What Took Place in the Palace of the Snow Queen, and what Happened Afterward

Thewallsofthepalacewereofdrivingsnow,andthewindowsanddoorsofcuttingwinds.Thereweremorethanahundredhallsthere,accordingasthesnowwasdrivenbythewinds.Thelargestwasmanymilesinextent;allwerelightedupbythepowerfulAuroraBorealis,andallweresolarge,soempty,soicycold,andsoresplendent!Mirthneverreignedthere;therewasneverevenalittlebear-ball,withthestormformusic,whilethepolarbearswentontheirhindlegsandshowedofftheirsteps.Neveralittletea-partyofwhiteyoungladyfoxes;vast,cold,andemptywerethehallsoftheSnowQueen.Thenorthern-lightsshonewithsuchprecisionthatonecouldtellexactlywhentheywereattheirhighestorlowestdegreeofbrightness.Inthemiddleoftheempty,endlesshallofsnow,wasafrozenlake;itwascrackedinathousandpieces,buteachpiecewassoliketheother,thatitseemedtheworkofacunningartificer.InthemiddleofthislakesattheSnowQueenwhenshewasathome;andthenshesaidshewassittingintheMirrorofUnderstanding,andthatthiswastheonlyoneandthebestthingintheworld.

LittleKaywasquiteblue,yesnearlyblackwithcold;buthedidnotobserveit,forshehadkissedawayallfeelingofcoldfromhisbody,andhisheartwasalumpofice.Hewasdraggingalongsomepointedflatpiecesofice,whichhelaidtogetherinallpossibleways,forhewantedtomakesomethingwiththem;justaswehavelittleflatpiecesofwoodtomakegeometricalfigureswith,calledtheChinesePuzzle.Kaymadeallsortsoffigures,themostcomplicated,foritwasanice-puzzlefortheunderstanding.Inhiseyesthefigureswereextraordinarilybeautiful,andoftheutmostimportance;forthebitofglasswhichwasinhiseyecausedthis.

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