Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 3.djvu/260

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Book XX. The Officers of Kâu


'The Officers of Kâu' contains a general outline of the official system of the Kâu dynasty, detailing the names and functions of the principal ministers about the court and others, to whom, moreover, various counsels are addressed by the king who speaks in it,—no doubt, king Khăng. Chinese critics class it with the 'Instructions' of the Shû, but it belongs rather to the 'Announcements.'

There is no mention in it of the duke of Kâu; and its date must therefore be in some year after he had retired from the regency, and resigned the government into the king's own hands.

The Book has a beginning, middle, and end, more distinctly marked than they are in many of the documents in the Shû. The whole is divided into five chapters. The first is introductory, and describes the condition of the kingdom, when the arrangements of the official system were announced. In the second, the king refers to the arrangements of former dynasties. In the third, he sets forth the principal offices of state, the ministers of which had their residence at court, and goes on to the arrangements for the administration of the provinces. The two other chapters contain many excellent advices to the ministers and officers to discharge their duties so that the fortunes of the dynasty might be consolidated, and no dissatisfaction arise among the myriad states.

1. The king of Kâu brought the myriad regions (of the kingdom) to tranquillity; he made a tour of inspection through the Hâu and Tien tenures; he punished on all sides the chiefs who had refused to appear at court; thus securing the repose of the millions of the people, and all the (princes in the) six tenures acknowledging his virtue. He then returned to the honoured capital of Kâu, and strictly regulated the officers of the administration.

2. The king said, 'It was the grand method of former times to regulate the government while there