Puslapio vaizdai

a political character, the utterances of Mencius have reference to the condition and needs of his own age. They were for the time then being, and not for all time. He knew as little as Confucius of any other great and independent nation besides his own; and he has left one maxim which is deeply treasured by the rulers and the people of China at the present day, and feeds the supercilious idea which they are so unwilling to give up of their own superiority to foreigners. I have heard,' said he, 'of men using the doctrines of our great land to change barbarians, but I have never yet heard of any being changed by barbarians.' 'I have heard of birds leaving dark valleys to remove to lofty trees, but I have not heard of their descending from lofty trees to enter into dark valleys'.' Mongol and Tartar sway have not broken the charm of this dangerous flattery, because only in warlike energy were the Mongols and Tartars superior to the Chinese, and when they conquered the country they did homage to its sages. During the last five-andtwenty years, Christian Powers have come to ask admission into China, and to claim to be received as her equals. They do not wish to conquer her territory, though they have battered and broken her defences. With fear and trembling their advances are contemplated. The feeling of dislike to them arises from the dread of their power, and suspicion of their faith. It is feared that they come to subdue; it is known that they come to change. The idol of Chinese superiority is about to be broken. Broken it must be ere long, and a new generation of thinkers will arise, to whom Mencius will be a study but not a guide.



The disciples of Mencius were much fewer in number, and of less distinction than those of Confucius. The longest list does not make them amount to twenty-five; and it is only to complete my plan that I devote a page or two here to their names and surnames.

The chief authority in reference to them is Châo Ch'i. In A.D. 115, the then emperor of the Sung dynasty conferred titles on all mentioned by Ch'i as disciples or pupils of Mencius, and enacted

Bk. III. Pt. I. iv. 12, 15.

that they should share in the sacrifices offered to their master in his temple in the district of Tsâu. Chú Hsî gives his verdict in the 'Collected Comments' against two of them, and no subsequent scholar has ventured to restore them to their place in the Mencian school. Other names, however, have been found by different writers to supply their room. It is not worth our while to take notice of their discussions.

1. Yo-chăng Ko, styled Tsze-ão (E,7), a native of Lt. He was titled in 1115 as the 'State-advantaging Marquis' (). Under the present dynasty, in 1724, he had a place assigned him in the temples of Confucius, the 35th on the west, in the outer court, with the common title of 'The Ancient Worthy, the Philosopher Yo-chăng.

2. Wan Chang (). He was titled in 1115 as the Baron of Extensive Arousing' (H). He has now the next place to the preceding in the Confucian temples.

3. Kung-sun Châu (4), a native of Ch'i. He was also elevated to the temple of Confucius, and has now the place, east, corresponding to that of Wan Chang, on the west. His title conferred in 1115 was-Baron of Longevity and Glory' (✯✯ 10).

4. Kung-tâ (4), immediately precedes Kung-sun Châu in the temples. In the temple of Mencius he was the 'Baron of Tranquillity and Shadiness' (11).

The above four are the only disciples of Mencius who have places assigned to them in the temples of Confucius.

5. Chăn Tsin (* Để). 6. Chung Yu (*). 7. Chi-sun (季孫). 8. Tsze-shd_Î (子叔疑).

These two last are held by Chu Hsî not to have been disciples of Mencius.

9. Kao (F). This is to be distinguished from another scholar of the same name, referred to in Bk. VI. Pt. II. iii.

io. Hsu Pi (Ž H). II. Hsien-chia Măng (k É 5).

12. Chăn Tài ( ft). 13. Păng Kăng (J). 14. Ô-lâ Lien (A). 15. Tao Ying (₺).

These fifteen are said by Châo Ch'i to have been disciples of Mencius. The four that follow are said to have studied under him, or to have been his pupils.

15. Mang Chung (F). 17. Kao (F). This Kâo

can hardly be said to have studied under Mencius; he only argued with him. 18. Tăng Kăng, or Kăng of Tăng (k I). (KH). 19. Pănchăng Kwo ( k ta).

These nineteen rest on the authority of Chao Ch'i. Others have added to them—20. Kung-ming Kâo (4). 21. K'wang Chang (f). 22. Chăn Chung () {h). 23. Lí Lâu ( ).


I have thought it would be interesting to many readers to append here the Essays of two distinguished scholars of China on the subject of Human Nature. The one is in direct opposition to Mencius's doctrine; according to the other, his doctrine is insufficient to explain the phenomena. The author of the first, Hsün K'wang ( [al.]), more commonly called Hsün Ching (), was not very much posterior to Mencius. He is said to have borne office both in Ch'î and Ch'û, and to have had at one time Li Sze (*), the prime minister of Shih Hwang-ti, as a pupil. His Works which still remain form a considerable volume. The second essay is from the work of Han Yü, mentioned above, Chap. I. Sect. IV. 4. I shall not occupy any space with criticisms on the style or sentiments of the writers. If the translation appear at times to be inelegant or obscure, the fault is perhaps as much in the original as in myself. A comprehensive and able sketch of The Ethics of the Chinese, with special reference to the Doctrines of Human Nature and Sin,' by the Rev. Griffith John, was read before the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, in November, 1859, and has been published separately. The essays of Hsün and Han are both reviewed in it.

[ocr errors]


The nature of man is evil; the good which it shows is factitious. There belongs to it, even at his birth, the love of gain, and as actions are in accordance with this, contentions and robberies grow up, and self-denial and yielding to others are not to be found; there belong to it envy and dislike, and as actions are in accordance with these, violence and injuries spring up, and self-devotedness and faith are not to be found; there belong to it the desires of the ears and the eyes, leading to the love of sounds and beauty, and as the actions are in accordance with these, lewdness and disorder spring up, and righteousness and propriety, with their various orderly displays, are not to be found. It thus appears, that to follow man's nature and yield obedience to its feelings will assuredly conduct to contentions and robberies, to the violation of the duties belonging to every one's lot, and the confounding of all distinctions, till the issue will be in a state of savagism; and that there must be the influence of teachers and laws, and the guidance of propriety and righteousness, from which will spring self-denial, yielding to others, and an observance of the well-ordered regulations of conduct, till the issue will be a state of good government.-From all this it is plain that the nature of man is evil; the good which it shows is factitious.

To illustrate.-A crooked stick must be submitted to the pressing-frame to soften and bend it, and then it becomes straight; a blunt knife must be submitted to the grindstone and whetstone, and then it becomes sharp: so, the nature of man, being evil, must be submitted to teachers and laws, and then it becomes correct; it must be submitted to propriety and righteousness, and then it comes under government. If men were without teachers and laws, their condition would be one of deflection and insecurity, entirely incorrect; if they were without propriety and righteousness, their condition would be one of rebellious disorder, rejecting all government. The sage kings of antiquity, understanding that the nature of man was thus evil, in a state of hazardous deflection, and incorrect, rebellious and disorderly, and refusing to be governed, set up the principles of righteousness and propriety, and framed laws and regulations to straighten and ornament the feelings of that nature and correct them,



於以之性正正礱枸者之奪理之焉焉之 惡無得厲木

者化禮以禮禮 必也





[blocks in formation]

偏師金 明於將

[blocks in formation]











文 禮有有有






to tame and change those same feelings and guide them, so that they might all go forth in the way of moral government and in agreement with reason. Now, the man who is transformed by teachers and laws, gathers on himself the ornament of learning, and proceeds in the path of propriety and righteousness is a superior man; and he who gives the reins to his nature and its feelings, indulges its resentments, and walks contrary to propriety and righteousness is a mean man. Looking at the subject in this way, we see clearly that the nature of man is evil; the good which it shows is factitious.

Mencius said, ‘Man has only to learn, and his nature appears to be good;' but I reply,-It is not so. To say so shows that he had not attained to the knowledge of man's nature, nor examined into the difference between what is natural in man and what is factitious. The natural is what the constitution spontaneously moves to :-it needs not to be learned, it needs not to be followed hard after; propriety and righteousness are what the sages have given birth to :-it is by learning that men become capable of them, it is by hard practice that they achieve them. That which is in man, not needing to be learned and striven after, is what I call natural; that in man which is attained to by learning, and achieved by hard striving, is what I call factitious. This is the distinction between those two. By the nature of man, the eyes are capable of seeing, and the ears are capable of hearing. But the power of seeing is inseparable from the eyes, and the power of hearing is inseparable from the ears;—it is plain that the faculties of seeing and hearing do not need to be learned. Mencius says, 'The nature of man is good, but all lose and ruin their nature, and therefore it becomes bad;' but I say that this representation is erroneous. Man being born with his nature, when he thereafter departs from its simple constituent elements, he must lose it. From this consideration we may see clearly that man's nature is evil. What might be called the nature's being good, would be if there were no departing from its simplicity to beautify it, no departing from its elementary dispositions to sharpen it. Suppose that those simple elements no more needed beautifying, and the mind's thoughts no more needed to be turned to good, than the power of vision which is inseparable from the eyes, and the power of hearing which is inseparable from the ears, need to be learned, then we might say that the nature is good, just as we say that the eyes see and the ears hear. It is the nature of man, when hungry, to desire to be filled; when cold, to desire to be warmed; when tired, to desire rest :-these are the feelings and nature of man. But now, a man is hungry, and in the presence of an elder he does not dare to eat before him :—he is yielding to that elder; he is tired with labour, and he does not dare to ask for rest :-he is working for some one. A son's yielding to his father and a younger














失是子聽以 而









之性將明可 可而禮之










« AnkstesnisTęsti »