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

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

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

always thinks much of one's fatherland. I know that you have got another shadow : have I anything to pay to it, or to you ? You have only to tell me.'
' Is it really you ? ' said the learned man. e Why, that is wonderful! I should never have thought that I should ever meet my old Shadow as a man ! '
' Only tell me what I have to pay/ said the Shadow, ' for I don't like to be in any one's debt.'
' How can you talk in that way ? ' said the learned man. ' Of what debt can there be a question here ? You are as free as any one ! I am exceedingly pleased at your good fortune ! Sit down, old friend, and tell me a little how it has happened, and what you saw in the warm countries, and in the house opposite ours.'
1 Yes, that I will tell you,' said the Shadow ; and it sat down. ' But then you must promise me never to tell any one in this town, when you meet me, that I have been your Shadow ! I have the intention of engaging myself to be married ; I can do more than support a family.'
* Be quite easy,' replied the learned man ; * I will tell nobody who you really are. Here 's my hand. I promise it, and my word 's as good as my bond.'
' A Shadow's word in return ! ' said the Shadow, for he was obliged to talk in that way. But, by the way, it was quite wonderful how complete a man he had become. He was dressed all in black, and wore the very finest black cloth, polished boots, and a hat that could be crushed to­gether till it was nothing but crown and rim, besides what we have already noticed of him, namely, the charms, the gold neck-chain, and the diamond rings. The Shadow was indeed wonderfully well clothed ; and it was just this that made a complete man of him.
' Now I will tell you,' said the Shadow ; and then he put down his polished boots as firmly as he could on the arm of the learned man's new shadow that lay like a poodle dog at his feet. This was done perhaps from pride, perhaps so that the new shadow might stick to his feet; but the prostrate shadow remained quite quiet, so that it might listen well, for it wanted to know how one could get free and work up to be one's own master.
' Do you know who lived in the house opposite to us ? '