CHAP. VII. 1. Tsze-lu, following the Master, happened to fall
behind, when he met an old man, carrying across his shoulder on a
staff a basket for weeds. Tsze-lu said to him, 'Have you seen my
master, sir!' The old man replied, 'Your four limbs are
unaccustomed to toil; you cannot distinguish the five kinds of
grain:-- who is your master?' With this, he planted his staff in the
ground, and proceeded to weed.
2. Tsze-lu joined his hands across his breast, and stood before
3. The old man kept Tsze-lu to pass the night in his house,
killed a fowl, prepared millet, and feasted him. He also introduced
to him his two sons.
4. Next day, Tsze-lu went on his way, and reported his
adventure. The Master said, 'He is a recluse,' and sent Tsze-lu back
to see him again, but when he got to the place, the old man was
5. Tsze-lu then said to the family, 'Not to take office is not
righteous. If the relations between old and young may not be
neglected, how is it that he sets aside the duties that should be
observed between sovereign and minister? Wishing to maintain his
personal purity, he allows that great relation to come to confusion.
A superior man takes office, and performs the righteous duties
belonging to it. As to the failure of right principles to make
progress, he is aware of that.'
CONFUCIAN ANALECTS, BOOK XVIII. WEI TSZE.