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The people of the four quarters stand in reverent awe of him. Oh! do not let that precious Heaven-conferred appointment fall to the ground, and all our former kings will also have a perpetual

reliance and resort. tortoise.

it, I will put them by."

I will now seek for your orders from the great If you grant what I request, I will take these symbols and this mace, and return and wait for the issue.

If you do not grant

The duke then divined with the three tortoises, and all were

favourable.

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He took a key, opened and looked at the oracular

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11 the issue.

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10 responses which also were favourable.
form of the prognostic, the king will take no injury.

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He said, “According to the
I, who am

but a child, have got his appointment renewed by the three kings,

by whom a long futurity has been consulted for. They can provide for our one man.”

I have to wait Having said this,

he returned, and placed the tablets in the metal-bound coffer; and

next day the king got better.

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oracles. The par. of the Chow Le, following

that quoted above, is–H # % ź #, - A.

# H H = +, + AH #=f £f – #, ‘The forms of the regular prognostications were in all 120, the explanations of which amounted to 1,200. Those explanations, no doubt, consisting of a few oracular lines; were the # of the text. They were kept by themselves, and consulted on occasion, according to certain rules which have not come down. The duke of Chow at this time had recourse to them. The meaning of #in this place is very uncertain. Properly speaking, it denotes a kind of flute. Here it seems to denote a sort of key with which the apartment or chest, or whatever it might be, in which those oracles were kept, was opened. K'ang-shing, Ma Yung, and Wang Suh define it nearly in the same way, as

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coffer. Ts'ae says that it was this coffer which
contained the oracles of divination, the same
which is alluded to in p. 9. It may have been
so; but I should rather suppose it to have been
different, —a special chest in which important
archives of the dynasty, to be referred to on
great emergencies, were kept. The duke gave
orders to all whose services he had employed
in the ceremony to say nothing about it (see p.
17), but it was right that the record of the
prayer should be preserved in this repository.
He therefore placed it there, not thinking that
it would be—hoping that it would not be
—brought to light in his time,
[The prayer of the duke of Chow is addressed
to the three kings, and I have said above, that
it is addressed to them in the character of medi-
ators or intercessors with Heaven or God.

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12

II. Afterwards, upon the death of king Woo, the duke's elder brother, he of Kwan, and his younger brothers, spread a baseless rumour through the kingdom, saying, “The duke will do no good to the Upon this the duke of Chow represented to the

The analogy of the circle of religious notions among the Chinese obliges us to adopt this conclusion, and, in par. 7, we have an express reference to the supreme disposing of God in human affairs. Still it must be allowed that the doctrine of the former kings being only intercessors is not indicated in the text so clearly as it might have been. In illustration of this I shall quote the words of Ts'aou Heb

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—“The earlier scholars were led, by the words —“I have received a new appointment for him from the three kings,” to doubt whether the duke's language (in p. 6)—“I have many abilities and arts which fit me to serve spiritual beings,” really referred to Heaven. They rather thought it did not; but we must not thus pertinaciously insist upon particular expressions. Anciently, when sovereigns sacrificed to Heaven and Earth, they associated their ancestors as assessors and sharers at the ceremony; when they prayed for anything to Heaven and Earth, they depended on the efficacious spirituality of their ancestors to present and second their request. Heaven was the most honourable, and they did not dare to approach it abruptly; their ancestors were the nearest to them, and they could, through the kindness between them, make their thoughts known to them. There is no reason why we should not say that the words, “I have received a new appointment from the three kings,” are equivalent to “I have received a new

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Ching was only 13 years old, and the duke of Chow acted as regent of the empire. It was natural he should do so, for he was the ablest of all the sons of Wän, and had been devotedly attached to his brother Woo, whose chief adviser he had been, and was without the shadow of disloyal feeling. The accession of dignity and influence which he now received, however, moved his elder brother Séen, and some of his other brothers to envy, and they had come to be engaged in a treasonable conspiracy against the throne. We have seen how Woo, after the death of the tyrant Show, pardoned his son, generally known by the name of Woo-käng

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eighth of Wän's sons. Perhaps Séen thought that on the death of Woo the regency, if not the throne, should have devolved upon himself. Mencius ascribes the appointment of him as overseer of Yin to the duke of Chow (see Mem., II., Pt. II., ix.), as, no doubt, it was made by Woo on his advice. This may have exasperated him the more against Tan who had thus shelved him, he would think, away from the court. However it was induced, soon after the death of Woo, those three brothers entered into a conspiracy with Woo-kāng to throw off the yoke of the

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two dukes, saying, “If I do not take the law to these men, I shall not be able to make my report to our former kings.” He resided accordingly in the east for two years, when the

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The duke of Chow, on being aware of the insinuations circulated against him, resolved to meet them with promptitude. He owed a duty to the former kings and to the dynasty, and whatever the young king might think, he would : : once against the rebellious and the disoyal.

14. Justice done on the criminals. The different views that are taken of the last paragraph necessarily affect the interpretation of this. Acc. to Gan-kwó, the duke spent two years in the east, operating against Woo-kāng and the false brothers, and at the end of that time he had got them into his hands, and dealt with them according to his views of their several

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15 criminals were got and brought to justice.
poem to present to the king, and called it “The Owl.”

16

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Afterwards he made a
The king on

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his part did not dare to blame the duke. In the autumn, when the grain was abundant and ripe, but before

it was reaped, Heaven sent a great storm of thunder and lightning,

along with wind, by which the grain was all beaten down, and great

trees torn up.

The people were greatly terrified; and the king and

great officers, all in their caps of state, proceeded to open the metalbound coffer, and examine the writings, when they found the words of the duke of Chow when he took on himself the business of taking

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