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完全升進，幸也，而稱之；譭謗廢退，不遇也，而訾之：用心若此，必為三累三害也。 論者既不知累害（所從生，又不知被累害）者行賢潔也，以塗博泥，以黑點繒，孰有知之？清受塵，白取垢，青蠅所汙，常在練素。處顛者危， 勢豐者虧，頹墜之類，常在懸垂。
臧倉之毀未嘗絕也，公伯寮之溯未嘗滅也。垤成丘山，汙為江河矣。夫如是市虎之訛，投杼之誤，不足怪，則玉變為石，珠 化為礫，不足詭也。何則？昧心冥冥之知使之然也。文王所以為糞土，而惡來所以為金玉也，非紂憎聖而好惡也，心知惑蔽。蔽惑不能審，則 微子十去，比干五剖，未足痛也。故三監讒聖人，周公奔楚。後母毀孝子，伯奇放流。當時周世孰有不惑乎？後《鴟鴞》作，而《黍離》興 ，諷詠之者，乃悲傷之。故無雷風之變，周公之惡不滅；當夏不隕霜，鄒衍之罪不除。德不能感天，誠不能動變，君子篤信審己也，安能遏累害於人？ 聖賢不治名，害至不免辟，形章墨短，掩匿白長；不理身冤，不弭流言，受垢取毀，不求潔完，故惡見而善不彰，行缺而跡不顯。邪偽之人，治身以 巧俗，修詐以偶眾。猶漆盤盂之工，穿牆不見；弄丸劍之倡，手指不知也。世不見短，故共稱之；將不聞惡，故顯用之。夫如是，世俗之所謂賢潔 者，未必非惡；所謂邪汙者，未必非善也。 或曰：“言有招患，行有召恥，所在常由小人。”夫小人性患恥者也，含邪而生，懷偽而遊，沐浴累害之中，何招召之有？故夫火生者不傷濕， 水居者無溺患。火不苦熱，水不痛寒，氣性自然焉，招之？君子也，以忠言招患，以高行招恥，何世不然？ 然而太山之惡，君子不得名；毛髮之善，小人不得有也。
Chapter V. Annoyances and Vexations (Lei-hai).
Officials in their career may be hampered and checked, their characters may be slandered and pulled to pieces, their offences be mercilessly magnified, and their names be sullied and bespattered. That does not prove that their talents are inferior, or their conduct is iniquitous, or that their minds are unenlightened, and their ideas muddled. They have met with misfortune from abroad, and are hardly dealt with.
This is not only true of men, but of all other things as well. All living and moving things have to suffer annoyances and vexations. These annoyances come from without, not from within. Since their source is not to be sought there, those people who inconsiderately lay them to the charge of the sufferers, show a narrow mind and a regrettable want of judgment.
That plants grow in spring, we can warrant, but, whether they will bear fruit in autumn, nobody can predict. Their roots may suddenly be trampled upon by oxen and horses, and their stalks cut down with knives and sickles. Then their growth is impeded, and they do not ripen in autumn. Plants not ripening have suffered some injury and thus do not develop.
When rice has been touched by rats, it is spoiled and not fit for eating. The taste of this spoiled rice is the same as that of unsullied rice, but owing to the trespass of the rats, it is thrown away and not used. The annoyances and vexations of a noble character are similar in nature to those of the plants which did not develop, or the rice which is not used. Since they all come from without, they are to be looked upon as annoyances and vexations.
By purifying oneself and regulating one's conduct it is impossible to attract happiness, and by trembling fear and precautions one cannot eschew misfortune. The arrival of happiness and misfortune is good or bad chance. Therefore they say, "That which is obtained not by one's own force is called happiness, and that which happens not through my own doing is called misfortune." 1 But, when it is not my doing, whence does it come? From my native place and from the administration.
In one's native place there are three annoyances2 and in the administration three vexations.3 The annoyances originate in one's native place, and the vexations in the administration. In ancient and modern times remarkable men and excellent characters have experienced this.
Which are the so-called three annoyances and which the three vexations?
People are not always careful enough in selecting their friends. As long as they agree, there is the greatest kindness, but when they disagree, an estrangement takes place, and this estrangement engenders envy and hatred. Then they slander the conduct of their former friend. That is the first annoyance.4
The accomplishments of men are of a higher or a lower order and cannot be quite equal. When several persons begin their career at the same time, the well gifted become illustrious. 5 The less able out of shame and anger then slander their betters. That is the second annoyance.6
Men in their intercourse cannot always be pleased. Cheerfulness leads to friendliness, anger to alienation, and alienation to animosity. In this frame of mind people slander others. That is the third annoyance.7
Now for the first vexation. Offices are few, and candidates many. The scholars compete for admission, and when admitted, fight for the posts. Calling upon the governor, they defame one another, sending in coloured reports. The governors are not perspicacious enough to detect the deceit and listen to their insinuations. 8
The second vexation is this:---Governors and clerks have different propensities, and their doings are pure or foul. The generous clerks are enthusiasts for all that is noble and beautiful, and never use other but pure words. The corrupt clerks resent this, and by degrees try to find fault with their rivals, slandering them for the smallest wrong, for which punishment is inflicted upon the latter. 9
Or the governors are biassed in favour of some of their subordinates and believe in what they say. These subordinates will, against all propriety, recommend their friends for extraordinary promotion. Those who oppose them, lose their sympathy and are slandered by them more than can be imagined. Honest officials daring to offer resistance and to propound different views, attract their hatred and are decried to the governors. That is the third vexation.10
Those who have not yet taken office have to suffer the three annoyances, and those who are in office, the three vexations. Even a Confucius and a Mê Ti could not avoid them, and men like Yen Hui and Tsêng T`san would not be free of them. How many hundred or thousand meritorious deeds soever they might accomplish, multitudes of envious persons would rise around them. Thorns and prickles would prick them and stick to their bodies and faces, and wasps and scorpions would sting the highly-principled. 11
These six troubles are not the only ones, but the most conspicuous, 12 the world however does not perceive them. It does not see that owing to their doings the scholars have to suffer the three annoyances, and the officials, the three vexations. Those who remain uninjured they call undefiled, and those who have been calumniated, degraded. Those functionaries who advance in their career they regard as good, and those who are dismissed from office, as bad.
A man who continues unharmed and advances, is fortunate and praised, and another who is slandered and dismissed, is unlucky and blamed. But going thoroughly into the matter, we must admit that there are the three annoyances and the three vexations. Since those speaking about these matters ignore that people may be affected by these grievances, although their deeds be pure and virtuous, they mix mud with clay, and bespatter silk with black. But who knows that? Purity is polluted, and whiteness covered with dirt. Flies like to sully white silk. He who is standing on a height is in danger, and those living in prosperity suffer losses. Those fallen down usually were in precipitous places.
Ch`ü P`ing's purity was unblemished, but all the dogs of the city barked at him. Dogs bark at what appears strange to them. To condemn the noble-minded and suspect the genius is a sign of a poor head. 13
A remarkable man endowed with all the virtues of a genius causes all the dogs to bark. Such being the case, is it necessary still to persuade the low class people and to harmonise with the worthless? Those base and worthless people cannot be convinced.
Should then average people be taken as a model to preserve one's reputation and avoid slander? Those who agree with ordinary people and preserve their reputation, are those goody persons, who in all their doings are irreproachable, so that they are not open to reprimands, and that to criticise them is useless. 14 Thus even Confucius was found guilty, and Mencius culpable.
Those who in ancient times excelled by virtue could not safeguard themselves. Therefore those who following their nature quietly awaited the annoyances and vexations to come, were the really virtuous and honest. Through the most injurious slanders and calumnies the real character of those men shone forth.
How should the traces of pure and noble deeds not be covered with the dust of envious slander? The guitar players would fain have broken the fingers of Po Ya,15 and the charioteers have crushed the hand of Wang Liang.16 Why? Because they were all craving for the fame of exceptional skill, and hated those who surpassed them.
Thus the girl of Wei was a great beauty, but Chêng Hsiu17 cut her nose off, 18 and Chao Wu19 was loyal and honest, but WuChi20 expelled him. Hunchbacks 21 are full of envy, and big-bellied persons 22 often deceitful.
For this very reason one does not sprinkle the dust in wet halls, and one does not shelter low cottages against the wind. 23 Plants to much shaken by the wind do not grow, and banks against which the water dashes do not remain high. Yu-li, Ch`ên and T`sai24 may serve as an example, and the drowning in the Yangtse or the jumping into the Yellow River.25 If those who vie in virtue to win fame in the eyes of the common people, or strive to preserve their reputation before the governors, do not meet with the disgrace of Têng Hsi,26 or incur the penalty of Tse Hsü,27 it is chance.
People do not assault the dead body of Mêng Pên, for its life is gone, nor do they throw water on a hundred bushels of burnt out embers, for the fire is extinct. If some one outshines all others by his intelligence, and sheds his lustre over a whole age, or if he surpasses all by his energy, and stands towering over all the crowd, he is always slandered and envied by ordinary people. In case a man attempts to neutralise the common attacks with his honest 28 heart, the profit which he seeks turns into loss. It was for this reason that Confucius felt sad, and Mencius was full of sorrow.
Those possessed of great virtue attract calumnies and are carped at by other scholars. To avert these censures with appeasing words and to try to get rid of these dangerous grievances, is a hard task indeed.
The defamation of Tsang T`sang has not yet died out, and the opposition of Kung-Po Liao29 is not yet broken. Ant-hills are made into mountains, 30 and rivulets into rivers and streams. The smallest good is distasteful to wicked people. 31
If we speak of polluting, purity may be sullied, and whiteness covered with dirt, and if we speak of slander, the best and noblest man is envied, and the greatest talent sneered at. As regards punishment, the most loyal words cause misfortune, and the noblest deeds bring about shame and disgrace, and as for imperfections, even a gem may have a flaw, and a pearl, some small defect.
The elder brother of the lord of Ch`ên-liu32 was renowned over all Yen-chou.33 He had left the most brilliant traces, and not the slightest fault could be detected. When the time of entering the administration had come, the governor 34 blackened his sterling character, so that he was disgraced and not employed.
Those who are not yet in office have to suffer the three annoyances, and those who have already been employed, are visited with the three vexations. Even Confucius and Mê Ti could not escape them, and Yen Hui and Tsêng T`san could not remain unscathed. For all love those only who enjoy the general applause, but slight the truly wise.
From dukes and marquises down, gems and pebbles are intermixed, 35 and as regards the actions of the wise and the scholars, good and bad ones are mingled. As the lapidary breaks the stones to take out the gem, so those who select the scholars reject the bad and keep the good. Therefore those who merely annoy and vex others sin against society. Which way should be taken to counteract them?
1. Fatalism pure and simple.
3. . The two Chinese terms are synonymous and might be interchanged like their English equivalents.
4. Quarrel of friends.
5. Here again our author forgets his own theory that honour and happiness are not won by excellent qualities, but are the free gift of fate.
6. Envy of less successful rivals.
7. Strife through roughness of character.
8. Unfair competition among officials. There is no great difference with the second annoyance which, however, refers more to private life.
9. Natural antipathy of the vicious against honest men.
11. All metaphors denoting the insidious attacks of backbiters.
12. Calumination must be a very frequent trait of the Chinese character, since in all the six cases those dissatisfied resort to it.
13. A verse quoted in somewhat altered form from the Shi-chi chap. 84, p. 6r. where it is spoken by Ch`ü Yuan before his death . Our text omits the finals and writes:--- and .
14. Cf. p. 147.
15. A famous lute-player of old who played so well, that a friend of his actually could see the scenes which he put into music, such as hills and water.
16. See p. 31, Note 6.
17. A queen of Ch`u, 4th cent. b.c.
18. for . The king of Wei had sent the king of Ch`u a beautiful girl whom the latter liked very much. His consort Chêng Hsiu, in order to destroy her rival, told her that the king loved her, but disliked her nose, and that she had better cover it with a kerchief. The unhappy girl followed this advice. When the king expressed his astonishment the queen informed him that the girl could not endure the smell of the king's breath. This enraged the king so much, that he ordered the girl to have her nose cut off. Han Fei Tse (T`ai-p`ing-yü-lan chap. 367, p. 3v.).
19. An officer of T`sai.
20. A prince of Wei, died b.c. 244.
22. , which should be written .
23. Common people are not exposed to the dust of envious slander or to hurricanes caused by their rivals.
24. Cf. p. 31, Note 3.
25. Since the drowning in the Yangtse seems to refer to Wu Tse Hsü, whose body was thrown into the Ch`ien-t`ang river or the Yangtse, the jumping into the Yellow River must be said of the violent death of Têng Hsi, of whom we merely know that he was put to death, but not how.
26. A sophist of the 6th cent. b.c., on whom see my article "The Chinese Sophists" p. 11 (Journal of China Branch, R. Asiat. Society Vol. XXXIV, 1901-02).
27. Cf. p. 1, Note 1.
29. Cf. p. 7, Note 4.
30. Ed. A. here and elsewhere has the peculiar sign for not to be found in Kanghi.
31. The smallest defects are thus magnified.
32. A place in Honan. Cf. Vol. I, p. 179, Note 6.
33. One of the nine circuits of Yü comprising parts of Chili and Shantung.
35. Figuratively said of men.
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|Published by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia|