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 XIX. 23. (507)

Tsze-kung repudiates being thought superior to Confucius, and, by the comparison of a house and wall, shows how ordinary people could not understand the Master.
1. Shû-sun Wû-shû observed to the great officers in the court, saying, "Tsze-kung is superior to Chung-nî."
2. Tsze-fû Ching-po reported the observation to Tsze-kung, who said, "Let me use the comparison of a house and its encompassing wall. My wall only reaches to the shoulders. One may peep over it, and see whatever is valuable in the apartments.
3. "The wall of my Master is several fathoms high. If one do not find the door and enter by it, he cannot see the ancestral temple with its beauties, nor all the officers in their rich array.
4. "But I may assume that they are few who find the door. Was not the observation of the chief only what might have been expected?"

Legge XIX.23.

Shu-sun Wu-shu said to the Counsellors at court, 'Tzu-kung is superior to Chung-ni.' This was reported to Tzu-kung by Tzu-fu Ching-po.
Tzu-kung said, 'Let us take outer walls as an analogy. My walls are shoulder high so that it is possible to peer over them and see the beauty of the house. But the Master's walls are twenty or thirty feet high so that, unless one gains admittance through the gate, one cannot see the magnificence of the ancestral temples or the sumptuousness of the official buildings. Since those who gain admittance through the gate are, shall we say, few, is it any wonder that the gentleman should have spoken as he did?'

Lau [19:23]

Chou suenn Ou chou1 dit aux grands préfets réunis dans le palais du prince : « Tzeu koung est plus sage que Confucius. » Tzeu fou King pe2 rapporta cette parole a Tzeu koung. Tzeu koung répondit : « Permettez-moi de nous comparer aux murs d'enceinte d'une maison. Mon mur ne s'élève qu'à la hauteur des épaules d'un homme. Chacun peut regarder et voir du dehors tout ce que la maison a de beau. Le mur du Maître est plusieurs fois plus haut que la taille d'un homme. À moins de trouver la porte du palais et d'y entrer, on ne voit pas la magnificence du temple des ancêtres ni l'appareil pompeux des officiers. Peu savent en trouver la porte. L'assertion de Chou suenn Ou chou n'est-elle pas contraire à la vérité ? »

1. Grand préfet dans la principauté de Lou.
2. L'un d'entre eux.

Couvreur XIX.23.

Lun Yu XIX. 23. (507) IntroductionTable of content
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The Analects of Confucius – Lun Yu XIX. 23. (507) – 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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