I am a Cat (Chapter 9 a) Section 283 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

かがみ己惚うぬぼれ醸造器じょうぞうきであるごとく、同時どうじ自慢じまん消毒器しょうどくきである。もし浮華ふか虚栄きょえいねんをもってこれにたいするときはこれほど愚物ぐぶつ煽動せんどうする道具どうぐはない。むかしから増上慢ぞうじょうまんをもっておのれがいそこのうた事蹟じせき三分さんぶんはたしかに鏡の所作しょさである。仏国ふつこく革命かくめい当時とうじ物好ものずきな御医者おいしゃさんが改良かいりょうくびきり器械きかい発明はつめいしてんだつみをつくったように、はじめて鏡をこしらえたひとさだめし寝覚ねざめのわるいことだろう。しかし自分じぶん愛想あいそきかけた時、自我じが萎縮いしゅくしたおりは鏡をほどくすりになる事はない。妍醜けんしゅう瞭然りょうぜんだ。こんなかおでよくまあ人でそうろうりかえって今日こんにちまでらされたものだとがつくにきまっている。そこへ気がついた時が人間にんげん生涯中しょうがいちゅうもっともありがたい期節きせつである。自分で自分の馬鹿ばか承知しょうちしているほどたっとく見える事はない。この自覚性じかくせい馬鹿のまえにはあらゆるえらがりがことごとくあたまげておそらねばならぬ当人とうにん昂然こうぜんとしてわれ軽侮けいぶ嘲笑ちょうしょうしているつもりでも、こちらから見るとその昂然たるところが恐れ入って頭を下げている事になる。主人しゅじんは鏡を見ておのさとほどの賢者けんじゃではあるまい。しかしかおしるせられる痘痕とうこんめいくらいは公平こうへいおとこである。顔のみにくのを自認じにんするのはこころいやしき会得えとくする楷梯かいていにもなろう。たのもしい男だ。これも哲学者てつがくしゃからやりめられた結果けっかかもれぬ

Rough translation

The mirror, while known to incubate conceit, can also serve to tamp down pride. For those who are shallow and vain, there's no greater means to inciting further folly. Through history's long legacy of harm arisen from foolish pride, afflicted both on self and on others, the majority has its roots in the mirror. Just as the inventive physician Dr. Guillotine transgressed terribly in facilitating the chopping of heads during the French Revolution, so too must the inventor of the first mirror have an unsettled conscience. On the other hand, when self esteem is on the wane, or the ego has withered, there's no better salve than a mirror. Beauty and ugliness both come to light. One has to wonder how one bungled along thus far, with head held high in the world of men, while sporting such a face. This moment of honesty, of all the moments in life, is a moment most gratifying. Man's noblest moment is that in which he recognizes his own folly. Those still steeped in conceit should bow their heads in humble deference to the self-aware fool. The conceited may strut proudly, spreading comtempt and reveling in ridicule, but these in fact are but veiled forms of submission. The master lacks the wisdom to recognize in the mirror his own folly, but he is able to see, and objectively assess, the pockmarks dotting his face. Recognition of physical flaws is a step on the path toward awareness of moral corruption. There's hope for the master yet. That discourse with his friend the philosopher, perhaps, has yielded good effect.

Vocabulary

かがみ mirror己惚うぬぼれ conceit; hubris醸造器じょうぞうき fermentation tank; incubator同時どうじに at the same time自慢じまん pride消毒器しょうどくき disinfection apparatus; purging device浮華ふか虚栄きょえい superficial vanityねん ideas; notionsたいする face; confrontとき time; occasion愚物ぐぶつ foolishness; folly煽動せんどうする arouse; stir up; incite道具どうぐ tool; implementむかし long ago; in days past増上慢ぞうじょうまん conceit fueled by hubrisおのれ oneselfがいし damage; harm other (persons); othersそこのうた wounded; injured事蹟じせき vestige; legacy; marks三分さんぶん two thirds所作しょさ conduct; behavior; actions仏国ふつこく革命かくめい the French Revolution当時とうじ time of物好ものずきな curious; fanciful; inventive御医者おいしゃ doctor; physician改良かいりょう new and improvedくびきり head-cutting; decapitation器械きかい machine; instrument; apparatus発明はつめいして inventんだ terrible; awful; unthinkableつみ moral fault; wrongdoingはじめて for the first timeひと personさだめし surely; certainly寝覚ねざめのわるい have an uneasy conscienceこと situation; circumstance自分じぶん oneself愛想あいそ fondness; affection; likingきかけた began to run low on自我じが self; ego萎縮いしゅくした withered; atrophiedおり time; occasionる look at; look intoくすり medicine; salve妍醜けんしゅう瞭然りょうぜん beauty and ugliness brought to lightかお faceそうろうと totteringly; falteringlyりかえって throw out one's chest; hold one's head high今日こんにち this day; the presentらされた lived one's lifeがつく realize; become aware人間にんげん a human being; a man生涯中しょうがいちゅう during one's lifetimeありがたい thankful; welcome期節きせつ time; period馬鹿ばか idiocy; absurdity承知しょうちして acknowledge; acceptたっとく noble; exalted自覚性じかくせい self-aware; self-acknowledgedまえ before; in front ofえらがり conceited individualあたまげて bow one's head (in deference to); yield (to)おそらねばならぬ have to be humbled; have to be chastened当人とうにん the person in question昂然こうぜんとして triumphantly; proudlyわれ I; me軽侮けいぶ嘲笑ちょうしょうして regard with contempt and ridicule主人しゅじん masterおのれ oneself foolishness; follyさとる perceive; sense; discern賢者けんじゃ wise man; sageかお my face; one's own faceしるせられる be imprinted痘痕とうこん pockmarksめい signature; mark公平こうへいに objectively; impartiallyる can read; can assessおとこ man; fellowみにくい is ugly; is unattractive自認じにんする acknowledge; recognizeこころいやしき vulgarity of one's soul; spiritual baseness会得えとくする understand; grasp楷梯かいてい stepたのもしい hopeful; promising哲学者てつがくしゃ the philosopher (referring here to a recent visitor)やりめられた was brought round; was won over結果けっか result; consequenceかもれぬ it may be that ...