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Queen Meave and the Woman-Seer

Craftily Fergus wrought upon Queen Meave that she should espouse his cause and lead an army into Ulster’s coasts, to win the kingdom back for him again. And Meave was no way sorry to make war, for Connaught and the North at all times were at strife, and frays and battle-raids were common between them.


causeには「原因」だけでなく「主義,大義という意味があることは重要です。「ジャストコーズ(Just Cause)」というゲームもありますね。



raid「襲撃」は重要語ですね。bank raidは「銀行強盗」,air raidは「空襲」,police raidは「ガサ入れ」です。

So with light heart Queen Meave sent heralds out and messengers through Connaught to collect her armed bands, bidding them meet her within three months’ space before her palace-fort of Cruachan. And in three months a goodly host was gathered there, and tents were pitched, and for awhile they tarried round the palace-courts, eating and drinking, so that with good heart and strength they might set forth to march towards Ulster’s borders.





for awhileは現代英語ではfor a whileの方が普通ですかね。


Now, in the dark and dead of night before the break of day when all the host should start their forward march, Meave could not sleep; and stealthily she rose and bid them make her chariot ready, that she might seek a Druid whom she knew, and learn from him the prospects of the expedition and what should be the fate before her hosts.


・stealの名詞stealthは「窃盗(theft, stealing)」ではなく「こっそり移動すること(ステルス戦闘機の由来)」です。stealthyは「こっそりした」,stealthilyは「こっそりと」です。

・このthatは目的を表すso thatのsoが略されたものでしょう。口語ではthatを略してsoだけに,文語ではsoを略してthatだけになることがあります。mightがあること(so that S may V)もヒントになります。



Far in the depths of a wide-spreading wood the Druid dwelt. An old and reverend man was he, and far and wide men knew him for a prophet and a seer. The “Knowledge that enlightens” he possessed, which opened to his eyes the coming days and all the secret things the future held. Gravely he came out to meet the troubled Queen, and he from her chariot handed her, as proudly she drew up before his door.


dwell - dwelt (dwelled) -dwelt (dwelled)は「住む」です。



enlightenは「啓蒙する,啓発する」です。2020/5/15の記事で詳しく解説しました。The Knowledge that enlightensは「啓発する知識」ですが,light「光」に由来する語であることも踏まえ「闇を照らす智」と訳してみました。

draw upは恐らく「手綱を引き上げる」から来た表現で「車を停める」です。現代英語ではpull up,pull overが一般的ですね。

“We have come to thee, O Druid and magician,” said the Queen, “to ask of thee the fate and fortune of this expedition against Ulster which we have now in hand, whether we shall return victorious or not.”
“Wait but awhile in patience,” said the aged man, “and I will read the future, if the gods allow.”



which we have now in hand「我々が今手にしている」はUlsterに掛かっている,this expeditionに掛かっている,the fate and fortuneに掛かっているの3択です。形からの判別は困難なので意味で考えました。「アルスター」「今回の遠征」「運命と運勢」のうち,「アルスターに勝つかはまだ分からない」「遠征を手にしているのは変」と考え,「我々が今手にしている運命と運勢」と取りました。

・このbutはonlyでしょう。Wait only awhile「ほんのしばらくお待ち下さい」です。

For two long hours Meave waited in the hut, while on the hearth the fire of peat burned low, and a strange dimness spread about the house as though a mist had risen between herself and the magician, who, on his palms performed his curious rites, and in a slow and solemn chant sang charms and incantations; by strange and magic arts known to his craft seeking the “Knowledge that enlightens.” And, at the last, when all was still, he rose to his full height, stretched out his arms, and called upon the gods of fire, and air, and wind, and light, to open up and lay before his gaze the future things that were in store for Meave and for her hosts.




call upon N to-Vは「NにVするよう頼む」です。call onでもOKです。

(be) in store for Nは「Nを待ち受けて(いる)」です。

Then he made total darkness in his hut, and ate a curious food, concocted by magicians; and when he had eaten, he fell into a sleep, his servant watching over him, his two palms laid upon his cheeks. Then in a minute, or two minutes, he uttered sounds, but like one talking in his sleep, and the servant bade Meave question him, for his sleep of inspiration was upon him. So Meave said: “In mine host this day are many who do part from their own people and their friends, from their country and their lands, from father and from mother. Now, if these all return not safe and sound, upon me will be the anger of their friends, and me they will upbraid. Tell me, then, will these return alive?”





upbraidは「非難する」。me they will upbraidはthey will upbraid meでしょうね。

And the magician said: “These might return; but yet I see a little boy who stands upon the way to hinder them. Fair he is and young and but a boy; and yet on every path I see him, holding back thy hosts, slaughtering and pursuing, as though the strength of the gods were in his arms. On every path they fall, in every battlefield the ground is strewn with dead, and in the homes of Connaught men and women weep the sons and husbands who return no more. Who this youth may be I know not, but I see that he will bring trouble on thy hosts.”



hold backは「食い止める」です。

A is strewn with Bは「AにはBが散らばる」です。原形はstrewです。

weepは「涙を流して泣く」ですが,ここはweep N「Nのことを泣いて悲しむ」という古い用法です。現代ではweep over Nのようにすれば良さそうですね。



ところで気になるのはタイトルにあるWoman-Seerです。これは語法的には「女性の予言者」と「女性を見る者」の意味がありうる(例えばモンスターハンターは「怪物を狩る者」,ドラゴンスレイヤーは「竜を殺す者」)のですが,普通は前者と取るでしょう(a woman doctor)。ところが今回登場するドルイドはheで受けており,男です。だから不思議だったのですが,このあと(次回)女性の予言者が登場します。女性の予言者の方はどんな予言をし,メーヴはどういう反応をするのでしょうか。実は今回のおじいさんドルイドより遥かに怖い予言者です笑

Chapter IIはこれで半分くらいなので,今回はここまでとします。第25回まで来たAsgard Stories(北欧神話)が訳し終わるまでこちらは不定期ですが,続きをお楽しみに!