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A THOUSAND CHARACTER CLASSIC (EXCERPT)

by Zhou Xingsi (468 - 521, Southern Liang Dynasty)
English translation: Zhi Yue

Correct errors when they are identified,
and forget the abilities that one has acquired.

Speak not of others’ shortcomings,
and presume not upon one’s own strengths.

Admire only the conducts of the virtuous,
restrain one’s desire to become a sage.

Establish virtue and make a good name,
keep a proper and upright image.

Calamities accumulate due to evil,
virtue is celebrated by fortune and blessing.

A foot of jade is no treasure,
rather, a moment of time is worth contending for.

Provide for your father and serve your king,
speak with solemnity and respect.

Do one’s best to be filial,
and devote one’s life out of loyalty.

── from Liang Wen Ji (Literary Records of the Liang Dynasty)