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Confucius met Ch’êng Pên-tzŭ of Ch’i

There is the following traditional story. When Confucius met Ch’êng Pên-tzŭ of Ch’i in the region of Yen, they put down the canopies of their chariots and talked for the rest of the day. After some time Confucius turned to Tzu-lŭ and said, "Yu, bring ten rolls of silk and present them to this gentleman."
Tzu-lŭ did not reply. After some time he again turned and said, "Yu, bring ten rolls of silk and present them to this gentleman."

Tzŭ-lu replied abruptly, "I once heard you say, Master, that the superior man does not approve of gentlemen's meeting without introduction, nor of a woman's marrying without an intermediary."
Confucius said, "Does not the Ode say,

On the moor is the creeping grass,
And how heavily is it loaded with dew!
There was a beautiful man,
Lovely, with clear eyes and fine forehead!
We met together accidentally,
And so my desire was satisfied.

What is more, Ch’êng Pên-tzŭ of Ch’i is one of the sages of the empire. If on this occasion I do not make him a present, to the end of my life I will never dare to see him again. When a person does not transgress the boundary line in the great virtues, he may pass and repass it in the small virtues."

传曰:孔子遭齐程本子于郯之间,倾盖而语,终日,有间,顾子路曰:“由,东帛十匹,以赠先生。”子路不对,有间,又顾曰:“东帛十匹,以赠先生。”子路率尔而对曰:“昔者、由也闻之于夫子,士不中道相见,女无媒而嫁者、君子不行也。”孔子曰:“夫诗不云乎!野有蔓草,零露漙兮。有美一人,清扬婉兮。邂逅相遇,适我愿兮。且夫齐程本子,天下之贤士也,吾于是不赠,终身不之见也。大德不逾闲,小德出入可也。”

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