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mere than a generation to change the manners of the people, such is their desire to move after the pattern of their superiors. Once more, duke Wăn of Tsin was fond of garments of coarse flax. In his time, the officers of Tsin wore wide clothes of that fabric, with rams' furs, leathern swordbelts, and coarse canvas sandals. Thus attired, they went in to the duke's levee, and went out and walked through the court. It is a difficult thing to wear such clothes, but they were able to do it, because it would please duke Wăn.-It needs but a generation to change the manners of the people, such is their desire to move after the pattern of their superiors.
Now, little food, a burning ship, and coarse clothes,—these are among the most difficult things to endure; but because the sovereign would be pleased with the enduring them, they were able in those cases to do it. It needed no more than a generation to change the manners of the people. Why? Because such is their desire to move after the pattern of their superiors. And now, as to universal mutual love', it is an advantageous thing and easily practised,— beyond all calculation. The only reason why it is not practised is, in my opinion, because superiors do not take pleasure in it. If superiors were to take pleasure in it, stimulating men to it by rewards and praise, and awing them from opposition to it by punishments and fines, they would, in my opinion, move to it,-the practice of universal mutual love, and the interchange of mutual benefits,—as fire rises upwards, and as water flows downwards :-nothing would be able to check them. This universal love was the way of the sage kings; it is the principle to secure peace for kings, dukes, and great ren; it is the means to secure plenty of food and clothes for the myriads of the people. The best course for the superior man is to well understand the principle of universal love, and to exert himself to practise it. It requires the sovereign to be gracious, and the minister to be loyal; the father to be kind, and the son to be filial; the elder brother to be friendly, and the younger to be obedient. Therefore the superior man, with whom the chief desire is to see gracious sovereigns and loyal ministers; kind fathers and filial sons; friendly elder brothers and obedient younger ones,— ought to insist on the indispensableness of the practice of universal love. It was the way of the sage kings; it would be the most advantageous thing for the myriads of the people.
行君為君之聖之 也忠人必所王 就
should read 兼相愛.
2. Notwithstanding the mutilations and corruptions in the text of the preceding Essay, its general scope is clearly discernible, and we obtain from it a sufficient account of Mo's doctrine on the subject of 'Universal Love.' We have now to consider the opposition offered to this doctrine by Mencius. He was not the first, however, to be startled and offended by it. The Essay shows that it was resented as an outrage on the system of orthodox belief during all the lifetime of Mo and his immediate disciples. Men of learning did not cease to be clamorous against it. From the allusions made by Mencius to its prevalence in his days, it would appear that it had overcome much of the hostility which it at first encountered. He stepped forward to do battle with it, and though he had no new arguments to ply, such was the effect of his onset, that 'Universal Love' has ever since been considered save by some eccentric thinkers, as belonging to the Limbo of Chinese vanities, among other things 'abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixed.'
We may approach the question conveniently by observing that Mo's attempts to defend his principle were in several points far from the best that could be made. His references to the examples of Yu, Tang, and the kings Wăn and Wû, are of this nature. Those worthies well performed the work of their generation. They punished the oppressor, and delivered the oppressed. Earnest sentiments of justice and benevolence animated their breasts and directed their course. But they never laid down the doctrine of 'Universal Love,' as the rule for themselves or others.
When he insists, again, that the people might easily be brought to appreciate and practise his doctrine, if their rulers would only set them the example, he shows the same overweening idea of the influence of superiors, and the same ignorance of human nature, which I have had occasion to point out in both Confucius and Mencius. His references to duke Wăn of Tsin, duke Ling of Ch', and Kâu-chien of Yüeh, and his argument from what they are said to have effected, only move us to smile. And when he teaches that men are to be awed to love one another by punishments and fines,' we feel that he is not understanding fully what he says nor whereof he affirms.
Still, he has broadly and distinctly laid it down, that if men would only universally love one another, the evils which disturb and embitter human society would disappear. I do not say that he has taught the duty of universal love, His argument is conducted
on the ground of expediency1. Whether he had in his own mind a truer, nobler foundation for his principle, does not immediately appear. Be that as it may, his doctrine was that men were to be exhorted to love one another, to love one another as themselves. According to him, 'princes should be as much for the States of others as for their own. One prince should be for every other as for himself.' So it ought to be also with the Heads of clans, with ministers, with parents, and with men generally.
Here it was that Mencius joined issue with him. He affirmed that 'to love all equally did not acknowledge the peculiar affection due to a parent.' It is to be observed that Mo himself nowhere says that his principle was that of loving all EQUALLY.. His disciples drew this conclusion from it. In the third Book of Mencius's Works, we find one of thein, ↑ Chih, contending that the expression in the Shu-ching, about the ancient kings acting towards the people, 'as if they were watching over an infant,' sounded to him as if love were to be without difference of degree, the manifestation of it simply commencing with our parents. To this Mencius replied conclusively by asking, 'Does I really think that a man's affection for the child of his brother is merely like his affection for the child of his neighbour?' With still more force might he have asked, 'Is a man's affection for his father merely like his affection for the father of his neighbour?' Such a question, and the necessary reply to it, are implied in his condemnation of Mo's system, as being 'without father,' that is, denying the peculiar affection due to a father. If Mo had really maintained that a man's father was to be no more to him than the father of any other body, or if his system had necessitated such a consequence, Mencius would only have done his duty to his country in denouncing him, and exposing the fallacy of his reasonings. As the case is, he would have done better if he had shown that no such conclusion necessarily flows from the doctrine of 'Universal Love,' or its preceptive form that we are to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Of course it belonged to Mo himself to defend his views from the imputation. But what he has said on the point is not satisfactory. In reply to the charge that his principle was injurious to filial piety, he endeavoured to show, that, by acting on it, a man would best
'This and several other points are well put by the Rev. Dr. Edkins, in his Essay, referred to on p. 133. See Journal of the North-China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, No. II, May, 1859. * See Bk. III. Pt. I. v. 3.
secure the happiness of his parents--as he addressed himself in the first place to love, and do good to, the parents of others, they would recompense to him the love of, and good-doing to, his parents. It might be so, or it might not. The reply exhibits strikingly in what manner Mo was conducted to the inculcation of universal love, and that really it had in his mind no deeper basis than its expediency. This is his weak point; and if Mencius, whose view of the constitution of human nature, and the binding force of the virtues, apart from all consideration of consequences, was more comprehensive and correct than that of Mo, had founded his opposition on this ground, we could in a measure have sympathised with him. But while Mo appeared to lose sight of the other sentiments of the human mind too much, in his exclusive contemplation of the power of love, he did not doubt but his principle would make sons more filial, and ministers more devoted, and subjects more loyal. The passage which I have just referred to, moreover, does not contain the admission that the love was to be without any difference of degree. The fact is, that he hardly seems to have realised the objection with which Mencius afterwards pressed the advocacy of it by his followers. If he did do so, he blinked the difficulty, not seeing his way to give a full and precise reply to it.
This seems to be the exact state of the case between the two philosophers. Mo stumbled on a truth, which, based on a right foundation, is one of the noblest which can animate the human breast, and affords the surest remedy for the ills of society. There is that in it, however, which is startling, and liable to misrepresentation and abuse. Mencius saw the difficulty attaching to it, and unable to sympathise with the generosity of it, set himself to meet it with a most vehement opposition. Nothing, certainly, could be more absurd than his classing Yang Chú and Mo Ti together, as equally the enemies of benevolence and righteousness. When he tries to ridicule Mo, and talks contemptuously about him, how, if he could have benefited the kingdom, by toiling till he rubbed off every hair of his body, he would have done it',-this only raises up a barrier between himself and us. It reminds us of the hardness of nature which I have elsewhere charged against him.
3. Confucius, I think, might have dealt more fairly and generously with Mo. In writing of him, I called attention to his repeated
Bk. VII. Pt. I. xxvi.
enunciation of the golden rule' in a negative form,- What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others'.' In one place, indeed, he rises for a moment to the full apprehension of it, and recognises the duty of taking the initiative,-of behaving to others in the first instance as he would that they should behave to him3. Now, what is this but the practical exercise of the principle of universal love? All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them :'-this is simply the manifestation of the requirement, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' Confucius might have conceded, therefore, to Mo, that the rule of conduct which he laid down was the very best that could be propounded. If he had gone on to remove it from the basis of expediency, and place it on a better foundation, he would have done the greatest service to his countrymen, and entitled himself to a place among the sages of the world.
On this matter I am happy to find myself in agreement with the 'Prince of Literature,' Han Yü3. Our literati,' says he, 'find fault with Mo because of what he has said on "The Estimation to be attached to Concord," on" Universal Love," on "The Estimation to be given to Men of Worth"," on "The Acknowledging of Spiritual Beings," and on "The Awe in which Confucius stood of Great Men,
1 Vol. i. proleg. p. 109.
* See the Works of Han Wän-kung, +1 87 #
See proleg. on the 'Doctrine of the Mean,' pp. 48, 49, vol. i.
*This is the title of one of Mo's Essays, the f, forming the third Book of his Works.
Generalising after his fashion, he traces all evils up to a want of concord, or agreement of opinion; and goes on to assert that the sovereign must be recognised as the 'Infallible Head,'
to lay down the rule of truth and right, saying 天子之所是皆是之天子
之所非皆非之 2*#*#Z, 'What the sovereign approves, all must approve; what the
sovereign condemns, all must condemn.' It is an unguarded utterance; and taken absolutely, apart from its connexion, may be represented very much to Mo's disadvantage. See 'Supplemental Observations on the Four Books,' on Mencius, Book I. art. lix. The coincidence between this saying and the language of Hobbes is remarkable.—'Quod legislator praeceperit, id pro bono, quod vetuerit, id pro malo habendum esse.' (De Cive, cap. xii. 1.)
*This is another of Mo's pieces,-, the second Book of his Works. He finds a cure for the ills of the nation in princes' honouring and employing only men of worth, without paying regard to their relatives. This is contrary to the third of Confucius's nine standard rules for the government of the nation, set forth in his conversation with duke Âi, as related in the 'Doctrine of the Mean,' ch. xx. But Mo would only discountenance nepotism, where it ought to be discountenanced.
This is found in the eighth Book of Mo. The first and second parts of the essay, however, are unfortunately lost. In the third he tells several queer ghost stories, and adduces other proofs, to show the real existence of spiritual beings, and that they take account of men's actions to reward or to punish them. He found another panacea for the ills of the kingdom in this truth. His doctrine here, however, is held to be inconsistent with Confucius's reply to