say something pleasant.
But the evil spirit could not see this and remain contented. He has more cleverness than ten thousand men, and he found means to compass his end. He betook himself to the marsh, and collected a few little bubbles of stagnant water. Then he uttered over them the echoes of lying words that they might become strong. He mixed up together songs of praise with lying epitaphs, as many as he could find, boiled them in tears shed by envy; put upon them rouge, which he had scraped from faded cheeks, and from these he produced a maiden, in form and appearance like the blind girl, the angel of completeness, as men called her. The evil one’s plot was successful. The world knew not which was the true, and indeed how should the world know?
 
He sat up there boldly and gazed down at the people in the streets. One person was prancing along, proud of his purse; another was proud of the key that hung at his girdle, though he had nothing for it to unlock; one was proud of his moth-eaten coat, another of his worm-eaten body.
“To trust in thyself and God is best,
In his Holy will forever to rest.”
So sung the blind girl in full faith. She had entrusted the four green leaves from the Tree of the Sun to the winds, as letters of greeting to her brothers, and she had full confidence that the leaves would reach them. She fully believed that the jewel which outshines all the glories of the world would yet be found, and that upon the forehead of humanity it would glitter even in the castle of her father. “Even in my father’s house,” she repeated. “Yes, the place in which this jewel is to be found is earth, and I shall bring more than the promise of it with me. I feel it glow and swell more and more in my closed hand. Every grain of truth which the keen wind carried up and whirled towards me I caught and treasured. I allowed it to be penetrated with the fragrance of the beautiful, of which there is so much in the world, even for the blind. I took the beatings of a heart engaged in a good action, and added them to my treasure. All that I can bring is but dust; still, it is a part of the jewel we seek, and there is plenty, my hand is quite full of it.”
She soon found herself again at home; carried thither in a flight of thought, never having loosened her hold of the invisible thread fastened to her father’s house. As she stretched out her hand to her father, the powers of evil dashed with the fury of a hurricane over the Tree of the Sun; a blast of wind rushed through the open doors, and into the sanctuary, where lay the Book of Truth.
 
"Vanity!" he said. "I must go down, dip my fingers into that pot, and taste it. But I'll sit here a little longer, for the wind is blowing very pleasantly against my back; I'll take a little rest. 'It is good to sleep long in the mornings, when one has much to do,' the lazy man says. Laziness is the root of all evil, but there is no evil in our family. I'll stay here as long as the wind blows, for it feels good."
“It will be blown to dust by the wind,” said the father, as he seized the open hand she held towards him.
 
So he sat there; but since he was sitting on the weathercock of the steeple, which turned round and round with him, he had the false idea that the same wind was still blowing, so he remained seated there; he might as well stay a long while and have a good taste.
“No,” she replied, with quiet confidence, “it is indestructible. I feel its beam warming my very soul.”
 
Back in India, in the castle of the Tree of the Sun, it had become empty and quiet after the brothers, one after another, had gone away.
Then her father observed that a dazzling flame gleamed from the white page on which the shining dust had passed from her hand. It was there to prove the certainty of eternal life, and on the book glowed one shining word, and only one, the word BELIEVE. And soon the four brothers were again with the father and daughter. When the green leaf from home fell on the bosom of each, a longing had seized them to return. They had arrived, accompanied by the birds of passage, the stag, the antelope, and all the creatures of the forest who wished to take part in their joy.
 
"Things are going badly with them," said the father. "Never will they bring home the gleaming jewel; it is not for me. They are all dead and gone!" And then he bent over the Book of Truth and gazed at the page that should have told him of life after death, but there was nothing for him to see or learn from it.
We have often seen, when a sunbeam burst through a crack in the door into a dusty room, how a whirling column of dust seems to circle round. But this was not poor, insignificant, common dust, which the blind girl had brought; even the rainbow’s colors are dim when compared with the beauty which shone from the page on which it had fallen. The beaming word BELIEVE, from every grain of truth, had the brightness of the beautiful and the good, more bright than the mighty pillar of flame that led Moses and the children of Israel to the land of Canaan, and from the word BELIEVE arose the bridge of hope, reaching even to the unmeasurable Love in the realms of the infinite.
 
Now his blind daughter was his sole joy and consolation; she clung to him with deep affection, and for the sake of his happiness and peace of mind she wished the precious jewel might be discovered and brought home. With sorrow and longing she thought of her brothers. Where were they? Where could they be living? With all her heart she wished she might dream of them, but, strangely enough, not even in her dreams could she reach them.
 
At last one night she dreamed that their voices sounded across to her, calling to her from out in the wide world, and she could not hold back, but traveled far, far away; and yet she seemed still to be in her father's house. She never met her brothers. but in her dream she felt a sort of fire burning in her hand that did not pain her - it was the shining jewel she was bringing to her father.
 
When she awoke she thought for a moment that she still held the stone in her hand, but it was the knob of her distaff that she was grasping. Through that long night she had spun incessantly, and on the distaff was a thread finer than the finest spider's web; human eyes could not distinguish the separate threads in it, so fine were they. She had moistened it with her tears, and it was as strong as a rope. She arose; her decision was made - the dream must become a reality.
 
It was still night, and her father was sleeping. She pressed a kiss on his hand, and then, taking her distaff, fastened the end of the thread to her father's castle. But for this, in her blindness she would never have been able to find her way home; she must hold fast to that thread and trust neither to herself nor to others. From the Tree of the Sun she broke off four leaves; these she would entrust to the winds to bring to her brothers as letters of greeting in case she should not meet them out there in the wide world.
 
How could she fare, that poor blind child? She could hold fast to her invisible thread. She possessed one gift that all the others lacked - sensibility - and by virtue of this she seemed to have eyes in the very tips of her fingers and ears in her heart.
 
Then she went forth quietly into the noisy, whirling, strange world, and wherever she went the sky became so bright with sunshine that she could feel the warm rays; and the rainbow spread itself through the blue air where there had been dark clouds. She heard the birds sing, and smelled the scent of orange groves and apple orchards so strongly that she seemed to taste the fruit. Soft tones and delightful sounds reached her ears, but with them came howlings and roarings; manifold thoughts and opinions strangely contradicted each other. The echoes of human thoughts and feelings penetrated into the depths of her heart. One chorus sounded mournfully,
 
Our earthly life is filled with mist and rain;
And in the dark of night we cry with pain!
But then she heard a brighter strain,
 
Our earthly life is like a rosebush, so bright;
It is filled with sunshine and true delight!
And if one chorus sounded bitterly,
 
Each person thinks of himself alone;
This truth to us is often shown.
from the other side came the answer,
 
Throughout our life a Fairy of Love
Guides our steps from heaven above.
She could hear the words,
 
There's pettiness here, far and wide;
Everything has its wrong side.
But then she heard,
 
So much good is done here
That never reaches man's ear.
And if sometimes the mocking words sounded to her,
 
Make fun of everything, laugh in jest,
Laugh along with all the rest!
a stronger voice came from the Blind Girl's heart,
 
Trust in God and thyself; pray then
His will be done forever; amen.
Whenever the Blind Girl entered the circle of humanity and appeared among people, young or old, knowledge of the true, the good, and the beautiful was radiant in their hearts. Wherever she went, whether she entered the studio of the artist, or the hall decorated for the feast, or the crowded factory with its whirring wheels, it seemed as though a sunbeam were entering, as though the string of a lute sounded, or a flower exhaled its perfume, or a refreshing dewdrop fell upon a withering leaf.
 
But the Devil could not put up with this. With more cunning than that of ten thousand men, he devised a way to bring about his purpose. From the marsh he collected little bubbles of stagnant water, and muttered over them a sevenfold echo of untrue words, to give them strength. Then he blended bought heroic poems and lying epitaphs, as many as he could find, boiled them in the tears of envy, colored them with grease paint he had scraped from the faded cheeks of an old lady, and from all this he fashioned a maiden, with the appearance and carriage of the Blind Girl, the blessed angel of sensibility. Then the Devil's plot was consummated, for the world knew not which of the two was the true one, and indeed how could the world know?
 
Trust in God and thyself; pray then
His will be done, forever; amen.
sang the Blind Girl in complete faith. Then she entrusted to the winds the four green leaves from the Tree of the Sun as letters of greeting to her brothers, and she was quite sure that they would reach their destinations and the jewel be found, the jewel that dims all the glories of the world. From the forehead of humanity it would gleam even to the house of her father.
 
"Even to the house of my father," she repeated. "Yes, the place of the jewel is on this earth, and I shall bring with me more than the promise of it. I can feel its glow; in my closed hand it swells larger and larger. Every grain of truth, however fine it was, which the wind whirled toward me, I caught up and treasured; I let penetrate into it the fragrance of the beautiful, of which there is so much in the world, even for the blind. To the first I added the sound of the beating heart, doing good. I bring only dust with me, but still it is the dust of the jewel we sought, and it is in ample quantity. I have my whole hand full of it!"
 
Then she stretched forth her hand toward her father. She was home. She had traveled there with the swiftness of thoughts in flight, having never let go of the invisible thread leading to home.
 
With the fury of a hurricane, the evil powers swept over the Tree of the Sun, and their wind blasts rushed through the open doorway, into the sanctuary of the Book of Truth.
 
"It will be blown away by the wind!" cried the father, and he seized the hand she had opened.
 
"Never!" she replied with calm assurance. "It cannot be blown away; I can feel the rays warming my very soul."
 
And the father became aware of a dazzling flame, right where the shining dust poured from her hand onto the Book of Truth, that would grant the certainty of an everlasting life. Now on the white page there glowed one shining word - one word only -
 
BELIEVE
 
And once more the four brothers were with their father and sister. When the green leaf had fallen upon the bosom of each, a great longing for home had taken hold of them and led them back; the birds of passage had followed them, as had the stag, the antelope, and all the wild creatures of the forest, for all wished to share in their joys - and why shouldn't they when they could?
 
We have often seen how a column of dust whirls around where a sunbeam bursts through a crack in a door into a dusty room. But this was not common, insignificant dust; even the colors of the rainbow are lifeless compared with the beauty that showed itself here. From the page of the book, from the glowing word Believe, arose each grain of truth, decked with the loveliness of the beautiful and the good, flaming more
 
brightly than the mighty pillar of fire that led Moses and the children of Israel to the land of Canaan. And from the word Believe arose the bridge of Hope, extending to the eternal love in the realm of the Infinite.
{{separador}}
[[File:JosephWright-Alchemist.jpg|thumb|400px|center|<center>O Alquimista descobrindo o fósforo<br>ilustração de [[:w: Joseph Wright|Joseph Wright]] (1734-1797)</center>]]
 
== Links externos ==
* [http://www.andersenstories.com/en/andersen_fairy-tales/the_stone_of_the_wise_man The stone of the wise men]