Mencius. Book VII: Tsin Sin. Part I. Chapter XXXVI.

Legge's summary: How one's material position affects his air, and much more may moral character be expected to do so.

1. Mencius, going from Fan to Ch'î, saw the king of Ch'î's son at a distance, and said with a deep sigh, 'One's position alters the air, just as the nurture affects the body. Great is the influence of position! Are we not all men's sons in this respect?'

2. Mencius said, 'The residence, the carriages and horses, and the dress of the king's son, are mostly the same as those of other men. That he looks so is occasioned by his position. How much more should a peculiar air distinguish him whose position is in the wide house of the world!

3. 'When the prince of Lû went to Sung, he called out at the T'ieh-châi gate, and the keeper said, "This is not our prince. How is it that his voice is so like that of our prince?" This was occasioned by nothing but the correspondence of their positions.'


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Translated by James Legge, published in 1861 and revised for publication in 1895. Prepared as etext by Stephen R. McIntyre. Noded by schist. Please msg schist if you have suggestions for useful hard-links.

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