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Note on the Translation. - Misc (Confucian School), The Sacred Books of China: The Texts of Confucianism. Part I The Shu King, the Religious Portions of the Shih King, the Hsiao King 
The Sacred Books of China: The Texts of Confucianism. Part I The Shu King, the Religious Portions of the Shih King, the Hsiao King, trans. James Legge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879).
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Note on the Translation.
In preparing the translation of the Hsiâo King for the present work, I have made frequent reference to four earlier translations.
Two of them were made by myself;—the one about thirty years ago, simply as an exercise for my own improvement in Chinese; the other four years ago, when I was anxious to understand fully the Confucian teaching on the subject of Filial Piety, but without reference to my earlier version.
The third is a translation in the fourth volume of the Chinese Repository, pp. 345-353 (1835), for the accuracy of which much cannot be said. Very few notes are appended to it. The fourth is in the ‘Mémoires concernant les Chinois’ (Paris, 1779), being part of a long treatise on the ‘Ancient and Modern Doctrine of the Chinese about Filial Piety,’ by P. Cibot. In a preliminary notice to his version of our classic, he says:—‘P. Noël formerly translated the Hsiâo King into Latin. Our translation will necessarily be different from his. He laboured on the old text, and we on the new, which the scholars of the Imperial College have adopted. Besides this, he has launched out into paraphrase, and we have made it our business to present the text in French such as it is in Chinese.’ I have not been able to refer to P. Noel’s translation in preparing that now given to the public; but I had his work before me when writing out my earliest version. The difference between the old and modern texts is too slight to affect the character of translations of them, but P. Noel’s version is decidedly periphrastic. The title of his work is:—‘Sinensis Imperii Libri Classici Sex, nimirum Adultorum Schola, Immutabile Medium, Liber sententiarum, Mencius, Filialis Observantia, Parvulorum Schola, e Sinico idiomate in Latinum traducti à P. Fr. Noel, S. J. (Prague, 1711).’ The present version, I believe, gives the text in English, such as it is in Chinese, more accurately and closely than P. Cibot’s does in French.
The Scope and Meaning of the Treatise.
(Once), when Kung-nî1 was unoccupied, and his disciple Ȝăng2 was sitting by in attendance on him, the Master said, ‘Shăn, the ancient kings had a perfect virtue and all-embracing rule of conduct, through which they were in accord with all under heaven. By the practice of it the people were brought to live in peace and harmony, and there was no ill-will between superiors and inferiors. Do you know what it was3 ?’ Ȝăng rose from his mat, and said, ‘How should I, Shăn, who am so devoid of intelligence, be able to know this?’ The Master said, ‘(It was filial piety). Now filial piety is the root of (all) virtue1 , and (the stem) out of which grows (all moral) teaching. Sit down again, and I will explain the subject to you. Our bodies—to every hair and bit of skin—are received by us from our parents, and we must not presume to injure or wound them:—this is the beginning of filial piety. When we have established our character by the practice of the (filial) course, so as to make our name famous in future ages, and thereby glorify our parents:—this is the end of filial piety. It commences with the service of parents; it proceeds to the service of the ruler; it is completed by the establishment of the character.
‘It is said in the Major Odes of the Kingdom,
Filial Piety in the Son of Heaven.
He who loves his parents will not dare (to incur the risk of) being hated by any man, and he who reveres his parents will not dare (to incur the risk of) being contemned by any man2 . When the love and reverence (of the Son of Heaven) are thus carried to the utmost in the service of his parents, the lessons of his virtue affect all the people, and he becomes a pattern to (all within) the four seas1 :—this is the filial piety of the Son of Heaven2 .
It is said in (the Marquis of) Fû on Punishments3 ,
‘The One man will have felicity, and the millions of the people will depend on (what ensures his happiness).’
Filial Piety in the Princes of States.
Above others, and yet free from pride, they dwell on high, without peril; adhering to economy, and carefully observant of the rules and laws, they are full, without overflowing. To dwell on high without peril is the way long to preserve nobility; to be full without overflowing is the way long to preserve riches. When their riches and nobility do not leave their persons, then they are able to preserve the altars of their land and grain, and to secure the harmony of their people and men in office4 :—this is the filial piety of the princes of states.
It is said in the Book of Poetry1 ,
Filial Piety in High Ministers and Great Officers.
They do not presume to wear robes other than those appointed by the laws of the ancient kings2 ; nor to speak words other than those sanctioned by their speech; nor to exhibit conduct other than that exemplified by their virtuous ways. Thus none of their words being contrary to those sanctions, and none of their actions contrary to the (right) way, from their mouths there comes no exceptionable speech, and in their conduct there are found no exceptionable actions. Their words may fill all under heaven, and no error of speech will be found in them. Their actions may fill all under heaven, and no dissatisfaction or dislike will be awakened by them. When these three things—(their robes, their words, and their conduct)—are all complete as they should be, they can then preserve their ancestral temples1 :—this is the filial piety of high ministers and great officers.
It is said in the Book of Poetry2 ,
Filial Piety in Inferior Officers.
As they serve their fathers, so they serve their mothers, and they love them equally. As they serve their fathers, so they serve their rulers, and they reverence them equally. Hence love is what is chiefly rendered to the mother, and reverence is what is chiefly rendered to the ruler, while both of these things are given to the father. Therefore when they serve their ruler with filial piety they are loyal; when they serve their superiors with reverence they are obedient. Not failing in this loyalty and obedience in serving those above them, they are then able to preserve their emoluments and positions, and to maintain their sacrifices1 :—this is the filial piety of inferior officers2 .
It is said in the Book of Poetry3 ,
Filial Piety in the Common People.
They follow the course of heaven (in the revolving seasons); they distinguish the advantages afforded by (different) soils1 ; they are careful of their conduct and economical in their expenditure;—in order to nourish their parents:—this is the filial piety of the common people.
Therefore from the Son of Heaven down to the common people, there never has been one whose filial piety was without its beginning and end on whom calamity did not come.
Filial Piety in Relation to the Three Powers2 .
The disciple Ȝăng said, ‘Immense indeed is the greatness of filial piety!’ The Master replied3 , ‘Yes, filial piety is the constant (method) of Heaven, the righteousness of Earth, and the practical duty of Man1 . Heaven and earth invariably pursue the course (that may be thus described), and the people take it as their pattern. (The ancient kings) imitated the brilliant luminaries of heaven, and acted in accordance with the (varying) advantages afforded by earth, so that they were in accord with all under heaven; and in consequence their teachings, without being severe, were successful, and their government, without being rigorous, secured perfect order.
‘The ancient kings, seeing how their teachings1 could transform the people, set before them therefore an example of the most extended love, and none of the people neglected their parents; they set forth to them (the nature of) virtue and righteousness, and the people roused themselves to the practice of them; they went before them with reverence and yielding courtesy, and the people had no contentions; they led them on by the rules of propriety and by music, and the people were harmonious and benignant; they showed them what they loved and what they disliked, and the people understood their prohibitions.
‘It is said in the Book of Poetry2 ,
Filial Piety in Government.
The Master said, ‘Anciently, when the intelligent kings by means of filial piety ruled all under heaven, they did not dare to receive with disrespect the ministers of small states;—how much less would they do so to the dukes, marquises, counts, and barons!’ Thus it was that they got (the princes of) the myriad states with joyful hearts (to assist them) in the (sacrificial) services to their royal predecessors3 .
‘The rulers of states did not dare to slight wifeless men and widows;—how much less would they slight their officers and the people! Thus it was that they got all their people with joyful hearts (to assist them) in serving the rulers, their predecessors1 .
‘The heads of clans did not dare to slight their servants and concubines;—how much less would they slight their wives and sons! Thus it was that they got their men with joyful hearts (to assist them) in the service of their parents.
‘In such a state of things, while alive, parents reposed in (the glory of) their sons; and, when sacrificed to, their disembodied spirits enjoyed their offerings2 . Therefore all under heaven peace and harmony prevailed; disasters and calamities did not occur; misfortunes and rebellions did not arise.
‘It is said in the Book of Poetry3 ,
The Government of the Sages1 .
The disciple Ȝăng said, ‘I venture to ask whether in the virtue of the sages there was not something greater than filial piety.’ The Master replied, ‘Of all (creatures with their different) natures produced by Heaven and Earth, man is the noblest. Of all the actions of man there is none greater than filial piety. In filial piety there is nothing greater than the reverential awe of one’s father. In the reverential awe shown to one’s father there is nothing greater than the making him the correlate of Heaven2 . The duke of Kâu was the man who (first) did this3 .
‘Formerly the duke of Kâu at the border altar sacrificed to Hâu-kî as the correlate of Heaven, and in the Brilliant Hall he honoured king Wăn, and sacrificed to him as the correlate of God1 . The consequence was that from (all the states) within the four seas, every (prince) came in the discharge of his duty to (assist in those) sacrifices. In the virtue of the sages what besides was there greater than filial piety?
‘Now the feeling of affection grows up at the parents’ knees, and as (the duty of) nourishing those parents is exercised, the affection daily merges in awe. The sages proceeded from the (feeling of) awe to teach (the duties of) reverence, and from (that of) affection to teach (those of) love. The teachings of the sages, without being severe, were successful, and their government, without being rigorous, was effective. What they proceeded from was the root (of filial piety implanted by Heaven).
‘The relation and duties between father and son, (thus belonging to) the Heaven-conferred nature, (contain in them the principle of) righteousness between ruler and subject1 . The son derives his life from his parents, and no greater gift could possibly be transmitted; his ruler and parent (in one), his father deals with him accordingly, and no generosity could be greater than this. Hence, he who does not love his parents, but loves other men, is called a rebel against virtue; and he who does not revere his parents, but reveres other men, is called a rebel against propriety. When (the ruler) himself thus acts contrary to (the principles) which should place him in accord (with all men), he presents nothing for the people to imitate. He has nothing to do with what is good, but entirely and only with what is injurious to virtue. Though he may get (his will, and be above others), the superior man does not give him his approval.
‘It is not so with the superior man. He speaks, having thought whether the words should be spoken; he acts, having thought whether his actions are sure to give pleasure. His virtue and righteousness are such as will be honoured; what he initiates and does is fit to be imitated; his deportment is worthy of contemplation; his movements in advancing or retiring are all according to the proper rule. In this way does he present himself to the people, who both revere and love him, imitate and become like him. Thus he is able to make his teaching of virtue successful, and his government and orders to be carried into effect1 .
‘It is said in the Book of Poetry2 ,
An Orderly Description of the Acts of Filial Piety.
The Master said, ‘The service which a filial son does to his parents is as follows:—In his general conduct to them, he manifests the utmost reverence; in his nourishing of them, his endeavour is to give them the utmost pleasure; when they are ill; he feels the greatest anxiety; in mourning for them (dead), he exhibits every demonstration of grief; in sacrificing to them, he displays the utmost solemnity. When a son is complete in these five things (he may be pronounced) able to serve his parents.
‘He who (thus) serves his parents, in a high situation, will be free from pride; in a low situation, will be free from insubordination; and among his equals, will not be quarrelsome. In a high situation pride leads to ruin; in a low situation insubordination leads to punishment; among equals quarrelsomeness leads to the wielding of weapons.
‘If those three things be not put away, though a son every day contribute beef, mutton, and pork1 to nourish his parents, he is not filial.’
Filial Piety in Relation to the Five Punishments.
The Master said, ‘There are three thousand offences against which the five punishments are directed2 , and there is not one of them greater than being unfilial.
‘When constraint is put upon a ruler, that is the disowning of his superiority; when the authority of the sages is disallowed, that is the disowning of (all) law; when filial piety is put aside, that is the disowning of the principle of affection. These (three things) pave the way to anarchy.’
Amplification of ‘the All-embracing Rule of Conduct’ in Chapter I.
The Master said, ‘For teaching the people to be affectionate and loving there is nothing better than Filial Piety; for teaching them (the observance of) propriety and submissiveness there is nothing better than Fraternal Duty; for changing their manners and altering their customs there is nothing better than Music; for securing the repose of superiors and the good order of the people there is nothing better than the Rules of Propriety.
‘The Rules of Propriety are simply (the development of) the principle of Reverence. Therefore the reverence paid to a father makes (all) sons pleased; the reverence paid to an elder brother makes (all) younger brothers pleased; the reverence paid to a ruler makes (all) subjects pleased1 . The reverence paid to one man makes thousands and myriads of men pleased. The reverence is paid to a few, and the pleasure extends to many;—this is what is meant by an “All-embracing Rule of Conduct.” ’
Amplification of ‘the Perfect Virtue’ in Chapter I.
The Master said, ‘The teaching of filial piety by the superior man2 does not require that he should go to family after family, and daily see the members of each. His teaching of filial piety is a tribute of reverence to all the fathers under heaven; his teaching of fraternal submission is a tribute of reverence to all the elder brothers under heaven; his teaching of the duty of a subject is a tribute of reverence to all the rulers under heaven.
‘It is said in the Book of Poetry1 ,
‘If it were not a perfect virtue, how could it be recognised as in accordance with their nature by the people so extensively as this?’
Amplification of ‘Making our Name Famous’ in Chapter I.
The Master said, ‘The filial piety with which the superior man serves his parents may be transferred as loyalty to the ruler; the fraternal duty with which he serves his elder brother may be transferred as submissive deference to elders; his regulation of his family may be transferred as good government in any official position. Therefore, when his conduct is thus successful in his inner (private) circle, his name will be established (and transmitted) to future generations.’
Filial Piety in Relation to Reproof and Remonstrance.
The disciple Ȝăng said, ‘I have heard your instructions on the affection of love, on respect and reverence, on giving repose to (the minds of) our parents, and on making our name famous;—I would venture to ask if (simple) obedience to the orders of one’s father can be pronounced filial piety.’ The Master replied, ‘What words are these! what words are these! Anciently, if the Son of Heaven had seven ministers who would remonstrate with him, although he had not right methods of government, he would not lose his possession of the kingdom; if the prince of a state had five such ministers, though his measures might be equally wrong, he would not lose his state; if a great officer had three, he would not, in a similar case, lose (the headship of) his clan; if an inferior officer had a friend who would remonstrate with him, a good name would not cease to be connected with his character; and the father who had a son that would remonstrate with him would not sink into the gulf of unrighteous deeds.1 Therefore when a case of unrighteous conduct is concerned, a son must by no means keep from remonstrating with his father, nor a minister from remonstrating with his ruler. Hence, since remonstrance is required in the case of unrighteous conduct, how can (simple) obedience to the orders of a father be accounted filial piety2 ?’
The Influence of Filial Piety and the Response to it.
The Master said, ‘Anciently, the intelligent kings served their fathers with filial piety, and therefore they served Heaven with intelligence; they served their mothers with filial piety, and therefore they served Earth with discrimination3 . They pursued the right course with reference to their (own) seniors and juniors, and therefore they secured the regulation of the relations between superiors and inferiors (throughout the kingdom).
‘When Heaven and Earth were served with intelligence and discrimination, the spiritual intelligences displayed (their retributive power1 ).
‘Therefore even the Son of Heaven must have some whom he honours; that is, he has his uncles of his surname. He must have some to whom he concedes the precedence; that is, he has his cousins, who bear the same surname, and are older than himself. In the ancestral temple he manifests the utmost reverence, showing that he does not forget his parents; he cultivates his person and is careful of his conduct, fearing lest he should disgrace his predecessors.
‘When in the ancestral temple he exhibits the utmost reverence, the spirits of the departed manifest themselves1 . Perfect filial piety and fraternal duty reach to (and move) the spiritual intelligences, and diffuse their light on all within the four seas;—they penetrate everywhere.
‘It is said in the Book of Poetry2 ,
The Service of the Ruler.
The Master said, ‘The superior man3 serves his ruler in such a way, that when at court in his presence his thought is how to discharge his loyal duty to the utmost; and when he retires from it, his thought is how to amend his errors. He carries out with deference the measures springing from his excellent qualities, and rectifies him (only) to save him from what are evil. Hence, as the superior and inferior, they are able to have an affection for each other.
‘It is said in the Book of Poetry4 ,
Filial Piety in Mourning for Parents.
The Master said, ‘When a filial son is mourning for a parent, he wails, but not with a prolonged sobbing; in the movements of ceremony he pays no attention to his appearance; his words are without elegance of phrase; he cannot bear to wear fine clothes; when he hears music, he feels no delight; when he eats a delicacy, he is not conscious of its flavour:—such is the nature of grief and sorrow.
‘After three days he may partake of food; for thus the people are taught that the living should not be injured on account of the dead, and that emaciation must not be carried to the extinction of life:—such is the rule of the sages. The period of mourning does not go beyond three years, to show the people that it must have an end.
‘An inner and outer coffin are made; the grave-clothes also are put on, and the shroud; and (the body) is lifted (into the coffin). The sacrificial vessels, round and square, are (regularly) set forth, and (the sight of them) fills (the mourners) with (fresh) distress1 . The women beat their breasts, and the men stamp with their feet, wailing and weeping, while they sorrowfully escort the coffin to the grave. They consult the tortoise-shell to determine the grave and the ground about it, and there they lay the body in peace. They prepare the ancestral temple (to receive the tablet of the departed), and there present offerings to the disembodied spirit. In spring and autumn they offer sacrifices, thinking of the deceased as the seasons come round.
‘The services of love and reverence to parents when alive, and those of grief and sorrow to them when dead:—these completely discharge the fundamental duty of living men. The righteous claims of life and death are all satisfied, and the filial son’s service of his parents is completed.’
The above is the Classic of Filial Piety, as published by the emperor Hsüan in ad 722, with the headings then prefixed to the eighteen chapters. Subsequently, in the eleventh century, Sze-mâ Kwang (ad 1009-1086), a famous statesman and historian, published what he thought was the more ancient text of the Classic in twenty-two chapters, with ‘Explanations’ by himself, without indicating, however, the different chapters, and of course without headings to them. This work is commonly published along with an ‘Exposition’ of his views, by Fan Ȝû-yü, one of his contemporaries and friends. The differences between his text and that of the Thang emperor are insignificant. He gives, however, one additional chapter, which would be the nineteenth of his arrangement. It is as follows:—‘Inside the smaller doors leading to the inner apartments are to be found all the rules (of government). There is awe for the father, and also for the elder brother. Wife and children, servants and concubines are like the common people, serfs, and underlings.’
Transliteration of Oriental Alphabets adopted for the Translations of the Sacred Books of the East.
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[1 ]Kung-nî was the designation or marriage-name of Confucius. We find it twice in the Doctrine of the Mean (chh. 2 and 30), applied to the sage by Ȝze-sze, his grandson, the reputed author of that treatise. By his designation, it is said, a grandson might speak of his grandfather, and therefore some scholars contend that the Classic of Filial Piety should also be ascribed to Ȝze-sze; but such a canon cannot be considered as sufficiently established. On the authorship of the Classic, see the Introduction, p. 451.
[2 ] Ȝăng-ȝze, named Shăn, and styled Ȝze-yü, was one of the most distinguished of the disciples of Confucius. He was a favourite with the sage, and himself a voluminous writer. Many incidents and sayings are related, illustrative of his filial piety, so that it was natural for the master to enter with him on the discussion of that virtue. He shares in the honour and worship still paid to Confucius, and is one of his ‘Four Assessors’ in his temples.
[3 ] Both the translator in the Chinese Repository and P. Cibot have rendered this opening address of Confucius very imperfectly. The former has:—‘Do you understand how the ancient kings, who possessed the greatest virtue and the best moral principles, rendered the whole empire so obedient that the people lived in peace and harmony, and no ill-will existed between superiors and inferiors?’ The other:—‘Do you know what was the pre-eminent virtue and the essential doctrine which our ancient monarchs taught to all the empire, to maintain concord among their subjects, and banish all dissatisfaction between superiors and inferiors?’ P. Cibot comes the nearer to the meaning of the text, but he has neglected the characters corresponding to ‘through which they were in accord with all under heaven,’ that are expounded clearly enough by Hsüan Ȝung. The sentiment of the sage is, as he has tersely expressed it in the Doctrine of the Mean (ch. 13), that the ancient kings ‘governed men, according to their nature, with what is proper to them.’
[1 ] ‘All virtue’ means the five virtuous principles, the constituents of humanity, ‘benevolence, righteousness, propriety, knowledge, and fidelity.’ Of these, benevolence is the chief and fundamental, so that Mencius says (VII, ii, ch. 16), ‘Benevolence is man.’ In man’s nature, therefore, benevolence is the root of filial piety; while in practice filial piety is the root of benevolence. Such is the way in which Kû Hsî and other critical scholars reconcile the statements of the text here and elsewhere with their theory as to the constituents of humanity.
[1 ] See the Shih King, III, i, ode 2, stanza 4. Kû Hsî commences his expurgation of our classic with casting out this concluding paragraph; and rightly so. Such quotations of the odes and other passages in the ancient classics are not after the manner of Confucius. The application made of them, moreover, is often far-fetched, and away from their proper meaning.
[2 ] The thing thus generally stated must be understood specially of the sovereign, and only he who stands related to all other men can give its full manifestation. Previous translators have missed the peculiarity of the construction in each of the clauses. Thus P. Cibot gives:—‘He who loves his parents will not dare to hate any one,’ &c. But in the second member we have a well-known form in Chinese to give the force of the passive voice. Attention is called to this in the Extensive Explanation of the Hsiâo (see p. 461):—‘Wû yü zăn does not mean merely to hate men; it indicates an anxious apprehension lest the hatred of men should light on me, and my parents thereby be involved in it.’
[1 ] Chinese scholars make ‘the people’ to be the subjects of the king, and ‘all within the four seas’ to be the barbarous tribes outside the four borders of the kingdom, between them and the seas or oceans within which the habitable earth was contained—according to the earliest geographical conceptions. All we have to find in the language is the unbounded, the universal, influence of ‘the Son of Heaven.’
[2 ] The appellation ‘Son of Heaven’ for the sovereign was unknown in the earliest times of the Chinese nation. It cannot be traced beyond the Shang dynasty.
[3 ] See the Shû, V, xxvii, 4, and the note on the name of that Book, p. 254.
[4 ] In the Chinese Repository we have for this:—‘They will be able to protect their ancestral possessions with the produce of their lands;’ ‘They will make sure the supreme rank to their families.’ But it is better to retain the style of the original. The king had a great altar to the spirit (or spirits) presiding over the land. The colour of the earth in the centre of it was yellow; that on each of its four sides differed according to the colours assigned to the four quarters of the sky. A portion of this earth was cut away, and formed the nucleus of a corresponding altar in each feudal state, according to their position relative to the capital. The prince of the state had the prerogative of sacrificing there. A similar rule prevailed for the altars to the spirits presiding over the grain. So long as a family ruled in a state, so long its chief offered those sacrifices; and the extinction of the sacrifices was an emphatic way of describing the ruin and extinction of the ruling House.
[1 ] See the Shih, II, v, ode 1, stanza 6.
[2 ] The articles of dress, to be worn by individuals according to their rank, from the sovereign downwards, in their ordinary attire, and on special occasions, were the subject of attention and enactment in China from the earliest times. We find references to them in the earliest books of the Shû (Part II, Books iii, iv). The words to be spoken, and conduct to be exhibited, on every varying occasion, could not be so particularly described; but the example of the ancient kings would suffice for these, as their enactments for the dress.
[1 ] Their ancestral temples were to the ministers and grand officers what the altars of their land and grain were to the feudal lords. Every great officer had three temples or shrines, in which he sacrificed to the first chief of his family or clan; to his grandfather, and to his father. While these remained, the family remained, and its honours were perpetuated.
[2 ] See the Shih, III, iii, ode 6, stanza 4.
[1 ] These officers had their ‘positions’ or places, and their pay. They had also their sacrifices, but such as were private or personal to themselves, so that we have not much information about them.
[2 ] The Chinese Repository has here, ‘Such is the influence of filial duty when performed by scholars;’ and P. Cibot, ‘Voilà sommairement ce qui caractérise la Piété Filiale du Lettré.’ But to use the term ‘scholar’ here is to translate from the standpoint of modern China, and not from that of the time of Confucius. The Shih of feudal China were the younger sons of the higher classes, and men that by their ability were rising out of the lower, and who were all in inferior situations, and looking forward to offices of trust in the service of the royal court, or of their several states. Below the ‘great officers’ of ch. 4, three classes of Shih—the highest, middle, lowest—were recognised, all intended in this chapter. When the feudal system had passed away, the class of ‘scholars’ gradually took their place. Shih () is one of the oldest characters in Chinese, but the idea expressed in its formation is not known. Confucius is quoted in the Shwo Wăn as making it to be from the characters for one () and ten (). A very old definition of it is—‘The denomination of one entrusted with affairs.’
[3 ] See the Shih, II, iii, ode 2, stanza 6.
[1 ] These two sentences describe the attention of the people to the various processes of agriculture, as conditioned by the seasons and the qualities of different soils.
With this chapter there ends what Kû Hsî regarded as the only portion of the Hsiâo in which we can rest as having come from Confucius. So far, it is with him a continuous discourse that proceeded from the sage. And there is, in this portion, especially when we admit Kû’s expurgations, a certain sequence and progress, without logical connexion, in the exhibition of the subject which we fail to find in the chapters that follow.
[2 ] ‘The Three Powers’ is a phrase which is first found in two of the Appendixes to the Yî King, denoting Heaven, Earth, and Man, as the three great agents or agencies in nature, or the circle of being.
[3 ] The whole of the reply of Confucius here, down to ‘the advantages afforded by earth,’ is found in a narrative in the Ȝo Kwan, under the twenty-fifth year of duke Khâo (bc 517), with the important difference that the discourse is there about ‘ceremonies,’ and not about filial piety. Plainly, it is an interpolation in the Hsiâo, and is rightly thrown out by Kû and Wû Khăng. To my own mind it was a relief to find that the passage was not genuine, and had not come from Confucius. The discourse in the Ȝo Kwan, which is quite lengthy, these sentences being only the commencement of it, is more than sufficiently fanciful; but it is conceivable that what is here predicated of filial piety might be spoken of ceremonies, while I never could see what it could have to do with filial piety, or filial piety with it. After the long discourse in the Ȝo Kwan one of the interlocutors in it exclaims, ‘Immense, indeed, is the greatness of ceremonies!’—the same terms with which Ȝăng-ȝze is made to commence this chapter, saving that we have ‘ceremonies’ instead of ‘filial piety.’ There can be no doubt that the passage is interpolated; and yet the first part of it is quoted by Pan Kû (in our first century), in a note to Liû Hin’s Catalogue, and also in the Amplification of the First Precept of the Khang-hsî Sacred Edict (in our eighteenth century). Pan Kû may not have been sufficiently acquainted with the Ȝo Kwan to detect the forgery; that Chinese scholars should still quote the description as applicable to filial piety shows how liable they are to be carried away by fine-sounding terms and mysterious utterances.
P. Cibot gives a correct translation of the first part in a note, but adds that it carries the sense of the text much too high, and would bring it into collision with the prejudices of the west, and he has preferred to hold to the more common explanation:—‘Ce qu’est la régularité des monuments des astres pour le firmament, la fertilité des campagnes pour la terre, la Piété Filiale l’est constamment pour les peuples!’
[1 ] An amusing translation of this sentence is found in Samuel Johnson’s ‘Oriental Religions, China,’ p. 208, beginning, ‘Filial Piety is the Book of Heaven!’ Mr. Johnson does not say where he got this version.
[1 ] Sze-mâ Kwang changes the character for ‘teachings’ here into that for ‘filial piety.’ There is no external evidence for such a reading; and the texture of the whole treatise is so loose that we cannot insist on internal evidence.
[2 ] See the Shih, II, iv, ode 7, stanza 1.
[3 ] Under the Kâu dynasty there were five orders of nobility, and the states belonging to their rulers varied proportionally in size. There were besides many smaller states attached to these. The feudal lords at stated times appeared at the royal court, and one important duty which then devolved on them was to take part in the sacrificial services of the sovereign in the ancestral temple.
[1 ] These services were also the sacrifices in the ancestral temples of the rulers of the states and of the chiefs of clans,—the feudal princes and the ministers and great officers of chapters 3 and 4.
[2 ] In the Chinese Repository we read here:—‘Parents enjoyed tranquillity while they lived, and after their decease sacrifices were offered to their disembodied spirits.’ To the same effect P. Cibot:—‘Les pères et mères étoient heureux pendant la vie, et après leur mort leurs âmes étoient consolées par des Tsî (sacrifices).’ I believe that I have caught the meaning more exactly.
[3 ] See the Shih, III, iii, ode 2, stanza 2.
[1 ] ‘The sages’ here must mean the sage sovereigns of antiquity, who had at once the highest wisdom and the highest place.
[2 ] See a note on p. 99 on the meaning of the phrase ‘the fellow of God,’ which is the same as that in this chapter, translated ‘the correlate of God.’ P. Cibot goes at length into a discussion of the idea conveyed by the Chinese character P‘ei, but without coming to any definite conclusion; and indeed Tâi Thung, author of the dictionary Liû Shû Kû, says that ‘its original significancy has baffled investigation, while its classical usage is in the sense of “mate,” “fellow.” ’ The meaning here is the second assigned to it on p. 99. In the Chinese Repository we find:—‘As a mark of reverence there is nothing more important than to place the father on an equality with heaven;’ which is by no means the idea, while the author further distorts the meaning by the following note:—‘T‘ien, “Heaven,” and Shang Tî, the “Supreme Ruler,” seem to be perfectly synonymous; and whatever ideas the Chinese attach to them, it is evident that the noble lord of Kâu regarded his ancestors, immediate and remote, as their equals, and paid to the one the same homage as the other. In thus elevating mortals to an equality with the Supreme Ruler, he is upheld and approved by Confucius, and has been imitated by myriads of every generation of his countrymen down to the present day.’
[3 ] It is difficult to say in what the innovation of the duke of Kâu consisted. The editors of the Extensive Explanation of the Hsiâo say:—‘According to commentators on our classic, Shun thinking only of the virtue of his ancestor did not sacrifice to him at the border altar. The sovereigns of Hsiâ and Yin were the first to sacrifice there to their ancestors; but they had not the ceremony of sacrificing to their fathers as the correlates of Heaven. This began with the duke of Kâu.’ To this explanation of the text the editors demur, and consider that the noun ‘father’ in the previous sentence should be taken, in the case of the duke of Kâu, both of Hâu-kî and king Wăn.
[1 ] The reader of the translations from the Shih must be familiar with Hâu-kî, as the ancestor to whom the kings of Kâu traced their lineage, and with king Wăn, as the acknowledged founder of their dynasty in connexion with his son, king Wû. Was any greater honour done to Hâu-kî in making him the correlate of Heaven than to king Wăn in making him the correlate of God? We must say, No. As is said in the Extensive Explanation, ‘The words Heaven and God are different, but their meaning is one and the same.’ The question is susceptible of easy determination. Let me refer the reader to the translations from the Shih on pp. 317 and 329. The tenth piece on the latter was sung, at the border sacrifice to Heaven, in honour of Hâu-kî; and the first four lines of it are to the effect—
while the fifth and sixth lines are—
The seventh piece on the former page was used at the sacrifice, in the Brilliant Hall, to king Wăn, as ‘the correlate of God.’ The first three lines have been versified by—
and the sixth and seventh lines by—
Since ‘Heaven’ and ‘God’ have the same reference, why are they used here as if there were some opposition between them? The nearest approach to an answer to this is found also in the Extensive Explanation, derived mainly from Khăn Hsiang-tâo, of the Sung dynasty, and to the following effect:—‘Heaven (Tien) just is God (Tî). Heaven is a term specially expressive of honour, and Hâu-kî was made the correlate of Heaven, because he was remote, far distant from the worshipper. God is a term expressive of affection, and king Wăn was made the correlate of God, because he was nearer to, the father of, the duke of Kâu.’ Hsiang-tâo concludes by saying that the sacrifice at the border altar was an old institution, while that in the Brilliant Hall was first appointed by the duke of Kâu. According to this view, Heaven would approximate to the name for Deity in the absolute,—Jehovah, as explained in Exodus xv. 14; while Tî is God, ‘our Father in heaven.’
[1 ] We find for this in the Chinese Repository:—‘The feelings which ought to characterise the intercourse between father and son are of a heavenly nature, resembling the bonds which exist between a prince and his ministers.’ P. Cibot gives:—‘Les rapports immuable de père et de fils découlent de l’essence même du Tien, et offrent la première idée de prince et de sujet;’ adding on the former clause this note:—‘Les commentateurs ne disent que des mots sur ces paroles; mais comment pourroient ils les bien expliquer, puisqu’ils ne sauroient en entrevoir le sens supreme et ineffable? Quelques-uns ont pris le parti de citer le texte de Tâo-teh King (ch. 42), “Le Tâo est vie et unité; le premier a engendré le second; les deux ont produit le troisième; le trois ont fait toutes choses;” c’est-à-dire, qu’ils ont tâchè d’expliquer un texte qui les passe, par un autre où ils ne comprennent rien.’ But there is neither difficulty in the construction of the text here, nor mystery in its meaning.
[1 ] This paragraph may be called a mosaic, formed by piecing together passages from the Ȝo Kwan.
[2 ] See the Shih, I, xiv, ode 3, stanza 3.
[1 ] Compare with this the Confucian Analects, II, vii.
[2 ] See the Shû, p. 43, and especially pp. 255, 256.
[1 ] We must understand that the ‘reverence’ here is to be understood as paid by the sovereign. In reverencing his father (or an uncle may also in Chinese usage be so styled), he reverences the idea of fatherhood, and being ‘in accord with the minds of all under heaven,’ his example is universally powerful. And we may reason similarly of the other two cases of reverence specified.
[2 ] The Kün-ȝze, or ‘superior man,’ here must be taken of the sovereign. P. Cibot translates it by ‘un prince.’
[1 ] See the Shih, III, ii, ode 7, stanza 1. The two lines of the Shih here are, possibly, not an interpolation.
[1 ] The numbers 7, 5, 3, 1 cannot be illustrated by examples, nor should they be insisted on. The higher the dignity, the greater would be the risk, and the stronger must be the support that was needed.
[2 ] Compare the Analects, IV, xviii, and the Lî Kî, X, i, 15.
[3 ] This chapter is as difficult to grasp as the seventh, which treated of Filial Piety in Relation to ‘the Three Powers.’ It is indeed a sequel to that. Heaven and Earth appear as two Powers, or as a dual Power, taking the place of Heaven or God. We can in a degree follow the treatise in transferring the reverence paid by a son to his father to loyalty shown by him to his ruler; but it is more difficult to understand the development of filial piety into religion that is here assumed and described. Was it not the pressing of this virtue too far, the making more of it than can be made, that tended to deprave religion during the Kâu dynasty, and to mingle with the earlier monotheism a form of nature-worship?
Hsing Ping, in his ‘Correct Meaning,’ makes the ‘discrimination’ here to be ‘an ability to distinguish the advantages of the earth;’—showing how he had the sixth and seventh chapters in his mind.
[1 ] ‘The Spiritual Intelligences’ here are Heaven and Earth conceived of as Spiritual Beings. They responded to the sincere service of the intelligent kings, as Hsing Ping says, with ‘the harmony of the active and passive principles of nature, seasonable winds and rain, the absence of epidemic sickness and plague, and the repose of all under heaven.’ Compare with this what is said in ‘the Great Plan’ of the Shû, pp. 147, 148.
[1 ] The reader will have noticed many instances of this, or what were intended to be instances of it, in the translations from the Shih, pp. 365-368, &c.
[2 ] See the Shih, III, i, ode 10, stanza 6.
[3 ] ‘The superior man’ here can only be the good and intelligent officer in the royal domain or at a feudal court.
[4 ] See the Shih, II, viii, ode 4, stanza 4.
[1 ] These vessels were arranged every day by the coffin, while it continued in the house, after the corpse was put into it. The practice was a serving of the dead as the living had been served. It is not thought necessary to give any details as to the other different rites of mourning which are mentioned. They will be found, with others, in the translations from the Lî Kî.