I believe it was not long after that we climbed a carpeted staircase – one which certainly did not exist in my time – and stepped into a luxuriously furbished bedroom. There were rich fabrics, and lanterns casting a reddish glow.
‘My wife’s room,’ Mr Lin said.
I could see it was a sanctuary, a cosy boudoir where the old lady probably whiled away most of her day. In the warm lantern light, I could make out a card table upon which a number of different sorts of game appeared to be in progress, a writing desk with a column of tiny gold-tasseled drawers running down one side; a large four-poster bed with layers of veil-like drapes. Elsewhere my gaze caught various fine ornaments, and items of amusement whose exact natures I could not guess.
‘Madam must like this room,’ I said eventually. ‘I can see her world here.’
‘It suits her. But you mustn’t concern yourself on her behalf, my good sir. We will find her another room she will come to love equally.’
He had spoken to reassure me, but something fragile had entered his voice. He now drifted further into the room, over to a dressing table, and became absorbed by some small object there – perhaps a brooch. After several moments, he said quietly:
‘She was very beautiful when she was younger. The most beautiful flower, my good sir. You cannot imagine. In this respect, I am like a Westerner in my heart. I have never wanted any wife but her. One wife, quite enough. Of course, I took others. I am Chinese, after all, even if I have lived all my life here in the foreigners’ city. I felt obliged to take other wives. But she is the one I truly cared for. The others have all gone now, and she is left. I miss the others, but I’m glad, in my heart I’m glad that in our old age, it is just the two of us again.’ For a few seconds, he seemed to forget my presence. Then he turned to me and said: ‘This room. I wonder how you will come to see it. Pardon me, this is very impertinent. But do you think this room will be for your own good wife? Of course, I am aware that for many foreigners, however wealthy, husband and wife will share the same room. I wonder then if this room will go to yourself and your good wife. My curiosity, I realize, is most impertinent. But this room is very special for me. It is my hope that you will put it to special use.’


註釈:

I believe it was not long after that we climbed a carpeted staircase – one which certainly did not exist in my time – and stepped into a luxuriously furbished bedroom.
「climb」は「手足を使って登る、降りる」。「luxuriously」は「豪華に」。「furbish」は「を見栄えよくする」。

There were rich fabrics, and lanterns casting a reddish glow.
「fabric」は「布地」。「reddish」は「赤味がかった」。「glow」は「輝き」。

‘My wife’s room,’ Mr Lin said.

I could see it was a sanctuary, a cosy boudoir where the old lady probably whiled away most of her day.
「sanctuary」は「聖域」。「cosy」は「居心地のよい」。「boudoir」は「女性の寝室」。「while away」は「をのんびりと過ごす」。

In the warm lantern light, I could make out a card table upon which a number of different sorts of game appeared to be in progress, a writing desk with a column of tiny gold-tasseled drawers running down one side; a large four-poster bed with layers of veil-like drapes.
「make out」はここでは「を見分ける」。「a column of …」は「1列の」。「gold-tasseled」は「金のふさで飾られた」。「four-poster」は「柱が4本ある」。「layer」は「層」。「veil」はここでは「神殿の聖所のたれ衣」。「drape」は「掛け布」。

Elsewhere my gaze caught various fine ornaments, and items of amusement whose exact natures I could not guess.
「elsewhere」は「その他のところでは」。「ornament」は「飾り」。「amusement」は「楽しみ」。

‘Madam must like this room,’ I said eventually. ‘I can see her world here.’
「eventually」は「結局は、ついに、ゆくゆくは、いつかは、やがて」のような日本語が対応します。ここでは「やがて」。

‘It suits her. But you mustn’t concern yourself on her behalf, my good sir. We will find her another room she will come to love equally.’
「concern oneself」は「気にかける、心配する」。「on her behalf」は「彼女のために」。

He had spoken to reassure me, but something fragile had entered his voice.
「reassure」は「を安心させる」。「fragile」はここでは「元気がない」。

He now drifted further into the room, over to a dressing table, and became absorbed by some small object there – perhaps a brooch.
「drift」は「ゆっくり進む」。「absorbed」は「すっかり心を奪われて」。「brooch」は「ブローチ」。

After several moments, he said quietly:
‘She was very beautiful when she was younger. The most beautiful flower, my good sir. You cannot imagine.

In this respect, I am like a Westerner in my heart.
「respect」はここでは「尊敬」ではなく「点、箇所、事項、細目」の意。

I have never wanted any wife but her. One wife, quite enough. Of course, I took others.

I am Chinese, after all, even if I have lived all my life here in the foreigners’ city.
「after all」は「結局」。

I felt obliged to take other wives.
「oblige」は「を義務づける」。

But she is the one I truly cared for.
「care for …」はここでは「・・・が好きである」。

The others have all gone now, and she is left. I miss the others, but I’m glad, in my heart I’m glad that in our old age, it is just the two of us again.’ For a few seconds, he seemed to forget my presence. Then he turned to me and said:

‘This room. I wonder how you will come to see it.
「how you will come to see it」は「この部屋をあなたが将来どのように考えるか」

Pardon me, this is very impertinent.
「impertinent」は「無礼な」。

But do you think this room will be for your own good wife? Of course, I am aware that for many foreigners, however wealthy, husband and wife will share the same room. I wonder then if this room will go to yourself and your good wife.

My curiosity, I realize, is most impertinent.
「curiosity」は「好奇心」。

But this room is very special for me.

It is my hope that you will put it to special use.’
「put it to special use」は「この部屋を特別な用途に使う」の意。


『今日のイデイオム』

「make out」
「を見分ける」

「a column of …」
「1列の」

「concern oneself」
「気にかける、心配する」

「on one’s behalf」
「○○のために」

「after all」
「結局」

「care for …」
「・・・が好きである」