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

《禮運 - Li Yun》

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《禮運》 Library Resources
[Also known as: "Ceremonial usages; their origins, development, and intention"]

1 禮運:
昔者仲尼與於蜡賓,事畢,出游於觀之上,喟然而嘆。仲尼之嘆,蓋嘆魯也。言偃在側曰:「君子何嘆?」孔子曰:「大道之行也,與三代之英,丘未之逮也,而有志焉。」大道之行也,天下為公。選賢與能,講信修睦,故人不獨親其親,不獨子其子,使老有所終,壯有所用,幼有所長,矜寡孤獨廢疾者,皆有所養。男有分,女有歸。貨惡其棄於地也,不必藏於己;力惡其不出於身也,不必為己。是故謀閉而不興,盜竊亂賊而不作,故外戶而不閉,是謂大同。
Li Yun:
Formerly Zhong-ni was present as one of the guests at the Ji sacrifice; and when it was over, he went out and walked backwards and forwards on the terrace over the gate of Proclamations, looking sad and sighing. What made him sigh was the state of Lu. Yan Yan was by his side, and said to him, 'Master, what are you sighing about?' Confucius replied, 'I never saw the practice of the Grand course, and the eminent men of the three dynasties; but I have my object (in harmony with theirs). When the Grand course was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled all under the sky; they chose men of talents, virtue, and ability; their words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony. Thus men did not love their parents only, nor treat as children only their own sons. A competent provision was secured for the aged till their death, employment for the able-bodied, and the means of growing up to the young. They showed kindness and compassion to widows, orphans, childless men, and those who were disabled by disease, so that they were all sufficiently maintained. Males had their proper work, and females had their homes. (They accumulated) articles (of value), disliking that they should be thrown away upon the ground, but not wishing to keep them for their own gratification. (They laboured) with their strength, disliking that it should not be exerted, but not exerting it (only) with a view to their own advantage. In this way (selfish) schemings were repressed and found no development. Robbers, filchers, and rebellious traitors did not show themselves, and hence the outer doors remained open, and were not shut. This was (the period of) what we call the Grand Union.

2 禮運:
今大道既隱,天下為家,各親其親,各子其子,貨力為己,大人世及以為禮。城郭溝池以為固,禮義以為紀;以正君臣,以篤父子,以睦兄弟,以和夫婦,以設制度,以立田里,以賢勇知,以功為己。故謀用是作,而兵由此起。禹、湯、文、武、成王、周公,由此其選也。此六君子者,未有不謹於禮者也。以著其義,以考其信,著有過,刑仁講讓,示民有常。如有不由此者,在勢者去,眾以為殃,是謂小康。
Li Yun:
'Now that the Grand course has fallen into disuse and obscurity, the kingdom is a family inheritance. Every one loves (above all others) his own parents and cherishes (as) children (only) his own sons. People accumulate articles and exert their strength for their own advantage. Great men imagine it is the rule that their states should descend in their own families. Their object is to make the walls of their cities and suburbs strong and their ditches and moats secure. The rules of propriety and of what is right are regarded as the threads by which they seek to maintain in its correctness the relation between ruler and minister; in its generous regard that between father and son; in its harmony that between elder brother and younger; and in a community of sentiment that between husband and wife; and in accordance with them they frame buildings and measures; lay out the fields and hamlets (for the dwellings of the husbandmen); adjudge the superiority to men of valour and knowledge; and regulate their achievements with a view to their own advantage. Thus it is that (selfish) schemes and enterprises are constantly taking their rise, and recourse is had to arms; and thus it was (also) that Yu, Tang, Wen and Wu, king Cheng, and the duke of Zhou obtained their distinction. Of these six great men every one was very attentive to the rules of propriety, thus to secure the display of righteousness, the realisation of sincerity, the exhibition of errors, the exemplification of benevolence, and the discussion of courtesy, showing the people all the normal virtues. Any rulers who did not follow this course were driven away by those who possessed power and position, and all regarded them as pests. This is the period of what we call Small Tranquillity.'

3 禮運:
言偃復問曰:「如此乎禮之急也?」孔子曰:「夫禮,先王以承天之道,以治人之情。故失之者死,得之者生。《》曰:『相鼠有體,人而無禮;人而無禮,胡不遄死?』是故夫禮,必本於天,殽於地,列於鬼神,達於喪祭、射御、冠昏、朝聘。故聖人以禮示之,故天下國家可得而正也。」
Li Yun:
Yan Yan again asked, 'Are the rules of Propriety indeed of such urgent importance?' Confucius said, 'It was by those rules that the ancient kings sought to represent the ways of Heaven, and to regulate the feelings of men. Therefore he who neglects or violates them may be (spoken of) as dead, and he who observes them, as alive. It is said in the Book of Poetry, "Look at a rat-how small its limbs and fine! Then mark the course that scorns the proper line. Propriety's neglect may well provoke; A wish the man would quickly court death's stroke." Therefore those rules are rooted in heaven, have their correspondencies in earth, and are applicable to spiritual beings. They extend to funeral rites, sacrifices, archery, chariot-driving, capping, marriage, audiences, and friendly missions. Thus the sages made known these rules, and it became possible for the kingdom, with its states and clans, to reach its correct condition.'

4 禮運:
言偃復問曰:「夫子之極言禮也,可得而聞與?」孔子曰:「我欲觀夏道,是故之杞,而不足徵也;吾得夏時焉。我欲觀殷道,是故之宋,而不足徵也;吾得坤乾焉。坤乾之義,夏時之等,吾以是觀之。」
Li Yun:
Yan Yan again asked, 'May I be allowed to hear, Master, the full account that you would give of these rules?' Confucius said, 'I wished to see the ways of Xia, and for that purpose went to Qi. But it was not able to attest my words, though I found there "The seasons of Xia." I wished to see the ways of Yin, and for that purpose went to Song. But it was not able to attest my words, though I found there "The Kun Qian." In this way I got to see the meanings in the Kun Qian, and the different steps in the seasons of Xia.

5 禮運:
夫禮之初,始諸飲食,其燔黍捭豚,污尊而抔飲,蕢桴而土鼓,猶若可以致其敬於鬼神。及其死也,升屋而號,告曰:「皋!某復。」然後飯腥而苴孰。故天望而地藏也,體魄則降,知氣在上,故死者北首,生者南鄉,皆從其初。
Li Yun:
'At the first use of ceremonies, they began with meat and drink. They roasted millet and pieces of pork; they excavated the ground in the form of a jar, and scooped the water from it with their two hands; they fashioned a handle of clay, and struck with it an earthen drum. (Simple as these arrangements were), they yet seemed to be able to express by them their reverence for Spiritual Beings. (By-and-by), when one died, they went upon the housetop, and called out his name in a prolonged note, saying, "Come back, So and So." After this they filled the mouth (of the dead) with uncooked rice, and (set forth as offerings to him) packets of raw flesh. Thus they looked up to heaven (whither the spirit was gone), and buried (the body) in the earth. The body and the animal soul go downwards; and the intelligent spirit is on high. Thus (also) the dead are placed with their heads to the north, while the living look towards the south. In all these matters the earliest practice is followed.

6 禮運:
昔者先王,未有宮室,冬則居營窟,夏則居橧巢。未有火化,食草木之實、鳥獸之肉,飲其血,茹其毛。未有麻絲,衣其羽皮。後聖有作,然後修火之利,范金合土,以為臺榭、宮室、牖戶,以炮以燔,以亨以炙,以為醴酪;治其麻絲,以為布帛,以養生送死,以事鬼神上帝,皆從其朔。
Li Yun:
'Formerly the ancient kings had no houses. In winter they lived in caves which they had excavated, and in summer in nests which they had framed. They knew not yet the transforming power of fire, but ate the fruits of plants and trees, and the flesh of birds and beasts, drinking their blood, and swallowing (also) the hair and feathers. They knew not yet the use of flax and silk, but clothed themselves with feathers and skins. The later sages then arose, and men (learned) to take advantage of the benefits of fire. They moulded the metals and fashioned clay, so as to rear towers with structures on them, and houses with windows and doors. They toasted, grilled, boiled, and roasted. They produced must and sauces. They dealt with the flax and silk so as to form linen and silken fabrics. They were thus able to nourish the living, and to make offerings to the dead; to serve the spirits of the departed and God. In all these things we follow the example of that early time.

7 禮運:
故玄酒在室,醴醆在戶,粢醍在堂,澄酒在下。陳其犧牲,備其鼎俎,列其琴瑟管磬鐘鼓,修其祝嘏,以降上神與其先祖。以正君臣,以篤父子,以睦兄弟,以齊上下,夫婦有所。是謂承天之祜。
Li Yun:
'Thus it is that the dark-coloured liquor is in the apartment (where the representative of the dead is entertained); that the vessel of must is near its (entrance) door; that the reddish liquor is in the hall; and the clear, in the (court) below. The victims (also) are displayed, and the tripods and stands are prepared. The lutes and citherns are put in their places, with the flutes, sonorous stones, bells, and drums. The prayers (of the principal in the sacrifice to the spirits) and the benedictions (of the representatives of the departed) are carefully framed. The object of all the ceremonies is to bring down the spirits from above, even their ancestors; serving (also) to rectify the relations between ruler and ministers; to maintain the generous feeling between father and son, and the harmony between elder and younger brother; to adjust the relations between high and low; and to give their proper places to husband and wife. The whole may be said to secure the blessing of Heaven.

8 禮運:
作其祝號,玄酒以祭,薦其血毛,腥其俎,孰其殽,與其越席,疏布以冪,衣其浣帛,醴醆以獻,薦其燔炙,君與夫人交獻,以嘉魂魄,是謂合莫。然後退而合亨,體其犬豕牛羊,實其簠簋、籩豆、鉶羹。祝以孝告,嘏以慈告,是謂大祥。此禮之大成也。
Li Yun:
'They proceed to their invocations, using in each the appropriate terms. The dark-coloured liquor is employed in (every) sacrifice. The blood with the hair and feathers (of the victim) is presented. The flesh, uncooked, is set forth on the stands. The bones with the flesh on them are sodden; and rush mats and coarse cloth are placed underneath and over the vases and cups. The robes of dyed silk are put on. The must and clarified liquor are presented. The flesh, roasted and grilled, is brought forward. The ruler and his wife take alternate parts in presenting these offerings, all being done to please the souls of the departed, and constituting a union (of the living) with the disembodied and unseen. These services having been completed, they retire, and cook again all that was insufficiently done. The dogs, pigs, bullocks, and sheep are dismembered. The shorter dishes (round and square), the taller ones of bamboo and wood, and the soup vessels are all filled. There are the prayers which express the filial piety (of the worshipper), and the benediction announcing the favour (of his ancestors). This may be called the greatest omen of prosperity; and in this the ceremony obtains its grand completion.'

9 禮運:
孔子曰:「於呼哀哉!我觀周道,幽、厲傷之,吾舍魯何適矣!魯之郊禘,非禮也,周公其衰矣!杞之郊也禹也,宋之郊也契也,是天子之事守也。故天子祭天地,諸侯祭社稷。」
Li Yun:
Confucius said, 'Ah! Alas! I look at the ways of Zhou. (The kings) You and Li corrupted them indeed, but if I leave Lu, where shall I go (to find them better)? The border sacrifice of Lu, (however,) and (the association with it of) the founder of the line (of Zhou) is contrary to propriety - how have (the institutions of) the duke of Zhou fallen into decay! At the border sacrifice in Qi, Yu was the assessor, and at that in Song, Xie; but these were observances of the sons of Heaven, preserved (in those states by their descendants). The rule is that (only) the son of Heaven sacrifices to heaven and earth, and the princes of states sacrifice at the altars to the spirits of the land and grain.'

10 禮運:
祝嘏莫敢易其常古,是謂大假。祝嘏辭說,藏於宗祝巫史,非禮也,是謂幽國。醆斝及尸君,非禮也,是謂僭君。冕弁兵革藏於私家,非禮也,是謂脅君。大夫具官,祭器不假,聲樂皆具,非禮也,是謂亂國。
Li Yun:
When no change is presumptuously made from the constant practice from the oldest times between the prayer and blessing (at the beginning of the sacrifice), and the benediction (at the end of it), we have what might be called a great and happy service. For the words of prayer and blessing and those of benediction to be kept hidden away by the officers of prayer of the ancestral temple, and the sorcerers and recorders, is a violation of the rules of propriety. This may be called keeping a state in darkness. (The use of) the zhan cup (of Xia) and the jia cup (of Yin), and (the pledging in them) between the representative of the dead and the ruler are contrary to propriety; these things constitute 'a usurping ruler.' (For ministers and Great officers to) keep the cap with pendents and the leathern cap, or military weapons, in their own houses is contrary to propriety. To do so constitutes 'restraint of the ruler.' For Great officers to maintain a full staff of employees, to have so many sacrificial vessels that they do not need to borrow any; and have singers and musical instruments all complete, is contrary to propriety. For them to do so leads to 'disorder in a state'.

11 禮運:
故仕於公曰臣,仕於家曰仆。三年之喪,與新有昏者,期不使。以衰裳入朝,與家仆雜居齊齒,非禮也,是謂君與臣同國。故天子有田以處其子孫,諸侯有國以處其子孫,大夫有采以處其子孫,是謂制度。故天子適諸侯,必舍其祖朝,而不以禮籍入,是謂天子壞法亂紀。諸侯非問疾吊喪而入諸臣之家,是謂君臣為謔。
Li Yun:
Thus, one sustaining office under the ruler is called a minister, and one sustaining office under the head of a clan is called a servant. Either of these, who is in mourning for a parent, or has newly married, is not sent on any mission for a year. To enter court in decayed robes, or to live promiscuously with his servants, taking place among them according to age:--all these things are contrary to propriety. Where we have them, we have what is called 'ruler and minister sharing the state.' Thus, the son of Heaven has his domain that he may settle there his sons and grandsons; and the feudal princes have their states; and Great officers their appanages that they may do the same for theirs. This constitutes 'the statutory arrangement.' Thus, when the son of Heaven goes to visit a feudal prince, the rule is that he shall lodge in the ancestral temple, and that he do not enter it without having with him all the rules to be observed. If he act otherwise, we have an instance of 'The son of Heaven perverting the laws, and throwing the regulations into confusion.' A prince, unless it be to ask about the sick or to condole with a mourner, does not enter the house of a minister. If he act otherwise, we have the case of 'ruler and minister playing with each other.'

12 禮運:
是故,禮者君之大柄也,所以別嫌明微,儐鬼神,考制度,別仁義,所以治政安君也。故政不正,則君位危;君位危,則大臣倍,小臣竊。刑肅而俗敝,則法無常;法無常,而禮無列;禮無列,則士不事也。刑肅而俗敝,則民弗歸也,是謂疵國。
Li Yun:
Therefore, ceremonies form a great instrument in the hands of a ruler. It is by them that he resolves what is doubtful and brings to light what is abstruse; that he conducts his intercourse with spiritual beings, examines all statutory arrangements, and distinguishes benevolence from righteousness; it is by them, in short, that government is rightly ordered, and his own tranquillity secured. When government is not correct, the ruler's seat is insecure. When the ruler's seat is insecure, the great ministers revolt, and smaller ones begin pilfering. Punishments (then) are made severe, and manners deteriorate. Thus the laws become irregular; and when the laws are irregular, the rules of ceremony uncertain. When these are uncertain, officers do not perform their duties; and when punishments become severe, and manners deteriorate, the people do not turn (to what is right). We have that condition which may be described as 'an infirm state.'

13 禮運:
故政者君之所以藏身也。是故夫政必本於天,殽以降命。命降于社之謂殽地,降于祖廟之謂仁義,降於山川之謂興作,降於五祀之謂制度。此聖人所以藏身之固也。
Li Yun:
In this way government is the means by which the ruler keeps and protects his person, and therefore it must have a fundamental connection with Heaven. This uses a variety of ways in sending down the intimations of Its will. As learned from the altars of the land, these are (receptivity and docility) imparted to the earth. As learned from the ancestral temple, they are benevolence and righteousness. As learned from the altars of the hills and streams, they are movement and activity. As learned from the five sacrifices of the house, they are the statutes (of their various spirits). It is in this way that the sage rulers made provision for the safe keeping of their persons.

14 禮運:
故聖人參於天地,并於鬼神,以治政也。處其所存,禮之序也;玩其所樂,民之治也。故天生時而地生財,人其父生而師教之:四者,君以正用之,故君者立於無過之地也。
Li Yun:
Hence the sage forms a ternion with Heaven and Earth, and stands side by side with spiritual beings, in order to the right ordering of government. Taking his place on the ground of the principles inherent in them, he devised ceremonies in their order; calling them to the happy exercise of that in which they find pleasure, he secured the success of the government of the people. Heaven produces the seasons. Earth produces all the sources of wealth. Man is begotten by his father, and instructed by his teacher. The ruler correctly uses these four agencies, and therefore he stands in the place where there is no error.

15 禮運:
故君者所明也,非明人者也。君者所養也,非養人者也。君者所事也,非事人者也。故君明人則有過,養人則不足,事人則失位。故百姓則君以自治也,養君以自安也,事君以自顯也。故禮達而分定,人皆愛其死而患其生。
Li Yun:
Hence the ruler is he to whose brightness men look; he does not seek to brighten men. The ruler is he whom men support; he does not seek to support men. The ruler is he whom men serve; he does not seek to serve men. If the ruler were to seek to brighten men, he would fall into errors. If he were to seek to nourish men, he would be unequal to the task. If he were to seek to serve men, he would be giving up his position. Therefore the people imitate the ruler, and we have their self-government; they nourish their ruler, and they find their security in doing so; they serve the ruler, and find their distinction in doing so. Thus it is by the universal application of the rules of propriety, that the lot and duty (of different classes) are fixed; thus it is that men (acting contrary to those rules,) would all have to account death a boon, and life an evil.

16 禮運:
故用人之知去其詐,用人之勇去其怒,用人之仁去其貪。
Li Yun:
Therefore (the ruler), making use of the wisdom of others, will put away the cunning to which that wisdom might lead him; using their courage, he will (in the same way) put away passion; and using their benevolence, he will put away covetousness.

17 禮運:
故國有患,君死社稷謂之義,大夫死宗廟謂之變。
Li Yun:
Therefore, when calamity comes on a state, for the ruler to die for its altars is to be regarded as right; but for a Great officer to die for the ancestral temple is to be regarded as a change (of the duty required from him).

18 禮運:
故聖人耐以天下為一家,以中國為一人者,非意之也,必知其情,辟於其義,明於其利,達於其患,然後能為之。何謂人情?喜怒哀懼愛惡欲七者,弗學而能。何謂人義?父慈、子孝、兄良、弟弟、夫義、婦聽、長惠、幼順、君仁、臣忠十者,謂之人義。講信修睦,謂之人利。爭奪相殺,謂之人患。故聖人所以治人七情,修十義,講信修睦,尚辭讓,去爭奪,舍禮何以治之?
Li Yun:
Therefore when it is said that (the ruler being) a sage can look on all under the sky as one family, and on all in the Middle states as one man, this does not mean that he will do so on premeditation and purpose. He must know men's feelings, lay open to them what they consider right, show clearly to them what is advantageous, and comprehend what are their calamities. Being so furnished, he is then able to effect the thing. What are the feelings of men? They are joy, anger, sadness, fear, love, disliking, and liking. These seven feelings belong to men without their learning them. What are 'the things which men consider right?' Kindness on the part of the father, and filial duty on that of the son; gentleness on the part of the elder brother, and obedience on that of the younger; righteousness on the part of the husband, and submission on that of the wife; kindness on the part of elders, and deference on that of juniors; with benevolence on the part of the ruler, and loyalty on that of the minister - these ten are the things which men consider to be right. Truthfulness in speech and the cultivation of harmony constitute what are called 'the things advantageous to men.' Quarrels, plundering, and murders are 'the things disastrous to men.' Hence, when a sage (ruler) would regulate the seven feelings of men, cultivate the ten virtues that are right; promote truthfulness of speech, and the maintenance of harmony; show his value for kindly consideration and complaisant courtesy; and put away quarrelling and plundering, if he neglect the rules of propriety, how shall he succeed?

19 禮運:
飲食男女,人之大欲存焉;死亡貧苦,人之大惡存焉。故欲惡者,心之大端也。人藏其心,不可測度也;美惡皆在其心,不見其色也,欲一以窮之,舍禮何以哉?
Li Yun:
The things which men greatly desire are comprehended in meat and drink and sexual pleasure; those which they greatly dislike are comprehended in death, exile, poverty, and suffering. Thus liking and disliking are the great elements in men's minds. But men keep them hidden in their minds, where they cannot be fathomed or measured. The good and the bad of them being in their minds, and no outward manifestation of them being visible, if it be wished to determine these qualities in one uniform way, how can it be done without the use of the rules of propriety (implied in the ceremonial usages)?

20 禮運:
故人者,其天地之德,陰陽之交,鬼神之會,五行之秀氣也。故天秉陽,垂日星;地秉陰,竅於山川。播五行於四時,和而後月生也。是以三五而盈,三五而闕。五行之動,迭相竭也,五行、四時、十二月,還相為本也;五聲、六律、十二管,還相為宮也;五味、六和、十二食,還相為質也;五色、六章、十二衣,還相為質也。故人者,天地之心也,五行之端也,食味別聲被色而生者也。
Li Yun:
Man is (the product of) the attributes of Heaven and Earth, (by) the interaction of the dual forces of nature, the union of the animal and intelligent (souls), and the finest subtile matter of the five elements. Heaven exercises the control of the strong and light force, and hangs out the sun and stars. Earth exercises the control of the dark and weaker force, and gives vent to it in the hills and streams. The five elements are distributed through the four seasons, and it is by their harmonious action that the moon is produced, which therefore keeps waxing for fifteen days and waning for fifteen. The five elements in their movements alternately displace and exhaust one another. Each one of them, in the revolving course of the twelve months of the four seasons, comes to be in its turn the fundamental one for the time. The five notes of harmony, with their six upper musical accords, and the twelve pitch-tubes, come each, in their revolutions among themselves, to be the first note of the scale. The five flavours, with the six condiments, and the twelve articles of diet, come each one, in their revolutions (in the course of the year), to give its character to the food. The five colours, with the six elegant figures, which they form on the two robes, come each one, in their revolutions among themselves, to give the character of the dress that is worn. Therefore Man is the heart and mind of Heaven and Earth, and the visible embodiment of the five elements. He lives in the enjoyment of all flavours, the discriminating of all notes (of harmony), and the enrobing of all colours.

21 禮運:
故聖人作則,必以天地為本,以陰陽為端,以四時為柄,以日星為紀,月以為量,鬼神以為徒,五行以為質,禮義以為器,人情以為田,四靈以為畜。
Li Yun:
Thus it was that when the sages would make rules (for men), they felt it necessary to find the origin (of all things) in heaven and earth; to make the two forces (of nature) the commencement (of all); to use the four seasons as the handle (of their arrangements); to adopt the sun and stars as the recorders (of time), the moon as the measurer (of work to be done), the spirits breathing (in nature) as associates, the five elements as giving substance (to things), rules of propriety and righteousness as (their) instruments, the feelings of men as the field (to be cultivated), and the four intelligent creatures as domestic animals (to be reared).

22 禮運:
以天地為本,故物可舉也;以陰陽為端,故情可睹也;以四時為柄,故事可勸也;以日星為紀,故事可列也;月以為量,故功有藝也;鬼神以為徒,故事有守也;五行以為質,故事可復也;禮義以為器,故事行有考也;人情以為田,故人以為奧也;四靈以為畜,故飲食有由也。
Li Yun:
The origin of all things being found in heaven and earth, they could be taken in hand, one after the other. The commencement of these being found in the two forces (of nature), their character and tendencies could be observed. The four seasons being used as a handle, (the people) could be stimulated to the business (of each). The sun and stars being constituted the measures of time, that business could be laid out in order. The moon being taken as the measure (of work to be done), that work could be accomplished successfully. The spirits breathing (in nature) being considered as associates, what is done will be maintained permanently. The five elements being considered as giving substance (to things), what has been done could be repeated. Rules of propriety and righteousness being viewed as the instruments, whatever was done would be completed. The feelings of men being the field to be cultivated, men would look up (to the sages) as to their lords. The four intelligent creatures being made to become domestic animals, there would be constant sources of food and drink.

23 禮運:
何謂四靈?麟鳳龜龍,謂之四靈。故龍以為畜,故魚鮪不淰;鳳以為畜,故鳥不獝;麟以為畜,故獸不狘;龜以為畜,故人情不失。
Li Yun:
What were the four intelligent creatures? They were the Qi-lin, the phoenix, the tortoise, and the dragon. When the dragon becomes a domestic animal, (all other) fishes and the sturgeon do not lie hidden from men (in the mud). When the phoenix becomes so, the birds do not fly from them in terror. When the Qi-lin does so, the beasts do not scamper away. When the tortoise does so, the feelings of men take no erroneous course.

24 禮運:
故先王秉蓍龜,列祭祀,瘞繒,宣祝嘏辭說,設制度,故國有禮,官有御,事有職,禮有序。
Li Yun:
The ancient kings made use of the stalks and the tortoise-shell; arranged their sacrifices; buried their offerings of silk; recited their words of supplication and benediction; and made their statutes and measures. In this way arose the ceremonial usages of the states, the official departments with their administrators, each separate business with its own duties, and the rules of ceremony in their orderly arrangements.

25 禮運:
故先王患禮之不達於下也,故祭帝於郊,所以定天位也;祀社於國,所以列地利也;祖廟所以本仁也,山川所以儐鬼神也,五祀所以本事也。故宗祝在廟,三公在朝,三老在學。王,前巫而後史,卜筮瞽侑皆在左右,王中心無為也,以守至正。
Li Yun:
Thus it was that the ancient kings were troubled lest the ceremonial usages should not be generally understood by all below them. They therefore sacrificed to God in the suburb (of the capital), and thus the place of heaven was established. They sacrificed at the altar of the earth inside the capital, and thus they intimated the benefits derived from the earth. Their sacrifices in the ancestral temple gave their fundamental place to the sentiments of humanity. Those at the altars of the hills and streams served to mark their intercourse with the spirits breathing (in nature). Their five sacrifices (of the house) were a recognition of the various business which was to be done. For the same reason, there are the officers of prayer in the ancestral temple; the three ducal ministers in the court; and the three classes of old men in the college. In front of the king there were the sorcerers, and behind him the recorders; the diviners by the tortoise-shell and by the stalks, the blind musicians and their helpers were all on his left and right. He himself was in the centre. His mind had nothing to do, but to maintain what was entirely correct.

26 禮運:
故禮行於郊,而百神受職焉,禮行於社,而百貨可極焉,禮行於祖廟而孝慈服焉,禮行於五祀而正法則焉。故自郊社、祖廟、山川、五祀,義之修而禮之藏也。
Li Yun:
By means of the ceremonies performed in the suburb, all the spirits receive their offices. By means of those performed at the altar of the earth, all the things yielded (by the earth) receive their fullest development. By means of those in the ancestral temple, the services of filial duty and of kindly affection come to be discharged. By means of those at the five sacrifices of the house, the laws and rules of life are correctly exhibited. Hence when the ideas in these sacrifices in the suburb, at the altar of the earth, in the ancestral temple, at the altars of the hills and streams, and of the five sacrifices of the house are fully apprehended, the ceremonies used are found to be lodged in them.

27 禮運:
是故夫禮,必本於大一,分而為天地,轉而為陰陽,變而為四時,列而為鬼神。其降曰命,其官於天也。夫禮必本於天,動而之地,列而之事,變而從時,協於分藝,其居人也曰養,其行之以貨力、辭讓:飲食、冠昏、喪祭、射御、朝聘。
Li Yun:
From all this it follows that rules of ceremony must be traced to their origin in the Grand Unity. This separated and became heaven and earth. It revolved and became the dual force (in nature). It changed and became the four seasons. It was distributed and became the breathings (thrilling in the universal frame). Its (lessons) transmitted (to men) are called its orders; the law and authority of them is in Heaven. While the rules of ceremony have their origin in heaven, the movement of them reaches to earth. The distribution of them extends to all the business (of life). They change with the seasons; they agree in reference to the (variations of) lot and condition. In regard to man, they serve to nurture (his nature). They are practised by means of offerings, acts of strength, words and postures of courtesy, in eating and drinking, in the observances of capping, marriage, mourning, sacrificing, archery, chariot-driving, audiences, and friendly missions.

28 禮運:
故禮義也者,人之大端也,所以講信修睦而固人之肌膚之會、筋骸之束也。所以養生送死事鬼神之大端也。所以達天道順人情之大竇也。故唯聖人為知禮之不可以已也,故壞國、喪家、亡人,必先去其禮。
Li Yun:
Thus propriety and righteousness are the great elements for man's (character); it is by means of them that his speech is the expression of truth and his intercourse (with others) the promotion of harmony; they are (like) the union of the cuticle and cutis, and the binding together of the muscles and bones in strengthening (the body). They constitute the great methods by which we nourish the living, bury the dead, and serve the spirits of the departed. They supply the channels by which we can apprehend the ways of Heaven and act as the feelings of men require. It was on this account that the sages knew that the rules of ceremony could not be dispensed with, while the ruin of states, the destruction of families, and the perishing of individuals are always preceded by their abandonment of the rules of propriety.

29 禮運:
故禮之於人也,猶酒之有蘗也,君子以厚,小人以薄。故聖王修義之柄、禮之序,以治人情。故人情者,聖王之田也。修禮以耕之,陳義以種之,講學以耨之,本仁以聚之,播樂以安之。故禮也者,義之實也。協諸義而協,則禮雖先王未之有,可以義起也。義者藝之分、仁之節也,協於藝,講於仁,得之者強。仁者,義之本也,順之體也,得之者尊。
Li Yun:
Therefore the rules of propriety are for man what the yeast is for liquor. The superior man by (his use of them) becomes better and greater. The small man by his neglect of them becomes meaner and worse. Therefore the sage kings cultivated and fashioned the lever of righteousness and the ordering of ceremonial usages, in order to regulate the feelings of men. Those feelings were the field (to be cultivated by) the sage kings. They fashioned the rules of ceremony to plough it. They set forth the principles of righteousness with which to plant it. They instituted the lessons of the school to weed it. They made love the fundamental subject by which to gather all its fruits, and they employed the training in music to give repose (to the minds of learners). Thus, rules of ceremony are the embodied expression of what is right. If an observance stand the test of being judged by the standard of what is right, although it may not have been among the usages of the ancient kings, it may be adopted on the ground of its being right. (The idea of) right makes the distinction between things, and serves to regulate (the manifestation of) humanity. When it is found in anything and its relation to humanity has been discussed, the possessor of it will be strong. Humanity is the root of right, and the embodying of deferential consideration. The possessor of it is honoured.

30 禮運:
故治國不以禮,猶無耜而耕也;為禮不本於義,猶耕而弗種也;為義而不講之以學,猶種而弗耨也;講之於學而不合之以仁,猶耨而弗獲也;合之以仁而不安之以樂,猶獲而弗食也;安之以樂而不達於順,猶食而弗肥也。
Li Yun:
Therefore to govern a state without the rules of propriety would be to plough a field without a share. To make those rules without laying their foundation in right would be to plough the ground and not sow the seed. To think to practise the right without enforcing it in the school would be to sow the seed and not weed the plants. To enforce the lessons in the schools, and insist on their agreement with humanity, would be to weed and not to reap. To insist on the agreement of the lessons with humanity, and not give repose to (the minds of) the learners by music, would be to reap, and not eat (the product). To supply the repose of music and not proceed to the result of deferential consideration would be to eat the product and get no fattening from it.

31 禮運:
四體既正,膚革充盈,人之肥也。父子篤,兄弟睦,夫婦和,家之肥也。大臣法,小臣廉,官職相序,君臣相正,國之肥也。天子以德為車、以樂為御,諸侯以禮相與,大夫以法相序,士以信相考,百姓以睦相守,天下之肥也。是謂大順。
Li Yun:
When the four limbs are all well proportioned, and the skin is smooth and full, the individual is in good condition. When there is generous affection between father and son, harmony between brothers, and happy union between husband and wife, the family is in good condition. When the great ministers are observant of the laws, the smaller ministers pure, officers and their duties kept in their regular relations and the ruler and his ministers are correctly helpful to one another, the state is in good condition. When the son of Heaven moves in his virtue as a chariot, with music as his driver, while all the princes conduct their mutual intercourse according to the rules of propriety, the Great officers maintain the order between them according to the laws, inferior officers complete one another by their good faith, and the common people guard one another with a spirit of harmony, all under the sky is in good condition. All this produces what we call (the state of) great mutual consideration (and harmony).

32 禮運:
大順者,所以養生送死、事鬼神之常也。故事大積焉而不苑,并行而不繆,細行而不失。深而通,茂而有間。連而不相及也,動而不相害也,此順之至也。故明於順,然後能守危也。故禮之不同也,不豐也,不殺也,所以持情而合危也。
Li Yun:
This great mutual consideration and harmony would ensure the constant nourishment of the living, the burial of the dead, and the service of the spirits (of the departed). However greatly things might accumulate, there would be no entanglement among them. They would move on together without error, and the smallest matters would proceed without failure. However deep some might be, they would be comprehended. However thick and close their array, there would be spaces between them. They would follow one another without coming into contact. They would move about without doing any hurt to one another. This would be the perfection of such a state of mutual harmony. Therefore the clear understanding of this state will lead to the securing of safety in the midst of danger. Hence the different usages of ceremony, and the maintenance of them in their relative proportions as many or few, are means of keeping hold of the feelings of men, and of uniting (high and low, and saving them from) peril.

33 禮運:
故聖王所以順,山者不使居川,不使渚者居中原,而弗敝也。用水火金木,飲食必時。合男女,頒爵位,必當年德。用民必順。故無水旱昆蟲之災,民無凶饑妖孽之疾。故天不愛其道,地不愛其寶,人不愛其情。故天降膏露,地出醴泉,山出器車,河出馬圖,鳳凰麒麟皆在郊棷,龜龍在宮沼,其餘鳥獸之卵胎,皆可俯而窺也。則是無故,先王能修禮以達義,體信以達順,故此順之實也。
Li Yun:
The sage kings showed their sense of this state of harmony in the following way: They did not make the occupants of the hills (remove and) live by the streams, nor the occupants of the islands (remove and live) in the plains; and thus the (people) complained of no hardship. They used water, fire, metal, wood, and the different articles of food and drink, each in its proper season. They promoted the marriages of men and women, and distributed rank and office, according to the years and virtues of the parties. They employed the people with due regard to their duties and wishes. Thus it was that there were no plagues of flood, drought, or insects, and the people did not suffer from bad grass or famine, from untimely deaths or irregular births. On account of all this heaven did not grudge its methods; earth did not grudge its treasures; men did not grudge (the regulation of) their feelings. Heaven sent down its fattening dews; earth sent forth its springs of sweet wine; hills produced implements and chariots; the Ho sent forth the horse with the map (on, his back)'. Phoenixes and Qi-lins were among the trees of the suburbs, tortoises and dragons in the ponds of the palaces, while the other birds and beasts could be seen at a glance in their nests and breeding places. All this resulted from no other cause but that the ancient kings were able to fashion their ceremonial usages so as to convey the underlying ideas of right, and embody their truthfulness so as to secure the universal and mutual harmony. This was the realisation of it.

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