Puslapio vaizdai

act the potter and founder, supplying himself with the articles which he uses solely from his own establishment? Why does he go confusedly dealing and exchanging with the handicraftsmen ? Why does he not spare himself so much trouble?' His opponent attempted a reply:-The business of the handicraftsman can by no means be carried on along with the business of husbandry.' Mencius resumed:-Then, is it the government of the kingdom which alone can be carried on along with the practice of husbandry? Great men have their proper business, and little men have their proper business. Moreover, in the case of any single individual, whatever articles he can require are ready to his hand, being produced by the various handicraftsmen ;-if he must first make them for his own use, this way of doing would keep all the people running about upon the roads. Hence there is the saying:-"Some men labour with their minds, and some with their strength. Those who labour with their minds govern others; those who labour with their strength are governed by others. Those who are governed by others.support them; those who govern others are supported by them." This is a principle universally recognised'.'

Sir John Davis has observed that this is exactly Pope's line,

'And those who think still govern those who toil'.'

Mencius goes on to illustrate it very clearly by referring to the labours of Yao and Shun. His opponent makes a feeble attempt at the end to say a word in favour of the new doctrines he had embraced :-'If Hsü's doctrines were followed there would not be two prices in the market, non any deceit in the kingdom. If a If a boy were sent to the market, no one would impose on him; linen and silk of the same length would be of the same price. So it would be with bundles of hemp and silk, being of the same weight; with the different kinds of grain, being the same in quantity; and with shoes which were the same in size.' Mencius meets this with a decisive reply:-'It is the nature of things to be of unequal quality; some are twice, some five times, some ten times, some a hundred times, some a thousand times, some ten thousand times as valuable as others. If you reduce them all to the same standard, that must throw the world into confusion. If large shoes were of the same price with small shoes, who would make them? For

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people to follow the doctrines of Hsü would be for them to lead one another on to practise deceit. How can they avail for the government of a State?'


'a Teacher.'

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There is only one other subject which I shall here notice, with Mencius's opinions upon it, the position, namely, which he occupied himself with reference to the princes of his time. He position as calls it that of a Teacher,' but that term in our language very inadequately represents it. He wished to meet with some ruler who would look to him as 'guide, philosopher, and friend,' regulating himself by his counsels, and thereafter committing to him the entire administration of his government. Such men, he insisted, there had been in China from the earliest ages. Shun had been such to Yão; Yü and Kao-yao had been such to Shun; Î Yin had been such to Tang; Tai-kung Wang had been such to king Wăn; Châu-kung had been such to the kings Wû and Ch'ăng; Confucius might have been such to any prince who knew his merit; Tsze-sze was such, in a degree, to the dukes Hûi of Pi and Mû of Lû1. The wandering scholars of his own day, who went from court to court, sometimes with good intentions and sometimes with bad, pretended to this character; but Mencius held them in abhorrence. They disgraced the character and prostituted it, and he stood forth as its vindicator and true exemplifier.

Never did Christian priest lift up his mitred front, or show his shaven crown, or wear his Geneva gown, more loftily in courts and palaces than Mencius, the Teacher, demeaned himself. We have seen what struggles sometimes arose between him and the princes who would fain have had him bend to their power and place. 'Those,' said he, who give counsel to the great should despise them, and not look at their pomp and display. Halls several fathoms high, with beams projecting several cubits :-these, if my wishes were to be realised, I would not have. Food spread before me over ten cubits square, and attendant women to the amount of hundreds :these, though my wishes were realised, I would not have. Pleasure and wine, and the dash of hunting, with thousands of chariots following after me :-these, though my wishes were realised, I would not have. What they esteem are what I would have nothing to do with; what I esteem are the rules of the ancients.-Why should

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I stand in awe of them1?' Before we bring a charge of pride against Mencius on account of this language and his conduct in accordance with it, we must bear in mind that the literati in China do in reality occupy the place of priests and ministers in Christian kingdoms. Sovereign and people have to seek the law at their lips. The ground on which they stand,-'the rules of the ancients,'affords but poor footing compared with the Word of God; still it is to them the truth, the unalterable law of right and duty, and, as the expounders of it, they have to maintain a dignity which will not compromise its claims. That 'scholars are the first and head of the four classes of the people' is a maxim universally admitted. I do desiderate in Mencius any approach to humility of soul, but I would not draw my illustrations of the defect from the boldness of his speech and deportment as 'a Teacher.'

The charge against him of living on the princes.

But in one respect I am not sure but that our philosopher failed to act worthy of the character which he thus assumed. The great men to whom he was in the habit of referring as his patterns nearly all rose from deep poverty to their subsequent eminence. 'Shun came from among the channelled fields; Fu Yüeh was called to office from the midst of his building-frames; Kâo Ko from his fish and salt.' 'Î Yin was a farmer in Hsin. When Tang sent persons with presents of silk, to entreat him to enter his service, he said, with an air of indifference and self-satisfaction, "What can I do with those silks with which Tang invites me? Is it not best for me to abide in the channelled fields, and there delight myself with the principles of Yâo and Shun3?" It does not appear that any of those worthies accepted favours while they were not in office, or from men whom they disapproved. With Mencius it was very different: he took largely from the princes whom he lectured and denounced. Possibly he might plead in justification the example of Confucius, but he carried the practice to a greater extent than that sage had ever done,-to an extent which staggered even his own disciples and elicited their frequent inquiries. For instance, 'P'ang Kăng asked him, saying, "Is it not an extravagant procedure to go from one prince to another and live upon them, followed by several tens of carriages, and attended by several hundred men?" Mencius replied, ‘If there be

1 Bk. VII. Pt. II. xxxiv. This passage was written on the pillars of a hall in College Street, East, where the gospel was first preached publicly by myself in their own tongue to the people of Canton, in February, 1858. 2 Bk. VI. Pt. II. xv. 1. 3 Bk. V. Pt. I. vii. 2, 3.

not a proper ground for taking it, a single bamboo-cup of rice may not be received from a man. If there be such a proper ground, then Shun's receiving the empire froin Yao is not to be considered excessive. Do you think it was excessive?' 'No,' said the other, 'but for a scholar performing no service to receive his support notwithstanding is improper.' Mencius answered, 'If you do not have an intercommunication of the productions of labour, and an interchange of men's services, so that one from his overplus may supply the deficiency of another, then husbandmen will have a superfluity of grain, and women will have a superfluity of cloth. If you have such an interchange, carpenters and carriage-wrights may all get their food from you. Here now is a man who, at home, is filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders, and who watches over the principles of the ancient kings, awaiting the rise of future learners,and yet you will refuse to support him. How is it that you give honour to the carpenter and carriage-wright, and slight him who practises benevolence and righteousness?' P'ang Kang said, 'The aim of the carpenter and carriage-wright is by their trades to seek for a living. Is it also the aim of the superior man in his practice of principles to seek for a living?' 'What have you to do,' returned Mencius, with his purpose? He is of service to you. He deserves to be supported, and should be supported. And let me ask-Do you remunerate a man's intention, or do you remunerate his service?' To this Kăng replicd, 'I remunerate his intention.' Mencius said, There is a man here who breaks your tiles and draws unsightly figures on your walls;-his purpose may be thereby to seek for his living, but will you indeed remunerate him?' 'No,' said Kăng; and Mencius then concluded, 'That being the case, it is not the purpose which you remunerate, but the work done'.'

The ingenuity of Mencius in the above conversation will not be questioned. The position from which he starts in his defence, that society is based on a division of labour and an interchange of services, is sound, and he fairly hits and overthrows his disciples on the point that we remunerate a man not for his aim but for his work done. But he does not quite meet the charge against himself. This will better appear from another brief conversation with Kung-sun Châu on the same subject. It is said, in the Book of Poetry,' observed Châu,

"He will not eat the bread of idleness.”

1 Bk. III. Pt. II. iv.

How is it that we see superior men eating without labouring?' Mencius replied, When a superior man resides in a country, if the sovereign employ his counsels, he comes to tranquillity, wealth, honour, and glory; if the young in it follow his instructions, they become filial, obedient to their elders, true-hearted, and faithful.—— What greater example can there be than this of not eating the bread of idleness1?'

The argument here is based on the supposition that the superior man has free course, is appreciated by the sovereign, and venerated and obeyed by the people. But this never was the case with Mencius. Only once, the short time that he was in Tăng, did a ruler listen favourably to his counsels. His lessons, it may be granted, were calculated to be of the greatest benefit to the communities where he was, but it is difficult to see the 'work done,' for which he could claim the remuneration. His reasoning might very well be applied to vindicate a government's extending its patronage to literary men, where it recognised in a general way the advantages to be derived from their pursuits. Still more does it accord with that employed in western nations where ecclesiastical establishments form one of the institutions of a country. The members belonging to them must have their maintenance, independently of the personal character of the rulers. But Mencius's position was more that of a reformer. His claims were of those of his personal merit. It seems to me that Pang Kăng had reason to doubt the propriety of his course, and characterise it as extravagant.

Another disciple, Wan Chang, pressed him very closely with the inconsistency of his taking freely the gifts of the princes on whom he was wont to pass sentence so roundly. Mencius had insisted that, where the donor offered his gift on a ground of reason and in a manner accordant with propriety, even Confucius would have received it. Here now,' said Chang, 'is one who stops and robs people outside the city gates. He offers his gift on a ground of reason and in a proper manner;-would it be right to receive it so acquired by robbery?' The philosopher of course said it would not, and the other pursued :- The princes of the present day take from their people just as a robber despoils his victim. Yet if they put a good face of propriety on their gifts, the superior man receives them. I venture to ask you to explain this.' Mencius answered :—

1 Bk. VII. Pt I. xxxii.

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