原作は著作権フリーのThe Project Gutenberg、日本語訳は青空文庫、戸川明三訳


Before sundown the priest and his acolyte stripped Hoichi: then, with their writing-brushes, they traced upon his breast and back, head and face and neck, limbs and hands and feet,-- even upon the soles of his feet, and upon all parts of his body,-- the text of the holy sutra called Hannya-Shin-Kyo. When this had been done, the priest instructed Hoichi, saying:--
"To-night, as soon as I go away, you must seat yourself on the verandah, and wait. You will be called. But, whatever may happen, do not answer, and do not move. Say nothing and sit still -- as if meditating. If you stir, or make any noise, you will be torn asunder. Do not get frightened; and do not think of calling for help -- because no help could save you. If you do exactly as I tell you, the danger will pass, and you will have nothing more to fear."

・trace=【他動】 (線・文字・図などを)引く
・sutra=【名】 《ヒンドゥー教・仏教》経典
・Hannya-Shin-Kyo=【般若心経】 大乗仏教の経典。一巻。空(くう)の思想など般若経の精要を簡潔に説く。サンスクリット本二種、漢訳本七種があり、日本では玄奘訳のものが流布。摩訶般若波羅蜜多心経。般若波羅蜜多心経。心経。
・ instruct=【他動】 ~に(…について)指示する、~に教える
・as if meditating=as if you are meditating
・meditate=【自動】 めい想する、黙想する
・you will be torn asunder=バラバラに引き裂かれてしまうだろう
・get frightened=おじけづく
・call for help=助けを呼ぶ、助けを求める
・do exactly as I tell you=全く私の言ったとおりにする



After dark the priest and the acolyte went away; and Hoichi seated himself on the verandah, according to the instructions given him. He laid his biwa on the planking beside him, and, assuming the attitude of attitude of meditation, remained quite still,-- taking care not to cough, or to breathe audibly. For hours he stayed thus.

Then, from the roadway, he heard the steps coming. They passed the gate, crossed the garden, approached the verandah, stopped -- directly in front of him.

"Hoichi!" the deep voice called. But the blind man held his breath, and sat motionless.
"Hoichi!" grimly called the voice a second time. Then a third time --savagely:--
Hoichi remained as still as a stone,-- and the voice grumbled:--
"No answer! -- that won't do!... Must see where the fellow is."...

・according to the instructions given him=与えられた指示通りに
・planking=【名】 厚板材、板張り
・meditation=【名】 めい想、黙想
・still=【形】 静止した、じっとした、動かない
・taking care not to cough, or to breathe audibly:分詞構文、notはto breatheにもかかる。意味は「咳をしないように、息づかいが聞こえないように気をつけて」
・step=【名】 足の運び、歩み
・deep voice=太い声、低い声
・held his breath→hold his breath=息を殺す[止める・ひそめる・詰める]
・motionless=【形】 動かない、じっとしている
・sit motionless:動詞+補語(形容詞)の文型<例>He sat straight.(彼は姿勢を正して座っていた)
・grimly=【副】 厳格に
・a second time=もう一度
・as still as a stone=まるで石になったかのようにじっとして
・that won't do=だめだ



There was a noise of heavy feet mounting upon the verandah. The feet approached deliberately,-- halted beside him. Then, for long minutes,--during which Hoichi felt his whole body shake to the beating of his heart,-- there was dead silence.

At last the gruff voice muttered close to him:--

"Here is the biwa; but of the biwa-player I see -- only two ears!... So that explains why he did not answer: he had no mouth to answer with --there is nothing left of him but his ears... Now to my lord those ears I will take -- in proof that the august commands have been obeyed, so far as was possible"...

At that instant Hoichi felt his ears gripped by fingers of iron, and torn off! Great as the pain was, he gave no cry. The heavy footfalls receded along the verandah,-- descended into the garden,-- passed out to the roadway,-- ceased. From either side of his head, the blind man felt a thick warm trickling; but he dared not lift his hands...

・during which=during the long minutes
・to the beating of his heart=心臓の鼓動にあわせて
・dead silence=全くの静寂
・gruff=【形】 しわがれ声の、どら声の
・close to=~の近くで
・of the biwa-player I see -- only two ears=I see only two ears of the biwa-player
・that= I see only two ears of the biwa-player
・that explains why~=それで~というわけだ(~の理由がわかった)
・mouth to answer with:mouthは前置詞withの目的語
・there is nothing left of=~の面影[痕跡]は全く残っていない
・but his ears=except his ears
・to my lord those ears I will take=I will take those ears to my lord
・in proof that=~の証拠として、~を立証するために
・so far as was possible=できる限りで
・torn off=tear off(引きちぎる)の過去分詞形
・Great as the pain was=Though the pain was great
・pass out=出て行く
・dare not=~しようと思わない

 その瞬時に芳一は鉄のような指で両耳を掴まれ、引きちぎられたのを感じた! 痛さは非常であったが、それでも声はあげなかった。重もくるしい足踏みは縁側を通って退いて行き――庭に下り――道路の方へ通って行き――消えてしまった。芳一は頭の両側から濃い温いものの滴って来るのを感じた。が、あえて両手を上げる事もしなかった……

Before sunrise the priest came back. He hastened at once to the verandah in the rear, stepped and slipped upon something clammy, and uttered a cry of horror; -- for he say, by the light of his lantern, that the clamminess was blood. But he perceived Hoichi sitting there, in the attitude of meditation -- with the blood still oozing from his wounds.

"My poor Hoichi!" cried the startled priest,-- "what is this?... You have
been hurt?

At the sound of his friend's voice, the blind man felt safe. He burst out
sobbing, and tearfully told his adventure of the night.

"Poor, poor Hoichi!" the priest exclaimed,-- "all my fault! -- my very
grievous fault!... Everywhere upon your body the holy texts had been
written -- except upon your ears! I trusted my acolyte to do that part of the work; and it was very, very wrong of me not to have made sure that he had done it!... Well, the matter cannot now be helped; -- we can only try to heal your hurts as soon as possible... Cheer up, friend! -- the danger is now well over. You will never again be troubled by those visitors."

With the aid of a good doctor, Hoichi soon recovered from his injuries.
The story of his strange adventure spread far and wide, and soon made him famous. Many noble persons went to Akamagaseki to hear him recite; and large presents of money were given to him,-- so that he became a wealthy man... But from the time of his adventure, he was known only by the appellation of Mimi-nashi-Hoichi: "Hoichi-the-Earless."

・in the rear=裏手の
・for he say:sayの時制がおかしいと思うが、青空文庫の戸川明三氏訳は、「それは提灯の光りで、そのねばねばしたものの血であった事を見たからである」になっている。"say"は"saw"の誤りなのかなあ?
・perceive=【他動】 ~に気付く
・feel safe=安心できる、安らかな気持ちになる
・burst out=burst out(【句動】 突然~しだす、急に~し始める)の過去形
・all my fault=すべて私のせい、全部自分が悪い
・the matter cannot now be helped=今となってはどうしようもない
・far and wide=遠くまで広がって、至る所に、広範囲に

 住職の声を聞いて盲人は安心した。芳一は急に泣き出した。そして、涙ながらにその夜の事件を物語った。『可哀そうに、可哀そうに芳一!』と住職は叫んだ――『みな私の手落ちだ!――酷い私の手落ちだ!……お前の身体中くまなく経文を書いたに――耳だけが残っていた! そこへ経文を書く事は納所に任したのだ。ところで納所が相違なくそれを書いたか、それを確かめておかなかったのは、じゅうじゅう私が悪るかった!……いや、どうもそれはもう致し方のない事だ――出来るだけ早く、その傷を治(なお)すより仕方がない……芳一、まア喜べ!――危険は今まったく済んだ。もう二度とあんな来客に煩わされる事はない』