Mencius. Book VII: Tsin Sin. Part II. Chapter XXIII.

Legge's summary: How Mencius knew where to stop and maintain his own dignity in his intercourse with the princes.

1. When Ch'î was suffering from famine, Ch'an Tsin said to Mencius, 'The people are all thinking that you, Master, will again ask that the granary of T'ang be opened for them. I apprehend you will not do so a second time.'

2. Mencius said, 'To do it would be to act like Fang Fû. There was a man of that name in Tsin, famous for his skill in seizing tigers. Afterwards he became a scholar of reputation, and going once out to the wild country, he found the people all in pursuit of a tiger. The tiger took refuge in a corner of a hill, where no one dared to attack him, but when they saw Fang Fû, they ran and met him. Fang Fû immediately bared his arms, and descended from the carriage. The multitude were pleased with him, but those who were scholars laughed at him.'

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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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