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V. The Master said, “Alas! How is the path of the Mean untrodden !”
VI. The Master said, “ There was Shun :—He indeed was greatly wise! Shun loved to question others, and to study their words, though they might be shallow. He concealed what was bad in them, and displayed what was good. He took hold of their two extremes, determined the Mean, and employed it in his government of the people. It was by this that he was Šhun!”
VII. "The Master said, “ Men all say, “ We are wise;' but being driven forward and taken in a net, a trap, or a pitfall, they know not how to escape. Men all say, • We are wise;' but happening to choose the course of the Mean, they are not able to keep it for a round month.”
VIII. The Master said, “This was the manner of Hwuy:-he made choice of the Mean, and whenever he got hold of what was good, he clasped it firmly, as if wearing it on his breast, and did not lose it.”
IX. The Master said, “ The empire, its States, and its families, may be perfectly ruled; dignities and emoluments may be declined; naked weapons may be trampled under the feet; -but the course of the Mean cannot be attained to.”
X. 1. Tsze-loo asked about energy.
2. The Master said, “Do you mean the energy of the South, the energy of the North, or the energy which you should cultivate yourself?
3. To show forbearance and gentleness in teaching others; and not to revenge unreasonable conduct:this is the energy of Southern regions, and the good man makes it his study.
4. “ To lie under arms; and meet death without regret :- this is the energy of Northern regions, and the forceful make it their study.
5. “ Therefore, the superior man cultivates a friend
ly harmony, without being weak.—How firm is he in his energy! He stands erect in the middle, withc ut inclining to either side.—How firm is he in his energy! When good principles prevail in the government of his country, he does not change from what he was in retirement.--How firm is he in his energy! When bad principles prevail in the country, he maintains his course to death without changing.—How firm is he in his energy!”
XI. 1. The Master said, “ To live in obscurity, and yet practise wonders, in order to be mentioned with honour in future ages ;—this is what I do not do.
2. “ The good man tries to proceed according to the right path, but when he has gone halfway, he abandons it;-I am not able so to stop.
3. “ The superior man accords with the course of the Mean. Though he may be all unknown, unregarded by the world, he feels no regret.—It is only the sage who is able for this.”
XII. 1. The way which the superior man pursues, reaches wide and far, and yet is secret.
2. Common men and women, however ignorant, may intermeddle with the knowledge of it; yet in its utmost reaches, there is that which even the sage does not know. Common men and women, however much below the ordinary standard of character, can carry it into practice; yet in its utmost reaches, there is that which even the sage is not able to carry into practice. Great as heaven and earth are, men still find some things in them with which to be dissatisfied. Thus it is, that were the superior man to speak of his way in all its greatness, nothing in the world would be found able to embrace it, and were he to speak of it in its minuteness, nothing in the world would be found able to split
3. It is said in the Book of Poetry, “ The hawk flies
up to heaven; the fishes leap in the deep.” This expresses how this way is seen above and below.
4. The way of the superior man may be found, in its simple elements, in the intercourse of common men and women; but in its utmost reaches, it shines brightly through heaven and earth.
The twelfth chapter above contains the words of Tsze-sze, and is de
signed to illiustrate what is said in the first chapter, that “The path may not be left.” In the eight chapters which follow, he quotes, in a
miscellaneous way, the words of Confucius to illustrate it. XIII. 1. The Master said, “ The path is not far from man. When men try to pursue a course, which is far from the common indications of consciousness, this course cannot be considered THE PATH.
2. “In the Book of Poetry, it is said, “ In hewing an axe-handle, in hewing an axe-handle, the pattern is not far off. We grasp one axe-handle to hew the other, and yet, if we look askance from the one to the other, we may consider them as apart. Therefore, the superior man governs men, according to their nature, with what is proper to them, and as soon as they change what is wrong, he stops,
3. “ When one cultivates to the utmost the principles of his nature, and exercises them on the principle of reciprocity, he is not far from the path. What you do not like, when done to yourself, do not do to others.
4. “In the way of the superior man there are four things, to not one of which have I as yet attained.—To serve my father, as I would require my son to serve me: to this I have not attained, to serve my prince, as I would require my minister to serve me: to this I have not attained; to serve my elder brother, as I would require my younger brother to serve me: to this I have not attained; to set the example in behaving to a friend, as I would require him to behave to me: to this I have not attained. Earnest in practising the ordinary virtues and careful in speaking about them, if, in his practice, he lias anything defective, the superior man dares not but exert himself; and if, in his words, he has any excess, he dares not allow liimself such license. Thus his words have respect to his actions, and his actions have respect to his words; is it not just an entire sincerity which marks the superior man?”
XIV. 1. The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this.
2. In a position of wealth and honour, he does what is proper to a position of wealth and honour. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position. Situated among barbarous tribes, he does what is proper to a situation among barbarous tribes. In a position of sorrow and difficulty, he does what is proper to a position of sorrow and difficulty. The superior man can find himself in no position in which he is not himself.
3. In a high situation, he does not treat with contempt his inferiors. In a low situation, he does not · court the favour of his superiors. He rectifies himself,
and seeks for nothing from others, so that he has no dissatisfactions. He does not murmur against heaven, nor grumble against men.
4. Thus it is that the superior man is quiet and calm, waiting for the appointments of Heaven, while the mean man walks in dangerous paths, looking for lucky occurrences.
5. The Master said, “ In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the centre of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself.”
XV. 1. The way of the superior man may be compared to what takes place in travelling, when to go to a distance, we must first traverse the space that is near, and in ascending a height, when we must begin from the lower ground.
2. It is said in the Book of Poetry, “Happy union with wife and children, is like the music of lutes and harps. When there is concord among brethren, the harmony is delightful and enduring. Thus, may you regulate your family, and enjoy the pleasure of your wife and children.”
3. The Master said, “In such a state of things, pa rents have entire complacence!”
XVI. l. The Master said, “How abundantly do spiritual beings display the powers that belong to them!
* 2. We look for them, but do not see them; we listen to, but do not hear them; yet they enter into all things, and there is nothing without them.
3. “ They cause all the people in the empire to fast and purify themselves, and array themselves in their richest dresses, in order to attend at their sacrifices. Then, like overflowing water, they seem to be over the heads, and on the right and left of their worshippers.
4. “It is said in the Book of Poetry," The approaches of the spirits, you cannot surmise ;—and can you treat them with indifference ?'
5. “ Such is the manifestness of what is minute ! Such is the impossibility of repressing the outgoings of sincerity !”
XVII. 1. The Master said, “ How greatly filial was Shun! His virtue was that of a sage; his dignity was the imperial throne ; his riches were all within the four seas. He offered his sacrifices in his ancestral temple, and his descendants preserved the sacrifices to himself.
2. “ Therefore having such great virtue, it could not but be that he should obtain the throne, that he should obtain those riches, that he should obtain his fame, that he should attain to his long life.
3. “ Thus it is that Heaven, in the production of things, is surely bountiful to them, according to their qualities. Hence the tree that is flourishing, it nour ishes, while that which is ready to fall, it overthrows