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

Legge's summary: The errors of Yang, Mo, and Tsze-mo. Obstinate adherence to a course which we may deem abstractly right is perilous.

1. Mencius said, 'The principle of the philosopher Yang was-- "Each one for himself." Though he might have benefited the whole kingdom by plucking out a single hair, he would not have done it.

2. 'The philosopher Mo loves all equally. If by rubbing smooth his whole body from the crown to the heel, he could have benefited the kingdom, he would have done it.

3. 'Tsze-mo holds a medium between these. By holding that medium, he is nearer the right. But by holding it without leaving room for the exigency of circumstances, it becomes like their holding their one point.

4. 'The reason why I hate that holding to one point is the injury it does to the way of right principle. It takes up one point and disregards a hundred others.'

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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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