Hsiao4 ching1 t'ung1
Filial classic pierce
When the Classic of Filial Piety is mastered,
Hsiao see line 41.
Ching see title. This work is ascribed to Tseng Ts'an (line 128).
T'ung is composed of the walking radical and 甬 yung bursting vegetation as phonetic. It means to go through, free, not obstructed, to understand, etc.
Ssu4 shu1 shu2
Four book cooked
and the Four Books are known by heart,
Ssu see title and line 37.
Shu see line 114.
Shu is composed of 孰 shu, as phonetic, with 火 huo fire underneath as radical. This phonetic shu was the original character for cooked, ripe; but inasmuch as it was also used for another sound shu meaning who? what? the two senses were separated as time went on by the insertion of the radical fire whenever shu meant cooked or ripe, to distinguish it from shu who? what? Thus it was that the growing exigencies of the language called into existence new characters to divide the burden of meanings. [The commentary puts the study of the Four Books before that of the Filial Piety Classic, an order which is still observed. See line 113.]
Ju2 liu4 ching1
Follow six canon
the next step is to the Six Classics,
Ju is composed of 女 nu woman as radical, and 口 k'ou mouth. It is explained as a woman following the injunctions of her father and husband; hence, to go towards, to arrive. In later times it came to be used in the senses of like, as, if, and also in an introductory sense "with regard to," etc.
Liu see line 75.
Ching see title.
Shih3 k'o3 3 tu2
Begin can read
which may now be studied.
Shih is composed of 女 nu woman as radical, with 台 i (line 130) as phonetic. It is defined as "the beginning or birth of woman," and is the opposite of 終 chung (line 113). See also lines 200, 212, 293.
K'o is composed of 口 k'ou mouth as radical, and an obsolete word meaning vapour striving to free itself. It originally meant to be willing.
Tu is composed of 言 yen words as radical, and a phonetic which under its modern form is identical with 賣 mai4 to sell, but is really the corruption of an obsolete word pronounced yu. It means to hum over books, to study; with another reading tou4 (line 110) it means the completion of a sentence, in which sense it is said to be used for 逗 tou4 to stop. Mai to sell was originally composed of 出 ch'u to dispose of (line 210) and 貝 pei valuables (line 8), while 買 mai3 to buy was composed of 网 wang a net and pei valuables = to get valuables into one's net; see Mencius ii. 下, X, 6, 7. [These two lines are rendered by Eitel, "Then perchance, as to the so-called Six Classics, a beginning can be made to read them." But there is no authority for translating ju by "perchance." Pere Zottoli has "Quoad sex canonicos, tunc poterunt praelegi." But proelegi makes 讀 tu the act of the teacher instead of the pupil, proelegere meaning to read to others as a teacher, to show how a thing should be read, to lecture. See line 283 et seqq.]
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