Oppressive government is more terrible than tigers.

In passing by the side of mount Tài, Confucius came on a woman who was wailing bitterly by a grave. The Master bowed forward to the cross-bar, and hastened to her; and then sent Zǐ-lù to question her.

‘Your wailing,’ said he, ‘is altogether like that of one who has suffered sorrow upon sorrow.’

She replied, ‘ It is so. Formerly, my husband’s father was killed here by a tiger. My husband was also killed (by another), and now my son has died in the same way.’

The Master said, ‘Why do you not leave the place?’

The answer was, ‘There is no oppressive government here.’

The Master then said (to the disciples), ‘Remember this, my little children. Oppressive government is more terrible than tigers.’

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