I am a Cat (Chapter 4 b) Section 137 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

「そこでこの矛盾むじゅんなる現象げんしょう説明せつめい明記めいきして暗黒あんこくふちから吾人ごじん千載せんざいもとすくしてくれたものだれだとおも学問がくもんあって以来いらい学者がくしゃしょうせらるる希臘ギリシャ哲人てつじん逍遥派しょうようは元祖がんそアリストートルそのひとである。かれの説明いわさ――おい菓子皿かしざらなどをたたかんで謹聴きんちょうしていなくちゃいかん。――彼等かれら希臘ギリシャじん競技きょうぎにおいてところの賞与しょうよは彼等がえんずる技芸ぎげいそのものより貴重きちょうものである。それゆえ褒美ほうびにもなり、奨励しょうれいともなる。しかし智識ちしきその物いたってはどうである。もし智識たいする報酬ほうしゅうとして何物なにものをかあたえんとするならば智識以上いじょう価値かちあるものをあたえざるべからず。しかし智識以上の珍宝ちんぽうなかにあろうか。無論むろんあるはずがない。下手へたものをやれば智識の威厳いげんそんするわけになるばかりだ。彼等は智識に対して千両箱せんりょうばこオリムパスのやまほどクリーサスとみかたむつくして相当そうとう報酬を与えんとしたのであるが、いかにかんがえて到底とうていはずがないこと観破かんぱして、それより以来と云うものは奇麗きれいさっぱりなんにもやらない事にしてしまった。黄白青銭こうはくせいせんが智識の匹敵ひってきでない事はこれで十分じゅうぶん理解りかい出来できだろう。さてこの原理げんり服膺ふくようしたうえ時事じじ問題もんだいのぞんでがいい。金田かねだぼうは何だい紙幣さつ眼鼻めはなをつけただけの人間にんげんじゃないか、奇警きけいなるもって形容けいようするならば彼は一個いっこ活動かつどう紙幣しへいぎんのである。活動紙幣のむすめなら活動かつどう切手きってくらいなところだろう。ひるがえって寒月かんげつくん如何いかんればどうだ。かたじけなくも学問がくもん最高さいこう第一だいいち卒業そつぎょうしてごう倦怠けんたいねんなく長州ちょうしゅう征伐せいばつ時代じだい羽織はおりひもぶらげて日夜にちや団栗どんぐりスタビリチー研究けんきゅう、それでもなお満足まんぞくする様子ようすもなく、近々きんきんうちロード・ケルヴィン圧倒あっとうするほどな大論文だいろんぶん発表はっぴょうしようとしつつあるではないか。たまたま吾妻橋あずまばしとおかかって身投みなげい仕損しそんじた事はあるが、これも熱誠ねっせいなる青年せいねんりがち発作的ほっさてき所為しょいで毫も彼が智識の問屋とんやたるわずらおよぼすほどの出来事できごとではない。迷亭めいてい一流いちりゅうたとえをもって寒月君をひょうすれば彼は活動かつどう図書館としょかんである。智識をもってげたる二十八にじゅうはちサンチ弾丸だんがんである。この弾丸がひとたび時機じきを得て学界がっかい爆発ばくはつするなら、――もし爆発して見給みたま――爆発するだろう――」迷亭はここに至って迷亭一流と自称じしょうする形容詞けいようしが思うようにないのでぞく竜頭りゅうとう蛇尾だびかん多少たしょうひるんでえたがたちまち「活動切手などは何千万なんぜんまんまいあったって微塵みじんになってしまうさ。それだから寒月には、あんな釣り合わない女性にょしょう駄目だめだ。ぼく不承知ふしょうちだ、百獣ひゃくじゅううちもっとも聡明そうめいなる大象だいぞうと、もっとも貪婪たんらんなる小豚こぶた結婚けっこんするようなものだ。そうだろう苦沙弥くしゃみ君」とって退けると、主人しゅじんはまただまって菓子皿を叩き出す。

Rough translation

"So whose writings do you suppose it was that explained this inconsistency, settling the matter for all time and extricating us from the dark chasms of doubt and confusion? It was none other than that Greek philosopher Aristotle himself, founder of the Peripatetic school, and widely regarded as the greatest of scholars. As Aristotle explains it -- now stop your tap tap tapping and listen up for a moment -- the prizes the Greeks could earn through competition were always valued in excess of athletic prowess itself. To this end, they were something to strive for, and they served as instruments of encouragement. Now consider the case of academic achievement. If some reward were to be offered for academic achievement, then it would have to be something whose worth is valued in excess of learning. Is there any treasure in this world, though, more valuable than learning? Of course there is not. And anything menial, in its giving, would merely serve to debase the majesty of learning. They imagined piling lock boxes to the height of Mount Olympus and filling them with the wealth of Croesus. They thought that, maybe, this would prove adequate, but they realized on further reflection that even this would never do. Ever since, they've settle on giving out nothing at all. From this, it should be clear enough that coins, be they gold, silver, or bronze, are no match for knowledge. Now, let's try applying this same principle to the situation at hand. What is this certain Kaneda but a banknote with eyes and a nose? A clever way to describe him, perhaps, is as nothing more than a living and breathing banknote. The daughter of a living and breathing banknote, in turn, is a living and breathing voucher. On the other hand, what of Kangetsu? Did he not unapologetically graduate first in his class from the highest institution in our land? Does he not toil day and night, without the least complaint, in a haori with worn strings handed down from the Chōshū expedition, to fathom the stability of acorns? And then, as if that weren't enough, is he not soon to publish a seminal thesis, against which the achievements of Lord Kelvin will pale in comparison? He may have tried and failed once to fling himself off of Azumabashi, but such are the passions of youth. Worry not, this one fitful act is nothing that, in any way, compromises his great store of knowledge. If I apply my gift for analogy to Kangetsu, I'd have to say he's a living and breathing library. He's a twenty-eight centimeter cannon shot, forged of erudition. This cannon shot, once its time comes, when it explodes over the scholarly world -- watch when it explodes -- we know it will explode -- " Meitei, at this point, appears to have exhausted his superlatives and seems to be faltering toward, as they say, starting with a bang and ending with a whimper, but he soon regains his footing. "Living and breathing vouchers, even millions of them, can only amount to so much confetti. Such a woman doesn't suit Kangetsu, and he has no future with her. I'm wholly opposed. It's as if, in the animal kingdom, the grandest and wisest of elephants should be wed to the meanest and runtiest of pigs. Wouldn't you agree, Kushami?" Meitei concludes his diatribe. The master says nothing but resumes his tapping on the sweets dish.

Vocabulary

矛盾むじゅんなる contradictory; inconsistent; contrasting現象げんしょう phenomenon; circumstance説明せつめい explanation明記めいきして elucidate; clarify (in writing)暗黒あんこく darkness; blacknessふち chasm; abyss吾人ごじん we; us doubt; confusion千載せんざい a thousand years; perpetuityもとに for; servingすくして rescue; free (from)もの person; personageだれ whoおもう think; suppose学問がくもん scholarship; learning以来いらい since学者がくしゃ scholarしょうせらるる is referred to as; is known as (= しょうせられる)の that ...; the very ...希臘ギリシャ Greece哲人てつじん wise man; philosopher; sage逍遥派しょうようは Peripatetic school (of philosophy)元祖がんそ originator; founderアリストートル Aristotle (ancient Greek philosopher and scientist; 384–322 BC)そのひと the man himselfかれ he; himいわく according to菓子皿かしざら sweets dishたたかんで without tapping; without striking謹聴きんちょうしていなくちゃいかん need to pay attention; had best listen carefully彼等かれら they; them希臘ギリシャじん Greeks競技きょうぎ games; matches; contestsる earn; attain; win賞与しょうよ reward; prizeえんずる perform技芸ぎげい art; skill; accomplishmentそのもの itself貴重きちょうな precious; valuedそれゆえに therefore; for that reason褒美ほうび reward; prize奨励しょうれい encouragement; promotion tool; instrument; means智識ちしき knowledge; learningいたって when it comes toたいする with respect to; concerning報酬ほうしゅう reward; remuneration何物なにもの somethingあたえんとする intend to grant; try to bestow (= あたえようとする)以上いじょう above; beyond; more than価値かち value; merit; worthあたえざるべからず must grant; have to bestow珍宝ちんぽう treasureなか the world無論むろん of course下手へたな inferior; menial; unworthy威厳いげん dignity; majesty; solemnityそんする damage; destroy; undermineわけ situation; circumstance千両箱せんりょうばこ valuables box; lock boxオリムパスのやま Mount Olympusみ pile up; stackクリーサス Croesus (king of Lydia, renowned for his wealth; 595– c.546 BC)とみ riches; wealth; fortuneかたむつくして squander completely; lavish in entirety相当そうとうの appropriate; suitableかんがえて consider; think到底とうてい by (no) meansう suit; fit withこと the fact that ...観破かんぱして see through; discern the essence of (usually 看破かんぱして)奇麗きれいさっぱり cleanly and neatlyなんにも (no)thing黄白青銭こうはくせいせん coins of gold, silver, or bronze匹敵ひってき rival; equal; match十分じゅうぶん sufficiently; adequately理解りかい出来できる can understand; can grasp原理げんり fundamental truth; principle服膺ふくようした taken into consideration; appliedうえで having ...時事じじ問題もんだい the issue at handのぞんでる try dealing with; try attending to金田かねだ Kaneda (name)ぼう a certain ...紙幣さつ paper money; banknotes眼鼻めはな eyes and nose人間にんげん person; man奇警きけいなる clever; witty; original language; expression; word; termもって use; apply形容けいようする describe一個いっこ one (thing)活動かつどう紙幣しへい living and breathing banknoteぎん is nothing more than ...むすめ daughter活動かつどう切手きって living and breathing (merchandise) voucherひるがえって conversely; on the other hand寒月かんげつ Kangetsu (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)如何いかんれば however one looks at itかたじけなくも unapologetically学問がくもん scholarship; learning最高さいこうの highest; finest; best center or seat (of)第一だいいちに ranked first卒業そつぎょうして graduate fromごうも (not) at all; (not) in the least倦怠けんたい fatigue; wearinessねん thoughts; notion長州ちょうしゅう征伐せいばつ Chōshū punative expedition (action taken by Tokugawa shogunate against Chōshū)時代じだい time; period; age羽織はおり haori (Japanese half-coat)ひも strings; tiesぶらげて dangle日夜にちや day and night; around the clock団栗どんぐり acornスタビリチー stability研究けんきゅうし research; study満足まんぞくする be satisfied; be content様子ようす appearance; look近々きんきんうち soon; before longロード・ケルヴィン Lord Kelvin (William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin; Scots-Irish mathematical physicist and engineer; 1824–1907)圧倒あっとうする intimidate; impress; overwhelm大論文だいろんぶん master thesis; masterwork発表はっぴょうしよう announce; publish吾妻橋あずまばし Azumabashi (name of a bridge)とおかかって pass over身投みなげ throwing oneself (e.g. into the water)げい act; performance仕損しそんじた failed at熱誠ねっせいなる ardent; fervent; passionate青年せいねん youth; young manりがち frequent; common; usual発作的ほっさてき fitful; impetuous所為しょい act; deed問屋とんやたる being a repository; serving as a storehouseわずらい trouble; worry; anxietyおよぼす cause; result in出来事できごと incident; affair; happening迷亭めいてい Meitei (name)一流いちりゅうの first-rate; foremost; top-notchたとえ metaphor; analogy; exampleひょうすれば evaluate; assess; comment on活動かつどう図書館としょかん living and breathing libraryげたる form through kneading; work into二十八にじゅうはちサンチ 28 cm弾丸だんがん shell; projectile; cannon ballひとたび once時機じき opportunity; chance; occasion学界がっかい academic community; scholarly world爆発ばくはつする explode; detonate見給みたまえ watch; look at自称じしょうする proclaim oneself as形容詞けいようし adjective; descriptor; expressionない not be forthcoming; fail to emergeぞくう as they say in the vernacular; as noted in common parlance竜頭りゅうとう蛇尾だび head of a dragon but tail of a snake; starting with a bang and ending with a whimperかん feeling; impression多少たしょう somewhat; to some degreeひるんでえた seemed to falter何千万なんぜんまんまい however many (sheets; layers)微塵みじん fragments; splinters女性にょしょう woman; female駄目だめ impossible; out of the questionぼく I; me不承知ふしょうち opposed; against百獣ひゃくじゅう all manner of beastsうちで among聡明そうめいなる wise; sagacious大象だいぞう grand elephant貪婪たんらんなる avaricious; grasping; greedy小豚こぶた small pig; gruntling結婚けっこんする marry; wed苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)って退ける finish speaking; conclude one's talk主人しゅじん masterだまって in silence; without speaking