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《易》曰：“利見大人”，“利涉大川”， “《乾》，元享利貞”。《尚書》曰：“黎民亦尚有利哉？”皆安吉之利也。行 仁義，得安吉之利。
且孟子在魯，魯平公欲見之。嬖人臧倉毀孟子，止平公。樂正子以告。曰： “行，或使之；止，或尼之。行止非人所能也。 予之不遇魯侯，天也！”
夫孟子引毀瓦畫墁者，欲以詰彭更之言也。知毀瓦畫墁無功而有志，彭更必不食也。雖然，引毀瓦畫墁，非所以詰彭更也。 何則？諸志欲求食者，毀瓦畫墁者不在其中。不在其中，則難以詰人矣。夫人無故毀瓦畫墁，此不癡狂則遨戲也。癡狂人之，志不求 食，遨戲之人，亦不求食。
匡章子曰：“陳仲子豈不誠廉士乎？居於於陵，三日不食，耳無聞、目無見也。井上有李，螬食實者過 半，扶服往，將食之。三咽，然後耳有聞，目有見也。 ”
又“仲子惡能廉？充仲子之性，則蚓而後可者也。夫蚓，上食槁壤，下飲黃泉”，是謂蚓為至廉也。仲子如蚓，乃為廉潔耳。今所居之 宅，伯夷之所築；所食之粟，伯夷之所樹。仲子居而食之，於廉潔可也。或時食盜蹠之所樹粟，居盜蹠之所築室，汙廉潔之行矣。用 此非仲子，亦複失之。
然則仲子有大非，孟子非之，不能得也。夫仲子之去母辟兄，與妻獨處於陵，以兄之宅為不義之宅，以兄之祿為不義之祿， 故不處不食，廉潔之至也，然則其徒於陵歸候母也，宜自齎食而行。鵝膳之進也，必與飯俱。母之所 為飯者，兄之祿也。母不自有私粟。以食仲子，明矣。仲子食兄祿也。
夫子不王，顏淵早夭 ，子夏失明，伯牛為癘。四者行不順與？何以不受正命？比干剖，子胥烹，子路菹，天下極戮， 非徒桎梏也。必以桎梏效非正命，則比干、子胥行不順也。
Chapter XXXIV. Censures on Mencius (T`se Mêng).
[When Mencius went to see King Hui of Liang,1 the king said, "You have not counted it far to come here, a distance of a thousand Li, Sir. By what could you profit my kingdom?"---Mencius replied, "I have nothing but benevolence and justice. Why must Your Majesty speak of profit?" 2 ]
Now, there are two kinds of profit, the one consisting in wealth, the other in quiet happiness. King Hui asked, how he could profit his kingdom. How did Mencius know that he did not want the profit of quiet happiness, and straightway take exception to the profit by wealth?
The Yiking says, "It will be advantageous to meet with the great man." 3 "It will be advantageous to cross the great stream." 4 ---"Chien represents what is great and originating, penetrating, advantageous, correct and firm." 5 And the Shuking remarks that the black-haired people still esteem profit. 6 They all have the profit of quiet happiness in view. By practising benevolence and justice, one may obtain this profit.
Mencius did not say that he inquired of King Hui, what he meant by profiting his kingdom. Had King Hui said:---"The profit of wealth," Mencius might have given him the proper answer. But though he did not know the purport of King Hui's question, Mencius at once replied about the profit of wealth. Had King Hui really inquired about it, Mencius adduced nothing in support of his view. If, on the other hand, he had asked about the profit of quiet happiness, and Mencius in his reply had spoken about the profit of wealth, he would have failed to give the prince the proper answer, and would not have acted in the proper way.
[The king of Ch`i asked Shi Tse7 saying, "I wish to give Mencius a house, somewhere in the middle of the kingdom, and to support his disciples with an allowance of 10,000 chung,8 that all the officers and the people may have such an example to reverence and imitate. Had you not better tell him this for me?"---Shi Tse conveyed this message to Mencius through Ch`ên Tse.9Mencius said, "How should Shi Tse know that this cannot be? Suppose that I wanted to be rich, having formerly declined 100,000 chung, would my now accepting 10,000 be the conduct of one desiring riches?"] 10
In declining 100,000 chung Mencius was wrongly disinterested, for wealth and honour is what man desires. Only he does not stick to them, if he cannot obtain them in the proper way. 11 Therefore in the matter of rank and salary an honest man sometimes declines, and sometimes not, but why should he reject a present, which he ought to have taken, on the plea that he does not covet wealth or honour?
[Ch`ên Chin12 asked Mencius saying, "When you were in Ch`i, the king sent you a present of 100 yi13 of the double metal, 14 and you refused to accept it. When you were in Sung, 70 yi were sent to you, which you accepted; and when you were in Hsieh,15 50 yi were sent, which you likewise accepted. If your declining to accept the gift in the first case was right, your accepting it in the latter cases was wrong. If your accepting it in the latter cases was right, your declining to do so in the first case was wrong. You must accept, Master, one of these alternatives."---Mencius said, "I did right in all the cases. When I was in Sung, I was about to take a long journey. Travellers must be provided with what is necessary for their expenses. The prince's message was, `A present to defray travelling expenses.' Why should I have declined the gift? When I was in Hsieh, I was apprehensive of my safety, and taking measures for my protection. The message was `I have heard that you are taking measures to protect yourself, and send this to help you in procuring arms. Why should I have declined the gift? But when I was in Ch`i, I had no occasion for money. To send a man a gift, when he has no occasion for it, is to bribe him. How is it possible that an honest man should be taken with a bribe?"] 16
Whether money offered as a gift can be accepted or not, always depends on some reason. We are not covetous, if we accept it, nor are we not covetous, if we do not accept it. There are certain rules, why money can be taken, and why not, and there are likewise certain principles on which a house can be accepted or not. Now, Mencius does not say that he does not deserve it, and that it would not be right for him as a non-official to take the house, but he replies that he is not craving for wealth, and adduces the 100,000 chung which he had declined on a former occasion to draw a conclusion in regard to the subsequent 10,000 chung. Formerly he ought to have accepted the 100,000, how could he decline them?
[P`êng Kêng17 asked Mencius saying, "Is it not an extravagant procedure to go from one prince to another, and live upon them, followed by several tens of carriages, and attended by several hundred men?"---Mencius replied, "If there be not a proper ground for taking it, a single bamboo-cup of rice may not be received from a man. If there be such a proper ground, then Shun's receiving the empire from Yao is not to be considered excessive."] 18
How can the receiving of the empire from Yao be put on a level with the acceptance of 100,000 chung? Shun did not decline the empire, because there was a proper ground. Now Mencius does not contend that for receiving 100,000 chung there is no proper cause, but he says that he is not greedy of wealth and honour. That is not the right modesty, and it could not be an example for others.
19 [Shên T`ung,20 on his own impulse, asked Mencius, saying, "May Yen be smitten?" Mencius replied, "It may. Tse K`uei21 had no right to give Yen to another man, and Tse Chih had no right to receive Yen from Tse K`uei. Suppose there were an officer here, with whom you, Sir, were pleased, and that, without informing the king, you were privately to give to him your salary and rank; and suppose that this officer, also without the king's orders, were privately to receive them from you:---would such a transaction be allowable? And where is the difference between the case of Yen and this?"
The people of Ch`i smote Yen. Some one asked of Mencius, "Is it really the case that you advised Ch`i to smite Yeh?"---He replied, "No. Shên T`ung asked me, whether Yen might be smitten, and I answered him, `It may.' They accordingly went and smote it. If he had asked me, `Who may smite it?', I would have answered him, `He who is the minister of Heaven 22 may smite it.' Suppose the case of a murderer, and that one asks me, `May this man be put to death?' I will answer him, `He may.' If he ask me, `Who may put him to death?' I will answer him, `The chief criminal judge may put him to death.' But now with one Yen23 to smite another Yen---how should I have advised this?"]
One might ask whether Mencius did not really advise the king to smite Yen. When Shên T`ung inquired, whether Yen could be smitten, he had his own designs, and wished to smite it himself. Knowing that he would be very pleased with the reply, Mencius ought to have answered that, although Yen could be smitten, it could not be done but by the minister of Heaven. Then Shên T`ung's plans would have collapsed, and his intention of smiting Yen been given up. If Mencius was not aware of these designs, and straightway made a reply, he did not pay attention to what he said, and did not understand words.
24 [Kung Sun Ch`ou25 inquired of Mencius, "I venture to ask wherein you, Master, excel?" Mencius replied, "I understand words."---The other pursued, "And what do you mean by saying that you understand words?" Mencius said, "When words are one-sided, I know how the mind of the speaker is clouded over; when they are extravagant, I know how the mind is fallen and sunk; when they are depraved, I know how the mind has departed from principle, and when they are evasive, I know how the mind is at its wits' end. These evils growing in the mind, do injury to government, and, displayed in the government, are hurtful to the conduct of affairs. Should a Sage again arise, he would undoubtedly follow my words."]
Mencius understood words and also knew, how a warning as to the catastrophe which Shên T`ung was bringing about, would after all have been to his benefit. From the nature of the question he must have known the desire implied in the words of Shên T`ung. Knowing his aims, he must have had an idea of the disaster, in which the thing was doomed to end.
Mencius said, 26 ["It would be for the happiness of the people of the whole empire. I hope that the king will change. I am daily hoping for this."]
Was the king whom Mencius left, the same on whom he did not wait at court formerly? 27 Why did he think so little of him first, and make so much of him afterwards? Had it not been the former king, he would not have abandoned him. If he quitted him later on, the second king must have been worse than the first. When he left the king, and stopped three days in Chou,28 it was a less drastic measure than his not going to court, and staying with Ching Ch`ou.29 Why was his behaviour not identical in the two instances? Why did he not treat the king in the same manner in both cases?
When Mencius was in Lu, Duke P`ing of Lu was about to pay him a call, but his favourite Tsang Ts`ang slandered Mencius, and stopped him. Yo Chêng Tse30 told Mencius about it, who said, 31 ["A man's advancement is effected, it may be, by others, and the stopping him, may be, from the efforts of others. But to advance a man or to stop his advance is really beyond the power of men. My not meeting with the prince of Lu is from Heaven."]
First he did not find favour with the prince of Lu and afterwards with that of Ch`i. There was no difference. But in the first instance he held Heaven alone accountable, in the second, the king. There is no stability in his reasoning. When the king of Ch`i disdained his services, and he did not advance, some fellow like Tsang Ts`ang must have slandered him. That was likewise stopping or keeping back, but in both cases it was Heaven's decree that he should not find employment, and beyond the power of men. Why then did he still linger three days, when he left, and not go straight on? Provided it was the fate of Heaven that he should not meet with the king of Ch`i, who would not listen to his words, could Heaven have changed this fate within the space of three days, and bring about the interview? In Lu he gave all the credit to Heaven, abandoned his schemes, and lost all hope. In Ch`i he counted solely on the king, and was full of hopes. Thus the missing of one interview would have been merely the result of insinuations of men.
Some one may hold that Heaven's fate could not yet be settled first, and that for this reason Mencius hoped that within three days the king would call him back. This may be so, supposing that fate requires three days. But would, upon such a supposition, the fact that the king of Ch`i first allowed him to leave not be due to fate? If it was fate, and the limit three days, then Duke P`ing of Lu might as well after three days time have rejected Tsang Ts`ang's proposal, and followed the advice of Yo Chêng Tse, and have called on Mencius. Wherefore was Mencius so hasty in attributing every thing to Heaven? Had the duke paid Mencius a visit within three days, how would the latter have justified his former utterance?
32 [When Mencius left Ch`i, Ch`ung Yü33 questioned him on the way, saying, "Master, you look like one who carries an air of dissatisfaction in his countenance. But formerly I heard you say, `The superior man does not murmur against Heaven, nor bear a grudge against men.' "
Mencius said, "That was one time, and this is another. It is a rule that a true Imperial sovereign should arise in the course of five hundred years, and that during that time there should be some one illustrious in his generation. From the commencement of the Chou dynasty till now, more than 700 years have elapsed. Judging numerically, the date is passed. Examining the time, we might expect the rise of such individuals in it. But Heaven does not yet wish that the empire should enjoy tranquillity and good order. If it wished this, who is there besides me to bring it about? How should I be otherwise than dissatisfied?"---]
What proof is there for the assertion of Mencius that in the course of five hundred years a true emperor should arise? Ti K`u was such a sovereign, and Yao also ruled over the empire as a true sovereign. Yao transmitted the empire to Shun, who was likewise a true emperor. He transmitted the empire to Yü, who reigned in the same style. These four Sages were true Imperial sovereigns, but they followed one another quite closely. 34 From Yü to T`ang there is an interval of a thousand years and from T`ang to Chou also. 35Wên Wang commenced the reign, and at his death handed it over to Wu Wang. When Wu Wang expired, Ch`êng Wang and Chou Kung together ruled over the empire. From the beginning of the Chou dynasty to the time of Mencius 700 years again had elapsed, 36 but no true emperor had arisen. In which period do we find then that in the course of five hundred years a true sovereign arises? Who has made this statement that there will be a true emperor every five hundred years? Mencius says something which has no foundation and no proof, and is based on some wild hypothesis. Not having found favour with the king, he left Ch`i, and wore a dissatisfied look. That does not show his wisdom, and places him on a level with ordinary scholars.
Five hundred years is considered the period in which Heaven produces a Sage. Moreover, Mencius says that Heaven did not yet wish that the empire should enjoy tranquillity and good order. His idea is that, when Heaven is willing to bless the empire with tranquillity and good order, it must produce a wise emperor in the course of five hundred years. According to what Mencius says, Heaven produces a Sage on purpose. But are five hundred years really the period within which it produces a Sage? If so, why did Heaven not send the Sage forth?---Because it was not the time for a wise emperor to arise, therefore Heaven did not produce him. Since Mencius believes in it nevertheless, he does not know Heaven.
From the commencement of the Chou dynasty upwards of seven hundred years had elapsed. "Judging numerically, the date, therefore, was passed, but examining the time, it might be possible." What signifies that the date is passed, and what, that it is possible? Date is equivalent to time, and time to date. The date being passed, five hundred years are passed. From the beginning of the Chou epoch up to that time upwards of seven hundred years had elapsed i. e. two hundred years in excess. Should an emperor arise then, he would already have missed the proper time. Yet Mencius avers that considering the time, it might be possible. What does that mean?
He says that in the course of five hundred years a true Imperial sovereign should arise, and further that during that time there should be some one illustrious in his generation. Is this somebody the same as the emperor or some one else? If he is, why mention him a second time, if not, what sort of man is it who is illustrious in his generation? Suppose the answer be:---"men like Confucius and scholars like Mencius, who will instruct the youth, and awaken the dullards and imbeciles," then Confucius has already lived, and Mencius himself also has been born. Should we say:--- "wise ministers," they must live contemporaneously with a wise ruler, and a wise minister appear, when a wise emperor arrises.
Mencius speaks of five hundred years, but why does he say "during that time?" If he does not mean the space of five hundred years, but the time between, he must think of two or three hundred years. Then a Sage could not work together with a wise emperor arrising after five hundred years, whom then has Mencius in view, saying that during that time there should be some one illustrious in his generation? "Heaven," says he, "does not yet wish that the empire should enjoy tranquillity and good order. If it wished this, who is there besides me to bring it about?" By these words Mencius does not intend saying that he himself ought to be emperor, but that, if there were an emperor, he would act as his minister. Whether there be an emperor and a minister, depends on Heaven. When fate did not allow the empire to enjoy tranquillity and good order, Mencius did not acquiesce with a good grace in Ch`i, but resented it, and wore a dissatisfied look. That was very wrong of him.
37 [P`êng Kêng asked Mencius saying, "Is it proper that a scholar doing no service should receive support?"---Mencius answered, "If you do not have an intercommunication of the productions of labour, and an interchange of men's services, so that one from his overplus may supply the deficiency of another, then husbandmen will have a superfluity of grain, and women will have a superfluity of cloth. If you have such an interchange, carpenters and carriage-wrights may all get their food from you. Here now is a man, who, at home, is filial, and abroad, respectful to his elders; who watches over the principles of the ancient kings, awaiting the rise of future learners---and yet you will refuse to support him. How is it that you give honour to the carpenter and carriage-wright, and slight him who practises benevolence and righteousness?"
P`êng Kêng said, "The aim of the carpenter and carriage-wright is to seek for a living. Is it also the aim of the superior man in his practice of principles thereby to seek for a living?"---"What have you to do," returned Mencius, "with his purpose? He is of service to you. He deserves to be supported, and should be supported. And let me ask, `Do you remunerate a man's intention, or do you remunerate his service?' " To this P`êng Kêng replied, "I remunerate his intention."
Mencius said, "There is a man here, who breaks your tiles, and draws unsightly figures on your walls;---his purpose may be thereby to seek for his living, but will you indeed remunerate him?"---"No," said P`êng Kêng; and Mencius then concluded, "That being the case, it is not the purpose which you remunerate, but the work done."---]
Mencius referred to the breaking of tiles and disfiguring of walls with the object of impugning the remarks of P`êng Kêng, knowing very well that he who breaks tiles or disfigures walls does no services, but has a purpose, and that P`êng Kêng under no cirumstances would support him. However, with this reference to the breaking of tiles and disfiguring of walls Mencius cannot refute P`êng Kêng, because people acting in this way do not belong to those who are seeking a living. Such being the case, this argument cannot be put forward against P`êng Kêng. People who, without a reason, are breaking tiles and disfiguring walls, are either mad, or merely playing. The purpose of madmen is not to seek a living, and those who are disporting themselves, have not this intention either.
From those who seek a living a great many persons have no advantage whatever. Therefore those wishing to support themselves sell things in the market as merchants, and live on the price which they receive in exchange for their wares. Now, the breakers of tiles and scribblers profit nobody, and cannot have this intention. Reasonable persons know that such acts would profit nobody, and consequently desist therefrom. The unreasonable are akin to madmen, and certainly would not have that purpose.
Those who break tiles and disfigure walls, are like boys throwing mud on the road, or is there auy difference? When they are dumping mud on the road, have they the intention of seeking a living thereby?---They are still children, and have no purpose.
When old folks are playing, they behave like those who are disfiguring walls. Have players the intention to seek a living? Players rob each other of their money. When the sums won are very high, they may be used as a livelihood, and eventually there may be this intention.
People who throw stones and leap over them, are also very much alike to those scribblers. Is the intention of those stone-throwers and jumpers directed to their living? In short, the criticisms brought forward by Mencius against P`êng Kêng are not very thorough. If P`êng Kêng trusted in Mencius' words, we may say that the latter "put him off with great smartness of speech." 38
39 [K`uang Chang Tse40 said, "Is not Ch`ên Chung Tse41 a man of true self-denying purity? He was living in Wu-ling,42 and for three days was without food, till he could neither hear nor see. Over a well grew a plum tree, the fruit of which had been more than half-eaten by worms. He crawled to it, and tried to eat some of the fruit, when, after swallowing three mouthfuls, he recovered his sight and hearing."
Mencius replied, "Among the scholars of Ch`i, I must regard Ch`ên Chung Tse as the thumb among the fingers. But still, where is the self-denying purity he pretends to? To carry out the principles which he holds, one must become an earth-worm, for so only can it be done."
"Now, an earthworm eats the dry mould above, and drinks from the yellow spring-water below. Was the house in which Ch`ên Chung Tse dwelt built by a Po Yi,43 or was it built by a robber like Chê?44 Was the millet which he ate planted by a Po Yi, or was it planted by a robber like Chê? These are things which cannot be known."
"But," said K`uang Chang Tse, "what does that matter? He himself weaves sandals of hemp, and his wife twists hempen thread, to barter them."
Mencius rejoined, "Ch`ên Chung Tse belongs to an ancient and noble family of Ch`i. His elder brother Tai received from Ko a revenue of 10,000 chung,45 but he considered his brother's emolument to be unrighteous, and would not live on it, and in the same way he considered his brother's house to be unrighteous, and would not dwell in it. Avoiding his brother and leaving his mother, he went and dwelt in Wu-ling. One day afterwards, he returned to their house, when it happened that some one sent his brother a present of a live goose. He, knitting his brows, said, `What are you going to use that cackling thing for?'---By-and-by his mother killed the goose, and gave him some of it to eat. Just then his brother came into the house, and said, `It's the flesh of that cackling thing,' upon which he went out and vomited it.---Thus, what his mother gave him he would not eat, but what his wife gives him he eats. He will not dwell in his brother's house, but he dwells in Wu-ling. How can he in such circumstances complete the style of life which he professes? With such principles as Ch`ên Chung Tse holds, a man must be an earth-worm, and then he can carry them out."]
Mencius in reprehending Ch`ên Chung Tse does not hit his weak point. When Ch`ên Chung Tse showed such a disgust for the goose, that he felt like vomiting, was it, because he would eat nothing that came from his mother? Previously already he had expressed his displeasure at the goose saying, "What are you going to use that cackling thing for?" When, later on, his mother had killed it, and gave him some to eat, and his brother remarked, "It's the flesh of that cackling thing," he felt ashamed that he was acting contrary to what he had said before, and vomited it. Had his brother not reminded him, he would not have vomited, and he would then have eaten what his mother offered him. Therefore to say that he would not eat anything coming from his mother conveys a wrong idea.
Suppose that Ch`ên Chung Tse was determined not to eat anything from his mother, he ought not to have eaten of the dish of the goose, when it was brought. Now, after he had eaten it, and learued that it was the goose, he felt so disgusted, that he vomited it. Thus the vomiting was the effect of his being ashamed that he had eaten something in opposition to his determination, it was no want of affection between mother and son, nor a desire to eat nothing that came from his mother.
"But still where is the self-denying purity Ch`ên Chung Tse pretends to? To carry out his nature, one must become an earthworm, for so only can it be done. An earth-worm eats the dry mould above, and drinks from the yellow spring-water below." That would mean that an earth-worm is a paragon of purity, and that, unless he was like an earth-worm, he could not be pure and undefiled. 46 Now, provided the house he was dwelling in was built by Po Yi, and the millet he ate planted by Po Yi, his dwelling and eating would be unstained purity. But perhaps he ate millet sown by robber Chê, or lived in a cottage constructed by robber Chê, then this circumstance would contaminate his purity. These strictures on Ch`ên Chung Tse are not to the point either.
A house is built for man's sake to be lived in, and sandals and thread are bartered against millet. If it really was planted by a robber, or the house his building, at all events Ch`ên Chung Tse had no cognisance of it. His brother's unrighteousness, however, was apparent from his conduct. All saw his actions; they were quite notorious and commented upon. Hence Ch`ên Chung Tse retired to Wu-ling. He did not stop in his brother's house, and by the weaving of sandals and twisting of thread obviated the necessity of living on his salary. If Ch`ên Chung Tse stayed in Wu-ling, he shunned the house of that brother, and vomited his food. Because these things could be heard with the ear and seen with the eye, and were so public, that there could be no doubt, it is evident that as a fact Ch`ên Chung Tse neither stayed with his brother nor partook of his meals.
Now he had not seen who was the builder of his own house in Wu-ling, nor did he know who planted the millet. But how could he take the house, when it was just completed, or eat the millet, when it was just reaped? These criticisms of Mencius go too far.
The house where Ch`ên Chung Tse was living, may perhaps have been built by the robber, so that Ch`ên Chung Tse would have dwelt there without knowing it. Now Mencius contends that "to carry out the principles which he holds, one must become an earthworm, for so only can it be done." But in the earth underneath the house of the robber there are also earth-worms. They eat the dry mould in the robber's house and drink from the yellow spring-water there. How then would an earth-worm meet the requirements? To carry out the principles of Ch`ên Chung Tse to the satisfaction of Mencius one ought to be like a fish. A fish swims in the river or the sea, and feeds upon their earth. No robber can dig through the sea, or heap up its earth.
Ch`ên Chung Tse has done a great wrong, but the adverse comments of Mencius do not hit it. Ch`ên Chung Tse left his mother, and avoided his elder brother, to take up his solitary abode in Wu-ling together with his wife. Because the house of his brother was an unrighteous house, and his income an unrighteous income, he did not care to stay and live with him, which was the height of self-denying purity. However, when after his emigration to Wu-ling he returned to wait upon his mother, it was his duty to abstain from eating anything and leave again. When the goose was brought in, there must have been other food besides, all prepared by his mother. This food was bought with his brother's money, for it was evident that his mother had not her own private millet which she could have offered him. Then Ch`ên Chung Tse partook of his brother's salary.
Po Yi rather than eat the millet of Chou47 died of starvation below Shou-yang.48 Would a meal of the millet of Chou have defiled his purity? Ch`ên Chung Tse was not like Po Yi, but he came very near him. Saying that one must become an earth-worm to carry out those principles, Mencius uses a comparison which does not justice to Ch`ên Chung Tse at all.
49 [Mencius said, "There is a destiny for every thing. Those who act as they ought, receive the natural destiny. 50 Therefore, he who has the true idea of destiny, will not stand beneath a precipitous wall. Death sustained in the discharge of one's duties, is the natural destiny. Death under handcuffs and fetters is not the natural destiny."]
The meaning of these words of Mencius is that a man should not run counter to his allotted fate. Through fair conduct he obtains the natural destiny, whereas with recklessness and perversity he does not receive the natural one. Accordingly Heaven's decree would depend on human actions. 51
Confucius52 did not become an emperor, Yen Yuan died prematurely, Tse Hia53 lost his eye-sight, Po Niu54 got leprosy. Was the conduct of these four men not fair? Why did they not receive the right destiny? Pi Kan55 was disemboweled, Tse Hsü56 was cooked, Tse Lu57 pickled. These were the most cruel modes of death on earth, otherwise painful than handcuffs and fetters. If handcuffs and fetters are really proving that the destiny of the person in question is not the right one, then the conduct of Pi Kan and Tse Hsü was not fair.
Man receives his destiny, and may be doomed to be crushed to death, or to be drowned, or to be killed in battle, or to be burned. He may be ever so conscientious in his dealings and careful in his doings, it is of no avail.
Tou Kuang Kuo was sleeping with a hundred persons below a mound of charcoal. 58 The charcoal collapsed, and all the hundred people were killed, only Tou Kuang Kuo was saved, because it was his destiny to be made a marquis. What difference is there between the heaped up charcoal and the precipitous wall? Provided that one is not doomed to be crushed, there may be a collapse, those who have the fate of Tou Kuang Kuo will escape withal. "A man's advancement may be effected by others, and the stopping him may be from the efforts of others." 59 He who is to be crushed, may perhaps be induced to stand below a wall.
The son of the landlord into whose cottage K`ung Chia60 entered, was predestinated to a premature death and meanness. Though he was introduced into the palace, he still became a doorkeeper. The not standing below a precipitous wall has the same result as K`ung Chia's carrying the child into the palace.
1. Mencius I, Pt. I, 1. For the quotations from Mencius I adopt Legge's renderings, as far as possible.
2. This interview took place in 335 b.c.Liang was the capital of the Wei State, the modern K`ai-fêng-fu.
3. Yiking Bk. I, I, 2.
4. Yiking Bk. I, V, 1.
5. Yiking Bk. I, I, 1. Legge's translation (Sacred Books of the East Vol. XVI), p. 57 and 67.
6. Shuking Pt. V, Bk. XXX, 6.
7. An officer of Ch`i.
8. A chung is an ancient measure. As to its capacity opinions differ. 100 000 chung of rice was the customary allowance of a minister in a feudal State.
9. A disciple of Mencius, his full name being Ch`ên Chin. See below.
10. Mencius II, Pt. II, 10.
11. See above p. 395.
12. The same as Ch`ên Tse.
13. One yi was about 24 taels.
14. Double silver "worth twice as much as the ordinary" (Legge).
15. A small principality in the south of Shantung.
16. Mencius II, Pt. II, 3.
17. P`êng Kêng was a disciple of Mencius.
18. Mencius III, Pt. II, 4.
19. Mencius II, Pt. II, 8.
20. A high officer of Ch`i.
21. Tse K`uei, King of Yen, a silly man, had ceded his throne to his minister Tse Chih, hoping that the latter would decline the offer, but he unexpectedly accepted, and Tse K`uei lost his throne. During the troubles caused in Yen by Tse K`uei's son seeking to recover the kingdom, the Ch`i State made an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Yen. Shên T`ung had asked Mencius' advice about an invasion of Yen.
22. A man entrusted by Heaven with the execution of its designs.
23. The one Yen is Ch`i, which was not better than Yen, and therefore not fit to punish Yen as Heaven's delegate.
24. Mencius II, Pt. I, 2.
25. A disciple of Mencius.
26. Mencius II, Pt. II, 12.
27. The King of Ch`i wished Mencius to call on him at court, informing him, that he intended waiting upon Mencius himself, but had got a cold, and could not go out. Mencius knew this to be a pretence, and therefore declined to go to court on the pretence that he was unwell likewise. Cf. Mencius II, Pt. II, 2. The king and the philosopher were both too jealous of their dignity to get along well.
28. A small place in Ch`i, where Mencius halted, expecting to be called back.
29. An officer of Ch`i, with whom Mencius stayed, while the king was waiting for him, at the former occasion.
30. A disciple of Mencius.
31. Mencius I, Pt. II, 16.
32. Mencius II, Pt. II, 13.
33. A follower of Mencius.
34. Wang Ch`ung omits Ti Chih, who followed his father Ti K`u. Owing to his dissolute life, he was dethroned, and his brother Yao was elected in his place.
35. Those are rather round numbers. According to the common chronology Yü reigned from 2205-2197, T`ang, the founder of the Shang dynasty from 1766-1753, and the Chou dynasty commenced in 1122. Wu Wang's reign lasted from 1122-1115, Ch`êng Wang's from 1115-1078. All these rulers are regarded by the Chinese as true emperors. The interval between Yü and T`ang is about 400 years, that between T`ang and Wên Wang about 600 years. It is difficult to understand why Wang Ch`ung in both cases speaks of a thousand years. The remark of Mencius that every five hundred years a true sovereign arises, comes much nearer the truth.
36. About 800 years in fact after the usual chronology. The Bamboo Annals reduce this space to about 700 years.
37. Mencius III, Pt. II, 4.
38. A quotation from Analects V, 4, where Confucius condemns such smartness of speech.---Wang Ch`ung is much smarter here than Mencius. The arguments of Mencius are quite right, and Wang Ch`ung only takes exception at the example adduced by him, which indeed is not very lucky.
39. Mencius III, Pt. II, 10.
40. A grandee of the State of Ch`i.
41. A recluse.
42. A poor place in modern Chi-man-fu (Shantung).
43. The exemplar of purity cf. p. 168 Note 2 and below p. 435.
44. Cf. p. 139.
45. See above p. 419 Note 2.
46. This seems not to have been the idea of Mencius. The tertium comparationis is not the purity of the earth-worm, but its independence and self-sufficiency. Having its earth to eat and some muddy water to drink, it has no further needs, as man has, who is never quite independent of others. Unless he break off all intercourse with his fellow-creatures, he cannot avoid all pollution. Thus the commentators and Legge understand the passage. Wang Ch`ung's interpretation is forced.
47. The Chou dynasty which Po Yi regarded as usurpers of the throne of the legitimate emperors of the house of Shang.
48. A mountain in Shensi.
49. Mencius VII, Pt. I, 2.
50. Legge understands this passage differently.
51. Wang Ch`ung denotes by natural destiny something different from what Mencius expresses by it, which explains his polemic. Wang Ch`ung's natural destiny is not influenced by human actions, whereas the natural, right, or correct destiny of Mencius is the upshot of proper conduct. Cf. p. 138.
52. Vid. p. 169.
53. Cf. p. 164.
54. On Yen Yuan and Po Niu see p. 165.
55. Cf. p. 485 Note 6.
56. Tse Hsü or Wu Tse Hsü, the same as Wu Yuan p. 140.
57. Cf. p. 165.
58. Vid. p. 179.
59. Mencius I, Pt. II, 16.
60. During a tempest the Hsia emperor K`ung Chia, 1879-1848 b.c., sought shelter in a cottage. The landlord imagined that the visit of the son of heaven was a lucky augury for his son, and that no misfortune would befall him in future. Yet this son, later on, doing carpenter's work, accidentally broke his axe, and cut off his two legs. He then became a doorkeeper, the only office for which he was still fit (Lü Shi ch`un-ch`iu).
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