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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.

第七个行星,于是就是地球了。   
    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。   
    北极仅有一盏路灯,南极也只有一盏;唯独北极的点灯人和他南极的同行,过着闲逸、懒散的生活:他们每年只工作两次。


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