日本語

青いランプ

ENGLISH

The blue light


昔、ある兵士がいました。長年忠実に王様に仕えてきましたが、戦争が終わると、受けたたくさんの傷のためもう仕えることができなくなりました。王様は兵士に、「家に帰ってよろしい。もうお前は必要ない。金ももうやらんぞ。給金は見合う働きをした者だけ受けるのだからな。」と言いました。それで兵士はどうやって暮らしをたてたらよいのかわからず、大いに困って立ち去り、一日中歩き、とうとう夕方には森に入りました。暗くなると明かりが見えて、近づいていくと、魔女が住んでいる家につきました。「どうか一晩泊めてください、それと少し食べ物と飲み物をください。」兵士は魔女に言いました、「そうしないと私は飢え死にしてしまいます。」「おや!」と魔女は答えました、「逃げてきた兵士に誰が食べ物をやるかね?だけどまあ、かわいそうだから、私の望むことをやるなら、入れてやってもいいよ。」「何をして欲しいんですか?」と兵士は言いました。「明日、私の庭の周りをぐるりと掘って欲しいのさ。」兵士は承知し、次の日、力いっぱい働きましたが夕方までに終えることができませんでした。「十分よくわかるよ」魔女は言いました「今日はこれ以上やれないとね。だけど、あす積み荷のたきぎを切って、小さく割ってくれたらもう一晩おいてもいいよ。」兵士はそうするのにまる一日かかりました。そして夕方に魔女はまた一晩泊らないか、と言いました。「明日はほんのちょっとした仕事をしてもらうだけさ。この家の後ろに古い涸れた井戸があって、その中に私の明かりが落ちたんだよ。青くもえて、消えることはないんだよ。それをとってきてもらいたいのさ。」

次の日おばあさんは兵士を井戸に連れて行き、かごに入れて下ろしました。兵士は青い明かりを見つけ、また引き上げる合図をしました。魔女は確かに引き上げましたが、兵士が縁まで来ると、手を伸ばして青い明かりを兵士からとろうとしました。「だめだ」と兵士は魔女の悪巧みを知って言いました、「地面に両足で立つまでは明かりを渡さないよ。」魔女は怒って兵士をまた井戸に落として、行ってしまいました。

可哀そうな兵士は湿った土に怪我をしないで落ち、青い明かりは燃え続けていましたが、それが何の役に立ったでしょう?兵士はこれでは死んでしまうととてもよくわかりました。しばらくの間、とても悲しく座っていました。それから急にポケットの中をさぐると、たばこのパイプが見つかり、まだ半分たばこが詰まっていました。「これを最後の楽しみとしよう。」と考え、ポケットから引っ張り出すと、青い明かりで火をつけ、たばこを吸い始めました。煙が穴の中に回ったとき、突然小さな黒い小人が兵士の前に立ち、「ご主人さま、ご命令は何でしょう?」と言いました。「おれの命令は何か、だって?」と兵士はすっかり驚いて、答えました。「私はあなたが命令することを何でもしなければならないのです。」と小人は言いました。「よろしい。」と兵士は言いました。「じゃ、最初にこの井戸から出してくれ。」小人は兵士の手をとり、地下の通路を連れて行きましたが、兵士は青い明かりを持ってくるのを忘れませんでした。途中で小人は、魔女が集めそこに隠した宝物を見せ、兵士は持てるだけ多くの金をとりました。井戸から出ると、兵士は小人に「今度は年とった魔女を縛りに行ってくれ、それで裁判官の前に連れていくんだ。」と言いました。

まもなく、魔女がヤマネコに乗り、恐ろしい叫び声をあげながら風のように通りすぎました。またまもなく小人が現れ、「終わりました。魔女はもう首つり台にぶら下がっています。次のご命令は何でしょう?ご主人様」とききました。「今のところ、何もない」と兵士は答えました。「お前は帰ってもよいが、呼んだら、すぐ来るようにしておいてくれ。」「青い明かりでパイプに火をつけるだけでいいんです。他は必要ありません。そうすれば私はすぐにご主人様のところに現れます。」そう言って小人は消えていなくなりました。

兵士は自分が出て来た町へ戻りました。一番良い宿屋へ行き、りっぱな服を注文し、宿の主人に部屋にできるだけすばらしい家具を入れてくれるよう告げました。用意ができると兵士はその部屋に入り、小さな黒い小人を呼び、「おれは王様に忠実に仕えてきたが、王様はおれをくびにして、腹をすかせておいたんだ。それで今おれは仕返しをしたいんだ。」と言いました。「私は何をすればよろしいですか?」と小人は尋ねました。「夜遅く、王様の娘が寝ている時、眠ったままここに連れて来い。娘に女中の仕事をさせてやる。」小人は、「それは私には簡単なことですが、ご主人様にはとても危険なことです。もし見つかればひどいことになりますよ。」と言いました。12時になると、戸がパッと開き、小人が王女を運び込みました。「へえ、お前はそこか?」と兵士は叫びました。「すぐに仕事にかかれ。ほうきをとって部屋を掃け。」王女がこれをやってしまうと、自分の椅子のところにこいと命令し、足を伸ばして、「長靴を脱がせろ」と言い、それから長靴を娘の顔に投げ、もう一度拾わせて、きれいに磨かせました。ところが王女は、反対もしないで命じたことを全部黙って、目を半分閉じて、やりました。最初のおんどりが鳴くと、小人は王宮に王女をもどし、ベッドにねかせました。

次の朝、王女は起きると父親のところへ行き、とても変な夢を見たと話しました。「私は稲妻のようなはやさで通りを運ばれていって、兵士の部屋へ連れていかれたのよ。それでその兵士に女中のように仕えなければいけなかったの。部屋をそうじしたり、長靴を磨いたり、召使がやる仕事を全部よ。ただの夢だけど、今、本当にみんなやったみたいに疲れてるわ。」「夢は本当だったのかもしれないぞ。」と王様は言いました。「お前にいいことを教えてやろう。ポケットにえんどう豆をいっぱい入れて、ポケットには小さな穴を空けておくんだ。それでお前がまた連れていかれたら、豆が落ちて、道に跡ができるだろう。」しかし、王様に見えなくして、小人は王様がそれを言っている時そばにたっていて、全部聞きました。夜に眠っている王女がまた通りを運ばれた時エンドウ豆はたしかにポケットから落ちましたが、跡はつきませんでした。というのは賢い小人はそのちょうど前にどの通りにもエンドウ豆をまいておいたからです。そして今度も王女はおんどりが鳴くまで女中の仕事をせざるをえませんでした。

次の朝、王様は家来をやって跡を捜させましたが、無駄でした。というのはどの通りにも貧しい子供たちが座りこんでエンドウ豆を拾いながら、「夕べ、エンドウ豆が降ったにちがいないよ。」と言っていたからです。「何かほかのことを考えねばなるまい。お前は寝るとき靴を履いたままでおれ。それで連れ去られたところから帰る前に、そこに片方の靴を隠しておくのだ。わしはすぐにそれを見つけるとしよう。」と王様は言いました。黒い小人はこの計画も聞いていて、夜に兵士がまた王女を連れて来いと命令したとき、それを兵士に打ち明けて、この策略を防ぐ方法を知りません、もしもその靴が兵士の家で見つかればひどいことになります、と言いました。「命じたことをやれ。」と兵士は答え、この3晩目もまた王女は召使のように働かなければなりませんでしたが、立ち去る前にベッドの下に靴を隠しました。

次の朝、王様は娘の靴を町中で捜させました。それは兵士のところでみつかり、兵士自身は、小人の頼みで町の門の外に出てしまっていましたが、すぐに連れ戻され、牢屋に入れられました。逃げるときに、兵士は持っていた一番大事なもの、青い明かりと金、を忘れてしまい、ポケットにたったダカット金貨一枚しか入っていませんでした。今鎖でつながれ、地下牢の窓のところに立っていましたが、たまたま兵士仲間の一人が通りかかるのが見えました。兵士は窓ガラスをたたき、この男が近くへ来ると、「頼むから、おれが宿に置いてある小さな包みを持って来てくれないか、お礼に一ダカットやるよ。」と言いました。

兵士の仲間はそこへ走り、望みのものを持ってきました。兵士はまた一人になるとすぐ、パイプに火をつけ、黒い小人を呼び出しました。「恐れることはありません。」と小人は主人に言いました。「あの人たちが連れて行くどこへでも行って、やりたいようにやらせてください。ただ青い明かりを忘れないで持っていてください。」次の日、兵士は疲れました。何も悪いことをしていないけれども、裁判官は死刑を言い渡しました。死刑場に連れて行かれる前に、兵士は王様に最後の頼みをお願いしました。「それは何かね?」と王様は尋ねました。「途中であと一回たばこを吸ってもよいかということです。」「3回吸ってもよいぞ。ただし、わしがお前の命を助けるなどとは考えるなよ。」と王様は答えました。それで兵士はパイプを出し、青い明かりでそれに火をつけました。煙の輪が2,3昇ったらすぐに、小人が手に小さなこん棒を持ってそこに出てきて、「ご主人さま、ご命令は何でしょう?」と言いました。「不実な判事とその警備、を殴り倒せ、それからおれにとてもひどい扱いをした王様も容赦するな。」それで小人は稲妻のように襲いかかり、サッとあちこち動いて、そのこん棒に触れた誰もが地面に倒れ、二度と動こうとしませんでした。王様は恐れおののいて、兵士に、ただ生きてるだけでよいと許しを乞い、国を兵士に与え、娘を妻に与えました。
There was once on a time a soldier who for many years had served the King faithfully, but when the war came to an end could serve no longer because of the many wounds which he had received. The King said to him, "Thou mayst return to thy home, I need thee no longer, and thou wilt not receive any more money, for he only receives wages who renders me service for them." Then the soldier did not know how to earn a living, went away greatly troubled, and walked the whole day, until in the evening he entered a forest. When darkness came on, he saw a light, which he went up to, and came to a house wherein lived a witch. "Do give me one night's lodging, and a little to eat and drink," said he to her, "or I shall starve." - "Oho!" she answered, "who gives anything to a run-away soldier? Yet will I be compassionate, and take you in, if you will do what I wish." - "What do you wish?" said the soldier. "That you should dig all round my garden for me, tomorrow." The soldier consented, and next day labored with all his strength, but could not finish it by the evening. "I see well enough," said the witch, "that you can do no more to-day, but I will keep you yet another night, in payment for which you must to-morrow chop me a load of wood, and make it small." The soldier spent the whole day in doing it, and in the evening the witch proposed that he should stay one night more. "To-morrow, you shall only do me a very trifling piece of work. Behind my house, there is an old dry well, into which my light has fallen, it burns blue, and never goes out, and you shall bring it up again for me." Next day the old woman took him to the well, and let him down in a basket. He found the blue light, and made her a signal to draw him up again. She did draw him up, but when he came near the edge, she stretched down her hand and wanted to take the blue light away from him. "No," said he, perceiving her evil intention, "I will not give thee the light until I am standing with both feet upon the ground." The witch fell into a passion, let him down again into the well, and went away.
The poor soldier fell without injury on the moist ground, and the blue light went on burning, but of what use was that to him? He saw very well that he could not escape death. He sat for a while very sorrowfully, then suddenly he felt in his pocket and found his tobacco pipe, which was still half full. "This shall be my last pleasure," thought he, pulled it out, lit it at the blue light and began to smoke. When the smoke had circled about the cavern, suddenly a little black dwarf stood before him, and said, "Lord, what are thy commands?" - "What commands have I to give thee?" replied the soldier, quite astonished. "I must do everything thou biddest me," said the little man. "Good," said the soldier; "then in the first place help me out of this well." The little man took him by the hand, and led him through an underground passage, but he did not forget to take the blue light with him. On the way the dwarf showed him the treasures which the witch had collected and hidden there, and the soldier took as much gold as he could carry. When he was above, he said to the little man, "Now go and bind the old witch, and carry her before the judge." In a short time she, with frightful cries, came riding by, as swift as the wind on a wild tom-cat, nor was it long after that before the little man re-appeared. "It is all done," said he, "and the witch is already hanging on the gallows. What further commands has my lord?" inquired the dwarf. "At this moment, none," answered the soldier; "Thou canst return home, only be at hand immediately, if I summon thee." - "Nothing more is needed than that thou shouldst light thy pipe at the blue light, and I will appear before thee at once." Thereupon he vanished from his sight.

The soldier returned to the town from which he had come. He went to the best inn, ordered himself handsome clothes, and then bade the landlord furnish him a room as handsomely as possible. When it was ready and the soldier had taken possession of it, he summoned the little black mannikin and said, "I have served the King faithfully, but he has dismissed me, and left me to hunger, and now I want to take my revenge." - "What am I to do?" asked the little man. "Late at night, when the King's daughter is in bed, bring her here in her sleep, she shall do servant's work for me." The mannikin said, "That is an easy thing for me to do, but a very dangerous thing for you, for if it is discovered, you will fare ill." When twelve o'clock had struck, the door sprang open, and the mannikin carried in the princess. "Aha! art thou there?" cried the soldier, "get to thy work at once! Fetch the broom and sweep the chamber." When she had done this, he ordered her to come to his chair, and then he stretched out his feet and said, "Pull off my boots for me," and then he threw them in her face, and made her pick them up again, and clean and brighten them. She, however, did everything he bade her, without opposition, silently and with half-shut eyes. When the first cock crowed, the mannikin carried her back to the royal palace, and laid her in her bed.

Next morning when the princess arose, she went to her father, and told him that she had had a very strange dream. "I was carried through the streets with the rapidity of lightning," said she, "and taken into a soldier's room, and I had to wait upon him like a servant, sweep his room, clean his boots, and do all kinds of menial work. It was only a dream, and yet I am just as tired as if I really had done everything." - "The dream may have been true," said the King, "I will give thee a piece of advice. Fill thy pocket full of peas, and make a small hole in it, and then if thou art carried away again, they will fall out and leave a track in the streets." But unseen by the King, the mannikin was standing beside him when he said that, and heard all. At night when the sleeping princess was again carried through the streets, some peas certainly did fall out of her pocket, but they made no track, for the crafty mannikin had just before scattered peas in every street there was. And again the princess was compelled to do servant's work until cock-crow.

Next morning the King sent his people out to seek the track, but it was all in vain, for in every street poor children were sitting, picking up peas, and saying, "It must have rained peas, last night." - "We must think of something else," said the King; "keep thy shoes on when thou goest to bed, and before thou comest back from the place where thou art taken, hide one of them there, I will soon contrive to find it." The black mannikin heard this plot, and at night when the soldier again ordered him to bring the princess, revealed it to him, and told him that he knew of no expedient to counteract this stratagem, and that if the shoe were found in the soldier's house it would go badly with him. "Do what I bid thee," replied the soldier, and again this third night the princess was obliged to work like a servant, but before she went away, she hid her shoe under the bed.

Next morning the King had the entire town searched for his daughter's shoe. It was found at the soldier's, and the soldier himself, who at the entreaty of the dwarf had gone outside the gate, was soon brought back, and thrown into prison. In his flight he had forgotten the most valuable things he had, the blue light and the gold, and had only one ducat in his pocket. And now loaded with chains, he was standing at the window of his dungeon, when he chanced to see one of his comrades passing by. The soldier tapped at the pane of glass, and when this man came up, said to him, "Be so kind as to fetch me the small bundle I have left lying in the inn, and I will give you a ducat for doing it." His comrade ran thither and brought him what he wanted. As soon as the soldier was alone again, he lighted his pipe and summoned the black mannikin. "Have no fear," said the latter to his master. "Go wheresoever they take you, and let them do what they will, only take the blue light with you." Next day the soldier was tried, and though he had done nothing wicked, the judge condemned him to death. When he was led forth to die, he begged a last favor of the King. "What is it?" asked the King. "That I may smoke one more pipe on my way." - "Thou mayst smoke three," answered the King, "but do not imagine that I will spare thy life." Then the soldier pulled out his pipe and lighted it at the blue light, and as soon as a few wreaths of smoke had ascended, the mannikin was there with a small cudgel in his hand, and said, "What does my lord command?" - "Strike down to earth that false judge there, and his constable, and spare not the King who has treated me so ill." Then the mannikin fell on them like lightning, darting this way and that way, and whosoever was so much as touched by his cudgel fell to earth, and did not venture to stir again. The King was terrified; he threw himself on the soldier's mercy, and merely to be allowed to live at all, gave him his kingdom for his own, and the princess to wife.




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