小美人鱼 The Little Mermaid

2021年1月23日
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小美人鱼 The Little Mermaid

She now came to a space of marshy ground in the wood, where large, fat water-snakes were rolling in the mire, and showing their ugly, drab-colored bodies. In the midst of this spot stood a house, built with the bones of shipwrecked human beings. There sat the sea witch, allowing a toad to eat from her mouth, just as people sometimes feed a canary with a piece of sugar. She called the ugly water-snakes her little chickens, and allowed them to crawl all over her bosom.

此刻,她来到树林里的一片沼泽地,又肥又大的水蛇在泥潭里翻滚着,露出它们丑陋的土褐色的肚皮。在这片空地中央矗立着一座房子,是由失事船只上的旅客的白骨砌成的。海巫婆就坐在那里,正嘴对嘴地喂一只癞蛤蟆,就像人们有时用糖来喂金丝雀一样。她把那些奇丑无比的水蛇叫做她的小鸡,还让它们在她的胸脯上爬来爬去。

“I know what you want,” said the sea witch; “it is very stupid of you, but you shall have your way, and it will bring you to sorrow, my pretty princess. You want to get rid of your fish's tail, and to have two supports instead of it, like human beings on earth, so that the young prince may fall in love with you, and that you may have an immortal soul.” And then the witch laughed so loud and disgustingly, that the toad and the snakes fell to the ground, and lay there wriggling about. “You are but just in time,” said the witch; “for after sunrise tomorrow I should not be able to help you till the end of another year. I will prepare a draught for you, with which you must swim to land tomorrow before sunrise, and sit down on the shore and drink it. Your tail will then disappear, and shrink up into what mankind calls legs, and you will feel great pain, as if a sword were passing through you. But all who see you will say that you are the prettiest little human being they ever saw. You will still have the same floating gracefulness of movement, and no dancer will ever tread so lightly; but at every step you take it will feel as if you were treading upon sharp knives, and that the blood must flow. If you will bear all this, I will help you.”

“我知道你来求什么,”海巫婆说,“你真是个小傻瓜,但是我还是会让你达到目的的,我美丽的公主,不过这会带给你痛苦。你想去掉鱼尾,生出两根支柱,就像陆地上的人类一样走路。这样,那个年轻的王子也许会爱上你而你也会得到一个不朽的灵魂。”然后海巫婆就笑起来,声音又大又令人讨厌,癞蛤蟆和那些水蛇都纷纷掉到地上,在周围爬来爬去。“你来得正是时候,明天日出之后,我就没办法帮你了,就得再等一年。我会给你准备好一服药,你带着这服药必须在明天日出之前游到陆地,你坐在海边,把药喝掉。之后你的尾巴就会消失,收缩成两条他们人类所说的腿。你会感到巨大的疼痛,就好像有一把剑穿过你的身体一般。但是所有见到你的人都会说你是他们见过的最漂亮的小可人儿。你的动作依然那么优美,宛如在漂浮一般,没有一个舞蹈家的步子赶得上你这般轻盈;但是每迈出一步,你都会感觉像是走在锋利的刀尖上一样,好像血在往下流。如果你愿意承受这一切,我就帮助你。”

“Yes, I will,” said the little princess in a trembling voice, as she thought of the prince and the immortal soul.

“是的,我愿意。”小公主用颤抖的声音说,这时她想到了王子和不朽的灵魂。

“But think again,” said the witch; “for when once your shape has become like a human being, you can no more be a mermaid. You will never return through the water to your sisters, or to your father's palace again; and if you do not win the love of the prince, so that he is willing to forget his father and mother for your sake, and to love you with his whole soul, and allow the priest to join your hands that you may be man and wife, then you will never have an immortal soul. The first morning after he marries another your heart will break, and you will become foam on the crest of the waves.”

“但是再好好想想,”巫婆说,“一旦变成人形,你就再也变不回美人鱼了。你再也不能游进海里回到你姐姐们身边,也回不到你父亲的宫殿了。而且,一旦你没有获得王子的爱情,不能让他为了你忘掉父母,全心全意地爱你,并且叫来牧师把你们的手放在一起,宣布你俩结为夫妇,你就不可能得到不朽的灵魂。在王子和别人结婚之后的第一天早上,你的心就会破碎,而你也将化成浪尖上的泡沫。”

“I will do it.” said the little mermaid, and she became pale as death.

“我愿意这么做,”小美人鱼说,但是她的脸色十分苍白。

“But I must be paid also,” said the witch, “and it is not a trifle that I ask. You have the sweetest voice of any who dwell here in the depths of the sea, and you believe that you will be able to charm the prince with it also, but this voice you must give to me; the best thing you possess will I have for the price of my draught. My own blood must be mixed with it, that it may be as sharp as a two-edged sword.”

“但是我也要收取报酬,”巫婆说,“我要的可不是什么不值钱的小东西。在所有住在大海深处的生物中,你的嗓音最最甜美,而且你认为你能够用这嗓音迷住王子,但是你必须把你的嗓子给我。我要得到你最好的东西,来交换这服药。我自己的血也要和这服药混在一起,这样它才能像一把锋利的双刃剑。”

“But if you take away my voice,” said the little mermaid, “what is left for me?”

“可是,如果你把我的声音拿走了,”小美人鱼说,“我还剩下什么呢?”

“Your beautiful form, your graceful walk, and your expressive eyes; surely with these you can enchain a man's heart. Well, have you lost your courage? Put out your little tongue that I may cut it off as my payment; then you shall have the powerful draught.”

“你还有美丽的形体,优雅的脚步,还有你那富于表情的眼睛;有了这些你肯定会俘获男人的心。好了,你没勇气了吗?伸出你的小舌头,让我把它割下来作为酬劳,然后你就可以得到这服威力无比的药了。”

“It shall be,” said the little mermaid.

“就这样吧,”小美人鱼说。

Then the witch placed her cauldron on the fire, to prepare the magic draught.

然后巫婆把一口大锅架在火上,准备熬那服神奇的药。

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