O. T.

A Danish Romance

by Hans Christian Andersen

Author of the "Improvisatore" and the "Two Baronesses"


"Quod felix faustumque sit!"

There is a happiness which no poet has yet properly sung, which no

lady-reader, let her be ever so amiable, has experienced or ever will

experience in this world. This is a condition of happiness which alone

belongs to the male sex, and even then alone to the elect. It is a

moment of life which seizes upon our feelings, our minds, our whole

being. Tears have been shed by the innocent, sleepless nights been

passed, during which the pious mother, the loving sister, have put up

prayers to God for this critical moment in the life of the son or the


Happy moment, which no woman, let her be ever so good, so beautiful,

or intellectual, can experience--that of becoming a student, or, to

describe it by a more usual term, the passing of the first examination!

The cadet who becomes an officer, the scholar who becomes an academical

burgher, the apprentice who becomes a journeyman, all know, in a greater

or less degree, this loosening of the wings, this bounding over the

limits of maturity into the lists of philosophy. We all strive after

a wider field, and rush thither like the stream which at length loses

itself in the ocean.

Then for the first time does the youthful soul rightly feel her freedom,

and, therefore, feels it doubly; the soul struggles for activity, she

comprehends her individuality; it has been proved and not found too

light; she is still in possession of the dreams of childhood, which have

not yet proved delusive. Not even the joy of love, not the enthusiasm

for art and science, so thrills through all the nerves as the words,

"Now am I a student!"

This spring-day of life, on which the ice-covering of the school is

broken, when the tree of Hope puts forth its buds and the sun of Freedom

shines, falls with us, as is well known, in the month of October, just

when Nature loses her foliage, when the evenings begin to grow darker,

and when heavy winter-clouds draw together, as though they would say

to youth,--"Your spring, the birth of the examination, is only a dream!

even now does your life become earnest!" But our happy youths think not

of these things, neither will we be joyous with the gay, and pay a visit

to their circle. In such a one our story takes its commencement.


"At last we separate:

To Jutland one, to Fuenen others go;

And still the quick thought comes,

--A day so bright, so full of fun,

Never again on us shall rise."--CARL BAGGER.

It was in October of the year 1829. Examen artium had been passed

through. Several young students were assembled in the evening at the

abode of one of their comrades, a young Copenhagener of eighteen, whose

parents were giving him and his new friends a banquet in honor of the

examination. The mother and sister had arranged everything in the nicest

manner, the father had given excellent wine out of the cellar, and the

student himself, here the rex convivii, had provided tobacco, genuine

Oronoko-canaster. With regard to Latin, the invitation--which was, of

course, composed in Latin--informed the guests that each should bring

his own.

The company, consisting of one and twenty persons--and these were only

the most intimate friends--was already assembled. About one third of the

friends were from the provinces, the remainder out of Copenhagen.

"Old Father Homer shall stand in the middle of the table!" said one of

the liveliest guests, whilst he took down from the stove a plaster bust

and placed it upon the covered table.

"Yes, certainly, he will have drunk as much as the other poets!" said

an older one. "Give me one of thy exercise-books, Ludwig! I will cut him

out a wreath of vine-leaves, since we have no roses and since I cannot

cut out any."

"I have no libation!" cried a third,--"Favete linguis." And he sprinkled

a small quantity of salt, from the point of a knife, upon the bust, at

the same time raising his glass to moisten it with a few drops of wine.

"Do not use my Homer as you would an ox!" cried the host. "Homer shall

have the place of honor, between the bowl and the garland-cake! He is

especially my poet! It was he who in Greek assisted me to laudabilis

et quidem egregie. Now we will mutually drink healths! Joergen shall be

magister bibendi, and then we will sing 'Gaudeamus igitur,' and 'Integer


"The Sexton with the cardinal's hat shall be the precentor!" cried

one of the youths from the provinces, pointing toward a rosy-cheeked


"O, now I am no longer sexton!" returned the other laughing. "If thou

bringest old histories up again, thou wilt receive thy old school-name,

'the Smoke-squirter.'"

"But that is a very nice little history!" said the other. "We called him

'Sexton,' from the office his father held; but that, after all, is not

particularly witty. It was better with the hat, for it did, indeed,

resemble a cardinal's hat. I, in the mean time, got my name in a more

amusing manner."

"He lived near the school," pursued the other; "he could always slip

home when we had out free quarters of an hour: and then one day he

had filled his mouth with tobacco smoke, intending to blow it into

our faces; but when he entered the passage with his filled cheeks the

quarter of an hour was over, and we were again in class: the rector was

still standing in the doorway; he could not, therefore, blow the smoke

out of his mouth, and so wished to slip in as he was. 'What have you

there in your mouth?' asked the rector; but Philip could answer nothing,

without at the same time losing the smoke. 'Now, cannot you speak?'

cried the rector, and gave him a box on the ear, so that the smoke burst

through nose and mouth. This looked quite exquisite; the affair caused

the rector such pleasure, that he presented the poor sinner with the

nota bene."

"Integer vitae!" broke in the Precentor, and harmoniously followed the

other voices. After this, a young Copenhagener exhibited his dramatic

talent by mimicking most illusively the professors of the Academy, and

giving their peculiarities, yet in such a good-natured manner that it

must have amused even the offended parties themselves. Now followed the

healths--"Vivant omnes hi et hae!"

"A health to the prettiest girl!" boldly cried one of the merriest

brothers. "The prettiest girl!" repeated a pair of the younger ones, and

pushed their glasses toward each other, whilst the blood rushed to their

cheeks at this their boldness, for they had never thought of a beloved

being, which, nevertheless, belonged to their new life. The roundelay

now commenced, in which each one must give the Christian name of his

lady-love, and assuredly every second youth caught a name out of the

air; some, however, repeated a name with a certain palpitation of the

heart. The discourse became more animated; the approaching military

exercises, the handsome uniform, the reception in the students' club,

and its pleasures, were all matters of the highest interest. But there

was the future philologicum and philosophicum--yes, that also was

discussed; there they must exhibit their knowledge of Latin.

"What do you think," said one of the party, "if once a week we

alternately met at each other's rooms, and held disputations? No Danish

word must be spoken. This might be an excellent scheme."

"I agree to that!" cried several.

"Regular laws must be drawn up."

"Yes, and we must have our best Latin scholar, the Jutlander, Otto

Thostrup, with us! He wrote his themes in hexameters."

"He is not invited here this evening," remarked the neighbor, the young

Baron Wilhelm of Funen, the only nobleman in the company.

"Otto Thostrup!" answered the host. "Yes, truly he's a clever fellow,

but he seems to me so haughty. There is something about him that does

not please me at all. We are still no dunces, although he did receive

nine prae caeteris!"

"Yet it was very provoking," cried another, "that he received the only

Non in mathematics. Otherwise he would have been called in. Now he will

only have to vex himself about his many brilliant characters."

"Yes, and he is well versed in mathematics!" added Wilhelm "There was

something incorrect in the writing; the inspector was to blame for

that, but how I know not. Thostrup is terribly vehement, and can set

all respect at defiance; he became angry, and went out. There was only

a piece of unwritten paper presented from him, and this brought him a

cipher, which the verbalexamination could not bring higher than non.

Thostrup is certainly a glorious fellow. We have made a tour together

in the steamboat from Helsingoeer to Copenhagen, and in the written

examination we sat beside each other until the day when we had

mathematics, and then I sat below him. I like him very much, his pride

excepted; and of that we must break him."

"Herr Baron," said his neighbor, "I am of your opinion. Shall not we

drink the Thou-brotherhood?"

"To-night we will all of us drink the Thou!" said the host; "it is

nothing if comrades and good friends call each other _you_."

"Evoe Bacchus!" they joyously shouted. The glasses were filled, one arm

was thrown round that of the neighbor, and the glasses were emptied,

whilst several commenced singing "dulce cum sodalibus!"

"Tell me what thou art called?" demanded one of the younger guests of

his new Thou-brother.

"What am I called?" replied he. "With the exception of one letter, the

same as the Baron."

"The Baron!" cried a third; "yes, where is he?"

"There he stands talking at the door; take your glasses! now have all of

us drank the Thou-brotherhood?"

The glasses were again raised; the young Baron laughed, clinked his

glass, and shouted in the circle, "Thou, Thou!" But in his whole bearing

there lay something constrained, which, however, none of the young

men remarked, far less allowed themselves to imagine that his sudden

retreat, during the first drinking, perhaps occurred from the

sole object of avoiding it. But soon was he again one of the most

extravagant; promised each youth who would study theology a living on

his estate when he should once get it into his own hands; and proposed

that the Latin disputations should commence with him, and on the

following Friday. Otto Thostrup, however, should be of the party--if he

chose, of course being understood; for he was a capital student, and his

friend they had made a journey together and had been neighbors at the

green table.

Among those who were the earliest to make their valete amici was the

Baron. Several were not yet inclined to quit this joyous circle. The

deepest silence reigned in the streets; it was the most beautiful

moonlight. In most houses all had retired to rest--only here and there

was a light still seen, most persons slept, even those whose sense

of duty should leave banished the god of sleep: thus sat a poor

hackney-coachman, aloft upon his coach-box, before the house where he

awaited his party, and enjoyed, the reins wound about his hand, the

much-desired rest. Wilhelm (henceforth we will only call the young Baron

by his Christian name) walked alone through the street. The wine had

heated his northern blood--besides which it never flowed slowly; his

youthful spirits, his jovial mood, and the gayety occasioned by the

merry company he had just quitted did not permit him quietly to pass

by this sleeping Endymion. Suddenly it occurred to him to open the

coach-door and leap in; which having done, he let the glass fall and

called out with a loud voice, "Drive on!" The coachman started up out

of his blessed sleep and asked, quite confused, "Where to?" Without

reflecting about the matter, Wilhelm cried, "To the Ship in West

Street." The coachman drove on; about half-way, Wilhelm again opened the

coach-door, a bold spring helped him out, and the coach rolled on.

It stopped at the public-house of the Ship. The coachman got down

and opened the door; there was no one within; he thrust his head

in thoroughly to convince himself; but no, the carriage was empty!

"Extraordinary!" said the fellow; "can I have dreamed it? But still

I heard, quite distinctly, how I was told to drive to the Ship! Lord

preserve us! now they are waiting for me!" He leaped upon the box and

drove rapidly back again.

In the mean time Wilhelm had reached his abode in Vineyard Street; he

opened a window to enjoy the beautiful night, and gazed out upon the

desolate church-yard which is shut in by shops. He had no inclination

for sleep, although everything in the street, even the watchmen not

excepted, appeared to rejoice the gift of God. Wilhelm thought upon the

merry evening party, upon his adventure with the poor hackney-coachman,

then took down his violin from the wall and began to play certain


The last remaining guests from the honorable carousal, merrier than when

Wilhelm left them, now came wandering up the street. One of them jodeled

sweetly, and no watchman showed himself as a disturbing principle. They

heard Wilhelm violin and recognized the musician.

"Play us a Francaise, thou up there!" cried they.

"But the watchman?" whispered one of the less courageous.

"Zounds, there he sits!" cried a third, and pointed toward a sleeping

object which leaned its head upon a large wooden chest before a closed


"He is happy!" said the first speaker. "If we had only the strong

Icelander here, he would soon hang him up by his bandelier upon one of

the iron hooks. He has done that before now; he has the strength of a

bear. He seized such a lazy fellow as this right daintily by his girdle

on one of the hooks at the weighing-booth. There hung the watchman

and whistled to the others; the first who hastened to the spot was

immediately hung up beside him, and away ran the Icelander whilst the

two blew a duet."

"Here, take hold!" cried one of the merry brothers, quickly opening the

chest, the lid of which was fastened by a peg. "Let us put the watchman

into the chest; he sleeps indeed like a horse!" In a moment, the four

had seized the sleeper, who certainly awoke during the operation, but

he already lay in the chest. The lid flew down, and two or three of the

friends sprang upon it whilst the peg was stuck in again. The watchman

immediately seized his whistle and drew the most heart-rending tones

from it. Quickly the tormenting spirits withdrew themselves; yet not so

far but that they could still hear the whistle and observe what would

take place.

The watchmen now came up.

"The deuce! where art thou?" cried they, and then discovered the place.

"Ah, God help me!" cried the prisoner. "Let me out, let me out! I must


"Thou hast drunk more than thy thirst required, comrade!" said the

others. "If thou hast fallen into the chest, remain lying there, thou

swine!" And laughing they left him.

"O, the rascals!" sighed he, and worked in vain at opening the lid.

Through all his powerful exertions the box fell over. The young men now

stepped forth, and, as though they were highly astonished at the whole

history which he related to them, they let themselves be prevailed upon

to open the box, but only upon condition that he should keep street

free from the interference of the other watchmen whilst they danced a

Francaise to Wilhelm's violin.

The poor man was delivered from his captivity, and must obligingly play

  • properly [´prɔpəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.适当地;严格地   (初中英语单词)
  • innocent [´inəsənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无罪的;单纯的   (初中英语单词)
  • scholar [´skɔlə, ´skɑ-] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.学者;奖学金获得者   (初中英语单词)
  • philosophy [fi´lɔsəfi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.哲学;人生观   (初中英语单词)
  • thither [´ðiðə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.到那里 a.那边的   (初中英语单词)
  • stream [stri:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.河 vi.流出;飘扬   (初中英语单词)
  • youthful [´ju:θfəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.年轻的;青年的   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • childhood [´tʃaildhud] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.幼年(时代);早期   (初中英语单词)
  • examination [ig,zæmi´neiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.检查;考试;检验   (初中英语单词)
  • circle [´sə:kəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.圆圈 v.环绕;盘旋   (初中英语单词)
  • cellar [´selə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.地窑,地下室   (初中英语单词)
  • tobacco [tə´bækəu] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.烟草(叶);卷烟   (初中英语单词)
  • intimate [´intimit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.亲密的 n.知己   (初中英语单词)
  • wreath [ri:θ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.花圈;花环;圈状物   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • doorway [´dɔ:wei] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.门口   (初中英语单词)
  • academy [ə´kædəmi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.专科学校;学会;协会   (初中英语单词)
  • nevertheless [,nevəðə´les] 移动到这儿单词发声  conj.&ad.然而;不过   (初中英语单词)
  • exhibit [ig´zibit] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.展出 n.展览品   (初中英语单词)
  • spoken [´spəukən] 移动到这儿单词发声  speak的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • otherwise [´ʌðəwaiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.另外 conj.否则   (初中英语单词)
  • brilliant [´briliənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.灿烂的;杰出的   (初中英语单词)
  • writing [´raitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.书写;写作;书法   (初中英语单词)
  • terribly [´terəbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.可怕地   (初中英语单词)
  • glorious [´glɔ:riəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.光荣的;辉煌的   (初中英语单词)
  • exception [ik´sepʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.例外;反对,异议   (初中英语单词)
  • estate [i´steit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.财产;庄园;等级   (初中英语单词)
  • commence [kə´mens] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&vi.开始   (初中英语单词)
  • sleeping [´sli:piŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.睡着(的)   (初中英语单词)
  • thrust [θrʌst] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.猛推;冲;刺;挤进   (初中英语单词)
  • thoroughly [´θʌrəli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.完全地,彻底地   (初中英语单词)
  • convince [kən´vins] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.使确信;使认识错误   (初中英语单词)
  • carriage [´kæridʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.马车;客车;货运   (初中英语单词)
  • distinctly [di´stiŋktli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.清楚地,明晰地   (初中英语单词)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • rejoice [ri´dʒɔis] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.(使)高兴;欢庆   (初中英语单词)
  • pointed [´pɔintid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.尖(锐)的;中肯的   (初中英语单词)
  • wooden [´wudn] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.木制的;呆板的   (初中英语单词)
  • speaker [´spi:kə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.演讲人;代言人   (初中英语单词)
  • opening [´əupəniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开放;开端 a.开始的   (初中英语单词)
  • sprang [spræŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  spring 的过去式   (初中英语单词)
  • whistle [´wisəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.吹哨 n.口哨;汽笛   (初中英语单词)
  • thirst [θə:st] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.渴,口渴;渴望   (初中英语单词)
  • loving [´lʌviŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.爱的,有爱情的   (高中英语单词)
  • critical [´kritikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.批评的;关键性的   (高中英语单词)
  • intellectual [,inti´lektʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.知识分子   (高中英语单词)
  • strive [straiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.争取;努力;奋斗   (高中英语单词)
  • foliage [´fəuli-idʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.叶子,簇叶   (高中英语单词)
  • joyous [´dʒɔiəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.充满快乐的   (高中英语单词)
  • banquet [´bæŋkwit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.宴会,盛宴   (高中英语单词)
  • remainder [ri´meində] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.剩余物;残余部分   (高中英语单词)
  • whilst [wailst] 移动到这儿单词发声  conj.当…时候;虽然   (高中英语单词)
  • plaster [´plɑ:stə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.灰泥 vt.厚厚地涂抹   (高中英语单词)
  • moisten [´mɔisən] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.沾湿;变潮湿   (高中英语单词)
  • exquisite [ik´skwizit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精巧的;敏锐的   (高中英语单词)
  • boldly [´bəuldli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.大胆地;醒目地   (高中英语单词)
  • repeated [ri´pi:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.反复的;重复的   (高中英语单词)
  • discourse [´diskɔ:s] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.论文;演说;说教   (高中英语单词)
  • reception [ri´sepʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.接待;欢迎;招待会   (高中英语单词)
  • haughty [´hɔ:ti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.傲慢的,高傲的   (高中英语单词)
  • inspector [in´spektə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.检查员;监察员   (高中英语单词)
  • defiance [di´faiəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.蔑视,挑衅;反抗   (高中英语单词)
  • steamboat [´sti:mbəut] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.轮船,汽艇   (高中英语单词)
  • half-way [´hɑ:fwei] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.半途;几乎   (高中英语单词)
  • withdrew [wið´dru:] 移动到这儿单词发声  withdraw的过去式   (高中英语单词)
  • related [ri´leitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.叙述的;有联系的   (高中英语单词)
  • interference [,intə´fiərəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.干涉,干扰,妨碍   (高中英语单词)
  • captivity [kæp´tiviti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.囚禁;被俘;束缚   (高中英语单词)
  • danish [´deiniʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.丹麦人(语)(的)   (英语四级单词)
  • amiable [´eimiəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.亲切的,温和的   (英语四级单词)
  • experienced [ik´spiəriənst] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有经验的;熟练的   (英语四级单词)
  • apprentice [ə´prentis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.学徒 vt.使当学徒   (英语四级单词)
  • maturity [mə´tjuəriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.成熟;完备   (英语四级单词)
  • rightly [´raitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.正义地;正确地   (英语四级单词)
  • composed [kəm´pəuzd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.镇静自若的   (英语四级单词)
  • sinner [´sinə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.罪人   (英语四级单词)
  • good-natured [´gud-´neitʃəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.脾气好的,温厚的   (英语四级单词)
  • boldness [´bəuldnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大胆;冒失;显著   (英语四级单词)
  • assuredly [ə´ʃuəridli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.确实地;确信地   (英语四级单词)
  • nobleman [´nəublmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.贵族   (英语四级单词)
  • mathematics [,mæθə´mætiks] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.数学   (英语四级单词)
  • theology [θi´ɔlədʒi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.神学   (英语四级单词)
  • coachman [´kəutʃmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.赶马车人   (英语四级单词)
  • blessed [´blesid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.享福的;神圣的   (英语四级单词)
  • vineyard [´vinjəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.葡萄园   (英语四级单词)
  • violin [,vaiə´lin] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(小)提琴   (英语四级单词)
  • watchman [´wɔtʃmən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(夜间)看守人   (英语四级单词)
  • sleepless [´sli:pləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.失眠的;寂静的   (英语六级单词)
  • doubly [´dʌbli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.加倍地,双重地   (英语六级单词)
  • individuality [,individʒu´æləti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.个性;特征   (英语六级单词)
  • rector [´rektə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.校长;主任;负责人   (英语六级单词)
  • animated [´ænimeitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.栩栩如生的;活跃的   (英语六级单词)
  • incorrect [,inkə´rekt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不正确的,错误的   (英语六级单词)
  • vehement [´viəmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.猛烈的;热烈的   (英语六级单词)
  • verbal [´və:bəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.文字上的;口头的   (英语六级单词)
  • joyously [´dʒɔiəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.快乐地,高兴地   (英语六级单词)
  • retired [ri´taiəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.退休的;通职的   (英语六级单词)
  • sleeper [´sli:pə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.睡眠者;(铁路)枕木   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:43:02
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