When Chen Chengzi assassinated Duke Jian, Confucius ritually bathed himself and then presented himself at the court of Duke Ai, reporting to him, “This Chen Heng has assassinated his lord. I ask that you punish him.”
The Duke replied, “Report it to the Three.”
Confucius said, “Having held rank below the ministers, I did not dare to not report this. Now my lord says, ‘Report it to the Three.’ ” He then went and reported it to the Three, who did not approve his request. Confucius remarked, “Having held rank below the ministers, I did not dare to not report.”Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.
Chen Chengzi assassinated Duke Jian of Qi. Confucius bathed, washed his hair, proceeded to court, and reported to Duke Ai, saying, Chen Heng (Chen Chengzi) has assassinated his ruler. I request that he be punished.
The duke said, Report that to the three leaders of the Ji family.
Later Confucius said, I follow the high officials—I would not dare to leave such an event unreported. The ruler said, Report that to the three leaders of the Ji family.
When he went and reported to the three leaders, they declined to act. Confucius said, I follow the high officials—I would not dare to leave such an event unreported.Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.