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2015年06月14日

奈何相責? - 古德明

Napoleon, who was uniformly very watchful over the conduct of his ministers, was given to understand that a certain street of Paris was very ill lighted at night: a circumstance peculiarly obnoxious to Napoleon, who was very particular as to the illumination of his "good city of Paris." Conceiving on this occasion that he had an excellent hold on the minister of the interior, Fouche, he expressed himself pretty roundly ① on the subject.
To this Fouche archly replied, "Sire, that street was left in darkness by my express order, as I did not wish that the citizens of your capital should become acquainted with the circumstance of your paying nightly visits to a certain hotel therein situated."
As the emperor had a little affaire d'amour ② in that quarter, which was known to Fouche, notwithstanding Napoleon's precaution to the contrary, the latter, on receiving this reply, was very glad to hold his tongue.
拿破崙對其大臣的作為,十分注意,有一次,聽到巴黎有一條街晚上照明甚差,深感不快:他特別着重「美好巴黎」的照明。拿破崙認為,內政大臣富歇這過失是無可推託的了,就嚴詞相責。
富歇一臉狡獪神情,回答說:「陛下,是我特別下令這條街不要照明的。我不想巴黎市民知道,你每晚都去當地一家旅館。」
拿破崙雖然力求不為人知,但富歇還是知道,國王在當地有段風流事。拿破崙一聽到這回答,就連忙噤口。
① Round可解作「不容情」或「不客氣」,例如:He criticised me in good round terms(他毫不客氣的批評我)。
Affaire d'amour 是法文,英文常見借用,等於love affair(風流事)。

古德明

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