今回の新しい単語 (7個)
heartsease, humble, pucker, flow off, confide, crusty, cordially


若草物語チャプター6.1 | 英語で読む若草物語 | 若草物語チャプター7.1

“For me?” gasped Beth, holding onto Jo and feeling as if she should tumble down, it was such an overwhelming thing altogether.

“Yes, all for you, my precious! Isn’t it splendid of him? Don’t you think he’s the dearest old man in the world? Here’s the key in the letter. We didn’t open it, but we are dying to know what he says,” cried Jo, hugging her sister and offering the note.

“You read it! I can’t, I feel so queer! Oh, it is too lovely!” and Beth hid her face in Jo’s apron, quite upset by her present.

Jo opened the paper and began to laugh, for the first words she saw were . . .

“Miss March:
“Dear Madam–”

“How nice it sounds! I wish someone would write to me so!” said Amy, who thought the old-fashioned address very elegant.

“‘I have had many pairs of slippers in my life, but I never had any that suited me so well as yours,'” continues Jo. “‘Heartsease is my favorite flower, and these will always remind me of the gentle giver. I like to pay my debts, so I know you will allow ‘the old gentleman’ to send you something which once belonged to the little grand daughter he lost. With hearty thanks and best wishes, I remain “‘Your grateful friend and humble servant,

heartsease : パンジー
humble : 謙虚な

「読んでちょうだい、わたし読めないわ。へんな気がして、ああ、とてもすてき!」と、ベスはそのおくりものに、すっかりどぎもをぬかれてしまって、ジョウのエプロンに顔をかくしました。ジョウは、手紙を開きましたが、最初の言葉を見て笑い出しました。そこには、「マーチさん、親愛なるおくさん」と、書いてあったからです。「まあいいこと! あたしにも、だれかがそんなふうに書いて手紙くれるといいわ。」と、エミイがいいました。エミイは、こういうむかし風の書き出しは、たいそう上品のように思われました。「小生これまでに、かず多くスリッパを使用いたし候が、あなたよりおくられしスリッパのごとく、小生に似合うものこれなく、三色すみれ、すなわち心を安める花は、小生の愛する花にて、やさしきおくり主を常に思い起させてくれるものと存じ候。よって小生は小生の負債をはらいたく、なにとぞこの老紳士の小さき孫のものたりし、あるものを、あなたにおくることをお許し願い上げ候。心よりの感謝と祝福をこめて、あなたのよろこんでいる友だちでもあり、いやしき召使の、ジェームス・ローレンス。」

“There, Beth, that’s an honor to be proud of, I’m sure! Laurie told me how fond Mr. Laurence used to be of the child who died, and how he kept all her little things carefully. Just think, he’s given you her piano. That comes of having big blue eyes and loving music,” said Jo, trying to soothe Beth, who trembled and looked more excited than she had ever been before.

“See the cunning brackets to hold candles, and the nice green silk, puckered up, with a gold rose in the middle, and the pretty rack and stool, all complete,” added Meg, opening the instrument and displaying its beauties.

“‘Your humble servant, James Laurence’. Only think of his writing that to you. I’ll tell the girls. They’ll think it’s splendid,” said Amy, much impressed by the note.

“Try it, honey. Let’s hear the sound of the baby pianny,” said Hannah, who always took a share in the family joys and sorrows.

So Beth tried it, and everyone pronounced it the most remarkable piano ever heard. It had evidently been newly tuned and put in apple- pie order, but, perfect as it was, I think the real charm lay in the happiest of all happy faces which leaned over it, as Beth lovingly touched the beautiful black and white keys and pressed the bright pedals.

“You’ll have to go and thank him,” said Jo, by way of a joke, for the idea of the child’s really going never entered her head.

“Yes, I mean to. I guess I’ll go now, before I get frightened thinking about it.” And, to the utter amazement of the assembled family, Beth walked deliberately down the garden, through the hedge, and in at the Laurences’ door.

pucker : 眉をひそめる

「ねえ、ベス、あなた、じまんしてもいいわ! ローリイが話しだけど、おじいさんは、亡くなったお孫さんがすきで、そのお孫さんのものはちゃんとしまっておおきになるんですって。そのピアノを、あなたに下すったのよ。大きな青い目をして、音楽が好きなためよ。」ジョウは、そういって、今までに見たことがないほど、たかぶって、ふるえているベスを、おちつけようとしました。すると、メグも、「ごらんなさい。このローソク立て、まんなかに金のばらのあるみどり色の絹のおおい、きれいな楽譜かけに、腰かけと、みんなそろってるわ。」と、楽器を開けて、そのきれいなものを見せながらいいました。そのとき、「さあ、ひいてごらんなさいまし、かわいいピアノの音を聞かして下さい。」と、家族のよろこびにもかなしみにも、いつでも仲間入りする女中のハンナがいいました。そこで、ベスがひきました。みんなは口をそろえて、こんないい音は聞いたことがないといいました。それは、あたらしく調律されて、調子がととのっていました。ああ、なんというすばらしい音色だったでしょう。「おじいさんとこへいって、お礼をいわなくちゃいけないわ。」と、ジョウが、じょうだんのつもりでいいました。むろん、はにかみ屋のベスが、ほんとにいくとは思わなかったからですが、ベスは、「ええ、いくわ、今すぐ」と、いって、庭におり、生垣をくぐり、ローレンス邸の扉を開けてはいっていきました。

“Well, I wish I may die if it ain’t the queerest thing I ever see! The pianny has turned her head! She’d never have gone in her right mind,” cried Hannah, staring after her, while the girls were rendered quite speechless by the miracle.

They would have been still more amazed if they had seen what Beth did afterward. If you will believe me, she went and knocked at the study door before she gave herself time to think, and when a gruff voice called out, “come in!” she did go in, right up to Mr. Laurence, who looked quite taken aback, and held out her hand, saying, with only a small quaver in her voice, “I came to thank you, sir, for . . .” But she didn’t finish, for he looked so friendly that she forgot her speech and, only remembering that he had lost the little girl he loved, she put both arms round his neck and kissed him.

If the roof of the house had suddenly flown off, the old gentleman wouldn’t have been more astonished. But he liked it. Oh, dear, yes, he liked it amazingly! And was so touched and pleased by that confiding little kiss that all his crustiness vanished, and he just set her on his knee, and laid his wrinkled cheek against her rosy one, feeling as if he had got his own little granddaughter back again. Beth ceased to fear him from that moment, and sat there talking to him as cozily as if she had known him all her life, for love casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride. When she went home, he walked with her to her own gate, shook hands cordially, and touched his hat as he marched back again, looking very stately and erect, like a handsome, soldierly old gentleman, as he was.

When the girls saw that performance, Jo began to dance a jig, by way of expressing her satisfaction, Amy nearly fell out of the window in her surprise, and Meg exclaimed, with up-lifted hands, “Well, I do believe the world is coming to an end.”

flow off : 流れ去る
confide : 秘密を打ち明ける
crusty : 気難しい
cordially : 心から


若草物語チャプター6.1 | 英語で読む若草物語 | 若草物語チャプター7.1

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

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