Two Students

Confucius with students

A student of Confucius named Tsze-lu asked whether he should immediately carry into practice what he had learned. The Master answered, "There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted. How can you act immediately on what you've learned?"

Another student named Zan Yu asked the same question, whether he  should immediately carry into practice what he had learned.  And the Master answered, "Yes, you must carry what you've learned into practice immediately."

Kung-hsi Hwa said, "Tsze-lu asked whether he should carry immediately into practice what he heard, and you said, 'There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted.' Zan Yu asked whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard, and you said, 'Carry it immediately into practice.' I am perplexed, and venture to ask for an explanation."

The Master said, "Zan Yu is hesitant and slow; therefore I urged him forward. Tsze-lu rushes into things; therefore I bade him to step back."

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