תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

4. “When all those about you say,+*This is a man of talents and worth, you may not for that believe it. When your great officers all say,+*This is a man of talents and virtue, neither may you for that believe it. When all the people say, ‘This is a man of talents and virtue, then examine into the case, and when you find that the man is such, employ him. When all those about you say, ‘This man won't do, don't listen to them. When all your great officers say, ‘This man won't do, don't listen to them. When the people all say, ‘This man won't do, then examine into the case, and when you find that the man won’t do, send him away. 5. “When all those about you say,+*This man deserves death, don't listen to them. When all your great officers say, “This man deserves death, don't listen to them. When the people all say, ‘This man deserves death, then inquire into the case, and when you see that the man deserves death, put him to death. In accordance with this we have the saying, ‘The people killed him.’ 6. “You must act in this way in order to be the parent of the people.” VIII. 1. The king Seuen of Tse asked, saying, “Was it so, that Tang banished Kee, and that king Woo smote Chow?” Mencius replied, “It is so in the records.” 2. The king said, “May a minister then put his sovereign to death?” 3. Mencius said, “He who outrages the benevolence proper to his nature, is called a robber; he who outrages righteousness, is called a ruffian. The robber and ruffian we call a mere fellow. I have heard of the cutting off of the fellow Chow, but I have not heard of the putting a sovereign to death, in his case.” IX. 1. Mencius, having an interview with the king Seuen of Tse, said to him, “If you are going to build a large mansion, you will surely cause the Master of the workmen to look out for large trees, and when he has found such large trees, you will be glad, thinking that they will answer for the intended object. Should the workmen hew them so as to make them too small, then your Majesty will be angry, thinking that they will not answer for the purpose. Now, a man spends his youth in learning the principles of right government, and, being grown up to vigour, he wishes to put them in practice;—if your Majesty says to him, ‘For the present put aside what you have learned, and follow me, what shall we say? 2. “Here now you have a gem unwrought, in the stone. Although it may be worth 240,000 taels, you will surely employ a lapidary to cut and polish it. But when you come to the government of the State, then you say, ‘For the present put aside what you have learned, and follow me.” How is it that you herein act so differently from your conduct in calling in the lapidary to cut the gem " X. 1. The people of Tse attacked Yen, and conquered it. 2. The king Seuen asked, saying, “Some tell me not to take possesion of it for myself, and some tell me to take possession of it. For a kingdom of ten thousand chariots, attacking another of ten thousand chariots, to complete the conquest of it in fifty days, is an achievement beyond mere human strength. If I do not take possession of it, calamities from Heaven will surely come upon me. What do you say to my taking possession of it?” 3. Mencius replied, “If the people of Yen will be pleased with your taking possession of it, then do soAmong the ancients there was one who acted on this principle, namely king Woo. If the people of Yen will not be pleased with your taking possession of it, then do not do so.-Among the ancients there was one who acted on this principle, namely king Wan. 4. “When, with all the strength of your country of ten thousand chariots, you attacked another country of ten thousand chariots, and the people brought baskets of rice and vessels of congee, to meet your Majesty's host, was there any other reason for this but that they hoped to escape out of fire and water? If you make the water more deep and the fire more fierce, they will just in like manner make another revolution.” XI. 1. The people of Tse, having smitten Yen, took possession of it, and upon this, the princes of the various States deliberated together, and resolved to deliver Yen from their power. The king Seuen said to Mencius, “The princes have formed many plans to attack me:–how shall I prepare myself for them?” Mencius replied, “I have heard of one who with seventy le exercised all the functions of government throughout the empire. That was Tang. I have never heard of a prince with a thousand le standing in fear of others.” 2. “It is said in the Book of History, “As soon as Tang began his work of executing justice, he commenced with Ko. The whole empire had confidence in him. When he pursued his work in the east, the rude tribes on the west murmured. So did those on the north, when he was engaged in the south. The cry was Why does he make us last? Thus, the looking of the people to him, was like the looking in a time of great drought to the clouds and rainbows. The frequenters of the markets stopped not. The husbandmen made no change in their operations. While he punished their rulers, he consoled the people. His progress was like the falling of opportune rain, and the people were delighted. It is said again in the Book of History, “We have waited for our prince long; the prince's coming will be our reviving!” 3. “Now the ruler of Yen was tyrannizing over his people, and your Majesty went and punished him. The people supposed that you were going to deliver them out of the water and the fire, and brought baskets of rice and vessels of congee, to meet your Majesty's host. But you have slain their fathers and elder brothers, and put their sons and younger brothers in chains. You have pulled down the ancestral temple of the State, and are removing to Tse its precious vessels. How can such a course be deemed proper? The rest of the empire is indeed jealously afraid of the strength of Tse, and now, when with a doubled territory you do not put in practice a benevolent government;-it is this which sets the arms of the empire in motion. 4. “If your Majesty will make haste to issue an ordinance, restoring your captives, old and young, stopping the removal of the precious vessels, and saying that, after consulting with the people of Yen, you will appoint them a ruler, and withdraw from the country; —in this way you may still be able to stop the threatened attack.” XII. 1. There had been a brush between Tsow and Loo, when the duke of Muh asked Mencius, saying, “Of my officers there were killed thirty-three men, and none of the people would die in their defence. If I put them to death for their conduct, it is impossible to put such a multitude to death. If I do not put them to death, then there is the crime unpunished of their looking angrily on at the death of their officers, and not saving them. How is the exigency of the case to be met?” 2. Mencius replied, “In calamitous years and years of famine, the old and weak of your people, who have been found lying in the ditches and water-channels, and the able-bodied who have been scattered about to the four quarters, have amounted to several thousands. All the while, your granaries, O prince, have been stored with grain, and your treasuries and arsenals have been full, and not one of your officers has told you of the distress. Thus negligent have the superiors in your State been, and cruel to their inferiors. The philosopher Tsang said, “Beware, beware. What proceeds from you, will return to you again. Now at length the people have returned their conduct to the officers. Do not you, O prince, blame them. o 3. “If you will put in practice a benevolent government, this people will love you and all above them, and will die for their officers.” XIII. 1. The duke Wan of Tang asked Mencius, saying, “Tang is a small kingdom, and lies between Tse and Ts’oo. Shall I serve Tsie o Or shall I serve Ts'oo?” 2. Mencius replied, “This plan which you propose is beyond me. If you will have me counsel you, there is one thing I can suggest. Dig deeper your moats; build higher your walls; guard them along with your people. In case of attack, be prepared to die in your defence, and have the people so that they will not leave you;-this is a proper course.” XIV. 1. The duke Wan of Tang asked Mencius, saying, “The people of Tse are going to fortify See. The movement occasions me great alarm. What is the proper course for me to take in the case?” 2. Mencius replied, “Formerly, when king Tae dwelt in Pin, the barbarians of the north were continually making incursions upon it. He therefore left it, went to the foot of mount Koe, and there took up his residence. He did not take that situation, as having selected it. It was a matter of necessity with him. 3. “If you do good, among your descendants, in after generations, there shall be one who will attain to the

« הקודםהמשך »