昨年のノーベル文学賞作家の作品です。舞台は上海に移りました。1937年といえば「日中戦争」勃発の頃です。引き続き、作品を原文で鑑賞するという視点で註釈を行います。また、毎回、最後に「今日のイデイオム」欄を設けてあります。「ボキャビル」に利用下さい。

PART FIVE

Cathay Hotel, Shanghai
29th September 1937

Chapter Fourteen

I mishandled my meeting with MacDonald at the British consulate, and recalling it tonight only fills me with frustration. The fact is, he had prepared himself well and I had not. Time and again, I allowed him to lead me down false avenues, to waste my energy arguing over things he had decided to concede to me from the start. If anything, I was further forward with him four weeks ago, that evening at the ballroom of the Palace Hotel, when I first put to him this notion of an interview with the Yellow Snake. I had caught MacDonald unawares then, and had at least got him to admit, in so many words, his true role here in Shanghai. This morning, however, I had not obliged him even to relinquish his charade of being simply an official charged with protocol matters.
I suppose I underestimated him. I had thought it simply a matter of going in and reprimanding him for his slow progress in arranging what I had requested. Only now do I see how he laid his traps, realizing that once I became annoyed, he would easily get the better of me. It was foolish to show my irritation in the way I did; but these continuous days of intense work have left me tired. And of course, there was the unexpected encounter with Grayson, the Municipal Council man, as I was going up to MacDonald’s office. In fact, I would say it was this more than anything else which threw me off balance this morning, to the extent that for much of my subsequent discussion with MacDonald, my mind was actually elsewhere.


註釈:

I mishandled my meeting with MacDonald at the British consulate, and recalling it tonight only fills me with frustration.
「mishandle」はここでは「をまずい処理をする」。「consulate」は「領事館」。「recalling it tonight」は動名詞句で主語。

The fact is, he had prepared himself well and I had not.
「prepare oneself」は「腹をくくる、覚悟を決める」。

Time and again, I allowed him to lead me down false avenues, to waste my energy arguing over things he had decided to concede to me from the start.
「time and again」は「繰り返し、幾度も、再三再四」。「down false avenues」は「間違った道の方向に」。「concede」は「譲る」。

If anything, I was further forward with him four weeks ago, that evening at the ballroom of the Palace Hotel, when I first put to him this notion of an interview with the Yellow Snake.
「if anything」はここでは「いずれにしても」。「further forward」は「さらに前に」。「with」はここでは「・・・に対して」の意。「put」はここでは「を提示する」。「notion」は「考え」。

I had caught MacDonald unawares then, and had at least got him to admit, in so many words, his true role here in Shanghai.
「catch」はここでは「を引きつける」。「unawares」は「思いがけなく」。

This morning, however, I had not obliged him even to relinquish his charade of being simply an official charged with protocol matters.
「oblige」は「に余儀なくさせる」。「relinquish」は「を放棄する」。「charade」は「見え透いた言い訳」。「protocol」は「外交儀礼」。

I suppose I underestimated him.
「underestimate」はここでは「をみくびる」。

I had thought it simply a matter of going in and reprimanding him for his slow progress in arranging what I had requested.
「reprimand」は「を叱責する」。

Only now do I see how he laid his traps, realizing that once I became annoyed, he would easily get the better of me.
「lay a trap」は「わなを仕掛ける」。「annoyed」は「困っている、悩んでいる」。「get the better of …」は「・・・に打ち勝つ」。

It was foolish to show my irritation in the way I did; but these continuous days of intense work have left me tired.

And of course, there was the unexpected encounter with Grayson, the Municipal Council man, as I was going up to MacDonald’s office.
「Municipal Council」は「市議会」。

In fact, I would say it was this more than anything else which threw me off balance this morning, to the extent that for much of my subsequent discussion with MacDonald, my mind was actually elsewhere.
「subsequent」は「次の」。


『今日のイデイオム』

「prepare oneself」
「腹をくくる、覚悟を決める」

「time and again」
「繰り返し、幾度も、再三再四」

「if anything」
「いずれにしても」

「get the better of …」
「・・・に打ち勝つ」