Friday, July 27, 2012

Mencius - Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 10B

Mencius said, 'Yes; but how should the officer Shih know that the thing could not be? Suppose that I wanted to be rich, having formerly declined chung, would my now accepting, be the conduct of one desiring riches?

'Chî-sun said, "A strange man was Tsze-shû Î. He pushed himself into the service of government. His prince declining to employ him, he had to retire indeed, but he again schemed that his son or younger brother should be made a high officer. Who indeed is there of men but wishes for riches and honor? But he only, among the seekers of these, tried to monopolize the conspicuous mound.

'"Of old time, the market-dealers exchanged the articles which they had for others which they had not, and simply had certain officers to keep order among them. It happened that there was a mean fellow, who made it a point to look out for a conspicuous mound, and get up upon it. Thence he looked right and left, to catch in his net the whole gain of the market. The people all thought his conduct mean, and therefore they proceeded to lay a tax upon his wares. The taxing of traders took its rise from this mean fellow."'
~ James Legge translation via ~
Go here to read the introductory post to this serialized version of the Works of Mencius.

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