After the people left, Li Datian stepped forward to close the door, and everyone let out a sigh of relief.
Only Mao Badou was still filled with righteous indignation. He was so angry that he kept walking and cursing: "You dare to slander this little master. Why don't you look at what this little master does. Trying to steal chickens but ended up losing rice1. I don’t even know which bastard is tracking me from behind!"
Xue TingRang glanced at him helplessly, sat down at the square table and poured water from the teapot to drink.
Li Datian said, "alright, alright. Stop walking. If you keep walking, the books in trousers will fall out again."
Only then did Mao Badou react and hurriedly touched the book in his trousers. The three of them looked disgusted, especially Li Datian who hurriedly looked at what the book was like and what its name was. Then he said again: "You can really hide it. The books can even be stuffed into your trousers."
Mao Badou said frankly: "In that case, where should I stuff it if not in my trousers?"
Xue TingRang coughed lightly: "Badou, you should still go and tidy up the things on your floor. It is about time to turn off the lights."
Mao Badou went to clean up while Li Datian mocked him next to him: "You really have a lot of good things in your cabinet. I just saw that Zhou Li almost vomited out. How long have you kept your clothes? Why didn't you take it back this break?"
"You stay away from me later. I’m disgusted by you."
After some gossip, the four of them lay down again, Xue TingRang leaned against the wall in silence, but Li Datian was very unlucky because Mao Badou wanted to squeeze onto his bed out of revenge. Li Datian tried to drive him away, but Badou gave him a look that said I’m fat and take up a lot of space, so I can’t help it.
It was a quiet night.
When they went to the lecture hall the next day, there was one missing person in Class B. It was Zhou Li.
Unlike usual, quite a few students greeted the four with a very pleasant expression. There was a lot of comfort and appreciation in their words. It was obviously Xue TingRang's performance yesterday that made many people admire him.
This was also considered a pleasant surprise, but the four of them were choking in their throats, because there was someone dealing with them in the dark. And these seemingly pleasant people in front of them, who knows if they are people or ghosts.
"Badou, you have seen what happened yesterday. Although scholars uphold the gentleman's courtesy, it is very realistic in the end. If we can't enter the first class, we will be inferior. If someone who enters the first class wants to harm us, it will be hard to guard against. Now this person hasn't been found. We should study hard and get into class A as soon as possible, so that we can rest assured." Li Datian sighed.
"Will we be worry-free after entering class A?"
"Even if we can’t rest assured, there won’t be so many people who will come out to harm you. People are based in the world, and everything can’t escape a trend. Although this academy is small, it is a reflection of the world. You get into class A and others will fear and weigh your worth. Your momentum must get bigger and bigger, so that the day when others dare not provoke you, you will naturally have peace of mind."
Mao Badou nodded, and immediately asked curiously: "Ting Rang, how do you know so much?"
Xue TingRang was taken aback. Yes, why did he know so much? It seems that after dreaming that dream, his disposition and behavior have changed a lot.
It's just this kind of inner complexity naturally can't be told to outsiders. He can only smile and tease: "There are thousands of grains in a book, and a golden house in the tree2."
"Hmph, If you don’t want to say it, then don’t say it. You even use those phrases to fool me."
All of them looked at each other and smiled, and the friendship between the teenagers was deepened between the laughter.
Lin Miao closed the scroll and left the lecture hall. Before leaving, he ordered Yu Ziyou to come to the house to find him.
The other students in the lecture hall were full of envy. To have the master teach them alone, there were not a lot of people in the whole school that could have this privilege. Even among the students who have entered Class A, there are only Yu Ziyou, Hu Lianshen and Wang Qi. There are also other students who have been individually called by the master to learn, but they are not as frequent as those three.
There is no doubt about the knowledge of the house owner. From the beginning when he became a xiucai3 after passing the imperial examination and every year after, he was a lingsheng4 and was subsidized by the court. There were many students in the academy who discussed privately more than once that it shouldn't be a problem for the house owner with his amount of knowledge to take the next imperial examination and become a juren5, but it is unknown why the owner has not taken the test for many years.
Generally knowledgeable scholars will accept disciples, but the owner has no disciples so far, and the students don't know the specific reasons. And old people like Meng Xiansheng are secretive even if they know. But this does not prevent everyone from guessing. Judging from the words and deeds of the house owner, it is possible that the candidate for his disciple is among the three of Ziyou, Hu Lianshen and Wang Qi.
Among them, Yu Ziyou and Hu Lianshen have the greatest chance. After all, they have already achieved fame.
Not to mention these, after Lin Miao left, Yu Ziyou sat in the lecture hall for a while, then packed up his books and went out. All the way to the house, Lin Miao was already waiting for him, drinking tea in the house.
"I’ll give you a question today. You will go back and answer it, and hand in an answer tomorrow."
At Yu Ziyou’s level of knowledge, the Four Books and Five Classics have been thoroughly read, and what is lacking is nothing more than the achievements from the eight-legged essay6.
The eight-part essay has been increasingly used in recent dynasties and finally established the metrical form in the previous dynasties, developing to its peak. Generally they only test these certain things, and the questions are all from the Four Books and Five Classics. It has almost reached the point where there are no questions to be tested and no questions to be asked.
Therefore, a question method called cut-and-match question was born. Strongly cut sentences and break the meaning of the scriptures to increase the difficulty of the topic, which is divided into long, short, ruthless, and separated forms.
Honestly, it really is just piecing together sentences from different chapters in the Four Books and Five Classics to create the question, splitting the meaning of the classics, but also letting you write an essay that is specific and substantial.
For example, one of the examiners in the previous dynasty gave a very unrelated question: "Wife Desires Wealth"7.
Looking at this question literally, it is extremely filthy, saying that some Wang Furen wants to see something indescribable. As everyone knows, Jun Furen comes from "The Analects of Confucius Jishi": "The wife of a state monarch is called Furen by her husband, and the outsiders call her Jun Furen."
And Yang Huo Yu comes from "The Analects": "Yang Huo wants to see Confucius, Confucius does not." It means that a person named Yang Huo wants to see Confucius, but Confucius does not want to see him.
These two irrelevant sentences can also be linked together. If candidates of any subject encounter this kind of question, it is estimated that some may even want to cry to their mothers.
But nowadays, the imperial examinations in the Dachang dynasty are almost all of this kind of cut-and-match questions, and therefore it is a test of the candidates' adaptability and solid foundation of classics.
Today, Lin Miao also gave Yu Ziyou a cut-and-match question.
After receiving the paper from the house owner, Yu Ziyou was taken aback when he saw the above question.
"The villain is lucky to take risks, listening kindly but acutely." 8. The general idea is that the gentleman does not resent the heavens against the superior, and does not blame others against the evil, so the gentleman is in an easy position and waits for the fate of heaven, but the villain takes the risk to seek wrongful benefits.
And "Ting De Wei Cong" is from "Shang Shu·Tai Jia Zhong", the whole sentence is Shi Yuan Wei Ming Ting De Wei Cong 9.
The general meaning is the vision is sharp if you can see far away; the hearing is sharp if you can listen to good words. It encourages scholars to pay attention to self-cultivation, study diligently, behave in self-reflection at all times, review their words and deeds, and be broad-minded, good at listening to good opinions, and discarding those bad things.
Could it be that the Xiansheng is concerned about something?
Yu Ziyou couldn't help thinking too much, he subconsciously raised his head and glanced at Lin Miao. Lin Miao's face was serious as always, and the vicissitudes and turbulence of life in his pupils were calm.
"You can leave."
After a respectful bow, Yu Ziyou retired.
It wasn’t until he got out of this room that his expression turned ugly.
- meaning: wanted to take advantage of someone else but ended up suffering a loss ↑
Tried my best to translate this, but honestly, there are too many poetic chinese metaphors and they are all very hard to understand, so I apologize for my rough translation. If anyone has a better translation or a correction to make, please leave a comment.
I think TingRang is saying that a book contains an official's salary.
Cuz an official must be well read and scholarly to perform well and receive his wages... I guess. ↑
- title for someone who passed the lowest-level imperial examinations (the county level examination) ↑
- a student who gets government-provided food. ↑
- title of someone who passed the provincial level imperial examination ↑
- style of essay in imperial examinations
Eight-part essays are based on the "Four Books and Five Classics". Free expression is absolutely not allowed. It must be written using the tone of Confucius and Mencius. There is a fixed format for the essay, and as implied by the name, there are 8 parts to the essay. ↑
- I shortened it, but here I will explain some more.
The phrase was 君夫人阳货欲
君夫人 is the first wife or official wife of a prince during the spring and autumn period
货欲 means the greedy desire for wealth
This is the literal meaning ↑
- another cut-and-match question. I translated based on the literal meaning.
From the text, the phrase "the little man takes risks to get lucky" comes from "The Doctrine of the Mean", and the whole sentence is ‘do not blame the world on the top, and do not show off others when you go down’[note]上不怨天，下不尤人，故君子居易以俟命，小人行险以徼幸
In case you wanted the chinese text ↑
In case you wanted the chinese text ↑