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安徒生童話英文版:The Wicked Prince

安徒生童話英文版:The Wicked Prince
摘要 : 每天下午,孩子們放學以后,總喜歡到巨人的花園里去玩。  這是一個可愛的大花園,園里長滿了柔嫩的青草。草叢中到處露出星星似的美麗花朵;還有12棵桃樹,在春天開出淡紅色和珍珠色的鮮花,在秋天結著豐碩的果子。小鳥們坐在樹枝上唱出悅耳的歌聲,它們唱得

theRE lived once upon a time a wicked princewhose heart and mind were set upon conquering allthe countries of the world, and on frightening thepeople; he devastated their countries with fire andsword, and his soldiers trod down the crops in thefields and destroyed the peasants' huts by fire, sothat the flames licked the GREen leaves off thebranches, and the fruit hung dried up on the singedblack trees. Many a poor mother fled, her naked baby in her arms, behind the still smokingwalls of her cottage; but also there the soldiers followed her, and when they found her, sheserved as new nourishment to their diabolical enjoyments; demons could not possibly havedone worse things than these soldiers! The prince was of opinion that all this was right, andthat it was only the natural course which things ought to take. His power increased day byday, his name was feared by all, and fortune favoured his deeds.

He brought enormous wealth home from the conquered towns, and graduallyaccumulated in his residence riches which could nowhere be equalled. He erected magnificentpalaces, churches, and halls, and all who saw these splendid buildings and GREat treasuresexclaimed admiringly: “What a mighty prince!” But they did not know what endless miseryhe had brought upon other countries, nor did they hear the sighs and lamentations which roseup from the debris of the destroyed cities.

the prince often looked with delight upon his gold and his magnificent edifices, andthought, like the crowd: “What a mighty prince! But I must have more—much more. Nopower on earth must equal mine, far less exceed it.”

He made war with all his neighbours, and defeated them. The conquered kings werechained up with golden fetters to his chariot when he drove through the streets of his city.These kings had to kneel at his and his courtiers' feet when they sat at table, and live on themorsels which they left. At last the prince had his own statue erected on the public places andfixed on the royal palaces; nay, he even wished it to be placed in the churches, on thealtars, but in this the priests opposed him, saying: “Prince, you are mighty indeed, butGod's power is much GREater than yours; we dare not obey your orders.”

“Well,” said the prince. “Then I will conquer God too.” And in his haughtiness and foolishpresumption he ordered a magnificent ship to be constructed, with which he could sailthrough the air; it was gorgeously fitted out and of many colours; like the tail of a peacock,it was covered with thousands of eyes, but each eye was the barrel of a gun. The prince sat inthe centre of the ship, and had only to touch a spring in order to make thousands of bulletsfly out in all directions, while the guns were at once loaded again. Hundreds of eagles wereattached to this ship, and it rose with the swiftness of an arrow up towards the sun. Theearth was soon left far below, and looked, with its mountains and woods, like a cornfieldwhere the plough had made furrows which separated GREen meadows; soon it looked onlylike a map with indistinct lines upon it; and at last it entirely disappeared in mist and clouds.Higher and higher rose the eagles up into the air; then God sent one of his numberless angelsagainst the ship. The wicked prince showered thousands of bullets upon him, but theyrebounded from his shining wings and fell down like ordinary hailstones. One drop of blood,one single drop, came out of the white feathers of the angel's wings and fell upon the ship inwhich the prince sat, burnt into it, and weighed upon it like thousands of hundredweights,dragging it rapidly down to the earth again; the strong wings of the eagles gave way, thewind roared round the prince's head, and the clouds around—were they formed by the smokerising up from the burnt cities?—took strange shapes, like crabs many, many miles long,which stretched their claws out after him, and rose up like enormous rocks, from whichrolling masses dashed down, and became fire-spitting dragons.

the prince was lying half-dead in his ship, when it sank at last with a terrible shock into thebranches of a large tree in the wood.

“I will conquer God!” said the prince. “I have sworn it: my will must be done!”

And he spent seven years in the construction of wonderful ships to sail through the air,and had darts cast from the hardest steel to break the walls of heaven with. He gatheredwarriors from all countries, so many that when they were placed side by side they covered thespace of several miles. They entered the ships and the prince was approaching his own, whenGod sent a swarm of gnats—one swarm of little gnats. They buzzed round the prince and stunghis face and hands; angrily he drew his sword and brandished it, but he only touched theair and did not hit the gnats.

then he ordered his servants to bring costly coverings and wrap him in them, that thegnats might no longer be able to reach him. The servants carried out his orders, but onesingle gnat had placed itself inside one of the coverings, crept into the prince's ear and stunghim. The place burnt like fire, and the poison entered into his blood. Mad with pain, he toreoff the coverings and his clothes too, flinging them far away, and danced about before theeyes of his ferocious soldiers, who now mocked at him, the mad prince, who wished to makewar with God, and was overcome by a single little gnat.

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