An extract is given from the pathetic history here related, because it shows how divination was used among the common people, and entered generally into the ordinary affairs of life.
A simple-looking lad you were, Carrying cloth
to exchange it for silk. (But) you came not so to purchase silk;--You came to make proposals to me. I convoyed you through the Khî 1, As far as Tun-khiû 2, 'It is not I,' (I said), 'who would protract the time; But you have had no good go-between. I pray you be not angry, And let autumn be the time.'
I ascended that ruinous wall, To look towards Fû-kwan 3; And when I saw (you) not (coming from) it, My tears flowed in streams. When I did see (you coming from) Fû-kwan, I laughed and I spoke. You had consulted, (you said), the tortoiseshell and the divining stalks, And there was nothing unfavourable in their response 4. 'Then come,' (I said), 'with your carriage, And I will remove with my goods.'
438:1 The Khî was a famous river of Wei.
438:2 Tun-khiû was a well-known place--'the mound or height of Tun'-south of the Wei.
438:3 Fû-kwan must have been the place where the man lived, according to Kû. Rather, it must have been a pass (Fû-kwan may mean 'the gate or pass of Fû'), through which he would come, and was visible from near the residence of the woman.
438:4 Ying tâ observes that the man had never divined about the matter, and said that he had done so only to complete the process of seduction. The critics dwell on the inconsistency of divination being resorted to in such a case:--'Divination is proper only if used in reference to what is right and moral.'