My father’s study was on the uppermost floor of the house with a commanding view over the rear grounds. I was not usually permitted to enter it, and in general was discouraged from playing anywhere near it. There was, however, a narrow corridor leading from the landing to the study door, along which a row of pictures hung in heavy gilt frames. These were each precise, draughtsman-like paintings of Shanghai harbour seen from the viewpoint of someone standing on the shore at Pootung; that is to say, all the numerous vessels in the harbor were shown with the great buildings of the Bund in the background. The pictures probably dated back at least to the 1880s and my guess is that like many of the ornaments and pictures in the house, they belonged to the company. Now I do not actually remember this myself, she and I would stand in front of these pictures and entertain ourselves giving amusing names to the various vessels in the water. According to my mother, I would quickly be in fits of laughter and would sometimes refuse to abandon the game until we had named every visible vessel. If this were so – if we were really in the habit of laughing boisterously throughout this game of ours – then almost certainly we would not have come up to amuse ourselves in this way while my father was working in his study. But when I thought further about my father’s words at the bandstand that day, I began to remember an occasion my mother and I had indeed been standing together up on that attic floor, for all I know playing this game of ours, when she suddenly stopped and became very still.


註釈:

My father’s study was on the uppermost floor of the house with a commanding view over the rear grounds.
「uppermost」はここでは「最上階の」。「commanding」はここでは「見晴らしのよい」。

I was not usually permitted to enter it, and in general was discouraged from playing anywhere near it.
「discourage from …」はここでは「・・・をやめさせる」。

There was, however, a narrow corridor leading from the landing to the study door, along which a row of pictures hung in heavy gilt frames.
「landing」は「踊り場」。「gilt」は「金箔をかぶせた」。

These were each precise, draughtsman-like paintings of Shanghai harbour seen from the viewpoint of someone standing on the shore at Pootung;
「draughtsman」は「製図工」。

that is to say, all the numerous vessels in the harbor were shown with the great buildings of the Bund in the background.
「that is to say」は「すなわち」。「numerous」は「たくさんの」。「the Bund」は「(上海の)外灘」。イギリス等の租界地のあった地域。

The pictures probably dated back at least to the 1880s and my guess is that like many of the ornaments and pictures in the house, they belonged to the company. Now I do not actually remember this myself, she and I would stand in front of these pictures and entertain ourselves giving amusing names to the various vessels in the water.

According to my mother, I would quickly be in fits of laughter and would sometimes refuse to abandon the game until we had named every visible vessel.
ここでの「would」は「過去の習慣」を表します。「in fits of laughter」は「よく笑う」。

If this were so – if we were really in the habit of laughing boisterously throughout this game of ours – then almost certainly we would not have come up to amuse ourselves in this way while my father was working in his study.
「boisterously」は「騒々しく」。

But when I thought further about my father’s words at the bandstand that day, I began to remember an occasion my mother and I had indeed been standing together up on that attic floor, for all I know playing this game of ours, when she suddenly stopped and became very still.
「attic」は「屋根裏部屋」。「for all I know」は「私の知る限りでは」。「still」はここでは「声が低い」。


『今日のイデイオム』

「discourage from …」
「・・・をやめさせる」

「that is to say」
「すなわち」

「in fits of laughter」
「よく笑う」

「for all I know」
「私の知る限りでは」