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周書 泰誓下 Zhou Shu - Great Declaration III

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The time was on the morrow, when the king went round his six hosts in state, and made a clear declaration to all his officers. He said, 'Oh ! my valiant men of the west, from Heaven are the illustrious courses of duty, of which the (several) requirements are quite plain. And now Shang, the king of Shang, treats with contemptuous slight the five regular (virtues), and abandons himself to wild idleness and irreverence. He has cut himself off from Heaven, and brought enmity between himself and the people. He cut through the leg-bones of those who were wading, in the morning; he cut out the heart of the worthy man. By the use of his power, killing, and murdering, he has poisoned and sickened all within the four seas. His honours and confidence are given to the villainous and bad. He has driven from him his instructors and guardians. He has thrown to the winds the statutes and penal laws. He has imprisoned and enslaved the upright officer. He neglects the sacrifices to heaven and earth. He has discontinued the offerings in the ancestral temple. He makes contrivances of wonderful device and extraordinary cunning to please his wife. God will no longer indulge him, but with a curse is sending down on him this ruin. Do ye with untiring zeal support me, the One man, reverently to execute the punishment appointed by Heaven. The ancients have said, "He who soothes us is our sovereign; he who oppresses us is our enemy." This solitary fellow Shou, having exercised great tyranny, is your perpetual enemy. (It is said again), "In planting (a man's) virtue, strive to make it great; in putting away (a man's) wickedness, strive to do it from the roots." Here I, the little child, by the powerful help of you, all my officers, will utterly exterminate your enemy. Do you, all my officers, march forward with determined boldness to sustain your prince. Where there is much merit, there shall be large reward; where you do not so advance, there shall be conspicuous disgrace.


'Oh! (the virtue of) my deceased father Wen was like the shining of the sun and moon. His brightness extended over the four quarters of the land, and shone signally in the western region. Hence it is that our Zhou has received (the allegiance of) many states. If I subdue Shou, it will not be from my prowess but from the faultless (virtue of) my deceased father Wen. If Shou subdue me, it will not be from any fault of my deceased father Wen, but because I, the little child, am not good.'

English translation: James Legge

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