Back to collection
The Book of Rites 《禮記》
《玉藻》 The Jade-Bead Pendants of the Royal Cap
》 The Jade-Bead Pendants of the Royal Cap
The son of Heaven, when sacrificing, wore (the cap) with the twelve long pendants of beads of jade hanging down from its top before and behind, and the robe embroidered with dragons. When saluting the appearance of the sun outside the eastern gate, he wore the dark-coloured square-cut robes; and (also) when listening to the notification of the first day of the month outside the southern gate. If the month were intercalary, he caused the left leaf of the door to be shut, and stood in the middle of that (which remained open). He wore the skin cap at the daily audience in the court, after which he proceeded to take the morning meal in it. At midday he partook of what was left in the morning. He had music at his meals. Every day a sheep and a pig were killed and cooked; and on the first day of the month an ox in addition. There were five beverages: water, which was the principal; rice-water, spirits, must, and millet-water. When he had done eating, he remained at ease in the dark-coloured square-cut robes. His actions were written down by the recorder of the Left, and his utterances by the recorder of the Right. The blind musician in attendance judged whether the music were too high or too low. If the year were not good and fruitful, the son of Heaven wore white and plain robes, rode in the Plain and unadorned carriage, and had no music at his meals.
The princes of states, in sacrificing, wore their dark-coloured square-cut robes. At court-audiences (of the king), they wore the cap of the next inferior degree of rank to their own. They wore the skin-cap, when listening to the notification of the first day of the month in the Grand temples; and their court robes when holding their daily audience in the inner court-yard. (Their ministers and officers) entered (the palace) as soon as they could distinguish the dawning light, and the ruler came out daily (to the first court, inside the Khu gate), and received them. (After this audience), he retired, and went to the great chamber, there to listen to their proposals about the measures of government. He employed men to see whether the Great officers (were all withdrawn); and when they had left, he repaired to the smaller chamber, and put off his (court) robes. He resumed his court robes, when he was about to eat. There was a single animal, with three (other) dishes of meat, the lungs forming the sacrificial offering. In the evening he wore the long robe in one piece, and offered some of the flesh of the animal. On the first day of the moon, a sheep and a pig were killed, and there were five (other) dishes of meat, and four of grain. On Zi and Mao days there were only the glutinous rice and vegetable soup. His wife used the same kitchen as the ruler.
Without some cause for it, a ruler did not kill an ox, nor a Great officer a sheep, nor a lower officer a pig or a dog. A superior man had his shambles and kitchen at a distance (from the) house; he did not tread wherever there was such a thing as blood or (tainted) air.
When the eighth month came without rain, the ruler did not have full meals nor music. If the year were not abundant, he wore linen, and stuck in his girdle the tablet of an officer. Duties were not levied at the barrier-gates and dams; the prohibitions of the hills and meres were enforced, but no contributions were required (from hunters and fishermen). No earthworks were undertaken, and Great officers did not make (any new) carriages for themselves.
The officer of divination by the tortoise-shell fixed the shell (to be used); the recorder applied the ink; and the ruler determined the figures (produced by the fire).
(The cross-board in front of) the ruler was covered with lambskin, edged with tiger's fur; for his sacred carriage and court-carriage a Great officer had a covering of deer skin, edged with leopard's fur; as also had an ordinary officer for his sacred carriage.
The regular place for a gentleman was exactly opposite the door, (facing the light). He slept with his head to the east. When there came violent wind, or rapid thunder, or a great rain, he changed (countenance). It was the rule for him then, even in the night, to get up, dress himself, put on his cap, and take his seat. He washed his hands five times a day. He used millet-water in washing his head, and maize-water in washing his face. For his hair (when wet) he used a comb of white-grained wood, and an ivory comb for it when dry. (After his toilet), there were brought to him the (usual) cup and some delicacy; and the musicians came up and sang. In bathing he used two towels; a fine one for the upper part (of his body), and a coarser for the lower part. When he got out of the tub, he stepped on a straw mat; and having next washed his feet with hot water, he stepped on the rush one. Then in his (bathing) robe of cloth, he dried his body (again), and put on his shoes; and a drink was then brought into him. When he had arranged to go to the ruler's, he passed the night in vigil and fasting, occupying an apartment outside his usual one. After he had washed his head and bathed, his secretary brought him the ivory tablet, on which were written his thoughts (which he should communicate to the ruler), and how he should respond to orders (that he might receive). When he was dressed he practised deportment and listened to the sounds of the gems (at his girdle pendant). When he went forth, he bowed to all in his own private court elegantly, and proceeded to mount his carriage (to go to the ruler's) in brilliant style.
The son of Heaven carried in his girdle the ting tablet, showing how exact and correct he should be in his relations with all under heaven. The feudal lords had the shu, rounded at the top and straight at the bottom, showing how they should give place to the son of Heaven. The tablet of the Great officers was rounded both at the top and the bottom; showing how they should be prepared to give place in all positions.
When (a minister) is sitting in attendance on his ruler, the rule was that he should occupy a mat somewhat behind him on one side. If he did not occupy such a mat, he had to draw the one assigned to him back and keep aloof from the ruler's kindred who were near him. One did not take his place on his mat from the front, to avoid seeming to step over it, When seated and unoccupied he did not take up the-whole of the mat by at least a cubit. If he were to read any writings or to eat, he sat forward to the edge. The dishes were put down a cubit from the mat.
If food were given (to a visitor), and the ruler proceeded to treat him as a guest, he would order him to present the offering, and the visitor would do so. If he took the precedence in eating, he would take a little of all the viands, drink a mouthful, and wait (for the ruler to eat). If there were one in attendance to taste the viands, he would wait till the ruler ate, and then eat himself After this eating, he would drink (a mouthful), and wait (again).
If the ruler ordered him to partake of the delicacies, he took of that which was nearest to him. If he were told to take of all, he took of whatever he liked. In all cases, in tasting of what was some way off, they began with what was near. (The visitor) did not dare to add the liquid to his rice till the ruler had touched the corners of his mouth with his hands and put them down. When the ruler had done eating, he also took of the rice in this fashion, repeating the process three times. When the ruler had the things removed, he took his rice and sauces, and went out and gave them to his attendants.
Whenever pressed (by his host) to eat, one should not eat largely; when eating at another's, one should not eat to satiety. It was only of the water and sauces that some was not put down as an offering; they were accounted too trivial for such a purpose.
If the ruler gave a cup (of drink) to an officer, he crossed over from his mat, bowed twice, laid his head to the ground and received it. Resuming his place, he poured a portion of it as an offering, drank it off, and waited. When the ruler had finished his cup, he then returned his empty. The rule for a superior man in drinking (with the ruler) was this:--When he received the first cup, he wore a grave look; when he received the second, he looked pleased and respectful. With this the ceremony stopped. At the third cup, he looked self-possessed and prepared to withdraw. Having withdrawn, he knelt down and took his shoes, retired out of the ruler's (sight) and put them on. Kneeling on his left knee, he put on the right shoe; kneeling on the right knee, he put on the left one.
(At festive entertainments), of all the vases that with the dark-coloured liquor (of water) was considered the most honourable; and only the ruler sat with his face towards it. For the uncultivated people in the country districts, the vases all contained prepared liquors. Great officers had the vase on one side of them upon a tray without feet; other officers had it in a similar position on a tray with feet.
At the ceremony of capping, the first cap put on was one of black linen. The use of this extended from the feudal lords downwards. It might, after having been thus employed, be put away or disused. The dark-coloured cap, with red strings and tassels descending to the breast, was used at the capping of the son of Heaven. The cap of black linen, with strings and tassels of various colours, was used at the capping of a feudal prince. A dark-coloured cap with scarlet strings and tassels was worn by a feudal lord, when fasting. A dark-coloured cap with gray strings and tassels was worn by officers when similarly engaged. A cap of white silk with the border or roll of a dark colour was worn (? at his capping) by a son or grandson (when in a certain stage of mourning). A similar cap with a plain white edging, was worn after the sacrifice at the end of the year's mourning. (The same cap) with strings hanging down five inches, served to mark the idle and listless officer. A dark-coloured cap with the roll round it of white silk was worn by one excluded from the ranks of his compeers. The cap worn in private, with the roll or border attached to it, was used by all from the son of Heaven downwards. When business called them, the strings were tied and their ends allowed to hang down. At fifty, one did not accompany a funeral with his sackcloth hanging loose. When his parents were dead, (a son) did not have his hair dressed in tufts (any more). With the large white (cap) they did not use strings hanging down. The purple strings with the dark-coloured cap began with duke Huan of Lu.
In the morning they wore the dark-coloured square-cut dress; in the evening, the long dress in one piece. That dress at the waist was thrice the width of the sleeve; and at the bottom twice as wide as at the waist. It was gathered in at each side (of the body). The sleeve could be turned back to the elbow. The outer or under garment joined on to the sleeve and covered a cubit of it. The collar was 2 inches wide; the cuff, a cubit and 2 inches long; the border, 1.5 inch broad. To wear silk under or inside linen was contrary to rule.
An (ordinary) officer did not wear anything woven of silk that had been first dyed. One who had left the service of his ruler wore no two articles of different colours. If the upper garment were of one of the correct colours, the lower garment was of the (corresponding) intermediate one.
One did not enter the ruler's gate without the proper colours in his dress; nor in a single robe of grass-cloth, fine or coarse; nor with his fur robe either displayed outside, or entirely covered.
A garment wadded with new floss was called jian; with old, pao. One unlined was called jiong; one lined, but not wadded, die.
The use of thin white silk in court-robes began with Ji Kang-zi. Confucius said, 'For the audience they use the (regular) court-robes, which are put on after the announcement of the first day of the month (in the temple).' He (also) said, 'When good order does not prevail in the states and clans, (the officers) should not use the full dress (as prescribed).'
Only a ruler wore the chequered fur robes in addressing (his troops or the multitudes), and at the autumnal hunts, (For him) to wear the Great fur robe was contrary to ancient practice. When a ruler wore the robe of white fox-fur, he wore one of embroidered silk over it to display. When (the guards on) the right of the ruler wore tigers' fur, those on the left wore wolves' fur. An (ordinary) officer did not wear the fur of the white fox.
(Great and other) officers wore the fur of the blue fox, with sleeves of leopard's fur, and over it a jacket of dark-coloured silk to display it; which fawn's fur they used cuffs of the black wild dog, with a jacket of bluish yellow silk, to display it; with lamb's fur, ornaments of leopard's fur, and a jacket of black silk to display it; with fox-fur, a jacket of yellow silk to display it. A jacket of embroidered silk with fox-fur was worn by the feudal lords.
With dog's fur or sheep's fur, they did not wear any jacket of silk over it. Where there was no ornamentation, they did not use the jacket. The wearing the jacket was to show its beauty. When condoling, they kept the jacket covered, and did now show all its ornamental character; in the presence of the ruler, they showed all this. The covering of the dress was to hide its beauty. Hence, personators of the deceased covered their jackets of silk. Officers holding a piece of jade or a tortoise-shell (to present it) covered it; but if they had no (such official) business in hand, they displayed the silken garment, and did not presume to cover it.
For his memorandum-tablet, the son of Heaven used a piece of sonorous jade; the prince of a state, a piece of ivory; a Great officer, a piece of bamboo, ornamented with fishbone; ordinary officers might use bamboo, adorned with ivory at the bottom. When appearing before the son of Heaven, and at trials of archery, there was no such thing as being without this tablet. It was contrary to rule to enter the Grand temple without it. During the five months' mourning, it was not laid aside. When engaged in the performance of some business, and wearing the cincture, one laid it aside. When he had put it in his girdle, the bearer of it was required to wash his hands; but afterwards, though he had something to do in the court, he did not wash them (again). When one had occasion to point to or draw anything before the ruler, he used the tablet. When he went before him and received a charge, he wrote it down on it. For all these purposes the tablet was used, and therefore it was ornamental. The tablet was 2 cubits and 6 inches long. Its width at the middle was 3 inches; and it tapered away to 2.5 inches (at the ends).
The knee-covers of a ruler were of vermilion colour; those of a Great officer, white; and of another officer, purple - all of leather; and might be rounded, slanting, and straight. Those of the son of Heaven were straight (and pointed at all the corners); of the prince of a state, square both at bottom and top; of a Great officer, square at the bottom, with the corners at the top rounded off; and of another officer, straight both at bottom and top.
The width of these covers was 2 cubits at bottom, and 1 at top. Their length was 3 cubits. On each side of (what was called) the neck were 5 inches, reaching to the shoulders or corners. From the shoulders to the leathern band were 2 inches.
(An officer) who had received his first commission wore a cover of reddish-purple, with a black supporter for his girdle-pendant. One who had received the second commission wore a scarlet cover, (also) with a black supporter for the pendant; and one who had received the third commission, a scarlet cover, with an onion-green supporter for the pendant.
The son of Heaven wore a girdle of plain white silk, with vermilion lining, and ornamented ends. (A ruler) wore a plain white girdle of silk, with ornamented ends; a Great officer, a similar girdle, with the ends hanging down; an ordinary officer, one of dyed silk, with the edges tucked in, and the ends hanging down; a scholar waiting to be employed, one of embroidered silk; and young lads, one of white silk.
(The cords that formed the loops and buttons) were 3 inches long, equal to the breadth of the girdle. The rule for the length of the sash (descending from the girdle) was, that, for an officer, it should be 3 cubits; for one discharging a special service, 2.5. Zi-you said, 'Divide all below the girdle into three parts, and the sash will be equal to two of them., The sash, the knee-covers, and the ties are all of equal length.'
The great girdle of a Great officer was 4 inches (wide). In variegated girdles, the colours for a ruler were vermilion and green; for a Great officer, cerulean and yellow; for an (ordinary) officer, a black border Of 2 inches, and this, when carried round the body a second time, appeared to be 4 inches. On all girdles which were tucked in there was no needlework.
The queen wore a robe with white pheasants embroidered on it; (a prince's) wife, one with green pheasants. (The wife of a count or baron) who had received a degree of honour from the ruler wore a pheasant cut out in silk on her robe; (the wife of the Great officer of a count or baron), who had received two degrees, wore a robe of fresh yellow; (the wife of a Great officer), who had received one degree, a robe of white; and the wife of an ordinary officer, a robe of black. Only the ladies of honour received their degree of appointment, when they presented their cocoons. The others all wore the dresses proper to them as the wives of their husbands.
All (officers) in attendance on the ruler let the sash hang down till their feet seemed to tread on the lower edge (of their skirt). Their chins projected like-the eaves of a house, and their hands were clasped before them low down. Their eyes were directed downwards, and their ears were higher than the eyes. They saw (the ruler) from his girdle up to his collar. They listened to him with their ears turned to the left.
When the ruler called (an officer) to his presence, he might send three tokens. If two of them came to him, he ran (to answer the message); if (only) one, he yet walked quickly. If in his office, he did not wait for his shoes; if he were outside elsewhere, he did not wait for his carriage.
When an officer received a visit from a Great officer, he did not venture to bow (when he went) to meet him; but be did so when escorting him on his departure. When he went to visit one of higher rank than himself, he first bowed (at the gate) and then went into his presence. If the other bowed to him in replying, he hurried on one side to avoid (the honour).
When an officer was speaking before the ruler, if he had occasion to speak of a Great officer who was dead, he called him by his posthumous epithet, or by the designation of his maturity; if of an officer (who was similarly dead), he called him by his name. When speaking with a Great officer, he mentioned officers by their name, and (other) Great officers by their designation. In speaking at a Great officer's, he avoided using the name of the (former) ruler, but not that of any of his own dead. At all sacrifices and in the ancestral temple, there was no avoiding of names. In school there was no avoiding of any character in the text.
Anciently, men of rank did not fail to wear their girdle-pendants with their precious stones, those on the right giving the notes Zhi and Jiao, and those on the left Gong and Yu.
When (the king or ruler) was walking quickly (to the court of audience), he did so to the music of the Cai Qi; when walking more quickly (back to the reception-hall), they played the Si Xia. When turning round, he made a complete circle; when turning in another direction, he did so at a right angle. When advancing, he inclined forward a little; he held himself up straight; and in all these movements, the pieces of jade emitted their tinklings. So also the man of rank, when in his carriage, heard the harmonious sounds of its bells; and, when walking, those of his pendant jade-stones; and in this way evil and depraved thoughts found no entrance into his mind.
When the ruler was present, (his son and heir) did not wear the pendant of jade-stones. He tied it up on the left of his girdle, and left free the pendant (of useful things) on the right. When seated at ease, he wore the (jade) pendant; but in court, he tied it up. In fasting and vigil they wore it, but the strings were turned round, and fastened at the girdle. They wore then the purple knee-covers.
All wore the jade-stone pendant at the girdle, excepting during the mourning rites. (At the end of the middle string) in it was the tooth-like piece, colliding with the others. A man of rank was never without this pendant, excepting for some sufficient reason; he regarded the pieces of jade as emblematic of the virtues (which he should cultivate). The son of Heaven had his pendant composed of beads of white jade, hung on dark-coloured strings; a duke or marquis, his of jade-beads of hill-azure, on vermilion strings; a Great officer, his of beads of aqua-marine, on black strings; an heir-son, his of beads of Yu jade, on variegated strings; an ordinary officer, his of beads of jade-like quartz, on orange-coloured strings. Confucius wore at his pendant balls of ivory, five inches (round), on gray strings.
According to the regulations for (the dress of) a lad, his upper garment was of black linen, with an embroidered edging. His sash was embroidered, and (also) the strings for the button-loops (of his girdle). With such a string he bound up his hair. The embroidered border and strings were all red. When the ends of fastening strings reached to the girdle, if they had any toilsome business to do, they put them aside. If they were running, they thrust them in the breast. A lad did not wear furs, nor silk, nor the ornamental points on his shoes. He did not wear the three months' mourning. He did not wear the hempen band, when receiving any orders. When he had nothing to do (in mourning rites), he stood on the north of the principal mourner, with his face to the south. When going to see a teacher, he followed in the suite of others, and entered his apartment.
When one was sitting at a meal with another older than himself, or of a different (and higher) rank, he was the last to put down the offering, but the first to taste the food. When the guest put down the offering, the host apologised, saying that the food was not worthy of such a tribute. When the guest was enjoying the viands, the host apologised for their being scanty and poor. When the host himself put down the pickle (for the guest), the guest himself removed it. When the members of a household ate together, not being host and guests, one of them removed the dishes; and the same was done When a company had eaten together. At all festival meals, the women (of the house) did not remove the dishes.
When eating dates, peaches, or plums, they did not cast the stones away (on the ground). They put down the first slice of a melon as an offering, ate the other slices, and threw away the part by which they held it. When others were eating fruits with a man of rank, they ate them after him; cooked viands they ate before him. At meetings of rejoicing, if there were not some gift from the ruler, they did not congratulate one another; at meetings of sorrow, ...
When Confucius was eating with (the head of) the Ji family, he made no attempt to decline anything, but finished his meal with the rice and liquid added to it, without eating any of the flesh.
When the ruler sent (to an officer) the gift of a carriage and horses, he used them in going to give thanks for them. When the gift was of clothes, he wore them on the same occasion. (In the case of similar gifts to a commissioner from the king), until his (own) ruler had given him orders to use them, he did not dare at once to do so. When the ruler's gift reached him, he bowed his head to the ground with his two hands also, laying one of them over the other. A gift of liquor and flesh did not require the second expression of thanks (by the visit). Whenever a gift was conferred on a man of rank, nothing was given to a small man on the same day.
In all cases of presenting offerings to a ruler, a Great officer sent his steward with them, and an. ordinary officer went with them himself. In both cases they did obeisance twice, with their heads to the ground as they sent the things away; and again the steward and the officer did the same at the ruler's. If the offerings were of prepared food for the ruler, there were the accompaniments of ginger and other pungent vegetables, of a peach-wood and a sedge-broom. A Great officer dispensed with the broom, and the officer with the pungent vegetables. (The bearers) went in with all the articles to the cook. The Great officer did not go in person to make obeisance, lest the ruler should come to respond to him.
When a Great officer went (next day) to do obeisance for the ruler's gift, he retired after performing the ceremony. An officer, (doing the same), waited to receive the ruler's acknowledgment (of his visit), and then retired, bowing again as he did so; but (the ruler) did not respond to his obeisance. When a Great officer gave anything in person to an ordinary officer, the latter bowed on receiving it; and also went to his house to repeat the obeisance. He did not, however, wear the clothes (which might have been the gift), in going to make that obeisance. In interchanges between) equals, if (the recipient) were in the house (when the gift arrived), he went and made his obeisance in the house (of the donor).
When any one presented an offering to his superior in rank, he did not dare to say directly that it was for him. An ordinary officer did not presume to receive the congratulations of a Great officer; but a Great officer of the lowest grade did so from one of the highest. When one was exchanging courtesies with another, if his father were alive, he would appeal to his authority; if the other gave him a gift, he would say, in making obeisance for it, that he did so for his father.
If the ceremony were not very great, the (beauty of the) dress was not concealed. In accordance with this, when the great robe of fur was worn, it was without the appendage of one of thin silk to display it, and when (the king) rode in the grand carriage, he did not bend forward to the cross-bar (to show his reverence for any one beyond the service he was engaged on).
When a father's summons came to him, a son reverently obeyed it without any delay. Whatever work he had in hand, he laid aside. He ejected the meat that was in his mouth, and ran, not contenting himself with a measured, though rapid pace. When his parents were old and he had gone away, he did not go to a second place, nor delay his return beyond the time agreed on; when they were ailing, his looks and manner appeared troubled - these were less-important observances of a filial son.
When his father died, he could not (bear to) read his books - the touch of his hand seemed still to be on them. When his mother died, he could not (bear to) drink from the cups and bowls that she had used - the breath of her mouth seemed still to be on them.
When a ruler, (visiting another ruler), was about to enter the gate, the attendant dusted the low post (at the middle of the threshold). The Great officers stood midway between the side-posts and this short post (behind their respective rulers). An officer, acting as an attendant, brushed the side-posts. (A Great officer) on a mission from another court, did not enter at the middle of (either half of) the gate, nor tread on the threshold. If he were come on public business, he entered on the west of the short post; if on his own business, on the east of it.
A ruler and a representative of the dead brought their feet together step by step when they walked; a Great officer stepped along, one foot after the other; an ordinary officer kept the length of his foot between his steps. In walking slowly, they all observed these rules. In walking rapidly, while they wished to push on (and did so), they were not allowed to alter the motion either of hands or feet. In turning their feet inwards or outwards, they did not lift them up, and the edge of the lower garment dragged along, like the water of a stream. In walking on the mats it was the same. When walking erect, (the body was yet bent, and) the chin projected like the eaves of a house, and their advance was straight as an arrow. When walking rapidly, the body had the appearance of rising constantly with an elevation of the feet. When carrying a tortoise-shell or (a symbol of) jade, they raised their toes and trailed their heels, presenting an appearance of carefulness.
In walking (on the road), the carriage of the body was straight and smart; in the ancestral temple, it was reverent and grave; in the court, it was exact and easy. The carriage of a man of rank was easy, but somewhat slow; grave and reserved, when he saw any one whom he wished to honour. He did not move his feet lightly, nor his hands irreverently. His eyes looked straightforward, and his mouth was kept quiet and composed. No sound from him broke the stillness, and his head was carried upright. His breath came without panting or stoppage, and his standing gave (the beholder) an impression of virtue. His looks were grave, and he sat like a personator of the dead. When at leisure and at ease, and in conversation, he looked mild and bland.
At all sacrifices, the bearing and appearance (of the worshippers) made it appear as if they saw those to whom they were sacrificing. When engaged with the mourning rites, they had a wearied look, and an aspect of sorrow and unrest. Their eyes looked startled and dim, and their speech was drawling and low. The carriage of a martialist was bold and daring; his speech had a tone of decision and command; his face was stern and determined; and his eyes were clear and bright. He stood with an appearance of lowliness, but with no indication of subserviency. His head rose straight up from the centre of the neck. He stood (firm) as a mountain, and his movements were well timed. His body was well filled with the volume of his breath, which came forth powerfully like that of nature. His complexion showed (the beauty and strength of) a piece of jade.
When they spoke of themselves, the style of the son of Heaven was, 'I, the One man;' a chief of regions described himself as 'The strong minister of the son of Heaven;' the relation of a feudal lord expressed itself by 'So and So, the guardian of such and such a territory.' If the fief were on the borders, he used the style, 'So and So, the minister in such and such a screen.' Among his equals and those below him, he called himself 'The man of little virtue.' The ruler of a small state called himself 'The orphan.' The officer who answered for him (at a higher court) also styled him so. A Great officer of the highest grade (at his own court), called himself 'Your inferior minister;' (at another court), his attendant who answered for him, described him as 'The ancient of our poor ruler.' A Great officer of the lowest grade (at his own court), called himself by his name; (at another court), his attendant described him as 'Our unworthy Great officer.' The son and heir of a feudal prince (at his own court), called himself by his name; (at another court), his attendant described him as 'The rightful son of our unworthy ruler.' A ruler's son (by an inferior lady) called himself 'Your minister, the shoot from the stock.' An (ordinary) officer styled himself 'Your minister, the fleet courier;' to a Great officer, he described himself as 'The outside commoner.' When a Great officer went on a mission about private affairs, a man of his private establishment went with him as his spokesman, and called him by his name. When an officer belonging to the ruler's establishment acted (at another court for a Great officer), he spoke of him as 'Our unworthy Great officer,' or 'The ancient of our unworthy ruler.' When a Great officer went on any mission, it was the rule that he should have such an officer from the ruler's establishment with him, to answer for him.
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
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,
This work is licensed under a
Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. See
About. Please send comments to
This page was last updated on 2018-01-16.