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Chinese Text Project
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《說命上 - Charge to Yue I》

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
說命上:
高宗夢得說,使百工營求諸野,得諸傅巖,作《說命》三篇。

1 說命上:
王宅憂,亮陰三祀。既免喪,其惟弗言,群臣咸諫于王曰:「嗚呼!知之曰明哲,明哲實作則。天子惟君萬邦,百官承式,王言惟作命,不言臣下罔攸稟令。」
Charge to Yue I:
The king passed the season of sorrow in the mourning shed for three years, and when the period of mourning was over, he (still) did not speak (to give any commands). All the ministers remonstrated with him, saying, 'Oh! him who is (the first) to apprehend we pronounce intelligent, and the intelligent man is the model for others. The Son of Heaven rules over the myriad regions, and all the officers look up to and reverence him. They are the king's words which form the commands (for them). If he do not speak, the ministers have no way to receive their orders.'

2 說命上:
王庸作書以誥曰:「以台正于四方,惟恐德弗類,茲故弗言。恭默思道,夢帝賚予良弼,其代予言。」乃審厥象,俾以形旁求于天下。說築傅巖之野,惟肖。爰立作相。王置諸其左右。
Charge to Yue I:
On this the king made a writing, for their information, to the following effect: 'As it is mine to serve as the director for the four quarters (of the kingdom), I have been afraid that my virtue is not equal to (that of my predecessors), and therefore have not spoken. (But) while I was reverently and silently thinking of the (right) way, I dreamt that God gave me a good assistant who should speak for me.' He then minutely recalled the appearance (of the person whom he had seen), and caused search to be made for him everywhere by means of a picture. Yue, a builder in the wild country of Fu-yan, was found like to it. On this the king raised and made (Yue) his prime minister, keeping him (also) at his side.

3 說命上:
命之曰:「朝夕納誨,以輔台德。若金,用汝作礪;若濟巨川,用汝作舟楫;若歲大旱,用汝作霖雨。啟乃心,沃朕心,若藥弗瞑眩,厥疾弗瘳;若跣弗視地,厥足用傷。惟暨乃僚,罔不同心,以匡乃辟。俾率先王,迪我高后,以康兆民。嗚呼!欽予時命,其惟有終。」
Charge to Yue I:
He charged him, saying, 'Morning and evening present your instructions to aid my virtue. Suppose me a weapon of steel; I will use you for a whetstone. Suppose me crossing a great stream; I will use you for a boat with its oars. Suppose me in a year of great drought; I will use you as a copious rain. Open your mind, and enrich my mind. (Be you) like medicine, which must distress the patient, in order to cure his sickness. (Think of we) as one walking barefoot, whose feet are sure to be wounded, if he do not see the ground. Do you and your companions all cherish the same mind to assist your sovereign, that I may follow my royal predecessors, and tread in the steps of my high ancestor, to give repose to the millions of the people. Oh! respect this charge of mine; so shall you bring your work to a (good) end.'

4 說命上:
說復于王曰:「惟木從繩則正,后從諫則聖。后克聖,臣不命其承,疇敢不祗若王之休命?」
Charge to Yue I:
Yue replied to the king, saying, 'Wood by the use of the line is made straight, and the sovereign who follows reproof is made sage. When the sovereign can (thus) make himself sage, his ministers, without being specially commanded, anticipate his orders - who would dare not to act in respectful compliance with this excellent charge of your Majesty?'

URN: ctp:shang-shu/charge-to-yue-i