Confucius's preference of the simpler ways of former times.
1. The Master said, "The men of former times in the matters of ceremonies and music were rustics, it is said, while the men of these latter times, in ceremonies and music, are accomplished gentlemen.
2. "If I have occasion to use those things, I follow the men of former times."
Confucius's regretful memory of his disciples' fidelity:-- characteristics of ten of the disciples.
1. The Master said, "Of those who were with me in Ch'an and Ts'âi, there are none to be found to enter my door."
2. Distinguished for their virtuous principles and practice, there were Yen Yûan, Min Tsze-ch'ien, Zan Po-niû, and Chung-kung; for their ability in speech, Tsâi Wo and Tsze-kung; for their administrative talents, Zan Yû and Chî Lû; for their literary acquirements, Tsze-yû and Tsze-hsiâ.
Hûi's silent reception of the Master's teachings.
The Master said, "Hûi gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight."
The filial piety of Min Tsze-ch'ien.
The Master said, "Filial indeed is Min Tsze-ch'ien! Other people say nothing of him different from the report of his parents and brothers."
Confucius's approbation of Nan Yung.
Nan Yung was frequently repeating the lines about a white scepter stone. Confucius gave him the daughter of his elder brother to wife.
How Hûi loved to learn.
Chî K'ang asked which of the disciples loved to learn. Confucius replied to him, "There was Yen Hûi; he loved to learn. Unfortunately his appointed time was short, and he died. Now there is no one who loves to learn, as he did."
How Confucius would not sell his carriage to buy a shell for Yen Yüan.
When Yen Yüan died, Yen Lû begged the carriage of the Master to sell and get an outer shell for his son's coffin.
The Master said, "Every one calls his son his son, whether he has talents or has not talents. There was Lî; when he died, he had a coffin but no outer shell. I would not walk on foot to get a shell for him, because, having followed in the rear of the great officers, it was not proper that I should walk on foot."
Confucius felt Hûi's death as if it had been his own.
When Yen Yüan died, the Master said, "Alas! Heaven is destroying me! Heaven is destroying me!"
Confucius vindicates his great grief for the death of Hûi.
1. When Yen Yüan died, the Master bewailed him exceedingly, and the disciples who were with him said, "Master, your grief is excessive!"
2. "Is it excessive?" said he.
3. "If I am not to mourn bitterly for this man, for whom should I mourn?"
Confucius's dissatisfaction with the grand way in which Hûi was buried.
1. When Yen Yüan died, the disciples wished to give him a great funeral, and the Master said, "You may not do so."
2. The disciples did bury him in great style.
3. The Master said, "Hûi behaved towards me as his father. I have not been able to treat him as my son. The fault is not mine; it belongs to you, O disciples."
Confucius avoids answering questions about serving spirits, and about death.
Chî Lû asked about serving the spirits of the dead. The Master said, "While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve their spirits?" Chî Lû added, "I venture to ask about death?" He was answered, "While you do not know life, how can you know about death?"
Confucius happy with his disciples about him.
1. The disciple Min was standing by his side, looking bland and precise; Tsze-lû, looking bold and soldierly; Zan Yû and Tsze-kung, with a free and straightforward manner. The Master was pleased.
2. He said, "Yû there! -- he will not die a natural death."
Wise advice of Min Sun against useless expenditure.
1. Some parties in Lû were going to take down and rebuild the Long Treasury.
2. Min Tsze-ch'ien said, "Suppose it were to be repaired after its old style;-- why must it be altered and made anew?"
3. The Master said, "This man seldom speaks; when he does, he is sure to hit the point."
Confucius's admonition and defence of Tsze-lû.
1. The Master said, "What has the lute of Yû to do in my door?"
2. The other disciples began not to respect Tsze-lû. The Master said, "Yû has ascended to the hall, though he has not yet passed into the inner apartments."
Comparison of Shih and Shang. Excess and defect equally wrong.
1. Tsze-kung asked which of the two, Shih or Shang, was the superior. The Master said, "Shih goes beyond the due mean, and Shang does not come up to it."
2. "Then," said Tsze-kung, "the superiority is with Shih, I suppose."
3. The Master said, "To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short."
Confucius's indignation at the support of usurpation and extortion by one of his disciples.
1. The head of the Chî family was richer than the duke of Châu had been, and yet Ch'iû collected his imposts for him, and increased his wealth.
2. The Master said, "He is no disciple of mine. My little children, beat the drum and assail him."
Characters of the four disciples -- Ch'âi, Shan, Shih, and Yû.
1. Ch'âi is simple.
2. Shan is dull.
3. Shih is specious.
4. Yû is coarse.
Hûi and Ts'ze contrasted.
1. The Master said, "There is Hûi! He has nearly attained to perfect virtue. He is often in want.
2. "Ts'ze does not acquiesce in the appointments of Heaven, and his goods are increased by him. Yet his judgments are often correct."