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Zang-dze asked, 'If a ruler dies and a son and heir is born (immediately after), what course should be adopted?'

Confucius said, 'The high nobles 1, Great officers and (other) officers, following the chief (minister), who takes charge of the government for the time, (should collect) at the south of the western steps, with their faces towards the north 2. (Then) the Grand officer of prayer, in his court robes and cap, bearing in his hands a bundle of rolls of silk, will go up to the topmost step, and (there), without ascending the hall, will order the wailing to cease. Mournfully clearing his voice three times 3, he will make announcement (to the spirit of the deceased ruler), saying, "The son of such and such a lady has been born. I venture to announce the fact." He will then go up, and place the silks on a stool on the east of the body in the coffin 4, wail, and descend. All the relatives of the deceased who are there (at the mourning), the high nobles, the Great and other officers, (with the women) in the apartments, all will wail, but without the leaping. When this burst of sorrow is over, they will return to their (proper) places, and proceed forthwith to set forth the mourning offerings to the dead. The minor minister will ascend, and take away the bundle of silks 5.

'On the third day, all the relatives, high nobles, Great and other officers, should take their places as before, with their faces to the north. The Grand minister, the Grand master of the ancestral temple, and the Grand officer of prayer, should all be in their court-robes and caps. The master for the child 6 will carry the child in his arms on a mat of sackcloth. The officer of prayer will precede, followed by the child, and the minister and master of the temple will come after. Thus they will enter the door (of the apartment where the coffin is), when the wailers will cease. The child has been brought up by the western steps 7, and is held in front of the coffin with his face to the north, while the officer of prayer stands at the south-east corner of it. Mournfully clearing his voice three times, he will say, "So and So, the son of such and such a lady, and we, his servants, who follow him, presume to appear before you." The boy is (then made) to do obeisance, with his forehead on the ground, and to wail. The officer of prayer, the minister, the officer of the temple, all the relatives, the high nobles, with the Great and other officers, will wail and leap 8, leaping three times with each burst of grief. (Those who had gone up to the hall then) descend, and go back to their proper places on the east; where all bare the left arm and shoulder. The son (in the arms of his bearer is made) to leap, and (the women) in the apartments also leap. Thrice they will do so, leaping three times each time. (The bearer for the son) will cover up his sackcloth 9, walk with a staff, (ascend and) set forth the offerings by the dead, and then quit the scene. The Grand minister will charge the officer of prayer and the recorder to announce the name all round, at the five altars of the house, and at those (to the spirits) of the hills and streams 10.'

Zang-dze asked, 'If the son and heir have been born after the burial (of the) ruler, what course should be followed?'Confucius said, 'The Grand minister and the Grand master of the ancestral temple will follow the Grand officer of prayer, and announce the fact before the spirit tablet (of the deceased ruler) 11. Three months after they will give the name in the same place, and announce it all round 12, and also at the altars to (the spirits of) the land and grain, in the ancestral temple, and (at the altars of) the hills and streams.'

Confucius said, 'When princes of states are about to go to the (court of the) son of Heaven, they must announce (their departure) before (the shrine of) their grandfather, and lay their offerings in that of their father 13. They then put on the court cap, and go forth to hold their own court. (At this) they charge the officer of prayer and the recorder to announce (their departure) to the (spirits of the) land and grain, in the ancestral temple, and at the (altars of the) hills and rivers. They then give (the business of) the state in charge to the five (subordinate) officers 14, and take their journey, presenting the offerings to the spirits of the road 15 as they set forth. All the announcements should be completed in five days. To go beyond this in making them is contrary to rule. In every one of them they use a victim and silks. On the return (of the princes) there are the same observances.'

'When princes of states are about to visit one another, they must announce (their departure) before the shrine of their father 16. They will then put on their court robes, and go forth to hold their own court. (At this) they charge the officer of prayer and the recorder to announce (their departure) at the five shrines in the ancestral temple, and at the altars of the hills and rivers which they will pass. They then give (the business of) the state in charge to the five officers, and take their journey, presenting the offerings to the spirits of the road as they set forth. When they return, they will announce (the fact) in person to their grandfather and father 17, and will charge the officer of prayer and the recorder to make announcement of it at the altars where they announced (their departure). (When this has been done), they enter and give audience in the court.'

Zang-dze asked, 'If the funerals of both parents 18 take place together, what course is adopted? Which is first and which last?'Confucius said, 'The rule is that the burying of the less important (mother) should have the precedence, and that of the more important (father) follow, while the offerings to them are set down in the opposite order. From the opening of the apartment and conveying out the coffin (of the mother) till its interment no offerings are put down; when the coffin is on the route to the grave, there is no wailing at the regular place for that ceremony. When they return from this interment, they set down the offerings (to the father), and afterwards announce (to his spirit) when the removal of his coffin will take place, and proceed to arrange for the interment. It is the rule that the sacrifice of repose should first be offered to the more important (father), and afterwards to the less important (mother).

Coufucius said 19, 'The eldest son, even though seventy, should never be without a wife to take her part in presiding at the funeral rites. If there be no such eldest son, the rites may be performed without a presiding wife.'

Zang-dze asked, 'It has been proposed to invest a son with the cap, and the investors have arrived, and after exchanging bows and courtesies (with the master of the house), have entered. If then news should come that the death of some relative has occurred, for whom a year's mourning or that of nine months must be worn, what should be done?'Confucius said, 'If the death has taken place within (the circle of the same surname), the ceremony should be given up 20; but if without (that circle), it will go on, but the sweet wine will not be presented to the youth. The viands will be removed and the place swept, after which he will go to his proper position and wail. If the investors have not yet arrived, the capping will be given up (for the time) 21.

'If the arrangements for the capping have been made, but before the day arrives, an occasion for the one year's mourning, or for that of nine months, or five months, have arrived, the youth shall be capped in his mourning dress.'

'When all mourning is over, may a son continue to wear the cap which he has hitherto worn 22?'Confucius said, 'When the son of Heaven gives to the (young) prince of a state or a Great officer his robes and the cap proper to each in the grand ancestral temple, the youth on his return home will set forth his offering (in his own ancestral temple), wearing the robes that have been given to him, and here he will drink the cup of capping (as if) offered by his father 23, without the cup of wine at the ceremony.

'When a son is (thus) capped after his father's death, he is considered to be properly capped; he will sweep the ground, and sacrifice at his father's shrine. This being done, he will present himself before his uncles, and then offer the proper courtesies to the investors.'

Zang-dze asked, 'Under what circumstances is it that at sacrifice they do not carry out the practice of all drinking to one another?'Confucius said, 'I have heard that at the close of the one year's mourning, the principal concerned in it sacrifices in his inner garment of soft silk, and there is not that drinking all round. The cup is set down beside the guests, but they do not take it up. This is the rule. Formerly duke Kâo of Lû 24, while in that silken garment, took the cup and sent it all round, but it was against the rule; and duke Hâo 25, at the end of the second year's mourning, put down the cup presented to him, and did not send it all round, but this also was against the rule.'

Zang-dze asked, 'In a case (of the) mourning for nine months, can (the principal) take part in contributing to the offerings (to the dead of others)?'Confucius said, 'Why speak only of (the mourning for) nine months? In all cases from (the mourning for) three years downwards, it may be done. This is the rule.'Zang-dze said, 'Would not this be making the mourning of little importance, and attaching (undue) importance to mutual helpfulness?'Confucius said, 'This is not what I mean. When there is mourning for the son of Heaven or the prince of a state, (all) who wear the sackcloth with the jagged edges (will contribute to) the offerings. At the mourning of a Great officer, (all) who wear the sackcloth with the even edges will do so. At the mourner of an ordinary officer, his associates and friends will do so. If all these be not sufficient, they may receive contributions from all who should mourn for nine months downwards; and if these be still insufficient, they will repeat the process 26.'

Zang-dze asked, 'In a case of the mourning for five months, may (the principal) take part in the other sacrifices (of mourning) 27?'Confucius said, 'Why speak only of the mourning for five months? In all cases from the mourning for three years downwards, (the principals) take part in those sacrifices.'Zang-dze said, 'Would not this be making the mourning of little importance, and giving (undue) importance to the sacrifices?'Confucius said, 'In the mourning sacrifices for the son of Heaven and the prince of a state, none but those who wear the sackcloth with the jagged edges take part in them. In those for a Great officer, they who wear the sackcloth with the even edges do so. In those for another officer, if the participants be insufficient, they add to them from their brethren who should wear mourning for nine months downwards.'

Zang-dze asked, 'When acquaintances are in mourning, may they participate in one another's sacrifices?'Confucius said, 'When wearing the three months' mourning, one has no occasion to sacrifice (in his own ancestral temple), and how should he assist another man (out of his own line)?'

Zang-dze asked, 'When one has put off his mourning, may he take part in contributing to the offerings (for the dead of another)?'Confucius said, 'To take part in the offerings (to another's dead), on putting off one's own sackcloth, is contrary to the rule. Possibly, he may perform the part of assisting him in receiving visitors.'

Zang-dze asked, 'According to the rules for marriages, the presents have been received and a fortunate day has been fixed;--if then the father or mother of the young lady die, what course should be adopted?'Confucius said, 'The son-in-law will send some one to condole; and if it be his father or mother that has died, the family of the lady will in the same way send some to present their condolences. If the father have died, (the messenger) will name the (other) father (as having sent him); if the mother, he will name the (other) mother. If both parents be dead (on both sides), he will name the oldest uncle and his wife. When the son-in-law has buried (his dead), his oldest uncle will offer a release from the engagement to the lady, saying, "My son, being occupied with the mourning for his father or mother, and not having obtained the right to be reckoned among your brethren, has employed me to offer a release from the engagement." (In this case) it is the rule for the lady to agree to the message and not presume to (insist on) the marriage (taking place immediately). When the son-in-law has concluded his mourning, the parents of the lady will send and request (the fulfilment of the engagement). The son-in-law will not (immediately come to) carry her (to his house), but afterwards she will be married to him; this is the rule. If it be the father or mother of the lady who died, the son-in-law will follow a similar course 28.'

Zang-dze asked, 'The son-in-law has met the lady in person, and she is on the way with him:--if (then) his father or mother die, what course should be adopted?'Confucius said, 'The lady will change her dress 29; and in the long linen robe 30, with the cincture of white silk round her hair, will hasten to be present at the mourning rites. If, while she is on the way, it be her own father or mother who dies, she will return 31.'

'If the son-in-law have met the lady in person, and before she has arrived at his house, there occur a death requiring the year's or the nine months' mourning, what course should be adopted?'Confucius said, 'Before the gentleman enters, he will change his dress in a place outside. The lady will enter and change her dress in a place inside. They will then go to the proper positions and wail.'Zang-dze asked, 'When the mourning is ended, will they not resume the marriage ceremonies?' Confucius said, 'It is the rule, that when the time of sacrifice has been allowed to pass by, it is not then offered. Why in this case should they go back to what must have taken place previously?'

Confucius said, 'The family that has married a daughter away, does not extinguish its candles for three nights, thinking of the separation that has taken place. The family that has received the (new) wife for three days has no music; thinking her bridegroom is now in the place of his parents 32. After three months she presents herself in the ancestral temple, and is styled "The new wife that has come." A day is chosen for her to sacrifice at the shrine of her father-in-law; expressing the idea of her being (now) the established wife.'

Zang-dze asked, 'If the lady die before she has presented herself in the ancestral temple, what course should be adopted?'Confucius said, '(Her coffin) should not be removed to the ancestral temple, nor should (her tablet) be placed next to that of her mother-in-law. The husband should not carry the staff; nor wear the shoes of straw; nor have a (special) place (for wailing). She should be taken back, and buried among her kindred of her own family;--showing that she had not become the established wife.'

Zang-dze asked, 'The fortunate day has been fixed for taking the lady (to her new home), and she dies (in the meantime):--what should be done?'Confucius said, 'The son-in-law will come to condole, wearing the one year's mourning, which he will lay aside when the interment has taken place. If it be the husband who dies, a similar course will be followed on the other side.'

Zang-dze asked, 'Is it according to rule that at the mourning rites there should be two (performing the part of) the orphan son (and heir, receiving visitors) 33, or that at a temple-shrine there should be two spirit-tablets?'Confucius said, 'In heaven there are not two suns; in a country there are not two kings 34; in the seasonal sacrifices, and those to Heaven and Earth 35, there are not two who occupy the highest place of honour. I do not know that what you ask about is according to rule. Formerly duke Hwan of Khî 36, going frequently to war, made fictitious tablets and took them with him on his expeditions, depositing them on his return in the ancestral temple 37. The practice of having two tablets in a temple-shrine originated from duke Hwan. As to two (playing the part of the) orphan son, it may be thus explained:--Formerly, on occasion of a visit to Lû by duke Ling of Wei, the mourning rites of Kî Hwan-dze were in progress. The ruler of Wei requested leave to offer his condolences. Duke Âi (of Lû) 38 declined (the ceremony), but could not enforce his refusal. He therefore acted as the principal (mourner), and the visitor came in to condole with him. Khang-dze stood on the right of the gate with his face to the north. The duke, after the usual bows and courtesies, ascended by the steps on the east with his face towards the west. The visitor ascended by those on the west, and paid his condolences. The duke bowed ceremoniously to him, and then rose up and wailed, while Khang-dze bowed with his forehead to the ground, in the position where he was. The superintending officers made no attempt to put the thing to rights. The having two now acting as the orphan son arose from the error of Kî Khang-dze.'

Zang-dze asked, 'Anciently when an army went on an expedition, was it not first necessary to carry with it the spirit-tablets that had been removed from their shrines 39?'Confucius said, 'When the son of Heaven went on his tours of Inspection, he took (one of) those tablets along with him, conveying it in the carriage of Reverence, thus intimating how it was felt necessary to have with him that object of honour 40. The practice now-a-days of taking the tablets of the seven temple-shrines along with them on an expedition is an error. No shrine in all the seven (of the king), or in the five of the prince of a state, ought to be (left) empty. A shrine can only be so left without its tablet, when the son of Heaven has died, or the prince of a state deceased, or left his state, or when all the tablets are brought together at the united sacrifice, in the shrine-temple of the highest ancestor. I heard the following statement from Lâo Tan 41:--"On the death of the son of Heaven, or of the prince of a state, it is the rule that the officer of prayer should take the tablets from all the other shrines and deposit them in that of the high ancestor 42. When the wailing was over, and the business (of placing the tablet of the deceased in its shrine) was completed, then every other tablet was restored to its shrine. When a ruler abandoned his state, it was the rule that the Grand minister should take the tablets from all the shrines and follow him. When there was the united sacrifice in the shrine of the high ancestor, the officer of prayer met (and received) the tablets from the four shrines. When they were taken from their shrines or carried back to them all were required to keep out of the way." So said Lâo Tan.'

Zang-dze asked, 'Anciently, when they marched on an expedition, and carried no displaced tablets with them, what did they make their chief consideration?'Confucius said, 'They made the instructions from the tablet their chief consideration 43.''What does that mean?' asked the other.Confucius said, 'When the son of Heaven or the prince of a state was about to go forth, he would, with gifts of silk, skins, and jade-tokens, announce his purpose at the shrines of his grandfather and father. He then took those gifts with him, conveying them on the march in the carriage of Reverence. At every stage (of the march), he would place offerings of food by them, and afterwards occupy the station. On returning, they would make announcement (at the same shrines), and when they had set forth ( again) their offerings, they would collect the silk and jade, and bury them between the steps (leading) up to the fane of the high ancestor; after which they left the temple. This was how they made the instructions they received their chief consideration.'

Dze-yû asked, 'Is it the rule to mourn for a foster-mother 44 as for a mother?' Confucius said, 'It is not the rule. Anciently, outside the palace, a boy had his master, and at home his foster-mother; they were those whom the ruler employed to teach his son;--what ground should these be for wearing mourning for them? Formerly duke Kâo of Lû having lost his mother when he was little, had a foster-mother, who was good; and when she died, he could not bear (not) to mourn for her, and wished to do so. The proper officer on hearing of it, said, "According to the ancient rule, there is no mourning for a foster-mother. If you wear this mourning, you will act contrary to that ancient rule, and introduce confusion into the laws of the state. If you will after all do it, then we will put it on record, and transmit the act to the future;--will not that be undesirable?" The duke said, "Anciently the son of Heaven, when unoccupied and at ease, wore the soft inner garment, assumed after the year's mourning and the cap." The duke could not bear not to wear mourning, and on this he mourned for his foster-mother in this garb. The mourning for a foster-mother originated with duke Kâo of Lû 45.'


1. These were also ministers; see paragraph 4, page 213.

2. The usual place was at the eastern steps.

3. To call the attention of the spirit of the deceased.

4. The rolls of silk were, I suppose, the introductory present proper on an interview with a superior.

5. And bury it in the court between the two flights of stairs.

6. Thus early is it made to appear that the child is put under a master; P. Zottoli translates the name by 'secundus magister.'

7. The child had been brought by the master from the women's apartments, and carried to the court, that he might thus go up again to the hall by these steps.

8. A most expressive indication of the sorrow proper to the occasion.

9. The breast and shoulder of the child had also been bared.

10. The 'five household altars' are those at which the sacrifices were offered in the palace or house, often mentioned in the last Book.

11. The characters of the text, 'in the shrine temple of the father,' denote the special shrine or smaller temple assigned to the father in the great ancestral temple; but that was not assigned till after all the rites of mourning were over. The characters here denote the spirit tablet which had been before the burial set up over the coffin, and which was now removed to a rear apartment. P. Zottoli simply has 'coram tabellâ.'

12. At the courts of the sovereign and of the other princes.

13. The characters here are the same as in the preceding paragraph, but here they have their usual force. Announcement and offerings were made at both shrines.

14. The most likely opinion is that these five officers were--two belonging to the department of the minister of Instruction, two to that of the minister of Works, and one to that of the minister of War. On them, for reasons which we may not be able to give, devolved on such occasions the superintendence of the state.

15. There seems to be no doubt of the meaning here, but this significance of 道 not given in the Khang-hsî dictionary. The more common term is 祖.

16. There would seem. to be an omission in the former of these sentences of the announcement to the grandfathers.

17. There would seem to be an omission in the former of these sentences of the announcement to the grandfathers.

18. Or grandparents.

19. The words of Confucius are here, as in some other paragraphs, not preceded by the formula, 'Zang-dze asked.' Some say this is an omission, intentional or unintentional, of the compiler. Some commentators deride the judgment (see especially Ho Kung-yü), holding it unworthy of Confucius.

20. Because then a festal and a mourning service would come together in the ancestral temple.

21. The investors may have previously heard of the death, and not kept their appointment.

22. Till he was capped, a youth wore nothing on his head. But in the case supposed the youth's time for capping had arrived; and he had assumed a cap without the ceremony.

23. When a father gave orders to his son about his capping or marriage, he gave him a cup of ordinary wine. The sweet wine was given to the youth by a friend or friends who had invested him with the cap. The real answer to Zang-dze's question is in paragraph 11.

24. B.C. 541-510.

25. B.C. 795-769. This is going a long way back.

26. On this paragraph p. Zottoli says:--'Zang-dze petit an aliquis in novem mensium luctu constitutus possit adjuvare alterius funestae familiae oblationem. Confucius intelligit de adjuvanda proprii funeris oblatione.' There appears to be a similar misunderstanding between the two in the next paragraph.

27. Khung Ying-tâ makes this out to be the sacrifices of repose, and at the end of the wailing. I think the reference is more general.

28. Is the final marriage of the lady to the original betrothed 'son-in-law,' or bridegroom as we should say; or to another, that she may not pass the proper time for her marrying? Khung Ying-tâ, and other old commentators, advocate the latter view. Others, and especially the Khien-lung editors, maintain the former; and I have indicated in the version my agreement with them. There are difficulties with the text; but Confucius would hardly have sanctioned the other course.

29. At the house of him who was now her husband.

30. This, called 'the deep garment,' had the body and skirt sown together. See Book XXXIV.

31. This would be done, it is said, by Hsü Sze-zhang (Ming dynasty), to allow play to her filial piety, but she would live at the house of 'the son-in-law.'

32. This and the statements that follow suppose that the bridegroom's parents are dead.

33. The Chinese characters mean simply 'two orphans.' Neither Khang-hsî nor any English-Chinese dictionary explains the peculiar use of the term here; nor is Confucius' explanation satisfactory, or to the point.

34. Compare paragraphs 5, 8, III, iii, pages 224-226.

35. See the 'Doctrine of the Mean,' 19, 6, Chinese Classics, vol. i.

36. B.C. 685-643.

37. Literally 'the temple-shrine of his grandfather;' but I think the name must have the general meaning I have given.

38. It has been shown that the ruler of Wei here could not be duke Ling. He must have been duke Khû. But this error discredits the view of the statement having come from Confucius.

39. See note 2 and plan of the royal ancestral temple of Kau on pages 223-225.

40. This, it is said, was the tablet of the royal ancestor which had been last removed from its shrine, and placed in the shrine-house for all such removed tablets. The carriage of Reverence was the 'metal-guilt' carriage of the king, second to that adorned with jade, in which he rode to sacrifice. Zottoli renders:--'Imperator perlustrans custodita, cum translatitii delubri tabella peragrabat, imposita super casti curru, significatum necessariam praesentiam superioris.'

41. This was, most probably, Lâo-dze, though some of the commentators deny it. Kang says: 'Lâo Tan, the title of old for men of longevity, was a contemporary of Confucius;' and Khan Hâo quotes a note on this from Wang of Shih-liang, that 'This was not the author of the "Five thousand words,"' i.e. of the Tâo Teh King.

42. While the special sacrifices and other funeral rites were going on, the other sacrifices, which belonged to a different category of rites, were suspended.

43. Zottoli gives for this phrase simply 'adhaerebant numini,' subjoining no note on it. The parties spoken of put down their offerings before the shrines, announcing that they were about to undertake such an expedition; and taking it for granted that their progenitors approved of their object, proceeded to carry it out, as if they had received a charge from them to do so, carrying the offerings with them in token of that charge from the spirits in the tablets of the shrines. This view is distinctly set forth by Hwang Khan (end of early Sung dynasty) and others.

44. This foster-mother was not what we call 'a nurse;' but a lady of the harem to whom the care of an orphan boy was entrusted;--it may have been after he ceased to be suckled. The reasoning of Confucius goes on the assumption that mourning should be worn only in cases of consanguinity or affinity; and it may be inferred from this that concubinage was not the most ancient rule in China.

45. See the eleventh article in the forty-third chapter of the 'Narratives of the School,' where a similar, probably the same, conversation, with some variations, is found. The duke of Lû in it, however, is not Kâo, but Hâo; see paragraph 12, page 315.

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