Wang ch‘ung lun-hêng miscellaneous essays Traduits et annotés par Alfred forke



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T‘ai-suiis not a recent invention as De Harlez, Le Livre des Esprits et des Immortels, p. 134 says. This spirit is venerated at the present day, and seems by some to be regarded as a dangerous spirit of the soil.

3 On the firmament Jupiter describes a curve, not a straight line.

4 The spirits of Heaven dislike crookedness.

5 While crossing the course of T‘ai-sui from north to south.


6 The north and the south points.

7 The fog would spread sideways as well as from north to south.

1 The eastern quadrant of heaven.

2 Wang Ch‘ung seems to take the Green Dragon for a real dragon of extraordinary dimensions.


3 I. e., not always keeping on one side of T‘ai-sui.

4 Equivalent to China.

5 The Huang-ho, the Huai, and the Lo.

6 Shuking Part V, Book XII, 14 (Legge, Classics Vol. III, Part II, p. 428) [Couvreur].

7 Cf. Vol. I, p. 253.

1 Names of the Nine Circuits.

2 In Chinese natural philosophy the North, or cold, overcomes the South, or heat ; there is no real breaking.


1 Theoretically opposite directions as well as opposite qualities of things, in short all opposites, knock together and destroy one another.

2 Cf. Vol. I, p. 534.

3 The eight terms are those of the Eight Diagrams.

4 Viz. k‘un and tui.

5 The other six diagrams.

6 In one plan of the Eight Diagrams (Mayers’ Manual p. 335) kên represents the North-east.

1 The South-west.

2 The South.

3 Why would the approaching of wu from kun not be disastrous ?

4 E.N.E.

5 W.S.W.


6 Cf. p. 389, Note 7.

7 In the term chia-tse, chia does not signify any direction. Together with yi it may stand for the east.

8 Because in the east they might collide with T‘ai-sui in chia, provided it could stay there.

1 This would seem to be the cycle of sixty in which the sign chia recurs six times.

2 The two first of the Five Tones or musical notes.

3 The same as the Five Tones.

4 It is difficult to grasp the full meaning of the aforesaid without a commentary.

5 These signs are thought of as spiritual beings also.

1 Streets and alleys not near an inn, which seem not to have been marked like those surrounding an inn.

2 Therefore these stands and bazaars should be treated like dwelling houses viz. be marked with chia, yi, &c.

3 Only market inns, i. e., solid buildings are placed on a level with dwelling houses.

4 Days are counted by means of the two cycles of ten and of twelve combined.

5 Properly speaking, only the Twelve Branches are added to the hours.

6 Chia corresponds to wood, and tse to water, two harmonious elements.

1 3-5 a. m.

2 The element of yin and mao is wood like that of chia and yi. Consequently there was no antagonism between the signs chia, tse, and yin, and yet Chou was unlucky.

3 In so far as this and the duodenary cycle are used to determine the days = , which originally means ‘sun’.

4 There are not ten suns, but the ten cyclical signs are attached to each ten consecutive days.

5 These twelve constellations, designated by the Twelve Branches, serve to determine the twelve Chinese double-hours, according as the sun, in its daily course, passes through them.

6 The first signs of the denary and of the duodenary cycles.

7 Here we have the same equivocation of days and suns. The notation by the two cycles merely applies to days, not to suns.

8 Probably a diagram, used for divining purposes, similar to that found in calendars.

9 Based on the well known symbolism by reference to the elements.

10 It determines the hours.

1 In the encyclopedias of surnames one of the Five Sounds is attached to each name. I fail to understand how they were determined by the so-called experts. There is another tradition that Huang Ti blew the flute to fix the surnames.

2 They are naturally obtained, and it is superfluous artificially to determine their sounds.

3 Tso-chuan, Duke Yin 8th year (Legge, Classics Vol. V, Part I, p. 25) [Couvreur, § 9].

4 Cf. Vol. I, p. 318.

5 See Vol. I, p. 95, Note 6.

6 [], which may mean : prosperous, flourishing, powerful.

7 [] = to expand, to prosper, to advance, to rise.

8 The mother of Confucius is reported to have ascended the Ni hill, before his birth.

9 This was the personal name of Duke Chao of Sung, 619-611 B. C. (See Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. IV, p. 241), and it was borne by some other dukes of other States too.

10 The gist of this passage, but not the examples, is derived from the Tso-chuan, Duke Huan 6th year (Legge, Classics Vol. V, Part I, p. 49) [Couvreur, § 5].

1 [] meaning a potter.

2 [] meaning a farmer.

3 [], a high officer.

4 [], a military officer.

5 [] and [], denoting the eldest and the second son of a family.

6 The theory of clan-names exposed in Legge’s translation of the Tso-chuan p. 26 differs somewhat.

7 Liki, Ch‘ü-li (Legge, Sacred Books Vol. XXVII, p. 78) [Couvreur].

8 Which they forbid loc. cit. See also p. 253, Note 2.

1 [], the first tone.

2 [], the fourth tone.

3 Analects VI, 15 [Couvreur].

4 Cf. Vol. I, p. 510 and 516.

5 [][], the fourth and the fifth tones corresponding to the south = fire and the north = water. Fire and water would injure metal and earth, the elements of kung and shang.

6 [] corresponding to wood.

1 Metal = white being destroyed by fire = the south.

2 Earth = yellow not being injured by fire = the south.

3 According to the theory of the Chinese physicists, metal is connected with the west, and wood with the east.

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