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《賞刑 - Rewards and Punishments》

English translation: J. J. L. Duyvendak [?]
Books referencing 《賞刑》 Library Resources
1 賞刑:
Rewards and Punishments:...:
The way in which a sage administers a state is by unifying rewards, unifying punishments, and unifying education. The effect of unifying rewards is that the army will have no equal; the effect of unifying punishments is that orders will be carried out; the effect of unifying education is that inferiors will obey superiors. Now if one understands rewards, there should be no expense; if one understands punishments, there should be no death penalty; if one understands education, there should be no changes, and so people would know the business of the people and there would be no divergent customs. The climax in the understanding of rewards is to bring about a condition of having no rewards; the climax in the understanding of punishments is to bring about a condition of having no punishments; the climax in the understanding of education is to bring about a condition of having no education.

2 賞刑:
Rewards and Punishments:...:
What I mean by the unifying of rewards is that profits and emoluments, office and rank, should be determined exclusively by military merit, and that there should not be different reasons for distributing them. For thus the intelligent and the stupid, the noble and the humble, the brave and the timorous, the virtuous and the worthless, will all apply to the full whatever knowledge they may have in their breasts, exert to the uttermost whatever strength they may have in their limbs, and will be at the service of their ruler even to death; and the outstanding heroes, the virtuous and the good, of the whole empire will follow him, like flowing water, with the result that the army will have no equal, and commands will be carried out throughout the whole empire. A country of ten thousand chariots will not dare to assemble its soldiers in the plains of the Middle Kingdom; nor will a country of a thousand chariots dare to defend a walled city. Should a country of ten thousand chariots assemble its soldiers in the plains of the Middle Kingdom, one would in battle, rout its army; and should a country of a thousand chariots defend a walled city, one would in the assault, capture that town. If, in battles, one always routs the other's army and, in assaults, one always captures the other's towns, with the result that finally one has all the cities, and all their riches accrue, then what expense or loss can one suffer, even though there are rich congratulatory rewards?

3 賞刑:
Rewards and Punishments:...:
In days of old, Tang was invested with Zan-mao, Wen-wang was invested with Qi-Zhou, a district of a hundred square li, Tang fought a battle with Jie in the fields of Ming-tiao, Wu-wang fought a battle with Zhou in the fields of mu, and utterly defeated the "nine armies", and finally split up the land and gave fiefs to the feudal lords. The officers and soldiers, who retired from the ranks, all received land, with the peasants belonging to it, in hamlets of 25 families; the chariots were given a rest, and were no longer mounted; the horses were set at liberty on the southern slopes of Mount Hua; the oxen were set at liberty in the meadows, and they were allowed to grow old without being reassembled (for war). This was the way of Tang and Wu of giving rewards. Therefore is it said: 'If all the people in the empire had had to be rewarded with the produce of Zan-mao and Qi-Zhou, no one would have received a pint, and if all the people of the empire had had to be rewarded with its money, no one would have received a cash.' Therefore is it said: 'If a prince of a territory of a hundred li invests his ministers with fiefs, he greatly increases his original territory.'
How is it that the rewards received, beginning with those to officers and soldiers retired from the ranks, which consisted of land, with the peasants belonging to it, in hamlets of 25 families, were even more liberal than those to horses and oxen? Because they (those kings) knew well how to reward the people of the empire according to the possessions of the empire. Therefore do I say: 'If one understands rewards there is no expense.' Since Tang and Wu destroyed Jie and Zhou, no harm was done within the four seas, and the empire enjoyed great stability; the five storehouses were constructed, the five weapons were stored away, military affairs were set aside, culture and education were practised, shields and spears were carried reversed, writing tablets were stuck in the girdle, and music was performed in order to manifest one's virtue - such a condition of affairs prevailed in those times. Rewards and emoluments were not bestowed and yet the people were orderly. Therefore I say: 'The climax in the understanding of rewards is to bring about a condition where there are no longer rewards.'

4 賞刑:
Rewards and Punishments:...:
What I mean by the unification of punishments is that punishments should know no degree or grade, but that from ministers of state and generals down to great officers and ordinary folk, whosoever does not obey the king's commands, violates the interdicts of the state, or rebels against the statutes fixed by the ruler, should be guilty of death and should not be pardoned. Merit acquired in the past should not cause a decrease in the punishment for demerit later, nor should good behaviour in the past cause any derogation of the law for wrong done later. If loyal ministers and filial sons do wrong, they should be judged according to the full measure of their guilt, and if amongst the officials who have to maintain the law and to uphold an office, there are those who do not carry out the king's law, they are guilty of death and should not be pardoned, but their punishment should be extended to their family for three generations. Colleagues who, knowing their offence, inform their superiors will themselves escape punishment. In neither high nor low offices should there be an automatic hereditary succession to the office, rank, lands or emoluments of officials. Therefore do I say that if there are severe penalties that extend to the whole family, people will not dare to try (how far they can go), and as they dare not try, no punishments will be necessary. The former kings, in making their interdicts, did not put to death, or cut off people's feet, or brand people's faces, because they sought to harm those people, but with the object of prohibiting wickedness and stopping crime; for there is no better means of prohibiting wickedness and stopping crime than by making punishments heavy. If punishments are heavy and rigorously applied, then people will not dare to try (how far they can go), with the result that, in the state, there will be no people punished. Because there are no people punished in the state, I say that if one understands punishments, there is no capital punishment.

5 賞刑:
Rewards and Punishments:...:
Duke Wen of Jin wished to make clear the system of punishments, in order to gain the affection of the people. Thereupon, he assembled together all the feudal lords and great officers in the Shi-Qian Palace, but Dien Xie arrived too late and asked for punishment. The prince said: 'Employ stabbing, and the lictors thereupon cut through Dien Xie's spine and made him die an expiatory death. The scholars of the state of Jin, having investigated the matter, were all afraid, and said: 'Considering that Dien Xie was a favourite and still he has been sawn through, as an expiatory death, how will it fare with us?' He raised an army and attacked Cao and Wu-lu. He also overturned the lowlands of Zheng and veered towards the east the fields of Wei; he conquered the people of Jing at Cheng-pu. The soldiers of his three armies were so disciplined that stopping them was as if their feet were cut off and in marching they were like flowing water, and none of the soldiers of the three armies dared to transgress his prohibitions. So by basing himself on this one affair of Dien Xie, where a light offence was severely punished, Duke Wen caused the state of Jin to enjoy order.

6 賞刑:
Rewards and Punishments:...:
Formerly Dan, Duke of Zhou, killed his younger brother Kuan and banished his younger brother Huo, saying: 'They have transgressed against the interdicts.' The multitudes in the empire all said: 'If, when (the ruler's) own brothers commit a fault, he does not deviate from the law, how will it fare then with those who are distant and far off ?' Therefore, the empire knew that sword and saw were applied to members of the court of Zhou, and consequently all within the seas enjoyed order. Therefore do I say: 'The climax in the understanding of punishments is to bring about a condition where there are no longer punishments.'

7 賞刑:
Rewards and Punishments:...:
What I mean by the unification of education is that all those partisans of wide scholarship, sophistry, cleverness, good faith, integrity, rites and music, and moral culture, whether their reputations are unsullied or foul, should for these reasons not become rich or honoured, should not discuss punishments, and should not compose their private views independently and memorialize their superiors. The strong should be broken and the sharp be blunted. Although one may be called a sage or wise or clever or eloquent or liberal or simple, yet one must not if one lacks merit, monopolize the ruler's favours, but the gate to riches and honour should lie in war and in nothing else. Those who are capable in war tread through the gate to riches and honour, but for the violent and self-willed there are inflexible punishments and no pardon. Thus fathers and seniors, elder and younger brothers, acquaintances, relatives by marriage, husband and wife, one and all say that that, to which they devote special application, is war and that alone. Therefore indeed, the strong devote themselves to warfare, the old and feeble devote themselves to defence; for those who die there is no regret, and the living are bent on exerting themselves. This is what I mean by unifying education. The desire of people for riches and honour does not generally cease before their coffins are closed, and when the gate to riches and honour has its approach in soldiering, then when people hear of war, they congratulate each other, and whether at work or at rest, at times of drinking or eating, they will sing songs of war. This is what I mean by saying, that the climax in the understanding of education is to bring about a condition where there is no longer education.

8 賞刑:
Rewards and Punishments:...:
This is what I mean by the three teachings. A sage cannot have a universal knowledge of the needs of ten thousand beings, therefore in his administration of a state, he selects what is important for dealing with the ten thousand beings. So there is little instruction, but much successful effort. The way in which a sage governs a state is easy to know, but difficult to practice. Therefore, that sages need not be increased, common-place rulers need not be abolished, that the killing of men is no violence and the rewarding of men no benevolence, follow from the fact that the law is clear. The sage confers office and grants rank according to merit, therefore men of talent are not anxious. The sage is not indulgent with transgressions and does not pardon crimes, and so villainy does not spring up. The sage, in administering a state, investigates the possibilities of uniformity, and that alone.

URN: ctp:shang-jun-shu/rewards-and-punishments