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How Cuchulain took Arms

When Meave had thought awhile, she said, “Are there yet other stories of this wondrous boy?” “Indeed,” cried Fiacra, one of the companions of Cormac, who came with him when he went from Ulster into exile, “the story of his taking arms is not told yet, and I think it more than all the other stories you have heard.” “How so?” said Meave; “tell it to us now.”



How so? は例えば誰かが"different"と言った時に「どのような意味でdifferentなのか」「どう違うのか」のような意味で使います。今回は"more"と言ったので「どうmoreなのか」と訊いたわけです。

Then Fiacra said, “The very year after Cuchulain got his name, he was playing outside the place where Caffa the magician sat with eight of his pupils teaching them his lore. It chanced that he was telling them, as the magicians and Druids are wont to believe, that certain days were lucky for special acts and other days unlucky. ‘And for what,’ asked one of the boys, ‘would this day at which we now are be counted lucky?’”


the very+名詞は名詞の強調で,「まさにその……」「……そのもの」と訳します。

Caffa とはおそらく筆頭ドルイドカスバドCathbad)のことです。



It chanced that ... は「たまたま……だった」です。

 It chanced that he was telling them ...

 =He chanced to be telling them ...

 とも言います(×He chanced that ... は不可)

be wont to-Vは「Vし慣れている」です。be wont to believe「信じ慣れている」ということですね。なお余り気にしなくともよいのですが,この節の先頭のasは接続詞ではなく関係代名詞です。believeに目的語がなく,asがその代わり(目的格)をしています。試しにwhichで置き換えられるか見てみましょう。置き換えられるので関係代名詞のasです。as節の中が完全な文ならば接続詞です。as is ... の場合(as is often the case with himなど)は完全な文ではないことが明白なので関係代名詞ですね。

“This is the day,” said Caffa, “on which any youth who should assume arms, as became a champion of war, should attain eternal fame; beside him, no warrior’s name in Ireland should ever more be named, or spoken in the same breath with it, for his glory would transcend them all. For such a youth, however, no happy thing were this, for he should die at an early age, no long-lived warrior he; his life shall be but fleeting, quickly o’er.”



in the same breathは「(何かを言った)その同じ口で」「同時に」ということです。非難の意を込めて「舌の根も乾かぬうちに」と訳すこともあります。ここでは「クー・フーリンという名を口にし,その同じ口で(それと同時に)クー・フーリンの英雄譚を語る」ということでしょう。


Outside the house Cuchulain overheard the conversation of the teacher with his boys. Instantly and without a moment’s pause he laid aside his hurley and his ball, and put off his playing-suit. Then, donning his ordinary apparel, he entered the sleeping-house of the King. “All good be thine, O King,” said he. “Boy, what hast thou now come to ask of me?” replied the King. “I desire,” said he, “to take arms as a warrior and champion to-day.” “Who told thee to ask for this?” said the King, surprised.



donは「着る」です(do onの略より)。初めて出会いました。その後のapparelは「アパレル産業」から推測しました。


“My master Caffa, the magician,” answered he. “If that is so, thou shalt not be denied,” replied the King, and he called on those who were about him to give the lad two spears and sword and shield: for in Emain the King had always ready seventeen complete equipments of weapons and armature; for he himself bestowed weapons on a youth of the boy-corps when he was ready to bear arms, to bring him luck in using them.


two spears and sword and shieldを「2本の槍と剣,盾」と訳すと「剣も2本与えた」ように読めます。sword and shieldは複数形になっていませんので,「槍を2本と剣,盾」などとすると良いでしょう。


Cuchulain began to try those weapons, brandishing and bending them to try their strength and fitness to his hand; but one after another they all gave way, and were broken into pieces and little fragments. “These weapons are not good,” said he; “they are but the equipment of a common warrior, they suffice me not.”


give wayは「圧力に屈して壊れる」です。事故などを説明する際の重要表現と言えるでしょう。比喩的に「屈する」の意もあります(give way to ...)

suffice /səfáɪs/ は形容詞sufficient「十分な」の動詞形です。形容詞のほうが有名ですね。


Then when he had tried them all, and put them from him, the King said: “Here, my lad, are my own two spears, my own sword and shield.” Then Cuchulain took these weapons, and in every way, by bending them from point to hilt, by brandishing them, by thrusting with them, he proved their strength and mettle. “These arms are good,” said he, “they break not in my hand. Fair fall the land and country whose King can wield armour and weapons such as these!”


put them from himのところは私の文法力では解釈不能でした。状況から推測して訳しています。

Fair fall Nも苦戦しましたが,このfallはbefallのことと思われます。befall Nで「Nに降りかかる」。God bless N「神がNを祝福せんことを」と同じ祈願文(May God bless N)で,May fair befall N「fairがNに降りかからんことを」。fairはとりあえず良い意味でしょう。ということで,「Nに栄光あれ」と訳しました。

Just at the moment Caffa came into the tent. Wondering, he asked: “Is the little boy so soon assuming arms?” “Ay, so it is,” said the King. “Unhappy is the mother whose son assumes arms to-day,” said the magician. “How now?” cried the King; “was it not yourself who prompted him?” “Not so, indeed,” said Caffa. “Mad boy, what made you then deceive me, telling me that Caffa it was who prompted you to ask for arms?” “O King of Heroes, be not wrath,” replied the lad. “No thought, indeed, had I to deceive.


Unhappy is the mother who(se)... のようなSVCCVS倒置はよく見られます。Sが長すぎ,Cが1語しかないと頭でっかちになりますので。「……であるような母親は不幸だ」ですが,日本語も英語の倒置語順を真似て,「不幸なのは,……であるような母親だ」と訳すのも手です。


When Caffa was instructing his pupils in the house to-day, I overheard, as I was playing with my ball outside, one of the lads asking him what special virtue lay in this day, and for what it was a lucky day. And he told them that for him who should assume arms this day, his luck should be so great that his fame would outstrip the fame of all Ireland’s heroes, and he would be the first of Ireland’s men. And for this great reward no compensating disadvantage would accrue to him, save that his life should be but fleeting.”



・このhimは特定の「彼」を指すのではなく,一般人称です。He who ...=Anyone who ...「……な者は(誰でも)」です。

“True is that, indeed,” said Caffa, “noble and famous thou shalt be, but short and brief thy life.” “Little care I for that,” replied the lad, “nor though my life endured but for one day and night, so only that the story of myself and of my deeds shall last.” “Then get thee into a chariot, as a warrior should, and let us test thy title to a future fame.”


title to Nは「Nの資格」です。thy title to a future fameは「汝が将来の名声に値する」ということです。


So a chariot of two horses was brought to Cuchulain, and every way he tried its strength, driving it furiously round and round the green, goading the horses and turning suddenly. But for this usage the chariot was not fit, and it broke beneath him. Twelve chariots were brought to him, and he tested them all in this manner, but all of them he reduced to fragments. “These chariots of thine, O Conor, are no good at all, they serve me not, nor are they worthy of me, thy own foster-son.”


be worthy of Nは「Nの価値がある,Nに相応しい」です。

Then the King cried: “Fetch me here Ivar, my own charioteer, and let him harness my steeds into the kingly chariot, and bring it here to serve Cuchulain.” Then the kingly chariot of war was brought and Cuchulain mounted, testing it every way; and well it served him at every test. “The chariot is good, and the steeds are good, they are worthy of me,” said the boy; “it is my worthy match.”

「すると王は叫びました。『余の御者,イヴァルを連れてこい! 余の軍馬を王の戦車に繋いで,クー・フーリンに使わせるのだ』それで王の戦車が持ち込まれクー・フーリンは乗り込んで,あらゆる点で試しました。そしてあらゆる試乗にそれは耐えました。『この戦車は合格です。馬も良い。私に相応しいものです』少年は言いました。『私に相応しい相棒です』」

“Well, boy, it is time that thou wert satisfied at last; now I will take the horses home and put them out to graze,” said Ivar. “Not yet awhile,” said Cuchulain. “Drive but the horses round the kingly fort.” Ivar did so, and then he said again: “Be satisfied now, my lad; I go to turn the horses out to grass.” For it was but seldom that King Conor went forth in his war-chariot, because the men of Ulster willed not that the King should expose his person in battle; so Ivar was grown idle, and fat through his idleness, and he liked not at all the unwonted exertion that the wee boy asked of him.


it is time that thou wert satisfiedはit is time you were satisfiedのことですが,It is time+過去時制の文は「もう……しても良い頃だ」という意味です。








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