The people of Ch'i sent to Lu a
present of female musicians, which Chi Hwan received, and for
three days no court was held. Confucius took his departure.
The madman of Ch'u, Chieh-yu, passed by Confucius, singing and
saying, "O FANG! O FANG! How is your virtue degenerated! As to
the past, reproof is useless; but the future may still be
provided against. Give up your vain pursuit. Give up your vain
pursuit. Peril awaits those who now engage in affairs of
Confucius alighted and wished to converse with him, but Chieh-yu
hastened away, so that he could not talk with him.
Ch'ang-tsu and Chieh-ni were at work in the field together, when
Confucius passed by them, and sent Tsze-lu to inquire for the
Ch'ang-tsu said, "Who is he that holds the reins in the carriage
there?" Tsze-lu told him, "It is K'ung Ch'iu.', "Is it not K'ung
of Lu?" asked he. "Yes," was the reply, to which the other
rejoined, "He knows the ford."
Tsze-lu then inquired of Chieh-ni, who said to him, "Who are
you, sir?" He answered, "I am Chung Yu." "Are you not the
disciple of K'ung Ch'iu of Lu?" asked the other. "I am," replied
he, and then Chieh-ni said to him, "Disorder, like a swelling
flood, spreads over the whole empire, and who is he that will
change its state for you? Rather than follow one who merely
withdraws from this one and that one, had you not better follow
those who have withdrawn from the world altogether?" With this
he fell to covering up the seed, and proceeded with his work,
Tsze-lu went and reported their remarks, when the Master
observed with a sigh, "It is impossible to associate with birds
and beasts, as if they were the same with us. If I associate not
with these people,-with mankind,-with whom shall I associate? If
right principles prevailed through the empire, there would be no
use for me to change its state."
Tsze-lu, following the Master, happened to fall behind, when he
met an old man, carrying across his shoulder on a staff a basket
for weeds. Tsze-lu said to him, "Have you seen my master, sir?"
The old man replied, "Your four limbs are unaccustomed to toil;
you cannot distinguish the five kinds of grain:-who is your
master?" With this, he planted his staff in the ground, and
proceeded to weed.
Tsze-lu joined his hands across his breast, and stood before
The old man kept Tsze-lu to pass the night in his house, killed
a fowl, prepared millet, and feasted him. He also introduced to
him his two sons.
Next day, Tsze-lu went on his way, and reported his adventure.
The Master said, "He is a recluse," and sent Tsze-lu back to see
him again, but when he got to the place, the old man was gone.
Tsze-lu then said to the family, "Not to take office is not
righteous. If the relations between old and young may not be
neglected, how is it that he sets aside the duties that should
be observed between sovereign and minister? Wishing to maintain
his personal purity, he allows that great relation to come to
confusion. A superior man takes office, and performs the
righteous duties belonging to it. As to the failure of right
principles to make progress, he is aware of that."
The men who have retired to privacy from the world have been Po-i,
Shu-ch'i, Yuchung, I-yi, Chu-chang, Hui of Liu-hsia, and Shao-lien.
The Master said, "Refusing to surrender their wills, or to
submit to any taint in their persons; such, I think, were Po-i
"It may be said of Hui of Liu-hsia! and of Shaolien, that they
surrendered their wills, and submitted to taint in their
persons, but their words corresponded with reason, and their
actions were such as men are anxious to see. This is all that is
to be remarked in them.
"It may be said of Yu-chung and I-yi, that, while they hid
themselves in their seclusion, they gave a license to their
words; but in their persons, they succeeded in preserving their
purity, and, in their retirement, they acted according to the
exigency of the times.
"I am different from all these. I have no course for which I am
predetermined, and no course against which I am predetermined."
The grand music master, Chih, went to Ch'i.
Kan, the master of the band at the second meal, went to Ch'u.
Liao, the band master at the third meal, went to Ts'ai. Chueh,
the band master at the fourth meal, went to Ch'in.
Fang-shu, the drum master, withdrew to the north of the river.
Wu, the master of the hand drum, withdrew to the Han.
Yang, the assistant music master, and Hsiang, master of the
musical stone, withdrew to an island in the sea.
The duke of Chau addressed his son, the duke of Lu, saying, "The
virtuous prince does not neglect his relations. He does not
cause the great ministers to repine at his not employing them.
Without some great cause, he does not dismiss from their offices
the members of old families. He does not seek in one man talents
for every employment."
To Chau belonged the eight officers, Po-ta, Po-kwo, Chung-tu,
Chung-hwu, Shu-ya, Shuhsia, Chi-sui, and Chi-kwa.
Tsze-chang said, "The scholar, trained for public duty, seeing
threatening danger, is prepared to sacrifice his life. When the
opportunity of gain is presented to him, he thinks of
righteousness. In sacrificing, his thoughts are reverential. In
mourning, his thoughts are about the grief which he should feel.
Such a man commands our approbation indeed
Tsze-chang said, "When a man holds fast to virtue, but without
seeking to enlarge it, and believes in right principles, but
without firm sincerity, what account can be made of his
existence or non-existence?"
The disciples of Tsze-hsia asked Tsze-chang about the principles
that should characterize mutual intercourse. Tsze-chang asked,
"What does Tsze-hsia say on the subject?" They replied, "Tsze-hsia
says: 'Associate with those who can advantage you. Put away from
you those who cannot do so.'" Tsze-chang observed, "This is
different from what I have learned. The superior man honors the
talented and virtuous, and bears with all. He praises the good,
and pities the incompetent. Am I possessed of great talents and
virtue?-who is there among men whom I will not bear with? Am I
devoid of talents and virtue?-men will put me away from them.
What have we to do with the putting away of others?"
Tsze-hsia said, "Even in inferior studies and employments there
is something worth being looked at; but if it be attempted to
carry them out to what is remote, there is a danger of their
proving inapplicable. Therefore, the superior man does not
Tsze-hsia said, "He, who from day to day recognizes what he has
not yet, and from month to month does not forget what he has
attained to, may be said indeed to love to learn."
Tsze-hsia said, "There are learning extensively, and having a
firm and sincere aim; inquiring with earnestness, and reflecting
with self-application:-virtue is in such a course."
Tsze-hsia said, "Mechanics have their shops to dwell in, in
order to accomplish their works. The superior man learns, in
order to reach to the utmost of his principles."
Tsze-hsia said, "The mean man is sure to gloss his faults."
Tsze-hsia said, "The superior man undergoes three changes.
Looked at from a distance, he appears stern; when approached, he
is mild; when he is heard to speak, his language is firm and
Tsze-hsia said, "The superior man, having obtained their
confidence, may then impose labors on his people. If he have not
gained their confidence, they will think that he is oppressing
them. Having obtained the confidence of his prince, one may then
remonstrate with him. If he have not gained his confidence, the
prince will think that he is vilifying him."
Tsze-hsia said, "When a person does not transgress the boundary
line in the great virtues, he may pass and repass it in the
Tsze-yu said, "The disciples and followers of Tsze-hsia, in
sprinkling and sweeping the ground, in answering and replying,
in advancing and receding, are sufficiently accomplished. But
these are only the branches of learning, and they are left
ignorant of what is essential.-How can they be acknowledged as
Tsze-hsia heard of the remark and said, "Alas! Yen Yu is wrong.
According to the way of the superior man in teaching, what
departments are there which he considers of prime importance,
and delivers? what are there which he considers of secondary
importance, and allows himself to be idle about? But as in the
case of plants, which are assorted according to their classes,
so he deals with his disciples. How can the way of a superior
man be such as to make fools of any of them? Is it not the sage
alone, who can unite in one the beginning and the consummation
Tsze-hsia said, "The officer, having discharged all his duties,
should devote his leisure to learning. The student, having
completed his learning, should apply himself to be an officer."
Tsze-hsia said, "Mourning, having been carried to the utmost
degree of grief, should stop with that."
Tsze-hsia said, "My friend Chang can do things which are hard to
be done, but yet he is not perfectly virtuous."
The philosopher Tsang said, "How imposing is the manner of
Chang! It is difficult along with him to practice virtue."
The philosopher Tsang said, "I heard this from our Master: 'Men
may not have shown what is in them to the full extent, and yet
they will be found to do so, on the occasion of mourning for
The philosopher Tsang said, "I have heard this from our
Master:-'The filial piety of Mang Chwang, in other matters, was
what other men are competent to, but, as seen in his not
changing the ministers of his father, nor his father's mode of
government, it is difficult to be attained to.'"
The chief of the Mang family having appointed Yang Fu to be
chief criminal judge, the latter consulted the philosopher
Tsang. Tsang said, "The rulers have failed in their duties, and
the people consequently have been disorganized for a long time.
When you have found out the truth of any accusation, be grieved
for and pity them, and do not feel joy at your own ability."
Tsze-kung said, "Chau's wickedness was not so great as that name
implies. Therefore, the superior man hates to dwell in a
low-lying situation, where all the evil of the world will flow
in upon him."
Tsze-kung said, "The faults of the superior man are like the
eclipses of the sun and moon. He has his faults, and all men see
them; he changes again, and all men look up to him."
Kung-sun Ch'ao of Wei asked Tszekung, saying. "From whom did
Chung-ni get his learning?"
Tsze-kung replied, "The doctrines of Wan and Wu have not yet
fallen to the ground. They are to be found among men. Men of
talents and virtue remember the greater principles of them, and
others, not possessing such talents and virtue, remember the
smaller. Thus, all possess the doctrines of Wan and Wu. Where
could our Master go that he should not have an opportunity of
learning them? And yet what necessity was there for his having a
Shu-sun Wu-shu observed to the great officers in the court,
saying, "Tsze-kung is superior to Chung-ni."
Tsze-fu Ching-po reported the observation to Tsze-kung, who
said, "Let me use the comparison of a house and its encompassing
wall. My wall only reaches to the shoulders. One may peep over
it, and see whatever is valuable in the apartments.
"The wall of my Master is several fathoms high. If one do not
find the door and enter by it, he cannot see the ancestral
temple with its beauties, nor all the officers in their rich
"But I may assume that they are few who find the door. Was not
the observation of the chief only what might have been
Shu-sun Wu-shu having spoken revilingly of Chung-ni, Tsze-kung
said, "It is of no use doing so. Chung-ni cannot be reviled. The
talents and virtue of other men are hillocks and mounds which
may be stepped over. Chung-ni is the sun or moon, which it is
not possible to step over. Although a man may wish to cut
himself off from the sage, what harm can he do to the sun or
moon? He only shows that he does not know his own capacity.
Ch'an Tsze-ch' in, addressing Tsze-kung, said, "You are too
modest. How can Chung-ni be said to be superior to you?"
Tsze-kung said to him, "For one word a man is often deemed to be
wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We
ought to be careful indeed in what we say.
"Our Master cannot be attained to, just in the same way as the
heavens cannot be gone up by the steps of a stair.
"Were our Master in the position of the ruler of a state or the
chief of a family, we should find verified the description which
has been given of a sage's rule:-he would plant the people, and
forthwith they would be established; he would lead them on, and
forthwith they would follow him; he would make them happy, and
forthwith multitudes would resort to his dominions; he would
stimulate them, and forthwith they would be harmonious. While he
lived, he would be glorious. When he died, he would be bitterly
lamented. How is it possible for him to be attained to?"
Yao said, "Oh! you, Shun, the Heaven-determined order of
succession now rests in your person. Sincerely hold fast the due
Mean. If there shall be distress and want within the four seas,
the Heavenly revenue will come to a perpetual end."
Shun also used the same language in giving charge to Yu.
T'ang said, "I the child Li, presume to use a dark-colored
victim, and presume to announce to Thee, O most great and
sovereign God, that the sinner I dare not pardon, and thy
ministers, O God, I do not keep in obscurity. The examination of
them is by thy mind, O God. If, in my person, I commit offenses,
they are not to be attributed to you, the people of the myriad
regions. If you in the myriad regions commit offenses, these
offenses must rest on my person."
Chau conferred great gifts, and the good were enriched.
"Although he has his near relatives, they are not equal to my
virtuous men. The people are throwing blame upon me, the One
He carefully attended to the weights and measures, examined the
body of the laws, restored the discarded officers, and the good
government of the kingdom took its course.
He revived states that had been extinguished, restored families
whose line of succession had been broken, and called to office
those who had retired into obscurity, so that throughout the
kingdom the hearts of the people turned towards him.
What he attached chief importance to were the food of the
people, the duties of mourning, and sacrifices.
By his generosity, he won all. By his sincerity, he made the
people repose trust in him. By his earnest activity, his
achievements were great. By his justice, all were delighted.
Tsze-chang asked Confucius, saying, "In what way should a person
in authority act in order that he may conduct government
properly?" The Master replied, "Let him honor the five
excellent, and banish away the four bad, things;-then may he
conduct government properly." Tsze-chang said, "What are meant
by the five excellent things?" The Master said, "When the person
in authority is beneficent without great expenditure; when he
lays tasks on the people without their repining; when he pursues
what he desires without being covetous; when he maintains a
dignified ease without being proud; when he is majestic without
Tsze-chang said, "What is meant by being beneficent without
great expenditure?" The Master replied, "When the person in
authority makes more beneficial to the people the things from
which they naturally derive benefit;-is not this being
beneficent without great expenditure? When he chooses the labors
which are proper, and makes them labor on them, who will repine?
When his desires are set on benevolent government, and he
secures it, who will accuse him of covetousness? Whether he has
to do with many people or few, or with things great or small, he
does not dare to indicate any disrespect;-is not this to
maintain a dignified ease without any pride? He adjusts his
clothes and cap, and throws a dignity into his looks, so that,
thus dignified, he is looked at with awe;-is not this to be
majestic without being fierce?"
Tsze-chang then asked, "What are meant by the four bad things?"
The Master said, "To put the people to death without having
instructed them;-this is called cruelty. To require from them,
suddenly, the full tale of work, without having given them
warning;-this is called oppression. To issue orders as if
without urgency, at first, and, when the time comes, to insist
on them with severity;-this is called injury. And, generally, in
the giving pay or rewards to men, to do it in a stingy way;-this
is called acting the part of a mere official."
The Master said, "Without recognizing the ordinances of Heaven,
it is impossible to be a superior man.
"Without an acquaintance with the rules of Propriety, it is
impossible for the character to be established.
"Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know