Confucius said, “I must really be going downhill. It’s been a long time since I dreamed of the Duke of Zhou.”
The Minister of Justice in Chen asked Confucius, “Did the Duke of Zhou know the rules of ritual?”
Confucius replied, “He did.”
After Confucius left, the minister bowed to his prince, Wuma Qi, and told him, “I have heard that a noble person is not biased, but maybe some are.
“The Duke of Zhou married a woman with the same clan, and justified it by saying that she came from ‘the Elder Family of Wu.’ If the Duke of Zhou knew the rules of ritual, then who doesn’t know them?”
Later, Wuma Qi told this to Confucius.
Confucius replied, “I’m a lucky man! When I make a mistake, other people always find out.”
Confucius said, “Even if you had the talents of the Duke of Zhou, if you’re arrogant and stingy, the rest of your qualities aren’t worth a glance.”
Even though the head of the Chi family was wealthier than the Duke of Zhou, Ran Qiu collected more taxes to make him even richer.
Confucius said, “He’s no follower of mine. My students, you have my permission to beat the drum and attack him if you want.”
The Duke of Zhou told his son, the Duke of Lu, “The noble person doesn’t 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.”