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孔子行魯林中，婦人哭，甚哀，使子貢問之：“何以哭之哀也？”曰：“去年虎食吾夫，今年食吾子，是以哭哀也。”子貢曰： “若此，何不去也？”對曰： “吾善其政之不苛、吏之不暴也。”子貢還報孔子。孔子曰：“弟子識諸！苛政暴吏，甚於虎也。”
平陸、廣都，虎所不由也；山林、草澤，虎所生出也。必以虎食人應 功曹之奸，是則平陸、廣都之縣，功曹常為賢，山林、草澤之邑功曹常伏誅也。 夫虎食人於野，應功曹之奸，虎時入邑行於民間，功曹遊於閭巷之中乎？
實說，虎害人於野不應政，其行都邑，乃為怪。 夫虎，山林之獸，不狎之物也，常在草野之中，不為馴畜，猶人家之有鼠也，伏匿希出，非可常見也。命吉居安，鼠不擾亂；祿衰居危，鼠為殃變。夫 虎亦然也：邑縣吉安，長吏無患，虎匿不見；長吏且危，則虎入邑，行於民間。何則？長吏光氣已消，都邑之地與野均也。
Chapter XXXIII. The Tiger Trouble (Tsao-hu).
The phenomenalists aver that the devouring of men by tigers is a consequence of the misdeeds of the high commissioners, 1 their idea being that as the high commissioners are the chiefs of the officers, so tigers are the fiercest of beasts. The commissioners do mischief by fleecing their subordinates, therefore tigers devour men to accord with this idea.
Tigers eat men, but it likewise happens that men kill tigers. If they contend that, as tigers eat men, the commissioners plunder the officials, do the latter extort money from the commissioners, when men eat the tigers?
In our age, there is not one unselfish and undefiled officer among a hundred, and all high commissioners have wicked designs. 2 By good connexions and old friendship one succeeds, and bribes of all sorts, big and small, are always welcome. If tigers are considered to correspond to high commissioners, tigers in the country always destroy people. Tigers come out at certain times, as dragons appear at fixed periods. The Yin creatures appear in winter, whereas Yang animals come out in summer. 3 Their appearance corresponds to their fluid, which prompts its corresponding species.
Orion and its sword come forth in winter, the "Heart" 4 and the "Tail" 5 become visible in summer. Orion and its sword are the constellation of tigers, the "Heart" and the "Tail," the heavenly signs of dragons. When these signs are visible, the creatures make their appearance, and the fluid supervening, the respective species is affected. Such is the nature of Heaven and Earth.
Those who move about in forests and marshes just fall in with tigers, which assault them and tear them to pieces. Tigers are endowed with fierceness. When they are greedy and hungry, and encounter a man arriving of his own accord, why should they not eat him? Human muscles and sinews are weak and powerless, and man lacks agility, therefore meeting a tiger, he is sure to perish. If Mêng Pên ascends a mountain, or Mrs. Fêng6 enters a wood, they do not succumb.
When Confucius was walking through a forest in Lu, a woman cried most mournfully. He sent Tse Kung to inquire, wherefore she cried so sadly. The woman replied, "Last year a tiger devoured my husband, and this year it devoured my son, hence my lamentation." Tse Kung rejoined, "Why do you not leave the place under these circumstances?" --- "Because," said the woman, "I like the government which is not oppressive, and the officials who are not tyrannical." Tse Kung went back, and reported what he had heard to his master. Confucius said, "Remember, my disciples, that an oppressive government and tyrannical officials are worse than tigers." 7
That tigers kill men has ever been the case. Government not being oppressive, and the officers not being tyrannical, the effects of virtue are apt to avert tigers. Nevertheless, those two individuals were eaten in two successive years, ergo the beasts in the forest did not conform to goodness. There being no such correspondence in the case of unselfish officials, it cannot be expected for depraved ones either.
Some say that tigers comport with the perversity of high commissioners, but that the so-called inoppressive government is not equivalent to these commissioners. The woman was under the rule of unselfish officers, but how could good government operate upon tigers? 8
In Lu there were no high commissioners, who are nothing else than ministers of State. The ministers of Lu were not Confucius or Mê Ti, but members of the three families. 9 Their proceedings as ministers cannot have been recommendable. All power and influence being invested in persons devoid of virtue, their doings must have been wicked, and there can be no question of disinterestedness. If the depravity of ministers induces tigers to devour men, then those in the wilds of Lu must always have eaten men.
The destruction in the water does not reach the hills, and the fluid on the hills does not enter into the water. All creatures fall a prey to their enemies which are near. Thus fish, caught by the fisherman, do not die on the mountains, and animals, chased by the hunter, do not dive into the pond. 10 If people like to rove through the mountain woods, to spy out obscure caverns, and intrude into the tiger's den, it cannot be a matter for surprise that the tiger pounces upon and devours them. 11
Duke Niu Ai of Lu, during a sickness, was changed into a tiger, which attacked and devoured his elder brother. 12 People do not wonder at this simultaneous metamorphosis; why then be surprised that in mountain forests, jungles, and marshes people are killed by tigers? Snakes and vipers are very fierce, and likewise injurious to mankind. If somebody meets with a snake in a marsh, to which class of officials does it respond? Wasps and scorpions hurt people, and so do poisonous exhalations, water, and fire. If a person is stung by a wasp or a scorpion, infected by poisonous air, burned in fire, or drowned in water, who has been the cause?
Provided that there be a sort of relation between wild animals and officers or government, then all those animals living on mountains or in forests, such as elks, stags, wild boar, oxen, elephants, brown and spotted bears, wolves, and rhinopithecus,13 kill men. But should a correspondence be assumed only in case they eat men, then fleas, lice, mosquitoes, and gadflies 14 all feed on men, yet the human body being so strong and big, it does not occasion its death. In times of famine, when food is dear, and the people starved, they go even the length of eating one another. Such an atrocity is far worse than tigers, but phenomenalists do not ascribe this to oppressive government.
Moreover, tigers do not only eat men:---birds with blood in their veins, and animals with bodies, all afford them food. If a man eaten is believed to testify to the wickedness of the high commissioners, to which functionaries do other birds and animals refer, when devoured? The tiger is a hairy mammal, and man a naked one. If a hairy mammal in its hunger eats a naked one, why must this be accounted an extraordinary phenomenon?
Beyond the countries of the four classes of savages, 15 the Giants devour the Pigmies. The nature of tigers is like that of the Man and the Yi.16
Plains and large cities are not resorts for tigers. They thrive in mountain forests, jungles, and marshes. Supposing that a tiger's devouring a man is a correlate of the depravity of high commissioners, then in the districts of the plain with large cities, the commissioners must always be excellent, whereas in territories covered with mountains, woods, and marshes they are always culpable. Accordingly, the tiger's eating a man in the country, has its counterpart in the viciousness of the commissioners. But, when it happens that a tiger enters a city, and walks about among the people, do, at that time, the commissioners saunter about through lanes and alleys? 17
As a matter of fact, the killing of a man by a tiger in the country has nothing to do with government, but its appearance in a big city is a prodigy, for the tiger is a wild beast of the mountains and woods, and not domesticated. It lives in jungles, and cannot be tamed, and bears some resemblance to the common rat, which is not always visible, as it usually hides itself, and seldom comes out. As long as people live in happiness and tranquillity, rats do not stir, but scarcely is their felicity destroyed, and are dangers impending, when rats by their agitation indicate an extraordinary calamity. 18 The same holds good for tigers. While cities and districts enjoy peace and happiness, and the high officers have no trouble, tigers do not leave their hiding places, but no sooner are the high officers on the road to ruin, than tigers enter the cities, and wander about among the populace. The glory of the high officers being extinguished, their towns and cities sink to the level of a wilderness. 19
Proceeding on this line of argument, we arrive at the conclusion that, when a man is eaten by a tiger, fate and time come into play. Fate being exhausted, 20 and time out of gear, the lustre of the body fades away, the flesh appears as a corpse, consequently the tiger eats it. It is a fortuitous coincidence according to the principles of Heaven that a tiger happens to eat a man, and that the high officers are just wicked. Thus, what is looked upon as an extraordinary phenomenon, is in harmony with the laws of Heaven.
In ancient and modern times all kinds of wild animals have served as inauspicious auguries, not tigers alone. Before the upper story of the Ying palace of the king of Ch`u was completed, a stag walked over its terrace. Some time after, the king expired. --- Duke Chao of Lu going out one morning, a "mainah" arrived, and began building its nest. Subsequently the Chi family expelled the duke, who fled to Ch`i, where he afterwards died without returning to his own country. 21
Chia Yi was privy councillor to the king of Ch`ang-sha. A screech owl perched on his house. 22 He opened his book and divined that he was going to leave his master, and, later on, he was transferred to be councillor to the king of Liang. King Huai23 was fond of riding, but was thrown from his horse, and breathed his last. Chia Yi took this death so much to heart, that he contracted a disease and died likewise. --- In the time of the king of Ch`ang-yi,24 an exotic partridge alighted under a palace hall, and was shot by the king, who questioned the steward of the palace, Kung Sui.25Kung Sui replied that the entering of an exotic partridge, a wild bird, into the palace was an augury of death. Subsequently, the king of Ch`ang-yi, in fact, lost his life.
The magistrate of Lu-nu,26T`ien Kuang conjointly with Kung-Sun Hung27 and others planned an insurrection. When it was about to be discovered, a wild cat mewed on the roof of his house. T`ien Kuang felt disgusted. Afterwards the intrigue was discovered, and he suffered execution. --- In the time of Li Wên Po, the commander of the eastern part of Kuei-chi, a sheep lay down in his reception hall. Subsequently he was promoted and appointed prefect of Tung-lai.28 When Wang Tse Fêng was commander, a deer entered his residence, and afterwards he rose to the rank of a prefect of Tan-yang.29
Good and bad luck can both be ascertained, promotion and dismission both have their prognostics. When they all point to desolation and death, the vital force disperses and vanishes. Thus, when a man is about to die, wild birds intrude into his home, and when a town is to be deserted, animals from the prairies enter its precincts. These affinities are very numerous, and similar events, constantly met with. I have selected some conspicuous ones, to prove the truth of such prognostics.
2. A hard judgment indeed.
3. The tiger represents the masculine principle Yang.
4. Cf. Vol. I, p. 127, Note 5.
5. Cf. Vol. I, p. 118, Note 2.
6. A lady of the seraglio of Han Yuan Ti, 1st cent. b.c., who once faced a bear that had escaped from its cage.
7. See p. 145, Note 3.
8. Government as a whole could be bad, even though the local officials were good.
9. The three noble families, Mêng, Shu, and Chi which in the time of Confucius were the real rulers of Lu, the reigning duke being more or less dependent upon them.
10. The catching of fish is what Wang Ch`ung denotes by "destruction in the water," and the hunting of animals what he calls the "fluid, i. e. destructive, on the hills."
11. Remaining in their own places, where the destructive fluid of mountain forests viz. tigers do not intrude, people would be safe.
12. Cf. Vol. I, p. 326, Note 2.
14. cf. p. 191, Note 1.
15. The barbarians living towards the four Quarters of China.
16. The savages in the south and the west, here meaning savages in general.
17. Provided that there be always a correspondence between the doings of tigers and high commissioners.
18. The Han-shu relates that, when the kings of Kuang-ling and Yen were going to stir up an insurrection, rats were observed dancing in their palaces. Even with us rats are credited with some kind of prescience, for we say that rats leave a ship which is going to be wrecked.
19. For this reason they are visited by tigers.
20. Fate is looked upon as something material of which there may be greater or smaller quantities.
21. Cf. p. 162.
22. Cf. p. 313, Note 4.
23. King Huai of Liang in Honan was a son of the emperor Wên Ti. He died in 169 b.c.
24. A place in Shantung.
25. A celebrated official of the 2nd and 1st cent. b.c.
26. The modern Ting-chou in Chili.
27. Originally a poor scholar, later on a privy councillor of the emperor Han Wu Ti, who died in 121 b.c.
28. The present Lai-chou-fu in the province of Shantung.
29. A circuit in Kiangsu and Anhui.
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|Published by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia|