<Previous Section>
<Next Section>



[In the third month, when the moon began to wane, the duke of Kâu commenced the foundations and proceeded to build the new great city of Lo of the eastern states. The people from every quarter assembled in great harmony. From the Hâu, Tien, Nan, Zhâi, and Wei domains, the various officers stimulated this harmony of the people, and introduced them to the business that was to be done for Kâu. The duke encouraged all to diligence, and made a great announcement about the performance (of the works) 2.]

The duke of Kâu did obeisance with his hands to his head and his head to the ground 3, saying, 'Herewith I report (the execution of my commission) to my son, my intelligent sovereign. The king appeared as if he would not presume to be present at Heaven's founding here the appointment (of our dynasty), and fixing it, whereupon I followed the (Grand-) Guardian, and made a great survey of this eastern region, hoping to found the place where he should become the intelligent sovereign of the people. On the day Yî-mâo, I came in the morning to this capital of Lo. I (first) divined by the shell concerning (the ground about) the Lî-water on the north of the Ho. I then divined concerning the east of the Kien-water, and the west of the Khan, when the (ground near the) Lo was indicated. Again I divined concerning the east of the Khan-water when the (ground near the) Lo was also indicated. I (now) send a messenger with a map, and to present the (result of the) divinations.'*

The king did obeisance with his hands to his head and his head to the ground, saying, 'The duke did not presume not to acknowledge reverently the favour of Heaven, and has surveyed the locality where our Kâu may respond to that favour. Having settled the locality, he has sent his messenger to show me the divinations, favourable and always auspicious. We two must together sustain the responsibility. He has made provision for me (and my successors), for myriads and tens of myriads of years, there reverently to acknowledge the favour of Heaven.* With my hands to my head and my head to the ground, (I receive) his instructive words.'

The duke of Kâu said 4, 'Let the king at first employ the ceremonies of Yin, and sacrifice in the new city,* doing everything in an orderly way, but without display. I will marshal all the officers to attend you from Kâu, merely saying that probably there will be business to be done (in sacrificing). Let the king instantly issue an order to the effect that the most meritorious (ministers) shall have the first place in the sacrifices; and let him also say in an order, "You, in whose behalf the above order is issued, must give me your assistance with sincere earnestness." Truly display the record of merits, for it is you who must in everything teach the officers. My young son, can you indulge partiality? Eschew it, my young son. (If you do not), the consequence hereafter will be like a fire, which, a spark at first, blazes up, and by and by cannot be extinguished. Let your observance of the constant rules of right, and your soothing measures be like mine. Take only the officers that are in Kâu with you to the new city, and make them there join their (old) associates, with intelligent vigour establishing their merit, and with a generous largeness (of soul) completing (the public manners);--so shall you obtain an endless fame.' The duke said, 'Yes, young as you are, be it yours to complete (the work of your predecessors). Cultivate (the spirit of) reverence, and you will know who among the princes (sincerely) present their offerings to you, and who do not. In connexion with those offerings there are many, observances. If the observances are not equal to the articles, it must be held that there is no offering. When there is no service of the will in the offerings (of the princes), all the people will then say, "We need not (be troubled about) our offerings," and affairs will be disturbed by errors and usurpations. 'Do you, my young son, manifest everywhere my unwearied diligence, and listen to my instructions to you how to help the people to observe the constant rules of right. If you do not bestir yourself in these things, you will not be of long continuance. If you sincerely and fully carry out the course of your Directing father, and follow exactly my example, there will be no venturing to disregard your orders. Go, and be reverent. Henceforth I will study husbandry 5. There do you generously rule our people, and there is no distance from which they will not come to you.'

The king spoke to this effect 6, 'O duke, you are the enlightener and sustainer of my youth. You have set forth the great and illustrious virtues, that I, notwithstanding my youth, may display a brilliant merit like that of Wan and Wû, reverently responding to the favouring decree of Heaven; and harmonize and long preserve the people of all the regions, settling the multitudes (in Lo); and that I may give due honour to the great ceremony (of recording) the most distinguished (for their merits), regulating the order for the first places at the sacrifices, and doing everything in an orderly manner without display. 'But your virtue, O duke, shines brightly above and beneath, and is displayed actively throughout the four quarters. On every hand appears the deep reverence (of your virtue) in securing the establishment of order, so that you fail in nothing of the earnest lessons of Wan and Wû. It is for me, the youth, (only) to attend reverently, early and late, to the sactifices.'* The king said, 'Great, O duke, has been your merit in helping and guiding me;--let it ever continue so.' The king said, 'O duke, let me, the little child, return to my sovereignty in Kâu, and I charge you, O duke, to remain behind (here). Order has been initiated throughout the four quarters of the kingdom, but the ceremonies to be honoured (by general observance) have not yet been settled, and I cannot look on your service as completed. Commence on a great scale what is to be done by your remaining here, setting an example to my officers and greatly preserving the people whom Wan and Wû received;--by your good government you will be a help to the whole kingdom.' The king said, 'Remain, O duke. I will certainly go. Your services are devoutly acknowledged and reverently rejoiced in. Do not, O duke, occasion me this difficulty. I on my part will not be weary in seeking the tranquillity (of the people);--do not let the example which you have afforded me be intermitted. So shall the kingdom enjoy for generations (the benefit of your virtue).'

The duke of Kâu did obeisance with his hands to his head and his head to the ground, saying, 'You have charged me, O king, to come here. I undertake (the charge), and will protect the people whom your accomplished grandfather, and your glorious and meritorious father, king Wû, received by the decree (of Heaven). I will enlarge the reverence which I cherish for you. (But), my son, come (frequently), and inspect this settlement. Pay great honour to (old) statutes, and to the good and wise men of Yin. Good government (here) will make you (indeed) the new sovereign of the kingdom, and an example of (royal) respectfulness to all your successors of Kâu.' (The duke) proceeded to say, ' From this time, by the government administered in this central spot, all the states will be conducted to repose; and this will be the completion of your merit, O king. 'I, Tan, with the numerous officers and managers of affairs, will consolidate the achievements of our predecessors, in response to (the hopes of) the people. I will afford an example of sincerity to (future ministers of) Kâu, seeking to render complete the pattern intended for the enlightenment of you, my son, and thus to carry fully out the virtue of your accomplished grandfather.'

(Afterwards, on the arrival of a message and gifts from the king, the duke said 7), '(The king) has sent messengers to admonish (the people of) Yin, and with a soothing charge to me, along with two flagons of the black-millet herb-flavoured spirits, saying, "Here is a pure sacrificial gift, which with my hands to my head and my head to the ground I offer for you to enjoy its excellence!"* I dare not keep this by me, but offer it in sacrifice to king Wan and king Wû.' (In doing so, he prayed), 'May he be obedient to, and observant of your course! Let him not bring on himself any evil or illnes! Let him satisfy his descendants for myriads of years with your virtue! Let (the people of) Yin enjoy prolonged (prosperity)!'* (He also said to the messengers), 'The king has sent you to Yin, and we have received his well-ordered charges, (sufficient to direct us) for myriads of years, but let (the people) ever (be able to) observe the virtue cherished by my son.'

On the day Wû-khan, the king, being in the new city 8, performed the annual winter sacrifice, offering (moreover) one red bull to king Wan and another to king Wû.* He then ordered a declaration to be prepared, which was done by Yî 9 in the form of a prayer, and it simply announced the remaining behind of the duke of Kâu. The king's guests 10, on occasion of the killing of the victims and offering the sacrifice, were all present. The king entered the grand apartment, and poured out the libation.* He gave a charge to the duke of Kâu to remain, and Yî, the preparer of the document, made the announcement;--in the twelfth month. (Thus) the duke of Kâu grandly sustained the decree which Wan and Wû had received through the space of seven years 11.


1. THE matters recorded in this Book are all connected, more or less nearly, with Lo, the new capital, the arrangements for the building of which are related at the commencement of the last Book. According to the summary of the contents given by the commentator Zhâi Khan, 'The arrangements for the building having been made, the duke of Kâu sent a messenger to inform the king of the result of his divinations. The historiographer recorded this as the Announcement about Lo, and at the same time related a dialogue between the king and his minister, and how the king charged the duke to remain at Lo, and conduct the government of it.' Passing over the commencing paragraph, which I have repeated here from the ninth Book, Zhâi divides all the rest into seven chapters. Ch. 1 contains the duke's message concerning his divinations; and the next gives the king's reply. Ch. 3 is occupied with instructions to the king about the measures which he should pursue on taking up his residence at Lo. In ch. 4, the king charges the duke to remain at Lo, and undertake its government. In ch. 5, the duke responds, and accepts the charge, dwelling on the duties which the king and himself would have to perform. Ch. 6 relates the action of the duke in reference to a message and gift from the king intended for his special honour. In ch. 7, the historiographer writes of sacrifices offered by the king in Lo, and a proclamation that he issued, and tells how long the duke continued in his government;--showing how the duke began the city and completed it, and how king Khang, after offering the sacrifices and inaugurating the government, returned to Hâo, and did not, after all, make his capital at Lo. Many critics make much to do about the want of historical order in the Book, and suppose that portions have been lost, and other portions transposed; but the Book may be explained without resorting to so violent a supposition.]

2. See the introductory note to Book ix.

3. In sending his message to the king, the duke does obeisance as if he were in the presence of his majesty. The king responds with a similar ceremony.

4. We must suppose that the duke of Kâu, after receiving the reply to his message, had himself returned to Hâo, to urge upon the king the importance of his repairing in person to Lo, and solemnly inaugurating the new city as the capital of the kingdom.

5. By this expression the duke indicates his wish and intention now to retire from public life, and leave the government and especially the affairs of Lo in the king's hands.

6. From the words of the king in this chapter, we receive the impression that they were spoken in Lo. He must have gone there with the duke from Hâo. He deprecates the duke's intention to retire into private life; intimates his own resolution to return to Hâo; and wishes the duke to remain in Lo, accomplishing all that was still necessary to the establishment of their dynasty.

7. We must suppose that the king had returned to Hâo, and now sends a message to the duke with an extraordinary gift, doing honour to him as if he were a departed spirit, continuing in heaven the guardianship of the dynasty which he had so long efficiently discharged on earth. This gives occasion for the duke to exhibit anew his humility, piety, and loyalty.

8. The duke had asked the king to come frequently to the new city; he is there now accordingly.

9. 10"> Yî was the name of the Recorder who officiated on the occasion.

10. All the princes present and assisting at the sacrifices, and especially the representatives of the previous dynasties.

11. These seven years are to be calculated from the seventh year of king Khang, after the duke had served as administrator of the government seven years from the death of king Wû. Many think, however, that the 'seven years' are only those of the duke's regency.

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