Arise at peep of day, sprinkle water and sweep the courtyard and the steps; the inside and outside must be orderly and clean. Rest when it is dark, personally check the closing and locking of doors and windows.
Whether broth or cooked rice, remember it is not easy to come by, for half a piece of silk or cotton thread, think of the difficulty in production.
Prepare for rainy days; do not wait for thirst before you dig a well.
Live frugally and do not give protracted parties.
If utensils be plain and clean, pottery is better than gold and jade. If there is moderation and choice in food, vegetables are better than costly delicacies.
Do not build luxurious houses; do not scheme for rich land.
The three ku and six po are evil go-betweens; pretty maids and lovely concubines are not a blessing to the boudoir.
Do not use the smart and handsome for servants; wives and concubines should not wear seductive makeup.
Be sincere and respectful in offering sacrifices though the ancestors may be distant; the classics must be taught though the descendants may be stupid.
Conduct yourself with frugality and simplicity; teach your sons with uprightness.
Do not be greedy for unexpected wealth, do not drink beyond capacity.
Do not take advantage of the hawkers; help poor relatives and neighbours.
According to reason, there can be no long enjoyment of wealth acquired through meanness. When human relationships are distorted, there will be immediate destruction.
Among brothers, uncles and nephews, distribute your surplus to the needy. Adults and youngsters, at home and abroad, must respect rules and be serious in speech.
To believe the wife’s words and estrange your flesh and blood is not worthy of a man. To value wealth and neglect the parents is not worthy of a son.
In marrying off a daughter, select a good son-in-law: do not demand a big cash down. In taking a daughter-in-law look for a virtuous maiden: do not reckon on a big dowry.
It is most disgraceful to become sycophantic on seeing the rich and the powerful; it is lowly beyond words to assume haughty airs towards the poor.
Avoid litigation; it can only bring calamity in the end. Avoid too much talk in life; much talk leads to errors.
Use not your power to oppress orphans and widows; do not slaughter heedlessly to gratify your mouth and stomach.
Perversity and conceit bring many regrets; laziness and complacency do not build a family.
Association with evil youths sooner or later gets you into trouble with them; to be humble before the elderly and the experience brings help in time of need.
Is it not possible that stories you hear about people may just be slander? Be patient and think thrice. Is it not possible that I may be wrong in a dispute about things? Keep calm and ponder deeply.
Think not of the good turns done to others; forget not the kindness received.
In all matters, leave a margin for error or mishap, do not overdo your realized ambition.
Do not be jealous of others in happy festivity; do not rejoice over others’ misfortune.
To do good for others to see is not true goodness; to do evil in fear of others knowing is indeed grievous evil.
To have adulterous desire when seeing a beauty is to bring retribution upon your wife and daughter. To keep a grudge and plot harm secretly is to bring disaster upon your descendants.
If there is peace and harmony in the family, there will be surplus of joy even though meals are few and far between. If taxes are paid promptly there will be happiness even though there be no savings.
In learning, aim at the sages; as an official, be loyal to sovereign and country.
Keep to your station in life and be content with your lot; accept the times and obey Heaven. Be like this and you will be near the ideal.