On the Words of Great Men
Sometimes things may have an insignificant appearance in order toprevent them frombeing despoiled. So it is with people.
Now a robber is also ahuman being; he wears hats and clothes. He is distinguishable only byanunstable character as regards personal morals.
When one steals valuables, onemay make the excuse that cold and hunger leave noalternative; when one takesover a state, one might argue that its people must be rescuedfrom oppression.We need not bother about the former excuse; as for the latter a concern forthepeople is essential. But Liu Bang’s only words were, “This is the way in whicha great manshould live.” And Xiang Yu said, “We can take his power from him.”I do not suppose that theylacked a sense of modesty and moral scruples, butbecause they witnessed the luxury andexalted status of the emperor theystarted to have such ideas.
So seldom are grand palaces and splendid trappings not coveted byothers, that great menas well as ordinary people behave in this way.
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