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Ch'an K'ang asked Po-yu, sayin...


Ch'an K'ang asked Po-yu, saying, 'Have you heard any lessons from your father different from what we have all heard?'

Po-yu replied, 'No. He was standing alone once, when I passed below the hall with hasty steps, and said to me, "Have you learned the Odes?" On my replying "Not yet," he added, "If you do not learn the Odes, you will not be fit to converse with." I retired and studied the Odes.

'Another day, he was in the same way standing alone, when I passed by below the hall with hasty steps, and said to me, 'Have you learned the rules of Propriety?' On my replying 'Not yet,' he added, 'If you do not learn the rules of Propriety, your character cannot be established.' I then retired, and learned the rules of Propriety.

'I have heard only these two things from him.'

Ch'ang K'ang retired, and, quite delighted, said, 'I asked one thing, and I have got three things. I have heard about the Odes. I have heard about the rules of Propriety. I have also heard that the superior man maintains a distant reserve towards his son.'


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