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周書 泰誓中 Zhou Shu - Great Declaration II

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On (the day) Wu-wu, the king halted on the north of the He. When all the princes with their hosts were assembled, the king reviewed the hosts, and made the following declaration: 'Oh! ye multitudes of the west, hearken all to my words.


'I have heard that the good man, doing good, finds the day insufficient; and that the evil man, doing evil, also finds the day insufficient. Now Shou, the king of Shang, with strength pursues his lawless way. He has driven away the timeworn sires, and cultivates intimacies with wicked men. Dissolute, intemperate, reckless, oppressive, his ministers have become assimilated to him; and they form combinations and contract animosities, and depend on their power to exterminate one another. The innocent cry to Heaven. The odour of such a state is felt on high.


'Heaven loves the people, and the sovereign should reverently carry out (this mind of) Heaven. Jie, the sovereign of Xia, would not follow the example of Heaven, but sent forth his poisonous injuries through the states of the kingdom. Heaven therefore gave its aid to Tang the Successful, and charged him to make an end of the appointment of Xia. But the crimes of Shou exceed those of Jie. He has degraded from office the greatly good man; he has behaved with cruel tyranny to his reprover and helper. He says that with him is the appointment of Heaven; he says that a reverent care of his conduct is not worth observing; he says that sacrifice is of no use; he says that tyranny is no harm. The beacon for him to look to was not far off - it was that king of Xia. It would seem that Heaven is going by means of me to rule the people. My dreams coincide with my divinations; the auspicious omen is double. My attack on Shang must succeed.


'Shou has hundreds of thousands and millions of ordinary men, divided in heart and, divided in practice; I have of ministers, able to govern, ten men, one in heart and one in practice. Though he has his nearest relatives with him, they are not like my virtuous men. Heaven sees as my people see; Heaven hears as my people hear. The people are blaming me, the One man, for my delay; I must now go forward. My military prowess is displayed, and I enter his territories to take the wicked tyrant. My punishment (of evil) will be great, and more glorious than that executed by Tang. Rouse ye, my heroes! Do not think that he is not to be feared; better think that he cannot be withstood. (His) people stand in trembling awe of him, as if the horns were falling from their heads. Oh! unite your energies, unite your hearts; so shall you forthwith surely accomplish the work, to last for all ages!'

English translation: James Legge

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