I am a Cat (Chapter 10 b) Section 352 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

「するでもなかったんですが、ついやってしまったんです。退校たいこうにならないように出来できないでしょうか」と武右衛門ぶえもんくんしそうなこえをしてしきりに哀願あいがんおよんでいる。ふすまかげでは最前さいぜんから細君さいくん雪江ゆきえさんがくすくすわらっている。主人しゅじんくまでももったいぶって「そうさな」をかえしている。なかなか面白おもしろ

吾輩わがはいが面白いというと、なにがそんなに面白いとひとがあるかもれない。聞くのはもっともだ。人間にんげんにせよ、動物どうぶつにせよ、おのれのは生涯しょうがい大事だいじである。己を知ることが出来さえすれば人間も人間としてねこより尊敬そんけいけてよろしい。そのときは吾輩もこんないたずらをのはどくだからすぐさまやめてしまうつもりである。しかし自分じぶんで自分のはなたかわからないおなじように自己じこ何物なにものはなかなか見当けんとうがつきくいえて平生へいぜいから軽蔑けいべつしている猫にむかってさえかような質問しつもんをかけるのであろう。人間は生意気なまいきなようでもやはり、どこかけている万物ばんぶつれいだなどとどこへでも万物の霊をかついであるくかとおもと、これしきの事実じじつ理解りかい出来できない。しかもてんとして平然へいぜんたるいたってはちと一噱いっきゃくもよおしたくなるかれは万物の霊を背中せなかへ担いで、おれの鼻はどこにあるかおしえてくれ、教えてくれとさわてている。それなら万物の霊を辞職じしょくするかと思うと、どういたしてんでもはなしそうにしない。このくらい公然こうぜん矛盾むじゅんをして平気へいきでいられれば愛嬌あいきょうになる。愛嬌になるかわりには馬鹿ばかをもってあまんじなくてはならん

Rough translation

"It wasn't a conscious act. It all just sort of happened. Is there not some way to avoid expulsion?" Buemon entreats the master, his voice unsteady and on the verge of tears. On the other side of the fusuma, throughout all this, the wife and Yukie are exchanging grins. The master, caught up in the gravity of Buemon's torment, responds again with, "We'll have to see ..." It's all quite intriguing.

When I say it's all quite intriguing, some may ask how so. It's no surprise they should ask. Whether man or beast, the hardest endeavor over the course of any lifetime is learning to know oneself. I'll grant, in fact, that any human being who succeeds in knowing himself can rightly claim supremacy over us cats. At such point, I would immediately cease and desist, out of sympathy for Buemon and his like, the reporting of the occasional misdeed. However, just as a man can't see the height of his own nose, he also struggles to discern his own nature, and thus he questions how a cat, whom he regards with perpetual disdain, could view his travails as intriguing. Man, while brash and boastful, is also flawed and deficient. He parades what he calls the "triumph of the human spirit," proclaiming it far and wide, yet fails to perceive his own shortcomings. And he does so in all sincerity, betraying no hint of self-doubt, which makes it all the more farcical. He walks through this world convinced that his spirit must triumph, yet soon devolves to fretting and fussing. "Where's my nose? I can't see it. Help me find it," he implores. Is he thus compelled to abandon his ruse? Not in the least. He'd sooner die than relinquish his self-proclaimed "triumph." There's a certain charm in any creature so overtly indifferent to his own inconsistencies. The price of this charm, though, is never-ending folly.

Vocabulary

 inclination退校たいこう expulsion from school出来できないでしょうか is there not some way武右衛門ぶえもん Buemon (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)しそうな about to burst into tearsこえ voiceしきりに keenly; intently哀願あいがん supplication; entreatyおよんで come to; resort toふすま fusuma (sliding screen)かげ other side; behind最前さいぜんから from short time ago; for some moments細君さいくん the wife雪江ゆきえ Yukie (name)くすくすわらって giggle; grin主人しゅじん masterくまでも throughout; all the whileもったいぶって put on airs; assume an air of importanceかえして repeat面白おもしろい interesting; intriguing 吾輩わがはい I; me; myselfなに whatく ask; enquireひと persons; peopleかもれない it may be that ...人間にんげん human being; man動物どうぶつ animalおのれ oneselfる know; understand生涯しょうがい lifetime大事だいじ serious matter; major undertakingこと act; actionねこ cat尊敬そんけい respect; esteem; honorけて receiveとき time; occasionく write; recordどく poor; pitiable; unfortunate自分じぶん oneselfはな noseたかさ heightわからない can't tell; can't discernおなじように in the same manner as自己じこ oneself何物なにものか is what見当けんとうがつきくい hard to size up; hard to assessえて appear平生へいぜい ordinarily; usually軽蔑けいべつして look down on; disdainむかって turn (toward)質問しつもん question; query生意気なまいき impertinent; cocky; brashけている is deficient; is lacking万物ばんぶつれい the human spirit that rules all creationかついで carry about; promulgateおもう think; take note of事実じじつ reality; truth理解りかい出来できない can't understand; can't comprehendてんとして coolly; nonchalantly平然へいぜんたる being calm; being composedいたっては when it comes to一噱いっきゃくもよおしたくなる feel a good laugh coming onかれ he; him背中せなか (on) one's backおしえてくれ tell meさわてて stir up a fuss; kick and scream辞職じしょくする quit; give upどういたして (not) possiblyんでも even if it kills oneはなしそうにしない not be about to let go公然こうぜんと openly; overtly矛盾むじゅん contradiction; inconsistency平気へいき unperturbed; with indifference愛嬌あいきょう charm; amiability; winsomenessかわりには while ...; in exchange for ...馬鹿ばか foolishness; stupidityあまんじなくてはならん must resign oneself to