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THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN. 129
tice, he has anything defective, the superior man dares not but exert himself; and if., in his words, he has any excess, he dares not allow himself such license. Thus his words have respect to his actions, and his actions have respect to his words; is it not just an entire sincerity which marks the superior man?"
XIV. 1. The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this.
2. In a position of wealth and honour, he does what is proper to a position of wealth and honour. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position. Situated among barbarous tribes, he does what is proper to a situation among barbarous tribes. In a position of sorrow and difficulty, he does what is proper to a position of sorrow and difficulty. The superior man can find himself in no position in which he is not himself.
3. In a high situation, he does not treat with contempt his inferiors. In a low situation, he does not court the favour of his superiors. He rectifies himself, and seeks for nothing from others, so that he has no dissatisfactions. He does not murmur against heaven, nor grumble against men.
4. Thus it is that the superior man is quiet and calm, waiting for the appointments of Heaven, while the mean man walks in dangerous paths, looking for lucky occurrences.
5. The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the centre of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself."
XV. 1. The way of the superior man may be compared to what takes place in travelling, when to go to a distance, we must first traverse the space that is near, and in ascending a height, when we must begin from the lower ground.
2. It is said in the Book of Poetry, "Happy union with wife and children, is like the music of lutes and harps. When there is concord among brethren, the harmony is delightful and enduring. Thus, may you regulate your family, and enjoy the pleasure of your wife and children."
3. The Master said," In such a state of things, parents have entire complacence!"
XVI. 1. The Master said, "How abundantly do spiritual beings display the powers that belong to them!
2. We look for them, but do not see them; we listen to, but do not hear them; yet they enter into all things, and there is nothing without them.
3. "They cause all the people in the empire to fast and purify themselves, and array themselves in their richest dresses, in order to attend at their sacrifices. Then, like overflowing water, they seem to be over the heads, and on the right and left of their worshippers.
4. "It is said in the Book of Poetry,' The approaches of the spirits, you cannot surmise ;—and can you treat them with indifference?'
5. "Such is the manifestness of what is minute! Such is the impossibility of repressing the outgoings of sincerity!"
XVII. 1. The Master said, " How greatly filial was Shun! His virtue was that of a sage; his dignity was the imperial throne; his riches were all within the four seas. He offered his sacrifices in his ancestral temple, and his descendants preserved the sacrifices to himself.
2. "Therefore having such great virtue, it could not but be that he should obtain the throne, that he should obtain those riches, that he should obtain his fame, that he should attain to his long life.
3. "Thus it is that Heaven, in the production of things, is surely bountiful to them, according to their qualities. Hence the tree that is flourishing, it nourishes, while that which is ready to fall, it overthrows.
4. "In the Book of Poetry, it is said, 'The admirable, amiable, prince, displayed conspicuously his excelling virtue, adjusting his people and adjusting his officers. Therefore, he received from Heaven the emoluments of dignity. It protected him, assisted him, decreed him the throne; sending from heaven these favours, as it were repeatedly.'
5. " We may say therefore that he who is greatly virtuous will be sure to receive the appointment of Heaven."
XVIII. 1. The Master said, " It is only king Wan of whom it can be said that he had no cause for grief! His father was king Ke, and his son was king Woo. His father laid the foundations of his dignity, and his son transmitted it.
2. King Woo continued the enterprise of king "Pae. king Ke, and king Wan. He once buckled on his armour, and got possession of the empire. He did not lose the distinguished personal reputation which he had throughout the empire. His dignity was the imperial throne. His riches were the possession of tall within the four seas. He offered his sacrifices in his ancestral temple, and his descendants maintained the sacrifices to himself.
3. "It was in his old age that king Woo received the appointment to the throne, and the duke of Chow completed the virtuous course of Wan and Woo. He carried up the title of king to T'ae and Ke, and sacrificed to all the former dukes above them with the imperial ceremonies. And this rule he extended to the princes of the empire, the great officers, the scholars, and the common people. Was the father a great officer and the son a scholar, then the burial was that due to a great officer, and the sacrifice that due to a scholar. Was the father a scholar, and the son a great officer, then the burial was that due to a scholar, and the sacrifice that due to a great officer. The one year's mourning was made to extend only to the great officers, but the three years' mourning extended to the emperor. In the mourning for a father or mother, he allowed no difference between the noble and the mean."
XIX. 1. The Master said, " How far-extending was the filial piety of king Woo and the duke of Chow!
2. "Now filial piety is seen in the skilful carrying out of the wishes of our fore-fathers, and the skilful carrying forward of their undertakings.
3. "In spring and autumn, they repaired and beautified the temple-halls of their fathers, set forth their ancestral vessels, displayed their various robes, and presented the offerings of the several seasons.
4. By means of the ceremonies of the ancestral temple, they distinguished the imperial kindred according to their order of descent. By ordering the parties present according to their rank, they distinguished the more noble and the less. By the arrangement of the services, they made a distinction of talents and worth. In the ceremony of general pledging, the inferiors presented the cup to their superiors, and thus something was given the lowest to do. At the concluding feast, places were given according to the hair, and thus was made the distinction of years.
5. "They occupied the places of their fore-fathers, practised their ceremonies, and performed their music. They reverenced those whom they honoured, and loved those whom they regarded with affection. Thus they served the dead as they would have served them alive; they served the departed as they would have served them had they been continued among them.
6. "By the ceremonies of the sacrifices to Heaven and Earth they served God, and by the ceremonies of the ancestral temple they sacrificed to their ancestors. He who understands the ceremonies of the sacrifices to Heaven and Earth, and the meaning of the several sacrifices to ancestors, would find the government of a kingdom as easy as to look into his palm!"
XX. 1. The duke Gae asked about government.
2. The Master said, " The government of Wan and Woo is displayed in the records,—the tablets of wood and bamboo. Let there be the men and the government will flourish; but without the men, their government decays and ceases."
3. "With the right men the growth of government is rapid, just as vegetation is rapid in the earth; and moreover their government might be called an easilygrowing rush.
4. "Therefore the administration of government lies in getting proper men. Such men are to be got by means of the ruler's own character. That character is to be cultivated by his treading in the ways of duty. And the treading those ways of duty is to be cultivated by the cherishing of benevolence.
5. "Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity, and the great exercise of it is in loving relatives. Righteousness is the accordance of actions with what is right, and the great exercise of it is in honouring the worthy. The decreasing measures of the love due to relatives, and, the steps in the honour due to the worthy, are produced by the principle of propriety.
6. "When those in inferior situations do not possess the confidence of their superiors, they cannot retain the government of the people.
7. "Hence the sovereign may not neglect the cultivation of his own character. Wishing to cultivate his character, he may not neglect to serve his parents. In order to. serve his parents, he may not neglect to acquire a knowledge of men. In order to know men, he may not dispense with a knowledge of Heaven.
8. "The duties of universal obligation are five, and