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multiplied till it becomes as important as the piece of flesh, and the piece of flesh may be multiplied till it becomes as important as a limb. A single hair is just one of the ten thousand portions of the body;-why should you make light of it?" Ch'in-tsze replied, “I cannot answer you. If I could refer your words to Lão Tan or Kwan Yin, they would say that you were right; but if I could refer my words to the great Yü or Mo Tî, they would say that I was right." Mǎng-sun Yang, on this, turned round, and entered into conversation with his disciples on another subject.'

e' Yang Chû said, " All agree in considering Shun, Yi, Chau-kung, and Confucius to have been the most admirable of men, and in considering Chieh and Châu to have been the most wicked.


""Now, Shun had to plough the ground on the south of the Ho, and to play the potter by the Lei lake. His four limbs had not even a temporary rest; for his mouth and belly he could not find pleasant food and warm clothing. No love of his parents rested upon him; no affection of his brothers and sisters. When he was thirty years old, he had not been able to get the permission of his parents to marry. When Yão at length resigned to him the throne, he was advanced in age; his wisdom was decayed; his son Shang-chün proved without ability; and he had finally to resign the throne to Yü. Sorrowfully came he to his death. Of all mortals never was one whose life was so worn out and empoisoned as his. K'wan was required to reduce the deluged land to order; and when his labours were ineffectual, he was put to death on mount Yü, and Yü, his son, had to undertake the task, and serve his enemy. All his energies were spent on his labours with the land; a child was born to him, but he could not foster it; he passed his door without entering; his body became bent and withered; the skin of his hands and feet became thick and callous. When at length Shun resigned to him the throne, he lived in a low, mean house, while his sacrificial apron and cap were elegant. Sorrowfully came he to his death. Of all mortals never was one whose life was so saddened and embittered as his. On the death of king Wû, his son, king Ch'ǎng was young and weak. Châu-kung had to undertake all the royal duties. The duke of Shâo was displeased, and evil reports spread through the kingdom. Châu-kung had to reside three years in the east; he slew his elder brother, and banished his younger; scarcely did he escape with his life. Sorrowfully came he to his death. Of all mortals never was one whose life was so full of hazards and terrors as his. Confucius understood the ways of the ancient sovereigns and kings. He responded to the invitations of the princes of his time. The tree was cut down over him in Sung; the traces of his footsteps were removed in Wei; he was reduced to

伐之兄天人舜產用然 妹

事.墨言之 翟問乎。


於懼弟之憂卑字就 巳所蹔
宋者 僅政




也。免 邵者室門諸死智親


商之以流成然枯事者才告 周道至言王以手臂,也禪

圍應於居幼至足惟位娶 於時死東弱於胼荒治於


與吾然 其言則、 徒間以

陳君 三周死胝土水禹受 澤下 說大 蔡之天年,公此及功土戚堯愛、


extremity in Shang and Châu; he was surrounded in Ch'ăn and Ts'ai; he had to bend to the head of the Chi family; he was disgraced by Yang Hû. Sorrowfully came he to his death. Of all mortals never was one whose life was so agitated and hurried as his.

c. Those four sages, during their life, had not a single day's joy. Since their death they have had a grand fame that will last through myriads of ages. But that fame is what no one who cares for what is real would choose. Celebrate them ;-they do not know it. Reward them ;-they do not know it. Their fame is no more to them than to the trunk of a tree or a clod of earth.

· “ On the other hand, Chieh came into the accumulated wealth of many generations; to him belonged the honour of the royal seat; his wisdom was enough to enable him to set at defiance all below; his power was enough to shake the world. He indulged the pleasures to which his eyes and ears prompted him; he carried out whatever it came into his thoughts to do. Brightly came he to his death. Of all mortals never was one whose life was so luxurious and dissipated as his. Similarly, Châu came into the accumulated wealth of many generations; to him belonged the honour of the royal seat; his power enabled him to do whatever he would; his will was everywhere obeyed; he indulged his feelings in all his palaces; he gave the reins to his lusts through the long night; he never made himself bitter by the thought of propriety and righteousness. Brightly came he to his destruction. Of all mortals never was one whose life was so abandoned as his.

“These two yillains, during their life, had the joy of gratifying their desires. Since their death, they have had the evil fame of folly and tyranny. But the reality of enjoyment is what no fame can give. Reproach them ;–they do not know it. Praise them ;–they do not know

it. Their ill fame is no more to them than to the trunk of a tree, or to a clod of earth.

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“To the four sages all admiration is given; yet were their lives bitter to the end, and their common lot was death. To the two villains all condemnation is given; yet their lives were pleasant to the last, and their common lot was likewise death."'

3. The above passages are sufficient to show the character of Yang Chu's mind and of his teachings. It would be doing injustice to Epicurus to compare Yang with him, for though the Grecian philosopher made happiness the chief end of human pursuit, he taught also that we cannot live pleasurably without living virtuously and justly.' The Epicurean system is, indeed, unequal

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to the capacity, and far below the highest complacencies of human nature; but it is widely different from the reckless contempt of all which is esteemed good and great that defiles the pages where Yang

is made to tell his views.

We are sometimes reminded by him of fragmentary utterances in the Book of Ecclesiastes.-'In much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.' 'As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? As the fool. Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous to me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.' 'There is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity....All his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night : this is also vanity. There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.' That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.... Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in bis own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?'

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But those thoughts were suggestions of evil from which the Hebrew Preacher recoiled in his own mind; and he put them on record only that he might give their antidote along with them. He vanquished them by his faith in God; and so he ends by saying, 'Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:-Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.' Yang Chú has no redeeming qualities. His reasonings contain no elements to counteract the poison that is in them. He never rises to the thought of God. There are, he allows, such ideas as those of propriety and righteousness, but the effect of them is merely to embitter and mar the enjoyment of life. Fame is but a phantom which only the fool will pursue. It is the same with all at death.

There their being ends. After that there is but so much putridity and rottenness. With him therefore the conclusion of the whole matter is :-'Let us eat and drink; let us live in pleasure; gratify the ears and eyes; get servants and maidens, music, beauty, wine; when the day is insufficient, carry it on through the night; EACH


Mencius might well say that if such 'licentious talk' were not arrested, the path of benevolence and righteousness would be stopped up. If Yang's principles had been entertained by the nation, every bond of society would have been dissolved. All the foundations of order would have been destroyed. Vice would have become rampant, and virtue would have been named only to be scorned. There would have remained for the entire State only what Yang saw in store for the individual man-' putridity and rottenness.' Doubtless it was owing to Mencius's opposition that the foul and dangerous current was stayed. He raised up against it the bulwark of human nature formed for virtue. He insisted on benevolence, righteousness, propriety, fidelity, as the noblest attributes of man's conduct. More was needed, but more he could not supply. If he had had a living faith in God, and had been in possession of His revealed will, the present state of China might have been very different. He was able to warn his countrymen of the gulf into which Yang Chu would have plunged them; but he could direct them in the way of truth and duty only imperfectly. He sent them into the dark cave of their own souls, and back to the vague lessons and imperfect examples of their sages; and China has staggered on, waxing feebler and feebler, to the present time. Her people need to be directed above themselves and beyond the present. When stars shine out to them in heaven and from eternity, the nation will perhaps renew its youth, and go forward from strength to strength.



1. Very different from Yang Chû was Mo Ti. They stood at the opposite poles of human thought and sentiment; and we may wonder that Mencius should have offered the same stern opposition to the opinions of each of them. He did well to oppose the doctrine whose watchword was-Each one for himself;' was he right in denouncing, as equally injurious, that which taught that the root of all social evils is to be traced to the want of mutual love?

It is allowed that Mo was a native and officer of the State of Sung; but the time when he lived is a matter of dispute. Sze-mâ Ch'ien says that some made him to be a contemporary of Confucius, and that others placed him later1. He was certainly later than Confucius, to whom he makes many references, not always complimentary, in his writings. In one of his Treatises, moreover, mention is made of Wăn-tsze2, an acknowledged disciple of Tsze-hsiâ, so that he must have been very little anterior to Mencius. This is the impression also which I receive from the references to him in our philosopher.

In Lit Hsin's third catalogue the Mohist writers form a subdivision. Six of them are mentioned, including Mo himself to whom seventy-one p'ien, or Books, are attributed. So many were then current under his name; but eighteen of them have since been lost. He was an original thinker. He exercised a bolder, though not a more correct, judgment on things than Confucius or his followers. Antiquity was not so sacred to him, and he did not hesitate to condemn the literati-the orthodox-for several of their doctrines and practices.

Two of his peculiar views are adverted to by Mencius, and vehemently condemned. The one is about the regulation of funerals, where Mo contended that a spare simplicity should be the rules. On that I need not dwell. The other is the doctrine


'史記,七十四卷;孟子荀卿列傳第十四, at the end X7. Bk. III. Pt. I. v.


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