安徒生童话-跳蚤和教授


  • 时间:2007-06-18 07:06:00

HERE was once an a?ronaut with whom things went badly; the balloon burst, tumbled the man out, and broke into bits. His boy he had two minutes before sent down with a parachute,—that was the boy’s luck; he was unhurt and went about with knowledge enough to make him an a?ronaut too, but he had no balloon and no means of acquiring one.

  But live he must, and so he applied himself to the art of legerdemain and to talking in his stomach; in fact he became a ventriloquist, as they say. He was young, good-looking, and when he got a moustache and had his best clothes on, he could be taken for a nobleman’s son. The ladies seemed to think well of him; one young lady even was so taken with his charms and his great dexterity that she went off with him to foreign parts. There he called himself Professor—he could scarcely do less.

  His constant thought was how to get himself a balloon and go up into the air with his little wife, but as yet they had no means.

  “They’ll come yet,” said he.

  “If only they would,” said she.

  “We are young folks,” said he, “and now I am Professor.” She helped him faithfully, sat at the door and sold tickets to the exhibition, and it was a chilly sort of pleasure in winter time. She also helped him in the line of his art. He put his wife in a table-drawer, a large table-drawer; then she crawled into the back part of the drawer, and so was not in the front part,—quite an optical illusion to the audience. But one evening when he drew the drawer out, she was also out of sight to him: she was not in the front drawer, not in the back one either, not in the house itself—nowhere to be seen or heard— that was her feat of legerdemain, her entertainment. She never came back again; she was tired of it all, and he grew tired of it, lost his good-humor, could not laugh or make jokes;—and so the people stopped coming, his earnings became scanty, his clothes gave out; and finally he only owned a great flea, which his wife had left him, and so he thought highly of it. And he dressed the flea and taught it to perform, to present arms and to fire a cannon off,—but it was a little cannon.

  The Professor was proud of the flea, and the flea was proud of himself; he had learned something, and had human blood, and had been besides to the largest cities, had been seen by princes and princesses, had received their high praise, and it was printed in the newspapers and on placards. Plainly it was a very famous flea and could support a Professor and his entire family.

  The flea was proud and famous, and yet when he and the Professor traveled they took fourth-class carriages on the railway; they went just as quickly as the first class. They were betrothed to each other; it was a private engagement that would never come out; they never would marry, the flea would remain a bachelor and the Professor a widower. That made it balance.

  “Where one has the best luck,” said the Professor, “there one ought to go twice.” He was a good judge of character, and that is also a science of itself. At last he had traveled over all countries except the wild ones, and so he wanted to go there. They eat Christian men there, to be sure, the Professor knew, but then he was not properly Christian and the flea was not properly a man, so he thought they might venture to travel there and have good success.

  They traveled hy steamship and by sailing vessel ; the flea performed his tricks, and so they got a free passage on the way and arrived at the wild country. Here reigned a little Princess. She was only eight years old, but she was reigning. She had taken away the power from her father and mother, for she had a will, and then she was extraordinarily beautiful—and rude.

  Just as soon as the flea had presented arms and fired off the cannon, she was so enraptured with him that she said, “Him or nobody!” She became quite wild with love and was already wild in other ways.

  “Sweet, little, sensible child!” said her own father. “If one could only first make a man of him!”
  “Leave that to me, old man,” said she, and that was not well said by a little Princess when talking with her father, but she was wild. She set the flea on her white hand. #p#

  “Now you are a man, reigning with me, but you shall do what I want you to, or else i’ll kill you and eat the Professor.” The Professor had a great hall to live in. The walls were made of sugar-cane, and he could lick them, but he was not a sweet-tooth. He had a hammock to sleep in. It was as if he were lying in a balloon, such as he had always wished for himself—that was his constant thought.

  The flea lived with the Princess, sat upon her delicate hand and upon her white neck. She had taken a hair from her head and made the Professor tie it to the flea’s leg, and so she kept him tied to the great red coral drop which she wore in her ear-tip. What a delightful time the Princess had, and the flea too, she thought, but the Professor was not very comfortable. He was a traveler; he liked to drive from town to town, and read about his perseverance and cleverness in teaching a flea to do what men do. But he got out of and into his hammock, lounged about and had good feeding, fresh bird’s-eggs, elephant’s eyes and roast giraffe. People that eat men do not live entirely on cooked men—no, that is a great delicacy.

  “ Shoulder of children with sharp sauce,” said the Princess’s mother, “is the most delicate.”

  The Professor was tired of it all and would rather go away from the wild land, but he must have his flea with him, for that was his prodigy, and his bread and butter. How was he to get hold of him? That was no easy matter. He strained all his wits, and then he said,

  “Now I have it.”

  “Princess’s Father! grant me a favor. May I summon your subjects to present themselves before your Royal Highness? That is what is called a Ceremony in the high and mighty countries of the world.

  “Can I, too, learn to do that?” asked the Princess’s father.

  “That is not quite proper,” replied the Professor; “but I shall teach your wild Fathership to fire a cannon off. It goes off with a bang. One sits high up aloft, and then off it goes or down he comes.”

  “Let me crack it off!” said the Princess’s father. But in all the land there was no cannon except the one the flea had brought, and that was so very small.

  “I will cast a bigger one!” said the Professor. “Only give me the means. I must have fine silk stuff, needle and thread, rope and cord, together with cordial drops for the balloon, they blow one up so easily and give one the heaves; they are what make the report in the cannons s inside.”

  “By all means,” said the Princess’s father, and gave him what he called for. All the court and the entire population came together to see the great cannon cast. The Professor did not summon them before he had the balloon entirely ready to be filled and go up: The flea sat on the Princess’s hand and looked on. The balloon was filled, it bulged out and could scarcely be held down, so violent did it become.

  “I must have it up in the air before it can be cooled off,” said the Professor, and took his seat in the car which hung below. “But I cannot manage and steer it alone. I must have a skillful companion along to help me. There is no one here that can do that except the flea.”

  “I am not very willing to let him,” said the Princess, but still she reached out and handed the flea to the Professor, who placed him on his hand.

  “Let go the cords and ropes,” he shouted. “ Now the balloon’s going.” They thought he said “the cannon,” and so the balloon went higher and higher, up above the clouds, far away from the wild land. #p#

  The little Princess, all the family and the people sat and waited—they are waiting still; and if you do not believe it, just take a journey to the wild land; every child there talks about the Professor and the flea, and believes that they are coming back when the cannon is cooled off; but they will not come, they are at home with us, they are in their native country, they travel on the railway, first class, not fourth; they have good success, a great balloon. Nobody asks how they got their balloon or where it came from: they are rich folks now, quite respectable folks, indeed—the flea and the Professor!
从前有一个气球驾驶员;他很倒霉,他的轻气球炸了,他落到地上来,跌成肉泥。两分钟以前,他把他的儿子用一张降落伞放下来了,这孩子真算是运气。他没有受伤。他表现出相当大的本领可以成为一个气球驾驶员,但是他没有气球,而且也没有办法弄到一个。

  他得生活下去,因此他就玩起一套魔术来:他能叫他的肚皮讲话——这叫做“腹语术”。他很年轻,而且漂亮。当他留起一撮小胡子和穿起一身整齐的衣服的时候,人们可能把他当做一位伯爵的少爷。太太小姐们认为他漂亮。有一个年轻女子被他的外表和法术迷到了这种地步,她甚至和他一同到外国和外国的城市里去。他在那些地方自称为教授——他不能有比教授更低的头衔。

  他唯一的思想是要获得一个轻气球,同他亲爱的太太一起飞到天空中去。不过到目前为止,他还没有办法。

??? “办法总会有的!”他说。

??? “我希望有,”她说。

??? “我们还年轻,何况我现在还是一个教授呢。面包屑也算面包呀!”

  她忠心地帮助他。她坐在门口,为他的表演卖票。这种工作在冬天可是一种很冷的玩艺儿。她在一个节目中也帮了他的忙。他把太太放在一张桌子的抽屉里——一个大抽屉里。她从后面的一个抽屉爬进去,在前面的抽屉里人们是看不见她的。这给人一种错觉。

  不过有一天晚上,当他把抽屉拉开的时候,她却不见了。她不在前面的一个抽屉里,也不在后面的一个抽屉里。整个的屋子里都找不着她,也听不见她。她有她的一套法术。她再也没有回来。她对她的工作感到腻烦了。他也感到腻烦了,再也没有心情来笑或讲笑话,因此也就没有谁来看了。收入渐渐少了,他的衣服也渐渐变坏了。最后他只剩下一只大跳蚤——这是他从他太太那里继承得来的一笔遗产,所以他非常爱它。他训练它,教给它魔术,教它举枪敬礼,放炮——不过是一尊很小的炮。

  教授因跳蚤而感到骄傲;它自己也感到骄傲。它学习到了一些东西,而且它身体里有人的血统。它到许多大城市去过,见过王子和公主,获得过他们高度的赞赏。它在报纸和招贴上出现过。它知道自己是一个名角色,能养活一位教授,是的,甚至能养活整个家庭。

  它很骄傲,又很出名,不过当它跟这位教授在一起旅行的时候,在火车上总是坐第四等席位——这跟头等相比,走起来当然是一样快。他们之间有一种默契:他们永远不分离,永远不结婚;跳蚤要做一个单身汉,教授仍然是一个鳏夫。这两件事情是半斤八两,没有差别。

  “一个人在一个地方获得了极大的成功以后,”教授说,“就不宜到那儿再去第二次!”他是一个会辨别人物性格的人,而这也是一种艺术。

  最后他走遍了所有的国家;只有野人国没有去过——因此他现在就决定到野人国去。在这些国家里,人们的确都把信仰基督教的人吃掉。教授知道这事情,但是他并不是一个真正的基督教徒,而跳蚤也不能算是一个真正的人。因此他就认为他们可以到这些地方去发一笔财。

  他们坐着汽船和帆船去。跳蚤把它所有的花样都表演出来了,所以他们在整个航程中没有花一个钱就到了野人国。

  这儿的统治者是一位小小的公主。她只有六岁,但是却统治着国家。这种权力是她从父母的手中拿过来的。因为她很任性,但是分外地美丽和顽皮。

  跳蚤马上就举枪敬礼,放了炮。她被跳蚤迷住了,她说,“除了它以外,我什么人也不要!”她热烈地爱上了它,而且她在没有爱它以前就已经疯狂起来了。

  “甜蜜的、可爱的、聪明的孩子!”她的父亲说,“只希望我们能先叫它变成一个人!”

  “老头子,这是我的事情!”她说。作为一个小公主,这样的话说得并不好,特别是对自己的父亲,但是她已经疯狂了。

  她把跳蚤放在她的小手中。“现在你是一个人,和我一道来统治;不过你得听我的话办事,否则我就要把你杀掉,把你的教授吃掉。”

  教授得到了一间很大的住房。墙壁是用甜甘蔗编的——可以随时去舔它,但是他并不喜欢吃甜东西。他睡在一张吊床上。这倒有些像是躺在他一直盼望着的那个轻气球里面呢。这个轻气球一直萦绕在他的思想之中。跳蚤跟公主在一起,不是坐在她的小手上,就是坐在她柔软的脖颈上。她从头上拔下一根头发来。教授得用它绑住跳蚤的腿。这样,她就可以把它系在她珊瑚的耳坠子上。
对公主说来,这是一段快乐的时间。她想,跳蚤也该是同样快乐吧。可是这位教授颇有些不安。他是一个旅行家,他喜欢从这个城市旅行到那个城市去,喜欢在报纸上看到人们把他描写成为一个怎样有毅力,怎样聪明,怎样能把一切人类的行动教给一个跳蚤的人。他日日夜夜躺在吊床上打盹,吃着丰美的饭食:新鲜鸟蛋,象眼睛,长颈鹿肉排,因为吃人的生番不能仅靠人肉而生活——人肉不过是一样好菜罢了。

  “孩子的肩肉,加上最辣的酱油,”母后说,“是最好吃的东西。”教授感到有些厌倦。他希望离开这个野人国,但是他得把跳蚤带走,因为它是他的一件奇宝和生命线。他怎样才能达到目的呢?这倒不太容易。

  他集中一切智慧来想办法,于是他说:“有办法了!”#p#

  “公主的父王,请让我做点事情吧!我想训练全国人民学会举枪敬礼。这在世界上一些大国里叫做文化。”

  “你有什么可以教给我呢?”公主的父亲说。

  “我最大的艺术是放炮,”教授说,“使整个地球都震动起来,使一切最好的鸟儿落下来时已经被烤得很香了!这只须轰一声就成了!”

  “把你的大炮拿来吧!”公主的父亲说。

  可是在这里全国都没有一尊大炮,只有跳蚤带来的那一尊,但是这尊炮未免太小了。

  “我来制造一门大炮吧!”教授说,“你只须供给我材料,我需要做轻气球用的绸子、针和线,粗绳和细绳,以及气球所需的灵水——这可以使气球膨胀起来,变得很轻,能向上升。气球在大炮的腹中就会发出轰声来。”

  他所要求的东西都得到了。

  全国的人都来看这尊大炮。这位教授在他没有把轻气球吹足气和准备上升以前,不喊他们。

  跳蚤坐在公主的手上,在旁观看。气球现在装满气了。它鼓了起来,控制不住;它是那么狂暴。

  “我得把它放到空中去,好使它冷却一下,”教授说,同时坐进吊在它下面的那个篮子里去。

  “不过我单独一个人无法驾御它。我需要一个有经验的助手来帮我的忙。这儿除了跳蚤以外,谁也不成!”

  “我不同意!”公主说,但是她却把跳蚤交给教授了。它坐在教授的手中。

  “请放掉绳子和线吧!”他说。“现在轻气球要上升了!”

  大家以为他在说:“发炮!”

  气球越升越高,升到云层中去,离开了野人国。

  那位小公主和她的父亲、母亲以及所有的人群都在站着等待。他们现在还在等待哩。如果你不相信,你可以到野人国去看看。那儿每个小孩子还在谈论着关于跳蚤和教授的事情。他们相信,等大炮冷了以后,这两个人就会回来的。但是他们却没有回来,他们现在和我们一起坐在家里。他们在自己的国家里,坐着火车的头等席位——不是四等席位。他们走了运,有一个巨大的气球。谁也没有问他们是怎样和从什么地方得到这个气球的。跳蚤和教授现在都是有地位的富人了。 (1873年)

   这篇小品,最初发表在美国的《斯克利布纳尔月刊》1873年4月号上,接着又在同年《丹麦大众历书》上发表了。这个小故事与安徒生的另一起童话《飞箱》有相像之处,不过在那篇故事里失望的是一个想侥幸得到幸福的男子,这里则是把幸福已经得到了手里而最后落了空的公主。蒙骗和侥幸在两个故事中最初都起了作用,但最后都变成了一场空。可是,在这个故事中,骗术最终产生了实惠,受惠者是“教授”和“跳蚤”。他们走了运,有一个巨大的气球。“跳蚤和教授现在都是有地位的富人了。”由于他们是“有地位的富人”,人们也就认为他们是正人君子,把他们的骗术忘掉了。


原文来源:英文阅读网
Tags: 安徒生?跳蚤?童话?教授?跳蚤?气球?