תמונות בעמוד

thus dignified, he is looked at with awe;—is not this to be majestic without being fierce?"

3. Tsze-chang then asked, What are meant by the four bad things?" The Master said," To put the people to death without having instructed them;—this is called cruelty. To require from them, suddenly, the full talc of work, without having given them warning:— this h called oppression. To issue orders as if without urgency, at first, and, when the time comes, to insist on them with severity;—this is called injury. And, generally speaking, to give pay or rewards to men, and yet to do it in a stingy way;—this is called acting the part of a mere official."

III. 1. The Master said, "Without recognizing: the ordinances of Heaven, it is impossible to be a superior man.

2. "Without an acquaintance with the rules of Propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.

3. "Without knowing the j iree of words, it is impossible to know men."


My master, the phi losopher Ch'ing, says;—" The Great Learning is a book left by Confucius, and forms the gate by which first learners enter into virtue. That we can now perceive the order in which the ancients pursued their learning, is solely owing to the preservation ot this work, the Analects and Mencius coining after it. Learners must commence their course with this, and then it may be hoped they will be kept from error."


1. What the Great Learning teaches, is—to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence.

2. The point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined; and, that being determined, a calm unperturbedness may be attained. To that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the desired end.

3. Things have their root and their completion. Affairs have their end and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to what is taught in the Great Learning.

4. The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the empire, first ordered well their own States. Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lav in the investigation of things.

5. Tilings being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed. Their States being rightly governed, the whole empire was made tranquil and happy.

6. From the emperor down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of every thing besides.

7. It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered. It never has been the case that what was of great importance has be-m slightly cared for, and, at the same time, that what vras of slight importance has been greatly cared for.

The preceding chapter of classical text is in the words of Confucius, handed down by the philosopher Tsang. The ten chapters of explanation which follow contain the views of Tsang, and were recorded by his disciples. In the old copies of the work, there appeared considerable confusion in these, from the disarrangement of the tablets. But now, availing myself of the decisions of the philosopher Ch'ing, and having examined anew the classical text, I have arranged it in order, as follows :—


Chapter I. 1. In the Announcement to K'ang it is said, "He was able to make his virtue illustrious."

2. In the T'ae Kea, it is said, a He contemplated and studied the illustrious decrees of heaven."

3. In the Canon of the emperor Yaou,it is said, "He was able to make illustrious his lofty virtue."

4. These 2:)assa9es au show how those sovereigns made themselves illustrious.

The above Hrst chapter of commentary explains the illustration of illustrious virtue.

II. 1. On the bathing-tub of "Pang, the following words were engraved:—" If you can one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day. Yea, let there be iailj renovation."

2. In the Announcement to K'ang, it is said, u T6 3t-ir up the new people."

3. In the Book of Poetry, it is said,u Although Chow was an ancient state, the ordinance which lighted on it was new."

4. Therefore, the superior man in every thing uses his utmost endeavours.

The above second chapter of commentary explains the renovating of the people.

IIL 1. In the Book of Poetry, it is said, " The imperial domain of a thousand le is where the people rest."

2. In the Book of Poetry, it is said, " The twittering yellow bird rests on a corner of the mound." The Master said, "When it rests, it knows where to rest Is it possible that a man should not be equal to this bird?"

3. In the Book of Poetry, it is said, " Profound was King Wan. With how bright and unceasing a feeling of reverence did he regard his resting places!" As a bbvereign, he rested in benevolence. As a minister, he rested in reverence. As a son, he rested in filial piety. As a father, he rested in kindness. In communication with his subjects, he rested in good faith.

4. In the Book of Poetry, it is said, "Look at that winding course of the K'e, with the green bamboos so luxuriant! Here is our elegant and accomplished prince! As we cut and then file; as we chisel and then grind: so has he cultivated himself. How grave is he and dignified! How majestic and distinguished! Our elegant and accomplished prince never can be forgotten." That expression—" as we cut and then file," indicates the work of learning. "As we chisel, and then grind," indicates that of self culture. u How grave is he and dignified!" indicates the feeling of cautious reverence. "How commanding and distinguished," indicates an awe-inspiring deportment. "Our eleganl and accomplished prince never can be forgotten," indicates how, when virtue is complete and excellence extreme, the people cannot forget them.

5. In the Book of Poetry, it is said, "Ah! the former kings are not forgotten." Future princes deem worthy what they deemed worthy, and love what they loved. The common people delight in what they delighted, and are benefited by their beneficial arrangements. It is on this account that the former kings, after they have quitted the world, are not forgotten.

The above third chapter of commentary explains resting in the highest excellence.

IV. The Master said, " In hearing litigations, I am like any other body. What is necessary is to cause the people to have no litigations?" So, those who are devoid of principle find it impossible to carry out their speeches, and a great awe would be struck into men's ninds ;—this is called knowing the root.

The above fourth chapter of commentary explains the root and the issue.

V. 1. This is called knowing the root.

2. This is called the perfecting of knowledge.

The above fifth chapter of the commentary explained the meaning of "investigating things and carrying knowledge to the utmost extent," but it is how lost. 1 have ventured to take the views of the scholar Ch'ing to supply it, as follows:—The meaning of the expression, " The perfecting of knowledge depends on the investigation of things, is this: —If we wish to carry our knowledge to the utmost, we must investigate the principles of all things we come into contact with, for the intelligent mind of man is certainly formed to know, and there is not a single thing iu which its principles do not inhere. But so long as all principles are not investigated, man's knowledge is incomplete. On this account, the Learning for Adults, at the outset of its lessons, instructs the learner, in regard to all things in the world, to proceed from what knowledge he has of their principles, and pursue his investigation of them, till he reaches the extreme point. After exerting himself in this way for a long time, he will suddenly find himself uosse:sed of a wida

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