תמונות בעמוד

not seek a remedy in others, but only in himself. Con fucius said, “When a prince dies, his successor entrusts the administration to the prime minister. He sips the congee. His face is of a deep black. He approaches the place of mourning, and weeps. Of all the officers and inferior ministers there is not one who will presume not, to join in the lamentation, he setting them this example. What the superior man loves, his inferiors will be found to love exceedingly. The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and grass. The grass must bend, when the wind blows upon it. The business depends on the prince.”

5. Yen Yew returned with this answer to his commission, and the prince said, “ It is so. The matter does indeed depend on me.” So for five months he dwelt in the shed, without issuing an order or a caution. All the officers and his relatives said, “ He may be said to understand the ceremonies.” When the time of interment arrived, from all quarters of the state, they came to witness it. Those who had come from other states to condole with him, were greatly pleased with the deep dejection of his countenance, and the mournfulness of his wailing and weeping.

III. 1. The duke Wan of Tang asked Mencius about the proper way of governing a kingdom.

2. Mencius said, “The business of the people may not be remissly attended to. It is said in the Book of


"In the day-light go and gather the grass,
And at night twist your ropes;
Then get up quickly on the roofs ;-

Soon must we begin sowing again the grain? 3. “ The way of the people is this.-If they have a certain livelihood, they will have a fixed heart. If they have not a certain livelihood, they have not a fixed heart. And if they have not a fixed heart, there is

nothing which they will not do in the way of self-aban

donment, of moral deflection, of depravity, and of wild · license. When they have thus been involved in crime, to follow them up and punish them :—this is to entrap the people. How can such a thing as entrapping the people be done under the rule of a benevolent man?

4. “Therefore, a ruler who is endowed with talents and virtue will be gravely complaisant and economical, showing a respectful politeness to his ministers, and taking from the people only in accordance with regulated limits.

5. “ Yang Hoo said, “He who seeks to be rich will not be benevolent. He who wishes to be benevolent will not be rich.'

6. “The sovereign of the Hea dynasty enacted the fifty mow allotment, and the payment of a tax. The founder of the Yin enacted the seventy mow allotment, and the system of mutual aid. The founder of the Chow enacted the hundred mow allotment, and the share system. In reality, what was paid in all these was a tithe. The share system means mutual division. The aid system means mutual dependence.

7. “ Lung said, “For regulating the lands, there is no better system than that of mutual aid, and none which is not better than that of taxing. By the tax system, the regular amount was fixed by taking the average of several years. In good years, when the grain lies about in abundance, much might be taken without its being oppressive, and the actual exaction would be small. But in bad years, the produce being not sufficient to repay the inanuring of the fields, this system still re quires the taking of the full amount. When the parent of the people causes the people to wear looks of distress, and, after the whole year's toil, yet not to be able to nourish their parents, so that they proceed to borrowing to increase their means, till the old people

and children are found lying in the ditches and water channels :—where, in such a case, is his parental relation to the people ?

8. “As to the system of hereditary salaries, that is already observed in Tang.' 9. “It is said in the Book of Poetry,

“May the rain come down on our public field,

And then upon our private fields?'. It is only in the system of mutual aid that there is a public field, and from this passage we perceive that even in the Chow dynasty this system has been recognized.

10. “ Establish tseang, seu, heo, and heaou,-all those educational institutions, for the instruction of the people. The name ts-eang indicates nourishing as its object; heaou indicates teaching; and seu indicates archery ; By the Hea dynasty, the name heaou was used; by the Yin, that of scu ; and by the Chow, that of ts-eang. As to the heo, they belonged to the three dynasties, and by that name. The object of them all is to illustrate the human relations. When those are thus illustrated by superiors, kindly feeling will prevai] among the inferior people below.

11. “Should a real sovereign arise, he will certainly come and take an example from you; and thus you will be the teacher of the true sovereign. 12. “ It is said in the Book of Poetry,

Although Chow was an old country,

It received a new destiny? That is said with reference to king Wan. Do you practise those things with vigour, and you also will by them make new your kingdom.”

13. The duke afterwards sent Peih Chen to consult Mencius about the nine-squares system of dividing the land. Mencius said to him,“ Since your prince, wishing to put in practice a benevolent government, has made choice of you and put you into this employment, you must exert yourself to the utmost. Now, the first thing towards a benevolent government must be to lay down the boundaries. If the boundaries be not defined correctly, the division of the land into squares will not be equal, and the produce available for salaries will not be evenly distributed. On this account, oppressive rulers and impure ministers are sure to neglect this defining of the boundaries. When the boundaries have been defined correctly, the division of the fields and the regulation of allowances ray be determined by you, sitting at your ease.

14. “Although the territory of Tang is narrow and small, yet there must be in it men of a superior grade, and there must be in it country-men. If there were not men of a superior grade, there would be none to rule the country-men. If there were not country-men, there would be none to support the men of superior


15. “I would ask you, in the remoter districts, observing the nine-squares division, to reserve one division to be cultivated on the system of mutual aid, and in the more central parts of the kingdom, to make the people pay for themselves a tenth part of their produce.

16. “From the highest officers down to the lowest, each one must have his holy field, consisting of fifty mow.

17. “Let the supernumerary males have their twentyfive mow.

18. “On occasions of death, or removal from one dwelling to another, there will be no quitting the district. In the fields of a district, those who belong to the same nine squares render all friendly offices to one another in their going out and coming in, aid one another in keeping watch and ward, and sustain one another in sickness. Thus the people are brought to live in affection and harmony.

19. “A square le covers nine squares of land, which nine squares contain nine hundred mow.. The central square is the public field, and eight families, each having its private hundred mow, cultivate in common the public field. And not till the public work is finished, may they presume to attend to their private affairs. This is the way by which the country-men are distin. guished from those of a superior grade.

20. “'Those are the great outlines of the system. Happily to modify and adapt it depends on the prince and you."

IV. 1. There came from Ts'oo to T'ang one Heu Hing, who gave out that he acted according to the words of Shin-nung. Coming right to his gate, he addressed the duke Wan, saying, “ A man of a distant region, I have heard that you, Prince, are practising a benevolent government, and I wish to receive a site for a house, and to become one of your people.” The duke Wan gave him a dwelling-place. His disciples, amounting to several tens, all wore clothes of haircloth, and made sandals of hemp and wove mats for a living.

2. At the same time, Ch'in Seang, a disciple of Ch'in Leang, and his younger brother, Sin, with their ploughhandles and shares on their backs, came 'from Sung to Tang, saying, “ We have heard that you, Prince, are putting into practice the government of the ancient sages, showing that you are likewise a sage. We wish to become the subjects of a sage.”

3. When Ch'in Seang saw Heu Hing, he was greatly pleased with him, and, abandoning entirely whatever he had learned, became his disciple. Having an interview with Mencius, he related to him with approbation the words of Heu Hing to the following effect :- The prince of Tang is indeed a worthy prince. He has not yet heard, however the real doctrines of antiquity. Now, wise and able princes should cultivate the ground

« הקודםהמשך »