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Confucianism -> Mengzi -> Teng Wen Gong I -> 4.14

'In the time of Yao,
天下 when the world had not yet been perfectly reduced to order,
the vast waters, flowing out of their channels,
天下 made a universal inundation.
Vegetation was luxuriant,
and birds and beasts swarmed.
The various kinds of grain could not be grown.
The birds and beasts pressed upon men.
The paths marked by the feet of beasts and prints of birds
crossed one another throughout the Middle Kingdom.
To Yao alone this caused anxious sorrow.
He raised Shun to office, and measures to regulate the disorder were set forth.
使 Shun committed to Yi the direction of the fire to be employed,
and Yi set fire to, and consumed, the forests and vegetation on the mountains and in the marshes,
so that the birds and beasts fled away to hide themselves.
Yu separated the nine streams,
cleared the courses of the Ji and Ta,
and led them all to the sea.
He opened a vent also for the Ru and Han,
and regulated the course of the Huai and Si,
so that they all flowed into the Jiang.
When this was done, it became possible for the people of the Middle Kingdom to cultivate the ground and get food for themselves.
During that time,
Yu was eight years away from his home,
and though he thrice passed the door of it, he did not enter.
Although he had wished to cultivate the ground,
could he have done so?
后稷 The Minister of Agriculture taught the people to sow and reap,
cultivating the five kinds of grain.
When the five kinds of grain were brought to maturity, the people all obtained a subsistence.
But men possess a moral nature;
and if they are well fed, warmly clad, and comfortably lodged, without being taught at the same time,
they become almost like the beasts.
聖人 This was a subject of anxious solicitude to the sage Shun,
使 and he appointed Xie to be the Minister of Instruction,
to teach the relations of humanity:
how, between father and son, there should be affection;
between sovereign and minister, righteousness;
between husband and wife, attention to their separate functions;
between old and young, a proper order;
and between friends, fidelity.
The high meritorious sovereign said to him,
"Encourage them; lead them on;
rectify them; straighten them;
help them; give them wings
使 - thus causing them to become possessors of themselves.
。』Then follow this up by stimulating them, and conferring benefits on them."
聖人 When the sages were exercising their solicitude for the people in this way,
had they leisure to cultivate the ground?


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