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Selections of Zuo Zhuan by Brother Andrew Thornton

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  1. 1 Preface
  2. 2 Duke Yin, 1st Year, 721 B.C.
  3. 3 Duke Yin, 4th year, 716 B.C.
  4. 4 Duke Yin, 5th year, 717 B.C.
  5. 5 Duke Huan, 2nd year, 709 B.C.
  6. 6 Duke Zhuang, 10th Year, 683 B.C.
  7. 7 Duke Zhuang, 22nd Year, 671 B.C.
  8. 8 Duke Zhuang, year 32, 661 B.C.
  9. 9 Duke Min, 1st Year, 660 B.C.
  10. 10 Duke Min, 2nd Year, 659 B.C.
  11. 11 Duke Xi, 4th Year, 655 B.C.
  12. 12 Duke Xi, 7th Year, 652 B.C.
  13. 13 Duke Xi, year 7, 652 B.C.
  14. 14 Duke Xi, 12th Year, 647 B.C.
  15. 15 Duke Xi, 15th Year, 644 B.C.
  16. 16 Duke Xi, year 17, 642 B.C.
  17. 17 Duke Xi, year 19, 640 B.C.
  18. 18 Duke Xi, 25th Year, 634 B.C.
  19. 19 Duke Xi, year 25, 634 B.C.
  20. 20 Duke Xi, 27th Year, 632 B.C.
  21. 21 Duke Xi, year 30, 629 B.C.
  22. 22 Duke Wen, 2nd year, 624 B.C.
  23. 23 Duke Wen, year 13, 613 B.C.
  24. 24 Duke Wen, year 17, 609 B.C.
  25. 25 Duke Wen, year 18, 608 B.C .
  26. 26 Duke Xuan, 3rd year, 605 B.C.
  27. 27 Duke Xuan, 12th Year, 596 B.C.
  28. 28 Duke Zheng, 2nd year, 588 B.C.
  29. 29 Duke Cheng, year 9, 581 B.C.
  30. 30 Duke Cheng, year 13, 577 B.C.
  31. 31 Duke Xiang, year 9, 563 B.C.
  32. 32 Duke Xiang, 9th Year—563 B.C.
  33. 33 Duke Xiang 16th Year—558 B.C.
  34. 34 Duke Xiang, 25th Year, 547 B.C.
  35. 35 Duke Xiang, 26th Year, 546 B.C.
  36. 36 Duke Xiang, year 30, 542 B.C.
  37. 37 Duke Xiang, 30th Year, 542 B.C.
  38. 38 Duke Xiang, 31st Year, 541 B.C.
  39. 39 Duke Xiang, year 31, 541 B.C.
  40. 40 Duke Zhao, 1st year, 540 B.C.
  41. 41 Duke Zhao, 4th year, 537 B.C.
  42. 42 Duke Zhao, 5th Year, 536 B.C.
  43. 43 Duke Zhao, 5th year, 536 B.C.
  44. 44 Duke Zhao, 6th year, 535 B.C.
  45. 45 Duke Zhao, year 7, 534 B.C.
  46. 46 Duke Zhao, year 7, 534 B.C.
  47. 47 Duke Zhao, 7th Year, 534 B.C.
  48. 48 Duke Zhao, year 8, 533 B.C.
  49. 49 Duke Zhao, year 10, 531 B.C.
  50. 50 Duke Zhao, year 11, 530 B.C.
  51. 51 Duke Zhao, year 11, 530 B.C.
  52. 52 Duke Zhao, 12th Year, 529 B.C.
  53. 53 Duke Zhao, 14th Year, 527 B.C.
  54. 54 Duke Zhao, 16th year, 525 B.C.
  55. 55 A ring of jade
  56. 56 Policy indicated by the Odes
  57. 57 Duke Zhao, 18th Year, 523 B.C.
  58. 58 Duke Zhao, 20th Year, 521 B.C.
  59. 59 Duke Zhao, 20th Year, 521 B.C.
  60. 60 Genuine harmony is like soup
  61. 61 Duke Zhao, year 25, 516 B.C.
  62. 62 Duke Zhao, 25th Year, 516 B.C.
  63. 63 Duke Zhao, year 26, 515 B.C.
  64. 64 Duke Zhao, year 26, 515 B.C.
  65. 65 Duke Ding, year 10, 499 B.C.
  66. 66 Duke Ding, year 15, 495 B.C.
  67. 67 Duke Ai, 9th Year, 487 B.C.
  68. 68 Duke Ai, 11th Year, 485 B.C.

ZUO ZHUAN (Tso Chuan)


These readings from the Zuo Zhuan were translated by James Legge in The Chinese Classics, vol. 5 (reprinted by Hong Kong University Press, 1960). They were selected and entered by Brother Andrew Thornton, O.S.B., Saint Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire.

Some narratives were included because they show court functionaries educating their rulers (or trying to) in the virtues of REN (humaneness) and LI (propriety/ceremonial conduct founded upon the example of the ancient sage rulers), both virtues being indispensable for realizing HE (genuine harmony in political and personal conduct). Other passages present memorable examples of wise and reasonable conduct or wily techniques for survival. Still others show people consulting the Yi Jing; the consulter is often advised that divination and omens cannot substitute for DE, the strength of character whereby someone acts rightly and in line with heaven and the Spirits and so becomes attractive (lit. "bright") to people. Several accounts were included because they show officials quoting from the ancient SHI, the Odes, to negotiate, to remonstrate, and to show their erudition. Finally, some narratives were included simply because they are good stories.

Many narratives from the Zuo Zhuan, a few of which are included here, were translated by Burton Watson in his: The Tso Chuan: Selections From China’s Oldest Narrative History (New York: Columbia U. Press, 1989). His selection "is designed for persons who do not feel inclined to work their way through the entire text but wish to familiarize themselves with its most famous and influential narratives and get some sense of its style and principal idea. I have naturally attempted to select passages that form a more or less complete entity or deal with a single train of events, such as a military campaign or a political revolution" (p. xxxv).

Legge’s romanization of Chinese proper names has been turned into pinyin. Some small changes in punctuation and (in a very few places) vocabulary have also been made. Citations from the Odes are identified by their Mao number, which can be used to find the ode in the editions by Legge and Arthur Waley (The Book of Songs, Grove Press 1960 [1st ed. 1937]).

The text is in the public domain and may be freely used. Comments, corrections, and suggestions for further inclusions may be directed to Brother Andrew at this address:

last updated: January 12, 2007

Duke Yin, 1st Year, 721 B.C.

(Legge, p. 1, col. 15 & & p. 5, col. 2)

Mother and Son: alienation and reconciliation

Duke Wu of Zheng married a woman of the house of Shen, called Wu Jiang, who bore two sons, duke Zhuang and his brother Duan of Gong. Duke Zhuang was born as she was waking from sleep, which frightened the lady so that she named him Wu Sheng [born in waking]. She hated him, while she loved Duan and wished him to be declared his father’s heir. Often did she ask this of duke Wu, but he refused it.

When duke Zhuang came to the earldom, she begged him to confer on Duan the city of Zhi. "It is too dangerous a place," was the reply. "The younger of Guo died there, but in regard to any other place, you may command me." She then requested Jing, and there Duan took up his residence and came to be styled Tai Shu [the Great Younger] of Jing city.

Zhong of Ji said to the duke, "Any metropolitan city, whose wall is more than 3,000 cubits round, is dangerous to the state. According to the regulations of the former kings, such a city of the first order can have its wall only a third as long as that of the capital; one of the second order, only a fifth as long; and one of the least order, only a ninth. Now Jing is not in accordance with these measures and regulations. As ruler, you will not be able to endure Duan in such a place." The duke replied, "It was our mother's wish. How could I avoid the danger?" "The lady Jiang," returned the officer, "is not to be satisfied. You had better take the necessary precautions and not allow the danger to grow so great that it will be difficult to deal with it. Even grass, when it has grown and spread all about, cannot be removed. How much less the brother of yourself, and the favored brother as well!" The duke said, "By his many deeds of unrighteousness he will bring destruction on himself. Just wait a while."

After this Tai Shu ordered the places on the western and northern borders of the state to render to himself the same allegiance as they did to the earl. Then Gong Zi Lü said to the duke, "A state cannot sustain the burden of two services. What will you do now? If you wish to give Zheng to Tai Shu, allow me to serve him as a subject. If you do not mean to give it to him, allow me to put him out of the way, so that the minds of the people be not perplexed." "There is no need," the duke replied, "for such a step. His calamity will come of itself."

Tai Shu went on to take as his own the places from which he had required their divided contributions, as far as Lin Yan. Zi Feng [i.e., Gong Zi Lü] said, "Now is the time. With these enlarged resources, he will draw all the people to himself." The duke replied, "They will not cleave to him, so unrighteous as he is. Through his prosperity he will fall the more."

Tai Shu worked at his defences, gathered the people about him, put in order buff-coats and weapons, prepared footmen and chariots, intending to surprise Zheng, while his mother was to open to him from within. The duke heard the time agreed on between them and said, "Now we can act." So he ordered Zi Feng, with 200 chariots to attack Jing. Jing revolted from Tai Shu, who then entered Yan, which the duke himself proceeded to attack. In the fifth month, on the day Xin Chou, Tai Shu fled from it to Gong.

In the words of the text [of the Chun Qiu]: "The earl of Zheng overcame Duan in Yan," Duan is not called the earl’s younger brother, because he did not show himself to be such. They were as two hostile princes, and therefore we have the word "overcame." The duke is styled the earl of Zheng simply to condemn him for his failure to instruct his brother properly. Duan’s flight is not mentioned, because it was difficult to do so, having in mind Zheng’s wish [that Duan might be killed].

Immediately after these events, Duke Zhuang placed his mother Jiang in Xing Ying and swore an oath, saying, "I will not see you again, till I have reached the yellow spring [i.e., till I am dead, and under the yellow earth]." But he repented of this. Some time later Ying Kao Shu, the border-warden of the valley of Ying, heard of it and presented an offering to the duke, who caused food to be placed before him. Kao Shu put a piece of meat on one side, and when the duke asked the reason, he said, "I have a mother who always shares in what I eat. But she has not eaten of this meat which you, my ruler, have given, and I beg to be allowed to leave this piece for her." The duke said, "You have a mother to give it to. Alas! I alone have none." Kao Shu asked what the duke meant, who then told him all the circumstances, and how he repented of his oath. "Why should you be distressed about that?" said the officer. "If you dig into the earth to the yellow springs and then make a subterranean passage where you can meet each other, who can say that your oath is not fulfilled?" The duke followed this suggestion, and as he entered the passage, he sang:

This great tunnel, within,
With joy doth run.
When his mother came out, she sang: This great tunnel, without,
The joy flies about.

After this they were mother and son as before.

A superior man may say, "Ying Kao Shu was filial indeed. His love for his mother passed over to and affected Duke Zhuang. Was there not here an illustration of what is said in the Book of Poetry:

A filial son of piety unfailing
There shall for ever be conferred blessing on you.

Duke Yin, 4th year, 716 B.C.

(Legge p. 15, col. 9 & p. 16, par. 6)

Shi Que has his own son put to death

Zhou Yu, finding himself unable to attach the people to himself, [Shi Que's son] Hou asked his father how to establish the prince [in the State]. Shi said, "It may be done by his going and having an audience of the king."

"But how can this audience be obtained?"

"Duke Huan of Chen," replied the father, "is now in favor with the king, and Chen and Wei are on friendly terms. If the [marquis] go to the court of Chen and get the duke to ask an audience for him, it may be got."

At this, Hou went with Zhou Yu to Chen, but Shi Que sent information to Chen, saying, "The State of Wei is narrow and small, and I am aged and can do nothing. These two men are the real murderers of my prince, and I venture [to ask] that you will instantly take the [proper] measures with them."

The people of Chen made them prisoners and requested Wei to send and manage the rest. In the ninth month, the people of Wei sent Chou, the Superintendent of the Right, who put Zhou Yu to death at Pu, and Shi Que sent his steward, Nao Yang Jian, who put Shi Hou to death in [the capital] of Chen.

A superior man may say, "Shi Que was a minister without blemish. He hated Zhou Yu, with whom [his own son] Hou was art and part. And did he not thus afford an illustration of the saying that great righteousness is supreme over the affections?"

Duke Yin, 5th year, 717 B.C.

(Legge p. 17, col. 1, & p. 18)

The ruler should not be concerned with how to catch fish.

[The Chun Qiu has: In his fifth year, in spring, the duke went to see the fishermen at Tang.]

The duke was about to go to Tang to see the fishermen; Zang Xi Bo remonstrated with him, saying: "All [pursuit] of creatures in which the great affairs [of the state] are not illustrated, and when they do not supply materials available for use in its various requirements, the ruler does not engage in. Into the idea of a ruler it enters that he lead and help the people on to what should be observed and all the ramifications thereof. Hence the practice of exercises in measure-ment of the degrees of what should be observed is called fixing the rule, and the obtaining of materials supplied thereby for the ornament of the various requirements [of the state] is [the guiding principle] to show what creatures should be pursued. Where there are not such measurement and no such materials, the government is one of disorder, and the frequent indulgence in a government of dis-order is the way to ruin.

"In accordance with this, there are the spring hunting, the summer hunting, the autumn hunting, and the winter hunting, all in the intervals of husbandry, for the illustration of [one great] business [of states]. Then every three years, there is the [grand] military review. When it is over, the troops are all led back, and their return is announced by the cup of spirits in the temple--all to take reckoning of the accoutrements and spoils, to display the various blazonry, to exhibit the noble and the mean, to distinguish the observance of order and ranks, to show the proper difference between the young and the old, to practice the various observances of discipline.

"Now when the birds and beasts are such that their flesh is not presented in the sacrificial vessels, and their skins, hides, teeth, bones, horns, feathers, and hair are not used in the furniture of the state, it was the ancient rule that our dukes should not shoot them. With the creatures found in the mountains, forests, streams and marshes, with the materials for ordinary articles of use, with the business of underlings, and with the charge of inferior officers--with all these the ruler has nothing to do."

The duke said: "I will walk over the country," and so he went, had the fishermen drawn up in order, and looked at their operations. Xi Bo gave out that he was ill and did not accompany him. The text, "The duke reviewed a display of the fishermen at Tang," intimates the impropriety [Fei Li] of the affair and tells moreover how far off the place was.

Duke Huan, 2nd year, 709 B.C.

(Legge p. 37, col. 15, & 40)

Virtue is displayed by the customary signs, not by ill-gotten gain.

[The Chun Qiu has: In summer, in the fourth month, the duke brought the tripod of Gao from Song, and on the day mo-shin deposited it in the Grand Temple.]

This act of the duke was not proper, and Cang Ai Bo remonstrated with him, saying: "He who is a ruler of men makes it his object to illustrate his virtue and to repress in others what is wrong, that he may shed an enlightening influence on his officers. He is still afraid lest in any way he should fail to accomplish these things, and moreover he seeks to display excellent virtue for the benefit of his posterity. Thus it is that his ancestral temple has a roof of thatch; the mats in his grand chariot are only of grass; the grand soups [as used in sacrifice] are without condiments; the millets are not finely cleaned--all these are illustrations of his thrift. His robe, cap, knee-covers, and mace; his girdle, lower robe, buskins, and shoes; the cross-piece of his cap, its stopper pendants, its fastening strings, and its crown--all these illustrate his observance of the statutory measures. His gem-mats and his scabbard, with its ornaments above and below; his belt, with its descending ends; the streamers of his flags and the ornaments at his horses' breasts--these illustrate his attention to the regular degrees of rank. The flames, the dragons, the axes, and the symbol of distinction represented on his robes--these illustrate the elegance of his taste. The five colors laid on in accordance with the appearances of nature--these illustrate with what propriety his articles are made. The bells on his horses' foreheads and bits, and those on his carriage pole and on his flags--these illustrate his knowledge of sounds. The sun, moon and stars represented on his flags--these illustrate the brightness of his intelligence.

"Now when thus virtuously thrifty and observant of the statutes, attentive to the degrees of high and low; his character stamped on his elegant robes and his carriage; sounded forth also and brightly displayed--when thus he presents himself for the enlightenment of his offers, they are struck with awe and do not dare to depart from the rules and laws.

"But now you are extinguishing your virtue and have given your support to a man altogether bad. You have placed moreover the bribe received from him in the grand temple, to exhibit it to your officers. If your officers copy your example, on what ground can you punish them? The ruin of states and clans takes its rise from the corruption of the officers. Officers lose their virtue when the fondness for bribes on the part of their ruler is displayed to them. And here is the tripod of Gao in your temple, so that this could not be more plainly displayed! When king Wu had subdued Shang, he removed the nine tripods to the city of Luo, and the righteous men, it would appear, condemned him for it. But what can be said when this bribe is seen in the grand temple, this bribe of wickedness and disorder?"

The duke did not listen to the remonstrance, but when Zhou's historiographer of the interior heard of it, he said, "Cang Sun Da shall have posterity in Lu! His prince was doing wrong, and he negleted not to administer to him virtuous reproof."

Duke Zhuang, 10th Year, 683 B.C.

(Legge, p. 85, col. 1 & p. 86, col. 1)

Victory depends on the loyalty of the troops and on the prudent strategy of commanders.

In his tenth year, in spring, the army of Qi invaded our state, and the duke was about to fight, when one Cao Gui requested to be introduced to him. One of Gui's fellow villagers said to him, "The flesh-eaters are planning for the occasion. What have you to do to intermeddle?" He replied, "The flesh-eaters are poor creatures and cannot form any far-reaching plans."

So he entered and was introduced. He asked the duke what encouragement he had to fight. The duke said, "Clothes and food minister to my repose, but I do not dare to monopolize them. I make it a point to share them with others." "That," replied Gui, "is but small kindness and does not reach to all. The people will not follow you for that." The duke said, "In the victims, the gems, and the silks, used in sacrifice, I do not dare to go beyond the appointed rules. I make it a point to be sincere." "That is but small sincerity; it is not perfect. The spirits will not bless you for that." The duke said again, "In all matters of legal process, whether small or great, although I may not be able to search them out thoroughly, I make it a point to decide according to the real circumstances." "That," answered Gui, "bespeaks a loyal-heartedness. You may venture one battle on that. When you fight, I beg to be allowed to attend you." The duke took him with him in his chariot.

The battle was fought in Chang Shao. The duke was about to order the drums to beat an advance, when Gui said, "Not yet." And after the men of Qi had advanced three times with their drums beating, he said, "Now is the time." The army of Qi received a severe defeat, but when the duke was about to dash after them, Gui again said, "Not yet." He then got down and examined the tracks left by their chariot wheels, remounted, got on the front-bar, and looked after the flying enemy. After this he said, "Pursue," which the duke did.

When the victory had been secured, the duke asked Gui the reasons of what he had done. "In fighting," was the reply, "all depends on the courageous spirit. When the drums first beat, that excites the spirit. A second advance occasions a diminution of the spirit, and with a third, it is exhausted. With our spirit at the highest pitch, we fell on them with their spirit exhausted, and so we conquered them. But it is difficult to fathom a great state. I was afraid there might be an ambush. I looked therefore at the traces of their wheels and found them all confused; I looked after their flags, and they were drooping. Then I gave the order to pursue them."

Duke Zhuang, 22nd Year, 671 B.C.

(Legge, p. 102, col. 8 & p. 103, col. 2)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

Duke Li of Chen was the son of a daughter of the house of Cai. In consequence, the people of Cai put to death Wu Fu and raised him [ i.e., Li] to the marquisate. He begat Jing Zhong, during whose boyhood there came one of the historiographers of Zhou to see the marquis of Chen, having with him the Zhou Yi. The marquis made him consult it by the milfoil [on the future of the boy], when he found the diagram Guan, and then by the change of manipulation, the diagram Pi.

"Here," he said, "is the deliverance: ‘We behold the light of the state. This is auspicious for one to be the king’s guest.’ [cf. the Yi on the 4th line of the diagram Guan]. Shall this boy in his generation possess the state of Chen? Or if he do not possess this state, does it mean that he shall possess another? Or is the thing foretold not of his own person but of his descendants? The light is far off, and its brightness appears reflected from something else. Kun [lower trigram of Guan] represents the earth; Xun [upper trigram of Guan], wind; Qian [top trigram of Pi], heaven. Xun becoming Qian over earth [as in the diagram Pi] represents mountains. [Thus this boy] has all the treasures of mountains, and is shone on by the light of heaven. He will dwell above the earth. Hence it is said, ‘We behold the light of the state. This is auspicious for him to be the king’s guest.’ A king’s guest fills the royal courtyard with the display of all the productions [of his state], and the offerings of gems and silks, all excellent things of heaven and earth. Hence it is said: ‘It is auspicious for him to be the king’s guest.’ But there is still that word, ‘Behold,’ and therefore I say the thing perhaps is to be hereafter. And the wind moves and appears upon the earth. Therefore I say it is to be perhaps in another state. If it be in another state, it must be in that of the Jiang, for the Jiang are the descendants of the Grand Mountain [Yao’s chief minister]. But the mountains stand up as it were the mates of heaven. There cannot be two things equally great. As Chen decays, this boy will flourish."

When Qin received its first great blow [in 533 B.C.], Chen Huan [the representative of the Gongzi Huan in the 5th generation] had begun to be great in Qi. When it finally perished [in 477 B.C.], the officer Cheng was directing the government of the state.

Duke Zhuang, year 32, 661 B.C.

Legge p. 119, col. 4, & p. 120

When disaster is immanent, the ruler listens to spirits.

In autumn, in the seventh month, there was the descent of a spirit in Xin [Xin belonged to Guo]. King Hui asked Guo, the historiographer of the interior, the reason for it, and he replied:

"When a state is about to flourish, intellient spirits descend into it, to survey its virtue. When it is going to perish, spirits also descend into it, to behold its wickedness. Thus there have been instances of states flourishing from spirits appearing, and also of states perishing. Cases in point might be adduced from the dynasties of Yu, Xia, Shang, and Zhou."

The king then asked what should be done in the case of this spirit, and Guo replied: "Present to it its own proper offerings, which are those proper to the day on which it came." The king acted accordingly, and the historiographer went [to Guo and presented the offerings]. There he heard that [the duke of] Guo had been requesting the favor [of enlarged territory] from the spirit, and on his return, he said, "Guo is sure to perish. The duke is oppressive and listens to spirits."

The spirit stayed in Xin six months, when the duke of Guo caused the prayer-master Ying, the superintendent of the ancestral temple Qiu, and the historiographer Yin to sacrifice to the spirit, and the spirit [promised] to give him territory. The historiographer Yin said, "Ah! Guo will perish. I have heard that, when a state is about to flourish, [its ruler] listens to the people; when it is about to perish, he listens to spirits. The spirits are intelligent, correct, and impartial. How they act depends on human beings. The coldness of Guo's virtue [DE] extends to many things. How can any increase of territory be obtained."

Duke Min, 1st Year, 660 B.C.

(Legge, p. 124, col. 9 & p. 125, col. 2)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

At an earlier period, Bi Wan had divined by the milfoil about his becoming an officer of Jin and obtained the diagram Zhun, and afterwards, by the manipulation, Bi. Xin Liau interpreted it to be lucky. "Zhun," he said, "indicates firmness, and Bi indicates entering. What could be more fortunate? He must become numerous and prosperous. Moreover, the symbol Zhen [lower trigram of Zhun] becomes that for the earth [the lower trigram of Bi]. Carriages and horses follow one another; he has feet to stand on; an elder brother’s lot; the protection of a mother, and is the attraction of the multitudes. These six indications [arising from the change of the lowest line in the diagram Zhun] will not change. United, they indicate his firmness; in their repose, they indicate his majesty. The divination is that of a duke or a marquis. Himself the descendant of a duke [Bi Wan was descended from one of the lords of Bi, but of the early history of that principality we know nothing], his posterity shall return to the original dignity."

Duke Min, 2nd Year, 659 B.C.

(Legge, p. 126, col. 10 & p. 129, col. 1)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

Just before the birth of Zheng Ji, duke Huan made the father of Chu Qiu, master of the diviners, consult the tortoise-shell, which he did, saying, "It will be a boy, whose name shall be called You. His place will be at the right of the duke, between the two altars of the land. He shall be a help to the ducal house, and when the family of Ji shall perish, Lu will not flourish."

He also consulted the milfoil about the child and obtained the diagram Da You, and then Qian. "He shall come back," said he, "to the same distinction as his father. They shall reverence him as if he were in their ruler’s place." When the boy was born, there was a figure on his hand, that of the character "you," and he was named accordingly.

Duke Xi, 4th Year, 655 B.C.

(Legge, p. 139, col. 1 & p. 141, col. 1)

It is DE, virtue, that ensures victory, not military might.

[The marquis of Qi, at the head of an allied host, has invaded Chu.]

In summer, the viscount of Chu sent Qu Wan to the army of the allies, which retired, and halted at Zhao Ling. The marquis of Qi had the armies of all the princes drawn up in array and took Qu Wan with him in the same carriage to survey them. He then said, "Is it on my unworthy account that these are here? No, but in continuation of the friendship of the princes with my predecessors. What do you think of Chu's being on the same terms of friendship with me?" Qu Wan replied, "If from your lordship's favor the altars of our land and grain may receive blessing, and you will condescend to receive our prince, this is his wish." The marquis then said, "Fighting with these multitudes, who can withstand me? What city could sustain their attack?" "If your lordship," was the reply, "by your virtue, seek the tranquillity of the states, who will dare not to submit to you? But if you depend on your strength, our state of Chu has the hill of Fang Cheng for a wall and the Han for a moat.Great as your multitudes are, you could not use them." Qu Wan made a covenant on the part of Chu with the princes.

Duke Xi, 7th Year, 652 B.C.

(Legge, p. 143, col. 12 & p. 145, col. 2)

Only DE, virtue, counts in the favor of Heaven and spirits.

[note: "Virtue" in the text translates the Chinese DE. At this time, the word's primary meaning was not "morally upright conduct." David Nivison describes the term [in his The Ways of Confucianism, p. 25-6], as "gratitude credit." He goes on to say: "The compulsion I feel to respond appropriately. . . when you do something for me or give me something is a compulsion I feel so strongly that I come to think of it not as a psychic configuration in myself, but as a psychic power emanating from you, causing me to orient myself toward you. That power is your de—your "virtue" or "moral force." . . . [The king], by his position, is able to generate this relationship between himself and others in all directions—vis-a-vis members of his family, ministers in his court, his many subjects, his enemies, the spirits above, future generations. It will come to be felt that this is what he must do if he is to be a genuine king, and that there is something terribly wrong with him if he doesn't." Note also the use of de—virtue in Duke Xi, 4th Year.]

The marquis of Jin again borrowed a way through Yu to attack Guo. Gong Zhi Qi remonstrated with the duke of Yu, saying, "Guo is the external defense of Yu. If Guo perish, Yu is sure to follow it. A way should not be opened to the greed of Jin; robbers are not to be played with. To do it once was more than enough, and will you do it a second time? The common sayings, 'The carriage and its wheel-aids [poles attached to a cart to keep it from tipping over] depend on one another,' and, 'When the lips perish, the teeth become cold,' illustrate the relation between Guo and Yu."

The duke said, "The princes of Jin and Yu are descended from the same ancestor. How should Jin injure us?" The minister replied, "Tai Bo and Yu Zhong were sons of King Tai, but because Tai Bo would not follow him against Shang, he did not inherit his state. Guo Zhong and Guo Shu were sons of King Ji and ministers of King Wan. Their merits in the service of the royal house are preserved in the repository of covenants. If Guo be extinguished by Jin, what love is it likely to show to Yu? And can Yu claim a nearer kindred to Jin than the descendants of Huan and Zhuang, that Jin should show love to it? What crime had the families descended from Huan and Zhuang been guilty of? And yet Jin destroyed them entirely, feeling that they might press on it. Its near relatives, whom it might have been expected to favor, it yet put to death, because their greatness pressed upon it. What may not Jin do to you, when there is your state to gain?"

The duke said, "My sacrificial offerings have been abundant and pure; the spirits will not forsake but will sustain me." His minister replied, "I have heard that the spirits do not accept the persons of men, but that it is virtue to which they cleave. Hence in the Books of Zhou we read, 'Great Heaven has no affections; it helps only the virtuous'[Legge, vol. 3, p. 490], and, 'It is not the millet which has the piercing fragrance; it is bright virtue' [Legge, p. 539], and again, 'People do not slight offerings, but it is virtue which is the thing accepted' [Legge, p. 347]. Thus if a ruler have not virtue, the people will not be attached to him, and the spirits will not accept his offerings. What the spirits will adhere to is a man's virtue. If Jin take Yu and then cultivate bright virtue, and therewith present fragrant offerings, will the spirits vomit them out?" The duke did not listen to him but granted the request of the messenger from Jin.

Gong Zhi Qi went away from Yu with all the circle of his family, saying, "Yu will not see the winter sacrifice. Its doom is in this expedition. Jin will not make a second attempt."

In the eighth month, on jia wu, the marquis of Jin laid siege to Shang Yang [the chief city of Guo] and asked the diviner Yan whether he should succeed in the enterprise. Yan replied that he should, and he then asked when. Yan said, "The children have a song which says,

Towards daybreak of bing,
Wei of the dragon lies hid in the conjunction of the sun and moon.
With combined energy and grand display
Are advanced the flags to capture Guo.
Grandly appears the Chun star,
And the tian zi is dim.
When huo culminates, the enterprise will be completed,
And the duke of Guo will flee.

According to this, you will succeed at the meeting of the ninth and tenth months. In the morning of ping zi, the sun will be in wei, and the moon in zi; the chun huo will be exactly in the south. This is sure to be the time."

In winter, in the twelfth month, on bing zi, the first day of the moon, Jin extinguished Guo, and Chou, the duke, fled to the capital. The army, on its return, took up its quarters in Yu, surprised the city and extinguished the state, seizing the duke and his great officer Qing Bo, whom the marquis employed to escort his daughter, Mu Ji to Qin. The marquis continued the sacrifices of Yu in Jin and presented to the king the tribute due from it. The brief language of the text [of the Spring and Autumn Chronicle] is condemnatory of Yu and expresses, besides, the ease with which Jin annexed it.

Duke Xi, year 7, 652 B.C.

(Legge p. 148, col. 10, & p.149)

One who betrays one’s father/ruler is a criminal.

[At a conference involving, among others states, Qi and Zheng, the heir to the earl of Zheng proposes to undercut his father and become subservient to the marquis of Qi.]

The marquis was about to agree to his proposal, but Guan Zhong said, "You have bound all the princes to you by your propriety and truth [LI, XIN], and will it not be improper [JIAN] to end with an opposite policy? [Here] we should have propriety in the form of no treachery between son and father, and truth in that of the son's observing [his father's] commands according to the exigency of the times. There cannot be greater criminality [JIAN] that that of him who acts contrary to these two things."

"We princes," replied the duke, "have [tried to] punish Zheng, but without success. And now when such an opportunity is presented to me, may I not take advantage of it?"

"Let your lordship," said Guan, "deal gently with the case of Zheng in kindness and add to this an instructive exposition of it, and then, when you [again] lead the princes to punish the state, it will feel that utter overthrow is immanent and will be consumed with terror. If [on the contrary] you deal with it, adopting the counsel of this criminal [JIAN], Zheng will have a case to allege and will not be afraid. Consider too that you have assembled the princes to do honor to virtue, and if at the meeting you give place to this villain, [and follow his counsel,] what will there be to show to your descendants? And further, the virtue, the punishments, the rules of propriety, and the righteousness displayed at the meetings of the princes, are recorded in every state. When record is made of the place given to such a criminal [JIAN], there will be an end of your lordship's covenants. If you do the thing and do not record it, that will show that your virtue is not complete. Let not your lordship accede to his request. Zheng is sure to accept the covenant. And for this Hua, [the earl of Zheng's] eldest son, to seek the assistance of a great state to weaken his own--he will not escape without suffering for it. The government of Zheng, moreover, is in the hands of Shu Zhan, Du Shu, and Shi Shu, those three good men. You would find no opportunity now to act against it."

[On this] the marquis of Qi declined the proffers of the prince, who in consequence of this affair was regarded as a criminal in Zheng. The earl begged from Qi the favor of a covenant.

Duke Xi, 12th Year, 647 B.C.

(Legge, p. 158, col. 1 & p. 158, par. 1)

Reverence is the chariot that conveys the state

The king by Heaven's grace sent duke Wu of Zhao and Guo, the historiographer of the interior, to confer the symbol of his rank on the marquis of Jin. He received the nephrite with an air of indifference, and Guo, on his return to the court, said to the king, "The marquis of Jin is not one who will have any successor of his own children. Your majesty conferred on him the symbol of investiture, and he received the auspicious jade with an air of indifference. Taking the lead thus in self-abandonment, is he likely to have anyone to succeed him? The rules of propriety are the stem of a State, and reverence is the chariot that conveys them along. Where there is not reverence, those rules do not have their course, and where this is the case, the distinctions of superiors and inferiors are all obscured. When this occurs, there can be no transmission of a State to after generations."

Duke Xi, 15th Year, 644 B.C.

(Legge, p.164, col. 11 & p. 167, col. 2)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

Tu Fu, the diviner, consulted the milfoil about the expedition [of the earl of Qin to invade Jin], and said, "A lucky response: cross the He; the prince’s chariots are defeated." The earl asked to have the thing more fully explained, and the diviner said, "It is very lucky. Thrice shall you defeat his troops and finally capture the marquis of Jin. The diagram found is Gu, of which it is said, ‘The thousand chariots thrice are put to flight. What then remains you catch, the one fox wight.’ That fox in Gu must be the marquis of Jin. Moreover, the inner symbol of Gu [Xun - the lower trigram] represents wind, the outer [Gen - the upper trigram] represents hills. The season of the year is now the autumn. We blow down the fruits on the hill, and we take the trees. It is plain we are to overcome. The fruit blown down and the trees taken: what can this be but defeat to Jin?"

(Legge, p. 165, col. 12 & p. 169, col. 1)

Years before this, when Duke Xian of Jin was divining by the milfoil about the marriage of his eldest daughter to [the earl of] Qin, he got the diagram Gui Mei, and then the diagram Kui. The historiographer Su interpreted the indication and said, "It is unlucky. The sentence [on the top line in Gui Mei] is, ‘The man cuts up his sheep, and there is no blood; the girl presents her basket, but there is no gift in it.’ The neighbor on the west reproaches us for our words which cannot be made good. And Gui Mei’s becoming Kui is the same as our getting no help [from the union]. For the symbol Zhen [top trigram of Gui Mei] to become Luo [top trigram of Kui] is the same as for Luo to become Zhen; we have thunder and fire: the Ying defeating the Ji. The connection between the carriage and its axle is broken; the fire burns the flags: our military expeditions will be without advantage; there is defeat in Cong Qiu. In Gui Mei’s becoming Kui we have a solitary, and an enemy against whom the bow is bent [Legge comments: See the Yi on the top line of the diagram Kui. But it seems to me of no use trying to make out any principle of reason in passages like the present.] Then the nephew follows his aunt. In six years he makes his escape; he flies back ["gui"] to his state, abandoning his wife. Next year he dies in the wild of Gao Liang."

When Duke Hui came to be in Qin, he said, "If my father had followed the interpretation of the historiographer Su, I should not have come to my present condition." Han Jian was by his side and said, "The tortoise shell gives its figures, and the milfoil its numbers. When things are produced, they have their figures; their figures go on to multiply; that multiplication goes on to numbers. Your father’s violations of virtue were almost innumerable. Although he did not follow the interpretation of the historiographer Su, how could that increase your misforture? As the ode says:

The calamities of the inferior people
Do not come down from Heaven.
Fair words and hatred behind the back:
The earnest, strong pursuit of this is from men. (Shi II, ii, ode IX. 7)

[note by Legge: In this paragraph there appears for the first time in the text the great state of Qin, which went on till it displaced the dynasty of Zhou in about four centuries from this time.] [The text of the Chun Qiu reads: In the eleventh month, on Ren Xu, the marquis of Jin and the earl of Qin fought at Han, when the marquis of Jin was taken.]

Duke Xi, year 17, 642 B.C.

(Legge, p. 170, col. 3 & 171, col. 1)

It is human beings who produce good and evil fortune.

[In Song, five stones had fallen from the sky and birds had flown backwards.]

At this time, Shu Xing, historiographer of the interior, was in Song, on a visit of friendly inquiries from Zhou, and duke Xiang asked him about these strange appearances, saying, "What are they ominous of? What good fortune or bad do they portend?" The historiographer replied, "This year there will be the deaths of many great persons of Lu. Next year Qi will be all in disorder. Your lordship will get the presidency of the states but will not continue to hold it."

When he retired, he said to some one, "The king asked me a wrong question. It is not from these developments of the Yin and Yang that good fortune and evil are produced. They are produced by men themselves. I answered as I did, because I did not venture to go against the duke's ideas."

Duke Xi, year 19, 640 B.C.

(Legge, p. 176, col. 4 & p. 177, col. 1)

It is virtue, DE, that leads to success in warfare.

The attack upon Cao was to punish it for its not submitting to Song. Zi Yu said to the duke of Song, "King Wen heard that the marquis of Cong had abandoned himself to disorder and invaded his state, but after he had been in the field for thirty days, the marquis tendered no submission. Wen therefore withdrew, and, after cultivating afresh the lessons of virtue, he again invaded Cong. Then the marquis made submission before he had quitted his entrenchments. As is said in the Shi [Mao #240],

His example acted on his wife,
Extended to his brothers,
And was felt by all the clans and states.

May it not be presumed that the virtue of your Grace is in some respects defective, and if, while it is so, you attack others, what will the result be? Why not for a time give yourself to self-examination and the cultivation of virtue? You may then proceed to move, when that is without defect."

Duke Xi, 25th Year, 634 B.C.

(Legge, p. 194, col. 3 & p. 195, col. 2)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

The earl of Qin was with an army on the He, intending to restore the king, when Hu Yan said to the marquis of Jin, "If you are seeking the adherence of the states, you can do nothing better than to show an earnest interest in the king’s behalf. The states will there by have faith in you, and you will have done an act of great righteousness. Now is the time to show again such service as was rendered by the marquis Wen and to get your fidelity proclaimed among the states."

The marquis made the master of divination, Yan, consult the tortoise-shell about the undertaking. He did so and said, "The oracle is auspicious: that of Huang Di’s battle in Fan Quan." The marquis said, "That oracle is too great for me." The diviner replied, "The rules of Zhou are not changed. The king of today is the emperor of antiquity." The marquis then said, "Try it by the milfoil." They consulted the reeds and found the diagram Da You, which then became the diagram Kui. The diviner said, "This also is auspicious. In this diagram we have the oracle: ‘A prince presents his offerings to the Son of Heaven.’ A battle and victory; the king receiving your offerings: What more fortunate response could there be? Moreover, in these diagrams, the trigram of heaven [lower trigram of Da You] becomes that of a marsh [lower trigram of Kui] lying under the sun, indicating how the Son of Heaven condescends to meet your lordship. Is not this also encouraging? If we leave the diagram Kui and come back to Da You, it also tells of success where its subject goes."

On this the marquis of Jin declined the assistance of the army of Qin and went down the He. In the third month, on Jia-Chen, he halted at Yang Fan, when the army of the right proceeded to invent Wen and that of the left to meet the king.

Duke Xi, year 25, 634 B.C.

(Legge, p. 194, col. 7 & p. 196, col. 1)

A duke is refused a burial priviledge proper to kings.

In summer, in the fourth month, on ding si, the king re-entered the royal city. Tai Shu was taken in Wen and put to death at Xi Cheng. On wu wu, the marquis of Jin had an audience with the king, who feasted him with sweet spirits and gave him gifts to increase his joy. The marquis asked that the privilege of being carried to his grave through a subterranean passage might be granted him, but the king refused, saying, "This is the distinction of us kings. Where there is not conduct to supersede the holders of the kingdom, to make oneself a second king is what you yourself, my uncle, would hate." Notwithstanding this refusal, the king conferred on Jin the lands of Yang Fan, Wen, Yuan, Zuan Mao, and Jin proceeded to occupy the district of Nan Yang. Yang Fan refused to submit, and the troops of Jin laid siege to it. Cang Ge cried out, "It is virtue by which the people of the Middle State are cherished. It is by severity that the wild tribes around are awed. It is right we should not venture to submit to you. Here are none but the king's relatives and kin. And will you make them captive?" On this the marquis allowed the people to quit the city.

Duke Xi, year 26—633 B.C. (Legge p. 197, col. 3 & p. 198, col. 2)

Harmony among the states goes back to the Zhou.

Duke Xiao of Qi invaded our northern borders. Duke Xi sent Zhan Xi to offer provisions to the invading forces, having first made him receive instructions from Zhan Qin [Xi’s father]. According, before the marquis of Qi had entered our borders, Zhan Xi followed in his track, came up with him, and said, "My prince, hearing that your lordship was on the march and condescending to come to his small city, has sent myself, his poor servant, with these presents for your officers." The marquis asked whether the people of Lu were afraid. "Small people," replied Xi, "are afraid, but the superior men are not." "Your houses," said the marquis, "are empty as a hanging musical stone, and in your fields there is no green grass. On what do they rely, that they are not afraid?" Xi answered, "They rely on the charge of a former king. Formerly the Duke of Zhou and Tai Gong were legs and arms to the House of Zhou and supported and aided King Cheng, who rewarded them and gave them a charge, saying, ‘From generation to generation let your descendants refrain from harming one another.’ It was preserved in the Repository of Charges, under the care of the Grand Master [of Zhou]. Thus it was that when Duke Huan assembled the various states, taking measures to cure the want of harmony among them, to heal their short-comings, and to relieve those who were in distress, in all this he was illustrating that ancient charge. When your lordship took his place, all the states were full of hope, saying, ‘He will carry on the meritorious work of Huan.’ On this account our poor state did not presume to protect itself by collecting its multitudes; and now we say, ‘Will he, after possessing Qi nine years, forget that ancient charge and cast aside the duty enjoined in it? What in that case would his father say?’ Your lordship surely will not do such a thing. It is on this that we rely and are not afraid." On this the marquis of Qi returned.

Duke Xi, 27th Year, 632 B.C.

(Legge p. 200 & 201)

Three episodes about intelligent ruling and training of the people.

The viscount of Chu, wishing to lay siege to the capital of Song, made Zi Wan exercise and inspect the troops for the expedition in Kuei, and at the end of a whole morning, he had not punished a single man. Zi Yu in the next place was employed to exercise the troops in Wei, and at the day's end he had scourged seven men and bored through the ears of three. The elders of the state all congratulated Zi Wan [on his recommendation of Zi Yu], when he detained them to drink with him.

Wei Jia was then still a boy, and came late, offering no congratulations. Zi Wan asked the reason for his conduct, and he replied, "I do not know on what I should congratulate you. You have resigned the government to Zi Yu, thinking, no doubt, that his appointment would quiet the state. But with quietness in the state and defeat abroad, what will be gained? The defeat of Zi Yu will be owing to your recommendation of him, and what cause for congratulation is there in a recommendation which will bring defeat to the state? Zi Yu is a violent man, and he pays no regard to the observances of propriety [LI], so that he is unfit to rule the people. If he be entrusted with the command of more than 300 chariots, he will not enter the capital again. If I congratulate you after he has returned from being entrusted with a larged command, my congratulations will not be too late."

In winter, the viscount of Chu and several other princes laid siege to the capital of Song, the duke of which sent Gong Sun Gu to Jin to report the strait in which he was. Xian Zhen said to the marquis, "Now you may recompense the favors received from Song and relieve its distress. The opportunity is now presented to acquire proper majesty and make sure of the leadership of the States." Hu Yan said, "Chu has just secured the adherence of Cao, and recently contracted a marriage with Wei. If we invade Cao and Wei, Chu will be sure to go to their help, and so Song and Qi will be delivered from it."

At this, the marquis ordered a hunting in Bei Lu and formed a third army. He then consulted about a commander-in-chief. Chao Shuai said, "Xi Hu is the man. I have heard him speak. He explains all about music and proprieties and is versed in the Books of Poetry and History. Those books are the repository of righteousness, and in music and proprieties we have the patterns of virtue, while virtue and righteousness are roots of all advantage. In the Books of Xia it is said, 'They were appointed by their speech; they were tested by their works; they received chariots and robes according to their services.' Let your lordship make trial of him." At this the marquis appointed Xi Hu to command the second army, that of the center, with Xi Zhen as his assistant. Hu Yan was made commander of the first army, but he declined in favor of Hu Mao and acted as his assistant. The marquis ordered Zhao Shuai to take the third command, but he declined in favor of Luan Zhi and Xian Zhen, at which Luan Zhi was made commander of the third army, with Xian Zhen as his assistant. Xun Lin Fu acted as charioteer for the marquis, and Wei Chou was the spearman on the right.

When the marquis of Jin got possession of the state, he taught the people for two years and then wished to employ them in war. Zi Fan said, "While the people do not know righteousness, they will not live quietly." At this, beyond the state, the marquis settled the troubles of king Xiang, and in it he studied the people's advantage till their lives were happy and cherished by them. He then wished to employ them, but Zi Fan again said, "The people do not yet know good faith and do not understand how they are to be employed." At this the marquis attacked Yuan and showed them what good faith was, so that in their bargains they sought no advantage and intelligently fulfilled all their words. "May they now be employed?" asked the marquis, but Zi Fan once more replied, "While they do not know the observances of propriety, their respectfulness is not brought out." At this the marquis made great huntings and showed them the gradations of different ranks, making special officers of degrees to adjust all the services. When the people could receive their orders without making any mistake, then he employed them, drove out the guards of Ke and relieved the siege of Song. The securing of his leadership of the states by one battle was owing to this intelligent training.

Duke Xi, year 30, 629 B.C.

(Legge p. 215, col. 15, & p. 217)

Flattery is no excuse for not observing proper form [LI] at a banquet

[The Chun Qiu has: "In winter, the king [by] Heaven's [grace] sent his chief minister, the duke of Zhou, to Lu on a mission of friendly inquiries.]

At the entertainment for him, there were the [pickled] roots of the sweet flag cut small, rice, millet, and the salt in the form of a tiger, [all set forth]. Yue declined [such an entertainment], saying, "The ruler of a state, whose civil talents make him illustrious and whose military prowess makes him an object of dread, is feasted with such a complete array of provisions, to emblem his virtues. The five savors are introduced and viands of the finest grains, with the salt in the shape of a tiger, to illustrate his services. But I am not worthy of such a feast."

Duke Wen, 2nd year, 624 B.C.

(Legge, p. 232, col. 4 & p. 234, col. 1)

The ancestral tablet of one duke was advanced to be above that of his brother and predecessor.

This was contrary to the order of sacrifice. On this, Xia Fu Fu Ji, who was then director of the ancestral temple, wished to honor duke Xi and told what he had seen, saying, "I saw the new spirit great and the old spirit small. To put the great one first and the small one after it is the natural order. And to advance him who was sage and worthy is the act of intelligence. What is according to natural order and intelligence has a principle of reason in it."

But the superior man must consider the act to have been contrary to the propriety of the ceremony. In ceremonies, everything must be in the proper natural order, and sacrifice is the great business of the state. How can it be called propriety to go contrary to the order of it? The son may have been reverend and sage, but he does not take precedence to the father, who has enjoyed the sacrifice for a long time. Thus it was that Yu did not take precedence of Guan nor Tang of Xie, nor Wen and Wu of Bu Zhu. The emperor Yi was the ancestor of the house of Song, and king Li the ancestor of that of Zheng. Notwithstanding their bad character, they keep in the temples their superior position. Thus also, in the Praise Songs of Lu [Mao #300], we have,

In spring and in autumn, without delay,
He presents his offerings without error,
To the great and sovereign God,
And to his great ancestor Hou Ji.

The superior man thus in effect says, "Here is the order of ceremony. Though Hou Ji be near in relationship, yet God takes the precedence in the sacrifice." Another ode [Mao #39] says,

I will ask for my aunts,
And then for my sister.

The superior may thus says, "here is the order of ceremony. Though sister be the nearest in relationship, yet the aunts take the precedence of her." Zhong Ni [Confucius] said, "There were three things which showed Zang Wen Zhong's want of virtue and three which showed his want of knowledge. His keeping Zhan Qin in a low position; his removing the six gates; and his making his concubines weave rush mats for sale—these showed his want of virtue. His making vain structures [cf. Analects 5.17]; his allowing a sacrifice contrary to the proper order; and his sacrificing to the Yuan Ju—these showed his want of knowledge."

Duke Wen, year 13, 613 B.C.

(Legge p. 263, col. 10 & p. 264, col. 2)

Negotiation accomplished entirely by means of Odes

In winter, the duke went to Jin, paying a court visit, and renewing his covenant with the marquis. The marquis of Wei had a meeting with the duke at Ta and begged his mediation to make peace with Jin. As he was returning, the earl of Zheng met him at Fei and begged from him a similar service. The duke accomplished the thing for them both. The earl of Zheng and he feasted at Fei, when Zi Jia (an officer of Zheng) sang the Hong Yan (Shi, II. iii. ode VII = Mao 181). Ji Wen (an officer of Lu) said, "My ruler has his share in that," and he sang the Si Yue (Shi, II. v. ode X = Mao 204). Zi Jia then sang the fourth stanza of the Zai Chi (Shi, I. iv. ode X = Mao 54), and Ji Wen responded with the fourth of the Cai Wei (Shi, II. i. ode VII = Mao 167). The earl of Zheng then bowed his thanks to the duke, and the duke returned the bow. [The sentence, "The duke accomplished…" anticipates the outcome of the interchange at the banquet. The negotiating between the two rulers is performed by subalterns entirely through citations from the Odes. Everyone understands what is being asked and what is being granted. The rulers need merely to bow to one another.]

Duke Wen, year 17, 609 B.C.

(Legge p. 277, col. 9, & p. 278)

Virtuous kindness brings gratitude; harshness brings desperation.

[The marquis of Jin suspects the smaller state of Zheng of withdrawing from submission to Jin and attaching itself to Chu. A minister of Zheng protests that this is not the case, citing in evidence Zheng's unbroken loyalty to Jin. The minister continues:]

There is a saying of the ancients: "Fearing for its head and fearing for its tail, there is little of the body left [not to fear for]." And there is another: "The deer driven to its death does not choose the [best] place to take shelter in." When a small state serves a large one, if dealt with kindly [DE], it shows the gratitude of a man; if not dealt with kindly, it acts like the stag. That runs into danger in its violent hurry, for how in its urgency should it be able to choose where to run? [The state], driven by the commands to it without limit, in the same way only knows that there is ruin before it. We will raise all our poor levies and await you at Tiao, just as you, the director of affairs, may command us. Our [former] duke Wen in his second year, in the sixth month, on ren-shen, acknowledged the court of Qi, but in his fourth year, in the second month, on ren-xu, because Qi made an incursion into Cai, he [felt obliged to] obtain terms of peace from Chu. Situated between great states, is it our fault that we must follow their violent orders? If your great state do not consider these things, we will not seek to evade the command you shall lay upon us [i.e., we will meet you in arms, if necessary].

Duke Wen, year 18, 608 B.C .

(Legge p. 279, col. 16, & p. 282)

Never harbor one who is disobedient and unfilial. Examples of the ancients.

Duke Zhi of Jiu had two sons, Bu [who should have succeeded him] and Chi Tuo [lit. Chi the younger brother], but through his love for Chi Tuo, he degraded Bu. He also did many things against all propriety in the state, and Bu, by the help of the people, proceeded to murder him. He then gathered all his valuable treasures together and came flying with them to Lu and presented them to Duke Xuan. The duke gave orders to assign him a city, saying, "It must be given to him today, but Chi Wen made the minister of crime send him beyond the borders, saying, "He must get there today." The duke asked the reason of this conduct, and Chi Wen sent Ke, the grand historiographer, with the following reply:

"A deceased great officer of our state, Cang Wen Zhong, taught Hang Fu rules to guide him in serving his ruler, and Hang Fu gives them the widest application, not daring to let them slip from his mind. Wen Zhong's words were, 'When you see a man who observes the rules of propriety in his conduct toward his ruler, behave to him as a dutiful son should do in nourishing his parents. When you see a man who transgresses those rules towards his ruler, take him off as an eagle or a hawk pursues a small bird.' The founder of our house, the duke of Zhou, in the rules which he framed for Zhou, said,

By means of the model of conduct, you can see a man's virtue.

His virtue is evidenced in his management of affairs.

From that management his merit can be measured.

His services result in the support of the people.

In the Admonitory Instruction which he made, [the duke of Zhou] said,

He who overthrows [the laws of conduct] is a villain,

and he who conceals him is his harborer.

He who filches money is a thief;

he who steals the treasures of a state is a traitor.

He who harbors the villain and he who uses

the treasurers of the traitor

is guilty of the greatest crime.

He must suffer the regular penalty, without forgiveness.

Such a case is not omitted in [the Book of] the Nine Punishments.'

"When Wang Fu viewed the whole action of Bu of Jiu, he saw nothing in him fit to be a model of conduct. Filial reverence and loyal faith are virtues of good conduct; theft and villainy, and harboring [the thief] and [accepting the gifts of] the traitor are vices of evil conduct. Now what was the pattern of filial reverence given by Bu of Jiu? The murder of his father and ruler. And his pattern of loyal faith was his stealing the treasures and jewels of the state. The man is a robber and a villain; the things he brought with him are the signs of his treachery. To protect him and accept his gifts would be to be a principal in harboring him. If we, with [the duke of Zhou's] lessons, should take such a blind course, the people would have no pattern, and, unable to take the measurement of good themselves, they would be in the midst of vices of bad conduct [XIONG DE].

"The ancient [emperor] Gao Yang had eight descendants of ability [and virtue] . . . [names omitted]. They were correct and sagely, of wide comprehension and deep, intelligent and consistent, generously good and sincere: all under heaven called them the Eight Harmonies.

"[The emperor] Gao Xin had eight descendants of ability [and virtue] . . . [names omitted]. They were loyal and reverential, respectful and admirable, all-considering and benevolent, kind and harmonious: all under heaven called them the Eight Worthies.

"Of these sixteen men, [after] ages have acknowledged the excellence and not let their names fall to the ground. But in the time of Yao, he was not able to raise them to office. When Shun, however, became Yao's minister, he raised the Eight Harmonies to office and employed them to superintend the department of the minister of the land. All matters connected with it were thus regulated, and everything was arranged in the proper season: the earth was reduced to order, and the influences of heaven operated with effect. He also raised the Eight Worthies to office and employed them to disseminate through the four quarters a knowledge of the duties belonging to the five relations of society. Fathers became just and mothers gentle; elder brothers kindly, and younger ones respectful; and sons became filial. In the empire there was order, and beyond it submission.

"The ancient emperor Hong had a descendant devoid of ability [and virtue]. He hid righteousness from himself and was a villain at heart; he delighted in the practice of the worst vices; he was shameless and vile, obstinate, stupid, and unfriendly, cultivating only the intimacy of such as himself. All the people under heaven called him Chaos.

"The emperor Shao Hao had a descendant devoid of ability [and virtue]. He sought to overthrow faith and disowned loyalty. He delighted in evil speeches and tried to make them attractive; he was a home with slanderers and employed the perverse; he readily received calumnies and sought out men's iniquities to stigmatize what was sincere. All the people under heaven called him Monster.

"[The emperor] Jun Xiu had a descendant devoid of ability [and virtue]. He would receive no instruction; he would acknowledge no good words. When told, he was obstinate; when left alone, he was stupid. He was an arrogant hater of intelligent virtue, seeking to confound the heavenly rules of society. All the people under heaven called him Block.

"Of these three men [after] ages acknow-ledged the wickedness and added to their evil names. But in the time of Yao, he was not able to put them away.

"[The officer] Jin Yun had a descendant who was devoid of ability and virtue. He was greedy of eating and drinking, craving for money and property. Ever gratifying his lusts and making a grand display, he was insatiable, rapacious in his exactions, and accumulating stores of wealth. He had no idea of calculating where he should stop and made no exceptions in favor of the orphan and the widow, felt no compassion for the poor and exhausted. All the people under heaven likened him to the three other wicked ones and called him Glutton.

"When Shun became Yao's minister, he received the nobles from the four quarters of the empire and banished these four wicked ones, Chaos, Monster, Block, and Glutton, casting them out into the four distant regions to meet the spite of the sprites and evil things. The consequence of this was that, when Yao died, all under heaven, as if they had been one man, with common consent bore Shun to be emperor, because he had raised to office those sixteen helpers and had put away the four wicked ones. Therefore the Book of Yu, in enumerating the services of Shun, says, 'He carefully set forth the beauty of the five cardinal duties, and they came to be universally observed [cf. Shu, Canon of Shun, 2; Legge, p. 31]. None were disobedient to his instructions; 'being appointed to be General Regulator, the affairs of each department were arranged according to their proper seasons' [Canon of Shun]. There was no neglect of any affair; 'having to receive the princes from the four quarters of the empire, there all were docilely submissive.' There were none wicked among them. Shun's services were shown in the case of those twenty men, and he became emperor, and now, although Hang Fu has not obtained one good man, he has put away one bad one. He has a twentieth part of the merit of Shun, and may he not perhaps escape the charge of having been disobedient?"

[Legge notes that this long vindication of his conduct by Che Sun Hang Fu is rich in "references to men and things in what we may call the prehistoric period." These references reveal what traditions were current, but "we cannot accept them as possessed of historical authority, more especially as there is an anti-confucian spirit in what is said of Yao."]

Duke Xuan, 3rd year, 605 B.C.

(Legge, p. 292, col. 3 & p. 293, par. 4)

It is not the time to inquire about the nine tripods

The viscount of Chu invaded the Rong of Lu Huan, and then went on as far as the Luo, where he reviewed his troops on the borders of Zhou. King Ding sent Wang Sun Man to him with congratulations and presents, when the viscount asked about the size and weight of the tripods. Man replied, "[The strength of the kingdom] depends on virtue [DE] and not on the tripods. Anciently, when Xia was distinguished for its virtue, the distant regions sent pictures of the [remarkable] objects in them. The nine pastors sent in the metal of their provinces, and the tripods were cast, with representations on them of those objects. All the objects were represented, and [instructions were given] of the preparations to be made in reference to them, so that the people might know the sprites and evil things. Thus the people, when they went among the rivers, marshes, hills, and forests, did not meet with the injurious things, and the hill-sprites, monstrous things, and water-sprites, did not meet with them [to do them injury]. Hereby a harmony was secured between the high and the low, and all enjoyed the blessing of Heaven. When the virtue of Jie was all-obscured, the tripods were transferred to Shang, for 600 years. Zhouw of Shang proved cruel and oppressive, and they were transferred to Zhou. When the virtue is commendable and brilliant, the tripods, though they were small, would be heavy; when it gives place to its reverse, to darkness and disorder, though they were large, they would be light. Heaven blesses intelligent virtue; on that its favor rests. King Cheng fixed the tripods in Jia Ru, and divined that the dynasty should extend through 30 reigns, over 700 years. Though the virtue of Zhou is decayed, the decree of Heaven [TIAN MING] is not yet changed. The weight of the tripods may not yet be inquired about."

Duke Xuan, 12th Year, 596 B.C.

(Legge, p. 312, col. 11 & p. 317, col. 2)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

[The leaders of the army of Jin are debating whether to cross the He and engage Chu. Part of the force, under the command of Zhizi has crossed.]

Zhuangzi of Zhi said, "This army is in great peril. The case is that indicated in the change of the diagram Shi into Lin. [On Shi] it is said, ‘A host must be led forth according to the rules of service. If these be not good, there will be evil.’ When the commanders all observe their proper harmony, the rules are good; if they oppose one another, they are not. [The change of the lower trigram of Shi into that of Lin indicates] the separation of the host producing weakness; it is the stopping up of a stream so as to form a marsh. The rules of service are turned into each one’s taking his own way. Hence the words: ‘The rules become not good.’ They are, as it were, dried up. The full stream is dried up; it is stopped and cannot have its course. Consequently evil must ensue. Lin [moreover] is the name for what does not proceed. When a commander does not follow the orders of his leader, what greater want of ongoing could there be? And it is the case we now have. If we do meet the enemy, we are sure to be defeated, and the calamity will be owning to Zhizi. Though he should now escape, yet, on his return to Jin, great evil will await him."

Duke Zheng, 2nd year, 588 B.C.

(Legge, p. 339, col. 7 & p. 344, col. 2)

Insignia and music; their importance for LI and YI

It was Zhong Shu Yu Xi, commandant of Xin Zhu, who thus came to the relief of Sun Huan Zi and secured his escape. In consequence, the people of Wei would have rewarded Yu Xi with a city, but he refused it and asked that he might be allowed to have his suspended instruments of music disposed incompletely [like those of the prince of a state] and to appear at court with the saddle girth and bridle trappings of a prince—which was granted to him.

When Zhong Ni [Confucius] heard of this, he said, "Alas! It would have been better to give him many cities. It is only peculiar articles of use and names which cannot be granted to other [than those to whom they belong]. To them a ruler has particularly to attend. It is by [the right use of] names that he secures the confidence [of the people]. It is by that confidence that he preserves the articles [distinctive of ranks]. It is in those articles that the ceremonial distinctions of rank are hid. Those ceremonial distinctions are essential to the practice of righteousness [YI]. It is righteousness which contributes to the advantage [of the state], and it is that advantage which secures the quiet of the people. Attention to these things is the condition of [good] government. If they be conceded where they ought not to be conceded, it is giving away the government to the recipients. When the government thus perishes, the state will follow it. It is not possible to prevent that from happening." [cf. Analects 13.3]

Duke Cheng, year 9, 581 B.C.

(Legge p. 369, col. 11 & p. 371, col. 1)

The virtuous and loyal musician from Chu

The marquis of Jin was surveying the arsenal, when he observed Zhong Yi and asked about him, saying, "Who is that bound there and wearing a southern cap?" The officer in charge said, "It is the Chu prisoner, whom the people of Zheng delivered to us." The marquis made them loose his bonds, called him, and spoke comfortingly to him.

The man bowed twice before him, with his head to the ground, and the marquis asked him about his family. "We are musicians," he said. "Can you play?" "Music," he said, "was the profession of my father. Dared I learn any other?" The marquis made a lute be given to him, which he began to touch to an air of the south. He was then asked about the character of the king of Chu, but he answered that that was beyond the knowledge of a small man like himself. The marquis urged him, so he replied, "When he was prince, his tutor and his guardian trained him, and in the morning he was to be seen with Ying Qi, and in the evening with Ce. I do not know anything else about him."

The duke repeated this conversation to Fan Wen Zi, who said, "That prisoner of Chu is a superior man. He told you of the office of his father, showing that he is not ashamed of his origin. He played an air of his country, showing that he has not forgotten his old associations. He spoke of his king when he was prince, showing his own freedom from mercenariness. He mentioned the two ministers by name, doing honor to your lordship. His not being ashamed of his origin shows the man's virtue; his not forgetting his old associations, his good faith; his freedom from mercenariness, his loyalty; and his honoring your lordship, his intelligence. With virtue to undertake the management of affairs, good faith to keep it, and loyalty to complete it, he is sure to be competent for the successful conduct of a great business. Why should not your lordship send him back to Chu, and make him unite Jin and Chu in bonds of peace?"

The marquis followed this counsel, treated Zhong Yi with great ceremony, and sent him back to Chu to ask that there might be peace between it and Jin.

Duke Cheng, year 13, 577 B.C.

(Legge, p. 379, col. 6 & p. 381, col. 2)

Proper conduct in the two great affairs of state: sacrifice and war

When the duke [of Lu] was going to the capital, Xuan Bo, wishing to obtain gifts [from the king], begged to be sent on beforehand. The king, however, received him [only] with the ceremonies due an envoy. Meng Xian Zi came on in attendance [on the duke], and the king considered him to be the duke's director for the visit and gave him large presents. The duke and the other princes had an audience with the king, and then followed duke Kang of Liu and duke Su of Cheng to join the marquis of Jin in the invasion of Qin.

When the viscount of Cheng received the flesh of the sacrifice at the altar of the land, his manner was not respectful. The viscount of Liu said, "I have heard that men receive at birth the exact and correct principles of Heaven and Earth, and these are what is called their appointed [nature]. There are the rules of action, propriety, righteousness, and demeanor, to establish this nature. Men of ability nourish those rules so as to secure blessing, while those devoid of ability violate them so as to bring on themselves calamity. Therefore superior men diligently attend to the rules of propriety, and men in an inferior position do their best. In regard to the rules of propriety, there is nothing like using the greatest respectfulness. In doing one's best, there is nothing like being earnestly sincere. That respectfulness consists in nourishing one's spirit [SHEN]; that earnestness, in keeping one's duties in life. The great affairs of a state are sacrifice and war. At sacrifices [in the ancestral temple], [the officers] receive the roasted flesh; in war they receive that offered at the altar of the land. These are the great ceremonies in worshipping the Spirits [SHEN]. Now the viscount of Cheng by his lazy rudeness has cast from him his proper nature. May we suppose that he will not return from this expedition?"

Duke Xiang, year 9, 563 B.C.

(Legge, p. 436, col. 1 & p. 439, col. 1)

Fire prevention preparations and Providence (TIAN DAO)

In the duke's 9th year, in spring, there was a fire in Song. Yue Xi [Zi Han] was then minister of works, and made in consequence [the following] regulations [for such an event]. He appointed the officer Bo to take charge of the streets where the fire had not reached. He was to remove small houses and plaster over large ones. He was to set forth baskets and barrows for carrying earth, provide well-ropes and buckets, prepare water jars, have things arranged according to their weight, dam the water up in places where it was collected, have earth and mud stored up, go round the walls and measure off the places where watch and ward should be kept and signalize the line of the fire. He appointed Hua Chen to have the public workmen in readiness, and to order the commandants outside the city to march their men from the borders and various stations to the place of the fire. He appointed Hua Yue to arrange that the officers of the right should be prepare for all they might be called on to do and Xiang Shu to arrange similarly for the officers of the left. He appointed Yue Chuan in the same way to prepare the various instruments of punishment. He appointed Huang Yun to give orders to the waster of the horse to bring out horses, and the chariot-master to bring out chariots, and to be prepared with buff-coats and weapons, in readiness for military guard. He appointed Xi Chu Wu to look after the records kept in the different repositories. He ordered the superintendent and officers of the harem to maintain a careful watch in the palace. The masters of the right and left were to order the headmen of the four village districts reverently to offer sacrifices. The great officer of religion was to sacrifice horses on the walls and sacrifice to Pan Geng outside the western gate.

The marquis of Jin asked Shi Ruo what was the reason of a saying which he had heard, that from the fires of Song it could be known there was a providence [TIAN DAO]. "The ancient director of fire," replied Ruo, "was sacrificed to either when the heart or the beak of the Bird culminated at sunset, to regulate the kindling or the extinguishing of the people's fires. Hence the beak is the star Chun-he, and the heart is Da-he. Now the director of fire under Tao Tang [Yao] was Bo E, who dwelt in Shang Qiu and sacrificed to Da-he, by fire regulating the seasons. Xiang Tu came after him, and hence Shang paid special regard to the star Da-he. The people of Shang, in calculating their disasters and calamities, discovered that they were sure to begin with fire, and hence came the saying about thereby knowing there was a providence [TIAN DAO]."

"Can the thing be certainly [known before-hand]?" asked the marquis, to which Ruo replied, "It depends on the ruler's course. When the disorders of a state have not evident indications, it cannot be known [beforehand] ."

Duke Xiang, 9th Year—563 B.C.

(Legge, p. 437, col. 5 & p. 439, col. 2)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

Mu Jiang died in the eastern palace [where she had been confined because of her intriguing]. When she first went into it, she consulted the milfoil and got the second line of the diagram Gen. The diviner said, "This is what remains when Gen becomes Sui. Sui is the symbol of getting out. Your ladyship will soon get out of this." She replied, "No. Of this diagram it is said in the Zhou Yi, ‘Sui indicates being great, penetrating, beneficial, firmly correct, without blame.’ Now that greatness is the lofty distinction of the person; that penetration is the assemblage of excellences; that beneficialness is the harmony of all righteousness; that firm correctness is the stem of all affairs. The person who is entirely virtuous is sufficient to take the presidency of others; admirable virtue is sufficient to secure an agreement with all propriety. Beneficialness to things is sufficient to effect a harmony of all righteousness. Firm correctness is sufficient to manage all affairs. But these things must not be in semblance merely. It is only thus that Sui could bring the assurance of blamelessness. Now I, a woman, and associated with disorder, am here in the place of inferior rank. Chargeable moreover with a want of virtue, greatness cannot be predicated of me. Not having contributed to the quiet of the state, penetration cannot be predicated of me. Having brought harm to myself by my doings, beneficialness cannot be predicated of me. Having left my proper place for a bad intrigue, firm correctness cannot be predicated of me. To one who has those four virtues the diagram Sui belongs. What have I to do with it, to whom none of them belongs? Having chosen evil, how can I be without blame? I shall die here. I shall never get out of this."

Duke Xiang 16th Year—558 B.C.

(Legge, p. 462, col. 5 & p. 466, col. 2)

When may the ruler be expelled?

The music-master Kuang being by the side of the marquis of Jin, the marquis said to him, "Have not the people of Wei done very wrong in expelling their ruler?"

Kuang replied, "Perhaps the ruler had done very wrong. A good ruler will reward the virtuous and punish the vicious; he will nourish his people as his children, overshadowing them as heaven, and supporting them as the earth. Then the people will maintain their ruler, love him as a parent, look up to him as the sun and moon, revere him as they do spiritual Beings, and stand in awe of him as of thunder. Could such a ruler be expelled? Now, the ruler is the host of the spirits and the hope of the people. If he makes the life of the people to be straightened and the spirits to want their sacrifices, then the hope of the people is cut off, and the altars are without a host. Of what use is he, and what should they do but send him away? Heaven, in giving birth to the people, appointed for them rulers to act as their superintendents and pastors, so that they should not lose their proper nature. For the rulers there are assigned their assistants to act as tutors and guardians to them, so that they should not go beyond their proper limits. Therefore the Son of Heaven has his dukes; princes of States have their high ministers; ministers have [the Heads of] their collateral families; great officers have the members of the secondary branches of their families; and the common people, mechanics, merchants, police runners, shepherds, and grooms, all have their relatives and acquaintances to aid and assist them. These stimulate and honor those [to whom they stand in such a relation], when they are good, and correct them when they do wrong. They rescue them in calamity and try to put away their errors. From the king downwards, everyone has his father, elder brothers, sons and younger brothers to supply [the defects] and watch over [the character of] his government. The historiographers make their records; the blind make their poems; the musicians recite their satires and remonstrances; the great officers admonish and instruct, and inferior officers report to these what they hear; the common people utter their complaints; the merchants [display their wares] in the market places; the hundred artificers exhibit their skilful contrivances. Hence in one of the Books of Xia [Shu III. iv. 3] it is said, '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 subject of your business." In the first month, at the beginning of spring, this was done.' It was done, lest remonstrances should not be regularly presented. Heaven's love for the people is very great. Would it allow the one man to take his will and way over them, so indulging his excessive desires and discarding the [kindly] nature of Heaven and Earth? Such a thing could not be."

Duke Xiang, 25th Year, 547 B.C.

(Legge, p. 510, col. 3 & p. 514, col. 1)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

The wife of the commandant of Tang of Qi was an elder sister of Dong Guo Yan, who was a minister of Cui Wuzi. When the commandant died, Yan drove Wuzi [to his house] to offer his condolences. Wuzi then saw Tang Jiang [the wife of the commandant] and, admiring her beauty, wished Yan to give her to him for his wife. Yan said, "Husband and wife should be of different surnames. You are descended from Duke Ding and I from Duke Huan. The thing cannot be."

Wuzi consulted the milfoil about it and got the diagram Kun, which then became the diagram Da Guo, which the diviners all said was fortunate. He showed it to Chen Wenzi, but he said, "The [symbol for] a man [in Kun] is displaced by that for wind [in Da Guo]. Wind overthrows things. The woman ought not to be married. And moreover, [upon Kun] it is said, ‘Distressed by rocks; holding to brambles; he enters his palace and does not see his wife. It is evil.’ ‘Distressed by rocks’: in vain does one attempt to go forward. ‘Holding by brambles’: that in which trust is placed wounds. ‘He enters his palace and does not see hiw wife; it is evil’: there is nowhere to turn to." Cuizi replied, "She is a widow. What does all this matter? Her former husband bore the brunt of it." So he married her.

Afterwards Duke Zhuang had an intrigue with her and constantly went to Cui’s house. [On one occasion] he took Cui’s hat and gave it to another person, and when his attendants said that he should not do so, he remarked, "Although he be not Cuizi, should he therefore be without a hat?"

Cuizi [was enraged] by these things, and because the duke took occasion [of its troubles] to invade Jin, thinking that Jin would be sure to retaliate, he wished to murder the duke in order to please that state. He did not, however, find an opportunity.

Duke Xiang, 26th Year, 546 B.C.

(Legge, p. 521, col. 8 & p. 526)

Better to reward too much than to punish too much.

[Talented men from Chu are defecting to Jin. Gui Sheng explains why.] I have heard this, that the skillful administration of a state is seen in rewarding without error and punishing without excess. If rewards be conferred beyond what is proper, there is a danger of some reaching bad men, and if punishments be inflicted in excess, there is a danger of some reaching good men. If unfortunately mistakes cannot be avoided, it is better to err in the matter of rewards than of punishments. It is better that a bad man get an advantage than that a good man be lost. If there be not good men, the state will follow them to ruin. The words of the ode are descriptive of the consequences of there being no good men:

Men there are not,
And the kingdom is sure to go to ruin. [Mao 264]

And so in one of the Books of Xia it is said, ‘Rather than put to death an innocent person, you run the risk of irregularity,’ indicating the fear that should be entertained of losing the good. In the sacrificial odes of Xia it is said:

He erred not in rewarding or punishing;
He dared not to be idle.
So was his appointment established over the states,
And his happiness was made grandly secure. [Mao 305]

It was thus that Tang obtained the blessing of Heaven. The ancient rulers of the people encouraged themselves in rewarding and stood in awe of punishing, and their compassion for the people was untiring. They rewarded in spring and summer; they punished in autumn and winter. Thus it was that when they were going to reward, they increased the number of their dishes, and in doing so they gave abundantly to their ministers. They showed us by this how they rejoiced in rewarding. But when they were going to punish, they would not take a full meal and at the same time silenced their music. They showed by this how they shrank from punishing. Early they rose and went to sleep late. Morning and evening they were occupied with the government. They showed us how anxious they were for the welfare of the people. These three things are the great points of propriety [LI] in a government, and where there is such propriety, there will be no such thing as overthrow.

Duke Xiang, year 30, 542 B.C.

(Legge, p. 553, col. 2 & p. 556, col. 2)

Wrongly placed modesty is not proper conduct [YI].

Some one called out in the grand temple of Sung. "Ah! Ah! come out, come out." A bird also sang at the altar of Bo, as if it were saying, "Ah! Ah !" On the day jia-wu there occurred a great fire in Song, when duke Zheng's eldest daughter, who had been married to the ruler of Song, died, through her waiting for the instructress of the harem. The superior man may say that Gong Ji acted like a young lady and not like a woman of years. A girl should wait for the instructress [in such a case]; a wife might act as was right in the case [YI SHI].

Duke Xiang, 30th Year, 542 B.C.

(Legge pp. 554 & 558)

A mirror for governing well.

Zi Pi of Zheng wished to resign the govern-ment of that state to Zi Chan, who declined it, saying, "The state is small and is near to [a great one]; the clans are great, and many [members of them] are favorites [with our ruler]. The government cannot be efficiently conducted." Zi Pi replied, "I will lead them all to listen [to your orders], and who will dare to come into collision with you? With your ability presiding over its administration, the state will not be small. Though it be small, you can with it serve the great state, and the state will enjoy ease." At this, Zi Chan undertook the government.

Wishing to employ the services of Bo Shi, he conferred on him a grant of towns. Zi Tai Shu said, "The state is the state of us all. Why do you make such a grant to him alone?" Zi Chan replied, "It is hard for a man not to desire such things, and when a man gets what he desires, he is excited to attend to his business and labors to compass its success. I cannot compass that; it must be done by him. And why should you grudge the towns? Where will they go?" "But what will the neighboring states think?" urged Zi Tai Shu. "When we do not oppose one another," was the reply, "but act in harmony, what will they have to blame? It is said in one of our own books, 'In order to give rest and settlement to the state, let the great families have precedence.' Let me now for the present content them and wait for that result."

After this Bo Shi became afraid and return-ed the towns, but in the end, Zi Chan gave them to him. And now that Bo You was dead, he sent the grand historiographer to Bo Shi with the commission of a minister. It was declined, and the historiographer withdrew, when Bo Shi requested that the offer might be repeated. On its being so, he again declined it, and this he did three times, when at last he accepted the tablet and went to the court to give thanks for it. All this made Zi Chan dislike the man, but he made him take the position next to himself.

Zi Chan made the central cities and border lands of the state be exactly defined and enjoined on the high and inferior officers to wear [only] their distinctive robes. The fields were all marked out by their banks and ditches. The houses and Jing [a piece of land divided, like a tic-tac-toe game, into nine sections, like the character for "well." The produce of the center section accrued to the state.] were divided into fives, responsible for one another. The great officers, who were faithful and temperate, were advanced to higher dignities, while the extravagant were punished and taken off.

Feng Quan, in prospect of a sacrifice, asked leave to go hunting, but Zi Chan refused it, saying, "It is only the ruler who uses venison. The officers use in sacrifice only the domestic animals." Zi Zhang was angry, withdrew, and got his servants ready, intending to attack Zi Chan, who thought of fleeing to Jin. Zi Pi, however, stopped him and drove out Feng Quan, who fled to Jin. Zi Chan begged his lands and villages from the duke, got Quan recalled in three years, and then restored them all to him, with the income which had accrued from them.

When the government had been in Zi Chan's hands one year, all men sang of him:

We must take our clothes and caps and hide them away.
We must count our fields by fives and own a mutual sway.
We'll gladly join with him who this Zi Chan will slay.

But in three years the song was:

'Tis Zi Chan who our children trains.
Our fields to Zi Chan owe their gains.
Did Zi Chan die, who'd take the reins?

Duke Xiang, 31st Year, 541 B.C.

(Legge pp. 561 & 565)

Wise use of subordinates' talents.

In the twelfth month, Bi Gong Wan Zi attended Duke Xiang of Wei on a visit to Chu, undertaken in compliance with the covenant of Song. As they passed by [the capital of] Ching, Yin Tuan went out to comfort them under the toils of the journey, using the ceremonies of a complimentary visit but the speeches appropriate to such a comforting visit. Wan Zi entered the city to pay a complimentary visit [in return]. Zi Yu was the internuncius. Ping Qian Zi and Zi Tai Shu met the guest. When the business was over and Wan Zi had gone out [again], he said to the marquis of Wei, "Ching observes the proprieties. This will be a blessing to it for several generations and save it, I apprehend, from any inflictions from the great states. The ode says:

Who can hold anything hot?
Must he not dip it [first] in water?

[cf Legge, p. 522; Mao #257]

The rules of propriety are to government what that dipping is to the consequences of the heat. With the dipping to take away the heat, there is no distress."

Zi Chan, in the administration of his government, selected the able and employed them. Ping Qian Zi was able to give a decision in the greatest matters. Zi Tai Shu was handsome and accomplished. Gong Sun Hui told what was doing in the states round about and could distinguish all about their great officers, their clans, surnames, order, positions, their rank whether noble or mean, their ability or the reverse, and he was also skilful in composing speeches. Pi Chen was a shilful counsellor, shilful when he concocted his plans in the open country but not so when he did so in the city.

When the state was going to have any business with other states, Zi Chan asked Zi Yu what was doing round about and caused him to compose a long speech. He then took Pi Chen in his carriage into the open country and made him consider whether the speech would suit the occasion or not. Next he told Ping Qian Zi and made him give a decision in the case. When all this was done, he put the matter into the hands of Zi Tai Shu to carry it into effect and reply to the visitors [from the other states]. In this was it was seldom that any affair went wrong. This was what Bei Gong Wan Zi meant in saying that Ching observed the proprieties.

Listening to the people.

(Legge pp. 561 & 565-6)

A man of Qing rambled into a village school and started discoursing about the conduct of the government. [In consequence] Ran Ming proposed to Zi Chan to destroy [all] village schools. But the minister said, "Why do so? If people retire morning and evening and pass their judgment on the conduct of the government, as being good or bad, I will do what they approve of, and I will alter what they condemn. They are my teachers. On what ground should we destroy [those schools]? I have heard that by loyal conduct and goodness enmity is dimished, but I have not heard that it can be prevented by acts of violence. It may indeed be hastily stayed for a while, but it continues like a stream that has been dammed up. If you make a great opening in the dam, there will be great injury done, beyond our power to relieve. The best plan is to lead the water off by a small opening [In this case] our best plan is to hear what is said and use it as a medicine."

Ran Ming said, "From this time forth I know that you are indeed equal to the administration of affairs. I acknowledge my want of ability. If you indeed do this, all Qing will be benefitted by it, and not we two or three ministers only."

When Zhong Ni [Confucius] heard of these words, he said, "Looking at the matter from this, when men say that Zi Chan was not benevolent, I do not believe it."

Duke Xiang, year 31, 541 B.C.

(Legge p. 562, col. 8 & p. 566, col. 2)

The Odes cited to point out a chief minister’s lack of dignity (wei yi).

When the marquis of Wei was in Chu, Bei Gong Wan Zi, perceiving the carriage and display of the chief minister Wei, said to the marquis, "The [pomp] of the chief minister is like that of the ruler; he must have his mind set on some other object. But though he may obtain his desire, he will not hold it to the end. The ode (She, III. iii. ode I. 1 = Mao 255) says,

All have their beginning,
But there are few that can secure the end.

The difficulty is indeed with the end. The chief minister will not escape [an evil death]." The marquis said, "How do you know it?" Wan Zi replied, "The ode (She, III. iii. ode II. 2 = Mao 256) says,

Let him be reverently careful of his digni-fied manner,
And he will be the pattern of the people.

But the chief minister has no dignified manner [such as becomes him], and the people have no pattern in him. Let him, in whom the people find no pattern, be placed above them, yet he cannot continue to the end." "Good!" said the duke. "What do you mean by a dignified manner?" The reply was, "Having majesty that inspires awe, is what we call dignity. Presenting a pattern which induces imitation is what we call manner. When a ruler has the dignified manner of a ruler, his ministers fear and love him, imitate and resemble him, so that he holds [firm] possession of his state, and his fame continues through long ages. When a minister has the dignified manner of a minister, his inferiors fear and love him, so that he can keep [sure] his office, preserve his clan, and rightly order his family. So it is with all classes downwards, and it is by this that high and low are made firm in their relations to one another. An ode of Wei (She, I. iii. ode I. 3 = Mao 26) says,

My dignified manner is mixed with ease
And cannot be made the subject of remark.

This shows that ruler and minister, high and low, father and son, elder and younger brother, at home and abroad, in great things and small, all have a dignified manner [which is proper to them]. An ode of Zhou (She, III. ii. ode III. 4 = Mao 247) says,

Your friends assisting at the service
Have done so in a dignified manner.

This shows that it is the rule for friends, in their instruction of one another, to exhibit a dignified manner. One of the books of Zhou says, ‘The great states feared his strength, and the small states cherished his virtue,’ showing the union of awe and love. An ode (She, III. i. ode VII. 7 = Mao 241) says,

Unconscious of effort,
He accorded with the example of God.

This shows the union of imitation and resemblance.

"Zhou [the last ruler of the shang dynasty] imprisoned king Wen for seven years, and then all the princes of the kingdom repaired to the place of his imprisonment, and on this Zhou became afraid, and restored him [to his state]. This may be called an instance of how [king Wen] was loved. When he invaded Cong, on his second expedition, [the lord of that state] surrendered and acknowledged his duty as a subject. All the wild tribes [also] led on one another to submit to him. These may be pro-nounced instances of the awe which he inspired. All under heaven praised his meritorious services with songs and dances, which may be pronounced an instance of their taking him as a pattern. To the present day, the actions of king Wen are acknowledged as laws, which may be pronounced an instance of his power to make men resemble himself. The secret was his dignified manner. Therefore when the superior man, occupying a high position, inspires awe, and by his beneficence produces love, and his advancing and retiring are according to rule, and all his intercourse with others affords a pattern, and his countenance and steps excite the gaze [of admiration], and the affairs he conducts serve as laws, and his virtuous actions lead to imitation, and his voice and air diffuse joy, and his movements and doings are elegant, and his words have distinctness and brilliance: —when thus he brings himself near to those below him, he is said to have a dignified man-ner."

Duke Zhao, 1st year, 540 B.C.

(Legge, 572, col. 18 & p. 580, col. 1)

Illness comes, not from spirits, but from improper conduct—two accounts.

The marquis of Jin being ill, the earl of Zheng sent Gong Sun Qiao to Jin on a complimentary visit and to inquire about the marquis' illness. Shu Xiang then asked Qiao, saying, "The diviners say that our ruler's illness is inflicted on him by [the spiritsl Shi Chen and Tai Tai, but the historiographers do not know who these are. I venture to ask you."

Zi Chan said, "Anciently, [the emperor] Gao Xin had two sons, of whom the elder was called E Bo, and the younger Shi Chen. They dwelt in Kuang Lin but could not agree, and daily carried their shields and spears against each other. The sovereign emperor (Yao) did not approve of this, and removed E Bo to Shang Qiu, to preside over the star Chen [Legge here and throughout has the star's name as "Ta-ho" = Da He]. The ancestors of Shang followed him [in Shang Qiu], and hence Chen is the star of Shang. [Yao also] removed Shi Chen to Da Xia, to preside over the star Shen [the belt of Orion]. The descendants of Tang (Yao) fol-lowed him, and in Da Xia served the dynasties of Xia and Shang. The prince at the end of their line was Tang Shu Yu. When Yi Jiang, the wife of king Wu, was pregnant with Tai Shu, she dreamt that God said to her, "I have named your son Yu, and will give Tang to him, Tang which belongs to the star Shen, where I will multiply his descendants." When the child was born, there appeared on his hand the character Yu [by which he was named accordingly]. And when king Zheng extinguished [the old House of] Tang, he invested Tai Shu with the principality; and hence Shen is the star of Jin. From this we may perceive that Shi Chen is the spirit of Shen.

"[Again], anciently, among the descendants of the emperor Jin Tian was Mei, chief of the officers of the waters, who had two sons, Yun Ge and Tai Tai. Tai Tai inherited his father's office, cleared the channels of the Fen and Tao and embanked the great marsh, so as to make the great plain habitable. The emperor commended his labors and invested him with the principality of Fen Quan. [The states of] Chen, Si, Ru, and Huang maintained sacrifices to him. But now Jin, when it took on itself the sacrifices to the Fen, extinguished them. From this we may perceive that Tai Tai is the spirit of the Fen.

"But these two spirits cannot affect your ruler's person. The spirits of the hills and streams are sacrificed to in times of flood, drought, and pestilence. The spirits of the sun, moon, and stars are sacrificed to on the unseasonable occurrence of snow, hoarfrost, wind, or rain. Your ruler's person must be suffering from something connected with his movements out of the palace and in it, his meat and drink, his griefs and pleasures. What can these spirits of the mountains and stars have to do with it?

"I have heard that the superior man [divides the day] into four periods: the morning, to hear the affairs of the government; noon, to make full inquiries about them; the evening, to consider well and complete the orders [he has resolved to issue]; and the night, for rest. By this arrangement [of his time], he attempers and dissipates the humors [of the body], so that they are not allowed to get shut up, stopped, and congested, so as to injure and reduce it. Should that take place, his mind loses its intelligence, and all his measures are pursued in a dark and confused way. But has not [your ruler] been making these four different periods of his time into one? This may have produced the illness.

"I have heard again that the ladies of the harem should not be of the same surname as the master of it. If they be, their offspring will not thrive. When their first admiration for each other [as relatives] is exhausted, they occasion one another disease. On this account the superior man hates such unions, and one of our books says, 'In buying a concubine, if you do not know her surname, consult the tortoise shell for it.' The ancients gave careful attention to the two points which I have mentioned. That husband and wife should be of different surnames is one of the greatest points of propriety; but now your ruler has in his harem four Ji's. May it not be from this [that his illness has arisen]? If it have come from the two things [I have mentioned], nothing can be done for it. If he had seldom to do with the four Ji's, he might get along. If that be not the case, disease was the necessary result."

Shu Xiang said, "Good. I had not heard of this. But both the things are so." When he went out, the internuncius Hui escorted him, and Shu Xiang asked him about the affairs of Zheng, and especially about Zi Xi. "He will not remain long," was the reply. "Unobservant of propriety, and fond of insulting others, trusting in his riches and despising his superiors, he cannot continue long."

When the marquis heard of what Zi Chan had said, he remarked that he was a superior man of vast information, and gave him large gifts.

The Zuo continues with a second narrative about the marquis' illness.

The marquis of Jin asked the help of a physician from Qin, and the earl sent a man called He to see him, who said, "The disease cannot be cured, according to the saying that when women are approached, the chamber disease becomes like insanity. It is not caused by spirits nor by food. It is that delusion which has destroyed the mind. Your good minister will [also] die; it is not the will of Heaven to preserve him." The marquis said, "May women [then] not be approached?" The physician replied, "Intercourse with them must be regulated. The ancient kings indicated by their music how all other things should be regulated. Hence there are the five regular intervals. Either slow or quick, from beginning to end, they blend in one another. Each note rests in the exact intermediate place; and when the five are thus determined, no further exercise on the instruments is permitted. Thus the superior man does not listen to music where the hands work on with licentious notes, pleasing the ears but injurious to the mind, where the rules of equable harmony are forgotten. So it is with all things. When they come to this, they should stop; if they do not do so, it produces disease. The superior man repairs to his lutes to illustrate his observance of rules, and not to delight his mind [merely].

[In the same way] there are six heavenly influences which descend and produce the five tastes, go forth in the five colors, and are verified in the five notes; but when they are in excess, they produce the six diseases. Those six influences are denominated the yin, the yang, wind, rain, obscurity, and brightness. In their separation, they form the four seasons; in their order, they form the five [elementary] terms. When any of them is in excess, there ensues calamity. An excess of the yin leads to diseases of cold; of the yang, to diseases of heat; of wind, to diseases of the extremities; of rain, to diseases of the belly; of obscurity, to diseases of delusion; of brightness, to diseases of the mind. [The desire of] woman is to the yang and [she is used in the] season of obscurity. If this be done to excess, disease is produced of internal heat and utter delusion. Was it possible for your lordship, paying no regard to moderation or to time, not to come to this?"

When [the physician] went out, he told what he had said to Zhao Meng, who asked who was intended by "the good minister." "You," was the reply. "You have been chief minister of Jin now for eight years. There has been no disorder in the state itself, and the other states have not failed [in their duty to it]; that epithet of 'good' may be applied to you. But I have heard that when the great minister of a state enjoys the glory of his dignity and emoluments, and sustains the burden of his great employments, if calamity and evil arise, and he do not alter his ways [to meet them], then he must receive the blame and the consequences. Here is your ruler, who has brought disease on himself by his excesses, so that he will [soon] be unable to consult at all for [the good of] the altars. What calamity could be greater? And yet you were unable to ward it off. It was on this account that I said what I did."

Zhao Meng [further] asked what he meant by "insanity," and [the physician] replied, "I mean that which is produced by the delusion and disorder of excessive sensual indulgence. Look at the character: it is formed by the characters for a vessel and for insects. It is used also of grain which [moulders and] flies away. In the Zhou Yi [the Yi Jing], [the symbols of] a woman deluding a young man, [of] wind throwing down [the trees of] a mountain go by the same name [this refers to hexagram 18: GU]. All these point to the same signification." Zhao Meng pronounced him a good physician, gave him large gifts, and sent him back (to Qin].

Duke Zhao, 4th year, 537 B.C.

(Legge, p. 592, col. 1 & p. 595, col. 1)

A hailstorm associated with improper ceremony connected with ice storage

[from the Chun Qiu: In the duke's fourth year, in spring, in the king's first month, there was a great fall of hail.]

Ji Wu Zi asked Shen Feng whether the hail could be stopped, and was answered, "When a sage is in the highest place, there is no hail, or if some should happen to fall, it does not amount to a calamity. Anciently, they stored up the ice when the sun was in his northern path, and they brought it out when he was in his western, and [the Gui constellation] was seen [in the east] in the morning. At the storing of the ice, they took it from the low valleys of the deep hills, where the cold was most intense and as it were shut in, and when it was brought out, the dignitaries and place-men of the court, in their entertainment of guests, for their food, on occasions of death and of sacrifice, shared in the use of it. At the storing of it, a black bull and black millet were presented to the Ruler of cold, and when it was brought out, a bow of peach wood and arrows of thorn were employed to put away calamitous influences. For the delivery and the storing of it there were their seasons, and it was given to all who were entitled by their station to eat flesh. Great officers and their declared wives used it in their washings on occasions of death. It was deposited with a sacrifice to the [Ruler of] cold; the depositories were opened with the offering of a lamb. The duke first used it, and when the [star] He made its appearance, it was distributed. From the commissioned [great] officers and their wives, down to officers retired because of age or illness, all received the ice. The commissioners of hills took it; the officers of districts sent it on; the cart-men received it; and the inferior servants stored it. Now it is the [cold] wind which makes the ice strong, and it was when the [warm] winds [prevailed], that it was brought forth. The depositories were made close; the use of it was very extensive. In consequence there was no heat out of course in the winter; no lurking cold in the summer; no biting winds in the spring ; and no pitiless rains in the autumn. When thunder came, it was not with a shaking crash. There were no calamitous hoarfrosts and hail. Pestilences did not descend [on the land]. The people died no premature deaths.

"But now the ice of the streams and pools is what is stored up; [much also] is cast away and not used. The winds go abroad as they ought not to do and carry death with them; so does the thunder come with shaking crash. Who can put a stop to this plague of hail? The last stanza of the Qi Yue [She, 1. xv. ode 1; Mao #154; Legge p. 232] shows the method of storing ice."

Duke Zhao, 5th Year, 536 B.C.

(Legge, p. 600, col. 16 & p. 604, col. 1)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

At an earlier period, on the birth of Nuzi, Zhuang Shu [his father], consulted the Zhou Yi by the reeds about him and got the diagram Ming Yi, which then became Qian. He showed this to the diviner Chu Qiu, who said, "This [son] will have to leave [the state], but he will return and offer the sacrifices to you. The entrance of a slanderer, of the name of Niu, will be sufficient to make him die of starvation. [The diagram] Ming Yi relates to the sun. The solar numbers are ten. Hence there are ten periods in the day, which correspond also to the ten ranks. Reckoning from the king downwards, the rank of duke is the second and that of minister is the third. The highest point of the day is when the sun is in the meridian. When it is meal time, that represents the second rank, and early dawn represents the third. Ming Yi’s becoming Qian represents brightness, but that which is not yet fully developed, corresponding, we may presume, to the early dawn. Therefore I say: [this child will be minister and] offer the sacrifices for you. [The diagram for] the sun’s becoming Qian has its correspondency in a bird. Hence we read [on the lowest line of the diagram Ming Yi], ‘The brightness is injured in its flight.’ And as the brightness is not fully developed, we read, ‘It droops its wings.’ There is an emblem of the movement of the sun, and hence we read, ‘The superior man goes away.’ This happens with the third rank, in the early dawn, and hence we read, ‘Three days he does not eat.’ Li [the lower trigram of Ming Yi] represents fire, and Gen [the lower trigram of Qian] represents a hill. Li is fire; fire burns the hill, and the hill is destroyed. But applied to men, [Gen] denotes speech, and destroying speech is slander. Hence we read, ‘He goes whither he would, and to him, the lord, there is speech.’ That speech must be slander. In [the diagram of] the double Li there is [mention made of] a cow. The age is in disorder and slander overcomes; the overcoming goes on to dismemberment, and therefore I say: His name will be Niu [= bull or cow]. Qian denotes insufficiency. The flight is not high. Descending from on high, the wings do not reach far. Hence, while I say that this child will be your successor, yet you are the second minister, and he will fall somewhat short of your dignity."

Duke Zhao, 5th year, 536 B.C.

(Legge p. 601, col. 8 & p. 604, col. 2)

Distinguishing LI (propriety; ceremonial conduct) from mere YI (deportment)

The duke went to Jin, and from his reception in the suburbs to the gifts at his departure, he did not fail in any point of ceremony. The marquis of Jin said to Ru Shu Qi, "Is not the marquis of Lu good at propriety?" "How does the marquis of Lu know propriety?" was the reply. "Wherefore [do you say so]?" asked the marquis. "Considering that, from his reception in the suburbs to the gifts at his departure, he did not err in a single point, why should you say that he does not know propriety?" "That was deportment" said Shu Zi, "and should not be called propriety. Propriety is that by which [a ruler] maintains his State, carries out his governmental orders, and does not lose his people. Now the government [of Lu] is ordered by the [three great] clans, and he cannot take it [from them]. There is Zi Jia Ji, and he is not able to employ him. He violates the covenants of our great state and exercises oppression on the small State [of Jiu]. He makes his gain of the distresses of others and is ignorant of his own. The [patrimony ] of his house is divided into four parts, and [like one of] the people he gets his food from others. No one thinks of him or takes any consideration for his future. The ruler of a state, calamity will come upon him, and he has no regard to what is proper for him to do. The beginning and end of his propriety should be in these matters, and in small particulars he practises deportment, as if that were all-important. Is it not far from correct to say that he is well acquainted with propriety?"

Duke Zhao, 6th year, 535 B.C.

(Legge, p. 607, col. 3 & p. 609, par. 2)

Disastrous effects of inscribing laws on tripods

In the third month they cast [tripods] in Zheng, with descriptions [of crimes and their] punishments [upon them]. In consequence of this, Shi Jiang sent a letter to Zi Chan, saying,

"At first I considered you [as my model], but now I have ceased to do so. The ancient kings deliberated on [all the circumstances], and determined [on the punishment of crimes]; they did not make [general] laws of punishment, fearing lest it should give rise to a contentious spirit among the people. But still, as crimes could not be prevented, they set up for them the barrier of righteousness, sought to bring them all to a conformity with their own rectitude, set before them the practice of propriety and the maintenance of good faith, and cherished them with benevolence. They also instituted emoluments and places to encourage them to follow [their example], and laid down strictly, punishments and penalties to awe them from excesses. Fearing lest these things should be insufficient, they therefore taught the people the [principles of] sincerity, urged them by [discriminations of] conduct, instructed them in what was most important, called for their services in a spirit of harmony, came before them in a spirit of reverence, met exigencies with vigor, and gave their decisions with firmness. And in addition to this, they sought to have sage and wise persons in the highest positions, intelligent discriminating persons in all offices, that elders should be distinguished for true-heartedness and good faith, and teachers for their gentle kindness. In this way the people could be successfully dealt with, and miseries and disorder be prevented from arising.

"When the people know what the exact laws are, they do not stand in awe of their superiors. They also come to have a contentious spirit, and make their appeal to the express words, hoping perhaps to be successful in their argument. They can no longer be managed. When the government of Xia had fallen into disorder, the penal code of Yu was made; under the same circumstances of Shang, the penal code of Tang; and in Zhou, the code of the nine punishments: those three codes all originated in ages of decay.

"And now in your administration of Zheng, you have made [your new arrangements for] dikes and ditches; you have established your [new system of] governmental [requisitions], which has been so much spoken against, and you have framed [this imitation of] those three codes, casting your descriptions of [crimes and their] punishments. Will it not be difficult to keep the people quiet, as you wish to do? The ode says,

I imitate, follow, and observe the virtue of king Wen,
And daily there is tranquillity in all the regions.

and again,

Take your pattern from king Wen,
And the myriad States will repose confid-ence in you.

In such a condition, what need is there for any code? When once the people know the grounds for contention, they will cast propriety away, and make their appeal to your descriptions. They will all be contending about a matter as small as the point of an awl or a knife. Disorderly litigations will multiply, and bribes will walk abroad. Zheng, will go to ruin, it is to be feared, in the age succeeding yours. I have heard the saying that 'When a state is albout to perish, there will be many new enactments in it.' Is your proceeding an illustration of it ?"

To this letter Zi Chan returned the following reply, "As to what you say, I have not the talents nor the ability to act for posterity; my object is to save the present age. I cannot accept your instructions, but I dare not forget your great kindness."

Shi Wen Bai said, "The Huo [Fire] star has made its appearance. Is there going to be fire in Zheng? Before the appearance of the Huo, it made use of fire to cast its punishment-tripods. If the Huo is an emblem of fire, must we not expect fire [in Zheng]?".

Duke Zhao, year 7, 534 B.C.

(Legge, p. & p. 617, col. 1)

An eclipse of the sun is in response to bad government.

[from the Chun Qiu: In summer, in the fourth month, on jia-shuo, the sun was eclipsed.]

The marquis of Jin asked Shi Wen Bo in whom [the omen of] the eclipse would be fulfilled, and was answered, "Lu and Wei will both feel its evil effects, Wei to a greater extent, and Lu to a less." "Why so?" said the marquis. "It went," said Wen Bo, "from Wei on to Lu. There will be calamity in the former, and Lu will also feel it. The greater evil indicated is to light, perhaps, on the ruler of Wei, and [the less] on the highest minister of Lu." The marquis said, "What does the ode [Shi, II. iv. ode IX. 2; Mao #193; Legge, p. 321] mean, when it said,

When the sun is eclipsed,
How bad it is!

The officer replied, "It shows the effects of bad government. When there is not good govern-ment in a state, and good men are not employed, it brings reproof to itself from the calamity of the sun and moon. Government, therefore, must not in any wise be neglected. The three things to be especially attended to in it are, first, the selection of good man [for office]; second, consideration of the people; and, third, the right observance of the seasons."

Duke Zhao, year 7, 534 B.C.

(Legge, p. 613, col. 10 & p. 618, col. 1)

Can a deceased person become a ghost [GUI]?

The people of Zheng frightened one another about Bo You [a heavy drinker, killed eight years earlier in a power-struggle in Zheng] saying, "Bo You is here!" on which they would all run off, not knowing where they were going. In the second month of the year when the descriptions of punishments were cast [i. e., the previous year], one man dreamed that Bo You walked by him in armor, and said, "On ren-zi I will kill Dai, and next year, on ren-yin I will kill Duan." When Si Dai did die on ren-zi, the terror of the people increased. [This year], in the month that Qi and Yan made peace, on ren-yin, Gong Sun Duan died, and the people were still more frightened, till in the following month Zi Chan appointed Gong Sun Xie [son of a man put to death eighteen years earlier] and Liang Zhi [son of Bo You], [as successors to their fathers], in order to soothe the people, after which [their terrors] ceased.

Zi Tai Shu asked his reason for making these arrangements, and Zi Chan replied, "When a ghost has a place to go to, it does not become an evil spirit. I have made such a place for the ghost." "But why have you done so with Gong Sun Xie?" pursued Tai Shu. "To afford a reason for my conduct," was the reply. "I contrived that there might be such a reason, because of the unrighteousness [of Bo You]. The administrator of government has his proper course, and if he takes contrary one, it is that he may give pleasure [to the people]. If they are not pleased with him, they will not put confidence in him, and if they do not put confidence in him, they will not obey him."

When Zi Chan went to Jin, Zhao Jing Zi asked him whether it was possible for Bo You to become a ghost. "Yes," replied Zi Chan. "When a man is born, [we see] in his first movements what is called the animal soul [PO]. After this has been produced, it is developed into what is called the spirit [HUN]. By the use of things the subtle elements are multiplied, and the soul and spirit become strong. They go on in this way, growing in etherealness and brightness, till they become [thoroughly] spiritual and intelligent [SHEN MING]. When an ordinary man or woman dies a violent death, the soul and spirit are still able to keep hanging about men in the shape of an evil apparition. How much more might this be expected in the case of Lian Xiao, a descendant of our former ruler duke Mu, the grandson of Zi Liang, the son of Zi Er, all ministers of our State, engaged in its government for three generations! Although Zheng be not great, and in fact, as the saying is, an insignificant State, yet belonging to a family which had held for three generations the handle of government, his use of things had been extensive, the subtle essences which he had imbibed had been many. His clan also was a great one, and his connections were distinguished. Is it not entirely reasonable that, having died a violent death, he should be a ghost?"

Duke Zhao, 7th Year, 534 B.C.

(Legge, p. 615, col. 3 & p. 619, col. 2)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

The lady Jiang, wife of Duke Xiang of Wei, had no son, but his favorite, Zhou He, bore to him, first of all, Meng Zhi. Kong Zhengzi dreamed that Kang Shu [the first marquis of Wei] told him that he must secure the succession to Yuan, adding, "I will make Ji’s grandson, Yu, and Shi Gou his ministers." She Zhao also dreamed that Kang Shu said to him, "I will appoint your son, Gou, and Yu, the great-grandson of Kong Zheng Chu, to be ministers to Yuan." Zhao went to see Zhengzi and told him this dream, agreeing with that which he had had.

In the year that Han Xuanzi became chief minister of Jin and went paying complimentary visits to the states, Zhou He bore a [second] son and gave him the name of Yuan. The feet of Meng Zhi [her first son] were not good, so that he was feeble in walking. Kong Zhengzi consulted the Zhou Yi by the reeds, propounding the inquiry whether Yuan would enjoy the state of Wei and preside over its altars, and he got the diagram Tun. He also propounded the inquiry whether he should set up [Meng] Zhi, and if this appointment would be acceptable, in answer to which he got Tun and then Bi. He showed these results to Shi Zhao, who said, "Under Tun we have the words, ‘Great and penetrating [the character Yuan may be intrepreted as meaning "great"].’ After this, can you have any doubts?" "But is it not," said Zhengzi, "a description of the elder?" He replied, "Kang Shu so named him, and we may therefore interpret it of the superior. Meng is not a [complete] man; he cannot have a place in the ancestral temple; he cannot be pronounced the superior. And moreover, under Tun it is said, ‘A prince must be set up.’ If the heir were lucky, no other would have to be set up. That term indicates another, and not the heir. The same words occur in both your divinations. You must set up Yuan. Kang Shu commanded it, and both your diagrams direct it. When the reeds accorded with his dream, King Wu followed them. If you do not do so, what will you do? He who is feeble in walking must remain at home. The prince has to preside at the altars, to be present at sacrifices, take the charge of the people and officers, serve the spirits, attend at conferences and visit other courts. How is it possible that he should remain at home? Is it not right that each [of the brothers] should have what is most advantageous to him?" In consequence of this, Kong Zhengzi appointed Duke Ling [i.e., Yuan] in his father’s place, and in the twelfth month, on Gui Hai, Duke Xiang was buried.

Duke Zhao, year 8, 533 B.C.

(Legge p. 620, col. 1, & p. 622)

Can a stone speak?

This spring a stone spoke in Wei Yu of Jin. The marquis asked the music-master Guang why it was that it did so. The music-master answered:

"Stones cannot speak. Perhaps this stone was possessed [by a spirit]. If not, then the people heard wrong. And yet I have heard that, when things are done out of season and discontent and complaints are stirring among the people, then speechless things do speak. Now palaces are being built, lofty and extravagant, and the strength of the people is being exhausted. Discontent and complaints are everywhere rife, [people feeling that] their life is not worth preserving. Is it not right that, in such circumstances, stones should speak?" At this time the marquis was building the palace of Si Qi.

Duke Zhao, 9th Year, 532 B.C.

(Legge, p. 624, col. 15 & p. 626, par. 3)

The cook takes responsibility for his ruler's wrong actions

Xun Ying of Jin had gone to Qi to meet his bride, and as he was returning, he died, in the sixth month, at Xi Yang. while his coffin remained unburied in Jiang, the marquis was [one day] drinking and enjoying himself, when the chief cook, Tu Kuai, rushed into the apartment and asked leave to assist the cupbearer. The duke having granted it, he proceeded to fill a cup, which he presented to the music-master, saying, "You are the ruler's ears and should see to his hearing well. If the day be zi-mao, it is called an evil day, and the ruler does not feast on it nor have music, and learners give up their study [of music] on it, because it is recognized as an evil day. The ruler's ministers and assistants are his limbs. If one of his limbs be lost, what equal occasion for sorrow could there be? You have not heard of this and are practicing your music here, showing that your hearing is defective."

He then presented another cup to the inferior officer of the Exterior, the officer Shu, saying, "You are the ruler's eyes and should see to his seeing clearly. The dress is intended to illustrate the rules of propriety, and those rules are seen in the conduct of affairs. Affairs are managed according to the things [which are the subject of them], and those things are shown in the appearance of the person. Now the ruler's appearance is not in accordance with the [great] things of today, and you do not see this. Your seeing is defective."

He also drank a cup himself, saying, "The combination of flavors [in diet] is to give vigor to the humors [of the body], the effect of which is to give fullness and stability to the mind. The mind is thus able to determine the words in which the orders of the government are given forth. To me belongs that combination of flavors, and as you two in attendance here have failed in the duties of your offices, and the ruler has given no orders [condemnatory of you], I am chargeable with the crime."

The marquis was pleased and ordered the spirits to be removed. Before this, he had wished to remove the head of the Zhi family [Xun Ying] from his office and to give it to a favorite officer of an extraneous clan, but in consequence of this incident, he repented of his purpose and gave it up. In autumn, in the eighth month, he made Xun Li [Ying's son] assistant commander of the third army, by way of apology [for his dislike of the family].

Duke Zhao, year 10, 531 B.C.

(Legge, p. 628, col. 2 & p. 629, col. 2)

Rejection of human sacrifice

In the seventh month, Ping Zi invaded Ju and took Geng. In presenting his captives, he for the first time sacrificed a human victim at the altar of Bo. When Zang Wu Zhong heard of this in Qi, he said, "The duke of Zhou will not accept the sacrifice of Lu. What he accepts is righteousness [YI], of which Lu has none. The ode [She, II, i, ode 1.2; Mao #161; Legge, p. 246] says,

Their virtuous fame is grandly brilliant;
They show the people not to be mean.

The disregard of the people in this must be pronounced excessive. Thus using men as victims, who will confer a blessing [on Lu]?

Duke Zhao, year 11, 530 B.C.

(Legge p. 632, col. 7 & p. 634, col. 2)

Ritual lapse indicates an absence of vital breath [Qi].

The viscount of Shen had an interview with Shan Xuan Zi in Qi. His looks were bent downwards, and his words came slow and low. Han Xuan Zi said, "The viscount of Shen will probably die soon. The places at audiences in the court are definitely fixed; those at meetings abroad are marked out by flags. There is the collar of the upper garment, and the knot of the sash. The words spoken at meetings and audiences must be heard at the places marked out and determined, so that the order of the business may be clearly understood. The looks must be fixed on the space between the collar and the knot, in order that the bearing and countenance may be fitly regulated. The words are intended for the issuing of orders; the bearing and countenance to illustrate them. Any error in either of these is a defect. Now the viscount of Shen is the chief of the king's officers, and when giving his instructions about business at this meeting, his looks did not light above the sash, and his words did not reach beyond a foot. His countenance showed no regulation of his bearing, and his words gave no clear intelligence. The absence of such regulation was a want of respect; the absence of such intelligence was a want [in his words] of accordance [with reason]. He has not breath to preserve his life."

Duke Zhao, year 11, 530 B.C.

(Legge, p. 632, col. 13 & p. 635, col. 1)

Rejection of human sacrifice

In winter, in the eleventh month, the viscount of Chu extinguished Cai and sacrificed the marquis' eldest son Yin on Mount Gang. Shen Wu Yu said, "This is inauspicious. The five animals used as victims cannot be employed one for another; how much less can a prince of a state be employed as a victim! The king will have occasion to repent of this."

Duke Zhao, 12th Year, 529 B.C.

(Legge, p. 637, col. 7 & p. 640, par.8)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted. It gives a valid oracle only in matters of loyalty and good faith.

When Nan Kuai was about to revolt, a man of the same village was acquainted with his purpose and passed by him, sighing as he did so. He also said, "Alas! Alas! A case of difficulty and hazard! His thoughts are deep, and his plans are shallow. Circumscribed is his position, and his aims are far-reaching. The servant of a family, his schemes affect the ruler. Such a man there is!"

Nan Kuai consulted by some twigs about his object, without mentioning it and got the diagram Kun which then became Bi. As it is said [upon the changed line], "Yellow for the lower garment; great good fortune," he thought this was very lucky and showed it to Zi Fu Hui Bo, saying, "If I am contemplating something, how does this indicate it will turn out?"

Hui Bo replied, "I have learned this: If the thing be one of loyalty and good faith, you may go forward with it. If it be not, it will be defeated. The outer figure indicates strength, and the inner mildness: expressive of loyalty. We have [also] harmony leading on solidity: expressive of fidelity. Hence the words, ‘Yellow for the lower garment; greatness and good fortune.’ But yellow is the color of the center; the lower garment is the ornament of that which is beneath; that greatness is the height of goodness. If in the center [= the heart] there is not loyalty, there cannot be the color; if below [= in an inferior] there be not the respectful discharge of duty, there cannot be the ornament; if the affair be not good, there cannot be that height. When the outer and inner are mutually harmonious, there is loyalty; when affairs are done in fidelity, there is that discharge of duty; an earnest nourishing of the three virtues makes that goodness. Where there are not these three things, this diagram does not apply.

"Moreover, [this passage of] the Yi cannot be a guide about anything hazardous. What thing are you contemplating that should require that ornamenting? With what is admirable in the center, you can predicate the yellow; with what is admirable above, you can predicate that great goodness; with what is admirable below, you can predicate that lower garment. Given these three all complete, and you may consult the reeds. If they are defective, though the consultation may [seem to] be lucky, it is not to be acted on."

Duke Zhao, 12th Year, 529 B.C.

(Legge, p. 637, col. 15 & p. 640, par. 9)

Admonishing the king by means of ancient ode not to ask for the tripods

The viscount of Chu was celebrating the winter hunt in Zhou Lai, and halted at the junction of the Ying [with the Wei], from which he sent the marquis of Dang, the viscount of Pan, the marshal Du, Wu the director of Xiao, and Xi the director of Ling, with a force to besiege [the capital of] Ling, in order to alarm Wu, while he himself would halt at Gan Xi to afford them what help they might require.

The snow was falling, and the king went out with a whip in his hand, wearing a fur cap, the cloak sent to him from Qin ornamented with kingfishers' feathers, and in shoes of leopard skin. He was followed by his charioteer, Xi Fu. In the evening Zi Ge [Tan of Ch'ing], director of the Right, waited upon him, and when the king saw him, he put off his cap and cloak, laid aside his whip, and spoke with him.

"Formerly," said he, "my ancestor Xiong Yi, with Lu Ji, Wang Sun Mou, Xie Fu, and Qin Fu, all served together king Kang. The four States of those princes all received [precious] gifts, only we [in Chu] got none. If I now send a messenger to Zhou and ask for the tripods as our share, will the king give them to me?"

"He will give them, O ruler and king," was the reply. "Formerly, our king, Xiong Yi, lived meanly by mount Jing, in a deal carriage, with tattered clothes, as befitted his position amid the uncultivated wilds, climbing the hills and wading through the streams in the service of the son of Heaven, with a bow of peach wood and arrows of thorn, discharging his defence of the king. [On the other hand, Leu Keih of] Qi was king [Ch'ing's] maternal uncle; [T'ang-shuh of] Jin was his own brother, and [the fathers of K'in-foo of] Lu and [Seeh-foo of] Wei were king [Wu's] own brothers. Thus it was that [the prince of] Chu received no [precious] gifts, and all those other princes did. But now Zhou and those four States are submissive to you, O ruler and king, and you have only to order them to be obeyed. How should [Zhou] grudge you the tripods?"

The king pursued, "Formerly, the eldest brother of our remote ancestor dwelt in the old territory of Xu; but now the people of Zheng in their greed possess that territory and enjoy the benefit of it, and have refused to give it to us. If I ask it [now], will they give it?" Zi Ge again replied, "They will give it to you, O ruler and king. If Zhou do not grudge its tripods, will Zheng dare to grudge its lands?"

The king went on, "Formerly the States kept aloof from us and stood in awe of Jin. But now I have walled on a great scale [the capitals of] Chen and Cai and the [two] Bu Lang, each of which can levy a thousand chariots, and for this I am much indebted to you. Will the States now stand in awe of me?" "They," was the reply, "will stand in awe of you, O ruler and king! Those four States are themselves sufficient to awe them, and when there is added to them the power of Chu, will the States dare not to stand in awe of you, O ruler and king?"

[At this moment] Lu, director of Works, came with a request, saying, "Your majesty ordered me to break a baton of jade [to ornament] the handle of an axe. I venture to ask for further instructions." The king went in to see the work, and then Xi Fu said to Zi Ge, "You are looked up to by the State of Chu, but now, in talking to the king, you have been but his echo. What will the State think of you?" Zi Ge replied, "I have been sharpening [my weapon] on the whetstone to await [my opportunity]; when the king comes out, I will cut down [his extravagance] with the edge of it."

When the king came out, he was resuming the conversation, and Yi Xiang, the historiographer of the Left, passed by. "There," said the king, "is an excellent historiographer. He can read the three Fen, the five Dian, the eight Suo, and the nine Qiu." "I have questioned him," was the reply. "Formerly king Mu wished to indulge his [extravagant] desire and travel over all under heaven, so that the ruts of his chariot wheels and the prints of his horses' feet should be everywhere. Mou Fu, duke of Ji, then made the ode of Qi Shao, to repress the ambition of the king, who died in consequence a natural death in the palace of Zhi. I asked [Yi Xiang] about the ode, and he did not know it. If I were to ask him about anything more ancient, how should he be able to know it?" "Can you repeat it?" asked the king. Zi Ge replied, "I can. The ode said:

How mild is the course of our minister Shao!
How fitted to show [the king's] virtuous fame!
He would order his measures and move-ments,
As more valuable than gold or gem.
Beyond the people's strength he would not go,
Nor drunkard's thirst nor glutton's greed would know."

The king bowed to him and went in. For several days he would not eat what was brought to him, nor was he able to sleep, but he was not able to subdue himself, and so he came to his evil [end].

Zhong Ni [Confucius] said, "It is contained in an ancient book that to subdue oneself and return to propriety is perfect virtue" [cf. Analects 12.1]. True is the saying and excellent. If King Ling of Chu could have done this, he would not have come to disgrace at Gan Qi.

Duke Zhao, 14th Year, 527 B.C.

(Legge p. 654 & 656)

An official disgraces his own brother’s corpse for corruption. Confucius comments.

Xing Hou of Jin and Yong Zi had a dispute about some lands of Chu, which continued unsettled for a long time. When Shi Jing Bai went to Chu, Shu Yu was charged for the time with the administration of his duties, and Han Xuan Zi ordered him to settle this old litigation. Yong Zi was in the wrong, but he presented his daughter as a gift to Shu Yu, who thereon decided that Xing Hou was in the wrong. Xing Hou became enraged and killed both Shu Yu and Yong Zi in the court. Xuan Zi consulted Shu Xiang [brother of Shu Yu] about the crime and was answered, "The three were all equally guilty. You must put him who is alive to death and expose his body, and you must [further] disgrace the [two that are] dead. Yong Zi knew that he was wrong and gave a bribe to buy a verdict in his favor; Fu sold his judgment in the dispute, and Xing Hou took it upon himself to kill them. Their crimes were equally heinous. To try to make himself right when he was wrong was an instance of moral blindness; through covetousness to defeat the end of his office was an instance of black impurity; to put men to death without fear [of the law] was the act of a ruffian. One of the Books of Xia says, 'The morally blind, the blackly impure, and ruffians are to be put to death.' Such was the punishment appointed by Gao Yao. I beg you to follow it." Accordingly Xing Hou was put to death and his body exposed, and the corpses of Yong Zi and Shu Yu were [also] exposed in the market place.

Zhong Ni [Confucius] said, "The justice of Shu Xiang was that which was transmitted from antiquity. In the government of the state and determining the punishment [for an assigned crime], he concealed nothing in the case of his own relative. Thrice he declared the wickedness of Shu Yu without making any abatement. Whether we may say that he was righteous [is doubtful], but he may be pronounced to have been straightforward. At the meeting of Ping Qiu, he declared his [brother's] craving for bribes: this was to give relief to Wei and save Jin from the practice of cruelty. In getting Ji Sun to return to Lu, he declared his [brother's] deceit: this was to relieve Lu and save Jin from the exercise of oppression. In this legal action of Xing Hou, he mentioned his [brother's] covetousness: this was to keep the records of punishment correct and save Jin from partiality. By his three declarations he took away three evils and secured three advantages. He put his brother to death and increased [his own] glory. But this has the semblance of righteousness [only]."

Duke Zhao, 16th year, 525 B.C.

(Legge p. 661, col. 6 & p. 663, par 2)

{Three narratives connected with Han Xuan Zi of Jin in Zheng.}

Ceremonial rubrics are not the important thing

In the third month, Han Qi of Jin went on a complimentary visit to Zheng, when the earl gave him an entertainment. Zi Chan had warned [the various officers] beforehand, that all of them who could claim positions in the court should behave with the utmost respect. Kung Zhang, however, came late, and stood among the visitors. From that place the director [of the ceremonies] made him remove. He then took his place behind the visitors, from which also he was removed; and he [finally] went among the instruments of music, followed by the smiles of the guests. When the ceremony was over, Fu Zi reproved [Zi Chan], saying, "With the officers of the great State we ought to be particularly careful. If we often give them occasion to laugh at us, they will despise us. Though we all of us observed the rules of ceremony, those men would think meanly of us; but when a State does not observe the rules of ceremony, how can it seek for glory? Kung Zhang's losing his place was a disgrace to you."

Zi Chan replied with indignation, "If I issued commands which were not proper, gave out orders without sincerity, took advantage of circumstances to be partial in punishing, allowed litigations to be confused, were disrespectful at meetings [of the States] and at other courts, caused the orders of the government to be disregarded, brought on us the contempt of a great State, wearied the people without accomplishing anything, or allowed crimes to occur without taking knowledge of them--any of these things would be a disgrace to me. But Kung Chang is the descendant of Zi Kung who was the elder brother of one of our rulers, [thus] the heir of a chief minister and himself by inheritance a great officer. He has been sent on missions to Zhou, is honored by the people of other states, and is known to the princes. He has had his place in our court, and maintains the sacrifices in his family [temple]. He has endowments in the State, and contributes his levies to the army. At funerals and sacrifices [of our ruling house] he has [regular] duties; he receives of the sacrificial flesh from our ruler, and sends of his own to him. At the sacrifices in our ancestral temple, he has his assigned place. He has been in offices under several rulers, and from one to another he has kept his position. Though he forgot his proper course, how can that be a disgrace to me? That prejudiced and corrupt men should all lay everything on me as minister, is because the former kings did not appoint sufficient punishments and penalties. You had better find fault with me for something else."

A ring of jade

(Legge, p. 661, co. 13 & p. 664, 2d.)

Xuan Zi had a ring of jade, the fellow of which was in the possession of a merchant of Zheng, and he begged it from the earl. Zi Chan, however, refused it, saying, "It is not an article kept in our government treasury; our ruler knows nothing about it." Zi Tai Shu and Zi Yu said to him, "It is not a great request which Han Zi has made, nor can we yet show any swerving from our allegiance to the State of Jin. Han Zi of that State is not to be slighted. If any slanderous persons should stir up strife between it and Zheng, and the Spirits should assist them, so as to arouse its evil indignation, regrets [for your refusals] would be in vain. Why should you grudge a ring, and thereby bring on us the hatred of the great State? Why not ask for it and give it to him?"

Zi Chan replied, "I am not slighting Jin, nor cherishing any disaffection to it. I wish all my life to serve it, and therefore I do not give [Han Zi this ring]; [the refusal] is a proof of my loyalty and good faith. I have heard that a superior man does not consider it hard to be without wealth, but that his calamity is to be in office and not acquire a good name. I have heard that the minister of a State does not consider the ability to serve great States and foster small ones to be his difficulty, but thinks it a calamity when he does not keep to the rules of propriety so as to establish his position. Now, when the officers of a great State are sent to a small State, if they all get what they seek, what will there be to give to them [all]? If one be gratified and another denied, the number of its offences will be [deemed to be] increased. If the requisitions of the great State are not repulsed on the principles of propriety, it will become insatiable. We shall become [as one of] its border cities, and so lose our position. If Han Zi, sent here on his ruler's commission, asks for this gem, it shows an excessive greed. Shall we make an exception of this as if it were not a crime? Why should we produce this piece of jade, thereby originating two crimes, the loss of our own position, and the development of Han Zi's greed? Would it not be very trivial traffic with a piece of jade to purchase such crimes?"

Han Zi [himself then went to] purchase [the ring] from the merchant. When the price had been settled, the merchant said that he must inform the ruler, and the great officers [of the transaction], on which Han Zi made a request to Zi Chan, saying, "Formerly, I asked for this ring, and when you thought that my doing so was not right, I did not presume to repeat the request. Now I have bought it of the merchant, who says that he must report the transaction, and I venture to ask [that you will sanction it]."

Zi Chan replied, "Our former ruler, duke Huan, came with the [ancestor of this] merchant from Zhou. Thus they were associated in cultivating the land, together clearing and opening up this territory, and cutting down its tangled southernwood and orach. Then they dwelt in it together, making a covenant of mutual faith to last through all generations, which said, 'If you do not revolt from me, I will not violently interfere with your traffic. I will not beg or take anything from you, and you may have your profitable markets, precious things, and substance, without my taking any knowledge of them.' Through this attested covenant, [our rulers and the descendants of that merchant] have preserved their mutual relations down to the present day. Now your Excellency having come to us on a friendly mission, and asking our State to take away [the ring] from the merchant by force, this was to request us to violate that covenant. Is not such a thing improper? If you get the jade, and lose a State, you would not [wish to] do the thing. If when your great State commands, we must satisfy it without any law, Zheng becomes one of your border cities, and I would not wish to be party to such a thing. If we present the jade to you, I do not know what the consequence may be, and venture privately thus to lay the case before you."

Han Zi then declined the jade, saying, "I presumed in my stupidity to ask for the jade, which would have occasioned two [such] crimes. Let me now presume to decline it."

Policy indicated by the Odes

(Legge, p. 662, col. 7 & p. 664, 3d.)

In summer, in the fourth month, the six ministers of Zheng gave a parting feast to Xuan Zi in the suburbs, when he said to them, "Let me ask all you gentlemen to sing from the odes, and I will thence understand the views of Zheng."

Zi Zou then sang the Ye you man cao [I. vii. ode xx, Legge p. 147; Waley #1], and Xuan Zi said, "Good! young Sir. I have the same desire."

Zi Chan sang the Gao qiu of [the odes of] Zheng [I. vii. ode VI, Legge p. 132; Waley #119], and Xuan Zi said, "I am not equal to this."

Zi Tai Shu sang the Qian chang [I. vii. ode XIII, Legge p. 140; Waley #39], and Xuan Zi said, "I am here. Dare I trouble you to go to any other body?" on which the other bowed to him. Xuan Zi then said, "Good! your song is right. If there were not such an understanding, could [the good relations of our States] continue?"

Zi You sang the Feng yu [I. vii. ode XVI, Legge p. 143; Waley #91]. Zi Qi sang the You nu tong che [ode IX, Legge p. 137; Waley #82]. Zi Liu sang the Tuo xi [ode XI, Legge p. 138; Waley #210].

Xuan Zi was glad, and said, "Zheng may be pronounced near to a flourishing condition! You, gentlemen, received the orders of your ruler to confer on me this honor, and the odes you have sung are all those of Zheng, and all suitable to this festive friendliness. You are all Heads of clans that will continue for several generations; you may be without any apprehensions."

He then presented them all with horses, and sang the Wo jiang [IV. i. Bk i. ode VII, Legge p. 575; Waley #220]. Zi Chan bowed in acknowledgment, and made the other ministers do the same, saying, "You have quieted the confusion [of the States]. Must we not acknowledge your virtuous services?"

[After this], Xuan Zi went privately to Zi Chan, and presented him with a piece of jade and [two] horses, saying, "You ordered me to give up that [ring of] jade. It was giving me a piece of jade and saving my life. I dare not but make my acknowledgments with these things in my hand."

Duke Zhao, 18th Year, 523 B.C.

(Legge, p. 669, col. 4 & p. 671)

Portents: Heaven’s way is distant, while the human way is near.

In summer, in the fifth month, the Huo [fire] star made its first appearance at dusk. On the bing-zi day, there was wind, and Zi Shen said, “This is called a north-east wind; it is a prelude of fire. In seven days, we may presume, the fire will break out.” On the wu-yin day the wind was great; on the ren-wu day it was vehement, and the capitals of Song, Wei, Chen, and Zheng all caught fire. Zi Shen went up on top of the magazine of Da Ting to look in the direction of them and said, “In a few days, messengers from Song, Wei, Chen, and Zheng will be here with announcements of fire.”

Bi Zao said, “If you do not do as I said [after the appearance of a comet and prediction of its path, he had recommended performance of a sacrifice, using a special goblet and a jade libation cup, to ward off the danger], Zheng will suffer from fire again.” The people also begged that his advice should be taken, but Zi Chan still refused. Zi Tai Shu said, “The use of precious article is to preserve the people. If there be another fire, our city will be nearly destroyed. If they can save it from that destruction, why should you grudge them?” Zi Chan replied, “The way of Heaven is distant, while the way of man is near. We cannot reach to the former; what means have we of knowing it? How should Zao know the way of Heaven? He is a great talker, and we need not wonder if his words sometimes come true.” Accordingly he would not agree to the proposal, and there was no repetition of the fire.

Duke Zhao, 20th Year, 521 B.C.

(Legge pp. 678 & 683)

Praying to the spirits must be accompanied by benign governing.

The marquis of Qi had a scabbiness which issued in intermittent fever, and for a whole year he did not get better, so that there were many visitors from the various states who had come to inquire about him. Ju of Liang Qiu and Yi Kuan said to him, "We have served the spirits more liberally than former rulers did, but now your lordship is very ill, to the grief of all the princes. It must be the crime of the priests and the historiographers. The states, not knowing this, will say that it is because we have not been reverential [to the spirits]. Why should your lordship not put to death the priest Gu and the historiographer Yin, and thereupon give an answer to your visitors."

The marquis was pleased and laid the proposal before Yan Zi, who replied, "Formerly, at the covenant of Song, Qu Jian asked Zhao Wu of what kind had been the virtue of Fan Hui. He was answered, 'The affairs of his family were well regulated; when conversing [with his ruler] about the state, he told the whole truth, without any private views of his own. His priests and historiographers, at his sacrifices, set forth the truth and said nothing to be ashamed of. The affairs of his family afforded no occasion for doubt or fear, and his priests and historiographers did not pray about them." Jian reported this to king Kang, who said, 'Since neither spirits nor men could resent his conduct, right was it he should distinguish and aid five rulers and make them lords of covenants.'"

The marquis said, "Ju and Kuan said that I was able to serve the spirits, and therefore they wished the priest and historiographer to be executed. Why have you repeated these words [in reference to their proposal]?" Yan Zi replied, "When a virtuous ruler is negligent of nothing at home or abroad, when neither high nor low have any cause for dissatisfaction, and none of his movements are opposed to what circumstances require, his priests and historiographers set forth the truth, and he has nothing to be ahsamed of in his mind. Therefore the spirits accept his offerings, and the state receives their blessing, in which the priests and historiographers share. The plenty and happiness [of the state] and the longevity [of the people] are caused by the truth of the ruler; the words [of the priests and historiographers] to the spirits are honest and faithful accordingly. If they meet with a ruler abandoned to excesses, irregular and vicious at home and abroad, causing dissatisfaction and hatred to high and low, his movements and actions deflected from and opposed to the right, following his desires and satisfying his private aims, raising lofty towers and digging deep ponds, surrounding himself with the music of bells and with dancing girls, consuming the strength of the people, and violently taking from them their accumulations of wealth--who thus carries out his violation of the right, not caring for his posterity, oppressive and cruel, giving the reins to his lusts, wildly proceeding without rule or measure, without reflection or fear, giving no thought to the maledictions of the people, having no fear of the spirits, and however the spirits may be angry and the people may suffer, entertaining no thought of repentance--the priests and historiographers, in setting forth the truth, must speak of his offences. If they cover his errors and speak of excellences, they are bearing false testimony; when they would advance or retire, they have nothing which they can rightly say, and so they may vainly seek to flatter. Therefore the spirits will not accept the offerings, and the state is made to suffer misery, in which the priests and historiographers share. Short lives, premature deaths, bereavements and sicknesses are caused by the oppression of the ruler; the words [of the priests and historiographers] are false, and an insult to the spirits."

The duke said, "Well, then, what is to be done?" Yan Zi replied "[What is proposed] will be of no avail. The trees of the hills and forests are watched over [for your use] by the heng lu; the reeds and rushes of the marshes by the zhou jiao; the firewood of the fens by the yu hou; and the salt and cockles of the seashore by the qi wang. The people of the districts and borders are made to enter and share in the services of the capital. At the barrier-passes near the capital, oppressive duties are levied on the private [baggage of travelers]. The places of the great officers which should come to them by inheritance are forcibly changed for bribes. There are no regular rules observed in issuing the common measures of government. Requisitions and exactions are made without measure. Your palaces and mansions are daily changed. You do not shun licentious pleasures. The favorite concubines in your harem send forth and carry things away from the markets; your favorite officers abroad issue false orders in the borders, thus nourishing the gratification of what they selfishly desire. And if people do not satisfy them, they [make them criminals] in return. The people are pained and distressed; husbands and wives join in cursing [the government]. Blessings are of benefit, but curses are injurious. From Liao She on the east and from Gu You on the west, the people are many. Although your prayers may be good, how can they prevail against the curses of millions? If your lordship wishes to execute the priest and the historiographer, cultivate your virtue, and then you may do it."

The marquis was pleased and made his officers institute a generous government, pull down the barrier-passes, take away prohibitions, make their exactions lighter, and forgive debts.

Duke Zhao, 20th Year, 521 B.C.

(Legge pp. 679 & 684)

A forester doesn't respond to a signal. Confucius comments.

In the twelfth month, the marquis of Qi was hunting in Pei and summoned the forester to him with a bow. The forester did not come forward, and the marquis caused him to be seized. When he explained his conduct, he said, "At the huntings of our former rulers, a flag was used to call a great officer, a bow to call an inferior one, and a fur cap to call a forester. Not seeing the fur cap, I did not dare to come forward." On this he was let go.

Zhong Ni [Confucius] said, "To keep the rule [of answering a ruler's summons] is not so good as to keep [the special rule for] one's office. Superior men will hold this man right."

Genuine harmony is like soup

(Legge, p. 679, col. 10 & p. 684, 3d.)

When the marquis of Qi returned from his hunt, Yan Zi was with him in the tower of Chuan, and Zi You [also called Ju] drove up to it at full speed. The marquis said, "It is only Ju who is in harmony with me!" Yan Zi replied, "Ju is an assenter merely; how can he be considered in harmony with you?" "Are they different," asked the marquis, "harmony and assent?"

Yan Zi said, "They are different. Harmony may be illustrated by soup. You have the water and fire, vinegar, pickle, salt, and plums, with which to cook fish. It is made to boil by the firewood, and then the cook mixes the ingredients, harmoniously equalizing the several flavors, so as to supply whatever is deficient and carry off whatever is in excess. Then the master eats it, and his mind is made equable. So it is in the relations of ruler and minister. When there is in what the ruler approves of anything that is not proper, the minister calls attention to that impropriety, so as to make the approval entirely correct. When there is in what the ruler disapproves of anything that is proper, the minister brings forward that propriety, so as to remove occasion for the disapproval. In this way the government is made equal, with no infringement of what is right, and there is no quarrelling with it in the minds of the people. Hence it is said in the ode (IV. iii. ode 11.),

There are also the well-tempered soups,
Prepared beforehand, the ingredients
Rightly proportioned.
By these offerings we invite his presence
Without a word;
Nor is there now any contention in the service.

As the ancient kings established the doc-trine of the five flavors, so they made the harmony of the five notes, to make their minds equable and to perfect their government. There is an analogy between sounds and flavors. There are the breath, the two classes of dances, the three subjects, the materials from the four quarters, the five notes, the six pitch-pipes, the seven sounds, the eight winds, the nine songs; [by these nine things the materials for music] are completed. Then there are [the distinctions of] clear and thick, small and large, short and long, fast and slow, solemn and joyful, hard and soft, lingering and rapid, high and low, the commencement and close, the close and the diffuse, by which the parts are all blended together. The superior man listens to such music, that his mind may be composed. His mind is composed, and his virtues become harmonious. Hence it is said in the ode (I. xv. ode VIL 2),

There is no flaw in his virtuous fame.

Now it is not so with Ju. Whatever you say 'Yes' to, he also says 'Yes.' Whatever you say 'No' to, he also says 'No.' If you were to try to give water a flavor with water, who would care to partake of the result? If lutes were to be confined to one note, who would be able to listen to them? Such is the insufficiency of mere assent."

They were drinking and joyous, when the marquis said, "If from ancient times till now there had been no death, how great would men’s pleasure have been!" Yan Zi replied, "If from ancient times till now there had been no death, how could your lordship have shared in the pleasure of the ancients? Anciently the Shuang Jiu occupied this territory. To them succeeded the House of Ji Ce. Bo Ling of Feng followed, and then the House of Pu Gu, after which came your ancestor, Tai Gong. If the ancients had not died, the happiness of the Shuang Jiu is what you never could have desired."

[The Zuo Zhuan continues with another narrative.]

Harmony between strict and lenient ruling

Zi Chan was ill and said to Zi Tai Shu, "When I die, the government is sure to come into your hands. It is only the perfectly virtuous who can keep the people in submission by clemency. For the next class of rulers, the best think is severity. When fire is blazing, the people look to it with awe, and few of them die from it. Water again is weak, and the people despise and make sport with it, so that many die from it. It is difficult therefore to carry on a mild government."

After being ill several months, he died, and Tai Shu received the administration of the government. He could not bear to use severity and tried to be mild. The consequence was that there were many robbers in the state, who plundered people about the marsh of Huan Fu. Tai Shu repented of his course, saying, "If I had sooner followed the advice of Zi Chan, things would not have come to this." He then raised his troops and, attacking the robbers of Huan Fu, killed them all, on which robbers generally diminished and disappeared. Zhong Ni [Confucius] said, "Good! When government is mild, the people despise it. When they despise it, severity must take its place. When government is severe, the people are slaughtered. When this takes place, they must be dealt with mildly. Mildness serves to temper severity, and severity to regulate mildness. It is in this way that the administration of government is brought to harmony. The ode says:

The people indeed are heavily burdened,
But perhaps a little ease may be got for them.
Deal kindly in this center of the kingdom.
So may you encourage the distant.

That has reference to the employment of mildness.

Give no indulgence to deceit and obsequ-iousness,
In order to make the unconscientious careful,
And repress robbers and oppressors,
Who have no fear of the clear will of Heaven.

That has reference to the substitution for it of severity.

And help the near,
And establish the throne of our king.

That has reference to the harmonious blending of both of these. [All three stanzas are from the ode found in Legge, vol. V, p. 495; Mao 253] Another ode says:

He was neither violent nor remiss,
Neither hard nor soft.
Gently he spread his instructions abroad,
And all dignities and riches were concentrated in him.

That has reference to the perfection of such harmony."

When Zi Chan died and Zhong Ni heard of it, he shed tears and said, "He afforded a specimen of the love transmitted from the ancients."

Duke Zhao, year 25, 516 B.C.

(Legge p. 704, col. 1 & p. 708, col. 1)

The loss of HUN PO leads to death.

This spring, Shu Sun Chuo having gone to Song on a complimentary mission, the Master of the Right, who lived near the Tong gate, visited him, and spoke meanly of the great officers of the state, and especially so of the Minister of Works. Zhao Zi told his people about the conversation, saying, "The Master of the Right will probably have to flee from the state. The superior man tries to dignify his own person, and then goes on to dignify others; he thereby observes the rules of propriety. But the master vilifies the great officers [of his state] and speaks contemp-tuously of the head of his own surname. He is thereby treating his own person with contempt. Can he have any rules of propriety? But without those rules, he is sure to come to ruin." The duke of Song gave Zhao Zi a public reception and sang the Xin Kong (A lost ode), to which Zhao Zi responded with the Ju Xia (II. vii. ode IV = Mao 218). Next day, at the feast, when they were merry with drinking, the duke made him sit on his right, when they wept as they talked together. Yue Qi was assisting [at the ceremonies] and reported this to others, when he had retired, saying, "This year both our ruler and Shu Sun are likely to die. I have heard that joy in the midst of grief and grief in the midst of joy are signs of a loss of mind. The essential vigour and brightness of the mind is what we call the HUN and the PO. When these leave it, how can the man continue long?"

Duke Zhao, 25th Year, 516 B.C.

(Legge, p. 704, col. 8 & p. 708, 2nd column)

Ceremonies [LI] are the fabric of life

In summer, a meeting was held at Huang Fu, to consult about the royal house. Zhao Jian Zi [of Jin] [Zhao Yang] gave orders to the great officers of the various States to contribute grain to the king, and to provide men to guard his territory, saying, "Next year we will instate him."

Zi Tai Shu had an interview with Zhao Jian Zi and was asked by him about the ceremonies of bowing, yielding precedence, and moving from one position to another. "These," said Zi Tai Shu, "are matters of deportment and not of ceremony. "

"Allow me to ask," said Jian Zi, "what we are to understand by ceremonies."

The reply was, "I have heard our late great officer Zi Chan say, 'Ceremonies [are founded in] the regular procedure of Heaven, the right phenomena of earth, and the actions of men.' Heaven and earth have their regular ways, and men take these for their pattern, imitating the brilliant bodies of Heaven, and according with the natural diversities of the Earth [Heaven and Earth] produce the six atmospheric conditions and make use of the five material elements. Those conditions [and elements] become the five tastes, are manifested in the five colors, and displayed in the five notes. When these are in excess, there ensue obscurity and confusion, and the people lose their [proper] nature. The rules of ceremony were therefore framed to support [that nature]. There were the six domestic animals, the five beasts [of the chase], and the three [classes of] victims, to maintain the tastes. There were the nine [emblematic] ornaments [of robes] [cf. Shu II. iv. 4], with their six colors and five methods of display, to maintain the five colors. There were the nine songs, the eight winds, the seven sounds, and the six pitch-pipes, to maintain the five notes. There were ruler and minister, high and low, in imitation of the distinctive characteristics of the earth. There were husband and wife, with the home and the world abroad, the spheres of their respective duties. There were father and son, elder and younger brother, aunt and sister, maternal uncles and aunts, father-in-law and connections of one's children with other members of their mother's family, and brothers-in-law--to resemble the bright lumi-naries of heaven. There were duties of government and administration, services especially for the people, [legislative] vigor, the force of conduct, and attention to what was required by the times--in accordance with the phenomena of the four seasons. There were punishments and penalties, and the terrors of legal proceedings, making the people stand in awe, resembling the destructive forces of thunder and lightning. There were mildness and gentleness, kindness and harmony, in imitation of the producing and nourishing action of Heaven. There were love and hatred, pleasure and anger, grief and joy, produced by the six atmospheric conditions. Therefore [the sage kings] carefully imitated these relations and analogies [in forming ceremonies], to regulate those six impulses. To grief there belong crying and tears; to joy, songs and dancing; to pleasure, beneficence; to anger, fighting and struggling. Pleasure is born of love, and anger of hatred. Therefore [the sage kings] were careful judges of their conduct and sincere in their orders, appointing misery and happiness, rewards and punishments, to regulate the death and life [of the people]. Life is a good thing; death is an evil thing. The good thing brings joy; the evil thing gives grief. When there is no failure in the joy and grief, we have a state in harmony with the nature of Heaven and Earth, which conse-quently can endure long."

Jian Zi said, "Extreme is the greatness of ceremonies!"

"Ceremonies," replied Zi Tai Shu, "deter-mine the relations of high and low; they are the warp and woof of Heaven and Earth; they are the life of the people. Hence it was that the ancient kings valued them, and hence it is that the man who can now bend, now straighten himself so as to accord with ceremony is called a complete man. Right is it that ceremonies should be called great!"

Jian Zi said, "I would wish all my life to keep these words in mind [and observe them]."

Ye Da Xin of Song said, "We shall not contribute grain; our [dukes] are guests of Zhou. How can such a thing be required of guests?"

Shi Bo said, "Since [the covenant of] Jian Tu, what service has there been in which Song has not shared, what covenant in which is has not taken part? It was then said that the States should together support the royal House. How can you evade this condition? You are here by the command of your ruler to join in the great business in hand. Would it not be improper for Song to violate the covenant?"

The master of the Right did not dare to reply but received the schedule and retired.

Shi Bo reported the incident to Jian Zi, saying, "The master of the Right of Song is sure to become an exile. Bearing his ruler's orders as a commissioner here, he wished to break the covenant and thereby come into collision with the lord of covenants. There could be nothing more inauspicious than this."

Duke Zhao, year 26, 515 B.C.

(Legge, p. 714, col. 16 & p. 718, col. 1)

A comet is not to be feared, if the ruler is virtuous.

There appeared a comet in Qi, and the marquis gave orders for a deprecatory sacrifice. Yan Zi said to him, "It is of no use; you will only practise a delusion. There is no uncertainty in the ways of Heaven; it does not waver in its purposes. Why should you offer a deprecatory sacrifice? Moreover, there is a broom-star in the sky; it is for the removal of dirt. If your lordship have nothing about your conduct that can be so described, what have you to deprecate? If you have, what will it be diminished by your deprecation? The ode [Shi, III. I. ode II. 3; Mao #236; Legge, p. 433], says,

Then this king Wan,
Watchfully and reverently,
Did bright service to God.
So did he secure great blessing.
His virtue was without deflection,
And he received the allegiance of the states from all quarters.

Let your lordship do nothing contrary to virtue, and from all quarters the states will come to you. Why should you be troubled about a comet? The ode [a lost ode] says,

I have no beacon to look at,
[But] the sovereigns of Xia and Shang.
It was because of their disorders
That the people fell away from them.

If the conduct be evil and disorderly, the people are sure to fall away, and nothing that priests and historiographers can do will mend the evil."

The marquis was pleased, and stopped the sacrifice.

Duke Zhao, year 26, 515 B.C.

(Legge, p. 715, col. 2 & p. 718, col. 2)

The rules for governing well are nothing new; they come from Heaven and Earth.

The marquis of Qi was sitting with Yan Zi in his state chamber, and said, "How beautiful is this chamber! Who will have it [hereafter]?" "Allow me to ask," said Yan Zi, "what you mean." "I suppose," the marquis replied, "the possession of this will depend on [men's] virtue." The minister said, " According to what your lordship says, the possessor will perhaps be head of the Chen family. Although that family has not great virtue, it dispenses bounties to the people. The dou, you, the fu, and the zhong, with which it receives [its payments] from the state are small, but those with which it gives out to the people are large. Your exactions are great, and the benefactions of the Chen are great, so that the people are giving their affections to that family. The ode [II. vii. ode IV. 3; Mao #218; Legge, p. 393] says,

Though I have no virtue to impart to you,
We will sing and dance.

The bounties of the Chen family to the people are making them sing and dance. Hereafter, should any of your descendants be somewhat remiss, and the Chen family not have disappeared, the state will belong to it."

"Good!" said the duke. "What then ought to be done?" Yan Zi replied, "It is only an attention to rules of propriety which can stop [the progress of events]. By those rules, the bounties of a family cannot extend to all the state. Sons must not change the business of their fathers: husbandry, some mechanical art, or trade; inferiors must not be negligent; higher officers must not be insolent; great officers must not take to themselves the privileges of the ruler."

"Good!" said the marquis. "I am not able to attain to this; but henceforth I know how a state can be governed by the rules of propriety." "Long have those rules possessed such a virtue," was the reply. "Their rise was contemporaneous with that of Heaven and Earth. That the ruler order and the subject obey, the father be kind and the son dutiful, the elder brother loving and the younger respectful, the husband be harmonious and the wife gentle, the mother-in-law be kind and the daughter-in-law obedient--these are things in propriety. That the ruler in ordering order nothing against the right, and the subject obey without any duplicity; that the father be kind and at the same time reverent, and the son be dutiful and at the same time able to remonstrate; that the elder brother, while loving, be friendly, and the younger docile, while respectful; that the husband be righteous, while harmonious, and the wife correct, while gentle; that the mother-in-law be condescending, while kind, and the daughter-in-law be winning, while obedient--these are excellent things in propriety." "Good!" said the duke, [again]. "Henceforth I have heard the highest style of propriety." Yan Zi replied, "It was what the ancient kings received from Heaven and Earth for the government of their people, and therefore they ranked it in the highest place."

Duke Ding, year 10, 499 B.C.

(Legge p. 774, col. 2 & p. 776, col. 2)

Confucius in Lu as Director of Ceremonies: he uses his knowledge of ceremonial to deflect a foreign threat.

In summer, the duke had a meeting with the marquis of Qi at Zhu Qi, i.e., Jia Gu, when Kong Qiu [Confucius] attended him as director [of the ceremonies]. Li Mi had said to the marquis, "Kong Qiu is acquainted with ceremonies but has no courage. If you employ some of the natives of Lai to come with weapons and carry off the marquis of Lu, you will get from him whatever you wish." The marquis of Qi had arrqanged accordingly, but Kong Qiu withdrew with the duke, saying, "Let the soldiers smite those [intruders]. You and the marquis of Qi are met on terms of friendship, and for those captives from the distant barbarous east to throw the meeting into confusion with their weapons is not the way to get the states to receive his commands. Those distant people have nothing to do with our great land; those wild tribes must not be permitted to create disorder among our flowery states; captives in war should not break in upon a covenant; weapons of war should not come near a friendly meeting. As before the Spirits, such a thing is inauspicious; in point of virtue, it is contrary to what is right; as between man and man, it is a failure in propriety. The ruler [of Qi] must not act thus." When the marquis heard this, he instantly ordered the Lai people away.

When they were about to covenant together, the people of Qi added to the words of the covenant these sentences: "Be it to Lu according to [the curses of] this covenant, if, when the army of Qi crosses its own borders, it do not follow us with 300 chariots of war." On this Kong Qiu made Zi Wu Xuan reply with a bow, "And so be it also to Qi, if, without restoring to us the lands of Wen Shang, you expect us to obey your orders!"

The marquis of Qi wanted to give an enter-tainment to the duke, but Kong Qiu waid to Liang Qiu Ju, "Are you not acquainted with former transactions between Qi and Lu? The business is finished, and now to have an entertainment besides would only be troubling the officers, our cups of ceremony, moreover, do not cross our gates, and our admirable instruments of music are not fit for the wild country. An entertainment at which things were not complete would be a throwing away of the [proper] ceremonies. If things were not complete, it would be like employing chaff and bai [instead of good grain]. Such employment would be disgraceful to our rulers, and to throw away the proper ceremonies would be to bring a bad report [upon our meeting]. Why should you not consider the matter? An entertainment answers the purpose of displaying virtue. If that be not displayed, it is better to have no entertainment." Accordingly the purpose of an entertainment was not carried into effect.

Duke Ding, year 15, 495 B.C.

(Legge, p. 790, col. 1 & p. 791, col. 1)

LI (ceremonial conduct) is the embodiment (TI) of life and death.

When Duke Yin of Zhu appeared at the court of Lu, Zi Gong [One of Confucius' most famous disciples] witnessed [the ceremony between the two princes]. The viscount bore his symbol of jade [too] high, with his countenance turned upwards; the duke received it [too] low, with his countenance bent down. Zi Gong said, "Looking on [and judging] according to the rules of ceremony [LI], the two rulers will [soon] die or go into exile. Those rules are [as] a stem [TI] from which grow life or death, preservation or ruin. We draw our conclusion from the manner in which parties move to the right or to the left, advance and recede, look down and look up, and we observe this at court-meetings and sacrifices, and occasions of death and war. It is now in the first month that these princes meet at court together, and they both violate the proper rules. Their minds are gone. On a festal occasion like this, unobservant of such an essential matter, how is it possible for them to continue long? The high symbol and upturned look are indicative of pride; the low symbol and look bent down are indicative of negligence. Pride is not far removed from disorder, and negligence is near to sickness. Our ruler is the host, and will probably be the first to die."

Duke Ai, 9th Year, 487 B.C.

(Legge, p. 818, col. 10 & p. 819, col. 2)

The Zhou Yi (Yi Jing, I Ching) is consulted.

Zhao Yang consulted the tortoise-shell about relieving Zheng and got the indication of fire meeting with water. He asked an explanation of it from the historiographers Zhao, Mo, and Gui. Gui said, "This is called ‘quenching the Yang [light or fire].’ [On the strength of this] you may commence hostilities, with advantage against Jiang [i.e., Qi] but not against Zishang [Song]. You may attack Qi, but if you oppose Song, the result will be unlucky." Mo said, "Ying [said to be the surname of Zhao Yang] is a name of water. Zi [the surname of Song] is in the position of water. To put the name and the position in antagonism is not to be attempted. The emperor Yan had his fire-master from whom the house of Jiang is descended. Water overcomes fire. According to this, you may attack the Jiang." Zhao said, "We may say of this that we have indicated the full channel of a stream, which cannot be swum through. Zheng is now an offender [against Jin] and ought not to be relieved. If you go to assist Zheng, the result will be unlucky. This is all that I know."

Yang Hu consulted the reeds on the principles of the Yi of Zhou about the subject and found the diagram Tai, which then became the diagram Xu. "Here," he said, "luck is with Song. We must not engage [in conflict] with it. Qi, the viscount of Wei [the first duke of Song] was the eldest son of Di Yi; there have been intermarriages between Song and Zheng. The ‘happiness’ [that is mentioned in the comment on the third line] denotes dignity. If the eldest son of Di Yi by the marriage of his sister has good fortune and dignity, how can we have good fortune [in an expedition against Song]?" [The purpose of helping Zheng] was accordingly abandoned.

Duke Ai, 11th Year, 485 B.C.

(Legge, p. 823, col. 16 & p. 826)

Confucius on military build-up and taxation.

When Kong Wen Zi was intending to attack Tai Shu, he consulted Zhong Ni [Confucius], who said to him, “I have learned all about sacrificial vessels, but I have not heard about buff-coats and weapons [cf. Analects 15.1],” and on retiring, he ordered his carriage to be yoked and prepared for his departure from the state, saying, “The bird chooses its tree; the tree does not choose the bird.” Wen Zi hurriedly endeavored to detain him, saying, “How should I dare to be considering my private concerns? I was consulting you with reference to the troubles of the state.” He was about to stay, when messengers from Lu arrived with offerings to invite him there, and he returned to his native state.

[In Lu] Ji Sun wanted to lay a tax upon the lands. He sent Ran You to ask Zhong Ni about the subject. He replied that he did not know about it. Three times he gave this answer to inquiries pressed upon him. At last Ji Sun sent this message: “You are an old officer of the state. I am now waiting for your opinion to act. How is it that you will not give expression to it?” Zhong Ni gave no reply, but he said privately to Ran You, “The conduct of a superior man [JUNZI] is governed by the rules of propriety [LI]. In his benefactions, he prefers to be liberal; in affairs of government, he seeks to observe the right mean [ZHONG]; in his taxation, he tries to be light. According to this, the contribution required by the qiu ordinance [a tax to support military opertions] is sufficient. If Ji Sun be not governed by the rules of propriety, but by a covetous daring and insatiableness, even though he enact this taxation of the lands, it will still not be enough. If you and Ji Sun wish to act according to the laws, there are the statutes of the Duke of Zhou still existing. If you wish to act in an irregular manner, why do you consult me?” His advice was not listened to.

Zuo Zhuan English.epub
Jim Sheng,
29 Apr 2014, 18:34
Zuo Zhuan
Jim Sheng,
29 Apr 2014, 18:34