烂布片的童话故事

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所属分类:民间故事

在造纸厂外边,有许多烂布片堆成垛。这些烂布片都是从东西南北各个不同的地方来的。每个布片都有一个故事可讲,而布片也就讲了。但是我们不可能把每个故事都听一听。有些布片是本地出产,有些是从外国来的。

在一块挪威烂布的旁边躺着一块丹麦烂布。前者是不折不扣的挪威货,后者是百分之百的丹麦产。每个地道的丹麦人或挪威人会说:这正是两块烂布的有趣之处。它们都懂得彼此的话语,没有什么困难,虽然它们的语言的差别——按挪威人的说法——比得上法文和希伯来文的差别。“为了我们语言的纯洁,我们才跑到山上去呀。”丹麦人只会讲些乳臭未干的孩子话!①

两块烂布就是这样高谈阔论——而烂布总归是烂布,在世界上哪一个国家里都是一样。除了在烂布堆里以外,它们一般是被认为没有什么价值的。

“我是挪威人!”挪威的烂布说。“当我说我是挪威人的时候,我想我不需再作什么解释了。我的质地坚实,像挪威古代的花岗岩一样,而挪威的宪法是跟美国自由宪法一样好!我一想起我是什么人的时候,就感到全身舒服,就要以花岗岩的尺度来衡量我的思想!”

“但是我们有文学,”丹麦的烂布片说。“你懂得文学是什么吗?”

“懂得?”挪威的布片重复着。“住在洼地上的东西!②难道你这个烂东西需要人推上山去瞧瞧北极光③吗?挪威的太阳把冰块融化了以后,丹麦的水果船就满载牛油和干奶酪到我们这儿来——我承认这都是可吃的东西。不过你们同时却送来一大堆丹麦文学作为压仓货!这类东西我们不需要。当你有新鲜的泉水的时候,你当然不需要陈啤酒的。我们山上的天然泉水有的是,从来没有人把它当做商品卖过,也没有什么报纸、经纪人和外国来的旅行家把它喋喋不休地向欧洲宣传过。这是我从心眼里讲的老实话,而一个丹麦人应该习惯于听老实话的。只要你将来有一天作为一个同胞的北欧人,上我们骄傲的山国——世界的顶峰——的时候,你就会习惯的!”

“丹麦的烂布不会用这口气讲话——从来不会!”丹麦的烂布片说。“我们的性格不是这个样子。我了解我自己和像我这样子的烂布片。我们是一种非常朴素的人。我们并不认为自己了不起。但我们并不以为谦虚就可以得到什么好处;我们只是喜欢谦虚:我想这是很可爱的。顺便提一句,我可以老实告诉你,我完全可以知道我的一切优点,不过我不愿意讲出来罢了——谁也不会因此而来责备我的。我是一个温柔随便的人。我耐心地忍受着一切。我不嫉妒任何人,我只讲别人的好话——虽然大多数人是没有什么好话可说的,不过这是他们自己的事情。我可以笑笑他们。我知道我是那么有天才。”

“请你不要用这种洼地的、虚伪的语言来跟我讲话吧——这使我听了作呕呀!”挪威布片说。这时一阵风吹来,把它从这一堆吹到那一堆上去了。

它们都被造成了纸。事又凑巧,用挪威布片造成的那张纸,被一位挪威人用来写了封情书给他的丹麦女朋友;而那块丹麦烂布成了一张稿纸,上面写着一首赞美挪威的美丽和力量的丹麦诗。

你看,甚至烂布片都可以变成好东西,只要它离开了烂布堆,经过一番改造,变成真理和美。它们使我们彼此了解;在这种了解中我们可以得到幸福。

故事到此为止。这故事是很有趣的,而且除了烂布片本身以外,也不伤任何人的感情。

①事实上丹麦和挪威用的是同一种语言,也属于同一个种族。这儿安徒生故意讽刺两个邻邦的狭隘的民族主义。

②丹麦是一块平原,没有山。

③北极光是北极圈内在夏天发出的一种奇异的光彩,非常美丽,但是只有在高处才能看得见。

英文版:THE RAGS

OUTSIDE the factory lay heaps of clouts piled up in stacks,gathered together from far and wide ;every raghad its story, every one was telling his own tale, but onecannot listen to them altogether. Some rage were native,others came from foreign countries.

Here a Danish rag lay close to a Norwegian rag; realDanish was the one, and thoroughly Norwegian the other,and that was the amusing thing about the two of them, every sensible Norwegian and Dane will say. They knew each other by their speech, although each of these,saidthe Norwegian, was as different as French and Hebrew.

" We do our best to get ours raw and original, while theDane makes his sickly-sweet flavourless language for him-self."

The rags talked, and a rag is a rag in every country;they only count for something in the cloth-heap.

" I am Norwegian," said the Norwegian rag,"and when I say I am Norwegian, I think I have said enough!Iam of firm stuff, like the ancient hills in old Norway, thecountry which has a constitution like free America! It tickles me in my threads, to think what I am, and to letmy thoughts ring out in granite words."

" But we have a literature," said the Danish rag." Do you understand what that is?"

" Understand!" repeated the Norwegian."Inhabitantof a flat land, shall I lift him to the mountains and let theNorthern lights shine on him, rag that he is!When the ice melts before the Norwegian sun, then Danish fruit-boats come up to us with butter and cheese, very appetiz-ing wares! and there comes as ballast Danish literatrue.We do not need it! one prefers to dispense with flat alewhere the fresh spring bubbles, and here it is a well whichis not bored, not gossipped into European fame by newspa- pers and authors' travels in foreign countries. I speak freely from the lungs,and the Dane must accustom himself to the free sound, and that he will do in his Scandinavianclinging to our proud, rocky country, the primaeval clump of the world."

"A Danish rag could never talk like that,"said the Danish rag." It is not our nature. I know myself,and all our rags are like me; we are so good-natured, so modest;

we have too little confidence in ourselves, and one gains nothing by that, but I like it all the same, I think it socharming! As a matter of fact, I can assure you I know to the full my own good qualities,but I do not talk about them, no one shall be able to blame me for such a mis- take. I am soft and tractable, bear with everything, envy none, speak good of all, although there is not much good to be said of most of the others, but let that be their affair.I only laugh at it all,being so gifted as I am."

" Don't speak that flat-land's soft pasty language tome, it makes me sick," said the Norwegian rag,and lifted itself in the wind from the heap and went over into another one.

Both of them were made into paper, and as chance would have it,the Norwegian rag became paper,on which a Norwegian wrote a faithful love-letter to a Danish girl,and the Danish rag became the manuscript for a Danish ode in praise of Norway's strength and grandeur.

Something good can come even out of rags, when they have been on the clothes-heap and the transformation into truth and beauty has taken place; then they shine in goodunderstanding, and in that there is blessing.

That is the story; it is quite enjoyable, and needoffend no one except—the rags.

文章来源:安徒生童话

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