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The Book of Documents by Bernhard Karlgren

The Book of Documents by Bernhard Karlgren

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The Book of Documents by Bernhard Karlgren
The Book of Documents by Bernhard Karlgren

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Published by: rivetrenuck on May 20, 2014
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10/21/2014

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I
I
-
I 
Jih
 
BERNH RD K RLGREN
THE
BOOK
OF
DOCUMENTS
REPRINTED
ROM
THE
MUSEUM OF FAR EASTERN ANTIQUITIES BULLETIN 22
STOCKHOLM
195
 
I
. c
Lt
30
SCHOOL
OF
ORJENTAL
.
ND
FRIC N
STUDIES
LIBRARY
OF THE
DEP RTMENT
OF
THE
_ _
F }\
E ST
THE
BOOK
OF
DOCUMENTS
BY
BERNHARD
KARLGREN
In
the
Bulletins 20
and
21
of
the
Museum of
Far
Eastern
Antiquities
I published
extensive commentaries
on
the
Shang
shu
or
Shu king
Glosses
on
the
Book
of
Documents
I,
1948;
II
1949),
discussing
on
the
one
hand
all
important
ancient
text
variants, on
the
other
hand
various
attempts
by
Chinese scholars,
ancient
and
modern,
to interpret
the
numerous obscure
passages
and
difficult words
and
phrases.
In
the present
article I
venture on
a connected word-for-word
translation
of all
the authentic
chapters
of
the
Shu.
That my
interpretation
differs so
very
strongly
from
those
of Legge
and
Couvreur
only
underlines
the
fact
that
the
Shang
shu,
through
its lapidary style
and
archaic
language, is
often
exceedingly obscure
and
frequently
offers passages which, from
the
point
of view of
grammar,
allow of several widely
divergent interpretations.
Thus every
new
translation
will
inevitably be nothing more
than
a
new
a t t e m p t
at
interpretation.
The Chinese
text
given
here
is
in
the
main
the
orthodox
Ku-wen
text.
But
wherever a
variant
from
the
Kin-wen version
or from Chou-time
quotations) has
seemed preferable, as developed
in my
above-mentioned
Glosses, I
have
placed
the
orthodox version
in
parenthesis
and
after this
follows
the
preferred
version, a
hook
indicating
the end
of
the
substituted
passage. Sometimes a
Ku-wen formulation has been replaced
by
another
which
is
not
known
through
ancient quotations
but
is
an
emendation,
made
by
some Chinese scholar
or
by
myself;
such
cases
are marked
by the
sign
>>em >>
=
emendation)
ao
tien
t
1
Examining
into antiquity
we find
that) the
emperor
Yao
was called
Fang-hun. He
was
reverent,
enlightened, accomplished, sincere
and
peaceful mild).
He
was
truly
respectful
and
could
be
ceding
=
modest.
He
extensively
covered
=
possessed
the
four
extreme
points
of
the
world).
He
reached
to
Heaven)
above
and
Earth)
below. -
2.
He
was
able
to make bright
his
lofty
great)
virtue, and
so he
made
affectionate
the
nine branches
of
the
family.
When
the
nine branches
of
the
family
had
become
harmonious,
he
distinguished
and
gave
marks
of dis
tinction
to=
honoured
the hundred
clans
the gentry).
When the hundred
clans
had
become
bright
=
illustrious,
he harmonized
the myriad
states.
The
numerous
people were
amply
nourished
and
prosperous
and then
became concordant.
-3.
1
 
BULLETIN
OF
THE
MUSEUM OF
FAR EASTERN ANTIQUITIES
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2
BERNHARD KARLGREN: THE
BOOK
OF
DOCUMENTS
.And
then
he charged
Hi and
Ho
1)
reverently
to
follow
the
august
Heaven and
calculate
and
delineate
the
sun,
the
moon
and
(the
other)
heavenly
bodies
(i.
e.
stars
and
constellations)
and
respectfully give
the
p~.ele
the
seasons. -
4.
Separately he
charged
Hi
Chung
to
reside
in
Yii-yi,
(at
the
place) called
Yang-ku,
res,pectfully
to
receive as a guest
the
(out-coming
=)
rising sun,
and to
arrange and
regulate
the
works of
the East.
The
day
being
of
medium length
and the
asterism being Niao, he
thereby determined
mid-spring.
The
people disperse,
the
birds
and
beasts breed and
(tail
=
copulate. -
5.
Again
he
charged
Hi
Shu
to
reside
in Nan Kiao
(>>the
southern
KiaO»),
to
arrange
and
regulate
the
works
of
the
South,
and
pay
respectful
attention to the
(summer) solstice.
The
day
being
at
its longest,
and
the
asterism
being
Huo, he
thereby
determined
mid-summer. The people avail themselves of
the
(suitable)
time
(i.
e.
make
the
best
of
the
season). The birds
and
beasts are thin(-haired)
and
hide(-like). -
6.
Separately he charged
Ho
Chung
to
reside
in
the
West
(at
the
place) called Mei-ku, respectfully
to say
farewell
to
the
setting sun,
and to
arrange
and
regulate
the
achievements of
the
West.
The night
being
of medium
length
and the
asterism being Hii, he
thereby
determined mid-autumn.
The
people are
at
rest. The birds
and
beasts
have
glossy hair. -7. Again he
charged
Ho
Shu
to
reside
in
Shuo-fang
(at
the
place) called
Yu-tu,
to
arrange
and
examine
the
works of
the
North. The
day
being
at
its short
est, and
the
asterism
being Mao,
he
thereby
determined
mid-winter.
The
people keep
in
the
warmth
(of
their
houses).
The
birds
and
beasts have
bushy
hair. -
8.
The
emperor
said: Oh, you
Hi
and
Ho,
the
year has
366 days,
by
means
of
an
intercalary
month
you should
fix
the
four seasons
and
complete
the
year.
If
you
earnestly
(regulate
=)
control all
the
functionaries,
the
achievements will all
be
resplendent. -
9.
The
emperor said:
Who
will (conform himself
to
=)
carefully
attend to
this? I will raise
and
use him.
Fang Ts'i
said:
Your
heir-son
Chu
is enlightened.
The
emperor
said: Alas,
he
is
deceitful
and
quarrelsome, will
he
do?
-10.
The emperor
said: Who will (conform himself
to
=
carefully
attend
to
my
affairs?
Huan Tou
said: Oh,
Kung Kung
(to all
sides=)
everywhere
has accumulated
and
exhibited
his merits;
The
emperor
said: Alas,
he (quietly
=
smoothly speaks
but
his actions
are
perverse.
He
is
in
appearance
respectful,
but
he
swells
up to
Heaven. -11.
The
emperor said: Oh,
you
Si:
Yiie
(>>Four
Mountains>>,
a title), voluminously
the
great waters
everywhere are injurious, extensively
they
embrace
the
mountains
and
rise
above
the
hills,
vastly
they
swell
up to
Heaven.
The
lower people groan.
Is there anybody
whom
I could
let
regulate it1
All
said: Oh,
Kun,
indeed
The
emperor
said: Oh, he is offensive.
He
negle~ts
(my) orders,
he
ruins his
kin.
(S )
Yiie said:
He
is (different from
others=)
remarkable.
Try
him,
and
if
he
will do,
then
einploy him.
The emperor
said: Go,
and be reverent.
Mter
nine years
the
work
was
not
achieved. -
12.
The
emperor
said: Oh,
you
Si Yiie, I
have been
in the
high
position (on
the
throne)
70
years.
1)
Originally: Hi-Ho
(one
person).
3

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