The Chinese Code of Success-Maxims by Zhu Zi 朱子治家格言

The Chinese Code of Success-Maxims by Zhu Zi 朱子治家格言

1. Get up at dawn and sweep the courtyard, so that the house is clean inside and outside.黎明即起,洒掃庭除,要內外整潔;
2. Rest early at night. Check personally that the doors and windows are properly shut. 既昏便息,關鎖門戶,必親自檢點。
3. When you eat, remember that food is the product of hard work. When you put on clothes, keep in mind that materials do not come by easily. 一粥一飯,當思來處不易;半絲半縷,恆念物力維艱。
4. One should repair the house before it rains and not start digging a well when he already feels thirsty. 宜未雨而綢繆,毋臨渴而掘井。
5. Be thrifty in satisfying your own needs, but generous in hosting a reception. 自奉必須儉約,宴客切勿流連。
6. Utensils used in the house should be plain and clean. Earthenware is better than those made of jade and gold. 器具質而潔,瓦缶勝金玉;
7. Meals need not be sumptuous; finely prepared, simple vegetables can be better than rare delicacies. 飲食約而精,園蔬愈珍饈。
8. Do not construct extravagant mansions; do not try to gain fertile farmland. 勿營華屋,勿謀良田。
9. Matchmakers and sorceresses are agents of vice. Pretty maids and a charming wife need not be a blessing. 三姑六婆,實淫盜之媒;婢美妾嬌,非閨房之福。
10.Do not judge by physical appearance when hiring servants. It is well with you even if your wife and maids look plain without make-up. 童僕勿用俊美,妻妾切忌豔妝。
11.Even if ancestors are far removed from us, we should offer sacrifices with reverence. Even if your children are slow-witted, you should still instruct them in the Confucian classics. 祖宗雖遠,祭祀不可不誠;子孫雖愚,經書不可不讀。
12.Strive to lead a simple and thrifty life; through such example your children will learn the principles of living. 居身務期儉樸;教子要有義方。
13.Do not be tempted by unexpected gains; do not drink more than your capacity. 莫貪意外之財,莫飲過量之酒
14.When dealing with pedlars, do not try to take advantage of them. 。與肩挑貿易,毋佔便宜;
15.Show sympathy and solicitude to your relatives of neighbors who are in adverse circumstances. 見窮苦親鄰,須加溫卹。
16.Fortune amassed by unjust means cannot be enjoyed for long; violating moral principles will bring about destruction. 刻薄成家,理無久享;倫常乖舛,立見消亡。
17.Among brothers and close relations, the more affluent should help the needy. 兄弟叔姪,須分多潤寡,
18.In a family, parents and children, husband and wife, the older and younger should each do their duty. They should all abide strictly by the rules of behaviour and use appropriate language. 長幼內外,宜法肅辭嚴。
19.A father who believes the slanderous talk of a woman and turns against his own flesh and blood cannot be called a true man. 聽婦言,乖骨肉,豈是丈夫,
20.A man who values money more than his parents is a bad son. 重貲財,薄父母,不成人子。
21.When marrying off a daughter, choose a man of good qualities. It is wrong to demand lavish betrothal gifts. 嫁女擇佳婿,毋索重聘;
22. When choosing a wife for a son, find a girl who is virtuous and genial, not one whose family offers a generous dowry. 娶媳求淑女,勿計厚奩。

23.People who fawn over the rich and powerful are most despicable. 見富貴而生諂容者,最可恥;
24.People who behave arrogantly towards the poor are themselves the most contemptible. 遇貧窮而作驕態者,賤莫甚。
25.Avoid lawsuit to settle domestic disputes; litigation often has bad results. 居家戒爭訟,訟則終凶;
26.When with others, do not talk too much. One who talks too much is prone to say the wrong thing. 處世戒多言,言多必失。
27.Do not use one’s power to oppress the orphaned and widowed. 勿恃勢力而凌逼孤寡;
28.One should not recklessly kill livestock to indulge his appetite. 毋貪口腹而恣殺牲禽。
29.Eccentricity and conceit often misguide a person and result in regret. 乖僻自是,悔誤必多;
30.One who is spiritless and lazy can achieve nothing. 頹隳自甘,家道難成。

31.Keeping company with a profligate young man, one will ultimately suffer because of him.狎暱惡少,久必受其累;

32.Men who are experienced, prudent and modest can be depended on during a emergency.屈志老成,急則可相依。

33.When hearing an accusation, do not readily believe it. Keep your cool and think carefully, for the charge may be false. 輕聽發言,安知非人之譖愬?當忍耐三思;

34.When engaged in an argument, one should calmly ask himself whether he is at fault. 因事相爭,焉知非我之不是?須平心暗想。

35.Do not keep in mind a favour you have bestowed on someone else, but do not forget to repay a favour you have received. 施惠無念,受恩莫忘。

36.Whatever you do, always allow some leeway for unforeseen circumstances. When you are successful in one endeavour, do not aspire to have the success repeated. 凡事當留餘地,得意不宜再往。

37.Do not be envious of other people’s happiness. Do not take pleasure in other people’s misfortune. 人有喜慶,不可生妒嫉心;人有禍患,不可生喜幸心。

38.One who gives publicity to his good deeds is not genuinely doing good. One who tries to conceal his wrongdoing has committed great evil indeed. 善欲人見,不是真善;惡恐人知,便是大惡。

39.If a man has lascivious ideas when he sees a beautiful woman, his punishment will be visited upon his wife and daughter. 見色而起淫心,報在妻女;

40.If a man harbours a grudge and vent his spite by underhand means, he is inviting misfortune upon his descendants. 匿怨而用暗箭,禍延子孫。

41.When a family lives together in harmony and peace, even if they are poor and can hardly make ends meet, they will enjoy plenty of happiness. 家門和順,雖饔飧不繼,亦有餘歡;

42.When a man has paid his taxes and levies, though his pockets are empty, he feels vastly gratified. 國課早完,即囊橐無餘,自得至樂。

43.A man ought to study with the aspiration to become a man of virtue. 讀書志在聖賢,

44.A man serving as an official ought to have the interests of the emperor and the nation at heart. 為官心存君國。

45.One must be faithful in his duty and contented in his lot. He must follow the proper course of the time and comply with the mandate of heaven. 守分安命,順時聽天。

46. One who lives in this way has about attained the state of perfection. 為人若此,庶乎近焉。


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