The Master discusses with his disciples and unveil his preoccupations with society. Tr. Legge (en), Lau (en) and Couvreur (fr).
The merit of Kwan Chung:– a conversation with Tsze-kung.
1. Tsze-kung said, "Kwan Chung, I apprehend, was wanting in virtue. When the Duke Hwan caused his brother Chiû to be killed, Kwan Chung was not able to die with him. Moreover, he became prime minister to Hwan."
2. The Master said, "Kwan Chung acted as prime minister to the duke Hwan, made him leader of all the princes, and united and rectified the whole kingdom. Down to the present day, the people enjoy the gifts which he conferred. But for Kwan Chung, we should now be wearing our hair unbound, and the lappets of our coats buttoning on the left side.
3. "Will you require from him the small fidelity of common men and common women, who would commit suicide in a stream or ditch, no one knowing anything about them?"
Tzu-kung said, 'I don't suppose Kuan Chung was a benevolent man. Not only did he not die for Prince Chiu, but he lived to help Huan who had the Prince killed.'
The Master said, 'Kuan Chung helped Duke Huan to become the leader of the feudal lords and to save the Empire from collapse. To this day, the common people still enjoy the benefit of his acts. Had it not been for Kuan Chung, we might well be wearing our hair down and folding our robes to the left.2 Surely he was not like the com- mon man or woman who, in their petty faithfulness, commit suicide in a ditch without anyone taking any notice.
Tzeu koung dit : « Kouan Tchoung n'a pas été parfait, ce semble. Le prince Houan ayant tué le prince Kiou, Kouan Tchoung n'a pas eu le courage de se donner la mort ; de plus, il a servi le prince Houan. » Le Maître répondit : « Kouan Tchoung aida le prince Houan à établir son autorité sur tous les princes. Il a réformé le gouvernement de tout l'empire, et jusqu'à présent le peuple jouit de ses bienfaits. Sans Kouan Tchoung, nous aurions les cheveux épars et le bord de la tunique fixé au côté gauche1. Devait-il montrer sa fidélité comme un homme de peu, s'étrangler lui-même dans un fossé et se dérober à la connaissance de la postérité ? »
The Analects of Confucius – Lun Yu XIV. 17. (364) – Chinese off/on – Français/English
Alias the Lunyu, the Lun Yü, the Analects, les Entretiens du maître avec ses disciples.
The Book of Odes, The Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Three-characters book, The Book of Changes, The Way and its Power, 300 Tang Poems, The Art of War, Thirty-Six Strategies
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