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Chapter X. Ten Faults1

Of the ten faults:—

The first is to practise loyalty in small ways, which betrays loyalty in big ways.

The second is to esteem small advantages, which hampers big advantages.

The third is to force personal bias, assert oneself, and behave discourteously before feudal lords, which leads to self-destruction.

The fourth is to neglect political counsels and indulge in the five musical notes, which plunges one into misery.

The fifth is to keep covetous and self-opinionated and rejoice in nothing but gain, which is the root of state-ruin and self-destruction.

The sixth is to indulge in women singers and neglect state affairs, which forecasts the catastrophe of state-ruin.

The seventh is to leave home for distant travels and ignore remonstrances, which is the surest way to endanger one's august position at home.

The eighth is to commit faults, turn no ear to loyal ministers, and enforce one's own opinions, which destroys one's high reputation and causes people to laugh at one.

The ninth is not to consolidate the forces within one's boundaries but to rely on feudal lords abroad, which causes the country the calamity of dismemberment.

The tenth is to insult big powers despite the smallness of one's own country and take no advice from remonstrants, which paves the way to the extermination of one's posterity.

What is meant by "practising small loyalty"?

Once King Kung 2 of Ch`u and Duke Li of Chin fought at Yen-ling. 3 The Ch`u troops suffered a defeat. King Kung was wounded in the eye. During the bloody battle Tzŭ-fan, High Commissioner of the Army, was thirsty and wanted something to drink. His attendant, Shu Yang-ko, 4 brought a cup of wine and presented it to him. "Fie! Get away!" exclaimed Tzŭ-fan. "It's wine." "No, it isn't wine," replied Yang-ko. Tzŭ-fan, accordingly, took the cup and drank the wine. Habitually fond of wine, he found it so delicious that he could not keep it from his mouth till he became drunk. When the fighting was over, King Kung wanted to have another battle and sent for the High Commissioner of the Army, Tzŭ-fan. The High Commissioner of the Army, Tzŭ-fan, gave a pain in the heart as excuse for his absence from the conference. Thereupon King Kung rode in a carriage and went to make a personal call. As soon as he entered the tent of the Commissioner, he smelt wine and turned back right away, saying: "In to-day's battle, I, the King, 5 was wounded. The only person I have looked to for help is the High Commissioner of the Army. Now that the High Commissioner of the Army is drunken in this manner, he is certainly ruining the Altar of the Spirits of Land and Grain of the Ch`u State and feeling no concern for the welfare of my subjects. I, the King, have no reason to have him with me on the battle-field any longer." So he turned his forces homeward and retreated. He then beheaded Tzŭ-fan as an expiatory punishment for his disgrace of the King. Thus, the presentation of wine by Shu Yang-ko was not meant to revenge himself on Tzŭ-fan, but his mind that loved him with loyalty was just enough to put him to death. Hence the saying: "To practise loyalty in small ways betrays loyalty in big ways."

What is meant by "esteeming small advantages"?

Of old, when Duke Hsien of Chin thought of borrowing the way through Yü to invade Kuo, Hsün Hsi said: "If we bribe the Duke of Yü with the jade from Ch`ui-chi and the team of the Ch`ü breed, 6 he will certainly let us have the way." "The jade from Ch`ui-chi," said the Duke, "was the treasure bequeathed by the late ruler. The team of the Ch`ü breed horses is my best possession. Should they accept our present but refuse us the way, what could we do then?" "If they refuse us the way," said Hsün Hsi in reply, "they never will accept our present. If they accept our present and lend us the way, it will be the same as to take the treasure from the inner treasury and keep it in the outer one or to lead the horses out of the inner stable and put them into the outer one. May Your Highness have no worry about it!" "Very well," the Duke said, and he then sent Hsün Hsi off to bribe the Duke of Yü with the jade from Ch`ui-chi and the team of the Ch`ü breed and thereby ask for the way though the country.

The Duke of Yü, regarding the jade and the horses as inordinate advantages, thought of granting the request. Against this idea Kung Chi-ch`i remonstrated with him, saying: "Your Highness should not grant the request. Indeed, Yü has Kuo as neighbour just as the carriage has its wheels. Just as the wheels depend on the carriage, so does the carriage depend on the wheels. Such is the relationship between Yü and Kuo. Suppose we lend Chin the way. Then, if Kuo falls at dawn, Yü will follow at dusk. It is therefore impossible. May Your Highness never grant the request!" The Duke of Yü would not listen to this advice, and he let Chin have the way.

Three years elapsed after his attack on Kuo, his conquest of the country, and victorious return 7 to his home-land, when Hsün Hsi in turn 8 raised armies to invade Yü and also conquered it. When Hsün Hsi led the horses homeward, brought the jade along, and reported the result of the campaign to Duke Hsien. With delight Duke Hsien said: "The jade is as it was before, but the teeth of the horses have grown somewhat longer."

Thus the Duke of Yü saw his army driven into peril and his country dismembered. Why? It was because of his love of small advantages and unconcern about its harmfulness. Hence the saying: "To esteem small advantages hampers large advantages."

What is meant by "enforcing personal bias"?

In by-gone days, when King Ling of Ch`u called an inter-state conference at Shên, as the Crown Prince of Sung arrived late, he arrested him and put him into jail. Further, he insulted the Ruler of Hsü and detained Ch`ing Fêng of Ch`i. Against these outrageous acts a certain middle chamberlain remonstrated with the King, saying: "In holding a conference of the feudal lords nobody should break the inter-state etiquette. For it involves a death-orlife turning-point to every country. In antiquity, after Chieh held the conference at Yu-jung, Yu-min revolted; after Chow gave a spring hunting party on the Li Hills, the Eastern Barbarians revolted 9 ; and after King Yu organized the T`ai-shih League, 10 the Western and Northern Barbarians revolted. All such incidents were due to the breach of etiquette. May Your Majesty think the matter over!" To this counsel the ruler never listened, but enforced his own opinions instead.

Before ten years elapsed, 11 King Ling made a tour to the south, where the officials molested him. As a result, King Ling starved to death by the Dry Brook. Hence the saying: "To enforce personal bias and assert oneself leads to self-destruction."

What is meant by "indulging in the five musical notes"?

In by-gone days, when Duke Ling of Wei on his way to Chin arrived by the P`u Water, he loosened his carriage, released the horses, and set up a pavilion for sojourning Towards midnight he heard somebody playing a novel piece of music and was thereby greatly pleased. In the morning he sent men out to find the musician in the vicinity, but all came back with the report that he could not be found. Thereupon, the Duke summoned Musician Chüan and said to him: "There was somebody playing strange music last night. I have just sent men out to find the musician in the vicinity, but all reported that they had been unable to find him. It might be the performance by some devil or spirit. Would you, therefore, listen to it and copy it for me?" "At your service," replied Musician Chüan. So he sat still at night and played the harp to copy the music. Next day Musician Chüan gave his report to the Duke, saying: "Thy servant got it but he is still lacking in practice. Let us stay here another night and thy servant will practise it." "Certainly," said Duke Ling. So they spent another night there. By the following day he had mastered it, wherefore they left for Chin.

Duke P`ing of Chin entertained them with a wine feast on the Shih-i Tower. 12 When the drinking was at its height, Duke Ling stood up and said: "There is a novel piece of music. May I have the honour to show it?" "Fine," replied Duke P`ing. Thereupon Duke Ling summoned Musician Chüan and ordered him to sit beside Musician K`uang, hold the harp, and play it. Before the performance was finished, Musician K`uang held down his hands and stopped the music, saying, "This is a state-ruining piece of music, which should not be performed to its end." "Where does this music come from? Do you know?" asked Duke P`ing. "This was composed by Musician Yen," replied Musician K`uang, "and presented to King Chow. It was a piece of frivolous music. When King Wu attacked Chow, Musician Yen ran eastward as far as the P`u Water, where he drowned himself. Therefore, this music has been heard only by the P`u Water. At any rate, whoever hears this music performed, is bound to see his native soil dismembered. Its performance, therefore, should not be completed." "What amuses me in particular is music," remarked Duke P`ing. "Let him finish the performance." Musician Chüan, accordingly, performed the piece to its end. "What is the name of this tune?" Duke P`ing asked Musician K`uang. "It is the so-called `pure sibilant tune'," 13 replied Musician K`uang.

"Is the pure sibilant tune the saddest among all?" asked the Duke further. "No," replied Musician K`uang, "it is not as sad as the pure lingual tune." "Is it possible to hear the pure lingual tune?" asked the Duke still further. "No," replied Musician K`uang. "In antiquity, those who heard the pure lingual tune were all rulers of virtue and justice. Now, as Your Highness's virtue is still shallow, Your Highness as yet does not deserve to hear it." "Music amusing me in particular, let me hear it?" asked the Duke insistently. Thereby Musician K`uang was forced to hold up the harp and play it. Following the performance of the first part, there came from the south black cranes, two times eight, and assembled at the end of the ridge of the gallery roof. After the performance of the second part, they lined up themselves in a row. When the third part was performed, they raised their necks to sing and stretched their wings to dance. Among the notes the pitches of kung and shang echoed in heaven. Thereby Duke P`ing was much pleased and the audience were all amused.

Meanwhile, Duke P`ing held a cup of wine and rose to drink with the expression of his wish for the health and happiness of Musician K`uang. When he took his seat again, he asked, "Is there no tune sadder than the pure lingual tune?" "It is not as sad as the pure dental tune," replied Musician K`uang. "Is it then possible to hear the pure dental tune?" asked Duke P`ing. "No," replied Musician K`uang. "In by-gone days the Yellow Emperor once called a meeting of devils and spirits at the top of the Western T`ai Mountain, 14 he rode in a divine carriage 15 pulled by dragons, with Pi-fang 16 keeping pace with the linchpin, Ch`ih-yu 17 marching in the front, Earl Wind 18 sweeping the dirt, Master Rain 19 sprinkling water on the road, tigers and wolves leading in the front, devils and spirits following from behind, rising serpents rolling on the ground, and male and female phoenixes flying over the top. There in such a splendid manner he met the devils and spirits, where he composed the pure dental tune. Now, as Your Highness's virtue is still shallow, Your Highness does not as yet deserve to hear it. If Your Highness does hear it, thy servant is afraid lest there should be a mishap!" "Being weighed down with years and amused by music in particular," said Duke P`ing, "let me hear the tune performed?" Thereby Musician K`uang was forced to play it. Following the performance of the first part, there arose dark clouds from the north-western direction. After the performance of the second part, there came a hurricane and then a downpour followed, tearing the tents and curtains, breaking the bowls and cups, and sweeping down the tiles of the gallery. The audience all dispersed while Duke P`ing, much terrified, had to hide himself in a gallery room. Thenceforth the Chin State continually had dry weather and suffered a barren land for three years, until finally Duke P`ing himself caught a mortal disease. 20 Hence the saying: "To neglect political counsels and enjoy the five musical notes drives one to misery."

What is meant by "keeping covetous and self-opinionated"?

Of old, Earl Chih Yao led his allies, Chao, Han, and Wey, to attack Fan and Chung-hang and destroyed them. 21 After his victorious return, he rested his soldiers for several years. Then he sent men to demand land from Han. When Viscount K`ang of Han decided not to give it, Tuan Kuei opposed him, saying: "We must not fail to comply with the demand. Earl Chih, indeed, is by nature fond of gain, self-conceited and opinionated. Now that he has sent his men to demand land from us, if we do not give it, he will certainly turn his troops against Han. Suppose Your Highness comply with the demand. For, if we give, he will become over-familiar with this practice and will also demand land from other countries, any of which might fail to obey him. In case any other country fails to obey, Earl Chih will certainly impose military pressure upon her. Then Han will evade the crisis and wait for the change of the whole situation." "Right," said Viscount K`ang, and then ordered messengers to cede a county of ten thousand families to Earl Chih. Thereby Earl Chih was pleased.

Likewise, he sent men to demand land from Wey. When Viscount Hsüan of Wey 22 decided not to give it, Chao Chia protested against the idea, saying: "When he demanded land from Han, Han complied with the demand. Now he is demanding land from Wey, if Wey does not give it, it will mean that Wey counts on its own strength and purposely antagonizes Earl Chih. In case we do not give it, he will certainly move his soldiers against Wey. We had better give it." 23 "Right," said Viscount Hsüan, 24 and then ordered messengers to cede a county of ten thousand families to Earl Chih.

Earl Chih finally sent men to Chao to demand the districts of Ts`ai and Kao-lang. As Viscount Hsiang of Chao refused to give them, Earl Chih formed a secret alliance with Han and Wey on purpose to invade Chao.

Thereupon Viscount Hsiang summoned Chang Mêng-t`an and said to him: "Indeed, Earl Chih is by nature kind 25 to people in appearance but is in reality unkind to everybody. For three times he has sent good-will envoys to Han and Wey, but I have not received any word from him. No doubt, he will move his troops against me. Where can I live in security then?" "Well, Tung An-yü, 26 an able minister of Viscount Chien, 27 governed Chin-yang very well," replied Chang Mêng-t`an, "and Yin To followed his steps so closely that the surviving influences of his teachings are still effective in the locality. Suppose Your Highness were to decide to live nowhere but in Ching-yang." "Right," said the Viscount.

Then he summoned Yen-ling Yü 28 and ordered him to lead the infantry, chariots, and cavalry to Chin-yang first, while he followed after. Upon his arrival he set himself to inspect the city-walls and the provisions stored by the five offices, and found the walls not in good repair, no grain hoarded in the storehouses, no money saved in the treasury, no armour and weapons in the armoury, and the whole city unprepared for defence measures. Feeling rather uneasy, Viscount Hsiang summoned Chang Mêng-t`an and said to him: "I have inspected the city-walls as well as the provisions stored by the five offices and found nothing well prepared and equipped. How can I cope with the enemy?" "Thy servant has heard," said Chang Mêng-t`an, "the sage during his governorship preserved resources among the people 29 and not in the treasury nor in the armoury. He endeavoured to improve his teachings but did not repair the city-walls. Suppose Your Highness issue an emergency decree, requesting the people to keep enough food for three years and put any surplus amount of grain into the public storehouses, to keep enough expenses for three years and put any surplus amount of money into the state treasury, and to send all leisured men 30 out of their families to repair the city-walls." In the evening the Viscount issued the decree. On the following day, the storehouses became unable to hold any more grain, the treasury unable to hold any more money, and the armoury unable 31 to take in any more armour and weapons. In the course of five days the city-walls were well repaired and all provisions for defence measures were ready.

Then the Viscount summoned Chang Mêng-t`an and asked: "Though our city-walls are now in good repair, provisions for defence measures are now ready, money and grain are now sufficient, and armour and weapons are now more than enough, yet what can I do without arrows?" In reply Chang Mêng-t`an said: "As thy servant has heard, when Tung Tzŭ was governing Chin-yang, the fences of the Public Hall all had on their outer enclosures bush-clovers and thorny reeds, whose height nowadays reaches ten feet. Suppose Your Highness take them out and use them. There will then be more than enough arrows." Meanwhile, the Viscount had the reeds and the bushes taken out, had them tried, and found their stiffness not even surpassed by the strength of the stems of fragrant bamboos. 32

Soon afterwards the Viscount asked: "I have enough arrows, but what can I do without metal?" In reply Chang Mêng-t`an said: "Thy servant has heard that when Tung Tzŭ was governing Chin-yang, the drawing rooms of the Public Hall and the Public Dormitory all had columns and pedestals made of refined copper. Suppose Your Highness were to get them out and use them." So the Viscount had them taken out and got more than enough metal.

No sooner than the commands and orders were established and provisions for defence measures were completed, the armies of the three enemy countries actually arrived.

Immediately after their arrival they fell on the city-walls of Chin-yang and started fighting. Yet, despite three months' engagement, they could not take the city; wherefore they spread out their troops and besieged it, and led the water of the river outside Chin-yang to inundate it. For three years 33 they besieged the city of Chin-yang. In the meantime, the people inside had to make nests for living and hang up their pans for cooking. When money and foodstuffs were near exhaustion and officers and officials were worn out, Viscount Hsiang said to Chang Mêng-t`an: "The provisions are scanty, the resources used up, and officers and officials worn out. I am afraid we shall not be able to hold out. If I want to surrender the city, to which country shall I surrender?" In reply Chang Mêng-t`an said: "Thy servant has heard, `If a wise man cannot rescue a doomed city from ruin and protect an endangered object against dangers, there is then no use esteeming wisdom.' Suppose Your Highness were to leave 34 aside such an idea and let thy servant worm through the water and steal out to see the Rulers of Han and Wey."

When Chang Mêng-t`an saw the Rulers of Han and Wey, he said: "Thy servant has heard, `When the lips are gone, the teeth are cold.' Now that Earl Chih has led Your Highnesses to invade Chao, Chao is on the verge of destruction. After the fall of Chao, you both will fall next." "We know that is very likely to happen," said the two rulers, "but as Earl Chih is by nature suspicious 35 of everybody and rarely kind to anybody, once he discloses our scheme, his devastation will befall us at once. What can we do then?" "The scheme coming out from the mouths of both of Your Highnesses," said Chang Mêng-t`an, "slips only into thy servant's ears. Nobody else will ever know it." Accordingly, the two rulers promised Chang Mêng-t`an the revolt of the two armies against Earl Chih and fixed a date. That night they sent Chang Mêng-t`an off into Chin-yang to report their plot to Viscount Hsiang. Frightened and pleased at the same time, Viscount Hsiang welcomed Mêng-t`an and repeated salutations to him.

The two rulers, after having sent Chang Mêng-t`an away with the promise, called on Earl Chih. On leaving they met Chih Kuo outside the gate of the commander's headquarters. Wondering at their looks, Chih Kuo went in to see Earl Chih and said to him: "The two lords in their facial expressions reveal their oncoming insurrection." "How?" asked the Earl. "They were in high spirits," replied Chih Kuo, "and walked with mincing steps. 36 Their attitude was no longer as prudent as before. Your Highness had better take drastic measures in advance." "The covenant I made with the two lords is very solemn," remarked the Earl. "Should Chao be smashed, its territory would be divided into three portions. Therefore, I have kept intimate terms with them. They will never deceive me. 37 Moreover, it is three years 38 since the allied forces were entrenched around Chin-yang. Now that we will take the city in no time and enjoy the spoils, how comes it that they have different minds? It won't be possible. Better discard the idea and never worry about it. Also never let it come out of your mouth again." Next morning the two rulers again called on the Earl, went out, and once more met Chih Kuo at the gate of the commander's headquarters. Chih Kuo then went in to see the Earl and asked, "Did Your Highness pass my words to the two lords?" "How do you know?" asked the Earl. "I know because this morning after they had called on Your Highness, when they were going out and saw thy servant, their looks shifted and their eyes gazed at thy servant. Doubtless, they are plotting an insurrection. Your Highness had better kill them." "Leave them alone," said the Earl, "and never again talk about them." "No," said Chih Kuo, "you should not leave them alone. You must kill them. If you won't kill them, then cultivate your friendship with them." "How to cultivate my friendship with them?" asked the Earl. In reply Chih Kuo said: "The counsellor of Viscount Hsüan of Wey is Chao Chia and the counsellor of Viscount K`ang of Han is Tuan Kuei. Both are equally able to shift the policies of their masters. Suppose Your Highness promise their masters to enfeoff the two counsellors, each with a county of ten thousand families, after Chao is taken. In that case the two lords will have no reason to change their minds." "Upon the break-up of Chao," said Earl Chih, "I will have to divide the territory into three portions, and if in addition I have to enfeoff the two counsellors each with a county of ten thousand families, then what I get will be little. That won't do." Finding his advice not taken, Chih Kuo went away and changed his kinsmen into the Fu Clan.

On the appointed night the Chao Clan killed the enemy garrisons of the dikes and led the water to inundate the army of Earl Chih. Earl Chih's troops on keeping the water out fell into confusion. Meanwhile, Han and Wey launched a surprise attack from both sides while Viscount Hsiang led his forces to raid the front. They defeated Earl Chih's troops by long odds and captured Earl Chih. Earl Chih died, his forces were crushed, his country was divided into three, and he became a laughing-stock of the whole world. 39 Hence the saying: "To keep covetous and self-opinionated fosters the root of self-destruction."

What is meant by "indulging in women singers"?

Of old, when Yu Yü was sent by the King of Jung to pay a courtesy visit to the court of Ch`in, Duke Mu asked him, saying: "I have heard about the right way of government but have not yet been able to witness it. I would like to know how and why the intelligent rulers of antiquity won and lost their states." In reply Yu Yü said: "Thy servant happens to have studied it carefully and found that by reason of their frugality they won their states, and by reason of their extravagance they lost their states." "I am at least worthy of asking you, an honourable scholar, about the right way of government. Yet how comes it that you put `frugality' in your reply to my question?" asked Duke Mu. "Thy servant has heard," replied Yu Yü, "Yao, while ruling All-under-Heaven, ate from earthen plates and drank from earthen bowls. Within his dominion which extended as far as Chiao-chih in the south and Yu-tu in the north and in the east and the west as far as the horizons of sun-rise and moon-rise, sun-set and moon-set, everybody obeyed him willingly. When Yao gave up the rule over All-under-Heaven, Yü Shun 40 accepted it. Thereupon Shun started making new table-wares. He hewed trees from the mountains and cut 41 them into small pieces, which he first whittled, sawed, and smoothed away the traces of the axe, then lacquered them with varnish and ink, and finally transported them to the palace. Of the wood he made table-wares. Therefore, he was regarded by the feudal lords as far more extravagant than his predecessor. And the states that refused to obey him were thirteen. When Shun gave up the rule over All-under-Heaven and bequeathed it to Yü, Yü made sacrificial wares, which he varnished black outside and painted red inside. He had cushions made of pieces of thin, plain silk; mats made of water-oats and hemmed for decoration; cups and decanters embellished with pretty colours; and casks and basins 42 made with ornaments. The extravagance having thus turned from bad to worse, the feudal states that disobeyed were thirty-three. On the downfall of the Hsia-hou Clan the Yins took the reins of government. They then constructed big vehicles 43 and made nine pennants. Their table-wares were carved; cups and decanters were engraved; the walls of the palace were painted white 44 and the courtyard, chalky; and cushions and mats had beautiful designs on them. Such extravagance exceeding that of the predecessors, the states that disobeyed were fifty-three. Thus, the more arts of elegance and refinement the ruling class 45 knew, the less were those willing to obey. Hence thy servant says: `Frugality is the right way.' "

After Yu Yü had gone out, the Duke summoned the Officer of the Censorate Liao and said to him: "I have heard that the presence of a sage in a neighbouring country is a constant threat to the enemy countries adjacent to it. Now Yu Yü is a sage, I am worrying about it. What shall I do?" In reply the Officer of the Censorate Liao said: "As thy servant has heard, the dwelling of the King of Jung is so rustic and so remote 46 that he has never heard the music of the Central Land. Suppose Your Highness present him with women singers, disturb his state affairs thereby, then ask him to postpone the date of Yu Yü's return, and thereby keep off Yu Yü's remonstration. After the discord between ruler and minister appears, we can start plotting against their state." "Right," the Duke said, and then ordered the Officer of the Censorate Liao to take the present of sixteen women singers to the King of Jung and thereby ask him to postpone the date of Yu Yü's return. The request was granted by the King of Jung, who was greatly delighted at seeing the women singers. Thenceforth he set up wine feasts, held drinking parties, and spent every day in hearing music. He continued the same throughout the year, till half of his oxen and horses died off. When Yu Yü came back, he remonstrated with the King of Jung against such misconduct, but the King of Jung would not listen. At last Yu Yü left for Ch`in. Duke Mu of Ch`in welcomed him, appointed him Assistant Premier and asked him about the military strength and topographical features of the land of Jung. Having secured enough information, he mobilized his army and attacked the country. In consequence he annexed twelve states and extended his territory one thousand li farther. 47 Hence the saying: "To indulge in women singers and neglect the state affairs forecasts the catastrophe of state-ruin." 48

What is meant by "leaving home for distant travels"?

Once upon a time, while Viscount T`ien Ch`êng 49 was travelling on the sea and amusing himself, he gave a verbal order to all high officials, saying, "Whoever talks about going home shall be put to death." Thereupon Yen Cho-chü50 remarked: "Your Highness is now travelling on the sea and amusing himself. What can be done in case ministers at home plot against the state? Though you are now enjoying yourself, what will you have when back home?" In reply Viscount T`ien Ch`êng said: "I have already issued the order, saying, `Whoever talks about going home shall be put to death.' Now that you should have disobeyed my order!" So he took up a lance to assail him. "Remember in by-gone days," said Yen Cho-chü, "Chieh killed Kuan Lung-p'êng and Chow killed Prince Pi-kan. Now, though Your Highness kills thy servant and thus makes him the third martyr in the cause of loyalty, be sure that thy servant has spoken in the interests of the whole country and not for himself." So saying, he stretched his neck forward and added, "May Your Highness strike!" At once the ruler threw away the lance and urged his carriage to hurry home. Three days after his arrival home, he heard about some people planning to prevent Viscount T`ien Ch`êng from re-entering the state capital. Thanks to Yen Cho-chü's effort, Viscount T`ien Ch`êng finally had the Ch`i State in his grip. Hence the saying: "To leave home for distant travels and ignore remonstrants 51 is the surest way to endanger one's august position at home."

What is meant by "committing faults and turn no ear to loyal ministers"?

In by-gone days, Duke Huan of Ch`i called the feudal lords to meet nine times, brought All-under-Heaven under one rule, and became the first of the Five Hegemonic Rulers. And Kuan Chung assisted him. When Kuan Chung became aged and unable to attend to his duties, he retired to live at his home. One day Duke Huan went to call on him and asked: "Uncle Chung is ill at home. If by any unlucky chance you should not be up and doing again, to whom should the state affairs be entrusted?" In reply Kuan Chung said: "Thy servant is old and hardly worth consulting. Nevertheless, thy servant has heard, `Nobody knows the ministers better than the ruler does just as nobody knows the sons better than the father does.' Suppose Your Highness select one according to his judgment."

"How about Pao Shu-ya?" asked the Duke. "No." replied Kuan Chung. "For Pao Shu-ya is by nature rigorous, self-opinionated, and stubborn-minded. Rigorous, he is likely to be violent towards the people. Self-opinionated, he cannot win the hearts of the people. If he is stubborn-minded, nobody is willing to work under him and all are not afraid of him. Therefore he is not the right kind of assistant to the Hegemonic Ruler."

"Then how about Shu Tiao?" asked the Duke. "No," replied Kuan Chung. "Such is human nature, indeed, that everybody loves his own body. Now because Your Highness was habitually jealous and fond of women, Shu Tiao castrated himself for the single purpose of administering the harem. If he could not love his own body, how would he be able to love his master?"

"Then how about Prince K`ai-fang of Wei?" asked the Duke. "No," replied Kuan Chung. "The distance between Ch`i and Wei is not more than ten days' walk. Yet K`ai-fang in order to serve Your Highness and meet his needs 52 never went home for fifteen years to see his parents. Such is against human nature. If he could not hold his parents in affectionate esteem, how would he be so able to hold his master?"

"Well, then, how about Yi-ya?" asked the Duke. "No," replied Kuan Chung. "Indeed, Yi-ya was in charge of the tastes of Your Highness's diet, and, finding that what Your Highness had never tasted was human flesh only, he steamed the head of his son and presented his master with the rare taste. This is what Your Highness remembers. Nevertheless, such is human nature that everybody loves his own son. Now that he steamed his own son to make food for his master, if he could not even love his own son, how would he be able to love his master?"

"Well, then, who will be the right man?" asked the Duke. "Hsi P`êng is he," replied Kuan Chung. "For he is habitually steadfast in mind and upright towards people and has few wants but many credits. Indeed, steadfast in mind, he can offer an example to others; upright towards people, he can be appointed to important office; having few wants, he will be able to subject the masses; and having many credits, he will be able to make friends with the neighbouring states. A man like this is the right kind of assistant to the Hegemonic Ruler. Suppose Your Highness employ him." "Certainly," said the Duke.

More than one year later, Kuan Chung died, but the Duke did not employ Hsi P`êng but passed the reins of government to Shu Tiao. Shu Tiao had handled the state affairs for three years already, when Duke Huan travelled southward to T`ang-fu. Thereupon Shu Tiao, leading Yi-ya, Prince K`ai-fang of Wei, and the chief vassals, launched a rebellion. In consequence, Duke Huan died of thirst and hunger in heavily-guarded confinement inside the bed chamber by the south gate. There his dead body lay uncovered for three months, 53 until worms crawled outdoors.

But why was it that Duke Huan was at last murdered by his ministers, deprived of his high reputation, and laughed at by All-under-Heaven, although his armies had marched everywhere in the world and he had become the first Hegemonic Ruler himself? It was because of his fault in turning no ear to Kuan Chung. Hence the saying: "To commit faults, turn no ear to loyal ministers, and enforce one's own opinions, destroys one's high reputation and sets people to laugh at one."

What is meant by "not consolidating the forces within one's boundaries"?

Of old, when Ch`in was attacking Yi-yang, the Han Clan was in imminent danger. Thereupon Kung-chung P`êng said to the Ruler of Han: "Our allies are not reliable. Is it not the best policy to make peace with Ch`in through Chang Yi's good offices? Suppose we bribe Ch`in with a famous city and join her in her southward campaign against Ch`u. This will appease our trouble with Ch`in and defeat her friendship with Ch`u." "Good," the Ruler 54 said, and then ordered Kung-chung to set out westward to make peace with Ch`in.

When the King of Ch`u heard about this scheme, he felt uneasy, summoned Ch`ên Chên, and said to him: "P`êng of Han is going westward to make peace with Ch`in. What shall we do?" In reply Ch`ên Chên said: "Ch`in, after receiving one city from Han, will mobilize her best-trained soldiers, and will turn the combined forces of Ch`in and Han southward against Ch`u. This is what the King of Ch`in has sought in his prayer at his ancestral shrine. No doubt, they will do Ch`u harm. Suppose Your Majesty quickly send out a good-will envoy to present the Ruler of Han with many chariots and precious gifts and say: `My country, small as it is, has already mobilized all her forces. I am hoping your great country will 55 display high morale before the Ch`in invaders, and accordingly expects you to send a delegation to our border to watch our mobilization.' "

Han actually sent a delegation to Ch`u. The King of Ch`u, accordingly, despatched chariots and cavalry and lined them up along the northern road. 56 Then he told the Han delegation to inform the Ruler of Han that his troops were about to cross the border and enter the territory of Han. The delegation brought back the message to the Ruler of Han, who was thereby greatly pleased and stopped Kung-chung from going westward. "No, I should not stop going westward," said Kung-chung. "For Ch`in is harassing 57 us in reality while Ch`u is rescuing us only in name. To listen to the empty words of Ch`u and make light of the real disaster which Ch`in is causing, is the outset of endangering the country." The Ruler of Han would not take Kung-chung's advice, wherefore Kung-chung was angry, went home, and for ten days never visited the court.

The situation at Yi-yang became more and more threatening, when the Ruler of Han despatched envoys to press for reinforcements from Ch`u. One envoy followed on the heels of another so closely that their hats and canopies were almost within one another's sight; but all in vain. Yi-yang was finally taken 58 and the Ruler of Han became a laughing-stock of the feudal lords. Hence the saying: "Not to consolidate the forces within one's boundaries but to rely on other feudal lords causes the country the calamity of dismemberment."

What is meant by "insulting big powers despite the smallness of one's own state"?

In by-gone days, when Prince Ch`ung-erh of Chin 59 was living in exile, he once passed through the Ts`ao State. The Ruler of Ts`ao made him take off his sleeves and upper coat and looked at him. 60 Hsi Fu-chi and Shu Chan then attended in the front. The latter said to the Ruler of Ts'ao: "As far as thy servant can see, the Prince of Chin is not an ordinary man. Your Highness has handled him without mittens. Should he ever get the opportunity to return to his native country and raise armies, he might cause Ts`ao a great harm. Suppose Your Highness kill him now." The Ruler of Ts`ao took no notice, however.

Hsi Fu-chi went home, feeling unhappy. So his wife asked him: "Your Excellency has just come home from outdoors but has some unpleasant colour on the face. Why?" In reply Hsi Fu-chi said: "As I have heard, `When the ruler has good luck, it will not visit me; but when he has bad luck, it will befall me.' To-day His Highness summoned the Prince of Chin and accorded him very discourteous treatment. I was attending before him. Therefore I have felt unhappy." "As far as I can see," said his wife, "the Prince of Chin will be a ruler of ten thousand chariots, and his followers will be ministers to the ruler of ten thousand chariots. Now that he has been destitute and forced to seek refuge in foreign countries and is passing through Ts`ao and Ts`ao is treating him so impolitely, if he ever returns to his native country, he will, no doubt, punish all breakers of etiquette, and then Ts`ao will be the first victim. Why don't you yourself now treat him differently?" "Certainly, I will," replied Fu-chi. He, accordingly, put gold in pots, covered them with food, placed jades upon them, and at night sent men to present them to the Prince. Seeing the messengers, the Prince repeated his salutations and accepted the food but declined the jades.

From Ts`ao the Prince entered Ch`u, and from Ch`u entered Ch`in. After he had stayed in Ch`in for three years, Duke Mu of Ch`in one day summoned all ministers for consultation, saying: "That in by-gone days Duke Hsien of Chin kept intimate friendship with me, every feudal lord has heard. Unfortunately Duke Hsien passed away from the body of officials. It is nearly ten years since. His successors so far have been no good. I am therefore afraid lest this state of continuous chaos should leave their ancestral shrine deserted and deprive their Altar of the Spirits of Land and Grain of regular offerings. To make no decision to restore order to the country is not the way to maintain my intimate friendship with them. I am therefore thinking of supporting Ch`ung-erh and installing him on the throne of Chin. How do you think?" "Fine," replied all the ministers. Thereupon the Duke raised an army of five hundred leather-covered chariots, two thousand good horsemen, and fifty thousand foot-soldiers, to help Ch`ungerh enter Chin and establish him as Ruler of Chin.

After having been on the throne for three years, Ch`ungerh raised an army and fell upon Ts`ao. He, accordingly, ordered his men to say to the Ruler of Ts`ao, "Seize Shu Chan and send him outside the city. His Highness will kill him as an expiatory punishment for his insult of His Highness." He also ordered his men to say to Hsi Fu-chi, "My troops are storming the city. I understand very well that formerly you never meant to offend me. Put a sign on the gate of your residential quarters. 61 I will issue a decree, ordering the troops not to trespass on it." The people of Ts`ao, hearing about this, brought their relatives into Hsi Fu-chi's residential quarters, where upwards of seven hundred families had safety. This was the effect of his respectfulness to the Prince.

Thus, Ts`ao was a small state pressed between Chin and Ch`u. Its ruler was in constant danger as piled eggs are, but he accorded the Prince of Chin such a discourteous reception. This was the reason why his posterity was wiped out. Hence the saying: "To insult big powers despite the smallness of one's own country and take no advice from remonstrants paves the way to the extinction of one's posterity."


1. 十過.

2. The Historical Records has 共王 in place of 恭王.

3. In 575 B.C.

4. 豎穀陽. Pelliot said in his review of Ivanov's Russian translation of Han Fei Tzŭthat he would like to read the name as "Shu-yang Ko", but did not give any reason therefor (Revue Asiatique, 1913). The Historical Records has 從者 above 豎陽穀. I regard 豎陽穀 as the full name and prefer to read it as "Shu Yang-ko". Among the accepted family names of the Chinese people "Shu" is found but not "Shu-yang". During the Period of Spring and Autumn, however, not many commoners had family names, so 豎 most probably meant a boy attendant in this case. By the time of Ssŭ-ma Ch`ien 豎 seems to have definitely become a family name; so much so that he made the superfluous addition of 從者 to it in the Historical Records.

5. 不穀 means 寡人 by which the ruler refers to himself.

6. 屈產之乘. 乘 here means a team of four good horses harnessed to one chariot.

7. With Yü Yüeh and Wang Hsien-shen 克 should be supplied between 伐虢 and 之遠. 655 b.c.

8. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê and Wang Hsien-shen 反 above 處三年 should be above 興兵伐虢.

9. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 而東夷叛之 should be supplied below 蒐.

10. With Ku 幽王為太室之盟 should be supplied above 而戎狄叛之.

11. Tso-ch`iu Ming's Commentaries on the Spring and Autumn Annals has 不過十年 in place of 居未期年. 529 b.c.

12. 施夷之臺 most probably a mistake for the Ssŭ-ch`i Palace (虒祈之宮).

13. 清商. Ancient Chinese music classified all kinds of tune into five varieties in accordance with five different vocal sounds, which were accordingly named after their representative notes respectively as follows: kung (宮) for all guttural sounds, shang (商) for all sibilant sounds, kioh (角) for all dental sounds, chih (徴) for all lingual sounds, and (羽) for all labial sounds. It is said that the five strings of the harp constructed by Fu-hsi were thus named. The five notes had generally formed the Chinese system of notation down to the Yin Dynasty. To them were added pien-kung (變宮) and pien-kioh (變角) at the beginning of the Chou Dynasty (allegedly by King Wên). In consequence, the ancient Chinese scale became closely equivalent to the modern Western scale as follows:—

Kung for C, shang for D, kioh for E, pien-kioh for F # (peculiar), chih for G, for A, pien-kung for B, and kung for C1.

Kung for C, shang for D, kioh for E, pien-kioh for F # (peculiar), chih for G, for A, pien-kung for B, and kung for C1.

This scale remained the same until the rise of the Yüan Dynasty. For detailed information the English reader is referred to Aalst's Chinese Music.

This scale remained the same until the rise of the Yüan Dynasty. For detailed information the English reader is referred to Aalst's Chinese Music.

14. With Wang Hsien-shen this referred to the peak generally known as the T`ai Mountain among the various peaks in the locality, while the Small T`ai Mountain is sometimes called the Eastern T`ai Mountain.

15. 象車 was awarded him by the spirit of the mountain for his virtue and merit.

16. The spirit of the tree.

17. Then a regent.

18. The spirit of wind.

19. The spirit of rain.

20. In 531 b.c.

21. In 458 b.c. These six clans comprised the so-called Six Nobles of Chin.

22. With Wang Hsien-shen the Schemes of the Warring States has 魏 above 宣子.

23. With Wang both Chao Yung-hsien's edition of Han Fei Tzŭ's Works and the Schemes of the Warring States have 不如予之 below 其措兵於魏必矣.

24. With Wang the Schemes of the Warring States has 曰 above 諾.

25. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê the Schemes of the Warring States has 親 in place of 規.

26. Chap. III has 董安于 in place of 董閼于 (vide supra, p. 27).

27. Viscount Hsiang's father. 主 should be 子.

28. I regard 生 as a mistake for 玉.

29. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 臣 should be 民.

30. 奇人. 奇 here means 餘. Therefore, 奇人 means 閒人 or "men leisured in household responsibilities".

31. With Wang Hsien-shen 無積 should be 不容.

32. 菌幹. Chün (菌) was the special name given to the bamboos from the Cloudy Dream Swamps in the Ch`u State.

33. Chap. I has 三月 in place of 三年 (vide supra, p. ii, n. 5).

34. With Lu Wên-shao and Wang Hsien-shen 失 should read 釋.

35. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 麤 should read 怚.

36. With Wang Hsien-shen 行 and 意 in 其行矜而意高 should replace each other.

37. With Lu Wên-shao 侵 should be 我.

38. Apparently the campaign lasted for three years, although the inundation of the city could not possibly last so long.

39. In 453 b.c.

40. Yü was the family name; Shun, the given name.

41. With Wang Hsien-shen 財 reads 裁 as well as 材.

42. 爼 is a tripod basin or bowl for holding meal as sacrifice.

43. With Wang Hsien-shen 路 should read 輅.

44. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 四 should be 白.

45. 君子. Neither "gentlemen" nor "superior men" can convey its sense better than "the ruling class" in this case.

46. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 道 above 遠 should be 遼.

47. In 623 b.c.

48. With Wang Hsien-shen 則 should in accordance with the introductory be supplied above 亡國之禍也.

49. The murderer of Duke Chien of Ch`i in 481 b.c. The "Right Remonstrances" in the Selected Persuasions has 齊景公 in place of 田成子. I think Han Fei Tzŭ mistook 田成子 for 齊景公.

50. The same work has 顏燭趨 in place of 顏涿聚.

51. With Wang Hsien-shen 而忽于諫士 should in accordance with the introductory be supplied below 離內遠遊.

52. With Wang Hsien-shen 欲 above 適君之 should be below it.

53. Sixty-seven days in fact.

54. I propose 君 for 公, because when this event took place in 317 b.c., the Ruler of Han had called himself king for six years and was no longer a duke.

55. 信 above 意 means 申.

56. 下路 was the road leading northward to the Han State.

57. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 告 should be 苦.

58. In 308 b.c.

59. He spent nineteen years (655-636 b.c.) in exile. Upon his return to Chin he ascended the throne as Duke Wên and subsequently became Hegemonic Ruler.

60. It was said that the ribs of Ch`ung-erh grew together like a wall. Therefore, many people of his time were curious to look at his chest.

61. 閭 was ordinarily a village of twenty-five families.

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