The different characters of the dukes Wan of Tsin and Hwan of Ch'î.
The Master said, "The duke Wan of Tsin was crafty and not upright. The duke Hwan of Ch'î was upright and not crafty."
The merit of Kwan Chung:-- a conversation with Tsze-lû.
1. Tsze-lû said, "The duke Hwan caused his brother Chiû to be killed, when Shâo Hû died with his master, but Kwan Chung did not die. May not I say that he was wanting in virtue?"
2. The Master said, "The Duke Hwan assembled all the princes together, and that not with weapons of war and chariots:-- it was all through the influence of Kwan Chung. Whose beneficence was like his? Whose beneficence was like his?"
The merit of Kwan Chung:-- a conversation with Tsze-kung.
1. Tsze-kung said, "Kwan Chung, I apprehend, was wanting in virtue. When the Duke Hwan caused his brother Chiû to be killed, Kwan Chung was not able to die with him. Moreover, he became prime minister to Hwan."
2. The Master said, "Kwan Chung acted as prime minister to the duke Hwan, made him leader of all the princes, and united and rectified the whole kingdom. Down to the present day, the people enjoy the gifts which he conferred. But for Kwan Chung, we should now be wearing our hair unbound, and the lappets of our coats buttoning on the left side.
3. "Will you require from him the small fidelity of common men and common women, who would commit suicide in a stream or ditch, no one knowing anything about them?"
The merit of Kung-shû Wan in recommending to high office, while in an inferior position, a man of worth.
1. The great officer, Hsien, who had been family minister to Kung-shû Wan, ascended to the prince's court in company with Wan.
2. The Master, having heard of it, said, "He deserved to be considered WAN (the accomplished)."
The importance of good and able ministers:-- seen in the State of Wei.
1. The Master was speaking about the unprincipled course of the duke Ling of Wei, when Ch'î K'ang said, "Since he is of such a character, how is it he does not lose his state?"
2. Confucius said, "The Chung-shû Yü has the superintendence of his guests and of strangers; the litanist, T'o, has the management of his ancestral temple; and Wang-sun Chiâ has the direction of the army and forces:-- with such officers as these, how should he lose his state?"
Extravagant speech hard to be made good.
The Master said, "He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good."
How Confucius wished to avenge the murder of the duke of Ch'î:-- his righteous and public spirit.
1. Chan Ch'ang murdered the duke Chien of Ch'î.
2. Confucius bathed, went to court and informed the duke Âi, saying, "Chan Hang has slain his sovereign. I beg that you will undertake to punish him."
3. The duke said, "Inform the chiefs of the three families of it."
4. Confucius retired, and said, "Following in the rear of the great officers, I did not dare not to represent such a matter, and my prince says, 'Inform the chiefs of the three families of it.'"
5. He went to the chiefs, and informed them, but they would not act. Confucius then said, "Following in the rear of the great officers, I did not dare not to represent such a matter."
How the minister of a prince must be sincere and boldly upright.
Tsze-lû asked how a ruler should be served. The Master said, "Do not impose on him, and, moreover, withstand him to his face."
The different progressive tendencies of the superior man and the mean man.
The Master said, "The progress of the superior man is upwards; the progress of the mean man is downwards."
The different motives of learners in old times, and in the times of Confucius.
The Master said, "In ancient times, men learned with a view to their own improvement. Nowadays, men learn with a view to the approbation of others."
An admirable messenger.
1. Chü Po-yü sent a messenger with friendly inquiries to Confucius.
2. Confucius sat with him, and questioned him. "What," said he! "is your master engaged in?" The messenger replied, "My master is anxious to make his faults few, but he has not yet succeeded." He then went out, and the Master said, "A messenger indeed! A messenger indeed!"
The Master said, "He who is not in any particular office has nothing to do with plans for the administration of its duties."
The thoughts of a superior man in harmony with his position.
The philosopher Tsang said, "The superior man, in his thoughts, does not go out of his place."
The superior man more in deeds than in words.
The Master said, "The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions."
Confucius's humble estimate of himself, which Tsze-kung denies.
1. The Master said, "The way of the superior man is threefold, but I am not equal to it. Virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.
2. Tsze-kung said, "Master, that is what you yourself say."
One's work is with one's self:-- against making comparisons.
Tsze-kung was in the habit of comparing men together. The Master said, "Tsze must have reached a high pitch of excellence! Now, I have not leisure for this."
Concern should be about our personal attainment, and not about the estimation of others.
The Master said, "I will not be concerned at men's not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of ability."
Quick discrimination without suspiciousness is highly meritorious.
The Master said, "He who does not anticipate attempts to deceive him, nor think beforehand of his not being believed, and yet apprehends these things readily (when they occur);-- is he not a man of superior worth?"