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 XIV. 39. (386)

The judgement of a retired worthy on Confucius's course, and remark of Confucius thereon.
1. The Master was playing, one day, on a musical stone in Wei, when a man, carrying a straw basket, passed door of the house where Confucius was, and said, "His heart is full who so beats the musical stone."
2. A little while after, he added, "How contemptible is the one-ideaed obstinacy those sounds display! When one is taken no notice of, he has simply at once to give over his wish for public employment. 'Deep water must be crossed with the clothes on; shallow water may be crossed with the clothes held up.'"
3. The Master said, "How determined is he in his purpose! But this is not difficult!"

Legge XIV.42.

While the Master was playing the stone chimes in Wei, a man who passed in front of the door, carrying a basket, said, 'The way he plays the stone chimes is fraught with frustrated purpose.' Presently he added, 'How squalid this stubborn sound is. If no one understands him, then he should give up, that is all.
When the water is deep, go across by wading;
When it is shallow, lift your hem and cross.'
The Master said, 'That would be resolute indeed. Against such resoluteness there can be no argument.'

Lau [14:39]

Le Maître, dans la principauté de Wei, jouait d'un instrument de musique composé de pierres sonores1. Un homme venant à passer devant sa porte, avec une corbeille sur les épaules, dit : « Que de cœur dans cette musique ! » Peu après il ajouta : « Fi donc ! ce martèlement qui persiste ! Il suffit ! puisque personne ne vous entend. [Le Livre des Odes dit2] : “Si le gué est profond, traverse le tout habillé ; s'il ne l'est pas, retrousse ton vêtement3”. » Le Maître dit : « En effet, ce serait mettre fin à mes difficultés. »

1. Exprimant par des sons plaintifs la douleur que lui causait l'état malheureux de la société.
2. Ode n° 34 (MBC).
3. Le sage tantôt demeure caché, tantôt se montre, selon les circonstances.

Couvreur XIV.42.

[Xref] Lunyu XIV. 39. quotes Shi Jing I. 3. (34)
gbog – Shijing 34 – 2005/12/02
Lun Yu XIV. 39. (386) IntroductionTable of content
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The Analects of Confucius – Lun Yu XIV. 39. (386) – 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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