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Chapter XXXIV. Outer Songeries of Sayings, The Upper Right Series

1The ways whereby the sovereign rules over the ministers are three:—

I. If the sovereign finds his influence insufficient to transform the ministers, then he should remove them. Musician K`uang in his reply and Yen Tzŭ in his persuasion both discarded 2 the easy policy of position and advocated the difficult measure of virtue. This is the same as to run on foot after animals while not yet aware how to remove an impending disaster. The possibility of removing disasters is revealed in Tzŭ-hsia's explanation of the Spring and Autumn Annals, "Who is skilful in maintaining his position would nip an evil in the bud early enough." Thus, even Chi-sun reprimanded Chung-ni for obstructing 3 his position. How much more should a sovereign blame rampant ministers? For the same reason, T`ai-kung Wang killed K`uang-yü; and the bondmen and bondwomen refused to ride the noble steed. Duke Ssŭ knew this reason, wherefore he refused to yoke any deer. Hsüeh Kung knew this reason, wherefore he gambled with the twins. Both these statesmen knew the opposition between identity and difference. Thus, the way the enlightened sovereign raises ministers is illustrated by the story of domesticating crows.

II. The lord of men is an attractive 4 target 5 of benefit and injury, which numerous persons would aim to shoot. Therefore, the lord of men is surrounded in common by a number of people. For this reason, if his like and hate are revealed, the inferiors will find opportunity to take, till the lord of men falls into delusion. Should the sovereign communicate the word and opinion of one minister to another, then every minister will hesitate to speak to him while he will lose his dignity. The saying is based on Shên Tzŭ's enumeration of six prudences and on T`ang I-chü's 6 discussion of the archer with stringed arrows. The calamity of the ruler's revealing like and hate is instanced by Kuo Yang's petition for self-reformation and King Hsüan's heaving deep sighs. The attempt to detect the opinion of the ruler is instanced by Lord Ching-kuo's 7 presenting ten ear-beads and Kan Mu's overhearing Hsi-shou's 8 affairs. T`ang-ch`i Kung knew the tact, wherefore he asked about the jade cups. Marquis Chao was skilful in applying the tact, wherefore after listening to any advice, he would sleep by himself. The way of the enlightened sovereign lies in making decisions by himself as encouraged by Shên Tzŭ.

III. If tact does not work, there are always reasons for it. If the wine merchant does not kill his fierce dog, his wine will become sour. Similarly, the state has dogs. Moreover, all the attendants are like the rats gnawing the shrine. Now, the lords of men are not as decisive as Yao in punishing both the first and the second remonstrants or as King Chuang in responding to the Crown Prince, but all are like the mother of Po Yi who would always ask the old woman of Ts`ai to give a decision. They may be anxious to know 9 how to rule over the state, but unable to make rules beforehand in the way the teachers of singing have melodies composed beforehand. Wu Ch`i who divorced his beloved wife and Duke Wên who executed Tien Chieh, both acted contrary to personal feelings. Thus, who can cut open the boils of people must be able to endure the same pain himself.

So much above for the canons.

Annotations to Canon I:

Not encouraged after being rewarded and honoured and not afraid after being punished and disgraced—in other words, not transformed after the four methods are applied— then such ministers must be removed.

Duke Ching of Ch`i went to Chin and was invited by Duke P`ing to a carousal. Musician K`uang was in company with them. At the opening of the feast, Duke Ching asked Musician K`uang about government, "What will Grand Tutor teach me?" "Your Highness, be sure only to confer favours upon the people," replied Musician K`uang. At the height of the feast, when half-seas-over and about to leave, he again asked Musician K`uang about government. "What will Grand Tutor teach me?" "Your Highness, be sure only to confer favours upon the people," replied K`uang. When Duke Ching was leaving for his lodge and Musician K`uang was seeing him off, he again asked Musician K`uang about government. "Your Highness, be sure only to confer favours upon the people," was again the reply. Upon his return Duke Ching kept thinking about the meaning of the precept and comprehended the saying of Musician K`uang before he awoke fully from the intoxication. Prince Wei and Prince Hsia were two younger brothers of Duke Ching. They won the hearts of the people of Ch`i very well. Their families were noble and wealthy while the people liked them. Thus, their influences rivalled that of the royal house. "This must be endangering my throne," thought Duke Ching. "Now that he told me to confer favours upon the people, does it mean that I must fight with my two younger brothers for winning the hearts of the people?" Accordingly, after his return to his country he opened the granary for distributing alms among all the poor and took money 10 out of the treasury for giving help to orphans and widows, till the granary had no old grain and the treasury had no money left. Those court ladies who did not wait on his bed were given out in marriage. People above the age of seventy were granted pensions of rice. Thus, by displaying beneficence and distributing favours, 11 he fought with his two younger brothers for the people. In the course of two years, the two younger brothers ran out of the country, Prince Hsia finding shelter in Ch`u and Prince Wei running to Chin.

Once Duke Ching and Yen Tzŭ travelled to the district of Small Sea. They went up the Cypress-Bed Terrace. Turning homeward to survey his country, Duke Ching exclaimed, "What a beautiful country! Woven with blue winding and deep rolling rivers and dotted with stately and dignified mountains! Who will possess it in the future?" "Will that be the family of T`ien Ch`êng?" said Yen Tzŭ. "I am in possession of this country. Why do you say, `The family of T`ien Ch`êng will have it'?" asked the Duke. In reply Yen Tzŭ said: "Indeed, the family of T`ien Ch`êng have won the hearts of the people of Ch`i very well. On the one hand, he asks for ranks and emoluments, which he distributes among the chief vassals. On the other, he enlarges the measures on lending grain out to poor people and contracts the measures 12 on taking the grain back from them. Whenever he kills an ox, he takes only one plate of the beef and with the rest feeds scholars and warriors. 13 All the year round he takes only thirty-six feet 14 of cloth for his own use and gives the rest to scholars and warriors for clothing. Woods at the market-place are not more expensive than in the mountains. Fish, salt, tortoises, turtles, conches, and mussels, from swamps are not more expensive than from the sea. While the Ruler is increasing taxes, T`ien Ch`êng enlarges his alms. Once there was a famine in Ch`i. Those who starved to death by the wayside were innumerable. It was never heard that father and son who led each other and turned to T`ien Ch`êng for help were not saved from death. Therefore, even the peoples of Chou and Ch`in have been in groups singing the song:—

Shall we sing his praises, now,
Or shall we stop for fear? 15
Shall we starve to death?
Or turn to T`ien Ch`êng, the dear?
It is said in The Book of Poetry,
And though to you no virtue I can add,
Yet we will sing and dance, in spirit glad. 16
Now that for the virtue of T`ien Ch`êng the people sing and dance, 17 they consider it a virtuous act to turn to him for government. Therefore, thy servant has said, `Will that be the family of T`ien Ch`êng?' " Melting bitterly into tears, the Duke said, "Isn't it sad? I have the country now, but the family of T`ien Ch`êng will have it in the future. Now, what can be done about it?" In reply Yen Tzŭ said: "What does Your Highness have to worry about? If Your Highness wants to rob him of the reins of government, the best is to keep the worthy near by and the unworthy far off, put the chaos in order, loosen penalties, relieve the poor and destitute, give alms to orphans and widows, distribute favours among the masses and support the needy with supplies. Then the people will turn to Your Highness, and even ten T`ien Ch`êngs will not be able to do anything against Your Highness."

Somebody said: "Duke Ching did not know how to make use of his position while Musician K`uang and Yen Tzŭ did not know how to get rid of troubles. To be sure if the hunter relies on the security of the carriage, utilizes the legs of the six horses, and makes Wang Liang hold their reins, then he will not tire himself and will find it easy to overtake swift animals. Now supposing he discarded the advantage of the carriage, gave up the useful legs of the horses and the skill of Wang Liang, and alighted to run after the animals, then even though his legs were as quick as Lou Chi's, he would not be in time to overtake the animals. In fact, if good horses and strong carriages are taken into use, then mere bondmen and bondwomen will be good enough to catch the animals. Now, the state is the ruler's carriage while position is his horse. Indeed, not to utilize the position and thereby interdict favour-selling ministers, but to make favours and kindnesses definite and confer them upon All-under-Heaven and do the same as crooked ministers would do in order thereby to fight with them for winning the hearts of the people, is always the same as not to ride the ruler's carriage and not to take advantage of the speed of horses, but to leave the carriage and alight to run after the animals. Hence the saying 18 : `Duke Ching was a sovereign not knowing how to utilize his position while Musician K`uang and Yen Tzŭ were ministers not knowing how to get rid of troubles.' "

Tzŭ-hsia said: "Regicides and parricides as recorded in the Spring and Autumn Annals number tens. Nine of them was an outcome of one day's fermentation. It always grew from a bud and developed into maturity. On the whole the wicked deeds, repeatedly committed, become a pile. When the pile is mature, the urge to commit further villainy becomes strong. When the urge is strong, it is liable to extend to murder. Therefore, the enlightened sovereign uproots them early. Now the attempt of T`ien Ch`êng to launch a rebellion could be seen budding, but the ruler never censured him. Yen Tzŭ never made his ruler suppress offensive ministers but advised him to confer favours. In consequence, Duke Chien suffered the calamity in posterity. Therefore, Tzŭ-hsia says, `Who is skilful in maintaining his position would nip an evil in the bud.' "

Chi-sun was Premier of Lu. Tzŭ-lu was Magistrate of Hou. In the fifth month of the year the Lu State requisitioned a number of able-bodied men to dig a long ditch. During the period of time Tzŭ-lu made rice gruel with the grain out of his private emolument and fed the workmen at the quarters of Wu-fu. Hearing about this, Confucius sent Tzŭ-kung there to overturn the food, break the vessels, and tell him, "The Ruler of Lu rules over the people. Why should you feed them?" Thereby, Tzŭ-lu, changing his colour from anger bared his arms, went in, and said, "Master, do you dislike Yu 19 practising benevolence and righteousness? What Yu has learned from the Master is benevolence and righteousness. To be benevolent and righteous is to give All-under-Heaven one's own possessions and let them share one's own profits. Why do you consider it wrong for Yu to feed the people with the grain out of his private emolument?" In reply Confucius said: "How crude Yu is! I thought you would know as much as this. Yet really you have not come to that. Thus you do not know the rules of propriety. Now, by feeding them you think you love them. To be sure, according to the rules of propriety, the Son of Heaven loves All-under-Heaven, the feudal lords love people within their respective domains, High Officials love their official duties, and scholars and warriors love their families. Who goes beyond the sphere of his love is called `offensive'. Now that the Ruler of Lu rules over the people while you attempt to love them at your pleasure, it means you are offensive. Aren't you absurd?"

Before Confucius had finished his speech, the messenger of Chi-sun arrived, blamed Confucius, and said, "Fei 20 requisitioned the men and set them to work, whereas Master sent a disciple to stop them and feed them. Would you mean to rob Fei of the people?" Thereupon Confucius took his carriage and left Lu. Thus, despite the worthiness of Confucius, even Chi-sun, not being the Ruler of Lu but merely applying the tact of the lord of men from the position of a minister, would nip an evil in the bud, shows that Tzŭ-lu was not allowed to confer private favours and no calamity could grow. How much more should the lord of men? Should the offensiveness of T`ien Ch`êng have been stopped with the position of Duke Ching, there would be no calamity of intimidation and regicide.

T`ai-kung Wang was enfeoffed eastward in Ch`i. By the eastern sea of Ch`i there were retired scholars named K`uangyü and Hua-shih. Being two brothers, both set up the principle: "Neither of us would minister to the Son of Heaven and make friends with the feudal lords, but would till and work and live on the crops and dig a well and drink the water. We would not ask anybody for help and accept neither title from any superior nor emolument from any ruler. We attend not to any official post but to our own physical strength." When T`ai-kung Wang arrived at Camp Hill, he sent men to arrest them and kill them at the first execution. Hearing about this, Duke Tan of Chou, sent out an urgent message from Lu and asked: "Indeed, the two gentlemen were worthies. Why did you kill worthies on receiving the rule over the country?" In reply T`ai-kung Wang said: "These two brothers had set up the principle: `Neither of us would minister to the Son of Heaven and make friends with the feudal lords. We would till and work and live on the crops and dig a well and drink the water. We would not ask anybody for help and receive neither title from any superior nor emolument from any ruler. We attend not to any official post but to our own physical strength.' Their refusal to minister to the Son of Heaven forecast Wang's inability to rule them as subjects. Their refusal to make friends with the feudal lords forecast Wang's inability to set them to work. Their pledge to till and work and live on the crops and dig a well and drink the water and thereby ask nobody for help forecast Wang's inability to encourage them with reward and prohibit them with punishment. Moreover, their decision to accept no title from any superior implied their refusal to work for Wang however intelligent they might be. Their expectation of no emolument from the ruler implied their refusal to render Wang any meritorious service however worthy they might be. Should they refuse any appointment to office, they would choose anarchy; should they attend to no official duties, they would be disloyal. Furthermore, the means whereby the early kings employed their ministers and subjects were either rank and emolument or censure and punishment. Now, if these four means be not sufficient to employ them, over whom shall Wang rule? To let them become celebrated without bearing arms and wearing armour and become famous without tilling the land and weeding the farm is not 21 the way to give teaching to the country. Now suppose there is a horse here which looks like a noble steed and is the best in All-under-Heaven. However, if it would not advance when driven forward nor would it stop when pulled back: and, if pulled to the left, it would not go to the left, and, pulled to the right, it would not go to the right; then even bondmen and bondwomen, humble as they are, would not rely on its legs. Bondmen and bondwomen want to rely on the legs of the steed because thereby they can seek gain and avoid harm. Now that it would not work for anybody, the slaves, humble as they are, would not rely on its legs. Similarly, the two brothers proclaimed themselves worthy personages of the world but would not work for any sovereign. However worthy their deeds might be, if they would not work for the ruler, they were not what the enlightened sovereign ought to take as subjects. They were like the steed that cannot be pulled to the left or right. This was the reason why they were executed."

According to a different source: T`ai-kung Wang was enfeoffed eastward in Ch`i. By the sea there was a worthy named K`uang-yü. Hearing of him, T`ai-kung Wang went to ask for an interview with him. Thrice in front of the gate he left his horse and walked on foot, but K`uang-yü never granted him an interview. Therefore, T`ai-kung Wang censured him. At that time, Duke Tan of Chou was in Lu and went on horseback to stop the execution. Upon his arrival the execution had already been accomplished. "K`uang-yü was a worthy man," said Duke Tan of Chou, "of All-under-Heaven. Why did you punish him, indeed?" In reply T`ai-kung Wang said: "K`uang-yü 22 considered it righteous 23 not to minister to the Son of Heaven nor to make friends with the feudal lords. I was afraid he might disturb the law and alter the morals. Therefore, I took him for the first execution. Now suppose there is a horse here which looks like a noble steed. However, if it would not advance when driven forward, then even bondmen and bondwomen would not rely on its legs for turning the wheels 24 of their carriage."

Ju-êrh once persuaded Duke Ssŭ of Wei of the way of government. Duke Ssŭ was pleased with his persuasion but heaved deep sighs. "Why does Your Highness not appoint him prime minister?" asked the chamberlains. "Indeed, any horse that looks like a deer," replied the Duke, "can be quoted at one thousand pieces of gold. However, there are horses each worth one thousand 25 pieces of gold but no deer worth one thousand pieces of gold. Why? It is because horses would work for men but no deer would work for men. Now, Ju-êrh deserves the premiership in a state of ten thousand chariots, and, besides, has an intention to serve a big state. His mind is not in Wei. Though eloquent and intelligent, he will not work for me. That is the reason why I do not appoint him premier."

When Hsüeh Kung was premier to Marquis Chao of Wey, there were twin brothers among the chamberlains, named Yang-hu and Pan-ch`i. Both were highly regarded by the sovereign 26 but would not do Hsüeh Kung any good. Over this Hsüeh Kung was worried. Therefore, he invited them to a gambling party. He gave each one hundred pieces of gold and let the brothers gamble. Of a sudden, he gave each two hundred pieces more. After they had gambled for a while, the usher came in and said, "The son of Chang Chi is waiting at the gate." Changing colour from anger, Kung took a weapon and passed it to the usher and said, "Kill him with this! I have heard Chi would never do Wên 27 any good." The usher kept standing for a while. Then Chi Yü by the side of them said, "That is not so. In secret I have heard Chi has been doing Your Excellency much good. It seems that nobody else has let Your Excellency know." Thereupon he rejected killing the visitor, and welcomed him as a guest, paid him great courtesies, and said: "Formerly I heard Chi would not do me any good. So I thought of killing him. Now I know he has been sincerely doing me good. How can I forget his kindness?" So saying, he told the granary-keeper to prepare one thousand piculs of grain, the treasurer to prepare five hundred pieces of gold, the stableman to prepare two teams of good horses and strong carriages out of his own stable, and besides ordered the eunuch to get ready twenty beautiful maids from among the court ladies. Of all these he made Chi a present. Accordingly, the twin brothers said to each other: "Who does Kung good, always gains everything; who does not do him good, always loses everything. Why should we choose not to do him good?" Thenceforth they personally encouraged each other to do him good. Thus, even Hsüeh Kung from the position of a minister, by applying the tact of the lord of men, could prevent an evil growing. How much more could the lord of men by doing the same?

To be sure the crow-tamer cuts off the lower feathers. Then the bird must depend upon him for food. How can it go wild? Indeed, the same is true when the enlightened sovereign wants to keep ministers under control. He must make the ministers always profit by the emoluments bestowed by the ruler and submit to the titles conferred by the superior. If they profit by the emoluments bestowed by the ruler and submit to the titles conferred by the superior, how can they remain disobedient?

Annotations to Canon II:

Shên Tzŭ said: "If the superior's cleverness is visible, people will guard against it; if his stupidity is visible, people will bewilder him; if his knowledge is visible, people will disguise 28 themselves; if his ignorance is visible, people will hide their faults; if his freedom from avarice is visible, people will watch for unguarded moments; if his possession of avarice is visible, people will allure him. Hence the saying: `I find no way to know them. Only by not doing anything I can watch 29 them.' "

According to a different source: Shên Tzŭ said: "Be prudent in your speech, or people will accord 30 with you. Be prudent in your action, or people will follow after you. When you can see, 31 people will hide their defects from you. When your ignorance is visible, people will deceive you. When you have knowledge, people will keep you off. When you have no knowledge, people will trespass against you. Hence the saying `Only by not doing anything the ruler can watch the ministers.' "

T`ien Tzŭ-fang asked T`ang I-chü, "Of what must the archer with stringed arrows be cautious?" In reply I-chü said: "The bird sees you with several hundred eyes, whereas you aim at it with two eyes. You had better be careful about your hiding-place." "Good," said T`ien Tzŭ-fang, "You apply this principle to shooting with stringed arrows; I will apply it to the state." Hearing this, an elder of Chêng said: "T`ien Tzŭ-fang knows the need of making a hiding-place but has not yet found how to make it. To be sure, nihilism and invisibility make the hiding-place."

According to a different source: King Hsüan of Ch`i asked T`ang I Tzŭ about the art of shooting with stringed arrows, "What is most essential to the art of shooting with stringed arrows?" "Carefulness about the hiding-place," replied T`ang I Tzŭ. "What do you mean by `carefulness about the hiding-place'?" asked the King. In reply I Tzŭ said: "The bird sees man with tens of eyes, whereas man sees it with two eyes. How can man not be careful about his hiding-place? Therefore, I say, `The essence of the art lies in carefulness about the hiding place.' " "How is the rule over All-under-Heaven," remarked the King, "different from this? Now, with two eyes the lord of men sees the whole country, whereas the country sees the lord of men with a myriad eyes. Then how can he make himself a hiding-place?" In reply I Tzŭ said: "An elder of Chêng had the saying, `Indeed, the ruler, being empty and tranquil and doing nothing, is invisible.' Is this the way to make the hiding-place?"

Kuo Yang was highly regarded by the ruler of Chêng. When he heard the Ruler disliked him, he accompanied him at a carousal and purposely said beforehand to the Ruler: "If thy servant happens to be so unlucky as to have committed certain faults, may Your Highness kindly permit thy servant to know them. Then thy servant will ask permission to reform himself in hope that he may evade capital punishment."

Once an itinerant spoke to King Hsüan of Han about the way of government. King Hsüan was pleased with his theory and heaved deep sighs. On the same day 32 the courtiers reported the King's pleasure promptly to the itinerant in order to place him under an obligation.

When Lord Ching-kuo 33 was Premier of Ch`i, the Queen died. As nobody had yet known who would be installed as the new Queen, he presented ear-beads to the King and thereby knew it.

According to a different source: Hsüeh Kung was Premier under King Wei of Ch`i, when the royal consort died. There were then ten ladies admired by the King. Among these Hsüeh Kung wanted to know the one whom the King wanted in particular, so that he would ask the King to install that one as the new consort. However, should the King listen to him, then his suggestion would prevail upon the King and he would be highly regarded by the new consort; should the King not listen to him, his persuasion must have been ineffective and he would be slighted by the new consort. Thus, he wanted to know beforehand the one whom the King wanted in order to encourage the King to install that one. Thereupon he ordered ten ear-beads and specially beautified one of them. Then he presented them to the King. The King distributed them among the ten ladies. Next day, when he went to court, he saw the lady who had the most beautiful bead and so encouraged the King to install her as the new consort.

When Kan Mu was premier to King Hui of Ch`in, King Hui liked Kung-sun Yen. One day he spoke in private to him, "I am going to appoint you prime minister." This was overheard through a hole in the wall by a subordinate official of Kan Mu, and was reported to him. Meanwhile, Kan Mu went in to have audience with the King and said, "As Your Majesty has found a worthy premier, thy servant dares to repeat bows and offer his congratulations." "I have committed the state," said the King, "to your hands. Why should I find another worthy premier?" "Your Majesty is going to make Hsi-shou premier," was the reply. "Where did you hear that?" asked the King. "Hsi-shou told thy servant." Angry at Hsi-shou's letting out the news, the King banished him.

According to a different source: Hsi-shou was a good general in All-under-Heaven serving under the King of Liang-Wey. The King of Ch`in wanted to get him and entrust him with the rule over All-under-Heaven. "Yen is a minister," replied Hsi-shou, "and therefore dare not leave the country of his ruler at any time." In the course of one year Hsi-shou displeased the King of Liang-Wey and sought refuge in Ch`in. The King of Ch`in accorded him a very cordial reception. Chu Li-chi, the then Commander of Ch`in's forces, fearing lest Hsi-shou should replace him, bored a hole through the wall of the room where the King would have confidential conversations. Suddenly, the King actually consulted with Hsi-shou and said, "I want to attack Han. What will be the best way?" "The coming autumn will be the right time," replied Hsi-shou. "I want to entrust you," said the King, "with the state affairs then. You must not let out this secret." Running backward and repeating his bows, Hsi-shou said, "At your service." By that time Chu Li-chi had already heard the conversation. He told every courtier he met, "An army will be raised in autumn to attack Han with Hsi-shou as Commander." Thus, in a day all the courtiers knew this. In a month everybody within the boundary knew it. The King, accordingly, summoned Chu Li-chi and said, "Why is everybody panic-stricken? Whence did the rumour come out?" "It seems," replied Chu Li-chi, "that Hsi-shou declared the news." "I never spoke to Hsi-shou," said the King, "about the expedition. Why did he create such a rumour?" In reply Chu Li-chi said: "Hsi-shou is a refugee finding shelter in this country. As he trespassed against his former ruler recently, he is still feeling helpless in a new place. Therefore, he has created such a rumour in order to exercise his influence among the masses of people." "Right," the King said and sent men to summon Hsi-shou, but Hsi-shou had already made his escape to some other feudal lord.

T`ang-ch`i Kung said to Marquis Chao, "Suppose there is a jade cup worth one thousand pieces of gold, but it has no bottom. Can it be used in serving water?" "No," replied Marquis Chao. "Then suppose there is an earthen pot which does not leak. Can it be used in serving wine?" "Yes," replied Marquis Chao. Thereupon Chi Kung said: "Indeed, the earthen pot is the cheapest vessel, but, not leaking, can be used in serving wine. The jade cup, worth one thousand pieces of gold, is the most expensive vessel, but without a bottom it leaks and cannot be used in serving water. If so, who will ever pour any kind of liquid into it? Now, the lord of men who lets out the words of ministers is similar to the jade cup without a bottom. Though possessed of holiness and intelligence, he cannot exercise his tact to the utmost, for he divulges secrets." "Right," said the Marquis. Ever after Marquis Chao had heard these words from T`ang-chi Kung, whenever he wanted to launch any drastic measure in Allunder-Heaven, he would always sleep by himself for fear lest he should talk in his sleep and let anybody else know his scheme.

According to a different source: T`ang-chi Kung had an interview with Marquis Chao and said: "Suppose there are a white jade cup with no bottom and a pottery one with a bottom. When thirsty, which will Your Highness use for drinking?" "The pottery one of course," replied the Marquis. "The white jade cup is beautiful," said T`ang chi-kung, "but Your Highness will not drink from it. Is it because it has no bottom?" "Yes," replied the Ruler. Then T`ang Chi-kung said: "The lord of men who divulges the words of ministers, is comparable to the jade cup with no bottom." Thenceforth, every time after T`ang Chi-kung had an audience and went out, Marquis Chao would always lie by himself simply for fear lest he should talk in his sleep and divulge the conversation to his consorts.

Shên Tzŭ said: "Who sees things by himself, is called clear-sighted; who hears things by himself is called acute; and who can make decision by himself, is fit to rule 34 over All-under-Heaven.

Annotations to Canon III:

Once there was a Sung man selling wine. His measures were very fair. His reception of customers was very courteous. The wine he made was excellent. He hoisted his banner 35 in an imposing manner. Yet he had no business and the wine would become sour. Wondering at the cause, he asked his acquaintance, an elder of the village, named Yang Ching. "It is because your dog is fierce," replied Ching. "If my dog is fierce, why does my wine not sell well?" "Because customers are afraid of it. When people send out children with money and pots or jars to buy wine from you, your dog would jump at them and sometimes bite them. This is the reason why your wine does not sell well and becomes sour." Indeed, the state has dogs, too. Thus experts in statecraft, bearing the right tact in mind, want to enlighten the sovereign of ten thousand chariots, whereas ministers like the fierce dog of the wine merchant would jump at them and bite them. This is the reason why the lord of men is deluded and experts in statecraft are not taken into service.

Similarly, Duke Huan asked Kuan Chung what was the greatest menace to the government of a state. "The greatest menace is the shrine rats," was the reply. "Why should we worry so much about the shrine rats?" asked the Duke. Then Kuan Chung replied: "Your Highness must have seen people building a shrine. They set up the beams and then plaster them. Yet rats gnaw holes through the plaster and shelter themselves inside. Then, if you smoke them out, you are afraid you might burn the wood; if you pour water over them, you are afraid the plaster might crumble. This is the reason why the shrine rats cannot be caught. Now the courtiers of the ruler of men, when out, are influential in position and thereby exploit the people; when in, they join one another in hiding their faults from the ruler. From inside they spy out the ruler's secrets and report them to foreign authorities, till they become influential both at home and abroad and all ministers and magistrates regard them as helpful. 36 If the authorities do not censure them, they continue disturbing laws; if they censure them, then the ruler will shield 37 them from blame, shelter them from punishment, 38 and still keep them around. They are the shrine rats in the state. Similarly, ministers who have the grip on state affairs and issue prohibitions at their pleasure, always giving advantages to those doing them good and causing injuries to those not doing them any good, are the same as fierce dogs.

Indeed, when chief vassals have become fierce dogs and would bite upholders of the true path, and when the courtiers have turned into shrine rats and would spy out the ruler's secrets, if the lord of men takes no notice of the impending danger, how can he avoid delusion and how can the state evade ruin?

According to a different source: Among the wine merchants in Sung there was a certain Chuang family. Their wine was always excellent. One day somebody sent a servant to buy the wine of the Chuangs. As their dog would bite customers, the servant dared not go to them and bought wine from another family. When he was asked why he did not buy the wine of the Chuangs, he replied, "The wine of the Chuangs is to-day sour." Hence the saying: "If the wine merchant does not kill his dog, his wine will become sour."

According to another different source: Duke Huan asked Kuan Chung, "What was the chief menace to the government of a state?" "The greatest distress is caused by the shrine rats," was the reply. "Indeed, after the shrine had its beams 39 set up and had them plastered, rats would hide themselves inside. If you attempt to smoke them out, the wood will be burned; if you pour water over them, the plaster will crumble. This is the way you are distressed by the shrine rats. Now, the courtiers of the ruler of men, when out, are influential in position and thereby exploit the people; when in, they join one another in slandering their enemies and in covering their own faults, and thereby deceive the ruler. If not censured, they keep disturbing laws; if censured the lord of men will shield 40 them from blame, shelter them from punishment, and still keep them around. They are shrine rats, too."

Similarly, ministers who have the grip on state affairs and issue prohibitions at their pleasure, always giving advantages to those doing them good and causing injuries to those not doing them any good, are fierce dogs, too. Therefore, if the courtiers become shrine rats and the administrators of state affairs turn into fierce dogs, the right type of statecraft will not function.

When Yao wanted to transfer the rule over All-underHeaven to Shun, against such a measure K`un remonstrated with him saying: "How inauspicious! Who would transfer the rule of All-under-Heaven to a commoner?" Yao never listened to him but raised an army and killed him in the vicinity of the Feather Mountains. Likewise, the Minister of Public Works remonstrated with him, saying, "Nobody should transfer the rule over All-under-Heaven to a commoner." Yao never listened to him but also raised an army and banished the Minister of Public Works to the city of Yu-chou. Thenceforth, All-under-Heaven dared not disapprove the transfer of the rule over All-under-Heaven to Shun. Hearing this, Chung-ni said: "It is not difficult for Yao to know the worthiness of Shun. Indeed, to punish the remonstrants and thereby effect the transfer of the throne to Shun was his difficulty."

According to a different source: Chung-ni said, "Not to ruin the result of observation with the object of suspicion is difficult."

King Chuang of Ching once issued the law of the inner gate 41 to the effect that "When any Ministers, High Officers, and Princes enter the court, if the hoofs of anybody's horse walk upon the `eavesdrops', the court guard should cut down the shaft of his carriage and execute his coachman." In the meantime, the Crown Prince entered the court. As soon as his horse trod on the "eavesdrops", the guard cut down the shaft of his carriage and executed his coachman. Angry at this, the Crown Prince went in to see the King and with tears in his eyes said, "May Your Majesty punish the guard for me!" In response the King said: "The law is the means whereby the ancestral shrine and the Altar of the Spirits of Land and Grain are revered. Therefore, who can live up to the law, carry out orders, and thereby revere the Shrine of the Spirits of Land and Grain, is a loyal subject to the community. Why should such a man be punished then? To be sure, who violates the law, discards orders, and thereby shows no respect to the Shrine of the Spirits of Land and Grain, is a subject offending his ruler and an inferior disobeying his superior. 42 If the subject offends his ruler, then the sovereign will lose his authority; if the inferior disobeys his superior, then the superior's status will be endangered. With my authority lost and my status endangered and the Altar of the Spirits of Land and Grain not safeguarded what can I bequeath to my descendants?" Thereupon the Crown Prince ran backward, kept away from his residence, stayed outdoors for three days, faced the north, repeated his bows, and apologized for the capital crime.

According to a different source: Once upon a time the King of Ch`u sent urgently for the Crown Prince. The law of the Ch`u State allowed no carriage to reach the inner gate of the palace. It was raining. There were puddles in the courtyard. Therefore, the Crown Prince had to take his carriage as far as the inner gate. "No carriage is allowed," shouted the court guard, "to reach the inner gate. To take any carriage as far as the inner gate 43 is against the law." "His majesty's summon is so urgent," said the Crown Prince, "that I cannot wait till the puddles dry up." So saying, he drove onward. Raising his halberd, the guard hit the horse and broke the yoke. The Crown Prince then went in to see the King and with tears in his eyes said: "There were in the courtyard so many puddles that I had to take the carriage as far as the inner gate. The guard, however, said it was against the law, raised his halberd, hit thy servant's horse and broke the yoke of thy servant's carriage. May Your Majesty be sure to punish him!" "With the aged sovereign in the front," remarked the King, "he never neglected the law; with the future ruler in the rear he never showed any favour. How worthy he must be! He is truly my law-abiding subject." Thereupon the King raised the rank of the guard by two grades, sent out the Crown Prince through the back gate, and prevented him from going through the inner gate again.

Duke Ssŭ 44 of Wei said to Po Yi: "You regard my state as small and therefore not worth serving. Yet I have ability to take you into service. Shall I raise your rank and appoint you High Noble?" So saying, he added one million mou 45 of fields to his emolument. In response to this Po Tzŭ said: "Yi's mother loves Yi and thinks Yi is even able to serve as prime minister to a ruler of ten thousand chariots with no insufficiency. However, Yi's family witch, Old Woman Ts`ai, is very much liked and believed by Yi's mother and is entrusted with all domestic affairs. Now, Yi is intelligent enough to be told 46 about the domestic affairs and his mother should always listen to him. However, whatever she had agreed with Yi, she would always refer to Old Woman Ts`ai for decision. Thus, for instance, after discussing Yi's wisdom and ability with the old woman, she came to consider Yi able to serve as prime minister to a ruler of ten thousand chariots. As regards the relationship, it lies between mother and son. Nevertheless, she could not help consulting Old Woman Ts`ai. Now, the relationship between Yi and the lord of men is not as intimate as that between mother and son while the lord of men always has witches like Old Woman Ts`ai. The witches of the lord of men are, no doubt, his powerful vassals, who are able to practise selfishness. Indeed, to practise selfishness is contrary to the inked string, whereas what Yi speaks about is always in accordance with the law. Who acts contrary to the inked string and who stands in accordance with the law are enemies and never tolerate each other."

According to a different source: The Ruler of Wei was going to Chin and said to Po Yi: "I want you to go along with me." "Mother is at home. May I go home and consult with her about the matter?" Thereupon the Ruler of Wei went himself to ask permission. "Yi is a subject," said Mother Po, "to Your Highness. It is very kind of you to take him along." Then the Ruler said to Po Yi: "I already 47 asked Mother. She gave me permission." When Po Yi went home, he asked his mother, "Who loves Yi better, His Highness or Mother?" "He does not love my son so much as I do," replied the mother. "Who recognizes Yi's worthiness more, His Highness or Mother?" "He does not recognize my son's worthiness so much as I do." Finally Yi said: "Every time after Mother and Yi discussed domestic affairs and decided on a certain plan, she would refer it to the Old Woman of Ts`ai, a fortune-teller, for the second decision. Now the ruler of Wei is going to take Yi along. Though he will decide with Yi on his plans, yet he will certainly consult some other Old Woman Ts`ai and break the plans. If such be the case, Yi will not be able to serve him long as Minister."

Indeed, the teacher of singing first teaches the pupil vocal gestures and different pitches. After the pupil becomes 48 able to express the clear lingual sounds, then the teacher begins to teach him real singing.

According to a different source: The teacher of singing, first of all, conforms the pupil's voice to certain rules. When singing staccato,49 the pupil must set his tone with guttural sounds; when singing legato,50 he must set his tone with lingual sounds. If his staccato is not set with guttural sounds and his legato not with lingual sounds, then he is not teachable. 51

Wu Ch`i was a native of Tso-shih in Wei. Once he asked his wife to weave a silk band. When finished, the band was too narrow for the regular width. So he asked her to weave a new one. "All right," said his wife. When finished, it was measured as before but fell short of the regular width, too. At this Wu Ch`i was very angry. In response his wife said: "After I had set in the warp, I could not change the width any more." Wu Ch`i divorced her. Then his wife asked her elder brother to send her back. Her elder brother said: "Wu Ch`i is a law-abiding man. In abiding by the law, he wants to apply legalism to his wife first and then to his son in order that some day he will be in a position to render a ruler of ten thousand chariots meritorious services. Give up your hope for reinstatement as his wife." Her younger brother had 52 influence on the Ruler of Wei. Therefore, through the influence of the Ruler of Wei he asked Wu Ch`i to take her back, but Wu Ch`i never listened to him and finally left Wei for Ching.

According to a different source: Wu Ch'i showed his wife a silk band and said to her: "Will you weave for me a silk band exactly like this one?" When the band was woven, he tried 53 it and found it extraordinarily well done. "I told you," said Wu Ch`i, "to weave for me a silk band exactly like this one, but now it is extraordinarily well done. Why?" In reply his wife said: "The material was the same, but I added a great deal of effort to make it better than the sample." "That was not what I told you to do." So saying, Wu Ch`i let his wife wear it and sent her home. Her father went to ask him to take her back. However, Wu Ch`i said, "Ch`i's house admits no empty word."

Duke Wên of Chin once asked Hu Yen: "If your Highness fills the reception hall with sweet tastes and fat meat, leaves a few cups of wine and a few plates of meat in the inner court, and lets the wine in the jar have no time to become clear and the raw meat have no time to be laid out, and if on killing an ox he would distribute the beef among the people in the country and clothe the officers and soldiers with the whole year's products of the weavers, will this be sufficient to make the people go to war?" "Insufficient," replied Hu Tzŭ. "Suppose I reduce the custom duties and business taxes and loosen censure and punishment, will that be sufficient to make the people go to war?" "Insufficient," replied Hu Tzŭ. "Suppose I personally send a courtier to look after the matter when anybody needs money for a funeral rite, give pardons to criminals and bestow favours upon the poor and the needy. Will this be sufficient to make the people go to war?" In reply Hu Tzŭ said: "All these methods are ways of earning one's livelihood. To make the people go to war, however, is to put them to death. Now that the people obey Your Highness on purpose to earn their livelihood, if Your Highness thereby drives them to their death, then they will lose the cause to obey Your Highness." "If so," asked the Duke, "what will be sufficient to make the people go to war?" "Make them unable to do anything but fighting," was the reply. "How to make them unable to do anything but fighting?" asked the Duke. "By making reward of faith and punishment definite," replied Hu Tzŭ. "This will be sufficient to make them go to war." "How far must the extremity of censure and punishment extend?" asked the Duke. "As far as any relative or noble held guilty. The law must prevail among the most beloved," replied Hu Tzŭ. "Good," remarked the Duke.

On the following day Duke Wên issued an order: A field-hunt is to be held at the Gardening Land; the time is fixed at noon sharp; whoever arrives late shall be court-martialled. There arrived late a favourite of Duke Wên, named Tien Chieh. The criminal judge asked the Duke to pass a sentence on him. Shedding tears, the Duke worried over it. But the judge said, "May Your Highness carry out the order!" Finally he cut Tien Chieh in two at the back in order to warn the hundred surnames and to prove the faith of the law. Thenceforth all the hundred surnames were afraid of punishment and said: "His Highness made so much of Tien Chieh. Still he applied the law to the case. How much less can we hope for pardon?"

Perceiving his ability to make the people go to war, Duke Wên raised an army, attacked Yüan, and took it. Attacking Wei, he made their field-ridges run eastward and thereby facilitate his military operations. He took Five Deer, attacked Yang, and defeated Kuo. Then he attacked Ts`ao and marched southward to besiege Chêng and upset the city walls. Then he raised the siege of Sung and fought with the Chings at Ch`êng-p`u and put them to rout. Turning homeward, he took an oath at Foot-Earth, and finally accomplished at Hêng-yung the righteousness of honouring the House of Chou. Thus, in an expedition he completed eight achievements. As to why he was so successful, there was no other reason than this, that he followed the counsel of Hu Yen and made use of the back of Tien Chieh.

Indeed the pain of the boil, unless the bone and marrow are pierced, the worried mind will no longer be able to bear. If the bone and marrow are not pierced, nobody can use the half-inch stone-needle to cut the boil open. The same is true with the lord of men in government. Unless he knows hardship, he cannot have peace. If he wants to govern his country, unless he experiences the pain, he will not be able to listen to the holy and the intelligent and remove the rebellious ministers. Rebellious ministers are always powerful men. Powerful men are always very near and dear to the lord of men. The relationship between the sovereign and his favourites is as inseparable as that between "Hard and White". 54 Indeed, if any wearer of hemp clothes attempts from such a humble position to remove the favourites of the lord of men who are as inseparable from him as hard from white, it will be as dangerous as to cut off the left thigh and speak to the right one. This is the reason why his body will be put to death and his theory never will prevail.


1. 外儲說右上.

2. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 合 above 勢 should be 舍.

3. With Wang Hsien-shên 遇 above 勢 should be 遏.

4. With Kao Hêng 軺 reads 招.

5. With Kao 轂 reads 彀.

6. 鞠 should be supplied below 易 in accordance with the annotation.

7. With Wang Hsien-shên 氏 should be 君.

8. 犀首 was originally name of an official post in Wey, which post Kung-sun Yen held so long, till it became his style.

9. With Wang Hsien-shên 知貴 seems to be a mistake for 欲知.

10. With Yü Yüeh 餘 above 財 is superfluous.

11. With Wang Hsien-shên 惠施 should be 施惠.

12. 斗斛區釜 refer to different measures for grain.

13. 士 or "gentry" in this case connotes both scholars and warriors.

14. 二制. One chih is about eighteen feet.

15. They feared they might be held under suspicion by the ruling authorities if they kept singing his praises.

16. The Book of Poatry, Pt. II. Bk. VII, IV, 3, trans. by Legge.

17. With Wang Hsien-shen 之歌舞 should be 歌舞之.

18. Both Hirazawa's and Waseda's editions have 故曰 in place of 或曰.

19. The personal name of Tzŭ-lu.

20. The personal name of Chi-sun.

21. 非 should be supplied above 所以教於囯.

22. With Wang Hsien-shen 也 below 狂矞 is superfluous.

23. 議 means 義.

24. 軫 really means "the bar behind a carriage". When it turns, the wheels of the carriage turn, too. Therefore, to turn the bar is the same as to turn the wheels.

25. With Kao Hêng 百 above 金 should be 千 as found in Wang Ch`ung's "Refutation of Han Fei Tzŭ".

26. I propose 主 for 王.

27. The personal name of Hsüeh Kung, i.e. Lord Mêng-ch`ang.

28. Hirazawa's edition has 飾 in place of 惑 below 人.

29. With Kao Hêng 規 in both cases means 窺.

30. With Yü Yüeh 知 is a mistake for 和.

31. With Kao Hêng 知 above 見 is superfluous.

32. With Yü Yüeh 曰 should be 日 and 引 above 王 should be 以.

33. T`ien Ying was his real name.

34. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 主 should be 王.

35. In addition to the sign-board he hangs up, the Chinese storekeeper frequently hoists his banner for advertising purposes.

36. With Wang Hslen-shên 富 is a mistake for 輔.

37. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 安 above 据 means 案, and 不 above it should be 所.

38. With Ku 腹 should be supplied below 據.

39. With Kao Hêng 樹 should be supplied above 木.

40. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 危 above 據 should be 安.

41. With Sun I-jang 茅門 should be 雉門.

42. With Wang Hsien-shên 下尚校 should be 下校尚 which means 下亢上.

43. With Wang 至茆門 should be repeated.

44. 嗣君 should be 嗣公 and so throughout the annotation.

45. 萬頃. One ch`ing is one hundred mou. One mou is a Chinese acre; one English acre is about 6.6 mou.

46. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 信 above 言 is superfluous.

47. With Wang Hsien-shên 以 below 吾 should be 已.

48. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 反 should be 及.

49. 疾呼.

50. 徐呼.

51. 謂 above 教 means 為.

52. With Wang Hsien-shên 又 reads 有.

53. With Wang 效 should be 較 but with Kao Hêng 效 means 考 or 驗.

54. Kung-sun Lung made a epistemological analysis of the qualities of physical objects with special reference to the tactile and the visible qualities, for example, hardness and whiteness. A similar analysis was made two thousand years later in the West, first by Descartes and Locke and then by Berkeley and Hume. Distinguishing between the primary and the secondary qualities, Descartes and Locke considered solidity or hardness as primary and whiteness as secondary. According to them, the primary qualities of physical objects have objective existence while the secondary qualities are due to mental activities of the perceiver. Thus, both of them were subjectified by Berkeley, and Hume even went so far as to disprove the substantiality of the perceiving mind. The attention of our Chinese philosopher, Kung-sun Lung, was attracted to the relationship between hardness and whiteness, namely, between a primary quality and a secondary one, which has evidently interested no thinker in the West. According to Kung-sun Lung, whiteness is perceived by the eyes but never by the hand. Yet both inhere equally in the same object. Are hardness and whiteness two distinct qualities in objective existence or are they the same thing perceived by different senses? If neither the hands nor the eyes can solve this problem, who can solve it? These were some of the puzzling problems Kung-sun Lung raised and attempted to solve.

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IATHPublished by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia