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When King Wu attacked the tyrant Chou

When King Wu attacked the tyrant Chou, as he came to Hsing-ch’iu, the yoke on his chariot horses broke into three pieces, and rain fell for three days without stopping. King Wu was afraid and summoned T’ai-kung, to whom he said, "It seems to me that the time has not yet come when Chou can be attacked."

T’ai-kung replied, "Not so. That the carriage yoke broke into three pieces means our army should be divided into three. The three days' rain without a stop was intended to wash our weapons."
King Wu said, "In that case, what shall we do?"

T’ai-kung said, "Love for a person reaches to the crows on his roof; hate for a person includes the very walls of his village. Let us slay all our enemies, so that none will be left over."
King Wu said, "Ah, the empire is not yet established!"

The Duke of Chou hastened forward and said, "Not so. Let each regulate his own home and till his own fields. Without regard for old or new, befriend only good men. If the people commit a fault, let it be my sole responsibility."

King Wu said, "Ah, the empire has been established."

Thereupon he put his troops in order and checked their advance at Ning. He changed the name of Hsing-ch’iu to Huai; Ning he called Hsiu-wu. He marched to defeat the tyrant Chou in the Plain of Mu. The Ode says,

The wilderness of Mu spread out extensive;
Bright shone the chariots of sandal;
The teams of bays, black-maned and white-bellied, galloped along;
The grand-master Shang-fu
Was like an eagle on the wing.
Bright was King Wu,
Who at one onset smote the great Shang.
The morning of the encounter was clear and bright.

After he had gone to the capital of Shang, before descending from his chariot he enfeoffed the descendants of Huang-ti in Chi, the descendants of the Emperor Yao in Chu, and the descendants of Shun in Ch’ên. After descending from his chariot, he enfeoffed the descendants of the Hsia imperial family in Ch’i, and the descendants of Yin in Sung. He raised a mound over the grave of Pi-kan, released Chi-tzŭ from prison, and marked out the village gate of Shang-jung.

Crossing the River, he went to the west and released the warhorses south of Mt. Hua to show that they would not again be mounted. The oxen he turned loose in the plain around T’ao-lin to show that they would not again be yoked to carts. War chariots and armour he had consecrated with blood and stored away in depots to show they would not again be used.

After that he disbanded his army and held archery practice in the suburbs. On the left they shot their arrows to the song li-shou, and on the right to the song tsou-yü. Thereafter the empire knew that King Wu would not again employ troops. When he sacrificed in the ancestral temple, the people learned about filial piety. He held open court and from that the feudal lords learned about respect. He seated the three outstanding old men in the Great School, and he, the Son of Heaven, respectfully served them with sauce and gave them cups to rinse out their mouths. In this manner he taught the feudal lords the behaviour proper to a younger brother. These four acts constitute the great teachings of the empire. Now was it not fitting that King Wu was long on the throne? The Ode says,

You vanquished Yin, put a stop to its cruelties,
And effected the firm establishment of your merit.

It says that when Wu attacked the tyrant Chou, Yin was lost.







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