"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
the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. "How I would like to see him!" he used to say.
Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge arm-chair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. "I have many beautiful flowers," he said; "but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all."
One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.
Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder and looked and looked. It certainly was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree27 covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were28 golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath29 stood the little boy he had loved.
Downstairs ran the Giant in great delight,30 and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, "Who
27For publication, the word "quite" was inserted here.
28For publication, the word "all" was inserted here.
29For publication, the word "it" was inserted here.
30For publication, "delight" was changed to "joy."