I am a Cat (Chapter 4 b) Section 124 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

相変あいかわらず気楽きらくことってるぜ。一番いちばんおおきいのはいくつになるかね、もうよっぽどだろう」

「うん、いくつからん大方おおかたむっか、ななかだろう」

「ハハハ教師きょうし呑気のんきでいいな。ぼく教員きょういんにでもなればかった

なって三日みっかいやになるから」

「そうかな、なんだか上品じょうひんで、気楽で、閑暇ひまがあって、すきな勉強べんきょう出来でき、よさそうじゃないか。実業家じつぎょうかわるくもない我々われわれのうちは駄目だめだ。実業家になるならずっとうえにならなくっちゃいかん。したほうになるとやはりつまらん御世辞おせじいたりかん猪口ちょこをいただきにたり随分ずいぶんもんだよ」

「僕は実業家は学校がっこう時代じだいから大嫌だいきらいだ。かねさえれれば何でもする、むかしで云えば素町人すちょうにんだからな」と実業家をまえひかえて太平楽たいへいらくならべる

「まさか――そうばかりも云えんがね、すこしは下品げひんところもあるのさ、とにかく金と情死しんじゅうをする覚悟かくごでなければやりとおせないから――ところがその金と云うやつ曲者くせもので、――いまある実業家のところっていてんだが、金をつくにも三角術さんかくじゅつ使つかわなくちゃいけないと云うのさ――義理ぎりかく人情にんじょうをかく、はじをかくこれで三角になるそうだ面白おもしろじゃないかアハハハハ」

だれだそんな馬鹿ばかは」

「馬鹿じゃない、なかなか利口りこうおとこなんだよ、実業界じつぎょうかいでちょっと有名ゆうめいだがね、きみ知らんかしら、ついこのさき横丁よこちょうにいるんだが」

金田かねだか? だあんな奴」

大変たいへんおこってるね。なあに、そりゃ、ほんの冗談じょうだんだろうがね、そのくらいにせんと金はたまらんと云うたとえさ。君のようにそう真面目まじめ解釈かいしゃくしちゃこま

「三角術は冗談でもいいが、あすこの女房にょうぼうはなはなんだ。君行ったんなら見て来たろう、あの鼻を」

細君さいくんか、細君はなかなかさばけたひとだ」

「鼻だよ、大きな鼻の事を云ってるんだ。せんだって僕はあの鼻について俳体詩はいたいしを作ったがね」

「何だい俳体詩と云うのは」

「俳体詩を知らないのか、君も随分時勢じせいくらな」

Rough translation

"As always, taking things in stride. How old is your first one? Must be getting big by now."

"Yep. I couldn't tell you for sure, but must be six or seven by now."

"Ha ha ha. A teacher's life is free from cares. I should have gone into teaching myself."

"Give it a try. Three days in and you'll regret it."

"Is that so? It strikes me as cultivated and comfortable. You've time to pursue your own interests. The business world's not bad, but life in the trenches is tough. If you're going into business, you have to aim for the top. In the lower ranks, it's all about kissing up and putting on airs. Utter foolishness."

"I've never cared for businessmen, even from my school days. Prostitutes to fortune. What they used to call plebeians." The master speaks his mind to the businessman before him.

"Really now -- It's not as bad as all that. Granted there is some coarseness. One does have to cast one's lot with wealth -- And wealth is a cruel mistress -- I just called on a certain businessman, and here's what he told me. If you want to make money, you need to 'know' three things. No duty or obligation, no feelings of compassion, and no sense of shame. Those, he says, are the three 'knows.' Amusing, don't you think? Ah ha ha ha ha."

"What kind of idiot told you that?"

"He's no idiot. Actually quite shrewd. Lives in the lane up the way."

"Kaneda? That man's an ass."

"No need to take offense. It's only a joke. All he's saying is it takes dedication to make money. You're not supposed to take it at face value."

"Fine then, the three 'knows' are in jest. But what of that woman's nose. You must have seen it, that nose, when you called."

"You mean the wife? Seemed to me a sensible woman."

"But her nose. I'm talking the size of her nose. The other day, I penned some new-style verses in homage to that nose."

"What are new-style verses?"

"You're not familiar with new-style poetry? You've fallen behind the times, haven't you?"

Vocabulary

相変あいかわらず as always; as ever気楽きらくな free from care; comfortableこと thingsって say; talk of一番いちばん most (of all)おおきい big らん don't really know; can't say for sure大方おおかた probably; most likelyむっつ six (years old)ななつ seven (years old) 教師きょうし teacher; instructor呑気のんき carefree; easygoing; happy-go-luckyぼく I; me教員きょういん teaching staff; instructorなればかった should have become なってろ try it (and see)三日みっか three daysいやになる find unpleasant; grow weary of なんだか somehow; in some sense上品じょうひん elegant; refined; cultured閑暇ひま leisure; free time勉強べんきょう studies; research; academic pursuits出来できて be capable of; be able to do実業家じつぎょうか businessman; industrialist; entrepreneurわるくもない isn't bad我々われわれ we; us駄目だめ a lost cause; hopelessうえ top; peak; pinnacleした below; beneath; bottomほう side; direction; region御世辞おせじ flattery; fawning; currying favorいたり scatter; strew aboutかん unwelcome; unwished for猪口ちょこ saké cupたり go out; set out随分ずいぶん very much; a great dealな foolish; stupid; asinine 学校がっこう時代じだい one's school days大嫌だいきらい repugnant; loathsomeかね moneyれれば can take; can make (money)むかし old days; former times素町人すちょうにん commoner; plebeianまえ front ofひかえて have太平楽たいへいらくならべる indulge in idle talk; speak one's mind すこしは a little; to some degree下品げひんな vulgar; coarse; crude情死しんじゅう double love suicide; lovers' suicide覚悟かくご readiness; resolveとおせない can't get on; can't persistやつ material; matter; stuff曲者くせもの villainous; deceptive; something to watch out forいまも even now; just nowところ placeって go (to)いてた (went and) heardつくる make; produce三角術さんかくじゅつ three-pronged approach使つかわなくちゃいけない need to use; have to apply義理ぎり duty; obligationかく clear away; sweep away (used here as pun: "sankaku" = three "kaku's")人情にんじょう human feelings; sympathyはじ shame面白おもしろい interesting; amusing だれ who馬鹿ばか foolishness; rubbish 利口りこうな clever; shrewd; sharpおとこ man; fellow実業界じつぎょうかい business world有名ゆうめい well-known; renowned; prominentきみ youこのさき just ahead (from here)横丁よこちょう alleyway; side street 金田かねだ Kaneda (name)ん what 大変たいへん very much; a great dealおこってる be riled; be upset; be offended冗談じょうだん jest; jokeたまらん won't pile up; won't gather; won't accumulateたとえ metaphor; analogy真面目まじめに seriously; in earnest解釈かいしゃくしちゃ interpret; construeこまる be troubled; be bothered; take issue with 女房にょうぼう wifeはな nose 細君さいくん the wifeさばけた world-wise; sensibleひと person; individual 俳体詩はいたいし stylized poem 時勢じせい spirit of the age; current trendsくらい unfamiliar (with); ignorant (of)