Dixon: Chomei and Wordsworth: A Literary Parallel 


 ディクソン先生は、Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japanの1893年の号にA Description of My Hutの他に

長明とワーズワス という論文も載せています。




長明とワーズワス: 文学的パラレル

説明 パラレルは、平行という意味のほかに、対比するもの、匹敵するものという意味があります
    日本語で、平行線をたどる と言う使い方があるので、いつまでも交わらないという語感が勝ちますが、
    英語で、draw a parallel と言うと、平行線を引いて比較する という意味になります、

By J. M. Dixon, M. A., F, R. S. E.

[Read, Feb. 10, 1892] .

There are few countries upon which nature has lavished so much beauty as Japan, and her inhabitants have not shown themselves heedless of their privileges.

In the domain of art the beauties of nature have been reproduced by Japanese artists in a way that has delighted the world, and effected a revolution in Western ideas of what constitutes beauty in ornament.

In the domain of literature the Japanese have shown less power and originality.

If the inhabitants of Europe have been fettered by conventionality in expression, this has been still more the case in Japan.

It may be said with truth that except in a small department of composition, having an affinity with our sonnet, they have furnished nothing new or fresh in the realm of literature.

註 'The beautiful rhymeless short ode of Japanese poetry, for the knowledge of which we are indebted to Mr. Chamberlain.' - Theodore Watts on the Sonnet in Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th ed.

説明 Basil Hall Chamberlain (バジル・ホール・チェンバレン) (1850-1935) は、1873-1911の間、日本に滞在し、Things Japanese (日本事物誌)など、沢山の著作を残しました。

But still we should expect to find a certain amount of truthful utterance respecting the aspects of nature, such as we find in English poetry since the time of Cowper.

説明 William Cowper (1731-1800) は、イギリスのロマン主義の先駆的な詩人です。

Before Cowper's time classical and Hebraic influences had been too strong in Europe for the growth of what we might call in a restricted sense "natural religion".

A recluse in European countries, till Rousseau took up his abode on St. Peter's isle in the Lake of Brienne, was always a religious devotee, a man of introspective habits who retired from the world to make up his account with his Maker.

This habit of theological introspection, it is true, is absent in our Elizabethan poets, but then classical traditions were all powerful in their interpretation of nature.

Shakespeare's world is not simple outside nature as he saw it, but a world semi-Italian in its ideas and vocabulary.

The prettiest song which he wrote is the sevenade in Cymbeline; and it opens with a classical conceit: --
彼の書いた最も美しい歌は、Cymbeline の中の sevenade で、古典的な奇想で始まります:

     Hark ! hark the lark at heaven's gate sings,

     And Phoebus 'gins arise

     His steeds to water at those springs

     On chaliced flowers that lies ;

     And winking Mary-buds begin

     To ope their wondering eyes :

     With everything that pretty is, my lady sweet, arise ;

     Arise, arise!

It was Wordsworth's mission in English poetry to remove this foreign element of nature interpretation, and with a mind wholly receptive to study nature at first-hand and record the impressions which his mind received.

He wished as much as possible to be a child again, and with this view he ran a tilt against theological dogmas like that of Original Sin which seemed to him to cast a slur upon nature.

He thus ignored in his treatment of the world the problems of sin and atonement,

and brought himself in touch with all such as, in any land and conforming to any religion, sought to enjoy the works of the great Creator.

When, therefore, we find a Japanese literary character of the 12th century retiring to the hills and seeking to find communion with the mountains, the streams, with animate and inanimate life, we at once think of contrasting him with our high-priest of nature.

This is why I have linked together Chomei and the bard of Rydal Mount.

Both were recluses; both were devout admirers of nature, and receptive in their attitude towards her.
二人とも世捨て人です; 二人とも自然の敬虔な称賛者であり、自然に向かう態度が受容的です。

Chomei, the son ot a priest in the province of Yamashiro, was born in the middle of the 12th century.

Disappointed in his hopes of worldly promotion, he sought retirement in the sequestered village of Ohara.

Afterwards he became for a time the guest of Sanetomo at Kamakura,

but again withdraw from the world, passing the remainder of his life in the province of Etchu.

He is highly esteemed as a poet, and many of his pieces are popular.

The passage offered in translation gives a very fair example of his philosophy and style.

Though a good Buddhist, he does not seem to have been in any way a devotee, but rather to have mildly conformed with the requirements of that religion, whose tenets were no doubt congenial to him.

In one passage of the extract occurs a reference to sin, the appearance of snow suggesting to him sins which accumulate and then vanish away.

To Christians the reference at once recalls the passage in Isaiah in which the promise is made that "sins which are as scarlet shall be made white as snow."

But there seems little beyond a surface connection between the two statements.

According to the Buddhist creed, sins are washed away by devotion, by prayer, and by good deeds.

Chomei confesses that he was lax in attending to the rites of his religion;

certainly Wordsworth was the reverse of punctilious in these matters.

Both of them seem to have found their chief delight in studying the varying aspects of nature.

But Wordsworth's attitude towards society was infinitely more sympathetic and kindly,

while in the background of his solitary walks and musings among the hills were an affectionate household and the realization of all that is most delightful in home life.

No doubt he was out of touch with town life, and disliked the din and rush of the city,

but he was not indifferent to the sufferings and struggles of humanity and would have rejected the callous indifference of Chomei as animalistic.

Many of Chomei's moral musings, indeed, remind us strongly of the sentimentalism of a mockantiqne ballad like Edwin and Angelina :--
実際、長明の精神的な物思いの多くは、Edwin and Angelina のようなmockantiqueなバラードのセンチメンタリズムを強く思い出させます:

説明 Edwin and Angelina は、ゴールドスミスのバラード詩

     Alas ! the joys that fortune brings        Are trifling and decay,

     And those who prize the paltry things    More trifling still than they :

     And what is friendship but a name,        A charm that lulls to sleep -

     A shade that follows wealth or fame,      But leaves the wretch to weep.

  The sentimentalism in each case is shallow and unsatisfactory, the misanthropy is a temporary phase of mind, the result of pique.

"Life," says Chomei, "is empty as the cast-off shell of a cicada."

Here he speaks not as a philosopher but as a disappointed man of the world.

His blood does not grow richer and warmer by his secluded life among the hills ;

it seems to grow thinner and colder, and his whole being looks forward to the happiness of a mere passivity.

It is not the gladness that accompanied the development of Wordsworth's life, spent also avowedly in conformity with nature, and with a desire to prove as receptive as possible to its influences.

On his sixty-third birthday Wordsworth writes in a different strain from Chomei, very at nearly the same age:

     Teach me with quick-eared spirit to rejoice

     In admonitions of Thy softest voice !

     Whatever the paths these mortal feet may trace

     Breathe through my soul the blessing of Thy grace.

     Glad, through a perfect love, a faith sincere

     Drawn from the wisdom that begins with fear,

     Glad to expand.

This last phrase seems to sum up the whole divergence.

Wordsworth's life among the hills was a life of yearly expansion :

Chomei's was confessedly spent in a contraction that was finally to end in absorption in the Infinite.

Self was to the latter a "floating cloud," a "drop of dew," soon to melt in the infinite and be heard of no more.

The ideal of his solitary life was trauquillity, the absence of worry, offence, and anxiety.

He refrains from all attempts to proselytize, or preach to others.

"These remarks of mine," says he, commentiug upon the satisfaction he finds in living so simple a life, "these remarks are not intended as a sermon addressed to the well-to-do."

Here comes in the national indifferentism which so often strikes the Western mind as strange, and which, though pleasing at first because of its inoffensiveness, is in the end irritating from its complete lack of moral glow and strength and warmth.

We are reminded of the old question of Cain ; "Am I my brother's keeper ?"

説明 カイン(英語読みはケイン)とアベルは、旧約聖書創世記のアダムとイブの息子達で、カインは農耕を、アベルは羊の放牧をします。




It is the aesthetic as distinguished from the religious frame of mind.

Now, Wordsworth is not an indifferentist, but has always a didactic aim more or less in view.

At the close of the Prelude addresing Coleridge, he writes: --

     Prophets of ntiture, we to them (the nations) will speak

     A lasting inspiration, sanctified

     By reason, blest by faith : what we have loved,

     Others will love and we will teach them how ;

     Instruct them how the mind of man becomes

     A thousand times more beautiful than the Earth

     On which he dwells.

  No indifiereutism is to be found in an utterance like this.

Again, in Chomei's attitude to flowers and trees, we find an affinity to the ways of the modern aesthete, pleased with the hue or curve of a bough or blossom.

"On my way home from the moor of Amazu," he remarks, "I am frequently rewarded by finding a choice bough of cherry or maple or a cluster of fruit, which I offer to Buddha or reserve for my own use."

Was Cain's offering of a similar gift to Jehovah rejected purely because of the mental attitude of the giver, or because of the nature of the gift ?

Is there any underlying moral in the Bible story?  聖書の物語には、伏在する教訓があるのでしょうか?

Can culled flowers and fruits be made to speak the language of moral truth ?

Or is their mission in this respect limited to the department of aestheticism ?

It is certain that Wordsworth had a repugnance to the plucking of flowers and twigs, as if it were a kind of sacrilege :--

     Then up I rose

     And dragged to earth both branch and bough, with crash

     And merciless ravage : and the shady nook

     Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower.

     Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up

     Their quiet being.

The remembrance struck him afterwards with pain, and he proceeds to advise his daughter to leave such scenes in peace :--

     Then, dearest Maiden, move along these shades

     In gentleness of heart ; with gentle hand

     Touch - for there is a spirit in the woods.

The beauty of a creature is, so to speak, its own, and is independent of locality, while the beauty of the vegetable world belongs to the creative spirit of the Universe.

Here comes in the Pantheism of Wordsworth, a Pantheism strictly conservative of the individual as a free agent, and dealing directly with the world of things.

It was a protest against an irreverent attitude towards mountains, groves, and brooks, all of which silently interpret the mind of their Creator, if we will but read the lesson :--

     One impulse from a vernal wood

     Will teach us more of man,

     Of moral evil and of good,

     Thau all the sages can.

  It will be found that, when Wordsworth uses the objects of the vegetable or inanimate creation for a poetical purpose, they are never dissevered from their surroundings.

It is the "primrose by tlie river's brim"; "the meanest flower that blows"

     A host of goldeu daffodils,

     Beside the lake, beueath the trees,

     Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

     Or, when he talks of the modest Celandine --

     Thou dost show thy pleasant face

     On the moor, and in the wood,

     In the lane -- there's not a place.

     Howsoever mean it be

     But 'tis good enough for thee.

  The west, both to Chomei and to Wordsworth, was a quarter from which came comfort in meditation.

The valley in which the Japanese sage lived opened out, he remarks, to the west, the home of the happy, whence comfort came to him in his meditations.

To Chomei it was a mild influence, significant of complete rest hereafter, when his soul would be lost in the infinite ;

while Wordsworth refers to it as a goal, whither he is travelling and where possibly will be granted a larger and a fuller life :--

     Stepping westward seemed to be         西の方へと歩むことは

     A kind of heavenly destiny ;            天のさだめと思われた

     I liked the greeting ; 'twas a sound        私はこの挨拶が好きだ、

     Of something without place or bound ;      それは、場所も境もない何かの音だった

     And seemed to give me spiritual right       そして、私に霊的な権利を与えてくれたようだ

     To travel through that region bright.        その地方の明るい中を旅する権利を

     The voice was soft, and she who spake       その声は、柔らかく、話した彼女は、

     Was walking by her native lake :            生まれ故郷の湖畔を歩いていた

     The salutation had to me                この挨拶は、私にとって、

     The very sound of courtesy :              礼儀そのものの響きだった:

     Its power was felt ; and while my eye         その力を感じた; 私の目が、

     Was fixed upon the glowing Sky,             輝く空を見つめている間に、

     The echo of the voice enwrought            その声のエコーがして、

     A human sweetness with the thought          人の甘美さに

     Of travelling through the world that lay        世界中を旅する思いが加わった、

     Before me in my endless way.              私の前に無限に広がるこの世界中を。

  It will be observed in the extract that Chomei refers to the cuckoo as having a mournful note.

In this conception of the bird he follows the Chinese tradition, for in Chinese poetry it is always spoken of as having a sad and mournful cry.

There is a transmigration story in Chinese literature, which makes the Emperor Bo of Shoku turn into a cuckoo after death, whence its Chinese name of Bo-tei.

説明 ホトトギスの異称は、望帝ではなく、望帝の本名、杜宇だと思います。

According to another tradition it tears its mouth in crying and blood issues forth, whence a second name given to the bird, Tei-ketsu or "Wailing-at-blood".

説明 ホトトギスの表記としては、不如帰、杜宇、杜鵑、蜀魂、蜀鳥、杜魄、蜀魄 があるようですが、てい血 は、よくわかりません。

Japanese writers have not clung to this foreign conception of the cuckoo, but, on the contrary, are loud in singing its praises as a herald of joy.

In one of his poems Chomei himself speaks of it as a pleasant visitant, much in the manner of Michael Bruce (or John Logan ?) -- "I was struck dumb with pleasure for a few minutes after hearing the cuckoo's note, sounding for the first time in the year."

  The bird is also credited with cherishing deep love for its mate, and the fact that it does not hatch its young is frequently commented upon.

In Japanese poetry we find it usually associated with the moon, the Tachibana or orange shrub, with rain, with clouds, and with the Uyonohana (Dendzia Scrahra).
 日本の歌で、ホトトギスは、月、橘 (オレンジの低木)、雨、雲、うよのはな に関係付けられてていることがわかります。

説明 うよのはな がどんな花かわかりませんが、卯の花の間違いかもしれません。

Several of the valleys in the neighbourhood of Kyoto, where the bird is rare, were noted for its song, and thither parties used to go when spring-time returned to enjoy the luxury of hearing its notes.
京都近郊の谷のいくつかでは、ホトトギスは珍しいのですが、その声は有名で、thither parties は、春がもどってくると、ホトトギスの声を聴く贅沢を楽しむために出かけたものです。

  In Mr. Chamberlain's delightful volume, Japanese Classical Poetry, two lyrics culled from the Manyefushifu (Manyoshu) will be found, which address the cuckoo in the most friendly terms :--

     Though through the livelong day           長い一日の間

     Soundeth thy roundelay.                お前の繰り返し歌が聞こえる

     Never its accents may                 その調子は決して

     Pall on my ear :                      私の耳を飽きさせない

     Come, take a bribe of me !               おいで、私の捧げものをうけとりなさい

     Ne'er to far regions flee :                決して遠くに逃げないで

     Dwell on mine orange tree,               我が家の橘の木に住みなさい

     Cuckoo so dear ! (p. 96.)                愛しいホトトギスよ!

  The above is anonymous.     これは、詠み人知らずです。

説明 万葉集9巻1755 の高橋虫麻呂の歌に

  鴬の 卵の中に 霍公鳥(ほととぎす) 独り生れて     鶯の巣の中にホトトギスが独り生まれて

  己が父に 似ては鳴かず 己が母に 似ては鳴かず    自分の父に似た声では鳴かず 自分の母に似た声では鳴かず

  卯の花の 咲きたる野辺ゆ 飛び翔り            卯の花が咲いている野辺から 飛び翻って

  来鳴き響もし 橘の 花を居散らし              来ては声を響かせ 立花の木の花を散らし

  ひねもすに 鳴けど聞きよし                 一日中鳴くけれど良い声だ

  賄はせむ 遠くな行きそ                    捧げ物をしよう 遠くへ行くな

  我が宿の 花橘に 住みわたれ鳥              我が家の橘の木にずっと住み着いておくれ


A few pages further on occurs the second lyric, witten by Hironoha, and bearing the date, A. D. 750 :

     Near to the valley stands my humble cot,

     The village nestles 'neath the cooling shade

     Of lofty timber ; but the silent glade

     Not yet re-echoes with the cuckoo's note.

     The morning hour e'er finds me, sweetest bird 1

     Before my gate ; and, when the day doth pale,

     I cast a wistful glance adown the vale ;

     But e'en one note, alas ! not yet is heard, (p. 113.)

Still again, among the Short Stanzas, (p. 119) in a piece attributed to Hitomaro, the cuckoo is associated with the wisteria as representative of early summer :--

     In blossoms the wisteria-tree to-day

     Breaks forth, that sweep the wavelets of my lake :

     When will the mountain cuckoo come and make

     The garden vocal with his first sweet lay ?

  This is far from the Chinese mythological and classical-Japanese notion, which makes the bird a herald of death and dissolution, whose note summons a soul to begin the ascent of the mountain of death.

The same struggle is noticeable in English poetry between an unpleasing foreign and a pleasant indigenous conception of the cuckoo.

Readers of Horace will remember the passage in the first Book of his Satires (VII, 31), where, in a street encounter, a passer by calls a rustic, cuclum that is, "lazy lubber,'' by way of contempt:--

註 Compare the modern Scotch gowk = 'stupid fellow.'  現代スコットランド語のgowk (馬鹿なやつ) と比べなさい。

     Magna compellaus voce cuculum.

In Drayton we discover this South-European conception, which had come to him through Italian literature :--

     "No nation names the cuckoo but in scorn,"

It was regarded as a type of selfish uess aud of unwarranted intrusion into domestic privacy and harmony.

The coarse allusions to the cuckoo as an adulterous bird, so common in Elizabethan poetry, die out in the XVIIIth century.

The term "cuckold," used contemptuously for weakling, lingered on, aud is perhaps last to be met with in Burns's drinking song, Willie Brewed a Peck o' Maut.

A recent editor of a book of college songs has been censured for reproducing the term :--

     Wha first shall rise to gang awa.

     A cuckold, coward loon is he!

Milton in his first sonnet names it 'rude bird of hate' -- he calls upon the nightingale to sing :--

     Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate

     Foretell my hapless doom in some grove nigh.

In another sonnet he classes it contemptuously with asses, apes, and dogs, animals which have a harsh and unpleasiug cry:--

     When straight a barbarous noise environs me

     Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes, and dogs.

John Bunyan likewise treats the cuckoo very disparagingly, blaming it because it is neither the first to welcome our spring, nor bring us its first tokens.

He calls it a "yawling-bawling cuckoo":--

     'And since, while here, she only makes a noise

     So pleasing unto none as girls and boys.

     The Formalist we may compare her to.

     For he doth suck our eggs and sing "Cuckoo"!

It must be remembered that the earlier English conception of the bird, like our later and present attitude towards it, is altogether difterent, being thoroughly friendly.

The first English song set to musical notes addresses the cuckoo as a cheerful bird, the messenger of spring:

     Summer is y-comen in,

     Loud sing, cuckoo :

     Growetb seed

     And bloometh mead

     And spring 'th the wood now :

     Sing, cuckoo.

     * * *

     Merry sing, cuckoo !

     Cuckoo, cuckoo !

     Well sing thou, cuckoo !

     Nor cease thou never now.

The poets of the XVIIIth century reverted to this earlier attitude : ?

     Sweet bird, thy bower is over green.

     Thy sky is ever clear,

     Thou hast no sorrow in thy song.

     No winter in thy year !

  This freshest and brightest of XVIIIth century lyrics, originally published by Logan in 1770, is now generally ascribed to his friend Michael Bruce.

This lyric is a landmark in English poetry, the bugle-note of a new era. Its influence on Wordsworth was undoubted.

That a poet should dare to adress seriously so commonplace a thing as a cuckoo, Scottice "gowk," otherwise "fool", was a new thing in polite literature.

Here we establish a community with the nature lovers of old Japan, who made excursions to the green valleys of Yamato that they might listen to the cuckoo's voice.

It is a noticeable fact that Miss Wordworth, in her life of her relative, brings in his attitude towards the cuckoo as illustrative of his treatment of nature.

While Tennyson, speaking of the bird, uses the language of mere sensation : ?--

     The cuckoo told his name to all the hills,

     Wordsworth speaks in the language of ideas,

     cuckoo, shall I call thee bird.

     Or but a wandering voice ?

  Our present attitude toward the bird may be summed up in the lines of a recent contributor to the London Spectator ;

and it will be seen how closely this attitude approaches that of the Japanese, as unaffected by Chinesa influences :--

     Forbid the solace of home to know,

     Or dutiful ministry's crowning grace, ?

     Some twist primeval has hardened so

     In the long career of a vagrant race ;

     Though he build no timely nest,

     Or semblance of a nest.

     In the way admired and best,

     His lay enchains the ear

     With an elfin power to cheer, --

     Cuckoo ! cuckoo 1 cuckoo ! cuckoo !

Note,-- The Japanese cuckoo, of which there are four varietres, is migratory like the European bird.
注記  日本のホトトギスは、4つの種類があり、ヨーロッパの鳥のように、渡り鳥です。

These sub-orders are : -- ホトトギスの亜目は、

CUCULUS CANORUS, L. (Common Cuckoo) -- Kakko, Omushikui ;   カッコウ
CUCULUS INTERMEDIUS, Vahl. (Himalayan Cuckoo) --Tsutsudori, Poupondori;  ツツドリ
CUCLOUS POLIOCEPHALUS, Lath. (Little Cuckoo)-- Hototogisu, Tokiwa-dori, Imosedori ;  ホトトギス
CUCULUS HYPERTHRUS, Gld. (A moor Cuckoo) -- (wintering in China and the Philippines) Jyu-ichi, Jihishiucho.

Of these the third variety is undoubtedly the poets' favourite.

It is bvelieved to deposit its eggs in the nest of the Uguisu (Cettia cautaus) or Japanese nightingale.

The Common Cuckoo makes use of the nest of the Japanese Bunting (Hojiro).

Our English cuckoo lays its eggs in the nest of the wagtail, which makes an affectionate foster-mother ; and also in the hedge-sparrow's nest.
イギリスのカッコウは、セキレイの巣に卵を置きます、セキレイは、愛のこもった養母になります; 生垣スズメの巣にも、置きます。

The words of the Fool in Lear will be remembered :--

     The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long

     That it had its head bit off by its young.




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