85、晨讀夜誦,英語小故事(中英對照)“國王和魔法師”

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正文

Once upon a time there lived a foolish king and a famous magician. One day this magician foretold(預言) the death of a rich merchant, who was a favorite of the king.

從前,有一個愚蠢的國王和一個著名的魔法師。有一天,魔法師預言一個富有的商人將會死去,這商人還是國王特別喜歡的朋友。

It happened that the merchant died on that day. The magician never thought that this would cause a lot of trouble. When the king heard that his friend had died, he got very angry. He said it was the magician"s fault, and sent for him at once.

碰巧的是,商人當天果然死了。魔法師根本沒想到這件事會給他帶來諸多麻煩。 國王聽說朋友死了,非常生氣,認為這都是魔法師的錯,就馬上派人把他找來。

When the magician came in, the king said to him, “I know you are able to foretell the death of others, but can you foretell the date of your own death?”

等魔法師走進來,國王對他說:“我知道你能預言別人的死亡,可你能預知自己的死期嗎?”

When the poor man heard this, he was very frightened. He knew that the king was angry with him and wanted to have him killed. For a few minutes he did not answer.

可憐的魔法師聽到這兒,害怕極了。他知道國王生他的氣,想要他的命。他沉默了幾分鐘,不知道說點兒什么才能救自己一命。

He didn"t know what he could say to save himself. Then he had an idea. “Your Majesty(陛下),” he said bowing, “I cannot foretell the exact date of my death, but I know that I shall die one day before the death of Your Majesty.”

這時,他想出了一個主意。 “陛下,”他鞠躬說道,“我不能預知自己到底哪天會死,不過我卻知道我會比陛下早一天死去。”

When the king heard this, it was his turn to be afraid. He thought, if I cut his head today, I"ll die tomorrow. No, I can"t do this. I"ll let him live as long as possible.

國王一聽這話,這下輪到他自己擔驚受怕了。他想,如果今天砍了這家伙的頭,明天我就得死了。不行,我不能這么做。

Instead of killing the magician, the king now ordered his best doctors to look after him and his strongest soldiers to protect him. And he said to all his men, “Everything must be done to make him live as long as possible.”

我得讓他能活多久活多久才行。國王沒有殺掉魔法師,反而命令自己最好的大夫照顧他,派出最強壯的士兵保護他。國王還對所有手下說:“不惜一切代價,讓他多活一天是一天。”

生詞

foretell [f???tel] v.預言

魔法師(magicians)多見于西方民間傳說,指可以驅使神秘力量的人群。較早的魔法師故事可以追溯到幾千年前古希臘和古埃及的文學作品中,傳奇魔法師迦加門農可以劈開湖水尋找丟失的寶石、巫女瑟斯和侄女都能幫助人們返老還童。中世紀亞瑟王的顧問梅林甚至與神話中英勇的國王和貴族齊名。現代文學中,魔法師也活躍在魔幻作品中,比如《哈利·波特》系列。

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