Mencius. Book IV: Lî Lâu. Part II. Chapter II.

Legge's summary: Good government lies in equal measures for the general good, not in acts of favour to individuals.

1. When Tsze-ch'an was chief minister of the State of Chang, he would convey people across the Chan and Wei in his own carriage.

2. Mencius said, 'It was kind, but showed that he did not understand the practice of government.

3. 'When in the eleventh month of the year the foot-bridges are completed, and the carriage-bridges in the twelfth month, the people have not the trouble of wading.

4. 'Let a governor conduct his rule on principles of equal justice, and, when he goes abroad, he may cause people to be removed out of his path. But how can he convey everybody across the rivers?

5. 'It follows that if a governor will try to please everybody, he will find the days not sufficient for his work.'

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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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