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汤将伐桀,因卞随而谋。卞随曰:“非吾事也。”
汤曰:“孰可?”曰:“吾不知也。”
汤又因瞀光而谋,瞀光曰:“非吾事也。”
汤曰:“孰可?”
曰:“吾不知也。”
汤曰:“伊尹何如?”
曰:“强力忍垢,吾不知其他也。”
汤遂与伊尹谋伐桀,克之,以让卞随。卞随辞曰:“后之伐桀也谋乎我,必以我为贼也;胜桀而让我,必以我为贪也。吾生乎乱世,而无道之人再来漫我以其辱行,吾不忍数闻也。”乃自投椆水而死。
汤又让瞀光曰:“知者谋之,武者遂之,仁者居之,古之道也。吾子胡不立乎?”
瞀光辞曰:“废上,非义也;杀民,非仁也;人犯其难,我享其利,非谦也。吾闻之曰,非其义者,不受其禄,无道之世,不践其土。况尊我乎!吾不忍久见也。”乃负石而自沈于庐水。

When Thang was about to attack Kieh, he took counsel with Pien Sui, who said, 'It is no business of mine.' Thang then said, 'To whom should I apply?' And the other said, 'I do not know.' Thang then took counsel with Wû Kwang, who gave the same answer as Pien Sui; and when asked to whom he should apply, said in the same way, 'I do not know.' 'Suppose,' Thang then said, 'I apply to Î Yin, what do you say about him?' The reply was, 'He has a wonderful power in doing what is disgraceful, and I know nothing more about him!'

Thang thereupon took counsel with Î Yin, attacked Kieh, and overcame him, after which he proposed to resign the throne to Pien Sui, who declined it, saying, 'When you were about to attack Kieh, and sought counsel from me, you must have supposed me to be prepared to be a robber. Now that you have conquered Kieh, and propose to resign the throne to me, you must consider me to be greedy. I have been born in an age of disorder, and a man without principle twice comes, and tries to extend to me the stain of his disgraceful proceedings!-- I cannot bear to hear the repetition of his proposals.' With this he threw himself into the Kâu water and died.

Thang further made proffer of the throne to Wû Kwang, saying, 'The wise man has planned it; the martial man has carried it through; and the benevolent man should occupy it:-- this was the method of antiquity. Why should you, Sir, not take the position?' Wû Kwang refused the proffer, saying, 'To depose the sovereign is contrary to right; to kill the people is contrary to benevolence. When another has encountered the risks, if I should accept the gain of his adventure, I should violate my disinterestedness. I have heard it said, "If it be not right for him to do so, one should not accept the emolument; in an age of unprincipled government, one should not put foot on the soil of the country:"-- how much less should I accept this position of honour! I cannot bear to see you any longer.' And with this he took a stone on his back, and drowned himself in the Lü water.
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