Gongshu the Civilized

The steward of Gongshu Wenzi, Zhuan, was promoted together with him to the duke’s court. Confucius heard this and said: “Gongshu truly deserved to be called ‘the Civilized.’”

This passage is obscure. Gongshu Wenzi was first mentioned in Chapter XIII of Book 14. He was reportedly given the honorific of “the Civilized” (文子/wénzi) after his death in recognition of his treatment of his steward Zhuan. Even though Confucius wasn’t prepared to believe everything that Gongming Jia said about him, he had no problem in agreeing that Gongshu merited this moniker.

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