A king once died, as kings are apt to do, being as liable to shortness of breath as other mortals.
apt to：良く～する。liable to：～しがちな。shortness of breath：息切れ。mortals：人（神に対して死すべき者）。
It was high time this king abandoned his earth life, for he had lived in a sadly extravagant manner, and his subjects could spare him without the slightest inconvenience.
it was high time (that) ：もう～しても良い頃だった。abandoned：捨て去る。extravagant：浪費する。subjects：国民。spare：（人を）なしで済ませる（必要としない）。without the slightest inconvenience：極僅かな不都合もなく。
His father had left him a full treasury, both money and jewels being in abundance. But the foolish king just deceased had squandered every penny in riotous living. He had then taxed his subjects until most of them became paupers, and this money vanished in more riotous living. Next he sold all the grand old furniture in the palace; all the silver and gold plate and bric-a-brac; all the rich carpets and furnishings and even his own kingly wardrobe, reserving only a soiled and moth-eaten ermine robe to fold over his threadbare raiment. And he spent the money in further riotous living.
treasury：国庫。in abundance：豊富に。deceased：死去した。had squandered：無駄遣いした。penny：お金（アメリカやカナダの通貨の１セント）。riotous living：遊蕩。had taxed：その時に税金をかけた。paupers：貧窮者。grand：豪奢な。palace：宮殿。plate：（金銀製の）食器類。bric-a-brac：細々とした装飾品。furnishings：居住用備品。his own kingly wardrobe：彼自身の王様の衣装。reserving：取っておいて。soiled：汚れた。moth-eaten：虫食いの。ermine robe：アーミンローブ（白貂の毛皮の長くて緩やかな外衣）。fold over：折り重ねる。threadbare：擦り切れた。raiment：衣服（古い表現）。
Don't ask me to explain what riotous living is. I only know, from hearsay, that it is an excellent way to get rid of money. And so this spendthrift king found it.
hearsay：風聞。get rid of：～を処分する。spendthrift：金遣いの荒い。
He now picked all the magnificent jewels from this kingly crown and from the round ball on the top of his scepter, and sold them and spent the money. Riotous living, of course. But at last he was at the end of his resources. He couldn't sell the crown itself, because no one but the king had the right to wear it. Neither could he sell the royal palace, because only the king had the right to live there.
magnificent：豪華な。scepter：笏。at the end of：～の終わりに。resources：資産。right：権利。royal palace：王宮。
So, finally, he found himself reduced to a bare palace, containing only a big mahogany bedstead that he slept in, a small stool on which he sat to pull off his shoes and the moth-eaten ermine robe.
reduced to：（困った状態の）～まで落魄れた。bare palace：がらんとした宮殿。mahogany：マホガニー（木の一種）。 bedstead：ベッド枠組み。stool：（背凭れやひじ掛けのない簡単な）腰掛け。pull off：（引いて）脱ぐ。
In this straight he was reduced to the necessity of borrowing an occasional dime from his chief counselor, with which to buy a ham sandwich. And the chief counselor hadn't many dimes. One who counseled his king so foolishly was likely to ruin his own prospects as well.
in this straight：これに続いて。occasional dime：時偶の小銭（dimeはアメリカやカナダの通貨の１０セント）。chief counselor：主任の相談役。counseled：相談に乗った。ruin：台なしにする。prospects：見込み（将来性）。
So the king, having nothing more to live for, died suddenly and left a ten-year-old son to inherit the dismantled kingdom, the moth-eaten robe and the jewel-stripped crown.
No one envied the child, who had scarcely been thought of until he became king himself. Then he was recognized as a personage of some importance, and the politicians and hangers-on, headed by the chief counselor of the kingdom, held a meeting to determine what could be done for him.
These folk had helped the old king to live riotously while his money lasted, and now they were poor and too proud to work. So they tried to think of a plan that would bring more money into the little king's treasury, where it would be handy for them to help themselves.
folk：人々。live riotously：遊蕩する。handy：手近な。help themselves：（彼らが）自由に飲み食いする。
After the meeting was over the chief counselor came to the young king, who was playing peg-top in the courtyard, and said:
"Your majesty, we have thought of a way to restore your kingdom to its former power and magnificence."
your majesty：陛下。restore：復興する。former power and magnificence：以前の権力と豪華。
"All right," replied his majesty, carelessly. "How will you do it?"
"By marrying you to a lady of great wealth," replied the counselor.
"Marrying me!" cried the king. "Why, I am only ten years old!"
"I know; it is to be regretted. But your majesty will grow older, and the affairs of the kingdom demand that you marry a wife."
"Can't I marry a mother, instead?" asked the poor little king, who had lost his mother when a baby.
"Certainly not," declared the counselor. "To marry a mother would be illegal; to marry a wife is right and proper."
declared：断じた。right and proper：正当で適切な。
"Can't you marry her yourself?" inquired his majesty, aiming his peg-top at the chief counselor's toe, and laughing to see how he jumped to escape it.
"Let me explain," said the other. "You haven't a penny in the world, but you have a kingdom. There are many rich women who would be glad to give their wealth in exchange for a queen's coronet—even if the king is but a child. So we have decided to advertise that the one who bids the highest shall become the queen of Quok."
haven't a penny in the world：お金をちっとも持たない。wealth：富。in exchange for：～と引き換えに。coronet：小冠。advertise：募る。bids：（値を）付ける。Quok：クォック（国名）。
"If I must marry at all," said the king, after a moment's thought, "I prefer to marry Nyana, the armorer's daughter."
(if) at all：どうせ～ならば。Nyana：ナイアナ（人名／名前）。armorer's：武具師の。
"She is too poor," replied the counselor.
"Her teeth are pearls, her eyes are amethysts, and her hair is gold," declared the little king.
"True, your majesty. But consider that your wife's wealth must be used. How would Nyana look after you have pulled her teeth of pearls, plucked out her amethyst eyes and shaved her golden head?"
The boy shuddered.
"Have your own way," he said, despairingly. "Only let the lady be as dainty as possible and a good playfellow."
have your own way：（貴方が）したいようにせよ。despairingly：絶望的に。dainty：可憐な。playfellow：遊び仲間。
"We shall do our best," returned the chief counselor, and went away to advertise throughout the neighboring kingdoms for a wife for the boy king of Quok.
do our best：（私たちが）最善を尽くす。
There were so many applicants for the privilege of marrying the little king that it was decided to put him up at auction, in order that the largest possible sum of money should be brought into the kingdom. So, on the day appointed, the ladies gathered at the palace from all the surrounding kingdoms—from Bilkon, Mulgravia, Junkum and even as far away as the republic of Macvelt.
applicants：志願者。privilege：特典。put him up：（売り物に）彼を出す。auction：競売（オークション）。the largest possible sum of money：最大の可能な金額。surrounding：周辺の。Bilkon, Mulgravia, Junkum：ビルコン（国名）、マルグレイヴィア（国名）、ジャンカム（国名）。the republic of Macvelt：マクヴェルト共和国。
The chief counselor came to the palace early in the morning and had the king's face washed and his hair combed; and then he padded the inside of the crown with old newspapers to make it small enough to fit his majesty's head. It was a sorry looking crown, having many big and little holes in it where the jewels had once been; and it had been neglected and knocked around until it was quite battered and tarnished. Yet, as the counselor said, it was the king's crown, and it was quite proper he should wear it on the solemn occasion of his auction.
combed：梳られる。padded：詰め物をした。sorry looking：気の毒そうな。neglected and knocked around：見過ごされて打つけ回される。battered and tarnished：叩き潰されて色褪せる。solemn occasion：厳粛な機会。
Like all boys, be they kings or paupers, his majesty had torn and soiled his one suit of clothes, so that they were hardly presentable; and there was no money to buy new ones. Therefore the counselor wound the old ermine robe around the king and sat him upon the stool in the middle of the otherwise empty audience chamber.
had torn：破った。one suit of clothes：一揃いの服。presentable：人前に出せる。wound (around)：巻き付けた。otherwise empty audience chamber：別の空の謁見室。
And around him stood all the courtiers and politicians and hangers-on of the kingdom, consisting of such people as were too proud or lazy to work for a living. There was a great number of them, you may be sure, and they made an imposing appearance.
courtiers：宮仕え。for a living：生活のために。made an imposing appearance：（人目を引く）立派な姿を見せた。
Then the doors of the audience chamber were thrown open, and the wealthy ladies who aspired to being queen of Quok came trooping in. The king looked them over with much anxiety, and decided they were each and all old enough to be his grandmother, and ugly enough to scare away the crows from the royal cornfields. After which he lost interest in them.
wealthy：富裕な。aspired：熱望した。trooping：ぞろぞろ（群れを成して）歩きながら。decided (that)：～と判じた。each and all：それぞれ皆。scare away：怖がらせて追い払う。crows：烏。royal cornfields：王室のトウモロコシ畑。
But the rich ladies never looked at the poor little king squatting upon his stool. They gathered at once about the chief counselor, who acted as auctioneer.
squatting：踞る。acted as auctioneer：競り人（オークショナー）の役を務めた。
"How much am I offered for the coronet of the queen of Quok?" asked the counselor, in a loud voice.
"Where is the coronet?" inquired a fussy old lady who had just buried her ninth husband and was worth several millions.
fussy：喧しい。had just buried：埋葬したばかりだった。worth several millions：数百万ドル（アメリカやカナダの通貨）の財産がある。
"There isn't any coronet at present," explained the chief counselor, "but whoever bids highest will have the right to wear one, and she can then buy it."
"Oh," said the fussy old lady, "I see." Then she added: "I'll bid fourteen dollars."
"Fourteen thousand dollars!" cried a sour-looking woman who was thin and tall and had wrinkles all over her skin—"like a frosted apple," the king thought.
The bidding now became fast and furious, and the poverty-stricken courtiers brightened up as the sum began to mount into the millions.
"He'll bring us a very pretty fortune, after all," whispered one to his comrade, "and then we shall have the pleasure of helping him spend it."
very pretty fortune：正しく大金を。comrade：同輩。
The king began to be anxious. All the women who looked at all kind-hearted or pleasant had stopped bidding for lack of money, and the slender old dame with the wrinkles seemed determined to get the coronet at any price, and with it the boy husband. This ancient creature finally became so excited that her wig got crosswise of her head and her false teeth kept slipping out, which horrified the little king greatly; but she would not give up.
kind-hearted：心優しい。pleasant：感じ良い。bidding：（競りの）入札。slender old dame：細身の老女（dameを女とするのはアメリカ英語）。ancient creature：年寄り女。wig：鬘。crosswise：横に。false teeth：（取り外せる）入れ歯。slipping out：滑り出す。horrified：恐がらせた。
At last the chief counselor ended the auction by crying out:
"Sold to Mary Ann Brodjinsky de la Porkus for three million, nine hundred thousand, six hundred and twenty-four dollars and sixteen cents!" And the sour-looking old woman paid the money in cash and on the spot, which proves this is a fairy story.
sold：（競りの）落札。Mary Ann Brodjinsky：メアリー・アン・ブロジンスキー・デ・ラ・ポーカス。cents：セント（アメリカやカナダの通貨、百分の一ドル）。in cash：現金で。on the spot：その場で。proves：証明する。fairy story：夢物語（信じられない話）。
The king was so disturbed at the thought that he must marry this hideous creature that he began to wail and weep; whereupon the woman boxed his ears soundly. But the counselor reproved her for punishing her future husband in public, saying:
disturbed：動揺する。hideous creature：悍ましい女。wail and weep：わんわんと泣いた。whereupon：すると直ぐに。boxed his ears：（横面を）引っ叩いた。soundly：強かに（叩く）。reproved：非難した。in public：人前で。
"You are not married yet. Wait until to-morrow, after the wedding takes place. Then you can abuse him as much as you wish. But at present we prefer to have people think this is a love match."
takes place：行われる。abuse：虐待する。love match：恋愛結婚。
The poor king slept but little that night, so filled was he with terror of his future wife. Nor could he get the idea out of his head that he preferred to marry the armorer's daughter, who was about his own age. He tossed and tumbled around upon his hard bed until the moonlight came in at the window and lay like a great white sheet upon the bare floor. Finally, in turning over for the hundredth time, his hand struck against a secret spring in the headboard of the big mahogany bedstead, and at once, with a sharp click, a panel flew open.
tossed and tumbled around：ごろごろとのたうち回った。lay：（光が）広がった。bare floor：何もない床。turning over：寝返り。secret spring：秘密のバネ。headboard：（ベッドの）頭板（ヘッドボード）。with a sharp click：鋭くガチャンと。panel：化粧板（パネル）。flew open：（飛んで）パッと開いた。
The noise caused the king to look up, and, seeing the open panel, he stood upon tiptoe, and, reaching within, drew out a folded paper. It had several leaves fastened together like a book, and upon the first page was written:
stood upon tiptoe：爪先で立った。folded paper：折り畳まれた紙。several leaves：数枚。fastened together：一つに留められる。
"When the king is in trouble
This leaf he must double
And set it on fire
To obtain his desire."
double：二つに折り畳む。obtain his desire（彼が）願いを手に入れる。
This was not very good poetry, but when the king had spelled it out in the moonlight he was filled with joy.
not very：余り～ではない。poetry：詩。had spelled it out：それを一字ずつ読んだ。
"There's no doubt about my being in trouble," he exclaimed; "so I'll burn it at once, and see what happens."
He tore off the leaf and put the rest of the book in its secret hiding place. Then, folding the paper double, he placed it on the top of his stool, lighted a match and set fire to it.
tore off the leaf：一枚を引き千切る。hiding place：隠し場所。
It made a horrid smudge for so small a paper, and the king sat on the edge of the bed and watched it eagerly.
When the smoke cleared away he was surprised to see, sitting upon the stool, a round little man, who, with folded arms and crossed legs, sat calmly facing the king and smoking a black briarwood pipe.
cleared away：晴れた。round little man：丸い（太った）小人。with folded arms and crossed legs：腕を組んで胡座をかいて。facing：向きながら。briarwood pipe：ブライヤーパイプ（briarwoodはブライヤー／栄樹の木材）。
"Well, here I am," said he.
"So I see," replied the little king. "But how did you get here?"
so I see：そのようだ。
"Didn't you burn the paper?" demanded the round man, by way of answer.
demanded：強く尋ねた。by way of answer：答えとして。
"Yes, I did," acknowledged the king.
"Then you are in trouble, and I've come to help you out of it. I'm the Slave of the Royal Bedstead."
the Slave of the Royal Bedstead：王室のベッド枠組みの奴隷。
"Oh!" said the king. "I didn't know there was one."
"Neither did your father, or he would not have been so foolish as to sell everything he had for money. By the way, it's lucky for you he did not sell this bedstead. Now, then, what do you want?"
"I'm not sure what I want," replied the king; "but I know what I don't want, and that is the old woman who is going to marry me."
"That's easy enough," said the Slave of the Royal Bedstead. "All you need do is to return her the money she paid the chief counselor and declare the match off. Don't be afraid. You are the king, and your word is law."
declare the match off：結婚の取り消しを宣言する。
"To be sure," said the majesty. "But I am in great need of money. How am I going to live if the chief counselor returns to Mary Ann Brodjinski her millions?"
"Phoo! that's easy enough," again answered the man, and, putting his hand in his pocket, he drew out and tossed to the king an old-fashioned leather purse. "Keep that with you," said he, "and you will always be rich, for you can take out of the purse as many twenty-five-cent silver pieces as you wish, one at a time. No matter how often you take one out, another will instantly appear in its place within the purse."
phoo：ふーん。tossed：軽く投げた。old-fashioned leather purse：昔ながらの（口金付きの）革の財布。silver pieces：銀貨。one at a time：一度に一つ。instantly：瞬時に。
"Thank you," said the king, gratefully. "You have rendered me a rare favor; for now I shall have money for all my needs and will not be obliged to marry anyone. Thank you a thousand times!"
gratefully：感謝して。have rendered me a rare favor：私に素晴らしく親切にしてくれた（滅多にない好意を与えた）。not be obliged to：～しなくて構わない（する義務はない）。
"Don't mention it," answered the other, puffing his pipe slowly and watching the smoke curl into the moonlight. "Such things are easy to me. Is that all you want?"
don't mention it：何でもない。puffing his pipe：（彼が）パイプをスパスパと吹かしながら。curl：巻く。
"All I can think of just now," returned the king.
"Then, please close that secret panel in the bedstead," said the man; "the other leaves of the book may be of use to you some time."
of use to：～の役に立つ。
The boy stood upon the bed as before and, reaching up, closed the opening so that no one else could discover it. Then he turned to face his visitor, but the Slave of the Royal Bedstead had disappeared.
"I expected that," said his majesty; "yet I am sorry he did not wait to say good-by."
With a lightened heart and a sense of great relief the boy king placed the leathern purse underneath his pillow, and climbing into bed again slept soundly until morning.
lightened heart：軽くなった心。sense of great relief：大きな解放感。leathern purse：革財布。
When the sun rose his majesty rose also, refreshed and comforted, and the first thing he did was to send for the chief counselor.
refreshed and comforted：元気を取り戻して楽な気分で。send for：呼び寄せる。
That mighty personage arrived looking glum and unhappy, but the boy was too full of his own good fortune to notice it. Said he:
"I have decided not to marry anyone, for I have just come into a fortune of my own. Therefore I command you return to that old woman the money she has paid you for the right to wear the coronet of the queen of Quok. And make public declaration that the wedding will not take place."
have just come into a fortune：丁度、財産を得た。command：命じる。make public declaration：公表する。
Hearing this the counselor began to tremble, for he saw the young king had decided to reign in earnest; and he looked so guilty that his majesty inquired:
"Well! what is the matter now?"
"Sire," replied the wretch, in a shaking voice, "I cannot return the woman her money, for I have lost it!"
sire：陛下（国王への呼びかけ、古い表現）。wretch：惨めな人。in a shaking voice：震え声で。
"Lost it!" cried the king, in mingled astonishment and anger.
mingled：混ざった。astonishment and anger：驚きと怒り。
"Even so, your majesty. On my way home from the auction last night I stopped at the drug store to get some potash lozenges for my throat, which was dry and hoarse with so much loud talking; and your majesty will admit it was through my efforts the woman was induced to pay so great a price. Well, going into the drug store I carelessly left the package of money lying on the seat of my carriage, and when I came out again it was gone. Nor was the thief anywhere to be seen."
even so：それでも。drug store：ドラッグストア（薬や日用品や軽食の店、アメリカ英語）。potash lozenges：カリ錠（potashはpotassium／炭酸カリウムの短縮形、lozengesは菱形の錠剤など）。dry and hoarse：乾いて荒れた。through my efforts：私の努力を通じて。induced to：（勧めて）～する気にさせられる。carriage：四輪馬車。
"Did you call the police?" asked the king.
"Yes, I called; but they were all on the next block, and although they have promised to search for the robber I have little hope they will ever find him."
The king sighed.
"What shall we do now?" he asked.
"I fear you must marry Mary Ann Brodjinski," answered the chief counselor; "unless, indeed, you order the executioner to cut her head off."
"That would be wrong," declared the king. "The woman must not be harmed. And it is just that we return her money, for I will not marry her under any circumstances."
it is just that：ただ～だけだ。under any circumstances：どんな状況でも。
"Is that private fortune you mentioned large enough to repay her?" asked the counselor.
"Why, yes," said the king, thoughtfully, "but it will take some time to do it, and that shall be your task. Call the woman here."
The counselor went in search of Mary Ann, who, when she heard she was not to become a queen, but would receive her money back, flew into a violent passion and boxed the chief counselor's ears so viciously that they stung for nearly an hour. But she followed him into the king's audience chamber, where she demanded her money in a loud voice, claiming as well the interest due upon it over night.
flew into：（突然）～になった。violent passion：激情。viciously：狂暴に。stung：ずきずきした。interest due upon it over night：その一夜分の利息。
"The counselor has lost your money," said the boy king, "but he shall pay you every penny out of my own private purse. I fear, however, you will be obliged to take it in small change."
"That will not matter," she said, scowling upon the counselor as if she longed to reach his ears again; "I don't care how small the change is so long as I get every penny that belongs to me, and the interest. Where is it?"
scowling upon：～を睨み付けながら。longed to：～したがった。belongs to me：私の物である。
"Here," answered the king, handing the counselor the leathern purse. "It is all in silver quarters, and they must be taken from the purse one at a time; but there will be plenty to pay your demands, and to spare."
silver quarters：クォーター（２５セント）の銀貨。and to spare：余りあるほどに。
So, there being no chairs, the counselor sat down upon the floor in one corner and began counting out silver twenty-five-cent pieces from the purse, one by one. And the old woman sat upon the floor opposite him and took each piece of money from his hand.
one by one：一つずつ。silver twenty-five-cent pieces：２５セントの銀貨。each piece of money：それぞれの硬貨。
It was a large sum: three million, nine hundred thousand, six hundred and twenty-four dollars and sixteen cents. And it takes four times as many twenty-five-cent pieces as it would dollars to make up the amount.
large sum：多額。twenty-five-cent pieces：２５セント貨。make up the amount：その量に達する。
The king left them sitting there and went to school, and often thereafter he came to the counselor and interrupted him long enough to get from the purse what money he needed to reign in a proper and dignified manner. This somewhat delayed the counting, but as it was a long job, anyway, that did not matter much.
The king grew to manhood and married the pretty daughter of the armorer, and they now have two lovely children of their own. Once in awhile they go into the big audience chamber of the palace and let the little ones watch the aged, hoary-headed counselor count out silver twenty-five-cent pieces to a withered old woman, who watched his every movement to see that he does not cheat her.
grew to manhood：大人になった。once in awhile：時偶。hoary-headed：白髪頭の。withered：萎びた。cheat：騙す。
It is a big sum, three million, nine hundred thousand, six hundred and twenty-four dollars and sixteen cents in twenty-five-cent pieces.
But this is how the counselor was punished for being so careless with the woman's money. And this is how Mary Ann Brodjinski de la Porkus was also punished for wishing to marry a ten-year-old king in order that she might wear the coronet of the queen of Quok.
原文の出典：THE QUEEN OF QUOK