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S275: One opened out rushes and plaited them together

275. 披蒲編

P'i1 p'u2 pien4

Open rush plait 

One opened out rushes and plaited them together; 

P'i is composed of 手 shou hand as radical, with 皮 p'i skin as phonetic (line 273), and originally meant to grasp from the side. It now means to spread out, etc. 

P'u is composed of 艸 ts'ao vegetation as radical, and 浦 p'u a reach of a river as phonetic. 

Pien is composed of 糸 ssu silk as radical and 扁 pien (line 116) as phonetic. It means to arrange in order, to compile, etc. [This line refers to 路溫舒 Lu Wen-shu, a shepherd under the Han dynasty (line 214), who copied out on a sheet of plaited reeds, being too poor to buy the costly books of the period, portions of the Book of History.] 

276. 削竹簡

Hsiao1 chu1 chien3

Scrape bamboo tablet 

another scraped tablets of bamboo. 

Hsiao is composed of 刀 tao knife as radical, with a common phonetic (line 271). 

Chu see line 87. 

Chien is composed of 竹 chu bamboo as radical, with 50 chien a space as phonetic. It also means to abridge, terse, to choose, negligent, etc. [This line refers to 公孫弘 Kung-sun Hung, died B.C. 121, a swineherd who at the age of fifty borrowed the Spring and Autumn Annals and copied it out on bamboo tablets, subsequently rising to high office. Eitel entirely misses the meaning of these two lines. He translates, "Men like Lu Wen-shu split reeds and bamboo slips, or polished bamboo tablets to write on."] 

277.  彼無書

Pi3 wu2 shu1 

They not book 

These men had no books, 

Pi see line 273. 

Wu was originally composed of 亡 wang to perish as radical, with 橆 wu abundant (now a synonym of 火) as phonetic. It is the negation of 有 yu (line 14), and is classed under radical fc huo fire, as seen in combination at the bottom of a character. 

Shu see line 114. 

278. 且知勉

Chieh3 chih1 mie3 

Yet know effort

they knew how to make  an effort.

Ch'ieh see line 274. 

Chih see line 28. 

Mien is composed of 力 li strength as radical, and 免 mien to avoid as phonetic. It originally meant strong, stiff, hard, etc. 

297. 頭懸梁

T'ou2 hsuan2 Hang2 

Head hang beam

One tied his head to the beam above him; 

T'ou is composed of 頁 yeh head, leaf, as radical, and 豆 tou a sacrificial vessel, beans, as phonetic. 

Hsuan is composed of 心 hsin heart as radical, and 縣 hsien, which was the original form of this character but is now reserved for the sense of magistracy, magistrate, as phonetic, the radical heart being a late addition, to prevent confusion. 

Liang see line 228. [This line refers to 孫敬 Sun Ching, a scholar of the 2nd cent. A.D. He thus prevented himself from nodding over his books.] 

280. 錐刺股

Chui1 tzu4 ku3 

Awl prick thigh 

another pricked his thigh with an awl. 

Chui is composed of 金 chin metal as radical, and 隹 chui birds as phonetic. 

Tz'u is composed of 刀 tao knife as radical, and 朿 tz'u a thorn (not 束 shu to bind as in line 283) as phonetic. It has various extended meanings, such as to blame, to criticise. 

Ku is composed of 肉 jou flesh as radical and 殳 shu an obsolete word as phonetic. [This line refers to a famous statesman named 蘇秦 Su Ch'in, who died B.C. 317. It was thus that in his youth he kept himself awake for study.] 

281. 彼不教

Pi3 pu1 chiao4 

They not teach 

They were not taught, 

Pi see line 273. 

Pu see line 5. 

Chiao see line 5. [This line well illustrates the absurdity of attempting to deduce fixed rules of grammar from Chinese texts,— an attempt by the way which the Chinese themselves have never been guilty of making. To a European eye, the line can only mean "they did not teach," but to a Chinaman these three characters present three root ideas, the connected sense of which is determined by the logic of the occasion. Cf. lines 5, 17. Similar instances abound; e.g. 父母不孝 fu mu pu hsiao, which taken gram- matically can only mean "If a man's father and mother are not filial," but which really means "If a man is not filial towards his father and mother," as proved by the context "what will worship of the gods avail?"] 

282. 自勤苦

Tzu4 ch'in2 ku3  

Self diligent bitter 

but toiled hard of their own accord.

Tzu see line 93. 

Ch'in see line 270. 

K'u is composed of 艸 ts'ao vegetation as radical, with 古 ku ancient (line 261), and is said to have originally meant the liquorice plant. Its modern sense is bitter and by extension toilsome, poverty-stricken; hence the imported word coolie has been written in Chinese 苦力 k'u li, poverty and strength. 

283. 如囊螢

Then we have one who put fireflies in a bag, 

Ju2 nang2 ying2 

Follow bag firefly

Ju see line 133. [Eitel again strangely translates by "perchance." Zottoli is also wrong with "sicut." His "quoad" under line 133 was much more to the point. The word is here used in an introductory sense.] 

Nang has a portion of 束 shu to bind (lines 280, 268) appearing as part of the old radical, and also a portion of 襄 hsiang (line 38) as phonetic. It is now classed under radical 口 kou mouth. 

Ying is composed of 虫 ch'ung insect as radical, with a common phonetic. [The reference is to 車引 Ch'e Yin of the 4th cent. A.D., who was too poor to pay for a candle and adopted the above expedient. Eitel wrongly reads Kü Yin,  being always ch'ê as a surname. Zottoli has 允 yun instead of 引 yin. Both occur, but the latter seems to be correct.] 

284. 如映雪

Ju2 ying4 hsüeh3 

Follow bright snow 

and again another who used the white glare from snow. 

Ju see line 133. 

Ying is composed of 日 jih sun as radical, with 央 yang middle as phonetic. 

Hsueh is composed of 雨 yu rain as radical, and a contraction of 慧 hui a broom as phonetic. [The reference is to 孫康 Sun K'ang of the 4th cent. A.D., who used to study in winter by the light reflected from snow.] 

285. 家雖貧

Chia1 sui1 p'in1

Family although poor 

Although their families were poor, 

Chia see line 192. 

Sui is composed of 虫 ch'ung insect, its old radical, with 唯 wei to utter a cry as phonetic. Its original meaning was a creature like a chameleon, but larger. Now classed under radical 隹 chui birds. 

P'in is composed of 貝 pei pearl-oyster, wealth, as radical, with 分 fen to divide, diminish, as phonetic. [Eitel has "For their families were indeed poor."] ' these men studied unceasingly. 

286. 學不輟

Hsueh2 pu1  cho4 

Learn not stop 

Although their families were poor

Hsüeh see line 11. 

Pu see line 5. 

Cho is composed of 車 ch'e cart as ridical, and a common phonetic. It originally meant a petty repair to a cart; hence, to mend. Its modern and usual signification is to stop. 

287. 如負薪

Ju1 fu4 hsin1

Follow carry fuel 

Again, there was one who carried fuel, 

Ju see lines 133, 283. 

Pu is composed of 人 jen man (not 刀 tao knife, see line 1) written somewhat like its archaic form, over 貝 pel pearl-oyster, wealth, as radical; q.d. that which man relies upon, hence to rely upon, and later to bear on the back, to turn the back, to be ungrateful. 

Hsia is composed of 艸 ts'ao vegetation as radical, with 新 hsin new as phonetic. It means firewood. [The reference is to 朱買臣 Chu Mai-ch'en who died B.C. 116. He carried on his studies while engaged in work as a woodcutter.] 

288. 如掛角

Ju2 kua4 chio2 

Follow hang horn

and anotner who used horns as pegs. 

Ju see lines 133, 283. 

Kua is composed of 手 shou hand as radical, with 卦 kua diagram (line 135) as phonetic. Its original form was 挂, and it was said to mean to draw, a picture. 

Chio is supposed to be a picture of an animal's horn. It further means angle, corner, and is also read chueh2 and chiao  . [The reference is to 李密 Li Mi of the 3rd cent. A.D., who when riding his buffalo afield, read from one book and hung the others on the buffalo's horns.] 

289. 身雖勞

Shen1 sui2 lao2 

Body although toil 

Although they toilded with their bodies, 

Shen see line 90. 

Sui see line 285. Again Eitel has "indeed." 

Lao is composed of 力 li strength as radical, and a contraction of 熒 jung or ying blazing as phonetic (line 283). It is explained as using strength to put out a fire, toilsome, laborious. 

290. 猶苦卓

Yu2 K'u3 cho1 

Still bitter surpass 

they were nevertheless remarkable for their application. 

Yu is composed of y^ ch'uan dog as radical, with ^Sf chia chief 
as phonetic. It originally meant a gorilla, and now has a host 
of meanings, such as yet, even, as, like, equal to, etc. 

K'u see line 282. 

Cho is composed of 匕 pi spoon and 早 tsao early, but is now classed under radical 十 shih ten. [Eitel translates "They moreover took pains in studying at the same time," evidently reading 學 hsüeh for cho as above, a variant which does not occur in any good edition.]