Skip to content

18. Lord Wei (微)

1. [During the reign of tyrant Zhou (紂) of Yin dynasty] Lord Wei (微) left all behind; Lord Ji (箕) pretended that he was Zhou's slave; Bi Gan (比干) made critical remarks against Zhou and was killed. Confucius said, "Yin dynasty had three men who had ethical resolve."

2. Hui (惠) of Liu Xia was appointed prison warden. He was dismissed three times. Someone said, "Are you still not able to leave all behind?" Hui said, "If you serve people in an upright manner, where can you go and not dismissed three times? If you serve people in a crooked manner, why would you have to leave your parents' home country?"

3. Duke Jing (景) of Qi (齊) considered employment conditions for Confucius and said, "I won't be able to offer him the treatment accorded to Mr. Ji. I shall offer him a treatment which is between the one accorded to Mr. Ji and the one accorded to Mr. Meng." He then added further, "As I am old, I won't be able to employ him." [Upon hearing this,] Confucius left Qi.

4. People of Qi (齊) sent female musicians [as presents for Lu (魯)]. Ji Huanzi (季桓子) received them. For three days, no business was done in Lu court. Confucius left Lu.

5. Jie Yu (接輿), a mad man of Chu (楚), was walking past Confucius singing as follows, "Oh, phoenix! Oh, phoenix! How you reproach the virtue's decline! Let bygones be bygones. The future is not lost. Stop now! Stop now! Those in politics nowadays are dangerous." Confucius alighted from the carriage and wanted to speak with the man. But as the man quickened his pace and avoid Confucius, it was not possible to speak with him.
楚狂接輿歌而過孔子曰:「鳳兮 鳳兮 何德之衰 往者不可諫,來者猶可追。已而,已而 今之從政者殆而」孔子下,欲與之言。趨而辟之,不得與之言。

6. Chang Zu (長沮) and Jie Ni (桀溺) were ploughing together side by side. Confucius was passing by them. He sent Zi Lu to ask about directions to an embarcadero. Chang Zu said, "Who is the person holding the rein of the carriage?" Zi Lu answered, "His name is Kong Qiu." Chang Zu said, "You mean, Kong Qiu of Lu (魯)?" Zi Lu said, "Yes, he is." Chang Zu said, "Then he should know where the embarcadero is." Zi Lu turned to Jie Ni for directions. Jie Ni said, "Who are you?" Zi Lu said, "My name is Zhong You (仲由)." Jie Ni said, "You mean, you are a disciple of Kong Qiu of Lu?" Zi Lu answered, "Yes." Jie Ni said, "Look how the river flows relentlessly. The whole world is like that. With whom do you intend to change this relentless course? Also, rather than following a person who is escaping from people, isn't it better to follow a person who has escaped from the world?" Jie Ni kept on raking. Zi Lu came back and told what happened. The Master looked lost in thought and said wistfully, "I cannot be with birds and animals. If I am not with these people, with whom I can be? If the world was on the right path, I wouldn't try to change it."

7. While Zi Lu was accompanying the Master, Zi Lu happened to fall behind. Zi Lu encountered an old man carrying bamboo baskets on a staff. Zi Lu asked him, "Have you seen my master?" The old man said, "I saw a guy who did not seemed to have laboured with his four limbs, who could not tell the difference between five grains. Who is your master?" The old man planted his staff on the ground and started weeding. Zi Lu cupped one hand in the other to show respect and stood there. The old man invited Zi Lu to spend the night. He killed a chicken and husked millet to prepare the meal. He introduced his two sons to Zi Lu as well. The following day, Zi Lu continued his journey and reported this [when he joined Confucius]. The Master said, "A hermit." He sent Zi Lu back to see the old man again. But when Zi Lu arrived, the old man was gone. Zi Lu said, "If you do not take up a post, you would have nothing to do with righteousness. The distinctions between the old and the young, no one can abolish them. How can you abolish the rightful relationship between the ruler and the ministers? Wanting to keep yourself clean, you may end up disrupting greater orders of the society. A noble man takes up a post in order to practice the righteousness. He already knows that the Way cannot be practiced."

8. Bo Yi (伯夷), Shu Qi (叔齊), Yu Zhong (虞仲), Yi Yi (夷逸), Zhu Zhang (朱張), Liu Xia Hui (柳下惠) and Shao Lian (少連) are the ones who withdrew from government positions and kept their life private. The Master said, "Bo Yi and Shu Qi are the ones who did not lower their aims and did not humiliate themselves." He commented on Liu Xia Hui and Shao Lian, "They lowered their aims and put up with humiliation. But their speech was proper and their conduct was thoughtful. That's all." He commented on Yu Zhong and Yi Yi, "They lived a life of hermit and spoke freely. Their life was clean. Their renouncement was based on their best judgment. But I am different from them. I do not have preconceptions about what is possible and what is not possible."
逸民 伯夷、叔齊、虞仲、夷逸、朱張、柳下惠、少連。子曰 「不降其志,不辱其身,伯夷、叔齊與!」謂 柳下惠、少連, 「降志辱身矣。言中倫,行中慮,其斯而已矣。」謂 虞仲、夷逸:「隱居放言。身中清,廢中權。」「我則異於是,無可無不可。」

9. The Music Master of Lu (魯), Zhi (摯), left for Qi (齊). Chief musician for the second course of meal, Gan (干), left for Chu (楚). Chief musician for the third course of meal, Liao (繚), left for Cai (蔡). Chief musician for the fourth course of meal, Que (缺), left for Qin (秦). The drummer, Fang Shu (方叔), went to the other side of the Yellow River. The player for hand drum, Wu (武), went to the other side of the Han River. Assistant Music Master, Yang (陽) and the stone chime player, Xiang (襄), crossed the sea.

10. Duke of Zhou told Duke of Lu, "A ruler must not allow his close relatives to be unrestrained. He must ensure that ministers do not feel aggrieved for not being consulted upon. Unless there are serious reasons, he does not discard old friends. He does not expect perfection from a person."

11. Zhou dynasty had known eight worthy officers: Bo Da (伯達) , Bo Kuo (伯適), Zhong Tu (仲突), Zhong Hu (仲忽), Shu Ye (叔夜), Shu Xia (叔夏), Ji Sui (季隨), and Ji Gua (季騧).

Published on Categories ACLP