老いの一筆

Fair is foul, and foul is fair – Macbeth Act 1 SceneⅠ・・・きれいはきたない、きたないはきれい

全く重要でないお知らせ!

明日、10月1日から翌年3月31日まで、冬眠いたします。

その後、再開するかどうかは、未定と致します。

以上、全く重要でないお知らせです。

  林  晃(小国寡民)

大型辞書は亜鈴(ダンベル)である

随筆は難しい。

中辞典の採用語彙では不十分である。

カラスの鳴かない日はあっても、研究社の新英和大辞典の世話にならない日はない。

それが楽しくて随筆を読んでいるようなものだが、先日、突然不可能になった。

左肩の裏側に激痛が走って、持ち上げることはおろか、机の上の移動さえできなくなったのである。

腰痛対策のパップを貼っても、痛みは治まらない。辞書は休めるが、寝返りができなくなって、私の体が休まらない。

十数年前の四十肩を思い出した。あれは半年以上左腕が上がらなかった。

島の医院に行って、症状を訴えたら、医師は筋肉に痛みがあるだけで、骨や神経には異常がないとの診断。

左が痛むのは、左肩に過度の負荷がかかったのではないかと話してくれた。

私はハッと気がついた。

新英和大辞典が原因ではないか。

脳細胞にはたいそうありがたい物であっても、肉体にはタダの重量物でしかない。

新英和は2.7キロの鉄アレイと同じだったのである。

それを、毎日何十回と持ち上げるのだから、筋肉痛にならないほうがおかしい。

医師に伝えたら、やはりそれが原因だろうと言われた。

更に、辞書は持ち上げずに、机の上をずらすよう勧められた。

1週間後。

左肩後ろの痛みはウソのように消えてしまった。

今日、再びうっすらと痛みが走った。

夢中になると、つい新英和を持ち上げてしまうクセが出てしまうのである。

私は新英和に頼らなければ随筆を読めない。

随筆を読めば新英和を持ち上げる。持ち上げれば痛みが再発する。

いっそのこと、随筆を諦めるか。

補:
・英随筆の難しさをくどくど言っているのは私の年齢では普通でしょう。「英随筆の難しさ」でなく「くどくど」の点においてです。
・講談社中日辞典 1.1キロ、中日大辞典 1.5キロ、旺文社新英和 1.2キロ、広辞苑 2.7キロ、近々入荷予定のランダムハウス英和大辞典は果たして何キロでしょう。

R.Lynd・・・随筆は難しい。

THE HERRING FLEETを読んだ。

漁港のことで、元漁船長(名ばかりながら)の私には分かりやすいテーマであった。

いつぞやのクリケットの選手の随筆とは同じ英語でも天と地の違いである。

しかし程度の差があるだけで、随筆は本質的に難しいと私は観念している。

ロビンソン・クルーソーやガリバー旅行記の20頁が随筆の1頁に相当するのではないか。それだけ時間を掛けても、分からないものは最後まで分からない。

主な理由は・・・

一つは語彙が小説の比でないほど豊かであること。
2千語程度の語彙力があれば、小説はこなせるが、随筆にはまったく不十分である。

もう一つは、ほとんどの随筆のシチュエーションが読み手の自分の経験した範囲外であること。
イギリスの草花の随筆があるとする。花の名前とその姿を詳しく述べられても、名前さえ知らない私はイメージが沸いてこない。一々百科事典を引くのは面倒極まりない。やれやれと安堵したら、花の次に虫の名前が出てくる。

数世紀前の社会や宗教が語られている随筆も、私の苦労である。
作家は自分の身の回りの物事を取り上げ、読み手が同時代人だから、人名・地名の列挙に憚りはない。

100年後の極東の読者を意識すれば、競走馬の名前や財務大臣の名前は避けてくれるだろうが、そういうことはしていない。

この随筆は、頭と尾が本論である。長々と書かれている漁民と漁船の様子は、付け足しのようなものである。

魚と正反対とは、これもリンド先生のユーモアか。

補:
・冒頭、なぜChristian menとなっているのか、私には分かりません。
・ニシン漁でなくても、港は最後の段落に落ち着きます。
・小説に出てくるようなラテン語やフランス語は、大抵は新英和がカバーしてくれます。

~~~~~~

THE HERRING FLEET

The last spectacle of which Christian men are likely to grow tired is
a harbour. Centuries hence there may be jumping-off places for the
stars, and our children's children's and so forth children may regard
a ship as a creeping thing scarcely more adventurous than a worm.
Meanwhile, every harbour gives us a sense of being in touch, if not
with the ends of the universe, with the ends of the earth. This, more
than the entrance to a wood or the source of a river or the top of a
bald hill, is the beginning of infinity. Even the dirtiest coal-boat
that lies beached in the harbour, a mere hulk of utilities that are
taken away by dirty men in dirty carts, will in a day or two lift
itself from the mud on a full tide and float away like a spirit into
the sunset or curtsy to the image of the North Star. Mystery lies over
the sea. Every ship is bound for Thule. That, perhaps, is why men are
content day after day to stand on the pier-head and to gaze at the
water and the ships and sailors running up and down the decks and
pulling the ropes of sails.

We may have no reason for pretending to ourselves that the
fishing-boats are ships of dreams setting out on infinite voyages.
But, none the less, even in a fishing village there is always a
congregation of watching men and women on the pier. Every day the
crowd collects to see the harbour awake into life with the bustle of
men about to set out among the nations of the fishes. By day the boats
lie side by side in the harbour--stand side by side, rather, like
horses in a stable. There are two rows of them, making a camp of masts
on the shallow water. In other parts of the harbour white gigs are
bottomed on the sand in companies of two and three. As the tide slowly
rises, the masts which have been lying over on one side in a sleepy
stillness begin to stir, then to sway, until with each new impulse of
the sea all the boats are dancing, and soon the whole harbour is awake
and merry as if every mast were a steeple with a peal of bells. It is
not long till the fishermen arrive. One meets them in every cobbled
lane. How magnificent the noise made by a man in sea-boots on the
stones! Surely, he strikes sparks from the road. He thumps the ground
as with a hammer. The earth rings. One has seen those boots in the
morning hanging outside the door of his house while he slept. They
have been oiled, and left there to dry. They have kept the shape of
his limb and the crook of his knee in an uncanny way. They look as
though he had taken off his legs before going into the house and hung
them on the wall. But the fisherman is a hero not only in his boots.
His sea-coat is no less magnificent. This may be of oil-skin yellow or
of maroon or of stained white or of blue, with a blue jersey showing
under it, and, perhaps, a red woollen muffler or a scarf with green
spots on a red ground round his throat. He has not learned to be timid
of colour. Even out of the mouths of his boots you may see the ends of
red knitted leggings protruding. His yellow or black sou'-wester
roofing the back of his neck, he comes down to harbour, as splendid as
a figure at a fair. And always, when he arrives, he is smoking a pipe.
As one watches him, one wonders if anybody except a fisherman, as he
looks out over the harbour, knows how to smoke. He has made tobacco
part of himself, like breathing.

If the tide is already full the fishermen are taken off in small
rowing-boats, most of them standing, and the place is busy with a
criss-cross of travelling crews till the fishing-boats are all manned.
If the water is not yet deep, however, most of the men walk to their
boats, lumbering through the waves, and occasionally jumping like a
wading girl as a larger wave threatens the tops of their boots. Many
of them carry their supper in a basket or a handkerchief. The first of
the boats begins to move out of its stall. It is tugged into the clear
water, and the fishermen put out long oars and row it laboriously to
the mouth of the harbour and the wind. It is followed by a motor-boat,
and another, and another. There are forty putting up their sails like
one. The harbour moves. One has a sense as of things liberated. It is
as though a flock of birds were being loosed into the air--as though
pigeon after pigeon were being set free out of a basket for home.
Lug-sail after lugsail, brown as the underside of a mushroom, hurries
out among the waves. A green little tub of a steamboat follows with
insolent smoke. The motor-boats hasten out like scenting dogs. Every
sort of craft--motor-boat, gig, lugger and steamboat--makes for sea,
higgledy-piggledy in a long line, an irregular procession of black and
blue and green and white and brown. Here, as in the men's clothes, the
paint-pots have been spilled.

There is nothing more sociable than a fishing-fleet. The boats
overtake each other, like horses in a race. They gallop in rivalry.
But for the most part they keep together, and move like a travelling
town over the sea. As likely as not they will have to come back out of
the storm into the shelter of the bay, and they will ride there till
nightfall, when every boat becomes a lamp and every sail a shadow. In
the darkness they hang like a constellation on the oily water. They
become a company of dancing stars. Every now and then a boat moves off
on a quest of its own. It is as though the firmament were shaken. One
hears the kick-kick-kick of the motor, and a star has become a
will-o'-the-wisp. These lights can no more keep still than a
playground of children. They always make a pattern on the water, but
they never make the same pattern. Sometimes they lengthen themselves
against the sandy shore on the far side of the bay into a golden
river. Sometimes they huddle together into a little procession of
monks carrying tapers....

One goes down to the harbour after breakfast the next morning to see
what has been the result of the night's fishing. One does not really
need to go down. One can see it afar off. There is movement as at the
building of a city. On every boat men are busy emptying the nets,
disentangling the fish that have been caught by the gills, tumbling
them in a liquid mass into the bottom of the boat. One can hardly see
the fish separately. They flow into one another. They are a pool of
quick-silver. One is amazed, as the disciples must have been amazed at
the miraculous draught. Everything is covered with their scales. The
fishermen are spotted as if with confetti. Their hands, their brown
coats, their boots are a mass of white-and-blue spots. The labourers
with the gurries--great blue boxes that are carried like Sedan-chairs
between two pairs of handles--come up alongside, and the fish are
ladled into the gurries from tin pans. As each gurry is filled the men
hasten off with it to where the auctioneer is standing. With the help
of a small notebook and a lead pencil he auctions it before an
outsider can wink, and the gurry is taken a few yards further, where
women are pouring herrings into barrels. They, too, are covered with
fish-scales from head to foot. They are dabbled like a painter's
palette. So great is the haul that every cart in the country-side has
come down to lend a hand. The fish are poured into the carts over the
sides of the boats like water. Old fishermen stand aside and look on
with a sense of having wasted their youth. They recall the time when
they went fishing in the North Sea and had to be content to sell their
catch at a shilling and sixpence a cran--a cran being equal to four
gurries, or about a thousand herrings. Who is there now who would sell
even a hundred herrings for one and sixpence? Who is there who would
sell a hundred herrings for ten and sixpence? Yet one gig alone this
morning has brought in fourteen thousand herrings. No wonder that
there is an atmosphere of excitement in the harbour. No wonder that
the carts almost run over you as they make journey after journey
between boat and barrel. No wonder that three different sorts of
sea-gulls--the herring gull, the lesser black-headed gull, and the
black-backed gull--have gathered about us in screaming multitudes and
fill the air like a snowstorm. Every child in the town seems to be
making for home with its finger in a fish's mouth, or in two fishes'
mouths, or in three fishes' mouths. Artists have hurried down to the
harbour, and have set up their easels on every spot that is not
already occupied by a fish barrel or an auctioneer or a man with a
knife in his teeth preparing to gut a dogfish. The town has lost its
head. It has become Midas for the day. Every time it opens its mouth a
herring comes out. A doom of herrings has come upon us. The smell
rises to heaven. It is as though we were breathing fish-scales. Even
the pretty blue overalls of the children have become spotted.
Everywhere barrels and boxes have been piled high. We are hoisting
them on to carts--farm carts, grocers' carts, coal carts, any sort of
carts. We must get rid of the stuff at all costs. Anything to get it
up the hill to the railway station. The very horses are frenzied. They
stick their toes into the hill and groan. The drivers, excited with
cupidity as they think of all the journeys they will be able to make
before evening, bully them and beat them with the end of the reins.
Their eyes are excited, their gestures impatient. They fill the town
with clamour and smell. It is an occasion on which, as the vulgar say,
they wouldn't call the Queen their aunt....

This, I fancy, is where all the romance of the sea began--in the story
of a greedy man and a fresh herring. The ship was a symbol of man's
questing stomach long before it was a symbol of his questing soul. He
was a hungry man, not a poet, when he built the first harbour.
Luckily, the harbour made a poet of him. Sails gave him wings. He
learned to traffic for wonders. He became a traveller. He told tales.
He discovered the illusion of horizons. Perhaps, however, it is less
the sailor than the ship that attracts our imagination. The ship seems
to convey to us more than anything else a sense at once of perfect
freedom and perfect adventure.

That is why we are content to stand on the harbour stones all day and
watch anything with sails. We ourselves want to live in some such
freedom and adventure as this. We are feeding our appetite for liberty
as we gaze hungrily after the ships making their way out of harbour
into the sea.



ジーニアス英和 机上版・・・マーカー

辞書の楽しみは引くだけではない。引いた単語に記しを付けることも楽しみの一つである。

またまた昔の話しになるが、蛍光ペンがまだ日本になかった頃は、赤鉛筆でアンダーラインを付けたものである。

ペラペラのコンサイス英和が次第に赤くなっていくのは気分がよかった。最後の方になると、ラインのないページをめくって、わざわざ付けた。

30年位前だったと思う。ドイツのスタビロ・ボスを知って、夢中になってしまった。

赤鉛筆は御役目御免となった。

その後、似たような蛍光ペンが国内メーカーから出てきたが、私には不向きである。

今でも、スタビロである。

透き通るような紙は、スタビロは透き通る。

これが使える辞書が欲しいが、ネット通販とヤフオクだけが頼りの私には、その辞書が果たしてスタビロに絶えるものか確証が持てない。

はっきりしていることは、中型辞書はすべてダメであることだけだ。

数ヶ月、安い机上版を待っていた。出会ったのが、この机上版ジーニアス英和である。

1994年の改訂版。

細胞医学や電算機関係の新語がなくても全然困らない。改訂のたびに新語が古語を駆逐するのなら、却って古い版の方が私にはありがたい。

月初め届いたこの辞書は、いわゆる使用感というものがないきれいな状態だった。

机上版は活字が大きくかつ紙も厚い。

これならスタビロが使える。

開いて見たら、すでに前の所有者が幾つかの単語にアンダーラインを引いていた。

10個ほどだろうか。

うっすらと色が分かる程度で、裏側に染みていない。

さあ、5色セットのスタビロ・ボスで総天然色にするぞ。

補:
・金800円也。その宅配便料金といい勝負。定価8千円。今は、9割引きに驚かなくなりました。
・随筆には使えません。語彙が少な過ぎます。高校英語のテキストに向いています。
・第4版が中国語電子辞書に入っています。青空書斎で使っています。
・A,B、C・・・は前の所有者がつけたもの。手間が省けました。

20140925ジーニアス

20140925ジーニアスa

菜根譚・・・9月にスタート

菜根譚は40代になって知った。

大波、小波、宮仕えの中で、小人たちの呆れるような醜態を見せつけられた時期だったからタイミングがよかった。

その中の一文を、北京駐在中にハンコにした。

「宁受人之欺,毋逆人之诈」

繁体字を注文した記憶はない。特にそういう注文はつけていないと思う。

出来上がりの繁体字が気に入り、長いこと賀状にペタペタ押した。

先日、物置であれこれ箱をひっくり返していたら、偶然目に入った。

ちょうど菜根譚をやっていたので、記念に残すことにした。

補:
・高さ4センチ足らず。
・これもネットの無料コピー。著作権のなくなった本が続々ネットにてくるとは。

~~~~~

菜根譚

129.戒疏于虑,警伤于察
害人之心不可有,防人之心不可无,此戒疏于虑也;宁受人之欺,毋逆人之诈,此警伤于察也,二语并存精明而浑厚矣。
【大意】
“害人之心不可有,防人之心不可无。”这句话是用来劝诫在与人交往时警觉性不够的人的。“宁可忍受他人的欺骗,也不愿在事先拆穿人家的骗局。”这句话是用来劝诫那些警觉性过高的人的。假如一个人在和别人相处时能牢记上面的两句话,那才算得上警觉性高而又不失纯朴宽厚的为人之道。

20140927菜根譚a
20140928菜根譚印

20140927菜根譚b

ハーン・・・戸板でなく背中だった

半世紀の間に、記憶の連続が破壊されていた。

当時の若者は、病が勉学の妨げになっていたことがよく分かる。

今の高校生のリーダーに採用されているかどうか知らないが、読み捨てるには惜しいので、メモにした。

~~~~~

From The Diary Of An English Teacher

November 2, 1891.

Shida will never come to school again. He sleeps under the shadow of the cedars, in the old cemetery of Tokoji. Yokogi, at the memorial service, read a beautiful address (saibun) to the soul of his dead comrade.

But Yokogi himself is down. And I am very much afraid for him. He is suffering from some affection of the brain, brought on, the doctor says, by studying a great deal too hard. Even if he gets well, he will always have to be careful. Some of us hope much; for the boy is vigorously built and so young. Strong Sakane burst a blood-vessel last month and is now well. So we trust that Yokogi may rally. Adzukizawa daily brings news of his friend.

But the rally never comes. Some mysterious spring in the mechanism of the young life has been broken. The mind lives only in brief intervals between long hours of unconsciousness. Parents watch, and friends, for these living moments to whisper caressing things, or to ask: 'Is there anything thou dost wish?' And one night the answer comes:

'Yes: I want to go to the school; I want to see the school.'

Then they wonder if the fine brain has not wholly given way, while they make answer:

'It is midnight past, and there is no moon. And the night is cold.'

'No; I can see by the stars--I want to see the school again.'

They make kindliest protests in vain: the dying boy only repeats, with the plaintive persistence of a last--'I want to see the school again; I want to see it now.' So there is a murmured consultation in the neighbouring room; and tansu-drawers are unlocked, warm garments prepared. Then Fusaichi, the strong servant, enters with lantern lighted, and cries out in his kind rough voice:

'Master Tomi will go to the school upon my back: 'tis but a little way; he shall see the school again.

Carefully they wrap up the lad in wadded robes; then he puts his arms about Fusaichi's shoulders like a child; and the strong servant bears him lightly through the wintry street; and the father hurries beside Fusaichi, bearing the lantern. And it is not far to the school, over the little bridge.

The huge dark grey building looks almost black in the night; but Yokogi can see. He looks at the windows of his own classroom; at the roofed side-door where each morning for four happy years he used to exchange his getas for soundless sandals of straw; at the lodge of the slumbering Kodzukai; at the silhouette of the bell hanging black in its little turret against the stars. Then he murmurs:

'I can remember all now. I had forgotten--so sick I was. I remember everything again: Oh, Fusaichi, you are very good. I am so glad to have seen the school again.'

And they hasten back through the long void streets.

蘇るプライベート・ビーチ

今週は、我がプライベート・ビーチの復活が見られた嬉しさが一杯の週だった。

3.11の地盤沈下で、砂浜がすっかり沈没して、以来石ころばかりのタダの浜となっていた。

それが、ここ数日で、みるみるうちに砂の範囲が広がってきた。

干潮時には、更に砂地が広がる。

もうしばらく待てば、昔の姿に戻るような気がする。

モモとメリーと私が一緒になってよく走ったのは、いつの頃だったか。

モモはいない。私は走れない。

いつの日にか、モモと私がそうしたように、新しい犬と人がこの浜を駆けることだろう。

20140920a石戸

読書更新・・・ラフカディオ・ハーンの参入

これも高校英語。

結核か何かで死期が迫った高校生が、戸板に載せてもらって、通っていた学校を見にいった話しがあった。

怠け心が起きた時に、よく思い出していたから、今でも忘れていない。

しかし、残念なことに、随筆の題名は思い出せない。

ネットの無料文庫にハーンがあったので、それらしきものをダウンロードしている。

今、読んでいるのは、

From The Diary Of An English Teacher

である。

イギリス随筆で疲れた頭の休養にもってこいである。

100年前とは言え、舞台は日本。

しかも良き時代ときているから、喉ごしがいい。

今月はハーンをおやつとすることにした。

辞書の楽しみは、もちろん、歯ごたえ十分過ぎるR.Lyndの随筆集による。

THE PLEASURES OF IGNORANCE 

の26編。

8月10日に始まって、半分を越した。

ユーモアの醍醐味を70%味わっている。

100%味わえないのは、英文読解力もさることながら、固有名詞がふんだんにでているからである。

読書の秋。

夏の海も惜しいが、秋の読書も等しく惜しい。

空しく過ごせない。

中国語・・・漢字は楽しくも疲れるゲーム

英語は派生語以外で連想ゲームはできない。

中国語は、それができる。

偏と旁。

この旁の方から発音を推量するのがゲームとなる。

例えば、










京のjingは分かる。惊も吃惊の惊だから分かる。凉liangは凉快の凉。初年度学年でも分かる。

「琼瑶」がでてきた。私は読めない。

辞書を引く前に琼の発音を予想する。これが私の言うゲームである。

最近、このゲームを止めることにした。

私の乏しい語彙では、時間ばかり食って、文章を鑑賞する余裕がないからだ。

漢字に辿り着くまでの時間は無駄な時間。結局、嫌いで通してきた電子辞書の厄介になることになった。

手書き入力なら、1秒で発音が分かる。

発音が分かれば、後は紙辞書に直行。

素直に電子辞書の恩恵に浴している。

補:
Sharp PW-AC30。電子機器は中古で十分主義。いくら待っても中古が出ません。やむなく新品を買いました。高かった。

読書更新

8月、ロビンソン・クルーソーとガリバー旅行記の両方を終えた。

原文と漢訳のシーソーゲームを楽しんだ。

今月に入って、真っ先に手がけたのが、「H.ライクロフトの私記、秋」である。

復習するようなもの、一気に読んでしまった。

かつての共感がどうしても蘇ってこない。

暗いのだ。

何かというと貧乏、それも食うや食わずの貧乏が繰り返し語られている。

英国の四季の美しさもいい、読書三昧もいい。しかし、そのインターバルの度に貧乏を登場させるのは、やり過ぎである。

私は島の四季を楽しみ、読書も楽しむ。しかしそれだけでは満足できない。

音楽も聴きたいし、尺八・ギターも手に持ちたい。夏は全身で海を楽しみたい。

ライクロフトと私の共通点は、可能な限り人と接したくないこと。

そういう(心を打つ)数十箇所にマーカーを入れて、「秋」を終わりにした。

最後の免許更新

高齢者講習会で0.6と言われてから、免許更新ができるかどうか、ずっと不安でいた。

最近は、左目の左下に黒い斑点が生じて、眼球の動きに従って、その斑点が移動する。

白内障の現象らしい。

車は僻地の必需品。もし更新が不可だったら、無免許でも走らせるつもりでいた。

幸いに、「右、上、下、左」、全部正解。

0.7はボヤケていたが、欠けている所がうっすらとしていたので、パスしたのだ。

入学試験、入社試験、退役後の船舶免許試験、銃砲等許可試験、これらのどれよりも嬉しかった。

「ハイ、いいですよ」

免許センターの担当職員に嬉しさのあまり握手を求めた。

更新が5年から3年となった。

3年後には、仮に心臓が動いていたとしても、眼がだめになっているだろう。

今回の免許証が切れた時の覚悟はできている。それまで、精一杯僻地暮らしをエンジョイしよう。

海に浮かぶ・・・間もなく閉店

9月に入ってからは、晴れの日には必ず白浜海岸で泳いだ。

もう9月も半ば、水上バイクが来ないと思って行ったらまた来ていた。

ヤマハはいい製品を作っているいい会社だが、この水上バイクだけはいただけない。

先ず、うるさい。

海の上だからマフラーは要らないと思っているのではない。あのうるささがバカな若者に受けるということを見越して製造しているのである。

次は、危険。

人がいればいるほど、バカな若者は水上バイクを浜辺に寄ってくる。見てもらいたい一心からだ。都会で大型四駆に乗るバカといい勝負だ。

浜辺でポチャポチャやっていても怖い。まして、私のように沖に向かって40ストロークする者にとっては、恐怖である。

私はどんなにいい日でも、8月の土・日は避けていた。

まさか、今日も来たとは。

彼らの名誉のために、一言。

見せびらかしではない、本当に楽しんでいるのだ。なぜなら、見物人がゼロであることを知っての上で、島まできたのだから。

ただし、迷惑千万であることには、変わりない。

あんなもの、製造中止にしたらどうか。

ブツブツ言うのは、海から上がってからのこと。

適度な冷たさの海に浮かぶ幸福感は、いささかも減じなかった。

今年はあと何回浮かぶことができるだろうか。あるいは、今日が最後かもしれない。

補:
R.Lyndにいい随筆がありました。
バカな若者もこれを読めば、己の脳細胞の質に赤面することでしょう。全文です。

THE DAREDEVIL BARBER

To roll over Niagara Falls in a barrel is an odd way of courting
death, but it seems that death must be courted somehow. Danger is more
attractive to many men than drink. They prefer gambling with their
lives to gambling with their money. They have the gambler's faith in
their lucky star. They are preoccupied with the vision of victory to
the exclusion of all timid thoughts. They have a dramatic sense that
sets them anticipatorily on a stage, bowing to the applause of the
multitude. It is the applause, I fancy, rather than the peril itself,
that entices them. The average boy who performs a deed of derring-do
performs it before his admiring fellows. Even in so small a thing as
ringing a bell and running away he likes to have spectators. Few boys
ring bells out of mischief when they are alone. Poor Mr Charles
Stephens, the "Daredevil Barber" of Bristol, who lost his life at
Niagara Falls in his six-foot barrel the other Sunday, made sure that
there would be plenty of witnesses of his adventure. Not only had he a
party of sightseers in motors along the road following the cask on its
perilous voyage but he had a cinematograph photographer ready to
immortalise the affair on a film. Two other persons, it is said, had
already accomplished a similar feat. One of them, a woman, "was just
about gone," according to a witness, "when we got her out of the
barrel." The other "was a used-up man for several weeks." This
however, did not deter the daredevil barber. Had he not already on one
occasion put his head into a lion's mouth? Had he not boxed in a
lion's den? Had he not stood up to men with rifles who shot lumps of
sugar from his head? It may seem an extraordinary way to behave in a
world in which there are so many reasonable opportunities for heroism,
but men are extraordinary creatures. There is no adventure so wild
that they will not embark on it. There are men who, if they took it
into their heads that there was one chance in a hundred of reaching
the moon by being precipitated into space in some kind of torpedo,
would volunteer for the adventure. They do these mad things alike for
trivial and noble ends. They love a stunt even (or especially) at the
risk of their lives. Half the aeroplane accidents are due to the fact
that many men prefer risk to safety. To do some things that other
people cannot do seems to them the only way of justifying their
existence. It is an initiation into aristocracy. Every man is the
rival of all other men, and he is not satisfied till he has beaten
them. If he is a great cricketer, or a great poet, or a Cabinet
Minister, or wins the Derby, his ambition as a rule is fulfilled and
he does not feel the need of jumping down Etna or hanging by his toes
from the Eiffel Tower in order to create a sensation. But if a man is
no use at either poetry or football, he must do something. Blondin
became a world-famous figure simply by walking along a tight-rope
along which neither Shakespeare nor Shelley could have walked. It may
be that they would have had no desire to walk along it, but in any
case Blondin was able to feel that he could beat the greatest of men
in at least one game. In his own business he stood above the Apostle
Paul and Michelangelo and Napoleon. He was a king and, even if you did
not envy him his trade, you had to envy him his throne. He was a man
you would have liked to meet at dinner, not for the sake of his
conversation, but for the sake of his uniqueness. One remembers how
one stood with heart in mouth as he set out with his balancing-pole in
his hand on his journey across the rope blindfolded and pretending to
stumble every ten yards. A single false step and he would have fallen
from the height of a tower to certain death, for there was no net to
catch him. Strange that one should have cared whether he fell or not!
But ninety-nine out of a hundred did care. We watched him as
breathlessly as though he were carrying the future of the world in his
hands. He knew that he was interesting us, engrossing us, and that was
his reward. It was a reward, no doubt, that could be measured in gold.
But it is more than greed of gold that sets men courting death in such
ways. The joy of being unique is at least as great as the joy of being
rich. And the surest way of becoming unique is to trail one's coat in
the presence of Death and challenge him to tread on the tail of it.

Not that even the most daring seeker after uniqueness fails to take
numerous precautions for his safety. No man is mad enough to set out
along a tight-rope in hobnailed boots with out previous practice. No
woman who has not learned to swim has ever tried to swim the English
Channel from Dover to Cape Grisnez. Even the daredevil barber of
Bristol insured himself, so far as he could, against the perils of his
adventure. He had an oxygen tank in the barrel which would have kept
him alive for a time if the barrel had not been swept under the Falls,
and he had friends patrolling the waters to recover the barrel. Like
the schoolboy who takes risks, he did not feel that he was going to
get caught. "I have the greatest confidence," he said, "that I shall
come through all right." His previous escapes must have given him the
assurance that he was not born to die of danger. Not only had he
served through the war, but he had once plucked a woman from the
railway line when the express was so near that it tore her skirt. He
must have felt that one man at least could live in perfect safety in
the kingdom of danger. He was probably less nervous as he crept into
his barrel than a schoolgirl would be in getting into the boat on the
chute. He had we may be sure, his thrill, but was it the thrill of
being in peril or the thrill of being conspicuous? Some men, of
course, there are who love danger for danger's sake, and who would run
risks in an empty world. Men of this kind make good spies, and, in
their youth, good burglars. Theirs is the desire of the moth for the
star--or at any rate of the moth that feels it is different from every
other moth and can successfully dare the candle flame. To play with
fire and not to be consumed is a universal pleasure. The child passes
its finger through the gas-flame and glories in the sensation. It is
like playing a game of touch with danger. The triumph of escape gives
one a delicious moment. That is why many men invent dangers for
themselves. It is simply for the pleasure of escaping them. There are
boys who enjoy wrenching knockers off doors, not because knockers are
an interesting kind of bric-?-brac, but because there is just a chance
of being caught in the act by the police. I once knew a youth who had
a drawer filled with knockers. He felt as proud of them as a young
Indian would have been of an equal number of the scalps of his
enemies. They proved that he was a brave. Every man would like to be a
brave, though every man dare not. I confess I never had much ambition
to wrench knockers, but that may have been because I was perfectly
content with the world as it is without making it any more dangerous.
I often think that people who put their heads into lions' mouths do
not realise what a dangerous place the planet is without any
artificial stimulus.

Did the daredevil barber of Bristol ever realise, I wonder, the danger
he was in every time he raised a fork with a piece of roast beef to
his lips? Either the beef might have choked him or it might have given
him ptomaine poisoning, or, if it failed of either of these, there are
at least half-a-dozen fatal diseases which vegetarians say are caused
by eating it. Even if we take for granted that there is little danger
in plain beef, are there not curries and sausages and pork-pies on
which a lover of risks may exercise his daring in the restaurants? I
know people who are afraid to eat fish on a Monday lest it may have
gone bad over the week-end. Others live in terror of mackerel and
herrings. I myself have always admired the gallantry of Londoners who
go into a chance restaurant and order lobster or curried prawns. Then
there are all the tinned foods, a spoil for heroes. I have known a
V.C. who was frightened of tinned salmon. And a man's food is not more
beset with perils than his drink. Even if he confines himself to
water, he is in danger at every sip. If the water is too hard, it may
deposit destruction in his arteries. If it is too soft, it may give
his child rickets. Or it may be populous with germs and give him
typhoid fever. If, on the other hand, he is dissatisfied with the
drink of the beasts and takes to beverages the use of which
distinguishes men from oxen, what a nightmare procession of potential
ills lies in wait for him! You may read an account of them in any
temperance tract. The very enumeration of them would drive a weak man
to water, if water itself were not suspect. But, alas, even to breathe
is to put oneself in danger. There are more germs in a bus than there
are stars in the firmament, and one cannot walk along the Strand
without all sorts of bacilli shooting their little arrows at one at
every breath. If men realised these things--truly realised them--they
would see that there is no need to go to the North Pole in order to
live dangerously. A walk from Charing Cross to St Paul's would then be
seen to be as rich in hairbreadth escapes as a voyage to an island of
head-hunters. The man who lives the most thrilling life I know is a
man who rarely stirs beyond his garden. Every time he is pricked by a
thorn or gets a little earth in his finger-nail, he rushes into the
house to bathe his hands in lysol and, for days afterwards, he keeps
feeling his jaw to see whether it is stiffening with the first signs
of tetanus. He lives in a condition of recurrent alarm. He gets more
frights in a week than an ordinary traveller could get in a year. I
have often advised him to give up gardening, seeing that he finds it
so exciting. I have come to the conclusion, however, that he enjoys
those half-hourly rushes to the lysol-bottle--the desperate game of
hide-and-seek with lockjaw. He needs no barrel to roll him over
Niagara in order to gaze into "the bright eyes of danger." He finds
all the danger he wants at the root of the meanest brussels sprout
that blows.



カジノ解禁・・・昔反対、今賛成

昔は反対していた。

テラ銭で国庫を潤すやり方は日本の歴史になかった。日本人の感覚にあわない。

公序良俗のイメージがカジノにはない。

暗黒社会は映画だから面白い、実の社会では家庭を破壊する。

等々あるが、いずれも思いつきである。

反対した本当の理由は、自分がのめり込み破滅するのが分かっていたからである。

今は、破滅するもしないもない。仙台に立派なカジノができても、そこまで行く体力とそこで使う資金がない。

自分が溺れる可能性がゼロになった。

それで、賛成に転向したのである。

財政が豊かになり、消費税率が元に戻るようになってくれれば、たいへん結構なことである。

日本にカジノがないばかりに、日本人が海外に出張して大金をその国の国庫に収める。

勿体ない話しだ。

厚労省は、日本人はギャンブルに弱いという。日本人だけが賭け好きではない、どこの国民も皆賭け好きである。「日本人と犬は入るべからず」としませんかと体裁のいいこと言って「良い子」面をみせているが、日本人大歓迎でなぜいけない。国籍差別である。

私は、次のような提言をする。

一つ。
年収1000万円以上の日本人であること。

賭け狂いの悲劇は貧乏家庭で生じる。製紙会社の御曹司なら何百億円スッテも、スキャンダルで済むが、青天井のカジノに狂った貧乏家庭では、借金から首吊り自殺まで片道キップである。残された家族が可哀想だ。

一つ。
服装は男子、燕尾服、女子、イブニング着用のこと。

いくら年収が高くても、海外からやってくる紳士淑女(見かけ上である)が大勢いる中、ステテコやモンペでは様にならない。

一つ。
カジノでは英語以外に話してはならないこと。

賭け事に夢中になると、つい地が出るもの。賭けが進化する前に進化が止まった日本語に、高品質の「賭け用語」は存在しない。

大儲けすれば、「やった~」
大損すれば、「チキショウ」か「クソッタレ」

これでは、鹿鳴館の紳士淑女以下である。

この三つの条件で日本人を、Welcome!(いらっしゃいませは使わない)

パチンコは貧乏人の賭け。競輪・競馬は金持ち、貧乏人の混在だ。

高額所得層だけが品よく賭け事を楽しめる場所をこれからどしどし作ることだ。

カネになりさえすれば、武器輸出、原発再開、細胞科学、宇宙軍備、人災・天災、何でもアリの安部首相のこと、ブレずに邁進することだろう。

私も応援する。

補:
R.リンド先生は賭け事が好きだったようです。読みかけの随筆の一部です。他に、The Betting Manがあります。

THE INTELLECTUAL SIDE OF HORSE-RACING
     (The Pleasures of Ignorance)

I have a friend who on one occasion went into retreat in a Catholic monastery. Two well-known bookmakers had also gone into temporary retreat for the good of their souls. My friend told me that even during the religious services the bookmakers used to bet as to which of the monks would stand up first at the conclusion of a prayer, and that in the solemn hush of the worship he would suddenly hear a hoarse whisper: "Two to one on Brownie"—a brother with hair of that colour—and the answer: "I take you, Joe." I have even heard of men betting as to which of two raindrops on a window-pane will reach the bottom first. It is possible to bet on cats, rats or flies. Calvinists do not bet, because they believe that everything that happens is a certainty. The extreme betting man is no Calvinist, however. He believes that most things are accidents, and the rest catastrophes. Hence his philosophy is almost always that of Epicurus. To him every day is a new day, at the end of which it is his aim to be able to say, like Horace, Vixi, or, as the text ought perhaps to read, Vici.
(前後、略)


重要でないお知らせ

戦争月間が終わって、今月からはしばらくの間、日曜日に限ってアップすることにいたしました。

以上、重要でないお知らせです。

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