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周書 武成 Zhou Shu - Successful Completion of the War

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In the first month, the day Ren-chen immediately followed the end of the moon's waning. The next day was Gui-ji, when the king, in the morning, marched from Zhou to attack and punish Shang.


In the fourth month, at the first appearance of the moon, the king came from Shang to Feng, when he hushed all the movements of war, and proceeded to cultivate the arts of peace. He sent back his horses to the south of mount Hua, and let loose his oxen in the open country of Tao-lin, showing to all under heaven that he would not use them (again).


On the day Ding-Wei, he sacrificed in the ancestral temple of Zhou, when (the princes) of the royal domain, and of the Dian, Hou, and Wei domains, all hurried about, carrying the dishes." The third day after was Geng-xu, when he presented a burnt-offering to Heaven, and worshipped towards the hills and rivers, solemnly announcing the successful completion of the war.


After the moon began to wane, the hereditary princes of the various states, and all the officers, received their appointments from Zhou.


The king spoke to the following effect: 'Oh! ye host of princes, the first of our kings founded his state, and commenced (the enlargement of) its territory. Gong Liu, was able to consolidate the services of his predecessor. But it was the king Tai who laid the foundations of the royal inheritance. The king Ji was diligent for the royal House; and my deceased father, king Wen, completed his merit, and grandly received the appointment of Heaven, to soothe the regions of our great land. The great states feared his strength; the small states thought fondly of his virtue. In nine years, however, the whole kingdom was not united under his rule, and it fell to me, the little child, to carry out his will.


'Detesting the crimes of Shang, I announced to great Heaven and the sovereign Earth, to the famous hill I and the great river by which I passed, saying, "I, Fa, the principled, king of Zhou by a long descent, am about to administer a great correction to Shang. Shou, the present king of Shang, is without principle, cruel and destructive to the creatures of Heaven, injurious and tyrannical to the multitudes of the people, lord of all the vagabonds under heaven, who collect about him as fish in the deep, and beasts in the prairie. I, the little child, having obtained (the help of) virtuous men, presume reverently to comply with (the will of) God, and make an end of his disorderly ways. Our flowery, and great land, and the tribes of the south and north, equally follow and consent with me. Reverently obeying the determinate counsel of Heaven, I pursue my punitive work to the east, to give tranquillity to its men and women. They meet me with their baskets full of dark-coloured and yellow silks, thereby showing (the virtues) of us, the kings of Zhou. Heaven's favours stir them up, so that they come with their allegiance to our great state of Zhou. And now, ye spirits, grant me your aid, that I may relieve the millions of the people, and nothing turn out to your shame."'


On the day Wu-wu, the army crossed the ford of Meng, and on Gui-hai it was drawn up in array in the borders of Shang, waiting for the gracious decision of Heaven. On Jia-zi, at early dawn, Shou led forward his troops, (looking) like a forest, and assembled them in the wild of Mu. But they offered no opposition to our army. Those in the front inverted their spears, and attacked those behind them, till they fled; and the blood flowed till it floated the pestles of the mortars. Thus did (king Wu) once don his armour, and the kingdom was grandly settled. He overturned the (existing) rule of Shang, and made government resume its old course. He delivered the count of Qi from prison, and raised a mound over the grave of Bi-gan. He bowed forward to the cross-bar of his carriage at the gate of Shang Rong's village. He dispersed the treasures of the Stag Tower, and distributed the grain of Ju-qiao, thus conferring great gifts on all within the four seas, so that the people joyfully submitted to him.


He arranged the nobles in five orders, assigning the territories to them according to a threefold scale. He gave offices only to the worthy, and employments only to the able. He attached great importance to the people's being taught the duties of the five relations of society, and to measures for ensuring a sufficient supply of food, attention to the rites of mourning, and to sacrifices. He showed the reality of his truthfulness, and proved clearly his righteousness. He honoured virtue, and rewarded merit. Then he had only to let his robes fall down, and fold his hands, and the kingdom was orderly ruled.

English translation: James Legge

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