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

Legge's summary: He who undertakes to counsel the great, should be morally above them.

1. Mencius said, 'Those who give counsel to the great should despise them, and not look at their pomp and display.

2. 'Halls several times eight cubits high, with beams projecting several cubits;-- these, if my wishes were to be realized, I would not have. Food spread before me over ten cubits square, and attendants and concubines to the amount of hundreds;-- these, though my wishes were realized, I would not have. Pleasure and wine, and the dash of hunting, with thousands of chariots following after me;-- these, though my wishes were realized, I would not have. What they esteem are what I would have nothing to do with; what I esteem are the rules of the ancients.-- Why should I stand in awe of them?'


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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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