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商書 盤庚中 Shang Shu - Pan Geng II

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Pan-geng arose, and (was about to) cross the He with the people, moving (to the new capital). Accordingly, he addressed himself to those of them who were (still) dissatisfied, and made a full announcement to their multitudes, to induce a sincere acquiescence (in the measure). 'They all attended, and (being charged) to take no liberties in the royal courtyard, he called them near, and said, 'Listen clearly to my words, and do not disregard my commands. Oh! of old time my royal predecessors cherished, every one and above every other thing, a respectful care of the people, who (again) upheld their sovereign with a mutual sympathy. Seldom was it that they were not superior to any (calamitous) time sent by Heaven. When great calamities came down on Yin, the former kings did not fondly remain in their place. What they did was with a view to the people's advantage, and therefore they moved (their capitals). Why do you not reflect that I, according to what I have heard of the ancient sovereigns, in my care of you and actings towards you, am only wishing to rejoice with you in a common repose? It is not that any guilt attaches to you, so that (this movement) should be like a punishment. If I call upon you to cherish this new city, it is simply in your account, and as an act of great accordance with your wishes.


'My present undertaking to remove with you, is to give repose and stability to the country. You, (however), have no sympathy with the anxieties of my mind; but you all keep a great reserve in declaring your minds, (when you might) respectfully think by your sincerity to move me, the One man. You only exhaust and distress yourselves. The case is like that of sailing in a boat;--if you do not cross the stream (at the proper time), you will destroy all the cargo. Your sincerity does not respond to mine, and we are in danger of going together to destruction. You, notwithstanding, will not examine the matter;--though you anger yourselves, what cure will that bring? You do not consult for a distant day, nor think of the calamity that must befal you (from not removing). You greatly encourage one another in what must prove to your sorrow. Now you have the present, but you will not have the future; what prolongation of life can you look for from above? Now I charge you to have but one mind. Do not let wicked thoughts arise to ruin yourselves. I am afraid that men bend your persons, and pervert your minds.1My measures are forecast to prolong your (lease of) life from Heaven; do I force you by the terrors of my power? My object is to support and nourish you all.


'I think of my ancestors, (who are now) the spiritual sovereigns; when they made your forefathers toil (on similar occasions it was only for their good), and I would be enabled in the same way greatly to nourish you and cherish you. Were I to err in my government, and remain long here, my high sovereign, (the founder of our dynasty), would send down on me great punishment for my crime, and say, "Why do you oppress my people?" If you, the myriads of the people, do not attend to the perpetuation of your lives, and cherish one mind with me, the One man, in my plans, the former kings will send down on you great punishment for your crime, and say, "Why do you not agree with our young grandson, but go on to forfeit your virtue?" When they punish you from above, you will have no way of escape.


'Of old, my royal predecessors made your ancestors and fathers toil (only for their good). You are equally the people whom I (wish to) cherish. But your conduct is injurious;--it is cherished in your hearts. Whereas my royal predecessors made your ancestors and fathers happy, they, your ancestors and fathers, will (now) cut you off and abandon you, and not save you from death. Here are those ministers of my government, who share with me in the offices (of the kingdom);--and yet they (only think of hoarding up) cowries and gems. Their ancestors and fathers earnestly represent (their course) to my high sovereign, saying, "Execute great punishments on our descendants." So do they advise my high sovereign to send down great calamities (on those men).'


'Oh! I have now told you my unchangeable purpose;--do you perpetually respect (my) great anxiety; let us not get alienated and removed from one another; share in my plans and thoughts, and think (only) of following me; let every one of you set up the true rule of conduct in his heart. If there be bad and unprincipled men, precipitously or carelessly disrespectful (to my orders), and taking advantage of this brief season to play the part of villains or traitors, I will cut off their noses, or utterly exterminate them. I will leave none of their children. I will not let them perpetuate their seed in this new city.


'Go! preserve and continue your lives. I will now transfer you (to the new capital), and (there) establish your families for ever.'

English translation: James Legge

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