Chapter 10b

What makes a Minister Great?

by Confucius

The Chief of the Ki family was a wealthier man than the Duke of Chow had been, and yet Yen Yu gathered and hoarded for him, increasing his wealth more and more.


He is no follower of mine. It would serve him right, my children, to sound the drum, and set upon him.

As for the characteristics of the four disciples:

Tsz-ku was simple-minded;

Tsang Si, a dullard;

Tsz-chang, full of airs; Tsz-Lu, rough, Hwi comes near to perfection, while frequently in great want.

Tsz-Kung does not submit to the appointments of Heaven; and yet his goods are increased;�he is often successful in his calculations.

Tsz-Chang What are some marks of the naturally Good Man?
Confucius He does not walk in others’ footprints, yet he does not get beyond the hall into the house."
Confucius A man’s words have something genuine in them, are they necessarily those of a superior man? or words carrying only an outward semblance and show of gravity?"

Tsz-Lu asked about the practice of precepts one has heard.

Tsz-Lu In a case where there is a father or elder brother still left with you, how should you practise all you hear?" (Yen Yu also asked him this question to which he replied)
Confucius “Yes, do so.”
Kung-Si Tsz-Lu asked you, sir, about the practice of what one has learnt. You said that There may be a father or elder brother still alive. But when Yen Yu asked the same question, you answered, ‘Yes, do so.’ I am at a loss to understand you, and venture to ask what you meant."
Confucius Yen Yu backs out of his duties; therefore I push him on. Tsz-Lu has forwardness enough for them both; therefore I hold him back."

On the occasion of that time of fear in K’wang, Yen Yuen having fallen behind, the Master said to him (afterwards), “I took it for granted you were a dead man.” “How should I dare to die,” said he, “while you, sir, still lived?”


Are Tsz-Lu and Yen Yu “great ministers”?

Confucius ‘Great ministers’ are those who serve their prince conscientiously. They retire when they cannot do so. They may be called ‘qualified ministers.’
Tsz-jen Are they the kind that will follow their leader?
Confucius They would not follow him who should slay his father and his prince!


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