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Chinese Text Project
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《公輸 - Gong Shu》

English translation: W. P. Mei [?] Library Resources
1 公輸:
公輸盤為楚造雲梯之械,成,將以攻宋。子墨子聞之,起於齊,行十日十夜而至於郢,見公輸盤。公輸盤曰:「夫子何命焉為?」子墨子曰:「北方有侮臣,願藉子殺之。」公輸盤不說。子墨子曰:「請獻十金。」公輸盤曰:「吾義固不殺人。」子墨子起,再拜曰:「請說之。吾從北方,聞子為梯,將以攻宋。宋何罪之有?荊國有餘於地,而不足於民,殺所不足,而爭所有餘,不可謂智。宋無罪而攻之,不可謂仁。知而不爭,不可謂忠。爭而不得,不可謂強。義不殺少而殺眾,不可謂知類。」公輸盤服。子墨子曰:「然,乎不已乎?」公輸盤曰:「不可。吾既已言之王矣。」子墨子曰:「胡不見我於王?」公輸盤曰:「諾」。
Gong Shu:
Gong Shu Ban had completed the construction of Cloud-ladders for Chu and was going to attack Song with them. Mozi heard of it and set out from Qi. He walked ten days and ten nights and arrived at Ying. He saw Gong Shu Ban. The latter asked him what he wanted of him. Mozi said: Some one in the north has humiliated me. I would like to have you kill him. Gong Shu Ban was displeased. Mozi persisted, offering him ten jin. Finally Gong Shu Ban said: "My principle is incompatible with murdering people." Thereupon Mozi rose and bowed twice and spoke: Now, let me explain myself. While in the north I heard you were building ladders to attack Song. Now, of what is Song guilty? The state of Jing has land to spare but is short of people. To destroy what is scarce in order to strive for what is already plenty cannot be said to be wise. Since Song is innocent, to attack it cannot be said to be magnanimous. To fail to make an effort according to what you know cannot be said to be loyal. To make the effort without obtaining (the desired result) cannot be said to be effective. To hold a principle that forbids the killing of few but allows that of many cannot be said to be understanding the fundamental categories. Gong Shu Ban became convinced. Mozi argued further: Then why would you not stop it? Gong Shu Ban said that could not be done as he had already promised the Lord. Mozi said: Why not then present me to the Lord? Gong Shu Ban agreed.

2 公輸:
子墨子見王,曰:「今有人於此,舍其文軒,鄰有敝轝,而欲竊之;舍其錦繡,鄰有短褐,而欲竊之;舍其粱肉,鄰有糠糟,而欲竊之。此為何若人?」王曰:「必為竊疾矣。」子墨子曰:「荊之地,方五千里,宋之地,方五百里,此猶文軒之與敝轝也;荊有雲夢,犀兕麋鹿滿之,江漢之魚鱉黿鼉為天下富,宋所為無雉兔狐貍者也,此猶粱肉之與糠糟也;荊有長松、文梓、楩柟、豫章,宋無長木,此猶錦繡之與短褐也。臣以三事之攻宋也,為與此同類,臣見大王之必傷義而不得。」王曰:「善哉!雖然,公輸盤為我為雲梯,必取宋。」
Gong Shu:
Mozi saw the Lord and said: Suppose there is a man who, putting aside his elegant carriage, desires to steal his neighbour's shattered sedan; putting aside his embroidery and finery, desires to steal his neighbour's short jacket; putting aside his meat and grains desires to steal his neighbour's husks. What kind of a man would this be? The Lord said that he must be suffering from kleptomania. Mozi continued: The land of Jing amounts to five thousand li square while that of Song is only five hundred, this is similar to the contrast between the elegant carriage and the shattered sedan. Jing possesses Yun Meng which is full of rhinoceroses and deer. The fish, tortoises and crocodiles in the Yangtse and the Han Rivers are the richest in the empire. While Song is said to possess not even pheasants, rabbits, or foxes. This is similar to the contrast between embroidery and finery and the short jacket. When your ministers and generals set out to attack Song, it seems to me there is the same strategy. I can see, my Lord, you will be violating righteousness to no advantage. The Lord said: "That is all very well. But Gong Shu Ban has already constructed the Cloud-ladders for me, and I must capture Song."

3 公輸:
於是見公輸盤,子墨子解帶為城,以牒為械,公輸盤九設攻城之機變,子墨子九距之,公輸盤之攻械盡,子墨子之守圉有餘。公輸盤詘,而曰:「吾知所以距子矣,吾不言。」子墨子亦曰:「吾知子之所以距我,吾不言。」楚王問其故,子墨子曰:「公輸子之意,不過欲殺臣。殺臣,宋莫能守,可攻也。然臣之弟子禽滑釐等三百人,已持臣守圉之器,在宋城上而待楚寇矣。雖殺臣,不能絕也。」楚王曰:「善哉!吾請無攻宋矣。」
Gong Shu:
And he turned to Gong Shu Ban. Mozi untied his belt and laid out a city with it, and used a small stick for weapon. Gong Shu Ban set up nine different machines of attack. Mozi repulsed him nine times. Gong Shu Ban was at an end with his machines of attack while Mozi was far from being exhausted in defence. Gong Shu Ban felt embarassed and declared: "I know how I can put you down, but I would not tell." Mozi also said: "I know how you can put me down, but I would not tell." The Lord of Chu asked what it was. Mozi replied: Gong Shuzi's idea is just to have me murdered. (Apparently,) when I was murdered, Song would be powerless at defence. And she would be subject to your attack. However, my disciples Qin Hua Li and others numbering three hundred are already armed with my implements of defence waiting on the city wall of Song for the bandits from Chu. Though I be murdered, you cannot exhaust (the defence of Song). The Lord of Chu said: "Well, then let us not attack Song any more."

4 公輸:
子墨子歸,過宋,天雨,庇其閭中,守閭者不內也。故曰:「治於神者,眾人不知其功,爭於明者,眾人知之。」
Gong Shu:
On his way back, Mozi passed through Song. It was raining and he sought shelter in a pass. But the guard of the pass would not let him in. Thus it is said: "The merit of the man who cultivates himself before the spirits is not recognized by the multitude. On the other hand, he who strives in the open is recognized."

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