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S085: The gourd, earthenware, skin

85. 匏土革 

Pao 2 Tu ko 2

Gourd earth skin 

The gourd, earthenware, skin, 

P'ao is composed of 夸 k'ua extravagant as phonetic, with 包 pao to enclose as radical. The latter, which was originally a picture of the foetus, is no longer a radical. Its place has been taken by 勹 pao, which was the picture of a man bending forward as if enfolding something. 瓜 kua melon is sometimes substituted for 夸 and takes the place of radical, the phonetic being in that case 包 pao to enclose. 

T'u see line 66. 

Ko means hides or skins without the hair on, parchment. The old form is said to be composed of 三十三 san shih san thirty-three, which is the number of years in a generation and the time required for a complete change of skin. 

86. 木石金

Mu 4 shih 4 chin 1 

Wood stone metal 

wood, stone, metal, 

Mu see line 66. 

Shih is regarded as the picture of an overhanging cliff, apparently with a boulder beneath it. It is used as a liquid and dry measure, representing in the latter a weight of 120 斤 catties (line 3). 

Chin see line 66. 

87. 絲與竹

Ssu 1 yu 3 chu 2 

Silk and bamboo

silk, and bamboo, 

Ssu is a duplicated form of 糸 mi or ssu, and originally meant ten strands of silk as spun by the silkworm (see title). 

Yu is composed of 舁 yu to raise and 与 yu to give, and originally meant several; hence, together, with, and, etc. It also means to give, to bestow, and is now classed under 臼 chiu a mortar as radical (line 215). 

Chu is described as a grass which grows in winter, and under its old form is regarded as a picture of the object intended. 

88. 乃八音 

nai 3 pa 1 yin 1 

Then eight sounds 

yield the eight musical sounds. 

Nai see line 6. 

Pa is explained as to separate, to divide, being a picture of two persons separating, turned back to back (line 162). It may well have been adopted as the symbol for 8 in reference to the obvious and easy divisibility of that unit; the Chinese however occupy themselves less with its origin as a numeral than with its fanciful position, a climacteric of the female numbers (line 75). 

Yin is a corruption of 言 yen words (line 118) with a stroke inserted, and means regulated noise, i.e. musical sounds. These are arranged under eight heads. The gourd furnishes such instruments as the mouth-organ, earth the ocarina, skin the drum, wood the Castanet, stone the hanging musical-stone, metal the gong, silk the guitar, and bamboo the flute. [Eitel wrongly renders this line "By these then we produce the eight tones of the scala."]