《中庸》(英文版)中國文化核心經典 經部四書類

 

中庸

Zhongyong

The Doctrine of the Mean

 

Introductory

My master, the philosopher Ch'ang, says – "Being without inclination to either side is called CHUNG; admitting of no change is called YUNG. By CHUNG is denoted the correct course to be pursued by all under heaven; by YUNG is denoted the fixed principle regulating all under heaven. This work contains the law of the mind, which was handed down from one to another, in the Confucian school, till Tsze-sze, fearing lest in the course of time errors should arise about it, committed it to writing, and delivered it to Mencius. The Book first speaks of one principle; it next spreads this out, and embraces all things; finally, it returns and gathers them all up under the one principle. Unroll it, and it fills the universe; roll it up, and it retires and lies hid in mysteriousness. The relish of it is inexhaustible. The whole of it is solid learning. When the skillful reader has explored it with delight till he has apprehended it, he may carry it into practice all his life, and will find that it cannot be exhausted."

 

(1)

天命之謂性,率性之謂道,脩道之謂教。

What Heaven has conferred is called THE NATURE; an accordance with this nature is called THE PATH of duty; the regulation of this path is called INSTRUCTION.

道也者,不可須臾離也,可離非道也。是故君子戒慎乎其所不睹,恐懼乎其所不聞。

The path may not be left for an instant. If it could be left, it would not be the path. On this account, the superior man does not wait till he sees things, to be cautious, nor till he hears things, to be apprehensive.

莫見乎隱,莫顯乎微,故君子慎其獨也。

There is nothing more visible than what is secret, and nothing more manifest than what is minute. Therefore the superior man is watchful over himself, when he is alone.

喜怒哀樂之未發,謂之中;發而皆中節,謂之和。中也者,天下之大本也;和也者,天下之達道也。

While there are no stirrings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, the mind may be said to be in the state of EQUILIBRIUM. When those feelings have been stirred, and they act in their due degree, there ensues what may be called the state of HARMONY. This EQUILIBRIUM is the great root from which grow all the human actings in the world, and this HARMONY is the universal path which they all should pursue.

致中和,天地位焉,萬物育焉。

Let the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfection, and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish.

 

右第一章。

子思述所傳之意以立言:首明道之本原出於天而不可易,其實體備於己而不可離,次言存養省察之要,終言聖神功化之極。蓋欲學者於此反求諸身而自得之,以去夫外誘之私,而充其本然之善,楊氏所謂一篇之體要是也。其下十章,蓋子思引夫子之言,以終此章之義。

In the first chapter, which is given above, Tsze-sze states the view which had been handed down to him, as the basis of his discourse. First, it shows clearly how the path of duty is to be traced to its origin in Heaven, and is unchangeable, while the substance of it is provided in ourselves, and may not be departed from. Next, it speaks of the importance of preserving and nourishing this, and of exercising a watchful self-scrutiny with reference to it. Finally, it speaks of the meritorious achievements and transforming influence of sage and spiritual men in their highest extent. The wish of Tsze-sze was that hereby the learner should direct his thoughts inwards, and by searching in himself, there find these truths, so that he might put aside all outward temptations appealing to his selfishness, and fill up the measure of the goodness which is natural to him. This chapter is what the writer Yang called it, – "The sum of the whole work." In the ten chapters which follow, Tsze-sze quotes the words of the Master to complete the meaning of this.

 

(2)

仲尼曰:「君子中庸,小人反中庸。君子之中庸也,君子而時中;小人之中庸也,小人而無忌憚也。」

Chung-nî said, "The superior man embodies the course of the Mean; the mean man acts contrary to the course of the Mean. The superior man's embodying the course of the Mean is because he is a superior man, and so always maintains the Mean. The mean man's acting contrary to the course of the Mean is because he is a mean man, and has no caution."

 

(3)

子曰:「中庸其至矣乎!民鮮能久矣!」

The Master said, "Perfect is the virtue which is according to the Mean! Rare have they long been among the people, who could practice it! "

 

(4)

子曰:「道之不行也,我知之矣,知者過之,愚者不及也;道之不明也,我知之矣,賢者過之,不肖者不及也。人莫不飲食也,鮮能知味也。」

The Master said, "I know how it is that the path of the Mean is not walked in:– The knowing go beyond it, and the stupid do not come up to it. I know how it is that the path of the Mean is not understood:– The men of talents and virtue go beyond it, and the worthless do not come up to it. There is no body but eats and drinks. But they are few who can distinguish flavours."

 

(5)

子曰:「道其不行矣夫!」

The Master said, "Alas! How is the path of the Mean untrodden!"

 

(6)

子曰:「舜其大知也與!舜好問而好察邇言,隱惡而揚善,執其兩端,用其中於民,其斯以為舜乎!」

The Master said, "There was Shun:– He indeed was greatly wise! Shun loved to question others, and to study their words, though they might be shallow. He concealed what was bad in them and displayed what was good. He took hold of their two extremes, determined the Mean, and employed it in his government of the people. It was by this that he was Shun!"

 

(7)

子曰:「人皆曰予知,驅而納諸罟擭陷阱之中,而莫之知辟也。人皆曰予知,擇乎中庸而不能期月守也。」

The Master said "Men all say, 'We are wise;' but being driven forward and taken in a net, a trap, or a pitfall, they know not how to escape. Men all say, 'We are wise;' but happening to choose the course of the Mean, they are not able to keep it for a round month."

 

(8)

子曰:「回之為人也,擇乎中庸,得一善,則拳拳服膺而弗失之矣。」

The Master said "This was the manner of Hûi:– he made choice of the Mean, and whenever he got hold of what was good, he clasped it firmly, as if wearing it on his breast, and did not lose it."

 

(9)

子曰:「天下國家可均也,爵祿可辭也,白刃可蹈也,中庸不可能也。」

The Master said, "The kingdom, its States, and its families, may be perfectly ruled; dignities and emoluments may be declined; naked weapons may be trampled under the feet;– but the course of the Mean cannot be attained to."

 

(10)

子路問強。

Tsze-lû asked about energy.

子曰:「南方之強與?北方之強與?抑而強與?寬柔以教,不報無道,南方之強也,君子居之。衽金革,死而不厭,北方之強也,而強者居之。故君子和而不流,強哉矯!中立而不倚,強哉矯!國有道,不變塞焉,強哉矯!國無道,至死不變,強哉矯!」

The Master said, "Do you mean the energy of the South, the energy of the North, or the energy which you should cultivate yourself? To show forbearance and gentleness in teaching others; and not to revenge unreasonable conduct:– this is the energy of Southern regions, and the good man makes it his study. To lie under arms; and meet death without regret:– this is the energy of Northern regions, and the forceful make it their study. Therefore, the superior man cultivates a friendly harmony, without being weak.– How firm is he in his energy! He stands erect in the middle, without inclining to either side.– How firm is he in his energy! When good principles prevail in the government of his country, he does not change from what he was in retirement.– How firm is he in his energy! When bad principles prevail in the country, he maintains his course to death without changing.– How firm is he in his energy!"

 

(11)

子曰:「素隱行怪,後世有述焉,吾弗為之矣。君子遵道而行,半塗而廢,吾弗能已矣。君子依乎中庸,遯世不見知而不悔,唯聖者能之。」

The Master said, "To live in obscurity, and yet practice wonders, in order to be mentioned with honor in future ages:– this is what I do not do. The good man tries to proceed according to the right path, but when he has gone halfway, he abandons it:– I am not able so to stop. The superior man accords with the course of the Mean. Though he may be all unknown, unregarded by the world, he feels no regret.– It is only the sage who is able for this."

 

(12)

君子之道費而隱。

The way which the superior man pursues, reaches wide and far, and yet is secret.

夫婦之愚,可以與知焉,及其至也,雖聖人亦有所不知焉;夫婦之不肖,可以能行焉,及其至也,雖聖人亦有所不能焉。天地之大也,人猶有所憾。故君子語大,天下莫能載焉;語小,天下莫能破焉。

Common men and women, however ignorant, may intermeddle with the knowledge of it; yet in its utmost reaches, there is that which even the sage does not know. Common men and women, however much below the ordinary standard of character, can carry it into practice; yet in its utmost reaches, there is that which even the sage is not able to carry into practice. Great as heaven and earth are, men still find some things in them with which to be dissatisfied. Thus it is that, were the superior man to speak of his way in all its greatness, nothing in the world would be found able to embrace it, and were he to speak of it in its minuteness, nothing in the world would be found able to split it.

《詩》云:「鳶飛戾天,魚躍于淵。」言其上下察也。

It is said in the Book of Poetry, "The hawk flies up to heaven; the fishes leap in the deep." This expresses how this way is seen above and below.

君子之道,造端乎夫婦;及其至也,察乎天地。

The way of the superior man may be found, in its simple elements, in the intercourse of common men and women; but in its utmost reaches, it shines brightly through heaven and earth.

 

右第十二章。子思之言,蓋以申明首章道不可離之意也。其下八章,雜引孔子之言以明之。

The twelfth chapter above contains the words of Tsze-sze, and is designed to illustrate what is said in the first chapter, that "The path may not be left." In the eight chapters which follow, he quotes, in a miscellaneous way, the words of confucius to illustrate it.

 

(13)

子曰:「道不遠人。人之為道而遠人,不可以為道。

The Master said "The path is not far from man. When men try to pursue a course, which is far from the common indications of consciousness, this course cannot be considered THE PATH.

「《詩》云:『伐柯伐柯,其則不遠。』執柯以伐柯,睨而視之,猶以為遠。故君子以人治人,改而止。

"In the Book of Poetry, it is said, 'In hewing an ax-handle, in hewing an ax-handle, the pattern is not far off.' We grasp one ax handle to hew the other; and yet, if we look askance from the one to the other, we may consider them as apart. Therefore, the superior man governs men, according to their nature, with what is proper to them, and as soon as they change what is wrong, he stops.

「忠恕違道不遠,施諸己而不願,亦勿施於人。

"When one cultivates to the utmost the principles of his nature, and exercises them on the principle of reciprocity, he is not far from the path. What you do not like when done to yourself, do not do to others.

「君子之道四,丘未能一焉:所求乎子,以事父未能也;所求乎臣,以事君未能也;所求乎弟,以事兄未能也;所求乎朋友,先施之未能也。庸德之行,庸言之謹,有所不足,不敢不勉,有餘不敢盡;言顧行,行顧言,君子胡不慥慥爾!」

"In the way of the superior man there are four things, to not one of which have I as yet attained.– To serve my father, as I would require my son to serve me: to this I have not attained; to serve my prince, as I would require my minister to serve me: to this I have not attained; to serve my elder brother, as I would require my younger brother to serve me: to this I have not attained; to set the example in behaving to a friend, as I would require him to behave to me: to this I have not attained. Earnest in practicing the ordinary virtues, and careful in speaking about them, if, in his practice, he has anything defective, the superior man dares not but exert himself; and if, in his words, he has any excess, he dares not allow himself such license. Thus his words have respect to his actions, and his actions have respect to his words; is it not just an entire sincerity which marks the superior man?"

 

(14)

君子素其位而行,不願乎其外。

The superior man does what is proper to the station in which he is; he does not desire to go beyond this.

素富貴,行乎富貴;素貧賤,行乎貧賤;素夷狄,行乎夷狄;素患難,行乎患難;君子無入而不自得焉。

In a position of wealth and honor, he does what is proper to a position of wealth and honor. In a poor and low position, he does what is proper to a poor and low position. Situated among barbarous tribes, he does what is proper to a situation among barbarous tribes. In a position of sorrow and difficulty, he does what is proper to a position of sorrow and difficulty. The superior man can find himself in no situation in which he is not himself.

在上位不陵下,在下位不援上,正己而不求於人則無怨。上不怨天,下不尤人。

In a high situation, he does not treat with contempt his inferiors. In a low situation, he does not court the favor of his superiors. He rectifies himself, and seeks for nothing from others, so that he has no dissatisfactions. He does not murmur against Heaven, nor grumble against men.

故君子居易以俟命,小人行險以徼幸。

Thus it is that the superior man is quiet and calm, waiting for the appointments of Heaven, while the mean man walks in dangerous paths, looking for lucky occurrences.

子曰:「射有似乎君子;失諸正鵠,反求諸其身。」

The Master said, "In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself."

 

(15)

君子之道,辟如行遠必自邇,辟如登高必自卑。

The way of the superior man may be compared to what takes place in traveling, when to go to a distance we must first traverse the space that is near, and in ascending a height, when we must begin from the lower ground.

《詩》曰:「妻子好合,如鼓瑟琴;兄弟既翕,和樂且耽;宜爾室家;樂爾妻帑。」

It is said in the Book of Poetry, "Happy union with wife and children is like the music of lutes and harps. When there is concord among brethren, the harmony is delightful and enduring. Thus may you regulate your family, and enjoy the pleasure of your wife and children."

子曰:「父母其順矣乎!」

The Master said, "In such a state of things, parents have entire complacence!"

 

(16)

子曰:「鬼神之為德,其盛矣乎!

The Master said, "How abundantly do spiritual beings display the powers that belong to them!

視之而弗見,聽之而弗聞,體物而不可遺。

"We look for them, but do not see them; we listen to, but do not hear them; yet they enter into all things, and there is nothing without them.

使天下之人齊明盛服,以承祭祀。洋洋乎!如在其上,如在其左右。

"They cause all the people in the kingdom to fast and purify themselves, and array themselves in their richest dresses, in order to attend at their sacrifices. Then, like overflowing water, they seem to be over the heads, and on the right and left of their worshippers.

《詩》曰:『神之格思,不可度思!矧可射思!』夫微之顯,誠之不可揜如此夫。」

"It is said in the Book of Poetry, 'The approaches of the spirits, you cannot surmise;– and can you treat them with indifference?' Such is the manifestness of what is minute! Such is the impossibility of repressing the outgoings of sincerity!"

 

(17)

子曰:「舜其大孝也與!德為聖人,尊為天子,富有四海之內。宗廟饗之,子孫保之。

The Master said, "How greatly filial was Shun! His virtue was that of a sage; his dignity was the throne; his riches were all within the four seas. He offered his sacrifices in his ancestral temple, and his descendants preserved the sacrifices to himself.

故大德必得其位,必得其祿,必得其名,必得其壽。

"Therefore having such great virtue, it could not but be that he should obtain the throne, that he should obtain those riches, that he should obtain his fame, that he should attain to his long life.

故天之生物,必因其材而篤焉。故栽者培之,傾者覆之,

"Thus it is that Heaven, in the production of things, is sure to be bountiful to them, according to their qualities. Hence the tree that is flourishing, it nourishes, while that which is ready to fall, it overthrows.

《詩》曰:『嘉樂君子,憲憲令德!宜民宜人;受祿于天;保佑命之,自天申之!』

"In the Book of Poetry, it is said, 'The admirable, amiable prince displayed conspicuously his excelling virtue, adjusting his people, and adjusting his officers. Therefore, he received from Heaven his emoluments of dignity. It protected him, assisted him, decreed him the throne; sending from Heaven these favors, as it were repeatedly.'

故大德者必受命。」

"We may say therefore that he who is greatly virtuous will be sure to receive the appointment of Heaven."

 

(18)

子曰:「無憂者其惟文王乎!以王季為父,以武王為子,父作之,子述之。

The Master said, "It is only king Wan of whom it can be said that he had no cause for grief! His father was king Chî, and his son was king Wû. His father laid the foundations of his dignity, and his son transmitted it.

武王纘大王、王季、文王之緒。壹戎衣而有天下,身不失天下之顯名。尊為天子,富有四海之內。宗廟饗之,子孫保之。

"King Wû continued the enterprise of king T'âi, king Chî, and king Wan. He once buckled on his armor, and got possession of the kingdom. He did not lose the distinguished personal reputation which he had throughout the kingdom. His dignity was the royal throne. His riches were the possession of all within the four seas. He offered his sacrifices in his ancestral temple, and his descendants maintained the sacrifices to himself.

武王末受命,周公成文武之德,追王大王、王季,上祀先公以天子之禮。斯禮也,達乎諸侯大夫,及士庶人。父為大夫,子為士;葬以大夫,祭以士。父為士,子為大夫;葬以士,祭以大夫。期之喪達乎大夫,三年之喪達乎天子,父母之喪無貴賤一也。」

"It was in his old age that king Wû received the appointment to the throne, and the duke of Châu completed the virtuous course of Wan and Wû. He carried up the title of king to T'âi and Chî, and sacrificed to all the former dukes above them with the royal ceremonies. And this rule he extended to the princes of the kingdom, the great officers, the scholars, and the common people. If the father were a great officer and the son a scholar, then the burial was that due to a great officer, and the sacrifice that due to a scholar. If the father were a scholar and the son a great officer, then the burial was that due to a scholar, and the sacrifice that due to a great officer. The one year's mourning was made to extend only to the great officers, but the three years' mourning extended to the Son of Heaven. In the mourning for a father or mother, he allowed no difference between the noble and the mean.

 

(19)

子曰:「武王、周公,其達孝矣乎!

The Master said, "How far-extending was the filial piety of king Wû and the duke of Châu!

夫孝者:善繼人之志,善述人之事者也。

"Now filial piety is seen in the skillful carrying out of the wishes of our forefathers, and the skillful carrying forward of their undertakings.

春秋脩其祖廟,陳其宗器,設其裳衣,薦其時食。

"In spring and autumn, they repaired and beautified the temple halls of their fathers, set forth their ancestral vessels, displayed their various robes, and presented the offerings of the several seasons.

宗廟之禮,所以序昭穆也;序爵,所以辨貴賤也;序事,所以辨賢也;旅酬下為上,所以逮賤也;燕毛,所以序齒也。

"By means of the ceremonies of the ancestral temple, they distinguished the royal kindred according to their order of descent. By ordering the parties present according to their rank, they distinguished the more noble and the less. By the arrangement of the services, they made a distinction of talents and worth. In the ceremony of general pledging, the inferiors presented the cup to their superiors, and thus something was given the lowest to do. At the concluding feast, places were given according to the hair, and thus was made the distinction of years.

踐其位,行其禮,奏其樂,敬其所尊,愛其所親,事死如事生,事亡如事存,孝之至也。

"They occupied the places of their forefathers, practiced their ceremonies, and performed their music. They reverenced those whom they honored, and loved those whom they regarded with affection. Thus they served the dead as they would have served them alive; they served the departed as they would have served them had they been continued among them.

郊社之禮,所以事上帝也,宗廟之禮,所以祀乎其先也。明乎郊社之禮、禘嘗之義,治國其如示諸掌乎。」

"By the ceremonies of the sacrifices to Heaven and Earth they served God, and by the ceremonies of the ancestral temple they sacrificed to their ancestors. He who understands the ceremonies of the sacrifices to Heaven and Earth, and the meaning of the several sacrifices to ancestors, would find the government of a kingdom as easy as to look into his palm!"

 

(20)

哀公問政。

The duke Âi asked about government.

子曰:「文武之政,布在方策。其人存,則其政舉;其人亡,則其政息。

The Master said, "The government of Wan and Wû is displayed in the records,– the tablets of wood and bamboo. Let there be the men and the government will flourish; but without the men, their government decays and ceases.

人道敏政,地道敏樹。夫政也者,蒲盧也。

"With the right men the growth of government is rapid, just as vegetation is rapid in the earth; and, moreover, their government might be called an easily-growing rush.

故為政在人,取人以身,脩身以道,脩道以仁。

"Therefore the administration of government lies in getting proper men. Such men are to be got by means of the ruler's own character. That character is to be cultivated by his treading in the ways of duty. And the treading those ways of duty is to be cultivated by the cherishing of benevolence.

仁者人也,親親為大;義者宜也,尊賢為大;親親之殺,尊賢之等,禮所生也。

"Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity, and the great exercise of it is in loving relatives. Righteousness is the accordance of actions with what is right, and the great exercise of it is in honoring the worthy. The decreasing measures of the love due to relatives, and the steps in the honor due to the worthy, are produced by the principle of propriety.

在下位不獲乎上,民不可得而治矣!

"When those in inferior situations do not possess the confidence of their superiors, they cannot retain the government of the people.

故君子不可以不脩身;思脩身,不可以不事親;思事親,不可以不知人;思知人,不可以不知天。」

"Hence the sovereign may not neglect the cultivation of his own character. Wishing to cultivate his character, he may not neglect to serve his parents. In order to serve his parents, he may not neglect to acquire knowledge of men. In order to know men, he may not dispense with a knowledge of Heaven.

天下之達道五,所以行之者三:曰君臣也,父子也,夫婦也,昆弟也,朋友之交也:五者天下之達道也。知、仁、勇三者,天下之達德也,所以行之者一也。

"The duties of universal obligation are five, and the virtues wherewith they are practiced are three. The duties are those between sovereign and minister, between father and son, between husband and wife, between elder brother and younger, and those belonging to the intercourse of friends. Those five are the duties of universal obligation. Knowledge, magnanimity, and energy, these three, are the virtues universally binding. And the means by which they carry the duties into practice is singleness.

或生而知之,或學而知之,或困而知之,及其知之一也;或安而行之,或利而行之,或勉強而行之,及其成功,一也。

"Some are born with the knowledge of those duties; some know them by study; and some acquire the knowledge after a painful feeling of their ignorance. But the knowledge being possessed, it comes to the same thing. Some practice them with a natural ease; some from a desire for their advantages; and some by strenuous effort. But the achievement being made, it comes to the same thing."

子曰:「好學近乎知,力行近乎仁,知恥近乎勇。知斯三者,則知所以脩身;知所以脩身,則知所以治人;知所以治人,則知所以治天下國家矣。」

The Master said, "To be fond of learning is to be near to knowledge. To practice with vigor is to be near to magnanimity. To possess the feeling of shame is to be near to energy. He who knows these three things knows how to cultivate his own character. Knowing how to cultivate his own character, he knows how to govern other men. Knowing how to govern other men, he knows how to govern the kingdom with all its states and families. "

凡為天下國家有九經,曰:脩身也,尊賢也,親親也,敬大臣也,體群臣也,子庶民也,來百工也,柔遠人也,懷諸侯也。

"All who have the government of the kingdom with its States and families have nine standard rules to follow;– viz. the cultivation of their own characters; the honoring of men of virtue and talents; affection towards their relatives; respect towards the great ministers; kind and considerate treatment of the whole body of officers; dealing with the mass of the people as children; encouraging the resort of all classes of artisans; indulgent treatment of men from a distance; and the kindly cherishing of the princes of the States.

脩身則道立,尊賢則不惑,親親則諸父昆弟不怨,敬大臣則不眩,體群臣則士之報禮重,子庶民則百姓勸,來百工則財用足,柔遠人則四方歸之,懷諸侯則天下畏之。

"By the ruler's cultivation of his own character, the duties of universal obligation are set forth. By honoring men of virtue and talents, he is preserved from errors of judgment. By showing affection to his relatives, there is no grumbling nor resentment among his uncles and brethren. By respecting the great ministers, he is kept from errors in the practice of government. By kind and considerate treatment of the whole body of officers, they are led to make the most grateful return for his courtesies. By dealing with the mass of the people as his children, they are led to exhort one another to what is good. By encouraging the resort of all classes of artisans, his resources for expenditure are rendered ample. By indulgent treatment of men from a distance, they are brought to resort to him from all quarters. And by kindly cherishing the princes of the states, the whole kingdom is brought to revere him.

齊明盛服,非禮不動,所以脩身也;去讒遠色,賤貨而貴德,所以勸賢也;尊其位,重其祿,同其好惡,所以勸親親也;官盛任使,所以勸大臣也;忠信重祿,所以勸士也;時使薄斂,所以勸百姓也;日省月試,既稟稱事,所以勸百工也;送往迎來,嘉善而矜不能,所以柔遠人也;繼絕世,舉廢國,治亂持危,朝聘以時,厚往而薄來,所以懷諸侯也。

"Self-adjustment and purification, with careful regulation of his dress, and the not making a movement contrary to the rules of propriety:– this is the way for a ruler to cultivate his person. Discarding slanderers, and keeping himself from the seductions of beauty; making light of riches, and giving honor to virtue:– this is the way for him to encourage men of worth and talents. Giving them places of honor and large emolument. and sharing with them in their likes and dislikes:– this is the way for him to encourage his relatives to love him. Giving them numerous officers to discharge their orders and commissions:– this is the way for him to encourage the great ministers. According to them a generous confidence, and making their emoluments large:– this is the way to encourage the body of officers. Employing them only at the proper times, and making the imposts light:– this is the way to encourage the people. By daily examinations and monthly trials, and by making their rations in accordance with their labors:– this is the way to encourage the classes of artisans. To escort them on their departure and meet them on their coming; to commend the good among them, and show compassion to the incompetent:– this is the way to treat indulgently men from a distance. To restore families whose line of succession has been broken, and to revive states that have been extinguished; to reduce to order States that are in confusion, and support those which are in peril; to have fixed times for their own reception at court, and the reception of their envoys; to send them away after liberal treatment, and welcome their coming with small contributions:– this is the way to cherish the princes of the States.

凡為天下國家有九經,所以行之者,一也。

"All who have the government of the kingdom with its States and families have the above nine standard rules. And the means by which they are carried into practice is singleness.

凡事豫則立,不豫則廢。言前定則不跲,事前定則不困,行前定則不疚,道前定則不窮。

"In all things success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure. If what is to be spoken be previously determined, there will be no stumbling. If affairs be previously determined, there will be no difficulty with them. If one's actions have been previously determined, there will be no sorrow in connection with them. If principles of conduct have been previously determined, the practice of them will be inexhaustible.

在下位不獲乎上,民不可得而治矣;獲乎上有道:不信乎朋友,不獲乎上矣;信乎朋友有道:不順乎親,不信乎朋友矣;順乎親有道:反諸身不誠,不順乎親矣;誠身有道:不明乎善,不誠乎身矣。

"When those in inferior situations do not obtain the confidence of the sovereign, they cannot succeed in governing the people. There is a way to obtain the confidence of the sovereign;– if one is not trusted by his friends, he will not get the confidence of his sovereign. There is a way to being trusted by one's friends;– if one is not obedient to his parents, he will not be true to friends. There is a way to being obedient to one's parents;– if one, on turning his thoughts in upon himself, finds a want of sincerity, he will not be obedient to his parents. There is a way to the attainment of sincerity in one's self;– if a man do not understand what is good, he will not attain sincerity in himself.

誠者,天之道也;誠之者,人之道也。誠者不勉而中,不思而得,從容中道,聖人也。誠之者,擇善而固執之者也。

"Sincerity is the way of Heaven. The attainment of sincerity is the way of men. He who possesses sincerity is he who, without an effort, hits what is right, and apprehends, without the exercise of thought;– he is the sage who naturally and easily embodies the right way. He who attains to sincerity is he who chooses what is good, and firmly holds it fast.

博學之,審問之,慎思之,明辨之,篤行之。

"To this attainment there are requisite the extensive study of what is good, accurate inquiry about it, careful reflection on it, the clear discrimination of it, and the earnest practice of it.

有弗學,學之弗能弗措也;有弗問,問之弗知弗措也;有弗思,思之弗得弗措也;有弗辨,辨之弗明弗措也;有弗行,行之弗篤弗措也;人一能之己百之,人十能之己千之。

"The superior man, while there is anything he has not studied, or while in what he has studied there is anything he cannot understand, Will not intermit his labor. While there is anything he has not inquired about, or anything in what he has inquired about which he does not know, he will not intermit his labor. While there is anything which he has not reflected on, or anything in what he has reflected on which he does not apprehend, he will not intermit his labor. While there is anything which he has not discriminated or his discrimination is not clear, he will not intermit his labor. If there be anything which he has not practiced, or his practice fails in earnestness, he will not intermit his labor. If another man succeed by one effort, he will use a hundred efforts. If another man succeed by ten efforts, he will use a thousand.

果能此道矣,雖愚必明,雖柔必強。

"Let a man proceed in this way, and, though dull, he will surely become intelligent; though weak, he will surely become strong."

 

(21)

自誠明,謂之性;自明誠,謂之教。誠則明矣,明則誠矣。

When we have intelligence resulting from sincerity, this condition is to be ascribed to nature; when we have sincerity resulting from intelligence, this condition is to be ascribed to instruction. But given the sincerity, and there shall be the intelligence; given the intelligence, and there shall be the sincerity.

右第二十一章。子思承上章夫子天道、人道之意而立言也。自此以下十二章,皆子思之言,以反覆推明此章之意。

The above is the twenty-first chapter. Tsze-sze takes up in it, and discourses the subject of "the way of Heaven" and "the way of men," mentioned in the preceding chapter. The twelve chapters that follow are all from Tsze-sze, repeating and illustrating the meaning of this one.

 

(22)

唯天下至誠,為能盡其性;能盡其性,則能盡人之性;能盡人之性,則能盡物之性;能盡物之性,則可以贊天地之化育;可以贊天地之化育,則可以與天地參矣。

It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can give its fun development to his nature. Able to give its full development to his own nature, he can do the same to the nature of other men. Able to give its full development to the nature of other men, he can give their full development to the natures of animals and things. Able to give their full development to the natures of creatures and things, he can assist the transforming and nourishing powers of Heaven and Earth. Able to assist the transforming and nourishing powers of Heaven and Earth, he may with Heaven and Earth form a ternion.

 

(23)

其次致曲,曲能有誠,誠則形,形則著,著則明,明則動,動則變,變則化,唯天下至誠為能化。

Next to the above is he who cultivates to the utmost the shoots of goodness in him. From those he can attain to the possession of sincerity. This sincerity becomes apparent. From being apparent, it becomes manifest. From being manifest, it becomes brilliant. Brilliant, it affects others. Affecting others, they are changed by it. Changed by it, they are transformed. It is only he who is possessed of the most complete sincerity that can exist under heaven, who can transform.

 

(24)

至誠之道,可以前知。國家將興,必有禎祥;國家將亡,必有妖孽;見乎蓍龜,動乎四體。禍福將至:善,必先知之;不善,必先知之。故至誠如神。

It is characteristic of the most entire sincerity to be able to foreknow. When a nation or family is about to flourish, there are sure to be happy omens; and when it is about to perish, there are sure to be unlucky omens. Such events are seen in the milfoil and tortoise, and affect the movements of the four limbs. When calamity or happiness is about to come, the good shall certainly be foreknown by him, and the evil also. Therefore the individual possessed of the most complete sincerity is like a spirit.

 

(25)

誠者自成也,而道自道也。

Sincerity is that whereby self-completion is effected, and its way is that by which man must direct himself.

誠者物之終始,不誠無物。是故君子誠之為貴。

Sincerity is the end and beginning of things; without sincerity there would be nothing. On this account, the superior man regards the attainment of sincerity as the most excellent thing.

誠者非自成己而已也,所以成物也。成己,仁也;成物,知也。性之德也,合外內之道也,故時措之宜也。

The possessor of sincerity does not merely accomplish the self-completion of himself. With this quality he completes other men and things also. The completing himself shows his perfect virtue. The completing other men and things shows his knowledge. Both these are virtues belonging to the nature, and this is the way by which a union is effected of the external and internal. Therefore, whenever he –the entirely sincere man– employs them,–that is, these virtues,– their action will be right.

 

(26)

故至誠無息。

Hence to entire sincerity there belongs ceaselessness.

不息則久,久則徵,

Not ceasing, it continues long. Continuing long, it evidences itself.

徵則悠遠,悠遠則博厚,博厚則高明。

Evidencing itself, it reaches far. Reaching far, it becomes large and substantial. Large and substantial, it becomes high and brilliant.

博厚,所以載物也;高明,所以覆物也;悠久,所以成物也。

Large and substantial;– this is how it contains all things. High and brilliant;– this is how it overspreads all things. Reaching far and continuing long;– this is how it perfects all things.

博厚配地,高明配天,悠久無疆。

So large and substantial, the individual possessing it is the co-equal of Earth. So high and brilliant, it makes him the co-equal of Heaven. So far-reaching and long-continuing, it makes him infinite.

如此者,不見而章,不動而變,無為而成。

Such being its nature, without any display, it becomes manifested; without any movement, it produces changes; and without any effort, it accomplishes its ends.

天地之道,可一言而盡也:其為物不貳,則其生物不測。

The way of Heaven and Earth may be completely declared in one sentence.– They are without any doubleness, and so they produce things in a manner that is unfathomable.

天地之道:博也,厚也,高也,明也,悠也,久也。

The way of Heaven and Earth is large and substantial, high and brilliant, far-reaching and long-enduring.

今夫天,斯昭昭之多,及其無窮也,日月星辰繫焉,萬物覆焉。今夫地,一撮土之多,及其廣厚,載華嶽而不重,振河海而不洩,萬物載焉。今夫山,一卷石之多,及其廣大,草木生之,禽獸居之,寶藏興焉。今夫水,一勺之多,及其不測,黿鼉、蛟龍、魚鱉生焉,貨財殖焉。

The Heaven now before us is only this bright shining spot; but when viewed in its inexhaustible extent, the sun, moon, stars, and constellations of the zodiac, are suspended in it, and all things are overspread by it. The earth before us is but a handful of soil; but when regarded in its breadth and thickness, it sustains mountains like the Hwâ and the Yo, without feeling their weight, and contains the rivers and seas, without their leaking away. The mountain now before us appears only a stone; but when contemplated in all the vastness of its size, we see how the grass and trees are produced on it, and birds and beasts dwell on it, and precious things which men treasure up are found on it. The water now before us appears but a ladleful; yet extending our view to its unfathomable depths, the largest tortoises, iguanas, iguanodons, dragons, fishes, and turtles, are produced in it, articles of value and sources of wealth abound in it.

《詩》云:「維天之命,於穆不已!」蓋曰天之所以為天也。「於乎不顯!文王之德之純!」蓋曰文王之所以為文也,純亦不已。

It is said in the Book of Poetry, "The ordinances of Heaven, how profound are they and unceasing!" The meaning is, that it is thus that Heaven is Heaven. And again, "How illustrious was it, the singleness of the virtue of king Wan!" indicating that it was thus that king Wan was what he was. Singleness likewise is unceasing.

 

(27)

大哉聖人之道!洋洋乎!發育萬物,峻極于天。優優大哉!禮儀三百,威儀三千。待其人而後行。故曰苟不至德,至道不凝焉。

How great is the path proper to the Sage! Like overflowing water, it sends forth and nourishes all things, and rises up to the height of heaven. All-complete is its greatness! It embraces the three hundred rules of ceremony, and the three thousand rules of demeanor. It waits for the proper man, and then it is trodden. Hence it is said, "Only by perfect virtue can the perfect path, in all its courses, be made a fact."

故君子尊德性而道問學,致廣大而盡精微,極高明而道中庸。溫故而知新,敦厚以崇禮。

Therefore, the superior man honors his virtuous nature, and maintains constant inquiry and study, seeking to carry it out to its breadth and greatness, so as to omit none of the more exquisite and minute points which it embraces, and to raise it to its greatest height and brilliancy, so as to pursue the course of the Mean. He cherishes his old knowledge, and is continually acquiring new. He exerts an honest, generous earnestness, in the esteem and practice of all propriety.

是故居上不驕,為下不倍,國有道其言足以興,國無道其默足以容。《詩》曰「既明且哲,以保其身」,其此之謂與!

Thus, when occupying a high situation he is not proud, and in a low situation he is not insubordinate. When the kingdom is well governed, he is sure by his words to rise; and when it is ill governed, he is sure by his silence to command forbearance to himself. Is not this what we find in the Book of Poetry,– "Intelligent is he and prudent, and so preserves his person?"

 

(28)

子曰:「愚而好自用,賤而好自專,生乎今之世,反古之道。如此者,災及其身者也。」

The Master said, "Let a man who is ignorant be fond of using his own judgment; let a man without rank be fond of assuming a directing power to himself; let a man who is living in the present age go back to the ways of antiquity;– on the persons of all who act thus calamities will be sure to come."

非天子,不議禮,不制度,不考文。

To no one but the Son of Heaven does it belong to order ceremonies, to fix the measures, and to determine the written characters.

今天下車同軌,書同文,行同倫。

Now over the kingdom, carriages have all wheels, of the-same size; all writing is with the same characters; and for conduct there are the same rules.

雖有其位,苟無其德,不敢作禮樂焉;雖有其德,苟無其位,亦不敢作禮樂焉。

One may occupy the throne, but if he have not the proper virtue, he may not dare to make ceremonies or music. One may have the virtue, but if he do not occupy the throne, he may not presume to make ceremonies or music.

子曰:「吾說夏禮,杞不足徵也;吾學殷禮,有宋存焉;吾學周禮,今用之,吾從周。」

The Master said, "I may describe the ceremonies of the Hsiâ dynasty, but Chî cannot sufficiently attest my words. I have learned the ceremonies of the Yin dynasty, and in Sung they still continue. I have learned the ceremonies of Châu, which are now used, and I follow Châu."

 

(29)

王天下有三重焉,其寡過矣乎!

He who attains to the sovereignty of the kingdom, having those three important things, shall be able to effect that there shall be few errors under his government.

上焉者雖善無徵,無徵不信,不信民弗從;下焉者雖善不尊,不尊不信,不信民弗從。

However excellent may have been the regulations of those of former times, they cannot be attested. Not being attested, they cannot command credence, and not being credited, the people would not follow them. However excellent might be the regulations made by one in an inferior situation, he is not in a position to be honored. Unhonored, he cannot command credence, and not being credited, the people would not follow his rules.

故君子之道:本諸身,徵諸庶民,考諸三王而不繆,建諸天地而不悖,質諸鬼神而無疑,百世以俟聖人而不惑。

Therefore the institutions of the Ruler are rooted in his own character and conduct, and sufficient attestation of them is given by the masses of the people. He examines them by comparison with those of the three kings, and finds them without mistake. He sets them up before Heaven and Earth, and finds nothing in them contrary to their mode of operation. He presents himself with them before spiritual beings, and no doubts about them arise. He is prepared to wait for the rise of a sage a hundred ages after, and has no misgivings.

質諸鬼神而無疑,知天也;百世以俟聖人而不惑,知人也。

His presenting himself with his institutions before spiritual beings, without any doubts arising about them, shows that he knows Heaven. His being prepared, without any misgivings, to wait for the rise of a sage a hundred ages after, shows that he knows men.

是故君子動而世為天下道,行而世為天下法,言而世為天下則。遠之則有望,近之則不厭。

Such being the case, the movements of such a ruler, illustrating his institutions, constitute an example to the world for ages. His acts are for ages a law to the kingdom. His words are for ages a lesson to the kingdom. Those who are far from him, look longingly for him; and those who are near him, are never wearied with him.

《詩》曰:「在彼無惡,在此無射;庶幾夙夜,以永終譽!」君子未有不如此而蚤有譽於天下者也。

It is said in the Book of Poetry,– "Not disliked there, not tired of here, from day to day and night to night, will they perpetuate their praise." Never has there been a ruler, who did not realize this description, that obtained an early renown throughout the kingdom.

 

(30)

仲尼祖述堯舜,憲章文武;上律天時,下襲水土。

Chung-nî handed down the doctrines of Yâo and Shun, as if they had been his ancestors, and elegantly displayed the regulations of Wan and Wû, taking them as his model. Above, he harmonized with the times of Heaven, and below, he was conformed to the water and land.

辟如天地之無不持載,無不覆幬,辟如四時之錯行,如日月之代明。

He may be compared to Heaven and Earth in their supporting and containing, their overshadowing and curtaining, all things. He may be compared to the four seasons in their alternating progress, and to the sun and moon in their successive shining.

萬物並育而不相害,道並行而不相悖,小德川流,大德敦化,此天地之所以為大也。

All things are nourished together without their injuring one another. The courses of the seasons, and of the sun and moon, are pursued without any collision among them. The smaller energies are like river currents; the greater energies are seen in mighty transformations. It is this which makes heaven and earth so great.

 

(31)

唯天下至聖,為能聰明睿知,足以有臨也;寬裕溫柔,足以有容也;發強剛毅,足以有執也;齊莊中正,足以有敬也;文理密察,足以有別也。

It is only he, possessed of all sagely qualities that can exist under heaven, who shows himself quick in apprehension, clear in discernment, of far-reaching intelligence, and all-embracing knowledge, fitted to exercise rule; magnanimous, generous, benign, and mild, fitted to exercise forbearance; impulsive, energetic, firm, and enduring, fitted to maintain a firm hold; self-adjusted, grave, never swerving from the Mean, and correct, fitted to command reverence; accomplished, distinctive, concentrative, and searching, fitted to exercise discrimination.

溥博淵泉,而時出之。

All-embracing is he and vast, deep and active as a fountain, sending forth in their due season his virtues.

溥博如天,淵泉如淵。見而民莫不敬,言而民莫不信,行而民莫不說。

All-embracing and vast, he is like Heaven. Deep and active as a fountain, he is like the abyss. He is seen, and the people all reverence him; he speaks, and the people all believe him; he acts, and the people all are pleased with him.

是以聲名洋溢乎中國,施及蠻貊;舟車所至,人力所通;天之所覆,地之所載,日月所照,霜露所隊;凡有血氣者,莫不尊親,故曰配天。

Therefore his fame overspreads the Middle Kingdom, and extends to all barbarous tribes. Wherever ships and carriages reach; wherever the strength of man penetrates; wherever the heavens overshadow and the earth sustains; wherever the sun and moon shine; wherever frosts and dews fall:– all who have blood and breath unfeignedly honor and love him. Hence it is said,– "He is the equal of Heaven."

 

(32)

唯天下至誠,為能經綸天下之大經,立天下之大本,知天地之化育。夫焉有所倚?

It is only the individual possessed of the most entire sincerity that can exist under Heaven, who can adjust the great invariable relations of mankind, establish the great fundamental virtues of humanity, and know the transforming and nurturing operations of Heaven and Earth;– shall this individual have any being or anything beyond himself on which he depends?

肫肫其仁!淵淵其淵!浩浩其天!

Call him man in his ideal, how earnest is he! Call him an abyss, how deep is he! Call him Heaven, how vast is he!

苟不固聰明聖知達天德者,其孰能知之?

Who can know him, but he who is indeed quick in apprehension, clear in discernment, of far-reaching intelligence, and all-embracing knowledge, possessing all Heavenly virtue?

 

(33)

《詩》曰「衣錦尚絅」,惡其文之著也。故君子之道,闇然而日章;小人之道,的然而日亡。君子之道:淡而不厭,簡而文,溫而理,知遠之近,知風之自,知微之顯,可與入德矣。

It is said in the Book of Poetry, "Over her embroidered robe she puts a plain single garment," intimating a dislike to the display of the elegance of the former. Just so, it is the way of the superior man to prefer the concealment of his virtue, while it daily becomes more illustrious, and it is the way of the mean man to seek notoriety, while he daily goes more and more to ruin. It is characteristic of the superior man, appearing insipid, yet never to produce satiety; while showing a simple negligence, yet to have his accomplishments recognized; while seemingly plain, yet to be discriminating. He knows how what is distant lies in what is near. He knows where the wind proceeds from. He knows how what is minute becomes manifested. Such a one, we may be sure, will enter into virtue.

《詩》云:「潛雖伏矣,亦孔之昭!」故君子內省不疚,無惡於志。君子之所不可及者,其唯人之所不見乎。

It is said in the Book of Poetry, "Although the fish sink and lie at the bottom, it is still quite clearly seen." Therefore the superior man examines his heart, that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause for dissatisfaction with himself. That wherein the superior man cannot be equalled is simply this,– his work which other men cannot see.

《詩》云:「相在爾室,尚不愧于屋漏。」故君子不動而敬,不言而信。

It is said in the Book of Poetry, "Looked at in your apartment, be there free from shame as being exposed to the light of heaven." Therefore, the superior man, even when he is not moving, has a feeling of reverence, and while he speaks not, he has the feeling of truthfulness.

《詩》曰:「奏假無言,時靡有爭。」是故君子不賞而民勸,不怒而民威於鈇鉞。

It is said in the Book of Poetry, "In silence is the offering presented, and the spirit approached to; there is not the slightest contention." Therefore the superior man does not use rewards, and the people are stimulated to virtue. He does not show anger, and the people are awed more than by hatchets and battle-axes.

《詩》曰:「不顯惟德!百辟其刑之。」是故君子篤恭而天下平。

It is said in the Book of Poetry, "What needs no display is virtue. All the princes imitate it." Therefore, the superior man being sincere and reverential, the whole world is conducted to a state of happy tranquility.

《詩》云:「予懷明德,不大聲以色。」子曰:「聲色之於以化民,末也。」《詩》曰:「德輶如毛」,毛猶有倫。「上天之載,無聲無臭」,至矣!

It is said in the Book of Poetry, "I regard with pleasure your brilliant virtue, making no great display of itself in sounds and appearances." The Master said, "Among the appliances to transform the people, sound and appearances are but trivial influences. It is said in another ode, 'His Virtue is light as a hair.' Still, a hair will admit of comparison as to its size. 'The doings of the supreme Heaven have neither sound nor smell.'– That is perfect virtue."

 

右第三十三章。子思因前章極致之言,反求其本,復自下學為己謹獨之事,推而言之,以馴致乎篤恭而天下平之盛。又贊其妙,至於無聲無臭而後已焉。蓋舉一篇之要而約言之,其反復丁寧示人之意,至深切矣,學者其可不盡心乎!

The above is the thirty-third chapter. Tsze-sze having carried his descriptions to the extremest point in the preceding chapters, turns back in this, and examines the source of his subject; and then again from the work of the learner, free from all selfishness, and watchful over himself when he is alone, he carries out his description, till by easy steps he brings it to the consummation of the whole kingdom tranquilized by simple ad sincere reverentialness. He further eulogizes its mysteriousness, till he speaks of it at last as without sound or smell. He here takes up the sum of his whole Work, and speaks of it in a compendious manner. Most deep and earnest was he in thus going again over his ground, admonishing and instructing men:–shall the learner not do his utmost in the study of the Work?

 

 

(《中庸》/ 《Zhongyong》/《The Doctrine of the Mean》)