一本不说话的书

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所属分类:民间故事

不说话的书简介

“不说话的书”实际上说了许多话——说明了一个“老学生”的一生:“假如我们把我们年轻时代的旧信拿出来读读,我们会产生一种多么奇怪的感觉啊!整个的一生和这生命中的希望和哀愁都会浮现出来。”正因为那个“老学生”就要把保留着他“一生的希望和哀愁”的那本书装进他的棺材里去……那么他将在坟墓里得到他的安息。

不说话的书

在公路旁的一个树林里,有一个孤独的农庄。人们沿着公路可以一直走进这农家的大院子里去。太阳在这儿照着;所有的窗子都是开着的。房子里面是一起忙碌的声音;但在院子里,在一个开满了花的紫丁香组成的凉亭下,停着一口敞着的棺材。一个死人已经躺在里面,这天上午就要入葬。棺材旁没有守着任何一个悼念死者的人;没有任何人对他流一滴眼泪。他的面孔是用一块白布盖着的,他的头底下垫着一大本厚书。书页是由一整张灰纸叠成的;每一页上夹着一朵被忘记了的萎谢了的花。这是一本完整的植物标本,在许多不同的地方搜集得来的。它要陪死者一起被埋葬掉,因为这是他的遗嘱。每朵花都联系到他生命的一章。

“死者是谁呢?"我们问。回答是:"他是乌卜萨拉的一个老学生①。人们说:他曾经是一个活泼的年轻人;他懂得古代的文学,他会唱歌,他甚至还写诗。但是由于他曾经遭遇到某种事故,他把他的思想和他的生命沉浸在烧酒里。当他的健康最后也毁在酒里的时候,他就搬到这个乡下来。别人供给他膳宿。只要阴郁的情绪不来袭击他的时候,他是纯洁得像一个孩子,因为这时他就变得非常活泼,在森林里跑来跑去,像一只被追逐着的雄鹿。不过,只要我们把他喊回家来,让他看看这本装满了干植物的书,他就能坐一整天,一会儿看看这种植物,一会儿看看那种植物。有时他的眼泪就沿着他的脸滚下来:只有上帝知道他在想什么东西!但是他要求把这本书装进他的棺材里去。因此现在它就躺在那里面。不一会儿棺材盖子就会钉上,那么他将在坟墓里得到他的安息。”

他的面布揭开了。死人的面上露出一种和平的表情。一丝太阳光射在它上面。一只燕子像箭似地飞进凉亭里来,很快地掉转身,在死人的头上喃喃地叫了几声。

我们都知道,假如我们把我们年轻时代的旧信拿出来读读,我们会产生一种多么奇怪的感觉啊!整个的一生和这生命中的希望和哀愁都会浮现出来。我们在那时来往很亲密的一些人,现在该是有多少已经死去了啊!然而他们还是活着的,只不过我们长久没有想到他们罢了。那时我们以为永远会跟他们亲密地生活在一起,会跟他们一起共甘苦。

这书里面有一起萎枯了的栎树叶子。它使这书的主人记起一个老朋友——一个老同学,一个终身的友伴。他在一个绿树林里面把这片叶子插在学生帽上,从那时其他们结为"终身的"朋友。现在他住在什么地方呢?这片叶子被保存了下来,但是友情已经忘记了!

这儿有一棵异国的、在温室里培养出来的植物;对于北国的花园说来,它是太娇嫩了;它的叶子似乎还保留着它的香气。这是一位贵族花园里的小姐把它摘下来送给他的。

这儿有一朵睡莲。它是他亲手摘下来的,并且用他的咸眼泪把它润湿过——这朵在甜水里生长的睡莲。

这儿有一根荨麻——它的叶子说明什么呢?当他把它采下来和把它保存下来的时候,他心中在想些什么呢?

这儿有一朵幽居在森林里的铃兰花;这儿有一朵从酒店的花盆里摘下来的金银花;这儿有一起尖尖的草叶!

开满了花的紫丁香在死者的头上轻轻垂下它新鲜的、芬芳的花簇。燕子又飞过去了。"唧唧!唧唧!"这时人们拿着钉子和锤子走来了。棺材盖在死者身上盖下了——他的头在这本不说话的书上安息。埋葬了——遗忘了!

①乌卜萨拉是瑞典一个古老的大学。这儿常常有些学生,到老还没有毕业。

英文版:The Dumb Book

IN the high-road which led through a wood stood a solitary farm-house; the road, in fact, ran right through its yard. The sun was shining and all the windows were open; within the house people were very busy. In the yard, in an arbour formed by lilac bushes in full bloom, stood an open coffin; thither they had carried a dead man, who was to be buried that very afternoon. Nobody shed a tear over him; his face was covered over with a white cloth, under his head they had placed a large thick book, the leaves of which consisted of folded sheets of blotting-paper, and withered flowers lay between them; it was the herbarium which he had gathered in various places and was to be buried with him, according to his own wish. Every one of the flowers in it was connected with some chapter of his life.

“Who is the dead man?” we asked.

“The old student,” was the reply. “They say that he was once an energetic young man, that he studied the dead languages, and sang and even composed many songs; then something had happened to him, and in consequence of this he gave himself up to drink, body and mind. When at last he had ruined his health, they brought him into the country, where someone paid for his board and residence. He was gentle as a child as long as the sullen mood did not come over him; but when it came he was fierce, became as strong as a giant, and ran about in the wood like a chased deer. But when we succeeded in bringing him home, and prevailed upon him to open the book with the dried-up plants in it, he would sometimes sit for a whole day looking at this or that plant, while frequently the tears rolled over his cheeks. God knows what was in his mind; but he requested us to put the book into his coffin, and now he lies there. In a little while the lid will be placed upon the coffin, and he will have sweet rest in the grave!”

The cloth which covered his face was lifted up; the dead man’s face expressed peace—a sunbeam fell upon it. A swallow flew with the swiftness of an arrow into the arbour, turning in its flight, and twittered over the dead man’s head.

What a strange feeling it is—surely we all know it—to look through old letters of our young days; a different life rises up out of the past, as it were, with all its hopes and sorrows. How many of the people with whom in those days we used to be on intimate terms appear to us as if dead, and yet they are still alive—only we have not thought of them for such a long time, whom we imagined we should retain in our memories for ever, and share every joy and sorrow with them.

The withered oak leaf in the book here recalled the friend, the schoolfellow, who was to be his friend for life. He fixed the leaf to the student’s cap in the green wood, when they vowed eternal friendship. Where does he dwell now? The leaf is kept, but the friendship does no longer exist. Here is a foreign hothouse plant, too tender for the gardens of the North. It is almost as if its leaves still smelt sweet! She gave it to him out of her own garden—a nobleman’s daughter.

Here is a water-lily that he had plucked himself, and watered with salt tears—a lily of sweet water. And here is a nettle: what may its leaves tell us? What might he have thought when he plucked and kept it? Here is a little snowdrop out of the solitary wood; here is an evergreen from the flower-pot at the tavern; and here is a simple blade of grass.

The lilac bends its fresh fragrant flowers over the dead man’s head; the swallow passes again—“twit, twit;” now the men come with hammer and nails, the lid is placed over the dead man, while his head rests on the dumb book—so long cherished, now closed for ever!

文章来源:安徒生童话

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