Lun Yu Introduction Table of content – The Analects of Confucius

The Master discusses with his disciples and unveil his preoccupations with society. Tr. Legge (en), Lau (en) and Couvreur (fr).

Lunyu XVIII. 8. (481)

Confucius's judgment of former worthies who had kept from the world.
1. The men who have retired to privacy from the world have been Po-î, Shû-ch'î, Yü-chung, Î-yî, Chû-chang, Hûi of Liû-hsiâ, and Shâo-lien.
2. The Master said, "Refusing to surrender their wills, or to submit to any taint in their persons;– such, I think, were Po-î and Shû-ch'î.
3. "It may be said of Hûi of Liû-hsiâ, and of Shâo-lien, that they surrendered their wills, and submitted to taint in their persons, but their words corresponded with reason, and their actions were such as men are anxious to see. This is all that is to be remarked in them.
4. "It may be said of Yü-chung and Î-yî, that, while they hid themselves in their seclusion, they gave a license to their words; but in their persons, they succeeded in preserving their purity, and, in their retirement, they acted according to the exigency of the times.
5. "I am different from all these. I have no course for which I am predetermined, and no course against which I am predetermined."

Legge XVIII.8.

Men who withdraw from society: Po Yi, Shu Ch'i, Yu Chung, Yi Yi, Chu Chang, Liu Hsia Hui, Shao Lien. The Master commented, 'Not to lower their purpose or to allow themselves to be humiliated describes, perhaps, Po Yi and Shu Ch'i.' Of Liu Hsia Hui and Shao Lien he said, 'They, indeed, lowered their purpose and allowed themselves to be humiliated, but their words were in accord with their station, and their deeds with circumspection. That was all.' Of Yu Chung and Yi Yi he said, 'They lived as recluses and gave free rein to their words. Thus their persons accorded with purity and their words with the right measure. I, however, am different. I have no preconceptions about the permissible and the impermissible.'

Lau [18:8]

Pe i, Chou ts'i, Iu tchoung, I i, Tchou Tchang, Houei de Liou hia et Chao lien se sont retirés de la vie publique. Le Maître dit : « Pe i et Chou ts'i n'ont-ils pas tenu invariablement leur résolution1 et refusé toute humiliation ? » Confucius dit que Houei de Liou hia et Chao lien faisaient fléchir leur résolution et s'abaissaient eux-mêmes ; que leur langage avait été conforme à la droite raison, et leurs actions menées avec juste réflexion ; qu'ils avaient eu cela de bon, et rien de plus. Il dit que Iu tchoung et I i avaient vécu dans la retraite, donné des avis avec une liberté excessive2 ; mais qu'ils s'étaient gardés purs, et qu'ils avaient renoncé à tout pouvoir. « Pour moi, ajouta-t-il, j'ai un sentiment bien différent. Je ne veux ni ne rejette rien absolument3. »

1. De pratiquer la vertu le plus parfaite, et de ne jamais rien accorder aux hommes ni aux circonstances.
2. Peut se traduire au contraire par « avaient renoncé à s'exprimer » (MBC).
3. Mais je consulte toujours les circonstances.

Couvreur XVIII.8.

Lun Yu XVIII. 8. (481) IntroductionTable of content
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The Analects of Confucius – Lun Yu XVIII. 8. (481) – Chinese on/offFrançais/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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