[1] THE MASTER said: “Yung〖The disciple Chung-kung.〗 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.”

[2] Duke Ai asked which disciples were fond of learning.

Confucius answered: “Yen Hui〖The disciple Yen Yüan.〗 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.”

[3] Tzu-hua〖The disciple Kung-hsi Hua, or Kung-hsi Ch'ih.〗 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', Ch'h〖The disciple Kung-hsi Hua, or Kung-hsi Ch'h.〗 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〖A disciple.〗 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.”

[4] 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?”

[5] The Master said: “For three months together Hui’s〖The disciple Yen Yüan.〗 heart never sinned against love. The others may hold out for a day, or a month; but no more.”

[6] Chi K'ang〖Head of the Chi clan after the death of Chi Huan.〗 asked whether Chung-yu〖The disciple Tzu-lu.〗 were fit for power. The Master said: “Yu〖The disciple Tzu-lu.〗 has character; what would governing be to him?”

“And Tz'u,〖The disciple Tzu-kung.〗 is he fit for power?”

“Tz'u is intelligent; what would governing be to him?

“And Ch'u,〖The disciple Jan Yu.〗 is he fit for power?”

“Ch'u has ability; what would governing be to him?”

[7] The Chi sent to make Min Tzu-ch'en〖A disciple.〗 governor of Pi.

Min Tzu-ch'en said: “Make some good excuse for me. If he send again, I must be across the Wen.”

[8] When Po-niu〖A disciple.〗 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?”

[9] The Master said: “What a man was Hui!〖The disciple of Yen Yüan.〗 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!”

[10] Jan Ch'u〖The disciple Jan Yu.〗 said: “Pleasure in the Master’s path I do not lack: I lack strength.”

The Master said: “Who lacks strength faints by the way; thou puttest a curb upon thee.”

[11] The Master said to Tzu-hsia: “Read to become a gentleman; do not read as the vulgar do.”

[12] When Tzu-yu was governor of Wu-ch'eng,〖A town in Lu, belonging to the Chi.〗 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.”

[13] 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 won’t go!’”

[14] The Master said: “Unless glib as the reader T'o, and handsome as Chao of Sung, escape is hard in the times that be!”

[15] The Master said: “Who can go out except by the door? Why is it no one keeps to the way?”

[16] The Master said: “Nature outweighing art begets roughness; art outweighing nature begets pedantry. Art and nature well blent make a gentleman.”

[17] The Master said: “Man is born upright. If he cease to be so and live, he is lucky to escape!”

[18] The Master said: “Who knows does not rank with him who likes, nor he who likes with him who is glad therein.”

[19] 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.”

[20] Fan Ch'h〖A disciple〗 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.”

[21] The Master said: “Wisdom delights in water; love delights in hills. Wisdom is stirring; love is quiet. Wisdom enjoys life; love grows old.”

[22] The Master said: “By one revolution Ch' might grown as Lu: by one revolution Lu might win to truth.”

[23] The Master said: “A drinking horn that is no horn! What a horn! What a drinking horn!”

[24] Tsai Wo〖A disciple.〗 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.”

[25] The Master said: “By breadth of reading and the ties of courtesy a gentleman will also keep from error’s path.”

[26] The Master saw Nan-tzu.〖The dissolute wife of Duke Ling of Wei.〗 Tzu-lu was displeased. The Master took an oath, saying: “If there were sin in me may Heaven forsake me, may Heaven forsake me!”

[27] The Master said: “The highest goodness is to hold fast the golden mean. Amongst the people it has long been rare.”

[28] 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〖Two emperors of the golden age.〗 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.”

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