"The Selfish Giant." Manuscript in the hand of Constance Wilde, signed by Oscar Wilde, ca. 1888. 8 p., including cover sheet
Gift of Lucia Moreira Salles, 2008
he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children's heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was crying bitterly and wandering all round it.16 The poor tree was still quite17 covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. "Climb up! little boy," said the Tree, and18 bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too tiny.
The Giant's19 heart melted as he looked out. "How selfish I have been!" he said; "now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children's playground for ever and ever." He was so20 sorry for what he had done.
So he crept downstairs and opened the front door very21 softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again.
16 For publication, "he was crying bitterly and wandering all round it" was changed to "he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly."
17 For publication, the word "quite" was deleted.
18 For publication, the word "it" was added here.
19 For publication, "The Giant's" was changed to "And the Giant's."
20 For publication, "so" was changed to "really very."
21 For publication, "very" was changed to "quite."