Exemplarious translation of Shujing 书经 Book of Documents

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6.(17.)禹贡 The Tribute of Yu

(序:禹别九州岛.随山浚川.任土作贡.)禹敷土.随山刊木.奠高山大川.
...济河惟兖州.九河既道.雷夏既泽.灉沮会同.桑土既蚕.是降丘宅土.厥土黑坟.厥草惟繇.厥木惟条.厥田惟中下.厥赋贞.作十有三载.乃同.厥贡漆丝.厥篚织文.浮于济漯.达于河...
(Preface: Yu marked out the nine provinces; followed the course of the hills, and deepened the rivers; defined the imposts on the land, and the articles of tribute.) Yu divided the land. Following the course of the hills, he cut down the trees. He determined the highest hills and largest rivers (in the several regions). […]
Between the Ji and the Yellow River was the region of Yanzhou. The nine branches of the Yellow River were made to keep their proper channels. Leixia was made a marsh, in which (the waters of) the Yong and the Ju were united. The mulberry grounds were made fit for silkworms, and then (the people) came down from the heights, and occupied the grounds (below). The soil of this province was blackish and rich; the grass in it was luxuriant, and the trees grew high. Its fields were the lowest of the middle class. Its contribution of revenue was fixed at what would just be deemed the correct amount; but it was not required from it, as from the other provinces, till after it had been cultivated for thirteen years. Its articles of tribute were varnish and silk, and, in baskets, woven ornamental fabrics. They floated along the Ji and Ta, and so reached the Yellow River. […]

 

27.(61.)泰誓上 The Great Declaration (1)

(序: 惟十有一年.武王伐殷.一月戊午.师渡孟津.作泰誓三篇.)
惟十有三年春.大会于孟津.王曰.嗟我友邦冢君.越我御事庶士.
明听誓.惟天地万物父母.惟人万物之灵.亶聪明作元后.元后作民父母.今商王受.弗敬上天.降灾下民.沈湎冒色.敢行暴虐.罪人以族.官人以世.惟宫室台榭陂池侈服.以残害于尔万姓.焚炙忠良.刳剔孕妇.皇天震怒.命我文考.肃将天威.大勋未集.…
(Preface: In the eleventh year of his reign, king Wu started to attack Yin (Shang). In the first month, the day wuwu, his army crossed the Mengjin Ford. Thus were made the three chapters of the “Great Declaration”.)
In the spring of the thirteenth year there was a great assembly at Mengjin. The King said, ‘Ah! ye hereditary rulers of my friendly states, and all ye my officers, managers of my affairs, hearken clearly to my declaration. ‘Heaven and earth is the parent of all creatures; and of all creatures man is the most highly endowed.The sincerely intelligent (among men) becomes the great sovereign; and the great sovereign is the parent of the people. But now, Shou, the king of Shang, does not reverence Heaven above, and inflicts calamities on the people below. Abandoned to drunkenness and reckless in lust, he has dared to exercise cruel oppression. He has extended the punishment of offenders to all their relatives. He has put men into offices on the hereditary principle. He has made it his pursuit to have palaces, towers, pavilions, embankments, ponds, and all other extravagances, to the most painful injury of you, the myriads of the people. He has burned and roasted the loyal and good. He has ripped up pregnant women. Great Heaven was moved with indignation, and charged my deceased father Wen to display its terrors; but (he died) before the work was completed…

 

30.(64.)牧誓 The Speech at Mu

(序: 武王戎车三百两.虎贲三百人.与受战于牧野.作牧誓.)
时甲子昧爽,王朝至于商郊牧野,乃誓。王左杖黄戉 ,右秉白旄以麾,曰:「逖矣西土之人。」王曰:「差! 我友邦冢君,御事、司徒、司马、司空、亚、旅、师氏、千夫长、百夫长及庸、蜀、羌、 髳、微、卢、彭、濮人。称尔戈,比尔干,立尔矛,予其誓。」 王曰:「古人有言曰:『牝鸡无晨。牝鸡之晨,惟家之索。』今商王受,惟妇言是 用。昏弃厥肆祀,弗答;昏弃厥遗王父母弟,不迪。乃惟四方之多罪逋逃,是崇是长, 是信是使,是以为大夫卿士;俾暴虐于百姓,以奸宄于商邑。今予发,惟恭行天之罚。 今日之事,不愆于六步、七步,乃止齐焉。夫子勖哉!不愆于四伐、五伐、六伐、七伐, 乃止齐焉。勖哉夫子!尚桓桓,如虎、如貔、如熊、如罴,于商郊;弗迓克奔,以役西土。 勖哉夫子!尔所弗勖,其于尔躬有戮!」
(Preface: King Wu the Martial, with three hundred chariots of war and three hundred (three thousand) tiger-like warriors, fought with Shou (Zhou, the king of Shang) in the wilderness of Muye. Thus was made the “Speech at Mu”.)
The time was the gray dawn of the day jiazi. On that morning the king came to the open country of Mu in the borders of Shang, and addressed his army. In his left hand he carried a battle-axe, yellow with gold, and in his right he held a white ensign, which he brandished, saying, “Far are you come, you men of the western regions!” He added, “Ah! You hereditary rulers and ministers of my friendly states; you, the ministers of instruction, of war, and of public works; the first and second officers and secretaries; and you, o men of Yong, Shu, Qiang, Mao, Wei, Lu, Peng and Bo; lift up your lances, join your shields, raise your spears, I have a speech to make.”
The king said, “The ancients have said, ‘The hen does not announce the morning. The crowing of a hen in the morning indicates the subversion of the family.’ Now Shou, the king of Shang, follows only the words of his wife. He has blindly thrown away the sacrifices, and makes no response (for the favours which he has received); he has blindly thrown away his paternal and maternal relatives, not treating them (properly). They are only the vagabonds of the empire, loaded with crimes, whom he honours and exalts, whom he employs and trusts, making them great officers and nobles, so that they can tyrannize over the people, exercising their villainies in the city of Shang. Now I, Fa (king Wu’s personal name), am simply executing respectfully the punishment appointed by heaven. In today’s business do not advance more than six or seven steps; and then stop and adjust your ranks: my brave men, be energetic! Do not exceed four blows, five blows, six blows, or seven blows; and then stop and adjust your ranks: my brave men, be energetic! Display a martial bearing. Be like tigers and panthers, like bears, and grisly bears; here in the border of Shang. Do not rush on those who fly to us in submission, but receive them to serve our western land: my brave men, be energetic! Which of your are not thus energetic, you will bring destruction on yourselves.”
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