I am a Cat (Chapter 10 b) Section 354 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

主人しゅじんはまずこのくらいにして、つぎにはちゃわらってる女連おんなれんりかかるが、これは主人の冷淡れいたん一歩いっぽむこうまたいで滑稽こっけい領分りょうぶんおどんでうれしがっている。この女連には武右衛門ぶえもんくん頭痛ずつうんでいる艶書えんしょ事件じけんが、仏陀ぶっだ福音ふくいんのごとくありがたくおもわれる理由りゆうはないただありがたい。いて解剖かいぼうすれば武右衛門君がこまのがありがたいのである。諸君しょくんおんなむかっていて御覧ごらん、「あなたはひとが困るのを面白おもしろがって笑いますか」と。聞かれた人はこのとい呈出ていしゅつしたもの馬鹿ばかだろう、馬鹿と云わなければ、わざとこんな問をかけて淑女しゅくじょ品性ひんせい侮辱ぶじょくしたと云うだろう。侮辱したと思うのは事実じじつかもれないが、人の困るのを笑うのも事実である。であるとすれば、これからわたしの品性を侮辱するようなこと自分じぶんでしてにかけますから、なんとか云っちゃいやよとことわるのと一般いっぱんである。ぼく泥棒どろぼうをする。しかしけっして不道徳ふどうとくと云ってはならん。もし不道徳だなどと云えば僕のかおどろったものである。僕を侮辱したものである。と主張しゅちょうするようなものだ。おんなはなかなか利口りこうだ、かんが筋道すじみちっているいやしくも人間にんげんうまれる以上いじょうんだりたりどやされたりして、しかも人がりむきもせぬとき平気へいきでいる覚悟かくご必用ひつようであるのみならず、つばきかけられくそたれかけられたうえおおきなこえで笑われるのをこころよく思わなくてはならない。それでなくてはかように利口な女とのつくものと交際こうさい出来できない。武右衛門先生せんせいもちょっとしたはずみから、とんだ間違まちがいをしておおいおそってはいるようなものの、かように恐れ入ってるものをかげで笑うのは失敬しっけいだとくらいは思うかも知れないが、それはとしかない稚気ちきというもので、人が失礼しつれいをした時におこのをちいさい先方せんぽうでは名づけるそうだから、そう云われるのがいやならおとなしくするがよろしい。

Rough translation

Leaving the master for a time, I turn now to the lady folk who are snickering away in the living room. In contrast to the master's cool indifference, the lady folk are emotionally engaged, reveling to no end in Buemon's predicament. They're receiving this whole account of the love letter, which has set the poor boy's head on fire, with no less joy than men of yore who first received glad tidings of the Buddha's enlightenment. Their glee defies explanation, but they're gleeful nonetheless. If one insists on digging deeper, one can only conclude it's Buemon's misery fueling their amusement. Try asking a woman if others' misery spurs her to gleeful laughter. Said woman will turn on her inquirer quite sharply. She'll dismiss him as a dullard, or she may even attack him for assailing her honor. While it may be true that she feels her honor assaulted, it's equally true that she has, indeed, reveled in the misery of another. She might as well give prior notice. "My behavior may be unbecoming of a lady, but I'll have you hold your tongue." It's no different than a man committing theft yet forbidding any mention of impropriety. Any mention of impropriety, after all, would sully his reputation. It would weigh on his good name. This he cannot abide. Women are clever things, anchoring their notions with sound logic. Any man born into the human race should expect at times to be stomped on, kicked in the face, and berated, with no help at all from his fellow men nearby. When one is spit on and smeared with feces, one must further don a brave face as shrieks of feminine laughter arise from all sides. Such is the cost of coexisting with these clever creatures called women. Young master Buemon, having landed in hot water through an impulsive action of youth and now showing due contrition, might well be indignant at the merciless mirth unfolding on the other side of the fusuma. The perpetrators of this affront, however, would readily counter that any indignation on his part stems from naïveté and lack of fortitude. All of this stems, at the end of the day, from his own actions. Were he not prepared to bear the repercussions, then he needn't have acted.

Vocabulary

主人しゅじん masterつぎ nextちゃ living roomわらってる are laughing女連おんなれん women folk; ladiesりかかる take up (as a topic)冷淡れいたん apathy; indifference一歩いっぽ one stepむこう other side; opposite direction; beyondまたいで step across; stride over滑稽こっけい humor; farce領分りょうぶん realm; sphere; domainおどんで jump into; rush intoうれしがって revel in; enjoy武右衛門ぶえもん Buemon (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)頭痛ずつう headacheんで suffer from艶書えんしょ love letter事件じけん incident; affair仏陀ぶっだ Buddha福音ふくいん good news; glad tidingsおもわれる be thought of as理由りゆう reason; rationaleいて by force; through compulsion解剖かいぼうすれば dissect; examineこまる be troubled; be vexed諸君しょくん everyone; you allおんな women; a womanむかって turn (toward)いて ask; enquire御覧ごらん try ...ひと a person; an individual面白おもしろがって find amusement in; revel inとい question呈出ていしゅつした presented; introducedもの person馬鹿ばか foolish; absurdう say; state; assert淑女しゅくじょ lady品性ひんせい character侮辱ぶじょくした insulted; disdained事実じじつ reality; the truthかもれない might well be ...わたし I; meこと act; action自分じぶん oneselfにかけます show; displayなんとか something or other; this or thatことわる give notice一般いっぱん the same (as)ぼく I; me泥棒どろぼう theft; burglary不道徳ふどうとく iniquity; improprietyかお face; honorどろ mud; mireった smeared; spread主張しゅちょうする assert; insistおんな women; females利口りこう clever; shrewdかんがえ ideas; thoughts筋道すじみちっている logic is sound; reasoning is consistentいやしくも if once ...; given that ... (pairs with following 以上は)人間にんげん human beingうまれる be born (as)以上いじょうは given that ... (pairs with preceding いやしくも)んだり be stepped on; be stomped onたり be kickedどやされたり be yelled at; be beratedりむき turn to lookとき times; occasions平気へいき unperturbed; with indifference覚悟かくご resolution; resolve必用ひつよう necessary; essentialつば salivaきかけられ be spit onくそ excrementたれかけられた be draped withうえに on top ofおおきな large; loud (voice)こえ voiceこころよく willingly; with pleasureのつく is called ...交際こうさい association; social interaction出来できない can't do; can't manage先生せんせい young masterはずみ impetus; impulse間違まちがい blunder; transgressionおおいに very much; greatlyおそって be humbled; feel contriteかげ shadows; back side失敬しっけい impertinent; disrespectfulとし years; ageかない not be advanced稚気ちき naïveté; childishness失礼しつれいをした disrespected; snubbed; spurnedおこる get upset; lose one's coolちいさい faint-hearted; wimpish先方せんぽう the other side; the other party