中文

夏娃的孩子们

ENGLISH

Eve's various children


亚当和夏娃被赶出乐园后,被迫在贫瘠的土地上建造自己的家园,躬耕劳作,养家糊口,亚当种地,夏娃纺织。 他们每年都会有一个孩子降临人世,但这些孩子都各不相同,有的漂亮,有的难看。 过了相当长的一段时间,上帝派了一名天使到人间,告诉他们自己将去看亚当全家。 而夏娃呢,看到上帝如此宽厚仁慈,心情格外高兴,赶紧把房间打扫干净,饰以花朵,铺以花毯。 然后她把孩子们引进来,他们全是那些漂亮的娃娃。 她给他们洗澡、梳头、穿衣,还教他们在上帝面前讲礼貌、懂规矩;学会在上帝面前彬彬有礼地鞠躬行礼,伸出双手谦虚谨慎地回答他提出的问题。 然而那些难看的孩子们却不让出来见人,一个被藏在干草下,一个躲在屋檐下,一个藏在草垛里,一个躲在壁炉中,一个藏在地窖里,一个躲在浴盆下,一个在酒桶下,一个在旧毛衣柜里,两个蒙在作衣服用的布料下,还有两个藏在夏娃做鞋用的皮革底下。 她刚准备就绪,就听到了一阵敲门声。 亚当从门缝里往外望去,一看来者正是上帝,便赶紧恭恭敬敬地开门,把上帝请了进来。 上帝一进门就看见一排漂亮的娃娃在他面前又是鞠躬,又是伸手,又是下跪。 于是上帝便开始赐福他们,他把手放在一个孩子的头上说:"你会成为一个统治四方的国王。"接着又对另一个说:"你会成为一个王子。""你会成为一个伯爵。""你会成为一个骑士。""你将成为一个贵族。""你将成为一个镇民。""你是个商人。""你是一名学者。"……如此这般地把最好的祝福都给了那些漂亮的孩子们。 夏娃看到上帝是如此地仁慈宽厚,便想:"如果我把那些丑娃娃也带出来,上帝可能也会赐福他们呢!"于是她赶紧把那些孩子找出来,只见他们从草堆里、茅草丛中、壁炉里还有其它地方纷纷钻了出来,一个个又脏、又破、又丑。 上帝见了他们笑着说:"我会赐福这些孩子的。"他又把手放在第一个孩子的头上说:"你会成为一名农夫。""你会成为一名打鱼的。""你会成为一名铁匠。""你将是制革的。""你是一名织工。""你是一个鞋匠。""你是一个裁缝。""你是一名陶工。""你是一个赶车的。""你是一名海员。""你是一名信差。""你将有干不完的家务活。"……。 夏娃听到这些赶紧说:"主啊!你的这些赏赐多么不公平!他们毕竟都是我的孩子,都是我把他们带到这个世界,你给予他们的恩赐应该相等才对呀!"但上帝回答说:"夏娃你可不懂。这些孩子们将世世代代生息繁衍下去,应该是这样,必须是这样。如果他们都是皇亲国舅,那谁来种谷、打麦、磨面、做面包呢?谁又是铁匠、织工、木匠、苦力和裁缝呢?每个人都有他自己的位置,这样才能互帮互助,就像大家都是一个身体里的胁骨互相支持着彼此一样。"夏娃忙说:"主啊,原谅我出口不逊吧,神佑我儿。"
When Adam and Eve were driven out of Paradise, they were compelled to build a house for themselves on unfruitful ground, and eat their bread in the sweat of their brow. Adam dug up the land, and Eve span. Every year Eve brought a child into the world; but the children were unlike each other, some pretty, and some ugly. After a considerable time had gone by, God sent an angel to them, to announce that he was coming to inspect their household. Eve, delighted that the Lord should be so gracious, cleaned her house diligently, decked it with flowers, and strewed reeds on the floor. Then she brought in her children, but only the beautiful ones. She washed and bathed them, combed their hair, put clean raiment on them, and cautioned them to conduct themselves decorously and modestly in the presence of the Lord. They were to bow down before him civilly, hold out their hands, and to answer his questions modestly and sensibly. The ugly children were, however, not to let themselves be seen. One hid himself beneath the hay, another under the roof, a third in the straw, the fourth in the stove, the fifth in the cellar, the sixth under a tub, the seventh beneath the wine-cask, the eighth under an old fur cloak, the ninth and tenth beneath the cloth out of which she always made their clothes, and the eleventh and twelfth under the leather out of which she cut their shoes. She had scarcely got ready, before there was a knock at the house-door. Adam looked through a chink, and saw that it was the Lord. Adam opened the door respectfully, and the Heavenly Father entered. There, in a row, stood the pretty children, and bowed before him, held out their hands, and knelt down. The Lord, however, began to bless them, laid his hands on the first, and said, "Thou shalt be a powerful king;" and to the second, "Thou a prince," to the third, "Thou a count," to the fourth, "Thou a knight," to the fifth, "Thou a nobleman," to the sixth, "Thou a burgher," to the seventh, "Thou a merchant," to the eighth, "Thou a learned man." He bestowed upon them also all his richest blessings. When Eve saw that the Lord was so mild and gracious, she thought, "I will bring hither my ill-favoured children also, it may be that he will bestow his blessing on them likewise." So she ran and brought them out of the hay, the straw, the stove, and wherever else she had concealed them. Then came the whole coarse, dirty, shabby, sooty band. The Lord smiled, looked at them all, and said, "I will bless these also." He laid his hands on the first, and said to him, "Thou shalt be a peasant," to the second, "Thou a fisherman," to the third, "Thou a smith," to the fourth, "Thou a tanner," to the fifth, "Thou a weaver," to the sixth, Thou a shoemaker," to the seventh, "Thou a tailor," to the eighth, "Thou a potter," to the ninth, "Thou a waggoner," to the tenth, "Thou a sailor," to the eleventh, "Thou an errand-boy," to the twelfth, "Thou a scullion all the days of thy life."
When Eve had heard all this she said, "Lord, how unequally thou dividest thy gifts! After all they are all of them my children, whom I have brought into the world, thy favours should be given to all alike." But God answered, "Eve, thou dost not understand. It is right and necessary that the entire world should be supplied from thy children; if they were all princes and lords, who would grow corn, thresh it, grind and bake it? Who would be blacksmiths, weavers, carpenters, masons, labourers, tailors and seamstresses? Each shall have his own place, so that one shall support the other, and all shall be fed like the limbs of one body." Then Eve answered, "Ah, Lord, forgive me, I was too quick in speaking to thee. Have thy divine will with my children."




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