Original Analects Supplement
LY 2

Passages: 2 4 12

Prefatory Note. As we see it, this chapter reflects the departure of Mencius from the Lu school, and the ensuing leadership of Dz-jing. It is of interest to see how far the chapter rebounds from the distinctly Mencian position taken in LY 12-13, written while Mencius was still associated with the school. One tendency that is apparent in LY 2 might be called the New Domesticity. From the universality to which the school's pronouncements had been stretched by having Mencius in the vicinity, we now get a more modest position; one nearer to lineage piety.

2:2. This eulogy of the Shr poems tells us two things: (1) The repertoire had by then reached the number of 300 poems, and this was felt to be somehow an emblematic and satisfactory number; (2) it was maintained that the message of all 300 was ultimately the same; and (3) that this message could be summarized as an injunction to avoid improper thoughts. This was an untenable position, since many of the Shr, most notoriously the "Jvng Songs," Shr 75-95, not only report, but celebrate and revel in, sexual impropriety (TOA p137). The Analects school did not in fact maintain this untenable position. It treated the Shr in an increasingly perfunctory manner all through the 03c. See our Note on the Shr from the Analects point of view.

2:4. We regret the slip in reporting the year in which our master Han Yw reached the age of 31 (that is, had entered his 31st year of life); it was 798. See further our additional Note.

2:12. The saying is undoubtedly a recommendation, and the translation would better read "The gentleman is not to be used as an implement."

This Supplement is Copyright © 2001- by E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks

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