Mencius. Book IV: Lî Lâu. Part II. Chapter XXIII.
Legge's summary: First judgments are not always correct. Impulses must be weighed in the balance of reason, and what reason dictates must be followed.
Mencius said, 'When it appears proper to take a thing, and afterwards not proper, to take it is contrary to moderation. When it appears proper to give a thing and afterwards not proper, to give it is contrary to kindness. When it appears proper to sacrifice one's life, and afterwards not proper, to sacrifice it is contrary to bravery.'
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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
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