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What place is Selborne?

Selborne 4


      What place is Selborne? It is a village full of greenery and even now retains the sights of the 18th century that Gilbert White wrote. H continues as follows.

 この丘陵地の横で、この台地のすぐ下にあたってセルボーンの村があります。村はまばらな家並から出来た一筋の町で、町の長さは1マイルの4分の3もあり、それがコンモリと隠蔽(いんぺい)された低地を、ハンガーの森に沿いながら長く断続しているのであります。(西谷退三 初版本 による訳)

     The soils of this district are almost as various and diversified as the views and aspects. The high part to the south-west consists of a vast hill of chalk, rising three hundred feet above the village; and is divided into a sheep down, the high wood, and a long hanging wood called the Hanger. The covert of this eminence is altogether beech, the most lovely of all forest trees, whether we consider its smooth rind or bark, its glossy foliage, or graceful pendulous boughs. The down, or sheep-walk, is a pleasing park-like spot, of about one mile by half that space, jutting out on the verge of the hill-country, where it begins to break down into the plains, and commanding a very engaging view, being an assemblage of hill, dale, wood-lands, heath, and water. The prospect is bounded to the south-east and east by the vast range of mountains called the Sussex-downs, by Guild-down near Guildford, and by the Downs round Dorking, and Ryegate in Surrey, to the north-east, which altogether, with the country beyond Alton and Farnham, form a noble and extensive outline.
     At the foot of this hill, one stage or step from the uplands, lies the village, which consists of one single straggling street, three-quarters of a mile in length, in a sheltered vale, and running parallel with the Hanger.

a view from the Zig-Zag of the Hanger
A = サセクス丘陵地 the Sussex-downs  B = セント・メアリー教会 St. Mary Church
C = 旧牧師館 (ホワイトが生まれたところ) the old vicarage (where White was born) 
D = ウエイクス荘 (ホワイトの住居、今は縛物館) the Wakes (White's residence, now the Museum)
E = グレイシャス・ストリート(上記に「まばらな家並からできた一筋の」とある通り)
Gracious Street (above mentioned "one straggling street")

  うれしいことには21世紀の今日でも、ハンガーを登れば18世紀にホワイトが書いたセルボーンの姿がほとんどそのままに見られます。 西谷退三はその訳書の「はしがき」で次のように述べています。

       Happily even now in the 21st century we could enjoy almost the same landscape of Selborne from the Hanger as White wrote in the 18th century.  Nishitani-Taizo writes in the preface of his book as follows.


While I was staying in England I had been there twicce. I remember that I went up the Hanger and looked down at White's old residence, the Wakes, from far away.


       In the days when Nishtain-Taizo visited this village, the Wakes was a private property and was not allowed to see inside of it. So he was obliged to enjoy himself only by tracing the gravestone of White on a piece of Japanese paper and from the "Hanger" commanding a view like this. The Hanger is a wood on the slope. In Japan it would be called "yama." ("Yama" means a mountain. ) More correctly it will be "ko-yama," a small mountain.The Zig-Zag is literally a zig-zag way up to the top of the Hanger. It was constructed by White and his brother and now a property of the National Trust. It is not certain Nishtani-Taizo climbed the Zig-Zag, but I'm sure he must have done so, because at his time the Zig-Zag existed as it is now.  

(続く To be continued)

Selborne 4

Selborne 2

Selborne 1

Selborne Top