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S077: Horse ox sheep

77. 馬牛羊

Ma 3 niu 2 yang2 

Horse ox sheep 

The horse, the ox, the sheep, 

Ma is one of the stock pictures in the Chinese written language. The four dots, elsewhere used for 火 huo fire (line 65), are of course the legs. They also do duty for the legs and wings of 魚 niao a bird, and for the fins of 魚 yu a fish. It is now a radical. 

Niu was also a picture character under its old form, which may be produced by removing the dash at the left-hand top corner and turning up the ends of the upper horizontal so as to resemble horns. See line 340. 

Yang stands in the north for sheep; in the south it is more widely applied to the goat, also known as 山羊 shan yang mountain sheep. Confucius declared that niu and yang were both words formed after the likeness of the object intended. See line 14. 

78. 鶏犬豕 

Chi 1 ch'uan2  shih4 

Fowl dog pig 

the fowl, the dog, the pig. 

Chi is composed of 鳥 niao bird as radical, with 奚 hsi how? why? as phonetic. It is also written雞 , and is described as the bird which knows the time (line 334). 

Ch'uan seems to have greatly impressed Confucius. He said it was a perfect picture of the animal, meaning of course the old form. 

Shih is another picture, which likewise leaves much to the imagination, although bristles, feet, and tail are said to stand out distinctly. 

79 此六畜 

Tz'u 3 liu4 ch'u4 

This six keep 

These six animals 

Tz'u see line 59. 

Liu see line 75. 

Ch'u is composed of 玄 hsuan black, dark, mysterious (line 94), an epithet often applied to 天 t'ien the sky, and 田 tien cultivated fields, i.e. the black fields which nourish us. [Cf. Eurip. Bacchae, μελαν πεδον the black plain; Homer II. pee V ρεε δαιματι γαια μελαινα, etc. In connection with the Greek [fiihxg, comparison may also be made with the Chinese 青 ch'ing (lines 84, 180), both being applied to the sky, water, etc.] It means to feed, to nourish, to keep as animals; heuce, brute beasts. 

80. 人所飼

Jen 2 so 3 ssu4 

Man which feed 

are those which men keep. 

Jen see line 1. 

So see line 22. 

Ssu is composed of 食 shih to eat (line 76) as radical, and 司 ssu to manage as phonetic (line 334). [For eight extra lines which in some editions are inserted here, see Appendix I.]