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恶毒的王子

2006-02-28 00:00

  The Wicked Prince

  这篇小故事最初发表于1840年10月在哥本哈根出版的《沙龙》杂志上。安徒生在他的手记中说,这是一个在民间口头上流传的故事,他记得很清楚。于是,就写成一篇童话,把这个故事的这样内涵意义表达出来:一个貌似凶猛、不可一世的暴君——即现代所谓的独裁者——往往会在一些渺小的人物手上栽跟头,导致他的“伟大事业彻底失败”。这个故事中的王子做梦也没有想到,他会被一个钻进他的耳朵里去的小蚊蚋弄得最后发了疯。

  HERE lived once upon a time a wicked prince whose heart and mind were to set upon conquering all the countries of the world, and on frightening the people; he devastated their countries with fire and sword, and his soldiers trod down the crops in the fields and destroyed the peasants' huts by fire, so that the flames licked the green leaves off the branches, and the fruit hung dried up on the singed black trees. Many a poor mother fled, her naked baby in her arms, behind the still smoking walls of her cottage; but also there the soldiers followed her, and when they found her, she served as new nourishment to their diabolical enjoyments; demons could not possibly have done worse things than these soldiers! The prince was of opinion that all this was right, and that it was only the natural course which things ought to take. His power increased day by day, his name was feared by all, and fortune favoured his deeds.

  He brought enormous wealth home from the conquered towns, and gradually accumulated in his residence riches which could nowhere be equalled. He erected magnificent palaces, churches, and halls, and all who saw these splendid buildings and great treasures exclaimed admiringly: “What a mighty prince!” But they did not know what endless misery he had brought upon other countries, nor did they hear the sighs and lamentations which rose up from the débris of the destroyed cities.

  The prince often looked with delight upon his gold and his magnificent edifices, and thought, like the crowd: “What a mighty prince! But I must have more—much more. No power on earth must equal mine, far less exceed it.”

  He made war with all his neighbours, and defeated them. The conquered kings were chained up with golden fetters to his chariot when he drove through the streets of his city. These kings had to kneel at his and his courtiers' feet when they sat at table, and live on the morsels which they left. At last the prince had his own statue erected on the public places and fixed on the royal palaces; nay, he even wished it to be placed in the churches, on the altars, but in this the priests opposed him, saying: “Prince, you are mighty indeed, but God's power is much greater than yours; we dare not obey your orders.”

  “Well,” said the prince. “Then I will conquer God too.” And in his haughtiness and foolish presumption he ordered a magnificent ship to be constructed, with which he could sail through the air; it was gorgeously fitted out and of many colours; like the tail of a peacock, it was covered with thousands of eyes, but each eye was the barrel of a gun. The prince sat in the centre of the ship, and had only to touch a spring in order to make thousands of bullets fly out in all directions, while the guns were at once loaded again. Hundreds of eagles were attached to this ship, and it rose with the swiftness of an arrow up towards the sun. The earth was soon left far below, and looked, with its mountains and woods, like a cornfield where the plough had made furrows which separated green meadows; soon it looked only like a map with indistinct lines upon it; and at last it entirely disappeared in mist and clouds. Higher and higher rose the eagles up into the air; then God sent one of his numberless angels against the ship. The wicked prince showered thousands of bullets upon him, but they rebounded from his shining wings and fell down like ordinary hailstones. One drop of blood, one single drop, came out of the white feathers of the angel's wings and fell upon the ship in which the prince sat, burnt into it, and weighed upon it like thousands of hundredweights, dragging it rapidly down to the earth again; the strong wings of the eagles gave way, the wind roared round the prince's head, and the clouds around—were they formed by the smoke rising up from the burnt cities?—took strange shapes, like crabs many, many miles long, which stretched their claws out after him, and rose up like enormous rocks, from which rolling masses dashed down, and became fire-spitting dragons.

  The prince was lying half-dead in his ship, when it sank at last with a terrible shock into the branches of a large tree in the wood.

  “I will conquer God!” said the prince. “I have sworn it: my will must be done!”

  And he spent seven years in the construction of wonderful ships to sail through the air, and had darts cast from the hardest steel to break the walls of heaven with. He gathered warriors from all countries, so many that when they were placed side by side they covered the space of several miles. They entered the ships and the prince was approaching his own, when God sent a swarm of gnats—one swarm of little gnats. They buzzed round the prince and stung his face and hands; angrily he drew his sword and brandished it, but he only touched the air and did not hit the gnats. Then he ordered his servants to bring costly coverings and wrap him in them, that the gnats might no longer be able to reach him. The servants carried out his orders, but one single gnat had placed itself inside one of the coverings, crept into the prince's ear and stung him. The place burnt like fire, and the poison entered into his blood. Mad with pain, he tore off the coverings and his clothes too, flinging them far away, and danced about before the eyes of his ferocious soldiers, who now mocked at him, the mad prince, who wished to make war with God, and was overcome by a single little gnat.

  Reference Version (参考译文)

  从前有一个恶毒而傲慢的王子,他的全部野心是想要征服世界上所有的国家,使人一听到他的名字就害怕。他带着火和剑出征;他的兵士践踏着田野里的麦子,放火焚烧农民的房屋。鲜红的火焰燎着树上的叶子,把果子烧毁,挂在焦黑的树枝上。许多可怜的母亲,抱着赤裸的、仍然在吃奶的孩子藏到那些冒着烟的墙后面去。兵士搜寻着她们。如果找到了她们和孩子,那么他们的恶作剧就开始了。恶魔都做不出像他们那样坏的事情,但是这位王子却认为他们的行为很好。他的威力一天一天地增大;他的名字大家一提起来就害怕;他做什么事情都得到成功。

  他从被征服了的城市中搜刮来许多金子和大量财富。他在京城里积蓄的财富,比什么地方都多。他下令建立起许多辉煌的宫殿、教堂和拱廊。凡是见过这些华丽场面的人都说:“多么伟大的王子啊!”他们没有想到他在别的国家里造成的灾难,他们没有听到从那些烧毁了的城市的废墟中发出的呻吟和叹息声。

  这位王子瞧瞧他的金子,瞧瞧他那些雄伟的建筑物,也不禁有与众人同样的想法:“多么伟大的王子啊!不过,我还要有更多、更多的东西!我不准世上有任何其他的威力赶上我,更不用说超过我!”

  于是他对所有的邻国掀起战争,并且征服了它们。当他乘着车子在街道上走过的时候,他就把那些俘虏来的国王套上金链条,系在他的车上。吃饭的时候,他强迫这些国王跪在他和他的朝臣们的脚下,同时从餐桌上扔下面包屑,要他们吃。现在王子下令要把他的雕像竖在所有的广场上和宫殿里,甚至还想竖在教堂神龛面前呢。不过祭司们说:“你的确威力不小,不过上帝的威力比你的要大得多。我们不敢做这样的事情。”

  “那么好吧,”恶毒的王子说,“我要征服上帝!”他心里充满了傲慢和愚蠢,他下令要建造一只巧妙的船。他要坐上这条船在空中航行。这条船必须像孔雀尾巴一样色彩鲜艳,必须像是嵌着几千只眼睛——但是每只眼睛却是一个炮孔。王子只须坐在船的中央,按一下羽毛就有一千颗子弹向四面射出,同时这些枪就立刻又自动地装上子弹。船的前面套着几百只大鹰——他就这样向太阳飞去。大地低低地横在下面。地上的大山和森林,第一眼看来就像加过工的田野;绿苗从它犁过了的草皮里冒出来。不一会儿就像一张平整的地图;最后它就完全在云雾中不见了。这些鹰在空中越飞越高。这时上帝从他无数的安琪儿当中,先派遣了一位安琪儿。这个邪恶的王子就马上向他射出几千发子弹;不过子弹像冰雹一样,都被安琪儿光耀的翅膀撞回来了。有一滴血——唯一的一滴血——从那雪白的翅膀上的羽毛上落下来,落在这位王子乘坐的船上。血在船里烧起来,像500多吨重的铅,击碎了这条船,同时把这条船沉沉地压下来。那些鹰的坚强的羽毛都断了。风在王子的头上呼啸。那焚烧着的船发出的烟雾在他周围集结成骇人的形状,像一些向他伸着尖锐前爪的庞大的螃蟹,也像一些滚动着的石堆和喷火的巨龙。

  王子在船里,吓得半死。这条船最后落在一个浓密的森林上面。

  “我要战胜上帝!”他说。“我既起了这个誓言,我的意志必须实现!”

  他花了七年工夫制造出一些能在空中航行的、精巧的船。他用最坚固的钢制造出闪电来,因为他希望攻破天上的堡垒。他在他的领土里招募了一支强大的军队。当这些军队排列成队形的时候,他们可以铺满许多里地的面积。他们爬上这些船,王子也走进他的那条船,这时上帝送来一群蚊蚋——只是一小群蚊蚋。这些小虫子在王子的周围嗡嗡地叫,刺着他的脸和手。他一生气就抽出剑来,但是他只刺着不可捉摸的空气,刺不着蚊蚋。于是他命令他的部下拿最贵重的帷幔把他包起来,使得蚊蚋刺不着他。他的下人执行了他的命令。不过帷幔里面贴着一只小蚊蚋。它钻进王子的耳朵里,在那里面刺他。它刺得像火烧一样,它的毒穿进他的脑子。他把帷幔从他的身上撕掉,把衣服也撕掉。他在那些粗鲁、野蛮的兵士面前一丝不挂地跳起舞来。这些兵士现在都讥笑着这个疯了的王子——这个想向上帝进攻、而自己却被一个小蚊蚋征服了的王子。

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