ENGLISH

Doctor Know-all

FRANÇAIS

Le docteur universel


There was once on a time a poor peasant called Crabb, who drove with two oxen a load of wood to the town, and sold it to a doctor for two thalers. When the money was being counted out to him, it so happened that the doctor was sitting at table, and when the peasant saw how daintily he ate and drank, his heart desired what he saw, and he would willingly have been a doctor too. So he remained standing a while, and at length inquired if he too could not be a doctor. "Oh, yes," said the doctor, "that is soon managed." - "What must I do?" asked the peasant. "In the first place buy thyself an A B C book of the kind which has a cock on the frontispiece: in the second, turn thy cart and thy two oxen into money, and get thyself some clothes, and whatsoever else pertains to medicine; thirdly, have a sign painted for thyself with the words, "I am Doctor Knowall," and have that nailed up above thy house-door." The peasant did everything that he had been told to do. When he had doctored people awhile, but not long, a rich and great lord had some money stolen. Then he was told about Doctor Knowall who lived in such and such a village, and must know what had become of the money. So the lord had the horses put in his carriage, drove out to the village, and asked Crabb if he were Doctor Knowall? Yes, he was, he said. Then he was to go with him and bring back the stolen money. "Oh, yes, but Grethe, my wife, must go too." The lord was willing and let both of them have a seat in the carriage, and they all drove away together. When they came to the nobleman's castle, the table was spread, and Crabb was told to sit down and eat. "Yes, but my wife, Grethe, too," said he, and he seated himself with her at the table. And when the first servant came with a dish of delicate fare, the peasant nudged his wife, and said, "Grethe, that was the first," meaning that was the servant who brought the first dish. The servant, however, thought he intended by that to say, "That is the first thief," and as he actually was so, he was terrified, and said to his comrade outside, "The doctor knows all: we shall fare ill, he said I was the first." The second did not want to go in at all, but was forced. So when he went in with his dish, the peasant nudged his wife, and said, "Grethe, that is the second." This servant was just as much alarmed, and he got out. The third did not fare better, for the peasant again said, "Grethe, that is the third." The fourth had to carry in a dish that was covered, and the lord told the doctor that he was to show his skill, and guess what was beneath the cover. The doctor looked at the dish, had no idea what to say, and cried, "Ah, poor Crabb." When the lord heard that, he cried, "There! he knows it, he knows who has the money!"

On this the servants looked terribly uneasy, and made a sign to the doctor that they wished him to step outside for a moment. When therefore he went out, all four of them confessed to him that they had stolen the money, and said that they would willingly restore it and give him a heavy sum into the bargain, if he would not denounce them, for if he did they would be hanged. They led him to the spot where the money was concealed. With this the doctor was satisfied, and returned to the hall, sat down to the table, and said, "My lord, now will I search in my book where the gold is hidden." The fifth servant, however, crept into the stove to hear if the doctor knew still more. The Doctor, however, sat still and opened his A B C book, turned the pages backwards and forwards, and looked for the cock. As he could not find it immediately he said, "I know you are there, so you had better show yourself." Then the fellow in the stove thought that the doctor meant him, and full of terror, sprang out, crying, "That man knows everything!" Then Dr. Knowall showed the count where the money was, but did not say who had stolen it, and received from both sides much money in reward, and became a renowned man.
Il y avait une fois un paysan nommé Écrevisse. Ayant porté une charge de bois chez un docteur, il remarqua les mets choisis et les vins fins dont se régalait celui-ci, et demanda, en ouvrant de grands yeux, s'il ne pourrait pas aussi devenir docteur?

- Oui certes, répondit le savant; il suffit pour cela de trois choses: 1° procure-toi un abécédaire, c'est le principal; 2° vends ta voiture et tes bœufs pour acheter une robe et tout ce qui concerne le costume d'un docteur; 3° mets à ta porte une enseigne avec ces mots: Je suis le docteur universel.

Le paysan exécuta ces instructions à la lettre. À peine exerçait-il son nouvel état, qu'une somme d'argent fut volée à un riche seigneur du pays. Ce seigneur fait mettre les chevaux à sa voiture et vient demander à notre homme s'il est bien le docteur universel.

- C'est moi-même, monseigneur.

- En ce cas, venez avec moi pour m'aider à retrouver mon argent.

- Volontiers, dit le docteur; mais Marguerite, ma femme, m'accompagnera.

Le seigneur y consentit, et les emmena tous deux dans sa voiture. Lorsqu'on arriva au château, la table était servie, le docteur fut invité à y prendre place.

- Volontiers, répondit-il encore; mais Marguerite, ma femme, y prendra place avec moi.

Et les voilà tous deux attablés.

Au moment où le premier domestique entrait, portant un plat de viande, le paysan poussa sa femme du coude, et lui dit:

- Marguerite, celui-ci est le premier.

Il voulait dire le premier plat; mais le domestique comprit: le premier voleur; et comme il l'était en effet, il prévint en tremblant ses camarades.

- Le docteur sait tout! notre affaire n'est pas bonne; il a dit que j'étais le premier!

Le second domestique ne se décida pas sans peine à entrer à son tour; à peine eut-il franchi la porte avec son plat, que le paysan, poussant de nouveau sa femme:

- Marguerite, voici le second.

Le troisième eut la même alerte, et nos coquins ne savaient plus que devenir. Le quatrième s'avance néanmoins, portant un plat couvert (c'étaient des écrevisses). Le maître de la maison dit au docteur:

- Voilà une occasion de montrer votre science. Devinez ce qu'il y a là-dedans.

Le paysan examine le plat, et, désespérant de se tirer d'affaire:

- Hélas! soupire-t-il, pauvre Écrevisse! (On se rappelle que c'était son premier nom.)

À ces mots, le seigneur s'écrie:

- Voyez-vous, il a deviné! Alors il devinera qui a mon argent!

Aussitôt le domestique, éperdu, fait signe au docteur de sortir avec lui. Les quatre fripons lui avouent qu'ils ont dérobé l'argent, mais qu'ils sont prêts à le rendre et à lui donner une forte somme s'il jure de ne les point trahir; puis ils le conduisent à l'endroit où est caché le trésor. Le docteur, satisfait, rentre, et dit:

- Seigneur, je vais maintenant consulter mon livre, afin d'apprendre où est votre argent.

Cependant un cinquième domestique s'était glissé dans la cheminée pour voir jusqu'où irait la science du devin. Celui-ci feuillette en tous sens son abécédaire, et ne pouvant y trouver un certain signe:

- Tu es pourtant là dedans, s'écrie-t-il avec impatience, et il faudra bien que tu en sortes.

Le valet, s'échappe de la cheminée, se croyant découvert, et crie avec épouvante:

- Cet homme sait tout?

Bientôt le docteur montra au seigneur son argent, sans lui dire qu'il l'avait soustrait; il reçut de part et d'autre une forte récompense, et fut désormais un homme célèbre.




Compare two languages:













Donations are welcomed & appreciated.


Thank you for your support.