Mencius. Book IV: Lî Lâu. Part II. Chapter XVIII.
Legge's summary: How Mencius explained Confucius's praise of water.
1. The disciple Hsü said, 'Chung-nî often praised water, saying, "0 water! 0 water!" What did he find in water to praise?'
2. Mencius replied, 'There is a spring of water; how it gushes out! It rests not day nor night. It fills up every hole, and then advances, flowing onto the four seas. Such is water having a spring! It was this which he found in it to praise.
3. 'But suppose that the water has no spring.-- In the seventh and eighth when the rain falls abundantly, the channels in the fields are all filled, but their being dried up again may be expected in a short time. So a superior man is ashamed of a reputation beyond his merits.'
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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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