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FRANÇAIS

Histoire de celui qui s'en alla apprendre la peur

ENGLISH

The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was


Un père avait deux fils; le premier était réfléchi et intelligent; il savait se tirer de toute aventure. Le cadet en revanche était sot, incapable de comprendre et d'apprendre. Quand les gens le voyaient, ils disaient: "Avec lui, son père n'a pas fini d'en voir." Quand il y avait quelque chose à faire, c'était toujours à l'aîné que revenait la tâche, et si son père lui demandait d'aller chercher quelque chose, le soir ou même la nuit, et qu'il fallait passer par le cimetière ou quelque autre lieu terrifiant, il répondait: "Oh non! père, je n'irai pas, j'ai peur." Car il avait effectivement peur. Quand, à la veillée, on racontait des histoires à donner la chair de poule, ceux qui les entendaient disaient parfois: "Ça me donne le frisson!" Le plus jeune des fils, lui, assis dans son coin, écoutait et n'arrivait pas à comprendre ce qu'ils voulaient dire. "Ils disent toujours: "Ça me donne la chair de poule! ça me fait frissonner! Moi, jamais! Voilà encore une chose à laquelle je ne comprends rien."
A certain father had two sons, the elder of whom was smart and sensible, and could do everything, but the younger was stupid and could neither learn nor understand anything, and when people saw him they said, "There's a fellow who will give his father some trouble!" When anything had to be done, it was always the elder who was forced to do it; but if his father bade him fetch anything when it was late, or in the night-time, and the way led through the churchyard, or any other dismal place, he answered "Oh, no, father, I'll not go there, it makes me shudder!" for he was afraid. Or when stories were told by the fire at night which made the flesh creep, the listeners sometimes said "Oh, it makes us shudder!" The younger sat in a corner and listened with the rest of them, and could not imagine what they could mean. "They are always saying 'it makes me shudder, it makes me shudder!' It does not make me shudder," thought he. "That, too, must be an art of which I understand nothing."


Il arriva qu'un jour son père lui dit: "Écoute voir, toi, là dans ton coin! Tu deviens grand et fort. Il est temps que tu apprennes à gagner ton pain. Tu vois comme ton frère se donne du mal." - "Eh! père," répondit-il, "j'apprendrais bien volontiers. Si c'était possible, je voudrais apprendre à frissonner. C'est une chose que j'ignore totalement." Lorsqu'il entendit ces mots, l'aîné des fils songea: "Seigneur Dieu! quel crétin que mon frère! Il ne fera jamais rien de sa vie." Le père réfléchit et dit: "Tu apprendras bien un jour à avoir peur. Mais ce n'est pas comme ça que tu gagneras ton pain."
Now it came to pass that his father said to him one day "Hearken to me, thou fellow in the corner there, thou art growing tall and strong, and thou too must learn something by which thou canst earn thy living. Look how thy brother works, but thou dost not even earn thy salt." - "Well, father," he replied, "I am quite willing to learn something - indeed, if it could but be managed, I should like to learn how to shudder. I don't understand that at all yet." The elder brother smiled when he heard that, and thought to himself, "Good God, what a blockhead that brother of mine is! He will never be good for anything as long as he lives. He who wants to be a sickle must bend himself betimes." The father sighed, and answered him "thou shalt soon learn what it is to shudder, but thou wilt not earn thy bread by that."


Peu de temps après, le bedeau vint en visite à la maison. Le père lui conta sa peine et lui expliqua combien son fils était peu doué en toutes choses. "Pensez voir! Quand je lui ai demandé comment il ferait pour gagner son pain, il a dit qu'il voulait apprendre à frissonner!" - "Si ce n'est que ça," répondit le bedeau, "je le lui apprendrai. Confiez-le-moi." Le père était content; il se disait: "On va le dégourdir un peu." Le bedeau l'amena donc chez lui et lui confia la tâche de sonner les cloches. Au bout de quelque temps, son maître le réveilla à minuit et lui demanda de se lever et de monter au clocher pour carillonner. "Tu vas voir ce que c'est que d'avoir peur," songeait-il. Il quitta secrètement la maison et quand le garçon fut arrivé en haut du clocher, comme il s'apprêtait à saisir les cordes, il vit dans l'escalier, en dessous de lui, une forme toute blanche. "Qui va là?" cria-t-il. L'apparition ne répondit pas, ne bougea pas. "Réponds!" cria le jeune homme. "Ou bien décampe! Tu n'as rien à faire ici!" Le bedeau ne bougeait toujours pas. Il voulait que le jeune homme le prit pour un fantôme. Pour la deuxième fois, celui-ci cria: "Que viens-tu faire ici? Parle si tu es honnête homme. Sinon je te jette au bas de l'escalier." Le bedeau pensa: "Il n'en fera rien." Il ne répondit pas et resta sans bouger. Comme s'il était de pierre. Alors le garçon l'avertit pour la troisième fois et comme le fantôme ne répondait toujours pas, il prit son élan et le précipita dans l'escalier. L'apparition dégringola d'une dizaine de marches et resta là allongée. Le garçon fit sonner les cloches, rentra à la maison, se coucha sans souffler mot et s'endormit. La femme du bedeau attendit longtemps son mari. Mais il ne revenait pas. Finalement, elle prit peur, réveilla le jeune homme et lui demanda: "Sais-tu où est resté mon mari? Il est monté avant toi au clocher." - "Non," répondit-il, "je ne sais pas. Mais il y avait quelqu'un dans l'escalier et comme cette personne ne répondait pas à mes questions et ne voulait pas s'en aller, je l'ai prise pour un coquin et l'ai jetée au bas du clocher. Allez-y, vous verrez bien si c'était votre mari. Je le regretterais." La femme s'en fut en courant et découvrit son mari gémissant dans un coin, une jambe cassée.
Soon after this the sexton came to the house on a visit, and the father bewailed his trouble, and told him how his younger son was so backward in every respect that he knew nothing and learnt nothing. "Just think," said he, "when I asked him how he was going to earn his bread, he actually wanted to learn to shudder." - "If that be all," replied the sexton, "he can learn that with me. Send him to me, and I will soon polish him." The father was glad to do it, for he thought, "It will train the boy a little." The sexton therefore took him into his house, and he had to ring the bell. After a day or two, the sexton awoke him at midnight, and bade him arise and go up into the church tower and ring the bell. "Thou shalt soon learn what shuddering is," thought he, and secretly went there before him; and when the boy was at the top of the tower and turned round, and was just going to take hold of the bell rope, he saw a white figure standing on the stairs opposite the sounding hole. "Who is there?" cried he, but the figure made no reply, and did not move or stir. "Give an answer," cried the boy, "or take thy self off, thou hast no business here at night." The sexton, however, remained standing motionless that the boy might think he was a ghost. The boy cried a second time, "What do you want here? - speak if thou art an honest fellow, or I will throw thee down the steps!" The sexton thought, "he can't intend to be as bad as his words," uttered no sound and stood as if he were made of stone. Then the boy called to him for the third time, and as that was also to no purpose, he ran against him and pushed the ghost down the stairs, so that it fell down ten steps and remained lying there in a corner. Thereupon he rang the bell, went home, and without saying a word went to bed, and fell asleep. The sexton's wife waited a long time for her husband, but he did not come back. At length she became uneasy, and wakened the boy, and asked, "Dost thou not know where my husband is? He climbed up the tower before thou didst." - "No, I don't know," replied the boy, "but some one was standing by the sounding hole on the other side of the steps, and as he would neither give an answer nor go away, I took him for a scoundrel, and threw him downstairs, just go there and you will see if it was he. I should be sorry if it were." The woman ran away and found her husband, who was lying moaning in the corner, and had broken his leg.


Elle le ramena à la maison, puis se rendit en poussant de grands cris chez le père du jeune homme: "Votre garçon a fait des malheurs," lui dit-elle. "Il a jeté mon mari au bas de l'escalier, où il s'est cassé une jambe. Débarrassez notre maison de ce vaurien!" Le père était bien inquiet. Il alla chercher son fils et lui dit: "Quelles sont ces façons, mécréant! C'est le diable qui te les inspire!" - "Écoutez-moi, père," répondit-il. "Je suis totalement innocent. Il se tenait là, dans la nuit, comme quelqu'un qui médite un mauvais coup. Je ne savais pas qui c'était et, par trois fois, je lui ai demandé de répondre ou de partir." - "Ah!" dit le père, "tu ne me feras que des misères. Disparais!" - "Volontiers, père. Attendez seulement qu'il fasse jour. Je voyagerai pour apprendre à frissonner. Comme ça, je saurai au moins faire quelque chose pour gagner mon pain." - "Apprends ce que tu veux," dit le père. "Ça m'est égal! Voici cinquante talents, va par le monde et surtout ne dis à personne d'où tu viens et qui est ton père." - "Qu'il en soit fait selon votre volonté, père. Si c'est là tout ce que vous exigez, je m'y tiendrai sans peine."
She carried him down, and then with loud screams she hastened to the boy's father. "Your boy," cried she, "has been the cause of a great misfortune! He has thrown my husband down the steps and made him break his leg. Take the good-for-nothing fellow away from our house." The father was terrified, and ran thither and scolded the boy. "What wicked tricks are these?" said he, "the devil must have put this into thy head." - "Father," he replied, "do listen to me. I am quite innocent. He was standing there by night like one who is intending to do some evil. I did not know who it was, and I entreated him three times either to speak or to go away." - "Ah," said the father, "I have nothing but unhappiness with you. Go out of my sight. I will see thee no more." - "Yes, father, right willingly, wait only until it is day. Then will I go forth and learn how to shudder, and then I shall, at any rate, understand one art which will support me." - "Learn what thou wilt," spake the father, "it is all the same to me. Here are fifty thalers for thee. Take these and go into the wide world, and tell no one from whence thou comest, and who is thy father, for I have reason to be ashamed of thee." - "Yes, father, it shall be as you will. If you desire nothing more than that, I can easily keep it in mind."


Quand vint le jour, le jeune homme empocha les cinquante talents et prit la route en se disant: "Si seulement j'avais peur! si seulement je frissonnais!"Arrive un homme qui entend les paroles que le garçon se disait à lui-même. Un peu plus loin, à un endroit d'où l'on apercevait des gibets, il lui dit: "Tu vois cet arbre? Il y en a sept qui s'y sont mariés avec la fille du cordier et qui maintenant prennent des leçons de vol. Assieds-toi là et attends que tombe la nuit. Tu sauras ce que c'est que de frissonner." - "Si c'est aussi facile que ça," répondit le garçon, "c'est comme si c'était déjà fait. Si j'apprends si vite à frissonner, je te donnerai mes cinquante talents. Tu n'as qu'à revenir ici demain matin." Le jeune homme s'installa sous la potence et attendit que vînt le soir. Et comme il avait froid, il alluma du feu. À minuit le vent était devenu si glacial que, malgré le feu, il ne parvenait pas à se réchauffer. Et les pendus s'entrechoquaient en s'agitant de-ci, de-là. Il pensa: "Moi, ici, près du feu, je gèle. Comme ils doivent avoir froid et frissonner, ceux qui sont là-haut!" Et, comme il les prenait en pitié, il appliqua l'échelle contre le gibet, l'escalada, décrocha les pendus les uns après les autres et les descendit tous les sept. Il attisa le feu, souffla sur les braises et disposa les pendus tout autour pour les réchauffer. Comme ils ne bougeaient pas et que les flammes venaient lécher leurs vêtements, il dit: "Faites donc attention! Sinon je vais vous rependre là-haut!" Les morts, cependant, n'entendaient rien, se taisaient et laissaient brûler leurs loques. Le garçon finit par se mettre en colère. "Si vous ne faites pas attention," dit-il, "je n'y puis rien! Je n'ai pas envie de brûler avec vous." Et, l'un après l'autre, il les raccrocha au gibet. Il se coucha près du feu et s'endormit. Le lendemain, l'homme s'en vint et lui réclama les cinquante talents: "Alors, sais-tu maintenant ce que c'est que d'avoir le frisson?" lui dit-il. "Non," répondit le garçon, "d'où le saurais-je? Ceux qui sont là-haut n'ont pas ouvert la bouche, et ils sont si bêtes qu'ils ont laissé brûler les quelques hardes qu'ils ont sur le dos." L'homme comprit qu'il n'obtiendrait pas les cinquante talents ce jour-là et s'en alla en disant: "Je n'ai jamais vu un être comme celui-là!"
When day dawned, therefore, the boy put his fifty thalers into his pocket, and went forth on the great highway, and continually said to himself, "If I could but shudder! If I could but shudder!" Then a man approached who heard this conversation which the youth was holding with himself, and when they had walked a little farther to where they could see the gallows, the man said to him, "Look, there is the tree where seven men have married the ropemaker's daughter, and are now learning how to fly. Sit down below it, and wait till night comes, and you will soon learn how to shudder." - "If that is all that is wanted," answered the youth, "it is easily done; but if I learn how to shudder as fast as that, thou shalt have my fifty thalers. Just come back to me early in the morning." Then the youth went to the gallows, sat down below it, and waited till evening came. And as he was cold, he lighted himself a fire, but at midnight the wind blew so sharply that in spite of his fire, he could not get warm. And as the wind knocked the hanged men against each other, and they moved backwards and forwards, he thought to himself "Thou shiverest below by the fire, but how those up above must freeze and suffer!" And as he felt pity for them, he raised the ladder, and climbed up, unbound one of them after the other, and brought down all seven. Then he stirred the fire, blew it, and set them all round it to warm themselves. But they sat there and did not stir, and the fire caught their clothes. So he said, "Take care, or I will hang you up again." The dead men, however, did not hear, but were quite silent, and let their rags go on burning. On this he grew angry, and said, "If you will not take care, I cannot help you, I will not be burnt with you," and he hung them up again each in his turn. Then he sat down by his fire and fell asleep, and the next morning the man came to him and wanted to have the fifty thalers, and said, "Well, dost thou know how to shudder?" - "No," answered he, "how was I to get to know? Those fellows up there did not open their mouths, and were so stupid that they let the few old rags which they had on their bodies get burnt." Then the man saw that he would not get the fifty thalers that day, and went away saying, "One of this kind has never come my way before."


Le jeune homme reprit également sa route et se dit à nouveau, parlant à haute voix: " Ah! si seulement j'avais peur! Si seulement je savais frissonner!" Un cocher qui marchait derrière lui l'entendit et demanda: "Qui es-tu?" - "Je ne sais pas," répondit le garçon. Le cocher reprit: "D'où viens-tu?" - "Je ne sais pas," rétorqua le jeune homme. "Qui est ton père?" - "Je n'ai pas le droit de le dire." - "Que marmonnes-tu sans cesse dans ta barbe?" - "Eh!" répondit le garçon, "je voudrais frissonner. Mais personne ne peut me dire comment j'y arriverai." - "Cesse de dire des bêtises!" reprit le cocher. "Viens avec moi!" Le jeune homme accompagna donc le cocher et, le soir, ils arrivèrent à une auberge avec l'intention d'y passer la nuit. En entrant dans sa chambre, le garçon répéta à haute et intelligible voix: "Si seulement j'avais peur! Si seulement je savais frissonner!" L'aubergiste l'entendit et dit en riant: "Si vraiment ça te fait plaisir, tu en auras sûrement l'occasion chez moi." - "Tais-toi donc!" dit sa femme. "À être curieux, plus d'un a déjà perdu la vie , et ce serait vraiment dommage pour ses jolis yeux s'ils ne devaient plus jamais voir la lumière du jour." Mais le garçon répondit: "Même s'il fallait en arriver là, je veux apprendre à frissonner. C'est d'ailleurs pour ça que je voyage." Il ne laissa à l'aubergiste ni trêve ni repos jusqu'à ce qu'il lui dévoilât son secret. Non loin de là, se trouvait un château maudit, dans lequel il pourrait certainement apprendre ce que c'était que d'avoir peur, en y passant seulement trois nuits. Le roi avait promis sa fille en mariage à qui tenterait l'expérience et cette fille était la plus belle qu'on eût jamais vue sous le soleil. Il y avait aussi au château de grands trésors gardés par de mauvais génies dont la libération pourrait rendre un pauvre très riche. Bien des gens étaient déjà entrés au château, mais personne n'en était jamais ressorti. Le lendemain, le jeune homme se rendit auprès du roi: "Si vous le permettez, je voudrais bien passer trois nuits dans le château." Le roi l'examina, et comme il lui plaisait, il répondit: "Tu peux me demander trois choses. Mais aucune d'elles ne saurait être animée et tu pourras les emporter avec toi au château." Le garçon lui dit alors: "Eh bien! je vous demande du feu, un tour et un banc de ciseleur avec un couteau."
The youth likewise went his way, and once more began to mutter to himself, "Ah, if I could but shudder! Ah, if I could but shudder!" A waggoner who was striding behind him heard that and asked, "Who are you?" - "I don't know," answered the youth. Then the waggoner asked, "From whence comest thou?" - "I know not." - "Who is thy father?" - "That I may not tell thee." - "What is it that thou art always muttering between thy teeth." - "Ah," replied the youth, "I do so wish I could shudder, but no one can teach me how to do it." - "Give up thy foolish chatter," said the waggoner. "Come, go with me, I will see about a place for thee." The youth went with the waggoner, and in the evening they arrived at an inn where they wished to pass the night. Then at the entrance of the room the youth again said quite loudly, "If I could but shudder! If I could but shudder!" The host who heard this, laughed and said, "If that is your desire, there ought to be a good opportunity for you here." - "Ah, be silent," said the hostess, "so many inquisitive persons have already lost their lives, it would be a pity and a shame if such beautiful eyes as these should never see the daylight again." But the youth said, "However difficult it may be, I will learn it and for this purpose indeed have I journeyed forth." He let the host have no rest, until the latter told him, that not far from thence stood a haunted castle where any one could very easily learn what shuddering was, if he would but watch in it for three nights. The King had promised that he who would venture should have his daughter to wife, and she was the most beautiful maiden the sun shone on. Great treasures likewise lay in the castle, which were guarded by evil spirits, and these treasures would then be freed, and would make a poor man rich enough. Already many men had gone into the castle, but as yet none had come out again. Then the youth went next morning to the King and said if he were allowed he would watch three nights in the haunted castle. The King looked at him, and as the youth pleased him, he said, "Thou mayest ask for three things to take into the castle with thee, but they must be things without life." Then he answered, "Then I ask for a fire, a turning lathe, and a cutting-board with the knife."


Le jour même, le roi fit porter tout cela au château. À la tombée de la nuit, le jeune homme s'y rendit, alluma un grand feu dans une chambre, installa le tabouret avec le couteau tout à côté et s'assit sur le tour. "Ah! si seulement je pouvais frissonner!" dit-il. "Mais ce n'est pas encore ici que je saurai ce que c'est." Vers minuit, il entreprit de ranimer son feu. Et comme il soufflait dessus, une voix retentit tout à coup dans un coin de la chambre: "Hou, miaou, comme nous avons froid!" - "Bande de fous!" s'écria-t-il. "Pourquoi hurlez-vous comme ça? Si vous avez froid, venez ici, asseyez-vous près du feu et réchauffez-vous!" À peine eut-il prononcé ces paroles que deux gros chats noirs, d'un bond formidable, sautèrent vers lui et s'installèrent de part et d'autre du garçon en le regardant d'un air sauvage avec leurs yeux de braise. Quelque temps après, s'étant réchauffés, ils dirent: "Si nous jouions aux cartes, camarade?" - "Pourquoi pas!" répondit-il, "mais montrez-moi d'abord vos pattes." Les chats sortirent leurs griffes. "Holà!" dit-il. "Que vos ongles sont longs! attendez! il faut d'abord que je vous les coupe." Il les prit par la peau du dos, les posa sur l'étau et leur y coinça les pattes. "J'ai vu vos doigts," dit-il, "j'en ai perdu l'envie de jouer aux cartes." Il les tua et les jeta par la fenêtre dans l'eau d'un étang . À peine s'en était-il ainsi débarrassé que de tous les coins et recoins sortirent des chats et des chiens, tous noirs, tirant des chaînes rougies au feu. Il y en avait tant et tant qu'il ne pouvait leur échapper. Ils criaient affreusement, dispersaient les brandons du foyer, piétinaient le feu, essayaient de l'éteindre. Tranquillement, le garçon les regarda faire un moment. Quand il en eut assez, il prit le couteau de ciseleur et dit: "Déguerpissez, canailles!" Et il se mit à leur taper dessus. Une partie des assaillants s'enfuit; il tua les autres et les jeta dans l'étang. Puis il revint près du feu, le ranima en soufflant sur les braises et se réchauffa. Bientôt, il sentit ses yeux se fermer et eut envie de dormir. Il regarda autour de lui et vit un grand lit, dans un coin. "Voilà ce qu'il me faut," dit-il. Et il se coucha. Comme il allait s'endormir, le lit se mit de lui-même à se déplacer et à le promener par tout le château. "Très bien!" dit-il. "Plus vite!" Le lit partit derechef comme si une demi-douzaine de chevaux y étaient attelés, passant les portes, montant et descendant les escaliers. Et tout à coup, il versa sens dessus dessous hop! et le garçon se retrouva par terre avec comme une montagne par-dessus lui.
The King had these things carried into the castle for him during the day. When night was drawing near, the youth went up and made himself a bright fire in one of the rooms, placed the cutting-board and knife beside it, and seated himself by the turning-lathe. "Ah, if I could but shudder!" said he, "but I shall not learn it here either." Towards midnight he was about to poke his fire, and as he was blowing it, something cried suddenly from one corner, "Au, miau! how cold we are!" - "You simpletons!" cried he, "what are you crying about? If you are cold, come and take a seat by the fire and warm yourselves." And when he had said that, two great black cats came with one tremendous leap and sat down on each side of him, and looked savagely at him with their fiery eyes. After a short time, when they had warmed themselves, they said, "Comrade, shall we have a game at cards?" - "Why not?" he replied, "but just show me your paws." Then they stretched out their claws. "Oh," said he, "what long nails you have! Wait, I must first cut them for you." Thereupon he seized them by the throats, put them on the cutting-board and screwed their feet fast. "I have looked at your fingers," said he, "and my fancy for card-playing has gone," and he struck them dead and threw them out into the water. But when he had made away with these two, and was about to sit down again by his fire, out from every hole and corner came black cats and black dogs with red-hot chains, and more and more of them came until he could no longer stir, and they yelled horribly, and got on his fire, pulled it to pieces, and tried to put it out. He watched them for a while quietly, but at last when they were going too far, he seized his cutting-knife, and cried, "Away with ye, vermin," and began to cut them down. Part of them ran away, the others he killed, and threw out into the fish-pond. When he came back he fanned the embers of his fire again and warmed himself. And as he thus sat, his eyes would keep open no longer, and he felt a desire to sleep. Then he looked round and saw a great bed in the corner. "That is the very thing for me," said he, and got into it. When he was just going to shut his eyes, however, the bed began to move of its own accord, and went over the whole of the castle. "That's right," said he, "but go faster." Then the bed rolled on as if six horses were harnessed to it, up and down, over thresholds and steps, but suddenly hop, hop, it turned over upside down, and lay on him like a mountain.


Il se débarrassa des couvertures et des oreillers, se faufila de dessous le lit et dit: "Que ceux qui veulent se promener se promènent." Et il se coucha auprès du feu et dormit jusqu'au matin. Le lendemain, le roi s'en vint au château. Quand il vit le garçon étendu sur le sol, il pensa que les fantômes l'avaient tué. Il murmura: "Quel dommage pour un si bel homme!" Le garçon l'entendit, se leva, et dit: "Je n'en suis pas encore là!" Le roi s'étonna, se réjouit et lui demanda comment les choses s'étaient passées. "Très bien. Voilà une nuit d'écoulée, les autres se passeront bien aussi." Quand il arriva chez l'aubergiste, celui-ci ouvrit de grands yeux. "Je n'aurais jamais pensé," dit-il, "que je te reverrais vivant. As-tu enfin appris à frissonner?" - "Non!" répondit-il, "tout reste sans effet. Si seulement quelqu'un pouvait me dire comment faire!"
But he threw quilts and pillows up in the air, got out and said, "Now any one who likes, may drive," and lay down by his fire, and slept till it was day. In the morning the King came, and when he saw him lying there on the ground, he thought the evil spirits had killed him and he was dead. Then said he, "After all it is a pity, he is a handsome man." The youth heard it, got up, and said, "It has not come to that yet." Then the King was astonished, but very glad, and asked how he had fared. "Very well indeed," answered he; "one night is past, the two others will get over likewise." Then he went to the innkeeper, who opened his eyes very wide, and said, "I never expected to see thee alive again! Hast thou learnt how to shudder yet?" - "No," said he, "it is all in vain. If some one would but tell me."


Pour la deuxième nuit, il se rendit à nouveau au château, s'assit auprès du feu et reprit sa vieille chanson: "Ah! si seulement je pouvais frissonner." À minuit on entendit des bruits étranges. D'abord doucement, puis toujours plus fort, puis après un court silence, un grand cri. Et la moitié d'un homme arrivant par la cheminée tomba devant lui. "Holà!" cria-t-il. "Il en manqua une moitié. Ça ne suffit pas comme ça!" Le vacarme reprit. On tempêtait, on criait. Et la seconde moitié tomba à son tour de la cheminée. "Attends," dit le garçon, "je vais d'abord ranimer le feu pour toi." Quand il l'eut fait, il regarda à nouveau autour de lui: les deux moitiés s'étaient rassemblées et un homme d'affreuse mine s'était assis à la place qu'occupait le jeune homme auparavant. "Ce n'est pas ce que nous avions convenu," dit-il. "Ce tour est à moi!" L'homme voulut l'empêcher de s'y asseoir mais il ne s'en laissa pas conter. Il le repoussa avec violence et reprit sa place. Beaucoup d'autres hommes se mirent alors à dégringoler de la cheminée les uns après les autres et ils apportaient neuf tibias et neuf têtes de mort avec lesquels ils se mirent à jouer aux quilles. Le garçon eut envie d'en faire autant. "Dites, pourrais-je jouer aussi?" - "Oui, si tu as de l'argent." - "J'en ai bien assez," répondit-il, "mais vos boules ne sont pas rondes." Il prit les têtes de mort, s'installa à son tour et en fit de vraies boules. "Comme ça elles rouleront mieux," dit-il. "En avant! On va rire!" Il joua et perdit un peu de son argent. Quand sonna une heure, tout avait disparu. Au matin, le roi vint aux renseignements. "Que t'est-il arrivé cette fois-ci?" demanda-t-il. "J'ai joué aux quilles," répondit le garçon, "et j'ai perdu quelques deniers." - "Tu n'as donc pas eu peur?" - "Eh! non!" dit-il, "je me suis amusé! Si seulement je savais frissonner!"
The second night he again went up into the old castle, sat down by the fire, and once more began his old song, "If I could but shudder." When midnight came, an uproar and noise of tumbling about was heard; at first it was low, but it grew louder and louder. Then it was quiet for awhile, and at length with a loud scream, half a man came down the chimney and fell before him. "Hollo!" cried he, "another half belongs to this. This is too little!" Then the uproar began again, there was a roaring and howling, and the other half fell down likewise. "Wait," said he, "I will just blow up the fire a little for thee." When he had done that and looked round again, the two pieces were joined together, and a frightful man was sitting in his place. "That is no part of our bargain," said the youth, "the bench is mine." The man wanted to push him away; the youth, however, would not allow that, but thrust him off with all his strength, and seated himself again in his own place. Then still more men fell down, one after the other; they brought nine dead men's legs and two skulls, and set them up and played at nine-pins with them. The youth also wanted to play and said "Hark you, can I join you?" - "Yes, if thou hast any money." - "Money enough," replied he, "but your balls are not quite round." Then he took the skulls and put them in the lathe and turned them till they were round. "There, now, they will roll better!" said he. "Hurrah! Now it goes merrily!" He played with them and lost some of his money, but when it struck twelve, everything vanished from his sight. He lay down and quietly fell asleep. Next morning the King came to inquire after him. "How has it fared with you this time?" asked he. "I have been playing at nine-pins," he answered, "and have lost a couple of farthings." - "Hast thou not shuddered then?" - "Eh, what?" said he, "I have made merry. If I did but know what it was to shudder!"


La troisième nuit, il s'assit à nouveau sur son tour et dit tristement: "Si seulement je pouvais frissonner!" Quand il commença à se faire tard, six hommes immenses entrèrent dans la pièce portant un cercueil. "Hi! Hi! Hi!" dit le garçon, "voilà sûrement mon petit cousin qui est mort il y a quelques jours seulement." Du doigt, il fit signe au cercueil et s'écria: "Viens, petit cousin, viens!" Les hommes posèrent la bière sur le sol; il s'en approcha et souleva le couvercle. Un mort y était allongé. Il lui toucha le visage. Il était froid comme de la glace. "Attends," dit-il, "je vais te réchauffer un peu." Il alla près du feu, s'y réchauffa la main et la posa sur la figure du mort. Mais celui-ci restait tout froid. Alors il le sortit du cercueil, s'assit près du feu et l'installa sur ses genoux en lui frictionnant les bras pour rétablir la circulation du sang. Comme cela ne servait à rien, il songea tout à coup qu'il suffit d'être deux dans un lit pour avoir chaud. Il porta le cadavre sur le lit, le recouvrit et s'allongea à ses côtés. Au bout d'un certain temps, le mort se réchauffa et commença à bouger. "Tu vois, petit cousin," dit le jeune homme, "ne t'ai-je pas bien réchauffé?" Mais le mort, alors, se leva et s'écria: "Maintenant, je vais t'étrangler!" - "De quoi!" dit le garçon, "c'est comme ça que tu me remercies? Retourne au cercueil!" Il le ceintura, et le jeta dans la bière en refermant le couvercle. Les six hommes arrivèrent alors et l'emportèrent. "Je ne réussis pas à frissonner," dit-il. "Ce n'est décidément pas ici que je l'apprendrai."
The third night he sat down again on his bench and said quite sadly, "If I could but shudder." When it grew late, six tall men came in and brought a coffin. Then said he, "Ha, ha, that is certainly my little cousin, who died only a few days ago," and he beckoned with his finger, and cried "Come, little cousin, come." They placed the coffin on the ground, but he went to it and took the lid off, and a dead man lay therein. He felt his face, but it was cold as ice. "Stop," said he, "I will warm thee a little," and went to the fire and warmed his hand and laid it on the dead man's face, but he remained cold. Then he took him out, and sat down by the fire and laid him on his breast and rubbed his arms that the blood might circulate again. As this also did no good, he thought to himself "When two people lie in bed together, they warm each other," and carried him to the bed, covered him over and lay down by him. After a short time the dead man became warm too, and began to move. Then said the youth, "See, little cousin, have I not warmed thee?" The dead man, however, got up and cried, "Now will I strangle thee." - "What!" said he, "is that the way thou thankest me? Thou shalt at once go into thy coffin again," and he took him up, threw him into it, and shut the lid. Then came the six men and carried him away again. "I cannot manage to shudder," said he. "I shall never learn it here as long as I live."


À ce moment précis entra un homme plus grand que tous les autres et qui avait une mine effrayante. Il était vieux et portait une longue barbe blanche. "Pauvre diable," lui dit-il, "tu ne tarderas pas à savoir ce que c'est que de frissonner: tu vas mourir!" - "Pas si vite!" répondit le garçon. "Pour que je meure, il faudrait d'abord que vous me teniez." - "Je finirai bien par t'avoir!" dit le monstrueux bonhomme. "Tout doux, tout doux! ne te gonfle pas comme ça! je suis aussi fort que toi. Et même bien plus fort!" - "C'est ce qu'on verra," dit le vieux. "Si tu es plus fort que moi, je te laisserai partir. Viens, essayons!" Il le conduisit par un sombre passage dans une forge, prit une hache et d'un seul coup, enfonça une enclume dans le sol. "Je ferai mieux," dit le jeune homme en s'approchant d'une autre enclume. Le vieux se plaça à côté de lui, laissant pendre sa barbe blanche. Le garçon prit la hache, fendit l'enclume d'un seul coup et y coinça la barbe du vieux. "Et voilà! je te tiens!" dit-il, "à toi de mourir maintenant!" Il saisit une barre de fer et se mit à rouer de coups le vieux jusqu'à ce que celui-ci éclatât en lamentations et le suppliât de s'arrêter en lui promettant mille trésors. Le jeune homme débloqua la hache et libéra le vieux qui le reconduisit au château et lui montra, dans une cave, trois caisses pleines d'or. "Il y en a une pour les pauvres, une pour le roi et la troisième sera pour toi," lui dit-il. Sur quoi, une heure sonna et le méchant esprit disparut. Le garçon se trouvait au milieu d'une profonde obscurité. "Il faudra bien que je m'en sorte," dit-il. Il tâtonna autour de lui, retrouva le chemin de sa chambre et s'endormit auprès de son feu. Au matin, le roi arriva et dit: "Alors, as-tu appris à frissonner?" - "Non," répondit le garçon, "je ne sais toujours pas. J'ai vu mon cousin mort et un homme barbu est venu qui m'a montré beaucoup d'or. Mais personne ne m'a dit ce que signifie frissonner." Le roi dit alors: "Tu as libéré le château de ses fantômes et tu épouseras ma fille." - "Bonne chose!" répondit-il, "mais je ne sais toujours pas frissonner."
Then a man entered who was taller than all others, and looked terrible. He was old, however, and had a long white beard. "Thou wretch," cried he, "thou shalt soon learn what it is to shudder, for thou shalt die." - "Not so fast," replied the youth. "If I am to die, I shall have to have a say in it." - "I will soon seize thee," said the fiend. "Softly, softly, do not talk so big. I am as strong as thou art, and perhaps even stronger." - "We shall see," said the old man. "If thou art stronger, I will let thee go - come, we will try." Then he led him by dark passages to a smith's forge, took an axe, and with one blow struck an anvil into the ground. "I can do better than that," said the youth, and went to the other anvil. The old man placed himself near and wanted to look on, and his white beard hung down. Then the youth seized the axe, split the anvil with one blow, and struck the old man's beard in with it. "Now I have thee," said the youth. "Now it is thou who will have to die." Then he seized an iron bar and beat the old man till he moaned and entreated him to stop, and he would give him great riches. The youth drew out the axe and let him go. The old man led him back into the castle, and in a cellar showed him three chests full of gold. "Of these," said he, "one part is for the poor, the other for the king, the third is thine." In the meantime it struck twelve, and the spirit disappeared; the youth, therefore, was left in darkness. "I shall still be able to find my way out," said he, and felt about, found the way into the room, and slept there by his fire. Next morning the King came and said "Now thou must have learnt what shuddering is?" - "No," he answered; "what can it be? My dead cousin was here, and a bearded man came and showed me a great deal of money down below, but no one told me what it was to shudder." - "Then," said the King, "thou hast delivered the castle, and shalt marry my daughter." - "That is all very well," said he, "but still I do not know what it is to shudder."


On alla chercher l'or et les noces furent célébrées. Mais le jeune roi continuait à dire: "Si seulement j'avais peur, si seulement je pouvais frissonner!" La reine finit par en être contrariée. Sa camériste dit: "Je vais l'aider à frissonner! Je vais l'aider à frissonner!" Elle se rendit sur les bords du ruisseau qui coulait dans le jardin et se fit donner un plein seau de goujons. Durant la nuit, alors que son époux dormait, la princesse retira les couvertures et versa sur lui l'eau et les goujons, si bien que les petits poissons frétillaient tout autour de lui. Il s'éveilla et cria: "Ah! comme je frissonne, chère femme! Ah! Oui, maintenant je sais ce que c'est que de frissonner."
Then the gold was brought up and the wedding celebrated; but howsoever much the young king loved his wife, and however happy he was, he still said always "If I could but shudder - if I could but shudder." And at last she was angry at this. Her waiting-maid said, "I will find a cure for him; he shall soon learn what it is to shudder." She went out to the stream which flowed through the garden, and had a whole bucketful of gudgeons brought to her. At night when the young king was sleeping, his wife was to draw the clothes off him and empty the bucketful of cold water with the gudgeons in it over him, so that the little fishes would sprawl about him. When this was done, he woke up and cried "Oh, what makes me shudder so? What makes me shudder so, dear wife? Ah! now I know what it is to shudder!"