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S045: Units and tens

45. 一而十

I 1 erh 2 shih2 

one and ten 

Units and tens, 

I stands for Unity, the cosmogonical abstraction which was ultimately subdivided into two forces, the resultant being the visible material universe. It is the number of heaven; see title and line 49. 

Erh originally meant whiskers. It is now used as a conjunction, sometimes disjunctive, and also as the pronoun you. 

Shih is composed of one line pointing east and west and another pointing north and south ; it therefore represents the hub of the universe, also numerical completeness, the Chinese system being decimal. 

46. 十而百

Shih2 erh 2 pai 3 or po 

Ten and hundred 

tens and hundreds, 

Shih see line 45. 

Erh see line 45. 

Pai (or po) was composed, according to the Shuo Wen, of a contraction of 自, nose (line 93) as radical, and —  i unity. In K'ang Hsi's dictionary, however, it is regarded as composed of —  i one and 白 pai or po white as radical, though i would be an intelligible radical and pai would be a perfect phonetic. The functions of radical and phonetic are often thus arbitrarily interchanged. Pai is much used by synecdoche for all, every; e.g. 百 姓 po hsing the hundred surnames, i.e. all the surnames, of which no less than 4657 have been recorded; hence the people of China. 

47. 百而千 

Pai 3 erh 2 ch'ien 1 

Hundred and thousand 

hundreds and thousands, 

Pai see line 46. 

Erh see line 45. 

Ch'ien is composed of 十 shih ten (line 45) as radical, and a corruption of 人 jen man. 千歲 ch'ien sui a thousand years (line 37) is a title of a prince. 

48. 千而萬

Ch'ien 1 erh2 wan4

Thousand and ten-thousand

thousands and tens of  thousands. 

Ch'ien see line 47. 

Erh see line 45. 

Wan was originally classed under radical 禸 jou the track of an animal, and meant insects; hence its primary meanings, myriad, all. It is now classed under radical 艸 ts'ao vegetation. It is often written 万 for short; sometimes the Indian 卍 sauvastiha is employed. 萬歲 sui ten thousand years (see line 37) is a title of the Emperor.