[ Chapter 16 ] – the narrator discusses the Earth's lamplighters
So then the seventh planet was the Earth.
The Earth is not just an ordinary planet! One can count, there 111 kings (not forgetting, to be sure, the Negro kings among them), 7000 geographers, 900,000 businessmen, 7,500,000 tipplers, 311,000,000 conceited men– that is to say, about 2,000,000,000 grown-ups.
To give you an idea of the size of the Earth, I will tell you that before the invention of electricity it was necessary to maintain, over the whole of the six continents, a veritable army of 462,511 lamplighters for the street lamps.
Seen from a slight distance, that would make a splendid spectacle. The movements of this army would be regulated like those of the ballet in the opera. First would come the turn of the lamplighters of New Zealand and Australia. Having set their lamps alight, these would go off to sleep. Next, the lamplighters of China and Siberia would enter for their steps in the dance, and then they too would be waved back into the wings. After that would come the turn of the lamplighters of Russia and the Indies; then those of Africa and Europe, then those of South America; then those of South America; then those of North America. And never would they make a mistake in the order of their entry upon the stage. It would be magnificent.
Only the man who was in charge of the single lamp at the North Pole, and his colleague who was responsible for the single lamp at the South Pole– only these two would live free from toil and care: they would be busy twice a year.
[ Chapter 17 ] – the little prince makes the acquaintance of the snake
When one wishes to play the wit, he sometimes wanders a little from the truth. I have not been altogether honest in what I have told you about the lamplighters. And I realize that I run the risk of giving a false idea of our planet to those who do not k now it. Men occupy a very small place upon the Earth. If the two billion inhabitants who people its surface were all to stand upright and somewhat crowded together, as they do for some big public assembly, they could easily be put into one public square twenty miles long and twenty miles wide. All humanity could be piled up on a small Pacific islet.
The grown-ups, to be sure, will not believe you when you tell them that. They imagine that they fill a great deal of space. They fancy themselves as important as the baobabs. You should advise them, then, to make their own calculations. They adore fig ures, and that will please them. But do not waste your time on this extra task. It is unnecessary. You have, I know, confidence in me.
When the little prince arrived on the Earth, he was very much surprised not to see any people. He was beginning to be afraid he had come to the wrong planet, when a coil of gold, the color of the moonlight, flashed across the sand.
“Good evening,” said the little prince courteously.
“Good evening,” said the snake.
“What planet is this on which I have come down?” asked the little prince.
“This is the Earth; this is Africa,” the snake answered.
“Ah! Then there are no people on the Earth?”
“This is the desert. There are no people in the desert. The Earth is large,” said the snake.
The little prince sat down on a stone, and raised his eyes toward the sky.
“I wonder,” he said, “whether the stars are set alight in heaven so that one day each one of us may find his own again… Look at my planet. It is right there above us. But how far away it is!”
“It is beautiful,” the snake said. “What has brought you here?”
“I have been having some trouble with a flower,” said the little prince.
“Ah!” said the snake.
And they were both silent.
“Where are the men?” the little prince at last took up the conversation again. “It is a little lonely in the desert…”
“It is also lonely among men,” the snake said.
The little prince gazed at him for a long time.
“You are a funny animal,” he said at last. “You are no thicker than a finger…”
“But I am more powerful than the finger of a king,” said the snake.
The little prince smiled.
“You are not very powerful. You haven't even any feet. You cannot even travel…”
“I can carry you farther than any ship could take you,” said the snake.
He twined himself around the little prince's ankle, like a golden bracelet.
“Whomever I touch, I send back to the earth from whence he came,” the snake spoke again. “But you are innocent and true, and you come from a star…”
The little prince made no reply.
“You move me to pity– you are so weak on this Earth made of granite,” the snake said. “I can help you, some day, if you grow too homesick for your own planet. I can–”
“Oh! I understand you very well,” said the little prince. “But why do you always speak in riddles?”
“I solve them all,” said the snake.
And they were both silent.
[ Chapter 18 ] – the little prince goes looking for men and meets a flower
The little prince crossed the desert and met with only one flower. It was a flower with three petals, a flower of no account at all.
“Good morning,” said the little prince.
“Good morning,” said the flower.
“Where are the men?” the little prince asked, politely.
The flower had once seen a caravan passing.
“Men?” she echoed. “I think there are six or seven of them in existence. I saw them, several years ago. But one never knows where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.”
“Goodbye,” said the little prince.
“Goodbye,” said the flower.
[ Chapter 19 ] – the little prince climbs a mountain range
After that, the little prince climbed a high mountain. The only mountains he had ever known were the three volcanoes, which came up to his knees. And he used the extinct volcano as a footstool. “From a mountain as high as this one,” he said to himself, “I shall be able to see the whole planet at one glance, and all the people…”
But he saw nothing, save peaks of rock that were sharpened like needles.
“Good morning,” he said courteously.
“Good morning–Good morning–Good morning,” answered the echo.
“Who are you?” said the little prince.
“Who are you–Who are you–Who are you?” answered the echo.
“Be my friends. I am all alone,” he said.
“I am all alone–all alone–all alone,” answered the echo.
“What a queer planet!” he thought. “It is altogether dry, and altogether pointed, and altogether harsh and forbidding. And the people have no imagination. They repeat whatever one says to them… On my planet I had a flower; she always was the first to speak…”
[ Chapter 20 ] – the little prince discovers a garden of roses
But it happened that after walking for a long time through sand, and rocks, and snow, the little prince at last came upon a road. And all roads lead to the abodes of men.
“Good morning,” he said.
He was standing before a garden, all a-bloom with roses.
“Good morning,” said the roses.
The little prince gazed at them. They all looked like his flower.
“Who are you?” he demanded, thunderstruck.
“We are roses,” the roses said.
And he was overcome with sadness. His flower had told him that she was the only one of her kind in all the universe. And here were five thousand of them, all alike, in one single garden!
“She would be very much annoyed,” he said to himself, “if she should see that… she would cough most dreadfully, and she would pretend that she was dying, to avoid being laughed at. And I should be obliged to pretend that I was nursing her back to life– for if I did not do that, to humble myself also, she would really allow herself to die…”
Then he went on with his reflections: “I thought that I was rich, with a flower that was unique in all the world; and all I had was a common rose. A common rose, and three volcanoes that come up to my knees– and one of them perhaps extinct forever… that doesn't make me a very great prince…”
And he lay down in the grass and cried.
地球可不是一颗普通的行星！它上面有一百一十一个国王（当然，没有漏掉 黑人国王），七千个地理学家，九十万个实业家，七百五十万个酒鬼，三亿一千 一百万个爱虚荣的人，也就是说，大约有二十亿的大人。
为了使你们对地球的大小有一个概念，我想要告诉你们：在发明电之前，在 六的大洲上，为了点路灯，需要维持一支为数四十六万二千五百一十一人的真正 大军。
从稍远的地方看过去，它给人以一种壮丽辉煌的印象。这支军队的行动就象 歌剧院的芭蕾舞动作一样，那么有条不紊。首先出现的是新西兰和澳大利亚的点 灯人。点着了灯，随后他们就去睡觉了。于是就轮到中国和西伯利亚的点灯人走 上舞台。随后，他们也藏到幕布后面去了。于是就又轮到俄罗斯和印度的点灯人 了。然后就是非洲和欧洲的。接着是南美的，再就是北美的。他们从来也不会搞 错他们上场的次序。真了不起。
当人们想要说得俏皮些的时候，说话就可能会不大实在。在给你们讲点灯人 的时候，我就不那么忠实，很可能给不了解我们这个星球的人们造成一个错误的 概念。在地球上，人们所占的位置非常小。如果住在地球上的二十亿居民全站着， 并且象开大会一样靠得紧些，那么就可以从容地站在一个二十海里见方的广场上。 也就是说可以把整个人类集中在太平洋中一个最小的岛屿上。
当然，大人们是不会相信你们的。他们自以为要占很大地方，他们把自己看 得象猴面包树那样大得了不起。你们可以建议他们计算一下。这样会使他们很高 兴，因为他们非常喜欢数目字。可是你们无须浪费时间去做这种乏味的连篇累牍 的演算。这没有必要。你们可以完全相信我。
“人吗？我想大约有六七个人，几年前，我瞅见过他们。可是，从来不知道 到什么地方去找他们。风吹着他们到处跑。他们没有根，这对他们来说是很不方 便的。”
小王子爬上一座高山。过去他所见过的山就是那三座只有他膝盖那么高的火 山，并且他把那座熄灭了的火山就当作凳子。小王子自言自语地说道：“从这么 高的山上，我一眼可以看到整个星球，以及所有的人。”可是，他所看到的只是 一些非常锋利的悬崖峭壁。
小王子想道：“这颗行星真奇怪！它上面全是干巴巴的，而且又尖利又咸涩， 人们一点想象力都没有。他们只是重复别人对他们说的话……在我的家乡，我有一 朵花。她总是自己先说话……”
小王子自言自语地说：“如果她看到这些，她是一定会很恼火……她会咳嗽得 更厉害，并且为避免让人耻笑，她会佯装死去。那么，我还得装着去护理她，因 为如果不这样的话，她为了使我难堪，她可能会真的死去……”
接着他又说道：“我还以为我有一朵独一无二的花呢，我有的仅是一朵普通 的花。这朵花，再加上三座只有我膝盖那么高的火山，而且其中一座还可能是永 远熄灭了的，这一切不会使我成为一个了不起的王子……”于是，他躺在草丛中哭 泣起来。