web without beginning and end

Paul Begala, George Stephanopoulos, Hillary, and I met

source:qsjtime:2023-11-30 14:45:10

He had a dreadful struggle with this question, for he was well aware that the proper things to wish were long life and happiness for his father and mother, or something in that line. But, though he wished his father and mother well, he could not make up his mind to forego his own precious chances on their account. Moreover, he consoled himself with the reflection that if he attained the goal of his own desires he could easily bestow upon them, of his bounty, a reasonable prospect of long life and happiness.

Paul Begala, George Stephanopoulos, Hillary, and I met

You see Nils was by no means so good yet as he ought to be. He was clever enough to perceive that he had small chance of seeing the Hulder, as long as his heart was full of selfishness and envy and greed.

Paul Begala, George Stephanopoulos, Hillary, and I met

For, strive as he might, he could not help feeling envious of the parson's Thorwald, with his elaborate combination pocket-knife and his silver watch-chain, which he unfeelingly flaunted in the face of an admiring community. It was small consolation for Nils to know that there was no watch but only a key attached to it; for a silver watch-chain, even without a watch, was a sufficiently splendid possession to justify a boy in fording it over his less fortunate comrades.

Paul Begala, George Stephanopoulos, Hillary, and I met

Nils's father, who was a poor charcoal-burner, could never afford to make his son such a present, even if he worked until he was as black as a chimney-sweep. For what little money he earned was needed at once for food and clothes for the family; and there were times when they were obliged to mix ground birch-bark with their flour in order to make it last longer.

It was easy enough for a rich man's son to be good, Nils thought.

It was small credit to him if he was not envious, having never known want and never gone to bed on birch-bark porridge. But for a poor boy not to covet all the nice things which would make life so pleasant, if he had them, seemed next to impossible.

Still Nils kept on making good resolutions and breaking them, and then piecing them together again and breaking them anew.

If it had not been for his desire to see the Hulder and the Nixy, and making them promise the fulfilment of the three wishes, he would have given up the struggle, and resigned himself to being a bad boy because he was born so. But those teasing glimpses of the Hulder's scarlet bodice and golden hair, and the vague snatches of wondrous melody that rose from the cataract in the silent summer nights, filled his soul with an intense desire to see the whole Hulder, with her radiant smile and melancholy eyes, and to hear the whole melody plainly enough to be written down on paper and learned by heart.