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

Don Quixote ― 火器厳禁

ドン・キホーテは周りからはmad扱いされている。

21世紀の私であっても、彼の行動を見れば、とても普通の人物にはおもえない。

その彼が、ある夕食の集まりの時に、火器は卑怯者が持つもの、火器が世に現れてから、有為の兵士が簡単に命を落とすようになった、語った。

だいぶ前、アラブの新聞が、アメリカは卑怯だ、アラブ人の鉄砲が届かないような高い所から爆撃する、と漫画にした。

日本にやってきたB-29も、女子供は言うに及ばす、大の男が竹槍を突いても届かない空から、焼夷弾をバラ撒いた。全機、無事帰還。

卑怯である。

だからと言って、日本軍がそうでないかと問われれば、中国大陸で、アジア各地で同じように卑怯であった。

争いが殺し合いになるのは、人間の業。

しかし、火器を使うのは、業とは思わない。

戦争は素手でやるべし、百歩譲っても、手に持てる武器でやるべし。弓矢はいけない。

今も変わらない私の持論である。

付:
1.
英訳は易しい。特に大衆向けのこのような物語は易しい単語と表現が使われている。西遊記を中断して、今夢中になって読んでいる。私の消夏法である。
2.
私もドン・キホーテ並みにmadだって。sane is mad、mad is sane。正気は狂気、狂気は正気。


DON QUIXOTE CHAPTER XXXVIII.

WHICH TREATS OF THE CURIOUS DISCOURSE DON QUIXOTE DELIVERED ON ARMS AND
LETTERS


Continuing his discourse Don Quixote said: "As we began in the student's
case with poverty and its accompaniments, let us see now if the soldier
is richer, and we shall find that in poverty itself there is no one
poorer; for he is dependent on his miserable pay, which comes late or
never, or else on what he can plunder, seriously imperilling his life and
conscience; and sometimes his nakedness will be so great that a slashed
doublet serves him for uniform and shirt, and in the depth of winter he
has to defend himself against the inclemency of the weather in the open
field with nothing better than the breath of his mouth, which I need not
say, coming from an empty place, must come out cold, contrary to the laws
of nature. To be sure he looks forward to the approach of night to make
up for all these discomforts on the bed that awaits him, which, unless by
some fault of his, never sins by being over narrow, for he can easily
measure out on the ground as he likes, and roll himself about in it to
his heart's content without any fear of the sheets slipping away from
him. Then, after all this, suppose the day and hour for taking his degree
in his calling to have come; suppose the day of battle to have arrived,
when they invest him with the doctor's cap made of lint, to mend some
bullet-hole, perhaps, that has gone through his temples, or left him with
a crippled arm or leg. Or if this does not happen, and merciful Heaven
watches over him and keeps him safe and sound, it may be he will be in
the same poverty he was in before, and he must go through more
engagements and more battles, and come victorious out of all before he
betters himself; but miracles of that sort are seldom seen. For tell me,
sirs, if you have ever reflected upon it, by how much do those who have
gained by war fall short of the number of those who have perished in it?
No doubt you will reply that there can be no comparison, that the dead
cannot be numbered, while the living who have been rewarded may be summed
up with three figures. All which is the reverse in the case of men of
letters; for by skirts, to say nothing of sleeves, they all find means of
support; so that though the soldier has more to endure, his reward is
much less. But against all this it may be urged that it is easier to
reward two thousand soldiers, for the former may be remunerated by giving
them places, which must perforce be conferred upon men of their calling,
while the latter can only be recompensed out of the very property of the
master they serve; but this impossibility only strengthens my argument.

"Putting this, however, aside, for it is a puzzling question for which it
is difficult to find a solution, let us return to the superiority of arms
over letters, a matter still undecided, so many are the arguments put
forward on each side; for besides those I have mentioned, letters say
that without them arms cannot maintain themselves, for war, too, has its
laws and is governed by them, and laws belong to the domain of letters
and men of letters. To this arms make answer that without them laws
cannot be maintained, for by arms states are defended, kingdoms
preserved, cities protected, roads made safe, seas cleared of pirates;
and, in short, if it were not for them, states, kingdoms, monarchies,
cities, ways by sea and land would be exposed to the violence and
confusion which war brings with it, so long as it lasts and is free to
make use of its privileges and powers. And then it is plain that whatever
costs most is valued and deserves to be valued most. To attain to
eminence in letters costs a man time, watching, hunger, nakedness,
headaches, indigestions, and other things of the sort, some of which I
have already referred to. But for a man to come in the ordinary course of
things to be a good soldier costs him all the student suffers, and in an
incomparably higher degree, for at every step he runs the risk of losing
his life. For what dread of want or poverty that can reach or harass the
student can compare with what the soldier feels, who finds himself
beleaguered in some stronghold mounting guard in some ravelin or
cavalier, knows that the enemy is pushing a mine towards the post where
he is stationed, and cannot under any circumstances retire or fly from
the imminent danger that threatens him? All he can do is to inform his
captain of what is going on so that he may try to remedy it by a
counter-mine, and then stand his ground in fear and expectation of the
moment when he will fly up to the clouds without wings and descend into
the deep against his will. And if this seems a trifling risk, let us see
whether it is equalled or surpassed by the encounter of two galleys stem
to stem, in the midst of the open sea, locked and entangled one with the
other, when the soldier has no more standing room than two feet of the
plank of the spur; and yet, though he sees before him threatening him as
many ministers of death as there are cannon of the foe pointed at him,
not a lance length from his body, and sees too that with the first
heedless step he will go down to visit the profundities of Neptune's
bosom, still with dauntless heart, urged on by honour that nerves him, he
makes himself a target for all that musketry, and struggles to cross that
narrow path to the enemy's ship. And what is still more marvellous, no
sooner has one gone down into the depths he will never rise from till the
end of the world, than another takes his place; and if he too falls into
the sea that waits for him like an enemy, another and another will
succeed him without a moment's pause between their deaths: courage and
daring the greatest that all the chances of war can show. Happy the blest
ages that knew not the dread fury of those devilish engines of artillery,
whose inventor I am persuaded is in hell receiving the reward of his
diabolical invention, by which he made it easy for a base and cowardly
arm to take the life of a gallant gentleman; and that, when he knows not
how or whence, in the height of the ardour and enthusiasm that fire and
animate brave hearts, there should come some random bullet, discharged
perhaps by one who fled in terror at the flash when he fired off his
accursed machine, which in an instant puts an end to the projects and
cuts off the life of one who deserved to live for ages to come.
And thus
when I reflect on this, I am almost tempted to say that in my heart I
repent of having adopted this profession of knight-errant in so
detestable an age as we live in now; for though no peril can make me
fear, still it gives me some uneasiness to think that powder and lead may
rob me of the opportunity of making myself famous and renowned throughout
the known earth by the might of my arm and the edge of my sword. But
Heaven's will be done; if I succeed in my attempt I shall be all the more
honoured, as I have faced greater dangers than the knights-errant of yore
exposed themselves to."

All this lengthy discourse Don Quixote delivered while the others supped,
forgetting to raise a morsel to his lips, though Sancho more than once
told him to eat his supper, as he would have time enough afterwards to
say all he wanted. It excited fresh pity in those who had heard him to
see a man of apparently sound sense, and with rational views on every
subject he discussed, so hopelessly wanting in all, when his wretched
unlucky chivalry was in question. The curate told him he was quite right
in all he had said in favour of arms, and that he himself, though a man
of letters and a graduate, was of the same opinion.

They finished their supper, the cloth was removed, and while the hostess,
her daughter, and Maritornes were getting Don Quixote of La Mancha's
garret ready, in which it was arranged that the women were to be
quartered by themselves for the night, Don Fernando begged the captive to
tell them the story of his life, for it could not fail to be strange and
interesting, to judge by the hints he had let fall on his arrival in
company with Zoraida. To this the captive replied that he would very
willingly yield to his request, only he feared his tale would not give
them as much pleasure as he wished; nevertheless, not to be wanting in
compliance, he would tell it. The curate and the others thanked him and
added their entreaties, and he finding himself so pressed said there was
no occasion ask, where a command had such weight, and added, "If your
worships will give me your attention you will hear a true story which,
perhaps, fictitious ones constructed with ingenious and studied art
cannot come up to." These words made them settle themselves in their
places and preserve a deep silence, and he seeing them waiting on his
words in mute expectation, began thus in a pleasant quiet voice.

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