The Flying Trunk(1)
The Flying Trunk背景知識
By Hans Christian 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 alley. 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 slippers, an old dressing-gown, and four shillings. And now all his friends deserted 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 prophesied 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 mermaids, 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 stork who brings the beautiful children from the rivers. These were delightful 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 attentively. “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 boughs, 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 axe. 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 kindle 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 scouring. 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 (參考譯文)
II. Exercise Choose the correct answer to the following questions.
1. After he had lost all his money, he left some things except _______.
A. a pair of slippers
B. an old dressing-gown
C. four shillings
D. a diamond
2. Which was send by one of his friends?
A. an old trunk
B. some clothes
C. some money
D. a new dressing-gown
3. Who lived in the castle near the town with the windows placed so high?
A. The queen.
B. The king.
C. The princess.
D. The merchant's son.
4. When should the merchant's son go to meet the queen, the king and their daughter?
A. On Saturday.
B. On Sunday.
C. On Monday.
D. Not have been mentioned in the story.
5. Who was the first in the house?
A. The matches.
B. The iron pot.
C. The tinder-box.
D. The old quill-pen.
III. New Words and Expressions 生詞和詞組
1. masquerade n. 化裝舞會
2. dressing-gown n. 睡衣
3. Somerset n. 筋斗
4. prophesy v. 預言
5. mermaid n. 美人魚
6. stork n. 鸛鳥
7. stud v. 散布，點綴
8. instructive a. 有教益的，有啟發的
9. descent n. 血統，遺傳
10.saucepan n. 長柄有蓋的深平底鍋
11.dew n. 露水
12.mainmast n. 主桅
13.scour v. 擦凈，沖刷
14.liberal n. 開朗的人，自由主義者
Key to Exercise(練習答案)
1.D 2.A 3.C 4.A 5.B