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臣 [年]七十,懸車致仕者 [何],臣以執事趨走為職,七十陽道極,耳目不聰 明,跂踦之屬,是以退 [老]去,避賢者,所以長廉 [遠] 恥也。

懸車、示不用 也。 致仕者,致其事於君,君不使 [退而]自去者,尊賢者也。 故《曲禮》曰: " 大夫七十而致仕。"《王制》曰:" 七十致政。"

(鄉) [卿] 大夫老,有盛德者 留,賜之几杖,不備之以筋力之禮。


人 年七十,臥非人不溫,適四方,乘安車,與婦人俱,自稱日老夫。《曲禮》曰:" 大 夫致仕, 若不得謝, 則必賜之几杖。"《王[度]記》曰:" 臣致仕於君者, 養之以其 祿之半。"

几杖所以扶助衰也。故《王制》曰:" 五十杖於家,六十杖於鄉,七十杖於 國, 八十杖於朝。"

臣老歸,年九十,君欲有問,則就其室,以珍從,明尊賢也。 故 《禮 · 祭戴》曰:" 八十不 (仕) [俟] 朝,(於)君問 [則] 就之。"

大夫老歸, 死 以大夫禮葬,車馬衣服如之何? 曰: 盡如故也。

XIV. Retiring From Office

114---General Remarks (II B. 8a-b).

a. At seventy a Minister hangs up his harness 1 and retires from office because, having made it his duty in the performance of his task [always] to work under hard pressure, his virile strength is exhausted at seventy while his ears and eyes are dimmed, so that he may be classed as an invalid. For this reason he retires on account of his old age, and detaches himself from the world of officialdom, so as to retain his integrity and avoid shame.

b. To hang up his harness means [that he considers himself] to be of no use. 'To retire from office' chih-shih2 means that he 'returns' chih3 his task to his Lord. The reason that the Lord does not cause him to retire but allows him to go of his own [free will] is in order to pay respect to the worthy. Therefore the Ch'ü li says: "The great officer retires from office at seventy" 4. The Wang chih says: "At seventy [a great officer] retires from government" 5.

c. When a Minister or a great officer who has reached old age, but is [still] in the full possession of his capacities, remains in office he is granted a stool and a stick; he is not considered to be able adequately to perform the rites which require muscular strength.

d. Those who [have resigned and] stay at home are given one third of their emoluments to reward their worthiness.

e. At seventy a man will not lie warm without a bed-mate 6. Wherever he goes he sits in a comfortable carriage and is accompanied by his wife. He calls himself lao-fu 'the Old Man' 7. The Ch'ü li says: "When [at seventy] a great officer offers his resignation, but is not allowed to retire, he must be given a stool and a stick" 8. The Wang tu chi says: "A servant who has retired from the service of his Lord is maintained by one half of his emoluments" 9.

f. The stool and the stick serve to support the weak. Therefore the Wang chih says: "At fifty one may carry a staff in one's home, at sixty one may do so in his village, at seventy in the capital, at eighty at [the Lord's] court" 10.

g. When a ruler has some question to ask from a Minister who has retired on account of old age, and who has [by now] reached his ninetieth year, he goes to his residence accompanied with prec- ious presents 11. It means that [in this way] he pays respect to the worthy. Therefore the Li chi i says: "At eighty [a man does] not wait out the audience, and when the ruler has some question to ask he goes [to his residence]" 12.

h. When a great officer who has retired on account of old age dies he is buried with the rites pertaining to [his position of] a great officer. How [are the regulations concerning] the [funeral] car, the horses, and the clothes? They must be exactly as [they were used by him] of old.


1. 懸 車 hsüan-chü. Cf. the legend of the sun daily conducted in a carriage past several places by his mother in the Huai nan tzŭ, T'ien wên hsün, 3.9b (see Maspero, Légendes mythologiques dans le Chou king, 11. n. 4). The Ch'ien han shu (Biography of Hsieh Kuang-tê, 71.9a) contains the phrase 縣 其 安 車 傳 子 孫 "he renounced [the use of] his comfortable carriage, transferring it [for later use] to his sons and grandsons". Wang Hsien-ch'ien's comm. quotes Liu Pin, who explains the expression 致 仕 縣 車 as 休 息 不 出 "to take a rest and retire".

2. 致 仕 .

3. 致 . K'ung Ying-ta's sub-comm. on the Li chi (see n. 4) explains chih as 'to hand over to another man' in contradistinction to chih 置 which means 'to lay down'.

4. Li chi chu shu, 1.12b; C. I. 9.

5. Ibid., 13.21a; C. I. 316.

6. 老 夫 Cf. Li chi, ch. Wang chih: "At seventy a man does not feel warm unless he wears silk, at eighty unless there be some one [to sleep] with him" (C. I. 314; L. I. 241). Cf. also Vol. I, p. 263, par. 267b.

7. . Cf. Li chi, C. I. 10; L. I. 66.

8. Li chi chu shu, 1.12b; C. I. 9.

9. This quotation probably belongs to par. d supra, as a proof of 'another opinion'.

10. Li chi chu shu, 13.20b; C. I. 315.

11. Cf. ibid.

12. Li chi chu shu, 48.10a; C. II. 308. This quotation, as a 'proof', is not very relevant.

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IATHPublished by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia