When Liu-hsia Hui3 was judge he was thrice dismissed. Men said: Why not leave, Sir? He answered: Whither could I go and not be thrice dismissed for upright service? To do crooked service what need to leave the land of my forefathers?
Ching, Duke of Ch´i, speaking of how to treat Confucius, said: I could not treat him as I do the Chi. I should set him between Chi and Meng. Again he said: I am old: I have no use for him. Confucius went his way.
Ch´ang-chü and Chieh-ni were working together in the fields. Confucius, as he passed by, sent Tzu-lu to ask after a ford. Ch´ang-chü said: Who is that holding the reins? K´ung Ch´iu,5 answered Tzu-lu. What, K´ung Ch´iu of Lu? The same, said Tzu-lu. He knows the ford, said Ch´ang-chü. Tzu-lu asked Chieh-ni. Who are ye, sir? he answered. I am Chung Yu. The disciple of K´ung Ch´iu of Lu? Yes, said Tzu-lu. The world is one seething torrent, answered Chieh-ni, what man can guide it? Were it not better to choose a master who flees the world, than a master who flees this man and that man? And he went on hoeing without stop. Tzu-lu went back and told the Master, whose face fell. Can I herd with birds and beasts? he said. Whom but these men can I choose as fellows? And if all were right with the world, I should have no call to set it straight.
Tzu-lu having fallen behind met an old man bearing a basket on his staff. Tzu-lu asked him: Have ye seen the Master, Sir? The old man answered: Thou dost not toil with my limbs, nor canst thou tell one grain from another; who is thy Master? And planting his staff in the ground, he began weeding. Tzu-lu bowed and stood before him. He kept Tzu-lu for the night, killed a fowl, prepared millet, feasted him, and presented his two sons. On the morrow Tzu-lu went to the Master, and told what had happened. The Master said: He is in hiding. He sent Tzu-lu back to see him; but when he reached the house the man had left. Tzu-lu said: Not to take office is wrong. If the ties of old and young are binding, why should the claim of king on minister be set aside? Wishing to keep his person clean, he flouts a foremost duty. A gentleman takes office at the call of right, aware though he be, that the cause is lost.
Po-yi, Shu-ch´i, Yü-chung, Yi-yi, Chu-chang, Liu-hsia Hui and Shao lien wire men who fled the world. The Master said: Po-yi6 and Shu-ch´i would not bend the will, or shame the body. We can but say that Liu-hsia Hui7 and Shao-lien bent the will and shamed the body. Their words jumped with duty; their deeds answered our hopes. We may say of Yü-chung and Yi-yi that they lived in hiding, but gave the rein to the tongue. They were clean in person: their retreat was timely. But I am unlike all of these: I know not must or must not.
Chih, the chief Musical Conductor, went to Ch´i; Kan, the Conductor at the second meal, went to Ch´u, Liao, the Conductor at the third meal, went to Ts´ai; Chueh, the Conductor at the fourth meal, went to Ch´in. The drum master Fang-shu crossed the river; the tambourine master Wu crossed the Han; Yang, the assistant Bandmaster, and Hsiang, who played the sounding stones, crossed the sea.
The Duke of Chou8 said to the Duke of Lu:9 A prince does not forsake kinsmen, nor offend great vassals by neglect. He will not discard an old servant, unless he have big cause. He asks perfection of no man.