The Real Confucius (Ⅰ)
By John C. H. Wu
I. The Need of Unmasking Confucius
 The worst fate that can happen to a man is to be deified; and the worst fate that can happen to a book is to be made into a bible. Confucius was long a victim of deification, and Lun Yü, that charming little book which contains his lively conversations and interesting anecdotes, was long a victim of blind reverence. Everything he did was thought perfect; everything he said was considered to be the last word of human wisdom. For was he not born with knowledge and was not his only mission to deliver his message? The fact he himself emphatically denied he was born wise was regarded merely as evidence that he was modest. A veritable god! For such he actually became in the hands of his epigoni .
 The possibility of internal conflicts in him and of the gradual development of his mind in his groping after the truth was ruled out from the beginning. Any contradictions one might find in his words and actions were thought to be only apparent, and the Confucians vied with one another in their ingenuity in sewing up the seams and ironing out the creases of his doctrine. For, to them, it was a foregone conclusion that he was perfect in everything, and therefore could commit no mistakes. But what a monotony of perfection and what a bore these intellectual Philistines and moral smugs had succeeded to make him appear!
 But the whirligig of time brought in its revenges. For, by the time of the Revolution which overthrew the Manchu Dynasty, a tremendous reaction had set in against Confucius. Ardent young men were beginning to denounce his conservatism and feudalistic ideology. To them he became an old fogey completely out of touch with the spirit of modern times: he represented all that was reactionary, and was held responsible for all the ills that China was heir to. Down with Confucius! Confucius the god had become Confucius the bugbear.
 The two groups of people, the deifiers and the defiers of Confucius, had, however, one thing in common– their blindness. The first group had blindly set up a wooden idol to be worshipped, and the second group, with equal blindness, had set up a straw effigy to be burnt. Neither group really made a serious effort to discover the real Confucius, to understand his problems in the light of his mentality and of the times he lived in.
 In my own case, until recently, Confucius had always appeared to be the embodiment of such sombre qualities as dignity, austerity, sternness, punctiliousness, and scrupulousness. He had impressed me as a great stickler for form, as a man whom I could only respect at a safe distance, but with whom I could never be intimate. I had looked upon him as a mountain whose peaks were always covered in obscurity by the clouds, and whose height was, therefore, not to be measured.
 The reason for this aversion of mine is to be found in the old system of education. When I was under ten years of age, I was a pupil in a primary school, in which Lun Yü was still used as a textbook. It was naturally a hard nut to crack, but willy-nilly the little pupils were required to read and recite some of the passages every day. I do not know how the other children took to it, but I certainly felt like swallowing gall. The bitterness which really belonged to the incident of being taught something too tough for the tender brains of a child to tackle, was easily transferred to the book itself, and from the book to its hero was but a little step.
 我对孔子的这种厌恶感归因于传统教育体制。我在 10岁之前读的是私塾，用的课本仍是《论语》。这当然是难啃的硬骨头，无论小孩子们愿不愿意，每天都要朗读并背诵《论语》中的一些段落。我不知道别的孩子感受如何，于我而言，就像吞咽苦胆。让孩子稚嫩的脑瓜苦思冥想过于艰深的材料，这种教育方式不幸让我撞上了，由此带来的痛苦体验很容易就投射到那本书本身，而从书到书中主人公仅一步之遥。
 With the exception of the few occasions on which I had to refer to Lun Yü for particular passages, I had laid it aside for twenty-five years. Recently, I happened to pick up Lun Yü again and read it in a casual way. I was so much absorbed by it that I finished it at one stretch. For the personality of Confucius is so vividly and graphically painted in this wonderful book that he seems to come to life again, and at places I can almost fancy him jumping out of the pages and shaking hands with me. This book, which is commonly known in the English language as Analects, is full of anecdotes, which furnish invaluable clues to the characteristics of a remarkable man. Voilà un homme qui a eu de grands chagrins! And how humorously he bore his sorrows! Beneath the unruffled surface, what tremendous undercurrents were surging in his bosom! The noble tranquility, the quiet grandeur, which appears so spontaneous and easy, was acquired only after a lifetime of ceaseless effort to harmonise the discords he found in his own nature.
 除了偶尔不得已翻看《论语》，参考其中某些片段之外，我已经将之搁在一边达 25年之久。最近，我无意之中又拣起《论语》，漫不经心地阅读，谁知一下子被吸引进去，一口气就看了个遍。在这本神奇的书中，孔子的个性被描写得如此生动形象，他仿佛再次活了过来；有些地方，我几乎能够想象他跳出书页，与我相见握手。这本英译名Analects的书充满了各种轶事，为我们了解一个伟大人物提供了珍贵的线索。看哪，这个人也有无限的哀愁！他表达哀愁的方式又是多么幽默！在波澜不惊的表情之下，他的胸中涌动着怎样气势磅礴的潜流！那种气定神闲的高贵，那种从容不迫的气度，看起来如此率真而轻松，其实源于孔子一生孜孜以求的努力，将其天性的一切冲突都化为和谐。
 His intense humanity is what interests me. One may disagree with his political views; one may smile at his fuss about social etiquette; one may even be amused by his fastidiousness in private life; but one cannot help admiring the beauty of his personality when viewed as a whole. It is the object of this paper to study the genius and character of this superb artist of life. We wish to penetrate into his soul, to consider the volume and intensity of its vital forces, to reveal, in the phraseology of Emil Ludwig , “the restless fluid of its emotional configurations, and the balance between its impulse toward action and its repression through precept.” ■
 孔子吸引我的是他丰富的人性。你可以不认可他的政治观点，你也可以嘲笑他对礼仪制度的小题大做，你甚至可以说他对自己要求严苛，甚至可笑，但是你会禁不住欣赏他的个性之美，如果你能纵观其全部的话。这篇文章旨在研究这位卓越的生活艺术家的天才和性格。我们希望深入他的灵魂，思考他的灵魂拥有的丰富而强烈的生命力，用埃米尔•路德维希的话来说，展现“其滔滔不绝、丰富多彩的情感之流，及其在果敢的行动与守约的克制之间的平衡”。 □