あのときの王子くん / The Little Prince — czytaj online. Strona 5

Japońsko-angielska dwujęzyczna książka



Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince


“Then they belong to me, because I was the first person to think of it.”


“Is that all that is necessary?”


“Certainly. When you find a diamond that belongs to nobody, it is yours. When you discover an island that belongs to nobody, it is yours. When you get an idea before any one else, you take out a patent on it: it is yours. So with me: I own the stars, because nobody else before me ever thought of owning them.”


“Yes, that is true,” said the little prince. “And what do you do with them?”


“I administer them,” replied the businessman. “I count them and recount them. It is difficult. But I am a man who is naturally interested in matters of consequence.”


The little prince was still not satisfied.


“If I owned a silk scarf,” he said, “I could put it around my neck and take it away with me. If I owned a flower, I could pluck that flower and take it away with me. But you cannot pluck the stars from heaven…”


“No. But I can put them in the bank.”


“Whatever does that mean?”


“That means that I write the number of my stars on a little paper. And then I put this paper in a drawer and lock it with a key.”


“And that is all?”


“That is enough,” said the businessman.


“It is entertaining,” thought the little prince. “It is rather poetic. But it is of no great consequence.”


On matters of consequence, the little prince had ideas which were very different from those of the grown-ups.


“I myself own a flower,” he continued his conversation with the businessman, “which I water every day. I own three volcanoes, which I clean out every week (for I also clean out the one that is extinct; one never knows). It is of some use to my volcanoes, and it is of some use to my flower, that I own them. But you are of no use to the stars…”


The businessman opened his mouth, but he found nothing to say in answer. And the little prince went away.


“The grown-ups are certainly altogether extraordinary,” he said simply, talking to himself as he continued on his journey.




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 absurd. But he is not so absurd as the king, the conceited 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 saluted 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 relaxation and the rest of the night for sleep.”


“And the orders have been changed since that time?”

「おなじことをしなさいって。」と、あかりつけはいった。「それがほんっと、ひどい話なんだ! この星は年々、まわるのがどんどん早くなるのに、おなじことをしなさいって!」

“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 repose. Once every minute I have to light my lamp and put it out!”

「へんなの! きみんちじゃ、1日が1ぷんだなんて!」

“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?”

「そう。30ぷん、30日! こんばんは。」

“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:


The little prince went on with his explanation:
“Your planet is so small that three strides 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 scorned 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.”


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!




The sixth planet was ten times larger than the last one. It was inhabited by an old gentleman who wrote voluminous books.


“Oh, look! Here is an explorer!” he exclaimed to himself when he saw the little prince coming.


The little prince sat down on the table and panted a little. He had already traveled so much and so far!


“Where do you come from?” the old gentleman said to him.


“What is that big book?” said the little prince. “What are you doing?”


“I am a geographer,” said the old gentleman.


“What is a geographer?” asked the little prince.


“A geographer is a scholar who knows the location of all the seas, rivers, towns, mountains, and deserts.”


“That is very interesting,” said the little prince. “Here at last is a man who has a real profession!”


And he cast a look around him at the planet of the geographer. It was the most magnificent and stately planet that he had ever seen.


“Your planet is very beautiful,” he said. “Has it any oceans?”


“I couldn’t tell you,” said the geographer.


“Ah!” The little prince was disappointed. “Has it any mountains?”


“I couldn’t tell you,” said the geographer.


“And towns, and rivers, and deserts?”


“I couldn’t tell you that, either.”


“But you are a geographer!”


“Exactly,” the geographer said. “But I am not an explorer. I haven’t a single explorer on my planet. It is not the geographer who goes out to count the towns, the rivers, the mountains, the seas, the oceans, and the deserts.


The geographer is much too important to go loafing about. He does not leave his desk. But he receives the explorers in his study. He asks them questions, and he notes down what they recall of their travels. And if the recollections of any one among them seem interesting to him, the geographer orders an inquiry into that explorer’s moral character.”


“Why is that?”


“Because an explorer who told lies would bring disaster on the books of the geographer. So would an explorer who drank too much.”


“Why is that?” asked the little prince.


“Because intoxicated men see double. Then the geographer would note down two mountains in a place where there was only one.”


“I know some one,” said the little prince, “who would make a bad explorer.”


“That is possible. Then, when the moral character of the explorer is shown to be good, an inquiry is ordered into his discovery.”


“One goes to see it?”


“No. That would be too complicated. But one requires the explorer to furnish proofs. For example, if the discovery in question is that of a large mountain, one requires that large stones be brought back from it.”


The geographer was suddenly stirred to excitement.

「いやはや、きみはとおくから来たんだな! たんけん家だ! さあ、わしに、きみの星のことをしゃべってくれんか。」

“But you — you come from far away! You are an explorer! You shall describe your planet to me!”


And, having opened his big register, the geographer sharpened his pencil. The recitals of explorers are put down first in pencil. One waits until the explorer has furnished proofs, before putting them down in ink.


“Well?” said the geographer expectantly.


“Oh, where I live,” said the little prince, “it is not very interesting. It is all so small. I have three volcanoes. Two volcanoes are active and the other is extinct. But one never knows.”


“One never knows,” said the geographer.


“I have also a flower.”


“We do not record flowers,” said the geographer.

「どうしてなの! いちばんきれいだよ!」

“Why is that? The flower is the most beautiful thing on my planet!”


“We do not record them,” said the geographer, “because they are ephemeral.”


“What does that mean — ‘ephemeral’?”


“Geographies,” said the geographer, “are the books which, of all books, are most concerned with matters of consequence. They never become old-fashioned. It is very rarely that a mountain changes its position. It is very rarely that an ocean empties itself of its waters. We write of eternal things.”


“But extinct volcanoes may come to life again,” the little prince interrupted. “What does that mean — ‘ephemeral’?”