The Master said of Kung-ye Ch'ang that he might be wived; although he was put in bonds, he had not been guilty of any crime. Accordingly, he gave him his own daughter to wife. Of Nan Yung he said that if the country were well governed he would not be out of office, and if it were in governed, he would escape punishment and disgrace. He gave him the daughter of his own elder brother to wife.
The Master said of Tsze-chien, "Of superior virtue indeed is such a man! If there were not virtuous men in Lu, how could this man have acquired this character?"
Tsze-kung asked, "What do you say of me, Ts'ze!" The Master said, "You are a utensil." "What utensil?" "A gemmed sacrificial utensil."
Some one said, "Yung is truly virtuous, but he is not
ready with his tongue." The Master said, "What is the good of being
ready with the tongue? They who encounter men with smartness of speech
for the most part procure themselves hatred. I know not whether he be
truly virtuous, but why should he show readiness of the tongue?"
Tsai Yu being asleep during the daytime, the Master said, "Rotten wood cannot be
carved; a wall of dirty earth will not receive the trowel. This Yu,-what is the
use of my reproving him?"
Tsze-chang asked, saying, "The minister Tsze-wan thrice took office, and
manifested no joy in his countenance. Thrice he retired from office, and
manifested no displeasure. He made it a point to inform the new minister of the
way in which he had conducted the government; what do you say of him?" The
Master replied. "He was loyal." "Was he perfectly virtuous?" "I do not know. How
can he be pronounced perfectly virtuous?" Tsze-chang proceeded, "When the
officer Ch'ui killed the prince of Ch'i, Ch'an Wan, though he was the owner of
forty horses, abandoned them and left the country. Coming to another state, he
said, 'They are here like our great officer, Ch'ui,' and left it. He came to a
second state, and with the same observation left it also;-what do you say of
him?" The Master replied, "He was pure." "Was he perfectly virtuous?" "I do not
know. How can he be pronounced perfectly virtuous?"
Chi Wan thought thrice, and then acted. When the Master was informed of it, he said, "Twice may do."
The Master said, "When good order prevailed in his country, Ning Wu acted the part of a wise man. When his country was in disorder, he acted the part of a stupid man. Others may equal his wisdom, but they cannot equal his stupidity."
When the Master was in Ch'an, he said, "Let me return! Let me return! The little children of my school are ambitious and too hasty. They are accomplished and complete so far, but they do not know how to restrict and shape themselves."
The Master said, "Po-i and Shu-ch'i did not keep the former wickednesses of men in mind, and hence the resentments directed towards them were few."
The Master said, "Who says of Weishang Kao that he is upright? One begged some vinegar of him, and he begged it of a neighbor and gave it to the man."
The Master said, "Fine words, an insinuating appearance, and excessive respect;-Tso Ch'iu-ming was ashamed of them. I also am ashamed of them. To conceal resentment against a person, and appear friendly with him;-Tso Ch'iu-ming was ashamed of such conduct. I also am ashamed of it."
Yen Yuan and Chi Lu being by his side, the Master said to them, "Come, let each of you tell his wishes."
Tsze-lu said, "I should like, having chariots and horses, and light fur clothes, to share them with my friends, and though they should spoil them, I would not be displeased."
Yen Yuan said, "I should like not to boast of my excellence, nor to make a display of my meritorious deeds."
Tsze-lu then said, "I should like, sir, to hear your wishes." The Master said, "They are, in regard to the aged, to give them rest; in regard to friends, to show them sincerity; in regard to the young, to treat them tenderly."
The Master said, "It is all over. I have not yet seen one who could perceive his faults, and inwardly accuse himself."
The Master said, "In a hamlet of ten families, there may be found one honorable and sincere as I am, but not so fond of learning."