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バートランド・ラッセル自伝 第1巻第1章

The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, v.1

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 自分と比較してみるような子供がいなかったので,長い間私は,自分が他の少年たちより優れているのか劣っているのかわからなかった。しかし,ある時ロロおじさんが玄関前で(オックスフォード大学)のベリオール・カレッジBalliol College, Univ. of Oxrord: 1263年創設)の学寮長ジョウェット氏(松下注: Benjamin Jowett, 1817-1893, オックスフォード大学ベリオル・カレッジ学長(=1870年〜)をつとめたギリシア語学者,プラトンなどの訳者としても知られる/右写真)に別れの挨拶を言い,「そうです−−あの子は実によくやっています。」と話しているのを聞いた覚えがあり,そうして,話の中身については思い出せないが,ロロおじさんが私の勉強のことを話しているのがわかった。自分は知能がすぐれているということをさとるやいなや,もし出来ることならば知的に重要なことを何か達成しようと決心し,青年時代を通じてずっと,いかなるものでもこの野心を邪魔することを許さなかった。
My grandmother was always afraid that I should overwork, and kept my hours of lessons very short. The result was that I used to work in my bedroom on the sly with one candle, sitting at my desk in a night-shirt on cold evenings, ready to blow out the candle and pop into bed at the slightest sound.
I hated Latin and Greek, and thought it merely foolish to learn a language that nobody speaks. I liked mathematics best, and next to mathematics I liked history.
Having no one with whom to compare myself, I did not know for a long time whether I was better or worse than other boys, but I remember once hearing my Uncle Rollo saying goodbye to Jowett, the Master of Balliol, at the front door, and remarking: 'Yes, he's getting on very well indeed', and I knew, though how I cannot tell, that he was speaking of my work. As soon as I realised that I was intelligent, I determined to achieve something of intellectual importance if it should be at all possible, and throughout my youth I let nothing whatever stand in the way of this ambition.
It would be completely misleading to suggest that my childhood was all solemnity and seriousness. I got just as much fun out of life as I could, some of it I am afraid of a somewhat mischievous kind. The family doctor, an old Scotchman with mutton-chop whiskers, used to come in his brougham which waited at the front door while the man of healing spoke his piece. His coachman had an exquisite top-hat, calculated to advertise the excellence of the practice. I used to get on the roof above this splendid head-piece and drop rotten rosebuds out of the gutter on to its flat top. They spread all over with a delicious squish and I withdrew my head quickly enough for the coachman to suppose that they had fallen from heaven. Sometimes I did even worse. I threw snowballs at him when he was driving, thereby endangering the valuable lives of him and his employer.