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PROVERBS FROM THE CONFUCIAN ANALECTS.
"The princely man in his food does not seek to gratify his appetite, nor in his dwelling place does he seek ease' (君子食無求飽,居無 ✯✯.). 'Death and life are predetermined, riches and honor depend upon Heaven' (.†¤ F.). 'All within the four seas are brothers' (2.). From of old death has been the lot. of all men' (t✯.). 'A single expression makes a country prosperous' (...). 'A single expression ruins a country' (.). "The workman who wishes to do his work well, must first sharpen his tools' (I.). If a man take no thought for what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand' (A 遠慮必有近憂). (Specious words confound virtue’(巧言亂德). 'Would you use an ox-knife to kill a fowl?' (EЛ.).
PROVERBS FROM THE GREAT LEARNING.
"Things have their root and their completion. Affairs have their end and their beginning' (****.). a house, and virtue adorns a person' (HA,
Riches adorn N.). When
the mind is enlarged, the body is at ease' (.). the root; wealth is the result' (Ħ★ L.V‡.). 'There is a highway for the production of wealth'(生財有大道。).
None of the other "Four Books" and scarcely any of the thirteen classics approach the Doctrine of the Mean in the item of jejuneness, and (to the beginner) general incomprehensibility. Thus, while the proverb says of the Book of Odes, that he who has read it, knows how to talk (E↑ ME.), and of the Book of Changes, that he who has perused it knows how to tell fortunes (念過易經會算卦。), of the Chung Yung it is not inaptly observed, that those who study it get beaten by their teachers, until they groan (M ‡ Ø PË PË.). A treatise of this nature offers comparatively slight material for popular proverbs, and the number of such, considering the quantity of the Chinese text, is but limited.
PROVERBIAL PHRASES FROM THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN.
'To stand erect in the midst, without leaning to either side' ( 而不倚。).‘To go half way and stop'(半途而廢). In all things success depends on preparation, without it there is failure' (A
✰✰U.). There are three hundred rules of ceremony, and three thousand rules of behavior'(禮儀三百威儀三千。)‘It is not gain that is gain, it is upright conduct that is gain' (FI 為利。以義為利。).
The brilliance and ingenuity of Mencius, with his singular aptness at illustration, have given proverbial currency to a very great number of his sayings-often, as in the case of other classical expres
sions, stripped of every superfluous word, and polished smooth by ages of lingual friction.
PROVERBIAL SAYINGS FROM MENCIUS.
Those who (in time of battle) ran away fifty paces, laughing at
those who ran an hundred paces' (+).
animals alive, one can not bear to see them die, having seen them die, and heard their cries, he can not bear to eat their flesh' (4.7 忍見其死。聞其聲。不忍食其肉。). My strength is sufficient to lift three thousand catties, but not to lift one feather' (E 1.7-.). 'My eyesight is sharp enough to examine the point of an autumn hair, but I do not see a wagon-load of fuel’(明足以察秋毫之末。而不見輿薪。)‘Climbing a tree to seek for fish' (**.). 'The small can not oppose the great, the few can not oppose the many, the weak can not oppose the strong' (小不敵大。寡不敵眾。弱不敵强。)(Calamity and happiness are always of one's own seeking' (#7#22.). 'Opportunities given by heaven, are not equal to the advantages afforded by the earth; the advantages afforded by the earth, are not equal to those from the harmony of men’(天时不如地利,地利不如人和。). That was one time, and this is another' (‡ £t — Ø§.). ́ If there were no superior men, there would be none to rule the country men; if there were no country men, there would be none to support the superior men'(無君子莫治野人,無野人莫君子。)(Without rules there can be no perfection' (7.7.), literary: 'Without the compass and the square, squares and circles can not be formed.' 'There are cases of praise which could not be expected, and of blame when the person blamed was seeking to be perfect' (7 246✯EŻ.). There are not two suns in the sky, nor two sovereigns over the people' (====E.). That which
is done without man's doing it, is from heaven; That which happens without man's causing it to happen, is the decree of heaven' (ZA 而為者,天也。莫之致而致者,命也。). (The feeling of pity is common to all men; the feeling of shame and dislike is common to all men; the feeling of reverence and respect is common to all; and the knowledge of right and wrong is common to all'(惻隱之心人皆有之。羞惡 之心人皆有之。恭敬之心人皆有之。是非之心人皆有之。). When heaven sends calamities, it is possible to escape; when one occasions the calamity himself, it is no longer possible to live' (1 孽獮可違。自作孽不可活。) (To nourish what is small at the expense of what is great' (J.). Those who follow that
part of themselves which is great, are great men; those who follow ¤ ¤ ƒ ^ ∞ ±
that part which is little, are little men' (
JJ. HAJA.). Life springs from sorrow and calamity, and death
from ease and pleasure' (L.ER.). 'Words which are simple, but far-reaching in meaning, are good words' (
The general diagrammatic character of the Book of Changes, would seem to promise little of a quotable nature, yet it abounds in expressions which are woven into the language of every day life.
PROVERBIAL SAYINGS FROM THE I CHING.
The family which stores up virtue, will have an exuberance of happiness; the family which stores up the opposite of virtue, will have an exuberance of calamity'(積善之家必有餘慶。積不善之家必 .). ‘A ram plunging into a hedge' (.), i.e. advance (Men) gather into classes, and inanimate
and retreat equally difficult.
objects into groups' ([^]..). 'Rejoicing in heaven, and understanding its decrees, there is no place for regret' (
命故不憂。). 7.). If two persons are of the same mind, their sharpness can divide metal'(..). A common colloquial version of this saying is found in the proverb: When three men are perfectly harmonious, even earth may be turned to gold' (EY. *.). Treating superiors with disrespect, and inferiors with cruelty' (ET). Careless concealment invites robbery; meretricious arts incite lust' (7.).
Each gains his own place' (±5.). Why should there be any anxious thought and care in the world?' (FT OX11.). When the sun sets, the moon rises; when the moon sets, the sun rises' (A *A*.). 'Reason will not act in vain'(7). Alternately employing mildness and severity' (.). Perversity necessarily involves difficulty' (.). The path of the model man is on the increase, the path of the mean man is one of sorrow' (FA). The path of the model man is on the (君子道長。小人道憂。) increase, that of the mean man is on the decrease' (#7 ££. .). [In the Pi Diagram] The path of the mean man is on
the increase, that of the model man is on the decrease' (
7.). 'The sun and moon revolving, cold and heat alternate' (AC.--.) 'When virtue is not stored up, fame can not be attained; when wickedness is not accumulated it does not destroy the body’(善不積。不足以成名。惡不積。不足以滅身。)
The sententious elegance of the Book of Odes, renders its expressions particularly suitable for quotation among the educated classes, while the great variety of subjects of the odes, offers something adapted, either originally or by a more or less facile adaptation, to nearly all imaginable circumstances. At the same time the poetical form, and
the condensation of thought, often reduce such quotations rather to the rank of mere phrases.
PROVERBIAL PHRASES, ETC., FROM THE BOOK of odes.
Not a day when I do not think of it' (7.). A day without seeing him is like three months' (~7A.). 'Long life, without a limit' (.). How is it in hewing an axehandle? without an axe it can not be done. How is it in taking a wife? without a go-between it can not be done' (.T Without weapons one does not dare
...). attack a tiger; without a boat one dare not cross a river' (7✯ ✯. 7.). Apprehensive and careful, as if on the brink of a deep gulf, as if treading on thin ice' (DRAR. WEZG.**.). 'What other men have in their minds, I can measure by reflection' (HL #7 HEZ.). May it first rain on our public fields, and afterwards come to our private ones’(雨我公田、遂及我私。).The acts of high Heaven have neither sound nor smell’(上天之載。無聲
.). A flaw in a scepter of white jade may be ground away; but for a flaw in speech, nothing can be done' (2667#.# 27.). 'He who depends on himself will attain the greatest happiness’(自求多福。).
This example and the preceding one as well, afford instances of the changes which are made in the popular quotation of familiar passages. In the former case, the words are generally spoken: Yen hsing chih chan pu k'o weiˆ±± 7дÆ, 'for a flaw in deed or word there is no remedy.' In the latter passage, while the words quoted are not altered, the sense is modified. As they stand in the Shih Ching they signify: This [harmony with the decree of Heaven] is the natural way [tzu jan] to seek for happiness.
The Book of Rites (L) occupies a prominent place in Chinese civilization, and its dicta have in many instances, become literally "household words." The constant repercussion of fragments of ancient ritual wisdom from mouth to mouth, has elevated them to the level of primary axioms of human thought. Thus, as to the behavior towards parents: On going out one's parents should be informed, on one's return they should first be seen' (H&.&.). The rule for children towards parents, is to keep them warm in winter, cool in summer' (Z£XAIA.). On entering a country, inquire
what is forbidden; on entering a village, inquire what are the customs; on entering a private house, inquire for the personal names of the family' (*.λHG.λNU.). The object in view in the last inquiry, is similar to that of the young man at a boarding house, who desired to secure the recipe for a particular kind of pud
ding, "so as to be certain never to have any of it in the house." In China names are things-sacred things. Even a son must not speak his father's name (7 7X Z.). The stranger informs himself what these tabooed names are, that he may ever after steer clear of them.
'Men and women when giving and receiving things from one another, should not touch each other' (7.). The superior man guards his body, as if holding jade' (7.). 'In a case of family mourning, if one can not contribute anything, he should not inquire into the expenses; in a case of severe illness, if one has nothing to present, he should not ask what would be relished' (吊喪不能賺莫問其所費。探病不能遺莫問其所欲。).
PROVERBIAL QUOTATIONS FROM THE SHU CHING, OR BOOK OF HISTORY.
'Heaven and Earth is the parent of all creatures; and of all creatures man is the most highly endowed’(惟天地萬物父母。惟 \IDŻI.). 'Heaven to protect the inferior people made for them rulers, and made for them instructors' (F TR. 12.1 2). 'What the people desire, Heaven will assuredly comply with' (Z. Z.). The good man doing good, finds the day (民之所欲。天必從之。) insufficient, the evil man doing evil likewise finds the day insufficient' (吉人為善。惟日不足。凶人為不善。亦惟日不足。).‘Divided in heart-divided in practice' (15.). Heaven sees as my people see; Heaven hears as my people hear' (Ƒƒa¤RL. XB 自我民聽。). RR.). Where there is much merit there is a great reward' (J % €ÇÏ.). The hen does not announce the morning; the crowing of a hen in the morning indicates the subversion of the family' (牝雞無晨。牝雞之晨。惟家之索). The son of Heaven is the parent of the people, and becomes the sovereign of the Empire' (F #.UTE.). A mound raised nine fathoms highthe work unfinished for lack of one basket of earth’(為山九仭。功虧 .). Accordance with the right is good fortune; the following of the evil, is bad-the shadow and the echo' (IX.
.). To give up one's own opinion and follow that of others; to refrain from oppressing the helpless, and not to neglect the straitened poor’(舍己從人, 不虐無告 不費窮困。). The mind of man is restless-prone to ere; its affinity for the right way is small. Be discriminating, be undivided, that you may securely hold the Mean' (人心惟危 道心惟微、惟精惟一. 允執厥中。).
The way of Heaven is to bless the good, and to punish the bad' (Ƒ¤¥BE.). 'On the doer of good he sends down all blessings, and on the doer of evil he sends down all calamities’(作善降之百祥、作不善降之
.). 'Good and evil do not wrongly befall men, because Heaven sends down misery or happiness, according to their conduct' (