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5. Gong Ye Chang (公冶長)

1. The Master spoke of Gong Ye Chang (公冶長): "He is marriageable. Although he was imprisoned, it was not his fault." The Master gave his daughter to him in marriage.

2. The Master spoke of Nan Rong (南容): "When the Way prevailed in his country, he was not cast off. When his country lost the Way, he managed to avoid execution." The Master gave his niece to him in marriage.

3. The Master spoke of Zi Jian (子賤): "A noble man indeed is like him! If the principality of Lu had no noble man, where could he have acquired his qualities?"

4. Zi Gong asked, "What about me?" The Master said, "You are a vessel." "What do you mean, a vessel?" said Zi Gong. The Master said, "You are a liturgical vessel made of jade."

5. Someone said, "Yong (雍; Zhong Gong 仲弓) is a man of ethical resolve; he does not have a silky tongue." The Master said, "What is the point of having a silky tongue? If you manipulate people with smooth talk, you will often be hated. I do not know about Yong's ethical resolve, but what is the point of having a silky tongue?"
或曰:「雍也,仁而不佞。」子曰:「焉用佞?禦人以口給,屢憎於人。不知其仁,焉用佞?」 [See 6.1 子曰:「雍也可使南面。」]

6. The Master secured an employment for Qi Diao Kai (漆雕開). The latter replied, "I cannot yet believe that I am equal to the task." The Master was delighted.

7. The Master said, "If the Way did not prevail and I have to take to the sea on a raft, You (由; Zi Lu) will be among those who follow me." Zi Lu heard this and was pleased. The Master said, "You (由) excels me in his fondness for courage; but he is not employable."

8. Meng Wu Bo (孟武伯) asked whether Zi Lu was a man of ethical resolve. The Master said, "I don't know." He asked again. The Master said, "You (由) could control the army in a country of thousand chariots. But I don't know about his ethical resolve." "What about Qiu (求; Ran You)?" The Master said, "Qiu could serve as an administrator in a town of thousand houses or in a household of hundred chariots. But I don't know about his ethical resolve." "What about Chi (赤; Gong Xi Hua)?" The Master said, "Chi could, donning himself with a robe, be in attendence in court and entertain guests. But I don't know about his ethical resolve."

9. The Master spoke to Zi Gong, "Between you and Hui (回; Yan Yuan), who is ahead of whom ?" Zi Gong replied, "How dare I hope to catch up with Hui? When Hui hears one thing, he understands ten. When I hear one thing, I can only understand two." The Master said, "Surely, you are not like him! Neither of us are like him."

10. Zai Yu (宰予; aka. Zai Wo) was sleeping in broad daylight. The Master said, "Rotten wood cannot be sculpted. Plaster full of shit cannot be trowelled to give a smooth surface to a wall. Yu (予) is not even worth scolding." The Master said, "I used to listen to what people say and trusted that they would do as they say. Nowadays, I listen to what people say and observe whether they do as they say. It is because of Yu that I have changed."

11. The Master said, "I have not seen a man who is firm." Someone said in response, "What about Shen Chang (申棖)?" The Master said, "Chang is full of desire. How can he be firm?"

12. Zi Gong said, "I do not want people to aggrandize me. I also want to avoid aggrandizing people." The Master said, "Ci (賜), this is beyond your reach."

13. Zi Gong said, "About our Master's brilliant learning, you can hear. But you cannot hear him talk about man's original mind or the Way of Heaven."

14. Zi Lu heard thus: "If you cannot put it into practice, you should be afraid of what you learn."

15. Zi Gong asked, "How come people say that Lord Kong Wen (孔文) is learned ?" The Master said, "He does not hesitate to learn. He is not ashamed of asking his subordinates. This is why they say he is learned."

16. The Master spoke about Zi Chan (子產), "Of a noble man's Way, he had the following four: In his conduct, he had modesty. In serving his superiors, he had reverence. In supporting his people, he had liberality. In employing his people, he abided by rightness."

17. The Master said, "Yan Ping Zhong (晏平仲) had the goodness in socialising with people. For a long time, therefore, he was revered."

18. The Master said, "Zang Wen Zhong (臧文仲) had a gigantic tortoise in his house. He also had mountain patterns sculpted on the pillars, duckweed patterns sculpted on the horizontal beams of his house. Did he know anything?"

19. Zi Zhang asked, "Governor Zi Wen (子文) had had the governor's post three times. But he did not appear to be pleased. He lost the post three time. But he did not appear to be displeased. He informed the details of his administration to his successors. How's that?" The Master said, "He is loyal." "Was he a man of ethical resolve?" asked Zi Zhang. The Master said, "I don't know. Was he?" "Lord Zui (崔) assasinated the prince of Qi (齊). Lord Chen Wen (陳文) had enough horses to equip ten chariots. He abandoned them and left. He arrived in another country. But he said, 'You guys are all like Lord Zui of my country.' And he left. He went to another country. But he again said, 'You guys are all like Lord Zui of my country.' And he left. How's that?" asked Zi Zhang. The Master said, "He is clean." "Was he a man of ethical resolve?" asked Zi Zhang. The Master said, "I don't know. Was he?"

20. Lord Ji Wen (季文) thought three times before he would act. The Master heard this and said, "Twice is also possible."

21. The Master said, "Lord Ning Wu (甯武) relied on his knowledge when the Way prevailed in his country. He relied on his ignorance when his country lost the Way. His knowledge is attainable. But his ignorance is unattainable."

22. When the Master was in Chen (陳), he said, "Let's go back! Let's go back! The young ones in my group express themselves too bluntly. Although they may have accomplished brilliant learning, they do not know how to trim it."

23. The Master said, "Bo Yi (伯夷) and Shu Qi (叔齊) did not habour hatred against things past. To hang on to one's grievance is of little use."

24. The Master said, "Who said Wei Sheng Gao (微生高) was honest? When someone came asking for vinegar, he went to his neighbour and asked for vinegar and gave it."

25. The Master said, "Soothing words, pleasant face and lots of politeness. Zuo Qiu Ming (左丘明) regarded them as shameful. I also regard them as shameful. To hide grievance and pretend to be friend with the person. Zuo Qiu Ming regarded it as shameful. I also regard it as shameful."

26. Yan Yuan and Ji Lu (季路; aka. Zi Lu) were in attendance. The Master said, "Each of you, go ahead and tell me what you really want." Zi Lu said, "I would like people to share chariots, horses, clothes and fur coats among friends without ever getting upset even if they should receive them back the worse for wear." Yan Yuan said, "I would like a society where people do not show off their good deeds, do not parade their efforts." Zi Lu said, "Master, I would like to hear what you really want." The Master said, "I just want people to offer some comfort to the elderly; to be loyal among friends; and to hold the little ones in the arms."

27. The Master said, "Alas, it's finished! I have not yet seen a man who manages to see his fault and proceeds to self-reproach."

28. The Master said, "Even in a hamlet of ten households, there is bound to be a man who equals me in loyalty and trustworthiness. But he will not be equal to me in his fondness for learning."

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