Click on any word to see more details.王若曰：「嗚呼！君牙，惟乃祖乃父，世篤忠貞，服勞王家，厥有成績，紀于太常。惟予小子，嗣守文、武、成、康遺緒，亦惟先正之臣，克左右亂四方。心之憂危，若蹈虎尾，涉于春冰。今命爾予翼，作股肱心膂。纘乃舊服，無忝祖考，弘敷五典，式和民則。爾身克正，罔敢弗正，民心罔中，惟爾之中。夏暑雨，小民惟曰：『怨咨。』冬祁寒，小民亦惟曰：『怨咨。』厥惟艱哉！思其艱以圖其易，民乃寧。嗚呼！丕顯哉，文王謨；丕承哉，武王烈。啟佑我後人，咸以正罔缺。爾惟敬明乃訓，用奉若于先王。對揚文、武之光命，追配于前人。」
The king spoke to the following effect: 'Oh! Kun-ya, your grandfather and your father, one after the other, with a true loyalty and honesty, laboured in the service of the royal House, accomplishing a merit that was recorded on the grand banner. I, the little child, have become charged by inheritance with the line of government transmitted from Wen and Wu, from Cheng and Kang; I also keep thinking of their ministers who aided them in the good government of the kingdom; the trembling anxiety of my mind makes me feel as if I were treading on a tiger's tail, or walking upon spring ice. I now give you charge to assist me; be as my limbs to me, as my heart and backbone. Continue their old service, and do not disgrace your grandfather and father. Diffuse widely (the knowledge of) the five invariable relations (of society), and reverently seek to produce a harmonious observance of the duties belonging to them among the people. If you are correct in your own person, none will dare to be but correct. The minds of the people cannot attain to the right mean (of duty); they must be guided by your attaining to it. In the heat and rains of summer, the inferior people may be described as murmuring and sighing. And so it is with them in the great cold of winter. How great are their hardships! Think of their hardships in order to seek to promote their ease; and the people will be tranquil. Oh! how great and splendid were the plans of king Wen! How greatly were they carried out by the energy of king Wu! All in principle correct, and deficient in nothing, they are for the help and guidance of us their descendants. Do you with reverence and wisdom carry out your instructions, enabling me to honour and follow the example of my (immediate) predecessors, and to respond to and display the bright decree conferred on Wen and Wu - so shall you be the mate of your by-gone fathers.'
The king spoke to the following effect: 'Kun-ya, do you take for your rule the lessons afforded by the courses of your excellent fathers. The good or the bad order of the people depends on this. You will thus follow the practice of your grandfather and father, and make the good government of your sovereign illustrious.'
English translation: James Legge
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