Mencius. Book VI: Kâo Tsze. Part I. Chapter XVI.

Legge's summary: There is a nobility that is of Heaven, and a nobility that is of man. The neglect of the former leads to the loss of the latter.

1. Mencius said, 'There is a nobility of Heaven, and there is a nobility of man. Benevolence, righteousness, self-consecration, and fidelity, with unwearied joy in these virtues;-- these constitute the nobility of Heaven. To be a kung, a ch'ing, or a tâ-fû;-- this constitutes the nobility of man.

2. 'The men of antiquity cultivated their nobility of Heaven, and the nobility of man came to them in its train.

3. 'The men of the present day cultivate their nobility of Heaven in order to seek for the nobility of man, and when they have obtained that, they throw away the other:-- their delusion is extreme. The issue is simply this, that they must lose that nobility of man as well.'


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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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