Mo Xi was a concubine of king Jie of the Xia dynasty.
She was pretty, but lacked virtue and was very wicked. (???) husband's heart, and carried a sword at her belt and wore a man's cap.
Jie discarded rites and justice, was lewd to married women, requested beautiful girls and gathered them in his harem.
He summoned singers, dancers, midgets and jesters who can make strange and extraordinary performances, he gathered them at his side, and arranged for decadent enjoyment.
Day and night he drank with Mo Xi and the harem girls, without rest.
He put Mo Xi in his lap, and listened to her words and acted accordingly,
behaved like a tyrant, lost the way, became arrogant, wasteful, and lost control of himself.
She created a pool of wine large enough for a ship, she beat the drum, and three thousand people drank from it like cattle.
She forced their heads down to drink from the pool, and they got drunk and drowned. Mo Xi laughed at them, and thought this was very amusing.
Long Feng entered and remonstrated, saying: "my lord, without adhering to the way, you will surely perish."
Jie said: "has the sun perished? When the sun perishes, I will perish."
Jie did not listen, but thought Long Feng's words heretical and killed him.
He constructed palaces and towers of jade, to be able to look at the clouds and rain from above, using up all valuables and money, without satisfying his desires.
Jie summoned Tang, and imprisoned him in the tower of Xia, he soon released him, and the feudal lords launched a great rebellion.
Tang received the Mandate and attacked Jie. In the battle at Mingtiao, Jie's army would not fight.
Tang then expelled Jie, and put him with his favorite concubine Mo Xi in a boat, and let it drift into the sea. They died at Nanchao Mountain.
The ode says: "Admirable may be the wise woman, But she is [no better than] an owl." This applies here.
Note: from James Legge's translation of 瞻卬 (ode 264). A larger section can be found below.
瞻卬 (parts 3 and 4)
Translation by James Legge (The Chinese Classics: The She King)
A wise man builds up the wall [of a city],
But a wise woman overthrows it.
Admirable may be the wise woman,
But she is [no better than] an owl.
A woman with a long tongue,
Is [like] a stepping-stone to disorder.
[Disorder] does not come down from heaven;
It is produced by the woman.
Those from whom come no lessons, no instruction,
Are women and eunuchs.
They beat men down, hurtful, deceitful.
Their slanders in the beginning may be falsified in the end,
But they do not say [that their words were] very wrong;
[They say], 'What evil was there in them?'
As if in the three times cent per cent of traffic,
A superior man should have any knowledge of it;
So a woman who has nothing to do with public affairs,
Leaves her silk-worms and weaving.
Translation by James Legge (The Chinese Classics: The Shoo King, prolegomena p. 126)
He also sent away his first wife Mo Xi to Luo, placing her in the Yao tower of the Qing palace.
|薄 (bo2)||lacking, weak|
|孽 (nie4)||sinister, wicked, evil|
|佩 (pei4)||to wear at the belt|
|帶 (dai4)||to wear at the belt|
|冠 (guan1)||ceremonial cap (given to men at age 20)|
|淫 (yin2)||lewd, licentious|
|積 (ji1)||to store up, to accumulate|
|倡優 (chang1 you1)||《古代汉语词典》：“古代歌舞杂技艺人”
("singing and dancing acrobats of ancient times")
|侏儒 (zhu1 ru2)||《古代汉语词典》：“身材异常矮小的人。”
("people who are exceptionally short")
|狎徒 (xia2 tu2)||jester|
|偉 (wei3)||great, extraordinary|
("a performance with singing, dancing, acrobatics etc.")
|聚 (ju4)||to gather, to assemble|
|爛漫 (lan4 man4)||《古代汉语词典》：“放浪”
(unrestrained, immoral, to debauch)
|置 (zhi4)||to place|
|昏亂 (hun1 luan4)||rash, confused, tyrannical|
|奢 (she1)||extravagant, wasteful|
|恣 (zi4)||to indulge oneself|
|運 (yun4)||to transport, to carry|
|牛飲 (niu2 yin3)||《古代汉语词典》：“如牛俯身就池而饮”
("to drink like cattle, with one's body bent down over a pool")
|䩭 (ji1)||to restrain. 《古代汉语词典》 quotes this particular passage.|
|溺 (ni4)||to drown|
|妖言 (yao1 yan2)||heresy|
|瓊 (qiong2)||jade, gem, 《说文解字》：“赤玉也” (red jade)|
|瑤 (yao2)||jade, gem|
|瑤臺 (yao2 tai2)||《古代汉语词典》：“古代神话中神仙居住之处。比喻极其华丽的台。”
("dwelling of immortals in old ghost stories, used as a metaphor for extremely beautiful towers")
("to stand in a high place and look down")
|殫 (dan1)||to exhaust|
|已而 (yi3 er2)||shortly|
|釋 (shi4)||to release|