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《非樂上 - Condemnation of Music I》

English translation: W. P. Mei [?] Library Resources
1 非樂上:
子墨子言曰:「仁之事者,必務求興天下之利,除天下之害,將以為法乎天下。利人乎,即為;不利人乎,即止。且夫仁者之為天下度也,非為其目之所美,耳之所樂,口之所甘,身體之所安,以此虧奪民衣食之財,仁者弗為也。」是故子墨子之所以非樂者,非以大鍾、鳴鼓、琴瑟、竽笙之聲,以為不樂也;非以刻鏤華文章之色,以為不美也;非以犓豢煎炙之味,以為不甘也;非以高臺厚榭邃野之居,以為不安也。雖身知其安也,口知其甘也,目知其美也,耳知其樂也,然上考之不中聖王之事,下度之不中萬民之利。是故子墨子曰:「為樂,非也。」
Condemnation of Music I:...:
Mozi said: The policy of the magnanimous will pursue what procures benefits of the world and destroy its calamities. If anything, when established as a law, is beneficial to the people it will be done; if not, it will not be done. Moreover, the magnanimous in their care for the world do not think of doing those things which delight the eyes, please the ears, gratify the taste, and ease the body. When these deprive the people of their means of clothing and food, the magnanimous would not undertake them. So the reason why Mozi condemns music is not because that the sounds of the big bell, the sounding drum, the qin and the se and the yu and the sheng are not pleasant, that the carvings and ornaments are not delightful, that the fried and the broiled meats of the grass-fed and the grain-fed animals are not gratifying, or that the high towers, grand arbours, and quiet villas are not comfortable. Although the body knows they are comfortable, the mouth knows they are gratifying, the eyes know they are delightful, and the ears know they are pleasing, yet they are found not to be in accordance with the deeds of the sage-kings of antiquity and not to contribute to the benefits of the people at present. And so Mozi proclaims: To have music is wrong.

2 非樂上:
今王公大人,雖無造為樂器,以為事乎國家,非直掊潦水折壤坦而為之也,將必厚措斂乎萬民,以為大鍾、鳴鼓、琴瑟、竽笙之聲。古者聖王亦嘗厚措斂乎萬民,以為舟車,既以成矣,曰:『吾將惡許用之?曰:舟用之水,車用之陸,君子息其足焉,小人休其肩背焉。』故萬民出財齎而予之,不敢以為慼恨者,何也?以其反中民之利也。然則樂器反中民之利亦若此,即我弗敢非也。然則當用樂器譬之若聖王之為舟車也,即我弗敢非也。民有三患:飢者不得食,寒者不得衣,勞者不得息,三者民之巨患也。然即當為之撞巨鍾、擊鳴鼓、彈琴瑟、吹竽笙而揚干戚,民衣食之財將安可得乎?即我以為未必然也。意舍此。今有大國即攻小國,有大家即伐小家,強劫弱,眾暴寡,詐欺愚,貴傲賤,寇亂盜賊並興,不可禁止也。然即當為之撞巨鍾、擊鳴鼓、彈琴瑟、吹竽笙而揚干戚,天下之亂也,將安可得而治與?即我未必然也。」是故子墨子曰:「姑嘗厚措斂乎萬民,以為大鍾、鳴鼓、琴瑟、竽笙之聲,以求興天下之利,除天下之害而無補也。」是故子墨子曰:「為樂,非也。」
Condemnation of Music I:...:
Now the rulers construct musical instruments as an undertaking of the state. They cannot be produced as easily as by evaporating water or digging into the earth. Inevitably heavy taxes have to be collected from the people to obtain sounds of the big bell, the sounding drum, the qin and the se, and the yu and the sheng. The ancient sage-kings had, indeed, collected heavy taxes from the people to build boats and vehicles. But when they were completed, and when the people asked: "What use have we for these?" the answer was: "The boats are to be employed on water and the vehicles on land, so that the gentlemen can rest their feet and the labourers can rest their shoulders and backs." Thus the people contributed their money and dared not grumble about it. This was because the boats and vehicles contributed to the benefit of the people. If the musical instruments also contribute to the benefit of the people, even I shall not dare condemn them. Thus if the musical instruments are as useful as the boats and carts with the sage-kings, even I shall not dare condemn them. There are three things that the people worry about, namely, that the hungry cannot be fed, that the cold cannot be clothed, and that the tired cannot get rest. These three are the great worries of the people. Now suppose we strike the big bell, beat the sounding drum, play the qin and the se, and blow the yu and the sheng, can the material for food and clothing then be procured for the people? Even I do not think this is possible. Again, every large state now attacks small states and every large house molests small houses. The strong plunder the weak, the many oppress the few, the clever deceive the stupid and the honoured disdain the humble. And bandits and thieves rise all together and cannot be suppressed. But can the chaos in the world be put in order by striking the big bell, beating the sounding drum, playing the qin and the se, and blowing the yu and the sheng? Even I do not think it is possible. Therefore Mozi said : The levy of heavy taxes on the people to construct the big bell, the sounding drum, the qin and the se, and the yu and the sheng, is not at all helpful in the endeavour to procure the benefits of the world and destroy its calamities. Therefore Mozi said: To have music is wrong.

3 非樂上:
今王公大人,唯毋處高臺厚榭之上而視之,鍾猶是延鼎也,弗撞擊將何樂得焉哉?其說將必撞擊之,惟勿撞擊,將必不使老與遲者,老與遲者耳目不聰明,股肱不畢強,聲不和調,明不轉朴。將必使當年,因其耳目之聰明,股肱之畢強,聲之和調,眉之轉朴。使丈夫為之,廢丈夫耕稼樹藝之時,使婦人為之,廢婦人紡績織紝之事。今王公大人唯毋為樂,虧奪民衣食之財,以拊樂如此多也。」是故子墨子曰:「為樂,非也。」
Condemnation of Music I:...:
As the rulers look down from a high tower or in a grand arbour, a bell is just like an inverted ding. If it is not struck wherefrom would come the pleasure? Therefore it must be struck. To strike it of course the aged and the young would not be employed. For their eyes and ears are not keen, their arms are not strong, and they cannot produce an harmonious tone with varied expression. So, those in the prime of life must be employed because their eyes and ears are keen, their limbs strong, their voices harmonious and varied in expression. If men are employed it interferes with their ploughing and planting. If women are employed it interferes with their weaving and spinning. Now, the rulers take to music and deprive the people of their means of clothing and food to such an extent! Therefore Mozi said: To have music is wrong.

4 非樂上:
今大鍾、鳴鼓、琴瑟、竽笙之聲既已具矣,大人鏽然奏而獨聽之,將何樂得焉哉?其說將必與賤人不與君子。
與君子
1聽之,廢君子聽治;與賤人聽之,廢賤人之從事。今王公大人惟毋為樂,虧奪民之衣食之財,以拊樂如此多也。」是故子墨子曰:「為樂,非也。」
Condemnation of Music I:...:
Now when the big bell, the sounding drum, the qin and the se, and the yu and the sheng are provided it is yet no pleasure for the lords alone to listen to the playing. Therefore they must enjoy it with either the common people or the gentlemen. If with the gentlemen, it will interfere with their attending to government. If with the common people it will interfere with their work. Now the rulers take to music and deprive the people of so many of their opportunities to produce food and clothing! Therefore Mozi said: It is wrong to have music.

1. 與君子 : Inserted. 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》

5 非樂上:
昔者齊康公興樂萬,萬人不可衣短褐,不可食糠糟,曰食飲不美,面目顏色不足視也;衣服不美,身體從容醜羸,不足觀也。是以食必粱肉,衣必文繡,此掌不從事乎衣食之財,而掌食乎人者也。」是故子墨子曰:「今王公大人惟毋為
1,虧奪民衣食之財,以拊樂如此多也。」是故子墨子曰:「為樂,非也。」
Condemnation of Music I:...:
Formerly, Lord Kang of Qi (404-379 B.C.) loved music and dancing. The dancers were not to wear garments of coarse cloth or to eat husks and bran. For if food and drink are not dainty the appearance and complexion will not be enjoyable. And if clothing is not elegant the body and the movement will not be delightful. Therefore their food must consist of grain and meat and their clothing must be made of silk and embroidery. They did not produce material of clothing and food at all, but lived on others all the time. Hence Mozi said: Now the lords take to music and deprive the people of so many of their opportunities to produce food and clothing! Therefore Mozi proclaimed: To have music is wrong.

1. 樂 : Inserted. 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》

6 非樂上:
今人固與禽獸麋鹿、蜚鳥、貞蟲異者也,今之禽獸麋鹿、蜚鳥、貞蟲,因其羽毛以為衣裘,因其蹄蚤以為褲屨,因其水草以為飲食。故唯使雄不耕稼樹藝,雌亦不紡績織紝,衣食之財固已具矣。今人與此異者也,賴其力者生,不賴其力者不生。君子不強聽治,即刑政亂;賤人不強從事,即財用不足。今天下之士君子,以吾言不然,然即姑嘗數天下分事,而觀樂之害。王公大人蚤朝晏退,聽獄治政,此其分事也;士君子竭股肱之力,亶其思慮之智,內治官府,外收斂關市、山林、澤梁之利,以實倉廩府庫,此其分事也;農夫蚤出暮入,耕稼樹藝,多聚叔粟,此其分事也;婦人夙興夜寐,紡績織紝,多治麻絲葛緒綑布縿,此其分事也。今惟毋在乎王公大人說樂而聽之,即必不能蚤朝晏退,聽獄治政,是故國家亂而社稷危矣。今惟毋在乎士君子說樂而聽之,即必不能竭股肱之力,亶其思慮之智,內治官府,外收斂關市、山林、澤梁之利,以實倉廩府庫,是故倉廩府庫不實。今惟毋在乎農夫說樂而聽之,即必不能蚤出暮入,耕稼樹藝,多聚叔1粟,是故
叔粟不足
2。今惟毋在乎婦人說樂而聽之,即不必
3夙興夜寐,紡績織紝,多治麻絲葛緒綑布縿,是故布縿不興。曰:孰為大人之聽治而廢國家之從事?曰:樂也。」是故子墨子曰:「為樂,非也。」
Condemnation of Music I:...:
Also, man is different from birds and beasts and insects. The birds, beasts, and insects have their feathers and furs for coats and fur coats, have their hoofs and claws for sandals and shoes, and have water and grass for drink and food. Therefore the male do not sow seeds or plant trees, neither do the female weave or spin, yet food and clothing are provided. Now, man is different from these. Those who exert themselves will live. Those who do not exert themselves cannot live. When the gentlemen do not attend to government diligently, the jurisdiction will be in chaos. When the common men do not attend to work, supply will not be sufficient. If the gentlemen of the world should doubt my word, let us enumerate the several duties in the world and see the harm music does (to them): For the rulers to go to court early and retire late to listen to lawsuits and attend to government is their duty. For the gentlemen to exhaust the energy of their limbs and employ fully the wisdom of their minds to attend to the court within and to collect taxes without from passes, markets, and products from mountains, woods, and water and fields in order to fill up the granaries and the treasury is their duty. For the farmers to set out early and come back late, to sow seeds and plant trees in order to produce a large quantity of soy beans and millet is their duty. For the women to rise up at dawn and retire in the night to weave and spin in order to produce much silk, flax linen, and cloth is their duty. Now if the rulers should love music and listen to it, they would not be able to go to court early and retire late to listen to lawsuits and attend to government. Then the country would be in chaos and the state would be in danger. If the gentlemen should love music and listen to it, they would not be able to exhaust the energy in their Iimbs and employ fully the wisdom in the mind to attend to court within and collect taxes without from passes and markets and products from mountains, woods, water, and fields to fill up the granaries and the treasury. Then the granaries and the treasury would not be filled. If the farmers should love music and listen to it, they would not be able to set out early and come back late, to sow seeds and plant trees and produce a large quantity of soy beans and millet. Then the soy beans and millet would not be sufficient. If the women should love music and listen to it, they would not be able to rise up at dawn and retire in the night to weave and spin and produce much silk, flax linen, and cloth. Then cloth and linen will not be sufficient. If it is asked what is it that interfered with the rulers' attending to government and the common man's attending to work? it must be answered, music. Therefore Mozi said: To have music is wrong.

1. 叔 : Originally read: "升". Corrected by 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》
2. 叔粟不足 : Inserted. 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》
3. 能 : Inserted. 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》

7 非樂上:
何以知其然也?曰先王之書,湯之官刑有之曰:「其恆舞于宮,是謂巫風。其刑君子出絲二衛,小人否,似二伯黃徑。」乃言曰:『嗚乎!舞佯佯,黃言孔章,上帝弗常,九有以亡,上帝不順,降之百1𦍙,其家必懷喪。』察九有之所以亡者,徒從飾樂也。於武觀曰:『啟乃淫溢康樂,野于飲食,將將銘莧磬以力,湛濁于酒,渝食于野,萬舞翼翼,章聞于大,天用弗式。』故上者天鬼弗戒,下者萬民弗利。」
Condemnation of Music I:...:
How do we know it is so? It is found in the "Code of Punishment of Tang" among the books of the ancient kings. This proclaims: "To have constant dancing in the palace is called the witch's pleasure." As to its punishment, a gentleman will be fined six hundred and forty pieces of silk, a common man will be let go free. Again, "Ah! How much is the dancing. His word is all known. God does not bless him, therefore the nine districts are lost to him. God does not favour him, therefore He visited him with various curses. His family must be destroyed too." Now the reason that the nine districts are lost to him (Jie of Xia) lies in his attention to embellishing music. Quoting Wu Guan: "Ch'i thereupon abandoned himself to lust and music. He drank and ate in improper places. Ding ding, dong dong went the wood winds and percussion instruments in harmony. He indulged in drinking and ate in improper places. Brilliantly went on the dancing. It reached the hearing of Heaven, and Heaven was not pleased." So, it was not pleasing to Heaven above and not beneficial to the people below.

1. 百 : Originally read: "日". Corrected by 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》

8 非樂上:
是故子墨子曰:「今天下士君子,請將欲求興天下之利,除天下之害,當在樂之為物,將不可不禁而止也。」
Condemnation of Music I:...:
Therefore Mozi said: If the gentlemen really desire to procure benefits for the world and destroy its calamities they cannot but prohibit such a thing as music.

URN: ctp:mozi/condemnation-of-music-i