安徒生童话:一个故事

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所属分类:民间故事

安徒生童话:一个故事

花园里的苹果树都开满了花。它们想要在绿叶没有长好以前就赶快开出花朵。院子里的小鸭都跑出来了,猫儿也跟着一起跑出来了;他是在舔着真正的太阳光——舔着他脚爪上的太阳光。如果你朝田野里望,你可以看到一片青翠的小麦。所有的小鸟都在吱吱喳喳地叫,好像这是一个盛大的节日似的。的确,你也可以说这是一个节日,因为这是星期天。

教堂的钟声在响着。大家穿着最好的衣服到教堂去,而且都显出非常高兴的样子。是的,所有的东西都表现出一种愉快的神情。这的确是一个温暖和幸福的日子。人们可以说:“我们的上帝对我们真好!”

不过在教堂里,站在讲台上的牧师却是大叫大嚷,非常生气。他说:人们都不相信上帝,上帝一定要惩罚他们;他们死了以后,坏的就要被打入地狱,而且在地狱里他们将永远被烈火焚烧。他还说,他们良心的责备将永远不停,他们的火焰也永远不灭,他们将永远得不到休息和安静。

听他的这番讲道真叫人害怕,而且他讲得那么肯定。他把地狱描写成为一个腐臭的地洞;世界上所有的脏东西都流进里面去;那里面除了磷火以外,一点儿空气也没有;它是一个无底洞,不声不响地往下沉,永远往下沉。就是光听这个故事,也够叫人心惊胆战的了。但是牧师的这番话语是从心里讲出来的,所以教堂里的听众都给吓得魂不附体。

但是外面的许多小鸟却唱得非常愉快,太阳光也非常温暖,每一朵小花都好像在说,上帝对我们大家太好了。是的,外面的情形一点也不像牧师描写得那么糟。

在晚上要睡觉的时候,牧师看见他的太太坐着一声不响,好像有什么心事似的。

“你在想什么呢?”他问她。

“我在想什么?”她说,“我觉得我想不通,我不能同意你所讲的话。你把罪人说得那么多,你说他们要永远受火烧的刑罚。永远,哎,永远到什么时候呢?连像我这样一个有罪的女人都不忍让最坏的恶人永远受着火刑,我们的上帝怎么能够呢?他是那么仁慈,他知道罪过的形成有内在的原因,也有外在的原因。不,虽然你说得千真万确,我却没有办法相信。”

这时正是秋天,叶子从树上落下来。这位严峻和认真的牧师坐在一个死人的旁边,死者怀着虔诚的信心把眼睛合上了。这就是牧师的妻子。

“如果说世上有一个人应该得到上帝的慈悲和墓中的安息的话,这个人就是你!”牧师说。他把他的双手合起来,对死者的尸体念了一首圣诗。

她被抬到墓地里去,这位一本正经的牧师脸上滚下了两滴眼泪。他家里现在是寂静无声,太阳光消逝了,因为她没有了。

这正是黑夜,一阵冷风吹到牧师的头上来,他把眼睛睁开;这好像月亮已经照进他的房间里来了,但是并没有月亮在照着。在他的床面前站着一个人形。这就是他死去了的妻子的幽灵。她用一种非常悲哀的眼光望着他,好像她有一件什么事情要说似的。

他直起一半身子,把手向她伸过来:“你没有得到永恒的安息吗?你在受苦吗?你——最善良的、最虔诚的人!”

死者低下头,作为一个肯定的回答。她把双手按在胸口。

“我能想办法使你在墓里得到安息吗?”

“能!”幽灵回答说。

“怎样能呢?”

“你只须给我一根头发,一根被不灭的火所烧着的罪人头上的头发——这是一个上帝要打下地狱、永远受苦的罪人!”

“你,纯洁而虔诚的人,你把得救看得这样容易!”

“跟着我来吧!”死者说,“上帝给了我们这种力量。只要你心中想到什么地方去,你就可以从我身边飞到什么地方去。凡人看不见我们,我们可以飞到他们最秘密的角落里去。而且你必须在鸡叫以前就把这个人指出来。”

他们好像是被思想的翅膀拖着似的,很快就飞到一个大城市里去了。所有房子的墙上都燃着火焰所写成的几件大罪的名称:骄傲、贪婪、酗酒、任性——总之,是一整条七种颜色的罪孽所组成的长虹①。

“是的,”牧师说,“在这些房子里面,我相信——同时我也知道——就住着那些注定要永远受火刑的人。”

他们站在一个灯火辉煌的、漂亮的大门口。宽广的台阶上铺着地毯和摆满花朵,欢乐的大厅里飘出跳舞的音乐。侍者穿着丝绸和天鹅绒的衣服,手中拿着包银的手杖。

“我们的舞会比得上皇帝的舞会,”他说。他向街上的人群望了一眼;他的全身——从头到脚——射出这样一个思想:“你们这群可怜的东西,你们朝门里望;比起我来,你们简直是一群叫化子!”

“这是骄傲!”死者说,“你看到他没有?”

“看到他?”牧师重复她的话,“他不过是一个傻瓜,一个呆子。他不会受永恒的火刑和痛苦的。”

“他不过是一个傻子!”整个“骄傲”的屋子发出这样的一个声音。他们全在里面。

他们飞到“贪婪”的四堵墙里面去。这里有一个干瘦的老家伙,又饥又渴,冻得发抖,但是他却聚精会神地抱着他的金子。他们看到他怎样像发热似的从一个破烂的睡榻上跳下来,挪开墙上的一块活动的石头,因为那里面藏着他的装在一只袜子里的许多金币。他抚摸着褴褛的上衣,因为它里面也缝有金币;他的潮湿的手指在发抖。

“他病了。他害的是一种疯病,一种没有乐趣的、充满了恐怖和恶梦的疯病。”

他们匆忙地走开了。他们站在一批罪犯的木板床旁边。这些人紧挨着睡成一排。他们之中有一个人像一只野兽似的从睡梦中跳起来,发出一个可怕的尖叫声。他用他的瘦削的手肘把他旁边的一个人推了几下。这人在睡梦中翻了一个身,说:

“闭住嘴吧,你这个畜生,赶快睡呀!你每天晚上总是来这一套!”

“每天晚上?”他重复着说。“是的,他每天晚上总是来对我乱叫,折磨着我。我一发起脾气来,不做这就要做那,我生下来就是脾气坏的。这已经是我第二次被关在这儿了。不过,假如说我做了坏事,我已经得到了惩罚。只有一件事情我没有承认。上次我从牢里出来的时候,从我主人的田庄附近走过,心里不知怎的忽然闹起别扭来。我在墙上划了一根火柴——我划得离草顶太近,立刻就烧起来了。火燎起来正好像脾气在我身上发作一样。我尽量帮忙救这屋子里的牲口和家具。除了飞进火里去的一群鸽子和套在链子上的看门狗以外,什么活东西也没有烧死。我没有想到那只狗,人们可以听见它在号叫——我现在在睡觉的时候还能听见它号叫。我一睡着,这只毛茸茸的大狗就来了。它躺在我身上号叫,压着我,使我喘不过气来。我告诉你吧:你可以睡得打呼,一整夜打呼,但是我只能睡短短的一刻钟。”

这人的眼睛里射出血丝。他倒到他的朋友身上,紧捏着一个拳头朝他的脸上打来。

“疯子又发作了!”周围的人齐声说。其余的罪犯都把他抓住,和他揪作一团。他们把他弯过来,使他的头夹在两腿中间,然后再把他紧紧地绑住。他的一双眼睛和全身的毛孔几乎都要喷出血来了。

“你这样会把他弄死的,”牧师大声说,“可怜的东西!”他向这个受够了苦的罪人身上伸出一只保护的手来;正在这时候,情景变了。他们飞过富丽的大厅,他们飞过贫穷的房间。“任性”、“嫉妒”和其他主要的“罪孽”都在他们身边走过。一个作为裁判官的安琪儿宣读这些东西的罪过和辩护。在上帝面前,这并不是重要的事情,因为上帝能够洞察人的内心;他知道心里心外的一切罪过;他本身就是慈悲和博爱。牧师的手颤抖起来,他不敢伸出手在这罪人头上拔下一根头发。眼泪像慈悲和博爱的水一样,从他的眼睛里流出来,把地狱里的永恒的火滴熄了。

这时鸡叫了。

“慈悲的上帝!只有您能让她在墓里安息,我做不到这件事情。”

“我现在已经得到安息了,”死者说。“因为你说出那样骇人的话语,你对他和他的造物感到那样悲观,所以我才不得不到你这儿来!好好把人类认识一下吧,就是最坏的人身上也有一点上帝的成分——这点成分可以战胜和熄灭地狱里的火。”

牧师的嘴上得到了一个吻,他的周围充满了阳光。上帝的明朗的太阳光射进房间里来。他的活着的、温柔和蔼的妻子把他从上帝送来的一个梦中唤醒。

英文版:A Story

IN the garden all the apple-trees were in blossom. They had hastened to bring forth flowers before they got green leaves, and in the yard all the ducklings walked up and down, and the cat too: it basked in the sun and licked the sunshine from its own paws. And when one looked at the fields, how beautifully the corn stood and how green it shone, without comparison! and there was a twittering and a fluttering of all the little birds, as if the day were a great festival; and so it was, for it was Sunday. All the bells were ringing, and all the people went to church, looking cheerful, and dressed in their best clothes. There was a look of cheerfulness on everything. The day was so warm and beautiful that one might well have said: “God’s kindness to us men is beyond all limits.” But inside the church the pastor stood in the pulpit, and spoke very loudly and angrily. He said that all men were wicked, and God would punish them for their sins, and that the wicked, when they died, would be cast into hell, to burn for ever and ever. He spoke very excitedly, saying that their evil propensities would not be destroyed, nor would the fire be extinguished, and they should never find rest. That was terrible to hear, and he said it in such a tone of conviction; he described hell to them as a miserable hole where all the refuse of the world gathers.

There was no air beside the hot burning sulphur flame, and there was no ground under their feet; they, the wicked ones, sank deeper and deeper, while eternal silence surrounded them! It was dreadful to hear all that, for the preacher spoke from his heart, and all the people in the church were terrified. Meanwhile, the birds sang merrily outside, and the sun was shining so beautifully warm, it seemed as though every little flower said: “God, Thy kindness towards us all is without limits.” Indeed, outside it was not at all like the pastor’s sermon.

The same evening, upon going to bed, the pastor noticed his wife sitting there quiet and pensive.

“What is the matter with you?” he asked her.

“Well, the matter with me is,” she said, “that I cannot collect my thoughts, and am unable to grasp the meaning of what you said to-day in church—that there are so many wicked people, and that they should burn eternally. Alas! eternally—how long! I am only a woman and a sinner before God, but I should not have the heart to let even the worst sinner burn for ever, and how could our Lord to do so, who is so infinitely good, and who knows how the wickedness comes from without and within? No, I am unable to imagine that, although you say so.”

It was autumn; the trees dropped their leaves, the earnest and severe pastor sat at the bedside of a dying person. A pious, faithful soul closed her eyes for ever; she was the pastor’s wife.

...“If any one shall find rest in the grave and mercy before our Lord you shall certainly do so,” said the pastor. He folded her hands and read a psalm over the dead woman.

She was buried; two large tears rolled over the cheeks of the earnest man, and in the parsonage it was empty and still, for its sun had set for ever. She had gone home.

It was night. A cold wind swept over the pastor’s head; he opened his eyes, and it seemed to him as if the moon was shining into his room. It was not so, however; there was a being standing before his bed, and looking like the ghost of his deceased wife. She fixed her eyes upon him with such a kind and sad expression, just as if she wished to say something to him. The pastor raised himself in bed and stretched his arms towards her, saying, “Not even you can find eternal rest! You suffer, you best and most pious woman?”

The dead woman nodded her head as if to say “Yes,” and put her hand on her breast.

“And can I not obtain rest in the grave for you?”

“Yes,” was the answer.

“And how?”

“Give me one hair—only one single hair—from the head of the sinner for whom the fire shall never be extinguished, of the sinner whom God will condemn to eternal punishment in hell.”

“Yes, one ought to be able to redeem you so easily, you pure, pious woman,” he said.

“Follow me,” said the dead woman. “It is thus granted to us. By my side you will be able to fly wherever your thoughts wish to go. Invisible to men, we shall penetrate into their most secret chambers; but with sure hand you must find out him who is destined to eternal torture, and before the cock crows he must be found!” As quickly as if carried by the winged thoughts they were in the great city, and from the walls the names of the deadly sins shone in flaming letters: pride, avarice, drunkenness, wantonness—in short, the whole seven-coloured bow of sin.

“Yes, therein, as I believed, as I knew it,” said the pastor, “are living those who are abandoned to the eternal fire.” And they were standing before the magnificently illuminated gate; the broad steps were adorned with carpets and flowers, and dance music was sounding through the festive halls. A footman dressed in silk and velvet stood with a large silver-mounted rod near the entrance.

“Our ball can compare favourably with the king’s,” he said, and turned with contempt towards the gazing crowd in the street. What he thought was sufficiently expressed in his features and movements: “Miserable beggars, who are looking in, you are nothing in comparison to me.”

“Pride,” said the dead woman; “do you see him?”

“The footman?” asked the pastor. “He is but a poor fool, and not doomed to be tortured eternally by fire!”

“Only a fool!” It sounded through the whole house of pride: they were all fools there.

Then they flew within the four naked walls of the miser. Lean as a skeleton, trembling with cold, and hunger, the old man was clinging with all his thoughts to his money. They saw him jump up feverishly from his miserable couch and take a loose stone out of the wall; there lay gold coins in an old stocking. They saw him anxiously feeling over an old ragged coat in which pieces of gold were sewn, and his clammy fingers trembled.

“He is ill! That is madness—a joyless madness—besieged by fear and dreadful dreams!”

They quickly went away and came before the beds of the criminals; these unfortunate people slept side by side, in long rows. Like a ferocious animal, one of them rose out of his sleep and uttered a horrible cry, and gave his comrade a violent dig in the ribs with his pointed elbow, and this one turned round in his sleep:

“Be quiet, monster—sleep! This happens every night!”

“Every night!” repeated the other. “Yes, every night he comes and tortures me! In my violence I have done this and that. I was born with an evil mind, which has brought me hither for the second time; but if I have done wrong I suffer punishment for it. One thing, however, I have not yet confessed. When I came out a little while ago, and passed by the yard of my former master, evil thoughts rose within me when I remembered this and that. I struck a match a little bit on the wall; probably it came a little too close to the thatched roof. All burnt down—a great heat rose, such as sometimes overcomes me. I myself helped to rescue cattle and things, nothing alive burnt, except a flight of pigeons, which flew into the fire, and the yard dog, of which I had not thought; one could hear him howl out of the fire, and this howling I still hear when I wish to sleep; and when I have fallen asleep, the great rough dog comes and places himself upon me, and howls, presses, and tortures me. Now listen to what I tell you! You can snore; you are snoring the whole night, and I hardly a quarter of an hour!” And the blood rose to the head of the excited criminal; he threw himself upon his comrade, and beat him with his clenced fist in the face.

“Wicked Matz has become mad again!” they said amongst themselves. The other criminals seized him, wrestled with him, and bent him double, so that his head rested between his knees, and they tied him, so that the blood almost came out of his eyes and out of all his pores.

“You are killing the unfortunate man,” said the pastor, and as he stretched out his hand to protect him who already suffered too much, the scene changed. They flew through rich halls and wretched hovels; wantonness and envy, all the deadly sins, passed before them. An angel of justice read their crimes and their defence; the latter was not a brilliant one, but it was read before God, Who reads the heart, Who knows everything, the wickedness that comes from within and from without, Who is mercy and love personified. The pastor’s hand trembled; he dared not stretch it out, he did not venture to pull a hair out of the sinner’s head. And tears gushed from his eyes like a stream of mercy and love, the cooling waters of which extinguished the eternal fire of hell.

Just then the cock crowed.

“Father of all mercy, grant Thou to her the peace that I was unable to procure for her!”

“I have it now!” said the dead woman. “It was your hard words, your despair of mankind, your gloomy belief in God and His creation, which drove me to you. Learn to know mankind! Even in the wicked one lives a part of God—and this extinguishes and conquers the flame of hell!”

The pastor felt a kiss on his lips; a gleam of light surrounded him—God’s bright sun shone into the room, and his wife, alive, sweet and full of love, awoke him from a dream which God had sent him!

文章来源:安徒生童话

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