「社会人のための英語回路構築トレーニング自習帖」著者のブログ

Thank You for Visiting Me! 「英語赤ひげ先生」による「知っている英語」を「使える英語」にするための「理論」と「教材」を一挙に無料公開しています。

When We Were Orphans

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans (300 – 最終回)

There is something about these sections of her letter – and those last lines in particular – that never quite ring true. Some subtle note that runs throughout the letter – indeed, her very act of writing to me at that moment – feels at odds with her report of days filled with ‘happiness and companionship’. Was her life with her French count really what she set off to find that day she stepped out on to the jetty in Shanghai? I somehow doubt it. My feeling is that she is thinking of herself as much as of me when she talks of a sense of mission, and the futility of attempting to evade it. Perhaps there are those who are able to go about their lives unfettered by such concerns. But for those like us, our fate is to face the world as orphans, chasing through long years the shadows of vanished parents. There is nothing for it but to try and see through our mission to the end, as best we can, for until we do so, we will be permitted no calm.
I do not wish to appear smug; but drifting through my days here in London, I believe I can indeed own up to a certain contempt. I enjoy my walks in the parks, I visit the galleries; and increasingly of late, I have come to tale a foolish pride in sifting through old newspaper reports of my cases in the Reading Room at the British Museum. This city, in other words, has come to be my home, and I should not mind if I had to live out the rest of my days here. Nevertheless, there are those times when a sort of emptiness fills my hours, and I shall continue to give Jennifer’s invitation serious thought.


註釈:

There is something about these sections of her letter – and those last lines in particular – that never quite ring true.
「that never quite ring true」は「something」を修飾。「ring」はここでは「・・・のように聞こえる」。

Some subtle note that runs throughout the letter – indeed, her very act of writing to me at that moment – feels at odds with her report of days filled with ‘happiness and companionship’.
「indeed」はここでは挿入句で「はっきり言うと」。

Was her life with her French count really what she set off to find that day she stepped out on to the jetty in Shanghai?
「jetty」は「搭乗用の階段」。

I somehow doubt it.

My feeling is that she is thinking of herself as much as of me when she talks of a sense of mission, and the futility of attempting to evade it.
「futility」は「無益」。「evade」は「を逃れる」。

Perhaps there are those who are able to go about their lives unfettered by such concerns.
「go about」はここでは「に精を出す」。「unfetter」は「の足かせを取り除く」。

But for those like us, our fate is to face the world as orphans, chasing through long years the shadows of vanished parents.

There is nothing for it but to try and see through our mission to the end, as best we can, for until we do so, we will be permitted no calm.
「as best one can」は「できるだけ、精一杯」。「There is nothing for it but to …」は「・・・するより仕方がない」。

I do not wish to appear smug; but drifting through my days here in London, I believe I can indeed own up to a certain contempt.
「smug」は「ひとりよがりの」。「own up to …」は「・・・を認める」。

I enjoy my walks in the parks, I visit the galleries; and increasingly of late, I have come to tale a foolish pride in sifting through old newspaper reports of my cases in the Reading Room at the British Museum. This city, in other words, has come to be my home, and I should not mind if I had to live out the rest of my days here.

Nevertheless, there are those times when a sort of emptiness fills my hours, and I shall continue to give Jennifer’s invitation serious thought.
「shall」は「強い意思」を表します。


『今日のイデイオム』

「go about」
「に精を出す」

「as best one can」
「できるだけ、精一杯」

「There is nothing for it but to …」
「・・・するより仕方がない」

「own up to …」
「・・・を認める」


以上を以って300回に亘る長い解説を終了します。私自身も大変勉強になりました。

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans (299)

Since this encounter last week, I have brought out and read again several times Sarah’s letter – the only one I ever received since our parting in Shanghai all those years ago. It is dated 18th May 1947, and has been written from a hill station in Malaya. Perhaps it was my hope that after my conversation with her friend, I would discover in those rather formal, almost blandly pleasant lines, some hitherto hidden dimension. But in fact the letter continues to yield up little more than the bare bones of her life since her departure from Shanghai. She talks of Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore as being ‘delightful’, ‘colourful’, ‘fascinating’. Her French companion is mentioned several times, but always in passing as though I already knew all there was to know about him. There is a breezy mention of the internment under the Japanese, and she pronounces her health problems ‘a bit of a bore’. She asks after me in a polite way and calls her own life in liberated Singapore ‘a pretty decent thing to be getting on with’. It is the sort of letter one might write, in a foreign land, on an impulse one afternoon to a vaguely remembered friend. Only once, towards the end, does its tone imply the intimacy we once shared.
‘I don’t mind telling you, dearest Christopher,’ she writes, ‘that at the time, I was disappointed, to say the least, at the way things transpired between us. But don’t worry, I have long ceased to be cross with you. How could I remain cross when fate in the end chose to smile so kindly on me? Besides, it is now my belief that for you, it was the correct decision not to come with me that day. You always felt you had a mission to complete, and I dare say you would never have been able to give your heart to anyone or anything until you had done so. I can only hope that by now your tasks are behind you, and that you too have been able to find the sort of happiness and companionship which I have come lately almost to take for granted.’


註釈:

Since this encounter last week, I have brought out and read again several times Sarah’s letter – the only one I ever received since our parting in Shanghai all those years ago.
「bring out」は「を取り出す」。「part」はここでは「別れる」。

It is dated 18th May 1947, and has been written from a hill station in Malaya.
「日付が1947年5月18日である」というのは「現在の真実」ですので「現在形」です。「has been written」も同じイメージです。「write」はここでは「書き送る」。「hill station」は「高原避暑地」。「Malaya」は「マレー半島」。

Perhaps it was my hope that after my conversation with her friend, I would discover in those rather formal, almost blandly pleasant lines, some hitherto hidden dimension.
「blandly」は「穏やかに」。「line」はここでは「行」。「hitherto」は「今まで」。「dimension」はここでは「側面」。

But in fact the letter continues to yield up little more than the bare bones of her life since her departure from Shanghai.
「in fact」は「実際は」。「yield up」はここでは「を明らかにする、示す」。

She talks of Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore as being ‘delightful’, ‘colourful’, ‘fascinating’.

Her French companion is mentioned several times, but always in passing as though I already knew all there was to know about him.
「in passing」はここでは「話のついでに」。「as though …」は「恰も・・・の如く」。

There is a breezy mention of the internment under the Japanese, and she pronounces her health problems ‘a bit of a bore’.
「breezy」はここでは「威勢のよい」。「internment」は「抑留」。「pronounce」はここでは「・・・であると断言する」。

She asks after me in a polite way and calls her own life in liberated Singapore ‘a pretty decent thing to be getting on with’.
「ask after …」で「・・・の容体を聞く」。「liberated」は「解放された」。「get on with …」はここでは「・・・を続ける」。

It is the sort of letter one might write, in a foreign land, on an impulse one afternoon to a vaguely remembered friend.
「impulse」は「衝動」。

Only once, towards the end, does its tone imply the intimacy we once shared.
「intimacy」は「親しいこと」。

‘I don’t mind telling you, dearest Christopher,’ she writes, ‘that at the time, I was disappointed, to say the least, at the way things transpired between us.
「to say the least」は「控え目に言って」。「transpire」は「起る」。

But don’t worry, I have long ceased to be cross with you.
「cross」は「angry」と同じ。

How could I remain cross when fate in the end chose to smile so kindly on me? Besides, it is now my belief that for you, it was the correct decision not to come with me that day. You always felt you had a mission to complete, and I dare say you would never have been able to give your heart to anyone or anything until you had done so.

I can only hope that by now your tasks are behind you, and that you too have been able to find the sort of happiness and companionship which I have come lately almost to take for granted.’
「take … for granted」で「・・・を当たり前のことと思う」。


『今日のイデイオム』

「bring out」
「を取り出す」

「in fact」
「実際は」

「yield up」
「を明らかにする、示す」

「in passing」
「話のついでに」

「as though …」
「恰も・・・の如く」

「ask after …」
「・・・の容体を聞く」

「get on with …」
「・・・を続ける」

「to say the least」
「控え目に言って」

「take … for granted」
「・・・を当たり前のことと思う」

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans (298)

The Osbournes had invited several other people, but once we sat down to eat, I found myself placed beside this same lady, and inevitably our conversation drifted back to Sarah.
‘You were a good friend of hers, were you not?’ she asked at one point. ‘She always talked so admiringly of you.’
‘We were good friends, certainly. Of course, we rather lost touch once she went to the East.’
‘She often talked of you. She had so many stories about the famous detective, kept us quite amused when we grew tired of playing bridge. She always spoke most highly of you.’
‘I’m moved to think she remembered me so well. As I say, we rather lost touch, though I did receive a letter from her once, around two years after the war. I wasn’t aware until then how she’d spent the war. She made light of the internment, but I’m sure it was no joke.’
‘Oh, I’m sure it was no joke at all. My husband and I, we could so easily have suffered the same fate. We managed to get ourselves to Australia just in time. But Sarah and M.de Villefort, they always trusted so much to fate. They were the sort of couple who went out in the evening with no plan, quite happy to see who they bumped into. A charming attitude most of the time, but not when the Japanese are on your doorstep. Did you know him also?’
‘I never had the pleasure of meeting the count. I understand he returned to Europe after Sarah’s death, but our paths have never crossed.’
‘Oh, I thought from the way she talked of you, you were good friends with them both.’
‘No. You see, I really knew Sarah during an earlier part of her life. I beg your pardon, there’s perhaps no way for you to answer this. But did they strike you as a happy couple, Sarah and this French chap?’
‘A happy couple?’ My companion thought for a moment. ‘Of course, one can never know for sure, but quite honestly, it would be hard to believe otherwise. They did seem utterly devoted to one another. They never had much money, so that meant they could never be quite as carefree as they might have wished. But the count always seemed so, well, so romantic. You laugh, Mr Banks, but that’s just the word for it. He was so devastated by her death. It was the internment that did it, you know. Like so many others, she never fully recovered her health. I do miss her. Such a charming companion.’


註釈:

The Osbournes had invited several other people, but once we sat down to eat, I found myself placed beside this same lady, and inevitably our conversation drifted back to Sarah.
「The Osbournes」は「Osbourne家の全員」の意になります。現実的には「Osbourne夫妻」。「several other people」の語順に注意。「several」は「a/an」「the」等と同じく「限定詞」ですので「other」という形容詞の前に置く必要があります。「inevitably」は「必然的に」。

‘You were a good friend of hers, were you not?’ she asked at one point.

‘She always talked so admiringly of you.’
「admiringly」は「賞賛して、うっとりして」。

‘We were good friends, certainly. Of course, we rather lost touch once she went to the East.’
「rather」は我々にとって使い方が難しい語の1つですが、ここでは動詞を修飾していますので「statement を弱める働き」をしています。「the East」はここでは「(欧州からみた)東方諸国(主に中国、日本、インド)」。本当は「マカオ」に行ってから音信がなくなったわけですが、「マカオ」を口に出さないでfuzzyな言い方をしたわけです。

‘She often talked of you. She had so many stories about the famous detective, kept us quite amused when we grew tired of playing bridge.

She always spoke most highly of you.’
「speak highly of …」で「・・・を激賞する」。

‘I’m moved to think she remembered me so well.

As I say, we rather lost touch, though I did receive a letter from her once, around two years after the war.
「as I say」は「先ほども言ったように」の意。「say」が現在形で使われているのは「言ったことが今も有効である」意識が働いているからだと思います。

I wasn’t aware until then how she’d spent the war.

She made light of the internment, but I’m sure it was no joke.’
「make light of …」で「・・・を馬鹿にする」。「internment」は「抑留」。

‘Oh, I’m sure it was no joke at all.

My husband and I, we could so easily have suffered the same fate.
「fate」は「運命」。

We managed to get ourselves to Australia just in time.
「in time」は「間に合って」。

But Sarah and M.de Villefort, they always trusted so much to fate.

They were the sort of couple who went out in the evening with no plan, quite happy to see who they bumped into.
ここの「who」は「古い」使い方で先行詞を含み名詞節を導きます(the ones that ….)。「bump into …」は「・・・と偶然出会う」。

A charming attitude most of the time, but not when the Japanese are on your doorstep. Did you know him also?’

‘I never had the pleasure of meeting the count.
「count」は「(英国以外のヨーロッパ諸国の)伯爵。英国の earl に相当」。

I understand he returned to Europe after Sarah’s death, but our paths have never crossed.’
‘Oh, I thought from the way she talked of you, you were good friends with them both.’
‘No. You see, I really knew Sarah during an earlier part of her life. I beg your pardon, there’s perhaps no way for you to answer this.

But did they strike you as a happy couple, Sarah and this French chap?’
「strike」はここでは「に印象を与える」。


‘A happy couple?’ My companion thought for a moment. ‘Of course, one can never know for sure, but quite honestly, it would be hard to believe otherwise.

They did seem utterly devoted to one another.
「devoted」は「献身的な」。「one another」は「お互い」。

They never had much money, so that meant they could never be quite as carefree as they might have wished.
「carefree」は「心配のない」。

But the count always seemed so, well, so romantic. You laugh, Mr Banks, but that’s just the word for it.

He was so devastated by her death.
「devastate」は「を挫折させる」。

It was the internment that did it, you know. Like so many others, she never fully recovered her health. I do miss her. Such a charming companion.’


『今日のイデイオム』

「speak highly of …」
「・・・を激賞する」

「as I say」
「先ほども言ったように」

「make light of …」
「・・・を馬鹿にする」

「in time」
「間に合って」

「one another」
「お互い」

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans (297)

Over this last month, as I have drifted through these grey days in London, wandering about Kensington Gardens in the company of autumn tourists and office workers out for their lunch breaks, occasionally running into an old acquaintance and perhaps going off with him for lunch or tea, I have often found myself thinking again of my conversation with Jennifer that morning. There is no denying it has cheered me. There is every reason to believe that she has now come through the dark tunnel of her life and emerged at the other end. What awaits her there remains to be seen, but she is not by nature someone who easily accepts defeat. Indeed, it is more than possible she will go on to fulfil the programme she outlined to me – only half-jokingly – as we looked over the valley that morning. And if in a few years’ time things have indeed gone according to her wishes, then it is not out of the question I will take up her suggestion to go and live with her in the country. Of course, I would not much fancy her shed, but I could always take a cottage not far away. I am grateful for Jennifer. We understand each other’s concerns instinctively, and it is exchanges like the one that frosty morning which have proved such a source of consolation for me over the years.
But then again, life in the countryside might prove too quiet, and I have become rather attached to London of late. Besides, from time to time, I am still approached by persons who remember my name from before the war and wish my advice on some matter. Only last week, in fact, when I went to dinner with the Osbournes, I was introduced to a lady who immediately seized my hand, exclaiming: ‘You mean you’re the Christopher Banks? The detective?’
It turned out she had spent much of her life in Singapore, where she had been ‘a very great friend’ of Sarah’s. ‘She used to talk of you all the time,’ she told me. ‘I really do feel I know you already.’


註釈:

Over this last month, as I have drifted through these grey days in London, wandering about Kensington Gardens in the company of autumn tourists and office workers out for their lunch breaks, occasionally running into an old acquaintance and perhaps going off with him for lunch or tea, I have often found myself thinking again of my conversation with Jennifer that morning.
「drift」はここでは「あてもなくあちこち動く」。「wander」も同じような意味で「ぶらつく」。「in the company of …」で「・・・と一緒に」。「perhaps」はここでは「あるいは」。「go off」はここでは「わき道にそれる」。

There is no denying it has cheered me.

There is every reason to believe that she has now come through the dark tunnel of her life and emerged at the other end.
「every」はここでは「全面的の」。「emerge」は「現れる」。

What awaits her there remains to be seen, but she is not by nature someone who easily accepts defeat.
「by nature」は「生まれつき」。

Indeed, it is more than possible she will go on to fulfil the programme she outlined to me – only half-jokingly – as we looked over the valley that morning.

And if in a few years’ time things have indeed gone according to her wishes, then it is not out of the question I will take up her suggestion to go and live with her in the country.
「in a few years’ time」は「数年後に」。

Of course, I would not much fancy her shed, but I could always take a cottage not far away.
「fancy」はここでは「like」と同じ。

I am grateful for Jennifer.

We understand each other’s concerns instinctively, and it is exchanges like the one that frosty morning which have proved such a source of consolation for me over the years.
「exchange」はここでは「conversation」の意。

But then again, life in the countryside might prove too quiet, and I have become rather attached to London of late.
「but then again」は「しかしまた一方では」。「of late」は「最近、近ごろ」。

Besides, from time to time, I am still approached by persons who remember my name from before the war and wish my advice on some matter. Only last week, in fact, when I went to dinner with the Osbournes, I was introduced to a lady who immediately seized my hand, exclaiming: ‘You mean you’re the Christopher Banks? The detective?’
It turned out she had spent much of her life in Singapore, where she had been ‘a very great friend’ of Sarah’s. ‘She used to talk of you all the time,’ she told me. ‘I really do feel I know you already.’


『今日のイデイオム』

「in the company of …」
「・・・と一緒に」

「go off」
「わき道にそれる」

「by nature」
「生まれつき」

「but then again」
「しかしまた一方では」

「of late」
「最近、近ごろ」

Kazuo Ishiguro: When We Were Orphans (296)

Jennifer suddenly smiled and slipped her arm through mine. ‘I know what we’ll do,’ she said. ‘I have a plan. I’ve decided. I’ll find a fine decent man whom I marry, and I’ll have three, no, four children. And we’ll live somewhere near here, where we can always come and look over this valley. And you can leave your stuffy little flat in London and come and live with us. Since your lady-friends won’t have you, you can accept the post of uncle to all my future children.’
I smiled back at her. ‘That sounds a fine plan. Though I don’t know if your husband would so appreciate having me around his house the whole time.’
‘Oh, then we’ll rig up an old shed or something for you.’
‘Now, that does sound tempting. Keep your end of the bargain and I’ll think about it.’
‘If that’s a promise, then you’d better watch out. Because I’ll make sure it happens. Then you’ll have to come and live in your shed.’


註釈:

Jennifer suddenly smiled and slipped her arm through mine.
「slip」はここでは他動詞で「を滑り込ませる」の意。

‘I know what we’ll do,’ she said. ‘I have a plan. I’ve decided. I’ll find a fine decent man whom I marry, and I’ll have three, no, four children.

And we’ll live somewhere near here, where we can always come and look over this valley.
「valley」は「低地、凹地、盆地、谷間」。

And you can leave your stuffy little flat in London and come and live with us.
「stuffy」は「風通しの悪い」。

Since your lady-friends won’t have you, you can accept the post of uncle to all my future children.’
「have」はここでは「を招く」。

I smiled back at her. ‘That sounds a fine plan.

Though I don’t know if your husband would so appreciate having me around his house the whole time.’
「appreciate」はここでは「を感謝する」。「the whole time」は「ずっと」。

‘Oh, then we’ll rig up an old shed or something for you.’
「rig up」は「を一時的に組み立てる」。「shed」は「小屋」。

‘Now, that does sound tempting. Keep your end of the bargain and I’ll think about it.’
「tempting」はここでは「心が動く」。

‘If that’s a promise, then you’d better watch out.
「watch out」は「用心する」。

Because I’ll make sure it happens. Then you’ll have to come and live in your shed.’


『今日のイデイオム』

「the whole time」
「ずっと」

「watch out」
「用心する」
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