תמונות בעמוד

not be pleased with your taking possession of it, then do not do so.—Among the ancients there was one who acted on this principle, namely king Wan.

4. *• When, with all the strength of your country of ten thousand chariots, you attacked another country of ten thousand chariots, and the people brought baskets of rice and vessels of congee, to meet your Majesty's host, was there any other reason for this but that they hoped to escape out of fire and water? If you make the water more deep and the fire more fierce, they will just in like manner make another revolution."

XI. 1. The people of Ts'e, having smitten Yen, took possession of it, and upon this, the princes of the various States deliberated together, and resolved to deliver Yen from their power. The king Seuen said to Mencius, " The princes have formed many plans to attack me:—how shall I prepare myself for them?" Mencius replied, " I have heard of one who with seventy le exercised all the functions of government throughout the empire. That was T'ang. I have never heard of a prince with a thousand le standing in fear of others."

2. "It is said in the Book of History, 'As soon as T'ang began his work of executing justice, he commenced with Ko. The whole empire had confidence in him. When he pursued his work in the east, the rude tribes on the west murmured. So did those on the north, when he was engaged in the south. The cry was—Why does he make us last? Thus, the looking of the people to him, was like the looking in a time of great drought to the clouds and rainbows. The frequenters of the markets stopped not. The husbandmen made no change in their operations. While he punished their rulers, he consoled the people. His progress was like the falling of opportune rain, and the people were delighted. It is said again in the Book of History, 'We have waited for our prince long; the prince's coming will be our reviving!"

3. "Now the ruler of Yen was tyrannizing over his people, and your Majesty went and punished him. The people supposed that you were going to deliver them out of the water and the fire, and brought baskets of rice and vessels of congee, to meet your Majesty's host. But you have slain their fathers and elder brothers, and put their sons and younger brothers in chains. You have pulled down the ancestral temple of the State, and are removing to Ts'e its precious vessels. How can such a course be deemed proper? The rest of the empire is indeed jealously afraid of the strength of Ts'e, and now, when with a doubled territory you do not put in practice a benevolent government;—it is this which sets the arms of the empire in motion.

4. "If your Majesty will make haste to issue an ordinance, restoring your captives, old and young, stopping the removal of the precious vessels, and saying that, after consulting with the people of Yen, you will appoint them a ruler, and withdraw from the country; —in this way you may still be able to stop the threatened attack.'"

XII. 1. There had been a brush between Tsow and Loo, when the duke of Muh asked Mencius, saying,u Of my officers there were killed thirty-three men, and none of the people would die in their defence. If I put them to death for their conduct, it is impossible to put such

multitude to death. If I do not put them to death, hen there is the crime unpunished of their looking angrily on at the death of their officers, and not saving them. How is the exigency of the case to be met?"

2. Mencius replied, " In calamitous years and years of famine, the old and weak of your people, who have been found lying in the ditches and water-channels, and the able-bodied who have been scattered about to the four quarters, have amounted to several thousands. All the while, your granaries, 0 prince, have been stored with grain, and your treasuries and arsenals have been full, and not one of your officers has told you of the distress. Thus negligent have the superiors in your State been, and cruel to their inferiors. The philosopher Tsang said/Beware, beware. What proceeds from you, will return to you again.' Now at length the people have returned their conduct to the officers. Do not you, 0 prince, blame them.

3. "If you will put in practice a benevolent government, this people will love you and all above them, and will die for their officers."

XIII. 1. The duke Wan of T'ang asked Mencius, saying," Tang is a small kingdom* and lies between Ts'e and Ts'oo. Shall I serve Ts'e? Or shall I serve Ts'oo?"

2. Mencius replied,u This plan which you propose is beyond me. If you will have me counsel you, there is one thing / can suggest. Dig deeper your moats; build higher your walls; guard them along with your people. In case of attach, be prepared to die in your defence, and have the people so that they will not leave you;—this is a proper course."

XIY. 1. The duke Wan of T'ang asked Ifencius, saying," The people of Ts'e are going to fortify See. The movement occasions me great alarm. What is the proper course for me to take in the case?"

2. Mencius replied, "Formerly, when king Tae dwelt in Pin, the barbarians of the north were continually making incursions upon it. He therefore left it, went to the foot of mount K'e, and there took up his residence. He did not take that situation, as having selected it. It was a matter of necessity with him.

3. "If you do good, among your descendants, in after generations, there shall be one who will attain to the Imperial dignity. A prince lays the foundation of the inheritance, and hands down the beginning which he has made, doing what may be continued by his succes sors. As to the accomplishment of the great resultthat is with Heaven. What is that Ts'e to you, Oj prince? Be strong to do good. That is all your busi ness.

XV. 1. The duke Wan of T'ang asked Mencius, saying, u T'ang is a small kingdom. Though I do my utmost to serve those large kingdoms on either side of it, we cannot escape suffering from them. What course shall I take that we may do so?'' Mencius replied, "Formerly, when king T'ae dwelt in Pin, the barbarians of the north were constantly making incursions upon it. He served them \#ith skins and silks, and still he suffered from them. He served them with dogs and horses, and still he suffered from them. He served them with pearls and gems, and still he suffered from them. Seeing this, he assembled the old men, and announced to them, saying,' What the barbarians want is my territory. I have heard this,—that a ruler does not injure his people with that wherewith he nourishes them. My children, why should you be troubled about having no prince. I will leave this.' Accordingly, he left Pin, crossed the mountain Leang, built a town at the foot of mount K'e, and dwelt there. The people of Pin said, 'He is a benevolent man. We must not lose him.' Those who followed him looked like crowds hastening to market.

2. u On the other hand, some say, ' The kingdom is a thing to be kept from generation to generation. One individual cannot undertake to dispose of it in his own person. Let him be prepared to die for it. Let him not quit it.'

3. "I ask you, prince, to make your election between these two courses."

XVI. 1. The duke Ping of Loo was about to leave his palace, when his favourite, one Tsang Ts'ang, made a request to him, saying, "On other days, when you . have gone out, you have given instructions to the officers as to where you were going. But now, the horses have been put to the carriage, and the officers do not yet know where you are going. I venture to ask." The duke said, "I am going to see the scholar Mang." "How is this!" said the other. "That you demean yourself, prince, in paying the honour of the first visit to a common man, is, I apprehend, because you think that he is a man of talents and virtue. By such men the rules of ceremonial proprieties and right are observed. But on the occasion of this Mang's second mourning, his observances exceeded those of the former. Do not go to see him, my prince." The duke said, "I will not."

2. The officer Yo-ching entered the court, and had an audience. He said, " Prince, why have you not gone to see Mang K'o?" The duke said, " One told me that on the occasion of the scholar Mang's second mourning, his observances exceeded those of the former. It is on that account that I have not gone to see him." u How is this!" answered Yo-ching. u By what you call' exceeding,' you mean, I suppose, that, on the first occasion, he used the rites appropriate to a scholar, and, on the second, those appropriate to a great officer; that he first used three tripods, and afterwards five tripods." The duke said, "No; I refer to the greater excellence of the coffin, the shell, the grave-clothes, and the shroud." Yoching said, " That cannot be called 'exceeding.' That was the difference between being poor and being rich."

3. After this, Yo-ching saw Mencius, and said to him, "I told the prince about you, and he was consequently coming to see you, when one of his favourites, named Tsang Ts'ang, stopped him, and therefore he did not come according to his purpose." Mencius said, * A

« הקודםהמשך »