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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382                            THE SHADOW
1 You tremble,' said the Princess, when the Shadow came to her. ' Has anything happened ? You must not be ill to-day, when we are to have our wedding.'
' I have experienced the most terrible thing that can happen,' said the Shadow. • Only think !—such a poor shallow brain cannot bear much—only think ! my shadow has gone mad : he fancies he has become a man, and—only think !—that I am his shadow.'
1 This is terrible !' said the Princess. * He 's locked up, I hope ? '
' Certainly. I'm afraid he will never recover/
1 Poor shadow ! ' cried the Princess, ' he 's very un­fortunate. It would really be a good action to deliver him from his little bit of life. And when I think it over, properly, I believe it is quite necessary to put him quietly out of the way.'
' That's certainly very hard, for he was a faithful servant,' said the Shadow ; and he pretended to sigh.
' You've a noble character,' said the Princess, and she bowed before him.
In the evening the whole town was illuminated, and cannon were fired—bang !—and the soldiers presented arms. That was a wedding ! The Princess and the Shadow stepped out on the balcony to show themselves and receive another cheer.
The learned man heard nothing of all this festivity, for he had already been executed.
Down yonder, in the street, stood an old, old house. It was almost three hundred years old, for one could read as much on the beam, on which was carved the date of its erection, surrounded by tulips and trailing hops. There one could read entire verses in the characters of olden times, and over each window a face had been carved in the beam, and these made all kinds of strange grimaces. One story projected a long way above the other, and close under the roof was a leaden gutter with a dragon's head. The rain water was to run out of the dragon's