人之初 性本善 性相近 習相遠
men at their birth,
are naturally good.
their natures are much the same;
their habits become widely different.
苟不教 性乃遷 教之道 貴以專
if follishly there is no teaching,
the nature will deteriorate.
the right way in teaching,
is to attach the utmost importance
昔孟母 擇鄰處 子不學 斷機杼
of old, the mother of mencius
chose a neighbourhood
and when her child would not learn,
she broke the shuttle from the loom.
竇燕山 有義方 教五子 名俱揚
tou of the swallow hills
had the right method
he taugh five son,
each of whom raised the family reputation.
養不教 父之過 教不嚴 師之惰
to feed without teaching,
is the father's fault.
to teach without severity,
is the teacher's laziness.
子不學 非所宜 幼不學 老何為
if the child does not learn,
this is not as it should be.
if he does not learn while young,
what will he be when old ?
玉不琢 不成器 人不學 不知義
if jade is not polished,
it cannot become a thing of use.
if a man does not learn,
he cannot know his duty towards his neighbour.
為人子 方少時 親師友 習禮儀
he who is the son of a man,
when he is young,
should attach himself to his teachers and friends;
and practise ceremonial usages.
香九齡 能溫席 孝於親 所當執
hsiang, at nine years of age,
could warm his parent's bed.
filial piety towards parents,
is that to which we should hold fast.
融四歲 能讓梨 弟於長 宜先知
jung, at four years of age,
could yield the (bigger) pears.
to hehave as a younger brother towards elders,
is one of the first things to know.
首孝弟 次見聞 知某數 識某文
begin with filial piety and fraternal love,
and then see and hear .
learn to count,
and learn to read.
一而十 十而百 百而千 千而萬
units and tens,
then tens and hundreds,
hundreds and thousands,
thousands and then tens of thousands.
三才者 天地人 三光者 日月星
the three forces,
are heaven, earth and man.
the three luminaries,
are the sun,the moon and the stars.
三綱者 君臣義 父子親 夫婦順
the three bonds,
are the obligation between soverign and subject,
the love between father and child,
the harmony between husband and wife.
曰春夏 曰秋冬 此四時 運不窮
we speak of spring and summer,
we speak of autumn and winter,
these four seasons,
revolve without ceasing.
曰南北 曰西東 此四方 應乎中
we speak of north and south,
we speak of east and west,
these four points,
respond to the requirements of the centre.
曰火水 木金土 此五行 本乎數
we speak of water, fire,
wood,metal and earth.
these five elements,
have their origin in number.
曰仁義 禮智信 此五常 不容紊
we speak of charity, of duty towards one neighbour,
of propriety, of wisdom, and of truth.
these five virtues,
admit of no compromise.
稻粱菽 麥黍稷 此六谷 人所食
rice , spike, millet, pulse
wheat, glutinous millet and common millet,
these six grains,
are those which men eat.
馬牛羊 雞犬豕 此六畜 人所飼
the horse, the ox, the sheep,
the fowl, the dog, the pig.
these six animals,
are those which men keep.
曰喜怒 曰哀懼 愛惡欲 七情具
we speak of joy, of anger,
we speak of pity, of fear,
of love , of hate and of desire.
these are the seven passions.
匏土革 木石金 與絲竹 乃八音
the gound, earthenware,skin
wood, stone metal,
silk and bamboo,
yield the eight musical sounds.
高曾祖 父而身 身而子 子而孫
great great grandfather,great grandfather, grandfather,
father and self,
self and son,
son and grandson,
自子孫 至玄曾 乃九族 人之倫
from son and grandson,
on to great grandson and great great grandson.
these are the nine agnates,
constituting the kinships of man.
父子恩 夫婦從 兄則友 弟則恭
affection between father and child,
harmony between husband and wife,
friendliness on the part of elder brothers,
respectfulness on the part of younger brothers,
長幼序 友與朋 君則敬 臣則忠
procedence(??) between elders and youngers, (probably : precedence )
as between friend and friend.
respect on the part of the sovereign,
loyalty on the part of the subject.
these ten obligations,
are common to all men.
凡訓蒙 須講究 詳訓詁 名句讀
in the education of the young,
there should be explanation and eluciation,
careful teaching of the interpretations of commentators,
and due attention to paragraphs and sentences.
為學者 必有初 小學終 至四書
those who are learners,
must have a beginning.
the 'little learning' finished,
they proceed to the four books.
論語者 二十篇 群弟子 記善言
there is the lun yu (discourse or analects),
in twenty sections.
in this, the various disciples,
have recorded the wise sayings of confucious.
孟子者 七篇止 講道德 說仁義
the works of mencius,
have comprised in seven section.
these explain the way and exemplifications thereof,
and expound clarity and duty towards one's neighbour.
作中庸 子思筆 中不偏 庸不易
the chung yung (the doctrine of the mean),
by the pen of tzu-su;
chung (the middle) being that which odes not lean toward! s any side,
yung( the course) being that which cannot be changed.
作大學 乃曾子 自修齊 至平治
he who wrote the 'great learning'
was the philosopher tseng.
beginning with cultivation of the individual and ordering of the family,
it goes on to government of one's own state and ordering of the family.
孝經通 四書熟 如六經 始可讀
when the 'classic of filial piety' is mastered,
and the 'four books' are known by heart.
the next step is to the 'six classics',
which may now be studied.
詩書易 禮春秋 號六經 當講求
the books of poetry, of history and of changes.
the 'rites of chou dynasty, the book of tites, and the 'spring and autum
are the six classics
which should be carefully explained and analysed.
有連山 有歸藏 有周易 三易詳
there is the lien shan system,
there is the kuei tsang
and there is the system of changes of the chou dynasty,
such are the 3 systems wh! ich elucidate the changes.
有典謨 有訓誥 有誓命 書之奧
there are the regulations and the counsels,
the instruction, the annoucements,
the oaths, the charges,
these are the profundities of the book of history.
我周公 作周禮 著六官 存治體
our duke of chou,
drew up the ritual of the chou dynasty,
in which he set forth the duties of the six classes of officials;
and thus gave a settled form to the government.
大小戴 注禮記 述聖言 禮樂備
the elder and the younger tai,
wrote commentaries on the book of rites.
they publish the holy words,
and ceremonies and music were set in order.
曰國風 曰雅頌 號四詩 當諷詠
we speak of the kuo feng,
we speak of the ya and the sung.
these are the four sections of the book of poetry,
which should be hummed over and over.
詩既亡 春秋作 寓褒貶 別善惡
when odes ceased to be made,
the spring and autumn annals were produced.
th! ese annals contain praise and blame,
and distinguish the good from the bad.
三傳者 有公羊 有左氏 有彀梁
the three commentaries upon the above,
include that of kung-yang,
th at of tso
and that of ku-liang.