Front Page Titles (by Subject) WAN CHANG. PART II. - The Chinese Classics: Vol. 2 The Life and Teachings of Mencius
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
WAN CHANG. PART II. - Mencius, The Chinese Classics: Vol. 2 The Life and Teachings of Mencius 
The Chinese Classics: Translated into English with Preliminary Essays and Explanatory Notes by James Legge. Vol. 2 The Life and Teachings of Mencius. (London: N. Trübner, 1875).
Part of: The Chinese Classics
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
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].”
[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.
[* ]Title of this Book. Kaou-tsze, i. e., Mr Kaou, or the scholar Kaou, who appears in the first and other chapters questioning Mencius, gives his name to the Book. He is probably the same who is referred to by our philosopher in II. Part I. ii. 2. Chaou K‘e tells us that his name was Puh-hae, seeming to identity him with Haou-săng Puh-hae of VII. Pt II. xxv. He adds that Kaou, while a student under Mencius, gave himself also to the examination of the doctrines of the heresiarch Mih (III. Pt I. v., Pt II. ix. 9); and from a passage in Mih’s writings this is not unlikely, but the name of Kaou appears there as Shing.
Kaou appears from this Book to have been much perplexed respecting the real character of human nature in its relations to good and evil, which is the subject mainly discussed throughout it; and it is to the view of human nature as here developed that Mencius is chiefly indebted for his place among the sages of his country. “The Book,” says the Relish and Root of the four Books, “treats first of the nature; then of the heart; and then of instruction: the whole being analogous to the lessons in the doctrine of the Mean. The second Part continues to treat of the same subject, and a resemblance will generally be found between the views of the parties there combated and those of the scholar Kaou.”