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The Book of Rites 禮記

《內則》 The Pattern of the Family

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》 The Pattern of the Family

The sovereign and king orders the chief minister to send down his (lessons of) virtue to the millions of the people.

Sons, in serving their parents, on the first crowing of the cock, should all wash their hands and rinse their mouths, comb their hair, draw over it the covering of silk, fix this with the hair-pin, bind the hair at the roots with the fillet, brush the dust from that which is left free, and then put on their caps, leaving the ends of the strings hanging down. They should then put on their squarely made black jackets, knee-covers, and girdles, fixing in the last their tablets. From the left and right of the girdle they should hang their articles for use: on the left side, the duster and handkerchief, the knife and whetstone, the small spike, and the metal speculum for getting fire from the sun; on the right, the archer's thimble. for the thumb and the armlet, the tube for writing instruments, the knife-case, the larger spike, and the borer for getting fire from wood. They should put on their leggings, and adjust their shoe-strings.

(Sons') wives should serve their parents-in-law as they served their own. At the first crowing of the cock, they should wash their hands, and rinse their mouths; comb their hair, draw over it the covering of silk, fix this with the hair-pin, and tie the hair at the roots with the fillet. They should then put on the jacket, and over it the sash. On the left side they should hang the duster and handkerchief, the knife and whetstone, the small spike, and the metal speculum to get fire with; and on the right, the needle-case, thread, and floss, all bestowed in the satchel, the great spike, and the borer to get fire with from wood. They will also fasten on their necklaces, and adjust their shoe-strings.

Thus dressed, they should go to their parents and parents-in-law. On getting to where they are, with bated breath and gentle voice, they should ask if their clothes are (too) warm or (too) cold, whether they are ill or pained, or uncomfortable in any part; and if they be so, they should proceed reverently to stroke and scratch the place. They should in the same way, going before or following after, help and support their parents in quitting or entering (the apartment). In bringing in the basin for them to wash, the younger will carry the stand and the elder the water; they will beg to be allowed to pour out the water, and when the washing is concluded, they Will hand the towel. They will ask whether they want anything, and then respectfully bring it. All this they will do with an appearance of pleasure to make their parents feel at ease. (They should bring) gruel, thick or thin, spirits or must, soup with vegetables, beans, wheat, spinach, rice, millet, maize, and glutinous millet - whatever they wish, in fact; with dates, chestnuts, sugar and honey, to sweeten their dishes; with the ordinary or the large-leaved violets, leaves of elm-trees, fresh or dry, and the most soothing rice-water to lubricate them; and with fat and oil to enrich them. The parents will be sure to taste them, and when they have done so, the young people should withdraw.

Youths who have not yet been capped, and maidens who have not yet assumed the hair-pin, at the first crowing of the cock, should wash their hands, rinse their mouths, comb their hair, draw over it the covering of silk, brush the dust from that which is left free, bind it up in the shape of a horn, and put on their necklaces. They should all bang at their girdles the ornamental (bags of) perfume; and as soon as it is daybreak, they should (go to) pay their respects (to their parents) and ask what they will eat and drink. If they have eaten already, they should retire; if they have not eaten, they will (remain to) assist their elder (brothers and sisters) and see what has been prepared.

All charged with the care of the inner and outer parts (of the house), at the first crowing of the cock, should wash their hands and mouths, gather up their pillows and fine mats, sprinkle and sweep out the apartments, hall, and courtyard, and spread the mats, each doing his proper work.

The children go earlier to bed, and get up later, according to their pleasure. There is no fixed time for their meals.

From the time that sons receive an official appointment, they and their father occupy different parts of their residence. But at the dawn, the son will pay his respects, and express his affection by (the offer of) pleasant delicacies. At sunrise he will retire, and he and his father will attend to their different duties. At sundown, the son will pay his evening visit in the same way.

When the parents wish to sit (anywhere), the sons and their wives should carry their mats, and ask in what direction they shall lay them. When they wish to lie down, the eldest among them should carry the mats, and ask where they wish to place their feet, while the youngest will carry a (small) bench for them to lean on while they stretch out their legs. (At the same time) an attendant will place a stool by them. They should take up the mat on which they had been lying and the fine mat over it, bang up the coverlet, put the pillow in its case, and roll up the fine mat and put it in its cover.

(Sons and their wives) should not move the clothes, coverlets, fine mats, or undermats, pillows, and stools of their parents; they should reverently regard their staffs and shoes, but not presume to approach them; they should not presume to use their vessels for grain, liquor, and water, unless some of the contents be left in them; nor to eat or drink any of their ordinary food or drink, unless in the same case.

While the parents are both alive, at their regular meals, morning and evening, the (eldest) son and his wife will encourage them to eat everything, and what is left after all, they will themselves eat. When the father is dead, and the mother still alive, the eldest son should wait upon her at her meals; and the wives of the other sons will do with what is left as in the former case. The children should have the sweet, soft', and unctuous things that are left.

When with their parents, (sons and their wives), when ordered to do anything, should immediately respond and reverently proceed to do it, In going forwards or backwards, or turning round, they should be careful and grave; while going out or coming in, while bowing or walking, they should not presume to eructate, sneeze, or cough, to yawn or stretch themselves, to stand on one foot, or to lean against anything, or to look askance. They should not dare to spit or snivel, nor, if it be cold, to put on more clothes, nor, if they itch anywhere, to scratch themselves. Unless for reverent attention to something, they should not presume to unbare their shoulders or chest. Unless it be in wading, they should not hold up their clothes. Of their private dress and coverlet, they should not display the inside.

They should not allow the spittle or snivel of their parents to be seen. They should ask leave to rinse away any dirt on their caps or girdles, and to wash their clothes that are dirty with lye that has been prepared for the purpose; and to stitch together, with needle and thread, any rent. Every five days they should prepare tepid water, and ask them to take a bath, and every three days prepare water for them to wash their heads. If in the meantime their faces appear dirty, they should heat the wafer in which the rice has been cleaned, and ask them to wash with it; if their feet be dirty, they should prepare hot water, and ask them to wash them with it. Elders in serving their youngers, and the low in serving the noble, should all observe these rules.

The men should not speak of what belongs to the inside (of the house), nor the women of what belongs to the outside. Except at sacrifices and funeral rites, they should not hand vessels to one another. In all other cases when they have occasion to give and receive anything, the woman should receive it in a basket. If she have no basket, they should both sit down, and the other put the thing on the ground, and she then take it up. Outside or inside, they should not go to the same well, nor to, the same bathing-house. They should not share the same mat in lying down; they should not ask or borrow anything from one another; they should not wear similar upper or lower garments. Things spoken inside should not go out, words spoken outside should not come in.

When a man goes into the interior of the house, he should not whistle nor point. If he have occasion to move in the night, he should, use a light; and if he have no light, he should not stir. When a woman goes out at the door, she must keep her face covered. She should walk at night (only) with a light; and if she have no light, she should not stir. On the road, a man should take the right side, and a woman the left.

Sons and sons' wives, who are filial and reverential, when they receive an order from their parents should not refuse, nor be dilatory, to execute it. When (their parents) give them anything to eat or drink, which they do not like, they will notwithstanding taste it and wait (for their further orders); when they give them clothes, which are not to their mind, they will put them on, and wait (in the same way). If (their parents) give them anything to do, and then employ another to take their place, although they do not like the arrangement, they will in the meantime give it into his hands and let him do it, doing it again, if it be not done well.

When the sons and their wives are engaged with laborious tasks, although (their parents) very much love them, yet they should let them go on with them for the time;--it is better that they take other occasions frequently to give them ease. When sons and their wives have not been filial and reverential, (the parents) should not be angry and resentful with them, but endeavour to instruct them. If they will not receive instruction, they should then be angry with them. If that anger do no good, they can then drive out the son, and send the wife away, yet not publicly showing why they have so treated them.

If a parent have a fault, (the son) should with bated breath, and bland aspect, and gentle voice, admonish him. If the admonition do not take effect, he will be the more reverential and the more filial; and when the father seems pleased, he will repeat the admonition. If he should be displeased with this, rather than allow him to commit an offence against any one in the neighbourhood or countryside, (the son) should strongly remonstrate. If the parent be angry and (more) displeased, and beat him till the blood flows, he should not presume to be angry and resentful, but be (still) more reverential and more filial.

If parents have a boy born (to the father) by a handmaid, or the son or grandson of one of his concubines, of whom they are very fond, their sons should after their death, not allow their regard for him to decay so long as they live.

If a son have two concubines, one of whom is loved by his parents, while he himself loves the other, yet he should not dare to make this one equal to the former whom his parents love, in dress, or food, or the duties which she discharges, nor should he lessen his attentions to her after their death. If he very much approves of his wife, and his parents do not like her, he should divorce her'. If he do not approve of his wife, and his parents say, 'she serves us well,' he should behave to her in all respects as his wife, without fail even to the end of her life.

Although his parents be dead, when a son is inclined to do what is good, he should think that he will thereby transmit the good name of his parents, and carry his wish into effect. When he is inclined to do what is not good, he should think that he will thereby bring disgrace on the name of his parents, and in no wise carry his wish into effect.

When her father-in-law is dead, her mother-in-law takes the place of the old lady; but the wife of the eldest son, on all occasions of sacrificing and receiving guests. must ask her directions in everything, while the other sons' wives must ask directions from her. When her parents-in-law employ the eldest son's wife, she should not be dilatory, unfriendly, or unpolite to the wives of his brothers (for their not helping her). When the parents-in-law employ any of them, they should not presume to consider themselves on an equality with the other; walking side by side with her, or giving their orders in the same way, or sitting in the same position as she.

No daughter-in-law, without being told to go to her own apartment, should venture to withdraw from that (of her parents-in-law). Whatever she is about to do, she should ask leave from them. A son and his wife should have no private goods, nor animals, nor vessels; they should not presume to borrow from, or give anything to, another person. If any one give the wife an article of food or dress, a piece of cloth or silk, a handkerchief for her girdle, an iris or orchid, she should receive and offer it to her parents-in-law. If they accept it, she will be glad as if she were receiving it afresh. If they return it to her, she should decline it, and if they do not allow her to do so, she will take it as if it were a second gift, and lay it by to wait till they may want it. If she want to give it to some of her own cousins, she must ask leave to do so, and that being granted, she will give it.

Eldest cousins in the legitimate line of descent and their brothers should do reverent service to the son, who is the representative chief of the family and his wife. Though they may be richer and higher in official rank than he, they should not presume to enter his house with (the demonstrations of) their wealth and dignity. Although they may have in attendance many chariots and footmen, these should stop outside, and they enter it in more simple style with a few followers.

If to any of the younger cousins there have been given vessels, robes, furs, coverlets, carriages and horses, he must offer the best of them (to his chief), and then use those that are inferior to this himself. If what he should thus offer be not proper for the chief, he will not presume to enter with it at his gate, not daring to appear with his wealth and dignity, to be above him who is the head of all the clan with its uncles and elder cousins. A wealthy cousin should prepare two victims, and present the better of them to his chief. He and his wife should together, after self-purification, reverently assist at his sacrifice in the ancestral temple. When the business of that is over, they may venture to offer their own private sacrifice.

Of grain food, there were millet - the glutinous rice, rice, maize, the white millet, and the yellow maize, cut when ripe, or when green.

Of prepared meats, there were beef soup, mutton soup, pork soup, and roast beef; pickle, slices of beef, pickle and minced beef; roast mutton, slices of mutton, pickle, and roast pork; pickle, slices of pork, mustard sauce, and minced fish; pheasant, hare, quail, and partridge.

Of drinks, there was must in two vessels, one strained, the other unstrained, made of rice, of millet, or of maize. In some cases, thin preparations were used as beverages, as millet gruel, pickle, with water syrup of prunes.

Of steeped rice; clear wine and white.

Of confections, there were dried cakes, and rice-flour scones.

For relishes, snail-juice and a condiment of the broad-leaved water-squash were used with pheasant soup; a condiment of wheat with soups of dried slices and of fowl; broken glutinous rice with dog soup and hare soup; the rice-balls mixed with these soups had no smart-weed in them.

A sucking-pig was stewed, wrapped up in sonchus leaves and stuffed with smart-weed; a fowl, with the same stuffing, and along with pickle sauce; a fish, with the same stuffing and egg sauce; a tortoise, with the same stuffing and pickle sauce.

For meat spiced and dried they placed the brine of ants; for soup made of sliced meat, that of hare; for a ragout of elk, that of fish; for minced fish, mustard sauce; for raw elk flesh, pickle sauce; for preserved peaches and plums, egg-like suet.

All condiments for grain food were of a character corresponding to the spring; for soup, to the summer; for sauces, to the autumn; and for beverages, to the winter.

In all attempering ingredients, sour predominated in the spring; bitter, in the summer; acrid, in the autumn; and salt, in the winter - with the due proportioning of the unctuous and sweet.

The glutinous rice (was thought) to suit beef; millet, to suit mutton; glutinous millet, to suit pork; maize, to suit dog; wheat, to suit goose; and the broad-leaved squash, to suit fish.

Lamb and sucking-pig were (thought to be) good in spring, fried with odorous (beef) suet; dried pheasant and fish, in summer, fried with the strong-smelling suet (of dog); veal and fawn, in autumn, fried with strong suet (of fowl); fresh fish and goose,' in winter, fried with the frouzy suet (of goat).

There were dried beef, and dried stalks of deer's flesh, of wild pig's, of elk's, and of the muntjac's. Elk's flesh, deer's, wild pig's, and muntjac's, was (also eaten uncooked; and) cut in large leaflike slices. Pheasants and hares were (made into soup) with the duckweed. There were sparrows and finches, partridges, cicadas, bees, lichens, small chestnuts, the water-caltrops, the hovenia dulcis, the zizyphus, chestnuts, hazel-nuts, persimmons, cucumbers, peaches, plums, ballaces, almonds, haws, pears, ginger, and cinnamon.

If a Great officer, at his ordinary meals, had mince, he did not have, at the same time, dried slices of meat; and if he had the latter, he did not have the former. An ordinary officer did not have two kinds of soup, or sliced flesh. (But) old men of the common people, did not eat their meat alone without accompaniments.

Mince was made in spring, with onions; in autumn, with the mustard plant. Sucking-pig was used in spring, with scallions; in autumn, with smartweed. With lard they used onions; with fat, chives. With the three victim-animals they used pepper, and employed pickle as an accompaniment. For wild animals' flesh they used plums. In quail soup, fowl soup, and with the curlew, the condiment was smartweed. Bream and tench were steamed; pullets, roasted; and pheasants, (boiled), with fragrant herbs and no smart-weed.

Things not eaten were the turtle, when hatching; the intestines of the wolf, which were removed, as also the kidneys of the dog; the straight spine of the wild cat; the rump of the hare; the head of the fox; the brains of the sucking-pig; the yi-like bowels of fish; and the perforated openings of the turtle.

(Bones and sinews) were taken from the flesh; the scales were scraped from fish; dates were made to appear as new; chestnuts were selected; peaches were made smooth; k? and pears had the insects drilled out of them.

When an ox lowed at night, its flesh was (considered) to be rank; that of a sheep, whose long hair showed a tendency to, get matted, to be frouzy; that of a dog which was uneasy and with (the inside of) its thighs red, to be coarse; that of birds when moulting and with their voices hoarse, to be fetid; that of pigs, when they looked upwards and closed their eyes, to be measly; that of a horse, black along the spine and with piebald fore-legs, to smell unpleasantly. A pullet, whose tail could not be grasped by the hand, was not eaten, nor the rump of a tame goose, nor the ribs of a swan or owl, nor the rump of a tame duck, nor the liver of a I fowl, nor the kidneys of a wild goose, nor the gizzard of the wild goose without the hind-toe, nor the stomach of the deer.

Flesh cut small was made into mince; cut into slices it was made into hash. Some say that the flesh of elks, deer, and fish was pickled; that of muntjacs also, being cut in small pieces; that of fowls and wild pigs, in larger pieces; of hares, the stomach was pickled. Onions and scallions were mixed with the brine to soften the meat.

Soup and boiled grain were used by all, from the princes down to the common people, without distinction of degree.

Great officers did not regularly have savoury meat, but when seventy they had their cupboards. The cupboards of the son of Heaven were five on the right (of the dining hall), and five on the left; those of dukes, marquises, and earls were five, all in one room; those of Great officers three (in a side chamber), and other officers had one on their buffet.

In nourishing the aged, (Shun), the lord of Yu, used the ceremonies of a 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 were entertained in the schools of the districts; those of sixty, in the school of the capital; and those of seventy, in the college. This rule extended to the feudal states. An old man of eighty made his acknowledgment for the ruler's invitation by kneeling once and bringing his head to the ground twice. 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, there was meat kept in store (from the day before). For those of seventy, there was a second service of savoury meat. Those of eighty were supplied regularly with delicacies. For those of ninety, food and drink were never out of their chambers; wherever they wandered, it was deemed right that savoury meat and drink should follow them. After sixty (the coffin and other things for the funeral) were seen to be in readiness (once) a year; after seventy, once a season; after eighty, once a month; and after ninety, they were every day kept in good repair. The bandages, however, the sheet, the larger coverlets, and the cases were prepared after death. At fifty, one was supposed to begin to decay; at sixty, not to feel satisfied unless he had flesh to eat. At seventy, he was thought to require silk in order to make him feel warm; at eighty, to need some one (to sleep) with him, to keep him warm; and at ninety, not to feel warm even with that. At fifty, one kept his staff in his hand in the 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 (an 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 to him regularly every day. At fifty, one 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; at eighty, he was free from the abstinences and other rites of mourning. When one received at fifty the rank (of a Great officer), at sixty he did not go in person to the school. At seventy he resigned office; and then and afterwards, in mourning he used only the unhemmed dress of sackcloth (without adopting the privations of the mourning rites).

The kings of the three dynasties, in nourishing the old, always caused the members of families who were advanced in years to be brought to their notice. Where an officer was eighty, one of his friends was free from all service of government; where he was ninety, all the members of his family were exempted from them. So also it was in the case of the blind. (Shun), the lord of Yu, entertained 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 in (the school called) the lower xiang. The sovereigns of the line of Xia entertained 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 entertained 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 jiao on the east, and the latter in the Yu xiang. This was in the suburb of the capital on the west. The lord of Yu wore the huan cap in sacrificing (in the ancestral temple), and the white robes in entertaining the aged. The sovereigns of Xia sacrificed in the shin cap, and entertained the aged in the dark garments of undress. Those of Yin sacrificed in the xu cap, and entertained in the garments of white thin silk. Those of Zhou sacrificed in the mian cap, and entertained the aged in the dark upper garment (and the lower white one).

Zeng-zi said, 'A filial son, in nourishing his aged, (seeks to) make their hearts glad, and not to go against their wishes; to promote their comfort in their bed-chambers and the whole house; and with leal heart to supply them with their food and drink:--such is the filial son to the end of life. By "the end of life," I mean not the end of parents' lives, but the end of his own life. Thus what his parents loved he will love, and what they reverenced he will reverence. He will do so even in regard to all their dogs and horses, and how much more in regard to the men (whom they valued)!'

In all their nourishment of the aged, (the object of) the five Dis was to imitate (their virtue), while the kings of the three dynasties also begged them to speak (their lessons). The five Dis taking them as models, sought to nourish their bodily vigour, and did not beg them to speak; but what good lessons they did speak were taken down by the faithful recorders. The three (lines of) kings also took them as models, and after nourishing their age begged them to speak. If they (seemed to) diminish the ceremonies (of entertainment), they all had their faithful recorders as well (to narrate their virtue).

For the Rich Fry, they put the pickled meat fried over rice that had been grown on a dry soil, and then enriched it with melted fat. This was called the Rich Fry. For the Similar Fry, they put the pickled meat fried over the millet grains, and enriched it with melted fat. This was called the Similar Fry.

For the Bake, they took a sucking-pig or a (young) ram, and having cut it open and removed the entrails, filled the belly with dates. They then wrapped it round with straw and reeds, which they plastered with clay, and baked it. When the clay was all dry, they broke it off. Having washed their hands for the manipulation, they removed the crackling and macerated it along with rice-flour, so as to form a kind of gruel which they added to the pig. They then fried the whole in such a quantity of melted fat as to cover it. Having prepared a large pan of hot water, they placed in it a small tripod, which was filled with fragrant herbs, and the slices of the creature which was being prepared. They took care that the hot water did not cover this tripod, but kept up the fire without intermission for three days and nights. After this, the whole was served up with the addition of pickled meat and vinegar.


For the Pounded Delicacy, they took the flesh of ox, sheep, elk, deer and muntjac, a part of that which lay along the spine, the same in quantity of each, and beat it now as it lay flat, and then turning it on its side; after that they extracted all the nerves. (Next), when it was sufficiently cooked, they brought it (from the pan), took away the outside crust, and softened the meat (by the addition of pickle and vinegar).

For the Steeped Delicacy, they took the beef, which was required to be that of a newly killed animal, and cut it into small pieces, taking care to obliterate all the lines in it. It was then steeped from one morning to the next in good wine, when it was eaten with pickle, vinegar, or the juice of prunes.

To make the Grill, they beat the beef and removed the skinny parts. They then laid it on a frame of reeds, sprinkled on it pieces of cinnamon and ginger, and added salt. It could be eaten thus when dried. Mutton was treated in the same way as beef, and also the flesh of elk, deer, and muntjac. If they wished the flesh wet, they added water and fried it with pickled meat. If they wished it dry, they ate it as eaten (at first).

For the (Soup) Balls, they took equal quantities of beef, mutton and pork, and cut them small. Then they took grains of rice, which they mixed with the finely cut meat, two parts of rice to one of meat, and formed cakes or balls, which they fried.

For the Liver and Fat, they took a dog's liver, and wrapped it round with its own fat. They then wet it and roasted it, and took it in this condition and scorched it. No smartweed was mixed with the fat. They took the grains of rice and steeped. them in prepared rice-water. They then cut small the fat from a wolfs breast, and with it and the grains of rice made a fry.

The observances of propriety commence with a careful attention to the relations between husband and wife. They built the mansion and its apartments, distinguishing between the exterior and interior parts. The men occupied the exterior; the women the interior. The mansion was deep, and the doors were strong, guarded by porter and eunuch. The men did not enter the interior; the women did not come out into the exterior.

Males and females did not use the same stand or rack for their clothes. The wife did not presume to hang up anything on the pegs or stand of her husband; nor to put anything in his boxes or satchels; nor to share his bathing-house. When her husband had gone out (from their apartment), she put his pillow in its case, rolled up his upper and under mats, put them in their covers, and laid. them away in their proper receptacles. The young served the old; the low served the noble;-also in this way.

As between husband and wife, it was not until they were seventy, that they deposited these things in the same place without separation. Hence though a concubine were old, until she had completed her fiftieth year, it was the rule that she should be with the husband (once) in five days. When she was to do so, she purified herself, rinsed her mouth and washed, carefully adjusted her dress, combed her hair, drew over it the covering of silk, fixed her hair-pins, tied up the hair in the shape of a horn, brushed the dust from the rest of her hair, put on her necklace, and adjusted her shoe-strings. Even a favourite concubine was required in dress and diet to come after her superior. If the wife were not with the husband, a concubine waiting on him, would not venture to remain the whole night.

When a wife was about to have a child, and the month of her confinement had arrived, she occupied one of the side apartments, where her husband sent twice a day to ask for her. If he were moved and came himself to ask about her, she did not presume to see him, but made her governess dress herself and reply to him. When the child was born, the husband again sent twice a day to inquire for her. He fasted now, and did not enter the door of the side apartment. If the child were a boy, a bow was placed on the left of the door; and if a girl, a handkerchief on the right of it. After three days the child began to be carried, and some archery was practised for a boy, but not for a girl.

When a son and heir to the ruler of a state was born, and information of the fact was carried to him, he made arrangements to receive him at a feast where the three animals should all be provided; and the cook took in hand the (necessary) preparations. On the third day the tortoise-shell was consulted for a good man to carry the child; and he who was the lucky choice, kept a vigil over night, and then in his court robes, received him in his arms outside the chamber. The master of the archers then took a bow of mulberry wood, and six arrows of the wild rubus, and shot towards heaven, earth, and the four cardinal points. After this the nurse received the child and carried it in her arms. The cook (at the same time) gave (a cup of) sweet wine to the man who had carried the child, and presented him with a bundle of silks, and the tortoise-shell was again employed to determine the wife of an officer, or the concubine of a Great officer, who should be nurse.

In all cases of receiving a son, a day was chosen; and if it were the eldest son of the king, the three animals were killed (for the occasion). For the son of a common man, a sucking-pig was killed; for the son of an officer, a single pig; for the son of a Great officer, the two smaller animals; and for the son of the ruler of a state, all the three. If it were not the eldest son, the provision was diminished in every case one degree.

A special apartment was prepared in the palace for the child, and from all the concubines and other likely individuals there was sought one distinguished for her generosity of mind, her gentle kindness, her mild integrity, her respectful bearing, her carefulness and freedom from talkativeness, who should be appointed the boy's teacher; one was next chosen who should be his indulgent mother, and a third who should be his guardian mother. These all lived in his apartment, which others did not enter unless on some (special) business.

At the end of the third month a day was chosen for shaving off the hair of the child, excepting certain portions - the horn-like tufts of a boy, and the circlet on the crown of a girl. If another fashion were adopted, a portion was left on the left of the boy's head, and on the right of the girl's. On that day the wife with the son appeared before the father. If they were of noble families, they were both in full dress. From the commissioned officer downwards, all rinsed their mouths and washed their heads. Husband and wife rose early, bathed and dressed as for the feast of the first day of the month. The husband entered the door, going up by the steps on the east, and stood at the top of them with his face to the west. The wife with the boy in her arms came forth from her room and stood beneath the lintel with her face to the east.

The governess then went forward and said for the lady, 'The mother, So and So, ventures to-day reverently to present to you the child!' The husband replied, 'Reverently (teach him to) follow the right way.' He then took hold of the right hand of his son, and named him with the smile and voice of a child. The wife responded, 'We will remember. May your words be fulfilled!' She then turned to the left, and delivered the child to his teacher, who on her part told the name all round to the wives of the relatives of all ranks who were present. The wife forthwith proceeded to the (festal) chamber.

The husband informed his principal officer of the name, and he in turn informed all the (young) males (of the same surname) of it. A record was made to the effect--' In such a year, in such, a month, on such a day, So and So was born,' and deposited. The officer also informed the secretaries of the hamlets, who made out two copies of it. One of these was deposited in the office of the village, and the other was presented to the secretary of the larger circuit, who showed it to the chief of the circuit; he again ordered it to be deposited in the office of the circuit. The husband meanwhile had gone into (the festal chamber), and a feast was celebrated with the ceremonies of that with which a wife first entertains her parents-in-law.

When an heir-son has been born, the ruler washed his head and whole bo?y, and put on his court robes. His wife did the same, and then they both took their station at the top of the stairs on the east with their faces towards the west. One of the ladies of quality, with the child in her arms ascended by the steps on the west. The ruler then named the child; and (the lady) went down with it.

A (second) son or any other son by the wife proper was presented in the outer chamber, when (the ruler) laid his hand on its head, and with gentle voice named it. The other observances were as before, but without any words.

In naming a son, the name should not be that of a day or a month or of any state, or of any hidden ailment. Sons of Great and other officers must not be called by the same name as the heir-son of the ruler.

When a concubine was about to have a child, and the month of her confinement had arrived, the husband sent once a day to ask for her. When the son was born:, at the end of three months, she washed her mouth and feet, adjusted herself early in the morning and appeared in the inner chamber (belonging to the wife proper). There she was received with the ceremonies of her first entrance into the harem. When the husband had eaten, a special portion of what was left was given to her by herself; and forthwith she entered on her duties of attendance.

When the child of an inferior member of the ruler's harem was about to be born, the mother went to one of the side apartments, and at the end of three months, having washed her head and person, and put on her court robes, she appeared before the ruler. (One of) her waiting women (also) appeared with the child in her arms. If (the mother) was one to whom the ruler had given special favours, he himself named the son. In the case of such children generally, an officer was employed to name them.

Among the common people who had no side chambers, when the month of confinement was come, the husband left his bed-chamber, and occupied a common apartment. In his inquiries for his wife, however, and on his son's being presented to him, there was no difference (from the observances that have been detailed).

In all cases though the father is alive, the grandson is presented to the grandfather, who also names him. The ceremonies are the same as when the son is presented to the father; but there is no (interchange of) words (between the mother and him).

The nurse of the ruler's boy quitted the palace after three years, and, when she appeared before the ruler, was rewarded for her toilsome work. The son of a Great officer had a nurse. The wife of an ordinary officer nourished her child herself.

The son of a commissioned officer and others above him on to the Great officer was presented (to the father once) in ten days. The eldest son of a ruler was presented to him before he had eaten, when he took him by the right hand; his second or any other son by the wife proper was presented after he had eaten, when he laid his hand on his head.

When the child was able to take its own food, it was taught to use the right hand. When it was able to speak, a boy (was taught to) respond boldly and clearly; a girl, submissively and low. The former was fitted with a girdle of leather; the latter, with one of silk.

At six years, they were taught the numbers and the names of the cardinal points; at the age of seven, boys and girls did not occupy the same mat nor eat together; at eight, when going out or coming in at a gate or door, and going to their mats to eat and drink, they were required to follow their elders:--the teaching of yielding to others was now begun; at nine, they were taught how to number the days.

At ten, (the boy) went to a master outside, and stayed with him (even) over the night. He learned the (different classes of) characters and calculation; he did not wear his jacket or trousers of silk; in his manners he followed his early lessons; morning and evening he learned the behaviour of a youth; he would ask to be exercised in (reading) the tablets, and in the forms of polite conversation.

At thirteen, he learned music, and to repeat the odes, and to dance the ko (of the duke of Zhou). When a full-grown lad, he danced the xiang (of king Wu). He learned archery and chariot-driving. At twenty, he was capped, and first learned the (different classes of) ceremonies, and might wear furs and silk. He danced the da xia (of Yu) and attended sedulously to filial and fraternal duties. He might become very learned, but did not teach others - (his object being still) to receive and not to give out.

At thirty, he had a wife, and began to attend to the business proper to a man. He extended his learning without confining it to particular subjects. He was deferential to his friends, having regard to the aims (which they displayed). At forty, he was first appointed to office; and according to the business of it brought out his plans and communicated his thoughts. If the ways (which he proposed) were suitable, he followed them out; if they were not, he abandoned them. At fifty, he was appointed a Great officer, and laboured in the administration of his department. At seventy, he retired from his duties. In all salutations of males, the upper place was given to the left hand.

A girl at the age of ten ceased to go out (from the women's apartments). Her governess taught her (the arts of pleasing speech and manners, to be docile and obedient, to handle the hempen fibres, to deal with the cocoons, to weave silks and form fillets, to learn (all) woman's work, how to furnish garments, to watch the sacrifices, to supply the liquors and sauces, to fill the various stands and dishes with pickles and brine, and to assist in setting forth the appurtenances for the ceremonies.

At fifteen, she assumed the hair-pin; at twenty, she was married, or, if there were occasion (for the delay), at twenty-three. If there were the betrothal rites, she became a wife; and if she went without these, a concubine. In all salutations of females, the upper place was given to the right hand.

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