Analects 9.6

Original Text:

太宰问于子贡曰夫子圣者与何其多能也子贡曰固天纵之将圣又多能也子闻之曰太宰知我乎吾少也贱故多能鄙事君子多乎哉不多也

Translation:

Other Translations:

The Prime Minister asked Zigong, “Your Master is a sage, is he not? How is it, then, that he is skilled at so many menial tasks?”

Zigong replied, “Surely Heaven not only not intends him for sagehood, but also gave him many other talents.”

When the Master heard of this, he remarked, “How well the Prime Minister knows me! In my youth, I was of humble status, so I became proficient in many menial tasks. Is the gentleman broadly skilled in trivial matters? No, he is not.”

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

The prime minister questioned Zigong, saying, The Master—is he a sage? He has so many capabilities!

Zigong said, Indeed, Heaven has opened the way for him to become a sage. And he has many capabilities besides.

When the Master heard this, he said, The prime minister knows me well. When I was young, I was in humble circumstances and hence became capable in many menial undertakings. But is the true gentleman a person of many capabilities? Surely, he is not!

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

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