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Showing posts from December, 2009

Food Handed out in Contempt

During a great dearth in Qí, Qián-áo had food prepared on the roads, to wait the approach of hungry people and give to them.

(One day), there came a famished man, looking as if he could hardly see, his face covered with his sleeve, and dragging his feet together.

Khián-áo, carrying with his left hand some rice, and holding some drink with the other, said to him, 'Hey, Poor man! come and eat.'

The man, opening his eyes with a stare, and looking at him, said, 'It was because I would not eat "Hey come and eat's" food, that I am come to this state.'

Qhián-áo immediately apologised for his words, but the man after all would not take the food and died.

When Zēng-zǐ heard the circumstances, he said, 'Was it not a small matter? When the other expressed his pity as he did, the man might have gone away. When he apologised, the man might have taken the food.'

Oppressive government is more terrible than tigers.

In passing by the side of mount Tài, Confucius came on a woman who was wailing bitterly by a grave. The Master bowed forward to the cross-bar, and hastened to her; and then sent Zǐ-lù to question her.

'Your wailing,' said he, 'is altogether like that of one who has suffered sorrow upon sorrow.'

She replied, ' It is so. Formerly, my husband's father was killed here by a tiger. My husband was also killed (by another), and now my son has died in the same way.'

The Master said, 'Why do you not leave the place?'

The answer was, 'There is no oppressive government here.'

The Master then said (to the disciples), 'Remember this, my little children. Oppressive government is more terrible than tigers.'

To drink a penalty

In B.C. 533, when Kih Tâo-dze, a great officer of the state of Zin, died, before he was buried, duke Phing of Zin was (one day) drinking along with the music-master Kwang and Lî Thiâo. The bells struck up; and when Tû Khwâi, who was coming in from outside, heard them, he said, 'Where is the music?' Being told that it was in the (principal) apartment, he entered it; and having ascended the steps one by one, he poured out a cup of spirits, and said, 'Kwang, drink this.' He then poured out another, and said, Thiâo, drink this.' He poured out a third cup; and kneeling in the hall, with his face to the north, he drank it himself, went down the steps, and hurried out.

Duke Phing called him in again, and said, 'Khwâi, just now I thought you had something in mind to enlighten me about, and therefore I did not speak to you. Why did you give the cup to Kwang?' 'On the days (Kiâ-)dze and (Kî-)mâo,' was the reply, 'there should be no music; and now Kih Tâo-…

How Confucius died

Confucius rose early (one day), and with his hands behind him, and trailing his staff, moved slowly about near the door, singing--

The great mountain must crumble;
The strong beam must break;
The wise man must wither away like a plant.'

Having thus sung, he entered and sat down opposite the door. Zǐ gòng (子贡) had heard him, and said, ---

'If the great mountain crumble, to what shall I look up?
If the strong beam break, (on what shall I lean)?
If the wise man wither like a plant, whom, shall I imitate?
The Master, I am afraid, is going to be ill.'

He then hastened into the house. The Master said, Sì (Zǐ gòng's designation, 赐), what makes you so late? Under the sovereigns of Xià (夏), the body was dressed and coffined at the top of the steps on the east, so that it was where the deceased used to go up (as master of the house). The people of Yīn (殷) performed the same ceremony between the two pillars, so that the steps for the host were on one side of the corpse, and t…

the Reverential Heir-son

During the Spring and Autumn period, the marquis of Jìn, who is known to us as the Duke Xiàn of Jìn, ruled from B.C. 676 to 651. He was infatuated by his love for a barbarian captive from among the L\^{i}, he behaved recklessly and unnaturally to his children already grown up. At the time, Shēn shēng was the heir-son of the Duke Xiàn of Jìn. Encouraged by the love of the Duke Lì jī plotted to replace her own son as heir.

Once, Lì jī coated her hair with honey to attract bees, and asked Shēn shēng to help her get rid of bees, then deliberately make the Duke see them. Then the Duke saw the scene and thought his son was molesting Lì jī, felt very angry, nearly stabbed shēn shēng to death. Although Shēn shēng had a thousand mouths, he could proved himself innocent.

In another occasion, Shēn shēng went to pay tribute to his mother's tomb, Lì jī put poison in meat and alcohol for sacrifice, and let the Duke found out that wine and meat were poisonous. The Duke thought it was Shēn shēng…