Political intrigue

魯人為長府。閔子騫曰:「仍舊貫,如之何?何必改作!」子曰:「夫人不言,言必有中。」
Certain people in Lu were planning to demolish the Long Treasury and rebuild it. Min Ziqian said: “Why not just repair the old structure? Why build a new one?” Confucius said: “This man rarely speaks, but when he does he hits the mark.”

The political intrigue hots up in the state of Lu, with one faction (probably the Ji family) hatching plans to undermine the largely symbolic authority of the Duke of Lu by knocking down his Long Treasury building and replacing it with a new one.

The normally taciturn Min Ziqian uses news of these plans to indirectly express his support for the legitimate – if nominal – ruler of the state in his struggle against his internal enemies. Confucius adds his own support. That is why he says that Min Ziqian “hits the mark.”

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