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安徒生童话-蝴蝶

来源:英语阅读 编辑:英语学习 时间:2016-10-06

  HERE was once a butterfly who wished for a bride, and, as may be supposed, he wanted to choose a very pretty one from among the flowers. He glanced, with a very critical eye, at all the flower-beds, and found that the flowers were seated quietly and demurely on their stalks, just as maidens should sit before they are engaged; but there was a GREat number of them, and it appeared as if his search would become very wearisome. The butterfly did not like to take too much trouble, so he flew off on a visit to the daisies. The French call this flower “Marguerite,” and they say that the little daisy can prophesy. lovers pluck off the leaves, and as they pluck each leaf, they ask a question about their lovers; thus: “Does he or she love me?—Ardently? Distractedly? Very much? A little? Not at all?” and so on. Every one speaks these words in his own language. The butterfly came also to Marguerite to inquire, but he did not pluck off her leaves; he pressed a kiss on each of them, for he thought there was always more to be done by kindness.

  “Darling Marguerite daisy,” he said to her, “you are the wisest woman of all the flowers. Pray tell me which of the flowers I shall choose for my wife. Which will be my bride? When I know, I will fly directly to her, and propose.”

  But Marguerite did not answer him; she was offended that he should call her a woman when she was only a girl; and there is a GREat difference. He asked her a second time, and then a third; but she remained dumb, and answered not a word. Then he would wait no longer, but flew away, to commence his wooing at once. It was in the early spring, when the crocus and the snowdrop were in full bloom.

  “They are very pretty,” thought the butterfly; “charming little lasses; but they are rather formal.”

  Then, as the young lads often do, he looked out for the elder girls. He next flew to the anemones; these were rather sour to his taste. The violet, a little too sentimental. The lime-blossoms, too small, and besides, there was such a large family of them. The apple-blossoms, though they looked like roses, bloomed to-day, but might fall off to-morrow, with the first wind that blew; and he thought that a marriage with one of them might last too short a time. The pea-blossom pleased him most of all; she was white and red, graceful and slender, and belonged to those domestic maidens who have a pretty appearance, and can yet be useful in the kitchen. He was just about to make her an offer, when, close by the maiden, he saw a pod, with a withered flower hanging at the end.

  “Who is that?” he asked.


  “That is my sister,” replied the pea-blossom.

  “Oh, indeed; and you will be like her some day,” said he; and he flew away directly, for he felt quite shocked.
  A honeysuckle hung forth from the hedge, in full bloom; but there were so many girls like her, with long faces and sallow complexions. No; he did not like her. But which one did he like?

  Spring went by, and summer drew towards its close; autumn came; but he had not decided. The flowers now appeared in their most gorgeous robes, but all in vain; they had not the fresh, fragrant air of youth. For the heart asks for fragrance, even when it is no longer young; and there is very little of that to be found in the dahlias or the dry chrysanthemums; therefore the butterfly turned to the mint on the ground. You know, this plant has no blossom; but it is sweetness all over,—full of fragrance from head to foot, with the scent of a flower in every leaf.

  “I will take her,” said the butterfly; and he made her an offer. But the mint stood silent and stiff, as she listened to him. At last she said,—

  “Friendship, if you please; nothing more. I am old, and you are old, but we may live for each other just the same; as to marrying—no; don’t let us appear ridiculous at our age.”

  And so it happened that the butterfly got no wife at all. He had been too long choosing, which is always a bad plan. And the butterfly became what is called an old bachelor.

  It was late in the autumn, with rainy and cloudy weather. The cold wind blew over the bowed backs of the willows, so that they creaked again. It was not the weather for flying about in summer clothes; but fortunately the butterfly was not out in it. He had got a shelter by chance. It was in a room heated by a stove, and as warm as summer. He could exist here, he said, well enough.

  “But it is not enough merely to exist,” said he, “I need freedom, sunshine, and a little flower for a companion.”
  Then he flew against the window-pane, and was seen and admired by those in the room, who caught him, and stuck him on a pin, in a box of curiosities. They could not do more for him.

  “Now I am perched on a stalk, like the flowers,” said the butterfly. “It is not very pleasant, certainly; I should imagine it is something like being married; for here I am stuck fast.” And with this thought he consoled himself a little.

  “That seems very poor consolation,” said one of the plants in the room, that GREw in a pot.
  “Ah,” thought the butterfly, “one can’t very well trust these plants in pots; they have too much to do with mankind.”

  一只蝴蝶想要找一个恋人。自然,他想要在群花中找到一位可爱的小恋人。因此他就把她们都看了一遍。每朵花都是安静地、端庄地坐在梗子上,正如一个姑娘在没有订婚时那样坐着。可是她们的数目非常多,选择很不容易。蝴蝶不愿意招来麻烦,因此就飞到雏菊那儿去。法国人把这种小花叫做“玛加丽特”(注:原文是“Margreth”,这个字是“雏菊”的意思;欧美有许多女子用这个字作为名字。)。他们知道,她能作出预言。她是这样作的:情人们把她的花瓣一起一起地摘下来,每摘一起情人就问一个关于他们恋人的事情:“热情吗?——痛苦吗?——非常爱我吗?只爱一点吗?——完全不爱吗?”以及诸如此类的问题。每个人可以用自己的语言问。蝴蝶也来问了;但是他不摘下花瓣,却吻起每片花瓣来。因为他认为只有善意才能得到最好的回答。

  “亲爱的‘玛加丽特’雏菊!”他说,“你是一切花中最聪明的女人。你会作出预言!我请求你告诉我,我应该娶这一位呢,还是娶那一位?我到底会得到哪一位呢?如果我知道的话,就可以直接向她飞去,向她求婚。”

  可是“玛加丽特”不回答他。她很生气,因为她还不过是一个少女,而他却已把她称为“女人”;这究竟有一个分别呀。他问了第二次,第三次。当他从她得不到半个字的回答的时候,就不再愿意问了。他飞走了,并且立刻开始他的求婚活动。

  这正是初春的时候,番红花和雪形花正在盛开。

  “她们非常好看,”蝴蝶说,“简直是一群情窦初开的可爱的小姑娘,但是太不懂世事。”他像所有的年轻小伙子一样,要寻找年纪较大一点的女子。

  于是他就飞到秋牡丹那儿去。照他的胃口说来,这些姑娘未免苦味太浓了一点。紫罗兰有点太热情;郁金香太华丽;黄水仙太平民化;菩提树花太小,此外她们的亲戚也太多;苹果树花看起来倒很像玫瑰,但是她们今天开了,明天就谢了——只要风一吹就落下来了。他觉得跟她们结婚是不会长久的。豌豆花最逗人爱:她有红有白,既娴雅,又柔嫩。她是家庭观念很强的妇女,外表既漂亮,在厨房里也很能干。当他正打算向她求婚的时候,看到这花儿的近旁有一个豆荚——豆荚的尖端上挂着一朵枯萎了的花。

  “这是谁?”他问。

  “这是我的姐姐,”豌豆花说

  “乖乖!那么你将来也会像她一样了!”他说。

  这使蝴蝶大吃一惊,于是他就飞走了。

  金银花悬在篱笆上。像她这样的女子,数目还不少;她们都板平面孔,皮肤发黄。不成,他不喜欢这种类型的女子。

  不过他究竟喜欢谁呢?你去问他吧!春天过去了,夏天也快要告一结束。现在是秋天了,但是他仍然犹豫不决。

  现在花儿都穿上了她们最华丽的衣服,但是有什么用呢——她们已经失去了那种新鲜的、喷香的青春味儿。人上了年纪,心中喜欢的就是香味呀。特别是在天竺牡丹和干菊花中间,香味这东西可说是没有了。因此蝴蝶就飞向地上长着的薄荷那儿去。

  “她可以说没有花,但是全身又都是花,从头到脚都有香气,连每一起叶子上都有花香。我要讨她!”

  于是他就对她提出婚事。

  薄荷端端正正地站着,一声不响。最后她说:

  “交朋友是可以的,但是别的事情都谈不上。我老了,你也老了,我们可以彼此照顾,但是结婚——那可不成!像我们这样大的年纪,不要自己开自己的玩笑吧!”

  这么一来,蝴蝶就没有找到太太的机会了。他挑选太久了,不是好办法。结果蝴蝶就成了大家所谓的老单身汉了。

  这是晚秋季节,天气多雨而阴沉。风儿把寒气吹在老柳树的背上,弄得它们发出飕飕的响声来。如果这时还穿着夏天的

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