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In nourishing the aged 1, (Shun), the lord of Yü, used the ceremonies of a drinking entertainment; the sovereigns of Hsiâ, those (at entertainments after) a reverent sacrifice or offering; the men of Yin, those of a (substantial) feast; and the men of Kâu cultivated and used all the three 2.Those of fifty years were entertained in the schools of the districts; those of sixty, in the school of the capital; and those of seventy, in the college. This rule extended to the feudal states. An old man of eighty made his acknowledgment for the ruler's invitation by kneeling once and bringing his head to the ground twice. The blind did the same. An old man of ninety employed another to receive (the message and gift for him).For those of fifty, the grain was (fine and) different (from that used by younger men). For those of sixty, there was meat kept in store (from the day before). For those of seventy, there was a second service of savoury meat. Those of eighty were supplied regularly with delicacies. For those of ninety, food and drink were never out of their chambers; wherever they wandered, it was deemed right that savoury meat and drink should follow them.After sixty (the coffin and other things for the funeral) were seen to be in readiness (once) a year; after seventy, once a season; after eighty, once a month; and after ninety, they were every day kept in good repair. The bandages, however, the sheet, the larger coverlets, and the cases were prepared after death 3.At fifty, one was supposed to begin to decay; at sixty, not to feel satisfied unless he had flesh to eat. At seventy, he was thought to require silk in order to make him feel warm; at eighty, to need some one (to sleep) with him, to keep him warm; and at ninety, not to feel warm even with that.At fifty, one kept his staff in his hand in the family; at sixty, in his district; at seventy, in the city; at eighty, (an officer) did so in the court. If the son of Heaven wished to put questions to (an officer of) ninety, he went to his house, and had rich food carried after him. At seventy, (an officer) did not wait till the court was over (before he retired). At eighty, he reported every month (to the ruler's messenger) that he was still alive; at ninety, he had (delicate food) sent to him regularly every day.At fifty, one was not employed in services requiring strength; at sixty, he was discharged from bearing arms along with others; at seventy, he was exempted from the business of receiving guests and visitors; at eighty, he was free from the abstinences and other rites of mourning.When one received at fifty the rank (of a Great officer), at sixty he did not go in person to the school 4. At seventy he resigned office; and then and afterwards, in mourning he used only the unhemmed dress of sackcloth (without adopting the privations of the mourning rites) 5.The kings of the three dynasties, in nourishing the old, always caused the members of families who were advanced in years to be brought to their notice 6. Where an officer was eighty, one of his friends was free from all service of government; where he was ninety, all the members of his family were exempted from them. So also it was in the case of the blind.(Shun), the lord of Yü, entertained the aged (who had retired from the service) of the state in (the school called) the higher hsiang, and the aged of the common people in (the school called) the lower hsiang. The sovereigns of the line of Hsiâ entertained the former in (the school called) the hsü on the east, and the latter in (that called) the hsü on the west. The men of Yin entertained the former in the School of the Right, and the latter in that of the Left. The men of Kâu entertained the former in the kiâo on the east, and the latter in the Yü hsiang. This was in the suburb of the capital on the west.The lord of Yu wore the hwang cap in sacrificing (in the ancestral temple), and the white robes in entertaining the aged. The sovereigns of Hsiâ sacrificed in the shan cap, and entertained the aged in the dark garments of undress. Those of Yin sacrificed in the hsü cap, and entertained in the garments of white thin silk. Those of Kâu sacrificed in the mien cap, and entertained the aged in the dark upper garment (and the lower white one) 7.
Zang-dze said, 'A filial son, in nourishing his aged, (seeks to) make their hearts glad, and not to go against their wishes; to promote their comfort in their bed-chambers and the whole house; and with leal heart to supply them with their food and drink:--such is the filial son to the end of life. By "the end of life," I mean not the end of parents' lives, but the end of his own life. Thus what his parents loved he will love, and what they reverenced he will reverence. He will do so even in regard to all their dogs and horses, and how much more in regard to the men (whom they valued)!'
In all their nourishment of the aged, (the object of) the five Tîs was to imitate (their virtue), while the kings of the three dynasties also begged them to speak (their lessons). The five Tîs taking them as models, sought to nourish their bodily vigour, and did not beg them to speak; but what good lessons they did speak were taken down by the faithful recorders. The three (lines of) kings also took them as models, and after nourishing their age begged them to speak. If they (seemed to) diminish the ceremonies (of entertainment), they all had their faithful recorders as well (to narrate their virtue).
For the Rich Fry, they put the pickled meat fried over rice that had been grown on a dry soil, and then enriched it with melted fat. This was called the Rich Fry.
For the Similar Fry, they put the pickled meat fried over the millet grains, and enriched it with melted fat. This was called the Similar Fry.
For the Bake, they took a sucking-pig or a (young) ram, and having cut it open and removed the entrails, filled the belly with dates. They then wrapped it round with straw and reeds, which they plastered with clay, and baked it. When the clay was all dry, they broke it off. Having washed their hands for the manipulation, they removed the crackling and macerated it along With rice-flour, so as to form a kind of gruel which they added to the pig. They then fried the whole in such a quantity of melted fat as to cover it. Having prepared a large pan of hot water, they placed in it a small tripod, which was filled with fragrant herbs, and the slices of the creature which was being prepared. They took care that the hot water did not cover this tripod, but kept up the fire without intermission for three days and nights. After this, the whole was served up with the addition of pickled meat and vinegar.
For the Pounded Delicacy, they took the flesh of ox, sheep, elk, deer and muntjac, a part of that which lay along the spine, the same in quantity of each, and beat it now as it lay flat, and then turning it on its side; after that they extracted all the nerves. (Next), when it was sufficiently cooked, they brought it (from the pan), took away the outside crust, and softened the meat (by the addition of pickle and vinegar).
For the Steeped Delicacy, they took the beef, which was required to be that of a newly killed animal, and cut it into small pieces, taking care to obliterate all the lines in it. It was then steeped from one morning to the next in good wine, when it was eaten with pickle, vinegar, or the juice of prunes.
To make the Grill, they beat the beef and removed the skinny parts. They then laid it on a frame of reeds, sprinkled on it pieces of cinnamon and ginger, and added salt. It could be eaten thus when dried. Mutton was treated in the same way as beef, and also the flesh of elk, deer, and muntjac. If they wished the flesh wet, they added water and fried it with pickled meat. If they wished it dry, they ate it as eaten (at first).
For the (Soup) Balls, they took equal quantities of beef, mutton and pork, and cut them small. Then they took grains of rice, which they mixed with the finely cut meat, two parts of rice to one of meat, and formed cakes or balls, which they fried.
For the Liver and Fat, they took a dog's liver, and wrapped it round with its own fat. They then wet it and roasted it, and took it in this condition and scorched it. No smartweed was mixed with the fat.
They took the grains of rice and steeped them in prepared rice-water. They then cut small the fat from a wolf's breast, and with it and the grains of rice made a fry 8.
The observances of propriety commence with a careful attention to the relations between husband and wife. They built the mansion and its apartments, distinguishing between the exterior and interior parts. The men occupied the exterior; the women the interior. The mansion was deep, and the doors were strong, guarded by porter and eunuch. The men did not enter the interior; the women did not come out into the exterior.
Males and females did not use the same stand or rack for their clothes. The wife did not presume to hang up anything on the pegs or stand of her husband; nor to put anything in his boxes or satchels; nor to share his bathing-house. When her husband had gone out (from their apartment), she put his pillow in its case, rolled up his upper and under mats, put them in their covers, and laid them away in their proper receptacles. The young served the old; the low served the noble;--also in this way.
As between husband and wife, it was not until they were seventy, that they deposited these things in the same place without separation. Hence though a concubine were old, until she had completed her fiftieth year, it was the rule that she should be with the husband (once) in five days. When she was to do so, she purified herself, rinsed her mouth and washed, carefully adjusted her dress, combed her hair, drew over it the covering of silk, fixed her hair-pins, tied up the hair in the shape of a horn, brushed the dust from the rest of her hair, put on her necklace, and adjusted her shoe-strings. Even a favourite concubine was required in dress and diet to come after her superior. If the wife were not with the husband, a concubine waiting on him, would not venture to remain the whole night 9.
When a wife was about to have a child, and the month of her confinement had arrived, she occupied one of the side apartments, where her husband sent twice a day to ask for her. If he were moved and came himself to ask about her 10, she did not presume to see him, but made her governess dress herself and reply to him.When the child was born, the husband again sent twice a day to inquire for her. He fasted now, and did not enter the door of the side apartment. If the child were a boy, a bow was placed on the left of the door; and if a girl, a handkerchief on the right of it. After three days the child began to be carried, and some archery was practised for a boy, but not for a girl.
When a son and heir to the ruler of a state was born, and information of the fact was carried to him, he made arrangements to receive him at a feast where the three animals should all be provided; and the cook took in hand the (necessary) preparations. On the third day the tortoise-shell was consulted for a good man to carry the child; and he who was the lucky choice, kept a vigil over night, and then in his court robes, received him in his arms outside the chamber. The master of the archers then took a bow of mulberry wood, and six arrows of the wild rubus, and shot towards heaven, earth, and the four cardinal points. After this the nurse received the child and carried it in her arms. The cook (at the same time) gave (a cup of) sweet wine to the man who had carried the child, and presented him with a bundle of silks, and the tortoise-shell was again employed to determine the wife of an officer, or the concubine of a Great officer, who should be nurse.
In all cases of receiving a son, a day was chosen; and if it were the eldest son of the king, the three animals were killed (for the occasion). For the son of a common man, a sucking-pig was killed; for the son of an officer, a single pig; for the son of a Great officer, the two smaller animals; and for the son of the ruler of a state, all the three. If it were not the eldest son, the provision was diminished in every case one degree.
A special apartment was prepared in the palace for the child, and from all the concubines and other likely individuals there was sought one distinguished for her generosity of mind, her gentle kindness, her mild integrity, her respectful bearing, her carefulness and freedom from talkativeness, who should be appointed the boy's teacher; one was next chosen who should be his indulgent mother, and a third who should be his guardian mother. These all lived in his apartment, which others did not enter unless on some (special) business.
At the end of the third month a day was chosen for shaving off the hair of the child, excepting certain portions,--the horn-like tufts of a boy, and the circlet on the crown of a girl. If another fashion were adopted, a portion was left on the left of the boy's head, and on the right of the girl's. On that day the wife with the son appeared before the father. If they were of noble families, they were both in full dress. From the commissioned officer downwards, all rinsed their mouths and washed their heads. Husband and wife rose early, bathed and dressed as for the feast of the first day of the month. The husband entered the door, going up by the steps on the east, and stood at the top of them with his face to the west. The wife with the boy in her arms came forth from her room and stood beneath the lintel with her face to the east.
The governess then went forward and said for the lady, 'The mother, So and So, ventures to-day reverently to present to you the child!' The husband replied, 'Reverently (teach him to) follow the right way.' He then took hold of the right hand of his son, and named him with the smile and voice of a child. The wife responded, 'We will remember. May your words be fulfilled!' She then turned to the left, and delivered the child to his teacher, who on her part told the name all round to the wives of the relatives of all ranks who were present. The wife forthwith proceeded to the (festal) chamber.
The husband informed his principal officer of the name, and he in turn informed all the (young) males (of the same surname) of it. A record was made to the effect--'In such a year, in such a month, on such a day, So and So was born,' and deposited. The officer also informed the secretaries of the hamlets, who made out two copies of it. One of these was deposited in the office of the village, and the other was presented to the secretary of the larger circuit, who showed it to the chief of the circuit; he again ordered it to be deposited in the office of the circuit. The husband meanwhile had gone into (the festal chamber), and a feast was celebrated with the ceremonies of that with which a wife first entertains her parents-in-law.
When an heir-son has been born, the ruler washed his head and whole body, and put on his court robes. His wife did the same, and then they both took their station at the top of the stairs on the east with their faces towards the west. One of the ladies of quality, with the child in her arms, ascended by the steps on the west. The ruler then named the child; and (the lady) went down with it.
A (second) son or any other son by the wife proper was presented in the outer chamber 11, when (the ruler) laid his hand on its head, and with gentle voice named it. The other observances were as before, but without any words.
In naming a son, the name should not be that of a day or a month or of any state, or of any hidden ailment 12. Sons of Great and other officers must not be called by the same name as the heir-son of the ruler.
When a concubine was about to have a child, and the month of her confinement had arrived, the husband sent once a day to ask for her. When the son was born, at the end of three months, she washed her mouth and feet, adjusted herself early in the morning and appeared in the inner chamber (belonging to the wife proper). There she was received with the ceremonies of her first entrance into the harem. When the husband had eaten, a special portion of what was left was given to her by herself; and forthwith she entered on her duties of attendance.
When the child of an inferior member of the ruler's harem was about to be born, the mother went to one of the side apartments, and at the end of three months, having washed her head and person, and put on her court robes, she appeared before the ruler. (One of) her waiting women (also) appeared with the child in her arms. If (the mother) was one to whom the ruler had given special favours, he himself named the son. In the case of such children generally, an officer was employed to name them.
Among the common people who had no side chambers, when the month of confinement was come, the husband left his bed-chamber, and occupied a common apartment. In his inquiries for his wife, however, and on his son's being presented to him, there was no difference (from the observances that have been detailed).
In all cases though the father is alive, the grandson is presented to the grandfather, who also names him. The ceremonies are the same as when the son is presented to the father; but there is no (interchange of) words (between the mother and him).
The nurse of the ruler's boy 13 quitted the palace after three years, and, when she appeared before the ruler, was rewarded for her toilsome work. The son of a Great officer had a nurse. The wife of an ordinary officer nourished her child herself.
The son of a commissioned officer and others above him on to the Great officer was presented (to the father once) in ten days. The eldest son of a ruler was presented to him before he had eaten, when he took him by the right hand; his second or any other son by the wife proper 14 was presented after he had eaten, when he laid his hand on his head.
When the child was able to take its own food, it was taught to use the right hand. When it was able to speak, a boy (was taught to) respond boldly and clearly; a girl, submissively and low. The former was fitted with a girdle of leather; the latter, with one of silk 15.
At six years, they were taught the numbers and the names of the cardinal points; at the age of seven, boys and girls did not occupy the same mat nor eat together; at eight, when going out or coming in at a gate or door, and going to their mats to eat and drink, they were required to follow their elders:--the teaching of yielding to others was now begun; at nine, they were taught how to number the days.At ten, (the boy) went to a master outside, and stayed with him (even) over the night. He learned the (different classes of) characters and calculation; he did not wear his jacket or trousers of silk; in his manners he followed his early lessons; morning and evening he learned the behaviour of a youth; he would ask to be exercised in (reading) the tablets, and in the forms of polite conversation.
At thirteen, he learned music, and to repeat the odes, and to dance the ko (of the duke of Kâu) 16. When a full-grown lad, he danced the hsiang (of king Wû) 17. He learned archery and chariot-driving. At twenty, he was capped, and first learned the (different classes of) ceremonies, and might wear furs and silk. He danced the tâ hsiâ (of Yü) 18, and attended sedulously to filial and fraternal duties. He might become very learned, but did not teach others;--(his object being still) to receive and not to give out.
At thirty, he had a wife, and began to attend to the business proper to a man. He extended his learning without confining it to particular subjects. He was deferential to his friends, having regard to the aims (which they displayed). At forty, he was first appointed to office; and according to the business of it brought out his plans and communicated his thoughts. If the ways (which he proposed) were suitable, he followed them out; if they were not, he abandoned them. At fifty, he was appointed a Great officer, and laboured in the administration of his department. At seventy, he retired from his duties. In all salutations of males, the upper place was given to the left hand.
A girl at the age of ten ceased to go out (from the women's apartments). Her governess taught her (the arts of pleasing speech and manners, to be docile and obedient, to handle the hempen fibres, to deal with the cocoons, to weave silks and form fillets, to learn (all) woman's work, how to furnish garments, to watch the sacrifices, to supply the liquors and sauces, to fill the various stands and dishes with pickles and brine, and to assist in setting forth the appurtenances for the ceremonies.
At fifteen, she assumed the hair-pin; at twenty, she was married, or, if there were occasion (for the delay), at twenty-three. If there were the betrothal rites, she became a wife; and if she went without these, a concubine. In all salutations of females, the upper place was given to the right hand.
1. Khan Hâo says:--The nourishment of the aged took place in four cases: 1st, in the case of the three classes of ancients; 2nd, in that of the father and grandfather of one who had died in the service of the country; 3rd, in that of officers who had retired from age; and 4th, in that of the aged of the common people. On seven occasions of the year it was done formally.
2. On the different designations of the dynasties, see on Confucian Analects, III, 21.
3. The sheet was for the slighter dressing of the corpse immediately after death; the coverlets for the fuller dressing at the coffining; the cases were for the upper part of the corpse and for the legs.
4. Does this intimate, that if he had learned better at school, when young, he might have become a Great officer earlier? He was now too old to learn.
5. Does this intimate, that if he had learned better at school, when young, he might have become a Great officer earlier? He was now too old to learn.
6. The government could not attend to all the aged; but it wished to hear of all cases of remarkable age, and would then do what it could for them.
7. The above long paragraph constitutes, with very little difference, the first twelve paragraphs of Section V of Book III. Kû Hsî says that in this Book we have 'old text,' whereas Book III is a compilation of the Han dynasty; and that the authors of it incorporated this passage. I am willing to allow that they did so; but it may be doubted if this Book in its present form be older than the time of Han.
8. This and the other paragraphs from 4 are understood to describe the 'eight delicacies (八珍),' which were specially prepared for the old. See the Kâu Lî, Book IV, par. 18.
9. This paragraph has given rise to a great deal of discussion and writing among the commentators, into which it is not desirable to enter.
10. The first character in this clause occasions difficulty to a translator. Zottoli has:--'Negotiisque ipsemet interrogabit illam.' Wang Tâo understands it as I have done.
11. It seems plain that the sons in this paragraph were all by the proper wife or chief lady of the harem, for it is not till paragraph 26 that sons by inferior members of it are spoken of. The Khien-lung editors clearly establish this point. Kang Hsüan took a different view, saying that '"the (second) son" was a brother of the heir-son (in paragraph 23), and "any other son" a son by a concubine,' and P. Zottoli adopts this view:--'Reguli haeres (世子), ejus germanus frater (適子), a subnuba filius (庶子);' adding, 'Regulus excipiebat primum in praecipua diaeta (路寢); secundum in postica diaeta (蒸寢),quae hic exterior dicitur relate ad adjacentes aedes, quibus nobilis puerpera morari solebat; tertium excipiebat in adjacentibus aedibus (側室).' But these 'side apartments' are not mentioned till paragraph 27.
12. See page 78, paragraph 42.
13. See above, par. 17.
14. See above, par. 24.
15. The account which follows this of the teaching
and training of the brothers and sisters is interesting; and we may compare it
with what is said in volume iii, p. 350, of the different reception given to
sons and daughters in the royal family, though the distinction between them is
not accentuated here so strongly. The passage treats of the children in a
family of the higher classes, but those of the common people would be dealt
with in a corresponding manner according to their circumstances. And even in
the early feudal times the way was open for talent and character to rise from
the lower ranks in the social scale, and be admitted to official employment.
The system of competitive examinations was even then casting a shadow before.
To number the days was, and is, a more complicated affair in China than with
us, requiring an acquaintance with all the terms of the cycle of sixty, as well
as the more compendious method by decades for each month. The education of a
boy, it will be seen, comprehended much more than what we call the three R s.
The conclusion of paragraph 33 gives the translator some difficulty. Zottoli
has--'et petet exerceri lectionibus sermonisque veritate,' and my own first
draft was--'he would ask to be exercised in (reading) the tablets, and in
truthful speaking.' But it is making too much of the boys of ancient China to
represent them as anxious to be taught to speak the truth. The meaning of the
concluding characters, as given in the text, is that assigned to them by Kang
There is nothing in what is said of the
daughters to indicate that they received any literary training. They were
taught simply the household duties that would devolve on them in their state of
society; though among them, be it observed, were the forms and provision for
sacrifice and worship. It will be observed, also, at how early an age all close
intercourse between them and their brothers came to an end, and that at ten
they ceased to go out from the women's apartments. On what is said about the
young men marrying at the age of thirty I have spoken in a note on page
There is nothing in what is said of the daughters to indicate that they received any literary training. They were taught simply the household duties that would devolve on them in their state of society; though among them, be it observed, were the forms and provision for sacrifice and worship. It will be observed, also, at how early an age all close intercourse between them and their brothers came to an end, and that at ten they ceased to go out from the women's apartments. On what is said about the young men marrying at the age of thirty I have spoken in a note on page 65.
16. It is difficult to describe exactly, amid the conflict of different views, these several dances. Dances were of two kinds, the civil and military. The ko was, perhaps, the first of the civil dances, ascribed to the duke of Kâu (vol. iii, p. 334); and the hsiang, the first of the martial. The two are said to have been combined in the tâ hsiâ.]
17. It is difficult to describe exactly, amid the conflict of different views, these several dances. Dances were of two kinds, the civil and military. The ko was, perhaps, the first of the civil dances, ascribed to the duke of Kâu (vol. iii, p. 334); and the hsiang, the first of the martial. The two are said to have been combined in the tâ hsiâ.]
18. It is difficult to describe exactly, amid the conflict of different views, these several dances. Dances were of two kinds, the civil and military. The ko was, perhaps, the first of the civil dances, ascribed to the duke of Kâu (vol. iii, p. 334); and the hsiang, the first of the martial. The two are said to have been combined in the tâ hsiâ.]
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