Selections from the Mencius (c.300 BCE)

Selections from the Mencius (c.300 BCE) - Main | Other...

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Main | Other Chinese Web Sites Chinese Cultural Studies: Mengzi Meng-tse [Mencius] : Selections from the Mencius (c.300 BCE) The eventual success of Confucius ideas owes much to his followers in the two centuries following his death, the most important of whom where Mengzi [Mencius] (c.370-300 BCE) and Xunzi [Hsun-tse] (c. 310-215 BCE). The Mencius , like the Analects is a collection of philosopher's conversations presented in no particular order, but, unlike the Analects , specific points are often analyzed at length, perhaps because Mengzi himself had a hand in recording them. On Government Mencius had an audience with King Hui of Liang. The king said, "Sir, you did not consider a thousand li too far to come You must have some ideas about how to benefit my state." Mencius replied, "Why must Your Majesty use the word 'benefit'' All I am concerned with are the benevolent and the right. If Your Majesty says, 'How can I benefit my state?' your officials will say, 'How can I benefit my family,' and officers and common people will say, 'How can I benefit myself.' Once superiors and inferiors are cornpeting for benefit, the state will be in danger. When the head of a state of ten thousand chariots is murdered, the assassin is invariably a noble with a fief of a thousand chariots, When the head of a fief of a thousand chariots is murdered, the assassin is invariably head of a subfief of a hundred chariots. Those with a thousand out of ten thousand, or a hundred out of a thousand, had quite a bit. But when benefit is put before what is right, they are not satisfied without snatching it all. By contrast there has never been a benevolent person who neglected his parents or a righteous person who put his lord last. Your Majesty perhaps will now also say, 'All I am concerned with are the benevolent and the right. Why mention 'benefit?' '' After seeing King Xiang of Liang, Mencius to someone, "When I saw him from a distance he did not look like a ruler, and when I got closer, I saw nothing to command respect. But he asked 'How can the realm be settled?' I answered, 'It can be settled through unity.' 'Who can unify it?' he asked. I answered, 'Someone not fond of killing people.' 'Who could give it to him?' I answered 'Everyone in the world will give it to him. Your .Majesty knows what rice
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2010 for the course ASIA 150 taught by Professor Hewison during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

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Selections from the Mencius (c.300 BCE) - Main | Other...

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