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BOOK V. * - 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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WAN CHANG. PART I.
ChapterI.1. Wan Chang asked [Mencius], saying, “[When] Shun went into the fields, he cried out and wept towards the pitying heavens. Why did he cry out and weep?” Mencius replied, “He was dissatisfied and full of earnest desire.”
2. Wan Chang pursued, “When his parents love him, [a son] rejoices and forgets them not; and when they hate him, though they punish him, he does not allow himself to be dissatisfied. Was Shun then dissatisfied [with his parents]?” [Mencius said], “Ch‘ang Seih asked Kung-ming Kaou, saying, ‘As to Shun’s going into the fields, I have received your instructions; but I do not understand about his weeping and crying out to the pitying heavens, and to his parents.’ Kung-ming Kaou answered him, ‘You do not understand that matter.’ Now Kung-ming Kaou thought that the heart of a filial son [like Shun] could not be so free from sorrow [as Seih seemed to imagine he might have been]. [Shun would be saying,] ‘I exert my strength to cultivate the fields, but I am thereby only discharging my duty as a son. What is there [wrong] in me that my parents do not love me?’
3. “The emperor caused his own [children],—nine sons and two daughters, the various officers, oxen and sheep, storehouses and granaries, [all] to be prepared for the service of Shun amid the channeled fields. Most of the officers in the empire repaired to him. The emperor designed that he should superintend the empire along with himself, and then to transfer it to him. But because his parents were not in accord with him, he felt like a poor man who has nowhere to turn to.
4. “To be an object of complacency to the officers of the empire is what men desire; but it was not sufficient to remove the sorrow of [Shun]. The possession of beauty is what men desire,—but though [Shun] had for his wives the two daughters of the emperor, it was not sufficient to remove his sorrow. Riches are what men desire, but though the empire was the rich property [of Shun], it was not enough to remove his sorrow. Honours are what men desire, but though [Shun] had the dignity of being the son of Heaven, it was not sufficient to remove his sorrow. The reason why his being the object of men’s complacency, the possession of beauty, riches, and honours, could not remove his sorrow was because it could be removed only by his being in [entire] accord with his parents.
5. “The desire of a child is towards his father and mother. When he becomes conscious of [the attractions of] beauty, his desire is towards young and beautiful women. When he [comes to] have a wife and children, his desire is towards them. When he obtains office, his desire is towards his ruler; and if he cannot get the regard of his ruler, he burns within. [But] the man of great filial piety, all his life, has his desire towards his parents. In the great Shun I see the case of one whose desire was towards them when he was fifty years old.”
If [the rule] be indeed as thus expressed, no one ought to have illustrated it so well as Shun;—how was it that Shun’s marriage took place without his informing [his parents]?” Mencius replied, “If he had informed them, he would not have been able to marry. That male and female dwell together is the greatest of human relations. If [Shun] had informed his parents, he must have made void this greatest of human relations, and incurred thereby their resentment. It was on this account that he did not inform them.”
2. Wan Chang said, “As to Shun’s marrying without making announcement [to his parents], I have heard your instructions. [But] how was it that the emperor gave him his daughters as wives without informing [his parents]?” [Mencius] said, “The emperor also knew that, if he informed his parents, he could not have given him his daughters as wives.”
3. Wan Chang said, “His parents set Shun to repair a granary, and then removed the ladder [by which he had ascended], [after which] Koo-sow set fire to it. They sent him to dig a well, [from which he managed to] get out; but they, [not knowing this,] proceeded to cover it up. [His brother] Sëang said, ‘Of this scheme to cover up the city-forming gentleman the merit is all mine. Let my parents have his oxen and sheep; let them have his granaries and storehouses. His shield and spear shall be mine; his lute shall be mine; his carved bow shall be mine; and I will make his two wives attend for me to my bed.’ Sëang then went away and entered Shun’s house, and there was Shun upon a couch with his lute. Sëang said, ‘[I am come] simply because I was thinking anxiously about you,’ [and at the same time] he looked ashamed. Shun said to him, ‘There are all my officers; do you take the management of them for me.’ I do not know whether Shun was ignorant of Sëang’s wishing to kill him.” [Mencius] replied, “How could he be ignorant of it? But when Sëang was sorrowful, he was also sorrowful, and when Seang was joyful, he was also joyful.”
4. [Wan Chang] continued, “Then was Shun one who rejoiced hypocritically?” “No,” was the reply. “Formerly some one sent a present of a live fish to Tsze-ch‘an of Ch‘ing. Tsze-ch‘an ordered his pond-keeper to feed it in the pond; but the man cooked it, and reported the execution of his commission, saying, ‘When I first let it go, it looked embarrassed. In a little it seemed to be somewhat at ease, and then it swam away as if delighted.’ ‘It had got into its element!’ said Tsze-ch‘an. ‘It had got into its element!’ The pond-keeper went out and said, ‘Who calls Tsze-ch‘an wise? When I had cooked and eaten the fish, he said, “It has got into its element! It has got into its element!” ’ Thus a superior man may be imposed on by what seems to be as it ought to be, but it is difficult to entrap him by what is contrary to right principle. Sëang came in the way in which the love of his elder brother would have made him come, and therefore Shun truly believed him, and rejoiced at it. What hypocrisy was there?”
III.1. Wan Chang said, “Sëang made it his daily business to kill Shun;—why was it that, when [the latter] was raised to be the son of Heaven, he [only] banished him?” Mencius replied, “He invested him with a State, and some have said that it was banishing him.”
2. Wan Chang said, “Shun banished the superintendent of Works to Yëw-chow, sent away Hwan-tow to mount Ts‘ung, slew the [prince of] San-mëaou in San-wei, and imprisoned K‘wăn on mount Yu. When those four criminals [were thus dealt with], all under heaven submitted to him;—it was a cutting off of men who were destitute of benevolence. But Sëang was [of all men] the most destitute of benevolence, and [Shun] invested him with the State of Pe;—of what crime had the people of Pe been guilty? Does a benevolent man really act thus? In the case of other men, he cut them off; in the case of his brother, he invested him with a State.” [Mencius] replied, “A benevolent man does not lay up anger, nor cherish resentment, against his brother, but only regards him with affection and love. Regarding him with affection, he wishes him to enjoy honour; loving him, he wishes him to be rich. The investing him with Pe was to enrich and ennoble him. If while [Shun] himself was emperor, his brother had been a common man, could he have been said to regard him with affection and love?”
3. [Wan Chang said,] “I venture to ask what is meant by some saying that it was a banishing [of Seang].” [Mencius] replied, “Sëang could do nothing [of himself] in his State. The emperor appointed an officer to manage its government, and to pay over its revenues to him; and therefore it was said that it was a banishing of him? How [indeed] could he be allowed the means of oppressing the people there? Nevertheless, [Shun] wished to be continually seeing him, and therefore he came unceasingly to court, as is signified in that expression, ‘He did not wait for the rendering of tribute, or affairs of government, to receive [the prince of] Pe.’ ”
IV.1. Hëen-k‘ëw Mung asked Mencius, saying, “There is the old saying,—‘An officer of complete virtue cannot be employed as a minister by his ruler, nor treated as a son by his father.’ Shun stood with his face to the south, and Yaou, at the head of all the feudal princes, appeared in his court with his face to the north. Koosow also appeared at Shun’s court with his face to the north; and when Shun saw him, his countenance assumed a look of distress. Confucius said, ‘At this time the empire was in a perilous condition indeed! How unsettled was its state!’ I do not know whether what is thus said really took place.” Mencius said, “No. These are not the words of a superior man, but the sayings of an uncultivated person of the east of Ts‘e. When Yaou was old, Shun took the management of affairs for him. It is said in the Canon of Yaou, ‘After twenty-eight years, Fang-heun demised, and the people mourned for him as for a parent three years. All within the four seas, the eight instruments of music were stopped and hushed.’ Confucius said, ‘There are not two suns in the sky, nor two sovereigns over the people. [If] Shun had already been [in the position of] the son of Heaven, and had moreover led on all the feudal princes of the empire to observe the three years’ mourning for Yaou, there must in that case have been two sons of Heaven.’ ”
2. Hëen-k‘ëw Mung said, “On the point of Shun’s not employing Yaou as a minister, I have received your instructions. But it is said in the Book of Poetry,
When Shun became emperor, I venture to ask how it was that Koo-sow was not one of his servants.” [Mencius] replied, “That ode is not to be understood in that way;—[it speaks of] being laboriously engaged in the king’s business, and not being able to nourish one’s parents, [as if the subject of it] said, ‘This is all the king’s business, but I alone am supposed to have ability, and made to toil in it.’ Therefore those who explain the odes must not insist on one term so as to do violence to a sentence, nor on a sentence so as to do violence to the general scope. They must try with their thoughts to meet that scope, and then they will apprehend it. If we simply take single sentences, there is that in the ode called the ‘Yun Han,’
If it had really been as thus expressed, then not an individual of the people of Chow would have been left.
3. “Of all that a filial son can attain to, there is nothing greater than his honouring his parents. Of what can be attained to in honouring one’s parents, there is nothing greater than the nourishing them with the empire. To be the father of the son of Heaven is the height of honour. To be nourished with the empire is the height of nourishment. In this was verified the sentiment in the Book of Poetry,
4. “In the Book of History it is said, ‘With respectful service he appeared before Koo-sow, looking grave and awe-struck, till Koo-sow also was transformed by his example.’ This is the true case of [the scholar of complete virtue] not being treated as a son by his father.”
V.1. Wan Chang said, “[It is said that] Yaou gave the empire to Shun; was it so?” Mencius replied, “No; the emperor cannot give the empire to another.”
2. “Yes; but Shun possessed the empire. Who gave it to him?” “Heaven gave it to him,” was the reply.
3. “ ‘Heaven gave it to him;’ did [Heaven] confer the appointment on him with specific injunctions?”
4. [Mencius] said, “No; Heaven does not speak. It simply showed its will by his [personal] conduct, and by [his conduct of] affairs.”
5. “ ‘It showed its will by his [personal] conduct, and by [his conduct of] affairs,’ ” returned the other;—“how was this?” [Mencius] said, “The emperor can present a man to Heaven, but he cannot make Heaven give that man the empire. A feudal prince can present a man to the emperor [to take his place], but he cannot make the emperor give the princedom to that man. A great officer can present a man to his prince, but he cannot cause the prince to make that man a great officer [in his own room]. Anciently Yaou presented Shun to Heaven, and Heaven accepted him; he displayed him to the people, and the people accepted him. Therefore I say, ‘Heaven does not speak. It simply indicated its will by his [personal] conduct, and by [his conduct of] affairs.’ ”
6. [Chang] said, “I presume to ask how it was that [Yaou] presented Shun to Heaven, and Heaven accepted him, and displayed him to the people, and the people accepted him.” The reply was, “He caused him to preside over the sacrifices, and all the Spirits were well pleased with them; thus it was that Heaven accepted him. He caused him to preside over the conduct of affairs, and affairs were well administred, so that all the people reposed under him;—thus it was that the people accepted him. Heaven gave [the empire] to him, and the people gave it to him. Therefore I said, ‘The emperor cannot give the empire to another.’
7. “Shun assisted Yaou [in the government] for twenty and eight years;—this was more than man could have done, and was from Heaven. When the three years’ mourning consequent on the death of Yaou were accomplished, Shun withdrew from the son of Yaou to the south of the southern Ho. The princes of the empire, however, repairing to court, went not to the son of Yaou, but to Shun. Litigants went not to the son of Yaou, but to Shun. Singers sang not the son of Yaou, but Shun. Therefore I said that it was Heaven [that gave him the empire]. It was after this that he went to the Middle State, and occupied the seat of the son of Heaven. If he had [before these things] taken up his residence in the palace of Yaou, and applied pressure to his son, it would have been an act of usurpation, and not the gift of Heaven.
8. “This view [of Shun’s obtaining the empire] is in accordance with what is said in The Great Declaration,—‘Heaven sees as my people see, Heaven hears as my people hear.’ ”
VI.1. Wan Chang said, “People say, ‘When [the disposal of the empire] came to Yu, his virtue was inferior [to that of Yaou and Shun], and he did not transmit it to the worhiest, but to his son;’—was it so?” Mencius replied, “No; it was not so. When Heaven gave [the empire] to the worthiest, it was given to the worthiest; when Heaven gave it to the son [of the preceding emperor], it was given to that son. Formerly Shun presented Yu to Heaven for [a period of] seventeen years; and when the three years’ mourning, consequent on the death of Shun, were accomplished, Yu withdrew from the son of Yu to Yang-shing. The people of the empire followed him as, after the death of Yaou, they had not followed his son, but followed Shun. Yu presented Yih to Heaven for [a period of] seven years; and when the three years’ mourning consequent on the death of Yu were accomplished, Yih withdrew from the son of Yu to the north of Mount Ke. [The princes] repairing to court, and litigants, went not to Yih, but to K‘e, saying, ‘He is the son of our ruler.’ Singers did not sing Yih, but they sang K‘e, saying, ‘He is the son of our ruler.’
2. “That Tan-choo was not equal [to his father], and Shun’s son also not equal [to his]; that Shun assisted Yaou, and Yu assisted Shun, for a period of many years, conferring benefits on the people for a long time; that K‘e was virtuous and able, and could reverently enter into and continue the ways of Yu; that Yih assisted Yu for a period of few years, conferring benefits on the people not for a long time; that the length of time that Shun, Yu, and Yih [assisted in the government] was so different; and that the sons [of the emperors] were [one] a man of talents and virtue, and [the other two] inferior [to their fathers]:—all these things were from Heaven, and what could not be produced by man. That which is done without any one’s [seeming] to do it is from Heaven. That which comes to pass without any one’s [seeming] to bring it about is from Heaven.
3. “In the case of a private man’s obtaining the empire, there must be in him virtue equal to that of Shun and Yu, and moreover there must be the presenting him to Heaven by the [preceding] emperor. It was on this [latter] account that Chung-ne did not obtain the kingdom.
4. “When the throne descends by natural succession, he who is displaced by Heaven must be like Këeh or Chow. It was on this account that Yih, E Yin, and the duke of Chow did not obtain the kingdom.
5. “E Yin assisted T‘ang so that he became sovereign of the kingdom. After the demise of T‘ang, T‘ae-ting having died without being appointed [in his place], Waeping [reigned] two years, and Chung-jin four. T‘ae-Keah [then] was turning upside down the canons and example of T‘ang, and E Yin placed him in T‘ung for three years. [There] he repented of his errors, was contrite, and reformed himself. In T‘ung he came to dwell in benevolence and moved towards righteousness, during those three years listening to the lessons given to him by E Yin, [after which] that minister again returned [with him] to Poh.
6. “The duke of Chow’s not getting the kingdom was like that of Yih’s not getting [the throne of] Hëa, or E Yin’s [that of] Yin.
7. “Confucius said, ‘T‘ang and Yu resigned [the throne to the worthiest]; the founders of the Hëa, Yin, and Chow [dynasties] transmitted it to their sons. The principle of righteousness was the same in [all the cases].”
2. Mencius replied, “No, it was not so. E Yin was farming in the lands of the State of Sin, delighting in the principles of Yaou and Shun. In any matter contrary to the righteousness which they prescribed, or to the course which they enjoined, though he had been salaried with the empire, he would not have regarded it; though there had been yoked for him a thousand teams, he would not have looked at them. In any matter contrary to the righteousness which they prescribed, or to the course which they enjoined, he would not have given nor taken [even] a single straw.
3. “T‘ang sent persons with presents of silk to ask him to enter his service. With an air of indifference and self-satisfaction, he said, ‘What can I do with these silks with which T‘ang invites me? Is it not best for me to abide in these channeled fields, and therein delight myself with the principles of Yaou and Shun?’
4. “T‘ang thrice sent persons thus to invite him. After this, with the change of purpose displayed in his countenance, he spoke in a different style, saying, ‘Instead of abiding in the channeled fields, and therein delighting myself with the principles of Yaou and Shun, had I not better make this ruler one after the style of Yaou and Shun? had I not better make this people like the people of Yaou and Shun? had I not better in my own person see these things for myself?
5. “ ‘Heaven’s plan in the production of this people is this:—that they who are first informed, should instruct those who are later in being informed, and those who first apprehend [principles] should instruct those who are slower to do so. I am the one of Heaven’s people who have first apprehended; I will take these principles and instruct this people in them. If I do not instruct them, who will do so?’
6. “He thought that among all the people of the kingdom, even the private men and women, if there were any that did not enjoy such benefits as Yaou and Shun conferred, it was as if he himself pushed them into a ditch. He took upon himself the heavy charge of all under Heaven in this way, and therefore he went to T‘ang, and pressed upon him the duty of attacking Hëa, and saving the people.
7. “I have not heard of one who bent himself and at the same time made others straight;—how much less could one disgrace himself, and thereby rectify the whole kingdom? The actions of the sages have been different. Some have kept far away [from office], and others have drawn near to it; some have left [their offices], and others have not done so; that in which these different courses all meet, is simply the keeping of their persons pure.
8. “I have heard that E Yin sought [an introduction to] T‘ang by the principles of Yaou and Shun; I have not heard that he did so by his [knowledge of] cookery.’
9. “In the ‘Instructions of E,’ it is said, ‘Heaven, destroying [Këeh], commenced attacking him in the palace of Muh; we commenced in Poh.’ ”
VIII.1. Wan Chang asked [Mencius], saying, “Some say that Confucius in Wei lived with an ulcer-[doctor], and in Ts‘e with Tseih Hwan, the chief of the eunuchs; was it so?” Mencius said, “No, it was not so. Those are the inventions of men fond of [strange] things.
2. “In Wei he lived in the house of Yen Ch‘ow-yëw. The wife of the officer Mei and the wife of Tsze-loo were sisters. Mei-tsze spoke to Tsze-loo, saying, ‘If Confucius will lodge with me, he may get to be a high noble of Wei.’ Tsze-loo reported this to Confucius, who said, ‘That is as ordered [by Heaven].’ Confucius advanced according to propriety, and retired according to righteousness. In regard to his obtaining [office and honour] or not obtaining them, he said ‘That is as ordered.’ But if he had lodged with an ulcer-[doctor] and with Tseih Hwan, the chief of the eunuchs, that would neither have been according to righteousness, nor any ordering [of Heaven].
3. “When Confucius, being dissatisfied in Loo and Wei, [had left those States], he met with the attempt of Hwan, the master of the Horse, in Sung, to intercept and kill him, so that he had to pass through Sung in the dress of a private man. At that time, [though] he was in circumstances of distress, he lodged in the house of Ching-tsze, the minister of works, who was [then] a minister of Chow, the marquis of Ch‘in.
4. “I have heard that ministers in the service of a court may be known from those to whom they are hosts, and that ministers coming from a distance may be known from those with whom they lodge. If Confucius had lodged with an ulcer-[doctor] and with Tseih Hwan, the chief of the eunuchs, how could he have been Confucius?”
IX.1. Wan Change asked [Mencius], saying, “Some say that Pih-le He sold himself to a cattle-keeper of Ts‘in for five sheep-skins, and fed his cattle for him, to seek an introduction to duke Muh of Ts‘in; is this true?” Mencius said, “No, it was not so. This is the invention of some one fond of [strange] things.
2. “Pih-le He was a man of Yu.” The people of Ts‘in by the inducement of a peih of Ch‘uy-keih and a team of Këuh-ch‘an horses were asking liberty to march through Yu to attack Kwoh. Kung Che-k‘e remonstrated [with the duke of Yu, asking him not to grant their request], but Pih-le He did not remonstrate.
3. “When he knew that the duke of Yu was not to be remonstrated with, and went in consequence from that State to Ts‘in, he had reached the age of seventy. If by that time he did not know that it would be a disgraceful thing to seek for an introduction to duke Muh of Ts‘in by feeding cattle, could he be called wise? But not remonstrating where it was of no use to remonstrate, could he be said not to be wise? Knowing that the duke of Yu would be ruined, and leaving his State before that event, he could not be said to be not wise. As soon as he was advanced in Ts‘in, he knew that duke Muh was one with whom he could have a field for action, and became chief minister to him;—could he be said to be not wise? Acting as chief minister in Ts‘in, he made his ruler distinguished throughout the kingdom, and worthy to be handed down to future ages;—if he had not been a man of talents and virtue, could he have done this? As to selling himself in order to bring about the destruction of his ruler, even a villager who had a regard for himself, would not do such a thing;—and shall we say that a man of talents and virtue did it?”
WAN CHANG. PART II.
ChapterI.1. Mencius said, “Pih-e would not allow his eyes to look at a bad sight, nor his ears to listen to a bad sound. He would not serve a ruler, nor employ a people, of whom he did not approve. In a time of good government he took office, and in a time of disorder he retired. He could not bear to dwell [at a court] from which lawless government proceeded, nor among lawless people. To be in the same place with an [ordinary] villager was the same in his estimation as to stand in his court robes and court cap amid mire and charcoal. In the time of Chow, he dwelt by the shores of the northern sea, waiting for the purification of the kingdom. Therefore when men [now] hear the character of Pih-e, the corrupt become pure, and the weak acquire determination.
2. “E Yin said, ‘Whom may I not serve as my ruler? whom may I not employ as my people?’ In a time of good government he took office, and in a time of disorder he did the same. He said, ‘Heaven’s plan in the production of this people is this:—that they who are first informed should instruct those who are later in being informed, and they who first apprehend [principles] should instruct those who are slower to do so. I am the one of Heaven’s people who have first apprehended;—I will take these principles and instruct this people in them.’ He thought that among all the people of the kingdom, even the private men and women, if there were any that did not enjoy such benefits as Yaou and Shun conferred, it was as if he himself pushed them into a ditch;—so did he take on himself the heavy charge of all under heaven.
3. “Hwuy of Lëw-hëa was not ashamed to serve an impure ruler, nor did he decline a small office. When advanced to employment, he did not keep his talents and virtue concealed, but made it a point to carry out his principles. When neglected and left out of office, he did not murmur, and when straitened by poverty, he did not grieve. When in the company of village people, he was quite at ease and could not bear to leave them. [He would say], ‘You are you, and I am I. Though you stand by my side with bare arms and breast, how can you defile me?’ Therefore when men [now] hear the character of Hwuy of Lëw-hea, the mean become generous, and the niggardly become liberal.
4. “When Confucius was leaving Ts‘e he took with his hands the water from the rice which was being washed in it, and went away [with the uncooked rice]. When he was about to leave Loo, he said, ‘I will go by and by;’—it was right he should leave the country of his parents in this way. When it was proper to go away quickly he did so; when it was proper to delay, he did so; when it was proper to keep in retirement, he did so; when it was proper to go into office, he did so;—this was Confucius.”
5. Mencius said, “Pih-e among the sages was the pure one; E Yin was the one most inclined to take office; Hwuy of Lëw-hea was the accommodating one; and Confucius was the timeous one.
6. “In Confucius we have what is called a complete concert. A complete concert is when the bell proclaims [the commencement of the music], and the [ringing] stone closes it. The metal sound commences the blended harmony [of all the instruments], and the winding up with the stone terminates that blended harmony. The commencing that harmony is the work of wisdom, and the terminating it is the work of sageness.
7. “As a comparison for wisdom, we may liken it to skill, and as a comparison for sageness, we may liken it to strength,—as in the case of shooting at a mark a hundred paces distant. That you reach the mark is owing to your strength; but that you hit it is not owing to your strength.”
2. Mencius said, “The particulars of that arrangement cannot be learned, for the feudal princes, disliking them as injurious to themselves, have all made away with the records of them. Nevertheless I have learned the general outline of them.
3. “The son of Heaven was one dignity; the duke one; the marquis one; the earl one; and the viscount and baron formed one, being of equal rank:—altogether making five degrees of dignity. The ruler was one dignity; the minister one; the great officer one; the officer of the first class one; the officer of the second class one; and the officer of the lowest class one:—altogether making six grades.
4. “To the son of Heaven there was allotted a territory of a thousand le square; a duke and a marquis had each a hundred le square; an earl, seventy le; a viscount and a baron, fifty le. The assignments altogether were of four amounts. Where the territory did not amount to fifty le, the holder could not himself have access to the son of Heaven. His land was attached to some one of the feudal princes, and was called a foo-yung.
5. “A high minister of the son of Heaven received an amount of territory equal to that of a marquis; a great officer, as much as an earl; and an officer of the first class, as much as a viscount or baron.
6. “In a great State, where the territory was a hundred le square, the ruler had ten times as much income as one of his high ministers; a high minister had four times as much as a great officer; a great officer twice as much as an officer of the first class; an officer of the first class, twice as much as one of the middle; and an officer of the middle class twice as much as one of the lowest. Officers of the lowest class, and such of the common people as were employed in the public offices, had the same emolument,—as much, namely, as what they would have made by tilling the fields.
7. “In a State of the next order, where the territory was seventy le square, the ruler had ten times as much income as one of his high ministers; a high minister, thrice as much as a great officer; a great officer, twice as much as an officer of the first class; an officer of the first class, twice as much as one of the second; and one of the second twice as much as one of the lowest. Officers of the lowest class and such of the common people as were employed in the public offices, had the same emolument,—as much, namely, as they would have made by tilling the fields.
8. “In a small State, where the territory was fifty le square, the ruler had ten times as much income as one of his high ministers; a high minister twice as much as a great officer; a great officer twice as much as an officer of the first class; an officer of the first class twice as much as one of the second; one of the second class twice as much as one of the lowest. Officers of the lowest class, and such of the common people as were employed in the public offices, had the same emolument,—as much, namely, as they would have made by tilling the fields.
9. “As to those who tilled the fields, each head of a family received a hundred mow. When these were manured, the [best] husbandmen of the first class supported nine individuals, and those ranking next to them supported eight. The [best] husbandmen of the second class supported seven men, and those ranking next to them supported six; while the lowest class [only] supported five. The salaries of the common people who were employed in the public offices, were regulated according to these differences.”
III.1. Wan Chang asked [Mencius], saying, “I venture to ask about [the principles of] friendship.” Mencius replied, “Friendship does not permit of any presuming on the ground of one’s age, or station, or [the circumstances of] one’s relations. Friendship [with a man] is friendship with his virtue, and there cannot be any presuming [on such things].
2. “The minister Măng Hëen was [chief of] a family of a hundred chariots, and he had five friends,—Yoh-ching K‘ew, Muh Ching, and three [others whose names] I have forgotten. With these five men Hëen-tsze maintained a friendship, because they thought nothing about his family. If they had thought about his family, he would not have maintained his friendship with them.
3. “Not only has [the chief of] a family of a hundred chariots acted thus. The same has been exemplified even in the ruler of a small State. Duke Hwuy of Pe said, “I treat Tsze-sze as my master, and Yen Pan as my friend. As to Wang Shun and Ch‘ang Seih, they serve me.
4. “Not only has the ruler of a small State acted thus. The same thing has been exemplified by the ruler of a large State. There was duke P‘ing of Tsin with Hae T‘ang:—when [T‘ang] told him to come into his house, he came; when he told him to be seated, he sat; when he told him to eat, he ate. There might be only coarse rice, and soup of vegetables, but he always ate his fill, not daring to do otherwise. Here, however, [the duke] stopped, and went no farther. He did not call [T‘ang] to share with him his Heavenly place, nor to administer with him his Heavenly office, nor to partake with him his Heavenly emolument. His conduct was a scholar’s honouring of virtue and talent; not a king or a duke’s honouring of them.
5. “Shun went up and had an interview with the emperor, and the emperor lodged him as his son-in-law in the second palace. He also partook of Shun’s hospitality. He was host and guest alternately. This was the emperor maintaining friendship with a common man.
6. “Respect shown by inferiors to superiors is called giving to the noble the observance due to rank. Respect shown by superiors to inferiors is called giving honour to virtue and talents. The principle of righteousness is the same in both cases.”
2. “Why is it,” pursued the other, “that to decline a gift decidedly is accounted disrespectful?” The answer was, “When one of honourable rank presents a gift, to say [in the mind], ‘Was the way in which he got this righteous or not? I must know this before I receive it,’—this is counted disrespectful, and therefore gifts are not declined.”
3. [Wan Chang] went on, “Let me ask this:—If one do not in so many express words decline the gift, but having declined it in his heart, saying, ‘He took it from the people, and it is not righteous,’ if he then assign some other reason for not receiving it, is not this a proper course?” Mencius said, “When the donor offers it on the ground of reason, and his manner of doing so is according to propriety, in such a case Confucius would have received it.”
4. Wan Chang said, “Here now is one who stops [and robs] people outside the city gates;—he offers his gift on a ground of reason, and presents it in accordance with propriety;—would the reception of the gift so acquired by robbery be proper?” [Mencius] said, “It would not be proper. In the ‘Announcement to the Prince of K‘ang’ it is said, ‘Where men kill others, or violently assault them, to take their property, being reckless and fearless of death, they are abhorred by all the people;’—these are to be put to death without waiting to give them any lesson [or warning]. Yin received [this rule] from Hea, and Chow received it from Yin; it cannot be questioned, and to the present day is clearly acknowledged. How can [the gift of a robber] be received?”
5. [Wan Chang] continued, “The princes of the present day take from their people, as if they were [so many] robbers. But if they put a good face of propriety on their gifts, then the superior man receives them;—I venture to ask how you explain this?” [Mencius] replied, “Do you think that if a true king were to arise, he would collect all the princes of the present day, and put them to death? Or would he admonish them, and then, when they did not change [their ways], put them to death? To say that [every one] who takes what does not properly belong to him is a robber is pushing a point of resemblance to the utmost, and insisting on the most refined idea of righteousness. When Confucius took office in Loo, the people struggled together for the game taken in hunting, and he also did the same. If that struggling for the captured game was allowable, how much more may the gifts [of the princes] be received!”
6. [Chang] urged, “Then, when Confucius took office, was it not with the object that his principles should be carried into practice?” “It was with that object,” was the reply. [The other said,] “If the practice of his principles was his business, what had he to do with that struggling for the captured game?” [Mencius] answered, “Confucius first rectified the vessels of sacrifice according to the registers, and [enacted] that being so rectified they should not be supplied with food gathered from every quarter.” “But why did he not leave [the State]?” said [Chang]. [Mencius] replied, “He would first make a trial [of carrying his principles into practice]. When this trial was sufficient [to show] they could be practised, and they were still not practised [on a larger scale], he would then go away. Thus it was that he never completed a residence [in any State] of three years.
7. “Confucius took office when he saw that the practice [of his principles] was possible; when the reception accorded to him was proper; and when he was supported by the State. In his relations with the minister Ke Hwan, he took office because he saw that the practice [of his principles] was possible. With the duke Ling of Wei he took office, because the reception accorded to him was proper. With duke Hëaou of Wei he took office, because he was maintained by the State.”
V.1. Mencius said, “Office should not be [sought] on account of poverty, but there are times [when it may be sought] on that account. A wife should not be taken for the sake of being attended to by her, but there are times [when marriage may be entered on] with that view.
2. “He who takes office because of his poverty must decline an honourable situation, and occupy a poor one; he must decline riches and prefer a poor [sufficiency].
3. “What [office] will be in harmony with this declining an honourable situation and occupying a low one, with this declining riches and preferring a poor sufficiency? [Such an one] as that of being a gate-warder, or beating the watchman’s stick.
4. “Confucius was once keeper of stores, and he [then] said, ‘My accounts must all be correct; that is all I have to think about.’ He was once in charge of the [ducal] lands, and he [then] said, ‘The oxen and sheep must be large, and fat, and superior. That is all I have to think about.’
5. “When one is in a low station, to speak of high matters is a crime. To stand in the court of his prince, and his principles not be carried into practice, is a disgrace.”
VI.1. Wan Chang said, “What is the reason that an officer [unemployed] does not look to a prince for his maintenance?” Mencius answered, “He does not presume [to do so]. When one prince loses his State, and then throws himself on another for his maintenance, this is in accordance with propriety. But for [such an] officer to look to any of the princes for his maintenance is contrary to propriety.”
2. Wan Chang said, “If the prince sends him a present of grain, will he receive it?” “He will receive it,” was the answer. “What is the principle of right in his receiving it?” [Mencius] said, “Such is the relation between a ruler and his people that as a matter of course he should help them in their necessities.”
3. “What is the reason that [an officer unemployed] will [thus] accept relief, but will not accept a [stated] bounty?” asked [Chang], and [Mencius] said, “He does not presume [to do the latter].” “Allow me to ask,” urged the other, “why he does not presume to do so.” The reply was, “[Even] the warder of a gate and the beater of a watchman’s rattle have their regular duties for which they can take their support from their superiors; but he who without any regular office receives his superior’s bounty must be deemed wanting in humility.”
4. [Chang again] said, “When a ruler sends a present [to an officer unemployed], he accepts it;—I do not know whether this present may be constantly repeated.” [Mencius] answered, “There was the way of duke Muh towards Tsze-sze:—He sent frequent inquiries after his health, and made frequent presents of cooked meat. Tsze-sze was displeased, and at last, having motioned to the messenger to go outside the great door, he bowed his head to the ground with his face to the north, then put his hands twice to the ground, and declined the present, saying, ‘From this time forth I shall know that the ruler supports me as a dog or a horse.’ And from this time an inferior officer was not sent with the present. When [a ruler] professes to be pleased with a man of talents and virtue, and can neither raise him to office nor support him [in the proper way], can he be said to be [really] pleased with his talents and virtue?”
5. [Chang] said, “I venture to ask how the ruler of a State, when he wishes to support a superior man, must proceed that he may be said to do so [in the proper way].” [Mencius] answered, “The present will [at first] be offered as by the ruler’s commission, and [the superior man] will receive it, twice putting his hands to the ground, and then his head to the ground. After this, the store-keeper will continue to send grain, and the master of the kitchen to send meat, presenting it without any mention of the ruler’s commission. Tsze-sze considered that the meat from the [ruler’s] caldron, giving him the trouble of constantly doing obeisance, was not the way to support a superior man.
6. “There was the way of Yaou with Shun:—He caused his nine sons to serve him, and gave him his two daughters as wives; he caused the various officers, oxen and sheep, storehouses and granaries, [all] to be prepared to support Shun amid the channeled fields; and then he raised him to the most exalted station. Hence we have the expression—‘The honouring of virtue and talents proper to a king or a duke.’ ”
VII.1. Wan Chang said, “I venture to ask what is the principle of right in not going to see the princes.” Mencius replied, “[A scholar unemployed], residing in the city, is called ‘a minister of the market-place and well;’ one residing in the country is called ‘a minister of the grass and plants.’ In both cases he is a common man, and it is a rule of propriety that common men who have not presented the introductory present, and so become ministers [of the court], should not presume to have interviews with any of the princes.”
2. Wan Chang said, “If a common man be called to perform any service, he goes and performs it. When a ruler wishes to see a scholar, and calls him, how is it that he does not go?” “To go and perform the service is right, to go and see the ruler would not be right.
3. “And” [added Mencius] “on what account is it that the prince wishes to see [the scholar]?” “Because of his extensive information,” was the reply, “or because of his talents and virtue.” “If because of his extensive information,” said [Mencius], “even the son of Heaven does not call [one thus fit to be] a teacher, and how much less may one of the princes do so! If because of his talents and virtue, I have not heard of any one’s wishing to see a person with these qualities, and calling him to his presence.
4. “During the frequent interviews of duke Muh with Tsze-sze, he [once] said, ‘Anciently in States of a thousand chariots, their rulers, with all their resources, have been on terms of friendship with scholars;—what do you think of such cases?’ Tsze-sze was displeased and said, ‘The ancients had a saying that, “[The scholar] should be served;” how should they have said merely that “He should be made a friend of?” Did not the displeasure of Tsze-sze say [in effect], ‘So far as station is concerned, you are ruler, and I am a subject; how should I presume to be on terms of friendship with my ruler? But in respect of virtue, you ought to make me your master; how can you be on terms of friendship with me?’ [Thus], when a ruler of a thousand chariots sought to be on terms of friendship with a scholar, he could not obtain his wish, and how much less might he [presume to] call him [to his presence]!
5. “Duke King of Ts’e [once] when he was hunting, called the forester to him with a flag. [The forester] refused to come, and the duke was going to kill him. [With reference to this incident, Confucius said,] ‘The resolute officer does not forget [that his end may be] in a ditch or in a stream; the bold officer does not forget that he may lose his head.’ What was it [in the forester] that Confucius [thus] approved? He approved his not going when summoned by an article which was not appropriate to him.”
6. [Chang] said, “I venture to ask with what a forester should be called.” “With a fur cap,” was the reply. “A common man should be called with a plain banner; a scholar [who has taken office], with a flag having dragons embroidered on it; and a great officer, with one having feathers suspended from the top of the staff.
7. “When a forester is called with the article appropriate to the calling of a great officer, he would die rather than presume to go. When a common man is called with the article for the calling of a scholar [in office], how should he presume to go? How much more may we expect a man of talents and virtue to refuse to go, when he is called in a way unbecoming his character!
8. “To wish to see a man of talents and virtue, and not take the way to bring it about, is like calling him to enter and shutting the door against him. Now righteousness is the way, and propriety is the door, but it is only the superior man who can follow this way, and go out and in by this door. It is said in the Book of Poetry:—
9. Wan Chang said, “When Confucius received his ruler’s message calling him [to his presence], he went without waiting for his carriage to be yoked; did Confucius then do wrong?” [Mencius] replied, “Confucius was in office, and had its appropriate duties devolving on him; and moreover he was called on the ground of his office.”
VIII.1. Mencius said to Wan Chang, “The scholar whose excellence is most distinguished in a village will thereon make friends of the [other] excellent scholars of the village. The scholar whose excellence is most distinguished in a State will thereon make friends of the [other] excellent scholars of the State. The scholar whose excellence is most distinguished in the kingdom will thereon make friends of the [other] excellent scholars of the kingdom.
2. “When [a scholar] finds that his friendship with the excellent scholars of the kingdom is not sufficient [to satisfy him], he will ascend to consider the men of antiquity. He will repeat their poems, and read their books; and as he does not know whether they were as men all that was approvable, he will consider their history. This is to ascend and make friends [of the men of antiquity].”
IX.1. King Seuen of Ts‘e asked about high ministers. Mencius said, “Which high ministers is your Majesty asking about?” “Are there differences among them?” said the king. “Yes,” was the reply; “there are high ministers who are noble, and relatives of the ruler, and there are those who are of a different surname from him.” “Allow me to ask,” said the king, “about the high ministers who are noble, and relatives of the ruler.” [Mencius] answered, “If the ruler have great faults, they ought to remonstrate with him; and if he do not listen to them, when they have done so again and again, they ought to appoint another in his place.”
2. The king looked moved, and changed countenance.
3. [Mencius] said, “Let not your Majesty think [what I say] strange. You asked me, and I did not dare to reply but correctly.”
4. The king’s countenance became composed, and he begged to ask about the high ministers who were of a different surname from the ruler. [Mencius] said, “When the ruler has faults, they ought to remonstrate with him; and if he do not listen to them when they have done so again and again, they ought to leave [the State].”
[* ]Title of the Book. The Book is named from Wan Chang, who is almost the only interlocutor with Mencius in it. He has been mentioned before in III. ii. V. The tradition is that it was in company with Wan’s disciples that Mencius, baffled in all his hopes of doing public service, and having retired into privacy, composed the seven Books which constitute his Works. The first Part of this Book is all occupied with discussions in vindication of Shun and other ancient worthies.
[Ch. I. ]Shun’s great filial piety;—how it carried him into the fields to weep and deplore his inability to secure the affection and sympathy of his parents, and that he never cherished any grudge against them for their treatment of him.
[Par. 1. ] The incident about Shun here mentioned is found in the Shoo, II. ii. 21. It is given there, however, as having occurred in the early part of his life; and this, as will be seen, makes it difficult, even impossible, to reconcile what we read in the Shoo about Shun with Mencius’ statements in this chapter.
[Par. 2. ] Shun’s dissatisfaction was with himself, but this is at first kept in the background, and Wan Chang either misunderstood it, and thought that his dissatisfaction was with his parents, or chose to appear to do so. On what he says about the relations of a son with his parents, see Ana. IV. xviii. Kung-ming Kaou is believed to have been a disciple of Tsăng-tsze; and Ch‘ang Seih again was Kaou’s disciple. The latter probably means to say that he understood Shun’s going into the fields to have been that he might cultivate them in order to nourish his parents. He then quotes the words of the Shoo more fully than they are quoted in the preceding paragraph, and says he could not understand the grief which they described, his idea being the same which Wan Chang had that they must indicate that Shun was dissatisfied with his parents. “A filial son could not be so free from sorrow [as Seih seemed to imagine that Shun might have been];” that is, Seih understood that Shun did his duty in cultivating the fields for his parents, and imagined that he should then have dismissed all care from his mind as to any differences between them and him.
[Par. 3. ] “The emperor” is, of course, Yaou. See the Shoo, I. 12, where Yaou gives his two daughters in marriage to Shun. It is stated there, however, that Shun had by that time transformed his parents and his half-brother Sëang, and brought them to be in harmony with him. This is the chronological difficulty in the account of Shun’s history in the Shoo and that given by Mencius in this chapter.
[Ch. II. ]Defence of Shun against the charge of marrying without informing his parents, and of hypocrisy in his friendly bearing and conduct towards his brother. Defence also of Yaou for giving his daughters to Shun, without the approval of Shun’s parents.
[Par. 1. ] The lines from the Book of Poetry are in the She, I. viii. VI. 2. But the rule expressed in them was overruled by the higher duty to raise up posterity for one’s parents;—see IV. i. XXVI.
[Par. 2. ] As all negotiations for the marriage of children should be between the parents on both sides, Yaou should have communicated with Shun’s father; but here again the same consideration absolved Yaou from blame.
[Par. 3. ] Sëang, it is understood, was only the half-brother of Shun. On the death of Shun’s mother, Koo-sow had married again, or raised a former concubine, whose son was Seang, to the rank of his wife. The various incidents here mentioned are taken from tradition, or perhaps the Shoo was more complete in Mencius’ days than it has come down to us. Sze-ma Ts‘een tells us that Shun got through the flames by screening himself with two bamboo hats, and that he escaped from the well by a concealed passage which led from it. Seang calls him “the city-forming gentleman.” This is the most natural rendering of the terms, though it is not that of Chaou K‘e. They say that wherever Shun lived three years, the people flocked to him, so as to form a too,—a city only inferior to the capital city of a State.
[Par. 4. ] If Tsze-ch‘an had known that his pond-keeper had eaten the fish, would he not have punished him? The case is not in point to vindicate Shun’s treatment of Sëang, of whose vile designs he was well aware. His defence of his hero against the charge of hypocrisy is ingenious, and amusing. Its fault is, as in other arguments of Mencius, that he will make his point too plain.
[Ch. III. ]Vindication of Shun’s conduct in the case of his wicked brother Seang;—how he both distinguished him and kept him under restraint.
[Par. 1. ] We must introduce only, I think, to bring out Wan’s idea in what he says about Shun’s treatment of Seang.
[Par. 2. ] Wan here changes his ground, and proceeds to argue against Shun from what Mencius had said. See Hwan-tow and the other criminals, and Shun’s dealing with them, in the Shoo, II. i. 12. The old State of Pe is commonly referred to the present district of Ling-ling, department Yung chow, Ho-nan. But if Sëang had been placed there, he would have been too far away to meet the conditions of his intercourse with Shun in the next paragraph.
[Par. 3. ] We have in the conclusion a quotation by Mencius from some book that is now lost.
[Ch. IV. ]Vindication of a charge against Shun in his relations with the emperor Yaou, and with his own father Koo-sow.
[Par. 1. ] Hëen-k‘ëw Mung was a disciple of Mencius, a man of Ts‘e, but deriving his double surname from Heen-k‘ew in Loo, where, probably, his ancestors had resided. Of the first part of the saying which Mung adduces two different views are taken. That which I have followed is given by Chaou K‘e. Modern commentators generally take it as meaning—“The scholar of complete virtue cannot treat his ruler as a minister nor his father as a son;” and Julien in his translation of Mencius emphatically prefers this. I am satisfied that the older interpretation is the correct one. According to the sequel of the saying, Shun appears with his face to the south, i. e., in the place of the emperor, and Yaou, “a scholar of complete virtue,” appears before him with his face to the north, i. e., in the place of homage or of a subject. So also does Shun’s father. These are intended as instances contrary to the principles in the old saying; and then Confucius’ words are brought in to explain how such instances came to occur, and show that they were abnormal. Mencius denies entirely the truth of the statement in the saying about Yaou, and proves it from the Shoo, II. i. 13, and an inference from words that Confucius had once used.
[Parr. 2, 3, 4. ] The instance of Koo-sow’s appearing at the court of Shun could not be so easily disposed of. Mencius, however, was not without a good answer to his disciple, and turns the instance against him satisfactorily enough. For the first quotation in par. 2, see the She, II. vi. I. 2, and for the other, III. iii. IV. 3. For that in par. 3, see the She, III. i. IX. 3; and for the quotation in par. 4, see the Shoo, II. ii. 21. The appearance of Shun before Koo-sow, however, which is there described, would seem to have been before the former became emperor.
[Ch. V. ]How Shun got the empire by the gift of Heaven, and not of Yaou; and how the action of Heaven in such a matter is to be understood. Vox populi vox Dei.
[Par. 2. ] Is it not plain that here, and throughtout the chapter, by Heaven we must understand God? Many commentators, however, understand by it le, “reason,” or “the truth and fitness of things,” excepting in the expression in par. 7, “Therefore I said that it was Heaven,” where they think the term = soo, “the determination of fate.” On this, Le P‘ei-lin of the present dynasty says:—“Ts‘ae Heu-chae (of the Sung dynasty) observes that by Heaven in this one place we are to understand fate, and in all the other places reason or the fitness of things. But this is a great error. Throughout this chapter ‘Heaven’ means the government of God, within which are included both reason and fate.”
[Par. 6. ] “All the Spirits” is here explained as “the Spirits of heaven, earth, the mountains, and the rivers;” i. e., all spiritual Beings, real or supposed. The emperor was “the host of all the Spirits,” and Shun entered, as conducting the government for Yaou, into all his duties. But how the Spirits enjoyed the sacrifices thus presided over by Shun we are not told.
[Par. 7. ] “The south of the southern Ho” was, I apprehend, the ancient Yu-chow, lying south from K‘e-chow, and separated from it by the Ho. All the Ho might be called southern, from where the river after flowing from the north to the south turns to the east. “Litigants” must indicate parties whose contentions the ordinary authorities had not been able to settle, and who therefore appealed to the decision of the supreme authority.
[Par. 8. ] See the Shoo, V. i. Pt I. 7.
[Ch. VI. ]How the throne descended from Yu to his son, and not to his minister Yih; and that Yu was not to be considered on that account as inferior in virtue to Yaou and Shun. Also, the conditions under which a change of the ruling family will take place, when the principle of hereditary succession has been established, with reference to the cases of E Yin, the duke of Chow, and Confucius.
[Par. 1. ] Neither Wan Chang nor our philosopher seems to have clearly seen the thing which was to be explained in connexion with Yu,—the establishment of China as a hereditary monarchy in his family. The passing of the throne from him to his son may have taken place as Mencius says; but how did it pass again from K‘e to his son? I have spoken on this point in the Prolegomena to the Shoo. It might have been asked of Mencius why Yu presented Yih to Heaven as his successor, if his son were worthier than Yih. Yih appears in the Shoo, II. i. 22, as Shun’s forester. He assisted Yu in his labours on the waters (the Shoo, II. iv. I.), and is said to have become Yu’s principal minister after the death of Kaou Yaou. Yang-shing, we should judge, was the name of a city, or settlement in those early days. Many affirm, however, that it was the name of a mountain, and that it and mount Ke were near each other in the present department of Ho-nan, Ho-nan province.
[Par. 3. ] Confucius had the virtue, and more, according to Mencius, than the virtue of Shun and Yu, but no king of his time ever thought of presenting him to Heaven to succeed him on the throne. We do not know that any king knew of his existence.
[Par. 4. ] We have met with E Yin in Mencius before,—in II. i. II. 22, et al.; and he is spoken of more at length in the next chapter. The duke of Chow is the well-known brother of king Woo. He might have got the throne without any change of the dynasty of Chow.
[Par. 5. ] See the Shoo, IV., Books iv. and v.
[Par. 6. ] The duke of Chow’s case was hardly analogous either to that of Yih or of E Yin.
[Par. 7. ] Where and when Confucius thus spoke, we do not know. T‘ang and Yu are the dynastic designations of Yaou and Shun;—see on the titles of the first and second Parts of the Shoo.
[Ch. VII. ]Vindication of E Yin from the charge of introducing himself to the service of T‘ang by means of his skill in cooking.
[Par. 1. ] E Yin has been mentioned already in II. i. II. and ii. II. 10. The popular account of him (found also in Sze-ma Ts‘ëen) in the time of Mencius was, that he came to Poh in the train of a princess of Sin whom T‘ang was marrying, carrying with him his cooking utensils, that by his skill in “cutting and boiling,” he might recommend himself to that prince.
[Par. 2. ] Sin was probably the same territory with what was called Kwoh during the Chow dynasty,—the present Shen Chow in Ho-nan, and not far from T‘ang’s seat in Poh. I have not been able to discover what were the antecedents to his farming life in Sin, nor how it was that his merits and ability became known to T‘ang. He was evidently living the life of a recluse, at the time that Mencius brings him on the stage.
[Parr. 4, 5, 6. ] Compare II. i. II. 22, and below in Part ii. I. 2, 5. “In my own person,” in par. 5, must mean, I think, “by my own efforts.”
[Par. 7. ] The concluding sentiment about the common object of all sages is worded so as to show the grossness of the story about E Yin’s commending himself to T‘ang by his skill in cooking.
[Par. 9. ] See the Shoo, IV. iv. 2; but the text there differs considerably from that which Mencius gives. The meaning is that Keeh’s atrocities in his palace at Muh led Heaven to destroy him, while E Yiu, in accordance with the will of Heaven, advised T‘ang in Poh to take action against him.
[Ch. VIII. ]Vindication of Confucius from the charge of lodging with unsuitable persons.
[Par. 1. ] Sze-ma Ts‘een, in his history of Confucius, says that on the occasion when the sage made the observation in Aua. IX. xvii. that he “had never met with one who loved virtue as he loved beauty,” there was a Yung K‘eu in the same carriage with the marquis of Wei, and his notorious wife. That Yung K‘eu was, no doubt, the ulcer-doctor of the text, and I am inclined to think that there may be some error in the formation of the characters as we read them. If there be not, we must suppose that the marquis of Wei had a parasite so named, who had been raised to his favour from the mean position of a curer of sores and ulcers. Of the same character was Tseih Hwan a favourite of one of the marquises of Ts‘e, and his master of the eunuchs, in the time of the sage.
[Par. 2. ] Sze-ma Ts‘ëen gives Yen Chuh-tsow for Yen Ch‘ow-yëw, and says he was the elder brother (or brother-in-law) of Tsze-loo. This is contrary to what Mencius says. There were two traditions, probably, on the point. On a later occasion Confucius lodged in Wei with a worthy officer called Keu Pih-yuh. Mei Hea is mentioned in the Tso Chuen under the 6th year of duke Ting, and the 25th of duke Gae. He was a favourite with the marquis, and wished by his proposal to ingratiate himself with Confucius.
[Par. 3. ] “Hwan of Sung;”—see on Ana. VII. xxii. Hwan is the Hwan T‘uy of that chapter. After Confucius had left Wei, he was proceeding to Ch‘in, and on the way Hwan T‘uy made the attempt on his life which is here alluded to. I do not know that the sage was in circumstances of distress after his arrival at the chief city of Ch‘in. Mencius must refer to what he did immediately on reaching it. Ching-tsze, or “the officer Pure,” was the honorary or posthumous epithet of the officer who was Confucius’ host, and Chow was the name of the last marquis of Ch‘in, known as duke Min. Ching-tsze, it is said, after the extinction of Ch‘in, went to Sung, and there became minister of Works, and was afterwards known as such; hence he is so styled here by Mencius, when referring to an earlier period of his life.
[Ch. IX. ]Vindication of Pih-le He from the charge of selling himself as a step towards his advancement to the service of duke Muh of Ts‘in.
[Par. 1. ] Pih-le He was chief minister to duke Muh of Ts‘in, whose rule extended from bc 658 to 618. The incidents of his life will be found interestingly detailed in the 25th and some subsequent chapters of the “History of the various States,” though some of them are different from the statements of Mencius about him. According to Sze-ma Ts‘een, He, who had been a minister of Yu, after the subversion of that State by Tsin, followed its captive duke, and was sent by the marquis of Tsin, in the train of the eldest daughter of his house, to Tsin, where she was to become the wife of duke Muh. Disgusted at being reduced to such a position, he absconded on the road, and, fleeing to Ts‘oo, became noted there for his skill in rearing cattle. Duke Muh heard somehow of his great capacity, and sent to Ts‘oo to reclaim him as a runaway servant, offering also to pay for him five rams’ skins. He was afraid to offer anything more valuable, lest he should awaken suspicions in Ts‘oo that he wanted to get He on account of his ability; and on obtaining him, he at once made him his chief minister. In the “Plans of the Warring States,” we have an account of Pih-le He’s introduction to duke Muh, more in accordance with what Mencius said. He is there introduced as a borderer of Ts‘oo, who wished to get introduced to the service of duke Muh. With this purpose he sold himself for five rams’ skins to a gentleman of Ts‘in, whose cattle he took care of. By and by he attracted the notice of duke Muh, who perceived his merit, and raised him to the distinction where he so abundantly repaid the duke’s kindness.
[Par. 2. ] See the history of this transaction given from Kung-yang and Kuh-leang in the Prolegomena to Vol. V., pp. 62, 63. Pih-le He, indeed, is not mentioned there, because, I suppose, he held his peace at the time. Perhaps, “a team of Këuh-ch‘an horses” should be “a team of horses from Këuh.”
[Ch. I. ]How Confucius differed from, and was superior to, all other sages, possessing all sagely qualities in full measure, which they did not do;—illustrated by an exhibition of characteristics of Pih-e, E Yin, and Hwuy of Lëw-hëa.
[Par. 1. ] Compare II. i. II. 22; IX. 1, 3: III. ii. X. 3: IV. i. XIII. 1. VI. ii. VI. 2; and VII. i. XXII. 1; ii. XV. 1.
[Par. 2. ] Compare II. i. II. 22; ii. II. 10: V. i. VI. 4, 5; VII.: VI. ii. VI. 2. and VII. i. XXXI. 1; ii. XXXVIII. 2.
[Par. 3. ] Compare II. i. IX. 2, 3: VI. ii. VI. 2. VII. i. XXVIII.; ii. XV. 1.
[Par. 4. ] Compare II. i. II. 22. I do not know that we have in any other ancient record an account of the incident mentioned here in connexion with the departure of Confucius from Ts‘e.
[Par. 5. ] I have invented the adjective “timeous,” which would be a literal translation of the original term, if it were current in our language. Its meaning is that Confucius did at every time what the circumstances of it required to be done.
[Par. 6. ] The illustration of Confucius here is from a grand performance of music, in which all the eight kinds of musical instruments were employed. One instrument would make “a small performance;” all joined, they made “a collected great performance,” = “a complete concert.”
[Par. 7. ] The other sages had, as well as Confucius, what might be compared to “strength,” but they were deficient, as compared with him, in wisdom or skill. We may compare each of them, it has been said, “to one of the seasons; but Confucius was the grand, harmonious air of heaven flowing through all the seasons.”
[Ch. II. ]The arrangement of dignities and emoluments according to the dynasty of Chow. Some of the statements of Mencius in this chapter are at variance with what we find on the same subjects in the “Official Book of Chow,” and parts of the Le Ke. I will not, however, take any notice here of those differences, but reserve the discussion of them till I come to the examination of those other Works.
[Par. 1. ] Pih-kung E was a high officer of Wei, one of a family descended from duke Ch‘ing of that State from bc 633 to 597. Various members of it appear in the Tso Chuen. Its clan-name of Pih-kung or “Northern-palace” would be taken from the residence of its founder.
[Par. 2. ] It is an important fact which Mencius here mentions, that before his time the feudal princes had destroyed many of the records affecting the constitution and territories of their States. The founder of the Ts‘in dynasty had had predecessors and fathers in what he did in this way.
[Par. 3. ] The five degrees of dignity here are degrees of rank, and the six are degrees of position or official employment. The title “son of Heaven” is equally applicable to the Head of the nation, whether emperor or king, and is an emphatic designation of him as appointed by God. “Son of Heaven” is equivalent to “Heaven-sonned;” i. e., dealt with by Heaven as its son, and placed in the highest station. See the She, IV. i. [i]. VIII. After the study of the Shoo, the She, and the Ch‘un Ts‘ew, I think it is much better to adopt the titles of the five orders of nobility in the feudal kingdoms of Europe for those which were employed for the five corresponding orders in China, when it was in the feudal State. “Duke,” in Chinese kung, was the highest title of nobility. Kung gives the idea of “just, correct, without selfishness” “Marquis,” in Chinese how, was the second. How gives the idea of “taking care of,” and was given to the nobles dignified with it, as “guardians of the borders” of the kingdom. “Earl.” in Chinese pih, was the third. Pih conveys the ideas of “elder and intelligent,” “one by his intelligence and virtue capable of presiding over others” “Viscount or count,” in Chinese tsze, was the fourth. “Tsze” means “a son,” but as a title means “to treat as a son,” giving the idea of “generally nourishing the people.” “Baron,” in Chinese nan, was the fifth. Nan is the common designation for “a malechild” Composed of the characters for “field” and “strength,” it conveys the idea of “one adequate to office and labour.” According to Mencius the viscount and the baron were considered equal in rank. All from the “son of Heaven” downwards might be styled keun or “ruler.” Of the six grades of official position, the highest after the ruler was the minister,—in Chinese k‘ing. K‘ing is explained as meaning “luminous,” “one who can illustrate what is good and right.” At the court of Chow there were properly six k‘ing, though sometimes nine are spoken of. The Heads of the “Six Boards” may now be considered as their successors. For a feudal State the number of k‘ing was three, but some of them claimed to have a greater number. Their appointment required the confirmation of the king. The second official grade consisted of the “great officers,” in Chinese ta foo. ta foo may be translated by “great sustainer.” The number of these was indefinite. As ta foo, they had no specific office, but might be employed by their rulers, as occasion required, being men of experience, recognized ability, and trustworthiness. The other grades were made up of the three orders of officers. In Chinese sze is explained as “one fit to be intrusted with the conduct of affairs.” Its meaning is often given as=“scholar;” and it is difficult always to discriminate between the two significations. In fact a fundamental principle in the Chinese nation has ever been that for office a certain amount of literary cultivation was required.
[Par. 4. ] “A thousand le square,” i. e., according to some, “a thousand le in breadth and a thousand le in length, making an area of a million le.” On this, however, the editors of the imperial edition of the king under the present dynasty, say:—“Where we find the term square, we are not to think of an exact square, but only that, on calculation, the territory would be found equal to so many square le. So, in regard to the States of the various princes, we are to understand that, however their form might be varied by the hills and rivers, their area in round numbers amounted to so much.” On an “attached territory,” see Ana. XVI. i. 1. These States were too small to bear the expenses of appearing at the royal court, and so the names and surnames of their chiefs were presented by the greater feudal lords to whom they were attached, and in whose train they also sometimes appeared.
[Par. 6. ] “A great State” was that of a duke or a marquis. One commentator says:—“The ruler had 32,000 mow, the income of which would suffice to feed 2,880 men. A minister had 3,200 mow, sufficient to feed 288 men. A great officer had 800 mow, sufficient to feed 72 men. An officer of the first class had 400 mow, sufficient to feed 36 men; one of the second class had 200 mow, sufficient to feed 18 men; and one of the lowest class had 100 mow, sufficient to feed from nine men to five men (see par. 9).” “The common people employed in the public offices” would be the runners or policemen, and other subordinates.
[Parr. 7, 8. ] “A State of the see nd order” was that of an earl, and “a small State” was that of a viscount or a baron.
[Ch. III. ]The principles of Friendship. Friendship should have reference to the virtue of the friend, and there should be no assumption in it on the ground of one’s superiority in years, social position, or relational advantages.
[Par. 1. ] It is a fine idea of the Chinese that only virtue should be the bond of friendship, and the object of friendship should be the support and increase of one’s virtue.
[Par. 2. ] Măng Heen was the same who is mentioned in “the Great Learning,” Comm. X. 22, q. v. Yoh-ching K‘ëw would be an ancestor of Yoh-ching, one of our philosopher’s disciples, mentioned in I. ii. XVI., et al. It appears from a passage in the “Narratives of the States,” IV. ix. 5, that the fact of Măng Hëen’s having five friends was well known.
[Par. 3. ] Pe.—see on Ana. VI. vii. Pe was the city of the Ke-sun family in Loo. Mencius is probably speaking of it when it had fallen under the power of Ts‘oo, and had been erected by it into the chief city of a small State dependent on itself. Tsze-sze was the grandson of Confucius. Yen Pan is understood to have been the son of Yen Hwuy, Confucius’ favourite disciple. Of Wang Shun nothing is known. Ch‘ang Seih,—see Pt i. I. 2.
[Par. 4. ] Duke P‘ing (hon title, = “the Pacificator”) was Pew, marquis of Tsin from bc 554 to 529. Hae T‘ang was a worthy of his State.
[Par. 5. ] Here we have the highest style of friendship, where the object of the friendship was called to share in the heavenly place, &c. But was not this introducing an element which does not belong to the idea of friendship?
[Par. 6. ] The meaning of “righteousness” here is what is “right in the propriety of things.”
[Ch. IV. ]How Mencius defended the accepting presents from the princes who were the oppressors of the people, and might be represented as robbers of them. Wan Chang does not speak expressly of Mencius’ own practice, but no doubt he had it in mind: and never was our philosopher more closely pressed by any of his disciples on what was a stumbling-block to them,—his living so freely on the presents of the kings and princes of his day, while yet he refused to take office under any of them.
[Par. 1. ] The subject about which the disciple asks here is not presents of friendship, but the gifts offered by superiors to scholars not in office, and the acceptance of them by these.
[Par. 3. ] Mencius does not seem to meet fairly the question proposed by Wan Chang. We might have expected him to say that the scholar to whom the gift was offered should decline it, boldly stating the reason why he did so. This, I think, would have been more in accordance with the boldness of his own character. His diverting the conversation to the subject of Confucius was merely an ingenious ruse.
[Par. 4. ] On the case proposed by Wan Chang Mencius could only give the reply which he does. For the quotation from the Shoo, see that Work, V. ix. 15.
[Par. 5. ] The answer given here by Mencius to the application made by Wan Chang of the above case has in it a great deal of ingenuity. We may admit it on the ground of expediency; but a man of his character and pretensions should have been more chary of receiving gifts from the princes of his time than he was. The practice in hunting which Confucius sanctioned is not well understood. The view which I have followed in the translation is that given by Chaou K‘e.
[Par. 6. ] The practice in hunting which is alluded to had something to do with the offering of sacrifices, and Confucius, by the measures which he took, wished to obviate the necessity for using any flesh so obtained in sacrifice, so that the practice might thus die of itself, and fall into disuse.
[Par. 7. ] The text says that Confucius took service with Ke Hwan, and not with duke Ting, because the duke and his government were under the control of that nobleman. I do not know that the sage ever held office in Wei, though Mencius here says so. When he first went to that State, its marquis was he who is here called “duke Ling,” and whose incumbency extended from bc 533 to 492. Ling allotted to Confucius the salary which he had had in Loo. When he went to it the second time, the State was probably held by duke Ling’s son Cheh, whom his father had expelled. He was, we may suppose, called Heaou (“The Filial”) by his partisans after his death, but we have no “duke Hëaou” in the Annals of Wei. He would offer liberal support to Confucius in order to get on his side the influence of his character and name.
[Ch. V. ]That office may sometimes be taken on account of poverty, but only under certain specified conditions.
[Par. 1. ] The proper reason for taking office is said to be the carrying out of principles,—the truth and the right, and the proper reason for marrying is the begetting of children, or rather of a son, to continue one’s line, and not allow the sacrifices to one’s ancestors to be discontinued.
[Par. 3. ] Chaou K‘e thinks that only one office is here specified,—that of a gate-warder. It seems better to understand two offices; that of a warder, one who “embraces the gate,” i. e., does not leave it, and that of a watchman, one “who beats his stick or rattle.”
[Par. 4. ] What Mencius calls here “keeper of stores” appears in Sze-ma Ts‘een as “an officer of the Ke family.” Mencius’ authority in such a case is to be followed. This was the first office which Confucius held, when he was young and poor. Ts‘een also gives a different name for the second office, but apparently having the same meaning.
[Par. 5. ] This is to the effect that he who takes office because of his poverty, should not be as in a higher position where he would have to speak of high matters, and that he who is in a high office and a frequenter of the court should make it his business to be carrying out his principles.
[Ch. VI. ]How a scholar unemployed should not become a dependent by accepting pay without office, while yet a prince may send him repeated gifts, provided he do so in the proper manner. There is, no doubt, here, as in chapter iv., a reference to Mencius’ habit of receiving gifts, and yet keeping himself aloof, from the princes.
[Par. 1. ] In the Le Ke, IX. i. 13, it is said that a prince should not employ another prince, a refugee with him, as a minister, but it is only from Mencius here, so far as I am aware, that we know that a prince, driven from his own territory, would find maintenance in another State, according to a sort of law.
[Par. 2. ] This is making the case very simple.
[Par. 3. ] “Must be deemed wanting in humility” is given by Julien as “censetur expers reverentiæ”. The idea is that such a scholar puts himself in the position of one who has a regular office, and does not recognize his own unofficial position.
[Par. 4. ] On the duke Muh and Tsze-sze, see II ii. XI. 3. See also ch. in. 3. The modes of salutation in ancient times are thus described:—“The ancients sat on their mats on the ground. When one raised up his body erect, resting on the knees, that was a long kneeling. When the head was bowed down to the hands, that was a pae or bow with the hands; when the hands were put to the ground, that was a pae or bow; when the head was put to the earth, that was a bowing with the head to the ground. Tsze-sze is here described as making first the third or profoundest obeisance, and then twice bowing with his hands to the ground. “An inferior officer” here denotes one of a mean order employed to convey messages.
[Par. 5. ] The method of obeisance or acknowledgment described here is, it will be seen, the reverse of that employed by Tsze-sze in the preceding paragraph. This method indicated, it is said, the acceptance of the gift, while the other indicated its refusal.
[Par. 6. ] See Pt i. I. 3, et al.
[Ch. VII. ]Why a scholar not in office should decline to go to see any of the princes, when called by them. Wan Chang evidently had his master, and the way in which he kept himself aloof from the princes, in his mind here, though he does not say so. Our philosopher’s practice in this respect was matter of surprise and of frequent inquiry to his disciples. See III. ii. I., et al.
[Par. 1. ] Every one may be called a minister (shin), as being a subject, and bound to serve the ruler. This is the meaning of the term in the first two instances of its occurrence in this paragraph. In the other instance it denotes those who are ministers holding office. On the “introductory present,” see III. ii. III.
[Par. 3. ] Here and throughout this chapter we see in a striking manner how Mencius magnified his position as a scholar and teacher.
[Par. 5. ] See III. ii. I. 2.
[Par. 8. ] See the She, II. v. IX. 1. Righteousness is the way which all men ought to be found in, and propriety the door by which they should enter it. Many, however, forsake the way, and try to enter by other doors. But not so with the superior man; and therefore rulers in dealing with him should be specially observant of righteousness and propriety. This seems to be the under current of thought in this paragraph. And so it seems, as indicated in the words of the ode quoted, it once was in the best days of the Chow. The way to Chow was as it is here described, because the ways of the kings of Chow had been fashioned according to righteousness and propriety.
[Par. 9. ] See Ana. X. xiii. 4.
[Ch. VIII. ]How friendship will find its congenial associations according to the conditions of place and time, and we may make our friends of the great and good of antiquity by studying their poems and other books, and history.
[Par. 1. ] The eminence of the most excellent scholars specified attracts others to them, and they have thus the opportunity of learning and adding to their own excellence, which no inflation arising from their own superiority prevents them from doing. It is a pity that the Chinese mind should be so unwilling to admit that excellence may be found out of China.
[Par. 2. ] It is certainly a discriminating study of the worthies of antiquity which Mencius here recommends.
[Ch. IX. ]The duties of ministers to their ruler. according as they are of the same surname with him, or a different, that is, according as they are related to him or not.
[Par. 1. ] By “great faults” is meant such as endangered the State, or at least the safety of the ruling House. It seems to be intimated that of other and lesser faults these ministers would not take any notice. In par. 4 all the ruler’s faults, small or great, come under the notice and criticism of his other ministers.
[Parr. 2, 3. ] It was not surprising that king Seuen should be annoyed and surprised at the words of Mencius. They certainly afford a striking instance of the boldness of our philosopher’s thinking, and of the decided manner in which he gave expression to his sentiments. All the members of the family of which the ruler is the Head may be said to have an interest in the throne, but to suggest to them that it may become their duty to displace the actual occupant of it, and substitute another of their number in his place, may open the way to confusion and disaster.