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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1070            WHAT OLD JOHANNA TOLD
published for the marriage of the widow and her betrothed. He was a sculptor, the name of his occupation was not well known ; at that time Thorwaldsen and his art were not yet in the mouths of the people. The new squire was not of noble birth, but yet a very splendid man ; he was one who was something no one understood, they said; he carved statues, was clever in his work, young and good-looking.
1 What use is that ! ' said the tailor Olse.
On Palm Sunday the banns were published from the pulpit, and then followed psalm-singing and communion. The tailor, his wife, and little Rasmus were in the church; the parents went to the communion, Rasmus sat in the pewó he was not confirmed yet. There had been a lack of clothes lately in the tailor's house. The old ones they had, had been turned again and again, sewed and patched ; now all three were in new clothes, but black, as if for a funeral; they were dressed in the covering from the mourning-coach. The man had got a coat and trousers from it, Maren a high-necked dress, and Rasmus a whole suit to grow in till his confirmation. Both the inside and outside covering of the mourning-coach had been used. No one need know what it had been used for before, but people got to know it very quickly; the wise woman Stine, and others just as wise, who did not live by their wisdom, said that the clothes would bring sickness into the house. ' One dares not dress oneself in the trappings of a hearse except to drive to the grave.'
The shoemaker's Johanna wept when she heard that talk; and when it happened that the tailor grew worse from day to day, it would assuredly appear who was to be the victim.
And it showed itself.
The first Sunday after Trinity, tailor Olse died, and now Maren was alone to keep the whole thing together ; she held to that, to herself, and to our Father.
The following year Rasmus was confirmed ; then he went to town as apprentice to a big tailor, not with twelve men on the board, but with one : little Rasmus could be counted as a half: he was glad and looked contented, but little Johanna wept; she thought more of him than she