小王子 Chapter 14
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The fifth planet was very strange. It was the smallest of all. There was just enough room on it for a street lamp and a lamplighter. The little prince was not able to reach any explanation of the use of a street lamp and a lamplighter, somewhere in the heavens, on a planet which had no people, and not one house. But he said to himself, nevertheless:
"It may well be that this man is absurd1. But he is not so absurd as the king, the conceited2 man, the businessman, and the tippler. For at least his work has some meaning. When he lights his street lamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower. When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep. That is a beautiful occupation. And since it is beautiful, it is truly useful."
When he arrived on the planet he respectfully saluted3 the lamplighter.
"Good morning. Why have you just put out your lamp?"
"Those are the orders," replied the lamplighter. "Good morning."
"What are the orders?"
"The orders are that I put out my lamp. Good evening."
And he lighted his lamp again.
"But why have you just lighted it again?"
"Those are the orders," replied the lamplighter.
"I do not understand," said the little prince.
"There is nothing to understand," said the lamplighter. "Orders are orders. Good morning."
And he put out his lamp.
Then he mopped his forehead with a handkerchief decorated with red squares.
"I follow a terrible profession. In the old days it was reasonable. I put the lamp out in the morning, and in the evening I lighted it again. I had the rest of the day for relaxation4 and the rest of the night for sleep."
"And the orders have been changed since that time?"
"The orders have not been changed," said the lamplighter. "That is the tragedy! From year to year the planet has turned more rapidly and the orders have not been changed!"
"Then what?" asked the little prince.
"Then-- the planet now makes a complete turn every minute, and I no longer have a single second for repose5. Once every minute I have to light my lamp and put it out!"
"That is very funny! A day lasts only one minute, here where you live!"
"It is not funny at all!" said the lamplighter. "While we have been talking together a month has gone by."
"A month?"
"Yes, a month. Thirty minutes. Thirty days. Good evening."
And he lighted his lamp again.
As the little prince watched him, he felt that he loved this lamplighter who was so faithful to his orders. He remembered the sunsets which he himself had gone to seek, in other days, merely by pulling up his chair; and he wanted to help his friend.
"You know," he said, "I can tell you a way you can rest whenever you want to..."
"I always want to rest," said the lamplighter.
For it is possible for a man to be faithful and lazy at the same time.
The little prince went on with his explanation:
"Your planet is so small that three strides6 will take you all the way around it. To be always in the sunshine, you need only walk along rather slowly. When you want to rest, you will walk-- and the day will last as long as you like."
"That doesn't do me much good," said the lamplighter. "The one thing I love in life is to sleep."
"Then you're unlucky," said the little prince.
"I am unlucky," said the lamplighter. "Good morning."
And he put out his lamp.
"That man," said the little prince to himself, as he continued farther on his journey, "that man would be scorned7 by all the others: by the king, by the conceited man, by the tippler, by the businessman. Nevertheless he is the only one of them all who does not seem to me ridiculous. Perhaps that is because he is thinking of something else besides himself."#p#分页标题#e#
He breathed a sigh of regret, and said to himself, again:
"That man is the only one of them all whom I could have made my friend. But his planet is indeed too small. There is no room on it for two people..."
What the little prince did not dare confess was that he was sorry most of all to leave this planet, because it was blest every day with 1440 sunsets!


1 absurd 6ySz2     
  • It is ridiculously absurd to believe that the number 13 is unlucky.相信数字13是个不吉祥的数字是荒唐可笑的。
  • It was absurd of you to do such a thing.你做那样的事是愚蠢的。
2 conceited Cv0zxi     
  • He could not bear that they should be so conceited.他们这样自高自大他受不了。
  • I'm not as conceited as so many people seem to think.我不像很多人认为的那么自负。
3 saluted 1a86aa8dabc06746471537634e1a215f     
v.欢迎,致敬( salute的过去式和过去分词 );赞扬,赞颂
  • The sergeant stood to attention and saluted. 中士立正敬礼。
  • He saluted his friends with a wave of the hand. 他挥手向他的朋友致意。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 relaxation MVmxj     
  • The minister has consistently opposed any relaxation in the law.部长一向反对法律上的任何放宽。
  • She listens to classical music for relaxation.她听古典音乐放松。
5 repose KVGxQ     
  • Don't disturb her repose.不要打扰她休息。
  • Her mouth seemed always to be smiling,even in repose.她的嘴角似乎总是挂着微笑,即使在睡眠时也是这样。
6 strides 3372f3d8ac7d6db0997a8fe6b38d549a     
裤子; 大步( stride的名词复数 ); 步法; 步态; 进展
  • The child could not keep up with his father's strides. 那个孩子跟不上他父亲的步子。
  • That 70-year-old man walked into the park with vigorous strides. 那位七旬老人健步走进公园。
7 scorned 80ba76df05c1768e7930f1efddbf31e0     
轻视,蔑视( scorn的过去式和过去分词 ); 不屑做; 不屑于(接受或做),轻蔑地拒绝
  • She scorned the view that inflation was already beaten. 她嘲笑那种认为通货膨胀已被消除的观点。
  • She scorned to tell a lie. 她不屑于说谎。
TAG标签: planet orders lamp