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all who wanted to catch pheasants or hares. As the king had his park in common with the people, the people thought it small, though it was seven leagues round; was not that natural ? I, your servant, when I was about to cross the frontier, took care to inform myself of what was especially forbidden in your kingdom before I dared to venture further. Your servant learned that there was within your line of customs a park four leagues round, and that the man who killed a stag there was punished with death, as if he had murdered a human being. So that there is an actual pit of death, of four leagues in circumference, opened in the very midst of your kingdom. Are not the people right in thinking that park too large ?'
From a very long conversation with the same prince, all of which well deserves to be extracted, we take a passage which is not so illustrative of the talent of Mencius as many others, but it will at least prove that his philosophy is not obsolete, as it explains how the crimes of the poor are connected with their poverty. “To want things necessary for life, and yet to preserve an equal and virtuous mind, is only possible for men whose cultivated intellect raises them above the multitude. As for the common people, when they want the necessaries of life, they want also an equal and virtuous mind. Then follow violation of justice, depravity of heart, licentiousness of vice, excess of debauchery ; indeed there is nothing which they are not capable of doing. If they go so far as to violate the law, you prosecute them, and they suffer punishments; so you catch the people in a net. If a man truly endowed with the virtue of humanity occupied the throne, could he commit this criminal action of thus catching the people in a snare?'
He then draws the following picture of the condition of China at that time: At present, the constitution of the private property of the people is such, that the children have not wherewithal to minister to their fathers and mothers, and the fathers have not wherewithal to supply their wives and children. In years of abundance, the people suffer to the end of life pain and misery; in years of calamity, they are not preserved from famine and death. In such extremities the people think only of escaping from death. What time can they have to study moral doctrines, that they may learn therefrom how to conduct themselves according to the principles of equity and justice?' He concludes by suggesting various remedies-such as improved cultivation of the land, plantation of trees, rearing of animals, the manufacture of silk, and above all, education.
One of his great maxims is, that the monarch should always share his pleasures with his people. • If a prince rejoices in the joy of his people, the people also rejoice in his joy. If a prince sorrows at the sorrows of his people, the people also grieve at his grief. Let a prince rejoice with everybody and sorrow with everybody; in so doing, it is impossible for him to find any difficulty in reigning.'
Mencius one day quoted the following passage from the Book of Verses :We may be rich and powerful, but we should have compassion on unhappy widowers, widows, and orphans. “King Siouan-wang said : How admirable are the words which I have just heard.—Mang-tze replied : O king ! if you find them so admirable, why do you not practise them? The king answered: My insignificance has a defect; my insignificance loves riches.—Meng-tseu answered respectfully: Formerly Kong-Sieou loved
riches, but he shared them with his people. O king! if you love riches, use them as he did; what difficulty will you then find in reigning? The king said: My insignificance has another defect—my insignificance loves pleasure. Meng-tseu answered respectfully : Formerly Tai-wang loved pleasure—he cherished his wife; so he contrived that in his whole kingdom there should be no celibates. O king! if you love pleasure, love it as Taiwang did: render it common to the whole population.'
The following is still more pointed; it is a conversation with the same patient prince :-—'Suppose a servant of the king has sufficient confidence in a friend to intrust to his care his wife and children, just as he is about to set out for a journey ; if on his return he finds that his wife and children have suffered cold and hunger, what must he do?—The king said: He must break with his friend entirely. Mang-tze added: If the chief judge cannot govern the magistrates who are subordinate to him, what course must be pursued respecting him ?—The king said : He must be deposed. Mang-tze went on: If the provinces situated at the extreme limits of the kingdom are not well governed, what must be done ?—The king, feigning not to understand him, looked to the right and left, and turned the conversation.'
Speaking of the ambition of the wise man, Mencius said: “The great man has three satisfactions : to have his father and mother still living without any cause of dissatisfaction or dissension between the elder and the younger brother is the first; to have nothing to blush for in the face of Heaven or of man is the second ; to meet wise and virtuous men among those of his generation is the third. These are the three causes of satisfaction to a wise man. To rule an empire is not included among them.'
Mencius considered a hearty love of good a compensation for the want of intellectual gifts in a minister. When the Prince of Loo desired that Lo-ching-tze, a disciple of Mang-tze, should undertake the whole administration of his kingdom, Mang-tze said: Since I have heard that news, I cannot sleep for joy. Kung-sun-cheou said: What! has he a great deal of energy ?-Mang-tze answered: Not at all. Has he prudence, and a mind capable of forming great designs ?-Not at all. Has he studied much, and does he possess very extensive knowledge ?—No. If this is the case, why do you lie awake for joy at his promotion ?-Because he is a man who loves what is good. Is that enough ?-Yes, to love what is good is more than enough to govern the whole empire, much more to govern the kingdom of Loo! If a man who is intrusted with the administration of a state loves that which is good, then the good men who dwell within the four seas (that is, in China) will think it a slight task to travel a hundred leagues to come and give him good advice. But if he does not love that which is good, these men will say to themselves: “He is a self-satisfied man who answers, “I knew that a long while ago,' whenever you give him any counsel.” Such a tone and air will drive good counsellors a hundred leagues away from him. If they go, then calumniators, flatterers, people whose countenances assent to all he says, will arrive in crowds. In such company, if he wishes to govern well, how can he ?'
The following is in a yet higher strain : - Chun came to the empire from the midst of the fields ; Fou-youé, originally a mason, was raised to
the rank of a minister of state; Kiao-he was taken from his fishmonger's stall to become a councillor of King Wen-wang; Kouan-i-ou became a minister from a jailor; Sun-cho-ngao rose from obscurity to a high dignity in the empire ; and Pe-li-hi left a workshop to become a councillor of state. Thus when Heaven wishes to confer a great office or an important mission upon its chosen men, it begins always by proving their souls and intellects in the bitterness of days of hardship; their nerves and their bones are worn out hy hard toil; their flesh is tormented with hunger; their persons are reduced to all the privations of misery and want; their actions produce results contrary to those which they wish to obtain. Thus their souls are stimulated, their natures hardened, their strength augmented by an energy without which they would have been unable to accomplish their high destiny. Men always begin by committing faults before they are able to correct themselves. They first experience anguish of heart, they are hindered in their projects, till at last they come forth. It is universally true that life comes through pains and trials, death through pleasures and repose.'
'The hearts of the people are stated to be the only legitimate foundations of empire or of permanent rule. “He who subdues men by force, says Mencius, 'is a tyrant; he who subdues them by philanthropy is a king. Those who subdue by force do not subdue the heart; but those who subdue men by virtue gain the hearts of the subdued, and their submission is sincere. He at the same time explains very well the necessity for governments, as well as for the inequalities in the conditions of different orders of society. It may be questioned whether the argument could be better put than he has put it in the fifth chapter of his book, where the illustration he makes use of demonstrates at the same time the advantages resulting from the division of labour. Let it be remembered that this was all written more than two thousand years ago. In reply to the objection, that one portion of the community is obliged to produce food for the other, Mencius inquired: ‘Does the farmer weave . the cloth, or make the woollen cap which he wears ?-By no means: he gives grain in exchange for them. Why does he not manufacture them for himself?-Because it would interfere with his farming operations, and probably ruin him. Does he make his own cooking-vessels and agricultural implements ?-No; he gives grain in barter for them : it would never do for him to unite the labour of the artisan with that of the husbandman. So, then, the government of an empire is, in your opinion, the only occupation which can advantageously be united with the business of the farmer ? — There are employments proper to men of superior station as well as to those in inferior conditions. Hence it has been observed, some labour with their minds, and some with their hands. Those who labour with their minds govern men ; those who work with their hands are governed by men. Those who are governed supply men with food; those who govern are supplied with food. This is the universal law of the world. The dictum of the Chinese philosopher corresponds exactly with Pope's line:
* And those who think still govern those who toil.' V. After the Four Books come the five canonical works called “King,'
of each of which Confucius was either the author or compiler. 1. The She-king,' or Book of ‘Sacred Songs,' is a collection of about three hundred short poems, selected by Confucius himself. Every well-educated Chinese has the most celebrated of these pieces by heart, and constant allusion is made to them in the works of modern writers. They all have a character of the most primitive simplicity, and many of them would be utterly unintelligible but for the minute commentary by which they are accompanied. But although without value on the score of poetical merit, they are eminently interesting as having all been composed at least twenty-three centuries before our time. 2. The 'Shoo-king’is a history of the deliberations between the Emperors Yaou and Shun, and other personages who are called by Confucius the ancient kings, and for whose maxims and actions he had the highest veneration. Their notions of good government, as here explained, are founded on excellent principles, which, being observed, there is order; if abandoned, there is anarchy.' 'It is vain to expect,' they add, 'that good government can proceed from vicious minds ;' and when the people rise against the tyranny of their ruler, they are justified by the maxim, that the people's hearts and Heaven's decree are the same;' which is nothing else, in fact, than vox populi vox Dei. 3. The 'Le-king,' or Book of Rites,' which is the next in order, may be considered as the foundation of the present state of Chinese manners, and one of the causes of their uniform unchangeableness. The ceremonial usages of the country are commonly estimated at three thousand, as prescribed in the ritual; and one of the six tribunals at Peking, called Ly-poo, is especially charged with the guardianship and interpretation of these important matters, which really form a portion of the religion of the Chinese. 4. The 'Chun-tsieu' is a history, by Confucius, of his own times, and of the times which immediately preceded them. It possesses very little intrinsic interest, and was apparently intended to afford warnings and examples to the rulers of the country, reproving their misgovernment, and inculcating the maxims of the ancient kings for their guidance. 5. The last of the canonical works is the 'Ye-king;' a mystical exposition of what some consider to be a very ancient theory of creation, and of the changes that are perpetually occurring in nature. This theory may be styled a sexual system of the universe ; indeed this notion pervades every department of knowledge in China. Some of its developments are curious enough; for instance, even numbers have their genders-odd numbers being male, and even numbers female ; but on this topic we cannot dwell.
We have now sketched, though briefly, the life of Confucius, and given a rapid summary of his writings. It remains for us to speak of his views on religion, morals, and politics, and the effect they have produced upon his countrymen.
On the first point, his religious feelings, we cannot do better than quote the remarks of Professor Maurice. Alluding to some remarks of Confucius respecting sacrifices, he says: “There appeared to him a mystery in the sacrifice which he could not penetrate; he was far from wishing to deny it; he would not for the world abolish the expression of it; but what it meant he did not know, or probably seek to know. He valued the sacrifice not for its own sake, not for any benefit which he expected from it, but as part of an august and awful ceremonial. He worshipped the spirits and the genii because it was the ancient law, the established custom; therein consisted their sacredness in his eyes; but he did not speak of them, he had nothing to tell respecting them. It must not be concluded from this statement that he pretended to a faith, for the sake of the vulgar, which he secretly disowned, or that he looked upon the worship as a mere invention to maintain the government. There are evidences of sincerity in his own conduct which negative the first supposition; his demand for sincerity in ministers and emperors disproves the second. The main principle of this eminent teacher seems to be this: ceremonies, formalities, etiquette-in one word, social customs-embody the principle of reason, the very secret of order among men. This principle of reason is the divinest thing he knows of: traditional habits and forms are the most accurate expressions of it. These are the great restraints upon mere self-will; adherence to them is the sign of the ruler who desires to be in sympathy with his people. The perception of what they signify is the great privilege and endowment of the wise man- —that which he is to communicate, so far as he can at least without any intentional reserve, to his disciples; that which it is the great business of education to impress upon the minds both of rulers and subjects. But after all, this wisdom cannot be expressed very much better than in the forms themselves : it must be attained by observation, practice, habitual discipline; it must come out in conduct, in gestures, in looks as much as in words; it must be uttered, so far as it is capable of utterance, in short maxims and somewhat enigmatical poetry-which will interpret themselves slowly to the person who combines an honest purpose, diligence, and political experience.
* The philosopher, it is said, spoke rarely of destiny or of the command of Heaven. Perhaps the philosopher did not know precisely what he meant by heaven; but he did know that he meant something which was real and not imaginary. It is consistent with the character which we have attributed to the original Chinese worship, and with the character of his own mind, that he should have been profoundly impressed with the order of the heavenly bodies --- with the evenness, calmness, steadfastness which the succession of day and night reveals to us. Such an order he desired and sought for in the transactions of human society. Such an order he believed that the imperial dignity was intended to represent and uphold. It was executing the mandate. of Heaven when it actually presented the image of this order; disobeying the mandate of Heaven when it forgot this principle, and promoted or permitted derangement or confusion.' Mr Thornton is not exactly of this opinion as regards sacrifices, and in the following sentences we believe he gives the true sentiments of Confucius :—That Confucius believed, or professed to believe, in the existence of super-mundane beings, subordinate to the Deity, is most true; and so do all Christians. But the broad distinction between the Confucian and the Taou sects is, that the latter regard the shin and the kwei as superior, the former as subordinate agents. In sacrificing to them, he merely complied with a practice prescribed by the ancients, apparently considering this appendage to the worship of the Shang-te as harmless in itself, and that an attempt to disturb the established faith, or to impair the veneration paid to ancient maxims, might lead to injurious consequences. Thus we are told that, when his disciple, Tsze-kung, objected to certain sacrifices called yung, on the return of the