Back to collection

Book of Documents 尚書

商書 湯誓 Shang Shu - Speech of Tang

Click on any word to see more details.



The king said, 'Come, ye multitudes of the people, listen all to my words. It is not I, the little child, who dare to undertake a rebellious enterprise; but for the many crimes of the sovereign of Xia, Heaven has given the charge to destroy him. Now, ye multitudes, you are saying, "Our prince does not compassionate us, but (is calling us) away from our husbandry to attack and punish Xia." I have indeed heard (these) words of you all; (but) the sovereign of Xia is guilty, and as I fear God, I dare not but punish him. Now you are saying, "What are the crimes of Xia to us?" The king of Xia in every way exhausts the strength of his people, and exercises oppression in the cities of Xia. His multitudes are become entirely indifferent (to his service), and feel no bond of union'(to him). They are saying, "When wilt thou, O sun, expire? We will all perish with thee." Such is the course of (the sovereign) of Xia, and now I must go (and punish him).'


'Assist, I pray you, me, the One man, to carry out the punishment appointed by Heaven. I will greatly reward you. On no account disbelieve me - I will not eat my words. If you do not obey the words which I have thus spoken to you, I will put your children to death with you - you shall find no forgiveness.'



English translation: James Legge

Dictionary cache status: not loaded

Glossary and Other Vocabulary