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侯生云:"二十四氣之象形."
hóu shēng yún:"èr shí sì qì zhī xiàng xíng"

Housheng said: the shape/situation of the 24 qi

From http://www.proactive-qi.com/The24phaseofQi.html, which is totally cheating, but Hey! It's in English! "The year is divided into 4 seasons namely, spring, summer, autumn and winter. The seasons are in turn subdivided into 6 phases ... The six phases are further subdivided into 24 terms ..." I wish I could read the classical wikipedia entry on this, but no time to decipher it. I have homework for Tuesday night to finish.

承日照之,则背上文画,墨入影内,纤毫无失。
chéng rì zhào zhī,zé bèi shàng wén huà,mò rù yǐng nèi, xiān háo wú shī.

When the sun shines on (this mirror), the writing on the back, the ink enters the mirror, and ... doesn't get lost?

I think 纤毫无失 is parsed 纤 毫无 失.

举而扣之,清音徐引,竟日方绝。
jǔ ér kòu zhī, qīng yīn xú yǐn, jìng rì fāng jué.
Hold it overhead, knock on it, a clear sound slowly comes out of it, the end of the day before it ends.

This line has me stumped. I think this is "(if you) hold it up and rap on it, it'll emit a clear sound that doesn't die away until the end of the day".

嗟乎,此则非凡镜之所同也
jiē hū, cǐ zé fēi fán jìng zhī suǒ tong yě.

Heaved a sigh, this one, not an ordinary mirror, is it similar to (之所同).

With a sigh, (he said) this mirror is not like an ordinary mirror.

同, I think in this case is "of the same ilk".

宜其见赏高贤,自称灵物
yí qí jiàn shǎng gāo xiàn, zì chēng líng wù.

It ought to (something), ? called a spirit object.

Does this parse as 宜其 见赏 高贤? I think 见赏高贤 is more commonly encountered as 高贤见赏, which is some "high up worthy person gives a greeting gift". So I'm not quite sure what to make of this when reversed.

自称 is technically "what one calls oneself" but I think in this case it
may be parsed 自 称 灵物, which I'm tempted to translate as "it is naturally termed a spirit object" or "I call it a spirit object". I'm not sure which. Googling about makes me think that the first person "I" may be correct. See the discussion link at the end.

侯生常云:“昔者吾闻黄帝铸十五镜其第一横径一尺五寸,法满月之数也。
hóu shēng cháng yún: xī zhě wú wén huáng dì zhù shí wǔ jìng qí dì yī héng jìng yī chǐ wǔ cùn fǎ mǎn yuè zhī shù yě

Houshen frequently said: I've heard Huang Di cast 15 mirrors, the first was 1 chi 5 cun, the work/effort/magic took the count of a full month.

昔者 makes 吾闻 into past tense, if I'm correct.
一尺五寸 = 1 foot 5 inches aka 1/3 of a meter plus 5 thumbs

以其相差各校一寸,此第八镜也。
yǐ qí xiāng chà gè xiào yī cùn, cǐ dì bā jìng yě

Given that this one is shorter by 1 inch, this is the 8th mirror.

I'm guessing that this is based on the relative lengths of the months.

The next bit will be for the next post as I'd like to get this post up.
”虽岁祀攸远,图书寂寞,而高人所述,不可诬矣。

昔杨氏纳环,累代延庆,张公丧剑,其身亦终。

今度遭世扰攘,居常郁怏,王室如毁,生涯何地?

宝镜复去,哀哉!今具其异迹,列之于后。

数千载之下,倘有得者,知其所由耳。”


Discussion of passivity in Chinese supernatural object stories and contrasting it with 古鏡記:
http://books.google.com/books?id=b_DqXgs9v4IC&pg=PA744&lpg=PA744&dq=%E8%A7%81%E8%B5%8F%E9%AB%98%E8%B4%A4&source=bl&ots=vVItTuOr5r&sig=zpN6v_IhRgmmabuLMVvK4zrofNA&hl=en&ei=ZQtaTdTFNIS2sAPp_aiYCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%E8%A7%81%E8%B5%8F%E9%AB%98%E8%B4%A4&f=false
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