何謂楚國之寶—玉足以庇蔭嘉穀,使無水旱之災,則寶之

天顏有喜三階祝並三多

There is happiness sign on the Emperor’s countenance and there is sign of world peace, abundance of offspring, long life, wealth.

祖武其繩五福堂同五代

Inherit the endowment from ancestors, enjoy five happiness and five generations live together.

嘉慶年製銘文碧玉玉筒

國語楚語(Guo Yu, Chu Yu) 下

王孫圉聘于晉,定公饗,簡子鳴玉以相,問于王孫圉曰:「楚之白珩猶在乎?」對曰:「然。」簡子曰:「其為寶也,幾何矣。」曰:「未嘗為寶。楚之所寶者,曰觀射父,能作訓比率,以行事于諸侯,使無以寡君為口實。又有左史倚相,能道訓典,以敘百物,以朝夕獻善敗于寡君,使寡君無忘先王之業;又能上下說于鬼神,順道其欲惡,使神無有怨痛于楚國。疣藪曰云連徒洲,金木竹箭之所生也。龜珠齒皮革羽毛所以備賦,以戒不虞者也。所以共幣帛,以賓享于諸侯者也。若諸侯之好幣具,而導之以訓辭,有不虞之備,而皇神相之,寡君其可以免罪于諸侯,而國民保焉。此楚國之寶也。若夫白珩,先王之望也,何寶之焉?「圉聞國之寶六而已。明王聖人能制議百物,以輔相國家,則寶之;玉足以庇蔭嘉穀,使無水旱之災,則寶之;龜足以憲臧否,則寶之;珠足以御火災,則寶之;金足以御兵亂,則寶之;山林藪澤足以備財用,則寶之。若夫話囂之美,楚雖蠻夷,不能寶也。」

Translation:( from 國語楚語(Guo Yu, Chu Yu) 下a classical Chinese history book that collected the historical records of numerous states from the Western Zhou to 453 BC. Its author is unknown was probably compiled beginning in the 5th century BC and continuing to the late 4th century BC.  )

Wang Sun Yu ( An official from Chu State) is visiting the Jin State. The King of Jin State treats him with a national banquet. Senior official, Zhao Chen Tzu wearing a jade making sound is serving him. Zhao Chen Tzu asks Wang Sun Yu: “ The white jade huang in Chu State is still there?”  “ Yes.” Wan Sun Yu answers.Zhao Chen Tzu further asks: “ What is the value of it as a treasure?” Wang answers:” It is not treated as a treasure.  Instead, what the Chu State treats as treasure is the leaned man  Kuan Sheh Fu who is able to propose excellent instructions both for domestic and foreign affairs to protect the King from unfavorable excuses. In addition, Chu State has official historians who always present the institutions and instructions of previous kings to the King who can learn the experiences of success and failure from there. Thus, the King will not forget the estate of previous kings. They can also communicate with gods and ghosts whose likes and dislikes will be followed. The Chu State will be safe by not have trouble with gods and ghosts.
In addition, the Chu State has wetland Yu connecting Tuchou where produce wood, bamboo and minerals which are necessary for military supplies. We should have enough turtles, ivories, pearls, hide  and feathers in stock too. The money and silk are prepared as presents to the guests and officials of other states in order that our King will have a good relationship with them and thus our nation will be safe. These are so called the treasures of the Chu State. As for the white jade huang, which is only something to the hobby of previous kings and is not a treasure. In my opinion, there are six kinds of treasure for a state: those learned and capable person who could help to manage the nation; the jades used for praying to the have good harvests without flood and drought; the turtle shells used for future prediction; the pearls used for preventing fire; the metals used for weapons to protect the country; the forests and wetlands producing natural resources. Although the Chu State is a remote nation, it will not treat amusement objects as treasures. 資料來源: 圖錄來自美國藏家, 英文為作者翻譯

 

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