Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (New Series)

Original Communications

Art. XVII.—Ssŭma Ch‘ien's Historical Records

Herbert J. Allen

Hsieh of Yin's mother was Chien Ti, who was one of the daughters of Yusung and the secondary wife of Emperor Ku. She was going with her two sisters to bathe, when she saw a dark bird drop its egg. Chien Ti picked it up, and swallowed it, and thus being with child gave birth to Hsieh. When Hsieh grew up, he was successful in assisting Yü to control the flood, and the Emperor Shun, directing Hsieh, said: “The people are wanting in affection for one another, and do not observe the live orders of relationship. You, as Minister of Instruction, should reverently inculcate the lessons of duty belonging to those five orders, but do so with gentleness.” He held in fief the principality of Shang, and was given the surname of Tzŭ (son). Hsieh flourished in the reigns of Yao, Shun, and the great Yü. His services were manifest to the people, who were accordingly at peace.