文章来源: 文章作者: 发布时间:2008-06-21 03:13 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
    A FEW large lizards2 were running nimbly about in the
clefts of an old tree; they could understand one another very
well, for they spoke3 the lizard1 language.

    "What a buzzing and a rumbling4 there is in the elfin
hill," said one of the lizards; "I have not been able to close
my eyes for two nights on account of the noise; I might just
as well have had the toothache, for that always keeps me

    "There is something going on within there," said the other
lizard; "they propped5 up the top of the hill with four red
posts, till cock-crow this morning, so that it is thoroughly
aired, and the elfin girls have learnt new dances; there is

    "I spoke about it to an earth-worm of my acquaintance,"
said a third lizard; "the earth-worm had just come from the
elfin hill, where he has been groping about in the earth day
and night. He has heard a great deal; although he cannot see,
poor miserable6 creature, yet he understands very well how to
wriggle and lurk7 about. They expect friends in the elfin hill,
grand company, too; but who they are the earth-worm would not
say, or, perhaps, he really did not know. All the
will-o'-the-wisps are ordered to be there to hold a torch
dance, as it is called. The silver and gold which is plentiful
in the hill will be polished and placed out in the moonlight."

    "Who can the strangers be?" asked the lizards; "what can
the matter be? Hark, what a buzzing and humming there is!"

    Just at this moment the elfin hill opened, and an old
elfin maiden8, hollow behind, came tripping out; she was the
old elf king's housekeeper9, and a distant relative of the
family; therefore she wore an amber10 heart on the middle of her
forehead. Her feet moved very fast, "trip, trip;" good
gracious, how she could trip right down to the sea to the

    "You are invited to the elf hill for this evening," said
she; "but will you do me a great favor and undertake the
invitations? you ought to do something, for you have no
housekeeping to attend to as I have. We are going to have some
very grand people, conjurors, who have always something to
say; and therefore the old elf king wishes to make a great

    "Who is to be invited?" asked the raven.

    "All the world may come to the great ball, even human
beings, if they can only talk in their sleep, or do something
after our fashion. But for the feast the company must be
carefully selected; we can only admit persons of high rank; I
have had a dispute myself with the elf king, as he thought we
could not admit ghosts. The merman and his daughter must be
invited first, although it may not be agreeable to them to
remain so long on dry land, but they shall have a wet stone to
sit on, or perhaps something better; so I think they will not
refuse this time. We must have all the old demons12 of the first
class, with tails, and the hobgoblins and imps13; and then I
think we ought not to leave out the death-horse, or the
grave-pig, or even the church dwarf14, although they do belong
to the clergy15, and are not reckoned among our people; but that
is merely their office, they are nearly related to us, and
visit us very frequently."

    "Croak," said the night-raven as he flew away with the

    The elfin maidens16 we're already dancing on the elf hill,
and they danced in shawls woven from moonshine and mist, which
look very pretty to those who like such things. The large hall
within the elf hill was splendidly decorated; the floor had
been washed with moonshine, and the walls had been rubbed with
magic ointment17, so that they glowed like tulip-leaves in the
light. In the kitchen were frogs roasting on the spit, and
dishes preparing of snail18 skins, with children's fingers in
them, salad of mushroom seed, hemlock19, noses and marrow20 of
mice, beer from the marsh21 woman's brewery22, and sparkling
salt-petre wine from the grave cellars. These were all
substantial food. Rusty23 nails and church-window glass formed
the dessert. The old elf king had his gold crown polished up
with powdered slate-pencil; it was like that used by the first
form, and very difficult for an elf king to obtain. In the
bedrooms, curtains were hung up and fastened with the slime of
snails; there was, indeed, a buzzing and humming everywhere.

    "Now we must fumigate24 the place with burnt horse-hair and
pig's bristles25, and then I think I shall have done my part,"
said the elf man-servant.

    "Father, dear," said the youngest daughter, "may I now
hear who our high-born visitors are?"

    "Well, I suppose I must tell you now," he replied; "two of
my daughters must prepare themselves to be married, for the
marriages certainly will take place. The old goblin from
Norway, who lives in the ancient Dovre mountains, and who
possesses many castles built of rock and freestone, besides a
gold mine, which is better than all, so it is thought, is
coming with his two sons, who are both seeking a wife. The old
goblin is a true-hearted, honest, old Norwegian graybeard;
cheerful and straightforward26. I knew him formerly27, when we
used to drink together to our good fellowship: he came here
once to fetch his wife, she is dead now. She was the daughter
of the king of the chalk-hills at Moen. They say he took his
wife from chalk; I shall be delighted to see him again. It is
said that the boys are ill-bred, forward lads, but perhaps
that is not quite correct, and they will become better as they
grow older. Let me see that you know how to teach them good

    "And when are they coming?" asked the daughter.

    "That depends upon wind and weather," said the elf king;
"they travel economically. They will come when there is the
chance of a ship. I wanted them to come over to Sweden, but
the old man was not inclined to take my advice. He does not go
forward with the times, and that I do not like."

    Two will-o'-the-wisps came jumping in, one quicker than
the other, so of course, one arrived first. "They are coming!
they are coming!" he cried.

    "Give me my crown," said the elf king, "and let me stand
in the moonshine."

    The daughters drew on their shawls and bowed down to the
ground. There stood the old goblin from the Dovre mountains,
with his crown of hardened ice and polished fir-cones. Besides
this, he wore a bear-skin, and great, warm boots, while his
sons went with their throats bare and wore no braces28, for they
were strong men.

    "Is that a hill?" said the youngest of the boys, pointing
to the elf hill, "we should call it a hole in Norway."

    "Boys," said the old man, "a hole goes in, and a hill
stands out; have you no eyes in your heads?"

    Another thing they wondered at was, that they were able
without trouble to understand the language.

    "Take care," said the old man, "or people will think you
have not been well brought up."

    Then they entered the elfin hill, where the select and
grand company were assembled, and so quickly had they appeared
that they seemed to have been blown together. But for each
guest the neatest and pleasantest arrangement had been made.
The sea folks sat at table in great water-tubs, and they said
it was just like being at home. All behaved themselves
properly excepting the two young northern goblins; they put
their legs on the table and thought they were all right.

    "Feet off the table-cloth!" said the old goblin. They
obeyed, but not immediately. Then they tickled29 the ladies who
waited at table, with the fir-cones, which they carried in
their pockets. They took off their boots, that they might be
more at ease, and gave them to the ladies to hold. But their
father, the old goblin, was very different; he talked
pleasantly about the stately Norwegian rocks, and told fine
tales of the waterfalls which dashed over them with a
clattering noise like thunder or the sound of an organ,
spreading their white foam30 on every side. He told of the
salmon that leaps in the rushing waters, while the water-god
plays on his golden harp31. He spoke of the bright winter
nights, when the sledge32 bells are ringing, and the boys run
with burning torches across the smooth ice, which is so
transparent that they can see the fishes dart33 forward beneath
their feet. He described everything so clearly, that those who
listened could see it all; they could see the saw-mills going,
the men-servants and the maidens singing songs, and dancing a
rattling dance,- when all at once the old goblin gave the old
elfin maiden a kiss, such a tremendous kiss, and yet they were
almost strangers to each other.

    Then the elfin girls had to dance, first in the usual way,
and then with stamping feet, which they performed very well;
then followed the artistic34 and solo dance. Dear me, how they
did throw their legs about! No one could tell where the dance
begun, or where it ended, nor indeed which were legs and which
were arms, for they were all flying about together, like the
shavings in a saw-pit! And then they spun35 round so quickly
that the death-horse and the grave-pig became sick and giddy,
and were obliged to leave the table.

    "Stop!" cried the old goblin," is that the only
house-keeping they can perform? Can they do anything more than
dance and throw about their legs, and make a whirlwind?"

    "You shall soon see what they can do," said the elf king.
And then he called his youngest daughter to him. She was
slender and fair as moonlight, and the most graceful36 of all
the sisters. She took a white chip in her mouth, and vanished
instantly; this was her accomplishment37. But the old goblin
said he should not like his wife to have such an
accomplishment, and thought his boys would have the same
objection. Another daughter could make a figure like herself
follow her, as if she had a shadow, which none of the goblin
folk ever had. The third was of quite a different sort; she
had learnt in the brew-house of the moor38 witch how to lard
elfin puddings with glow-worms.

    "She will make a good housewife," said the old goblin, and
then saluted39 her with his eyes instead of drinking her health;
for he did not drink much.

    Now came the fourth daughter, with a large harp to play
upon; and when she struck the first chord, every one lifted up
the left leg (for the goblins are left-legged), and at the
second chord they found they must all do just what she wanted.

    "That is a dangerous woman," said the old goblin; and the
two sons walked out of the hill; they had had enough of it.
"And what can the next daughter do?" asked the old goblin.

    "I have learnt everything that is Norwegian," said she;
"and I will never marry, unless I can go to Norway."

    Then her youngest sister whispered to the old goblin,
"That is only because she has heard, in a Norwegian song, that
when the world shall decay, the cliffs of Norway will remain
standing like monuments; and she wants to get there, that she
may be safe; for she is so afraid of sinking."

    "Ho! ho!" said the old goblin, "is that what she means?
Well, what can the seventh and last do?"

    "The sixth comes before the seventh," said the elf king,
for he could reckon; but the sixth would not come forward.

    "I can only tell people the truth," said she. "No one
cares for me, nor troubles himself about me; and I have enough
to do to sew my grave clothes."

    So the seventh and last came; and what could she do? Why,
she could tell stories, as many as you liked, on any subject.

    "Here are my five fingers," said the old goblin; "now tell
me a story for each of them."

    So she took him by the wrist, and he laughed till he
nearly choked; and when she came to the fourth finger, there
was a gold ring on it, as if it knew there was to be a
betrothal. Then the old goblin said, "Hold fast what you have:
this hand is yours; for I will have you for a wife myself."

    Then the elfin girl said that the stories about the
ring-finger and little Peter Playman had not yet been told.

    "We will hear them in the winter," said the old goblin,
"and also about the fir and the birch-trees, and the ghost
stories, and of the tingling40 frost. You shall tell your tales,
for no one over there can do it so well; and we will sit in
the stone rooms, where the pine logs are burning, and drink
mead out of the golden drinking-horn of the old Norwegian
kings. The water-god has given me two; and when we sit there,
Nix comes to pay us a visit, and will sing you all the songs
of the mountain shepherdesses. How merry we shall be! The
salmon will be leaping in the waterfalls, and dashing against
the stone walls, but he will not be able to come in. It is
indeed very pleasant to live in old Norway. But where are the

    Where indeed were they? Why, running about the fields, and
blowing out the will-o'-the-wisps, who so good-naturedly came
and brought their torches.

    "What tricks have you been playing?" said the old goblin.
"I have taken a mother for you, and now you may take one of
your aunts."

    But the youngsters said they would rather make a speech
and drink to their good fellowship; they had no wish to marry.
Then they made speeches and drank toasts, and tipped their
glasses, to show that they were empty. Then they took off
their coats, and lay down on the table to sleep; for they made
themselves quite at home. But the old goblin danced about the
room with his young bride, and exchanged boots with her, which
is more fashionable than exchanging rings.

    "The cock is crowing," said the old elfin maiden who acted
as housekeeper; now we must close the shutters41, that the sun
may not scorch42 us."

    Then the hill closed up. But the lizards continued to run
up and down the riven tree; and one said to the other, "Oh,
how much I was pleased with the old goblin!"

    "The boys pleased me better," said the earth-worm. But
then the poor miserable creature could not see.

                            THE END


1 lizard P0Ex0     
  • A chameleon is a kind of lizard.变色龙是一种蜥蜴。
  • The lizard darted out its tongue at the insect.蜥蜴伸出舌头去吃小昆虫。
2 lizards 9e3fa64f20794483b9c33d06297dcbfb     
n.蜥蜴( lizard的名词复数 )
  • Nothing lives in Pompeii except crickets and beetles and lizards. 在庞培城里除了蟋蟀、甲壳虫和蜥蜴外,没有别的生物。 来自辞典例句
  • Can lizards reproduce their tails? 蜥蜴的尾巴断了以后能再生吗? 来自辞典例句
3 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
4 rumbling 85a55a2bf439684a14a81139f0b36eb1     
n. 隆隆声, 辘辘声 adj. 隆隆响的 动词rumble的现在分词
  • The earthquake began with a deep [low] rumbling sound. 地震开始时发出低沉的隆隆声。
  • The crane made rumbling sound. 吊车发出隆隆的响声。
5 propped 557c00b5b2517b407d1d2ef6ba321b0e     
支撑,支持,维持( prop的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He sat propped up in the bed by pillows. 他靠着枕头坐在床上。
  • This fence should be propped up. 这栅栏该用东西支一支。
6 miserable g18yk     
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。
7 lurk J8qz2     
  • Dangers lurk in the path of wilderness.在这条荒野的小路上隐伏着危险。
  • He thought he saw someone lurking above the chamber during the address.他觉得自己看见有人在演讲时潜藏在会议厅顶上。
8 maiden yRpz7     
  • The prince fell in love with a fair young maiden.王子爱上了一位年轻美丽的少女。
  • The aircraft makes its maiden flight tomorrow.这架飞机明天首航。
9 housekeeper 6q2zxl     
  • A spotless stove told us that his mother is a diligent housekeeper.炉子清洁无瑕就表明他母亲是个勤劳的主妇。
  • She is an economical housekeeper and feeds her family cheaply.她节约持家,一家人吃得很省。
10 amber LzazBn     
  • Would you like an amber necklace for your birthday?你过生日想要一条琥珀项链吗?
  • This is a piece of little amber stones.这是一块小小的琥珀化石。
11 raven jAUz8     
  • We know the raven will never leave the man's room.我们知道了乌鸦再也不会离开那个男人的房间。
  • Her charming face was framed with raven hair.她迷人的脸上垂落着乌亮的黑发。
12 demons 8f23f80251f9c0b6518bce3312ca1a61     
n.恶人( demon的名词复数 );恶魔;精力过人的人;邪念
  • demons torturing the sinners in Hell 地狱里折磨罪人的魔鬼
  • He is plagued by demons which go back to his traumatic childhood. 他为心魔所困扰,那可追溯至他饱受创伤的童年。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 imps 48348203d9ff6190cb3eb03f4afc7e75     
n.(故事中的)小恶魔( imp的名词复数 );小魔鬼;小淘气;顽童
  • Those imps are brewing mischief. 那些小淘气们正在打坏主意。 来自辞典例句
  • No marvel if the imps follow when the devil goes before. 魔鬼带头,难怪小鬼纷纷跟随。 来自互联网
14 dwarf EkjzH     
  • The dwarf's long arms were not proportional to his height.那侏儒的长臂与他的身高不成比例。
  • The dwarf shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. 矮子耸耸肩膀,摇摇头。
15 clergy SnZy2     
  • I could heartily wish that more of our country clergy would follow this example.我衷心希望,我国有更多的牧师效法这个榜样。
  • All the local clergy attended the ceremony.当地所有的牧师出席了仪式。
16 maidens 85662561d697ae675e1f32743af22a69     
处女( maiden的名词复数 ); 少女; 未婚女子; (板球运动)未得分的一轮投球
  • stories of knights and fair maidens 关于骑士和美女的故事
  • Transplantation is not always successful in the matter of flowers or maidens. 花儿移栽往往并不成功,少女们换了环境也是如此。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
17 ointment 6vzy5     
  • Your foot will feel better after the application of this ointment.敷用这药膏后,你的脚会感到舒服些。
  • This herbal ointment will help to close up your wound quickly.这种中草药膏会帮助你的伤口很快愈合。
18 snail 8xcwS     
  • Snail is a small plant-eating creature with a soft body.蜗牛是一种软体草食动物。
  • Time moved at a snail's pace before the holidays.放假前的时间过得很慢。
19 hemlock n51y6     
  • He was condemned to drink a cup of hemlock.判处他喝一杯毒汁。
  • Here is a beech by the side of a hemlock,with three pines at hand.这儿有株山毛榉和一株铁杉长在一起,旁边还有三株松树。
20 marrow M2myE     
  • It was so cold that he felt frozen to the marrow. 天气太冷了,他感到寒冷刺骨。
  • He was tired to the marrow of his bones.他真是累得筋疲力尽了。
21 marsh Y7Rzo     
  • There are a lot of frogs in the marsh.沼泽里有许多青蛙。
  • I made my way slowly out of the marsh.我缓慢地走出这片沼泽地。
22 brewery KWSzJ     
  • The brewery had 25 heavy horses delivering beer in London.啤酒厂有25匹高头大马在伦敦城中运送啤酒。
  • When business was good,the brewery employed 20 people.在生意好的时候,这家酿造厂曾经雇佣过20人。
23 rusty hYlxq     
  • The lock on the door is rusty and won't open.门上的锁锈住了。
  • I haven't practiced my French for months and it's getting rusty.几个月不用,我的法语又荒疏了。
24 fumigate j65yg     
  • As preventive,spray plants with systemic insecticide or fumigate them regularly.作为预防措施,要用内吸杀虫剂对植物定期喷洒,或熏蒸。
  • The hospital ward was fumigated after the outbreak of typhus.发现斑疹伤寒以后,医院的病房进行了烟熏消毒。
25 bristles d40df625d0ab9008a3936dbd866fa2ec     
短而硬的毛发,刷子毛( bristle的名词复数 )
  • the bristles on his chin 他下巴上的胡楂子
  • This job bristles with difficulties. 这项工作困难重重。
26 straightforward fFfyA     
  • A straightforward talk is better than a flowery speech.巧言不如直说。
  • I must insist on your giving me a straightforward answer.我一定要你给我一个直截了当的回答。
27 formerly ni3x9     
  • We now enjoy these comforts of which formerly we had only heard.我们现在享受到了过去只是听说过的那些舒适条件。
  • This boat was formerly used on the rivers of China.这船从前航行在中国内河里。
28 braces ca4b7fc327bd02465aeaf6e4ce63bfcd     
n.吊带,背带;托架( brace的名词复数 );箍子;括弧;(儿童)牙箍v.支住( brace的第三人称单数 );撑牢;使自己站稳;振作起来
  • The table is shaky because the braces are loose. 这张桌子摇摇晃晃,因为支架全松了。
  • You don't need braces if you're wearing a belt! 要系腰带,就用不着吊带了。
29 tickled 2db1470d48948f1aa50b3cf234843b26     
(使)发痒( tickle的过去式和过去分词 ); (使)愉快,逗乐
  • We were tickled pink to see our friends on television. 在电视中看到我们的一些朋友,我们高兴极了。
  • I tickled the baby's feet and made her laugh. 我胳肢孩子的脚,使她发笑。
30 foam LjOxI     
  • The glass of beer was mostly foam.这杯啤酒大部分是泡沫。
  • The surface of the water is full of foam.水面都是泡沫。
31 harp UlEyQ     
  • She swept her fingers over the strings of the harp.她用手指划过竖琴的琴弦。
  • He played an Irish melody on the harp.他用竖琴演奏了一首爱尔兰曲调。
32 sledge AxVw9     
  • The sledge gained momentum as it ran down the hill.雪橇从山上下冲时的动力越来越大。
  • The sledge slid across the snow as lightly as a boat on the water.雪橇在雪原上轻巧地滑行,就象船在水上行驶一样。
33 dart oydxK     
  • The child made a sudden dart across the road.那小孩突然冲过马路。
  • Markov died after being struck by a poison dart.马尔科夫身中毒镖而亡。
34 artistic IeWyG     
  • The picture on this screen is a good artistic work.这屏风上的画是件很好的艺术品。
  • These artistic handicrafts are very popular with foreign friends.外国朋友很喜欢这些美术工艺品。
35 spun kvjwT     
  • His grandmother spun him a yarn at the fire.他奶奶在火炉边给他讲故事。
  • Her skilful fingers spun the wool out to a fine thread.她那灵巧的手指把羊毛纺成了细毛线。
36 graceful deHza     
  • His movements on the parallel bars were very graceful.他的双杠动作可帅了!
  • The ballet dancer is so graceful.芭蕾舞演员的姿态是如此的优美。
37 accomplishment 2Jkyo     
  • The series of paintings is quite an accomplishment.这一系列的绘画真是了不起的成就。
  • Money will be crucial to the accomplishment of our objectives.要实现我们的目标,钱是至关重要的。
38 moor T6yzd     
  • I decided to moor near some tourist boats.我决定在一些观光船附近停泊。
  • There were hundreds of the old huts on the moor.沼地上有成百上千的古老的石屋。
39 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》
40 tingling LgTzGu     
v.有刺痛感( tingle的现在分词 )
  • My ears are tingling [humming; ringing; singing]. 我耳鸣。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • My tongue is tingling. 舌头发麻。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
41 shutters 74d48a88b636ca064333022eb3458e1f     
百叶窗( shutter的名词复数 ); (照相机的)快门
  • The shop-front is fitted with rolling shutters. 那商店的店门装有卷门。
  • The shutters thumped the wall in the wind. 在风中百叶窗砰砰地碰在墙上。
42 scorch YZhxa     
  • I could not wash away the mark of the scorch.我洗不掉这焦痕。
  • This material will scorch easily if it is too near the fire.这种材料如果太靠近炉火很容易烤焦。