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夫人哭悲莫過雍門子。雍門子哭對孟嘗君，孟嘗君為之於邑。蓋哭之精誠，故對向之者悽愴感動也。夫雍門子能動孟嘗 之心，不能感孟嘗衣者，衣不知惻怛，不以人心相關通也。今城，土也。土猶衣也，無心腹之藏，安能為悲哭感動而崩？使至誠之聲 能動城土，則其對林木哭，能折草破木乎？
傳書言：“湯遭七年旱，以身禱於桑林，自責以六過，天乃雨”。或言：“五年。禱辭曰：‘餘一人有罪，無及萬夫。萬夫有罪， 在餘一人。天以一人不敏，使上帝鬼神傷民之命’。於是剪其發，麗其手，自以為牲，用祈福於上帝。上帝甚說，時雨乃至。言湯以身禱於桑林 自責，若言剪發麗手，自以為牲，用祈福於帝者，實也。言雨至為湯自責以身禱之故，殆虛言也。
夫河出圖，洛出《書》，聖帝明王之瑞應也。圖書文章，與倉頡所作字畫何以異？天地 為圖書，倉頡作文字，業與天地同，指與鬼神合，何非何惡而致雨粟鬼哭之怪？使天地鬼神惡人有書，則其出圖書，非也；天不惡人有書，作書何 非而致此怪？
神農之橈木為耒，教民耕耨，民始食谷，穀始播種。耕土 以為田，鑿地以為井。井出水以救渴，田出穀以拯饑，天地鬼神所欲為也，龍何故登玄雲？神何故棲昆侖？夫龍之登玄雲，古今有之 ，非始益作井而乃登也。
世 稱申喜夜聞其母歌，心動，開關問歌者為誰，果其母。蓋聞母聲，聲音相感，心悲意動，開關而問，蓋其實也。今曾母在家，曾子在野，不聞號呼 之聲，母小扼臂，安能動子？疑世人頌成，聞曾子之孝天下少雙，則為空生母扼臂之說也。
世稱：南陽卓公為緱氏令，蝗不入界。蓋以賢明至誠，災蟲不入其縣也。此又虛也。夫賢明至誠之化，通於同類，能相知心 ，然後慕服。蝗蟲，閩虻之類也，何知何見而能知卓公之化？使賢者處深野之中，閩虻能不入其舍乎？閩虻不能避賢者之舍，蝗蟲何能 不入卓公之縣？
Chapter XVII. Fictitious Influences (Kan-hsü).
In the books of the Literati which have come down to us they say that at the time of Yao ten suns rose simultaneously, so that everything was scorched up. Yao shot at the ten suns on high, whereupon nine out of them were removed, and a single one began to rise regularly. 1 This is a myth.
When a man is shooting with arrows, at a distance of no more than a hundred steps, the arrows lose their force. As regards the course of the sun, it moves upon heaven like a star. The interstice between heaven and man measures several ten thousand Li, 2 and if Yao had shot at it, how could he have hit the sun? Provided that, at Yao's time, the distance from heaven to earth had not been upwards of a hundred steps, then the arrows of Yao might have just reached the sun, but they could not go farther than a hundred steps. Under the supposition of the short distance of heaven and earth at the time of Yao, his shots might have touched the suns, but without damaging them, and why should the suns have disappeared, if they had been damaged?
The sun is fire. If fire on earth is employed to kindle a torch, and if the by-standers shot at it, would they extinguish it, even if they hit it? Earthly fire is not to be extinguished by arrow-shots, how could heavenly fire be put out in this manner?
This is meant to imply that Yao shot at the suns with his spiritual essence. 3 Whatever is touched by it, even metal and stones, crumbles to pieces, for it knows no hardness nor distance. Now, water and fire have a similar nature. If fire could be extinguished with arrows, it ought to be possible to remove water by shooting at it likewise.
At the time of the Great Flood, China was inundated by the waters causing great damage to the people. Why did Yao not put forth his spiritual essence then, removing the waters by shooting? He was able to shoot at the suns, preventing their fire from doing injury, but he could not shoot at the Yellow River, to hinder the ravages of its floods. Since the water could not be removed by shooting, we know that the story about shooting at the suns is an invention and unreliable.
Some hold that the sun is a fluid and that, although an arrow may not reach it, the spiritual essence can extinguish it. Now Heaven is also far off; in case it is a fluid, it must be similar to the sun and the moon, and should it be corporeal, 4 it would be on a level with metals and stones. If the essence of Yao extinguished the suns and destroyed metals and stones, could he also perforate Heaven, while sending his arrows?
As an example of the perversity of Chieh and Chou people relate that they shot at Heaven and lashed Earth, and in praise of Kao Tsung they narrate that, by his virtuous government, he did away with the mulberry and the paper-mulberry. 5 Now if Yao, incapable of extinguishing the ten suns by his virtue, shot at them nevertheless, his virtue did not equal that of Kao Tsung, and his depravity could match that of Chieh and Chou. How could he have obtained a response from Heaven by his essence?
It is on record that [when Wu Wang, on his expedition against Chou, crossed the Mêng ford, 6 the waves of Yang-hou7 rushed against him. A storm was raging, and there was such a darkness, that men and horses became invisible. Upon this, King Wu, grasping the yellow halberd with his left and holding the white standard in his right, with flashing eyes waved it and exclaimed, "While I am in the empire, who dares thwart my plans?", whereupon the storm abated, and the waves subsided.] This narrative is preposterous. 8
When Wu Wang was crossing the Mêng ford, the hosts of his army were cheerful and merry, singing in front and gamboling in the rear. There being a certain sympathy between Heaven and man, it would not have been the proper thing for Heaven to grumble, when man was pleased, but it is not sure whether there was really singing in front and dancing in the rear, and the stopping of the storm by waving a flag likewise looks like an invention.
Wind is air, and some speculative minds see in it the commanding voice of Heaven and Earth. Now, provided that the punishment of Chou by Wu Wang was right, then Heaven should have kept quiet and rewarded him; if, however, his destruction was not right, then the storm was expressive of Heaven's anger.
Had Wu Wang not received the command of Heaven and not inquired into his own guilt, then, by saying, with flashing eyes. "While I am in the empire, who ventures to thwart me?" he could not but double Heaven's anger and increase his own depravity; how would the wind have stopped therefore? When parents are angry with their son for not mending his faults, would they be willing to pardon him, if, with flashing eyes, he talked big?
In case wind is the fluid of misfortune produced by Heaven, it must be spontaneous as well as unconscious, and angry looks or waving flags would not cause it to stop. Wind is like rain. If Wu Wang with flashing eyes had waved his standard to the rain, would it have ceased? Since Wu Wang could not stop the rain, he could not stop the wind either. Perhaps just at the moment, when he waved his flag, accidentally the wind stopped of itself, and the people, extolling his excellence, then contended that Wu Wang could stop the wind.
There is a report that, [when Duke Hsiang of Lu was at war with Han, and the battle was hottest, the sun went down. The duke, swinging his spear, beckoned to it, when the sun came back for him, passing through three solar mansions.] 9 This is an invention.
Whoever can affect Heaven through his spiritual essence, must be single-minded and engrossed with one idea. Discharging all other affairs from his thoughts and concentrating his mind, he may communicate with Heaven by means of his spiritual essence, and Heaven may then exhibit some extraordinary phenomenon, though I do not admit even this. Duke Hsiang's interest was entirely absorbed by the battle, when the sun sank, and he beckoned to it. How could he induce it to revert? If a sage would beckon to the sun, it would not return by any means; who was Duke Hsiang, that he could cause it to come back?
The Hung-fan10 has it that [some stars are fond of wind and others of rain. The course of the sun and moon brings about winter and summer, and when the moon follows the stars, there is wind and rain]. 11 Now the stars are of the same stuff as the sun and the moon. When the latter follow the stars, these change again, 12 and it is evident that, as long as the two luminaries keep their regular course, they do not yield to the likes and dislikes of the stars. How then should it be possible that the desire of Duke Hsiang was fulfilled?
The stars on Heaven are the mansions of the sun and the moon, as on earth the postal stations serve as residences of the higher officials. These 28 solar mansions 13 are divided into degrees, one mansion measuring 10 degrees, more or less. The allegation that the sun returned through three mansions would therefore denote 30 degrees. The sun proceeds one degree every day, at the moment of beckoning it would therefore have gone back the same distance which it had made during 30 days. If we regard a shê (station) as one degree, 14 then three degrees would be a three days course, and at the moment, when the spear was waved, the sun would have been made to revert three days.
When Duke Ching of Sung exhibited his sincerity and uttered three excellent maxims, the planet Mars passed through three solar mansions, a story which sober-minded critics still call an invention. 15 Duke Hsiang, during the fighting, was displeased with the sun's setting, accordingly he waved his spear, but he had no earnest purpose, 16 nor did he say any excellent words. 17 That the sun should revert for his sake, was most likely not his idea.
Moreover, the sun is fire. A sage giving a signal to fire would in no wise be able to make it return, and Duke Hsiang should have caused the sun to revert by his signal?
While the battle was going on, the sun was in the middle of mao,18 and, bewildered by the fighting, the duke fancied that the sun was setting. 19 Waving his flag, he turned round to the left, describing a curve, and was under the impression that the sun was reverting. People naturally fond of the marvellous then spoke of the sun's reverting, which cannot be upheld in earnest.
It is related in historical works that, when, at the instance of the heir-prince of Yen, Ching K`o attempted to murder the king of Ch`in, a white halo encircled the sun, and that, [while the master from Wei was devising the plan of the Ch`ang-p`ing affair for Ch`in, Venus eclipsed the Pleiades]. 20 This means to say that the spiritual essence affected Heaven, so that it produced those phenomena. To say that a white halo surrounded the sun, and that Venus eclipsed the Pleiades is allowable, but the assertion that the design of Ching K`o and the plan of the master from Wei exercised such an influence upon august Heaven, that a white halo encircled the sun and Venus eclipsed the Pleiades, is erroneous.
Striking a bell with chopsticks and beating a drum with counting-slips, one cannot bring them to sound, because the sticks used to beat them are too small. Now, the human body does not measure more than seven feet, and with the spirit within these seven feet one hopes to bring about something. The energy may be concentrated ever so much, it is still like striking a bell with chopsticks or beating a drum with counting-slips; how can it move Heaven? The mind may be quite in earnest, but the implements employed to cause a motion are insufficient.
The intention to injure being directed against men, these are not affected by it, and Heaven should be? Man's evil designs should be able to operate on Heaven? No, that is impossible.
When Yü Jang was about to kill the viscount Hsiang of Chao, Hsiang's heart palpitated, and when Kuan Kao was planning his rebellion against Han Kao Tsu, the heart of the latter felt an emotion likewise. 21 The two men thus harbouring their designs, the two lords became agitated.
I reply that, when a calamitous change is at hand, strange signs spontaneously appear about the persons threatened, and are not their own work. My reason is this:---Sometimes we meet lunatics on the road who with a weapon hurt themselves, without having the intention to injure their own bodies, but, before this, their bodies have already been conspicuous by miraculous signs. From this I infer that miracles are symptoms of calamitous changes and spontaneous disasters, and not the result of suicidal designs.
Furthermore an unlucky man dividing by shells, will receive a bad omen, and appealing to straws, he will fall in with an unpropitious diagram. Going out, he sees inauspicious things. His forecasts point to dangers, and he beholds a calamitous fluid, which shows itself in the face, as the white halo and Venus appear in heaven. Phenomenal changes appear in heaven, whereas prognostics become visible in man. Above and below are in accord and spontaneously respond to one another.
It has been chronicled that, when Tan, the heir-prince of Yen, paid a call at the court of Ch`in, he was not allowed to go home again. He asked of the king of Ch`in permission to return, but the king detained him and said with an oath, "In case the sun reverts to the meridian, Heaven rains grain, crows get white heads and horses horns, and the wooden elephants on the kitchen door get legs of flesh, then you may return." --- At that time Heaven and Earth conferred upon him their special favour:---the sun returned to the meridian, Heaven rained grain, the crows got white crowns and the horses horns, and the legs of the wooden elephants on the kitchen door grew fleshy. The king of Ch`in took him for a Sage and let him off. 22 --- This narrative is fictitious.
Who was this prince of Yen, Tan, that he could thus influence Heaven? Sages imprisoned have not been able to move Heaven. Prince Tan was but a worthy, how could he have carried this out? If Heaven favoured him and produced all those wonders with a view to his deliverance, it might as well have appeased the feelings of the king of Ch`in, in order to remove all the prince's hardships. His captivity was one matter only and easy to deal with, whereas the miracles were five rather difficult things. Why did Heaven omit the easy matter and do the five difficult things? Did it not fear the trouble?
T`ang was confined in Hsia-t`ai and Wên Wang in Yu-li,23 and Confucius was in great straits between Ch`ên and T`sai. During the captivity of the three Sages, Heaven could not help them, causing their tormentors to see the blessings sent down upon them, understand their sagehood, and dismiss them with high honours.
Some one may object that those three Sages bear no relation to the three oaths. Their hearts were desireless, consequently there was no reason for the manifestation of omens of celestial protection. Heaven helps man, as one lends a utensil to somebody:---unless he asks for it, one does not give it.
I reply that, when the heir-prince was desiring that Heaven might send an omen, no words were spoken, it being merely the wish of his heart. When T`ang was imprisoned in Hsia-t`ai, and Wên Wang detained in Yu-li, their hearts were likewise yearning for a release, and Confucius, distressed between Ch`ên and T`sai, was craving after food. Wherefore did Heaven not let the locks of the gates in Hsia-t`ai and Yu-li be spoiled, that T`ang and Wên Wang could make their escape, or rain grain in Ch`ên and T`sai for Confucius, to appease his appetite?
The Grand Annalist remarks, "People say of prince Tan that he induced Heaven to rain grain and make the horses grow horns. All this is most likely idle talk." 24 The Grand Annalist is a man who writes the truth about the Han time. His expression "idle talk" is all but synonymous with untrue.
We learn from historical books that the wife of Ch`i Liang cried, turned towards the city wall, which collapsed in consequence. This intimates that on Ch`i Liang not returning from a military expedition, his wife, in her despair, cried in the direction of the city-wall, and so heart-felt were her sorrow and her laments, that her feeling affected the wall, which tumbled down in consequence. 25 That the woman cried, turned towards the wall, may be true, but the subsequent collapse of the city-wall is an invention.
There has never been a man whose tears and cries were more pathetic than those of Yung Mên Tse. When he cried in the presence of Mêng Ch`ang Chün,26 the latter choked with emotion. 27 By the sincerity of grief those present are moved to sympathy. Now, Yung Mên Tse could touch the heart of Mêng Ch`ang Chün, but not affect his dress, for garments are insensible of pity and proof against human feelings. The city-wall is of earth, and earth, like cloth. Being devoid of a heart and intestines, how could it be moved by sobs and tears and fall down? Should the sounds of genuine grief be apt to affect the earth of a wall, then complaints uttered among the trees of a forest, would tear the plants and break the trunks.
If somebody should weep, when turned towards a water or a fire, would the water boil up, or the fire go out? Plants, trees, water, and fire do not differ from earth, it is plain therefore that the wife of Ch`i Liang could not be answerable for the délabrement of the wall.
Perhaps the wall was just going to tumble down of itself, when the wife of Ch`i Liang happened to cry below. The world is partial to fictions and does not investigate the true cause of things, consequently this story of the down-fall of the city-wall has, up till now, not faded from memory.
The histories record that Tsou Yen was confined in Yen, though he was innocent. In the fifth month of summer he looked up to Heaven, heaving a sigh, whereupon Heaven sent down a shower of hoar-frost. 28 This is on a level with the wife of Ch`i Liang's subverting a city-wall by her wails. The statement that he was kept in jail without any guilt, and that in summer he sighed, looking up to Heaven, is true, but the assertion as to Heaven raining frost, a mere invention.
Ten thousand persons raising their voices and emitting their moans and sighs simultaneously still fail to touch Heaven, how then could Tsou Yen, one single individual, by his passionate sighs over his ill-treatment call the hoar-frost down? His wrongs were not worse than those of Tsêng Tse and Po Ch`i. Têng Tse being suspected, hummed, 29 and Po Ch`i, on being banished, sang. Suspicion and imprisonment are alike, 30 and humming and singing are similar to sighing. Tsêng Tse and Po Ch`i were unable to attract cold; who was Tsou Yen, that he alone could make the frost fall?
Banishment is perhaps not yet sufficiently painful to be taken into consideration, but Shên Shêng31 fell upon his sword, and Wu Tse Hsü had to cut his own throat. 32 The one being exceedingly dutiful to his father, was doomed to die, and the other, the most loyal subject, had to suffer capital punishment. When they were near their end, they doubtless made complaints, and these complaints are nothing else than the sighs of Tsou Yen towards Heaven. If Heaven felt no sympathy for these two men, being moved only by Tsou Yen, his captivity must have given it great pain, whereas it did not commiserate the blood-shed. The innocent suffering of Po Ch`i was of the same sort, but it had not the same effect on Heaven.
Provided you light a candle and try to heat a cauldron full of water with it, then, after a whole day, it will not yet be hot. Or take a lump of ice, a foot thick, and place it into the kitchen:--- after a whole night the room will not yet have become cooled. The reason is that small and tiny things cannot affect big and huge ones. Now the sighs of Tsou Yen were but like a candle or a lump of ice, and the grandeur of majestic Heaven is not merely on a par with that of a water kettle or a kitchen.
How easy is it to move Heaven, and how easily does hoarfrost descend, if a sigh towards Heaven suffices to cause a fall of frost! Pain is to be compared with pleasure, and joy is the counterpart of anger. Provided that, by the expression of his sorrow, Tsou Yen prompted Heaven to send frost down, would he be able to make Heaven warm in winter time, if, on receiving an unexpected kindness, he laughed to it?
The phenomenalists contend that, when a ruler rewards in autumn, the weather becomes warm, and, when he punishes in summer, it turns cold. But unless coldness is joined with the proper season, frost does not descend, and unless warmth comes together with the proper days, ice does not melt. How easy would be the change of temperature and how facile a revolution of the seasons, if, upon one man in his distress giving one sigh, Heaven did at once send frost. Heat and cold have their natural periods, which does not agree with the view of the phenomenalists.
If we argue on their lines, perhaps the king of Yen enjoyed inflicting punishments, consequently cold weather had to set in. Then Tsou Yen sighed in jail, and at that very moment hoar-frost chanced to come down of itself. But the people remarking that frost just happened to fall, when he sighed, took it for the effect of Tsou Yen's sighing.
Historical works report that, when the music-master K`uang played the air "White snow," wonderful creatures descended, and a storm with rain broke loose. Duke P`ing began to pine away henceforward, and the Chin State became parched up and barren. Another version is that, when K`uang first played a tune in A major, clouds rose in the north-west. When he played again, a tempest came, accompanied by torrents of rain. The tents were rent to pieces, the plates and dishes smashed, and the tiles of the verandah hurled down. The guests fled in all directions, and Duke P`ing was so frightened, that he fell down under the porches. The Chin State was then visited with a great drought. For three years the soil was scorched up. The duke's body began to pine away thereafter. 33
"White snow" and A major are perhaps only different names for the same melody, for the misfortune and havoc wrought was in both cases identical. The chroniclers have recorded it as genuine, and ordinary people reading it, have reposed confidence in this narrative. But he who tests its authenticity, must become aware that it is illusive.
What manner of a tune is A major to bring about such a result? A major is the sound of "wood," accordingly it causes wind, and if wood makes wind, rain comes along with it. 34 How does a piece of wood three feet long 35 and the sound of some chords possess the wonderful faculty of affecting Heaven and Earth? That would be like the délabrement of the city wall by tears, or the fall of frost through a sigh.
The ability of the music-master K`uang to thrum A major must have been acquired and cannot have been an innate faculty. When he first studied it, he practised night and day and not only once or twice. Provided that what the chronicles relate be true, then, when the music-master was studying A major, wind and rain ought to have set in.
Some books narrate that, while Hu Pa36 was playing the lute, the fish in the ponds came out to listen, 37 and when the music-master K`uang was touching the guitar, the six kinds of horses looked up from their fodder. 38 According to another version about K`uang's performing in A major, when he played the first part, two times eight black cranes came from the south, and alighted on the top of the exterior gate. When he played again, they formed themselves into rows, and when he played the third part, they began crowing, stretching their necks and dancing, flapping their wings. The notes F and G were struck with the greatest precision, and their sound rose to heaven. Duke P`ing was enraptured, and all the guests were enchanted. 39
The Shuking says, "[I smite the music-stone, I strike the stone, and the various animals begin dancing together.]" 40
This we can believe in spite of its strangeness, for birds and beasts are partial to sentimental music, and their ears are like the human. Seeing man desirous of eating something, they likewise wish to have it, and why should they not be jubilant, on hearing him rejoicing? That the fish listened, the horses looked up, the black cranes stretched their necks, and the various animals began dancing, are facts therefore, but that wind and rain set in, and that the Chin State was visited with a great drought, that its soil was scorched up for three years, and Duke P`ing pined away, is most likely fictitious.
Perchance, when A major was struck, it happened to blow and to rain, and, after this shower, the Chin State met with a drought. Duke P`ing being too fond of music and immoderately indulging in fun and frolic, accidentally was afflicted with marasmus. Consequently the writers put faith in the story, and the people witnessing all these circumstances, believed in it. Yet, as a matter of fact, the musical sounds cannot be productive of such a result, which we prove as follows:---When wind and rain set in with great vehemence, there is a confusion of the Yin and the Yang. If music can confound them, it must also be able to set them in order. For what reason, then, do the rulers rectify their persons, improve their conduct, and far and wide exhibit their righteous administration? Provided it suffices to play a song adjusting the Yin and the Yang, then harmony comes of itself, and universal peace of its own accord.
It is being reported that, after T`ang had been afflicted with a drought for seven years, he prayed personally in a mulberry grove, impeaching himself with the Six Crimes, when Heaven sent down rain. Some speak of five years. The prayer was couched in these terms:---"If I alone am guilty, may my guilt not affect the ten thousand people, and if the guilt be theirs, may it fall on me alone." Since, because of one man's folly, Heaven employed God and the spirits 41 to injure people's lives, T`ang cut his hair and bound his hands, offering himself as a victim. In such a way he begged happiness of God, who was so pleased, that rain fell at once. 42 ---That T`ang personally prayed in the mulberry grove, and his self-indictment was as mentioned, that he cut his hair and bound his hands, thus offering himself as a victim, and that he implored God, all this is true, but the statement that the rainfall was owing to T`ang's self-impeachment and personal supplication seems to be a fallacy.
[Confucius being very sick, Tse Lu asked leave to pray for him. He said, "May such a thing be done?" Tse Lu replied, "It may. In the Eulogies it is said, `Prayer has been made for thee to the spirits of the upper and lower worlds.' " The Master said, "It is a long time, since I prayed."] 43
The Sage rectified himself and regulated his conduct, and the days when he used to pray were long gone. Heaven and Earth and the spirits knew him to be faultless, hence he could say that it was a long time since he prayed.
We read in the Yiking, ["The great man equals Heaven and Earth in virtue, the sun and the moon in brightness, the four seasons in regularity, and the ghosts and spirits in happiness and misfortune."] 44
That means to say that a sage displays his virtue in the same manner as Heaven and Earth or ghosts and spirits. Should prayer be required to secure happiness, this would not be the same. T`ang as well as Confucius were sages, and the time when they were wont to pray had long passed. Confucius would not have Tse Lu pray to cure his disease,---how then could T`ang obtain rain through prayer? In spite of Confucius' regular prayers, he was taken seriously ill. T`ang would likewise pray, and yet years of great drought ensued.
Inundations and droughts of Heaven and Earth are like human maladies. A serious ailment cannot be expelled by self-indictment, and so it is plain that floods and droughts are not to be removed by prayers and penitence. Had T`ang caused the drought by his faults, he would not have equalled Heaven and Earth in virtue, 45 and unless he had caused the drought by his guilt, his self-accusation and craving for mercy was likewise of no use.
Man's bodily frame measures but seven feet, and within this frame there reside the Five Virtues and eventually consumption. Yet though fixing all the guilt upon one's self, one cannot cure it. Now fancy immense Heaven! 46 If at the time of a natural calamity, like a flood or a drought, T`ang with his body of seven feet and his earnest purpose residing in it had impeached himself and prayed for mercy, how could he have obtained rain?
When a man stands on the top of a high building of many stories, and another below prostrates himself and asks for something on the building, the one on the top hearing his words may, out of compassion, grant his request. In case, however, he does not understand what the other says, the latter never obtains his end in spite of the greatest sincerity of his feelings. Now the distance from Heaven to man is not only like the height of a storied building. How could Heaven, although T`ang took the responsibility upon himself, become aware of it and send him the rain?
A drought is a phenomenon of heat, as an inundation is an exceptional state of the water. The Great Flood which Yao encountered may well be termed an inundation. Still Yao did not impeach himself or personally offer prayers. The flood was to be regulated by Shun and Yü, and he knew that such a state of water required regulation. An inundation is not removed by prayers, and a drought must be treated in the same way. Consequently the prayers of T`ang could not bring down the rain.
Perhaps the drought had been lasting for a long time, when rain fell of itself, and T`ang likewise just happened to lay the long duration of the drought to his charge. The people of that period, observing the fall of rain just consequent upon T`ang's self-indictment, then considered that T`ang had obtained the rain by his invocations.
Some books relate that, [when T`sang Hsieh invented the art of writing, Heaven rained grain, and the ghosts cried during the night]. 47 This signifies that, when writing was invented, by degrees disorder broke out, whence the supernatural apparitions:---Heaven raining grain, and the ghosts crying. What they say about Heaven raining grain and the ghosts crying during the night is true, but the affirmation that this was in response to T`sang Hsieh's invention of writing, is wrong.
The Plan put forth by the Yellow River and the Scroll emerging from the Lo48 were lucky auguries for sage emperors and enlightened kings. There is no difference between the signs of the Plan and the Scroll and those characters, which were invented by T`sang Hsieh. Heaven and Earth produced the Plan and the Scroll, while T`sang Hsieh invented the written characters. His proceeding was like that of Heaven and Earth, and his idea agreeing with that of ghosts and spirits. What wrong was there and what evil to cause such prodigies as the raining of grain and the weeping of ghosts? If Heaven and Earth and the spirits resented that man had written books, then their production of the Plan and the Scroll was unjustifiable, if, on the other hand, Heaven did not grudge mankind the possession of writing, what wrong was there in its invention to lead to such monstrosities?
Perhaps Ts`ang Hsieh just happened to make his invention, when Heaven rained grain, and the ghosts chanced to weep during the night. The raining of grain as well as the laments of the spirits had their cause, but people seeing them take place as if in response to the invention, imagined that the writing had produced these revolutionary signs, and that they were occasioned by the event. A propos of the raining of grain the critics claim that it fell down from Heaven as the product of an extraordinary phenomenon, but, if our discussion starts from clouds and rain, this phenomenon cannot be deemed supernatural for the following reason:
The rain from clouds originates on hills and mountains. Descending and spreading, these clouds become rain. Beholding it falling down from above, people are under the impression that it is Heaven which rains water. On a summer day, rain is water, whereas in winter, when Heaven is cold, it freezes and turns into snow. Under all circumstances, it comes from cloudy vapours on hills and mountains, and it is evident that it cannot descend and gather on earth from heaven above. 49
When it rains grain, the clouds likewise scatter it, and it also rises from the earth. Having been carried away by a strong wind and blown up to heaven, it falls down again to the earth. Noticing its descent from heaven, people then speak of Heaven raining grain.
In the 31st year of Chien-wu,50 it rained grain at Ch`ên-liu,51 and the grain descending covered the ground. Upon examining the shape of the grain, they found it to be like tribulus, but black, and it bore resemblance to the grains of panic grass. Perhaps this grain had grown in the country of the 1 and Ti. These tribes not eating corn, this grain had grown in the country and, when ripe, had perhaps fallen upon the ground. Meeting with a strong gale, it had been hurriedly carried off, blown away and flying along with the wind, until, the wind subsiding, it had alighted and descended in China. The Chinese becoming aware of it, then spoke of the raining of grain. My reasons are the following:
When a wild-fire burns the hills and marshes, the leaves of plants and trees in them are all reduced to ashes, which, carried away by a gale, are blown aloft as high as heaven, but, when the wind relaxes, these leaves come down upon the roads. Now the grain from heaven is like the burned leaves of plants and trees, which fly about and fall down, but people regard it as rain, and the authors look upon it as a wonderful prodigy.
Heaven confines itself to emitting its fluid, whereas Earth governs the growing of things. All plants with leaves and eatable fruit are a produce of Earth, and not made by Heaven. Now, grain is not produced by the fluid and requires earth for its development. Although they call it a miracle, miracles are bound to certain species. Provided that things growing from the earth could conversely descend from heaven, could celestial things likewise issue from the earth? The productions of Earth are like the stars of Heaven. The stars do not change their nature and grow from Earth, why then should grain alone grow from Heaven?
Some books contain a notice that, [when Po Yi52 made a well, a dragon mounted a black cloud, and the spirits alighted on the K`un-lun]. 53 This means to say that the dragon was injured by the well, which was the reason of the phenomenon of the dragon and the spirits.
The allegation that the dragon mounted a black cloud is trustworthy, but the remark concerning the spirits alighting on Mount K`un-lun, and ascribing the rise of the dragon and the flight of the spirits to the building of a well, is unreliable.
Wells are made for the purpose of drinking, and fields are planted for the sake of food, which amounts to the same. If Po Yi, by making a well, caused such extraordinary events, why do such phenomena not appear, when the soil is first tilled?
Shên Nung54 shaped a crooked stick into a plough, and taught people how to till. Then they first began eating grain, and grain was first sown. The tilled ground becomes a field, and a dug out hole, a well. From the well comes water to slake the thirst, and on the field grows grain to appease the hunger. Heaven and Earth, ghosts and spirits are all agreed on this. Wherefore then does the dragon rise on a black cloud, and the spirits alight on the K`un-lun? The mounting of a dragon on a black cloud has happened in olden as well as modern times, and it did not only commence to do so when Po Yi dug his well.
At present, in midsummer, when thunder and rain appear simultaneously, dragons frequently rise on clouds. There being a certain relation between clouds and dragons, the dragon rides on clouds and rain. 55 Things of the same class attract one another, but there is no purpose in this.
In Yao's time, a man of fifty was beating clods of earth on the road. An observer remarked, "Grand indeed is the virtue of Yao!"---The man who was playing with earth, replied, "At sunrise I begin my work, and at sunset I take my rest. I dig a well to drink, and labour my field to eat. What sort of energy does Yao display?" 56 Accordingly, in Yao's time, wells must have been known.
Under the reign of Yao and Shun, dragons were reared and domesticated and always kept at court. When towards the end of the Hsia dynasty, the government degenerated, the dragons concealed themselves, 57 and it was not only when Po Yi had dug his well, that they rose on clouds.
And who are those spirits that are mentioned? It must be the hundred spirits. 58 For what reason should these hundred spirits resent so much that men made wells? If the spirits are similar to men, they must also have a desire to drink, and, with such a craving, to detest wells and run away would be self-contradictory. Even if Po Yi had not dug the well, the dragon would not have mounted a cloud on account of the digging of some well, nor would the spirits have alighted on the K`un-lun for that reason. This is a misconception of some writers and of their invention.
There is a report that Mount Liang59 collapsed and blocked a river, which for three days did not flow. The prince of Chin was very much distressed, Po Tsung,60 following the counsel of a carriage-driver, bade Duke Ching dress in plain white silk and bewail the extraordinary case. Upon this the water of the river came back. 61
This is preposterous. A mountain tumbling down and blocking a river is like a tumor caused by an abscess, which prevents the circulation of the blood. Could such a tumor be cured by putting on white clothes and crying?
In Yao's time the Great Flood was surging up to the sky, encircling mountains and overtopping hills. 62 The emperor Yao sighed and was anxious to find some clever helpmate. The waters were worse than the blocking of a river, and Yao's sorrow deeper than that of Duke Ching, but we have not heard that, by dressing in white silk and giving vent to his grief, he could overcome the water. Had Yao no device of some able man like the carriage-driver? 63
It it impossible to remove a cataclysm like the Great Flood by such means as sounds and dresses. White silk and tears are tantamount to repentance and self-indictment. Yao and Yü regulating the waters did it by means of personal labour, and not by self-reproaches.
Mount Liang was a mountain in Yao's time, 64 and the river that was blocked was a river of the same period. Both catastrophes, the falling mountain blocking the river as well as the rain from heaven and the rise of the water, were not different, but Yao and Yü regulated the water by personal work, whereas the carriage-driver had recourse to self-accusation, to put the blocked river in order. The catastrophes were similar, but the measures taken, different; the people were alike, but their methods inconsistent.
The true system of the wise and the phenomenalists is otherwise, I should say. According to their principles, such categories must be called into play as can affect one another, e. g. if there be cold, the former state may be restored by warmth, and warmth may again be dispelled by cold. Thus with dragons they attract rain, and by punishments expel heat. 65 In all these instances the fluids of the Five Elements are set in motion, which either affect or overcome each other. 66 What have white silk and crying over a blocked river to do with these principles?
Perhaps, when the river was dammed and the mountain collapsed, first the earth was heaped up, and the water was not strong enough to break through. Three days later, the water had increased, so that the earth was dispersed, and the obstruction destroyed. After the removal of the obstruction, the current set in again and began flowing eastwards. At the suggestion of Po Tsung who listened to the carriage-driver, the duke dressed in white silk and cried, whereupon the water commenced running again. Upon this they contended that the extraordinary deviation of the river was adjusted by these measures. As a matter of fact this is wrong, but how can we know?
If the collapse of the mountain was something natural, white silk and tears were of no advantage, and if it was a divine calamity in response to some acts, then the government and the administration ought to have been changed. Were silk and tears. in any way connected with a change of government, that they might remove a divine calamity?
In some books we find the following narrative: The filial piety of Tsêng Tse was such, that a peculiar sympathy existed between him and his mother. Once, when Tsêng Tse had gone out to gather fuel in the country, a guest arrived and wanted to leave again. Tsêng Tse's mother told him to remain, since her son would soon be back, and with her right hand she squeezed her left arm. 67Tsêng Tse at once felt a pain in his left arm, and forthwith he came back to his mother, and asked of her the reason why his arm had pained him. His mother replied, "To-day a guest arrived and wanted to go away. I squeezed my arm, in order to call you." 68 For extreme piety leads to a spiritual communication with father and mother, and a sickness of the body directly affects the spirit.
This is a mistake, I dare say. Since great filial piety and brotherly love evidently make an impression upon the spirits, one says that the effects of virtue extend to Heaven and Earth. From this common people infer that extreme piety and love move the soul. If the pain in the arm of Tsêng Tse's mother was likewise felt in his arm, was Tsêng Tse also sick, when his mother was taken ill, or did he die at once, when his mother expired? We learn from history that, when Tsêng Tse's mother died first, he did not follow her. This shows that the spirit may be moved in a minor degree, but that it cannot be affected to any great extent.
People say that, during the night, Shên Hsi69 heard his mother sing. His heart being touched, he opened the door to inquire who was the singer, and it appeared that it was his mother. Hearing his mother's voice, the sound affected him. His heart was agitated, and his mind roused, so that he opened the door to inquire. That may be true. Now the mother of Tsêng Tse was in the house, while her son was in the country and could not hear her calls. How could a little pinching of the arm on the part of his mother affect the son? Methinks people have embellished the facts. Hearing that as a dutiful son Tsêng Tse had not his peer on earth, they invented the story of his mother squeezing her arm.
People say that Cho70 of Nan-yang71 following Hou's counsel, the locusts did not enter his territory. Owing to his extraordinary wisdom, the calamitous insects did not infest his country. 72 This also is a fallacy. Great wisdom may make itself felt upon creatures of a similar kind, which are able to understand the character of one of their kindred, and afterwards feel a certain respect for him. Locusts belong to the class of mosquitoes and gadflies. 73 What do they hear, and what do they know to become aware of Cho's proceedings? Provided that a wise man lived in the country, far away in the interior, would mosquitoes and gadflies not enter his cottage? They would not shun the hut of a sage, wherefore then should the locusts keep aloof from Cho's territory?
If they say that the calamity of locusts has nothing in common with mosquitoes and gadflies, they will admit at least that heat and cold can also prove calamities. Now, in case cold prevails throughout a circuit, and that in one of its districts there lives a wise man, could the area of this one district alone remain warm? Heat and cold do not recoil from the district of a wise man, why then should the locusts not enter the territory of Cho?
Consequently it was merely by chance that the locusts did not ravage his country. The fame of Cho's wisdom being in every mouth, people conceived the idea that he could avert locusts.
When locusts appear in the country, they cannot go everywhere nor completely cover the ground. At their gatherings they are more numerous in some places, and in others less. If their swarms are concentrated upon one place, it is not necessary that robber Chê should dwell there, nor is the country which they spare inhabited by Po Yi.74 They alight or pass in greater or smaller numbers, and do not completely cover everything. As in falling down upon a place, they are many or few, so in passing a district, they either remain or leave again. From their number no conclusion can be drawn as to goodness or badness; how then should their appearance or non-appearance be a criterion of a man's wisdom? Hence it is plain that, when locusts pass of their own accord, we have no right to say that they do not come into the territory of a wise man.
1. See Vol. I, p. 272, Note 2.
2. Wang Ch`ung reckons the distance at 60000 Li. Vol. I, p. 275.
3. . We are not told how this is possible.
4. Wang Ch`ung conceives heaven as something solid, a firmament. Vol. I, pp. 257 and 509.
5. Cf. chap. XVI.
6. In Honan, west of Huai-ch`ing-fu.
7. The commentary to Huai Nan Tse says that Yang-hou means the marquis of Yang viz. of Ling-yang , whose territory was contiguous to the river and whose spirit could cause big waves, the marquis having been drowned in the river.
8. It is derived from Huai Nan Tse VI, 1v.
9. Quotation from Huai Nan Tse VI, 1v. See also Vol. I, p. 89, Note 6.
10. A chapter of the Shuking.
11. Cf. Vol. I, p. 277, Note 3.
12. Viz. their penchant for wind or rain, which only manifests itself when the moon approaches them.
13. See Vol. I, p. 257.
14. Taking the character in the acceptation of degree, not of solar mansion.
15. See above p. 152 seq.
16. Which according to the view of many scholars may work wonders.
17. Like Duke Ching of Sung who is believed to have caused Mars to pass through three solar mansions.
18. The east point.
19. Whereas in fact it was rising. This conjecture is not very plausible.
20. Cf. Shi-chi chap. 83, p. 9v. and Vol. I, p. 117.
21. Vol. I, p. 117, Notes 5 and 6.
22. The Pei-wên-yün-fu cites this passage. See also Vol. I, p. 115, Note 4.
23. Vol I, p. 142, Notes 1 and 2.
24. Sse-Ma Ch`ien makes this remark at the end of Shi-chi chap. 86, but in our text he does not say: , but simply "it is a great exaggeration."In Shi-chi chap. 34, p. 9r. we read that Prince Tan was kept a hostage in Ch`in, but in b.c. 232 contrived to escape to Yen.
25. Cf. Vol. I, p. 116 and 117.
26. A general of Ch`i of the 3rd cent. b.c. See Vol. I, p. 161, Note 1
27. which seems to stand for , the two words used by Huai Nan Tse VI, 2r. where he speaks of Yung Mên Tse. The commentator remarks that this man was famous as a guitar-player and for his weeping, by which he touched the hearts of others. He wished to obtain something from Mêng Ch`ang Chün.
28. See Vol. I, p. 281, Note 1.
29. Tsêng Tse having been all but killed by his wicked father for some small inadvertence, played the guitar and sang when he had recovered consciousness. K`ung-Tse chia-yü IV, 3r.
30. Few will be willing to admit this.
31. Heir-apparent of Chin who committed suicide, having been deposed and calumniated by the intrigues of the wife of duke Hsien. He was not put to death as stated in Vol. I, p. 247, Note 4.
32. A faithful minister of Wu who in 485 b.c. received a sword from his sovereign to kill himself. Cf. Vol. I, p. 140, Note 2.
33. See Vol. I, p. 222.
34. According to the old Chinese symbolism the note A = corresponds to wood , which again is supposed to cause wind, a confusion of cause and effect, for the branches of trees are agitated by wind, but do not produce it.
35. The guitar.
36. A famous lute-player of primitive times.
37. A quotation from Hsün Tse who, however, says in lieu of . Lieh Tse observes . "While Hu Pa was playing the guitar, the birds danced and the fish jumped." Huai Nan Tse XVI, 1v. writes , ascribing to Po Ya what our author says of K`uang.
38. Vol. I, p. 379, Note 2.
39. Vol. I, p. 379, Note 2.
40. Shuking Part II, Bk. I, 24 (Legge, Classics Vol. III, Part I, p. 49).
41. A remarkable statement. Heaven here is treated as a being superior to God = Shang-ti, who has to obey its commands.
42. See above p. 16.
43. Analects VII, 34.
44. Quotation from the Yiking: , ed. 1880, chap. I, p. 7v., not to be found in Legge's translation.
45. He would not have been the sage he was.
46. We cannot cure the diseases within the small compass of our body; how could immense Heaven do it, Heaven taken as the empyrean?
47. See above p. 167. Quotation from Huai Nan Tse VIII, 5 r.
48. Vol. I, p. 294, Note 1, and p. 295, Note 1.
49. Cf. Vol. I, p. 277.
50. In the year 55 a.d.
51. In the province of Honan.
52. Baron Yi, the forester of Shun and assistant of Yü. See Vol. I, p. 253.
53. Quoted from Huai Nan Tse VIII, 5 r.
54. The tutelary deity of agriculture, a legendary emperor.
55. Vide Vol. I, pp. 353 and 357.
56. The Pei-uén-yün-fu quotes a similar passage from the Ti-rang shi-chi.
57. Cf. Vol. I, p. 355.
58. The various kinds of existing spirits.
59. A mountain in the province of Shensi, 90 Li north-east of Han-ch`én-hsien.
60. An officer of Chin.
61. The Shi-chi chap. 39, p. 31r. (Chavannes, Mém. Hist. Vol. IV, p. 322) informs us that this mountain collapsed in b.c. 586. Po Tsung was of opinion that this was not to be looked upon as a prodigy.
62. , a reminiscence of Shuking (Yao-tien) Part I, 11 (Legge, Classics Vol. III, Part I, p. 24).
63. Ed. A. and C.: . Ed. B.: .
64. It existed already at that early period.
65. See Vol. I, p. 280.
66. A similar category is believed to attract a similar and to repel a dis similar one.
67. The common version is that Tsêng Tse's mother bit her finger, whereupon he felt a pain in his finger too. Cf. Mayers' Manual No. 739 and Giles, Bibl. Dict. No. 2022, also the Shang-yu-lu.
68. Kanghi's Dictionary quotes this passage.
69. The dictionaries do not know such a man, but Huai Nan Tse XVI, 1v. refers to the story here related, saying . Consequently Shen Hsi cannot have lived later than the 2nd cent. b.c. The commentary adds that Shên Hsi was a native of Ch`u. In his youth, he had lost his mother. Once he heard a begging woman sing in the street. The voice impressed him so much, that he went out and recognised his mother.
70. Cho Mao, a distinguished scholar and excellent official who by Kuang Wu Ti was ennobled as Marquis and died in 28 a.d. See Giles, Bibl. Dict. No. 411.
71. A place in Honan.
72. Under the reign of P`ing Ti, 1-5 a.d., twenty districts of Honan province were infested by locusts, and only Mi-hsien where Cho was magistrate was spared.
73. . The first character must here mean an insect, a meaning not found in the dictionaries. stands for "a mosquito" which is declared to be equivalent to . The combination "mosquitoes and gadflies" is common. Cf. Chalmers, Structure of Chinese Characters p. 93, the Chêng-tse t`ung under and Giles, Dict. No. 7788.
74. A paragon of integrity.
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