Background and Question
I am again translating Dai Hongci‘s diary from a visit in Vienna during the year 1906 into German. It contains the characters 不之禁也 in relation to indulging the students pastime activities.
Unfortunately, 禁 is one of the most unpleasant Chinese Characters in existence, signifying both „forbid“ and „endure“. So, how should I translate?
The relevant snippet with my tentative English translation reads:
观自习室，为学生课前预备、课后温习之地，人一几一桌。 纵其所好，杂设玩具以娱目，不之禁也。/ Inspection of the self-studying room, this being the place were students prepare before class and repeat the learned topics afterward. Each person is allotted a desk and a chair. Indulgence of their likings and provision of various playthings to please their eye is not (tolerated/forbidden???)
I first opted for „They don’t forbid it“, thinking that the word order favoured this interpretation. But in the Lunyu there are instances, where a long sentence is negated by a following sentence. For example:
Hence, the interpretation „such and such behaviour: they don’t allow it!“ might be correct after all. Several pages later there is also a passage extolling the strictness of the school, which has made me doubt my original interpretation. It goes as follows:
A link to the complete work, pointing to the page under consideration can be visited here.
As stated near the beginning, my problem is, which meaning of 禁 to pick and not the structure 不之禁也, which I know from 論語。