iOS Users: Please click here for the latest information: (updated 5.10.2016)
Say It Right Series

第一回: Chunk 25

Posted by derek August 14, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: 红楼梦

Now the story begins by describing the person in the chapter title, 甄士隐, his family and the place he lives.  

出则既明,且看石上是何故事.按那石上书云:
  
当日地陷东南, 这东南一隅有处曰姑苏,有城曰阊门者,最是红尘中一二等富贵风流之地. 这阊门外有个十里街,街内有个仁清巷,巷内有个古庙,因地方窄狭,人皆呼作葫芦庙.庙旁住著一家乡宦,姓甄,名费,字士隐.嫡妻封氏,情性贤淑,深明礼义. 家中虽不甚富贵,然本地便也推他为望族了.因这甄士隐禀性恬淡,不以功名为念,每日只以观花修竹, 酌酒吟诗为乐,倒是神仙一流人品.只是一件不足:如今年已半百, 膝下无儿,只有一女,乳名唤作英莲,年方三岁.

Now the origin [of this story] has been made clear, [we] will see what story is [written] on the stone. According to what the book on that stone says:

At that time in the lands of southeast China, in an outlying part of the southeast there is a place called Gu Su, in that place is a city called Chang Men, in the world it is one of the most wealthy and honourable, distinguished and admired of places. This Chang Men in addition, has a street [called] Shi Li Jie, within this street there is a Ren Qing Lane, within the lane is an ancient temple, because this place is very narrow, everybody calls it the Gourd Temple. Beside the temple lives a county official, with the family name Zhen and the given name Fei, and sometimes called Shi Yin. [His] wife's family name is Feng, [her] character is affectionate, virtuous and fair, profoundly intelligent, courteous and righteous.

[This] family, although not very wealthy, was in this locality often praised as distinguished. Because this Zhen Shi Yin's natural disposition was indifferent to fame or fortune, [he] did not study for scholarly honours or official rank, and every day only found pleasure in watching flowers and growing bamboo, drinking wine and reciting poetry, conversely [he has the] moral qualities of a celestial being. [He] only has one inadequacy: Now, already 50 years old, below [his] knees there is no son, only having one daughter, her infant name called Ying Lian, just 3 years of age.

Breakdown:

出则既明,且看石上是何故事.按那石上书云: ->
So the (出则) origin [of this story] is (既明) complete and clear, [we] will see what story is [written] on the stone. (按) According to what the book on that stone says:

(出则既明: may be a set phrase meaning to complete an introduction etc.) 


当日地陷东南, 这东南一隅有处曰姑苏,有城曰阊门者,最是红尘中一二等富贵风流之地. ->
(当日) At that time in the (地陷) lands of (东南) southeast China, in an (一隅) outlying part of the southeast there is a place called (姑苏) Gu Su, in that place is a city called (阊门) Chang Men, in the world it is (一二等) one of the most (富贵) wealthy and honourable, (风流) distinguished and admired of places.

这阊门外有个十里街,街内有个仁清巷,巷内有个古庙,因地方窄狭,人皆呼作葫芦庙. ->
This Chang Men in addition, has a street [called] (十里街) Shi Li Jie, within this street there is a (仁清巷) Ren Qing Lane, within the lane is an (古庙) ancient temple, because this place is (窄狭) very narrow, (人皆) everybody calls it the (葫芦庙) Gourd Temple.

庙旁住著一家乡宦,姓甄,名费,字士隐.嫡妻封氏,情性贤淑,深明礼义. ->
Beside the temple lives a (乡宦) county official, with the family name (甄) Zhen and the given name (费) Fei, and sometimes called (士隐) Shi Yin. [His] wife's family name is (封) Feng, [her] (情性贤淑) character is affectionate, virtuous and fair, (深明礼义) profoundly intelligent, courteous and righteous.

(甄费 -> 字 -> 甄士隐.)

家中虽不甚富贵,然本地便也推他为望族了. ->
[This] family, although not very (富贵) wealthy, in this locality it is often praised as (望族) distinguished.

因这甄士隐禀性恬淡,不以功名为念,每日只以观花修竹, 酌酒吟诗为乐,倒是神仙一流人品. ->
Because this (甄士隐) Zhen Shi Yin's (禀性) natural disposition is (恬淡) indifferent to fame or fortune, [he] did not study for (功名) scholarly honours or official rank, and every day only found pleasure in (观花修竹) watching flowers and growing bamboo, (酌酒吟诗) drinking wine and reciting poetry, (倒是) conversely [he has the] (一流) first class (人品) moral qualities of a (神仙) celestial being.

(以....为....: grammar used twice in this sentence, can be a bit confusing if you mix them up;  观花修竹: looking after/arranging flowers and bamboo? 神仙一流人品: the qualities of a celestial being?)

只是一件不足:如今年已半百, 膝下无儿,只有一女,乳名唤作英莲,年方三岁. ->
[He] only has one inadequacy: Now, already 50 years old, below [his] knees there is no son, only having one daughter, her (乳名) infant name (唤作) called (英莲) Ying Lian, just 3 years of age.

Comments (12) RSS

loading... Updating ...

To comment, please login.

Not sure if your comment is appropriate? Check our Commenting Policy first.

New lesson idea? Please contact us.