Chinese Notes

Back to collection

The Book of Rites 《禮記》

《檀弓下》 Tan Gong II

》 Tan Gong II

三乘一乘大夫一乘
(At the funeral of) a ruler's eldest son by his acknowledged wife, who has died under age, there are three (small) carriages (with the flesh of sacrifice to be put in the grave). At that of an eldest son by one of his concubines, dying under age, there is one such carriage; as at the funeral of the eldest rightful son of a Great officer in the same circumstances.

達官
At the mourning rites for a feudal lord, his chief officers who had received their appointments. directly from him, carried their staffs.

大夫如是退
When a Great officer of a state was about to be buried, its ruler (went to) condole with (his son) in the hall where the coffin was. When it was being taken out, he ordered some one to draw the (bier-carriage) for him. This moved on for three paces and stopped; in all for three times; afterwhich the ruler retired. The same proceeding was gone through, when the bier entered the ancestral temple, and also at the place of (special) grief.

五十
Men of fifty, who had no carriage, did not make visits of condolence beyond the boundaries (of their states).

:「。」子曰:「君子。」及其
When Ji Wu-zi was lying ill in his chamber, Jiao Gu entered and appeared before him without taking off the mourning with its even edges (which he happened to wear). 'This practice,' said he, 'has nearly fallen into disuse. But it is only at the gate of the ruler that an officer should take off such mourning as I have on.' Wu-zi replied, 'Is it not good that you should act thus? A superior man illustrates the smallest points (of propriety).' At the mourning rites for Wu-zi, Zeng Dian leant against his gate and sang.

大夫當事婦人不飲酒食肉執紼朋友州里舍人:「。」主人:「。」使
If a Great officer pay a visit of condolence (to an ordinary officer), and he arrive when (the latter) is occupied with the business of the occasion, an apology is made (for not coming to the gate to receive him). When one has paid a visit of condolence, he should not on the same day show manifestations of joy. A wife should not go beyond the boundaries of the state on a visit of condolence. On the day when he has made a visit of condolence, one should not drink spirits nor eat flesh. When one pays a visit of condolence, and the arrangements for the funeral are going on, he should take hold of the ropes (attached to the car). Those who follow to the grave should take hold of those attached to the coffin. During the mourning rites, if the ruler send a message of condolence, there must be some one to acknowledge it, by bowing to the messenger. A friend, or neighbour, or even a temporary resident in the house, may perform the duty. The message is announced in the words: 'Our unworthy ruler wishes to take part in your (sad) business.' The chief mourner responds: 'We acknowledge your presence with his message.' When a ruler meets a bier on the way, he must send some one to present his condolences (to the chief mourner).

大夫庶子
At the mourning rites for a Great officer, a son by an inferior wife should not receive the condolences.

後者為主袒免入門使門外後者
On the death of his wife's brother who was the successor of their father, (the husband) should wail for him in (the court of) the principal chamber. He should appoint his (own) son to preside (on the occasion). With breast unbared and wearing the cincture instead of the cap, he wails and leaps. When he enters on the right side of the gate, he should make some one stand outside it, to inform comers of the occasion of the wailing; and those who were intimate (with the deceased) will enter and wail. If his own father be in the house, the wailing should take place (before) his wife's chamber. If (the deceased) were not the successor of his father, the wailing should take place before a different chamber.

兄弟側室側室
If a man have the coffin of a parent in his hall, and hear of mourning going on for a cousin of the same surname at a distance, he wails for him in a side apartment. If there be no such apartment, he should wail in the court on the right of the gate. If the deceased's body be in the same state, he should go to the place, and wail for him there.

:「。」子曰:「?」
When Zi-zhang died, Zeng-zi was in mourning for his mother, and went in his mourning dress to wail for him. Some one said, 'That dress of sackcloth with its even edges is not proper for a visit of condolence.' Zeng-zi replied, 'Am I condoling (with the living)?'


At the mourning rites for You Ruo, duke Dao came to condole. Zi-you received him, and introduced him by (the steps on) the left.

大功:「姊妹。」:「外祖母。」
When the news was sent from Qi of the mourning for the king's daughter who had been married to the marquis, duke Zhuang of Lu wore the nine months' mourning for her. Some have said, 'She was married from Lu; therefore he wore the same mourning for her as for a sister of his own.' Others have said, 'She was his mother's mother, and therefore he wore it.'

公使公子:「寡人亡國儼然之中不可不可孺子。」:「孺子以為以為天下孺子。」
At the mourning rites for duke Xian of Jin, duke Mu of Qin sent a messenger to present his condolences to Xian's son Chong-er (who was then an exile), and to add this message: 'I have heard that a time like this is specially adapted to the losing of a state, or the gaining of a state. Though you, my son, are quiet here, in sorrow and in mourning, your exile should not be allowed to continue long, and the opportunity should not be lost. Think of it and take your measures, my young son.' Chong-er reported the words to his maternal uncle Fan, who said,' My son, decline the proffer. An exile as you are, nothing precious remains to you; but a loving regard for your father is to be considered precious. How shall the death of a father be told? And if you take advantage of it to seek your own profit, who under heaven will be able to give a good account of your conduct? Decline the proffer, my son.

公子:「喪父不得哭泣以為。」稽顙
On this the prince replied to his visitor: 'The ruler has kindly (sent you) to condole with his exiled servant. My person in banishment, and my father dead, so that I cannot take any share in the sad services of wailing and weeping for him; this has awakened the sympathy of the ruler. But how shall the death of a father be described? Shall I presume (on occasion of it) to think of any other thing, and prove myself unworthy of your ruler's righteous regard?' With this he laid his head to the ground, but did not bow (to the visitor); wailed and then arose, and after he had risen did not enter into any private conversation with him.

以致:「公子稽顙。」
Zi-xian reported the execution of his commission to duke Mu, who said, 'Truly virtuous is this prince Chong-er. In laying his forehead on the ground and not bowing (to the messenger), he acknowledged that he was not his father's successor, and therefore he did not complete the giving of thanks. In wailing before he rose, he showed how he loved his father. In having no private conversation after he arose, he showed how he put from him the thought of gain.'


The keeping the curtain up before the coffin with the corpse in it was not a custom of antiquity. It originated with the wailing of Jing Jiang for Mu-bo.

喪禮哀戚君子
The rites of mourning are the extreme expression of grief and sorrow. The graduated reduction of that expression in accordance with the natural changes (of time and feeling) was made by the superior men, mindful of those to whom we owe our being.

鬼神北面
Calling (the soul) back is the way in which love receives its consummation, and has in it the mind which is expressed by prayer. The looking for it to return from the dark region is a way of seeking for it among the spiritual beings. The turning the face to the north springs from the idea of its being in the dark region.

稽顙哀戚稽顙
Bowing to the (condoling) visitor, and laying the forehead on the ground are the most painful demonstrations of grief and sorrow. The laying the forehead in the ground is the greatest expression of the pain (from the bereavement).

食道
Filling the mouth with rice uncooked and fine shells arises from a feeling which cannot bear that it should be empty. The idea is not that of giving food; and therefore these fine things are used.

不可
The inscription forms a banner to the eye of fancy. Because (the person of) the deceased, can no longer be distinguished, therefore (the son) by this flag maintains the remembrance of him. From his love for him he makes this record. His reverence for him finds in this its utmost expression. The first tablet for the spirit (with this inscription on it) serves the same purpose as that (subsequently) placed in the temple, at the conclusion of the mourning rites. Under the Yin dynasty the former was still kept. Under the Zhou, it was removed.

祭祀主人主人
The offerings to the unburied dead are placed in plain unornamented vessels, because the hearts of the living are full of unaffected sorrow. It is only in the sacrifices (subsequent to the interment), that the principal mourner does his utmost (in the way of ornament). Does he know that the spirit will enjoy (his offerings)? He is guided only by his pure and reverent heart.


Beating the breast (by the women), and leaping (by the men) are extreme expressions of grief. But the number of such acts is limited. There are graduated rules for them.

有所有所
Baring the shoulders and binding up the hair (with the band of sackcloth) are changes, (showing) the excited feeling which is a change in the grief. The removal of the (usual) ornaments and elegancies (of dress) has manifold expression, but this baring of the shoulders and the sackcloth band are the chief. But now the shoulders are quite bared, and anon they are covered (with a thin garment) - marking gradations in the grief.

神交
At the interment they used the cap of plain white (silk), and the headband of dolichos fibre; thinking these more suitable for their intercourse with (the departed) now in their spirit-state. The feeling of reverence had now arisen. The people of Zhou use the bian cap at interments; those of Yin used the xu.

主人主婦
The gruel of the chief mourner (the son), the presiding wife, and the steward of the family (of a Great officer) is taken by them at the order of the ruler lest they should get ill.

主婦
On returning (from the grave) to wail, (the son) should ascend the hall (of the ancestral temple) - returning to the place where (the deceased) performed his rites. The presiding wife should enter the chamber - returning to the place where he received his nourishment.

反而於是孔子:「。」
Condolences should be presented (to the son) when he returns (from the grave) and is wailing, at which time his grief is at its height. He has returned, and (his father) is not to be seen; he feels that he has lost him. (His grief is) then most intense. Under the Yin, they presented condolences immediately at the grave; under the Zhou, when the son had returned and was wailing. Confucius said, 'Yin was too blunt; I follow Zhou.'

北方三代
To bury on the north (of the city), and with the head (of the dead) turned to the north, was the common practice of the three dynasties - because (the dead) go to the dark region.

主人宿
When the coffin has been let down into the grave, the chief mourner presents the (ruler's) gifts (to the dead in the grave), and the officer of prayer (returns beforehand) to give notice of the sacrifice of repose to him who is to personate the departed.

主人日中
When he has returned and wailed, the chief mourner with the (proper) officer inspects the victim. (In the meantime other) officers have set out a stool and mat with the necessary offerings on the left of the grave. They return, and at midday the sacrifice of repose is offered.

一日明日祖父至於於是不忍一日有所
The sacrifice is offered on the day of interment; they cannot bear that the departed should be left a single day (without a place to rest in). On that day the offerings, (previously) set forth (by the coffin), are exchanged for the sacrifice of repose. The (continuous) wailing is ended, and they say, 'The business is finished.' On that day the sacrifices of mourning were exchanged for one of joy. The next day the service of placing the spirit-tablet of the departed next to that of his grandfather was performed. The change to an auspicious sacrifice took place on that day, and the placing the tablet in its place on the day succeeding - (the son) was unable to bear that (the spirit of the departed) should be a single day without a resting-place.

孔子
Under the Yin, the tablet was put in its place on the change of the mourning at the end of twelve months; under the Zhou, when the (continuous) wailing was over. Confucius approved the practice of Yin.

所以先王
When a ruler went to the mourning rites for a minister, he took with him a sorcerer with a peach-wand, an officer of prayer with his reed-(brush), and a lance-bearer, disliking (the presence of death), and to make his appearance different from (what it was at any affair of) life. In the mourning rites it is death that is dealt with, and the ancient kings felt it difficult to speak of this.

孝心至於而後周朝
The ceremony in the mourning rites of (the coffined corpse) appearing in the court (of the ancestral temple) is in accordance with the filial heart of the deceased. He is (supposed to be) grieved at leaving his chamber, and therefore he is brought to the temple of his fathers, and then (the coffin) goes on its way. Under the Yin, the body was thus presented and then coffined in the temple; under the Zhou the interment followed immediately after its presentation (in the coffin).

孔子:「不可。」?「神明。」自古孔子」,」,用人
Confucius said, 'He who made the vessels which are so (only) in imagination, knew the principles underlying the mourning rites. They were complete (to all appearance), and yet could not be used. Alas! if for the dead they had used the vessels of the living, would there not have been a danger of this leading to the interment of the living with the dead?' They were called 'vessels in imagination,' (the dead) being thus treated as spiritual intelligences, From of old there were the carriages of clay and the figures of straw, in accordance with the idea in these vessels in imagination. Confucius said that the making of the straw figures was good, and that the making of the (wooden) automaton was not benevolent. Was there not a danger of its leading to the use of (living) men?

子思:「?」子思:「君子退君子退?」
Duke Mu asked Zi-si whether it was the way of antiquity for a retired officer still to wear the mourning for his old ruler. 'Princes of old,' was the reply, 'advanced men and dismissed them equally according to the rules of propriety; and hence there was that rule about still wearing mourning for the old ruler. But nowadays princes advance men as if they were going to take them on their knees, and dismiss them as if they were going to push them into an abyss. Is it not good if (men so treated) do not head rebellion? How should there be the observance of that rule about still wearing mourning (for old rulers)?'

子曰:「?」子曰:「天下不能公室四方莫不使。」
At the mourning rites for duke Dao. Ji Zhao-zi asked Meng Jing-zi what they should eat (to show their grief) for the ruler. Jing-zi replied, 'To eat gruel is the general rule for all the kingdom.' (The other said), 'It is known throughout the four quarters that we three ministers have not been able to live in harmony with the ducal house. I could by an effort make myself emaciated; but would it not make men doubt whether I was doing so in sincerity? I will eat rice as usual.'

司徒主人主人:「?」:「夫子主人。」
When Si-tu Jing-zi of Wei died, Zi-xia made a visit of condolence (to his house); and, though the chief mourner had not completed the slight dressing (of the corpse), he went in the headband and robe of mourning. Zi-you paid a similar visit; and, when the chief mourner had completed the slight dressing, he went out, put on the bands, returned and wailed. Zi-xia said to him, 'Did you ever hear (that) that (was the proper method to observe)? I heard the Master say,' was the reply, 'that until the chief mourner had changed his dress, one should not assume the mourning bands'.'

子曰:「晏子可謂知禮恭敬。」:「晏子三十一乘國君大夫五乘晏子知禮?」子曰:「無道君子。」
Zeng-zi said, 'Yan-zi may be said to have known well the rules of propriety;-he was humble and reverent! You Ruo said, 'Yan-zi wore the same (robe of) fox-fur for thirty years. (At the burial of his father), he had only one small carriage (with the offerings to be put into the grave); and he returned immediately from the grave (without showing the usual attentions to his guests). The ruler of a state has seven bundles of the offerings, and seven such small carriages for them; a Great officer has five bundles of the offerings, and five such small carriages. How can it be said that Yan-zi knew propriety?' Zeng-zi replied, 'When a state is not well governed, the superior man is ashamed to observe all ceremonies to the full. Where there is extravagance in the administration of the state, he shows an example of economy. If the administration be economical, he shows an example of (the strict) observance' of all rules.'

:「男子婦人?」:「司徒夫子男子西鄉婦人東鄉。」:「。」:「為主婦人男子西鄉。」
On the death of the mother of Guo Zhao-zi, he asked Zi-zhang, saying, 'At the interment, when (all) are at the grave, what should be the places of the men and of the women?' Zi-zhang said, 'At the mourning rites for Si-tu Jing-zi, when the Master directed the ceremonies, the men stood with their faces to the west and the women stood with theirs to the east.' 'Ah!' said the other, 'that will not do;' adding, 'All will be here to see these mourning rites of mine. Do you take the sole charge of them. Let the guests be the guests, while I (alone) act as the host. Let the women take their places behind the men, and all have their faces towards the west.'

晝夜孔子:「知禮。」
At the mourning for Mu-bo (her husband), Jing Jiang wailed for him in the daytime, and at that for Wen-bo (her son), she wailed for him both in the daytime and the night. Confucius said, 'She knows the rules of propriety.'

:「賢人未嘗公室及其朋友未有內人失聲!」
At the mourning for Wen-bo, Jing Jiang (once) put her hand on the couch (where his body lay), and without wailing said, 'Formerly, when I had this son, I thought that he would be a man of worth. (But) I never went with him to the court (to see his conduct there); and now that he is dead, of all his friends, the other ministers, there is no one that has shed tears for him, while the members of his harem all wail till they lose their voices. This son must have committed many lapses in his observance of the rules of propriety!'

:「婦人四方?」
When the mother of Ji Kang-zi died, (her body was laid out with) her private clothes displayed. Jing Jiang (Kang-zi's grand-uncle's wife) said, 'A wife does not dare to see her husband's parents without the ornament (of her upper robes); and there will be the guests from all quarters coming; why are her under-clothes displayed here?' With this she ordered them to be removed.

孺子:「在於?」:「行者不然品節無能是故使未有以來使。」
You-zi and Zi-you were standing together when they saw (a mourner) giving all a child's demonstrations of affection. You-zi said, 'I have never understood this leaping in mourning, and have long wished to do away with it. The sincere feeling (of sorrow) which appears here is right, (and should be sufficient).' Zi-you replied, 'In the rules of propriety, there are some intended to lessen the (display of) feeling, and there are others which purposely introduce things (to excite it). To give direct vent to the feeling and act it out as by a short cut is the way of the rude Rong and Di. The method of the rules is not so. When a man rejoices, he looks pleased; when pleased, he thereon sings; when singing, he sways himself about; swaying himself about, he proceeds to dancing; from dancing, he gets into a state of wild excitement; that excitement goes on to distress; distress expresses itself in sighing; sighing is followed by beating the breast; and beating the breast by leaping. The observances to regulate all this are what are called the rules of propriety. When a man dies, there arises a feeling of disgust (at the corpse). Its impotency goes on to make us revolt from it. On this account, there is the wrapping it in the shroud, and there are the curtains, plumes (and other ornaments of the coffin), to preserve men from that feeling of disgust. Immediately after death, the dried flesh and pickled meats are set out (by the side of the corpse), When the interment is about to take place, there are the things sent and offered (at the grave); and after the interment, there is the food presented (in the sacrifices of repose). The dead have never been seen to partake of these things. But from the highest ages to the present they have never been neglected - all to cause men not to revolt (from their dead). Thus it is that what you blame in the rules of propriety is really nothing that is wrong in them.'

使行人:「多言有名?」:「?」:「?」:「君王無名?」
Wu made an incursion into Chen, destroying the (places of) sacrifice, and putting to death those who were suffering from a pestilence (which prevailed). When the army retired, and had left the territory, Pi, the Grand-administrator of Chen, was sent to the army (of Wu). Fu Chai (king of Wu) said to his internuncius, 'This fellow has much to say. Let us ask him a question.' (Then, turning to the visitor), he said, 'A campaign must have a name. What name do men give to this expedition?' The Grand-administrator said, 'Anciently, armies in their incursions and attacks did not hew down (trees about the) places of sacrifice; did not slay sufferers from pestilence; did not make captives of those whose hair was turning. But now, have not you in this campaign slain the sufferers from pestilence? Do they not call it the sick-killing expedition?' The king rejoined, ' If we give back your territory, and return our captives, what will you call it?' The reply was, 'O ruler and king, you came and punished the offences of our poor state. If the result of the campaign be that you now compassionate and forgive it, will the campaign be without its (proper) name?'

居喪皇皇從而不及反而
Yan Ding deported himself skilfully during his mourning. Immediately after the death (of his father), he looked grave and restless, as if he were seeking for something, and could not find it. When the coffining had taken place, he looked expectant, as if he were following some one and could not get up with him. After the interment he looked sad, and as if, not getting his father to return (with him), he would wait for him.

問曰:「《:『高宗。』?」仲尼:「胡為不然天子世子。」
Zi-zhang asked, saying, 'The Book of History says, that Gao Zong for three-years did not speak; and that when he did his words were received with joy. Was it so?' Zhong-ni replied, 'Why should it not have been so? Anciently, on the demise of the son of Heaven, the king, his heir, left everything to the chief minister for three years.'

飲酒師曠調外來鐘聲:「?」:「。」:「。」:「調。」北面:「是以?」:「大師是以。」
When Zhi Dao-zi died, before he was buried, duke Ping was (one day) drinking along with the music-master Kuang and Li Diao. The bells struck up; and when Du Kuai, who was coming in from outside, heard them, he said, 'Where is the music?' Being told that it was in the (principal) apartment, he entered it; and having ascended the steps one by one, he poured out a cup of spirits, and said, 'Kuang, drink this.' He then poured out another, and said, Diao, drink this.' He poured out a third cup; and kneeling in the hall, with his face to the north, he drank it himself, went down the steps, and hurried out. Duke Ping called him in again, and said, 'Kuai, just now I thought you had something in mind to enlighten me about, and therefore I did not speak to you. Why did you give the cup to Kuang?' 'On the days (Jia-)zi and (Ji-)mao,' was the reply, 'there should be no music; and now Zhi Dao-zi is (in his coffin) in his hall, and this should be a great zi or mao day. Kuang is the grand music-master, and did not remind you of this. It was on this account that I made him drink.'

調?」:「調一食是以。」
'And why did you give a cup to Diao?' Du Kuai said, 'Diao is your lordship's favourite officer; and for this drinking and eating he forgot the fault you were committing. It was on this account I made him drink.'
?」:「是以。」
'And why did you drink a cup yourself?' Kuai replied, 'I am (only) the cook; and neglecting my (proper work of) supplying you with knives and spoons, I also presumed to take my part in showing my knowledge of what should be prohibited. It was on this account that I drank a cup myself.'

:「寡人寡人。」侍者:「。」至于
Duke Ping said,' I also have been in fault. Pour out a cup and give it to me.' Du Kuai then rinsed the cup, and presented it. The duke said to the attendants, 'When I die, you must take care that this cup is not lost.' Down to the present day, (at feasts in Sin), when the cups have been presented all round, they then raise up this cup, and say, 'It is that which Du presented.'

文子:「日月有時所以。」:「衛國夫子衛國夫子寡人夫子衛國四鄰衛國社稷夫子文子』。」
When Gong-shu Wen-zi died, his son Shu begged the ruler (of the state) to fix his honorary title, saying, 'The sun and moon have brought the time - we are about to bury him. I beg that you will fix the title, for which we shall change his name.' The ruler said, 'Formerly when our state of Wei was suffering from a severe famine, your father had gruel made, and gave it to the famishing - was not this a roof of how kind he was? Moreover, in a time of trouble, he protected me at the risk of his own life - was not this a proof of how faithful he was? And while he administered the government of Wei, he so maintained the regulations for the different classes, and conducted its intercourse with the neighbouring states all round, that its altars sustained no disgrace - was not this a proof of how accomplished he was? Therefore let us call him "The Faithful, Kind, and Accomplished."'

庶子所以後者:「沐浴。」沐浴子曰:「沐浴?」沐浴
Shi Tai-gong died, leaving no son by his wife proper, and six sons by concubines. The tortoise-shell being consulted as to which of them should be the father's successor, it was said that by their bathing and wearing of their girdle-pendants the indication would be given. Five of them accordingly bathed and put on the girdle-pendants with their gems. Shi Qi-zi, however, said, 'Whoever, being engaged with the mourning rites for a parent, bathed his head or his body, and put on his girdle-pendants?' and he declined to do either, and this was considered to be the indication. The people of Wei considered that the tortoise-shell had shown a (true) knowledge.

與其大夫殉葬而後:「夫子殉葬。」:「殉葬雖然不得已。」於是
Chen Zi-ju having died in Wei, his wife and the principal officer of the family consulted together about burying some living persons (to follow him). When they had decided to do so, (his brother), Chen Zi-kang arrived, and they informed him about their plan, saying, 'When the master was ill, (he was far away) and there was no provision for his nourishment in the lower world; let us bury some persons alive (to supply it).' Zi-kang said, 'To bury living persons (for the sake of the dead) is contrary to what is proper. Nevertheless, in the event of his being ill, and requiring to be nourished, who are so fit for that purpose as his wife and steward? If the thing can be done without, I wish it to be so. If it cannot be done without, I wish you two to be the parties for it.' On this the proposal was not carried into effect.

子路:「以為以為。」孔子:「飲水。」
Zi-lu said, 'Alas for the poor! While (their parents) are alive, they have not the means to nourish them; and when they are dead, they have not the means to perform the mourning rites for them.' Confucius said, 'Bean soup, and water to drink, while the parents are made happy, may be pronounced filial piety. If (a son) can only wrap the body round from head to foot, and inter it immediately, without a shell, that being all which his means allow, he may be said to discharge (all) the rites of mourning.'

而後:「社稷社稷不可?」
Duke Xian of Wei having (been obliged to) flee from the state, when he returned, and had reached the suburbs (of the capital), he was about to grant certain towns and lands to those who had attended him in his exile before entering. Liu Zhuang said, 'If all had (remained at home) to guard the altars for you, who would have been able to follow you with halter and bridle? And if all had followed you, who would have guarded the altars? Your lordship has now returned to the state, and will -it not be wrong for you to show a partial feeling?' The intended allotment did not take place.

:「。」稽首:「寡人社稷。」:「世世子孫。」
There was the grand historiographer of Wei, called Liu Zhuang, lying ill. The duke said, 'If the illness prove fatal, though I may be engaged at the time in sacrificing, you must let me know.' (It happened accordingly, and, on hearing the news), the duke bowed twice, laying his head to the ground, and begged permission from the personator of the dead, saying, 'There was the minister Liu Zhuang, not a minister of mine (merely), but a minister of the altars of the state. I have heard that he is dead, and beg leave to go (to his house).' On this, without putting off his robes, he went; and on the occasion presented them as his contribution (to the mourning rites). He also gave the deceased the towns of Qiu-shi and Xian-fan-shi by a writing of assignment which was put into the coffin, containing the words: 'For the myriads of his descendants, to hold from generation to generation without change.'

兄弟:「使。」子曰:「殉葬?」
When Chan Gan-xi was lying ill, he assembled his brethren, and charged his son Zun-ji, saying, 'When I am dead, you must make my coffin large, and make my two concubines lie in it with me, one on each side.' When he died, his son said, 'To bury the living with the dead is contrary to propriety; how much more must it be so to bury them in the same coffin!' Accordingly he did not put the two ladies to death.

壬午仲尼:「。」
Gong Sui died in Chui; and on the next day, which was Ren-Wu, the sacrifice of the previous day was notwithstanding repeated (in the capital of Lu.). When the pantomimes entered, however, they put away their flutes. Zhong-ni said, 'It was contrary to rule. When a high minister dies, the sacrifice of the day before should not be repeated.'

:「不可公室豐碑豈不得以病者!」
When the mother of Ji Kang-zi died, Gong-shu Ruo was still young. After the dressing, Ban asked leave to let the coffin down into the grave by a mechanical contrivance. They were about to accede, when Gong-jian Jia said, 'No. According to the early practice in Lu, the ducal house used (for this purpose) the arrangement looking like large stone pillars, and the three families that like large wooden columns. Ban, you would, in the case of another man's mother, make trial of your ingenuity - could you not in the case of your own mother do so? Would that distress you? Bah!' They did not allow him to carry out his plan.

:「使君子不能不可。」與其魯人仲尼仲尼:「干戈社稷!」
During the fight at Lang, Gong-shu Yu-ren saw (many of) the men, carrying their clubs on their shoulders, entering behind the shelter of the small wall, and said, 'Although the services required of them are distressing, and the burdens laid on them heavy, (they ought to fight): but though our superiors do not form (good) plans, it is not right that soldiers should not be prepared to die. This is what I say.' On this along with Wang, a youth, (the son) of a neighbour, he went forward, and both of them met their death. The people of Lu wished to bury the lad Wang not as one who had died prematurely, and asked Zhong-ni about the point. He said, 'As he was able to bear his shield and spear in the defence of our altars, may you not do as you wish, and bury him as one who has not died prematurely?'

子路顏淵:「何以?」:「去國而後。」子路:「何以?」子路:「。」
When Zi-lu was going away from Lu, he said to Yan Yuan, 'What have you to send me away with?' 'I have heard,' was the reply, 'that, when one is leaving his state, he wails at the graves (of his fathers), and then takes his journey, while on his return to it, he does not wail, but goes to look at the graves, and (then) enters (the city).' He then said to Zi-lu, 'And what have you to leave with me here?' 'I have heard,' was the reply, 'that, when you pass by a grave, you should bow forward to the cross-bar, and, when you pass a place of sacrifice, you should dismount.'

:「。」。「。」:「足以。」孔子:「殺人之中。」
Shang Yang, director of Works (in Chu), and Chen Qi-ji were pursuing the army of Wu, and came up with it. The latter said to Shang Yang, 'It is the king's' business. It will be well for you to take your bow in hand.' He did so, and Qi-ji told him to shoot, which he did, killing a man, and returning immediately the bow to its case. They came up with the enemy again, and being told as before to shoot, he killed other two men; whenever he killed a man, he covered his eyes. Then stopping the chariot, he said, 'I have no place at the audiences; nor do I take part in the feasts. The death of three men will be sufficient for me to report.' Confucius said, 'Amidst his killing of men, he was still observant of the rules of propriety.'

諸侯諸侯使
The princes were engaged in an invasion of Qin, when duke Huan of Cao died at their meeting. The others asked leave to (see) the plugging of his teeth with the jade, and they were made to enshroud (his corpse).

康王:「。」魯人:「。」
Duke Xiang being in attendance at the court of Jing, king Kang died. The people of Jing said to him, 'We must beg you to cover (the corpse with your gift of a robe).' The men of Lu (who were with him) said, 'The thing is contrary to propriety.' They of Jing, however, obliged him to do what they asked; and he first employed a sorcerer with his reed-brush to brush (and purify) the bier. The people of Jing then regretted what they had done'.

使:「不可叔父公事。」
At the mourning rites for duke Cheng of Teng, Zi-shu Jing-shu was sent (from Lu) on a mission of condolence, and to present a letter (from duke Ai), Zi-fu Hui-bo being assistant-commissioner. When they arrived at the suburbs (of the capital of Teng), because it was the anniversary of the death, of Yi-bo, (Hui-bo's uncle), Jing-shu hesitated to enter the city. Hui-bo, however, said, 'We are on government business, and should not for the private affair of my uncle's (death) neglect the duke's affairs.' They forthwith entered.

公使子曰:「不如知禮公使:『不免妻妾免於。』」
Duke Ai sent a message of condolence to Kuai Shang, and the messenger met him (on the way to the grave). They withdrew to the way-side, where Kuai drew the figure of his house, (with the coffin in it), and there received the condolences. Zeng-zi said, Kuai Shang's knowledge of the rules of ceremony was not equal to that of the wife of Qi Liang. When duke Zhuang fell on Ju by surprise at Thui, Qi Liang met his death. His wife met his bier on the way, and wailed for him bitterly. Duke Zhuang sent a person to convey his condolences to her; but she said, 'If his lordship's officer had been guilty of any offence, then his body should have been exposed in the court or the market-place, and his wife and concubines apprehended. If he were not chargeable with any offence, there is the poor cottage of his father. This is not the place where the ruler should demean himself to send me a message.'

孺子𪏆:「。」:「天子諸侯!」
At the mourning rites for his young son Dun, duke Ai wished to employ the (elm-juice) sprinklers, and asked You Ruo about the matter. You Ruo said that it might be done, for his three ministers even used them. Yan Liu said, 'For the son of Heaven dragons are painted on (the shafts of) the funeral carriage, and the boards surrounding the coffin, like the shell, have a covering over them. For the feudal princes there is a similar carriage (without the painted dragons), and the covering above. (In both cases) they prepare the elm-juice, and therefore employ sprinklers. The three ministers, not employing (such a carriage), and yet employing the sprinklers, thus appropriate a ceremony which is not suitable for them; and why should your lordship imitate them?'

:「?」:「魯人。」
After the death of the mother of (his son, who became) duke Dao, duke Ai wore for her the one year's mourning with its unfrayed edges. You Ruo asked him, if it was in rules for him to wear that mourning for a concubine. 'Can I help it?' replied the duke. 'The people of Lu will have it that she, was my wife.'

季子犯人:「。」:「以是朋友以是。」
When Ji Zi-gao buried his wife, some injury was done to the standing corn, which Shen-xiang told him of, begging him to make the damage good. Zi-gao said, 'The Meng has not blamed me for this, and my friends have not cast me off. I am here the commandant of the city. To buy (in this manner a right of) way in order to bury (my dead) would be a precedent difficult to follow.'

未有祿使
When one receives no salary for the official duties which he performs, and what the ruler sends to him is called 'an offering,' while the messenger charged with it uses the style of our unworthy ruler;' if such an one leave the state, and afterwards the ruler dies, he does not wear mourning for him.

:「。」至于
At the sacrifice of Repose a personator of the dead is appointed, and a stool, with a mat and viands on it, is placed (for him). When the wailing is over, the name of the deceased is avoided. The service of him as living is over, and that for him in his ghostly state has begun. When the wailing is over, the cook, with a bell having a wooden clapper, issues an order throughout the palace, saying, 'Give up disusing the names of the former rulers, and henceforth disuse (only) the name of him who is newly deceased.' This was done from the door leading to the chambers to the outer gate.

夫子
When a name was composed of two characters they were not avoided when used singly. The name of the Master's mother was Zheng-zai. When he used Zai, he did not at the same time use Zheng; nor Zai, when he used Zheng.

之外
When any sad disaster occurred to an army, (the ruler) in plain white robes wailed for it outside the Ku gate. A carriage conveying the news of such disaster carried no cover for buff-coats nor case for bows.

:「。」
When the (shrine-)apartment of his father was burned, (the ruler) wailed for it three days. Hence it is said, 'The new temple took fire;' and also, 'There was a wailing for three days.'

孔子泰山婦人夫子使子貢:「。」:「。」夫子:「?」:「。」夫子:「小子。」
In passing by the side of mount Tai, Confucius came on a woman who was wailing bitterly by a grave. The Master bowed forward to the cross-bar, and hastened to her; and then sent Zi-lu to question her. 'Your wailing,' said he, 'is altogether like that of one who has suffered sorrow upon sorrow.' She replied, ' It is so. Formerly, my husband's father was killed here by a tiger. My husband was also killed (by another), and now my son has died in the same way.' The Master said, 'Why do you not leave the place?' The answer was, 'There is no oppressive government here.' The Master then said (to the disciples), 'Remember this, my little children. Oppressive government is more terrible than tigers.'

魯人不可:「!」使:「?」:「之間社稷宗廟之中作誓禮義忠信不解?」
In Lu there was one Zhou Feng, to whom duke Ai went, carrying an introductory present, and requesting an interview, which, however, the other refused. The duke said, 'I must give it up then.' And he sent a messenger with the following questions: '(Shun), the lord of Yu, had not shown his good faith, to the people, and yet they put confidence in him. The sovereign of Xia had not shown his reverence for the people, and yet the people revered him - what shall I exhibit that I may obtain such things from the people?' The reply was: 'Ruins and graves express no mournfulness to the people, and yet the people mourn (amidst them). The altars of the spirits of the land and grain and the ancestral temples express no reverence to the people, and yet the people revere them. The kings of Yin made their solemn proclamations, and yet the people began to rebel; those of Zhou made their covenants, and the people began to distrust them. If there be not the heart observant of righteousness, self-consecration, good faith, sincerity, and guilelessness, though a ruler may try to knit the people firmly to him, will not all bonds between them be dissolved?'


While mourning (for a father), one should not be concerned about (the discomfort of) his own resting-place, nor, in emaciating himself, should he do so to the endangering of his life. He should not be concerned about his own resting-place; he has to be concerned that (his father's spirit-tablet) is not (yet) in the temple. He should not endanger his life, lest (his father) should thereby have no posterity.

季子長子之間孔子:「季子。」不至於左袒:「骨肉。」孔子:「季子!」
Ji-zi of Yan-ling had gone to Qi; and his eldest son having died, on the way back (to Wu), he buried him between Ying and Bo. Confucius (afterwards) said, 'Ji-zi was the one man in Wu most versed in the rules of propriety, so I went and saw his manner of interment. The grave was not so deep as to reach the water-springs. The grave-clothes were such as (the deceased) had ordinarily worn. After the interment, he raised a mound over the grave of dimensions sufficient to cover it, and high enough for the hand to be easily placed on it. When the mound was completed, he bared his left arm; and, moving to the right, he went round it thrice, crying out, "That the bones and flesh should return again to the earth is what is appointed. But the soul in its energy can go everywhere; it can go everywhere." And with this he went on his way.' Confucius (also) said, 'Was not Ji-zi of Yan-ling's observance of the rules of ceremony in accordance with (the idea of them)?'

使:「使使。」:「諸侯易于。」:「西不用魯人。」
At the mourning rites for the duke Kao of Zhu-lou, the ruler of Xu sent Rong Ju with a message of condolence, and with the articles to fill the mouth of the deceased. 'My unworthy ruler,' said he, 'hath sent me to kneel and put the jade for a marquis which he has presented into your (deceased) ruler's mouth. Please allow me to kneel and do so.' The officers of Ju replied, 'When any of the princes has deigned to send or come to our poor city, the observances have been kept according to their nature, whether simple and easy, or troublesome and more difficult; but such a blending of the easy and troublesome as in your case, we have not known.' Rong Ju replied, 'I have heard that in the service of his ruler one should not forget that ruler, nor be oblivious of his ancestral (rules). Formerly, our ruler, king Ju, in his warlike operations towards the west, in which he crossed the He, everywhere used this style of speech. I am a plain, blunt man, and do not presume to forget his example.'

子思子思子思門人:「?」子思:「。」
When the mother of Zi-si died in Wei, and news of the event was brought to him, he wailed in the ancestral temple. His disciples came to him. and said, 'Your mother is dead, after marrying into another family; why do you wail for her in the temple of the Kong family?' He replied, 'I am wrong, I am wrong.' And thereon he wailed in one of the smaller apartments of his house.

天子國中男女三月天下可以棺槨
When the son of Heaven died, three days afterwards, the officers of prayer were the first to assume mourning. In five days the heads of official departments did so; in seven days both males and females throughout the royal domain; and in three months all in the kingdom. The foresters examined the trees about the various altars, and cut down those which they thought suitable for the coffins and shell, If these did not come up to what was required, the sacrifices were abolished, and the men had their throats cut.

貿貿:「。」:「以至於。」從而:「可食。」
During a great dearth in Qi, Qian Ao had food prepared on the roads, to wait the approach of hungry people and give to them. (One day), there came a famished man, looking as if he could hardly see, his face covered with his sleeve, and dragging his feet together. Qian Ao, carrying with his left hand some rice, and holding some drink with the other, said to him, 'Poor man! come and eat.' The man, opening his eyes with a stare, and looking at him, said, 'It was because I would not eat "Poor man come here's" food, that I am come to this state.' Qian Ao immediately apologised for his words, but the man after all would not take the food and died. When Zeng-zi heard the circumstances, he said, 'Was it not a small matter? When the other expressed his pity as he did, the man might have gone away. When he apologised, the man might have taken the food.'

:「寡人。」:「寡人弒君弒父洿而後。」
In the time of duke Ding of Zhu-lou, there occurred the case of a man killing his father. The officers reported it; when the duke, with an appearance of dismay, left his mat and said, 'This is the crime of unworthy me!' He added, 'I have learned how to decide on such a charge. When a minister kills his ruler, all who are in office with him should kill him without mercy. When a son kills his father, all who are in the house with him should kill him without mercy. The man should be killed; his house should be destroyed; the whole place should be laid under water and reduced to a swamp. And his ruler should let a month elapse before he raises a cup to his lips.'

文子大夫:「國族。」文子:「國族要領大夫。」北面稽首君子
(The ruler of) Jin having congratulated Wen-zi on the completion of his residence, the Great officers of the state went to the house-warming. Zhang Lao said, 'How elegant it is, and lofty! How elegant and splendid! Here will you have your songs! Here will you have your wailings! Here will you assemble the representatives of the great families of the state!' Wen-zi replied, 'If I can have my songs here, and my wailings, and assemble here the representatives of the great families of the state, (it will be enough). I will then (only) seek to preserve my waist and neck to follow the former Great officers of my family to the Nine Plains.' He then bowed twice, laying his head also on the ground. A superior man will say (of the two), that the one was skilful in the expression of his praise and the other in his prayer.

仲尼使子貢:「使。」
The dog kept by Zhong-ni having died, he employed Zi-gong to bury it, saying, 'I have heard that a worn-out curtain should not be thrown away, but may be used to bury a horse in; and that a worn-out umbrella should not be thrown away, but may be used to bury a dog in. I am poor and have no umbrella. In putting the dog into the grave, you can use my mat; and do not let its head get buried in the earth. When one of the horses of the ruler's carriage dies, it is buried in a curtain (in good condition).'

子貢子貢子貢:「。」大夫一等君子:「行者。」
When the mother of Ji-sun died, duke Ai paid a visit of condolence to him. (Soon after), Zeng-zi and Zi-gong arrived for the same purpose; but the porter declined to admit them, because the ruler was present. On this they went into the stable, and adjusted their dress more fully. (Shortly) they entered the house, Zi-gong going first. The porter said to him, 'I have already announced your arrival;' and when Zeng-zi followed, he moved on one side for him. They passed on to the inner place for the droppings from the roof, the Great officers all moving out of their way, and the duke descending a step and bowing to them. A superior man has said about the case, 'So it is when the toilet is complete! Immediately its influence extends far.'

陽門:「陽門不可。」孔子:「善哉!《:『。』而已天下。」
A man-at-arms at the Yang gate (of the capital of Song) having died, Zi-han, the superintendent of Works, went to (his house), and wailed for him bitterly. The men of Jin who were in Song as spies returned, and reported the thing to the marquis of Jin, saying, 'A man-at-arms at the Yang gate having died, Zi-han wailed for him bitterly, and the people were pleased; (Song), we apprehend, cannot be attacked (with success).' When Confucius heard of the circumstances, he said, 'Skilfully did those men do their duty as spies in Song. It is said in the Book of Poetry, "If there was any mourning among the people, I did my utmost to help them." Though there had been other enemies besides Jin, what state under the sky could have withstood one (in the condition of Song)?'

大夫
At the mourning rites for duke Zhuang of Lu, when the interment was over, (the new ruler) did not enter the outer gate with his girdle of dolichos cloth. The ordinary and Great officers, when they had finished their wailing, also did not enter in their sackcloth.

孔子夫子:「。」:「。」夫子:「未可?」夫子:「。」
There was an old acquaintance of Confucius, called Yuan Zang. When his mother died, the Master assisted him in preparing the shell for the coffin. Yuan (then) got up on the wood, and said, 'It is long since I sang to anything;' and (with this he struck the wood), singing: 'It is marked like a wild cat's head; It is(smooth) as a young lady's hand which you hold.' The Master, however, made as if he did not hear, and passed by him. The disciples who were with him said, 'Can you not have done with him?' 'I have heard,' was the reply, 'that relations should not forget their relationship, nor old acquaintances their friendship,'

文子文子:「可作?」:「?」文子:「晉國不足。」「?」文子:「不顧不足。」文子文子其中退不勝晉國七十有餘

Zhao Wen-zi and Shu-Yu were looking about them at the Nine Plains, when Wen-zi said, 'If these dead could arise, with whom would I associate myself?' Shu-Yu asked, 'Would it be with Yang Chu-fu?' 'He managed by his course,' was the reply, 'to concentrate in himself all the power of Jin, and yet he did not die a natural death. His wisdom does not deserve to be commended.' 'Would it be with uncle Fan?' Wen-zi said, 'When he saw gain in prospect, he did not think of his ruler; his virtue does not deserve to be commended. I think I would follow Wu-zi of Sui. While seeking the advantage of his ruler, he did not forget himself; and while consulting for his own advantage, he was not forgetful of his friends.' The people of Jin thought that Wen-zi knew men. He carried himself in a retiring way, as if he could not bear even his clothes. His speech was low and stuttering, as if he could not get his words out. The officers whom he advanced to responsible charges in the depositories of Jin were more than seventy. During his life, he had no contentions with any of them about gain, and when dying he required nothing from them for his sons.

學子魯人:「姊妹。」退使
Shu-zhong Pi instructed (his son) Zi-liu (in the rules of ceremony); and when he died, Zi-liu's wife, who was a plain, blunt woman, wore for him the one year's mourning and the headband with its two ends tied together. (Pi's brother), Shu-zhong Yan spoke to Zi-liu about it, and requested that she should wear the three months' mourning and the simple headband; saying, 'Formerly, when I was mourning for my aunts and sisters, I wore this mourning, and no one forbade it.' When he withdrew, however, (Zi-liu) made his wife wear the three months' mourning and the simple headband.

成人成人:「。」
There was a man of Cheng, who did not go into mourning on the death of his elder brother. Hearing, however, that Zi-gao was about to become governor of the city, he forthwith did so. The people of Cheng said, 'The silkworm spins its cocoons, but the crab supplies the box for them; the bee has its cap, but the cicada supplies the strings for it. His elder brother died, but it was Zi-gao who made the mourning for him.'

正子:「不得!」
When Yue-zheng Zi-chun's mother died, he was five days without eating. He then said, 'I am sorry for it. Since in the case of my mother's death, I could not eat according to my feelings, on what occasion shall I be able to do so?'

:「?」:「不可!」「?」:「婦人!」「?」:「天子諸侯!」
In a year of drought duke Mu called to him Xian-zi, and asked him about it. 'Heaven,' said he, 'has not sent down rain for a long time. I wish to expose a deformed person in the sun (to move its pity), what do you say to my doing so?' 'Heaven, indeed,' was the reply, 'does not send down rain; but would it not be an improper act of cruelty, on that account to expose the diseased son of some one in the sun?' 'Well then,' (said the duke), 'I wish to expose in the sun a witch; what do you say to that?' Xian-zi said, 'Heaven, indeed, does not send down rain; but would it not be wide of the mark to hope anything from (the suffering of) a foolish woman, and by means of that to seek for rain?' 'What do you say then to my moving the marketplace elsewhere?' The answer was, 'When the son of Heaven dies, the market is held in the lanes for seven days; and it is held in them for three days, when the ruler of a state dies. It will perhaps be a proper measure to move it there on account of the present distress.'

孔子:「魯人!」
Confucius said, 'The people of Wei, in burying husband and wife together (in the same grave and shell), leave a space between the coffins. The people of Lu, in doing the same, place them together - which is the better way.

Source: Chinese Text Project http://ctext.org/liji. English translation "Sacred Books of the East, volume 28, part 4: The Li Ki", James Legge, 1885


Vocabulary Analysis


See the Help page for more information on the best use of the dictionary or if you have problems. Copyright Fo Guang Shan Nan Tien Institute 佛光山南天大學 2013-2017, www.nantien.edu.au. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. See About. Please send comments to alex@chinesenotes.com.

This page was last updated on 2017-11-21.