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Book of Rites or Liji (trad. 禮記, simp. 礼记)

TextEdit

Book of Rites, Li Yun 22-23Edit

Chinese originalEdit

四靈以為畜,故飲食有由也。

何謂四靈?麟鳳龜龍,謂之四靈。故龍以為畜,故魚鮪不淰;鳳以為畜,故鳥不獝;麟以為畜,故獸不狘;龜以為畜,故人情不失。

English translation (James Legge, 1885)Edit

The four intelligent creatures being made to become domestic animals, there would be constant sources of food and drink.

What were the four intelligent creatures? They were the Qi-lin, the phoenix, the tortoise, and the dragon. When the dragon becomes a domestic animal, (all other) fishes and the sturgeon do not lie hidden from men (in the mud). When the phoenix becomes so, the birds do not fly from them in terror. When the Qi-lin does so, the beasts do not scamper away. When the tortoise does so, the feelings of men take no erroneous course.

Book of Rites, Li Yun 33Edit

Chinese originalEdit

故聖王所以順,山者不使居川,不使渚者居中原,而弗敝也。用水火金木,飲食必時。合男女,頒爵位,必當年德。用民必順。故無水旱昆蟲之災,民無凶饑妖孽之疾。故天不愛其道,地不愛其寶,人不愛其情。故天降膏露,地出醴泉,山出器車,河出馬圖,鳳凰麒麟皆在郊棷,龜龍在宮沼,其餘鳥獸之卵胎,皆可俯而窺也。則是無故,先王能修禮以達義,體信以達順,故此順之實也。

English translation (James Legge, 1885)Edit

The sage kings showed their sense of this state of harmony in the following way: They did not make the occupants of the hills (remove and) live by the streams, nor the occupants of the islands (remove and live) in the plains; and thus the (people) complained of no hardship. They used water, fire, metal, wood, and the different articles of food and drink, each in its proper season. They promoted the marriages of men and women, and distributed rank and office, according to the years and virtues of the parties. They employed the people with due regard to their duties and wishes. Thus it was that there were no plagues of flood, drought, or insects, and the people did not suffer from bad grass or famine, from untimely deaths or irregular births. On account of all this heaven did not grudge its methods; earth did not grudge its treasures; men did not grudge (the regulation of) their feelings. Heaven sent down its fattening dews; earth sent forth its springs of sweet wine; hills produced implements and chariots; the Ho sent forth the horse with the map (on, his back)'. Phoenixes and Qi-lins were among the trees of the suburbs, tortoises and dragons in the ponds of the palaces, while the other birds and beasts could be seen at a glance in their nests and breeding places. All this resulted from no other cause but that the ancient kings were able to fashion their ceremonial usages so as to convey the underlying ideas of right, and embody their truthfulness so as to secure the universal and mutual harmony. This was the realisation of it.

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