Analects 5.19

Original Text:

子张问曰令尹子文三仕为令尹无喜色三已之无愠色旧令尹之政必以告新令尹何如子曰忠矣曰仁矣乎曰未知焉得仁崔子弑齐君陈文子有马十乘弃而违之至于他邦则曰犹吾大夫崔子也违之之一邦则又曰犹吾大夫崔子也违之何如子曰清矣曰仁矣乎曰未知焉得仁

Translation:

Other Translations:

Zizhang said, “Prime Minister Ziwen was given three times the post of prime minister, and yet he never showed a sign of pleasure; he was removed from this office three times, and yet never showed a sign of resentment. When the incoming prime minister took over, he invariably provided him with a complete account of the official state of affairs. What do you make of Prime Minister Ziwen?”

The Master said, “He certainly was dutiful.”

“Was he not Good?”

“I do not know about that—what makes you think he deserves to be called Good?”

“When Cuizi assassinated the Lord of Qi, Chen Wenzi—whose estate amounted to ten teams of horses—abandoned all that he possessed and left the state. Upon reaching another state, he said, ‘The officials here are as bad as our Great Officer Cuizi,’ and thereupon left that state. Again, after going to another state, he said, ‘The officials here are as bad as our Great Officer Cuizi,’ and thereupon left that state as well. What do you make of Chen Wenzi?”

The Master said, “He certainly was pure.”

“Was he not Good?”

“I do not know about that—what makes you think he deserves to be called Good?”

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

Zizhang asked, saying, Ziwen, the prime minister of Chu, served three times as prime minister but showed no sign of delight, and three times was dismissed from the post but showed no sign of resentment. As former prime minister, he invariably reported to the new prime minister on affairs of state. What do you think of this?

The Master said, He acted with loyalty.

Was he humane?

I don’t know how he can be called humane.

Cui Zi assassinated the ruler of Qi. Chen Wen Zi, who for his carriages owned ten four-horse teams, abandoned them and left the state. When he arrived in another state, he said, The people here are no better than our high official Cui Zi! and he left that state. Arriving in another state, he said, More like our high official Cui Zi! and he left that state, too. What would you say of him?

The Master said, A man of integrity.

Was he humane?

I don’t know how he can be called humane.

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

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