Puslapio vaizdai

'Mencius' and 'Mencius said' were not in his copies. There would be no use for them on his view that the whole was composed by Mencius himself. If they were added subsequently, they would about make up the actual excess of the number of characters above his computation. The point is not one of importance, and I have touched on it simply because it leads us to the question of the authorship of the Works.


4. On this point Sze-mâ Ch'ien and Chao Ch'i are agreed. They that Mencius composed the seven Books himself, and yet that he did so along with certain of his disciples. The words of the latter are:-' He withdrew from public life, collected and digested the conversations which he had had with his distinguished disciples, Kung-sun Châu, Wan Chang, and others, on the difficulties and doubts which they had expressed, and also compiled himself his deliverances as ex cathedra;-and so published the seven Books of his writings.'

This view of the authorship seems to have been first called in question by Han Yü1, commonly referred to as 'Han, the duke of Literature 2,' a famous scholar in the eighth and ninth centuries, under the Tang dynasty, who expressed himself in the following terms:— 'The Books of Mencius were not published by himself. After his death, his disciples, Wan Chang and Kung-sun Châu, in communication with each other, recorded the words of Mencius3.'

5. If we wish to adjudicate in the matter, we find that we have a difficult task in hand. One thing is plain-the book is not the work of many hands like the Confucian Analects. 'If we look at the style of the composition,' says Chû Hsi, 'it is as if the whole were melted together, and not composed by joining piece to piece. This language is too strong, but there is a degree of truth and force in it. No principle of chronology guided the arrangement of the different parts, and a foreigner may be pardoned if now and then the ' pearls' seem to him 'at random strung;' yet the collection is characterised by a uniformity of style, and an endeavour in the separate Books to preserve a unity of matter. This consideration, however, is not

·韓愈,字退之‘韓文公.‘孟軻之書,非軻自著, 軻既沒其徒萬章公孫丑,相與記軻所言焉耳; so noto by Chût Hat in his prefatory notice to Mencius. 觀其筆勢,如鎔鑄而成, 非綴緝所就者; quoted in 四書拓餘說,孟子, art. I

enough to decide the question. Such as the work is, we can conceive it proceeding either from Mencius himself, or from the labours of a few of his disciples engaged on it in concert.

The author of the Topography of the Four Books" has this argument to show that the Works of Mencius are by Mencius himself:-The Confucian Analects,' he says, 'were made by the disciples, and therefore they record minutely the appearance and manners of the sage. But the seven Books were made by Mencius himself, and therefore we have nothing in them excepting the words and public movements of the philosopher". This peculiarity is certainly consonant with the hypothesis of Mencius's own authorship, and so far may dispose us to adopt it.

On the other hand, as the princes of Mencius's time to whom any reference is made are always mentioned by the honorary epithets conferred on them after their death, it is argued that those at least must have been introduced by his disciples. There are many passages, again, which savour more of a disciple or other narrator than of the philosopher himself. There is, for instance, the commencing sentences of Book III. Pt. I:- When the duke Wăn of T'ǎng was crown-prince, having to go to Ch't, he went by way of Sung, and visited Mencius (lit. the philosopher Mang). Mencius discoursed to him how the nature of man is good, and when speaking, always made laudatory reference to Yâo and Shun. When the crownprince was returning from Ch', he again visited Mencius. Mencius said to him "Prince, do you doubt my words? The path is one, and only one."

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6. Perhaps the truth after all is as the thing is stated by Sze-mâ Ch'ien,—that Mencius, along with some of his disciples, compiled and composed the Work. It would be in their hands and under their guardianship after his death, and they may have made some slight alterations, to prepare it, as we should say, for the press. Yet allowing this, there is nothing to prevent us from accepting the sayings and doings as those of Mencius, guaranteed by himself.

7. It now only remains here that I refer to the reception of Mencius's Works among the Classics. We have seen how they were not admitted by Liu Hsin into his catalogue of classical works. Mencius

1 See vol. i. proleg. p. 131. *論語成于門人之手,故聖人 容貌甚悉,七篇成于已手,故但記言語或出處000皇 , Sect. xxiv, at the end.

was then only one of the many scholars or philosophers of the orthodox school. The same classification obtains in the Books of the Sui and Tang dynasties; and in fact it was only under the dynasty of Sung that the Works of Mencius and the Confucian Analects were authoritatively ranked together. The first explicitly to proclaim this honour as due to our philosopher was Ch'ăn Chih-châi1, whose words are 'Since the time when Han, the duke of Literature, delivered his eulogium, "Confucius handed the scheme of doctrine to Mencius, on whose death the line of transmission was interrupted"," the scholars of the empire have all associated Confucius and Mencius. together. The Books of Mencius are certainly superior to those of Hsün and Yang, and others who have followed them. Their productions are not to be spoken of in the same day with his.' Chú Hst adopted the same estimate of Mencius, and by his 'Collected Comments' on him and the Analects bound the two sages together in a union which the government of China, in the several dynasties which have succeeded, has with one temporary exception approved and confirmed.


. The name and the account I take from the 'Supplemental Observations on the Four Books,' art. I, on Mencius., I apprehend, is a misprint for E, the individual referred to being probably, a great scholar and officer of the twelfth

century, known also by the designations of 君舉 and 止齋. 2 This eulogy of Han

Yü is to be found subjoined to the brief introduction in the common editions of Mencius. The whole of the passage there quoted is :-'Yão handed the scheme of doctrine down to Shun; Shun handed it to Yü; Yü to Tang; Tang to Wăn, Wû, and the duke of Châu; Wăn, Wû, and the duke of Châu to Confucius; and Confucius to Mencius, on whose death there was no further transmission of it. In Hsün and Yang there are snatches of it, but without a nice discrimination; they talk about it, but without a definite particularity.'





1. The materials for a Memoir of Mencius are very scanty. The birth and principal incidents of Confucius's life are duly chronicled in the various annotated editions of the Ch'un Ch'iû, and in Sze-mâ Ch'ien. It is not so in the case of Mencius. Ch'ien's account of him is contained in

Paucity and uncertainty of materials.

That in the Châo Ch'i is

half a dozen columns which are without a single date. 'Cyclopædia of Surnames' only covers half a page. more particular' in regard to the early years of his subject, but he is equally indefinite. Our chief informants are K'ung Fu, and Lia Hsiang in his 'Record of Noteworthy Women',' but what we find in them has more the character of legend than history.

It is not till we come to the pages of Mencius himself that we are treading on any certain ground. They give the principal incidents of his public life, extending over about twenty-four years. We learn from them that in the course of that time he was in such and such places, and gave expression to such and such opinions; but where he went first and where he went last, it is next to impossible to determine. I have carefully examined three attempts, made by competent scholars of the present dynasty, to construct a Harmony that shall reconcile the statements of the 'Seven Books' with the current chronologies of the time, and do not see my way to adopt entirely the conclusions of any one of them. The value of the Books lies in the record



* The three attempts are-one by the author of 'Supple

mental Observations on the Four Books,' an outline of which is given in his Notes on Mencius, art. III; one by the author of the 'Topography of the Four Books,' and forming the twenty-fourth section of the 'Explanations of the Classics under the Ch'ing Dynasty;' and one prefixed to the Works of Mencius, in 'The Four Books, with the Relish of the Radical Meaning' (vol. i. proleg. p. 130). These three critics display much ingenuity and research, but their conclusions are conflicting.—I may be pardoned in saying that their learned labours have affected me just as those of the Harmonisers of the Gospel Narratives used to do in former years,-bewildering more than edifying. Most cordially do I agree with Dean Alford (New Testament, vol. i. proleg. I. vii. 5) :-' If the Evangelists have delivered to us truly and faithfully the Apostolic Narratives, and if the Apostles spoke as the Holy Spirit enabled them, and brought events and sayings to their recollection, then we may be sure that if we knew the real process of the transactions

which they furnish of Mencius's sentiments, and the lessons which these supply for the regulation of individual conduct and national policy. It is of little importance that we should be able to lay them down in the strict order of time.

With Mencius's withdrawal from public life, all traces of him disappear. All that is said of him is that he spent his later years along with his disciples in the preparation and publication of his Works.

From this paragraph it will be seen that there is not much to be said in this section. I shall relate, first, what is reported of the early years and training of our philosopher, and then look at him as he comes before us in his own pages, in the full maturity of his character and powers.

His surname ;

2. Mencius is the latinized form of Măng-tsze1, 'The philosopher Măng.' His surname thus connects him with the Măng or Măng-sun family, one of the three great Houses of Lu, whose birth-place; pa usurpations were such an offence to Confucius in his time. Their power was broken in the reign of duke Âi (B.C. 494-468), and they thenceforth dwindle into comparative insignificance. Some branches remained in obscurity in Lu, and others went forth to the neighbouring States.

rents; the year of his birth, B.C. 371.

The branch from which Mencius sprang found a home in the small adjacent principality of Tsâu, which in former times had been known by the name of Chû3. It was afterwards absorbed by Lû, and its name is said to be still retained in one of the districts of the department of Yen-châu in Shan-tung. There I visited his temple in 1873, saw his image, and drank of a spring which supplied a well of bright, clear water close by. Confucius was a native of a district of Lu having the same name, which many contend was also the birthplace of Mencius, making him a native of Lu and not of the State of Tsâu. To my mind the evidence is decidedly against such a view3.

themselves, that knowledge would enable us to give an account of the diversities of narration and arrangement which the Gospels now present to us. But without such knowledge, all attempts to accomplish this analysis in minute detail must be merely conjectural, and must tend to weakon the Evangelic testimony rather than to strengthen it.'


̇孟子.’騶 (written also 鄒)國.‘邾.

*. ‘山東兗州府,

鄒縣. ·閻若據 and 曹之升 stoutly maintain the different sides of this

question, the latter giving five arguments to show that the Tsau of Mencius was the Tsâu of La. As Mencius went from Ch'i on the death of his mother to bury her in Lù (Bk. II. Pt. II. vii), this appears to prove that he was a native of that State. But the conclusion is not

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