The Flying Trunk<2>
Hans Christian Andersen
“'Yes, of course,' said the matches, 'let us talk about those who are the highest born.' “'No, I don't like to be always talking of what we are,' remarked the saucepan; 'let us think of some other amusement; I will begin. We will tell something that has happened to ourselves; that will be very easy, and interesting as well. On the Baltic Sea, near the Danish shore'—
“'What a pretty commencement!' said the plates; 'we shall all like that story, I am sure.'“'Yes; well in my youth, I lived in a quiet family, where the furniture was polished, the floors scoured, and clean curtains put up every fortnight,' “'What an interesting way you have of relating a story,' said the carpet-broom; 'it is easy to perceive that you have been a GREat deal in women's society, there is something so pure runs through what you say.'“'That is quite true,' said the water-bucket; and he made a spring with joy, and splashed some water on the floor.
“Then the saucepan went on with his story, and the end was as good as the beginning. “The plates rattled with pleasure, and the carpet-broom brought some GREen parsley out of the dust-hole and crowned the saucepan, for he knew it would vex the others; and he thought, 'If I crown him to-day he will crown me to-morrow.'
“'Now, let us have a dance,' said the fire-tongs; and then how they danced and stuck up one leg in the air. The chair-cushion in the corner burst with laughter when she saw it. “'Shall I be crowned now?' asked the fire-tongs; so the broom found another wreath for the tongs. “'They were only common people after all,' thought the matches. The tea-urn was now asked to sing, but she said she had a cold, and could not sing without boiling heat. They all thought this was affectation, and because she did not wish to sing excepting in the parlor, when on the table with the grand people.
“In the window sat an old quill-pen, with which the maid generally wrote. There was nothing remarkable about the pen, excepting that it had been dipped too deeply in the ink, but it was proud of that. “'If the tea-urn won't sing,' said the pen, 'she can leave it alone; there is a nightingale in a cage who can sing; she has not been taught much, certainly, but we need not say anything this evening about that.'
“'I think it highly improper,' said the tea-kettle, who was kitchen singer, and half-brother to the tea-urn, 'that a rich foreign bird should be listened to here. Is it patriotic? Let the market-basket decide what is right.'
“'I certainly am vexed,' said the basket; 'inwardly vexed, more than any one can imagine. Are we spending the evening properly? Would it not be more sensible to put the house in order? If each were in his own place I would lead a game; this would be quite another thing.'
“'Let us act a play,' said they all. At the same moment the door opened, and the maid came in. Then not one stirred; they all remained quite still; yet, at the same time, there was not a single pot amongst them who had not a high opinion of himself, and of what he could do if he chose. “'Yes, if we had chosen,' they each thought, 'we might have spent a very pleasant evening.'
“The maid took the matches and lighted them; dear me, how they sputtered and blazed up! “'Now then,' they thought, 'every one will see that we are the first. How we shine; what a light we give!' Even while they spoke their light went out.
“What a capital story,” said the queen, “I feel as if I were really in the kitchen, and could see the matches; yes, you shall marry our daughter.” “Certainly,” said the king, “thou salt have our daughter.” The king said thou to him because he was going to be one of the family. The wedding-day was fixed, and, on the evening before, the whole city was illuminated. Cakes and sweetmeats were thrown among the people. The street boys stood on tiptoe and shouted “hurrah,” and whistled between their fingers; altogether it was a very splendid affair.
“I will give them another treat,” said the merchant's son. So he went and bought rockets and crackers, and all sorts of fire-works that could be thought of, packed them in his trunk, and flew up with it into the air. What a whizzing and popping they made as they went off! The Turks, when they saw such a sight in the air, jumped so high that their slippers flew about their ears. It was easy to believe after this that the princess was really going to marry a Turkish angel.
As soon as the merchant's son had come down in his flying trunk to the wood after the fireworks, he thought, “I will go back into the town now, and hear what they think of the entertainment.” It was very natural that he should wish to know. And what strange things people did say, to be sure! every one whom he questioned had a different tale to tell, though they all thought it very beautiful.
“I saw the Turkish angel myself,” said one; “he had eyes like glittering stars, and a head like foaming water.” “He flew in a mantle of fire,” cried another, “and lovely little cherubs peeped out from the folds.”
He heard many more fine things about himself, and that the next day he was to be married. After this he went back to the forest to rest himself in his trunk. It had disappeared! A spark from the fireworks which remained had set it on fire; it was burnt to ashes! So the merchant's son could not fly any more, nor go to meet his bride. She stood all day on the roof waiting for him, and most likely she is waiting there still; while he wanders through the world telling fairy tales, but none of them so amusing as the one he related about the matches.
I. Reference Version (参考译文)
II. Exercise Choose the correct answer to the following questions.
1. Who told something that had happened to themselves to others?
A. The matches.
B. The iron pot.
C. The tinder-box.
D. The old quill-pen.
2. Who used some GREen parsley to crown the saucepan?
A. The matches.
B. The carpet-broom.
C. The old quill-pen.
D. The tinder-box.
3. Who suggested that they should all remain quite still?
A. The plates.
B. The saucepan.
C. The tea-kettle.
D. The basket.
4. The Turks thought the princess was really going to marry _______.
A. A Turkish angel.
B. A prince.
C. A noble abroad.
D. A merchant.
5. What happened when the merchant's son went back to the forest?
A. The trunk had stolen.
B. The trunk had been burnt to ashes.
C. The trunk flew to the air by itself.
D. The trunk was still in the very place.
III. New Words and Expressions 生词和词组
1. commencement n. 开端
2. carpet-broom n. 鸡毛帚
3. splash v. 溅，泼，洒
4. parsley n. 芹菜
5. vex v. 使烦恼，使恼火
6. fire-tong n. 火钳
7. parlor n. 客厅，起居室
8. quill-pen n. 鹅毛笔
9. patriotic a. 爱国的
10.blazed up 燃烧发光
11.illuminate v. 使光辉灿烂，装饰
12.mantle n. 披风，斗篷
13.cherub n. 小天使
Key to Exercise(练习答案)
1.A 2.B 3.D 4.A 5.B