| ||THE MASTER said: Yung 1 might fill the seat of a prince.|
And might Tzu-sang Po-tzu? asked Chung-kung.
Yes, said the Master: but he is lax.
To be lax in his claims on the people might be right, said Chung-kung, were he stern to self; but to be lax to self and lax to others must surely be over-lax.
The Master said: What Yung says is true.
| || Duke Ai asked which disciples were fond of learning.|
Confucius answered: Yen Hui 2 loved learning. His anger fell not astray; he made no mistake twice. By ill-luck his life was cut short. Now that he is gone, I hear of no one who is fond of learning.
| || Tzu-hua 3 having been sent to Ch´i, the disciple Jan asked for grain to give to his mother.|
The Master said: Give her a bushel.
He asked for more.
The Master said: Give her half a quarter.
Jan gave her twenty-five quarters.
The Master said: On his way to Ch´i, Ch´ih 4 was drawn by sleek horses, clad in fine furs. A gentleman, I have heard, helps the needy: he does not swell riches.
When Yüan Ssu 5 was governor his pay was nine hundred measures of grain. On his refusing it, the Master said: Not so. Why not take it and give it to thy neighbours and country-folk.
| || Of Chung-kung the Master said: If the calf of a brindled cow be red and horned, though men be shy to offer him, will the hills and streams disdain him?|
| || The Master said: For three months together Huis 6 heart never sinned against love. The others may hold out for a day, or a month; but no more.|
| || Chi K´ang 7 asked whether Chung-yu 8 were fit for power.|
The Master said: Yu 8 has character; what would governing be to him?
And Tz´u, 9 is he fit for power?
Tz´u is intelligent; what would governing be to him?
And Ch´iu, 10 is he fit for power?
Ch´iu has ability; what would governing be to him?
| || The Chi sent to make Min Tzu-ch´ien 11 governor of Pi.|
Min Tzu-ch´ien said: Make some good excuse for me. If he send again, I must be across the Wen.
| || When Po-niu 12 was ill the Master went to ask after him. Grasping his hand through the window, he said: He is dying. It is our lot. But why this man of such an illness? why this man of such an illness?|
| || The Master said: What a man was Hui! 13 A dish of rice, a gourd of water, in a low alleyway; no man can bear such misery! Yet Hui never fell from mirth. What a man he was!|
| || Jan Ch´iu 14 said: Pleasure in the Masters path I do not lack: I lack strength.|
The Master said: Who lacks strength faints by the way; thou puttest a curb upon thee.
| || The Master said to Tzu-hsia: Read to become a gentleman; do not read as the vulgar do.|
| || When Tzu-yu was governor of Wu-ch´eng, 15 the Master said: Hast thou gotten any men?|
He answered: I have Tan-t´ai Mieh-ming. When walking he will not take a short-cut; he has never come to my house except on business.
| || The Master said: Meng Chih-fan never bragged. He was covering the rear in a rout; but when the gate was reached, he whipped up his horse and cried; Not courage kept me behind; my horse wont go!|
| || The Master said: Unless glib as the reader T´o, and handsome as Chao of Sung, escape is hard in the times that be!|
| || The Master said: Who can go out except by the door? Why is it no one keeps to the way?|
| || The Master said: Nature outweighing art begets roughness; art outweighing nature begets pedantry. Art and nature well blent make a gentleman.|
| || The Master said: Man is born upright. If he cease to be so and live, he is lucky to escape!|
| || The Master said: Who knows does not rank with him who likes, nor he who likes with him who is glad therein.|
| || The Master said: To men above the common we may speak of things above the common. To men below the common we must not speak of things above the common.|
| || Fan Ch´ih 16 asked, What is wisdom?|
The Master said: To foster right amongst the people; to honour the ghosts of the dead, whilst keeping aloof from them, may be called wisdom.
He asked, What is love?
The Master said: To rank the effort above the prize may be called love.
| || The Master said: Wisdom delights in water; love delights in hills. Wisdom is stirring; love is quiet. Wisdom enjoys life; love grows old.|
| || The Master said: By one revolution Ch´i might grown as Lu: by one revolution Lu might win to truth.|
| || The Master said: A drinking horn that is no horn! What a horn! What a drinking horn!|
| || Tsai Wo 17 said: Were a man who loves told that there is a man in a well, would he go in after him?|
The Master said: Why should he? A gentleman might be brought to the well, but not entrapped into it. He may be cheated; he is not to be fooled.
| || The Master said: By breadth of reading and the ties of courtesy a gentleman will also keep from errors path.|
| || The Master saw Nan-tzu. 18 Tzu-lu was displeased. The Master took an oath, saying: If there were sin in me may Heaven forsake me, may Heaven forsake me!|
| || The Master said: The highest goodness is to hold fast the golden mean. Amongst the people it has long been rare.|
| || Tzu-kung said: To treat the people with bounty and help the many, how were that? Could it be called love?|
The Master said: What has this to do with love? Would it not be holiness? Both Yao and Shun 19 still yearned for this. In seeking a foothold for self, love finds a foothold for others; seeking light for itself, it enlightens others also. To learn from the near at hand may be called the key to love.