Click on any word to see more details.王若曰：「父義和！丕顯文武，克慎明德，昭升于上，敷聞在下，惟時上帝集厥命于文王。亦惟先正，克左右昭事厥辟；越小大謀猷，罔不率從。肆先祖懷在位。嗚呼！閔予小子嗣，造天丕愆；殄資澤于下民，侵戎，我國家純。即我御事，罔或耆壽俊在厥服，予則罔克。曰惟祖惟父，其伊恤朕躬。嗚呼！有績，予一人永綏在位。父義和！汝克昭乃顯祖；汝肇刑文武，用會紹乃辟，追孝于前文人。汝多修，捍我于艱；若汝，予嘉。」
The king spoke to the following effect: 'Uncle Yi-he, how illustrious were Wen and Wu! Carefully did they make their virtue brilliant, till it rose brightly on high, and the fame of it was widely diffused here below. Therefore God caused his favouring decree to light upon king Wen. There were ministers also (thereafter), who aided and illustriously served their sovereigns, following and carrying out their plans, great and small, so that my fathers sat tranquilly on the throne.
'Oh! an object of pity am I, who am (but as) a little child. just as I have succeeded to the throne, Heaven has severely chastised me. Through the interruption of the (royal) bounties that ceased to descend to the inferior people, the invading barbarous tribes of the west have greatly (injured) our kingdom. Moreover, among the managers of my affairs there are none of age and experience and distinguished ability in their offices. I am (thus) unequal (to the difficulties of my position), and say to myself, "My grand-uncles and uncles, you ought to compassionate my case." Oh! if there were those who could establish their merit in behalf of me, the One man, I might long enjoy repose upon the throne.
'Uncle Yi-he, you render still more glorious your illustrious ancestor. You were the first to imitate the example of Wen and Wu, collecting (the scattered powers), and continuing (the all but broken line of) your sovereign, Your filial piety goes back to your accomplished ancestor, (and is equal to his.) You have done much to repair my (losses), and defend me in my difficulties, and of you, being such, I am full of admiration.'
The king said, 'Uncle Yi-he, return home, survey your multitudes, and tranquillize your state. I reward you with a jar of spirits, distilled from the black millet, and flavoured with odoriferous herbs, with a red bow, and a hundred red arrows; with a black bow, and a hundred black arrows; and with four horses. Go, my uncle. Show kindness to those that are far off, and help those who are near at hand; cherish and secure the repose of the inferior people; do not idly seek your ease; exercise an inspection and (benign) compassion in your capital (and all your borders) - thus completing your illustrious virtue.'
English translation: James Legge
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