若草物語チャプター8.1 Jo Meets Apollyon

ジョーの原稿の話。

今回の新しい単語 (11個)
secrecy, bridle, whine, aggravate, prick, banister, fiddlestick, fib, kindle, sprout, breach


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若草物語チャプター7.2 | 英語で読む若草物語 | 若草物語チャプター8.2

Chapter 8. Jo Meets Apollyon

“Girls, where are you going?” asked Amy, coming into their room one Saturday afternoon, and finding them getting ready to go out with an air of secrecy which excited her curiosity.

“Never mind. Little girls shouldn’t ask questions,” returned Jo sharply.

Now if there is anything mortifying to our feelings when we are young, it is to be told that, and to be bidden to “run away, dear” is still more trying to us. Amy bridled up at this insult, and determined to find out the secret, if she teased for an hour. Turning to Meg, who never refused her anything very long, she said coaxingly, “Do tell me! I should think you might let me go, too, for Beth is fussing over her piano, and I haven’t got anything to do, and am so lonely.”

“I can’t, dear, because you aren’t invited,” began Meg, but Jo broke in impatiently, “Now, Meg, be quiet or you will spoil it all. You can’t go, Amy, so don’t be a baby and whine about it.”

“You are going somewhere with Laurie, I know you are. You were whispering and laughing together on the sofa last night, and you stopped when I came in. Aren’t you going with him?”

“Yes, we are. Now do be still, and stop bothering.”

Amy held her tongue, but used her eyes, and saw Meg slip a fan into her pocket.

“I know! I know! You’re going to the theater to see the _Seven Castles!_” she cried, adding resolutely, “and I shall go, for Mother said I might see it, and I’ve got my rag money, and it was mean not to tell me in time.”

secrecy : 隠していること
bridle : 抑える
whine : ごねる

エミイが、土曜日の午後、ねえさんたちの部屋へいくと、メグとジョウが外出の支度をしていましたが、ないしょらしいので、「おねえさんたち、どこへいらっしゃるの?」と、尋ねました。すると、ジョウは「どこへだっていいじゃないの、小さな子はそう聞きたがらないものよ。」と、つっけんどんにいいました。「わかったわ! ローリイといっしょに、七つの城のお芝居を見にいらっしゃるのね。あたしもいくわ。おかあさんは、見てもいいとおっしゃったわ。あたしお小遣もあるし。」

“Just listen to me a minute, and be a good child,” said Meg soothingly. “Mother doesn’t wish you to go this week, because your eyes are not well enough yet to bear the light of this fairy piece. Next week you can go with Beth and Hannah, and have a nice time.”

“I don’t like that half as well as going with you and Laurie. Please let me. I’ve been sick with this cold so long, and shut up, I’m dying for some fun. Do, Meg! I’ll be ever so good,” pleaded Amy, looking as pathetic as she could.

“Suppose we take her. I don’t believe Mother would mind, if we bundle her up well,” began Meg.

“If she goes I shan’t, and if I don’t, Laurie won’t like it, and it will be very rude, after he invited only us, to go and drag in Amy. I should think she’d hate to poke herself where she isn’t wanted,” said Jo crossly, for she disliked the trouble of overseeing a fidgety child when she wanted to enjoy herself.

Her tone and manner angered Amy, who began to put her boots on, saying, in her most aggravating way, “I shall go. Meg says I may, and if I pay for myself, Laurie hasn’t anything to do with it.”

“You can’t sit with us, for our seats are reserved, and you mustn’t sit alone, so Laurie will give you his place, and that will spoil our pleasure. Or he’ll get another seat for you, and that isn’t proper when you weren’t asked. You shan’t stir a step, so you may just stay where you are,” scolded Jo, crosser than ever, having just pricked her finger in her hurry.

aggravate : 悪化させる
prick : 刺す

メグは、なだめすかすように、「まあ、あたしのいうことをお聞きなさいよ。おかあさんは、あなたの目がまだなおっていないから来週ベスやハンナといっしょに、いくといいって。」エミイは、あわれっぽい顔をして、「いやだあ、おねえやんやローリイといく、半分もおもしろくないわ。ね、お願いだからいかせてよ。長いことかぜひいて家にばかりいたんですもの、ねえ、おとなしくしますから。」と、せがむのでした。「いっしょにつれていってはどう? あつ着させていけば、おかあさんだって、なにもおっしゃらないでしょう。」と、とうとうメグが、しかたがないというようにいいました。「それなら、あたしいかないわ。二人だけ招待されたのに、つれていくのは失礼だわ。」このジョウのいいかたや態度は、ますますエミイを怒らせました。靴をはきながら、エミイは、「メグねえさんがいいっておっしゃったから、あたしいきます。じぶんで切符買うから、ローリイにめいわくかけません。」「あたしたちのは指定席よ。と、いって、あなた一人はなれていられないしさ、そうすると、ローリイがじぶんの席をゆずるでしょう。それじゃ、つまらない。もしかしたら、ローリイが切符もう一枚買うかもしれないけど、それじゃずうずうしいわ。だから、おとなしく待っていらっしゃい。」ジョウは、仕度にあわてて、針で指をさしたので、ますますふきげんになって、エミイをしかりつけました。

Sitting on the floor with one boot on, Amy began to cry and Meg to reason with her, when Laurie called from below, and the two girls hurried down, leaving their sister wailing. For now and then she forgot her grown-up ways and acted like a spoiled child. Just as the party was setting out, Amy called over the banisters in a threatening tone, “You’ll be sorry for this, Jo March, see if you ain’t.”

“Fiddlesticks!” returned Jo, slamming the door.

They had a charming time, for _The Seven Castles Of The Diamond Lake_ was as brilliant and wonderful as heart could wish. But in spite of the comical red imps, sparkling elves, and the gorgeous princes and princesses, Jo’s pleasure had a drop of bitterness in it. The fairy queen’s yellow curls reminded her of Amy, and between the acts she amused herself with wondering what her sister would do to make her ‘sorry for it’. She and Amy had had many lively skirmishes in the course of their lives, for both had quick tempers and were apt to be violent when fairly roused. Amy teased Jo, and Jo irritated Amy, and semioccasional explosions occurred, of which both were much ashamed afterward. Although the oldest, Jo had the least self-control, and had hard times trying to curb the fiery spirit which was continually getting her into trouble. Her anger never lasted long, and having humbly confessed her fault, she sincerely repented and tried to do better. Her sisters used to say that they rather liked to get Jo into a fury because she was such an angel afterward. Poor Jo tried desperately to be good, but her bosom enemy was always ready to flame up and defeat her, and it took years of patient effort to subdue it.

banister : 手すり
fiddlestick : くだらない

エミイは泣き出しました。メグがなだめていると、階下でローリイがよんだので、二人は、いそいでおりていきました。二人が出かけていくのを、エミイは窓から見おろして、おどかすようにさけびました。「今に、後悔するわよ。ジョウさん、おぼえていらっしゃい!」「ばかな!」と、ジョウがやり返して、玄関の扉をぴしゃっと閉めました。「七つの城」のお芝居は、とてもよかったので、三人はたのしく見物しました。けれど、ジョウはときどき、きれいな王子や王女に見とれながらも、心にくらい影がさしました。妹が、後悔するわよといった言葉が、あやしく、耳にのこっていたからでした。ジョウとエミイは、前からよくはげしいけんかをしました。二人とも気がみじかく、かっとするとひどくめんどうなことになるのでした。けれど、二人とも長く怒ることはなく、けんかの後では、たがいによくなろうとするのですが、日がたつと、またくり返すことになるのでした。

When they got home, they found Amy reading in the parlor. She assumed an injured air as they came in, never lifted her eyes from her book, or asked a single question. Perhaps curiosity might have conquered resentment, if Beth had not been there to inquire and receive a glowing description of the play. On going up to put away her best hat, Jo’s first look was toward the bureau, for in their last quarrel Amy had soothed her feelings by turning Jo’s top drawer upside down on the floor. Everything was in its place, however, and after a hasty glance into her various closets, bags, and boxes, Jo decided that Amy had forgiven and forgotten her wrongs.

There Jo was mistaken, for next day she made a discovery which produced a tempest. Meg, Beth, and Amy were sitting together, late in the afternoon, when Jo burst into the room, looking excited and demanding breathlessly, “Has anyone taken my book?”

Meg and Beth said, “No.” at once, and looked surprised. Amy poked the fire and said nothing. Jo saw her color rise and was down upon her in a minute.

“Amy, you’ve got it!”

“No, I haven’t.”

“You know where it is, then!”

“No, I don’t.”

“That’s a fib!” cried Jo, taking her by the shoulders, and looking fierce enough to frighten a much braver child than Amy.

fib : うそ

二人が家へ帰ったとき、エミイは知らん顔をして本を読んでいました。ジョウは、帽子を二階へしまいにいきましたが、この前けんかをしたとき、エミイがひき出しをひっくり返したので、たんすやかばんや、たなの上などをしらべましたが、なんともなっていないので、エミイがじぶんを許してくれたものと思いました。けれど、それはジョウの思いちがいであることが、あくる日になってわかりました。その日の午後ジョウは血相をかえて、メグとベスとエミイが話しあっているところへ、とびこんで来て、息をきらして尋ねました。「だれか、あたしの原稿とった?」メグとベスは、いいえといいましたが、エミイは炉の火をつついてだまっていました。「エミイ、あなたですね。」「あたし、持ってないわ。」「じゃ、どこにある?」「知らないわ。」「うそつき!知らないとはいわさないわ。さあ、早い白状なさい。白状しないか。」ジョウは、ものすごい顔でどなりました。

“It isn’t. I haven’t got it, don’t know where it is now, and don’t care.”

“You know something about it, and you’d better tell at once, or I’ll make you.” And Jo gave her a slight shake.

“Scold as much as you like, you’ll never see your silly old book again,” cried Amy, getting excited in her turn.

“Why not?”

“I burned it up.”

“What! My little book I was so fond of, and worked over, and meant to finish before Father got home? Have you really burned it?” said Jo, turning very pale, while her eyes kindled and her hands clutched Amy nervously.

“Yes, I did! I told you I’d make you pay for being so cross yesterday, and I have, so . . .”

Amy got no farther, for Jo’s hot temper mastered her, and she shook Amy till her teeth chattered in her head, crying in a passion of grief and anger . . .

“You wicked, wicked girl! I never can write it again, and I’ll never forgive you as long as I live.”

kindle : 火がつく

「いくらでも怒るがいいわ。あんなつまらない原稿なんか、もう出ないわよ。」エミイは、どうにでもなれというような、いいかたでした。「どうして!」「あたしが焼いちゃったから。」「なに? あんなに苦労して、おとうさんがお帰りになるまでに書きあげるつもりの、あの大切な原稿を、ほんとに焼いたの?」ジョウは、まっさおになり、目は血ばしり、ふるえる手でエミイにとびかかりました。「ええ、焼いたわ。昨夜、いじわるしたからよ。おぼえていらっしゃいといったでしょう。」ジョウは、悲しみと怒りに、かっとなって、「ばか、ばか! 二度と書けないのよ。あたし一生あなたを許さない。」

Meg flew to rescue Amy, and Beth to pacify Jo, but Jo was quite beside herself, and with a parting box on her sister’s ear, she rushed out of the room up to the old sofa in the garret, and finished her fight alone.

The storm cleared up below, for Mrs. March came home, and, having heard the story, soon brought Amy to a sense of the wrong she had done her sister. Jo’s book was the pride of her heart, and was regarded by her family as a literary sprout of great promise. It was only half a dozen little fairy tales, but Jo had worked over them patiently, putting her whole heart into her work, hoping to make something good enough to print. She had just copied them with great care, and had destroyed the old manuscript, so that Amy’s bonfire had consumed the loving work of several years. It seemed a small loss to others, but to Jo it was a dreadful calamity, and she felt that it never could be made up to her. Beth mourned as for a departed kitten, and Meg refused to defend her pet. Mrs. March looked grave and grieved, and Amy felt that no one would love her till she had asked pardon for the act which she now regretted more than any of them.

sprout : 芽

メグもベスも、どうしようもありませんでした。ジョウは、エミイの横っつらをひっぱたいて、部屋をとび出し、屋根部屋のソファに身を伏せて泣きました。おかあさんは、帰宅してその話を聞き、エミイをしかりました。エミイはわるいことをしたと思いました。けれど、ジョウの原稿は、五六篇のかわいいお伽話でしたが、文学的才分と全精力を数年間かたむけて書いたもので、ジョウにとっては、とり返しのつかぬ損失でした。

When the tea bell rang, Jo appeared, looking so grim and unapproachable that it took all Amy’s courage to say meekly . . .

“Please forgive me, Jo. I’m very, very sorry.”

“I never shall forgive you,” was Jo’s stern answer, and from that moment she ignored Amy entirely.

No one spoke of the great trouble, not even Mrs. March, for all had learned by experience that when Jo was in that mood words were wasted, and the wisest course was to wait till some little accident, or her own generous nature, softened Jo’s resentment and healed the breach. It was not a happy evening, for though they sewed as usual, while their mother read aloud from Bremer, Scott, or Edgeworth, something was wanting, and the sweet home peace was disturbed. They felt this most when singing time came, for Beth could only play, Jo stood dumb as a stone, and Amy broke down, so Meg and Mother sang alone. But in spite of their efforts to be as cheery as larks, the flutelike voices did not seem to chord as well as usual, and all felt out of tune.

breach : 裂け目

ジョウは、お茶のベルが鳴ったとき、いかにもこわい顔をして出て来ました。エミイは、ありったけの勇気をふるい起して、「ジョウ、ごめんなさいね、あたし、ほんとうにわるかったわ。」と、あやまりました。ジョウは、ひややかに、「許してあげるものか。」と、答え、エミイにとりあいませんでした。だれも、この大事件のことを口にしませんでした。ジョウがじぶんの怒りをやわらげるまで、なにをいってもしようがないからです。そんなわけで、その晩はたのしくなく、みんなだまって針仕事をしました。おかあさんが、おもしろい物語を話しても、なにかもの足りなくて、家庭の平和は、すっかりみだされていました。おもくるしい気分は、メグとおかあさんがうたっても晴れませんでした。

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