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

Legge's summary: How men judge wrongly of character, overlooking, in their admiration of one striking excellence, great failures and deficiencies.

Mencius said, 'Supposing that the kingdom of Ch'î were offered, contrary to righteousness, to Ch'an Chung, he would not receive it, and all people believe in him, as a man of the highest worth. But this is only the righteousness which declines a dish of rice or a plate of soup. A man can have no greater crimes than to disown his parents and relatives, and the relations of sovereign and minister, superiors and inferiors. How can it be allowed to give a man credit for the great excellences because he possesses a small one?'

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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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