Translation:Tales of the New Era

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Tales of the New Era  (5th century) 
by Liu Yiqing, translated from Chinese by Wikisource
Tales of the New Era (世说新语, Shi Shuo Xin Yu) is a historical story book which reflects the life and thoughts of the upper-class citizen in 5th century southern China. People at that time tended to write down what happened in stories, and the stories described in this book are regarded as adaptions of real events from the late Han Dynasty to the Jin Dynasty.

This article attempts to provide a modern English translation of the traditional work. However, the whole translation is NOT expected to be finished in a short time. In the article, each paragraph with a marking number is a separate story. The mentioned people are referred to by their signatures or surnames, while GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES are presented in capital letters, if possible.

Section I: Virtue and Conduct[edit]

  1. Zhong-Jyu was a learned man. His words and actions were regarded as a criterion for the knowledgeable and a model for the public. Riding in his new official limousine, Zhong-Jyu dreamt of bringing transparent politics to the world. He was made governor of YUZHANG. Once he arrived, he asked where Sir Xu-Roo lived, intending to pay a visit to him at once. The chief secretary said, "Our people will be expecting the governor to settle down in the mansion prior to this." But Zhong-Jyu replied, "When Lord Woo had just defeated Emperor Zhou of Shang, he commended Shang-Rong, minister of the Shang, immediately; at that time he had not had a chance to rest for warmth. Compared to that, with my courtesy towards this virtuous person, is there anything wrong?
  2. Zi-Jyu often said, "Once in a while I cannot meet with Sir Shu-Doo, my humbleness and avarice in mind would be breeding again."
  3. Lin-Zong once went to RUNAN and visited Feng-Gao, but he went on a trip again before his vehicle had even stopped completely. Later he visited Shu-Doo, while days and nights passed by. When asked about the reason, he said, "Shu-Doo is broad like millions of acres of lake, which can be neither filtered transparent, nor adulterated dirty. His magnitude is deep and wide, hard to measure."

Section II: Language and Conversation[edit]

  1. Wen-Lee visited the newly appointed governor Feng-Gao, feeling embarrassing. Feng-Gao said, "Once Hsu-You was employed by the reputed Emirate Yao, he did not appear to be embarrassed. Why do you behave as if your garments are upside-down, Sir?" Wen-Lee answered, "As governor, you have just arrived; your Emirate Yao-like virtue has not been displayed yet, which was the reason I looked as if my garments were upside-down."
  2. When Hsu-Roo was nine years old, he once played in the moonlight. Somebody asked him, "If there was nothing inside the white moon, it would be extremely bright, wouldn't it?" Hsu said, "Not exactly; as an analogy, there are pupils in one's eyes. Without them, eyes would not look so bright."

Section III: Policy and Affairs[edit]

  1. When Zhong-Gong was chair of TAI-TSIU, there was an officer who asked for a leave by lying about his mother being ill. The affair was found out. Zhong-Gong captured him, and sentenced him to death.
    The chief secretary requested that this case be sent to the inspection department for review of the details. But Zhong-Gong argued, "Deceiving the monarch was not loyal, and sickening his parent was not pious; because it was neither loyal nor pious, his felony could not have been worse. Could any detail that's inspected be of more importance?"

Section IV: Literature and Learning[edit]

Section V: Attitude and Integrity[edit]

Section VI: Grace and Volumn[edit]

Section VII: Recognition and Assessment[edit]

Section VIII: Appreciation and Praise[edit]

Section IX: Savor and Comparison[edit]

Section X: Persuasion and Admonition[edit]

Section XI: Swift Comprehension[edit]

Section XII: Early Eminence[edit]

Section XIII: Boldness and Directness[edit]

Section XIV: Appearance and Manner[edit]

Section XV: Self-Renewal[edit]

Section XVI: Looking-up and Admiration[edit]

Section XVII: Grief and the Departed[edit]

Section XVIII: Hidden and Escaping[edit]

Section XIX: Virtuous Female[edit]

Section XX: Techniques and Instruments[edit]

Section XXI: Delicates and Arts[edit]

Section XXII: Favoring and Treatment[edit]

Section XXIII: Liberty and Eclectic[edit]

Section XXIV: Pretentiousness[edit]

Section XXV: Satire and Teasing[edit]

Section XXVI: Contempt[edit]

Section XXVII: Deception and Scheme[edit]

Section XXVIII: Revocation[edit]

Section XXIX: Mean[edit]

Section XXX: Luxury[edit]

Section XXXI: Irritation and Anger[edit]

Section XXXII: Insigniousness[edit]

Section XXXIII: Regret[edit]

Section XXXIV: Error and Warning[edit]

Section XXXV: Stubbernness and Addiction[edit]

Section XXXVI: Resentment[edit]