백광훈 편지 번역
It's been many days since you left. You must think of me. You can imagine my pain. I don't know whether your mother was doing allright during the second month. I think about her especially now. Did your wife give birth without any problems? After giving birth, taking care of a mother might be more difficult. It's not possible to relax my mind even for one moment. I'm looking at people who are taking examinations these days. It's not what average people with leisure time can hope for. If you're thinking about taking it, that's how it looks like. Just draw down the curtains and gather the fireflies to study. Study diligently all day and night, there is no other way. I'm looking at people who come and go 1000 miles with injured hourses and crippled slaves. In the first place, it might be better to be illiteral and happy. There still remain 3 years of hardships. Even once I didn't achieve success. Also heaven is heartless. Take a lesson in that, you must start your school work from young age. If you miss the timing, what benefit would there be? I don't have a brush and ink. If I get them, I'll send them later to you. I'll stop here.
寄亨南書 己卯 (白光勳, 玉峯別集)
別汝今幾日。以汝之思我, 想我之苦。汝毋二月安過與否未知。 I have been separated from you several days now. Imagine my distress with your longing for me me. I do not know yet whether or not your mother got through the second month peacefully.
尤倍 悶慮。汝妻已能無事解産耶。産後調護爲尤難。一時不能弛于懷也。 This has added even more to my worries and anxiety. Has your wife already been able to safely give birth? Taking care after giving birth is exceptionally difficult. For a period of time you will not be able to slacken in your concern.
觀今取第之人。殊非泛泛優閑之人所可望。 If you observe the people who take the exam these days. It certainly is not something people who waft around leisurely and carefree can hope for.
汝等若不得無念於此。只在下帷聚螢。晝夜矻矻而已。 You are all as such that you manage not to lack intention in this. Be completely immersed in it, lower the curtains and collect fireflies. Day and night work and work and that’s it.
見千里殘奴瘦馬空來空去者。 Consider these cases of a thousand miles, injured servants, meagre horses, coming empty and going empty. It is comfortable then to be unworthy and ignorant of characters.
兄主三年苦留。竟至無一之成。天亦不仁。 My esteemed brother spent three years lingering bitterly.In the end he had not even one success. Heaven in this case is not benevolent.
汝等其懲於此學業須在於早。苟入蹉跎之境。徒恨何益? You should learn a lesson from this this and your studies should absolutely start early. If you get into the condition of slipping and falling. There will be only regret. What benefit is there to it?
筆墨時無得。如得之。隨後可送。不一 The brush and ink I could not get this time. If I get them, then I can send them later. That is all for now.
It has been many days since you left. You must think of me. You can also imagine my pain of missing you. I do not know whether your mother was doing all right during the second month. I think about her especially now. Was your wife able to give birth without any difficulty? After giving birth, taking care of a mother might be even more difficult. I am not able to relax my mind even for one moment. Looking at people who are taking civil examinations these days, it is not something that people enjoying leisure time can achieve. If you have intentions of taking it, that's how it looks like, draw down the curtains and gather the fireflies to study [study despite the difficulty]. I am looking at people who come and go 1000 miles with injured hourses and crippled slaves with any accomplishment. Afterall, it might be better to be illiterate and happy. My own brother has tried for 3 years without single success. If the heaven could be kinder! Take a lesson in that, you must start your school work in advance. If you lose the timing and grief over that, what benefit would there be? I could not acquite brush and ink for now. If I get them, I will send them to you later. I will stop here.
(2) 寄亨南書 己卯 (白光勳, 玉峯別集)
How many days passed till now since I got separated from you. With thinking of yours about me it makes me sad. I don’t know whether your mother is passing the 2nd month safely or not. My worries are further doubled [for both of you]. Was your wife able to give birth without problems? After the birth the care [of her] can be much more difficult. For ths time, you cannot loosen your mind. Looking now at the people who take the state exams in these days. Especially the floating everywhere it is not something a man of leisure can hope for. You all do not get any intention in that. There is only the gathering of fire flies under the curtain. [It is] day and night only of hardworking. I saw thousand miles of crippled servants and underfed horses, those who were coming and going in vain. In the first place, it is not like the comfort of not knowing the characters. [Your] brother was dwelling in misery for three years. In the end, he did not reach [even] one thing. Heaven is not benevolent either [to him]. You all should take lessons from this that studying [should be] found by any means in early hours. You entered the limit of slipping and loosing timing at all. You will regret, how can you benefit? Do not have more of ink and brush for now. If I get some, I can send it [to you] later. I will stop here.
(2) 寄亨南書 己卯 (白光勳, 玉峯別集) A letter sent to Hyeongnam in the gimyo year  (Paek Kwanghun, Ogbongbyeol-jib)
1)別汝今幾日。以汝之思我。想我之苦。 How many days since we have been separated? Thinking of me, do you imagine my pain?
2) 汝毋(母)二月安過與否未知。尤倍悶慮。 Your mother in the second month she is well whether or not I don’t know. I further worry about her.
3)汝妻已能無事解産耶。産後調護爲尤難。 Was your wife was able to give birth without difficult? After giving birth, take care [of her] will become more difficult.
4)一時不能弛于懷也。觀今取第之人。殊非泛泛優閑之人所可望。 Even a moment I cannot detach in concerning. Looking at people who are taking examination these days. Especially average people with a lot of time are not people we can hope for.
5)汝等若不得無念於此。只在下帷聚螢(1)。晝夜矻矻而已(2)。 If you cannot have not intention in this, there could be just fireflies under curtains. Day and night you just have to be only like a stone.
6)見千里殘奴瘦馬。空來空去者。初不若不識字之爲安也。 Looking at travelling a thousand miles with injured servant and lean horse, come in vain and go in vain, after all is not a good as people who don’t recognize characters.
7)況(兄)主三年苦留。竟至無一之成。天亦不仁。 My brother suffered for three years, in the end does not reach success at all. Heaven too is not benevolent.
8)汝等其懲於此學業須在於早。苟入蹉跎之境。徒恨何益。 From this you take the lesson, your study must start early. If you enter the circumstance of studying and using timing, what will be the benefit to regret?
9)筆墨時無得。如得之。隨後可送。不一。 Brush and ink are now not obtainable, if I get them. Later, I will send them. All stop here.
(1) Reference to the anecdotic story link to the expression 車胤聚螢. (2) This expression seems appeared the first time in the Hanshu 漢書.
(2) 寄亨南書 己卯 (白光勳, 玉峯別集)
別汝今幾日。以汝之思我。想我之苦。汝毋二月安過與否未知。尤倍 悶慮。汝妻已能 無事解産耶。産後調護爲尤難。一時不能弛于懷也。觀今取第之人。殊非泛泛優閑之人所可望。汝等若不得無念於此。只在下帷聚螢。晝夜矻矻而已。見千里殘奴瘦馬。空來空去者。初不若不識字之爲安也。況主三年苦留。竟至無一之成。天亦不仁。汝等其懲於此學業須在於早。苟入 蹉跎之境。徒恨何益。筆墨時無得。如得之。隨後可送。不一。
How many days has passed since parting from you? You may consider my suffering as that you have been missing me. I don’t know whether your mother had been doing well during the second month. I’m fretting about thinking it. Was your wife giving birth without difficulty? As it is hard to recover after childbirth, you should not neglect to take care of her for a moment. When seeing civil service examinees theses days, especially, a mediocrity man never allows to achieve that. You should just lower curtain and gather the glow of a firefly, then read the book all day and night. When I see the exhausted servant with skinny horse returning from one thousand miles, it does not seem as good as those who are comfortable illiterate person. My brother had suffered from studying for three years, but he did not reaches a single success, eventually. Heaven is not benevolent, either. You should train yourself severely. Learning has to be performed while young. If you were stumble, you would regret it, then what can you benefit from it? Now, I can not get the brush and ink. When I get them, I would send them to you. I have to say good bye now.
Note  尤倍: worry more  不得無念 double negative  蹉跎 losing timing, stumble
寄亨南書 己卯 (白光勳, 玉峯別集) Letter sent to Hyeongnam, /gimyo/ cyclic year  (Baek Gwang-hun, Ogbongbyeol-jjb)
How many days since [I] separated [from] you. With your thinking of me, do you imagine my pain? Whether or not your mother did well during the second month , I do not know. I’m concerned and worry further about her. Was your wife able to give birth without great difficulty? Care after birth can become more difficult. Even for a moment you cannot be relaxed in worry. Looking at people taking the civil servant examinations  these days; it is especially not something mediocre people with time can hope for. If you don’t not have intention in this civil service examination, just draw down the curtain and gather fireflies  [to study]. Day and night you just have to [give] effort. Looking at travelling 1,000 miles with crippled servant and underfed horse , those who come and go emptily without accomplishment, after all it is not as good as the comfort of not knowing characters. My own brother suffered for three years, in the end he reached not even success. The heaven is not kind. In this you take the lesson [that] studying should start early. If you enter the realm of studying losing timing and regret it, what will the benefit be? I couldn’t get the brush and inkstone before now. Accordingly later [I] can send. Say no more. 
 보릿고개 : period when the rice grains run out, and the wait for barley begins; the in between.
 取第 취제 examinees of the civil servant examination.
 the phrase “只在下帷聚螢” comes from the allusion “螢雪之功” (형설지공) : to make every effort to study despite all the hardships to the point of using fireflies and snow as light sources.
 殘奴瘦馬 *The term 瘦馬 also signifies an untalented scholar who labours a lot but without much accomplishment.
 不一 expression used to end letters.
How many time have passed since we apart. You can understand my suffering by perception that it is [as strong as] you desire of seeing me. I worry about how your mother will go through the 2nd [lunar] month. It doubles my worries and concerns. I hope that your wife delivered the baby without any problems. And the afterbirth care will not cause any trouble. During this period you cannot relax. Today I have seen ones who are passing the examination. This is not leisure and carefree people may desire. If you do not unthinking about examination then pull down the curtain and gather the fireflies to learn diligently in the days and nights. I have seen many injured servants and thin houses walking [the road] and going back empty. Maybe it is better not be literate at all. My elder brother suffered for 3 years (before he succeed in the examination). At the end I did not achieve anything. The Heaven is not humane. In this you also can find the lesson, you should start your education early. Now you are stepping on the frontier where you can stumble and fall. But after all what you will get? [By the way] I could not find the writing brush and the ink stone. If I get it I will send it soon afterwards. That is all (I omit other details).
To Hyong-nam, letter from the month Kimyo
How many days passed since we are far away from each other! Knowing, that you miss me too, my sorrow gets deeper. I don’t know whether your mother is passing the winter safely and my worries increase two times. I hope your wife gave birth without problems. She needs cares after the delivering. Now you could not be able to feel ease in your mind even for a while. I am looking at the people, going to take the exams. It is not a task, which could be done by people, spending their time in leisure. But no one of you is like them. You just have to gather your fireflies under the curtain. Day and night working hard. Look at these weary servants and skinny horses, traveled [so many times] thousand li! Going and coming back in vain. It is much more comfortable to live in the calm of not-knowing the books. Your brother lived for three years in hardship and in the end he did not succeed. Heaven was not benevolent. You should learn from this and know that the base of success is in the early start. It is now the time for your success and you should not miss your chance [and prolong your study]. Success comes after long suffering. I can not find ink and brushes. When I have it, will send it to you. I will stop here.
1 This letter is from Paek Kwang-hun (白光勳|백광훈) to his son Hyong-nam (亨南|형남): Collected works of Okpong Paek Kwang-hun (白光勳, 玉峯別集).
2 Tradition says that in the past poor scholars have not been able to procure lights and gathered fireflies to illuminate their room at night while they are studying.
3 Li – unit of distance. About 500 meters.
How many days has it been since I got separated from you. With your thinking of me, imagine my pain. Your mother, whether or not she did well during the second month, I do not know. I further worry [about her]. Was your wife able to give birth without much difficulty? After birth care can be more difficult. You cannot loosen your worry and concern. Looking at people who are taking the examinees for the civil service exam these days, it is not something mediocre people with time can hope for. If you do not have no intention in [taking the exam] draw down the curtains and gather fireflies(1). Day and night, be busy and nothing else. I look at those who come and go in vain a thousand miles with under fed horses and crippled servants; after all, it might as well be better just to be illiterate and happy. With nothing, one comes, with nothing he leaves. My own elder brother suffered for three years and eventually reached a point of no success. Heaven is not benevolent. From this, take your lesson. Your study must start early. If you miss the right time, what benefit would there be to regret? I don’t have a brush and ink for now. If I get them, I will send them to you letter. I shall end it here.