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安徒生童话,安徒生童话_大门钥匙的童话故事

来源:http://www.handanfc.com 作者:澳门皇冠金沙网站 时间:2019-10-28 04:58

  每把钥匙都有自己的故事,而钥匙的种类很多:内侍长的钥匙,开钟的钥匙,圣彼得的钥匙①。我们可以讲讲所有的钥匙,不过现在我们只讲内侍长的大门钥匙。   它生在锁匠家里。不过那铁匠抓住它又锤又锉,它还以为自己是在铁匠那里出生的呢。放在裤兜里,它太大了点,于是不得不装在衣兜里。在那里,它时常躺在黑暗中,不过它在墙上还有自己固定的位置,那是内侍长童年时代的画像旁;内侍长那时的模样活像一个有皱褶的肉丸子。   人们说,每个人都随着自己出生的星座而形成一定的性格和行为方式。历书上记着这些星座:金牛座、处女座、天蝎座等等,内侍长夫人没有提到上述的这些。她说,她丈夫是生在“手推车座”下的,他总得要由人推着往前走。   他的父亲把他推进了一个办公室,他的母亲把他推进婚事里,他的妻子把他推上去当了内侍长。但是最后这件事她没有讲,她是一个很有心计、很和善的人,该沉默的时候便闭口不言,该讲该推的时候便讲便推。   现在他年事已高,“体态匀称”,就像他自己说的那样,他是一位有知识、喜幽默、通晓钥匙的行家里手。往后我们会知道得更清楚。他的心情总是十分愉快。他见了谁都喜欢,都巴不得跟他们聊上一阵。若是他进城去,要不是他老妈妈②在后面推他,就很难把他弄回家的。他总要和他遇到的每一个熟人聊天。他的熟人很多,这样一来便误了吃饭的时间。内侍长夫人在窗口张望。“他来了!”她对女仆说道:“把锅支上!——他站住了,和一个人在聊天,把锅拿下来,要不然菜烧得太烂了!——现在他可来了,是的,把锅再支上!”然而他还是没有回来。   他可以站在自家的窗子下朝上点头,可是只要这时走过一位熟人,他就不得不和他说上几句。要是正在他和这个人聊着的时候又来了第二位熟人,那他手拉住第一位的衣扣,握着第二位的手,同时还和从身边走过的第三位打招呼。   这是对内侍长夫人的耐心的考验。“内侍长!”她喊了起来,“是啊,这个人是生在‘手推车座’下的,若是不推他,他是不会往前走的!”   他很喜欢逛书店,看看书,翻翻杂志。他给书店老板一点酬谢,为了允许他把新书带回家来读。就是说,允许他把书的直边裁开,但是不许把书上面的横边裁开③,因为那样一来,那书便不能当新书出卖了。不论怎么说他都是一份有益于大家的活报纸。他知道关于订婚、结婚、丧葬、书报上的杂谈及街头巷尾的闲话。是啊,他能对无人知晓的事情作出种种神秘的暗示让人知道。这样的事,他是从大门钥匙那里得来的。   他们还是一对年轻的新婚夫妇时,内侍长就住在自己的大宅院里了。从那时起,他们便总是用那把钥匙。不过当时他们并不知道这把钥匙的威力,后来他们才懂得这种威力的。那是腓德烈六世④的时代。哥本哈根当时还没有煤气,用的是油烛。那时还没有趣福里⑤和卡新诺⑥,没有电车,没有火车。和现在比起来,没有多少游乐场所。到了星期天大家都出城到互济教堂公园⑦去,读一读墓志,坐在草地上,吃着用篮子带去的食品,再喝点烧酒。再不然去腓德烈斯贝公园⑧,在皇宫前面有皇家卫队的军乐团演奏,许多人在那里看皇室的人在那条窄小的河里划船,船由老国王掌舵。他和王后向所有的人——不论什么身份,都打招呼致意。此外,城里的有钱人还到这里来喝午茶。他们可以从公园外的一个小农舍里得到开水,不过茶具得自己带上。   在一个阳光明媚的星期日的下午,内侍长一家也到那里来了。女佣人提着茶具和一篮子食物及一瓶“斯彭德鲁普烧酒”。   “带上大门钥匙!”内侍长夫人说道:“回来的时候可以自己开门进来。你知道这里天一黑就锁门。门铃绳早晨已经断了!——我们会很晚才回来的!去了腓德烈斯贝公园后,我们还要去西桥的卡索蒂⑨戏院去看哑剧《收获者的头头哈列金》;他们从云里降到那里;每人要收两马克呢!”   他们去了腓德烈斯贝公园,听了音乐,看到了飘扬着旗帜的皇家的船,看到了老国王和白天鹅。他们舒舒服服地吃了一顿茶点后,便匆匆地离开了。但是却没有及时赶到剧院。踩绳舞已经结束,高跷舞也跳完了。哑剧早已开始。他们和往常一样迟到了,那都是内侍长的过错,他在路上总是停下来和熟人说话。就是在剧院里他也碰到了好朋友。演出结束以后,他和他的夫人还得跟着一个熟人回“桥头上”的家中去喝一杯混合酒。他们本来只想呆十分钟,可是一坐便是整整一个钟头,没完没了地聊天。特别有趣的是瑞典的一位男爵,或许是德国的——内侍长没有记清楚,相反,对那人教他的关于钥匙的花招他却记得清清楚楚。真是有趣极了!他能让钥匙回答所有的问题,不管你问什么,即使是最秘密的事情。   内侍长的大门钥匙特别适合此道。它的头特别重,所以头该倒垂着。男爵把钥匙放在右手的食指上,它轻松地悬在那里。他指尖上的每次脉搏的跳动都会让它动一下。于是它便转了起来。要是它不动,那么男爵便懂得让它随着自己的意志转动。每转一次便代表一个字母,从A起顺着次序一直下去,随他的意思。找到了第一个字母后,钥匙便会朝相反的方向转;这样你又可以找到第二个字母。这么下去,你便有了一个完整的字,一句完整的话,便可以回答问题。这全是瞎胡闹,但是很好玩。内侍长原来也只是觉得它好玩罢了,但是他改变了想法,他完全被钥匙迷了心窍。   “喂,先生!”内侍长夫人喊道。“西城十二点要关门!我们会进不去的,我们只剩下一刻钟赶路了。”   他们急急忙忙地赶路;有几位要进城的人匆匆地从他们的身边走过。最后他们总算走近了最后一个哨所,这时正好敲了十二下,城门砰的一声关上了。很多人被关在城外,当中有内侍长一家人,还有他们提着茶壶和空篮子的女仆。有些人惊慌万分,有些人烦躁不安。该怎么办,各人有各人的想法。   幸运的是那个时候作过一个决定,留着一道城门——北城门——不关⑩,可以从那里溜过哨所进城去。   可是这段路并不算很近,不过天气很好。天空晴朗,满天星斗,流星划过天空,青蛙在水沟里、水塘里呱呱叫着。这群人开始唱起歌来,一首又一首。然而内侍长没有唱歌,也不看星星,是啊,甚至连自己的脚也不看。他跌跌撞撞地差点儿掉到水沟里。人们还以为他喝多了,不过并不是混合酒上了头,而是钥匙,是钥匙钻进了他的脑袋,在那里打转。他们终于到了北门哨所,走过桥进到了城里。   “这下子可以放心了!”内侍长夫人说道。“到我们家门口了!”   “可是大门钥匙哪里去了?”内侍长说。它不在后面的兜里,也不在旁边的衣袋里。“钥匙没有了吗?你在和男爵耍钥匙把戏的时候丢了。我们怎么进去呀!门铃绳早晨就断了,你是知道的。守夜的是没有开门的钥匙的。这可是毫无办法了!”女仆开始哭泣,内侍长是唯一保持镇定的人。   “我们得把杂货店老板的窗子打破一扇⑾!”他说道,“把他喊起来,这样我们便可以进去了。”   他打碎了一块,又打碎了第二块。“彼得森!”他叫道,并把伞柄伸进窗子里去;这时地下室里那家人的女儿尖叫了起来。地下室里的男人把店铺门打开,叫道:“守夜的!”等他看清是内侍长一家人,认出了他们并放他们进去的时候,街上的巡夜的人吹响了哨子,旁边一条街的巡夜人也答应了,还吹响哨子。许多人拥到窗前。“哪里起火了?哪里出事了?”他们问道。一直到内侍长已经回到了自己的屋子里,脱下外衣的时候,他们还在问。在他脱大衣时,他发现大门钥匙在里面,不在衣袋里,而是在衬布里。它是从衣袋里本不该有的一个洞漏下去的。   从那天晚上起,大门钥匙便有了特殊巨大的意义。不仅是晚间出去,就是坐在家里的时候,内侍长也都要显示显示他的聪明,让钥匙来回答问题。   他想好最合理的答案,却让钥匙来表现,最后就连他自己也相信起这些答案来了。可是那位和内侍长是近亲的年轻药剂师却不相信。   那位药剂师有一个很聪明的头脑,很挑剔的头脑。他还是个学童的时候便写书评、剧评,但是不指名道姓,这一点很重要。他是人们说的有灵气的人,可是他根本不信精灵,特别是钥匙精灵。   “是的,我相信,我相信,”他说道,“多福的内侍长先生,我相信大门钥匙精灵和所有的钥匙精灵,相信得如此虔诚,就像我相信现在开始走红的那些新科学一样⑿:什么转桌法,什么新老家具的魂灵。您听说过吗?我听到过!我有怀疑。您知道我是一个多疑者。但是在读到一份十分可信的外国报纸上的一篇可怕的故事的时候,我的态度改变了。内侍长!您信不信。是的,我把我读到的故事原原本本地讲一遍。两个聪明的孩子看到过他们的父母把一张大餐桌的魂灵唤醒了。一天,两个小家伙单独在家里,他们用同样的办法把一个老柜子弄活。柜子活了,它的魂灵被唤醒,但是它受不了孩子们的指挥。柜子站了起来。它嘎地响了一声,把抽屉推开,用自己的两只木脚把孩子分别装到柜子抽屉里。于是柜子便装着他们从敞开的大门跑了出去,跑下台阶,跑到街上,跑到河边,在那里它跳出去,两个孩子淹死了。两个小尸体入了基督教,但是柜子却被带上法庭,被判谋杀幼儿罪在广场上活活烧死了。我读到过它!”药剂师这么说道,“在一份外国报纸上读到的,这不是我自己编出来的。钥匙可以证明我说的是真的!我可以发誓!”   内侍长认为这样的奇谈实在是过于粗暴的玩笑,他们两人在钥匙问题上总是谈不拢。药剂师对钥匙是一窍不通的。内侍长在钥匙方面的知识在进步。钥匙成了他乐趣和智慧的源泉。   一天晚上,内侍长准备就寝了。他已经脱了一半衣服,这时有人敲响了过道的门,是在地下室住的那家的男人来得这么迟。他也是脱掉了一半衣服的,不过他说他突然有了一个想法,他害怕过了夜便忘记了。   “我要说的是我的女儿洛特—莲妮。她是一个美貌的姑娘,她已经受了坚信礼。现在我想把她安置妥当。”   “我还不是鳏夫呀!”内侍长说道,微微地笑了一笑,“我也没有可以娶她为妻的儿子呀!”   “您是知道我的,内侍长!”地下室的那个男人说道。“她会弹钢琴,会唱歌。琴声您在这儿大约可以听到的。您不完全了解这女孩子还能做些什么。她会模仿各种人的讲话和动作。她天生就是演戏的好材料,这对好人家的正经姑娘是一条好出路,她们可以嫁给有爵位的人。不过我和洛特—莲妮却都没有这么想过。她会弹钢琴!所以不久前我和她一起去了一个声乐学校。她唱了,但她缺乏女士们应有的那种低音,也没有人们要求女歌唱家必备的那种最高音区的金丝雀般的叫声,所以学校的人都劝她不要考虑走这条路。噢,我便想,若是她不能当个歌唱家,她是可以当一个女演员的,只要能发音的人都行。今天我和被人家称作导演的人谈了。‘她阅读过许多书吗?’他问道。‘没有,’我说道,‘什么也没读过!’——‘多读书对一位女艺术家是很必要的!’他说道。我认为,现在她还来得及,于是我便回家了。我想,她可以去一家出租书籍的图书馆,读那里的书,但是今天夜里我坐在那里脱衣服的时候,突然想到:我有地方借到书,为什么要去租书呢?内侍长家有的是书,让她读这些书;够她读的,她一定可以免费借到的!”   “洛特—莲妮是一个好姑娘!”内侍长说道,“一个美貌的姑娘!她应该有书读。不过她有没有人们所谓的灵气,也就是天生的才智——天才呢?还有,这也是同样重要的,她有没有运气?”   “她曾经两次中了彩票,”地下室的男人说道,“有一回她得了一个衣柜,有一回获得六套床上用品。我说那是运气,她是有这种运气的!”   “我问问钥匙!”内侍长说道。   他把钥匙放在右手的食指上,又放在那个男人的右手食指上,让钥匙转动,一个字母接一个字母地显示出来。   钥匙说:“胜利和幸运!”这样,洛特—莲妮的未来便决定了。   内侍长立刻给了她两本书读:《迪维克》⒀和克尼格⒁的《人际交往》。   从那天晚上以后,洛特—莲妮和内侍长一家之间便开始了一种亲密的关系。她常到内侍长家,内侍长发现她是一个很聪颖的姑娘。她相信他,相信钥匙。内侍长夫人则从她随时流露出的那种不知不觉的无知中,发现她的幼稚天真。这对夫妇以各自不同的方式喜欢着她,她也以不同的方式喜欢他们。   “楼上的气味很好闻!”洛特—莲妮说道。   楼上的走廊里飘着一股香味,内侍长夫人放了一整桶“格洛斯腾”苹果⒂,弥漫着一股苹果气味。所有的屋子里都有一丝玫瑰和薰衣草的香味。   “真是好极了!”洛特—莲妮说道。内侍长夫人总是摆着许多鲜花,她看到这些鲜花,心里充满了喜悦。是啊,就连严冬季节,这里面的紫丁香和樱桃枝也都绽放出花朵。剪下的那些秃枝插在水中,在暖和的屋子里很快便发芽开花。“你大概以为那些秃枝都死了。可是你瞧,它死而复生,长得多好啊!”   “我以前完全没有想到过!”洛特—莲妮说道。“大自然真是奇妙!”   内侍长让她看他的“钥匙书”,里面写下了钥匙讲过的许多奇异的事情。就连一天晚上女仆的爱人来看她时,食橱里半块苹果糕不见了都记在上面。   内侍长问自己的钥匙,“苹果糕是谁吃掉的,是猫还是女仆的爱人?”大门钥匙回答说,“是爱人!”内侍长发问以前便这样料定了。女仆只好承认了:那该死的钥匙什么都知道。“是啊,你说奇怪不奇怪!”内侍长说道。“那把钥匙,那把钥匙,它说洛特—莲妮‘胜利和幸运!’——我们等着瞧!——我可以肯定。”   “真好!”洛特—莲妮说道。   内侍长夫人的信心不那么足。但是她不在丈夫的面前说出自己的怀疑,她怕他听见。不过后来她对洛特—莲妮说,内侍长年轻时,对戏剧着了迷。要是那时候有人朝那方向推他一把,他一定成演员了,可是他的家人把他推到另一个方向去了。他想登台,为了登台他写了一个剧本。   “这是一个大秘密,我可以告诉您,小洛特—莲妮。那出戏写得并不差,皇家剧院上演了它,但是却被观众嘘下了台。我是他的妻子,我知道他。现在您也要走这条路;——我希望您一切顺利,但是我不相信这能成为事实,我不相信大门钥匙。”   洛特—莲妮却相信能行。她和内侍长的信仰是一致的。他们的心真诚地相通了。   这位姑娘还有几种令内侍长夫人欣赏的本事。洛特—莲妮会用土豆做淀粉,会用旧丝袜织丝手套,为自己的旧舞鞋蒙上新丝面,尽管她有钱给自己买新的衣服。她就像杂货店老板说的那样:桌子抽屉里有银币,钱柜里有股票。她真是可以给药剂师当妻子的,内侍长夫人这么想,但她没有说,也没有让钥匙说。药剂师很快要在附近最大的一个城市里安家,经营自己的药店了。   洛特—莲妮还在读《杜维克》和克尼格的《人际交往》。她把那两本书保存了两年,其中的《杜维克》,她背了下来,所有的角色她都能背下来。但是她只想演其中的一个角色,即杜维克。她还不想在京都演出,京都里的人都十分嫉妒,在这里他们不要她。她要在一个较大的城市里开始自己的艺术生涯。   非常奇特的是,那个城市与那位药剂师——如果不是城里唯一的也是最年轻的药店老板所定居的城市是同一个。令人盼望已久的伟大的一夜来到了,洛特—莲妮要登台了,将要赢得钥匙所说的胜利和好运了。内侍长没有到场,他生病躺在床上,内侍长夫人照料他。他需要热餐巾和花茶;餐巾裹着腰,茶喝进肚子里去。   这对夫妇没有观看《杜维克》的演出,但是药剂师在场。他给自己的亲戚——内侍长夫人写了一封信,介绍了演出的情形。   “最精采的是杜维克的绉领!”他写道。“若是内侍长的大门钥匙在我口袋里,我一定要把它取出来,嘘它几下。她该挨,钥匙也该挨,这钥匙无耻地对她撒了谎,什么‘胜利和运气!’”   内侍长读了这封信。他认为这完全是恶毒的语言。他说,药剂师把对钥匙的仇恨,发泄到了这个天真无邪的姑娘身上。他刚能够下床恢复健康了的时候,便立刻给药剂师写了一封简短但满是恶语的信。药剂师又写了回信,就好像除了玩笑和愉快的心情之外,他再没有看懂什么。   他感谢了内侍长信中的内容,也感谢他在未来善意地传播钥匙的极宝贵的价值和意义方面作出的贡献。然后,他告诉内侍长,他在操持药店生意之余,正在写一本很厚的关于钥匙的小说。“大门钥匙”自然便是小说的主角,内侍长的大门钥匙便是原型,它很有预见,具有算命的本事。其他的钥匙,都得围绕着它转。如了解宫廷的辉煌和喜宴的老内侍官的钥匙;五金杂货店里四文钱一把的小巧玲珑的开钟钥匙;把自己看成是神职人员、有一夜因为插在教堂的钥匙孔里而见到过精灵的布道门的钥匙;备餐间的、柴禾房的、酒窖的钥匙全部都登了场,行着屈膝礼,都围绕着大门钥匙转。明亮的阳光把它照得像银子一般亮。风,人世间的精灵,吹进它的身体里,于是它便吹起口哨儿来。它是一切钥匙的钥匙,它是内侍长的钥匙,现在它成了天国大门的钥匙,它是教皇的钥匙,它是“一贯正确”的⒃!   “恶毒的中伤!”内侍长说道。“天大的恶毒中伤!”他和药剂师再不见面了。——噢,还见了一面,是在内侍长夫人的葬礼上。   她是先去世的。   家里充满了悲哀和对死者的思念。就连插在水里、已经发芽开花的樱桃枝也由于悲哀而凋谢了。它们被遗忘了,她不再照料它们了。   内侍长和药剂师作为死者最近的亲人,肩并肩走在她的棺材后面。在这里他们没有时间也没有心情斗嘴。   洛特—莲妮在内侍长的帽子上缠上黑纱。她早就回到家了。在艺术的道路上她没有胜利也没有交好运。不过它会来到的,洛特—莲妮是有前途的。钥匙说过,内侍长说过。她上去看他。他们谈着死者,他们哭了,洛特—莲妮是柔情心肠的人。他们谈起艺术,洛特—莲妮是坚定的。   “舞台生活是很美好的!”她说道,“但是有着太多的无聊和嫉妒!我最好还是走我自己的路。先是自己的问题再谈艺术!”   克尼格在他谈关于演员的一章时说的是真的⒄,她看出了,钥匙讲的不是真的。可是她没有对内侍长说,她喜欢他。   钥匙在他守丧的一年中成了他的安慰和令他开心的东西。他对它提问题,它一一给他回答。一年结束的时候,在一个很有情趣的晚上,他和洛特—莲妮坐在一起,他问钥匙:“若是我结婚,跟谁结婚?”   现在谁也没有推他,所以他推了推钥匙:“洛特—莲妮!”话就这样说出来了,洛特—莲妮就成了内侍长夫人。   “胜利和运气!”   这些话以前说过——钥匙说的。   ①民间传说天堂的大门是由圣彼得把守着的。见《做出点样子来》注6。   ②对妻子的爱称。   ③欧洲习惯出“毛边书”。这是用大张纸印刷后,折叠好送去装订,但并不把折叠的地方裁开(让读者自裁)。这样可以节省一道工序,成本可以低些。本世纪30—40年代,中国也有同样的做法。   ④腓德烈六世,丹麦国王(1768—1839)。   ⑤趣福里,哥本哈根市中心的大游乐园。公园中有小湖、幽径,有许多有特色的餐馆;有哑剧场、中国舞台和音乐厅。1843年8月15日趣福里开放以来,在150余年中,它一直是丹麦人最喜爱的活动场所,外国人到丹麦也无不在此一游的。   ⑥卡新诺,哥本哈根的一个剧场和游乐公园,1847年建成,但已于1937年被拆除。   ⑦互济教堂公园,位于北桥的一个墓地。北桥在19世纪初还是哥本哈根的市郊,现在则已在市内。当年哥本哈根市里的人常在那里“郊游。”   ⑧腓德烈斯贝公园,见《幸运女神的套鞋》注33。   ⑨宋塞佩·卡索蒂(1794—1826),意大利哑剧表演艺术家。他于1800年来到丹麦,在当时的射击场附近的一个剧院里落脚演出。卡索蒂于1814年11月至1815年2月在安徒生的故乡奥登斯演出。那时安徒生10岁,看过他的表演,恰恰看的便是这出《收获者的头头哈列金》。哈列金是意大利喜剧中欢快的丑角的总名。   ⑩当时,哥本哈根的4道城门中的3道,即阿玛奥门、西城门和东城门在午夜12时都关闭,钥匙要交到阿玛利堡宫腓德烈六世手中,但从1821年起,午夜后人们交纳两枚银币便可以从北门进城。⑾丹麦楼房的厅室层(我们说的一层)的下面是地下室。那里有时住看楼人(参见《守门人的儿子》),有时租给开杂货店的人。   ⑿“走红的新科学”,指所谓的灵学。那是一个叫伊曼奴尔·斯维登堡(1688—1772)的观点,于1850年前后在美国走红。相信灵学的人认为什么东西都有“灵”。   ⒀《迪维克》,奥勒·桑姆瑟(1759—1796)的五幕悲剧。   ⒁《人际交往》,德国作家阿道夫·克尼格(1752—1795)的一本著作。   ⒂“格洛斯腾”是丹麦日德兰半岛的一个城市,直译“灰色石”,也有灰色的水果籽的意思。那里的苹果是很优良的品种。格洛斯腾与德国的格拉夫斯泰因的发音极相似,当时有一种滥用德语的坏风气,有人把格洛斯腾苹果说成格拉夫斯泰因苹果。安徒生这里也有纯洁国语的味道。   ⒃1870年7月18日教皇的参议会确定教皇是绝无错误的。   ⒄这里指的是克尼格以下的一段关于演员的话:“这群人中大部分如何?无德行的、无教养的、无根基的或者是无知识的人。冒险家、低下的人,无德行的妇人,……很难不被潮流冲刷沉沦。”(1869年哈沃森有此书的丹麦文译本)。

大门钥匙

每一把钥匙都有自己的故事,而钥匙的种类却是不少:有家臣①的钥匙,有开钟的钥匙,有圣彼得大教堂②的钥匙。我们可以谈到种种钥匙,不过现在我们只谈谈家臣的那把开门的钥匙。

它是在一个锁匠店里出世的;不过人们在它身上锤和挫得那么厉害,人们可能相信它是一个铁匠的产品。就裤袋说来,它是太大了,因此人们只好把它装在上衣袋里。它在这个袋里经常待在黑暗之中;不过它在墙上也有一个固定的位置;这个位置是在家臣的一张儿时画像的旁边——在这张像里,他的一副样儿倒颇像衬衫皱襞包着的肉丸。

人们说,在某些星宿下出生的人,会在自己的性格和品行中带有这些星宿的某些特点——如历书上所写的金牛宫啦、处女宫啦、天蝎宫啦。家臣的太太没有提起任何这类星宿的名字,而只是说她的丈夫是在“手车星”下面出生的,因为他老是要人向前推几下才能动。

他的父亲把他推到一个办公室里去,他的母亲把他推到结婚的路上去,他的太太把他推到家臣的职位上去——不过最后这件事她不讲出来,因为她是一个非常有分寸的女人:她在适当的场合下沉默,在适当的场合下讲话和向前推进。

现在他的年事渐长了,正如他自己所说的“肥瘦适中”;他是一个有教养、有幽默感的人,对于钥匙,具有丰富的知识——关于钥匙的问题,我们待一会儿就会知道。他老是心情愉快;大家都喜欢他,愿意和他谈话。他上城里去的时候,要不是他的妈妈在后面推着,是很难把他弄回家里来的。他必然会跟他碰到的每一个熟人谈一通,而他的熟人却是多如过江之鲫。这弄得他总是把吃饭的时间耽误了。

家臣太太坐在窗口盼望他。“现在他来了!”她对女佣人说,“快把锅放上!……现在他又停下来了,跟一个什么人在谈话,快把锅拿下来吧,不然菜就煮得太烂了!……现在他来了!是的,把锅再放上吧!”

不过他还是没有来。

他可以站在窗子下面对她点头,但是只要有一个熟人走过,他就控制不住自己;要跟这人说一两句话。假如他在跟这个人谈话时而又有另一个熟人走过,那么他就抓住这个人的扣子洞,握住那个人的手,而同时大声地对快要经过的第三个熟人打招呼。

对于太太的耐心说来,这真是一个考验。“家臣!家臣!”她于是就这样喊起来。“是的,此人是在手车星宿下出生的,不把他推一下,他就走不动!”

他非常喜欢到书店里去,翻翻书和杂志。他送给书商一些小礼物,为的是要得到许可把新书借回家里来看——这就是说,得到许可把书的直边裁开,而不是把书的顶上横边裁开③,因为如果这样做,就不能当做新书出卖了。他是一本活的礼仪规范杂志:他知道一切关于订婚、结婚、入葬、书本子上的闲话和街头巷尾的闲话等事情。许多人们所不知道的东西,他能做出神秘的暗示叫人知道。这一套本领他是从开门钥匙那里得来的。

家臣和他的太太从还是一对年轻的新婚夫妇的时候起,就住在自己的公馆里。那时,他们就有了这把钥匙,不过那时他们不知道它出奇的能力——他们只是后来才知道的。

那是在国王腓特烈六世④统治的时代。哥本哈根在那时还没有煤气。那时还只用油灯,还没有提佛里或者卡新诺⑤;还没有电车,没有铁路。比起现在来,娱乐的地方并没有多少。星期天,人们只是走出城外,到“互助教堂”去游览,读坟上刻的字,坐在草地上,吃装在篮子里的东西,喝点烧酒;不然就到佛列得里克斯堡公园去,这儿有一个乐队在宫殿面前奏乐。许多人到这儿来专门看皇室的人在那又小又狭窄的运河上划船。老国王在船上掌舵;他和皇后对众人不分等级上下,一律点头。有钱的人家特别从城里到这里来吃晚茶。他们可以从花园外面的农舍里得到开水,至于其他东西,他们就得自己准备了。

家臣的一家人在一个阳光很好的星期天下午也到这儿来。他们的女佣人提着茶壶和一篮子食物及“一滴斯本得路普浓酒”走在前面。

“把开门钥匙带着吧!”太太说,“好叫我们回来时可以进来。你知道,他们天一擦黑就把门锁上了,而门铃绳子昨天又断了!……我们要很晚才回家!而且游了佛列得里克斯堡以后,还要到西桥的加索蒂戏院去看哑剧《收获人的头目哈列金》;他们从云块上降下来;每张票价是两个马克。”

这样,他们就到佛列得里克斯堡去,听了音乐,看了飘着国旗的御船,瞧见了老国王和雪白的天鹅。他们痛痛快快地吃了一顿茶点以后就匆匆地走了,但是到戏院里仍然没有按时。

踩绳这个节目已经完了,高跷舞也告一结束,哑剧早已开始;他们照例是迟到了;这应该怪这位家臣。他在路上每分钟要停一下,跟某个熟人谈几句,在戏院里他又碰见很多好朋友。等这个节目演完以后,他和他的太太又非得陪一家熟人回到西桥的家里去喝一杯潘趣酒不可;本来这只须10分钟就可以喝完的,但是他们却拉长到一个钟头。他们简直谈不完。特别有趣的是瑞典的一位男爵——也可能是一位德国的男爵吧?这位家臣记不太清楚。可是相反,这位男爵教给他的关于钥匙的花样,他却一直记得清清楚楚。这真是了不起!他可以叫钥匙回答他的一切问题,甚至最秘密的事情。

家臣的钥匙特别适合于这个目的。它的头特别沉重,所以非倒悬着不可。男爵把钥匙的把手放在右手的食指上。它轻松愉快地悬在那儿;他指尖上每一次脉搏的跳动都可以使它动,使它摆,如果它不动,男爵就知道怎样叫它按照他的意志转,而不被人察觉。每一次转动代表一个字母,从A开始,直到我们所希望的任何字母。第一个字母出现以后,钥匙就朝相反的方向转,于是我们就可以找下一个字母。“这样我们就可以得出整个字,整个句,整个问题的答案。这完全是虚构的,但是有趣。这位家臣最初的看法也是这样,但是他没有坚持下去。他被钥匙迷住了。

“先生!先生!”他的太太喊起来。“西城门在12点钟就要关呀!我们进不去了,现在只剩下一刻钟了。”

他们得赶快。有好几位想回到城里去的人匆匆在他们身旁走过。当他们快要走近最后一个哨所的时候,钟正在敲12下,门于是就砰的一声关上了。一大堆人被关在外面,包括这对家臣夫妇和那位提着茶壶和一个空篮子的女佣人。有的人站在那儿感到万分惶恐,有的人感到非常烦恼。每个人的心情都不同。究竟怎么办呢?

很幸运的是:最近曾经决定过,有一个城门——北门——不关,步行的人可以通过那儿的哨所钻进城里去。

这一段路可不很短,不过天气非常可爱;天空是清净无尘,布满了星星;水沟和池塘里是一片蛙声。这一行人士开始唱起歌来——一个接着一个地唱。不过这位家臣既不唱歌,也不看星星,甚至还不看自己的腿。因此他就一个倒栽葱,在水沟旁跌了一交,人们可能以为他的酒喝得太多了一点;不过钻到他脑袋里去,在那儿打转的东西倒不是潘趣酒,而是那个钥匙。

最后他们来到了北门的哨所,走过桥,进入城里去。

“我现在算是放心了!”太太说。“到了我们的门口了!”

“但是开门的钥匙在什么地方呢?”家臣问。它既不在后边的衣袋里,也不在侧边的衣袋里。

“我的天!”他的太太喊着。“你把钥匙丢掉了吗?你一定是在跟那位男爵玩钥匙花样时遗失了的。我们现在怎样进去呢?门铃绳子昨天断了,更夫又没有开我们房子的钥匙。这简直叫我们走投无路!”

女佣人开始呜咽地哭起来。只有这位家臣是唯一能保持镇静的人。

“我们得把那个杂货商人⑥的窗玻璃打破!”他说;“把他喊起来,然后走进去。”

他打破了一块玻璃。接着又打破了两块。“比得生!”他喊着;同时把阳伞的把手伸进窗子里去。地下室的人的女儿在里面尖叫起来。这人把店门打开,大声喊:“更夫!”但是他一看到家臣一家人,马上就认出来了,让他们进来。更夫吹着哨子;附近街上的另一个更夫也用哨子来回答。许多人都挤到窗子这边来。

“什么地方火烧起来了?什么地方出了乱子?”大家都问。等这位家臣回到了他的房间里去,他们还在问。他把上衣脱掉……他的钥匙恰恰就在那里面——不在衣袋里,却在衬布里。原来它从衣袋里不应该有的一个洞溜到那儿去了。

从那天晚上开始,钥匙就有了一种特殊的巨大意义,不仅是他们晚上出去的时候,就是他们坐在家里的时候都是如此。这家臣表现出他的聪明,让钥匙来回答一切问题。他自己想出最可能的答案,而却让钥匙讲出来,直到后来他自己也把答案信以为真了。不过一个药剂师——他是和家臣太太有亲戚关系的一个年轻人——不相信这一套。

药剂师有一个聪明的头脑;他从学生时代起就写过书评和剧评,但是他从来没有署过自己的名字——这是一件重要的事情。他是我们所谓的有精力的人,可是他不相信精灵,也不相信钥匙精。

“是的,我相信,我相信,”他说,“亲爱的家臣,我相信钥匙和一切钥匙精,正如我相信现在开始为大家所明了的新科学:灵动术⑦和新旧家具的精灵。你听到人们说过没有?我听到过!我曾经怀疑过。你知道,我是一个怀疑论者,但是我在一个相当可信的外国杂志上读到一个可怕的故事——而我被说服了。家臣,你能想象得到吗?我把我所知道的这个故事讲给你听吧。

“两个聪明的孩子看到过他们的父母把一张大餐桌的精灵叫醒。当这两个小家伙单独在房间里的时候,他们想用同样的方法把一个柜子叫醒。它有了生命了,它的精灵醒了,但是它却不理两个孩子的命令。它自己立起来,发出一个破裂声,把抽屉都倒出来了,接着用它的两只木腿把这两个孩子各抱进一个抽屉里去。柜子装着他们跑出敞开的门,跑下楼梯,跑到街上,一直冲到运河里去,把两个孩子都淹死了。这两具小尸体被埋在基督徒的坟地里,但是柜子却被带到市府的会议厅里去,作为孩子的谋杀犯而判处死刑,在市场上活活地烧死了。

“我读到过这个故事!”药剂师说,“在一本外国杂志上读到过,这并不是我自己捏造的。凭这把钥匙作证,这是真事!我庄严地发誓!”

家臣认为这类故事简直是一种粗暴的玩笑。关于钥匙的事儿,两个人永远谈不到一起;在钥匙问题上,药剂师完全是一个糊涂虫。

对于钥匙的知识,家臣不断地获得进步。钥匙成了他的娱乐和智慧的源泉。

有一天晚上,家臣上床去睡觉;当他把衣服脱了一半的时候,忽然听到走廊上有人敲门。这是那个杂货商人。他的来访真是迟了。他的衣服也脱了一半,不过他说他忽然想起了一件事情,只怕过了一夜就会忘记。

“我所要说的是关于我的女儿洛特·伦的事情。她是一个美丽的女孩子,她已经受了坚信礼,现在我想把她好好地安顿一下。”

“我的太太还没有死呀,”家臣说,同时微笑了一下,“而我又没有儿子可以介绍给她。”

“我想您懂得我的意思,家臣!”杂货商人说。“她能弹钢琴,也能唱歌。您也许在这屋子的楼上听到过。您不知道这个女孩能做些什么事情。她能够模仿各种人说话和走路的样子。她是一个天生的演员,这对于出身良家的女孩子是一条好出路。她们可能嫁给伯爵,不过这并不是我,或者洛特·伦的想法。她能唱歌,能弹钢琴!所以前天我陪她一起到声乐学校去过一次。她唱了一下,但是她缺乏那种女子所必须有的浊音,也没有人们对于一个女歌唱家所要求的那种金丝鸟般的最高的尖嗓子。因此他们都建议她别干那一行。后来我想,如果她不能成为一个歌唱家,她无论如何可以成为一个演员——一个演员只要能背台词就行。今天我跟教师——人们这样叫他——谈过话。‘她的书读得多吗?’他问。‘不多’,我说。‘什么也没有读过!’他说:‘多读书对于一个艺术家是必要的!’我想这件事还不难办;所以我就回到家里来。我想,她可以到一个租阅图书馆去,读那里所有的书。不过,今天晚上当我坐着正在脱衣服的时候,我忽然想起:当我想要借书的时候,为什么要去租书呢?家里有的是书,让她去读吧。她读也读不完,而且她一文不花就能读到。”

“洛特·伦是一个可爱的女子!”家臣说,“一个漂亮的女子!她应该有书读。不过她脑子里有没有人们所谓的‘精气’——即天才——呢?更重要的是:她有没有——福气呢?”

“她中过两次彩票,”杂货商人说。“有一次她抽到一个衣柜,另一次抽到六条床单。我把这叫做幸运,而她是有这种幸运的!”

“我要问问钥匙看,”家臣说。他把钥匙放在右手的食指上和商人的食指上,让它转动起来,接二连三地标出一系列的字母。

钥匙说:“胜利和幸运!”所以洛特·伦的未来就这么确定了。

家臣立刻给她两本书读:关于“杜威克”⑧的剧本和克尼格⑨的《处世与交友》。

从这天晚上开始,洛特·伦和家臣家庭间的一种亲密的关系就开始了。她常来拜访这家;家臣认为她是一个聪明的女子。她也相信他和钥匙。家臣太太从她时时刻刻在不知不觉中所表现出来的无知中,发现了她有某种孩子气和天真。这对夫妇,每人根据自己的一套看法来喜爱她,而她也是一样地喜爱他们。

“楼上有一阵非常好闻的香气,”洛特·伦说。

走廊上飘着一种香味,一种芬芳的气味,一种苹果的香味——家臣太太曾经在走廊上放了整整一桶“格洛斯登苹果⑩”,所有的房间里也飘着一种喷香的玫瑰花和燕衣草的气味。

“这真是可爱!”洛特·伦说。

家臣太太经常在这儿陈设着许多美丽的花儿,洛特·伦真是把眼睛都看花了。是的,甚至在冬天,这儿都有紫丁香和樱桃的枝子在开着花。插在水里的这些枝子,在温暖的房间里,很快地就冒出叶,开出花来。

“人们可能以为这些光赤的枝子已经没有生命了。可是,请看它们怎样起死回生吧。”

“我以前从来没有看见过这样的东西,”洛特·伦说。“大自然真是美妙!”

于是家臣就让她看看他的“钥匙书”。这书里记载着钥匙所讲过的一切奇异的事情——甚至一天晚上,当他的女佣人的爱人来看她时,橱柜里的半块苹果饼不见了的这类事情也被记载下来了。

家臣问他的钥匙:“谁吃了那块苹果饼——猫儿呢,还是她的爱人?”钥匙回答说:“她的爱人!”家臣在没有问它以前心里早就有数了。女佣人只得承认:这该死的钥匙什么都知道!

“是的,这不是很稀奇吗?”家臣说。“钥匙!钥匙!它对洛特·伦作了这样的预言:‘胜利和幸运!’——我们将会看到它实现的——我敢负责!”

“那真是好极了,”洛特·伦说。

家臣太太并不轻易相信这种话,但是她不当面表示怀疑,因为她怕丈夫听见。不过后来她告诉洛特·伦说,家臣在年轻的时候曾经是一个戏迷。如果那时有人推他一把,他一定可以成为一个演员;不过他的家庭把他推到另一方面去了。他曾经坚持要进入戏剧界;为了达到这个目的,他曾经写过一部戏。

“亲爱的洛特·伦,这是我告诉你的一件大秘密。那个戏写得并不坏,皇家剧院接受了它,但是它却被观众嘘下了台。因此后来就没有人提起过它了。这种结果倒使我感到很高兴。我是他的太太,我了解他。嗯,你将要走同样的道路——我希望你万事如意,不过我不相信这会成为事实——我不相信钥匙!”

洛特·伦相信它;在这个信仰上,她和家臣的看法一致。他们是诚心诚意地心心相印。

这位小姐有好几种才能,家臣非常欣赏。洛特·伦知道怎样用土豆做出淀粉来,怎样用旧丝袜子织出丝手套,怎样把舞鞋上的绸面子补上——虽然她有钱买新衣服。她像那个杂货商人所说的,“抽屉里有的是银元,钱柜里有的是股票。”家臣太太认为她可以成为那个药剂师的理想的妻子,但是她没有说出口来,也没有让那个钥匙讲出来,药剂师不久就要成家了,而且自己在离这儿最近的一个大城镇里开了药店。

洛特·伦经常读着《杜威克》和克尼格的《处世与交友》。她把这些书保留了两年,其中《杜威克》这本书她记得烂熟;她记得里面所有的人物,不过她只希望成为其中之——杜威克这个角色——同时她不愿在京城里演出,因为那里的人都非常嫉妒,而且也都不欢迎她演出。照家臣的说法,她倒很想在一个较大的乡镇里开始她的艺术事业呢。

这也真是神奇:那个年轻的药剂师就正是在这个乡镇里开业了——如果说他不是这城里唯一的一个年轻的药剂师,却是一个最年轻的药剂师。

那个等待了很久的伟大的一晚终于到来了。洛特·伦要登台了,正如钥匙所说的,要获得胜利和财富了。家臣不在这儿;他病倒在床上,他的太太在看护他。他得用温暖的餐巾,喝甘菊茶;他肚子外面是绷带,他肚子里面是茶。

《杜威克》演出的时候,这对夫妇不在场;不过药剂师却在那儿。他把这次演出的情形写了一封信给他的亲戚——家臣太太。

“最像个样子的是杜威克的绉领!”他写道,“假如家臣的钥匙在我的衣袋里的话,我一定要把它取出来,嘘它几下;她应受这种待遇,开门的钥匙也应受这种待遇——因为它曾经那么无耻地用什么‘胜利和幸运’这类话儿来骗她。”

家臣读了这封信。他说这是一种恶意诽谤——对钥匙的仇恨——而同时却把这仇恨发泄在这个天真女子的身上。

他一能够起床,恢复了健康以后,就马上写了一封简短而恶毒的信给那个药剂师。药剂师也回了一封,其语调好像他在家臣的信里没有读到什么,只看到了玩笑和幽默的话似的。

他感谢他那封信,正如他要感谢家臣以后每次替钥匙的无比价值和重要性所作的宣传一样。接着,他告诉家臣说,他除了做药剂师的工作外,还正在写一部伟大的钥匙传奇。在这部书里,所有的人物毫无例外地都是钥匙。“开门钥匙”当然是里面的主人公,而家臣的开门钥匙就是他的模特儿,具有未卜先知的特性。一切其他的钥匙都围绕着它发展:如那个知道宫廷的豪华和喜庆场面的老家臣的钥匙啦;那个细小、精致、华丽、在铁匠店里值三个铜板的开钟的钥匙啦;那个经常跟牧师打交道的,因为有一夜呆在钥匙孔里而曾经看到过鬼的讲道坛的钥匙啦。储藏室的、柴草房的、酒窖的钥匙都出了场,都在敬礼,并且在开门钥匙的周围活动着。阳光把开门钥匙照得像银子一样亮;风——宇宙的精气——吹进它的身体,使它发出哨子声。它是钥匙工,它是家臣的开门钥匙,现在它是开天国之门的钥匙,它是教皇的钥匙,它是永远不会错的!

“恶意!”家臣说,“骇人的恶意!”

他和药剂师不见面了……是的,只有在家臣的太太安葬时他们才碰头。

她先死了。

屋子里充满了悲哀和惋惜之情。甚至那些开了花、冒了芽的樱桃枝子也由于悲哀而萎谢了。它们被人遗忘了,因为她不能再照料它们。

家臣和药剂师,作为最亲近的亲属,在棺材后面并排地走着。现在他们没有时间,也没有心情来吵嘴了。

洛特·伦在家臣的帽子上围了一条黑纱。她早就回到这儿来了,并没有从她的艺术事业中得到胜利和幸运。不过将来她可能得到胜利和幸运的。洛特·伦有她的前途。钥匙曾经这样说过,家臣也这样说过。

她来看他。他们谈起死者,他们哭起来;洛特·伦是一个软心肠的人。他们谈到艺术;洛特·伦是坚定的。

“舞台生活真是可爱得很!”她说,“可是无聊和嫉妒的事儿也真够多!我宁愿走我自己的道路。先解决我自己的问题,然后再谈艺术!”

克尼格曾经在他关于演员的一章书里说过真话;她知道钥匙并没有说真话,但是她不愿意在家臣面前揭穿它;她太喜欢他了。

在他居丧的这一年中,开门钥匙是他唯一的慰藉。他问它许多问题,它都一一作出回答。这一年完结了以后,有一天晚上他和洛特·伦情意绵绵地坐在一起。他问钥匙:

“我会结婚吗?我会和谁结婚?”

现在没有谁来推他;所以他就只好推这钥匙。它说:“跟洛特·伦。”

话既然是这么说了,洛特·伦也就成了家臣的太太。

“胜利和幸运!”这句话以前已经说过——是开门的钥匙说的。

①“家臣”是封建时代皇家或贵族家里一种“管事”的官职。

②圣彼得大教堂是罗马梵蒂冈的一个大教堂。教皇在这儿举行所有的宗教仪式。它是在1506-1626年建筑的,历时120年。顶高约138米,占地36,450平方米,室内直径210米,里面有30个祭坛。

③在欧洲的许多国家里,特别是法国和意大利,有些书籍是不切边的,因此读者必须自己裁开。这里是说裁开书页的一部分,这样既可阅读,又可仍然作为新书出售。

④腓特烈六世(1768-1839)是丹麦国王(1808-1839),又是挪威国王(1808-1814)。

⑤提佛里是现在哥本哈根市内的一个大游艺场;卡新诺是现在哥本哈根市内的一个大咖啡馆兼游艺场。

⑥在欧洲的大建筑物里.最底下的一层经常不住人,只租给小商人开店。

⑦这是19世纪中叶在欧洲盛行的一种迷信:许多人围着桌子坐着,把手放在桌子上,桌子就会自动地动起来。据说这是因为“精灵”在暗中发生作用。

⑧“杜威克”是荷兰文Duiveke的音译。它是一个荷兰旅店主人的女儿的小名,她后来成了丹麦国王克里斯蒂安二世的情妇。她在1517年暴卒,据说是被人毒死的。

⑨德国的一个男爵Adolf von Knigge。他是一个作家。

⑩这是一种很大的苹果,出产于丹麦尤兰岛上一个叫做格洛斯登的地方。

大家好,今天我看了一本,安徒生童话图生童话里面的一篇故事名字叫夜莺。故事里内容主要讲了。王宫的树林里有一只夜莺,她的歌声非常好听。有一天,皇帝要听夜莺的歌,大臣们最后找到了一个小姑娘,小姑娘说,我知道夜莺在哪儿。最后找了好几次都没找着。第三次他们往前走,看见夜莺在唱歌。大臣把夜莺送了回去。皇帝听让夜莺唱歌。他唱的歌非常好听,皇帝感动得流下了眼泪。最后每天都唱歌给皇帝听,有一天晚上一个商人走了过来他说我也有一个,歌声也非常好听,还很漂亮还能反反复复的唱。真的夜莺看到了,很伤心就飞走了。一年过去了一天晚上夜莺的身体里突然一不小心坏掉了,他再也不能唱歌了,还去找了很多人来修,最后皇帝生病了。这时,窗外响起了夜莺的美妙的歌声,皇帝的病就好了。 最后夜莺再也没有离开皇帝的身边。

英文版:The Gate Key

Every key has a history, and there are many kinds of keys - a chamberlain's key, a watch key, Saint Peter's key. We could tell you about all the keys; but now we will only tell about the councilor's gate key.

It had come into being at a locksmith's, but it might well have believed it had been made by a blacksmith, the way the man had worked on it with hammer and file. It was too large for one's trouser pocket, so it had to be put into the overcoat pocket. There it often lay in utter darkness; yet it had its own special hanging place on the wall, beside a childhood silhouette of the Councilor, in which he looked like a dumpling dressed in a frilled shirt.

It is said that every human being acquires in his character and conduct something from the astrological sign under which he has been born, such as the Bull, the Virgin, or Scorpion, as they are called in the almanacs. The Councilor's wife never mentioned the names of any of these; she said that her husband was born under the sign of the "Wheelbarrow," for he always had to be pushed on. His father had pushed him into an office; his mother had pushed him into matrimony; and his wife had pushed him on to become a councilor; the latter fact, however, she did not mention, being a good, sensible sort of woman who kept quiet in the right place and spoke and pushed in the right place.

He was now along in years - "well proportioned," as he said himself - a well-read man, good-natured, and "key wise" as well, which is something we shall better understand later. He was always in a good humor, loved all mankind, and liked to talk to everybody. If he went into the city, it was difficult to get him home again when his wife was not with him to push him along. He simply had to talk to every acquaintance he met; he had a lot of acquaintances, and this often made him late for dinner. Mrs. Councilor would sit at the window and watch for him. "Here he comes," she would say to the maid; "put the pot on the fire. Now he has stopped to speak to somebody, so take the pot off, or the food will be cooked too much. Now he is finally coming, so put the pot on again!"

But then he wouldn't come, after all. He would stand right under the windows of the house and nod up to her, and if an acquaintance happened to come by then, he could not keep from saying a few words to him; if while he was talking to this one, another one came by, he would take hold of the first by the buttonhole, clasp the other's hand, and shout to a third who wanted to pass by.

This was a heavy trial for the patience of the Councilor's wife. "Councilor! Councilor!" she would shout. "Yes, indeed, that man was born under the sign of the 'Wheelbarrow'; he won't move unless he is being pushed."

He was very fond of visiting bookshops and looking at books and periodicals. He would give his bookseller a small amount of money for the privilege of reading the new books at home, which meant he had permission to cut the leaves of the books along the side but not across the top, for then they could not be sold as new. He was a living newspaper, but a harmless one, and knew everything about engagements, weddings, and funerals, book talk and town talk. Yes, and he even gave out mysterious hints regarding matters no one else knew anything about. This mysterious information came from the gate key.

The Councilor and his wife had lived in their own house since young and newly married, and they'd had that very same gate key since then; but in those days they hadn't yet come to know of its unusual powers, and not until much later had they learned of these.

It was at the time of King Frederick VI. Copenhagen had no gas then; it had only train-oil lamps; it had no Tivoli Gardens, no Casino Theater, no streetcars, and no railways. It had very few public amusements, compared with what it now has. On Sundays one would go for a walk, out beyond the city gates, to the Assistants' Churchyard, read the inscriptions on the graves, sit down in the grass, eat from one's food basket, and drink a glass of schnapps; or one would go to Frederiksberg, where in front of the palace military music was played; and many people would go to see the royal family rowing about in the small, narrow canals of the park, with old King himself steering the boat, and he and the Queen greeting everyone, without distinction of rank. Well-to-do families from the city would come to this place and drink their afternoon tea. They could get hot water at a small farmhouse in the field outside the park, but they had to bring their own tea service along.

One sunny Sunday afternoon the Councilor and his wife went out to the park, the servant girl walking in front with the tea service, a basket of food, and a "sip of Spendrup's Liqueur."

"Bring the gate key," Mrs. Councilor had said, "so we can get in by ourselves when we return; you know, they lock the gate here at nightfall, and the bell cord was broken this morning! It will be late before we get home! After we've been in Frederiksberg Park, we are going to the Casorti's theater at Vesterbro to see the pantomime, Harlequin, Chief of the Thrashers. You see them come down in a cloud; it costs two kroner a person."

And so they went to Frederiksberg, heard the music, saw the royal barges with their waving banners, saw the old King and the white swans. After drinking some very good tea, they hurried away; yet they did not arrive at the theater on time.

The rope-dance act was finished, the dance on stilts was finished, and the pantomime had started; as always, they were too late, and that was the Councilor's fault; every moment on the road, he had stopped to speak to an acquaintance. Within the theater he also found several good friends, and when the performance was over, he and his wife were obliged to accompany a family home at Vesterbro, to enjoy a glass of punch; they would stop for only ten minutes. But this was extended to a whole hour. They talked and talked. Especially entertaining was a Swedish baron, or, perhaps, he was German, for the Councilor hadn't quite caught which - but, on the other hand, the trick with the key that the baron taught him he caught and always remembered. This trick was extraordinarily interesting! He could get the key to answer everything that one asked it, even questions pertaining to the most secret matters. The Councilor's gate key was particularly suitable for performing this trick; its bit was heavy, and this part had to hang downward. The baron let the handle of the key rest on the forefinger of his right hand. There it hung loosely and lightly, and every pulsebeat in his finger could put it into motion and make it swing; and if this failed to happen, the baron understood how unnoticeably to make it turn as he wished. Every turn denoted a letter of the alphabet, and as many letters as desired, from A on through the alphabet, could be indicated by the key. When the first letter of a word was revealed, the key would turn to the opposite side; then the next letter would be sought, and in that manner one got whole words, sentences, and answers to questions. It was all a fake, but at any rate provided amusement; this was the Councilor's first thought, but he did not retain it; he became very engrossed in the key.

"Husband! Husband!" cried Mrs. Councilor. "The Westgate closes at twelve o'clock! We won't get through; we have only a quarter of an hour in which to hurry there."

They had to hurry indeed; several persons who were going into the city soon got ahead of them. They finally approached the outside guardhouse as the clock was striking twelve and the gates were being slammed shut. A number of people were locked out, and among these were the Councilor and his wife, with their servant girl, tea service, and empty food basket. Some stood there greatly frightened, while others were very annoyed, each reacting in his own manner. What could be done? Fortunately, an ordinance had been passed of late that one of the city gates, the Northgate, should not be locked at night, and there pedestrians were allowed to slip through the guardhouse into the city.

The road to the Northgate was by no means short, but the weather was fine, the sky bright with starlight and shooting stars; the frogs were croaking in the ditches and ponds. The party began singing and sang one song after another, but the Councilor did not sing; nor did he look up at the stars or even look at his own feet. He then fell down at the edge of the ditch, the full length of his body alongside it. One might have thought that he had had too much to drink; but it was not the punch, it was the key, that had gone to his head, and kept on turning there. They finally reached the Northgate guardhouse, slipped across the bridge and into the city.

"Now I am happy again, " said the Councilor's wife. "Here's our gate."

"But where is the gate key," said the Councilor. It was neither in the back pocket nor in the side pocket.

"Good gracious!" cried the Councilor's wife. "Haven't you got the key? You must have lost it after letting the Baron use it for the key trick. How will we get in now? You know the bell cord was broken this morning, and the watchman doesn't have a key to our home. We are in a hopeless situation!"

The servant girl began to cry. The Councilor was the only one who showed presence of mind.

"We must break in a windowpane at the grocer's downstairs!" he said, "get him up, and then we can get into the building."

He broke one pane; he broke two. "Petersen!" he shouted, as the put the handle of his umbrella in through the windowpanes. Whereupon the grocer's daughter began to scream loudly. The grocer threw open the door of his shop and shouted, "Watchman!" And before he had a chance to see and recognize the Councilor's family and let them in, the watchman blew his whistle, and in the next street another watchman answered and whistled. People appeared in the windows. "Where is the fire? Where is the cause of all the excitement?" they asked, and were still asking such questions even after the Councilor was in his room. There he removed his overcoat - and in it lay the gate key, not in the pocket, but inside the lining; it had slipped through a hole that should not have been in the pocket.

From that night on, the gate key held a unique and great importance, not only when it was taken out in the evening, but also when remaining at home, for in either case the Councilor would show how clever he was by making the key answer questions. He would think of the most likely answer and then pretend to let the key give it. Finally, he himself came to believe in the power of the key.

That was not so of the Pharmacist, however, a young man closely related to the Councilor's wife. The Pharmacist had a good head, a critical mind; he had, as mere schoolboy, sent in critical articles on books and the theater, but without his signature, which is always important. He was what one calls abel esprit, but he by no means believed in spirits, and, least of all, key spirits.

"Yes, I believe, I believe," he said, "blessed Mr. Councilor, I believe in gate keys and all key spirits as firmly as I believe in that new science which is beginning to become known the table dance and the spirits in old and new furniture. Have you heard about that? I have! I have doubted - you know I am a skeptic - but I have been converted by reading, in a quite reliable foreign paper, a dreadful story. Councilor, can you imagine! I will give you the story as I read it. Two clever children had seen their parents raise the spirits in a large dining-room table. The little ones were alone, and decided they would try, in the same manner, to rub life into an old chest of drawers. Life came, for a spirit was awakened; but it did not tolerate the commands of mere children; it arose, and the chest of drawers creaked; it then shot out the drawers, and with its wooden legs put each of the children in a separate drawer. The chest of drawers then ran off with them, out the open door, down the stairs, into the street, and over to the canal, where it jumped out into the water and drowned both the children. Their little bodies were given Christian burial, but the chest of drawers was taken to the town hall, tried for murder, and burned alive in the market place! I have read this," said the Pharmacist, "in a foreign paper; it is not something I have invented myself. This is the truth, and may the key take me if it isn't! I swear to it - on my oath!"

The Councilor found that such talk was all too much like a coarse joke. The two could never speak agreeably about the key. The Pharmacist was key ignorant.

The Councilor made progress in his key knowledge; the key was his diversion and channel of wisdom.

One evening, as the Councilor was getting ready to go to bed, and was half undressed, there was a knock on the front door. It was the shopkeeper from downstairs who was calling at this late hour; he, too, was half undressed, but he had suddenly had a thought, he said, which he was afraid he would not be able to retain through the night.

"It is my daughter Lotte-Lene I must talk about. She is a beautiful girl, and has been confirmed, and now I would like to see her well provided for."

"But I am not as yet a widower!" said the Councilor, and chuckled, "and I have no son to offer her."

"You must understand me, Councilor," said the man from downstairs. "She can play the piano, and she can sing; you must be able to hear her upstairs. You have no idea of all the things that little girl is able to do; she can talk and entertain people. She is made for the stage, and that is a good course for pretty girls of good families to take; they may even have an opportunity to marry a count, though neither I nor Lotte-Lene are thinking of that. She can indeed sing and play the piano, so the other day I took her up to the singing school. She sang; but she doesn't have a beer bass, as I call it in women, nor does she shriek those very high canary-bird notes which they now demand in singers, and so they advised her strongly against pursuing that career. Well, I thought, if she can't become a singer, she can always become an actress; that only requires the ability to speak. Today I talked about it to the Instructor as they call him. 'Is she well read?' he asked. 'No, ' I said, 'not at all.' 'But it is necessary for an actress to be well read!' said he. She still has time for that, was my opinion; and then I went home. She can go to a rental library and read what is to be had there, I thought.

"But then tonight, while I was undressing, it occurred to me - why rent books when one can borrow them? The Councilor has plenty of books; let her read them; there is enough reading here for her, and it could be hers gratis!"

"Lotte-Lene is a nice girl," said the Councilor, "a beautiful girl! She shall have books to read. But has she what one calls grit and spirit - aptitude - genius? And, what is equally important, has she luck with her?"

"She has twice won in the lottery," said the grocer from downstairs. "Once she won a clothes cabinet, and another time six pairs of bed sheets; that I call luck, and that she has!"

"I shall ask the key," said the Councilor. And he placed the key on his right forefinger, and on the grocer's right forefinger as well, and then the key swung and gave out letter after letter.

The key said, "Victory and luck!" And so Lotte-Lene's future was decided.

The Councilor at once gave her two books to read, Dyveke and Knigge's Social Intercourse.

That night marked the beginning of a closer acquaintance between Lotte-Lene and the Councilor and his wife. She would come upstairs to the couple, and the Councilor found her to be a sensible girl; she believed in him and the key. The Councilor's wife saw something childish and innocent in the frankness with which she would at every moment show her great ignorance. The couple was fond of her, he in his way and she in hers, and Lotte-Lene was fond of them.

"It smells so lovely upstairs," Lotte-Lene would say. There was an odor, a fragrance, an apple fragrance, in the hallway, where the Councilor's wife had put away a whole barrel of graystone apples. There was also an incense odor of roses and lavender throughout all the rooms. "There is something refined in that!" Lotte-Lene would say.

Then, too, her eyes were pleased by the many pretty flowers the Councilor's wife always had. Even in the middle of winter, lilacs and cherry-tree slips bloomed here. The leafless twigs were cut off and put into water and in the warm room soon bore leaves and flowers.

"One would have thought that all life was gone from these naked branches, but see how they rise from the dead. It has never occurred to me before," said Lotte-Lene, "how wonderful nature is!"

And the Councilor let her look at his "key book, " in which were written strange things the key had said - even about the half of an apple cake that had disappeared from the cupboard on the very evening that the servant girl had had her sweetheart there for a visit. The Councilor had asked his key. "Who has eaten the apple cake, the cat or the sweetheart?" and the key had replied, "The sweetheart." The Councilor had already thought so before asking the key; and the servant girl had confessed, "That cursed key knows everything!"

"Yes, isn't it strange!" said the Councilor. "That key, that key! And about Lotte-Lene it has said, 'Victory and luck.' That we shall see! I swear to it."

"That's wonderful" said Lotte-Lene.

The Councilor's wife was not so confident, but she did not express her doubts when her husband was within hearing distance. She later told Lotte-Lene in confidence that the Councilor, when a young man, had been quite taken with the theater. Had someone pushed him a little in that direction, he surely would have become an actor; his family, however, had pushed him in the opposite direction. But, he had still aspired to the stage, and to further that ambition he had written a play.

"This is a great secret that I am entrusting you with, little Lotte-Lene. The play was not bad; it was accepted at the Royal Theater, and then hissed out, and no one has since heard of it, for which I am glad. I am his wife and know him. Now you want such a career, too. I wish you all that is good, but I don't think that things will work out as predicted; I don't believe in the gate key."

Lotte-Lene believed in it, and in that belief she was united with the Councilor. Within their hearts they had a mutual understanding, in all honor and chastity.

The girl had many qualifications that the Councilor's wife valued. Lotte-Lene knew how to make starch from potatoes, make silk gloves from old silk stockings, and recover her silk dancing shoes, although she could afford to buy all her clothes new. She had, as the grocer said, pennies in the table drawer and credit notes in her money safe. She would make just the wife for the Pharmacist, thought the Councilor's wife, but she did not say so, and of course didn't permit the key to say anything about it. The Pharmacist was going to settle down soon and have his own pharmacy in one of the nearest and largest provincial towns.

Lotte-Lene was continually reading Dyveke and Knigge's Social Intercourse. She kept the two books for two years, and by the end of that time she had learned one, Dyveke, by heart - all the parts, although she wished to play only one, that of Dyveke; she did not, however, want to appear at first in the capital, where there is so much envy, and where they would not have her, anyway. She wanted to start her artistic career, as the Councilor called it, in one of the country's large provincial towns. Now that, strangely enough, turned out to be the same place where the youthful Pharmacist had settled down as the youngest of the town's pharmacists.

The great, long-awaited night came on which Lotte-Lene was to make her debut and have "victory and luck," as the key had said. The Councilor was not there, for he lay in his bed, and his wife was nursing him; he had to have warm napkins and camomile tea; the napkins about his body and the tea in his body.

While the couple was absent from the Dyveke performance, the Pharmacist was there, and wrote a letter about it to his relative, the Councilor's wife.

"Dyveke's ruff was the best thing about it," he wrote. "If I had had the Councilor's gate key in my pocket, I would have pulled it out and used it as a whistle; she deserved it, and the key deserved it, because of its nasty lie about her 'victory and luck.'"

The Councilor read the letter. It was all spitefulness, he said, key hatred, aimed at that innocent girl. And as soon as he was out of bed and was himself again, he sent a short but poisonous note to the Pharmacist, who in turn replied as if he had seen only jest and good humor in the whole epistle. He thanked him for this and for any future contribution to the revelation of the incomparable worth and significance of keys; next he confided to the Councilor that, apart from his activities as an apothecary, he was writing a great key novel in which all the characters were keys and keys alone. A gate key naturally was the central character and - patterned after the Councilor's gate key

  • was gifted with prophetic vision and second sight; around this all the other keys had to revolve - the old chamberlain's key, experienced in the splendor and festivity of the court; the watch key, small, refined, and distinguished, but worth only a few pennies at the ironmonger's; the key to the church pew, which counted itself among the clergy, and which, from remaining one night in its keyhole in the church, could see ghosts; the larder key, the wine-cellar key, and the coal-cellar key all appeared, and bowed before, and turned around, the gate key. The sunbeams brightened it into silver, and the wind, that spirit of the earth, entered its body and made it whistle!

It was the key of all keys; it was the Councilor's gate key. It was now the key of the heavenly gate itself; it was the papal key; it was infallible!

"Wickedness!" said the Councilor. "Great wickedness!"

He and the Pharmacist never saw each other again - except once, and that was at the funeral of the Councilor's wife.

She was the first to die. There were sorrow an emptiness in the house. Even the slips of cherry which had thrown out fresh roots and flowers seemed to mourn and fade away; they stood forgotten, for she was not there to tend them.

The Councilor and the Pharmacist walked behind her coffin, side by side, as the two nearest relations of the departed. This was not the time, nor were they in the mood, for quarreling. Lotte-Lene tied the mourning crape around the Councilor's hat. She was living in the house again, having long since returned without victory and luck in her career. Yet that still might come; Lotte-Lene had a future before her; the key had said so, and the Councilor had said so.

She went up to him. They talked about the departed and they wept, for Lotte-Lene was tenderhearted; but when they talked about the art, Lotte-Lene felt strong. "Life in the theater is charming," she said, "but there is so much nonsense and envy! I would rather go my own way. Myself first, then art!"

Knigge had told the truth in his chapter about actors; that she was aware of; the key had not told the truth, but she never spoke of this to the Councilor; she was fond of him. Besides, the gate key was his comfort and relief during the whole year of mourning. He gave it questions, and it gave him answers.

And when the year had passed, and he and Lotte-Lene were sitting together one inspiring evening; he asked the key, "Will I marry, and whom will I marry?" No one pushed him, but he pushed the key, and it answered, "Lotte-Lene!"

So it was said, and Lotte-Lene became Mrs. Councilor.

"Victory and luck!"

And these words had been said before -by the gate key.

文章来源:安徒生童话

大门钥匙概述

《大门钥匙》讲的是一把神奇的钥匙可以预知未来,对它提问题,它都能一一回答。内侍长用这把钥匙提前知道了很多关于未来的事情,并最后与洛特—莲妮结婚。

大门钥匙读后感

内侍长的钥匙是原型,它很有预见,具有算命的本事。其他的钥匙,都得围绕着它转。似乎看起来很神奇,甚至内侍长后来和心灵相通的洛特—莲妮结婚了,但在我看来,世界上没有什么可以预见,做人、做事还是要脚踏实地去拼搏,特别是我们,我们是祖国的未来,更应该在读书时候好好储备我们的知识,打包好技术的锦囊,为更好的未来,努力!

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