The congregation sat on cushioned seats, and sang out of their prayer-books. For the church itself had come to the poor girl in her narrow chamber, or else she had come into the church. She sat in the pew with the clergyman’s family, and when they had ended the psalm and looked up, they nodded and said, “It is right that thou art come!”
“It was through mercy!” she said.
And the organ pealed, and the children’s voices in the choir sounded sweet and soft. The clear sunshine streamed warmly through the window into the pew where Karen sat. Her heart was so full of sunshine and peace, and joy, that it broke. Her soul flew on the sunshine to God, and there no one asked after the red shoes.
* * * * *
Hans Christian Andersen is an excellent allegorist, and has very ingeniously woven together a most interesting fabric in this story of Karen, who, I am sure, every child cannot fail to see is a fabulous heroine. And yet there is something so simple and touching in the whole story, from beginning to end, that one can scarcely read it without weeping over her sufferings, and wondering in their hearts at the severity of her punishment.
In former times there was a real belief in supernatural things among the simple-minded, a belief which, it seems to me, was much more in accordance with the Christian character than the senseless unbelief in every thing which cannot be explained according to natural laws, which is certainly very much the case at the present day among the wise and learned, and much more to be regretted than the credulousness of other days.
[Illustration: NAUGHTY MARIAN.]
I thought to find my little girl,
When I came home at night,
With brow unruffled as her curl,
And smiles of love as bright.
I thought she’d jump upon my knee,
And tell me all she’d done,
In reading, study, work, or play,
From morn till set of sun.
Is this my Marian? No, indeed!
Not such a frown had she!
When my own little girl comes back,
Just send her in to me!
* * * * *
The buds and the blossoms,
How bright to the view!
Like jewels and diamonds
They sparkle with dew.
The sun’s rising beams
Have kissed each bright flower:
How lovely the scene!
How peaceful the hour!
All nature awakens
From a night of soft sleep,
And the insects once more
From their hiding-holes creep.
The old birds have flown
Far away to get food,
While anxiously wait,
Their young trembling brood.