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

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小编导读:《礼记·檀弓下》中有《苛政猛于虎》一文,记载孔子和弟子子路路过泰山时,遇到一名身世凄惨的妇女的故事。当地虎患严重,可就是因为其他地方有国君苛刻的暴政,所以她和亲人宁愿一直住在这里,以至于后来竟有多人连同她的亲人也被老虎咬死,只剩下她一人对着亲人的坟墓哭泣。全文以叙事来说理,深刻揭露了暴政对人民的残害。后来从这个故事中引申出了“苛政猛于虎”的成语,意思就是反动统治者的暴政比吃人的老虎更加可怕。

《苛政猛于虎》 礼记

孔子过泰山侧,有妇人哭于墓者而哀。夫子式而听之,使子路问之,曰:“子之哭也,壹似重有忧者?”而曰:“然。昔者,吾舅死于虎,吾夫又死焉,今吾子又死焉。”夫子问:“何为不去也?”曰:“无苛政。”夫子曰:“小子识之,苛政猛于虎也。”

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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