Practice text with full furigana
"There's his 'like yourself' again. Irksome fellow!" the master muses.
"At this juncture, those of us endowned with knowledge of the Occident must reach back into its ancient lore in search of lost secrets. The merits of introducing these secrets into Meiji society, I believe, are twofold. Not only will they stave off calamitous ends, but they'll free us in turn to pursue unabated our daily pleasures. ..."
"Seems somehow odd ..." The master shakes his head.
"Accordingly, I've immersed myself of late in the writings of authors like Gibbon, Mommsen, and Smith. Much to my chagrin, though, I've yet to unearth any answers. However, as you're well aware, once I set my mind to something I persevere, undeterred, until success is mine. I believe, therefore, that it won't be long before I've discovered and revived the lost art of purging. Please rest assured in the knowledge that when I do you'll be first to know. Such being the case, I propose we defer the aforementioned feast of tochimenbō or peacock tongue until after such discovery. This deferral suits my needs, and I believe it's also to your advantage, as you already suffer so from dyspepsia. Much more to write, but I must stop here for now."
"So it seems I've been taken again. Drawn in by his weighty prose, I read to the end in earnest. The new year's just begun and he's already up to his tricks. Far too much time on his hands," the master remarks with a chuckle.
Four or five days passed without incident. The daffodil withered in its white porcelain, and the plum branch, though set in an earthenware pot, slowly began to blossom. Unsatisfied with just marking the passage of time, I tried on several occasions, unsuccessfully, to call on Mikeko. On the first occasion, I presumed she must be away, but on the second occasion I learned she was unwell and resting. Concealing myself by the wash basin, in the shadows of an aspidistra plant, I overheard, from inside the shōji, the following exchange between the teacher and her maidservant.
大兄 you (respectful)癪に障る offensive; annoying男 man; fellow主人 master思う think; consider
此 this際 occasion; juncture吾人 we西洋 West; Occident事情 circumstances; condition; state of affairsに通ずる be versed in; be well-informed of者 persons古史 ancient history伝説 tradition; legend; lore考究し investigate; research; study既に before; in the past廃絶せる were abandoned; were lost秘法 secret method; secret formula発見し discover; find之 these (things)明治 Meiji (Meiji era; 1868 - 1912)社会 society応用致し候わば apply to; bring into practice所謂 so-called; so-to-speak禍 misfortune; calamity; curse未萌に before becoming apparent; before materializing防ぐ prevent; avoid; avert功徳 virtuous deed; act of merit相成り become; constitute平素 ordinary; usual逸楽 pleasures擅に致し候 give free rein to御恩返 requittal of favor相立ち可申 can be said to bring about存候 think; feel; consider (= 存じます)
何だか somehow; in some sense妙 odd; strange首 head; neck捻る turn; twist
依て therefore; accordingly此間中 recently; of lateギボン Gibbon (Edward Gibbon; The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)モンセン Mommsen (Theodor Mommsen; German classical scholar)スミス Smith (Sir William Smith; English lexicographer)等 and such; etc諸家 various authors著述 writings; works渉猟致し居候えども though reading thoroughly未だに (not) yet端緒 starting point; initial lead見出し得ざる not succeed in discovering残念 disappointment至 utmost limit; extremity of然し However御存じの如く as you know; as you're aware小生 I; me (humble)一度 one time; once思い立ち候 set one's mind to事 act; action成功する succeed決して by (no) means中絶仕らざる not be deterred; not quit性質 nature; characterに候えば am ...嘔吐方 method of retching up; method of purging out再興致し候 restore; revive遠からぬうち the not too distant future; before long信じ居り候 believe; am convinced次第 circumstance右 right (referring to what's come before in right-to-left text)次第 as soon as; immediately (upon)御報道可仕候 will report (to you); will notify (you)左様御承知可被下候 please prepare accordingly就ては therefore; consequently; such being the case申上候 speak of; mentionトチメンボー tochimenbō (reference to Andō Tochimenbō; haiku poet; 1869-1914)及び and; as well as孔雀 peafowl (peacock or peahen)舌 tongue御馳走 feast; treat可相成は if it is possible後 after致し度 want to do; prefer to do左すれば in such case都合 circumstances; condition勿論 of course; certainly; without saying既に already胃弱 dyspepsia; weak digestion悩み居らるる be worried; be troubled (by)の為 sake of; purpose of御便宜 (your) advantage; benefit;草々不備 sincerely yours (closing of letter; lit: excuse my brevity)
担がれた was taken in; was taken for a ride書き方 manner of writing真面目 serious仕舞 end; close本気にして in earnest読んで read新年 new year匆々 so soon; already悪戯 mischief; pranking迷亭 Meitei (name)ひま人 man of leisure; idler笑いながら laughing; grinning云った said; remarked