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At the border sacrifices a single victim was used, and at the altars to (the spirits of) the land and grain there was (the full complement of) three victims 1. When the son of Heaven went on his inspecting tours to the princes, the viands of the feast to him were composed of a (single) calf; and when they visited him, the rites with which he received them showed the three regular animals. (The feasting of him in such a manner) was to do honour to the idea of sincerity 2. Therefore if the animal happened to be pregnant, the son of Heaven did not eat of it, nor did he use such a victim in sacrificing to God 3.

The horses of the Grand carriage had one ornamental tassel at the breast; those of the carriages that preceded had three; and those of the carriages that followed had five 4. There were the blood at the border sacrifice; the raw flesh in the great offering of the ancestral temple; the sodden flesh where spirits are presented thrice; and the roast meat where they are presented once 5:--these were expressive of the greatest reverence, but the taste was not valued; what was held in honour was the scent of the air 6. When the princes appeared as guests, they were presented with herb-flavoured spirits, because of their fragrance; at the great entertainment to them the value was given to (the preliminary) pieces of flesh prepared with cinnamon and nothing more.

At a great feast (to the ruler of another state), the ruler (who was the host) received the cup seated on his three mats. (On occasion of a visit through a minister or Great officer) when the cup was thrice presented, the ruler received it on a single mat:--so did he descend from the privilege of his more honourable rank, and assume the lower distinction (of his visitor).

In feasting (the orphaned young in spring) and at the vernal sacrifice in the ancestral temple they had music; but in feeding (the aged) and at the autumnal sacrifice they had no music:--these were based in the developing and receding influences (prevalent in nature). All drinking serves to nourish the developing influence; all eating to nourish the receding influence. Hence came the different character of the vernal and autumnal sacrifices; the feasting the orphaned young in spring, and the feeding the aged in autumn:--the idea was the same. But in the feeding and at the autumnal sacrifice there was no music. Drinking serves to nourish the developing influence and therefore is accompanied with music. Eating serves to nourish the receding influence, and therefore is not accompanied with music. All modulation of sound partakes of the character of development.

The number of tripods and meat-stands was odd, and that of the tall dishes of wood and bamboo was even 7; this also was based in the numbers belonging to the developing and receding influences. The stands were filled with the products of the water and the land. They did not dare to use for them things of extraordinary flavours 8 or to attach a value to the multitude and variety of their contents, and it was thus that they maintained their intercourse with spiritual intelligences.

When the guests had entered the great door 9, the music struck up the Sze Hsiâ 10, showing the blended ease and respect (of the king). (While feasting), at the end of (every) cup the music stopped (for a moment), a practice of which Confucius often indicated his admiration. When the last cup had been put down, the performers ascended the hall, and sang;--exhibiting the virtues (of host and guests). The singers were (in the hall) above, and the organists were (in the court) below;--the honour being thus given to the human voice. Music comes from the expanding influence (that operates in nature); ceremonies from the contracting. When the two are in harmony, all things obtain (their full development).

There were no fixed rules for the various articles of tribute. They were the different products of the different territories according to their several suitabilities, and were regulated by their distances (from the royal domain). The tortoises were placed in front of all the other offerings;--because (the shell) gave the knowledge of the future. The bells succeeded to them;--because of their harmony, they were a symbol of the union of feeling that should prevail 11. Then there were the skins of tigers and leopards;--emblems of the fierce energy with which insubordination would be repressed; and there were the bundles of silks with disks of jade on them, showing how (the princes) came to (admire and experience) the virtue (of the king).

(The use of) a hundred torches in his courtyard began with duke Hwan of Khî. The playing of the Sze Hsiâ (at receptions) of Great officers began with Kâo Wan-dze 12.

When appearing at another court, for a Great officer to have a private audience was contrary to propriety. If he were there as a commissioner, bearing his own prince's token of rank, this served as his credentials. That he did not dare to seek a private audience showed the reverence of his loyalty. What had he to do with the tribute-offerings in the court of the other prince that he should seek a private audience? The minister of a prince had no intercourse outside his own state, thereby showing how he did not dare to serve two rulers.

For a Great officer to receive his ruler to an entertainment was contrary to propriety. For a ruler to put to death a Great officer who had violently exercised his power was (held) an act of righteousness; and it was first seen in the case of the three Hwan 13.The son of Heaven did not observe any of the rules for a visitor or guest;--no one could presume to be his host. When a ruler visited one of his ministers, he went up to the hall by the steps proper to the master;--the minister did not presume in such a case to consider the house to be his own. According to the rules for audiences, the son of Heaven did not go down from the hall and meet the princes. To descend from the hall and meet the princes, was an error on the part of the son of Heaven, which began with king Î 14, and was afterwards observed.

For the princes to suspend (their drums and bells) in four rows like the walls of an apartment (after the fashion of the king), and to use a white bull in sacrificing 15; to strike the sonorous jade; to use the red shields with their metal fronts and the cap with descending tassels in dancing the Tâ-wû; and to ride in the grand chariot:--these were usages which they usurped. The towered gateway with the screen across the path, and the stand to receive the emptied cups; the axes embroidered on the inner garment with its vermilion colour:--these were usurpations of the Great officers. Thus, when the son of Heaven was small and weak, the princes pushed their usurpations; and when the Great officers were strong, the princes were oppressed by them. In this state (those officers) gave honour to one another as if they had been of (high) degree; had interviews with one another and made offerings; and bribed one another for their individual benefit: and thus all usages of ceremony were thrown into disorder. It was not lawful for the princes to sacrifice to the king to whom they traced their ancestry, nor for the Great officers to do so to the rulers from whom they sprang. The practice of having a temple to such rulers in their private families, was contrary to propriety. It originated with the three Hwan 16.

The son of Heaven 17 preserved the descendants of (the sovereigns of) the two (previous) dynasties, still honouring the worth (of their founders). But this honouring the (ancient) worthies did not extend beyond the two dynasties.

Princes did not employ as ministers refugee rulers 18. Hence anciently refugee rulers left no son who continued their title.

A ruler stood with his face towards the south, to show that he would be (in his sphere) what the influence of light and heat was (in nature). His ministers stood with their faces to the north, in response to him. The minister of a Great officer did not bow his face to the ground before him, not from any honour paid to the minister, but that the officer might avoid receiving the homage which he had paid himself to the ruler.

When a Great officer was presenting (anything to his ruler), he did not do so in his own person; when the ruler was making him a gift, he did not go to bow in acknowledgment to him:--that the ruler might not (have the trouble of) responding to him.

When the villagers were driving away pestilential influences, Confucius would stand at the top of his eastern steps, in his court robes, to keep the spirits (of his departed) undisturbed in their shrines 19.

Confucius said, 'The practice of archery to the notes of music (is difficult). How shall the archer listen, and how shall he shoot, (that the two things shall be in harmony)?'Confucius said, 'When an officer is required to shoot, if he be not able, he declines on the ground of being ill, with reference to the bow suspended at the left of the door (at his birth) 20.'

Confucius said, 'There are three days' fasting on hand. If one fast for the first day, he should still be afraid of not being (sufficiently) reverent. What are we to think of it, if on the second day he beat his drums 21?'

Confucius said, 'The repetition of the sacrifice next day inside the Khû gate; the searching for the spirits in the eastern quarter; and the holding the market in the morning in the western quarter:--these all are errors.'

At the She, they sacrificed to (the spirits of) the land, and on the tablet rested the power of the darker and retiring influence of nature. The ruler stands (in sacrificing) with his face to the south at the foot of the wall on the north, responding to the idea of that influence as coming from the north. A kiâ day is used (for the sacrifice),--to employ a commencing day (in the Cycle) 22. The great Shê altar of the son of Heaven was open to receive the hoarfrost, dew, wind, and rain, and allow the influences of heaven and earth to have full development upon it. For this reason the Shê altar of a state that had perished was roofed in, so that it was not touched by the brightness and warmth of Heaven. The altar (of Yin) at Po 23 had an opening in the wall on the north, so that the dim and cold (moon) might shine into it.

In the sacrifice at the Shê altars they dealt with the earth as if it were a spirit. The earth supported all things, while heaven hung out its brilliant signs. They derived their material resources from the earth; they derived rules (for their courses of labour) from the heavens. Thus they were led to give honour to heaven and their affection to the earth, and therefore they taught the people to render a good return (to the earth). (The Heads of) families provided (for the sacrifice to it) at the altar in the open court (of their houses); in the kingdom and the states they did so at the Shê altars; showing how it was the source (of their prosperity).When there was a sacrifice at the Shê altar of a village 24, some one went out to it from every house. When there was such a sacrifice in preparation for a hunt, the men of the state all engaged in it. When there was such a sacrifice, from the towns, small and large, they contributed their vessels of rice, thereby expressing their gratitude to the source (of their prosperity) and going back in their thoughts to the beginning (of all being).

In the last month of spring 25, the fire star having appeared, they set fire to (the grass and brushwood). When this was done, they reviewed the chariots and men, numbering the companies of a hundred and of five. Then the ruler in person addressed them in front of the Shê altar, and proceeded to exercise their squadrons, now wheeling to the left, now wheeling to the right, now making them lie down, now making them rise up; and observing how they practised these evolutions. When the game came in sight and the desire of capturing it was exerted, (he watched) to see that (the hunters) did not break any of the rules (for their proceedings). It was thus sought to bring their wills into subjection, and make them not pursue the animals (in an irregular way). In this way such men conquered in fight, and such sacrificing obtained blessing.


1. The object of the statements here and some other paragraphs is to show that the degree of honour was expressed by the 'paucity' of the articles; compare last Book, Sect. i, paragraph 8. Perhaps the name Kiâo (郊) in the title should be translated in the plural as the name for all the border sacrifices, or those offered in the suburbs of the capital. There were several of them, of which the greatest was that at the winter solstice, on the round hillock in the southern suburb. Besides this, there was in the first month the border sacrifice for 'grain,'--to pray for the blessing of Heaven on the agricultural labours of the year, in which Hâu Kî, the father of the line of Kâu, and its 'Father of Husbandry,' was associated by that dynasty. There were also the five seasonal border sacrifices, of which we have mention in the different parts of Book IV, though, so far as what is said in them goes, the idea of Heaven falls into the background, and the five deified ancient sovereigns come forward as so many Tîs. In the first month of summer there was, further, a great border sacrifice for rain, and in the last month of autumn a great border sacrifice of thanksgiving. 'Of all these border sacrifices,' say the Khien-lung editors, there is clear evidence in classical texts.' Into the discussions growing out of them about 'one Heaven,' or 'five Heavens,' and about their origin, it is not necessary that I should enter; it would be foreign, indeed, to my object in this translation to do so. The border sacrifices were the greatest religious or ceremonial services of the ancient Chinese; and the fact to which our attention is called in this Book, is that at them there was used only a single victim.

2. Why 'a calf?' 'Because of its guileless simplicity,' says Kâu Hsü of our eleventh century; earlier than Kû Hsî, who adopted his explanation. The calf, whether male or female, has not yet felt the appetency of sex, and is unconscious of any 'dissipation.' This is a refinement on the Hebrew idea of the victim lamb, 'without blemish.'

3. This might be referred to his unwillingness to take life unnecessarily, but for what has just been said about the calf.

4. See last Book, Sect. i, 8; and Sect. ii, 6.

5. See last Book, Sect. i, 8; and Sect. ii, 6.

6. Little is said on the meaning of this statement, which appears to say that the most subtle and ethereal thing in sacrifices, the 'sweet savour' of the offerings, was the most important, and should excite the worshippers to add to their sincerity and reverence all other graces of character. The same lesson was given to the feudal princes when they were entertained as visitors at the royal court.

7. Every Chinese scholar knows that odd numbers all belong to the category of Yang (---------), and even numbers to that of Yin (---- ----).

8. The meaning of this clause is uncertain, and I have not found it anywhere sufficiently explained, considering what the characters are (褻味).

9. This paragraph and the next describe ceremonies on occasion of the king's reception of the great nobles, when they appeared in great force at court. With this the expurgated Lî Kî begins.

10. See note 1, page 413.

11. As we have no account anywhere of bells, made, being sent as tribute, many understand the name as merely = 'metal.'

12. This and the five paragraphs that follow seem the work of another hand, and are not in the expurgated Kî. Duke Hwan was the first and greatest of 'the five presiding princes' of the Khun Khiû period. He died B.C. 643. Kâo Wan-dze was a Great officer and chief minister of Zin about a century after. The king alone might have a hundred torches in his courtyard.

13. The 'three Hwan' intended here were three sons of duke Hwan' of Lû, known as Khing-fû, Yâ, and Kî-yû; see the Zo Kwan, and Kung-yang, on the last year of duke Kwang. Instances of the execution of strong and insubordinate officers in different states, more to the point, had occurred before; but the writer had in mind only the history of Lû.

14. I was the ninth of the sovereigns of Kâu (B.C. 894-879); with him appeared the first symptoms of decline in the dynasty.

15. That a white bull was used in Lû in sacrificing to the duke of Kâu, appears from the fourth of the Praise Odes of Lû. See vol. iii, p. 343.

16. These must be the three families of Lû, so powerful in the time of Confucius, all descended from duke Hwan. The expression in this (state) shows that the writer was a man of Lû.

17. We must think of this 'son of Heaven' as the founder of a new dynasty. Thus it was that king Wû of Kâu enfeoffed the duke of Sung as representing the kings of Shang, and the rulers of Kü as representing those of Hsiâ.

18. Rulers expelled from their own state. But the princes might employ their sons as ministers, who ceased to be named from their former dignity.

19. See the Confucian Analects X, 10, 2, and note. Dr. Williams (on 禓) says that the ceremony is now performed by the Board of Rites ten days before the new year.

20. Every gentleman was supposed to learn archery as one of the six liberal arts;' and a bow was suspended near the door on the birth of a boy in recognition of this. The excuse in the paragraph is a lame one. See the 'Narratives of the School,' article 28; and Book XLIII, 19.

21. 'Narratives of the School,' XLIV, 9.

22. There are of course six decades of days in the Cycle, each beginning with a kiâ day.

23. Po had been the capital of the Shang dynasty. The site was in the present Ho-nan; changed more than once, but always retaining the name. We have the Northern, the Southern, and the Western Po.

24. See page 259, paragraph 7.

25. Perhaps 'the last month' should be 'the second month.' There is much contention on the point.

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