ENGLISH

The twelve idle servants

中文

十二个懒汉


Twelve servants who had done nothing all the day would not exert themselves at night either, but laid themselves on the grass and boasted of their idleness. The first said, "What is your laziness to me, I have to concern myself about mine own? The care of my body is my principal work, I eat not a little and drink still more. When I have had four meals, I fast a short time until I feel hunger again, and that suits me best. To rise betimes is not for me; when it is getting near mid-day, I already seek out a resting-place for myself. If the master call, I do exactly as if I had not heard him, and if he call for the second time, I wait awhile before I get up, and go to him very slowly. In this way life is endurable."
The second said, "I have a horse to look after, but I leave the bit in his mouth, and if I do not want to do it, I give him no food, and I say he has had it already. I, however, lay myself in the oat-chest and sleep for four hours. After this I stretch out one foot and move it a couple of times over the horse's body, and then he is combed and cleaned. Who is going to make a great business of that? Nevertheless service is too toilsome for me."

The third said, "Why plague oneself with work? Nothing comes of it! I laid myself in the sun, and fell asleep. It began to rain a little, but why should I get up? I let it rain on in God's name. At last came a splashing shower, so heavy indeed, that it pulled the hair out of my head and washed it away, and I got a hole in the skull; I put a plaster on it, and then it was all right. I have already had several injuries of that kind."

The fourth said, "If I am to undertake a piece of work, I first loiter about for an hour that I may save up my strength. After that I begin quite slowly, and ask if no one is there who could help me. Then I let him do the chief of the work, and in reality only look on; but that also is still too much for me."

The fifth said, "What does that matter? Just think, I am to take away the manure from the horse's stable, and load the cart with it. I let it go on slowly, and if I have taken anything on the fork, I only half-raise it up, and then I rest just a quarter of an hour until I quite throw it in. It is enough and to spare if I take out a cartful in the day. I have no fancy for killing myself with work."

The sixth said, "Shame on ye; I am afraid of no work, but I lie down for three weeks, and never once take my clothes off. What is the use of buckling your shoes on? For aught I care they may fall off my feet, it is no matter. If I am going up some steps, I drag one foot slowly after the other on to the first step, and then I count the rest of them that I may know where I must rest.

The seventh said, "That will not do with me; my master looks after my work, only he is not at home the whole day. But I neglect nothing, I run as fast as it is possible to do when one crawls. If I am to get on, four sturdy men must push me with all their might. I came where six men were lying sleeping on a bed beside each other. I lay down by them and slept too. There was no wakening me again, and when they wanted to have me home, they had to carry me." The eighth said, "I see plainly that I am the only active fellow; if a stone lie before me, I do not give myself the trouble to raise my legs and step over it. I lay myself down on the ground, and if I am wet and covered with mud and dirt, I stay lying until the sun has dried me again. At the very most, I only turn myself so that it can shine on me." The ninth said, "That is the right way! To-day the bread was before me, but I was too idle to take it, and nearly died of hunger! Moreover a jug stood by it, but it was so big and heavy that I did not like to lift it up, and preferred bearing thirst. Just to turn myself round was too much for me, I remained lying like a log the whole day." The tenth said, "Laziness has brought misfortune on me, a broken leg and swollen calf. Three of us were lying in the road, and I had my legs stretched out. Some one came with a cart, and the wheels went over me. I might indeed have drawn my legs back, but I did not hear the cart coming, for the midges were humming about my ears, and creeping in at my nose and out again at my mouth; who can take the trouble to drive the vermin away?"

The eleventh said, "I gave up my place yesterday. I had no fancy for carrying the heavy books to my master any longer or fetching them away again. There was no end of it all day long. But to tell the truth, he gave me my dismissal, and would not keep me any longer, for his clothes, which I had left lying in the dust, were all moth-eaten, and I am very glad of it."

The twelfth said, "To-day I had to drive the cart into the country, and made myself a bed of straw on it, and had a good sleep. The reins slipped out of my hand, and when I awoke, the horse had nearly torn itself loose, the harness was gone, the strap which fastened the horse to the shafts was gone, and so were the collar, the bridle and bit. Some one had come by, who had carried all off. Besides this, the cart had got into a quagmire and stuck fast. I left it standing, and stretched myself on the straw again. At last the master came himself, and pushed the cart out, and if he had not come I should not be lying here but there, and sleeping in full tranquillity."
从前有十二个小厮,他们白天什么事都不干,晚上也不肯努力,只是往草地上一躺,各自吹嘘起自己的懒劲来。 第一个说:"你们的懒惰和我怎能相比,我有我的懒法。我首先要注意保护身体。我吃得不少,喝得更多。我每天吃顿饭就稍稍停一会儿。等我又饿了,吃起来就更香了。早起可不是我的事,可一到中午,我早就找到了午休的地方了。东家叫我我只装着没听见,他再叫,我还要等一等再站起来,然后慢吞吞地走过去。这种日子还凑合。"
第二个说:"我要照看一头马,可我老把马嚼子塞在它口里,不高兴就根本不放食。如果东家问,我就说喂过了。我自己则躺在燕麦里睡大觉,一睡就是四个小时。醒来后,就伸腿在马身上蹬几脚,算是给马刷洗了。多一事不如省一事,这活干起来我还嫌累呢!"
第三个说:"为什么要拿活儿来苦自己?一点也没什么好处。我干脆躺在阳光下睡大觉,天开始下雨点了,我也懒得起身。以上帝的名义你尽情地下吧!最后下得噼噼啪啪响,大雨竟拔掉我的头发把它们漂走了,我的头上还弄了个大口子,我在上面贴上块膏药,也就好了。这种伤口我已有好几处了。"
第四个说:"要我干活,我先游荡一小时,养足精力。然后慢条斯理地问,是否还有帮手。如果别人帮着干,就让他把主要活儿干完 ,我只在旁边看。 但这活儿还是太多了。 "
第五个说:"那有什么!请想想,要我从马厩里出粪,再装上马车。慢慢地来,如果耙上叉着啥,我就向上半举着,先休息一刻钟,然后才把粪叉上车。就算我一天装一车那已够多了,我才不想干死干活呢!"
第六个说:"真不要脸!我才不怕干活呢。我睡了三周可没脱过衣。系什么鞋?脚下的鞋要掉就掉吧,有什么要紧?上楼梯时我是一抬腿跟一步,慢慢地数着余下的级数,好教自己知道该在哪里坐下。"
第七个说:"那有什么了不起的?我的东家盯着我干活,只是他老不在家。我的速度不会有虫子快,要想让我往前走就得有四个壮汉来推我。我到一张床上睡觉,等我一倒下,他们再也叫不醒我。他想让我回去 ,只得抬着我走。 "
第八个说:"我看,只有我是个活泼的汉子。如果我面前有块石头,我决不会费神抬腿跨过去,我索性躺在地上。如果我的衣服湿了或沾上了烂泥,我总是躺在地上,直到太阳把它晒干。中间我顶多翻个身儿,让太阳能照得到。"
第九个说:"那办法挺不错!今天我面前有块面包,但我懒得动手去拿,差点儿没饿死。身旁也有个罐,但它样子那样大而且重,我压根儿不想举起它,宁愿忍受饥渴的煎熬,就连翻翻身我也觉太累,成天像根棍子似地躺着。"
第十个说:"懒惰可害苦了我,我断了条腿,另一条小腿还肿着。我一个人躺在了大路上,我把腿儿尽量伸直。一辆马车过来了,从我的双腿上压过 ,我本可以把腿缩回来,但我没有听到马车来;一些蚊子正在我耳朵里嗡嗡叫,从我的鼻孔钻进去,又从我嘴里爬出来,谁会费神去赶走它们呢! "
第十一个说:"昨天我已辞职不干了。我可没有兴趣为东家去搬那些厚厚的书,整天干都干不完。但说句老实话,是他辞退了我,不再用我了,主要是因为我把他的衣服放在灰尘里,全被虫子蛀坏了。事情就是这样。"
第十二个说:"今天我驾着车儿去趟乡下,我为自己在车上做了张床,美美地睡了一觉。等我醒来,缰绳已从我手中滑掉,马儿差点儿脱了辕,马套全丢了,项圈、马勒、马嚼子通通不见踪影。而且车子又掉进了泥坑里。我可不管这一套,又继续躺下,最后东家来了,把马车推了出来。要是他不来,眼下我还躺在车上,舒舒服服地睡大觉呢!"




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