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Chapter XXXI. Inner Congeries of Sayings, The Lower Series: Six Minutiae

1Of the six minutiae, the first is said to be "authority left in the hands of the inferior"; the second, "difference of ministers in interest from the ruler and their consequent dependence upon foreign support"; the third, "resort to disguise and falsification"; the fourth, "antinomies in matters of advantage and harm"; the fifth, "mutual confusions in position and domestic dissentions for supremacy"; and the sixth, "manipulation of dismissal and appointment of officials by enemy states." These six are what the sovereign ought to consider carefully.

1. On Authority and Position2

Authority and position should not be lent to anybody else. If the sovereign loses one, the minister would turn that into one hundred. Thus, if the minister can borrow power and position from the ruler, his strength would multiply. Should his strength multiply, then men in and out of the court would be utilized by him. If men in and out of the court are utilized by him, then the lord of men would be deluded. The saying is based in Lao Tan's discussion 3 on the loss of fish. For further illustration, a man became wealthy 4 simply after one evening's 5 talk with his influential friend, and an attendant gained prestige because his master had given 6 him a hairbrush. Its contrary is found in Hsü T`ong's remonstration with Duke Li, in Chou Hou's unification of the attendants' sayings, and in the Yen man's bathing in dung.

2. On the Difference in Interest

Ruler and minister differ in interest. Therefore, ministers are never loyal. As soon as the minister's 7 interest stands up, the sovereign's interest goes to ruin. Thus wicked ministers would exterminate their opponents at home by sending for enemy troops and bewilder their lord by enumerating foreign affairs. As long as their private interest is accomplished, they never mind any disaster to the state. An instance is found in the husband's and wife's prayer in Wei. For further illustration, Tai Hsieh discussed the danger of allowing sons and brothers to take up office in the courts of foreign states, the Three Huan families attacked Duke Chao, Kung-shu conspired secretly with the army of Ch`i, Chieh Huang sent for troops from Han, Premier P`i persuaded High Official Chung of his personal interest, Ta-ch`êng Wu 8 taught Shên Pu-hai the way to their mutual advantage, Ssŭ-ma Hsi divulged secret news to the King of Chao, Lü Ts`ang induced Ch`in and Ch`u to invade his native soil; Sung Shih wrote Wei Chün a personal letter; and Pai Kuei taught Pao Ch`ien the way to their mutual advantage.

3. On Disguise and Falsification

Matters of falsification and disguise make the lord of men miss what he ought to censure and make the ministers accomplish their private interests. Thus, the gate-men poured water but I-shê was censured; the Lord of Chi-yang forged the King's order but his two enemies paid for the crime; Ssŭ-ma Hsi killed Yuan Ch'ien but Chi Hsin was censured; Chêng Hsiu said the new court ladies disliked the bad smell of His Majesty's breath and the newcomers had their noses cut off; Fei Wu-chi 9 told Ch`i Yüan to parade weapons but the magistrate censured the latter; Ch`ên Hsü killed Chang Shou but Hsi-shou 10 had to run into exile; and, similarly, when the silo was burned, the King of Central Hills held the innocent prince guilty, and when the old literatus was killed, the Lord of Chi-yang rewarded the assassin.

4. On the Existence of Opposites

If any event happens and has any advantage at all, the sovereign must master it. If it has any disadvantage, he must discern the opposite. For this reason, the enlightened sovereign, in estimating the welfare of the country, would reflect on the advantage when the state has any disadvantage; when the minister has any disadvantage, he would deliberate upon its opposite. The saying is based on the appointment of Ch`ên Hsü to premiership upon the arrival of the Ch`u troops, and on the rise of the price of millet seed because of the granary-keeper's dishonesty. Thus, Chao Hsi-hsü arrested the reed-seller; Marquis Chao-hsi 11 blamed the second cook; Duke Wên found hairs around the roast meat; and Marquis Hsiang offered to proclaim the Ruler of Ch`i Eastern Emperor.

5. On Mutual Confusions in Position

The situation of mutual confusions in position causes disturbances. Therefore, the enlightened sovereign takes precautions against it. For this reason, Li-chi of Chin killed Shên-shêng; the Mistress of Chêng used poisonous drugs; Chou Hsü of Wei murdered his Ruler, Yüan; Prince Kên occupied Eastern Chou; Prince Chih enjoyed His Majesty's exceeding favour, wherefore Shang-ch`ên actually caused a disturbance; Yen Sui and Han K`uei rivalled each other, wherefore Duke Ai encountered rebels; T`ien Ch`ang and Kan Chih, Tai Huan and Huang Hsi, were enemies, wherefore Duke Chien of Ch'i and the Ruler of Sung were respectively murdered. The saying is based on Hu T`u's talk on the two kinds of fondness on the part of the sovereign and on Chêng Chao's reply that the heir apparent was not yet born.

6. On Dismissal and Appointment

What one state works after is to observe secretly the on-going affairs in its enemy states and take advantage of their weaknesses. If the lord of men is not alert, enemies will dismiss or appoint his men. Thus King Wên financed Fei Chung; the King of Ch`in worried over the envoy from Ch`u; Li Chü got rid of Chung-ni; and Kan Hsiang obstructed Kan Mu. For the same reason, Tzŭ-hsü spread rumours wherefore Tzŭ-ch`ang was taken into service; beauties were accepted, wherefore Yü and Kuo went to ruin; a letter was falsified, wherefore Ch`ang Hung was executed; and chicken and pig sacrifices were offered, wherefore all able men of K`uai were exterminated.

Regarding matters of confusion and suspicion and of dismissal and appointment, the enlightened sovereign exterminates them at home but propagates them abroad. Financing the poor and supporting the weak in the enemy states is called "inter-palatial assaults". 12 If the system of three units and basic fives 13 is adopted inside, while observations and informations function outside, then what can the enemy do? The saying is based on the Ch`in clown's secret report to Ruler Hui-wên. For further illustration, Hsiang Tz`ŭ foretold his master the enemies' stratagem to fall upon Yeh, and Duke Ssŭ bestowed a new mat upon the prefect . . . 14

So much above for the canons.

Annotations to Canon I:

High authority is the pool of the lord of men. Ministers are the fish swimming in high authority. Just as the fish once lost outside the pool cannot be recovered, so can the high authority of the lord of men once lost to the ministers not be recovered. The ancient 15 found it difficult to say explicitly, and therefore used the metaphor of the fish swimming in the pool. Now, reward and punishment are sharp weapons. By handling them the ruler controls ministers. By appropriating them ministers delude the sovereign. Therefore, if the ruler let ministers see any reward before he bestows it upon anybody, ministers would sell it as a personal favour; if the ruler let ministers see any punishment before he inflicts it upon anybody, ministers would use it as a personal threat. Hence the saying: "The weapons of the state should not be shown to anybody."

The Lord of Ching-kuo, Premier of Ch`i, once talked with an old acquaintance in an evening, 16 whereupon the old acquaintance became wealthy. Another time he gave 17 one of his attendants a hairbrush, wherefore the attendant gained prestige. Indeed, having an evening's talk and making a present 18 of a hairbrush constitute very little resources. Nevertheless, they are sufficient to enrich men. How much more can authority and position left in the hands of officials do?

At the time of Duke Li of Chin, the Six Nobles were very powerful. Therefore, Hsü T`ong and Ch`ang Yü-ch`iao remonstrated with him, saying: "When chief vassals are powerful and influential, they rival the sovereign, cause disputes in state affairs, and, by accepting bribes from foreign powers, forming cliques at home, and violating the law of the state, intimidate the sovereign, wherefore the state is always endangered." "Right," said the Duke, and accordingly, wiped out three Nobles. Again, Hsü T`ong and Ch`ang Yü-chiao remonstrated with him, saying: "Indeed, to punish certain and not all of the men guilty of the same crime is to make the survivors resent and watch for a chance." In response the Duke said: "In one morning I exterminated three of the Six Nobles. I cannot bear exterminating all of them." "Your Highness cannot bear exterminating them, but they will bear causing Your Highness harm,"' said Ch`ang Yü-ch`iao. To this the Duke would not listen. In the course of three months, the remaining Nobles started a rebellion, and finally killed Duke Li and partitioned his territory.

Chou Hou, Premier of Ching, was influential and dictated to all state affairs. Suspecting him, the King of Ching asked the attendants about his rampancy. In reply all of them said "Nothing!" as though the reply came out from one mouth.

A man of Yen was easily bewildered and therefore would bathe in dogs' dung. The wife of the man of Yen was intimate with a bachelor. Once, when her husband came home early from outside, the fellow happened to be going out from the home. "Who is the visitor"? asked the husband. "No visitor at all," replied the wife, Then he asked the servants, who all said "None!" as though the reply came from one mouth. "You certainly became insane." So saying, his wife bathed him in dogs' dung.

According to a different source: A man of Yen, named Li Chi, would go far away. His wife was intimate with a bachelor. One day he suddenly came home while the fellow was in. Over this his wife worried, so her woman servant said to her: "Let the young gentleman go naked and with his hairs dispersed rush straight out through the door. Then all of us will pretend to have been nothing." Thereupon the young fellow followed the plan and ran out fast through the door. "Who is that man?" asked Chi. "Nobody," replied everyone in the house. "Have I seen a ghost?" "Certainly." "What shall I do then?" "Get the dung of the five animals 19 and bathe in it." "All right," said Chi. So he bathed in the dung. According to another different source he bathed in hot orchid water.

Annotations to Canon II:

Among the Weis, there were a man and his wife who once during their prayer said as benediction, "Give us no misery but one hundred rolls of cloth." "Why is the benediction so simple?" wondered the husband. "What? If it be more elaborate than this, then you might be thinking of buying a concubine thereby," replied the wife.

The King of Ching wanted the various princes to take up office in the courts of the neighbouring states. "It is impracticable," said Tai Hê. "Why? If I, the King, allow them to take up official posts in the neighbouring states the neighbouring states would certainly treat them well," said the King. "The princes sent out are well received," remarked Tai Hê, "However, when well treated, they become partisans of the states that treat them well. If so, such a policy is simply to induce the princes to the betrayal of their native land to foreign powers, and therefore is disadvantageous to Your Majesty."

The clans of Mêng Sun, Shu Sun, and Chi Sun, united their strength and molested Duke Chao, till they usurped his state and managed all public affairs at their pleasure. At first, when the Three Huans 20 were bearing down upon the Duke, 21 Duke Chao attacked the Chi Sun Clan. Therefore, the Mêng Sun Clan and the Shu Sun Clan consulted with each other as to whether they should rescue the would-be victim. The coachman of the Shu Sun Clan said: "I am just a domestic servant. How can I understand public affairs? Whether Chi Sun remains in existence or goes into extinction, neither will gain me anything." The rest said: "If Chi Sun is gone, Shu Sun will certainly pass out too. Let us rescue them." So they broke through the north-western corner and went in. When the Mêng Sun Clan saw the flag of Shu Sun going in, they also ran to the rescue. The Three Huans thus became one. Duke Chao could not overcome them but sought refuge in Chi`i 22 and died at Ch`ien-hou.

Kung-shu was Premier of Han and, furthermore, 23 was on good terms 24 with Ch`i. Kung-chung was highly trusted by the King. Kung-shu was afraid lest the King should appoint Kung-chung premier. Therefore, he made Ch`i and Han form an alliance for attacking Wey. And, by conspiring secretly with the army of Ch`i inside the city of Chêng, capital of Han, and thereby intimidating his master, he made his own position secure and consolidated the alliance of the two states.

Chieh Huang was minister to the King of Wey but was on good terms with Han. Accordingly, he sent for troops from Han and made them attack Wey. Then he purposely offered to sue for peace on behalf of His Majesty in order thereby to elevate his own position.

The King of Yüeh attacked the King of Wu. The King of Wu apologized and offered submission. When the King of Yüeh was thinking of forgiving him, Fan Li and High Official Chung said: "No, it is impracticable. Formerly Heaven presented Yüeh to Wu but Wu refused the present. Now if 25 we let Fu-ch`a go home, we will incur a similar calamity from Heaven. As Heaven is now presenting Wu to Yüeh, we ought to repeat bows and accept the present. Never forgive him." Thereupon Premier P`i of Wu wrote to High Official Chung, saying: "When wild hares are exhausted, tame dogs would be cooked; when enemy states are destroyed, state councillors would be ruined. High Official, why would you not release Wu and keep Yüeh in worry?" When High Official Chung received the letter, he read it, heaved a deep sigh, and said, "Put the messenger to death. The Yüeh State and my 26 life are the same."

Ta-ch`êng Wu 27 served Chao and said to Shên Pu-hai in Han: "Sir, if you would elevate my position in Chao with the influence of Han, I should elevate your position in Han with the influence of Chao. In this way you will extend your sphere of influence twice as large as Han while I will extend mine twice as large as Chao."

Ssŭ-ma Hsi, minister to the ruler of Central Hills, was on good terms with Chao and therefore always reported in secret to the King of Chao the stratagems of Central Hills.

Lü Ts`ang, minister to the King of Wey, was on good terms with Ch`in and Ching. Once he gave Ch`in and Ching a secret hint and made them attack Wey. Then he offered to sue for peace in order thereby to make his own position secure.

Sung Shih was a general of Wey: Wei Chün, a general of Ching. When the two States took up arms against each other, both were commanders of their respective armies. Then Sung Shih wrote Wei Chün a personal letter, saying: "The two armies are opposing each other. The two flags are facing each other. Let there be no fighting. After fighting both will certainly not remain in coexistence. The present crisis is a personal feud between the two sovereigns. You and I have no private hatred. Being good to each other, we should avoid fighting each other."

Pai Kuei was Premier of Wey; Pao Ch`ien, Premier of Han. The former said to the latter: "If you assist me in Wey with the influence of Han while I support you in Han with the influence of Wey, then I will always remain in power in Wey while you in Han."

Annotation to Canon III:

One of the Middle Officers of Ch`i, named I-shê, once had a drinking feast with the King. Greatly drunk, he went out and leaned on the gate of the lobby. Thereupon the cut-footed28 gate-man asked, "Has Your Excellency not any intention of giving the remaining drops of wine to thy humble servant?" In reply I-shê scolded him, saying, "Get away! How dare a penalized man ask for wine from his superior?" The cut-footed man ran away. As soon as I-shê left the cut-footed man purposely poured water below the eaves of the lobby gate in the manner of urination. Next day, when the King went out, he rebuked it and asked, "Who passed water here?" In reply the cut-footed man said: "Thy servant has seen nobody. However, yesterday Middle Officer I-shê stood here. The King, therefore, blamed I-shê and killed him.

The King of Wey had two ministers who were not on good terms with the Lord of Chi-yang. Once the Lord of Chi-yang purposely made his men falsify the King's order to scheme to attack himself. Thereupon the King sent out men to ask the Lord of Chi-yang, "Who bears you a grudge?" "Thy servant is not at feud with anybody," replied the Lord, "but he has not been on good terms with two of your Majesty's ministers. Still that displeasure should not have come to this!" The King then asked the attendants about it, and all said, "Of course!" The King, accordingly, censured the two ministers.

Chi Hsin and Yuan Ch`ien were at feud with each other. Ssŭ-ma Hsi came recently to bad terms with Chi Hsin, and so secretly ordered men to assassinate Yuan Ch`ien. The ruler of Central Hills, thinking Chi Hsin was the contriver of the murder, held him guilty.

The King of Ching had a favourite concubine named Chêng Hsiu. As the King newly got a beautiful girl, Chêng Hsiu purposely told her, "The King was very fond of seeing people covering their mouths with hands. Be sure to cover your mouth when 29 you go near to the King." When the beautiful girl went in to have an audience with the King, she, accordingly, covered her mouth. The King asked the reason therefor. "She has already talked about the bad odour of Your Majesty," replied Chêng Hsiu. One day, the King, Chêng Hsiu, and the beautiful girl, all three took seats in a carriage, Hsiu told the coachman to carry out the order definitely and immediately as soon as the King said any word. When the beautiful girl came up very near to the King, she covered her mouth several times. Displeased, the King became very angry, saying, "Cut off her nose!" when the coachman drew out his sword and cut off the beautiful girl's nose.

According to a different source: Once the King of Wey presented the King of Ching a beauty. The King of Ching was greatly pleased by her. His royal concubine, Chêng Hsiu, knowing the King loved her with pleasure, also loved her with pleasure even more than the King did, and among clothes and ornaments selected whatever she wanted and gave them to her. "Madame, knowing I love the new lady, loves her with pleasure even more than I do," remarked the King. "This is the way the dutiful son should support his parents, and loyal subjects should serve the ruler." Knowing the King never thought she was jealous, the royal concubine purposely told the new lady, "The King loves you very much but dislikes your nose. When you see the King, always cover your nose with hands. Then the King will forever love you." Thereafter the new lady followed the advice, and, every time she saw the King, would cover her nose. So the King asked his royal concubine, "Why does the new lady always cover her nose every time she sees me?" "How can I know?" said the royal concubine. The King kept asking her insistently. "Just a while ago," said she in reply, "I heard her saying she disliked to smell the odour of Your Majesty." "Cut off her nose," said the King in anger. As the royal consort had instructed the coachman to carry out any order definitely as soon as the King said any word, the coachman, accordingly drew out his sword and cut off the beauty's nose.

Fei Wu-chi was a courtier of the Magistrate of Ching. Ch`i Yüan newly came to serve the magistrate. The magistrate liked him very much. Therefore, Wu-chi said to the magistrate, "Your Excellency likes Yüan so much. Why does Your Excellency not hold a wine feast at his home sometime?' "Good," said the magistrate, and ordered Wu-chi to prepare a wine feast at the home of Ch`i Yüan. Then Wu-chi told Yüan, "The Magistrate is very militant and fond of weapons. You should be cautious and respectful and quickly parade weapons beneath the hall and in the courtyard." So did Yüan accordingly. When the Magistrate arrived, he was greatly surprised, asking, "What is all this about?" "Your Excellency, be sure 30 to leave here," replied Wu-chi, "as we do not know what is going to happen." Enraged thereby, the Magistrate took up arms, censured Ch`i Yüan, and finally put him to death.

Hsi Shou and Chang Shou were at feud with each other. Ch`ên Hsü newly came on bad terms with 31 Hsi Shou, and so made men assassinate Chang Shou. The King of Wey, thinking Hsi Shou was the contriver of the assassination, censured 32 him.

There was in the Central Hills State a humble prince, whose horse was very skinny and carriage terribly worn-out. Some of the chamberlains who had a private hatred for him made a request on his behalf to the King, 33 saying: "The prince is very poor. His horse is very thin. Why does Your Majesty not increase the food supplies for his horse?" The King did not grant the request. The chamberlain, therefore, secretly set fire to the silo at night. The King, thinking the humble prince was the contriver of the arson, censured him.

There was in Wey an old literatus who was not on good terms with the Lord of Chi-yang. One of the guests of the Lord had private hatred for the old literatus and so purposely assaulted the old literatus and killed him. Considering it a distinguished service to the Lord of Chi-yang, he said: "Thy servant killed him because he had been at feud with Your Excellency." Hearing this, the Lord of Chi-yang, without investigating his motive, rewarded him.

According to a different source: The Lord of Chi-yang had a petty official who was not noticed by his master but wanted to win his special favour. Once upon a time, the Ch`i State sent an old literatus out to dig herbs in the Horse Pear Mountain. In order to render the master some meritorious service, the petty official of Chi-yang went in to see the Lord and said: "Ch`i sent an old literatus out to dig herbs in the Horse Pear Mountain. In name he is digging herbs but in fact he is spying the country of Your Highness. If Your Highness does not 34 kill him, he will implicate the Lord of Chi-yang in the plot against Ch`i. May thy servant then beg to despatch him?" "You may do so," replied the Lord. On the following day the petty official found the old literatus on the shady side of the city-walls and pierced him. At last the Lord admitted him into his confidence. 35

Annotations to Canon IV:

Ch`ên Hsü, minister to the King of Wey, was on good terms with the King of Ching. Once he induced Ching to attack Wey. Then he concluded the peace terms on behalf of the King of Wey. He, accordingly, became Premier of Wey through the influence of Ching.

At the time of Marquis Chao of Han seeds of millet continued expensive and farmers scarcely had any of it. Therefore Marquis Chao sent men to inspect the state granary. They found the granary-keeper had been stealing millet seeds and smuggling a big amount to foreign countries.

When Chao Hsi-hsü was in official service in Ching, once someone set fire to the openings of the state storehouses and silos but it was not known who he was. Thereupon Chao Hsi-hsü ordered officials to arrest sellers of reeds and examine them, and found out they were actually the incendiaries.

At the time of Marquis Chao-hsi, one day when the cook brought in the meal, the soup had pieces of raw liver in it. Therefore, the Marquis sent for the second cook, blamed him, and asked, "Why did you put pieces of raw liver in the soup for me?" Bowing his head to the ground, the cook admitted his capital crime and confessed that he had thereby intended to get rid of the chief cook.

According to a different source: Once when Marquis Hsi was going to take a bath, the hot water had pebbles in it. Marquis Hsi then asked the attendants if anybody would take up the vacancy upon the dismissal of the bath-boy. "Certainly," replied the attendants. "Bring him here," said Marquis Hsi. Then he questioned the man why he had put pebbles in the hot water. In reply the man said: "If the bath-boy is dismissed, thy servant will be able to take his place. Therefore, thy servant put pebbles in the hot water."

At the time of Duke Wên, one day when the cook brought in roast meat, it was twisted with hairs. So Duke Wên sent for the cook and asked him: "Do you intend to choke me to death? Why did you twist the roast meat with hairs?" The cook bowed his head to the ground, repeated salutations, begged for pardon, and said: "Thy servant has committed three capital crimes: He held the grindstone and whetted the knife till the knife became as sharp as the Kan-chiang sword. In cutting the meat it tore the meat but the hairs did not tear. This is the first crime of which thy servant is guilty. Then he held the awl and pierced through the meat chop but failed to see the hairs, which is the second crime. Finally, he kept the charcoal burning in the cooking stove so that all the meat became red and was roasted and well done, but the hairs were not burned at all, which is the third crime. Could there be nobody inside the hall who has been jealous 36 of thy servant?" "You are right," the Duke said, and then summoned all the subordinates inside and questioned them. Among them he actually found out the true culprit, whom he put to death.

According to a different source: Once upon a time, when Duke P`ing entertained guests at a wine feast, a petty official brought in roast meat which was twisted with hairs. Duke P`ing sprang to his feet and was going to kill the cook and allowed nobody to disobey his order. The cook cried to heaven and said: "Alas! Thy servant has committed three crimes, and how does he not know the death penalty for them himself?" "What do you mean by saying that?" asked Duke P`ing. In reply the cook said: "The knife of thy servant is so sharp that bones can be cut just as grass is blown down by winds, and yet hairs were not cut, which is the first capital crime thy servant is guilty of. Roasted with mulberry charcoal, the meat became red and then white but the hairs were not burned, which is thy servant's second capital crime. When the meat was roasted and well done, thy servant repeated moving his eyelashes and looked at it carefully, but the hairs twisting the roast meat were not seen, which is thy servant's third capital crime. Does it seem that there is somebody inside the hall who hates 37 thy servant? If so, is it not too early to kill thy servant so abruptly?"

When Marquis Hsiang was Premier of Ch`in, Ch`i was powerful. Marquis Hsiang wanted to proclaim the Ruler of Ch`in emperor, which Ch`i refused to recognize. Then he offered to proclaim the Ruler of Ch`i eastern emperor. Thereby 38 he became able to proclaim the Ruler of Ch`in emperor.

Annotations to Canon V:

At the same time of Duke Hsien of Chin, Li-chi enjoyed the same privileges as the real duchess. She wanted her son, Hsi-ch`i, to replace the heir apparent, Shên-shêng, and therefore slandered 39 Shên-shêng before the Ruler and had him put to death. Finally she succeeded in setting up Hsi-ch`i as heir apparent.

The Ruler of Chêng had already installed an heir apparent, whereas his beloved beautiful girl wanted him to take her son for the heir apparent. Fearing this, his wife used poisonous drugs, betrayed the Ruler, and put him to death.

Chou Hsü of Wei was influential in Wei and behaved like the Ruler. The body of officials and the masses of people were all afraid of his position and influence. Eventually Chou Hsü murdered the Ruler and usurped the reins of government.

Prince Chao was heir apparent of Chou. His younger brother, Prince Kên, was in special favour with the ruler. Upon the death of the royal father, Kên occupied Eastern Chou, rose in rebellion and partitioned the original territory into two states.

King Ch`êng of Ch`u proclaimed Shang-ch`êng heir apparent. Later, he wanted to take Prince Chih. Therefore, Shang-ch`ên caused a disturbance, and finally attacked and murdered King Ch`êng.

According to a different source: King Ch`êng proclaimed40 Shang-ch`ên heir apparent. Later, he wanted to set up Prince Chih. Shang-ch`ên heard about this but was not yet sure of it. So he said 41 to his tutor, P`an Chung, "How can we be sure of the real situation?" "Invite Chiang Yü to dinner and show him no respect," said Pan Chung. The Crown Prince followed the advice. Provoked thereby, Chiang Yü said: "You brute! No wonder your royal father wants to set you down and set Chih up as heir apparent." "It's true," said Shang-ch`ên. "Will you be able to serve Chih?" asked P`an Chung. "No, not able." "Then will you be able 42 to take shelter under the feudal lords?" "No, not able," "Well, then are you able to start a rebellion?" "Certainly able." Thereupon they raised all the armed soldiers in the barracks around his court and attacked King Ch`êng. King Ch`êng asked permission to eat a bear's paw and then die. Refused permission, he finally committed suicide.

Han Kuei was Premier to Marquis Ai of Han. Yen Sui was highly regarded by the Ruler. So the two abhorred each other. One day, Yen Sui ordered men to assassinate Han Kuei at the court. Han Kuei ran towards His Highness and held him in his arms. At last the assassins pierced through Han Kuei and also through Marquis Ai.

T`ien Hêng was Premier of Ch`i. Kan Chih was highly regarded by Duke Chien. The two hated each other and were about to kill each other. T`ien Hêng, by distributing private favours among the masses of people, took over the country, and finally killed Duke Chien and usurped the reins of government.

Tai Huan was Prime Minister of Sung. Huang Hsi was highly regarded by the Ruler. The two disputed in affairs and abhorred each other. In the long run Huang Hsi killed the Ruler of Sung and usurped the reins of government.

Hu Tu once said: "If the ruler of a state has a favourite inside, 43 the heir apparent is jeopardized; if he has a favourite outside, 44 the premier is jeopardized."

The Ruler of Chêng once asked Chêng Chao, "How is the Crown Prince?" "The Crown Prince is not yet born," was the reply. "The Crown Prince has already been set up," said the Ruler, "but you said, `He is not yet born.' Why?" In reply Chêng Chao said: "Although the Crown Prince has been set up, yet Your Highness loves women and never stops. Supposing any of the beloved gave birth to a son, Your Highness would love him, too. Should Your Highness love him, Your Highness would certainly want to proclaim him heir apparent. Thy servant, therefore, said, "The Crown Prince is not yet born.' "

Annotations of Canon VI:

King Wên financed Fei Chung, made him stay around Chow, and told him to admonish Chow and disturb his mind.

The King of Ching once sent an envoy to Ch`in. The King of Ch`in showed him great courtesies. Later, he said: "If any enemy state has worthies it causes us worries. Now that the envoy of the King of Ching is very worthy, I am worried over it." Then the body of officials advised him, saying: "Win the envoy of the King of Ching to our side with the worthiness and saintliness of Your Majesty and with the resources and generosity of our country. Why does Your Majesty not cultivate deep friendship with him and pretend 45 to keep him in Your Majesty's service? Then, if Ching thinks he is rendering service to foreign states, they will infallibly censure him."

When Chung-ni was governing the Lu State, no one would pick up things dropped on the road. Over this Duke Ching of Ch`i worried. Therefore, Li Chü said to Duke Ching: "To get rid of Chung-ni is as easy as to blow off a hair. Why does Your Highness not invite him to office with big emolument and high position and present Duke Ai 46 girl musicians so as to make him self-conceited and bewilder 47 his ideas? When Duke Ai is rejoicing in new pleasures, he will certainly neglect governmental affairs, and Chung-ni will certainly remonstrate with him. If Chung-ni makes any remonstrance at all, he will certainly be slighted in Lu." "Good," said Duke Ching, and then ordered Li Chü to present girl musicians, twice eight in number, to Duke Ai. Enjoying their dance and music, Duke Ai actually neglected governmental affairs. Chung-ni remonstrated with him, but he would not listen. So Chung-ni left him and went to Ch`u.

The King of Ch`u said to Kan Hsiang: "I want to support Kan Mu with Ch`u's influence and make him premier of Ch`i Is this practicable?" "Impracticable," was the reply. "Why impracticable?" asked the King. In reply Kan Hsiang said: "Kan Mu when young studied under Master Shih Chü. Shih Chü, while gate-man of Shang-ts`ai, neither served his master well nor provided his family well, wherefore he was known throughout All-under-Heaven to be offensive and cruel. Nevertheless, Kan Mu served him with obedience. King Hui is enlightened, Chang Yi is discriminating. Kan Mu has served them and has been appointed to ten successive offices but has committed no fault whatever. This shows Kan Mu's worthiness." Then the King asked, "To find a worthy 48 for the premiership of the enemy state is not practicable. Why?" In reply Kan Hsiang said: "Formerly Your Majesty sent out Shao Hua to Yüeh and in five years could ruin Yüeh. The reason therefore was that Yüeh was then misgoverned while Ch`u was well governed. In the past 49 Your Majesty knew what to do with Yüeh but now forgets what to do with Ch`in. Is he not very quick to forget things?" "Well, if so, then what shall we do about it?" asked the King. "We may as well make Kung Li Premier of Ch`in." "Why is it practicable to make Kung Li Premier?" asked the King. "Kung Li in his youth," replied Hsiang, "was loved and favoured, and grew up to be a noble and an official. Wearing beautiful clothes embroidered with precious stones, 50 holding fragrant grass 51 in his mouth and keeping jade armlets around his hands, he attends to his public duties at the court. Furthermore, he thinks he can gain by a misgovernment of Ch`in."

Wu was invading Ching. Tzŭ-hsü then sent men out to spread rumours in Ching that if Tzŭ-ch`i, were taken into service by Ching, Wu would attack Ching, but if Tzŭ-ch`ang were taken into service, she would leave them free. When the Chings heard about these words, they took Tzŭ-ch`ang into service and dismissed Tzŭ-ch`i from his office. The Wus then fell upon them and triumphed over them.

Duke Hsien of Chin wanted to invade Yü and Kuo and therefore made a present of the team of the Chü breed, the jade of Ch`ui-chi, and girl musicians, twice eight in number, in order thereby to bewilder 52 the ideas of their rulers and disturb their governmental affairs.

When Shu Hsiang was slandering Ch`ang Hung, he falsified a letter from Ch`ang Hung in which the latter said to him: "Will you please on my behalf speak to the Ruler of Chin that it is now time to carry out the agreement I made with His Highness and ask him why he has not promptly sent troops here?" Then he pretended to drop the letter at the court of the Ruler of Chou and left immediately. 53 The Ruler of Chou, regarding Ch`ang Hung as a betrayer of Chou, censured him and put him to death.

When Duke Huan of Chêng was about to raid K`uai, he asked about the able men, worthy ministers, eloquent, intelligent scholars, and daring, gallant warriors, recorded 54 all their names, selected the good fields of K`uai as bribes to them, and wrote down the posts and ranks reserved for them. He then constructed an altar compound outside the city-walls, buried the written documents there, and smeared the sacrificial vessels with the blood of chickens and piglings as though there they had taken an oath together. The Ruler of K`uai, regarding this as a civil disturbance, killed all his worthy subjects. Meanwhile, Duke Huan raided K`uai all of a sudden and took it.

A 55 certain clown at the Court of Ch`in was on good terms with the King of Ching. Besides 56 he was secretly on good terms with the attendants of the King of Ching and at home was highly trusted by the Ruler Hui-wên. Whenever Ching had any stratagem, the clown would hear about it before anybody else did and reported it to the Ruler Hui-wên.

Hsiang Tzŭ, Magistrate of Yeh, was secretly on good terms with the attendants of the King of Chao. Whenever the King of Chao schemed to raid Yeh, Hsiang Tzŭ always heard about it and forewarned the King of Wey. As the King of Wey always took precautions against any sudden attack, Chao had to stop 57 her expedition every time.

At the time of Duke Ssŭ 58 of Wei, detectives by his side were ordered to watch the prefect. Once the prefect opened up his mattress and found the mat seriously torn. That day, when Duke Ssŭ went home, he ordered men to give the prefect a new mat and said: "His Highness has heard you just opened your mattress and found the mat seriously torn. So he is bestowing upon you this new mat." Greatly astonished thereby, the prefect thought the Duke was superhuman.


1. 内儲說下六徽

2. I remove the topic of each discussion from the end to the beginning.

3. v. Lao Tzŭ's Tao Tah Ching, Chap. XXXVI.

4. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 主 should be 富.

5. With Yü Yüeh 久 should be 夕.

6. With Kao Hêng 懷 means 賜.

7. With Wang Hsien-shen 故 above 臣 is superfluous.

8. With Lu Wên-shao 牛 should be 午.

9. With Wang Hsien-shen 忌 should be 極.

10. 犀首 was originally the name of the post held by Kung-sun Yen, till it almost became his pen-name.

11. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 不 above 僖俟 should be 昭.

12. 廟攻.

13. Under the system of Kuan Tzŭ the country was divided into three units for military purposes and the basis of local organization was five families, and two thousand five hundred families formed a county ruled by a magistrate.

14. The text has 廟攻 in the next line as though it were topic of the preceding paragraph. With Wang Hsien-shen this is absurd inasmuch as the work is presupposed to enumerate six instead of seven minutise. Wang thought the two characters continued from the preceding passage, which, however, can hardly make any sense, either additional or separate.

15. Namely, Lao-tzŭ.

16. With Wang Hsien-shen 久 should be 夕, and so throughout this annotation.

17. With Kao Hêng 懷 in both cases means 賜.

18. With Kao Hêng 懷 in both cases means 賜.

19. Namely, oxen, sheep, pigs, dogs, and fowls.

20. The three families descended from Duke Huan of Lu and therefore were frequently called "Three Huans."

21. With Wang Hsien-shen 公偪 should be 偪公.

22. Wang Hsien-shen thought 逐 above 之 was a mistake for 遂 and proposed the addition of 齊 below 之.

23. With Yü Yüeh 有 reads 又.

24. With Yü 攻 means 善.

25. With Wang Hsien-shen 今天 should be 今若.

26. With Wang 吳 should be 吾.

27. With Wang 牛 should be 午.

28. With Wang 跪 means 足. Foot-cutting was a form of penalty.

29. With Wang 為 should be 如, and with Kao Hêng should be 如.

30. With Wang 殆 above 去 means 必.

31. With Yü Yüeh 入 below 新 is superfluous.

32. Wang Hsien-shen suspected 誅 "to censure" a mistake for 逐 "to banish" because Canon Three stated that Hsi Shou ran into exile. I disagree with Wang inasmuch as Hsi Shou could run away from censure as well as from banishment.

33. With Wang Hsien-shen 於 should be added above 王.

34. With Wang Hsien-ch`ien 不 should be supplied above 殺之.

35. With Wang 益 above 親之 seems superfluous.

36. With Wang 疾 means 嫉.

37. With Wang Hsien-shen the Imperial Readings has no 翳 above 憎 .

38. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 不 above 能 should be 乃.

39. With Wang Hsien-shen 患 should be 惡.

40. With Wang 以 should be added above 商臣.

41. With Wang 為 means 謂.

42. With Yü Yüeh 為 below 能 is superfluous.

43. i.e. among concubines, court ladies, etc.

44. i.e. among subordinate officials, itinerant opportunists, etc.

45. With Wang Hsien-shen 陰 should be 陽 which means 佯.

46. With Wang Duke Ai was Han Fei Tzŭ's mistake for Duke Ting.

47. With Wang Wei 榮 should be 熒.

48. With Wang 相 above 賢 is superfluous.

49. With Kao Hêng 日者 means 往昔.

50. With Yü Yüeh 王 should be 玉.

51. It must have been something like a cigar.

52. With Wang Hsien-shen 榮 should be 熒.

53. With Wang 行 below 去 is superfluous.

54. With Yü Yüeh 與 should be 擧.

55. With Wang Hsien-shen there should not be 七 at the head of this passage.

56. With Wang 有 reads 又.

57. With Wang Nien-sun 輙還 should be 輟行.

58. 嗣君 should be 嗣公.

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