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


1. The king spoke to the following effect:--Uncle Î-ho, how illustrious were Wăn and Wû! Carefully did they make their virtue brilliant, till it rose brightly on high, and the fame of it was widely diffused here below. Therefore God caused his favouring decree to light upon king Wăn. There were ministers also thereafter, who aided and illustriously served their sovereigns, following and carrying out their plans, great and small, so that my fathers sat tranquilly on the throne.

'Oh! an object of pity am I, who am but as a little child just as I have succeeded to the throne, Heaven has severely chastised me. Through the interruption of the royal bounties that ceased to descend to the inferior people, the invading barbarous tribes of the west have greatly injured our kingdom. Moreover, among the managers of my affairs there are none of age and experience and distinguished ability in their offices. I am thus unequal to the difficulties of my position, and say to myself, "My grand-uncles and uncles, you ought to compassionate my case." Oh! if there were those who could establish their merit in behalf of me, the One man, I might long enjoy repose upon the throne.

'Uncle Î-ho, you render still more glorious your illustrious ancestor. You were the first to imitate the example of Wăn and Wû, collecting the scattered powers, and continuing the all but broken line of your sovereign, Your filial piety goes back to your accomplished ancestor, and is equal to his. You have done much to repair my losses, and defend me in my difficulties, and of you, being such, I am full of admiration.'

2. The king said, 'Uncle Î-ho, return home, survey your multitudes, and tranquillize your state. I reward you with a jar of spirits, distilled from the black millet, and flavoured with odoriferous herbs, with a red bow, and a hundred red arrows; with a black bow, and a hundred black arrows; and with four horses. Go, my uncle. Show kindness to those that are far off, and help those who are near at hand; cherish and secure the repose of the inferior people; do not idly seek your ease; exercise an inspection and benign compassion in your capital and all your borders;--thus completing your illustrious virtue.'