תמונות בעמוד

He withdraws to Tsie, and

year. B.c.516, 515.

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, who had long kept the rulers in a

condition of dependency. They appear frereturns to Loo the following

quently in the Analects as the Ke clan, the

Shuh, and the Măng; 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 1.c. 516, the duke Ch'aou came to open hostilities with them, and being worsted, fled into Tsée, 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, 2 who “ had a thousand teams, each of four horses, but on the day of liis death the people did not praise him for a single virtue." 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 Ts'in, was still preserved.

According to the “Family Sayings,” an incident occurred 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 1 See Analects, III. i., ii., et al. 2. 景公

4 晏嬰, This is the same who was afterwards styled 4 fue. 5 陳

3 Ana, XVI. xii.

her grief.

after listening to her for some time, sent Tsze-loo to ask the cause of

“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, remeinber this. Oppressive government is fiercer than a tiger."6

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."8 The duke King was pleased with the conferences which he had with him, 9 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."10

On one occasion the duke asked about government, and received the characteristic reply, “There is government when the prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son."li I say that the reply is characteristic. Once, when Tsz-loo asked him what he would consider the first thing to be done if entrusted with the government of a State, Confucius answered, “What is necessary is to rectify names."12 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.

6 See the 25. 14, art. E Tit. 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. 7 See the t zu 4 + tu, p. 13. 8 Ana. VII, xiii.

9 Some of these are related in the Family Sayings ;-about the burning of the ancestral shrine of the emperor

#, and a one-footed bird which appeared hopping and Mapping its wings in Tse. ! They are plainly fabulous, though quoted in proof of Confucius' sage wisdom. This reference to them is more than enouglı. 10 家語,卷二,六本 11. Ana, XI. xi.

12 Ana, XIII, iii.


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 Gan Ying 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 Tsée, you will not be making the people your primary consideration."13

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, and that given to the chief of the Măng family.” Finally he said, “I am old; I cannot use his doctrines."14 These observations were made directly to Confucius, or came to his hearing. 15 It was not consistent with his self-respect to remain longer in Tsée, and he returned to Loo. 16

6. Returned to Loo, he remained for the long period of about

13 Sec the CFLF LE, P. 2. 14 Ana, XVIII. iii. 15 Sze-ma Ts'een makes the first observation to have been addressed directly to Confucius. 16 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 Kcang Yung's Life of the sage.

He remains without office in Loo, B.C. 515-501.

fifteen years without being engaged in any official employment. It

was a time, indeed, of great disorder. The duke Ch'aou continued a refugee in Ts'e, the govern

ment 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 Shuh, and the Măng, could hardly keep their ground against their own officers. Of those latter the two most conspicuous were Yang Hoo,2 called also Yang H0,3 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, xvir. 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.

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 tɔ confusion ?' Confucius replied, 'No.' “Can he be called wise, who is anxious to be engaged in public employment, and yet is constantly losing the opportunity of being so ?' Confucius again said, 'No.' The other added, “The days and months are passing away; the years do not wait for us.' Confucius said, “Right; I will go into office.'” Chinese writers are eloquent in their praises of the sage for the combination of propriety, complaisance, and firmness, which they see in his behaviour in this matter. To myself there seems nothing remarkable in it but ! somewhat questionable dexterity. But it was well for the fame of Confucius that his time was not occupied during those years with official services. He turned them to better account, prosecuting his researches into the poetry, history, ceremonies, and music of the empire. Many disciples continued to resort to him, and the legendary 1 BA 29 3 19 14 C SIŁ).

you heard

writers tell us how he employed their services in digesting the results of his studies. I must repeat, however, that several of them, whose names are most famous, such as Tsăng Sin, were as yet children, and Min Sun was not born till s.c. 500.

To this period we must refer the almost single instance which we have of the manner of Confucius' intercourse with his son Le. * Have

lessons from


father different from what we have all heard ?" asked one of the disciples once of Le. “No," said Le. " He was standing alone once, when I was passing through the court below with hasty steps, and said to me, ‘Have you read the Odes?' On my replying, “Not yet,' he added, “If you

do not learn the Oles, you will not be fit to converse with.' Another day, in the same place and the same way, he said to me, ‘Have you read the rules of Propriety?' On my replying, ‘Not yet,' he added, “If you do not learn the rules of Propriety, your character cannot be established.' I have heard only these two things from him.” The disciple was delighted and observed, “I asked one thing, and I have got three things. I have heard about the Odes. I have heard about the rules of Propriety. I have also heard that the superior man inaintains a distant reserve towards his son

I can easily believe that this distant reserve was the rule which Confucius followed generally in his treatment of his son. A stern dignity is the quality which a father has to maintain upon his system, It is not to be without the element of kindness, but that must never go beyond the line of propriety. There is too little room left for the play and development of natural affection.

The divorce of his wife inust also have taken place during these years, if it ever took place at all, which is a disputed point. The curious reader will find the question discussed in the notes on the second Book of the Le Ke. The evidence inclines, I think, against the supposition that Confucius did put his wife away. When she died, at a period subsequent to the present, Le kept on weeping aloud for her after the period for such a demonstration of grief had expired, when Confucius sent a message to him that his sorrow must be subdued, and the obedient son dried his tears. We are glad to kuow that on one occasion—the death of his favourite disciple, Yen


5 198

6. Ana XVI. xiii.

7 See the Le hic II. Pt I, i, 27.

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