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(The presiding mourner), after the sacrifice of Repose, did not carry his staff in proceeding to his apartment; after the placing of the tablet of the deceased (in the shrine of the grandfather), he did not carry it in going up to the hall 1.

The (son of another lady of the harem), who had been adopted as the child of the (childless) wife of the ruler, when that wife died, did not go into mourning for her kindred 2.

The sash was shorter (than the headband), by one-fifth of the length (of the latter). The staff was of the same length as the sash 3.

For the ruler's eldest son a concubine wore mourning for the same time as his wife, (the son's mother).

In putting off the mourning attire, they commenced with what was considered most important. In changing it, they commenced with what was considered least important.

When there was not the (regular) occasion for it, they did not open the door of the temple 4. All wailed in the (mourning) shed (at other times).

In calling the dead back, and writing the inscription (to be exhibited over the coffin), the language was the same for all, from the son of Heaven to the ordinary officer. A man was called by his name. For a wife they wrote her surname, and her place among her sisters. If they did not know her surname, they wrote the branch-name of her family.

The girdle of dolychos cloth assumed with the unhemmed sackcloth (at the end of the wailing), and the hempen girdle worn when one (first) put on the hemmed sackcloth (of one year's mourning), were of the same size. The girdle of dolychos cloth assumed (as a change) in the hemmed sackcloth mourning, and that of hempen cloth at the (beginning of the) nine months' mourning, were of the same size. When the occasion for assuming the girdle of the lighter mourning occurred, a man wore both it and the other together 5.

An early interment was followed by an early sacrifice of repose. But they did not end their wailing till the three months were completed.

When the mourning rites for both parents occurred at the same time, the sacrifices of repose and of the enshrining of the tablet, for the (mother) who was buried first, did not take place till after the burial of the father. The sackcloth worn at her interment was the unhemmed and jagged 6.

A Great officer reduced the (period of) mourning for a son by a concubine 7; but his grandson, (the son of that son), did not reduce his mourning for his father.

A Great officer did not preside at the mourning rites for an (ordinary) officer.

For the parents of his nurse 8 a man did not wear mourning.

When the husband had become the successor and representative of some other man (than his own father), his wife wore the nine months' mourning for his parents-in-law 9.

When the tablet of an (ordinary) officer was placed in the shrine of (his grandfather who had been) a Great officer, the victim due to him (as an officer) was changed (for that due to a Great officer).

A son who had not lived with his step-father (did not wear mourning for him). (They) must have lived together and both be without sons to preside at their mourning rites; and (the stepfather moreover) must have shared his resources with the son, and enabled him to sacrifice to his grandfather and father, (in order to his wearing mourning for him);--under these conditions they were said to live together. If they had sons to preside at the mourning rites for them, they lived apart.

When people wailed for a friend, they did so outside the door (of the principal apartment), on the left of it, with their faces towards the south 10.

When one was buried in a grave already occupied, there was no divination about the site (in the second case).

The tablet of an (ordinary) officer or of a Great officer could not be placed in the shrine of a grandfather who had been the lord of a state; it was placed in that of a brother of the grandfather who had been an (ordinary) officer or a Great officer. The tablet of his wife was placed by the tablet of that brother's wife, and that of his concubine by the tablet of that brother's concubine.If there had been no such concubine, it was placed by the tablet of that brother's grandfather; for in all such places respect was had to the rules concerning the relative positions assigned to the tablets of father and son 11. The tablet of a feudal lord could not be placed in the shrine of the son of Heaven (from whom he was born or descended); but that of the son of Heaven, of a feudal lord, or of a Great officer, could be placed in the shrine of an (ordinary) officer (from whom he was descended) 12.

For his mother's mother, who had been the wife proper of her father, if his mother were dead, a son did not wear mourning 13.

The son who was the lineal Head of his new branch of the surname, even though his mother were alive, (his father being dead), completed the full period of mourning for his wife 14.

A concubine's son who had been reared by another, might act as son to that other; and she might be any concubine of his father or of his grandfather 15.

The mourning went on to the than ceremony for a parent, a wife, and the eldest son 16.

To a nursing mother, or any concubine who was a mother, sacrifice was not maintained for a second generation.

When a grown-up youth had been capped, (and died), though his death could not be considered premature; and a (young) wife, after having worn the hair-pin, (died), though neither could her death be said to be premature; yet, (if they died childless), those who would have presided at their rites, if they had died prematurely, wore the mourning for them which they would then have done 17.

If an interment were delayed (by circumstances) for a long time, he who was presiding over the mourning rites was the only one who did not put off his mourning. The others having worn the hempen (band) for the number of months (proper in their relation to the deceased), put off their mourning, and made an end of it 18.

The hair-pin of the arrow-bamboo was worn by (an unmarried daughter for her father) to the end of the three years' mourning 19.

That in which those who wore the sackcloth with even edges for three months, and those who wore (it) for all the nine months' mourning agreed, was the shoes made of strings (of hemp).

When the time was come for the sacrifice at the end of the first year's mourning, they consulted the divining stalks about the day for it, and the individual who was to act as personator of the deceased. They looked that everything was clean, and that all wore the proper girdle, carried their staffs, and had on the shoes of hempen-string. When the officers charged with this announced that all was ready, (the son) laid aside his staff, and assisted at the divinations for the day and for the personator. The officers having announced that these were over, he resumed his staff, bowed to the guests (who had arrived in the meantime), and escorted them away. At the sacrifice for the end of the second year, (the son) wore his auspicious (court) robes, and divined about the personator.

The son of a concubine, living in the same house with his father, did not observe the sacrifice at the end of the mourning for his mother.Nor did such a son carry his staff in proceeding to his place for wailing.As the father did not preside at the mourning rites for the son of a concubine, that son's son might carry his staff in going to his place for wailing. Even while the father was present, the son of a concubine, in mourning for his wife, might carry his staff in going to that place.

When a feudal prince went to condole on the death of a minister of another state 20, (being himself there on a visit), the ruler of that state received him and acted as the presiding mourner. The rule was that he should wear the skin cap and the starched sackcloth. Though the deceased on account of whom he paid his condolences had been interred, the presiding mourner wore the mourning cincture. If he had not yet assumed the full mourning dress, the visitor also did not wear that starched sackcloth.

One who was ministering to another who was ill did not do so in the mourning clothes (which he might be wearing); and (if the patient died), he might go on to preside at the mourning rites for him. But if another relative, who had not ministered to the deceased in his illness, came in to preside at the rites for him, he did not change the mourning which he might be wearing. In ministering to one more honourable than himself, the rule required a person to change the mourning he might be wearing, but not if the other were of lower position 21.

If there had been no concubine of her husband's grandmother by whose tablet that of a deceased concubine might be placed, it might be placed by that of the grandmother, the victim offered on the occasion being changed.

In the mourning rites for a wife, at the sacrifices of repose and on the ending of the wailing, her husband or son presided; when her tablet was put in its place, her father-in-law presided.

An (ordinary) officer did not take the place of presiding (at the mourning rites) for a Great officer. It was only when he was the direct descendant of the Honoured Head of their branch of the surname that he could do so.

If a cousin arrived from another state (to take part in the rites), before the presiding mourner had put off his mourning, the latter received him in the part of host, but without the mourning cincture 22.

The course pursued in displaying the articles, (vessels to the eye of fancy, to be put into the grave) 23, was this:--If they were (too) many as displayed, a portion of them might be put into the grave; if they were comparatively few as displayed, they might all be put into it.

Parties hurrying to the mourning rites for a brother or cousin (whose burial had taken place) first went to the grave and afterwards to the house, selecting places at which to perform their wailing. If the deceased had (only) been an acquaintance, they (first) wailed in the apartment (where the coffin had been), and afterwards went to the grave.

A father (at the mourning rites) for any of his other sons did not pass the night in the shed outside (the middle door, as for his eldest son by his wife).

The brothers and cousins of a feudal prince wore the unhemmed sackcloth (in mourning for him) 24.

In the five months' mourning for one who had died in the lowest stage of immaturity, the sash was of bleached hemp from which the roots were not cut away. These were turned back and tucked in.

When the tablet of a wife was to be placed by that of her husband's grandmother, if there were three (who could be so denominated), it was placed by that of her who' was the mother of her husband's father 25.

In the case of a wife dying while her husband was a Great officer, and his ceasing, after her death, to be of that rank; if his tablet were placed (on his death) by that of his wife, the victim on the occasion was not changed (from that due to an ordinary officer). But if her husband (who had been an officer) became a Great officer after her death, then the victim at the placing of his tablet by hers was that due to a Great officer 26.

A son who was or would be his father's successor did not wear mourning for his divorced mother. He did not wear such mourning, because one engaged in mourning rites could not offer sacrifice 27.

When a wife did not preside at the mourning rites and yet carried the staff, it was when her mother-in-law was alive, and she did so for her husband. A mother carried the eleococca staff with its end cut square for the oldest son. A daughter, who was still in her apartment unmarried, carried a staff for her father or mother. If the relative superintending the rites did not carry the staff, then this one child did so 28.

In the mourning for three months and five months, at the sacrifice of repose and the ending of the wailing, they wore the mourning cincture.After the interment, if they did not immediately go to perform the sacrifice of repose, they all, even the presiding mourner, wore their caps; but when they came to the sacrifice of repose, they all assumed the cincture.When they had put off the mourning for a relative, on the arrival of his interment, they resumed it; and when they came to the sacrifice of repose and the ending of the wailing, they put on the cincture. If they did not immediately perform the sacrifice, they put it off.When they had been burying at a distance, and were returning to wail, they put on their caps. On arriving at the suburbs, they put on the cincture, and came back to wail.

If the ruler came to condole with mourners, though it might not be the time for wearing the cincture, even the president of the rites assumed it, and did not allow the ends of his hempen girdle to hang loose. Even in the case of a visit from the ruler of another state, they assumed the cincture. The relatives all did so.

When they put off the mourning for one who had died prematurely, the rule was that at the (accompanying) sacrifice, the dress should be dark-coloured. When they put off the mourning for one fully grown, they wore their court robes, with the cap of white, plain, silk.

A son, who had hurried to the mourning rites of his father (from a distance), bound up his hair in the raised hall, bared his chest, descended to the court, and there performed his leaping. (The leaping over, he reascended), covered his chest, and put on his sash in an apartment on the east.If the rites were for his mother, he did not bind up his hair. He bared his chest, however, in the hall, descended to the court, and went through his leaping. (Reascending then), he covered his chest, and put on the cincture in the apartment on the east. In the girdle (or the cincture), he proceeded to the appointed place, and completed the leaping. He then went out from the door (of the coffin-room), and went to (the mourning shed). The wailing commencing at death had by this time ceased. In three days he wailed five times, and thrice bared his chest for the leaping.

When an eldest son and his wife could not take the place hereafter of his parents, then, (in the event of her death), her mother-in-law wore for her (only) the five months' mourning 29.


1. See vol. xxvii, p. 170. I have met with 'the Pacifying sacrifice,' instead of 'the sacrifice of Repose,' which I prefer for 虞 in this application. The character is explained by 安, the symbol of 'being at rest.' The mourners had done all they could for the body of the deceased. It had been laid in the grave; and this sacrifice of Repose was equivalent to our wish for a departed friend, 'Requiescat in Pace.' It was offered in the principal apartment of the house. It remained only to place with an appropriate service the tablet of the deceased in its proper shrine in the ancestral temple next day. The staff was discarded by the mourner, it is said, to show that his grief was beginning to be assuaged. He and the others would pass from the principal apartment to others more private; and on leaving the temple, would have to mount the steps to the hall.

2. The Khien-lung editors argue, and, I think, correctly, that this paragraph should say the opposite of what it does. They think it has been mutilated.

3. The purely native staff in China is very long. At temples in the interior of the country I have often been asked to buy choice specimens as long as a shepherd's crook, or an alpenstock.

4. This is not the ancestral temple; but the apartment where the body was kept in the coffin, entered regularly for wailing in the morning and evening.

5. So far as I can understand this paragraph, it describes the practice of a man (not of a woman), when, while he was wearing deep mourning, a fresh death in his circle required him to add to it something of a lighter mourning.

6. Compare vol. xxvii, page 315, paragraph 6.

7. To nine months.

8. A concubine of his father's.

9. Her husband's own parents. But the paragraph is a difficult one; nor have the commentators elucidated it clearly.

10. See vol. xxvii, page 134, paragraph 10.

11. See vol. xxvii, page 223, paragraph 4, and note.

12. A descendant in a low position could not presume on the dignity of his ancestors; but those who had become distinguished glorified their meaner ancestors.

13. It is difficult to say exactly what is the significance of the 君母 in the text here.

14. Meaning, say some, performed the than sacrifice at the end of twenty-seven months for her. I cannot think this is the meaning. Even for such a wife there could not be the 'three years' mourning.' According to Wang Yüan (汪琬), the mourning for one year terminated with a than sacrifice in the fifteenth month. This must be what is here intended.

15. This is the best I can do for this paragraph, over which there is much conflict of opinion.

16. Here is the same difficulty as in paragraph 21.

17. Another difficult paragraph, about the interpretation of which there seem to be as many minds as there are commentators.

18. Yet they would keep it by them till the interment took place, and then put it on again for the occasion.

19. Should form part of the first paragraph of Section i.

20. That is, if the visit were made before the removal of the coffin.

21. If the other, it is said, in the former case were elder, an uncle or elder cousin; in the latter, a younger cousin.

22. If the ruler came to condole after the interment, the presiding mourner would resume his cincture to receive him, out of respect to his rank; but this was not required on the late arrival of a relative.

23. These articles were the contributions of friends and those prepared by the family. They were displayed inside the gate of the temple on the east of it when the body was being moved, and in front of the grave, on the east of the path leading to it.

24. Even though they might not be in the same state with him.

25. We must suppose that the grandfather had had three wives; not at the same time, but married one after another's death. Some suppose the three to be a mistake for two. 'The mother of her husband's father' is simply 'the nearest' in the text.

26. We must suppose that the appointment of the husband, whether as officer or Great officer, had been so recent that there had been no time for any tablets of an elder generation to get into his ancestral temple. His wife's had been the first to be placed in it.

27. That is, he might have to preside at the sacrifices in the ancestral temple of his own family, and would be incapacitated for doing so, if he were mourning for her. The reader should bear in mind that there were seven justifiable causes for the divorce of a wife, without her being guilty of infidelity, or any criminal act.

28. It is supposed there was no brother in the family to preside at the rites, and a relative of the same surname was called in to do so. But it was not in rule for him to carry the staff, and this daughter therefore did so, as if she had been a son.

29. The scope of this paragraph is plain enough; but the construing of it is difficult. I have translated after Khan Hao's text, which contains a character more than that of the Khien-lung edition. The son and his wife could not become the representative of the family. Various reasons are suggested by the commentators for the fact. The text supposes the death of the wife to take place before that of her mother-in-law.

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