Mencius. Book VII: Tsin Sin. Part I. Chapter XXXI.

Legge's summary: The end may justify the means, but the principle should not be readily applied.

1. Kung-sun Ch'âu said, 'Î Yin said, "I cannot be near and see him so disobedient to reason," and therewith he banished T'â-chiâ to T'ung. The people were much pleased. When T'â-chiâ became virtuous, he brought him back, and the people were again much pleased.

2. 'When worthies are ministers, may they indeed banish their sovereigns in this way when they are not virtuous?'

3. Mencius replied, 'If they have the same purpose as Î Yin, they may. If they have not the same purpose, it would be usurpation.'

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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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