תמונות בעמוד

These indiscriminating eulogies are of little value. One incident, related in the annotations of Tso-shih on the Ch‘un-Ch‘ifi 1, commends itself at once to our belief, as in harmony with Confucius's character. The chief of the Chi, pursuing with his enmity the duke Chao, even after his death, had placed his grave apart from the graves of his predecessors; and Confucius surrounded the ducal cemetery with a ditch so as to include the solitary resting-place, boldly telling the chief that he did it to hide his disloyalty 2. But he signalised himself most of all in B. C. 500, by his behaviour at an interview between the dukes of Lfi and Ch'i, at a place called Shihch‘i 8, and ChiA-kfl 4, in the present district of LAi-wfi, in the department of T'ai-an 5. Confucius was present as master of ceremonies on the part of LA, and the meeting was professedly pacific. The two princes were to form a covenant of alliance. The principal oflicer on the part of Ch‘i, however, despising Confucius as ‘ a man of ceremonies, without courage,’ had advised his sovereign to make the duke of Lu a prisoner, and for this purpose a band of the halfsavage original inhabitants of the place advanced with weapons to the stage where the two dukes were met. Confucius understood the scheme, and said to the opposite party, ‘ Our two princes are met for a pacific object. For you to bring a band of savage vassals to disturb the meeting with their weapons, is not the way in which Ch‘i can expect to give law to the princes of the kingdom. These barbarians have nothing to do with our Great Flowery land. Such vassals may not interfere with our covenant. Weapons are out of place at such a meeting. As before the spirits, such conduct is unpropitious. In point of virtue, it is contrary to right. As between man and man, it is not polite.’ The duke of Ch‘i ordered the dis— turbers off, but Confucius withdrew, carrying the duke of Lu with him. The business proceeded, notwithstanding, and when the words of the alliance were being read on the part of Ch‘i,——‘ So be it to LA, if it contribute not 300 chariots of war to the help of Ch‘i, when its army goes across its borders,’ a messenger from Confucius added,—‘And so be it to us, if we obey your orders, unless you return to us the fields on the south of the Wan.' At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the prince of Ch‘i wanted to give a grand entertainment, but Confucius demonstrated that such a thing would be

[ocr errors]

contrary to the established rules of propriety, his real object being to keep his sovereign out of danger. In this way the two parties separated, they of Ch‘i filled with shame at being foiled and disgraced by ‘the man of ceremonies;’ and the result was that the lands of Lu which had been appropriated by Chi were restored 1.

For two years more Confucius held the office of minister of Crime. Some have supposed that he was further raised to the dignity of chief minister of the State 2, but that was not the case. One instance of the manner in which he executed his functions is worth recording. When any matter came before him, he took the opinion of different individuals upon it, and in giving judgment would say, ‘ I decide according to the view of so and so.’ There was an approach to our jury system in the plan, Confucius’s object being to enlist general sympathy, and carry the public judgment with him in his administration of justice. A father having brought some charge against his son, Confucius kept them both in prison for three months, without making any difference in favour of the'father, and then wished to dismiss them both. The head of the Chi was dissatisfied, and said, ‘ You are playing with me, Sir minister of Crime. Formerly you told me that in a State or a family filial duty was the first thing to he insisted on. What hinders you now from putting to death this unfilial son as an example to all the people?’ Confucius with a sigh replied, ‘When superiors fail ,in their duty, and yet go to put their inferiors to death, it is not right. This father has not taught his son to be filial ;—to listen to his charge would be to slay the guiltless. The manners of the age have been long in a sad condition; we cannot expect the people not to be transgressing the laws 3.’

At this time two of his disciples, Tsze-lfi and Tsze-yfi, entered the employment of the Chi family, and lent their influence, the for-. mer especially, to forward the plans of their master. One great cause of disorder in the State was the fortified cities held by the three chiefs, in which they could defy the supreme authority, and were in turn defied themselves by their officers. Those cities were like the castles of the barons of England in the time of the Norman

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

only in the sense of an assistant of ceremonies, as at the meeting in Chia-ku, described above.

[ocr errors]

kings. Confucius had their destruction very much at heart, and partly by the influence of persuasion, and partly by the assisting counsels of Tsze-lfl, he accomplished his object in regard to Pi 1, the chief city of the Chi, and Han 2, the chief city of the Shfi.

It does not appear that he succeeded in the same way in dismantling Ch‘ang 3, the chief city of the Mang 4 ; but his authority in the State greatly increased. ‘ He strengthened the ducal House and weakened the private Families. He exalted the sovereign, and depressed the ministers. A transforming goVernment went abroad. Dishonesty and dissoluteness were ashamed and hid their heads. Loyalty and good faith became the characteristics of the men, and chastity and docility those of the women. Strangers came in crowds from other States 5.’ Confucius became the idol of the people, and flew in songs through their mouths 6.

But this sky of bright promise was soon overcast. As the fame of the reformations in Lu went abroad, the neighbouring princes began to be afraid. The duke of Ch‘i said, ‘ \Vith Confucius at the head of its government, Lu will become supreme among the States, and Ch‘i which is nearest to it will be the first swallowed up. Let us propitiate it by a surrender of territory.’ One of his ministers proposed that they should first try to separate between the sage and his sovereign, and to effect this, they hit upon the following scheme. Eighty beautiful girls, with musical and dancing accomplishments, and a hundred and twenty of the finest horses that could be found, were selected, and sent as a present to duke Ting. They were put up at first outside the city, and Chi Hwan having gone in disguise to see them,forgot the lessons of Confucius, and took the duke to look at the bait. They were both captivated. The women were received, and the sage was neglected. For three days the duke gave no audience to his ministers. ‘Master,’ said Tsze-lfi to Confucius, ‘it is time for you to be going.’ But Confucius was very unwilling to leave. The spring was coming on, when the sacrifice to Heaven would be offered, and be determined to wait and see whether the

[ocr errors]

and death occupy a conspicuous place in the legendary accounts. But the Analects, Tsze-sze, Mencius, and Tso Ch‘iu-ming are all silent about it, and Chiang Yung rightly rejects it as one

of the many narratives invented to exalt the sage. ’ See the i 2;- Bk. II. ' See

[ocr errors]

solemnization of that would bring the duke back to his right mind. N 0 such result followed. The ceremony was hurried through, and portions of the offerings were not sent round to the various ministers, according to the established custom. Confucius regretfully took his departure, going away slowly and by easy stages 1. He would have welcomed a message of recall. But the duke continued in his abandonment, and the sage went forth to thirteen weary years of homeless wandering. 8. On leaving Lu, Confucius first bent his steps westward to the State of Wei, situate about where the present provinces of Chih-li He wanders and Ho-nan adjoin. He was now in his fifty-sixth State t° year, and felt depressed and melancholy. As he

B-c-497-484- went along, he gave expression to his feelings in

verse :—

‘Fain would I still look towards La,

But this Kwei hill cuts off my view.

With an axe, I'd hew the thickets through :—

Vain thought! ’gainst the hill I nought can do ;’ and again,—

‘Through the valley howls the blast,

Drizzling rain falls thick and fast.

Homeward goes the youthful bride,

O’er the wild, crowds by her side.

How is it, 0 azure Heaven,

From my home I thus am driven,

Through the land my way to trace,

With no certain dwelling-place?

Dark, dark, the minds of men!

Worth in vain comes to their ken.

Hastens on my term of years;

Old age, desolate, appears 2.’

A number of his disciples accompanied him, and his sadness infected them. When they arrived at the borders of Wei, at a place called I, the warden sought an interview, and on coming out from the sage, he tried to comfort the disciples, saying, ‘ My friends, why are you distressed at your master's loss of ofice'? The world has been long without the principles of truth and right; Heaven is going to use your master as a bell with its wooden tongue 3.’ Such was the thought of this friendly stranger. The bell did indeed sound, but few had ears to hear.

[ocr errors]

Confucius’s fame, however, had gone before him, and he was in little danger of having to suffer from want. On arriving at the capital of Wei, he lodged at first with a worthy officer, named Yen Ch'auyfi 1. The reigning duke, known to us by the epithet of Ling 2, was a worthless, dissipated man, but he could not neglect a visitor of such eminence, and soon assigned to Confucius a revenue of 60,000 measures of grain 3. Here he remained for ten months, and then for some reason left it to go to Ch‘an 4. On the way he had to pass by K‘wang 5, a place probably in the present department of K‘ai-fung in Ho-nan, which had formerly suffered from Yang-ht}. It so happened that Confucius resembled HQ, and the attention of the people being called to him by the movements of his carriage-driver, they thought it was their old enemy, and made an attack upon him. His followers were alarmed, but he was calm, and tried. to assure them by declaring his belief that he had a divine mission. He said to them, ‘After the death of king Wan, was not the cause of truth lodged here in me? If Heaven had wished to let this cause of truth perish, then I, a future mortal, should not have got such a relation to that cause. While Heaven does not let the cause of truth perish, what can the people of K‘wang do to me ° 'é ’ Having escaped from the hands of his assailants, he does not seem to have carried out his purpose of going to Ch‘an, but returned to Wei.

On the way, he passed a house where he had formerly lodged, and finding that the master was dead, and the funeral ceremonies going on, he went in to condole and weep. When he came out, he told Tsze-kung to take the outside horses from his carriage, and give them as a contribution to the expenses of the occasion. ‘ You never did such a thing,’ Tsze-kung remonstrated, ‘ at the funeral of any of your disciples; is it not too great a gift on this occasion of the death of an old host ? ’ ‘ When I went in,’ replied Confucius, ‘ my presence brought a burst of grief from the chief mourner, and I joined him with my tears. I dislike the thought of my tears not being followed by anything. Do it, my child ".’

On reaching Wei, he lodged with Chii Po-yii, an oflicer of whom

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

xxii, there is another reference to this time, in which Yen Hui is made to appear. " See the Li Chi, II. Sect. I. ii. 16.

« הקודםהמשך »