ENGLISH

Two brothers

DANSK

To brødre


On one of the Danish islands, where old Thingstones, the seats of justice of our forefathers, still stand in the cornfields, and huge trees rise in the forests of beech, there lies a little town whose low houses are covered with red tiles. In one of these houses strange things were brewing over the glowing coals on the open hearth; there was a boiling going on in glasses, and a mixing and distilling, while herbs were being cut up and pounded in mortars. An elderly man looked after it all.
På en af de danske øer, hvor gamle tingsteder løfter sig i kornmarkerne og mægtige træer i bøgeskovene, ligger en lille stad med røde tage på de lave huse; inde i et af disse blev over gløder og emmer på skorstenen lavet underlige ting; der kogtes i glas, der blev blandet og destilleret, der stødtes urter i morterne; en ældre mand stod for det hele.


"One must only do the right thing," he said; "yes, the right– the correct thing. One must find out the truth concerning every created particle, and keep to that."
"Man må vel passe det rette!" sagde han, "ja, det rette, det rigtige, sandheden i hver skabt del, skal man kende og holde sig til."


In the room with the good housewife sat her two sons; they were still small, but had great thoughts. Their mother, too, had always spoken to them of right and justice, and exhorted them to keep to the truth, which she said was the countenance of the Lord in this world.
Inde i stuen hos den brave husmoder sad to af sønnerne, endnu små, men med voksne tanker. Om ret og skel havde også moder altid talt til dem, om at holde på sandheden, det var Vorherres ansigt i denne verden.


The elder of the boys looked roguish and enterprising. He took a delight in reading of the forces of nature, of the sun and the moon; no fairy tale pleased him so much. Oh, how beautiful it must be, he thought, to go on voyages of discovery, or to find out how to imitate the wings of birds and then to be able to fly! Yes, to find that out was the right thing. Father was right, and mother was right– truth holds the world together.
Den ældste af drengene så skælmsk og kæk ud, hans lyst var at læse om naturens kræfter, om sol og stjerner, intet eventyr var ham dejligere. Oh, hvor lykkeligt, at kunne gå på rejseopdagelser, eller at udfinde, hvorledes fuglens vinger lade sig eftergøre, og da at kunne flyve! ja, det var at finde det rigtige! Fader havde ret og moder havde ret. Sandheden holdt verden sammen.


The younger brother was quieter, and buried himself entirely in his books. When he read about Jacob dressing himself in sheep-skins to personify Esau, and so to usurp his brother's birthright, he would clench his little fist in anger against the deceiver; when he read of tyrants and of the injustice and wickedness of the world, tears would come into his eyes, and he was quite filled with the thought of the justice and truth which must and would triumph.
Den yngre broder var mere stille og gav sig ganske hen i bøgerne; læste han om Jacob, som klædte sig i fåreskind for at ligne Esau og derved tilsvige sig førstefødselsret, da knyttede han i harme sin lille hånd, vred på bedrageren; læste han om tyranner og al den uret og ondskab, der øvedes i verden, da stod tårer i hans øjne. Tanken om det rette, sandheden, der skulle og måtte sejre, opfyldte ham så mægtigt. En aften, den lille var allerede i seng, men gardinerne om den ikke helt trukket til, lyset skinnede ind til ham, lå han med sin bog og måtte endelig læse historien om Solon ud.


One evening he was lying in bed, but the curtains were not yet drawn close, and the light streamed in upon him; he had taken his book into bed with him, for he wanted to finish reading the story of Solon. His thoughts lifted and carried him away a wonderful distance; it seemed to him as if the bed had become a ship flying along under full sail. Was he dreaming, or what was happening? It glided over the rolling waves and across the ocean of time, and to him came the voice of Solon; spoken in a strange tongue, yet intelligible to him, he heard the Danish motto: "By law the land is ruled."
Og tankerne løftede og bar ham så sælsomt vidt; det var, som om sengen blev et helt fartøj for fulde sejl; drømte han, eller hvad var det? Han gled hen over rullende vande, tidens store søer, han hørte Solons røst, forståeligt og dog i fremmed mål lød det danske valgsprog: "Med lov skal man land bygge!"


The genius of the human race stood in the humble room, bent down over the bed and imprinted a kiss on the boy's forehead: "Be thou strong in fame and strong in the battle of life! With truth in thy heart fly toward the land of truth!"
Og menneskeslægtens genius stod i den fattige stue, bøjede sig over sengen og trykkede et kys på drengens pande: "Bliv stærk i hæder og stærk i livets kamp! med sandhed i dit bryst, flyv mod sandhedens land!"


The elder brother was not yet in bed; he was standing at the window looking out at the mist which rose from the meadows. They were not elves dancing out there, as their old nurse had told him; he knew better– they were vapours which were warmer than the air, and that is why they rose. A shooting star lit up the sky, and the boy's thoughts passed in a second from the vapours of the earth up to the shining meteor. The stars gleamed in the heavens, and it seemed as if long golden threads hung down from them to the earth.
Den ældre broder var endnu ikke tilsengs, han stod ved vinduet, så ud på tågerne der løftede sig fra engen; det var ikke elverpigerne, som dansede der, det havde rigtignok et gammelt tyende sagt ham, men han vidste bedre besked, det var dampene, varmere end luften, og så løftede de sig. Et stjerneskud lyste, og drengens tanker var i samme nu fra jordens dunster, helt oppe ved det lysende meteor. Himlens stjerner blinkede, det var, som om der hang lange guldtråde fra dem ned til vor jord.


"Fly with me," sang a voice, which the boy heard in his heart. And the mighty genius of mankind, swifter than a bird and than an arrow– swifter than anything of earthly origin– carried him out into space, where the heavenly bodies are bound together by the rays that pass from star to star. Our earth revolved in the thin air, and the cities upon it seemed to lie close to each other. Through the spheres echoed the words:
"Flyv med mig!" sang og klang det lige ind i drengens hjerte; og slægternes mægtige genius, hurtigere end fuglen, end pilen, end alt hvad jordisk der flyve kan, bar ham ud i rummet, hvor stråle fra stjerne til stjerne bandt kloderne til hinanden; vor jord drejede sig i den tynde luft, by syntes tæt ved by. Gennem sfærerne klang det:


"What is near, what is far, when thou art lifted by the mighty genius of mind?"
"Hvad er nær, hvad er fjern, når åndens mægtige genius løfter dig!"


And again the boy stood by the window, gazing out, whilst his younger brother lay in bed. Their mother called them by their names: "Anders Sandoe" and "Hans Christian."
Og atter stod den lille ved vinduet og så ud, den yngre broder lå i sin seng, moder kaldte dem ved deres navn: "Anders og Hans Christian!"


Denmark and the whole world knows them– the two brothers Oersted.
Danmark kender dem, verden kender de to brødre – Ørsted.





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