תמונות בעמוד

snared, the swimmer maybe hooked, and the flyer may be shot by the arrow. But there is the dragon. I cannot tell how he mounts on the wind through the clouds, and rises to heaven. To-day I have seen Laou-tsze, and can only compare him to the dragon."

While at Lo, Confucius walked over the grounds set apart for the great sacrifices to Heaven and Earth; inspected the pattern of the Hall of Light, built to give audience in to the princes of the empire ; and examined all the arrangements of the ancestral temple and the court. From the whole he received a profound impression. "Now," said he with a sigh, "I know the sage wisdom of the duke of Chow, and how the house of Chow attained to the imperial sway." On the walls of the Hall of Light were paintings of the ancient sovereigns from Yaou and Shun downwards, their characters appearing in the representations of them, and words of praise or warning being appended. There was also a picture of the duke of Chow sitting with his infant nephew, the king Ch'ing, upon his knees, to give audience to all the princes. Confucius surveyed the scene with silent delight, and then said to his followers,Here you see how Chow became so great. As we use a glass to examine the forms of things, so must we study antiquity in order to understand the present." In the hall of the ancestral temple there was a metal statue of a man with three clasps upon his mouth, and his back covered over with an enjoyable homily on the duty of keeping a watch upon the lips. Confucius turned to his disciples, and said, " Observe it, my children. These words are true, and commend themselves to our feelings."

About music he made inquiries of Ch'ang Hwang, to whom the following remarks are attributed :—" I have observed about Chung-ne many marks of a sage. He has river eyes and a dragon forehead,—the very characteristics of Hwang-te. His arms are long, his back is like a tortoise, and he is nine feet six inches in height,—the very semblance of T'ang the Successful. When he speaks, he praises the ancient kings. He moves along the path of humility and courtesy. He has heard of every subject, and retains with a strong memory. His knowledge of things seems inexhaustible.—Have we hot in him the rising of a sage?"

VOL. I. 6

I have given these notices of Confucius at the court of Chow, more as being the only ones I could find, than because I put much faith in them. He did not remain there long, but returned the same year to Loo, and continued his work of teaching. His fame was greatly increased; disciples came to him from different parts, till their number amounted to three thousand. Several of those who have come down to us as the most distinguished among his followers, however, were yet unborn, and the statement just given may be considered as an exaggeration. We are not to conceive of the disciples as forming a community, and living together. Parties of them may have done so. We shall find Confucius hereafter always moving amid a company of admiring pupils; but the greater number must have had their proper avocations and ways of living, and would only resort to the master, when they wished specially to ask his counsel or to learn of him.

5. In the year succeeding the return to Loo, that State fell into great confusion. There were three Families in it, all connected irregularly with the ducal house, which had longer kept the rulers in a condition

He wit hdraws to Ts*e, and J> j j nn j?

returns to Leo the following of dependency. I hey appear treyear. B.c. 616,515. quently in the Analects as the Ke

clan, the Shuh, and the Missing ; and while Confucius freely spoke of their usurpations,1 he was a sort of dependent of the Ke family, and appears in frequent communication with members of all the three. In the year B.C. 516, the duke Chaou came to open hostilities with them, and being worsted, fled into Ts'e, the State adjoining Loo on the north. Thither Confucius also repaired, that he might avoid the prevailing disorder of his native State. Ts'e was then under the government of a duke, afterwards styled King, who "had a thousand teams, each of four horses, but on the day of his death the people did not praise him for a single virtue."2 His chief minister, however, was Gan Ying, a man of considerable ability and worth. At his court the music of the ancient sage-emperor, Shun, originally brought to T'se from the State of Ch'in, was still preserved.

According to the "Family Sayings," an incident oc

[merged small][ocr errors]

curred on the way to Ts'e, which I may transfer to these pages as a good specimen of the way in which Confucius turned occurring matters to account in his intercourse with his disciples. As he was passing by the side of the T'ae mountain, there was a woman weeping and wailing by a grave. Confucius bent forward in his carriage, and after listening to her for some time, sent Tsze-loo to ask the cause of her grief. "You weep, as if you had experienced sorrow upon sorrow," said Tsze-loo. The woman replied, "It is so. My husband's father was killed here by a tiger, and my husband also; and now my son has met the same fate." Confucius asked her why she did not remove from the place, and on her answering, " There is here no oppressive government," he turned to his disciples, and said, "My children, remember this. Oppressive government is fiercer than a tiger."1

As soon as he crossed the border from Loo, we are told he discovered from the gait and manners of a boy, whom he saw carrying a pitcher, the influence of the sage's music, and told the driver of his carriage to hurry on to the capital. Arrived there, he heard the strain, and was so ravished with it, that for three months he did not know the taste of flesh. "I did not think," he said, "that music could have been made so excellent as this." 2 The Duke King was pleased with the conferences which he had with him,3 and proposed to assign to him the town of Lin-k'ew, from the revenues of which he might derive a sufficient support; but Confucius refused the gift, and said to his disciples, "A superior man will only receive reward for services which he has done. I have given advice to the Duke King, but he has not yet obeyed it, and now he would endow me with this place! Very far is he from understanding me."

On one occasion the duke asked about government, and received the characteristic reply, "There is government

1 I have translated, however, from the Le Ke, II. Pt. II. iii. 10, where the same incident is given, with some variations, and without saying when or where it occurred. * Ana. VII. xiii.

3 Some of these are related in the Family Sayings ;—about the burning of the ancestral shrine of the Emperor Le, and a one-footed bird which appeared hopping and flapping its wings in Ts'e. They are plainly fabulous, though quoted in proof of Confucius' sage wisdom. This reference to them is more than enough.

when the prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son."1 I say that the reply is characteristic Once, when Tsze-loo asked him what he would consider the first thing to be done if intrusted with the government of a State, Confucius answered, "What is necessary is to rectify names." 2 The disciple thought the reply wide of the mark, but it was substantially the same with what he said to the Duke King. There is a sufficient foundation in nature for government in the several relations of society, and if those be maintained and developed according to their relative significancy, it is sure to obtain. This was a first principle in the political ethics of Confucius.

Another day the duke got to a similar inquiry the reply that the art of government lay in an economical use of the revenues; and being pleased, he resumed his purpose of retaining the philosopher in his State, and proposed to assign to him the fields of Ne-k'e. His chief minister, GanYing, dissuaded him from the purpose, saying, "Those scholars are impracticable, and cannot be imitated. They are haughty and conceited of their own views, so that they will not be content in inferior positions. They set a high value on all funeral ceremonies, give way to their grief, and will waste their property on great burials, so that they would only be injurious to the common manners. This Mr K'ung has a thousand peculiarities. It would take generations to exhaust all that he knows about the ceremonies of going up and going down. This is not the time to examine into his rules of propriety. If you, prince, wish to employ him to change the customs of Ts'e, you will not be making the people your primary consideration." 3

I had rather believe that these were not the words of Gan Ying; but they must represent pretty correctly the sentiments of many of the statesmen of the time about Confucius. The duke of Ts'e got tired ere long of having such a monitor about him, and observed, "I cannot treat him as I would the chief of the Ke family. I will treat him in a way between that accorded to the chief of the Ke,

i Ana. XII. xi. 5 Ana. XIII. iii.

3 See in Sze-ma's History of Confucius.

and that given to the chief of the Mang family." Finally he said, " I am old; I cannot use his doctrines." 1 These observations were made directly to Confucius, or came to his hearing.2 It was not consistent with his self-respect to remain longer in life, and he returned to Loo.3

6. Returned to Loo, he remained for the long period of about fifteen years without being engaged in any official „ ... „ employment. It was a time, indeed, of

He remains without r J ''

office in Loo, great disorder. The Duke Onaou con

B.c. 5io—ooi. tinued a refugee in Ts'e, the government

being in the hands of the great Families, up to his death in B.C. 509, on which event the rightful heir was set aside, and another member of the ducal house, known to us by the title of Ting, substituted in his place. The ruling authority of the principality became thus still more enfeebled than it had been before, and, on the other hand, the chiefs of the Ke, the Shah, and the Mang, could hardly keep their ground against their own officers. Of those latter the two most conspicuous were Yang Hoo, called also Yang Ho, and Kung-shan Fuh-jaou. At one time Ke Hwan, the most powerful of the chiefs, was kept a prisoner by Yang Hoo, and was obliged to make terms with him in order to secure his liberation. Confucius would give his countenance to none, as he disapproved of all, and he studiously kept aloof from them. Of how he comported himself among them we have a specimen in the incident related in the Analects, XVII. i.—"Yang Ho wished to see Confucius, but Confucius would not go to see him. On this, he sent a present of a pig to Confucius, who, having chosen a time when Ho was not at home, went to pay his respects for the gift. He met him, however, on the way. 'Come, let me speak with you,' said the officer, 'Can he be called benevolent, who keeps his jewel in his bosom, and leaves his country to confusion?' Confucius replied, 'No.' 'Can he be called wise, who is anxious to be engaged in public employment, and yet is

1 Ana. XVIII. iit.

2 Sze-ma Ts'een makes the first observation to have been addressed directly to Confucius.

3 According to the above account Confucius was only once, and for a portion of two years, in Ts'e. For the refutation of contrary accounts, see Keang Yung's Life of the sage.

« הקודםהמשך »