安徒生童话:孩子们的闲话

  • A+
所属分类:民间故事

一个大商人举行了一个儿童招待会。有钱人的孩子和有名人的孩子都到了。这个商人很了不起,是个有学问的人:他曾经进过大学,因为他的和善的父亲要他进。这位父亲本来是一个牛贩子,不过很老实和勤俭。这可以使他积钱,因此他的钱也就越积越多了。他很聪明,而且也有良心;不过人们谈到他的钱的时候多,谈到他的良心的时候少。

在这个商人的家里,常有名人出出进进——所谓有贵族血统的人、有知识的人和两者都有的、或两者完全没有的人。现在儿童招待会或儿童谈话会正在举行,孩子们心里想到什么就讲什么。他们之中有一位很美丽的小姑娘,她可是骄傲得不可一世。不过这种骄傲是因为佣人老吻她而造成的,不是她的父母,因为他们在这一点上还是非常有理智的。她的爸爸是一个“祗候”①,而这是一个很了不起的职位——她知道这一点。

“我是一个祗候的女儿呀!”她说。

她也很可能是一个住在地下室的人②的女儿,因为谁也没有办法安排自己的出身。她告诉别的孩子们,说她的“出生很好”;她还说,如果一个人的出身不好,那么他就不会有什么前途。因此他读书或者努力都没有什么用处。所以一个人的出身不好,自然什么成就也不会有。

“凡是那些名字的结尾是‘生’字的人③,”她说,“他们在这世界上决弄不出一个什么名堂来的!一个人应该把手叉在腰上,跟他们这些‘生’字辈的人保持远远的距离!”于是她就把她美丽的小手臂叉起来,把她的胳膊肘儿弯着,来以身作则。她的小手臂真是非常漂亮,她也天真可爱。

不过那位商人的小姑娘却很生气,因为她爸爸的名字是叫做“马得生”,她知道他的名字的结尾是“生”。因此她尽量做出一种骄傲的神情说:

“但是我的爸爸能买一百块钱的麦芽糖,叫大家挤作一团地来抢!你的爸爸能吗?”

“是的,”一位作家的小女儿说,“但是我的爸爸能把你的爸爸和所有的‘爸爸’写在报纸上发表。我的妈妈说大家都怕他,因为他统治着报纸。”

这个小姑娘昂起头,好像一个真正的公主昂着头的那个样子。

不过在那半掩着的门外站着一个穷苦的孩子。他正在朝门缝里望。这小家伙是那么微贱,他甚至还没有资格走进这个房间里来。他帮女厨子转了一会儿烤肉叉,因此她准许他站在门后偷偷地瞧这些漂亮的孩子在屋子里作乐。这对他说来已经是一件了不起的事情。

“啊,如果我也在他们中间!”他想。于是他听到他们所讲的一些话。这些话无疑使他感到非常不快。他的父母在家里连一个买报纸的铜子也没有,更谈不上在报纸上写什么文章。最糟糕的是他爸爸的姓——因此也就是他自己的姓——是由一个“生”字结尾的!所以他决不会有什么前途的。这真叫人感到悲哀!不过他毕竟是生出来了,而且就他看来,出生得也很好。这是不用怀疑的。

这就是那个晚上就是这个样的事情!

从那以后,许多年过去了,孩子们都已成了大人。

这城里有一幢很漂亮的房子。它里面藏满了美丽的东西,大家都喜欢来参观一下,甚至住在城外的人也跑来看它。我们刚才谈到的那些孩子之中,谁能说这房子是自己的呢?是的,这是很容易弄清楚的!那并不太难。这幢房子是属于那个穷苦的孩子的——他已经成了一个伟大的人,虽然他的名字的结尾是一个“生”字——多瓦尔生④。

至于其余的三个孩子呢?那个有贵族血统的孩子,那个有钱的孩子,那个在精神上非常骄傲的孩子呢?唔,他们彼此都没有什么话说——他们都是一样的人。他们的命运都很好。那天晚上他们所想的和所讲的事情,不过都是孩子的闲话罢了。

①这是一个官职,他的任务是做皇家卧室里的侍从。

②地下室是穷人住的地方。

③生(sen)在丹麦文里是“儿子”的意思。在中古封建时代,贵族都是以自己所出生的地方被封为自己的姓。平民则没有姓,只是以父亲的名,再加一个结尾语“Sen”作为而形成自己的姓。比如安徒生这个名字,实际上的意思是“安徒的儿子”,沿用下来就成了姓。

④多瓦尔生(Bertel Thorwaldsen,1768~1844)是丹麦著名的雕刻家,欧洲古典艺术复兴运动的领导人。

英文版:Children’s Prattle

AT a rich merchant’s house there was a children’s party, and the children of rich and great people were there. The merchant was a learned man, for his father had sent him to college, and he had passed his examination. His father had been at first only a cattle dealer, but always honest and industrious, so that he had made money, and his son, the merchant, had managed to increase his store. Clever as he was, he had also a heart; but there was less said of his heart than of his money. All descriptions of people visited at the merchant’s house, well born, as well as intellectual, and some who possessed neither of these recommendations.

Now it was a children’s party, and there was children’s prattle, which always is spoken freely from the heart. Among them was a beautiful little girl, who was terribly proud; but this had been taught her by the servants, and not by her parents, who were far too sensible people.

Her father was groom of the Chambers, which is a high office at court, and she knew it. “I am a child of the court,” she said; now she might just as well have been a child of the cellar, for no one can help his birth; and then she told the other children that she was well-born, and said that no one who was not well-born could rise in the world. It was no use to read and be industrious, for if a person was not well-born, he could never achieve anything. “And those whose names end with ‘sen,’” said she, “can never be anything at all. We must put our arms akimbo, and make the elbow quite pointed, so as to keep these ‘sen’ people at a great distance.” And then she stuck out her pretty little arms, and made the elbows quite pointed, to show how it was to be done; and her little arms were very pretty, for she was a sweet-looking child.

But the little daughter of the merchant became very angry at this speech, for her father’s name was Petersen, and she knew that the name ended in “sen,” and therefore she said as proudly as she could, “But my papa can buy a hundred dollars’ worth of bonbons, and give them away to children. Can your papa do that?”

“Yes; and my papa,” said the little daughter of the editor of a paper, “my papa can put your papa and everybody’s papa into the newspaper. All sorts of people are afraid of him, my mamma says, for he can do as he likes with the paper.” And the little maiden looked exceedingly proud, as if she had been a real princess, who may be expected to look proud.

But outside the door, which stood ajar, was a poor boy, peeping through the crack of the door. He was of such a lowly station that he had not been allowed even to enter the room. He had been turning the spit for the cook, and she had given him permission to stand behind the door and peep in at the well-dressed children, who were having such a merry time within; and for him that was a great deal. “Oh, if I could be one of them,” thought he, and then he heard what was said about names, which was quite enough to make him more unhappy. His parents at home had not even a penny to spare to buy a newspaper, much less could they write in one; and worse than all, his father’s name, and of course his own, ended in “sen,” and therefore he could never turn out well, which was a very sad thought. But after all, he had been born into the world, and the station of life had been chosen for him, therefore he must be content.

And this is what happened on that evening.

Many years passed, and most of the children became grown-up persons.

There stood a splendid house in the town, filled with all kinds of beautiful and valuable objects. Everybody wished to see it, and people even came in from the country round to be permitted to view the treasures it contained.

Which of the children whose prattle we have described, could call this house his own? One would suppose it very easy to guess. No, no; it is not so very easy. The house belonged to the poor little boy who had stood on that night behind the door. He had really become something great, although his name ended in “sen,”—for it was Thorwaldsen.

And the three other children—the children of good birth, of money, and of intellectual pride,—well, they were respected and honored in the world, for they had been well provided for by birth and position, and they had no cause to reproach themselves with what they had thought and spoken on that evening long ago, for, after all, it was mere “children’s prattle.”

文章来源:安徒生童话

发表评论

:?: :razz: :sad: :evil: :!: :smile: :oops: :grin: :eek: :shock: :???: :cool: :lol: :mad: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :idea: :arrow: :neutral: :cry: :mrgreen: