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The Deer of Ill-Luck

When Meave heard that already the Hound of Ulster stood upon her path, the words spoken by the fairy Feidelm and the Druid came back into her mind, and she resolved that not a moment would she linger by the way, but now at once, before the men of Ulster were risen from their weakness, she would push on direct to Emain Macha. “If one man alone and single-handed be formidable to us,” she said to Ailill, “still more formidable will he be with the gathered hosts of Ulster at his back, fighting for their country and their fatherland.”



lingerは「グズグズする,なかなか消えない」です。今回は使われていませんが〈継続のon〉を伴うことが多いです(linger on)。「リンジャー」ではなく「リンガー /lɪ́ŋɡər/」です。longやlongerから連想すると覚えやすそうですね。


So that very night she gave command that the army should move on, taking the direct way into Ulster; and when the men complained there was no road, she bid her soldiers take their swords and hew for the chariots a path straight through the forests. Haughtily she cried, “Though mountains and high hills stood in my way, yet should they be hewn down before me and smoothed to level lands. So by new paths mayhap we shall slip by Cuchulain unperceived, and fall on Ulster sleeping; thus shall we take Cuchulain in the rear.”



hew /hjuː/ は「切り開く,切り倒す」です。

haughtyは「高慢な」,naughtyは「わんぱくな,わいせつな」です。セットで覚えましょう。他にdoughty /dáʊti/「勇敢な」もあるのですが,こちらは2つ目のアルファベットと発音が違う(ホーティ,ノーティに対し,ダウティ)のでうろ覚えは危険です。


But whichever way the army turned, from that night forward Cuchulain was on the path before it, and though the warriors could not catch sight of him, at every point he cut off twos and threes, whenever scouts were sent before the host. At length they could not get the scouts to go, and whole bands went out together, but even so but few returned alive. And strange things happened, which alarmed the men, and Meave herself at last grew sore afraid. One evening, thinking that all was safe, Meave and her women walked to take the air, she carrying on her shoulders her pet bird and squirrel. They talked together of the wonders that Cuchulain wrought, and how that very day he had fallen alone upon a troop of men who cut a path through woods some miles away beyond the camp to eastward, and how but one of them escaped to tell the tale.


cut off twos and threesについて。cut offは「切り離す,孤立させる」の意味があります。twos and threesはよくby twos and threesin twos and threesの形で「三々五々,2〜3人ずつ,少人数で」という意味ですが,ここではcut offの目的語として名詞になっており,「2〜3人ずつ切り離した」。つまりクー・フーリンは一度に大軍を相手にせず,メーヴ軍が2〜3人単位で斥候を放つと,彼らを孤立させて始末していったということでしょう。

at lengthは「遂に」と「長々と」が重要です。「長々と」の場合は「話す,説明する」などがあるでしょうから,区別できます。




Just as they spoke, a short sharp sound was heard, as of a sling-stone passing near their heads, and at Meave’s feet the squirrel dropped, struck through the heart. Startled, she turned to see whose hand had killed her pet, but as she turned, down from the other shoulder dropped the bird, slain also by a stone. “Cuchulain must be near,” the women cried; “no other hand but his so surely and so straight can sling a stone,” and hastily they turned and sought the shelter of the camp again.



startleはstartにleが付いた形で「びっくりさせる」ですが,startにもこの意味がありました。例えばwith a startで「はっとして,びくりとして」です。

・myの所有代名詞はmine,herのはhersですが,hisの所有代名詞はhisです。同形なので気をつけましょう。no other hand but hisはno other hand but his handのことであり,「彼の手以外のいかなる手も……ない」です。


Meave sat down beside the King to tell him what had happened. “It could not be Cuchulain,” said the King; “he was far off on the other side of the host to-day.” Even as the words passed from his lips, close to them whizzed a hand-sling stone, carrying off the coronet or golden ‘mind’ that bound Meave’s hair, but hurting not so much as a lock upon her head. “A bad stroke that,” laughed out the fool that gambolled round the King, joking to make him merry; “had I been he who shot that stone, the head I would have taken off and left the ‘mind’ behind.”

メーヴは王の横に座り,起こったことを彼に教えた。「それはクー・フーリンであろうな」王は言った。「彼は今日,軍から離れた反対側にいたのだ」 その言葉も言い終わらないうちに,彼らの傍をヒュンという,ぱちんこで放たれた石の音がして,メーヴの頭に巻かれていた宝冠,金色の「知性」を頭から落としたが,彼女の髪の毛の房にすらダメージを与えていなかった。「下手くそだなあ」と王の周りではしゃぎ回っていた道化師が,冗談を言って彼を陽気にさせようと大笑いした。「私が石を撃つ者だったら,頭の方を落として『知性』の方は残したのに」

a foolは「馬鹿者」ですが,ここでは「道化師(a clown)」です。

had I beenは仮定法のifの省略によるもので if I had been に等しく,he whoはthe one who,the man who(a man who)です。


Hardly were the words out of his foolish mouth, than a second stone, coming from the same direction as the first, in the full middle of his forehead struck the fool, and carried off his head, while at Meave’s feet dropped down his pointed cap. Then Ailill started up and said, “That man will be the death of all our host, before we ever step on Ulster’s soil. If any man henceforth makes mock at Cuchulain, ’tis I myself will make two halves of him. Let the whole host press on by day and night towards the coasts of Ulster, or not one of us will live to see the gates of Emain Macha.”


・以前も言いましたが「……するやいなや〜」でHardlyと呼応するのはwhenbeforeです。現代英語ではthanと呼応するのはNo soonerです。

・'tisはit isです。’tis I myself will make two halves of himは分かりやすく書き直すと,It is I myself (who) will make two halves of himで,whoが主格ながら省略されています。It is ... that 〜の強調構文では,主格のwho・thatは省略可なのです。例えば「トムに会ったのはメリーだった」はIt was Mary who met Tom. ですが,whoが省略されると It was Mary met Tom. となります。Mary met Tom. の頭にIt wasが付いただけに見えて面白いですね。

So day and night the camp moved on, but not thus could they outstrip Cuchulain; march as they would, he still was there before them. Yet, though they chased and sought him day and night, they caught no sight of him; only he cut off their men.
One day a charioteer of Orlam, Ailill’s son, was sent into a wood to cut down poles to mend the chariots broken by the way. It happened that Cuchulain was in this wood, and he took the charioteer to be a man of Ulster come out before their host to scout for them. “The youth is foolhardy who comes so near the army of Queen Meave,” Cuchulain thought; “I will e’en go and warn him of his danger.”




march as they wouldは〈譲歩のas〉というものです。1つ模範型を暗記しましょう。おすすめはRich as he is = Though he is rishです。後はこれに倣って左辺を右辺に変化させましょう。

 Rich as he is = Though he is rich「金持ちだけれども」

 March as they would = Though they would march「進軍した(だろう)けれども」



It happened that... は直訳すると「……ことが起こった」ですが,「たまたま……であった」です。

take A to be Bは「AをBと間違える」です。同じ意味でmistake A for Bを使うと分かりやすそうです。mistake - mistook -mistakenという活用です。


So he went forwards, and said, “And what, my lad, art thou doing here?” Not knowing who it was who spoke to him, the lad replied, “I am come out to polish chariot-poles, because our chariots have been sorely damaged in our chase of that famous wild deer, Cuchulain; and indeed, good warrior, I am making all the haste I can, for fear this same Cuchulain may pounce down on me. Certainly he would make short work of me; therefore, O Youth, if thou hast time, lend me a hand and help me with my task.” “Willingly,” said Cuchulain, “will I help thee. Take thou thy choice; shall I cut down the holly-poles? or shall I smooth them for thee?” “To trim them is the slowest work; therefore while I hew down the trees do thou smooth off the branches and the twigs.”

そこで彼は進み出て言った。「で,君はここで何をしてるんだい」 自分に話しかけたのが誰か知らずに,若者は答えた。「戦車のポールを磨きに来たんだ。有名な鹿のクー・フーリンを追ってたら戦車がかなり痛んじゃって。そして実際クー・フーリンは優れた戦士でもある。僕はできるだけ急いでるんだ。同じ名前の戦士の方が襲いかかってきたら大変だから。きっと僕なんかイチコロだよ。だから君,時間があるなら,手を貸して手伝ってくれないかい」「喜んで」クー・フーリンは言った。「君を手伝うよ。選んで。僕が柊を切り倒す?それとも,磨いてあげる方?」「木を削って仕上げるのは時間がかかるから,僕が木を切るあいだ,大きい枝や小さな枝を取ってくれない?」

make short work of meは最初よく分からなかったのですが,単純に考えるとmake A of B「BをAにする」より,make short work of me「私を短い仕事にする」。「短い仕事」とは「そう時間がかからない仕事」だから,「一瞬で自分を倒してしまう」という意味でしょう。



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