The Book of Thang
THE SHÛ KING
Translated by James Legge with some alterations
Ch 1: The Book of Thang
[In thins chapter, the outhor recorded how the Origin of Chinese Calendar, King Yao commanded Shis and Hos to observe the heavens
2. He commanded the Ssîs 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-kiâo, 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 Mâo;--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 King 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.'