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HomeChinese Classical LiteratureThe Tyrant and the Tiger ~ 《苛政猛于虎》 礼记 with English Translations

The Tyrant and the Tiger ~ 《苛政猛于虎》 礼记 with English Translations

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《苛政猛于虎》 礼记


The Tyrant and the Tiger

Confucius once passed by the foot of the Tai Mountain. There he saw a woman crying her heart out beside a newly finished grave.
The Master stopped and listened. Then he sent Tselu over to inquire of the mourner, saying, “Your cry as if you are in great sorrow.”
“True!” the woman answered. “First my father-in-law was killed by the tiger; then my husband was killed by the tiger; and now my son – he also died at the mouth of the tiger.”
“Why, then,” the Master asked, “didn’t you leave the place and go somewhere else?”
“But there is no tyrant here!” was the woman’s reply.
Confucius turned to Tselu and said:”Mark it, my lad! A tyrant is worse than a tiger.”

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