[Home] [About me] [Chinese] [Publications] [Software] [Electronics] [Radio] [Links]



Note: this text is included in Rouzer's textbook, and I mostly follow his interpretations.

Scanned original

Bao Si was the daughter of a harem girl, and the queen of King You of Zhou.

Long ago, during the decline of the Xia dynasty, the spirit of the state of Bao turned into two dragons.

Together they went to the king's court and said: "we are the two lords of Bao."

The Xia ruler divined about whether to kill them, or allow them to leave, but none was auspicious.

The diviner requested his saliva, stored it, and there was auspiciousness. Then they wrapped it up in cloth and stored it as a treasure.

The dragons suddenly vanished, and so they stored the saliva in a cabinet which was put in the temple. Until the Zhou dynasty, nobody dared opening it.

At the end of the rule of king Li of Zhou, the cabinet was opened, the saliva flowed out at the courtyard and was impossible to remove.

The king made the women undress and abused them, and the dragons turned into a dark lizard which entered the women's quarters of the palace.

A harem girl in the palace who had not taken part in the ritual encountered the lizard. When she matured, she became pregnant and at the time of King Xuan she gave birth.

Without having known a man, she gave birth, which made the king afraid so that he abandoned the baby.

Before this, there was a children's rhyme that went: "bows and quivers of mulberry will truly bring an end to the state of Zhou." King Xuan heard of this.

Later there were people, a husband and wife, selling these tools: bows and quivers of mulberry wood. The king ordered these to be seized and executed.

When the husband and wife fled during the night, they heard the abandoned baby of the harem girl who had encountered the lizard wail in the night. They took pity on her, and adopted her, then took refuge in the state of Bao.

The baby girl grew up into a beautiful woman. Lord Xu of Bao was in legal trouble, and offered her as compensation to the king.

King You accepted and made her a favorite, then he released Lord Xu of Bao. Therefore she was called Bao Si.

After she had given birth to a son named Bo Fu, King You discarded his queen, who was the daughter of Marquis Shen.

Instead he raised Bao Si to the position of queen, discarded the crown prince Yi Jiu, and promoted Bo Fu to crown prince.

King You was entranced by Bao Si, left and entered with her in the same carriage, never bothering about affairs of the state.

He was always riding around hunting, to satisfy the whims of Bao Si.

He was constantly drunk, there was popular entertainment in front of him, continuing all night until the next day.

Bao Si did not smile. King You then desired to see her smile, he tried a myriad of methods, but she stubbornly did not smile.

King You had a watch beacon and a great drum, in case of raiders approaching.

He then raised the alarm, and when the feudal lords arrived and there were no raiders, Bao Si had a good laugh.

King You wantedto please her, so raised the watch beacon numerous times. After this there was no trust and the feudal lords did not arrive.

Loyal persons who remonstrated were executed, and he only followed the words of Bao Si.

Officials high and low were given to flattery, the common people were degenerate and mistrusting.

The Marquis of Shen then attacked King You together with the state of Zeng, the Western Yi, and the Dog Rong tribes.

King You raised the watch beacon to summon troops, but nobody appeared.

Then the rebels killed King You at the foot of Mount Li, and captured Bao Si. They took all the valuables of Zhou and left.

Thereupon the feudal lords proceeded to the Marquis of Shen, and together crowned the old crown prince Yi Jiu, who became King Ping.

After this, Zhou was no different from any of its former vassal states.

The ode says: "the majestic Zong Zhou, Si of Bao has destroyed it." This applies here.
Note: from Bernhard Karlgren's translation of 正月 (ode 192).


漦 (li2)saliva
置 (zhi4)to put, to locate
郊 (jiao1)temple or altar for sacrifices
譟 (zao4)to abuse, to scold
毀 (hui3)to pray in order to eliminate noxious spirits
笄 (ji1)hairpin, given to a girl at the age of 15
孕 (yun4)to be pregnant
乳 (ru3)to give birth
童謠 (tong2 yao2)children's rhyme
檿 (yan3)mulberry wood
弧 (hu2)wooden bow
箕 (ji1)bamboo winnowing basket
服 (fu2)quiver
戮 (lu4)to execute
贖 (shu2)to compensate for, to redeem
惑 (huo4)to be infatuated
卹、恤 (xu4)to pay attention to
驅馳 (qu1 chi2)to go hunting for pleasure
弋 (yi4)a bow with an arrow attached by a string
適 (shi4)to satisfy, to please
流湎 (liu2 mian3)to be drunk constantly
倡 (chang1)popular entertainment
優 (you1)popular entertainment
續 (xu4)to continue
故、固 (gu4)stubbornly
烽燧 (feng1 sui4)watch beacon
寇 (kou4)bandit, raider
乖 (guai1)perverse, obstinate
徵 (zheng1)to summon
虜 (lu3)to capture
賂 (lu4)valuables