小王子 Chapter 4
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2016-07-11 07:32 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
I had thus learned a second fact of great importance: this was that the planet the little prince came from was scarcely any larger than a house!
But that did not really surprise me much. I knew very well that in addition to the great planets-- such as the Earth, Jupiter, Mars, Venus-- to which we have given names, there are also hundreds of others, some of which are so small that one has a hard time seeing them through the telescope. When an astronomer1 discovers one of these he does not give it a name, but only a number. He might call it, for example, "Asteroid2 325."
I have serious reason to believe that the planet from which the little prince came is the asteroid known as B-612.
This asteroid has only once been seen through the telescope. That was by a Turkish astronomer, in 1909.
On making his discovery, the astronomer had presented it to the International Astronomical3 Congress, in a great demonstration4. But he was in Turkish costume, and so nobody would believe what he said.
Grown-ups are like that…
Fortunately, however, for the reputation of Asteroid B-612, a Turkish dictator made a law that his subjects, under pain of death, should change to European costume. So in 1920 the astronomer gave his demonstration all over again, dressed with impressive style and elegance5. And this time everybody accepted his report.
If I have told you these details about the asteroid, and made a note of its number for you, it is on account of the grown-ups and their ways. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand: "How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?" Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.
If you were to say to the grown-ups: "I saw a beautiful house made of rosy6 brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof," they would not be able to get any idea of that house at all. You would have to say to them: "I saw a house that cost $20,000." Then they would exclaim: "Oh, what a pretty house that is!"
Just so, you might say to them: "The proof that the little prince existed is that he was charming, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep. If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists." And what good would it do to tell them that? They would shrug7 their shoulders, and treat you like a child. But if you said to them: "The planet he came from is Asteroid B-612," then they would be convinced, and leave you in peace from their questions. They are like that. One must not hold it against them. Children should always show great forbearance toward grown-up people.
But certainly, for us who understand life, figures are a matter of indifference8. I should have liked to begin this story in the fashion of the fairy-tales. I should have like to say: 
"Once upon a time there was a little prince who lived on a planet that was scarcely any bigger than himself, and who had need of a sheep…" To those who understand life, that would have given a much greater air of truth to my story.
For I do not want any one to read my book carelessly. I have suffered too much grief in setting down these memories. Six years have already passed since my friend went away from me, with his sheep. If I try to describe him here, it is to make sure that I shall not forget him. To forget a friend is sad. Not every one has had a friend. And if I forget him, I may become like the grown-ups who are no longer interested in anything but figures…
It is for that purpose, again, that I have bought a box of paints and some pencils. It is hard to take up drawing again at my age, when I have never made any pictures except those of the boa constrictor from the outside and the boa constrictor from the inside, since I was six. I shall certainly try to make my portraits as true to life as possible. But I am not at all sure of success. One drawing goes along all right, and another has no resemblance to its subject. I make some errors, too, in the little prince's height: in one place he is too tall and in another too short. And I feel some doubts about the color of his costume. So I fumble9 along as best I can, now good, now bad, and I hope generally fair-to-middling.In certain more important details I shall make mistakes, also. 
But that is something that will not be my fault. My friend never explained anything to me. He thought, perhaps, that I was like himself. But I, alas10, do not know how to see sheep through the walls of boxes. Perhaps I am a little like the grown-ups. I have had to grow old.#p#分页标题#e#
要是你对他们说:“小王子存在的证据就是他非常漂亮,他笑着,想要一只 羊他想要一只小羊,这就证明他的存在。”他们一定会耸耸肩膀,把你当作孩子看待!但是,如果你对他们说:“小王子来自的星球就是小行星B612”,那么他们就十分信服,他们就不会提出一大堆问题来和你纠缠。他们就是这样的。小孩子们对大人们应该宽厚些,不要埋怨他们。
“从前呀,有一个小王子,他住在一个和他身体差不多大的星球上,他希望有一个朋友……” 对懂得生活的人来说,这样说就显得真实。
也正是为了这个缘故,我买了一盒颜料和一些铅笔。像我这样年纪的人,而且除了六岁时画过闭着肚皮的和开着肚皮的巨蟒外,别的什么也没有尝试过,现在,重新再来画画,真费劲啊!当然,我一定要把这些画尽量地画得逼真,但我自己也没有把握。一张画得还可以,另一张就不像了。还有身材大小,我画得有点不准确。在这个地方小王子画得太大了些,另一个地方又画得太小了些。对他衣服的颜色我也拿不准。 于是我就摸索着这么试试那么改改,画个大概齐。我很可能在某些重要的细节上画错了。


1 astronomer DOEyh     
  • A new star attracted the notice of the astronomer.新发现的一颗星引起了那位天文学家的注意。
  • He is reputed to have been a good astronomer.他以一个优秀的天文学者闻名于世。
2 asteroid uo1yD     
  • Astronomers have yet to witness an asteroid impact with another planet.天文学家还没有目击过小行星撞击其它行星。
  • It's very unlikely that an asteroid will crash into Earth but the danger exists.小行星撞地球的可能性很小,但这样的危险还是存在的。
3 astronomical keTyO     
  • He was an expert on ancient Chinese astronomical literature.他是研究中国古代天文学文献的专家。
  • Houses in the village are selling for astronomical prices.乡村的房价正在飙升。
4 demonstration 9waxo     
  • His new book is a demonstration of his patriotism.他写的新书是他的爱国精神的证明。
  • He gave a demonstration of the new technique then and there.他当场表演了这种新的操作方法。
5 elegance QjPzj     
  • The furnishings in the room imparted an air of elegance.这个房间的家具带给这房间一种优雅的气氛。
  • John has been known for his sartorial elegance.约翰因为衣着讲究而出名。
6 rosy kDAy9     
  • She got a new job and her life looks rosy.她找到一份新工作,生活看上去很美好。
  • She always takes a rosy view of life.她总是对生活持乐观态度。
7 shrug Ry3w5     
  • With a shrug,he went out of the room.他耸一下肩,走出了房间。
  • I admire the way she is able to shrug off unfair criticism.我很佩服她能对错误的批评意见不予理会。
8 indifference k8DxO     
  • I was disappointed by his indifference more than somewhat.他的漠不关心使我很失望。
  • He feigned indifference to criticism of his work.他假装毫不在意别人批评他的作品。
9 fumble P6byh     
  • His awkwardness made him fumble with the key.由于尴尬不安,他拿钥匙开锁时显得笨手笨脚。
  • He fumbled his one-handed attempt to light his cigarette.他笨拙地想用一只手点燃香烟。
10 alas Rx8z1     
  • Alas!The window is broken!哎呀!窗子破了!
  • Alas,the truth is less romantic.然而,真理很少带有浪漫色彩。
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