Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mencius - Book 5, Part 1, Chapter 2A

Wan Chang asked Mencius, saying, 'It is said in the Book of Poetry,
"In marrying a wife, how ought a man to proceed?
He must inform his parents."
If the rule be indeed as here expressed, no man ought to have illustrated it so well as Shun. How was it that Shun's marriage took place without his informing his parents?' Mencius replied, 'If he had informed them, he would not have been able to marry. That male and female should dwell together, is the greatest of human relations. If Shun had informed his parents, he must have made void this greatest of human relations, thereby incurring their resentment. On this account, he did not inform them!

Wan Chang said, 'As to Shun's marrying without informing his parents, I have heard your instructions; but how was it that the Tî Yâo gave him his daughters as wives without informing Shun's parents?' Mencius said, 'The Tî also knew that if he informed them, he could not marry his daughters to him.'

~ James Legge translation via ~
Go here to read the introductory post to this serialized version of the Works of Mencius.

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