ドラマで英語を学ぼう (38) The Tell-Tale Heart (2)

Posted by: huepod





9月と10月の第1週は「ドラマで英語を学ぼう」をお届けしています。取り上げているのはアメリカの小説家・詩人、Edgar Allan Poe(1809-1849)の古典的名作「告げ口心臓」("The Tell-Tale Heart", 1843)です。今回は、その後半をお届けします。

老人を殺してしまった主人公。その後、心の中で鳴り響き続ける音が彼の心をかき乱します。いったいその音とは…?「告げ口心臓」という奇妙なタイトルの意味もあわせて考えながら、緊迫の結末をお楽しみください!
(中級〜上級)
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Script(本文の語句の解説をこのページの最後に付けています)

THE TELL-TALE HEART (Part 2)
by Edgar Allan Poe
1843

And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? --now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! --do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me --the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once --once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eve would trouble me no more.

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.

I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye --not even his --could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out --no stain of any kind --no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all --ha! ha!

When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o'clock --still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, --for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

I smiled, --for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search --search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.

No doubt I now grew very pale; --but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound --much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"


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PART 2 VOCABULARY

to mistake 〜 for ...
= to incorrectly think 〜 is ...

but
= only

over-acuteness
= being too sharp, too aware

there came to my ears
= I heard (Note: old or poetic usage)

dull
= quiet and not easily noticed, さえない

to be enveloped in
= to be surrounded by

fury
= anger

to stimulate (someone) into
= 〜を刺激して...する気にさせる (Note: After "into" is usually an –ing verb)

yet
= still

to refrain
= to wait, to hesitate, 控える

to keep still
= to continue to be quiet

steadily
= firmly, constantly, continuously, calmly

tried… maintain
= (Note: In standard modern grammar, it would be "I tried, how steadily I could, to maintain…)

how steadily I could
= as steadily as I could

a tattoo
= a beat (Note: This is rare or old usage. In modern English, "a tattoo" is usually 入れ墨. A good example of the old usage is "The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo," a well-known summer festival in Scotland.)

every instant
= with each passing moment

extreme
= great

Do you mark me well?
= Do you understand what I'm saying? (Note: Rare or old usage)

at the dead hour of the night
= in the middle of the night (Note: Rare or old usage)

amid
= in the middle of (a group of something)

dreadful
= terrible, frightening

to burst
= to explode

anxiety
= worry

to seize
= to grab, 掴む、捕まる

The old man's hour had come
= It was time to kill him

yell
= shout

to leap
= to jump

to shriek
= to yell because of fear or surprise

to drag
= to pull with force

gaily
= happily

a deed
= an action, a doing

so far
= until that point

to beat on
= to continue to beat

muffled
= 音を殺した

to vex
= to greatly trouble

at length
= after a long time

to cease
= to stop

a corpse
= a dead body

to be stone dead
= to be very dead (Example: to be stone drunk = to be very drunk)

a pulsation
= a beating

mad
= crazy

to take precautions
= to prepare things carefully so that there are no errors


concealment
= hiding

to wane
= to decrease in intensity, to approach an end

hastily
= quickly (with a feeling of panic)

a plank
= a piece of board 厚板

flooring
= the surface of the floor

a chamber
= a bedroom (Note: old or formal usage)

to deposit
= to put

scantlings
= thinner pieces of wood in a house 小角材(しょうかくざい)

cleverly
= intelligently

cunningly
= in a smart way while trying to trick someone

to detect
= to notice

a stain
= しみ、よごれ

whatever
= at all, in the least, 少しの〜も

wary
= cautious and careful, afraid of danger

to make an end to
= to finish (especially something that you don't like)

labours
= jobs, work, tasks (Note: Noun usage is rare. Verb is much more common.)

midnight
= 12:00 at night

a bell sounded
= a bell rang (Note: poetic usage)

there came
= there was (Note: poetic usage)

with a light heart
= happily

for
= because

there entered three men
= three men entered (Note: poetic usage)

suavity
= cultured politeness

an officer of the police
= a police officer, a policeman or a policewoman

suspicion of foul play
= thinking a crime has occurred

to arouse
= to come to mind

to lodge information
= to file a report (Note: formal or old usage)

to be deputed
= to be sent for a duty (Note: old usage)

to search the premises
= to look in and around the building

to bade
= to say or to greet (Note: old or formal usage)

all over
= all around, throughout

at length
= in the end

secure
= safe and undamaged

undisturbed
= not touched by anyone

enthusiasm
= 熱意

confidence
= 自信

fatigues
= tired conditions (Note: usually singular)

audacity
= boldness, 大胆さ

triumph
= victory

the very spot
= the exact place

to repose
= to lie, to rest (Note: old or formal usage)

manner
= behavior, actions

to convince
=(人に)納得させる

singularly
= extraordinarily, unusually

at ease
= relaxed and not worried

cheerily
= happily

ere long
= before long, soon (Note: poetic or old usage)

pale
= lacking healthy face color because of stress or illness

to fancy
= to imagine

distinct
= clear

to get rid of
= 免れる

fluently
= smoothly and quickly

a heightened voice
= a more emotional voice

to gasp for breath
= 苦しそうにあえぐ

vehemently
= intensely, strongly emotionally

to arise
= to stand up (Note: the past tense is "arose")

trifles
= small things

gesticulations
= gestures, hand movements

to pace to and from
= to walk back and forth, to walk here and there

with heavy strides
= with heavy or loud steps

as if excited to fury by
= seemingly made angry by (Note: poetic)

to foam
= to become uncontrollably angry (especially used in the expression "to foam at the mouth")

to rave
= to yell, to speak angrily

to swear
= to say bad and impolite words (Note: the past tense is "swore")

to swing
= 振る (Note: the past tense is "swung")

to grate
= to rub noisily

Was it possible they heard not?
= Did they really not hear it? (Note: poetic)

Almighty God!
= 全能の神よ!

to suspect
= うすうす気づく

to make a mockery of
= to make fun of, 〜をあざ笑う

agony
= pain and bad feelings, もだえ苦しみ

tolerable
= bearable, 我慢のできる

derision
= being made of fun, あざけり

to bear
= to tolerate, to stand, to put up with

hypocritical
= 偽善の

Hark!
= Listen! (Note: poetic or old)

a villain
= a bad person

to dissemble
= to give a false or misleading appearance (の)ふりをする

the deed
= what was done

a plank
= a board (here meaning: the boards of the floor)

hideous
= terrible, frightening

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