CHAPTER XXXIV. EUNUCHS, HUMAN SACRIFICES, FOOD
It is much the same thing with another disagreeable feature in the manners of those times - human sacrifices. Many instances have already been given of such practices in the state of Ts'in. The tomb of the King of Ts'u who died in 591 - of that king whose death Confucius condescended to record, decently and in ritual terms, because of his many good qualities - which tomb appears to be still in existence near King-chou Fu, is surrounded by ten other smaller tombs, supposed so be those of the persons who "followed him to the grave." At all events, when in the year 529 a later king of Ts'u hanged himself, a faithful follower buried two of his own daughters with the royal body. In A. D. 312 the tomb of the first Protector, who died in 643 B.C., was opened under circumstances so graphically described that there can scarcely be a doubt of the substantial truth: the stench was so great that dogs had to be sent in first to test the effects of the poisoned atmosphere; so many bones were found lying about that there can be little doubt many women and concubines were buried with him. It is often said by modern writers that it was a general custom to do so all over ancient China, and possibly the fact that in the second century B.C. a humane Chinese emperor (of Taoist principles) ordered the discontinuance of the practice may be thought to give colour to this supposition. But it must be remembered that the great house of Han had only then recently overthrown the dynasty of Ts'in, and had incorporated nearly the whole of China as we now view it: the Emperor would naturally therefore be referring to Ts'i, Ts'in, Ts'u, and possibly also to Wu and Yueeh, three of which states had, as we see, once practised this cruel custom.
Wine, or rather spirit, was known everywhere; in Confucian times the Far West had not yet been discovered, and there were neither grapes nor any names for grapes; no grape wine, nor any other fruit wine. Even now, though the Peking grapes are as good as English grapes, no one nearer than Shan Shi makes wine from them. Spirits seem to have been served from remote times at the imperial and princely feasts. Here, once more, as with the two vicious practices described, the drunkards appear to be found more among those peoples surrounding orthodox China than in the ancient nucleus. In 694 B.C., when the ruler of Lu was on a visit to his brother-in-law, the ruler of Ts'i, whose sister he had married, brother and sister had incestuous intercourse; which being detected, the ruler of Ts'i made his Lu brother-in-law drunk, and suborned a powerful ruffian to squeeze his ribs as he was assisted into his chariot. Thus the Duke Hwan of Lu perished. In 640 B.C., as we have seen, when the future Second Protector was dallying with his Ts'i wife, it was found by his henchman necessary to make him drunk in order to get him away. In 574 a Ts'u general was found drunk when sent for by his king to explain a defeat by Tsin troops. In 560 the Ts'i envoy - the philosopher Yen-tsz - was entertained by the Ts'u court at a wine. In 531 the ruler of Ts'u first made drunk, and then killed, one of the petty rulers of orthodox China. In 537 it had already been explained to the King of Ts'u that on the occasions of the triennial visits of vassals to the Emperor (probably only theoretical visits at that date) wine was served at long tables in full cups, but was only drunk at the proper ritualistic moment. Two years after that the King of Ts'u was described as being at his wine, and therefore in the proper frame of mind to listen to representations.
In 541 the Ts'u envoy was entertained at a punch d'honneur by the Tsin statesmen, one of whom seized the occasion to chant one of the Odes warning people against drunkenness. It is well known that Confucius enjoyed his dram; indeed, it is said of him: "As to wine, he had no measure, but he did not fuddle himself." In the year 506 the ruler of Ts'in is described as being a heavy drinker. In 489 a Ts'i councillor is described as being drunk. A few years later the ruler of Ts'i and his wife are seen drinking together on the verandah, and some prisoners escape owing to the gaoler having been judiciously plied with drink.