In the following sentence, what does 從 mean? What is the implicit subject of 從之?


I'd appreciate your help.

  • Simplified Chinese adds a layer of difficulty for interpretation in classical texts, please avoid it and find a faithful transcription if you can.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


the verse in the book of rites (禮記), chapter 曲禮上:


i would interpret it as:

[in situation of | if | when] seeking advice (謀) from (於) an elder (長者)・[one] must (必) hold (操) [readily] the “arm rest” & staff (a strong stick or pole) (几杖 —> 憑几 & 手杖); for the purpose of (以) attending to (從之)


so, “從之” refer back to the “elder” that one’s seeking advice from.

btw, an “arm rest” (憑几) is a tool, when people is sitting on a mat, on floor, for putting their arms on it for resting, something like this:

enter image description here enter image description here

have fun :)

  • You mean the elder is the one who does the action of attending? Or the person who is seeking advice?
    – Apollyon
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 13:39
  • the asker prepared the tools for attending to / caring for the elder. Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 14:15

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