The Analects

Book 11 (cont.): Hsien Tsin


Chapter 19.

The good man.

Tsze-chang asked what were the characteristics of the good man. The Master said, "He does not tread in the footsteps of others, but moreover, he does not enter the chamber of the sage."

Chapter 20.

We may not hastily judge a man to be good from his discourse.

The Master said, "If, because a man's discourse appears solid and sincere, we allow him to be a good man, is he really a superior man? or is his gravity only in appearance?"

Chapter 21.

An instance in Tsze-lû and Zan Yû of how Confucius dealt with his disciples according to their characters.

Tsze-lû asked whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard. The Master said, "There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted;-- why should you act on that principle of immediately carrying into practice what you hear?" Zan Yû asked the same, whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard, and the Master answered, "Immediately carry into practice what you hear." Kung-hsî Hwâ said, "Yû asked whether he should carry immediately into practice what he heard, and you said, 'There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted.' Ch'iû asked whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard, and you said, 'Carry it immediately into practice.' I, Ch'ih, am perplexed, and venture to ask you for an explanation." The Master said, "Ch'iû is retiring and slow; therefore I urged him forward. Yû has more than his own share of energy; therefore I kept him back."

Chapter 22.

Yen Yûan's attachment to Confucius, and confidence in his mission.

The Master was put in fear in K'wang and Yen Yûan fell behind. The Master, on his rejoining him, said, "I thought you had died." Hûi replied, "While you were alive, how should I presume to die?"

Chapter 23.

A great minister. Chung-yû and Zan Ch'iû only ordinary ministers.

1. Chî Tsze-zan asked whether Chung Yû and Zan Ch'iû could be called great ministers.

2. The Master said, "I thought you would ask about some extraordinary individuals, and you only ask about Yû and Ch'iû!

3. "What is called a great minister, is one who serves his prince according to what is right, and when he finds he cannot do so, retires.

4. "Now, as to Yû and Ch'iû, they may be called ordinary ministers."

5. Tsze-zan said, "Then they will always follow their chief;-- will they?"

6. The Master said, "In an act of parricide or regicide, they would not follow him."

Chapter 24.

How preliminary study is necessary to the exercise of government:-- a reproof of Tsze-lû.

1. Tsze-lû got Tsze-kâo appointed governor of Pî.

2. The Master said, "You are injuring a man's son."

3. Tsze-lû said, "There are (there) common people and officers; there are the altars of the spirits of the land and grain. Why must one read books before he can be considered to have learned?"

4. The Master said, "It is on this account that I hate your glib-tongued people."

Chapter 25.

The aims of Tsze-lû, Tsang Hsî, Zan Yû, and Kung-hsû Hwâ, and Confucius's remarks about them.

1. Tsze-lû, Tsang Hsî, Zan Yû, and Kung-hsû Hwâ were sitting by the Master.

2. He said to them, "Though I am a day or so older than you, do not think of that.

3. "From day to day you are saying, 'We are not known.' If some ruler were to know you, what would you like to do?"

4. Tsze-lû hastily and lightly replied, "Suppose the case of a state of ten thousand chariots; let it be straitened between other large states; let it be suffering from invading armies; and to this let there be added a famine in corn and in all vegetables:-- if I were intrusted with the government of it, in three years' time I could make the people to be bold, and to recognize the rules of righteous conduct." The Master smiled at him.

5. Turning to Yen Yû, he said, "Ch'iû, what are your wishes?" Ch'iû replied, "Suppose a state of sixty or seventy lî square, or one of fifty or sixty, and let me have the government of it;-- in three years' time, I could make plenty to abound among the people. As to teaching them the principles of propriety, and music, I must wait for the rise of a superior man to do that."

6. "What are your wishes, Ch'ih," said the Master next to Kung-hsî Hwâ. Ch'ih replied, "I do not say that my ability extends to these things, but I should wish to learn them. At the services of the ancestral temple, and at the audiences of the princes with the sovereign, I should like, dressed in the dark square-made robe and the black linen cap, to act as a small assistant."

7. Last of all, the Master asked Tsang Hsî, "Tien, what are your wishes?" Tien, pausing as he was playing on his lute, while it was yet twanging, laid the instrument aside, and "My wishes," he said, "are different from the cherished purposes of these three gentlemen." "What harm is there in that?" said the Master; "do you also, as well as they, speak out your wishes." Tien then said, "In this, the last month of spring, with the dress of the season all complete, along with five or six young men who have assumed the cap, and six or seven boys, I would wash in the Î, enjoy the breeze among the rain altars, and return home singing." The Master heaved a sigh and said, "I give my approval to Tien."

8. The three others having gone out, Tsang Hsî remained behind, and said, "What do you think of the words of these three friends?" The Master replied, "They simply told each one his wishes."

9. Hsî pursued, "Master, why did you smile at Yû?"

10. He was answered, "The management of a state demands the rules of propriety. His words were not humble; therefore I smiled at him."

11. Hsi again said, "But was it not a state which Ch'iû proposed for himself?" The reply was, "Yes; did you ever see a territory of sixty or seventy lî or one of fifty or sixty, which was not a state?"

12. Once more, Hsî inquired, "And was it not a state which Ch'ih proposed for himself?" The Master again replied, "Yes; who but princes have to do with ancestral temples, and with audiences but the sovereign? If Ch'ih were to be a small assistant in these services, who could be a great one?