The right way in teaching
Chiao 4 chih 1 tao 4
Teach arrive road
Chiao see line 5.
Chih see line 1. [It is unnecessary here to regard chih as a sign of the possessive. The root idea may be developed as follows: — "In the matter of teaching, we reach the right method by, etc."]
Tao is composed of the walking radical and 首 shou head (line 41). It originally meant that which passes through, a road to be walked upon, and then by extension a road or method to be followed, as in philosophy, and even in stealing. Hence Taoism, the Doctrine of the Way, as taught by Lao Tzu (line 174), in antagonism to the Way taught by Confucius (line 121). 道人 tao jen was a term for Buddhists down to the end of the 5th cent. A.D., and Mr. T. W. Kingsmill has identified tao with the Buddhist mrga, the path which leads to Nirvana.
is to attach the utmost importance to thoroughness.
Kuei4 i2 chuan 1
Valuable take single
Kuei is composed of 貝 pei, a picture under its old form of a pearl- oyster, once a circulating medium in China; hence, precious, honourable, as radical, with a corruption of 臾 k'uei4 a basket as phonetic.
I under its old form was the horary character 巳 Ssu turned back to front, and its original meaning was to use, to take.
Chuan is composed of 寸 ts'un an inch as radical, and a phonetic which, with the ts'un added, forms another important phonetic. Its original meaning is uncertain; but among its earliest senses is that of unity, singleness of purpose, special, etc.
[The structure of this line is 以 to take 專 thoroughness (為 to be, understood) 貴 the valuable thing. Few couplets in the San Tzu Ching have been so widely misunderstood as the above. Dr. Bridgman (Chinese Repository for 1836, p. 107, reproduced by Williams in The Middle Kingdom, 1883): "A course of education, is made valuable by close attention."
The Rev. S. C. Malan, 1856: "But in the way of education, the principal-thing is undivided attention."
Stanislas Julien, 1864: "Teaching takes all its value from an entire application of mind of the master"
Rev. Pere Zottoli, 1879: "Educationis ratio exigitur ex toto animo."
The Rev. E. J. Eitel (China Review for 1892, vol. XX, p. 35): "Education's rationale is such that the highest value is placed on application."
The flaws in all the above renderings, of which the last is decidedly the worst, will be made plain by a reference to the commentary. Education, in the Chinese acceptation of the term, should begin even before birth. The prospective mother should watch carefully over her own uprisings and downsittings. She must see no evil sights and hear no harsh sounds. She must not indulge in strong language, nor taste of out-of-the-way dishes; but she should herself cultivate loyalty, filial piety, friendly feelings, and upright principles, with a view to transmit the same to her child about to be. This is the first stage of education. The second consists in teaching her little one to eat with the right hand, to speak in a subdued tone, to know the four points of the compass (see line 64), to be deferential, and to avoid selfishness. The last stage begins in the schoolroom, at about eight years of age. Julien rightly saw that chuan could not refer to the pupil, but he wrongly limited its function to the schoolmaster.]
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