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  • By Hans Christian1 Andersen


    THERE was once a merchant who was so rich that he could have paved the whole street with gold, and would even then have had enough for a small alley2. But he did not do so; he knew the value of money better than to use it in this way. So clever was he, that every shilling he put out brought him a crown; and so he continued till he died. His son inherited his wealth, and he lived a merry life with it; he went to a masquerade every night, made kites out of five pound notes, and threw pieces of gold into the sea instead of stones, making ducks and drakes of them.

    In this manner he soon lost all his money. At last he had nothing left but a pair of slippers3, an old dressing-gown, and four shillings. And now all his friends deserted4 him, they could not walk with him in the streets; but one of them, who was very good-natured, sent him an old trunk with this message, “Pack up!” “Yes,” he said, “it is all very well to say ’pack up,’” but he had nothing left to pack up, therefore he seated himself in the trunk.

    It was a very wonderful trunk; no sooner did any one press on the lock than the trunk could fly. He shut the lid and pressed the lock, when away flew the trunk up the chimney with the merchant’s son in it, right up into the clouds. Whenever the bottom of the trunk cracked, he was in a great fright, for if the trunk fell to pieces he would have made a tremendous Somerset over the trees. However, he got safely in his trunk to the land of Turkey. He hid the trunk in the wood under some dry leaves, and then went into the town: he could do this very well, for the Turks always go about dressed in dressing-gowns and slippers, as he was himself. He happened to meet a nurse with a little child. “I say, you Turkish nurse,” cried he, “what castle is that near the town, with the windows placed so high?”

    “The king’s daughter lives there,” she replied; “it has been prophesied5 that she will be very unhappy about a lover, and therefore no one is allowed to visit her, unless the king and queen are present.”

    “Thank you,” said the merchant’s son. So he went back to the wood, seated himself in his trunk, flew up to the roof of the castle, and crept through the window into the princess’s room. She lay on the sofa asleep, and she was so beautiful that the merchant’s son could not help kissing her. Then she awoke, and was very much frightened; but he told her he was a Turkish angel, who had come down through the air to see her, which pleased her very much. He sat down by her side and talked to her: he said her eyes were like beautiful dark lakes, in which the thoughts swam about like little mermaids6, and he told her that her forehead was a snowy mountain, which contained splendid halls full of pictures. And then he related to her about the stork7 who brings the beautiful children from the rivers. These were delightful8 stories; and when he asked the princess if she would marry him, she consented immediately.

    “But you must come on Saturday,” she said; “for then the king and queen will take tea with me. They will be very proud when they find that I am going to marry a Turkish angel; but you must think of some very pretty stories to tell them, for my parents like to hear stories better than anything. My mother prefers one that is deep and moral; but my father likes something funny, to make him laugh.”

    “Very well,” he replied; “I shall bring you no other marriage portion than a story,” and so they parted. But the princess gave him a sword which was studded with gold coins, and these he could use.

    Then he flew away to the town and bought a new dressing-gown, and afterwards returned to the wood, where he composed a story, so as to be ready for Saturday, which was no easy matter. It was ready however by Saturday, when he went to see the princess. The king, and queen, and the whole court, were at tea with the princess; and he was received with great politeness.

    “Will you tell us a story?” said the queen, “one that is instructive and full of deep learning.”

    “Yes, but with something in it to laugh at,” said the king.

    “Certainly,” he replied, and commenced at once, asking them to listen attentively9. “There was once a bundle of matches that were exceedingly proud of their high descent. Their genealogical tree, that is, a large pine-tree from which they had been cut, was at one time a large, old tree in the wood. The matches now lay between a tinder-box and an old iron saucepan, and were talking about their youthful days.

    ’Ah! then we grew on the green boughs10, and were as green as they; every morning and evening we were fed with diamond drops of dew. Whenever the sun shone, we felt his warm rays, and the little birds would relate stories to us as they sung. We knew that we were rich, for the other trees only wore their green dress in summer, but our family were able to array themselves in green, summer and winter. But the wood-cutter came, like a great revolution, and our family fell under the axe11. The head of the house obtained a situation as mainmast in a very fine ship, and can sail round the world when he will. The other branches of the family were taken to different places, and our office now is to kindle12 a light for common people. This is how such high-born people as we came to be in a kitchen.’

    “’Mine has been a very different fate,’ said the iron pot, which stood by the matches; ’from my first entrance into the world I have been used to cooking and scouring13. I am the first in this house, when anything solid or useful is required. My only pleasure is to be made clean and shining after dinner, and to sit in my place and have a little sensible conversation with my neighbors. All of us, excepting the water-bucket, which is sometimes taken into the courtyard, live here together within these four walls. We get our news from the market-basket, but he sometimes tells us very unpleasant things about the people and the government. Yes, and one day an old pot was so alarmed, that he fell down and was broken to pieces. He was a liberal, I can tell you.’

    “’You are talking too much,’ said the tinder-box, and the steel struck against the flint till some sparks flew out, crying, ’We want a merry evening, don’t we?’

    I. Reference Version (参考译文)















     8级    英语故事 


    1 Christian [ˈkrɪstʃən] KVByl   第7级
    • They always addressed each other by their Christian name. 他们总是以教名互相称呼。
    • His mother is a sincere Christian. 他母亲是个虔诚的基督教徒。
    2 alley [ˈæli] Cx2zK   第7级
    • We live in the same alley. 我们住在同一条小巷里。
    • The blind alley ended in a brick wall. 这条死胡同的尽头是砖墙。
    3 slippers ['slɪpəz] oiPzHV   第7级
    n. 拖鞋
    • a pair of slippers 一双拖鞋
    • He kicked his slippers off and dropped on to the bed. 他踢掉了拖鞋,倒在床上。
    4 deserted [dɪˈzɜ:tɪd] GukzoL   第8级
    • The deserted village was filled with a deathly silence. 这个荒废的村庄死一般的寂静。
    • The enemy chieftain was opposed and deserted by his followers. 敌人头目众叛亲离。
    5 prophesied [ˈprɔfɪˌsaɪd] 27251c478db94482eeb550fc2b08e011   第10级
    v.预告,预言( prophesy的过去式和过去分词 )
    • She prophesied that she would win a gold medal. 她预言自己将赢得金牌。
    • She prophesied the tragic outcome. 她预言有悲惨的结果。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    6 mermaids [ˈmɜ:ˌmeɪdz] b00bb04c7ae7aa2a22172d2bf61ca849   第10级
    n.(传说中的)美人鱼( mermaid的名词复数 )
    • The high stern castle was a riot or carved gods, demons, knights, kings, warriors, mermaids, cherubs. 其尾部高耸的船楼上雕满了神仙、妖魔鬼怪、骑士、国王、勇士、美人鱼、天使。 来自辞典例句
    • This is why mermaids should never come on land. 这就是为什么人鱼不应该上岸的原因。 来自电影对白
    7 stork [stɔ:k] hGWzF   第11级
    • A Fox invited a long-beaked Stork to have dinner with him. 狐狸请长嘴鹳同他一起吃饭。
    • He is very glad that his wife's going to get a visit from the stork. 他为她的妻子将获得参观鹳鸟的机会感到非常高兴。
    8 delightful [dɪˈlaɪtfl] 6xzxT   第8级
    • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday. 上星期天我们在海滨玩得真痛快。
    • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute. 彼得用笛子吹奏了一支欢快的曲子。
    9 attentively [ə'tentɪvlɪ] AyQzjz   第7级
    • She listened attentively while I poured out my problems. 我倾吐心中的烦恼时,她一直在注意听。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • She listened attentively and set down every word he said. 她专心听着,把他说的话一字不漏地记下来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    10 boughs [baʊz] 95e9deca9a2fb4bbbe66832caa8e63e0   第9级
    大树枝( bough的名词复数 )
    • The green boughs glittered with all their pearls of dew. 绿枝上闪烁着露珠的光彩。
    • A breeze sighed in the higher boughs. 微风在高高的树枝上叹息着。
    11 axe [æks] 2oVyI   第7级
    • Be careful with that sharp axe. 那把斧子很锋利,你要当心。
    • The edge of this axe has turned. 这把斧子卷了刃了。
    12 kindle [ˈkɪndl] n2Gxu   第9级
    • This wood is too wet to kindle. 这木柴太湿点不着。
    • A small spark was enough to kindle Lily's imagination. 一星光花足以点燃莉丽的全部想象力。
    13 scouring ['skaʊərɪŋ] 02d824effe8b78d21ec133da3651c677   第8级
    • The police are scouring the countryside for the escaped prisoners. 警察正在搜索整个乡村以捉拿逃犯。
    • This is called the scouring train in wool processing. 这被称为羊毛加工中的洗涤系列。

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