“真可愛”

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  “真可愛”的主要內容

  本故事講述了雕塑家阿爾弗堹鬙h了意大利回國後再一次宴會上愛上了一位遺孀的女兒,叫卡拉,卡拉非常漂亮,之後經過努力取到了這位姑娘,婚後發現卡拉其實本質上沒什麼內涵,在藝術方面一竅不通,阿爾弗堹鷵控o跟她之間沒有共同語言,反而他的女友索菲亞雖沒什麼姿色,但卻知道很多,是一位非常有修養的女士,他覺得索菲亞比卡拉可愛多了,這個故事告訴我們心靈美才是真的美。

  “真可愛”的故事

  雕塑家阿爾弗堹驉A是啊,你大概認識他的吧?我們大家都認識他:他得了金質獎章,去了意大利,又回國來了。那時他年輕,是啊,他現在也還年輕,可怎麼說也比當年大了十來歲了。

  他回到家中,到錫蘭島的一個小地方去訪問。全城都知道這個外鄉人,知道他是誰。在最富有的一家人家堙A為他舉行了宴會。凡是有點兒面子的人,或者家埵麻I兒財產的人,都被請來了。真是件大事,不消敲鑼打鼓,全城都知道了這次宴會。手工匠的兒子,小人物的孩子,還連帶上一兩對父母,站在外面,瞧著那拉垂下來被照得亮亮的窗簾。巡夜的人心想是他在舉行宴會,有這麼多人站在他負責巡察的街上。一派歡樂的氣息,屋子堶捧穔M真有歡樂,那是阿爾弗堹驉A雕塑家。

  他說這說那,講東講西,堶惟狾釭漱H都高興地聽他說得津津有味。但是聽得最有興致的,則莫過於一位上了點年紀的做官的遺孀。她完全就是阿爾弗堹鬙生所說的,一張沒有寫過字的灰色紙。這紙一下子便把說過的話吸盡,並且還要求多多地吸,有高度的接受力,難以置信的無知,真是一個女的加斯帕·豪塞ヾ!

  “我真想看看羅馬!”她說道,“羅馬一定是一座漂亮的城市,有許許多多的外國人到那兒去。給我們講講羅馬!進了羅馬市,堶掖ㄛO什麼樣子?”

  “真不容易講呢!”年輕的雕塑家說道。“有一個很大的廣場,廣場中央有一座奧伯利斯克ゝ,它已經四千年了。”“一個奧甘尼斯特ゞ!”夫人喊了起來,以前她從來沒有聽到過奧伯利斯克這個字。有幾個人差不多快笑了出來,連雕塑家也這樣。不過那笑意剛一來便隱去了,因為他看到緊挨著夫人,有一雙海水一般藍的大眼睛,那是剛剛講話的那位夫人的女兒。若是誰有這樣一位女兒,這人一定不簡單。母親是一道不斷湧冒出問題的泉水,女兒則是在靜聽泉水的美麗神女。她多麼可愛啊!她是供雕塑家看的,但不是由雕塑家來和她交談的。而她則默默不語,至少可以說是話很少很少。

  “教皇的家大嗎?”夫人問道。

  年輕人回答了,好像問題可以換個更好的提法一樣:“不,他沒有出生在一個大家庭!”

  “我不是那個意思!”夫人說道:“我是說他有妻室兒女沒有?”

  “教皇是不能結婚的!”他回答道。

  “這個我不喜歡!”夫人說道。

  她大約可以問得、講得更聰明一些。但是,她之所以沒有問點與講點和她剛才問的與講的不同的東西。不知道是不是因為女兒靠到了她的肩上,用幾乎攪得人心情不定的微笑著的眼在望著他的緣故?

  阿爾弗堹鬙生講著。講了意大利五彩繽紛的勝景。藍色的山,藍色的地中海,南方的蔚藍,這種美景,在北歐只有婦女們的湛藍眼睛能超得過。在談到這一點的時候,他說話的語調是有所暗示的。但是她,應該懂得這一點的她,卻沒有讓人看出她聽懂了這種暗示。你知道,這也是很可愛的!“意大利!”有幾個人在歎息,“旅行!”另外一些在歎息。“真好啊!真可愛啊!”

  “是啊,要是我現在中了那五萬塊大洋的彩,”這位遺孀說道,“那我們就動身旅行去!我和我女兒!您,阿爾弗堹鬙生領著我們!我們三人一起旅行去!再邀上一兩位好朋友!”於是她便客客氣氣地朝所有的人都點一點頭,誰都可以以為自己會陪著去的。“我們要去意大利!但是我們不去有匪盜的地方,我們去羅馬,走那些安全的大道!”

  女兒微微地歎了一口氣,微微的一歎中能包含多少東西啊,或者說,從微微的一歎中可以悟出多少東西來呀。這年輕人覺得這一口微微的歎息埵陶\多的東西。那一雙湛藍的眼睛,這一晚向他顯示了隱蔽著的寶藏,精神的內心的寶藏,非常豐富,比得上羅馬所有的勝景。在他從宴會告辭的時候,——是啊,他的神魂被攝走了——被那位小姐攝走了。那位遺孀的家是雕塑家阿爾弗堹鬙生拜會得最多的家了。可以看得出來,這不是因為母親的緣故。儘管每次都是她們兩人一起談話,他去必定是為了女兒。人們把她叫做卡拉,她的名字是卡倫·瑪萊妮,兩個名字聯在一起成了卡拉。她很可愛,但是略有點懶散,有人這麼說,早晨她總想多在床上躺一會兒。

  “她從小就這樣習慣了!”母親說道,“她一直就是個小維納斯,美麗的小姑娘都容易疲倦。她睡的時間稍微多一些,可是這樣一來,她便有了一雙明亮的眼睛。”

  這樣明亮的眼睛,這兩潭海一般藍的水,這深不可及的平靜的水々,堶惜偵礞O量沒有!年輕人感到了這一點,他牢牢地坐在這深深的海底堙C——他說著講著,媽媽總是問得很生動、很隨便,又很莫名其妙,就和第一次會面時一個樣。聽阿爾弗堹鷙蕈頇O一種樂趣。他談到那不勒斯,談到維蘇威的遷動,還拿些火山爆發的畫來給她們看。這位遺孀以前從未聽說過或者想過這個。

  “老天啊!”她說道,“這不是會噴火的山嗎!難道就沒有人因此而受害嗎?”

  “整座整座的城都被埋掉呢!”他回答道,“龐貝和赫爾庫拉楞姆就被埋掉了!”

  “可是那些可憐的人,所有這些您都親眼看到了?”沒有,這些圖畫上的那些噴發我都沒有見過。不過,我要拿一張我自己作的素描,讓你瞧瞧我自己見過的那次噴發是什麼樣子。”

  於是,他拿出一幅鉛筆素描來。一直在聚精會神地看那些強烈色彩的圖畫的媽媽,看見了那淡素的鉛筆素描,她驚叫了起來。

  “您看到了噴出來的白色的東西!”

  阿爾弗堹鬙生對媽媽的尊敬,在很短的時間堮灠h了。不過,在卡拉的光耀中,他很快明白了,她的母親是沒有色彩意識的。不過就這麼一回事罷了。她有最好的,最美麗的,她有卡拉。

  阿爾弗堹魕M卡拉訂婚了,這是極合乎情理的。訂婚啟事登到了本城的報紙上。媽媽買了三十份,為的是把報上登的啟事剪下來,放在信堭H給朋友和相識的人。訂了婚的情人很幸福,岳母也算上,她說她就像和曹瓦爾森家聯了親一樣。

  “您不管怎麼說總是繼承他的人!”

  阿爾弗堹鷋{為她說了點很漂亮的話。卡拉沒有講什麼,不過她的眼睛發光,嘴角上掛著微笑,每個動作都很可愛。她是非常可愛的,這話說多少遍也不算過多。

  阿爾弗堹鰿陞d拉和岳母塑了胸像。她們坐著讓他塑,瞧著他怎麼用手指來捏,來擺弄那軟泥。

  “都是為了我們的緣故,”岳母說道,“您才自己動手而沒有讓您的助手幹這些簡單的活兒。”

  “可正是需要我自己用泥來塑出形狀來的!”他說道。“是啊,您總是那麼特別殷勤!”媽媽說道。卡拉捏了一下他那帶泥的手。

  他向她們兩人展示了創造出來的萬物之中所包含的自然的美情,闡明了有生命的東西是如何勝於死的東西,植物如何勝於礦物,動物如何勝於植物,人如何勝於動物,精神和美又如何透過形式展示出來,雕塑家又如何讓世上物品的最美的地方展露出來。

  卡拉默默無言地坐著,微微地晃動著,品味著他所表達的思想。岳母承認道:

  “很難明白您所講的!不過,我在慢慢地體會您的思想。您說得轉彎抹角,但是,我得很快弄明白。”

  而他卻緊跟著美情,美情佔據了他,抓住了他,控制著他。卡拉的體態,她的眼神,她的嘴角,甚至從手指的動作中都流露出美情。阿爾弗堹鷙縞X了這些,他,一位雕塑家,很明白這些,他只談她,只想著她,兩人成了一體。她也這樣講,講得很多,因為他這樣講,講得很多。

  那是訂婚時的情景。現在他們舉行婚禮了,身後跟著伴娘,收到了結婚禮品,婚禮的講詞中說到他們。

  岳母在新婚夫婦屋堣@張桌子的一頭,安置了一尊穿著晨衣的曹瓦爾森的半身雕像。他應該是客人,那是她的主意。大家在一起唱歌,祝酒,是一場很熱鬧的婚禮,是很可愛的一對!“皮格馬利翁得到了他的伽拉茜”ぁ,有一首歌這麼說道。“這真是神話喲!”岳母說道。

  婚宴後的第二天,這對年輕人就動身去了哥本哈根。他們要在那埵瞴A要修自己的房子。岳母也跟著去了,以便把粗活兒都攬下來,她這麼說,也就是說去把家管起來。卡拉應該生活在玩具娃娃的櫃子!一切都很新鮮、很華麗也很美好!他們三人全住在一起,——阿爾弗堹驉A是啊,我們借用一句可以表明他的處境的諺語吧,他像一位主教坐在鵝圈媃式C

  形的魔力迷住了他。他看到了盒子,卻沒有看到盒子婺佽菑偵礡C這是不幸,在婚姻中的極大的不幸!一旦盒子的膠裂開來,一旦上面塗的金剝落掉,那麼買了它的人一定會後悔這筆交易。在大的社交場合,一個人要是把吊帶上的兩粒鈕扣都丟了,又發現自己還不能指望皮帶,因為自己根本就沒有皮帶,這是最尷尬的事了。可是更糟糕的是,一個人在一個大的社交場合中,覺得自己的妻子和岳母盡講蠢話,而又不能指望自己能找點什麼可以解嘲的話,來掩飾一下那些蠢話。

  這對年輕人常常手牽手地坐著,他講,她不時插上個把字,同一個調子,同樣那麼兩三響鐘聲。索菲亞,他們的一位女友來的時候,他的神情才算松了一口氣。

  索菲亞並沒有什麼姿色。是的,她倒也沒有什麼缺陷!她確有點駝,卡拉這麼說,可是駝的程度肯定只有女友才能看得出來。她是一個很通情達理的姑娘,然而她一點不覺得她在這裡可能是位危險的人。在玩具娃娃的櫃子堙A她是一股新鮮的空氣。他們大家都看到了,很需要新鮮空氣。需要新鮮空氣,於是他們便出去呼吸,岳母和這一對年輕人去意大利旅行去了。

  “謝天謝地,我們又回到了自己的家了!”母親和女兒在一年以後與阿爾弗堹髐T人一起回來的時候這麼說道。

  “旅行真沒有一點樂趣!”岳母說道;“實際上真是令人厭煩,對不起我這麼說。我煩透了,儘管我和孩子們在一起。再說,旅行很費錢,太貴了!所有那麼多畫廊都得去看!所有的東西都得趕著去看!要知道,你旅行歸來別人問你,你卻答不上來,那可是再羞人不過的事了!就這樣還得聽人說,忘記看的東西那是最好的東西。那些沒完沒了的聖母像讓我煩死了,我自己都成了聖母了。”

  “還有給我吃的那種飯!”卡拉說道。

  “連一碗像樣的肉湯都沒有!”媽媽說道。“他們的烹調手藝真是糟透了!”

  卡拉因為旅行而累極了,長時間恢復不過來的疲勞,這是最糟不過的事。索菲亞到家堥茬音菕A她起了好作用。岳母說,我得承認,索菲亞很懂得管家,很懂藝術,也懂得她的身世無力提供的種種事情。此外,她為人勤快,非常忠誠。在卡拉生病躺在床上,身體一天天衰弱下去的時候,她表現得特別盡心。

  要是盒子是好的,便要讓盒子堅持長期不壞。否則盒子也就完了——現在盒子完了,——卡拉死了。

  “她很可愛!”母親說道,“她實在和古玩不一樣,古玩都是殘缺不全的!卡拉是完整的,美人應該是這樣。”

  阿爾弗堹鱄了,母親哭了。他們兩人都穿上黑色的喪服。媽媽穿黑的最合適,她穿黑色的衣服時間很長,她守喪傷痛的時間很長,而且她又遭到了新的傷痛。阿爾弗堹髐S結婚了,娶了索菲亞,那位沒有什麼姿色的人。

  “他真是走極端!”岳母說道,“從最美的走向最醜的!他竟能忘掉頭一位妻子。男人就是這樣朝秦暮楚!我的男人不一樣!不過他死在我前!”

  “皮格馬利翁得到了他的伽拉茜!”阿爾弗堹鷋★D,“是啊,新婚時人們唱的。我的確也戀上了一尊因我的手臂而穫得了生命的塑像。但是上天贈給我們的那相匹配的魂靈,上天的一位天使,能同情我們的,能和我們的想法一致的,能在我們受挫時振奮我們的,我卻是現在才找到,才得到。你來了,索菲亞,並不帶著形態的美,並不光耀奪目,——但是卻是夠好的了,大大地超過了必要的程度!首要的事終歸是首要的事!你來了,教育了這雕塑家。他的作品只不過是一堆泥,塵土,只不過是我們求索的那種內在的實質的一個印記。可憐的卡拉!我們塵世的人生就像是一趟旅行的生活!在天上,在人們在同情中相聚在一起的那堙A我們相互之間也許是半陌生的吧。”

  “這話可不夠親切,”索菲亞說道,“不是基督教徒的話!天上是沒有什麼婚事的。但是,就像你說的,魂靈因同情而相遇。那堣@切美好的東西都綻露出來,變得高尚。她的魂靈也許會完全綻放開來,竟至超過了我的。而你——又會像你初戀時那樣大聲讚歎起來:真可愛,真可愛!”

  ヾ一個德國的棄兒,1828年5月26日穿著農民的衣服出現在紐倫堡的街頭。這孩子雖然已經16歲,但卻表現得極無知和幼稚。人們以為他出身很高貴,福利單位將他交給一位叫道麥的教授撫養。1833年他在安斯巴赫皇宮公園散步時被人刺傷,不久死去。1857年丹麥解剖學家艾席堹S記述了豪塞的事,說他是個智能低下的孩子。ゝ埃及的方尖塔。在羅馬波波羅廣場有一座這樣的方尖塔,是奧古斯都皇帝從埃及運回的。

  ゞ風琴演奏家。方尖塔與風琴演奏家兩字發音在丹麥文中有些相似。這種無知是安徒生親身遇過的事。

  1835年7月16日,安徒生寫信給愛德華·柯林說:“最近我在一次宴會上遇到了佛堡的一位尊貴的夫人,打扮得花枝招展。我指給了她一些銅器,對她說:‘這裡您可以看到羅馬到波波羅廣場。那埵酗@尊3000年古奧伯利斯克。’‘一位奧甘尼斯特’,她說道。‘不對,一尊奧伯利斯克。’——‘是這樣!可是一位奧甘尼斯特怎麼能活3000年!’我賭咒我說的都是真的。整個宴會的人都可作證!”

  々丹麥諺語,底深不可及的平靜的水象征思想深刻。

  ぁ傳說中,塞浦路斯國王皮格瑪利翁也是雕刻家。他鍾情於自己創作的一座象牙雕像伽拉茜。愛情女神阿佛洛狄忒把這尊雕像變成活人。皮格瑪利翁便和伽拉茜結了婚。

  あ這句諺語原指這樣一段故事。法國圖爾的聖馬丁被邀任圖爾大主教的職務;但當他發現他不屑於擔任此職時,他便藏到了鵝圈堙A可是卻因鵝的叫聲而被人發現。

  “真可愛”讀後感

  看了“真可愛”後,我感觸良多,外表美和心靈美,到底哪個重要呢?

  人人都喜歡美的東西,美景、美人、美文、美詩、美畫、美歌等等。據說有一種統計認為:漂亮女性在日常生活中能佔一半便宜,還有的說能佔八成,這種統計是否真實無法考究;但有一點可以證實:男人的陽剛之美,女人的清秀、氣質之美,確實能給人以賞心悅目的感覺。剛剛去世的美國歌星邁克爾·傑克遜的面孔由黑人變成了白人,日本女乒乓球運動員福原愛等,他們無疑是有實力的,但其所以大受歡迎和喜愛,臉孔也是原因之一。即使是政治家,臉蛋、形體漂亮的,也更易使人產生好感。

  愛美之心人皆有之。美經常被看作是人類世界的一種價值。因此,有人說:那種“看人要看心靈,不要看面孔”的說法,是那些不具備美好外形人的一種說詞,是那些被神在創造美的時候遺忘了的人的一種安慰。對此,我不想發表過多的看法,只想說一句:現實生活中,畢竟還是很重視外貌的。現在好多單位招工時,除了注重學歷外,形象也是重要條件之一;還有些單位在選擇大學畢業生的時候,寧肯要外貌漂亮的非名牌大學畢業的,也不要形象差一點的名牌大學的畢業生。

  人類並不是被完全平等地創造出來的,“美醜是天生的”這句話,把這種不平等給一語道破。對於“不重外貌重心靈”這句話的虛假性,女人感受最深;“內在的充實勝過外表”在現實社會中終歸是一種漂亮的辭藻。事實上,每個人都敏銳地察覺到還是外表比內在更受重視,否則,無法解釋為什麼韓國城市50%以上的成年女性都整過容,就連高中、初中的一些女生也整過。在我們國家,演藝界也有不少的人士不同程度地整過容。最近幾年,我國不少的中小城市滿街都可以看到減肥美容中心。人們透過修整臉型、體型、控制飲食、做健美操、進行器械鍛煉等形式,力求穫得理想的效果。同時還用化妝美化面孔,把整個人用美加以包裝。

  不拘泥於“心靈”等抽象的概念,從實際形式入手,是現代人對美的一種認同和追求。這樣可以使人穫得自信心,或許還會使內在得到充實,也許人們無法使自己達到外表絕對完美的境界,但透過人們從實際入手的努力,那些過去主張“重心靈,不重外表”的說法或許會轉變為另一種觀點,即:“既重心靈,也重外表”吧。

  “真可愛”英文版

  THERE was once a sculptor, named Alfred, who having won the large gold medal and obtained a travelling scholarship, went to Italy, and then came back to his native land. He was young at that time- indeed, he is young still, although he is ten years older than he was then. On his return, he went to visit one of the little towns in the island of Zealand. The whole town knew who the stranger was; and one of the richest men in the place gave a party in his honor, and all who were of any consequence, or who possessed some property, were invited. It was quite an event, and all the town knew of it, so that it was not necessary to announce it by beat of drum. Apprentice-boys, children of the poor, and even the poor people themselves, stood before the house, watching the lighted windows; and the watchman might easily fancy he was giving a party also, there were so many people in the streets. There was quite an air of festivity about it, and the house was full of it; for Mr. Alfred, the sculptor, was there. He talked and told anecdotes, and every one listened to him with pleasure, not unmingled with awe; but none felt so much respect for him as did the elderly widow of a naval officer. She seemed, so far as Mr. Alfred was concerned, to be like a piece of fresh blotting-paper that absorbed all he said and asked for more. She was very appreciative, and incredibly ignorant—a kind of female Gaspar Hauser.

  “I should like to see Rome,” she said; “it must be a lovely city, or so many foreigners would not be constantly arriving there. Now, do give me a description of Rome. How does the city look when you enter in at the gate?”

  “I cannot very well describe it,” said the sculptor; “but you enter on a large open space, in the centre of which stands an obelisk, which is a thousand years old.”

  “An organist!” exclaimed the lady, who had never heard the word 'obelisk.' Several of the guests could scarcely forbear laughing, and the sculptor would have had some difficulty in keeping his countenance, but the smile on his lips faded away; for he caught sight of a pair of dark-blue eyes close by the side of the inquisitive lady. They belonged to her daughter; and surely no one who had such a daughter could be silly. The mother was like a fountain of questions; and the daughter, who listened but never spoke, might have passed for the beautiful maid of the fountain. How charming she was! She was a study for the sculptor to contemplate, but not to converse with; for she did not speak, or, at least, very seldom.

  “Has the pope a great family?” inquired the lady.

  The young man answered considerately, as if the question had been a different one, “No; he does not come from a great family.”

  “That is not what I asked,” persisted the widow; “I mean, has he a wife and children?”

  “The pope is not allowed to marry,” replied the gentleman.

  “I don't like that,” was the lady's remark.

  She certainly might have asked more sensible questions; but if she had not been allowed to say just what she liked, would her daughter have been there, leaning so gracefully on her shoulder, and looking straight before her, with a smile that was almost mournful on her face?

  Mr. Alfred again spoke of Italy, and of the glorious colors in Italian scenery; the purple hills, the deep blue of the Mediterranean, the azure of southern skies, whose brightness and glory could only be surpassed in the north by the deep-blue eyes of a maiden; and he said this with a peculiar intonation; but she who should have understood his meaning looked quite unconscious of it, which also was charming.

  “Beautiful Italy!” sighed some of the guests.

  “Oh, to travel there!” exclaimed others.

  “Charming! Charming!” echoed from every voice.

  “I may perhaps win a hundred thousand dollars in the lottery,” said the naval officer's widow; “and if I do, we will travel—I and my daughter; and you, Mr. Alfred, must be our guide. We can all three travel together, with one or two more of our good friends.” And she nodded in such a friendly way at the company, that each imagined himself to be the favored person who was to accompany them to Italy. “Yes, we must go,” she continued; “but not to those parts where there are robbers. We will keep to Rome. In the public roads one is always safe.”

  The daughter sighed very gently; and how much there may be in a sigh, or attributed to it! The young man attributed a great deal of meaning to this sigh. Those deep-blue eyes, which had been lit up this evening in honor of him, must conceal treasures, treasures of heart and mind, richer than all the glories of Rome; and so when he left the party that night, he had lost it completely to the young lady. The house of the naval officer's widow was the one most constantly visited by Mr. Alfred, the sculptor. It was soon understood that his visits were not intended for that lady, though they were the persons who kept up the conversation. He came for the sake of the daughter. They called her Kala. Her name was really Karen Malena, and these two names had been contracted into the one name Kala. She was really beautiful; but some said she was rather dull, and slept late of a morning.

  “She has been accustomed to that,” her mother said. “She is a beauty, and they are always easily tired. She does sleep rather late; but that makes her eyes so clear.”

  What power seemed to lie in the depths of those dark eyes! The young man felt the truth of the proverb, “Still waters run deep:” and his heart had sunk into their depths. He often talked of his adventures, and the mamma was as simple and eager in her questions as on the first evening they met. It was a pleasure to hear Alfred describe anything. He showed them colored plates of Naples, and spoke of excursions to Mount Vesuvius, and the eruptions of fire from it. The naval officer's widow had never heard of them before.

  “Good heavens!” she exclaimed. “So that is a burning mountain; but is it not very dangerous to the people who live near it?”

  “Whole cities have been destroyed,” he replied; “for instance, Herculaneum and Pompeii.”

  “Oh, the poor people! And you saw all that with your own eyes?”

  “No; I did not see any of the eruptions which are represented in those pictures; but I will show you a sketch of my own, which represents an eruption I once saw.”

  He placed a pencil sketch on the table; and mamma, who had been over-powered with the appearance of the colored plates, threw a glance at the pale drawing and cried in astonishment, “What, did you see it throw up white fire?”

  For a moment, Alfred's respect for Kala's mamma underwent a sudden shock, and lessened considerably; but, dazzled by the light which surrounded Kala, he soon found it quite natural that the old lady should have no eye for color. After all, it was of very little consequence; for Kala's mamma had the best of all possessions; namely, Kala herself.

  Alfred and Kala were betrothed, which was a very natural result; and the betrothal was announced in the newspaper of the little town. Mama purchased thirty copies of the paper, that she might cut out the paragraph and send it to friends and acquaintances. The betrothed pair were very happy, and the mother was happy too. She said it seemed like connecting herself with Thorwalsden.

  “You are a true successor of Thorwalsden,” she said to Alfred; and it seemed to him as if, in this instance, mamma had said a clever thing. Kala was silent; but her eyes shone, her lips smiled, every movement was graceful,—in fact, she was beautiful; that cannot be repeated too often. Alfred decided to take a bust of Kala as well as of her mother. They sat to him accordingly, and saw how he moulded and formed the soft clay with his fingers.

  “I suppose it is only on our account that you perform this common-place work yourself, instead of leaving it to your servant to do all that sticking together.”

  “It is really necessary that I should mould the clay myself,” he replied.

  “Ah, yes, you are always so polite,” said mamma, with a smile; and Kala silently pressed his hand, all soiled as it was with the clay.

  Then he unfolded to them both the beauties of Nature, in all her works; he pointed out to them how, in the scale of creation, inanimate matter was inferior to animate nature; the plant above the mineral, the animal above the plant, and man above them all. He strove to show them how the beauty of the mind could be displayed in the outward form, and that it was the sculptor's task to seize upon that beauty of expression, and produce it in his works. Kala stood silent, but nodded in approbation of what he said, while mamma-in-law made the following confession:—

  “It is difficult to follow you; but I go hobbling along after you with my thoughts, though what you say makes my head whirl round and round. Still I contrive to lay hold on some of it.”

  Kala's beauty had a firm hold on Alfred; it filled his soul, and held a mastery over him. Beauty beamed from Kala's every feature, glittered in her eyes, lurked in the corners of her mouth, and pervaded every movement of her agile fingers. Alfred, the sculptor, saw this. He spoke only to her, thought only of her, and the two became one; and so it may be said she spoke much, for he was always talking to her; and he and she were one. Such was the betrothal, and then came the wedding, with bride's-maids and wedding presents, all duly mentioned in the wedding speech. Mamma-in-law had set up Thorwalsden's bust at the end of the table, attired in a dressing-gown; it was her fancy that he should be a guest. Songs were sung, and cheers given; for it was a gay wedding, and they were a handsome pair. “Pygmalion loved his Galatea,” said one of the songs.

  “Ah, that is some of your mythologies,” said mamma-in-law.

  Next day the youthful pair started for Copenhagen, where they were to live; mamma-in-law accompanied them, to attend to the “coarse work,” as she always called the domestic arrangements. Kala looked like a doll in a doll's house, for everything was bright and new, and so fine. There they sat, all three; and as for Alfred, a proverb may describe his position—he looked like a swan amongst the geese. The magic of form had enchanted him; he had looked at the casket without caring to inquire what it contained, and that omission often brings the greatest unhappiness into married life. The casket may be injured, the gilding may fall off, and then the purchaser regrets his bargain.

  In a large party it is very disagreeable to find a button giving way, with no studs at hand to fall back upon; but it is worse still in a large company to be conscious that your wife and mother-in-law are talking nonsense, and that you cannot depend upon yourself to produce a little ready wit to carry off the stupidity of the whole affair.

  The young married pair often sat together hand in hand; he would talk, but she could only now and then let fall a word in the same melodious voice, the same bell-like tones. It was a mental relief when Sophy, one of her friends, came to pay them a visit. Sophy was not, pretty. She was, however, quite free from any physical deformity, although Kala used to say she was a little crooked; but no eye, save an intimate acquaintance, would have noticed it. She was a very sensible girl, yet it never occurred to her that she might be a dangerous person in such a house. Her appearance created a new atmosphere in the doll's house, and air was really required, they all owned that. They felt the want of a change of air, and consequently the young couple and their mother travelled to Italy.

  “Thank heaven we are at home again within our own four walls,” said mamma-in-law and daughter both, on their return after a year's absence.

  “There is no real pleasure in travelling,” said mamma; “to tell the truth, it's very wearisome; I beg pardon for saying so. I was soon very tired of it, although I had my children with me; and, besides, it's very expensive work travelling, very expensive. And all those galleries one is expected to see, and the quantity of things you are obliged to run after! It must be done, for very shame; you are sure to be asked when you come back if you have seen everything, and will most likely be told that you've omitted to see what was best worth seeing of all. I got tired at last of those endless Madonnas; I began to think I was turning into a Madonna myself.”

  “And then the living, mamma,” said Kala.

  “Yes, indeed,” she replied, “no such a thing as a respectable meat soup—their cookery is miserable stuff.”

  The journey had also tired Kala; but she was always fatigued, that was the worst of it. So they sent for Sophy, and she was taken into the house to reside with them, and her presence there was a great advantage. Mamma-in-law acknowledged that Sophy was not only a clever housewife, but well-informed and accomplished, though that could hardly be expected in a person of her limited means. She was also a generous-hearted, faithful girl; she showed that thoroughly while Kala lay sick, fading away. When the casket is everything, the casket should be strong, or else all is over. And all was over with the casket, for Kala died.

  “She was beautiful,” said her mother; “she was quite different from the beauties they call 'antiques,' for they are so damaged. A beauty ought to be perfect, and Kala was a perfect beauty.”

  Alfred wept, and mamma wept, and they both wore mourning. The black dress suited mamma very well, and she wore mourning the longest. She had also to experience another grief in seeing Alfred marry again, marry Sophy, who was nothing at all to look at. “He's gone to the very extreme,” said mamma-in-law; “he has gone from the most beautiful to the ugliest, and he has forgotten his first wife. Men have no constancy. My husband was a very different man,—but then he died before me.”

  “'Pygmalion loved his Galatea,' was in the song they sung at my first wedding,” said Alfred; “I once fell in love with a beautiful statue, which awoke to life in my arms; but the kindred soul, which is a gift from heaven, the angel who can feel and sympathize with and elevate us, I have not found and won till now. You came, Sophy, not in the glory of outward beauty, though you are even fairer than is necessary. The chief thing still remains. You came to teach the sculptor that his work is but dust and clay only, an outward form made of a material that decays, and that what we should seek to obtain is the ethereal essence of mind and spirit. Poor Kala! our life was but as a meeting by the way-side; in yonder world, where we shall know each other from a union of mind, we shall be but mere acquaintances.”

  “That was not a loving speech,” said Sophy, “nor spoken like a Christian. In a future state, where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage, but where, as you say, souls are attracted to each other by sympathy; there everything beautiful develops itself, and is raised to a higher state of existence: her soul will acquire such completeness that it may harmonize with yours, even more than mine, and you will then once more utter your first rapturous exclamation of your love, 'Beautiful, most beautiful!'

  “真可愛”作者

  安徒生(1805-1875)丹麥作家。1805年,安徒生誕生在丹麥奧登塞鎮的一座破舊閣樓上。他的父親用棺材為他做了一個搖籃,他的父親是個鞋匠,很早就去世了,全家靠母親給人洗衣服維持生活。安徒生雖然過著十分貧窮的生活,但他卻有自己遠大的理想。他很小就一人到首都去了,同村的一個巫婆預言他能成為一個著名的人物。開始,他決心當一名演員,起初,他想學習舞蹈和演戲,卻遭到了拒絕,後來被一位音樂學校的教授收留,學習唱歌。因為他沒有錢只好離開了音樂學校。經過十幾年的奮鬥,終於踏進了文壇。從三十歲開始,專心從事兒童文學創作,一生中共寫了168篇童話故事。

裝親子寶典 贏母嬰豪禮
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