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Book of Documents 《尚書》

夏書 甘誓 Xia Shu - Speech at Gan

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There was a great battle at Kan. (Previous to it), the king called together the six nobles, (the leaders of his six hosts),


And said, 'Ah! all ye who are engaged in my six hosts, I have a solemn announcement to make to you. The lord of Hu wildly wastes and despises the five elements (that regulate the seasons), and has idly abandoned the three acknowledged commencements of the year. On this account Heaven is about to destroy him, and bring to an end his appointment (to Hu); and I am now reverently executing the punishment appointed by Heaven. If you, (the archers) on the left, do not do your work on the left, it will be a disregard of my orders. If you, (the spearmen) on the right, do not do your work on the right, it will be a disregard of my orders. If you, charioteers, do not observe the rules for the management of your horses, it will be a disregard of my orders. You who obey my orders, shall be rewarded before (the spirits of) my ancestors; and you who disobey my orders, shall be put to death before the altar of the spirits of the land, and I will also put to death your children.'

English translation: James Legge

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