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[商]賈、何謂也? [商]之為言[商],[商]其遽近,度 其有亡, 通四方之物,故謂之[商]也。

賈之為言固,固(有其)[其有]用 [之]物,以待民來,以求其利者也。

行曰[商],止曰賈。《易》曰:" 先王以至日閉關,[商]旅不行,后不省方。" 《論語》曰:" 沽之哉,我待價者 也。" 即如是。《尚書》曰:" 肇牽車牛,遠服賈用。" 方書遠行可知也。方言 "欽厥父母",欲留供養之也。

XXV. Trade

166---Trade (III A. 21b).

a. What does shang-ku 'trade' mean? Shang means shang 'to estimate' 1; to estimate the distance, to measure what is enough and what is wanting, to distribute the goods to the four quarters. Therefore we speak of shang.

b. Ku means ku 'to preserve' 2; to preserve the useful wares, and therewith to await the people's coming to look for what may be of profit to them.

c. The travelling [trade is] called shang, the sedentary [trade is] called ku3. The I says: "The Ancient Kings, on the days of the solstices, closed the passes, so that the merchants and travellers stopped their journeys, and the [Feudal] Lords could not inspect their regions" 4. The Lun yü says: "[Confucius said to Tzŭ-kung:] Sell [thy gem]! [As for me,] I wait for a buyer" 5. This being so, why does the Shang shu say: "Diligently go with thy carts and oxen to distant [regions] to 'barter' ku-yung" 6? That the going to distant [regions] is meant is evident. [But] the meaning is also that [the son], reverently thinking of his parents, would prefer to stay and take care of them 7.


1. Both words written 商 .

2. 賈, 固

3. Chêng Hsüan's comm. on ch. T'ai tsai (Chou li chu shu, 2.10b) also gives this explanation, only he writes 處 instead of 止 in the Po hu t'ung text. Hsieh Tsung's (beginning 3d cent. A.D.) comm. on the Hsi ching fu (Wên hsüan, 2.17a) gives the explanation in the reverse order: "the sedentary [trade] 坐 者 is called shang, the travelling [trade] is called ku".

4. Chou i chu shu, Tu kua, Hsiang, 5.6a; L. 297. The quotation proves that the merchants, here indicated as shang, were travelling merchants.

5. Ch. IX. 12, Lun yü chu shu, 9.8a; L. 221. The word ku, written 賈 in the Lun yü text, is wrongly given as 價 in the Po hu t'ung. The quotation is to prove that by ku is meant a merchant who simply waits for a buyer to come.

6. 賈 用 Shang shu chu shu, Chiu kao, 13.20a; L. 404. For ku-yung see Shang shu chin ku wên chu shu, 16.57, and K. 20.298.

7. I.e., despite the use of ku in the Shang shu quotation in connection with the going to distant regions, the original meaning remains 'to stay' (and wait for buyers). See also the Shang shu hou an, in the Huang ch'ing ching chieh, 419.7a.

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