Nisse and Merchant -
at the Merchant's House

Nisse and Merchant - at the Merchant's house

From a story by Hans Christian Andersen:

There was a real student, he lived in the attic and owned nothing; and there was a real merchant, he lived in the drawing room and owned the whole house, and it was him the Nisse favored, because here he got - every Christmas Eve - a dish of porrige with a big clump of butter in it!

The Merchant could afford that, and the Nisse stayed in the store and that was very educational.

One evening the Student came in the back door to buy a candle and some cheese; he had no one to send to fetch it, so he came to get it himself.

He got what he asked for, paid for it and it was nodded "Good Evening" by the Merchant and the Lady of the house, and that was a lady who could do more than nod, she could talk! and the Student nodded again and remained standing in the middle of reading from the sheet of paper the cheese was wrapped in. It was a page, torn from an old book, a book that should not have been torn apart, an old book, full of poetry.

"There's more of it!" the Merchant said, "I gave an old woman a few coffee beans for it, if you give me eight shillings you can have the rest!"

"Thank you," said the Student, "let me have the book instead of the cheese, I can eat my sandwich bare, it would be sinful if that book should be torn into pieces."

"You are a great man, a practical man, but you have no understanding of poetry, no more than a bucket."

That was a bold statement, especially against the bucket, but the Merchant laughed and the Student laughed, it was, after all, said in a sort of jest.

Nisse and Merchant

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