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

Legge's summary: How a scholar prepares himself for the duties to which he aspires.

1. The king's son, Tien, asked Mencius, saying, 'What is the business of the unemployed scholar?'

2. Mencius replied, 'To exalt his aim.'

3. Tien asked again, 'What do you mean by exalting the aim?' The answer was, 'Setting it simply on benevolence and righteousness. He thinks how to put a single innocent person to death is contrary to benevolence; how to take what one has not a right to is contrary to righteousness; that one's dwelling should be benevolence; and one's path should be righteousness. Where else should he dwell? What other path should he pursue? When benevolence is the dwelling-place of the heart, and righteousness the path of the life, the business of a great man is complete.'

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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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