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1. 子路從而後,遇丈人,以杖荷蓧。子路問曰:「子見夫子乎?」丈人曰:「四體不勤,五穀不分,孰為夫子?」植其杖而蕓。

2. 子路拱而立。

3. 止子路宿,殺雞為黍而食之,見其二子焉。

4. 明日,子路行以告。子曰:「隱者也。」使子路反見之。至則行矣。

5. 子路曰:「不仕無義。長幼之節,不可廢也;君臣之義,如之何其廢之?欲潔其身,而亂大倫。君子之仕也,行其義也。道之不行,已知之矣。」


1. Tsze-lu, following the Master, happened to fall behind, when he met an old man, carrying across his shoulder on a staff a basket for weeds. Tsze-lu said to him, 'Have you seen my master, Sir!' The old man replied, 'Your four limbs are unaccustomed to toil; you cannot distinguish the five kinds of grain:--who is your master?' With this, he planted his staff in the ground, and proceeded to weed.

2. Tsze-lu joined his hands across his breast, and stood before him.

3. The old man kept Tsze-lu to pass the night in his house, killed a fowl, prepared millet, and feasted him. He also introduced to him his two sons.

4. Next day, Tsze-lu went on his way, and reported his adventure. The Master said, 'He is a recluse,' and sent Tsze-lu back to see him again, but when he got to the place, the old man was gone.

5. Tsze-lu then said to the family, 'Not to take office is not righteous. If the relations between old and young may not be neglected, how is it that he sets aside the duties that should be observed between sovereign and minister? Wishing to maintain his personal purity, he allows that great relation to come to confusion. A superior man takes office, and performs the righteous duties belonging to it. As to the failure of right principles to make progress, he is aware of that.'

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IATHPublished by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia