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Chinese Text Project
Show translation:[None] [English]

《昏義 - Hun Yi》

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《昏義》 Library Resources
[Also known as: "The meaning of the marriage ceremony"]

1 昏義:
昏禮者,將合二姓之好,上以事宗廟,而下以繼後世也。故君子重之。是以昏禮納采、問名、納吉、納徵、請期,皆主人筵几於廟,而拜迎於門外,入,揖讓而升,聽命於廟,所以敬慎、重正昏禮也。
Hun Yi:
The ceremony of marriage was intended to be a bond of love between two (families of different) surnames, with a view, in its retrospective character, to secure the services in the ancestral temple, and in its prospective character, to secure the continuance of the family line. Therefore the superior men, (the ancient rulers), set a great value upon it. Hence, in regard to the various (introductory) ceremonies,--the proposal with its accompanying gift; the inquiries about the (lady's) name; the intimation of the approving divination; the receiving the special offerings; and the request to fix the day - these all were received by the principal party (on the lady's side), as he rested on his mat or leaning-stool in the ancestral temple, (When they arrived), he met the messenger, and greeted him outside the gate, giving place to him as he entered, after which they ascended to the hall. Thus were the instructions received in the ancestral temple, and in this way was the ceremony respected, and watched over, while its importance was exhibited and care taken that all its details should be correct.

2 昏義:
父親醮子,而命之迎,男先於女也。子承命以迎,主人筵几於廟,而拜迎于門外。婿執雁入,揖讓升堂,再拜奠雁,蓋親受之於父母也。降,出御婦車,而婿授綏,御輪三周。先俟於門外,婦至,婿揖婦以入,共牢而食,合巹而酳,所以合體同尊卑以親之也。
Hun Yi:
The father gave himself the special cup to his son, and ordered him to go and meet the bride; it being proper that the male should take the first step (in all the arrangements). The son, having received the order, proceeded to meet his bride. Her father, who had been resting on his mat and leaning-stool in the temple, met him outside the gate and received him with a bow, and then the son-in-law entered, carrying a wild goose. After the (customary) bows and yieldings of precedence, they went up to the hall, when the bridegroom bowed twice and put down the wild goose. Then and in this way he received the bride from her parents. After this they went down, and he went out and took the reins of the horses of her carriage, which he drove for three revolutions of the wheels, having handed the strap to assist her in mounting. He then went before, and waited outside his gate, When she arrived, he bowed to her as she entered. They ate together of the same animal, and joined in sipping from the cups made of the same melon; thus showing that they now formed one body, were of equal rank, and pledged to mutual affection.

3 昏義:
敬慎、重正,而後親之,禮之大體,而所以成男女之別,而立夫婦之義也。男女有別,而後夫婦有義;夫婦有義,而後父子有親;父子有親,而後君臣有正。故曰:昏禮者,禮之本也。
Hun Yi:
The respect, the caution, the importance, the attention to secure correctness in all the details, and then (the pledge of) mutual affection - these were the great points in the ceremony, and served to establish the distinction to be observed between man and woman, and the righteousness to be maintained between husband and wife. From the distinction between man and woman came the righteousness between husband and wife. From that righteousness came the affection between father and son; and from that affection, the rectitude between ruler and minister. Whence it is said, 'The ceremony of marriage is the root of the other ceremonial observances.'

4 昏義:
夫禮始於冠,本於昏,重於喪、祭,尊於朝、聘,和於射、鄉:此禮之大體也。
Hun Yi:
Ceremonies (might be said to) commence with the capping; to have their root in marriage; to be most important in the rites of mourning and sacrifice; to confer the greatest honour in audiences at the royal court and in the interchange of visits at the feudal courts; and to be most promotive of harmony in the country festivals and celebrations of archery. These were the greatest occasions of ceremony, and the principal points in them.

5 昏義:
夙興,婦沐浴以俟見;質明,贊見婦於舅姑,執笲、棗、栗、段修以見,贊醴婦,婦祭脯醢,祭醴,成婦禮也。舅姑入室,婦以特豚饋,明婦順也。厥明,舅姑共饗婦以一獻之禮,奠酬。舅姑先降自西階,婦降自阼階,以著代也。
Hun Yi:
Rising early (the morning after marriage), the young wife washed her head and bathed her person, and waited to be presented (to her husband's parents), which was done by the directrix, as soon as it was bright day. She appeared before them, bearing a basket with dates, chestnuts, and slices of dried spiced meat. The directrix set before her a cup of sweet liquor, and she offered in sacrifice some of the dried meat and also of the liquor, thus performing the ceremony which declared her their son's wife. The father and mother-in-law then entered their apartment, where she set before them a single dressed pig - thus showing the obedient duty of (their son's) wife. Next day, the parents united in entertaining the young wife, and when the ceremonies of their severally pledging her in a single cup, and her pledging them in return, had been performed, they descended by the steps on the west, and she by those on the east - thus showing that she would take the mother's place in the family.

6 昏義:
成婦禮,明婦順,又申之以著代,所以重責婦順焉也。婦順者,順於舅姑,和於室人;而後當於夫,以成絲麻布帛之事,以審守委積蓋藏。是故婦順備而後內和理;內和理而後家可長久也;故聖王重之。
Hun Yi:
Thus the ceremony establishing the young wife in her position; (followed by) that showing her obedient service (of her husband's parents); and both succeeded by that showing how she now occupied the position of continuing the family line - all served to impress her with a sense of the deferential duty proper to her. When she was thus deferential, she was obedient to her parents-in-law, and harmonious with all the occupants of the women's apartments; she was the fitting partner of her husband, and could carry on all the work in silk and linen, making cloth and silken fabrics, and maintaining a watchful care over the various stores and depositories (of the household). In this way when the deferential obedience of the wife was complete, the internal harmony was secured; and when the internal harmony was secured, the long continuance of the family could be calculated on. Therefore the ancient kings attached such importance (to the marriage ceremonies).

7 昏義:
是以古者婦人先嫁三月,祖禰未毀,教于公宮,祖禰既毀,教于宗室,教以婦德、婦言、婦容、婦功。教成祭之,牲用魚,芼之以蘋藻,所以成婦順也。
Hun Yi:
Therefore, anciently, for three months before the marriage of a young lady, if the temple of the high ancestor (of her surname) were still standing (and she had admission to it), she was taught in it, as the public hall (of the members of her surname); if it were no longer standing (for her), she was taught in the public hall of the Head of that branch of the surname to which she belonged - she was taught there the virtue, the speech, the carriage, and the work of a wife. When the teaching was accomplished, she offered a sacrifice (to the ancestor), using fish for the victim, and soups made of duckweed and pondweed. So was she trained to the obedience of a wife.

8 昏義:
古者天子後立六宮、三夫人、九嬪、二十七世婦、八十一御妻,以聽天下之內治,以明章婦順;故天下內和而家理。天子立六官、三公、九卿、二十七大夫、八十一元士,以聽天下之外治,以明章天下之男教;故外和而國治。故曰:天子聽男教,後聽女順;天子理陽道,後治陰德;天子聽外治,後聽內職。教順成俗,外內和順,國家理治,此之謂盛德。
Hun Yi:
Anciently, the queen of the son of Heaven divided the harem into six palace-halls, (occupied) by the 3 ladies called fu-ren, the 9 bin, the 27 shi-fu, and the 81 yu-qi. These were instructed in the domestic and private rule which should prevail throughout the kingdom, and how the deferential obedience of the wife should be illustrated; and thus internal harmony was everywhere secured, and families were regulated. (In the same way) the son of Heaven established six official departments, in which were distributed the 3 gong, the 9 qing, the 27 da fu, and the 81 shi of the highest grade. These were instructed in all that concerned the public and external government of the kingdom, and how the lessons for the man should be illustrated; and thus harmony was secured in all external affairs, and the states were properly governed. It is therefore said, 'From the son of Heaven there were learned the lessons for men; and from the queen, the obedience proper to women.' The son of Heaven directed the course to be pursued by the masculine energies, and the queen regulated the virtues to be cultivated by the feminine receptivities. The son of Heaven guided in all that affected the external administration (of affairs); and the queen, in all that concerned the internal regulation (of the family). The teachings (of the one) and the obedience (inculcated by the other) perfected the manners and ways (of the people); abroad and at home harmony and natural order prevailed; the states and the families were ruled according to their requirements - this was what is called 'the condition of complete virtue.'

9 昏義:
是故男教不修,陽事不得,適見於天,日為之食;婦順不修,陰事不得,適見於天,月為之食。是故日食則天子素服而修六官之職,蕩天下之陽事;月食則後素服而修六宮之職,蕩天下之陰事。故天子與後,猶日之與月、陰之與陽,相須而後成者也。天子修男教,父道也;後修女順,母道也。故曰:天子之與後,猶父之與母也。故為天王服斬衰,服父之義也;為後服資衰,服母之義也。
Hun Yi:
Therefore when the lessons for men are not cultivated, the masculine phenomena in nature do not proceed regularly;-as seen in the heavens, we have the sun eclipsed. When the obedience proper to women is not cultivated, the feminine phenomena in nature do not proceed regularly;-as seen in the heavens, we have the moon eclipsed. Hence on an eclipse of the sun, the son of Heaven put on plain white robes, and proceeded to repair what was wrong in the duties of the six official departments, purifying everything that belonged to the masculine sphere throughout the kingdom; and on an eclipse of the moon, the queen dressed herself in plain white robes, and proceeded to repair what was wrong in the duties of the six palace-halls, purifying everything that belonged to the feminine sphere throughout the kingdom. The son of Heaven is to the queen what the sun is to the moon, or the masculine energy of nature to the feminine. They are necessary to each other, and by their interdependence they fulfil their functions.

URN: ctp:liji/hun-yi