Chinese Proverbs


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We remember riding on bamboos as boys, and lo! We are white with age.

Under a powerful general there are no feeble soldiers.

Unplowed fields make hollow bellies; unread books make hollow minds.

Vicious conduct will cause a man?s name to stink for ten thousand years.

Warn men against keen coveting of wealth, for wealth thus coveted provokes the wrath of Heaven.

We scheme for three meals per day and for one sleep by night.

Under each man?s name is his own fortune.

Until times favor you, no luck can you enjoy: And should you try to sail, head winds will you annoy.

Virtue and vice, wisdom and folly are not hereditary.

Washing his face he wets his paws; eating his rice he wets his jaws.

We work with the rising, rest with the setting sun.

Undignified teaching proves a lazy master.

Until you go to the Yellow River you will not be satisfied.

Virtue becomes a wife; beauty becomes a concubine.

Water and words are easy to pour but impossible to recover.

Wealth among men is like dew among plants; Foam on the waves is the fame which earth grants.

When the root is deep, winds rage unheeded; can slanting moon beams trouble an upright tree?

Use attack as the tactic of defense.

Virtue is not left to stand alone.

Water can both sustain and upset a ship.

Wealth and honor have their root and cleverness its seed.

Union of bad men.

Use power to curb power.

Virtue is the foundation of happiness, vice the presage of misery.

Water once spilt cannot be gathered up again; passions once indulged cannot be restrained.

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