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景陽岡武松打虎 translation, part 1 (水滸傳)

This is the first 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.

話分兩頭。 Meanwhile...

只說武松自與宋江分別之後,當晚投客店歇了; After Wu Song had parted with Song Jiang, he went to rest at an inn that night.

次日早,起來打火喫了飯, Early the next morning, he got up, lit a fire and cooked food;

還了房錢,拴束包裹,提了哨棒,便走上路; then he paid for his room, tied up his bag, picked up his staff, and set off.

尋思道:「江湖上只聞說及時雨宋公明,果然不虛! He thought to himself: "I heard on the grapevine that Song Gongming is there when you need him, and it's true indeed! 江湖上 refers to the criminal network, here translated as “grapevine”.

結織得這般弟兄,也不枉了!」 Meeting that kind of brother is not a waste of time! 不枉 as in 不枉此行.

武松在路上行了幾日,來到陽榖縣地面。 Wu Song walked for several days, and came to Yanggu County.

此去離縣治還遠。 This was still far from the county seat.

當日晌午時分,走得肚中飢渴, By the afternoon of that day, he'd walked till he was hungry and thirsty.

望見前面有一個酒店,挑著一面招旗在門前, He looked ahead and saw an inn, flying a welcome flag in front of the door;

上頭寫著五個字道: upon it were written five characters:

「三碗不過岡。」 "Three Bowls Won't Cross the Mountain."

武松入到裏面坐下,把哨棒倚了,叫道: Wu Song went inside and sat down, propped up his staff and called out:

「主人家,快把酒來喫。」 "Boss! Hurry up and bring me some wine to drink."

只見店主人把三隻碗,一雙箸,一碟熟菜, The owner brought three bowls, a pair of chopsticks and a plate of hot food,

放在武松面前,滿滿篩一碗酒來。 and put them down in front of Wu Song, before sieving a bowl of wine. The wine needs sieving (篩) as it’s full of sediment etc.

武松拿起碗一飲而盡,叫道: Wu Song picked up the bowl and drained it, then said: 一飲而盡 is a neat phrase for downing a drink.

「這酒好生有氣力!主人家,有飽肚的,買些喫酒。」 "This wine has some strength! Boss, do you have filling food? - sell me some."

酒家道:「只有熟牛肉。」 The owner said: "We only have cooked beef."

武松道:「好的切二三斤來喫酒。」 Wu Song said: "Alright, cut two or three _jin_ for me." One 斤 is about 500g.

店家去裏面切出二斤熟牛肉,做一大盤子, The owner went inside and cut off two jins of beef, and made up a plate;

將來放在武松面前; he brought it out and set it down in front of Wu Song,

隨即再篩一碗酒。 and then promptly sieved another bowl of wine.

武松喫了道:「好酒!」 Wu Song called out: "This is good wine!"

又篩下一碗。 Another bowl was sieved.

恰好喫了三碗酒,再也不來篩。 As soon as he'd drunk three bowls of wine, no more would be sieved.

武松敲著桌子,叫道: Wu Song knocked on the table and shouted:

「主人家,怎地不來篩酒?」 "Boss! Why aren't you sieving wine?"

酒家道:「客官,要肉便添來。」 The owner said: "Sir, if you'd like meat then I'll give you more."

武松道:「我也要酒,也再些切些肉來。」 Wu Song said: "I want wine as well, and cut off some more meat for me."

酒家道:「肉便切來添與客官喫,酒卻不添了。」 The owner: "I can cut off some more meat for you, sir, but no more wine."

武松道:「卻又作怪!」 Wu Song said: "Don't mess around!"

便問主人家道:「你如何不肯賣酒與我喫?」 Then he asked the owner: "Why aren't you willing to sell me wine?"

酒家道:「客官你須見我門前招旗上面明明寫道: The owner said: "Sir must look at the flag by our door, where it is clearly written:

『三碗不過岡』。」 'Three Bowls Won't Cross the Mountain'."

武松道:「怎地喚做『三碗不過岡』?」 Wu Song said: "Why is it called 'Three Bowls Won't Cross the Mountain'?"

酒家道:「俺家的酒雖是村酒,卻比老酒的滋味強; The owner said: "Although our wine is our own, it's stronger than Shaoxing wine. 老酒 appears to be some sort of well-known wine.

但凡客人,來我店中喫了三碗的, But most guests, after coming to our inn and drinking three bowls,

便醉了,過不得前面的山岡去: get drunk, and are unable to cross the mountain ahead;

因此喚做「三碗不過岡。」 because of this, we're called 'Three Bowls Won't Cross the Mountain.'

若是過往客人到此,只喫三碗,更不再問。」 If you had been here previously, you'd just drink three bowls and not ask again."

武松笑道:「原來恁地; Wu Song laughed and said: "So that's how it is.

我卻喫了三碗,如何不醉?」 But I've already drunk three bowls, so how am I not drunk?"

酒家道:「我這酒,叫做『透瓶香』; The owner said: "This wine of mine is called 'Whole Bottle Fragrance';

又喚做『出門倒』 it's also called 'Walk Out and Fall Down';

初入口時,醇醲好喫,少刻時便倒。」 when you first drink it, the concentration is tasty, but after a while you just fall down."

武松道:「休要胡說!沒地不還你錢!再篩三喫來我喫!」 Wu Song said: "Stop talking crap! Otherwise I won't pay you! Give me another three bowls of wine!" 沒 here is pronounced mò, and means “in the end”.

酒家見武松全然不動,又篩三碗。 The owner saw that Wu Song wasn't going to budge at all, and sieved three more bowls.

武松喫道:「端的好酒! Wu Song drank them and said: "It really is good wine!

主人家,我喫一碗還你一碗錢,只顧篩來。」 Boss, I'll pay for each bowl I drink, you just keep 'em coming."

酒家道:「客官,休只管要飲。 The owner said: "Sir, do not think only of drinking.

這酒端的要醉倒人,沒藥醫!」 This wine really will knock you flat, and we have no medicine to treat you!"

武松道:「休得胡鳥說! Wu Song said: "Stop with your bullshit! 鳥 was a fairly impolite expletive.

便是你使蒙汗藥在裏面,我也有鼻子!」 Even if you put knock-out drugs in, I'd smell them! 蒙 here is first tone and means ‘unconscious’, so 蒙汗藥 is a kind of sedative. Wu Song has misunderstood the owner’s previous line.

店家被他發話不過,一連又篩了三碗。 The owner was rendered speechless, and sieved out three more bowls.

武松道:「肉便再把二三斤來喫。」 Wu Song said: "Cut another two or three jins of meat for me."

酒家又切了二斤熟牛肉,再篩了三碗酒。 The owner cut another two jins of cooked beef, and sieved another three bowls of wine.

武松喫得口滑,只顧要喫; Wu Song ate continuously, thinking only of eating; 口滑 describes food that is so tasty it compels you to keep eating incessantly.

去身邊取出些碎銀子,叫道: He went to his side and took out some silver coins, saying:

「主人家,你且來看我銀子!還你酒肉錢彀麼?」 "Boss, come and look at my silver! Is it enough to pay for the meat and wine?"

酒家看了道:「有餘,還有些貼錢與你。」 The owner looked and said: "It's too much, I'll find you some change."

武松道:「不要你貼錢,只將酒來篩。」 Wu Song said: "Keep the change, just bring me some wine."

酒家道:「客官,你要喫酒時,還有五六碗酒哩! The owner said: "Sir, as you've been drinking, there are only five or six bowls left! 哩 is like 呢.

只怕你喫不得了。」 I'm just worried you won't be able to finish it _[what you order]_ ."

武松道:「就有五六碗多時,你盡數篩將來。」 Wu Song said: "If there's only five or six bowls, then sieve out the lot for me!"

酒家道:「你這條長漢儻或醉倒了時,怎扶得你住!」 The owner said: "You're such a big guy, if you fall down drunk, how could I help you up?" 長 here means ‘tall’.

武松答道:「要你扶的不算好漢!」 Wu Song replied: "If I need you to help me up I'm not a man!"

酒家那裏肯將酒來篩。 The owner was not willing to sieve out the wine.

武松焦躁,道:「我又不白喫你的! Wu Song got impatient and said: "I'll pay for what I drink! 不白喫 is literally “won’t drink in vain”, i.e. a waste for the owner.

休要引老爺性發,通教你屋裏粉碎! Stop getting this gentleman _[me]_ angry, or I'll smash up your inn!

把你這鳥店子倒翻轉來!」 I'll turn this damned inn upside-down!"

酒家道:「這廝醉了,休惹他。」 The owner thought: "This idiot is drunk, I'll stop aggravating him." 廝 is literally “boy servant”, and was a general insult for men.

再篩了六碗酒與武松喫了。 He sieved another six bowls of wine and gave them to Wu Song.

前後共喫了十八碗,綽了哨棒,立起身來,道: All in all he'd had eighteen bowls; he grabbed his staff, stood up and said:

「我卻又不曾醉!」 "I haven't got drunk at all!"

走出門前來,笑道: He walked out of the door and laughed, saying:

「卻不說『三碗不過岡』!」 "Don't bother saying 'Three Bowls Won't Cross the Mountain' !"

手提哨棒便走。 Carrying his staff, he walked off.

酒家趕出來叫道:「客官,那裏去?」 The owner rushed out and said: "Sir, where are you going?"

武松立住了,問道:「叫我做甚麼? Wu Song stood still, and asked: "What are doing calling after me?"

我又不少你酒錢,喚我怎地?」 I didn't underpay you, so why shout at me?"

酒家叫道:「我是好意;你且回來我家抄白官司榜文。」 The owner said: "I'm well-meaning; come back to my inn and read this official notice."

武松道:「甚麼榜文?」 Wu Song said: "What notice?"

酒家道:「如今前面景陽岡上有隻吊睛白額大蟲, The owner said: "Now there's a slant-eyed, white-headed tiger on Jingyang Mountain up ahead; 大蟲 is an archaic word for ‘tiger’.

晚了出來傷人,壞了三二十條大漢性命。 It comes out at night and attacks people; it's already killed twenty or thirty big men.

官司如今杖限獵戶擒捉發落。 Now the officials have hunters out to catch and deal with it. _[杖限 ](http://www.zdic.net/cd/ci/7/ZdicE6Zdic9DZdic96144447.htm "谓刑法规定的杖击数目") refers to an official document calling for punishment by beating._

岡子路口都有榜文; There are notices at the entrance to the mountain;

可教往來客人結夥成隊,於巳午未三個時辰過岡; they tell travelers to form groups and then go between morning and early afternoon; 結夥成隊 is still used today to mean “form teams”. 巳, 午 and 未 are three times of day between 9am and 3pm.

其餘寅卯酉戌亥六個時辰不許過岡。 at other times of day - afternoon, evening and night - it is not permitted to cross the mountain. 寅, 卯, 酉, 戌 and 亥 are more times of day.

更兼單身客人,務要等伴結夥而過。 Even more so for lone travelers; you must wait for companions and cross the mountain together.

這早晚正是未末申初時分,我見你走都不問人,枉送了自家性命。 Now it's late afternoon, I'll watch you go and say nothing; it's your own life you're wasting.

不如就我此間歇了, But it's not as good as stopping over at mine,

等明日慢慢湊得三二十人,一齊好過岡子。」 waiting for twenty or thirty people to gather, and crossing the mountain together.

武松聽了,笑道: Wu Song listened, then laughed and said:

「我是清河縣人氏,這條景陽岡上少也走過了一二十遭, "I'm a native of Qinghe, I've crossed this Jingyang Mountain at least ten or twenty times -

幾時見說有大蟲! when have I seen this tiger you're talking about?

你休說這般鳥話來嚇我!便有大蟲,我也不怕!」 Stop trying to scare me with this kind of bullshit! Even if there is a tiger, I'm not afraid!"

酒家道:「我是好意救你;你不信時,進來看官司榜文。」 The owner said: "I'm earnestly trying to save you; if you don't trust me, go in and look at the notices."

武松道:「你鳥做聲!便真個有虎,老爺也不怕! Wu Song said: "You're talking shit! Even if there really is a tiger, this gentleman is not afraid!

你留我在家裏歇,莫不半夜三更, You'll have me stay in your inn, then without doubt, in the middle of the night,

要謀我財,害我性命,卻把鳥大蟲諕嚇我?」 you'll have some scheme to get my money or kill me, yet you're trying to scare me with this bullshit tiger?" 謀財害命 is a chengyu meaning “to plot to kill someone for their money”.

酒家道:「你看麼!我是一片好心,反做惡意, The owner said: "Look here! I have only good intentions, and oppose evil!

倒落得你恁地!你不信我時,請尊便自行!」 If you fall down and get lost then what'll you do? If you don't believe me, then do as you please, good sir!"

一面說,一面搖著頭,自進店裏去了。 He shook his head as he spoke, and went back inside the inn.

Part 2 →”)

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