1. Note the rhyming formation, Shun, kung, chung, ch'iung chung. 四海困窮也; etc. If the four seas be straightened and impoverished, the honours and emolument given to you by heaven will forever cease. YAO reigned 73 years from B.C. 2356, when he appointed Shun as administrator and successor, though he did not die till 2256. The address is not found in this form in the 書經, but its various sentences are found in Shun's address on his abdicating to Yü. Sec 書 II. ii, 14, 15. C. 咨, 嗟歎聲, a sigh, but it seems to be merely an exclamation. 曆數, 帝王相繼之次第, 猶歲時節氣之先後也, The order of Imperial succession e.g. just as the years and seasons succeed each other. 允, 信也, sincerely, faithfully, 中者,無過不及之名. A term indicating neither excess nor deficiency. L. Oh! You Shun, the Heaven-determined order of succession now rests in your person. Sincerely hold fast the due Mean. If there shall be distress and want etc. Heavenly revenue will come to a perpetual end. Z. heus, tu Choen, coelitus successionis ordo est in tua persona etc. K. Hail to thee, O Shun! The God ordained etc. middle course of right. If etc. the title and honour which God has given thee etc. Couv. Eh bien! Chouenn, voici le temps fixé par le Ciel pour votre avennement à l'empire etc. le juste milieu etc. Si etc. le Ciel vous retirerait pourjamaisle pouvoir et les tresors royaux.


2. Shun acted as Regent from 228-2254, when he ascended the throne in response to popular demand. About 2221 he resigned the government to Yü and died in 2204, when Yü accepted the throne, founded the 夏dynasty, and reigned till 2196.


3. These sentences were uttered by T'ang, B.C. 1765-1752, who overthrew the tyrant 桀 (the 有罪 here referred to), and founded the 殷 or 商 dynasty. They are found scattered in the 書 IV, iii. 4, 8. The first half is his sacrificial prayer after the overthrow, the second half was addressed to the nobles present. C. Li was T'ang's name. He offered a black bullock in accordance with the 夏 usage. 簡閱也Scrutinize. L. I, the child Le, presume to use a dark-coloured victim, and presume to announce to Thee, O most great and sovereign God, that the sinner, etc., and Thy ministers etc, obscurity. The examination of them is by Thy mind, O God. If in my person I commit offences, they are not to be attributed to you, the people of the myriad regions. If you etc. those offences must rest on my person. Z. si imperii populi habeant peccatum, peccatum erit in mea persona. K announce to Thee, O Supreme and sovereign God, that sinners I shall not dare to pardon if the people shall sin against thee, let me alone bear the penalty etc. Couv. Moi Li, qui suis comme un faible enfant etc. J'ai osé déclarer solennellement en face de l'auguste souverain et Seigneur du ciel, que je ne permettrais pas d'epargner etc. parce que les cruautés du tyran et le vertus des sages étaient incrites dans la coeur du Maitre supréme. Si je commets une faute, le peuple n'en sera pas responsible etc.


4. All that follows refers to Wu, the founder of the 周 dynasty, and destroyer of the tyrant 紂 last Emperor of the 商. It is recorded of him in the 書 V, iii, 9, that he "dispersed the treasures of Lu T'ai and dispersed the collection of grain in Chü Ch'iao, thus conferring 大賚於四海而萬姓悅服. C. The meaning here is that all he rewarded were good men.


5. Sec 書 VI. ii, 6. The tyrant "has myriads of common men, divided in heart and divided in action. I have but ten capable ministers, but they are one in heart and action; and although he have a host of near relatives they are not equal to men of virtue." C. 周, 致也. 言紂之至親雖多,不如周家之多仁人. That is, 周 is 致 close, near, etc. 過 is interpreted by 處 blame, but some translate it as in T'ang's prayer, meaning transgressions. 書 V I. ii. 7. L. The people are blaming me, the one man, for my delay. K. Although there are men attached and related to our person, yet we do not consider them equal in value to men of moral character. If the people fail in their conduct it is we alone who are to blame. Couv. (Si je ne le renverse pas) les plaintes de peuples se tourneront centre moi seul.


6.權, 稱錘也 A weight; 量, 斗斛也 A measure; 法度, 禮樂制度皆是也, Ceremonies and regulations inclusive.


7. 興滅繼絕, 謂封黃帝堯舜夏商之後Appointed successors to the preceding dynasties, assigning to them their original States. 舉逸民謂釋箕子之囚,Released Viscount Chi of Wei 微 from prison and re-instated him. 此三者皆人心之所欲也, These three things accorded with the people s heart's desire.


8. See 書 V. iii, 10.


9. 任 is described by 備旨 as 天下依庇 all rely upon him. Cf. XVIII. 6. 

一 堯曰, 咨而舜, 天之曆數, 在爾躬; 允執其中, 四海困窮, 天祿永終.

二 舜亦以命禹.

三 曰,予小子履, 敢用玄牡,敢昭告于皇皇后帝。有罪不敢赦,帝臣不蔽,簡在帝心,朕躬有罪,無以萬方,萬方有罪,罪在朕躬。

四 周有大賚,善人是富。

五 雖有周親,不如仁人。百姓有過,在予一人。

六 謹權量,審法度,修廢官,四方之政行也。

七 興滅國,繼絕世,舉逸民,天下之民歸心也。

八 所重民食,喪,祭。

九 寬則得眾,信則民任焉,敏則有功,公則悅。

CHAPTER I. Yao Said 

1. Yao said: "Oh! thou, Shun. The celestial lineage rests in thy person. Faithfully hold to the golden mean. Should the land be lean, Heaven's bounties forever end." 

2. And Shun in like terms charged Yü. 

3. (T'ang) said: "I thy child Li, Dare to use a black ox, And dare to clearly state to Thee, Oh! Most August and Sovereign God, That the sinner I dare not spare, Nor keep Thy ministers, Oh God, in obscurity. As Thy heart, Oh God, discerns. If I have sinned, let it not concern the country; if my country has sinned, let the sin rest on me." 

4. (Wu of) Chou conferred great largesses, the good being enriched. 

5. "Although," said he, "(the tyrant Chou) had his (host of princes) closely related (to the throne), they compared not with my men of Virtue; and it is upon me that the grievances of the people fell." 

6. He paid careful attention to the weights and measures, revised the laws and regulations, restored the disused offices, and universal government prevailed. 

7. He re-established States that had been extinguished, restored the lines of broken succession, called to office men who had exiled themselves, and all the people gave him their hearts. 

8. What he laid stress on were the people's food, mourning for the dead, and sacrifices. 

9. By his magnanimity he won all, by his good faith he gained the people's confidence, by his diligence he achieved his ends, and by his justice all were gratified.