The tailor in heaven



One very fine day it came to pass that the good God wished to enjoy himself in the heavenly garden, and took all the apostles and saints with him, so that no one stayed in heaven but Saint Peter. The Lord had commanded him to let no one in during his absence, so Peter stood by the door and kept watch. Before long some one knocked. Peter asked who was there, and what he wanted? "I am a poor, honest tailor who prays for admission," replied a smooth voice. "Honest indeed," said Peter, "like the thief on the gallows! Thou hast been light-fingered and hast snipped folks' clothes away. Thou wilt not get into heaven. The Lord hath forbidden me to let any one in while he is out." - "Come, do be merciful," cried the tailor. "Little scraps which fall off the table of their own accord are not stolen, and are not worth speaking about. Look, I am lame, and have blisters on my feet with walking here, I cannot possibly turn back again. Only let me in, and I will do all the rough work. I will carry the children, and wash their clothes, and wash and clean the benches on which they have been playing, and patch all their torn clothes." Saint Peter let himself be moved by pity, and opened the door of heaven just wide enough for the lame tailor to slip his lean body in. He was forced to sit down in a corner behind the door, and was to stay quietly and peaceably there, in order that the Lord, when he returned, might not observe him and be angry. The tailor obeyed, but once when Saint Peter went outside the door, he got up, and full of curiosity, went round about into every corner of heaven, and inspected the arrangement of every place. At length he came to a spot where many beautiful and delightful chairs were standing, and in the midst was a seat all of gold which was set with shining jewels, likewise it was much higher than the other chairs, and a footstool of gold was before it. It was, however, the seat on which the Lord sat when he was at home, and from which he could see everything which happened on earth. The tailor stood still, and looked at the seat for a long time, for it pleased him better than all else. At last he could master his curiosity no longer, and climbed up and seated himself in the chair. Then he saw everything which was happening on earth, and observed an ugly old woman who was standing washing by the side of a stream, secretly laying two veils on one side for herself. The sight of this made the tailor so angry that he laid hold of the golden footstool, and threw it down to earth through heaven, at the old thief. As, however, he could not bring the stool back again, he slipped quietly out of the chair, seated himself in his place behind the door, and behaved as if he had never stirred from the spot.
When the Lord and master came back again with his heavenly companions, he did not see the tailor behind the door, but when he seated himself on his chair the footstool was missing. He asked Saint Peter what had become of the stool, but he did not know. Then he asked if he had let anyone come in. "I know of no one who has been here," answered Peter, "but a lame tailor, who is still sitting behind the door." Then the Lord had the tailor brought before him, and asked him if he had taken away the stool, and where he had put it? "Oh, Lord," answered the tailor joyously, "I threw it in my anger down to earth at an old woman whom I saw stealing two veils at the washing." - "Oh, thou knave," said the Lord, "were I to judge as thou judgest, how dost thou think thou couldst have escaped so long? I should long ago have had no chairs, benches, seats, nay, not even an oven-fork, but should have thrown everything down at the sinners. Henceforth thou canst stay no longer in heaven, but must go outside the door again. Then go where thou wilt. No one shall give punishment here, but I alone, the Lord."

Peter was obliged to take the tailor out of heaven again, and as he had torn shoes, and feet covered with blisters, he took a stick in his hand, and went to "Wait-a-bit," where the good soldiers sit and make merry.
有一天,天气晴朗,仁慈的上帝想到御花园里散散心,于是带着所有使徒和圣人去了,只留下圣彼得留在天堂看家。 上帝临行前吩咐说在他外出期间不得有人进入天堂,于是圣彼得站在天堂门口守着。 可不一会儿就听到有人敲门,彼得问是谁,要干什么? "我是个可怜的、诚实的裁缝,请求让我进去。"一个平静的声音回答。 "好一个诚实的人!"彼得说,"就像绞架上的小偷那样!你一直小偷小摸,还偷了别人的衣服,你进不了天堂。天父说他外出期间严禁任何人入内。""行行好吧,"裁缝求道,"拣点桌上掉下来的东西算不上偷,根本不值得一提。你看,我是个跛子,为了走到这儿来,我脚上已经打起泡来了,不可能再走回去。我愿意干最脏最累的活,只求你让我进来。我会背孩子,给他们洗衣补衣、把他们玩脏的板凳擦干净。"彼得被他的话打动了,把天堂的门开了一条窄窄的缝,让瘦小的瘸腿裁缝溜了进来。 彼得要他安安静静地坐在门后角落里,以免上帝回来的时候发现了发脾气。 可彼得一出门,他就充满好奇地到处走、到处看,把天堂各处都看了个遍。 最后他来到一个地方,那里摆满了各种珍贵的椅子,其中有一把是纯金的,上面镶满了宝石,而且比其它椅子高多了,前面还有张脚凳。 上帝在家时就是坐在那张椅子上,观察地上所发生的一切的。 裁缝站在那儿,久久盯着那张椅子,根本没心再看别的东西了。 最后他忍不住好奇地爬到那椅子上坐了下来。 这一下,他可看到了地上的每件事情了。 他看到一个又丑又老的妇人在小溪边洗东西时将两条丝巾悄悄抽出来藏到一边,裁缝一看气坏了,一把抓起金脚凳朝那老小偷砸了下去。 他一看没法将那凳子拿回来放回原处了,赶忙悄悄从椅子上溜下来,仍旧回到门后角落里坐着,装作没有动过的样子。
天堂的主人上帝回来时没有发现门后的裁缝。 可是当他坐到椅子上时,发现搁脚的凳子不见了。 他问彼得凳子哪儿去了,彼得说不知道。 上帝又问彼得有没有人来过。 "没人到这儿来过,"彼得回答说,"只有一个跛脚裁缝,这会儿还在门后面坐着呢。"
上帝叫人把裁缝叫来,问他是不是拿了那张凳子,放到哪儿去了? "殿下,"裁缝高兴地回答说:"我看到一个老妇人在洗衣服的时候偷丝巾。我一气之下就把凳子砸下去了。"
"你这个无赖!"上帝说,"假如我也像你那样判是非,你还有今天?假如我也像你那样判是非,这些椅子、凳子甚至连叉子也该早扔没了。你不能再呆在天堂了,必须立刻出去。想上哪儿上哪儿吧 ,这里除了我,谁也没权治别人的罪。 "
彼得只好把裁缝带出天堂。 裁缝的鞋子也破了,脚上全是泡,只好柱着拐杖到那些好士兵寻欢作乐的"等候"处去了。

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