(Translation) 以五十步笑一百步

From 장서각위키
Jump to: navigation, search

Original Script




曰:「王如知此,則無望民之多於鄰國也。 《孟子.梁惠王上》


Student Translation : Julian Butterfield

King Hui of Liang said: "As for my [way of] being in the state, I wholly exert my heart therein, that is all. If Henei is threatened [by drought], I move its people to Hedong, and [Hedong's] grain to Henei. If Hedong is threatened, I do likewise [unto it]. Examining the bordering state's government, there is not one there who uses their heart as I do. [Yet] the bordering state's people do not grow few and my people do not grow many—why [is this]?"
Mengzi replied: "The king is skilled in warfare; let us make a comparison to battle. Drums sound [the soldiers] on in great scale, [yet] just as weapons touch, they abandon their armour, drag their weapons, and run away. Some retreat one hundred paces and then halt, the others retreat fifty paces and then halt. If those who retreated fifty paces laughed at those who retreated one hundred, how then?"
[The king] said: "Impermissible! It is only that they did not retreat one hundred paces, that is all—they also ran away."
[Mengzi] said: "If the king knows this, he should not wish for the people's being more numerous than the neighbouring state's."

  • Discussion Questions:

+ I'm assuming here that what's meant is that some of Henei's people are sent to Hedong, and some of Hedong's grain is sent to Henei, so that food can be evenly shared. Did anyone understand this differently?
(YO) That is my understanding.

+ In what ways does translating 心 as "heart" here affect our reading of King Hui's character, as opposed to using "mind"? Is it a significant difference? What do others prefer?
(YO) I think this chapter of Mencius is one of the places where the discussion of heart and heart-mind for translating 心 started. The issue is, simply put, whether 心 works in the same way as heart, for it does carry the function of cognition in addition to its source of emotion and affect. Thus it might be more fitting here, too, to translate it "mind," since King Hui's effort was from a careful thought of his own. What Mencius was about to advocate is for the king to exert his whole heart, including the care and love for his people.