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皮匠和银行家

2006-05-30 15:25

The Cobbler and the Banker 皮匠和银行家

  A cobbler passed his time in singing from morning till night;it was wonderful to see,wonderful to hear him;he was more contented in shoes,than was any of the seven sages.his neighbor,on the contrary,who was rolling in wealth,sung but little and slept less.he was a banker;when by chance he fell into a doze at day-break,the cobbler awoke him with his song.the banker complained sadly that providence had not made sleep a saleable commodity,like edibles or drinkables.having at length sent for the songster,he said to him,“how much a year do you earn,master gregory?” “how much a year,sir?”said the merry cobbler laughing,“i have reckon in that way,living as i do from one day to another;somehow i manage to reach the end of the year;each day brings its meal.” “well then!how much a day do you earn,my friend?”“sometimes more,sometimes less;but the worst of it is,-and,without that our earnings would be very tolerable,-a number of days occur in the year on which we are forbidden to work;and the curate,moreover,is constantly adding some new saint to the list.” the banker,laughing at his simplicity,said,“in the future i shall place you above want.take this hundred crowns,preserve them carefully,and make use of them in time of need.”the cobbler fancied he beheld all the wealth which the earth had produced in the past century for the use of mankind.returning home,he buried his money and his happiness at the same time,no more singin;he lost his voice,the moment he acquired that which is the source of so much grief.sleep quitted his dwelling;and cares,suspicions,and false alarms took its place,all day,his eye wandered in the direction of his treasure;and at night,if some stray cat made a noise,the cat was robbing him.at length the poor man ran to the house of his rich neighbor:“give me back.” said he,“sleep and my voice,and take your hundred crowns.”

  一个皮匠从早到晚在唱歌中度过。无论见到他本人或听见他的歌声都使人觉得很愉快。他对于制鞋工作比当上了希腊七对还要满足。与此相反,他的邻居是个银行家,拥有万贯家财,却很少唱歌,晚上也睡得不好。他偶尔在黎明时分迷迷糊糊刚入睡,皮匠的歌声便于工作把他吵醒了。银行家郁郁寡欢地抱怨上帝没有睡眠也制成一种像食品或饮料那样可以买卖的商品。后来,银行家就叫人把这位歌手请来,问道:“格列戈里师傅,你一年赚多少钱?”“先生,你问我一年赚多少钱吗?”快乐的皮匠笑道:“我从来不算这笔帐,我是一天一天地过日子,总而言之坚持到年底,每天挣足三餐。”“啊,朋友,那么你一天赚多少钱呢?”“有时多一点,有时少一点;不过最糟糕的是一年中总有些日子不准我们做买卖,牧师又常常在圣徒名单上添新名字,否则我们的收入也还算不错的。”银行家被皮匠的直率逗笑了,他说:“我要你从今以后不愁没钱用。这一百枚钱你拿去,小心放好,需要时拿来用吧。”皮匠觉自己好像看到了过去几百年来大地为人类所需而制造出来的全部财富。他回到家中,埋藏好硬币,同时也埋葬了他的快乐。他不再唱歌了;从他得到这种痛苦的根源那一刻起,他的嗓子就哑了。睡眠与他分手;取而代之的却是担心、怀疑、虚惊。白天,他的目光尽朝埋藏硬币的方向望;夜间,如果有只迷途的猫弄出一点声响,他就以为是有人来抢他的钱。最后,这个可怜的皮匠跑到他那富有的邻居家里说:“把你的一百枚钱拿回去,还我的睡眠和歌声来。”

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