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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THE SHADOW                            373
remarked to his great joy that a new shadow was growing out of his legs when he went into the suilshine, so that the root must have remained behind. After three weeks he had quite a respectable shadow, which, when he started on his return to the North, grew more and more, so that at last it was so long and great that he could very well have parted with half of it.
When the learned man got home he wrote books about what is true in the world, and what is good, and what is pretty ; and days went by, and years went by, many vears.
He was one evening sitting in his room when there came a little quiet knock at the door. * Come in !' said he ; but nobody came. Then he opened the door, and there stood before him such a remarkably thin man that he felt quite uncomfortable. This man was, however, very respectably dressed ; he looked like a man of standing.
' Whom have I the honour to address % ' asked the professor.
' Ah ! ' replied the genteel man, * I thought you would not know me ; I have become so much a body that I have got real flesh and clothes. You never thought to see me in such a condition. Don't you know your old Shadow? You certainly never thought that I would come again^ Things have gone remarkably well with me since I was with you last. I've become rich in every respect: if I want to buy myself free from servitude I can do it ! '
And he rattled a number of valuable charms, which hung by his watch, and put his hand upon the thick gold chain he wore round his neck ; and how the diamond rings glittered on his fingers ! and everything was real!
* No, I cannot regain my self-possession at all! ' said the learned man. ' What's the meaning of all this ? '
' Nothing common,' said the Shadow. * But you yourself don't belong to common folks ; and I have, as you very well know, trodden in your footsteps from my childhood up­wards. So soon as you thought that I was experienced enough to find my way through the world alone, I went away. I am in the most brilliant circumstances; but I was seized with a kind of longing to see you once more before you die, and I wanted to see these regions once more, for one