Analects 13.4

Original Text:

樊迟请学稼子曰吾不如老农请学为圃曰吾不如老圃樊迟出子曰小人哉樊须也上好礼则民莫敢不敬上好义则民莫敢不服上好信则民莫敢不用情夫如是则四方之民襁负其子而至矣焉用稼

Translation:

Other Translations:

Fan Chi asked to learn about plowing and growing grain [from Confucius].

The Master said, “When it comes to that, any old farmer would be a better teacher than I.”

He asked to learn about growing fruits and vegetables.

The Master said, “When it comes to that, any old gardener would be a better teacher than I.”

Fan Chi then left. The Master remarked, “What a common fellow that Fan Chi is! When a ruler loves ritual propriety, then none among his people will dare to be disrespectful. When a ruler loves rightness, then none among his people will dare not to obey. When a ruler loves trustworthiness, then none of his people will dare to not be honest. The mere existence of such a ruler would cause the common people throughout the world to bundle their children on their backs and seek him out. Of what use, then, is the study of agriculture?”

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

Fan Chi wanted to study how to grow grain. The Master said, In that line, I’d be less use to you than an old farmer. Fan Chi then wanted to study how to grow vegetables. The Master said, In that line, I’d be less use to you than an old vegetable grower.

After Fan Chi had left, the Master said, What a petty man, Fan Xu (Fan Chi)! If those in higher positions love ritual, then none of the common people will venture to be disrespectful. If those in higher positions love rightness, then none of the common people will venture to be disobedient. If those in higher positions love trustworthiness, then none of the common people will venture to act insincerely. And if such a condition prevails, then the people from the four lands adjacent, bearing their little children strapped to their backs, will gather around. What need to study grain growing?

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

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