The head of the Chi family was going to attack Chwan-yu.
Zan Yu and Chi-lu had an interview with Confucius, and said, 'Our chief, Chi, is going to commence operations against Chwan-yu.'
Confucius said, 'Ch'iu, is it not you who are in fault here?
'Now, in regard to Chwan-yu, long ago, a former king appointed its ruler to preside over the sacrifices to the eastern Mang; moreover, it is in the midst of the territory of our State; and its ruler is a minister in direct connexion with the sovereign:- What has your chief to do with attacking it?'
Zan Yu said, 'Our master wishes the thing; neither of us two ministers wishes it.'
Confucius said, 'Ch'iu, there are the words of Chau Zan,- "When he can put forth his ability, he takes his place in the ranks of office; when he finds himself unable to do so, he retires from it. How can he be used as a guide to a blind man, who does not support him when tottering, nor raise him up when fallen?"
'And further, you speak wrongly. When a tiger or rhinoceros escapes from his cage; when a tortoise or piece of jade is injured in its repository:- whose is the fault?'
Zan Yu said, 'But at present, Chwan-yu is strong and near to Pi; if our chief do not now take it, it will hereafter be a sorrow to his descendants.'
Confucius said. 'Ch'iu, the superior man hates that declining to say- "I want such and such a thing," and framing explanations for the conduct.
'I have heard that rulers of States and chiefs of families are not troubled lest their people should be few, but are troubled lest they should not keep their several places; that they are not troubled with fears of poverty, but are troubled with fears of a want of contented repose among the people in their several places. For when the people keep their several places, there will be no poverty; when harmony prevails, there will be no scarcity of people; and when there is such a contented repose, there will be no rebellious upsettings.
'So it is.- Therefore, if remoter people are not submissive, all the influences of civil culture and virtue are to be cultivated to attract them to be so; and when they have been so attracted, they must be made contented and tranquil.
'Now, here are you, Yu and Ch'iu, assisting your chief. Remoter people are not submissive, and, with your help, he cannot attract them to him. In his own territory there are divisions and downfalls, leavings and separations, and, with your help, he cannot preserve it.
'And yet he is planning these hostile movements within the State.- I am afraid that the sorrow of the Chi-sun family will not be on account of Chwan-yu, but will be found within the screen of their own court.'