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Humblegeoff

Grand 文言文 Reading Project #3: 《子魚論戰》from the《左傳》

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Humblegeoff

Thanks to everyone who came along to yesterday's session on the crocodiles/alligators. Next week we will be heading back to the earlier reaches of the 古文觀止, and reading 《子魚論戰》from the《左傳》. While the wildlife is less impressive, it still looks rather fun. I know OneEye has been pretty busy of late, but I'm sure he will soon provide useful links here. In the meantime I'll post the text with and without punctuation. For group members in the city I have photocopies with bopomofo, notes, etc., and a widely spaced copy with room for notes and doodles.

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Humblegeoff

The text with punctuation:

子魚論戰 左傳 僖公二十二年

楚人伐宋以救鄭。宋公將戰,大司馬固諫曰:「天之棄商久矣,君將興之,弗可赦也已。」弗聽。及楚人戰于泓。宋人既成列,楚人未既濟。司馬曰:「彼衆我寡,及其未既濟也,請擊之。」公曰:「不可。」既濟而未成列,又以告。公曰:「未可。」既陳而後擊之,宋師敗績。公傷股,門官殲焉。

國人皆咎公。公曰:「君子不重傷,不禽二毛。古之為軍也,不以阻隘也。寡人雖亡國之餘,不鼓不成列。」子魚曰:「君未知戰。勍敵之人,隘而不列,天贊我也;阻而鼓之,不亦可乎?猶有懼焉。且今之勍者,皆吾敵也。雖及胡耇,獲則取之,何有於二毛?明恥教戰,求殺敵也。傷未及死,如何勿重?若愛重傷,則如勿傷;愛其二毛,則如服焉。三軍以利用也,金鼓以聲氣也。利而用之,阻隘可也;聲盛致志,鼓儳可也。」

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Humblegeoff

And without punctuation:

子魚論戰 左傳 僖公二十二年

楚人伐宋以救鄭宋公將戰大司馬固諫曰天之棄商久矣君將興之弗可赦也已弗聽及楚人戰于泓宋人既成列楚人未既濟司馬曰彼我寡及其未既濟也請擊之公曰不可既濟而未成列又以告公曰未可既陳而後擊之宋師敗績公傷股門官殲焉國人皆咎公公曰君子不重傷不禽二毛古之為軍也不以阻隘也寡人雖亡國之餘不鼓不成列子魚曰君未知戰勍敵之人隘而不列天贊我也阻而鼓之不亦可乎猶有懼焉且今之勍者皆吾敵也雖及胡耇獲則取之何有於二毛明恥教戰求殺敵也傷未及死如何勿重若愛重傷則如勿傷愛其二毛則如服焉三軍以利用也金鼓以聲氣也利而用之阻隘可也聲盛致志鼓儳可也

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Humblegeoff

And a few vocab items - these are mostly things that I found useful from the notes. Please feel free to comment!

大司馬

dà sī mǎ

Lit., great manager of mounts; cf. ssu-ma. (1) CHOU: Minister of War, ranked as a Minister (ch'ing), head of the Ministry of War (hsia-kuan), responsible for all military personnel and activities in the realm, including supervision of the 6 authorized royal Armies (chün); ...

(Hucker 6039)

Rank/office. In charge of military matters.

官名。掌軍旅之事。

(古文觀止 • 左傳 • 僖公二十二年 • 子魚論戰)

shè

(v) to absolve, forgive (FI)

Hóng

The Hong Shui. To the north of present-day Zhecheng County in Henan Province.

泓水。在今河南省柘城縣北。

(古文觀止 • 左傳 • 僖公二十二年 • 子魚論戰)

(v) to complete, finish; > +V (cv) since V has happened..., (FI)

濟¹

[動] 過河;渡 ▷同舟共~。

司馬

sī mǎ

Commander; one of numerous officers subordinate to the 大司馬 dà sī mǎ, and sometimes confusingly used as an abbreviation of that title (see Hucker 5713). In this case this the holder of that office was 子魚 Zǐ Yú, ming 目夷 Muyi, elder paternal half-brother of the 宋襄公 Duke Xiāng of Sòng at the centre of this anecdote.

官名。即下文「子魚」,名目夷,宋襄公之異母兄。

(古文觀止 • 左傳 • 僖公二十二年 • 子魚論戰)

敗績[败绩]

¹bàijì*

V. be utterly defeated

Beat the drum to signal troops to advance. Here it refers to making an attack.

擊鼓進軍。此指攻擊。(古文觀止 • 左傳 • 僖公二十二年 • 子魚論戰)

三軍[-军]

sānjūn

❶ [名] 古代指中軍、上軍、下軍;泛指軍隊 ▷勇冠~。

三軍

sān jūn

(1) Three Armies, from antiquity a common pattern of organizing troops for battle, into Left, Right, and Center Armies; by extension, a common general reference to a state or a dynasty's total military establishment, suggesting the alternate rendering the armed forces. (2) CHOU [周 Zhou]: Three Armies, the reported authorized military force of the largest tributary states, theoretically totalling 37,500 soldiers. (3) N-S DIV (S. Dyn.): Three Adjutants, common collective reference to the 3 most eminent military officers in a Princedom (wang-kuo [王國 Wang guo]): the Senior (shang [上]), the Ordinary (chung [中 zhong]), and the Junior (hsia [下 xia]) Adjutants (chün [軍 jun]). P69.

(Hucker 4849)

(古文觀止 • 左傳 • 僖公二十二年 • 子魚論戰)

儳(古)

chàn (王力: chán)

Disorderly, disarranged (in this case 未成列 or 未既濟)

不整齊。(王力古漢語字典)

不整齊。(古文觀止 • 左傳 • 僖公二十二年 • 子魚論戰)

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skylee

Besides (大)司馬, (大)司徒 and (大)司空 were also titles of court officials. And they are all surnames. See noun (3) and words 8, 11, 16 here.

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Humblegeoff

Good point, Skylee, and a handy link. In this case, based on context and the accompanying notes in the 三民書局 edition of the 古文觀止, both references seem to refer to military office-holders advising in their official capacity. It seems that the 大司馬 is 固, grandson of the Duke of Song, and the 司馬 is 子魚, the Duke's elder paternal half-brother. I should certainly have mentioned that these titles are also surnames outside of this context.

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Hofmann

With punctuation, I can pretty much read it without problems. Without punctuation, I wouldn't be able to pick out the main idea. Any ways to practice this?

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Humblegeoff

This is a good question, and I'd be interested to hear what suggestions there are. I think we might have to have an adding-punctuation exercise in the study group some time soon - my teacher tells me that when she studied wenyanwen at university in Taiwan adding punctuation was the entirety of the homework.

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Humblegeoff

While reading through this text yesterday with my teacher a few things came up which might be of interest.

The first was on 猶有懼焉。

Her reading of this short clause is similar to Legge's - it follows on from Zi Yu's previous sentence insisting that if the enemy is at a disadvantage then this is a sign of Heavenly favour and can of course be acted upon, and can be read '[Yet] there will still be the fear [of defeat].'

This seems to emphasize the uncertainty and danger of warfare, underlining his point that under such circumstances honour codes are superfluous and dangerous.

The second refers to 雖及胡耇,獲則取之,何有於二毛?

Following on from an assertion that all the strong are now enemies of Song, our reading was something like 'even if they have reached a great age, if we take them we should kill them, why [spare those that] are only middle-aged?'

The third was rather more important to an understanding of the text.

Reading 宋公將戰,大司馬固諫曰:

While the more recent 三民書局 edition of the 古文觀止 inserts a note explaining that 大司馬固... is 固 Gu, the Da Sima, separating him from Zi Yu, the Sima who is involved in the fighting and complains of the Duke's foolishness.

At least one previous edition read 固 as 'emphatically', referring to the Da Sima's admonition to Duke Xiang of Song. This reading sees both admonitions - the first warning the Duke not to make war, and the second rebuking him for his half-hearted approach to conflict once decided upon it - as made by Zi Yu, and I think this makes a lot more sense as a unified story. It also makes more sense than having both a Sima and a Da Sima together in a small dukedom, when it seems that these are often used to refer to the same rank. Additionally, my teacher points out that the Sima is not identified by name, which she would have expected had he been a separate individual who might have otherwise been confused with the first.

What do you think?

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