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陳女夏姬

列女傳

Scanned original

陳女夏姬者,陳大夫夏徵舒之母,御叔之妻也。
The woman of Chen, Xia Ji, was the mother of dafu Xia Zhengshu of Chen, and the wife of Yushu.

其狀美好無匹,內挾伎術,蓋老而復壯者。
Her outer appearance was beautiful and no one could equal it, inside she held on to various talents. Although she was old, she retained these capabilities.

三為王后,七為夫人。
Thrice she was queen, and seven times the wife of a dafu.

公侯爭之,莫不迷惑失意。
Dukes and marquises fought about her, there was nobody who didn't lose his head over her and got into struggles.

夏姬之子徵舒為大夫,
Xia Ji's son Zhengshu became dafu.

公孫寧儀、行父與陳靈公皆通於夏姬,
Gongsun Ningyi, Hangfu and and Duke Ling of Chen all had affairs with Xia Ji.

或衣其衣,或裴其幡,以戲於朝。
Some dressed in her clothes, some took a piece of cloth from them and played with it in court.

泄冶見之,謂曰:「君有不善,子宜掩之。
Xie Ye saw this, and said to them: "When the rules commits errors, you ought to stop him."

今自子率君而為之,
Now he follows you, and you lead the ruler in doing this!

不待幽閒於朝廷,以戲士民,其謂爾何?」
You do not stay secluded in the court, but make a show of it for the people to see, how could this be called stopping him?

二人以告靈公,靈公曰:
These two informed Duke Ling, who said:

「眾人知之,吾不善無害也。泄冶知之,寡人恥焉。」
"If the people know about it, that I am no good, there is no harm. But if Xie Ye knows it, I am ashamed."

乃使人徵賊泄冶而殺之。
Then he sent someone to summon an assassin to kill Xie Ye.

靈公與二子飲於夏氏召徵舒也,
Duke Ling and his two sons were drinking at the Xia residence, and summoned Zheng Shu.

公戲二子曰:「徵舒似汝。」
The duke jokingly said to his two sons: "Zheng Shu is like you."

二子亦曰:「不若其似公也。」
His sons said: "It's better than being like the duke!"

徵舒疾此言。
Zheng Shu was distressed by these words.

靈公罷酒出,徵舒伏弩廄門,射殺靈公。
When Duke Ling finished drinking and went out, Zheng Shu was hiding at the gate of the stables, and shot Duke Ling dead.

公孫寧儀、行父皆奔楚,靈公太子午奔晉。
Gongsun Ningyi and Hangfu both fled to Chu, and the crown prince of Duke Ling, Wu, fled to Jin.

其明年,楚莊王舉兵誅徵舒,定陳國,立午,是為成公。
The next year, King Zhuang of Chu raised troops, punished Zheng Shu, established order in the state of Chen, and enthroned Wu as Duke Cheng.

莊王見夏姬美好,將納之,申公巫臣諫曰:
King Zhuang saw the beauty of Xia Ji, desired to take her with him, but the duke of Shen, Wuchen, remonstrated with him:

「不可。王討罪也,而納夏姬,是貪色也。
You can not. Your majesty punished a crime, and now desiring to take Xia Ji, this is coveting her beauty.

貪色為淫,淫為大罰。願王圖之。」
Coveting beauty leads to lewdness, lewdness leads to great punishments. I wish your majesty would consider this.

王從之,使壞後垣而出之。
The king followed this advice, ordered the rear wall destroyed and exited through it.

將軍子反見美,又欲取。
General Zifan saw her beauty, and also wanted to have her.

巫臣諫曰:「是不祥人也。殺御叔,弒靈公,
Wuchen remonstrated with him, too: "This person does not bring luck. She had Yushu killed, Duke Ling assassinated,

戮夏南,出孔儀,喪陳國。
Xia Nan executed, Kong Yi exiled and the state of Chen ruined!

天下多美婦人,何必取是!」子反乃止。
In the world there are many beautiful women, why must you have this one?" Zifan then abandoned his plan.

莊王以夏姬與連尹襄老,襄老死於邲,
King Zhuang gave Xia Ji to Lianyi Xiang Lao. Xiang Lao died at Bi,

亡其尸,其子黑要又通於夏姬。
his body was lost, and his son Heiyao then had an affair with Xia Ji.

巫臣見夏姬,謂曰:「子歸,我將聘汝。」
Wuchen saw Xia Ji, and said to her: "If you return, I will marry you."

及恭王即位,巫臣聘於齊,盡與其室俱,
When King Gong was crowned, Wuchen found her a husband in Qi, then left with his family.

至鄭,使人召夏姬曰:「尸可得也。」
When arriving in Zheng, he sent a messenger to summon Xia Ji, saying: "The corpse can be fetched."

夏姬從之,巫臣使介歸幣於楚,而與夏姬奔晉。
Xia Ji followed this summon. Wuchen sent an assistant to return the valuables to Chu, and fled to Jin with Xia Ji.

大夫子反怨之,遂與子重滅巫臣之族而分其室。
Dafu Zifan resented this, and with Zichong he exterminated Wuchen's clan and divided up their estate.

詩云:「乃如之人兮,懷昏姻也,大無信也,不知命也。」言嬖色殞命也。
The ode says: "That she was such a person! She was eagerly thinking of marriage; she was (greatly) very unreliable, she did not understand the will of Heaven." This speaks of favoring the beautiful and losing your life.
Note: from Bernhard Karlgren's translation of 蝃蝀 (ode 51). The full translation can be found below.

詩經

Translations by Bernhard Karlgren.

蝃蝀

蝃蝀在東、莫之敢指。
女子有行、遠兄弟父母。

The rainbow in the east, nobody dares to point to it;
when a girl makes her journey, she goes far away from father and mother and brothers.

朝隮于西、崇朝其雨。
女子有行、遠兄弟父母。

At dawn there are rising vapours in the west, it will rain all through the morning;
when a girl makes her journey, she goes far away from brothers and father and mother.

乃如之人也、懷昏姻也。
大無信也、不知命也。

That she was such a person! She was eagerly thinking of marriage;
she was (greatly) very unreliable, she did not understand the will of Heaven.

株林

While not quoted in the story above, Mao's commentary on the Shijing has the following to say about this ode:

刺靈公也。淫乎夏姬,驅馳而往,朝夕不休息焉。

This is an attack on Duke Ling. He was lewd with Xia Ji, galloping all the time, without rest.

胡為乎株林、從夏南。
匪適株林、從夏南。

What shall I do in Zhulin? I will follow Xia Nan;
It is not that I go to Zhulin; I will follow Xia Nan.

駕我乘馬、說于株野。
乘我乘駒、朝食于株。

I will yoke my four-team of horses, and halt in the grounds of Zhu;
I will drive my four-team of colts, and have my morning meal in Zhu.

春秋

宣公九年

陳殺其大夫洩冶。
Chen put to death its great officer Xie Ye.

左傳

宣公九年

陳靈公與孔寧,儀行父,通於夏姬,皆衷其衵服以戲于朝,洩冶諫曰,公卿宣淫,民無效焉,且聞不令,君其納之,公曰,吾能改矣,公告二子,二子請殺之,公弗禁,遂殺洩冶,孔子曰,詩云,民之多辟,無自立辟,其洩冶之謂乎。

Duke Ling of Chen, with Kong Ning and Yi Hangfu, all had an intrigue with Xia Ji, and each of the three of them wore an article of her under clothing, with which they made game with one another in the court. Xie Ye remonstrated with the duke, saying, "When ruler and ministers thus proclaim their lewdness, the people have nothing good to imitate. The report of such things is not good;---let your lordship put that article away." The duke said he would change his conduct, but he told the other two what Xie Ye had said; and when they asked leave to kill him, he did not forbid them. Ye thereon was killed. Confucius said, "The words of the ode,

When the people have many perversities
Do not you set up your own perversity before them

are applicable to the case of Xie Ye."

成公二年

楚之討陳夏氏也,莊王欲納夏姬,申公巫臣曰,不可,君召諸侯,以討罪也,今納夏姬,貪其色也,貪色為淫,淫為大罰,周書曰,明德慎罰,文王所以造周也,明德,務崇之之謂也,慎罰,務去之之謂也,若興諸侯,以取大罰,非慎之也,君其圖之,王乃止。

When Chu punished the Head of the Xia family in Chen king Zhuang wanted to take Xia Ji to his harem; but Wuchen, duke of Shen, said to him, "Do not do so. You called out the States to punish a criminal. If you now take Xia Ji to your harem, it will be through desire of her beauty. Such desire is lewdness, and lewdness is a great crime. One of the Books of Zhou says, 'He illustrated virtue and carefully abstained from wickedness;'---it was thus that King Wen made Zhou. 'He illustrated his virtue;'---that is, he did his utmost to exalt it. 'He carefully abstained from wickedness;'---that is, he did his utmost to put it away. If having roused the States to this expedition, you go on to commit a great wickedness, that is not careful abstinence from it. Let your lordship well consider the matter." The king on this destined from his purpose.

子反欲取之,巫臣曰,是不祥人也,是夭子蠻,殺御叔,弒靈侯,戮夏南,出孔儀,喪陳國,何不祥如是,人生實難,其有不獲死乎,天下多美婦人,何必是,子反乃止。

Zifan then wished to take her; but Wuchen said to him, "She is a woman of evil omen. She brought [her brother] Ziman to an early death; proved the death of [her husband] Yushu; occasioned the murder of the marquis Ling, the execution of [her son] Xia Nan, the expulsion of Kong and Yi, and the ruin of the State of CHen. What more inauspicious a woman could there be? Man's life is encompassed with difficulties;---is there any one who cannot find death? There are many beautiful women in the world;---why must you have this one?" Zifan on this gave up his purpose.

王以予連尹襄老,襄老死於邲,不獲其尸,其子黑要烝焉,巫臣使道焉,曰,歸,吾聘女,又使自鄭召之,曰,尸可得也,必來逆之,姬以告王,王問諸屈巫,對曰,其信,知罃之父,成公之嬖也,而中行伯之季弟也,新佐中軍,而善鄭皇戌,甚愛此子,其必因鄭而歸王子,與襄老之尸,以求之,鄭人懼於邲之役,而欲求媚於晉,其必許之,王遣夏姬歸,將行,謂送者曰,不得尸,吾不反矣,巫臣聘諸鄭,鄭伯許之。

The king then gave her to the Lianyin, Xiang Lao, who died at the battle of Bi, though his body had not been found. His son Heiyao then had a connection with her; but Wochen sent a message to her, saying, "Return and I will make you regularly my wife." He further brought it about that they should send from Zheng to call her there, on the ground that the body could be found, and that she must come and meet it. [Xia] Ji informed the king of this message, who asked Quwu [Wuchen] about it. Wuchen replied, 'The thing is true. The father of Zhi Ying was a favourite with duke Cheng, and is the youngest brother of Zhonghang Bo [Xuan Linfu]. He has recently been made assistant-commander of the army of the centre, and is very friendly with Huang Xu of Zheng. He is much attached to his son, and is sure, through Zheng, to offer to restore our king's son and the body of Xiang Lao in exchange for him. The people of Zheng are afraid in consequence of the battle of Bi, and anxious to conciliate its favour, so that they will agree to the wishes of Zhi Ying's father." The king sent Xia Ji back to Zheng, and as she was about to commence the journey, she said to those who were escorting her, "If I do not get the body, I will not return here." Wuchen made proposals of marriage with her to the earl of Zheng, who accepted them.

及共王即位,將為陽橋之役,使屈巫聘於齊,且告師期,巫臣盡室以行,申叔跪從其父將適郢,遇之,曰,異哉,夫子有三軍之懼,而又有桑中之喜,宜將竊妻以逃者也,及鄭,使介反幣,而以夏姬行,將奔齊,齊師新敗,曰,吾不處不勝之國,遂奔晉,而因郤至,以臣於晉,晉人使為邢大夫,子反請以重幣錮之,王曰,止,其自為謀也則過矣,其為吾先君謀也則忠,忠,社稷之固也,所蓋多矣,且彼若能利國家,雖重幣,晉將可乎,若無益於晉,晉將棄之,何勞錮焉。

After the accession of king Gong when he was arranging for the expedition to Yangqiao, he sent Quwu to go on a friendly mission to Qi, and to inform the marquis of the time of taking the field. Wuchen took all his family along with him, and was met by Shen Shugui, who was going to Ying in the suite of his father. Shugui said to him, "How strange! You have the anxiety of all the armies of the State on your mind, and yet you are as bright as if proceeding to an encounter among the mulberry trees. You ought to be stealing a marriage with some lady!" When Wuchen got to Zheng, he sent his assistant in the mission back to Chu with the presents, and proceeded to go elsewhere with Xia Ji. He had been minded to fly to Qi, but as its army had sustained the recent defeat, he said, "I will not live in a State which is not victorious." and fled to Jin, where, by means of Xi Zhi, he obtained an appointment, and was made commandant of Xing. Zifan requested the king of Chu to present large offerings, and get him dismissed from service; but the king said, "He has gone in the way in which he had planned for himself; but in the plans which he laid for my father he was loyal. Loyalty secures for the stability of the altars, and may cover a multitude of offences. If he proves of advantage to it, moreover, would Jin listen to our request, though it were made with large offerings? If he do not prove of service, Jin will cast him off, without our having the trouble of seeking his dismissal."

Vocabulary

狀 (zhuang4)appearance
匹 (pi3)peer, match
挾 (xie2)to hold, to grasp
伎、技 (ji4)talent
迷 (mi2)to delude, to bewitch
裴、裵 (pei2)look of a flowing gown
幡 (fan1)piece of cloth
戲 (xi4)to joke, to jest
宜 (yi2)should, ought to
掩 (yan3)to put a stop to
率 (shuai4)to follow, to lead
徵 (zheng1)summon
賊 (zei2)murderer
罷 (ba4)to stop, to cease
弩 (nu3)crossbow
廄 (jiu4)stables
討 (tao3)to punish
貪 (tan1)to covet
罰 (fa2)punishment
願 (yuan4)to wish
壞 (huai4)to destroy
垣 (yuan2)wall
祥 (xiang2)happy omen, auspicious
喪 (sang4)to destroy, to lose
戮 (lu4)to punish by death
聘 (pin4)to betroth a woman
介 (jie4)assistant
殞 (yun3)to lose (life)