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The Tinder-Box(1)

2006-02-28 00:00

  The Tinder-Box(1)

  By Hans Christian Andersen (1835)

  英汉对照A SOLDIER came marching along the high road: “Left, right—left, right.” He had his knapsack on his back, and a sword at his side; he had been to the wars, and was now returning home.

  As he walked on, he met a very frightful-looking old witch in the road. Her under-lip hung quite down on her breast, and she stopped and said, “Good evening, soldier; you have a very fine sword, and a large knapsack, and you are a real soldier; so you shall have as much money as ever you like.”

  “Thank you, old witch,” said the soldier.

  “Do you see that large tree,” said the witch, pointing to a tree which stood beside them. “Well, it is quite hollow inside, and you must climb to the top, when you will see a hole, through which you can let yourself down into the tree to a great depth. I will tie a rope round your body, so that I can pull you up again when you call out to me.”

  “But what am I to do, down there in the tree?” asked the soldier.

  “Get money,” she replied; “for you must know that when you reach the ground under the tree, you will find yourself in a large hall, lighted up by three hundred lamps; you will then see three doors, which can be easily opened, for the keys are in all the locks. On entering the first of the chambers, to which these doors lead, you will see a large chest, standing in the middle of the floor, and upon it a dog seated, with a pair of eyes as large as teacups. But you need not be at all afraid of him; I will give you my blue checked apron, which you must spread upon the floor, and then boldly seize hold of the dog, and place him upon it. You can then open the chest, and take from it as many pence as you please, they are only copper pence; but if you would rather have silver money, you must go into the second chamber. Here you will find another dog, with eyes as big as mill-wheels; but do not let that trouble you. Place him upon my apron, and then take what money you please. If, however, you like gold best, enter the third chamber, where there is another chest full of it. The dog who sits on this chest is very dreadful; his eyes are as big as a tower, but do not mind him. If he also is placed upon my apron, he cannot hurt you, and you may take from the chest what gold you will.”

  “This is not a bad story,” said the soldier; “but what am I to give you, you old witch? For, of course, you do not mean to tell me all this for nothing.”

  “No,” said the witch; “but I do not ask for a single penny. Only promise to bring me an old tinder-box, which my grandmother left behind the last time she went down there.”

  “Very well; I promise. Now tie the rope round my body.”

  “Here it is,” replied the witch; “and here is my blue checked apron.”

  As soon as the rope was tied, the soldier climbed up the tree, and let himself down through the hollow to the ground beneath; and here he found, as the witch had told him, a large hall, in which many hundred lamps were all burning. Then he opened the first door. “Ah!” there sat the dog, with the eyes as large as teacups, staring at him.

  “You're a pretty fellow,” said the soldier, seizing him, and placing him on the witch's apron, while he filled his pockets from the chest with as many pieces as they would hold. Then he closed the lid, seated the dog upon it again, and walked into another chamber, And, sure enough, there sat the dog with eyes as big as mill-wheels.

  “You had better not look at me in that way,” said the soldier; “you will make your eyes water;” and then he seated him also upon the apron, and opened the chest. But when he saw what a quantity of silver money it contained, he very quickly threw away all the coppers he had taken, and filled his pockets and his knapsack with nothing but silver.

  Then he went into the third room, and there the dog was really hideous; his eyes were, truly, as big as towers, and they turned round and round in his head like wheels.

  “Good morning,” said the soldier, touching his cap, for he had never seen such a dog in his life. But after looking at him more closely, he thought he had been civil enough, so he placed him on the floor, and opened the chest. Good gracious, what a quantity of gold there was! Enough to buy all the sugar-sticks of the sweet-stuff women; all the tin soldiers, whips, and rocking-horses in the world, or even the whole town itself There was, indeed, an immense quantity. So the soldier now threw away all the silver money he had taken, and filled his pockets and his knapsack with gold instead; and not only his pockets and his knapsack, but even his cap and boots, so that he could scarcely walk.

  He was really rich now; so he replaced the dog on the chest, closed the door, and called up through the tree, “Now pull me out, you old witch.”

  “Have you got the tinder-box?” asked the witch.

  “No; I declare I quite forgot it.” So he went back and fetched the tinderbox, and then the witch drew him up out of the tree, and he stood again in the high road, with his pockets, his knapsack, his cap, and his boots full of gold.

  “What are you going to do with the tinder-box?” asked the soldier.

  “That is nothing to you,” replied the witch; “you have the money, now give me the tinder-box.”

  “I tell you what,” said the soldier, “if you don't tell me what you are going to do with it, I will draw my sword and cut off your head.”

  “No,” said the witch.

  The soldier immediately cut off her head, and there she lay on the ground. Then he tied up all his money in her apron. and slung it on his back like a bundle, put the tinderbox in his pocket, and walked off to the nearest town. It was a very nice town, and he put up at the best inn, and ordered a dinner of all his favorite dishes, for now he was rich and had plenty of money.

  The servant, who cleaned his boots, thought they certainly were a shabby pair to be worn by such a rich gentleman, for he had not yet bought any new ones. The next day, however, he procured some good clothes and proper boots, so that our soldier soon became known as a fine gentleman, and the people visited him, and told him all the wonders that were to be seen in the town, and of the king's beautiful daughter, the princess.

  “Where can I see her?” asked the soldier.

  “She is not to be seen at all,” they said; “she lives in a large copper castle, surrounded by walls and towers. No one but the king himself can pass in or out, for there has been a prophecy that she will marry a common soldier, and the king cannot bear to think of such a marriage.”

  “I should like very much to see her,” thought the soldier; but he could not obtain permission to do so. However, he passed a very pleasant time; went to the theatre, drove in the king's garden, and gave a great deal of money to the poor, which was very good of him; he remembered what it had been in olden times to be without a shilling. Now he was rich, had fine clothes, and many friends, who all declared he was a fine fellow and a real gentleman, and all this gratified him exceedingly. But his money would not last forever; and as he spent and gave away a great deal daily, and received none, he found himself at last with only two shillings left. So he was obliged to leave his elegant rooms, and live in a little garret under the roof, where he had to clean his own boots, and even mend them with a large needle. None of his friends came to see him, there were too many stairs to mount up.

  I. Translation for Reference(参考译文)

  打火匣

  公路上有一个兵在开步走——一,二!一,二!他背着一个行军袋,腰间挂着一把长剑,因为他已经参加过好几次战争,现在要回家去。他在路上碰见一个老巫婆;她是一个非常可憎的人物,她的下嘴唇垂到她的奶上。她说:“晚安,兵士!你的剑真好,你的行军袋真大,你真是一个不折不扣的兵士!现在你喜欢要有多少钱就可以有多少钱了。”

  “谢谢你,老巫婆!”兵士说。

  “你看见那棵大树吗?”巫婆说,指着他们旁边的一棵树。“那里面是空的。如果你爬到它的顶上去,就可以看到一个洞口。你从那儿朝下一溜,就可以深深地钻进树身里去。我要你腰上系一根绳子,这样,你喊我的时候,便可以把你拉上来。”

  “我到树底下去干什么呢?”兵士问。

  “取钱呀,”巫婆回答说。“你将会知道,你一钻进树底下去,就会看到一条宽大的走廊。那儿很亮,因为那里点着100多盏明灯。你会看到三个门,都可以打开,因为钥匙就在门锁里。你走进第一个房间,可以看到当中有一口大箱子,上面坐着一只狗,它的眼睛非常大,像一对茶杯。可是你不要管它!我可以把我蓝格子布的围裙给你。你把它铺在地上,后赶快走过去,把那只狗抱起来,放在我的围裙上。于是你就把箱子打开,你想要多少钱就取出多少钱。这些钱都是铜铸的。但是如果你想取得银铸的钱,就得走进第二个房间里去。不过那儿坐着一只狗,它的眼睛有水车轮那么大。可是你不要去理它。你把它放在我的围裙上,然后把钱取出来。可是,如果你想得到金子铸的钱,你也可以达到目的。你拿得动多少就可以拿多少——假如你到第三个房间里去的话。不过坐在这儿钱箱上的那只狗的一对眼睛,可有'圆塔'(注:这是指哥本哈根的有名的”圆塔“;它原先是一个天文台。)那么大啦。你要知道,它才算得是一只狗啦!可是你一点也不必害怕。你只消把它放在我的围裙上,它就不会伤害你了。你从那个箱子里能够取出多少金子来,就取出多少来吧。”

  “这倒很不坏,”兵士说。“不过我拿什么东西来酬谢你呢。老巫婆?我想你不会什么也不要吧。”

  “不要,”巫婆说,“我一个铜板也不要。我只要你替我把那个旧打火匣取出来。那是我祖母上次忘掉在那里面的。”

  “好吧!请你把绳子系到我腰上吧。”兵士说。

  “好吧,”巫婆说。“把我的蓝格子围裙拿去吧。”

  兵士爬上树,一下子就溜进那个洞口里去了。正如老巫婆说的一样,他现在来到了一条点着几百盏灯的大走廊里。他打开第一道门。哎呀!果然有一条狗坐在那儿。眼睛有茶杯那么大,直瞪着他。

  “你这个好家伙!”兵士说。于是他就把它抱到巫婆的围裙上。然后他就取出了许多铜板,他的衣袋能装多少就装多少。他把箱子锁好,把狗儿又放到上面,于是他就走进第二个房间里去。哎呀!这儿坐着一只狗,眼睛大得简直像一对水车轮。

  “你不应该这样死盯着我,”兵士说。“这样你就会弄坏你的眼睛啦。”他把狗儿抱到女巫的围裙上。当他看到箱子里有那么多的银币的时候,他就把他所有的铜板都扔掉,把自己的衣袋和行军袋全装满了银币。随后他就走进第三个房间——乖乖,这可真有点吓人!这儿的一只狗,两只眼睛真正有“圆塔”那么大!它们在脑袋里转动着,简直像轮子!

  “晚安!”兵士说。他把手举到帽子边上行了个礼,因为他以前从来没有看见过这样的一只狗儿。不过,他对它瞧了一会儿以后,心里就想,“现在差不多了。”他把它抱下来放到地上。于是他就打开箱子。老天爷呀!那里面的金子真够多!他可以用这金子把整个的哥本哈根买下来,他可以把卖糕饼女人(注:这是指旧时丹麦卖零食和玩具的一种小贩。“糖猪”(Sukkergrise)是糖做的小猪,既可以当玩具,又可以吃掉。)所有的糖猪都买下来,他可以把全世界的锡兵啦、马鞭啦、摇动的木马啦,全部都买下来。是的,钱可真是不少——兵士把他衣袋和行军袋里满装着的银币全都倒出来,把金子装进去。是的,他的衣袋,他的行军袋,他的帽子,他的皮靴全都装满了,他几乎连走也走不动了。现在他的确有钱了。他把狗儿又放到箱子上去,锁好了门,在树里朝上面喊一声:“把我拉上来呀,老巫婆!”

  “你取到打火匣没有?”巫婆问。

  “一点也不错!”兵士说。“我把它忘记得一干二净。”于是他又走下去,把打火匣取来。巫婆把他拉了出来。所以他现在又站在大路上了。他的衣袋、皮靴、行军袋、帽子,全都盛满了钱。

  “你要这打火匣有什么用呢?”兵士问。

  “这与你没有什么相干,”巫婆反驳他说,“你已经得到钱——你只消把打火匣交给我好了。”

  “废话!”兵士说。“你要它有什么用,请你马上告诉我。不然我就抽出剑来,把你的头砍掉。”

  “我可不能告诉你!”巫婆说。

  兵士一下子就把她的头砍掉了。她倒了下来!他把他所有的钱都包在她的围裙里,像一捆东西似的背在背上;然后把那个打火匣放在衣袋里,一直向城里走去。

  这是一个顶漂亮的城市!他住进一个最好的旅馆里去,开了最舒服的房间,叫了他最喜欢的酒菜,因为他现在发了财,有的是钱。替他擦皮靴的那个茶房觉得,像他这样一位有钱的绅士,他的这双皮鞋真是旧得太滑稽了。但是新的他还来不及买。第二天他买到了合适的靴子和漂亮的衣服。现在我们的这位兵士成了一个焕然一新的绅士了。大家把城里所有的一切事情都告诉他,告诉他关于国王的事情,告诉他这国王的女儿是一位非常美丽的公主。

  “在什么地方可以看到她呢?”兵士问。

  “谁也不能见到她,”大家齐声说。“她住在一幢宽大的铜宫里,周围有好几道墙和好几座塔。只有国王本人才能在那儿自由进出,因为从前曾经有过一个预言,说她将会嫁给一个普通的士兵,这可叫国王忍受不了。”

  “我倒想看看她呢,”兵士想。不过他得不到许可。

  他现在生活得很愉快,常常到戏院去看戏,到国王的花园里去逛逛,送许多钱给穷苦的人们。这是一种良好的行为,因为他自己早已体会到,没有钱是多么可怕的事!现在他有钱了,有华美的衣服穿,交了很多朋友。这些朋友都说他是一个稀有的人物,一位豪侠之士。

  这类话使这个兵士听起来非常舒服。不过他每天只是把钱花出去,却赚不进一个来。所以最后他只剩下两个铜板了。因此他就不得不从那些漂亮房间里搬出来,住到顶层的一间阁楼里去。他也只好自己擦自己的皮鞋,自己用缝针补自己的皮鞋了。他的朋友谁也不来看他了,因为走上去要爬很高的梯子。

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