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景陽岡武松打虎 translation, part 2 (水滸傳)


This is the second part of a translation of the story 景陽岡武松打虎 (‘Wu Song Fights a Tiger on Jingyang Mountain’) from chapter 22 of 水滸傳 (‘Water Margin’), a 14th Century vernacular text that’s now one of the Four Classic Novels.

· Part 2 ·

 

這武松提了哨棒,大著步,自過景陽岡來。
At this, Wu Song picked up his staff and, taking large strides, headed for Jingyang Mountain alone.

約行了四五里路,來到岡子下,
After walking for about four or five miles, he came to the foot of the mountain;

見一大樹,刮去了皮,一片白,上寫兩行字。
he saw a large tree with its bark scraped off in a white patch, on which were written two rows of characters.

武松也頗識幾字,擡頭看時,上面寫道:
Wu Song knew a few characters, and raised his head to read:

「近因景陽岡大蟲傷人,
“Recently there has been a tiger attacking people on Jingyang Mountain,

但有過往客商可於巳午未三個時辰結夥成隊過岡,請勿自誤。」
so travelers and merchants should meet between 9am and 11am to form groups and cross the mountain; please don’t mistakenly go alone.”

武松看了,笑道:
Wu Song read this and laughed, saying:

「這是酒家詭詐,驚嚇那等客人,便去那廝家裏歇宿。
“It’s that treacherous inn owner, frightening travelers into staying at that bloody inn of his.

我卻怕甚麽鳥!」
But that shit doesn’t scare me!”

橫拖著哨棒,便上岡子來。
He hefted up his staff and then continued up the mountain.

那時已有申牌時分,這輪紅日厭厭地相傍下山。
By then it was already late afternoon, and the red sun was wearily dropping past the mountain.
here means ‘weary’.

武松乘著酒興,只管走上岡子來。
Thanks to his enthusiastic drinking, Wu Song thought only of moving forward up the mountain.

走不到半里多路,見一個敗落的山神廟。
Before he got halfway, he saw a dilapidated mountain god shine.

行到廟前,見這廟門上貼著一張印信榜文。
He walked up to the front of the shrine, and saw an official notice pasted on its door.

武松住了腳讀時,上面寫道:
Wu Song stopped to read it; on it was written:

 

陽穀縣示:
Yanggu County notice:

爲景陽岡上新有一隻大蟲傷害人命,
Due to the tiger attacking people on Jingyang Mountain recently,

見今杖限各鄉里正並獵戶人等行捕未獲。
hunters from every village have been merged to go and catch it, but have failed to do so.

如有過往客商人等,可於巳午未三個時辰結伴過岡;
If there are travelers, merchants and so on, they should gather between 9am and 11am, form a group and cross the mountain together;

其餘時分,及單身客人,不許過岡,恐被傷害性命。
At other times, or if you are traveling alone, it is not permitted to cross the mountain, due to the risk of being killed.

各宜知悉。
All should be aware.

政和……年……月……日。
Official notice, Year: … Month: … Day: …

 

武松讀了印信榜文,方知端的有虎;
Only when Wu Song had read the notice did he know that there was a tiger after all;

欲待轉身再回酒店裏來,尋思道:
he wanted to turn around and go back to that inn, but thought:

「我回去時須喫他恥笑不是好漢,難以轉去。」
“If I go back I will definitely be laughed at for being unmanly; it’s too hard to go back.”

存想了一回,說道:
He kept thinking for a while, and then said aloud:

「怕甚麽鳥!且只顧上去看怎地!」
“What am I scared of? All I need to worry about is going onwards!”

武松正走,看看酒湧上來,
As Wu Song was walking, it wasn’t long before the wine bubbled up;

便把氈笠兒掀在脊梁上,將哨棒綰在肋下,一步步上那岡子來;
he lifted his hat onto his back, and clutched his staff by his ribs and went up the mountain step by step;

回頭看這日色時,漸漸地墜下去了。
He looked behind at the colour of the sun, which was gradually descending.

此時正是十月間天氣,日短夜長,容易得晚。
It was October weather, with short days and long nights that came quickly.

武松自言自說道:
Wu Song said to himself:

「那得甚麽大蟲!人自怕了,不敢上山。」
“What tiger! People are just frightening themselves, and don’t dare to go up the mountain.”

· Part 2 ·

 

If you notice a mistake or could improve the translation, please comment below!

 

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