Analects 7.31

Original Text:



Other Translations:

The Minister of Crime in the state of Chen asked, “Can we say that Duke Zhao [of Lu] understood ritual?”

Confucius answered, “Yes, he understood ritual.”

Confucius then retired. With a bow, the Minister invited Wuma Qi to approach and said to him, “I have heard it said that the gentleman is not partial. Is the gentleman in fact partial after all? His lordship took as his wife a woman from the state of Wu who was of the same clan, and then called her ‘Elder Daughter of Wu.’ If his lordship understood ritual, who does not understand it?”

Later, Wuma Qi reported this conversation to Confucius. Confucius said, “How fortunate I am! If I happen to make a mistake, others are sure to inform me.”

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

The minister of crime of the state of Chen asked whether Duke Zhao of Lu understood ritual. Confucius replied, Yes, he understood ritual.

After Confucius had retired from the scene, the minister of crime signaled to Wuma Qi to step forward and said, I have heard that a gentleman is not partisan, but some gentlemen appear to be partisan indeed! Duke Zhao took a wife from the state of Wu, but because she was of the same surname as Duke Zhao, she was referred to simply as Wu Mengzi. If Duke Zhao understood ritual, then who doesn’t understand ritual?

Wuma Qi reported this to Confucius. The Master said, How fortunate I am! If I make a mistake, someone is certain to let me know.

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

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