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The Book of Rites 禮記

《王制》 Royal Regulations

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王制》 Royal Regulations

According to the regulations of emolument and rank framed by the kings, there were the duke; the marquis; the earl; the count; and the baron - in all, five gradations (of rank). There were (also), in the feudal states, Great officers of the highest grade - the ministers; and Great officers of the lowest grade; officers of the highest, the middle, and the lowest grades - in all, five gradations (of office).

The territory of the son of Heaven amounted to 1000 li square; that of a duke or marquis to 500 li square; that of an earl to 79 li square; and that of a count or baron to 50 li square. (Lords) who could not number 50 li square, were not admitted directly to (the audiences of) the son of Heaven. Their territories were called 'attached,' being joined to those of one of the other princes. The territory assigned to each of the ducal ministers of the son of Heaven was equal to that of a duke or marquis; that of each of his high ministers was equal to that of an earl; that of his Great officers to the territory of a count or baron; and that of his officers of the chief grade to an attached territory.

According to the regulations, the fields of the husbandmen were in portions of a hundred acres. According to the different qualities of those acres, when they were of the highest quality, a farmer supported nine individuals; where they were of the next, eight; and so on, seven, six, and five. The pay of the common people, who were employed in government offices, was regulated in harmony with these distinctions among the husbandmen.

The officers of the lowest grade in the feudal states had an emolument equal to that of the husbandmen whose fields were of the highest quality; equal to what they would have made by tilling the fields. Those of the middle grade had double that of the lowest grade; and those of the highest grade double that of the middle. A Great officer of the lowest grade had double that of an officer of the highest. A high minister had four times that of a Great officer; and the ruler had ten times that of a high minister. In a state of the second class, the emolument of a minister was three times that of a Great officer; and that of the ruler ten times that of a minister. In small states, a high minister had twice as much as a Great officer; and the ruler ten times as much as a minister.

The highest minister, in a state of the second class, ranked with the one of the middle grade in a great state; the second, with the one of the lowest grade; and the lowest, with a Great officer of the highest grade. The highest minister in a small state ranked with the lowest of a great state; the second, with the highest Great officer of the other; and the lowest, with one of the lower grade. Where there were officers of the middle grade and of the lowest, the number in each was three times that in the grade above it.

Of the nine provinces embracing all within, the four seas, a province was 1000 li square, and there were established in it 30 states of 100 li (square) each.; 60 of 70 li; 120 of 50 li - in all, 210 states. The famous hills and great meres were not included in the investitures. The rest of the ground formed attached territories and unoccupied lands of the eight provinces (apart from that which formed the royal domain), each contained (the above) 210 states. Within the domain of the son of Heaven there were 9 states of 100 li square; 21 of 70 li; and 63 of 50 li - in all, 93 states. The famous hills and great meres were not assigned. The rest of the ground served to endow the officers, and to form unoccupied lands. In all, in the nine provinces, there were 1773 states, not counting in (the lands of) the officers of the chief grade of the son of Heaven, nor the attached territories in the feudal states.

(The contributions from) the first hundred li (square) of the son of Heaven served to supply (the needs of) the (various) public offices; (those from the rest of) the thousand li were for his own special use. Beyond his thousand li, chiefs of regions were appointed. Five states formed a union, which had a President. Ten formed a combination, which had a Leader. Thirty formed a confederation, which had a Director. Two hundred and ten formed a province, which had a Chief. In the eight provinces there were eight Chiefs, fifty-six Directors, one hundred and sixty-eight Leaders, and three hundred and thirty-six Presidents. The eight Chiefs, with those under them, were all under the two Ancients of the son of Heaven. They divided all under the sky between them, one having charge of the regions on the left and the other of those on the right, and were called the two (Great) Chiefs. All within the thousand li (of the royal domain) was called the Tien (or field Tenure). Outside that domain there were the Cai (or service territories) and the Liu (or territory for banished persons).

The son of Heaven had three dukes, nine high ministers, twenty-seven Great officers, and eighty-one officers of the chief grade. In a great state there were three high ministers, all appointed by the son of Heaven; five Great officers of the lower grade; and twenty-seven officers of the highest grade. In a state of the second class there were three high ministers, two appointed by the son of Heaven and one by the ruler; five Great officers of the lower grade; and twenty-seven officers of the highest grade. In a small state there were two high ministers, both appointed by the ruler; five, Great officers of the lower grade; and twenty-seven officers of the highest grade.

The son of Heaven employed his Great officers as the Three Inspectors - to inspect the states under the Chiefs of Regions. For each state there were three Inspectors.

Wang Zhi:
Within the domain of the son of Heaven the princes enjoyed their allowances; outside it they had their inheritances.

According to the regulations, any one of the three ducal ministers might wear one additional symbol of distinction - that of the descending dragon. But if such an addition were made (to his eight symbols), it must be by special grant. There were only nine symbols (in all). The ruler of a state of the second class wore only seven of them, and the ruler of a small state only five. The high minister of a great state could not wear more than three of the symbols, and the ministers below him only two. The high ministers of a small state, and Great officers of the lowest class, wore only one.

The rule was that the abilities of all put into offices over the people should first be discussed. After they had been discussed with discrimination, the men were employed. When they had been (proved) in the conduct of affairs, their rank was assigned; and when their position was (thus) fixed, they received salary. It was in the court that rank was conferred, the (already existing) officers being (thus) associated in the act. It was in the market-place that punishment was inflicted; the multitude being (thus) associated in casting the criminals off. hence, neither the ruler, nor (the head of)a clan, would keep a criminal who had been punished about; him; a Great officer would not maintain him; nor would an officer, meeting him on the road, speak to him. Such men were sent away to one of the four quarters, according to the sentence on each. They were not allowed to have anything to do with affairs of government, to show that there was no object in allowing them to live.

In their relation to the son of Heaven, the feudal princes were required to send every year a minor mission to the court, and every three years a greater mission; once in five years they had to appear there in person.

The son of Heaven, every five years, made a tour of Inspection through the fiefs. In the second month of the year, he visited those on the East, going to the honoured mountain of Tai. There he burnt a (great) pile of wood, and announced his arrival to Heaven; and with looks directed to them, sacrificed to the hills and rivers. He gave audience to the princes; inquired out those who were 100 years old, and went to see them: ordered the Grand music-master to bring him the poems (current in the different states), that he might see the manners of the people; ordered the superintendents of markets to present (lists of prices), that he might see what the people liked and disliked, and whether they were set on extravagance and loved what was bad; he ordered the superintendent of rites to examine the seasons and months, and fix the days, and to make uniform the standard tubes, the various ceremonies, the (instruments of) music, all measures, and (the fashions of) clothes. (Whatever was wrong in these) was rectified.

Where any of the spirits of the hills and rivers had been unattended to, it was held to be an act of irreverence, and the irreverent ruler was deprived of a part of his territory. Where there had been neglect of the proper order in the observances of the ancestral temple, it was held to show a want of filial piety and the rank of the unfilial ruler was reduced. Where any ceremony had been altered, or any instrument of music changed, it was held to be an instance of disobedience, and the disobedient ruler was banished. Where the statutory measures and the (fashion of) clothes had been changed, it was held to be rebellion, and the rebellious ruler was taken off. The ruler who had done good service for the people, and shown them an example of virtue, received an addition to his territory and rank.

In the seventh month, (the son of Heaven) continued his tour, going to the south, to the mountain of that quarter, observing the same ceremonies as in the east. In the eighth month, he went on to the west, to the mountain of that quarter, observing the same ceremonies as in the south. In the eleventh month, he went on to the north, to the mountain of that quarter, observing the same ceremonies as in the west. (When all was done), he returned (to the capital), repaired (to the ancestral temple) and offered a bull in each of the fanes, from that of his (high) ancestor to that of his father.

When the son of Heaven was about to go forth, he sacrificed specially, but with the usual forms, to God, offered the Yi sacrifice at the altar of the earth, and the Zao in the fane of his father. When one of the feudal princes was about to go forth, he offered the Yi sacrifice to the spirits of the land, and the Zao in the fane of his father.

When the son of Heaven received the feudal princes, and there was no special affair on hand, it was (simply) called an audience. They examined their ceremonies, rectified their punishments, and made uniform what they considered virtuous; thus giving honour to the son of Heaven.

When the son of Heaven gave (an instrument of) music to a duke or marquis, the presentation was preceded by a note from the signal box; when giving one to an earl, count, or baron, the presentation was preceded by shaking the hand-drum.

When the bow and arrows were conferred on a prince, he could proceed to execute the royal justice. When the hatchet and battle-axe were conferred, he could proceed to inflict death. When a large libation-cup was conferred, he could make the spirits from the black millet for himself. When this cup was not conferred, he had to depend for those spirits (as a gift) from the son of Heaven.

When the son of Heaven ordered a prince to institute instruction, he proceeded to build his schools; the children's, to the south of his palace, on the left of it; that for adults, in the suburbs. (The college of) the son of Heaven was called (the palace of) Bright Harmony, (and had a circlet of water). (That of) the princes was called the Palace with its semicircle of water.

When the son of Heaven was about to go forth on a punitive expedition, he sacrificed specially, but with the usual forms, to God; offered the Yi sacrifice at the altar of the Earth, and the Za in the fane of his father. He offered sacrifice also to the Father of War (on arriving) at the state which was the object of the expedition. He had received his charge from his ancestors, and the complete (plan) for the execution of it in the college. He went forth accordingly, and seized the criminals; and on his return he set forth in the college his offerings, and announced (to his ancestors) how he had questioned (his prisoners), and cut off the ears (of the slain).

When the son of Heaven and the princes had no (special) business in hand, they had three huntings in the year. The first object in them was to supply the sacrificial dishes with dried flesh; the second, to provide for guests and visitors; and the third, to supply the ruler's kitchen. Not to hunt when there was no (special) business in the way was deemed an act of irreverence. To hunt without observing the rules (for hunting) was deemed cruelty to the creatures of Heaven. The son of Heaven did not entirely surround (the hunting ground); and a feudal prince did not take a (whole) herd by surprise. When the son of Heaven had done killing, his large flag was lowered; and when the princes had done, their smaller flag. When the Great officers had done, the auxiliary carriages were stopped; and after this, the common people fell a hunting (for themselves).

When the otter sacrificed its fish, the foresters entered the meres and dams. When the wolf sacrificed its prey, the hunting commenced. When the dove changed into a hawk, they set their nets, large and small. When the plants and trees began to drop their leaves, they entered the hills and forests (with the axe). Until the insects had all withdrawn into their burrows, they did not fire the fields. They did not take fawns nor eggs. They did not kill pregnant animals, nor those which had not attained to their full growth. They did not throw down nests.

The chief minister determined the expenditure of the states, and it was the rule that he should do so at the close of the year. When the five kinds of grain had all been gathered in, he then determined the expenditure - according to the size of each territory, as large or small, and the returns of the year, as abundant or poor. On the average of thirty years he determined the expenditure, regulating the outgoing by the income. A tenth of the (year's) expenditure was for sacrifices. During the three years of the mourning rites (for parents), the king did not sacrifice (in person), excepting to Heaven, Earth, and the Spirits of the land and grain; and when he went to transact any business, the ropes (for his chariot) were made of hemp (and not of silk). A tithe of three years, expenditure was allowed for the rites of mourning. When there was not sufficient for the rites of sacrifice and mourning, it was owing to lavish waste; when there was more than enough, the state was described as affluent. In sacrifices there should be no extravagance in good years, and no niggardliness in bad.

If in a state there was not accumulated (a surplus) sufficient for nine years, its condition was called one of insufficiency; if there was not enough for six years, one of urgency. If there was not a surplus sufficient for three years, the state could not continue. The husbandry of three years was held to give an overplus of food sufficient for one year; that of nine years, an overplus sufficient for three years. Going through thirty years (in this way), though there might be bad years, drought, and inundations, the people would have no lack or be reduced to (eating merely) vegetables, and then the son of Heaven would every day have full meals and music at them.

The son of Heaven was encoffined on the seventh day (after his death), and interred in the seventh month. The prince of a state was encoffined on the fifth day, and interred in the fifth month. A Great officer, (other) officers, and the common people were encoffined on the third day, and interred in the third month. The mourning rites of three years (for parents) extended from the son of Heaven to all. The common people let the coffin down into the grave by ropes, and did not suspend the interment because of rain. They raised no mound, nor planted trees over the grave. That no other business should interfere with the rites of mourning was a thing extending from the son of Heaven to the common people. In the mourning rites they followed (the rank of) the dead; in sacrificing to them, that of the living. A son by a concubine did not (preside at) the sacrifices.

(The ancestral temple of) the son of Heaven embraced seven fanes (or smaller temples); three on the left and three on the right, and that of his great ancestor (fronting the south) - in all, seven. (The temple of) the prince of a state embraced five such fanes: those of two on the left, and two on the right, and that of his great ancestor - in all, five. Great officers had three fanes: one on the left, one on the right, and that of his great ancestor - in all, three. Other officers had (only) one. The common people presented their offerings in their (principal) apartment.

The sacrifices in the ancestral temples of the son of Heaven and the feudal princes were that of spring, called Yue; that of summer, called Di; that of autumn, called Chang; and that of winter, called Zheng.

The son of Heaven sacrificed to Heaven and Earth; the princes of the states, to the (spirits of the) land and grain; Great officers offered the five sacrifices (of the house). The son of Heaven sacrificed to all the famous hills and great streams under the sky, the five mountains receiving (sacrificial) honours like the honours paid (at court) to the three ducal ministers, and the four rivers honours like those paid to the princes of states; the princes sacrificed to the famous hills and great streams which were in their own territories.

The son of Heaven and the feudal lords sacrificed to the ancient princes who had no successors to preside over the sacrifices to them, and whose possessions now formed part of the royal domain or of their respective states.

The son of Heaven offered the spring sacrifice apart and by itself alone, but his sacrifices of all the other seasons were conducted on a greater scale in the fane of the high ancestor. The princes of the states who offered the spring sacrifice omitted that of the summer; those who offered that of the summer omitted that of the autumn; those who sacrificed in autumn did not do so in winter; and those who sacrificed in winter did not do so in spring. In spring they offered the sacrifice of the season by itself apart; in summer, in the fane of the high ancestor; in autumn and winter both the sacrifices were there associated together.

In sacrificing at the altars to the spirits of the land and grain, the son of Heaven used in each case a bull, a ram, and a boar; the princes, (only) a ram and a boar. Great and other officers, at the sacrifices in their ancestral temples, if they had lands, sacrificed an animal; and, if they had no lands, they only presented fruits. The common people, in the spring, presented scallions; in summer, wheat; in autumn, millet; and in winter, rice unhulled. The scallions were set forth with eggs; the wheat with fish; the millet with a sucking-pig; and the rice with a goose.

Of the bulls used in sacrificing to Heaven and Earth, the horns were (not larger than) a cocoon or a chestnut. Those of the one used in the ancestral temple could be grasped with the hand; those of the ox used for (feasting) guests were a foot long. Without sufficient cause, a prince did not kill an ox, nor a Great officer a sheep, nor another officer a dog or a pig, nor a common person eat delicate food. The various provisions (at a feast) did not go beyond the sacrificial victims killed; the private, clothes were not superior to the robes of sacrifice; the house and its apartments did not surpass the ancestral temple.

Anciently, the public fields were cultivated by the united labours of the farmers around them, from the produce of whose private fields nothing was levied. A rent was charged for the stances in the marketplaces, but wares were not taxed. Travellers were examined at the different passes, but no duties were levied from them. Into the forests and plains at the foot of mountains the people went without hindrance at the proper seasons. None of the produce was levied from the fields assigned to the younger sons of a family, nor from the holy fields. Only three days' labour was required (by the state) from the people in the course of a year. Fields and residences in the hamlets, (when once assigned), could not be sold. Ground set apart for graves could not be sought (for any other purpose).

The minister of Works with his (various) instruments measured the ground for the settlements of the people. About the hills and rivers, the oozy ground and the meres, he determined the periods of the four seasons. He measured the distances of one spot from another, and commenced his operations in employing the labour of the people. In all his employment of them, he imposed (only) the tasks of old men (on the able-bodied), and gave (to the old) the food-allowance of the able-bodied.

In all their settlements, the bodily capacities of the people are sure to be according to the sky and earthly influences, as cold or hot, dry or moist. Where the valleys are wide and the rivers large, the ground was differently laid out; and the people born in them had different customs. Their temperaments, as hard or soft, light or grave, slow or rapid, were made uniform by different measures; their preferences as to flavours were differently harmonised; their implements were differently made; their clothes were differently fashioned, but always suitably. Their training was varied, without changing their customs; and the governmental arrangements were uniform, without changing the suitability (in each case).

The people of those five regions - the Middle states, and the Rong, Yi, (and other wild tribes round them) - had all their several natures, which they could not be made to alter. The tribes on the east were called Yi. They had their hair unbound, and tattooed their bodies. Some of them ate their food without its being cooked. Those on the south were called Man. They tattooed their foreheads, and had their feet turned in towards each other. Some of them (also) ate their food without its being cooked. Those on the west were called Rong. They had their hair unbound, and wore skins. Some of them did not eat grain-food. Those on the north were called Di. They wore skins of animals and birds, and dwelt in caves. Some of them also did not eat grain-food. The people of the Middle states, and of those Man, Rong, and Di, all had their dwellings, where they lived at ease; their flavours which they preferred; the clothes suitable for them; their proper implements for use; and their vessels which they prepared in abundance. In those five regions, the languages of the people were not mutually intelligible, and their likings and desires were different. To make what was in their minds apprehended, and to communicate their likings and desires, (there were officers) - in the east, called transmitters; in the south, representationists; in the west, Di-dis; and in the north, interpreters.

In settling the people, the ground was measured for the formation of towns, and then measured again in smaller portions for the allotments of the people. When the division of the ground, the cities, and the allotments were thus fixed in adaptation to one another, so that there was no ground unoccupied, and none of the people left to wander about idle, economical arrangements were made about food; and its proper business appointed for each season. Then the people had rest in their dwellings, did joy fully what they had to do, exhorted one another to labour, honoured their rulers, and loved their superiors. This having been secured, there ensued the institution of schools.

The minister of Instruction defined and set forth the six ceremonial observances: to direct and control the nature of the people; clearly illustrated the seven lessons (of morality) to stimulate their virtue; inculcated uniformity in the eight objects of government, to guard against all excess; taught the sameness of the course (of duty) and virtue, to assimilate manners; nourished the aged, to secure the completion of filial piety; showed pity to orphans and solitaries, to reach those who had been bereaved; exalted men of talents and worth, to give honour to virtue; and dealt summarily with the unworthy, to discountenance wickedness.

He commanded that, throughout the districts, there should be marked and pointed out to him those who were disobedient to his lessons. (This having been done), the aged men were all assembled in the school, and on a good day archery was practised and places were given according to merit. (At the same time) there was a feast, when places were given according to age. The Grand minister of Instruction conducted thither the eminent scholars of the state and along with them superintended the business. If those (who had been reported to him) did not (now) change, he gave orders that they who were noted as continuing disobedient in the districts on the left should be removed to those on the right, and those noted on the right to the districts on the left. Then another examination was held in the same way, and those who had not changed were removed to the nearest outlying territory. Still continuing unchanged, they were removed, after a similar trial, to the more distant territory. There they were again examined and tried, and if still found defective, they were cast out to a remote region, and for all their lives excluded from distinction.

Orders were given that, throughout the districts, the youths who were decided on as of promising ability should have their names passed up to the minister of Instruction, when they were called 'select scholars.' He then decided which of them gave still greater promise, and promoted them to the (great) college, where they were called 'eminent scholars.' Those who were brought to the notice of the minister were exempted from services in the districts; and those who were promoted to the (great) school, from all services under his own department, and (by and by) were called 'complete scholars.'

The (board for) the direction of Music gave all honour to its four subjects of instruction, and arranged the lessons in them, following closely the poems, histories, ceremonies, and music of the former kings, in order to complete its scholars. The spring and autumn were devoted to teaching the ceremonies and music; the winter and summer to the poems and histories. The eldest son of the king and his other sons, the eldest sons of all the feudal princes, the sons, by their wives proper, of the high ministers, Great officers, and officers of the highest grade, and the eminent and select scholars from (all) the states, all repaired (to their instruction), entering the schools according to their years.

When the time drew near for their quitting the college, the smaller and greater assistants, and the inferior director of the board, put down those who had not attended to their instructions, and reported them to the Grand director, who in turn reported them to the king. The king ordered the three ducal ministers, his nine (other) ministers, the Great officers, and the (other) officers, all to enter the school (and hold an examination). If this did not produce the necessary change; the king in person inspected the school; and if this also failed, for three days he took no full meal nor had music, after which the (culprits) were cast but to the remote regions. Sending them to those of the west was called 'a (temporary) expulsion;' to the east, 'a temporary exile.' But all their lives they were excluded from distinction.

The Grand director of Music, having fully considered who were the most promising of the 'completed scholars,' reported them to the king, after which they were advanced to be under the minister of War, and called 'scholars ready for employment.'

The minister of War gave discriminating consideration (to the scholars thus submitted to him), with a view to determine the offices for which their abilities fitted them. He then reported his decisions concerning the best and ablest of them to the king, to have that judgment fixed. When it was, they were put into offices. After they had discharged the duties of these, rank was given them; and, their positions being thus fixed, they received salary.

When a Great officer was dismissed as incompetent from his duties, be was not (again) employed in any office to the end of his life. At his death, he was buried as an (ordinary) officer.

If any expedition of war were contemplated, orders were given to the Grand minister of Instruction to teach the scholars the management of the chariot and the wearing of the coat of mail.

In the case of all who professed any particular art, respect was had to their strength. If they were to go to a distant quarter, they had to display their arms and legs, and their skill in archery and charioteering was tested. All who professed particular arts for the service of their superiors, such as prayermakers, writers, archers, carriage-drivers, doctors, diviners, and artizans - all who professed particular arts for the service of their superiors, were not allowed to practise any other thing, or to change their offices; and when they left their districts, they did not take rank with officers. Those who did service in families (also), when they left their districts, did not take rank with officers.

The minister of Crime adapted the punishments (to the offences for which they were inflicted), and made the laws clear in order to deal with criminal charges and litigations. He required the three references as to its justice (before the infliction of a capital punishment). If a party had the intention, but there were not evidence of the deed, the charge was not listened to. Where a case appeared as doubtful, it was lightly dealt with; where it might be pardoned, it was (still) gravely considered.

In all determining on the application of any of the five punishments, it was required to decide according to the judgment of Heaven. Inadvertent and redeemable offences were determined by (the circumstances of) each particular case. When hearing a case requiring the application of any of the five punishments, (the judge) was required to have respect to the affection between father and son, or the righteousness between ruler and minister (which might have been in the mind of the defendant), to balance his own judgment. He must consider the gravity or lightness (of the offence), and carefully try to fathom the capacity (of the offender) as shallow or deep, to determine the exact character (of his guilt). He must exert his intelligence to the utmost, and give the fullest play to his generous and loving feeling, to arrive at his final judgment, If the criminal charge appeared to him doubtful, he was to take the multitude into consultation with him; and if they also doubted, he was to pardon the defendant. At the same time he was to examine analogous cases, great and small, and then give his decision.

The evidence in a criminal case having thus been all taken and judgment given, the clerk reported it all to the director (of the district), who heard it and reported it to the Grand minister of Crime. He also heard it in the outer court, and then reported it to the king, who ordered the three ducal ministers, with the minister and director, again to hear it. When they had (once more) reported it to the king, he considered it with the three mitigating conditions, and then only determined the punishment.

In all inflictions of punishments and fines, even light offenders (that were not doubtful) were not forgiven. Punishment may be compared to the body. The body is a complete thing; when once completed, there cannot be any subsequent change in it. Hence the wise man will do his utmost (in deciding on all these inflictions).

Splitting words so as to break (the force of) the laws; confounding names so as to change what had been definitely settled; practising corrupt ways so as to throw government into confusion: all guilty of these things were put to death. Using licentious music; strange garments; wonderful contrivances and extraordinary implements, thus raising doubts among the multitudes: all who used or formed such things were put to death. Those who were persistent in hypocritical conduct and disputatious in hypocritical speeches; who studied what was wrong, and went on to do so more and more, and whoever increasingly followed what was wrong so as to bewilder the multitudes: these were put to death. Those who gave false reports about (appearances of) spirits, about seasons and days, about consultings of the tortoise-shell and stalks, so as to perplex the multitudes: these were put to death. These four classes were taken off, and no defence listened to.

All who had charge of the prohibitions for the regulation of the multitudes did not forgive transgressions of them. Those who had rank-tokens, the long or the round, and gilt libation-cups were not allowed to sell them in the market-places; nor were any allowed to sell robes or chariots, the gift of the king; or vessels of an ancestral temple; or victims for sacrifice; or instruments of war; or vessels which were not according to the prescribed measurements; or chariots of war which were not according to the same; or cloth or silk, fine or coarse, not according to the prescribed quality, or broader or narrower than the proper rule; or of the illegitimate colours, confusing those that were correct; or cloth, embroidered or figured; or vessels made with pearls or jade; or clothes, or food, or drink, (in any way extravagant); or grain which was not in season, or fruit which was unripe; or wood which was not fit for the axe; or birds, beasts, fishes, or reptiles, which were not fit to be killed. At the frontier gates, those in charge of the prohibitions, examined travellers, forbidding such as wore strange clothes, and taking note of such as spoke a strange language.

The Grand recorder had the superintendence of ceremonies. He was in charge of the tablets of record, and brought before the king what (names) were to be avoided', and what days were unfavourable (for the doing of particular affairs)'. The son of Heaven received his admonitions with reverence.

(The office of) the accountants prepared the complete accounts of the year to be submitted to the son of Heaven which were reverently received by the chief minister. The Grand director of Music, the Grand minister of Crime, and the (chief) superintendent of the markets, these three officers, followed with the completed accounts of their departments to be submitted to the son of Heaven. The Grand minister of Instruction, the Grand minister of War, and the Grand minister of Works, reverently received the completed accounts of their several departments from their various subordinates, and examined them, then presenting them to the son of Heaven. Those subordinates then reverently received them after being so examined and adjudicated on. This being done, the aged were feasted and the royal sympathy shown to the husbandmen. The business of the year was concluded, and the expenditure of the states was determined.

In nourishing the aged, (Shun), the lord of Yu, used the ceremonies of the drinking entertainment; the sovereigns of Xia, those at entertainments (after) a reverent sacrifice or offering; the men of Yin, those of a (substantial) feast; and the men of Zhou cultivated and used all the three.

Those of fifty years received their nourishment in the (schools of the) districts; those of sixty, theirs in the (smaller school of the) state; and those of seventy, theirs in the college. This rule extended to the feudal states. An old man of eighty made his acknowledgment for the ruler's message, by kneeling once and bringing his head twice to the ground. The blind did the same. An old man of ninety employed another to receive (the message and gift for him).

For those of fifty the grain was (fine and) different (from that used by younger men). For those of sixty, flesh was kept in store. For those of seventy, there was a second service of savoury meat. For those of eighty, there was a constant supply of delicacies. For those of ninety, food and drink were never out of their chambers. Wherever they wandered (to another place), it was required that savoury meat and drink should follow them.

After sixty, (the coffin and other things for the mourning rites) were seen to be in readiness, (once) in the year; after seventy, once in the season; after eighty, once in the month; and after ninety; every day they were kept in good repair. But the bandages, sheet, and coverlets and cases (for the corpse) were prepared after death.

At fifty, one begins to decay; at sixty, he does not feel satisfied unless he eats flesh; at seventy, he does not feel warm unless he wears silk; at eighty, he does not feel warm unless there be some one (to sleep) with him; and at ninety, he does not feel warm even with that.

At fifty, one kept his staff always in his hand in his family; at sixty, in his district; at seventy, in the city; at eighty, (an officer) did so in the court. If the son of Heaven wished to put questions to (all officer) of ninety, he went to his house, and had rich food carried after him.

At seventy, (an officer) did not wait till the court was over (before he retired); at eighty, he reported every month (to the ruler's messenger) that he was still alive; at ninety; he (had delicate food sent) regularly to him every day.

At fifty, a (common) man was not employed in services requiring strength; at sixty, he was discharged from bearing arms along with others; at seventy, he was exempted from the business of receiving guests and visitors; and at eighty, he was free from the abstinences and other rites of mourning.

When one was fifty, he received the rank (of a Great officer); at sixty, he did not go in person to the college; at seventy, he retired from the service of the government; and in mourning, he used only the dress of sackcloth (without adopting the privations of the mourning rites).

(Shun), the lord of Yu, nourished the aged (who had retired from the service) of the state in (the school called) the higher xiang, and the aged of the common people (and officers who had not obtained rank) in (the school called) the lower xiang. The sovereigns of Xia nourished the former in (the school called) the xu on the east, and the latter in (that called) the xu on the west. The men of Yin nourished the former in the school of the right, and the latter in that of the left. The men of Zhou entertained the former in (the school called) the eastern jiao, and the latter in (what corresponded to) the xiang of Yu. This was in the suburb of the capital on the west.

The lord of Yu wore the huang cap in sacrificing (in the ancestral temple), and the white robes in nourishing the aged. The sovereigns of Xia used the shou cap in sacrificing, and the upper and lower dark garments of undress in nourishing the aged. During the Yin, they used the xu cap in sacrificing, and the tipper and lower garments, both of white thin silk, in nourishing the aged. During the Zhou dynasty, they used the mien cap in sacrificing, and the dark-coloured upper and lower garments in nourishing the aged.

The kings of the three dynasties, in nourishing the old, always had the years of those connected with them brought to their notice. Where (an officer) was eighty, one of his sons was free from all duties of government service; where he was ninety, all the members of his family were set free from them. In cases of parties who were disabled or ill, and where the attendance of others was required to wait upon them, one man was discharged from those duties (for the purpose). Parties mourning for their parents had a discharge for three years. Those mourning for one year or nine months had a discharge for three months. Where an officer was about to move to another state, he was discharged from service for three months beforehand. When one came from another state, he was not required to take active service for around year.

One who, while quite young, lost his father was called an orphan; an old man who had lost his sons was called a solitary. An old man who had lost his wife was called a pitiable (widower); an old woman who had lost her husband was called a poor (widow). These four classes were the most forlorn of Heaven's people, and had none to whom to tell their wants; they all received regular allowances.

The dumb, the deaf, the lame, such as had lost a member, pigmies, and mechanics, were all fed according to what work they were able to do.

On the roads, men took the right side and women the left; carriages kept in the middle. A man kept behind another who had a father's years; he followed one who might be his elder brother more closely, but still keeping behind, as geese fly after one another in a row. Friends did not pass by one another, when going the same way. (In the case of an old and a young man, carrying burdens,) both were borne by the younger; and if the two were too heavy for one, he took the heavier. A man with grey hair was not allowed to carry anything, though he might do it with one hand. An officer of superior rank, of the age of sixty or seventy, did not walk on foot. A common man, at that age, did not go without flesh to eat.

A Great officer, (having land of his own), was not permitted to borrow the vessels for sacrifice; nor to make vessels for his own private use before he had made those for sacrifice.

A space of one li square contained fields amounting to 900 mu. Ten li square were equal to 100 spaces of one li square, and contained 90,000 mu. A hundred li square were equal to 100 spaces of ten li square, and contained 9,000,999 mu. A thousand li square were equal to 100 spaces of 100 li square, and contained 900,000,000 mu.

From mount Heng to the southernmost point of the He was hardly 1000 li. From that point to the Jiang was hardly 1000 li. From the Kiang to mount Heng in the south was more than 1000 li. From the He on the east to the eastern sea was more than 1000 li. From the He on the east to the same river on the west was hardly 1000 li; and from that to the Moving Sands was more than 1000 li. (The kingdom) did not pass the Moving Sands on the west, nor mount Heng on the south. On the east it did not pass the eastern sea, nor on the north did it pass (the other) mount Heng. All within the four seas, taking the length with the breadth, made up a space Of 3000 li square, and contained eighty trillions of mu.

A space of 100 li square contained ground to the amount of 9,000,000 mu. Hills and mounds, forests and thickets, rivers and marshes, ditches and canals, city walls and suburbs., houses, roads, and lanes took up one third of it, leaving 6,000,000 mu.

Anciently, according to the cubit of Zhou, eight cubits formed a pace. Now, according to the same, six cubits and four inches make a pace. One hundred ancient mu were equal to 146 of the present day and thirty paces. One hundred ancient li were equal to 121 of the present day, sixty paces, four cubits, two inches and two-tenths.

A space of 1000 li square contained 100 spaces of 100 li square each. In this were constituted thirty states of 100 li square, leaving what would have been enough for other seventy of the same size. There were also constituted sixty states Of 70 li square, twenty-nine of 100 li square, and forty spaces of 10 li square; leaving enough for forty states of 100 li square, and sixty spaces of 10 li square. There were also constituted a hundred and twenty states of 50 li square, and thirty of 100 li square, leaving enough for ten of the same size, and sixty spaces of 10 li square. The famous hills and great meres were not included in the fiefs; and what remained was assigned for attached territories and unoccupied lands. Those unappropriated lands were taken to reward any of the princes of acknowledged merit, and what was cut off from some others (because of their demerit) became unappropriated land.

The territory of the son of Heaven, amounting to 1000 li square, contained 100 spaces of 100 li square each. There were constituted nine appanages of 100 li square, leaving ninety-one spaces of the same size. There were also constituted twenty-one appanages of 70 li square, ten of 100 li, and twenty-nine spaces of 10 li square; leaving enough for eighty of 100 li square, and seventy-one of 10 li There were further constituted sixty-three appanages of 50 li square, fifteen of 100 li, and seventy-five spaces of 10 li, while there still remained enough for sixty-four appanages of 100 li square, and ninety-six spaces of 10 li each.

The officers of the lowest grade in the feudal states received salary sufficient to feed nine individuals; those of the second grade, enough to feed eighteen; and those of the highest, enough for thirty-six. A Great officer could feed 72 individuals; a minister, 288; and the ruler, 2880. In a state of the second class, a minister could feed 216; and the ruler, 2160. A minister of a small state could feed 144 individuals; and the ruler, 1440. In a state of the second class, the minister who was appointed by its ruler received the same emolument as the minister of a small state.

The Great officers of the son of Heaven acted as 'the three inspectors.' When they were inspecting a state, their salary was equal to one of its ministers, and their rank was that of a ruler of a: state of the second class. Their salaries were derived from the territories under the chiefs of regions.

The (appointed) heir-sons of the feudal princes inherited their states. Great officers (in the royal domain) did not inherit their rank. They were employed as their ability and character were recognised, and received rank as their merit was proved. Till their rank was conferred (by the king), (the princes) were in the position of his officers of the chief grade, and so they ruled their states, The Great officers of the states did not inherit their rank and emoluments.

The six ceremonial observances were: capping; marrying; mourning rites; sacrifices; feasts; and interviews. The seven lessons (of morality) were: (the duties between) father and son; elder brother and younger; husband and wife; ruler and minister; old and young; friend and friend; host and guest. The eight objects of government were:-food and drink; clothes; business (or, the profession); maintenance of distinctions; measures of length; measures of capacity; and definitely assigned rules.

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

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Glossary and Other Vocabulary