安徒生童话:金黄的宝贝

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所属分类:民间故事

一个鼓手的妻子到教堂里去。她看见新的祭坛上有许多画像和雕刻的安琪儿;那些在布上套上颜色和罩着光圈的像是那么美,那些着上色和镀了金的木雕的像也是那么美。他们的头发像金子和太阳光,非常可爱。不过上帝的太阳光比那还要可爱。当太阳落下去的时候,它在苍郁的树丛中照着,显得更亮,更红。直接看到上帝的面孔是非常幸福的。她是在直接望着这个鲜红的太阳,于是她坠入深思里去,想起鹳鸟将会送来的那个小家伙。①于是鼓手的妻子就变得非常高兴起来。她看了又看,希望她的小孩也能带来这种光辉,最低限度要像祭台上一个发着光的安琪儿。

当她真正把抱在手里的一个小孩子举向爸爸的时候,他的样子真像教堂里的一个安琪儿。他长了一头金发——落日的光辉真的附在他头上了。

“我的金黄的宝贝,我的财富,我的太阳!”母亲说。于是吻着他闪亮的鬈发。她的吻像鼓手房中的音乐和歌声;这里面有快乐,有生命,有动作。鼓手就敲了一阵鼓——一阵快乐的鼓声。这只鼓——这只火警鼓——就说:

“红头发!小家伙长了一头红头发!请相信鼓儿的皮,不要相信妈妈讲的话吧!咚——隆咚,隆咚!”

整个城里的人像火警鼓一样,讲着同样的话。

这个孩子到教堂里去;这个孩子受了洗礼。关于他的名字,没有什么话可说;他叫比得。全城的人,连这个鼓儿,都叫他“鼓手的那个红头发的孩子比得”。不过他的母亲吻着他的红头发,把他叫金黄的宝贝

在那高低不平的路上,在那粘土的斜坡上,许多人刻着自己的名字,作为纪念。

“扬名是一件有意义的事情!”鼓手说。于是他把自己的名字和小儿子的名字也刻下来。

燕子飞来了;它们在长途旅行中看到更耐久的字刻在石壁上,刻在印度庙宇的墙上:强大帝王的丰功伟绩,不朽的名字——它们是那么古老,现在谁也认不清,也无法把它们念出来。

真是声名赫赫!永垂千古!

燕子在路上的洞洞里筑了窠,在斜坡上挖出一些洞口。阵雨和薄雾降下来,把那些名字洗掉了。鼓手和他小儿子的名字也被洗掉了。

“可是比得的名字却保留住了一年半!”父亲说。

“傻瓜!”那个火警鼓心中想;不过它只是说:“咚,咚,咚,隆咚咚!”

“这个鼓手的红头发的儿子”是一个充满了生命和快乐的孩子。他有一个好听的声音;他会唱歌,而且唱得和森林里的鸟儿一样好;他的声音里有一种调子,但又似乎没有调子。“他可以成为一个圣诗班的孩子!”妈妈说。“他可以站在像他一样美的安琪儿下面,在教堂里唱歌!”

“简直是一头长着红毛的猫!”城里的一些幽默人物说。鼓儿从邻家的主妇那里听到了这句话。

“比得,不要回到家里去吧!”街上的野孩子喊着。“如果你睡在顶楼上,屋顶一定会起火②,火警鼓也就会敲起火警。”

“请你当心鼓槌!”比得说。

虽然他的年纪很小,却勇敢地向前扑去,用拳头向离他最近的一个野孩子的肚皮顶了一下,这家伙站不稳,倒下来了。别的孩子们就飞快地逃掉。

城里的乐师是一个非常文雅和有名望的人,他是皇家一个管银器的人的儿子。他非常喜欢比得,有时还把他带到家里去,教他学习拉提琴。整个艺术仿佛是生长在这孩子的手指上。他希望做比鼓手大一点的事情——他希望成为城里的乐师。

“我想当一个兵士!”比得说。因为他还不过是一个很小的孩子;他仿佛觉得世界上最美的事情是背一杆枪开步走;

“一、二!一、二!”并且穿一套制服和挂一把剑。

“啊,你应该学会听鼓皮的话!隆咚,咚,咚,咚!”鼓儿说。

“是的,只希望他能一步登天,升为将军!”爸爸说。“不过,要达到这个目的,那就非得有战争不可!”

“愿上帝阻止吧!”妈妈说。

“我们并不会有什么损失呀!”爸爸说。

“会的,我们会损失我们的孩子!”她说。

“不过假如他回来是一个将军!”爸爸说。

“回来会没有手,没有腿!”妈妈说。“不,我情愿有我完整的金黄的宝贝。”

隆咚!隆咚!隆咚!火警鼓也响起来了。战争起来了。兵士们都出发了,鼓手的儿子也跟他们一起出发了。“红头发,金黄的宝贝!”妈妈哭起来。爸爸在梦想中看到他“成名”了。

城里的乐师认为他不应该去参战,而应该待在家里学习音乐。

“红头发!”兵士们喊,比得笑。不过他们有人把他叫“狐狸皮”③这时他就紧咬着牙齿,把眼睛掉向别处望——望那个广大的世界,他不理这种讥讽的语句。

这孩子非常活泼,有勇敢的性格,有幽默感。一些比他年纪大的弟兄们说,这些特点是行军中的最好的“水壶”。

有许多晚上他得睡在广阔的天空下,被雨和雾打得透湿。不过他的幽默感却并不因此而消散。鼓槌敲着:“隆咚——咚,大家起床呀!”是的,他生来就是一个鼓手。

这是一个战斗的日子。太阳还没有出来,不过晨曦已经出现了,空气很冷,但是战争很热。空中有一层雾,但是火药气比雾还重。枪弹和炮弹飞过脑袋,或穿过脑袋,穿过身体和四肢。但是大家仍然向前进。他们有的倒下来了,太阳穴流着血,面孔像粉笔一样惨白。这个小小的鼓手仍然保持着他的健康的颜色;他没有受一点伤;他带着愉快的面容望着团部的那只狗儿——它在他面前跳,高兴得不得了,好像一切是为了它的消遣而存在、所有的枪弹都是为了它好玩才飞来飞去似的。

冲!前进!冲!这是鼓儿所接到的命令,而这命令是不能收回的。不过人们可以后退,而且这样做可能还是聪明的办法呢。事实上就有人喊:“后退!”因此当我们小小的鼓手在敲着“冲!前进!”的时候,他懂得这是命令,而兵士们都是必须服从这个鼓声的。这是很好的一阵鼓声,也是一个走向胜利的号召,虽然兵士们已经支持不住了。

这一阵鼓声使许多人丧失了生命和肢体。炮弹把血肉炸成碎片。炮弹把草堆也烧掉了——伤兵本来可以拖着艰难的步子到那儿躺几个钟头,也许就在那儿躺一生。想这件事情有什么用呢?但是人们却不得不想,哪怕人们住在离此地很远的和平城市里也不得不想。那个鼓手和他的妻子在想这件事情,因为他们的儿子比得在作战。

“我听厌了这种牢骚!”火警鼓说。

现在又是作战的日子。太阳还没有升起来,但是已经是早晨了。鼓手和他的妻子正在睡觉——他们几乎一夜没有合上眼;他们在谈论着他们的孩子,在战场上、“在上帝手中”的孩子。父亲做了一个梦,梦见战争已经结束,兵士们都回到家里来了,比得的胸前挂着一个银十字勋章。不过母亲梦见她到教堂里面去,看到了那些画像,那些雕刻的、金发的安琪儿,看到了她亲生的儿子——她心爱的金黄的宝贝——站在一群穿白衣服的安琪儿中间,唱着只有安琪儿才唱得出的动听的歌;于是她跟他们一块儿向太阳光飞去,和善地对妈妈点着头。

“我的金黄的宝贝!”她大叫了一声,就醒了。“我们的上帝把他接走了!”她说。于是她合着双手,把头藏在床上的布帷幔里,哭了起来。“他现在在什么地方安息呢?在人们为许多死者挖的那个大坑里面吗?也许他是躺在沼泽地的水里吧!谁也不知道他的坟墓;谁也不曾在他的坟墓上念过祷告!”于是她的嘴唇就隐隐地念出主祷文④来。她垂下头来,她是那么困倦,于是便睡过去了。

日子在日常生活中,在梦里,一天一天地过去!

这是黄昏时节;战场上出现了一道长虹——它挂在森林和那低洼的沼泽地之间。有一个传说在民间的信仰中流行着:凡是虹接触到的地面,它底下一定埋藏着宝贝——金黄的宝贝。现在这儿也有一件这样的宝贝。除了他的母亲以外,谁也没有想到这位小小的鼓手;她因此梦见了他。

日子在日常生活中,在梦里,一天一天地过去!

他头上没有一根头发——一根金黄的头发——受到损害。

“隆咚咚!隆咚咚!他来了!他来了!”鼓儿可能这样说,妈妈如果看见他或梦见他的话,也可能这样唱。

在欢呼和歌声中,大家带着胜利的绿色花圈回家了,因为战争已经结束,和平已经到来了。团部的那只狗在大家面前团团地跳舞,好像要把路程弄得比原来要长三倍似的。

许多日子、许多星期过去了。比得走进爸爸和妈妈的房间里来。他的肤色变成了棕色的,像一个野人一样;眼睛发亮,面孔像太阳一样射出光来。妈妈把他抱在怀里,吻他的嘴唇,吻他的眼睛,吻他的红头发。她重新获得了她的孩子。虽然他并不像爸爸在梦中所见的那样,胸前挂着银质十字章,但是他的四肢完整——这正是妈妈不曾梦见过的。他们欢天喜地,他们笑,他们哭。比得拥抱着那个古老的火警鼓。

“这个老朽还在这儿没有动!”他说。

于是父亲就在它上面敲了一阵子。

“倒好像这儿发了大火呢!”火警鼓说。“屋顶上烧起了火!心里烧起了火!金黄的宝贝!烧呀!烧呀!烧呀!”

后来怎样呢?后来怎样呢?——请问这城里的乐师吧。

“比得已经长得比鼓还大了,”他说。“比得要比我还大了。”然而他是皇家银器保管人的儿子啦。不过他花了一生的光阴所学到的东西,比得半年就学到了。

他具有某种勇敢、某种真正善良的品质。他的眼睛闪着光辉,他的头发也闪着光辉——谁也不能否认这一点!

“他应该把头发染一染才好!”邻居一位主妇说。“警察的那位小姐这样做过,你看她的结果多么好;她立刻就订婚了。”

“不过她的头发马上就变得像青浮草一样绿,所以她得经常染!”

“她有的是钱呀,”邻居的主妇说。“比得也可以办得到。他和一些有名望的家庭来往——他甚至还认识市长,教洛蒂小姐弹钢琴呢。”

他居然能弹钢琴!他能弹从他的心里涌出来的、最动听的、还没有在乐器上写过的音乐。他在明朗的夜里弹,也在黑暗的夜里弹。邻居们和火警鼓说:这真叫人吃不消!

他弹着,一直弹到把他的思想弄得奔腾起来,扩展成为未来的计划:“成名!”

市长先生的洛蒂小姐坐在钢琴旁边。她纤细的手指在键子上跳跃着,在比得的心里引起一起回声。这超过他心里所有的容量。这种情形不只发生过一次,而是发生过许多次!最后有一天他捉住那只漂亮的手的纤细的手指吻了一下,并且朝她那对棕色的大眼睛盯着望。只有上帝知道他要说什么话。不过我们可以猜猜。洛蒂小姐的脸红起来,一直红到脖子和肩上,她一句话也不回答。随后有些不认识的客人到她房间里来,其中之一是政府高级顾问官的少爷,他有高阔的、光亮的前额,而且他把头抬得那样高,几乎要仰到颈后去了。比得跟他们一起坐了很久;她用最温柔的眼睛望着他。

那天晚上他在家里谈起广阔的世界,谈起在他的提琴里藏着的金黄的宝贝。

成名!

“隆咚,隆咚,隆咚!”火警鼓说。“比得完全失去了理智。我想这屋子一定要起火。”

第二天妈妈到市场上去。

“比得,我告诉你一个消息!”她回到家里来的时候说。

“一个好消息。市长先生的洛蒂小姐跟高级顾问官的少爷订婚了。这是昨天的事情。”

“我不信!”比得大声说,同时从椅子上跳起来,不过妈妈坚持说:是真的。她是从理发师的太太那儿听来的,而理发师是听见市长亲口说的。

比得变得像死尸一样惨白,并且坐了下来。

“我的天老爷!你这是为什么?”妈妈问。

“好,好,请你不要管我吧!”他说,眼泪沿着他的脸上流下来。

“我亲爱的孩子,我的金黄的宝贝!”妈妈说,同时哭泣来。不过火警鼓儿唱着——没有唱出声音,是在心里唱。

“洛蒂死了!洛蒂死了!”现在一支歌也完了!

歌并没有完。它里面还有许多词儿,许多很长的词儿,许多最美丽的词儿——生命中的金黄的宝贝。

“她简直像一个疯子一样!”邻居的主妇说。“大家要来看她从她的金黄的宝贝那儿来的信,要来读报纸上关于他和他的提琴的记载。他还寄钱给她——她很需要,因为她现在是一个寡妇。”

“他为皇帝和国王演奏!”城里的乐师说。“我从来没有过这样的幸运。不过他是我的学生;他不会忘记他的老师的。”

“爸爸做过这样的梦”,妈妈说;“他梦见比得从战场上戴着银十字章回来。他在战争中没有得到它;这比在战场上更难。他现在得到了荣誉十字勋章。要是爸爸仍然活着看到它多好!”

“成名了!”火警鼓说。城里的人也这样说,因为那个鼓手的红头发的儿子比得——他们亲眼看到他小时拖着一双木鞋跑来跑去、后来又作为一个鼓手而为跳舞的人奏乐的比得——现在成名了!

“在他没有为国王拉琴之前,他就已经为我们拉过了!”市长太太说。“那个时候他非常喜欢洛蒂。他一直是很有抱负的。那时他是既大胆,又荒唐!我的丈夫听到这件傻事的时候,曾经大笑过!现在我们洛蒂是一个高级顾问官的夫人了!”

在这个穷家孩子的心灵里藏着一个金黄的宝贝——他,作为一个小小的鼓手,曾经敲起:“冲!前进!”对于那些几乎要撤退的人说来,这是一阵胜利的鼓声。他的胸怀中有一个金黄的宝贝——声音的力量。这种力量在他的提琴上爆发,好像它里面有一个完整的风琴,她像仲夏夜的小妖精就在它的弦上跳舞似的。人们在它里面听出画眉的歌声和人类的清亮声音。因此它使得每一颗心狂喜,使得他的名字在整个国家里驰名。这是一个伟大的火炬——一个热情的火炬。

“他真是可爱极了!”少妇们说,老太太们也这样说。她们之中一位最老的妇人弄到了一本收藏名人头发的纪念簿,其目的完全是为了要向这位年轻的提琴家求得一小绺浓密而美丽的头发——那个宝贝,那个金黄的宝贝。

儿子回到鼓手的那个简陋的房间里来了,漂亮得像一位王子,快乐得像一个国王。他的眼睛是明亮的,他的面孔像太阳。他双手抱着他的母亲。她吻着他温暖的嘴,哭得像任何人在快乐中哭泣一样。他对房间里的每件旧家具点点头,对装茶碗和花瓶的碗柜也点点头。他对那张睡椅点点头——他小时曾在那上面睡过。不过他把那个古老的火警鼓拖到屋子的中央,对火警鼓和妈妈说:

“在今天这样的场合,爸爸可能会敲一阵子的!现在得由我来敲了!”

于是他就在鼓上敲起一阵雷吼一般的鼓声。鼓儿感到那么荣幸,连它上面的羊皮都高兴得裂开了。

“他真是一个击鼓的神手!”鼓儿说。“我将永远不会忘记他。我想,他的母亲也会由于这宝贝而高兴得笑破了肚皮。”

这就是那个金黄的宝贝的故事。

①据丹麦的民间传说,小孩子是由鹳鸟送到世界上来的。请参看安徒生童话《鹳鸟》。

②这是作者开的一个文学玩笑;这孩子的头发是那么红,看起来像火在烧。

③有一种狐狸的毛是红色的。这儿“狐狸皮”影射“红头发”。

④主祷文是基督教徒祷告上帝时念的一段话。见《圣经·新约全书·马太福音》第六章第九至十三节。

英文版:The Golden Treasure

THE drummer’s wife went into the church. She saw the new altar with the painted pictures and the carved angels. Those upon the canvas and in the glory over the altar were just as beautiful as the carved ones; and they were painted and gilt into the bargain. Their hair gleamed golden in the sunshine, lovely to behold; but the real sunshine was more beautiful still. It shone redder, clearer through the dark trees, when the sun went down. It was lovely thus to look at the sunshine of heaven. And she looked at the red sun, and she thought about it so deeply, and thought of the little one whom the stork was to bring, and the wife of the drummer was very cheerful, and looked and looked, and wished that the child might have a gleam of sunshine given to it, so that it might at least become like one of the shining angels over the altar.

And when she really had the little child in her arms, and held it up to its father, then it was like one of the angels in the church to behold, with hair like gold—the gleam of the setting sun was upon it.

“My golden treasure, my riches, my sunshine!” said the mother; and she kissed the shining locks, and it sounded like music and song in the room of the drummer; and there was joy, and life, and movement. The drummer beat a roll—a roll of joy. And the Drum said—the Fire-drum, that was beaten when there was a fire in the town:

“Red hair! the little fellow has red hair! Believe the drum, and not what your mother says! Rub-a dub, rub-a dub!”

And the town repeated what the Fire-drum had said.

The boy was taken to church, the boy was christened. There was nothing much to be said about his name; he was called Peter. The whole town, and the Drum too, called him Peter the drummer’s boy with the red hair; but his mother kissed his red hair, and called him her golden treasure.

In the hollow way in the clayey bank, many had scratched their names as a remembrance.

“Celebrity is always something!” said the drummer; and so he scratched his own name there, and his little son’s name likewise.

And the swallows came. They had, on their long journey, seen more durable characters engraven on rocks, and on the walls of the temples in Hindostan, mighty deeds of great kings, immortal names, so old that no one now could read or speak them. Remarkable celebrity!

In the clayey bank the martens built their nest. They bored holes in the deep declivity, and the splashing rain and the thin mist came and crumbled and washed the names away, and the drummer’s name also, and that of his little son.

“Peter’s name will last a full year and a half longer!” said the father.

“Fool!” thought the Fire-drum; but it only said, “Dub, dub, dub, rub-a-dub!”

He was a boy full of life and gladness, this drummer’s son with the red hair. He had a lovely voice. He could sing, and he sang like a bird in the woodland. There was melody, and yet no melody.

“He must become a chorister boy,” said his mother. “He shall sing in the church, and stand among the beautiful gilded angels who are like him!”

“Fiery cat!” said some of the witty ones of the town.

The Drum heard that from the neighbors’ wives.

“Don’t go home, Peter,” cried the street boys. “If you sleep in the garret, there’ll be a fire in the house, and the fire-drum will have to be beaten.”

“Look out for the drumsticks,” replied Peter; and, small as he was, he ran up boldly, and gave the foremost such a punch in the body with his fist, that the fellow lost his legs and tumbled over, and the others took their legs off with themselves very rapidly.

The town musician was very genteel and fine. He was the son of the royal plate-washer. He was very fond of Peter, and would sometimes take him to his home; and he gave him a violin, and taught him to play it. It seemed as if the whole art lay in the boy’s fingers; and he wanted to be more than a drummer—he wanted to become musician to the town.

“I’ll be a soldier,” said Peter; for he was still quite a little lad, and it seemed to him the finest thing in the world to carry a gun, and to be able to march one, two—one, two, and to wear a uniform and a sword.

“Ah, you learn to long for the drum-skin, drum, dum, dum!” said the Drum.

“Yes, if he could only march his way up to be a general!” observed his father; “but before he can do that, there must be war.”

“Heaven forbid!” said his mother.

“We have nothing to lose,” remarked the father.

“Yes, we have my boy,” she retorted.

“But suppose he came back a general!” said the father.

“Without arms and legs!” cried the mother. “No, I would rather keep my golden treasure with me.”

“Drum, dum, dum!” The Fire-drum and all the other drums were beating, for war had come. The soldiers all set out, and the son of the drummer followed them. “Red-head. Golden treasure!”

The mother wept; the father in fancy saw him “famous;” the town musician was of opinion that he ought not to go to war, but should stay at home and learn music.

“Red-head,” said the soldiers, and little Peter laughed; but when one of them sometimes said to another, “Foxey,” he would bite his teeth together and look another way—into the wide world. He did not care for the nickname.

The boy was active, pleasant of speech, and good-humored; that is the best canteen, said his old comrades.

And many a night he had to sleep under the open sky, wet through with the driving rain or the falling mist; but his good humor never forsook him. The drum-sticks sounded, “Rub-a-dub, all up, all up!” Yes, he was certainly born to be a drummer.

The day of battle dawned. The sun had not yet risen, but the morning was come. The air was cold, the battle was hot; there was mist in the air, but still more gunpowder-smoke. The bullets and shells flew over the soldiers’ heads, and into their heads—into their bodies and limbs; but still they pressed forward. Here or there one or other of them would sink on his knees, with bleeding temples and a face as white as chalk. The little drummer still kept his healthy color; he had suffered no damage; he looked cheerfully at the dog of the regiment, which was jumping along as merrily as if the whole thing had been got up for his amusement, and as if the bullets were only flying about that he might have a game of play with them.

“March! Forward! March!” This, was the word of command for the drum. The word had not yet been given to fall back, though they might have done so, and perhaps there would have been much sense in it; and now at last the word “Retire” was given; but our little drummer beat “Forward! march!” for he had understood the command thus, and the soldiers obeyed the sound of the drum. That was a good roll, and proved the summons to victory for the men, who had already begun to give way.

Life and limb were lost in the battle. Bombshells tore away the flesh in red strips; bombshells lit up into a terrible glow the strawheaps to which the wounded had dragged themselves, to lie untended for many hours, perhaps for all the hours they had to live.

It’s no use thinking of it; and yet one cannot help thinking of it, even far away in the peaceful town. The drummer and his wife also thought of it, for Peter was at the war.

“Now, I’m tired of these complaints,” said the Fire-drum.

Again the day of battle dawned; the sun had not yet risen, but it was morning. The drummer and his wife were asleep. They had been talking about their son, as, indeed, they did almost every night, for he was out yonder in God’s hand. And the father dreamt that the war was over, that the soldiers had returned home, and that Peter wore a silver cross on his breast. But the mother dreamt that she had gone into the church, and had seen the painted pictures and the carved angels with the gilded hair, and her own dear boy, the golden treasure of her heart, who was standing among the angels in white robes, singing so sweetly, as surely only the angels can sing; and that he had soared up with them into the sunshine, and nodded so kindly at his mother.

“My golden treasure!” she cried out; and she awoke. “Now the good God has taken him to Himself!” She folded her hands, and hid her face in the cotton curtains of the bed, and wept. “Where does he rest now? among the many in the big grave that they have dug for the dead? Perhaps he’s in the water in the marsh! Nobody knows his grave; no holy words have been read over it!” And the Lord’s Prayer went inaudibly over her lips; she bowed her head, and was so weary that she went to sleep.

And the days went by, in life as in dreams!

It was evening. Over the battle-field a rainbow spread, which touched the forest and the deep marsh.

It has been said, and is preserved in popular belief, that where the rainbow touches the earth a treasure lies buried, a golden treasure; and here there was one. No one but his mother thought of the little drummer, and therefore she dreamt of him.

And the days went by, in life as in dreams!

Not a hair of his head had been hurt, not a golden hair.

“Drum-ma-rum! drum-ma-rum! there he is!” the Drum might have said, and his mother might have sung, if she had seen or dreamt it.

With hurrah and song, adorned with green wreaths of victory, they came home, as the war was at an end, and peace had been signed. The dog of the regiment sprang on in front with large bounds, and made the way three times as long for himself as it really was.

And days and weeks went by, and Peter came into his parents’ room. He was as brown as a wild man, and his eyes were bright, and his face beamed like sunshine. And his mother held him in her arms; she kissed his lips, his forehead, and his red hair. She had her boy back again; he had not a silver cross on his breast, as his father had dreamt, but he had sound limbs, a thing the mother had not dreamt. And what a rejoicing was there! They laughed and they wept; and Peter embraced the old Fire-drum.

“There stands the old skeleton still!” he said.

And the father beat a roll upon it.

“One would think that a great fire had broken out here,” said the Fire-drum. “Bright day! fire in the heart! golden treasure! skrat! skr-r-at! skr-r-r-r-at!”

And what then? What then!—Ask the town musician.

“Peter’s far outgrowing the drum,” he said. “Peter will be greater than I.”

And yet he was the son of a royal plate-washer; but all that he had learned in half a lifetime, Peter learned in half a year.

There was something so merry about him, something so truly kind-hearted. His eyes gleamed, and his hair gleamed too—there was no denying that!

“He ought to have his hair dyed,” said the neighbor’s wife. “That answered capitally with the policeman’s daughter, and she got a husband.”

“But her hair turned as green as duckweed, and was always having to be colored up.”

“She knows how to manage for herself,” said the neighbors, “and so can Peter. He comes to the most genteel houses, even to the burgomaster’s where he gives Miss Charlotte piano-forte lessons.”

He could play! He could play, fresh out of his heart, the most charming pieces, that had never been put upon music-paper. He played in the bright nights, and in the dark nights, too. The neighbors declared it was unbearable, and the Fire-drum was of the same opinion.

He played until his thoughts soared up, and burst forth in great plans for the future:

“To be famous!”

And burgomaster’s Charlotte sat at the piano. Her delicate fingers danced over the keys, and made them ring into Peter’s heart. It seemed too much for him to bear; and this happened not once, but many times; and at last one day he seized the delicate fingers and the white hand, and kissed it, and looked into her great brown eyes. Heaven knows what he said; but we may be allowed to guess at it. Charlotte blushed to guess at it. She reddened from brow to neck, and answered not a single word; and then strangers came into the room, and one of them was the state councillor’s son. He had a lofty white forehead, and carried it so high that it seemed to go back into his neck. And Peter sat by her a long time, and she looked at him with gentle eyes.

At home that evening he spoke of travel in the wide world, and of the golden treasure that lay hidden for him in his violin.

“To be famous!”

“Tum-me-lum, tum-me-lum, tum-me-lum!” said the Fire-drum. “Peter has gone clear out of his wits. I think there must be a fire in the house.”

Next day the mother went to market.

“Shall I tell you news, Peter?” she asked when she came home. “A capital piece of news. Burgomaster’s Charlotte has engaged herself to the state councillor’s son; the betrothal took place yesterday evening.”

“No!” cried Peter, and he sprang up from his chair. But his mother persisted in saying “Yes.” She had heard it from the baker’s wife, whose husband had it from the burgomaster’s own mouth

And Peter became as pale as death, and sat down again.

“Good Heaven! what’s the matter with you?” asked his mother.

“Nothing, nothing; only leave me to myself,” he answered but the tears were running down his cheeks.

“My sweet child, my golden treasure!” cried the mother, and she wept; but the Fire-drum sang, not out loud, but inwardly.

“Charlotte’s gone! Charlotte’s gone! and now the song is done.”

But the song was not done; there were many more verses in it, long verses, the most beautiful verses, the golden treasures of a life.

“She behaves like a mad woman,” said the neighbor’s wife. “All the world is to see the letters she gets from her golden treasure, and to read the words that are written in the papers about his violin playing. And he sends her money too, and that’s very useful to her since she has been a widow.”

“He plays before emperors and kings,” said the town musician. “I never had that fortune, but he’s my pupil, and he does not forget his old master.”

And his mother said,

“His father dreamt that Peter came home from the war with a silver cross. He did not gain one in the war, but it is still more difficult to gain one in this way. Now he has the cross of honor. If his father had only lived to see it!”

“He’s grown famous!” said the Fire-drum, and all his native town said the same thing, for the drummer’s son, Peter with the red hair— Peter whom they had known as a little boy, running about in wooden shoes, and then as a drummer, playing for the dancers—was become famous!

“He played at our house before he played in the presence of kings,” said the burgomaster’s wife. “At that time he was quite smitten with Charlotte. He was always of an aspiring turn. At that time he was saucy and an enthusiast. My husband laughed when he heard of the foolish affair, and now our Charlotte is a state councillor’s wife.”

A golden treasure had been hidden in the heart and soul of the poor child, who had beaten the roll as a drummer—a roll of victory for those who had been ready to retreat. There was a golden treasure in his bosom, the power of sound; it burst forth on his violin as if the instrument had been a complete organ, and as if all the elves of a midsummer night were dancing across the strings. In its sounds were heard the piping of the thrush and the full clear note of the human voice; therefore the sound brought rapture to every heart, and carried his name triumphant through the land. That was a great firebrand—the firebrand of inspiration.

“And then he looks so splendid!” said the young ladies and the old ladies too; and the oldest of all procured an album for famous locks of hair, wholly and solely that she might beg a lock of his rich splendid hair, that treasure, that golden treasure.

And the son came into the poor room of the drummer, elegant as a prince, happier than a king. His eyes were as clear and his face was as radiant as sunshine; and he held his mother in his arms, and she kissed his mouth, and wept as blissfully as any one can weep for joy; and he nodded at every old piece of furniture in the room, at the cupboard with the tea-cups, and at the flower-vase. He nodded at the sleeping-bench, where he had slept as a little boy; but the old Fire-drum he brought out, and dragged it into the middle of the room, and said to it and to his mother:

“My father would have beaten a famous roll this evening. Now I must do it!”

And he beat a thundering roll-call on the instrument, and the Drum felt so highly honored that the parchment burst with exultation.

“He has a splendid touch!” said the Drum. “I’ve a remembrance of him now that will last. I expect that the same thing will happen to his mother, from pure joy over her golden treasure.”

And this is the story of the Golden Treasure.

文章来源:安徒生童话

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