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Humblegeoff

Grand 文言文 Reading Project #4: 《滑稽列傳》from the《史記》

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Humblegeoff

Thanks to everyone who came along to yesterday's session on Zi Yu's exasperation with his overly-honourable Gong. Next week we will be reading the humorous biography (?) 《滑稽列傳》from the《史記》. I'm not at all sure what to expect from this, but the title suggests good things, so we'll see. I'll post the text with and without punctuation now, and for group members in the city I will soon have photocopies with bopomofo, notes, etc., and a widely spaced copy with room for notes and doodles (a Word version of this is attached).

史記 滑稽列傳 spaced.docx

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Humblegeoff

史記 滑稽列傳

孔子曰「六藝於治一也。《禮》以節人《樂》以發和《書》以道事《詩》以達意《易》以神化《春秋》以道義。」太史公曰天道恢恢豈不大哉談言微中亦可以解紛。

淳于髡者齊之贅壻也。長不滿七尺滑稽多辯數使諸侯未嘗屈辱。齊威王之時喜隱好為淫樂長夜之飲沈湎不治委政卿大夫。百官荒亂諸侯並侵國且危亡在於旦暮。左右莫敢諫。淳于髡說之以隱曰「國中有大鳥止王之庭三年不蜚又不鳴。王知此鳥何也」王曰「此鳥不飛則已一飛沖天不鳴則已一鳴驚人。」於是乃朝諸縣令長七十二人賞一人誅一人奮兵而出。諸侯振驚皆還齊侵地。威行三十六年。語在田完世家中。

威王八年楚大發兵加齊。齊王使淳于髡之趙請救兵齎金百斤車馬十駟。淳于髡仰天大笑冠纓索絕。王曰「先生少之乎」髡曰「何敢。」王曰「笑豈有說乎」髡曰「今者臣從東方來見道傍有穰田者操一豚蹄、酒一盂而祝曰『甌窶滿篝汙邪滿車五穀蕃熟穰穰滿家』臣見其所持者狹而所欲者奢故笑之。」於是齊威王乃益齎黃金千鎰白璧十雙車馬百駟。髡辭而行至趙。趙王與之精兵十萬革車千乘。楚聞之夜引兵而去。

威王大說置酒後宮召髡賜之酒。問曰「先生能飲幾何而醉」對曰「臣飲一斗亦醉一石亦醉。」威王曰「先生飲一斗而醉惡能飲一石哉其說可得聞乎」髡曰「賜酒大王之前執法在傍御史在後髡恐懼俯伏而飲不過一斗徑醉矣。若親有嚴客髡帣韝鞠 [跽*]侍酒於前時賜餘瀝奉觴上壽數起飲不過二斗徑醉矣。若朋友交遊久不相見卒然相覩歡然道故私情相語飲可五六斗徑醉矣。若乃州閭之會男女雜坐行酒稽留六博投壺相引為曹握手無罰目眙不禁前有墮珥後有遺簪髡竊樂此飲可八斗而醉二參。日暮酒闌合尊促坐男女同席履舄交錯杯盤狼藉堂上燭滅主人留髡而送客羅襦襟解微聞薌澤。當此之時髡心最歡能飲一石。故曰『酒極則亂樂極則悲。』萬事盡然。」言不可極極之而衰。以諷諫焉。齊王曰「善。」乃罷長夜之飲。以髡為諸侯主客宗室置酒髡嘗在側。

[* and the alternative 跽are both included as won’t display at all on my iPad, and may be problematic on some browsers]

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Humblegeoff

And without punctuation

史記 滑稽列傳

孔子曰六藝於治一也禮以節人樂以發和書以道事詩以達意易以神化春秋以道義太史公曰天道恢恢豈不大哉談言微中亦可以解紛

淳于髡者齊之贅壻也長不滿七尺滑稽多辯數使諸侯未嘗屈辱齊威王之時喜隱好為淫樂長夜之飲沈湎不治委政卿大夫百官荒亂諸侯並侵國且危亡在於旦暮左右莫敢諫淳于髡說之以隱曰國中有大鳥止王之庭三年不蜚又不鳴王知此鳥何也王曰此鳥不飛則已一飛沖天不鳴則已一鳴驚人於是乃朝諸縣令長七十二人賞一人誅一人奮兵而出諸侯振驚皆還齊侵地威行三十六年語在田完世家中

威王八年楚大發兵加齊齊王使淳于髡之趙請救兵齎金百斤車馬十駟淳于髡仰天大笑冠纓索絕王曰先生少之乎髡曰何敢王曰笑豈有說乎髡曰今者臣從東方來見道傍有穰田者操一豚蹄酒一盂而祝曰甌窶滿篝汙邪滿車五穀蕃熟穰穰滿家臣見其所持者狹而所欲者奢故笑之於是齊威王乃益齎黃金千鎰白璧十雙車馬百駟髡辭而行至趙趙王與之精兵十萬革車千乘楚聞之夜引兵而去

威王大說置酒後宮召髡賜之酒問曰先生能飲幾何而醉對曰臣飲一斗亦醉一石亦醉威王曰先生飲一斗而醉惡能飲一石哉其說可得聞乎髡曰賜酒大王之前執法在傍御史在後髡恐懼俯伏而飲不過一斗徑醉矣若親有嚴客髡帣韝鞠 [跽*]侍酒於前時賜餘瀝奉觴上壽數起飲不過二斗徑醉矣若朋友交遊久不相見卒然相覩歡然道故私情相語飲可五六斗徑醉矣若乃州閭之會男女雜坐行酒稽留六博投壺相引為曹握手無罰目眙不禁前有墮珥後有遺簪髡竊樂此飲可八斗而醉二參日暮酒闌合尊促坐男女同席履舄交錯杯盤狼藉堂上燭滅主人留髡而送客羅襦襟解微聞薌澤當此之時髡心最歡能飲一石故曰酒極則亂樂極則悲萬事盡然言不可極極之而衰以諷諫焉齊王曰善乃罷長夜之飲以髡為諸侯主客宗室置酒髡嘗在側

[* and 跽are both included as won’t display on my iPad, and may be problematic.]

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Humblegeoff

I have been trying to paste an image of the problematic character, but Chineseforums is not cooperating with the format I have found, so it will have to wait.

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Glenn

I can't see it on the forum, but it displayed correctly for me at wikisource.

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Humblegeoff

Some vocab and useful(?) odds and ends for the first part of 滑稽列傳

滑稽

huáji*

S.V. funny; amusing (ABC)

列傳[-传]

lièzhuàn*

N. biographies (ABC)

太史公

tàishǐgōng

N. title for the historians Sīmǎ Qiān and his father Sīmǎ Tán (ABC)

恢恢

huī huī

(v) [descriptive of] being vast (FI)

談言微中[谈---]

tányánwēizhòng

F.E. ① speak tactfully but to the point ② make one's point through hints ③ be able to satirize aptly (ABC)

解紛[-纷]

jiěfēn

V.O. mediate/resolve a dispute (ABC)

[name] 者,[place] 人也。

Classic formula for introducing the subject of a biography: the person of [name] was a person of [placename]

(In this case the formula is complicated slightly by the status of 淳于髡 who it counts as a 贅婿 rather than just a person)

淳于髡

Chúnyú Kūn

Chunyu Kun, a clever Warring States rhetorician, advisor to 齊威王 (FI)

贅婿[赘-]

zhuìxù

N. son-in-law living in the home of his wife's parents (ABC)

¹chǐ

N. ① rule; ruler ② ruler-like instrument ◆ M. of length (equals 1/3 meter) (ABC)

[***I seem to remember that this measure has varied somewhat over time - he probably wasn't almost seven feet (2m and more) tall]

數[数]

⁴shuò

B.F. frequently; repeatedly

未嘗

wèi cháng

(adv) not yet once (FI)

屈辱

qūrǔ

S.V. be humiliated/insulted ◆ N. humiliation; disgrace

yǐn

(n) a riddle; (v) to feel sorrow for; (v) to go into hiding (FI)

Riddle, conundrum.

隱語。即謎語。(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

淫樂

yín lè

(n) wanton pleasure (FI)

長夜[长-]

¹chángyè*

N. ① long/eternal night ② all night ③ grave; death

沉湎

chén miǎn

[also 沈湎] (v) to be sunk deep (in a drunken binge) (FI)

Sunk deep in debauchery and sensual pursuits (wine, women and possibly song).

沈溺。指沈溺於酒色。(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

[**edit: 溺 for 弱 - thanks skylee!]

Sources:

FI

Items plucked from the glossary to Fuller's Introduction to Literary Chinese. Usage seems fairly reliable, if necessarily somewhat limited in scope due to the glossary format.

(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

Definitions roughly translated from the explanatory notes in the Guwen Guanzhi.

Other items are plucked from the various dictionaries available on Pleco. In the main these have been taken from the electronic version of DeFrancis' ABC Dictionary, which so far has been surprisingly useful for old stuff. All mistakes are definitely my own.

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Hofmann

Seems like it's just another way to write 跽. Anyway, it's got 肉 on the left and [氶 on top of 卩] on the right.

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skylee
。指沈於酒色。

Shouldn't it be 沉溺 instead?

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Humblegeoff

Yes it should! Thanks skylee, and apologies! 弱 corrected to 溺.

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Humblegeoff

Vocab and useful(?) odds and ends for 滑稽列傳

(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

wěi

(v) to delegate, entrust (FI)

百官

bǎiguān*

N. officials of all ranks and descriptions

荒亂[-乱]

²huāngluàn

ATTR. in great disorder/turmoil

bìng

(v) to combine > (adv) at the same time; (fw) both (FI)

²qīn

B.F. ① invade; intrude into in rùqīn ② approach; get near to in qīnchén

奮兵

fèn bīng

(v+o) to rouse an army (FI)

田完

Tián Wán

i.e., Chen Wan, son of 陳厲公 Duke Li of Chen, who fled to Qi and whose descendant was appointed Marquis of Qi (FI)

(v) to present (FI)

(m) team of four horses (FI)

仰天

yǎngtiān

look up to heaven

∼長嘆

∼chángtàn

look up to heaven and heave a deep sigh

∼大笑

∼dàxiào

laugh sardonically

禳田

ráng tián

Pray/make offerings for a good harvest.

祈田豐收。(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

甌窶

ōu lóu

A narrow and high area of land.

高地狹小之區。(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

gōu

(n) a basket (FI)

汙邪

wū xié

Low-lying land.

低窪之地。(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

五穀[-谷]

¹wụ̌gǔ

N. ① five cereals (rice, two kinds of millet, wheat, beans) ② food crops; all grains

穰穰

rángráng

R.F. ① rich; abundant (of harvests) ② confused and disturbed ③ luxuriant

鎰[镒]

an ancient unit of weight equal to 20 or 24 taels of silver

N. round flat piece of jade with a hole in the center

(v) to take leave (FI)

精兵

jīng bīng

(n) crack troops (FI)

革車

gé jū

(n) leather-covered war chariots (FI)

dǒu

(m) measure of volume, 1.94 litres (FI)

shí

(m) measure of volume, 10 斗, 19.4 litres (FI)

御史

yùshǐ

N. imperial censor M: ge / míng / wèi [個 / 名 / 位]

俯伏

fǔfú

V. lie prostrate/prone

嚴客

yán kè

(n) important visitor (FI)

帣韝

juàn gōu

(v+o) to roll up one's sleeves (FI)

奉觴上壽[-觞-寿]

fèngshāngshàngshòu

F.E. drink a toast of longevity

卒然

cù rán

(adv) suddenly (FI)

睹/覩

see

道故

dào gù

(v+o) to speak of former [matters] (FI)

州閭[-闾]

zhōulǘ

P.W. small village; hamlet; neighborhood

六博

liù bó

(n) a betting game (using 6 white and 6 black strips of bamboo) (FI)

投壺[-壶]

tóuhú

pitch-pot game (formerly, a game played at a drinking party, in which the participants threw arrows into a pot)

chì

(v) to fix one's gaze on (FI)

⁵ěr

N. earrings made of jade/beads

二參

èr sān

20-30 percent, that is, a little (參 = 三) (FI)

十分之二、三。參,通「三」、「参」。(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

酒闌

jiǔ lán

lit., "the wine is finished" > the drinking has wound down (FI)

合尊

hé zūn

(v+o) to combine in one bottle (FI)

促坐

cù zuò

(v) to sit close together (FI)

履舄

lǚ xì

(n) shoes, footwear (FI)

狼藉

láng jí

(v) to be strewn about (FI)

羅襦

luó rú

(n) a fine-weave silk shirt (worn under other clothes) (FI)

薌澤

xiāng zé

(n) fragrant vapours (FI)

諷諫[讽谏]

fěngjiàn

V. admonish

主客

zhǔ kè

Official post. Responsible for receiving guests and dispensing gifts.

官名。掌接待給賜之事。(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

宗室

zōngshì

N. royal clan/clansman ◆ P.W. ancestral shrine of a large clan

置酒

zhìjiǔ

V.O. throw a banquet; give a feast

Sources:

FI

Items plucked from the glossary to Fuller's Introduction to Literary Chinese. Usage seems fairly reliable, if necessarily somewhat limited in scope due to the glossary format.

(古文觀止 • 史記 • 滑稽列傳)

Definitions roughly translated from the explanatory notes in the Guwen Guanzhi.

Other items are plucked from the various dictionaries available on Pleco. In the main these have been taken from the electronic version of DeFrancis' ABC Dictionary, which so far has been surprisingly useful for old stuff. All mistakes are definitely my own.

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Humblegeoff

A interesting discussion today in the study group:

When reading

齊威王之時,喜隱,好為淫樂長夜之飲,沈湎不治,委政卿大夫。百官荒亂,諸侯並侵,國且危亡,在於旦暮。左右莫敢諫。

Should we follow the notes and other translations in reading 喜隱 as 'enjoyed riddles', or as 'enjoyed retirement/seclusion' (from ruling the country)?

The first fits the wider context of the story and the admonishment by riddles theme, but the second seems to fit the sentence in which it appears. Any thoughts?

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skylee

I've just read the story above. I don't know all the words (because I have not studied it), but it is easy enough to understand.

BTW, I think the 說 in 威王大說 = 悅, same as that in 學而時習之不亦說乎. That's all.

Oh PS this does not seem correct -

shí

(m) measure of volume, 10 斗, 19.4 litres (FI)

I think it should be dan4. Take a look at the attached screenshot.

PPS - also it is 列傳, not 列轉 (see #6 and #10).

post-32-0-68636200-1343229486_thumb.jpg

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Humblegeoff

Sorry skylee - I can't believe the 轉 got in there. That is a very embarrassing typo, and then to make it worse I pasted it about without noticing, proving that I am indeed some sort of 胡.

On the 石 front, I think you're right that it is dan4, but both Fuller and 三民書局 gloss it as shi2, which is confusing.

Any thoughts on the 喜隱 question?

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skylee

I think readers are free to interpret what they read, and with proper supporting evidence establish their own theories. I am not knowledgeable enough to do this.

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