YOU remember Ole the watchman in the tower! I have told of two visits to him，nowI shall tell about a thirdone， but that is not the last.
It is ususlly at New Year time that Igo up to him;
now on the contrary it was on removing-day， for then it is not very pleasant down in the streets of the town; they aresoheaped-up with sweepings and rubbish of all kinds， not to speak of cast-out bed-straw， which one must wade through.I came by just now， and saw that in this great collection of rubbish several children were playing; they played at going to bed; it was so inviting for this game，they thought; they snuggled down in the straw， and pulledan old ragged piece of wallpaper over themfor a coverlet.
"It was so lovely! they said; it was too much for me， andsoI had to run off up to Ole.
"It is removing-day! said he，"The streets andlanes serve as an ash-box， an enormous ash-box. A cart-load isenough for me. I can get something out of that， andI did get something shortly afterChristmas.Icame down into the street， which was raw ， wet， dirty， and enough to give onea cold. The dustman stopped with his cart， which was full，a kind of sample of the streets of Copenhagen on a remov- ing-day. In the back of the cart was a fir-tree， still quitegreen and with gold-tinsel on the branches; it had beenuaed for a Christmas-tree and was now thrown out into the street， and the dustman had stuck it up at the back of the heap. It was pleasant to look at， or something to weep over;yes，one can say either，according tohow one thinks about it， andI thought about it， and so did one and anoth-er of the things which lay in the cart， or they might havethought，which is about one and the same thing.
A lady' s torn glove lay there ; what did it thinkabout? ShallI tell you? It lay and pointed with the littlefinger at the fir-tree. "That tree concerns me，" itthought;"Ihave also been at a party where there werechandeliers! My real life was one ball-night; a hand-clasp，andI split! There my recollection stops; Ihavenothing more to live for!"That is what the glove thought，or could have thought."How silly the fir-tree is!"said thepotsherd. Broken crockery thiks everything foolish."Ifone is on the dust-cart，" they said，"one should not puton airs and wear tinsel! Iknow that Ihavebeen of use inthis world， of more use than a green branch like that."That was also an opinion such as many people may have ;butthe fir-tree looked well，it was a little poetry on thepile of rubbish， and there is plenty of that about in thestreets on removing-day !The way got heavy and trouble - some for me down there， andI became eager to comeaway ， up into the tower again， and to stay up here： hereIsit and look down with good humour.
"Thegood people down there play at changing hous- es! They drag and toil with their belongiogs; and the brownie sits in the tub and removes with them. House rubbish， family troubles，sorrows and afflictions removefrom the old to the new dwelling， and so what do they andwe get out of the whole? Yes， it is already written downlong ago in the good， old verse in the newspaper：'Thinkof Death's great removing-day!'It is a serious thought，butI suppose it is not unpleasant for you to hear about it.Death is，and remains， the most trustworthy official， inspite of his many small occupations.Have you never thought over this?
"Death is the omnibus conductor， he is the pass- port-writer，he puts his name to our character book，andhe is the director of the great savings bank of life. Canyou understand it? All the deeds of our earthly life， greatand small， we put in the savings bank，and when Death comes with his removing-day omnibus， and we must gointo it and drive to the land of eternity， then at theboundary he gives us our character-book as a passport.For pocket-money on the journey he takes out of the sav-ings bank one or other of the deedswe have done， the one that most shows our worth.That may be delightful， but itmay also be terrible.
"No one has escaped yet from the omnibus drive.They certainly tell about one who was not allowed to go with it—the shoemaker of Jerusalem， hehad to run be- hind; ifhehad got leave to come into the omnibus， then he would have escaped being a subject for the poets.Peep just once with your thoughts into the great omnibus of theremoving-day! It is a mixed company!The king and the begggar sit side by side， the genius and the idiot; they mustset off， without goods or gold， only with their character-book and the savings bank pocket-money; but which of one's deeds will be brought forward and sent with one?Perhaps a very little one，as small as a pea， but the pea can send out a blossoming plant.
"The poor outcast，who sat on the low stool in the corner， and got blows and hard words，will perhaps get hisworn-out stool with him as a token and a help.The stool becomes a sedan-chair to carry him into the land of eterni-ty;it raises itself there to a throne， shining like gold，andflowering like an arbour.
"One， who in this life always went about and tippledpleasure's spicy drink to forget other mischief he had done， gets his wooden keg with him and must drink from iton the omnibus journey; and the drink is pure and clear， so that the thoughts are cleared;all good and noble feelingsare awakened， he sees and feels what he did not care tosee before， or could not see， and so he has his punishmentin himself，'The gnawing worm，which dies not for ages and ages.' If there was written on the glass 'Oblivion'，there is written on the keg 'Remembrance'.
"IfI read a good book， an historical writing， I mustalwaysthink of the person I read about as coming into Death's omnibus at last; Imust think about which ofhis deedsDeath took out of the savings bank for him， what pocket-money he took into the land of eternity.
"There was once a French king， Ihave forgotten his name; the names of good things are forgotten sometimes，even by me， but they are sure to come back again. It was a king who in time of famine became his people 's benefac-tor， and the people raised a monument of snow to him，with this inscription：'Quicker than this melts，you helped !' I can imagine， that Death gave him， in allusionto this monument， a single snow-flake which never melts，and that itflewlike a white snow-bird overhisroyal head into the land of immortality.
"There was also Louis the Eleventh; yes， Iremem- ber his name， one always remembers，bad things well. A trait of him comes often into my mind;Iwish that one could say the story was untrue.He ordered his constable to be beheaded; he could do that， whether it was just orunjust;but the constable's innocent children， the one eight years old， the other seven，he ordered to be sta- tioned at the place of execution and to be sprinkled with their father's blood; then to be taken to the Bastille andput in an iron cage，where they did not even get a blanketto cover them; and King Louis sent the executioners to them every week and had a tooth pulled from each of them， so that they should not have too good a time; andthe eldest said：'My mother would die of sorrow， if sheknew that my little brother suffered so much; pull out twoof my teeth，and let him go free!'The tears came to theexecutioner 's eyes at that， but the King 's will wasstronger than the tears，and every week two children' steeth were brought to the king on a silver salver ; hehad demanded them， and he got them. These two teeth， Iimagine， Death took out of life's savings bankfor King Louis XI，and gave him them to take with himon his journey into the great land of immortality; theyfly，like two flames of fire，before him;they shine， they burn，they pinch him， these innocent children 's teeth.
"Yes， it is a serious journey， the omnibus driveon the great removing-day; and when will it come?
"That is the serious thing about it，that any day，any hour，any minute，one may expect the omnibus .
Which of our deeds will Death take out of the savings bank and give to us?Let us think about it; that remov- ing-day is not to be found in the Almanac."