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

《聘義 - Pin Yi》

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《聘義》 Library Resources
[Also known as: "The meaning of the interchange of missions beteween different courts"]

1 聘義:
聘禮,上公七介,侯、伯五介,子、男三介,所以明貴賤也。
Pin Yi:
According to the ceremonies in missions, a duke of the highest grade sent seven attendants with (his representative); a marquis or earl, five; and a count or baron, three. The difference in number served to show the difference in rank of their principals.

2 聘義:
介紹而傳命,君子於其所尊弗敢質,敬之至也。
Pin Yi:
The messages (between the visitor and the host) were passed through all the attendants, from one to another. A superior man, where he wishes to do honour, will not venture to communicate directly and in person. This was a high tribute of respect.

3 聘義:
三讓而後傳命,三讓而後入廟門,三揖而後至階,三讓而後升,所以致尊讓也。
Pin Yi:
The message was transmitted (only) after the messenger had thrice declined to receive (the courtesies offered to him at the gate); he entered the gate of the ancestral temple after thrice in the same way trying to avoid doing so; thrice he exchanged bows with his conductor before they arrived at the steps; and thrice he yielded the precedence offered to him before he ascended the hall - so did he carry to the utmost his giving of honour and yielding courtesy.

4 聘義:
君使士迎于竟,大夫郊勞,君親拜迎于大門之內而廟受,北面拜貺,拜君命之辱,所以致敬也。
Pin Yi:
The ruler sent an officer to meet (the messenger) at the border (of the state), and a Great officer to offer him the customary presents and congratulations (after the toils of the journey) in the suburb (near the capital); he himself met him and bowed to him inside the great gate, and then received him in the ancestral temple; with his face to the north he bowed to him when the presents (which he brought) were presented, and bowed again (when his message was delivered), in acknowledgment of its condescension - in this way did he (on his part) testify his respect.

5 聘義:
敬讓也者,君子之所以相接也。故諸侯相接以敬讓,則不相侵陵。
Pin Yi:
Respectfulness and yielding courtesy mark the intercourse of superior men with one another. Hence, when the feudal lords received one another with such respectfulness and yielding courtesy, they would not attack or encroach on one another.

6 聘義:
卿為上擯,大夫為承擯,士為紹擯;君親禮賓;賓私面、私覿;致饔餼、還圭璋、賄、贈、饗、食、燕,所以明賓客君臣之義也。
Pin Yi:
A high minister is employed as principal usher (for the messenger), a Great officer as the next, and (ordinary) officers acted as their attendants. (When he had delivered his message), the ruler himself showed him courtesy, (and presented to him the cup of new liquor). He had his private interviews (with the dignitaries and Great officers of the court), and also with the ruler. (After this), supplies of animals, slaughtered and living, were sent (to his hotel). (When he was about to take his departure), the jade-symbols (by which he was accredited) were returned to him, and the return gifts (of silk and other things) presented at the same time. He had been entertained and feasted. All these observances served to illustrate the idea underlying the relations between ruler and minister in receiving visitors and guests.

7 聘義:
故天子制諸侯,比年小聘,三年大聘,相厲以禮。使者聘而誤,主君弗親饗食也。所以愧厲之也。諸侯相厲以禮,則外不相侵,內不相陵。此天子之所以養諸侯,兵不用而諸侯自為正之具也。
Pin Yi:
Therefore it was a statute made by the son of Heaven for the feudal lords, that every year they should interchange a small mission, and every three years a great one - thus stimulating one another to the exercise of courtesy. If the messenger committed any error in the exchange of his mission, the ruler, his host, did not personally entertain and feast him - thereby making him ashamed, and stimulating him. When the princes thus stimulated one another to the observance of the ceremonial usages, they did not make any attacks on one another, and in their states there was no oppression or encroachment. In this way the son of Heaven cherished and nourished them; there was no occasion for any appeal to arms, and they were furnished with an instrument to maintain themselves in rectitude.

8 聘義:
以圭璋聘,重禮也;已聘而還圭璋,此輕財而重禮之義也。諸侯相厲以輕財重禮,則民作讓矣。
Pin Yi:
(The commissioners) carried with them their jade-symbols, the sceptre and half-sceptre - showing the importance of the ceremony. On the completion of their mission, these were returned to them - showing the small importance to be attached to their value, and the great importance of the ceremony. When the princes thus stimulated one another, to set light by the value of the articles, and recognise the importance of the ceremony, the people learned to be yielding and courteous.

9 聘義:
主國待客,出入三積,餼客於舍,五牢之具陳於內,米三十車,禾三十車,芻薪倍禾,皆陳於外,乘禽日五雙,群介皆有餼牢,壹食再饗,燕與時賜無數,所以厚重禮也。
Pin Yi:
The prince of the state to which the mission was sent treated his guests in this way - Till their departure from their coming, they were supplied from the three stores (provided for such purposes). Living animals were sent to them at their lodging. A provision of five sets of the three animals for slaughter was made inside. Thirty loads of rice, the same number of grain with the straw, and twice as many of fodder and firewood were provided outside. There were five pairs of birds that went in flocks every day. All the attendants had cattle supplied to them for their food. There was one meal (a day in the court), and two (spare) entertainments (in the temple). The banquets and occasional bounties were without any definite number. With such generosity was the importance of the ceremony indicated.

10 聘義:
古之用財者不能均如此,然而用財如此其厚者,言盡之於禮也。盡之於禮,則內君臣不相陵,而外不相侵。故天子制之,而諸侯務焉爾。
Pin Yi:
They could not always be so profuse as this in antiquity in the use of their wealth; but their employment of it thus liberally (in connexion with these missions) showed how they were prepared to devote it to the maintenance of the ceremonies. When they expended it as they did on the ceremonies, then in the states ruler and minister did not encroach on one another's rights and possessions, and different states did not attack one another. It was on this account that the kings made their statute about these missions, and the feudal lords did their utmost to fulfil it.

11 聘義:
聘、射之禮,至大禮也。質明而始行事,日幾中而後禮成,非強有力者弗能行也。故強有力者,將以行禮也。酒清,人渴而不敢飲也;肉乾,人饑而不敢食也;日莫人倦,齊莊正齊,而不敢解惰。以成禮節,以正君臣,以親父子,以和長幼。此眾人之所難,而君子行之,故謂之有行;有行之謂有義,有義之謂勇敢。故所貴於勇敢者,貴其能以立義也;所貴於立義者,貴其有行也;所貴於有行者,貴其行禮也。故所貴於勇敢者,貴其敢行禮義也。故勇敢強有力者,天下無事,則用之於禮義;天下有事,則用之於戰勝。用之於戰勝則無敵,用之於禮義則順治;外無敵,內順治,此之謂盛德。故聖王之貴勇敢強有力如此也。勇敢強有力而不用之於禮義戰勝,而用之於爭鬬,則謂之亂人。刑罰行於國,所誅者亂人也。如此則民順治而國安也。
Pin Yi:
The archery in connexion with these missions was a very great institution. With the early dawn they commenced it, and it was nearly midday before the whole of the ceremonies were concluded - it required men of great vigour and strength to go through with it. And further, when such men were about to engage in it, though the liquor might be clear and they were thirsty, they did not venture to drink of it; though the stalks of flesh were dry (and ready to their hand), and they were hungry, they did not venture to eat of them; at the close of the day, when they were tired, they continued to maintain a grave and correct deportment. So they carried out all the details of the ceremonies; so they maintained correctly the relation between ruler and subject, affection between father and son, and harmony between seniors and juniors. All this it is difficult for the generality of men to do, but it was done by those superior men; and on this account they were called men possessed of great ability in action. The ascribing to them such ability in action implied their possession of the sense of righteousness; and their possession of that sense implied that they were valiant and daring. The most valuable quality in a man who is bold and daring is that he can thereby establish his sense of righteousness; the most valuable quality in him who establishes that sense is that he can thereby show his great ability in action; the most valuable quality in him who has that ability is that he can carry all ceremonies into practice. In this way, the most valuable quality in valiant daring is that its possessor dares to carry into practice the rules of ceremony and righteousness. It follows from this that such men, bold and daring, full of vigour and strength, when the kingdom was at peace, employed their gifts in the exercise of propriety and righteousness; and, when there was trouble in the kingdom, employed them in the battle-field and in gaining victory. When they employed them to conquer in battle, no enemies could resist them; when they employed them in the exercise of propriety and righteousness, then obedience and good order prevailed. No enemies abroad, and obedience and good order at home - this was called the perfect condition for a state. But when men, so endowed, did not use their valour and strength in the service of propriety and righteousness, and to secure victory, but in strifes and contentions, then they were styled men of turbulence or disorder. Punishments were put in requisition throughout the kingdom, and the (first) use of them was to deal with those same men, and take them off. In this way (again), the people became obedient and there was good order, and the state was tranquil and happy.

12 聘義:
子貢問於孔子曰:「敢問君子貴玉而賤玟者何也?為玉之寡而玟之多與?」孔子曰:「非為玟之多故賤之也、玉之寡故貴之也。夫昔者君子比德於玉焉:溫潤而澤,仁也;縝密以栗,知也;廉而不劌,義也;垂之如隊,禮也;叩之其聲清越以長,其終詘然,樂也;瑕不掩瑜、瑜不掩瑕,忠也;孚尹旁達,信也;氣如白虹,天也;精神見於山川,地也;圭璋特達,德也。天下莫不貴者,道也。《》云:『言念君子,溫其如玉。』故君子貴之也。」
Pin Yi:
Zi-gong asked Confucius, saying, 'Allow me to ask the reason why the superior man sets a high value on jade, and but little on soapstone? Is it because jade is rare, and the soapstone plentiful?' Confucius replied, 'It is not because the soapstone is plentiful that he thinks but little of it, and because jade is rare that he sets a high value on it. Anciently superior men found the likeness of all excellent qualities in jade. Soft, smooth, and glossy, it appeared to them like benevolence; fine, compact, and strong - like intelligence; angular, but not sharp and cutting - like righteousness; hanging down (in beads) as if it would fall to the ground - like (the humility of) propriety; when struck, yielding a note, clear and prolonged, yet terminating abruptly - like music; its flaws not concealing its beauty, nor its beauty concealing its flaws - like loyalty; with an internal radiance issuing from it on every side - like good faith; bright as a brilliant rainbow - like heaven; exquisite and mysterious, appearing in the hills and streams - like the earth; standing out conspicuous in the symbols of rank - like virtue; esteemed by all under the sky, - like the path of truth and duty. As is said in the ode (I, xi, ode 3, 1), "Such my lord's car. He rises in my mind, Lovely and bland, like jade of richest kind."

URN: ctp:liji/pin-yi