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Fuller's ILC Chapters 23 (孟子) and 24 (史記)


somethingfunny

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somethingfunny

I'm on holiday at the moment so I haven't quite got round to finishing last weeks readings.  However, I prepared these ahead of time so I'm going to go ahead and post the last of the intermediate lessons in Fuller's book: 23 and 24.

 

In the last thread, Dani_man asked what would be coming after the end of these lessons and I've been looking at the later chapters in Fuller and think I might give those a try.  For those interested, they're basically just longer extracts from familiar sources like Mengzi and Zhuangzi, just without any commentary.  I think I'll post the texts and then there can be a fairly unstructured discussion around grammar and content.  Any suggestions?

 

Anyway, here are the texts:

 

23 熊掌 (孟子)
 
孟子曰:「魚,我所欲也;熊掌,亦我所欲也,二者不可得兼,舍魚而取熊掌者也。生,亦我所欲也;義,亦我所欲也,二者不可得兼,舍生而取義者也。生亦我所欲,所欲有甚於生者,故不為苟得也;死亦我所惡,所惡有甚於死者,故患有所不辟也。如使人之所欲莫甚於生,則凡可以得生者,何不用也?使人之所惡莫甚於死者,則凡可以辟患者,何不為也?由是則生而有不用也,由是則可以辟患而有不為也。是故所欲有甚於生者,所惡有甚於死者,非獨賢者有是心也,人皆有之,賢者能勿喪耳。一簞食,一豆羹,得之則生,弗得則死。嘑爾而與之,行道之人弗受;蹴爾而與之,乞人不屑也。萬鍾則不辨禮義而受之。萬鍾於我何加焉?為宮室之美、妻妾之奉、所識窮乏者得我與?鄉為身死而不受,今為宮室之美為之;鄉為身死而不受,今為妻妾之奉為之;鄉為身死而不受,今為所識窮乏者得我而為之,是亦不可以已乎?此之謂失其本心。」
 
Questions
  1. Explain the use of 也 in 何不用也.
  2. In what tone should one read the 為 in 鄉為身死而不受?  Explain.  What about the two 為 in 今為妻妾之奉為之?
  3. Explain Meng Zi’s argument here?  Does he consider the choice of 義 over 生 as a universal?  How does he demonstrate this universality?
  4. What does Meng Zi mean by 失其本心 “losing (failing vis-a-vis) one’s basic mind?”  What is one’s “basic mind” here?
 
Review
  1. What is the syntax of 何不為也?
  2. Explain the use of弗 in 弗得則死 and 行道之人弗受.
  3. To what does 焉 refer in 萬鍾於我何加焉?
 
 
24 淳于髡 (史記)
 
孔子曰:「六藝於治一也。禮以節人,樂以發和,書以道事,詩以達意,易以神化,春秋以義。」太史公曰:天道恢恢,豈不大哉!談言微中,亦可以解紛。
淳于髡者,齊之贅婿也。長不滿七尺,滑稽多辯,數使諸侯,未嘗屈辱。齊威王之時喜隱,好為淫樂長夜之飲,沈湎不治,委政卿大夫。百官荒亂,諸侯并侵,國且危亡,在於旦暮,左右莫敢諫。淳于髡說之以隱曰:「國中有大鳥,止王之庭,三年不蜚又不鳴,不知此鳥何也?」王曰:「此鳥不飛則已,一飛沖天;不鳴則已,一鳴驚人。」於是乃朝諸縣令長七十二人,賞一人,誅一人,奮兵而出。諸侯振驚,皆還齊侵地。威行三十六年。語在田完世家中。
威王八年,楚大發兵加齊。齊王使淳于髡之趙請救兵,齎金百斤,車馬十駟。淳于髡仰天大笑,冠纓索絕。王曰:「先生少之乎?」髡曰:「何敢!」王曰:「笑豈有說乎?」髡曰:「今者臣從東方來,見道傍有禳田者,操一豚蹄,酒一盂,祝曰:『甌窶滿篝,汙邪滿車,五穀蕃熟,穰穰滿家。』臣見其所持者狹而所欲者奢,故笑之。」於是齊威王乃益齎黃金千溢,白璧十雙,車馬百駟。髡辭而行,至趙。趙王與之精兵十萬,革車千乘。楚聞之,夜引兵而去。
威王大說,置酒後宮,召髡賜之酒。問曰:「先生能飲幾何而醉?」對曰:「臣飲一斗亦醉,一石亦醉。」威王曰:「先生飲一斗而醉,惡能飲一石哉!其說可得聞乎?」髡曰:「賜酒大王之前,執法在傍,御史在後,髡恐懼俯伏而飲,不過一斗徑醉矣。若親有嚴客,髡帣韝鞠跽,待酒於前,時賜餘瀝,奉觴上壽,數起,飲不過二斗徑醉矣。若朋友交遊,久不相見,卒然相睹,歡然道故,私情相語,飲可五六斗徑醉矣。若乃州閭之會,男女雜坐,行酒稽留,六博投壺,相引為曹,握手無罰,目眙不禁,前有墮珥,后有遺簪,髡竊樂此,飲可八斗而醉二參。日暮酒闌,合尊促坐,男女同席,履舄交錯,杯盤狼藉,堂上燭滅,主人留髡而送客,羅襦襟解,微聞薌澤,當此之時,髡心最歡,能飲一石。故曰酒極則亂,樂極則悲;萬事盡然,言不可極,極之而衰。」以諷諫焉。齊王曰:「善。」乃罷長夜之飲,以髡為諸侯主客。宗室置酒,髡嘗在側。
 
Questions
  1. Explain the relevance of Sima Qian’s quotation from Confucius as the introduction to biographies of men famous for their way with words.  What about the quotation from the Grand Scribe?
  2. Explain Chunyu Kun’s question about the bird.  Why did the king then respond as he did?
  3. What year is 威王八年?
  4. Why did Chunyu Kun’s hat-tassel string break?
  5. Is 與 a coverb in 趙王與之精兵十萬?  Explain.
  6. What is the analogy that Chunyu Kun suggests in the story of the farmer?
  7. Chunyu Kun’s story of his drinking is a long and elaborate set piece.  What is its point?  The king seems to acknowledge a veiled criticism.  What is it?
 
Review
  1. Explain the use of 以 in禮以節人,樂以發和, etc.
  2. Explain the difference in the placement of time words between 三年不蜚又不鳴 and 威行三十六年.
  3. What part of speech is 大 in 楚大發兵加齊?
  4. 少 ordinarily is intransitive, that is, it has no direct object.  Does it take an object in the phrase 少之?  What does the phrase mean?
  5. To what in the story does 所持者 refer?  To what does 所欲者 refer?
  6. What part of speech is 執法 in 執法在傍?

 

The first of these texts we've seen before here, but I enjoyed it a lot the first time round and look forward to seeing if Fuller's questions offer any greater insight.  The second text looks quite long, so it might take a little while to get through but should be rewarding, and as it's from the 史记 it should also be pretty interesting.

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somethingfunny

OK, for those still following (looking at you Dani_man), here are my answers to the questions for Lesson 23:

 

Q1:  Topic - comment indicator.  I feel like Fuller is always trying to catch me out.  也 is almost always a topic-comment indicator it seems, but whenever he asks what it's doing I feel like it's because it must be doing something special in this case.  However, the way I see it is this:

 

凡可以得生者 (Topic: any means by which one can obtain life), 何不用 (Comment: why would one not use them) 也。

 

Q2:  I'm a little stumped by this one.  It might help to go through a few lines of the text:

 

鄉 (In the former: the case of the beggar not accepting the food) 為身死 (it lead to his death) 而不受 (yet he still did not accept it),今 (In the latter:  the case of earning a high salary but not practicing the appropriate rites) 為宮室之美 (it lead to a beautiful mansion) 為之 (Ah!  I don't know what this bit means).

 

Q3:  I think Mencius believes that 義 is greater than 生, but he seems to imply that only 賢人 are able to practice in accordance with this principle.

 

Q4:  Not sure - I think I'd need to know more about Mencian philosophy to know what 本心 is supposed to be.

 

R1:  I don't want to take all the fun myself - I'll let someone else answer this one.

 

R2:  This is idiomatic inversion.  

 

If we take 弗 to be 不之 then we get:  弗得則死 -> 不之得則死 -> 不得之則死, or: "if one does not obtain it, then they will die".

 

Likewise:  行道之人弗受 -> 行道之人不之受 -> 行道之人不受之, or: "the beggar does not accept it".

 

This example is used by Pulleyblank in his discussion of 弗.

 

R3:  Hmm, interesting question, and one I'd really like to know the answer to.  I believe it refers to the 萬鍾 at the start of the sentence, as in "萬鍾, what can I add to it".

 

I think the next text is going to take me a little while to go through, so... please, please, please, if anyone gets the time, take a look at these questions and my answers and see what you can add.

 

Thanks.

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Dani_man

That's a tough one! I agree with most of what you wrote, see some of my additions below:

 

Q1:  Topic - comment indicator.  I feel like Fuller is always trying to catch me out.  也 is almost always a topic-comment indicator it seems, but whenever he asks what it's doing I feel like it's because it must be doing something special in this case.  However, the way I see it is this:

 

凡可以得生者 (Topic: any means by which one can obtain life), 何不用 (Comment: why would one not use them) 也。

 

也 - not sure this is the classic topic comment structure. 也 can serve here as an imperative marker, like an explanation.
"Why wouldn't they use them!". Try to read it when omitting it - it sounds like that he simply asks "why don't they use it?".

 

 

鄉 (In the former: the case of the beggar not accepting the food) 為身死 (it lead to his death) 而不受 (yet he still did not accept it),今 (In the latter:  the case of earning a high salary but not practicing the appropriate rites) 為宮室之美 (it lead to a beautiful mansion) 為之 (Ah!  I don't know what this bit means).

 

 

So I think the first 為 is a coverb, "on behalf/for the sake of the body". Sounds weird, really not sure how to translate it well. But it must be a coverb that takes the body, therefore 4th tone. If we look at the third sentence parallel, it is written as "為之" then 為 must be a verb, therefore, it can be translate as "but he/they still do so", 為 is then 2nd tone. I think 而 was omitted from the first two sentences for elegance reasons.

 

R3:  Hmm, interesting question, and one I'd really like to know the answer to.  I believe it refers to the 萬鍾 at the start of the sentence, as in "萬鍾, what can I add to it".

 

 

I agree. But if you contrast it with the sentence right before that one, where he mentions that some accept it, then this sentence might try to scorn such people even more - 

"what would that add to me", or "what would I benefit from it?" 

 

 

R1 - 何 = question particle "why"; 不為 = negation+verb; 也 = imperative marker.

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somethingfunny

In the sentence:  鄉為身死而不受,今為所識窮乏者得我而為之, how do you understand that final 为之, as in, what is the pronoun referring to?  Is he saying that in the former case (beggar refusing food) the person was willing to die, yet in the latter case (huge income) the person wants to give money to all the poor people he knows therefore he accepts the huge income (而为之)?  In your reply you included a 'but', but I don't see how that comes in to what he's saying.

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Dani_man

Regarding the pronoun 之:  Generally, the three sentences bring extreme cases into comparison. In the first case, under the danger of death, someone does not accept something; and on the other side, for the sake of personal gain and pleasure, someone does accept something. Therefore I translate "為之" as "do so", which means, as you said, they still accept this amount of money. 

 

So - "In the former case, for the sake of one's life one did not accept it; in the current case, for the sake of 1) beautiful mansion 2) wife and concubines/ 3) being able to win the respect of the poor acquaintances - one did accept it." A bit wordy, but that's how I read it. It would be more logical if the writer would have used "而受" instead of "之" (unless I am totally wrong here - see another option in a later post below). 

 

I think 而 is used here to emphasize the difference between the two cases.That's why I wrote earlier that it can be translated as "but" or "still". But in my translation above I actually managed without "but/still" :)

 

I looked it up online and 得 is also read in this text as to win respect due to an action or behaviour, that makes the sentence a bit clearer right?

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somethingfunny

 

 

It would be more logical if the writer would have used "而受" instead of "之" (unless I am totally wrong here). 

 

This makes sense to me and is what I also hope is correct.  I think we can safely assume so unless someone comes along to correct us.

 

 

As for the line: 鄉為身死而不受,今為所識窮乏者得我而為之, Rouzer gives quite a nice discussion of this where he says it should be read as 得於我, as in "gain from me".  In which case, I'm not sure how the interpretation of winning respect would work.  He also points out that here Mencius is saying that a salary obtained through ill-gotten means is still wrong (obtained without observing the rites??) even when it's used for good (giving to the poor).  Which I guess makes Robin Hood a baddie in Warring States China.  Should I read anything into the fact that he doesn't use 而 in the preceding two cases where talking about using ill-gotten money for bad?  Probably not.

 

Also, I've just realised here that 身 means "the self" and not "body" as I had been reading it, so it now makes a lot more sense.

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somethingfunny

OK, I'm going to answer the questions for the last lesson, on Chun Yu Kun.  It's a pretty long text and Fuller asks a fair few questions, so stick with it!

 

Q1:  The three anecdotes relating to Chun Yu Kun all illustrate how he was able to provide guidance to a ruler through intelligence and a way with words.  By doing this, he's acting as a typical Confucian adviser - not directly challenging a ruler, but rather persuading him through analogy to let himself see the error of his own ways.  And of course, to be a good Confucian adviser, you need to master the "six arts" and use them all in the appropriate ways.

 

Q2:  Chun Yu Kun says, "There is a bird that stops in the King's palace for three years, not once does it fly away or make a sound, what's up with that?"  The King says, "If the bird flys away it will soar to the heavens, and if it makes a sound it will frighten the palace staff."  I assume the comparison is between the King and the bird, saying that inaction is not good, but I'm not sure exactly how the analogy works.

 

Q3:  If King Wei of Qi ruled from 356-320 BC, then I assume the eighth year of his reign was some time around 348, but I'm probably not accounting for the lunar calendar properly here.

 

Q4:  His hat tassel broke because he was laughing so hard, but I don't see how that is possible.

 

Q5:  No, it's not a coverb.  There is no other verb in the sentence.  

 

Q6:  The farmer made a sacrifice that was too small in comparison to what he was hoping to receive in return.  The king is making a gift to Zhao which is too small in comparison to what he hopes to receive in return.  This is the exact kind of thing that I don't get.  Here, Chun Yu Kun is being all Confucian by not just saying, "Yes, obviously your gift is too small, give more and everything will be fine."  But instead he says "No, no, I wouldn't dare disagree with you and think your gift too small, but on my way here I saw a man give a small sacrifice hoping to receive riches in return, it was very funny, but unrelated to what we're talking about now."  I mean, how stupid is this king?  Obviously Chun Yu Kun thinks the gift is too small, and the thinly veiled story about the farmer makes that very clear.

 

Q7:  "Chunyu Kun’s story of his drinking is a long and elaborate boring set piece."  I guess he's saying that there is no 'objective' amount to drink to become drunk and it varies depending on circumstances.  He also seems to imply that the happier he is, the more he can drink.  His main point seems to be an analogy saying that the more you drink, the messier things become, and the happier you become, the more prone to unhappiness you become:  故曰酒極則亂,樂極則悲.  I'm not sure about the veiled criticism, but it just seems like he's saying "maybe you've had enough".

 

R1:  There doesn't seem to be a set pattern here, so I'll do each one in turn:

 

禮以節人  Through the Canon of Ritual, one can regulate other men.

樂以發和  Through the Canon of Music, one can emit harmony.

書以道事  Through the Canon of Documents, one can speak of different issues.

詩以達意  Through the Canon of Poetry, one can convey one's intention.

易以神化  Through the Canon of Change, one can ... (it seems like the verb/object order has changed here) transform one's spirit?

春秋以義  Through the Spring and Autumn Annals ... ???

 

R2:  A shift in emphasis?  Not really sure.

 

R3:  An adverb?  He sent a lot of troops.

 

R4:  The object is 之, the pronoun indicating the gift.  He means, "Do you take my gift to be too small".

 

R5:  所持者 =  一豚蹄,酒一盂 (what he's offering)

所欲者 = 甌窶滿篝,汙邪滿車,五穀蕃熟,穰穰滿家 (what he wants)

 

R6:  Don't know.  Topic?  In the vocabulary Fuller says this means "to uphold the laws", but I'm guessing that here it refers to the people that uphold the laws.  Thus him being a little bit nervous, and easily drunk.

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Dani_man

Great, I hope to be able to review the second text. 

 

I just had second thoughts about 今為所識窮乏者得我而為之

 

為 can also be translated as "become". So perhaps instead of "do so" (to receive the amount of money), it means to "become like that". This can imply that such a large amount of money and the pleasures it gives them allure men and ultimately make them to lose their 本心

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