6 Lesson 5-楊布

楊布   (《列子》)

yáng bù (liè zǐ )

楊朱之弟曰布。衣素衣而出,天雨解素衣,衣緇衣而反。其狗不知,迎而吠之。楊布怒將撲之,楊朱曰: “子無撲矣 ! 子亦猶是也。嚮者,使汝狗白而往,黑而來,豈能無怪哉?”


杨朱之弟曰布。衣素衣而出,天雨解素衣,衣缁衣而反。其狗不知,迎而吠之。杨布怒将扑之,杨朱曰: “子无扑矣 ! 子亦犹是也。向者,使汝狗白而往,黑而来,岂能无怪哉?”

Lesson 5 vocabulary

楊(杨)布 Yáng Bù
楊(杨)朱 Yáng Zhū 楊朱 was a hedonist philosopher of the warring states period.  No work by him survives, though some of his ideas survive in the Daoist work Zhuangzi 莊子.  He was attacked and parodied by Mencius as well.
yüē to be called
to wear
plain, undyed silk
chū to go out
tiān sky, heaven
rain
天雨 tiān yǔ to rain
jiě to remove
緇 (缁) black silk
fǎn to return
gǒu dog
zhī to know
yíng to go to meet
fèi to bark at
angry
to beat
無(无) don’t [c.f. 毋; 勿]
also
猶 (犹) yóu like
shì this
[a particle] often used at the end of a sentence, expressing assertion , or equality (A = B).
嚮(向)者 xiàng zhě previously, a short time ago
使 shǐ supposing, if
you
bái white
wǎng to go, to go to
hēi black
來 (来) lái to come
豈 (岂) how?  [rhetorical, surely not ]
無(无) not have [opposite of 有]
guài strange; surprise
zāi [a final particle, an emphatic]

Commentary on Lesson 5:

1.1:  無 is normally used as a negative equivalent to 有 (it thus means “does not have” or “there is not”). However, here it is being used as a replacement for another character, 毋 wú which is the negative imperative “do not”. The replacement of homophonic characters for each other is fairly common in classical Chinese. The more typical meaning of無 can be seen in the last sentence of this selection.

The use of the particle 矣 here is not to emphasize the completion of an action, but rather to give strength to the speaker’s command.

1.2: 也, like矣, is a particle found most often at the end of sentences. It is often used in arguments to emphasize a statement that is universally true independent of specific events in time. 也 is also used to link two things in the manner of an “equals sign”; the only difference is that it always comes after the two things. For example, 欲金者, 耕者也 “the person who wanted gold was a plowman.”

豈 means “how,” though it generally has a rhetorical meaning that does not anticipate an answer – as when we say to someone, for example, “how can you drive a truck if you’ve never driven a car?” (i.e., you can’t do it). A sentence with 豈 often ends with the sentence-ending particle 哉, which gives the force of an exclamation. Literally豈能無怪哉 reads, “how could you not have a surprise?!” i.e., “wouldn’t you be surprised?”

Grammar Note 4

We have observed that Chinese word order resembles English word order. This makes Classical Chinese easier to understand and translate, up to a point. But of course the sentence structures of the two languages aren’t identical, and to avoid mistakes it is especially important to keep aware of the differences.

We say that English declarative sentences include (usually in that order) a subject and a predicate; the predicate includes a verb and (where the verb is transitive) usually an object.

Intransitive: Dogs bark.
Transitive: Man bites dog.
VERB OBJECT
SUBJECT                PREDICATE

 

Many Chinese sentences look very similar:

intransitive:

齊人 衣冠
Qí rén yì guan
The man of Qi Dresses.
tiān
The skies rained.

transitive:

xiāo féng jiū
Owl meets dove.
zhé jǐng
Hare breaks neck.

Clearly in word order Classical Chinese and English are closer to each other than they are to other languages with freer word order or languages that for example tend to put the verb last, like German and Japanese. In spite of these similarities between Classical Chinese and English the languages do differ in pervasive underlying ways which we discuss later, with more examples before us. Here we will limit ourselves to some particularly troublesome differences.

  1. Classical Chinese can omit subject (-subjects are supplied below in square brackets):
                       猶
                      yóu zhī shēng

[people] will still hate your sound.

時, 人, 金。
jīn zhī shí, jiàn rén, jiàn jīn。

When [I] took the gold,      [I] didn’t see the people,    [I] just saw the gold.

 

From the viewpoint of Anglophone readers, this is hardly troublesome where (just as it can in English) one subject serves for a sequence of predicates.

株,
zǒu chù zhū, zhé jǐng ér

The hare ran, [he] bumped into stump, [he] broke neck, and [he] died.

 

Confusion arises where the unnamed subject of a later predicate differs from the named or unnamed subject of an earlier predicate.

矣; 鳴, 徙,  猶  之  聲。
 néng gēng míng,  kě  yǐ;  bù néng  gēng míng,  dōng xǐ , yóu  wù  zǐ  zhī  shēng。

If you can change your cry that will be satisfactory, but if [you] can’t, [although you] move to the east, [people] will still hate your sound.

死, 耒.
zhé jǐng ér sǐ,  yīn shì  qí   lěi

[The hare] broke his neck and died; thereupon [the plowman] abandoned his plow.

  1. Thoughts which Classical Chinese expresses with a two-part pattern of subject and stative verb, English expresses with subject, verb to be (copula), and predicate adjective, a tripartite pattern similar to subject-verb-object.

Observe these contrasts:

S SV S V PA
Which is right?
shú shì
[His] heart is Happy.
xīn

 

3. The particle 也 yě, as in 子亦猶是也  zǐ yì yóu shì yě (lesson 5), is an important marker of sentence endings. (It can also set off with a pause certain pre-predicate elements.) For now it will be enough to note the following observation of Harold Shadick:

The meanings expressed by constructions marked by 也 yě are always concerned with judgments, opinions and attitudes regarding facts, never with the succession of events in time. In this it contrasts with the other common final particle 矣 yǐ which is always concerned with the completion of an action or of a change in a situation.2

The particle 耶 yé or 邪 yé at the end of lesson 4 is thought to represent a contraction of 也 yě with the question-particle 乎 hū. 耶 yé and 邪 yé tend to mark alternative questions “which is right, which is wrong?” and also to mark rhetorical questions. This question is presumably not only alternative in form, but also rhetorical, implying the typical answer to rhetorical questions: “none of the above” or “who knows?”

2 Shadick, Harold. A First Course in Literary Chinese, Vol. 3. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968. p. 846

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Introduction to Classical Chinese by Patrick Hanan; David Lattimore; Judith Zeitlin; Margaret Baptist Wan; Anthony George; Xiaofei Tian; Regina Llamas; Hu Hsiao-chen; Liu Lening; Paul Rouzer; Shang Wei; Andrew Schonebaum; and Kong Mei is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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