A Japanese Thoreau of the Twelfth Century (10)


  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 14
  • Chapter 15
  • Chapter 16

  • CHAPTER 10


    What is so hateful in this life of ours is its vanity and triviality, both with regard to ourselves and our dwellings, as we have just seen. According to our position so are our troubles, countless in any case. A low man under high protection may have his moments of delight, but not an abiding happiness. For he must restrain his tears when in distress, his natural emotions must be kept down, he is always uneasy as to promotion or disgrace, standing or sitting [constantly] subject to alarms, he is like a sparrow that Ends itself close to a hawk's nest. If a poor man lives next door to a rich one he is oppressed with shame at his shabby appearance, and tempted to Hatter and cringe before his neighbour. He is never quite at ease ; as he looks upon his wife and children and servants he envies his wealthy neighbour of whose contempt for him he gets wind. Should he live in a crowded quarter he can scarcely escape if a fire break out; is his house situate in a remote district, it is hard to get at and the ways are infested by thieves. The great man grows avaricious, the solitary man is disliked by the world. Wealth, too, brings cares from which the poor man is free. To depend on the protection of another man is to be his slave, to protect other folk is to be the slave of your own emotions. To follow the world is a hardship to oneself, to disregard it is to be counted a madman. Where or how shall we find peace even for a moment, and afford our heart refreshment even for a single second ?



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    「A Japanese Thoreau of the Twelfth Century」は『南方熊楠全集 第10巻 』に所収。

     南方熊楠の主要著作  おすすめ南方熊楠関連本