Attached are the four documents to be read and reviewed and the review sheet. The review sheet is to be completed for each document and will total four separate reviews.
The unpopular King John of England was forced by his barons in 1215 to sign this document, guaranteeing their feudal rights. Magna Carta is often considered one of the “founding documents” of English constitutional government.
John, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, count of Anjou: to the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justiciars, foresters, sheriffs, prevosts, serving men, and to all his bailiffs and faithful subjects, greetings: Know that we, by the will of God and for the safety of our soul, and of the souls of all our predecessors and our heirs, to the honour of God and for the exalting of the holy church and the amending of our realm. . . . (the preamble goes on to name all the noble witnesses)
1. First we have granted to God, and for us and for our heirs forever, have confirmed, by this our present charter, that the English Church shall be free and shall have its rights intact and its liberties untouched. And thus we will that it be observed, as is apparent from the fact that we, spontaneously and of our own free will, before dissent broke out between ourselves and our barons, did grant and by our charter confirm and did cause the lord Pope Innocent III to confirm freedom of elections, which is considered most important and most necessary to the church of England. Which charter both we ourselves shall observe, and we will that it be observed with good faith by our heirs forever. We have also granted to all free men of our realm, on the part of ourselves and our heirs forever, all the underwritten liberties, to have and to hold, to them and to their heirs, from us and from our heirs.
paragraphs 2-8 cover vassals’ rights of inheritance and rules regarding wardship and marriage.
9. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall seize any land or rents for any debt, so long as the chattels of the debtor suffice to pay the debt; nor shall the sponsors of that debtor be distrained so long as that chief debtor is able to pay the debt. But if the chief debtor fail in paying the debt, not having the means to pay it, the sponsors shall answer for the debt. And, if they wish, they may hold the lands and revenues of the debtor until satisfaction shall have been given them for the debt previously paid for him; unless the chief debtor shall show that he is quit of his obligation towards those same sponsors.
paragraphs 10 and 11 concern interest on debts and the responsibilities of the heirs of debtors.
12. No scutage or aid shall be imposed in our realm unless by the common counsel of our realm; except for ransoming our body, and knighting our eldest son, and marrying once our eldest daughter. And for these purposes there shall only be given a reasonable aid. In like manner shall it be concerning the aids of the city of London.
13. And the city of London shall have all its ancient liberties and free customs as well by land as by water. Moreover we will and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns and ports shall have all their liberties and free customs.
14. And, for obtaining the common counsel of the realm in the matter of assessing an aid otherwise than in the aforesaid cases, or of scutage, we shall cause, under seal through our letters, the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons to be summoned for a fixed day for a term, namely, at least forty days distant, and for a fixed place. And, moreover, we shall cause to be summoned in general, through our sheriffs and bailiffs, all those who hold of us directly. And in all those letters of summons we shall express the cause thereof. And when a summons has thus been made, the business shall be proceeded with on the day appointed according to the advice of those who shall be present, even though not all shall come who were summoned.
paragraphs 15 and 16 deal with other minor feudal aids.
17. Common pleas shall not follow our court but shall be held in some certain place.
paragraphs 18 and 19 cover hearings on land disputes.
20. A freeman shall only be amerced for a small offence only according to the measure of that offence. And for a great offence he shall be amerced according to the magnitude of the offence, saving his rank, and a merchant, in the same way, saving his merchandise. And a villein, in the same way, if he fall under our mercy, shall be amerced saving his tillage. And none of the aforesaid fines shall be imposed save upon oath of upright men from the neighbourhood.
21. Earls and barons shall not be amerced but through their peers, and only according to the measure of the offence.
22. No clergyman shall be amerced for his lay property except according to the manner of the other persons aforesaid; and not according to the amount of his ecclesiastical benefice.
23. Neither a town nor a man shall be compelled to make bridges over the rivers, with the exception of those who, from of old and of right ought to do so.
paragraphs 24-26 deal with miscellaneous items.
27. If any free man shall die intestate, his property shall be distributed by his nearest kin and friends, under supervision of the Church, saving debts owed to his creditors.
28. No constable or other bailiff of ours shall take the corn or other chattels of any one except he straightway give payment for them, or can be allowed a postponement in that regard by the will of the seller.
paragraphs 29-31 deal with other property protections.
32. We shall not retain the lands of those convicted of felony longer than a year and a day and then the lands shall be restored to the lords of the fiefs.
paragraphs 33-34 cover other minor concessions.
35. There shall be only one measure of wine throughout our realm, and one of ale, and one of corn, that is, the London quarter, and one breadth of dyed cloth, russets, and haberjets, that is, two ells within the selvages. As with measures so shall it also be with weights.
paragraphs 36 and 37 deal with writs and wardship.
38. In the future no bailiff shall upon his own unsupported accusation bring any man to trial unless he produce credible witnesses to the truth of the charge.
39. No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseized, outlawed, banished, or in any way harmed nor will we proceed against or prosecute him, save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
40. To none will we sell, and to none deny or delay, right or justice.
41. All merchants may safely go out of England, and come into England, and stay in and pass through England, as well by land as by water, for the purpose of buying and selling, free from all illegal taxes, subject to the ancient and just customs save in time of war, if they are of the land at war against us. And if such be found in our realm at the beginning of the war, they shall be held, without harm to their bodies and goods, until it shall be known to us or our chief justiciary how the merchants of our land are being treated who shall, at that time, be found in the land at war against us. And if ours shall be safe there, the others shall be safe with us.
42. Henceforth any person may go out of our realm and return to it, safely and securely, by land and water, except perhaps for a brief period in time of war, for the common good of the realm and saving his fealty to us. But prisoners and outlaws are excepted according to the law of the realm; also people of a land at war against us, and the merchants, with regard to whom shall be done as aforesaid.
paragraphs 43-48 concern escheats, forest laws and the like.
49. We shall immediately return all hostages and charters which were delivered to us by Englishmen as security for peace or faithful service.
paragraph 50 requires the King to expel some of his foreign advisors.
51. And immediately after peace is restored we shall banish from the realm all the foreign knights, crossbowmen, servants, and mercenaries, who may have come with horses and arms to the harm of the realm.
52. If any one shall have been disseized by us, or removed, without a legal judgment of his peers, from his lands, castles, liberties or lawful rights, we shall immediately restore them to him. And if a dispute shall arise concerning them it shall be settled according to the judgment of the twenty-five barons who are mentioned below as sureties for the peace. But with regard to all those things of which any man was, by king Henry our father or king Richard our brother, disseized or dispossessed without legal judgment of his peers, which we have in our hand or which others hold, and for which we ought to give a guarantee, we shall have respite until the commonly allowed term for crusaders. Except with regard to those concerning which a plea has arisen, or an inquest made by our order, before we took the cross. But when we return from our pilgrimage, or if, by chance, we desist from our pilgrimage, we shall then do full justice regarding them.
paragraph 53 extends the same consideration to royal forests.
54. No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on a woman’s accusation for the death of any man other than her husband.
55. All fines imposed by us unjustly and contrary to the law of the land, and all amercements levied unjustly and contrary to the law of the land, shall be altogether remitted, or it shall be settled according to the judgment of the twenty-five barons mentioned below as sureties for the peace, or according to the judgment of the majority of them together with Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present, and with others whom he may wish to associate with himself for this purpose.
paragraphs 56-59 deal with Wales and Scotland.
60. All the subjects of our realm, clergy as well as laity, shall, as far as pertains to them, observe, with regard to their vassals, all these aforesaid customs and liberties which we have decreed shall, as far as pertains to us, be observed in our realm with regard to our own vassals.
61. Inasmuch as, for the honor of God, and for the amendment of our realm, and for the healing of the discord which has arisen between us and our barons, we have made all these aforesaid concessions, wishing them to enjoy forever complete and firm stability, we make and grant to them the following security: that the barons, namely, may elect at will twenty-five barons from the realm, who ought, with all their strength, to observe, maintain and cause to be observed, the peace and liberties which we have granted to them and confirmed by this our present charter. So that if we, or our justice, or our bailiffs, or any one of our servants shall have transgressed against any man in any respect, or shall have broken some one of these articles of peace or security, and our transgression shall have been shown to four barons of the aforesaid twenty-five: those four barons shall come to us, or, if we are abroad, to our justiciar showing to us our error; and they shall ask us to cause that error to be amended speedily. And if we do not amend that error, or, we being abroad, if our justiciar do not amend it within forty days from the time when it was shown to us or, we being, abroad, to our justiciar: the aforesaid four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the twenty-five barons, and those twenty-five barons, with the whole land together shall distrain and oppress us in every way in their power, namely, by taking our castles, lands and possessions, and in every other way that they can, until amends shall have been made according to their judgment. Saving the persons of ourselves, our queen and our children. And when amends shall have been made they shall be at peace with us as they had been previously. And anyone in the land wishes to do so, may swear that in carrying out all the aforesaid measures he will obey the commands of the aforementioned twenty-five barons, and that, with them, he will oppress us to the best of his ability. And, to any one who wishes to do so, we publicly and freely give permission to swear; and we will never prevent any one from swearing. Moreover, all those in the land who shall be unwilling, themselves and of their own accord, to swear to the twenty-five barons as to distraining and oppressing us with them: such ones we shall make to swear by our mandate. . . . the paragraph goes on to mention how the 25 barons may be replaced in case of death, etc.
62. We have also fully remitted and pardoned all the ill-will, wrath and malice which have arisen between us and our subjects, clergy and laymen, from the time of the dispute, to and with all men. Moreover we have fully remitted to all, clergy and laity, and as far as pertains to us, have pardoned fully all the trespasses committed, on the occasion of that same dispute, from Easter of the sixteenth year of our reign until the restoration of peace. In witness whereof we have caused to be drawn up for them letters patent of Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, Henry, archbishop of Dublin, and the aforesaid bishops and master Pandulph, regarding that surety and the aforesaid concessions.
63. Wherefore we will and firmly decree that the English church shall be free, and that all subjects in our realm shall have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights and concessions, duly and in peace, freely, quietly, fully and entirely, for themselves and their heirs, from us and our heirs, in all things and in all places, forever, as aforesaid. Moreover it has been sworn, on our part as well as on the part of the barons, that all these abovementioned provisions shall be observed with good faith and without deceit, the witnesses being the abovementioned and many others. Given by our hand, in the meadow which is called Runnymede between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June, in the seventeenth year of our reign.
On Experimental Science, 1268
Roger Bacon (ca. 1214-1294) was an English philosopher and Franciscan religious teacher. He emphasized empiricism. and was one of the earliest European intellectuals to advocate the modern scientific method.
–Dr. Yuegen David Yu, Central State University, October 4, 2007
Having laid down the main points of the wisdom of the Latins as regards language, mathematics and optics, I wish now to review the principles of wisdom from the point of view of experimental science, because without experiment it is impossible to know anything thoroughly.
There are two ways of acquiring knowledge, one through reason, the other by experiment. Argument reaches a conclusion and compels us to admit it, but it neither makes us certain nor so annihilates doubt that the mind rests calm in the intuition of truth, unless it finds this certitude by way of experience. Thus many have arguments toward attainable facts, but because they have not experienced them, they overlook them and neither avoid a harmful nor follow a beneficial course. Even if a man that has never seen fire, proves by good reasoning that fire burns, and devours and destroys things, nevertheless the mind of one hearing his arguments would never be convinced, nor would he avoid fire until he puts his hand or some combustible thing into it in order to prove by experiment what the argument taught. But after the fact of combustion is experienced, the mind is satisfied and lies calm in the certainty of truth. Hence argument is not enough, but experience is.
This is evident even in mathematics, where demonstration is the surest. The mind of a man that receives that clearest of demonstrations concerning the equilateral triangle without experiment will never stick to the conclusion nor act upon it till confirmed by experiment by means of the intersection of two circles from either section of which two lines are drawn to the ends of a given line. Then one receives the conclusion without doubt. What Aristotle says of the demonstration by the syllogism being able to give knowledge, can be understood if it is accompanied by experience, but not of the bare demonstration. What he says in the first book of the Metaphysics, that those knowing the reason and cause are wiser than the experienced, he speaks concerning the experienced who know the bare fact only without the cause. But I speak here of the experienced that know the reason and cause through their experience. And such are perfect in their knowledge, as Aristotle wishes to be in the sixth book of the Ethics, whose simple statements are to be believed as if they carried demonstration, as he says in that very place.
Whoever wishes without proof to revel in the truths of things need only know how to neglect experience. This is evident from examples. Authors write many things and the people cling to them through arguments which they make without experiment, that are utterly false. It is commonly believed among all classes that one can break adamant only with the blood of a goat, and philosophers and theologians strengthen this myth. But it is not yet proved by adamant being broken by blood of this kind, as much as it is argued to this conclusion. And yet, even without the blood it can be broken with ease. I have seen this with my eyes; and this must needs be because gems cannot be cut out save by the breaking of the stone. Similarly it is commonly believed that the secretions of the beaver that the doctors use are the testicles of the male, but this is not so, as the beaver has this secretion beneath its breast and even the male as well as the female produces a secretion of this kind. In addition also to this secretion the male has its testicles in the natural place and thus again it is a horrible lie that, since hunters chase the beaver for this secretion, the beaver knowing what they are after, tears out his testicles with his teeth and throws them away. Again it is popularly said that cold water in a vase freezes more quickly than hot; and the argument for this is that contrary is excited by the contrary, like enemies running together. They even impute this to Aristotle in the second book of Meteorology, but he certainly did not say this, but says something like it by which they have been deceived, that if both cold and hot water are poured into a cold place as on ice, the cold freezes quicker (which is true), but if they are placed in two vases, the hot will freeze quicker. It is necessary, then, to prove everything by experience.
Experience is of two kinds. One is through the external senses: such are the experiments that are made upon the heaven through instruments in regard to facts there, and the facts on earth that we prove in various ways to be certain in our own sight. And facts that are not true in places where we are, we know through other wise men that have experienced them. Thus Aristotle with the authority of Alexander, sent 2,000 men throughout various parts of the earth in order to learn at first hand everything on the surface of the world, as Pliny says in his Natural History. And this experience is human and philosophical just as far as a man is able to make use of the beneficent grace given to him, but such experience is not enough for man, because it does not give full certainty as regards corporeal things because of their complexity and touches the spiritual not at all. Hence man’s intellect must be aided in another way, and thus the patriarchs and prophets who first gave science to the world secured inner light and did not rest entirely on the senses. So also many of the faithful since Christ. For grace makes many things clear to the faithful, and there is divine inspiration not alone concerning spiritual but even about corporeal things. In accordance with which Ptolemy says in the Centilogium that there is a double way of coming to the knowledge of things, one through the experiments of science, the other through divine inspiration, which latter is far the better as he says.
Of this inner experience there are seven degrees, one through spiritual illumination in regard to scientific things. The second grade consists of virtue, for evil is ignorance as Aristotle says in the second book of the Ethics. And Algazel says in the logic that the mind is disturbed by faults, just as a rusty mirror in which the images of things cannot be clearly seen, but the mind is prepared by virtue like a well polished mirror in which the images of things show clearly. On account of this, true philosophers have accomplished more in ethics in proportion to the soundness of their virtue, denying to one another that they can discover the cause of things unless they have minds free from faults. Augustine relates this fact concerning Socrates in Book VIII, chapter III, of the City of God: to the same purpose Scripture says, to an evil mind, etc., for it is impossible that the mind should lie calm in the sunlight of truth while it is spotted with evil, but like a parrot or magpie it will repeat words foreign to it which it has learned through long practice. And this is our experience, because a known truth draws men into its light for love of it, but the proof of this love is the sight of the result. And indeed he that is busy against truth must necessarily ignore this, that it is permitted him to know how to fashion many high sounding words and to write sentences not his own, just as the brute that imitates the human voice or an ape that attempts to carry out the works of men, although he does not understand their purpose. Virtue, then, clears the mind so that one can better understand not only ethical, but even scientific things. I have carefully proved this in the case of many pure youths who, on account of their innocent minds, have gone further in knowledge than I dare to say, because they have had correct teaching in religious doctrine, to which class the bearer of this treatise belongs, to whose knowledge of principles but few of the Latins rise. Since he is so young (about twenty years old) and poor besides, not able to have masters nor the length of any one year to learn all the great things he knows, and since he neither has great genius or a wonderful memory, there can be no other cause, save the grace of God, which, on account of the clearness of his mind, has granted to him these things which it has refused to almost all students, for a pure man, he has received pure things from me. Nor have I been able to find in him any kind of a mortal fault, although I have searched diligently, and he has a mind so clear and far seeing that he receives less from instruction than can be supposed. And I have tried to lend my aid to the purpose that these two youths may be useful implements for the Church of God, inasmuch as they have with the Grace of God examined the whole learning of the Latins.
The third degree of spiritual experience is the gift of the Holy Spirit, which Isaiah describes. The fourth lies in the beatitudes which our Lord enumerates in the Gospels. The fifth is the spiritual sensibility. The sixth is in such fruits as the peace of God, which passes all understanding. The seventh lies in states of rapture and in the methods of those also, various ones of whom receive it in various ways, that they may see many things which it is not permitted to speak of to man. And whoever is thoroughly practiced in these experiences or in many of them, is able to assure himself and others, not only concerning spiritual things, but all human knowledge. And indeed, since all speculative thought proceeds through arguments which either proceed through a proposition by authority or through other propositions of argument, in accordance with this which I am now investigating, there is a science that is necessary to us, which is called experimental. I wish to explain this, not only as useful to philosophy, but to the knowledge of God and the understanding of the whole world: as in a former book I followed language and science to their end, which is the Divine wisdom by which all things are ordered.
And because this experimental science is a study entirely unknown by the common people, I cannot convince them of its utility, unless its virtue and characteristics are shown. This alone enables us to find out surely what can be done through nature, what through the application of art, what through fraud, what is the purport and what is mere dream in chance, conjuration, invocations, imprecations, magical sacrifices and what there is in them; so that all falsity may be lifted and the truths we alone of the art retained. This alone teaches us to examine all the insane ideas of the magicians in order not to confirm but to avoid them, just as logic criticizes the art of sophistry. This science has three great purposes in regard to the other sciences: the first is that one may criticize by experiment the noble conclusions of all the other sciences, for the other sciences know that their principles come from experiment, but the conclusions through arguments drawn from the principles discovered, if they care to have the result of their conclusions precise and complete. It is necessary that they have this through the aid of this noble science. It is true that mathematics reaches conclusions in accordance with universal experience about figures and numbers, which indeed apply to all sciences and to this experience, because no science can be known without mathematics. If we would attain to experiments precise, complete and made certain in accordance with the proper method, it is necessary to undertake an examination of the science itself, which is called experimental on our authority. I find an example in the rainbow and in like phenomena, of which nature are the circles about the sun and stars, also the halo beginning from the side of the sun or of a star which seems to be visible in straight lines and is called by Aristotle in the third book of the Meteorology a perpendicular, but by Seneca a halo, and is also called a circular corona, which have many of the colors of the rainbow. Now the natural philosopher discusses these things, and in regard to perspective has many facts to add which are concerned with the operation of seeing which is pertinent in this place. But neither Aristotle or Avicenna have given us knowledge of these things in their books upon Nature, nor Seneca, who wrote a special book concerning them. But experimental science analyzes such things.
The experimenter considers whether among visible things, he can find colors formed and arranged as given in the rainbow. He finds that there are hexagonal crystals from Ireland or India which are called rainbow-hued in Solinus Concerning the Wonders of the World and he holds these in a ray of sunlight falling through the window, and finds all the colors of the rainbow, arranged as in it in the shaded part next the ray. Moreover, the same experimenter places himself in a somewhat shady place and puts the stone up to his eye when it is almost closed, and beholds the colors of the rainbow clearly arranged, as in the bow. And because many persons making use of these stones think that it is on account of some special property of the stones and because of their hexagonal shape the investigator proceeds further and finds this in a crystal, properly shaped, and in other transparent stones. And not only are these Irish crystals in white, but also black, so that the phenomenon occurs in smoky crystal and also in all stones of similar transparency. Moreover, in stones not shaped hexagonally, provided the surfaces are rough, the same as those of the Irish crystals, not entirely smooth and yet not rougher than those—the surfaces have the same quality as nature has given the Irish crystals, for the difference of roughness makes the difference of color. He watches, also, rowers and in the drops falling from the raised oars he finds the same colors, whenever the rays of the sun penetrate the drops.
The case is the same with water falling from the paddles of a water-wheel. And when the investigator looks in a summer morning at the drops of dew clinging to the grass in the field or plane, he sees the same colors. And, likewise, when it rains, if he stands in a shady place and the sun’s rays beyond him shine through the falling drops, then in some rather dark place the same colors appear, and they can often be seen at night about a candle. In the summer time, as soon as he rises from sleep while his eyes are not yet fully opened, if he suddenly looks at a window through which the light of the sun is streaming, he will see the colors. Again, sitting outside of the sunlight, if he holds his head covering beyond his eyes, or, likewise, if he closes his eyes, the same thing happens in the shade at the edges, and it also takes place through a glass vase filled with water, sitting in the sunlight. Similarly, if any one holding water in his mouth suddenly sprinkles the water in jets and stands at the side of them; or if through a lamp of oil hanging in the air the rays shine in the proper way, or the light shines upon the surface of the oil, the colors again appear. Thus, in an infinite number of ways, natural as well as artificial, colors of this kind are to be seen, if only the diligent investigator knows how to find them.
Experimental science is also that which alone, as the mistress of the speculative sciences, can discover magnificent truths in the fields of the other sciences, to which these other sciences can in no way attain. And these truths are not of the nature of former truths, but they may be even outside of them, in the fields of things where there are neither as yet conclusions or principles, and good examples may be given of this, but in everything which follows it is not necessary for the inexperienced to seek a reason in order to understand at the beginning, but rather he will never have a reason before he has tried the experiment. Whence in the first place there should be credulity until experiment follows, in order that the reason may be found. If one who has never seen that a magnet draws iron nor heard from others that it attracts, seeks the reason before experimenting, he will never find it. Indeed, in the first place, he ought to believe those who have experimented or who have it from investigators, nor ought he to doubt the truth of it because he himself is ignorant of it and because he has no reason for it.
The third value of this science is this—it is on account of the prerogatives through which it looks, not only to the other sciences, but by its own power investigates the secrets of nature, and this takes place in two ways—in the knowledge of future and present events, and in those wonderful works by which it surpasses astronomy commonly so-called in the power of its conclusions. For Ptolemy in the introduction of the Almagest, says that there is another and surer way than the ordinary astronomy; that is, the experimental method which follows after the course of nature, to which many faithful philosophers, such as Aristotle and a vast crowd of the authors of predictions from the stars, are favorable, as he himself says, and we ourselves know through our own experience, which cannot be denied. This wisdom has been found as a natural remedy for human ignorance or imprudence; for it is difficult to have astronomical implements sufficiently exact and more difficult to have tables absolutely verified, especially when the motion of the planets is involved in them. The use of these tables is difficult, but the use of the instruments more so.
This science has found definitions and ways through which it quickly comes to the answer of a whole question, as far as the nature of a single science can do so, and through which it shows us the outlines of the virtues of the skies and the influence of the sky upon this earth, without the difficulty of astronomy. This part so-called has four principal laws as the secret of the science, and some bear witness that a use of this science, which illustrates its nature, is in the change of a region in order that the customs of the people may be changed. In connection with which Aristotle, the most learned of philosophers, when Alexander asked of him concerning some tribes that he had found, whether he should kill them on account of their barbarity or let them live, responded in the Book of Secrets if you can change their air let them live; if not, kill them. He wished that their air could be altered usefully, so that the complexion of their bodies could be changed, and finally the mind aroused through the complexion should absorb good customs from the liberty of their environment; this is one use of this science.
From: Oliver J. Thatcher, ed., The Library of Original Sources (Milwaukee: University Research Extension Co., 1901), Vol. V: The Early Medieval World, pp. 369-376.
EXTRACT FROM THE ANALECTS OF CONFUCIUS (LUN YU)
Confucius, 479 BC (CE)
Note: Confucius (Kong Qiu or K’ung Ch’iu, 551 BC-479 BC) was the most famous philosopher and “the Grand Master of All Ages” throughout Chinese history. The Analects of Confucius, compiled by pupils after his death, has been the essence of Confucianism for more than 2,500 years. It is a treasure of Chinese culture and a paragon of world philosophical thought. The following extracts from the Analects are based on the Lun Yu in Chinese, English, French, and Japanese (Hong Kong: Confucius Publishing Co., Ltd., 1996). I wish to thank the Confucius Hall of Hong Kong for providing a free copy. — Yuegen Yu, Ph.D.
Chapter One: To Learn
· Confucius said: “To learn and to practice what is learned time and again is pleasure, is it not? To have friends come from afar is happiness, is it not? To be unperturbed when not appreciated by others is gentlemanly, is it not?”
· Tseng Tzu said: “Each day I examine myself on three counts: whether or not I am loyal to those in whose behalf I act; whether or not I am trustworthy in my dealings with friends; whether or not I practise what is imparted.”
· Tzu Hsia said: “To revere virtue instead of beauty, to devote all strength to serve parents, to be willing to die in serving the lord, to speak with trustwothiness with friends: even though it is said this is not to have learned, I say this is.”
· Confucius said: “Do not be concerned about others not appreciating you. Be concerned about your not appreciating others.”
Chapter Two: To Rule
· Confucius said: “To rule with virtue is like the North Star in its place, around which all other stars revolve, in homage.”
· Confucius said: “Lead through policies, discipline through punishment, and the people may be restrained but without a sense of shame. Lead through virtue, discipline through the rites, and there will be a sense of shame and conscientious improvements.
· Confucius said: “At fifteen, I aspired to learning. At thirty, I established my stand. At forty, I had no delusions. At fifty, I knew my destiny. At sixty, I knew truth in all I heard. At seventy, I could follow the wishes of my heart without doing wrong.”
· Confucius said: “To acknowledge what is known as known, and what is not known as not known is knowledge.”
Chapter Three: Eight Rows of Eight Dancers
· Duke Ting asked: “What do you say about how the lord should employ his subjects and how the subjects should serve their lord.” Confucius replied: “The lord should employ his subjects in accordance with the rites. The subjects should serve their lord with loyalty.
Chapter Four: To Live Among the Benevolent
· Confucius said: “During your parents’ lifetime, do not journey afar. If a journey has to be made, your direction must be told.”
· Confucius said: “The gentleman understands righteousness, the petty man understands profit.”
Chapter Five: Kung-Yeh Chang
· Tzu Kung said: “I do not wish to be imposed upon by others, nor do I wish to impose upon others.” Confucius said: “Tsu, that you have not attained.”
· Confucius said: “He was quick and devoted to learning, and unshamed to ask of those below him. That is why was called ‘wen’ (learned).”
Chapter Seven: To Relate
· Confucius said: “When three men walk together, there is always something I can learn. Choose what is good in them and correct what is not good.”
· The four teachings of Confucius: literature, conduct, loyalty, and trustworthiness.
· Confucius said: “The gentleman is free and bountiful, the petty man is bound and grieving.”
Chapter Eight: Tai Po
· Tseng Tsu said: ” A scholar must not be without scope and persistence, for his responsibility is weighty and his way is long. Benevolence is the responsibility he has taken upon himself: is it not weighty? Only after his death does it end: is it not long?”
· Confucius said: “The people may be made to follow, but may not be made to know?”
· Confucius said: “When not in the official position, do not be involved with its policies.”
Chapter Nine: Confucius Seldom Spoke of Profit
· Confucius said: “The three armies can be deprived of their commanding officer, but a common man can not be deprived of his aspirations.”
Chapter Twelve: Yen Yuen
· Confucius said: “To discipline self to fulfill the rites is benevolence. The day when self-discipline fulfils the rites, all under heaven would be with benevolence. Indeed, the practices of benevolence originate from self and not from others!” “Do not look at what is not inaccordance with the rites; do not listen to what is not inaccordance with the rites; do not speak when it is not inaccordance with the rites, do not act when it is not inaccordance with the rites.
· Confucius said: “What you do not wish upon yourself, extend not to others.”
· Tzu Hsia said: “Life and death are predestined, riches and position are up to heaven. The gentleman is respectful and does no wrong, courteous towards others, and is with the rites. All within the four seas are his brothers.”
· Yu Jo said to Duke Ai: “If it is sufficient for the people, how could it be insufficient for the lord? If it is insufficient for the people, how could it be sufficient for the lord?”
· Confucius said: “Let the lords be lords, the subjects be subjects, the fathers be fathers, the sons be sons.”
· Confucius said: “The gentleman helps others to accomplish good. He does not help others to accomplish vice. The petty man does the reverse.”
Chapter Fourteen: Hsien Asked
· Confucius said: “A man who has virtue is sure to have something to say. A man who has something to say is not sure to have virtue. A man who has benevolence is sure to have courage. A man who has courage is not sure to have benevolence.”
· Confucius said: “When not in the official position, do not be involved with its policies.”
· Confucius said: “Do not be concerned about others not appreciating you. Be concerned about your own inabilities.”
· Confucius said: “A gentleman is ashamed if his words outshine his actions.”
· Someone said: “‘Repay complaint with virtue.’ What do you say?” Confucius said: “And how should virtue be repaid? Repay complaint with honesty, and virtue with virtue.”
Chapter Fifteen: Duke Ling of Wei
· Confucius said: “Men who do not care about the future, will soon have trouble.”
· Confucius said: “The gentleman does not elevate a man because of what he speaks, nor abandon what is spoken because of the speaker.”
· Confucius said: “Clever talk disorder virtue. Intolerance in small matters disorders big plans.”
· Confucius said: “Having made a mistake, not to correct it is a mistake indeed.”
· Confucius said: “Teach without discrimination.”
Chapter Sixteen: Chi
· Confucius said: “. . . I have heared that the lord of a state or a family concerns himself not with scarcity, but rather with uneven distribution, not with poverty but with discontent.”
Chapter Seventeen: Yang Huo
· Confucius said: “So close to each other in nature, yet so far from each other through experience.”
· Confucius said: “Only the wisest and the most dull-witted are unchangeable.”
· When asked about benevolence, Confucius said: “The ability to enact the five everywhere under heaven is benevolence.” “Courtesy, tolerance, trustworthiness, quickness and generosity.”
· Confucius said: “Only women and petty men are difficult to handle. Be close to them and they are not humble, keep them at arm’s length and they complain.”
Chapter Nineteen: Tzu Chang
· Tzu Hsia said: “Excel in public office and learn. Excel in learning and assume public office.”
Julius Caesar: The Germans, c. 51 BCE
Introduction: This general account of the Germans is drawn from the middle of Book VI of De Bello Gallico. We are not to suppose that Caesar’s knowledge of the Germans was in any sense thorough. At no time did he get far into their country, and the people whose manners and customs he had an opportunity to observe were only those who were pressing down upon, and occasionally across, the Rhine boundary—a mere fringe of the great race stretching back to the Baltic. We may be sure that many of the more remote German tribes lived after a fashion quite different from that which Caesar and his legions had an opportunity to observe on the Rhine-Danube frontier. Still, Caesar’s account, vague and brief as it is, has an importance that can hardly be exaggerated. These early Germans had no written literature, and but for the descriptions of them left by a few Roman writers, such as Caesar, we should know almost nothing about them.
21. The customs of the Germans differ widely from those of the Gauls; for neither have they Druids to preside over religious services, nor do they give much attention to sacrifices. They count in the number of their gods those only whom they can see, and by whose favors they are clearly aided; that is to say, the Sun, Vulcan, and the Moon. Of other deities they have never even heard. Their whole life is spent in hunting and in war. From childhood they are trained in labor and hardship.
22. They are not devoted to agriculture, and the greater portion of their food consists of milk, cheese, and flesh. No one owns a particular piece of land, with fixed limits, but each year the magistrates and the chiefs assign to the clans and the bands of kinsmen who have assembled together as much land as they think proper, and in whatever place they desire, and the next year compel them to move to some other place. They give many reasons for this custom—that the people may not lose their zeal for war through habits established by prolonged attention to the cultivation of the soil; that they may not be eager to acquire large possessions, and that the stronger may not drive the weaker from their property; that they may not build too carefully, in order to avoid cold and heat; that the love of money may not spring up, from which arise quarrels and dissensions; and, finally, that the common people may live in contentment, since each person sees that his wealth is kept equal to that of the most powerful.
23. It is a matter of the greatest glory to the tribes to lay waste, as widely as possible, the lands bordering their territory, thus making them uninhabitable. They regard it as the best proof of their valor that their neighbors are forced to withdraw from those lands and hardly any one dares set foot there; at the same time they think that they will thus be more secure, since the fear of a sudden invasion is removed. When a tribe is either repelling an invasion or attacking an outside people, magistrates are chosen to lead in the war, and these are given the power of life and death. In times of peace there is no general magistrate, but the chiefs of the districts and cantons render justice among their own people and settle disputes. Robbery, if committed beyond the borders of the tribe, is not regarded as disgraceful, and they say that it is practiced for the sake of training the youth and preventing idleness. When any one of the chiefs has declared in an assembly that he is going to be the leader of an expedition, and that those who wish to follow him should give in their names, they who approve of the undertaking, and of the man, stand up and promise their assistance, and are applauded by the people. Such of these as do not then follow him are looked upon as deserters and traitors, and from that day no one has any faith in them.
To mistreat a guest they consider to be a crime. They protect from injury those who have come among them for any purpose whatever, and regard them as sacred. To them the houses of all are open and food is freely supplied.
From: Frederic Austin Ogg, ed., A Source Book of Mediaeval History: Documents Illustrative of European Life and Institutions from the German Invasions to the Renaissance, (New York, 1907, reprinted by Cooper Square Publishers (New York), 1972), pp.20-22
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[Dr. Yuegen Yu, Friday, May 22, 2020]