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The Fight of Cuchulain with his son Conla

When Cuchulain was yet a youth in Shadowland, living with Scath, and learning feats of her, there had come from afar another woman-warrior to make war upon Scath, a terrible, fierce princess named Aiffe, who had under her many mighty men. Sore was the war between them, and of Scath’s warriors a great multitude were slain and her two sons also fell in battle. Then Scath called Cuchulain and persuaded him to go in embassage to Aiffe to induce her to make terms of peace and to withdraw her troops into her own country.




Cuchulain went on that embassage, and he pleased Aiffe, and she said that she would return into her own country if he would go with her and tarry awhile, and aid her in her wars. So Cuchulain went with her and Aiffe delighted in him and they were wedded, and for a short time they were happy in each other’s company, and waged wars together; but soon Cuchulain wearied of her, when he saw her cruelty and fierceness, and that nothing of a woman’s gentleness was known to her. And though she besought him not to leave her, he bade her farewell, and returned to Scath to finish his training, for the time drew near when he must go back to Ireland. When he bade Aiffe farewell, he told her that if a son should be born to him, she was to send him to Ireland at the end of seven years to seek his father.




embassage「大使の任務」は難語ですが,embassy「大使館,(全体的に)大使館職員」は重要語です。「大使」は ambassador ですね。

was to は所謂〈義務の be to〉です。「……すべきだと彼女に言った」とは,「……してくれと彼女に頼んだ」ということです。他に〈可能の be to〉〈予定の be to〉〈運命の be to〉〈意志の be to〉があります。訳し方は,最悪その言葉を出せばいいでしょう(……する予定だ,……する運命だ,など)


He gave her a golden arm-ring to keep for the child, and he said that as soon as the arm-ring should fit his wrist, the lad was to come. He laid upon her, too, three stipulations for the child. First, that he should be called Conla, but that he never was to make known his name to any; secondly, that if any man offered him single combat, he must on no account refuse; and thirdly, that he must never turn back from any journey that he had undertaken, no matter what perils stood in his way. Cuchulain prayed Aiffe also to send his son to learn feats of arms with Scath, as he himself had done. And Aiffe promised him all these things.



・この never was to も〈義務の be to〉です。否定されており,「決して……してはならない」です。was never to とも言うでしょう。

on no account は「いかなる理由においても……ない」で,文を全否定します。簡単に言えば never です。実際 must on no account refuse は must never refuse と言えますね。なお on no account が文頭に立つと倒置します(否定語文頭倒置)

 On no account are you allowed to-V「いかなる理由においても……することは許されていない」(are you が倒置している)


Seven years passed away, when, one day in summer, the men of Ulster were holding an assembly beside the seashore, at the place that is called “The Strand of the Track.” Their business over, they were amusing themselves along the beach, until they saw coming towards them over the waves a skiff of bronze, light and swift-moving, rowed by two golden oars. Within the skiff, as firmly as though he were on dry land, there stood a little lad playing at games of skill. At his feet was a heap of stones and in his hand a sling, and as the boat moved on, he would take a stone in his hand and fit it to the sling, launching it at the wild sea-birds that soared above his head in the deep, unclouded sky.


The Strand of the Track について,strand はその状況からして「浜辺」でしょう。track は色んな意味があり悩みますが,その長く伸びる浜辺が同時に移動する道になっていたと解釈し「通り道の浜」と訳しました。

Their business over は Their business was over じゃないのか,と思った方はいませんか。元はそうなんです。これは〈分詞構文の being の省略〉によって生まれたものです。

 Their business was over and they were amsing...

 〈and で繋いだ重文も分詞構文にできる〉

 〈分詞構文は接続詞を消し,動詞を -ing形にする。主語は左右の文で違う時,消さない〉

Their business being over, they were amsing...and が消されたことに注意)

 〈being は省略できる〉

Their business over, they were amsing...(完成)

・「まるで……かのように」の as if=as though を,原級比較の as ... as と組み合わせて,as ... as though ~「まるで~であるかのように……に」と言うことができます。


So cleverly did he hit them that the birds fell at his feet unhurt, and he would throw them up again, and shoot another stone and so bring them down a second time alive. When he tired of this strange feat, he played the apple-feat upon his breath, sending little golden apples into the air, by the blowing of his mouth, so high that the eye could not discern them, first one and then the other until they danced and sparkled in the sun. Each golden ball was of a different size, and he would tune his voice to different notes, the balls dancing up and down, in answer to his singing, each to its own note. And the men of the Gathering watched him with surprise as he drew near.


cleverly には「利口に」のほか「器用に,上手に」があります。なお So cleverly did he hit them that... He hit them so cleverly that... のことです。so cleverly が文頭に回ると倒置が起き,その倒置は単純な転倒(hit he)ではなく疑問文型倒置(did he hit)となります。


“Alas!” said the King, who was passing by, “there is woe to the land to which that little boy comes. For, if a child like that can do such feats, of what sort must be the men of the land from which he comes? They would grind us all to powder if they came to fight with us. Let one of you go and speak with the boy, but let him not land on our shores at all.” “Who shall go to meet him?” said they; for not one of them wished to approach the little boy, so greatly had his skill put them in dread. “Let Condere go,” said the King, “he is ready in speech and wise in argument, and he will find excuses for us, why the stranger should not land.” And Condere was content to go.

「嗚呼」と通りかかった王は言った。「あの少年が訪れる国には災いがあるぞ。というのも,あんな子供があんな離れ業をやってのけるのなら,彼がいた国の男達はどれほどの者達だろう? 仮に彼らが戦争を仕掛けてきたら,我々を粉のようにすり潰してしまうぞ。誰かを行かせて少年と話をさせよ。しかし少年を決して上陸させてはならん」 「誰に会いに行かせましょう?」彼らは言った。というのも誰1人少年に近づきたくなかったからだ。彼の業は余りにも彼らを怯えさせていた。「コンデレに行かせよ」王は言った。「彼は口達者で議論が上手く,なぜあの見知らぬ少年が上陸できないかの言い訳を考えてくれるだろう」 そしてコンデレは行くことに同意した。


the land from which he comes「そこから彼がやってくるところの国」というのは日本語にしにくいですよね。「彼がいた国」としておきました。

ready in speech は「すぐに/いつでも言葉が出てくる(準備ができている)」ということで,「口達者」と訳しました。


As the boy drew near the shore, he was about to leap upon the beach when Condere accosted him. “Stay,” said he, “thou hast come near enough, good lad, for us to hear who thou art, and from what people and country thou dost come.” “I make not myself known to any,” replied the boy; “but, if there is a man here who would fight me, ready am I to meet him, for never have I turned back from any combat.”

“Thou canst not land here,” persisted Condere, “until thou hast made thyself known to us.”

少年が岸辺に近づくと,彼は今にも浜辺に飛び乗ろうとし,その時コンデレが近づいて声をかけた。「止まって」と彼は言った。「君は十分近いよ,少年,君が誰で,どの民族,どの国の出身かを聞くにはね」 「僕は誰にも名乗らないんだ」少年は答えた。「でも,僕と戦う男がいたら,戦う用意はあるよ。僕はどんな戦闘にも背を向けないんだ」




“Then needs must I return whence I have come, though it is not my wont to turn back from a journey,” said the boy, and he made as though he would move away again. When Condere saw that, he was sorry, for the child was fair and brave and had an open face, and the high look of a prince upon him; so he changed his words quickly, and called after him, “Come back, come back, brave boy; no doubt the King himself will take you under his protection, Conor the valiant son of Ness shall be your guard. Or Amergin the poet will take you to his care, or Conall Cernach will be your protector; and he whom Conall shall protect is ever welcome to the men of Ulster. No one dare go against an unripe beardless boy when under Conall’s safeguard; for he himself would avenge the deed. Pay therefore the tribute of the Bridge, which all who come from far must pay to Ulster; then will the men of Ulster make welcome to you here.”



needs must=must needs に関しては,needs が副詞であり,同じ副詞 necessarily に置き換え,must necessarily とすれば理解しやすいでしょう。「必ずや……しなければならない」です。

・詩人アマーギンは『アルスターの猟犬(4)』で登場しています。Wikipedia によると,アマーギンはコナル・ケルナハの父で,アマーギンの妻はコンホヴァル(コノール)の妹です。コナルはコンホヴァルの甥ですね。なお気になることに,Wikipedia には「コナルは紀元前50年頃生まれ」と書いてあります。アルスター伝説には年代があったのでしょうか。他の登場人物には,生没年などは書かれていません。しかしウィキペディアには,コンホヴァルがキリストの死を聞き知るというくだりがあります。やはり「アルスター伝説」は,紀元前50年頃~紀元1年頃の物語なのですね。


“Kindly hast thou spoken,” said the lad, “nor do I doubt that thou dost mean me well; yet, not to seek protection of Conall the Victorious, nor of Amergin your poet, nor even of the king himself, did I seek out this land; nor yet to hear myself dubbed, ‘an unripe beardless boy,’ did I come hither. If therefore thou wilt don thy arms, and come to meet me in single combat at the Bridge, thou there wilt get thy answer; though the might of a hundred were in thy arms, no tribute will I pay, unless in fair fight I first be overthrown.”


dub には「騎士に叙任する」の意味もある(映画『ロック・ユー』に名シーンがある)のですが,一般に「……と呼ぶ」の意味もあります。ここは「未熟な髭なし少年」という「称号」が書かれているので,そのように「呼ぶ」の意味で dub を使っています。


But when Condere saw the spirit of the lad, he grew afraid, for though he was an orator and spoke brave words, he had no mind to face the boy in fight. “Well, well, my boy,” thought he, “I will let some better warrior than myself go and speak with thee in words of war, since words of peace do not suffice thee.”


orator は「雄弁家」という意味です。oral「口頭の」と関係していそうですね。発音・アクセントは×「オレイター」ではなく,○「ラター」です。narrator も na の方に強勢と覚えていましたが,念のため『ジーニアス英和辞典』と引くと,ra に強勢がある発音も可のようです。

my boymy man のニュアンスがよく分かるのは映画『アメリカン・ギャングスター』です。主人公フランク・ルーカス(デンゼル・ワシントン)が実に様々な場面で my man(マ・メンと聞こえる)と言うのですが,これに実に様々な訳語が与えられています。「おいおいよしてくれよ」みたいなニュアンスでも my man と言っていました。それを思い出して「ちょっと待ってよ」と訳してみました。


Then the King commanded that warriors of good renown should go down and speak to the boy in the battle-speech of arms and combat. And a goodly company of men went down to withstand the stranger. When the little lad saw that, the power of a full-grown fighting-man came upon him, and he donned his arms, and one after another as they came to the waterside, he fell upon them, and stretched them, dead or dying, on the beach.

“This must not be,” exclaimed the King, “fetch Conall Cernach here and let him make an end of this presumptuous youth.”



don は「身に着ける」。do on です。

stretched them したとは,相手が大の字になって倒れた(伸びた)ということです。

presumption は重要語で「仮定・推定」です。「前の方 (pre) を取る (sume)」ということで「予め取る」→「推定する」です。また「前の方 (pre) を取る (sume)」から,「僭越,出しゃばり」の意もあります。presumptuous は「僭越な,不遜な」です。


While they went for Conall Cernach, the little lad, instead of sitting down to rest, betook himself straight to his games again. One would have thought he had no other end in life but to perfect himself in games of skill, and that to bring a hundred foes into the agonies of death was but an interruption to his game. When Conall came above the cliff that over-looked the water’s edge, and saw the boy practising his feats, he stopped awhile and watched him; but when he saw his cleverness, and how the balls rose in the air upon his singing voice: “One only other than this boy,” he said, “can do a trick like that, even Cuchulain, Ulster’s Hound; and indeed, I know not whether he can do it quite so well.” And Conall was astonished, but he would not let the lad perceive his admiration or his fears.

彼らがコナル・ケルナハを呼びに行く間,この少年は座って休むのではなく,真っ直ぐ獲物達めがけて襲い掛かった。自分の身を護る以外に人生の目的はないように,また百人の敵を死の苦悶に落とさねば彼の芸当を止められないと人は思ったことだろう。コナルが水辺を見渡せる崖の上にやってきて,少年が技を振るっているのを見ると,彼は暫し立ち止まって彼を観察した。しかし彼の巧みさと,球が彼の声に応じて空中を昇るのを見て取ると,「この少年の他に」と彼は言った。「あんな芸当ができるのは1人しかおらん。辛うじて,クー・フーリン,アルスターの猟犬だ。実際彼でもあんなに上手くできるかどうか」 と言ってコナルは仰天したが,彼は少年に,自分の賞賛も恐怖も気づかれないようにした。

・この end を「終わり」ではなく「目的」と解釈することで,辛うじてここの文が解釈できた気がします。


“Thy play is pretty, my good boy,” said Conall, as he came down to meet him on the beach. “Dost thou find it so?” said the child; “then I play now against thee.” With that he put a stone, larger than all the others, in his sling, and shot it up into the air with the force of a great thunder-bolt and with the noise of thunder; and Conall was taken unawares and fell upon his back with the suddenness of the commotion, as though he had been dead. Before he could rise again, the boy had leapt ashore and with the strap of his shield he bound him where he lay, so that he could not move.

「美しい戦技だ,少年よ」とコナルは浜辺に降りて彼に対峙しながら言った。「そう思いましたか?」少年は言った。「ならば貴方に披露いたしましょう」 そう言って彼はとりわけ大きな石をぱちんこにはめ,雷鳴の如き力と音で空中に撃った。そしてコナルはその騒音に不意打ちを食らい,まるで死んだかのように仰向けに倒れた。起き上がる間もなく少年は岸の方へ跳び,盾の革紐で倒れた彼を縛り,動けないようにした。

・「不意打ちを食らう」は be taken unawares のほか,be taken in surprise とも言います。






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