I am a Cat (Chapter 7 a) Section 204 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

吾輩わがはいなどはうまれないまえからそのくらいなことはちゃんと心得こころえいる。第一だいいち海水かいすいがなぜくすりになるかとえばちょっと海岸かいがんけばすぐわか事じゃないか。あんなひろところさかな何疋なんびきおるか分らないが、あの魚が一疋いっぴき病気びょうきをして医者いしゃにかかったためがない。みんな健全けんぜんおよいでいる。病気をすれば、からだがかなくなるねばかなら。それだから魚の往生おうじょうあがると云って、とり薨去こうきょを、ちるとな人間にんげん寂滅じゃくめつごねるごうしている。洋行ようこうをして印度インドよう横断おうだんしたひときみ、魚の死ぬところを事がありますかといてがいい、だれでもいいえとこたえるきまっている。それはそう答えるわけだ。いくら往復おうふくしたって一匹いっぴきなみうえいま呼吸いきった――呼吸ではいかん、魚の事だからしおったと云わなければならん――潮を引き取って浮いているのを見たものはないからだ。あの渺々びょうびょうたる、あの漫々まんまんたる大海たいかいとなくとなくつづけざまに石炭せきたんいてがしてあるいて古往こおう今来こんらい一匹も魚ががっておらんところをもって推論すいろんすれば、魚はよほど丈夫じょうぶものちがいないと云う断案だんあんはすぐにくだこと出来でき。それならなぜ魚がそんなに丈夫なのかと云えばこれまた人間をってしかるのちらざるなりで、わけはない。すぐ分る。まった潮水しおみずんで始終しじゅう海水浴かいすいよくをやっているからだ。海水浴の功能こうのうしかくって顕著けんちょである。魚に取って顕著である以上いじょう人間に取っても顕著でなくてはならん。一七五〇せんななひゃくごじゅうねんドクトル・リチャード・ラッセルブライトンの海水に飛込とびこめば四百四しひゃくしびょう即席そくせき全快ぜんかい大袈裟おおげさ広告こうこくしたのはおそ遅いとわらってもよろしい。ねこといえども相当そうとう時機じき到着とうちゃくすれば、みんな鎌倉かまくらあたりへ出掛でかけるつもりでいる。ただ今はいけない。ものには時機がある。御維新ごいっしんまえ日本人にほんじんが海水浴の功能をあじわう事が出来ずに死んだごとく、今日こんにちの猫はいまだ裸体らたいうみなかへ飛び込むべき機会きかい遭遇そうぐうしておらん。せいてはこと仕損しそんずる、今日のように築地つきじっちゃられった猫が無事ぶじ帰宅きたくせんあいだ無暗むやみ飛び込む訳には行かん。進化しんか法則ほうそく吾等われら猫輩ねこはい機能きのう狂瀾きょうらん怒濤どとうたいして適当てきとう抵抗力ていこうりょくしょうずるいたまでは――換言かんげんすれば猫が死んだと云うかわりに猫が上がったと云う一般いっぱん使用しようせらるるまでは――容易ようい海水浴は出来ん。

Rough translation

I've known as much from the day I was born. Take one trip to the seashore, and the healthful benefits of seawater are plain to see. Who knows how many fish swim in the vast sea, yet not a one is fallen ill and tended by a doctor. When a fish falls ill it can't swim. When it can't swim it dies and floats to the surface. When a fish expires they say it's upped and gone, when a bird expires they say it's dropped down dead, and when a man expires they call it passing away. Find a seasoned traveler, a man who's sailed the Indian Ocean, and ask if he's seen a fish that's upped and gone. He's sure to tell you no. What other answer is there. However far he's traveled, he'll have seen not a single fish, floating on the waves, breath its last breath -- "Breath its last breath" is the wrong term. For a fish, we have to say "gulp its last gulp of seawater." -- No one sees a fish, gulping its last gulp of seawater, float up onto the waves. Steam the boundless oceans, day after day and year upon year, and you'll find not a a single fish that's upped and died. One can conclude irrefutably, then, that fish are a hardy lot. And why are fish so hardy? One needn't wait on humans for an answer. It's quite simple. It's plain to see. All day every day, they gulp seawater and swim in the sea. To fish, the benefits of swimming in the sea are self-evident. What's self-evident to fish should also be self-evident to humans. In 1750, Dr. Richard Russell promoted the Brighton seaside. A plunge into the Brighton sea, he proclaimed somewhat sensationally, could instantly and completely cure some four hundred and four maladies. His insights were better late than never. We cats too, when the time is right, will be off for Kamakura. Not just yet, though. All things have their season. Just as pre-Meiji Japanese lived and died never knowing the virtues of seaside bathing, the time is not yet ripe for cats of today to jump, headlong and naked, into the sea. Only fools, they say, rush in. In this present day, when unloved cats are flung off the Tsukiji piers, never to surface again, a rash plunge is ill-advised. Until evolution works its magic and we cats are equipped to cope with the maelstrom -- or put another way, until the general expression for an expired cat is "upped and gone" -- we're not about to swim in any sea.

Vocabulary

吾輩わがはい I; me; myselfうまれないまえから before being bornこと matters; facts心得こころえて know; understand; be aware of第一だいいち first of all; for one thing海水かいすい seawaterくすり medicine; salveえば say; state; explain海岸かいがん seashoreけば go (to)わかる understandひろい wide; expansive; vastところ placeさかな fish何疋なんびき how many (creatures)一疋いっぴき one; a single (creature)病気びょうきをして get sick; fall ill医者いしゃにかかった consulted a doctor; went to the doctorためし case; example健全けんぜんに soundly; wholesomely; in good healthおよいで swimかなくなる no longer functionねば (if one were to) die; perishかならず invariably; without failく float往生おうじょう passing on to the next lifeあがる give out; dieとり birds薨去こうきょ death; demiseちる die; perish (of animals)となえ call out; proclaim (as)人間にんげん human beings; humans; men寂滅じゃくめつ deathごねる dieごうして announce; declare (as)洋行ようこう travel abroad印度インドよう Indian Ocean横断おうだんした crossed; traversedひと person; individualきみ youた saw; observed; witnessedいてる try askingだれでも anyoneこたえる answer; replyきまっている it's a given that ...わけ situation; case往復おうふく coming and going一匹いっぴき one; a single (creature)なみ wavesうえ surface; top ofいま now; just now呼吸いきった breathed one's last breathしおった gulped one's last gulp of sea waterもの person渺々びょうびょうたる boundless; limitless漫々まんまんたる vast; expansive大海たいかい great oceanとなくとなく day and night; for days on endつづけざまに continually; without pause石炭せきたん coalいて burnがしてあるいて search out古往こおう今来こんらい in all the ages; since antiquityがって give out; die推論すいろんすれば deduce; infer; reason丈夫じょうぶな healthy; solid; robustちがいない no doubt ...断案だんあん conclusionくだす draw; deliver (a conclusion or judgment)こと出来できる one can ...って wait for; wait onしかるのちに thereafter; afterwardらざるなり while still not knowingわけはない (is) easy; simpleまったく utterly; absolutely潮水しおみず seawaterんで drink始終しじゅう continually; all the time海水浴かいすいよく swimming in the sea功能こうのう effects; virtuesしかく thusって to ...; for ...顕著けんちょ obvious; striking以上いじょうは given that ...一七五〇せんななひゃくごじゅうねん (the year) 1750ドクトル・リチャード・ラッセル Doctor Richard Russell (British pysician; 1687-1759)ブライトン Brighton (coastal city south of London)飛込とびこめば dive; plunge (into)四百四しひゃくしびょう four hundred and four maladies即席そくせき instantly; on the spot全快ぜんかい complete recovery (of health)大袈裟おおげさな exaggerated; overblown広告こうこく announcement; promotionした put forthおそい slow; late; behind the timesわらって laugh; smileねこ cat相当そうとうの proper; appropriate; suitable時機じき time; occasion; period到着とうちゃくすれば arrive; come鎌倉かまくら Kamakura (seaside city south of Tōkyō)出掛でかける set out (for)ただし howeverもの (all) things御維新ごいっしん Meiji Restorationまえ before; prior to日本人にほんじん Japanese (people)あじわう appreciate; taste; experience今日こんにち this day; the present day裸体らたい nakedうみ ocean; seaなか middle; midst機会きかい opportunity; occasion遭遇そうぐうして meet (with)せいてはこと仕損しそんずる haste makes waste; only fools rush in築地つきじ Tsukiji (area in Tōkyō reclaimed from the bay)っちゃられ be thrown away; be cast awayった went (to)無事ぶじに without incident; safely帰宅きたくせん not make it homeあいだ while ...; as long as ...無暗むやみに recklessly; rashly進化しんか evolution法則ほうそく laws; rules吾等われら猫輩ねこはい we cats機能きのう functions; faculties狂瀾きょうらん怒濤どとう maelstrom; vortex; tumultたいして with respect to; regarding適当てきとうの suitable; appropriate; adequate抵抗力ていこうりょく powers of resistance; ability to withstandしょうずる produce; yield; bring to bearいたる arrive at; reach換言かんげんすれば in other words; put another wayかわりに instead of; rather than word一般いっぱんに in general使用しようせらるる be used (= 使用しようされる)容易よういに easily; simply