The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

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TWO MAIDENS                           497
for the thing we all know from the old times by the name of ' the maiden \                                     „.
Now, there are among us human creatures certain indi­viduals who are known as ' emancipated women' ; as, for instance, principals of institutions, dancers who stand pro­fessionally on one leg, milliners, and sick nurses ; and with this class of emancipated women the two maidens in the shed associated themselves. They were ' maidens ' among the paviour folk, and determined not to give up this
' Maiden is a human name, but rammer is a thing, and we won't be called things—that is insulting us.'
1 My lover would be ready to give up his engagement,' said the youngest, who was betrothed to a pile-driver ; and that is a large machine which drives great piles into the earth, and therefore does on a large scale what the maiden does on a small one. ' He wants to marry me as a Maiden, but whether he would have me, were I a rammer, is a question ; so I won't have my name changed.'
1 And I,' said the elder one, ' would rather have both my arms broken off.'