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酒醴之美，玄酒明水之尚，貴五味之本也。 黼黻文繡之美，疏布之尚，反女功之始也。莞簟之安，而蒲越稿鞂之尚，明之也。大羹不和，貴其質也。大圭不琢，美其質也。丹漆雕幾之美，素車之乘，尊其樸也，貴其質而已矣。所以交於神明者，不可同於所安褻之甚也。 如是而後宜。
The son of Heaven, in his tours (of Inspection) to the four quarters (of the kingdom), as the first thing (on his arrival at each) reared the pile of wood (and set fire to it) 1.
At the (Great) border sacrifice, he welcomed the arrival of the longest day. It was a great act of thanksgiving to Heaven, and the sun was the chief object considered in it 2. The space marked off for it was in the southern suburb;--the place most open to the brightness and warmth (of the heavenly influence). The sacrifice was offered on the ground which had been swept for the purpose;--to mark the simplicity (of the ceremony). The vessels used were of earthenware and of gourds;--to emblem the natural (productive power of) heaven and earth. The place was the suburb, and therefore the sacrifice was called the suburban or border. The victim was red, that being the colour preferred by the (Kâu) dynasty; and it was a calf;--to show the estimation of simple sincerity.
For (all) sacrifices in the border they used a hsin day 3; because when Kâu first offered the border sacrifice, it was the longest day, and its name began with hsin.
When divining about the border sacrifice, (the king) received the reply in the fane of his (great) ancestor, and the tortoise-shell was operated on in that of his father;--honour being thus done to his ancestor, and affection shown to his father. On the day of divination, he stood by the lake 4, and listened himself to the declarations and orders which were delivered 5,--showing an example of receiving lessons and reproof. (The officers) having communicated to him the orders (to be issued), he gives warning notice of them to all the officers (of a different surname from himself), inside the Khû gate (of the palace), and to those of the same surname, in the Grand temple.
On the day of the sacrifice, the king in his skin cap waits for the news that all is ready,--showing the people how they ought to venerate their superiors. Those who were engaged in mourning rites did not wail nor venture to put on their mourning dress. (The people) watered and swept the road, and turned it up afresh with the spade; at (the top of) the fields in the neighbourhood they kept torches burning,--thus without special orders complying with (the wish of) the king 6.
On that day, the king assumed the robe with the ascending dragons on it as an emblem of the heavens 7. He wore the cap with the pendants of jade-pearls, to the number of twelve 8, which is the number of heaven 9. He rode in the plain carriage, because of its simplicity. From the flag hung twelve pendants, and on it was the emblazonry of dragons, and the figures of the sun and moon, in imitation of the heavens. Heaven hangs out its brilliant figures, and the sages imitated them. This border sacrifice is the illustration of the way of Heaven.
If there appeared anything infelicitous about the victim intended for God, it was used for that intended for Kî 10. That intended for God required to be kept in its clean stall for three months. That intended for Kî simply required to be perfect in its parts. This was the way in which they made a distinction between the spirits of Heaven and the manes of a man 11.
All things originate from Heaven; man originates from his (great) ancestor. This is the reason why Kî was associated with God (at this sacrifice). In the sacrifices at the border there was an expression of gratitude to the source (of their prosperity and a going back in their thoughts to the beginning of (all being).
The great kâ sacrifice of the son of Heaven consisted of eight (sacrifices). This sacrifice was first instituted by Yin Khî 12. (The word) kâ expresses the idea of searching out. In the twelfth month of a year, they brought together (some of) all the productions (of the harvest), and sought out (the authors of them) to present them to them as offerings.
In the kâ sacrifice, the principal object contemplated was the Father of Husbandry. They also presented offerings to (ancient) superintendents of husbandry, and to the (discoverers of the) various grains, to express thanks for the crops which had been reaped.They presented offerings (also) to the (representatives of the ancient inventors of the overseers of the) husbandmen, and of the buildings marking out the boundaries of the fields, and of the birds and beasts. The service showed the highest sentiments of benevolence and of righteousness.The ancient wise men had appointed all these agencies, and it was felt necessary to make this return to them. They met the (representatives of the) cats, because they devoured the rats and mice (which injured the fruits) of the fields, and (those of) the tigers, because they devoured the (wild) boars (which destroyed them). They met them and made offerings to them. They offered also to (the ancient Inventors of) the dykes and water-channels;--(all these were) provisions for the husbandry 13.
The Great Netter
15 was the officer who had the management for the
son of Heaven of his birds and (captured) beasts, and to his department
belonged (all such creatures) sent by the princes as tribute. (Those who
16 wore hats of straw or bamboo splints, appearing, by way of honour
to it, in that country dress. The Netter declined the deer and women (which
17, and announced to the visitors the message (of the king) to
this effect, that they might warn the princes with it:--
The kâ with its eight sacrifices served to record (the condition of the people) throughout all the quarters (of the country). If in any quarter the year had not been good, it did not contribute to those services,--out of a careful regard to the resources of the people. Where the labours of a good year had been successfully completed, they took part in them,--to give them pleasure and satisfaction. All the harvest having by this time been gathered, the people had nothing to do but to rest, and therefore after the kâ wise (rulers) commenced no new work 19.
The pickled contents of the ordinary dishes were water-plants produced by the harmonious powers (of nature); the brine used with them was from productions of the land. The additional dishes contained productions of the land with the brine from productions of the water.The things in the dishes on stands were from both the water and land. They did not venture to use in them the flavours of ordinary domestic use, but variety was considered admirable. It was in this way that they sought to have communion with the spirits; it was not intended to imitate the flavours of food 20.
The things set before the ancient kings served as food, but did not minister to the pleasures of the palate. The dragon-robe, the tasseled cap, and the great carriage served for display, but did not awaken a fondness for their use.The various dances displayed the gravity of the performers, but did not awaken the emotion of delight. The ancestral temple produced the impression of majesty, but did not dispose one to rest in it. Its vessels might be employed (for their purposes in it), but could not be conveniently used for any other. The idea which leads to intercourse with spiritual Beings is not interchangeable with that which finds its realisation in rest and pleasure.
Admirable as are the spirits and sweet spirits, a higher value is attached to the dark spirit and the bright water 21,--in order to honour that which is the source of the five flavours. Beautiful as is the elegant embroidery of robes, a higher value is set on plain, coarse cloth,--going back to the commencement of woman's work. Inviting as is the rest afforded by the mats of fine rushes and bamboos, the preference is given to the coarse ones of reeds and straw,--distinguishing the (character of the service in which they were employed). The Grand soup is unseasoned,--in honour of its simplicity. The Grand symbols of jade have no engraving on them,--in admiration of their simple plainness. There is the beauty of the red varnish and carved border (of a carriage), but (the king) rides in a plain one,--doing honour to its plainness. In all these things it is simply the idea of the simplicity that is the occasion of the preference and honour. In maintaining intercourse with spiritual and intelligent Beings, there should be nothing like an extreme desire for rest and ease in our personal gratification. It is this which makes the above usages suitable for their purpose.
The number of the tripods and meat-stands was odd, but that of the tall dishes of wood and bamboo was even,--having regard to the numbers belonging to the developing and receding influences of nature 22. The vase with the yellow eyes 23 was the most valued of all, and contained the spirit with the fragrant herbs. Yellow is the colour (of earth) which occupies the central places 24. In the eye the energy (of nature) appears most purely and brilliantly. Thus the spirit to be poured out is in that cup, the (emblem of the) centre, and (the symbol of) what is most pure and bright appears outside 25.
When sacrificing to Heaven, the earth is swept, and the sacrifice presented on the ground,--from a regard to the simplicity of such an unartificial altar. Admirable as are the vinegar and pickles, suet boiled and produced through evaporation is preferred,--to do honour to the natural product of heaven. An ordinary knife might be employed (to kill the victim), but that fitted with bells is preferred,--giving honour to the idea thereby indicated; there is the harmony of sound, and then the cutting work is done.
1. This paragraph is not in the expurgated Lî. It does seem out of place, for the book goes on to speak of the border or suburban sacrifices presented in the vicinity of the capital, and having nothing to do with the tours of Inspection, of which we first read in the Canon of Shun, in the Shû. Those tours, however, were understood to be under the direction of Heaven, and the lighting of the pile of wood, on reaching the mountain of each quarter, is taken as having been an announcement to Heaven of the king's arrival.
2. P. Callery has here the following note:--'Il
résulte de ce passage et de plusieurs autres des chapitres suivants, que dès
les temps les plus anciens, les Chinois rendaient au soleil un véritable culte,
sans même y supposer un esprit ou génie dont il fût la demeure, ainsi qu'ils le
faisaient pour les montagnes, les rivières et tous les autres lieux auxquels
ils offraient des sacrifices. De nos jours encore on sacrifie au soleil et a la
lune; mais c'est plutôt un acte officiel de la part des autorités, qu'une
pratique de conviction, car le peuple Chinois n'a pas, comme les Japonais, une
grande dévotion pour l'astre du jour. Voyez la fin du chapitre XVIII.'
The text conveys no idea to me of such an
ancient worship, but I call the attention of the reader to Callery's view. The
other passages to which he refers will be noticed as they occur. For my, 'and
the sun was the principal object regarded in it,' he says, 'C'est le soleil qui
est le principal objet (des adorations).' The original text is simply
而主日. I let my translation stand as I first made it; but on
a prolonged consideration, I think, it would be more accurate to say, 'and the
sun was considered (for the occasion) as the residence of (the spirit of)
Heaven.' Such an acceptation of 主 is quite legitimate. The sun became
for the time the 'spirit-tablet (神主)' of Heaven. Fang Küeh
says:--'(The Son of Heaven) was welcoming the arrival of the longest day, and
therefore he regarded the sun as the residence (for the time) of the spirit of
Heaven. That spirit could not be seen; what could be looked up to and beheld
were only the sun, moon, and stars.'
The text conveys no idea to me of such an ancient worship, but I call the attention of the reader to Callery's view. The other passages to which he refers will be noticed as they occur. For my, 'and the sun was the principal object regarded in it,' he says, 'C'est le soleil qui est le principal objet (des adorations).' The original text is simply 而主日. I let my translation stand as I first made it; but on a prolonged consideration, I think, it would be more accurate to say, 'and the sun was considered (for the occasion) as the residence of (the spirit of) Heaven.' Such an acceptation of 主 is quite legitimate. The sun became for the time the 'spirit-tablet (神主)' of Heaven. Fang Küeh says:--'(The Son of Heaven) was welcoming the arrival of the longest day, and therefore he regarded the sun as the residence (for the time) of the spirit of Heaven. That spirit could not be seen; what could be looked up to and beheld were only the sun, moon, and stars.'
3. The mention of the 'hsin day' requires that we should understand kiâo (郊) here of other sacrifices so called, and not merely of the great one at the winter solstice. The Khien-lung editors say:--'The border sacrifices for which they used the hsin days were those at which they prayed for a good year. They used such a day, because when king Wû offered his great sacrifice after the battle of Mû-yêh, and announced the completion of his enterprise, the day was hsin-hâi, and from it dated Kâu's possession of the kingdom, and the hsin days became sacred days for the dynasty.' There were of course three hsin days in every month.
4. The 'lake' here must be a name for the royal college with the water round it. So Lû Tien and others explain it (澤蓋學官辟雍) and Yüan Yüan's dictionary with reference to this paragraph, defines it as 'the place where they practised ceremonies.'
5. By the officers as the result of the divination.
6. It was an established custom that they should do so.
7. 'The robe with the dragons on it,'--Kwan (袞),--is thus described in the dictionary. But there must have been also some emblazonry of the heavenly figures on it also; otherwise it would not have emblemed the heavens. But I have not been able to find this in any dictionary.
8. Having now changed the skin cap mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
9. 'The heavenly number;'--with reference, I suppose, to the twelve months of the year.
10. Kî, better known as Hâu Kî, the prince, the minister of agriculture,' appears in the Shû as Shun's minister of agriculture (Khî棄, vol. iii, pp. 42, 43), and one of the principal assistants of Yü, in his more than Herculean achievement (vol. iii, pp. 56-58); and in the Shih as the father of agriculture (vol. iii, pp. 396-399). To him the kings of Kâu traced their lineage, and they associated him with God at the Great border sacrifice. See the ode to him, so associated, vol. iii, p. 320. In that service there was thus the expression of reverence for God and of filial piety, the second virtue coming in as the complement of the other. It would seem to be implied that they used the ox for Kî for the blemished one.
11. By 'spirit' and 'manes' I have endeavoured to come as near as I could to the different significance of the characters shan (神) and kwei (鬼).
12. Who this Yin Khî was is unknown. Kang thought he was an ancient sovereign. The Khien-lung editors seem to prove in opposition to him and others that he was the minister of some ancient sovereign. His descendants were subordinate ministers under Kau, having to do with sacrifice. They are mentioned at the end of the 37th Book of the Kâu Lî.
13. This and the other paragraphs down to 13 about the kâ sacrifice are not in the expurgated copies. It is difficult to understand what it really was. What is said of it leads us to think of it as a Chinese Saturnalia at the end of the year, when all the crops had been gathered in, and the people abandoned themselves to license and revel under the form of sacrificial services. 'The Father of Husbandry' was probably Shan Nang, the successor of Fû-hsî; see vol. iii, pp. 371, 372. 'The Superintendents of Husbandry' would be Hâu Kî and others, though Hâu Kî appears in the Shih as really the father of agriculture. 'The overseer' occurs in the Shih (vol. iii, p. 371 et al.) as 'the surveyor of the fields.' The commentators, so far as I have read, are very chary of giving us any information about the offerings to 'the cats and tigers.' Kiang Kâo-hsî says, 'They met the cats and tigers, that is, their spirits (迎貓虎,即其神也).'
14. This seems to introduce another service, following that of the kâ. It is understood to be the lâ sacrifice of Khin, described on page 300, paragraph 19.
15. We find 'the Netter' called Lo as if Lo (羅氏), had become the surname of the family in which the office was hereditary, as the last but one of the departments described in the 30th Book of the Kâu Lî.
16. Those would be 'Great officers' from the various states, personating for the occasion hunters or labouring men.
17. The 'deer' would be taken in the chase; the 'women,' attractive captives, taken in war. But they would not have such to present from year to year. We can say nothing more about this article of tribute.
18. Many take this concluding sentence as part of the king's message. The Khien-lung editors decide against that view; its meaning is that the king never farmed for his own gain.
19. This paragraph treats of the kâ as celebrated in the states.
20. The conclusion of this paragraph leads us to take all the dishes spoken of in it as containing sacrificial offerings. It would take too long to discuss all that is said about the 'regular' and the 'additional' dishes in the first part.
21. We have seen, before, that 'the dark spirit' is water. Was there a difference between this and 'the bright water?' The Khien-lung editors think so, and refer to the functions of the Sze Hsüan officer (司烜氏, Kâu Lî, Book XXXVII, 41-44), who by means of a mirror drew the bright water from the moon. How he did so, I do not understand. The object of the writer in this part of the section is to exhibit the value of simple sincerity in all religious services.
22. See the fifth paragraph of Section i, and the note. It may be added here, after Khung Ying-tâ, that 'the tripod and stand contained the body of the victim, which, as belonging to an animal that moved, was of the category of Yang, but the dishes contained the products of trees and vegetables,--which were of the category of Yin.'
23. In pictures, this vase was figured with two eyes. They were carved on the substance of the vessel and then gilt, so as to appear yellow.
24. On the central place assigned to the element of earth and its yellow colour, see the supplementary section appended to Book IV, Section ii, Part iii.
25. P. Callery characterises the reasoning of this paragraph as 'puéril et grotesque;' and concludes a long note on it with the sentence:--'Je laisse à ceux qui peuvent suivre ce logogriphe dans le texte Chinois, le soin d'en saisir toutes les finesses; car, mon sens, ce n'est qu'une ineptie.'
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