was no confusion, and to secure the country while there was no danger,' He said, 'Yâo and Shun, having studied antiquity, established a hundred officers. At court, there were the General Regulator and (the President of) the Four Mountains; abroad, there were the pastors of the provinces and the princes of states. Thus the various departments of government went on harmoniously, and the myriad states all enjoyed repose. Under the dynasties of Hsiâ and Shang, the number of officers was doubled, and they were able still to secure good government. (Those early) intelligent kings, in establishing their government, cared not so much about the number of the offices as about the men (to occupy them). Now I, the little child, cultivate with reverence my virtue, concerned day and night about my deficiencies; I look up to (those) former dynasties, and seek to conform to them, while I instruct and direct you, my officers,'
3. 'I appoint the Grand-Master, the Grand Assistant, and the Grand-Guardian. These are the three Kung. They discourse about the principles
- It is the same phrase here, which occurs at the beginning of the Canons of Yâo and Shun, and of some other Books. It may be inferred, as P. Gaubil says, that Yâo and Shun had certain sources of knowledge, that is to say, some history of the times anterior to their own.
- That is, 'the three dukes;' but the term is here a name of office, more than of nobility, as is evident from the name of the three Kû, who were next to them. Kû was not used as a term expressing any order of nobility. It would seem to indicate that, while the men holding the office were assistant to the Kung, they yet had a distinct standing of their own. The offices of Grand-Master &c. had existed under the Shang dynasty; see Book xi, Part IV.