Five Classics‎ > ‎Shu Jing‎ > ‎2 The Book of Zhou‎ > ‎

Book 25 KÜN-YÂ

1. The king spoke to the following effect: 'Oh! Kün-yâ your grandfather and your father, one after the other, with a true loyalty and honesty, laboured in the service of the royal House, accomplishing a merit that was recorded on the grand banner. I, the little child, have become charged by inheritance with the line of government transmitted from Wăn and Wû from Khăng and Khang; I also keep thinking of their ministers who aided them in the good government of the kingdom; the trembling anxiety of my mind makes me feel as if I were treading on a tiger's tail, or walking upon spring ice. I now give you charge to assist me; be as my limbs to me, as my heart and backbone. Continue their old service, and do not disgrace your grandfather and father.

'Diffuse widely the knowledge of the five invariable relations of society, and reverently seek to produce a harmonious observance of the duties belonging to them among the people. If you are correct in your own person, none will dare to be but correct. The minds of the people cannot attain to the right mean of duty;--they must be guided by your attaining to it. In the heat and rains of summer, the inferior people may be described as murmuring and sighing. And so it is with them in the great cold of winter. How great are their hardships! Think of their hardships in order to seek to promote their ease; and the people will be tranquil. Oh! how great and splendid were the plans of king Wăn! How greatly were they carried out by the energy of king Wû All in principle correct, and deficient in nothing, they are for the help and guidance of us their descendants. Do you with reverence and wisdom carry out your instructions, enabling me to honour and follow the example of my immediate predecessors, and to respond to and display the bright decree conferred on Wăn and Wû--so shall you be the mate of your by-gone fathers.'

2. The king spoke to the following effect: 'Kün-yâ do you take for your rule the lessons afforded by the courses of your excellent fathers. The good or the bad order of the people depends on this. You will thus follow the practice of your grandfather and father, and make the good government of your sovereign illustrious.'