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錯 幣 第 四
大 夫 曰 ： 「 交 幣 通 施 ， 民 事 不 及 ， 物 有 所 并 也 。 計 本 量 委 ， 民 有 饑 者 ， 穀 有 所 藏 也 。 智 者 有 百 人 之 功 ， 愚 者 有 不 更 本 之 事 。 人 君 不 調 ， 民 有 相 萬 之 富 也 。 此 其 所以 或 儲 百 年 之 餘 ， 或 不 厭 糟 糠 也 。 民 大 富 ， 則 不 可 以 祿 使 也 ； 大 彊 ， 則 不 可 以 罰 威 也 。 非 散 聚 均 利 者 不 齊 。 故人 主 積 其 食 ， 守 其 用 ， 制 其 有 餘 ， 調 其 不 足 ， 禁 溢 羡 ，厄 利 塗 ， 然 後 百 姓 可 家 給 人 足 也 。 」
文 學 曰 ： 「 古 者 ， 貴 德 而 賤 利 ， 重 義 而 輕 財 。 三 王 之 時 ， 迭 盛 迭 衰 。 衰 則 扶 之 ， 傾 則 定 之 。 是 以 夏 忠 、殷 敬 、 周 文 ， 庠 序 之 教 ， 恭 讓 之 禮 ， 粲 然 可 得 而 觀 也 。及 其 後 ， 禮 義 弛 崩 ， 風 俗 滅 息 ， 故 自 食 祿 之 君 子 ， 違 於 義 而 競 於 財 ， 大 小 相 吞 ， 激 轉 相 傾 。 此 所 以 或 儲 百 年 之 餘 ， 或 無 以 充 虛 蔽 形 也 。 古 之 仕 者 不 穡 ， 田 者 不 漁 ， 抱 關 擊 柝 ， 皆 有 常 秩 ， 不 得 兼 利 盡 物 。 如 此 ， 則 愚 智 同 功， 不 相 傾 也 。 詩 云 ： 『 彼 有 遺 秉 ， 此 有 滯 穗 ， 伊 寡 婦 之 利 。 』
言 不 盡 物 也 。 」
大 夫 曰 ： 「 湯 、 文 繼 衰 ， 漢 興 乘 弊 。 一 質 一 文 ，非 苟 易 常 也 。 俗 弊 更 法 ， 非 務 變 古 也 ， 亦 所 以 救 失 扶 衰也 。 故 教 與 俗 改 ， 弊 與 世 易 。 夏 后 以 玄 貝 ， 周 人 以 紫 石， 後 世 或 金 錢 刀 布 。 物 極 而 衰 ， 終 始 之 運 也 。 故 山 澤 無 征 ， 則 君 臣 同 利 ， 刀 幣 無 禁 ， 則 姦 貞 並 行 。 夫 臣 富 則 相侈 ， 下 專 利 則 相 傾 也 。 」
文 學 曰 ： 「 古 者 ， 市 朝 而 無 刀 幣 ， 各 以 其 所 有 易 所 無 ， 抱 布 貿 絲 而 已 。 後 世 即 有 龜 貝 金 錢 ， 交 施 之 也 。幣 數 變 而 民 滋 偽 。 夫 救 偽 以 質 ， 防 失 以 禮 。 湯 、 文 繼 衰， 革 法 易 化 ， 而 殷 、 周 道 興 。 漢 初 乘 弊 ， 而 不 改 易 ， 畜 利 變 幣 ， 欲 以 反 本 ， 是 猶 以 煎 止 燔 ， 以 火 止 沸 也 。 上 好 禮 則 民 闇 飾 ， 上 好 貨 則 下 死 利 也 。 」
大 夫 曰 ： 「 文 帝 之 時 ， 縱 民 得 鑄 錢 、 冶 鐵 、 煮 鹽。 吳 王 擅 鄣 海 澤 ， 鄧 通 專 西 山 。 山 東 奸 猾 ， 咸 聚 吳 國 ，秦 、 雍 、 漢 、 蜀 因 鄧 氏 。 吳 、 鄧 錢 布 天 下 ， 故 有 鑄 錢 之 禁 。 禁 禦 之 法 立 ， 而 奸 偽 息 ， 奸 偽 息 ， 則 民 不 期 於 妄 得， 而 各 務 其 職 ； 不 反 本 何 為 ？ 故 統 一 ， 則 民 不 二 也 ； 幣 由 上 ， 則 下 不 疑 也 。 」
文 學 曰 ： 「 往 古 ， 幣 眾 財 通 而 民 樂 。 其 後 ， 稍 去 舊 幣 ， 更 行 白 金 龜 龍 ， 民 多 巧 新 幣 。 幣 數 易 而 民 益 疑 。於 是 廢 天 下 諸 錢 ， 而 專 命 水 衡 三 官 作 。 吏 匠 侵 利 ， 或 不中 式 ， 故 有 薄 厚 輕 重 。 農 人 不 習 ， 物 類 比 之 ， 信 故 疑 新， 不 知 姦 貞 。 商 賈 以 美 貿 惡 ， 以 半 易 倍 。 買 則 失 實 ， 賣 則 失 理 ， 其 疑 或 滋 益 甚 。 夫 鑄 偽 金 錢 以 有 法 ， 而 錢 之 善 惡 無 增 損 於 故 。 擇 錢 則 物 稽 滯 ， 而 用 人 尤 被 其 苦 。 春 秋曰 ： 『 算 不 及 蠻 、 夷 則 不 行 。 』 故 王 者 外 不 鄣 海 澤 以 便 民 用 ， 內 不 禁 刀 幣 以 通 民 施 。 」
Chapter IV. Discordant Currencies
a. The Lord Grand Secretary: That the exchange of money and the circulation of commodities still does not advantage the people 2 is because goods have been monopolized. Even when taking thought for the fundamental and weighing the non-essential, that the people still starve, is because grain is hoarded. 3 The clever are able to utilize the labor of a hundred men, the simple cannot even repay 4 themselves for their own labor. Should the rulers not adjust wealth evenly, there will be among the people property interests mutually detrimental. Thus it is that some accumulate a sufficiency for a hundred years while others are obliged to rest content with husks and chaff. When people are too wealthy they cannot be controlled through salaries; authority will be insufficient to impose penalties upon them. These inequalities cannot be removed except by relieving congestion and evening profit. Therefore the Ruler must first accumulate the people's food, conserve their consumption, regulate their surplus, 5 ease their lack, prohibit undue gains and check the source of profit making. Only then will the common people be able to provide for their homes and the needs of every individual be supplied.
b. The Literati: The Ancients honored virtue
and scorned profit; they esteemed justice and held riches lightly. At the
time of the Three Kings
6 prosperity and decline followed each other in cycles,
but they were able to arrest decline and steady the unstable. Thus it was
that the Hsia dynasty relied upon loyalty, the Yin upon reverence, the
Chou upon culture, so that the lustre of the instruction in their schools
and the deference and self-abnegation of their etiquette was eminently
worthy of contemplation.
7 But in later times etiquette and justice have
collapsed, and good customs are extinguished. Since the gentlemen in
office turn their back on honor and scramble for wealth, the big and
little devour and overthrow one another by turns. This is the reason that
some have a sufficiency for a hundred years and others nothing to fill
their emptiness or cover their forms. Those who held office in ancient
times did not farm; those who tilled did not fish; the gatemen and the
watchmen had each their permanent stations and did not attempt to double
their income or corner goods. In this manner the simple and the
clever labored without undermining each other. Thus the Book of Poetry
That is to say, there was no monopoly of goods.
c. The Lord Grand Secretary: T'ang and Wên 9 came after a period of decline, and Han 10 rose upon an era of decay. Primitive nature alternates with culture, and this is not a casual change of custom. When social habits decay they must be met by new laws, 11 nor is this an intentional departure from the Ancients, but in order to correct mistakes and arrest decline. Administration 12 must adjust itself to society, and currency 13 changes with the generation. The emperors of the Hsia dynasty used black cowries, those of the Chou purple stones, while later generations at times circulated metal currency and knife money. 14 Anything overripe tends to decay, as end and beginning alternate in cycles. Now, if the hills and marshes are not state-controlled, they will yield profit to both Prince and Minister. If there be no interdiction on coinage, the counterfeit will circulate with the genuine. 15 If the officials and the rich vie with one another in extravagance, the lower classes will devote themselves to gain, and thus the two will undermine one another.
d. The Literati: The Ancients had markets but no coinage; each exchanged that which he had for that which he lacked, packed his cloth and peddled his silk. Later generations have used tortoise shells and metal currencies, [knife coins and cloth] 16 as a medium of exchange. But as currency has frequently changed, the people have become increasingly dishonest. Now to correct dishonesty one must resort to simplicity, 17 and to prevent mistakes one must fall back upon propriety. 18 T'ang and Wên, following upon a period of decline, altered the laws and changed education, and in the time of Yin and Chou culture flourished. 19 But for the Han dynasty, which has succeeded to a period of decay, not to make necessary reforms but, with a view to profit, to keep on changing the currency, and yet wishing to return to the fundamental, is like extinguishing flame with frying fat, and stopping boiling with a burning brand. If the upper classes love propriety, the common people will shun gaudy ornamentation; 20 but if they love material things, the common people will risk their lives for gain.
e. The Lord Grand Secretary: In the time of the Emperor Wên 21 the people were permitted to cast money, smelt iron, and evaporate salt. But the Prince of Wu 22 monopolized the sea and marshes, and the family of Têng T'ung 23 monopolized the Western Mountain, whereupon all the rogues from east of the mountains congregated in the dukedom, and Ch'in, Yung, Han and Shu 24 were brought to depend upon the Têng clan. The coins of Wu and Têng overspread the Empire. For this reason the laws against coinage were promulgated. 25 With these, dishonesty will cease, and with the occasion for dishonesty removed, the people will no longer hope for wrongful gain. Each will devote himself to his proper task. If this is not a return to fundamental principles, what is it? Therefore unify the coinage, and the people will not resort to double dealing. If coinage proceeds from the Crown, the people will not be in doubt.
f. The Literati: In former times there were many currencies, wealth circulated and the people were happy. But afterwards, as the old currency was gradually replaced by the white metal of the tortoise and the dragon issue, 26 they became wary of the new. As coinage changed frequently, the questionings of the people increased. Then all the coinage in the empire was demonetised, and the authority to re-issue new was lodged with the three officers of the Shui-hêng. 27 Recently, it seems, a profit has been made and the coins are not up to standard; they are thin or thick, light or heavy. The farmers are not experienced in comparing the relative trustworthiness of such tokens. Thus they suspect the new issue, not knowing the false from the true. The dealers and shopkeepers for the bad barter the good; and with a half, exchange for double. Thus in case he buys, the farmer loses value; if he sells, he violates his conscience. Suspicion spreads widely. If there were proper laws about coining bad money, the presence of privately made coins with official issues would neither aid nor harm the government But if money is discriminated against, goods will stagnate. Moreover the employment of officers will lay up much grief. The Ch'un Ch'iu says, A budget which does not take into account the Man and the I28barbarians is not sufficient. Therefore let the Prince on the one hand, for the sake of the people's needs, not restrict the use of the seas and the marshes, and on the other, for the sake of their benefit, not shut down on the privately made coinage.
1. 錯 幣. The first character is not found in the text. (We have no evidence as to whether Huan K'uan wrote the chapter-titles himself, or whether they were composed by later editors.) The word has various connotations and was employed in Wang Mang's 王 莽 time to indicate a coin 錯刀, shaped like a knife and inlaid 錯 with gold. Doubtless here the term is an in the Shu-ching, Yü Kung, 海 物 惟 錯, `varied', `different'. The other terms in this chapter relating to currency or coinage 布, 幣, 刀 and 錢 appear to have been in use in Huan K'uan's time or previously. Numerous works exist on Chinese numismatics by Chinese or Western authorities (cf. Cordier, Bibliotheca Sinica, I, 687 seq., for the latter). One of the earlier works by W. Vissering, Chinese Currency (Leiden, 1877), is based chiefly on chaps. VIII and IX of the 文 獻 通 考 (13th cent A. D.), and its discussion of ancient Chinese currency must accordingly be taken with reserve. Chavannes, (Mém. hist., III, ch. XXX) supplies valuable notes on early Chinese exchange media.
2. 民 事 不 [及]: 給 according to Wang.
3. Chang's note calls attention to the Kuan-tzŭ, ch. LXXIII, upon which this passage seems to be based.
4. 更 which should be 償 according to Lu.
5. 制 其 有 餘 omitted in Chan's edition.
6. 三王 : 大 禹, the Great Yü; 成 湯, T'ang the Completer; and 文 王 and 武 王 together, thus representing the traditional founders of the three dynasties of Hsia, Yin and Chou.
7. The phrasing is from Mencius, I. i. iii. 4, et al.
8. Shih-ching, II. vi. VIII. 3, [Legge's translation], a favorite quotation, cf., e.g., the Ch'un-ch'iu-fan-lu, ch. 27; the Li-chi, 坊 記.
9. 湯: 成 湯, founder of the Yin dynasty, according to tradition. 文: 文 王, father of 武 王, reputed founder of the Chou dynasty.
10. 漢: the ruling house of Huan K'uan's time.
11. Read 革 for 家.
12. 教 education, but in connotation close to the English `to minister' (to administer).
13. The text has 弊, a mistake for 幣.
14. Statements doubtless based on tradition. There is evidence that cowries 貝 must have been used in remotest times. Vissering, op. cit. 3—4, points out numerous words referring to money and wealth in the composition of which 貝 "shell" appears. Cf. Maspero, La Chine Antique, 91—92, for a discussion of currency in ancient China.
15. The question of the coinage had become exceedingly grave in the Early Han period, according to Ssŭ-ma Ch'ien's account (Shih-chi, chap. XXX, passim). The historiographer tells of the first issue of coins of white metal in the year 119 B. C. (cf. Chavannes, Mém. hist. III, 565 seq.). This money began to deteriorate and by 115 B. C. was worthless. It had been gradually replaced by a brass coin with a red border, but this became debased two years later. Thereupon the government issued an edict making coinage a function of the 上 林, and no other money than that put out by its three officers was permitted (ibid. 587—585).
16. 刀 布 之 幣. Chang's edition inserts these four characters after 錢.
17. 質: `nature', as opposed to the complexity represented by the centralization of authority.
18. 禮: innate righteousness, attained by ceremonial observances, as opposed to multiplication of laws.
19. 湯、文; 殷、周
20. 闇 飾.
21. 文 帝: the Han emperor who reigned from 179—157 B.C.
22. 吳 王: Liu P'i 劉 濞, Prince [King] of Wu, son of Kao Tsu's older brother. Cf. Chavannes, Mém. hist., III, 543, for his exploits in this connection (Shih-chi, XXX).
23. 鄧 通: a courtier in Wên Ti's reign who was given the right to exploit a copper mine and the privilege of coining money. Cf. Chavannes, Mém. hist., III, 543, note 2 (Shih-chi, XXX).
25. Sang Hung-yang's statement here follows closely the Shih-chi, loc. cit.
26. 白 金 龜 龍. See note supra. The Shih-chi relates (Chavannes, Mém. hist., III, 565) that the white metal was an alloy of silver and tin. Three kinds of coins were issued. The first was round bearing the figure of a dragon; the second, square, and weighing less, bore the figure of a horse; and the third, oblong, weighed still less, and was marked like the tortoise.
27. 水 衡: an administrative organ explained in the Shih-chi (Chavannes, Mém. hist., III, 586). In the beginning the "Treasury" 大 農 administered the salt and iron and dealt with the currency. This was too much. The Shui-hêng was instituted for the purpose of handling the salt and iron.
28. 蠻 夷 This quotation has not been identified.
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