THE LAW OF SACRIFICES
According to the law of sacrifices, (Shun), the sovereign of the line of Yü, at the great associate sacrifice, gave the place of honour to Hwang Tî, and at the border sacrifice made Khû the correlate of Heaven; he sacrificed (also) to Kwan-hsü as his ancestor (on the throne) and to Yâo as his honoured predecessor.
[1. See the introduction) vol., xxvii, pp. 35, 36. It is there said that in the idea of sacrifices (kî), which is here given, there is no indication of deprecation by means of them, and much less of atonement, but that they were merely expressions of gratitude. The character kî (###) is one of them formed by combination of the ideas in its several parts. The Shwo-wan, the earliest Chinese dictionary, says that it is made up of two ideograms: ###, the symbol for spiritual beings; and another, composed of ### and ###, representing a right hand and a piece of flesh. Offerings of flesh must have been a common when the character was formed, which then itself entered, as the phonetic element, into the formation of between twenty and thirty other characters. The explanations of it given by Morrison (Dict., part i), taken from the Khang-hsî dictionary, are:--'To carry human affairs before the gods [i.e., spirits]. That which is the medium between, or brings together men and gods [spirits]. To offer flesh in the rites of worship; to sacrifice with worship.' There is nothing, however, in the Khang-hsî corresponding to this last sentence; and I suppose that Morrison gave it from the analysis of the character in the Shwo-wan. The general idea symbolised by it is--an offering by which communication and spiritual beings is effected.]
The sovereigns of Hsiâ, at the corresponding sacrifice, gave the place of honour also to Hwang Tî, and made Khwan the correlate at the border sacrifice; they sacrificed to Kwan-hsü as their ancestor, and to Yü as their honoured predecessor.
Under Yin, they gave the place of honour to Khû, and made Ming the correlate at the border sacrifice; they sacrificed to Hsieh as their ancestor, and to Thang as their honoured predecessor.
Under Kâu they gave the place of honour to Khû, and made Kî the correlate at the border sacrifice, they sacrificed to king Wan as their ancestor, and to king Wân as their honoured predecessor.
2. With a blazing pile of wood on the Grand altar they sacrificed to Heaven; by burying (the victim)
[1. This and other portions of the Book are taken mainly from the seventh article in the second section of the 'Narratives of the States,' part i. The statements have much perplexed the commentators, and are held to be of doubtful authority. Some of them, indeed, are said by Khan Hâo to be inexplicable. Khwan, 'the correlate in the sacrifices of Hsiâ, was the father of Yü,' of whom we receive a bad impression from the references to him in the Shû King; and Ming, who occupied the same position in those of Yin, was the fifth in descent from Hsieh, the ancestor of that dynasty, a minister of Works, who died somehow in his labours on a flood. P. Zottoli thinks that of the four sacrifices here mentioned, the first (###) was to the Supreme Deity (Supremo Numini), and the second, to the Highest Heaven (Summo Coelo). My own view is different, and agrees with that of the Khien-lung editors. They discuss the different questions that have been agitated on the subject, and their conclusions may be taken as the orthodoxy of Chinese scholars on the subject; into the exhibition of which it is not necessary to go at greater length.
2. On the blazing pile were placed the victim and pieces of jade; in the square mound were buried the victim and pieces of silk. For ###,which follow, Zottoli gives solenni angulari, and I have met with 'the great pit' as a translation of them. Of course a 'pit' was formed in the mound to receive the offerings; but in the Khang-hsî dictionary ### is specially defined with reference to this passage as 'a mound of earth as a place of sacrifice;' though we do not find this account of the character in Morrison, Medhurst, or Williams.]
in the Grand mound, they sacrificed to the Earth. (In both cases) they used a red victim.
3. By burying a sheep and a pig at the (altar of) Great brightness, they sacrificed to the seasons. (With similar) victims they sacrificed to (the spirits of cold and heat, at the pit and the altar, using prayers of deprecation and petition; to the sun, at the (altar called the) royal palace; to the moon, at the (pit called the) light of the night; to the stars at the honoured place of gloom; to (the spirits of) flood and drought at the honoured altar of rain; to the (spirits of the) four quarters at the place of the four pits and altars; mountains, forests, streams, valleys, hills, and mounds, which are able to produce clouds, and occasion winds and rain, were all regarded as (dominated by) spirits.
He by whom all under the sky was held sacrificed to all spirits. The princes of states sacrificed to those which were in their own territories; to those which were not in their territories, they did not sacrifice.
4. Generally speaking, all born between heaven and earth were said to have their allotted times; the death of all creatures is spoken of as their dissolution; but man when dead is said to be in the ghostly
[1. This was specially the colour of the victims under the Kâu dynasty.
2. Such is the meaning given by Ying-tâ and others to ### which they think should be ###.]
state. There was no change in regard to these points in the five dynasties. What, the seven dynasties made changes in, were the assessors at the Great associate and the border sacrifices, and the parties sacrificed to in the ancestral temple;--they made no other changes.
5. The sovereigns, coming to the possession of the kingdom, divided the land and established the feudal principalities; they assigned (great) cities (to their nobles), and smaller towns (to their chiefs); they made ancestral temples, and the arrangements for altering the order of the spirit-tablets; they raised altars, and they cleared the ground around them for the performance of their sacrifices. In all these arrangements they made provision for the sacrifices according to the nearer or more remote kinship, and for the assignment of lands of greater or less amount.
Thus the king made for himself seven ancestral temples, with a raised altar and the surrounding area for each. The temples were-his father's; his grandfather's; his great-grandfather's; his great-great-grandfather's; and the temple of his (high) ancestor. At all of these a sacrifice was offered every month. The temples of the more remote ancestors formed the receptacles for the tablets as they were displaced; they were two, and at these only the seasonal sacrifices were offered. For the removed tablet of one more remote, an altar was
[1. Those of Yâo, Shun, Hsiâ, Shang or Yin, and Kâu.
2. What these 'seven' dynasties were is doubtful. Add to the preceding five, the names of Kwan-hsü and Khû, and we get the number, all descended from Hwang Tî. The writer must have regarded him as the founder of the Chinese kingdom.]
raised and its corresponding area; and on occasions of prayer at this altar and area, a sacrifice was offered, but if there were no prayer, there was no sacrifice. In the case of one still more remote, (there was no sacrifice);--he was left in his ghostly state.
A feudal prince made for himself five ancestral temples, with an altar and a cleared area about it for each. The temples were--his father's; his grandfather's; and his great-grandfather's; in all of which a sacrifice was offered every month. In the temples of the great-great-grandfather, and that of the (high) ancestor only, the seasonal sacrifices were offered. For one beyond the high ancestor a special altar was raised, and for one still more remote, an area was prepared. If there were prayer at these, a sacrifice was offered; but if there were no prayer, there was no sacrifice. In the case of one still more remote, (there was no service);--he was left in his ghostly state.
A Great officer made for himself three ancestral temples and two altars. The temples were-his father's; his grandfather's; and his great-grandfather's. In this only the seasonal sacrifices were offered. To the great-great-grandfather and the (high) ancestor there were no temples. If there were occasion for prayer to them, altars were raised, and sacrifices offered on them. An ancestor still more remote was left in his ghostly state.
An officer of the highest grade had two ancestral temples and one altar;--the temples of his father and grandfather, at which only the seasonal sacrifices were presented. There was no temple for his great-grandfather. If there were occasion to pray to him, an altar was raised, and a sacrifice offered to him. Ancestors more remote were left in their ghostly state.
An officer in charge merely of one department had one ancestral temple; that, namely, of his father. There was no temple for his grandfather, but he was sacrificed to (in the father's temple.) Ancestors beyond the grandfather were left in their ghostly state.
The mass of ordinary officers and the common people had no ancestral temple. Their dead were left in their ghostly state, (to have offerings presented to them in the back apartment, as occasion required).
6. The king, for all the people, erected an altar to (the spirit of) the ground, called the Grand altar, and one for himself, called the Royal altar.
A feudal prince, for all his people, erected one called the altar of the state, and one for himself called the altar of the prince.
Great officers and all below them in association erected such an altar, called the Appointed altar.
7. The king, for all the people, appointed (seven altars for) the seven sacrifices:--one to the superintendent of the lot; one in the central court, for the admission of light and the rain from the roofs; one at the gates of the city wall; one in the roads leading from the city; one for the discontented ghosts of kings who had died without posterity; one for the guardian of the door; and one for the guardian of the furnace. He also had seven corresponding altars for himself.
A feudal prince, for his state, appointed (five altars for) the five sacrifices:--one for the superintendent of the lot; one in the central court, for the admission of light and rain; one at the gates of the city wall; one in the roads leading from the city; one for the discontented ghosts of princes who had died without posterity. He also had five corresponding altars for himself.
A Great officer appointed (three altars for) the three sacrifice:--one for the discontented ghosts of his predecessors who had died without posterity; one at the gates of his city; and one on the roads leading from it.
An officer of the first grade appointed (two altars for) the two sacrifices:--one at the gates; and one on the roads (outside the gates).
Other officers and the common people had one (altar and one) sacrifice. Some raised one altar for the guardian of the door; and others, one for the guardian of the furnace.
8. The king, carrying down (his favour), sacrificed to five classes of those who had died prematurely:--namely, to the rightful eldest sons (of former kings); to rightful grandsons; to rightful great-grandsons; to rightful great-great-grandsons; and to the rightful sons of these last.
A feudal prince, carrying down (his favour), sacrificed to three classes; a Great officer similarly to two; another officer of the first grade and the common people sacrificed only to the son who had died prematurely,
9. According to the institutes of the sage kings about sacrifices, sacrifice should be offered to him who had given (good) laws to the people to him
[1. From paragraph 1 down to this is absent from the expurgated edition of Fan Dze-tang, which P. Callery translated, so that the book contains in it only the one long paragraph that follows.]
who had laboured to the death in the discharge of his duties; to him who had strengthened the state by his laborious toil; to him who had boldly and successfully met great calamities; and to him who had warded off great evils.
Such were the following:--Nang, the son of the lord of Lî-shan, who possessed the kingdom, and showed how to cultivate all the cereals; and Khî (the progenitor) of Kâu, who continued his work after the decay of Hsiâ, and was sacrificed to under the name of Kî; Hâu-thû, a son of the line of Kung-kung, that swayed the nine provinces, who was able to reduce them all to order, and was sacrificed to as the spirit of the ground; the Tî Khû, who could define all the zodiacal stars, and exhibit their times to the people; Yâo, who rewarded (the worthy), made the penal laws impartial, and the end of whose course was distinguished by his righteousness; Shun, who, toiling amid all his affairs, died in the country (far from his capital); Yü, (the son of) Khwan, who was kept a prisoner till death for trying to dam up the waters of the flood, while Yü completed the work, and atoned for his father's failure; Hwang Tî, who gave everything its right name, thereby showing the people how to avail themselves of its qualities; Kwan-hsü, who completed this work
[1. Li-shan is generally mentioned as Lieh-shan, and sometimes Lien-shan. Where the country so-called was, we do not know. Nang, or Shan Nang, is generally accepted as the first of the line, about B.C. 3072.
2 This account of Kî is given confusedly.
3 It is difficult to find a place in chronology for this Kung-kung. An article in the Zo Kwan (under duke Kao's seventeenth year, paragraph 3) places him between Fû-hsî and Shan Nang.]
of Hwang Tî; Hsieh, who was minister of Instruction, and perfected the (condition and manners of the) people; Ming, who, through his attention to the duties of his office, died in the waters; Thang, who ruled the people with a benignant sway and cut off their oppressor; and king Wan, who by his peaceful rule, and king Wû, who by his martial achievements, delivered the people from their afflictions. All these rendered distinguished services to the people.
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