You are on page 1of 11

rn zh ch xn bn shn

Men at their birth are naturally good.

xn xin jn x xin yun

Their natures are much the same; their
habits become widely different.
u b jio xn ni qin

If foolishly there is no teaching, the nature
will deteriorate.
jio zh do u y zhun

The right way in teaching, is to attach the
utmost importance to thoroughness.
x mn m z ln ch

Of old, the mother of Mencius chose a
z b xu dun j zh

and when her child would not learn, she
broke the shuttle from the loom.
du yn shn yu y fn

Tou of the Swallow Hills had the right
jio w z mn j yn

He taught five sons, each of whom raised the
family reputation.

If the child does not learn, this is not as it

should be.
yu b xu lo h wi

If he does not learn while young, what will he
be when old?
y b zhu b chn q

If jade is not polished, it cannot become a
thing of use.
rn b xu b zh y

If a man does not learn, he cannot know his
duty towards his neighbour.
wi rn z fn sho sh

He who is the son of a man, when he is
qn sh yu x l y

should attach himself to his teachers and
friends, and practise ceremonial usages.
xin ji ln nn wn x

Hsiang, at nine years of age, could warm (his
parents') bed.
xio y qn su dn zh

Filial piety towards parents, is that to which
we should hold fast.

yn b jio f zh u

To feed without teaching is the father's fault.

rn s su nn rn l

Jung, at four years of age, could yield the
(bigger) pears.

jio b yn sh zh du

To teach without severity is the teacher's

d y chn y xin zh

To behave as a younger brother towards
elders, is one of the first things to know.

z b xu fi su y

shu xio d c jin wn

Begin with filial piety and fraternal love, and
then see and hear .

zh mu sh sh mu wn

Learn to count, and learn to read.
y r sh sh r bi

Units and tens, then tens and hundreds,
bi r qin qin r wn

hundreds and thousands, thousands and
tens of thousands.
sn ci zh tin d rn

The Three Forces are Heaven, Earth, and

These four points respond to the

requirements of the centre.
yu shu hu m jn t

We speak of water, fire, wood, metal and
c w xn bn h sh

These five elements have their origin in
yu rn y l zh xn

We speak of charity of heart and of duty
towards one's neighbour, of propriety, of
wisdom, and of truth.

sn un zh r yu xn

The Three Luminaries are the sun, the moon
and the stars.

c w chn b rn wn

These five virtues admit of no compromise.

sn n zh jn chn y

The Three Bonds are (1) the obligation
between sovereign and subject,

do lin sh mi sh j

Rice, spiked millet, pulse, wheat, glutinous
millet and common millet.

f z qn f f shn

(2) the love between father and child, (3) the
harmony between husband and wife.

c li rn su sh

These six grains are those which men eat.

yu chn xi yu qi dn

We speak of spring and summer, we speak of
autumn and winter.
c s sh yn b qin

These four seasons revolve without ceasing.

yu nn bi yu x dn

We speak of north and south, we speak of
east and west.
c s fn yn h zhn

m ni yn j qun sh

The horse, the ox, the sheep, the fowl, the
dog, the pig.
c li ch rn su s

These six animals are those which men keep.
wi ni qun n zu zh

Especially of the ox and dog is the merit
most conspicuous;
nn n tin nn shu h

one can plough the fields, the other can
guard the house.

mi tin lin t sh s

It is to obscure your natural goodness of
disposition, to kill them and expose them for
ji w sh min zu ch

Beware of eating them, and so avoid being
yu x n yu i j

We speak of joy, of anger, we speak of pity,
of fear,
i y q qn j

of love, of hate, and of desire. These are the
seven passions.
po t m sh jn

The gourd, earthenware, skin, wood, stone,
y s zh ni b yn

silk, and bamboo,yield the eight musical
o zn z f r shn

Great great grandfather, great grandfather,
grandfather, father and self,
shn r z z r sn

self and son, son and grandson,z z sn
zh yun cn

from son and grandson, on to great grandson
and great great grandson.
ni ji z r zh ln

These are the nine agnates, constituting the
kinships of man.
f z n f f cn

Affection between father and child, harmony

between husband and wife,
xin z yu d z n

friendliness on the part of elder brothers,
respectfulness on the part of younger
zhn yu x yu y pn

precedence between elders and youngers, as
between friend and friend,
jn z jn chn z zhn

respect on the part of the sovereign, loyalty
on the part of the subject.
c sh y rn su tn

These ten obligations are common to all
fn xn mn x jin ji

In the education of the young, there should
be explanation and elucidation,
xin xn mn j du

careful teaching of the interpretations of
commentators, and due attention to
paragraphs and sentences.

wi xu zh b yu ch

Those who are learners must have a
xio xu zhn zh s sh

The "Little Learning" finished, they proceed
to the "Four Books".
ln y zh r sh pin

There is the Lun Y , in twenty sections.
qn d z j shn yn

In this, the various disciples have recorded

the wise sayings of Confucius.
mn z zh q pin zh

The works of Mencius are comprised in seven
jin do d shu rn y

These explain the WAY and the
exemplification thereof, and expound charity
and duty towards one's neighbour.
zu zhn yn z s b

The "Chung Yung" was written by the pen of
zhn b pin yn b y

"Chung" (the middle) being that which does
not lean towards any side, "Yung" (the
course) being that which cannot be changed.
zu d xu ni cn z

He who wrote "The Great Learning" was the
philosopher Ts ng.
z xi q zh pn zh

Beginning with cultivation of the individual
and ordering of the family, it goes on to
government of one's own State and
tranquillization of the Empire.
xio jn tn s sh sh

When the "Classic of Filial Piety" is mastered,
and the "Four Books" are known by heart.
r li jn sh k d

The next step is to the "Six Classics", which
may now be studied.
sh sh y l chn qi

The "Books of Poetry", of "History" and of
"Changes", the "Rites of the Chou Dynasty",
the "Book of Rites", and the "Spring and
Autumn Annals",

ho li jn dn jin qi

are called the Six Classics, which should be
carefully explained and analysed.
yu lin shn yu u cn

There is the "Lien shan" system, there is the
"Kuei tsang",
yu zhu y sn y xin

and there is the system of Changes of the
Chou Dynasty; such are the three systems
which elucidate the Changes.
yu din m yu xn o

There are the Regulations, the Counsels, the
Instructions, the Announcements,
yu sh mn sh zh o

the Oaths, the Charges; these are the
profundities of the Book of History.
w zhu n zu zhu l

Our Duke of Chou drew up the Ritual of the
Chou Dynasty,
zh li un cn zh t

in which he set forth the duties of the six
classes of officials, and thus gave a settled
form to the government.
d xio di zh l j

The Elder and the Younger Tai wrote
commentaries on the Book of Rites.
sh shn yn l l bi

They published the holy words, and
Ceremonies and Music were set in order.
yu u fn yu y sn

We speak of the "Kuo feng", we speak of the
"Ya" and of the "Sung".

ho s sh dn fn yn

These are the four sections of the Book of
Poetry, which should be hummed over and
sh j wn chn qi zu

When odes ceased to be made, the "Spring
and Autumn Annals" were produced.
y bo bin bi shn

These "Annals" contain praise and blame,
and distinguish the good from the bad.
sn chun zh yu n yn

The three commentaries upon the above,
include that of Kung-Yang,
yu zu sh yu u lin

that of Tso, and that of Ku-Liang.

and the genealogical connections should be
examined, so that the end of one dynasty
and the beginning of the next may be known.
z x nn zh hun d

From Fu Hsi and Sh n Nung on to the Yellow
Emperor, -ho sn hun j shn sh

these are called the Three Rulers, who lived
in the early ages.
tn yu y ho r d

T'ang and Yu-Y are called the Two
xin y xn chn shn sh

They abdicated, one after the other, and
theirs was called the Golden Age.

jn j mn fn d z

When the classics are understood, then the
writings of the various philosophers should
be read.

xi yu y shn yu tn

The Hsia dynasty had Y ; and the Shang
dynasty had T'ang;

cu q yo j q sh

Pick out the important points in each, and
take a note of all facts.

zhu wn w chn sn wn

the Chou dynasty had W n and Wu;-- these
are called the Three Kings.

w z zh yu xn yn

The five chief philosophers are Hs n, Yang,

xi chun z ji tin xi

Under the Hsia dynasty the throne was
transmitted from father to son, making a
family possession of the empire.

wn zhn z j lo zhun

W n Chung Tz{BR}u, Lao Tz{BR}u and
Chuang Tz{BR}u.
jn z tn d zh sh

When the Classics and the Philosophers are
mastered, the various histories should then
be read,
ko sh x zh zhn sh

s bi zi qin xi sh

After four hundred years, the Imperial
sacrifice passed from the House of Hsia.
tn f xi u ho shn

T'ang the completer destroyed the Hsia
Dynasty and the dynastic title became

li bi zi zh zhu wn

The line lasted for six hundred years, ending
with Chou Hsin.

o z xn hn y jin

Then Kao Tsu arose, and the House of Han
was established.

zhu w wn sh zh zhu

King Wu of the Chou Dynasty finally slew
Chou Hsin.

zh xio pn wn mn cun

When we come to the reign of Hsiao P'ing,
Wang Mang usurped the throne.

b bi zi zu chn ji

His own line lasted for eight hundred years;
-- the longest dynasty of all.

un w xn wi dn hn

Then Kuang Wu arose, and founded the
Eastern Han Dynasty.

zhu zh dn wn n du

When the Chous made tracks eastwards, the
feudal bond was slackened;

s bi nin zhn y xin

It lasted four hundred years, and ended with
the Emperor Hsien.

chn n shn yu shu

the arbitrament of spear and shields
prevailed; and peripatetic politicians were
held in high esteem.
sh chn qi zhn zhn u

This period began with the Spring and
Autumn Epoch, and ended with that of the
Warring States.
w b qin q xin ch

Next, the Five Chieftains domineered, and
the Seven Martial States came to the front.
yn qn sh sh jin bn

Then the House of Ch'in, descended from the
Ying clan, finally united all the States under
one sway.
chun r sh ch hn zhn

The throne was transmitted to Erh Shih, upon
which followed the struggle between the
Ch'u and the Han States.

wi sh w zhn hn dn

Wei, Shu, and Wu, fought for the sovereignty
of the Hans.
ho sn u q lin jn

They were called the Three Kingdoms, and
existed until the Two Chin Dynasties.
sn q j lin chn chn

Then followed the Sung and the Ch'i
dynasties, and after them the Liang and
Ch'n dynasties
wi nn cho du jn ln

These are the southern dynasties, with their
capital at Nanking.
bi yun wi fn dn xi

The northern dynasties are the Wei dynasty
of the Y an family, which split into Eastern
and Western Wei,
y wn zhu xn o q

the Chou dynasty of the Y -wen family,
with the Ch'i dynasty of the Kao family.

di zh su y t y

At length, under the Sui dynasty, the empire
was united under one ruler.
b zi chun sh tn x

The throne was not transmitted twice,
succession to power being lost.
tn o z q y sh

The first Emperor of the T'ang dynasty raised
volunteer troops.

ch su lun chun u j

He put an end to the disorder of the House of
Sui, and established the foundations of his
r sh chun sn bi zi

Twenty times the throne was transmitted in a
period of three hundred years.
lin mi zh u ni i

The Liang State destroyed it, and the
dynastic title was changed.
lin tn jn j hn zhu

The Liang, the T'ang, the Chin, the Han, and
the Chou,
chn w di ji yu yu

are called the Five Dynasties, and there was
a reason for the establishment of each.
yn sn xn shu zhu chn

Then the fire-led House of Sung arose, and
received the resignation of the house of
sh b chun nn bi hn

Eighteen times the throne was transmitted,

and then the north and the south were
lio y jn d ho fn

Under the Liao and the Chin dynasties, there
was confusion of Imperial titles;
di mi lio sn yu cn

when the Liao dynasty was destroyed, the
Sung dynasty still remained.

zh yun xn jn x xi

When the Y an dynasty arose, the line of
the Chin Tartars came to an end,
yu sn sh y tn mi

and the House of Sung was destroyed
together with it.
bn zhn u jin rn zhi

It united the Middle Kingdom, and attached
to the empire the tribes of the north and
mn ti z ji qn sh

The founder of the Ming dynasty was for a
long time engaged in warfare.
chun jin wn fn s s

He transmitted the throne to Chien W n
only four years,
qin bi jn yn l s

when the capital was transferred to Peking,
and Yung Lo succeeded the latter.
di chn zhn mi shn sh

At length Ch'ung Ch ng died on the Coal
lio y jn ji chn d

The Liao Tartars and the Chin Tartars all took
the Imperial title.

The founder of the Ch'ing or Pure dynasty
responded to the glorious summons;

yun mi jn ju sn sh

The Y ans (Mongols) destroyed the Chin
Tartars, and put an end to the House of Sung.

jn s fn k d dn

he tranquillised the four quarters (N.S.E. and
W.), and achieved the final settlement of the

l zhn u jin rn zhi

They governed the Middle Kingdom, and also
the wild tribes of the north and west;
ji sh nin u zu fi

after ninety years their mandate was
ti z xn u d mn

Then T'ai Tsu arose, his dynasty being known
as Ta Ming.

nin r sh qun zi z

The Twenty-two Dynastic Histories are all
embraced in the above.
zi zh lun zh xn shui

They contain examples of good and bad
government, whence may be learnt the
principles of prosperity and decay.
d sh sh ko sh l

Ye who read history must study the State

ho hn w du jn ln

He took as his year-title Hung Wu, and fixed
his capital at Chin-ling (Nanking).

tn jn ru qn m

whereby you will understand ancient and
modern events, as though having seen them
with your own eyes.

di chn z qin yn jn

At length, under the Emperor Ch' ng Tsu, a
move was made to Swallow City (Peking).

ku r sn xn r wi

Recite them with the mouth, and ponder
over them in your hearts.

sh q sh zh chn zhn

There were seventeen reigns in all, down to
and including Ch'ung Ch ng.

cho y s x y s

Do this in the morning; do this in the

qun yn s ku r ln

The hold on the people was relaxed, and
rebels sprang up thick as forests.

x zhn n sh xin tu

Of old, Confucius took Hsiang T'o for his

zh l chun shn q zhn

Then came Li Ch'uang, and the Imperial
regalia were destroyed.

shn xin shn qn xu

The inspired men and sages of old studied
diligently nevertheless.

qn ti z yn jn mn

zho zhn ln d l ln

Chao, President of the Council, studied the Lu
text of the "Lun Y ".

b j sh xu qi qn

He, when already an official, studied, and
moreover with diligence.
p p bin xu zh jin

One opened out rushes and plaited them
together; another scraped tablets of
b w sh qi zh min

These men had no books, but they knew how
to make an effort.

were nevertheless remarkable for their


s lo qun r sh q

Su Lao-ch' an, at the age of twenty-seven,
sh f fn d sh j

at last began to show his energy and devote
himself to the study of books.
b j lo yu hu ch

Then, when already past the age, he deeply
regretted his delay.
r xio shn y zo s

You little boys should take thought betimes.

tu xun lin zhu c

One tied his head to the beam above him;
another pricked his thigh with an awl.

ru lin ho b sh r

Then there was Liang Hao, who at the age of

b b jio z qn k

They were not taught, but toiled hard of their
own accord.

du d tn ku du sh

made his replies in the great hall, and came
out first among many scholars.

r nn yn r yn xu

Then we have one who put fireflies in a bag,
and again another who used the white glare
from snow.

b j chn zhn chn y

When thus late he had succeeded, all men
pronounced him a prodigy.

ji su pn xu b zhu

Although their families were poor, these men
studied unceasingly.
r f xn r u jio

Again, there was one who carried fuel, and
another who used horns as pegs.
shn su lo yu k zhu

Although they toiled with their bodies, they

r xio shn y l zh

You little boys should make up your minds to
yn b su nn yn sh

Jung at eight years of age, could compose
m q su nn f q

Pi, at seven years of age, could make an
epigram on "wei-ch'i".

b yn w rn chn q

These youths were quick of apprehension,
and people declared them to be prodigies.
r yu xu dn xio zh

You young learners ought to imitate them.
ci wn j nn bin qn

Ts'ai W n-chi was able to judge from the
sound of a psaltery.
xi do yn nn yn yn

Hsieh Tao-y n was able to compose verses.
b n z qi cn mn

They were only girls, yet they were quick and
r nn z dn z jn

You boys ought to rouse yourselves.
tn li yn fn q su

Liu Yen of the T'ang dynasty, when only
seven years of age,
j shn tn zu zhn z

was ranked as an "inspired child", and was
appointed a Corrector of Texts.
b su yu shn j sh

He, although a child, was already in an
official post.
r yu xu min r zh

You young learners strive to bring about a
like result.
yu wi zh y ru sh

Those who work will also succeed as he did.
qun shu y j s chn

The dog keeps guard by night; the cock
proclaims the dawn.
u b xu h wi rn

If foolishly you do not study, how can you
become men?
cn t s fn nin m

The silkworm produces silk, the bee makes
rn b xu b r w

If man does not learn, he is not equal to the
yu r xu zhun r xn

Learn while young, and when grown up apply
what you have learnt;
shn zh jn xi z mn

influencing the sovereign above; benefiting
the people below.
yn mn shn xin f m

Make a name for yourselves, and glorify your
father and mother,
un y qin y y hu

shed lustre on your ancestors, enrich your
rn y z jn mn yn

Men bequeath to their children coffers of
w jio z wi y jn

I teach you children, only this book.

qn yu n x w y

Diligence has its reward; play has no

ji zh zi y min l

Oh, be on your guard, and put forth your