« הקודםהמשך »
The trees were felled, and hewn exact.
THE SACRIFICIAL ODES OF SHANG.
HERE the term Sung has again the same meaning as in Book i. Shang was the name of the second of the three ancient dynasties, which ruled over feudal China, and remains still in the small department of Shang Chow in Shen-se. The ancestor of this dynasty was Sëeh, who appears in the Book of History as minister of Instruction to Shun. Whether he received his investiture from Yaou or from Shun is a disputed point. In the 14th generation from Sëeh was a T'ëen-yih, the celebrated Tang, who overthrew the dynasty of Hëa, and made himself master of the kingdom in B.C. 1765, according to the common chronology. His descendants ruled in China, down to B.C. 1120, when Chow or Show, the last sovereign, was put to death by king Woo of the dynasty of Chow.' Among them there were three, more particularly distinguished :Tang's grandson and successor, T'ae-këah, who received the title of T'ae-tsung; Tae-mow (B.C. 1636–1560), known as Chung-tsung ; and Woo-ting (B.C. 1323–1263), known as Kaou-tsung. The temples or shrines of these four sovereigns maintained their place in the ancestral temple of the dynasty after their first establishment; and if all its sacrificial odes had been preserved, they would nearly all have been in praise of one or other of them. But at least all those of which T'ae-tsung was the subject were lost. Of the others we have only a small portion, - five pieces in all. "
Of how it is that we have these we have the following account. The viscount of Wei, as has been stated on i. [ii.] IX., was made viscount of Sung, there to continue the sacrifices of the House of Shang; but the government of that State fell subsequently into disorder, and the memorials of the Shang dynasty seem to have been lost. In the time of duke Tae (B.C. 798_765), one of his ministers, a scion of the ducal House, and an ancestor of Confucius, styled Ching-k'aou-foo, received from the Grand Music-master at the court of Chow twelve of the sacrificial odes of Shang, with which he returned to Sung; and they were used in sacrificing to the old kings of the dynasty. As we have only five pieces in this Book, it is supposed that seven of those twelve were lost during the rather more than two centuries that elapsed between Ching-k'aou-foo and his great descendant.
The Na; narrative. APPROPRIATE TO A SACRIFICE TO T'ANG TIE SUCCESSFUL, THE REAL FOUNDER OF THE SHANG DYNASTY,-DWELLING ESPECIALLY ON THE MUSIC, AND ON THE REVERENCE WITH WHICH THE SERVICE WAS PERFORMED.
By which of the sovereigns of Shang the sacrifice that the piece describes was performed we cannot tell. The music is more prominent than in most of the sacrificial odes of Chow, because during the Chow dynasty, sacrifices commenced with libations of fragrant spirits, and under Shang with music. “The departed Spirits," it is said, " hover between heaven and earth, and sound goes forth filling all the region of the air. Hence in sacrificing, the people of Yin (i.c., of Shang) commenced with a performance of music, wishing thereby to call the attention of the Spirits, who, hearing it, would perhaps come to be present at the service, and to enjoy it."
O grand! the drums, both large and for the hand,
The Lëch t800 ; narrative. APPROPRIATE, PROBABLY, LIKE THE LAST PIECE, TO A SACRIFICE TO T'ANG,-DWELLING ON THE SPIRITS, THE SOUPS, AND THE GRAVITY OF THE SERVICE, AND ON THE ASSISTING PRINCES.
It is the view of Choo He that this piece was used at a sacrifice to T'ang, and I am persuaded the view is correct. The Preface says that it was sung in sacrificing to T'ae-mow, the second of the Honoured Ones (Chung Tsung), mentioned in the note on the title of the Book. But it would be strange if we had a sacrifice to T'ae-mow, and not a word in the hymn used at it in praise of him, or that can in any way be fairly interpreted of him,
Ah ! from our sire, whose merit vast we own,
The Heuen nëaou; narrative. APPROPRIATE TO A SACRIFICE IN THE ANCESTRAL TEMPLE OF SHANG :-INTENDED SPECIALLY TO DO HONOUR TO THE KING W00-TING AND THE CELEBRATING MONARCH,
Reference has been made to Sëeh in the preliminary note. His mother, it is said, belonged to the harem of the ancient emperor K‘uh, and was named Këen-teih. The legends about the manner of Sëeh's conception are various. According to Sze-ma Ts'ëen and others, Këen-teih was bathing in an open place, when a swallow suddenly made its appearance and dropt an egg, which she took and swallowed ; and from this came the birth of Sëeh. Compare the legend about How-tseih in III. ii. I. The imperial editors say that we need not believe the legends ;--the important point is to believe that the birth of Sëeh was specially ordered by Heaven,
King, towards the end of the piece, was the name, it is supposed, of a hill near the capital of Shang, to which it served as a shelter and defence.
By Heaven sent down, the swallow came to earth,
The Ch'ang fah; narrative. CELEBRATING SEEH, THE ANCESTOR OF THE HOUSE OF SHANG ; SEANG-T‘OO, HIS GRANDSON ; T'ANG, THE FOUNDER OF THE DYNASTY; AND E YIN, T'ANG'S CHIEF ADVISER.
It does not appear on occasion of what sacrifice this piece was made. The Preface says it was on occasion of the great Te sacrifice, when the principal object of honour would be the emperor K'uh, with Sëeh as his cor