英日対訳:トーマス・ビーチャム自叙伝「A Mingled Chime」第11章(2/2)沈思黙考インプット人生との決別








Draper and his companions were as gratified by the success as I myself and professed anxiety to continue the association with me. This was pleasant enough, but to turn a casual connection into a regular partnership would require a more solid interest in common than the limited number of public performances on which I could afford to speculate. We should have to go out together to secure engagements; no easy matter, for very few individuals have use for an orchestra of even moderate size. It could be split up into small groups of anything from three or four to ten and rented out to musical societies here and there, and this is how most of the profession at that time made or augmented their incomes. The really good instrumentalist had as little lack of work then as now, and on the whole extracted more amusement from it. His routine was less mechanized, we were still in the pre-radio-cum-recording age, and there was an incomparably greater amount of living music given in private houses. If any one wanted to hear Caruso or Paderewski he had either to go to the opera house and concert room, or procure an invitation to a big party for which they had been engaged. Naturally, the second alternative was available only to a limited number of amateurs, and the rest had to be satisfied with a less lavish class of entertainment or the making of music for themselves, mostly in the way of chamber work. 




But the employment of an orchestra “en bloc” for any purpose but appearance in a public building was a novel idea, and a hostess who thought nothing of spending a thousand or two on a handful of famous artists for the entertainment of her guests, was not yet awake to the possibility that there might be some other attraction which they would endure for five consecutive minutes, with moderate curiosity and (possibly) in comparative silence. Something therefore had to be done about it, and I took it upon myself to disseminate the doctrine by and large that the orchestra was the thing of the future, that all the best music was written for it, and the sooner people made up their minds to come and hear it, the better for their aesthetic salvation.  




Many delicately-minded persons have been known to express disapproval and even abhorrence of what they term my proselytizing or publicity methods, on the score that they are undignified and incompatible with the spiritual delicacy of the true artist. This sort of thing, they protest, should be left to the vulgar hand of that odd product of our latter day culture, the press agent, or that still more fantastic phenomenon, the gossip writer. With delicious hypocrisy they contrive to discern an inseparable gulf between performing the dirty work of life for oneself and paying someone else to do the job. But the main reason why I have never employed a press agent or any member of a kindred clan is that on no single occasion have I gone out to seek advertisement or notoriety for myself as an individual, but only to promote some enterprise or advance some cause in which the welfare of hundreds of other persons was as much involved as my own.  




I soon discovered that with the degenerating methods of modern journalism it was almost useless to give interviews save to one or two responsible papers. Sometimes the reporter was incapable of taking down or reproducing with even partial accuracy what I had said, and at others the script would be so mangled as to deprive it of the least sense and logic. The only fairly safe method of communicating one’s ideas to the public was by writing  articles, giving addresses, and creating controversies during which a few well calculated indiscretions of opinion would have the effect of ruffiing the sensibilities of an appreciable section of my compatriots. I think it was Disraeli who said somewhere that the best introduction into society for any young man was to fight a duel: and certainly almost the only telling means of launching an innovation is to arouse a heated argument about the desirability or propriety of it. Without the creation of some such sharply defined issue, it has become nowadays impossible to set anything decisively on foot, owing to the colossal complacency fostered in the man in the street by the unceasing stream flowing daily from the world’s press in praise of his intellectual and moral perfections.  




It is for this reason that the scheme for a National Theater languished among us for so many years. It was about the time of which I am writing that a German-Jewish banker in London made the intriguing discovery that while we possessed the finest group of dramatic authors the world had yet known, the opportunities of seeing their work existed nowhere. He communicated his views to a public even more astonished (but for the different reason that it was a stranger even to the names of some of its most illustrious countrymen) and contributed the handsome sum of £75,000 toward the building and endowment of a theater where the best plays old and new could be given year in and year out for the pleasure of those who had any desire to see them. The proposition was hailed as a noble one, received the blessing of cabinet ministers, leaders of the Church, universities, schools, and every other cultural body in the Kingdom, and for the next three decades did not advance a single step further. Only during the last few years has a definite effort been made to fulfill the design of the benevolent alien but, it should be hardly necessary to add, entirely in the wrong direction. A site of inadequate dimensions was acquired in a location sufficiently removed from London’s hub to make it inconvenient for the bulk of its inhabitants; and, should any structure ever be raised on it, it will prove to be just one more of those quaint “follies” which the eccentricity of Englishmen with more money than discretion have dotted our helpless countryside.  




The necessity to be up and doing for a set purpose marked for me the boundary line separating forever a life of contemplation from one of activity. Up to this time I had lived quietly, seeing few friends, reading, ruminating, and applying myself almost as much to the study of other arts as of music. But these tranquil days were over; I was to be no longer a musing spectator of the life around me but a busy actor on its scene, armed with a miscellaneous fund of information that might rival Sam Weller's peculiar knowledge of London, a reservoir of stored-up energy, and a belligerency of utterance of which I had not hitherto suspected the possession. 

一旦決めた目的のために、大いに活動を展開する必要性がでてきたため、私は、芸術をひたすら鑑賞する側にいる、という生活を、永久に切り離すべく、一線を引いた。ここに至るまでの間、私は物言わず、友人達とも殆ど会わず、本を読みあさり、学んでいることに深く思いを巡らし、音楽と同様に他の芸術についても全身全霊をかけて研究したのだ。だが、そんな穏やかな日々は、もう終わりだ。私はもはや、自分の身の回りの生活範囲内で、思いにふけりながら、ただただ物事を傍観する輩ではない。世に出て行動を起こし、ありとあらゆる情報の倉で自らを武装する。チャールズ・ディケンズの小説「The Pickwick Papers」に登場する、才能ほとばしる忠僕のサム・ウェラーは、ロンドンのことを知り尽くし、常に活力を蓄え、どんな相手とも闘える発言力を持つ。以前の私だったら、そんなもの自分が持ちうるかと、想像すらしなかったが、ここに及び私は、サム・ウェラーにも肩を並べるやもしれない、そう思った。