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Mohism -> Mozi -> Book 1 -> Indulgence in Excess -> 5

Before the art of cooking was known,
primitive people ate only vegetables and lived in separation.
圣人Thereupon the sage taught the men to attend to farming and to plant trees
to supply the people with food.
And the sole purpose of securing food is to increase energy, satisfy hunger, strengthen the body and appease the stomach.
He was frugal in spending wealth and simple in habits of living, and so the people became rich and the country orderly.
With the present rulers all is different.
They would heavily tax the people
in order to enjoy elaborately the different meats and fish and turtle cooked in various wavs.
(The lord of) a large state is served with a hundred courses
and (that of) a small state, with tens of courses,
which will cover a table space of ten square feet.
The eyes cannot see all the dishes,
the hands cannot handle them all,
and the mouth cannot taste them all.
In winter they will freeze,
1 and in summer they sour.
As the ruler serves himself thus,
naturally his assistants imitate him.
And so the rich and high in rank are wasteful and extravagant,
while the solitary and miserable are hungry and cold.
2
It is impossible to keep such a state out of disorder.
天下If the rulers sincerely desire the empire to have order and hate to see it in disorder, they must not indulge in excessive eating and drinking.

1. 餲 : Originally read: "饰". Corrected by 吴毓江《墨子校注》
2. 虽 : Inserted. 孙诒让《墨子闲诂》


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