Book XVI: Ke She
Confucius exposes the presumptuous and impolitic conduct of the chief of the Chî family in proposing to attack a minor state,a dn rebukes Zan Yû and Tsze-lû for abetting the design.
1. The head of the Chî family was going to attack Chwan-yü.
2. Zan Yû and Chî-lû had an interview with Confucius, and said, “Our chief, Chî, is going to commence operations against Chwan-yü.”
3. Confucius said, “Ch’iû, is it not you who are in fault here?
4. “Now, in regard to Chwan-yü, long ago, a former king appointed its ruler to preside over the sacrifices to the eastern Mang; moreover, it is in the midst of the territory of our state; and its ruler is a minister in direct connection with the sovereign:– What has your chief to do with attacking it?”
5. Zan Yû said, “Our master wishes the thing; neither of us two ministers wishes it.”
6. Confucius said, “Ch’iû, there are the words of Châu Zan, — ‘When he can put forth his ability, he takes his place in the ranks of office; when he finds himself unable to do so, he retires from it. How can he be used as a guide to a blind man, who does not support him when tottering, nor raise him up when fallen?’
7. “And further, you speak wrongly. When a tiger or rhinoceros escapes from his cage; when a tortoise or piece of jade is injured in its repository:– whose is the fault?”
8. Zan Yû said, “But at present, Chwan-yü is strong and near to Pî; if our chief do not now take it, it will hereafter be a sorrow to his descendants.”
9. Confucius said. “Ch’iû, the superior man hates those declining to say — ‘I want such and such a thing,’ and framing explanations for their conduct.
10. “I have heard that rulers of states and chiefs of families are not troubled lest their people should be few, but are troubled lest they should not keep their several places; that they are not troubled with fears of poverty, but are troubled with fears of a want of contented repose among the people in their several places. For when the people keep their several places, there will be no poverty; when harmony prevails, there will be no scarcity of people; and when there is such a contented repose, there will be no rebellious upsettings.
11. “So it is. — Therefore, if remoter people are not submissive, all the influences of civil culture and virtue are to be cultivated to attract them to be so; and when they have been so attracted, they must be made contented and tranquil.
12. “Now, here are you, Yû and Ch’iû, assisting your chief. Remoter people are not submissive, and, with your help, he cannot attract them to him. In his own territory there are divisions and downfalls, leavings and separations, and, with your help, he cannot preserve it.
13. “And yet he is planning these hostile movements within the state. — I am afraid that the sorrow of the Chî-sun family will not be on account of Chwan-yü, but will be found within the screen of their own court.”
The supreme authority ought ever to maintain its power. The violation of this rule always leads to ruin, which is speedier as the rank of the violator is lower.
1. Confucius said, “When good government prevails in the empire, ceremonies, music, and punitive military expeditions proceed from the son of Heaven. When bad government prevails in the empire, ceremonies, music, and punitive military expeditions proceed from the princes. When these things proceed from the princes, as a rule, the cases will be few in which they do not lose their power in ten generations. When they proceed from the great officers of the princes, as a rule, the case will be few in which they do not lose their power in five generations. When the subsidiary ministers of the great officers hold in their grasp the orders of the state, as a rule the cases will be few in which they do not lose their power in three generations.
2. “When right principles prevail in the kingdom, government will not be in the hands of the great officers.
3. “When right principles prevail in the kingdom, there will be no discussions among the common people.”
Illustration of the principles of the last chapter.
Confucius said, “The revenue of the state has left the ducal house now for five generations. The government has been in the hands of the great officers for four generations. On this account, the descendants of the three Hwan are much reduced.”
Three friendships advantageous, and three injurious.
Confucius said, “There are three friendships which are advantageous, and three which are injurious. Friendship with the uplight; friendship with the sincere; and friendship with the man of much observation:– these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs; friendship with the insinuatingly soft; and friendship with the glib-tongued:– these are injurious.”
Three sources of enjoyment advantageous, and three injurious.
Confucius said, “There are three things men find enjoyment in which are advantageous, and three things they find enjoyment in which are injurious. To find enjoyment in the discriminating study of ceremonies and music; to find enjoyment in speaking of the goodness of others; to find enjoyment in having many worthy friends:– these are advantageous. To find enjoyment in extravagant pleasures; to find enjoyment in idleness and sauntering; to find enjoyment in the pleasures of feasting:– these are injurious.”
Three errors in regard to speech to be avoided in the presence of the great.
Confucius said, “There are three errors to which they who stand in the presence of a man of virtue and station are liable. They may speak when it does not come to them to speak;– this is called rashness. They may not speak when it comes to them to speak;– this is called concealment. They may speak without looking at the countenance of their superior;– this is called blindness.”
The vices which youth, manhood, and age respectively have to guard against.
Confucius said, “There are three things which the superior man guards against. In youth, when the physical powers are not yet settled, he guards against lust. When he is strong and the physical powers are full of vigor, he guards against quarrelsomeness. When he is old, and the animal powers are decayed, he guards against covetousness.”
Contrast of the superior and the mean man in regard to the three things of which the former stands in awe.
1. Confucius said, “There are three things of which the superior man stands in awe. He stands in awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great men. He stands in awe of the words of sages.
2. “The mean man does not know the ordinances of Heaven, and consequently does not stand in awe of them. He is disrespectful to great men. He makes sport of the words of sages.”
Four classes of men in relation to knowledge.
Confucius said, “Those who are born with the possession of knowledge are the highest class of men. Those who learn, and so, readily, get possession of knowledge, are the next. Those who are dull and stupid, and yet compass the learning, are another class next to these. As to those who are dull and stupid and yet do not learn;– they are the lowest of the people.”
Nine subjects of thought to the superior man:– various instances of the way in which he regulates himself.
Confucius said, “The superior man has nine things which are subjects with him of thoughtful consideration. In regard to the use of his eyes, he is anxious to see clearly. In regard to the use of his ears, he is anxious to hear distinctly. In regard to his countenance, he is anxious that it should be benign. In regard to his demeanor, he is anxious that it should be respectful. In regard to his speech, he is anxious that it should be sincere. In regard to his doing of business, he is anxious that it should be reverently careful. In regard to what he doubts about, he is anxious to question others. When he is angry, he thinks of the difficulties (his anger may involve him in). When he sees gain to be got, he thinks of righteousness.”
The contemporaries of Confucius could eschew evil, and follow after good, but no one of the highest capacity had appeared among them.
1. Confucius said, “Contemplating good, and pursuing it, as if they could not reach it; contemplating evil! and shrinking from it, as they would from thrusting the hand into boiling water:– I have seen such men, as I have heard such words.
2. “Living in retirement to study their aims, and practicing righteousness to carry out their principles:– I have heard these words, but I have not seen such men.”
Wealth without virtue and virtue without wealth;– their different appreciations.
1. The Duke Ching of Ch’î had a thousand teams, each of four horses, but on the day of his death, the people did not praise him for a single virtue. Po-î and Shû-ch’î died of hunger at the foot of the Shâu-yang mountain, and the people, down to the present time, praise them.
2. “Is not that saying illustrated by this?”
Confucius’s instruction of his son not different from his instruction of the disciples generally.
1. Ch’an K’ang asked Po-yü, saying, “Have you heard any lessons from your father different from what we have all heard?”
2. Po-yü replied, “No. He was standing alone once, when I passed below the hall with hasty steps, and said to me, ‘Have you learned the Odes?’ On my replying ‘Not yet,’ he added, ‘If you do not learn the Odes, you will not be fit to converse with.’ I retired and studied the Odes.
3. “Another day, he was in the same way standing alone, when I passed by below the hall with hasty steps, and said to me, ‘Have you learned 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 then retired, and learned the rules of Propriety.
4. “I have heard only these two things from him.”
5. Ch’ang K’ang retired, and, quite delighted, said, “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 maintains a distant reserve towards his son.”
Appellations for the wife of a ruler.
The wife of the prince of a state is called by him FÛ ZAN. She calls herself HSIÂO T’UNG. The people of the state call her CHÜN FÛ ZAN, and, to the people of other states, they call her K’WA HSIÂO CHÜN. The people of other states also call her CHÜN FÛ ZAN.