Hsiang 1 chiu 3 ling 2
Hsiang nine year
Hsiang, at nine years of age,
Hsiang is a corruption of 黍 shu millet (line 74) over 甘 kan sweet. It means scented, fragrant, as in Hongkong (Cantonese pronunciation), the second syllable being 港 chiang a lagoon. It is here the personal name of a man surnamed 黃 Huang (line 180), of the 2nd cent. A.D., famous as a model of filial piety
Chiu is supposed to represent the weakening of the male numbers (see title), which reached their climacteric at 七 ch'i seven (line 84), before their individuality is lost in the completeness of 十 shih ten (line 45). 九九 nine nines is a term for arithmetic.
Ling is composed of "齒 ch'ih teeth as radical, with 令 or 令 ling a command as phonetic. It means the front teeth, from which the sense of year, only found in the book-language, is probably derived.
Neng 2 wen 1 hsi 2
Able warm mat
could warm (his parents') bed.
Neng originally meant a bear, now written 熊 and pronounced hsiung. It is possible that the strength of the bear may have imparted the meaning of power to the character, which is now classed under radical 肉 jou flesh.
Wên is composed of 水 shui water (氵 in composition, see line 65) as radical, and a phonetic, the value of which is sometimes wên and sometimes yün. 溫水 wên shui is colloquial for warm water.
Hsi is composed of JjfcF shu many (contracted) and ffj chin napkin as radical. It refers to the mats on which the "many" guests sat, and although chairs and tables were used in very early ages, the term mat is still applied to a banquet. It here refers to the plaited grass mats laid on beds, fine ones for coolness in summer, coarse ones for warmth in winter.
Hsiao4 yü2 ch'in1
Filial towards parents
Filial piety towards parents
Hsiao see lines 5, 41.
Yü was originally the same as 于 yü (lines 130, 233) which was developed from 亏 yu a picture of vapour extending. It is defined by 居 chu to be stationary, 往 wang to move towards, and 代 tai in place of. It is commonly used with such prepositional values as in, on, at, to, from, etc., all of which may be traced to one or other of the root-ideas.
Ch'in see line 31.
So 3 tang 1 chih2
What ought hold
is tnat to which we should hold fast.
So see line 22.
Tang is composed of 田 tien cultivated fields as radical, with 商 sharig (line 270) above it as phonetic. It is said to have derived its meaning of right or proper from the rectangular form in which fields are properly laid out. Read tang 4 , it means to stand in place of, to pawn. In the latter sense it is often seen, of gigantic dimensions, on the blank walls of houses, and corresponds to the well-known sign of three balls in this country.
Chih is composed of an ancient radical, also its phonetic, on the left, and 丸 wan balls on the right, the latter portion being a corruption of 手 shou hand and a stroke to the right. It means to arrest prisoners, to seize, and is now classed under radical 土 t'u earth (line 66).
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