are you likely to succeed? But of course you have a scheme. Tell it to me."
"Gravity of demeanour," replied Yen Hui, "and dispassionateness; energy and singleness of purpose,—will this do?"
"Alas!" said Confucius, "that will not do. If you make a show of being perfect and obtrude yourself, the Prince's mood will be doubtful. Ordinarily, he is not opposed, and so he has come to take actual pleasure in trampling upon the feelings of others. And if he has thus failed in the practice of routine virtues, do you expect that he will take readily to higher ones? You may insist, but without result. Outwardly you will be right, but inwardly wrong. How then will you make him mend his ways?"
"Just so," replied Yen Hui. "I am inwardly straight, and outwardly crooked, completed after the models of antiquity.
"He who is inwardly straight is a servant of God. And he who is a servant of God knows that the Son of Heaven
- The Emperor.
and himself are equally the children of God. Shall then such a one trouble whether man visits him with evil or with good? Man indeed regards him as a child; and this is to be a servant of God.
- (1) Children are everywhere exempt.—This is the first limb of a threefold argument.
"He who is outwardly crooked is a servant of