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正惟土狭人稠赋重

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by molushi, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. molushi New Member

    French - France
    Hi,

    I'm struggling to understand the meaning of a half-classical Chinese sentence :
    “正惟土狭人稠赋重,农田所入不足以供上,乃必以桑佐穑也.”

    I have no idea what the first two characters might refer to; the rest of it should mean :"because of the rarity of land, density of population, and heavy taxes, the fields did not produce enough for the population to feed on, and that is the reason why the peasants had to turn to mulberry trees".

    I'm not a native English speaker, I'm just interested in knowing if I got the meaning right, so pardon my mistakes!

    Thank you.
     
  2. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin 國語
    正惟 = 正因 = 正是因為, 就是因為 "exactly due to, actually because"
    农田所入 = farming income
    不足以供上 "not enough to supply the government" (i.e., not enough to meet the tax liability imposed by the government).
    乃必 = 於是必须 therefore must
    以桑佐穑也 "use mulberry to aid grain crops" (i.e., grow mulberry as a cash crop to supplement the income earned from cereal crops).
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  3. molushi New Member

    French - France
    Thank you so much!
     

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