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Ancient Classics -> Shang Shu -> Zhou Shu -> Prince Shi -> 1

周公The duke of Zhou spoke to the following effect:
'Prince Shi,
Heaven, unpitying, sent down ruin on Yin.
Yin has lost its appointment (to the throne),
which our House of Zhou has received.
I do not dare, however, to say, as if I knew it, "The foundation will ever truly abide in prosperity.
If Heaven aid sincerity,"
Nor do I dare to say, as if I knew it, "The end will issue in our misfortunes."
Oh!
you have said, O prince, "It depends on ourselves."
I also do not dare to rest in the favour of God,
not forecasting at a distance the terrors of Heaven in the present time,
when there is no murmuring or disobedience among the people;
(the issue) is with men.
Should our present successor to his fathers
prove greatly unable to reverence (Heaven) above and (the people) below,
and so bring to an end the glory of his predecessors, could we in (the retirement of) our families be ignorant of it? The favour of Heaven is not easily preserved;
Heaven is difficult to be depended on.
Men lose its favouring appointment,
because they cannot pursue and carry out the reverence and brilliant virtue of their forefathers.
Now I, Dan, the little child, am not able to make (the king) correct.
。”I would simply conduct him to the glory of his fathers, and make him, who is my young charge, partaker of that.'
He also said,
'Heaven is not to be trusted.
Our course is only to seek the prolongation of the virtue of the Tranquillizing king,
文王。” that Heaven may not find occasion to remove its favouring decree which king Wen received.'


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