The Master said, 'When a filial son is mourning for a parent, he wails, but not with a prolonged sobbing; in the movements of ceremony he pays no attention to his appearance; his words are without elegance of phrase; he cannot bear to wear fine clothes; when he bears music, he feels no delight; when he eats a delicacy, he is not conscious of its flavour:--such is the nature of grief and sorrow.
'After three days he may partake of food; for thus the people are taught that the living should not be injured on account of the dead, and that emaciation must not be carried to the extinction of life:--such is the rule of the sages. The period of mourning does not go beyond three years, to show the people that it must have an end.
'An inner and outer coffin are made; the grave-clothes also are put on, and the shroud; and (the body) is lifted (into the coffin). The sacrificial vessels, round and square, are (regularly) set forth, and (the sight of them) fills (the mourners) with (fresh) distress 1. The women beat their breasts, and the men stamp with their feet, wailing and weeping, while they sorrowfully escort the coffin to the grave. They consult the tortoise-shell to determine the grave and the ground about it, and
there they lay the body in peace. They prepare the ancestral temple (to receive the tablet of the departed), and there present offerings to the disembodied spirit. In spring and autumn they offer sacrifices, thinking of the deceased as the seasons come round.
'The services of love and reverence to parents when alive, and those of grief and sorrow to them when dead:--these completely discharge the fundamental duty of living men. The righteous claims of life and death are all satisfied, and the filial son's service of his parents is completed.'
487:1 These vessels were arranged every day by the coffin, while it continued in the house, after the corpse was put into it, The practice was a serving of the dead as the living had been served. It is not thought necessary to give any details as to the other different rites of mourning which are mentioned. They will be found, with others, in the translations from the Lî Kî.
The above is the Classic of Filial Piety, as published by the emperor Hsüan in A.D. 722, with the headings then prefixed to the eighteen chapters. Subsequently, in the eleventh century, Sze-mâ Kwang (A.D. 1009-1086), a famous statesman and historian, published what he thought was the more ancient text of the Classic in twenty-two chapters, with 'Explanations' by himself, without indicating, however, the different chapters, and of course without headings to them. This work is commonly published along with an 'Exposition' of his views, by Fan Ȝû-yü, one of his contemporaries and friends. The differences between his text and that of the Thang emperor are insignificant. He gives, however, one additional chapter, which would be the nineteenth of his arrangement. It is as follows:--'Inside the smaller doors leading to the inner apartments are to be found all the rules (of government). There is awe for the father, and also for the elder brother. Wife and children, servants and concubines are like the common people, serfs, and underlings.'