A random passage from Mencius is:


The first two lines have the same structure V1 之而不 V2, wherein V1 is expressing someone doing something to another and V2 how this one reacts to it. I think I understand the first line 殺之而不怨: someone kills (some people from a group) and they (the group) don't begrudge it.

As for 利之而不庸 I only understand so far that: someone makes the group benefit from something yet the group 庸, of which I don't know the meaning. The meanings I found in different online dictionaries do not make any sense to me in this context. 庸 is translated as "common, unspecial, mean, low".

1 Answer 1


means 酬谢 (reward) here.

(10) 酬其功劳 [reward]
(11) 又如:庸勋(酬劳有功的人)



So 利之而不庸 means benefit them (the civilians), and they won't reward (someone).

  • like in "person A does sth. good to person B, but person B does not do anything good to Person C " ? Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 16:08
  • what book are you using ? Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 16:09
  • @AbdulAlHazred Here's one kind of translation, for reference only. (圣王的百姓)被杀而不怨恨谁,得了好处而不报答谁,一天天趋向于善,却不知道谁使他们这样。
    – user4072
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 2:50

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