Analects 19.25

Original Text:

陈子禽谓子贡曰子为恭也仲尼岂贤于子乎子贡曰君子一言以为知一言以为不知言不可不慎也夫子之不可及也犹天之不可阶而升也夫子之得邦家者所谓立之斯立道之斯行绥之斯来动之斯和其生也荣其死也哀如之何其可及也

Translation:

Other Translations:

Chen Ziqin said to Zigong, “You show reverence to Confucius, but how could he be more worthy than you?”

Zigong replied, “A gentleman can be judged wise or unwise on the basis of a single comment—this is why one cannot fail to be careful in one’s speech. One cannot equal the Master anymore than one can climb a stairway to the heavens. Had the Master acquired control of a state or noble family, then, as they say: ‘When he raised them up, they would stand; when he led them forward they would advance; when he comforted them they would come; and when he moved them they would become harmonious.’ His birth was glorious and his death was universally mourned. How could anyone equal him?”

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

Chen Ziqin said to Zigong, You are being too modest. How could Zhongni be a worthier man than you?

Zigong said, The gentleman speaks one word and shows that he is wise, speaks one word and shows that he is unwise. Therefore, he must be careful how he speaks. Our Master can no more be equaled than one can mount a stairway to the sky. If our Master were to preside over a state or a powerful family, then, as the saying has it, If he raised them, they would stand; if he led, they would go forward; if he chose peace, they would flock around; if he moved, they would move in harmony. In life he is glorious; in death, deeply mourned. How, then, could he be equaled?

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

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