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1When the illness was extreme, all about the establishment was swept clean, inside and out. In the case of a ruler or Great officer, the stands, with the martial instruments suspended from them, were removed; in that of an officer, his lute and cithern. The sufferer lay with his head to the east, under the window on the north. His couch was removed (and he was laid on the ground). The clothes ordinarily worn at home were removed, and new clothes substituted for them. (In moving the body) one person took hold of each limb. Males and females changed their dress 2. Some fine floss was put (on the mouth and nostrils), to make sure that the breath was gone. A man was not permitted to die in the hands of the women, or a woman in the hands of the men.

A ruler and his wife both died in the Great chamber, a Great officer and his acknowledged wife in the Proper chamber 3; the not yet acknowledged wife of a high minister, in an inferior chamber, but the corpse was then removed to the higher chamber. The wives of officers died in their chambers.

At (the ceremony of) calling back the soul, if (the deceased were a lord on whose territory) there were forests and copses, the forester arranged the steps (by which to go up on the roof); and if there were no forests, one of the salvage men (employed about the court in menial offices) did so. An officer of low rank performed the ceremony. All who did so employed some of the court robes (of the deceased):--for a ruler, the robe with the descending dragon; for the wife, that with the descending pheasant; for a Great officer, the dark robe and red skirt; for his recognised wife, the robe of fresh yellow; for an officer, that worn with the cap of deep purple leather; and for his wife, the dark dress with the red border. In all cases they ascended from the east wing to the middle of the roof, where the footing was perilous. Facing the north, they gave three loud calls for the deceased, after which they rolled up the garment they had employed, and cast it down in front, where the curator of the robes received it, and then they themselves descended by the wing on the north-west.If the deceased were a visitor, and in a public lodging, his soul was called back; if the lodging were private, it was not called back. If he were in the open country, one got up on the left end of the nave of the carriage in which he had been riding, and called it back.

The garment which had been used in calling the soul back was not employed to cover the corpse, nor in dressing it. In calling back the soul of a wife, the upper robe with the purple border in which she had been married was not employed. In all cases of calling back the soul, a man was called by his name, and a woman by her designation. Nothing but the wailing preceded the calling the soul back. After that calling they did what was requisite on an occasion of death.

Immediately after death, the principal mourners sobbed 4; brothers and cousins (of the deceased) wailed; his female relatives wailed and leaped.

When the dead body (of a ruler) had been placed properly (beneath the window with the head to the south), his son sat (or knelt) on the east; his ministers, Great officers, uncles, cousins, their sons and grandsons, stood (also) on the east; the multitude of ordinary officers, who had the charge of the different departments, wailed below the hall, facing the north. His wife knelt on the west; the wives, aunts, sisters, their daughters and grand-daughters, whose husbands were of the same surname as he, stood (behind her) on the west; and the wives, his relatives of the same surname, whose position had been confirmed in their relation to their husbands, at the head of all the others married similarly to husbands of other surnames, wailed above in the hall, facing the north.

At the mourning rites (immediately after death) of a Great officer, the (son), presiding, knelt on the east, and the wife, presiding, on the west. The husbands and wives (among the relations) whose positions had been officially confirmed, sat (or knelt); others who had not that confirmation, stood.At the rites for a deceased officer, the son presiding, uncles, brothers, and cousins, with their sons and grandsons, all sat (or knelt) on the east; the wife presiding, aunts, sisters, and cousins, with their female children and grandchildren, all sat (or knelt) on the west.Whenever they wailed by the corpse in the apartment, the presiding mourner did so, holding up the shroud with his two hands at the same time.

At the mourning rites of a ruler, before the slighter dressing was completed, the principal mourner came out to receive the visit of a refugee ruler, or a visitor from another state.At those for a Great officer, at the same period, he came out to receive a message from his ruler. At those for an ordinary officer, also at the same period, he came out to receive a Great officer, if he were not engaged in the dressing.

Whenever the presiding mourner went forth (to meet visitors), he had his feet bare, his skirt tucked under his girdle, and his hands across his chest over his heart. Having gone down by the steps on the west, if a ruler, he bowed to a refugee ruler, or a minister commissioned from another state, each in his proper place. When a message from his ruler came to a Great officer, he came to the outside of the door of the apartment (where the dead was), to receive the messenger who had ascended to the hall and communicated his instructions. (They then went down together), and the mourner bowed to the messenger below.When a Great officer came himself to condole with an ordinary officer, the latter wailed along with him, but did not meet him outside the gate.

The wife of a ruler went out (of her apartment) on a visit from the wife of a refugee ruler.The confirmed wife (of a Great officer) went out (in the same way) on the arrival of a message from the ruler's wife.The wife of an officer, if not engaged in the dressing, (also) went out to receive the confirmed wife (of a Great officer).

At the slighter dressing, the presiding mourner took his place inside the door (on the east of it), and the presiding wife had her face to the east. When the dressing was ended, both of them made as if they leant on the body, and leaped. The mourner unbared his breast, took off the tufts of juvenility, and bound up his hair with sackcloth. The wife knotted up her hair, and put on her sackcloth girdle in her room.

When the curtain (which screened the body) was removed, the men and women carried it and put it down in the hall, (the eldest son) going down the steps and bowing (to the visitors).

The (young) ruler (who was mourning) bowed to refugee lords, and to ministers, commissioners from other states. Great officers and other officers bowed to ministers and Great officers in their respective places. In the case of (the three grades of) officers, they received three side bows 5, one for each grade. The ruler's wife also bowed to the wife of a refugee lord, above in the hall. With regard to the wives of Great officers and of other officers, she bowed specially to each whose position had received the official appointment; to the others she gave a general bow;--all above in the hall.

When the mourner had gone to his own place (after bowing to his visitors), he closed the robe which was drawn on one side, covering his breast, put on his girdle and head-band, and leapt. When the mourning was for his mother, he went to his place, and tied up his hair, after which he put down the offerings by the body. The visitors who had come to condole, covered their fur robes, put the roll at the back of their caps, assumed their girdles and head-bands, and leapt in correspondence with the mourner.

At the funeral rites for a ruler, the chief forester supplied wood and horns; the chief of the salvage-men supplied the vases for water; the chief of the slaughtering department supplied boilers; and (an officer from the department of) the minister of War (saw to the) hanging of these. Thus they secured the succession of wailers. Some of those in the department took their part in the wailing. If they did not hang up the vases, and the Great officers were sufficient to take the wailing in turns, then they did not use those others 6.In the hall of the ruler there were two lights above and two below; for that of a Great officer, one above and two below; for that of an ordinary officer, one above and one below 7.

When the guests went out, the curtain was removed 8.

When they were wailing the corpse above in the hall, the principal mourner was at the east; visitors coming from without, took their place at the west, and the women stood facing the south.

The wife (presiding), in receiving guests and escorting them, did not go down from the hall with them. If she did go down (as with the wife of the ruler), she bowed to her, but did not wail.If the son (presiding), had occasion to go outside the door of the apartment, and saw the guest (whom he so went to meet), he did not wail.When there was no female to preside, a son did so, and bowed to the female visitors inside the door of the apartment. If there were no son to preside, a daughter did so, and bowed to the male visitors at the foot of the steps on the east.If the son were a child, then he was carried in his sackcloth in the arms, and his bearer bowed for him.If the successor of the deceased were not present, and was a man of rank, an apology was made to the guests; if he were not a man of rank, some other one bowed to them for him.If he were anywhere in the state, they waited for him; if he had gone beyond it, the encoffining and burial might go on. The funeral rites might proceed without the presence of the successor of the deceased, but not without one to preside over them.

At the mourning rites for a ruler, on the third day his son and his wife assumed the staff. On the fifth day, when the corpse was put into the coffin, his daughters who had become the wives of Great officers were allowed to use it. His (eldest) son and Great officers used it outside the door of the apartment (where the coffin was); inside the door they carried it in their hands (but did not use it). The wife and his daughters, the wives of Great officers, used the staff in their rooms; when they went to their places (in the apartment where the coffin was), people were employed to hold it for them.When a message came from the king, (the son presiding) put away his staff; when one came from the ruler of another state, he only held it in his hand. When attending to any consultation of the tortoise-shell about the corpse, he put away his staff.A Great officer, in the place of the ruler, carried his staff in his hand; at another Great officer's, he used it.

At the mourning rites for a Great officer, on the morning of the third day, when the body was put into the coffin, his son presiding, his wife presiding, and the steward of the House, all assumed the staff. On a message from the ruler, the (new) Great officer put away his staff; on a message from another Great officer, he carried it in his hand. His wife, on a message from the wife of the ruler, put her staff away; on a message from the confirmed wife (of another Great officer), she gave it to some one to hold for her.

At the mourning rites for an officer, the body on the second day was put into the coffin. On the morning of the third day, the presiding mourner assumed the staff, and his wife also. The same observances as in the rites for a Great officer were observed on messages arriving from the ruler or his wife, or from a Great officer and his confirmed wife.

All the sons assumed the staff, but only the eldest son used it when they were going to their places (in the apartment where the coffin was). Great officers and other officers, when wailing by the coffin, used the staff; when wailing by the bier, they carried it in their hands. When the staff (used in mourning) was thrown away, it was broken and thrown away in secret.

As soon as death took place, the corpse was transferred to the couch 9, and covered with a large sheet. The clothes in which the deceased had died were removed. A servant plugged the mouth open with the spoon of horn; and to keep the feet from contracting, an easy stool was employed 10. These observances were the same for a ruler, a Great officer, and an ordinary officer 11.

The servant in charge of the apartments drew the water, and without removing the well-rope from the bucket gathered it up, and carried the whole up to the top of the steps. There, without going on the hall, he gave it to the attendants in waiting on the body. These then went in to wash the corpse, four lower servants holding up the sheet, and two performing the washing; having put the water in basins, to which they took it with ladles. In washing they used napkins of fine linen, and in drying the body the ordinary bathing clothes. Another servant then pared the nails of the feet, after which they threw away the rest of the water into the pit. At the funeral rites for a mother (or other female), the female attendants in waiting in the inner room held up the sheet and washed the body.

The servant in charge of the apartments, having drawn water and given it to the attendants in waiting on the body, these prepared the wash for the head, above in the hall:--for a ruler, made from maize-water; for a Great officer, from that of the glutinous millet; and for an ordinary officer, that from maize-water. After this, some of the forester's department made a sort of furnace at the foot of the wall on the west; and the potter brought out a large boiler, in which the servant in charge of the apartments should boil the water. The servants of the forester's department brought the fuel which he had removed from the crypt in the north-west of the apartment, now converted into a shrine, to use for that purpose. When the water was heated, he gave it to the attendants, who proceeded to wash the head, and poured the water into an earthenware basin, using the napkin as on ordinary occasions to dry the head. Another servant then clipped the nails of the fingers, and wiped the beard. The water was then thrown into the pit.

For a ruler they put down a large vessel, full of ice; for a Great officer, a middle-sized one, full of ice; and for an ordinary officer, only one of earthenware, without any ice in it. Over these they placed the couch with a single sheet and pillow on it; another couch on which the jade should be put into the mouth; and another still, where the fuller dressing should be done. Then the corpse was removed to a couch in the hall, on which was a pillow and mat. The same forms were observed for a ruler, a Great officer, and an ordinary officer 12.

At the mourning rites for a ruler, his (eldest) son, Great officers, his other sons and all the (other) officers (employed about the court), ate nothing for three days, but confined themselves to gruel. (Afterwards) for their consumption they received in the morning a handful of rice, and another in the evening; which they ate without any observance of stated times. Officers (at a distance) were restricted to coarse rice and water for their drink, without regard to any stated times. The wife (of the new ruler), the confirmed wives (of the Great officers), and all the members of their harems, had coarse rice and drank water, having no regard in their eating to stated times.

At the mourning rites for a Great officer, the presiding mourner, the steward, and grandsons, all were confined to gruel. All the inferior officers were restricted to coarse rice, and water to drink. Wives and concubines took coarse rice, and water to drink. At the rites for an ordinary officer the same rules were observed.

After the burial, the presiding mourner had (only) coarse rice and water to drink;--he did not eat vegetables or fruits. His wife observed the same rule. So it was in the case of rulers, Great officers, and other officers.After the change of mourning, towards the end of the year, they ate vegetables and fruit; and after the subsequent sacrifice, they ate flesh.

They took their gruel in bowls, and did not wash their bands (before doing so). When they took their rice from the basket, they washed their hands. They ate their vegetables along with pickles and sauces. When they first ate flesh, it was dry flesh; when they first drank liquor, it was that newly made.

During the mourning of a year, on three occasions they abstained from eating. When eating coarse rice, with water to drink, they did not eat vegetables or fruits. After the burial, at the end of three months, they ate flesh and drank liquor. When the year's mourning was ended, they did not eat flesh nor drink liquor. When the father was alive, in the mourning of nine months, the rules were the same as in that for a year, on account of the mother or of the wife. Though they ate flesh and drank liquor, they could not take the enjoyment of these things in company with others 13.

During the mourning for five months, and that for three months, it was allowable to abstain from eating once or twice. Between the coffining and burial 14, when eating flesh and drinking liquor, they did not take the enjoyment of these things in company with others. While mourning for an aunt, the confirmed wife of an uncle, one's old ruler, or the head of a clan, they ate flesh and drank liquor.If a mourner could not eat the gruel, he might eat soup of vegetables. If he were ill, he might eat flesh and drink liquor. At fifty, one did not go through all the observances of mourning. At seventy, he simply wore the sackcloth on his person.

After the burial, if his ruler feasted a mourner, he partook of the viands; if a Great officer or a friend of his father did so, he partook in the same way. He, did not even decline the grain and flesh that might be set before him, but wine and new wine he declined.


1. See introductory notice, vol. xxvii, pages 34, 35.

2. The clothes of the dying master and friend were changed; it was right that all about them should also change their dress. The court or best robes were put on, moreover, that inquiring visitors might be properly received.

3. This proper, or 'legitimate' chamber corresponded in the mansion of a Great officer to the Grand chamber in the palace. Connected with the Grand chamber were two smaller apartments. It is mentioned in the Zo Kwan, under B.C. 627, that duke Hsî of Lû died 'in the small apartment;' which has always been understood as discreditable to him.

4. They were too much affected, it is said, to give loud expression to their grief.

5. The side-bows were somehow made, without the ruler's turning directly towards the officers.

6. The object of the arrangements in this obscure paragraph was evidently to maintain the wailing uninterrupted, and to provide, by means of the clepsydra, a regular marking of the time for that purpose. See, in the Kâu Kwan XXX, 51-52, the duties of the officer of the department of the minister of War who had charge of the vase.

7. This must have been towards morning. During the night torches were kept burning.

8. This should be at the end of paragraph 14.

9. When death seemed to be imminent, the body was removed from the couch and laid on the ground;--if, perhaps, contact with 'mother' earth might revive it. When death had taken place, it was replaced on the couch.

10. I do not quite understand how this stool was applied so as to accomplish its purpose.

11. This paragraph is the 24th in the Khien-lung edition. See below, paragraph 26.

12. This paragraph is the 23rd in the Khien-lung edition, confessedly out of place.

13. The statements in this paragraph, and those in the next, might certainly be stated more distinctly.

14. Such is the meaning of the text here, as fully defined by a Fang Pâo (方苞): 一比葬者自殯後此至于葬也.

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