OF Kung-yeh Ch´ang the Master said: A girl might marry him. In him was no crime, though he has been in bonds. He gave him his daughter to wife. Of Nan Jung the Master said: When right prevails, he will not be neglected: when wrong prevails, he will escape law and punishment. He gave him his brothers daughter to wife.
Yung,2 said one, has love, but he has not a glib tongue. The Master said: What is the good of a glib tongue? Fighting men with tongue-craft breeds much bitterness. Whether love be his I do not know, but what is the good of a glib tongue?
The Master said: Truth makes no way. Let me go afloat and scour the sea! and Yu4 shall follow me. When Tzu-lu heard this he was glad. The Master said: Yu is more venturesome than I, but he does not know how to take things.
Meng Wu asked whether Tzu-lu had love? The Master said: I do not know. He asked again. The Master said: A land of a thousand chariots might give Yu charge of its levies; but whether he have love, I do not know. And how about Ch´iu?5 A town of a thousand households, a clan of an hundred chariots might make Ch´iu governor; but whether he have love, I do not know. And how about Chi´ih?6 Girt with his sash, erect in the court, Ch´ih might entertain the guests; but whether he have love, I do not know.
The Master said to Tzu-kung: Who is abler, thou or Hui?7 He answered: How dare I aspire to Hui? If he hear one thing, Hui understands ten; when I hear one thing, I understand two. The Master said: Thou art not his peer. I grant, thou art not his peer.
Tsai Yü8 slept in the daytime. The Master said: Rotten wood cannot be carved, nor are dung walls plastered. Why chide with Yü? The Master said: In my first dealings with men, I hearkened to their words, and took their deeds on trust. Now, in dealing with men, I hearken to their words, and watch their deeds. I righted this on Yü.
Tzu-chang said: Tzu-wen was thrice made minister without show of gladness, and thrice left office with unmoved face. He was careful to unfold his rule to the new minister. What do ye think of him? He was faithful, said the Master. But had he love? I do not know, said the Master: how should this amount to love? When T´sui slew the King of Ch´i, Ch´en Wen forsook ten teams of horses, and left the land. On coming to another kingdom, he said, Like my lord Ts´ui, and left it. On coming to a second kingdom, he said, Like my lord Ts´ui, and left it. What do ye think of him? He was pure, said the Master. But had he love? I do not know, said the Master: how should this amount to love?
The Master said: Honeyed words, flattering looks and overdone humility, Tso Ch´in-ming thought shameful, and so do I. To hide ill-will and ape friendship, Tso Ch´in-ming thought shameful, and so do I.
As Yen Yüan and Chi-lu11 were sitting with him, the Master said: Why not each of you tell me his wishes? Tzu-lu said: Carriages and horses I would have, and robes of fine fur to share with my friends, and would wear them out all free from care. Yen Yüan said: To make no boast of talent nor show of merit, were my wish. Tzu-lu said: We should like to hear your wishes, Sir. The Master said: To make the old folk happy, to be true to friends, to have a heart for the young.
Note 9. Ning Wu was minister to the Duke of Wei, in the middle of the seventh century B.C. The duke was driven from his throne, and deserted by the wise and prudent; but Ning Wu, in his simplicity, followed his master everywhere, and finally effected his restoration. [back]
Note 10. Po-yi and Shu-ch´i were sons of the King of Ku-chu. Their father left the throne to the younger of the two; but he would not supplant the elder, nor would the elder act against his fathers wishes. So they both retired into obscurity. When King Wu overthrew the tyrant Chou (B.C. 1122), rather than live under a new dynasty, they starved to death. Of Po-yi, Mencius tells us (V. B. 1): His eyes could not look on evil, nor his ears listen to evil. He would serve none but his own king, lead none but his own people. He took office when order reigned, and left it when times grew turbulent. He could not bear to live under lawless rulers, or amongst a lawless people. To stand by the side of a countryman he thought like sitting, in court dress, in the midst of dust and ashes. Through Chous day he dwelt on the shores of the North Sea, waiting till the world grew clean. So when men hear tell of Po-yi, fools grow honest, weak wills grow strong. [back]