スーザ自叙伝「進め!Marching Along!」英日対訳


第1章(1)英日対訳・スーザ自叙伝「進め!Marching Along!」

















Whether pastry and music can be prevailed upon to go hand in hand is a question. Of course there is one classic instance ― M. Rageuneau in Cyrano de Bergerac, whose pastry-cooks delighted in presenting him with a lyre of pie crust! The fact remains, however, that I once came very near being a baker instead of a bandmaster. 




A violinist begins a tone with a turn of the wrist which may best be described as the compelling impulse. A compelling impulse turned me baker's apprentice! My father had enrolled me in the conservatory of music of Professor John Esputa, Washington, D. C., and at the end of my last year there, our pleasant relationship of master and pupil was marred by a personal combat. 




The professor had been afflicted with boils, and was reclining in a hammock swung near the stove in the recitation room, when I came for my violin lesson. I observed that he was in a very bad humor but began my exercises, unheeding. Nothing I did met with his approval. Finally he told me to “draw a long bow.” 




“I am drawing the bow as long as I can.” I said. 

That seemed to incense him greatly and he shouted, “Don't you dare contradict me!” 

“But I am drawing the bow as long as I can.” I repeated. “My arm is up against the wall now.” 






He was holding in one hand a valuable violin bow, recently presented to him. Just what he intended to do, I do not know, but in his anger he jerked the bow back and struck the stove, breaking the bow in half. His rage knew no bounds! 




“Get out of here,” he yelled, “before I kill you!” Taking my fiddle by the neck, I said clearly, “You attempt to kill me and I'll smash this fiddle over your head.” 

“Get out,” he raged. 

“I'll get out,” I replied, “but don't you dare hit me, because if you do you'll get the worst of it.” 

I put my instrument in its green bag and walked home. 







My father, sensing something wrong, said, “What's the trouble?” 

“Oh, I have just a fight with Esputa,” I answered and, still shaking with wrath, explained the whole thing. 




“Well,” said my father, “I suppose you don't want to be a musician. Is there anything else you would prefer?” 

With a heart full of bitterness I said, “Yes; I want to be a baker.” 

“A baker?” 

“Yes; a baker.” 







“Well, he mused, “I'll see what I can do to get you a position in a bakery. I'll go and attend to it right away,” and out he went. 




In about half an hour he came back and said, “I saw Charlie (the baker just two blocks away) and he says he will be glad to take you in and teach you the gentle art of baking bread and pies; but,” he added, “I have noticed that bakers as a rule are not very highly educated, and I believe if you would educate yourself beyond the average baker, it would tend to your financial improvement in this world at least; so I insist, as gently as a father can, that you keep on going to public school and pay no attention to your music. Give that up, and when you are through school the baker can start you.” 




Father then went on to say, “The baker has consented that you come tonight. You should be there by half-past eight.” 




That night I went to the bakery, and I am sure that no apprentice ever received such kindness as was shown me by Charlie and his wife and his journeyman bakers. I was there all night, and in the morning helped load the wagon and went out with the driver delivering bread to the various customers. I was particularly impressed by the intelligence of the horse, who knew every customer's front door along the route. 




After I got back to the bakery about eight in the morning, I went down home, ate my breakfast and, since my father had said he wanted me to be a highly educated baker, I went to school. I had probably half an hour's sleep that night. The bakers, after all the bread was in the ovens and the pies were ready to be baked, threw a blanket on the troughs and took forty winks of sleep, and so did I. 




When I came home from school that afternoon I suddenly lost interest in playing baseball and hung around the house. After supper I went up to the bakery for my second night. 




As I look back on it, I remember thinking that the baker and his assitants and his wife were slightly severe with me, for I was kept on the jump pretty constantly the whole night. When everything was in the ovens and we had had our usual half hour's sleep, we started loading the wagons. I went around delivering bread, returning home about eight o'clock, with an appetite, to be sure, but very drowsy. At school that day I learned nothing, and when night came I dragged myself to the shop. Alas, the baker was no longer the kindly employer, but a dictator of the worst description, and I was hounded at every step. About half past twelve the baby upstairs began to cry and the baker's wife snapped at me, “Here, you, go on up and rock the cradle.” 




I was only half awake, as I wearily mounted the stairs, and I must have fallen asleep before I had rocked the cradle three times, although Master Baby was yelling in my ears! I was awakened by a smart cuff and “You miserable lummox” from the busy baker-lady. 




When I reached home the next morning after delivering the bread again, I was absolutely tired out. My father said, “How do you feel this morning?” with a solicitude that did not ring true to me. Before I could answer, I had fallen asleep. He woke me up, called my mother and said, 




“Give the boy some breakfast and put him to bed. Let him sleep all day. Of course you want to be a baker, don't you, Philip?”  





“No,” I moaned; “I'd rather die than be a baker!” “Then” he said, “I think you had better make it up with Esputa and start in with your music again.” 




Thus it was that my father brought Professor Esputa and myself together again and we buried the hatchet for good. Even after that (years later I orchestrated a mass for him) we were the best of friends. To prove my sincerity, I studied hard and made great progress in orchestration, harmony and sightreading. 




The incident of the bakery is ample proof of my father's kindly wisdom and common sense. We were, withal, an odd family. Father, being a Portuguese born in Spain, remained a votary of the daily siesta. Mother supplied the Nordic energy, and I, being the first boy, was inclined to despotism over my devoted parents. I was born in Washington, D. C. , on the sixth day of November, 1854, and a tyrannical youngster I must have been. When I reached my fifth year Mother refused to allow me my full quota of doughnuts, and I informed her she would be “sorry later on,” planning meanwhile what I intended to be a cruel revenge. 




It was raining hard, and I moved out a plank in our front yard, placed it on two trestles, and then proceeded to make it my bed. In fifteen minutes I was soaked to the skin, and in half an hour my mother discovered me shivering and chattering with cold. I was carried into the house and put to bed. In a few days pneumonia developed and I was not able to leave my home for two years. My warning to my poor mother was correct ― she was sorry later on! 




Had I exterminated Sousa on that rebellious day, in my heartless attempt to punish Mother for having refused me the extra cruller, a kindly musical public would never have given me the title of “March King,” King Edward VII would have presented his Victorian Order to some more deserving artist, the French Government would have bestowed the palm of the Academy on some other fortunate mortal, and five Presidents of the United States would have sought another bandmaster than myself. 




During the two years of my illness my sister Tinnie and my father taught me to read and write and I became quite a student. It was a very common thing, however, for me to hear from some whispering neighbor, “I don't believe they will ever raise that boy!” 

When I was at last able to be out again I was sent to a little private school opposite my father's house on 7th Street, from there to a larger one half way down the block, and, soon after, I applied for admission to the primary department of the public school in our district. I was there only a few hours when I was transferred to the secondary school; it seemed that the teacher thought I knew too much for a primary pupil! So I spent the rest of the term at the secondary and then was transferred to the intermediate, where I remained the following year, I was then about nine years old, and at ten I was in grammar school.