new!!→【ガチ英文法解説】カテゴリ創設! 元鉄緑会社員兼講師の英語・ゲームブログです。ツイッターの相互フォローと,英文法・英単語の質問を(ガチで)募集中です。質問・ミス指摘はコメント欄か,こちらにお願いします→ kfreynya@gmail.com




Meave demands the Brown Bull of Cooley and is refused

For many years Meave had been making preparations for her war with Ulster. To the East and South and West she had sent her messengers, stirring up the chiefs and calling them to aid her in her attack on Conor’s land. From every quarter she asked for supplies of men and food, and if these were refused, she sent her fighting-bands into the district to waste and destroy it, and to carry off the cattle and produce by force.



carry off は「運び去る,奪う」です。

produce は動詞で名詞は product, production, producer ですが produce 自身も名詞として使われることがあり「産品」という意味です。farm produce で「農産品」です。


All the princes of Ireland stood in awe of Meave, so ruthless and proud was she, and so quick in her descent upon the lands of those who would not do her will. For had they not regarded her request, all Ireland would have been set in flames; for she would plunder and destroy without pity or remorse. So in their own defence, the princes of the provinces promised her fighting-men and provender whenever she should call upon them, and month by month she gathered round her fort at Cruachan herds of cattle and swine and sheep, ready for the war.


prince は「王子,親王」の他「君主,公」の意味があります。principality は「公国」という意味(権天使の意味もありますが)であり,モナコ公国はPrincipality of Monaco です。

ruthless merciless は「情け容赦のない」という意味です。ハクスラゲーム「ディアブロ」で武器の攻撃力を上げる接頭辞(prefix)として使われていたので覚えました。

descent は「下降」で,そこから「家系,血筋」が重要です。ここでは「下降」→「降下」→「急襲・襲撃」です。鷹をイメージしましょう。

・この For は「というのも,なぜなら」と理由と表すものとして有名ですが,どうもこの小説では因果関係を示すほどのものとしては使われていません。補足的に説明している感じです。

plunder は「略奪する」です。plunge「飛び込む,突っ込む」と紛らわしく,plunge の方が重要でしょう。

provender は「(馬の)飼い葉」です。



Now Meave was looking about for a cause of contest between herself and Ulster; for she knew that Cuchulain was yet young, and she desired to begin the war before he came to his full strength; moreover, she had heard that upon Ulster at that time there lay a heavy sickness, which had prostrated its fighting-men and warriors, its princes and captains, and that even Conor, the King, himself lay ill.


look for N は「N を探す」です。look about は「辺りを見回す」です。for は前置詞,about は副詞で,組み合わせて look about for N で「N を探そうを辺りを見回す」です。メーヴがかなり強引に戦争の大義を探したことが窺えます。

prostrate は「伏せさせる;打ちひしがれて」です。ちょっと難しい語ですね。

cause は「理由」の他「大義」が重要です。

and that には「おまけに」という意味もあります。

No common sickness was that which lay upon the Province, but it came of the wrath and vengeance of the gods. For in the days gone by the goddess Macha, one of the three fierce goddesses of war and battles, had visited Ulster as a mortal maid, to bring aid and comfort to one of the nobles of Ulster who was in sore distress. And the King and people had reviled her, and brought shame and scoffing upon her, because they saw that she was not as one of themselves; for they liked not that a woman greater than themselves should take up her abode amongst them. They made game of her in the public assembly, crowding round her, and scoffing at her courage and her splendid form and at her swiftness of running beyond any of the men. For they knew not that she was one of the great gods, and they were jealous of her, because they felt that she was nobler than they.


・この No... but〜 は「〜でないものは……ない」→「……はみんな〜だ」ということです。It never rains but it pours. は「土砂降りの雨が降らない時は雨は降らない」→「雨が降る時はいつも土砂降りだ」つまり「悪いことは重なって起こるものだ」です。

・三相女神はモリガン,ネヴァン(バズヴ),マハ(マッハ,ヴァハ)なので,この the three fierce goddesses of war and battles は三相女神(the three Morrigna)でしょう。アルスターの都エヴァン・マハは女神マハに由来するのでしょうね。

a mortal maid「死すべき少女」は「定命の少女」つまり「人間の少女」です。

game には「獲物」という意味があります。「彼女をいじめの餌食にした」ということです。


Then Macha cursed the men of Ulster, and told them that in a time of danger and sore need, when all the chiefs and warriors of Ireland should gather round its borders, plundering and destroying, she would cast upon their warriors weakness and feebleness of body and of mind, so that they could not go forth in defence of the Province, and the land should be a prey to their enemies. Only upon Cuchulain she laid not her curse, for he was young, and it fell not upon women and little children, but upon full-grown warriors only, because it was the men of Ulster who had insulted her. Then she went away from them, and in dread of her they called the palace of the King Emain Macha, or the “Brooch-pin of Macha,” to this day.


・「マハのブローチ(Macha's brooch)」という説明は Wikepedia 英語版の Navan Fort (Emain Macha) にも見られます。エヴァン・マハは丸い盛り土であり,ブローチの形に見えたのでしょう。以下の記事に5枚の写真がありますが,最初の3枚はみな丸い盛り土が見えます。



When then Macha saw Meave gathering her hosts together to war against Ulster, she brought upon them this sickness, as she had prophesied. And Meave, hearing of this, hastened her preparations for the war, for she was determined that, come what might, she would march into Ulster at that time and smite it in its weakness, so that once and for ever Ulster would be subdued to Connaught by her hand. And her pride waxed greater at the thought.


come what may whatever may come「何が起こっても」という意味です。語順が意味不明に思えるかもしれませんが,〈譲歩の as 節〉に似ています。

 Rich as he is = Though he is rich ・・・〈譲歩の as 節〉の例

 Come what may = Whatever may come ・・・今回の例


 (1)rich, come が節の末尾に移動

 (2)as は逆接の though に,what は逆接を含意する whatever に変化

smite は「強打する,打ち負かす,苦しめる」です。smash「強打する,粉砕する,スマッシュする」と同語源でしょう。smack「ピシャリと打つ;舌鼓」もあります。

once and for ever once (and) for all とも言い,重要熟語です。「1回(once)」が「全回の代わり(for all)」をするということで,「この1回限りではっきりと」「この1回限りで永遠に」「今度こそきっぱりと」という意味です。

・この wax は「蝋(ワックス)」ではなく「月が満ちてくる,大きくなる」という意味です。反意語は wane「月が欠けていく,徐々に弱まる」で,wax and wane で「満ち欠けする」です。


There were in Ireland at that time two famous bulls, unlike to any kine that ever have been in Ireland from that time until now. For these bulls were cattle of the gods, and they had come to abide among men for this purpose only, to incite and bring about a war between Connaught and Ulster. For Macha watched o’er men, and she awaited the day when her revenge upon Ulster should fall. Now these cattle were born, one in the Province of Connaught among the cattle of Meave, and the other in Ulster among the cattle of Daire of Cooley, in Cuchulain’s country.


o'er は over です。e'er = ever なんかもあります。

・この fall は「滅びる」ではなく「(日時が)訪れる」という意味です。Night fell. は「夜が訪れた」です。

Daire Dáire mac Fiachnaダーラ・マク・フィアハナ」のことです。Dáire アイルランド人に見られる男性名で,英国風に綴ると Dara だそうです。「クーリー」は「クアルンゲ Cúailnge」とも表記されるようです。


Meave knew not that these were immortal beasts, for that was in the secrets of the gods, but she knew well that among her cattle was one bull of extraordinary size, and fierceness, and strength, so that no other member of her herds dared to come near it; moreover, fifty men were required to keep it. And of all her stock, there was not one that Meave counted worth a metal ring beside this bull. She named him the Finn-bennach or “White-horned,” and she believed that not in Ireland nor in the whole world beside, was the equal and the fellow of this bull. One day, before the war began, while Meave was meditating in her mind what challenge she should send to Ulster, she caused all her cattle to be arrayed before her.


stock は「蓄え」ですが「家畜(livestock)」の意味もあります。「生き物の蓄え」が「家畜」ということですね。