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The sovereign and king orders the chief minister to send down his (lessons of) virtue to the millions of the people.

Sons 1, in serving their parents, on the first crowing of the cock, should all wash their hands and rinse their mouths, comb their hair, draw over it the covering of silk, fix this with the hair-pin, bind the hair at the roots with the fillet, brush the dust from that which is left free, and then put on their caps, leaving the ends of the strings hanging down. They should then put on their squarely made black jackets, knee-covers, and girdles, fixing in the last their tablets. From the left and right of the girdle they should hang their articles for use:--on the left side, the duster and handkerchief, the knife and whetstone, the small spike, and the metal speculum for getting fire from the sun; on the right, the archer's thimble for the thumb and the armlet, the tube for writing instruments, the knife-case, the larger spike, and the borer for getting fire from wood. They should put on their leggings, and adjust their shoe-strings.

(Sons') wives should serve their parents-in-law as they served their own. At the first crowing of the cock, they should wash their hands, and rinse their mouths; comb their hair, draw over it the covering of silk, fix this with the hair-pin, and tie the hair at the roots with the fillet. They should then put on the jacket, and over it the sash. On the left side they should hang the duster and handkerchief, the knife and whetstone, the small spike, and the metal speculum to get fire with; and on the right, the needle-case, thread, and floss, all bestowed in the satchel, the great spike, and the borer to get fire with from wood. They will also fasten on their necklaces 2, and adjust their shoe-strings.

Thus dressed, they should go to their parents and parents-in-law. On getting to where they are, with bated breath and gentle voice, they should ask if their clothes are (too) warm or (too) cold, whether they are ill or pained, or uncomfortable in any part; and if they be so, they should proceed reverently to stroke and scratch the place. They should in the same way, going before or following after, help and support their parents in quitting or entering (the apartment). In bringing in the basin for them to wash, the younger will carry the stand and the elder the water; they will beg to be allowed to pour out the water, and when the washing is concluded, they Will hand the towel. They will ask whether they want anything, and then respectfully bring it. All this they will do with an appearance of pleasure to make their parents feel at ease. (They should bring) gruel, thick or thin, spirits or must, soup with vegetables, beans, wheat, spinach, rice, millet, maize, and glutinous millet,--whatever they wish, in fact; with dates, chestnuts, sugar and honey, to sweeten their dishes; with the ordinary or the large-leaved violets, leaves of elm-trees, fresh or dry, and the most soothing rice-water to lubricate them; and with fat and oil to enrich them. The parents will be sure to taste them, and when they have done so, the young people should withdraw 3.

Youths who have not yet been capped, and maidens who have not yet assumed the hair-pin, at the first crowing of the cock, should wash their hands, rinse their mouths, comb their hair, draw over it the covering of silk, brush the dust from that which is left free, bind it up in the shape of a horn, and put on their necklaces. They should all bang at their girdles 4 the ornamental (bags of) perfume; and as soon as it is daybreak, they should (go to) pay their respects (to their parents) and ask what they will eat and drink. If they have eaten already, they should retire; if they have not eaten, they will (remain to) assist their elder (brothers and sisters) and see what has been prepared.

All charged with the care of the inner and outer parts (of the house), at the first crowing of the cock, should wash their hands and mouths, gather up their pillows and fine mats, sprinkle and sweep out the apartments, hall, and courtyard, and spread the mats, each doing his proper work. The children go earlier to bed, and get up later, according to their pleasure. There is no fixed time for their meals.

From the time that sons receive an official appointment, they and their father occupy different parts of their residence. But at the dawn, the son will pay his respects, and express his affection by (the offer of) pleasant delicacies. At sunrise he will retire, and he and his father will attend to their different duties. At sundown, the son will pay his evening visit in the same way.

When the parents wish to sit (anywhere), the sons and their wives should carry their mats, and ask in what direction they shall lay them. When they wish to lie down, the eldest among them should carry the mats, and ask where they wish to place their feet, while the youngest will carry a (small) bench for them to lean on while they stretch out their legs. (At the same time) an attendant will place a stool by them. They should take up the mat on which they had been lying and the fine mat over it, hang up the coverlet, put the pillow in its case, and roll up the fine mat and put it in its cover.

(Sons and their wives) should not move the clothes, coverlets, fine mats, or undermats, pillows, and stools of their parents 5; they should reverently regard their staffs and shoes, but not presume to approach them; they should not presume to use their vessels for grain, liquor, and water, unless some of the contents be left in them; nor to eat or drink any of their ordinary food or drink, unless in the same case.

While the parents are both alive, at their regular meals, morning and evening, the (eldest) son and his wife will encourage them to eat everything, and what is left after all, they will themselves eat 6. When the father is dead, and the mother still alive, the eldest son should wait upon her at her meals; and the wives of the other sons will do with what is left as in the former case. The children should have the sweet, soft, and unctuous things that are left.

When with their parents, (sons and their wives), when ordered to do anything, should immediately respond and reverently proceed to do it, In going forwards or backwards, or turning round, they should be careful and grave; while going out or coming in, while bowing or walking, they should not presume to eructate, sneeze, or cough, to yawn or stretch themselves, to stand on one foot, or to lean against anything, or to look askance. They should not dare to spit or snivel, nor, if it be cold, to put on more clothes, nor, if they itch anywhere, to scratch themselves. Unless for reverent attention to something 7, they should not presume to unbare their shoulders or chest. Unless it be in wading, they should not hold up their clothes. Of their private dress and coverlet, they should not display the inside. They should not allow the spittle or snivel of their parents to be seen 8. They should ask leave to rinse away any dirt on their caps or girdles, and to wash their clothes that are dirty with lye that has been prepared for the purpose; and to stitch together, with needle and thread, any rent.Every five days they should prepare tepid water, and ask them to take a bath, and every three days prepare water for them to wash their heads. If in the meantime their faces appear dirty, they should heat the water in which the rice has been cleaned, and ask them to wash with it; if their feet be dirty, they should prepare hot water, and ask them to wash them with it. Elders in serving their youngers, and the low in serving the noble, should all observe these rules.

The men should not speak of what belongs to the inside (of the house), nor the women of what belongs to the outside. Except at sacrifices and funeral rites, they should not hand vessels to one another. In all other cases when they have occasion to give and receive anything, the woman should receive it in a basket. If she have no basket, they should both sit down, and the other put the thing on the ground, and she then take it up. Outside or inside 9, they should not go to the same well, nor to the same bathing-house. They should not share the same mat in lying down; they should not ask or borrow anything from one another; they should not wear similar upper or lower garments. Things spoken inside should not go out, words spoken outside should not come in. When a man goes into the interior of the house, he should not whistle nor point. If he have occasion to move in the night, he should use a light; and if he have no light, he should not stir. When a woman goes out at the door, she must keep her face covered. She should walk at night (only) with a light; and if she have no light, she should not stir. On the road, a man should take the right side, and a woman the left.

Sons and sons' wives, who are filial and reverential, when they receive an order from their parents should not refuse, nor be dilatory, to execute it 10. When (their parents) give them anything to eat or drink, which they do not like, they will notwithstanding taste it and wait (for their further orders); when they give them clothes, which are not to their mind, they will put them on, and wait (in the same way) 11. If (their parents) give them anything to do, and then employ another to take their place, although they do not like the arrangement, they will in the meantime give it into his hands and let him do it, doing it again, if it be not done well.

When the sons and their wives are engaged with laborious tasks, although (their parents) very much love them, yet they should let them go on with them for the time;--it is better that they take other occasions frequently to give them ease.When sons and their wives have not been filial and reverential, (the parents) should not be angry and resentful with them, but endeavour to instruct them. If they will not receive instruction, they should then be angry with them. If that anger do no good, they can then drive out the son, and send the wife away, yet not publicly showing why they have so treated them 12.

If a parent have a fault, (the son) should with bated breath, and bland aspect, and gentle voice, admonish him. If the admonition do not take effect, he will be the more reverential and the more filial; and when the father seems pleased, he will repeat the admonition. If he should be displeased with this, rather than allow him to commit an offence against any one in the neighbourhood or countryside, (the son) should strongly remonstrate. If the parent be angry and (more) displeased, and beat him till the blood flows, he should not presume to be angry and resentful, but be (still) more reverential and more filial.

If parents have a boy born (to the father) by a handmaid, or the son or grandson of one of his concubines, of whom they are very fond, their sons should after their death, not allow their regard for him to decay so long as they live.If a son have two concubines, one of whom is loved by his parents, while he himself loves the other, yet he should not dare to make this one equal to the former whom his parents love, in dress, or food, or the duties which she discharges, nor should he lessen his attentions to her after their death. If he very much approves of his wife, and his parents do not like her, he should divorce her 13. If he do not approve of his wife, and his parents say, 'she serves us well,' he should behave to her in all respects as his wife,--without fail even to the end of her life.

Although his parents be dead, when a son is inclined to do what is good, he should think that he will thereby transmit the good name of his parents, and carry his wish into effect. When he is inclined to do what is not good, he should think that he will thereby bring disgrace on the name of his parents, and in no wise carry his wish into effect.

When her father-in-law is dead, her mother-in-law takes the place of the old lady 14; but the wife of the eldest son, on all occasions of sacrificing and receiving guests must ask her directions in everything, while the other sons' wives must ask directions from her. When her parents-in-law employ the eldest son's wife, she should not be dilatory, unfriendly, or unpolite to the wives of his brothers (for their not helping her). When the parents-in-law employ any of them, they should not presume to consider themselves on an equality with the other; walking side by side with her, or giving their orders in the same way, or sitting in the same position as she.

No daughter-in-law, without being told to go to her own apartment, should venture to withdraw from that (of her parents-in-law). Whatever she is about to do, she should ask leave from them. A son and his wife should have no private goods, nor animals, nor vessels; they should not presume to borrow from, or give anything to, another person. If any one give the wife an article of food or dress, a piece of cloth or silk, a handkerchief for her girdle, an iris or orchid, she should receive and offer it to her parents-in-law. If they accept it, she will be glad as if she were receiving it afresh. If they return it to her, she should decline it, and if they do not allow her to do so, she will take it as if it were a second gift, and lay it by to wait till they may want it. If she want to give it to some of her own cousins, she must ask leave to do so, and that being granted, she will give it.

Eldest cousins in the legitimate line of descent and their brothers should do reverent service to the son, who is the representative chief of the family and his wife 15. Though they may be richer and higher in official rank than he, they should not presume to enter his house with (the demonstrations of) their wealth and dignity. Although they may have in attendance many chariots and footmen, these should stop outside, and they enter it in more simple style with a few followers.If to any of the younger cousins there have been given vessels, robes, furs, coverlets, carriages and horses, he must offer the best of them (to his chief), and then use those that are inferior to this himself. If what he should thus offer be not proper for the chief, he will not presume to enter with it at his gate, not daring to appear with his wealth and dignity, to be above him who is the head of all the clan with its uncles and elder cousins.A wealthy cousin should prepare two victims, and present the better of them to his chief. He and his wife should together, after self-purification, reverently assist at his sacrifice in the ancestral temple. When the business of that is over, they may venture to offer their own private sacrifice.

Of grain food, there were millet, the glutinous rice, rice, maize, the white millet, and the yellow maize, cut when ripe, or when green.Of prepared meats, there were beef soup, mutton soup, pork soup, and roast beef; pickle, slices of beef, pickle and minced beef; roast mutton, slices of mutton, pickle, and roast pork; pickle, slices of pork, mustard sauce, and minced fish; pheasant, hare, quail, and partridge 16.

Of drinks, there was must in two vessels, one strained, the other unstrained, made of rice, of millet, or of maize. In some cases, thin preparations were used as beverages, as millet gruel, pickle, with water syrup of prunes, and of steeped rice; clear wine and white 17.Of confections, there were dried cakes, and rice-flour scones.

For relishes, snail-juice and a condiment of the broad-leaved water-squash were used with pheasant soup; a condiment of wheat with soups of dried slices and of fowl; broken glutinous rice with dog soup and hare soup; the rice-balls mixed with these soups had no smart-weed in them.A sucking-pig was stewed, wrapped up in sonchus leaves and stuffed with smart-weed; a fowl, with the same stuffing, and along with pickle sauce; a fish, with the same stuffing and egg sauce; a tortoise, with the same stuffing and pickle sauce.For meat spiced and dried they placed the brine of ants; for soup made of sliced meat, that of hare; for a ragout of elk, that of fish; for minced fish, mustard sauce; for raw elk flesh, pickle sauce; for preserved peaches and plums, egg-like suet.

All condiments for grain food were of a character corresponding to the spring; for soup, to the summer; for sauces, to the autumn; and for beverages, to the winter.In all attempering ingredients, sour predominated in the spring; bitter, in the summer; acrid, in the autumn; and salt, in the winter:--with the due proportioning of the unctuous and sweet.The glutinous rice (was thought) to suit beef; millet, to suit mutton; glutinous millet, to suit pork; maize, to suit dog; wheat, to suit goose; and the broad-leaved squash, to suit fish.

Lamb and sucking-pig were (thought to be) good in spring, fried with odorous (beef) suet; dried pheasant and fish, in summer, fried with the strong-smelling suet (of dog); veal and fawn, in autumn, fried with strong suet (of fowl); fresh fish and goose, in winter, fried with the frouzy suet (of goat).

There were dried beef, and dried stalks of deer's flesh, of wild pig's, of elk's, and of the muntjac's. Elk's flesh, deer's, wild pig's, and muntjac's, was (also eaten uncooked; and) cut in large leaflike slices. Pheasants and hares were (made into soup) with the duckweed. There were sparrows and finches, partridges, cicadas, bees, lichens, small chestnuts, the water-caltrops, the hovenia dulcis, the zizyphus, chestnuts, hazel-nuts, persimmons, cucumbers, peaches, plums, ballaces, almonds, haws, pears, ginger, and cinnamon 18.

If a Great officer, at his ordinary meals, had mince, he did not have, at the same time, dried slices of meat; and if he had the latter, he did not have the former. An ordinary officer did not have two kinds of soup, or sliced flesh. (But) old men of the common people, did not eat their meat alone without accompaniments.

Mince was made in spring, with onions; in autumn, with the mustard plant. Sucking-pig was used in spring, with scallions; in autumn, with smartweed. With lard they used onions; with fat, chives. With the three victim-animals they used pepper, and employed pickle as an accompaniment. For wild animals' flesh they used plums. In quail soup, fowl soup, and with the curlew, the condiment was smartweed. Bream and tench were steamed; pullets, roasted; and pheasants, (boiled), with fragrant herbs and no smart-weed.

Things not eaten were the turtle, when hatching; the intestines of the wolf, which were removed, as also the kidneys of the dog; the straight spine of the wild cat; the rump of the hare; the head of the fox; the brains of the sucking-pig; the yî-like bowels of fish 19; and the perforated openings of the turtle 20.

(Bones and sinews) were taken from the flesh; the scales were scraped from fish; dates were made to appear as new; chestnuts were selected; peaches were made smooth; kâ and pears had the insects drilled out of them 21.

When an ox lowed at night, its flesh was (considered) to be rank; that of a sheep, whose long hair showed a tendency to, get matted to be frouzy; that of a dog which was uneasy and with (the inside of) its thighs red, to be coarse; that of birds when moulting and with their voices hoarse, to be fetid; that of pigs, when they looked upwards and closed their eyes, to be measly; that of a horse, black along the spine and with piebald fore-legs, to smell unpleasantly.A pullet, whose tail could not be grasped by the hand, was not eaten, nor the rump of a tame goose, nor the ribs of a swan or owl, nor the rump of a tame duck, nor the liver of a fowl, nor the kidneys of a wild goose, nor the gizzard of the wild goose without the hind-toe, nor the stomach of the deer.

Flesh cut small was made into mince; cut into slices it was made into hash. Some say that the flesh of elks, deer, and fish was pickled; that of muntjacs also, being cut in small pieces; that of fowls and wild pigs, in larger pieces; of hares, the stomach was pickled. Onions and scallions were mixed with the brine to soften the meat 22.

Soup and boiled grain were used by all, from the princes down to the common people, without distinction of degree. Great officers did not regularly have savoury meat, but when seventy they had their cupboards. The cupboards of the son of Heaven were five on the right (of the dining hall), and five on the left; those of dukes, marquises, and earls were five, all in one room; those of Great officers three (in a side chamber), and other officers had one on their buffet.


1. The 'sons' here are young gentlemen of good families, shih (士), who might be employed as ordinary officers.

2. 'Necklaces' is only a guess at the meaning. Khan Hâo and others make the character to mean 'scent bags.' But this also is only a guess. There is nothing in its form to suggest such a meaning; and as many other critics point out, it is inconsistent with the usage in paragraph 5. These acknowledge that they do not understand the phrase衿纓. See I, i, 3, 34, but the use of ying there is considered inappropriate here.

3. The structure of this and the preceding sentences is easy enough, but it is not easy for a translator to assure himself that he is rendering every Chinese character by its correct equivalent in his own language.

4. They hang on these instead of the useful appendages mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 3, as being too young to employ these. This determines the meaning of 長者in the last clause as I have given it. Zottoli's rendering is:--'Si nondum comederint, tunc adjuturi majores inspectabunt praeparata.'

5. That is, the parents of the husband, and parents-in-law of the wife.

6. 'That nothing,' says Khung Ying-tâ, 'may be served up again.'

7. As for archery. The meaning is, I suppose, that none of the things mentioned should be seen or known, while they are waiting on their parents.

8. But instantly wipe it off, according to Khan Hâo.

9. Zottoli has for this--'viri mulieresque.' The writer is speaking of men and women, indeed; but the characters have reference to place, and = 'out of the house or in it.'

10. That is, they will not presume on any indulgence which they might expect from the impression made by their general character and behaviour.

11. 'Orders,' consequent on their parents' seeing that the food or garment is not to their mind.

12. This last sentence is enigmatical in the original text. Zottoli says:--'Si non possint coerceri, filium ejice nurum exclude, quin tamen patefacius agendi morem;' adding as an explanation of that 'agendi morem,' 'siquidem eos haud certe in finem sic ejectos voles.' Different views of the Chinese have been given by different critics; and it would not be difficult to add to their number.

13. Khan Hâo quotes here from the Lî of the elder Tâi (Book XIII, chapter 26) the 'seven grounds of divorce,' the first of them being the wife's 'want of accordance with her husband's parents.'

14. Who now retires from the open headship of the family.

15. These are all legitimate members of the same surname or clan, but the honoured cousin is the chief of it in the direct line. He is the chieftain of the clan. They are heads of subordinate branches of it. They may have become more wealthy and attained to higher rank in the service of their common ruler, but within the limits of the clan, he is their superior, and has duties of sacrifice to the ancestors of it, with which they cannot of themselves intermeddle.

16. In all, four rows of prepared meats, consisting of four dishes each.

17. Both the old wine and occasional wine, mentioned in the note on page 447, were 'white.' The kiû here, probably, were the three kiû there.

18. In this there are the names of more than thirty condiments or relishes, which, according to most commentators, were, or might be, served up at the meals of the rulers of states. But from paragraph 21 we have a list of viands, drinks, and their accompaniments with no information as to when and by whom they were used. To descend to further particulars about them would be troublesome.

19. It is uncertain what some of these forbidden articles really were.

20. 乙.It is uncertain what some of these forbidden articles really were.

21. The explanation of these brief notes is also perplexing. Zottoli makes the kâ to have been a kind of medlar (azarolus). Medhurst calls it, after the Khang-hsî dictionary, 'a kind of pear.' Williams, explaining it under a synonym (of the same sound), 'a sour red fruit of the size of a cherry, a kind of hawthorn.'

22. The manner of these preparations has not been definitely explained. The meaning is uncertain. So also is what is said of the cupboards in the next paragraph.

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