The Nightingale ブログトップ

The Nightingale (1) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (1)

  The palace of the Emperor of China was the most splendid in the world, all made of priceless porcelain, but so brittle and delicate that you had to take great care how you touched it.

  In the garden were the most beautiful flowers, and on them were tied silver bells which tinkled, so that you could not help looking at the flowers

  The garden was so large that even the gardener himself did not know where it ended.

  If you ever got beyond it, you came to a stately forest.

  The forest sloped  down to the sea, and these trees there lived a nightingale. She sang so beautifully that even the poor fishman who had so much to do stood and listened he came at night to cast his nets.
  " How beutiful it is ! " he said.


The Nightingale (2) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (2)

  From all the countries round came travellers to the Emperor's town,  who were astonished at the palace and the garden.

  But when they heard the Nightingale they all said, " This is the finest thing after all. "

  Learned scholars wrote many books about the town, the pal,and the garden. But they did not forget the Nightingale ; she was praised the most.
  Some of the books reached the Emperor.
  He sat in his golden chair, and read and read. He noded his head every moment, for he liked reading the brilliant acounts of the town, the palace, and the garden.

  " However, the Nightingale is better than all, " he saw written.

  " What is that ? " exclaimed the Emperor.
  " I don't know anything about this Nightingale ! Fancy reading for the first time about it in a book ! "


The Nightingale (4) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (4)

  " But the book in which I read this, " said the Emperor, " is sent me by His Great Majesty the Emperor of Japan ; so it cannot be untrue, and I will hear the Nightingale ! She must be here this evening !
  She has my gracious permission to appear, and if she does not, the whole Court shall be tramped under foot after supper ! "

  The First Lord ran up and down stairs, through the halls and corriders, and half the Court ran with him, for they did not want to be tramped under foot.

  Everyone was asking after the wonderful Nightingale which all the world knew of, except those at Court.

  At last they met a poor little girl in the kitchen, who said to them, " Oh ! I know the Nightingale well. I have permission to carry the scraps from the Court meals to my poor sick mother, and when I am going home at night, tired and weary, then I hear the Nightingale singing ! It brings teras to my eyes, and I feel as if my mother were kissing me ! "


The Nightingale (5) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (5)

  " Little Kitchenmaid ! " said the First Lord, " you shall have leave to see the Emperor at dinner, if you can lead us to the Nigtingale. "

  And so they all went into the wood where the Nightingale was wont to sing.

  When they were on the way there they heard a cow mooing.

  " Oh ! " said the Courtiers, " now we have found her. What a wonderful power for such a small beast to have. "

  " No ; that is a cow mooing ! " said the little ketchenmaid.
  " We are still quite a long way off ! "

  Then the frogs began to croak in the marsh.

  " Splendid ! " said they.
  " Now we hear her ; it sounds like a little church bell. "

  " No, no ; those are frogs, " said the little kitchenmaid.
  " But I think we shall soon hear her now. "


The Nightingale (6) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (6)

  THen the Nightingale began to sing.

  " There she is ! " cried the little girl.
  And she pointed to a little dark grey bird up in the branches.

  " Is it possible ! " said the First Lord.
  " How ordinary she looks ! She must surely have lost her feathers  because she sees so many distinguished  men round her. "

  " Little Nightingale, " the little kitchenmaid called out, " our Gracious Emperor wants you to sing before him. "

   " With the greatest of pleasure ! " said the Nightingale ; and she sang so gloriously that it was a pleasure to listen.


The Nightingale (7) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (7)

  " It sounds like grass bells ! " said the First Lord.
  " She will be a great success at Court. "

  " Shall I sing once more for the Emperor ? "asked the Nightingale, thinking that Emperor was there.

  " My esteemed little Nightingale, " said the First Lord, " I have the great pleasure to invite you to Court this evening, where His Gracious Imperial Highness will be enchanted with your charming song ! "

  " It sounds best in the green wood, " said the Nightingale ; but still, she came gladly when she heard that Emperor wished it.

  At the palace everything was splendidly prepared.


The Nightingale (8) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (8)

  The porcelain walls and floors glittered in the light of many thousand gold lamps ; the most gorgious flowers which tinkled out well were placed in the corridors.

  All the bells jingled so much that one could not hear oneself speak.

  The whole Court was there, and the little litchenmaid was allowed to stand behind the door, now that she was a Court cook.

  The Nightingale sang so gloriously that the tears came into the Emperor's eyes and ran down his cheeks.


The Nightingale (9) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (9)

  The Emperor was so delighted that he said she should wear his gold slipper round her neck.

  But the Nightingale told him she had had enough reward already.
  " I have seen tears in the Emperor's eyes ー that is a great reward for me. An Emperor's tears have such power ! "

  Then she sang again with her gloriously sweet voice.

  " That is most charming ! " said all the ladies round.

  And they all took the holding water in their mouths that they might gurgle whenever anyone spoke to them.

Then they thought themselves nightingales.



The Nightingale (10) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (10)

  The Nightingale had to stay at Court now ; she had her own cage, and permission to walk out twice in the day and once at night.

  She was given twelve servants, who each held a silken string which was fastened round her leg. There was little pleasure in flying about like this.

  One day the Emperor recieved a parcel on which was written ' The Nightingale '.

  " Here is another new book about our famous bird ! " said the Emperor.

 However it was not a book, but a little mechanical toy ー an artificial nightingale which was like the real one, only that it was set all over with diamonds, rubies and sapphires.


The Nightingale (11) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (11)

  When it was wound up, it could sing the piece the real bird sang, and moved its tail up and down, and glittered with silver and gold.

  Round its neck was a little velvet collar on which was written, ' The Nightingale of the Emperor of Japan is nothing compared to that of the Emperor of China.

  " This is magnificent ! " they all said, and the man who had brought the clockwork bird received on the spot the title of Bringer of the Imperial First Nightingale.

  " Now they must sing together ; what a duet we shall have ! "

  And so they sang together, but their voices did not blend, for the real Nightingale sang in her way and the clockwork bird sang

  " It is not its fault ! " declared the bandmaster ; " it keeps very good time and is quite after my style. "


The Nightingale (12) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (12)

  Then the artificial bird had to sing alone.

  It gave just as much pleasure as the real one, and then it was so much prettier to look at it ; it sparkled like bracelets and necklaces.

  Three-and-thirty times it sang the same piece without being tired. People would have heard it again, but the Emperor thought that living Nightingale should sing now ー but where was she ?

 No-one had noticed that she had flown out of the open window away to her green woods.

 " What shall we do ! " said the Emperor.


The Nightingale (13) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (13)

  And all the Court scolded, and said that the Nightingale was very ungrateful.

  " But we have still the best bird ! " they said and artificial bird had to sing again, and that was the thirty-fourth time they had heard the same piece.

  And the bandmaster praised the bird tremendously ; he assured them it was better than a real Nightingale, not only because of its beautiful plumage and diamonds, but inside as well.

  " For see, my Lords and Ladies and your Imperial Majesty, with  the real Nightingale one can never tell what will come out, but all is known about the artificial bird. You can explain it, you can open it and show people where the waltzes lie, how they go, and how one follows the other ! "


The Nightingale (14) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (14)

  " That's just what we think ! " said everyone ; and the bandmaster received permission to show the bird to the people the following Sunday.

  They should hear it sang, commanded the Emperor.

  They all said " Oh ! " and held up their forefingers and nodded time.

  But the poor fisherman who had heard the real Nightingale said : " This one sings well enough, the tunes glide out ; but there is something wanting ー I don't know what ! "

  The real Nightingale was banished from the Kingdom.
  The artificial bird was put on silken cushions by the Emperor's bed , all the presents which it received, gold and precious stones, lay round it, and it was given the title of Imperial Night-singer.


The Nightingale (15) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (15)

  And the bandmaster wrote a work of twenty-five five volumes about the artificial birds

  It was so learned, long and so full of the hardest Chinese words that everyone said that they had read it and understood it ; for once they had been very stupid about a book, and had been trampled under foot in consequences

  So a whole year passed.

  The Emperors the entire Courts and all the people knew every single not of the artificial bird's song  by heart.

  But they liked it all the better for this ; they could even sing with it.


The Nightingale (16) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (16)

  However, when the artificial bird was singing its best, something in the bird went crack.

  Something snapped !

  Whir-r-r ! All the wheels ran down and then the music ceased.

  The Emperor sprang up, and had his physician summoned, but what could he do !

  The the crockmaker came, and, after a great deal of talking and examing, he put the bird somewhat in order, but he said that it must be very seldom used as the works were nearly worn out, and it was impossible to put in new ones.

  Here was a calamity !
  Only once a year was the artificial bird allowed to sing, and even that was almost too much for it.


The Nightingale (17) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (17)

  Five years passed, and then a great sorrow came to the nation.
  The Chinese look upon their Emperor as everything, and now he was ill, and not likely to live it was said.

  Already a new Emperor had been chosen, and the people stood outside in the street and asked the First Lord how the old Emperor was.
  " P ! " was allhe said, and he shook his head.

  Gold and pale lay the Emperor in his splendid bed ; the whole Court believed him dead, and one after the other left him to pay their respects to the new Emperor.

  Everywhere in the halls and corridors cloth was laid down so that no footstep could be heard, and everything was still ー very, very still.
  And nothing came to break the silence.


The Nightingale (18) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (18)
  The Emperor longed for something to come along and relieve the monotony of this deathlike stillness.

  If only someone would speak to him ! If only someone would sing to him.

  " Music ! music ! " cried the Emperor.
  " You little bright golden bird, sing !    I gave you gold and jewels ; I have hung my gold slipper round your neck with my own hand ― sing !, do sing !  "

  But the bird was silent.

  There was no-one to wind it up, and so it could not sing.
  And all was silent, so terribly silent ! " 


The Nightingale (19) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (19)

  All at once there came in at the window the most glorious burst of song.

  It was the little living Nightingale, who, sitting outside on a bough, had heard the need of her Emperor and had come to sing to him of comfort and hope.

  And as she sang the blood flowed quicker and quicker in the Emperor's weak limbs, and life began to return.

  " Thank you, oh, thank you ! " said the Emperor.
  " You divine little bird !  I know you. I chased you from my kingdom, and you have given me life again ! How can I reward you ? "

  " You have done that already ! " replied the Nightingale.
  " I brought tears to your eyes the first time I sang. They are jewels that rejoice a singer's heart. But now you should sleep and get strong again. "

  And the Emperor fell into a deep, calm sleep as she sang.


The Nightingale (20) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (20)

  The sun was shining through the window when he awoke, strong and well.

  None of his servants had come back yet, for they thought he was dead. But the Nightingale sat and sang to him.

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  " You must always stay with me ! " said the emperor.
  " You shall sing whenever you like, and I will break the artificial bird into a thousand pieces. "

  " Don't do that ! " said the Nightingale.
  " He did his work as long as he could. I cannot build my nest in the palace and live here ; but let me come whenever I like. I will sit in the evening on the bough outside the window, and I will sing you something that will make you feel happy and grateful. "


The Nightingale (21 完) [The Nightingale]

The Nightingale (21 完)

  " I will sing of joy, and of sorrow ; I will sing of the evil and the good which lies hidden from you. "

  " The little singing-bird flies all around , to poor fisherman's hut, to the farmer's cottage, to all those who are far away from you and your Court. I love yourr heart more than your crown. Now, I will sing to you again ; but you must promise me one thing ― " 

  " Anything ! " said the Emperor, standing up in his Imperial robes, which he had himself put on.

  " One thing I beg of you. Don't tell anyone that you have a little bird who tells you everything. It will be much better not to ! "

  Then the Nightingale flew away.

  The servants came in to look at their dead Emperor.

  The Emperor said, " Good Morning ! "

(32/32 完 アンデルセン童話)

The Nightingale ブログトップ