DANSK

Nissen og madammen

ENGLISH

The goblin and the woman


Nissen kender du, men kender du madammen, gartnerens madam? Hun havde læsning, kunne vers udenad, ja med lethed skrive dem selv; kun rimene, "klinkningen," som hun kaldte det, voldte hende lidt besvær. Hun havde skrivegave og talegave, hun kunne godt have været præst, i det mindste præstekone.
You know the Goblin, but do you know the Woman-the Gardener's wife? She was very well read and knew poems by heart; yes, and she could write them, too, easily, except that the rhymes-"clinchings," as she called them-gave her a little trouble. She had the gift of writing and the gift of speech; she could very well have been a parson or at least a parson's wife.


"Jorden er dejlig i sin søndagskjole!" sagde hun, og den tanke havde hun sat i stil og "klinkning," sat den i en vise, så skøn og lang.
"The earth is beautiful in her Sunday gown," she said, and this thought she had expanded and set down in poetic form, with "clinchings," making a poem that was so long and lovely.


Seminaristen hr. Kisserup, navnet gør ikke til sagen, var søskendebarn og i besøg hos gartnerens; han hørte madammens digt og havde godt deraf, sagde han, inderlig godt. "De har ånd, madame!" sagde han.
The Assistant Schoolmaster, Mr. Kisserup (not that his name matters at all), was her nephew, and on a visit to the Gardener's he heard the poem. It did him good, he said, a lot of good. "You have soul, Madam," he said.


"Snikke mig snak!" sagde gartneren, "sæt mig ikke sådan noget i hende! en kone skal være krop, anstændig krop, og passe sin gryde at grøden ikke bliver sveden."
"Stuff and nonsense!" said the Gardener. "Don't be putting such ideas in her head! Soul! A wife should be a body, a good, plain, decent body, and watch the pot, to keep the porridge from burning."


"Det svedne tager jeg bort med en træglød!" sagde madammen, "og det svedne tager jeg fra dig med et lille kys. Man skulle tro at du kun tænkte på kål og kartofler, og dog elsker du blomsterne!" og så kyssede hun ham. "Blomsterne er ånden!" sagde hun.
"I can take the burnt taste out of the porridge with a bit of charcoal," said the Woman. "And I can take the burnt taste out of you with a little kiss. You pretend you don't think of anything but cabbage and potatoes, but you love the flowers, too." Then she kissed him. "Flowers are the soul!"


"Pas din gryde!" sagde han og gik i haven, den var hans gryde og den passede han.
"Mind your pot!" he said, as he went off to the garden. That was his pot, and he minded it.


Men seminaristen sad hos madammen og talte med madammen; hendes skønne ord "jorden er dejlig," holdt han ligesom en hel prædiken over, på sin måde.
But the Assistant Schoolmaster stayed on, talking to the woman. Her lovely words, "Earth is beautiful," he made a whole sermon of, which was his habit.


"Jorden er dejlig, gør Eder den underdanig, blev sagt, og vi blev herskabet. En er det ved ånden, en ved legemet, en blev sat ind i verden som et forbavselsens udråbstegn, en anden som en tankestreg, så at man nok kan spørge, hvad skulle han her? En bliver bisp, en anden kun fattig seminarist, men alt er viseligt. Jorden er dejlig og altid i søndagskjole! Det var et tankevækkende digt, madammens, fuldt af følelse og geografi."
"Earth is beautiful, and it shall be subject unto you! was said, and we became lords of the earth. One person rules with the mind, one with the body; one comes into the world like an exclamation mark of astonishment, another like a dash that denotes faltering thought, so that we pause and ask, why is he here? One man becomes a bishop, another just a poor assistant schoolmaster, but everything is for the best. Earth is beautiful and always in her Sunday gown. That was a thought-provoking poem, Madam, full of feeling and geography!"


"De har ånd, hr. Kisserup!" sagde madammen, "megen ånd, det forsikrer jeg Dem! Man får klarhed i sig selv, når man taler med Dem."
"You have soul, Mr. Kisserup," said the Woman, "a great deal of soul, I assure you. After talking with you, one clearly understands oneself."


Og så talte de videre, lige smukt og lige godt; men ude i køknet var der også en som talte, det var nissen, den lille gråklædte nisse med den røde hue; du kender ham! nissen sad i køknet og var pottekigger; han talte, men ingen hørte ham uden den store sorte missekat, "Flødetyven," som madammen kaldte ham.
And so they talked on, equally well and beautifully. But out in the kitchen somebody else was talking, and that was the Goblin, the little gray-dressed Goblin with the red cap-you know the fellow. The Goblin was sitting in the kitchen, acting as pot watcher. He was talking, but nobody heard him except the big black Pussycat-"Cream Thief," the Woman called him.


Nissen var så vred på hende, thi hun troede ikke på hans tilværelse, vidste han; hun havde rigtignok aldrig set ham, men hun måtte dog med al hendes læsning vide at han var til og da vise ham en lille opmærksomhed. Det faldt hende aldrig ind juleaften at sætte så meget som en skefuld grød hen til ham, det havde alle hans forfædre fået, og det af madammer, der slet ikke havde læsning; grøden havde svømmet i smør og fløde. Katten blev ganske våd om skægget ved at høre derom.
The Goblin was mad at her because he had learned she didn't believe in his existence. Of course, she had never seen him, but with all her reading she ought to have realized he did exist and have paid him a little attention. On Christmas Eve she never thought of setting out so much as a spoonful of porridge for him, though all his ancestors had received that, and even from women who had no learning at all. Their porridge used to be so swimming with cream and butter that it made the Cat's mouth water to hear about it.


"Hun kalder mig et begreb!" sagde nissen, "det går over alle mine begreber. Hun fornægter mig jo! Det har jeg luret mig til og nu har jeg luret igen; hun sidder og hvæser for drengebankeren, seminaristen. Jeg siger med fatter: 'Pas din gryde!' Det gør hun ikke; nu skal jeg få den til at koge over!"
"She calls me just a notion!" said the Goblin. "And that's more than I can understand. In fact, she simply denies me! I've listened to her saying so before, and again just now in there, where she's driveling to that boy whipper, that Assistant Schoolmaster. I say with Pop, 'Mind the pot!' That she doesn't do, so now I am going to make it boil over!"


Og nissen pustede til ilden, der blussede og brændte. "Surrerurre-rup!" der kogte gryden over.
And the Goblin blew on the fire till it burned and blazed up. "Surre-rurre-rup!" And the pot boiled over.


"Nu skal jeg ind og pille huller i fatters sokker!" sagde nissen. "Jeg vil trævle op et stort hul i tå og hæl, så bliver der noget at stoppe, dersom hun ikke skal hen at digte; digtemadam, stop fatters hoser!"
"And now I'm going to pick holes in Pop's socks," said the Goblin. "I'll unravel a large piece, both in toe and heel, so she'll have something to darn; that is, if she is not too busy writing poetry. Madam Poetess, please darn Pop's stocking!"


Katten nøs derved; han var forkølet, uagtet han altid gik i skindpels.
The Cat sneezed; he had caught a cold, though he always wore a fur coat.


"Jeg har lukket spisekammerdøren op," sagde nissen; "der står henkogt fløde, så tyk som melpap. Vil du ikke slikke, så vil jeg!"
"I've opened the door to the larder," said the Goblin. "There's boiled cream in there as thick as paste. If you won't have a lick I will."


"Skal jeg have skylden og bankene," sagde katten, "så lad mig også slikke fløden!"
"If I am going to get all the blame and the whipping for it, anyway," said the Cat, "I'll lick my share of the cream."


"Først flø'en, så kløen'!" sagde nissen. "Men nu skal jeg ind i seminaristens stue, hænge hans seler på spejlet og putte hans sokker i vandfadet, så tror han at punchen har været for stærk og han ør i hovedet. I nat sad jeg på brændestablen ved hundehuset; jeg har megen fornøjelse af at drille lænkehunden; jeg lod mine ben hænge ned og dingle. Hunden kunne ikke nå dem, ihvor højt han sprang; det ærgrede ham; han gøede og gøede, jeg dinglede og danglede; det var et spektakel. Seminaristen vågnede derved, stod tre gange op og kiggede ud, men han så mig ikke, uagtet han havde briller på; han sover altid med briller."
"First a lick, then a kick!" said the Goblin. "But now I'm off to the Assistant Schoolmaster's room, where I'll hang his suspenders on the mirror, put his socks into the water pitcher, and make him think the punch was too strong and has his brain in a whirl. Last night I sat on the woodpile by the kennel. I have a lot of fun teasing the watchdog; I let my legs dangle in front of him. The dog couldn't reach them, no matter how hard he jumped; that made him mad, he barked and barked, and I dingled and dangled; we made a lot of noise! The Assistant Schoolmaster woke up and jumped out of bed three times, but he couldn't see me,though he was wearing his spectacles. He always sleeps with his spectacles on."


"Sig miav, når madammen kommer!" sagde katten. "Jeg hører ikke godt, jeg er syg i dag."
"Say mew when you hear the Woman coming," said the Cat. "I'm a little deaf. I don't feel well today."


"Du er sliksyg!" sagde nissen, "slik væk! slik sygdommen væk! men tør dig om skægget, at fløden ikke hænger i! Nu går jeg og lurer."
"You have the licking sickness," said the Goblin. "Lick away; lick your sickness away. But be sure to wipe your whiskers, so the cream won't show on it. I'm off to do a little eavesdropping."


Og nissen stod ved døren og døren stod på klem, der var ingen i stuen uden madammen og seminaristen; de talte om hvad seminaristen så skønt kaldte det, man skal sætte over potten og gryden i enhver husholdning: åndens gaver.
So the Goblin stood behind the door, and the door stood ajar. There was nobody in the parlor except the Woman and the Assistant Schoolmaster. They were discussing things which, as the Assistant Schoolmaster so nobly observed, ought to rank in every household above pots and pans-the Gifts of the Soul.


"Hr. Kisserup!" sagde madammen, "nu skal jeg i den anledning vise Dem noget, som jeg endnu aldrig har vist til nogen jordisk sjæl, mindst til et mandfolk, mine småvers, nogle er jo rigtignok noget lange, jeg har kaldt dem: 'Klinkninger af en dannekvinde!' jeg holder så meget af gamle danske ord."
"Mr. Kisserup," said the Woman, "since we are discussing this subject, I'll show you something along that line which I've never yet shown to a living soul-least of all a man. They're my smaller poems; however, some of them are rather long. I have called them 'Clinchings by a Danneqvinde.' You see, I am very fond of old Danish words!"


"Dem skal man også holde på!" sagde seminaristen; "man skal rydde det tyske ud af sproget."
"Yes, we should hold onto them," said the Assistant Schoolmaster. "We should root the German out of our language."


"Det gør jeg også!" sagde madammen; "aldrig skal De høre mig sige 'klejner' eller 'butterdej', jeg siger fedtkager og bladdej."
"That I am doing, too!" said the Woman. "You'll never hear me speak of Kleiner or Butterteig;no, I call them fatty cakes and paste leaves."


Og hun tog ud af skuffen en skrivebog med lysegrønt omslag og to blækklatter.
Then she took a writing book, in a light green cover, with two blotches of ink on it, from her drawer.


"Der er megen alvor i den bog!" sagde hun. "Jeg har stærkest fornemmelse til det sørgelige. Her er nu 'Sukket i natten', 'Min aftenrøde', og 'Da jeg fik Klemmensen', min mand; det kan De springe over, uagtet det er følt og tænkt. 'Husmoderens pligter' er det bedste stykke; alle meget sørgelige, deri har jeg min evne. Kun et eneste stykke er spøgefuldt, det er nogle muntre tanker, som man jo også kan have dem, tanker om - De må ikke le ad mig! - tanker om - at være digterinde; det er kun kendt af mig selv, min skuffe, og nu også af Dem, hr. Kisserup! Jeg holder af poesien, den kommer over mig, den driller, råder og regerer. Jeg har udtalt det med overskrift: 'Lille nisse'. De kender nok den gamle bondetro om husnissen, der altid er på spil i huset; jeg har tænkt mig at jeg selv var huset, og at poesien, fornemmelserne i mig, var nissen, gejsten der råder; hans magt og storhed har jeg besunget i 'Lille nisse!' men De må love mig med hånd og mund aldrig at røbe det for min mand eller nogen. Læs det højt, at jeg kan høre om De forstår min skrift."
"There is much in this book that is serious," she said. "My mind tends toward the melancholy. Here is my 'The Sign in the Night,' 'My Evening Red,' and 'When I Got Klemmensen'-my husband; that one you may skip over, though it has thought and feeling. 'The Housewife's Duties' is the best one-sorrowful, like all the rest; that's my best style. Only one piece is comical; it contains some lively thoughts-one must indulge in them occasionally-thoughts about-now, you mustn't laugh at me-thoughts about being a poetess! Up to now it has been a secret between me and my drawer; now you know it, too, Mr. Kisserup. I love poetry; it haunts me; it jeers, advises, and commands. That's what I mean by my title, 'The Little Goblin.' You know the old peasants' superstitions about the Goblin who is always playing tricks in the house. I myself am the house, and my poetical feelings are the Goblin, the spirit that possesses me. I have written about his power and strength in 'The Little Goblin'; but you must promise with your hands and lips never to give away my secret, either to my husband or to anyone else. Read it loud, so that I can tell if you understand the meaning."


Og seminaristen læste og madammen hørte og den lille nisse hørte; han lurede, ved du, og var netop kommet idet der læstes overskriften: Lille nisse.
And the Assistant Schoolmaster read, and the Woman listened, and so did the little Goblin. He was eavesdropping, you'll remember, and he came just in time to hear the title 'The Little Goblin.'


"Det angår jo mig!" sagde han. "Hvad kan hun have skrevet om mig? Ja, jeg skal nappe hende, nappe hendes æg, nappe hendes kyllinger, jage fedtet af fedekalven: Se mig til madammen!"
"That's about me!" he said. "What could she have been written about me? Oh, I'll pinch her! I'll chip her eggs, and pinch her chickens, and chase the fat off her fatted calf! Just watch me do it!"


Og han hørte efter med spids mund og lange øren; men alt som han hørte om nissens herlighed og magt, hans herredømme over madammen, det var digtekunsten, ved du, hun mente, men nissen tog det lige efter overskriften, blev den lille mere og mere smilende, hans øjne glinsede i glæde, der kom ligesom noget fornemt i mundvigene på ham, han løftede sine hæle, stod på sine tæer, blev en hel tomme højere end før; han var henrykt over hvad der blev sagt om lille nisse.
And then he listened with pursed lips and long ears; but when he heard of the Goblin's power and glory, and his rule over the woman (she meant poetry, you know, but the Goblin took the name literally), the little fellow began grinnning more and more. His eyes brightened with delight; then the corners of his mouth set sternly in lines of dignity; he drew himself up on his toes a whole inch higher than usual; he was greatly pleased with what was written about the Little Goblin.


"Madammen har ånd og stor dannelse! Hvor har jeg gjort den kone uret! Hun har sat mig ind i sin 'klinkning', den vil blive trykt og læst! Nu skal katten ikke få lov til at drikke hendes fløde, det skal jeg selv gøre! En drikker mindre end to, det er altid en besparelse, og den vil jeg indføre, agte og ære madammen!"
"I've done her wrong! The Woman has soul and fine breeding! How, I have done her wrong! She has put me into her 'Clinchings,' and they'll be printed and read. Now I won't allow the Cat to drink her cream; I'll do that myself! One drinks less than two, so that'll be a saving; and that I shall do, and pay honor and respect to the Woman!"


"Hvor han er menneske, den nisse!" sagde den gamle kat. "Bare et sødt mjav af madammen, et mjav om ham selv, så skifter han straks sind. Hun er lun, madammen!"
"He's a man all right, that Goblin," said the old Cat. "Just one sweet mew from the Woman, a mew about himself, and he immediately changes his mind! She is a sly one, the Woman!"


Men hun var ikke lun, det var nissen som var menneske.
But the Woman wasn't sly; it was just that the Goblin was a man.


Kan du ikke forstå denne historie, så spørg, men du skal ikke spørge nissen, heller ikke madammen.
If you can't understand this story, ask somebody to explain it to you; but don't ask the Goblin or the Woman, either.





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