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14. THE SHADOW (continued)
"Nay, this is going too far!" said the learned man. "I will not have it; I will not do it! It is to deceive the whole country and the princess too! I will tell everything! That I am a man, and that thou art a shadow--thou art only dressed up!"
"There is no one who will believe it!" said the shadow. "Be reasonable, or I will call the guard!"
"I will go directly to the princess!" said the learned man.
"But I will go first!" said the shadow. "And thou wilt go to prison!" and that he was obliged to do--for the sentinels obeyed him whom they knew the king's daughter was to marry.
"You tremble!" said the princess, as the shadow came into her chamber. "Has anything happened? You must not be unwell this evening, now that we are to have our nuptials celebrated."
"I have lived to see the most cruel thing that anyone can live to see!" said the shadow. "Only imagine--yes, it is true, such a poor shadow-skull cannot bear much--only think, my shadow has become mad; he thinks that he is a man, and that I--now only think--that I am his shadow!"
"It is terrible!" said the princess; "but he is confined, is he not?"
"That he is. I am afraid that he will never recover."
"Poor shadow!" said the princess. "He is very unfortunate; it would be a real work of charity to deliver him from the little life he has, and, when I think properly over the matter, I am of opinion that it will be necessary to do away with him in all stillness!"
"It is certainly hard," said the shadow, "for he was a faithful servant!" and then he gave a sort of sigh.
"You are a noble character!" said the princess.
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