Analects 12.8

Original Text:



Other Translations:

Ji Zicheng said, “Being a gentleman is simply a matter of having the right native substance, and nothing else. Why must one engage in cultural refinement?”

Zigong replied, “It is regrettable, Sir, that you should speak of the gentleman in this way—as they say, ‘a team of horses cannot overtake your tongue.’

“A gentleman’s cultural refinement resembles his native substance, and his native substance resembles his cultural refinement. The skin of a tiger or leopard, shorn of its fur, is no different from the skin of a dog or sheep.”

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

Ji Zicheng said, The gentleman should have solid qualities and that’s enough. What need is there for refinement?

Zigong said, Regrettable indeed—what you have said, sir, about the gentleman! Refinement is equal in worth to solid qualities, and solid qualities to refinement. Strip the hide of a tiger or a panther of its [patterned fur], and it is no different from that of a dog or a goat.

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

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