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天下之患,莫过於斯

November 21, 2017

东山 译

天下之患,莫过於斯,知贪前之利,不睹其后之患也。--《吴越春秋》 卷十二 

Of all the bane under heaven none can be worse than enjoying the momentary mirth in corruption and unethical behavior while ignoring the grim and dire consequences  crouching hidden behind.

刑于寡妻,至于兄弟,以御于家邦。-- 《毛诗》 卷三

A man should first set a good example in his relationship with his wife and also become a role model in morality for his brothers. Then he can  extend his virtuous ways of life further to governing the state, his homeland.

是故为人君者, 所与游必择正人, 所观览必察正象, 放郑声而弗听, 远佞人而弗近, 然后邪心不生而正道可弘也。--《魏志 上 卷二十五)

As a gentleman and leader of the people,the monarch should choose righteous and honest people to be his friends, observe and appreciate sceneries that are inspiring for his spiritual growth, and refrain from listening to decadent music of the State of Zheng(1) and distance himself from eloquent flatterers. Thus, evil thoughts would not grow in his mind and virtuous ideas will be further enhanced and promoted vigorously throughout the country. 

注(1) 春秋战国时期郑国曾以其优美的诗乐文化闻名于世,其乐曲中也有使人心神迷乱的奢靡淫乐之音,史称“亡国之音”。

(原载《海外南开人》123期,11/27/2017)


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