CHAP. XXV. 1. Ch'an Tsze-ch'in, addressing Tsze-kung, said,
'You are too modest. How can Chung-ni be said to be superior to
2. Tsze-kung said to him, 'For one word a man is often
deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be
foolish. We ought to be careful indeed in what we say.
3. 'Our Master cannot be attained to, just in the same way as
the heavens cannot be gone up to by the steps of a stair.
4. 'Were our Master in the position of the ruler of a State or
the chief of a Family, we should find verified the description which
has been given of a sage's rule:-- he would plant the people, and
forthwith they would be established; he would lead them on, and
forthwith they would follow him; he would make them happy, and
forthwith multitudes would resort to his dominions; he would
stimulate them, and forthwith they would be harmonious. While he
lived, he would be glorious. When he died, he would be bitterly
lamented. How is it possible for him to be attained to?'
CONFUCIAN ANALECTS, BOOK XIX. TSZE-CHANG.