Exemplarious translation of Liji 礼记 "The Book of Rites"
The Liji 礼记 "Book of rites" is a collection of descriptions of ritual matters written during the late Warring States 战国 (5th cent.-221 BCE) andFormer Han 前汉 (206 BCE-8 CE) periods.
3. (5.) 王制 Royal Regulations
According to the regulations of emolument and rank framed by the kings, there were the duke; the marquis; the earl; the count; and the baron - in all, five gradations (of rank). There were (also), in the feudal states, Great officers of the highest grade - the ministers; and Great officers of the lowest grade; officers of the highest, the middle, and the lowest grades - in all, five gradations (of office).
The territory of the son of Heaven amounted to 1000 li square; that of a duke or marquis to 500 li square; that of an earl to 79 li square; and that of a count or baron to 50 li square. (Lords) who could not number 50 li square, were not admitted directly to (the audiences of) the son of Heaven. Their territories were called 'attached,' being joined to those of one of the other princes. The territory assigned to each of the ducal ministers of the son of Heaven was equal to that of a duke or marquis; that of each of his high ministers was equal to that of an earl; that of his Great officers to the territory of a count or baron; and that of his officers of the chief grade to an attached territory.
According to the regulations, the fields of the husbandmen were in portions of a hundred acres. According to the different qualities of those acres, when they were of the highest quality, a farmer supported nine individuals; where they were of the next, eight; and so on, seven, six, and five. The pay of the common people, who were employed in government offices, was regulated in harmony with these distinctions among the husbandmen.
13. (15.) 丧服小记 Smaller Records of Mourning Dress
When wearing the unhemmed sackcloth (for a father), (the son) tied up his hair with a hempen (band), and also when wearing it for a mother. When he exchanged this band for the cincture (in the case of mourning for his mother), this was made of linen cloth. (A wife), when wearing the (one year's mourning) of sackcloth with the edges even, had the girdle (of the same), and the inferior hair-pin (of hazel-wood), and wore these to the end of the mourning.
(Ordinarily) men wore the cap, and women the hair-pin; (in mourning) men wore the cincture, and women the same after the female fashion. The idea was (simply) to maintain in this way a distinction between them.
The dark-coloured staff was of bamboo; that paired and fashioned (at the end) was of eleococca wood.
17. (19.) 乐记 Record of Music
All the modulations of the voice arise from the mind, and the various affections of the mind are produced by things (external to it). The affections thus produced are manifested in the sounds that are uttered. Changes are produced by the way in which those sounds respond to one another; and those changes constitute what we call the modulations of the voice. The combination' of those modulated sounds, so as to give pleasure, and the (direction in harmony with them of the) shields and axes, and of the plumes and ox-tails, constitutes what we call music.
Music is (thus) the production of the modulations of the voice, and its source is in the affections of the mind as it is influenced by (external) things. When the mind is moved to sorrow, the sound is sharp and fading away; when it is moved to pleasure, the sound is slow and gentle; when it is moved to joy, the sound is exclamatory and soon disappears; when it is moved to anger, the sound is coarse and fierce; when it is moved to reverence, the sound is straightforward, with an indication of humility; when it is moved to love, the sound is harmonious and soft. These six peculiarities of sound are not natural'; they indicate the impressions produced by (external) things. On this account the ancient kings were watchful in regard to the things by which the mind was affected. And so (they instituted) ceremonies to direct men's aims aright; music to give harmony to their voices; laws to unify their conduct; and punishments to guard against their tendencies to evil. The end to which ceremonies, music, punishments, and laws conduct is one; they are the instruments by which the minds of the people are assimilated, and good order in government is made to appear.
41. (44.) 昏义 The Meaning of the Marriage Ceremony
The ceremony of marriage was intended to be a bond of love between two (families of different) surnames, with a view, in its retrospective character, to secure the services in the ancestral temple, and in its prospective character, to secure the continuance of the family line. Therefore the superior men, (the ancient rulers), set a great value upon it. Hence, in regard to the various (introductory) ceremonies,--the proposal with its accompanying gift; the inquiries about the (lady's) name; the intimation of the approving divination; the receiving the special offerings; and the request to fix the day - these all were received by the principal party (on the lady's side), as he rested on his mat or leaning-stool in the ancestral temple, (When they arrived), he met the messenger, and greeted him outside the gate, giving place to him as he entered, after which they ascended to the hall. Thus were the instructions received in the ancestral temple, and in this way was the ceremony respected, and watched over, while its importance was exhibited and care taken that all its details should be correct.
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