He trailed off, perhaps because he thought I was not listening, perhaps because like most Chinese, he was uncomfortable with apologies. I went on gazing about me for a while longer, then asked him:
‘So this house, it’s no longer owned by Morganbrook and Byatt?’
He looked astonished, then laughed. ‘Sir, I am the owner of this house.’
I saw I had insulted him, and said hurriedly: ‘Yes, of course. I do beg your pardon.’
‘Don’t worry, my good sir’ – his genial smile had quickly returned – ‘it was not an unreasonable question. After all, when you and your parents lived here, that was no doubt the situation. But I believe that has long ceased to be. Mt good sir, if you will only consider how much Shanghai has changed and changed again. All this’ – he sighed and gestured about us – ‘by comparison these are small changes. There are parts of this city I once knew so well, places I would walk every day, I now go there and I know not which way to turn. Change, change all the time. And now the Japanese, they wish to make their changes here. The most terrible changes may yet overtake us. But one must not be pessimistic.’
For a moment, we both stood there in silence, continuing to look about us. Then he said quietly:
‘My family, of course, will be saddened to leave this house. My father died here. Two grandchildren were born here. But when my wife spoke earlier – and you must forgive her frankness, Mr Banks – she did speak for us all. We will consider it a great honour and privilege to return this house to you and your parents. Now, my good sir, let us continue if we may.


註釈:

He trailed off, perhaps because he thought I was not listening, perhaps because like most Chinese, he was uncomfortable with apologies. I went on gazing about me for a while longer, then asked him:
「He trailed off」は「彼の声はだんだん小さくなった」。「about me」は「私の周りを」。

‘So this house, it’s no longer owned by Morganbrook and Byatt?’

He looked astonished, then laughed.
「astonished」は「驚いた」。

‘Sir, I am the owner of this house.’
I saw I had insulted him, and said hurriedly:
「insult」は「を侮辱する」。

‘Yes, of course. I do beg your pardon.’

‘Don’t worry, my good sir’ – his genial smile had quickly returned – ‘it was not an unreasonable question.
「my good sir」は「男性への呼びかけ言葉」。「genial」は「にこにこと愛想のよい」。

After all, when you and your parents lived here, that was no doubt the situation.
「after all」には「何といっても、だって、とにかく、やはり、結局」等の日本語が対応します。ここでは「‘it was not an unreasonable question.」に対する補充説明ですので「だって」。「that was no doubt the situation」は「この家がMorganbrook and Byattによって所有されていたことは間違いなかった」。

But I believe that has long ceased to be.
「しかしこの家がMorganbrook and Byattによって所有されなくなって久しい」。

Mt good sir, if you will only consider how much Shanghai has changed and changed again. All this’ – he sighed and gestured about us – ‘by comparison these are small changes. There are parts of this city I once knew so well, places I would walk every day, I now go there and I know not which way to turn. Change, change all the time.

And now the Japanese, they wish to make their changes here.
この小説では現在「1937年9月29日」です。その年の7月7日に盧溝橋事件が発生し、日中戦争の始まりだと言われています。

The most terrible changes may yet overtake us. But one must not be pessimistic.’
「overtake」はここでは「の身に突然ふりかかる」。「pessimistic」は「悲観的な」。

For a moment, we both stood there in silence, continuing to look about us. Then he said quietly:

‘My family, of course, will be saddened to leave this house.
「sadden」は「を悲しませる」。

My father died here. Two grandchildren were born here. But when my wife spoke earlier – and you must forgive her frankness, Mr Banks – she did speak for us all.

We will consider it a great honour and privilege to return this house to you and your parents.
「honour and privilege」は「名誉と特権」⇒「光栄」。

Now, my good sir, let us continue if we may.
「if we may」は「宜しければ」。


『今日のイデイオム』

「after all」
「何といっても、だって、とにかく、やはり、結局」

「if we may」「宜しければ」