17. Yang Huo (陽貨)

1. Yang Huo (陽貨) wanted to see Confucius but Confucius refused. He then sent Confucius a gift of pig. Confucius chose a moment when Yang Huo was not around and went there to express his appreciation for the gift. But he came across Yang Huo on the way. Yang Huo said to Confucius, “Come! I would like to speak with you.” “To keep the treasure to oneself and let the country go astray. Can it be regarded as ethical resolve?” Confucius replied, “No, it cannot.” “To love to carry out the work and yet often miss the timing. Can it be regarded as wisdom?” Confucius replied, “No, it cannot.” “Days and months go by. They do not wait for me.” Confucius replied, “All right. I will take up a position some day.”
陽貨欲見孔子,孔子不見,歸孔子豚。孔子時其亡也,而往拜之,遇諸塗。謂孔子曰:「來!予與爾言。」曰:「懷其寶而迷其邦,可謂仁乎?」曰:「不可。」「好從事而亟失時,可謂知乎?」曰:「不可。」「日月逝矣,歲不我與。」孔子曰:「諾。吾將仕矣。」

2. The Master said, “We are born with a similar nature. What we acquire later tends to set us apart.”
子曰:「性相近也,習相遠也。」

3. The Master said, “Only the most intelligent and the most stupid are not susceptible to change.”
子曰:「唯上知與下愚不移。」

4. The Master arrived in the village of Wu Cheng (武城). He heard the sound of stringed instruments and singing. Well pleased and smiling, he said, “Why use an ox knife to kill a chicken?” Zi You replied, “Formerly, Sir, I heard you say, ‘When a noble man has learned the Way, he loves men; when the petty and the lowly have learned the Way, it is easy to put them to service.'” The Master said, “Hey guys, Yan (偃) is right. What I said earlier was only a joke.”
子之武城,聞弦歌之聲。夫子莞爾而笑,曰:「割雞焉用牛刀?」子游對曰:「昔者偃(언=子游)也聞諸夫子曰:『君子學道則愛人,小人學道則易使也。』」子曰:「二三子!偃之言是也。前言戲之耳。」

5. Gong Shan Fo Rao (公山弗擾) launched a rebellion from Mr Ji’s village of Fei. He invited Confucius, who wanted to come. Zi Lu was not happy. He said, “Don’t go there. Why do you have to go to Mr. Gong Shan of all people?” The Master said, “He who invites me would not do so for nothing, would he? If there is someone who would hire me, I would make that country Zhou of the East.”
公山弗擾以費畔,召,子欲往。子路不說,曰:「末之也已,何必公山氏之之也。」子曰:「夫召我者而豈徒哉?如有用我者,吾其為東周乎」

6. Zi Zhang asked Confucius about ethical resolve. Confucius said, “If you can carry out five things whever you go in the whole world, you would be fulfilling the ethical resolve.” Zi Zhang inquired further. The Master said, “Politeness, open-mindedness, trustworthiness, diligence and generosity. If you are polite you won’t be be treated with disrespect. If you are open-minded, you will win many people’s heart. If you are trustworthy, people will entrust you with a task. If you are diligent, you will achieve a lot. If you are generous, people will work for you.”
子張問仁於孔子。孔子曰:「能行五者於天下,為仁矣。」請問之。曰:「恭、寬、信、敏、惠。恭則不侮,寬則得眾,信則人任焉,敏則有功,惠則足以使人。」

7. Bi Xi (佛肸) invited Confucius, who wanted to come. Zi Lu said, “I once heard you say, ‘If you are close to someone who does bad things, you won’t become a noble man.’ Bi Xi launched a rebellion in the village of Zhong Mou (中牟) and you want to go there! What is this?” The Master said, “You are right. I said those words. But if one does not become thin despite grinding, wouldn’t you call that firm? If one does not become dirty despite besmirching, woundn’t you call that pure? Am I merely a piece of gourd, only to be hung to dry and not eaten?”
佛肸召,子欲往。子路曰:「昔者由也聞諸夫子曰:『親於其身為不善者,君子不入也。』佛肸以中牟畔,子之往也,如之何!」子曰:「然。有是言也。不曰堅乎,磨而不磷;不曰白乎,涅而不緇。吾豈匏瓜也哉?焉能繫而不食?」

8. The Master said, “You (由), have you heard about six dead-ends of six words?” Zi Lu replied, “No, I haven’t.” The Master said, “Sit down. I will tell you. To cherish ethical resolve and to neglect learning, you end up being stupid; To cherish wisdom and to neglect learning, you end up being undisciplined. To cherish trustworthiness and to neglect learning, you end up being a gangster; To cherish honesty and to neglect learning, you end up being caught in a straightjacket; To cherish courage and to neglect learning, you end up being disruptive; To cherish firmness and to neglect learning, you end up being crazy.”
子曰:「由也,女聞六言六蔽矣乎?」對曰:「未也。」「居!吾語女。好仁不好學,其蔽也愚;好知不好學,其蔽也蕩;好信不好學,其蔽也賊;好直不好學,其蔽也絞;好勇不好學,其蔽也亂;好剛不好學,其蔽也狂

9. The Master said, “Guys, why you are not studying poetry? Poetry will move you, make you see, bring people together and let you express grievances. It will teach you how to serve your father and serve your ruler. You will also be well versed in the names of birds, animals, plants and trees.”
子曰:「小子!何莫學夫詩?詩,可以興,可以觀,可以群,可以怨。邇之事父,遠之事君。多識於鳥獸草木之名。」

10. The Master told Bo Yu (伯魚), “Have you studied ‘Zhou Nan’ and ‘Shao Nan’? If one does not study Zhou Nan and Shao Nan, one would be like a person who stands facing a wall, you see?”
子謂伯魚曰:「女為《周南》、《召南》矣乎?人而不為《周南》、《召南》,其猶正牆面而立也與?」

11. The Master said, “Li, Li! Do you think I am talking about jade and silk? Music, music! Do you think I am talking about bells and drums?”
子曰:「禮云禮云,玉帛云乎哉?樂云樂云,鐘鼓云乎哉?」

12. Those who appear to be firm but actually weak inside, are similar to the petty and the lowly. They are like a thief who bores a hole in the wall, you see?”
子曰:「色厲而內荏,譬諸小人,其猶穿窬之盜也與?」

13. The Master said, “The do-gooders of your home town, they are the enemies of virtue.”
子曰:「鄉原,德之賊也。」

14. The Master said, “To regurgitate uncritically what you just heard is to abandon virtue.”
子曰:「道聽而塗說,德之棄也。」

15. The Master said, “Side by side with a mean person, can you serve your boss? If there is something which he hasn’t got, his concern is how to get it. If he has got it, his concern is how not to lose it. If you are afraid of losing what you have, there is no limit to what you would do.”
子曰:「鄙夫可與事君也與哉?其未得之也,患得之;既得之,患失之。苟患失之,無所不至矣。」

16. In olden days, people had three weaknesses. These days, they are perhaps no longer to be found. In olden days, wild people were at least daring. These days, wild people are licentious. In olden days, proud people were at least incorruptible. These days, proud people are irritable. In olden days, simple people were at least honest. These days, simple people are fraudulent.”
子曰:「古者民有三疾,今也或是之亡也。古之狂也肆,今之狂也蕩;古之矜也廉,今之矜也忿戾;古之愚也直,今之愚也詐而已矣。」

17. The Master said, “Soothing words and pleasant face; there can hardly be any ethical resolve there.”
子曰:「巧言令色,鮮矣仁。」

18. The Master said, “I hate it when purple takes the place of vermillion. I hate it when songs of Zheng (鄭) debase the classical music of Zhou (周). I hate it when attractive eloquence overthrows countries and households.”
子曰:「惡紫之奪朱也,惡鄭聲之亂雅樂也,惡利口之覆邦家者。」

19. The Master said, “I wish to speak no more.” Zi Gong said, “If you speak no more, what are we, students, to record?” The Master said, “Does heaven speak? Four seasons take their course; all sorts of things come into existence. But does heaven speak?”
子曰:「予欲無言。」子貢曰:「子如不言,則小子何述焉?」子曰:「天何言哉?四時行焉,百物生焉,天何言哉?」

20. Ru Bei (孺悲) wanted to see Confucius. Confucius declined, saying he was unwell. When Ru Bei’s messenger was about to leave the house gate, Confucius grabbed the lute, played a tune and sang so that the messenger could hear.
孺悲欲見孔子,孔子辭以疾。將命者出戶,取瑟而歌。使之聞之。

21. Zai Wo asked about three year mourning period, saying “One year is long enough. If a noble man does not practice Li for three years, Li will be ruined. If music is not performed for three years, music will be lost. One year is long enough for old grains to be used up, new grains to ripen and the wood to make fire with a flint will have changed in a year.” The Master said, “Would you feel comfortable eating fine rice and wearing fine cloth [after one year of mourning]?” Zai Wo said, “Yes, I would.” The Master said, “If you feel comfortable doing it, then do it! When a noble man is in mourning, he would not feel the taste even when he has nice food, he would not feel joy even when he hears good music, he would not feel comfortable regardless of the dwelling. That’s why he does not eat fine rice or wear fine cloth. But if you feel comfortable doing it, then do it!” Zai Wo left. The Master said, “It shows Yu (予) lacks ethical resolve. When a child is born, it takes three years before it can leave the parents’ arms. Three year mourning is normally practised everywhere. Did Yu ever have the benefit of his parents’ love for three years?”
宰我問:「三年之喪,期已久矣。君子三年不為禮,禮必壞;三年不為樂,樂必崩。舊穀既沒,新穀既升,鑽燧改火,期可已矣。」子曰:「食夫稻,衣夫錦,於女安乎?」曰:「安。」「女安則為之!夫君子之居喪,食旨不甘,聞樂不樂,居處不安,故不為也。今女安,則為之!」宰我出。子曰:「予之不仁也!子生三年,然後免於父母之懷。夫三年之喪,天下之通喪也。予也,有三年之愛於其父母乎?」

22. The Master said, “To stuff yourself all day without applying your mind to anything, that’s bad! Aren’t there chess and go games? Play them. It would be better than doing nothing.”
子曰:「飽食終日,無所用心,難矣哉!不有博弈者乎,為之猶賢乎已。」

23. Zi Lu said, “A noble man would look up to courage, wouldn’t he?” The Master said, “A noble man regards righteousness as the highest value. If a noble man with courage lacks the sense of righteousness, he will be a rebel. If the petty and the lowly with courage lack the sense of righteousness, they will be thieves.”
子路曰:「君子尚勇乎?」子曰:「君子義以為上。君子有勇而無義為亂,小人有勇而無義為盜。」

24. Zi Gong said, “Does a noble man also have hatred?” The Master said, “Of course. He hates those who speak ill of others. He hates those who live a lowly life and slander their superiors. He hates those who have courage and yet fail to abide by Li. He hates those who are bold and yet have a closed mind.” The Master then said, “Ci (賜), do you also have hatred?” Zi Gong replied, “I hate those who beat around the bush and treat it as wisdom. I hate those who are rude and think that they have courage. I hate those who rat on others and think that they are honest.”
子貢曰:「君子亦有惡乎?」子曰:「有惡:惡稱人之惡者,惡居下流而訕上者,惡勇而無禮者,惡果敢而窒者。」曰:「賜也亦有惡乎?」「惡徼以為知者,惡不孫以為勇者,惡訐以為直者。」

25. The Master said, “Women and the petty and the lowly are difficult to deal with. If you are close to them, they become unruly. If you keep a distance, they become resentful.”
子曰:「唯女子與小人為難養也,近之則不孫,遠之則怨。」

26. The Master said, “If, at the age of 40, you are hated by others, you will be like that till the end.”
子曰:「年四十而見惡焉,其終也已。」