Mencius. Book II: Kung-sun Ch'âu. Part II. Chapter XIII.

Legge's summary: Mencius's grief at not finding an opportunity to do the good which he could.

1. When Mencius left Ch'î, Ch'ung Yü questioned him upon the way, saying, 'Master, you look like one who carries an air of dissatisfaction in his countenance. But formerly I heard you say-- "The superior man does not murmur against Heaven, nor grudge against men."'

2. Mencius said, 'That was one time, and this is another.

3. 'It is a rule that a true royal sovereign should arise in the course of five hundred years, and that during that time there should be men illustrious in their generation.

4. 'From the commencement of the Châu dynasty till now, more than seven hundred years have elapsed. Judging numerically, the date is past. Examining the character of the present time, we might expect the rise of such individuals in it.

5. 'But Heaven does not yet wish that the kingdom should enjoy tranquillity and good order. If it wished this, who is there besides me to bring it about? How should I be otherwise than dissatisfied?'

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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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