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

Legge's summary: How Mencius explained the different conduct of Tsang-tsze and of Tsze-sze in similar circumstances.

1. When the philosopher Tsang dwelt in Wû-ch'ang, there came a band from Yüeh to plunder it. Someone said to him, 'The plunderers are coming:-- why not leave this?' Tsang on this left the city, saying to the man in charge of the house, 'Do not lodge any persons in my house, lest they break and injure the plants and trees.' When the plunderers withdrew, he sent word to him, saying, 'Repair the walls of my house. I am about to return.' When the plunderers retired, the philosopher Tsang returned accordingly. His disciples said, 'Since our master was treated with so much sincerity and respect, for him to be the first to go away on the arrival of the plunderers, so as to be observed by the people, and then to return on their retiring, appears to us to be improper.' Ch'an-yû Hsing said, 'You do not understand this matter. Formerly, when Ch'an-yû was exposed to the outbreak of the grass-carriers, there were seventy disciples in our master's following, and none of them took part in the matter.'

2. When Tsze-sze was living in Wei, there came a band from Ch'î to plunder. Some one said to him, 'The plunderers are coming;-- why not leave this?' Tsze-sze said, 'If I go away, whom will the prince have to guard the State with?'

3. Mencius said, 'The philosophers Tsang and Tsze-sze agreed in the principle of their conduct. Tsang was a teacher;-- in the place of a father or elder brother. Tsze-sze was a minister;-- in a meaner place. If the philosophers Tsang and Tsze-sze had exchanged places the one would have done what the other did.'

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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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