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At his meals he would not enter into discussions; and when reposing (afterwards) he would not utter a word.
[Pg 54] Even should his meal consist only of coarse rice and vegetable broth or melons, he would make an offering, and never fail to do so religiously.
He would never sit on a mat that was not straight.
After a feast among his villagers, he would wait before going away until the old men had left.
When the village people were exorcising the pests, he would put on his Court robes and stand on the steps of his hall to receive them.
When he was sending a message of inquiry to a person in another State, he would bow twice on seeing the messenger off.
Ki K‘ang once sent him a present of some medicine. He bowed, and received it; but remarked, "Until I am quite sure of its properties I must not venture to taste it."
Once when the stabling was destroyed by fire, he withdrew from the Court, and asked, "Is any person injured?"—without inquiring as to the horses.
Whenever the prince sent him a present of food, he was particular to set his mat in proper order, and would be the first one to taste it. If the prince's present was one of raw meat, he must needs have it cooked, and make an oblation of it. If the gift were a live animal, he would be sure to keep it and care for it.
When he was in waiting, and at a meal with the prince, the prince would make the offering,  and he (the Master) was the pregustator.
When unwell, and the prince came to see him, he would arrange his position so that his head inclined towards the east, would put over him his Court robes, and draw his girdle across them.
When summoned by order of the prince, he would start off without waiting for his horses to be put to.
[Pg 55] On his entry into the Grand Temple, he inquired about everything connected with its usages.
If a friend died, and there were no near relatives to take him to, he would say, "Let him be buried from my house."
For a friend's gift—unless it consisted of meat that had been offered in sacrifice—he would not bow, even if it were a carriage and horses.
In repose he did not lie like one dead. In his home life he was not formal in his manner.
Whenever he met with a person in mourning, even though it were a familiar acquaintance, he would be certain to change his manner; and when he met with any one in full-dress cap, or with any blind person, he would also unfailingly put on a different look, even though he were himself in undress at the time.
In saluting any person wearing mourning he would bow forwards towards the front bar of his carriage; in the same manner he would also salute the bearer of a census-register.
When a sumptuous banquet was spread before him, a different expression would be sure to appear in his features, and he would rise up from his seat.
At a sudden thunder-clap, or when the wind grew furious, his look would also invariably be changed.
On getting into his car, he would never fail (first) to stand up erect, holding on by the strap. When in the car, he would never look about, nor speak hastily, nor bring one hand to the other.
Apropos of this, he said, "Here is a hen-pheasant from Shan Liang—and in season! and in season!" After Tsz-lu had got it prepared, he smelt it thrice, and then rose up from his seat.
 Because, it is said, such colors were adopted in fasting and mourning.
 Because they did not belong to the five correct colors (viz. green, yellow, carnation, white, and black), and were affected more by females.
 Since white was, as it is still, the mourning color.
 The act of "grace," before eating.
"The first to make progress in the Proprieties and in Music," said the Master, "are plain countrymen; after them, the men of higher standing. If I had to employ any of them, I should stand by the former."
"Of those," said he, "who were about me when I was in the Ch‘in and Ts‘ai States, not one now is left to approach my door."
"As for Hwi,"  said the Master, "he is not one to help me on: there is nothing I say but he is not well satisfied with."
"What a dutiful son was Min Tsz-k‘ien!" he exclaimed. "No one finds occasion to differ from what his parents and brothers have said of him."
Nan Yung used to repeat three times over the lines in the Odes about the white sceptre. Confucius caused his own elder brother's daughter to be given in marriage to him.
When Ki K‘ang inquired which of the disciples were fond of learning, Confucius answered him, "There was one Yen Hwi who was fond of it; but unfortunately his allotted time was short, and he died; and now his like is not to be found."
When Yen Yuen died, his father, Yen Lu, begged for the Master's carriage in order to get a shell for his coffin. [Pg 57] "Ability or no ability," said the Master, "every father still speaks of 'my son.' When my own son Li died, and the coffin for him had no shell to it, I know I did not go on foot to get him one; but that was because I was, though retired, in the wake of the ministers, and could not therefore well do so."
On the death of Yen Yuen the Master exclaimed, "Ah me! Heaven is ruining me, Heaven is ruining me!"
On the same occasion, his wailing for that disciple becoming excessive, those who were about him said, "Sir, this is too much!"—"Too much?" said he; "if I am not to do so for him, then—for whom else?"
The disciples then wished for the deceased a grand funeral. The Master could not on his part consent to this. They nevertheless gave him one. Upon this he remarked, "He used to look upon me as if I were his father. I could never, however, look on him as a son. 'Twas not my mistake, but yours, my children."
Tsz-lu propounded a question about ministering to the spirits of the departed. The Master replied, "Where there is scarcely the ability to minister to living men, how shall there be ability to minister to the spirits?" On his venturing to put a question concerning death, he answered, "Where there is scarcely any knowledge about life, how shall there be any about death?"
The disciple Min was by his side, looking affable and bland; Tsz-lu also, looking careless and intrepid; and Yen Yu and Tsz-kung, firm and precise. The Master was cheery. "One like Tsz-lu there," said he, "does not come to a natural end."
Some persons in Lu were taking measures in regard to the Long Treasury House. Min Tsz-k‘ien observed, "How if it were repaired on the old lines?" The Master upon this remarked, "This fellow is not a talker, but when he does speak he is bound to hit the mark!"
[Pg 58] "There is Yu's harpsichord," exclaimed the Master—"what is it doing at my door?" On seeing, however, some disrespect shown to him by the other disciples, he added, "Yu has got as far as the top of the hall; only he has not yet entered the house."