Mencius. Book II: Kung-sun Ch'âu. Part II. Chapter I.
Legge's summary: No advantages which a ruler can obtain to exalt him over others are to be compared with his getting the hearts of men.
1. Mencius said, 'Opportunities of time vouchsafed by Heaven are not equal to advantages of situation afforded by the Earth, and advantages of situation afforded by the Earth are not equal to the union arising from the accord of Men.
2. 'There is a city, with an inner wall of three lî in circumference, and an outer wall of seven.-- The enemy surround and attack it, but they are not able to take it. Now, to surround and attack it, there must have been vouchsafed to them by Heaven the opportunity of time, and in such case their not taking it is because opportunities of time vouchsafed by Heaven are not equal to advantages of situation afforded by the Earth.
3. 'There is a city, whose walls are distinguished for their height, and whose moats are distinguished for their depth, where the arms of its defenders, offensive and defensive, are distinguished for their strength and sharpness, and the stores of rice and other grain are very large. Yet it is obliged to be given up and abandoned. This is because advantages of situation afforded by the Earth are not equal to the union arising from the accord of Men.
4. 'In accordance with these principles it is said, "A people is bounded in, not by the limits of dykes and borders; a State is secured, not by the strengths of mountains and rivers; the kingdom is overawed, not by the sharpness and strength of arms." He who finds the proper course has many to assist him. He who loses the proper course has few to assist him. When this,-- the being assisted by few,-- reaches its extreme point, his own relations revolt from the prince. When the being assisted by many reaches its highest point, the whole kingdom becomes obedient to the prince.
5. 'When one to whom the whole kingdom is prepared to be obedient, attacks those from whom their own relations revolt, what must be the result? Therefore, the true ruler will prefer not to fight; but if he do fight, he must overcome.'
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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
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