Chapter 10a

Confucious' Disciples

by Confucius

The first to make progress in the Proprieties and in Music are plain farmers.

After them, the men of higher standing. If I had to employ any of them, I would choose the farmers.

Of those who were with me when I was in the Ch’in and Ts’ai States, not one now is left to approach my door.

As for Hwui, he is not one to help me on. There is nothing I say but he is not well satisfied with.

What a dutiful son was Min Tsz-k’ien! No one finds occasion to differ from what his parents and brothers have said of him.

Nan Yung used to repeat three times over the lines in the Odes about the white sceptre.

Confucius caused his own elder brother’s daughter to be given in marriage to him.

Ki-Kang Which of the disciples were fond of learning?

There was one Yen Hwui who was fond of it. But unfortunately he died early. Now his like is not to be found.

When Yen Yuen died, his father, Yen Lu, begged for the Master’s carriage in order to get a shell for his coffin.

Ability or no ability every father still speaks of ‘my son’. When ‘my own son’ Li died, and the coffin for him had no shell to it, I know I did not go on foot to get him one.

But that was because I was, though retired, in the wake of the ministers, and could not therefore well do so.

On the death of Yen Yuen the Master exclaimed, “Ah me! Heaven is ruining me, Heaven is ruining me!”

On the same occasion, his wailing for that disciple becoming excessive, those who were about him said, “Sir, this is too much!”

Confucius Confucius= “Too much? If I am not to do so for him, then for whom else?”

The disciples then wished for the deceased a grand funeral. The Master could not on his part consent to this. They nevertheless gave him one.

Upon this he remarked:

Confucius He used to look upon me as if I were his father. I could never, however, look on him as a son. Twas not my mistake, but yours, my children.

Tsz-Lu Where there is scarcely the ability to minister to living men, how shall there be ability to minister to the spirits?
Confucius Where there is scarcely any knowledge about life, how shall there be any about death?"

The disciple Min was by his side, looking affable and bland. Tsz-Lu also, looking careless and intrepid; and Yen Yu and Tsz-Kung, firm and precise.

The Master was cheery.

Confucius One like Tsz-Lu there does not come to a natural end.

Some persons in Lu were taking measures in regard to the Long Treasury House. Min Tsz-k’ien observed, “How if it were repaired on the old lines?”

Confucius This fellow is not a talker, but when he does speak he is bound to hit the mark!" “There is Yu’s harpsichord,” “what is it doing at my door?”

On seeing, however, some disrespect shown to him by the other disciples, he added,

Confucius “Yu has got as far as the top of the hall; only he has not yet entered the house.”
Tsz-Kung Who is the worthier? Tsz-chang or Tsz-hi?
Confucius Tsz-chang goes beyond the mark. Tsz-hi falls short of it.
Tsz-Kung So then Tsz-chang is better?
Confucius To go too far is about the same as to fall short.


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