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Heavenly principle. To use plans and arts, away from this, though they may be successful in great achievement, is the selfishness of human desires, and as far removed from the mode of action of the sage, as earth is from Heaven.” I shall close these testimonies with a sentence from Choo He himself. He says: “Mencius, when compared with Confucius, always appears to speak in too lofty a style ; but when we hear him proclaiming the goodness of man's nature, and celebrating Yaou and Shun, then we likewise perceive the solidity of his discourses."
Dr. Legge adds, “The judgment concerning our philoso: pher contained in the above quotations will approve itself to every one who has carefully perused his Works.”
Mencius' doctrines were truly Republican. “ The people are the most important element in a nation, the sovereign the highest.” “If the prince liave great faults, they ought to remonstrate with him, and if he do not listen to them after they have done so again and again, they ought to dethrone him. The king on this looked moved, a.id changed countenance. Mencius said, “Let not your Majesty be offended. You asked me, and I dare not answer but according to truth.'
The highest style of a prince centers in his personal virtues. Mencius
says, “ Let the prince be benevolent, and all his acts will be benevolent. Let the prince be righteous, and all his acts will be righteous. Let the prince be correct, and all his acts will be correct. Once rectify the prince, and the kingdom will be firmly settled.”
The doctrine of “Concord,” or Universal Love was early a subject of discussion. Mih, a contemporary of Mencius advocated it in the abstract, while Mencius, not in the proper sense denying it, held to strong and particular love as that of kindred and friends. In China as elsewhere, the goodness and paternity of God has ever been held as indicating the divine will, that we should love one another; some, too, on the certain ground that it “ worketh no ill ;” others as a duty owed to Heaven, whose sovereign will is complete and perfect, and men are only complete and perfect as this will is done boy them.
TIIE WORKS OF MENCIUS.
BOOK 1. KING HWUY LEANG. PART I. CHAPTFR I. 1. Mencius went to see king Hway of Leang.
2. The king said, “ Venerable sir, since you have not counted it far to come here, a distance of a thousand le, may I presume that you are likewise provided with counsels to profit my kingdom ?”
3. Mencius replied, “Why must your Majesty use that word “ profit?' What I am 'likewise' provided with, are counsels to benevolence and righteousness, and these are my only topics.
4. "If your Majesty say, 'What is to be done to profit my kingdom ?’ the great officers will say,“What is to be done to profit our families ?' and the inferior officers and the common people will say, “What is to be done to profit our persons ?' Superiors and inferiors will try to snatch this profit the one from the other, and the kingdom will be endangered. In the kingdom of ten thousand chariots, the murderer of his sovereign shall be the chief of a family of a thousand chariots. In a kingdom of a thousand chariots, the murderer of his prince shall be the chief of a family of a hundred chariots. To have a thousand in ten thousand, and a hundred in a thousand, cannot be said not to be a large allotment, but if righteousness be put last, and profit be put first, they will not be satisfied without snatching all.
5. “ There never has been a man trained to benevolence who neglected his parents. There never has been
a man trained to righteousness who made his sovereign an after consideration.
6. “Let your Majesty also say, “Benevolence and righteousness, and these shall be the only themes.' Why must you use that word-profit ?'”
II. 1. Mencius, another day, saw king Hwuy of Leang. The king went and stood with him by a pond, and, looking round at the large geese and deer, said, - Do wise and good princes also find pleasure in these things ?
2. Mencius replied, “ Being wise and good, they have pleasure in these things. If they are not wise and good, though they have these things, they do not find pleasure. 3. “ It is said in the Book of Poetry,
• He measured out and commenced his spirit-tower;
-Be not so earnest:
How full was it of fishes leaping about!' “King Wan used the strength of the people to make his tower and his pond, and yet the people rejoiced to do the work, calling the tower 'the spirit-tower, calling the pond the spirit-pond,' and rejoicing that he had his large deer, his fishes, and turtles. The ancients caused the people to have pleasure as well as themselves, and therefore they could enjoy it.
4. “In the Declaration of Tang it is said, “O sun, when wilt thou expire ? We will die together with thee, The people wished for Kee's death, though they should die with him. Although he had towers, ponds, birds, and animals, how could he have pleasure alone ?”
III. 1. King Hwuy of Leang said, “Small as my virtue is, in the government of my kingilom, I do indeed exert my mind to the utmost. If the year be bad on the inside of the river, I remove as many of the people as I can to the East of the river, and convey grain to the country in the Inside. When the year is bad on the East of the river, I act on the same plan. On examining the government of the neighbouring kingdoms, I do not find that there is any prince who employs his mind as I do. And yet the people of the neighbouring kingdoms do not decrease, nor do my people increase. How is this ?”
2. Mencius replied, “ Your Majesty is fond of war;let me take an illustration from war.—The soldiers move forward to the sound of the drums; and after their weapons have been crossed, on one side they throw away their coats of mail, trail their arms behind them,
Some run a hundred paces and stop; some run fifty paces and stop. What would
What would you think if those who run fifty paces were to laugh at those who run a hundred paces ?” The king said, “ They may not do so. They only did not run a hundred paces; but they also ran away.” “Since your Majesty knows this,” replied Mencius, “ you need not hope that your people will become more numerous than those of the neighbouring kingdoms.
3. “If the seasons of husbandry be not interfered with, the grain will be more than can be eaten. If close nets are not allowed to enter the -pools and ponds, the fishes and turtles will be more than can be consumed. If the axes and bills enter the hills and forests ovly at
the proper time, the wood will be more than can be used When the grain and fish and turtles are more than can be eaten, and there is more wood than can be used, this enables the people to nourish their living and bury their dead, without any feeling against any. This condition, in which the people nourish their living and bury their dead without any feeling against any, is the first step of Royal Government.
4. “Let mulberry trees be planted about the homesteads with their five mow, and persons of fifty years may be clothed with silk. In keeping fowls, pigs, dogs, and swine, let not their times of breeding be neglected, and persons of seventy years may eat flesh. Let there not be taken away the time that is proper for the cultivation of the farm with its hundred mow, and the family of several mouths that is supported by it shall not suffer from hunger. Let careful attention be paid to education in schools, inculcating in it especially the filial and fraternal duties, and gray-haired men will not be seen upon the roads, carrying burdens on their backs or on their heads. It never has been that the ruler of a State, where such results were seen,-persons of seventy wearing silk and eating flesh, and the black-haired peo ple suffering neither from hunger nor cold,—did not attain to the Imperial dignity.
5. “Your dogs and swine eat the food of men, and you do not know to make any restrictive arrangements. There are people dying from famine on the roads, and vou do not know to issue the stores of your grunaries for them. When people die, you say, 'It is not owing to me; it is owing to the year. In what does this differ from stabbing a man and killing him, and then saying—•It was not I; it was the weapon ?' Let your Majesty cease to lay the blame on the year, and instantly from all the empire the people will come to you.”
IV. 1. King Hwuy of Leang said, “I wish quietly to receive your instructions.”