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蛇的三片叶子 The Three Snake-leaves

更新时间:2012-06-09    来源/发布:www.en369.cn    作者/编辑:英语作文网

  英汉对照

  Once upon a time there was a poor man who could no longer afford to keep his only son. So his son said:“ Dear father, you have fallen on very hard times and I'm a burden to you; it will be better if I go away and try to earn my living.” His father gave him his blessing and took leave of him with great sadness. At this time the king of a powerful kingdom was engaged in a war; the young man took service with him and joined the fighting. And when they met the enemy a battle took place, and there was great peril and a great hail of bullets, with his comrades falling all round him. And when even the commander was killed the rest wanted to take to their heels, but the young man stepped forward and rallied them, crying:“ We must not let our fatherland perish.” At this the others followed him, and he pressed forward and defeated the enemy. When the king heard that he owed the victory to him alone, he raised him above all the others, gave him great wealth and made him the first man in his kingdom.

  The king had a daughter who was very beautiful, but there was also something very strange about her. She had made a vow to take no man for her lord and husband unless he promised to let himself be buried alive with her if she died before him. “If he truly loves me,” she said, “why would he want to go on living?” In return she was prepared to do the same for him and go down into the grave with him if he died first. This strange vow had hitherto deterred all suitors, but the young man was so entranced by her beauty that he was heedless of everything, and asked her father for her hand. “But do you know what promise you will have to make?” said the king. “I shall have to go to her grave with her if I outlive her,” he replied, “but my love is so great that I care not for this danger.” Then the king consented and the marriage was celebrated with great magnificence.

  They now lived happily and contentedly for a time, and then it happened that the young queen fell seriously ill and no doctor could help her. And when she lay there dead, the young king remembered what he had had to promise, and he was filled with horror at the thought of being buried alive, but there was no help for it: the king had ordered all the gates to be watched, and there was no way of escaping his fate. When the day came for the queen's dead body to be laid to rest in the royal vault, he was taken down into it with her, and then the door was locked and bolted.

  Beside the coffin stood a table on which there were four candles, four loaves of bread and four bottles of wine. As soon as these provisions gave out he would have to die of hunger. So there he sat full of grief and sorrow, eating only a morsel of bread each day and drinking only a mouthful of wine, and yet he realized that his death was coming closer and closer. Now as he sat there staring in front of him, he saw a snake crawl out of one corner of the vault and approach the coffin. Thinking it was going to gnaw at the dead body, he drew his sword and exclaimed:“ You shan't touch her so long as I am alive!” And he hacked the snake into three pieces. A few moments later a second snake came crawling out of the corner, but when it saw the other one lying dead and dismembered it turned back, and presently approached again carrying three green leaves in its mouth. Then it took the three pieces of the snake, put them together the way they belonged, and laid one of the leaves on each of the wounds. At once the dismembered parts joined, the snake stirred and came to life again, and both snakes crawled quickly away leaving the leaves behind them.

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