Da Ji was the wife of emperor Zhou of the Yin dynasty. She was favored by Zhou.
Zhou's courage and strength exceeded that of other people, with his hands he resisted wild beasts.
His cleverness was sufficient to keep away any complaints, his ability of speech sufficient to gloss over any faults.
He liked drinking and lewd entertainment, and never left Da Ji.
He valued those who Da Ji praised, and executed those she detested.
He created new obscene tunes, the dance of Beibi, the music of Mimi.
He gathered precious objects and amassed them in the women's chambers.
Flattering ministers and the girls of the harem all were given what they wanted.
The lees of wine making formed entire mounds, there was a pool full of wine, there was a forest of hanging meat.
People were made to chase each other around naked among this.
All-night banquets were held, to the pleasure of Da Ji.
The common people hated him, and some feudal lords were rebellious.
Zhou then invented the paoluo punishment, which consisted of greasing a copper pillar, putting it in charcoal,
then letting criminals walk on top of it, so that they immediately fell down into the charcoal. Da Ji laughed at this.
Bi Gan remonstrated, saying: "If you do not attend to the laws of the former kings, and if you insist on applying the words of your wife, then disaster is imminent."
Zhou was furious, and considered these words heretical.
Da Ji said: "I heard that the heart of a sage has seven holes." Then they opened up his heart and inspected it.
Zhou imprisoned Ji Zi, Wei Zi went to him.
King Wu then received the Mandate, raised troops to attack Zhou, fought at the fields of Mu, where Zhou's army turned against him.
Zhou then climbed the tower of Lin, put on jewel-encrusted clothing and killed himself.
Thereupon King Wu delivered the punishment of Heaven, cut off Da Ji's head and hung it on a small white flag,
because he considered this woman to be responsible for Zhou's demise.
The document says: "The hen should not call the morning. If the hen calls the morning, the house should be ransacked for baleful influences."
Note: from Bernhard Karlgren's translation of 牧誓 (The Book of Documents, p. 29)
The ode says: "The lord believes the scoundrels, the disorder thereby becomes violent; [...] they are not courteous and respectful, they are the kings' grief." This applies here.
Note: from Bernhard Karlgren's translation of 巧言 (ode 198).
|嬖幸、嬖倖 (bi4 xing4)||to treat as favorite|
|材力 (cai2 li4)||courage and strength|
|格 (ge2)||to resist|
|距 (ju4)||to keep away|
|飾非 (shi4 fei1)||to use elaborate speech in order to gloss over faults|
|矜 (jin1)||Dictionary says: 揮動, 竦動, 激奋, 誇耀, 驕傲, 崇尚, 莊重, 敬重, 注重 modest, pitiable, dignified, vigorous|
|譽 (yu4)||to praise|
|憎 (zeng1)||to hate|
|諛 (yu2)||to flatter|
|咸 (xian2)||all, unite|
|糟 (zao1)||lees (from wine making)|
|裸形 (luo3 xing2)||naked|
|長夜之飲 (chang2 ye4 zhi1 yin3)||all-night banquet|
|怨望 (yuan4 wang4)||to hate, to resent|
|畔 (pan4)||to revolt, to betray|
|炮烙 (pao2 luo4), 炮格 (pao2 ge2)||a type of torture invented by Zhou (纣)|
|膏 (gao1)||fat, grease|
|墮 (duo4)||to fall|
|脩、修 (xiu1)||to well attend to|
|典法 (dian3 fa3)||a code of laws, statues|
|禍至無日 (huo4 zhi4 wu2 ri4)||imminent disaster|
|剖 (pou1)||to cut open|
|興 (xing1)||raise, begin|
|倒戈 (dao3 ge1)||to turn one's weapons against one's own side, to surrender to the enemy|
|斬 (zhan3)||to cut off|