若草物語チャプター4.3

今いる自分に満足しようよというお話。
なるほど、なるほど、お金がほしいなー。

今回の新しい単語 (17個)
harum-scarum、drone away、fury、wicked、meek、in a flurry、fright、horrid、utterance、pail、crossly、cane、fretful、feeble、cunning、sermon、morsel

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Little Women (Unabridged Classics)
Little Women (Unabridged Classics)

若草物語チャプター4.2 | 英語で読む若草物語 | 若草物語チャプター5.1

Meg was Amy’s confidant and monitor, and by some strange attraction of opposites Jo was gentle Beth’s. To Jo alone did the shy child tell her thoughts, and over her big harum-scarum sister Beth unconsciously exercised more influence than anyone in the family. The two older girls were a great deal to one another, but each took one of the younger sisters into her keeping and watched over her in her own way, ‘playing mother’ they called it, and put their sisters in the places of discarded dolls with the maternal instinct of little women.

“Has anybody got anything to tell? It’s been such a dismal day I’m really dying for some amusement,” said Meg, as they sat sewing together that evening.

“I had a queer time with Aunt today, and, as I got the best of it, I’ll tell you about it,” began Jo, who dearly loved to tell stories. “I was reading that everlasting Belsham, and droning away as I always do, for Aunt soon drops off, and then I take out some nice book, and read like fury till she wakes up. I actually made myself sleepy, and before she began to nod, I gave such a gape that she asked me what I meant by opening my mouth wide enough to take the whole book in at once.”

“I wish I could, and be done with it,” said I, trying not to be saucy.

harum-scarum : むこうみずな
drone away : だらだら続ける
fury : 激怒

晩に、みんながいっしょにお裁縫をはじめたとき、メグがいいました。「今日はほんとにくさくさした日だったわ。なにかおもしろい話でもない?」すると、ジョウがすぐにいいました。「あたし、今日はへんなことあったのよ。マーチおばさんがいねむりをはじめたので、おばさんが読め読めという、つまらない、ベルシャムを読みかかったら、こっちもねむくなり、大きなあくびをしたの。」

“Then she gave me a long lecture on my sins, and told me to sit and think them over while she just ‘lost’ herself for a moment. She never finds herself very soon, so the minute her cap began to bob like a top-heavy dahlia, I whipped the _Vicar of Wakefield_ out of my pocket, and read away, with one eye on him and one on Aunt. I’d just got to where they all tumbled into the water when I forgot and laughed out loud. Aunt woke up and, being more good-natured after her nap, told me to read a bit and show what frivolous work I preferred to the worthy and instructive Belsham. I did my very best, and she liked it, though she only said . . .

“‘I don’t understand what it’s all about. Go back and begin it, child.'”

“Back I went, and made the Primroses as interesting as ever I could. Once I was wicked enough to stop in a thrilling place, and say meekly, ‘I’m afraid it tires you, ma’am. Shan’t I stop now?'”

“She caught up her knitting, which had dropped out of her hands, gave me a sharp look through her specs, and said, in her short way, ‘Finish the chapter, and don’t be impertinent, miss’.”

“Did she own she liked it?” asked Meg.

dahlia : ダリア(植物)
wicked : ひどく意地悪に
meek : おとなしく

おばさんは、罪ということについて、ながながとお説教をやりだし、お説教がすむと、よく考えなさいといって、またいねむりよ。そこでわたしは、「村牧師」を出して読みだしたのよ。そしたら、水のなかへころげこむところで、つい大声をあげて笑ったの。すると、おばさんが目をさまして、それを読んで聞かせなさいとおっしゃるの。

“Oh, bless you, no! But she let old Belsham rest, and when I ran back after my gloves this afternoon, there she was, so hard at the Vicar that she didn’t hear me laugh as I danced a jig in the hall because of the good time coming. What a pleasant life she might have if only she chose! I don’t envy her much, in spite of her money, for after all rich people have about as many worries as poor ones, I think,” added Jo.

“That reminds me,” said Meg, “that I’ve got something to tell. It isn’t funny, like Jo’s story, but I thought about it a good deal as I came home. At the Kings’ today I found everybody in a flurry, and one of the children said that her oldest brother had done something dreadful, and Papa had sent him away. I heard Mrs. King crying and Mr. King talking very loud, and Grace and Ellen turned away their faces when they passed me, so I shouldn’t see how red and swollen their eyes were. I didn’t ask any questions, of course, but I felt so sorry for them and was rather glad I hadn’t any wild brothers to do wicked things and disgrace the family.”

“I think being disgraced in school is a great deal tryinger than anything bad boys can do,” said Amy, shaking her head, as if her experience of life had been a deep one. “Susie Perkins came to school today with a lovely red carnelian ring. I wanted it dreadfully, and wished I was her with all my might. Well, she drew a picture of Mr. Davis, with a monstrous nose and a hump, and the words, ‘Young ladies, my eye is upon you!’ coming out of his mouth in a balloon thing. We were laughing over it when all of a sudden his eye was on us, and he ordered Susie to bring up her slate. She was parrylized with fright, but she went, and oh, what do you think he did? He took her by the ear–the ear! Just fancy how horrid!–and led her to the recitation platform, and made her stand there half an hour, holding the slate so everyone could see.”

in a flurry : 慌てて
fright : 恐怖
horrid : 恐ろしい

私は読んであげた。おもしろかったのね。だから、お昼すぎに、あたしが手袋をとりにいったら。おばさんは、じぶんで「村牧師」を熱心に読んでるのよ。ね。やっぱりベルシャムなんかよりおもしろいのよ。おばさんみたいな金持だって貧乏人とおなじような心配があるんだわ。だから、「村牧師」にひきつけられるのだわ。」すると、メグがいいました。「それで、あたしも話すこと思いついたわ。今日キングさんのところへいったら、なんだかへんなの。それで、あたし一人の子に尋ねたら、一ばん上の兄さんがなにか大へんなことをして、おとうさんから家をおいだされたんですって。泣き声、どなり声がして大へんだったわ。家のはじになるような、らんぼうな男の兄弟がいなくてよかったわねえ。」すると、エミイがいいました。「今日、スージーさんは、先生の漫画を書いたので、三十分も教壇にたたされたの。あたしスージーさんが、きれいな、めのうの指輪をはめて学校へ来たので、うらやましく思っていたけれど、あんなはずかしい目にあうようじゃ、いい指輪はめたってしあわせじゃないわ。」

“Didn’t the girls laugh at the picture?” asked Jo, who relished the scrape.

“Laugh? Not one! They sat still as mice, and Susie cried quarts, I know she did. I didn’t envy her then, for I felt that millions of carnelian rings wouldn’t have made me happy after that. I never, never should have got over such a agonizing mortification.” And Amy went on with her work, in the proud consciousness of virtue and the successful utterance of two long words in a breath.

“I saw something I liked this morning, and I meant to tell it at dinner, but I forgot,” said Beth, putting Jo’s topsy-turvy basket in order as she talked. “When I went to get some oysters for Hannah, Mr. Laurence was in the fish shop, but he didn’t see me, for I kept behind the fish barrel, and he was busy with Mr. Cutter the fishman. A poor woman came in with a pail and a mop, and asked Mr. Cutter if he would let her do some scrubbing for a bit of fish, because she hadn’t any dinner for her children, and had been disappointed of a day’s work. Mr. Cutter was in a hurry and said ‘No’, rather crossly, so she was going away, looking hungry and sorry, when Mr. Laurence hooked up a big fish with the crooked end of his cane and held it out to her. She was so glad and surprised she took it right into her arms, and thanked him over and over. He told her to ‘go along and cook it’, and she hurried off, so happy! Wasn’t it good of him? Oh, she did look so funny, hugging the big, slippery fish, and hoping Mr. Laurence’s bed in heaven would be ‘aisy’.”

utterance : 言葉
pail : バケツ
crossly : 不機嫌に
cane : 杖

つぎに、ベスが話しました。「今朝あたしハンナにかわって、魚屋へかきを買いにいったの。すると、貧乏そうな女の人が来て、仕事がなくて子供に食べさせるものがないから、みがきものでもさせて、お魚をすこし下さいと頼んだの。すると、魚屋さんいそがしいもので、つっけんどんに、だめよといったの。すると、そのときローレンスさんがしおれて帰っていく女に、大きな魚をステッキでひっかけてあげたの。女は、びっくりして、よろこんで、なんどもお礼をいって、ローレンスさんに天国へいけるようにって祈ったの。」

When they had laughed at Beth’s story, they asked their mother for one, and after a moments thought, she said soberly, “As I sat cutting out blue flannel jackets today at the rooms, I felt very anxious about Father, and thought how lonely and helpless we should be, if anything happened to him. It was not a wise thing to do, but I kept on worrying till an old man came in with an order for some clothes. He sat down near me, and I began to talk to him, for he looked poor and tired and anxious.

“‘Have you sons in the army?’ I asked, for the note he brought was not to me.”

“Yes, ma’am. I had four, but two were killed, one is a prisoner, and I’m going to the other, who is very sick in a Washington hospital.’ he answered quietly.”

“‘You have done a great deal for your country, sir,’ I said, feeling respect now, instead of pity.”

“‘Not a mite more than I ought, ma’am. I’d go myself, if I was any use. As I ain’t, I give my boys, and give ‘em free.'”

“He spoke so cheerfully, looked so sincere, and seemed so glad to give his all, that I was ashamed of myself. I’d given one man and thought it too much, while he gave four without grudging them. I had all my girls to comfort me at home, and his last son was waiting, miles away, to say good-by to him, perhaps! I felt so rich, so happy thinking of my blessings, that I made him a nice bundle, gave him some money, and thanked him heartily for the lesson he had taught me.”

みんなはベスの話を笑いましたが、もちろん心をうたれました。そして、おかあさんにお話をねだりました。「そうね、おかあさんは、会で青いネルを裁っていたら、おとうさんのことが、みょうに心配になって、もしものことがあったら、どんなに頼りなく、さびしいだろうと思っていました。すると、なにか註文をもっておじいさんが、心配そうな、疲れたようすでやって来ました。身の上を尋ねてみたら四人息子が戦争に出ていて、二人は戦死をし、一人はとりこになり、一人はワシントン病院にいるんですって。そして、これからそこへいくんですって。けれど、すこしもぐちをこぼさないで、よろこんでお国のために、子供たちを出したというのです。おかあさんは、たった一人おとうさんを出してつらがっています。はずかしくなりました。そればかりか、おじいさんは、たった一人ぼっちですがおかあさんには四人も娘がいて、なぐさめてくれます。ほんとに、おかあさんは、じぶんの恵みふかい幸福がありがたかったので、おじいさんに、つつみとお金をあげ、教えていただいた教訓に、心からのお礼をいいました。」

“Tell another story, Mother, one with a moral to it, like this. I like to think about them afterward, if they are real and not too preachy,” said Jo, after a minute’s silence.

Mrs. March smiled and began at once, for she had told stories to this little audience for many years, and knew how to please them.

“Once upon a time, there were four girls, who had enough to eat and drink and wear, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents who loved them dearly, and yet they were not contented.” (Here the listeners stole sly looks at one another, and began to sew diligently.) “These girls were anxious to be good and made many excellent resolutions, but they did not keep them very well, and were constantly saying, ‘If only we had this,’ or ‘If we could only do that,’ quite forgetting how much they already had, and how many things they actually could do. So they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, and she said, ‘When you feel discontented, think over your blessings, and be grateful.'” (Here Jo looked up quickly, as if about to speak, but changed her mind, seeing that the story was not done yet.)

みんなは、この話にも心をうたれました。ジョウは、もう一つ、今のようないい話をと望みました。おかあさんは、にっこり笑って、すぐに話しはじめました。「むかし、食べたり着たり、なに不足のない四人の娘がありました。たのしみも、よろこびもありあまり、親切なお友達や両親があって、愛されていたのに、娘たちは満足しませんでした。(ここで聞き手たちは、こっそり見かわして、お裁縫に精を出しました)娘たちはよくなろうと決心するのですが、やりとげることができないで、これがあったらとか、あれができたらとかと、考えました。それで、あるおばあさんに、幸福にしてくれるまじないがあれば教えて下さいといいましたら、あなたがたが満足に思うとき、恵みということを考えて感謝なさいといいました。(ここでジョウは、なにかいいたそうでしたが、話がおわらないのでいうのをやめました)

“Being sensible girls, they decided to try her advice, and soon were surprised to see how well off they were. One discovered that money couldn’t keep shame and sorrow out of rich people’s houses, another that, though she was poor, she was a great deal happier, with her youth, health, and good spirits, than a certain fretful, feeble old lady who couldn’t enjoy her comforts, a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to go begging for it and the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior. So they agreed to stop complaining, to enjoy the blessings already possessed, and try to deserve them, lest they should be taken away entirely, instead of increased, and I believe they were never disappointed or sorry that they took the old woman’s advice.”

“Now, Marmee, that is very cunning of you to turn our own stories against us, and give us a sermon instead of a romance!” cried Meg.

“I like that kind of sermon. It’s the sort Father used to tell us,” said Beth thoughtfully, putting the needles straight on Jo’s cushion.

“I don’t complain near as much as the others do, and I shall be more careful than ever now, for I’ve had warning from Susie’s downfall,” said Amy morally.

“We needed that lesson, and we won’t forget it. If we do so, you just say to us, as old Chloe did in _Uncle Tom_, ‘Tink ob yer marcies, chillen!’ ‘Tink ob yer marcies!'” added Jo, who could not, for the life of her, help getting a morsel of fun out of the little sermon, though she took it to heart as much as any of them.

fretful : 気難しい
feeble : 弱い
cunning : ずるい
sermon : 説教
morsel : 少量

それで、りこうな娘たちが、その言葉を試してみますと、じぶんたちがいかによい暮しをしているかわかってびっくりしました。一人は、お金持でも家のはじと悲しみは救えないということがわかりました。一人は、貧乏でも、若くて元気なら、じぶんのたのしみもたのしめない、気むずかしいおばあさんより、ずっと幸福ということがわかりました。一人は食事の仕事はいやだけど、食物をもらって歩くのは、つらいということがわかりました。一人は、めのうの指輪よりもお行儀のいいほうがいいということがわかりました。それで、四人の娘たちは、ぐちをやめ、さずかった恵みを感謝し、もっとよくなろうと考えました。」「おかあさんは、あたしたちのお話をとって、あたしたちをお説教なさるの、ずるいわ。」と、メグがいいますと、ベスがいいました。「あたし、そういうお説教すきだわ。おとうさんがよく話して下さったわ。」エミイは、つぶやくように、「あたし、そう不平いわないけど、もっとつつしむわ。スージーさんのやりそこないで、あたしほんとに教えられたんですもの。」すると、ジョウが、ふざけて、「おかあさんの教えは、よかったわ。もしか忘れたら、チョール人のおじいさんみたいに、子供らよ慈悲ちゅうもんを、ようくかんげえねせえと、おかあさん、おっしゃって下さい。」と、いいました。これでおもおもしい空気が、あかるくなりました。

若草物語チャプター4.2 | 英語で読む若草物語 | 若草物語チャプター5.1

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