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The superior man does not take advantage of another in distress, nor does he make trouble for a man who is in straits

Of old Chao Chien-tzŭ had died and before he was buried the district of Chung-mou revolted. When he had been buried five days, Hsiang-tzŭ raised troops and attacked Chung-mou. Before he had finished surrounding the city, ten ch’ang of its walls fell down of their own accord. Hsiang-tzŭ beat the signal for retreat, and his forces withdrew. An officer objected, "When Your Highness is punishing the crime of Chung-mou and their walls break down of themselves, it is Heaven aiding you. Why have you withdrawn your forces?"

Hsiang-tzŭ said, "I have heard Shu-hsiang say that the superior man does not take advantage of another in distress, nor does he make trouble for a man who is in straits. Have them repair their walls; after that we will launch an attack."

When the people of Chung-mou heard how just (i) he had been, they asked to surrender. The superior man would say, "Good. Hsiang-tzŭ is meant by this."

The Ode says,

The king's plans were true and sincere,
And the country of Hsü submitted.

昔者、赵简子薨而未葬,中牟畔之,葬五日,襄子兴师而次之,围未匝,而城自坏者十丈,襄子击金而退之。军吏谏曰:“君诛中牟之罪,而城自坏者、是天助之也,君曷为而退之?”襄子曰:“吾闻之于叔向曰:‘君子不乘人于利,不厄人于险。’使其城,然后攻之。”中牟闻其义而请降。曰:“善哉!襄子之谓也。《诗》曰:‘王猷允塞,徐方既来。’”

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