Home‎ > ‎Zuo Zhuan‎ > ‎


\chapter{BOOK IV. DUKE MIN.}

I. First year.

1. It was [the duke's] first year, the spring, the king's first month.

2. A body of men from Qi [went to] relieve Xing.

3. In summer, in the sixth month, on Xinyou, we buried our ruler, duke Zhuang.

4. In autumn, the duke made a covenant with the marquis of Qi at Luogu.

5. The officer Ji came back to Lu.

6. In winter, Zhongsun of Qi came [to Lu].


Title of the Book.—閔公, 'Duke Min.' This was a son of duke Zhuang, by a half-sister of the duchess Ai Jiang, one of the ladies, who accompanied her from Qi to the harem of Lu in Zhuang's 24th year, and who is generally mentioned as Shu Jiang (叔姜). He could only be, therefore, about 8 years old at his father's death. Called to the marquisate in consequence of the murder of his brother Ban, his own brief rule was closed in as hapless a manner by a similar end. His name was Qifang (啟方). It appears in the Historical Records as (開), because the emperor Jing (景帝) of the Han dynasty was also named Qi (啟), and another Qi could not appear in a work then published. The honorary title Min denotes-'Victim of calamity in the State (在國逢難曰閔).'

Min's rule embraced the years B. C. 660, 659. His 1st year synchronized with the 16th of of king Hui (惠); the 25th of Huan (桓) of Qi; the 16th of Xian (獻) of Jin; the 8th of Yi (懿) of Wey; the 14th of Mu (穆) of Cai; the 12th of Wen (文) of Zheng; the 1st of Ban, duke Zhao (昭公班) of Cao; the 32d of Xuan (宣) of Chen; the 12th of Hui (惠) of Qi; the 21st of Huan (桓) of Song; the 3rd of Cheng (成) of Qin; and the 11th of Cheng (成) of Chu.

Par. 1. See on I.i.1; III.i.1. Zuoshi says that the par. does not conclude with 即位, because the State was in confusion.

Par. 2. The Zhuan has here:——'The Di had invaded Xing. Guan Jingzhong [敬 was Guan Yiwu's hon. title] said to the marquis of Qi, "The Di and Rong are wolves, to whom no indulgence should be given: within the States of the Great land, all are nearly related, and none should be abandoned; luxurious repose is a poison, which should not be cherished. The ode says, 'Did we not long to return? But we were afraid of what was written in the tablets [The Shi 詩, Part II. i. VIII.];' meaning that the States should compassionate one another in calamities they were exposed to. I beg you to succour Xing, in accordance with what is commanded in the tablets." On this a force went from Qi to succour Xing.' 齊人 indicates that the marquis of Qi did not go to Xing himself, nor send a great officer. It would have been better if he had done so. See on V.i. 2.

Par. 3. This interment took place late, 'because,' says Zuoshi, 'of the troubles and confusion in the State.'

Parr. 4, 5. The Zhuan says:——'The duke covenanted with the marquis of Qi at Luogu, and besought him to restore Jiyou [who had fled to Chen. See the Zhuan on III. xxxii. 5]. The marquis consented, and sent to call You from Chen, the duke halting at Lang to wait for him.' On p. 5 Zuo says that the simple style Jizi, 'The Ji' or 'the officer Ji,' indicates commendation.

The child-marquis must have had the meeting with the marquis of Qi arranged for him, and the question has been much discussed among the critics as to who suggested to him to request the return of Jiyou. After all they have said, I think it may have proceeded from the boy himself. The 列國志 gives a pretty account of his holding the marquis by the skirt, and asking him to bring Jiyou back to save him from Qingfu. Guluo was in Qi,—in pres. dis. of Pingyin (平陰), dep. Tai'an.

Par. 6. Zhongsun was an officer of Qi,—a grandson of Zhong, himself a son of duke Xiang or duke Xi (仲孫,齊公子仲氏之孫). The two characters are here used as another clan-name. His name was Jiao (湫). The Zhuan says:——'In winter, Zhongsun Jiao of Qi came to investigate the difficulties of our condition, and is here mentioned by his clan-name, in commendation. On his return he said, "If Qingfu be not removed, the troubles of Lu will not have an end." "But how shall he be removed?" asked the duke. "Exciting troubles without ceasing," replied Jiao, "he will destroy himself. You can wait for the issue." The duke said, "May we now take Lu to ourselves?" Jiao answered, "No. Lu still holds fast to the rules of Zhou, and these are a sure foundation for a State. I have heard the saying, that when a State is about to perish its root must first be destroyed, and then the destruction of the branches and leaves will follow. While Lu does not abandon the rules of Zhou, it will not be possible to move it. Let it be the object of your grace to quiet the troubles of Lu, and be friendly to it. To be friendly with States that observe the rules of propriety; to help those that have in them the elements of solidity and strength; to complete the separation of those that are divided and disaffected; and to overthrow those that are full of disorder and confusion:—these are the methods by which a prince with the functions of president among the States proceeds."'

[The Zhuan here returns to the affairs of Jin:——'The marquis of Jin formed two armies [See the Zhuan after III. xvi. 5) taking the command of the 1st one himself, while his eldest son Shensheng commanded the other. Zhao Su drove the marquis's chariot, and Bi Wan was the spearman on his right. With these forces they extinguished the States of Geng, Huo, and Wei (魏; see on the title of the Shi, I. ix.) and on the return of the expedition the marquis walled Quwo for his son, gave Geng to Zhao Su, and Wei to Bi Wan, constituting them great officers of Jin. Shi Wei said to himself, "The marquis's eldest son will not get possession of the State. He has been separately established in a capital city [See the Zhuan appended to III. xxviii. 1], and had the dignity of a high minister [as leader of the 2nd army]. His greatness has already culminated;—how should he become marquis in adition to this? He had better make his escape to some other State, and not allow the charge of guilt to fall upon him. Might he not be satisfied to play the part of Taibo of Wu [See on Ana. VIII. 1]? He will still have an excellent fame: — how much better than to stay and let calamity come on him! Moreover, the proverb says, 'If one's heart have no flaw, what need he regret having no family?' If Heaven mean to confer dignity on our eldest prince, shall there be no Jin for him?"

'The diviner Yan said, "The descendants of Bi Wan are sure to become great. 萬 (10, 000) is the completion of numbers, and Wei (魏 =lofty) is a grand name. That his rewards should commence with this Wei is a proof that Heaven is opening up his way. With reference to the son of Heaven we speak of 'the millions of the people;' with reference to the prince of a State, of 'the myriads.' Since, in the case of Bi Wan, the grand name, i.e., 魏, is followed by the complete number, it is plain that the multitudes will belong to his posterity."

'At an earlier period, Bi Wan had divined by the milfoil about his becoming an officer of Jin, and obtained the diagram Zhun (屯), and afterwards, by the manipulation, Bi (比). Xin Liao interpreted it to be lucky. "Zhun," said he, "indicates Firmness, and Bi indicates Entering; what could be more fortunate?—he must become numerous and prosperous. Moreover, the symbol Zhen(震); the lower part of Zhun becomes that for the earth; 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."']

II. Second year.

1. In the [duke's] second year, in spring, in the king's first month, a force from Qi removed [the people of] Yang.

2. In summer, in the fifth month, on Yiyou, [the duke] offered the fortunate di sacrifice on [placing the tablet of] duke Zhuang [in the ancestral temple].

3. In autumn, in the eighth month, on Xinchou, the duke died.

4. In the ninth month, [duke Zhuang's] wife, the lady Jiang, withdrew to Zhu.

5. Duke [Huan's] son, Qingfu, fled to Ju.

6. In winter, the officer Gao of Qi came and made a covenant.

7. In the twelfth month, the Di entered [the capital of] Wey.

8. Zheng threw away its army.


Par. 1. Yang was a marquisate, held by some branch of the House of Zhou. It is referred to the pres. dis. of Yishui (沂水) dep. Yizhou. 遷,—see III. i. 8; x. 3. It is supposed that Qi removed the people to the pres. dis. of Yidu (益都), near the seat of its own power. Whether duke Huan altogether extinguished the House of Yang, or permitted it to continue its sacrifices in its new site as an attached territory, we cannot tell.

[The Zhuan has here:——'In spring, the duke of Guo defeated the Dog Rong at the bend of the Wei. Zhou Zhiqiao said, "Success bestowed where there is no virtue is the prelude to calamity. Calamities will soon come." On this he fled to Jin.']

Par. 2. The meaning of 禘 here is determined by the 吉 which precedes it, though that term is used improperly. When the period of mourning for a king or the prince of a State was completed,—a period nominally of 3 years, but actually only of 25 months,—then his Spirit-tablet was solemnly placed in the ancestral temple, the table of one of his ancestors being removed, according to a certain prescribed order, to make room for it, and there it would remain till, in process of time, it was in turn pushed out by the tablet of some later king or prince:—see the Doctrine of the Mean, xix. 4. The whole service on these occasions was called 禘,and also 祫 the latter term having reference to the sacrifice offered to all the Spirit-occupants of the temple, the former to the discrimination of the order of kindred according to which the new tablet received its place. 禘 is employed of other sacrificial occasions, but they are not to be thought of here. But 25 months at least must have elapsed from the death before the new tablet could be placed in the temple, and duke Zhuang had now been dead only 22 months;—the service was performed before the proper time. As Zuoshi says, it was too early 速也).

Par. 3. Again we have a case of base murder spoken of as if it had been a natural death. The Zhuan says:——'Before this, the duke's tutor had violently taken away some fields belonging to Bu Qi, the duke not forbidding him. In the autumn, at this time, Gongzhong [i. e., Qingfu] employed Bu Qi to murder the duke at the Wu side-gate of the palace.'

Par. 4. Comp. III. i. 2. The difference between the two parr. is, that here the lady's surname (姜氏) is given, while there it is suppressed. But we cannot account for the difference, and must accept the entries as they came from the historiographers. Jia, Fu (賈,服), and other critics, say that Ai Jiang has her surname given to her because she was not so wicked as Wen Jiang! The reason of her withdrawal from Lu is plain. Qingfu had now procured the death of two of Zhuang's sons, and had only increased the general odium with which he was regarded. Ai Jiang and he were living criminally together. She had probably been privy to the deaths of Ban and duke Min. She was obliged to withdraw from the storm of popular indignation. The reason of her going to Zhu was, perhaps, to make friends with Jiyou, who had also taken refuge in that State. Here, as in other places, Gongyang has 邾 婁 instead of 邾.

Par. 5. Qingfu also was obliged to flee the State. The Zhuan says:——'Chengji, immediately on the duke's death, had gone to Zhu, taking with him duke Zhuang's remaining son, who was afterwards duke Xi; and when Gongzhong fled to Ju, he returned to the State, and raised this son to the marquisate. He afterwards sent bribes to Ju, and requested the delivery of Gongzhong. The people of Ju were sending him back; but when he got to Me, he sent duke Huan's son, Yu, to beg for his life. The request was refused, and Yu went back, weeping loudly as he went. When Gongzhong heard him, he said, "It is the voice of Xisi [the name of the Gongzi Yu]," and hanged himself.

'Duke Min was the son of Shu Jiang, a sister of Ai Jiang, on which account the people of Qi had promoted his appointment to be marquis. Gongzhong had been carrying on a criminal intrigue with Ai Jiang, who wished him to get the State, and she had, with that view, been privy to the death of Min. She had therefore withdrawn to Zhu, but an officer of Qi took her, put her to death in Yi, and carried her body back with him. Duke Xi requested that it might be given to him, and then buried her.'

[Here follow in the Zhuan some particulars about Jiyou:——'Just before the birth of Chengji, duke Huan made the father of Chuqiu, 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 Dayou (大有), and then Qian (乾); "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 (友), and he was named accordingly!']

Par. 6. Gao is mentioned without name or designation, but with a simple 子 after the clan-name, as in the case of Jizi. 1.5. The object of his coming to Lu was to help in the re-establishment of order, and that he might be able to report about the character of the new marquis. With him he made the covenant,—on behalf of Qi.

Par. 7. The ruin which the Di dealt on Wey is related in the Zhuan:——'In the 12th month, the Di invaded Wey, the marquis of which, duke Yi, was noted for his fondness for storks. So fond was he of the creatures, that some of them were carried about in great officers' carriages. When the time for fighting came, and the people received their buff-coats, they all said, "Employ the storks. The storks truly have their revenues and dignities;—how should we be able to fight?" The duke gave his semicircle of jade to Shi Qi, and an arrow to Ning Zhuang, and appointed them to guard the city, saying, "With these emblems of authority aid the State, doing whatever you shall deem most advantageous." To his wife he gave his embroidered robe, saying to her, "Listen to these two officers." He then mounted his war-chariot, Qu Kong being charioteer, and Zibo the spearman on the right. Huang Yi led the way in front with one body of men, and Kong Yingqi brought up the rear. A battle was fought with the Di near the marsh of Ying, when the army of Wey was shamefully defeated, and the State itself might be said to be extinguished. The marquis would not leave his flag, which made the defeat the greater. The Di made prisoners of the historiographers Hua Longhua and Li Kong, and were carrying them with them in pursuit of the fugitives, when they said, [working on the superstition of the Di], "We are the grand historiographers. The sacrifices of the State are really in our management; and if we do not go before you, the city cannot be taken." On this they were allowed to go before the pursuers; and when they reached the wall, they said to the officers who had been left to guard the city, "You must not remain here." That same night, Shi and Ning left the city with the people; and the Di entered it, and then pursued, inflicting another defeat on the fugitives at the He.

'Before this, when duke Hui [Shuo of II. xvi. 5, et al.] succeeded to Wey, he was young, and the people of Qi required Zhaobo to form a connection with Xuan Jiang [See the Zhuan, on II. xvi. 5. Xuan Jiang was Shuo's mother, and Zhaobo was a half-brother]; and when he refused, they compelled him to do it. From this union there sprang Qizi, Shen who was afterwards duke Dai, Hui who was afterwards duke Wen, the wife of Huan of Song, and the wife of Mu of Xu [See on the Shi, I. iv. X.]. Hui had gone to Qi, before the invasion of the Di, because of the many troubles of Wey; and after their two defeats, duke Huan of Song met the fugitives at the He, and carried them over the river at night.

'All that remained of the people of Wey, men and women, only amounted to 730 men; and when to these were added the people of Gong and Teng, the number was only 5,000. Shen, or duke Dai, was raised to Yi's place, and lived in a hut in Cao, [another town of Wey]. On this occasion the wife of Mu of Xu made the Zai Chi [載馳. The Shi, I.iv. ode X.]. The marquis of Qi sent his eldest son, Wukui, with 300 chariots and 3,000 mailed men, to guard Cao. He also sent to the duke a team of 4 horses; 5 suits of sacrificial robes; oxen, sheep, pigs, fowls, and dogs, in all 300; and materials for doors. He also sent to his wife a great officer's carriage ornamented with seal-skin, and 30 pieces of fine embroidered silk.

The text says that 'the Di entered Wey;' and the critics are divided on the amount of meaning in the term 'entered.' Fan Ning thinks it is equivalent to 'extinguished.' Sun Jue thinks that, as we afterward find Wey mentioned in the Chunqiu, the Di could not have taken possession of the territory. The Zhuan shows that the entry of the Di into the State, and their capture of its capital, were not followed by the extinction of the State. See what has been said about on I. ii. 2.

Par. 8. The Zhuan says on this par.:——'The earl of Zheng hated Gao Ke, and sent him with an army to the borders of the He, where he remained stationed for a long time, without being recalled. The troops dispersed, and returned to their homes. Gao Ke himself fled to Chen; and the people of Zheng, with reference to the affair, made the Qing Ren (The Shi, I. vii. ode V.).' Gao Ke was an officer of Zheng, covetous and disrespectful to his ruler, who wanted to get rid of him, and took the method described in the Zhuan to do so. 棄 其師, 'abandoned its army' i. e., sent it away to the borders, and then took no more thought about it.

[Here follow four narratives in the Zhuan:—1st. 'The marquis of Jin proposed sending his eldest son Shensheng to invade the Gaoluo tribe of the eastern hills [in Shanxi], when Li Ke remonstrated, saying, "It is the business of the eldest son to bear the vessels of millet for the great sacrifices, and for those at the altars of the land and the grain, and also to inspect the provisions cooked for the ruler every morning and evening. On this account he is styled the 'great son.' When the ruler goes abroad, he guards the capital; and if another be appointed to guard it, he attends upon his father. When he attends upon him, he is called 'Soother of the host;' when he stays behind on guard, he is called 'Inspector of the State:'— this is the ancient rule. But to lead the army and determine its movements and plans, issuing all commands to the troops:—this is what the ruler and his chief minister have to provide for; it is not the business of the eldest son. The conduct of an army all depends on the definite commands which are given. If the son receive the commands of another, it is injurious to his majesty; if he determines himself the commands, he is unfilial. For this reason the ruler's proper son and heir ought not to have the command of the army. The ruler fails to employ the right man in devolving the command on him; and if, as commander, he lose the majesty which belongs to him, how can he afterwards be employed? Your servant, moreover, has heard that the Gaoluos will fight. Leave, I pray you, your son alone, and do not send him." The duke said, "I have many sons, and I do not yet know whom I shall appoint my successor." And on this Ke withdrew, without making any reply. When he saw the duke's eldest son, the prince asked him whether he was to be disowned, and Ke replied, "Let the people know how you can preside over them; and teach them their duties in the army. Be only afraid of not reverently attending to these two things;—why should you be disowned? As a son, moreover, you have to fear lest you should not be filial; you have not to fear lest you should not be appointed to the succession. Cultivate yourself, and do not be finding fault with others; so shall you escape calamity."

'When his eldest son took the command of the army, the duke gave him a robe of two colours, and his golden semicircle to hang at his girdle. Hu Tu was his charioteer, and Xian You the spearman on his right. Liang Yuziyang was charioteer to Han Yi [who led the 2d host], and Xian Danmu was the spearman on his right. The great officer Yangshe acted as adjutant.

'Xian You said, "It is only on this expedition that he has worn this parti-coloured robe, and carried this important symbol. Let him exert himself, and admit nothing evil in his own half of his person. With his present power, he ought to keep calamity far away. Giving himself no occasion for it, what has he to fear?' Hu Tu, however, sighed and said, "The time is the proof of the thing; the garment is the distinction of the person; the symbol is the manifestation of the feeling. Were there a real interest in the expedition, the order for it would have come earlier; the robe for his person would have been of one colour; and the proper feeling would have given the proper symbol for the girdle. This parti-coloured robe shows a wish to remove his person; this golden semicircle for the girdle shows the abandonment of kindly feeling. The robe thus indicating a wish for the removal of the person; the time shutting the prince up from success; the garment thin; the winter killing; the metal cold; and the symbol the imperfect circle:—what is there in these things to be trusted to? Although the prince may wish to do his utmost, can the Di be utterly destroyed?"

'Liang Yuziyang said, 'The commander of an army receives his commands in the ancestral temple, and the sacrificial flesh at the altar of the land. He should wear the ordinary dress also; and since the prince cannot do so, but has this parti-coloured robe, the nature of the duke's command may be hence understood. Than that the prince should die for being unfilial, it is better that he should make his escape." Han Yi said, "The parti-coloured coat is strange and uncommon; the gold semicircle shows a wish that he should not return;—though he do return, of what good will it be? The duke has his mind made up." Xian Danmu said, "Even a madman would have his doubts excited by this dress. The duke's command was, 'Destroy utterly the enemy, and then return;' but can the enemy be utterly destroyed? Even if we should make an end of the enemy, there are calumniators in the court;—we had better abandon the expedition and go away." Hu Tu also wished to go; but the great officer Yangshe said, "This is wrong. If the prince disobey his father's command, he will be unfilial; if he abandon the business entrusted to him, he will be unfaithful. Although he knows the cold feeling of his father, he must not choose to do evil. Rather let him die in obedience."

'When the prince was about to fight. Hu Tu remonstrated with him, saying, "Do not do so. Xin Bo gave counsel to duke Huan of Zhou [See the 2d Zhuan, after II. xviii. 3] saying, The favourite of the harem made equal to the queen; the favourites of the court made equal to the ministers of the government; the son of a concubine made equal to the legitimate son; and another great city made as large as the capital:—these are the foundation of disorder." But the duke of Zhou would not listen to him, and so came to his unfortunate end. The root of disorder is already formed in Jin. Can your succession to the State be made sure? Be filial, and seek the repose of the people;—lay your plans for this. It will be better than endangering your person, and accelerating the imputation to you of guilt.'

2d. 'When Cheng Feng [the mother of duke Xi. Feng was her surname, and Cheng her hon. title] heard the oracles concerning Chengji, she honoured him [See the Zhuan introduced after par. 5] and sought his guidance, entrusting also her son to him. This was the reason why Ji secured the succession of duke Xi.'

3d. 'In the 1st year of Xi, duke Huan of Qi removed the capital of Xing to Yiyi, and in his second established Wey in Chuqiu. The people of Xing moved to their new seat as if they were going home, and the State of Wey forgot its ruin.'

4th. 'Duke Wen of Wey, in garments of coarse linen and a cap of coarse silk, laboured to improve his resources; encouraged agriculture; promoted trade; treated the mechanics kindly; reverently sought the moral instruction of the people; stimulated them to learn; imposed nothing but what was right; and employed the able. The consequence was that while his leather carriages in his first year were only 30, in his last year they amounted to 300.']