Tsze-chang said, "The scholar, trained for public duty,
seeing threatening danger, is prepared to sacrifice his life. When the
opportunity of gain is presented to him, he thinks of righteousness. In
sacrificing, his thoughts are reverential. In mourning, his thoughts are
about the grief which he should feel. Such a man commands our
Tsze-chang said, "When a man holds fast to virtue, but without seeking
to enlarge it, and believes in right principles, but without firm
sincerity, what account can be made of his existence or non-existence?"
The disciples of Tsze-hsia asked Tsze-chang about the principles that
should characterize mutual intercourse. Tsze-chang asked, "What does
Tsze-hsia say on the subject?" They replied, "Tsze-hsia says: 'Associate
with those who can advantage you. Put away from you those who cannot do
so.'" Tsze-chang observed, "This is different from what I have learned.
The superior man honors the talented and virtuous, and bears with all.
He praises the good, and pities the incompetent. Am I possessed of great
talents and virtue?-who is there among men whom I will not bear with? Am
I devoid of talents and virtue?-men will put me away from them. What
have we to do with the putting away of others?"
Tsze-hsia said, "Even in inferior studies and employments there is
something worth being looked at; but if it be attempted to carry them
out to what is remote, there is a danger of their proving inapplicable.
Therefore, the superior man does not practice them."
Tsze-hsia said, "He, who from day to day recognizes what he has not yet,
and from month to month does not forget what he has attained to, may be
said indeed to love to learn."
Tsze-hsia said, "There are learning extensively, and having a firm and
sincere aim; inquiring with earnestness, and reflecting with
self-application:-virtue is in such a course."
Tsze-hsia said, "Mechanics have their shops to dwell in, in order to
accomplish their works. The superior man learns, in order to reach to
the utmost of his principles."
Tsze-hsia said, "The mean man is sure to gloss his faults." Tsze-hsia
said, "The superior man undergoes three changes. Looked at
from a distance, he appears stern; when approached, he is mild; when he
is heard to speak, his language is firm and decided."
Tsze-hsia said, "The superior man, having obtained their confidence, may
then impose labors on his people. If he have not gained their
confidence, they will think that he is oppressing them. Having obtained
the confidence of his prince, one may then remonstrate with him. If he
have not gained his confidence, the prince will think that he is
Tsze-hsia said, "When a person does not transgress the boundary line in
the great virtues, he may pass and repass it in the small virtues."
Tsze-yu said, "The disciples and followers of Tsze-hsia, in sprinkling
and sweeping the ground, in answering and replying, in advancing and
receding, are sufficiently accomplished. But these are only the branches
of learning, and they are left ignorant of what is essential.-How can
they be acknowledged as sufficiently taught?"
Tsze-hsia heard of the remark and said, "Alas! Yen Yu is wrong.
According to the way of the superior man in teaching, what departments
are there which he considers of prime importance, and delivers? what are
there which he considers of secondary importance, and allows himself to
be idle about? But as in the case of plants, which are assorted
according to their classes, so he deals with his disciples. How can the
way of a superior man be such as to make fools of any of them? Is it not
the sage alone, who can unite in one the beginning and the consummation
Tsze-hsia said, "The officer, having discharged all his duties, should
devote his leisure to learning. The student, having completed his
learning, should apply himself to be an officer."
Tsze-hsia said, "Mourning, having been carried to the utmost degree of
grief, should stop with that."
Tsze-hsia said, "My friend Chang can do things which are hard to be
done, but yet he is not perfectly virtuous."
The philosopher Tsang said, "How imposing is the manner of Chang! It is
difficult along with him to practice virtue."
The philosopher Tsang said, "I heard this from our Master: 'Men may not have
shown what is in them to the full extent, and yet they will be found to do so,
on the occasion of mourning for their parents."
The philosopher Tsang said, "I have heard this from our Master:-'The filial
piety of Mang Chwang, in other matters, was what other men are competent to,
but, as seen in his not changing the ministers of his father, nor his father's
mode of government, it is difficult to be attained to.'"
The chief of the Mang family having appointed Yang Fu to be chief criminal
judge, the latter consulted the philosopher Tsang. Tsang said, "The rulers have
failed in their duties, and the people consequently have been disorganized for a
long time. When you have found out the truth of any accusation, be grieved for
and pity them, and do not feel joy at your own ability."
Tsze-kung said, "Chau's wickedness was not so great as that name implies.
Therefore, the superior man hates to dwell in a low-lying situation, where all
the evil of the world will flow in upon him."
Tsze-kung said, "The faults of the superior man are like the eclipses of
the sun and moon. He has his faults, and all men see them; he changes again, and
all men look up to him."
Kung-sun Ch'ao of Wei asked Tszekung, saying. "From whom did Chung-ni get his
Tsze-kung replied, "The doctrines of Wan and Wu have not yet fallen to the
ground. They are to be found among men. Men of talents and virtue remember the
greater principles of them, and others, not possessing such talents and virtue,
remember the smaller. Thus, all possess the doctrines of Wan and Wu. Where could
our Master go that he should not have an opportunity of learning them? And yet
what necessity was there for his having a regular master?"
Shu-sun Wu-shu observed to the great officers in the court, saying,
"Tsze-kung is superior to Chung-ni."
Tsze-fu Ching-po reported the observation to Tsze-kung, who said, "Let me
use the comparison of a house and its encompassing wall. My wall only reaches to
the shoulders. One may peep over it, and see whatever is valuable in the
"The wall of my Master is several fathoms high. If one do not find the door and
enter by it, he cannot see the ancestral temple with its beauties, nor all the
officers in their rich array.
"But I may assume that they are few who find the door. Was not the observation
of the chief only what might have been expected?"
Shu-sun Wu-shu having spoken revilingly of Chung-ni, Tsze-kung said, "It
is of no use doing so. Chung-ni cannot be reviled. The talents and virtue of
other men are hillocks and mounds which may be stepped over. Chung-ni is the sun
or moon, which it is not possible to step over. Although a man may wish to cut
himself off from the sage, what harm can he do to the sun or moon? He only shows
that he does not know his own capacity.
Ch'an Tsze-ch' in, addressing Tsze-kung, said, "You are too modest. How can
Chung-ni be said to be superior to you?"
Tsze-kung said to him, "For one word a man is often deemed to be wise, and
for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We ought to be careful indeed in
what we say.
"Our Master cannot be attained to, just in the same way as the heavens cannot be
gone up by the steps of a stair.