To drink a penalty

In B.C. 533, when Kih Tâo-dze, a great officer of the state of Zin, died, before he was buried, duke Phing of Zin was (one day) drinking along with the music-master Kwang and Lî Thiâo. The bells struck up; and when Tû Khwâi, who was coming in from outside, heard them, he said, ‘Where is the music?’ Being told that it was in the (principal) apartment, he entered it; and having ascended the steps one by one, he poured out a cup of spirits, and said, ‘Kwang, drink this.’ He then poured out another, and said, Thiâo, drink this.’ He poured out a third cup; and kneeling in the hall, with his face to the north, he drank it himself, went down the steps, and hurried out.

Duke Phing called him in again, and said, ‘Khwâi, just now I thought you had something in mind to enlighten me about, and therefore I did not speak to you. Why did you give the cup to Kwang?’ ‘On the days (Kiâ-)dze and (Kî-)mâo,’ was the reply, ‘there should be no music; and now Kih Tâo-dze is (in his coffin) in his hall, and this should be a great dze or mâo day. Kwang is the grand music-master, and did not remind you of this. It was on this account that I made him drink.’

‘And why did you give a cup to Thiâo?’ Tû Khwâi said, ‘Thiâo is your lordship’s favourite officer; and for this drinking and eating he forgot the fault you were committing. It was on this account I made him drink.’

‘And why did you drink a cup yourself?’ Khwâi replied, ‘I am (only) the cook; and neglecting my (proper work of) supplying you with knives and spoons, I also presumed to take my part in showing my knowledge of what should be prohibited. It was on this account that I drank a cup myself.’

Duke Phing said,’ I also have been in fault. Pour out a cup and give it to me.’ Tû Khwâi then rinsed the cup, and presented it. The duke said to the attendants, ‘When I die, you must take care that this cup is not lost.’ Down to the present day, (at feasts in Sin), when the cups have been presented all round, they then raise up this cup, and say, ‘It is that which Tû presented.’

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