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Mencius. Book V: Wan Chang. Part I. Chapter VIII.

Legge's summary: Vindication of Confucius from the charge of lodging with unworthy characters.

1. Wan Chang asked Mencius, saying, 'Some say that Confucius, when he was in Wei, lived with the ulcer-doctor, and when he was in Ch'î, with the attendant, Ch'î Hwan;-- was it so?' Mencius replied, 'No; it was not so. Those are the inventions of men fond of strange things.

2. 'When he was in Wei, he lived with Yen Ch'âu-yû. The wives of the officer Mî and Tsze-lû were sisters, and Mî told Tsze-lû, "If Confucius will lodge with me, he may attain to the dignity of a high noble of Wei." Tsze-lû informed Confucius of this, and he said, "That is as ordered by Heaven." Confucius went into office according to propriety, and retired from it according to righteousness. In regard to his obtaining office or not obtaining it, he said, "That is as ordered." But if he had lodged with the attendant Chî Hwan, that would neither have been according to righteousness, nor any ordering of Heaven.

3. 'When Confucius, being dissatisfied in Lû and Wei, had left those States, he met with the attempt of Hwan, the Master of the Horse, of Sung, to intercept and kill him. He assumed, however, the dress of a common man, and passed by Sung. At that time, though he was in circumstances of distress, he lodged with the city-master Ch'ang, who was then a minister of Châu, the marquis of Ch'an.

4. 'I have heard that the characters of ministers about court may be discerned from those whom they entertain, and those of stranger officers, from those with whom they lodge. If Confucius had lodged with the ulcer-doctor, and with the attendant Chî Hwan, how could he have been Confucius?'

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Translated by James Legge, published in 1861 and revised for publication in 1895. Prepared as etext by Stephen R. McIntyre. Noded by schist. Please msg schist if you have suggestions for useful hard-links.

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