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Chinese Text Project
Simplified Chinese version

《太甲》

Books referencing 《太甲》 Library Resources
太甲上:
太甲既立,不明,伊尹放诸桐。三年复归于亳,思庸,伊尹作《太甲》三篇。

1 太甲上:
惟嗣王不惠于阿衡,伊尹作书曰:“先王顾諟天之明命,以承上下神祇。社稷宗庙,罔不祗肃。天监厥德,用集大命,抚绥万方。惟尹躬克左右厥辟,宅师,肆嗣王丕承基绪。惟尹躬先见于西邑夏,自周有终。相亦惟终;其后嗣王罔克有终,相亦罔终,嗣王戒哉!祗尔厥辟,辟不辟,忝厥祖。”
Tai Jia I:
The king, on succeeding to the throne, did not follow (the advice of) A-heng. (A-heng or) Yi Yin then made the following writing: 'The former king kept his eye continually on the bright requirements of Heaven, and so he maintained the worship of the spirits of heaven and earth, of those presiding over the land and the grain, and of those of the ancestral temple - all with a sincere reverence. Heaven took notice of his virtue, and caused its great appointment to light on him, that he should soothe and tranquillize the myriad regions. I, Yin, then gave my assistance to my sovereign in the settlement of the people; and thus it is that you, O heir-king, have received the great inheritance. I have seen it myself in Xia with its western capital, that when its rulers went through a prosperous course to the end, their ministers also did the same, and afterwards, when their successors could not attain to such a consummation, neither did their ministers. Take warning, O heir-king. Reverently use your sovereignty. If you do not play the sovereign, as the name requires, you will disgrace your grandfather.'

2 太甲上:
王惟庸罔念闻。伊尹乃言曰:“先王昧爽丕显,坐以待旦。旁求俊彦,启迪后人,无越厥命以自覆。慎乃俭德,惟怀永图。若虞机张,往省括于度则释。钦厥止,率乃祖攸行,惟朕以怿,万世有辞。”
Tai Jia I:
The king would not think (of these words), nor listen to them. On this Yi Yin said, 'The former king, before it was light, sought to have large and clear views, and then sat waiting for the dawn (to carry them into practice). He (also) sought on every side for men of ability and virtue, to instruct and guide his posterity. Do not frustrate his charge (to me), and bring on yourself your own overthrow. Be careful to strive after the virtue of self-restraint, and cherish far-reaching plans. Be like the forester, who, when he has adjusted the spring, goes to examine the end of the arrow, whether it be placed according to rule, and then lets I go; reverently determine your aim, and follow the ways of your grandfather. Thus I shall be delighted, and be able to show to all ages that I have discharged my trust.'

3 太甲上:
王未克变。伊尹曰:“兹乃不义,习与性成。予弗狎于弗顺,营于桐宫,密迩先王其训,无俾世迷。王徂桐宫居忧,克终允德。”
Tai Jia I:
The king was not yet able to change (his course). Yin said (to himself), 'This is (real) unrighteousness, and is becoming by practice (a second) nature. I cannot bear to be near (so) disobedient (a person). I will build (a place) in the palace at Tong, where he can be in silence near (the grave of) the former king. This will be a lesson which will keep him from going astray all his life.' The king went (accordingly) to the palace at Tong, and dwelt during the period of mourning. In the end he became sincerely virtuous.

5 太甲中:
惟三祀十有二月朔,伊尹以冕服奉嗣王归于亳,作书曰:“民非后,罔克胥匡以生;后非民,罔以辟四方。皇天眷佑有商,俾嗣王克终厥德,实万世无疆之休。”
Tai Jia II:
On the first day of the twelfth month of his third year, Yi Yin escorted the young king in the royal cap and robes back to Bo. (At the same time) he made the following writing: 'Without the sovereign, the people cannot have that guidance which is necessary to (the comfort of) their lives; without the people, the sovereign would have no sway over the four quarters (of the kingdom). Great Heaven has graciously favoured the House of Shang, and granted to you, O young king, at last to become virtuous. This is indeed a blessing that will extend without limit to ten thousand generations.'

6 太甲中:
王拜手稽首曰:“予小子不明于德,自砥1不类。欲败度,纵败礼,以速戾于厥躬。天作孽,犹可违;自作孽,不可逭。既往背师保之训,弗克于厥初,尚赖匡救之德,图惟厥终。”
Tai Jia II:
The king did obeisance with his face to his hands and his head to the ground, saying, 'I, the little child, was without understanding of what was virtuous, and was making myself one of the unworthy. By my desires I was setting at nought all rules of conduct, and violating by my self-indulgence all rules of propriety, and the result must have been speedy ruin to my person. Calamities sent by Heaven may be avoided, but from calamities brought on by one's self there is no escape." Heretofore I turned my back on the instructions of you, my tutor and guardian;--my beginning has been marked by incompetency. Let me still rely on your correcting and preserving virtue, keeping this in view that my end may be good!"

1. 砥 : Originally read: "底". 《尚书正义》曰:“类,善也。暗于德,故自致不善。”又曰:“底,之履反”。

7 太甲中:
伊尹拜手稽首曰:“修厥身,允德协于下,惟明后。先王子惠困穷,民服厥命,罔有不悦。并其有邦厥邻,乃曰:‘徯我后,后来无罚。’王懋乃德,视乃厥祖,无时豫怠。奉先思孝,接下思恭。视远惟明;听德惟聪。朕承王之休无斁。”
Tai Jia II:
Yi Yin did obeisance with his face to his hands and his head on the ground, and said, 'To cultivate his person, and by being sincerely virtuous, bring (all) below to harmonious concord with him; this is the work of the intelligent sovereign. The former king was kind to the distressed and suffering, as if they were his children, and the people submitted to his commands - all with sincere delight. Even in the states of the neighbouring princes, (the people) said, "We are waiting for our sovereign; when our sovereign comes, we shall not suffer the punishments (that we, now do)." O king, zealously cultivate your virtue. Regard (the example of) your meritorious grandfather. At no time allow yourself in pleasure and idleness. In worshipping your ancestors, think how you can prove your filial piety; in receiving your ministers, think how you can show yourself respectful; in looking to what is distant. Try to get clear views; have your ears ever open to lessons of virtue - then shall I acknowledge (and respond to) the excellence of your majesty with an untiring (devotion to your service).

8 太甲下:
伊尹申诰于王曰:“呜呼!惟天无亲,克敬惟亲。民罔常怀,怀于有仁。鬼神无常享,享于克诚。天位艰哉!德惟治,否德乱。与治同道,罔不兴;与乱同事,罔不亡。终始慎厥与,惟明明后。先王惟时懋敬厥德,克配上帝。今王嗣有令绪,尚监兹哉。若升高,必自下,若陟遐,必自迩。无轻民事,惟难;无安厥位,惟危。慎终于始。有言逆于汝心,必求诸道;有言逊于汝志,必求诸非道。呜呼!弗虑胡获?弗为胡成?一人元良,万邦以贞。君罔以辩言乱旧政,臣罔以宠利居成功,邦其永孚于休。”
Tai Jia III:
Yi Yin again made an announcement to the king, saying, 'Oh! Heaven has no (partial) affection - only to those who are reverent does it show affection. The people are not constant to those whom they cherish; they cherish (only) him who is benevolent. The spirits do not always accept the sacrifices that are offered to them; they accept only the sacrifices of the sincere. A place of difficulty is the Heaven-(conferred) seat. When there are (those) virtues, good government is realized; when they are not, disorder comes. To maintain the same principles as those who secured good government will surely lead to prosperity; to pursue the courses of disorder will surely lead to ruin. He who at last, as at first, is careful as to whom and what he follows is a truly intelligent sovereign. The former king was always zealous in the reverent cultivation of his virtue, so that he was the fellow of God. Now O king, you have entered on the inheritance of his excellent line; fix your inspection on him.'
'(Your course must be) as when in ascending high you begin from where it is low, and when in travelling far you begin from where it is near. Do not slight the occupations of the people - think of their difficulties. Do not yield to a feeling of repose on your throne - think of its perils. Be careful for the end at the beginning. When you hear words that are distasteful to your mind, you must enquire whether they be not right; when you hear words that accord with your own views, you must enquire whether they be not contrary to what is right. Oh! what attainment can be made without anxious thought? what achievement can be made without earnest effort? Let the One man be greatly good, and the myriad regions will be rectified by him.'
When the sovereign does not with disputatious words throw the old rules of government into confusion, and the minister does not, for favour and gain, continue in an office whose work is done,--then the country will lastingly and surely enjoy happiness.'

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