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任人以事，存亡治亂之機也。無術以任人，無所任而不敗。人君之所任， 非辯智則脩潔也。任人者，使有勢也。智士者未必信也，為多其智，因惑其信也。以智士之計， 處乘勢之資而為其私急，則君必欺焉。為智者之不可信也，故任脩士者，使斷事也。 脩士者未必智，為潔其身，因惑其智。以愚人之所惽，處治事之官而為〔其〕所然，則事必亂矣。 故無術以用人，任智則君欺，任脩則君事亂，此無術之患也。
明君之道，賤（德義）〔得議〕貴， 下必坐上，決誠以參，聽無門戶，故智者不得詐欺。計功而行賞，程能而授事，察端而觀失， 有過者罪，有能者得，故愚者不任事。智者不敢欺，愚者不得斷，則事無失矣。
察士然後能知之，不可以為令，夫民不盡察。賢者然後〔能〕行之，不可以為法， 夫民不盡賢。楊朱、墨翟，天下之所察也，干世亂而卒不決，雖察而不可以為官職之令。 鮑焦、華角，天下之所賢也，鮑焦木枯，華角赴河，雖〔賢〕不可以為耕戰之士。 故人主之〔所〕察，智士盡其辯焉；人主之所尊，能士能盡其行焉。今世主察無用之辯， 尊遠功之行，索國之富強，不可得也。
博習辯智如孔、墨，孔、墨不耕耨，則國何得焉？ 脩孝寡欲如曾、史，曾、史不戰攻，則國何利焉？匹夫有私便，人主有公利。不作而養足， 不仕而名顯，此私便也；息文學而明法度，塞私便而一功勞，此公利也。錯法以道民也， 而又貴文學，則民之所師法也疑；賞功以勸民也，而又尊行脩，則民之產利也惰。夫貴文學以疑法， 尊行脩以貳功，索國之富強，不可得也。
古人亟於德，中世逐於智， 當今爭於力。古者寡事而備簡，樸陋而不盡，故有珧銚而推車者。古者人寡而相親， 物多而輕利易讓，故有揖讓而傳天下者。然則行揖讓，高慈惠，而道（推）仁厚，皆推政也。 處多事之時，用寡事之器，非智者之備也；當大爭之世，而循揖讓之軌，非聖人之治也。 故智者不乘推車，聖人不行推政也。
法所以制事，事所以名功也。法有立而有難，權其難而事成，〔則立之〕； 事成而有害，權其害而功多，則為之。無難之法，無害之功，天下〔無〕有也。 是以拔千丈之都，敗十萬之眾，死傷者軍之乘，甲兵折挫，士卒死傷，而賀戰勝得地者， 出其小害計其大利也。夫沐者有棄髮，除者傷血肉。為人見其難，因釋其業，是無術之（事）〔士〕也。 先聖有言曰：「規有摩而水有波，我欲更之，無柰之何！」此通權之言也。是以說有必立而曠於實者， 言有辭拙而急於用者。故聖人不求無害之言，而務無易之事。
人之不事衡石者，非貞廉而遠利也， 石不能為人多少，衡不能為人輕重，求索不能得，故人不事也。明主之國，官不敢枉法，吏不敢為私利， 貨賂不行，是境內之事盡如衡石也。此其臣有姦者必知，知者必誅。是以有道之主，不求清潔之吏，而務必知之術也。
子母之性， 愛也；臣主之權，筴也。母不能以愛存家，君安能以愛持國？明主者通於富強，則可以得欲矣。 故謹於聽治，富強之法也。明其法禁，察其謀計。法明則內無變亂之患，計得（於）〔則〕外無死虜之禍。 故存國者，非仁義也。仁者，慈惠而輕財者也；暴者，心毅而易誅者也。慈惠則不忍，輕財則好與。 心毅則憎心見於下，易誅則妄殺加於人。不忍則罰多宥赦，好與則賞多無功。憎心見則下怨其上， 妄誅則民將背叛。故仁人在位，下肆而輕犯禁法，偷幸而望於上；暴人在位，則法令妄而臣主乖， 民怨而亂心生。故曰：仁暴者，皆亡國者也。
書約而弟子辯，法省而民訟簡，是以聖人之書必著論，明主之法必詳盡事。 盡思慮，揣得失，智者之所難也；無思無慮，挈前言而責後功，愚者之所易也。 明主慮愚者之所易，（以）〔不〕責智者之所難，故智慮力勞不用而國治也。
酸甘鹹淡，不以口斷而決於宰尹，則廚人輕君而重於宰尹矣。 上下清濁，不以耳斷而決於樂正，則瞽工輕君而重於樂正矣。治國是非，不以術斷而決於寵人， 則臣下輕君而重於寵人矣。人主不親觀聽，而制斷在下，託食於國者也。
使人不衣不食而不飢不寒，又不惡死，則無事上之意。意欲不宰於君， 則不可使也。今生殺（人）〔之〕柄，在大臣，而主令得行者，未嘗有也。虎豹必不用其爪牙而與鼷鼠同威， 萬金之家必不用其富厚而與監門同資。有土之君，說人不能利，惡人不能害，索人欲畏重己，不可得也。
人臣肆意陳欲曰俠，人主肆意陳欲曰亂，人臣輕上曰驕，人主輕下曰暴。 行理同實，下以受譽，上以得非。人臣大得，人主大亡。 明主之國，有貴臣，無重臣。貴〔臣〕者，爵尊而官大也；重臣者，言聽而力多者也。 明主之國，遷官襲級，官爵受功，故有貴臣。言不度行而有偽必誅，故無重臣也。
Chapter XLVII. Eight Fallacies1
Who does private favours to old acquaintances, is called a kind-hearted alter ego. Who distributes alms with public money, is called a benevolent man. Who makes light of bounties but thinks much of himself, is called a superior man. Who strains the law to shield his relatives, is called a virtuous man. Who deserts official posts for cultivating personal friendships, is called a chivalrous man. Who keeps aloof from the world and avoids all superiors, is called lofty. Who quarrels with people and disobeys orders, is called an unyielding hero. Who bestows favours and attracts the masses of people, is called a popular idol.
However, the presence of kind-hearted men implies the existence of culprits among the magistrates; the presence of benevolent men, the losses of public funds; the presence of superior men, the difficulty in employing the people; the presence of virtuous men, the violation of laws and statutes; the appearance of chivalrous men, vacancies of official posts; the appearance of lofty men, the people's neglect of their proper duties; the emergence of unyielding heroes, the inefficacy of orders; and the appearance of popular idols, the isolation of the sovereign from the subjects.
These eight involve private honours to ruffians but great damage to the lord of men. The opposite of these eight involve private damage to ruffians but public benefits to the lord of men. If the lord of men does not consider the benefits and damage to the Altar of the Spirits of Land and Grain but promotes the private honours of ruffians, to find neither danger nor chaos in the state will be impossible.
To entrust men with state affairs is the pivot between life and death, between order and chaos. If the superior has no tact to appoint men to office, every appointment to office will end in failure. Now, those who are taken into office by the ruler of men are either eloquent and astute or refined and polished. To entrust men is to let them have influence. Yet astute men are not necessarily trustworthy. Inasmuch as the ruler makes much of their wisdom, he is thereby misled to trust them. If such astute men, with their calculating mind, take advantage of their official influence and work after their own private needs, the ruler will, no doubt, be deceived. For astute men are not trustworthy. For the same reason, to appoint refined gentlemen to office is to let them decide on state affairs. Yet the refined gentlemen are not necessarily wise. Inasmuch as the ruler makes much of their polished manners, he is thereby misled to regard them as wise. If such stupid men, 2 despite their mental confusion, take advantage of their administrative posts and do as they please, the state affairs will fall into turmoil. Thus, if the ruler has no tact to use men, when astute men are taken into service, he will be deceived; when refined men are appointed to office, the state affairs 3 will fall into turmoil. Such is the calamity of tactlessness.
According to the Tao of the enlightened ruler, the humble can 4 criticize the faults of the noble; the inferiors must denounce the crimes of the superiors; sincerity is judged by the comparison of diverse opinions; and information has no biased channel. Consequently, wise men can not practise fraud and deceit; rewards are bestowed according to meritorious services; men are assigned different duties according to their respective talents; and failures are determined in the light of original purposes. Whoever commits an offence, is convicted; whoever has a special talent, is given a post. Therefore, stupid men can not be entrusted with state affairs. If astute men dare not deceive the superior and stupid men can not decide on any state affair, then nothing will fail.
What can be understood only by clear-sighted scholars should not be made an order, because the people are not all clear-sighted. What can be practised only by wise men should not be made a law, because the people are not all wise. Yang Chu and Mo Ti were regarded as clear-sighted by Allunder-Heaven. Though their teachings have alleviated the chaos of the world, yet they have not brought the world into order. However enlightened, the creeds should not be promulgated as decrees by any governmental organ. Pao Chiao and Hua Chioh were regarded as wise by All-underHeaven. Yet Pao Chiao dried up to death like a tree while Hua Chioh drowned himself in a river. However wise, they could not be turned into farmers and warriors. Therefore, whoever is regarded by the lord of men as clear-sighted, must be a wise man who would exert his eloquence; whoever is regarded by the lord of men as honourable, must be an able man who would do his best. Now that sovereigns of this age give ear to useless eloquence and uphold fruitless conduct, to strive after the wealth and strength of the state is impossible.
Erudite, learned, eloquent, and wise, as Confucius and Mo Tzŭ were, if Confucius and Mo Tzŭ would never till and weed farming land, what could they contribute to the state? Cultivating the spirit of filial piety and eliminating desires as Tsêng Shan and Shih Ch`iu did, if Tsêng Shan and Shih Ch`iu would never fight and attack, how could they benefit the state? The ruffians have their private advantages, the lord of men has his public benefits. Acquiring enough provisions without hard work and cultivating fame without holding office, are private advantages. Clarifying laws and statutes by forbidding literary learning and concentrating on meritorious services by suppressing private advantages, are public benefits. To enact the law is to lead the people, whereas if the superior esteems literary learning, the people will become sceptical in following 5 the law. To reward for merit is to encourage the people, whereas if the superior honours the cultivation of virtuous conduct, the people will become lazy in producing profits. If the superior holds literary learning in high esteem and thereby causes doubt in the law, and if he honours the cultivation of virtuous conduct and thereby causes disbelief in meritorious work, to strive after the wealth and strength of the state is impossible.
Neither the official tablet inserted in the girdle nor the dancer's shield and small axe can rival 6 the real halberd 7 and the iron harpoon. The manners of ascending and descending the steps and standing and turning in the court can not be compared with the march 8 of one hundred li a day. Shooting the feigned badger's head 9 is not equivalent to discharging swift arrows from the wide-drawn cross-bow. Shield and walls as well as huge war chariots 10 are not as good defence works as earthen forts, trenches, and under-ground bellows.
Men of antiquity strove to be known as virtuous; those of the middle age struggled to be known as wise; and now men fight for the reputation of being powerful. In antiquity, events were few; measures were simple, naïve, crude, and incomplete. Therefore there were men using spears made of mother-of-pearl, and those pushing carts. In antiquity, again people were few and therefore kind to one another; things being few, they made light of profits and made alienations easy. Hence followed alienations of the throne by courtesy and transfer of the rule over All-under-Heaven. That being so, to do courteous alienations, promote compassion and beneficence, and follow benevolence and favour, was to run the government in the primitive way. In the age of numerous affairs, to employ the instruments of the management of affairs that were few, is not the wise man's measure. Again, in the age of great struggles, to follow the track of courteous alienations, is not the sage's policy. For this reason, wise men do not personally push carts and sages do not run any government in the primitive way.
Laws are means of controlling affairs. Affairs are means of celebrating merits. When laws are made and found to involve difficulties, then the ruler must estimate the difficulties. If he finds the tasks can be accomplished, then he must enact them. If he finds the accomplishment of the tasks involves losses, then he must estimate the losses. If he finds gains will exceed losses, then he must transact them. For there are in Allunder-Heaven neither laws without difficulties nor gains without losses. For this reason, whoever takes a city whose walls are ten thousand feet long and defeats any army of one hundred thousand troops, though he has to lose at least one third 11 of his men and see his arms and weapons either crushed or broken and his officers and soldiers either killed or injured, yet he celebrates his victory in the war and his gain of new territory because by calculation he has harvested great gains at the cost of small losses. Indeed, the washer of the head has falling hair, the curer of boils hurts blood and flesh. Who governs men, encounters difficulties in the way, and therefore gives up the work, is a tactless man. The early sages said: "When compasses have aberrations, or when water has waves, though I want to correct them, nothing can be done." This is a dictum well used in the doctrine of expediency. For this reason, there are theories that are plausible but far from practical and there are speeches that have poor wording but are urgently useful. The sages, accordingly, never looked for any harmless word but attended to difficult tasks.
Men make no fuss about balance and weight. This is not because they are upright and honest and would ward off profits, but because the weight can not change the quantities of things according to human wants nor can the balance make things lighter or heavier according to human wishes. Acquiescing in the inability to get what they want, people make no fuss. In the state of an intelligent sovereign, officials dare not bend the law, magistrates dare not practise selfishness, and bribery does not prevail. It is because all tasks within the boundary work like weight and balance, wherefore any wicked minister is always found out and anybody known for wickedness is always censured. For this reason, the sovereign upholding the true path, instead of seeking magistrates who are pure and honest, strives after omniscience.
The compassionate mother, in loving her little child, is surpassed by none. Yet, when the child has mischievous actions, she sends him to follow the teacher; when he is badly ill, she sends him to see the physician. For without following the teacher he is liable to penalty; without seeing the physician he is susceptible to death. Thus, though the compassionate mother loves the child, she is helpless in saving him from penalty and from death. If so, what preserves the child is not love.
The bond of mother and child is love, the relationship of ruler and minister is expediency. If the mother can not preserve the family by virtue of love, how can the ruler maintain order in the state by means of love? The intelligent sovereign, if well versed in the principles of wealth and strength, can get what he wants. Thus, prudence in heeding memorials and managing affairs is the royal road to wealth and strength. He makes his laws and prohibitions clear and considers his schemes and plans carefully. If laws are clear, at home there will be no worry about any emergency or disturbance; if plans are right, there will be no disaster of either death or captivity abroad. Therefore, what preserves the state is not benevolence and righteousness. Who is benevolent, is tender-hearted and beneficent and makes light of money; who is violent, has a stubborn mind and censures people easily. If tender-hearted and beneficent, he will be unable to bear executions; if easy in money, he will like to bestow favours. If he has a stubborn mind, he will reveal his ill will to the inferiors; if he censures people easily, he will inflict the death penalty upon anybody. Unable to bear executions, one would remit most punishments; fond of bestowing favours, one would mostly reward men of no merit. When ill will is revealed, the inferiors will hate the superiors; when arbitrary censure prevails, the people will rebel. Therefore, when a benevolent man is on the throne, the inferiors are wild, easily violate laws and prohibitions, expect undue gifts, and hope for personal favours from the superior. When a violent man is on the throne, laws and decrees are arbitrary; ruler and minister oppose each other; the people grumble and beget the spirit of disorder. Hence the saying: "Both benevolence and violence drive the state to ruin."
Who can not prepare good food but invites starvelings to diet, can not save their lives. Who can not mow grass and grow rice but promotes the distribution of loans, alms, prizes, and gifts, can not enrich the people. The learned men of today, in their speeches, do not emphasize the need of primary callings but are fond of advocating secondary works and preach the gospel of emptiness and saintliness so as to delight the people. To do this is as fallacious as to invite people to poor diet. Any persuasion of the "invitation-to-poor-diet" 12 type the intelligent sovereign never accepts.
When writings are too sketchy, pupils debate; when laws are too vague, vagabonds dispute 13 . For this reason, the writings of the sages always illustrate their discussions, the laws of the intelligent ruler always penetrate the minute details of fact. To exert thought and consideration and forecast gains and losses, is hard even to wise men; to hold the antecedent word accountable for the consequent result, is easy even to fools. The intelligent sovereign accepts what is easy to stupid men but rejects 14 what is difficult to wise men. Therefore, without resorting to wisdom and thought, the state is in good order.
If the taste, whether sour or sweet, salty or insipid, is not judged by the mouth of the sovereign but determined by the chef, then all the cooks will slight the ruler and revere the chef. If the note, whether high or low, clear or mixed, is not judged by the ear of the sovereign but by the head musician, then the blind 15 players will slight the ruler and revere the head musician. Similarly, if the government of the state, whether right or wrong, is not judged by the sovereign's own tact but determined by his favourites, then the ministers and inferiors will slight the ruler and revere the favourites. The lord of men, who does not personally observe deeds and examine words but merely entrusts the inferiors with all matters of restriction and judgment, is nobody other than a lodger and boarder in the state.
Suppose people have neither clothes nor food and suffer neither hunger nor cold and, moreover, do not fear death, then they will have no intention to serve the superior. If they intend not to be ruled by the ruler, the ruler can not employ them. Now, if the power over life and death is vested in the chief vassals, then no decree of the sovereign can ever prevail. Should tigers and leopards make no use of their claws and fangs, in influence they would become the same as rats and mice; should families worth ten thousand pieces of gold make no use of their riches, in status they would become the same as gate-keepers. If the ruler of a country could neither benefit men he approves nor injure men he disapproves, to make men fear and revere him would be impossible.
Ministers who act at random and give rein to their wants, are said to be chivalrous; the lord of men who acts at random and gives rein to his wants, is said to be outrageous. Ministers who slight the superior, are said to be brave 16 ; the lord of men who slights the inferiors is said to be violent. While the principles of conduct follow the same track, the inferiors thereby receive praises and the superior thereby incurs blame. If the ministers gain so much, the lord of men will lose so much. In the state of an intelligent sovereign, however, there are noble ministers but no powerful ministers. By noble ministers are meant those whose ranks are high and whose posts are big; by powerful ministers are meant those whose counsels are adopted and whose influences are enormous. In the state of the intelligent sovereign, again, officials are raised and ranks are granted according to their respective merits, 17 wherefore there are noble ministers; words always turn into deeds 18 and any fraud is always censured, wherefore there are no powerful ministers.
1. 八說. Its English rendering by L. T. Chen is "The Eight Theories" (Liang, op. cit., p. 127, f. 3), which is inaccurate.
2. With Wan Hsien-ch`ien 所 before 惽 is superfluous.
3. With Wang 君 before 事 is superfluous.
4. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 德 should be 得.
5. With Wang Hsien-ch`ien 所 before 師法 is superfluous.
6. Ku Kuang-ts'ê read 適 for 敵.
7. With Sun I-jang 有方 should be 酋矛.
8. Ku Kuang-ts'ê read 奏 for 溱.
9. Such was the practice of one of the Six Arts in the school curriculum during the Chou Dynasty.
10. These were special kinds of weapons employed by King Wên of Chou.
11. Wang Hsien-shen proposed 垂 for 乘.
13. With Ku Kuang-ts`ê 民訟簡 should be 民盟訟.
14. With Ku 以 above 責 should be 不.
15. Most famous musicians in those days were talented blind folk.
16. Sun I-jang proposed 橋 for 驕.
17. With Wang Hsien-shen 遷官襲級官爵受功 means 遷官襲紙必因其功.
18. With Wang 言不度行 should be 言必行.
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