1. Examining into antiquity, (we find that) the Tî Yâo was styled Fang-hsün. He was reverential, intelligent, accomplished, and thoughtful,–naturally and without effort. He was sincerely courteous, and capable of (all) complaisance. The bright (influence of these qualities) was felt through the four quarters (of the land), and reached to (heaven) above and (earth) beneath.
He made the able and virtuous distinguished, and thence proceeded to the love of (all in) the nine classes of his kindred, who (thus) became harmonious. He (also) regulated and polished the people (of his domain), who all became brightly intelligent. (Finally), he united and harmonized the myriad states; and so the black-haired people were transformed. The result was (universal) concord.
2. He commanded the Hsîs and Hos, in reverent accordance with (their observation of) the wide heavens, to calculate and delineate (the movements and appearances of) the sun, the moon, the stars, and the zodiacal spaces, and so to deliver respectfully the seasons to be observed by the people.
He separately commanded the second brother Hsî to reside at Yü-î, in what was called the Bright Valley, and (there) respectfully to receive as a guest the rising sun, and to adjust and arrange the labours of the spring. 'The day,' (said he), 'is of the medium length, and the star is in Niâo;—you may thus exactly determine mid-spring. The people are dispersed (in the fields), and birds and beasts breed and copulate.'
He further commanded the third brother. Hsî to reside at Nan-kiao, (in what was called the Brilliant Capital). to adjust and arrange the transformations of the summer, and respectfully-to observe the exact limit (of the shadow). 'The day,' (said he), 'is at its longest, and the star is in Hwo;—you may thus exactly determine mid-summer. The people are more dispersed; and birds and beasts have their feathers and hair thin, and change their coats.'
He separately commanded the second brother Ho to reside at the west, in what was called the Dark Valley, and (there) respectfully to convoy the setting sun, and to adjust and arrange the completing labours of the autumn. 'The night' (said he), 'is of the medium length, and the star is in Hsü;—you may thus exactly determine mid-autumn. The people feel at ease, and birds and beasts have, their coats in good condition.'
He further commanded the third brother Ho to reside in the northern region, in what was called the Sombre Capital, and (there) to adjust and examine the changes of the winter. 'The day,' (said he), 'is at its shortest, and the star is in Mao;—you may thus exactly determine mid-winter. The people, keep in their houses, and the coats of birds and beasts are downy and thick.'
The Tî said, 'Ah! you, Hsîs and Hos, a round year consists of three hundred, sixty, and six days. Do you, by means of the intercalary month, fix the four seasons, and complete (the period of) the year. (Thereafter), the various officers being regulated, in accordance with this, all the works (of the year) will be fully performed.'
3. The Tî said, 'Who will search out (for me) a man according to the times, whom I can raise and employ?' Fang-khî said, '(Your) heir-son Kû 1 is highly intelligent.' The Tî said, 'Alas; he is insincere and quarrelsome:–can he do?'
The Tî said, 'Who will search out (for me) a man'. equal to the exigency of my affairs?' Hwan-tâu said, 'Oh! the merits of the Minister of Works have just been displayed on a wide scale.' The Tî, said, 'Alas! when all is quiet, he talks; but when, employed, his actions turn out differently. he is respectful (only) in appearance. See! the floods assail the heavens!'
The Tî said, 'Ho! (President of) the Four Mountains, destructive in their overflow are the waters of the inundation. In their vast extent they embrace the hills and overtop the great heights, threatening the heavens with their floods, so that the lower people groan and murmur 'Is there a capable man to whom I can assign the correction (of this calamity)?' All (in the court) said, 'Ah! is there not Khwân?' The Tî said, 'Alas! how perverse is he! He is disobedient to orders, and tries to injure his peers.' (The President of) the Mountains said, 'Well but–. Try if he can (accomplish the work).' (Khwân) was employed accordingly. The Tî said (to him), 'Go; and be reverent!' For nine years he laboured, but the work was unaccomplished.
The Tî said, 'Ho! (President of) the Four Mountains, I have been on the throne seventy years. You can carry out my commands;—I will resign my place to you.' The Chief said, 'I have not the virtue; I should disgrace your place.' (The Tî) said, 'Show me some one among the illustrious, or set forth one from among the poor and mean.' All (then) said to the Tî, 'There is an unmarried man among the lower people, called Shun of Yü'. The Tî said, 'Yes, I have heard of him. What have you to say about him?' The Chief said,' He is the son of a blind man. His father was obstinately unprincipled; his (step-)mother was insincere; his (half-) brother Hsiang was arrogant. He has been able (however), by his filial piety to live in harmony with them, and to lead them gradually to self-government, so that they (no longer) proceed to great wickedness.' The Tî said, 'I will try him; I will wive him, and thereby see his behaviour with my two daughters.' (Accordingly) he arranged and sent down his two daughters to the north of the Kwei, to be wives in (the family of) Yü. The Tî said to them, 'Be reverent!'
1. Examining into antiquity, (we find that) the Tî Shun was styled Khung-hwâ. His character was entirely conformed to (that of): the (former) Tî he was profound, wise, accomplished, and intelligent. He was mild and courteous, and truly sincere. The report of his mysterious virtue was heard on high, and he was appointed to office.
2. (Shun) carefully set forth the beauty of the five cardinal duties, and they came to be (universally) observed. Being appointed to be General Regulator, the affairs of every (official) department were arranged in their proper seasons. (Being charged) to receive (the princes) from the four quarters of the land, they were all docilely submissive. Being sent to the great plains at the foot of the mountains, notwithstanding the tempests of wind, thunder, and rain, he did not go astray.
The Tî said, 'Come, you Shun. I have consulted you on (all) affairs, and examined your words, and found that they can be carried into practice;—(now) for three years. Do you ascend the seat of the Tî' Shun wished to decline in favour of some one more virtuous, and not to consent to be (Yâo's) successor. On the first day of the first month, (however), he received (Yâo's) retirement (from his duties) in the temple of the Accomplished Ancestor.
3. He examined the pearl-adorned turning sphere, with its transverse tube of jade, and reduced to a harmonious system (the movements of) the Seven Directors.
Thereafter, he sacrificed specially, but with the ordinary forms, to God; sacrificed with reverent purity to the Six Honoured Ones; offered their appropriate sacrifices to the hills and rivers; and extended his worship to the host of spirits.
He called in (all) the five jade-symbols of rank; and when the month was over, he gave daily audience to (the President of) the Four Mountains, and all the Pastors, (finally) returning their symbols to the various princes.
In the second month of the year he made a tour of inspection eastwards, as far as Thâi-zung, where he presented a burnt-offering to Heaven, and sacrificed in order to the hills and rivers. Thereafter he gave audience to the princes of the east. He set in accord their seasons and months, and regulated the days; he made uniform the standard-tubes, with the measures of length and of capacity, and the steelyards, he regulated the five (classes of) ceremonies, with (the various) articles of introduction,–the five symbols of jade, the three kinds of silk, the two living (animals) and the one dead one. As to the five instruments of rank, when all was over, he returned them. In the fifth month he made a similar tour southwards, as far as the mountain of the south, where he observed the same ceremonies as at Thâi. In the eighth month he made a tour westwards, as far as the mountain of the west, where he did as before. In the eleventh month he made a tour northwards, as far as the mountain of the north', where he observed the same ceremonies as in the west. He (then) returned (to the capital), went to (the temple of) the Cultivated Ancestor, and sacrificed a single bull.
In five years there was one tour of inspection, and there were four appearances of the princes at court. They gave a report (of their government) in words, which was clearly tested by their works. They received chariots and robes according to their merits.
He instituted the division (of the land) into twelve provinces, raising altars upon twelve hills in them. He (also) deepened the rivers.
He exhibited (to the people) the statutory punishments, enacting banishment as a mitigation of the five (great) inflictions; with the whip to be employed in the magistrates' courts, the stick to be employed in schools, and money to be received for redeemable offences. Inadvertent offences and those which could be ascribed to misfortune were to be pardoned, but those who transgressed presumptuously and repeatedly were to be punished with death. 'Let me be reverent! Let me be reverent!' (he said to himself.) 'Let compassion rule in punishment!'
He banished the Minister of Works to Yû island; confined Hwan-tâu on mount Khung; drove (the chief of) San-miâo (and his people) into San-wei, and kept them there; and held Khwan a prisoner till death on mount Yü. These four criminals being thus dealt with, all under heaven acknowledged the justice (of Shun's administration).
4. After twenty-eight years the Tî deceased, when the people mourned for him as for a parent for three years. Within the four seas all the eight kinds of instruments of music were stopped and hushed. On the first day of the first month (of the) next year, Shun went to (the temple of) the Accomplished Ancestor.
5. He deliberated with (the President of) the Four Mountains how to throw open the doors (of communication between himself and the) four (quarters of the land), and how he could see with the eyes, and hear with the ears of all.
He consulted with the twelve Pastors, and said to them, 'The food!–it depends on observing the seasons. Be kind to the distant, and cultivate the ability of the near. Give honour to the virtuous, and your confidence to the good, while you discountenance the artful;—so shall the barbarous tribes lead on one another to make their submission.'
Shun said, 'Ho! (President of) the Four Mountains, is there any one who can with vigorous service attend to all the affairs of the Tî whom I may appoint to be General Regulator, to assist me in (all) affairs, managing each department according to its nature?' All (in the court) replied, 'There is Po-yü, the Minister of Works.' The Tî said, 'Yes. Ho! Yü you have regulated the water and the land. In this (new office) exert yourself.' Yü did obeisance with his head to the ground, and wished to decline in favour of the Minister of Agriculture, or Hsieh, or Kâo-yâo. The Tî said, 'Yes, but do you go (and undertake the duties).'
The Tî said, 'Khî3, the black-haired people are (still) suffering from famine. Do you, O prince, as Minister of Agriculture, (continue to) sow (for them) the various kinds of grain.'
The Tî said, 'Hsieh, the people are (still) wanting in affection for one another, and do not docilely, observe the five orders of relationship. It is yours, as the Minister of Instruction, reverently, to set forth the lessons of duty belonging to those five orders. Do so with gentleness.'
The Tî said, 'Kâo-yâo, the barbarous tribes trouble our great land. There are (also) robbers, murderers, insurgents, and traitors. It is yours, as the Minister of Crime, to use the five punishments to deal with their offences. For the infliction of these there are the three appointed places. There are the five cases in which banishment in the appropriate places is to be resorted to, to which places, though five, three localities are assigned. Perform your duties with intelligence, and you will secure a sincere (submission).'
The Tî said, 'Who can superintend my works, as they severally require?' All (in the court) replied, 'Is there not Zui?' The Tî said, 'Yes. Ho! Zui, you must be Minister of Works.' Zui did obeisance with his head to the ground, and wished to decline in favour of Shü Khiang, or Po-yü The Tî said, 'Yes, but do you go (and undertake the duties). Effect a harmony (in all the departments).' The Tî said, 'Who can superintend, as the nature of the charge requires, the grass and trees, with the birds and beasts on my hills and in my marshes?' All (in the court) replied, 'Is there not Yî?' The Tînsaid, 'Yes. Ho! Yî do you be my Forester.' Yî did obeisance with his head to the ground, and wished to decline in favour of Kû Hû Hsiung, or Pî. The Tî said, 'Yes, but do you go (and undertake the duties). You must manage them harmoniously.'
The Tî said, 'Ho! (President of the) Four Mountains, is there any one able to direct my three (religious) ceremonies?' All (In the court) answered, 'Is there not Po-î ?' The Tî said, 'Yes. Ho! Po, you must be the Arranger in the Ancestral Temple. Morning and night be reverent. Be upright, be pure.' Po did obeisance with his head to the ground, and wished to decline in favour of Khwei or Lung. The Tî said, 'Yes, but do you go (and undertake the duties). Be reverential!'
The Tî said, 'Khwei, I appoint you to be Director of Music, and to teach our sons, so that the straightforward shall yet be mild; the gentle, dignified: the strong, not tyrannical: and the impetuous, not arrogant. Poetry is the expression of earnest thought; singing is the prolonged utterance of that expression; the notes accompany that utterance, and they are harmonized themselves by the standard tubes. (In this way) the eight different kinds of musical instruments can be adjusted so that one shall not take from or interfere with another; and spirits and men are brought into harmony.' Khwei said, 'I smite the (sounding-) stone, I gently strike it, and the various animals lead on one another to dance.'
The Tî said ; 'Lung, I abominate slanderous speakers and destroyers of the (right) ways, who agitate and alarm my people. I appoint you to be the Minister of Communication. Early and late give forth my orders and report to me, seeing that everything is true.'
The Tî said, 'Ho! you, twenty and two men, be reverent; so shall you. be helpful to the business (entrusted to me by) Heaven.'
Every three years there was an examination of merits, and after three examinations the undeserving were degraded, and the deserving advanced. (By this arrangement) the duties of all the departments were fully discharged; the (people of) San-miâo (also) were discriminated and separated.
6. In the thirtieth year of his age, Shun was called to employment. Thirty years he was on the throne (with Yâo). Fifty years afterwards he went on high and died.
1. Examining into antiquity, (we find that) the Great Yü was styled Wén-ming. Having arranged and divided (the land), all to the four seas, in reverent response to the Tî, he said, 'If the sovereign can realize the difficulty of his sovereignship, and the minister the difficulty of his ministry, the government will be well ordered, and the black-haired people will sedulously seek to be virtuous.'
The Tî said, 'Yes; let this really be the case, and good words will nowhere lie hidden; no men of virtue and talents will be left neglected, away from court, and the myriad states will all enjoy repose. (But) to obtain the views of all; to give tip one's opinion and follow that of others; to keep from oppressing the helpless, and not to neglect the straitened and poor;—it was only the (former) Tî who could attain to this.'
Yî said, 'Oh! your virtue, O Tî, is vast and incessant. It is sagely, spirit-like, awe-inspiring, and adorned with all accomplishments. Great Heaven regarded you with its favour, and bestowed on you its appointment. Suddenly you possessed all within the four seas, and became ruler of all under heaven.'
Yü said, 'Accordance with the right leads to good fortune; following what is opposed to it, to bad;—the shadow and the echo.' Yî said, 'Alas! be cautious! Admonish yourself to caution, when there seems to be no occasion for anxiety. Do not fail to observe the laws and ordinances. Do not find your enjoyment in idleness. Do not go to excess in pleasure. In your employment of men of worth, let none come between you and them. Put away evil without hesitation. Do not carry out plans, of (the wisdom of) which you have doubts. Study that all your purposes may be with the light of reason. Do not go against what is right, to get the praise of the people. Do not oppose the people's (wishes), to follow your own desires. (Attend to these things) without idleness or omission, and the barbarous tribes all around will come and acknowledge your sovereignty.'
Yü said, 'Oh! think (of these things), O Tî. The virtue (of the ruler) is seen in (his) good government, and that government in the nourishing of the people. There are water, fire, metal, wood, the earth, and grain,–these must be duly regulated; there are the rectification of (the people's) virtue, (the tools and other things) that supply the conveniences of life, and the securing abundant means of sustentation,–these must be harmoniously attended to. When the nine services (thus indicated) have been orderly accomplished, that accomplishment will be hailed by (the people's) songs. Caution them with gentle (words), correct them with the majesty (of law), stimulate them with the songs on those nine subjects,–in order that (your success) may not suffer diminution.' The Tî said, 'The earth has been reduced to order, and the (influences of) heaven produce their complete effect; those six magazines and three departments of (governmental) action are all truly regulated, and may be depended on for a myriad generations:–this is your merit.'
2. The Tî said, 'Come, you Yü. I have occupied my place for thirty and three years. I am between ninety and a hundred years old, and the laborious duties weary me. Do you, eschewing all indolence, take the leading of my people.' Yü replied, 'My virtue is not equal (to the position), and the people will not repose in me. (But there is) Kâo-yâo with vigorous activity sowing abroad his virtue, which has descended on the black-haired people, till they cherish him in their hearts. O Tî, think of him! When I think of him, (my mind) rests on him (as the man fit for this place); when I would put him out of my thoughts, (my mind still) rests on him; when I name and speak of him, (my mind) rests on him (for this); the sincere outgoing of my thoughts about him is that he is the man. O Tî, think of his merits.'
The Tî said, 'Kâo-yâo, that of these my ministers and all (my people) hardly one is found to offend against the regulations of the government is owing to your being Minister of Crime, and intelligent in the use of the five punishments, thereby assisting (the inculcation of) the five cardinal duties, with a view to the perfection of my government, and that through punishment there may come to be no punishments, but the people accord with (the path of) the Mean. (Continue to) be strenuous.' Kâo-yâo replied, 'Your virtue, O Tî, is faultless. You condescend to your ministers with a kindly ease; you preside over the multitudes with a generous forbearance. Punishments do not extend to (the criminal's) heirs, while rewards reach to (succeeding) generations. You pardon inadvertent faults, however great, and punish purposed crimes, however small. In cases of doubtful crimes, you deal with them lightly; in cases of doubtful merit, you prefer the high estimation. Rather than put an innocent person to death, you will run the risk of irregularity and error. This life-loving virtue has penetrated the minds of the people, and this is why they do not render themselves liable to be punished by your officers.' The Tî said, 'That I am able to follow and obtain what I desire in my government, the people responding everywhere as if moved by the wind,—this is your excellence.'
The Tî said, 'Come Yü. The inundating waters filled me with dread, when you accomplished truly (all that you had represented), and completed your service;—thus showing your superiority to other men. Full of toilsome earnestness in the service of the country, and sparing in your expenditure on your family, and this without being full of yourself and elated,—you (again.) show your superiority to other men. You are without any prideful assumption, but no one under heaven can contest with you the palm of ability; you make no boasting, but no one under heaven can contest with you the palm of merit. I see how great is your virtue, how admirable your vast achievements. The determinate appointment of Heaven rests on your person; you must eventually ascend (the throne) of the great sovereign. The mind of man is restless, prone (to err); its affinity to what is right is small. Be discriminating, be uniform (in the pursuit of what is right), that you may sincerely hold fast the Mean, Do not listen to unsubstantiated words; do not follow plans about which you have not sought counsel. Of all who are to be loved, is not the ruler the chief? Of all who are to be feared, are not the people the chief? If the multitude were without their sovereign Head, whom should they sustain aloft? If the sovereign had not the multitude, there would be none to guard the country for him. Be reverential! Carefully maintain the throne which you are to occupy, cultivating (the virtues) that are to be desired in you. If within the four seas there be distress and poverty, your Heaven conferred revenues will come to a perpetual end. It is the mouth which sends forth what is good, and raises up war. I will not alter my words.'
Yü said, 'Submit the meritorious ministers one by one to the trial of divination, and let the favouring indication be followed.' The Tî replied, '(According to the rules for) the regulation of divination, one should first make up his mind, and afterwards refer (his judgment) to the great tortoise-shell. My mind (in this matter) was determined in the first place; I consulted and deliberated with all (my ministers and people), and they were of one accord with me. The spirits signified their assent, and the tortoise-shell and divining stalks concurred. Divination, when fortunate, should not be repeated.' Yü did obeisance with his head to the ground, and firmly declined (the place). The Tî said, 'You must not do so. It is you who can suitably (occupy my place).' On the first morning of the first month, (Yü) received the appointment in the temple (dedicated by Shun) to the spirits of his ancestors, and took the leading of all the officers, as had been done by the Tî at the commencement (of his government).
3. The Tî said, 'Alas! O Yü, there is only the lord of Miâo who refuses obedience; do you go and correct him.' Yü on this assembled all the princes, and made a speech to the host, saying, 'Ye multitudes here arrayed, listen all of you to my orders. Stupid is this lord of Miâo, ignorant, erring, and disrespectful. Despiteful and insolent to others, he thinks that all ability and virtue are with himself. A rebel to the right, he destroys (all the obligations of) virtue. Superior men are kept by him in obscurity, and mean men fill (all) the offices. The people reject him and will not protect him. Heaven is sending down calamities upon him. I therefore, along with you, my multitude of gallant men, bear the instructions (of the Tî) to punish his crimes. Do you proceed with united heart and strength, so shall our enterprize be crowned with success.'
At the end of three decades, the people of Miâo continued rebellious against the commands (issued to them), when Yî came to the help of Yü, saying, 'It is virtue that moves Heaven; there is no distance to which it does not reach. Pride brings loss, and humility receives increase;—this is the way of Heaven. In the early time of the Tî, when he was living by mount Lî, he went into the fields, and daily cried with tears to compassionate Heaven, and to his parents, taking to himself all guilt, and charging himself with (their) wickedness. (At the same time) with respectful service he appeared before Kû-sâu, looking grave and awe-struck, till Kû also became transformed by his example. Entire sincerity moves spiritual beings,–how much more will it move this lord of Miâo!' Yü did homage to the excellent words, and said, 'Yes.' (Thereupon) he led back his army, having drawn off the troops. The Tî set about diffusing on a grand scale the virtuous influences of peace;—with shields and feathers they danced between the two staircases (in his courtyard). In seventy days, the lord of Miâo came (and made his submission).
1. Examining into antiquity, (we find that) Kâo-yâo said, 'If (the sovereign) sincerely pursues the course of his virtue, the counsels (offered to him) will be intelligent, and the aids (of admonition that he receives) will be harmonious.' Yü said, 'Yes, but explain yourself.' Kâo-yâo said, 'Oh! let him be careful about his personal cultivation, with thoughts that are far-reaching, and thus he will produce a generous kindness and nice observance of distinctions among the nine branches of his kindred. All the intelligent (also) will exert themselves in his service; and in this way from what is near he will reach to what is distant.' Yü did homage to the excellent words, and said, 'Yes.' Kâo-yâo continued, 'Oh! it lies in knowing men, and giving repose to the people.' Yü said, 'Alas! to attain to both these things might well be a difficulty even to the Tî. When (the sovereign) knows men, he is wise, and can put every one into the office for which he is fit. When he gives repose to the people, his kindness is felt, and the black-haired race cherish him in their hearts. When he can be (thus) wise and kind, what occasion will he have for anxiety about a Hwân-tâu? what to be removing a lord of Miâo? what to fear any one of fair words, insinuating appearance, and great artfulness?'
2. Kâo-yâo said, 'Oh! there are in all nine virtues to be discovered in conduct, and when we say that a man possesses (any) virtue, that is as much as to say he does such and such things.' Yü asked, 'What (are the nine virtues)?' Kâo-yâo replied, 'Affability combined with dignity; mildness combined with firmness; bluntness combined with respectfulness; aptness for government combined with reverent caution; docility combined with boldness; straightforwardness combined with gentleness; an easy negligence combined with discrimination; boldness combined with sincerity; and valour combined with righteousness. (When these qualities are) displayed, and that continuously, have we not the good (officer)? When there is a daily display of three (of these) virtues, their possessor could early and late regulate and brighten the clan (of which he was made chief). When there is a daily severe and reverent cultivation of six of them, their possessor could brilliantly conduct the affairs of the state (with which he was invested). When (such men) are all received and advanced, the possessors of those nine virtues will be employed in (the public) service. The men of a thousand and men of a hundred will be in their offices; the various ministers will emulate one another; all the officers will accomplish their duties at the proper times, observant of the five seasons (as the several elements predominate in them),–and thus their various duties will be fully accomplished. Let not (the Son of Heaven) set to the holders of states the example of indolence or dissoluteness. Let him be wary and fearful, (remembering that) in one day or two days there may occur ten thousand springs of things. Let him not have his various officers cumberers of their places. The work is Heaven's; men must act for it!'
3. From Heaven are the (social) relationships with their several duties; we are charged with (the enforcement of) those five duties;—and lo! we have the five courses of honourable conduct. From Heaven are the (social) distinctions with their several ceremonies; from us come the observances of those five ceremonies;—and lo! they appear in regular practice. When (sovereign and ministers show) a common reverence and united respect for these, lo! the moral nature (of the people) is made harmonious. Heaven graciously distinguishes the virtuous;—are there not the five habiliments, five decorations of them? Heaven punishes the guilty;—are there not the five punishments, to be severally used for that purpose? The business of government!–ought we not to be earnest in it? ought we not to be earnest in it?
'Heaven hears and sees as our people hear and see; Heaven brightly approves and displays its terrors as our people brightly approve and would awe;—such connexion is there between the upper and lower (worlds). How reverent ought the masters of territories to be!'
4. Kâo-yâo said, 'My words are in accordance with reason, and maybe put in practice.' Yü said, 'Yes, your words may be put in practice, and crowned with success.' Kâo-yâo added, '(As to that) I do not know, but I wish daily to be helpful. May (the government) be perfected!'
1. The Tî said, 'Come Yü, you also must have excellent words (to bring before me).' Yü did obeisance, and said, 'Oh! what can I say, O Tî, (after Kâo-yâo)? I can (only) think of maintaining a daily assiduity.' Kâo-yâo said, 'Alas I will you describe it?' Yü replied, 'The inundating waters seemed to assail the heavens, and in their vast extent embraced the hills and overtopped the great mounds, so that the people were bewildered and. overwhelmed. I mounted my four conveyances, and all along the hills hewed down the trees, at the same time, along with Yî, showing the multitudes how to get flesh to eat. I (also) opened passages for the streams (throughout the) nine (provinces), and conducted them to the four seas. I deepened (moreover) the channels and canals, and conducted them to the streams, sowing (grain), at the same time, along with Kî, and showing the multitudes how to procure the food of toil, (in addition to) the flesh meat. I urged them (further) to exchange what they had for what they had not, and to dispose of their accumulated stores. (In this way) all the people got grain to eat, and the myriad regions began to come under good rule.' Kâo-yâo said, 'Yes, we ought to model ourselves after your excellent words.'
Yî said, 'Oh! carefully maintain, O Tî, the throne which you occupy.' The Tî replied, 'Yes;' and Yü went on, 'Find your repose in your (proper) resting-point Attend to the springs of things; study stability; and let your assistants be the upright:–then shall your movements be grandly responded to, (as if the people only) waited for your will. Thus you will brightly receive (the favour of) God;—will not Heaven renew its appointment of you, and give you blessing?'
The Tî said, 'Alas! what are ministers?–are they not (my) associates? What are associates?–are they not (my) ministers?' Yü replied, 'Yes:' and the Tî went on, 'My ministers constitute my legs and arms, my ears and eyes. I wish to help and support my people;—you give effect to my wishes. I wish to spread the influence (of my government) through the four quarters;—you act as my agents. I wish to see the emblematic figures of the ancients,–the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountain, the dragons, and the flowery fowl (= the pheasant), which are depicted (on the upper garment); the temple cups, the pondweed, the flames, the grains of rice, the hatchet, and the symbol of distinction, which are embroidered (on the lower Garment),–(I wish to see all these) fully displayed in the five colours, so as to form the (ceremonial) robes;—it is yours to see them clearly (for me). I wish to hear the six pitch-tubes, the five notes (determined by them), and the eight kinds of musical instruments (regulated again by these), examining thereby the virtues and defects of government, according as (the odes that) go forth (from the court, set to music), and come in (from the people), are ordered by those five notes;—it is yours to hear them (for me). When I am doing wrong, it is yours to correct me;—do not follow me to my face, and, when you have retired, have other remarks to make. Be reverent, ye associates, who are before and behind and on each side of me! As to all the obstinately stupid and calumniating talkers, who are found not to be doing what is right, are there not–the target to exhibit (their true character), the scourge to make them recollect, and the book of remembrance? Do we not wish them to live along with us? There are also the masters (of music) to receive their compositions, (set them to music), and continually publish them (as corrected by themselves). If they become reformed they are to be received and employed; if they do not, let the terrors (of punishment) overtake them.'
Yü said, 'So far good! But let your light shine, O Tî, all under heaven, even to every grassy corner of the sea-shore, and throughout the myriad regions the most worthy of the people will all (wish) to be your ministers. Then, O Tî, you may advance them to office. They will set forth, and you will receive, their reports; you will make proof of them according to their merits; you will confer chariots and robes according to their services. Who will then dare not to cultivate a humble virtue? who will dare not to respond to you with reverence? If you, O Tî, do not act thus, all (your ministers) together will daily proceed to a meritless character.'
'Be not haughty like Kû of Tan, who found his pleasure only in indolence and dissipation, and pursued a proud oppressive course. Day and night without ceasing he was thus. He would make boats go where there was no water. He introduced licentious associates into his family. The consequence was that he brought the prosperity of his house to an end. I took warning from his course. When I married in Thü-shan, (I remained with my wife only the days) hsin, zân, kwei, and kiâ. When (my son) Khî was wailing and weeping, I did not regard him, but kept planning with all my might my labour on the land. (Then) I assisted in completing the five Tenures, extending over 5000 lî; (in appointing) in the provinces twelve Tutors, and in establishing in the regions beyond, reaching to the four seas, five Presidents. These all pursue the right path, and are meritorious; but there are still (the people of) Miâo, who obstinately refuse to render their service. Think of this, O Tî.' The Tî said, 'That my virtue is followed is the result of your meritorious services so orderly displayed. And now Kâo-yâo, entering respectfully into your arrangements, is on every hand displaying the (various) punishments, as represented, with entire intelligence.'
2. Khwei said, 'When the sounding-stone is tapped or struck with force, and the lutes are strongly swept or gently touched, to accompany the singing, the progenitors (of the Tî) come (to the service), the guest of Yü is in his place, and all the princes show their virtue in giving place to one another. (In the court) below (the hall) there are the flutes and hand-drums, which join in at the sound of the rattle, and cease at that of the stopper, when the organ and bells take their place. (This makes) birds and beasts fall moving. When the nine parts of the service, as arranged by the Tî, have all been performed, the male and female phoenix come with their measured gambolings (into the court).'
Khwei said, 'Oh! when I smite the (sounding-) stone, or gently strike it, the various animals lead on one another to dance, and all the chiefs of the official departments become truly harmonious.'
3. The Tî on this made a song, saying, 'We must deal cautiously with the favouring appointment of Heaven, at every moment and in the smallest particular.' He then sang.
Kâo-yâo did obeisance with his head to his hands and then to the ground, and with a loud and rapid voice said,' Think (O Tî). It is you to lead on and originate things. Pay careful attention to your laws (in doing so). Be reverential! and often examine what has been accomplished (by your officers). Be reverential!' With this he continued the song,
Again he continued the song,
The Tî said, 'Yes, go and be reverently (attentive to your duties).'
1. Yü divided the land. Following the course of the hills, he cut down the trees. He determined the highest hills and largest rivers (in the several regions).
2. With respect to Kî Kâu, he did his work at Hû-khâu, and took effective measures at (the mountains) Liang and Khî. Having repaired the works on Thâi-yüan, he proceeded on to the south of (mount) Yo. He was successful with his labours on Tan-hwâi, and went on to the cross-flowing stream of Kang.
The soil of this province was whitish and mellow. Its contribution of revenue was the highest of the highest class, with some proportion of the second. Its fields were the average of the middle class.
The (waters of the) Hǎng and Wei were brought to their proper channels, and Tâ-lü was made capable of cultivation.
The wild people of the islands (brought) dresses of skins (i.e. fur dresses); keeping close on the right to the rocks of Kieh, they entered the Ho.
3. Between the Kî and the Ho was Yen Kâu.
The nine branches of the Ho were made to keep their proper channels. Lêi-hsiâ was made a marsh, in which (the waters of) the Yung and the zü were united. The mulberry grounds were made fit for silkworms, and then (the people) came down from the heights, and occupied the grounds (below).
The soil of this province was blackish and rich; the grass in it was luxuriant, and the trees grew high. Its fields were the lowest of the middle class. Its contribution of revenue was fixed at what would just be deemed the correct amount; but it was not required from it, as from the other provinces, till after it had been cultivated for thirteen years. Its articles of tribute were varnish and silk, and, in baskets, woven ornamental fabrics.
They floated along the Kî and Thâ, and so reached the Ho.
4. The sea and (mount) Tai were the boundaries of Khing Kâu. (The territory of) Yü-î was defined; and the Wei and zi were made to keep their (old) channels.
Its soil was whitish and rich. Along the shore of the sea were wide tracts of salt land. Its fields were the lowest of the first class, and its contribution of revenue the highest of the second. Its articles of tribute were salt, fine cloth of dolichos fibre, productions of the sea of various kinds; with silk, hemp, lead, pine trees, and strange stones, from the valleys of Tai. The wild people of Lai were taught tillage and pasturage, and brought in their baskets the silk from the mountain mulberry tree.
They floated along the Wǎn, and so reached the Kî.
5. The sea, mount Tâi, and the Hwâi were (the boundaries of) Hsü Kâu.
The Hwâi and the Î (rivers) were regulated. The (hills) Mang and Yü were made fit for cultivation. (The waters of) Tâ-yeh were confined (so as to form a marsh); and (the tract of) Tung-yüan was successfully brought under management.
The soil of this province was red, clayey, and rich. Its grass and trees grew more and more bushy. Its fields were the second of the highest class; its contribution of revenue was the average of the second. Its articles of tribute were–earth of five different colours, variegated pheasants from the valleys of mount Yü, the solitary dryandra from the south of mount Yî, and the sounding-stones that (seemed to) float on the (banks of the) Sze. The wild tribes about the Hwâi brought oyster-pearls and fish, and their baskets full of deep azure and other silken fabrics, chequered and pure white.
They floated along the Hwâi and the Sze, and so reached the Ho.
6. The Hwâi and the sea formed (the boundaries of) Yang Kâu.
The (lake of) Phǎng-lî was confined to its proper limits, and the sun-birds (= the wild geese) had places to settle on. The three Kiang were led to enter the sea, and it became possible to still the marsh of Kǎn. The bamboos, small and large, then spread about; the grass grew thin and long, and the trees rose high; the soil was miry.
The fields of this province were the lowest of the lowest class; its contribution of revenue was the highest of the lowest class, with a proportion of the class above. Its articles of tribute were gold, silver, and copper; yâo and khwǎn stones; bamboos, small and large; (elephants') teeth, hides, feathers, hair, and timber. The wild people of the islands brought garments of grass, with silks woven in shell-patterns in their baskets. Their bundles contained small oranges and pummeloes,–rendered when specially required.
They followed the course of the Kiang and the sea, and so reached the Hwâi and the Sze.
7. (Mount) King and the south of (mount) H?ng formed (the boundaries of) King Kâu.
The Kiang and the Han pursued their (common) course to the sea, as if they were hastening to court. The nine Kiang were brought into complete order. The Tho and Khien (streams) were conducted by their proper channels. The land in (the marsh of) Yün (became visible), and (the marsh of) Mǎng was made capable of cultivation.
The soil of this province was miry. Its fields were the average of the middle class; and its contribution of revenue was the lowest of the highest class. Its articles of tribute were feathers, hair, (elephants') teeth, and hides; gold, silver, and copper; khun trees, wood for bows, cedars, and cypresses; grindstones, whetstones, flint stones to make arrow-heads, and cinnabar; and the khün and lû bamboos, with the hû tree, (all good for making arrows)–of which the Three Regions were able to contribute the best specimens. The three-ribbed-rush was sent in bundles, put into cases. The baskets were filled with silken fabrics, azure and deep purple, and with strings of pearls that were not quite round. From the (country of the) nine Kiang, the great tortoise was presented when specially required (and found).
They floated down the Kiang, the Tho, the Khien, and the Han, and crossed (the country) to the Lo, whence they reached the most southern part of the Ho.
8. The King (mountain) and the Ho were (the boundaries of) Yü Kâu.
The Î, the Lo, the Khan, and the Kien were conducted to the Ho. The (marsh of) Yung-po was confined within its proper limits. The (waters of that of) Ko were led to (the marsh of) Mang-kû.
The soil of this province was mellow; in the lower parts it was (in some places) rich, and (in others) dark and thin. Its fields were the highest of the middle class; and its contribution of revenue was the average of the highest class, with a proportion of the very highest. Its articles of tribute were varnish, hemp, fine cloth of dolichos fibre, and the boehmerea. The baskets were full of chequered silks, and of fine floss silk. Stones for polishing sounding-stones were rendered when required.
They floated along the Lo, and so reached the Ho.
9. The south of (mount) Hwâ and the Blackwater, were (the boundaries of) Liang Kâu.
The (hills) Min and Po were made capable of cultivation. The Tho and Khien streams were conducted by their proper channels. Sacrifices were offered to (the hills) Chai and Mang on the regulation (of the country about them). (The country of) the wild tribes about the Ho was successfully operated on.
The soil of this province was greenish and light. Its fields were the highest of the lowest class; and its contribution of revenue was the average of the lowest class, with proportions of the rates immediately above and below. Its articles of tribute, were–the best gold, iron, silver, steel, flint stones to make arrow-heads, and sounding-stones; with the skins of bears, foxes, and jackals, and (nets) woven of their hair.
From (the hill of) Hsî-khing they came by the course of the Hwan; floated along the Khien, and then crossed (the country) to the Mien; passed to the Wei, and (finally) ferried across the Ho.
10. The Black-water and western Ho were (the boundaries of) Yung Kâu.
The Weak-water was conducted westwards. The King was led to mingle its waters with those of the Wei. The Khî and the Khü were next led in a similar way (to the Wei), and the waters of the Fêng found the same receptacle.
(The mountains) King and Khî were sacrificed to. (Those of) Kung-nan and Khun-wû (were also regulated), and (all the way) on to Niâo-shû. Successful measures could now be taken with the plains and swamps, even to (the marsh of) Kû-yeh. (The country of) San-wei was made habitable, and the (affairs of the) people of San-miâo were greatly arranged.
The soil of the province was yellow and mellow. Its fields were the highest of the highest class, and its contribution of revenue the lowest of the second. Its articles of tribute were the khiû jade and the lin, and (the stones called) lang-kan.
Past Kî-shih they floated on to Lung-mǎn on the western Ho. They then met on the north of the Wei (with the tribute-bearers from other quarters)
Hair-cloth and skins (were brought from) Khwǎn-lun, Hsî-kih, and Khü-sâu;—the wild tribes of the West (all) coming to (submit to Yü's) arrangements.
1. (Yü) surveyed and described (the hills), beginning with Khien and Khî, and proceeding to mount King; then, crossing the Ho, Hû-khâu, and Leî-shâu, going on to Thâi-yo. (After these came) Tî-kû and Hsî-khǎng, from which he went on to Wang-wû; (then there were) Thai-hang and Mount Hǎng, from which he proceeded to the rocks of Kieh, where he reached the sea.
(South of the Ho, he surveyed) Hsî-khing, Kû-yü, and Niâo-shû, going on to Thai-hwâ; (then) Hsiung-R, Wâi-fang, and Thung-pâi, from which he proceeded to Pei-wei.
He surveyed and described Po-khung, going on to (the other) mount King; and Nêi-fang, from which he went on to Tâ-pieh.
(He did the same with) the south of mount Min, and went on mount H?ng. Then crossing the nine Kiang, he proceeded to the plain of Fû-khien.
2. He traced the Weak-water as far as the Ho-lî (mountains), from which its superfluous waters went away among the moving sands.
He traced the Black-water as far as San-wei, from which it (went away to) enter the southern sea.
He traced the Ho from Kî-shih as far as Lung-mǎn; and thence, southwards, to the north of (mount) Hwâ; eastward then to Tî-khû; eastward (again) to the ford of Mǎng; eastward (still) to the junction of the Lo; and then on to Tâ-pei. (From this the course was) northwards, past the Kiang-water, on to Tâ-lü; north from which the river was divided, and became the nine Ho, which united again, and formed the Meeting Ho, when they entered the sea.
From Po-khung he traced the Yang, which, flowing eastwards, became the Han. Farther east it became the water of Chang-lang; and after passing the three Dykes, it went on to Tâ-pieh, southwards from which it entered the Kiang. Eastward still, and whirling on, it formed the marsh of Phǎng-lî; and from that its eastern flow was the northern Kiang, as which it entered the sea.
From mount Min he traced the Kiang, which, branching off to the east, formed the Tho; eastward again, it reached the Lî, passed the nine Kiang, and went on to Tung-ling; then flowing east, and winding to the north, it joined (the Han) with its eddying movements. From that its eastern flow was the middle Kiang, as which it entered the sea.
He traced the Yen water, which, flowing eastward, became the Kî, and entered the Ho. (Thereafter) it flowed out, and became the Yung (marsh). Eastward, it issued forth on the north of Thâo-khiû, and flowed farther east to (the marsh of) Ko; then it went north-east, and united with the Wǎn; thence it went north, and (finally) entered the sea on the east.
He traced the Hwâi from the hill of Thung-pâî. Flowing east, it united with the Sze and the Î, and (still) with an eastward course entered the sea.
He traced the Wei from (the hill) Niâo-shû-thung-hsüeh. Flowing eastward, it united with the Fêng, and eastwards again with the King. Farther east still, it passed the Khî and the Khü, and entered the Ho.
He traced the Lo from (the hill) Hsiung-R. Flowing to the north-east, it united with the Kien and the Khan, and eastwards still with the Î. Then on the north-east it entered the Ho.
3. (Thus), throughout the nine provinces a similar order was effected:–the grounds along the waters were everywhere made habitable; the hills were cleared of their superfluous wood and sacrificed to; the sources of the rivers were cleared; the marshes were well banked; and access to the capital was secured for all within the four seas.
The six magazines (of material wealth) were fully attended to; the different parts of the country were subjected to an exact comparison, so that contribution of revenue could be carefully adjusted according to their resources. (The fields) were all classified with reference to the three characters of the soil; and the revenues for the Middle Region were established.
4. He conferred lands and surnames. (He said), 'Let me set the example of a reverent attention to my virtue, and none will act contrary to my conduct, Five hundred It formed the Domain of the Sovereign. From the first hundred they brought as revenue the whole plant of the grain; from the second, the cars, with a portion of the stalk; from the third, the straw, but the people had to perform various services; from the fourth, the grain in the husk; and from the fifth, the grain cleaned.
Five hundred lî (beyond) constituted the Domain of the Nobles. The first hundred lî was occupied by the cities and lands of the (sovereign's) high ministers and great officers; the second, by the principalities of the barons; and the (other) three hundred, by the various other princes.
Five hundred lî (still beyond) formed the Peace-securing Domain. In the first three hundred, they cultivated the lessons of learning and moral duties; in the other two, they showed the energies of war and defence.
Five hundred lî (remoter still) formed the Domain of Restraint. The (first) three hundred were occupied by the tribes of the Î; the (other) two hundred, by criminals undergoing the lesser banishment.
Five hundred lî (the most remote) constituted the Wild Domain. The (first) three hundred were occupied by the tribes of the Man; the (other) two hundred, by criminals undergoing the greater banishment.
5. On the east, reaching to the sea; on the west, extending to the moving sands; to the utmost limits of the north and south:–his fame and influence filled up (all within) the four seas. Yü presented the dark-coloured symbol of his rank, and announced the completion of his work.
There was a great battle at Kan. (Previous to it), the king called together the six nobles, (the leaders of his six hosts), and said, 'Ah! all ye who are engaged in my six hosts, I have a solemn announcement to make to you.
'The lord of Hû wildly wastes and despises the five elements (that regulate the seasons), and has idly abandoned the three acknowledged commencements of the year. On this account Heaven is about to destroy him, and bring to an end his appointment (to Hû); and I am now reverently executing the punishment appointed by Heaven.
If you, (the archers) on the left, do not do your work on the left, it will be a disregard of my orders. If you, (the spearmen) on the right, do not do your work on the right, it will be a disregard of my orders. If you, charioteers, do not observe the rules for the management of your horses, it will be a disregard of my orders. You who obey my orders, shall be rewarded before (the spirits of) my ancestors; and you who disobey my orders, shall be put to death before the altar of the spirits of the land, and I will also put to death your children.'
1. Thâi Khang occupied the throne like a personator of the dead
1. By idleness and dissipation he extinguished his virtue, till the black-haired people all wavered in their allegiance. He, however, pursued his pleasure and wanderings without any self-restraint. He went out to hunt beyond the Lo, and a hundred days elapsed without his returning. (On this) Î, the prince of Khiung, taking advantage of the discontent of the people, resisted (his return) on (the south of) the Ho. The (king's) five brothers had attended their mother in following him, and were waiting for him on the north of the Lo; and (when they heard of Î's movement), all full of dissatisfaction, they related the Cautions of the great Yü in the form of songs.
The character that here as a verb governs the character signifying 'throne' means properly 'a corpse,' and is often used for the personator of the dead, in the sacrificial services to the dead which formed a large part of the religious ceremonies of the ancient Chinese. A common definition of it is 'the semblance of the spirit,' = the image into which the spirit entered. Thâi Khang was but a personator on the throne, no better than a sham sovereign.
2. The first said,
The second said,
The third said,
The fourth said,
The fifth said,
1. When Kung Khang commenced his reign over all within the four seas, the marquis of Yin was commissioned to take charge of the (king's) six hosts. (At this time) the Hsî and Ho had neglected the duties of their office, and were abandoned to drink in their (private) cities; and the marquis of Yin received the king's charge to go and punish them.
2. He made an announcement to his hosts, saying, 'Ah! ye, all my men, there are the well-counselled instructions of the sage (founder of our dynasty), clearly verified in their power to give stability and security:–"The former kings were carefully attentive to the warnings of Heaven
3, and their ministers observed the regular laws (of their offices). All the officers (moreover) watchfully did their duty to assist (the government), and their sovereign became entirely intelligent." Every year, in the first month of spring, the herald, with his wooden-tongued bell, goes along the roads, (proclaiming), "Ye officers able to instruct, be prepared with your admonitions. Ye workmen engaged in mechanical affairs, remonstrate on the subjects of your employments. If any of you do not attend with respect (to this requirement), the country has regular punishments for you."
That is, here, such warnings as were supposed to be conveyed by eclipses and other unusual celestial phenomena.
'Now here are the Hsî and Ho. They have allowed their virtue to be subverted, and are besotted by drink. They have violated the duties of their office, and left their posts. They have been the first to let the regulating of the heavenly (bodies) get into disorder, putting far from them their proper business. On the first day of the last month of autumn, the sun and moon did not meet harmoniously in Fǎng. The blind musicians beat their drums; the inferior officers galloped, and the common people (employed about the public offices) ran about. The Hsî and the Ho, however, as if they were (mere) personators of the dead in their offices, heard nothing and knew nothing;—so stupidly went they astray (from their duties) in the matter of the heavenly appearances, and rendered themselves liable to the death appointed by the former kings. The statutes of government say, "When they anticipated the time, let them be put to death without mercy; when (their reckoning) is behind the time, let them be put to death without mercy."
'Now I, with you all, am entrusted with the execution of the punishment appointed by Heaven. Unite your strength, all of you warriors, for the royal House. Give me your help, I pray you, reverently to carry out the dread charge of the Son of Heaven.
'When the fire blazes over the ridge of Khwǎn
4, gems and stones are burned together; but if a minister of Heaven exceed in doing his duty, the consequences will be fiercer than blazing fire. While I destroy, (therefore), the chief criminals, I will not punish those who have been forced to follow them; and those who have long been stained by their filthy manners will be allowed to renovate themselves.
Khwǎn is perhaps a part of the Khwǎn-lun mountain in the west of the Ko-ko-nor, where the Ho has its sources. The speaker evidently thought of it as volcanic.
'Oh! when sternness overcomes compassion, things are surely conducted to a successful issue. When compassion overcomes sternness, no merit can be achieved. All ye, my warriors, exert yourselves, and take warning, (and obey my orders)!'
The king said, 'Come, ye multitudes of the people, listen all to my words. It is not I, the little child
5, who dare to undertake a rebellious enterprise; but for the many crimes of the sovereign of Hsiâ, Heaven has given the charge to destroy him.
'The little child' is a designation used humbly of themselves by the kings of Shang and Kâu.
'Now, ye multitudes, you are saying, "Our prince does not compassionate us, but (is calling us) away from our husbandry to attack and punish Hsiâ." I have indeed heard (these) words of you all; (but) the sovereign of Hsiâ is guilty, and. as I fear God, I dare not but punish him.
'Now you are saying, "What are the crimes of Hsiâ to us?" The king of Hsiâ in every way exhausts the strength of his people, and exercises oppression in the cities of Hsiâ. His multitudes are become entirely indifferent (to his service), and feel no bond of union(to him). They are saying, "When wilt thou, O sun, expire? We will all perish with thee
6." Such is the course of (the sovereign) of Hsiâ, and now I must go (and punish him).
Kieh, it is said, had on one occasion, when told of the danger he was incurring by his cruelties, pointed to the sun, and said that as surely as the sun was in the heavens, so firm was he on the throne.
Assist, I pray you, me, the One man, to carry out the punishment appointed by Heaven. I will greatly reward you. On no account disbelieve me;—will not eat my words. If you do not obey the words which I have thus spoken to you, I will put your children to death with you;—you shall find no forgiveness.'
1. When Thang the Successful was keeping Kieh in banishment in Nan-khâo, he had a feeling of shame on account of his conduct, and said, 'I am afraid that in future ages men will fill their mouths with me, (as an apology for their rebellious proceedings.)'
2. On this Kung-hui made the following announcement: 'Oh! Heaven gives birth to the people with (such) desires. that without a ruler they must fall into all disorders; and Heaven again gives birth to the man of intelligence to regulate them. The sovereign of Hsiâ had his virtue all-obscured, and the people were (as if they had fallen) amid mire and (burning) charcoal. Heaven hereupon gifted (our) king with valour and prudence, to serve as a sign and director to the myriad regions, and to continue the old ways of Yü. You are now (only) following the proper course, honouring and obeying the appointment of Heaven. The king of Hsiâ was an offender, falsely and calumniously alleging the sanction of supreme Heaven, to spread abroad his commands among the people. On this account God viewed him with disapprobation, caused our Shang to receive his appointment, and employed (you) to enlighten the multitudes (of the people).'
3. 'Contemners of the worthy and parasites of the powerful,–many such followers he had indeed: (but) from the first our country was to the sovereign of Hsiâ like weeds among the springing corn, and blasted grains among the good. (Our people), great and small, were in constant apprehension, fearful though they were guilty of no crime. How much more was this the case, when our (prince's) virtues became a theme (eagerly) listened to! Our king did not approach to (dissolute) music and women; he did not seek to accumulate property and wealth. To great virtue he gave great offices, and to great merit great rewards. He employed others as if (their excellences) were his own; he was not slow to change his errors. Rightly indulgent and rightly benevolent, from the display, (of such virtue), confidence was reposed in him by the millions of the people.
'When the earl of Ko showed his enmity to the provision-carriers, the work of punishment began with Ko.
7When it went on in the east, the wild tribes of the west murmured; when it went on in the south, those of the north murmured:—they said, "Why does he make us alone the last?" To whatever people he went, they congratulated one another in their families, saying, "We have waited for our prince; our prince is come, and we revive." The people's honouring our Shang is a thing of long existence.'
Mencius tells us (III, ii, ch. 3) that Thang sent a multitude of his people to assist the farmers of Ko, about the poor produce of which their chief had lamented to him. That chief, however, instead of showing any gratitude, surprised and robbed those who were carrying provisions from Po to the labourers in the field, and committed various atrocities upon them. This aroused Thang's indignation, and he made him the first object of his punitive justice.
4. 'Show favour to the able and right-principled (among the princes), and aid the virtuous; distinguish the loyal, and let the good have free course. Absorb the weak, and punish the wilfully blind; take their states from the disorderly, and deal summarily with those going to ruin. When you (thus) accelerate the end of what is (of itself) ready to perish, and strengthen what is itself strong to live, how will the states all flourish! When (a sovereign's) virtue is daily being renewed, he is cherished throughout the myriad regions; when his mind is full (only) of himself, he is abandoned by the nine branches of his kindred. Exert yourself, O king, to make your virtue (still more) illustrious, and set up (the standard of) the Mean before the people. Order your affairs by righteousness; order your heart by propriety;—so shall you transmit a grand example to posterity. I have heard the saying, "He who finds instructors for himself, comes to the supreme dominion; he who says that others are not equal to himself, comes to ruin. He who likes to put questions, becomes enlarged; he who uses only his own views, becomes smaller (than he was)." Oh! he who would take care for the end must be attentive to the beginning. There is establishment for the observers of propriety, and overthrow for the blinded and wantonly indifferent. To revere and honour the path prescribed by Heaven is the way ever to preserve the favouring appointment of Heaven.'
1. When the king returned from vanquishing Hsiâ and came to Po, he made a grand announcement to the myriad regions.
2. The king said, 'Ah! ye multitudes of the myriad regions, listen clearly to the announcement of me, the One man. The great God has conferred (even) on the inferior people a moral sense, compliance with which would show their nature invariably right. To make them tranquilly pursue the course which it would indicate is the work of the sovereign.
'The king of Hsiâ extinguished his virtue, and played the tyrant, extending his oppression over you, the people of the myriad regions. Suffering from his cruel injuries, and unable to endure the wormwood and poison, you protested with one accord your innocence to the spirits of heaven and earth. The way of Heaven is to bless the good, and make the bad miserable. It sent down calamities on (the House of) Hsiâ to make manifest its guilt. Therefore I, the little child, charged with the decree of Heaven and its bright terrors, did not dare to forgive (the criminal). I presumed to use a dark-coloured victim-bull, and, making clear announcement to the Spiritual Sovereign in the high heavens, requested leave to deal with the ruler of Hsiâ as a criminal.
Then I sought for the great Sage,
8with whom I might unite my strength, to request the favour (of Heaven) for you, my multitudes. High Heaven truly showed its favour to the inferior people, and the criminal has been degraded and subjected. What Heaven appoints is without error;—brilliantly (now), like the blossoming of plants and trees, the millions of the people show a true reviving.'
'The great Sage' must be Î Yin, Thang's chief adviser and minister, who appears prominently in the next Book.
3. 'It is given to me, the One man, to secure the harmony and tranquillity of your states and clans and now I know not whether I may not offend against (the Powers) above and below. I am fearful and trembling, as if I were in danger of falling into a deep abyss. Throughout all the regions that enter on a new life under me, do not, (ye princes), follow lawless ways; make no approach to insolence and dissoluteness; let every one be careful to keep his statutes;—that so we may receive the favour of Heaven. The good in you I will not dare to keep concealed; and for the evil in me I will not dare to forgive myself. I will examine these things in harmony with the mind of God. When guilt is found anywhere in you who occupy the myriad regions, let it rest on me, the One man.
9When guilt is found in me, the One man, it shall not attach to you who occupy the myriad regions.
There was a tradition in the Kâu dynasty, given with variations by Hsün-zi, Sze-ma Khien, and others, which may be quoted to illustrate these noble sentiments of Thang. For seven years after his accession to the throne, B.C. 1766-1760, there was a great drought and famine. It was suggested at last that some human being should be offered in sacrifice to Heaven, and prayer made for rain. Thang said, 'If a man must be the victim, I will be he.' He fasted; cut off his hair and nails, and in a plain carriage, drawn by white horses, clad in rushes, in the guise of a sacrificial victim, he proceeded to a forest of mulberry trees, and there prayed, asking to what error or crime of his the calamity was owing. He had not done speaking when a copious rain fell.
'Oh! let us attain to be sincere in these things, and so we shall likewise have a (happy) consummation.'
1. In the twelfth month of the first year, on (the day) Yî-khâu, ÎYin sacrificed to the former king, and presented the heir-king reverently before (the shrine of) his grandfather. All the princes from the domain of the nobles and the royal domain were present; all the officers (also), each continuing to discharge his particular duties, were there to receive the orders of the chief minister. Î Yin then clearly described the complete virtue of the Meritorious Ancestor for the instruction of the (young) king.
2. He said, 'Oh! of old the former kings of Hsiâ cultivated earnestly their virtue, and then there were no calamities from Heaven. The spirits of the hills and rivers likewise were all in tranquillity; and the birds and beasts, the fishes and tortoises, all enjoyed their existence according to their nature. But their descendant did not follow (their example), and great Heaven sent down calamities, employing the agency of our (ruler) who was in possession of its favouring appointment. The attack (on Hsiâ may be traced to (the orgies in) Ming-thiâo
10, but our (rise) began in Po. Our king of Shang brilliantly displayed his sagely prowess; for oppression he substituted his generous gentleness; and the millions of the people gave him their hearts. Now your Majesty is entering on the inheritance of his virtue;—all depends on (how) you commence your reign. To set up love, it is for you to love (your relations); to set up respect, it is for you to respect (your elders). The commencement is in the family and the state; the consummation is in (all within) the four seas.'
Ming-thiâo was a place not far from the capital of Kieh. He had a palace there, where the vilest orgies were celebrated that alienated the minds of the people from him.
3. 'Oh! the former king began with careful attention to the bonds that hold men together. He listened to expostulation, and did not seek to resist it; he conformed to (the wisdom of) the ancients; occupying the highest position, he displayed intelligence; occupying an inferior position, he displayed his loyalty; he allowed (the good qualities of) the men (whom he employed), and did not seek that they should have every talent; in the government of himself, he seemed to think that he could never (sufficiently) attain. It was thus he arrived at the possession of the myriad regions.—How painstaking was he in these things!
'He extensively sought out wise men, who should be helpful to you, his descendant and heir. He laid down the punishments for officers, And warned those who were in authority, saying, "If you dare to have constant dancing in your palaces, and drunken singing in your chambers,–that is called the fashion of sorcerers; if you dare, to set your hearts on wealth and women, and abandon yourselves to wandering about or to the chase,–that is called the fashion of extravagance; if you dare to despise sage words, to resist the loyal and upright, to put far from you the aged and virtuous, and to seek the company of procacious youths,–that is called the fashion of disorder. Now if a high noble or officer be addicted to one of these three fashions with their ten evil ways, his family will surely come to ruin; if the prince of a country be so addicted, his state will surely come to ruin. The minister who does not (try to) correct (such vices in the sovereign) shall be punished with branding." These rules were minutely inculcated (also) on the sons of officers and nobles in their lessons.'
4. 'Oh! do you who now succeed to the throne, revere (these warnings) in your person. Think of them!–sacred counsels of vast importance, admirable words forcibly set forth! (The ways) of God are not invariable:–on the good-doer he sends down all blessings, and on the evil-doer he sends down all miseries. Do you but be virtuous, be it in small things (or in large), and the myriad regions will have cause for rejoicing. If you be not virtuous, be it in large things (or in small), it will bring the ruin of your ancestral temple.'
I. The king, on succeeding to the throne, did not follow (the advice of) Â-hǎng
11. (Â-hǎng or) Î Yin then made the following writing:–'The former king kept his eye continually on the bright requirements of Heaven, and so he maintained the worship of the spirits of heaven and earth, of those presiding over the land and the grain, and of those of the ancestral temple;—all with a sincere reverence. Heaven took notice of his virtue, and caused its great appointment to light on him, that he should soothe and tranquillize the myriad regions. I, Yin, then gave my assistance to my sovereign in the settlement of the people; and thus it is that you, O heir-king, have received the great inheritance. I have seen it myself in Hsiâ with its western capital, that when its rulers went through a prosperous course to the end, their ministers also did the same, and afterwards, when their successors could not attain to such a consummation, neither did their ministers. Take warning, O heir-king. Reverently use your sovereignty. If you do not play the sovereign, as the name requires, you will disgrace your grandfather.'
Â-hǎng, it is said by Sze-ma Khien, was the name of Î. Others make it the title of the chief minister under the dynasty of Shang,
2. The king would not think (of these words), nor listen to them. On this Î Yin said, 'The former king, before it was light, sought to have large and clear views, and then sat waiting for the dawn (to carry them into practice). He (also) sought on every side for men of ability and virtue, to instruct and guide his posterity. Do not frustrate his charge (to me), and bring on yourself your own overthrow. Be careful to strive after the virtue of self-restraint, and cherish far-reaching plans. Be like the forester, who, when he has adjusted the spring, goes to examine the end of the arrow, whether it be placed according to rule, and then lets I go; reverently determine your aim, and follow the ways of your grandfather. Thus I shall be delighted, and be able to show to all ages that I have discharged my trust.'
3. The king was not yet able to change (his course). Yin said (to himself), 'This is (real) unrighteousness, and is becoming by practice (a second) nature. I cannot bear to be near (so) disobedient (a person). I will build (a place) in the palace at Thung, where he can be in silence near (the grave of) the former king. This will be a lesson which will keep him from going astray all his life.' The king went (accordingly) to the palace at Thung, and dwelt during the period of mourning. In the end he became sincerely virtuous.
1. On the first day of the twelfth month of his third year, Î Yin escorted the young king in the royal cap and robes back to Po. (At the same time) he made the following writing:–
'Without the sovereign, the people cannot have that guidance which is necessary to (the comfort of) their lives; without the people, the sovereign would have no sway over the four quarters (of the kingdom). Great Heaven has graciously favoured the House of Shang, and granted to you, O young king, at last to become virtuous. This is indeed a blessing that will extend without limit to ten thousand generations.'
2. The king did obeisance with his face to his hands and his head to the ground, saying, 'I, the little child, was without understanding of what was virtuous, and was making myself one of the unworthy. By my desires I was setting at nought all rules of conduct, and violating by my self-indulgence all rules of propriety, and the result must have been speedy ruin to my person. "Calamities sent by Heaven may be avoided, but from calamities brought on by one's self there is no escape." Heretofore I turned my back on the instructions of you, my tutor and guardian;—my beginning has been marked by incompetency. Let me still rely on your correcting and preserving virtue, keeping this in view that my end may be good!'
3. Î Yin did obeisance with his face to his hands and his head on the ground, and said, 'To cultivate his person, and by being sincerely virtuous, bring (all) below to harmonious concord with him; this is the work of the intelligent sovereign. The former king was kind to the distressed and suffering, as if they were his children, and the people submitted to his commands,–all with sincere delight. Even in the states of the neighbouring princes, (the people) said, "We are waiting for our sovereign; when our sovereign comes, we shall not suffer the punishments (that we, now do)."
'O king, zealously cultivate your virtue. Regard (the example of) your meritorious grandfather. At no time allow yourself in pleasure and idleness. In worshipping your ancestors, think how you can prove your filial piety; in receiving your ministers, think how you can show yourself respectful; in looking to what is distant, try to get clear views; have your ears ever open to lessons of virtue;—then shall I acknowledge (and respond to) the excellence of your majesty with an untiring (devotion to your service).
1. Î Yin again made an announcement to the king, saying, 'Oh! Heaven has no (partial) affection;—only to those who are reverent does it show affection. The people are not constant to those whom they cherish;—they cherish (only) him who is benevolent. The spirits do not always accept the sacrifices that are offered to them;—they accept only the sacrifices of the sincere. A place of difficulty is the Heaven-(conferred) seat. When there are (those) virtues, good government is realized; when they are not, disorder comes. To maintain the same principles as those who secured good government will surely lead to prosperity; to pursue the courses of disorder will surely lead to ruin. He who at last, as at first, is careful as to whom and what he follows is a truly intelligent sovereign. The former king was always zealous in the reverent cultivation of his virtue, so that he was the fellow of God. Now O king, you have entered on the inheritance of his excellent line;—fix your inspection on him.'
2. '(Your course must be) as when in ascending high you begin from where it is low, and when in travelling far you begin from where it is near. Do not slight the occupations of the people;—think of their difficulties. Do not yield to a feeling of repose on your throne;—think of its perils. Be careful for the end at. the beginning. When you hear words that are distasteful to your mind, you must enquire whether they be not right; when you hear words that accord with your own views, you must enquire whether they be not contrary to what is right. Oh! what attainment can be made without anxious thought? what achievement can be made without earnest effort? Let the One man be greatly good, and the myriad regions will be rectified by him.'
3. When the sovereign does not with disputatious words throw the old rules of government into confusion, and the minister does not, for favour and gain, continue in an office whose work is done,–then the country will lastingly and surely enjoy happiness.'
1. Î Yin, having returned the government into the hands of his sovereign, and being about to announce his retirement, set forth admonitions on the subject of virtue.
2. He said, 'Oh! it is difficult to rely on Heaven;—its appointments are not constant. (But if the sovereign see to it that) his virtue be constant, he will preserve his throne; if his virtue be not constant, the nine provinces will be lost by him. The king of Hsiâ could not maintain the virtue (of his ancestors) unchanged, but contemned the spirits and oppressed the people. Great Heaven no (longer) extended its protection to him. It looked out among the myriad regions to give its guidance to one who should receive its favouring appointment, fondly seeking (a possessor of) pure virtue; whom it might make lord of all the spirits. Then there were I, Yin, and Thang, both possessed of pure virtue, and able to satisfy the mind of Heaven. He received (in consequence) the bright favour of Heaven, so as to become possessor of the multitudes of the nine provinces, and proceeded to change Hsiî`s commencement of the year. It was not that Heaven had any private partiality for the lord of Shang;—it simply gave its favour to pure virtue. It was not that Shang sought (the allegiance of) the lower people;—the people simply turned to pure virtue. Where (the sovereign's) virtue is pure, his enterprizes are all fortunate; where his virtue is wavering and uncertain, his enterprizes are all unfortunate. Good and evil do not wrongly befall men, but Heaven sends down misery or happiness according to their conduct.'
3. 'Now, O young king, you are newly entering on your (great) appointment,–you should be seeking to make new your virtue. At last, as at first, have this as your one object, so shall you make a daily renovation. Let the officers whom you employ be men of virtue and ability, and let the ministers about you be the right men. The minister, in relation to (his sovereign) above him, has to promote his virtue, and, in relation to the (people) beneath him, has to seek their good. How hard must it be (to find the proper man)! what careful attention must be required! (Thereafter) there must be harmony (cultivated with him), and a oneness (of confidence placed in him).
'There is no invariable model of virtue;—a supreme regard to what is good gives the model of it. There is no invariable characteristic of what is good that is to be supremely regarded;—it is found where there is a conformity to the uniform consciousness (in regard to what is good). (Such virtue) will make the people with their myriad surnames all say, How great are the words of the king!" and also, "How single and pure is the king's heart!" It will avail to maintain in tranquillity the rich possession of the former king, and to Secure for ever the (happy) life of the multitudes of the people.'
4. 'Oh! (to retain a place) in the seven-shrined temple of ancestors is a sufficient witness of virtue. To be acknowledged as chief by the myriad heads of families is a sufficient evidence of one's government. The sovereign without the people has none whom he can employ; and the people without the sovereign have none whom they can serve. Do not think yourself so large as to deem others small. If ordinary men and women do not find the opportunity to give full development to their ability, the people's lord will be without the proper aids to complete his merit.'
1. Pan-kǎng wished to remove (the capital) to Yin, but the people would not go to dwell there. He therefore appealed to all the discontented, and made the following protestations. 'Our king, (Zû yî), came, and fixed on this (Kǎng for his capital). He did so from a deep concern for our people, and not because he would have them all die, where they cannot (now) help one another to preserve their lives. I have consulted the tortoise-shell, and obtained the reply—"This is no place for us." When the former kings had any (important) business, they gave reverent heed to the commands of Heaven. In a case like this especially they did not indulge (the wish for) constant repose,–they did not abide ever in the same city. Up to this time (the capital has been) in five regions. If we do not follow (the example) of these old times, we shall be refusing to acknowledge that Heaven is making an end of our dynasty (here);—how little can it be said of us that we are following the meritorious course of the former kings! As from the stump of a felled tree there are sprouts and shoots, Heaven will perpetuate its decree in our favour in this new city;—the great inheritance of the former kings will be continued and renewed, and tranquillity will be secured to the four quarters (of the kingdom).'
2. Pan-kǎng, in making the people aware of his views, began with those who were in (high) places, and took the constantly-recurring circumstances of former times to lay down the right law and measure (for the present emergency), saying, 'Let none of you dare to suppress the remonstrances of the poor people.' The king commanded all to come to him in the courtyard (of his palace).
The king spoke to this effect:—`Come, all of you; I will announce to you my instructions. Take counsel how to put away your (selfish) thoughts. Do not with haughty (disregard of me) follow after your own ease. Of old, our former kings planned like me how to employ the men of old families to share in (the labours of) government. When they wished to proclaim and announce what was to be attended to, these did not conceal the royal views; and on this account the kings greatly respected them. They did not exceed the truth (in their communications with the people), and on this account the people became greatly changed (in their views). Now, (however), you keep clamouring, and get the confidence (of the people) by alarming and shallow speeches;—I do not know what you are wrangling about. (In this movement) I am not myself abandoning my proper virtue, but you conceal the goodness of my intentions, and do not stand in awe of me, the One man. I see you as clearly as one sees a fire; but I, likewise, by my undecided plans, have produced your error.
'When the net has its line, there is order and not confusion; and when the husbandman labours upon his fields, and reaps with all his might, there is the (abundant) harvest. If you can put away your (selfish) thoughts, and bestow real good upon the people, reaching (also) to your own relatives and friends, you may boldly venture to make your words great, and say that you have accumulated merit. But you do not fear the great evils which (through our not removing) are extending far and near; (you are like) idle husbandmen, who yield themselves to ease, and are not strong to toil and labour on their acres, so that they cannot get their crop of millets. You do not speak in a spirit of harmony and goodness to the people, and are only giving birth to bitter evils for yourselves. You play the part of destroyers and authors of calamity, of villains and traitors, to bring down misery on your own persons. You set the example of evil, and must feel its smart;—what will it avail you (then) to repent? Look at the poor people;—they are still able to look to one another and give expression to their remonstrances, but when they begin to speak, you are ready with your extravagant talk;—how much more ought you to have me before your eyes, with whom it is to make your lives long or short! Why do you not report (their words) to me, but go about to excite one another by empty speeches, frightening and involving the multitudes in misery? When a fire is blazing in the flames so that it cannot be approached, can it still be beaten out? So, it will not be I who will be to blame, that you all cause dispeace in this way, (and must suffer the consequences.)
'Khih Zan has said, "In men we seek those of old families; in vessels, we do not seek old ones, but new." Of old, the kings, my predecessors, and your forefathers and fathers shared together the ease and labours (of the government);—how should I dare to lay undeserved afflictions on you? For generations the toils of your (fathers) have been approved, and I will not conceal your goodness. Now when I offer the great sacrifices to my predecessors, your forefathers are present to share in them. (They all observe) the happiness I confer and the sufferings I inflict, and I cannot dare to reward virtue that does not exist.
'I have announced to you the difficulties (of the intended movement), being bent on it, like an archer (whose only thought is to hit). Do not you despise the: old and experienced, and do not make little of the helpless and young. Seek every one long continuance in this (new city), which is to be your abode; exert yourselves and put out your strength (in furthering the removal), and listen to the plans of me, the One man. I will make no distinction between men as being more distantly or more nearly related to me;—the criminal (in this matter) shall die the death, and the good-doer shall have his virtue distinguished. The prosperity of the country (ought to) come from you all. If it fail of prosperity, that must arise from me, the One man, erring in the application of punishment. Be sure, all of you, to make known this announcement. From this time forward, attend respectfully to your business; have (the duties of) your offices regularly adjusted; bring your tongues under the rule of law:–lest punishment come upon you, when repentance will be of no avail.'
1. Pan-kǎng arose, and (was about to) cross the Ho with the people, moving (to the new capital). Accordingly, he addressed himself to those of them who were (still) dissatisfied, and made a full announcement to their multitudes, to induce a sincere acquiescence (in the measure). 'They all attended, and (being charged) to take no liberties in the royal courtyard, he called them near, and said, 'Listen clearly to my words, and do not disregard my commands.
'Oh! of old time my royal predecessors cherished, every one and above every other thing, a respectful care of the people, who (again) upheld their sovereign with a mutual sympathy. Seldom was it that they were not superior to any (calamitous) time sent by Heaven. When great calamities came down on Yin, the former kings did not fondly remain in their place. What they did was with a view to the people's advantage, and therefore they moved (their capitals). Why do you not reflect that I, according to what I have heard of the ancient sovereigns, in my care of you and actings towards you, am only wishing to rejoice with you in a common repose? It is not that any guilt attaches to you, so that (this movement) should be like a punishment. If I call upon you to cherish this new city, it is simply in your account, and as an act of great accordance with your wishes. My present undertaking to remove with you, is to give repose and stability to the country. You, (however), have no sympathy with the anxieties of my mind; but you all keep a great reserve in declaring your minds, (when you might) respectfully think by your sincerity to move me, the One man. You only exhaust and distress yourselves. The case is like that of sailing in a boat;—if you do not cross the stream (at the proper time), you will destroy all the cargo. Your sincerity does not respond to mine, and we are in danger of going together to destruction. You, notwithstanding, will not examine the matter;—though you anger yourselves, what cure will that bring?
'You do not consult for a distant day, nor think of the calamity that must befall you (from not removing). You greatly encourage one another in what must prove to your sorrow. Now you have the present, but you will not have the future;—what prolongation of life can you look for from above? My measures are forecast to prolong your (lease of) life from Heaven;—do I force you by the terrors of my power? My object is to support and nourish you all. I think of my ancestors, (who are now) the spiritual sovereigns; when they made your forefathers toil (on similar occasions it was only for their good), and I would be enabled in the same way greatly to nourish you and cherish you.'
2. 'Were I to err in my government, and remain long here, my high sovereign, (the founder of our dynasty), would send down on me great punishment for my crime, and say, "Why do you oppress my people?" If you, the myriads of the people, do not attend to the perpetuation of your lives, and cherish one mind with me, the One man, in my plans, the former kings will send down on you great punishment for your crime, and say, "Why do you not agree with our young grandson, but go on to forfeit your virtue?" When they punish you from above, you will have no way of escape. Of old, my royal predecessors made your ancestors and fathers toil (only for their good). You are equally the people whom I (wish to) cherish. But your conduct is injurious;—it is cherished in your hearts. Whereas my royal predecessors made your ancestors and fathers happy, they, your ancestors and fathers, will (now) cut you off and abandon you, and not save you from death. Here are those ministers of my government, who share with me in the offices (of the kingdom);—and yet they (only think of hoarding up) cowries and gems. Their ancestors and fathers earnestly represent (their course) to my high sovereign, saying, "Execute great punishments on our descendants." So do they advise my high sovereign to send down great calamities (on those men).'
3. 'Oh! I have now told you my unchangeable purpose;—do you perpetually respect (my) great anxiety; let us not get alienated and removed from one another; share in my plans and thoughts, and think (only) of following me; let every one of you set up the true rule of conduct in his heart. If there be bad and unprincipled men, precipitously or carelessly disrespectful (to my orders), and taking advantage of this brief season to play the part of villains or traitors, I will cut off their noses, or utterly exterminate them. I will leave none of their children. I will not let them perpetuate their seed in this new city.
'Go! preserve and continue your lives. I will now transfer you (to the new capital), and (there) establish your families for ever.'
1. Pan-kǎng having completed the removal, and settled the places of residence, proceeded to adjust the several positions (of all classes at an assembly); and then he soothed and comforted the multitudes, saying to them, 'Do not play nor be idle, but exert yourselves to build (here) a great destiny (for us).
'Now I have disclosed my heart and belly, my reins and bowels, and fully declared to you, my people, all my mind. I will not treat any of you as offenders; and do not you (any more) help one another to be angry, and form parties to defame me, the One man.
'Of old, my royal predecessor, (Thang), that his merit might exceed that of those who were before him, proceeded to the hill-site 1. Thereby he removed our evils, and accomplished admirable good for our country. Now you, my people, were by (your position) dissipated and separated, so that you had no abiding place. (And yet) you asked why I was troubling your myriads and requiring you to remove. But God, being about to renew the virtuous service of my high ancestor, and secure the good order of our kingdom, I, with the sincere and respectful (of my ministers), felt a reverent care for the lives of the people, and have made a lasting settlement in (this) new city.
'I, a youth, did not neglect your counsels;—I (only) used the best of them. Nor did any of
you presumptuously oppose the decision of the tortoise-shell;—so we are here to enlarge our great inheritance.'
2. 'Oh! ye chiefs of regions, ye heads of departments, all ye, the hundreds of officers, would that ye had a sympathy,(with my people)! I will exert myself in the choice and guiding of you;—do ye think reverently of my multitudes. I will not employ those who are-fond of, enriching themselves; but will use and revere those who are vigorously, yet reverently, labouring for the lives and increase of the people, nourishing them and planning for their enduring settlement.
I have now brought forward and announced to you my mind, whom I approve and whom I disallow;—let none of you but reverence (my will). Do not seek to accumulate wealth and precious things, but in fostering the life of the people, seek to find your merit. Reverently display your virtue in behalf of the people. For ever maintain this one purpose in your hearts.'
1. The king passed the season of sorrow in the mourning shed for three years
12, and when the period of mourning was over, he (still) did not speak (to give any commands). All the ministers remonstrated with him, saying, 'Oh! him who is (the first) to apprehend we pronounce intelligent, and the intelligent man is the model for others. The Son of Heaven rules over the myriad regions, and all the officers look up to and reverence him. They are the king's words which form the commands (for them). If he do not speak, the ministers have no way to receive their orders.' On this the king made a writing, for their information, to the following effect:–'As it is mine to serve as the director for the four quarters (of the kingdom), I have been afraid that my virtue is not equal to (that of my predecessors), and therefore have not spoken. (But) while I was reverently and silently thinking of the (right) way, I dreamt that God gave me a good assistant who should speak for me.' He then minutely recalled the appearance (of the person whom he had seen), and caused search to be made for him everywhere by means of a picture. Yüeh, a builder in the wild country of Fû-yen, was found like to it.
A young king, mourning for his father, had to 'afflict' himself in various ways for twenty-five months, nominally for three years. Among other privations, he had to exchange the comforts of a palace for a rough shed in one of the courtyards. During the time of mourning, the direction of affairs was left to the chief minister.
2. On this the king raised and made (Yüeh) his prime minister, keeping him (also) at his side.
He charged him, saying, 'Morning and evening present your instructions to aid my virtue. Suppose me a weapon of steel;—I will use you for a whetstone. Suppose me crossing a great stream;—I will use you for a boat with its oars. Suppose me in a year of great drought;—I will use you as a copious rain. Open your mind, and enrich my mind. (Be you) like medicine, which must distress the patient, in order to cure his sickness. (Think of we) as one walking barefoot, whose feet are sure to be wounded, if he do not see the ground.
'Do you and your companions all cherish the same mind to assist your sovereign, that I may follow my royal predecessors, and tread in the steps of my high ancestor, to give repose to the millions of the people. Oh! respect this charge of mine;—so shall you bring your work to a (good) end.'
3. Yüeh replied to the king, saying, 'Wood by the use of the line is made straight, and the sovereign who follows reproof is made sage. When the sovereign can (thus) make himself sage, his ministers, without being specially commanded, anticipate his orders;—who would dare not to act in respectful compliance with this excellent charge of your Majesty?'
1. Yüeh having received his charge, and taken the presidency of all the officers, he presented himself before the king, and said, 'Oh! intelligent kings act in reverent accordance with the ways of Heaven. The founding of states and the setting up of capitals, the appointing of sovereign kings, of dukes and other nobles, with their great officers and heads of departments, were not designed to minister to the idleness and pleasures (of one), but for the good government of the people. It is Heaven which is all-intelligent and observing;—let the sage (king) take it as his pattern. Then his ministers will reverently accord with him, and the people consequently will be well governed.
'It is the mouth that gives occasion for shame; they are the coat of mail and helmet that give occasion to war. The upper robes and lower garments (for reward should not be lightly taken from) their chests; before spear and shield are used, one should examine himself. If your Majesty will be cautious in regard to these things, and, believing this about them, attain to the intelligent use of them, (your government) will in everything be excellent. Good government and bad depend on the various officers. Offices should not be given to men because they are favourites, but only to men of ability. Dignities should not be conferred on men of evil practices, but only on men of worth.
'Anxious thought about what will be best should precede your movements, which also should be taken at the time proper for them. Indulging the consciousness of being good is the way to lose that goodness; being vain of one's ability is the way to lose the merit it might produce.
'For all affairs let there be adequate preparation; with preparation there will be no calamitous issue. Do not open the door for favourites, from whom you will receive contempt. Do not be ashamed of mistakes, and (go on to) make them crimes. Let your mind rest in its proper objects, and the affairs of your government will be pure. Officiousness in sacrificing is called irreverence; and multiplying ceremonies leads to disorder. To serve the spirits acceptably (in this way) is difficult.'
2. The king said, 'Excellent! your words, O Yüeh, should indeed be put in practice (by me). If you were not so good in counsel, I should not have heard these rules for my conduct." Yüeh did obeisance with his head to the ground, and said, 'It is not the knowing that is difficult, but the doing. (But) since your Majesty truly knows this, there will not be the difficulty, and you will become really equal in complete virtue to our first king. Wherein I, Yüeh, refrain from speaking (what I ought to speak), the blame will rest with me.'
1. The king said, 'Come, O Yüeh. I, the little one, first learned with Kan Pan
13. Afterwards I lived concealed among the rude countrymen, and then I went to (the country) inside the Ho, and lived there. From the Ho I went to Po;—and the result has been that I am unenlightened. Do you teach me what should be my aims. Be to me as the yeast and the malt in making sweet spirits, as the salt and the prunes in making agreeable soup. Use various methods to cultivate me; do not cast me away;—so shall I attain to practise your instructions.'
Kan Pan was a great minister of Wû-ting.he had been minister to Wû-ting's father, and died during the king's period of mourning.
Yüeh said, 'O king, a ruler should seek to learn much (from his ministers), with a view to establish his affairs; but to learn the lessons of the ancients is the way to attain this. That the affairs of one, not making the ancients his masters, can be perpetuated for generations, is what I have not heard.
'In learning there should be a humble mind and the maintenance of a constant earnestness;—in such a case (the learner's) improvement will surely come. He who sincerely cherishes these things will find all truth accumulating in his person. Teaching is the half of learning; when a man's thoughts from first to last are constantly fixed on learning, his virtuous cultivation comes unperceived.
'Survey the perfect pattern of our first king;—so shall you for ever be preserved from error. Then shall I be able reverently to meet your views, and on every side to look out for men of eminence to place in the various offices.'
2. The king said, 'Oh! Yüeh, that all within the four seas look up to my virtue is owing to you. As his legs and arms form the man, so does a good minister form the sage (king). Formerly, there was the first premier of our dynasty, Pao-hǎng
14, who raised up and formed its royal founder. He said, "If I cannot make my sovereign like Yâo or Shun, I shall feel ashamed in my heart, as if I were beaten in the market-place." If any common man did not get (all he should desire), he said, "It is my fault." (Thus) he assisted my meritorious ancestor, so that he became equal to great Heaven. Do you give your intelligent and preserving aid to me, and let not Â-hǎng engross all the good service to the House of Shang.
Î Yîn, styled Â-hǎng in the beginning of 'the Thai-kiâ.'
'The sovereign should share his government with none but worthy officers. The worthy officer should accept his support from none but the proper sovereign. May you now succeed in making your sovereign a (true) successor of the founder of his line, and in securing the lasting happiness of the people!'
Yüeh did obeisance with his head to the ground, and said, 'I will venture to respond to and display abroad, your Majesty's excellent charge.'
On the day of the supplementary sacrifice of Kao Zung
15, there appeared a crowing pheasant
Kâo zung was the title given to Wû-ting, after his death, in the ancestral temple.
16. Zû Kî said, 'To rectify this affair, the king must first be corrected.' He delivered accordingly a lesson to the king, saying, 'In its inspection of men below, Heaven's first consideration is of their righteousness, and it bestows on them (accordingly) length of years or the contrary. It is not Heaven that cuts short men's lives; they bring them to an end themselves. Some men who have not complied with virtue will yet not acknowledge their offences, and when Heaven has by evident tokens charged them to correct their conduct, they still say, "What are these things to us?"
Sze-ma Khien says that the pheasant sat on the ear–one of the handles–of a tripod.
'Oh! our Majesty's business is to care reverently for the people. And all (your ancestors) were the heirs of (the kingdom by the gift of Heaven;–in attending to the sacrifices (to them), be not so excessive in those to your father.'
The Chief of the West having subdued Lî, Zû Îwas afraid, and hastened to report it to the king
THE reigns of seven more kings of Yin or Shang have passed, and this Book brings us to the time of Kâu-hsin or Shâu, its last sovereign, B.C. 1154-1123. The House of nKâu begins to come to the front, for 'the Chief of the West' was one of the acknowledged founders of the nKâu dynasty;–whether Khang, known as king Wǎn, or his son Fâ known as king Wû is uncertain. Khang's father, the duke of nnKâu in the present department of Fǎng-hsiang, Shen-hsî had been appointed Chief of the West, that is, of all the western portion of the kingdom, embracing Yüs provinces of Yung, Liang, and King. The same jurisdiction descended to his son and grandson. The state of Lî the conquest of which is mentioned, was in the present department of Lû-an, Shan-hsî within the royal domain, so that the Chief of the West was no longer confining himself to the west, but threatening the king himself. Zû Î a loyal officer, hears of the conquest of Lî and hurries away to inform the king and warn him of the danger threatening the dynasty through his evil conduct. The kin gives no heed to his remonstrances, and Zû Î retires, sighing over the ruin, which he sees is not to be averted.
He said, 'Son of Heaven, Heaven is bringing to an end the dynasty of Yin; the wisest men and the shell of the great tortoise do not presume to know anything fortunate for it. It is not that the former kings do not aid us, the men of this later time but by your dissoluteness and sport you are bringing on the end yourself. On this account Heaven has cast us off, and there are no good harvests to supply us with food. Men have no regard to their heavenly nature, and pay no obedience to the statutes (of the kingdom). (Yea), our people now all wish (the dynasty) to perish, saying, "Why does not Heaven send down its indignation? Why does not (some one with) its great appointment make his appearance? What has the present king to do with us?"'
The king said, 'Oh! was not my birth in accordance with the appointment of Heaven (in favour of my House)?' (On this) ÛZû Î returned (to his own city), and said, 'Your crimes, which are many, are registered above, and can you still appeal to the appointment of Heaven in your favour? Yin will perish very shortly. As to all your deeds, can they but bring ruin on your country?'
1. The Count of Wei spoke to the following effect:–'Grand-Master and Junior-Master, (the House of) Yin, we may conclude, can no longer exercise rule over the four quarters (of the kingdom). The great deeds of our founder were displayed in former ages, but by our maddened indulgence in spirits, we have destroyed (the effects of) his virtue in these after-times. (The people of) Yin, small and great, are given to highway robberies, villainies, and treachery. The nobles and officers imitate one another in violating the laws, and there is no certainty that criminals will be apprehended. The smaller people (consequently) rise up, and commit violent outrages on one another. Yin is now sinking in ruin;–its condition is like that of one crossing a stream, who can find neither ford nor bank. That Yin should be hurrying to ruin at the present pace!'
He added, 'Grand-Master and junior-Master, we are manifesting insanity. The most venerable members of our families are withdrawn to the wilds; and you indicate no course (to be taken), but (only) tell me of the impending ruin–what is to be done?'
2. The Grand-Master made about the following reply:–'O son of our (former) king, Heaven in anger is sending down calamities, and wasting the country of Yin. Hence has arisen that mad indulgence in spirits. (The king) has no reverence for things which he ought to reverenced but does despite to the venerable aged, the men who have long been in office. The people of Yin will now steal even the pure and perfect victims devoted to the spirits of heaven and earth; and their conduct is connived at, and though they proceed to eat the victims, they suffer no punishment. (On the other hand), when I look down and survey the people of Yin, the methods by which they are governed are hateful exactions, which call forth outrages and hatred;–and this without ceasing. Such crimes equally belong to all in authority, and multitudes are starving with none to whom to appeal. Now is the time of Shang's calamity;–I will arise and share in its ruin. When ruin overtakes Shang, I will not be the servant (of another House). (But) I tell you, O king's son, to go away, as being the, course (for you). Formerly I injured you by what I said; if you do not (now) go away, our (sacrifices) will entirely perish. Let us rest quietly (in our several parts), and each present himself to the former kings (as having done so). I do not think of making my escape.'
In the spring of the thirteenth year there was a great assembly at Mâng-king. The king said, 'Ah! ye hereditary rulers of my friendly states, and all ye my officers, managers of my affairs, hearken clearly to my declaration.
'Heaven and earth is the parent of all creatures; and of all creatures man is the most highly endowed. The sincerely intelligent (among men) becomes the great sovereign; and the great sovereign is the parent of the people. But now, Shâu, the king of Shang, does not reverence Heaven above, and inflicts calamities on the people below. Abandoned to drunkenness and reckless in lust, he has dared to exercise cruel oppression. He has extended the punishment of offenders to all their relatives. He has put men into offices on the hereditary principle. He has made it his pursuit to have palaces, towers, pavilions, embankments, ponds, and all other extravagances, to the most painful injury of you, the myriads of the people. He has burned and roasted the loyal and good. He has ripped up pregnant women. Great Heaven was moved with indignation, and charged my deceased father Wǎn to display its terrors; but (he died) before the work was completed.
'On this account, I, Fâ the little child, have by means of you, the hereditary rulers of my friendly states, contemplated the government of Shang; but Shâu has no repentant heart. He sits squatting on his heels, not serving God nor the spirits of heaven and earth, neglecting also the temple of his ancestors, and not sacrificing in it. The victims and the vessels of millet all become the prey of wicked robbers, and still he says, "The people are mine; the (heavenly) appointment is mine," never trying to correct his contemptuous mind.
'Heaven, for the help of the inferior people, made for them rulers, and made for them instructors, that they might be able to be aiding to God, and secure the tranquillity of the four quarters (of the kingdom). In regard to who are criminals and who are not, how dare I give any allowance to my own wishes?
'"Where the strength is the same, measure the virtue of the parties; where the virtue is the same, measure their righteousness." Shâu has hundreds of thousands and myriads of officers, but they have hundreds of thousands and myriads of minds; I have (but) three thousand officers, but they have one mind. The iniquity of Shang is full. Heaven gives command to destroy it. If I did not obey Heaven, my iniquity would be as great.
'I, the little child, early and late am filled with apprehensions. I have received the command of my deceased father Wǎn; I have offered special sacrifice to God; I have performed the due services to the great earth; and I lead the multitude of you to execute the punishment appointed by Heaven. Heaven compassionates the people. What the people desire, Heaven will be found to give effect to. Do you aid me, the One man, to cleanse for ever (all within) the four seas. Now is the time!–It should not be lost.'
On (the day) Wûwû
18, the king halted on the north of the Ho. Men all the princes with their hosts were assembled, the king reviewed the hosts, and made the following declaration:–'Oh! ye multitudes of the west, hearken all to my words.
Wû commenced his march to attack Kâu-hsin, on Kwei-kî the 2nd day of the moon. Calculating on to the day Wûwû we find that it was the 28th day of the same moon.
'I have heard that the good man, doing good, finds the day insufficient; and that the evil man, doing evil, also finds the day insufficient. Now Shâu, the king of Shang, with strength pursues his lawless way. He has driven away the timeworn sires, and cultivates intimacies with wicked men. Dissolute, intemperate, reckless, oppressive, his ministers have become assimilated to him; and they form combinations and contract animosities, and depend on their power to exterminate one another. The innocent cry to Heaven. The odour of such a state is felt on high.
'Heaven loves the people, and the sovereign should reverently carry out (this mind of) Heaven. Kieh, the sovereign of Hsiâ would not follow the example of Heaven, but sent forth his poisonous injuries through the states of the kingdom:–Heaven therefore gave its aid to Thang the Successful, and charged him to make an end of the appointment of Hsiâ. But the crimes of Shâu exceed those of Kieh. He has degraded from office the greatly good man; he has behaved with cruel tyranny to his reprover and helper. He says that with him is the appointment of Heaven; he says that a reverent care of his conduct is not worth observing; he says that sacrifice is of no use; he says that tyranny is no harm. The beacon for him to look to was not far off;–it was that king of Hsiâ. It would seem that Heaven is going by means of me to rule the people. My dreams coincide with my divinations; the auspicious omen is double. My attack on Shang must succeed.
'Shâu has hundreds of thousands and millions of ordinary men, divided in heart and, divided in practice;–I have of ministers, able to govern, ten men, one in heart and one in practice. Though he has his nearest relatives with him, they are not like my virtuous men. Heaven sees as my people see; Heaven hears as my people hear. The people are blaming me, the One man, for my delay;–I must now go forward. My military prowess is displayed, and I enter his territories to take the wicked tyrant. My punishment (of evil) will be great, and more glorious than that executed by Thang. Rouse ye, my heroes! Do not think that he is not to be feared;–better think that he cannot be withstood. (His) people stand in trembling awe of him, as if the horns were falling from their heads. Oh! unite your energies, unite your hearts;–so shall you forthwith surely accomplish the work, to last for all ages!'
The time was on the morrow, when the king went round his six hosts in state, and made a clear declaration to all his officers. He said, 'Oh, my valiant men of the west, from Heaven are the illustrious courses of duty, of which the (several) requirements are quite plain. And now Shang, the king of Shang, treats with contemptuous slight the five regular (virtues), and abandons himself to wild idleness and irreverence. He has cut himself off from Heaven, and brought enmity between himself and the people.
He cut through the leg-bones of those who were wading, in the morning
19; he cut out the heart of the worthy man
This was in winter. Observing some people then wading through a stream, Kâu-hsin caused their legs to be cut through at the shank-bone, that he might see their marrow.
20. By the use of his power, killing, and murdering, he has poisoned and sickened all within the four seas. His honours and confidence are given to the villainous and bad. He has driven from him his instructors and guardians. He has thrown to the winds the statutes and penal laws. He has imprisoned and enslaved the upright officer
21. He neglects the sacrifices to heaven and earth. He has discontinued the offerings in the ancestral temple. He makes contrivances of wonderful device and extraordinary cunning to please his wife
The count of Khî.
22.–God will no longer indulge him, but with a curse is sending down on him this ruin. Do ye with untiring zeal support me, the One man, reverently to execute the punishment appointed by Heaven. The ancients have said, "He who soothes us is our sovereign; he who oppresses us is our enemy." This solitary fellow Shâu, having exercised great tyranny, is your perpetual enemy. (It is said again), "In planting (a man's) virtue, strive to make it great; in putting away (a man's) wickedness, strive to do it from the roots." Here I, the little child, by the powerful help of you, all my officers, will utterly exterminate your enemy. Do you, all my officers, march forward with determined boldness to sustain your prince. Where there is much merit, there shall be large reward; where you do not so advance, there shall be conspicuous disgrace.
The notorious Tâ kî the accounts of whose shameless wickedness and atrocious cruelties almost exceed belief.
'Oh! (the virtue of) my deceased father Wǎn was like the shining of the sun and moon. His brightness extended over the four quarters of the land, and shone signally in the western region. Hence it is that our Kâu has received (the allegiance of) many states. If I subdue Shâu, it will not be from my prowess but from the faultless (virtue of) my deceased father Wan. If Shâu subdue me, it will not be from any fault of my deceased father Wǎn, but because I, the little child, am not good.'
1. The time was the grey dawn of the day Kiâ-zi. On that morning the king came to the open country of Mû in the borders of Shang, and addressed his army. In his left hand he carried a battle-axe yellow with gold, and in his right he held a white ensign, which he waved, saying, 'Far are ye come, ye men of the western regions!' He added, 'Ah! ye hereditary rulers of my friendly states; ye managers of affairs,–the Ministers of Instruction, of War, and of Works; the great officers subordinate to these, and the many other officers; the master of my body-guards; the captains of thousands and captains of hundreds; and ye, O men of Yung, Shû, Kiang, Mâo, Wei, Lû Phang, and Pho
23, lift up your lances, join your shields, raise your spears:–I have a speech to make.'
These are the names of eight different tribes or confederations of tribes of the south and west.
2. The king (then) said, 'The ancients have said, "The hen does not announce the morning. The crowing of a hen in the morning (indicates) the subversion of the family." Now Shâu, the king of Shang, follows only the words of his wife. In his blindness he has neglected the sacrifices which he ought to offer, and makes no response (for the favours that he has received); he has also cast off his paternal and maternal relations, not treating them properly. They are only the vagabonds from all quarters, loaded with crimes, whom he honours and exalts, whom he employs and trusts, making them great officers and high nobles, so that they can tyrannize over the people, and exercise their villainies in the cities of Shang.
'Now, I, Fâ am simply executing, respectfully the punishment appointed by Heaven. In to-day's business do not advance more than six or seven steps, and then stop and adjust your ranks;–my brave men, be energetic! Do not exceed four blows, five blows, six blows, or seven blows, and then stop and adjust your ranks;–my brave men, be energetic! Display a martial bearing. Be like tigers and panthers, like bears and grisly bears, (here) in the borders of Shang. Do not rush on those who fly (to us in submission), but receive them to serve our western land;–my brave men, be energetic! If you be not energetic (in all these matters), you will bring destruction on yourselves.'
1. In the first month, the day Zǎn-khǎn immediately followed the end of the moon's waning. The next day was Kwei-kî when the king, in the morning, marched from Kâu to attack and punish Shang. In the fourth month, at the first appearance of the moon, the king came from Shang to Fǎng, when he hushed all the movements of war, and proceeded to cultivate the arts of peace. He sent back his horses to the south of mount Hwâ and let loose his oxen in the open country of Thâu-lin, showing to all under heaven that he would not use them (again).
On the day Ting-Wei, he sacrificed in the ancestral temple of Kâu, when (the princes) of the royal domain, and of the Tien, Hâu, and Wei domains, all hurried about, carrying the dishes." The third day after was Kǎng-hsü when he presented a burnt-offering to Heaven, and worshipped towards the hills and rivers, solemnly announcing the successful completion of the war.
After the moon began to wane, the hereditary princes of the various states, and all the officers, received their appointments from Kâu.
2. The king spoke to the following effect:–'Oh! ye host of princes, the first of our kings founded his state, and commenced (the enlargement of) its territory. Kung Liû was able to consolidate the services of his predecessor. But it was the king Thâi who laid the foundations of the royal inheritance. The king Kî was diligent for the royal House; and my deceased father, king Wan, completed his merit, and grandly received the appointment of Heaven, to soothe the regions of our great land. The great states feared his strength; the small states thought fondly of his virtue. In nine years, however, the whole kingdom was not united under his rule, and it fell to me, the little child, to carry out his will.
'Detesting the crimes of Shang, I announced to great Heaven and the sovereign Earth, to the famous hill I and the great river by which I passed, saying, "I, Fâ the principled, king of Kâu by a long descent, am about to administer a great correction to Shang. Shâu, the present king of Shang, is without principle, cruel and destructive to the creatures of Heaven, injurious and tyrannical to the multitudes of the people, lord of all the vagabonds under heaven, who collect about him as fish in the deep, and beasts in the prairie. I, the little child, having obtained (the help of) virtuous men, presume reverently to comply with (the will of) God, and make an end of his disorderly ways. Our flowery, and great land, and the tribes of the south and north, equally follow and consent with me. Reverently obeying the determinate counsel of Heaven, I pursue my punitive work to the east, to give tranquillity to its men and women. They meet me with their baskets full of dark-coloured and yellow silks, thereby showing (the virtues) of us, the kings of Kâu. Heaven's favours stir them that they come with their allegiance to our great state of Kâu. And now, ye spirits, grant me your aid, that I may relieve the millions of the people, and nothing turn out to your shame."'
3. On the day Wû wû the army crossed the ford of Mǎng, and on Kwei-hâi it was drawn up in array in the borders of Shang, waiting for the gracious decision of Heaven. On Kiâ-ze, at early dawn, Shâu led forward his troops, (looking) like a forest, and assembled them in the wild of Mû. But they offered no opposition to our army. Those in the front inverted their spears, and attacked those behind them, till they fled; and the blood flowed till it floated the pestles of the mortars. Thus did (king Wû once don his armour, and the kingdom was grandly settled. He overturned the (existing) rule of Shang, and made government resume its old course. He delivered the count of Khî from prison, and raised a mound over the grave of Pî kan. He bowed forward to the cross-bar of his carriage at the gate of Shang Yung's village. He dispersed the treasures of the Stag Tower, and distributed the grain of Kü khiâo , thus conferring great gifts on all within the four seas, so that the people joyfully submitted to him.
He arranged the nobles in five orders, assigning the territories to them according to a threefold scale. He gave offices only to the worthy, and employments only to the able. He attached great importance to the people's being taught the duties of the five relations of society, and to measures for ensuring a sufficient supply of food, attention to the rites of mourning, and to sacrifices. He showed the reality of his truthfulness, and proved clearly his righteousness. He honoured virtue, and rewarded merit. Then he had only to let his robes fall down, and fold his hands, and the kingdom was orderly ruled.
1. In the thirteenth year, the king went to enquire of the count of Khî and said to him, Oh! count of Khî, Heaven, (working) unseen, secures the tranquillity of the lower people, aiding them to be in harmony with their condition. I do not know how the unvarying principles (of its method in doing so) should be set forth in due order.'
The count of Khî thereupon replied, 'I have heard that in old time Khwǎn dammed up the inundating waters, and thereby threw into disorder the arrangement of the five elements. God was consequently roused to anger, and did not give him the Great Plan with its nine divisions, and thus the unvarying principles (of Heaven's method) were allowed to go to ruin. Khwǎn was therefore kept a prisoner till his death, and his son Yü rose up (and entered on the same undertaking). To him Heaven gave the Great Plan with its nine divisions, and the unvarying principles (of its method) were set forth in their due order.'
2. '(Of those divisions) the first is called "the five elements;" the second, "reverent attention to the five (personal) matters;" the third, "earnest devotion to the eight (objects of) government;" the fourth, "the harmonious use of the five dividers of time;" the fifth, "the establishment and use of royal perfection;" the sixth, "the discriminating use of the three virtues;" the seventh, "the intelligent use of (the means for) the examination of doubts;" the eighth, "the thoughtful use of the various verifications;" the ninth, "the hortatory use of the five (sources of) happiness, and the awing use of the six (occasions of) Suffering."'
3. 'First, of the five elements.–The first is water; the second is fire; the third, wood; the fourth, metal; and the fifth, earth. (The nature of) water is to soak and descend; of fire, to blaze and ascend; of wood, to be crooked and straight; of metal, to yield and change; while (that of) earth is seen in seed-sowing and in-gathering. That which soaks and descends becomes salt; that which blazes and ascends becomes bitter; that which is crooked and straight becomes sour; that which yields and changes becomes acrid; and from seed-sowing and in-gathering comes sweetness.'
'Second, of the five (personal) matters.–The first is the bodily demeanour; the second, speech; the third, seeing; the fourth, hearing; the fifth, thinking. (The virtue of) the bodily appearance is respectfulness; of speech, accordance (with reason); of seeing, clearness; of hearing distinctness; of thinking, perspicaciousness. The respectfulness becomes manifest in gravity; accordance (with reason), in orderliness; the clearness, in wisdom; the distinctness, in deliberation; and the perspicaciousness, in sageness.'
'Third, of the eight (objects of) government.–The first is food; the second, wealth and articles of convenience; the third, sacrifices; the fourth, (the business of) the Minister of Works; the fifth, (that of) the Minister of Instruction; the sixth, (that of) the Minister of Crime; the seventh, the observances, to be paid to guests; the eighth, the army.'
'Fourth, of the five dividers of time.–The first is the year (or the planet Jupiter); the second, the moon; the third, the sun; the fourth, the stars and planets, and the zodiacal spaces; and the fifth, the calendaric calculations.'
'Fifth, of royal perfection.–The sovereign, having established (in himself) the highest degree and pattern of excellence, concentrates in his own person the five (sources of) happiness, and proceeds to diffuse them, and give them to the multitudes of the people. Then they, on their part, embodying your perfection, will give it (back) to you, and secure the preservation of it. Among all the multitudes of the people there will be no unlawful confederacies, and among men (in office) there will be no bad and selfish combinations;–let the sovereign establish in (himself) the highest degree and pattern of excellence.
'Among all the multitudes of the people there will be those who have ability to plan and to act, and who keep themselves (from evil):–do you keep such in mind; and there will be those who, not coming up to the highest point of excellence, yet do not involve themselves in evil:–let the sovereign receive such. And when a placid satisfaction appears in their countenances, and they say, "Our love is fixed on virtue," do you then confer favours on them;–those men will in this way advance to the perfection of the sovereign. Do not let him oppress the friendless and childless, nor let him fear the high and distinguished. When men (in office) have ability and administrative power, let them be made still more to cultivate their conduct; and the prosperity of the country will be promoted. All (such) right men, having a competency, will go on in goodness. If you cannot cause them to have what they love in their families, they will forthwith proceed to be guilty of crime. As to those who have not the love of virtue, although you confer favours (and emoluments) on them, they will (only) involve you in the of employing the evil.
He went on to say, 'This amplification of the royal perfection contains the unchanging (rule), and is the (great) lesson;–yea, it is the lesson of God. All the multitudes of the people, instructed in this amplification of the perfect excellence, and carrying it into practice, will thereby approximate to the glory of the Son of Heaven, and say, "The Son of Heaven is the parent of the people, and so becomes the sovereign of all under the sky."'
'Sixth, of the three virtues.–The first is correctness and straightforwardness; the second, strong rule; and the third, mild rule. In peace and tranquillity, correctness and straightforwardness (must sway); in violence and disorder, strong rule; in harmony and order, mild rule. For the reserved and retiring there should be (the stimulus of) the strong rule; for the high(-minded) and distinguished, (the restraint of) the mild rule.
'It belongs only to the sovereign to confer dignities and rewards, to display the terrors of majesty, and to receive the revenues (of the kingdom). There should be no such thing as a minister's conferring dignities or rewards, displaying the terrors of majesty, or receiving the revenues. Such a thing is injurious to the clans, and fatal to the states (of the kingdom); smaller affairs are thereby managed in a one-sided and perverse manner, and the people fall into assumptions and excesses.'
'Seventh, of the (means for the) examination of doubts.–Officers having been chosen and appointed for divining by the tortoise-shell and the stalks of the Achillea, they are to be charged (on occasion) to execute their duties. (In doing this), they will find (the appearances of) rain, of clearing up, of cloudiness, of want of connexion, and of crossing; and the inner and outer diagrams. In all (the indications) are seven;–five given by the shell, and two by the stalks; and (by means) of these any errors (in the mind) may be traced out. These officers having been appointed, when the divination is proceeded with, three men are to interpret the indications, and the (consenting) words of two of them are to be followed.
'When you have doubts about any great matter, consult with your own mind; consult with your high ministers and officers; consult with the common people; consult the tortoise-shell and divining stalks. If you, the shell, the stalks, the ministers and officers, and the common people, all agree about a course, this is what is called a great concord, and the result will be the welfare of your person and good fortune to your descendants. If you, the shell, and the stalks agree, while the ministers, and officers, and the common people oppose, the result will be fortunate. If the ministers and officers, with the shell and stalks, agree, while you and the common people oppose, the result will be fortunate. If the common people, the shell, and the stalks agree, while you, with the ministers and officers, oppose, the result will be fortunate. If you and the shell agree. while the stalks, with the ministers and officers, and the common people, oppose, internal operations will be fortunate, and external undertakings unlucky. When the shell and stalks are both opposed to the views of men, there will be good fortune in being still, and active operations will be unlucky.'
'Eighth, of the various verifications.–They are rain, sunshine, heat, cold, wind, and seasonableness. When the five come, all complete, and each in its proper order, (even) the various plants will be richly luxuriant. Should any one of them be either excessively abundant or excessively deficient, there will be evil.
There are the favourable verifications:–namely, of gravity, which is emblemed by seasonable rain; of orderliness, emblemed by seasonable sunshine; of wisdom, emblemed by seasonable heat; of deliberation, emblemed by seasonable cold; and of sageness, emblemed by seasonable wind, There are (also) the unfavourable verifications:–namely, of recklessness, emblemed by constant rain; of assumption, emblemed by constant sunshine; of indolence, emblemed by constant heat; of hastiness, emblemed by constant cold; and of stupidity, emblemed by constant wind.'
He went on to say, 'The king should examine the (character of the whole) year; the high ministers and officers (that of) the month; and the inferior officers (that of) the day. If, throughout the year, the month, the day, there be an unchanging seasonableness, all the grains will be matured; the measures of government will be wise, heroic men will stand forth distinguished; and in the families (of the people) there will be peace and prosperity. If, throughout the year, the month, the day, the seasonableness be interrupted, the various kinds of grain will not be matured; the measures of government will be dark and unwise; heroic men will be kept in obscurity; and in the families (of the people) there will be an absence of repose.
'By the common people the stars should be examined. Some stars love wind, and some love rain. The courses of the sun and moon give winter and summer. The way in which the moon follows the stars gives wind and rain.'
'Ninth, of the five (sources of) happiness.–The first is long life; the second, riches; the third, soundness of body and serenity of mind; the fourth, the love of virtue; and the fifth, fulfilling to the end the will (of Heaven). Of the six extreme evils, the first is misfortune shortening the life; the second, sickness; the third, distress of mind; the fourth, poverty; the fifth, wickedness; the sixth, weakness.'
1. After the conquest of Shang, the way being open to the nine tribes of the Î and the eight of the Man, tühe western tribe of Lü sent as tribute some of its hounds
24, on which the Grand-Guardian made 'the Hounds of Lü' by way of instruction to the king.
Generally the barbarous tribes lying round the China of Kâu. the Î are assigned to the east, the Zung to the west, the Tî to the north, and the Man to the south.
2. He said, 'Oh! the intelligent kings paid careful attention to their virtue, and the wild tribes on every side acknowledged subjection to them. The nearer and the more remote all presented the productions of their countries,–in robes, food, and vessels for use. The kings then displayed the things thus drawn forth by their virtue, (distributing them) to the (princes of the) states of different surnames from their own, (to encourage them) not to neglect their duties. The (more) precious things and pieces of jade they distributed among their uncles in charge of states, thereby increasing their attachment (to the throne). The recipients did not despise the things, but saw in them the power of virtue.
'Complete virtue allows no contemptuous familiarity. When (a ruler) treats superior men with such familiarity, he cannot get them to give him all their hearts; when he so treats inferior men, he cannot get them to put forth for him all their strength. Let him keep from being in bondage to his cars and eyes, and strive to be correct in all his measures. By trifling intercourse with men, he ruins his virtue; by finding his amusement in things (of mere pleasure), he ruins his aims. His aims should repose in what is right; he should listen to words (also) in their relation to what is right.
'When he does not do what is unprofitable to the injury of what is profitable, his merit can be completed. When he does not value strange things to the contemning things that are useful, his people will be able to supply (all that he needs). (Even) dogs and horses that are not native to his country he will not keep. Fine birds and strange animals be will not nourish in his state. When he does not look on foreign things as precious, foreigners will come to him; when it is real worth that is precious to him, (his own) people near at hand will be in a state of repose.
'Oh! early and late never be but earnest. If you do not attend jealously to your small actions, the result will be to affect your virtue in great matters;–in raising a mound of nine fathoms, the work may be unfinished for want of one basket (of earth). If you really pursue this course (which I indicate), the people will preserve their possessions, and the throne will descend from generation to generation.'
1. Two years after the conquest of Shang, the king fell ill, and was quite disconsolate. The two (other great) dukes said, 'Let us reverently consult the tortoise-shell about the king;' but the duke of Kâu
25said, 'You must not so distress our former kings.' He then took the business on himself, and reared three altars of earth on the same cleared space; and having made another altar on the south of these, and facing the north, he took there his own position. Having put a round symbol of jade (on each of the three altars), and holding in his hands the lengthened symbol (of his own rank), he addressed the kings Thai, Kî, and Wǎn.
The duke of Kâu was the consolidator of the dynasty of Kâu, equally mighty in words and in deeds,–a man of counsel and of action. He was the fourth son of king Wǎn; his name was Tan. Confucius regarded his memory with reverence, and spoke of it as a sign of his own failing powers, that the duke of Kâu no longer appeared to him in his dreams.
The (grand) historiographer had written on tablets his prayer, which was to this effect:–'A. B., your great descendant, is suffering from a severe and violent disease;–if you three kings have in heaven the charge of (watching over) him, (Heaven's) great son, let me Tan be a substitute for his person. I was lovingly obedient to my father; I am possessed of many abilities and arts, which fit me to serve spiritual beings. Your great descendant, on the other hand, has not so many abilities and arts as I, and is not so capable of serving spiritual beings. And moreover he was appointed in the hall of God to extend his aid all over the kingdom, so that he might establish your descendants in this lower earth. The people of the four quarters all stand in reverent awe of him. Oh! do not let that precious Heaven-conferred appointment fall to the ground, and (all the long line of) our former kings will also have one in whom they can ever rest at our sacrifices. I will now seek for your determination (in this matter) from the great tortoise-shell. If you grant me (my request), I will take these symbols and this mace, and return and wait for your orders. If you do not grant it, I will put them by.'
The duke then divined with the three tortoise-shells, and all were favourable. He opened with a key the place where the (oracular) responses were kept, and looked at them, and they also were favourable. He said, 'According to the form (of the prognostic) the king will take no injury. I, the little child, have got the renewal of his appointment from the three kings, by whom a long futurity has been consulted for. I have now to wait for the issue. They can provide for our One man.'
When the duke returned, he placed the tablets (of the prayer) in a metal-bound coffer, and next day the king got better.
2. (Afterwards), upon the death of king Wû, (the duke's) elder brother, he of Kwan, and his younger brothers, spread a baseless report through the kingdom, to the effect that the duke would do no good to the (king's) young son
26. On this the duke said to the two (other great) dukes, 'If I do not take the law (to these men), I shall not be able to make my report to the former kings.'
Wû died in B. C. 1116, and was succeeded by his son Sung, who is known in history as king Khǎng, or 'the Completer.' He was at the time only thirteen years old, and his uncle, the duke of Kâu, acted as regent. The jealousy of his elder brother Hsien, 'lord of Kwan,' and two younger brothers, was excited, and they spread the rumour which is referred to, and entered into a conspiracy with the son of the tyrant of Shang, to overthrow the new dynasty.
He resided (accordingly) in the east for two years, when the criminals were taken (and brought to justice). Afterwards he made a poem to present to the king, and called it 'the Owl.' The King on his part did not dare to blame the duke.
In the autumn, when the grain was abundant and ripe, but before it was reaped, Heaven sent a great storm of thunder and lightning, along with wind, by which the grain was all broken down, and great trees torn up. The people were greatly terrified; and the king and great officers, all in their caps of state, proceeded to open the metal-bound coffer and examine the writings in it, where they found the words of the duke when he took on himself the business of being a substitute for king Wû. The two (great) dukes and the king asked the historiographer and all the other officers (acquainted with the transaction) about the thing, and they replied, 'It was really thus; but ah! the duke charged us that we should not presume to speak about it.' The king held the writing in his hand, and wept, saying, 'We need not (now) go on reverently to divine. Formerly the duke was thus earnest for the royal House, but I, being a child, did not know it. Now Heaven has moved its terrors to display his virtue. That I, the little child, (now) go with my new views and feelings to meet him, is what the rules of propriety of our kingdom require.'
The king then went out to the borders (to meet the duke), when Heaven sent down rain, and, by virtue of a contrary wind, the grain all rose up. The two (great) dukes gave orders to the people to take up the trees that had fallen and replace them. The year then turned out very fruitful.
1. The king speaks to the following effect
27:–'Ho! I make a great announcement to you, (the princes of) the many states, and to you, the managers of my affairs.–We are unpitied, and Heaven sends down calamities on our House, without the least intermission . It greatly occupies my thoughts that I, so very young, have inherited this illimitable patrimony with its destinies and domains. I cannot display wisdom and lead the people to prosperity; and how much less should I be able to reach the knowledge of the decree of Heaven! Yes, I who am but a little child am in the position of one who has to go through a deep water;–I must go and seek where I can cross over. I must diffuse the elegant institutions of my predecessor and display the appointment which he received (from Heaven);–so shall I not be forgetful of his great work. Nor shall I dare to restrain the majesty of Heaven in sending down its inflictions (on the criminals).'
'When king Wû had deceased, the three overseers and the wild tribes of the Hwâi rebelled. The duke of Kâu acted as minister for king Khǎng, and having purposed to make an end of the House of Yin (or Shang), he made 'the Great Announcement.'
2. 'The Tranquillizing king left to me the great precious tortoise-shell, to bring into connexion with me the intelligence of Heaven. I divined by it, and it told me that there would be great trouble in the region of the west and that the western people would not be still. Accordingly we have these senseless movements. Small and reduced as Yin now is, (its prince) greatly dares to take in hand its (broken) line. Though Heaven sent down its terrors (on his House), yet knowing of the evils in our kingdom, and that the people are not tranquil, he says, "I will recover (my patrimony);" and so (he wishes to) make our Kâu a border territory again.
'One day there was a senseless movement, and the day after, ten men of worth appeared among the people, to help me to go forward to restore tranquillity and perpetuate the plans (of my father). The great business I am engaging in will (thus) have a successful issue. I have divined (also) by the tortoise-shell, and always got a favourable response. Therefore I tell you, the princes of my friendly states, and you, the directors of departments, my officers, and the managers of my affairs,–I have obtained a favourable reply to my divinations. I will go forward with you from all the states, and punish those vagabond and transported ministers of Yin.'
3. '(But) you the princes of the various states, and you the various officers and managers of my affairs, all retort on me, saying, "The hardships will be great, and that the people are nut quiet has its source really in the king's palace and in the mansions of the princes in that (rebellious) state. We little ones, and the old and reverend men as well, think the expedition ill-advised;–why does your Majesty not go contrary to the divinations?" I, in my youth, (also) think continually of these hardships, and say, Alas! these senseless movements will deplorably afflict the wifeless men and widows! But I am the servant of Heaven, which has assigned me this great task, and laid the hard duty on my person. I therefore, the young one, do not pity myself; and it would be right in you, the many officers, the directors of departments, and the managers of my affairs, to comfort me, saying, "Do not be distressed with sorrow. We shall surely complete the plans of your Tranquillizing father."
'Yes, I, the little child, dare not disregard the Charge of God. Heaven, favourable to the Tranquillizing king, gave such prosperity to our small country of Kâu. The Tranquillizing king divined and acted accordingly, and so he calmly received his (great) appointment. Now when Heaven is (evidently) aiding the people, how much more should we follow the indications of the shell! Oh! the clearly intimated will of Heaven is to be feared:–it is to help my great inheritance
4. The king says, 'You, who are the old ministers, are fully able to remember the past; you know how great was the toil of the Tranquillizing king. Where Heaven (now) shuts up (our path) and distresses us, is the place where I must accomplish my work; I dare not but do my utmost to complete the plans of the Tranquillizing king. It is on this account that I use such efforts to remove the doubts and carry forward the inclinations of the princes of my friendly states. And Heaven assists me with sincere expressions (of sympathy), which I have ascertained among the people;–how dare I but aim at the completion of the work formerly begun by the Tranquillizer? Heaven, moreover, is thus toiling and distressing the people;–it is as if they were suffering from disease; how dare I allow (the appointment) which my predecessor, the Tranquillizer, received, to be without its happy fulfilment?'
The king says, 'Formerly, at the initiation of this expedition, I spoke of its difficulties, and thought of them daily. But when a deceased father, (wishing) to build a house, had laid out the plan, if his son be unwilling to raise up the hall, how much less will he be willing to complete the roof! Or if the father had broken up the ground, and his son be unwilling to sow the seed, how much less will he be willing to reap the crop! In such a case could the father, (who had himself) been so reverently attentive (to his objects), have been willing to say, "I have a son who will not abandon his patrimony?" How dare I therefore but use all my powers to give a happy settlement to the great charge entrusted to the Tranquillizing king? If among the friends of an elder brother or a deceased father there be those who attack his son, will the elders of the people encourage (the attacker, and not (come to the) rescue?'
5. The king says, 'Oh! take heart, ye princes of the various states, and ye managers of my affairs. The enlightening of the country was from the wise, even from the ten men who obeyed and knew the charge of God, and the real assistance given by Heaven. At that time none of you presumed to change the rules (prescribed by the Tranquillizing king). And now when Heaven is sending down calamity on the country of Kâu, and the authors of these great distresses (make it appear on a grand scale as if) the inmates of a house were mutually to attack one another, you are without any knowledge that the decree of Heaven is not to be changed!
'I ever think and say, Heaven in destroying Yin was doing husbandman's work;–how dare I but complete the work on my fields? Heaven will thereby show its favour to my predecessor, the Tranquillizer. How should I be all for the oracle of divination, and presume not to follow (your advice)? I am following the Tranquillizer, whose purpose embraced all within the limits of the land. How much more must I proceed, when the divinations are all favourable! It is on these accounts that I make this expedition in force to the east. There is no mistake about the decree of Heaven. The indications given by the tortoise-shell are all to the same effect.'
The king speaks to the following effect:–'Ho! eldest son of the king of Yin, examining into antiquity, (I find) that the honouring of the virtuous (belongs to their descendants) Who resemble them in worth, and (I appoint) you to continue the line of the kings your ancestors, observing their ceremonies and taking care of their various relics. Come (also) as a guest to our royal House, and enjoy the prosperity of our kingdom, for ever and ever without end.
'Oh! your ancestor, Thang the Successful, was reverent and sage, (with a virtue) vast and deep. The favour and help of great Heaven lighted upon him, and he grandly received its appointment, to soothe the people by his gentleness, and remove the wicked oppressions from which they were suffering. His achievements affected his age, and his virtue was transmitted to his posterity. And you are the one who pursue and cultivate his plans;–this praise has belonged to you for long. Reverently and carefully have you discharged your filial duties; gravely and respectfully you behave to spirits and to men. I admire your virtue, and pronounce it great and not to be forgotten. God will always enjoy your offerings; the people will be reverently harmonious (under your sway). I raise you therefore to the rank of high duke, to rule this eastern part of our great land.
'Be reverent. Go and diffuse abroad your instructions. Be carefully observant of your robes and (other accompaniments of) your appointment; follow and observe the proper statutes;–so as to prove a bulwark to the royal House. Enlarge (the fame of) your meritorious ancestor; be a law to your people;–so as for ever to preserve your dignity. (So also) shall you be a help to me, the One man; future ages will enjoy (the benefit of) your virtue; all the states will take you for a pattern;–and thus you will make our dynasty of Kâu never weary of you.
Oh! go, and be prosperous. Do not disregard my charge.
THE count of Wei was a brother of the tyrant Kau-hsin. Wû-kǎng, the son of the tyrant, has been punished with death for his rebellion, the duke of Kâu summons the count of Wei to court, and in the name of king Khǎng invests him with the dukedom of Sung, there to be the representative of the line of the departed kings of Shang.
On the third month, when the moon began to wane, the duke of Kâu commenced the foundations, and proceeded to build the new great city of Lo, of the eastern states. The people from every quarter assembled in great harmony. From the Hâ, Tien, Nan, Zhâi, and Wei domains, the various officers stimulated this harmony of the people, and introduced them to the business there was to be done for Kâu. The duke encouraged all to diligence, and made a great announcement about the performance (of the works).
1. The king speaks to this effect:–'Head of the princes, and my younger brother, little one, Fǎng, it was your greatly distinguished father
29, the king Wǎn, who was able to illustrate his virtue and be careful in the use of punishments. He did not dare to treat with contempt (even) wifeless men and widows. He employed the employable, and revered the reverend; he was terrible to those who needed to be awed:–so getting distinction among the people. It was thus he laid the foundations of (the sway of) our small portion of the kingdom, and the one or two (neighbouring) regions were brought under, his improving influence, until throughout our western land all placed in him their reliance. The fame, of him ascended up to the high God, and God approved. Heaven accordingly gave a grand charge to king Wǎn, to exterminate the great (dynasty of) Yin, and grandly receive its appointment, so that the various countries belonging to it and their peoples were brought to an orderly condition. Then your unworthy elder brother exerted himself; and thus it is that you Fǎng, the little one, are here in this eastern region.'
OF the ten sons of king Wan, the ninth was called Fǎng and is generally spoken of as Khang Shû or 'the uncle, (the prince of) Khang.' Khang was the name of Fǎng's appanage, somewhere in the royal domain. This Book contains the charge given to him on his appointment to be marquis of Wei , the chief city of which was Kâu-ko, that had been the capital of Kâu-hsin.
2. The king says, 'Oh! Fǎng, bear these things in mind. Now (your success in the management of) the people will depend on your reverently following your father Wǎn;–do you carry out his virtuous words which you have heard, and clothe yourself with them. (Moreover), where you go, seek out among (the traces of) the former wise kings of Yin what you may use in protecting and regulating their people. (Again), you must in the remote distance study the (ways of) the old accomplished men of Shang, that you may establish your heart, and know how to instruct (the people). (Further still), you must search out besides what is to be learned of the wise kings of antiquity, and employ it in tranquillizing and protecting the people. (Finally), enlarge (your thoughts) to (the comprehension of all) heavenly (principles), and virtue will be richly displayed in your person, so that you will not render nugatory the king's charge.'
The king says, 'Oh! Fǎng, the little one, be respectfully careful, as if you were suffering from a disease. Awful though Heaven be, it yet helps the sincere. The feelings of the people can for the most part be discerned; but it is difficult to preserve (the attachment of) the lower classes. Where you go, employ all your heart. Do not seek repose, nor be fond of ease and pleasure. I have read the saying,–"Dissatisfaction is caused not so much by great things, or by small things, as by (a ruler's) observance of principle or the reverse, and by his energy of conduct or the reverse." Yes, it is yours, O little one,–it is your business to enlarge the royal (influence), and to protect the people of Yin in harmony with their feelings. Thus also shall, you assist the king, consolidating the appointment of Heaven, and renovating the people.'
The king says, 'Oh! Fǎng, deal reverently and intelligently in your infliction of punishments. When men commit small crimes, which are not mischances, but purposed, they of themselves doing what is contrary to the laws intentionally, though their crimes be but small, you may not but put them to death. But in the case of great crimes, which were not purposed, but from mischance and misfortune, accidental, if the transgressors confess their guilt without reserve, you must not put them to death.'
The king says, 'Oh! Fǎng, there must be the orderly regulation (of this matter). When you show a great discrimination, subduing (men's hearts), the people will admonish one another, and strive to be obedient. (Deal firmly yet tenderly with evil), as if it were a disease in your own person, and the people will entirely put away their faults;. (Deal with them) as if you were protecting your own infants, and the people will be tranquil and orderly. It is not you, O Fǎng, who (can presume to) inflict a (severe) punishment or death upon a man;–do not, to please yourself, so punish a man or put him to death.' Moreover, he says, 'It is not you, O Fǎng, who (can presume to inflict a lighter punishment), cutting off a man's nose or ears;–do not, to please yourself, cause a man's nose or ears to be cut off.'
The king says, 'In things beyond (your immediate supervision), have laws set forth which the officers may observe, and these should be the penal laws of Yin which were rightly ordered.' He also says, 'In examining the evidence in (criminal) cases, reflect upon it for five or six days, yea, for ten days or three months. You may then boldly come to a decision in such cases.'
The king says, 'In setting forth the business of the laws, the punishments will be determined by (what were) the regular laws of Yin. But you must see that those punishments, and (especially) the penalty of death, be righteous. And you must not let them be warped to agree with your own inclinations, O Fǎng. Then shall they be entirely accordant with right, and you may say, "They are properly ordered;" yet you must say (at the same time), "Perhaps they are not yet entirely accordant with right." Yes, though you are the little one, who has a heart like you, O Fǎng? My heart and my virtue are also known to you.
'All who of themselves commit crimes, robbing, stealing, practising villainy and treachery, and who kill men or violently assault them to take their property, being reckless and fearless of death;–these are abhorred by all.'
The king says, 'O Fǎng, such great criminals are greatly abhorred, and how much more (detestable) are the unfilial and unbrotherly!–as the son who does not reverently discharge his duty to his father, but greatly wounds his father's heart, and the father who can (no longer) love his son, but hates him; as the younger brother who does not think of the manifest will of Heaven, and refuses to respect his elder brother, and the elder brother who does not think of the toil of their parents in bringing up their children, and is very unfriendly to his junior. If we who are charged with government do not treat parties who proceed to such wickedness as offenders, the laws (of our nature) given by Heaven to our people will be thrown into great disorder and destroyed. You must resolve to deal speedily with such according to the penal laws of king Wǎn, punishing them severely and not pardoning.
'Those who are disobedient (to natural principles) are to be thus subjected to the laws;–how much more the officers employed in your state as the instructors of the youth, the heads of the official departments, and the smaller officers charged with their several commissions, when they propagate other lessons, seeking the praise of the people, not thinking (of their duty), nor using (the rules for their offices), but distressing their ruler! These lead on (the people) to wickedness, and are an abomination to me. Shall they be let alone? Do you speedily, according to what is right, put them to death.
'And you will be yourself ruler and president;–if you cannot manage your own household, with your smaller officers, and the heads of departments in the state, but use only terror and violence, you will greatly set aside the royal charge, and be trying to regulate your state contrary to virtue. You must in everything reverence the statutes, and proceed by them to the happy rule of the people. There were the reverence of king Wǎn and his caution;–in proceeding by them to the happy rule of the people, say, "If I could only attain to them–." So will you make me, the One man, to rejoice.'
4. The king says, 'O Fǎng, when I think clearly of the people, I see that they should be led (by example) to happiness and tranquillity. I think of the virtue of the former wise kings of Yin, whereby they tranquillized and regulated the people, and rouse myself to make it my own. Moreover, the people now are sure to follow a leader. If one do not lead them, he cannot be said to exercise a government in their state.'
The king says, 'O Fǎng, I can not dispense with the inspection (of the ancients),;and I make this declaration to you about virtue in the use of punishments. Now the people are not quiet; they have not yet stilled their minds; notwithstanding my leading of them, they have not come to accord (with my government). I clearly consider that severe as are the inflictions of Heaven on me, I dare not murmur. The crimes (of the people), though they were not great or many, (would all be chargeable on me), and how much more shall this be said when the report of them goes up so manifestly to heaven!'
The king says, 'Oh! Fǎng, be reverent! Do not what will cause murmurings; and do not use bad counsels and uncommon ways. With the determination of sincerity, give yourself to imitate the active virtue (of the ancients). Hereby give repose to your mind, examine your virtue, send far forward your plans; and thus by your generous forbearance you will make the people repose in what is good, and I shall not have to blame you or cast you off.'
5. The king says, 'Oh! you, Fǎng, the little one, (Heaven's) appointments are not unchanging." Think of this, and do not make me deprive you of your dignity. Make illustrious the charge which you have received; exalt (the instructions) which you have heard, and tranquillize and regulate the people accordingly.'
The king speaks to this effect: 'Go, Fǎng. Do not disregard the statutes you should reverence; hearken to what I have told you;–so shall you among the people of Yin enjoy (your dignity), and hand it down to your posterity.'
1. The king speaks to the following effect:–'Do you clearly make known my great commands in the country of Mei.
'When your reverent father, the king Wǎn, laid the foundations of our kingdom in the western region, he delivered announcements and cautions to (the princes of) the various regions, and to all his (high) officers, with their assistants, and the managers of affairs, saying, morning and evening, "At sacrifices spirits should be employed." When Heaven was sending down its favouring decree, and laying the foundations of (the eminence of) our people, (spirits) were used only at the great sacrifices. When Heaven sends down its terrors, and our people are thereby greatly disorganized and lose their virtue, this may be traced invariably to their indulgence in spirits; yea, the ruin of states, small and great, (by these terrors), has been caused invariably by their guilt in the use of spirits.
'King Wǎn admonished and instructed the young nobles, who were charged with office or in any employment, that they should not ordinarily use spirits; and throughout all the states, he required that such should drink spirits only on occasion of sacrifices, and that then virtue should preside so that there might be no drunkenness.'
He said, 'Let my people teach their young men that they are to love only the productions of the soil, for so will their hearts be good. Let the young also hearken wisely to the constant instructions of their fathers; and let them look at all virtuous actions, whether great or small, in the same light (with watchful heed).
'(Ye people of) the land of Mei, if you can employ your limbs, largely cultivating your millets, and hastening about in the service of your fathers and elders; and if, with your carts and oxen, you traffic diligently to a distance, that you may thereby filially minister to your parents; then, when your parents are happy, you may set forth your spirits clear and strong, and use them.
'Hearken constantly to my instructions, all ye my (high) officers and ye heads of departments, all ye, my noble chiefs;–when ye have largely done your duty in ministering to your aged, and serving your ruler, ye may eat and drink freely and to satiety. And to speak of greater things:–when you can maintain a constant, watchful examination of yourselves, and your conduct is in accordance with correct. virtue, then may you present the offerings of sacrifice, and at the same time indulge yourselves in festivity. In such case you will indeed be ministers doing right service to your king, and Heaven likewise will approve your great virtue, so that you shall never be forgotten in the royal House.'
2. The king says, 'O Fǎng, in our western region, the princes of states, and the young (nobles), sons of the managers of affairs, who in former days assisted king W?n, were all able to obey his lessons, and abstain from excess in the use of spirits; and so it is that I have now received the appointment which belonged to Yin.'
The king says. 'O Fǎng, I have heard it said, that formerly the first wise king of Yin manifested a reverential awe of the bright principles of Heaven and of the lower people, acting accordingly, steadfast in his virtue, and holding fast his wisdom. From him Thang the Successful, down to Tî-yî, all completed their royal virtue and revered their chief ministers, so that their managers of affairs respectfully discharged their helping duties, and dared not to allow themselves in idleness and pleasure;–how much less would they dare to indulge themselves in drinking! Moreover, in the exterior domains, (the princes of) the Hâu, Tien, Nan, and Wei (states), with their presiding chiefs and in the interior domain, all the various officers, the directors of the several departments, the inferior officers and employees, the heads of great houses, and the men of distinguished name living in retirement, all eschewed indulgence in spirits. Not only did they not dare to indulge in them, but they had not leisure to do so, being occupied with helping to complete the sovereigns virtue and make it more illustrious, and helping the directors of affairs reverently to attend to his service.
'I have heard it said likewise, that the last successor of those kings was addicted to drink, so that no charges came from him brightly before the people, and he was (as if) reverently and unchangingly bent on doing and cherishing what provoked resentment. Greatly abandoned to extraordinary lewdness and dissipation, for pleasure's sake he sacrificed all his majesty. The people were all sorely grieved and wounded in heart; but he gave himself wildly up to drink, not thinking of restraining himself, but continuing his excess, till his mind was frenzied, and he had no fear of death. His crimes (accumulated) in the capital of Shang: and though the extinction of the dynasty (was imminent), this gave him no concern, and he wrought not that any sacrifices of fragrant virtue might ascend to Heaven. The rank odour of the people's resentments, and the drunkenness of his herd of creatures, went loudly up on high, so that Heaven sent down ruin on Yin, and showed no love for it,–because of such excesses. There is not any cruel oppression of Heaven; people themselves accelerate their guilt, (and its punishment.)
The king says, 'O Fǎng, I make you this long announcement, not (for the pleasure of doing so); but the ancients have said, "Let not men look into water; let them look into the glass of other people." Now that Yin has lost its appointment, ought we not to look much to it as our glass, (and learn) how to secure the repose of our time? I say to you,–Strenuously warn the worthy ministers of Yin, and (the princes) in the Hau, the Tien, the Nan, and the Wei domains; and still more your friends, the great Recorder and the Recorder of the Interior, and all your worthy ministers, the heads of great Houses; and still more those whom you serve, with whom you calmly discuss matters, and who carry out your measures; and still more those who are, as it were, your mates,–your Minister of War who deals with the rebellious, your Minister of Instruction who is like a protector to the people, and your Minister of Works who settles the boundaries; and above all, do you strictly keep yourself from drink.
'If you are informed that there are companies that drink together, do not fail to apprehend them all, and send them here to Kâu, where I may put them to death. As to the ministers and officers of Yin who were led to it and became addicted to drink, it is not necessary to put them to death (at once);–let them be taught for a time. If they follow these (lessons of mine), I will give them bright distinction. If they disregard my lessons, then I, the One man, will show them no pity. As they cannot change their way, they shall be classed with those who are to be put to death.'
The king says, 'O Fǎng, give constant heed to my admonitions. If you do not rightly manage the officers, the people will continue lost in drunkenness.'
'THE wood of the ɜze tree'–the Rottlera Japonica,- was esteemed a very valuable tree for making articles of furniture and for the carver's art. The title perhaps intimates that the administrator of government ought to go about his duties carefully and skilfully, as the cabinet-maker and carver deal with their materials.
1. The king says, 'O Fǎng, to secure a good understanding between the multitudes of his people and his ministers (on the one hand), and the great families (on the other); and (again) to secure the same between all the subjects under his charge, and the sovereign:–is the part of the ruler of a state.
'If you regularly, in giving out your orders, say, "My instructors whom I am to follow, my Minister of Instruction, my Minister of War, and my Minister of Works; my heads of departments, and all ye, my officers, I will on no account put any to death oppressively —." Let the ruler also set the example of respecting and encouraging (the people), and these will (also) proceed to respect and encourage them. Then let him go on, in dealing with villainy and treachery, with murderers and harbourers of criminals, to exercise clemency (where it can be done), and these will likewise do the same with those who have assaulted others and injured their property. When sovereigns appointed overseers (of states), they did so in order to the government of the people, and said to them, "Do not give way to violence or oppression, but go on to show reverent regard for the friendless, and find helping connexions for (destitute) women." Deal with all according to this method, and cherish them. And when sovereigns gave their injunctions to the rulers of states, and their managers of affairs, what was their charge? It was that they should lead the people) to the enjoyment of plenty and peace. Such was the way of the kings from of old. An overseer is to eschew the use of punishments.'
(The king) says, 'As in the management of a field, when the soil has been all laboriously turned up, they have to proceed by orderly arrangements to make its boundaries and water-courses; as in building a house, after all the toil on its walls. they have to plaster and thatch it; as in working with the wood of the rottlera, when the toil of the coarser and finer operations has been completed, they have to apply the paint of red and other colours;–(so do you finish for me the work which I have begun in the state of Wei.)'
2. Now let your majesty say, 'The former kings diligently employed their illustrious virtue, and produced such attachment by their cherishing (of the princes), that from all the states they brought offerings, and came with brotherly affection from all quarters, and likewise showed their virtue illustrious. Do you, O sovereign, use their methods to attach (the princes), and all the states will largely come with offerings. Great Heaven having given this Middle Kingdom with its people and territories to the former kings, do you, our present sovereign, display your virtue, effecting a gentle harmony among the deluded people, leading and urging them on;–so (also) will you comfort the former kings, who received the appointment (from Heaven).
'Yes, make these things your study. I say so simply from my wish that (your dynasty) may continue for myriads of years, and your descendants always be the protectors of the people.'
SHÂO was the name of a territory within the royal domain. It was the appanage of Shih, one of the ablest of the men who lent their aid to the establishment of the dynasty of Kâu. Shih belonged to the royal House, and of course had the surname Kî. He is styled the duke of Shâo, as being one of the 'three dukes,' or three highest officers of the court, and also the chief of Shâo.
1. In the second month, on the day Yî-wei, sixth of the second month, on the days after full moon, the king proceeded in the morning from Kâu to Fǎng. (Thence) the Grand Guardian went before the duke of Kâu to survey the locality (of the new capital); and in the third month, on the day Wû-shan, the third day after the first appearance of the moon on Ping-wû, he came in the morning to Lo. He divined by the tortoiseshell about the (several) localities, and having obtained favourable indications, he set about laying out the plan (of the city). On Kǎng-hsü, the third day after, he led the people of Yin to prepare the various sites on the north of the Lo; and this work was completed on Kiâ-yin, the fifth day after.
On Yî-mâo, the day following, the duke of Kâu came in the morning to Lo, and thoroughly inspected the plan of the new city. On Ting-sze, the third day after, he offered two bulls as victims in the (northern and southern) suburbs; and on the morrow, Wû-wû, at the altar to the spirit of the land in the new city, he sacrificed a bull, a ram, and a boar. After seven days, on Kia-ɜze, in the morning, from his written (specifications) he gave their several orders to the people of Yin, and to the presiding chiefs of the princes from the Hâu, Tien, and Nan domains. When the people of Yin had thus received their orders, they arose and entered with vigour on their work.
('When the work was drawing to a completion), the Grand-Guardian went out with the hereditary princes of the various states to bring their offerings (for the king); and when he entered again, he gave them to the duke of Kâu, saying, 'With my hands to my head and my head to the ground, I present these to his Majesty and your Grace. Announcements for the information of the multitudes of Yin must come from you, with whom is the management of affairs.'
2. 'Oh! God (dwelling in) the great heavens has changed his decree respecting his great son and the great dynasty of Yin. Our king has received that decree. Unbounded is the happiness connected with it, and unbounded is the anxiety:–Oh! how can he be other than reverent?
'When Heaven rejected and made an end of the decree in favour of the great dynasty of Yin, there were many of its former wise kings in heaven. The king, however, who had succeeded to them, the last of his race, from the time of his entering into their appointment, proceeded in such a way as at last to keep the wise in obscurity and the vicious in office. The poor people in such a case, carrying their children and leading their wives, made their moan to Heaven. They even fled away, but were apprehended again. Oh! Heaven had compassion on the people of the four quarters; its favouring decree lighted on our earnest (founders). Let the king sedulously cultivate the virtue of reverence.
Examining the men of antiquity, there was the (founder of the) Hsiâ dynasty. Heaven guided (his mind), allowed his descendants (to succeed him), and protected them. He acquainted himself with Heaven, and was obedient to it. But in process of time the decree in his favour fell to the ground. So also is it now when we examine the case of Yin. There was the same guiding (of its founder), who corrected (the errors of Hsiâ), and (whose descendants) enjoyed the protection (of Heaven). He (also) acquainted himself with Heaven, and was obedient to it. But now the decree in favour of him has fallen to the ground. Our king has' now come to the throne in his youth;–let him not slight the aged and experienced, for it may be said of them that they have studied the virtuous conduct of the ancients, and have matured their counsels in the sight of Heaven.
'Oh! although the king is young, yet he is the great son (of God). Let him effect a great harmony with the lower people, and that will be the blessing of the present time. Let not the king presume to be remiss in this, but continually regard and stand in awe of the perilous (uncertainty) of the people's (attachment).
'Let the king come here as the vice-gerent of God, and undertake (the duties of government) in this centre of the land. Tan said, "Now that this great city has been built, from henceforth he may be the mate of great Heaven, and reverently sacrifice to (the spirits) above and beneath; from henceforth he may from this central spot administer successful government." Thus shall the king enjoy the favouring regard (of Heaven) all-complete, and the government of the people will now be prosperous.
'Let the king first subdue to himself those who were the managers of affairs under Yin, associating them with the managers of affairs for our Kâu. This will regulate their (perverse) natures, and they will make daily advancement. Let the king make reverence the resting-place (of his mind);–he must maintain the virtue of reverence.
'We should by all means survey the dynasties of Hsiâ and Yin. I do not presume to know and say, "The dynasty of Hsiâ was to enjoy the favouring decree of Heaven just for (so many) years," nor do I presume to know and say, "It could not continue longer." The fact simply was, that, for want of the virtue of reverence, the decree in its favour prematurely fell to the ground. (Similarly), I do not presume to know and say, "The dynasty of Yin was to enjoy the favouring decree of Heaven just for (so many) years," nor do I presume to know and say, "It could not continue longer." The fact simply was, that, for want of the virtue of reverence, the decree in its favour fell prematurely to the ground. The king has now inherited the decree,–the same decree, I consider, which belonged to those two dynasties. Let him seek to inherit (the virtues of) their meritorious (sovereigns);–(let him do this especially) at this commencement of his duties.
'Oh! it is as on the birth of a son, when all depends on (the training of) his early life, through which he may secure his wisdom, in the future, as if it were decreed to him. Now Heaven may have decreed wisdom (to the king); it may have decreed good fortune or bad; it may have decreed a (long) course of years;–we only know that now is with him the commencement of his duties. Dwelling in this new city, let the king now sedulously cultivate the virtue of reverence. When he is all-devoted to this virtue, he may pray to Heaven for a long-abiding decree in his favour.
'In the position of king, let him not, because of the excesses of the people in violation of the laws, presume also to rule by the violent infliction of death;–when the people are regulated gently, the merit (of government) is seen. It is for him who is in the position of king to overtop all with his virtue. In this case the people will imitate him throughout the kingdom, and he will become still more illustrious.
'Let the king and his ministers labour with a mutual sympathy, saying, "We have received the decree of Heaven, and it shall be great as the long-continued years of Hsiâ;–yea, it shall not fail of the long-continued years of Yin." I wish the king, through (the attachment of) the lower people, to receive the long-abiding decree of Heaven.'
3. (The duke of Shâo) then did obeisance with his hands to his head and his head to the ground, and said, 'I, a small minister, presume, with the king's (heretofore) hostile people and all their officers, and with his (loyal) friendly people, to maintain and receive his majesty's dread command and brilliant virtue. That the king should finally obtain the decree all-complete, and that he should become illustrious'–this I do not presume to labour for. I only bring respectfully these offerings to present to his majesty, to be used in his prayers to Heaven for its long-abiding decree.'
The arrangements for the building of Lo, the new capital, having been made, the duke of Kâu sent a messenger to inform the king of the result of his divinations. The historiographer recorded this as the Announcement about Lo, and at the same time related a dialogue between the king and his minister, and how the king charged the duke to remain at Lo, and conduct the government of it.
[In the third month, when the moon began to wane, the duke of Kâu commenced the foundations and proceeded to build the new great city of Lo of the eastern states. The people from every quarter assembled in great harmony. From the Hâu, Tien, Nan, ɜhai, and Wei domains, the various officers stimulated this harmony of the people, and introduced them to the business that was to be done for Kâu. The duke encouraged all to diligence, and made a great announcement about the performance (of the works).]
1. The duke of Kâu did obeisance with his hands to his head and his head to the ground, saying 'Herewith I report (the execution of my commission) to my son my intelligent sovereign. The king appeared as if he would not presume to be present at Heaven's founding here the appointment (of our dynasty), and fixing it, whereupon I followed the (Grand-)Guardian, and made a great survey of this eastern region, hoping to found the place where he should become the intelligent sovereign of the people. On the day Yî-mâo, I came in the morning to this capital of Lo. I (first) divined by the shell concerning (the ground about) the Lî-water on the north of the Ho. I then divined concerning the east of the Kien-water, and the west of the Khan, when the (ground near the) Lo was indicated. Again I divined concerning the east of the Khan-water when the (ground near the) Lo was also indicated. I (now) send a messenger with a map, and to present the (result of the) divinations.'
2. The king did obeisance with his hands to his head and his head to the ground, saying, 'The duke did not presume not to acknowledge reverently the favour of Heaven, and has surveyed the locality where our Kâu may respond to that favour. Having settled the locality, he has sent his messenger to show me the divinations, favourable and always auspicious. We two must together sustain the responsibility. He has made provision for me (and my successors), for myriads and tens of myriads of years, there reverently to acknowledge the favour of Heaven. With my hands, to my head and my head to the ground, (I receive) his instructive words.'
3. The duke of Kâu said, 'Let the king at first employ the ceremonies of Yin, and sacrifice in the new city, doing everything in an orderly way, but without display. I will marshal all the officers to attend you from Kâu, merely saying that probably there will be business to be done (in sacrificing). Let the king instantly issue an order to the effect that the most meritorious (ministers) shall have the first place in the sacrifices; and let him also say in an order, "You, in whose behalf the above order is issued, must give me your assistance with sincere earnestness." Truly display the record of merits, for it is you who must in everything teach the officers. My young son, can you indulge partiality? Eschew it, my young son. (If you do not), the consequence hereafter will be like a fire, which, a spark at first, blazes up, and by and by cannot be extinguished. Let your observance of the constant rules of right, and your soothing measures be like mine. Take only the officers that are in Kâu with you to the new city, and make them there join their (old) associates, with intelligent vigour establishing their merit, and with a generous largeness (of soul) completing (the public manners);–so shall you obtain an endless fame.'
The duke said, 'Yes, young as you are, be it yours to complete (the work of your predecessors). Cultivate (the spirit of) reverence, and you will know who among the princes (sincerely) present their offerings to you, and who do not. In connexion with those offerings there are man), observances. If the observances are not equal to the articles, it must be held that there is no offering. When there is no service of the will in the offerings (of the princes), all the people will then say, "We need not (be troubled about) our offerings," and affairs will be disturbed by errors and usurpations.
'Do you, my young son, manifest everywhere my unwearied diligence, and listen to my instructions to you how to help the people to observe the constant rules of right. If you do not bestir yourself in these things, you will not be of long continuance. If you sincerely and fully carry out the course of your Directing father, and follow exactly my example, there will be no venturing to disregard your orders. Go, and be reverent. Henceforth I will study husbandry. There do you generously rule our people, and there is no distance from which they will not come to you.'
4. The king spoke to this effect, 'O duke, you are the enlightener and sustainer of my youth. You have set forth the great and illustrious virtues, that I, notwithstanding my youth, may display a brilliant merit like that of Wǎn and Wû, reverently responding to the favouring decree of Heaven; and harmonize and long preserve the people of all the regions, settling the multitudes (in Lo); and that I may give due honour to the great ceremony (of recording) the most distinguished (for their merits), regulating the order for the first places at the sacrifices, and doing everything in an orderly manner without display.
'But your virtue, O duke, shines brightly above and beneath, and is displayed actively throughout the four quarters. On every hand appears the deep reverence (of your virtue) in securing the establishment of order, so that you fail in nothing of the earnest lessons of W?n and Wû. It is for me, the youth, (only) to attend reverently, early and late, to the sacrifices.'
The king said, 'Great, O duke, has been your merit in helping and guiding me;–let it ever continue so.'
The king said, 'O duke, let me, the little child, return to my sovereignty in Kâu, and I charge you, O duke, to remain behind (here). Order has been initiated throughout the four quarters of the kingdom, but the ceremonies to be honoured (by general observance) have not yet been settled, and I cannot look on your service as completed. Commence on a great scale what is to be done by your remaining here, setting an example to my officers and greatly preserving the people whom Wǎn and Wû received;–by your good government you will be a help to the whole kingdom.'
The king said, 'Remain, O duke. I will certainly go. Your services are devoutly acknowledged and reverently rejoiced in. Do not, O duke, occasion me this difficulty. I on my part will not be weary in seeking the tranquillity (of the people);–do not let the example which you have afforded me be intermitted. So shall the kingdom enjoy for generations (the benefit of your virtue).'
5. The duke of Kâu did obeisance with his hands to his head and his head to the ground, saying, 'You have charged me, O king, to come here. I undertake (the charge), and will protect the people whom your accomplished grandfather, and your glorious and meritorious father, king Wû, received by the decree (of Heaven). I will enlarge the reverence which I cherish for you. (But), my son, come (frequently), and inspect this settlement. Pay great honour to (old) statutes, and to the good and wise men of Yin. Good government (here) will make you (indeed) the new sovereign of the kingdom, and an example of (royal) respectfulness to all your successors of Kâu.'
(The duke) proceeded to say, 'From this time, by the government administered in this central spot, all the states will be conducted to repose; and this will be the completion of your merit, O king.
'I, Tan, with the numerous officers and managers of affairs, will consolidate the achievements of our predecessors, in response to (the hopes of) the people. I will afford an example of sincerity to (future ministers of) Kâu, seeking to render complete the pattern intended for the enlightenment of you, my son, and thus to carry fully out the virtue of your accomplished grandfather.'
6. (Afterwards, on the arrival of a message and gifts from the king, the duke said), '(The king) has sent messengers to admonish (the people of) Yin, and with a soothing charge to me, along with two flagons of the black-millet herb-flavoured spirits, saying, "Here is a pure sacrificial gift, which with my hands to my head and my head to the ground I offer for you to enjoy its excellence!" I dare not keep this by me, but offer it in sacrifice to king Wǎn and king Wû.' (In doing so, he prayed), 'May he be obedient to, and observant of your course! Let him not bring on himself any evil or illness! Let him satisfy his descendants for myriads of years with your virtue! Let (the people of) Yin enjoy prolonged (prosperity)!' (He also said to the messengers), 'The king has sent you to Yin, and we have received his well-ordered charges, (sufficient to direct us) for myriads of years, but let (the people) ever (be able to) observe the virtue cherished by my son.'
7. On the day Wû Khǎn, the king, being in the new city, performed the annual winter sacrifice, offering (moreover) one red bull to king Wǎn and another to king Wû. He then ordered a declaration to be prepared, which was done by Yî in the form of a prayer, and it simply announced the remaining behind of the duke of Kâu. The king's guests, on occasion of the killing of the victims and offering the sacrifice, were all present. The king entered the grand apartment, and libation. He gave a charge to the duke of Kâu to remain, and Yî, the document, made the announcement;–in the twelfth month. (Thus) the duke of Kâu grandly sustained the decree which Wǎn and Wû had received through the space of seven years.
This Announcement was addressed to the people of Yin or Shang, and especially to the higher classes among them,–'the numerous officers,'–to reconcile them to their lot as subjects of the new dynasty.
1. In the third month, at the commencement (of the government) of the duke of Kâu in the new city of Lo, he announced (the royal will) to the officers of the Shang dynasty, 'saying, 'The king speaks to this effect:–"Ye numerous officers who remain from the dynasty of Yin, great ruin came down on Yin from the cessation of forbearance in compassionate Heaven, and we, the lords of Kâu, received its favouring decree. We felt charged with its bright terrors, carried out the punishments which kings inflict, rightly disposed of the appointment of Yin, and finished (the work of) God. Now, ye numerous officers, it was not our small state that dared to aim at the appointment belonging to Yin. But Heaven was not with (Yin), for indeed it would not strengthen its misrule. It (therefore) helped us;–did we dare to seek the throne of ourselves? God was not for (Yin), as appeared from the mind and conduct of our inferior people, in which there is the brilliant dreadfulness of Heaven."'
2. 'I have heard the saying, "God leads men to tranquil security," but the sovereign of Hsiâ would not move to such security, whereupon God sent down corrections, indicating his mind to him. (Kieh), however, would not be warned by God, but proceeded to greater dissoluteness and sloth and excuses for himself. Then Heaven no longer regarded nor heard him, but disallowed his great appointment, and inflicted extreme punishment. Then it charged your founder, Thang the Successful, to set Hsiâ aside, and by means of able men to rule the kingdom. From Thang the Successful down to Tî yî every sovereign sought to make his virtue illustrious, and duly attended to the sacrifices. And thus it was that, while Heaven exerted a great establishing influence, preserving and regulating the House of Yin, its sovereigns on their part were humbly careful not to lose (the favour of) God, and strove to manifest a good-doing corresponding to that of Heaven. But in these times, their successor showed himself greatly ignorant of (the ways of) Heaven, and much less could it be expected of him that he would be regardful of the earnest labours of his fathers for the country. Greatly abandoned to dissolute idleness, he gave no thought to the bright principles of Heaven, and the awfulness of the people. On this account God no longer protected him, but sent down the great ruin which we have witnessed. Heaven was not with him, because he did not make his virtue illustrious. (Indeed), with regard to the overthrow of all states, great and small, throughout the four quarters of the kingdom, in every case reasons can be given for their punishment.'
The king speaks to this effect:–"Ye numerous officers of Yin, the case now is this, that the kings of our Kâu, from their great goodness, were charged with the work of God. There was the charge to them, 'Cut off Yin.' (They proceeded to perform it), and announced the execution of their service to God. In our affairs we have followed no double aims;–ye of the royal House (of Yin) must (now simply) follow us."'
3. '"May I not say that you have been very lawless? I did not (want to) remove you. The thing came from your own city 1. When I consider also how Heaven has drawn near to Yin with so great tribulations, it must be that there was (there) what was not right."
'The king says, "Ho! I declare to you, ye numerous officers, it is simply on account of these things that I have removed you and settled you here in the west;–it was not that I, the One man, considered it a part of my virtue to interfere with your tranquillity. The thing was from Heaven; do not offer resistance; I shall not presume to have any subsequent (charge concerning you); do not murmur against me. Ye know that your fathers of the Yin dynasty had their archives and statutes, (showing how) Yin superseded the appointment of Hsiâ. Now, indeed, ye say further, '(The officers of) Hsiâ were chosen and employed in the royal court (of Shang), and had their duties among the mass of its officers.' (But) I, the One man, listen only to the virtuous, and employ them; and it was with this view that I ventured to seek you in your capital of Shang (once sanctioned by) Heaven, (and removed you here to Lo.) I thereby follow (the ancient example), and have pity on you. (Your present non-employment) is no fault of mine;–it is by the decree of Heaven."
'The king says, "Ye numerous officers, formerly, when I came from Yen 1, I greatly mitigated the penalty and spared the lives of the people of your four states. At the same time I made evident the punishment appointed by Heaven, and removed you to this distant abode, that you might be near the ministers who had served in our honoured (capital), and (learn) their much obedience."
'The king says, "I declare to you, ye numerous officers of Yin, now I have not put you to death, and therefore I reiterate the declaration of my charge. I have now built this great city here in Lo, considering that there was no (central) place in which to receive my guests from the four quarters, and also that you, ye numerous officers, might here with zealous activity perform the part of ministers to us, with the entire obedience (ye would learn). Ye have still here, I may say, your grounds, and May still rest in your duties and dwellings. If you can reverently obey, Heaven will favour and compassionate you. If you do not reverently obey, you shall not only not have your lands, but I will also carry to the utmost Heaven's inflictions on. your persons. Now you may here dwell in your villages, and perpetuate your families; you may pursue your occupations and enjoy your years in this Lo; your children also will prosper;–(all) from your being removed here."
'The king says, "Whatever I may now have spoken is on account of (my anxiety about) your residence here."'
Instructions' of the Shû and was addressed to king Khang by the duke of Kâu soon after he had resigned the administration of the government into his hands.
1. The duke of Kâu said, 'Oh! the superior man rests in this,–that he will indulge in no luxurious ease. He first understands how the painful toil of sowing and reaping conducts to ease, and thus he understands how the lower people depend on this toil (for their support). I have observed among the lower people, that where the parents have diligently laboured in sowing and reaping, their sons (often) do not understand this painful toil, but abandon themselves to ease, and to village Slang, and become quite disorderly. Or where they do not do so, they (still) throw contempt on their parents, saying, "Those old people have heard nothing and know nothing."'
2. The duke of Kâu said, 'Oh! I have heard that aforetime Kung ɜung, one of the kings of Yin, was grave, humble, reverential, and timorously cautious. He measured himself with reference to the decree of Heaven, and cherished a reverent apprehension in governing the people, not daring to indulge in useless ease. It was thus that he enjoyed the throne seventy and five years. If we come to the time of Kâo ɜung, he toiled at first away from the court, and was among the lower people 2. When he came to the throne, and occupied the mourning shed, it may be said that he did not speak for three years. (Afterwards) he was (still inclined) not to speak; but when he did speak, his words were full of harmonious (wisdom). He did not dare to indulge in useless ease, but admirably and tranquilly presided over the regions of Yin, till throughout them all, small and great, there was not a single murmur. It was thus that he enjoyed the throne fifty and nine years. In the case of ɜû kiâ, he refused to be king unrighteously, and was at first one of the lower people. When he came to the throne, he knew on what they must depend (for their support), and was able to exercise a protecting kindness towards their masses, and did not dare to treat with contempt the wifeless men and widows. Thus it was that he enjoyed the throne thirty and three years. The kings that arose after these, from their birth enjoyed ease. Enjoying ease from their birth, they did not know the painful toil of sowing and reaping, and had not heard of the hard labours of the lower people. They sought for nothing but excessive pleasure; and so not one of them had long life. They (reigned) for ten years, for seven or eight, for five or six, or perhaps (only) for three or four.'
3. The duke of Kâu said, 'Oh! there likewise were king Thâi and king Kî of our own Kâu, who were humble and reverentially cautious. King Wǎn dressed meanly, and gave himself to the work of tranquillization and to that of husbandry. Admirably mild and beautifully humble, he cherished and protected the inferior people, and showed a fostering kindness to the wifeless men and widows. From morning to mid-day, and from mid-day to sundown, he did not allow himself leisure to eat;–thus seeking to secure the happy harmony of the myriads of the people. King Wǎn did not dare to go to excess in his excursions or his hunting, and from the various states he would receive only the correct amount of contribution. The appointment (of Heaven) came to him in the middle of his life, and he enjoyed the throne for fifty years.'
4. The duke of Kâu said, 'Oh! from this time forward, do you who have succeeded to the throne imitate Wǎn's avoiding of excess in his sight-seeing, his indulgence in ease, his excursions, his hunting; and from the myriads of the people receive only the correct amount of contribution. Do not allow yourself the leisure to say, "To-day I will indulge in pleasure." This would not be holding out a lesson to the people, nor the way to secure the favour of Heaven. Men will on the contrary be prompt to imitate you and practise evil. Become not like Shâu the king of Yin, who went quite astray, and, became abandoned to drunkenness.'
5. The duke of Kâu said, 'Oh! I have heard it said that, in the case of the ancients, (their ministers) warned and admonished them, protected and loved them, taught and instructed them; and among the people there was hardly one who would impose on them by extravagant language or deceiving tricks. If you will not listen to this (and profit by it), your ministers will imitate you, and so the correct laws of the former kings, both small and great, will be changed and disordered. The people, blaming you, will disobey and rebel in their hearts;–yea, they will curse you with their mouths.'
6. The duke of Kâu said, 'Oh! those kings of Yin,–Kung ɜung, Kâo ɜung, and ɜû kiâ with king Wǎn of our Kâu,–these four men carried their knowledge into practice. If it was told them, "The lower people murmur against you and revile you," then they paid great and reverent attention to their conduct; and with reference to the faults imputed to them they said, "Our faults are really so," thus not simply shrinking from the cherishing of anger. If you will not listen to this (and profit by it), when men with extravagant language and deceptive tricks say to you, "The lower people are murmuring against you and reviling you," you will believe them. Doing this, you will not be always thinking of your princely duties, and will not cultivate a large and generous heart, You will confusedly punish the guiltless, and put the innocent to death. There will be a general murmuring, which will be concentrated upon your person.'
7. The duke of Kâu said, 'Oh! let the king, who has succeeded to the throne, make a study of these things.'
Shih was the name of the duke of Shâo. To him the address or announcement here preserved was delivered. The duke of Shâo had announced his purpose to withdraw from office on account of his age, when the duke of Kâu persuaded him to remain at his post, and that the reasons which he set before him were recorded in this Book.
1. The duke of Kâu spoke to the following effect:–'Prince Shih, Heaven, unpitying, sent down ruin on Yin. Yin has lost its appointment (to the throne), which our House of Kâu has received. I do not dare, however, to say, as if I knew it, "The foundation will ever truly abide in prosperity. If Heaven aid sincerity,"— Nor do I dare to say, as if I knew it, "The end will issue in our misfortunes." Oh! you have said, O prince, "It depends on ourselves." I also do not dare to rest in the favour of God, not forecasting at a distance the terrors of Heaven in the present time, when there is no murmuring or disobedience among the people;–(the issue) is with men. Should our present successor to his fathers prove greatly unable to reverence (Heaven) above and (the people) below, and so bring to an end the glory of his predecessors, could we in (the retirement of) our families be ignorant of it? The favour of Heaven is not easily preserved; Heaven is difficult to be depended on. Men lose its favouring appointment, because they cannot pursue and carry out the reverence and brilliant virtue of their forefathers. Now I, Tan, the little child, am not able to make (the king) correct. I would simply conduct him to the glory of his fathers, and make him, who is my young charge, partaker of that.' He also said, 'Heaven is not to be trusted. Our course is only to seek the prolongation of the virtue of the Tranquillizing king, that Heaven may not find occasion to remove its favouring decree which king Wǎn received.'
2. The duke said, 'Prince Shih, I have heard that aforetime, when Thang the successful had received the appointment (to the throne), he had with him Î Yin, making (his virtue) like that of great Heaven; that Thâi Kiâ had (the same Î Yin), the Pâo-hǎng; that Thâ-Wû had Î Kih and Khǎn Hû, through whom (his virtue) was made to affect God, and Wû Hsien who regulated the royal House; that ɜû yî had Wû Hsien's son; and that Wû ting had Kan Phan. (These ministers) carried out (their principles), and displayed (their merit), preserving and regulating the dynasty of Yin, so that, while its ceremonies lasted, (those sovereigns), when deceased, were assessors to Heaven, and its duration extended over many years. Heaven thus determinately maintained its favouring appointment, and Shang was replenished with men. The various heads of great surnames and members of the royal House, holding employments, all held fast their virtue, and showed an anxious solicitude (for the kingdom). The smaller ministers, and the guardian princes in the Hâu and Tien domains, hurried about on their services. Thus did they all exert their virtue and aid their sovereign, so that whatever affairs he, the One man, had in hand, throughout the land, an entire faith was reposed in their justice as in the indications of the shell or the divining stalks.'
The duke said, 'Prince Shih, Heaven gives length of days to the just and the intelligent; (it was thus that those ministers) maintained and regulated the dynasty of Yin. He who came last to the throne granted by Heaven was extinguished by its terrors. Do you think of the distant future, and we shall have the decree (in favour of Kâu) made sure, and its good government will be, brilliantly exhibited in our newly-founded state.'
3. The duke said, 'Prince Shih, aforetime when God was inflicting calamity (on Yin), he encouraged anew the virtue of the Tranquillizing king, till at last the great favouring decree was concentrated in his person. (But) that king Wǎn was able to conciliate and unite the portion of the great kingdom which we came to possess, was owing to his having (such ministers) as his brother of Kwo, Hung Yâo, San Î shǎng, Thâi Tien, and Nan-kung Kwo.'
He said further, 'But for the ability of those men to go and come in his affairs, developing his constant lessons, there would have been no benefits descending from king Wǎn on the people. And it also was from the determinate favour of Heaven that there were these men of firm virtue, and acting according to their knowledge of the dread majesty of Heaven, to give themselves to enlighten king Wǎn, and lead him forward to his high distinction and universal rule, till his fame, reached the ears of God, and he received the appointment that had been Yin's. There were still four of those men who led on king Wû to the possession of the revenues of the kingdom, and afterwards, along with him, in great reverence of the majesty of Heaven, slew all his enemies. These four men, moreover, made king Wû so illustrious that his glory overspread the kingdom, and (the people) universally and greatly proclaimed his virtue. Now with me Tan, the little child, it is as if I were floating on a great stream;–With you, O Shih, let me from this time endeavour to cross it. Our young sovereign is (powerless), as if he had not yet ascended the throne. You must by no means lay the whole burden on me; and if you draw yourself up without an effort to supply my deficiencies, no good will flow to the people from our age and experience. We shall not hear the voices of the phoenixes, and how much less can it be thought that we shall be able to make (the king's virtue) equal (to Heaven)!
The duke said, 'Oh! consider well these things, O prince. We have received the appointment to which belongs an unlimited amount of blessing, but having great difficulties attached to it. What I announce to you are counsels of a generous largeness.–I cannot allow the successor of our kings to go astray.'
4. The duke said, 'The former king laid bare his heart, and gave full charge to you, constituting you one of the guides and patterns for the people, saying, "Do you with intelligence and energy second and help the king; do you with sincerity support and convey forward the great decree. Think of the virtue of king Wan, and enter greatly into his boundless anxieties." '
The duke said, 'What I tell you, O prince, are my sincere thoughts. O Shih, the Grand-Protector, if you can but reverently survey with me the decay and great disorders of Yin, and thence consider the dread majesty of Heaven (which warns) us!–Am I not to be believed that I must reiterate my words? I simply say, "The establishment (of our dynasty) rests with us two." Do you agree with me? Then you (also) will say, "It rests with us two." And the favour of Heaven has come to us so largely:–it should be ours to feel as if we could not sufficiently respond to it. If you can but reverently cultivate your virtue (now), and bring to light our men of eminent ability, then when you resign (your position) to some successor in a time of established security, (I will interpose no objection.)
'Oh! it is by the earnest service of us two that we have come to the prosperity of the present day. We must both go on, abjuring all idleness, to complete the work of king Wan, till it has grandly overspread the kingdom, and from the corners of the sea, and the sunrising, there shall not be one who is disobedient to the rule (of Kâu).'
The duke said, 'O prince, have I not spoken in accordance with reason in these many declarations? I am only influenced by anxiety about (the appointment of) Heaven, and about the people.'
The duke said, 'Oh! you know, O prince, the ways of the people, how at the beginning they can be (all we could desire); but it is the end (that is to be thought of). Act in careful accordance with this fact. Go and reverently exercise the duties of your office.'
ɜHÂI was the name of the small state or territory, which had been conferred on Tû the next younger brother of the duke of Kâu. The name still remains in the district of Shang-ɜhâi, department Zû ning, Ho-nan. Tû was deprived of his state because of his complicity in the rebellion of Wû kang; but it was subsequently restored to his son Hû by this charge. Hû is here called Kung, that term simply denoting his place in the roll of his brothers or cousins. King Khang, and Hû were cousins,–'brothers' according to Chinese usage of terms, and Hû being the younger of the two, was called ɜhâi Kung, 'the second or younger brother,–of ɜhâi.'
1. When the duke, of Kâu was in the place of prime minister and directed all the officers, the (king's) uncles spread abroad an (evil) report, in consequence of which (the duke) put to death the prince of Kwan in Shang; confined the prince of ɜhâi Kwo-lin, with an attendance of seven chariots; and reduced the prince of Hwo to be a private man, causing his name to be erased from the registers for three years. The son of the prince of ɜhâi having displayed a reverent virtue, the duke of Kâu made him a high minister, and when his father died, requested a decree from the king, investing him with the country of ɜhâi.
2. 'The king speaks to this effect:–"My little child, Hû, you follow the virtue (of our ancestors), and have changed from the conduct (of your father); you are able to take heed to your ways;–I therefore appoint you to be a marquis in the east. Go to your fief, and be reverent!
"In order that you may cover the faults of your father, be loyal, be filial. Urge on your steps in your own way, diligent and never idle, and so shall you hand down an example to your descendants. Follow the constant lessons of your grandfather king Wǎn, and be not, like your father, disobedient to the royal orders.
"Great Heaven has no partial affections;–it helps only the virtuous. The people's hearts have no unchanging attachment;–they cherish only the kind. Acts of goodness are different, but they contribute in common to good order. Acts of evil are different, but they contribute in common to disorder. Be cautious!
In giving heed to the beginning think of the end;–the end will then be without distress. If you do not think of the end, it will be full of distress, even of the greatest.
"Exert yourself to achieve your proper merit. Seek to be in harmony with all your neighbours.
Be a fence to the royal House. Live in amity with your brethren. Tranquillize and help the lower people.
"Follow the course of the Mean, and do not by aiming to be intelligent throw old statutes into confusion. Watch over what you see and hear, and do not for one-sided words deviate from the right rule. Then I, the One man, will praise you.
'The king says, "Oh! my little child, Hû, go, and do not idly throw away my charge."'
A great assembly of princes and nobles–the old officers of Yin or Shang, and chiefs from many regions–was met together, after the king has returned to his capital in triumph, having put down rebellion in the east, and specially extinguished the state or tribe of Yen.
1. In the fifth month, on the day Ting-hâi, the king arrived from Yen, and came to (Hâo), the honoured (capital of) Kâu. The duke of Kâu said, 'The king speaks to the following effect: "Ho! I make an announcement to you of the four states, and the numerous (other) regions. Ye who were the officers and people of the prince of Yin, I have dealt very leniently as regards your lives, as ye all know. You kept reckoning greatly on (some) decree of Heaven, and did not keep with perpetual awe before your thoughts (the preservation of) your sacrifices.
The extinction of the sacrifices of a state was its utter overthrow. None were left–or if some might be left, none of them were permitted–to continue the sacrifices to its founder and his descendants.
'"God sent down correction on Hsiâ, but the sovereign (only) increased his luxury and sloth, and would not speak kindly to the people. He showed himself dissolute and dark, and would not yield for a single day to the leadings of God:–this is what you have heard. He kept reckoning on the decree of God (in his favour), and did not cultivate the means for the people's support. By great inflictions of punishment also he increased the disorder of the states of Hsiâ. The first cause (of his evil course) was the internal misrule, which made him unfit to deal well with the multitudes. Nor did he endeavour to find and employ men whom he could respect, and who might display a generous kindness to the people; but where any of the people of Hsiâ were covetous and fierce, he daily honoured them, and they practised cruel tortures in the cities. Heaven on this sought a (true) lord for the people, and made its distinguished and favouring decree light on Thang the Successful, who punished and destroyed the sovereign of Hsiâ. Heaven's refusal of its favour (to Hsiâ) was decided. The righteous men of your numerous regions were not permitted to continue long in their posts of enjoyment, and the many officers whom Hsiâ's (last sovereign) honoured were unable intelligently to maintain the people in the enjoyment (of their lives), but, on the contrary, aided one another in oppressing them, till of the hundred ways of securing (prosperity) they could not promote (one).
'"In the case indeed of Thang the Successful, it was because he was the choice of your numerous regions that he superseded Hsiâ, and became the lord of the people. He paid careful attention to the essential virtue (of a sovereign), in order to stimulate the people, and they on their part imitated him and were stimulated. From him down to Tî-yî, the sovereigns all made their virtue illustrious, and were cautious in the use of punishments;–thus also exercising a stimulating influence (over the people). When they, having examined the evidence in criminal cases, put to death those chargeable with many crimes, they exercised the same influence, and they did so also when they liberated those who were not purposely guilty. But when the throne came to your (last) sovereign, he could not with (the good will of) your numerous regions continue in the enjoyment of the favouring decree of Heaven."'
2. 'Oh! the king speaks to the following effect:–I announce and declare to you of the numerous regions, that Heaven had no set purpose to do away with the sovereign of Hsiâ or with the sovereign of Yin. But it was the case that your (last) ruler, being in possession of your numerous regions, abandoned himself to great excess, and reckoned on the favouring decree of Heaven, making trifling excuses for his conduct. And so in the case of the (last) sovereign of Hsiâ; his plans of government were not of a tendency to secure his enjoyment (of the kingdom), and Heaven sent down ruin on him, and the chief of the territory (of Shang) put an end (to the line of Hsiâ). In truth, the last sovereign of your Shang was luxurious to the extreme of luxury, while his plans of government showed neither purity nor progress, and thus Heaven sent down such ruin on him.
'"The wise, through not thinking, become foolish, and the foolish, by thinking, become wise. Heaven for five years waited kindly, and forbore with the descendant (of Thang), to see if he would indeed prove himself the ruler of the people; but there was nothing in him deserving to be regarded. Heaven then sought among your numerous regions, making a great impression by its terrors to stir up some one who would look (reverently) to it, but in all your regions there was not one deserving of its favouring regard. But there were the kings of our Kâu, who treated well the multitudes of the people, and were able to sustain the burden of virtuous (government). They could preside over (all services to) spirits and to Heaven. Heaven thereupon instructed us, and increased our excellence, made choice of us, and gave us the decree of Yin, to rule over your numerous regions."'
3. '"Why do I now presume to make (these) many declarations? I have dealt very leniently as regards the lives of you, the people of these four states. Why do you not show a sincere and generous obedience in your numerous regions? Why do you not aid and co-operate with the kings of our Kâu, to secure the enjoyment of Heaven's favouring decree? You now still dwell in your dwellings, and cultivate your fields;–why do you not obey our kings, and consolidate the decree of Heaven? The paths which you tread are continually those of disquietude;–have you in your hearts no love for yourselves? do you refuse so greatly to acquiesce in the ordinance of Heaven? do you triflingly reject that decree? do you of yourselves pursue unlawful courses, scheming (by your alleged reasons) for the approval of upright men? I simply instructed you, and published my announcement; with trembling awe I secured and confined (the chief criminals):–I have done so twice and for three times. But if you do not, take advantage of the leniency with which I have spared your lives, I will proceed to severe punishments, and put you to death. It is not that we, the sovereigns of Kâu, hold it virtuous to make you untranquil, but it is you yourselves who accelerate your crimes (and sufferings)."'
4. 'The king says, "Oh! ho! I tell you, ye many officers of the various regions, and you, ye many officers of Yin, now have ye been hurrying about, doing service to my overseers for five years. There are among you the inferior assistants, the chiefs, and the numerous directors, small and great;–see that ye all attain to the discharge of your duties. Want of harmony (in the life) rises from (the want of it in) one's (inner) self;–strive to be harmonious. Want of concord in your families (arises from the want of it in your conduct);–strive to be harmonious. When intelligence rules in your cities, then will you be proved to be attentive to your duties. Do not be afraid, I pray you, of the evil ways, (of the people); and moreover, by occupying your offices with a reverent harmony, yon will find it possible to select from your cities individuals on whose assistance you can calculate. You may thus long continue in this city of Lo 2, cultivating your fields. Heaven will favour and compassionate you, and we, the sovereigns of Kâu, will greatly help you, and confer rewards, selecting you to stand in-our royal court. Only be attentive to your duties, and you may rank among our great officers."
'The king says, "Oh! ye numerous officers, if you cannot exhort one another to pay a sincere regard to my charges, it will further show that you are unable to honour your sovereign; and all the people will (also) say, 'We will not honour him.' Thus will ye be proved slothful and perverse, greatly disobedient to the royal charges. Throughout your, numerous regions you will bring on yourselves the terrors of Heaven, and I will then inflict on you its punishments, removing you far from your country."'
5. 'The king says, "I do not (wish to) make these many declarations, but it is in a spirit of awe that I lay my commands before you." He further says, "You may now make a (new) beginning. If you cannot reverently realize the harmony (which I enjoin), do not (hereafter) murmur against me."'
The subject treated of throughout, is how good government may be established. Some critics maintain that the text as it stands is very confused, 'head and tail in disorder, and without connexion,' especially the last paragraph, that is probably a fragment of one of the lost Books of the Shû that has got tacked on to this.
1. The duke of Kâu spoke to the following effect:–'With our hands to our heads and our heads to the ground, we make our declarations to the Son of Heaven, the king who has inherited the throne.' In such manner accordingly all (the other ministers) cautioned the king, saying, 'In close attendance on your majesty there are the regular presidents, the regular ministers, and the officers of justice;–the keepers of the robes (also), and the guards.' The duke of Kâu said, 'Oh! admirable are these (officers). Few, however, know to be sufficiently anxious about them.'
2. 'Among the ancients who exemplified (this anxiety) there was the founder of the Hsiâ dynasty. When his House was in its greatest strength, he sought for able men who should honour God (in the discharge of their duties). (His advisers), when they knew of men thoroughly proved and trustworthy in the practice of the nine virtues, would then presume to inform and instruct their sovereign, saying, "With our hands to our heads and our heads to the ground, O sovereign, we would say, Let (such an one) occupy one of your high offices: Let (such an one) be one of your pastors: Let (such an one) be one of your officers: of justice. By such appointments you will fulfil your duty as sovereign. If you judge by the face only, and therefrom deem men well schooled in virtue, and appoint them, then those three positions will all be occupied by unrighteous individuals." The way of Kieh, however, was act to observe this precedent. Those whom he employed were cruel men;–and he left no successor.'
3. 'After this there was Thang the Successful, who, rising to the throne, grandly administered the bright ordinances of God. He employed, to fill the three (high) positions, those who were equal to them; and those who were called possessors of the three kinds of ability would display that ability. He then studied them severely, and greatly imitated them, making the utmost of them in their three positions and with their three kinds of ability. The people in the cities of Shang were thereby all brought to harmony, and those in the four quarters of the kingdom were brought greatly under the influence of the virtue thus displayed. Oh! when the throne came to Shâu, his character was all violence. He preferred men of severity, and who deemed cruelty a virtue, to share with him in the government of his states; and at the same time, the host of his associates, men who counted idleness a virtue, shared the offices of his court. God then sovereignly punished him, and caused us to possess the great land, enjoy the favouring decree which Shâu had (afore) received, and govern all the people in their myriad realms."
4. 'Then subsequently there were king Wǎn and king Wû who knew well the minds of those whom they put in the three positions, and saw clearly the minds of those who had the three grades of ability. Thus they could employ them to serve God with reverence, and appointed them as presidents and chiefs of the people. In establishing their government, the three things which principally concerned them were to find the men for (high) offices, the officers of justice, and the pastors. (They had also) the guards; the keepers of the robes; their equerries; their heads of small departments; their personal attendants; their various overseers; and their treasurers. They had their governors of the larger and smaller cities assigned in the royal domain to the nobles; their men of arts; their overseers whose offices were beyond the court; their grand historiographers; and their heads of departments;–all good men of constant virtue.
'(In the external states) there were the Minister of Instruction, the Minister of War, and the Minister of Works, with the many officers subordinate to them. Among the wild tribes, such as the Wei, the Lû and the Khǎng, in the three Po, and at the dangerous passes, they had wardens.
'King Wǎn was able to make the minds of those in the (three high) positions his own, and so it was that he established those regular officers and superintending pastors, so that they were men of ability and virtue. He would not appear himself in the various notifications, in litigations, and in precautionary measures. There, were the officers and pastors (to attend to them), whom he (simply) taught to be obedient (to his wishes), and not to be disobedient. (Yea), as to litigations and precautionary measures, he (would seem as if he) did not presume to know about them. He was followed by king Wû who carried out his work of settlement, and did not presume to supersede his righteous and virtuous men, but entered into his plans, and employed, as before, those men. Thus it was that they unitedly received this vast inheritance.'
5. 'Oh! young son, the king, from this time forth be it ours to establish the government, appointing the (high) officers, the officers of the laws, and the pastors;–be it ours clearly to know what courses are natural to these men, and then fully to employ them in the government, that they may aid us in the management of the people whom we have received, and harmoniously conduct all litigations and precautionary measures. And let us river allow others to come between us and them. (Yea), in our every word and speech, let us be thinking of (these) officers of complete virtue, to regulate the people that we have received.
'Oh! I, Tan, have received these excellent words of others 1, and tell them all to you, young son, the king. From this time forth, O accomplished son (of Wû, accomplished grandson (of Wǎn), do not err in regard to the litigations and precautionary measures;–let the proper officers manage them. From of old to the founder of Shang, and downwards to king Wan of our Kâu, in establishing government, when they appointed (high) officers, pastors, and officers. of the laws, they settled them in their positions, And allowed them to unfold their talents;–thus giving the regulation of affairs into their hands. In the kingdom, never has there been the establishment of government by the employment of artful-tongued men; (with such men), unlessoned in virtue, never can a government be distinguished in the, world. From this time forth, in establishing government, make no use of artful-tongued men, but (seek for) good officers, and get them to use all their powers in aiding the government of our country. Now, O accomplished son (of Wû, accomplished grandson (of Wǎn), young son, the king, do not err in the matter of litigations;–there are the officers and pastors (to attend to them).
'Have well arranged (also) your military accoutrements and weapons, so that you may go forth beyond the steps of Yü and traverse all under the sky, even to beyond the seas, everywhere meeting with submission:–so shall you display the bright glory of king Wǎn, and render more illustrious the great achievements of king Wû.
'Oh! from this time forth, may (our) future kings, in establishing the government, be able to employ men of constant virtue!'
6. The duke of Kâu spoke to the following effect:–'O grand historiographer, the duke of Sû the Minister of Crime, dealt reverently with all the criminal matters that came before him, and thereby perpetuated the fortunes of our kingdom. Here was an example of anxious solicitude (for future ministers), whereby they may rank with him in the ordering of the appropriate punishments.'
'THE Officers of Kâu' contains a general outline of the official system of the Kâu dynasty, detailing the names and functions of the principal ministers about the court and others, to whom, moreover, various counsels are addressed by the king who speaks in it,–no doubt, king Khang
1. The king of Kâu brought the myriad regions (of the kingdom) to tranquillity; he made a tour of inspection through the Hâu and Tien tenures; he punished on all sides the chiefs who had refused to appear at court; thus securing the repose of the millions of the people, and all the (princes in the) six tenures acknowledging his virtue. He then returned to the honoured capital of Kâu, and strictly regulated the officers of the administration.
2. The king said, 'It was the grand method of former times to regulate the government while there was no confusion, and to secure the country while there was no danger.' He said, 'Yâo and Shun, having studied antiquity, established a hundred officers. At court, there were the General Regulator and (the President of) the Four Mountains; abroad, there were the pastors of the provinces and the princes of states. Thus the various departments of government went on harmoniously, and the myriad states all enjoyed repose. Under the dynasties of Hsiâ and Shang, the number of officers was doubled, and they were able still to secure good government. (Those early) intelligent kings, in establishing their government, cared not so much about the number of the offices as about. the men (to occupy them). Now I, the little child, cultivate with reverence my virtue, concerned day and night about my deficiencies; I look up to (those) former dynasties, and seek to conform to them, while I instruct and direct you, my officers.'
3. 'I appoint the Grand-Master, the Grand-Assistant, and the Grand-Guardian. These are the three Kung. They discourse about the principles of reason and adjust the states, harmonizing (also) and regulating the operations (in nature) of heaven and earth. These offices need not (always) be filled; there must (first) be the men for them.
'(I appoint) the junior Master, the junior Assistant, and the junior Guardian. These are called the three Kû.
31They assist the Kung to diffuse widely the transforming influences, and display brightly with reverence (the powers of) heaven and earth,–assisting me, the One man.
Kû was not used as a term expressing any order of nobility. It would seem to indicate that, while the men holding the office were assistant to the Kung, they yet had a distinct standing of their own.
'(I appoint) the Prime Minister, who presides over the ruling of the (various) regions, has the general management of all the other officers, and secures uniformity within the four seas; the Minister of Instruction, who presides over the education in the states, diffuses a knowledge of the duties belonging to the five relations of society, and trains the millions of the people to obedience; the Minister of Religion, who presides over the (sacred) ceremonies of the country, regulates the services rendered to the spirits and manes, and makes a harmony between high and low 4;* the Minister of War, who presides over the (military) administration of the country, commands the six hosts, and secures the tranquillity of all the regions; the Minister of Crime, who presides over the prohibitions of the country, searches out the villainous and secretly wicked, and punishes oppressors and disturbers of the peace; and the Minister of Works, who presides over the land of the country, settles the four classes of the people, and secures at the proper seasons the produce of the ground.
'These six ministers with their different duties lead on their several subordinates, and set an example to the nine pastors of the provinces, enriching and perfecting the condition of the millions of the people. In six years (the lords of) the five tenures appear once at the royal court; and after a second six years, the king makes a tour of inspection in the four seasons, and examines the (various) regulations and measures at the four mountains. The princes appear before him each at the mountain of his quarter; and promotions and degradations are awarded with great intelligence.'
4. The king said, 'Oh! all ye men of virtue, my occupiers of office, pay reverent attention to your charges. Be careful in the commands you issue; for, once issued, they must be carried into effect, and cannot be retracted. Extinguish all selfish aims by your public feeling, and the people will have confidence in you, and be gladly obedient. Study antiquity as a preparation for entering on your offices. In deliberating on affairs, form your determinations by help (of such study), and your measures will be free from error. Make the regular statutes of (our own) dynasty your rule, and do not with artful speeches introduce disorder into your offices. To accumulate doubts is the way to ruin your plans; to be idle and indifferent is the way to ruin your government. Without study, you stand facing a wall, and your management of affairs will be full of trouble.
'I warn you, my high ministers and officers, that exalted merit depends on the high aim, and a patrimony is enlarged only by diligence; it is by means of bold decision that future difficulties are avoided. Pride comes, along with rank, unperceived, and extravagance in the same way with emolument. Let reverence and economy be (real) virtues with you, unaccompanied with hypocritical display. Practise them as virtues, and your minds will be at ease, and you will daily become more admirable. Practise them in hypocrisy, and your minds will be toiled, and you will daily become more stupid. In the enjoyment of favour think of peril, and never be without a cautious apprehension;–he who is without such apprehension finds himself amidst what is really to be feared. Push forward the worthy, and show deference to the able; and harmony will prevail among all your officers. When they are not harmonious, the government becomes a mass of confusion. If those whom you advance be able for their offices, the ability is yours; if you advance improper men, you are not equal to your position.'
5. The king said, 'Oh! ye (charged) with the threefold business (of government) 1 and ye great officers, I reverently attend to your departments, and conduct well the affairs under your government, so as to assist your sovereign, and secure the lasting happiness of the millions of the people;–so shall there be no dissatisfaction throughout the myriad states.'
Kün-khǎn might be translated 'the prince Khǎn,' like Kün Shih. Kün-khǎn was the second son of the duke of Kâu. He was invested the territory of eastern border after the duke of Kâu died.
1. The king spake to the following effect:–'Kün-khǎn, it is you who are possessed of excellent virtue, filial and respectful. Being filial, and friendly with your brethren, you can display these qualities in the exercise of government. I appoint you to rule this eastern border. Be reverent.'
2. 'Formerly, the duke of Kâu acted as teacher and guardian of the myriads of the people, who cherish (the remembrance of) his virtue. Go and with sedulous care enter upon his charge; act in accordance with his regular ways, and exert yourself to illustrate his lessons;–so shall the people be regulated. I have heard that he said, "Perfect government has a piercing fragrance, and influences the spiritual intelligences. It is not the millet which has the piercing fragrance; it is bright virtue." Do you make this lesson of the duke of Kâu your rule, being diligent from day to day, and not presuming to indulge in luxurious ease. Ordinary men, while they have not yet seen a sage, (are full of desire) as if they should never get a sight of him; and after they have seen him, they are still unable to follow him. Be cautioned by this! You are the wind; the inferior people are the grass. In revolving the plans of your government, never hesitate to acknowledge the difficulty of the subject. Some things have to be abolished, and some new things to be enacted;– going out and coming in, seek the judgment of your people about them, and, when there is a general agreement, exert your own powers of reflection. When you have any good plans or counsels, enter and lay them before your sovereign in the palace. Thereafter, when you are acting abroad in accordance with them, say, "This plan or this view is all due to our sovereign." Oh! if all ministers were to act thus, how excellent would they be, and how distinguished!'
3. The king said, 'Kün-khan, do you give their full development to the great lessons of the duke of Kâu. Do not make use of your power to exercise oppression; do not make use of the laws to practise extortion. Be gentle, but with strictness of rule. Promote harmony by the display of an easy forbearance.
'When any of the people of Yin are amenable to punishment, if I say "Punish," do not you therefore punish; and if I say "Spare," do not you therefore spare. Seek the due middle course. Those who are disobedient to your government, and uninfluenced by your instructions, you will punish, remembering that the end of punishment is to make an end of punishing. Those who are inured to villainy and treachery, those who violate the regular duties of society, and those who introduce disorder into the public manners:–those three classes you will not spare, though their particular offences be but small.
'Do not cherish anger against the obstinate, and dislike them. Seek not every quality in one individual. You must have patience, and you will be successful; have forbearance, and your virtue will be great. Mark those who discharge their duties well, and also mark those who do not do so, (and distinguish them from one another.) Advance the good, to induce those who may not be so to follow (their example).
'The people are born good, and are changed by (external) things, so that they resist what their superiors command, and follow what they (themselves) love. Do you but reverently observe the statutes, and they will be found in (the way of) virtue; they will thus all be changed, and truly advance to a great degree of excellence. Then shall I, the One man, receive much happiness, and your excellent services will be famous through long ages!'
THIS Book brings us to the closing act of the life of king Kh ang, whose reign, according to the current chronology, lasted thirty-seven years, ending in B.C. 1079. From the appointment of Kün-khǎn to his death, the king's history is almost a blank. The only events chronicled by Sze-mâ Khien are a coinage of round money with a square hole in the centre,–the prototype of the cash that has been used until the end of the Qing Dynasty; and an enactment about the width and length in which pieces of silk and cloth were to be manufactured. King Khǎng, feeling that his end is near, calls his principal ministers and other officers around his bed, and commits his son Kâo to their care and guidance.
1. In the fourth month, when the moon began to wane, the king was indisposed. On the day Kiâ ɜze, he washed his hands and face; his attendants put on him his cap and robes; (and he sat up), leaning on a gem-adorned bench. He then called together the Grand-Guardian Shih, the earls of Zui and Thung, the duke of Pî the marquis of Wei, the duke of Mâo, the master of the warders, the master of the guards, the heads of the various departments, and the superintendents of affairs.
The king said, 'Oh! my illness has greatly increased, and it will soon be over with me. The malady comes on daily with more violence, and maintains its hold. I am afraid I may not find (another opportunity) to declare my wishes about my successor, and therefore I (now) lay my charge upon you with special instructions. The former rulers, our kings Wǎn and Wû displayed in succession their equal glory, making sure provision for the support of the people, and setting forth their instructions. (The people) accorded a practical submission, without any opposition, and the influence (of their example and instructions) extended to Yin, and the great appointment (of Heaven) was secured*. After them, I, the stupid one, received with reverence the dread (decree) of Heaven, and continued to keep the great instructions of Wan and Wû not daring blindly to transgress them.
'Now Heaven has laid affliction on me, and it seems as if I should not again rise or be myself. Do you take clear note of these my words, and in accordance with them watch reverently over my eldest son Kâo, and greatly assist him in the difficulties of his position. Be kind to those who are far off, and help those who are near. Promote the tranquillity of the states, small and great, and encourage them (to well-doing). I think how a man has to govern himself in dignity and with decorum;–do not you allow Kâo to proceed heedlessly on the impulse of improper motives.' Immediately on receiving this charge, (the ministers and others) withdrew. The tent was then carried out into the court; and on the next day, (being) Yî khâu, the king died.
2. The Grand-Guardian then ordered Kung Hwan and Nan-Kung Mâo to instruct Lü Ki, the marquis of Khî, with two shield-and-spearmen, and a hundred guards, to meet the prince Kâo outside the south gate, and conduct him to (one of) the side-apartments (near to that where the king lay), there to be as chief mourner.
On the day Ting-mâo, (two days after the king's death), he ordered (the charge) to be recorded on tablets, and the forms (to be observed in publishing it). Seven days after, on Kwei-yû as chief (of the west) and premier, he ordered the (proper) officers to prepare the wood (for all the requirements of the funeral).
The salvage men 2 set out the screens 3, ornamented with figures of axes, and the tents. Between the window (and the door), facing the south, they placed the (three)fold mat of fine bamboo splints, with its striped border of white and black silk, and the usual bench adorned with different-coloured gems. In the side-space on the west, which faced the east, they placed the threefold rush mat, with its variegated border, and the usual bench adorned with beautiful shells. In the side-space on the east, which faced the west, they placed the threefold mat of fine grass, with its border of painted silk, and the usual bench carved, and adorned with gems. Before the western side-chamber, and facing the south, they placed the threefold mat of fine bamboo, with its dark mixed border, and the usual lacquered bench.
(They set forth) also the five pairs of gems (or jade), and the precious things of display. There were the red knife, the great lessons, the large round-and-convex symbol of jade, and the rounded and pointed maces,–all in the side-space on the west; the large piece of jade, the pieces contributed by the wild tribes of the east, the heavenly sounding-stone, and the river-Plan,–all in the side-space on the east; the dancing habits of Yin, the large tortoise-shell, and the large drum,–all in the western apartment; the spear of Tûi, the bow of Ho, and the bamboo arrows of Khui,–all in the eastern apartment.
The grand carriage was by the guests' steps, facing (the south); the next was by the eastern (or host' s) steps, facing (the south). The front carriage was placed before the left lobby, and the one that followed it before the right lobby.
Two men in brownish leather caps, and holding three-cornered halberts, stood inside the gate leading to the private apartments. Four men in caps of spotted deer-skin, holding spears with blades upturned from the base of the point, stood, one on each side of the steps east and west, and near to the platform of the hall. One man in a great officer's cap, and holding an axe, stood in the hall, (near the steps) at the east (end). One man in a great officer's cap, and holding an axe of a different pattern, stood in the hall, (near the steps) at the west end. One man in a great officer's cap, and holding a lance, stood at the front and east of the hall, close by the steps. One man in a great officer's cap, and holding a lance of a different pattern, stood in the corresponding place on the west. One man in a great officer's cap, and holding a pointed weapon, stood by the steps on the north side of the hall.
The king, in a linen cap and the variously figured, skirt, ascended by the guests' steps, followed by the high ministers, (great) officers, and princes of states, in linen caps and dark-coloured skirts. Arrived in the hall, they all took their (proper) places. The Grand-Guardian, the Grand-Historiographer, and the Minister of Religion were all in linen caps and red skirts. The Grand-Guardian bore the great mace. The Minister of Religion bore the cup and the mace-cover. These two ascended by the steps on the east
32. The Grand Historiographer bore, the testamentary charge. He ascended by the guests' steps (on the west), and advanced to the king with the tablets containing the charge, and said, 'Our royal sovereign, leaning on the gem-adorned bench, declared his last charge, and commanded you to continue (the observance of) the lessons, and to take the rule of the kingdom of Kin, complying with the great laws, and securing the harmony of all under the sky, so as to respond to and display the bright instructions of Wǎn and Wû'
'The great mace' was one of the emblems of the royal sovereignty, and 'the cup' also must have been one that only the king could use. 'The mace-cover' was an instrument by which the genuineness of the symbols of their rank conferred on the different princes was tested.
The king twice bowed (low), and then arose, and replied, 'I am utterly insignificant and but a child, how should I be able to govern the four quarters (of the kingdom) with a corresponding reverent awe of the dread majesty of Heaven!' He then received the cup and the mace-cover. Thrice he slowly and reverently advanced with a cup of spirits (to the east of the coffin); thrice he sacrificed (to the spirit of his father); and thrice he put the cup down. The Minister of Religion said, 'It is accepted.'
The Grand-Guardian received the cup, descended the steps, and washed his hands. He then took another cup, (placed it on) a half-mace which he carried, and repeated the sacrifice . He then gave the cup to one of the attendants of the Minister of Religion, and did obeisance. The king returned the obeisance. The Grand-Guardian took a cup again, and poured out the spirits in sacrifice. He then just tasted the spirits, returned to his place, gave the cup to the attendant, and did obeisance. The king returned the obeisance. The Grand Guardian descended from the hall, after which the various (sacrificial) articles were removed, and the princes all went out at the temple gate and waited.
KHANG was the honorary sacrificial title conferred on Kâo, the son and successor of king Khǎng. His reign lasted from B.C. 1078 to 1053. Khang, as an honorary title, has various meanings. In the text it probably denotes–'Who caused the people to be tranquil and happy.'
1. The king came forth and stood (in the space) within the fourth gate of the palace, when the Grand-Guardian led in the princes of the western regions by the left (half) of the gate, and the duke of Pî those of the eastern regions by the right (half). They then all caused their teams of light bay horses, with their manes and tails dyed red, to be exhibited;–and, (as the king's) guests, lifted up their rank-symbols, and (the other) presents (they had brought), saying, 'We your servants, defenders (of the throne), venture to bring the productions of our territories, and lay them here.' (With these words) they all did obeisance twice, laying their heads on the ground. The king, as the righteous successor to the virtue of those who had gone before him, returned their obeisance.
The Grand-Guardian and the earl of Zui, with all the rest, then advanced and bowed to each other, after which they did obeisance twice, with their heads to the ground, and said, 'O Son of Heaven, we venture respectfully to declare our sentiments. Great Heaven altered its decree which the great House of Yin had received, and W?n and W? of our Kau grandly received the same, and carried it out, manifesting their kindly government in the western regions. His recently ascended majesty,* rewarding and punishing exactly in accordance with what was right, fully established their achievements, and transmitted this happy state to his successors. Do you, O king, now be reverent. Maintain your armies in great order, and do not allow the rarely equalled appointment of our high ancestors to come to harm.'*
2. The king spoke to the following effect:–'Ye princes of the various states, chiefs of the Hau, Tien, Nan, and Wei domains, I, Kao, the One man, make an announcement in return (for your advice). The former rulers, W?n and W?, were greatly just and enriched (the people). They did not occupy themselves to find out people's crimes. Pushing to the utmost and maintaining an entire impartiality and sincerity, they became gloriously illustrious all under heaven. Then they had officers brave as bears and grisly bears, and ministers of no double heart, who (helped them) to maintain and regulate the royal House. Thus (did they receive) the true favouring decree from God, and thus did great Heaven approve of their ways, and give them the four quarters (of the land).* Then they appointed and set up principalities, and established bulwarks (to the throne), for the sake of us, their successors. Now do ye, my uncles, I pray you, consider with one another, and carry out the service which the dukes, your predecessors, rendered to my predecessors. Though your persons be distant, let your hearts be in the royal House. Enter thus into my anxieties, and act in accordance with them, so that I, the little child, may not be put to shame.'
The dukes and all the others, having heard this charge, bowed to one another, and hastily withdrew. The king put off his cap, and assumed again his mourning dress.
THE king who delivers the charge in this Book was Khang. By the labours of the duke of Kâu and Kün-khǎn a considerable change had been effected in the character of the people of Yin, who had been transferred to the new capital and its neighbourhood; and king Khang now appoints the duke of Pî to enter into and complete their work.
1. In the sixth month of his twelfth year, the day of the new moon's appearance was Kǎng-wû and on Zǎn-shǎn, the third day after, the king walked in the morning from the honoured capital of Kâu to Fǎng, and there, with reference to the multitudes of Khǎng-kâu, gave charge to the duke of Pî to protect and regulate the eastern border.
2. The king spoke to the following effect:–'Oh! Grand-Master, it was when Wǎn and Wû had diffused their great virtue all under heaven, that they therefore received the appointment which Yin had enjoyed. The duke of Kâu acted as assistant to my royal predecessors, and tranquillized and established their kingdom. Cautiously did he deal with the refractory people of Yin, and removed them to the city of Lo, that they might be quietly near the royal House, and be transformed by its lessons. Six and thirty years have elapsed; the generation has been changed; and manners have altered. Through the four quarters of the land there is no occasion for anxiety, and I, the One man, enjoy repose.
'The prevailing ways now tend to advancement and now to degeneracy, and measures of government must be varied according to the manners (of the time). If you (now) do not manifest your approval of what is good, 'the people will not be led to stimulate themselves in it. But your virtue, O duke, is strenuous, and you are cautiously attentive to the smallest things. You have been helpful to and brightened four reigns; with deportment all correct leading on the inferior officers, so that there is not one who does not reverently take your words as a law. Your admirable merits were many (and great) in the times of my predecessors; I, the little child, have but to let my robes hang down, and fold my hands, while I look up for the complete effect (of your measures).'
3. The king said, 'Oh! Grand-Master, I now reverently charge you with the duties of the duke of Kâu. Go! Signalize the good, separating the bad from them; give tokens of your approbation in their neighbourhoods, making it ill for the evil by such distinction of the good, and thus establishing the influence and reputation (of their virtue). When the people will not obey your lessons and statutes, mark off the boundaries of their hamlets, making them fear (to do evil), and desire (to do good). Define anew the borders and frontiers, and be careful to strengthen the guard-posts through the territory, in order to secure tranquillity (within) the four seas. In measures of government to be consistent and constant, and in proclamations a combination of completeness and brevity, and valuable. There should not be the love of what is extraordinary. Among the customs of Shang was the flattery of superiors; sharp-tonguedness was the sign of worth. The remains of these manners are not yet obliterated. Do you, O duke, bear this in mind. I have heard the saying, "Families which have for generations enjoyed places of emolument seldom observe the rules of propriety. They become dissolute, and do violence to virtue, setting themselves in positive opposition to the way of Heaven. They ruin the formative principles of good; encourage extravagance and display; and tend to carry all (future ages) on the same stream with them." Now the officers of Yin had long relied on the favour which they enjoyed. In the confidence of their prideful extravagance they extinguished their (sense of) righteousness. They displayed before men the beauty of their robes,–proud, licentious, arrogant, and boastful;–the natural issue was that they should end in being thoroughly bad. Although their lost minds have (in a measure) been recovered, it is difficult to keep them under proper restraint. If with their property and wealth they can be brought under the influence of instruction, they may enjoy lengthened years, virtue, and righteousness!–these are the great lessons. If you do not follow in dealing with them these lessons of antiquity, wherein will you instruct them?'
4. The king said, 'Oh! Grand-Master, the security or the danger of the kingdom depends on those officers of Yin. If you are not (too) stern with them nor (too) mild, their virtue will be truly cultivated. The duke of Kâu exercised the necessary caution at the beginning (of the undertaking); Kün-khǎn displayed the harmony proper to the middle of it; and you, O duke, can bring it at last to a successful issue. You three princes will have been one in aim, and will have equally pursued the proper way. The penetrating power of your principles, and the good character of your measures of government, will exert an enriching influence on the character of the people, so that the wild tribes, with their coats buttoning on the left
33, will all find their proper support in them, and I, the little child, will long enjoy much happiness. Thus, O duke, there in Khang-Kâu will you establish for ever the power (of Kâu), and you will have an inexhaustible fame. Your descendants will follow your perfect pattern, governing accordingly.
Confucius once praised Kwan Kung, a great minister of Khî in the seventh century B.C., for his services against the wild tribes of his time, saying, that but for him they in China would be wearing their hair dishevelled, and buttoning the lappets of their coats on the left side. The long robes and jackets of the Chinese generally, stretch over on the right side of the chest, and are there buttoned.
'Oh! do not say, "I am unequal to this;" but exert your mind to the utmost. Do not say, "The people are few;" but attend carefully to your business. Reverently follow the accomplished achievements of the former kings, and complete the excellence of the government of your predecessors.'
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
34. I, the little child, have become charged by inheritance with the line of government transmitted from Wǎn and Wû from Khǎng 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.
The grand banner was borne aloft when the king went to sacrifice. There were figures of the sun and moon on it, and dragons lying along its breadth, one over the other, head above tail. The names of meritorious ministers were inscribed on it during their lifetime, preparatory to their sharing in the sacrifices of the ancestral temple after their death.
'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 Wǎn! 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 Wǎn 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.'
THE charge recorded here is assigned to king Mû. It was delivered on the appointment of Po Khiung (“Po" means the eldest brother in the family, “Khiung" is first name) to be High Chamberlain.
The king spoke to the following effect:–'Po-khiung, I come short in virtue, and have succeeded to the former kings, to occupy the great throne. I am fearful, and conscious of the peril (of my position). I rise at midnight, and think how I can avoid falling into errors. Formerly Wǎn and Wû were endowed with all intelligence, august and sage, while their ministers, small and great, all cherished loyalty and goodness. Their servants, charioteers, chamberlains, and followers were all men of correctness; morning and evening waiting on their sovereign's wishes, or supplying his deficiencies. (Those kings), going out and coming in, rising up and sitting down, were thus made reverent. Their every warning or command was good. The people yielded a reverent obedience, and the myriad regions were all happy. But I, the One man, am destitute of goodness, and really depend on the officers who have places about me to help my deficiencies, applying the line to my faults, and exhibiting my errors, thus correcting my bad heart, and enabling me to be the successor of my meritorious predecessors.
'Now I appoint you to be High Chamberlain, to see that all the officers in your department and my personal attendants are upright and correct, that they strive to promote the virtue of their sovereign, and together supply my deficiencies. Be careful in selecting your officers. Do not employ men of artful speech and insinuating looks, men whose likes and dislikes are ruled by mine, one-sided men and flatterers; but employ good men. When these household officers are correct, the sovereign will be correct; when they are flatterers, the sovereign will consider himself a sage. His virtue or his want of it equally depends on them. Cultivate no intimacy with flatterers, nor get them to do duty for me as my ears and eyes;–they will lead their sovereign to disregard the statutes of the former kings. If you choose the men not for their personal goodness, but for the sake of their bribes, their offices will be made of no effect, your great want of reverence for your sovereign will be apparent, and I will hold you guilty.'
The king said, 'Oh! be reverent! Ever help your sovereign to follow the regular laws of duty (which he should exemplify).'
King Mû gave charge to the marquis of Lü, who was a high minister, to prepare a code of punishments for the regulation of the kingdom. This charge was delivered in the hundredth year of the king's age, and this year would be be B.C. 952.
1. In reference to the charge to the marquis of Lü:–When the king had occupied the throne till he reached the age of a hundred years, he gave great consideration to the appointment of punishments, in order to deal with (the people of) the four quarters.
2. The king said, 'According to the teachings of ancient times, Khih Yû was the first to produce disorder, which spread among the quiet, orderly people, till all became robbers and murderers, owl-like and yet self-complacent in their conduct, traitors and villains, snatching and filching, dissemblers and oppressors.
Among the people of Miao, they did not use the power of goodness, but the restraint of punishments. They made the five punishments engines of oppression 2, calling them the laws. They slaughtered the innocent, and were the first also to go to excess in cutting off the nose, cutting off the ears, castration, and branding. All who became liable to those punishments were dealt with without distinction, no difference being made in favour of those who could offer some excuse. The people were gradually affected by this state of things, and became dark and disorderly. Their hearts were no more set on good faith, but they violated their oaths and covenants. The multitudes who suffered from the oppressive terrors, and were (in danger of) being murdered, declared their innocence to Heaven. God surveyed the people, and there was no fragrance of virtue arising from them, but the rank odour of their (cruel) punishments.
'The great Tî compassionated the innocent multitudes that were (in danger of) being murdered, and made the oppressors feel the terrors of his majesty. He restrained and (finally) extinguished the people of Miâo, so that they should not continue to future generations. Then he commissioned Khung and Lî to make an end of the communications between earth and heaven; and the descents (of spirits) ceased. From the princes down to the inferior officers, all helped with clear intelligence (the spread of) the regular principles of duty, and the solitary and widows were no longer overlooked. The great Tî with an unprejudiced mind carried his enquiries low down among the people, and the solitary and widows laid before him their complaints against the Miâo. He awed the people by the majesty of his virtue, and enlightened them by its brightness. He thereupon charged the three princely (ministers) to labour with compassionate anxiety in the people's behalf. Po-î delivered his statutes to prevent the people from rendering themselves obnoxious to punishment; Yü reduced to order the water and the land, and presided over the naming of the hills and rivers; Kî spread abroad a knowledge of agriculture, and (the people) extensively cultivated the admirable grains. When the three princes had accomplished their work, it was abundantly well with the people. The Minister of Crime exercised among them the restraint of punishment in exact adaptation to each offence, and taught them to reverence virtue. The greatest gravity and harmony in the sovereign, and the greatest intelligence in those below him, thus shining forth to all quarters (of the land), all were rendered diligent in cultivating their virtue. Hence, (if anything more were wanted), the clear adjudication of punishments effected the regulation of the people, and helped them to observe the regular duties of life. The officers who presided over criminal cases executed the law (fearlessly) against the powerful, and (faithfully) against the wealthy. They were reverent and cautious. They had no occasion to make choice of words to vindicate their conduct. The virtue of Heaven was attained to by them; from them was the determination of so great a matter as the lives (of men). In their low sphere they yet corresponded (to Heaven) and enjoyed (its favour)'.
3. The king said, 'Ah! you who direct the government and preside over criminal cases through all the land, are you not constituted the shepherds of Heaven?* To whom ought you now to look as your pattern? Is it not to Po-?, spreading among the people his lessons to avert punishments? And from whom ought you now to take warning? Is it not from the people of Miâo, who would not examine into the circumstances of criminal cases, and did not make choice of good officers that should see to the right apportioning of the five punishments, but chose the violent and bribe-snatchers, who determined and administered them, so as to oppress the innocent, until God would no longer hold them guiltless, and sent down calamity on Miâo, when the people had no plea to allege in mitigation of their punishment, and their name was cut off from the world?'
4. The king said, 'Oh! lay it to heart. My uncles, and all ye, my brethren and cousins, my sons and my grandsons 1, listen all of you to my words, in which, it may be, you will receive a most important charge. You will only tread the path of satisfaction by being daily diligent;–do not have occasion to beware of the want of diligence. Heaven, in its wish to regulate the people, allows us for a day to make use of punishments. Whether crimes have been premeditated, or are unpremeditated, depends on the parties concerned;–do you (deal with them so as to) accord with the mind of Heaven, and thus serve me, the One man. Though I would put them to death, do not you therefore put them to death; though I would spare them, do not you therefore spare them. Reverently apportion the five punishments, so as fully to exhibit the three virtues. Then shall I, the One man, enjoy felicity; the people will look to you as their sure dependance; the repose of such a state will be perpetual.'
5. The king said, 'Ho! come, ye rulers of states and territories , I Will tell you how to make punishments a blessing. It is yours now to give repose to the people;–what should you be most concerned about the choosing of? Should it not be the proper men? What should you deal with the most reverently? Should it not be punishments? What should you calculate the most carefully? Should it not be to whom these will reach?
'When both parties are present, (with their documents and witnesses) all complete, let the judges listen to the fivefold statements that may be made 1. When they have examined and fully made up their minds on those, let them adjust the case to one of the five punishments. If the five punishments do not meet it, let them adjust it to one of the five redemption-fines; and if these, again, are not sufficient for it, let them reckon it among the five cases of error.
'In (settling) the five cases of error there are evils (to be guarded against);–being warped by the influence of power, or by private grudge, or by female solicitation, or by bribes, or by applications. Any one of these things should be held equal to the crime (before the judges). Do you carefully examine, and prove yourselves equal to (every difficulty).
'When there are doubts as to the infliction of any of the five punishments, that infliction should be forborne. When there are doubts as to the infliction of any of the five fines, it should be forborne. Do you carefully examine, and prove yourselves equal to overcome (every difficulty). When you have examined and many things are clear, yet form a judgment from studying the appearance of the parties. If you find nothing out on examination, do not listen (to the case any more). In everything stand in awe of the dread majesty of Heaven.
'When, in a doubtful case, the punishment of branding is forborne, the fine to be laid on instead is 600 ounces (of copper); but you must first have satisfied yourselves as to the crime. When the case would require the cutting off the nose, the fine must be double this;–with the same careful determination of the crime. When the punishment would be the cutting off the feet, the fine must be 3000 ounces;–with the same careful determination of the crime. When the punishment would be castration 1, the fine must be 3600 ounces;–with the same determination. When the punishment would be death, the fine must be 6000 ounces;–with the same determination. Of crimes that may be redeemed by the fine in lieu of branding there are woo; and the same number of those that would otherwise-incur cutting off the nose. The fine in lieu of cutting off the feet extends to 500 cases; that in lieu of castration, to 300; and that in lieu of death, to 200. Altogether, set against the five punishments, there are 3000 crimes. (In the case of others not exactly defined), you must class them with the (next) higher or (next) lower offences, not admitting assumptive and disorderly pleadings, and not using obsolete laws. Examine and act lawfully, judging carefully, and proving yourselves equal (to every difficulty).
'Where the crime should incur one of the higher punishments, but there are mitigating circumstances, apply to it the next lower. Where it should incur one of the lower punishments, but there are aggravating circumstances, apply to it the next higher. The light and heavy fines are to be apportioned (in the same way) by the balance of circumstances. Punishments and fines should (also) be light in one age, and heavy in another. To secure uniformity in this (seeming) irregularity, there are certain relations of things (to be considered), and the essential principle (to be observed).
'The chastisement of fines is short of death, yet it will produce extreme distress. They are not (therefore) persons of artful tongues who should determine criminal cases, but really good persons, whose awards will hit the right mean. Examine carefully where there are any discrepancies in the statements; the view which you were resolved not to follow, you may see occasion to follow; with compassion and reverence settle the cases; examine carefully the penal code, and deliberate with all about it, that your decisions may be likely to hit the proper mean and be correct;–whether it be the infliction of a punishment or a fine, examining carefully and mastering every difficulty. When the case is thus concluded, all parties will acknowledge the justice of the sentence; and when it is reported, the sovereign will do the same. In sending up reports of cases, they must be full and complete. If a man have been tried on two counts, his two punishments (must be recorded).'
6. The king said, 'Oh! let there be a feeling of reverence. Ye judges and princes, of the same surname with me, and of other surnames, (know all) that I speak in much fear. I think with reverence of the subject of punishment, for the end of it is to promote virtue. Now Heaven, wishing to help the people, has made us its representatives here below. Be intelligent and pure in hearing (each) side of a case. The right ordering of the people depends on the impartial hearing of the pleas on both sides;–do not seek for private advantage to yourselves by means of those pleas. Gain (so) got by the decision of cases is no precious acquisition; it is an accumulation of guilt, and will be recompensed with many judgments:–you should ever stand in awe of the punishment of Heaven. It is not Heaven that does not deal impartially with men, but men ruin themselves. If the punishment of Heaven were not so extreme, nowhere under the sky would the people have good government.'
7. The king said, 'Oh! ye who shall hereafter inherit (the dignities and offices of) the present time, to whom are ye to look for your models? Must it not be to those who promoted the virtue belonging to the unbiassed nature of the people? I pray you give attention to my words. The wise men (of antiquity) by their use of punishments obtained boundless fame. Everything relating to the five punishments exactly hit with them the due mean, and hence came their excellence. Receiving from your sovereigns the good multitudes, behold in the case of those men punishments made felicitous!'
THE king to whom this charge is ascribed was Phing (B.C. 770-719). Between him and Mû there was thus a period of fully two centuries. The time was occupied by seven reigns, the last of which was that of Nieh, known as king Yû, a worthless ruler, and besotted in his attachment to a female favourite, called Pâo-sze. For her sake he degraded his queen, and sent their son, Î-khiû, to the court of the lord of Shan, her father, 'to learn good manners.' The lord of Shan called in the assistance of some barbarian tribes, by which the capital was sacked, and the king slain; and with him ended the sway of 'the Western Kâu.' Several of the feudal princes went to the assistance of the royal House, drove away the barbarians, brought back Î-khiû from Shǎn, and hailed him as king. He is known as king Phing, 'the Tranquillizer,' His first measure was to transfer the capital from the ruins of Hâo to Lo, thus fulfilling at length, but under disastrous circumstances, the wishes of the duke of Kâu; and from this time (B.C. 770) dates the history of 'the Eastern Kâu.'
Among king Phing's early measures was the rewarding the feudal lords to whom he owed his throne. The marquis of Kin was one of them. His name was Khiû, and that of Î-ho, by which he is called in the text, is taken as his 'style,' or, designation assumed by him on his marriage. Wǎn, 'the Accomplished,' was his sacrificial title. The lords of Kin were descended from king Wû's son, Yü, who was appointed marquis of Thang, corresponding to the present department of Thâi-yüan, in Shan-hsî. The name of Thang was afterwards changed into Kin. The state became in course of time one of the largest and most powerful in the kingdom.
1. The king spoke to the following effect:–Uncle Î-ho, how illustrious were Wǎn 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 Wǎn. 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 Wǎn 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.'
THE Speech at Pî is attributed to Po-khin, the son of the duke of Kâu; Po-khin presided over his state of Lû for the long period of fifty-three years, and died B.C. 1063. During his reign, the wild tribes on the Hwâi river and in other parts of the province of Hsü rose up together against him, and he made this speech.
The duke said, 'Ah! ye men, make no noise, but listen to my commands. We are going (to punish) those wild tribes of the Hwâi and of Hsü which have risen up together.
'Have in good repair your buff coats and helmets; have the laces of your shields well secured;–presume not to have any of them but in perfect order. Prepare your bows and arrows; temper your lances and spears; sharpen your pointed and edged weapons;–presume not to have any of them but in good condition.
'We must now largely let the oxen and horses loose, and not keep them in enclosures;–(ye people), do you close your traps and fill up your pitfalls, and do not presume to injure any of the animals (so let loose). If any of them be injured, you shall be dealt with according to the regular punishments.
'When the horses or cattle are seeking one another, or when your followers, male or female, abscond, presume not to leave the ranks to pursue them. But let them be carefully returned. I will reward you (among the people) who return them according to their value. But if you leave your places to pursue them, or if you who find them do not restore them, you shall be dealt with according to the regular punishments.
'And let none of you presume to commit any robbery or detain any creature that comes in your way, to jump over enclosures and walls to steal (people's) horses or oxen, or to decoy away their servants or female attendants. If you do so, you shall be dealt with according to the regular punishments.
'On the day Kiâ hsü, I will take action against the hordes of Hsü –prepare the roasted grain and other provisions, and presume not to have any deficiency. If you have, you shall suffer the severest punishment. Ye men, of Lû from the three environing territories and the three tracts beyond
35, be ready with your posts and planks. On Kiâ hsü I will commence my intrenchments;–dare not but be provided with a supply of these. (If you be not so provided), you shall be subjected to various punishments, short only of death. Ye men of Lû from the three environing territories and the three tracts beyond, be ready with the forage, and do not dare to let it be other than abundant. (If you do), you shall suffer the severest punishment.'
Outside the capital city was an environing territory called the Kiâo, and beyond the Kiâo was the Sui. The Kiâo of the royal domain was divided again into six Hsiang, which furnished the six royal hosts, while the Sui beyond furnished subsidiary hosts. The Kiâo and Sui of a large state furnished three hosts, and if need were, subsidiary battalions.
THE state of Khin, at the time to which this speech belongs, was one of the most powerful in the kingdom, and already giving promise of what it would grow to. Ultimately, one of its princes overthrew the dynasty of Kâu, and brought feudal China to an end.
Khin and Kin were engaged together in B.C. 631 in besieging the capital of Kǎng, and threatened to extinguish that state. The marquis of Kin, however, was suddenly induced to withdraw his troops, leaving three of his officers in friendly relations with the court of Kǎng, and under engagement to defend the state from aggression. These men played the part of spies in the interest of Khin, and in B.C. 629, one of them, called Khî-ɜze, sent word that he was in charge of one of the gates, and if an army were sent to surprise the capital, Kǎng might be added to the territories of Khin. The marquis–known in history as duke Mû–laid the matter before his counsellors. The most experienced of them–Pâi-lî Hsi and Khien-shû were against taking advantage of the proposed treachery; but the marquis listened rather to the promptings of ambition; and the next year he sent a large force, under his three ablest commanders, hoping to find Kǎng unprepared for any resistance. The attempt, however, failed; and the army, on its way back to Khin, was attacked by the forces of Kin, and sustained a terrible defeat. It was nearly annihilated, and the three commanders were taken prisoners.
The marquis of Kin was intending to put these captives to death, but finally sent them to Khin, that duke Mû might himself sacrifice them to his anger for their want of success. Mû, however, did no such thing. He went from his capital to meet the disgraced generals, and comforted them, saying that the blame of their defeat was due to himself, who had refused to listen to the advice of his wise counsellors. Then also, it is said, he made the speech here preserved for the benefit of all his ministers, describing the good and bad minister, and the different issues of listening to them, and deploring how he had himself foolishly rejected the advice of his aged counsellors, and followed that of new men;–a thing which he would never do again.
The duke said, 'Ah! my officers, listen to me without noise. I solemnly announce to you the most important of all sayings. (It is this which) the ancients have said, "Thus it is with all people,–they mostly love their ease. In reproving others there is no difficulty, but to receive reproof, and allow it to have free course,–this is difficult." The sorrow of my heart is, that the days and months have passed away, and it is not likely they will come again, (so that I might pursue a different course.)
'There were my old counsellors.—I said, "They will not accommodate themselves to me," and I hated them. There were my new counsellors, and I would for the time give my confidence to them. So indeed it was with me; but hereafter I will take advice from the men of yellow hair, and then I shall be free from error. That good old officer!—his strength is exhausted, but I would rather have him (as my counsellor). That dashing brave officer!–his shooting and charioteering are faultless, but I would rather not wish to have him. As to men of quibbles, skilful at cunning words, and able to make the good man change his purposes, what have I to do to make much use of them?
'I have deeply thought and concluded.–Let me have but one resolute minister, plain and sincere, without other ability, but having a straightforward mind, and possessed of generosity, regarding the talents of others as if he himself possessed them; and when he finds accomplished and sage men, loving them in his heart more than his mouth expresses, really showing himself able to bear them:–such a minister would be able to preserve my descendants and people, and would indeed be a giver of benefits.
'But if (the minister), when he finds men of ability, be jealous and hates them; if, when he finds accomplished and sage men, he oppose them and does not allow their advancement, showing himself really not able to bear them:–such a man will not be able to protect my descendants and people; and will he not be a dangerous man?
'The decline and fall of a state may arise from one man. The glory and tranquillity of a state may also arise from the goodness of one man.'
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