Analects 12.3

Original Text:

司马牛问仁子曰仁者其言也讱曰其言也讱斯谓之仁已乎子曰为之难言之得无讱乎

Translation:

Other Translations:

Sima Niu asked about Goodness.

The Master said, “The Good person is hesitant to speak.”

“ ‘Hesitant to speak’—is that all there is to Goodness?”

“When being Good is so difficult, how can one not be hesitant to speak about it?”

Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.

Sima Niu asked about humaneness. The Master said, The humane person is cautious about how he speaks of it.

Being cautious in how you speak—is that what it means to be humane?

The Master said, When it is so difficult to do, how can you fail to be cautious in speaking of it?

Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.

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