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HomeThe Analects of Confucius《论语·第十九章》子张篇 - The Analects of Confucius

《论语·第十九章》子张篇 – The Analects of Confucius

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Zi Zhang said,“An intellectual is not afraid of giving up his life in face of danger. He thinks of what is right in face of a gain, of reverence in sacrifice and of grief in mourning. Such may be said to be an intellectual.


Zi Zhang said,“If a man holds what is right only in a narrow sense and believes in right principles but not firmly, could he be said to hold and believe in what is right? Or could he not?”


A disciple of Zi Xia asked Zi Zhang how to make friends. Zi Zhang said,“What did Zi Xia tell you? The disciple said, “Zi Xia told us to make friends with those who are worthy and refuse those who are unworthy.” Zi Zhang said, “This is different from what I have learned. A cultured man should respect the good man and bear with others, praise the capable and help the incapable. Am I so good as not to bear with others? If I am not good enough, others will refuse to make friends with me. How could I refuse them?”


Zi Xia said,“If a man knows what he has not yet learned everyday and does not forget what he has learned every month, he may be said to be a lover of knowledge.”


Zi Xia said,“If a man studies in a wide range and with an unswerving aim, if he asks questions earnestly and reflects on closely related problems, he may be said to have good qualities in him.”


Zi Xia said,“An uncultured man would certainly gloss his faults.”


Zi Xia said,“An intelligentleman has three different aspects: when seen from afar, he looks grave; when approached, he looks affable; when listened to, he looks dignified.”


Zi Xia said,“An intelligentleman will not order the people to toil until he is trusted, or they will think they are exploited. He will not criticize the sovereign till he wins his confidence, or the sovereign will think himself vilified.”


Zi Xia said,“In regard to a serious matter of virtue, a man should not go beyond the limit; but in regard to a trifling matter, he may not keep within limit.”


Zi You said,“The disciples and followers of Zi Xia are good at sprinkling water and sweeping floors, answering questions, coming forward and withdrawing, but all these are minor matters. I am afraid they are not so good in dealing with important things, Am I not right?” Hearing of this remark, Zi Xia said, “Alas! Zi You is mistaken. In regard to an intelligentleman’s ways, which should be learned first? and which may be learned later? Disciples may be compared to plants and trees; they may be classified. How can an intelligentleman’s ways not be learned in order? Who could be one from the beginning to the end? Is it not the sage alone?”


Zi Xia said,“An official versed in state affairs should amplify his knowledge; an intellectual well equipped with knowledge should serve the state.”


Zi You said,“Mourning should not exceed grief.”


Zi You said,“It is difficult to get a friend as good as Zi Zhang, still he cannot be said to be a benevolent man.”


Master Zeng said,“I have heard from our Master that no man should show his feeling to the full unless he is mourning the death of his parents.”


Master Zeng said,“I have heard from our Master that it is possible to be as good a son as Meng Zhuang Zi, but it is difficult to be as good an official as he in employing his father’s subordinates and following his father’s policy.”


The chief of the Meng family appointed Yang Fu as criminal judge, and Yang Fu consulted Master Zeng. Master Zeng said, “Those above have not followed the right way for a long time, and the people do not support them. If you can find out the reason why the criminals are accused, you should feel sympathy for them instead of joy for yourself.”


Master Zeng said,“King Zhou of Yin might not be so tyrannical as it was reported. That is the reason why an intelligentleman would not stay in a low place, where one would be accused of all the evils of the world.”


Master Zeng said,“The faults of an intelligentleman are like eclipses of the sun or the moon. When he does something wrong, all men can see it. When he has amended his fault, all men look up to him.”


Gongsun Chao of the State of Wei asked Zi Gong,“From whom has Confucius acquired his knowledge?” Zi Gong said, “What the Literary and Martial Kings had taught the people has not been lost on earth. Cultured men have learned to settle main matters and uncultured men to settle minor matters. There is none but has learned something from the Literary and Martial Kings. How could my Master have learned nothing? Why should he have learned from one particular master?”


Shu Sun Wu Shu said to an official at court,“Zi Gong is more capable than his master Confucius. Zi Fu Jing Bo told Zi Gong what he had heard. Zi Gong said, “Let us use the wall as a comparison. My wall is only as high as my shoulder, so the beauty of my house could be easily perceived from over the wall. But my Master’s wall rises many times a man’s height. If a man cannot find the door to enter the house, the beauty and magnificense of the temple and halls could not be perceived. But few could enter his house by the door. No wonder the official should have said that about my Master.”


Shu Sun Wu Shu spoke ill of Confucius. Zi Gong said,“It is no use doing wrong to Confucius. Other good men may be vilified, for their height like hillocks or mounds may be surpassed. But Confucius is as high as the sun and the moon. How could he be surpassed? If a man should try to harm him, it would turn to harm himself. What harm could be done to the sun and the moon? It is beyond a man’s reach.”


Chen Zi Qin said to Zi Gong,“You are too modest. How could Confucius be superior to you?” Zi Gong said, “By one word an intelligentleman may reveal his wisdom or ignorance. So we should be careful about what we say. It is as hard to catch up with my Master as to ascend the sky by a ladder. If he were in control of a state or a great family, the people would stand when he raised them, they would follow him when he led them, they would come from afar when called on to, and they would work in harmony when taught to. Living, he was glorious; dead, he would be bewailed. How could he be equalled?”

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