I am a Cat (Chapter 4 b) Section 133 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

ぼく有望ゆうぼう画才がさい頓挫とんざして一向いっこうふるわなくなったのもまったあのときからだ。きみ機鋒きほうられたのだね。僕は君にうらみがある」

馬鹿ばかにしちゃいけない。こっちが恨めしいくらいだ」

迷亭めいていはあの時分じぶんから法螺吹ほらふきだったな」と主人しゅじん羊羹ようかんおわってふたた二人ふたりはなしなかんで

約束やくそくなんか履行りこうしたことがない。それで詰問きつもんけるけっしてびた事がないなんとかとか。あのてら境内けいだい百日紅さるすべりいていた時分、この百日紅がまでに美学びがく原論げんろんと云う著述ちょじゅつをすると云うから、駄目だめだ、到底とうてい出来でき気遣きづかいはないと云ったのさ。すると迷亭のこたに僕はこうえて見掛みかけにらぬ意志いしつよおとこである、そんなにうたがならかけをしようと云うから僕は真面目まじめ受けてなんでも神田かんだ西洋せいよう料理りょうりおごりっこかなにかにめた。きっと書物しょもつなんか気遣はないとおもったから賭をしたようなものの内心ないしん少々しょうしょうおそろしかった。僕に西洋料理なんか奢るかねはないんだからな。ところが先生せんせい一向稿こうおこ景色けしきがない。七日なぬかって二十日はつか立っても一枚いちまいも書かない。いよいよ百日紅が散って一輪いちりんはなもなくなっても当人とうにん平気へいきでいるから、いよいよ西洋料理にりついたなと思って契約けいやく履行りこうせまと迷亭すましてわない

「また何とか理窟りくつをつけたのかね」と鈴木すずきくんあいれる

「うん、じつずうずうしい男だ。吾輩わがはいはほかにのうはないが意志だけは決して君方きみがたけはせん剛情ごうじょうのさ」

「一枚も書かんのにか」と今度こんどは迷亭君自身じしん質問しつもんをする

無論むろんさ、その時君はこう云ったぜ。吾輩は意志の一点いってんにおいてはあえて何人なんぴとにも一歩いっぽゆずらん。しかし残念ざんねん事には記憶きおく人一倍ひといちばい。美学原論をあらわそうとする意志は充分じゅうぶんあったのだがその意志を君に発表はっぴょうした翌日よくじつからわすれてしまった。それだから百日紅の散るまでに著書ちょしょが出来なかったのは記憶のつみで意志の罪ではない。意志の罪でない以上いじょう西洋料理などを奢る理由りゆうがないと威張いばっているのさ」

Rough translation

"And my artistic talent, until that moment so promising, was thus nipped in the bud. You quashed my ambition, and for that I resent you still."

"Utter nonsense. Any resentment is rightly mine."

"Meitei, even then, was already a charlatan." The master has finished his yōkan and inserts himself back into the conversation.

"He's never in his life kept a promise. What's more, when cornered and pressed, he offers up excuses in place of apologies. There was a crape myrtle within the grounds of that temple, and its flowers were in bloom. 'I'm going to write a work titled Theory of Aesthetics, and I intend to complete it before those blossoms fall,' he told me. I countered that such was not possible, adding that I'd believe it when I saw it. So Meitei answered back that, despite appearances, he possesses an iron will. If I doubt him, then let's place a wager. I took him up on it, in earnest, and we settled on a dinner of Western cuisine, at some place in Kanda, as the payout. Though I wagered with every confidence he wouldn't produce his work, in the back of my mind I was some slight trepidation. For one thing, I couldn't afford the restaurant tab. However, the good doctor did no work on his draft. Seven days passed, then twenty, and not a page. Finally, the last blossom fell, and still no action. Looking forward to an outing of Western cuisine, I went to Meitei, at last, to collect on our wager, and he unashamedly refused to deliver."

"I suppose he produced some sort of rationalization." Suzuki lends his support.

"Indeed. The man is truly unscrupulous. 'If nothing else, when it comes to matters of will, I'm no man's inferior,' he insisted."

"Despite not producing a single page?" This time it's Meitei himself who poses the question.

"Of course. Here's what you told me. 'On the point of force of will, I concede to no man. However, in the realm of memory, I'm regrettably not so blessed. When I told you I would produce my Theory of Aesthetics, I had every intent of doing so. By the next day, though, it had completely slipped my mind. So the fact that I didn't produce it before the blossoms fell was a fault of memory, not a fault of will. If there's no fault of the will, then why should I spring for Western cuisine?' Such was his argument."

Vocabulary

ぼく I; me有望ゆうぼうな promising; budding画才がさい artistic talent頓挫とんざして be frustrated; be thwarted; be brought to a halt一向いっこう (not) in the leastふるわなくなった lost its vitality; went dormantまったく entirely; completelyとき time; momentきみ you機鋒きほうられた have one's ambitions quashed (lit: have one's tip snapped off)うらみ resentment; bitterness; grievance 馬鹿ばかにしちゃ play (someone) for a fool 迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)時分じぶん time; period法螺吹ほらふき blowhard; charlatan主人しゅじん master羊羹ようかん yōkan (jellied dessert made from red bean paste, agar, and sugar)おわって finish off (eating)ふたたび again; once more二人ふたり two (people)はなし dialog; conversationなか middleんでる insert oneself into 約束やくそく promise; pledge履行りこうした fulfilled; executed; performedことがない has never ...詰問きつもん interrogation; grillingける receive; be subjected toけっして by (no) meansびた apologized; expressed contritionなんとかとか this or that; something or otherう say; stateてら temple境内けいだい (temple) grounds百日紅さるすべり crape myrtle (evergreen with colorful, long-lasting flowers)いていた was in bloomる drop; shed (blossoms or leaves)美学びがく原論げんろん Theory of Aesthetics著述ちょじゅつ writing駄目だめ impossible; out of the question到底とうてい by (no) means出来できる can do; can accomplish気遣きづかい expectation; indication; sign ofこたえ answer; replyえて appear; seem見掛みかけにらぬ contrary to appearances意志いし will; volition; resolveつよい strong; intenseおとこ man; fellowうたがう question; doubtかけ bet; wager真面目まじめに seriously; in earnestなんでも anyhow; at any rate神田かんだ Kanda (place name)西洋せいよう料理りょうり Western cuisineおごりっこ treating (someone to something)めた decided; settled書物しょもつ book; (literary) workく write; authorおもった thought; figured; reckoned内心ないしん to oneself; privately; inside少々しょうしょう a little; to some degreeおそろしかった felt some trepidation; was anxiousかね money; funds先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholar (used here as form of address)稿こう draft; manuscriptおこす create; generate景色けしき (outward) appearance; indication七日なぬか seven daysって pass; elapse; go by二十日はつか twenty days一枚いちまい one page一輪いちりんはな one (single) flower当人とうにん he; him; the person in question平気へいきでいる cool; composed; unconcernedりついた got; obtained契約けいやく履行りこう settling of an agreementせまる press (someone for something)すまして with a straight faceわない pay no heed; refuse to hear 理窟りくつ argument; rationalization鈴木すずき Suzuki (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)あいれる put in some words; add one's voice じつに really; trulyずうずうしい impudent; shameless吾輩わがはい I; me; myselfのう talent; gifts君方きみがた you (plural); you allけはせん not to be bested剛情ごうじょうる insist; stand firm 今度こんど this time自身じしん oneself; himself質問しつもんをする pose a question 無論むろん of course一点いってん single pointあえて definitely (not)何人なんぴと anyone; any person一歩いっぽ one step; a small amountゆずらん not yield; not concede残念ざんねんな unfortunate; regrettable記憶きおく memory人一倍ひといちばい more than othersい absent; lackingあらわそうとする try to write; set out to write充分じゅうぶん sufficiently; enough発表はっぴょうした announced; expressed; made known翌日よくじつ next day; following dayわすれてしまった completely forgot著書ちょしょ (written) work; bookつみ flaw; fault以上いじょうは given that ...理由りゆう reason威張いばって assert oneself