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SONG OF A HUNDRED ENDURANCES (EXCERPT)
by Zhang Gongyi (578 - 676, Tang Dynasty)
English translation: You Zai

Endurance is the magnanimity of a great person.
Endurance is the fundamental aspect of a nobleman.
Trivial matters that are not endured,
manifest into great matters.
Good deeds that are not endured end up as regrets.
Fathers and sons who do not endure,
lose the virtues of filial piety.
Brothers who do not endure,
lose respect and mutual affection.
Friends who do not endure, lose the spirit of loyalty and honor.
Couples who do not endure struggle with arguments.

Liu Ling lost his fame because of
his inability to resist the temptation of wine.
Chen Ling exterminated his country
because of his inability to resist desires.
Shi Chong destroyed his family
because of his inability to resist the allure of wealth.
Xiang Yu periled his life
because of his inability to control his anger.

All those who commit crimes today,
come from not knowing to endure.
All entrepreneurs of the past,
there is none who did not practice endurance.

Endurance can lead to a global gateway;
Endurance can build the bond of relationship.
Whilst practicing endurance,
our speech is free from right and wrong.
Whilst practicing endurance,
conflicts are free from hatred and resentment.
Enduring criticism without defense,
pacifies the insult of others.
Enduring strikes without retaliating,
brings listlessness on the evil schemes of others.
If one knows to be patient and accommodating,
he has the manners of a true nobleman.
Do not say that endurance is an act of absurdity.

The ignorant disparages endurance,
while the heavenly gods emphasize endurance.
If one is not determined to endure,
others are not even going to endure.
When matters occur, one needs to endure the most,
and when matters have passed, one still needs to endure.
In life, one does not need to worry about hundreds of forbearance;
perhaps worry that we cannot endure anything.
If one does not endure, hundreds of fortunes
will all vanish like snow.
If one can endure, thousands of misfortunes
will all turn into ashes.

── from Jiu Tang Shu (Old Book of Tang)


UNDER THE SAME ROOF FOR NINE LIVES
by Zhang Gongyi (578 - 676, Tang Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

A lack of studiousness in youth
will cause regret at old age;
A lack of cultivation in spring
will result in a bad autumn harvest.
With studiousness and diligent cultivation
one will naturally win glory and prosperity;
Trading and businesses for money
can be as transient as flowers.
In youth, one must already
strive for a heroic bearing;
As men, one’s goal should be
a rare achiever of the world.
Acting before thinking thrice,
regret will eventually rise;
Enduring a moment’s injustice
shall result in a lifetime’s peace.
When it comes to urgent matters,
seek no help in hard-hearted ones;
To seize opportunities for progress
requires a mind in accord with the Way.
The happiness of a family
lies in the hands of an able husband;
The wellness of a home
lies in the hands of a clever wife.
In the presence of a dutiful wife,
the family is destined for prosperity;
In the presence of filial sons,
a father of strictness is sure to be the cause.
If father and sons are unanimous,
the family is sure to never regress;
If siblings maintain their strong bonds,
the family certain will never be gone.
People learn from secrets for the
attainment of benevolence and righteousness;
It takes blessings and longevity for people
to live under the same roof for nine lives,

── from Jiu Tang Shu (The Old Book of Tang)