Reading 2  The Happy Prince

The statue of the Happy Prince stood high above the city on a tall column. He was covered with thin pieces of gold. He had two bright sapphires for eyes, and a large, red ruby on his sword. A lot of people in the city thought he looked wonderful.
One night a little Swallow flew to this city. His friends had gone away, to Egypt, six weeks before. He saw the statue on the tall column.
“I will stay there,” he cried. “It is a fine place, with lots of fresh air.” So he stopped at the Happy Prince’s feet.
“I have a golden bedroom,” he said softly to himself as he looked around and prepared to go to sleep; but, just as he was putting his head under his wing, a large drop of water fell on him.
The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears, and tears were running down his golden face. His face was so beautiful in the moonlight that the little Swallow felt very sorry for the statue.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“I am the Happy Prince.”
“Why are you crying then?” asked the Swallow. “You have made me very wet.”
“Far away,” said the statue in a low, musical voice, “far away in a little street there is a poor house. One of the windows is open, and through it I can see a woman seated at a table. Her face is thin and tired, and she has dry, red hands. She makes clothes. In a bed in the corner of the room her little boy is lying ill. He is very hot, and is asking for oranges. His mother has nothing to give him but river water, so he is crying. Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow, will you take her my ruby? I cannot move.”
“My friends are waiting for me in Egypt,” said the Swallow.
“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “will you stay with me for one night, and help me? The boy wants a drink, and the mother is so sad.”
The Happy Prince looked so sad that the little Swallow was sorry. “It is very cold here,” he said, “but I will stay for one night and help you.”
“Thank you, little Swallow,” said the Prince.
So the Swallow took the great ruby from the Prince, and flew away with it in his mouth.
The Swallow came to the poor house and he looked in. The boy was feeling very ill and the mother had fallen asleep because she was so tired. He flew in and put the great ruby on the table near the woman.
The Swallow then flew back to the Happy Prince and told him what he had done. “It is strange,” he said, “but I feel quite warm now, even though it is very cold.”
“That is because you have done something good,” said the Prince. And the little Swallow began to think, and then he fell asleep.

The next day he flew down to the river and had a bath. “Tonight I will go to Egypt,” the Swallow said happily. When it got dark, he returned to the Happy Prince.
“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “will you stay with me one night longer?”
“My friends are waiting for me in Egypt,” answered the Swallow.
“But Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “far away across the city I can see a young man. He is sitting at a desk covered with papers. He is trying to finish a play for the director of the theater, but he is too cold to write any more. He has no money for a fire, nor for food.”
“I will stay with you one more night,” said the Swallow. He really had a good heart. “Shall I take him another ruby?”
“Ah! I have no ruby now,” said the Prince. “My eyes are all that I have left. They are made of sapphires. Take one to him. He will sell it, and then he can buy food and firewood, and finish his play.”
“Dear Prince,” said the Swallow, “I cannot do that.” He began to cry.
“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “do as I tell you.”
So the Swallow took one of the Prince’s eyes and flew to the student’s house. The young man did not hear the Swallow, but when he looked up he found the beautiful sapphire lying on his table.

The next day the Swallow flew down to the harbor. He watched the ships and the boats. That night he returned to the Happy Prince.
“I have come to say good-bye,” he cried.
“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “will you stay with me for one more night?”
“It is winter,” answered the swallow, “and soon it will be very cold here. Dear Prince, I must leave you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you back a beautiful ruby and a sapphire.”
“In the street below,” said the Happy Prince, “there is a little girl. She is trying to sell pieces of wood, but she can’t because they have got wet. Her father will be angry if she does not bring home some money, and she is crying. Take my other eye and give it to her, then her father will not be angry.”
“I will stay with you one more night,” said the Swallow, “but I cannot take out your other eye. Then you would not be able to see anything.”
“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “do as I tell you.”
So the Swallow took out the Prince’s other eye, and flew down to the girl. He put the sapphire into her hand.
Then the Swallow went back to the Prince. “You are unable to see now,” he said, “so I will always stay with you!”
“Dear little Swallow,” said the Prince, “you tell me of wonderful things, but the worst thing is the unhappiness of men and of women. Fly over my city, little Swallow, and tell me the things you have seen.”
So the Swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich people enjoying themselves in their beautiful houses, while the poor people were sitting at the gates.
Then he flew back and told the Prince what he had seen.
“I am covered with fine gold,” said the Prince, “you must take it off, piece by piece, and give it to the poor people.”
The Swallow took off piece after piece of the fine gold until the Happy Prince looked very gray and uninteresting. He took the pieces to the poor people, and soon their faces grew happier and healthier. “We can eat now!” they cried.
Then the snow came. The poor little Swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince. He loved him too much.
At last he knew that he was going to die. He had just enough strength to fly up to the Prince’s shoulder once more. “Good-bye, dear Prince!” he said.
“I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow,” said the Prince. “You have stayed here too long!”
“It is not to Egypt that I am going,” said the Swallow. “I am going to the House of Death. Death is the brother of sleep, isn’t he?”
And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet.
At that moment a strange noise sounded inside the statue, as if something had broken. The Happy Prince’s heart, made of lead, had broken in two.

The next morning, the mayor of the town was walking in the street. He was surprised to see the Happy Prince. He was no longer beautiful. “How terrible the Happy Prince looks! Since he is no longer beautiful, he is no longer useful.” So they pulled down the Happy Prince, and melted him in a big furnace.
“How strange!” said the workman in the furnace. “This broken lead heart doesn’t melt. We must throw it away.” So, they threw away the Happy Prince’s heart with the dead Swallow.

“Bring me the two best things in the city,” said God to one of his Angels. The Angel brought him the heart and the Swallow.
“You have chosen correctly,” said God, “this bird will sing forever in my garden, and the Happy Prince will be happy in my city of gold.”




Reading 2 幸福な王子