1. Chwang Pâ'o,
seeing Mencius, said to him, 'I had an interview with the king.
His Majesty told me that he loved music, and I was not prepared
with anything to reply to him. What do you pronounce about that
love of music?' Mencius replied, 'If the king's love of music
were very great, the kingdom of Ch'î would be near to a state of
2. Another day,
Mencius, having an interview with the king, said, 'Your Majesty,
I have heard, told the officer Chwang, that you love music;--
was it so?' The king changed colour, and said, 'I am unable to
love the music of the ancient sovereigns; I only love the music
that suits the manners of the present age.'
3. Mencius said,
'If your Majesty's love of music were very great, Ch'î would be
near to a state of good government! The music of the present day
is just like the music of antiquity, as regards effecting that.'
4. The king said,
'May I hear from you the proof of that?' Mencius asked, 'Which
is the more pleasant,-- to enjoy music by yourself alone, or to
enjoy it with others?' 'To enjoy it with others,' was the reply.
'And which is the more pleasant,-- to enjoy music with a few, or
to enjoy it with many?' 'To enjoy it with many.'
proceeded, 'Your servant begs to explain what I have said about
music to your Majesty.
6. 'Now, your
Majesty is having music here.-- The people hear the noise of
your bells and drums, and the notes of your fifes and pipes, and
they all, with aching heads, knit their brows, and say to one
another, "That's how our king likes his music! But why does he
reduce us to this extremity of distress?-- Fathers and sons
cannot see one another. Elder brothers and younger brothers,
wives and children, are separated and scattered abroad." Now,
your Majesty is hunting here.-- The people hear the noise of
your carriages and horses, and see the beauty of your plumes and
streamers, and they all, with aching heads, knit their brows,
and say to one another, "That's how our king likes his hunting!
But why does he reduce us to this extremity of distress?--
Fathers and sons cannot see one another. Elder brothers and
younger brothers, wives and children, are separated and
scattered abroad." Their feeling thus is from no other reason
but that you do not allow the people to have pleasure as well as
7. 'Now, your
Majesty is having music here. The people hear the noise of your
bells and drums, and the notes of your fifes and pipes, and they
all, delighted, and with joyful looks, say to one another, "That
sounds as if our king were free from all sickness! If he were
not, how could he enjoy this music?" Now, your Majesty is
hunting here.-- The people hear the noise of your carriages and
horses, and see the beauty of your plumes and streamers, and
they all, delighted, and with joyful looks, say to one another,
"That looks as if our king were free from all sickness! If he
were not, how could he enjoy this hunting?" Their feeling thus
is from no other reason but that you cause them to have their
pleasure as you have yours.
8. 'If your
Majesty now will make pleasure a thing common to the people and
yourself, the royal sway awaits you.'
1. The king Hsüan
of Ch'î asked, 'Was it so, that the park of king Wan contained
seventy square lî?' Mencius replied, 'It is so in the records.'
2. 'Was it so
large as that?' exclaimed the king. 'The people,' said Mencius,
'still looked on it as small.' The king added, 'My park contains
only forty square lî, and the people still look on it as large.
How is this?' 'The park of king Wan,' was the reply, 'contained
seventy square lî, but the grass-cutters and fuel-gatherers had
the privilege of entrance into it; so also had the catchers of
pheasants and hares. He shared it with the people, and was it
not with reason that they looked on it as small?
3. 'When I first
arrived at the borders of your kingdom, I inquired about the
great prohibitory regulations, before I would venture to enter
it; and I heard, that inside the barrier-gates there was a park
of forty square lî, and that he who killed a deer in it, was
held guilty of the same crime as if he had killed a man.-- Thus
those forty square lî are a pitfall in the middle of the
kingdom. Is it not with reason that the people look upon them as
1. The king Hsüan
of Ch'î asked, saying, 'Is there any way to regulate one's
maintenance of intercourse with neighbouring kingdoms?' Mencius
replied, 'There is. But it requires a perfectly virtuous prince
to be able, with a great country, to serve a small one,-- as,
for instance, T'ang served Ko, and king Wan served the Kwan
barbarians. And it requires a wise prince to be able, with a
small country, to serve a large one,-- as the king T'âi served
the Hsün-yü, and Kâu-ch'ien served Wû.
2. 'He who with a
areat State serves a small one, delights in Heaven. He who with
a small State serves a large one, stands in awe of Heaven. He
who delights in Heaven, will affect with his love and protection
the whole kingdom. He who stands in awe of Heaven, will affect
with his love and protection his own kingdom.
3. 'It is said in
the Book of Poetry, "I fear the Majesty of Heaven, and will thus
preserve its favouring decree."'
4. The king
said,'A great saying! But I have an infirmity;-- I love valour.'
5. I beg your
Majesty,' was the reply, 'not to love small valour. If a man
brandishes his sword, looks fiercely, and says, "How dare he
withstand me?"-- this is the valour of a common man, who can be
the opponent only of a single individual. I beg your Majesty to
6. 'It is said in
the Book of Poetry,
blazed with anger,
And he marshalled his hosts,
To stop the march to Chü,
To consolidate the prosperity of Châu,
To meet the expectations of the nation."
This was the valour of king Wan. King Wan, in one burst of his
anger, gave repose to all the people of the kingdom.
7. 'In the Book of
History it is said, "Heaven having produced the inferior people,
made for them rulers and teachers, with the purpose that they
should be assisting to God, and therefore distinguished them
throughout the four quarters of the land. Whoever are offenders,
and whoever are innocent, here am I to deal with them. How dare
any under heaven give indulgence to their refractory wills?"
There was one man pursuing a violent and disorderly course in
the kingdom, and king Wû was ashamed of it. This was the valour
of king Wû. He also, by one display of his anger, gave repose to
all the people of the kingdom.
8. 'Let now your
Majesty also, in one burst of anger, give repose to all the
people of the kingdom. The people are only afraid that your
Majesty does not love valour.'
1. The king Hsüan
of Ch'î had an interview with Mencius in the Snow palace, and
said to him, 'Do men of talents and worth likewise find pleasure
in these things?' Mencius replied, 'They do; and if people
generally are not able to enjoy themselves, they condemn their
2. 'For them, when
they cannot enjoy themselves, to condemn their superiors is
wrong, but when the superiors of the people do not make
enjoyment a thing common to the people and themselves, they also
3. 'When a ruler
rejoices in the joy of his people, they also rejoice in his joy;
when he grieves at the sorrow of his people, they also grieve at
his sorrow. A sympathy of joy will pervade the kingdom ; a
sympathy of sorrow will do the same:-- in such a state of
things, it cannot be but that the ruler attain to the royal
4. 'Formerly, the
duke Ching of Ch'î asked the minister Yen, saying, "I wish to
pay a visit of inspection to Chwan-fû, and Cbâo-wû, and then to
bend my course southward along the shore, till I come to Lang-yê.
What shall I do that my tour may be fit to be compared with the
visits of inspection made by the ancient sovereigns?"
5. 'The minister
Yen replied, "An excellent inquiry! When the Son of Heaven
visited the princes, it was called a tour of inspection, that
is, be surveyed the States under their care. When the princes
attended at the court of the Son of Heaven, it was called a
report of office, that is, they reported their administration of
their offices. Thus, neither of the proceedings was without a
purpose. And moreover, in the spring they examined the ploughing,
and supplied any deficiency of seed; in the autumn they examined
the reaping, and supplied any deficiency of yield. There is the
saying of the Hsiâ dynasty,-- If our king do not take his
ramble, what will become of our happiness? If our king do not
make his excursion, what will become of our help? That ramble,
and that excursion, were a pattern to the princes.
6. '"Now, the
state of things is different.-- A host marches in attendance on
the ruler, and stores of provisions are consumed. The hungry are
deprived of their food, and there is no rest for those who are
called to toil. Maledictions are uttered by one to another with
eyes askance, and the people proceed to the commission of
wickedness. Thus the royal ordinances are violated, and the
people are oppressed, and the supplies of food and drink flow
away like water. The rulers yield themselves to the current, or
they urge their way against it; they are wild; they are utterly
lost:-- these things proceed to the grief of the inferior
along with the current, and forgetting to return, is what I call
yielding to it. Pressing up against it, and forgetting to
return, is what I call urging their way against it. Pursuing the
chase without satiety is what I call being wild. Delighting in
wine without satiety is what I call being lost.
8. '"The ancient
sovereigns had no pleasures to which they gave themselves as on
the flowing stream; no doings which might be so characterized as
wild and lost.
9. '"It is for
you, my prince, to pursue your course."'
10. 'The duke
Ching was pleased. He issued a proclamation throughout his
State, and went out and occupied a shed in the borders. From
that time he began to open his granaries to supply the wants of
the people, and calling the Grand music-master, he said to him--
"Make for me music to suit a prince and his minister pleased
with each other." And it was then that the Chî-shâo and
Chio-shâo were made, in the words to which it was said, "Is it a
fault to restrain one's prince?" He who restrains his prince
loves his prince.'
1. The king Hsüan
of Ch'î said, 'People all tell me to pull down and remove the
Hall of Distinction. Shall I pull it down, or stop the movement
for that object?'
replied, 'The Hall of Distinction is a Hall appropriate to the
sovereigns. If your Majesty wishes to practise the true royal
government, then do not pull it down.'
3. The king said,
'May I hear from you what the true royal government is?'
'Formerly,' was the reply, 'king Wan's government of Ch'î was as
follows:-- The husbandmen cultivated for the government
one-ninth of the land; the descendants of officers were
salaried; at the passes and in the markets, strangers were
inspected, but goods were not taxed: there were no prohibitions
respecting the ponds and weirs; the wives and children of
criminals were not involved in their guilt. There were the old
and wifeless, or widowers; the old and husbandless, or widows;
the old and childless, or solitaries ; the young and fatherless,
or orphans:-- these four classes are the most destitute of the
people, and have none to whom they can tell their wants, and
king Wan, in the institution of his government with its
benevolent action, made them the first objects of his regard, as
it is said in the Book of Poetry,
"The rich may
get through life well;
But alas! for the miserable and solitary!"'
4. The king said,
'O excellent words!' Mencius said, 'Since your Majesty deems
them excellent, why do you not practise them?' 'I have an
infirmity,' said the king; 'I am fond of wealth.' The reply was,
'Formerly, Kung-lîu was fond of wealth. It is said in the Book
"He reared his
ricks, and filled his granaries,
He tied up dried provisions and grain,
In bottomless bags, and sacks,
That he might gather his people together, and glorify his
With bows and arrows all-displayed,
With shields, and spears, and battle-axes, large and small,
He commenced his march."
In this way those who remained in their old seat had their ricks
and granaries, and those who marched had their bags of
provisions. It was not till after this that he thought he could
begin his march. If your Majesty loves wealth, give the people
power to gratify the same feeling, and what difficulty will
there be in your attaining the royal sway?'
5. The king said,
'I have an infirmity; I am fond of beauty.' The reply was,
'Formerly, king T'âi was fond of beauty, and loved his wife. It
is said in the Book of Poetry,
T'an-fû Came in the morning, galloping his horse, By the
banks of the western waters, As far as the foot of Ch'î
hill, Along with the lady of Chiang; They came and together
chose the site for their settlement."
At that time, in the seclusion of the house, there were no
dissatisfied women, and abroad, there were no unmarried men. If
your Majesty loves beauty, let the people be able to gratify the
same feeling, and what difficulty will there be in your
attaining the royal sway?'
1. Mencius said to
the king Hsüan of Ch'î, 'Suppose that one of your Majesty's
ministers were to entrust his wife and children to the care of
his friend, while he himself went into Ch'û to travel, and that,
on his return, he should find that the friend had let his wife
and children suffer from cold and hunger;-- how ought he to deal
with him?' The king said, 'He should cast him off.'
proceeded, 'Suppose that the chief criminal judge could not
regulate the officers under him, how would you deal with him?'
The king said, 'Dismiss him.'
3. Mencius again
said, 'If within the four borders of your kingdom there is not
good government, what is to be done?' The king looked to the
right and left, and spoke of other matters.