thy wretched pelf

美少年のナルキッソスは自分の美しさを選んだわけではない。美しく生まれる意図などはなく、ただそう生まれてしまっただけだ。

Narcissus didn't choose to be beautiful. It just happened to him. His own physical perfection was beyond his control.


そして彼は周りの人を自分に惚れるような仕掛けも何もしなかった。エーコーは勝手に彼を愛し、彼は彼女を見捨てただけだ。両想いでないからこそそうすべきだった。

He also didn't do anything to encourage the love of others. Echo pursued; all he did was to spurn her, as was entirely proper, since he did not reciprocate the feeling.


エーコーが姿を失ったのはナルキッソスには防げるものじゃなかった。だから神々が課した天罰も不公平だったのだ。(神話の中では神々が課する天罰はだいたいにおいて不公平だよね。)

That she wasted away was beyond his power to prevent. Which means that the gods' revenge on him was unfair (as it always tends to be in these stories).


そして最後にナルキッソスが水面に自分の反射を見たとき、彼が選びもしなかったその強力な美しさに完全に襲われたのも彼のせいではない。エーコーたちと全く同じ効果でその美しさが彼にも働いてしまって、エーコーと同様に自分にも致命的だ。

And then when Narcissus caught sight of his own reflection in the pool, it was the intensity of his own beauty (which, again, was not his fault) that overthrew him entirely. It had the exact effect on him as it had on Echo, and he was just as trapped and as doomed by it as she.


その点ではナルキッソスは、世の中にありふれる僕や君のようなナルシストとの大違いがあるのだ。彼が自分の反射に惚れてしまったこと、そしてそれが自分の破滅につながったことが、彼の完璧な(そして致命的な)美しさにより生じたもので、文字通りの「宿命」だった。

This is what separates Narcissus from garden-variety narcissists like you and me―the fact that his falling in love with his own reflection, and subsequently destroying himself over it, was brought about by, and made inevitable by, his own perfect and fatal beauty.


つまり彼のナルシシズムは(僕や君のナルシシズムと違って)まったく正当だったのだ。

In other words, his narcissism, unlike yours or mine, was justified.