Front Page Titles (by Subject) KING HWUY OF LEANG. PART II. - The Chinese Classics: Vol. 2 The Life and Teachings of Mencius
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KING HWUY OF LEANG. PART II. - Mencius, The Chinese Classics: Vol. 2 The Life and Teachings of Mencius 
The Chinese Classics: Translated into English with Preliminary Essays and Explanatory Notes by James Legge. Vol. 2 The Life and Teachings of Mencius. (London: N. Trübner, 1875).
Part of: The Chinese Classics
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KING HWUY OF LEANG. PART II.
ChapterI.1.Chwang Paou, [having gone to] see Mencius, said to him, “I had an audience of the king. His Majesty told me about his loving music, and I was not prepared with anything to reply to him. What do you pronounce concerning [that] love of music?” Mencius said, “If the king’s love of music were very great, the kingdom of Ts‘e would be near to [being well governed].”
2. Another day, Mencius had an audience of the king, and said, “Your Majesty, [I have heard,] told the officer Chwang about your love of music;—was it so?” The king changed colour, and said, “I am unable to love the music of the ancient kings; I only love the music that suits the manners of the [present] age.”
3. [Mencius] said, “If your Majesty’s love of music were very great, Ts‘e, I apprehend, would be near to [being well governed]. The music of the present day is just like the music of antiquity [for effecting that].”
4. [The king] said, “May I hear [the proof of what you say]?” “Which is the more pleasant,” was the reply,—“to enjoy music by yourself alone, or to enjoy it along with others?” “To enjoy it along with others,” said [the king]. “And which is the more pleasant,” pursued [Mencius],—“to enjoy music along with a few, or to enjoy it along with many?” “To enjoy it along with many,” replied [the king].
5. [Mencius went on], “Will you allow your servant to speak to your Majesty about music?
6. “Your Majesty is having music here.—The people hear the sound of your bells and drums, and the notes of your reeds and flutes, and they all, with aching heads, knit their brows, and say to one another, ‘That’s how our king loves music! But why does he reduce us to this extremity [of distress]? Fathers and sons do not see one another; elder brothers and younger brothers, wives and children, are separated and scattered abroad.’ Again, your Majesty is hunting here. The people hear the noise of your carriages and horses, and see the beauty of your plumes and pennons, and they all, with aching heads, knit their brows, and say to one another, ‘That’s how our king loves hunting! But why does he reduce us to this extremity of distress? Fathers and sons do not see one another; elder brothers and younger brothers, wives and children, are separated and scattered abroad.’ This is from no other cause, but that you do not give the people to have pleasure as well as yourself.
7. “Your Majesty is having music here.—The people hear the sound of your bells and drums, and the notes of your reeds and flutes, and they all, delighted and with joyful looks, say to one another, ‘That sounds as if our king were free from all sickness! What fine music he is able to have!’ Again, your Majesty is hunting here.—The people hear the noise of your carriages and horses, and see the beauty of your plumes and pennons, and they all, delighted and with joyful looks, say to one another, ‘That looks as if our king were free from all sickness! How he is able to hunt!’ This is from no other reason but that you cause the people to have pleasure as well as yourself.
8. “If your Majesty now will make pleasure a thing common to the people and yourself, the Royal sway awaits you.”
2. “Was it so large as that?” said [the king]. “The people,” said [Mencius], “still considered it small.” “My park,” responded [the king], “contains [only] forty square le, and the people still consider it large. How is this?” “The park of king Wăn,”—said [Mencius], “contained seventy square le, but the grass-cutters and fuel-gatherers [had the privilege of] resorting to it, and so also had the catchers of pheasants and hares. He shared it with the people, and was it not with reason that they looked on it as small?
3. “When I first arrived at your frontiers, I enquired about the great prohibitory regulations before I would venture to enter [the country]; and I heard that inside the border-gates there was a park of forty square le, and that he who killed a deer in it, whether large or small, was held guilty of the same crime as if he had killed a man. In this way those forty square le are a pit-fall in the middle of the kingdom. Is it not with reason that the people look upon [your park] as large?”
III.1. King Seuen of Ts‘e asked, saying, “Is there any way [to regulate one’s maintenance] of intercourse with neighbouring States?” Mencius replied, “There is. But it requires a benevolent [ruler] to be able with a great State to serve a small;—as, for instance, T‘ang served Koh, and king Wăn served the hordes of the Keun. And it requires a wise [ruler] to be able with a small State to serve a great,—as, for instance, king T‘ae served the Heun-yuh, and Kow-tseen served Woo.
2. “He who with a great [State] serves a small is one who delights in Heaven; and he who with a small [State] serves a great is one who fears Heaven. He who delights in Heaven will affect with his love and protection all under the sky; and he who fears Heaven will so affect his own State.
3. “It is said in the Book of Poetry,
4. The king said, “A great saying! [But] I have an infirmity,—I love valour.”
5. [Mencius] replied, “I beg your Majesty not to love small valour. If a man brandishes his sword, looks fierce, and says, ‘How dare he withstand me?’ this is the valour of a common man, and can only be used against one individual. I beg your Majesty to change it into great valour.
6. “It is said in the Book of Poetry,
This was the valour of king Wăn. King Wăn, by one burst of his anger, gave repose to all the people under heaven.
7. “It is said in the Book of History, ‘Heaven, having produced the inferior people, made for them rulers, and made for them instructors, with the purpose that they should be aiding to God, and gave them distinction throughout the four quarters [of the land]. Whoever are offenders, and whoever are innocent, here am I [to deal with them]. How dare any under heaven give indulgence to their refractory wills?’ One man was pursuing a violent and disorderly course in the kingdom, and king Woo was ashamed of it. This was the valour of king Woo, and he also, by one burst of his anger, gave repose to all the people under heaven.
8. “Let now your Majesty, in one burst of anger, give repose to all the people under heaven. The people are only afraid that your Majesty does not love valour.”
IV.1. King Seuen of Ts‘e [went to] see Mencius in the Snow palace, and said to him, “Do men of talents and virtue likewise find pleasure in [such a place as] this?” Mencius replied, “They do. And if people [generally] do not get [similar pleasure], they condemn their superiors.
2. “For them, when they do not get that, to condemn their superiors is wrong; but when the superiors of the people do not make [such] pleasure a thing common to the people and themselves, they also do wrong.
3. “When [a ruler] rejoices in the joy of his people, they also rejoice in his joy; when he sorrows for the sorrow of his people, they also sorrow for his sorrow. When his joy extends to all under heaven, and his sorrow does the same, it never was that in such a case [the ruler] did not attain to the Royal sway.
4. “Formerly, duke King of Ts‘e asked the minister Gan, saying, ‘I wish to make a tour to Chuen-foo and Chaou-woo, and then to bend my way southward, along the shore, till I come to Lang-yay. What shall I do specially, that my tour may be fit to be compared with those made by the former kings?’
5. “The minister Gan replied, ‘An excellent inquiry! When the son of Heaven visited the feudal princes, it was called “a tour of inspection;” that is, he surveyed the States under their care. When the princes attended at his court, it was called “a report of office;” that is, they reported [their administration of] their offices. [Thus] neither of those proceedings was without its proper object. [And moreover], in the spring they examined the ploughing, and supplied any deficiency [of seed]; in the autumn they examined the reaping, and assisted where there was any deficiency [of yield]. There is the saying of the Hea dynasty,
That excursion and that round were a pattern for the princes.
6. “ ‘Now the state of things is different. A host marches [in attendance on the ruler], and the provisions are consumed. The hungry are deprived of their food, and there is no rest for those who are called to toil. Maledictions are uttered by one to another with eyes askance, and the people proceed to the commission of wickedness. The [Royal] orders are violated and the people are oppressed; the supplies of food and drink flow away like water. The [rulers] yield themselves to the current; or they urge their way against it; they are wild; they are lost:—[these things proceed] to the grief of the [smaller] princes.
7. “ ‘Descending along with the current, and forgetting to return,’ is what I call yielding to it. ‘Going against it, and forgetting to return,’ is what I called urging their way against it. ‘Pursuing the chase without satiety’ is what I call being wild. ‘Delighting in spirits without satiety’ is what I call being lost.
8. “ ‘The former kings had no pleasures to which they gave themselves as on the flowing stream, no doings which might be so characterized as wild and lost.
9. “ ‘It is for you, my ruler, to take your course.’
10. “Duke King was pleased. He issued a grand proclamation through the State, and went out [himself] and occupied a shed in the suburbs. From that time he began to open [his granaries] for the relief of the wants [of the people], and, calling the grand music master, said to him, ‘Make for me music to suit a prince and his minister well pleased with each other.’ It was then that the Che Shaou and Kë‘oh Shaou was made, in the poetry to which it was said,
‘What fault is it one’s ruler to restrain?’
He who restrains his ruler loves him.”
2. Mencius replied, “The Brilliant hall is the hall appropriate to the kings. If your Majesty wishes to practise Royal government, do not pull it down.”
3. The king said, “May I hear from you what Royal government is?” “Formerly,” was the reply, “king Wăn’s government of K‘e was the following:—From the husbandman [there was required the produce of] one ninth [of the land]; the descendants of officers were salaried; at the passes and in the markets, [strangers] were inspected, but goods were not taxed; there were no prohibitions respecting the ponds and weirs; the wives and children of criminals were not involved in their guilt. There were the old and wifeless, or widowers, the old and husbandless, or widows; the old and childless, or solitaries; and the young and fatherless, or orphans:—these four classes are the most destitute under heaven, and have none to whom they can tell [their wants], and king Wăn, in the institution of his government with its benevolent action, made them the first objects of his regard. It is said in the Book of Poetry,
4. The king said, “Excellent words!” [Mencius] said, “Since your Majesty deems them excellent, why do you not put them into practice?” “I have an infirmity,” said the king; “I am fond of substance.” “Formerly,” replied [Mencius], “duke Lëw was fond of substance. It is said in the Book of Poetry,
In this way those who remained in their old seat had their stores in the fields and in barns, and those who marched had their bags of grain. It was not till after this that he commenced his march. If your Majesty is fond of substance, let the people have the opportunity to gratify the same feeling, and what difficulty will there be in your attaining to the Royal sway?”
5. The king said, “I have an infirmity; I am fond of beauty.” The reply was, “Formerly king T‘ae was fond of beauty, and loved his wife. It is said in the Book of Poetry,
At that time, in the seclusion of the house, there were no dissatisfied women, and, abroad, there were no unmarried men. If your Majesty is fond of beauty, let the people be able to gratify the same feeling, and what difficulty will there be in your attaining to the Royal sway?”
VI.1. Mencius said to king Seuen of Ts‘e, “[Suppose that] one of your Majesty’s servants were to entrust his wife and children to the care of his friend, while he went [himself] into Ts‘oo to travel, and that, on his return, [he should find] that [the friend] had caused his wife and children to suffer from cold and hunger,—how ought he to deal with him?” The king said, “He should cast him off.”
2. [Mencius] proceeded, “[Suppose that] the chief criminal judge could not regulate the officers of justice under him, how should he be dealt with?” The king said, “He should be dismissed.”
3. [Mencius again] said, “When within the four borders [of your kingdom] there is not good government, what is to be done?” The king looked to the right and left, and spoke of other matters.
VII.1. Mencius, having [gone to] see king Seuen of Ts‘e, said to him, “When men speak of ‘an ancient kingdom,’ it is not meant thereby that it has lofty trees in it, but that it has ministers [sprung from families that have been noted in it] for generations. Your Majesty has no ministers with whom you are personally intimate. Those whom you advanced yesterday are gone to-day, and you do not know it.”
2. The king said, “How shall I know that they have no ability, and avoid employing them at all?”
3. The reply was, “A ruler advances to office [new] men of talents and virtue [only] as a matter of necessity. As he thereby causes the low to overstep the honourable and strangers to overstep his relatives, ought he to do so but with caution?
4. “When all those about you say [of a man], ‘He is a man of talents and virtue,’ do not immediately [believe them]. When your great officers all say, ‘He is a man of talents and virtue,’ do not immediately [believe them]. When your people all say, ‘He is a man of talents and virtue,’ then examine into his character; and, when you find that he is such indeed, then afterwards employ him. When all those about you say, ‘He will not do,’ do not listen to them. When your great officers all say, ‘He will not do,’ do not listen to them. When your people all say, ‘He will not do,’ then examine into his character; and when you find that he will not do, then afterwards send him away.
5. “When those about you all say [of a man], ‘He deserves death,’ do not listen to them. When your great officers all say, ‘He deserves death,’ do not listen to them. When your people all say, ‘He deserves death,’ then examine into his case; and when you find that he deserves death, then afterwards put him to death. In accordance with this we have the saying, ‘The people put him to death.’
6. “Act in this way and you will be the parent of the people.”
2. [The king] said, “May a subject put his ruler to death?”
3. The reply was, “He who outrages benevolence is called a ruffian; he who outrages righteousness is called a villain. The ruffian and villain we call a mere fellow. I have heard of the cutting off of the fellow Chow; I have not heard of the putting a ruler to death [in his case].”
IX.1. Mencius, [having gone to] see king Seuen of Ts‘e, said, “If you are going to build a large mansion, you will surely cause the Master of the workmen to look out for large trees; and when he has found them, your Majesty will be glad, thinking they will be fit for the object. Should the workmen hew them so as to make them too small, then you will be angry, thinking that they will not answer for the purpose. Now a man spends his youth in learning [the principles of right government], and, when grown up to vigour, he wishes to put them in practice:—if your Majesty say to him, ‘For the present put aside what you have learned, and follow me,’ what shall we say?
2. “Here now you have a gem in the stone. Although it be worth 240,000 [taels], you will surely employ your chief lapidary to cut and polish it. But when you come to the government of your kingdom, you say, ‘For the present put aside what you have learned and follow me;’—how is it that you herein act differently from your calling in the lapidary to cut and polish the gem?”
2. King Seuen asked, saying, “Some tell me not to take possession of it, and some tell me to take possession of it. For a kingdom of ten thousand chariots to attack another of the same strength, and to complete the conquest of it in fifty days, is an achievement beyond [mere] human strength. If I do not take it, calamities from Heaven will surely come upon me:—what do you say to my taking possession of it?”
3. Mencius replied, “If the people of Yen will be pleased with your taking possession of it, do so.—Among the ancients there was [one] who acted in this way, namely king Woo. If the people of Yen will not be pleased with your taking possession of it, do not. Among the ancients there was one who acted in this way, namely king Wăn.
4. “When with [the strength of] your kingdom of ten thousand chariots you attacked another of the same strength, and they met your Majesty’s army with baskets of rice and vessels of congee, was there any other reason for this but that they [hoped to] escape out of fire and water? If [you make] the water more deep and the fire more fierce, they will just in like manner make another revolution.”
XI.1. The people of Ts‘e having attacked Yen and taken possession of it, the [other] princes proposed to take measures to deliver Yen. King Seuen said, “As the princes are many of them consulting to attack me, how shall I prepare myself for them?” Mencius replied, “I have heard of one who with seventy le gave law to the whole kingdom, but I have not heard of [a ruler] who with a thousand le was afraid of others.
2. “The Book of History says, ‘When T‘ang began his work of punishment, he commenced with Koh. All under heaven had confidence in him. When the work went on in the east, the wild tribes of the west murmured. When it went on in the south, those of the north murmured. They said, “Why does he make us the last?” The looking of the people for him was like the looking in a time of great drought for clouds and rainbows. The frequenters of the markets stopped not; the husbandmen made no change [in their operations]. While he took off their rulers, he consoled the people. [His progress] was like the falling of seasonable rain, and the people were delighted.’ It is said [again] in the Book of History, ‘We have waited for our prince [long]; the prince’s coming is our reviving.’
3. “Now [the ruler of] Yen was tyrannizing over his people, and your Majesty went and punished him. The people supposed that you were going to deliver them out of the water and the fire, and with baskets of rice and vessels of congee they met your Majesty’s host. But you have slain their fathers and elder brothers, and put their sons and younger brothers in chains; you have pulled down the ancestral temple [of the rulers], and are carrying away its precious vessels:—how can such a course be admitted? [The other States of] the kingdom were afraid of the strength of Ts‘e before; and now when with a doubled territory you do not exercise a benevolent government, this puts the arms of the kingdom in motion [against you].
4. “If your Majesty will make haste to issue an order, restoring [your captives] old and young, and stopping [the removal of] the precious vessels; [and if then] you will consult with the people of Yen, appoint [for them] a [new] ruler, and afterwards withdraw from the country:—in this way you may still be able to stop [the threatened attack].”
XII.1. There had been a skirmish between [some troops of] Tsow and Loo, [in reference to which,] duke Mih asked, saying, “Of my officers there were killed thirty-three men and none of the people would die in their defence. If I would put them to death, it is impossible to deal so with so many; if I do not put them to death, then there is [the crime unpunished of] their looking on with evil eyes at the death of their officers, and not saving them:—how is the exigency of the case to be met?”
2. Mencius replied, “In calamitous years and years of famine, the old and weak of your people who have been found lying in ditches and water-channels, and the able-bodied who have been scattered about to the four quarters, have amounted to thousands. All the while, your granaries, O prince, have been stored with rice and other grain, and your treasuries and arsenals have been full, and not one of your officers has told you [of the distress];—so negligent have the superiors [in your State] been, and cruel to their inferiors. The philosopher Tsăng said, ‘Beware, beware. What proceeds from you will return to you.’ Now at last the people have had an opportunity to return [their conduct]; do not you, O prince, blame them.
3. “If you will practise a benevolent government, then the people will love all above them, and will die for their officers.”
2. Mencius replied, “This is a matter in which I cannot counsel you. If you will have me speak, there is but one thing [I can suggest]. Dig [deep] your moats; build [strong] your walls; then guard them along with the people; be prepared to die [in their defence], and [have] the people [so that] they will not leave you:—this is a course which may be put in practice.”
2. Mencius replied, “Formerly, when king T‘ae dwelt in Pin, the Teih were [continually] making incursions upon it. He [therefore] left it, and went to the foot of Mount K‘e, and there took up his residence. He did not take that situation as having selected it;—it was a matter of necessity.
3. “If you do good, among your descendants in future generations there shall be one who will attain to the Royal sway. The superior man lays the foundation of the inheritance, and hands down the beginning [which he has made], doing what can be continued [by his successors]. As to the accomplishment of the great result, that is with Heaven. What is that [Ts‘e] to you, O prince? you have simply to make yourself strong to do good.”
XV.1. Duke Wăn of T‘ăng asked, saying, “T‘ăng is a small State. I do my utmost to serve the great kingdoms [on either side of it], but I cannot escape [suffering from them]. What is the proper course for me to pursue in the case?” Mencius replied, “Formerly, when king T‘ae dwelt in Pin, the Teih were continually making incursions upon it. He served them with skins and silks, and still he suffered from them. He served them with dogs and horses, and still he suffered from them. He served them with pearls and pieces of jade, and still he suffered from them. On this he assembled his old men, and announced to them, saying, ‘What the Teih want is my territory. I have heard this,—that the superior man does not injure his people for that which he nourishes them with. My children, why should you be troubled about having no ruler. I will leave this.’ [Accordingly] he left Pin, crossed over Mount Lëang, [built] a town at the foot of Mount K‘e, and dwelt there. The people of Pin said, ‘He is a benevolent man;—we must not lose him.’ Those who followed him [looked] like crowds going to market.
4. “On the other hand [a prince] may say, ‘[The country] has been held [by my ancestors] for generations, and is not what I can undertake to dispose of in my person. I will go to the death for it, and will not leave it.’
5. “I beg you, O prince, to make your election between these two courses.”
XVI.1. Duke P‘ing of Loo was about to go out [one day], when his favourite Tsang Ts‘ang begged [to ask] him, saying, “On other days, when your lordship has gone out, you have given instructions to the officers as to where you were going. But now the horses have been put to your carriage, and the officers do not yet know where you are going. I venture to request your orders.” The duke said, “I am going to see the philosopher Măng.” “What!” said the other. “That you demean yourself, O prince, by what you are doing, to pay the first visit to a common man, is, I apprehend, because you think that he is a man of talents and virtue. [Our rules of] propriety and righteousness must have come from such men; but on the occasion of this Măng’s second mourning, his observances exceeded those of the former. Do not go to see him, O prince.” The duke said, “I will not.”
2. The officer Yoh-ching entered [the court], and had an audience. “Prince,” said he, “why have you not gone to see Măng K‘o?” “One told me,” was the reply, “that on the occasion of Mr Mang’s second mourning, his observances exceeded those of the former, and therefore I did not go to see him.” [Yoh-ching] said, “How is this? By what your lordship calls ‘exceeding,’ you mean, I suppose, that on the former occasion he used the ceremonies appropriate to an inferior officer, and on the latter those appropriate to a great officer; that he first used three tripods, and afterwards five.” “No,” said the duke, “I refer to the greater excellence of the coffin, the shell, the grave-clothes, and the shroud.’ [Yoh-ching] replied, “That cannot be called ‘exceeding.’ That was the difference between being poor and being rich.”
3. [After this] the officer Yoh-ching [went to] see Mencius, and said, “I told the ruler about you, and he was consequently coming to see you, when his favourite Tsang Ts‘ang stopped him, and he did not carry his purpose into effect.” [Mencius] said, “A man’s advance is effected, it may be, by others, and the stopping him is, it may be, from the efforts of others. But to advance a man or to stop his advance is [really] beyond the power of other men. My not finding [the right prince] in the marquis of Loo, is from Heaven. How could that scion of the Tsang family cause me not to find [the ruler that would suit me]?”
[Ch. I. ]How the love of music may be made subservient to good government, and when shared with the people lead on to the Royal sway. The chapter is a good specimen of Mencius’ manner. The moral of it is the same as that of chapter ii. Part I. Mencius slips cleverly from the point in hand to introduce his own notions, and tries to win king Seuen over to benevolent government by his vice itself. It is on this account that Chinese thinkers say that Mencius was wanting in the consistency of a moral teacher, and refuse to rank him with Confucius.
[Par. 1. ] The king here was, it is understood, king Seuen of last chapter. Chwang Paou must have been a minister or officer about his court. He was evidently on good terms with Mencius, but his name does not occur in the list of his disciples. The king must have been notorious for his love of music, and Mencius’ remark that, if his love for it were very great, Ts‘e would be in a happy state, only commends itself when we find what the philosopher included in his idea of greatly loving music.
[Par. 2. ] The king changed colour, being conscious of the charges to which he was open in connexion with his love of music.
[Par. 8. ] This and other similar passages, it is argued, are to be understood with reference to the great distress of the times, which made Mencius express himself as he did. There was, no doubt, a great difference between the music of antiquity, and that in which king Seuen delighted; but if Seuen and other princes could only be led on to make the comfort and happiness of the people their principal object, everything that was wrong would rectify itself.
[Ch. II. ]That a ruler must not indulge his love for parks and hunting to the discomfort of the people. The moral of this chapter is the same as that of the preceding,—that a ruler must share his pleasures with the people, or see to it that they have pleasures of a similar kind.
[Par. 1. ] This is understood to have been the park of king Wăn after two-thirds of the States of the kingdom had given in their adhesion to him.
[Par. 3. ] Mencius seems to distinguish here between what I have called “the frontiers” of Ts‘e, and the kaou, or the country at the distance of a hundred le from the capital. Both at the frontiers and at the point where the kaou commenced, there were, I believe, barrier gates through which travellers had to pass. He seems to say that the park was inside the circle of the kaou. These forest laws of Ts‘e were hardly worse than those enacted by the first Norman sovereigns of England, when whoever killed a deer, a boar, or even a hare, was punished with the loss of his eyes, and with death if the statute was repeatedly violated.
[Ch. III. ]How intercourse with neighbouring States may be maintained, and the love of valour made subservient to the good of the people and the glory of the prince.
[Par. 1. ] “A benevolent ruler” here is one who is very slow to shed blood. and will bear and forbear much before he will adopt violent measures of war to endanger the lives of his people. On the case of T‘ang and Koh, see III. ii. V; on that of Wăn and the hordes of the Keun we have not much information;—see the She, III. i. III. 8, and VII. 2. On king T‘ae and the Heun-yuh, see ch. xv below; for Kow-tseen and Woo, see Tso’s Chuen, after XII. i. 2, et al., and the “History of the various States,” Bk lxxx.
[Par. 2. ] Choo He says on the word “Heaven” here, “Heaven is just principle, i. e., the reason of things, and nothing more.” The instance is a good one of the way in which he and others try to expunge the idea of a governing power and a personal God from their classics. Heaven is here evidently the loving and directing Power of the universe, or the will of that Power as indicated in the course of its Providence.
[Par. 3. ] See the She, IV. i. [i] VII.
[Par. 4. ] From this par. Mencius deals with Seuen’s love of valour just as in ch. i. he deals with his love of music.
[Par. 6. ] See the She, III. i. VII. 5. Mencius gives the third line differently from the common reading in the She.
[Par. 7. ] See the Shoo, V. i. Pt I. 7, but the quotation here is still more different from the classical text. The sentiment that rulers and instructors are intended to be aiding to God is the same as that of Paul, in Romans, xiii. 1—4, that “the powers ordained of God are the ministers of God.”
[Ch. IV. ]A ruler’s prosperity depends on his exercising a restraint on his own love of pleasure, and sympathizing with his people in their joys and sorrows,—illustrated by the example of duke King of Ts‘e.
[Par. 1. ] The Snow palace was a pleasure palace of the princes of Ts‘e, and is said to have been in the present district of Lin-tsze, department Ts‘ing-chow. Most of the critics say that the king had lodged Mencius there and went to see him in it, and this is the most natural inference from the language The king’s question was in the same words as that of king Hwuy of Leang in ch. II. of Part I; but there it had to be understood of rulers, while here its application is to Mencius himself, and there is in it an undertone of self-congratulation by the king on his handsome treatment of the philosopher. Mencius, however, starts off from it in his usual way to introduce his great theme of benevolent government, and benevolent feeling towards the people in the prince’s heart; and this is developed in parr. 2 and 3.
[Par. 4. ] On duke King of Ts‘e and his minister Gan, see the Ana XII. xi.; V. xvi.; et al. King was marquis of Ts‘e for 58 years, from bc 546 to 489. Mencius here presents his character in a more favourable light than Confucius does. Chuen-foo and Chaou-woo were two hills which must have been in the north-east of Ts‘e, and looking on the waters now called the Gulf of Pih-chih-le. Lang-yay was the name both of a hill and an adjacent city, in the present district of Choo-shing, department Ts‘ing-chow. The duke was bent evidently on pleasure, and his last words were simply intended to gloss that over.
[Par. 5. ] On the royal tours of inspection see the Shoo, II. i. 8, 9. Under the Chow dynasty the kings were understood to make such tours once in 12 years, and the feudal princes had to present themselves in their court once in six years. The spring and autumn movements were common to the king in his domain, and to the feudal princes in their States; but they are mentioned here, as appears from the conclusion of the paragraph, with special reference to the king.
[Par. 6. ] What is here called “a host” was a body of 2,500 men, by which the ruler of a State was accompanied when he went abroad; but the term is often used generally of a body of followers or an army. It is the picture of a wretched State which appears in this and the next paragraph. The “smaller princes” in the end of this paragraph denote the lords of the small, “attached” principalities in the larger States, and perhaps also the governors of the cities, on whom requisitions would be made to supply the wants of the ruler and his followers.
[Par. 9. ] means that his minister would have duke King choose between the ways of the ancient kings and those of the princes of his time. Other meanings have been assigned to it, but incorrectly.
[Par. 10. ] I believe the proper rendering of “issued a grand proclamation” would be “proclaimed a grand fast;” but I have not ventured to give the original words a meaning which none of the crities have adopted;—though it is quite allowable. The duke’s own occupancy of the shed was the way he took to “afflict his soul.” Shaou was the name given to a piece of music said to be transmitted from the ancient Shun, and is used here to signify that made to celebrate the good understanding between King and his minister. It appears to have consisted of two parts, one beginning with the note che, and the other with the note keoh. I do not know enough of music myself to explain these.
[Ch. V. ]On the purpose to pull down the Brilliant hall in Ts‘e. Certain principles of Royal government; and that neither greed of substance nor love of beauty need interfere with the practice of it. There can be no doubt that in this chapter Mencius suggests, if he does not directly incite to, rebellion. It is a graver charge against him that, after his usual fashion, he here overlooks the selfish vices of the rulers of his day, and thinks that, while still practising them, they could be transformed into true kings.
[Par. 1. ] The “Brilliant hall” was a name given to the principal apartment of the palaces where the kings in their tours of inspection, spoken of in the last chapter, received the feudal princes of the different quarters of the kingdom. See the Le Ke, XIV. The one in the text was near the foot of mount T‘ae, and had originally been within the limits of the State of Loo. Now the territory where it was belonged to Ts‘e, and as the Royal tours of inspection had fallen into disuse, it was proposed to king Seuen to remove the Brilliant hall.
[Par. 2. ] Here certainly Mencius suggests to king Seuen the idea of his superseding the kings of Chow.
[Par. 3. ] K‘e was a double-peaked hill, giving its name to the adjacent country which formed the old State of Chow, after the removal of the tribe, under T‘an-foo afterwards styled king T‘ae, from its older seat in Pin. The mountain gives its name to the present district of K‘e-shan, department Fung-ts‘eang, in the south-west of Shen-se. It was in K‘e that king Wăn succeeded to his father, and laid the foundations of the Royal sway, to which his son Woo attained. On the 1st point of Wăn’s government of K‘e see under Pt II. iii. 4. According to the 2nd, descendants of meritorious officers, if men of ability, received office, and even, if they were not so, they had pensions in acknowledgment of the services of their fathers. The ponds and weirs were free to the people, with the restriction as to the size of their nets referred to in Pt I. iii. 3. It is not said what measures were adopted by king Wăn for the relief of the four destitute classes who are mentioned. They must have been mainly provisions for their maintenance.
The concluding lines are from the She, II. iv. VIII. 13.
[Par. 4. ] See the She, III. ii. VI. i.
[Par 5. ] See the She, III. i. III. 2. We may admire the ingenuity of Mencius in the illustrations in these two paragraphs; but they would have little power with a sensual, self-indulgent man like king Seuen.
[Ch. VI. ]Bbinging home his bad government to the king of Ts‘e. This is a good specimen of the bold manner in which Mencius was not afraid to tell the truth to the kings and princes of his time.
[Par. 2. ] For the office of “chief criminal judge” see under the Analects, XVIII. ii.
[Ch. VII. ]What is meant by an ancient kingdom: and the caution to be exercised by a ruler in raising men to office. His great care must be to have the sympathy and approval of the people.
[Par. 1. ] If the king had no intimate ministers, men who had his familiar confidence and affection, he could not have men of old families in his service.
[Par. 3. ] The “low” are new men who had not previously been in office. “Strangers” means literally “distant in relationship” It appears from the Ch‘un Ts‘ew and Tso Chuen that the ministers in the different feudal States were nearly all of families which were offshoots from the ruling Houses.
[Par. 6. ] See the Great Learning, Commentary, x. 3.
[Ch. VIII. ]Killing a sovereign is not necessarily rebellion nor murder. We have here one of Mencius’ boldest utterances.
[Par. 1. ] T‘ang was the founder of the dynasty of Shang, and Këeh was the last of the sovereigns of Hea, a tyrant, whom T‘ang defeated and banished to Nan-ts‘aou, where he died. Chow was the last of the sovereigns of Shang, also a tyrant who burned himself to death, after his defeat by king Woo in the wild of Muh.
[Par. 3. ] In calling Chow “a mere fellow” Mencius probably borrowed from king Woo, who in the Shoo, V. i. Part iii. 4, calls Chow, while still alive, “this solitary fellow Show.”
[Ch. IX. ]The absurdity of a ruler’s not acting according to the counsel of the men of talents and virtue whom he calls to aid in his government, but requiring them to follow his own ways. In one point the illustrations of Mencius here fail. A prince is not supposed to understand either house-building or gem-cutting;—he must delegate these to other men who do. But government he ought to understand, and he may not delegate the responsibility of it to any scholars or officers. No doubt, however, there was that about king Seuen’s procedures which made our philosopher’s lesson to him quite appropriate.
[Ch. X. ]The disposal of kingdoms rests with the minds of the people. No conquest and subsequent annexation can be vindicated as according to the will of Heaven, unless the people of the conquered kingdom are content and satisfied.
[Par. 1. ] Yen lay north-west from Ts‘e, forming part of the present province of Chih-le. Its princes had in former times been marquises or earls, but in the age of Mencius they, like those of many other States, had assumed the title of king. At the time to which this chapter refers, though the question of the chronology is much disputed, its king, a poor weakling, had resigned the throne to his chief minister, and great confusion ensued, so that the people welcomed the appearance of the troops of Ts‘e and made no resistance to them.
[Par. 2. ] King Seuen by calling both Ts‘e and Yen “States of 10,000 chariots” plainly intimates that their rulers had taken the royal title, and wished to establish their sway over all the land.
[Par. 3. ] The common saying is that “King Wăn had possession of two of the three parts of the kingdom.” But he did not think that the people were prepared for the extinction of the dynasty of Shang or Yin, and left the completion of the fortunes of his house to his son Woo.
[Par. 4. ] Mencius disabuses the king, and gives a natural explanation of the success he had met with.
[Ch. XI. ]Ambition and greed only raise enemies and bring disasters. Safety and prosperity lie in benevolent government. King Seuen, it appears, was unwilling to give up his appropriation of Yen, on which, however, Mencius insists.
[Par. 1. ] When T‘ang commenced his operations against Këeh of Shang, he was the occupant of a small principality, being part of the present department of Kwei-tih, Ho-nan.
[Par. 2. ] See the Shoo, IV. ii. 6. But the Book of the Shoo, which gave a full account of T‘ang’s dealings with the chief of Koh, has been lost. See the Preface to the Shoo, Par. 10.
[Ch. XII. ]The affections of the people can only be secured by benevolent government; as they are dealt with by their rulers, so will they deal by them. Illustrated by a case in the State of Tsow.
[Par. 1. ] Tsow was the principality of which Mencius was a native:—see in the Prolegomena, at the beginning of his Life. Its power was much inferior to that of Loo, and therefore the engagement between their troops is not called a “battle,” but merely “a skirmish,” or “a noisy brush.” Its ruler’s precise rank at this time I have not been able to ascertain. He is called here by his honorary or sacrificial epithet of “duke Muh,” Muh in such application meaning, “Dispenser of virtue and maintainer of righteousness, outwardly showing inward feeling.”
[Par. 2. ] “Calamitous years” are years of pestilence, inundations, fires, &c. The “ditches and water-channels” were numerous, being much used in connexion with the system of agriculture. The former are characterized as “long and small,” the latter as “deep and large.” “The philosopher Tsăng” we became familiar with in the Analects as one of the principal disciples of Confucius.
[Ch. XIII. ]It is better for a prince, even though his State be small, to rely on himself than to depend on, or try to propitiate, greater Powers.
[Par. 1. ] T‘ăng was a small State, whose lords were Kes, marquises, in early times, but now only viscounts,—in the present district of T‘ăng, department Yen-chow. North of it was the kingdom of Ts‘e, and, in the time of Mencius, Ts‘oo had so far extended its power northwards as to threaten it from the south. Wăn is the posthumous epithet of the viscount of this time, meaning “Loyally truthful and courteous.”
[Par. 2. ] Mencius could have given counsel on the questions proposed by the prince, but he thought he could give him better advice. He says that the course he suggested might be put in practice, not that it would be successful.
[Ch. XIV. ]A prince, threatened by a powerful neighbour, will find his best defence and consolation in doing what is good and right. Mencius was at his wit’s end, I suppose, to give duke Wăn an answer. It was all very well to tell him to do good, but the promise of a royal descendant would hardly afford him much comfort.
[Par. 1. ] Seeh was a small principality, adjoining T‘ăng, and like it referred to the same present district in department Yen-chow. It had long been incorporated with Ts‘e, which now proposed to fortify its principal town, as a basis of operations, probably, against T‘ăng.
[Par. 2. ] See par. 2 of next chapter on king T‘ae’s removal from Pin to K‘e.
[Par. 3. ] In his first sentence here, Mencius, no doubt, was thinking, and would have duke Wăn think, of the kings Wăn and Woo, the descendants of king T‘ae.
[Ch. XV. ]Two honourable courses open to a prince threatened by enemies whom he cannot resists,—removal or abdication, and death in a gallant defence.
Par. 2. Some of the particulars which Mencius gives here of king T‘ae’s dealings with the Teih are also found in Fuh-săng’s Introduction to the Shoo. They were no doubt from traditional accounts still floating among the people towards the end of the Chow dynasty.
[Ch. XVI. ]Disappointment of Mencius’ prospects of usefulness in Loo, and his remarks upon it. A man’s way in life is ordered by Heaven, the instrumentality of other men in forwarding or obstructing his objects is only subordinate. Mencius’ presence in Loo at this time is referred to bc 309, and he is supposed to have henceforth given up the idea of doing anything for his age by his labours with its kings and princes. His prospects of doing anything with duke P‘ing could not have been great, for Loo had for a considerable time lost its independence, and the descendants of the duke of Chow were suffered to drag out an unhonoured existence only by the contemptuous forbearance of Ts‘oo.
[Par. 1. ] Yoh-ching, mentioned in par. 2, was a disciple of Mencius, with whom we shall meet again. He had found employment at the court of P‘ing, and had spoken to him of his master, so that now the duke was about to proceed in his carriage to invite Mencius to his court, as his counsellor and guide. Wishing to do him honour, he would in the first place visit him at his lodging. His favourite Tsang Ts‘ang knew all this, and took measures accordingly to prevent the meeting of the duke and the philosopher. The first occasion of Mencius’ mourning was, it is said, on the death of his father. But according to the received accounts Mencius’ father died when he was only three years old. We must suppose that the favourite invented the account that he gave.
[Par. 2. ] The tripods here mentioned contained the offerings of meat used in the funeral, sacrificial rites. The king used nine, a feudal prince seven, a great officer five, and a scholar or inferior officer three. To each tripod belonged its appropriate kind of flesh.
[* ]Title of this Book. The name of Kung-sun Ch‘ow, one of Mencius’ disciples, heading the first chapter, the Book is named from him accordingly.