Skip to content

13. Zi Lu (子路)

1. Zi Lu asked about governing. The Master said, "Lead by example. Work hard." Zi Lu asked for more guidance. The Master said, "Don't be lazy."
子路問政。子曰:「先之,勞之。」請益。曰:「無倦。」

2. Zhong Gong became a minister to Lord Ji. Zhong Gong asked about governing. The Master said, "Lead sundry officers, pardon small wrongdoings, employ talented persons." Zhong Gong asked, "How can I know and employ talented persons?" The Master said, "Employ those whom you know. Those who are not known to you, do you think people will discard them?"
仲弓為季氏宰,問政。子曰:「先有司,赦小過,舉賢才。」曰:「焉知賢才而舉之?」曰:「舉爾所知。爾所不知,人其舍諸?」

3. Zi Lu said, "The ruler of Wei is waiting for you intending to entrust the governing. What will you do first?" The Master said, "Rectify names, of course." Zi Lu said, "Is that so? You are off the mark. How come rectifying names is your first priority?" The Master said, "How uncivilized you are! A noble man would remain quiet when it is about something he does not know. If names are not correctly used, your speech will be feigned. With a feigned speech, you cannot accomplish anything. If things are not accomplished, the Li and the Music will not flourish. If the Li and the Music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly administered. If punishments are not properly administered, people would not know where to stand. If a noble man should name names, he must be able to defend it. If he should say things, he must be able to act on it. When it comes to speech, a noble man ought not to talk nonsense."
子路曰:「衛君待子而為政,子將奚先?」子曰:「必也正名乎!」子路曰:「有是哉,子之迂也!奚其正?」子曰:「野哉由也!君子於其所不知,蓋闕如也。名不正,則言不順;言不順,則事不成;事不成,則禮樂不興;禮樂不興,則刑罰不中;刑罰不中,則民無所措手足。故君子名之必可言也,言之必可行也。君子於其言,無所苟而已矣。」

4. Fan Chi wanted to learn how to sow seeds. The Master said, "I am not a farmer." He then wanted to learn fruit and vegetable gardening. The Master said, "I am not a gardener." Fan Chi left. The Master said, "Petty and lowly, he is! When those in high positions are fond of Li, people dare not be irreverent. When those in high positions are fond of righteousness, people dare not rebel. When those in high positions are fond of trust, people dare not be insincere. When things are like this, people from all corners will come to you carrying their children. Why do you need to know how to sow seeds?
樊遲請學稼,子曰:「吾不如老農。」請學為圃。曰:「吾不如老圃。」樊遲出。子曰:「小人哉,樊須也!上好禮,則民莫敢不敬;上好義,則民莫敢不服;上好信,則民莫敢不用情。夫如是,則四方之民襁負其子而至矣,焉用稼?」

5. The Master said, "There are people who can recite all three hundred poems. But when they are entrusted with governing, they cannot manage. When they are sent on diplomatic missions, they cannot cope on their own. There are many of them, but they are all useless.
子曰:「誦詩三百,授之以政,不達;使於四方,不能專對;雖多,亦奚以為?」

6. The Master said, "If the commander is an upright person, carry out his wishes without waiting for an order. If the commander is not an upright person, do not follow his orders."
子曰:「其身正,不令而行;其身不正,雖令不從。」 (Zhu Xi keeps quiet about this. 論語注疏 presents this as a 'description' rather and an 'exhortation to disobey'.)

7. The Master said, "Government of Lu and government of Wei are like brothers." [魯,周公之後。衛,康叔之後。本兄弟之國]
子曰:「魯衛之政,兄弟也。」

8. The Master spoke of Gong Zi Jing of Wei, "He has a beautiful house. At the beginning, he said, 'I just want it to be put together.' When he had some structures, he said, 'I just want it be complete.' When it was richly done, he said, 'I just want it be beautiful.' "
子謂衛公子荊,「善居室。始有,曰:『苟合矣。』少有,曰:『苟完矣。』富有,曰:『苟美矣。』」

9. The Master went to Wei. Ran You was driving the carriage. The Master said, "A lot of people!" Ran You said, "Now that there are a lot, what should be done to them?" The Master said, "Make them rich." Ran You said, "Suppose they became rich, what should be done to them?" The Master said, "Teach them."
子適衛,冉有僕。子曰:「庶矣哉!」冉有曰:「既庶矣。又何加焉?」曰:「富之。」曰:「既富矣,又何加焉?」曰:「教之。」

10. The Master said, "If only someone employs me, in a month, I can produce some good results. In three years, I can complete my task."
子曰:「苟有用我者。期月而已可也,三年有成。」

11. The Master said, " 'If good people govern a country for a hundred years, cruel people will be tamed and execution can be abolished.' How true this is!"
子曰:「善人為邦百年,亦可以勝殘去殺矣。誠哉是言也!」

12. The Master said, "Even with a king, it would take a generation before ethical resolve reigns supreme.
子曰:「如有王者,必世而後仁。」

13. The Master said, "If you conduct yourself in an upright manner, what difficulty is there for you to govern? If you cannot behave in an upright manner, how can you make people behave in an upright manner?
子曰:「苟正其身矣,於從政乎何有?不能正其身,如正人何?」

14. Mr Ran was coming home from the court [of Lord Ji]. The Master said, "Why are you so late?" Mr Ran answered, "Because of governing." The Master said, "You mean private business [of Lord Ji]. If it was about governing, I would have been informed although I am not employed."
冉子退朝。子曰:「何晏也?」對曰:「有政。」子曰:「其事也。如有政,雖不吾以,吾其與聞之。」

15. Duke Ding (定) asked, "Is there a saying which can make a country prosper?" Confucius answered, "Speech cannot have such an effect. But there is something close. There is a saying, 'It is hard to be a ruler, it is not easy to be a minister.' If a ruler knows how difficult it is to be a ruler, isn't it close to the case of one sentence making the country prosper?" Duke Ding said, "Is there a saying which can ruin a country?" Confucius answered, "Speech cannot have such an effect. But there is something close. There is a saying, 'The only joy of being a ruler is that people say nothing which is against you.' If you are doing good and no one is against you, then that's not bad. But if you are not doing good and no one is against you, isn't it close to the case of one sentence ruining the country?"
定公問:「一言而可以興邦,有諸?」孔子對曰:「言不可以若是其幾也。人之言曰:『為君難,為臣不易。』如知為君之難也,不幾乎一言而興邦乎?」曰:「一言而喪邦,有諸?」孔子對曰:「言不可以若是其幾也。人之言曰:『予無樂乎為君,唯其言而莫予違也。』如其善而莫之違也,不亦善乎?如不善而莫之違也,不幾乎一言而喪邦乎?」

16. Duke of She asked about governing. The Master said, "It is to give happiness to those who are near and to attract those who are far removed."
葉公問政。子曰:「近者說,遠者來。」

17. Zi Xia became governor of the town of Ju Fu. Zi Xia asked about governing. The Master said, "Don't rush. Don't look for small gains. If you rush, you won't succeed. If you seek small gains, you won't have big achievements."
子夏為莒父宰,問政。子曰:「無欲速,無見小利。欲速,則不達;見小利,則大事不成。」

18. Duke of She (葉公) told Conficius, “In my village, there is an honest person. When his father stole a sheep, he testified against it.” Confucius said, “In my village, honesty is different. Father’s deed may be covered by the son. Son’s deed may be covered by the father. Honesty is there!”
葉公語孔子曰:「吾黨有直躬者,其父攘羊,而子證之。」孔子曰:「吾黨之直者異於是。父為子隱,子為父隱,直在其中矣。」

19. Fan Chi asked about ethical resolve. The Master said, "Be polite at home. Be respectful when you do things. Be loyal in your dealings with others. Even if you go to barbarian tribes, you should not let go of this."
樊遲問仁。子曰:「居處恭,執事敬,與人忠。雖之夷狄,不可棄也。」

20. Zi Gong asked, "What qualities are needed to be regarded as an officer?" The Master said, "When you have a sense of shame in your conduct and when you do not put your ruler's commands into disrepute wherever you are sent on a mission, you can be regarded as an officer." Zi Gong said, "May I ask what kind of persons come next?" The Master said, "Those who are praised by family members for serving parents well and those who are praised by townspeople for being kind-hearted." Zi Gong said, "May I ask what kind of persons come next?" The Master said, "Those whose speech is trustworthy and who get things done. Although they may have stubbornness of the petty and the lowly, they can come next." Zi Gong said, "How about those who are in the government these day?" The Master said, "Oh, dear! Those small minded people, there are too many to count."
子貢問曰:「何如斯可謂之士矣?」子曰:「行己有恥,使於四方,不辱君命,可謂士矣。」曰:「敢問其次。」曰:「宗族稱孝焉,鄉黨稱弟焉。」曰:「敢問其次。」曰:「言必信,行必果,硜硜然小人哉!抑亦可以為次矣。」曰:「今之從政者何如?」子曰:「噫!斗筲之人,何足算也。」

21. The Master said, "If you cannot manage to do things at the right pace, you are bound to be either mad or indecisive. A mad man will go ahead, an indecisive person leaves things unaccomplished."
子曰:「不得中行而與之,必也狂狷乎!狂者進取,狷(=猶豫未決)者有所不為也。」

22. The Master said, "People of the South have a saying, 'Without constant perseverance, you won't make a shaman nor a doctor.' Well said, indeed!" [According to Book of Changes,] "If your virtues are not constant, you may encounter shame." The Master said, "Divinatory readings are not enough."
子曰:「南人有言曰:『人而無恆,不可以作巫醫。』善夫!」「不恆其德,或承之羞。」子曰:「不占而已矣。」

23. The Master said, "A noble man achieves harmony without being a conformist. The petty and the lowly are conformists without achieving harmony.
子曰:「君子和而不同,小人同而不和。」

24. Zi Gong asked, "If a person is liked by everyone in the village, how about him?" The master said, "That is not possible." "If a person is hated by everyone in the village, how about him?" The Master said, "That is not possible. It is different from being liked by the good people of the village and hated by the bad people of the village."
子貢問曰:「鄉人皆好之,何如?」子曰:「未可也。」「鄉人皆惡之,何如?」子曰:「未可也。不如鄉人之善者好之,其不善者惡之。」

25. The Master said, "A noble man is easy to serve but difficult to please. Try to please him in a manner which is not the proper way, he will not be pleased. When he employs people, he entrusts them with a task commensurate with their calibre. The petty and the lowly are difficult to serve but easy to please. Even when you please them in an improper way, they are pleased. When they employ a person, they expect him to be all capable.
子曰:「君子易事而難說也:說之不以道,不說也;及其使人也,器之。小人難事而易說也:說之雖不以道,說也;及其使人也,求備焉。」

26. The Master said, "A noble man is relaxed and generous without being arrogant. The petty and the lowly are arrogant without being relaxed and generous.
子曰:「君子泰而不驕,小人驕而不泰。」

27. The Master said, "Hard, unswerving, uncouth, terse. These are closer to ethical resolve.
子曰:「剛毅、木訥,近仁。」

28. Zi Lu asked, "What qualities are needed to be regarded as an officer?" The Master said, "To be regarded as an officer, one must be wholehearted, stalwart, and convivial. With his friends, he is wholehearted and stalwart. With his brothers, he is convivial."
子路問曰:「何如斯可謂之士矣?」子曰:「切切、偲偲、怡怡如也,可謂士矣。朋友切切、偲偲,兄弟怡怡。」

29. The Master said, "If people are educated by good teachers for seven years, they can go to war."
子曰:「善人教民七年,亦可以即戎矣。」

30. The Master said, "If you don't teach people and take them to war, that is to waste them."
子曰:「以不教民戰,是謂棄之。」

image_print
Published on Categories ACLP