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戰國策 (王力 古代漢語 Wang Li, Classical Chinese)


chrix

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OK, just preparing for the next chapter of Wang Li's textbook, the "Records of the Warring States". This is set in a more turbulent era than the Zuozhuan, between the 3rd and 1st century B.C.E., just as Qin had united China. It consists mainly of anecdotes (from before the unification), but not necessarily as historical fact, but rather to serve as an argument for the strategist when trying to persuade a ruler of a certain strategy. So a lot of what is said in Zhanguoce needs to be taken with a grain of salt, though I understand there is considerable debate about this.

Here's the original text

Here's a translation into Mondern Mandarin

Here's an English translation

Both translations are scanned texts, so it will be quite tiresome to read them on a screen...

I'll start adding my notes here once we get through with the Zuozhuan chapter of Wang Li...

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Here are my comments for the first text (you can find the original and translations into English and Mandarin if you look for it at the beginning of the 齊策四 section):

齊人有馮諼者,貧乏不能自存,使人屬孟嘗君,願寄食門下。孟嘗君曰:“客何好?”曰:“客無好也。”曰:“客何能?”曰:“客無能也。”孟嘗君笑而受之曰:“諾。”左右以君賤之也,食以草具。居有頃,倚柱彈其劍,歌曰:“長鋏歸來乎!食無魚。”左右以告。孟嘗君曰:“食之,比門下之客。”居有頃,復彈其鋏,歌曰:“長鋏歸來乎!出無車。”左右皆笑之,以告。孟嘗君曰:“為之駕,比門下之車客。”於是乘其車,揭其劍,過其友曰:“孟嘗君客我。”後有頃,復彈其劍鋏,歌曰:“長鋏歸來乎!無以為家。”左右皆惡之,以為貪而不知足。孟嘗君問:“馮公有親乎?”對曰:“有老母。”孟嘗君使人給其食用,無使乏。於是馮諼不復歌。後孟嘗君出記,問門下諸客:“誰習計會,能為文收責於薛者乎?”馮諼署曰:“能。”孟嘗君怪之,曰:“此誰也?”左右曰:“乃歌夫長鋏歸來者也。”孟嘗君笑曰:“客果有能也,吾負之,未嘗見也。”請而見之,謝曰:“文倦於事,憒於憂,而性懧愚,沉於國家之事,開罪於先生。先生不羞,乃有意欲為收責於薛乎?”馮諼曰:“願之。”於是約車治裝,載券契而行,辭曰:“責畢收,以何市而反?”孟嘗君曰:“視吾家所寡有者。”驅而之薛,使吏召諸民當償者,悉來合券。券遍合,起矯命以責賜諸民,因燒其券,民稱萬歲。

長驅到齊,晨而求見。孟嘗君怪其疾也,衣冠而見之,曰:“責畢收乎?來何疾也!”曰:“收畢矣。”“以何市而反?”馮諼曰:“君云‘視吾家所寡有者’。臣竊計,君宮中積珍寶,狗馬實外廄,美人充下陳。君家所寡有者以義耳!竊以為君市義。”孟嘗君曰:“市義柰何?”曰:“今君有區區之薛,不拊愛子其民,因而賈利之。臣竊矯君命,以責賜諸民,因燒其券,民稱萬歲。乃臣所以為君巿義也。”孟嘗君不說,曰:“諾,先生休矣!”後期年,齊王謂孟嘗君曰:“寡人不敢以先王之臣為臣。”孟嘗君就國於薛,未至百里,民扶老攜幼,迎君道中。孟嘗君顧謂馮諼:“先生所為文市義者,乃今日見之。”馮諼曰;“狡兔有三窟,僅得免其死耳。今君有一窟,未得高枕而臥也。請為君復鑿二窟。”孟嘗君予車五十乘,金五百斤,西遊於梁,謂惠王曰:“齊放其大臣孟嘗君於諸侯,諸侯先迎之者,富而兵強。”於是,梁王虛上位,以故相為上將軍,遣使者,黃金千斤,車百乘,往聘孟嘗君。馮諼先驅誡孟嘗君曰:“千金,重幣也;百乘,顯使也。齊其聞之矣。”梁使三反,孟嘗君固辭不往也。齊王聞之,君臣恐懼,遣太傅齎黃金千斤,文車二駟,服劍一,封書謝孟嘗君曰:“寡人不祥,被於宗廟之祟,沉於諂諛之臣,開罪於君,寡人不足為也。願君顧先王之宗廟,姑反國統萬人乎?”馮諼誡孟嘗君曰:“願請先王之祭器,立宗廟於薛。”廟成,還報孟嘗君曰:“三窟已就,君姑高枕為樂矣。”孟嘗君為相數十年,無纖介之禍者,馮諼之計也。

1. 孟嘗君 was one of the Four Lords of the Warring States Period. In this period, it wasn't necessarily the rulers who had the highest power in the state, but rather their chancellors. Mengchang was Chancellor of Tian-Qi (called Tian-Qi because the Tian family usurped the throne in Qi) and Wei.

2. This is story is the source for two chengyu, 高枕無憂 "sleep without any anxiety, can sleep in comfort, rest easy" and 狡兔三窟 "the wily hare has three holes to his burrow"

齊人有馮諼者,貧乏不能自存,使人屬孟嘗君,願寄食門下。

3. 馮諼 Féng Xuān. Note the use of 者 here.

4. 寄食 means "dependent on others for food"

5. 門下 are called 食客 in Modern Mandarin and were called "clients" in Ancient Rome.

孟嘗君曰:“客何好?”曰:“客無好也。” 曰:“客何能?”曰:“客無能也。”

Inversion in the interrogative sentences.

孟嘗君笑而受之曰:“諾。”

6. 諾 Wang Li says "答應的聲音". So did the Duke say "諾", or gave some grunt that indicated his "諾"?

左右以君賤之也,食以草具。

7. the first 以: in some cases it can mean "because", but some annotations suggest it means "以為". So there's an ambiguity between "The retinue thought the Duke disrepected him" and "Because the Duke disrespected him, the retinue did..." I think the 也 would make a subclause reading unlikely here...

8. 食 sì: feed

9. 具: here it means "food and drinks".

居有頃,倚柱彈其劍,歌曰:“長鋏歸來乎!食無魚。”

10. 居有頃: "after he had stayed for a while" ?

11. 鋏 jiá: the heft of a sword, here metonymically for the entire sword.

左右以告。孟嘗君曰:“食之,比門下之客。”

12. note the use of 以 here with 之 omitted.

13. 比: 比照

居有頃,復彈其鋏,歌曰:“長鋏歸來乎!出無車。”

14. 復: again

左右皆笑之,以告。孟嘗君曰:“為之駕,比門下之車客。”

15. 為之駕: we all know that this means "prepare a carriage for him", but what about the grammar? 駕 apparently is a noun here, and Wang Li calls this a ditransitive construction, i.e. "make him a carriage"? Would that be the way to go about it?

於是乘其車,揭其劍,過其友曰:“孟嘗君客我。”

16. 揭: hold up high, but can also be used in a co-verb like construction à la "拿著"

後有頃,復彈其劍鋏,歌曰:“長鋏歸來乎!無以為家。”

17. 無以為家: this is again one of these dense constructions. Wouldn't this be something like "無所以養(=為)家者"

左右皆惡之,以為貪而不知足。

18. 惡: wù

孟嘗君問:“馮公有親乎?”對曰:“有老母。”
孟嘗君使人給其食用,無使乏。

19. 給 jǐ: provide with supplies

20. 無使乏: the meaning of the clause is clear, but the function of 無 is a bit unclear, though I think it might yet again be a case of a "dense construction", i.e. 無所使乏者

於是馮諼不復歌。

21. I think the first bit about 馮諼 is fairly odd. Is he just a whiner, or is this some act of filial piety? Also why is he singing to his sword? (Maybe thinking too much into this)

後孟嘗君出記,問門下諸客:“誰習計會,能為文收責於薛者乎?”

22. 習: experienced

23. 計會 jìkuài (and in Modern Mandarin 會計)

24. 文: 名 of 孟嘗君

25. 薛: xuē

26. 責 zhài: now written 債

馮諼署曰:“能。” 孟嘗君怪之,曰:“此誰也?”

27. 怪 here means "to find someone strange"

左右曰:“乃歌夫長鋏歸來者也。”

28. 乃: according to Pulleyblank p. 17, 乃 and 即 add emphasis to a noun predicate but are not copulas.

孟嘗君笑曰:“客果有能也,吾負之,未嘗見也。”

29. 果: "after all"

30. 吾負之: I presume 之 refers to 馮諼, so this means he is talking about him, not with him yet.

請而見之,謝曰:“文倦於事,憒於憂,而性懧愚,沉於國家之事,開罪於先生。

31. in this Qin-era text, do you think 國家 is already a bimorphic word meaning "state" or does he mean matters of "state and family" (he was from the ruling family of Qi, so the state of Qi was also a family matter to him in a way).

先生不羞,乃有意欲為收責於薛乎?” 馮諼曰:“願之。”

32. Similar question for 意欲

32a. annotations say that 不羞 lacks a 之 behind it.

於是約車治裝,載券契而行,辭曰:“責畢收,以何市而反?”

33. 市: this verb can mean "buy, sell", I guess "trade" in general. I wonder how different this is from 沽

33a. 反:返

孟嘗君曰:“視吾家所寡有者。”

34. here 寡 in its original meaning "little, few"

驅而之薛,使吏召諸民當償者,悉來合券。

35a. grammar question: I was a bit puzzled by 諸民 here: it could mean "all villagers", but then I would expect 諸民之當償者, and I do assume that the indirect object of 賜 usually needs 於. So the other obvious thought is that it is a contraction of 之於, but 使吏召之於民當償者 起矯命以責賜之於民 both would have some kind of doubled object, espcially in the first case I don't really get the structure. Or maybe it's a collective prefix in the first place and a contraction in the latter?

券遍合,起矯命以責賜諸民,因燒其券,民稱萬歲。

35b. point about 諸民 see above

長驅到齊,晨而求見。

36. 薛 is the personal fief of the 孟嘗君, so that's why it wouldn't count as part of 齊?

孟嘗君怪其疾也,衣冠而見之,曰:“責畢收乎?來何疾也!”曰:“收畢矣。”

37. 何: here in the sense of 怎麼

“以何市而反?”
馮諼曰:“君云‘視吾家所寡有者’。
臣竊計,君宮中積珍寶,狗馬實外廄,美人充下陳。

38. 竊: "on my own"? In literary Mandarin, this has become a humble first pronoun

君家所寡有者以義耳!竊以為君市義。”

39. I'm not sure about the function of the 以 here.

孟嘗君曰:“市義柰何?”

40. 柰何: 若之何 "what is to be done about it", cf. Pulleyblank, p. 34-5.

曰:“今君有區區之薛,不拊愛子其民,因而賈利之。臣竊矯君命,以責賜諸民,因燒其券,民稱萬歲。乃臣所以為君巿義也。”

41. So I assume we have a parallel structure here in 拊愛子, in the sense of "you do not comfort them, love them and treat them like your children"?

孟嘗君不說,曰:“諾,先生休矣!”

42. So what is this about this guy? When he was asking for more and more, 孟嘗君 just gave it to him, and now that he sent him to Xue and he caused him quite a financial loss, instead of executing him he just tells him to retire? He really must have a severe soft spot for the guy...

後朞年,齊王謂孟嘗君曰:“寡人不敢以先王之臣為臣。”

43. 朞 jī "one-year cycle": the CTP has 期, which is how this character is written now.

44. 不敢: great "diplomatic language"

孟嘗君就國於薛,未至百里,民扶老攜幼,迎君道中。

45. 就國: "go back to one's fief"

孟嘗君顧謂馮諼:“先生所為文市義者,乃今日見之。”
馮諼曰;“狡兔有三窟,僅得免其死耳。今君有一窟,未得高枕而臥也。請為君復鑿二窟。”

46. As mentioned above, the two chengyu from this story: 高枕無憂 "sleep without any anxiety, can sleep in comfort, rest easy" and 狡兔三窟 "the wily hare has three holes to his burrow"

孟嘗君予車五十乘,金五百斤,西遊於梁,謂惠王曰:“齊放其大臣孟嘗君於諸侯,諸侯先迎之者,富而兵強。”

47. 乘: example of a classfier. The classifier phrase can follow the noun in Classical Chinese, which according to Pulleyblank is less common.

於是,梁王虛上位,以故相為上將軍,遣使者,黃金千斤,車百乘,往聘孟嘗君。

48. 故相 "former chancellor"

馮諼先驅誡孟嘗君曰:“千金,重幣也;百乘,顯使也。齊其聞之矣。”

49. 其: a particle here, not the 3rd person possessive pronoun

梁使三反,孟嘗君固辭不往也。
齊王聞之,君臣恐懼,遣太傅齎黃金千斤,文車二駟,服劍一,封書謝孟嘗君曰:

50. 齎 and 賷 (jī) are variants in modern traditional script usage. Text editions also seem to differ.

“寡人不祥,被於宗廟之祟,沉於諂諛之臣,開罪於君,寡人不足為也。願君顧先王之宗廟,姑反國統萬人乎?”

51. Why 姑? Return to the state "temporarily"? Is this diplomatic language again?

馮諼誡孟嘗君曰:“願請先王之祭器,立宗廟於薛。”
廟成,還報孟嘗君曰:“三窟已就,君姑高枕為樂矣。”

52. so let's count the three holes: the first hole is Mengchang's fief in Xue, the second is either the offer by the King of Liang, or the offer by the King of Qi, and the third is to ask him to erect his ancestral temple in Xue. Or what do you think?

孟嘗君為相數十年,無纖介之禍者,馮諼之計也。

53. 纖介 (芥): "thin mustard grass", here for "miniscule"

54. Also, since this is the Zhanguoce, what is the morale of the story? How would a strategist use this story to advise a ruler?

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Thanks, chrix, for all the work you put into that detailed post. I just finished reading the story and quite enjoyed it...I can only begin to imagine what the look on 孟嘗君's face must have been like when 馮諼 returned with a cartload of 義. Here are some thoughts.

6. 諾 Wang Li says "答應的聲音". So did the Duke say "諾", or gave some grunt that indicated his "諾"?

I've always imagined this to be something like 'Okay' or 'Alright'. Schuessler's etymological dictionary gives *nak as the Old Chinese pronunciation. The word is related to 若, which makes sense if you think about it. So I don't think 諾 represents a grunt.

7. the first 以: in some cases it can mean "because", but some annotations suggest it means "以為". So there's an ambiguity between "The retinue thought the Duke disrepected him" and "Because the Duke disrespected him, the retinue did..." I think the 也 would make a subclause reading unlikely here...

I think it's likely, given the rest of the story, that Duke never disrespected him. Otherwise, why would he instruct his retinue to treat him better? So I would read this as "The retinue assumed the Duke disrespected him". The 也 could also serve to emphasise the strength of their belief.

10. 居有頃: "after he had stayed for a while" ?

頃 is a short while, so "after just a little while".

15. 為之駕: we all know that this means "prepare a carriage for him", but what about the grammar? 駕 apparently is a noun here, and Wang Li calls this a ditransitive construction, i.e. "make him a carriage"? Would that be the way to go about it?

I wouldn't think so, but Wang Li is probably the most pre-eminent scholar in the field, and I'm not. It looks to me like 駕 is being used as a verb here, in the sense of 'to prepare a carriage'.

20. 無使乏: the meaning of the clause is clear, but the function of 無 is a bit unclear, though I think it might yet again be a case of a "dense construction", i.e. 無所使乏者

Or perhaps 無 is an imperative: he instructed his servants to bring her food, and literally "not let [her] lack [anything]"?

21. I think the first bit about 馮諼 is fairly odd. Is he just a whiner, or is this some act of filial piety? Also why is he singing to his sword? (Maybe thinking too much into this)

I think he must have been a bit of a spoilt whiner, yes. I don't know why he would be singing to his sword, but I can imagine the Duke's retinue was less than amused to see an apparently nuts guy in the favour of their Lord walking around with a sword, chanting complaints about his treatment :wink:

左右曰:“乃歌夫長鋏歸來者也。”

This is a brilliant sentence.

30. 吾負之: I presume 之 refers to 馮諼, so this means he is talking about him, not with him yet.

I agree. The Duke must have been astonished to find someone he had been taking care of without asking for anything in return would be willing to work to earn his keep.

31. in this Qin-era text, do you think 國家 is already a bimorphic word meaning "state" or does he mean matters of "state and family" (he was from the ruling family of Qi, so the state of Qi was also a family matter to him in a way).

Yes, I think a distinction would be hard to make. It might have been a bimorphic word, or it might have been two morphemes similar in meaning that were in the process of being combined into a compound word. Same reply for next question :wink:

Or maybe it's a collective prefix in the first place and a contraction in the latter?

This seems the most likely to me, although I can't say whether 賜 could also be construed without 於 introducing its indirect object.

君家所寡有者以義耳!竊以為君市義。”

39. I'm not sure about the function of the 以 here.

I think the first 以, in 君家所寡有者以義耳, can be explained as a topic-comment structure:

What Milord's family does not have abundantly, 以義耳 -> 以義而已 -> as to that, there's only 義.

The second one, in 竊以為君市義, seems more straightforward: 以之, "therefore". I'm assuming you were asking about the first 以.

孟嘗君曰:“市義柰何?”

40. 柰何: 若之何 "what is to be done about it", cf. Pulleyblank, p. 34-5.

Or "how does one go about that"?

42. So what is this about this guy? When he was asking for more and more, 孟嘗君 just gave it to him, and now that he sent him to Xue and he caused him quite a financial loss, instead of executing him he just tells him to retire? He really must have a severe soft spot for the guy...

孟嘗君 said earlier he was happy that his ancestors, whom he feared he had offended, had sent 馮諼 to help him out. And now that his debts have suddenly become unrecoverable (hi, sub-prime crisis), he thinks his ancestors actually sent 馮諼 to punish him, and begs them to stop.

51. Why 姑? Return to the state "temporarily"? Is this diplomatic language again?

I think so, yes.

52. so let's count the three holes: the first hole is Mengchang's fief in Xue, the second is either the offer by the King of Liang, or the offer by the King of Qi, and the third is to ask him to erect his ancestral temple in Xue. Or what do you think?

I think the three holes are his own fief, the offer from the King of Liang who now wants to pay tribute to 孟嘗君, and the fact that the King of Qi is sufficiently impressed to allow him to erect his ancestral temple in Xue.

54. Also, since this is the Zhanguoce, what is the morale of the story? How would a strategist use this story to advise a ruler?

Well, I think this story is actually about a strategist of sorts, delivering lots of prestige for his ruler. I could imagine this being used to persuade kings that 義 is as important as material possessions, but I don't know enough about rhetoric in the Warring States period to comment. A Leiden researcher recently got a thee-year grant to pursue a research project about using such stories to influence rulers, so we should hopefully know more in a few years' time.

Quite a long text, but a good read all the same. The next ones are a bit shorter :)

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Thanks Daan, for your reply :D

A. NAK

I've always imagined this to be something like 'Okay' or 'Alright'. Schuessler's etymological dictionary gives *nak as the Old Chinese pronunciation. The word is related to 若, which makes sense if you think about it. So I don't think 諾 represents a grunt.

I think I didn't phrase it right, what I meant was if nak was onomatopoetic in the sense that that what he said was "nak" indeed, and that became a verb later, or whether it was already a verb in performative function ("I agree"), or if it's just describing his action. Sorry if this sounds too much like splitting hairs..

B. 為之駕

I wouldn't think so, but Wang Li is probably the most pre-eminent scholar in the field, and I'm not. It looks to me like 駕 is being used as a verb here, in the sense of 'to prepare a carriage'.

Wang Li doesn't directly say if this is a noun or verb, but I still think this follows from his analysis of this as a double object construction. So we'd have the choice between the following two analyses:

(predicates in capitals)

為之駕

1. MAKE 3sg carriage

2. FOR 3sg CARRIAGE

I think 2 is conceivable, but what about 1. Do you know of other examples where 為 is used in a similar way?

C. WAS FENG XUAN SENT BY MENG CHANG JUN'S ANCESTORS?

42. So what is this about this guy? When he was asking for more and more, 孟嘗君 just gave it to him, and now that he sent him to Xue and he caused him quite a financial loss, instead of executing him he just tells him to retire? He really must have a severe soft spot for the guy...

孟嘗君 said earlier he was happy that his ancestors, whom he feared he had offended, had sent 馮諼 to help him out. And now that his debts have suddenly become unrecoverable (hi, sub-prime crisis), he thinks his ancestors actually sent 馮諼 to punish him, and begs them to stop.

So again looking at 請而見之,謝曰:“文倦於事,憒於憂,而性懧愚,沉於國家之事,開罪於先生。先生不羞,乃有意欲為收責於薛乎?” This is the passage you're referring to, right? Where exactly does he talk about ancestors here? Though I am suspicious of the overly "diplomatic" language here, there might be some subtext...

D. IS THIS A PREMODERN BA CONSTRUCTION?

Or maybe it's a collective prefix in the first place and a contraction in the latter?

This seems the most likely to me, although I can't say whether 賜 could also be construed without 於 introducing its indirect object.

So revisiting this sentence: 券遍合,起矯命以責賜諸民,因燒其券,民稱萬歲。

以責賜諸民

This 以 looks suspiciously close enough to 把, about which Jose was talking in the Fuller thread... though it might also be interpreted as an adverb? So this remains a very confusing construction here, with the preposed object and the ditransitive predicate and the mystery of what 諸 is :conf

券遍合

I'm a bit confused about 遍 (which can also be 徧), though I think here it would mean more something like "all" rather than "universally, generally, commonly", though the dictionaries don't mention it.

E. THAT PESKY 以

I think the first 以, in 君家所寡有者以義耳, can be explained as a topic-comment structure:

What Milord's family does not have abundantly, 以義耳 -> 以義而已 -> as to that, there's only 義.

The second one, in 竊以為君市義, seems more straightforward: 以之, "therefore". I'm assuming you were asking about the first 以.

Yes, I was indeed referring to the first one :oops:

I wasn't aware of this function of 以, do you have more examples of similar constructions (I couldn't find anything about this in my dictionaries or Pulleyblank...

F. AND WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?

Well, I think this story is actually about a strategist of sorts, delivering lots of prestige for his ruler. I could imagine this being used to persuade kings that 義 is as important as material possessions, but I don't know enough about rhetoric in the Warring States period to comment. A Leiden researcher recently got a thee-year grant to pursue a research project about using such stories to influence rulers, so we should hopefully know more in a few years' time.

Very good, let's make a note in the calendar to revisit this issue in three years' time :mrgreen:

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A. NAK

I think I didn't phrase it right, what I meant was if nak was onomatopoetic in the sense that that what he said was "nak" indeed, and that became a verb later, or whether it was already a verb in performative function ("I agree"), or if it's just describing his action.

It would take someone better versed in historical Chinese phonology than myself to answer this question satisfactorily, I am afraid. All I can say is Schuessler (2007: 447) states that:

若 ruo is derived from ni ~D with the distributive suffix *-k" [...] Perhaps 'Of all possible cases, the one like this': 'like this, such, if' [bI, Shu] > as a full vb. 'to agree, approve'

According to Schuessler, 諾 is in turn etymologically related to 若. To me, it then seems more probable that it was already a verb in performative function, than that it came into being as an onomatopoetic word that was later verbed.

B. 為之駕 1. MAKE 3sg carriage (or) 2. FOR 3sg CARRIAGE

I think 2 is conceivable, but what about 1. Do you know of other examples where 為 is used in a similar way?

Not off the top of my head, and a CTP search for 為之 did not yield any similar cases, either. I agree that looking only for 為之 unnecessarily excludes cases where another indirect object is used. However, as there are (to the best of my knowledge) no tagged Classical Chinese corpora yet, this is the best I can do at the moment.

C. WAS FENG XUAN SENT BY MENG CHANG JUN'S ANCESTORS?

I'll change my answer into "no". I previously thought 先生 was 'ancestors' in this text, because its alternative meaning 'teacher' seemed unlikely here given that Feng Xuan was not a teacher. But the CTP indicates 先生 is simply a form of address used for teachers and others alike in the 戰國策. 先生 can then refer to Feng Xuan, and the ancestors don't come into this. So yes, he just sacks him.

D. IS THIS A PREMODERN BA CONSTRUCTION?

This 以 looks suspiciously close enough to 把, about which Jose was talking in the Fuller thread... though it might also be interpreted as an adverb? So this remains a very confusing construction here, with the preposed object and the ditransitive predicate and the mystery of what 諸 is

Where would we be if Classical Chinese texts stop raising questions that seemingly can't be worked out by modern science :wink:

I'm a bit confused about 遍 (which can also be 徧), though I think here it would mean more something like "all" rather than "universally, generally, commonly", though the dictionaries don't mention it.

My 虛詞 dictionary agrees with you that it can also 表示某一主題的全部, but this is the only example sentence for that specific meaning.

I wasn't aware of this function of 以, do you have more examples of similar constructions (I couldn't find anything about this in my dictionaries or Pulleyblank...

See here for some examples.

Unless anyone has further comments on this text, I'll post the second text tomorrow :)

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I wasn't aware of this function of 以, do you have more examples of similar constructions (I couldn't find anything about this in my dictionaries or Pulleyblank...

See here for some examples.

Wow, the last time I tried a google search on the CTP, it didn't work, looks like he has enabled it now :clap

Though it looks like I didn't express myself clearly again, because I didn't mean examples for a topic-comment construction with 而已, but more about the exact function 以 fulfills in 君家所寡有者以義耳. It's clear the sentence means "as for what your house lacked, it was only integrity". But what is the function of 以 here, and do you have more examples for it.

EDIT: I guess it might be in relation to 寡, but I'm still pondering what kind of construction this would actually be...

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Ah, sorry. This usage of 以 does not strike me as weird, but I'll agree it does not seem to be a coverb here. I can't think of any other examples at the moment, but my 虛詞 dictionary says that 以 can also be used as an adverb to 表示僅限 and gives two example sentences. The first one is 如其禮樂,以俟君子 (Analects, Xian Jin 26). The second one is the sentence we're discussing. As we have so often noted, there is still a lot of work to be done in the field of historical Chinese linguistics. I find it's all too often a case of "I know it when I see it".

The next text, then. This one is a bit shorter. I'll post the complete text first, then break it down, adding some comments. If there are any mistakes, please let me know.

齊王使使者問趙威后。書未發,威后問使者曰:“歲亦無恙耶?民亦無恙耶?王亦無恙耶?”使者不說,曰:“臣奉使使威后,今不問王,而先問歲與民,豈先賤而後尊貴者乎?”威后曰:“不然。苟無歲,何以有民?苟無民,何以有君?故有問舍本而問末者耶?”乃進而問之曰:“齊有處士曰鍾離子,無恙耶?是其為人也,有糧者亦食,無糧者亦食;有衣者亦衣,無衣者亦衣。是助王養其民也,何以至今不業也?葉陽子無恙乎?是其為人,哀鰥寡,卹孤獨,振困窮,補不足。是助王息其民者也,何以至今不業也?北宮之女嬰兒子無恙耶?徹其環瑱,至老不嫁,以養父母。是皆率民而出於孝情者也,胡為至今不朝也?此二士弗業,一女不朝,何以王齊國,子萬民乎?於陵子仲尚存乎?是其為人也,上不臣於王,下不治其家,中不索交諸侯。此率民而出於無用者,何為至今不殺乎?”

This text is nowadays referred to as 齊王使使者問趙威后, from the 齊策 part of the 戰國策.

齊王使使者問趙威后。

使者, shìzhě 'messenger'

問, here referring to a custom among feudal lords.

趙威后 is the wife of 趙惠文王.

書未發,威后問使者曰:

書 frequently meant 'letter' in classical Chinese, although it could also mean 'to record (V), record (N)' and therefore 'book'. It is also an abbreviation for the 書經, the Book of Documents, also known as the 尚書. Famously used in the sense of 'letter' in Du Fu's poem 春望: 烽火連三月, 家書抵萬金.

問 is used in its normal sense 'to ask' here.

“歲亦無恙耶?民亦無恙耶?王亦無恙耶?”

歲, 'harvest'

恙, yàng 'disaster'

使者不說,曰:“臣奉使使威后,今不問王,而先問歲與民,豈先賤而後尊貴者乎?”

奉使, 'to receive orders'

second 使 'to be sent to'

I find this a weird construction.

先 and 後, used as verbs here according to Wang Li.

威后曰:“不然。苟無歲,何以有民?苟無民,何以有君?故有問舍本而問末者耶?”

苟, gǒu 'if, supposing'. Can be used both conditionally and hypothetically.

乃進而問之曰:“齊有處士曰鍾離子,無恙耶?是其為人也,有糧者亦食,無糧者亦食;有衣者亦衣,無衣者亦衣。

乃進, 'and then she went further [still]'

處士, 'a talented man who has not been offered a job in the civil service'

曰, 'called'

鍾離子: 鍾離 is a family name consisting of two characters, thousands of which existed in the past according to Wilkinson 2000: 97. He points out we even have records of triple-character family names, but those were generally transcriptions of non-Han surnames.

食 can be read as shí 'to eat' and 'to cause to eat > to feed'.

衣 can be read as 'clothes' and 'to provide with clothes'.

是助王養其民也,何以至今不業也?

業, 'employed'

葉陽子無恙乎?是其為人,哀鰥寡,卹孤獨,振困窮,補不足。

葉陽, Shèyáng, another double-character surname.

Follows a nice insight into traditional Chinese family values:

哀, 'to care for'

鰥, guān 'old unmarried man'

寡,'widow'

卹, 'to care for'

孤, 'fatherless child'

獨,'old person without a son'

振, 'to assist'

不足, '[those who do] not have enough [food and clothes] > the poor'

You would expect 不足者, but this would result in a break of rhythm.

是助王息其民者也,何以至今不業也?

cf. above: 養 / 息

北宮之女嬰兒子無恙耶?徹其環瑱,至老不嫁,以養父母。

北宮 is yet another double-character surname (you wonder how many there were in 齊). Apparently 北宮之女嬰兒子 is 'the daughter of the 北宮 family whose 名字 is 嬰兒子'. It was rare for women in this era to have a 名 and a 字, so this must mean her family was of high social standing.

徹, 'to take away'

環瑱, 'jewels worn in the ears'

是皆率民而出於孝情者也,胡為至今不朝也?

皆, referring to 嬰兒子's behaviour.

胡為, 'why'

朝, '(euphemism for) to grant a title to', further evidence her family must have been of high social standing.

此二士弗業,一女不朝,何以王齊國,子萬民乎?

I was somewhat surprised to see 弗 here, but Pulleyblank (1995: 104-105) points out the theory that 弗 is a fusion of 不 and 之 cannot account for all known occurrences of this particle. He refers to a possible difference between 不 indicating a continuing state or an action going on, and 弗 indicating realization of a potentiality.

王, wàng 'to rule as king'

子, 'to consider as your son'

於陵子仲尚存乎?

於陵 Wūlù was a town in 齊. I would be curious to know where this 讀音 came from. In the Warring States period, there seem to have been more place names in 齊 ending in 陸, but I was unable to locate this particular one in 中國史稿地圖集.

子仲 is a personal name.

是其為人也,上不臣於王,下不治其家,中不索交諸侯。

索, 求也.

此率民而出於無用者,何為至今不殺乎?”

Whaam!

A pretty enjoyable read, I would say. Not too difficult, and it's interesting to see how forthright some people spoke. What do you think?

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Great stuff, Daan :clap

I wonder if numbering the points will make it easier or not, but for this text I had only three points anyway :wink:

55. this is not the source text for this chengyu, but at least part of it is used here: 安然無恙

56. 朝 cháo this is used in an interesting way grammatically, in the meaning 朝見 "be given an audience"

57. I think the morale of this story is pretty clear

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Thanks, chrix, and congratulations on the shiny new buttons :-) I've corrected an inexplicable typo in my post above: the sentence in the first paragraph that previously read 表示先進 now reads 表示僅限.

Have you already read the next text? I'm calling it a night now, but will hopefully read it over the weekend.

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是其為人也,有糧者亦食,無糧者亦食;有衣者亦衣,無衣者亦衣。

食 can be read as shí 'to eat' and sì 'to cause to eat > to feed'.

衣 can be read as yī 'clothes' and yì 'to provide with clothes'.

Well in this context it is clear how they have to be read, right? I.e. both 食 as sì and the first and third 衣 as yī and the second and fourth as yì...

使者不說,曰:“臣奉使使威后,今不問王,而先問歲與民,豈先賤而後尊貴者乎?”

奉使, 'to receive orders'

second 使 'to be sent to'

I find this a weird construction.

Maybe it becomes less weird if you interpret the second 使 as a verbal use of 使 "envoy", in the sense of "acting as an envoy to". Also interesting about the 使: Wang Li's dictionary calls the shì pronunciation a "舊讀", but only for the "envoy" sense, not for the "order" sense...

葉陽, Shèyáng, another double-character surname.

All the dictionaries that have this name have it as Yèyáng, and only the MOE dictionary has shè as an alternate reading... argh....

A pretty enjoyable read, I would say. Not too difficult, and it's interesting to see how forthright some people spoke. What do you think?

Yes, indeed. And pretty obvious why Wang Li chose this text..

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Yes, of course. I merely included that note for the benefit of those reading along without a copy of Wang Li's book lying next to them :)

Also interesting about the 使: Wang Li's dictionary calls the shì pronunciation a "舊讀", but only for the "envoy" sense, not for the "order" sense...

Thanks, that makes sense. The shì reading probably goes back to a suffix used to derive an Old Chinese form meaning 'envoy', which caused the Middle Chinese form meaning 'envoy' to have a 入聲, which in turn became a fourth tone in Mandarin. But such pronunciations are rapidly becoming extinct, as more and more people are unaware of such 讀音s. This is partly because Classical Chinese is often taught as merely another register of Mandarin where characters have broader meanings than usual, which means a great number of students is only nominally (or not even that) aware that those characters represented entirely different forms to their authors than they do to modern-day readers.

All the dictionaries that have this name have it as Yèyáng, and only the MOE dictionary has shè as an alternate reading... argh....

Shè is certainly an alternative reading for 葉. But as I said above, those are quickly becoming lost to the mists of time. I wonder if anyone's ever compiled an overview of 讀音s in Mandarin.

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I think I've seen dictionaries that list these, there are just too many, literally thousands... I for one like to concentrate on 破音字 that are still commonly used today in Modern Mandarin :mrgreen:

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Thanks, that makes sense. The shì reading probably goes back to a suffix used to derive an Old Chinese form meaning 'envoy', which caused the Middle Chinese form meaning 'envoy' to have a 入聲, which in turn became a fourth tone in Mandarin.

not so sure about the 入聲. If it was a s-suffix it would have just become tone C, I think if I remember my historical morphophonology correctly.

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So on to the next lesson, from the 楚策一 section of the Zhanguoce.

First the entire text:

荊宣王問群臣曰:“吾聞北方之畏昭奚恤也,果誠何如?”群臣莫對。江一對曰:“虎求百獸而食之,得狐。狐曰:‘子無敢食我也。天帝使我長百獸,今子食我,是逆天帝命也。子以我為不信,吾為子先行,子隨我後,觀百獸之見我而敢不走乎?’虎以為然,故遂與之行。獸見之皆走。虎不知獸畏己而走也,以為畏狐也。今王之地方五千里,帶甲百萬,而專屬之昭奚恤;故北方之畏奚恤也,其實畏王之甲兵也,猶百獸之畏虎也。”

- 3.1 This is the story behind the chengyu 狐假虎威, as you can see, 假 and 威 do not appear in the original texts. Sometimes chengyu are not a direct quote from the Classics, but rather a summary of a Classical text.

Sentence by sentence:

荊宣王問群臣曰:“吾聞北方之畏昭奚恤也,果誠何如?”

- 3.2 King Jīngxuān of Chu, also known as King Xuan of Chu, 荊 being another name for Chu, reigned from 369-349 BCE.

- 3.3 北方 referring to the various rulers of the Central Plains

- 3.4 昭奚恤 Zhāo Xíxù Chu nobleman.

- 3.5 之: a good example of its nominalising function (Pulleyblank, p. 64-66).

- 3.6 果誠: both mean "true", so it's a dvandva compound or coordination.

- 3.7 何如: compare Pulleyblank, p. 94

群臣莫對。

3.8 here we have a clear example for distributive negative use of 莫.

江一對曰:“虎求百獸而食之,得狐。

3.9 Wang Li has 江乙, but remarks that some have 江一, incl. the CTP.

3.10 求: look for, search for

狐曰:‘子無敢食我也。

3.11 interestingly many annotations have 無敢: 不敢. Why? It would work as a negative command too, wouldn't it?

天帝使我長百獸,今子食我,是逆天帝命也。

3.12 The use of 長 came up in the Fuller thread

3.13 天帝 is given in the dictionary as "God". Curious to know what kind of God this was referring to.

子以我為不信,吾為子先行,子隨我後,觀百獸之見我而敢不走乎?’

3.14 first 為 wéi,second 為 wèi. The annotations seem to agree that the second one is indeed a prepositional use "for".

3.15 another nominalising use of 之

虎以為然,故遂與之行。

3.16 然 "ok". Can this be used like 諾?

獸見之皆走。
虎不知獸畏己而走也,以為畏狐也。

3.17 note that 己 refers to the subject of the main clause, not the sub-clause.

今王之地方五千里,帶甲百萬,而專屬之昭奚恤;故北方之畏奚恤也,其實畏王之甲兵也,猶百獸之畏虎也。”

3.18 don't read 地方 as a word. 地 is "land", while 方 goes with 五千里, describing an area of 5,000 x 5,000 li (so not 5,000 square li either).

3.19 帶甲 metonymically referring to soldiers

3.20 專屬 "especially (for what?) entrusted (the land and soldiers) to Zhao". I'm a bit puzzled about the construction here, in a ditransitive construction the order should be V-IO-DO, otherwise you'd need to use 於, but it might be due to the fact that this is a Qin-era text rather than a Zhanguo one?

3.21 其實: so all the annotations agree that it doesn't mean the same thing as in Modern Mandarin and means "the truth of this (matter)", but Wang Li says it is used adverbially. What to make of this :conf

3.22 I've found the story quite easy to understand, but one question remains: so what did 江乙 mean by his fable? Was he trying to protect 昭奚恤 against the rage of the King?

Edited by chrix
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狐曰: 子無敢食我也。

3.11 interestingly many annotations have 無敢: 不敢. Why? It would work as a negative command too, wouldn't it?

At first I assumed this might be a collocation problem, but quite a few texts use 無敢. My only suggestion would be that using 不 + 也 makes the sentence sound more confident to me, which would be in line with the fox's overall behaviour.

3.13 天帝 is given in the dictionary as "God". Curious to know what kind of God this was referring to.

Hmm, this is not a frequently used term. The 天 could of course issue and revoke heavenly mandates, and I think this is merely its personification. See for example this excerpt from the Book of the Later Han: 昔成帝用方進之言,尋而自夢上天,天帝怒曰:‘何故敗我濯龍淵?’是後民失其利,多致飢困。

(The fox could be said to have received a heavenly mandate to rule the animal kingdom in much the same way human kings needed one to govern.)

3.16 然 "ok". Can this be used like 諾?

I think 諾 is used to agree to certain courses of action, whereas 然 is used to agree that the other party's statement is true. Compare:

虢射曰:“弗予賂地而予之糴,無損于怨而厚于寇,不若勿予。”公曰:“然。” (Guoyu)

佛肸召,子欲往。子路曰:“昔者由也聞諸夫子曰:‘親於其身為不善者,君子不入也。’佛肸以中牟畔,子之往也,如之何!”子曰:“然。有是言也。(Lunyu)

弟子曰:“非夫子之友邪?” 曰:“然。” (Zhuangzi)

惠子謂莊子曰:“人故無情乎?”莊子曰:“然。” (Zhuangzi)

But:

[孟子曰:] "君無見焉!" 公曰:“諾。” (Mengzi)

司士賁告於子游曰:“請襲於床。”子游曰:“諾。” (Liji)

命膳宰曰:“末有原!”應曰:“諾。” (Liji)

趙使人謂魏王曰:“為我殺范痤,吾請獻七十里之地。”魏王曰:“諾”。 (Shuiyuan)

3.20 專屬 "especially (for what?) entrusted (the land and soldiers) to Zhao". I'm a bit puzzled about the construction here, in a ditransitive construction the order should be V-IO-DO, otherwise you'd need to use 於, but it might be due to the fact that this is a Qin-era text rather than a Zhanguo one?

Edit: this is incorrect, please see below

In 戰國 texts certainly, a verb that indicates transfer of possession of an item quite often expresses that item in its primary object, with the recipient expressed by the secondary object. See for example how 與 is used here:

子華使於齊,冉子為其母請粟。子曰:“與之釜。”請益。曰:“與之庾。” (Lunyu)

由今之道,無變今之俗,雖與之天下,不能一朝居也 (Mencius)

I am not sure if there is a difference here with Qin era texts, since the CTP is not tagged and I don't really feel like reading through all 84 pages of hits :-)

3.21 其實: so all the annotations agree that it doesn't mean the same thing as in Modern Mandarin and means "the truth of this (matter)", but Wang Li says it is used adverbially. What to make of this

I'm sorry, but I'm confused now. What exactly is the distinction in meaning that the different explanations would produce? The sentence made straightforward sense to me, but now I'm not that sure any more. Is there a difference in meaning depending on how you interpret that 其實, and if yes, what is it?

3.22 I've found the story quite easy to understand, but one question remains: so what did 江乙 mean by his fable? Was he trying to protect 昭奚恤 against the rage of the King?

Presumably his point is that 昭奚恤 isn't that frightening himself. Rather, it's the army he commands that the people are afraid of, much like the fox who seems to make everyone tremble with fear, which is in reality the lion's doing.

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In 戰國 texts certainly, a verb that indicates transfer of possession of an item quite often expresses that item in its primary object, with the recipient expressed by the secondary object. See for example how 與 is used here:

子華使於齊,冉子為其母請粟。子曰:“與之釜。”請益。曰:“與之庾。” (Lunyu)

由今之道,無變今之俗,雖與之天下,不能一朝居也 (Mencius)

I am not sure if there is a difference here with Qin era texts, since the CTP is not tagged and I don't really feel like reading through all 84 pages of hits

Yes, but the Zhanguoce text has it reversed if I'm not mistaken, "entrusted - them - Zhao Xixu". Pulleyblank also writes that for a different order, usually 以 or 於 must be used.

I'm sorry, but I'm confused now. What exactly is the distinction in meaning that the different explanations would produce? The sentence made straightforward sense to me, but now I'm not that sure any more. Is there a difference in meaning depending on how you interpret that 其實, and if yes, what is it?

Well, I would interpret it as "the truth of the matter", yet Wang Li says it's a 狀語 :conf

Presumably his point is that 昭奚恤 isn't that frightening himself. Rather, it's the army he commands that the people are afraid of, much like the fox who seems to make everyone tremble with fear, which is in reality the lion's doing.

Oh no doubt about that. I was just wondering if the King might have been alarmed about Zhao Xixu becoming too powerful or something.

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What was I thinking?! Please disregard what I said about 與, of course it's the other way around. Let me try again :wink:

In Zhanguo texts certainly, a verb that indicates transfer of possession of an item quite often expresses the recipient in its primary object, with the item being transferred expressed by the secondary object. See for example how 與 is used here:

子華使於齊,冉子為其母請粟。子曰:“與之釜。”請益。曰:“與之庾。” (Lunyu)

由今之道,無變今之俗,雖與之天下,不能一朝居也 (Mengzi)

The sentence in the text we are discussing, however, has the recipient and the theme the other way around. I'm not sure why this would be. It could be a transmission error.

I am not sure if there is a difference with Qin era texts, since the CTP is not tagged and I don't really feel like reading through all 84 pages of hits :)

(And now this post is finally done and I'm getting some sleep, since it's obvious from my repeated edits that I should be in bed rather than thinking about syntactic issues...apologies)

Edited by Daan
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No worries, my main point of confusion I guess is that none of the annotators seem to think it worth mentioning. It could be because some kind of heaviness constraint that overrides the usual word order (just compare 之 and 昭奚恤, also 之 usually tends to appear a lot right after the predicate) . But I would need more examples before I'd put down my money on that.

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Judging from the first 100 hits the CTP returns for 屬, this verb was only very rarely used causatively, so that might have had an influence as well. It's far more common as a transitive verb 'to own, to possess'. Which leads me to think: perhaps this was originally intended as [專屬之][昭奚恤](也), with 也 somehow lost to the mists of time?

This idea looks pretty good to me, but as I said above, I'm really tired, so it probably makes no sense. Let me know what you think.

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This would make sense too, but then the majority of annotations say that this 屬 here doesn't mean "belong to", but rather "entrust". It's a pity that annotators care more about this kind of stuff than the syntax :conf

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