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The Tinder Box
Start of Story
It was a splendid town! He turned into the finest inn, ordered the best
chamber and his favourite dinner; for now that he had so much money he
was really rich.
It certainly occurred to the servant who had to clean his boots that
they were astonishingly old boots for such a rich lord. But that
was because he had not yet bought new ones; next day he appeared in
respectable boots and fine clothes. Now, instead of a common soldier
he had become a noble lord, and the people told him about all the grand
doings of the town and the King, and what a beautiful Princess his
'How can one get to see her?' asked the Soldier.
'She is never to be seen at all!' they told him; 'she lives in a great
copper castle, surrounded by many walls and towers! No one except the
King may go in or out, for it is prophesied that she will marry a common
soldier, and the King cannot submit to that.'
'I should very much like to see her,' thought the Soldier; but he could
not get permission.
Now he lived very gaily, went to the theatre, drove in the King's
garden, and gave the poor a great deal of money, which was very nice
of him; he had experienced in former times how hard it is not to have a
farthing in the world. Now he was rich, wore fine clothes, and made many
friends, who all said that he was an excellent man, a real nobleman. And
the Soldier liked that. But as he was always spending money, and never
made any more, at last the day came when he had nothing left but two
shillings, and he had to leave the beautiful rooms in which he had been
living, and go into a little attic under the roof, and clean his own
boots, and mend them with a darning-needle. None of his friends came to
visit him there, for there were too many stairs to climb.