以麥經理的運動趣味為主, 讀書心得及嗜好收藏為輔.... 建議瀏覽視窗寬度 1024 pixel

2008年9月20日 星期六

Yonex Mavis系列尼龍球的演化



 雖然有一陣子, 台灣羽球界對於 YONEX Mavis-500 的尼龍球有一種追求的狂熱(差不多是2005年開始的), 但是事實上, 它的設計是不如後來推出的 Mavis-300 或 Mavis-370, 但是大家從編號上判斷, 就以為 Mavis-500 是 Yonex 最頂級的尼龍球, 其實從另一個角度來觀察, 也可以證明本人所言不假, Mavis-500 的溫度/速度分類只有Middle及Slow兩級而已, 而M-300P, M-350P 卻有Slow/Middle/Fast三種分級, 而M-370則是更做到四種分級, 2-SLOW/SLOW/MIDDLE/FAST.

 以下我們用圖來說明 YONEX 尼龍球設計的演變,(部份圖片借用自中國我愛羽毛球網, www.51badminton.com)

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 Mavis 500 的羽裙部最初是模仿羽毛球的兩圈束線結構, 而且第二圈束線及羽毛部之間的空隙也完全仿造羽毛球.


(請點選圖片, 看大圖會比較清楚)

(請點選圖片, 看大圖會比較清楚)

但是後來為了降低成本(尼龍球本來就是為了降低使用羽毛球的成本, 這不是廢話嗎?!), 減少模具塑膠射出的失敗率, 因此再度改善它的結構,將兩圈束線結構減化成一圈束線結構, 但是也在功能方面進行調整.

接下來的圖是 Mavis 300 黃色球,注意看紅圈內的部份, 中間的部份在16支羽根部有所改變, 這可以增加羽球旋轉的速度, 羽毛部還是維持M-500的六個平均細長型孔目.


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接下來是台灣 YONEX 目前唯一引進的尼龍球 Mavis 370, 這次的改變可以說最明顯的, 而且最多處, 首先改變束線圈的結構, 不再只是一圈直直的束線結構, 而是增加角裙部份, 加速旋轉的空氣力學, 再來是將羽毛部的細孔分成四種, 下半部的右邊變成外平整,內有細格的封閉型, 左邊則是三細長孔, 上半部的右邊則變成六條細長孔目, 左邊則只均成兩個近方形的孔狀.


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(請點選圖片, 看大圖會比較清楚)

而 YONEX 計劃在2008年10月再度推出Mavis 2000, 這次則是恢復兩圈束線結構, 但第二圈束線也與M-500時不同, 它增加切角, 而羽毛部的孔狀也再度進行調整,下半部則恢復成六孔,但靠近羽根部份的兩邊孔目較細, 而上半部的右邊則維持M-370的六孔結構, 但左邊則變成三孔.


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2008年1月26日 星期六

《刺鳥》的故事與由來

《刺鳥》(The Thorn Birds)是澳洲女作家科琳.馬嘉露(Colleen McCullough)1977年出版的小說, 她透過書中主角雷夫主教對當時只有四歲的女主角瑪姬(Meggie)說, 澳洲當地有一個傳說, 傳說中有一種鳥,一生都在尋覓帶刺的樹,只有當牠往最尖的刺撞去時,才會在極度苦痛的臨終前唱出一生最美的歌聲,牠以生命作為換取的歌聲也是最讓人動容的。

這部小說在1983年改編成迷你電視影集, 由理察張伯倫(Richard Chamberlain)飾演玉樹臨風的雷夫主教, 而玉女瑞秋沃德(Rachel Ward)飾演瑪姬以及老牌巨星芭芭拉史坦威(Barbara Stanwood) 飾演瑪姬的姑媽, 一位富有的遺孀。

而瑪姬一家人在姑媽家的農場上工作,但這位有錢的遺孀卻將遺產贈予雷夫主教, 幫助他在教廷中升遷. 但是雷夫主教依然心繫美麗可愛的瑪姬. 瑪姬慢慢長大,也體會到雷夫的愛,但是雷夫神職人員的身份阻止他們相愛.瑪姬只好嫁到一個莽夫, 受盡苦難, 她痛恨阻止她與雷夫相愛的教會, 不過兩人還是私下違背禁忌,有了肌膚之親, 生下愛子戴恩(Dane). 她將戴恩看成是她與教會爭奪雷夫神父的戰利品.

但是沒想到戴恩長大, 卻決定要投身教會, 於是瑪姬將戴恩交給在羅馬教廷任職的雷夫神父照顧, 但是戴恩卻在一次海灘救難事件中, 突然心臟病突發身亡, 讓瑪姬及雷夫體認到他們違反上帝戒命的後果.

而《刺鳥》故事的原型是引自愛爾蘭作家王爾德(Oscar Wilde)1888年出版的《快樂王子集》(The Happy Prince and Other Tales)裡收錄的第二個故事《夜鶯與薔薇》(The Nightingale and the Rose).

一隻在橡樹枝上築巢的夜鶯, 同情一位貌似痴情的窮學生, 因為他心儀教授的女兒, 希望能和她一起共赴王子在皇宮裡舉辦的舞會, 但是她要他在冬天裡找一朵紅薔薇, 才答應他的邀約. 但是在冬天裡是沒有紅薔薇的. 這個學生為愛情苦惱的樣子, 感動了夜鶯.

於是夜鶯四處為他尋找紅薔薇, 但仍不可得. 一株種在學生窗下的紅薔薇樹也為夜鶯的熱誠感動, "只有將胸膛裡的熱血透過枝幹的尖刺才能暖和我的經脈, 只有動人的歌聲才能讓苞蕾從冬眠中甦醒."

夜鶯看到學生苦惱的樣子, 覺得他是真誠的戀人, 於是下定決心拿自己的生命來換取這朵冬天的紅薔薇, 還向學生叮囑千萬不要背叛愛情, 愛情比哲學及權力更智慧,更偉大. 但是學生卻聽不懂牠的話.

於是夜鶯就在當晚用自己的熱血打通薔薇樹的經脈, 用牠的歌聲謳歌愛情, 直到苞蕾慢慢萌芽、展開, 逐漸由淺白變成透紅, 但是在還來不及看到自己用生命換來的紅薔薇,夜鶯就斷氣了.

等到第二天, 學生發現自己窗下的薔薇樹竟然有朵紅艷的薔薇, 趕忙摘下, 趕到教授家, 向他愛慕的女人獻上這朵紅薔薇.孰知她還是拒絕了他, 原來她已收到大臣兒子送給她的珠寶, 紅薔薇只是讓他知難而退的藉口. 學生在失望之餘, 將紅薔薇丟到地上, 馬上就被經過的馬車輾碎.

台灣樂團F.I.R.的歌曲"刺鳥"的典故應該還是澳洲女作家的那本小說, 因為歌詞寫道:
....
就像刺鳥的宿命 悲劇卻勇敢 用生命交換結局的燦爛
....

王爾德故事的主角是夜鶯, 馬嘉露小說的主角才是受宿命宰制的刺鳥.

THE REMARKABLE ROCKET

The King’s son was going to be married, so there were general rejoicings. He had waited a whole year for his bride, and at last she had arrived. She was a Russian Princess, and had driven all the way from Finland in a sledge drawn by six reindeer. The sledge was shaped like a great golden swan, and between the swan’s wings lay the little Princess herself. Her long ermine-cloak reached right down to her feet, on her head was a tiny cap of silver tissue, and she was as pale as the Snow Palace in which she had always lived. So pale was she that as she drove through the streets all the people wondered. “She is like a white rose!” they cried, and they threw down flowers on her from the balconies.

At the gate of the Castle the Prince was waiting to receive her. He had dreamy violet eyes, and his hair was like fine gold. When he saw her he sank upon one knee, and kissed her hand.

“Your picture was beautiful,” he murmured, “but you are more beautiful than your picture”; and the little Princess blushed.

“She was like a white rose before,” said a young Page to his neighbour, “but she is like a red rose now”; and the whole Court was delighted.

For the next three days everybody went about saying, “White rose, Red rose, Red rose, White rose”; and the King gave orders that the Page’s salary was to be doubled. As he received no salary at all this was not of much use to him, but it was considered a great honour, and was duly published in the Court Gazette.

When the three days were over the marriage was celebrated. It was a magnificent ceremony, and the bride and bridegroom walked hand in hand under a canopy of purple velvet embroidered with little pearls. Then there was a State Banquet, which lasted for five hours. The Prince and Princess sat at the top of the Great Hall and drank out of a cup of clear crystal. Only true lovers could drink out of this cup, for if false lips touched it, it grew grey and dull and cloudy.

“It’s quite clear that they love each other,” said the little Page, “as clear as crystal!” and the King doubled his salary a second time. “What an honour!” cried all the courtiers.

After the banquet there was to be a Ball. The bride and bridegroom were to dance the Rose-dance together, and the King had promised to play the flute. He played very badly, but no one had ever dared to tell him so, because he was the King. Indeed, he knew only two airs, and was never quite certain which one he was playing; but it made no matter, for, whatever he did, everybody cried out, “Charming! charming!”

The last item on the programme was a grand display of fireworks, to be let off exactly at midnight. The little Princess had never seen a firework in her life, so the King had given orders that the Royal Pyrotechnist should be in attendance on the day of her marriage.

“What are fireworks like?” she had asked the Prince, one morning, as she was walking on the terrace.

“They are like the Aurora Borealis,” said the King, who always answered questions that were addressed to other people, “only much more natural. I prefer them to stars myself, as you always know when they are going to appear, and they are as delightful as my own flute-playing. You must certainly see them.”

So at the end of the King’s garden a great stand had been set up, and as soon as the Royal Pyrotechnist had put everything in its proper place, the fireworks began to talk to each other.

“The world is certainly very beautiful,” cried a little Squib. “Just look at those yellow tulips. Why! if they were real crackers they could not be lovelier. I am very glad I have travelled. Travel improves the mind wonderfully, and does away with all one’s prejudices.”

“The King’s garden is not the world, you foolish squib,” said a big Roman Candle; “the world is an enormous place, and it would take you three days to see it thoroughly.”

“Any place you love is the world to you,” exclaimed a pensive Catherine Wheel, who had been attached to an old deal box in early life, and prided herself on her broken heart; “but love is not fashionable any more, the poets have killed it. They wrote so much about it that nobody believed them, and I am not surprised. True love suffers, and is silent. I remember myself once—But it is no matter now. Romance is a thing of the past.”

“Nonsense!” said the Roman Candle, “Romance never dies. It is like the moon, and lives for ever. The bride and bridegroom, for instance, love each other very dearly. I heard all about them this morning from a brown-paper cartridge, who happened to be staying in the same drawer as myself, and knew the latest Court news.”

But the Catherine Wheel shook her head. “Romance is dead, Romance is dead, Romance is dead,” she murmured. She was one of those people who think that, if you say the same thing over and over a great many times, it becomes true in the end.

Suddenly, a sharp, dry cough was heard, and they all looked round.

It came from a tall, supercilious-looking Rocket, who was tied to the end of a long stick. He always coughed before he made any observation, so as to attract attention.

“Ahem! ahem!” he said, and everybody listened except the poor Catherine Wheel, who was still shaking her head, and murmuring, “Romance is dead.”

“Order! order!” cried out a Cracker. He was something of a politician, and had always taken a prominent part in the local elections, so he knew the proper Parliamentary expressions to use.

“Quite dead,” whispered the Catherine Wheel, and she went off to sleep.
As soon as there was perfect silence, the Rocket coughed a third time and began. He spoke with a very slow, distinct voice, as if he was dictating his memoirs, and always looked over the shoulder of the person to whom he was talking. In fact, he had a most distinguished manner.

“How fortunate it is for the King’s son,” he remarked, “that he is to be married on the very day on which I am to be let off. Really, if it had been arranged beforehand, it could not have turned out better for him; but, Princes are always lucky.”

“Dear me!” said the little Squib, “I thought it was quite the other way, and that we were to be let off in the Prince’s honour.”

“It may be so with you,” he answered; “indeed, I have no doubt that it is, but with me it is different. I am a very remarkable Rocket, and come of remarkable parents. My mother was the most celebrated Catherine Wheel of her day, and was renowned for her graceful dancing. When she made her great public appearance she spun round nineteen times before she went out, and each time that she did so she threw into the air seven pink stars. She was three feet and a half in diameter, and made of the very best gunpowder. My father was a Rocket like myself, and of French extraction. He flew so high that the people were afraid that he would never come down again. He did, though, for he was of a kindly disposition, and he made a most brilliant descent in a shower of golden rain. The newspapers wrote about his performance in very flattering terms. Indeed, the Court Gazette called him a triumph of Pylotechnic art.”

“Pyrotechnic, Pyrotechnic, you mean,” said a Bengal Light; “I know it is Pyrotechnic, for I saw it written on my own canister.”

“Well, I said Pylotechnic,” answered the Rocket, in a severe tone of voice, and the Bengal Light felt so crushed that he began at once to bully the little squibs, in order to show that he was still a person of some importance.

“I was saying,” continued the Rocket, “I was saying—What was I saying?”

“You were talking about yourself,” replied the Roman Candle.

“Of course; I knew I was discussing some interesting subject when I was so rudely interrupted. I hate rudeness and bad manners of every kind, for I am extremely sensitive. No one in the whole world is so sensitive as I am, I am quite sure of that.”

“What is a sensitive person?” said the Cracker to the Roman Candle.

“A person who, because he has corns himself, always treads on other people’s toes,” answered the Roman Candle in a low whisper; and the Cracker nearly exploded with laughter.

“Pray, what are you laughing at?” inquired the Rocket; “I am not laughing.”

“I am laughing because I am happy,” replied the Cracker.

“That is a very selfish reason,” said the Rocket angrily. “What right have you to be happy? You should be thinking about others. In fact, you should be thinking about me. I am always thinking about myself, and I expect everybody else to do the same. That is what is called sympathy. It is a beautiful virtue, and I possess it in a high degree. Suppose, for instance, anything happened to me to-night, what a misfortune that would be for every one! The Prince and Princess would never be happy again, their whole married life would be spoiled; and as for the King, I know he would not get over it. Really, when I begin to reflect on the importance of my position, I am almost moved to tears.”

“If you want to give pleasure to others,” cried the Roman Candle, “you had better keep yourself dry.”

“Certainly,” exclaimed the Bengal Light, who was now in better spirits; “that is only common sense.”

“Common sense, indeed!” said the Rocket indignantly; “you forget that I am very uncommon, and very remarkable. Why, anybody can have common sense, provided that they have no imagination. But I have imagination, for I never think of things as they really are; I always think of them as being quite different. As for keeping myself dry, there is evidently no one here who can at all appreciate an emotional nature. Fortunately for myself, I don’t care. The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated. But none of you have any hearts. Here you are laughing and making merry just as if the Prince and Princess had not just been married.”

“Well, really,” exclaimed a small Fire-balloon, “why not? It is a most joyful occasion, and when I soar up into the air I intend to tell the stars all about it. You will see them twinkle when I talk to them about the pretty bride.”

“Ah! what a trivial view of life!” said the Rocket; “but it is only what I expected. There is nothing in you; you are hollow and empty. Why, perhaps the Prince and Princess may go to live in a country where there is a deep river, and perhaps they may have one only son, a little fair-haired boy with violet eyes like the Prince himself; and perhaps some day he may go out to walk with his nurse; and perhaps the nurse may go to sleep under a great elder-tree; and perhaps the little boy may fall into the deep river and be drowned. What a terrible misfortune! Poor people, to lose their only son! It is really too dreadful! I shall never get over it.”

“But they have not lost their only son,” said the Roman Candle; “no misfortune has happened to them at all.”

“I never said that they had,” replied the Rocket; “I said that they might. If they had lost their only son there would be no use in saying anything more about the matter. I hate people who cry over spilt milk. But when I think that they might lose their only son, I certainly am very much affected.”

“You certainly are!” cried the Bengal Light. “In fact, you are the most affected person I ever met.”

“You are the rudest person I ever met,” said the Rocket, “and you cannot understand my friendship for the Prince.”

“Why, you don’t even know him,” growled the Roman Candle.

“I never said I knew him,” answered the Rocket. “I dare say that if I knew him I should not be his friend at all. It is a very dangerous thing to know one’s friends.”

“You had really better keep yourself dry,” said the Fire-balloon. “That is the important thing.”

“Very important for you, I have no doubt,” answered the Rocket, “but I shall weep if I choose”; and he actually burst into real tears, which flowed down his stick like rain-drops, and nearly drowned two little beetles, who were just thinking of setting up house together, and were looking for a nice dry spot to live in.

“He must have a truly romantic nature,” said the Catherine Wheel, “for he weeps when there is nothing at all to weep about”; and she heaved a deep sigh, and thought about the deal box.
But the Roman Candle and the Bengal Light were quite indignant, and kept saying, “Humbug! humbug!” at the top of their voices. They were extremely practical, and whenever they objected to anything they called it humbug.

Then the moon rose like a wonderful silver shield; and the stars began to shine, and a sound of music came from the palace.

The Prince and Princess were leading the dance. They danced so beautifully that the tall white lilies peeped in at the window and watched them, and the great red poppies nodded their heads and beat time.

Then ten o’clock struck, and then eleven, and then twelve, and at the last stroke of midnight every one came out on the terrace, and the King sent for the Royal Pyrotechnist.

“Let the fireworks begin,” said the King; and the Royal Pyrotechnist made a low bow, and marched down to the end of the garden. He had six attendants with him, each of whom carried a lighted torch at the end of a long pole.

It was certainly a magnificent display.

Whizz! Whizz! went the Catherine Wheel, as she spun round and round. Boom! Boom! went the Roman Candle. Then the Squibs danced all over the place, and the Bengal Lights made everything look scarlet. “Good-bye,” cried the Fire-balloon, as he soared away, dropping tiny blue sparks. Bang! Bang! answered the Crackers, who were enjoying themselves immensely. Every one was a great success except the Remarkable Rocket. He was so damp with crying that he could not go off at all. The best thing in him was the gunpowder, and that was so wet with tears that it was of no use. All his poor relations, to whom he would never speak, except with a sneer, shot up into the sky like wonderful golden flowers with blossoms of fire. Huzza! Huzza! cried the Court; and the little Princess laughed with pleasure.

“I suppose they are reserving me for some grand occasion,” said the Rocket; “no doubt that is what it means,” and he looked more supercilious than ever.

The next day the workmen came to put everything tidy. “This is evidently a deputation,” said the Rocket; “I will receive them with becoming dignity” so he put his nose in the air, and began to frown severely as if he were thinking about some very important subject. But they took no notice of him at all till they were just going away. Then one of them caught sight of him. “Hallo!” he cried, “what a bad rocket!” and he threw him over the wall into the ditch.

“BAD Rocket? BAD Rocket?” he said, as he whirled through the air; “impossible! GRAND Rocket, that is what the man said. BAD and GRAND sound very much the same, indeed they often are the same”; and he fell into the mud.

“It is not comfortable here,” he remarked, “but no doubt it is some fashionable watering-place, and they have sent me away to recruit my health. My nerves are certainly very much shattered, and I require rest.”

Then a little Frog, with bright jewelled eyes, and a green mottled coat, swam up to him.

“A new arrival, I see!” said the Frog. “Well, after all there is nothing like mud. Give me rainy weather and a ditch, and I am quite happy. Do you think it will be a wet afternoon? I am sure I hope so, but the sky is quite blue and cloudless. What a pity!”

“Ahem! ahem!” said the Rocket, and he began to cough.

“What a delightful voice you have!” cried the Frog. “Really it is quite like a croak, and croaking is of course the most musical sound in the world. You will hear our glee-club this evening. We sit in the old duck pond close by the farmer’s house, and as soon as the moon rises we begin. It is so entrancing that everybody lies awake to listen to us. In fact, it was only yesterday that I heard the farmer’s wife say to her mother that she could not get a wink of sleep at night on account of us. It is most gratifying to find oneself so popular.”

“Ahem! ahem!” said the Rocket angrily. He was very much annoyed that he could not get a word in.

“A delightful voice, certainly,” continued the Frog; “I hope you will come over to the duck-pond. I am off to look for my daughters. I have six beautiful daughters, and I am so afraid the Pike may meet them. He is a perfect monster, and would have no hesitation in breakfasting off them. Well, good-bye: I have enjoyed our conversation very much, I assure you.”

“Conversation, indeed!” said the Rocket. “You have talked the whole time yourself. That is not conversation.”

“Somebody must listen,” answered the Frog, “and I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments.”

“But I like arguments,” said the Rocket.

“I hope not,” said the Frog complacently. “Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions. Good-bye a second time; I see my daughters in the distance and the little Frog swam away.

“You are a very irritating person,” said the Rocket, “and very ill-bred. I hate people who talk about themselves, as you do, when one wants to talk about oneself, as I do. It is what I call selfishness, and selfishness is a most detestable thing, especially to any one of my temperament, for I am well known for my sympathetic nature. In fact, you should take example by me; you could not possibly have a better model. Now that you have the chance you had better avail yourself of it, for I am going back to Court almost immediately. I am a great favourite at Court; in fact, the Prince and Princess were married yesterday in my honour. Of course you know nothing of these matters, for you are a provincial.”

“There is no good talking to him,” said a Dragon-fly, who was sitting on the top of a large brown bulrush; “no good at all, for he has gone away.”

“Well, that is his loss, not mine,” answered the Rocket. “I am not going to stop talking to him merely because he pays no attention. I like hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures. I often have long conversations all by myself, and I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”

“Then you should certainly lecture on Philosophy,” said the Dragon-fly; and he spread a pair of lovely gauze wings and soared away into the sky.

“How very silly of him not to stay here!” said the Rocket. “I am sure that he has not often got such a chance of improving his mind. However, I don’t care a bit. Genius like mine is sure to be appreciated some day”; and he sank down a little deeper into the mud.

After some time a large White Duck swam up to him. She had yellow legs, and webbed feet, and was considered a great beauty on account of her waddle.

“Quack, quack, quack,” she said. “What a curious shape you are! May I ask were you born like that, or is it the result of an accident?”

“It is quite evident that you have always lived in the country,” answered the Rocket, “otherwise you would know who I am. However, I excuse your ignorance. It would be unfair to expect other people to be as remarkable as oneself. You will no doubt be surprised to hear that I can fly up into the sky, and come down in a shower of golden rain.”

“I don’t think much of that,” said the Duck, “as I cannot see what use it is to any one. Now, if you could plough the fields like the ox, or draw a cart like the horse, or look after the sheep like the collie-dog, that would be something.”

“My good creature,” cried the Rocket in a very haughty tone of voice, “I see that you belong to the lower orders. A person of my position is never useful. We have certain accomplishments, and that is more than sufficient. I have no sympathy myself with industry of any kind, least of all with such industries as you seem to recommend. Indeed, I have always been of opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do.”

“Well, well,” said the Duck, who was of a very peaceable disposition, and never quarrelled with any one, “everybody has different tastes. I hope, at any rate, that you are going to take up your residence here.”

“Oh! dear no,” cried the Rocket. “I am merely a visitor, a distinguished visitor. The fact is that I find this place rather tedious. There is neither society here, nor solitude. In fact, it is essentially suburban. I shall probably go back to Court, for I know that I am destined to make a sensation in the world.”

“I had thoughts of entering public life once myself,” remarked the Duck; “there are so many things that need reforming. Indeed, I took the chair at a meeting some time ago, and we passed resolutions condemning everything that we did not like. However, they did not seem to have much effect. Now I go in for domesticity, and look after my family.”

“I am made for public life,” said the Rocket, “and so are all my relations, even the humblest of them. Whenever we appear we excite great attention. I have not actually appeared myself, but when I do so it will be a magnificent sight. As for domesticity, it ages one rapidly, and distracts one’s mind from higher things.”

“Ah! the higher things of life, how fine they are!” said the Duck; “and that reminds me how hungry I feel”: and she swam away down the stream, saying, “Quack, quack, quack.”

“Come back! come back!” screamed the Rocket, “I have a great deal to say to you”; but the Duck paid no attention to him. “I am glad that she has gone,” he said to himself, “she has a decidedly middle-class mind”; and he sank a little deeper still into the mud, and began to think about the loneliness of genius, when suddenly two little boys in white smocks came running down the bank, with a kettle and some faggots.

“This must be the deputation,” said the Rocket, and he tried to look very dignified.

“Hallo!” cried one of the boys, “look at this old stick! I wonder how it came here”; and he picked the rocket out of the ditch.

“OLD Stick!” said the Rocket, “impossible! GOLD Stick, that is what he said. Gold Stick is very complimentary. In fact, he mistakes me for one of the Court dignitaries!”

“Let us put it into the fire!” said the other boy, “it will help to boil the kettle.”
So they piled the faggots together, and put the Rocket on top, and lit the fire.

“This is magnificent,” cried the Rocket, “they are going to let me off in broad day-light, so that every one can see me.”

“We will go to sleep now,” they said, “and when we wake up the kettle will be boiled”; and they lay down on the grass, and shut their eyes.

The Rocket was very damp, so he took a long time to burn. At last, however, the fire caught him.

“Now I am going off!” he cried, and he made himself very stiff and straight. “I know I shall go much higher than the stars, much higher than the moon, much higher than the sun. In fact, I shall go so high that—”

Fizz! Fizz! Fizz! and he went straight up into the air.

“Delightful!” he cried, “I shall go on like this for ever. What a success I am!”
But nobody saw him.

Then he began to feel a curious tingling sensation all over him.

“Now I am going to explode,” he cried. “I shall set the whole world on fire, and make such a noise that nobody will talk about anything else for a whole year.” And he certainly did explode. Bang! Bang! Bang! went the gunpowder. There was no doubt about it.

But nobody heard him, not even the two little boys, for they were sound asleep.
Then all that was left of him was the stick, and this fell down on the back of a Goose who was taking a walk by the side of the ditch.

“Good heavens!” cried the Goose. “It is going to rain sticks”; and she rushed into the water.

“I knew I should create a great sensation,” gasped the Rocket, and he went out.

THE DEVOTED FRIEND

One morning the old Water-rat put his head out of his hole. He had bright beady eyes and stiff grey whiskers and his tail was like a long bit of black india-rubber. The little ducks were swimming about in the pond, looking just like a lot of yellow canaries, and their mother, who was pure white with real red legs, was trying to teach them how to stand on their heads in the water.

“You will never be in the best society unless you can stand on your heads,” she kept saying to them; and every now and then she showed them how it was done. But the little ducks paid no attention to her. They were so young that they did not know what an advantage it is to be in society at all.

“What disobedient children!” cried the old Water-rat; “they really deserve to be drowned.”

“Nothing of the kind,” answered the Duck, “every one must make a beginning, and parents cannot be too patient.”

“Ah! I know nothing about the feelings of parents,” said the Water-rat; “I am not a family man. In fact, I have never been married, and I never intend to be. Love is all very well in its way, but friendship is much higher. Indeed, I know of nothing in the world that is either nobler or rarer than a devoted friendship.”

“And what, pray, is your idea of the duties of a devoted friend?” asked a Green Linnet, who was sitting in a willow-tree hard by, and had overheard the conversation.

“Yes, that is just what I want to know,” said the Duck; and she swam away to the end of the pond, and stood upon her head, in order to give her children a good example.

“What a silly question!” cried the Water-rat. “I should expect my devoted friend to be devoted to me, of course.”

“And what would you do in return?” said the little bird, swinging upon a silver spray, and flapping his tiny wings.

“I don’t understand you,” answered the Water-rat.

“Let me tell you a story on the subject,” said the Linnet.

“Is the story about me?” asked the Water-rat. “If so, I will listen to it, for I am extremely fond of fiction.”

“It is applicable to you,” answered the Linnet; and he flew down, and alighting upon the bank, he told the story of The Devoted Friend.

“Once upon a time,” said the Linnet, “there was an honest little fellow named Hans.”

“Was he very distinguished?” asked the Water-rat.

“No,” answered the Linnet, “I don’t think he was distinguished at all, except for his kind heart, and his funny round good-humoured face. He lived in a tiny cottage all by himself, and every day he worked in his garden. In all the country-side there was no garden so lovely as his.

Sweet-william grew there, and Gilly-flowers, and Shepherds’-purses, and Fair-maids of France. There were damask Roses, and yellow Roses, lilac Crocuses, and gold, purple Violets and white. Columbine and Ladysmock, Marjoram and Wild Basil, the Cowslip and the Flower-de-luce, the Daffodil and the Clove-Pink bloomed or blossomed in their proper order as the months went by, one flower taking another flower’s place, so that there were always beautiful things to look at, and pleasant odours to smell.

“Little Hans had a great many friends, but the most devoted friend of all was big Hugh the Miller. Indeed, so devoted was the rich Miller to little Hans, that be would never go by his garden without leaning over the wall and plucking a large nosegay, or a handful of sweet herbs, or filling his pockets with plums and cherries if it was the fruit season.

“‘Real friends should have everything in common,’ the Miller used to say, and little Hans nodded and smiled, and felt very proud of having a friend with such noble ideas.

“Sometimes, indeed, the neighbours thought it strange that the rich Miller never gave little Hans anything in return, though he had a hundred sacks of flour stored away in his mill, and six milch cows, and a large flock of woolly sheep; but Hans never troubled his head about these things, and nothing gave him greater pleasure than to listen to all the wonderful things the Miller used to say about the unselfishness of true friendship.

“So little Hans worked away in his garden. During the spring, the summer, and the autumn he was very happy, but when the winter came, and he had no fruit or flowers to bring to the market, he suffered a good deal from cold and hunger, and often had to go to bed without any supper but a few dried pears or some hard nuts. In the winter, also, he was extremely lonely, as the Miller never came to see him then.

“‘There is no good in my going to see little Hans as long as the snow lasts,’ the Miller used to say to his wife, ‘for when people are in trouble they should be left alone, and not be bothered by visitors. That at least is my idea about friendship, and I am sure I am right. So I shall wait till the spring comes, and then I shall pay him a visit, and he will be able to give me a large basket of primroses and that will make him so happy.’

“‘You are certainly very thoughtful about others,’ answered the Wife, as she sat in her comfortable armchair by the big pinewood fire; ‘very thoughtful indeed. It is quite a treat to hear you talk about friendship. I am sure the clergyman himself could not say such beautiful things as you do, though he does live in a three-storied house, and wear a gold ring on his little finger.’

“‘But could we not ask little Hans up here?’ said the Miller’s youngest son. ‘If poor Hans is in trouble I will give him half my porridge, and show him my white rabbits.’

“‘What a silly boy you are’! cried the Miller; ‘I really don’t know what is the use of sending you to school. You seem not to learn anything. Why, if little Hans came up here, and saw our warm fire, and our good supper, and our great cask of red wine, he might get envious, and envy is a most terrible thing, and would spoil anybody’s nature. I certainly will not allow Hans’ nature to be spoiled. I am his best friend, and I will always watch over him, and see that he is not led into any temptations. Besides, if Hans came here, he might ask me to let him have some flour on credit, and that I could not do. Flour is one thing, and friendship is another, and they should not be confused. Why, the words are spelt differently, and mean quite different things. Everybody can see that.’

“‘How well you talk’! said the Miller’s Wife, pouring herself out a large glass of warm ale; ‘really I feel quite drowsy. It is just like being in church.’

“‘Lots of people act well,’ answered the Miller; ‘but very few people talk well, which shows that talking is much the more difficult thing of the two, and much the finer thing also’; and he looked sternly across the table at his little son, who felt so ashamed of himself that he hung his head down, and grew quite scarlet, and began to cry into his tea. However, he was so young that you must excuse him.”

“Is that the end of the story?” asked the Water-rat.

“Certainly not,” answered the Linnet, “that is the beginning.”

“Then you are quite behind the age,” said the Water-rat. “Every good story-teller nowadays starts with the end, and then goes on to the beginning, and concludes with the middle. That is the new method. I heard all about it the other day from a critic who was walking round the pond with a young man. He spoke of the matter at great length, and I am sure he must have been right, for he had blue spectacles and a bald head, and whenever the young man made any remark, he always answered ‘Pooh!’ But pray go on with your story. I like the Miller immensely. I have all kinds of beautiful sentiments myself, so there is a great sympathy between us.”

“Well,” said the Linnet, hopping now on one leg and now on the other, “as soon as the winter was over, and the primroses began to open their pale yellow stars, the Miller said to his wife that he would go down and see little Hans.

“‘Why, what a good heart you have’! cried his Wife; ‘you are always thinking of others. And mind you take the big basket with you for the flowers.’

“So the Miller tied the sails of the windmill together with a strong iron chain, and went down the hill with the basket on his arm.

“‘Good morning, little Hans,’ said the Miller.

“‘Good morning,’ said Hans, leaning on his spade, and smiling from ear to ear.

“‘And how have you been all the winter?’ said the Miller.

“‘Well, really,’ cried Hans, ‘it is very good of you to ask, very good indeed. I am afraid I had rather a hard time of it, but now the spring has come, and I am quite happy, and all my flowers are doing well.’

“‘We often talked of you during the winter, Hans,’ said the Miller, ‘and wondered how you were getting on.’

“‘That was kind of you,’ said Hans; ‘I was half afraid you had forgotten me.’

“‘Hans, I am surprised at you,’ said the Miller; ‘friendship never forgets. That is the wonderful thing about it, but I am afraid you don’t understand the poetry of life. How lovely your primroses are looking, by-the-bye”!

“‘They are certainly very lovely,’ said Hans, ‘and it is a most lucky thing for me that I have so many. I am going to bring them into the market and sell them to the Burgomaster’s daughter, and buy back my wheelbarrow with the money.’

“‘Buy back your wheelbarrow? You don’t mean to say you have sold it? What a very stupid thing to do’!

“‘Well, the fact is,’ said Hans, ‘that I was obliged to. You see the winter was a very bad time for me, and I really had no money at all to buy bread with. So I first sold the silver buttons off my Sunday coat, and then I sold my silver chain, and then I sold my big pipe, and at last I sold my wheelbarrow. But I am going to buy them all back again now.’

“‘Hans,’ said the Miller, ‘I will give you my wheelbarrow. It is not in very good repair; indeed, one side is gone, and there is something wrong with the wheel-spokes; but in spite of that I will give it to you. I know it is very generous of me, and a great many people would think me extremely foolish for parting with it, but I am not like the rest of the world. I think that generosity is the essence of friendship, and, besides, I have got a new wheelbarrow for myself. Yes, you may set your mind at ease, I will give you my wheelbarrow.’

“‘Well, really, that is generous of you,’ said little Hans, and his funny round face glowed all over with pleasure. ‘I can easily put it in repair, as I have a plank of wood in the house.’

“‘A plank of wood’! said the Miller; ‘why, that is just what I want for the roof of my barn. There is a very large hole in it, and the corn will all get damp if I don’t stop it up. How lucky you mentioned it! It is quite remarkable how one good action always breeds another. I have given you my wheelbarrow, and now you are going to give me your plank. Of course, the wheelbarrow is worth far more than the plank, but true, friendship never notices things like that. Pray get it at once, and I will set to work at my barn this very day.’

“‘Certainly,’ cried little Hans, and he ran into the shed and dragged the plank out.

“‘It is not a very big plank,’ said the Miller, looking at it, ‘and I am afraid that after I have mended my barn-roof there won’t be any left for you to mend the wheelbarrow with; but, of course, that is not my fault. And now, as I have given you my wheelbarrow, I am sure you would like to give me some flowers in return. Here is the basket, and mind you fill it quite full.’

“‘Quite full?’ said little Hans, rather sorrowfully, for it was really a very big basket, and he knew that if he filled it he would have no flowers left for the market and he was very anxious to get his silver buttons back.

“‘Well, really,’ answered the Miller, ‘as I have given you my wheelbarrow, I don’t think that it is much to ask you for a few flowers. I may be wrong, but I should have thought that friendship, true friendship, was quite free from selfishness of any kind.’

“‘My dear friend, my best friend,’ cried little Hans, ‘you are welcome to all the flowers in my garden. I would much sooner have your good opinion than my silver buttons, any day’; and he ran and plucked all his pretty primroses, and filled the Miller’s basket.

“‘Good-bye, little Hans,’ said the Miller, as he went up the hill with the plank on his shoulder, and the big basket in his hand.

“‘Good-bye,’ said little Hans, and he began to dig away quite merrily, he was so pleased about the wheelbarrow.

“The next day he was nailing up some honeysuckle against the porch, when he heard the Miller’s voice calling to him from the road. So he jumped off the ladder, and ran down the garden, and looked over the wall.

“There was the Miller with a large sack of flour on his back.

“‘Dear little Hans,’ said the Miller, ‘would you mind carrying this sack of flour for me to market?’

“‘Oh, I am so sorry,’ said Hans, ‘but I am really very busy to-day. I have got all my creepers to nail up, and all my flowers to water, and all my grass to roll.’

“‘Well, really,’ said the Miller, ‘I think that, considering that I am going to give you my wheelbarrow, it is rather unfriendly of you to refuse.’

“‘Oh, don’t say that,’ cried little Hans, ‘I wouldn’t be unfriendly for the whole world’; and he ran in for his cap, and trudged off with the big sack on his shoulders.

“It was a very hot day, and the road was terribly dusty, and before Hans had reached the sixth milestone he was so tired that he had to sit down and rest. However, he went on bravely, and as last he reached the market. After he had waited there some time, he sold the sack of flour for a very good price, and then he returned home at once, for he was afraid that if he stopped too late he might meet some robbers on the way.

“‘It has certainly been a hard day,’ said little Hans to himself as he was going to bed, ‘but I am glad I did not refuse the Miller, for he is my best friend, and, besides, he is going to give me his wheelbarrow.’

“Early the next morning the Miller came down to get the money for his sack of flour, but little Hans was so tired that he was still in bed.

“‘Upon my word,’ said the Miller, ‘you are very lazy. Really, considering that I am going to give you my wheelbarrow, I think you might work harder. Idleness is a great sin, and I certainly don’t like any of my friends to be idle or sluggish. You must not mind my speaking quite plainly to you. Of course I should not dream of doing so if I were not your friend. But what is the good of friendship if one cannot say exactly what one means? Anybody can say charming things and try to please and to flatter, but a true friend always says unpleasant things, and does not mind giving pain. Indeed, if he is a really true friend he prefers it, for he knows that then he is doing good.’

“‘I am very sorry,’ said little Hans, rubbing his eyes and pulling off his night-cap, ‘but I was so tired that I thought I would lie in bed for a little time, and listen to the birds singing. Do you know that I always work better after hearing the birds sing?’

“‘Well, I am glad of that,’ said the Miller, clapping little Hans on the back, ‘for I want you to come up to the mill as soon as you are dressed, and mend my barn-roof for me.’

“Poor little Hans was very anxious to go and work in his garden, for his flowers had not been watered for two days, but he did not like to refuse the Miller, as he was such a good friend to him.

“‘Do you think it would be unfriendly of me if I said I was busy?’ he inquired in a shy and timid voice.

“‘Well, really,’ answered the Miller, ‘I do not think it is much to ask of you, considering that I am going to give you my wheelbarrow; but of course if you refuse I will go and do it myself.’

“‘Oh! on no account,’ cried little Hans and he jumped out of bed, and dressed himself, and went up to the barn.

“He worked there all day long, till sunset, and at sunset the Miller came to see how he was getting on.

“‘Have you mended the hole in the roof yet, little Hans?’ cried the Miller in a cheery voice.

“‘It is quite mended,’ answered little Hans, coming down the ladder.

“‘Ah’! said the Miller, ‘there is no work so delightful as the work one does for others.’

“‘It is certainly a great privilege to hear you talk,’ answered little Hans, sitting down, and wiping his forehead, ‘a very great privilege. But I am afraid I shall never have such beautiful ideas as you have.’

“‘Oh! they will come to you,’ said the Miller, ‘but you must take more pains. At present you have only the practice of friendship; some day you will have the theory also.’

“‘Do you really think I shall?’ asked little Hans.

“‘I have no doubt of it,’ answered the Miller, ‘but now that you have mended the roof, you had better go home and rest, for I want you to drive my sheep to the mountain to-morrow.’

“Poor little Hans was afraid to say anything to this, and early the next morning the Miller brought his sheep round to the cottage, and Hans started off with them to the mountain. It took him the whole day to get there and back; and when he returned he was so tired that he went off to sleep in his chair, and did not wake up till it was broad daylight.

“‘What a delightful time I shall have in my garden,’ he said, and he went to work at once.

“But somehow he was never able to look after his flowers at all, for his friend the Miller was always coming round and sending him off on long errands, or getting him to help at the mill. Little Hans was very much distressed at times, as he was afraid his flowers would think he had forgotten them, but he consoled himself by the reflection that the Miller was his best friend. ‘Besides,’ he used to say, ‘he is going to give me his wheelbarrow, and that is an act of pure generosity.’

“So little Hans worked away for the Miller, and the Miller said all kinds of beautiful things about friendship, which Hans took down in a note-book, and used to read over at night, for he was a very good scholar.

“Now it happened that one evening little Hans was sitting by his fireside when a loud rap came at the door. It was a very wild night, and the wind was blowing and roaring round the house so terribly that at first he thought it was merely the storm. But a second rap came, and then a third, louder than any of the others.

“‘It is some poor traveller,’ said little Hans to himself, and he ran to the door.

“There stood the Miller with a lantern in one hand and a big stick in the other.

“‘Dear little Hans,’ cried the Miller, ‘I am in great trouble. My little boy has fallen off a ladder and hurt himself, and I am going for the Doctor. But he lives so far away, and it is such a bad night, that it has just occurred to me that it would be much better if you went instead of me. You know I am going to give you my wheelbarrow, and so, it is only fair that you should do something for me in return.’

“‘Certainly,’ cried little Hans, ‘I take it quite as a compliment your coming to me, and I will start off at once. But you must lend me your lantern, as the night is so dark that I am afraid I might fall into the ditch.’

“‘I am very sorry,’ answered the Miller, ‘but it is my new lantern, and it would be a great loss to me if anything happened to it.’

“‘Well, never mind, I will do without it,’ cried little Hans, and he took down his great fur coat, and his warm scarlet cap, and tied a muffler round his throat, and started off.

“What a dreadful storm it was! The night was so black that little Hans could hardly see, and the wind was so strong that he could scarcely stand. However, he was very courageous, and after he had been walking about three hours, he arrived at the Doctor’s house, and knocked at the door.

“‘Who is there?’ cried the Doctor, putting his head out of his bedroom window.

“‘Little Hans, Doctor.’

“’What do you want, little Hans?’

“‘The Miller’s son has fallen from a ladder, and has hurt himself, and the Miller wants you to come at once.’

“‘All right!’ said the Doctor; and he ordered his horse, and his big boots, and his lantern, and came downstairs, and rode off in the direction of the Miller’s house, little Hans trudging behind him.

“But the storm grew worse and worse, and the rain fell in torrents, and little Hans could not see where he was going, or keep up with the horse. At last he lost his way, and wandered off on the moor, which was a very dangerous place, as it was full of deep holes, and there poor little Hans was drowned. His body was found the next day by some goatherds, floating in a great pool of water, and was brought back by them to the cottage.

“Everybody went to little Hans’ funeral, as he was so popular, and the Miller was the chief mourner.

“‘As I was his best friend,’ said the Miller, ‘it is only fair that I should have the best place’; so he walked at the head of the procession in a long black cloak, and every now and then he wiped his eyes with a big pocket-handkerchief.

“‘Little Hans is certainly a great loss to every one,’ said the Blacksmith, when the funeral was over, and they were all seated comfortably in the inn, drinking spiced wine and eating sweet cakes.

“‘A great loss to me at any rate,’ answered the Miller; ‘why, I had as good as given him my wheelbarrow, and now I really don’t know what to do with it. It is very much in my way at home, and it is in such bad repair that I could not get anything for it if I sold it. I will certainly take care not to give away anything again. One always suffers for being generous.’”

“Well?” said the Water-rat, after a long pause.

“Well, that is the end,” said the Linnet.

“But what became of the Miller?” asked the Water-rat.

“Oh! I really don’t know,” replied the Linnet; “and I am sure that I don’t care.”

“It is quite evident then that you have no sympathy in your nature,” said the Water-rat.

“I am afraid you don’t quite see the moral of the story,” remarked the Linnet.

“The what?” screamed the Water-rat.

“The moral.”

“Do you mean to say that the story has a moral?”

“Certainly,” said the Linnet.

“Well, really,” said the Water-rat, in a very angry manner, “I think you should have told me that before you began. If you had done so, I certainly would not have listened to you; in fact, I should have said ‘Pooh,’ like the critic. However, I can say it now”; so he shouted out “Pooh” at the top of his voice, gave a whisk with his tail, and went back into his hole.

“And how do you like the Water-rat?” asked the Duck, who came paddling up some minutes afterwards. “He has a great many good points, but for my own part I have a mother’s feelings, and I can never look at a confirmed bachelor without the tears coming into my eyes.”

“I am rather afraid that I have annoyed him,” answered the Linnet. “The fact is, that I told him a story with a moral.”

“Ah! that is always a very dangerous thing to do,” said the Duck.

And I quite agree with her.

"自私的巨人"中譯

巴金 譯

每天下午,孩子們放學以後,總喜歡到巨人的花園裏去玩。

這是一個可愛的大花園,園裏長滿了柔嫩的青草。草叢中到處露出星子似的美麗花朵;還有十二棵桃樹,在春天開出淡紅色和珍珠色的鮮花,在秋天結豐富的果子。小鳥們坐在樹枝上唱出悅耳的歌聲,牠們唱得那麼動聽,孩子們都停止了遊戲來聽牠們。「我們在這兒多麼快樂!」孩子們互相歡叫。

有一天巨人回來了。他原先離家去看他的朋友,就是那個康華爾地方的吃人鬼,在那裏一住便是七年。七年過完了,他已經把他要說的話說盡了,(因為他談話的才能是有限的,)他便決定回到他自己的府邸去。他到了家,看見小孩們在那裏玩。

「你們在這兒做甚麼?」他粗暴地叫道,小孩們都跑開了。

「我自己的花園就是我自己的花園,」巨人說:「這是隨便甚麼人都懂得的,除了我自己以外,我不准一個人在裏面玩。」所以他在花園的四周築了一道高牆,掛起一塊佈告牌來:

不准擅入
違者重懲

他是一個非常自私的巨人。

 那些可憐的小孩們現在沒有玩的地方了。他們只好勉強在街上玩,可是街很髒,灰塵多,到處都是堅硬的石子,他們不喜歡這個地方。他們放學後常常在高牆外面轉來轉去,並且談論牆內的美麗的花園。「我們從前在那兒是多麼快活啊,」他們互相說。
 春天來了,在鄉間到處都開放小花,到處都有小鳥在歌唱。單單在巨人的花園裏卻仍舊是冬天的氣象。鳥兒不肯在他花園裏唱歌,因為那裏再沒有小孩們的蹤跡了,樹木也忘了開花。偶爾有一朵小花從草間伸出頭來,可是牠看見那塊佈告牌,禁不住十分憐惜那些不幸的孩子,牠馬上就縮回在地裏,又去睡覺了。覺得高興的只有雪和霜兩位。他們嚷道:「春天把這個花園忘記了,所以我們一年到頭都可以住在這兒。」雪用她的白色大氅蓋綠草,霜又把所有的樹枝塗成了銀色。她們還請北風來同住,他果然來了。他身上裹皮衣,整天在園子裏四處叫吼,把煙囪頂筒也吹倒了。他說:「這是一個很適意的地方,我們一定要請雹來玩一趟。」於是雹來了。每天他總要在這府邸屋頂上鬧三個鐘頭,把瓦片弄壞了大半才停止。然後他又在園裏繞圈子用力跑。他一身灰色,他的氣息就像冰一樣。

 「我不懂為甚麼春天來得這樣遲,」巨人坐在窗前,望窗外他那寒冷的、雪白的花園,自言自語:「我盼望天氣不久就會變好。」

 可是春天始終沒有來,夏天也沒有來。秋天給每個花園帶來金色果實,但巨人的花園卻甚麼也沒有得到。「他太自私了,」秋天這樣說。因此冬天永遠留在那裏,還有北風,還有雹,還有霜,還有雪,他們快樂地在樹叢中間跳舞。
 一天早晨巨人醒來,他忽然聽見了可愛的樂聲。這音樂非常好聽,他以為一定是國王的樂隊打從他門外走過。其實這只是一隻小小的梅花雀在他的窗外唱歌,但是他很久沒有聽見一隻鳥兒在他的園裏歌唱了,所以他覺得這是全世界中最美的音樂。這時雹也停止在他的頭上跳舞,北風也不叫吼,一股甜香透過開的窗扉來到他的鼻端。「我相信春天到底來了,」巨人說。他便跳下床去看窗外。
 他看見了甚麼呢?
 他看見一個非常奇異的景象。孩子們從牆上一個小洞爬進了園裏來,他們都坐在樹枝上面。他在每棵樹上都可以見到一個小孩。樹木看見孩子們回來十分高興,便都用花朵把自己裝飾起來,還溫柔地把手膀在孩子們的頭上擺動。鳥兒們快樂地四處飛舞歌唱,花兒們也從綠草中間伸出頭來看,而且大笑了。這的確是很可愛的景象。只有在一個角落裏冬天仍然留連,這是園子裏最遠的角落,一個小孩正站在那裏。他太小了,他的手還挨不到樹枝,他就在樹旁徘徊,哭得很厲害。這株可憐的樹仍然滿身蓋著霜和雪,北風還在樹頂上吹叫。「快爬上來!小孩,」樹對孩子說,一邊儘可能地把枝子低垂下去,然而孩子還是太小了。

 巨人看見窗外的這情景,他的心也軟了。他對自己說:「我是多麼自私啊!現在我明白為甚麼春天不肯到這兒來了。我要把那個可憐的小孩放到樹頂上去,隨後我要把牆毀掉,把我的花園永遠變作孩子們的遊戲場。」他的確為他從前的舉動後悔了。

 他輕輕走下樓,靜悄悄地打開前門,走進園子裏去。但是孩子們看見他,他們非常害怕,便立刻逃走了,花園裏又現出冬天的氣象。只有那個最小的孩子沒有跑開,因為他的眼睛裏充滿了淚水,使他看不見巨人走過來。巨人偷偷地走到他後面,輕輕地抱起他,放到樹枝上去。這棵樹馬上開花了,鳥兒們也飛來在枝上歌唱,小孩伸出他的兩隻膀子,抱住巨人的頭項,跟他接吻。別的小孩們看見巨人不再像先前那樣兇狠了,便都跑回來。春天也就跟小孩們來了。巨人對他們說:「孩子們,花園現在是你們的了,」他拿出一把大斧,砍倒了圍牆。中午人們市集,經過這裏,他們看見巨人正和小孩們一塊兒在他們從未見過的這樣美的花園裏面玩。

 巨人和小孩們玩了一整天,天黑了,小孩們便來向巨人告別。

 「可是你們那個小朋友在哪兒?我是說那個由我放在樹上去的孩子。」巨人最愛那個小孩,因為那小孩吻了他。

 「我們不知道,他已經走了,」小孩們回答。
 
 「你們不要忘記告訴他,叫他明天一定要到這兒來,」巨人囑咐道,但是小孩們說他們不知道他住在甚麼地方,而且他們以前就從沒有見過他;巨人覺得非常不快活。
 每天下午小孩們放學以後,便來找巨人一塊兒玩。可是巨人喜歡的那個小孩卻再也不看見了。巨人對待所有的小孩都很和氣,可是他非常想念他的第一個小朋友,並且時常講起他。「我多麼高興看見他啊!」他時常這樣說。
 許多年過去了,巨人也很老了。他不能夠再跟小孩們一塊兒玩,因此他便坐在一把大安樂椅上看小孩們玩各種遊戲,同時也欣賞他自己的花園。他說:「我有許多美麗的花,可是孩子們卻是最美麗的花。」

 一個冬天的早晨,他起床穿衣的時候,把眼睛掉向窗外去望。他現在不恨冬天了,因為他知道這不過是春天在睡眠,花在休息罷了。
 他突然驚訝地擦揉他的眼睛,並且向窗外看了再看。這的確是一個很奇妙的景象。園子的最遠的一角落裏有一棵樹,枝上開滿了可愛的白花。樹枝完全是黃金的,枝上低垂纍纍的銀果,在這樹下就站他所愛的那個小孩。
 巨人很歡喜地跑下樓,進了花園。他急急忙忙跑過草地,去到小孩身邊。等他挨近小孩的時候,他的臉帶憤怒脹紅了,他問道:「誰膽敢傷害了你?」因為小孩的兩隻手掌心上現兩個釘痕,在他兩隻小腳背上也有兩個釘痕。
 「誰膽敢傷害了你?我立刻拿我的刀去殺死他,」巨人叫道。

 「不啊!」小孩答說:「這是愛的傷痕啊。」
 那麼你是誰?

 巨人說他突然有了一種奇特的畏敬的感覺,便在小孩面前跪下來。

 小孩向巨人微笑了,對他說:「你有一回讓我在你的園子裏玩過,今天我要帶你到我的園子裏去,那就是天堂啊。」

 那天下午小孩們跑進園子裏來時,他們看見巨人躺在一棵樹下,他已經死了,滿身蓋著白花。

THE SELFISH GIANT

Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant's garden.

It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. “How happy we are here!” they cried to each other.

One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.

“What are you doing here?” he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.

“My own garden is my own garden,” said the Giant; “any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.” So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board.


TRESPASSERS
WILL BE
PROSECUTED

He was a very selfish Giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside. “How happy we were there,” they said to each other.

Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all the year round.” The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down.

“This is a delightful spot,” he said, “we must ask the Hail on a visit.” So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.

“I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,” said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; “I hope there will be a change in the weather.”

But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant’s garden she gave none. “He is too selfish,” she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind, and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King’s musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. “I believe the Spring has come at last,” said the Giant; and he jumped out of bed and looked out.

What did he see?

He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children’s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. “Climb up! little boy,” said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too tiny.

And the Giant’s heart melted as he looked out. “How selfish I have been!” he said; “now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children’s playground for ever and ever.” He was really very sorry for what he had done.

So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant’s neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring. “It is your garden now, little children,” said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were going to market at twelve o’clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.

All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.

“But where is your little companion?” he said: “the boy I put into the tree.” The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.

“We don't know,” answered the children; “he has gone away.”

“You must tell him to be sure and come here to-morrow,” said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. “How I would like to see him!” he used to say.

Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said; “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.”
One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.

Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It certainly was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.

Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, “Who hath dared to wound thee?” For on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.

“Who hath dared to wound thee?” cried the Giant; “tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him.”

“Nay!” answered the child; “but these are the wounds of Love.”

“Who art thou?” said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, “You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.”

And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.

"夜鶯與玫瑰"的中文翻譯

“她說過只要我送給她一朵紅薔薇,她就會同我跳舞,”年輕的學生大聲說;“可是我的花園裡,連一朵紅薔薇也沒有。”

夜鶯在她常青橡樹上的巢裡,聽見了他的話,她從綠葉叢中向外張望,非常驚訝。

“找遍我整個花園都找不到一朵紅薔薇,”他哭著說,他美麗的眼睛裡充滿了淚水。“唉,想不到幸福就繫在這麼細小的事情上面,我讀過了那班聰明人寫的東西,一切學問的秘密我都知道了,可是因為少了一朵紅薔薇,我的生活就變成很不幸的了。”

“現下到底找到一個忠實的情人了,”夜鶯自語道。“我雖然不認識他,可是我每夜都在歌頌他。我一夜又一夜地把他的故事講給星星聽,現下我親眼看見他了。他的頭髮黑得像盛開的風信子,他的嘴唇就像他想望的薔薇那樣紅。可是熱情使他的臉變得像一塊失色的象牙,憂愁已經印上他的眉梢了。”

“王子明晚要開跳舞會,”年輕的學生喃喃說,“我所愛的人要去赴會。要是我帶一朵紅薔薇去送她,她便會同我跳舞到天亮。要是我送她一朵紅薔薇,我便可以摟著她,讓她的頭靠在我肩上,她的手捏在我的手心。可是我的園子裡並沒有紅薔薇,因此我就不得不寂寞地枯坐在那兒,她會走過我面前不理我。她不會理睬我,我的心就要碎了。”

“這的確是一個忠實的情人,”夜鶯說。“我所歌唱的,正是使他受苦的東西。在我是快樂的東西,在他卻成了痛苦。愛情真是一件了不起的東西。它比綠寶石更寶貴,比貓眼石更值價。用珠寶也買不到它。它不是陳列在市場上的,它不是可以從商人那兒買到的,也不能稱輕重拿來換錢。”

“樂師們會坐在他們的廊廂裡,”年輕的學生說,“彈奏他們的弦樂器,我所愛的人會跟著豎琴和小提琴的聲音跳舞。她會跳得那麼輕快,好像她的腳就沒有挨著地板似的,那些穿漂亮衣服的朝臣會團團地圍住她。可是她不會和我跳舞,因為我沒有紅薔薇可以給她,”於是他撲倒在草地上,雙手蒙住臉哭起來。

“他為什麼哭?”一條小小的綠蜥蜴豎起尾巴跑過學生面前,這樣問道。

“的確,為的什麼?”一只蝴蝶說,他正跟著一線日光飛舞。

“的確,為的什麼?”一朵雛菊溫和地對他的鄰人小聲說。

“他為了一朵紅薔薇在哭,”夜鶯答道。

“為了一朵紅薔薇﹗”他們嚷起來;“多麼可笑﹗”小蜥蜴素來愛譏諷人,他大聲笑了。

然而夜鶯瞭解學生的煩惱,她默默地坐在橡樹枝上,想著愛情的不可思議。

突然她張開她的棕色翅膀,往空中飛去。她像影子似地穿過樹林,又像影子似地飛過了花園。

在草地的中央有一棵美麗的薔薇樹,她看見了那棵樹,便飛過去,棲在它的一根小枝上。

“給我一朵紅薔薇,”她大聲說,“我要給你唱我最好聽的歌。”

可是這棵樹搖搖頭。

“我的薔薇是白的,”它回答;“像海裡浪花那樣白,比山頂的積雪更白。你去找我那個長在舊日晷儀旁邊的兄弟吧,也許他會把你要的東西給你。”

夜鶯便飛到那棵生長在日晷儀旁邊的薔薇樹上去。

“給我一朵紅薔薇,”她大聲說,“我要給你唱我最好聽的歌。”

可是這棵樹搖搖它的頭。

“我的薔薇是黃的,”它答道,“就像坐在琥珀寶座上的美人魚的頭髮那樣黃,比除草人帶著鐮刀到來以前在草地上開花的水仙更黃。去找我那個長在學生窗下的兄弟吧,也許他會把你要的東西給你。”

夜鶯便飛到那棵長在學生窗下的薔薇樹上去。

“給我一朵紅薔薇,”她大聲說,“我要給你唱我最好聽的歌。”

可是這棵樹搖搖它的頭。

“我的薔薇是紅的,”它答道,“像鴿子腳那樣紅,比在海洋洞窟中搖動的珊瑚大扇更紅。可是冬天已經凍僵了我的脈管,霜已經凍枯了我的花苞,風雨已經打折了我的樹枝,我今年不會再開花了。”

“我只要一朵紅薔薇,”夜鶯叫道。“只是一朵紅薔薇!我還有什麼辦法可以得到它嗎?”

“有一個辦法,”樹答道;“只是那太可怕了,我不敢對你說。”

“告訴我吧,”夜鶯說,“我不怕。”

“要是你想要一朵紅薔薇,”樹說,“你一定要在月光底下用音樂造成它,並且用你的心血染紅它。你一定要拿你的胸脯抵住我一根刺來給我唱歌。你一定要給我唱一個整夜,那根刺一定要刺穿你的心。你的鮮血也一定要流進我的血管裡來變成我的血。”

“拿死來換一朵紅薔薇,代價太大了,”夜鶯大聲說,“生命對每個人都是很寶貴的。坐在綠樹上望著太陽駕著他的金馬車,月亮駕她的珍珠馬車出來,是一件多快樂的事。山摣的氣味是香的,躲藏在山谷裡的桔梗同在山頭開花的石南也是香的。可是愛情勝過生命,而且一只鳥的心怎麼能跟一個人的心相比呢?”

她便張開她的棕色翅膀飛起來,飛到空中去了。她像一團影子似地掠過花園,又像影子似地穿過了樹叢。

年輕的學生仍然躺在草地上,跟她先前離開他的時候一樣;他那美麗的眼睛裡的淚水還不曾乾去。

“你要快樂啊,”夜鶯大聲說,“你要快樂啊;你就會得到你那朵紅薔薇的。我要在月光底下用音樂造成它,拿我的心血把它染紅。我只要求你做一件事來報答我,就是你要做一個忠實的情人,因為不管哲學是怎樣地聰明,愛情卻比她更聰明,不管權力是怎樣地偉大,愛情卻比他更偉大。愛情的翅膀是像火焰一樣的顏色,他的身體也是像火焰一樣的顏色。他的嘴唇像蜜一樣甜;他的氣息香得跟乳香一樣。”

學生在草地上仰起頭來,並且側著耳朵傾聽,可是他不懂夜鶯在對他講些什麼,因為他只知道那些寫在書本上的事情。

可是橡樹懂得,他覺得難過,因為他很喜歡這隻在他枝枒上做窠的小夜鶯。

“給我唱個最後的歌吧,”他輕輕地說;“你死了,我會覺得很寂寞的。”夜鶯便唱歌給橡樹聽,她的聲音好像銀罐子裡沸騰著的水聲一樣。

她唱完歌,學生便站起來,從他的衣袋裡拿出一個筆記本,和一支鉛筆。

“她相貌很好,”他對自己說,便穿過樹叢走開了──“這是不能否認的;可是她有情感嗎?我想她大概沒有。事實上她跟大多數的藝術家一樣;她只有外表的東西,沒有一點真誠。她不會為了別人犧牲她自己。她只關心音樂,每個人都知道藝術是自私的。不過我還得承認她的聲音裡也有些美麗的旋律。只可惜它們完全沒有意義,也沒有一點實際的好處。”他走進屋子,躺在他那張小床上,又想起他的愛人,過一忽兒,他便睡熟了。

等著月亮升到天空的時候,夜鶯便飛到薔薇樹上來;拿她的胸脯抵住薔薇刺。她把胸脯抵住刺整整唱了一夜,澄澈的冷月也俯下頭來靜靜聽著,她整整唱了一夜,薔薇刺也就刺進她的胸膛,越刺越深,她的鮮血也越來越少了。

她起初唱著一對小兒女心裡的愛情 。在薔薇樹最高的枝上開出了一朵奇異的薔薇,歌一首一首地唱下去,花瓣也跟著一片一片地開放了。花起初是淺白的,就像籠在河上的霧,淺白色像晨光的腳,銀白色像黎明的翅膀。最高枝上開花的那朵薔薇,就像一朵在銀鏡中映出的薔薇花影,就像一朵在水池中映出的薔薇花影。

可是樹叫夜鶯把刺抵得更緊一點。“靠緊些,小夜鶯,”樹大聲說,“不然,薔薇還沒有完成,白天就來了。”

夜鶯便把薔薇刺抵得更緊,她的歌聲也越來越響亮了,因為她正唱著一對成年男女心靈中的熱情 。

一層嬌嫩的紅暈上了薔薇花瓣,就跟新郎吻著新娘的時候,他臉上泛起的紅暈一樣。可是刺還沒有達到夜鶯的心,所以薔薇的心還是白的,因為只有夜鶯的心血才可以把薔薇的心染紅。

樹叫夜鶯把刺抵得更緊一點。“靠緊些,小夜鶯,”樹大聲說,“不然,薔薇還沒有完成,白天就來了。”

夜鶯便把薔薇刺抵得更緊,刺到了她的心。一陣劇痛散佈到她全身。她痛得越厲害,越厲害,她的歌聲也唱得越激昂,越激昂,因為她唱到了由死來完成的愛,在墳墓裡永遠不朽的愛。

這朵奇異的薔薇變成了深紅色,就像東方天空的朝霞。花瓣的外圈是深紅的,花心紅得像一塊紅玉。

可是夜鶯的歌聲漸漸地弱了,她的小翅膀撲起來,一層薄翳罩上了她的眼睛。她的歌聲越來越低,她覺得喉嚨被什麼東西堵住了。

於是她唱出了最後的歌聲。明月聽見它,居然忘記落下去,卻只顧在天空徘徊。紅薔薇聽見它,便帶了深的喜悅顫抖起來,張開花瓣去迎接清晨的涼氣。回聲把它帶到山中她的紫洞裡去,將酣睡的牧童從好夢中喚醒。它又飄過河畔蘆葦叢中,蘆葦又把它的消息給大海帶去。

“看啊,看啊﹗”樹叫起來,“現下薔薇完成了;”可是夜鶯並不回答,因為她已經死在長得高高的青草叢中了,心上還帶著那根薔薇刺。

正午學生打開窗往外看。

“啊,真是很好的運氣啊﹗”他嚷起來;“這兒有一朵紅薔薇﹗我一輩子沒有見過一朵這樣的薔薇。它真美,我相信它有一個長的拉丁名字;”他彎下身子到窗外去摘了它。

於是他戴上帽子,拿著紅薔薇,跑到教授家中去。

教授的女兒坐在門口,正在紡車上繞纏青絲,她的小狗躺在她的腳邊。

“你說過要是我送你一朵紅薔薇,你就會跟我跳舞,”學生大聲說。“這兒有一朵全世界中最紅的薔薇。你今晚上就把它帶在你貼心的地方,我們在一塊兒跳舞的時候,它會對你說,我多麼愛你。”可是少女皺著眉頭。

“我怕它跟我的衣服配不上,”她答道;“而且御前大臣的侄兒送了我一些上等珠寶,誰都知道珠寶比花更值錢。”

“好吧,我老老實實告訴你,你是忘恩負義的,”學生帶怒地說;他把花丟到街上去,花剛巧落進路溝,一個車輪在它身上輾了過去。

“忘恩負義﹗”少女說。“我老實對你說,你太不懂禮貌了;而且你究竟是什麼人?你不過是一個學生。哼!我不相信你會像御前大臣的侄兒那樣鞋子上釘著銀扣子,”她站起來走進屋裡去了。

“戀愛是多無聊的東西,”學生一邊走,一邊說。“它的用處比不上邏輯的一半。因為它什麼都不能證明,它總是告訴人一些不會有的事,並且總是教人相信一些並不是實有的事。總之,它是完全不實際的,並且在我們這個時代,什麼都得講實際,我還是回到哲學上去,還是去研究形而上學吧。”

他便回到他的屋子裡,拿出那本滿是灰塵的大書讀起來。

2008年1月25日 星期五

THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE

台灣四五級生應該對當年台視播出的"刺鳥"(Thornbird)影集還有點印象, 理查張伯倫(Richard Chamberlain)飾演一位天主教神父, 愛上天真無邪的女孩瑪姬(Meggie), 從她四歲起, 一直很照顧她, 直到她嫁為人婦, 生活陷入困頓, 都不放棄對她的關愛. 它是改編自Colleen McCullough的同名小說, 在故事開始前, 還虛構出有一種叫做刺鳥的鳥類, 牠的歌聲是如何的動人, 但平常絕不會啼唱, 只有在玫瑰的尖刺刺進牠的胸膛, 瀕死前才會引吭高歌, 唱出如動人愛情般的歌聲...

它的故事原型就是引自王爾德在1888年出版的"The Happy Prince and Other Tales"裡的夜鶯與玫瑰, 以下就是英文原文:

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“She said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses,” cried the young Student; “but in all my garden there is no red rose.”

From her nest in the holm-oak tree the Nightingale heard him, and she looked out through the leaves, and wondered.

“No red rose in all my garden!” he cried, and his beautiful eyes filled with tears. “Ah, on what little things does happiness depend! I have read all that the wise men have written, and all the secrets of philosophy are mine, yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched.”

“Here at last is a true lover,” said the Nightingale. “Night after night have I sung of him, though I knew him not: night after night have I told his story to the stars, and now I see him. His hair is dark as the hyacinth-blossom, and his lips are red as the rose of his desire; but passion has made his face like pale ivory, and sorrow has set her seal upon his brow.”

“The Prince gives a ball to-morrow night,” murmured the young Student, “and my love will be of the company. If I bring her a red rose she will dance with me till dawn. If I bring her a red rose, I shall hold her in my arms, and she will lean her head upon my shoulder, and her hand will be clasped in mine. But there is no red rose in my garden, so I shall sit lonely, and she will pass me by. She will have no heed of me, and my heart will break.”

“Here indeed is the true lover,” said the Nightingale. “What I sing of, he suffers—what is joy to me, to him is pain. Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the marketplace. It may not be purchased of the merchants, nor can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.”

“The musicians will sit in their gallery,” said the young Student, “and play upon their stringed instruments, and my love will dance to the sound of the harp and the violin. She will dance so lightly that her feet will not touch the floor, and the courtiers in their gay dresses will throng round her. But with me she will not dance, for I have no red rose to give her”; and he flung himself down on the grass, and buried his face in his hands, and wept.

“Why is he weeping?” asked a little Green Lizard, as he ran past him with his tail in the air.

“Why, indeed?” said a Butterfly, who was fluttering about after a sunbeam.

“Why, indeed?” whispered a Daisy to his neighbour, in a soft, low voice.

“He is weeping for a red rose,” said the Nightingale.

“For a red rose?” they cried; “how very ridiculous!” and the little Lizard, who was something of a cynic, laughed outright.

But the Nightingale understood the secret of the Student’s sorrow, and she sat silent in the oak-tree, and thought about the mystery of Love.

Suddenly she spread her brown wings for flight, and soared into the air. She passed through the grove like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed across the garden.

In the centre of the grass-plot was standing a beautiful Rose-tree, and when she saw it she flew over to it, and lit upon a spray.

“Give me a red rose,” she cried, “and I will sing you my sweetest song.”

But the Tree shook its head.

“My roses are white,” it answered; “as white as the foam of the sea, and whiter than the snow upon the mountain. But go to my brother who grows round the old sun-dial, and perhaps he will give you what you want.”

So the Nightingale flew over to the Rose-tree that was growing round the old sun-dial.

“Give me a red rose,” she cried, “and I will sing you my sweetest song.”

But the Tree shook its head.

“My roses are yellow,” it answered; “as yellow as the hair of the mermaiden who sits upon an amber throne, and yellower than the daffodil that blooms in the meadow before the mower comes with his scythe. But go to my brother who grows beneath the Student’s window, and perhaps he will give you what you want.”

So the Nightingale flew over to the Rose-tree that was growing beneath the Student’s window.

“Give me a red rose,” she cried, “and I will sing you my sweetest song.”

But the Tree shook its head.

“My roses are red,” it answered, “as red as the feet of the dove, and redder than the great fans of coral that wave and wave in the ocean-cavern. But the winter has chilled my veins, and the frost has nipped my buds, and the storm has broken my branches, and I shall have no roses at all this year.”

“One red rose is all I want,” cried the Nightingale, “only one red rose! Is there no way by which I can get it?”

“There is away,” answered the Tree; “but it is so terrible that I dare not tell it to you.”

“Tell it to me,” said the Nightingale, “I am not afraid.”

“If you want a red rose,” said the Tree, “you must build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with your own heart’s-blood. You must sing to me with your breast against a thorn. All night long you must sing to me, and the thorn must pierce your heart, and your life-blood must flow into my veins, and become mine.”

“Death is a great price to pay for a red rose,” cried the Nightingale, “and Life is very dear to all. It is pleasant to sit in the green wood, and to watch the Sun in his chariot of gold, and the Moon in her chariot of pearl. Sweet is the scent of the hawthorn, and sweet are the bluebells that hide in the valley, and the heather that blows on the hill. Yet Love is better than Life, and what is the heart of a bird compared to the heart of a man?”

So she spread her brown wings for flight, and soared into the air. She swept over the garden like a shadow, and like a shadow she sailed through the grove.

The young Student was still lying on the grass, where she had left him, and the tears were not yet dry in his beautiful eyes.

“Be happy,” cried the Nightingale, “be happy; you shall have your red rose. I will build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with my own heart’s-blood. All that I ask of you in return is that you will be a true lover, for Love is wiser than Philosophy, though she is wise, and mightier than Power, though he is mighty. Flame-coloured are his wings, and coloured like flame is his body. His lips are sweet as honey, and his breath is like frankincense.”

The Student looked up from the grass, and listened, but he could not understand what the Nightingale was saying to him, for he only knew the things that are written down in books.
But the Oak-tree understood, and felt sad, for he was very fond of the little Nightingale who had built her nest in his branches.

“Sing me one last song,” he whispered; “I shall feel very lonely when you are gone.”
So the Nightingale sang to the Oak-tree, and her voice was like water bubbling from a silver jar.
When she had finished her song the Student got up, and pulled a note-book and a lead-pencil out of his pocket.

“She has form,” he said to himself, as he walked away through the grove—“that cannot be denied to her; but has she got feeling? I am afraid not. In fact, she is like most artists; she is all style, without any sincerity. She would not sacrifice herself for others. She thinks merely of music, and everybody knows that the arts are selfish. Still, it must be admitted that she has some beautiful notes in her voice. What a pity it is that they do not mean anything, or do any practical good.” And he went into his room, and lay down on his little pallet-bed, and began to think of his love; and, after a time, he fell asleep.

And when the Moon shone in the heavens the Nightingale flew to the Rose-tree, and set her breast against the thorn. All night long she sang with her breast against the thorn, and the cold crystal Moon leaned down and listened. All night long she sang, and the thorn went deeper and deeper into her breast, and her life-blood ebbed away from her.

She sang first of the birth of love in the heart of a boy and a girl. And on the top-most spray of the Rose-tree there blossomed a marvellous rose, petal following petal, as song followed song. Pale was it, at first, as the mist that hangs over the river—pale as the feet of the morning, and silver as the wings of the dawn. As the shadow of a rose in a mirror of silver, as the shadow of a rose in a water-pool, so was the rose that blossomed on the topmost spray of the Tree.

But the Tree cried to the Nightingale to press closer against the thorn. “Press closer, little Nightingale,” cried the Tree, “or the Day will come before the rose is finished.”

So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and louder and louder grew her song, for she sang of the birth of passion in the soul of a man and a maid.

And a delicate flush of pink came into the leaves of the rose, like the flush in the face of the bridegroom when he kisses the lips of the bride. But the thorn had not yet reached her heart, so the rose’s heart remained white, for only a Nightingale’s heart’s-blood can crimson the heart of a rose.

And the Tree cried to the Nightingale to press closer against the thorn. “Press closer, little Nightingale,” cried the Tree, “or the Day will come before the rose is finished.”

So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn, and the thorn touched her heart, and a fierce pang of pain shot through her. Bitter, bitter was the pain, and wilder and wilder grew her song, for she sang of the Love that is perfected by Death, of the Love that dies not in the tomb.

And the marvellous rose became crimson, like the rose of the eastern sky. Crimson was the girdle of petals, and crimson as a ruby was the heart.

But the Nightingale’s voice grew fainter, and her little wings began to beat, and a film came over her eyes. Fainter and fainter grew her song, and she felt something choking her in her throat.
Then she gave one last burst of music. The white Moon heard it, and she forgot the dawn, and lingered on in the sky. The red rose heard it, and it trembled all over with ecstasy, and opened its petals to the cold morning air. Echo bore it to her purple cavern in the hills, and woke the sleeping shepherds from their dreams. It floated through the reeds of the river, and they carried its message to the sea.

“Look, look!” cried the Tree, “the rose is finished now”; but the Nightingale made no answer, for she was lying dead in the long grass, with the thorn in her heart.

And at noon the Student opened his window and looked out.

“Why, what a wonderful piece of luck!” he cried; “here is a red rose! I have never seen any rose like it in all my life. It is so beautiful that I am sure it has a long Latin name”; and he leaned down and plucked it.

Then he put on his hat, and ran up to the Professor’s house with the rose in his hand.
The daughter of the Professor was sitting in the doorway winding blue silk on a reel, and her little dog was lying at her feet.

“You said that you would dance with me if I brought you a red rose,” cried the Student. “Here is the reddest rose in all the world. You will wear it to-night next your heart, and as we dance together it will tell you how I love you.”

But the girl frowned.

“I am afraid it will not go with my dress,” she answered; “and, besides, the Chamberlain’s nephew has sent me some real jewels, and everybody knows that jewels cost far more than flowers.”

“Well, upon my word, you are very ungrateful,” said the Student angrily; and he threw the rose into the street, where it fell into the gutter, and a cart-wheel went over it.

“Ungrateful!” said the girl. “I tell you what, you are very rude; and, after all, who are you? Only a Student. Why, I don’t believe you have even got silver buckles to your shoes as the Chamberlain’s nephew has”; and she got up from her chair and went into the house.

“What I a silly thing Love is,” said the Student as he walked away. “It is not half as useful as Logic, for it does not prove anything, and it is always telling one of things that are not going to happen, and making one believe things that are not true. In fact, it is quite unpractical, and, as in this age to be practical is everything, I shall go back to Philosophy and study Metaphysics.”

So he returned to his room and pulled out a great dusty book, and began to read.

2008年1月23日 星期三

茨威賽爾水晶玻璃杯的等級

Schott Zwiesel 的酒杯是機器吹製的, 有好幾個不同的系列及價錢等級.

最便宜的是傳統造型的 classico 系列, 有10款, 價格是六只, 台幣1,380元; congresso 系列有七款, 價格也是六只, 台幣1,380台幣.

在台灣最為人所知的 Diva 系列, 以是女性曲線美為形象來塑造杯底及杯腳, 價格是六只 2,580 台幣. 誠品的話每只定價450台幣. 另外還有一個同價格的 Excelsior 系列.

與六位品酒師合作設計的Top Ten 系列10只酒杯, 每六只的售價約4,080台幣.

另外還有2個系列在台灣似乎沒有看到, 一個是杯腳呈現扭條狀的 Cinderella, 每只售價4,200日圓, 另一個是杯底呈現大角度V字型的 pure 系列, 售價是每只9,000日圓.

Zwiesel 1872 的酒杯是手工吹製的, 也有好幾個不同的系列及價錢等級.

由2004年獲得世界品酒師大賽冠軍的 ENRICO BERNARDO 與 Zwiesel 水晶玻璃廠合作推出的"The First"系列, 一只的價格就要2,280台幣, 相當於機器吹製的Diva系列酒杯六只, 可以說是Zwiesel 1872 最高貴的酒杯.

另外在台灣市面上有售的Enoteca系列, 一只的售價要1,680台幣,相當於5,000日圓...
日本分公司還有Amata系列(4,000日圓),與Enoteca同級的Gusto系列, Ballerina 系列每只則要6,000日圓, Fino系列每只要8,000日圓, En Vogue系列一只就要10,000日圓, The First則要10,500日圓左右..

2008年1月22日 星期二

《快樂王子》的中文翻譯

 快樂王子的雕像高高地聳立在城市上空─根高大的石柱上面。他渾身上下貼滿純金打造的金箔,明亮的藍寶石做成他的雙眼,劍柄上還嵌著一顆碩大的燦燦發光的紅色寶石。世人對他真是稱羨不已。

 “他像風向雞一樣漂亮,”一位想表現自己有藝術品味的市參議員說了一句,接著又因擔心人們將他視為不務實際的人,其實他倒是怪務實的,便補充道:“只是不如風向雞那麼實用。”

 “你為什麼不能像快樂王子一樣呢?”一位明智的母親對自己那哭喊著要月亮的小男孩說,“快樂王子做夢時都從沒有想過哭著要東西。”
 
 “世上還有如此快樂的人真讓我高興,”一位沮喪的漢子凝視著這座非凡的雕像喃喃自語地說著。

 “他看上去就像位天使,”孤兒院的孩子們說。他們正從教堂走出來,身上披著鮮紅奪目的斗蓬,胸前掛著乾淨雪白的圍兜兒。

 “你們是怎麼知道的?”數學教師問道,“你們又沒見過天使的模樣。”

 “啊!可是我們見過,是在夢裡見到的。”孩子們答道。數學教師皺皺眉頭並繃起了面孔,因為他不贊成孩子們做夢。

 有天夜裡,一隻小燕子從城市上空飛過。他的朋友們早在六個星期前就飛往埃及去了,可他卻留在了後面,因為他太留戀那美麗無比的蘆葦小姐。他是在早春時節遇上她的,當時他正順河而下去追逐一隻黃色的大飛蛾。他為她那纖細的腰身著了迷,便停下身來同她說話。

 “我可以愛你嗎?”燕子問道,他喜歡一下子就談到正題上。蘆葦向他彎下了腰,於是他就繞著她飛了一圈又一圈,並用羽翅輕撫著水面,泛起層層銀色的漣漪。這是燕子的求愛方式,他就這樣地進行了整個夏天。

 “這種戀情實在可笑,”其他燕子吃吃地笑著說,“她既沒錢財,又有那麼多親戚。”的確,河裡到處都是蘆葦。等秋天一到,燕子們就飛走了。大伙走後,他覺得很孤獨,並開始討厭起自己的戀人。

 “她不會說話,”他說,“況且我擔心她是個蕩婦,你看她老是跟風調情。”這可不假,一旦起風,蘆葦便行起最優雅的屈膝禮。“我承認她是個居家過日子的人,”燕子繼續說,“可我喜愛旅行,而我的妻子,當然也應該喜愛旅行才對。”

“你願意跟我走嗎?”他最後問道。然而蘆葦卻搖搖頭,她太捨不得自己的家了。

“原來你跟我是鬧著玩的,”他吼叫著,“我要去金字塔了,再見吧!”說完他就飛走了。

 他飛了整整一天,夜晚時才來到這座城市。“我去哪兒過夜呢?”他說,“我希望城裡已做好了準備。”

 這時,他看見了高大圓柱上的雕像。

“我就在那兒過夜,”他高聲說,“這是個好地方,充滿了新鮮空氣。”於是,他就在快樂王子兩腳之間落了窩。

“我有黃金做的臥室,”他朝四周看看後輕聲地對自己說,隨之準備入睡了。但就在他把頭放在羽翅下面的時候,一顆大大的水珠落在他的身上。“真是不可思議!”他叫了起來,“天上沒有一絲雲彩,繁星清晰又明亮,卻偏偏下起了雨。北歐的天氣真是可怕。蘆葦是喜歡雨水的,可是那只是她自私罷了。”

 緊接著又落下來一滴。

“一座雕像連雨都遮擋不住,還有什麼用處?”他說,“我得去找一個好煙囪做窩。”他決定飛離此處。

 可是還沒等他張開羽翼,第三滴水又掉了下來,他抬頭望去,看見了──啊!他看見了什麼呢?

 快樂王子的雙眼充滿了淚水,淚珠順著他金黃的臉頰淌了下來。王子的臉在月光下美麗無比,小燕子頓生憐憫之心。

“你是誰?”他問對方。

“我是快樂王子。”

“那麼你為什麼哭呢?”燕子又問,“你把我的身上都打濕了。”

“以前在我有顆人心而活著的時候,”雕像開口說道,“我並不知道眼淚是什麼東西,因為那時我住在無憂宮裡,那是個哀愁無法進去的地方。白天人們伴著我在花園裡玩,晚上我在大廳裡領頭跳舞。沿著花園有一堵高高的圍牆,可我從沒想到去圍牆那邊有什麼東西,我身邊的一切太美好了。我的臣僕們都叫我快樂王子,的確,如果歡愉就是快樂的話,那我真是快樂無比。我就這麼活著,也這麼死去。而眼下我死了,他們把我這麼高高地立在這兒,使我能看見自己城市中所有的醜惡和貧苦,盡管我的心是鉛做的,可我還是忍不住要哭。”

“啊!難道他不是鐵石心腸的金像?”燕子對自己說。他很講禮貌,不願大聲議論別人的私事。

“遠處,”雕像用低緩而悅耳的聲音繼續說,“遠處的一條小街上住著一戶窮人。一扇窗戶開著,透過窗戶我能看見一個女人坐在桌旁。她那瘦削的臉上佈滿了倦意,一雙粗糙發紅的手上到處是針眼,因為她是一個裁縫。她正在給緞子衣服繡上受難花(註1),這是皇后最喜愛的宮女準備在下一次宮廷舞會上穿的。在房間角落裡的一張床上躺著她生病的孩子。孩子在發燒,嚷著要吃桔子。他的媽媽除給他餵幾口河水外什麼也沒有,因此孩子老是哭個不停。燕子,燕子,小燕子,你願意把我劍柄上的紅寶石取下來送給她嗎?我的雙腳被固定在這基座上,不能動彈。”“伙伴們在埃及等我,”燕子說,“他們正在尼羅河上飛來飛去,同朵朵大蓮花說著話兒,不久就要到偉大法老的墓穴裡去過夜。法老本人就睡在自己彩色的棺材中。他的身體被裹在黃色的亞麻布裡,還填滿了防腐的香料。他的脖子上繫著一圈淺綠色翡翠項鏈,他的雙手像是枯萎的樹葉。”“燕子,燕子,小燕子,”王子又說,“你不肯陪我過一夜,做我的信使嗎?那個孩子太飢渴了,他的母親傷心極了。”“我覺得自己不喜歡小孩,”燕子回答說,“去年夏天,我到過一條河邊,有兩個頑皮的孩子,是磨坊主的兒子,他們老是扔石頭打我。當然,他們永遠也別想打中我,我們燕子飛得多快呀,再說,我出身於一個以快捷出了名的家庭﹔可不管怎麼說,這是不禮貌的行為。”可是快樂王子的滿臉愁容叫小燕子的心裡很不好受。“這兒太冷了,”他說,“不過我願意陪你過上一夜,並做你的信使。”“謝謝你,小燕子,”王子說。於是燕子從王子的寶劍上取下那顆碩大的紅寶石,用嘴銜著,越過城裡一座連一座的屋頂,朝遠方飛去。他飛過大教堂的塔頂,看見了上面白色大理石雕刻的天使像。他飛過王宮,聽見了跳舞的歌曲聲。一位美麗的姑娘同她的心上人走上了天台。“多麼奇妙的星星啊,”他對她說,“多麼美妙的愛情啊3”“我希望我的衣服能按時做好,趕得上盛大舞會,”她回答說,“我已要求繡上受難花,只是那些女裁縫們都太得了。”他飛過了河流,看見了高掛在船桅上的無數燈籠。他飛過了猶太區,看見猶太老人們在彼此討價還價地做生意,還把錢幣放在銅制的天平上稱重量。最後他來到了那個窮人的屋舍,朝裡面望去。發燒的孩子在床上輾轉反側,母親已經睡熟了,因為她太疲倦了。他跳進屋裡,將碩大的紅寶石放在那女人頂針旁的桌子上。隨後他又輕輕地繞著床飛了一圈,用羽翅搧著孩子的前額。“我覺得好涼爽,”孩子說,“我一定是好起來了。”說完就沉沉地進入了甜蜜的夢鄉。然後,燕子回到快樂王子的身邊,告訴他自己做過的一切。“你說怪不怪,”他接著說,“雖然天氣很冷,可我現在覺得好暖和。”“那是因為你做了一件好事,”王子說。於是小燕子開始想王子的話,不過沒多久便睡著了。對他來說,一思考問題就老想睡覺。黎明時分他飛下河去洗了個澡。“真是不可思議的現象,”一位鳥禽學教授從橋上走過時開口說道,“冬天竟會有燕子!”於是他給當地的報社關於此事寫去了一封長信。每個人都引用他信中的話,盡管信中的很多詞語是人們無法理解的。“今晚我要到埃及去,”燕子說,一想到遠方,他就精神百倍。他走訪了城裡所有的公共紀念物,還在教堂的頂端上坐了好一陣子。每到一處,麻雀們就吱吱喳喳地相互說,“多麼難得的貴客啊!”所以他玩得很開心。月亮升起的時候他飛回到快樂王子的身邊。“你在埃及有什麼事要辦嗎?”他高聲問道,“我就要動身了。”“燕子,燕子,小燕子,”王子說,“你願意陪我再過一夜嗎?”“伙伴們在埃及等我呀,”燕子回答說,“明天我的朋友們要飛往第二瀑布,那兒的河馬在紙莎草叢中過夜。古埃及的門農神安坐在巨大的花崗岩寶座上,他整夜守望著星星,每當星星閃爍的時候,他就發出歡快的叫聲,隨後便沉默不語。中午時,黃色的獅群下山來到河邊飲水,他們的眼睛像綠色的寶石,咆哮起來比瀑布的怒吼還要響亮。”“燕子,燕子,小燕子,”王子說,“遠處在城市的那一頭,我看見住在閣樓中的一個年輕男子。他在一張鋪滿紙張的書桌上埋頭用功,旁邊的玻璃杯中放著一束乾枯的紫羅蘭。他有一頭棕色的捲髮,嘴唇紅得像石榴,他還有一雙睡意朦朧的大眼睛。他正力爭為劇院經理寫出一個劇本,但是他已經給凍得寫不下去了。壁爐裡沒有柴火,飢餓又弄得他頭昏眼花。”“我願意陪你再過一夜,”燕子說,他的確有顆善良的心。“我是不是再送他一塊紅寶石?”“唉!我現在沒有紅寶石了。”王子說,“所剩的只有我的雙眼。它們由稀有的藍寶石做成,是一千多年前從印度出產的。取出一顆給他送去。他會將它賣給珠寶商,好買回食物和木柴,完成他寫的劇本。”“親愛的王子,”燕子說,“我不能這樣做,”說完就哭了起來。“燕子,燕子,小燕子,”王子說,“就照我說的話去做吧。”因此燕子取下了王子的一隻眼睛,朝學生住的閣樓飛去了。由於屋頂上有一個洞,燕子很容易進去。就這樣燕子穿過洞來到屋裡。年輕人雙手捂著臉,沒有聽見燕子翅膀的扇動聲,等他抬起頭時,正看見那顆美麗的藍寶石放在乾枯的紫羅蘭上面。“我開始受人欣賞了,”他叫道,“這準是某個極其欽佩我的人送來的。現在我可以完成我的劇本了。”他臉上露出了幸福的笑容。第二天燕子飛到下面的海港,他坐在一艘大船的桅杆上,望著水手們用繩索把大箱子拖出船艙。隨著他們嘿喲!嘿喲!”的聲聲號子,一個個大箱子給拖了上來。 “我要去埃及了!”燕子略道,但是沒有人理會他。等月亮升起後,他又飛回到快樂王子的身邊。“我是來向你道別的,”他叫著說。“燕子,燕子,小燕子,”王子說,“你不願再陪我過一夜嗎?”“冬天到了,”燕子回答說,“寒冷的雪就要來了。而在埃及,太陽掛在蔥綠的棕擱樹上,暖和極了,還有躺在泥塘中的鱷魚懶洋洋地環顧著四周。我的朋友們正在巴爾貝克古城的神廟裡建築巢穴,那些粉紅和銀白色的鴿子們一邊望著他們幹活,一邊相互傾訴著情話。親愛的王子,我不得不離你而去了,只是我永遠也不會忘記你的,明年春天我要給你帶回兩顆美麗的寶石,彌補你因送給別人而失掉的那西顆,紅寶石會比一朵紅玫瑰還紅,藍寶石也比大海更藍。”“在下面的廣場上,”快樂王子說,“站著一個賣火柴的小女孩。她的火柴都掉在陰溝裡了,它們都不能用了。如果她不帶錢回家,她的父親會打她的,她正在哭著呢。她既沒穿鞋,也沒有穿襪子,頭上什麼也沒戴。請把我的另一隻眼睛取下來,給她送去,這樣她父親就不會揍她了。”“我願意陪你再過一夜,”燕子說,“但我不能取下你的眼睛,否則你就變成個瞎子了。”“燕子,燕子,小燕子,”王子說,“就照我說的話去做吧。”子是他又取下了王子的另一隻眼珠,帶著它朝下飛去。他一下子落在小女孩的面前,把寶石悄悄地放在她的手掌心上。“一塊多麼美麗的玻璃呀!”小女孩高聲叫著,她笑著朝家裡跑去。這時,燕子回到王子身旁。“你現在瞎了,”燕子說,“我要永遠陪著你。”“不,小燕子,”可憐的王子說,“你得到埃及去。”“我要一直陪著你,”燕子說著就睡在了王子的腳下。第二天他整日坐在王子的肩頭上,給他講自己在異國他鄉的所見所聞和種種經歷。他還給王子講那些紅色的朱鷺,它們排成長長的一行站在尼羅河的岸邊,用它們的尖嘴去捕捉金魚﹔還講到司芬克斯,它的歲數跟世界一樣長久,住在沙漠中,通曉世間的一切﹔他講紐那些商人,跟著自己的駝隊緩緩而行,手中摸著狼製作的念珠﹔他講到月亮山的國王,他皮膚黑得像烏木,崇拜一塊巨大的水晶﹔他講到那條睡在棕櫚樹上的綠色大蟒蛇,要20個僧侶用蜜糖做的糕點來餵它﹔他又講到那些小矮人,他們乘坐扁平的大樹葉在湖泊中往來橫渡,還老與蝴蝶發生戰爭。”“親愛的小燕子,”王子說,“你為我講了好多稀奇的事情,可是更稀奇的還要算那些男男女女們所遭受的苦難。沒有什麼比苦難更不可思議的了。小燕子,你就到我城市的上空去飛一圈吧,告訴我你在上面都看見了些什麼。”,於是燕子飛過了城市上空,看見富人們在自己漂亮的洋樓裡尋歡作樂,而乞丐們卻坐在大門口忍飢挨餓。他飛進陰暗的小巷,看見飢餓的孩子們露出蒼白的小臉沒精打采地望著昏暗的街道,就在一座橋的橋洞裡面兩個孩子相互摟抱著想使彼此溫暖一些。“我們好餓呀!”他倆說。“你們不准躺在這兒,”看守高聲嘆道,兩個孩子又跚蹣著朝雨中走去。隨後他飛了回來,把所見的一切告訴給了王子。“我渾身貼滿了上好的黃金片,”王子說,“你把它們一片片地取下來,給我的窮人們送去。活著的人都相信黃金會使他們幸福的。”燕子將足赤的黃金葉子一片一片地啄了下來,直到快樂王子變得灰暗無光。他又把這些純金葉片一一送給了窮人,孩子們的臉上泛起了紅暈,他們在大街上歡欣無比地玩著游戲。“我們現在有麵包了!”孩子們喊叫著。隨後下起了雪,白雪過後又迎來了嚴寒。街道看上去白花花的,像是銀子做成的,又明亮又耀眼﹔長長的冰柱如同水晶做的寶劍垂懸在屋檐下。人人都穿上了皮衣,小孩子們也戴上了紅帽子去戶外溜冰。可憐的小燕子覺得越來越冷了,但是他卻不願離開王子,他太愛這位王子了。他只好趁麵包師不注意的時候,從麵包店門口弄點麵包屑充飢,並撲扇著翅膀為自己取暖。然而最後他也知道自己快要死去了。他剩下的力氣只夠再飛到王子的肩上一回。“再見了,親愛的王子!”他喃喃地說,“你願重讓我親吻你的手嗎?”“我真高興你終於要飛往埃及去了,小燕子,”王子說,“你在這兒呆得太長了。不過你得親我的嘴唇,因為我愛你。”“我要去的地方不是埃及,”燕子說,“我要去死亡之家。死亡是長眠的兄弟,不是嗎?”接著他親吻了快樂王子的嘴唇,然後就跌落在王子的腳下,死去了。就在此刻,雕像體內伸出一聲奇特的爆裂聲,好像有什麼東西破碎了。其實是王子的那顆鉛做的心已裂成了兩半。這的確是一個可怕的寒冷冬日,第二天一早,市長由市參議員們陪同著散步來到下面的廣場。他們走過圓柱的時候,市長抬頭看了一眼雕像,“我的天啊!快樂王子怎麼如此難看!”他說。“真是難看極了!”市參議員們異口同聲地叫道,他們平時總跟市長一個腔調。說完大家紛紛走上前去細看個明白。“他劍柄上的紅寶石已經掉了,藍寶石眼珠也不見了,他也不再是黃金的了,”市長說,“實際上,他比一個要飯的乞丐強不了多少!”“的確比要飯的強不了多少,”市參議員們附和著說。“還有在他的腳下躺著一隻死鳥!”市長繼續說,“我們真應該發佈一個聲明,禁止鳥類死在這個地方。”於是市書記員把這個建議記錄了下來。後來他們就把快樂王子的雕像給推倒了。“既然他已不再美麗,那麼也就不再有用了,”大學的美術教授說。接著他們把雕像放在爐裡熔化了,市長還召集了一次市級的會議來決定如何處理這些金屬,當然,我們必須再鑄一個雕像。”他說,“那應該就是我的雕像。”“我的雕像,”每一位市參議員都爭著說,他們還吵了起來。我最後聽到人們說起他們時,他們的爭吵仍未結束。“多麼稀奇古怪的事!”鑄像廠的工頭說,“這顆破裂的鉛心在爐子裡熔化不了。我們只好把它扔掉。”他們便把它扔到了垃圾堆裡,死去的那隻燕子也躺在那兒。“把城市裡最珍貴的兩件東西給我拿來,”上帝對他的天使說。於是天使把鉛心和死鳥帶回來給上帝。“你的選擇對極了,”上帝說,“因為在我這天堂的花園裡,小鳥可以永遠地放聲歌唱,而在我那黃金的城堡中,快樂王子可以盡情地讚美我。:

http://www.wretch.cc/blog/hank73914682&article_id=7735904

The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

我國小六年級時, 曾經買過一本童話集, 其中有收錄英國作家王爾德的"快樂王子", 我小時候反覆地讀, 但是都不太理解, 現在網路上找到它的原文, 終於有機會再好好地讀一遍....


HIGH above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires, and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt.

He was very much admired indeed. ‘He is as beautiful as a weathercock,’ remarked one of the Town Councillors who wished to gain a reputation for having artistic tastes; ‘only not quite so useful,’ he added, fearing lest people should think him unpractical, which he really was not.

‘Why can’t you be like the Happy Prince?’ asked a sensible mother of her little boy who was crying for the moon. ‘The Happy Prince never dreams of crying for anything.’

‘I am glad there is some one in the world who is quite happy,’ muttered a disappointed man as he gazed at the wonderful statue.

‘He looks just like an angel,’ said the Charity Children as they came out of the cathedral in their bright scarlet cloaks, and their clean white pinafores.

‘How do you know?’ said the Mathematical Master, ‘you have never seen one.’

‘Ah! but we have, in our dreams,’ answered the children; and the Mathematical Master frowned and looked very severe, for he did not approve of children dreaming.

One night there flew over the city a little Swallow. His friends had gone away to Egypt six weeks before, but he had stayed behind, for he was in love with the most beautiful Reed. He had met her early in the spring as he was flying down the river after a big yellow moth, and had been so attracted by her slender waist that he had stopped to talk to her.

‘Shall I love you?’ said the Swallow, who liked to come to the point at once, and the Reed made him a low bow. So he flew round and round her, touching the water with his wings, and making silver ripples. This was his courtship, and it lasted all through the summer.

‘It is a ridiculous attachment,’ twittered the other Swallows, ‘she has no money, and far too many relations;’ and indeed the river was quite full of Reeds. Then, when the autumn came, they all flew away.

After they had gone he felt lonely, and began to tire of his lady-love. ‘She has no conversation,’ he said, ‘and I am afraid that she is a coquette, for she is always flirting with the wind.’ And certainly, whenever the wind blew, the Reed made the most graceful curtsies. ‘I admit that she is domestic,’ he continued, ‘but I love travelling, and my wife, consequently, should love travelling also.’

‘Will you come away with me?’ he said finally to her; but the Reed shook her head, she was so attached to her home.

‘You have been trifling with me,’ he cried, ‘I am off to the Pyramids. Good-bye!’ and he flew away.

All day long he flew, and at night-time he arrived at the city. ‘Where shall I put up?’ he said; ‘I hope the town has made preparations.’

Then he saw the statue on the tall column. ‘I will put up there,’ he cried; ‘it is a fine position with plenty of fresh air.’ So he alighted just between the feet of the Happy Prince.

‘I have a golden bedroom,’ he said softly to himself as he looked round, and he prepared to go to sleep; but just as he was putting his head under his wing a large drop of water fell on him.

‘What a curious thing!’ he cried, ‘there is not a single cloud in the sky, the stars are quite clear and bright, and yet it is raining. The climate in the north of Europe is really dreadful. The Reed used to like the rain, but that was merely her selfishness.’

Then another drop fell.

‘What is the use of a statue if it cannot keep the rain off?’ he said; ‘I must look for a good chimney-pot,’ and he determined to fly away.

But before he had opened his wings, a third drop fell, and he looked up, and saw - Ah! what did he see?

The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears, and tears were running down his golden cheeks. His face was so beautiful in the moonlight that the little Swallow was filled with pity.

‘Who are you?’ he said.

‘I am the Happy Prince.’

‘Why are you weeping then?’ asked the Swallow; ‘you have quite drenched me.’

‘When I was alive and had a human heart,’ answered the statue, ‘I did not know what tears were, for I lived in the palace of Sans-Souci, where sorrow is not allowed to enter. In the daytime I played with my companions in the garden, and in the evening I led the dance in the Great Hall. Round the garden ran a very lofty wall, but I never cared to ask what lay beyond it, everything about me was so beautiful. My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was, if pleasure be happiness. So I lived, and so I died. And now that I am dead they have set me up here so high that I can see all the ugliness and all the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot choose but weep.’

‘What, is he not solid gold?’ said the Swallow to himself. He was too polite to make any personal remarks out loud.

‘Far away,’ continued the statue in a low musical voice, ‘far away in a little street there is a poor house. One of the windows is open, and through it I can see a woman seated at a table. Her face is thin and worn, and she has coarse, red hands, all pricked by the needle, for she is a seamstress. She is embroidering passion-flowers(註1) on a satin gown for the loveliest of the Queen’s maids-of-honour to wear at the next Court-ball. In a bed in the corner of the room her little boy is lying ill. He has a fever, and is asking for oranges. His mother has nothing to give him but river water, so he is crying. Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow, will you not bring her the ruby out of my sword-hilt? My feet are fastened to this pedestal and I cannot move.’

‘I am waited for in Egypt,’ said the Swallow. ‘My friends are flying up and down the Nile, and talking to the large lotus-flowers. Soon they will go to sleep in the tomb of the great King. The King is there himself in his painted coffin. He is wrapped in yellow linen, and embalmed with spices. Round his neck is a chain of pale green jade, and his hands are like withered leaves.’

‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘will you not stay with me for one night, and be my messenger? The boy is so thirsty, and the mother so sad.’

‘I don’t think I like boys,’ answered the Swallow. ‘Last summer, when I was staying on the river, there were two rude boys, the miller’s sons, who were always throwing stones at me. They never hit me, of course; we swallows fly far too well for that, and besides, I come of a family famous for its agility; but still, it was a mark of disrespect.’

But the Happy Prince looked so sad that the little Swallow was sorry. ‘It is very cold here,’ he said; ‘but I will stay with you for one night, and be your messenger.’

‘Thank you, little Swallow,’ said the Prince.

So the Swallow picked out the great ruby from the Prince’s sword, and flew away with it in his beak over the roofs of the town.

He passed by the cathedral tower, where the white marble angels were sculptured. He passed by the palace and heard the sound of dancing. A beautiful girl came out on the balcony with her lover. ‘How wonderful the stars are,’ he said to her, and how wonderful is the power of love!’

‘I hope my dress will be ready in time for the State-ball,’ she answered; ‘I have ordered passion-flowers to be embroidered on it; but the seamstresses are so lazy.’

He passed over the river, and saw the lanterns hanging to the masts of the ships. He passed over the Ghetto, and saw the old jews bargaining with each other, and weighing out money in copper scales. At last he came to the poor house and looked in. The boy was tossing feverishly on his bed, and the mother had fallen asleep, she was so tired. In he hopped, and laid the great ruby on the table beside the woman’s thimble. Then he flew gently round the bed, fanning the boy’s forehead with his wings. ‘How cool I feel,’ said the boy, ‘I must be getting better;’ and he sank into a delicious slumber.

Then the Swallow flew back to the Happy Prince, and told him what he had done. ‘It is curious,’ he remarked, ‘but I feel quite warm now, although it is so cold.’

‘That is because you have done a good action,’ said the Prince. And the little Swallow began to think, and then he fell asleep. Thinking always made him sleepy.

When day broke he flew down to the river and had a bath. ‘What a remarkable phenomenon,’ said the Professor of Ornithology as he was passing over the bridge. ‘A swallow in winter!’ And he wrote a long letter about it to the local newspaper. Every one quoted it, it was full of so many words that they could not understand.

‘To-night I go to Egypt,’ said the Swallow, and he was in high spirits at the prospect. He visited all the public monuments, and sat a long time on top of the church steeple. Wherever he went the Sparrows chirruped, and said to each other, ‘What a distinguished stranger!’ so he enjoyed himself very much.

When the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince. ‘Have you any commissions for Egypt?’ he cried; ‘I am just starting.’

‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘will you not stay with me one night longer?’

‘I am waited for in Egypt,’ answered the Swallow. ‘To-morrow my friends will fly up to the Second Cataract. The river-horse couches there among the bulrushes, and on a great granite throne sits the God Memnon. All night long he watches the stars, and when the morning star shines he utters one cry of joy, and then he is silent. At noon the yellow lions come down to the water’s edge to drink. They have eyes like green beryls, and their roar is louder than the roar of the cataract.’

‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the prince, ‘far away across the city I see a young man in a garret. He is leaning over a desk covered with papers, and in a tumbler by his side there is a bunch of withered violets. His hair is brown and crisp, and his lips are red as a pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy eyes. He is trying to finish a play for the Director of the Theatre, but he is too cold to write any more. There is no fire in the grate, and hunger has made him faint.’

‘I will wait with you one night longer,’ said the Swallow, who really had a good heart. ‘Shall I take him another ruby?’

‘Alas! I have no ruby now,’ said the Prince; ‘my eyes are all that I have left. They are made of rare sapphires, which were brought out of India a thousand years ago. Pluck out one of them and take it to him. He will sell it to the jeweller, and buy food and firewood, and finish his play.’

‘Dear Prince,’ said the Swallow, ‘I cannot do that;’ and he began to weep.

‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘do as I command you.’

So the Swallow plucked out the Prince’s eye, and flew away to the student’s garret. It was easy enough to get in, as there was a hole in the roof. Through this he darted, and came into the room. The young man had his head buried in his hands, so he did not hear the flutter of the bird’s wings, and when he looked up he found the beautiful sapphire lying on the withered violets.

‘I am beginning to be appreciated,’ he cried; ‘this is from some great admirer. Now I can finish my play,’ and he looked quite happy.

The next day the Swallow flew down to the harbour. He sat on the mast of a large vessel and watched the sailors hauling big chests out of the hold with ropes. ‘Heave a-hoy!’ they shouted as each chest came up. ‘I am going to Egypt!’ cried the Swallow, but nobody minded, and when the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince.

‘I am come to bid you good-bye,’ he cried.

‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘will you not stay with me one night longer?’

‘It is winter,’ answered the Swallow, ‘and the chill snow will soon be here. In Egypt the sun is warm on the green palm-trees, and the crocodiles lie in the mud and look lazily about them. My companions are building a nest in the Temple of Baalbec, and the pink and white doves are watching them, and cooing to each other. Dear Prince, I must leave you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you back two beautiful jewels in place of those you have given away. The ruby shall be redder than a red rose, and the sapphire shall be as blue as the great sea.’

‘In the square below,’ said the Happy Prince, ‘there stands a little match-girl. She has let her matches fall in the gutter, and they are all spoiled. Her father will beat her if she does not bring home some money, and she is crying. She has no shoes or stockings, and her little head is bare. Pluck out my other eye, and give it to her, and her father will not beat her.’

‘I will stay with you one night longer,’ said the Swallow, ‘but I cannot pluck out your eye. You would be quite blind then.’

‘Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘do as I command you.’

So he plucked out the Prince’s other eye, and darted down with it. He swooped past the match-girl, and slipped the jewel into the palm of her hand. ‘What a lovely bit of glass,’ cried the little girl; and she ran home, laughing.

Then the Swallow came back to the Prince. ‘You are blind now,’ he said, ‘so I will stay with you always.’

‘No, little Swallow,’ said the poor Prince, ‘you must go away to Egypt.’

‘I will stay with you always,’ said the Swallow, and he slept at the Prince’s feet.

All the next day he sat on the Prince’s shoulder, and told him stories of what he had seen in strange lands. He told him of the red ibises, who stand in long rows on the banks of the Nile, and catch gold fish in their beaks; of the Sphinx, who is as old as the world itself and lives in the desert, and knows everything; of the merchants, who walk slowly by the side of their camels, and carry amber beads in their hands; of the King of the Mountains of the Moon, who is as black as ebony, and worships a large crystal; of the great green snake that sleeps in a palm-tree, and has twenty priests to feed it with honey-cakes; and of the pygmies who sail over a big lake on large flat leaves, and are always at war with the butterflies.

‘Dear little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘you tell me of marvellous things, but more marvellous than anything is the suffering of men and of women. There is no Mystery so great as Misery. Fly over my city, little Swallow, and tell me what you see there.’

So the Swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich making merry in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates. He flew into dark lanes, and saw the white faces of starving children looking out listlessly at the black streets. Under the archway of a bridge two little boys were lying in one another’s arms to try and keep themselves warm. ‘How hungry we are!’ they said. ‘You must not lie here,’ shouted the Watchman, and they wandered out into the rain.

Then he flew back and told the Prince what he had seen.

‘I am covered with fine gold,’ said the Prince, ‘you must take it off, leaf by leaf, and give it to my poor; the living always think that gold can make them happy.’

Leaf after leaf of the fine gold the Swallow picked off, till the Happy Prince looked quite dull and grey. Leaf after leaf of the fine gold he brought to the poor, and the children’s faces grew rosier, and they laughed and played games in the street. ‘We have bread now!’ they cried.

Then the snow came, and after the snow came the frost. The streets looked as if they were made of silver, they were so bright and glistening; long icicles like crystal daggers hung down from the eaves of the houses, everybody went about in furs, and the little boys wore scarlet caps and skated on the ice.

The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince, he loved him too well. He picked up crumbs outside the baker’s door where the baker was not looking, and tried to keep himself warm by flapping his wings.

But at last he knew that he was going to die. He had just strength to fly up to the Prince’s shoulder once more. ‘Good-bye, dear Prince!’ he murmured, ‘will you let me kiss your hand?’

‘I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow,’ said the Prince, ‘you have stayed too long here; but you must kiss me on the lips, for I love you.’

‘It is not to Egypt that I am going,’ said the Swallow. ‘I am going to the House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?’

And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet.

At that moment a curious crack sounded inside the statue, as if something had broken. The fact is that the leaden heart had snapped right in two. It certainly was a dreadfully hard frost. Early the next morning the Mayor was walking in the square below in company with the Town Councillors. As they passed the column he looked up at the statue: ‘Dear me! how shabby the Happy Prince looks!’ he said.

‘How shabby indeed!’ cried the Town Councillors, who always agreed with the Mayor, and they went up to look at it.

‘The ruby has fallen out of his sword, his eyes are gone, and he is golden no longer,’ said the Mayor; ‘in fact, he is little better than a beggar!’

‘Little better than a beggar’ said the Town councillors.

‘And here is actually a dead bird at his feet!’ continued the Mayor. ‘We must really issue a proclamation that birds are not to be allowed to die here.’ And the Town Clerk made a note of the suggestion.

So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince. ‘As he is no longer beautiful he is no longer useful,’ said the Art Professor at the University.

Then they melted the statue in a furnace, and the Mayor held a meeting of the Corporation to decide what was to be done with the metal. ‘We must have another statue, of course,’ he said, ‘and it shall be a statue of myself.’

‘Of myself,’ said each of the Town Councillors, and they quarrelled. When I last heard of them they were quarrelling still.

‘What a strange thing!’ said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry. ‘This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it away.’ So they threw it on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow was also lying.

‘Bring me the two most precious things in the city,’ said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird.

‘You have rightly chosen,’ said God, ‘for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for evermore, and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me.’


註1 Passion-Flowers 受難花, 它是歐洲傳教士在南美巴西發現這種藤蔓型植物的花, 1610年間傳入歐洲,當時西班牙傳教士發現此花至覺珍奇,花型極似基督之十字架刑具柱頭上3個分裂,極似3根釘,花瓣紅斑、恰似耶穌頭部被薔薇刺出血形象,5個花藥,恰似受傷傷痕,此花花形正象徵耶穌釘十字架受難, 直譯為受難花。而它的果實就是百香果(Passion Fruit), 百香果的名稱可能是從日語發音的Passion而來. 另外因其果實形狀似雞卵, 在大陸及香港有"雞蛋果"或"情人果"之稱, 台灣南部也有因其種籽像米粒,而有俗稱"米粒瓜"(台語發音). 而台灣於1901~1907年日本人田代安定氏自東京帝大的小石川植物園引入紫色種,目前已成為低海拔山區野果,民國53年,美國人鐘桂康組織泛太平洋農場曾大量引入黃色種,並在彰化縣及南投埔里、魚池等地區推廣栽植,於民國64年農試所,鳳山熱帶園藝試驗分所,利用紫色種與黃色種雜交,選育出具有自交親和性之雜交品種,並於民國70年正式命名為「台農一號」,成為台灣栽培主要品種。另百香果的花很像古時流行的時鐘字盤,日本人稱之為「時計草」,它的果實稱為"時計果物",早期中國自西方引進之物均冠以「西番」之名,故有西番果之別稱。

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家徒四壁, 唯好讀書!

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