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They follow the course of heaven (in the revolving seasons); they distinguish the advantages

p. 472

afforded by (different) soils 1; they are careful of their conduct and economical in their expenditure;--in order to nourish their parents:--this is the filial piety of the common people.

Therefore from the Son of Heaven down to the common people, there never has been one whose filial piety was without its beginning and end on whom calamity did not come.


472:1 These two sentences describe the attention of the people to the various processes of agriculture, as conditioned by the seasons and the qualities of different soils.

With this chapter there ends what Kû Hsî regarded as the only portion of the Hsiâo in which we can rest as having come from Confucius. So far, it is with him a continuous discourse that proceeded from the sage. And there is, in this portion, especially when we admit Kû's expurgations, a certain sequence and progress, without logical connexion, in the exhibition of the subject which we fail to find in the chapters that follow.

Next: Chapter VII. Filial Piety in Relation to the Three Powers