I am a Cat (Chapter 7 b) Section 229 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

むかしハンニバルアルプスさんえるときに、みち真中まんなかあたっておおきないわがあって、どうしても軍隊ぐんたい通行つうこうじょう不便ふべん邪魔じゃまをする。そこでハンニバルはこの大きな岩へをかけていてやわらにしておいて、それからのこぎりでこの大岩おおいわ蒲鉾かまぼこのようにってとどこおりなく通行をしたそうだ。主人しゅじんのごとくこんな利目ききめのある薬湯くすりゆだるほど這入はいってすこしも功能こうのうのないおとこはやはり醋をかけて火炙ひあぶにするかぎおもしからずんば、こんな書生しょせい何百なんびゃくにん何十なんじゅうねんかかったって主人の頑固がんこなおりっこない。この湯槽ゆぶねいているもの、このながごろごろしているものは文明ぶんめい人間にんげん必要ひつよう服装ふくそうてる化物ばけもの団体だんたいであるから、無論むろん常規じょうき常道じょうどうをもってりっするわけにはいかんなにをしたってかまわないはいところ陣取じんどって和唐内わとうない清和せいわ源氏げんじになって、たみさん不信用ふしんようでもよかろう。しかしひとたび流しをいたがれば、もう化物ではない。普通ふつう人類じんるい生息せいそくする娑婆しゃばへ出たのだ、文明に必要なる着物きものをきるのだ。したがって人間らしい行動こうどうをとらなければならんはずである。いま主人がんでいるところは敷居しきいである。流しと板の間のさかいにある敷居のうえであって、当人とうにんはこれから歓言かんげん愉色ゆしょく円転えんてん滑脱かつだつ世界せかい逆戻ぎゃくもどをしよう間際まぎわである。その間際ですらかくのごとく頑固であるなら、この頑固は本人ほんにんにとってろうとしてべからざる病気びょうき相違そういない。病気なら容易ようい矯正きょうせいすること出来できまい。この病気をなお方法ほうほう愚考ぐこうによるとただひとある。校長こうちょう依頼いらいして免職めんしょくしてもらすなわこれなり。免職になれば融通ゆうずうかぬ主人の事だからきっと路頭ろとうまよきまってる。路頭に迷う結果けっかのたれにをしなければならない。換言かんげんすると遠因えんいんになるのである。主人はこのんで病気をしてよろこんでいるけれど、死ぬのは大嫌だいきらいである。死なない程度ていどにおいて病気と云う一種いっしゅ贅沢ぜいたくがしていたいのである。それだからそんなに病気をしているところぞとおどかせば臆病おくびょうなる主人の事だからびりびりとふるがるに相違ない。この悸え上がる時に病気は奇麗きれいちるだろうと思う。それでも落ちなければそれまでの事さ。

Rough translation

In times of old, when Hannibal led his army through the Alps, he came across a large boulder that lay in the middle of the road and blocked his path. He softened it up, as the story's told, with vinegar and fire, then sawed it into slices like a fishcake. His army proceeded on its way with minimal delay. For one like my master, who boils himself beet red in the medicated bath to no apparent effect, is there any option left but vinegar and fire? Barring such measures, confrontation with however many hundreds of boarding students, over however many tens of years, will never dent his rock-hard head. Floating in these tubs, and scattered about this wash area, are a party of brutes who've shed off their clothing, and in doing so cut themselves loose from the world of civilized men. They can hardly be held to everyday standards and norms. Within these reaches, anything goes. A stomach can lie where a lung belongs, Watōnai is a Minamoto, descended from Emperor Seiwa, and Tami-san is no end of dodgy. However, on leaving the wash area and stepping across the wood-planked floor, the brutes become brutes no more. They don their clothes, as civilized society requires, and re-emerge into the living world of men. It should follow then, that their conduct there is the conduct of men. The master now treads on this threshold. He's halfway in the wash area, and halfway onto the wood-planked floor, marking his return to a world of civility and discretion. On the verge of such return, his obstinacy persists. This obstinacy, it would seem, is his trademark flaw, inextricably fused to the core of his being. An ingrained flaw is never easy to root out or rectify. Only one approach, in my opinion, can root it out. That approach is this - have the principal of the school call the master in and relieve him of his post. Once relieved of his post, the master, unable to adapt, will be thoroughly out in the cold. Out in the cold, he'll perish by the wayside. In other words, to lose his post means to lose his very life. The master revels in embracing his trademark flaw, but he's terrified of death. He seeks to indulge his flaw, but not to the point of cutting short his existence. He's a coward at heart, so the threat of his own demise is sure to set him trembling with fear. Set him trembling with fear, and his trademark flaw, I believe, will cleanly depart. If that doesn't do it, then nothing will.

Vocabulary

ハンニバル Hannibal (Hannibal Barca; Carthaginian general who campaigned against Rome; 247-183 BC)アルプスさん the Alps (mountains)える crossとき time; occasionみち road; route真中まんなか middle; centerあたって concerning; corresponding to; beingおおきな large; massiveいわ rock; boulder軍隊ぐんたい army通行つうこう passage; traversalじょう with regard to; concerning不便ふべん trouble; obstruction邪魔じゃまをする interfere; hinder vinegarいて start a fire; build a fireやわらか soft; pliantのこぎり saw大岩おおいわ great boulder; large rock蒲鉾かまぼこ kamaboko; fishcakeって cut; sliceとどこおりなく without delay主人しゅじん master利目ききめ effect; virtue; efficacy薬湯くすりゆ medicated bathだる boil; seethe這入はいって get intoすこしも (not) in the least功能こうのう result; benefitおとこ man; fellow火炙ひあぶり burning alive; burning at the stakeかぎる is limited to; has to beおもう think; imagine; supposeしからずんば otherwise書生しょせい boarding students何百なんびゃくにん some hundreds of peopleて come forth; appear何十なんじゅうねん some tens of years; decades頑固がんこ obstinacy; hard-headednessなおりっこない won't get better; can't be set right湯槽ゆぶね (hot water) tubいて float; bobながし washing areaごろごろしている be scattered about文明ぶんめい culture; civilization人間にんげん human beings; men必要ひつような necessary; needed服装ふくそう garments; attireてる strip off; shed化物ばけもの monsters; brutes団体だんたい party; company; group無論むろん of course常規じょうき常道じょうどう norms and standardsりっする judge (on the basis of)わけにはいかん one can't ...なに what; whateverかまわない doesn't matterはい lungsところ area; place; location stomach陣取じんどって occupy; take up a position和唐内わとうない Watōnai (character from a Chikamatsu Monzaemon historical drama; based on Koxinga)清和せいわ源氏げんじ Seiwa Genji (line of the Minamoto clan descended from Emperor Sewa)たみさん Tami-san (name)不信用ふしんよう dubious; dodgy; untrustworthyひとたび onceて come out; depart (from)いた wooden-floored areaがれば come up (onto)普通ふつうの ordinary; commonplace人類じんるい mankind; humanity生息せいそくする live and breathe娑婆しゃば this world; this life着物きもの clothing; garmentsしたがって accordingly; as a consequence行動こうどう conduct; behaviorいま now; at presentんでいる step on; tread on; set foot on敷居しきい thresholdさかい border; boundaryうえ top of当人とうにん the person in question歓言かんげん愉色ゆしょく pleasantries円転えんてん滑脱かつだつ tact; delicacy; discretion世界せかい world逆戻ぎゃくもどり returning; reverting back toう being ...間際まぎわ point of doing; verge of本人ほんにん the person in question; the person himselfろう firm; solid; foundationalく pull out; extractべからざる cannot ...; must not ...病気びょうき fault; flaw; infirmity相違そういない no doubt ...容易よういに easily矯正きょうせいする correct; rectifyこと出来できまい cannot likely ...なおす heal; cure; fix方法ほうほう method; means愚考ぐこう (one's own humble) thought; ideaひとつ one (thing)校長こうちょう principal; headmaster依頼いらいして request免職めんしょくして dismiss; discharge (one from one's post)もらう have (someone) do (something)すなわち that is ...; namely ...融通ゆうずうかぬ unaccommodating; inflexibile路頭ろとうまよう be out in the cold; be left destituteきまってる it's a given that ...結果けっか result; consequenceのたれ dying by the roadside; dying a dog's death換言かんげんすると in other words; put another way death; demise遠因えんいん underlying cause; indirect causeこのんで by choice; willinglyよろこんで be pleased大嫌だいきらい abhorrent; horrifying程度ていど degree; extent一種いっしゅの a certain kind of贅沢ぜいたく luxury; extravaganceころす kill; murderおどかせば threaten; intimidate; scare臆病おくびょうなる is a cowardびりびりと trembling; shudderingふるがる be frightened; be terrified奇麗きれいに cleanly; neatlyちる be removed; be cleared; be rooted out