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凡治之大者，非謂其賞罰之當也。賞無功之人，罰不辜〔之〕民，非所謂明也。 賞有功，罰有罪，而不失其人，方在於人者也，非能生功止過者也。是故禁姦之法，太上禁其心， 其次禁其言，其次禁其事。
今世皆曰：「尊主安國者，必以仁義智能」，而不知卑主危國者之必以仁義智能也。 故有道之主，遠仁義，去智能，服之以法。是以譽廣而名威，民治而國安，知用民之法也。 凡術也者，主之所（以）執也；法也者，官之所（以）師也。然使郎中日聞道於郎門之外， 以至於境內日見法，又非其難者也。
昔者有扈氏有失度，讙兜氏有孤男，三苗有成駒，桀有（侯）〔隹〕侈， 紂有崇侯虎，晉有優施，此六人者，亡國之臣也。言是如非，言非如是，內險以賊，其外小謹， 以徵其善；稱道往古，使良事沮；善禪其主，以集精微，亂之以其所好；此夫郎中左右之類者也。
若夫許由、續牙、晉伯陽、秦顛頡、衛僑如、狐不稽、重明、董不識、卞隨、務光、 伯夷、叔齊，此十二人者，皆上見利不喜，下臨難不恐，或與之天下而不取，有萃辱之名，則不樂食穀之利。 夫見利不喜，上雖厚賞，無以勸之；臨難不恐，上雖嚴刑，無以威之：此之謂不令之民也。此十二〔人〕者， 或伏死於窟穴，或槁死於草木，或飢餓於山谷，或沉溺於水泉。有〔民〕如此，先古聖王皆不能臣，當今之世，將安用之？
若夫關龍逄、王子比干、隨季梁、陳泄冶、楚申胥、吳子胥，此六人者， 皆疾爭強諫以勝其君。言聽事行，則如師徒之勢；一言而不聽，一事而不行，則陵其主以語， 待之以其身，雖〔身〕死家破，要領不屬，手足異處，不難為也。如此臣者，先古聖王皆不能忍也，當今之時，將安用之？
若夫齊田恆、宋子罕、魯季孫意如、晉僑如、衛子南勁、鄭太宰欣、楚白公、周單荼、燕子之， 此九人者之為其臣也，皆朋黨比周以事其君，隱正道而行私曲，上偪君，下亂治，援外以撓內，親下以謀上， 不難為也。如此臣者，唯聖王智主能禁之，若夫昏亂之君，能見之乎？
若夫后稷、皋陶、伊尹、周公旦、太公望、管仲、隰朋、百里奚、蹇叔、舅犯、 趙（襄）〔衰〕、范蠡、大夫種、逢同、華登，此十五人者為其臣也，皆夙興夜寐，卑身賤體，竦心白意； 明刑辟，治官職以事其君，進善言，通道法而不敢矜其善，有成功立事而不敢伐其勞。不難破家以便國， 殺身以安主，以其主為高天泰山之尊，而以其身為壑谷鬴洧之卑；主有明名廣譽於國，而身不難受壑谷鬴洧之卑。 如此臣者，雖當昏亂之主尚可致功，況於顯明之主乎？此謂霸王之佐也。
若夫周滑之、鄭王孫申、陳公孫寧、儀行父、荊芋尹、申亥、隨少師、越種干、 吳王孫頟、晉陽成泄、齊豎刁、易牙，此十二人者之為其臣也，皆思小利而忘法義，進則揜蔽賢良以陰闇其主， 退則撓亂百官而為禍難；皆輔其君，共其欲，苟得一說於主，雖破國殺眾，不難為也。有臣如此， 雖當聖王尚恐奪之，而況昏亂之君，其能無失乎？
有臣如此者，皆身死國亡，為天下笑。故周威公身殺， 國分為二；鄭子陽身殺，國分為三；陳靈〔公〕身死於夏徵舒氏；荊靈王死於乾谿之上；隨亡於荊； 吳并於越；知伯滅於晉陽之下；桓公身死七日不收。故曰：（謟）〔諂〕諛之臣，唯聖王知之，而亂主近之，故至身死國亡。
聖王明君則不然，內舉不避親，外舉不避讎。是在焉，從而舉之；非在焉， 從而罰之。是以賢良遂進而姦邪並退，故一舉而能服諸侯。其在記曰：堯有丹朱，而舜有商均， 啟有五觀，商有太甲，武王有管、蔡。五王之所誅者，皆父兄子弟之親也，而所殺亡其身， 殘破其家者，何也？以其害國傷民敗法類也。觀其所舉，或在山林藪澤巖穴之間，或在囹圄緤紲纏索之中， 或在割烹芻牧飯牛之事。然明主不羞其卑賤也，以其能，為可以明法，便國利民，從而舉之，身安名尊。
無數以度其臣者，必以其眾人之口斷之。眾之所譽，從而悅之；眾之所非，從而憎之。 故為人臣者破家殘賥，內構黨與，外接巷族以為譽，從陰約結以相固也，虛相與爵祿以相勸也。 曰：「與我者將利之，不與我者將害之。」眾貪其利，劫其威：「彼誠喜，則能利己；忌怒，則能害己。」 眾歸而民留之，以譽盈於國，發聞於主。主不能理其情，因以為賢。
彼又使譎詐之士，外假為諸侯之寵使， 假之以輿馬，信之以瑞節，鎮之以辭令，資之以幣帛，使諸侯，淫說其主，微挾私而公議。 所為使者，異國之主也；所為談者，左右之人也。主說其言而辯其辭，以此人者天下之賢士也。 內外之於左右，其諷一而語同。大者不難卑身尊位以下之，小者高爵重祿以利之。
夫姦人之爵祿重而黨與彌眾， 又有姦邪之意，則姦臣愈反而說之，曰：「古之所謂聖君明王（君）者，非長幼（弱也）〔世〕及以次序也。 以其構黨與，聚巷族，偪上弒君而求其利也。」彼曰：「何知其然也？」因曰：「舜偪堯，禹偪舜，湯放桀， 武王伐紂。此四王者，人臣弒其君者也，而天下譽之。察四王之情，貪得（人）之意也；度其行， 暴亂之兵也。然四王自廣措也，而天下稱大焉；自顯名也，而天下稱明焉。則威足以臨天下，利足以蓋世， 天下從之。」
又曰：「以今時之所聞，田成子取齊，司城子罕取宋，太宰欣取鄭，單氏取周， 易牙之取衛，韓、魏、趙三子分晉，此（六人）〔八人者〕，臣之弒其君者也。」姦臣聞此， 蹶然舉耳以為是也。故內搆黨與，外攄巷族，觀時發事，一舉而取國家。
且夫內以黨與劫弒其君， 外以諸侯之（懽驕）〔權矯〕易其國，隱（敦適）〔正道〕，持私曲，上禁君，下撓治者，不可勝數也。 是何也？則不明於擇臣也。記曰：「周宣王以來，亡國數十，其臣弒其君〔而〕取國者眾矣。」 然則難之從內起，與從外作者相半也。能一盡其民力，破國殺身者，尚皆賢主也。若夫轉身（法）易位， 全眾（傅）〔傳〕國，最其病也。
趙之先君敬侯，不修德行，而好縱慾， 適身體之所安，耳目之所樂，冬日罼弋，夏浮淫，為長夜，數日不廢御觴，不能飲者以筩灌其口， 進退不肅，應對不恭者斬於前。故居處飲食如此其不節也，制刑殺戮如此其無度也， 然敬侯享國數十年，兵不頓於敵國，地不虧於四鄰，內無（君）〔群〕臣百官之亂， 外無諸侯鄰國之患，明於所以任臣也。
燕君子噲，邵公奭之後也，地方數千里，持戟數十萬， 不安子女之樂，不聽鍾石之聲，內不堙汙池臺榭，外不罼弋田獵，又親操耒耨以修畎畝。 子噲之苦身以憂民如此其甚也，雖古之所謂聖王明君者，其勤身而憂世不甚於此矣。 然而子噲身死國亡，奪於子之，而天下笑之。此其何故也？不明乎所以任臣也。
故曰：人臣有五姦，而主不知也。為人（主）〔臣〕者，有侈用財貨賂以取譽者， 有務慶賞賜予以移眾者，有務朋黨徇智尊士以擅逞者，有務解免赦罪獄以事威者，有務奉下直曲、 怪言、偉服、瑰稱以眩民耳目者。此五者，明君之所疑也，而聖主之所禁也。去此五者， 則譟詐之人不敢北面（談立）〔立談〕；文言多，實行寡而不當法者，不（誣敢）〔敢誣〕情以談說。 是以群臣居則修身，動則任力，非上之令不敢擅作疾言誣事，此聖王之所以牧臣下也。
彼聖主明君， 不適疑物以闚其臣也。見疑物而無反者，天下鮮矣。故曰：孽有擬適之子，配有擬妻之妾，廷有擬相之臣， 臣有擬主之寵，此四者國之所危也。故曰：內寵並后，外寵貳政，枝子配適，大臣擬主，亂之道也。 故《周記》曰：「無尊妾而卑妻，無孽適子而尊小枝，無尊嬖臣而匹上卿，無尊大臣以擬其主也。」 四擬者破，則上無意，下無怪也。四擬不破，則隕身滅國矣。
Chapter XLIV. On Assumers1
In general, the principal way of government does not solely mean the justice of reward and punishment. Much less does it mean 2 to reward men of no merit and punish innocent people. However, to reward men of merit, punish men of demerit, and make no mistake in so doing but affect such persons only, 3 can neither increase men of merit nor eliminate men of demerit. For this reason, among the methods of suppressing villainy the best is to curb the mind, the next, the word, and the last, the work.
Modern people all say, "Who honours the sovereign and safeguards the country, always resorts to benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, and ability"; while they ignore the fact that those who actually humble the sovereign and endanger the country, always appeal to benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, and ability. Therefore, the sovereign pursuing the true path would estrange upholders of benevolence and righteousness, discard possessors of wisdom and ability, and subdue the people by means of law. That being so, his fame spreads far and wide, his name becomes awe-inspiring, his subjects are orderly, and his country is safe, because he knows how to employ the people. As a rule, tact is what the sovereign holds in hand; law is what the officials take as models. 4 If so, it will not be difficult to make the courtiers get news everyday from outside and see the law prevail from the neighbourhood of the court 5 to the state-frontiers.
In bygone days, the Yu-hu Clan had Shih Tu; the Huan-tou Clan had Ku Nan; the Three Miaos had Ch`êng Chü; Chieh had Hu Ch`i; Chow had Marquis Ch`ung; and Chin had Actor Shih. These six men were "state-ruining ministers". 6 They spoke of right as if it were wrong, and of wrong as if it were right. Being crafty in mind, they acted contrary to their outward looks; pretending to a little prudence, they testified to their goodness. They praised remote ancients to hinder present enterprises. Skilful in manipulating 7 their sovereigns, they gathered detailed secrets and perturbed them with their likes and dislikes. They were the same types of men as most courtiers and attendants.
Of the former sovereigns, some got men through whom they became safe and their states were preserved, and some got men through whom they were jeopardized and their states went to ruin. The getting of men was one and the same but the differences between gains and losses are hundreds of thousands. Therefore, the lord of men must not fail to take precautions against his attendants. If the lord of men clearly understands the words of the ministers, he can differentiate the worthy from the unworthy as black from white.
Hsü Yu, Shu Ya, Pai Yang, 8 Tien Chieh of Ch`in, 9 Ch`iao Ju of Lu, 10 Hu Pu-chi, Chung Ming, Tung Pu-shih, Pien Sui, Wu Kuang, Po-i, and Shu-ch`i, all twelve men were neither delighted at evident profits nor afraid of impending disasters. Some of them, when given the rule over All-under-Heaven, never took it. Some of them, afraid of incurring humility and disgrace, never welcomed the privilege of receiving bounties. 11 Indeed, not delighted at evident profits, they could never be encouraged, though the superior made rewards big; not afraid of impending disasters, they could never be terrified, though the superior made penalties severe. They were the so-called "disobedient people". 12 Of these twelve men, some be dead in caves and holes, some died of exhaustion among grass and trees, some starved to death in mountains and ravines, and some drowned themselves in streams and fountains. If there were people like these, even sage-kings of antiquity could not subject them. How much less would rulers of the present age be able to employ them?
Kuan Lung-p`êng, Prince Pi Kan, Chi Liang of Sui, Hsieh Yeh of Ch`ên, Pao Shên 13 of Ch`u, and Tzŭ-hsü of Wu, these six men disputed straightly and expostulated bitterly with their masters in order to overcome them. When their words were listened to and their projects were carried out, then they would assume the attitude of tutor towards pupil; when even a word was not listened to and but one project was not carried out, then they would humiliate their sovereigns with offensive phraseology and threatening gestures. Even in the face of death, the break-up of their families, the severing of their waists and necks, and the separation of their hands and feet, they had no hesitation in so doing. If ministers like these could not be tolerated by the sage-kings of antiquity, how could they be employed by rulers of the present age?
As regards T`ien Hêng of Ch`i, Tzŭ-han of Sung, Chi-sun I-ju, Ch`iao Ju 14 of Lu, Tzŭ Nan Ching of Wei, Chancellor Hsin of Chêng, Duke White of Ch`u, San Tu of Chou, and Tzŭ-chih of Yen, these nine men, while ministers, all formed juntas for self-seeking purposes in serving their rulers. In obscuring the right way and thereby practising private crookedness, in intimidating the rulers above and thereby disturbing the government below, in securing foreign support to bend the policy of internal administration, and in making friends with the inferiors so as to plot against the superiors, they had no hesitation. Ministers like these could be suppressed only by sage-kings and wise sovereigns. Would it be possible for stupid and outrageous rulers 15 to discover them?
Hou Chi, Kao Yao, Yi Yin, Duke Tan of Chou, T`ai-kung Wang, Kuan Chung, Hsi P`êng, Pai Li-hsi, Chien Shu, Uncle Fan, Chao Shuai, Fan Li, High Official Chung, Fêng Tung, Hua Têng, these fifteen men, while ministers, all got up early in the morning and went to bed late at night, humbled themselves and debased their bodies; they were, cautious in mind and frank in intention, and clarified penal actions and attended to official duties in serving their rulers. When they presented good counsels to the Throne and convinced their masters thoroughly of right laws, they dared not boast of their own goodness. When they had achieved merits and accomplished tasks, they dared not show off their services. They made no hesitation in sacrificing their family interests to benefit their countries and no hesitation in sacrificing their lives to safeguard the sovereigns, holding their sovereigns in as high esteem as high heaven and the T`ai Mountain and regarding themselves as low as the deep ravines and the Fu-yu 16 Stream. Though their sovereigns had a distinguished name and a widespread fame in the states, they had no hesitation in keeping themselves as low as the deep ravines and the Fu-yu Stream. Ministers like these, even under stupid and outrageous masters, could still achieve meritorious service. How much more could they do under brilliant sovereigns? Such are called "Assistants to Hegemonic Rulers". 17
Hua Chih of Chou, Kung-sun 18 Shên of Chêng, Kung-sun Ning and Yi Hsing-fu of Ch`ên, Yü Yin Shên Hai of Ching, Shao Shih of Sui, Chung Kan of Yüeh, Wang-sun O of Wu, Yang-ch`êng Hsieh of Chin, Shu Tiao and Yi Ya of Ch`i, these twelve 19 man, while ministers, all thought about small profits and forgot legal justice. In public they kept worthy and good personages in obscurity in order to delude and befool their sovereigns; in private they disturbed all the officials and caused them disasters and difficulties. When serving their masters, they partook of the same tastes with them to such an extent that if they could give one pleasure to the sovereigns, they would have no hesitation in plunging the states into ruin and putting the masses to death. Were there ministers like these, even sage-kings would fear lest they should be dismayed. How much less could stupid and outrageous rulers avoid losses?
Whoever had ministers like these men, always was put to death and his state driven to ruin, and has been ridiculed by All-under-Heaven. Thus, Duke Wei of Chou was killed and his state divided into two; Tzŭ-yang of Chêng was killed and his state divided into three; Duke Ling of Ch`ên was killed by Hsia Chêng-shu; King Ling of Ching died by the Dry Brook; Sui was ruined by Ching; Wu was annexed by Yüeh; Earl Chih was extinguished in the vicinity of Chin-yang; while Duke Huan lay dead and unburied for sixty-seven20 days. Hence the saying: "Adulatory ministers are known only by sage-kings." Outrageous sovereigns welcome them. In consequence, they are killed and their states go to ruin.
The same is not true of sage-kings and enlightened rulers. When selecting able men for office, they mind neither relatives nor enemies. Whoever is right is raised, whoever is wrong is punished. Therefore, the worthy and good are advanced; the vicious and wicked are dismissed. Naturally they can at one effort bring all the feudal lords under submission. Thus in ancient Records there is the saying: "Yao had Tan-chu, Shun had Shang-chün, Ch`i had Five Princes, Shang had T`ai-chia, and King Wu had Kuan and Ts`ai." Now, all these men censured by the five rulers were related to them as father and son, uncle and nephew, cousins, or brothers. But why were their bodies broken and their families ruined? It was because they were state-ruining, people-harming, and lawbreaking men. Suppose we look at the personages the five rulers appointed to office. They were found amidst mountains, forests, jungles, swamps, rocks, and caves, or in jails, chains, and bonds, or in the status of a cook, a cattle-breeder, and a cowherd. Nevertheless, the intelligent sovereigns, not ashamed of their low and humble origins, considered them able to illustrate the law, benefit the state, and prosper the people, and, accordingly, appointed them to office. In consequence, they gained personal safety and honourable reputation.
The ignoble sovereigns would act differently. Not aware of the motives and actions of their ministers, they entrusted them with state affairs. In consequence, their names are debased and their territories dismembered; or, what is worse, their states are ruined and they themselves are killed. For they do not know how to employ ministers.
Rulers who have no measures to estimate their ministers, always judge them on the basis of the sayings of the masses. Whoever is praised by the masses, is liked. Therefore, those who minister to rulers would even disrupt their families and ruin their property to form factions inside and keep contact with influential clans and thereby become known. When they form secret promises and alliances and thereby strengthen their positions, and when they deceptively reward 21 people with ranks and bounties as encouragements, each of them would say: "Whoever sides with me shall be benefited and whoever does not side with me shall be damaged." The masses, greedy of the gain and afraid of the threat, believe that when really happy, they will benefit them, and when really 22 angry, they will damage them, wherefore all turn and stick to them. As a result, their fame spreads all over the country and reaches the ear of the sovereigns. Unable to understand the real situation, the sovereigns regard them as worthies.
They also disguise deceitful men as favourite envoys from the feudal lords and equip them with coaches and horses, provide them with jade and bamboo tablets, 23 dignify them with writs of appointment, and supply them with money and silk. Thus, they make the false envoys from the feudal lords beguile their sovereigns. With self-seeking motives in mind the false envoys discuss public affairs. They pretend to represent the sovereigns of other states, but in reality they speak for the men around the sovereigns they are visiting. Delighted at their words and convinced by their phraseology, they regard these men as worthies in All-under Heaven, the more so as everybody, whether in or out, right or left, 24 makes only one kind of reputation for them and repeats the same conversation about them. In consequence, the sovereigns have no hesitation in lowering themselves and their supreme status and thereby condescending to them or at least benefiting them with high rank and big bounties.
Indeed, if the ranks and bounties of wicked men are influential and their partisans and adherents are many, and if besides, they have vicious and wicked motives, their wicked subordinates will persuade them time and time again, saying: "The so-called sage-rulers and enlightened kings of antiquity succeeded their predecessors not as juniors succeeding seniors in the natural order, 25 but because they had formed parties and gathered influential clans and then molested their superiors, murdered the rulers, and thereby sought after advantage." "How do you know that?" they ask. In reply the subordinates say: "Shun intimidated Yao, Yü intimidated Shun, T`ang banished Chieh, and King Wu censured Chow. These four rulers were ministers who murdered their rulers, but All-under-Heaven have extolled them. The inner hearts of these four rulers, if observed carefully, displayed nothing but the motive of greediness and gain 26 ; their actions, if estimated closely, were simply weapons of violence and outrage. Nevertheless, while the four rulers were extending their powers at their pleasure, All-under-Heaven made much of them; while they were noising their names abroad, All-under-Heaven regarded them as intelligent. In consequence, their authority became sufficient to face Allunder-Heaven and their advantages became sufficient to challenge their age. Naturally All-under-Heaven followed them."
"As witnessed by recent times," continue the crooks further, "Viscount T`ien Chêng took Ch`i, Ssŭ-ch`êng Tzŭ-han took Sung, Chancellor Hsin took Chêng, the San Clan took Chou, Yi Ya 27 took Wei, and the three Viscounts of Han, Chao, and Wey partitioned Chin. These eight men 28 were ministers who murdered their rulers." Hearing this, the wicked ministers would spring to their feet, prick up their ears, and regard it as right. Accordingly, they will form parties at home, develop friendly contact 29 with influential clans outside, watch for the right moment to launch the turn of affairs, and take the state at one stroke.
Again, those who intimidate and murder the rulers with partisans and adherents at home and reform or alter their states through the influences of the feudal lords outside, thus concealing the right way and upholding private crookedness so as to restrain the ruler above and obstruct the government below, are innumerable. Why? It is because the ruler does not know how to select ministers. The ancient Records says: "Since the time of King Hsüan of Chou ruined states number several tens and ministers who murdered their rulers and took their states are many." If so, the calamities which originated inside and those which developed from outside were half and half. Those who had exerted the forces of the masses, broke up the states, and sacrificed their lives, were all worthy sovereigns; whereas those who overexerted themselves, 30 changed their positions, saved the masses but estranged 31 the states, were the most pitiful sovereigns.
If the lord of men 32 really penetrates the ministers' speeches, then even though he spends all his time in hunting with nets and stringed arrows, driving and riding around, playing bell music, and, seeing girl dancers, his state will remain in existence; whereas, if he does not penetrate the ministers' speeches, then even though he is frugal and industrious, wears hemp clothes, and eats poor food, the state will go to ruin of itself.
For example, Marquis Ching, an early Ruler of Chao, never cultivated his virtuous conduct, but would give rein to the satisfaction of desires and enjoy physical comforts and auditory and visual pleasures. He spent winter days in hunting with nets and stringed arrows and summer time in boating and fishing. He would sometimes drink all night long, sometimes even hold his wine cup for several days, pour wine with bamboo ladles into the mouths of those who could not drink, and behead anybody not prudent in advance and retreat or not reverent in response and reply. Though his way of living, acting, drinking, and eating, was so unscrupulous and his way of censure and execution was so reckless, yet he enjoyed ruling his state for more than ten years, 33 during which period of time his soldiers were never crushed by enemy states, nor was his land ever invaded by any surrounding neighbour, nor was there any disorder between ruler and minister or among the officials at home, nor was there any worry about the feudal lords and the neighbouring states, for he knew how to appoint ministers to office.
Contrary to this, Tzŭ-k`uai, Ruler of Yen, a descendant of Duke Shih of Chao, ruled 34 over a territory several thousand li square and had spear-carriers several hundred thousands in number, and neither indulged in the pleasures of pretty girls, nor listened to the music of bells and stones, nor cared for the reflecting pool and the raised kiosk inside the palace, nor went hunting with nets and stringed arrows in the fields outside. Furthermore, he personally handled ploughs and hoes to rectify the dikes and tracts of farms and fields. So extremely did Tzŭ-k`uai distress himself in grieving at the people's sorrows that even the so-called sage-kings and enlightened rulers of antiquity who had themselves worked and grieved at the sorrows of the world could not be compared with him. However, Tzŭ-k`uai was killed; his state was lost to and usurped by Tzŭ-chih; and he has become a laughing-stock of All-under-Heaven. What was the reason 35 for this? It was because he did not know how to appoint ministers to office.
Hence the saying: "Ministers have five wickednesses, which the sovereign does not know." Some would make extravagant use of cash and goods as bribes for acquiring honours; some would endeavour to bestow rewards and favours for winning the hearts of the masses; some would endeavour to form cliques, exert their wisdom, and honour scholars, and thereby abuse their authority; some would endeavour to pardon criminals and thereby increase their influence; and some would follow the inferiors in praising the straight and blaming the crooked and bewilder the people's ears and eyes by virtue of strange phraseology, queer clothing, and novel action. These five kinds of action are what the intelligent rulers punish 36 and the sage-sovereigns forbid. With these five kinds of action forbidden, deceitful men dare not face the north and stand 37 and talk; and talkative but impractical and law-breaking men dare not falsify facts and thereby embellish their discussions. For this reason, the officials in daily life will cultivate their personalities and in action will exert their abilities. But for the superior's orders, they will not dare to do anything as they please, utter irresponsible words, and fabricate affairs. That is the way the sage-kings superintend the ministers and the inferiors.
Indeed, if the sage-sovereigns and enlightened rulers do not make 38 use of camouflage to watch their ministers, most of their ministers will become double-faced at the sight of camouflage. Hence the saying: "Among bastards some children presume to be legitimate sons; among consorts some concubines presume to be wives; in the court some officials presume to be premiers; and among ministers the favourites presume to be sovereigns." These four are dangers to the state. Hence the saying: "The inner favourites compatible with the queen, the outer favourites dividing the ruling prerogative, the bastards rivalling the legitimate son, and the chief vassals assuming the air of the sovereign, all lead to confusion." Hence the Record of Chou says: "Do not exalt the concubine and humble the wife. Do not debase the legitimate son and exalt the bastard. Do not exalt any favourite subordinate as rival to high officials. Do not exalt any chief vassal to assume the majesty of his sovereign." If the four assumers collapse, the superior will have no worry and the inferiors will have no surprise. 39 If the four assumers do not collapse, the sovereign will lose his life and ruin his state.
1. 說疑. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 疑 reads 擬. The English rendering of 說疑 by L. T. Chên is "Misgivings" (Liang, op. cit., p. 116, f. 1), which is a serious mistake.
2. With Ku 明 below 謂 is superfluous.
3. With Kao Hêng 方在於人 means 僅及於有功有罪之人耳 .
4. I propose the supply of 則 below 然.
5. With Kao Hêng 於 above 郎門之外 is superfluous.
6. 亡國之臣 means "ministers who caused the states to go to ruin".
7. With Wang Hsien-shen 禪 means 擅.
8. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 晉 above 伯陽 is superfluous.
9. With Yü Yüeh 秦 is a mistake for 晉.
10. With Yü Yüeh 衛 is a mistake for 魯.
11. 食穀 literally means "eating grains".
13. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 申胥 should be 葆申 who was a minister to King Wên of Ch`u and was famous for his bitter expostulation.
14. With Wang Hsien-shen 晉 above 僑如 is superfluous. Ch`iao Ju was Shu-sun Hsüan-pai of Lu.
15. With Wang 若夫 above 昏亂之君 should be removed.
16. With Wang 鬴洧 refers to 釜鍑, which traces its source to the Yang-ch`êng Mountains.
18. With Wang Hsien-shen 王孫 should be 公孫.
19. The men enumerated number eleven instead of twelve. With Ku Kuangts`ê there must be some hiatus among them.
20. With the Historical Records 六十 should be supplied above 七日.
21. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 相 above 與 is superfluous.
22. With Wang Hsien-shen 忌 should be 誠.
23. 瑞節. In ancient China credentials carried by envoys and messengers were made of 瑞 "jade tablets" or 節 "bamboo tablets".
24. With Lu Wên-shao 之於 above 左右 is superfluous.
25. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 弱 below 長幼 is superfluous and 也 above 及 should be 世.
26. With Ku 人 below 得 is superfluous.
27. How Yi Ya took Wei, is not known.
28. With Wang Hsien-shen 六人 should be 八人.
29. With Wang 攄 should be 接.
30. With Yü Yüeh 法 below 轉身 is superfluous.
31. With Yü 傅 should be 傳.
32. With Wang Hsien-shen the Ch`ien-tao edition has 主 in place of 臣.
33. I propose 十數年 for 數十年 because according to the Historical Records Marquis Ching was on the throne only for twelve years.
34. With Kao Hêng 湮 reads 抑 which means 治.
35. With Wang Hsien-shen 其何故 should be 其故何.
36. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 疑 reads 擬. To me 擬 here refers to 擬罪.
37. With Wang Hsien-ch`ien 立談 should be 談立.
38. Wang Hsien-shen proposed 道 for 適.
39. 上無意下無怪 means, according to Wang Hsien-shen, that the ruler does not have to make use of camouflage to watch his ministers while the ministers do not have to fabricate facts to embellish their discussions.
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|Published by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia|