Food Handed out in Contempt

During a great dearth in Qí, Qián-áo had food prepared on the roads, to wait the approach of hungry people and give to them.

(One day), there came a famished man, looking as if he could hardly see, his face covered with his sleeve, and dragging his feet together.

Khián-áo, carrying with his left hand some rice, and holding some drink with the other, said to him, ‘Hey, Poor man! come and eat.’

The man, opening his eyes with a stare, and looking at him, said, ‘It was because I would not eat “Hey come and eat’s” food, that I am come to this state.’

Qhián-áo immediately apologised for his words, but the man after all would not take the food and died.

When Zēng-zǐ heard the circumstances, he said, ‘Was it not a small matter? When the other expressed his pity as he did, the man might have gone away. When he apologised, the man might have taken the food.’

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