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The Water Of Life(2)

2006-02-28 00:00

  After that they boarded a ship and sailed over the sea. During the voyage the two elder brothers said to each other:“ Our youngest brother found the Water of Life and we didn't, so our father will give him the kingdom that's due to us and so he'll sob us of our fortunes.” And they sought revenge and plotted together to destroy him. They waited for a time when he was fast asleep, and then they took the Water of Life from him, emptying it out of his cup and pouring salt sea-water into it instead.

  So when they arrived home the youngest son took his cup to the sick king for him to drink out of it and get well. But he had hardly tasted a mouthful of the salt sea-water when he fell even more ill than before. And as he was lamenting about this, his two elder sons came in and accused the youngest of having tried to poison him, but told him that they had brought the real Water of Life. So they gave it to him, and no sooner had he drunk some than he felt his sickness leave him and grew strong and healthy as he had been in his youth.

  After this the two went to their youngest brother and mocked him:“ Oh yes, you found the Water of Life,” they said, “but you've had the trouble and we've got the reward! You should have been cleverer and kept you eyes open: we took it from you when you'd fallen asleep on the ship, and a year from now one of us will fetch that beautiful princess. But mind you say nothing about this; our father wouldn't believe you anyway, and if you utter a single word you'll lose your life as well, but if you hold your tongue we'll spare it.”

  The old king was angry with his youngest son, believing he had tried to kill him. So he summoned all his courtiers and made them pass judgment, and it was decided that the prince should be secretly shot.

  So one day when he was out hunting and suspected nothing, the king's huntsman was ordered to accompany him. When they were out there in the forest quite alone and the huntsman was looking very sad, the prince said to him, “Dear huntsman, what's the matter?” The huntsman said, “I can't tell you, and yet I must.” Then the prince said, “Tell me right out what it is, I'll forgive you.” “Oh, sir,” said the huntsman, “I'm to shoot you dead, it's the king's order.” The prince was startled and said, “Dear huntsman, let me live! Look, I'll give you my royal clothes, give me your plain ones in exchange.” The huntsman said: “I'll gladly do so, I just couldn't have brought myself to shoot at you.” So they changed clothes, and the huntsman went home, but the prince went deeper into the forest.

  Sometime later, the old king received three wagon-loads of gold and precious stones for his youngest son: they had been sent by the three kings who had defeated their enemies with the prince's sword and fed their people with his loaf of bread, and who wanted to show their gratitude. Then the old king thought: can it be that my son was innocent? And he said to his servants, “If only he were still alive! How sorry I am now that I had him killed.” “Sir, he is still alive,” said the huntsman, “for I didn't have the heart to carry out your orders.” And he told the king what had happened. At this a great weight fell from the king's heart, and he had it proclaimed in every kingdom that his son might come home and that we would be graciously welcomed.

  But the princess had a road made leading up to her castle, and it was of pure shining gold; and she told her servants that whoever came riding straight up the middle of it to visit her would be her rightful bridegroom and they were to let him in. But if anyone came riding alongside the road he would not be the right man, and they were not to let him in.

  So when the year was nearly over, the eldest brother decided that he would hurry off to the princess and claim to be her rescuer, and then he would get her for his wife with her kingdom as well. So he rode off, and when he got near the castle and saw the beautiful golden road, he thought: it would be a crying shame to ride on a road like that. So he turned aside and rode up on the right of it. When he came to the gate, the servants told him he wasn't the right man and that he must go away.

  Soon afterwards the second prince set out, and when he came to the golden road and his horse took the first step on it, he thought: it would be a crying shame, his hooves might damage the surface. So he turned aside and rode up on the left of it. But when he came to the gate, the servants said he wasn't the right man and he must go away.

  Then when the year had fully passed, the third brother decided to leave the forest and ride to his beloved and forget his sorrows with her. So he set out and thought of nothing but her and wished he were there already, and didn't even notice the golden road. So his horse went straight up the middle of it, and when he reached the gate it was opened to him and the princess received him with joy, telling him he was her rescuer and the lord of her kingdom.

  Their wedding was celebrated with great happiness, and when it was over she told him that his father had sent for him and forgiven him. So he rode home and told the king everything, and how his brothers had deceived him but he had said nothing about it. The old king wanted to punish them, but they had boarded a ship and set sail and never showed their faces again.

  I. Translation for Reference(参考译文)

  然后,他们弟兄三人乘船过海。船向前航行的时候,两个哥哥秘密地商量着,他们说:“三王子找到了救命水,可是,我们没找到,父亲会把本该归我们所有的王位让给他的。咱们俩什么也得不着了。他会把我们的幸福夺走的。”这样,两个哥哥心里燃烧起仇恨的烈火,一起密谋要毁了弟弟。有一天,他们等弟弟睡熟了,就把弟弟杯里的救命水倒到自己的杯里来。然后,又在弟弟的杯里装上咸苦的海水。

  他们回到家以后,三王子马上把杯子拿给生病的国王,让他喝下里面的水治好病。但是国王只是喝了一点点那咸苦的海水,病就变得比以前更重了。三王子难过得痛哭起来。这时候他的两个哥哥走进来责备他想害死他们的父亲,并且对国王说他们拿来了真正的救命水。接着,他们把救命水送上来。国王喝一下这杯水,马上就觉得病好了,而且还像年轻时那样健康结实,精力旺盛。于是两个哥哥走到三王子跟前来,嘲讽他说:“救命水确实是你找到的。可是你白费了力气,好处我们哥俩领了。你,应该学得更聪明点儿,眼睛再睁得大点儿。你在海上睡觉的时候,我们就把那救命水拿过来了。一年以后,我们俩还会有一个人把那漂亮的公主带回来。可是我们警告你,这些事儿,你不能对别人讲。爸爸是不会相信你的话的。你要是敢说出一句。我们就要你的命,你要是不吱声,我们就饶了你。”

  老国王很恼恨三王子。他以为三我王子真想害死他。于是,他召集大臣们商量怎么惩处三王子。他们想要悄悄地把三王子枪毙了。有一次,三王子出去打猎丝毫未存戒心。老国王派个猎人跟着他。当他们两人从王宫里出来走到森林里的时候,猎人脸上露出了愁容。三王子问猎人:“你怎么了啊?”猎人说:“这个,我是不能说的。可是我必须得告诉你。”三王子说:“有什么事?你说吧!我不会责备你的。”猎人说:“我要枪毙你,这是国王的命令。”三王子吓了一大跳,说:“猎人啊,你救我一命吧!我把我漂亮的衣服给你,你把你的破衣服给我。”“我愿意这样做,无论如何,我不能对你开枪。”于是,他们互相换了衣服,猎人回家去了,三王子走进了大森林。

  过不多久,老国王收到了三辆装有黄金和宝石的大马车。这是三个国王送给三王子的礼物。三个国王借助三王子的宝刀才打败了敌人,靠三王子的面包度过了饥荒,所以才送这些东西来表示谢意。老国王心里想:难道我那个儿子,是没有罪过的。所以他对仆人们说:“我那孩子要是还活着该多好啊。我真后悔杀了他。”“三王子还活着。我没忍心执行你的命令,没有杀他,”猎人说。接着猎人把当时的情况讲给了国王听。国王听了这话,心里的一块石头落了地。于是,他向每个国度发出布告说三王子可以回来,会受到热情的欢迎。

  再说那位公主,她在她的王宫前面用黄金铺了一条闪闪发光的大路,并且对手下人说不管是谁骑着马从这条路中间一直跑过来,那就是她的丈夫,可以把他领近来;如果有人从路边跑过来,那就不是她真正等待的人,就不要把他领进来了。

  一年快过去的时候,大王子急急忙忙地往公主那里赶。他心里想,我自报我就是救了公主的那个人,我就能娶到公主了,还能得到她的国家。于是,他骑着马直奔王宫而来。他看见王宫前的黄金大道,心里想:骑着马从这条大路上走,太过分了吧!于是他拨马到路边去,从右侧往前走。可是当大王子走到王宫门前的时候,手下人对他说他不是公主真正等待的人,应该马上离开。

  不久,二王子也到了,当马蹄刚踏上那黄金大道,二王子心里就想:这太过分了,马蹄会把路踩坏的。于是他也拨马到路边去,从左侧往前走。可是当二王子赶到王宫门前,手下人对他说他不是公主真正等待的人,应该马上离开。

  一年,已经过去了。三王子决心从森林里走出来,直奔他一直想念的公主居住的王宫。他忘记了悲伤,一心想着公主。他要尽快地赶到她的身边,所以不顾一切地往前走啊走,根本没看见那条黄金大道。他的马是从大道的正中间通过的。三王子走到王宫大门口的时候,门开了。公主高高兴兴地出来迎接他,说他才是真正解救他的人并且已经是这个国家的国王了。然后,他们高兴地举行了盛大的婚礼。婚后,公主对三王子说他的爸爸已经派人找他并宽恕了他。于是,三王子骑马回家,把全部情况告诉了老国王,对他说两个哥哥如何欺骗了他,但他却没揭发他们。老国王要教训教训那两个儿子。可是,他们上了海船逃走了,再也没回来。

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