安徒生童话:家禽格丽德的一家

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所属分类:民间故事

家禽格丽德是住在那座漂亮的新房子里唯一的人,这是田庄上专门为鸡鸭而建筑的一座房子。它位于一个古老的骑士堡寨旁边。堡寨有塔、锯齿形的山形墙、壕沟和吊桥。邻近是一片荒凉的树林和灌木林,这儿曾经有一个花园。它一直伸展到一个大湖旁边——这湖现在已经变成了一块沼地。白嘴鸦、乌鸦和穴乌在这些老树上飞翔和狂叫——简直可以说是一群乌合之众。它们的数目从不减少;虽然常常有人在打它们,它们倒老是在增多起来,住在鸡屋里的人都能够听到它们的声音。家禽格丽德就坐在鸡屋里;许多小鸭在她的木鞋上跑来跑去。每只鸡、每只鸭子,从蛋壳里爬出来的那天起,她统统都认识。她对于这些鸡和鸭都感到骄傲,对于专为它们建造的这座房子也感到骄傲。

她自己的那个小房间也是清洁整齐的。这个房子的女主人也希望它是这样。她常常带些贵客到这儿来,把这座她所谓的“鸡鸭的营房”指给他们看。

这儿有一个衣橱和安乐椅,甚至还有一个碗柜。柜子上有一个擦得很亮的黄铜盘子,上面刻着“格鲁布”这几个字。这是一位曾经在这儿住过的老贵族的族名。这个黄铜盘子是人们在这儿掘土时发现的。乡里的牧师说,它除了作为古时的一个纪念物以外,没有什么别的价值。这块地方及其历史,牧师知道得清清楚楚,因为他从书本子上学到许多东西,而且他的抽屉里还存着一大堆手稿呢。因此他对古时的知识非常丰富。不过最老的乌鸦可能比他知道得还多,而且还能用它们自己的语言讲出来。当然这是乌鸦的语言,不管牧师怎样聪明,他是听不懂的。

每当一个炎热的夏天过去以后,沼地就就会冒出许多蒸汽,因此在那些许多白嘴鸦、乌鸦和穴乌飞翔的地方——在那些古树面前——就好像有一个湖出现。这种情形,在骑士格鲁布还住在这儿的时候,当那座有很厚的红墙的公馆还存在的时候,就一直没有改变过。在那个时候,狗的链子很长,可以一直拖到大门口。要走进通到各个房间的石铺走廊,人们得先从塔上走下去。窗子是很小的,窗玻璃很窄,即使那些经常开舞会的大厅也是这样。不过当格鲁布的最后一代还活着的时候,人们却记不起那些曾经举行过的舞会了。然而这儿却留下一个铜鼓;人们曾把它当做乐器使过。这儿还有一个刻有许多精致花纹的碗柜,它里面藏有许多稀有的花根,因为格鲁布夫人喜欢弄园艺,栽种树木和植物。她的丈夫喜欢骑着马到外面去射狼和野猪,而且他的小女儿总是跟着他一道去的。她还不过只有五岁的时候,她就骄傲地骑在马上,用她的一对又黑又大的眼睛向四面望。她最喜欢在猎犬群中响着鞭子。但是爸爸却希望她能在那些跑来参观主人的农奴孩子的头上响着鞭子。

在这座公馆近邻的一个土屋里住着一个农夫,他有一个名叫苏伦的儿子。这孩子年龄跟这位小贵族姑娘差不多。他会爬树;他常常爬上去为她取下雀窠。鸟儿拼命地大叫;有一只最大的鸟还啄了他的一只眼睛,弄得血流满面;大家都以为这只眼睛会瞎的,事实上它并没有受到多大的损伤。

玛莉·格鲁布把他称为她的苏伦,这是一件极大的恩宠;对于他可怜的父亲约恩说来,这要算是一件幸事。他有一天犯了一个错误,应该受到骑木马的惩罚。木马就在院子里,它有四根柱子作为腿,一块狭窄的木板作为背;约恩得张开双腿骑着,脚上还绑着几块重砖,使他骑得并不太舒服。他的脸上露出痛苦的表情。苏伦哭起来,哀求小玛莉帮助一下。她马上就叫人把苏伦的父亲解下来,当人们不听她话的时候,她就在石铺地上跺脚,扯着爸爸上衣的袖子,一直到把它扯破为止。她要怎样就怎样,而且总是达到目的的。苏伦的父亲被解下来了。

格鲁布夫人走过来,把小女儿的头发抚摸了一下,同时还温和地望了她一眼,玛莉不懂得这是什么意思。

她愿意和猎犬在一道,而不愿意跟妈妈到花园里去。妈妈一直走到湖边;这儿睡莲和芦苇都开满了花。香蒲和灯芯草在芦苇丛中摇动。她望着这一片丰茂新鲜的植物,不禁说:“多么可爱啊!”花园里有一棵珍贵的树,是她亲手栽的。它名叫“红山毛榉”。它是树中的“黑人”,因为它的叶子是深棕色的。它必须有强烈的太阳光照着,否则在常荫的地方它会像别的树一样变成绿色,而失去它的特点。在那些高大的栗树里面,正如在那些灌木林和草地上一样,许多雀子做了窠。这些雀子似乎知道,它们在这儿可以得到保护,因为谁也不能在这儿放一枪。

小小的玛莉跟苏伦一块到这儿来。我们已经知道,他会爬树,他会取下鸟蛋和捉下刚刚长毛的小鸟。鸟儿在惊惶和恐怖中飞着,大大小小的都在飞!田畈上的田凫,大树上的白嘴鸦、乌鸦和穴乌,都在狂叫。这种叫声跟它们现代子孙的叫声完全没有两样。

“孩子,你们在做什么呀?”这位贤淑的太太说,“干这种事是罪过呀!”

苏伦感到非常难为情,甚至这位高贵的小姑娘也感到不好意思。不过她简单而阴沉地说:“爸爸叫我这样做的!”

“离开吧!离开吧!”那些大黑鸟儿说,同时也离开了。但是第二天它们又回来了,因为这儿就是它们的家。

但是那位安静温柔的太太在这儿没有住多久。我们的上帝把她召去了;和他在一起,要比住在这个公馆里舒服得多。当她的尸体被运进教堂里去的时候,教堂的钟就庄严的鸣起来了。许多穷人的眼睛都湿润了,因为她待他们非常好。

自从她去世以后,就再也没有谁管她种的那些植物了。这个花园变得荒凉了。

人们说格鲁布老爷是一个厉害的人,但是他的女儿虽然年轻,却能够驾驭他。他见了她只有笑,满足她的一切要求。她现在已经有十二岁了,身体很结实。她的那双大黑眼睛老是盯着人。她骑在马上像一个男人,她放起枪来像一个有经验的射手。

有一天,附近来了两个了不起的客人——非常高贵的客人:年轻的国王①和他的异父兄弟兼密友乌尔里克·佛列得里克·古尔登罗夫②。他们要在这儿猎取野猪,还要在格鲁布老爷的公馆里住留一昼夜。

古尔登罗夫吃饭的时候坐在玛莉·格鲁布的旁边。他搂着她的脖子,和她亲了一吻,好像他们是一家人似的。但是她却在他的嘴上打了一巴掌,同时说她不能宽恕他。这使得大家哄堂大笑,好像这是一件很有趣的事情似的。

事情也可能是如此。因为五年以后,当玛莉满了十七岁的时候,有一个信使送一封信来,古尔登罗夫向这位年轻的小姐求婚。这可不是一件小事情!

“他是王国里一个最华贵和潇洒的人!”格鲁布说,“可不要瞧不起这件事情啊。”

“我对他不感兴趣!”玛莉·格鲁布说,不过她并不拒绝这国家的一位最华贵、经常坐在国王旁边的人。

她把银器、毛织品和棉织品装上了船,向哥本哈根运去。她自己则在陆地上旅行了十天。装着这些嫁妆的船不是遇着逆风,就完全遇不见一点风。四个月过去了,东西还没有到。当东西到来的时候,古尔登罗夫夫人已经不在那儿了。

“我宁愿睡在麻袋上,而不愿躺在他铺着绸缎的床上!”她说。“我宁愿打着赤脚走路而不愿跟他一起坐着马车!”

在十一月一个很晚的夜里,有两个女人骑着马到奥湖斯镇上来了。这就是古尔登罗夫的夫人玛莉·格鲁布和她的使女。她们是从维勒来的——她们乘船到那儿去的。她坐车子到格鲁布老爷的石建的宅邸里去。他对客人的来访并不感到高兴。她听到了一些不客气的话语。但是她却得到了一个睡觉的房间。她的早餐吃得很好,但是所听到的话却不可爱。父亲对她发了怪脾气;她对这一点也不习惯。她并不是一个性情温和的人。既然有人有意见,当然她也应该做出回答。她的确也作了回答,她谈起了她的丈夫,语气中充满了怨恨的情绪。她不能和他生活在一起;对着这种人说来,她是太纯洁和正当了。

一年过去了,但是这一年过得并不愉快。父女之间的言语都不好——这本是不应该有的事情。恶毒的话语结出恶毒的果实。这情形最后会有一个什么结果呢?

“我们两人不能在同一个屋顶下面生活下去,”有一天父亲说。“请你离开此地,到我们的老农庄里去吧。不过我希望你最好把你的舌头咬掉,而不要散布谎言!”

两人就这样分开了。她带着她的使女到那个老农庄里来——她就是在这儿出生和长大起来的。那位温柔而虔诚的太太——她的母亲——就躺在这儿教堂的墓窖里。屋子里住着一个老牧人,除此以外再没有第二个人了。房间里挂着蜘蛛网,灰尘使它们显得阴沉。花园里长着一片荒草。在树和灌木林之间,蛇麻和爬藤密密层层地交织在一起。毒胡萝卜和荨麻长得又大又粗。“红山毛榉”被别的植物盖住了,见不到一点阳光。它的叶子像一般的树一样,也是绿的;它的光荣已经都消逝了。白嘴鸦、乌鸦和穴乌密密麻麻地在那些高大的栗树上飞。它们叫着号着,好像它们有重要的消息要互相报告似的:现在她又来了——曾经叫人偷它们的蛋和孩子的那个小女孩又来了。至于那个亲自下手偷东西的贼子,他现在则爬着一棵没有叶子的树——坐在高大的船桅上。如果他不老实的话,船索就会结结实实地打到他的身上。

牧师在我们的这个时代里,把这整个的故事叙述了出来。他从书籍和信札中把这些故事收集拢来。它们现在和一大堆手稿一道藏在桌子的抽屉里。

“世事就是这样起伏不平的!”他说,“听听是蛮好玩的!”

我们现在就要听听玛莉·格鲁布的事情,但我们也不要忘记坐在那个漂亮鸡屋里的,现代的家禽格丽德。玛莉·格鲁布是过去时代的人,她跟我们的老家禽格丽德在精神上是不同的。

冬天过去了,春天和夏天过去了,秋天带着风暴和又冷又潮的海雾到来了。这个农庄里的生活是寂寞和单调的。

因此,玛莉·格鲁布拿起她的枪,跑到了荒地上去打野兔和狐狸以及她所遇见的任何雀鸟。她不止一次遇见诺列贝克的贵族巴列·杜尔。他也是带着枪和猎犬在打猎。他是一个身材魁梧的人;当他们在一起的时候,他常常夸耀这一点。他很可以和富恩岛上爱格斯柯夫的已故的布洛根胡斯大爷比一比,因为这人的气力也是远近驰名的。巴列·杜尔也模仿他,在自己的大门上挂一条系着打猎号角的铁链子。他一回家就拉着铁链子,连人带马从地上立起来,吹起这个号角。

“玛莉夫人,请您自己去看看吧!”他说道。“诺列贝克现在吹起了新鲜的风呀!”

她究竟什么时候到他的公馆里来的,没有人把这记载下来。不过人们在诺列贝克教堂的蜡烛台上可以读到,这东西是诺列贝克公馆的巴列·杜尔和玛莉·格鲁布赠送的。

巴列·杜尔有结实的身材。他喝起酒来像一块吸水的海绵,是一只永远盛不满的桶。他打起鼾来像一窝猪。他的脸上是又红又肿。

“他像猪一样粗笨!”巴列·杜尔夫人——格鲁布先生的女儿——说。

她很快就对这种生活厌烦起来,但这在实际上并没有什么好处。

有一天餐桌已经铺好了,菜也凉了,巴列·杜尔正在猎取狐狸,而夫人也不见了。巴列·杜尔到了半夜才回来,但杜尔夫人半夜既没有回来,天明时也没有回来。她不喜欢诺列贝克,因此她既不打招呼,也不告辞,就骑着马走了。

天气是阴沉而潮湿的。风吹得很冷。一群惊叫的黑鸟从她头上飞过去——它们并不是像她那样无家可归的。

她先向南方走去,接近德国的边界。她用几个金戒指和几个宝石换了一点钱,于是她又向东走,接着她又回转到西边来。她没有一个什么目的地,她的心情非常坏,对什么人都生气,连对善良的上帝都是这样。不久她的身体也坏下来,她几乎连脚都移不动了。当她倒在草丛上,田凫从那里飞出来。这鸟儿像平时一样尖声地叫着:“你这个贼子!你这个贼子!”她从来没有偷过邻人的东西,但是她小时候曾经叫人为她取过树上和草丛里的鸟蛋和小雀子。她现在想起了这件事情。

她从她躺着的地方可以看到海滩上的沙丘;那儿有渔人住着。但是她却没有气力走过去,因为她已经病了。白色的大海鸥在她头上飞,并且在狂叫,像在她家里花园上空飞的白嘴鸦、乌鸦和穴乌一样。鸟儿在她上面飞得很低,后来她把它们想象成为漆黑的东西,但这时她面前也已经是一片黑夜了。

当她再把眼睛睁开的时候,她已经被人扶起来了。一个粗壮的男子已经把她托在怀中。她向他满脸胡子的脸上望去:他有一只眼上长了一个疤,因此他的眉毛好像是分成了两半。可怜的她——他把她抱到船上去。船长对他的这种行为结结实实地责备了一番。

第二天船就开了,玛莉·格鲁布并没有上岸;她跟船一起走了。但是她会不会一定回来呢?会的,但是在什么时候呢,怎样回来呢?

牧师也可以把这件事的前后经过讲出来,而且这也不是他编造的一个故事。这整个奇怪的故事,他是从一本可靠的旧书里来的。我们可以把它取出来亲自读一下。

丹麦的历史学家路得维格·荷尔堡③写了许多值得读的书和有趣的剧本;从这些书中我们可以知道他的时代和人民。他在他的信件中提到过玛莉·格鲁布和他在什么地方和怎样遇见她。这是值得一听的,但是我们不要忘记家禽格丽德,她坐在那个漂亮的鸡屋里,感到那么愉快和舒服。

船带着玛莉·格鲁布开走了,我们讲到此地为止。

许多年、许多年过去了。

鼠疫在哥本哈根流行着,那是一七一一年的事情④。丹麦的皇后回到她德国的娘家去;国王离开这王国的首都。任何人,只要有机会,都赶快走开。甚至那些得到膳宿免费的学生,也在想办法离开这个城市。他们之中有一位——最后的一位——还住在勒根生附近的所谓波尔其专科学校里。他现在也要走了。这是清晨两点钟的事情。他背着一个背包动身——里面装的书籍和稿纸要比衣服多得多。

城上覆着一层粘湿的雾。他所走过的街上没有一个人。许多门上都画着十字,表明屋里不是有鼠疫,就是人死光了。在那条弯弯曲曲的、比较宽阔的屠夫街上——那时从圆塔通到王宫的那条街就叫这个名字——也看不见一个人。一辆货车正在旁边经过。车夫挥着鞭子,马儿连蹦带跳地驰着。车上装着的全是尸体。这位年轻的学生把双手蒙在脸上,闻着他放在一个铜匣子里吸有强烈酒精的一块海绵。

从街上一个酒馆里飘来一阵嘈杂的歌声和不愉快的笑声。这是通夜喝酒的那些人发出来的。他们想要忘记这种现实:鼠疫就站在他们门口,而且还想要送他们到货车上去陪伴那些尸体呢。这位学生向御河桥那个方向走去。这儿停着一两条小船,其中有一只正要起锚,打算离开这个鼠疫流行的城市。

“假如上帝要保留我们的生命,而我们又遇见顺风的话,我们就向法尔斯特⑤附近的格龙松得开去。”船主说,同时问这位想一同去的学生叫什么名字。

“路得维格·荷尔堡。”学生说。那时这个名字跟别的名字没有一点特殊的地方;现在它却是丹麦的一个最骄傲的名字。那时他不过是一个不知名的青年学生罢了。

船在王宫旁边开过去了。当它来到大海的时候,天还没有亮。一阵轻微的风吹起来了,帆鼓了起来,这位青年学生面对着风坐着,同时也慢慢地睡过去了,而这并不是一件太聪明的事情。

第三天早晨,船已经停在法尔斯特面前了。

“你能不能介绍这里一个什么人给我,使我可以住得经济一点?”荷尔堡问船长。

“我想你最好跟波尔胡斯的那个摆渡的女人住在一起,”他说。“如果你想客气一点,你可以把她称为苏伦·苏伦生·莫勒尔妈妈!不过,如果你对她太客气了,她很可能变得非常粗暴的!她的丈夫因为犯罪已经被关起来了。她亲自撑那条渡船。她的拳头可不小呢!”

学生提起了背包,径直向摆渡人的屋子走去。门并没有锁。他把门闩一掀,就走进一个铺有方砖地的房间里去。这里最主要的家具是一条宽包了皮的板凳,凳子上系着一只白母鸡,旁边围着一群小鸡。它们把一碗水盆踩翻了,弄得水流到一地。这里什么人也没有,隔壁房子里也没有人,只有一个躺在摇篮里的婴孩。渡船开回的时候,里面只装着一个人——是男是女还不大容易说。这人穿着一件宽大的大衣,头上还戴着一顶像兜囊的帽子。渡船靠岸了。

从船上下来的是一个女人;她走进这房间里来。当她直起腰来的时候,外表显得很堂皇,在她乌黑的眉毛下面长有一双骄傲的眼睛。这就是那个摆渡的女人苏伦妈妈。白嘴鸦、乌鸦和穴乌愿意为她取另外一个名字,使我们可以更好地认识她。

她老是显出一种不快的神情,而且似乎不大喜欢讲话。不过她总算讲了足够的话语,得出一个结论:她答应在哥本哈根的情况没有好转以前,让这学生和她长期住下去,并且可以搭伙食。

经常有一两个正直的公民从附近村镇里来拜访这个渡口的房子。刀具制造匠佛兰得和收税人西魏尔特常常来,他们在这渡口的房子里喝一杯啤酒,同时和这学生聊聊闲天。学生是一个聪明的年轻人,他懂得他的所谓“本行”——他能读希腊文和拉丁文,同时懂得许多深奥的东西。

“一个人懂得的东西越少,他的负担就越小!”苏伦妈妈说。

“你的生活真够辛苦!”荷尔堡有一天说。这时她正用咸水洗衣服,同时她还要把一个树根劈碎,当做柴烧。

“这不关你的事!”她回答说。

“你从小就要这样辛苦操作吗?”

“你可以从我的手上看出来!”她说,同时把她一双细小而坚硬、指甲都磨光了的手伸出来。“你有学问,可以看得出来。”

在圣诞节的时候,雪花开始狂暴地飞舞起来。寒气袭来了,风吹得很厉害,就像它带有硫酸,要把把人的脸孔洗一番似的。苏伦妈妈一点也不在乎。她把她的大衣裹在身上,把帽子拉得很低。一到下午,屋子里很早就黑了。她在火上加了些木柴和泥炭,于是她就坐下来补她的袜子——这件工作没有别人可做。在晚上她和这个学生讲的话比白天要多一些:她谈论着关于她丈夫的事情。

“他在无意中打死了得拉格尔的一个船主;因了这件事他得带着链子在霍尔门做三年苦工。他是一个普通的水手。因此法律对他必须执行它的任务。”

“法律对于位置高的人也同样发生效力。”荷尔堡说。

“你以为是这样吗?”苏伦妈妈说,她的眼睛死死盯着火炉里的火。不过她马上又开始了:“你听到过开·路克的故事吗?他叫人拆毁了一个教堂。牧师马德斯在讲台对于这件事大为不满,于是他就叫人用链子把马德斯套起来,同时组织一个法庭,判了他砍头的罪——而且马上就执行了。这并不是意外,但开·路克却逍遥法外!”

“在当时的时代条件下,他有权这样办!”荷尔堡说,“现在我们已经离开那个时代了!”

“你只有叫傻子相信这话!”苏伦妈妈说。

她站起身来,向里屋走去,她的孩子“小丫头”就睡在里面,她拍了她几下,又把她盖好。然后她就替这位学生铺好床。他有皮褥子,但他比她还怕冷,虽然他是在挪威出生的。

新年的早晨是一个阳光灿烂的时节。冰冻一直没有融解,而且仍然冻得很厉害;积雪都冻硬了,人们可以在它上面走路。镇上做礼拜的钟敲起来了,学生荷尔堡穿上他的毛大衣,向城里走去。

白嘴鸦、乌鸦和穴乌在摆渡人的房子上乱飞乱叫;它们的声音弄得人几乎听不见钟声。苏伦妈妈站在门外,用她的黄铜壶盛满了雪,因为她要在火上融化出一点饮水来。她抬头把这群鸟儿望了一下,她有她自己的想法。

学生荷尔堡走进教堂里去。他去的时候和回来的时候要经过城门旁边收税人西魏尔特的房子。他被请进去喝了一杯带糖浆和姜汁的热啤酒。他们在谈话中提到了苏伦妈妈,不过收税人所知道的关于她的事情并不太多;的确也没有很多人知道。他说,她并不是法尔斯特的人;她有个时候曾经拥有一点财产;她的男人是一个普通水手,脾气很坏,曾经把得拉格尔的船主打死了。

“他喜欢打自己的老婆,但是她仍然维护他!”

“这种待遇我可受不了!”收税人的妻子说。“我也是出身于上流人家的呀,我父亲是皇家的织袜人!”

“因此你才跟一个政府的官吏结婚。”荷尔堡说,同时对她和收税人行了一个礼。

这是“神圣三王节”⑥之夜,苏伦妈妈为荷尔堡点燃了主显节烛;就是说三支油烛,是她自己浇的。

“每个人敬一根蜡烛!”荷尔堡说。

“每个人?”这女人说,同时把眼睛死死地盯着他。

“东方的每一个圣者!”荷尔堡说。

“原来是这个意思!”她说。于是她就沉默了很久。

不过在这神圣三王节的晚上,关于她的事情,他知道得比以前多一点。

“你对于你所嫁的这个人怀着一颗感情浓厚的心,”荷尔堡说,“但是人们却说,他没有一天对你好过。”

“这是我自己的事,跟谁也没有关系!”她回答说,“在我小的时候,他的拳头可能对我有好处。现在无疑地是因为有罪才被打!我知道,他曾经是对我多么好过。”于是她站起来。“当我躺在荒地上病倒的时候,谁也不愿意来理我——大概只有白嘴鸦和乌鸦来啄我,他把我抱在怀里,他因为带着像我这样一件东西到船上去,还受到了责骂呢。我是不大生病的,因此我很快就好了。每个人有自己的脾气,苏伦也有他自己的脾气;一个人不能凭头络来判断一匹马呀!比起国王的那些所谓最豪华和最高贵的臣民来,我跟他生活在一起要舒服得多。我曾经和国王的异母兄弟古尔登罗夫总督结过婚。后来我又嫁给巴列·杜尔!都是半斤八两,各人有各人的一套,我也有我的一套。说来话长,不过你现在已经知道了!”

于是她走出了这个房间。

她就是玛莉·格鲁布!她的命运之球沿着那么一条奇怪的路在滚动。她没有能活下去再看更多的“神圣三王节”。荷尔堡曾经记载过,她死于一七一六年七月。但有一件事情他却没有记载,因为他不知道:当苏伦妈妈——大家这样叫她——的尸体躺在波尔胡斯的时候,有许多庞大的黑鸟在这地方的上空盘旋。它们都没有叫,好像它们知道葬礼应该是在沉寂中举行似的。

等她被埋到地底下去了以后,这些鸟儿就不见了。不过在这同一天晚上,在尤兰的那个老农庄的上空,有一大堆白嘴鸦、乌鸦和穴乌出现。它们在一起大叫,好像它们有什么事情要宣布似的:也许就是关于那个常常取它们的蛋和小鸟的农家孩子——他得到了王岛铁勋章⑦——和那位高贵的夫人吧。这个妇人作为一个摆渡的女人在格龙松得结束了她的一生。

“呱!呱!”它们叫着。

当那座老公馆被拆掉了的时候,它们整个家族也都是这样叫着。

“它们仍然在叫,虽然已经再没有什么东西值得叫了!”牧师在叙述这段历史的时候说。“这个家族已经灭亡了,公馆已经拆除了。在它的原址上现在是那座漂亮的鸡屋——它有镀金的风信鸡家禽格丽德。她对于这座漂亮的住屋感到非常满意。如果她没有到这儿来,她一定就会到济贫院里去了。”

鸽子在她头上咕咕地叫,吐绶鸡在她周围咯咯地叫,鸭子在嘎嘎地叫。

“谁也不认识她!”它们说,“她没有什么亲戚。因为人家可怜她,她才能住在这儿。她既没鸭父亲,也没有鸡母亲,更没有后代!”

但是她仍然有亲族,虽然她自己不知道。牧师虽然在抽屉里保存着许多稿件,他也不知道。不过有一只老乌鸦却知道,而且也讲出来了。它从它的妈妈和祖母那里听到关于家禽格丽德的母亲和祖母的故事——她的外祖母我们也知道。我们知道,她小时候在吊桥上走过的时候,总是骄傲地向四周望一眼,好像整个的世界和所有的雀窠都是属于她的。我们在沙丘的荒地上看到过她,最后一次是在波尔胡斯看到过她。这家族的最后一人——孙女回来了,回到那个老公馆原来的所在地来了。野鸟在这儿狂叫,但是她却安然地坐在这些驯良的家禽中间——她认识它们,它们也认识她。家禽格丽德再也没有什么要求。她很愿意死去,而且她是那么老,也可以死去。

“坟墓啊!坟墓啊⑧!”乌鸦叫着。

家禽格丽德也得到了一座很好的坟墓,而这座坟墓除了这只老乌鸦——如果它还没有死的话——以外,谁也不知道了。

现在我们知道这个古老的公馆,这个老家族和整个家禽格丽德一家的故事了。

①指当时还是王储的克里斯钦五世。

②古尔登罗夫是腓德烈三世(克里斯钦五世的父亲)和续弦的皇后玛格丽特·佩比的儿子。

③丹麦伟大的剧作家。见《丹麦人霍尔格》注14。

④1711年哥本哈根发生鼠疫,能逃的人都逃离了哥本哈根,留下的人很少能幸存。

⑤丹麦哥本哈根南面的一个大岛。

⑥神圣三王节(Helligtrekonger Aften)是圣诞节第十二天的一个节日,在这一天东方的三个圣者——美尔却(Melchior)、加斯巴尔(Gaspar)和巴尔达札尔(Balthazar)特来送礼物给新生的耶稣。

⑦王岛铁勋章(Hosebaand af Jern paa Kongens Holm)是爵士最高的勋章。

⑧原文是“Grav! Grav!”这有双关的意思:照字音则是模仿乌鸦叫的声音;照字义则是“坟墓”的意思。

英文版:Poultry Meg’s Family

POULTRY MEG was the only person who lived in the new stately dwelling that had been built for the fowls and ducks belonging to the manor house. It stood there where once the old knightly building had stood with its tower, its pointed gables, its moat, and its drawbridge. Close by it was a wilderness of trees and thicket; here the garden had been, and had stretched out to a great lake, which was now moorland. Crows and choughs flew screaming over the old trees, and there were crowds of birds; they did not seem to get fewer when any one shot among them, but seemed rather to increase. One heard the screaming into the poultry-house, where Poultry Meg sat with the ducklings running to and fro over her wooden shoes. She knew every fowl and every duck from the moment it crept out of the shell; and she was fond of her fowls and her ducks, and proud of the stately house that had been built for them. Her own little room in the house was clean and neat, for that was the wish of the gracious lady to whom the house belonged. She often came in the company of grand noble guests, to whom she showed “the hens’ and ducks’ barracks,” as she called the little house.

Here were a clothes cupboard, and an, arm-chair, and even a chest of drawers; and on these drawers a polished metal plate had been placed, whereon was engraved the word “Grubbe,” and this was the name of the noble family that had lived in the house of old. The brass plate had been found when they were digging the foundation; and the clerk has said it had no value except in being an old relic. The clerk knew all about the place, and about the old times, for he had his knowledge from books, and many a memorandum had been written and put in his table-drawer. But the oldest of the crows perhaps knew more than he, and screamed it out in her own language; but that was the crow’s language, and the clerk did not understand that, clever as he was.

After the hot summer days the mist sometimes hung over the moorland as if a whole lake were behind the old trees, among which the crows and the daws were fluttering; and thus it had looked when the good Knight Grubbe had lived here—when the old manor house stood with its thick red walls. The dog-chain used to reach in those days quite over the gateway; through the tower one went into a paved passage which led to the rooms; the windows were narrow, and the panes were small, even in the great hall where the dancing used to be; but in the time of the last Grubbe, there had been no dancing in the hall within the memory of man, although an old drum still lay there that had served as part of the music. Here stood a quaintly carved cupboard, in which rare flower-roots were kept, for my Lady Grubbe was fond of plants and cultivated trees and shrubs. Her husband preferred riding out to shoot wolves and boars; and his little daughter Marie always went with him part of the way. When she was only five years old, she would sit proudly on her horse, and look saucily round with her great black eyes. It was a great amusement to her to hit out among the hunting-dogs with her whip; but her father would rather have seen her hit among the peasant boys, who came running up to stare at their lord.

The peasant in the clay hut close by the knightly house had a son named Søren, of the same age as the gracious little lady. The boy could climb well, and had always to bring her down the bird’s nests. The birds screamed as loud as they could, and one of the greatest of them hacked him with its beak over the eye so that the blood ran down, and it was at first thought the eye had been destroyed; but it had not been injured after all. Marie Grubbe used to call him her Søren, and that was a great favor, and was an advantage to Søren’s father—poor Jon, who had one day committed a fault, and was to be punished by riding on the wooden horse. This same horse stood in the courtyard, and had four poles for legs, and a single narrow plant for a back; on this Jon had to ride astride, and some heavy bricks were fastened to his feet into the bargain, that he might not sit too comfortably. He made horrible grimaces, and Søren wept and implored little Marie to interfere. She immediately ordered that Søren’s father should be taken down, and when they did not obey her, she stamped on the floor, and pulled at her father’s sleeve till it was torn to pieces. She would have her way, and she got her way, and Søren’s father was taken down.

Lady Grubbe, who now came up, parted her little daughter’s hair from the child’s brow, and looked at her affectionately; but Marie did not understand why.

She wanted to go to the hounds, and not to her mother, who went down into the garden, to the lake where the water-lily bloomed, and the heads of bulrushes nodded amid the reeds; and she looked at all this beauty and freshness. “How pleasant!” she said. In the garden stood at that time a rare tree, which she herself had planted. It was called the blood-beech—a kind of negro growing among the other trees, so dark brown were the leaves. This tree required much sunshine, for in continual shade it would become bright green like the other trees, and thus lose its distinctive character. In the lofty chestnut trees were many birds’ nests, and also in the thickets and in the grassy meadows. It seemed as though the birds knew that they were protected here, and that no one must fire a gun at them.

Little Marie came here with Søren. He knew how to climb, as we have already said, and eggs and fluffy-feathered young birds were brought down. The birds, great and small, flew about in terror and tribulation; the peewit from the fields, and the crows and daws from the high trees, screamed and screamed; it was just such din as the family will raise to the present day.

“What are you doing, you children?” cried the gentle lady; “that is sinful!”

Søren stood abashed, and even the little gracious lady looked down a little; but then he said, quite short and pretty,

“My father lets me do it!”

“Craw-craw! away-away from here!” cried the great black birds, and they flew away; but on the following day they came back, for they were at home here.

The quiet gentle lady did not remain long at home here on earth, for the good God called her away; and, indeed, her home was rather with Him than in the knightly house; and the church bells tolled solemnly when her corpse was carried to the church, and the eyes of the poor people were wet with tears, for she had been good to them.

When she was gone, no one attended to her plantations, and the garden ran to waste. Grubbe the knight was a hard man, they said; but his daughter, young as she was, knew how to manage him. He used to laugh and let her have her way. She was now twelve years old, and strongly built. She looked the people through and through with her black eyes, rode her horse as bravely as a man, and could fire off her gun like a practiced hunter.

One day there were great visitors in the neighborhood, the grandest visitors who could come. The young King, and his half-brother and comrade, the Lord Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve. They wanted to hunt the wild boar, and to pass a few days at the castle of Grubbe.

Gyldenløve sat at table next to Marie Grubbe, and he took her by the hand and gave her a kiss, as if she had been a relation; but she gave him a box on the ear, and told him she could not bear him, at which there was great laughter, as if that had been a very amusing thing.

And perhaps it was very amusing, for, five years afterwards, when Marie had fulfilled her seventeenth year, a messenger arrived with a letter, in which Lord Gyldenløve proposed for the hand of the noble young lady. There was a thing for you!

“He is the grandest and most gallant gentleman in the whole country,” said Grubbe the knight; “that is not a thing to despise.”

“I don’t care so very much about him,” said Marie Grubbe; but she did not despise the grandest man of all the country, who sat by the king’s side.

Silver plate, and fine linen and woollen, went off to Copenhagen in a ship, while the bride made the journey by land in ten days. But the outfit met with contrary winds, or with no winds at all, for four months passed before it arrived; and when it came, my Lady Gyldenløve was gone.

“I’d rather lie on coarse sacking than lie in his silken beds,” she declared. “I’d rather walk barefoot than drive with him in a coach!”

Late one evening in November two women came riding into the town of Aarhuus. They were the gracious Lady Gyldenløve (Marie Grubbe) and her maid. They came from the town of Weile, whither they had come in a ship from Copenhagen. They stopped at Lord Grubbe’s stone mansion in Aarhuus. Grubbe was not well pleased with this visit. Marie was accosted in hard words; but she had a bedroom given her, and got her beer soup of a morning; but the evil part of her father’s nature was aroused against her, and she was not used to that. She was not of a gentle temper, and we often answer as we are addressed. She answered openly, and spoke with bitterness and hatred of her husband, with whom she declared she would not live; she was too honorable for that.

A year went by, but it did not go by pleasantly. There were evil words between the father and the daughter, and that ought never to be. Bad words bear bad fruit. What could be the end of such a state of things?

“We two cannot live under the same roof,” said the father one day. “Go away from here to our old manor house; but you had better bite your tongue off than spread any lies among the people.”

And so the two parted. She went with her maid to the old castle where she had been born, and near which the gentle, pious lady, her mother, was lying in the church vault. An old cowherd lived in the courtyard, and was the only other inhabitant of the place. In the rooms heavy black cobwebs hung down, covered with dust; in the garden everything grew just as it would; hops and climbing plants ran like a net between the trees and bushes, and the hemlock and nettle grew larger and stronger. The blood-beech had been outgrown by other trees, and now stood in the shade; and its leaves were green like those of the common trees, and its glory had departed. Crows and choughs, in great close masses, flew past over the tall chestnut trees, and chattered and screamed as if they had something very important to tell one another—as if they were saying, “Now she’s come back again, the little girl who had their eggs and their young ones stolen from them; and as for the thief who had got them down, he had to climb up a leafless tree, for he sat on a tall ship’s mast, and was beaten with a rope’s end if he did not behave himself.”

The clerk told all this in our own times; he had collected it and looked it up in books and memoranda. It was to be found, with many other writings, locked up in his table-drawer.

“Upward and downward is the course of the world,” said he. “It is strange to hear.”

And we will hear how it went with Marie Grubbe. We need not for that forget Poultry Meg, who is sitting in her capital hen-house, in our own time. Marie Grubbe sat down in her times, but not with the same spirit that old Poultry Meg showed.

The winter passed away, and the spring and the summer passed away, and the autumn came again, with the damp, cold sea-fog. It was a lonely, desolate life in the old manor house. Marie Grubbe took her gun in her hand and went out to the heath, and shot hares and foxes, and whatever birds she could hit. More than once she met the noble Sir Palle Dyre, of Nørrebæk, who was also wandering about with his gun and his dogs. He was tall and strong, and boasted of this when they talked together. He could have measured himself against the deceased Mr. Brockenhuus, of Egeskov, of whom the people still talked. Palle Dyre had, after the example of Brockenhuus, caused an iron chain with a hunting-horn to be hung in his gateway; and when he came riding home, he used to seize the chain, and lift himself and his horse from the ground, and blow the horn.

“Come yourself, and see me do that, Dame Marie,” he said. “One can breathe fresh and free at Nørrebæk.”

When she went to his castle is not known, but on the altar candlestick in the church of Nørrebæk it was inscribed that they were the gift of Palle Dyre and Marie Grubbe, of Nørrebæk Castle.

A great stout man was Palle Dyre. He drank like a sponge. He was like a tub that could never get full; he snored like a whole sty of pigs, and he looked red and bloated.

“He is treacherous and malicious,” said Dame Pally Dyre, Grubbe’s daughter. Soon she was weary of her life with him, but that did not make it better.

One day the table was spread, and the dishes grew cold. Palle Dyre was out hunting foxes, and the gracious lady was nowhere to be found. Towards midnight Palle Dyre came home, but Dame Dyre came neither at midnight, nor next morning. She had turned her back upon Nørrebæk, and had ridden away without saying good-bye.

It was gray, wet weather; the wind grew cold, and a flight of black screaming birds flew over her head. They were not so homeless as she.

First she journeyed southward, quite down into the German land. A couple of golden rings with costly stones were turned into money; and then she turned to the east, and then she turned again and went towards the west. She had no food before her eyes, and murmured against everything, even against the good God himself, so wretched was her soul. Soon her body became wretched too, and she was scarcely able to move a foot. The peewit flew up as she stumbled over the mound of earth where it had built its nest. The bird cried, as it always cried, “You thief! you thief!” She had never stolen her neighbor’s goods; but as a little girl she had caused eggs and young birds to be taken from the trees, and she thought of that now.

From where she lay she could see the sand-dunes. By the seashore lived fishermen; but she could not get so far, she was so ill. The great white sea-mews flew over her head, and screamed as the crows and daws screamed at home in the garden of the manor house. The birds flew quite close to her, and at last it seemed to her as if they became black as crows, and then all was night before her eyes.

When she opened her eyes again, she was being lifted and carried. A great strong man had taken her up in his arms, and she was looking straight into his bearded face. He had a scar over one eye, which seemed to divide the eyebrow into two parts. Weak as she was, he carried her to the ship, where he got a rating for it from the captain.

The next day the ship sailed away. Madame Grubbe had not been put ashore, so she sailed away with it. But she will return, will she not? Yes, but where, and when?

The clerk could tell about this too, and it was not a story which he patched together himself. He had the whole strange history out of an old authentic book, which we ourselves can take out and read. The Danish historian, Ludwig Holberg, who has written so many useful books and merry comedies, from which we can get such a good idea of his times and their people, tells in his letters of Marie Grubbe, where and how he met her. It is well worth hearing; but for all that, we don’t at all forget Poultry Meg, who is sitting cheerful and comfortable in the charming fowl-house.

The ship sailed away with Marie Grubbe. That’s where we left off.

Long years went by.

The plague was raging at Copenhagen; it was in the year 1711. The Queen of Denmark went away to her German home, the King quitted the capital, and everybody who could do so hurried away. The students, even those who had board and lodging gratis, left the city. One of these students, the last who had remained in the free college, at last went away too. It was two o’clock in the morning. He was carrying his knapsack, which was better stacked with books and writings than with clothes. A damp mist hung over the town; not a person was to be seen in the streets; the street-doors around were marked with crosses, as a sign that the plague was within, or that all the inmates were dead. A great wagon rattled past him; the coachman brandished his whip, and the horses flew by at a gallop. The wagon was filled with corpses. The young student kept his hand before his face, and smelt at some strong spirits that he had with him on a sponge in a little brass scent-case. Out of a small tavern in one of the streets there were sounds of singing and of unhallowed laughter, from people who drank the night through to forget that the plague was at their doors, and that they might be put into the wagon as the others had been. The student turned his steps towards the canal at the castle bridge, where a couple of small ships were lying; one of these was weighing anchor, to get away from the plague-stricken city.

“If God spares our lives and grants us a fair wind, we are going to Gronmud, near Falster,” said the captain; and he asked the name of the student who wished to go with him.

“Ludvig Holberg,” answered the student; and the name sounded like any other. But now there sounds in it one of the proudest names of Denmark; then it was the name of a young, unknown student.

The ship glided past the castle. It was not yet bright day when it was in the open sea. A light wind filled the sails, and the young student sat down with his face turned towards the fresh wind, and went to sleep, which was not exactly the most prudent thing he could have done.

Already on the third day the ship lay by the island of Falster.

“Do you know any one here with whom I could lodge cheaply?” Holberg asked the captain.

“I should think you would do well to go to the ferry-woman in Borrehaus,” answered the captain. “If you want to be very civil to her, her name is Mother Søren Sørensen Muller. But it may happen that she may fly into a fury if you are too polite to her. The man is in custody for a crime, and that’s why she manages the ferry-boat herself—she has fists of her own.”

The student took his knapsack and betook himself to the ferry-house. The house door was not locked—it opened, and he went into a room with a brick floor, where a bench, with a great coverlet of leather, formed the chief article of furniture. A white hen, who had a brood of chickens, was fastened to the bench, and had overturned the pipkin of water, so that the wet ran across the floor. There were no people either here or in the adjoining room; only a cradle stood there, in which was a child. The ferry-boat came back with only one person in it. Whether that person was a man or a woman was not an easy matter to determine. The person in question was wrapped in a great cloak, and wore a kind of hood. Presently the boat lay to.

It was a woman who got out of it and came into the room. She looked very stately when she straightened her back; two proud eyes looked forth from beneath her black eyebrows. It was Mother Søren, the ferry-wife. The crows and daws might have called out another name for her, which we know better.

She looked morose, and did not seem to care to talk; but this much was settled, that the student should board in her house for an indefinite time, while things looked so bad in Copenhagen.

This or that honest citizen would often come to the ferry-house from the neighboring little town. There came Frank the cutler, and Sivert the exciseman. They drank a mug of beer in the ferry-house, and used to converse with the student, for he was a clever young man, who knew his “Practica,” as they called it; he could read Greek and Latin, and was well up in learned subjects.

“The less one knows, the less it presses upon one,” said Mother Søren.

“You have to work hard,” said Holberg one day, when she was dipping clothes in the strong soapy water, and was obliged herself to split the logs for the fire.

“That’s my affair,” she replied.

“Have you been obliged to toil in this way from your childhood?”

“You can read that from my hands,” she replied, and held out her hands, that were small indeed, but hard and strong, with bitten nails. “You are learned, and can read.”

At Christmas-time it began to snow heavily. The cold came on, the wind blue sharp, as if there were vitriol in it to wash the people’s faces. Mother Søren did not let that disturb her; she threw her cloak around her, and drew her hood over her head. Early in the afternoon—it was already dark in the house—she laid wood and turf on the hearth, and then she sat down to darn her stockings, for there was no one to do it for her. Towards evening she spoke more words to the student than it was customary with her to use; she spoke of her husband.

“He killed a sailor of Dragor by mischance, and for that he has to work for three years in irons. He’s only a common sailor, and therefore the law must take its course.”

“The law is there for people of high rank, too,” said Holberg.

“Do you think so?” said Mother Søren; then she looked into the fire for a while; but after a time she began to speak again. “Have you heard of Kai Lykke, who caused a church to be pulled down, and when the clergyman, Master Martin, thundered from the pulpit about it, he had him put in irons, and sat in judgment upon him, and condemned him to death? Yes, and the clergyman was obliged to bow his head to the stroke. And yet Kai Lykke went scot-free.”

“He had a right to do as he did in those times,” said Holberg; “but now we have left those times behind us.”

“You may get a fool to believe that,” cried Mother Søren; and she got up and went into the room where the child lay. She lifted up the child, and laid it down more comfortably. Then she arranged the bed-place of the student. He had the green coverlet, for he felt the cold more than she, though he was born in Norway.

On New Year’s morning it was a bright sunshiny day. The frost had been so strong, and was still so strong, that the fallen snow had become a hard mass, and one could walk upon it. The bells of the little town were tolling for church. Student Holberg wrapped himself up in his woollen cloak, and wanted to go to the town.

Over the ferry-house the crows and daws were flying with loud cries; one could hardly hear the church bells for their screaming. Mother Søren stood in front of the house, filling a brass pot with snow, which she was going to put on the fire to get drinking water. She looked up to the crowd of birds, and thought her own thoughts.

Student Holberg went to church. On his way there and on his return he passed by the house of tax-collector Sivert, by the town-gate. Here he was invited to take a mug of brown beer with treacle and sugar. The discourse fell upon Mother Søren, but the tax collector did not know much about her, and, indeed, few knew much about her. She did not belong to the island of Falster, he said; she had a little property of her own at one time. Her husband was a common sailor, a fellow of a very hot temper, and had killed a sailor of Dragor; and he beat his wife, and yet she defended him.

“I should not endure such treatment,” said the tax-collector’s wife. “I am come of more respectable people. My father was stocking-weaver to the Court.”

“And consequently you have married a governmental official,” said Holberg, and made a bow to her and to the collector.

It was on Twelfth Night, the evening of the festival of the Three Kings, Mother Søren lit up for Holberg a three-king candle, that is, a tallow candle with three wicks, which she had herself prepared.

“A light for each man,” said Holberg.

“For each man?” repeated the woman, looking sharply at him.

“For each of the wise men from the East,” said Holberg.

“You mean it that way,” said she, and then she was silent for a long time. But on this evening he learned more about her than he had yet known.

“You speak very affectionately of your husband,” observed Holberg, “and yet the people say that he ill-uses you every day.”

“That’s no one’s business but mine,” she replied. “The blows might have done me good when I was a child; now, I suppose, I get them for my sins. But I know what good he has done me,” and she rose up. “When I lay sick upon the desolate heath, and no one would have pity on me, and no one would have anything to do with me, except the crows and daws, which came to peck me to bits, he carried me in his arms, and had to bear hard words because of the burden he brought on board ship. It’s not in my nature to be sick, and so I got well. Every man has his own way, and Søren has his; but the horse must not be judged by the halter. Taking one thing with another, I have lived more agreeably with him than with the man whom they called the most noble and gallant of the King’s subjects. I have had the Stadtholder Gyldenløve, the King’s half-brother, for my husband; and afterwards I took Palle Dyre. One is as good as another, each in his own way, and I in mine. That was a long gossip, but now you know all about me.”

And with those words she left the room.

It was Marie Grubbe! so strangely had fate played with her. She did not live to see many anniversaries of the festival of the Three Kings; Holberg has recorded that she died in June, 1716; but he has not written down, for he did not know, that a number of great black birds circled over the ferry-house, when Mother Søren, as she was called, was lying there a corpse. They did not scream, as if they knew that at a burial silence should be observed. So soon as she lay in the earth, the birds disappeared; but on the same evening in Jutland, at the old manor house, an enormous number of crows and choughs were seen; they all cried as loud as they could, as if they had some announcement to make. Perhaps they talked of him who, as a little boy, had taken away their eggs and their young; of the peasant’s son, who had to wear an iron garter, and of the noble young lady, who ended by being a ferryman’s wife.

“Brave! brave!” they cried.

And the whole family cried, “Brave! brave!” when the old house was pulled down.

“They are still crying, and yet there’s nothing to cry about,” said the clerk, when he told the story. “The family is extinct, the house has been pulled down, and where it stood is now the stately poultry-house, with gilded weathercocks, and the old Poultry Meg. She rejoices greatly in her beautiful dwelling. If she had not come here,” the old clerk added, “she would have had to go into the work-house.”

The pigeons cooed over her, the turkey-cocks gobbled, and the ducks quacked.

“Nobody knew her,” they said; “she belongs to no family. It’s pure charity that she is here at all. She has neither a drake father nor a hen mother, and has no descendants.”

She came of a great family, for all that; but she did not know it, and the old clerk did not know it, though he had so much written down; but one of the old crows knew about it, and told about it. She had heard from her own mother and grandmother about Poultry Meg’s mother and grandmother. And we know the grandmother too. We saw her ride, as child, over the bridge, looking proudly around her, as if the whole world belonged to her, and all the birds’ nests in it; and we saw her on the heath, by the sand-dunes; and, last of all, in the ferry-house. The granddaughter, the last of her race, had come back to the old home, where the old castle had stood, where the black wild birds were screaming; but she sat among the tame birds, and these knew her and were fond of her. Poultry Meg had nothing left to wish for; she looked forward with pleasure to her death, and she was old enough to die.

“Grave, grave!” cried the crows.

And Poultry Meg has a good grave, which nobody knew except the old crow, if the old crow is not dead already.

And now we know the story of the old manor house, of its old proprietors, and of all Poultry Meg’s family.

文章来源:安徒生童话

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