The Master was gravely ill, and Zilu instructed his fellow disciples to attend Confucius as if the disciples were his ministers.
During a remission in his illness, the Master [became aware of what was happening and] rebuked Zilu, saying, “It has been quite some time now, has it not, that you have been carrying out this charade! If I have no ministers and yet you act as if I have, who do you think I am going to fool? Am I going to fool Heaven? Moreover, would I not rather die in the arms of a few of my disciples than in the arms of ministers? Even if I do not merit a grand funeral, it is not as if I would be left to die by the side of the road!”Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.
The Master was gravely ill. Zilu directed the disciples to attend him in the manner of retainers.
When the Master had recovered somewhat, he said, How long you go on, You, practicing these deceptions! To pretend that I have retainers when I have no retainers—who would I be deceiving? Would I be deceiving Heaven? Moreover, rather than dying in the hands of retainers, isn’t it better that I die in the hands of you, my disciples? And although I may not be entitled to a grand funeral, it’s not as though I were dying by the roadside, is it?Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.