7.15

Ran Qiu wondered, “Does Confucius support the ruler of Wei?”

Zigong said, “Okay, I’ll go and ask.”

He went to Confucius’ room and asked, “What kind of men were Bo Yi and Shu Qi?”

Confucius replied, “They were worthies of ancient times.”

Zigong followed up, “Didn’t anyone resent them?”

Confucius replied, “They pursued humaneness and they got it. What resentment would that stir up?”

Zigong left the room and said, “No, Confucius doesn’t support the ruler of Wei.”

12.7

Zigong asked Confucius about government.

Confucius replied, “Enough food, enough weapons, and the confidence of the people in their ruler.”

Zigong then asked, “But suppose you have to give up one of these three. Which would you give up first?

Confucius replied, “Weapons.”

Zigong said “And what if you had to give up one of the remaining two?”

Confucius replied, “Food. Death has been with us since ancient times, but if the people lose confidence in their ruler, the community cannot stand.”

14.40

Zizhang said, “The Book of History says, ‘Gaozong stayed in the mourning shed for three years without speaking.’ Why did he do this?”

Confucius replied, “There’s no need to single out Gazong this way. All the ancients did this. After the ruler died, all of the officials took orders from the Prime Minister for three years.”

17.16

Confucius said, “In ancient times, people had three kinds of faults. These days, we’ve lost even these. In those times, the wild were daring—nowadays, the wild are simply out of control. In those times, the proud had principles—nowadays, the proud are bad-tempered and contentious. In those times, the stupid were straightforward—nowadays, the stupid are deceitful.”

18.10

The Duke of Zhou told his son, the Duke of Lu, “The noble person does not forget family. Nor does the noble person give ministers cause to complain that they’re not trusted. Nor does the noble person abandon old friends without great cause. Nor does the noble person expect any one person to be good at everything.”