and copper ; yao and khwan stones ; bamboos, small
and large ; (elephants') teeth, hides, feathers, hair,
and timber. The wild people of the islands brought
garments of grass, with silks woven in shell-patterns
in their baskets. Their bundles contained small
oranges and pummeloes, — rendered when specially
They followed the course of the K'mng and the
sea, and so reached the Hwai and the Sze.
7. (Mount) A'ing and the south of (mount) Hang
formed (the boundaries of) King Kau ^
The A^'iang and the Han pursued their (common)
course to the sea, as if they were hastening to court.
The nine -^iang were brought into complete order.
The Tho and K/nen (streams) were conducted by
^ Mount J^mg, which bounded -Kix)g ^au on the north, is
in the department of Hsiang-yang, Hu-pei, and is called the
southern ^ing, to distinguish it from another mountain of the
same name farther north in Yung J^zu. Mount Hang, its southern
boundary, is ' the southern mountain ' of the Canon of Shun
in Hang-Hu department, Hia-nan. Yang Aliu was on the east,
and the country on the west was almost unknown. A^ng Aau
contained the greater portion of the present provinces of Hu-pei
and Hu-nan, and parts also of Kwei-Mu and Sze-/7zuan. Some
geographers also extend it on the south into Kwang-tung and
Kwang-hsi, which is very unlikely.
BOOK I. THE TRIBUTE OF YU. 69
their proper channels. The land in (the marsh of)
Yiin (became visible), and (the marsh of) Mang was
made capable of cultivation.
The soil of this province was miry. Its fields
were the average of the middle class ; and its con-
tribution of revenue was the lowest of the highest
class. Its articles of tribute were feathers, hair,
(elephants') teeth, and hides ; gold, silver, and
copper ; khwn trees, wood for bows, cedars, and
cypresses ; grindstones, whetstones, flint stones to
make arrow-heads, and cinnabar; and the khXxVi
and lu bamboos, with the hu tree, (all good for
making arrows) — of which the Three Regions were
able to contribute the best specimens. The three-
ribbed rush was sent in bundles, put into cases.
The baskets were filled with silken fabrics, azure
and deep purple, and with strings of pearls that
were not quite round. From the (country of the)
nine A"iang, the great tortoise was presented when
specially required (and found).
They floated down the A^iang, the Tho, the A7/ien,
and the Han, and crossed (the country) to the Lo,
whence they reached the most southern part of
8. The A!'ing (mountain) and the Ho were (the
boundaries of) Yu A^au ^
The I, the Lo, the A'/^an, and the A'ien were
conducted to the Ho. The (marsh of) Yung-po was
^ Yii A'au was the central one of Yii's nine divisions of the
country, and was conterminous, for a greater or less distance, with
all of them, excepting ^-^ing Aau, which lay off in the east by
itsejf. It embraced most of the present Ho-nan, stretching also
into the east and south, so as to comprehend parts of Shan-tung
70 THE SHU KING. PART in.
confined within its proper limits. The (waters of
that of) Ko were led to (the marsh of) Mang-/5u.
The soil of this province was mellow ; in the lower
parts it was (in some places) rich, and (in others)
dark and thin. Its fields were the highest of the
middle class; and its contribution of revenue was the
average of the highest class, with a proportion of
the very highest. Its articles of tribute were varnish,
hemp, fine cloth of dolichos fibre, and the boehmerea.
The baskets were full of chequered silks, and of fine
floss silk. Stones for polishing sounding-stones were
rendered when required.
They floated along the Lo, and so reached
9. The south of (mount) Hwa and the Black-
water were (the boundaries of) Liang Aau \
The (hills) Min and Po were made capable of
cultivation. The Tho and AV^ien streams were
conducted by their proper channels. Sacrifices were
offered to (the hills) 3hai and Mang on the regula-
tion (of the country about them).* (The country
of) the wild tribes about the Ho was successfully
^ Liang Kan was an extensive province, and it is a remarkable fact
that neitlier the dominions of the Shang nor the A'au dynasty, which
followed Hsia, included it. Portions of it were embraced in the Yii
and Yung provinces of^au, but the greater part was considered as
wild, savage territory, beyond the limits of the Middle Kingdom. It
is difficult to believe that the great Yii operated upon it, as this
chapter would seem to indicate. The Hwa at its north-eastern
corner is the western mountain of Shun. The Black-water, or
' the ^iang of the Golden Sands,' is identified with the present
Lu. The province extended over most of the present Sze-X7nian,
with parts of Shen-hsi and Kan-su. I can hardly believe, as many
do, that it extended far into Yiin-nan and Kwei-Mu.
BOOK T. THE TRIBUTE OF YU. 7 1
The soil of this province was greenish and hght.
Its fields were the highest of the lowest class ; and
its contribution of revenue was the average of the
lowest class, with proportions of the rates immedi-
ately above and below. Its articles of tribute were
— the best gold, iron, silver, steel, flint stones to
make arrow-heads, and sounding-stones ; with the
skins of bears, foxes, and jackals, and (nets) woven
of their hair.
From (the hill of) Hsi-M'mg they came by the
course of the Hwan ; floated along the AO^ien, and
then crossed (the country) to the Mien; passed to
the Wei, and (finally) ferried across the Ho.
lo. The Black-water and western Ho were (the
boundaries of) Yung A'au ^
The Weak-water was conducted westwards. The
King was led to mingle its waters with those of the
Wei. The K/ii and the K/iii were next led in a
similar way (to the Wei), and the waters of the Feng
found the same receptacle.
(The mountains) A!'ing and A7/i were sacrificed to.'"
(Those of) A'ung-nan and A7/un-wu (were also regu-
lated), and (all the way) on to Niao-shu. Successful
measures could now be taken with the plains and
swamps, even to (the marsh of) A'u-yeh. (The
country of) San-wei was made habitable, and the
(affairs of the) people of San-miao were greatly
^ The Black-water, which was the western boundary of Yung A'au,
was a different river from that which, with the same name, ran along
the south of Liang A'au. Yung ATau was probably the largest of
Yii's provinces, embracing nearly all the present provinces of
Shen-hsi and Kan-su, and extending indefinitely northwards to the
72 THE SHU KING. PART III,
The soil of the province was yellow and mellow.
Its fields were the highest of the highest class, and
its contribution of revenue the lowest of the second.
Its articles of tribute were the kJim jade and the
lin, and (the stones called) lang-kan.
Past A'l-shih they floated on to Lung-man on the
western Ho. They then met on the north of the
Wei (with the tribute-bearers from other quarters).
Hair-cloth and skins (were brought from) Khwan-
lun, Hsi-/^ih, and jOu-sau ; — the wild tribes of the
west (all) coming to (submit to Yu's) arrangements.
The division of the Book into two sections is a convenient arrange-
ment, but modern, and not always followed. The former section
gives a view of Yii's labours in each particular province. This
gives a general view of the mountain ranges of the country, and
of the principal streams ; going on to other labours, subse-
quently, as was seen in the Introduction, ascribed to Yii, — his
conferring lands and surnames, and dividing the whole territory
into five domains. The contents are divided into five chapters :
— the first, describing the mountains ; the second, describing
the rivers ; the third, containing a summary of all the labours of
Yii thus far mentioned ; the fourth, relating his other labours ;
and the fifth, celebrating Yii's fame, and the completion of his
I. (Yii) surveyed and described (the hills), begin-
ning with KJn^Vi and KJA and proceeding to mount
A!'ing; then, crossing the Ho, Hu-khau, and Lei-
shau, going on to Thai-yo. (After these came)
Ti-/'u and Hsi-/(7/ang, from which he went on to
Wang-wii ; (then there were) Thai-hang and mount
Hang, from which he proceeded to the rocks of
A^ieh, where he reached the sea.
(South of the Ho, he surveyed) Hst-Ming, A^u-yii,
BOOK I. THE TRIBUTE OF YU. 73
and Niao-shu, going on to Thai-hwa; (then) Hsiung-r,
Wai-fang, and Thung-pai, from which he proceeded to
He surveyed and described Po-z^/^ung, going on to
(the other) mount A'ing ; and Nei-fang, from which
he went on to Ta-pieh.
(He did the same with) the south of mount Min,
and went on to mount Hang. Then crossing the nine
J^'mng, he proceeded to the plain of Fu-/c/iien.
2, He traced the Weak-water as far as the Ho-h
(mountains), from which its superfluous waters went
away among the moving sands.
He traced the Black- water as far as San-wei, from
which it (went away to) enter the southern sea.
He traced the Ho from iiTi-shih as far as Lung-
man ; and thence, southwards, to the north of (mount)
Hwa ; eastward then to Ti-MiX ; eastward (again)
to the ford of Mang; eastward (still) to the junction
of the Lo ; and then on to Ta-pei. (From this the
course was) northwards, past the A'iang- water, on to
Ta-lU ; north from which the river was divided, and
became the nine Ho, which united again, and formed
the Meeting Ho, when they entered the sea.
From Po-Mung he traced the Yang, which, flowing
eastwards, became the Han. Farther east it became
the water of 3hang-lang ; and after passing the three
Dykes, it went on to Ta-pieh, southwards from which
it entered the Kiang. Eastward still, and whirling
on, it formed the marsh of Phang-li ; and from that
its eastern flow was the northern A'iang, as which it
entered the sea.
From mount Min he traced the A^iang, which,
branching off to the east, formed the Tho ; eastward
again, it reached the Li, passed the nine A'iang, and
74 THE SHU KING. PART HI.
went onto Tunq - linQr; then flowing- east, andwindinor
to the north, it joined (the Han) with its eddying
movements. From that its eastern flow was the
middle A^iang, as which it entered the sea.
He traced the Yen water, which, flowing eastward,
became the Ki, and entered the Ho. (Thereafter)
it flowed out, and became the Yung (marsh). East-
ward, it issued forth on the north of Thao-zC'/nii, and
flowed farther east to (the marsh of) Ko ; then it
went north-east, and united with the Wan ; thence it
went north, and (finally) entered the sea on the
He traced the Hwai from the hill of Thung-pai.
Flowing east, it united with the Sze and the I, and
(still) with an eastward course entered the sea.
He traced the Wei from (the hill) Niao-shu-thung-
hsiieh. Flowing eastward, it united with the Feng,
and eastwards again with the A^ing. Farther east
still, it passed the Kh\ and the A7m, and entered
He traced the Lo from (the hill) Hsiung-r.
Flowing to the north-east, it united with the A^ien
and the A7^an, and eastwards still with the I. Then
on the north-east it entered the Ho.
3. (Thus), throughout the nine provinces a
similar order was effected : — the grounds along the
waters were everywhere made habitable ; the hills
were cleared of their superfluous wood and sacri-
ficed to ; * the sources of the rivers were cleared ; the
marshes were well banked ; and access to the capital
was secured for all within the four seas.
The six magazines (of material wealth) were fully
attended to ; the different parts of the country were
subjected to an exact comparison, so that con-
BOOK I. THE TRIBUTE OF YU. 75
tribution of revenue could be carefully adjusted
according to their resources. (The fields) were all
classified with reference to the three characters of
the soil ; and the revenues for the Middle Region
4. He conferred lands and surnames. (He
said), ' Let me set the example of a reverent atten-
tion to my virtue, and none will act contrary to my
Five hundred li formed the Domain of the
Sovereign. From the first hundred they brought
a^ revenue the whole plant of the grain ; from the
second, the ears, with a portion of the stalk ; from
the third, the straw, but the people had to perform
various services ; from the fourth, the grain in the
husk ; and from the fifth, the grain cleaned.
Five hundred li (beyond) constituted the Domain
of the Nobles. The first hundred li was occupied
by the cities and lands of the (sovereign's) high
ministers and great ofiEicers ; the second, by the
principalities of the barons ; and the (other) three
hundred, by the various other princes.
Five hundred li (still beyond) formed the Peace-
securing Domain. In the first three hundred, they
cultivated the lessons of learning and moral duties ;
in the other two, they showed the energies of war
Five hundred li (remoter still) formed the Do-
main of Restraint. The (first) three hundred were
occupied by the tribes of the I ; the (other) two
hundred, by criminals undergoing the lesser banish-
Five hundred li (the most remote) constituted
the Wild Domain. The (first) three hundred were
76 THE SHU KING. part hi.
occupied by the tribes of the Man ; the (other)
two hundred, by criminals undergoing the greater
5. On the east, reaching to the sea ; on the west,
extending to the moving sands ; to the utmost
limits of the north and south : — his fame and in-
fluence filled up (all within) the four seas. Yu
presented the dark-coloured symbol of his rank,
and announced the completion of his work.
Book II. The Speech at Kan.
With this Book there commence the documents of the Shu that
may be regarded, as I have said in the Introduction, as con-
temporaneous with the events which they describe. It is the
first of the ' Speeches,' which form one class of the documents
of the classic.
The text does not say who the king mentioned in it was, but
the prevalent tradition has always been that he was Kh\, the son
and successor of Yti. Its place between the Tribute of Yii
and the next Book belonging to the reign of Thai Khang, A'/^i's
son, corroborates this view.
Kan is taken as the name of a place in the southern border of the
principality of Hu, with the lord of which Kh\ fought. The name
of Hu itself still remains in the district so called of the depart-
ment Hsi-an, in Shen-hsi.
The king, about to engage in battle with a rebellious vassal,
assembles his generals and troops, and addresses them. He
declares obscurely the grounds of the expedition which he had
undertaken, and concludes by stimulating the soldiers to the
display of courage and observance of order by promises of
reward and threats of punishment.
There was a great battle at Kan. (Previous to
it), the king called together the six nobles, (the
leaders of his six hosts), and said, 'Ah ! all ye who
BOOK II. THE SPEECH AT KAN. 77
are engaged in my six hosts, I have a solemn
announcement to make to you.
' The lord of Hu wildly wastes and despises the
five elements (that regulate the seasons), and has
idly abandoned the three acknowledged commence-
ments of the year ^ On this account Heaven is
about to destroy him, and bring to an end his
appointment (to Hu) ; and I am now reverently
executing the punishment appointed by Heaven.*
* If you, (the archers) on the left^, do not do your
work on the left, it will be a disregard of my orders.
If you, (the spearmen) on the right •^, do not do your
work on the right, it will be a disregard of my
orders. If you, charioteers ^, do not observe the
rules for the management of your horses, it will be
a disregard of my orders. You who obey my orders,
shall be rewarded before (the spirits of) my ances-
tors ; and you who disobey my orders, shall be put
to death before the altar of the spirits of the land,
and I will also put to death your children.'*
^ The crimes of the lord of Hu are here very obscurely stated.
With regard to the second of them, we know that Hsia commenced
its year with the first month of spring, Shang a month earlier,
and ^au about mid-winter. It was understood that every dynasty
should fix a new month for the beginning of the year, and the
dynasty of Khm actually carried its first month back into our
November. If the lord of Hu claimed to begin the year with
another month than that which Yu had fixed, he was refusing
submission to the new dynasty. No doubt, the object of the
expedition was to put down a dangerous rival.
^ The chariots were the principal part of an ancient Chinese
army ; it is long before we read of cavalry. A war-chariot gene-
rally carried three. The driver was in the centre ; on his left was
an archer, and a spearman occupied the place on his right. They
all wore mail.
78 THE SHtj KING.
Book III. The Songs of the Five Sons.
This Book ranks in that class of the documents of the Shu which
goes by the name of ' Instructions.' Though the form of it be
poetical, the subject-matter is derived from the Lessons left by
Yii for the guidance of his posterity.
Thai Khang succeeded to his father in b.c. 2188, and his reign con-
tinues in chronology to 2160. His character is given here in the
introductory chapter. J^/iiung, the principality of I who took the
field against him, is identified with the sub-department of Te-
-ffau, department A^-nan, Shan-tung. There is a tradition that
I, at an early period of his life, was lord of a state in the present
Ho-nan. This would make his movement against Thai Khang,
' south of the Ho,' more easy for him. The name of Thai Khang
remains in the district so called of the department jK'/ia.n-ka.a,
Ho-nan. There, it is said, he died, having never been able to
recross the Ho.
In his song the king's first brother deplores how he had lost
the affections of the people ; the second speaks of his dissolute
extravagance ; the third mourns his loss of the throne ; the
fourth deplores his departure from the principles of Yii, and its
disastrous consequences ; and the fifth is a wail over the misera-
ble condition of them all.
I. Thai Khang occupied the throne Hke a per-
sonator of the dead ^. By idleness and dissipation he
extinguished his virtue, till the black-haired people
all wavered in their allegiance. He, however,
pursued his pleasure and wanderings without any
* The character that here as a verb governs the character signi-
fying 'throne' means properly 'a corpse,' and is often used for the
personator of the dead, in the sacrificial services to the dead which
formed a large part of the religious ceremonies of the ancient
Chinese. A common definition of it is 'the semblance of the
spirit,' = the image into which the spirit entered. Thai Khang
was but a personator on the throne, no better than a sham
BOOK III. THE SONGS OF THE FIVE SONS. 79
self-restraint. He went out to hunt beyond the Lo,
and a hundred days elapsed without his returning.
(On this) 1, the prince of A7/iung, taking advantage
of the discontent of the people, resisted (his return)
on (the south of) the Ho. The (king's) five brothers
had attended their mother in following him, and were
waiting for him on the north of the Lo ; and (when
they heard of I's movement), all full of dissatisfac-
tion, they related the Cautions of the great Yu in
the form of songs.
2. The first said,
' It was the lesson of our great ancestor : —
The people should be cherished,
And not looked down upon.
The people are the root of a country ;
The root firm, the country is tranquil.
When I look at all under heaven,
Of the simple men and simple women,
Any one may surpass me.
If the One man err repeatedly^,
Should dissatisfaction be waited for till it appears .'*
Before it is seen, it should be guarded against.
In my dealing with the millions of the people,
I should feel as much anxiety as if I were driving
six horses with rotten reins.
The ruler of men —
How should he be but reverent (of his duties) ? '
The second said,
* It is in the Lessons : —
When the palace is a wild of lust.
And the country is a wild for hunting ;
^ Any king, in the person of Yii, may be understood to be the
8o THE SHIU KING.
When spirits are liked, and music is the delight ;
When there are lofty roofs and carved walls ; —
The existence of any one of these things
Has never been but the prelude to ruin.'
The third said,
' There was the lord of Thao and Thang ^
Who possessed this region of K\,
Now we have fallen from his ways,
And thrown into confusion his rules and laws ; —
The consequence is extinction and ruin.'
The fourth said,
Brightly intelligent was our ancestor,
Sovereign of the myriad regions.
He had canons, he had patterns,
Which he transmitted to his posterity.
The standard stone and the equalizing quarter
Were in the royal treasury.
Wildly have we dropt the clue he gave us,
Overturning our temple, and extinguishing our
The fifth said,
' Oh ! whither shall we turn ?
The thoughts in my breast make me sad.
All the people are hostile to us ;
On whom can we rely ?
Anxieties crowd together in our hearts ;
Thick as are our faces, they are covered with blushes.
We have not been careful of our virtue ;
And though we repent, we cannot overtake the
^ The lord of Thao and Thang is Yao, who was lord of the prin-
cipaHties of Thao and Thang, but of which first and which last is
uncertain, before his accession to the throne. K\ is the K\ K^m
of the Tribute of Yii.
BOOK IV. THE PUNITIVE EXPEDITION OF YIN.
Book IV. The Punitive Expedition of Yin.
This Book is another of the ' Speeches ' of the Shu, belonging to
the reign of A'ung Khang, a brother of Thai Khang, the fourth
of the kings of Shang (b. c. 2 i 59-2 147).
Hsi and Ho, the principal ministers of the Board of Astronomy,
descended from those of the same name in the time of Yao, had
given themselves over to licentious indulgence in their private
cities, and grossly neglected their duties. Especially had they
been unobservant of an eclipse of the sun in autumn. The
king considered them worthy of death, and commissioned the
marquis of Yin to execute on them the sentence of his justice.
Where Yin was is not now known.
The principal part of the Book consists of the speech made by the
marquis to his troops.
1. When A^ung Khang commenced his reign
over all within the four seas, the marquis of Yin
was commissioned to take charge of the (king's)
six hosts. (At this time) the Hsi and Ho had
neglected the duties of their office, and were aban-
doned to drink in their (private) cities ; and the
marquis of Yin received the king's charge to go and
2. He made an announcement to his hosts, saying,
* Ah ! ye, all my men, there are the well-counselled
instructions of the sage (founder of our dynasty),
clearly verified in their power to give stability and
security : — '* The former kings were carefully atten-
tive to the warnings of Heaven \* and their minis-
ters observed the regular laws (of their offices). All
the officers (moreover) watchfully did their duty to
^ That is, here, such warnings as were supposed to be conveyed
by eclipses and other unusual celestial phenomena,
82 THE SHtj KING. PART III.
assist (the government), and their sovereign became
entirely intelligent." Every year, in the first month
of spring, the herald, with his wooden-tongued bell,
goes along the roads ^ (proclaiming), " Ye officers
able to instruct, be prepared with your admonitions.
Ye workmen engaged in mechanical affairs, remon-
strate on the subjects of your employments. If any
of you do not attend with respect (to this require-
ment), the country has regular punishments for
' Now here are the Hsi and Ho. They have
allowed their virtue to be subverted, and are be-
sotted by drink. They have violated the duties of
their of^ce, and left their posts. They have been the
first to let the regulating of the heavenly (bodies) get
into disorder, putting far from them their proper busi-
ness. On the first day of the last month of autumn,
the sun and moon did not meet harmoniously in
Fang^ The blind musicians beat their drums ; the
inferior officers galloped, and the common people
(employed about the public offices) ran about^ The
Hsi and the Ho, however, as if they were (mere)
personators of the dead in their ofifices, heard nothing
and knew nothing ; — so stupidly went they astray
(from their duties) in the matter of the heavenly
appearances, and rendered themselves liable to the
death appointed by the former kings. The statutes