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The people of Sung killed their ruler

At the time of Duke Ling of Chin the people of Sung killed their Duke Chao. Chao Hsüan-tzŭ asked Duke Ling for an army to aid those loyal to the Duke. Duke Ling said, "This is not the concern of the state of Chin."

Hsüan-tzŭ said, "That is not so. The most important thing is the relation between Heaven and Earth; next comes that between prince and subject. These relations are the means whereby accord is brought about. Now they have killed their prince, and in so doing have turned against the relation between Heaven and Earth and have acted contrary to the Way of man. Certainly Heaven will visit them with calamity. If Chin, as Executor of the Covenant, does not go to the rescue, it is to be feared that Heaven's punishment will come to us. The Ode says,

When among common people there was a death,
I crawled on my knees to help them.

How much the more should one do so when it is the ruler of a state!" Thereupon Duke Ling followed his advice by raising an army. When the people of Sung heard of it they gravely rejoiced, and the state of Chin daily became more prosperous. How was this? It came from their punishing the rebellious and preserving the accordant. The Ode says,

When among common people there was a death,
I crawled on my knees to help them.

Chao Hsüan-tzŭ is an example of this.



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