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夫聖賢之治世也有術，得其術則功成，失其術則事廢。譬猶醫之治病也，有方，篤劇猶治；無方，毚微不愈。夫方猶術，病 猶亂，醫猶吏，藥猶教也。方施而藥行，術設而教從，教從而亂止，藥行而病愈。治病之醫，未必惠於不為醫者。然而治國之吏，未必賢 於不能治國者，偶得其方，遭曉其術也。
趙人吾丘壽王，武帝時待詔，上使從董仲舒受《春秋》，高才，通明於事，後為東郡都尉。上以壽王之賢，不置太守。時 軍發，民騷動，歲惡，盜賊不息。上賜壽王書曰：「子在朕前時，輻湊並至，以為天下（少）〔無〕雙，海內寡二，至連十餘城之勢，任四千石之 重，而盜賊浮行攻取於庫兵，甚不稱在前時，何也？」
荊軻入秦之計，本欲劫秦王生致於燕，邂逅不偶，為秦所擒。當荊軻之逐秦王，秦王環柱而走，醫夏無且以藥囊提荊軻。既而天 下名軻為烈士，秦王賜無且金二百鎰。夫為秦所擒，生致之功不立。藥囊提刺客，〔無〕益於救主，然猶稱賞者，意至勢盛也。天下之 士不以荊軻功不成不稱其義，秦王不以無且無見效不賞其志。
則夫免於害者幸，而命祿吉也，非才智所能禁、推行所能卻也。神蛇能斷而復屬，不能使人弗斷；聖賢能困而復通，不能使 人弗害。南容能自免於刑戮，公冶以非罪在縲絏，伯玉可懷於無道之國，文王拘羑里，孔子厄陳、蔡，非行所致之難，掩己而至，則有不得自 免之患，累己而滯矣。夫不能自免於患者，猶不能延命於世也。命窮，賢不能自續；時厄，聖不能自免。
則夫家富財饒，力勁彊者能堪之。匱乏無以舉禮，羸弱不能奔遠，不能任也。是故百金之家，境外無絕交；千乘之 國，同盟無廢贈，財多故也。使穀食如水火，雖貪之人，越境而布施矣。故財少則正禮不能舉一，有餘則妄施能於千。家貧無斗筲之儲 者，難責以交施矣。
則夫經明、儒者是也。儒者、學之所為也。儒者學；學、儒矣。傳先師之業，習口說以教，無胸中之造，思定然否之論。郵人 之過書，門者之傳教也，封完書不遺，教審令不遺誤者，則為善矣。（傳）〔儒〕者傳學，不妄一言，先師古語，到今具存，雖帶徒百 人以上，位博士、文學，郵人、門者之類也。 以通覽古今，祕隱傳記無所不記為賢乎？
或問於孔子曰：「顏淵何〔如〕人也？」曰：「仁人也，丘不如也。」「子貢何〔如〕人也？」曰：「辯人也，丘弗如 也。」「子路何〔如〕人也？」曰：「勇人也，丘弗如也。」客曰：「三子者皆賢於夫子，而為夫子服役，何也？」 孔子曰：「丘能仁且忍，辯且詘，勇且怯。以三子之能，易丘之道，弗為也。」
故心善，無不善也；心不善，無能善。心善則能辯然否。然否之義定，心善之效明，雖貧賤困窮，功 不成而效不立，猶為賢矣。 故治不謀功，要所用者是；行不責效，期所為者正。正、是審明，則言不須繁，事不須多。故曰：「言不務多，務審所謂；行不務遠，務審所由。」
心辯則言醜而不違，口辯則辭好而無成。孔子稱少正卯之惡曰：「言非而博，順非而澤。」內非而外以才能飾之，眾不能見，則以為賢。夫內非外飾是，世以為賢，則夫內是外無以自表者，眾亦以為不肖矣。 是非亂而不治，聖人獨知之。人言行多若少正卯之類，賢者獨識之。世有是非錯繆之言，亦有審誤紛亂之事，決錯繆之言，定紛亂之事，唯 賢聖之人為能任之。
Chapter XIV. A Definition of Worthies (Ting-hsien).
Sages are difficult to know, and it is much easier to recognise a Worthy than a Sage. Ordinary people are unable to recognise even a Worthy, how then could they find out a Sage? Although they pretend to know Worthies, this is a random statement. But from what signs may Worthies be known, and by what method?
Are officials holding high positions and being wealthy and honoured to be looked upon as Worthies?
Wealth and honour are heavenly fate. Those who by fate are wealthy and honoured, are not Worthies, nor can those who by fate are poor and miserable be held to be depraved. Should wealth and honour be made the criterion of virtue and vice, then officials would have to rely solely on their abilities, and not on fate.
Are those Worthies who in serving their sovereign take care to gloss over everything and never to give offence?
These are those pliant courtiers, sycophants, and favourites who never say a word, without considering its effect upon their master, and in all their doings are opportunists. They never show any backbone, or dare to make opposition, and consequently never run the risk of being dismissed or cashiered. Or they have a stately and handsome bodily frame and a pleasing appearance, so that the emperor does not look at them with disfavour, which assures their good fortune, for they enjoy the imperial grace to an extraordinary degree. Still they cannot be called Worthies.
Are those Worthies whom the government chooses for employment, and who thus come to honour?
Of those who make a show of themselves and are known to others, a great many are promoted, whereas those living in obscurity and retirement and unknown to the world, very seldom are recommended. This was the case with Shun. Yao wishing to employ him, first inquired about Kun and Kung Kung.1 Thus even the chiefs of the mountains 2 were unqualified. Therefore, the selection and promotion of a man does not inform us about his real character. Sometimes men of superior virtue are recommended by very few persons, whereas a great many intercede for men of inferior talents. An enlightened ruler, wishing to employ good men, in order to find out whether they are really good or bad, inquires into the faults of all those introduced to him.
Moreover, he who consorts with many people and tries to win the heart of the masses, is generally liked and praised. On the other side, whoever is so pure and upright, that he does not feel at home with his own kindred, and whose lofty aspirations preclude any intimacy with low characters, loses the general sympathy, and people dislike and slander him. Thus, a name is often won by the art of ingratiating one's self, and defamation often a consequence of the loss of sympathy.
King Wei of Ch`i3 enfeoffed the great officer of Chi-mo4 , in spite of his having been slandered, and caused the great officer of O5 to be boiled, notwithstanding his fame. The former had great merits, but no fame, whereas the latter had done nothing, but was very celebrated. 6
[Tse Kung asked how a person was who was liked by all his fellow-villagers. Confucius replied that that was not sufficient. He then asked again about a man hated by all his fellow-villagers. The master replied that that would not do either. The best thing would be, if all the good ones among the villagers esteemed and all the bad ones amongst them hated him. 7 ] Accordingly, it does not follow that a person praised and belauded by the majority, whom big and small, all declare to be a man of honour, is a Worthy. If the good speak well of him, and the wicked disparage him, so that one half defames, the other extols him, he may be a Worthy.
Then, provided that a man meet with the approval of the virtuous and be vilified by the wicked, may we see a Worthy in him?
Thus Worthies would be recognised conformably to the principle laid down by Confucius. But we do not know whether he who praises somebody be virtuous, or whether another speaking ill of him, be a bad man. It happens that those who praise are wicked, and that those disparaging are good. People are thus led astray and cannot draw a distinction.
May those be taken for Worthies to whom the masses turn and who assemble hosts of guests and retainers?
Those to whom the masses turn are oftentimes persons having intercourse with many people. The public likes and esteems them and turns to them in great numbers. Either are they noble and exalted, and may be of use, or they are partial to warriors and condescending to guests, forgetting their dignity and waiting upon Worthies. The princes of Hsin Ling, Mêng Ch`ang, P`ing Yuan, and Ch`un Shên8 entertained thousands of guests and were called worthy peers and great generals, but Wei Ch`ing9 and Ho Ch`ü Ping10 had not a single guest in their houses and, nevertheless, were celebrated generals. Thus many guests and followers assemble in the palaces of kind and condescending princes and of Worthies who may be useful or dangerous. If somebody is not fond of soldiers he must not be held in low repute for that, although the masses do not turn to him, and the warriors do not follow him.
Is he a Worthy who is in a position to govern others, and who wins people's hearts to such an extent, that they sing songs in his praise?
To gain the affections of the people does not differ from currying favour with the warriors. Propitiating the people by empty favours, one takes their fancy, and they are pleased and happy. We may adduce T`ien Ch`êng Tse of Ch`i11 and King Kou Chien of Yüeh12 as examples. T`ien Ch`êng Tse wishing to usurp the authority in Ch`i, would use a big bushel, while lending out grain, and a small one, when taking it back, so that people were enchanted. Kou Chien, with a view to wiping out the disgrace of Kuei-chi,13 insinuated himself with his people by condoling, when somebody had died, and inquiring after people's health, so that all were charmed. Both had their own selfish ends, for which they needed the support of others, and merely humbugged their people. There was no sincerity in them, yet people were contented.
The prince of Mêng-Ch`ang14 wished to pass through a gate of Ch`in during the night, but the cocks had not yet crowed, and the gate was not yet open. One of his inferior retainers, who occupied a low position, beat his arm 15 and imitated the cock-crow, when all the cocks responded, and the gate was thrown open, so that the prince could pass. 16 As cocks can be moved by false sounds, so men may be imposed upon by fictitious grace, and as men are subject to such impostures, even Heaven may be induced to respond, by tricks. In order to stir up the heavenly fluid, the spirit should be used, but people will employ burning glasses, to attract the fire from the sky.
By melting five stones and moulding an instrument in the fifth month, in the height of summer, one may obtain fire. But now people merely take knives and swords or crooked blades of common copper, and, by rubbing them and holding them up against the sun, they likewise get fire. As by burning glasses, knives, swords, and blades one may obtain fire from the sun, 17 so even ordinary men, being neither Worthies nor Sages, can influence the fluid of Heaven, as Tung Chung Shu was convinced that by a clay dragon he could attract the clouds and rain, and he had still some reason for this belief. 18 If even those who in this manner conform to the working of Heaven, cannot be termed Worthies, how much less have those a claim to this name who barely win people's hearts?
May he be considered a Worthy who, holding office, achieves merit and proves successful?
But what is to be accounted merit or success of an office bearer? That the populace turn to him? However, the masses can be won by feigned favours.
When the Yin and the Yang are in harmony, there is a time of public peace. At such periods of harmony, even the depraved fall in with general tranquillity, whereas in times of unrest, even Sages are involved in catastrophes. Should the harmony of the Yin and the Yang determine the worthy or unworthy character of a man, then Yao ought to have been degraded owing to the Great Flood, and T`ang should have been thrown into the background 19 in view of the Great Drought.
If merit and success be regarded as action, then merit appears and manifests itself by the activity of the body. But the success of designs based on principles is invisible and not apparent. The drum does not belong to the Five Sounds, but the Five Sounds 20 do not accord without a drum. 21 The teacher has no place in the Five Degrees of Mourning, 22 but they do not become practical without a teacher. 23 Water does not belong to the Five Colours, 24 but in default of water the latter do not shine. 25 So principles are the root of merit, and merit is the upshot of principles. If people be called Worthies because of their merits, they would be the unworthy ones of the Taoists. 26
When Kao Tsu came to the throne he rewarded the merits of all his ministers, and Hsiao Ho got the highest prize, because the acknowledgement of merit by Kao Tsu was like a hunt, when the hunter lets loose his dog. The dog alone catches the beast, but the hunter has the merit of it. All the ministers of the emperor took a personal part in the war like the dog, but Hsiao Ho did the chief part like the hunter. If those pass for Worthies who have achieved merit, then Hsiao Ho had no merit. Consequently merit and reward cannot be proofs of worth. That is the first objection.
Sages and Worthies have their methods of governing the world. He who knows these principles obtains merit, he who ignores them fails like a physician curing a disease. Possessing a prescription, he may cure even a serious illness, without it be cannot even remove small ulcers. 27 A prescription is like a method, a disease like a disorder; the physician corresponds to the official, and his physics to reforms. The prescription is used, and the physic administered, and so a method is employed, and reforms carried out. By these reforms disorder is stopped, and by the use of physics a disease is cured. A drug curing a disease must not of necessity be better than another without these medical properties, and an official qualified to govern a State is not necessarily worthier than another without such ability. A prescription may be obtained by chance, and a man may happen to know a certain method.
The administration of a State requires a method to secure success, but there are also times of a natural disorder, when no methods are of any use to bring about anything; and there are other times, when, by nature, peace must prevail, and merit may be achieved even without any method. Thus statesmen hitting upon the proper time, may accomplish their ends, when they lose it, they fail. Men possessing some method may achieve merit in accordance with time, but are not apt to bring about peace in opposition to the right time.
Good physicians may save the life of a man who is not yet about to die, but when his life-time is finished and his span terminated, no prescriptions are of any avail whatever. When there is to be a revolution, even Yao and Shun cannot accomplish anything with all their methods, and when a person is doomed to die, even the medicaments of Pien Ch`io cannot cure his illness.
Archers and charioteers as well as other artisans and handicraftsmen all have there methods, by means of which they acquire merit, and do business, so that their success becomes visible. Statesmen must be looked upon as being on a level with handicraftsmen. The achievement of merit being like the doing of business, then if those having merit be called Worthies, all handicraftsmen must likewise be Worthies.
Shou Wang of Wu-ch`iu,28 a native of Chao,29 was an expectant hanlin in the time of the emperor Wu Ti.30 The sovereign bade him follow Tung Chung Shu and receive the Ch`un-ch`iu from him. His talents were of the highest order, and he thoroughly understood business. Subsequently he became military governor of Tung-chün,31 and, in view of his excellence, the emperor did not appoint a civil governor. 32 But at one time military expeditions had to be organized, the people were in excitement, the year was bad, and robbers and thieves were rampant. Then the emperor sent a letter to Shou Wang running thus, `When you were in my presence, you became the centre of all our deliberations, 33 and I imagined that you had not your equal in the world, and that there were not two men like you within the Four Seas. You were given the control of more than ten cities, and your post was a double one of 4000 piculs. 34 What is the reason that now robbers and thieves on boats attack my arsenals to seize their arms, and that the present time so little tallies with the past?'
Shou Wang, by way of excuse, said that there was nothing to be done. He again was appointed commander of the Imperial Palace and constantly kept about His Majesty. 35 All his judgments and proposals were sound and just, so great were his talents, and so profound his knowledge. He understood everything and had the greatest experience. Albeit yet during his administration of Tung-chün, the year was bad, robberies and thefts were rampant, and the excitement of the people could not be stopped. I wonder whether Shou Wang did not know a method for governing Tung-chün, or whether this province had just again to pass through a revolution, and the administration of Shou Wang just coincided with this time?
Thus even a worthy like Shou Wang in his administration of Tung-chün could not achieve merit. Should Worthies be judged by their achievements, then even a Shou Wang would be rejected and not be promoted. I am afraid that in the world there are a great many persons of the type of Shou Wang, yet the critics are unable to see the value of people in default of their merits.
In Yen there was a valley where in consequence of cold air the Five Grains did not grow. Tsou Yen by blowing the flute attracted a fluid by which the cold was changed into heat, so that in Yen they could sow millet, and the millet grew in great abundance. Up till now the valley bears the name of `millet valley.' 36 The harmonisation of the Yin and the Yang requires the most exquisite wisdom and virtue, yet by Tsou Yen's blowing the flute the cold valley became warm, and grain and millet sprouted luxuriantly. Accordingly, all who have achieved merit have a method like Tsou Yen blowing the flute. Consequently, if they are in possession of some system, even the wicked are successful, and many Worthies and Sages would be unfitted for government in case they have not the proper method. Therefore merit is no criterion of virtue. This is the second point.
When people undertake something their will may be most earnest, still they have no success. Their plan is not carried out though their energy would pierce a mountain. Such was the case of Ching K`o and of the physician Hsia Wu Chü.
Ching K`o entered Ch`in with the intention to rob the king of Ch`in and convey him alive to Yen, but meeting with an unlucky accident, he was himself caught in Ch`in. When he was pursuing the king of Ch`in, who ran round a pillar, the surgeon Hsia Wu Chü hit him with his medicine bag, nevertheless Ching K`o won world-wide fame as a hero. The king of Ch`in rewarded Hsia Wu Chü with two hundred yi37 of gold. 38 Being himself arrested in Ch`in, the planned capture and conveyance of the king alive could not be accomplished by Ching K`o, and the hitting a would-be assassin with a medicine bag, served to save the king's life. Yet either of them was praised or rewarded, owing to the great sincerity of the one, and the wonderful strength of the other. The scholars of the world did not forbear extolling the honesty of Ching K`o though he did not accomplish his object, and the king of Ch`in rewarded Hsia Wu Chü although his action had no consequence.
The purpose being good, it matters not whether a result be achieved, and an idea being excellent, one does not think of the outcome. In case an idea is admirable, but the success inadequate, or a purpose grand, but the result small, the wise will reward, and the unwise, punish. If one always has the success in view, no account being taken of the intention, and if only the outward result is insisted upon, without paying attention to the inward motives, then the story of Yü Jang39 drawing his sword and cutting the cloak of Viscount Hsiang, would not be worth mentioning, Wu Tse Hsü's flogging the corpse of King P`ing,40 would not be worthy of note, and Chang Liang's dealing a blow at Ch`in Shih Huang Ti and, by mistake, hitting the accompanying cart, 41 would have no interest.
All three had to suffer from unfavourable circumstances and could not accomplish their designs. They had the power, but not the success; they formed plans, but could not carry them out. Therefore Worthies cannot be gauged by their merits. This is the third objection.
Then can people become Worthies by their filial piety towards their father, or their brotherly behaviour towards their elder brothers? In that case a dutiful son and a good brother must have a father or an elder brother. These two being unkind, then their filial piety or brotherly love become manifest. Shun had Ku Sou, and Tsêng Shên had Tsêng Hsi as father. Thus the filial piety could become apparent, and their fame was established, so that everybody belauded them. If, however, there be no father or elder brother, or if these be kind and good, there is no occasion to show these virtues, and the name of a dutiful son or a good brother cannot be acquired.
Loyalty to one's sovereign is similar to this:---The loyalty of Lung Fêng42 and Pi Kan43 shone forth in Hsia and Yin, because Chieh and Chou were both wicked, whereas the fealty of Chi,44Hsieh,45 and Kao Yao46 remained concealed in T`ang and Yü47 , since Yao and Shun themselves were virtuous. As the light of a glow-worm is eclipsed by the effulgence of the sun and the moon, so the name of a loyal official is overshadowed by the renown of his virtuous sovereign.
To die for a prince in disgrace, and to sacrifice oneself for him, falls under the same head. When an officer just happens to live at such a time and dies for his lord, his righteousness becomes known, and he earns great fame. A great Worthy, however, passes through this life, flying about and settling down and rising on apprehending some danger. 48 The ruin of a perishing prince does not involve him, nor does the calamity of a tottering State affect his family. Then, how should he meet with such a misfortune, or share the disaster of his lord?
Chan of Ch`i asked Yen Tse49 how a loyal minister had to serve his master. The other replied, "So that he does not die with him nor see him off, when he leaves his country to go into exile." --- "If a man," rejoined Chan, "who has been given plenty of land and been the recipient of many honours lavishly bestowed upon him by his sovereign, if such a one does not die for his prince, when the latter is ruined, nor see him off, when he leaves his country, how can he be called loyal?"
"How can," said Yen Tse, "a minister die, provided that his advice be followed? Or how can he see the prince off, provided that his remonstrances be effective, so that his sovereign is never in his whole life compelled to quit the country? If his advice be rejected, and the minister die for his lord, this would be a reckless death, and if his remonstrances be repudiated, and the minister see off his sovereign going into exile, this would be deception. Thus a loyal minister may share the happiness of his prince, but he cannot be engulphed with him in the same catastrophe."
According to this reply of Yen Tse, in seeking the Worthies of this world, those who die, because their sovereign is ruined, and thereupon base their claim to loyalty, do not count. Great Worthies have few accomplishments that may be named, and small Worthies do many things worthy of praise. Such faults for which people may be `bambooed, are only small ones, and so are all quantities that may be measured:---For the greatest crimes the bamboo is not sufficient, and for the greatest quantities pints and bushels will not do. Inferior actions are easily described, and they usually occur in times of decay, when they are easily recognised. Thus virtuous acts are manifest, and their fame is heard of. 50
Floating on the ocean, one may be thrown to the east or the west owing to the vastness of the water; navigating on a creek, one knows the traces left by the oars of the boats on account of its smallness. 51 Small things are easy to see and, in times of disorder, easily brought to light. As long as an age is not in jeopardy, remarkable deeds are not taken any notice of, and unless the ruler be wayward and perverse, loyalty cannot be exhibited. The highest and noblest feelings are displayed under a régime at the verge of ruin, and the purest and finest acts done in an epoch of universal decay. 52
Are those Worthies who safeguard themselves from all injuries, so that they do not suffer any punishments like Nan Jung who was afraid about the white sceptre-stone? 53
To avoid all injuries is chance and a propitious fate. They are not to be prevented by abilities and knowledge, or to be averted by repressive measures. A divine snake may be cut in two and again grow together, but it cannot hinder men from cutting it, and so may Sages and Worthies be pressed hard and again liberated, but they cannot prevail upon others not to injure them. Nan Jung could free himself from capital punishment, but Kung Yeh, though quite innocent, was loaded with fetters 54Chü Po Yü55 could preserve his principles in a degenerate State, whereas Wên Wang was kept a prisoner in Yu-li and Confucius endangered in Ch`ên and Tsai.56 These are not disasters brought about by one's own doings and coming down upon a man, but unavoidable calamities in which he becomes implicated. This impossibility of avoiding calamities is like the inability to prolong one's life. The allotted span being terminated, no Worthy can extend it of his own accord, and when the time is perilous, no Sage is apt to save himself.
Are those to be deemed Worthies who quit their country, giving up their dignity, and who reject wealth and honour, preferring penury and misery?
To quit one's own country, one must be under compulsion, as Po Yi57 was, who yielded the State to his brother, lest he should be suspected of struggling with him for his share. When the Old King Tan Fu58 had fought several battles, his people all quitted the country. One gives up one's dignity, when one's principles prove impracticable, and one does not obtain one's ends. As long as his principles are successful, and his aims attained, nobody thinks of renouncing his dignity. Thus, for quitting one's country and giving up one's dignity one always has one's reasons. If such persons be called Worthies, are those not affected by similar reasons, to be termed unworthy?
Moreover, only in case there is a State or a dignity, they may be abandoned and parted with, but there being no State or any high dignity, how can they be rejected?
The spending of wealth and giving their share to those below, is similar to this. But if there really be no wealth, what can be given away? When the mouth is hungry, what can be yielded to others?
While the granaries are full, people know rites and ceremonies, and when food and clothing are sufficient, one is sensible of honour and disgrace. Unselfishness grows from abundance, and strife is engendered by scarcity. 59 People may sometimes share their wealth with others. The general Yuan60 again divided his family property with his nephew, and many saw in this a great kindness and generosity.
At the foot of Mount K`un61 , jade is as common as pebbles, and on the banks of Lake P`êng-li, they feed dogs and pigs with fish. Provided that a liberal man whose wealth is like the jade of Mount K`un and the fish of Lake P`êng-li62 again divide his family property, this would not be sufficient.
If Han Hsin sent food to the village elder in Nan-ch`ang,63 did he part with his wealth? And does the fact that Yen Yuan contented himself with a bamboo dish of rice and a gourd dish of drink 64 constitute a renunciation of his property?
Kuan Chung, in dividing money, took the greater part for himself. Being very poor and destitute, he did not possess disinterestedness, and his moral sense was weakened. 65
Is it possible to become a Worthy by avoiding the world and keeping aloof from all that is common, purifying one's self and one's actions? That would be much the same as abandoning one's country and giving up one's dignity. Wealth and honour are generally coveted, and big posts and high rank are a source of pleasure. To abandon them and retire can only be the consequence of a life full of disappointments and of the failure of one's plans.
Ch`ang Chü and Chieh Ni66 both left the world to live in retirement. Po Yi and the recluse of Wu Ling67 rejected honour and put up with meanness. But this was not their real desire.
May those be looked upon as Worthies who are unpassionate and desireless, who do not care to fill an office, merely wishing to preserve their bodies and cultivate their natures?
These are men like Lao Tse. The Taoists belong to another class than the Worthies. The sorrow for the world and the wish to help people in their difficulties, were a cause of great agitation for Confucius, and gave much trouble to Mê Tse.68 Those who do not co-operate with Confucius and Mê Tse and, on the other side, in their dealings follow Huang Ti and Lao Tse, are not Worthies. 69
Are those to be considered Worthies who carry on righteousness a thousand Li and who as teachers, making friends, never disregard propriety?
Then people belonging to rich families and living in opulence, who, besides, have strong and powerful muscles, would best meet these requirements. The weak are unable to carry on propriety, and the feeble, unfit to travel very far, and therefore would not come up to it. Families with heaps of gold do not lack friends even outside their country, and States of a thousand chariots 70 never stand in need of allies, for they have always enough to spend. If food were as common as water and fire, then even the covetous and avaricious would distribute it beyond the frontier of their country. When there are few resources, not a single one of the fundamental rules is fulfilled, whereas, when there is plenty, gifts are made thoughtlessly to thousands of families. It is a very hard task to induce poor people who do not call a peck or a bumper their own to make friends and to spend much.
Men who carry heavy burdens a thousand Li, are strong men whose feats are admired even in distant countries. Their hands and feet are hardened, their faces dark, they do not feel painful diseases, and their skin and sinews must be different from those of other people. If we compare with them such officers as have proved important witnesses to their princes, in so far as no bodily pain could force a confession from their mouths, their flesh and bones must likewise have been very strong. The strong can conceal something and uphold righteousness, the weak speak ill of their time and defame morality.
Yü Jang71 so disfigured himself, that his own wife did not recognise him, Kuan Kao72 was so doubled up, that not a single piece of flesh on his body was left uninjured. Both must have had bodies different from those of other people, whence their proceedings were not like those of the majority either. 73
Are those Worthies who know the Classics, have many pupils, and attract the masses?
Those well versed in the Classics are the Literati, and one becomes literate by study. The Literati have studied, and students are the same as the Literati. They transmit the doctrines of former teachers, and learn the oral precepts of their professors, to impart them to others. But they have no original ideas in their heads, and are unfit to argue the pros and cons of a question. In this respect they resemble postmen conveying letters, and door-keepers transmitting an order. As long as the covers are intact, so that no part of the letter is lost, and that orders are taken care of and not tampered with, they have done their duty. The scholars transmit the teachings of the ancients, without altering a single word, so that the old sayings of former teachers have been preserved down to the present day. Yet, although they have followers a hundred and more, and themselves have obtained the rank of professors and academicians, they are on a level with postmen and door-keepers. 74
May those be called Worthies who possess a vast knowledge of things ancient and modern, and remember all sorts of secret records and chronicles?
They rank but after the scholars above mentioned. Whoever possesses great talents and many interests, will devote himself to study, and never flag, like heirs specially provided with everything who, in possession of all the writings left by their forefathers, are thus enabled to complete these works, perusing and reciting them, as archivists do their papers. They are like the Grand Annalist and Liu Tse Chêng who, being in charge of all the records, have become famous for their great learning and vast erudition.
May those be deemed Worthies who, by their wonderful influence and cunning, are apt to command troops and lead the masses?
They would be men like Han Hsin,75 who in contending States win laurels and become celebrated generals; but in peaceful times they cannot exert themselves and plunge into disastrous adventures. When the high-flying bird is dead, they store the good bow away, and after the cunning hare has been caught, the good greyhound is cooked. 76 A potent and wily officer is like the bow used for the high-flying bird and the greyhound chasing the cunning hare. In times of peace, there is no use for him, wherefore the bow is stored away, and the dog, cooked. In peaceful times, the ruler does not disdain such an officer, or slight a hero, but he cannot give that assistance to the sovereign which the time requires.
Had the talent of Han Hsin been so versatile, that he could have acted like Shu Sun T`ung,77 he would never have planned an insurrection nor miserably perished by execution. 78 He was endowed with strength and heroism, but had not the wisdom of preserving peace; he knew all the devices to marshal troops, but did not see the benefits of a settled state. Living in a time of peace, he plotted a rebellion, whereby he was deprived of his glory, lost his country, and did not obtain the name of a Worthy.
Are those Worthies who are able debaters with sweet words and clever speech?
Then they would resemble Tse Kung. As a debater Tse Kung surpassed Yen Yuan, nevertheless Confucius placed him below the latter, because his real talents did not rank so very high.
People very much appreciate an able speaker. Since Wên Ti gave his favour mostly to the guardian of the tiger cage, and thought little of the intendants of the imperial parks, Chang Shih Chih79 commended Chou P`o and Chang Hsiang-Ju,80 and the emperor became aware of his error. Able debaters are like the guardian of the tiger cage and can hardly pass for Worthies.
Then are Worthies those proficient in penmanship whose style and calligraphy are equally good?
Penmanship is not much different from speech. What the mouth utters becomes a word, and what the pencil writes, a character. The talents of controversialists are not of a very high order, and so the knowledge of clever writers is not very varied.
Furthermore in what must these penmen be well versed? They must be familiar with office work. Among the office work nothing is more laborious than law-suits. A case being doubtful, a judgment is asked for. There was no better judge in the world than Chang T`ang whose writings were very profound, yet at the court of the Han he was not accounted a Worthy. The Grand Annalist in his introduction classes him with the cruel, and the proceedings of the cruel are not those of Worthies. 81
In the forests of Lu a woman cried because a tiger had eaten her husband, and it again devoured her son, without her leaving the place, for the government was good and not oppressive, and the officers were not tyrannical. 82 The cruel are of the same type as the oppressive and tyrannical, and it is impossible to take them for Worthies.
Do those deserve this name who are skilled in panegyrics and irregular verse, writing a pompous and highly polished style?
Sse-Ma Hsiang-Ju83 and Yang Tse Yün84 would be the right persons. Their style was refined, and their subjects grand, their expressions exquisit, and their meaning deep, but they could not find out right and wrong, or discriminate between truth and falsehood. Although their diction was as brilliant as brocade and embroidery, and as deep as the Yellow River and the Han, the people did not learn thereby the difference between right and wrong, nor did they help to bring about reforms aiming at the furtherance of truth.
May those be called Worthies who live in perfect purity, never submitting to any defilement of their person?
Such are people who flee from the world and avoid all that is vulgar, like Ch`ang Chü and Chieh Ni85 Although they did not shun the company of common people altogether, they lived as if they had left the world, purifying their persons and not serving their sovereign, adhering to their principles and not troubling their fellow-citizens.
A great Worthy lives in this world in such a way, that when the time requires action he acts, and when it demands inaction he remains passive. Considering what is proper and what not, he upon that determines pure and impure actions. Tse Kung was yielding, but his goodness was limited; Tse Lu liked to receive, and passed for a virtuous man. Yielding is unselfishness and receiving, covetousness. Covetousness is profitable and unselfishness, injurious. Analogically human dealings cannot always be pure and without blemish. 86
Po Yi cannot be considered an ideal. Confucius disapproves of him, 87 and he cannot be held to be a Worthy, his doings being opposed to those of a sage.
[Some one inquired of Confucius saying, `What kind of a man is Yen Yuan?'---"A benevolent man," replied Confucius, "and I am not his equal."---`And how is Tse Kung?'---"He is an excellent debater, and I do not come up to his standard."---`And Tse Lu?'--- "He is a hero," said Confucius, "and I cannot compete with him."--- `These three gentlemen are all superior to you, Master, the stranger went on to say, why then do they serve you as their master?'---"I am benevolent," said Confucius, "and at the same time submit to ill-treatment, I am a clever disputant and a bad speaker, I am bold and timid. It is impossible to interchange the accomplishments of the three gentlemen with my ways."
Confucius knew how to use his faculties.] 88 Those who possess high talents and lead a pure life, but ignore how to employ their gifts, are really like imbeciles who do not act at all.
Consequently, all have their faults, then can the faultless be considered Worthies?
They would be like those good people of the villages of whom Mencius says, ["If you would blame them, you would find nothing to allege. If you would criticise them, you would have nothing to criticise. They agree with the current customs. They consent with an impure age. Their principles have a semblance of right-heartedness and truth. Their conduct has a semblance of disinterestedness and purity. All men are pleased with them, and they think themselves right, so that it is impossible to proceed with them to the principles of Yao and Shun. On this account Confucius said that those good people of the villages are the thieves of virtue. Because they seem what they really are not, Confucius hated them."] 89
Then, how are the real Worthies to be recognised, and which method is to be used to acquire this knowledge? People at large noticing great talents and brilliant gifts, and that a person has achieved success, call him a Worthy. Accordingly it is very easy to find out, wherefore then should it be difficult to know a Worthy?
The Shuking says, "To know a man one must be wise, but the emperor finds it difficult." 90 If a man be called a Worthy in view of his great abilities and extraordinary accomplishments, whence does the difficulty arise which is referred to? There is a reason for this difficulty. For the emperor Shun it was not easy to know men, the statement of ordinary people that they are able to know a Worthy is, therefore, erroneous.
Then are Worthies altogether unrecognisable? No, they are easy to be recognised. Those who find it an arduous task, do not know how they may be recognised, and therefore put forward this difficulty. A Sage is not easy to know. Knowing his criteria, even persons of moderate abilities may recognise him.
It is like artisans making a vessel. For those who understand their business, it is not difficult, for those who do not understand it, it is not easy. Worthies are more easily recognised than vessels produced. But in the world no difference is made, and true Worthies are mixed up with common scholars. Common scholars by their eloquence and complaisance, the distinction of the official positions they occupy, and by the marks of conspicuous favour which they may expect, obtain the names of Worthies. The latter live in small alleys, poor and wretched they terminate their lives, having suffered from defamation, although they could not be convicted of any crime.
But, under these circumstances, when may they be recognised? Wishing to recognise them, one must look at their good hearts. The abilities of Worthies must not of necessity be of a very high order, but their hearts are bright, and though their intellectual power be not very great, they do what is right.
How then can their hearts be known? From their speech:--- those who have a good heart speak good words. They serve to investigate their dealings. Good words are accompanied by good actions. Words and proceedings being right, in governing the family, all relations are assigned their proper places, and in governing the State, high and low have their proper ranks. Those with bad hearts cannot distinguish between white and black, and make no difference between good and bad. Their administration causes disorder and confusion, and their institutions lack the right measure.
Consequently with a good heart a man is always good, and with a bad heart he can never be good. Having a good heart, he is apt to distinguish between right and wrong. The principles of right and wrong being established, and the excellence of the heart in evidence, a person may be poor and wretched, troubled and miserable, his undertakings may fail, and no success be achieved, still he is a Worthy. In government not the result is to be considered, the important thing being whether the means employed are proper, and of actions the effect is not decisive, but it must be hoped that what has been done is correct. This correctness and propriety being manifest, it is not necessary that there be a flow of words or a great many actions. Therefore it has been said:---"Words must not be many, but their meaning must be ascertained; deeds must not be far-reaching, but their source should be examined."
This signifies that those possessing a well-principled heart, although they be bad speakers and debaters, discuss these questions in their bosoms. Men like the discussion of the heart, and not that of the mouth. When the heart is discussing, the words may be awkward, but no injustice is done. When the mouth is discussing, there are beautiful phrases perhaps, but there is no result. Confucius referring to the wickedness of Shao Chêng Mao91 said that his words were bad, but overflowing, and that he conformed to what was wicked, but was very smooth. If people are wicked inwardly, but outwardly are able to dissimulate it, the masses do not see it and take them for Worthies.
As those who are vicious inwardly, but specious, are looked upon as Worthies by the world, so those possessing intrinsic merit who cannot make a show of it, in the eyes of the public are unworthy. When right and wrong are confounded and there is no real government, only a Sage knows it, and when the words and deeds of a man are mostly like those of Shao Chêng Mao, only a Worthy perceives it. Much is said in this world in which right and wrong are interchanged, and many things are done in which truth and error are confounded. To discriminate between such erroneous statements and to adjust such a confusion, but Sages and Worthies are qualified.
The heart of a Sage is bright and never beclouded, that of a Worthy well-principled and never perplexed. If this enlightenment be used to inquire into wickedness, it all comes out, and if those principles be employed to weigh the doubts, all doubts become settled, quite another result than that arrived at by the world.
What is the reason that the masses, although the words spoken be true and correct, do not understand this? It is because they have been too long befooled by common prejudices, that they have not the force to retrace their steps and to follow truth. For this reason true and correct statements are rejected by the people, and all customs departing from the ordinary are criticised by the public.
Kuan Tse92 said that a superior man speaking in a hall, fills the hall, and speaking in a room, fills the room. I wonder how his words can fill an appartment. True and correct words being uttered, and the people of the hall all possessing a true and correct knowledge, they afterwards will fill the hall. But how can they fill it, if their knowledge be not true and correct, so that they feel surprised, and find fault with what they hear?
When songs are very beautiful, there are very few who can sing them in a chorus, and when a speech is to the point, those who approve of it are not many. Falling in with a song and hearing a speech is about the same thing. A song being beautiful, people are not all able to chime in, and a statement being true, not all believe it.
Duke Wên of Lu sacrificing contrary to the custom, three men went away, and Duke Ting having made an offering according to the rules, five men rebelled. 93 Those used to old customs are forward to believe that the rites are not proper.
The number of those who know the rites is very small, and similarly those knowing the truth are but few. How then can the words of a superior man fill halls or rooms? Therefore, unless it were said of men that they fill the world, one could not see whether the words spoken are true. 94
The traces of ink and pencil left on boards and tablets, are unmistakable signs. Therefore Confucius, not becoming an emperor, composed the Ch`un-ch`iu, in order to make known his ideas. Although the Ch`un-ch`iu was but a mere literary work, yet it showed that Confucius possessed the virtues qualifying him for an emperor. Confucius was a Sage, and if the productions of anybody be like those of Confucius, this is a sufficient proof of his being a Worthy, though he have not the genius of Confucius.
Worthies and Sages walk the same way, but bear different names. When Worthies can be known, it is also possible to discourse on Sages. However, if Confucius, upon investigation, had not discovered that the ways of the Chou were corrupt, he would not have written the Ch`un-ch`iu. The production of this work originated from the corruption of the Chou. Had the principles of the Chou dynasty not been so degenerate, Confucius would not have written the Ch`un-ch`iu, yet for that he would not have been without talents, only he would not have had an occasion to write his book.
Consequently, the fact of Confucius having written the Ch`unch`iu, would not be a sufficient proof of his sagehood, and we cannot be sure whether those whose productions are like those of Confucius are real Worthies.
I reply to this objection that, owing to the depravity of the principles of Chou, Confucius took occasion to write his work, with a view to commending and denouncing right and wrong. He used a right method and did not commit the fault of wrongly condemning or favouring, whence the virtue of Confucius becomes evident. In default of utterances, we examine into the writings, and if there be none, we consider the utterances. Had Confucius written nothing, there would still be the words which he left behind. Such words have been elicited by something just as literary works have their raison d'être. It suffices to examine the quality of the writings, without troubling about their origin.
There are many works current in which no distinction is made between right and wrong, and where truth and falsehood are not determined. Huan Chün Shan,95 in his reflections, may be said to have hit the truth. His discussions are an investigation into the truth. In so far he is a Worthy of the Han time.
Before Ch`ên P`ing96 became an officer he cut meat in a village, and he divided the pieces so equally, that his qualification for the post of a prime minister became apparent. Between the cutting of meat and the cutting of words there is no great difference. If Huan Chün Shan might have governed the Han, Ch`ên P`ing, if he had devoted himself to discussions, would have had about the same result as the other. Confucius did not become an emperor, but the work of a typical emperor was embodied in the Ch`un-ch`iu. And so the traces of Huan Chün Shan's fitness to become a typical chief minister, are to be found in his "New Reflections."
1. Yao inquired in open court whom he might employ. First Kun and Kung Kung were recommended to him, but not thought well qualified. At last Shun was mentioned to him. See Shuking Part I, 10 (Legge, Classics Vol. III, Part I, p. 23).
2. Title of the chief ministers of which Kun and Kung Kung were two. Cf. Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. I, p. 50, Note 1.
3. 378---343 b.c.
4. In Shantung, near Kiao-chou.
5. In the T`ai-an prefecture of Shantung.
6. This story is told in full in the Shi-chi chap. 46, p. 7v. (Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. V, p. 243). In addition to the governor of O, all the sycophants about him were thrown into a cauldron and boiled.
7. Analects XIII, 24.
8. About these men see Vol. I, p. 501, Note 2.
9. Cf. Vol. I, p. 169.
10. Vol. I, p. 364, Note 5.
11. A noble in Ch`i, whose descendants, later on, became dukes of Ch`i. He died about 460 b.c.
12. He came to the throne in 496 b.c.
13. On Mount Kuei-chi he had been surrounded by the king of Wu, and had to sue for peace.
14. See above p. 131, Note 1.
15. The noise thus made probably served to produce the crow.
16. Cf. the biography of Mêng Ch`ang in the Shi-chi chap. 75, p. 4v.
17. See Vol. I, p. 378.
18. Cf. chap. XXXII.
20. The Five Notes of the Chinese musical scale.
21. The drum plays an important part in Chinese music.
23. The teacher has to inculcate them.
25. Quotation from the Liki, Hsio-chi (Legge, Sacred Books Vol. XXVIII, p. 90), but with slight alterations.
26. The Taoists despise external merit.
27. . This expression is nowhere explained, the Appendix to the Peiwên-yün-fu merely cites this passage. means an ulcer on the legs, but what is a "hare ulcer"? From the opposition to we may infer that it is some small disease, perhaps only an excoriation, which the Germans call "wolf".
28. . Ed. C: . The Han-shu has the first reading.
29. State in Shansi.
30. Han Wu Ti, 140-87 b.c.
31. A circuit in northern Honan.
32. Shou Wang filled both posts, that of a tu-wei, military governor and of a tai-shou, civil governor.
33. . The Han-shu writes fuller: .
34. The income of a military governor was of 2000 piculs and that of a civil one the same amount.
35. So far the text literally agrees with the biography of Shou Wang in the Ch`ien Han-shu chap. 64a, p. 13v.
36. Cf. Vol. I, p. 114.
37. One yi of gold equal to 20 ounces.
38. For a more detailed account see Vol. I, p. 503.
39. His second attempt to assassinate the viscount Hsiang of Chao having failed, he asked permission to pass his sword through the cloak of the viscount, which was granted him. Having thus revenged his master, Earl Chih, symbolically, he committed suicide. See also Vol. I, p. 358, Note 1.
40. King P`ing of Ch`u, who had put to death the father and elder brother of Wu Tse Hsü (Wu Yuan). The latter fled to Wu, inveighed the prince of this State to an expedition against Ch`u, which was vanquished. As victor Wu Tse Hsü caused the grave of King P`ing to be opened and his corpse to be publicly flogged.
41. Cf. Vol. I, p. 235.
42. Kuan Lung Fêng , a minister of Chieh Kuei, who remonstrated with him and therefore was put to death.
43. For having dared to object to the excesses of Chou, the last emperor of the Yin dynasty, Pi Kan had a similar fate as Kuan Lung Fêng. Cf. Vol. 1, p. 485, Note 6.
44. The ancestor of the Chou dynasty.
45. Minister of Shun.
46. Minister of Shun.
47. T`ang and Yü were the territories of Yao and Shun.
48. Allusion to Analects X, 18.
49. An officer of Ch`i, 6th century b.c., who died 493 b.c.
50. These sentiments savour a good deal of Taoism.
51. On a small sheet of water one knows exactly the course one has taken, but not on the ocean where east and west become uncertain.
52. Great virtue becomes visible by contrast and shines forth when there is wickedness all around.
53. Cf. Analects XI, 5. Nan Jung, to whom Confucius married the daughter of his elder brother. He used to repeat the lines of the Shiking "A flaw in a white sceptre-stone may be ground away; but for a flaw in speech nothing can be done." See Legge, Classics Vol. I, p. 238, Note 5.
54. Cf. Analects V, 1. To Kung Yeh Ch`ang Confucius gave his daughter to wife.
55. See Vol. I, p. 66, Note 2.
56. Vol. I, p. 499, Note 2.
57. See Vol. I, p. 168, Note 2.
58. The grandfather of Wên Wang, founder of the Chou dynasty, who removed his capital in consequence of the constant raids of barbarian tribes.
59. Virtues, as it were, are luxuries; to practise them, people must at least be provided with the necessities of life. The state of morality, to a great extent, depends on purely economical conditions.
60. I only found one Yuan Ch`ang whom Wang Ch`ung may have in view, a contemporary of his who, during the reign of Ho Ti, 89-105 a.d., was appointed general.
61. The same as the K`un-lun. The Yellow River is believed to have its source in Mount K`un. See also Vol. I, p. 254.
62. Old name of the Poyang Lake.
63. Now capital of Kiangsi Province.
64. Allusion to Analects VI, 9.
65. Cf. Vol. I, p. 133.
66. Two hermits of Ch`u met by Confucius. See Analects XVIII, 6.
67. Cf. p. 53, Note 2 and Vol. I, p. 427.
68. The philosophy of Confucius, and in a still higher degree that of Mê Ti, propounds altruism, the Taoism, indifference and self-cultivation.
69. Worthies in the Confucian sense.
70. War chariots by the number of which the military power of a State was gauged.
71. See above p. 137 and Vol. I, p. 358.
72. A minister of Chao who intended to assassinate Han Kao Tsu. This plan was discovered, and Kuan Kao with all his accomplices and relations to the third degree, were executed. Cf. Vol. I, p. 117 and Shi-chi chap. 8, p. 32r. (Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. II, p. 391 and 392).
73. Virtue and self-sacrifice are easier for persons with a strong constitution than for weak ones. They have more courage and feel bodily pain much less.
74. A hard word, but true, even of many of our philologists.
75. One of the Three Heroes to whom the accession of the Han dynasty is due. See p. 119, Note 6.
76. An old adage which was used by Fan Li, minister of Yüeh, 5th cent b.c. Cf. Vol. I, p. 310, and also by Han Hsin, when he was seized and arraigned for high-treason. Wang Ch`ung here writes: . In the Shi-chi chap. 41, p. 7r. we read: and in Shi-chi cap. 92, p. 16r. the phrase is turned: . Still another variant is found in Han Fei Tse XVII, 3r.
77. Cf. Vol. I, p. 380, Note 5.
78. Han Hsin's plan to seize the Empress Lü Hou and the heir-apparent having been divulged, he was decapitated, and his whole family exterminated in b.c. 196.
79. A high officer of Wên Ti,b.c. 179-157.
80. Both were raised to the rank of marquis.
81. See p. 62, Note 3.
82. Confucius met this woman near the T`ai-shan, while proceeding to Ch`i. He sent Tse Lu to question her, and was told that formerly her husband's father had been devoured by a tiger, then her husband, and last her son. Confucius then said to his disciples, "Remember this my children. Oppressive government is more terrible than tigers." Liki (Legge, Sacred Books Vol. XXVII, p. 190) and the Family Sayings of Confucius, IX, 4v, where Tse Kung takes the place of Tse Lu.
83. A distinguished scholar and poet of the 2nd cent. b.c.
84. The philosopher Yang Hsiung. Elsewhere (Vol. I, pp. 81 and 88) Wang Ch`ung deals more generously with him.
85. See above p. 141, Note 6.
86. Perfect purity is not required to be a Worthy. Tse Lu was one in spite of his covetousness.
87. On the contrary. Confucius commends him and calls him a Worthy. See Analects VII, 14 and XVI, 12.
88. Quoted almost literally from Huai Nan Tse XVIII, 17r. Another parallel passage is furnished by Lieh Tse IV, 4v, but its wording is somewhat different and fuller, so that it may have been the archetype for Huai Nan Tse. There the questioner is Tse Hsia, who inquires about four disciples, adding Tse Chang.
89. Mencius Book VII, Part II, 37.
90. Quoted from the Shuking Part II, Book III, 2; but transposed (Legge, Classics Vol. III, Part I, p. 70).
91. Cf. Vol. I, p. 362, Note 1.
92. See Vol. I, p. 73, Note 3.
93. Cf. Vol. I, p. 74, Note 6 and Tso-chuan, Duke Ting 8th year (Legge, Classics Vol. V, Part II, p. 769 seq.).
94. If, according to the opinion of Kuan Tse, the words of a superior man attract so many people, that they fill rooms and halls, then the effect produced on the hearers would be a criterion of truth. In that case the utterances of all the people ought to fill the whole world to be trustworthy. That is impossible, consequently the principle of Kuan Tse cannot be right.
95. See Vol. I, p. 467, Note 7.
96. One of the Three Heroes of the Han time, cf. Vol. I, p. 305, Note 2. On one occasion, being appointed by the village elders to distribute sacrificial meats at the local altar, he performed this duty with such impartiality, that the elders wished he might manage the affairs of the empire in a similar manner.
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