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1. Formerly Kung-nî was present as one of the guests at the Kâ sacrifice[2]; and when it was over, he went out and walked backwards and forwards on the terrace over the gate of Proclamations[3], looking sad and sighing. What made him sigh was the state of Lû[4]. Yen Yen was by his side, and said to him, 'Master, what are you sighing about?' Confucius replied, 'I never saw the practice of the Grand course[5], and the eminent men of the three dynasties[6]; but I have my object (in harmony with theirs).

.2. 'When the Grand course was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled all under the sky; they

[1. See the introduction, pages 23, 24.

2. Offered in the end of the year, in thanksgiving for all the crops that had been reaped. See in Book IX, ii, paragraphs 9, 10.

3. The gateway where illustrated copies of the laws and punishments were suspended, It belonged of right only to the royal palace, but it was among the things which Lû had usurped, or was privileged to use.

4. As usurping royal rites, and in disorder.

5. This sounds Tâoistic. It is explained of the time of the five Tîs.

6. The founders of the Hsiâ, Shang, and Kâu, and their great ministers.]

chose[1] men of talents, virtue, and ability; their words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony. Thus men did not love their parents only, nor treat as children only their own sons. A competent provision was secured for the aged till their death, employment for the able-bodied, and the means of growing up to the young. They showed kindness and compassion to widows, orphans, childless men, and those who were disabled by disease, so that they were all sufficiently maintained. Males had their proper work, and females had their homes. (They accumulated) articles (of value), disliking that they should be thrown away upon the ground, but not wishing to keep them for their own gratification[2]. (The), laboured) with their strength, disliking that it should not be exerted, but not exerting it (only) with a view to their own advantage[3]. In this way (selfish) schemings were repressed and found no development. Robbers, filchers, and

[1. 'They chose;' who are intended by the 'they?' Shall we find them in the 'all under the sky' of the preceding clause? Callery has:--'Sous le grand régne de la vertu, l'empire était la chose publique. On choisissait pour le gouverneur les hommes éminents,' &c. Khung Ying-tâ explains the clause by 'They made no hereditary princes., Perhaps it would be well to translate passively,--'Men of virtue and ability were chosen (to govern).' The writer has before him the Tâoistic period of the primitive simplicity, when there was no necessity for organised government as in after ages.

2 It is rather difficult to construe and translate these two sentences. Callery gives for them, not very successfully:--'Quant aux objets matériels, ceux qu'on n'aimait pas, on les abandonnait (aux personnes qui en avaient besoin), sans les mettre en réserve pour soi. Les choses dont on était capable, on regardait comme fort mauvais de ne pas les faire, lors même que cc n'était pas pour soi.']

rebellious traitors did not show themselves, and hence the outer doors remained open, and were not shut. This was (the period of) what we call the Grand Union.

3. 'Now that the Grand course has fallen into disuse and obscurity, the kingdom is a family inheritance. Every one loves (above all others) his own parents and cherishes (as) children (only) his own sons. People accumulate articles and exert their strength for their own advantage. Great men imagine it is the rule that their states should descend in their own families. Their object is to make the walls of their cities and suburbs strong and their ditches and moats secure. The rules of propriety and of what is right are regarded as the threads by which they seek to maintain in its correctness the relation between ruler and minister; in its generous regard that between father and son; in its harmony that between elder brother and younger; and in a community of sentiment that between husband and wife; and in accordance with them they frame buildings and measures; lay out the fields and hamlets (for the dwellings of the husbandmen); adjudge the superiority to men of valour and knowledge; and regulate their achievements with a view to their own advantage. Thus it is that (selfish) schemes and enterprises are constantly taking their rise, and recourse is had to arms; and thus it was (also) that Yü, Thang, Wan and Wû, king Khang, and the duke of Kâu obtained their distinction. Of these six great men every one was very attentive to the rules of propriety, thus to secure the display of righteousness, the realisation of sincerity, the exhibition of errors, the exemplification of benevolence, and the discussion of courtesy, showing the people all the normal virtues. Any rulers who did not follow this course were driven away by those who possessed power and position, and all regarded them as pests. This is the period of what we call Small Tranquillity[1].'

4. Yen Yen again asked, 'Are the rules of Propriety indeed of such urgent importance?' Confucius said, 'It was by those rules that the ancient kings sought to represent the ways of Heaven, and to regulate the feelings of men. Therefore he who neglects or violates them may be (spoken of) as dead, and he who observes them, as alive. It is said in the Book of Poetry,

Look at a rat-how small its limbs and fine!
Then mark the course that scorns the proper line.
Propriety's neglect may well provoke
A wish the man would quickly court death's stroke"

Therefore those rules are rooted in heaven, have their correspondencies in earth, and are applicable to spiritual beings. They extend to funeral rites, sacrifices, archery, chariot-driving, capping, marriage, audiences, and friendly missions. Thus the sages made known these rules, and it became possible for the kingdom, with its states and clans, to reach its correct condition.'

5. Yen Yen again asked, 'May I be allowed to hear, Master, the full account that you would give of

[1. The Tâoism in this and the preceding paragraph is evident, and we need not be surprised that Wang of Shih-liang should say that they ought not to be ascribed to Confucius. The Khien-lung editors try to weaken the force of his judgment by a theory of misplaced tablets and spurious additions to the text.

The Shih, I, iv, 8; metrical version, page 99.]

these rules?' Confucius said, 'I wished to see the ways of Hsiâ, and for that purpose went to Khî. But it was not able to attest my words, though I found there "The seasons of Hsiâ." I wished to see the ways of Yin, and for that purpose went to Sung. But it was not able to attest my words, though I found there "The Khwan Khien." In this way I got to see the meanings in the Khwan Khien, and the different steps in the seasons of Hsiâ[1].

6. 'At the first use of ceremonies, they began with meat and drink. They roasted millet and pieces of pork[2]; they excavated the ground in the form of a jar, and scooped the water from it with their two hands; they fashioned a handle of clay, and struck with it an earthen drum. (Simple as these arrangements were), they yet seemed to be able to express by them their reverence for Spiritual Beings.

7. '(By-and-by)[3], when one died, they went upon

[1. Compare with this paragraph the ninth in the third Book of the Analects. In that Confucius tells of his visits to Khî and Sung; but says nothing of his finding any book or fragment of a book in either, dwelling instead on the insufficiency of their records. 'The seasons of Hsü,' which it is said here 'he got in Khî,' is supposed to be the 'small calendar of Hsiâ,' preserved by the Greater Tai, and 'the Khwan Khien' to have been the 'Kwei Zhang Yî,' attributed by many to the Shang dynasty. But all this is very uncertain.

2. In an unartificial manner, we are told, 'by placing them on heated stones.' It is only the last sentence of the paragraph which makes us think that the previous parts have anything to do with sacrifice or religion.

3. Khung Ying-t-â thinks that this describes the practices of the period of 'the five Tîs.' The north is the quarter of darkness and decay, the south that of brightness and life. 'The paragraph teaches us,' says Hsu Shih-zang, 'that the burial and other mourning ceremonies were not inventions of later sages, but grew from the natural feelings and sorrow of the earliest men.']

the housetop, and called out his name in a prolonged note, saying, "Come back, So and So." After this they filled the mouth (of the dead) with uncooked rice, and (set forth as offerings to him) packets of raw flesh. Thus they looked up to heaven (whither the spirit was gone), and buried (the body) in the earth. The body and the animal soul go downwards; and the intelligent spirit is on high.

Thus (also) the dead are placed with their heads to the north, while the living look towards the south. In all these matters the earliest practice is followed.

8. 'Formerly the ancient kings' had no houses. In winter they lived in caves which they had excavated, and in summer in nests which they had framed. They knew not yet the transforming power of fire, but ate the fruits of plants and trees, and the flesh of birds and beasts, drinking their blood, and swallowing (also) the hair and feathers. They knew not yet the use of flax and silk, but clothed themselves with feathers and skins.

9. 'The later sages then arose, and men (learned) to take advantage of the benefits of fire. They moulded the metals and fashioned clay, so as to rear towers with structures on them, and houses with windows and doors. They toasted, grilled, boiled, and roasted. They produced must and sauces. They dealt with the flax and silk so as to form linen and silken fabrics. They were thus able to nourish the living, and to make offerings to the dead; to serve

[1. This was, says King, 'the time of the highest antiquity;' 'the time,' says Ying-Lâ, 'before the five Tîs.']

the spirits of the departed and God[1]. In all these things we follow the example of that early time.

10. 'Thus it is that the dark-coloured liquor is in the apartment (where the representative of the dead is entertained)[2]; that the vessel of must is near its (entrance) door; that the reddish liquor is in the hall; and the clear, in the (court) below. The victims (also) are displayed, and the tripods and stands are prepared. The lutes and citherns are put in their places, with the flutes, sonorous stones, bells, and drums. The prayers (of the principal in the sacrifice to the spirits) and the benedictions (of the representatives of the departed) are carefully framed. The

[1. According to Ying-tâ, 'this is descriptive of the times of Shan Nang in middle antiquity, of the five Tîs, and of the three kings.' This would extend it over a very long space of time. When it is said that men in their advancing civilisation were able to serve the spirits of the departed and God, the peculiarity of style by which those spirits (literally, the Kwei Shan) are placed before God (Shang Tî) does not fail to attract the notice of the student. The explanation of it was given ingeniously, and I believe correctly, by Dr. Medhurst (Theology of the Chinese, page 78), who says, I it was done, probably, in order to distinguish the one from the other, and to prevent the reader from imagining that the Kwei Shans belonged to the Shang Tî, which mistake might have occurred had the characters been differently arranged! I translate the last sentence in the present tense, the, speaker having, I think, his own times in mind.

2. The 'dark-coloured' liquor was water, which was employed in the earliest times, before there was any preparation of liquor made from grain, either by fermentation or distillation, and the use of it was continued in the subsequent times of which this paragraph speaks, in honour of the practice of antiquity; and is continued, probably, to the present day. The other liquors are mentioned in the order of their invention, following one another in the historical line of their discovery, the older always having a nearer and more honourable place.]

object of all the ceremonies is to bring down the spirits from above, even their ancestors[1]; serving (also) to rectify the relations between ruler and ministers; to maintain the generous feeling between father and son, and the harmony between elder and younger brother; to adjust the relations between high and low; and to give their proper places to husband and wife. The whole may be said to secure the blessing of Heaven.

11. 'They proceed to their invocations, using in each the appropriate terms. The dark-coloured liquor is employed in (every) sacrifice. The blood with the hair and feathers (of the victim) is presented. The flesh, uncooked, is set forth on the stands[2]. The bones with the flesh on them are sodden; and rush mats and coarse cloth are placed underneath and over the vases and cups. The robes of dyed silk are put on. The must and clarified liquor are presented. The flesh, roasted and grilled, is brought forward[3]. The ruler and his wife take alternate parts in presenting these offerings, all being done to please the souls of the departed, and constituting a union (of the living) with the disembodied and unseen.

[1. Dr. Medhurst rendered this--'to bring down the Shans of the upper world, together with the manes of their first ancestors.' In giving to the two phrases one and the same reference I am following Ying-tâ and others.

2. The last three observances were in imitation of what was done in the earliest antiquity.

3. In these six things the ways of ' middle antiquity' were observed. The whole paragraph is descriptive of a sacrifice in the ancestral temple under Kâu, where an effort was made to reproduce all sacrificial customs from the earliest times.]

12. 'These services having been completed, they retire, and cook again all that was insufficiently done. The dogs, pigs, bullocks, and sheep are dismembered. The shorter dishes (round and square), the taller ones of bamboo and wood, and the soup vessels are all filled. There are the prayers which express the filial piety (of the worshipper), and the benediction announcing the favour (of his ancestors). This may be called the greatest omen of prosperity; and in this the ceremony obtains its grand completion[1].'


1. Confucius said, 'Ah! Alas! I look at the ways of Kâu. (The kings) Yû[2] and Lî[3] corrupted them indeed, but if I leave Lû, where shall I go (to find them better)? The border sacrifice of Lû, (however,) and (the association with it of) the founder of the line (of Kâu) is contrary to propriety;--how have (the institutions of) the duke of Kâu fallen into decay[4]! At the border sacrifice in Khî, Yü was the assessor, and at that in Sung, Hsieh; but these were observances

[1. This last paragraph appears to me to give a very condensed account of the banquet to a ruler's kindred, with which a service in the ancestral temple concluded. Paragraphs 10, 11, 12 are all descriptive of the parts of such a service. Compare the accounts of it in the Shih II, vi, ode 5, and other pieces.

2 B.C. 791-771.

3. B.C. 878-828.

4. That the sacrificial ceremonies of Lû were in many things corrupted in Lû in the time of Confucius is plain to the reader of the Analects. How the corruption first began is a subject of endless controversy. it seems to be established that special privileges were granted in this respect to the duke of Kâu and his son, Po-khin. Guarded at first and innocent, encroachments were made by successive princes, as the vigour, of the royal authority declined; and by-and-by as those princes became themselves more and more weak, their ministers followed in their wake, and usurped the same ceremonies in their own services.

The commentators throw little light on the special corruption selected here for condemnation by Confucius. I have interpreted it by the analogy of the cases of Khî and Sung. The lords of those states were descended from the sovereigns of Hsiâ and Shang respectively, and were invested with them at the rise of the Kâu dynasty, that they might continue in them the sacrifices of their royal ancestors. They did so not as the lords of Khî and Sung, but as representing the lines of Hsiâ and Shang. But the case was different with the lords of Lû, belonging to the time of Kâu, but not representing it. Its kings were still reigning. Whether the words of Confucius should be extended over all the paragraph is a doubtful point.]

of the sons of Heaven, preserved (in those states by their descendants). The rule is that (only) the son of Heaven sacrifices to heaven and earth, and the princes of states sacrifice at the altars to the spirits of the land and grain.'

2. When no change is presumptuously made from the constant practice from the oldest times between the prayer and blessing (at the beginning of the sacrifice)[1], and the benediction (at the end of it)[1], we have what might be called a great and happy service.

3. For the words of prayer and blessing and those of benediction to be kept hidden away by the officers of prayer of the ancestral temple, and the sorcerers and recorders, is a violation of the rules of propriety. This may be called keeping a state in darkness[2].

[1. See paragraph 12 of the last section.

2. In this way new forms of prayer and benediction came into use, and the old forms were forgotten. The sorcerers; see page 172, paragraph 42.]

4. (The use of) the kan cup (of Hsiâ) and the kiâ cup (of Yin), and (the pledging in them) between the representative of the dead and the ruler are contrary to propriety;-these things constitute 'a usurping ruler[1].'

5. (For ministers and Great officers to) keep the cap with pendents and the leathern cap, or military weapons, in their own houses is contrary to propriety. To do so constitutes 'restraint of the ruler[2].'

6. For Great officers to maintain a full staff of employés, to have so many sacrificial vessels that they do not need to borrow any; and have singers and musical instruments all complete, is contrary to propriety. For them to do so leads to 'disorder in a state'.[3]

7. Thus, one sustaining office under the ruler is called a minister, and one sustaining office under the head of a clan is called a servant. Either of these, who is in mourning for a parent, or has newly married, is not sent on any mission for a year[4].

[1. It would be of little use to give representations of those cups, as they are ordinarily figured. Only in Khî, Sung, and Lû could they be used with any degree of propriety. In the times referred to in these paragraphs they were used by other states; which was an act of usurpation.

2. Certain styles of these caps were peculiar to the king, and of course could not be used by inferiors. Others might be used by them, but were kept in public offices, and given out when required. Sometimes they were conferred by special gift; but none could make them for themselves.

3. A Great officer, if he had land, might have a ruler or steward, to whom everything was entrusted; and he might have some sacrificial vessels, but not a complete set. He did not have music at his sacrifices, unless it were by special permission.

4. Compare Deuteronomy xxiv. 5.]

To enter court in decayed robes, or to live promiscuously with his servants, taking place among them according to age:--all these things are contrary to propriety. Where we have them, we have what is called 'ruler and minister sharing the state.'

8. Thus, the son of Heaven has his domain that he may settle there his sons and grandsons; and the feudal princes have their states; and Great officers their appanages that they may do the same for theirs. This constitutes 'the statutory arrangement.'

9. Thus, when the son of Heaven goes to visit a feudal prince, the rule is that he shall lodge in the ancestral temple, and that he do not enter it without having with him all the rules to be observed. If he act otherwise, we have an instance of 'The son of Heaven perverting the laws, and throwing the regulations into confusion.' A prince, unless it be to ask about the sick or to condole with a mourner, does not enter the house of a minister. If he act otherwise, we have the case of 'ruler and minister playing with each other.'

10. Therefore, ceremonies form a great instrument in the hands of a ruler. It is by them that he resolves what is doubtful and brings to light what is abstruse; that he conducts his intercourse with spiritual beings, examines all statutory arrangements, and distinguishes benevolence from righteousness; it is by them, in short, that government is rightly ordered, and his own tranquillity secured.

11. When government is not correct, the ruler's seat is insecure. When the ruler's seat is insecure, the great ministers revolt, and smaller ones begin pilfering. Punishments (then) are made severe, and manners deteriorate. Thus the laws become irregular, and the rules of ceremony uncertain. When these are uncertain, officers do not perform their duties; and when punishments become severe, and manners deteriorate, the people do not turn (to what is right). We have that condition which may be described as 'an infirm state.'

12. In this way government is the means by which the ruler keeps and protects his person, and therefore it must have a fundamental connection with Heaven. This uses a variety of ways in sending down the intimations of Its will. As learned from the altars of the land, these are (receptivity and docility) imparted to the earth. As learned from the ancestral temple, they are benevolence and righteousness. As learned from the altars of the hills and streams, they are movement and activity. As learned from the five sacrifices of the house, they are the statutes (of their various spirits). It is in this way that the sage rulers made provision for the safe keeping of their persons[1].

[1. On this paragraph M. Callery has the following note:--'Très difficile à comprendre dans nos idées, ce passage offre un sens tout simple et naturel aux Chinois, dont la bizarre métaphysique va chercher dans la nature une analogie essentielle entre les accidents divers des êtres, et les phénomènes rationnels ou psychologiques. Ainsi, suivant les philosophes Chinois, tant anciens que modernes, la société présente des inégalités dans ses classes d'individus, comme la terre présente à sa surface des montagnes et des vallées; telle loi provoque l'action et le mouvement, comme les rivières pleines de poissons et les montagnes couvertes de forêts sont des foyers de vie et de développement; telle autre loi impose des obligations humanitaires, comme les temples inspirent la piété filiale envers les ancêtres, ou le respect envers les Dieux. Ces analogies sont quelquefois poussées jusqu'au dernier ridicule; mais les Chinois ne les trouvent jamais forcées, et semblent faire très peu de cas de la logique Européenne, qui ne les admire pas.'

The Khien-lung editors say on it:-'Hsiâo (###) gives the idea of distribution. All the principles under the sky are simply expressive of the mind of the one Heaven. Heaven is everywhere, and its distributions from which we see its ordinations are also everywhere. Khien (###) 'great and originating,' contains all the meaning belonging to the name Heaven. Earth (###) obediently receives the influences of heaven. Consequently, when we see how earth supports all things, we know how the ordination of Heaven has descended on it. Heaven is the author of all things. It produced men, and men go on to produce one another, in succession. From this we see that every man has his ancestor, and know how the ordination of Heaven has descended on the ancestral temple. Hills and streams are also the productions of Heaven, but every one of them is also able to produce other things; and when we see their productiveness, we know that the ordination of Heaven to that effect has descended on them. The productive power of Heaven is distributed in the five elements, and their results, which are most important to men, are exhibited in the five sacrifices of the house, so that we see those results in these, and know that the ordination of Heaven has descended on them. Now the ancestral temples, the hills and streams, and those five altars of the house, are all distributed on the earth, but in reality have their root in Heaven. And so it is that the sages after the pattern of Heaven made their ordinations; and their filial piety and righteousness, and all the duties enjoined by them, effective, though unseen, secure the issues of government.']

13. Hence the sage forms a ternion with Heaven and Earth, and stands side by side with spiritual beings, in order to the right ordering of government. Taking his place on the ground of the principles inherent in them, he devised ceremonies in their order; calling them to the happy exercise of that in which they find pleasure, he secured the success of the government of the people.

14. Heaven produces the seasons. Earth produces all the sources of wealth. Man is begotten by his father, and instructed by his teacher. The ruler correctly uses these four agencies, and therefore he stands in the place where there is no error[1].

15. Hence the ruler is he to whose brightness men look; he does not seek to brighten men. It is he whom men support; he does not seek to support men. It is he whom men serve; he does not seek to serve men. If the ruler were to seek to brighten men, he would fall into errors. If he were to seek to nourish men, he would be unequal to the task. If he were to seek to serve men, he would be giving up his position. Therefore the people imitate the ruler, and we have their self-government; they nourish their ruler, and they find their security in doing so; they serve the ruler, and find their distinction in doing so. Thus it is by the universal application of the rules of propriety, that the lot and duty (of different classes) are fixed; thus it is that men (acting contrary to those rules,) would all have to account death a boon, and life an evil.

16. Therefore (the ruler), making use of the wisdom of others, will put away the cunning to which that wisdom might lead him; using their courage, he will (in the same way) put away

[1. 'If the ruler,' says Khung Ying-tâ, 'were to undertake to do all the work of these agencies himself, he would commit many errors. Employing them according to the natural operation of each, the work is easily performed, and without error.']

passion; and using their benevolence, he will put away covetousness[1].

17. Therefore, when calamity comes on a state, for the ruler to die for its altars is to be regarded as right; but for a Great officer to die for the ancestral temple is to be regarded as a change (of the duty required from him)[2].

18. Therefore when it is said that (the ruler being) a sage can look on all under the sky as one family, and on all in the Middle states as one man, this does not mean that he will do so on premeditation and purpose. He must know men's feelings, lay open to them what they consider right, show clearly to them what is advantageous, and comprehend what are their calamities. Being so furnished, he is then able to effect the thing.

19. What are the feelings of men? They are joy, anger, sadness, fear, love, disliking, and liking. These seven feelings belong to men without their learning them. What are 'the things which men consider right?' Kindness on the part of the father, and filial duty on that of the son; gentleness on the part of the elder brother, and obedience on that of

[1. I have here followed the Khien-lung editors in preference to Kang Khang-khang and others. The latter consider that the cunning, passion, and covetousness are those of the men whom the ruler employs,-vices generally found, along with the good qualities belonging to them.

2. It is not easy to see the ground of the reprehension of the devotion of a Great officer which is here implied. 'The care of the state is a trust committed to the ruler by the sovereign,-he should die in maintaining it. An officer has services to discharge, and not trusts to maintain. When the services can no longer be discharged, he may leave them and save himself'(?).]

the younger; righteousness on the part of the husband, and submission on that of the wife; kindness on the part of elders, and deference on that of juniors; with benevolence on the part of the ruler, and loyalty on that of the minister;--these ten are the things which -men consider to be right. Truthfulness in speech and the cultivation of harmony constitute what are called 'the things advantageous to men.' Quarrels, plundering, and murders are 'the things disastrous to men.' Hence, when a sage (ruler) would regulate the seven feelings of men, cultivate the ten virtues that are right; promote truthfulness of speech, and the maintenance of harmony; show his value for kindly consideration and complaisant courtesy; and put away quarrelling and plundering, if he neglect the rules of propriety, how shall he succeed?

20. The things which men greatly desire are comprehended in meat and drink and sexual pleasure; those which they greatly dislike are comprehended in death, exile, poverty, and suffering. Thus liking and disliking are the great elements in men's minds. But men keep them hidden in their minds, where they cannot be fathomed or measured. The good and the bad of them being in their minds, and no outward manifestation of them being visible, if it be wished to determine these qualities in one uniform way, how can it be done without the use of the rules of propriety (implied in the ceremonial usages)?


1. Man is (the product of) the attributes of Heaven and Earth, (by) the interaction of the dual forces of nature, the union of the animal and intelligent (souls), and the finest subtile matter of the five elements[1].

2. Heaven exercises the control of the strong and light force, and hangs out the sun and stars. Earth exercises the control of the dark and weaker force, and gives vent to it in the hills and streams. The five elements are distributed through the four seasons, and it is by their harmonious action that the moon is produced, which therefore keeps waxing for fifteen days and waning for fifteen[2].

[1. Callery's translation of this paragraph is the following:--'L'homme émane, (pour le moral), de la vertu du Ciel et de la Terre; (pour le physique il émane) de la combinaison des (deux principes) Yin et Yang; (pour la partie spirituelle, il émane) de la réunion des esprits et des Dieux; et pour la forme qui lui est propre, il émane de l'essence la plus subtile des cinq éléments.' To this be subjoins the following note:--'Il m'est difficile de croire que les Chinois eux-mêmes aient jamais rien compris à ces théories androgénésiques, dont tout le mérite gît dans le vague de l'énoncé.' The Khien-lung editors say:--'The characteristic attributes of Heaven and Earth are blended and hid in the two forces of nature; and this is called the truth that is unlimited. If we speak of those forces in their fundamental character, we call them the Yin and Yang. If we speak of them as they develop their power, we call them Kwei and Shan. If we speak of them as they become substantial, we call them the five elements. And this is what is called the essence of what is meant by the second and fifth lines of the Khien hexagram,' &c. &c.

2. Callery says here:-' Cest toujours l'application de la théorie des affinités naturelles dont nous avons parlé (see note, p. 281) et dont il importe de bien se pénétrer lorsqu'on veut comprendre quelque chose aux dissertations philosophiques des Chinois.' But after the student has done his best to get hold of the theory, he will often be baffled in trying to follow the applications of it. For example, I cannot get hold of what is said here about the genesis of the moon. Much of the next four paragraphs is very obscure. A little light seems to flash on them from parts of different sections of Book IV, but it is neither bright nor steady.]

3. The five elements in their movements alternately displace and exhaust one another. Each one of them, in the revolving course of the twelve months of the four seasons, comes to be in its turn the fundamental one for the time.

4. The five notes of harmony, with their six upper musical accords, and the twelve pitch-tubes, come each, in their revolutions among themselves, to be the first note of the scale.

5. The five flavours, with the six condiments, and the twelve articles of diet, come each one, in their revolutions (in the course of the year), to give its character to the food.

6. The five colours, with the six elegant figures, which they form on the two robes, come each one, in their revolutions among themselves, to give the character of the dress that is worn.

7. Therefore Man is the heart and mind of Heaven and Earth, and the visible embodiment of the five elements. He lives in the enjoyment of all flavours, the discriminating of all notes (of harmony), and the enrobing of all colours[1].

[1. For this paragraph M. Callery gives:--'L'homme est donc le cœur du Ciel et de la Terre, la fine essence des cinq éléments, et vit en mangeant des choses sapides, en distinguant les sons, et en s'habillant de différentes couleurs (contrairement à la brute, dont les goûts sont grossiers, et les instincts sans raison).' Of course the first predicate about man, and, we might almost say, the second also, are metaphorical. 'La fine essence' is not a correct translation of the text in the second predicate, the Chinese character so rendered is different from the two characters in paragraph 1. On the former predicate Hsiang An-shih (Sung dynasty) says:--'The heart of Heaven and Earth is simply benevolence. The perfect benevolence of Heaven and Earth is lodged in man. Given the human body, and forthwith there is the benevolent heart. Hence it is said (Mencius VII, ii, 16), "Man is benevolence;" "Benevolence is the heart of man." Moreover, the heart of Heaven and Earth is seen in the very idea of life, so that the heart (or kernel) of all fruits is called Zan (###) or benevolence, which is again a name for man (###).']

8. Thus it was that when the sages would make rules (for men), they felt it necessary to find the origin (of all things) in heaven and earth; to make the two forces (of nature) the commencement (of all); to use the four seasons as the handle (of their arrangements); to adopt the sun and stars as the recorders (of time), the moon as the measurer (of work to be done), the spirits breathing (in nature) as associates[1], the five elements as giving substance (to things), rules of propriety and righteousness as (their) instruments, the feelings of men as the field (to be cultivated), and the four intelligent creatures as domestic animals (to be reared)[2].

9. The origin of all things being found in heaven and earth, they could be taken in hand, one after the other. The commencement of these being found in the two forces (of nature), their character and tendencies could be observed. The four seasons being used as a handle, (the people) could be stimulated to the business (of each). The sun and stars being constituted the measures of time,

[1. Callery has for this:--'Les Esprits et les Dieux pour compagnons;' Medhurst, 'the Kwei Shins, as the associates.' Kang and Khung say that by Kwei Shan are to be understood 'the hills and streams of last section,' paragraph 12, for 'those help the respiration of the earth.'

2 See paragraph 10.]

that business could be laid out in order. The moon being taken as the measure (of work to be done), that work could be accomplished successfully. The spirits breathing (in nature) being considered as associates, what is done will be maintained permanently. The five elements being considered as giving substance (to things), what has been done could be repeated. Rules of propriety and righteousness being viewed as the instruments, whatever was done would be completed. The feelings of men being the field to be cultivated, men would look up (to the sages) as to their lords. The four intelligent creatures being made to become domestic animals, there would be constant sources of food and drink.

10. What were the four intelligent creatures[1]? They were the Khî-lin, the phœnix, the tortoise, and the dragon. When the dragon becomes a domestic animal, (all other) fishes and the sturgeon do not lie hidden from men (in the mud). When the phœnix becomes so, the birds do not fly from them in terror. When the Khî-lin does so, the beasts do not scamper away. When the tortoise does so, the feelings of men take no erroneous course.

[1. Callery calls these four creatures 'le cerf, l'aigle, la tortue, et le dragon;' and says:--'D'après la mythologie historique des Chinois, ces quatre animaux ne se montrent sur la terre que sous le règne des empereurs d'une vertu extraordinaire. Alors, la plus grande paix règne dans l'univers; tous les hommes sont heureux; personne ne manque de rien:--C'est l'âge d'or, moins les idées poétiques des Grecs et des Latins.' All the four excepting the tortoise are fabulous animals, and even Confucius believed in them (Ana. IX, 8). The lesson drawn from the text by many is that men's goodness is the pledge of, and the way to, all prosperity.]


1. The ancient kings made use of the stalks and the tortoise-shell; arranged their sacrifices; buried their offerings of silk; recited their words of supplication and benediction; and made their statutes and measures. In this way arose the ceremonial usages of the states, the official departments with their administrators, each separate business with its own duties, and the rules of ceremony in their orderly arrangements.

2. Thus it was that the ancient kings were troubled lest the ceremonial usages should not be generally understood by all below them. They therefore sacrificed to God in the suburb (of the capital), and thus the place of heaven was established. They sacrificed at the altar of the earth inside the capital, and thus they intimated the benefits derived from the earth. Their sacrifices in the ancestral temple gave their fundamental place to the sentiments of humanity. Those at the altars of the hills and streams served to mark their intercourse with the spirits breathing (in nature). Their five sacrifices (of the house) were a recognition of the various business which was to be done.

For the same reason, there are the officers of prayer in the ancestral temple; the three ducal ministers in the court; and the three classes of old men in the college. In front of the king there were the sorcerers, and behind him the recorders; the diviners by the tortoise-shell and by the stalks, the blind musicians and their helpers were all on his left and right. He himself was in the centre. His mind had nothing to do, but to maintain what was entirely correct.

3. By means of the ceremonies performed in the suburb, all the spirits receive their offices. By means of those performed at the altar of the earth, all the things yielded (by the earth) receive their fullest development. By means of those in the ancestral temple, the services of filial duty and of kindly affection come to be discharged. By means of those at the five sacrifices of the house, the laws and rules of life are correctly exhibited. Hence when the ideas in these sacrifices in the suburb, at the altar of the earth, in the ancestral temple, at the altars of the hills and streams, and of the five sacrifices of the house are fully apprehended, the ceremonies used are found to be lodged in them[1].

4. From all this it follows that rules of ceremony Must be traced to their origin in the Grand Unity[2].

[1. Mang explains 'all the spirits' in the first sentence of this paragraph by 'all the constellations.' Khung agrees with him. Khan Hâo (Yüan dynasty) explains it of 'wind, rain, cold, and heat.' The Khien-lung editors say that the two explanations must be united. But why are these phenomena described as all or 'the hundred spirits?' Is it by personification? or a kind of pantheism?

2. Medhurst translated this name by 'the Supreme One;' Callery, as I do, by 'la Grande Unité,' adding in parentheses, 'principe de toutes choses.' Does the name denote what we are to consider an Immaterial Being, acting with wisdom, intention, and goodness? Medhurst came to this conclusion. He says:--'Thâi Yî (###) must mean the Supreme One, or the infinitely great and undivided one. Bearing in mind also that this paragraph follows another in which Tî (###) the ruling Power, is honoured .With the highest adoration, and that this ruling, Power is the same with the being here called the Supreme One, there can be no doubt that the reference in the whole passage is to the Almighty One who rules over all things' (Dissertation on the Theology of the Chinese, p. 85). He goes on to say that 'the Critical Commentary makes this still more plain by saying that this Supreme One is the source of all others, and that he existed before the powers of nature were divided, and before the myriad things were produced, the one only being. The operations ascribed to him ' of dividing heaven and earth, of revolving light and darkness, of changing the four seasons, and of appointing the various Kwei Shins to their several offices, are all indicative of that omnipotent power which must be ascribed to him alone.' But the operations referred to in this last sentence are mentioned in the text, not as performed by the Supreme One, but as undergone by the Grand Unity. And, moreover, 'the Critical Commentary' yields a testimony different from what Dr. Medhurst supposed. Khung Ying-tâ says:--'The name Thâi Yî means the original vapoury matter of chaos, before the separation of heaven and earth (###), and there is nothing in any of the other commentators contrary to this. But the concluding sentence of the paragraph, that 'The law and authority (of all the lessons in the rules of ceremony) is in Heaven,' seems to me to imply 'a recognition (indistinct it may be) of a Power or Being anterior to and independent of the Grand Unity.' Wû Khang says:--'The character Thien (Heaven) is used to cover the five things-the Grand Unity, heaven and earth, the (dual force of) Yin and Yang, the four seasons, and the Kwei Shan.' The attempt, apparent in the whole treatise, to give Tâoistic views a place in the old philosophy of the nation, is prominent here. Medhurst is not correct in saying that the Tî (###) in paragraph 2 is the same as the Thâi Yî in this paragraph, but It, or rather He, is the same as the Thien (###) with which it concludes. The earliest Chinese adopted Thien or Heaven as, the name for the supreme Power, which arose in their minds on the contemplation of the order of 'nature, and the principles of love and righteousness developed in the constitution of man and the course of providence, and proceeded to devise the personal name of Tî or God, as the appellation of this; and neither Tâoism, nor any other form of materialistic philosophising, has succeeded in eradicating the precious inheritance of those two terms from the mind of peasant or scholar.

Callery has misconstrued the paragraph by making 'Les Rites,' or the 'toutes choses' of his gloss, the subject of all the predicates in it:--'Les rites ont pour origine essentielle la Grande Unité (principe de toutes choses). Ils se divisent ensuite, les uns pour le Ciel, les autres pour la Terre,' &c.]

This separated and became heaven and earth. It revolved and became the dual force (in nature).

It changed and became the four seasons. It was distributed and became the breathings (thrilling in the universal frame). Its (lessons) transmitted (to men) are called its orders; the law and authority of them is in Heaven.

5. While the rules of ceremony have their origin in heaven, the movement of them reaches to earth. The distribution of them extends to all the business (of life). They change with the seasons; they agree in reference to the (variations of) lot and condition. In regard to man, they serve to nurture (his nature). They are practised by means of offerings, acts of strength, words and postures of courtesy, in eating and drinking, in the observances of capping, marriage, mourning, sacrificing, archery, chariot-driving, audiences, and friendly missions.

6. Thus propriety and righteousness are the great elements for man's (character); it is by means of them that his speech is the expression of truth and his intercourse (with others) the promotion of harmony; they are (like) the union of the cuticle and cutis, and the binding together of the muscles and bones in strengthening (the body). They constitute the great methods by which we nourish the living, bury the dead, and serve the spirits of the departed. They supply the channels by which we can apprehend the ways of Heaven and act as the feelings of men require. It was on this account that the sages knew that the rules of ceremony could not be dispensed with, while the ruin of states, the destruction of families, and the perishing of individuals are always preceded by their abandonment of the rules of propriety,

7. Therefore the rules of propriety are for man what the yeast is for liquor[1]. The superior man by (his use of them) becomes better and greater. The small man by his neglect of them becomes meaner and worse.

8. Therefore the sage kings cultivated and fashioned the lever of righteousness and the ordering of ceremonial usages, in order to regulate the feelings of men. Those feelings were the field (to be cultivated by) the sage kings. They fashioned the rules of ceremony to plough it. They set forth the principles of righteousness with which to plant it. They instituted the lessons of the school to weed it. They made love the fundamental subject by which to gather all its fruits, and they employed the training in music to give repose (to the minds of learners).

[1. On this comparison Callery says:--'Ce que les Chinois appellent du vin (###) n'étant une autre chose qu'une eau de vie de grains obtenue par la distillation, plus il y a de ferment dans la macération primitive, plus la fermentation vineuse est forte, et plus il y a d'alcool quand on la passe par l'alambic. Dè là cette comparaison entre le degré d'urbanité chez le sage et le degré de force dans le vin.']

9. Thus, rules of ceremony are the embodied expression of what is right. If an observance stand the test of being judged by the standard of what is right, although it may not have been among the usages of the ancient kings, it may be adopted on the ground of its being right.

10. (The idea of) right makes the distinction between things, and serves to regulate (the manifestation of) humanity. When it is found in anything and its relation to humanity has been discussed, the possessor of it will be strong.

11. Humanity is the root of right, and the embodying of deferential consideration. The possessor of it is honoured.

12. Therefore to govern a state without the rules of propriety would be to plough a field without a share. To make those rules without laying their foundation in right would be to plough the ground and not sow the seed. To think to practise the right without enforcing it in the school would be to sow the seed and not weed the plants. To enforce the lessons in the schools, and insist on their agreement with humanity, would be to weed and not to reap. To insist on the agreement of the lessons with humanity, and not give repose to (the minds of) the learners by music, would be to reap, and not eat (the product). To supply the repose of music and not proceed to the result of deferential consideration would be to eat the product and get no fattening from it.

13. When the four limbs are all well proportioned, and the skin is smooth and full, the individual is in good condition. When there is generous affection between father and son, harmony between brothers, and happy union between husband and wife, the family is in good condition. When the great ministers are observant of the laws, the smaller ministers pure, officers and their duties kept in their regular relations and the ruler and his ministers are correctly helpful to one another, the state is in good condition. When the son of Heaven moves in his virtue as a chariot, with music as his driver, while all the princes conduct their mutual intercourse according to the rules of propriety, the Great officers maintain the order between them according to the laws, inferior officers complete one another by their good faith, and the common people guard one another with a spirit of harmony, all under the sky is in good condition. All this produces what we call (the state of) great mutual consideration (and harmony).

14. This great mutual consideration and harmony would ensure the constant nourishment of the living, the burial of the dead, and the service of the spirits (of the departed). However greatly things might accumulate, there would be no entanglement among them. They would move on together without error, and the smallest matters would proceed without failure. However deep some might be, they would be comprehended. However thick and close their array, there would be spaces between them. They would follow one another without coming into contact. They would move about without doing any hurt to one another. This would be the perfection of such a state of mutual harmony.

15. Therefore the clear understanding of this state will lead to the securing of safety in the midst of danger. Hence the different usages of ceremony, and the maintenance of them in their relative proportions as many or few, are means of keeping hold of the feelings of men, and of uniting (high and low, and saving them from) peril.

16. The sage kings showed their sense of this state of harmony in the following way:--They did not make the occupants of the hills (remove and) live by the streams, nor the occupants of the islands (remove and live) in the plains; and thus the (people) complained of no hardship. They used water, fire, metal, wood, and the different articles of food and drink, each in its proper season. They promoted the marriages of men and women, and distributed rank and office, according to the years and virtues of the parties. They employed the people with due regard to their duties and wishes. Thus it was that there were no plagues of flood, drought, or insects, and the people did not suffer from bad grass or famine, from untimely deaths or irregular births. On account of all this heaven did not grudge its methods; earth did not grudge its treasures; men did not grudge (the regulation of) their feelings. Heaven sent down its fattening dews[1]; earth sent forth its springs of sweet wine[1]; hills produced implements and chariots[2]; the Ho sent forth the horse with the map (on, his

[1. Kâo Yî in his Filial Miscellanies, Book III, art. 9, contends that these are only different names for the same phenomenon. Few readers will agree with him, though the language means no more than that 'the dews were abundant, and the water of the springs delicious!

2. There must have been some legend which would have explained this language, but I have not succeeded in finding any trace of it.]

back)'. Phœnixes and Khî-lins were among the trees of the suburbs, tortoises and dragons in the ponds of the palaces, while the other birds and beasts could be seen at a glance in their nests and breeding places. All this resulted from no other cause but that the ancient kings were able to fashion their ceremonial usages so as to convey the underlying ideas of right, and embody their truthfulness so as to secure the universal and mutual harmony. This was the realisation of it.

[1. The famous 'River Map' from which, it has been fabled, Fû-hsî fashioned his eight trigrams. See vol. xvi, pp. 14-16.]