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THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE

By Megan Spencer,2014-11-30 10:32
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    ????µ??úÒ?Ôº?é??Ö?ÖÎÁÆÈ?µÃÍ?ÆÆÐÔ?øÕ? ÖÎÓúÂÊÌá?ß2????ÌÚÑ?Å?ÐÔ?? ????http://lady.qq.com/a/20121123/000210.htm

    ?????à??Ö?ÖÎÁÆÐÂ?øÕ? TPGÁÆ??ÖÎÁÆ?ùÍ??à??Ö?ºä??Ò?Ñ???ÌÚÑ?Å?ÐÔ?? ????http://lady.qq.com/a/20121123/000215.htm FAIRY TALES OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE by Hans Christian Andersen FAR away towards the east, in India, which seemed in those daysthe world's end, stood the Tree of the Sun; a noble tree, such as wehave never seen, and perhaps never may see. The summit of this tree spread itself for miles like an entireforest, each of its smaller branches forming a complete tree. Palms,beech-trees, pines, plane-trees, and various other kinds, which arefound in all parts of the world, were here like small branches,shooting forth from the great tree; while the larger boughs, withtheir knots and curves, formed valleys and hills, clothed with velvetygreen and covered with flowers. Everywhere it was like a bloomingmeadow or a lovely garden. Here were birds from all quarters of theworld assembled together; birds from the primeval forests ofAmerica, from the rose gardens of Damascus, and from the deserts ofAfrica, in which the elephant and the lion may boast of being the onlyrulers. Birds from the Polar regions came flying here, and of

    coursethe stork and the swallow were not absent. But the birds were notthe only living creatures. There were stags, squirrels, antelopes, andhundreds of other beautiful and light-footed animals here found ahome. The summit of the tree was a wide-spreading garden, and in themidst of it, where the green boughs formed a kind of hill, stood acastle of crystal, with a view from it towards every quarter ofheaven. Each tower was erected in the form of a lily, and within thestern was a winding staircase, through which one could ascend to thetop and step out upon the leaves as upon balconies. The calyx of theflower itself formed a most beautiful, glittering, circular hall,above which no other roof arose than the blue firmament and the sunand stars. Just as much splendor, but of another kind, appeared below, in thewide halls of the castle. Here, on the walls, were reflectedpictures of the world, which represented numerous and varied scenes ofeverything that took place daily, so that it was useless to read thenewspapers, and indeed there were none to be obtained in this spot.All was to be seen in living pictures by those who wished it, butall would have been too much for even the wisest man, and this mandwelt here. His name is very difficult; you would not be able topronounce it, so it may be omitted. He knew everything that a man onearth can know or imagine. Every invention already in existence or yetto be, was known to him, and much more; still everything on earthhas 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 potentspirits; even Death itself was obliged to give him every morning alist of those who were to die during the day. And King Solomon himselfhad to die at last, and this fact it was which so often occupied thethoughts of this great man in the castle on the Tree of the Sun. Heknew that he also, however high he might tower above other men inwisdom, must one day die. He knew that his children would fade awaylike the leaves of the forest and become dust. He saw the human racewither and fall like leaves from the tree; he saw new men come to filltheir places, but the leaves that fell off never sprouted forth again;they crumbled to dust or were absorbed into other plants. "What happens to man," asked the wise man of himself, "whentouched by the angel of death? What can death be? The body decays, andthe soul. Yes; what is the soul, and whither does it go?" "To eternal life," says the comforting voice of religion. "But what is this change? Where and how shall we exist?" "Above; in heaven," answers the pious man; "it is there we hope togo." "Above!" repeated the wise man, fixing his eyes upon the moonand stars above him. He saw that to this earthly sphere above andbelow were constantly changing places, and that the position variedaccording to the spot on which a man found himself. He knew, also,that even if he ascended to the top of the highest mountain whichrears its lofty summit on this earth, the air, which to us seems clearand transparent, would

    there be dark and cloudy; the sun would havea coppery glow and send forth no rays, and our earth would lie beneathhim wrapped in an orange-colored mist. How narrow are the limits whichconfine the bodily sight, and how little can be seen by the eye of thesoul. How little do the wisest among us know of that which is soimportant to us all. In the most secret chamber of the castle lay the greatest treasureon earth- the Book of Truth. The wise man had read it through pageafter page. Every man may read in this book, but only in fragments. Tomany eyes the characters seem so mixed in confusion that the wordscannot be distinguished. On certain pages the writing often appears sopale or so blurred that the page becomes a blank. The wiser a manbecomes, the more he will read, and those who are wisest read most. The wise man knew how to unite the sunlight and the moonlight withthe light of reason and the hidden powers of nature; and throughthis stronger light, many things in the pages were made clear tohim. But in the portion of the book entitled "Life after Death" nota single point could he see distinctly. This pained him. Should henever be able here on earth to obtain a light by which everythingwritten in the Book of Truth should become clear to him? Like the wiseKing Solomon, he understood the language of animals, and couldinterpret their talk into song; but that made him none the wiser. Hefound out the nature of plants and metals, and their power in curingdiseases and arresting death, but none to destroy death itself. In allcreated things within his reach he sought the light that shouldshine 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 asblank paper. Christianity placed before him in the Bible a promiseof eternal life, but he wanted to read it in his book, in whichnothing on the subject appeared to be written. He had five children; four sons, educated as the children ofsuch a wise father should be, and a daughter, fair, gentle, andintelligent, but she was blind; yet this deprivation appeared asnothing to her; her father and brothers were outward eyes to her,and a vivid imagination made everything clear to her mental sight. Thesons had never gone farther from the castle than the branches of thetrees extended, and the sister had scarcely ever left home. Theywere happy children in that home of their childhood, the beautiful andfragrant Tree of the Sun. Like all children, they loved to hearstories related to them, and their father told them many thingswhich other children would not have understood; but these were asclever as most grownup people are among us. He explained to themwhat they saw in the pictures of life on the castle walls- thedoings of man, and the progress of events in all the lands of theearth; 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 thatin the world there was nothing but toil and difficulty: that it wasnot quite what it

    appeared to them, as they looked upon it in theirbeautiful home. He spoke to them of the true, the beautiful, and thegood, and told them that these three held together in the world, andby that union they became crystallized into a precious jewel,clearer than a diamond of the first water- a jewel, whose splendor hada value even in the sight of God, in whose brightness all things aredim. 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 certaintythat such a jewel as the philosopher's stone really existed. Thisinformation would have been beyond the perception of other children;but these children understood, and others will learn to comprehend itsmeaning after a time. They questioned their father about the true, thebeautiful, 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 theearth, 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 thesethey are valued, protected, and encouraged. Five senses have beengiven mentally and corporeally, inwardly and outwardly, to body andsoul. The children thought deeply on all these things, and meditatedupon them day and night. Then the eldest of the brothers dreamt asplendid dream. Strange to say, not only the second brother but alsothe third and fourth brothers all dreamt exactly the same thing;namely, that each went out into the world to find the philosopher'sstone. Each dreamt that he found it, and that, as he rode back onhis swift horse, in the morning dawn, over the velvety greenmeadows, to his home in the castle of his father, that the stonegleamed from his forehead like a beaming light; and threw such abright radiance upon the pages of the Book of Truth that every wordwas illuminated which spoke of the life beyond the grave. But thesister had no dream of going out into the wide world; it never enteredher mind. Her world was her father's house. "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 willpractise only the good and true; with these I will protect thebeautiful. Much shall be changed for the better while I am there." Now these thoughts were great and daring, as our thoughtsgenerally are at home, before we have gone out into the world, andencountered its storms and tempests, its thorns and its thistles. Inhim, and in all his brothers, the five senses were highlycultivated, inwardly and outwardly; but each of them had one sensewhich in keenness and development surpassed the other four. In thecase of the eldest, this pre-eminent sense was sight, which he hopedwould be of special service. He had eyes for all times and all people;eyes that could discover in the depths of the earth hiddentreasures, and look into the

    hearts of men, as through a pane ofglass; he could read more than is often seen on the cheek that blushesor grows pale, in the eye that droops or smiles. Stags and antelopesaccompanied him to the western boundary of his home, and there hefound the wild swans. These he followed, and found himself far away inthe north, far from the land of his father, which extended eastward tothe ends of the earth. How he opened his eyes with astonishment! Howmany things were to be seen here! and so different to the mererepresentation of pictures such as those in his father's house. Atfirst he nearly lost his eyes in astonishment at the rubbish andmockery brought forward to represent the beautiful; but he kept hiseyes, and soon found full employment for them. He wished to gothoroughly and honestly to work in his endeavor to understand thetrue, the beautiful, and the good. But how were they represented inthe world? He observed that the wreath which rightly belonged to thebeautiful was often given the hideous; that the good was oftenpassed by unnoticed, while mediocrity was applauded, when it shouldhave been hissed. People look at the dress, not at the wearer; thoughtmore of a name than of doing their duty; and trusted more toreputation than to real service. It was everywhere the same. "I see I must make a regular attack on these things," said he; andhe accordingly did not spare them. But while looking for the truth,came the evil one, the father of lies, to intercept him. Gladlywould the fiend have plucked out the eyes of this Seer, but that wouldhave been a too straightforward path for him; he works more cunningly.He allowed the young man to seek for, and discover, the beautifuland the good; but while he was contemplating them, the evil spiritblew one mote after another into each of his eyes; and such aproceeding would injure the strongest sight. Then he blew upon themotes, and they became beams, so that the clearness of his sight wasgone, and the Seer was like a blind man in the world, and had nolonger 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, andhimself too, it is all over with him. "All over," said the wild swan, who flew across the sea to theeast. "All over," twittered the swallows, who were also flyingeastward towards the Tree of the Sun. It was no good news which theycarried home. "I think the Seer has been badly served," said the second brother,"but the Hearer may be more successful." 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 grassgrow. He took a fond leave of all at home, and rode away, providedwith 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 toomuch of a good thing. His hearing was too fine. He not only heardthe grass grow, but could hear every man's heart beat, whether insorrow or in joy. The whole world was to him like a clockmaker's

    greatworkshop, in which all the clocks were going "tick, tick," and all theturret clocks striking "ding, dong." It was unbearable. For a longtime his ears endured it, but at last all the noise and tumultbecame too much for one man to bear. There were rascally boys of sixty years old- for years do notalone make a man- who raised a tumult, which might have made theHearer laugh, but for the applause which followed, echoing throughevery street and house, and was even heard in country roads. Falsehoodthrust itself forward and played the hypocrite; the bells on thefool's cap jingled, and declared they were church-bells, and the noisebecame so bad for the Hearer that he thrust his fingers into his ears.Still, he could hear false notes and bad singing, gossip and idlewords, scandal and slander, groaning and moaning, without andwithin. "Heaven help us!" He thrust his fingers farther and fartherinto his ears, till at last the drums burst. And now he could hearnothing more of the true, the beautiful, and the good; for his hearingwas to have been the means by which he hoped to acquire his knowledge.He became silent and suspicious, and at last trusted no one, noteven himself, and no longer hoping to find and bring home the costlyjewel, he gave it up, and gave himself up too, which was worse thanall. The birds in their flight towards the east, carried the tidings,and the news reached the castle in the Tree of the Sun. "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 wemust take him as he was. He had a cheerful temper, and was, besides, areal poet; he could make many things appear poetical, by the way inwhich he spoke of them, and ideas struck him long before they occurredto the minds of others. "I can smell," he would say; and he attributedto the sense of smelling, which he possessed in a high degree, a greatpower in the region of the beautiful. "I can smell," he would say,"and many places are fragrant or beautiful according to the taste ofthe frequenters. One man feels at home in the atmosphere of thetavern, among the flaring tallow candles, and when the smell ofspirits mingles with the fumes of bad tobacco. Another prefers sittingamidst the overpowering scent of jasmine, or perfuming himself withscented olive oil. This man seeks the fresh sea breeze, while that oneclimbs the lofty mountain-top, to look down upon the busy life inminiature beneath him." As he spoke in this way, it seemed as if he had already been outin the world, as if he had already known and associated with man.But this experience was intuitive- it was the poetry within him, agift from Heaven bestowed on him in his cradle. He bade farewell tohis parental roof in the Tree of the Sun, and departed on foot, fromthe pleasant scenes that surrounded his home. Arrived at its confines,he mounted on the back of an ostrich, which runs faster than ahorse, and afterwards, when he fell in with the wild swans, he swunghimself on the strongest of them, for he loved change, and away

    heflew over the sea to distant lands, where there were great forests,deep lakes, lofty mountains, and proud cities. Wherever he came itseemed as if sunshine travelled with him across the fields, forevery flower, every bush, exhaled a renewed fragrance, as if consciousthat a friend and protector was near; one who understood them, andknew their value. The stunted rose-bush shot forth twigs, unfolded itsleaves, and bore the most beautiful roses; every one could see it, andeven the black, slimy wood-snail noticed its beauty. "I will give myseal to the flower," said the snail, "I have trailed my slime upon it,I can do no more. "Thus it always fares with the beautiful in this world," saidthe poet. And he made a song upon it, and sung it after his ownfashion, but nobody listened. Then he gave a drummer twopence and apeacock's feather, and composed a song for the drum, and the drummerbeat it through the streets of the town, and when the people heardit they said, "That is a capital tune." The poet wrote many songsabout the true, the beautiful, and the good. His songs were listenedto in the tavern, where the tallow candles flared, in the fresh cloverfield, in the forest, and on the high-seas; and it appeared as if thisbrother was to be more fortunate than the other two. But the evil spirit was angry at this, so he set to work with sootand 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 tomanage such people. He so completely surrounded the poet withincense that the man lost his head, forgot his mission and his home,and at last lost himself and vanished in smoke. But when the little birds heard of it, they mourned, and for threedays they sang not one song. The black wood-snail became blackerstill; not for grief, but for envy. "They should have offered meincense," he said, "for it was I who gave him the idea of the mostfamous of his songs- the drum song of 'The Way of the World;' and itwas I who spat at the rose; I can bring a witness to that fact." But no tidings of all this reached the poet's home in India. Thebirds had all been silent for three days, and when the time ofmourning was over, so deep had been their grief, that they hadforgotten for whom they wept. Such is the way of the world. "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, butno poet, though he could be witty. The two eldest had filled the castle with joyfulness, and nowthe last brightness was going away. Sight and hearing have always beenconsidered two of the chief senses among men, and those which theywish to keep bright; the other senses are looked upon as of lessimportance. But the younger son had a different opinion; he had cultivated histaste in every way, and taste is very powerful. It rules over whatgoes into the mouth, as well as over all which is presented to themind; and, consequently, this brother took upon himself to tasteeverything stored up in bottles or jars; this he called the rough

    partof his work. Every man's mind was to him as a vessel in whichsomething was concocting; every land a kind of mental kitchen."There are no delicacies here," he said; so he wished to go out intothe world to find something delicate to suit his taste. "Perhapsfortune may be more favorable to me than it was to my brothers. Ishall start on my travels, but what conveyance shall I choose? Are airballoons invented yet?" he asked of his father, who knew of allinventions that had been made, or would be made. Air balloons had not then been invented, nor steam-ships, norrailways. "Good," said he; "then I shall choose an air balloon; my fatherknows 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 Ihave done with the balloon I shall burn it, and for this purpose,you must give me a few pieces of another invention, which will comenext; I mean a few chemical matches." He obtained what he wanted, and flew away. The birds accompaniedhim farther than they had the other brothers. They were curious toknow how this flight would end. Many more of them came swoopingdown; they thought it must be some new bird, and he soon had agoodly company of followers. They came in clouds till the air becamedarkened with birds as it was with the cloud of locusts over theland of Egypt. And now he was out in the wide world. The balloon descended overone of the greatest cities, and the aeronaut took up his station atthe highest point, on the church steeple. The balloon rose againinto the air, which it ought not to have done; what became of it isnot known, neither is it of any consequence, for balloons had not thenbeen invented. There he sat on the church steeple. The birds no longer hoveredover him; they had got tired of him, and he was tired of them. All thechimneys in the town were smoking. "There are altars erected to my honor," said the wind, whowished to say something agreeable to him as he sat there boldlylooking down upon the people in the street. There was one steppingalong, proud of his purse; another, of the key he carried behindhim, though he had nothing to lock up; another took a pride in hismoth-eaten coat; and another, in his mortified body. "Vanity, allvanity!" he exclaimed. "I must go down there by-and-by, and touchand taste; but I shall sit here a little while longer, for the windblows pleasantly at my back. I shall remain here as long as the windblows, and enjoy a little rest. It is comfortable to sleep late in themorning when one had a great deal to do," said the sluggard; "so Ishall stop here as long as the wind blows, for it pleases me." And there he stayed. But as he was sitting on the weather-cockof the steeple, which kept turning round and round with him, he wasunder the false impression that the same wind still blew, and thathe could stay where he was without expense. But in India, in the castle on the Tree of the Sun, all wassolitary and still, since the brothers had gone away one after theother. "Nothing goes well with them," said the father;

    "they will neverbring the glittering jewel home, it is not made for me; they are alldead and gone." Then he bent down over the Book of Truth, and gazed onthe page on which he should have read of the life after death, but forhim there was nothing to be read or learned upon it. His blind daughter was his consolation and joy; she clung to himwith sincere affection, and for the sake of his happiness and peaceshe wished the costly jewel could be found and brought home. With longing tenderness she thought of her brothers. Where werethey? Where did they live? How she wished she might dream of them; butit was strange that not even in dreams could she be brought near tothem. But at last one night she dreamt that she heard the voices ofher brothers calling to her from the distant world, and she couldnot refrain herself, but went out to them, and yet it seemed in herdream that she still remained in her father's house. She did not seeher 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 wasbringing to her father. When she awoke she thought for a moment thatshe still held the stone, but she only grasped the knob of herdistaff. During the long evenings she had spun constantly, and round thedistaff were woven threads finer than the web of a spider; humaneyes could never have distinguished these threads when separatedfrom each other. But she had wetted them with her tears, and the twistwas as strong as a cable. She rose with the impression that herdream must be a reality, and her resolution was taken. It was still night, and her father slept; she pressed a kissupon his hand, and then took her distaff and fastened the end of thethread to her father's house. But for this, blind as she was, shewould never have found her way home again; to this thread she musthold fast, and trust not to others or even to herself. From the Treeof the Sun she broke four leaves; which she gave up to the wind andthe weather, that they might be carried to her brothers as letters anda greeting, in case she did not meet them in the wide world. Poorblind child, what would become of her in those distant regions? Butshe had the invisible thread, to which she could hold fast; and shepossessed a gift which all the others lacked. This was a determinationto throw herself entirely into whatever she undertook, and it made herfeel as if she had eyes even at the tips of her fingers, and couldhear down into her very heart. Quietly she went forth into thenoisy, bustling, wonderful world, and wherever she went the skies grewbright, and she felt the warm sunbeam, and a rainbow above in the blueheavens seemed to span the dark world. She heard the song of thebirds, and smelt the scent of the orange groves and apple orchardsso strongly that she seemed to taste it. Soft tones and charming songsreached her ear, as well as harsh sounds and rough words- thoughts andopinions in strange contradiction to each other. Into the deepestrecesses of her heart penetrated the echoes of human thoughts

    andfeelings. Now she heard the following words sadly sung,- "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." But the evil spirit could not see this and remain contented. Hehas more cleverness than ten thousand men, and he found means tocompass his end. He betook himself to the marsh, and collected a fewlittle bubbles of stagnant water. Then he uttered over them the echoesof lying words that they might become strong. He mixed up togethersongs of praise with lying epitaphs, as many as he could find,boiled them in tears shed by envy; put upon them rouge, which he hadscraped from faded cheeks, and from these he produced a maiden, inform and appearance like the blind girl, the angel of completeness, asmen called her. The evil one's plot was successful. The world knew notwhich was the true, and indeed how should the world know? "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 greenleaves from the Tree of the Sun to the winds, as letters of greetingto her brothers, and she had full confidence that the leaves wouldreach them. She fully believed that the jewel which outshines allthe glories of the world would yet be found, and that upon theforehead of humanity it would glitter even in the castle of herfather. "Even in my father's house," she repeated. "Yes, the placein which this jewel is to be found is earth, and I shall bring morethan the promise of it with me. I feel it glow and swell more and morein my closed hand. Every grain of truth which the keen wind carried upand whirled towards me I caught and treasured. I allowed it to bepenetrated with the fragrance of the beautiful, of which there is somuch in the world, even for the blind. I took the beatings of aheart engaged in a good action, and added them to my treasure. Allthat I can bring is but dust; still, it is a part of the jewel weseek, and there is plenty, my hand is quite full of it." She soon found herself again at home; carried thither in

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