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商書 西伯戡黎 Shang Shu - Chief of the west's Conquest of Li

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The Chief of the West having subdued Li, Zu Yi was afraid, and hastened to report it to the king. He said, 'Son of Heaven, Heaven is bringing to an end the dynasty of Yin; the wisest men and the shell of the great tortoise do not presume to know anything fortunate for it. It is not that the former kings do not aid us, the men of this later time but by your dissoluteness and sport you are bringing on the end yourself. On this account Heaven has cast us off, and there are no good harvests to supply us with food. Men have no regard to their heavenly nature, and pay no obedience to the statutes (of the kingdom). (Yea), our people now all wish (the dynasty) to perish, saying, "Why does not Heaven send down its indignation? Why does not (some one with) its great appointment make his appearance? What has the present king to do with us?"'


The king said, 'Oh! was not my birth in accordance with the appointment of Heaven (in favour of my House)?'


(On this) Zu Yi returned (to his own city), and said, 'Your, crimes, which are many, are registered above, and can you still appeal to the appointment of Heaven in your favour? Yin will perish very shortly. As to all your deeds, can they but bring ruin on your country?'

English translation: James Legge

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