Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jakdan Remembers his Nephews

Jakdan wrote this note at the beginning of the first fascicle of Jabduha ucuri amtanggai baita. It gives you some insight into what it took to publish a Manchu book in early 19th century China.


kemuni gūnici, abkai fejergi-i baita, dembei mangga bime dule ja ningge bi seci, ja waka bime mangga akū ningge inu bi.Often, when I think that things in this world must reach the extremity of hardship before they become easy, they turn out not to be easy but not really so difficult either.

adarame seci, dembei manggangge tacin-i hūsun inu, ja wakangge, ulin-i hūsun inu juwe hacin gemu mangga bime, emu erinde yongkiyabuki seci, udu nokai ja ningge waka secibe, inu tere niyalma-i nashūn ucaran-i antaka be tuwara dabala.

For example, something that is exceedingly difficult is academic effort, and something that is not easy is having financial resources. But while each of these is difficult, and it is not at all easy to achieve them both simultaneously, consider the opportunity that it presents to a person.

mini beye tušan ci nakaha amala, jabšande KUN YA siyan šeng be ucarabufi, gūnin mujin uhei acabume, tuweri juwari seme giyalabun akū, lii lii ung ni julgei šu fiyelen be pileme oyonggo babe tucibuhe geren bithe be, ubaliyambufi acabume šanggafi, emgeri faksi de folobuha be tuwaci, maka dembei mangga bime dule ja ningge waka semeo?

After I myself retired, by good fortune I met Mr. Kun Ya (崑崖), and finding ourselves to be of like minds we worked winter and summer without a break, translating and compiling the texts identified as important classical works by Li Li Weng (李笠翁). We completed that, and once I saw [the printing blocks] carved by the craftsmen, I wondered, is this something that is extremely difficult but easy in the end?
te geli irgebun ucun juru gisun be, acabufi sarkiyame wajihabi.

Now again we have completed this draft compilation of poems, songs and couplets.
jing untuhun folome šuwaselara hūsun akū-i jalin jobošome(?) bisirede, mini banjiha jalahi jui sunglin ho ting, sungh'eo, yūn kiyoo, meimeni emte tanggū yan menggun be alibume jafafi, bithe foloro fayabun obuha be tuwaci, ere geli ja waka bime mangga akū ningge nikai!

Just as I was worrying about the fact that we lacked the resources to carve it for printing, my nephews Songlin He Ting (松林鶴汀), Songhe (松鶴) and Yun Qiao (雲翹) each put up a hundred taels of silver, and when the expenses for carving had been met, this again was not easy and yet without difficulty!
juwe manggangge emu erinde yongkiyaha be dahame, terei nashūn ucaran-i jabšan ohongge, yala antaka ni!

Since the two difficult things were accomplished simultaneously, the situation turned into a fortunate opportunity. How about that!
banjiha haji niyalma-i turgunde, ceni hoo hio sere yabun be burubuha be jenderakū ofi, tuttu iletuleme tucibufi ejehebi.I cannot bear to let the magnanimous actions of my dear relatives disappear without a trace, so in this way I have publicly commemorated them.

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