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一点成绩的童话故事

发布时间:2018-12-15     文章来源:翔之梦故事百科     推荐人数:

“我要作出一点成绩!”五兄弟之中最大的一位说,“因为我想成为世界上一个有用的人。只要我能发挥一点作用,哪怕我的地位很低也没有什么关系。我情愿这样,因为这总算是一点成绩。我愿意去做砖,因为这是人们非要不可的东西!我也算真正做了某些事情了!”

“不过你的这‘一点成绩’真是微不足道!”第二位兄弟说。“这简直等于什么也没有做。这是一种手艺人的工作,机器也可以做得出来。哎,我倒想当一个泥瓦匠呢。这才是真正重要的工作;我要这样办。这可以使你有一种社会地位:你可以参加一种同业工会,成为一个市民,有自己的会旗和自己的酒店①。是的,如果我的生意好的话,我还可以雇一个帮手。我可以成为一个师傅,我的太太也可以成为一个师娘了。这才算得上一点成绩呢!”

“这真是一文不值!”第三位兄弟说,“因为这是列在阶级之外的东西。这个城里有许多阶级是列在‘师傅’之上的。你可以是一个正直的人;不过作为一个‘师傅’,你仍然不过是大家所谓的‘平民’罢了。不,我知道还有比这更好的东西。我要做一个建筑师。这样,我就可以进入艺术和想象的领域,那么我也可以跟文化界的上层人物并列了。我必须从头做起——的确,我可以坦白地这样讲:我要先当一个木匠的学徒。我要戴一顶便帽,虽然我平常是习惯于戴丝织礼帽的。我要替一些普通人跑腿,替他们取啤酒和烧酒,同时让他们把我称为‘你’——这当然是很糟糕的。不过我可以把这整个事儿当做一种表演——一种化装表演。明天——这也就是说,当我成了师傅以后——我就走我自己的道路,别的人都不在我的眼下!我将上专门学校,学习绘图,成为一个建筑师。这才算得上‘一点成绩’呢!非常有用的成绩!我将会变成‘阁下’和‘大人’。是的。我的名字前面和后面还会加一个头衔呢。我将像我的前辈一样,不停地建筑。这样的事情才可靠呢!这就是我所谓的‘一点成绩’!”

“不过你的所谓的一点成绩对我说来算不了什么!”第四位说。“我决不随波逐流,成为一个模仿者。我是一个天才,比你们所有的人都高明!我要成为一个新的设计专家,创造出新的设计思想,使建筑适合于各国的气候、材料、民族性和我们的时代的趋势——此外还要加上能表现我的天才的一层楼!”

“不过假如材料和气候不对头又怎么办呢?”第五位说。

“这样可就糟了,因为这两件东西都是很重要的——至于民族性,它可以被夸大到虚伪的程度。时代也可以变得疯狂,正如青年时代一样。我可以看得出来,不管你们怎样自命不凡,你们谁也不是什么了不起的东西。不过,随你们怎样吧,我决不跟你们一样。我要站在一切事情之外,只是研究你们所做的事情。每件事情总免不了有错误。我将挑剔和研究错误,这才是重要的事情呢!”

他能说到就能做到。关于这第五位兄弟,大家都说:“这人颇有点道理!他有一个很好的头脑,可是他什么事情也不做!”

但是正因为如此,他才算是“重要”。

你要知道,这不过是一个小小的故事。但是只要世界存在,这种故事是不会有结尾的。

但是除此以外,这五位兄弟还做了些什么呢?什么也没有做!请听下去吧,现在书归正传。

最大的那位哥哥是做砖的。他发现每块砖做成以后,可以赚一块小钱——一块铜做的钱。不过许多铜板堆在一起就积成一块漂亮的银洋。无论在什么地方——在面包房里也好,在屠户店里也好,在裁缝店里也好,只要你用这块钱去敲门,门立刻就开了。于是你需要什么,就能得到什么。你看,这就是砖所能做到的事情。有的砖裂成碎片或者分做两半,虽然如此,它还是有用。

一个穷苦的女人玛珈勒特希望在海边的堤岸上造一个小屋子。那位最大的哥哥把所有的碎砖头都送给她,此外还送给她少数的整砖,因为他是一个好心肠的人,虽然他除了做砖以外,没有干出什么别的了不起的事来。这个穷苦的女人亲手造起了她自己的屋子。屋子很小,那个唯一的窗子也很狭窄,门也很低,草顶也不太漂亮。但是它究竟可以避风雨,而且是面对着一望无际的大海。海的浪花冲击着堤岸,咸泡沫洗刷着屋子。但这屋子仍然屹立不动,虽然那个做砖的人已经死亡,化为尘土。

至于第二位兄弟,是的,他有一套与众不同的建筑方法,因为他已经学习过这行手艺。在他当完了学徒以后,他就背上他的背包,哼出一支手艺人的小调来:

我要在年轻的时候到处跑跑,

住在异地也跟在家一样高兴。

我的手艺也就等于我的钱包,

我最大的幸福就是我的青春。

然后我要回来看看我的故乡,

因为我这样答应过我的爱人。

好,这手艺是有出息的一行,

我要成为一个师傅而出名!

事实上也就是这样。当他回到家来以后,他就在城里成为一个师傅了。他建筑了这幢房子,又马上建筑那一幢;他建筑了一整条街。这条整齐的街非常好看,使这个城市增光不少。于是别的房子又为他建筑了一幢小房子。不过房子怎么能建筑房子呢?假如你去问它们,它们是不会回答的。但是人能够回答:“当然这幢房子是整个的街为他建筑的罗!”

这是一幢小房子,有土铺的地。不过当他跟他的爱人在那上面跳舞的时候,这土铺的地就变得非常光滑。墙上的每颗石子开出一朵花。这是很美丽的,比得上最贵重的挂锦。这是一幢美丽的房子,里面住着一对幸福的夫妇,外面飘着一面同业工会的旗帜。伙计和学徒都喊:“恭喜!”是的,这是一件重要的事情!于是他就死去了——这也算是一点成绩。

现在当建筑师的第三位兄弟来了。他曾经当过木匠的学徒,常常戴着一顶便帽,而且专门跑腿。不过他后来进了一个专门学校,爬上了建筑师、“阁下和大人”的地位。他的哥哥是一个石匠师傅,但是整条街为他建筑了一幢房子。现在这条街当然就以他的名字命名,而街上最美丽的一幢房子也就是他的房子。这是一件成绩,而他是一个重要的人物。他的名字前面和后面都有一个很长的头衔。他的孩子被称为少爷。他死了以后,他的太太成了贵妇人。这是一件成绩!他的名字,作为一个街名,在街头永垂不朽,而且挂在人们的嘴上。是的,这是一件成绩!

现在作为一个天才的第四位兄弟来了。他要发明创造性的新东西,此外还要加上一层楼,但是那层最高的楼却塌下来了;他也倒栽葱地滚下来,跌断了脖子。但是人们却为他举行了一个隆重的葬礼,扬起同业工会的旗帜,奏起音乐;报纸上印了许多颂辞,街上的铺道上都撒满了鲜花。此外还有三篇追悼的演说,一篇比一篇长。这使他感到愉快,因为他素来就喜欢人家谈论他。他的坟上还建立了一座纪念碑塔。它只有一层楼,但这总算得是一件成绩!

现在他像其他三位兄弟一样,也死掉了。不过作为批评家的最后的那位兄弟活得最长。这是理所当然,因为这样他就可以下最后的定论。对他说来,下最后的定论是再重要不过的事情。大家都说他有一副很好的头脑!现在他的时间也到头了:他死了。他来到天国的大门外。在这儿,人们总是成对地走进去的!这儿还有另外一个灵魂,也想走进去。这不是别人,而是住在堤岸上那个屋子里的老玛珈勒特。

“这个寒伧的灵魂跟我同时到来,其目的莫非是要作一个对照吧!”批评家说。

“呐,姥姥,你是什么人?”他问。“你也想进去么?”

老太婆恭恭敬敬地行了一个屈膝礼;她以为现在跟她讲话的这个人就是圣·彼得②。

“我是一个没有什么亲人的穷苦的老太婆,”她说。“我就是住在堤岸上的老玛珈勒特!”

“呐,你做了些什么事情?你完成了一些什么工作?”

“我在人世间什么事情也没有做过!没有做过任何值得叫这门为我打开的事情。如果有人能让我进去,那真是做一桩好事!”

“你是怎样离开人世间的?”他说,其目的无非是想说几句消磨时间的话,因为站在门外等待是很腻的。

“是的,我的确不知道是怎样离开人世间的!我最后几年又穷又病,连爬下床都不能,更不能走到外面的寒冷中去。那个冬天真是冷极了,我现在总算是挨过去了。有几天是很风

平浪静的,但是非常寒冷——这点先生你是知道的。海上眼睛所望见的地方全盖满了冰。城里的人都跑到冰上去;有的在举行他们所谓的溜冰比赛,有的在跳舞。我相信他们还有音乐和茶点。我睡在我那个寒伧的小房里,还能听见他们的喧闹声。

“那时正是天黑不久。月光刚刚升起来了,但是还没有完全发出光彩。我在床上从窗子里向海上望。在远处海天相接的地方,我看到一层奇怪的白云。我躺着静静地望,我看到它里面有一个黑点,这黑点越变越大。我知道这是一个什么意思。我是一个老年人,我懂得这种现象,虽然这是不常见的。我一眼就看出来了,同时吓了一跳。这样的事情我一生看过两次。我知道很快就会有一阵可怕的暴风雨,春洪就要爆发。这些跳舞、吃喝和欢乐的可怜人马上就会被淹死。全城的人,包括年轻的和年老的,全都出来了。假如没有什么人像我一样看见或知道前面正在发生的事情。谁会去告诉他们呢?

“我非常害怕。我从前好久没有像现在这样感到兴奋。我爬下床来,走到窗子那儿去——向前再走一步的气力就没有了。我设法把窗子推开,我可以看到大家在冰上又跑又跳,我可以看到美丽的旗帜在空中飘扬,我可以听到年轻人在喝彩,女子和男子在唱歌。他们真是在狂欢,不过那块带有黑点子的白云越升越高。我使尽我的气力大声叫喊,但是谁也听不见我。我离他们太远了。

“马上暴风雨就要到来了,冰块就要裂开了,冰上的人就要无情地被吞没了。他们听不见我的声音,我也没有气力走到他们那里去。我多么希望我能够使他们走到陆地上来啊!这时我们的上帝给我一个启示:把我的床放一把火烧起来。我宁愿把我的屋子烧掉,也不愿让那么多的人悲惨地死掉。我终于把火点起来了,我看到一股鲜红的火焰……是的,我向门那边逃,但是我一走到门边就倒下来了,再也不能向前移动一步。火焰在后面追着我,燎出窗外,一直燎到屋顶上。

“冰上的人都看到了火;他们拼命地跑来救我这个可怜的老太婆,因为他们以为我快要被烧死了。他们没有一个人留在后面。我听到他们跑来,但同时我也听到空中起了一阵飒飒的声音。我听到一阵像大炮似的雷声。春潮把冰盖托起来,崩成碎片。但是大家已经跑到堤岸上来了;这时火花正在我身上飞舞。我把他们大家都救出来了。但是我想我受不了这阵寒冷和惊恐,因此我现在就来到天国的门口。据说天国的门也会为我这样的穷人打开的。现在我在堤岸上的房子已经没有了——当然这并不是说我因此就可以走进天国。”

这时天国的门开了;安琪儿把这个老太婆领进去。她在门外遗下一根干草。这根草原先是铺在她为救那些人而烧掉的那张床上的。这根草现在变成了纯净的金子,不过这金子在扩大,变成了最美丽的花纹。

“看吧,这是一个穷苦的女人带来的东西!”安琪儿说。

“你带来了什么呢?是的,我知道你什么也没有做过——你连一块砖也没有做过。唯愿你能再回去,就是带来这一点儿东西都好。你把这块砖做出来后,可能它值不了什么。不过假如你是用善意把它做出来,那么它究竟还算是一点东西呀。但是你回不去了,因此我也没有办法帮你的忙!”

于是那个可怜的灵魂——住在堤岸上的那个老太婆——为他求情说:

“我那个小房子所用的整砖和碎砖,都是他的兄弟做出来的。对于我这样的一个穷苦老太婆说来,这是一桩了不起的事情!你能不能把这些整砖和碎砖看做是他的那一块砖呢?这是一件慈悲的行为!他现在需要慈悲,而这正是一个慈悲的地方!”

“你所认为最渺小的那个兄弟,”安琪儿说,“他的勤劳的工作你认为毫不足道,现在他却送给你一件走进天国的礼物。

现在没有人把你送回去了,你可以站在门外面仔细想一想,考虑一下你在人世间的行为。不过你现在还不能进来,你得先诚恳地做出一点成绩来!”

“这个意思我可以用更好的字眼表达出来!”这位批评家想。不过他没有高声地讲。就他看来,这已经算得是“一点成绩”了。

①在旧时的欧洲,同业工会的会员有专门为自己行业开的酒店;他们可以自由地到这种酒店里去吃酒和聊天。

②耶稣十二门徒之一。

英文版:Something

I MEAN to be somebody, and do something useful in the world,” said the eldest of five brothers. “I don’t care how humble my position is, so that I can only do some good, which will be something. I intend to be a brickmaker; bricks are always wanted, and I shall be really doing something.”

“Your ‘something’ is not enough for me,” said the second brother; “what you talk of doing is nothing at all, it is journeyman’s work, or might even be done by a machine. No! I should prefer to be a builder at once, there is something real in that. A man gains a position, he becomes a citizen, has his own sign, his own house of call for his workmen: so I shall be a builder. If all goes well, in time I shall become a master, and have my own journeymen, and my wife will be treated as a master’s wife. This is what I call something.”

“I call it all nothing,” said the third; “not in reality any position. There are many in a town far above a master builder in position. You may be an upright man, but even as a master you will only be ranked among common men. I know better what to do than that. I will be an architect, which will place me among those who possess riches and intellect, and who speculate in art. I shall certainly have to rise by my own endeavors from a bricklayer’s laborer, or as a carpenter’s apprentice—a lad wearing a paper cap, although I now wear a silk hat. I shall have to fetch beer and spirits for the journeymen, and they will call me ‘thou,’ which will be an insult. I shall endure it, however, for I shall look upon it all as a mere representation, a masquerade, a mummery, which to-morrow, that is, when I myself as a journeyman, shall have served my time, will vanish, and I shall go my way, and all that has passed will be nothing to me. Then I shall enter the academy, and get instructed in drawing, and be called an architect. I may even attain to rank, and have something placed before or after my name, and I shall build as others have done before me. By this there will be always ‘something’ to make me remembered, and is not that worth living for?”

“Not in my opinion,” said the fourth; “I will never follow the lead of others, and only imitate what they have done. I will be a genius, and become greater than all of you together. I will create a new style of building, and introduce a plan for erecting houses suitable to the climate, with material easily obtained in the country, and thus suit national feeling and the developments of the age, besides building a storey for my own genius.”

“But supposing the climate and the material are not good for much,” said the fifth brother, “that would be very unfortunate for you, and have an influence over your experiments. Nationality may assert itself until it becomes affectation, and the developments of a century may run wild, as youth often does. I see clearly that none of you will ever really be anything worth notice, however you may now fancy it. But do as you like, I shall not imitate you. I mean to keep clear of all these things, and criticize what you do. In every action something imperfect may be discovered, something not right, which I shall make it my business to find out and expose; that will be something, I fancy.” And he kept his word, and became a critic.

People said of this fifth brother, “There is something very precise about him; he has a good head-piece, but he does nothing.” And on that very account they thought he must be something.

Now, you see, this is a little history which will never end; as long as the world exists, there will always be men like these five brothers. And what became of them? Were they each nothing or something? You shall hear; it is quite a history.

The eldest brother, he who fabricated bricks, soon discovered that each brick, when finished, brought him in a small coin, if only a copper one; and many copper pieces, if placed one upon another, can be changed into a shining shilling; and at whatever door a person knocks, who has a number of these in his hands, whether it be the baker’s, the butcher’s, or the tailor’s, the door flies open, and he can get all he wants. So you see the value of bricks. Some of the bricks, however, crumbled to pieces, or were broken, but the elder brother found a use for even these.

On the high bank of earth, which formed a dyke on the sea-coast, a poor woman named Margaret wished to build herself a house, so all the imperfect bricks were given to her, and a few whole ones with them; for the eldest brother was a kind-hearted man, although he never achieved anything higher than making bricks. The poor woman built herself a little house—it was small and narrow, and the window was quite crooked, the door too low, and the straw roof might have been better thatched. But still it was a shelter, and from within you could look far over the sea, which dashed wildly against the sea-wall on which the little house was built. The salt waves sprinkled their white foam over it, but it stood firm, and remained long after he who had given the bricks to build it was dead and buried.

The second brother of course knew better how to build than poor Margaret, for he served an apprenticeship to learn it. When his time was up, he packed up his knapsack, and went on his travels, singing the journeyman’s song,—

“While young, I can wander without a care,

And build new houses everywhere;

Fair and bright are my dreams of home,

Always thought of wherever I roam.

Hurrah for a workman’s life of glee!

There’s a loved one at home who thinks of me;

Home and friends I can ne’er forget,

And I mean to be a master yet.”

And that is what he did. On his return home, he became a master builder,—built one house after another in the town, till they formed quite a street, which, when finished, became really an ornament to the town. These houses built a house for him in return, which was to be his own. But how can houses build a house? If the houses were asked, they could not answer; but the people would understand, and say, “Certainly the street built his house for him.” It was not very large, and the floor was of lime; but when he danced with his bride on the lime-covered floor, it was to him white and shining, and from every stone in the wall flowers seemed to spring forth and decorate the room as with the richest tapestry. It was really a pretty house, and in it were a happy pair. The flag of the corporation fluttered before it, and the journeymen and apprentices shouted “Hurrah.” He had gained his position, he had made himself something, and at last he died, which was “something” too.

Now we come to the architect, the third brother, who had been first a carpenter’s apprentice, had worn a cap, and served as an errand boy, but afterwards went to the academy, and risen to be an architect, a high and noble gentleman. Ah yes, the houses of the new street, which the brother who was a master builder erected, may have built his house for him, but the street received its name from the architect, and the handsomest house in the street became his property. That was something, and he was “something,” for he had a list of titles before and after his name. His children were called “wellborn,” and when he died, his widow was treated as a lady of position, and that was “something.” His name remained always written at the corner of the street, and lived in every one’s mouth as its name. Yes, this also was “something.”

And what about the genius of the family—the fourth brother—who wanted to invent something new and original? He tried to build a lofty storey himself, but it fell to pieces, and he fell with it and broke his neck. However, he had a splendid funeral, with the city flags and music in the procession; flowers were strewn on the pavement, and three orations were spoken over his grave, each one longer than the other. He would have liked this very much during his life, as well as the poems about him in the papers, for he liked nothing so well as to be talked of. A monument was also erected over his grave. It was only another storey over him, but that was “something,” Now he was dead, like the three other brothers.

The youngest—the critic—outlived them all, which was quite right for him. It gave him the opportunity of having the last word, which to him was of great importance. People always said he had a good head-piece. At last his hour came, and he died, and arrived at the gates of heaven. Souls always enter these gates in pairs; so he found himself standing and waiting for admission with another; and who should it be but old dame Margaret, from the house on the dyke! “It is evidently for the sake of contrast that I and this wretched soul should arrive here exactly at the same time,” said the critic. “Pray who are you, my good woman?” said he; “do you want to get in here too?”

And the old woman curtsied as well as she could; she thought it must be St. Peter himself who spoke to her. “I am a poor old woman,” she said, “without my family. I am old Margaret, that lived in the house on the dyke.”

“Well, and what have you done—what great deed have you performed down below?”

“I have done nothing at all in the world that could give me a claim to have these doors open for me,” she said. “It would be only through mercy that I can be allowed to slip in through the gate.”

“In what manner did you leave the world?” he asked, just for the sake of saying something; for it made him feel very weary to stand there and wait.

“How I left the world?” she replied; “why, I can scarcely tell you. During the last years of my life I was sick and miserable, and I was unable to bear creeping out of bed suddenly into the frost and cold. Last winter was a hard winter, but I have got over it all now. There were a few mild days, as your honor, no doubt, knows. The ice lay thickly on the lake, as far one could see. The people came from the town, and walked upon it, and they say there were dancing and skating upon it, I believe, and a great feasting. The sound of beautiful music came into my poor little room where I lay. Towards evening, when the moon rose beautifully, though not yet in her full splendor, I glanced from my bed over the wide sea; and there, just where the sea and sky met, rose a curious white cloud. I lay looking at the cloud till I observed a little black spot in the middle of it, which gradually grew larger and larger, and then I knew what it meant—I am old and experienced; and although this token is not often seen, I knew it, and a shuddering seized me. Twice in my life had I seen this same thing, and I knew that there would be an awful storm, with a spring tide, which would overwhelm the poor people who were now out on the ice, drinking, dancing, and making merry. Young and old, the whole city, were there; who was to warn them, if no one noticed the sign, or knew what it meant as I did? I was so alarmed, that I felt more strength and life than I had done for some time. I got out of bed, and reached the window; I could not crawl any farther from weakness and exhaustion; but I managed to open the window. I saw the people outside running and jumping about on the ice; I saw the beautiful flags waving in the wind; I heard the boys shouting, ‘Hurrah!’ and the lads and lasses singing, and everything full of merriment and joy. But there was the white cloud with the black spot hanging over them. I cried out as loudly as I could, but no one heard me; I was too far off from the people. Soon would the storm burst, the ice break, and all who were on it be irretrievably lost. They could not hear me, and to go to them was quite out of my power. Oh, if I could only get them safe on land! Then came the thought, as if from heaven, that I would rather set fire to my bed, and let the house be burnt down, than that so many people should perish miserably. I got a light, and in a few moments the red flames leaped up as a beacon to them. I escaped fortunately as far as the threshold of the door; but there I fell down and remained: I could go no farther. The flames rushed out towards me, flickered on the window, and rose high above the roof. The people on the ice became aware of the fire, and ran as fast as possible to help a poor sick woman, who, as they thought, was being burnt to death. There was not one who did not run. I heard them coming, and I also at the same time was conscious of a rush of air and a sound like the roar of heavy artillery. The spring flood was lifting the ice covering, which brake into a thousand pieces. But the people had reached the sea-wall, where the sparks were flying round. I had saved them all; but I suppose I could not survive the cold and fright; so I came up here to the gates of paradise. I am told they are open to poor creatures such as I am, and I have now no house left on earth; but I do not think that will give me a claim to be admitted here.”

Then the gates were opened, and an angel led the old woman in. She had dropped one little straw out of her straw bed, when she set it on fire to save the lives of so many. It had been changed into the purest gold—into gold that constantly grew and expanded into flowers and fruit of immortal beauty.

“See,” said the angel, pointing to the wonderful straw, “this is what the poor woman has brought. What dost thou bring? I know thou hast accomplished nothing, not even made a single brick. Even if thou couldst return, and at least produce so much, very likely, when made, the brick would be useless, unless done with a good will, which is always something. But thou canst not return to earth, and I can do nothing for thee.”

Then the poor soul, the old mother who had lived in the house on the dyke, pleaded for him. She said, “His brother made all the stone and bricks, and sent them to me to build my poor little dwelling, which was a great deal to do for a poor woman like me. Could not all these bricks and pieces be as a wall of stone to prevail for him? It is an act of mercy; he is wanting it now; and here is the very fountain of mercy.”

“Then,” said the angel, “thy brother, he who has been looked upon as the meanest of you all, he whose honest deeds to thee appeared so humble,—it is he who has sent you this heavenly gift. Thou shalt not be turned away. Thou shalt have permission to stand without the gate and reflect, and repent of thy life on earth; but thou shalt not be admitted here until thou hast performed one good deed of repentance, which will indeed for thee be something.”

“I could have expressed that better,” thought the critic; but he did not say it aloud, which for him was SOMETHING, after all.

文章来源:安徒生童话

还记得那段神话故事吗?还记得那份令人感动的精神吗?正义的力量赋予了神话一个坚硬无比的灵魂。神话,在很远很远的地方,走过很远很远的旅程,送来了整整一个“曾经”。

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