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BOOK IV. - 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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LE LOW. PART I.
ChapterI.1. Mencius said, “The power of vision of Le Low, and the skill of hand of Kung-shoo, without the compass and square, could not form squares and circles. The acute ear of the [music]-master Kwang, without the pitch-tubes, could not determine correctly the five notes. The principles of Yaou and Shun, without a benevolent government, could not secure the tranquil order of the kingdom.
With this Book commences what is commonly called the second or lower Part of the Works of Mencius; but that division is not recognized in the critical editions. It is called Le Low from its commencing with those two characters, and contains twenty-eight chapters which are most of them shorter than those of the preceding Books.
2. “There are now [princes] who have benevolent hearts and a reputation for benevolence, while yet the people do not receive any benefits from them, nor will they leave any example to future ages;—all because they do not put into practice the ways of the ancient kings.
3. “Hence we have the saying, ‘Goodness alone is not sufficient for the exercise of government; laws alone cannot carry themselves into practice.’
4. “It is said in the Book of Poetry,
Never has any one fallen into error who followed the laws of the ancient kings.
5. “When the sages had used all the power of their eyes, they called in to their aid the compass, the square, the level, and the line; and the ability to make things square, round, level, and straight was inexhaustible. When they had used all the power of their ears, they called in the aid of the pitch-tubes; and the ability to determine correctly the five notes was inexhaustible. When they had used all the thoughts of their hearts, they called in to their aid a government that could not bear [to witness the suffering of] men; and their benevolence overspread all under heaven.
6. “Hence we have the saying, ‘To raise a thing high we must begin from [the top of] a mound or a hill; to dig to a [great] depth, we must commence in [the low ground of] a stream or a marsh.’ Can he be pronounced wise who, in the exercise of government, does not start from the ways of the ancient kings.
7. “Therefore only the benevolent ought to be in high stations. When a man destitute of benevolence is in a high station, he thereby disseminates his wickedness among the multitudes [below him].
8. “When the ruler has not principles by which he examines [his administration], and his ministers have no laws by which they keep themselves [in the discharge of their duties], then in the court obedience is not paid to principle, and in the office obedience is not paid to rule. Superiors violate [the laws of] righteousness, and inferiors violate the penal laws. It is only by a fortunate chance that a State in such a case is preserved.
9. “Therefore it is said, ‘It is not the interior and exterior walls being incomplete, nor the supply of weapons offensive and defensive not being large, which constitutes the calamity of a State. It is not the non-extension of the cultivable area, nor the non-accumulation of stores and wealth, which is injurious to a State.’ When superiors do not observe the rules of propriety, and inferiors do not learn [anything better], then seditious people spring up, and [that State] will perish in no time.
10. “It is said in the Book of Poetry,
11. “ ‘Indifferent,’ that is, careless and dilatory.
12. “And so may [those officers] be deemed who serve their ruler without righteousness, who take office and retire from office without regard to propriety, and in their words disown the ways of the ancient kings.
13. “Therefore it is said, ‘To urge one’s ruler to difficult achievements should be called showing respect for him; to set before him what is good and repress his perversities should be called showing reverence for him. [He who does not do these things, but says to himself], ‘My ruler is incompetent to this,’ should be said to play the thief with him.”
2. “He who, as a ruler, would perfectly discharge the duties of a ruler, and he who, as a minister, would perfectly discharge the duties of a minister, have only to imitate,—the one Yaou, and the other Shun. He who does not serve his ruler as Shun served Yaou does not reverence his ruler, and he who does not rule the people as Yaou ruled them injures his people.
3. “Confucius said, ‘There are but two courses, that of benevolence and its opposite.’
4. “[A ruler] who carries the oppression of his people to the highest pitch will himself be slain, and his State will perish. If one stop short of the highest pitch, his life will be in danger, and his State will be weakened. He will be styled ‘The Dark’ or ‘The Cruel;’ and though he may have filial sons and affectionate grandsons, they will not be able in a hundred generations to change [the designation].
5. “This is what is intended in the words of the Book of Poetry,
2. “It is in the same way that the decaying and flourishing, the preservation and perishing, of States are determined.
3. “If the son of Heaven be not benevolent, he cannot preserve [all within] the four seas [from passing from him]. If a feudal prince be not benevolent, he cannot preserve his altars. If a noble or great officer be not benevolent, he cannot preserve his ancestral temple. If a scholar or common man be not benevolent, he cannot preserve his four limbs.
4. “Now they hate death and ruin, and yet delight in not being benevolent;—this is like hating to be drunk, and yet being strong [to drink] spirits.”
IV.1. Mencius said, “If a man love others, and no [responsive] affection is shown to him, let him turn inwards and examine his own benevolence; if he [is trying to] rule others, and his government is unsuccessful, let him turn inwards and examine his own wisdom. If he treats others politely and they do not return his politeness, let him turn inwards and examine his own [feeling of] respect.
2. “If we do not by what we do realize [what we desire], we should turn inwards, and examine ourselves in every point. When a man is himself correct, all under heaven will turn to him [with recognition and submission].
3. “It is said in the Book of Poetry,
V.1. Mencius said, “People have this common saying,—‘The kingdom, the State, the clan.’ The root of the kingdom is in the State; the root of the State is in the clan; the root of the clan is in the person.
VI. Mencius said, “The administration of government is not difficult; it lies in not offending against the great Houses. He whom the great Houses affect will be affected by the whole State; and he whom a whole State affects will be affected by all under heaven. When this is the case, [such an one’s] virtue and teachings will spread over [all within] the four seas like the rush of water.”
VII.1. Mencius said, “When right government prevails throughout the kingdom, [princes of] little virtue are submissive to those of great, and [those of] little worth to [those of] great. When bad government prevails, the small are submissive to the large, and the weak to the strong. Both these cases are [the law of] Heaven. They who accord with Heaven are preserved; they who rebel against Heaven perish.
2. “Duke King of Ts‘e said, ‘Not to be able to command [others], and further to refuse to receive their commands, is to cut one’s-self off from all intercourse with them.’ His tears flowed forth, and he gave his daughter in marriage to [the prince of] Woo.
3. “Now the small States take for their models the large States, but are ashamed to receive their commands;—this is like scholars being ashamed to receive the commands of their master.
4. “For [a prince] who is ashamed of this, the best plan is to make king Wăn his model. Let one take king Wăn as his model and in five years, if his State be large, or in seven years, if it be small, he will be sure to give law to all under heaven.
5. “It is said in the Book of Poetry,
Confucius said, ‘As [against so] benevolent [a ruler, the multitudes] could not be deemed multitudes.’ If the ruler of a State love benevolence, he will have no opponent under heaven.
6. “Now-a-days, they wish to have no opponent under heaven, but [they do] not [seek to attain this] by being benevolent;—this is like trying to hold a heated substance, without having dipped it in water. It is said in the Book of Poetry,
VIII.1. Mencius said, “How is it possible to speak with [princes] who are not benevolent? Their perils they count safety, their calamities they count profitable, and they delight in the things by which they are going to ruin. If it were possible to talk with them who [so] violate benevolence, how should we have such ruin of States and destruction of families?
2. “There was a boy singing,
3. “Confucius said, ‘Hear what he says, my children:—when clear, to wash the cap strings; when muddy, to wash the feet.’ [This different application] is brought [by the water] on itself.
4. “A man must [first] despise himself, and then others will despise him. A family must [first] overthrow itself, and then others will overthrow it. A State must [first] smite itself, and then others will smite it.
5. “This is illustrated by the passage in the T‘ae-këah, ‘Calamities sent by Heaven may be avoided; but when we bring on the calamities ourselves, it is not possible to live.’ ”
IX.1. Mencius said, “Këeh and Chow’s losing the kingdom arose from their losing the people; and to lose the people means to lose their hearts. There is a way to get the kingdom;—get the people, and the kingdom is got. There is a way to get the people;—get their hearts, and the people are got. There is a way to get their hearts;—it is simply to collect for them what they desire, and not to lay on them what they dislike.
2. “The people turn to a benevolent [rule] as water flows downwards, and as wild beasts run to the wilds.
3. “Accordingly [as] the otter aids the deep waters, driving the fish to them, and [as] the hawk aids the thickets, driving the little birds to them, [so] did Këeh and Chow aid T‘ang and Woo, driving the people to them.
4. “If among the present rulers throughout the kingdom there were one who loved benevolence, all the [other] princes would aid him by driving the people to him. Although he wished not to exercise the royal sway, he could not avoid doing so.
5. “The case of [one of the] present [princes] wishing to attain to the royal sway is like the having to seek for mugwort three years old to cure a seven years’ illness. If it have not been kept in store, the whole life may pass without getting it. If [the princes] do not set their minds on a benevolent [government], all their days will be in sorrow and disgrace, till they are involved in death and ruin.
6. “This is illustrated by what is said in the Book of Poetry,
X.1. Mencius said, “With those who do violence to themselves it is impossible to speak. With those who throw themselves away it is impossible to do anything. To disown in his conversation propriety and righteousness is what we mean by saying of a man that he does violence to himself; that [he says], ‘I am not able to dwell in benevolence and pursue the path of righteousness’ is what we mean by saying of a man that he throws himself away.
2. “Benevolence is the tranquil habitation of man, and righteousness is his straight path.
3. “Alas for those who leave the tranquil dwelling empty and do not reside in it, and who neglect the straight path and do not pursue it!”
XI. Mencius said, “The path [of duty] is in what is near, and [men] seek for it in what is remote. The work [of duty] is in what is easy, and [men] seek for it in what is difficult. If each man would love his parents, and show the due respect to his elders, all-under-heaven good order would prevail.”
XII.1. When those occupying inferior situations do not obtain the confidence of their superior, they cannot succeed in governing the people. There is a way to obtain the confidence of the superior;—if one is not trusted by his friends, he will not obtain the confidence of his superior. There is a way to being trusted by one’s friends;—if one do not serve his parents so as to make them pleased, he will not be trusted by his friends. There is a way to make one’s parents pleased;—if one on turning his thoughts inwards finds a want of sincerity, he will not give pleasure to his parents. There is a way to the attainment of sincerity in one’s-self;—if a man do not understand what is good, he will not attain to sincerity in himself.
2. “Therefore sincerity is the way of Heaven; and to think [how] to be sincere is the way of man.”
3. “Never was there one possessed of complete sincerity who did not move [others]. Never was there one without sincerity who yet was able to move others.”
XIII.1. Mencius said, “Pih-e, that he might avoid Chow, was dwelling on the coast of the northern sea. When he heard of the rise of king Wăn, he roused himself and said, ‘Why should I not attach myself to him? I have heard that the chief of the West knows well how to nourish the old.’ T‘ae-kung, that he might avoid Chow, was dwelling on the west coast of the eastern sea. When he heard of the rise of king Wăn, he roused himself and said, ‘Why should I not attach myself to him? I have heard that the chief of the West knows well how to nourish the old.’
2. “These two old men were the greatest old men in the kingdom. When they attached themselves to [king Wăn] it was [like] all the fathers in the kingdom taking his side. When the fathers of the kingdom joined him, to whom could the sons go?
3. “Were any of the princes to practise the government of king Wăn, within seven years he would be sure to be giving law to all under heaven.”
XIV.1. Mencius said, “K‘ëw acted as chief officer to the Head of the Ke family, whose [evil] ways he was unable to change, while he exacted from the people double the grain which they had formerly paid. Confucius said, ‘He is no disciple of mine. Little children, beat the drum and assail him.’
2. “Looking at the subject from this case, [we perceive that] when a ruler who was not practising benevolent government, all [his ministers] who enriched him were disowned by Confucius;—how much more [would he have disowned] those who are vehement to fight [for their ruler]! Some contention about territory is the ground on which they fight, and they slaughter men till the fields are filled with them; or they fight for the possession of some fortified city, and slaughter men till the walls are covered with them. This is what is called ‘leading land on to devour human flesh.’ Death is not enough for such a crime.
3. “Therefore those who are skilful to fight should suffer the highest punishment. Next to them [should be punished] those who unite the princes in leagues; and next to them, those who take in grassy wastes, and impose the cultivation of the ground [upon the people].”
XV.1. Mencius said, “Of all the parts of a man’s [body] there is none more excellent than the pupil of the eye. The pupil cannot [be used to] hide a man’s wickedness. If within the breast [all] be correct, the pupil is bright; if within the breast [all] be not correct, the pupil is dull.
2. “Listen to a man’s words, and look at the pupil of his eye;—how can a man conceal [his character]?”
XVI. Mencius said, “The courteous do not insult others, and the economical do not plunder others. The ruler who treats men with insult and plunders them is only afraid that they will not prove submissive to him;—how can he be regarded as courteous or economical? How can courtesy and economy be made out of tones of the voice and a smiling manner?”
XVII.1. Shun-yu K‘wăn said, “Is it the rule that males and females shall not allow their hands to touch in giving or receiving anything?” Mencius replied, “It is the rule.” “If a man’s sister-in-law be drowning,” asked K‘wăn, “shall he rescue her by the hand?” [Mencius] said, “He who would not [so] rescue his drowning sister-in-law would be a wolf. For males and females not to allow their hands to touch in giving and receiving is the [general] rule; to rescue by the hand a drowning sister-in-law is a peculiar exigency.
2. [K‘wăn] said, “Now the whole kingdom is drowning; and how is it that you, Master, will not rescue it?”
3. [Mencius] replied, “A drowning kingdom must be rescued by right principles, as a drowning sister-in-law has to be rescued by the hand. Do you, Sir, wish me to rescue the kingdom with my hand?”
XVIII.1. Kung-sun Ch‘ow said, “Why is it that the superior man does not [himself] teach his son?”
2. Mencius replied, “The circumstances of the case forbid its being done. A teacher must inculcate what is correct. Doing this, and his lesson not being learned, he follows it up with being angry; and through thus being angry, he is offended, contrary to what should be, [with his pupil]. [At the same time, the pupil] says, ‘My master inculcates on me what is correct, and he himself does not proceed in a correct path.’ Thus father and son would be offended with each other, but when father and son come to be offended with each other, the case is evil.
3. “The ancients exchanged sons, and one taught the son of another.
4. “Between father and son there should be no reproving admonitions as to what is good. Such reproofs lead to alienation; and than alienation there is nothing more inauspicious.”
XIX.1. Mencius said, “Of services which is the greatest? The service of parents is the greatest. Of charges which is the greatest? The charge of one’s self is the greatest. That those who do not fail to keep themselves are able to serve their parents is what I have heard. [But] I have never heard of any who, having failed to keep themselves, were able [notwithstanding] to serve their parents.
2. “Everything [done] is a service, but the service of parents is the root of all others. Everything [obligatory] is a charge, but the charge of one’s self is the root of all others.
3. “Tsăng-tsze, in nourishing Tsăng Seih, was always sure to have spirits and flesh provided. And when they were about to be removed, he would ask respectfully to whom [what was left] should be given. If [his father] asked whether there was anything left, he was sure to say, ‘There is.’ After the death of Tsăng Seih, when Tsăng Yuen came to nourish Tsăng-tsze, he was sure to have spirits and flesh provided; but when the things were about to be removed, he did not ask to whom [what was left] should be given, and if [his father] asked whether there was anything left, he would answer, ‘No;’—intending to bring them on again. This was what is called—‘nourishing the mouth and body.’ We may call Tsăng-tsze’s practice—‘nourishing the will.’
4. “To serve one’s father as Tsăng-tsze served his may [be pronounced filial piety].”
XX. Mencius said, “It is not enough to reprove [a ruler] on account of [his mal-employment of] men, nor to blame [errors of] government. It is only the great man who can correct what is wrong in the ruler’s mind. Let the ruler be benevolent, and all [his acts] will be benevolent. Let the ruler be righteous, and all [his acts] will be righteous. Let the ruler be correct, and everything will be correct. Once rectify the ruler, and the State will be firmly settled.”
XXI. Mencius said, “There are cases of praise which could not have been expected, and of reproach where the parties have been seeking to be perfect.”
XXII. Mencius said, “Men’s being ready with their words arises simply from their not having been reproved.”
XXIII. Mencius said, “The evil with men is that they like to be teachers of others.”
2. He came to see Mencius, who said to him, “Are you, Sir, also come to see me?” “Master, why do you use such words?” was the reply. “How many days have you been here?” asked [Mencius]. “I came [only] yesterday,” said [the other]. “Yesterday! Then is it not with reason that I thus speak?” “My lodging-house was not arranged,” urged [Yoh-ching]. “Have you heard,” said [Mencius] “that a scholar’s lodging-house must be arranged before he visits his master?”
3. [Yoh-ching] said, “I have done wrong.”
XXV. Mencius, addressing the disciple Yoh-ching, said, “Your coming here in the train of Tsze-gaou was only [because of] the food and the drink [that you would so get]. I could not have thought that you, Sir, having learned the ways of the ancients, would have acted with a view to eating and drinking.”
2. “Shun married without informing his parents because of this,—lest he should have no posterity. Superior men consider that his doing so was the same as if he had informed them.”
2. “The richest fruit of wisdom is this,—the knowing those two things and not departing from them. The richest fruit of propriety is this,—the ordering and adorning those two things. The richest fruit of music is this,—the joying in those two things. When joyed in, they grow. Growing, how can they be repressed? When they come to this state that they cannot be repressed, then unconsciously the feet begin to dance and the hands to move.”
XXVIII.1. Mencius said, “[Suppose the case of] all under heaven turning with great delight to an individual to submit to him. To regard all under heaven [thus] turning to him with delight but as a bundle of grass;—only Shun was capable of this. [He considered that] if [one] could not get [the hearts of] his parents he could not be considered a man, and if he could not get to an entire accord with his parents, he could not be considered a son.
2. “By Shun’s completely fulfilling the duty of serving parents, Koo-sow was brought to feel delight [in what was good]. When Koo-sow was brought to feel delight [in what was good], all under heaven were transformed. When Koo-sow was brought to feel delight [in what was good], all fathers and sons under heaven were established [in their respective duties]. This may well be called great filial piety.”
LE LOW. PART II.
2. “King Wăn was born in K‘e-chow and died in Pieh-ying;—a man [from the country] of the wild tribes on the west.
3. “Those regions were distant from each other more than a thousand le, and the age of the one [sage] was posterior to that of the other more than a thousand years. But when they got their wish and carried out [their principles] throughout the middle States, it was like uniting the two halves of a seal.
4. “[When we examine] the sages—the earlier and the later—their principles are found to be the same.”
2. Mencius said, “It was kind, [but showed that] he did not understand the practice of government.
3. “In the eleventh month of the year the foot-bridges should be completed, and the carriage-bridges in the twelth month, and the people will [then] not have the trouble of wading.
4. “Let a governor conduct his rule on the principles of equal justice, and he may cause people to be removed out of his path when he goes abroad; but how can he convey everybody across the rivers?
5. “Thus if a governor will [try] to please everybody, he will find the days not sufficient [for his work].”
III.1. Mencius addressed himself to king Seuen of Ts‘e, saying, “When a ruler regards his ministers as his hands and feet, they regard him as their belly and heart; when he regards them as his dogs and horses, they regard him as they do any ordinary man; when he regards them as the ground or as grass, they regard him as a robber and an enemy.”
2. The king said, “According to the rules of propriety, [a minister] should wear mourning [when he hears of the death of] a ruler whose service he had left;—how must [the ruler] have regarded him that [the minister] shall thus wear mourning for him?”
3. Mencius said, “The admonitions [of a minister] having been followed and his advice listened to, so that blessings have descended on the people, if for some cause he leaves [the State], the ruler sends an escort to conduct him beyond the boundaries, and also sends before him [a recommendatory notice of him] to the State to which he is proceeding. When he has been gone three years and does not return, [only] then does he take back his fields and residence. This treatment is what we call ‘a thrice-repeated display of consideration.’ When a ruler acts thus, mourning will be worn [on hearing of his death].
4. “Now-a-days the remonstrances of a minister are not followed, and his advice is not listened to, so that no blessings descend on the people. When for any cause he leaves the State, the ruler tries to seize and hold him as a prisoner. He also pushes him to extremity in the State to which he has gone, and on the day of his departure he takes back his fields and residence. This treatment shows [the ruler] to be what we call ‘a robber and an enemy;’—how can mourning be worn for ‘a robber and an enemy’?”
IV. Mencius said, “When inferior officers are put to death without any crime, it is [time] for the great officers to leave [the State]. When the people are slaughtered without any cause, it is [time] for the inferior officers to remove.”
V. Mencius said, “If the ruler be benevolent, all will be benevolent; if the ruler be righteous, all will be righteous.”
VI. Mencius said, “Acts of propriety which are not [really] proper, and acts of righteousness which are not [really] righteous, the great man does not do.”
VII. Mencius said, “Those who keep the Mean train up those who do not, and those who have ability train up those who have not, and therefore men rejoice in having fathers and elder brothers of virtue and talent. If those who keep the Mean spurn those who do not, and those who have ability spurn those who have not, then the space between them—those who have the virtue and talents and those who are inferior to them—will not amount to an inch.”
VIII. Mencius said, “When men have what they will not do, they are prepared to act in what they do do [with effect].”
IX. Mencius said, “What future misery are they sure to have to endure who talk of what is not good in others!”
X. Mencius said, “Chung-ne did not do extraordinary things.”
XI. Mencius said, “The great man does not think before hand of his words that they shall be sincere, nor of his actions that they shall be resolute;—he simply [speaks and does] what is right.”
XII. Mencius said, “The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart.”
XIII. Mencius said, “The nourishment of the living is not fit to be accounted the great thing. It is only in performing their obsequies when dead that we have what can be considered the great thing.”
XIV. Mencius said, “The superior man makes profound advances [in what he is learning], and by the proper course, wishing to get hold of it as in himself. Having got hold of it in himself, he abides in it quietly and firmly. Abiding in it quietly and firmly, he reposes a deep reliance on it. Reposing a deep reliance on it, he lays hold of it on the right and left, meeting with it as a fountain [from which things flow]. It is on this account that the superior man wishes to get hold of [what he is learning] in himself.”
XV. Mencius said, “In learning extensively and setting forth minutely [what is learned], [the object of the superior man] is to go back and set forth in brief what is essential.”
XVI. Mencius said, “Never has he who would by his excellence subdue men been able to subdue them. Let [a ruler seek] by his excellence to nourish men, and he will be able to subdue all under heaven. It is impossible that one should attain to the true royal sway to whom the hearts of all under heaven are not subject.”
XVII. Mencius said, “Words which are not true are [all] inauspicious, but those which are most truly obnoxious to the charge of being inauspicious are those which throw into the shade men of talents and virtue.”
2. Mencius replied, “How the water from a spring gushes out! It rests not day nor night. It fills up every hole, and then advances, flowing on to the four seas. Such is water having a spring! It was this which he found in it [to praise].
3. “But suppose that [the water] has no spring. In the seventh and eighth months the rain collects, and the channels in the fields are all filled, but their being dried up again may be expected in a short time. Thus it is that a superior man is ashamed of a reputation beyond the fact [of his merits].”
2. “Shun clearly understood the multitude of things, and closely observed the relations of humanity. He walked along the path of benevolence and righteousness, and did not pursue [as by any effort] benevolence and righteousness.”
2. “T‘ang held fast the Mean, and employed men of talents and virtue wherever they came from.
3. “King Wan looked on the people as [he would do with affectionate interest] on a man who was wounded; he looked towards the right path as [earnestly as] if he did not see it.
4. “King Woo did not disregard the near, nor forget the distant.
5. “The duke of Chow desired to unite in himself [the virtues of those] kings, [the founders of the] three [dynasties], that he might display in his practice [those] four things [which they did]. If [in his practice] there was anything which did not agree with them, he looked up and thought of it, from day-time into the night; and when he was fortunate enough to master [the difficulty], he sat waiting for the morning.”
XXI.1. Mencius said, “The traces of true royal rule were extinguished, and [the royal] odes ceased to be produced. When those odes ceased to be produced, then the Ch‘un Ts‘ëw was made.
2. “The Shing of Tsin, the T‘aou-wuh of Ts‘oo, and the Ch‘un Ts‘ëw of Loo were [books] of the same character.
3. “The subjects [of the Ch‘un Ts‘ëw] are Hwan of Ts‘e and Wăn of Tsin, and its style is the historical. Confucius said, ‘Its righteous decisions I ventured to make.’ ”
2. “I could not be a disciple of Confucius himself, but I have endeavoured to cultivate my virtue by means of others [who were].
XXIII. Mencius said, “When it appears proper to take [a thing], and [afterwards] not proper, to take it is contrary to moderation. When it appears proper to give [a thing], and [afterwards] not proper, to give it is contrary to kindness. When it appears proper to sacrifice one’s life, and [afterwards] not proper, to sacrifice it is contrary to bravery.”
XXIV.1. P‘ang Mung learned archery of E. When he had completely acquired all the method of E, thinking that under heaven only E was superior to himself, he slew him. Mencius said, “In this case E also was to blame. Kung-ming E [indeed] said, ‘It would appear that E was not to be blamed,’ but he [only] meant that the blame attaching to him was slight;—how can he be held to have been without any blame?
2. “The people of Ch‘ing sent Tsze-choh Yu-tsze to make an incursion into Wei, which sent Yu Kung-sze to pursue him. Tsze-choh Yu-tsze said, ‘To-day I feel unwell, and cannot hold my bow;—I am a dead man.’ [At the same time] he asked his driver who was his pursuer; and being told that it was Yu Kung-sze, he said, ‘I shall live.’ The driver said, ‘Yu Kung-sze is the best archer of Wei, what do you mean by saying that you shall live?’ ‘Yu Kung-sze,’ replied he, ‘learned archery from Yin Kung-t‘o, who again learned it from me. Yin Kung-t‘o is an upright man, and the friends of his selection must be upright [also].’ When Yu Kung-sze came up, he said, ‘Master, why are you not holding your bow?’ [Yu-tsze] answered, ‘To-day I am feeling unwell, and am unable to hold my bow.’ [Kung-sze] said, ‘I learned archery from Yin Kung-t‘o, who again learned it from you. I cannot bear to injure you with your own science. The business of today, however, is my ruler’s business, which I dare not neglect.’ He then took an arrow and knocked off the steel against his carriage-wheel. [In this way] he discharged four of them, and turned back.”
2. “Though a man be wicked, yet, if he adjust his thoughts, fast, and bathe, he may sacrifice to God.”
2. “What I hate in your wise men is their chiselling out [their conclusions]. If those wise men would act as Yu did when he conveyed away the waters, there would be nothing to dislike in their wisdom. The way in which Yu conveyed away the waters was by doing that which gave him no trouble. If your wise men would also do that which gave them no trouble, their wisdom would also be great.
3. “There is heaven so high; there are the stars and zodiacal spaces so distant. If we have investigated their phenomena, we may, while sitting [in our places], ascertain the solstices for a thousand years [past].”
XXVII.1. The officer Kung-hăng having in hand the funeral of his son, the master of the Right went to condole with him. When [this noble] entered the door, some motioned to him to come to them, and spoke with him, and others went to his place and spoke with him.
2. Mencius did not speak with him, on which the master of the Right was displeased, and said, “All the gentlemen have spoken with me. There is only Mencius who has not spoken with me, thereby slighting me.”
3. When Mencius heard of this remark, he said, “According to the prescribed rules, in the court we must not change our places to speak with one another, and must not pass out of our own rank to bow to one another. I was wishing to observe these rules;—is it not strange that Tsze-gaou should think I was thereby slighting him?”
XXVIII.1. Mencius said, “That wherein the superior man is different from other men is what he preserves in his heart;—namely, benevolence and propriety.
2. “The benevolent man loves others; the man of propriety shows respect to others.
3. “He who loves others is always loved by them, and he who respects others is always respected by them.
4. “Here is a man who treats me in a perverse and unreasonable manner;—[as] a superior man, I will turn round upon myself, [and say,] ‘I must have been wanting in benevolence; I must have been devoid of propriety;—how [else] should this have happened to [me]?’
5. “Having thus examined myself, I am [specially] benevolent, and [specially] observant of propriety. If the perversity and unreasonableness of the other be still the same, [as] a superior man [I will say], ‘I must have been failing to do my utmost.’
6. “I again turn round upon myself, and proceed to do my utmost. If the perversity and unreasonableness of the other be still the same, [as] a superior man, I will say, ‘This is a man utterly lost indeed. Since he conducts him so, there is nothing to choose between him and a beast; why should I go to trouble myself about a beast?’
7. “Thus it is that the superior man has a life-long anxiety, but not one morning’s serious trouble. As to what is matter of anxiety to him, he has it [thus]:—‘Shun,’ [he says,] ‘was a man, and I also am a man. Shun gave an example to all under heaven, and [his conduct] was fit to be handed down to future ages, while I am nothing better than a villager.’ This indeed is proper matter of anxiety to him; but in what way is he anxious? Simply that he may be like Shun. As to what would be matter of serious trouble to a superior man, there is no such thing. He does nothing which is contrary to benevolence; he does nothing which is not according to propriety. Should there be one morning’s trouble, as a superior man he does not reckon it a trouble.”
2. Yen-tsze, in an age of disorder, dwelt in a mean narrow lane, having his single bamboo-dish of rice, and his single gourd-cup of water. Other men could not have endured the distress, but he did not allow his joy to be affected by it. Confucius [also] praised him.
3. Mencius said, “Yu, Tseih, and Yen Hwuy agreed in the principles of their conduct.
4. “Yu thought that if any one under heaven were drowned, it was as if he himself drowned him. Tseih thought that if any one under heaven suffered hunger, it was as if he himself famished him. It was on this account that they were so earnest.
5. “If Yu and Tseih, and Yen-tsze could have exchanged places, they would have done each what the other did.
6. “Here now in the same apartment with you are people fighting; and [you wish to] part them. Though you were to part them with your cap tied on over your hair unbound, your conduct would be allowable.
7. “If the fighting were [only] in your village or neighbourhood, and you were to go to part them with your cap [so] tied on over your hair unbound, you would be in error. Though you were to shut your door [in such a case], your conduct would be allowable.”
XXX.1. The disciple Kung-too said, “Throughout the whole State, all pronounce K‘wang Chang unfilial, and yet you, Master, keep company with him, and moreover treat him with politeness. I venture to ask why you do so.”
2. Mencius replied, “There are five things which in the common parlance of the age are said to be unfilial. The first is laziness in the use of one’s four limbs, so as not to attend to the maintenance of his parents. The second is gambling and chess-playing, and being fond of spirits, so as not to attend to the maintenance of one’s parents. The third is being fond of goods and money, and being selfishly attached to one’s wife and children, so as not to attend to the maintenance of one’s parents. The fourth is following the desires of one’s ears and eyes, so as to bring one’s parents to disgrace. The fifth is being fond of bravery, fighting and quarrelling, so as to endanger his parents. Is Chang-tsze guilty of any one of these things?
3. “Between Chang-tsze and his father there arose disagreement, he, the son, reproving his father to urge him to what was good.
4. “To urge one another by reproofs to what is good is the way of friends. But such urging between father and son is the greatest injury to the kindly feeling [that should prevail between them].
5. “Did not Chang-tsze wish to have all that belongs to [the relationships] of husband and wife, child and mother? But because he had offended his father and was not permitted to approach him, he sent away his wife and drave forth his son, and would not for all [the rest of] his life receive any cherishing attentions from them. He settled it in his mind that, if he did not act in this way, his would be the greatest of crimes. Such and nothing more is the case of Chang-tsze.”
XXXI.1. When Tsăng-tsze dwelt in Woo-shing, there came [a band of] plunderers from Yueh. Some one said [to him], “The plunderers are come; why not leave this?” [On this Tsăng-tsze left the city], saying [to the man in charge of his house], “Do not let any one lodge in my house, lest he break and injure the plants and shrubs about it.” But when the plunderers were withdrawing [he sent word], saying, “Repair the walls and roof of my house; I will return to it;” and when the plunderers had retired, he returned. His disciples said, “Since our Master was treated with so much attention and respect, for him to be the first, on the arrival of the plunderers, to go away, so as to be observed by the people, and then, on their retiring, to return, seems to us to be improper.” Shin-yew Hăng said [to them], “You do not understand this matter. Formerly, when [the house of us], the Shin-yëw, was exposed to the outbreak of the grass-carriers, there were seventy disciples in our Master’s following, and none of them took any part in the matter.”
2. When Tsze-sze was living in Wei, there came plunderers from Ts‘e. Some one said to him, “The plunderers are coming; why not leave this?” [But] Tsze-sze said, “If I go away, whom will the ruler have with him to guard [the city]?”
3. Mencius said, “Tsăng-tsze and Tsze-sze agreed in the principle of their conduct. Tsăng-tsze was a teacher;—in the position of a father or elder brother. Tsze-sze was a minister;—in a meaner position. If they could have exchanged places, each would have done what the other did.”
XXXII. The officer Ch‘oo said [to Mencius], “The king sent a person to spy out whether you, Sir, were really different from other men.” Mencius replied, “How should I be different from other men? Yaou and Shun were just the same as other men.”
XXXIII.1. “A man of Ts‘e had a wife and a concubine, and lived together with them in his house. When their good-man went out, he was sure to get himself well filled with spirits and flesh and then return, and on his wife’s asking him with whom he had been eating and drinking, they were sure to be all men of wealth and rank. The wife informed the concubine, saying, ‘When the good-man goes out, he is sure to come back having partaken plentifully of spirits and flesh, and when I ask him with whom he has been eating and drinking, they are all men of wealth and rank. And yet no men of distinction ever come [here]. I will spy out where our good-man goes.’ [Accordingly] she got up early in the morning, and privately followed the good-man to where he was going. All through the city there was nobody who stood and talked with him. At last he came to those who were sacrificing among the tombs outside the outer wall on the east, and begged what they had left. Not being satisfied, he looked round him and went to another party;—and this was the way in which he got himself satiated. His wife went home, and informed the concubine, saying, ‘It was to the good-man that we looked up in hopeful contemplation, and with whom our lot is cast for life;—and these are his ways.’ [On this] she and the concubine reviled their good-man, and wept together in the middle courtyard. [In the mean time] the good-man, knowing nothing of all this, came in with a jaunty air, carrying himself proudly to them.
2. “According to the view which a superior man takes of things, as to the ways by which men seek for riches, honours, gain, and advancement, there are few of their wives and concubines who might not be ashamed and weep together because of them.”
[Ch. I. ]There is an art of government, as well as a wish to govern well, to be learned from the example and principles of the ancient kings, and which must be studied and practised by rulers and their ministers.
[Par. 1. ] Le Low, called also Le Choo, carries us back to the highest Chinese antiquity. He was, it is said, of the time of Hwang-te, and so acute of vision that at the distance of a hundred paces he would see the point of the smallest hair. Kung-shoo, named Pan, was a celebrated mechanist of Loo, contemporary with Confucius, if, as some think, he was a son of duke Ch‘aou. He is fabled to have made birds of bamboo which could continue flying for three days, and other marvellous contrivances. He is now the tutelary spirit of carpenters, under the name of Loo Pan or Pan of Loo; but many critics contend that the Kung-shoo of Mencius and Loo Pan ought not to be identified. See the Le Ke, II. ii. II. 21. Kwang, styled Tsze-yay, was a famous music-master of Tsin, a little before the time of Confucius. There is an interesting conversation between him and the marquis of Tsin in the Tso Chuen, under the 14th year of duke Seang. The pitch-tubes, here called “six,” by synecdoche for “twelve,” were invented in the earliest times, to determine by their various lengths the notes of the musical scale, and for other purposes. See some account of them under par. 8 in the Shoo, II. i. “The five notes” are the five full notes of the octave, omitting the semitones. The word “principles” in the phrase, “the principles of Yaou and Shun,” must be taken vaguely, and as meaning simply the wish to govern rightly, subsequently embodied in “benevolent government,” such as Mencius delighted to dwell on in many chapters of the previous Books. The use of “principles,” however, in this vague and uncertain way, introduces an inconsistency and ambiguity into the chapter. Mencius exhorts to follow the ways or “principles” of the ancient kings, and yet they are here said to be insufficient for good government.
[Par. 2. ] One of the early commentators of the Sung dynasty refers to king Seuen of Ts‘e of I. i. VII. et al., as an instance of the rulers who have a benevolent heart, and to the first emperor of the Leang dynasty, (ad 502—549), whose Buddhistic scrupulosity about taking life made him have a reputation for benevolence. Yet the heart of the one and the reputation of the other proved of little benefit to their people.
[Par. 3. ] “Goodness alone” is the benevolent heart without the method. “Laws alone” is the benevolent government without the heart.
[Par. 4. ] See the She, III. ii. V. 2.
[Par. 5. ] According to the views of Chinese writers, the lever was the first of the mechanical powers which was invented. “The lever revolving produced the circle. The circle produced the square. The square produced the line; and the line produced the level.” On government as “not bearing to witness the sufferings of men,” see II. i. VI.
[Par. 6. ] The saying is found in the Le Ke, X. ii. 10.
[Par. 7. ] The “therefore” expresses a consequence from what has been said in all the previous paragraphs. “High stations” should perhaps be “the highest station.” The ruler is indicated.
[Par. 8. ] is an illustration of the concluding clause of par. 7, showing how wickedness flows downwards, with its consequences.
[Par. 10. ] See the She, III. ii. X. 2.—From this paragraph Mencius has the ministers of a ruler in view. They have their duties to perform, in order that the benevolent government may be realized.
[Par. 13. ] Compare II. ii. II. 4.
[Ch. II. ]A continuation of last chapter.—That Yaou and Shun were perfect models for rulers and ministers, and the consequences of not imitating them.
[Par. 1. ] The “human relations” are the five specified in III. i. IV. 8. “The sages,” according to this par., were not only models for rulers and ministers, but showed human nature in all its relations according to its ideal.
[Par. 2. ] We have no particular account of how Shun discharged his duties as a minister, nor of how Yaou discharged his as a ruler. All our information about them is comprised in a short space at the beginning of the Shoo. We must believe that Shun was all that a minister could be, and Yaou all that a ruler could be.
[Par. 3. ] This is a saying of Confucius for the preservation of which we are indebted to Mencius. By the course of benevolence is intended the imitation of Yaou and Shun; by its opposite the neglect of them as models.
[Par. 4. ] By rulers who carry oppression to the highest pitch Mencius intends Keeh and Chow, the last sovereigns of the Hea and Yin dynasties; by “The Dark” and “The Cruel,” he intends the twelfth and tenth kings of the Chow dynasty, who received those posthumous, but indelible, designations.
[Par. 5. ] See the She, III. iii. I. 6.
[III. ]Ch III. The importance to all, but especially to rulers, of exercising benevolence.
[Par. 1. ] “The three dynasties” are of course those of Hëa, Shang or Yin, and Chow. It is a bold utterance, seeing that the dynasty of Chow was still existing in the time of Mencius; but he regarded it as old and ready to vanish away.
[Par. 3. ] “The four seas” is here equivalent to “all beneath the sky,” which means the empire or kingdom of China. See on the Shoo, II. i. 13. “The altars” are in the Chinese text specifically those to the spirits of the land and the grain. The phrase is here equivalent to “his State.”
[Par. 4. ] has for its subject the princes of Mencius’ time.
[Ch. IV. ]With what measure a man metes it will be measured to him again; and consequently before a man deals with others, expecting them to be affected by him, he should first deal with himself. The sentiment is expressed quite generally, but a particular reference is to be understood to the princes of the time. The lines quoted are from the She, III. i. I. 6. They were adduced before in II. i. IV. 6.
[Ch. V. ]The great thing to be attended to is the cultivation of personal character. I think this is the idea which Mencius had in mind in the words given here. The common saying to which he refers was good so far as it went, but it did not go far enough. His course of thought is followed out to greater length in “The Great Learning” See the 4th par. of the Confucian Text there, and many passages of the Commentary.
[Ch. VI. ]The importance to a ruler of securing the submission and esteem of the great Houses in his State.
The ruler’s “not offending the great Houses” means his not doing anything that will excite their resentment, but commanding their loyal attachment by his personal character and his administration. Choo He refers, in illustration of the sentiment, to a story about duke Hwan of Ts‘e which we find in one of the works of Lew Heang. The duke, we are told, came one day in hunting to the district of Mih-k‘ew, and lighted on an old man, who said, in answer to his inquiry, that he was 83. “A beautiful old age,” said the duke. “Pray that I may be blessed with an equal longevity.” The old man accordingly prayed, “May his lordship, my ruler, live to a very great age, despising gold and gems, and counting men his jewels!” The duke said, “Good! But the highest virtue is not found alone; good words must be repeated. Do you, Sir, pray for me a second time.” The man did so, saying, “May his lordship, my ruler, not be ashamed to learn, nor dislike to ask his inferiors, have men of worth by his side, and give access to such as will admonish him!” The duke expressed his satisfaction with this prayer in nearly the same terms as before, and asked the old man to pray for him a third time. The man complied, and said, “May his lordship, my ruler, not offend against his ministers and the people!” The duke changed colour at these words, and said, “I have heard that a son may offend against his father, and a minister against his ruler, but I have not heard of a ruler’s offending against his minister;—this prayer is not of a piece with the two former ones. Please to change it”. The old man knelt down in obeisance, and then stood up and said, “This prayer is superior to the two former ones A son who has offended against his father may apologize through his aunts and uncles, and the father can forgive him. A minister who has offended against his ruler may apologize through his ruler’s familiar attendants, and be forgiven. But when K‘eeh offended against T‘ang, and Chow offended against king Woo, these were cases of rulers offending against their nobles. There were none through whom they could apologize; the offences were never forgiven, and the retribution for them continues to the present day.” The duke acknowledged the truth of what the man said, and showed to him great honour.
[Ch. VII. ]The will of Heaven in regard to the subjection of one State to another is variously indicated, and depends on certain conditions, which existing, the result cannot be avoided. A prince’s only security for safety and prosperity is in being benevolent.
[Par. 1. ] “Both these cases are [the law of] Heaven:”—Heaven, it is said, embraces here the ideas of what must be in reason, and the different powers of the contrasted States. This is true; in a virtuous age, the greatest virtue will influence the most, and in a bad age, the greatest strength will prevail. But why sink the idea of a Providential government which is implied in “Heaven”?
[Par. 2. ] Duke King of Ts‘e has been mentioned already in I. ii. IV. 4, et al. The affair here referred to does not appear in the Tso Chuen, but is mentioned by Lew Heang and other writers. The duke, it appears, purchased peace from Hoh-leu, king of Woo as he called himself, by sending his daughter to Woo to be married to his son. Woo, corresponding to the northern part of Cheh-keang and the south of Keang-soo, was still considered a barbarous State in the time of Confucius, and the civilized States of Chow were ashamed to have dealings with it on equal terms. The princess of Ts‘e mentioned here soon pined away and died, and was followed to the grave ere long by her husband, the old barbarian king showing much sympathy with her case.
[Par. 3. ] The smaller States followed the example of the larger in what was evil, and yet were ashamed to submit to them.
[Parr. 4, 5. ] See the She, III. i. I. stt 4, 5. We are to understand that the remark of Confucius was made on reading the stanzas of the ode just referred to:—Against a benevolent prince, like king Wăn, the myriads of the adherents of the Shang dynasty ceased to be myriads. They would not act against him.
[Par. 6. ] See the She, III. iii. III. 5, with the remarks which I have there made in Vol. IV., of my larger Work, on the passage.
[Ch. VIII. ]That a prince is the agent of his own ruin by his vicious ways and his refusing to be counselled.
[Par. 2. ] The name Ts‘ang-lang is found applied to different streams. One is mentioned in the Shoo, III. i. Pt II. 8; but the one in the text was probably in Shan-tung, in the present district of Yih, department Yen-chow.
[Par. 3. ] The boy was singing without any thought of the meaning which the sage could find in his words, and of the expansion of that meaning which our philosopher would give.
[Par. 5. ] See on II. i. IV. 6.
[Ch. IX. ]Being benevolent is the sure way for a ruler to rise to the height of the royal dignity; and is moreover the only way to avoid death and ruin.
[Par. 1. ] Choo He illustrates what is said here about getting the people’s hearts by what we find in the Biographies of the Books of Han about Ch‘aou Ts‘oh, who is mentioned in the Prolegomena to the Shoo, in my larger Work, p. 16, in connexion with the recovery of some of the books of that classic through the scholar Fuh-săng. The tranquillity of the kingdom, according to Ts‘oh, depended on its government being administered in harmony with the feelings of the people. “By those feelings,” said Ts‘oh, “people are desirous of longevity, and the three kings cherished the people’s lives and allowed no injury to happen to them. They are desirous of riches, and the three kings were generous, and subjected them to no straits. They are desirous of security, of ease, &c., and the three kings secured to them the enjoyment of these.”
[Par. 5. ] The down of the mugwort burnt on the skin was and is used for purposes of cautery. The older the plant, the more valuable for this application. And the longer any disease in which it could be employed had existed, the more desirable it was to get the most effectual remedy for it. The kingdom and each State had long been suffering from cruel and oppressive government, and their cure must come from a benevolent rule long pursued and consolidated. This seems to be Mencius’ idea.
[Par. 6. ] See the She, III. iii. III. 5. The lines immediately follow the two quoted at the end of ch. vii.
[Ch. X. ]A warning to the violently evil and the weakly evil. Choo He concludes his comments here with the words:—“This chapter tells us that the principles of rectitude and virtue do originally belong to human nature, while men extinguish them by their voluntary act. Profound is the caution here conveyed by the sages and worthies, and learners ought to give the most earnest heed to it.”
[Ch. XI. ]The way of duty is not far to seek; and the tranquil prosperity of the kingdom depends on the discharge of the common relations of life. Compare the 12th, 13th, and several other chapters of “The Doctrine of the Mean.”
[Ch. XII. ]The great work of every man should be to try to attain complete sincerity in himself, which will give him a far-reaching power over others. Compare the 17th and 18th paragraphs of the 20th chapter of “The Doctrine of the Mean,” which are here substantially quoted. As that chapter, however, is also found in the “Family Sayings,” Mencius may have had the fragmentary memorabilia of Confucius, from which that compilation was made, before him, and not the Chung Yung.
[Ch. XIII. ]the government of king Wăn in its aspect towards the aged and helpless; and the influence which any government like it would produce.
[Par. 1. ] Pih-e;—See II. i. II. 22, IX. i.; III. ii. X. 3. What is here called the northern sea must be, I think, the northern part of the gulf of Pih-chihle. T‘ae-kung is Leu Shang, a great counsellor of the kings Wăn and Woo. He claimed to be descended from one of Yu‘s assistants in the regulation of the waters, from whom he had the surname of Këang; and some member of the family had been invested with the principality of Leu, so that Leu became a clan-name or second surname of his descendants. The legend goes that king Wăn first met with T‘ae-kung as a fisherman on the banks of the Wei, which is not according to the account of Mencius here, which would make us suppose that he was living somewhere in the east of the present Shantung when he went over to the side of Wăn. King Wăn had been warned by an oracle that he was to meet with a powerful assistant on the day that he encountered T‘ae-kung, and accordingly he said to him, “My grandfather expected you long,” which led to his being called T‘ae-kung Wang, or “Grandfather Hope.” Though Pih-e and T‘ae-kung are here represented as led to king Wăn in the same way, their subsequent course and relation to the new dynasty of Chow were very different. Pih-e would not sanction the overthrow of the Shang dynasty, while T‘ae-kung acted an important part in that achievement, and was rewarded with the marquisate of Ts‘e. Wăn is here styled “Chief of the West,” because he was appointed by the sovereign of Shang his viceroy or chief over all the States in that part of the kingdom. Wăn’s government is spoken of here only in its relation to the aged, but we must consider that term as embracing other helpless classes;—see the decription in I. ii. V. 3.
[Par. 2. ] On this par. the “Daily Explanation” says:—“Moreover these two old men were not ordinary men. Distinguished alike by age and virtue, they were the greatest old men of the kingdom. Fit to be so named, the hopes of all looked to them, and the hearts of all were bound to them. All under heaven looked up to them as fathers, and felt as their children, so that when they were moved by the government of king Wăn, and came to him from the coasts of the sea, how could the children leave their fathers and go to any other?”
[Par. 3. ] Compare what Confucius says of the results which he could produce if he were put in charge of the government of a State, in Ana. XIII. x., et al.
[Ch. XIV. ]Against the ministers of the time, who pursued their warlike and other schemes, regardless of the lives and happiness of the people.
[Par. 1. ] For the case of K‘ëw or Yen Yew, see the Ana. XI. xvi. See also the last narrative of the Tso Chuen under the 11th year of duke Gae.
[Par. 2. ] “Leading on land to devour human flesh;” this is a striking variation of the language in I. i. IV. 4, et al.
[Par. 3. ] Here we have three classes of adventurers who were rife in Mencius’ times, and who recommended themselves to the princes of the States in the ways described, pursuing the while their own ends, and regardless of the people. Some advanced themselves by their skill in war; some by their talents for intrigue, forming confederacies among the States, especially to oppose the encroachments of Ts‘in; and some by their plans to make the most of the ground, turning every bit of it to account, but for the good of the ruler, not of the people.
[Ch. XV. ]The pupil of the eye the index of the mind and heart. This chapter is to be understood as spoken by Mencius for the use of those who thought they had only to hear men’s words to judge of them. Compare Ana. II. x.
[Ch. XVI. ]Deeds, not words or manner, necessary to prove mental qualities. The first sentence is as general in the original as in the translation, but all the Chinese critics say that the statements are to be understood of the princes of Mencius’ time, who made great pretensions to courtesy and economy, of which their actions proved the insincerity. But I think the propositions in the first sentence are quite general. Our philosopher proceeds to make the application of them.
[Ch. XVII. ]Help—effectual help—can be given to the world only in harmony with right and propriety.
[Par. 1. ] Shun-yu K‘wăn was a native of Ts‘e, a famous sophist, and otherwise a man of note in his day. See his biography in the 126th Book of the “Historical Records.” He here tries to entrap Mencius into a confession that he did not do well in maintaining the dignity of reserve, which marked him in his intercourse with the princes. For the rule of propriety referred to, see the Le Ke, I. ii. 31.
[Par. 3. ] Choo He expands here:—“The drowning kingdom can be rescued only by right principles;—the case is different from that of a drowning sister-in-law who can be rescued with the hand. Now you, wishing to rescue the kingdom, would have me, in violation of right principles, seek alliance with the princes, and so begin by losing the means wherewith it might be rescued;—do you wish to make me rescue the kingdom with the hand?” I do not see the point of the last question.
[Ch. XVIII. ]The reason why a father should not himself undertake the teaching of his son. But the assertion of Kung-sun Ch‘ow is not to be taken in all its generality. Confucius taught his son, and so did other famous men their sons. Of the statement in par. 3. about the custom of antiquity I have not been able to find any proof or illustration.
[Par. 2. ] “The circumstances of the case” here refer to that of a stupid or perverse child.
[Par. 3. ] The commentators all say that “the exchanging of sons” merely means that the ancients sent out their sons to be taught away from home by masters. It is difficult to see what else the expression can mean, though this is explaining away the force of the term “exchanged.”
[Ch. XIX. ]The importance of serving one’s parents, and how the duty should be performed. In order to discharge it we must watch over ourselves. Illustrated in the cases of Tsăng-tsze and his son.
[Par. 1. ] By “services” we are to understand the duties of service which a man has to render to others, and by “charges,” what a man has to guard and keep. The “keeping one’s self” is the holding one’s self aloof from all unrighteousness.
[Par. 2. ] “The service of parents” is represented as the “root of all other services,” according to the Chinese doctrine of filial piety;—see the “Classic of Filial Piety,” passim. There is more truth in the 2nd part of the paragraph.
[Par. 3. ] Seih was the father of the more celebrated Tsăng-tsze, or Tsăng Sin;—see the Ana. XI. xxv. “Nourishing the will” means gratifying, carrying out, and fostering the father’s wishes.
[On par. 4. ] Choo He quotes the following words from one of the brothers Ch‘ing:—“To serve one’s father as Tsăng Sin did his may be called the height of filial piety, and yet Mencius says only that it might be accepted as that virtue. Did he really think that there was something supererogatory in Tsăng’s service?” Possibly Mencius may have been referring to Tsăng’s-tsze’s disclaimer of being considered a model of filial piety. See the Le Ke, XXI. ii. 14, where Tsăng-tsze says, “What the superior man calls filial piety is to anticipate the wishes and carry out the mind of one’s parents, always leading them on in what is right and true. I am only one who nourishes his parents;—how can I be deemed filial?”
[Ch. XX. ]A truly great minister will direct his efforts not so much to correct errors in matters of detail, as to correct his ruler’s character, from which all benefits will accrue to the State. The sentiment of the chapter is illustrated by an incident related of Mencius in one of the Books of Seun K‘ing;—“Mencius having had three interviews with the king of Ts‘e without speaking to him of any particular affair, his disciples were troubled, but the philosopher said to them, ‘I must first attack his wayward mind.’ ”
[Ch. XXI. ]Praise and blame are sometimes given without any proper ground for them.
[Ch. XXII. ]When a man is reproved for light speech, he does not so readily repeat the offence. Choo He supposes that the remark here was made with some particular reference.
[Ch. XXIII. ]Be not many masters. The tendency here rebuked indicates, it is said, a self-sufficiency, which puts an end to self-improvement.
[Ch. XXIV. ]How Mencius reproved Yoh-ching for associating with an unworthy man of position, and being remiss on waiting on himself, his master.
[Par. 1. ] Yoh-ching;—see I. ii. XVI. 2. Tsze-gaou was the designation of Wang Hwan mentioned in II. ii. VI. From that chapter we may understand that Mencius would not be pleased with one of his disciples who associated with such a person.
We must understand that Tsze-gaou had gone on a mission from Ts‘e to Loo, and that Yoh-ching took the opportunity to go in his train back with him to Ts‘e, pretending that he wished to see his master Mencius.
[Par. 2. ] Chaou K‘e understands the word which I have rendered yesterday to mean—“formerly,” “some days ago.” It may have that meaning, but it is undoubtedly used for “yesterday,” in II. ii. II. 2, and the whole par here has more force by giving to it that meaning. We see what respectful attention to himself Mencius exacted from his followers.
[Ch. XXV. ]Further and more direct reproof of Yoh-ching. The terms used here for “eating and drinking” are both contemptuous,=our application of “the loaves and fishes.”
[Ch. XXVI. ]Shun’s extraordinary way of contracting marriage justified by the motive, which was to raise up posterity to his parents.
[Par. 1. ] The two other things which are unfilial are, according to Chaou K‘e, 1st, by a flattering assent to encourage parents in unrighteousness, and 2nd, not to succour their poverty and old age by engaging in official service. To be without posterity is greater than those faults, because it is an offence against the whole line of ancestors, and brings the sacrifices to them to an end. In ii. XXX. 2, Mencius specifies five things which were commonly deemed unfilial, and not one of these three is amongst them. The sentiment here is to be understood as spoken from the point of view of the superior man, and moreover as laying down the ground for the vindication of Shun.
[Par. 2. ] See the account of Shun’s marriage at the end of the first Book of the Shoo. From that we might give a different reason for his contracting it from that which Mencius assigns. He intimates that Shun’s parents were so hostile to him, that they would have forbidden his marriage, if he had told them about it.
[Ch. XXVII. ]Filial piety and fraternal affection in their relation to benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, propriety, and music.
[Par. 1. ] Benevolence, righteousness, &c., are the principles of filial piety and fraternal affection,—the capabilities of them in human nature, which may have endless manifestations, but are chiefly and primarily to be seen in those two virtues.
[Par. 2. ] The introduction of the subject music here strikes us as strange. A commentator tries to explain it in the following way;—“Benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom are the four virtues, but Mencius here proceeds to speak of music also. And the principles of music are really a branch of propriety, and when the ordering and adorning, which belong to that, are perfect, then harmony and pleasure spring up as a matter of course. In this way we have propriety mentioned first and then music. Moreover, the fervency of benevolence, the exactness of righteousness, the clearness of knowledge, and the firmness of maintenance must all have their depth manifested in music. If this chapter had not spoken of music, we should not have seen the whole amount of achievement.”
[Ch. XXVIII. ]How Shun valued filial piety more than the possession of the empire, and exemplified it till he wrought a glorious change in his father’s character.
[Par. 1. ] The first sentence is to be understood as of general application, and not with reference to Shun simply. It is incomplete. The conclusion of it would be something like—“this would be accounted the greatest happiness and glory.” Choo He and others endeavour to find in the “getting to an entire accord with his parents” the bringing them to accord with what is right, so as then fully to accord with them.
[Par. 2. ] Shun’s father is known in history by the name of Koo-sow. The characters representing those sounds both denote “blind” or rather “eyeless,” and K‘ung Gan-kwoh says that the individual in question was so styled because of his mental blindness and opposition to all that was good.
[I. ]Ch. 1. The agreement of sages not affected by time or place;—shown in the cases of Shun and king Wăn.
[Par. 1. ] According to Sze-ma Ts‘een, Shun was a native of K‘e-chow, for the dimensions of which see the note on the Shoo, III. i. Pt I. 2; and all the places here mentioned are referred by him to the same province. Some, however, and especially Tsăng Tsze-koo of the Sung dynasty, find Shun’s birth-place in the department of Tse-nan, Shan-tung, and this would seem to be supported by Mencius in this passage. According to Ts‘een, moreover, Shun died, when on a tour of inspection in the south, in the wild of Ts‘ang-woo, and was buried in mount Kew-e, in the present district of Ling-ling, department of Yung-chow, Hoo-nan. The discussions on the point are numerous. It was Mencius’ object to place Shun in the east, and his birth and life were in the country east from that of king Wăn. He can hardly have intended to say that Shun and Wăn were themselves men of the wild tribes of the east and west, though his words, literally taken, say so.
[Par. 2. ] K‘e-chow, or the plain of Chow at the foot of mount K‘e, was in the present department of Fung-ts‘eang, Shen-se. Peih-ying is to be distinguished from Ying, the capital of the large State of Ts‘oo. It was in the present district of Heen-ning, department Se-gan of Shen-se; and there the grave of king Wăn, or the place of it, is still pointed out.
[Par. 3. ] “The two halves of a seal:”—perhaps it would be as well to say “a tally,” or “a token.” Anciently the king delivered, as the token of investiture, one half of a tally of wood or of jade, reserving the other half in his own keeping. It was cut right through a line of characters, indicating the appointment, and the halves fitting each other when occasion required was the test of truth and identity. The formation of the character for the term shows that the tally was originally of bamboo.
[Ch. II. ]Good government lies in equal measures for the general good, and not in acts of kindness to individuals;—illustrated from the history of Tsze-ch‘an.
[Par. 1. ] Tsze-ch‘an;—see on Ana. V. xv. The Tsin and Wei were two rivers of Ch‘ing, having their rise in the Ma-ling hills in the present department of Ho-nan, Ho-nan province. They met at a certain point, after which the common stream seems to have borne the names of both its affluents. Mencius has reference to a conversation between Confucius and Tsze-yëw about Tsze-ch‘an, related in the fourth Book of the Kea Yu. The sage held that Tsze-ch‘an was kind, but only as a mother who loves but does not teach her children, and in illustration of his view says that “Tsze-ch‘an used the carriage in which he rode to convey over those who were wading through the water in the winter.”
[Par. 3. ] The 11th and 12th months here correspond to the 9th and 10th of the present calendar. Mencius is referring to a rule for the repair of the bridges on the termination of the agricultural labours of the year.
[Par. 4. ] “Removing people from the way,” when the ruler was going abroad, was also a rule of the Chow dynasty; and not only did it take effect, in the case of the ruler, but also in that of many officers and women,—see the Official Book of Chow, VII. ix.
[Ch. III. ]What treatment rulers give to their ministers will be returned to them in a corresponding behaviour.
[Par. 1. ] “As his hands and feet;” i.e., with kindness and attention. “As his belly and heart;” i.e., with watchfulness and honour. “As his dogs and horses;” i.e., without respect, but feeding them. “As any ordinary man” is, literally, “as a man of the State,” meaning without any distinction or reverence. “As the ground or as grass;”—i.e. trampling on them, and cutting them off.
[Par. 2. ] The rule here is mentioned in the 13th Book of the E. Le, or “Rules of Deportment;” but the passage is obscure. The king falls back on this rule, thinking that Mencius had expressed himself too strongly.
[Par. 3. ] “Fields” here is to be taken in the sense of revenue or emolument. The “thrice-repeated display of consideration” refers, 1st, to the escort as a protection from danger; 2nd, to the anticipatory recommendations; and 3rd, to the long-continued emoluments.
[Ch. IV. ]Prompt action is necessary at the right time. How officers may know when they should leave a State.
[Ch. V. ]The influence of the ruler’s example. See the 20th chapter of Part I. There we find the same statements, intended to stir up ministers to seek to correct the errors of their ruler.
[Ch. VI. ]Great men make no mistakes in matters of propriety and righteousness. What is proper and right at one time, it is said, may not be so at another. Respect belongs to propriety, but it may be carried so far as to amount to flattery. These are among the instances which are given of the things mentioned in this chapter.
[Ch. VII. ]If those who are more highly gifted than others do not use their gifts for the benefit of those others, they are not to be considered as superior to them.
[Ch. VIII. ]He who eschews what is wrong can do with bold decision what is right. In illustration of the sentiment here, Chaou K‘e says, “If a man will not descend to any irregular acquisition, he will be prepared to yield even a thousand chariots,” i. e., a large State.
[Ch. IX. ]Evil speaking is sure to bring with it evil consequences. Choo He supposes that the remark here was made with some particular reference.
[Ch. X. ]That Confucius kept the Mean. Compare with this the Doctrine of the Mean, XI. and XIII., and Ana. VII. xx., et al.
[Ch. XI. ]What is right is the supreme pursuit of the superior man. Compare Ana. IV. x.
[Ch. XII. ]A man is great in proportion as he is childlike. Chaou K‘e supposes that “the great man” is a ruler, and that the sentiment is that he treats his people as his children, and does not lose their hearts. The meaning given in the version is, no doubt, the correct one, and the saying is sure to suggest to my readers the words of our Saviour,—“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” With Mencius “the child’s heart” is the ideal moral condition of humanity. Choo He says on this chapter:—“The mind of the great man comprehends all changes of phenomena, and the mind of the child is nothing but a pure simplicity, free from all hypocrisy. Yet the great man is the great man, just as he is not led astray by external things, but keeps his original simplicity and freedom from hypocrisy. Carrying this out, he becomes omniscient and omnipotent, and reaches the extreme point of greatness.” We need not suppose that Mencius would himself have expanded his thought in this way.
[Ch. XIII. ]Filial piety is most surely seen in the way in which the obsequies of parents are performed.
Some critics suppose, and with reason probably, that the saying here was directed against the Mihist practice of burying the dead with a spare simplicity;—see III. i. V. 4. The funeral rites, it is said, are performed once for all; and if they are done wrong, the fault cannot be remedied.
[Ch. XIV. ]The value of learning thoroughly inwrought into the mind. One may read scores of pages in the Chinese commentators, and yet not get a clear idea in his own mind of Mencius’ teaching in this chapter. Most of them understand the subject studied to be man’s own self, and not things external to him.
[Ch. XV. ] Choo He says, and with reason apparently, that this is a continuation of the former chapter, showing that the object of the superior man, in the extensive studies which he pursues, is not vain-glory, but to get to the substance and essence of things.
[Ch. XVI. ]When people’s minds are subject to a prince, they will make him king. How their minds can be made so subject. The first utterance here is to me quite enigmatical. Paul’s sentiment, that “scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die,” occurs to the mind on reading the first and second parts; but the native commentators make the “nourishing” to have nothing to do with men’s bodies.
[Ch. XVII. ]The words which are most inauspicious are those which are intended to prevent the recognition of talents and virtue. The words of this chapter may also be translated.—“There are no words really inauspicious, but those which may really be considered inauspicious,” &c. The version which I have preferred is equally allowable.
[Ch. XVIII. ]How Mencius explained Confucius’ frequent praise of water, from the permanence of a spring-fed stream.
[Par. 1. ] See Ana. IX. xvi for instance of the sage’s praise of water.
[Par. 3. ] Here again the months must be reduced to the 5th and 6th,—those of the Chow year.
[Ch. XIX. ]That the small difference between men and animals is preserved only by superior men;—illustrated in Shun.
[Par. 1. ] Mencius has not told us in what the small point distinguishing men from birds and beasts consists. Chaou K‘e says that it is simply the interval between the knowledge of righteousness and the want of that knowledge. And this is so far correct; but this difference cannot be said to be “small.” According to Choo He, men and creatures have the le—the intellectual and moral principles—of Heaven and earth to form their nature, and the k‘e, or matter, of Heaven and earth to form their bodies, only men’s k‘e is more correct than that of animals, so that they are able to fill up the capacity of their nature. This seems to deny any essential difference between men and animals, what difference there is being merely corporeal and in degree.
[Par. 2. ] The first predicate of Shun is to me hardly intelligible; the last seems to say that benevolence and righteousness were natural to him, observed without any effort.
[Ch. XX. ]The same subject;—illustrated in Yu, T‘ang, Wăn, Woo, and the duke of Chow.
[Par. 1. ] In the “Plans of the Warring States,” it is said that “E-teih made spirits which Yu tasted and liked, but he said, ‘In after-ages there will be those who through spirits will lose their States;’ so he degraded E-teih, and refused to drink the pleasant spirits.” What we read in the Shoo, III. iii. 6, gives some countenance to this story. For his love of good words, see the Shoo, II. ii. 21.
[Par. 2. ] In illustration of what is said of T‘ang, commentators refer to the Shoo, IV. ii. 7, 8.
[Par. 3. ] For an illustration of Wăn’s fostering care of the people, see the Shoo, V. xv. 9, 10, and the She, III. i. VI., et al., for the other characteristic.
[XXI. ]Ch. XXI. This chapter is said to continue the subject of the two preceding, and to illustrate it by the case of Confucius. I confess that I am not able to trace the connexion. See what I have said on the difficulties belonging to several of the statements in the chapter in the first Book of my Prolegomena to the Ch‘un Ts‘ëw.
[Ch. XXII. ]Mencius insinuates that, though he had not been in personal contact with Confucius, he should be considered his successor. This chapter is further said to continue the subject of the three preceding, and to illustrate it in the case of Mencius himself. I should be inclined to make the former paragraph of ch. xix. a chapter by itself, and to read the other paragraph, and chapters xx., xxi., and this one, as one chapter.
[Par. 1. ] Thirty years are held to cover one generation. We might suppose that the influence of “a sovereign sage” would last longer than that of one who had no distinction of authority; but Mencius is pleased to say that it lasts only the same time.
[Par. 2. ] What Mencius is here supposed to insinuate would seem to indicate that a space of about five generations should be placed between him and Confucius.
[Ch. XXIII. ]First judgments are not always correct. Impulses must be weighed in the balance of reason, and what reason dictates should be followed.
[Ch. XXIV. ]The importance of being careful whom we make friends of. The sentiment is good, but surely Mencius might have found better illustrations of it than those which he gives.
[Par. 1. ] On E see the note to Ana. XIV. vi. Both Chaou K‘e and Choo He strangely explain P‘ang Mung as meaning Kea chung, E’s domestics. I suspect there is an error in their texts, and that we should read Kea shin = E’s “steward.” He may have been employed by the Han Tsuh in the note referred to, to do the deed. Kung-ming E has already been quoted by Mencius in III. i. I., and ii. III. and IX. The idea of Mencius was that E was to blame for having made a friend of such a man as P‘ang Mung.
[Par. 2. ] In the Tso Chuen, under the 14th year of duke Sëang, we have a narrative bearing some likeness to the account here given by Mencius, and in which Yin Kung-t‘o and a Yu Kung-ch‘ae (or ts‘ze) figure as famous archers of Wei. Yet the differences between Tso’s narrative and the text here are so great that we can hardly receive them as relating to the same passage of history.
[Ch. XXV. ]Beauty through certain accessories may be disgusting to men, and wickedness, by holy endeavour, may become acceptable to God.
[Par. 1. ] The lady Se, or if we translate the terms, “the western lady,” was a poor girl of Yueh, called She E, of surpassing beauty, presented by the king of Yueh to his enemy, the king of Woo, who became besottedly attached to her, and neglected all the duties of his government. She was contemporary with Confucius. If we may receive the works of Kwan-tsze, however, as genuine, there had been a celebrated beauty called “the western lady,” two hundred years before that time, and the lady of Yueh chose to assume her designation.
[Par. 2. ] Chaou K‘e and Choo He take the character which I have translated “wicked” in the sense of “ugly.” It may have either signification according to the context. I cannot but suppose, however, that Mencius intended it in the sense which I have given, and that his object was to encourage men to repentance and well-doing. By the law of China it was competent only for the king to sacrifice to God, and the language of our philosopher strikingly shows the virtue he attached to penitent purification.
[Ch. XXVI. ]How knowledge ought to be pursued by the careful study of phenomena. Mencius here points out correctly the path to science. The rule which he lays down is in harmony with the philosophy of Bacon; yet in China, more perhaps than in any other part of the world, the proper method has been disregarded.
[Par. 1. ] “Natures” is to be taken here quite generally, and not, as some commentators think, in the singular, referring to the nature of man. Possibly, Mencius may have had in view the discussions about human nature which were rife in his days; but he is speaking generally, and those discussions were only one perversion of the method on which he insists.
[Par. 2. ] By “chiselling or “boring” we are to understand the violent forcing out of conclusions, instead of pursuing the inductive method. Yu’s operations gave him abundance of trouble; what Mencius means to say is that they were all in harmony with the nature and circumstances of the waters, which he was labouring to reduce.
[Par. 3. ] Compare the language of the 1st sentence of par. 9 in the 26th chapter of the Doctrine of the Mean. The solstices referred to are those of winter. Most modern commentators hold that one solstice is intended,—that from which the Chinese cycle dates its commencement, when the sun, moon, and planets are all supposed to have been in conjunction at midnight. This is not necessary.
[Ch. XXVII. ]How Mencius would not imitate others in paying court to a favourite, and how he excused himself.
[Par. 1. ] Many think that the death which gave occasion to what is here related was that of the officer Kung-hăng himself. The view which I have followed is more in accordance with the Chinese text. The master of the Right was the Wang Hwan of II. ii. 6, and the Tsze-gaou of XXIV. and XXV. of the first Part of this Book. He was a man with whom our philosopher would have nothing to do.
[Par. 3. ] The officers were not now “in the court,” but they had gone by the king’s order to condole with Kung-hăng, and ought therefore to have observed the rules which regulated their positions and movements when in the court. On those rules, see the Official Book of Chow, XXII. iii. 1, et al.
[Ch. XXVIII. ]How the superior man is distinguished from others by the cultivation of his moral excellence; and how in that he has his remedy against the misconduct of others to him.
Mencius shows here an admirable faith in the power of goodness to produce a corresponding response in others, and in the peace which the consciousness of having acted in kindness and righteousness will produce under the most perverse treatment.
[Ch. XXIX. ]How an underlying principle will be found to reconcile the differences in the conduct of great and good men occasioned by their different circumstances;—illustrated in the cases of Yu, Tseih, and Yen Hwuy.
[Par. 1. ] See III. i. IV. 7, et al. The thrice passing his door was peculiar to Yu, though it is here ascribed also to Tseih, or How-tseih. Their age was not one of tranquillity, but the government in it was good, and they were employed to bring it to tranquillity.
[Par. 2. ] See Ana. VI. ix.
[Parr. 6, 7. ] The rules anciently prescribed for dressing were very minute Much had to be done with the hair, before the final act of putting on the cap, with the strings tied under the chin. In the case in par. 6 all these rules are neglected. The urgency of the case, and the intimacy of the individual with the parties quarrelling, justified such neglect. This was the case of Yu and Tseih in relation to their age, while that in par. 7 is supposed to illustrate Hwuy’s relation to his.—But Mencius’ illustrations are for the most part happier than these.
[Ch. XXX. ]How Mencius explained his intercourse with a man commonly held to be unfilial. The case of K‘wang Chang.
[Par. 1. ] K‘wang Chang was an officer of Ts‘e, and had been employed in important military affairs. He commanded the troops of Ts‘e in the operations against Yen referred to in I. ii. X., et al. We have no account of the particulars of his conduct which made him be regarded throughout the State as unfilial, though perhaps a hint about them may be obtained from a narrative in the “Plans of the Warring States,” in the first Book relating to Ts‘e. It is there said that king Wei of Ts‘e appointed K‘wang Chang to command an army against Ts‘in, which was threatening the State. For some time reports were rife that Chang-tsze was playing the traitor, but king Wei refused to believe them, saying he was confident of the good faith of his general. At last news came of a great defeat inflicted on Ts‘in, and the king, being asked what had made him so trustful of K‘wang Chang, said, “Chang-tsze’s mother offended his father, and was put to death by him, and buried in a stable. When I was sending him forth on this expedition, I said that, if he conducted it vigorously, I would on his return bury his mother elsewhere, but he said that he might have done so before, but his mother having offended his father, and his father having died without giving him any instructions on the point, he did not dare to remove the body to another grave, lest he should be dealing wrongly by his deceased father. If Chang-tsze is thus faithful to his deceased father, he will not be faithless to me.” Possibly, the alienation between Chang-tsze and his father may have arisen about the latter’s putting his mother to death. Whatever was the cause of it, it is evident from what Mencius says that it did not seriously compromise his character.
[Par. 2. ] “Gambling and chess-playing;”—see on Ana. XVII. xxii. But the chess-playing could not be the game analogous to ours, for the emperor of the Chow dynasty alluded to in the note there as its inventor belonged to the latter dynasty of that name in the 10th century of our era.
[Parr. 3, 4. ] Compare Part i. XVIII. 2.
[Par. 5. ] Readers not Chinese will think that Chang’s treatment of his wife and son was more criminal than his conduct to his father.
[Ch. XXXI. ]How Mencius explained the different conduct of Tsăng-tsze and Tsze-sze in outwardly similar circumstances. Compare chapter xxix.
[Par. 1. ] Woo-shing was a city of Loo,—90 le to the south-west of the present district city of Pe, department E-chow. Tsăng-tsze had here opened a school or lecture-room in the place, having, probably, as many suppose, been invited to do so—to be “a guest and teacher”—by the commandant. It was thus in the south of the present Shan-tung province. South from it, and covering the present Këang-soo and part of Cheh-keang, were the States of Woo and Yueh, all at this time subject to Yueh. Shin-yëw Hăng is supposed to have been a disciple of Tsăng-tsze, and a native of Woo-shing. The Shin-yëw of whom he speaks must mean the head of his clan, or rather his House. When it was in peril, Tsăng-tsze’s seventy disciples would have been abundantly able to cope with the grass-carriers. That they did not attempt to do so, showed that there was some reason for his conduct more than the objectors to it saw on the surface.
[Par. 2. ] Tsze-sze of course is Confucius’ grandson. He was living in Wei, and sustaining office in it.
[Par. 3. ] We have here a striking illustration of the importance attached to the position of a “teacher,” of which I have spoken in the Prolegomena.
[Ch. XXXII. ]Sages are just like other men in their personal appearance and ordinary ways.
Ch‘oo was a minister of Ts‘e. The incident mentioned probably occurred on Mencius’ first arrival in Ts‘e, and before he had any interview with the king.
[Ch. XXXIII. ]The disgraceful means which many took to seek for wealth and honours.
[Par. 1. ] A “Mencius said” must have dropt out of the text at the beginning of this paragraph. All the commentators seem to be agreed in this. The statement that the man “lived together with his wife and concubine in the house” seems to be intended to indicate that he passed as a man of wealth, who was not engaged in trade, or any business that called him away from home. “Good-man” is equivalent to husband; so “good-man” used to be employed in Scotland.
[Par. 2. ] contains the moral and application of the narrative given in the former paragraph.