The Sweep spoke most reasonably and sensibly to her, spoke of the old Chinese, and of the Goatsleg High adjutant general military commandant, but she sobbed so violently that he was obliged to do as she wished, though it was foolish.
They therefore climbed down again with much trouble and difficulty, and when they got near the bottom they stopped to listen, but all being quiet they stepped into the room. There lay the old Chinese on the floor; he had fallen off the table when he attempted to follow them, and there he lay broken into three pieces. His whole back had come off in one piece, and his head had rolled far off into a comer of the room.
“That is horrible!” the little Shepherdess said. “My old grandfather is broken to pieces, and it is our fault. Oh, I shall never survive it!” And she wrung her little hands.
“He can be riveted,” the Sweep said. “He can very well be riveted.
Do not you give way
“I cannot bear this,” she said, “I must get out of the cupboard.” But when they were out and looked up at the table, they saw the old Chinese was awake and his whole body shaking.
“Now the old Chinese is coming,” the little Shepherdess cried, and fell down upon her china knees, she was in Such a fright.
“I have an idea,” the Sweep said. “Let us get into the potpourri-jar which stands there in the comer, where we can lie on rose-leaves and lavender, and throw salt in his eyes if he comes.”
“That cannot help us,” she said; “besides, I know that the old Chinese and the potpourri-jar were once engaged to each other, and there always remains some sort of tie between people with whom such a connection has existed. No, there is nothing left for us but to go out in the wide world.”
“Have you really courage to go out with me into the wide world?” the Sweep asked. “Have you considered how large it is, and that we can ne
There he stood, with his face red and white, just like a girl, and that was a mistake, for it might have been blackened a little. He was close to the Shepherdess, and they had both been placed where they stood, which, being the case, they were naturally engaged to each other, and well suited they were, for they were made of the same china, and were both little.
Not far from them there was another figure, but three times as big, a Chinese, who could nod his head. He was also made of china, and pretended to be the Shepherdess’s grandfather, though he could not prove it, so claimed authority over her, and had promised her to the Goatsleg High adjutant general military commandant.
“You will have a husband,” the old Chinese said, “who I almost believe is made of mahogany, and he has the whole cabinet full of plate, besides the valuables that are in the hidden drawers.”
“I will not go into the dark cabinet,” the little Shepherdess said, “for I
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
Andersen was born at Odense. His parents were so poor that he had no chance at first of securing the education he wanted. At an early age he went to Copenhagen, tried to act, and failed. With the help of friends he was able eventually to attend the University. His earliest writings were verses and fantastic tales in the manner of Hoffmann, plays, and a few novels. In 1835 he published his first volume of fairy tales, which became at once immensely popular, bringing him fame and money. Throughout his long life he continued to write tales, novels, books of travel and plays, but it is chiefly his fairy tales that are remembered.
The Andersen fairy tale is different from all others of its kind. It is at its best a subtle prose poem, satiric, graceful, and harmonious. The Shepherdess and the Sweep is one of the loveliest of his works.
The present version, anonymously translated, is reprinted from an u