A well-aimed punch

子路使子羔為費宰。子曰:「賊夫人之子!」子路曰:「有民人焉,有社稷焉,何必讀書,然後為學?」子曰:「是故惡夫佞者。」
Zilu appointed Zigao as steward of Bi. Confucius said: “You are stealing another man’s son.” Zilu said: “There are common people and officials there for him to occupy his time with as well as the altars of the spirits of the land and grain; why should learning consist only of reading books?” Confucius said: “It is this kind of remark that makes me hate people with smooth tongues.”

It makes a pleasant change to see Zilu land a well-aimed punch at Confucius, who obviously can’t take them half as well as he dishes them out. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Zigao was a disciple of Confucius. Zilu must have dined out on this encounter for years.

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