THE CHINESE CLASSICS
with a translation, critical and exegetical
notes, prolegomena, and copious indexes
IN FIVE VOLUMES
THE GREAT LEARNING
THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN
BOOK I. HSIO R.
CHAPTER I. 1. The Master said, 'Is it not pleasant to learn
with a constant perseverance and application?
2. 'Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant
3. 'Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no
discomposure though men may take no note of him?'
CHAP. II. 1. The philosopher Yu said, 'They are few who,
being filial and fraternal, are fond of offending against their
superiors. There have been none, who, not liking to offend
against their superiors, have been fond of stirring up confusion.
2. 'The superior man bends his attention to what is
That being established, all practical courses naturally grow up.
Filial piety and fraternal submission!-- are they not the root of
all benevolent actions?'
CHAP. III. The Master said, 'Fine words and an
insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.'
CHAP. IV. The philosopher Tsang said, 'I daily examine
myself on three points:-- whether, in transacting business for
others, I may have been not faithful;-- whether, in intercourse
with friends, I may have been not sincere;-- whether I may
have not mastered and practised the instructions of my
CHAP. V. The Master said, To rule a country of a thousand
chariots, there must be reverent attention to business, and
sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the
employment of the people at the proper seasons.'
CHAP. VI. The Master said, 'A youth, when at home,
should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should
be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all, and
cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and
opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should
employ them in polite studies.'
CHAP. VII. Tsze-hsia said, 'If a man withdraws his mind
from the love of beauty, and applies it as sincerely to the love
of the virtuous; if, in serving his parents, he can exert his
if, in serving his prince, he can devote his life; if, in his
intercourse with his friends, his words are sincere:-- although
men say that he has not learned, I will certainly say that he
CHAP. VIII. 1. The Master said, 'If the scholar be not
grave, he will not call forth any veneration, and his learning
will not be solid.
2. 'Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
3. 'Have no friends not equal to yourself.
4. 'When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.'
CHAP. IX. The philosopher Tsang said, 'Let there be a
careful attention to perform the funeral rites to parents, and let
them be followed when long gone with the ceremonies of
sacrifice;-- then the virtue of the people will resume its proper
CHAP. X. 1. Tsze-ch'in asked Tsze-kung, saying, 'When our
master comes to any country, he does not fail to learn all about
its government. Does he ask his information? or is it given to
2. Tsze-kung said, 'Our master is benign, upright,
courteous, temperate, and complaisant, and thus he gets his
information. The master's mode of asking information!-- is it
not different from that of other men?'
CHAP. XI. The Master said, 'While a man's father is alive,
look at the bent of his will; when his father is dead, look at his
conduct. If for three years he does not alter from the way of
his father, he may be called filial.'
CHAP. XII. 1. The philosopher Yu said, 'In practising the rules of
propriety, a natural ease is to be prized. In the ways prescribed
by the ancient kings, this is the excellent quality, and in things
small and great we follow them.
2. 'Yet it is not to be observed in all cases. If one, knowing
how such ease should be prized, manifests it, without
regulating it by the rules of propriety, this likewise is not to be
CHAP. XIII. The philosopher Yu said, 'When agreements
are made according to what is right, what is spoken can be
made good. When respect is shown according to what is proper,
one keeps far from shame and disgrace. When the parties upon
whom a man leans are proper persons to be intimate with, he
can make them his guides and masters.'
CHAP. XIV. The Master said, 'He who aims to be a man of
complete virtue in his food does not seek to gratify his
in his dwelling place does he seek the appliances of ease; he is
earnest in what he is doing, and careful in his speech; he
frequents the company of men of principle that he may be
rectified:-- such a person may be said indeed to love to learn.'
CHAP. XV. 1. Tsze-kung said, 'What do you pronounce
concerning the poor man who yet does not flatter, and the rich
man who is not proud?' The Master replied, 'They will do; but
they are not equal to him, who, though poor, is yet cheerful,
and to him, who, though rich, loves the rules of propriety.'
2. Tsze-kung replied, 'It is said in the Book of Poetry, "As
you cut and then file, as you carve and then polish."-- The
meaning is the same, I apprehend, as that which you have just
3. The Master said, 'With one like Ts'ze, I can begin to
about the odes. I told him one point, and he knew its proper
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'I will not be afflicted at
men's not knowing me; I will be afflicted that I do not know
BOOK II. WEI CHANG.
CHAP. I. The Master said, 'He who exercises government
by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar
star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.'
CHAP. II. The Master said, 'In the Book of Poetry are
three hundred pieces, but the design of them all may be
embraced in one sentence-- "Having no depraved thoughts."'
CHAP. III. 1. The Master said, 'If the people be led by
laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments,
they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of
2. 'If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be
given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense
of shame, and moreover will become good.'
CHAP. IV. 1. The Master said, 'At fifteen, I had my mind
bent on learning.
2. 'At thirty, I stood firm.
3. 'At forty, I had no doubts.
4. 'At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven.
5. 'At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the
reception of truth.
6. 'At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired,
without transgressing what was right.'
CHAP. V. 1. Mang I asked what filial piety was. The
Master said, 'It is not being disobedient.'
2. Soon after, as Fan Ch'ih was driving him, the Master
told him, saying, 'Mang-sun asked me what filial piety was, and
I answered him,-- "not being disobedient."'
3. Fan Ch'ih said, 'What did you mean?' The Master
replied, 'That parents, when alive, be served according to
propriety; that, when dead, they should be buried according to
propriety; and that they should be sacrificed to according to
CHAP. VI. Mang Wu asked what filial piety was. The
Master said, 'Parents are anxious lest their children should be
CHAP. VII. Tsze-yu asked what filial piety was. The
Master said, 'The filial piety of now-a-days means the support
of one's parents. But dogs and horses likewise are able to do
something in the way of support;-- without reverence, what is
there to distinguish the one support given from the other?'
CHAP. VIII. Tsze-hsia asked what filial piety was. The
Master said, 'The difficulty is with the countenance. If, when
their elders have any troublesome affairs, the young take the
toil of them, and if, when the young have wine and food, they
set them before their elders, is THIS to be considered filial
CHAP. IX. The Master said, 'I have talked with Hui for a
whole day, and he has not made any objection to anything I
said;-- as if he were stupid. He has retired, and I have
examined his conduct when away from me, and found him able
to illustrate my teachings. Hui!-- He is not stupid.'
CHAP. X. 1. The Master said, 'See what a man does.
2. 'Mark his motives.
3. 'Examine in what things he rests.
4. 'How can a man conceal his character?
5. How can a man conceal his character?'
CHAP. XI. The Master said, 'If a man keeps cherishing his
old knowledge, so as continually to be acquiring new, he may
be a teacher of others.'
CHAP. XII. The Master said, 'The accomplished scholar is
not a utensil.'
CHAP. XIII. Tsze-kung asked what constituted the
superior man. The Master said, 'He acts before he speaks, and
afterwards speaks according to his actions.'
CHAP. XIV. The Master said, 'The superior man is catholic
and no partisan. The mean man is partisan and not catholic.'
CHAP. XV. The Master said, 'Learning without thought is
labour lost; thought without learning is perilous.'
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'The study of strange
doctrines is injurious indeed!'
CHAP. XVII. The Master said, 'Yu, shall I teach you what
knowledge is? When you know a thing, to hold that you know
it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not
know it;-- this is knowledge.'
CHAP. XVII. 1. Tsze-chang was learning with a view to
2. The Master said, 'Hear much and put aside the points
of which you stand in doubt, while you speak cautiously at the
same time of the others:-- then you will afford few occasions
for blame. See much and put aside the things which seem
perilous, while you are cautious at the same time in carrying
the others into practice:-- then you will have few occasions for
repentance. When one gives few occasions for blame in his
words, and few occasions for repentance in his conduct, he is in
the way to get emolument.'
CHAP. XIX. The Duke Ai asked, saying, 'What should be
done in order to secure the submission of the people?'
Confucius replied, 'Advance the upright and set aside the
crooked, then the people will submit. Advance the crooked and
set aside the upright, then the people will not submit.'
CHAP. XX. Chi K'ang asked how to cause the people to
reverence their ruler, to be faithful to him, and to go on to
nerve themselves to virtue. The Master said, 'Let him preside
over them with gravity;-- then they will reverence him. Let
him be filial and kind to all;-- then they will be faithful to him.
Let him advance the good and teach the incompetent;-- then
they will eagerly seek to be virtuous.'
CHAP. XXI. 1. Some one addressed Confucius, saying, 'Sir,
why are you not engaged in the government?'
2. The Master said, 'What does the Shu-ching say of filial
piety?-- "You are filial, you discharge your brotherly duties.
These qualities are displayed in government." This then also
constitutes the exercise of government. Why must there be
THAT-- making one be in the government?'
CHAP. XXII. The Master said, 'I do not know how a man
without truthfulness is to get on. How can a large carriage be
made to go without the cross-bar for yoking the oxen to, or a
small carriage without the arrangement for yoking the horses?'
CHAP. XXIII. 1. Tsze-chang asked whether the affairs of
ten ages after could be known.
2. Confucius said, 'The Yin dynasty followed the
regulations of the Hsia: wherein it took from or added to them
may be known. The Chau dynasty has followed the regulations
of Yin: wherein it took from or added to them may be known.
Some other may follow the Chau, but though it should be at the
distance of a hundred ages, its affairs may be known.'
CHAP. XXIV. 1. The Master said, 'For a man to sacrifice to
a spirit which does not belong to him is flattery.
2. 'To see what is right and not to do it is want of
BOOK III. PA YIH.
CHAP. I. Confucius said of the head of the Chi family, who
had eight rows of pantomimes in his area, 'If he can bear to do
this, what may he not bear to do?'
CHAP. II. The three families used the YUNG ode, while the
vessels were being removed, at the conclusion of the sacrifice.
The Master said, '"Assisting are the princes;-- the son of heaven
looks profound and grave:"-- what application can these words
have in the hall of the three families?'
CHAP. III. The Master said, 'If a man be without the
virtues proper to humanity, what has he to do with the rites of
propriety? If a man be without the virtues proper to humanity,
what has he to do with music?'
CHAP. IV. 1. Lin Fang asked what was the first thing to be
attended to in ceremonies.
2. The Master said, 'A great question indeed!
3. 'In festive ceremonies, it is better to be sparing than
In the ceremonies of mourning, it is better that there be deep
sorrow than a minute attention to observances.'
CHAP. V. The Master said, 'The rude tribes of the east and
north have their princes, and are not like the States of our
great land which are without them.'
CHAP. VI. The chief of the Chi family was about to
sacrifice to the T'ai mountain. The Master said to Zan Yu, 'Can
you not save him from this?' He answered, 'I cannot.' Confucius
said, 'Alas! will you say that the T'ai mountain is not so
discerning as Lin Fang?'
CHAP. VII. The Master said, 'The student of virtue has no
contentions. If it be said he cannot avoid them, shall this be in
archery? But he bows complaisantly to his competitors; thus he
ascends the hall, descends, and exacts the forfeit of drinking. In
his contention, he is still the Chun-tsze.'
CHAP. VIII. 1. Tsze-hsia asked, saying, 'What is the
meaning of the passage-- "The pretty dimples of her artful
smile! The well-defined black and white of her eye! The plain
ground for the colours?"'
2. The Master said, 'The business of laying on the colours
follows (the preparation of) the plain ground.'
3. 'Ceremonies then are a subsequent thing?' The Master
said, 'It is Shang who can bring out my meaning. Now I can
begin to talk about the odes with him.'
CHAP. IX. The Master said, 'I could describe the
ceremonies of the Hsia dynasty, but Chi cannot sufficiently
attest my words. I could describe the ceremonies of the Yin
dynasty, but Sung cannot sufficiently attest my words. (They
cannot do so) because of the insufficiency of their records and
wise men. If those were sufficient, I could adduce them in
support of my words.'
CHAP. X. The Master said, 'At the great sacrifice, after the
pouring out of the libation, I have no wish to look on.'
CHAP. XI. Some one asked the meaning of the great
sacrifice. The Master said, 'I do not know. He who knew its
meaning would find it as easy to govern the kingdom as to look
on this;-- pointing to his palm.
CHAP. XII. 1. He sacrificed to the dead, as if they were
present. He sacrificed to the spirits, as if the spirits were
2. The Master said, 'I consider my not being present at
the sacrifice, as if I did not sacrifice.'
CHAP. XIII. 1. Wang-sun Chia asked, saying, 'What is the
meaning of the saying, "It is better to pay court to the furnace
than to the south-west corner?"'
2. The Master said, 'Not so. He who offends against
Heaven has none to whom he can pray.'
CHAP. XIV. The Master said, 'Chau had the advantage of
viewing the two past dynasties. How complete and elegant are
its regulations! I follow Chau.'
CHAP. XV. The Master, when he entered the grand
temple, asked about everything. Some one said, 'Who will say
that the son of the man of Tsau knows the rules of propriety!
He has entered the grand temple and asks about everything.'
The Master heard the remark, and said, 'This is a rule of
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'In archery it is not going
through the leather which is the principal thing;-- because
people's strength is not equal. This was the old way.'
CHAP. XVII. 1. Tsze-kung wished to do away with the
offering of a sheep connected with the inauguration of the first
day of each month.
2. The Master said, 'Ts'ze, you love the sheep; I love the
CHAP. XVII. The Master said, 'The full observance of the
rules of propriety in serving one's prince is accounted by
people to be flattery.'
CHAP. XIX. The Duke Ting asked how a prince should
employ his ministers, and how ministers should serve their
prince. Confucius replied, 'A prince should employ his minister
according to according to the rules of propriety; ministers
should serve their prince with faithfulness.'
CHAP. XX. The Master said, 'The Kwan Tsu is expressive of
enjoyment without being licentious, and of grief without being
CHAP. XXI. 1. The Duke Ai asked Tsai Wo about the altars
of the spirits of the land. Tsai Wo replied, 'The Hsia sovereign
planted the pine tree about them; the men of the Yin planted
the cypress; and the men of the Chau planted the chestnut tree,
meaning thereby to cause the people to be in awe.'
2. When the Master heard it, he said, 'Things that are
done, it is needless to speak about; things that have had their
course, it is needless to remonstrate about; things that are past,
it is needless to blame.'
CHAP. XXII. 1. The Master said, 'Small indeed was the
capacity of Kwan Chung!'
2. Some one said, 'Was Kwan Chung parsimonious?'
'Kwan,' was the reply, 'had the San Kwei, and his officers
performed no double duties; how can he be considered
3. 'Then, did Kwan Chung know the rules of propriety?'
Master said, 'The princes of States have a screen intercepting
the view at their gates. Kwan had likewise a screen at his gate.
The princes of States on any friendly meeting between two of
them, had a stand on which to place their inverted cups. Kwan
had also such a stand. If Kwan knew the rules of propriety,
who does not know them?'
CHAP. XXXII. The Master instructing the grand music-
master of Lu said, 'How to play music may be known. At the
commencement of the piece, all the parts should sound
together. As it proceeds, they should be in harmony while
severally distinct and flowing without break, and thus on to the
CHAP. XXIV. The border warden at Yi requested to be
introduced to the Master, saying, 'When men of superior virtue
have come to this, I have never been denied the privilege of
seeing them.' The followers of the sage introduced him, and
when he came out from the interview, he said, 'My friends,
why are you distressed by your master's loss of office? The
kingdom has long been without the principles of truth and
right; Heaven is going to use your master as a bell with its
CHAP. XXV. The Master said of the Shao that it was
perfectly beautiful and also perfectly good. He said of the Wu
that it was perfectly beautiful but not perfectly good.
CHAP. XXVI. The Master said, 'High station filled without
indulgent generosity; ceremonies performed without reverence;
mourning conducted without sorrow;-- wherewith should I
contemplate such ways?'
BOOK IV. LE JIN.
CHAP. I. The Master said, 'It is virtuous manners which
constitute the excellence of a neighborhood. If a man in
selecting a residence, do not fix on one where such prevail, how
can he be wise?'
CHAP. II. The Master said, 'Those who are without virtue
cannot abide long either in a condition of poverty and hardship,
or in a condition of enjoyment. The virtuous rest in virtue; the
wise desire virtue.'
CHAP. III. The Master said, 'It is only the (truly) virtuous
man, who can love, or who can hate, others.'
CHAP. IV. The Master said, 'If the will be set on virtue,
there will be no practice of wickedness.'
CHAP. V. 1. The Master said, 'Riches and honours are
what men desire. If it cannot be obtained in the proper way,
they should not be held. Poverty and meanness are what men
dislike. If it cannot be avoided in the proper way, they should
not be avoided.
2. 'If a superior man abandon virtue, how can he fulfil
the requirements of that name?
3. 'The superior man does not, even for the space of a
single meal, act contrary to virtue. In moments of haste, he
cleaves to it. In seasons of danger, he cleaves to it.'
CHAP. VI. 1. The Master said, 'I have not seen a person
who loved virtue, or one who hated what was not virtuous. He
who loved virtue, would esteem nothing above it. He who hated
what is not virtuous, would practise virtue in such a way that
he would not allow anything that is not virtuous to approach
2. 'Is any one able for one day to apply his strength to
virtue? I have not seen the case in which his strength would be
3. 'Should there possibly be any such case, I have not
CHAP. VII. The Master said, 'The faults of men are
characteristic of the class to which they belong. By observing a
man's faults, it may be known that he is virtuous.'
CHAP. VIII. The Master said, 'If a man in the morning
hear the right way, he may die in the evening without regret.'
CHAP. IX. The Master said, 'A scholar, whose mind is set
on truth, and who is ashamed of bad clothes and bad food, is
not fit to be discoursed with.'
CHAP. X. The Master said, 'The superior man, in the
world, does not set his mind either for anything, or against
anything; what is right he will follow.'
CHAP. XI. The Master said, 'The superior man thinks of
virtue; the small man thinks of comfort. The superior man
thinks of the sanctions of law; the small man thinks of favours
which he may receive.'
CHAP. XII. The Master said: 'He who acts with a constant
view to his own advantage will be much murmured against.'
CHAP. XIII. The Master said, 'Is a prince is able to govern
his kingdom with the complaisance proper to the rules of
propriety, what difficulty will he have? If he cannot govern it
with that complaisance, what has he to do with the rules of
CHAP. XIV. The Master said, 'A man should say, I am not
concerned that I have no place, I am concerned how I may fit
myself for one. I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek
to be worthy to be known.'
CHAP. XV. 1. The Master said, 'Shan, my doctrine is that
of an all-pervading unity.' The disciple Tsang replied, 'Yes.'
2. The Master went out, and the other disciples asked,
'What do his words mean?' Tsang said, 'The doctrine of our
master is to be true to the principles of our nature and the
benevolent exercise of them to others,-- this and nothing more.'
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'The mind of the superior
man is conversant with righteousness; the mind of the mean
man is conversant with gain.'
CHAP. XVII. The Master said, 'When we see men of worth,
we should think of equalling them; when we see men of a
contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine
CHAP. XVIII. The Master said, 'In serving his parents, a
son may remonstrate with them, but gently; when he sees that
they do not incline to follow his advice, he shows an increased
degree of reverence, but does not abandon his purpose; and
should they punish him, he does not allow himself to murmur.'
CHAP. XIX. The Master said, 'While his parents are alive,
the son may not go abroad to a distance. If he does go abroad,
he must have a fixed place to which he goes.'
CHAP. XX. The Master said, 'If the son for three years
does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called
CHAP. XXI. The Master said, 'The years of parents may by
no means not be kept in the memory, as an occasion at once for
joy and for fear.'
CHAP. XXII. The Master said, 'The reason why the
ancients did not readily give utterance to their words, was that
they feared lest their actions should not come up to them.'
CHAP. XXIII. The Master said, 'The cautious seldom err.'
CHAP. XXIV. The Master said, 'The superior man wishes
to be slow in his speech and earnest in his conduct.'
CHAP. XXV. The Master said, 'Virtue is not left to stand
alone. He who practises it will have neighbors.'
CHAP. XXVI. Tsze-yu said, 'In serving a prince, frequent
remonstrances lead to disgrace. Between friends, frequent
reproofs make the friendship distant.'
BOOK V. KUNG-YE CH'ANG.
CHAP. I. 1. The Master said of Kung-ye Ch'ang that he
might be wived; although he was put in bonds, he had not been
guilty of any crime. Accordingly, he gave him his own daughter
2. Of Nan Yung he said that if the country were well
he would not be out of office, and if it were ill-governed, he
would escape punishment and disgrace. He gave him the
daughter of his own elder brother to wife.
CHAP. II. The Master said of Tsze-chien, 'Of superior
virtue indeed is such a man! If there were not virtuous men in
Lu, how could this man have acquired this character?'
CHAP. III. Tsze-kung asked, 'What do you say of me,
Ts'ze? The Master said, 'You are a utensil.' 'What utensil?' 'A
gemmed sacrificial utensil.'
CHAP. IV. 1. Some one said, 'Yung is truly virtuous, but he
is not ready with his tongue.'
2. The Master said, 'What is the good of being ready with
the tongue? They who encounter men with smartnesses of
speech for the most part procure themselves hatred. I know
not whether he be truly virtuous, but why should he show
readiness of the tongue?'
CHAP. V. The Master was wishing Ch'i-tiao K'ai to enter
on official employment. He replied, 'I am not yet able to rest in
the assurance of THIS.' The Master was pleased.
CHAP. VI. The Master said, 'My doctrines make no way. I
will get upon a raft, and float about on the sea. He that will
accompany me will be Yu, I dare say.' Tsze-lu hearing this was
upon which the Master said, 'Yu is fonder of daring than I am.
He does not exercise his judgment upon matters.'
CHAP. VII. 1. Mang Wu asked about Tsze-lu, whether he
was perfectly virtuous. The Master said, 'I do not know.'
2. He asked again, when the Master replied, 'In a
kingdom of a thousand chariots, Yu might be employed to
manage the military levies, but I do not know whether he be
3. 'And what do you say of Ch'iu?' The Master replied, 'In
a city of a thousand families, or a clan of a hundred chariots,
Ch'iu might be employed as governor, but I do not know
whether he is perfectly virtuous.'
4. 'What do you say of Ch'ih?' The Master replied, 'With
his sash girt and standing in a court, Ch'ih might be employed
to converse with the visitors and guests, but I do not know
whether he is perfectly virtuous.'
CHAP. VIII. 1. The Master said to Tsze-kung, 'Which do
you consider superior, yourself or Hui?'
2. Tsze-kung replied, 'How dare I compare myself with
Hui? Hui hears one point and knows all about a subject; I hear
one point, and know a second.'
3. The Master said, 'You are not equal to him. I grant you,
you are not equal to him.'
CHAP. IX. 1. Tsai Yu being asleep during the daytime, the
Master said, 'Rotten wood cannot be carved; a wall of dirty
earth will not receive the trowel. This Yu!-- what is the use of
my reproving him?'
2. The Master said, 'At first, my way with men was to
hear their words, and give them credit for their conduct. Now
my way is to hear their words, and look at their conduct. It is
from Yu that I have learned to make this change.'
CHAP. X. The Master said, 'I have not seen a firm and
unbending man.' Some one replied, 'There is Shan Ch'ang.'
'Ch'ang,' said the Master, 'is under the influence of his passions;
how can he be pronounced firm and unbending?'
CHAP. XI. Tsze-kung said, 'What I do not wish men to do
to me, I also wish not to do to men.' The Master said, 'Ts'ze, you
have not attained to that.'
CHAP. XII. Tsze-kung said, 'The Master's personal
displays of his principles and ordinary descriptions of them
may be heard. His discourses about man's nature, and the way
of Heaven, cannot be heard.'
CHAP. XIII. When Tsze-lu heard anything, if he had not
yet succeeded in carrying it into practice, he was only afraid
lest he should hear something else.
CHAP. XIV. Tsze-kung asked, saying, 'On what ground did
Kung-wan get that title of Wan?' The Master said, 'He was of an
active nature and yet fond of learning, and he was not ashamed
to ask and learn of his inferiors!-- On these grounds he has
been styled Wan.'
CHAP. XV. The Master said of Tsze-ch'an that he had four
of the characteristics of a superior man:-- in his conduct of
himself, he was humble; in serving his superiors, he was
respectful; in nourishing the people, he was kind; in ordering
the people, he was just.'
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'Yen P'ing knew well how to
maintain friendly intercourse. The acquaintance might be long,
but he showed the same respect as at first.'
CHAP. XVII. The Master said, 'Tsang Wan kept a large
tortoise in a house, on the capitals of the pillars of which he
had hills made, and with representations of duckweed on the
small pillars above the beams supporting the rafters.-- Of what
sort was his wisdom?'
CHAP. XVIII. 1. Tsze-chang asked, saying, 'The minister
Tsze-wan thrice took office, and manifested no joy in his
countenance. Thrice he retired from office, and manifested no
displeasure. He made it a point to inform the new minister of
the way in which he had conducted the government;-- what do
you say of him?' The Master replied. 'He was loyal.' 'Was he
perfectly virtuous?' 'I do not know. How can he be pronounced
2. Tsze-chang proceeded, 'When the officer Ch'ui killed
the prince of Ch'i, Ch'an Wan, though he was the owner of forty
horses, abandoned them and left the country. Coming to
another State, he said, "They are here like our great officer,
Ch'ui," and left it. He came to a second State, and with the same
observation left it also;-- what do you say of him?' The Master
replied, 'He was pure.' 'Was he perfectly virtuous?' 'I do not
know. How can he be pronounced perfectly virtuous?'
CHAP. XIX. Chi Wan thought thrice, and then acted. When
the Master was informed of it, he said, 'Twice may do.'
CHAP. XX. The Master said, 'When good order prevailed in
his country, Ning Wu acted the part of a wise man. When his
country was in disorder, he acted the part of a stupid man.
Others may equal his wisdom, but they cannot equal his
CHAP. XXI. When the Master was in Ch'an, he said, 'Let
me return! Let me return! The little children of my school are
ambitious and too hasty. They are accomplished and complete
so far, but they do not know how to restrict and shape
CHAP. XXII. The Master said, 'Po-i and Shu-ch'i did not
keep the former wickednesses of men in mind, and hence the
resentments directed towards them were few.'
CHAP. XXIII. The Master said, 'Who says of Wei-shang
that he is upright? One begged some vinegar of him, and he
begged it of a neighbor and gave it to the man.'
CHAP. XXIV. The Master said, 'Fine words, an insinuating
appearance, and excessive respect;-- Tso Ch'iu-ming was
ashamed of them. I also am ashamed of them. To conceal
resentment against a person, and appear friendly with him;--
Tso Ch'iu-ming was ashamed of such conduct. I also am
ashamed of it.'
CHAP. XXV. 1. Yen Yuan and Chi Lu being by his side, the
Master said to them, 'Come, let each of you tell his wishes.'
2. Tsze-lu said, 'I should like, having chariots and horses,
and light fur dresses, to share them with my friends, and
though they should spoil them, I would not be displeased.'
3. Yen Yuan said, 'I should like not to boast of my
excellence, nor to make a display of my meritorious deeds.'
4. Tsze-lu then said, 'I should like, sir, to hear your
wishes.' The Master said, 'They are, in regard to the aged, to
give them rest; in regard to friends, to show them sincerity; in
regard to the young, to treat them tenderly.'
CHAP. XXVI. The Master said, 'It is all over! I have not
yet seen one who could perceive his faults, and inwardly
CHAP. XXVII. The Master said, 'In a hamlet of ten
families, there may be found one honourable and sincere as I
am, but not so fond of learning.'
BOOK VI. YUNG YEY.
CHAP. I. 1. The Master said, 'There is Yung!-- He might
occupy the place of a prince.'
2. Chung-kung asked about Tsze-sang Po-tsze. The Master
said, 'He may pass. He does not mind small matters.'
3. Chung-kung said, 'If a man cherish in himself a
reverential feeling of the necessity of attention to business,
though he may be easy in small matters in his government of
the people, that may be allowed. But if he cherish in himself
that easy feeling, and also carry it out in his practice, is not
such an easy mode of procedure excessive?'
4. The Master said, 'Yung's words are right.'
CHAP. II. The Duke Ai asked which of the disciples loved
to learn. Confucius replied to him, 'There was Yen Hui; HE loved
to learn. He did not transfer his anger; he did not repeat a fault.
Unfortunately, his appointed time was short and he died; and
now there is not such another. I have not yet heard of any one
who loves to learn as he did.'
CHAP. III. 1. Tsze-hwa being employed on a mission to
Ch'i, the disciple Zan requested grain for his mother. The
Master said, 'Give her a fu.' Yen requested more. 'Give her an
yu,' said the Master. Yen gave her five ping.
2. The Master said, 'When Ch'ih was proceeding to Ch'i, he
had fat horses to his carriage, and wore light furs. I have heard
a superior man helps the distressed, but does not add to the
wealth of the rich.'
3. Yuan Sze being made governor of his town by the
Master, he gave him nine hundred measures of grain, but Sze
4. The Master said, 'Do not decline them. May you not
give them away in the neighborhoods, hamlets, towns, and
CHAP. IV. The Master, speaking of Chung-kung, said, 'If
the calf of a brindled cow be red and horned, although men
may not wish to use it, would the spirits of the mountains and
rivers put it aside?'
CHAP. V. The Master said, 'Such was Hui that for three
months there would be nothing in his mind contrary to perfect
virtue. The others may attain to this on some days or in some
months, but nothing more.'
CHAP. VI. Chi K'ang asked about Chung-yu, whether he
was fit to be employed as an officer of government. The Master
said, 'Yu is a man of decision; what difficulty would he find in
being an officer of government?' K'ang asked, 'Is Ts'ze fit to be
employed as an officer of government?' and was answered,
'Ts'ze is a man of intelligence; what difficulty would he find in
being an officer of government?' And to the same question
about Ch'iu the Master gave the same reply, saying, 'Ch'iu is a
man of various ability.'
CHAP. VII. The chief of the Chi family sent to ask Min
Tsze-ch'ien to be governor of Pi. Min Tsze-ch'ien said, 'Decline
the offer for me politely. If any one come again to me with a
second invitation, I shall be obliged to go and live on the banks
of the Wan.'
CHAP. VIII. Po-niu being ill, the Master went to ask for
him. He took hold of his hand through the window, and said, 'It
is killing him. It is the appointment of Heaven, alas! That such a
man should have such a sickness! That such a man should have
such a sickness!'
CHAP. IX. The Master said, 'Admirable indeed was
the virtue of Hui! With a single bamboo dish of rice, a single
gourd dish of drink, and living in his mean narrow lane, while
others could not have endured the distress, he did not allow his
joy to be affected by it. Admirable indeed was the virtue of
CHAP. X. Yen Ch'iu said, 'It is not that I do not delight in
your doctrines, but my strength is insufficient.' The Master
said, 'Those whose strength is insufficient give over in the
middle of the way but now you limit yourself.'
CHAP. XI. The Master said to Tsze-hsia, 'Do you be a
scholar after the style of the superior man, and not after that of
the mean man.'
CHAP. XII. Tsze-yu being governor of Wu-ch'ang, the
Master said to him, 'Have you got good men there?' He
answered, 'There is Tan-t'ai Mieh-ming, who never in walking
takes a short cut, and never comes to my office, excepting on
CHAP. XIII. The Master said, 'Mang Chih-fan does not
boast of his merit. Being in the rear on an occasion of flight,
when they were about to enter the gate, he whipped up his
horse, saying, "It is not that I dare to be last. My horse would
CHAP. XIV. The Master said, 'Without the specious speech
of the litanist T'o and the beauty of the prince Chao of Sung, it
is difficult to escape in the present age.'
CHAP. XV. The Master said, 'Who can go out but by the
door? How is it that men will not walk according to these
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'Where the solid qualities are
in excess of accomplishments, we have rusticity; where the
accomplishments are in excess of the solid qualities, we have
the manners of a clerk. When the accomplishments and solid
qualities are equally blended, we then have the man of virtue.'
CHAP. XVII. The Master said, 'Man is born for
uprightness. If a man lose his uprightness, and yet live, his
escape from death is the effect of mere good fortune.'
CHAP. XVIII. The Master said, 'They who know the truth
are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not
equal to those who delight in it.'
CHAP. XIX. The Master said, 'To those whose talents are
above mediocrity, the highest subjects may be announced. To
those who are below mediocrity, the highest subjects may not
CHAP. XX. Fan Ch'ih asked what constituted wisdom. The
Master said, 'To give one's self earnestly to the duties due to
men, and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from
them, may be called wisdom.' He asked about perfect virtue.
The Master said, 'The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be
overcome his first business, and success only a subsequent
consideration;-- this may be called perfect virtue.'
CHAP. XXI. The Master said, 'The wise find pleasure in
water; the virtuous find pleasure in hills. The wise are active;
the virtuous are tranquil. The wise are joyful; the virtuous are
CHAP. XXII. The Master said, 'Ch'i, by one change, would
come to the State of Lu. Lu, by one change, would come to a
State where true principles predominated.'
CHAP. XXIII. The Master said, 'A cornered vessel without
corners.-- A strange cornered vessel! A strange cornered
CHAP. XXIV. Tsai Wo asked, saying, 'A benevolent man,
though it be told him,-- 'There is a man in the well' will go in
after him, I suppose.' Confucius said, 'Why should he do so?' A
man may be made to go to the well, but he cannot be made to
go down into it. He may be imposed upon, but he cannot be
CHAP. XXV. The Master said, 'The superior man,
extensively studying all learning, and keeping himself under
the restraint of the rules of propriety, may thus likewise not
overstep what is right.'
CHAP. XXVI. The Master having visited Nan-tsze, Tsze-lu
was displeased, on which the Master swore, saying, 'Wherein I
have done improperly, may Heaven reject me, may Heaven
CHAP. XXVII. The Master said, 'Perfect is the virtue which
according to the Constant Mean! Rare for a long time has been
its practise among the people.'
CHAP. XXVIII. 1. Tsze-kung said, 'Suppose the case of a
man extensively conferring benefits on the people, and able to
assist all, what would you say of him? Might he be called
perfectly virtuous?' The Master said, 'Why speak only of virtue
in connexion with him? Must he not have the qualities of a
sage? Even Yao and Shun were still solicitous about this.
2. 'Now the man of perfect virtue, wishing to be
established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to
be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others.
3. 'To be able to judge of others by what is nigh in
ourselves;-- this may be called the art of virtue.'
BOOK VII. SHU R.
CHAP. I. The Master said, 'A transmitter and not a maker,
believing in and loving the ancients, I venture to compare
myself with our old P'ang.'
CHAP. II. The Master said, 'The silent treasuring up of
knowledge; learning without satiety; and instructing others
without being wearied:-- which one of these things belongs to
CHAP. III. The Master said, 'The leaving virtue without
proper cultivation; the not thoroughly discussing what is
learned; not being able to move towards righteousness of which
a knowledge is gained; and not being able to change what is not
good:-- these are the things which occasion me solicitude.'
CHAP. IV. When the Master was unoccupied with
business, his manner was easy, and he looked pleased.
CHAP. V. The Master said, 'Extreme is my decay. For a
long time, I have not dreamed, as I was wont to do, that I saw
the duke of Chau.'
CHAP. VI. 1. The Master said, 'Let the will be set on the
path of duty.
2. 'Let every attainment in what is good be firmly
3. 'Let perfect virtue be accorded with.
4. 'Let relaxation and enjoyment be found in the polite
CHAP. VII. The Master said, 'From the man bringing his
bundle of dried flesh for my teaching upwards, I have never
refused instruction to any one.'
CHAP. VIII. The Master said, 'I do not open up the truth
to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one
who is not anxious to explain himself. When I have presented
one corner of a subject to any one, and he cannot from it learn
the other three, I do not repeat my lesson.'
CHAP. IX. 1. When the Master was eating by the side of a
mourner, he never ate to the full.
2. He did not sing on the same day in which he had been
CHAP. X. 1. The Master said to Yen Yuan, 'When called to
office, to undertake its duties; when not so called, to lie
retired;-- it is only I and you who have attained to this.'
2. Tsze-lu said, 'If you had the conduct of the armies of a
great State, whom would you have to act with you?'
3. The Master said, 'I would not have him to act with me,
who will unarmed attack a tiger, or cross a river without a
boat, dying without any regret. My associate must be the man
who proceeds to action full of solicitude, who is fond of
adjusting his plans, and then carries them into execution.'
CHAP. XI. The Master said, 'If the search for riches is sure
to be successful, though I should become a groom with whip in
hand to get them, I will do so. As the search may not be
successful, I will follow after that which I love.'
CHAP. XII. The things in reference to which the Master
exercised the greatest caution were -- fasting, war, and
CHAP. XIII. When the Master was in Ch'i, he heard the
Shao, and for three months did not know the taste of flesh. 'I
did not think'' he said, 'that music could have been made so
excellent as this.'
CHAP. XIV. 1. Yen Yu said, 'Is our Master for the ruler of
Wei?' Tsze-kung said, 'Oh! I will ask him.'
2. He went in accordingly, and said, 'What sort of men
were Po-i and Shu-ch'i?' 'They were ancient worthies,' said the
Master. 'Did they have any repinings because of their course?'
The Master again replied, 'They sought to act virtuously, and
they did so; what was there for them to repine about?' On this,
Tsze-kung went out and said, 'Our Master is not for him.'
CHAP. XV. The Master said, 'With coarse rice to eat, with
water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow;-- I have still
joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honours acquired
by unrighteousness, are to me as a floating cloud.'
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'If some years were added to
my life, I would give fifty to the study of the Yi, and then I
might come to be without great faults.'
CHAP. XVII The Master's frequent themes of discourse
were-- the Odes, the History, and the maintenance of the Rules
of Propriety. On all these he frequently discoursed.
CHAP. XVIII. 1. The Duke of Sheh asked Tsze-lu about
Confucius, and Tsze-lu did not answer him.
2. The Master said, 'Why did you not say to him,-- He is
simply a man, who in his eager pursuit (of knowledge) forgets
his food, who in the joy of its attainment forgets his sorrows,
and who does not perceive that old age is coming on?'
CHAP. XIX. The Master said, 'I am not one who was born
in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of
antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.'
CHAP. XX. The subjects on which the Master did not talk,
were-- extraordinary things, feats of strength, disorder, and
CHAP. XXI. The Master said, 'When I walk along with two
others, they may serve me as my teachers. I will select their
good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid
CHAP. XXII. The Master said, 'Heaven produced the virtue
that is in me. Hwan T'ui-- what can he do to me?'
CHAP. XXIII. The Master said, 'Do you think, my disciples,
that I have any concealments? I conceal nothing from you.
There is nothing which I do that is not shown to you, my
disciples;-- that is my way.'
CHAP. XXIV. There were four things which the Master
taught,-- letters, ethics, devotion of soul, and truthfulness.
CHAP. XXV. 1. The Master said, 'A sage it is not mine to
see; could I see a man of real talent and virtue, that would
2. The Master said, 'A good man it is not mine to see;
could I see a man possessed of constancy, that would satisfy
3. 'Having not and yet affecting to have, empty and yet
affecting to be full, straitened and yet affecting to be at ease:--
it is difficult with such characteristics to have constancy.'
CHAP. XXVI. The Master angled,-- but did not use a net.
He shot,-- but not at birds perching.
CHAP. XXVII. The Master said, 'There may be those who
act without knowing why. I do not do so. Hearing much and
selecting what is good and following it; seeing much and
keeping it in memory:-- this is the second style of knowledge.'
CHAP. XXVIII. 1. It was difficult to talk (profitably and
reputably) with the people of Hu-hsiang, and a lad of that place
having had an interview with the Master, the disciples
2. The Master said, 'I admit people's approach to me
without committing myself as to what they may do when they
have retired. Why must one be so severe? If a man purify
himself to wait upon me, I receive him so purified, without
guaranteeing his past conduct.'
CHAP. XXIX. The Master said, 'Is virtue a thing remote? I
wish to be virtuous, and lo! virtue is at hand.'
CHAP. XXX. 1. The minister of crime of Ch'an asked
whether the duke Chao knew propriety, and Confucius said, 'He
2. Confucius having retired, the minister bowed to Wu-
to come forward, and said, 'I have heard that the superior man
is not a partisan. May the superior man be a partisan also? The
prince married a daughter of the house of Wu, of the same
surname with himself, and called her,-- "The elder Tsze of Wu."
If the prince knew propriety, who does not know it?'
3. Wu-ma Ch'i reported these remarks, and the Master
said, 'I am fortunate! If I have any errors, people are sure to
CHAP. XXXI. When the Master was in company with a
person who was singing, if he sang well, he would make him
repeat the song, while he accompanied it with his own voice.
CHAP. XXXII. The Master said, 'In letters I am perhaps
equal to other men, but the character of the superior man,
carrying out in his conduct what he professes, is what I have
not yet attained to.'
CHAP. XXXIII. The Master said, 'The sage and the man of
perfect virtue;-- how dare I rank myself with them? It may
simply be said of me, that I strive to become such without
satiety, and teach others without weariness.' Kung-hsi Hwa
said, 'This is just what we, the disciples, cannot imitate you in.'
CHAP. XXXIV. The Master being very sick, Tsze-lu asked
leave to pray for him. He said, 'May such a thing be done?'
Tsze-lu replied, 'It may. In the Eulogies it is said, "Prayer has
been made for thee to the spirits of the upper and lower
worlds."' The Master said, 'My praying has been for a long
CHAP. XXXV. The Master said, 'Extravagance leads to
insubordination, and parsimony to meanness. It is better to be
mean than to be insubordinate.'
CHAP. XXXVI. The Master said, 'The superior man is
satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of
CHAP. XXXVII. The Master was mild, and yet dignified;
majestic, and yet not fierce; respectful, and yet easy.
BOOK VIII. T'AI-PO.
CHAP. I. The Master said, 'T'ai-po may be said to have
reached the highest point of virtuous action. Thrice he declined
the kingdom, and the people in ignorance of his motives could
not express their approbation of his conduct.'
CHAP. II. 1. The Master said, 'Respectfulness, without the
rules of propriety, becomes laborious bustle; carefulness,
without the rules of propriety, becomes timidity; boldness,
without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination;
straightforwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes
2. 'When those who are in high stations perform well all
their duties to their relations, the people are aroused to virtue.
When old friends are not neglected by them, the people are
preserved from meanness.'
CHAP. III. The philosopher Tsang being ill, he called to
him the disciples of his school, and said, 'Uncover my feet,
uncover my hands. It is said in the Book of Poetry, "We should
be apprehensive and cautious, as if on the brink of a deep gulf,
as if treading on thin ice," and so have I been. Now and
hereafter, I know my escape from all injury to my person, O ye,
my little children.'
CHAP. IV. 1. The philosopher Tsang being ill, Meng Chang
went to ask how he was.
2. Tsang said to him, 'When a bird is about to die, its
notes are mournful; when a man is about to die, his words are
3. 'There are three principles of conduct which the man of
high rank should consider specially important:-- that in his
deportment and manner he keep from violence and
heedlessness; that in regulating his countenance he keep near
to sincerity; and that in his words and tones he keep far from
lowness and impropriety. As to such matters as attending to
the sacrificial vessels, there are the proper officers for them.'
CHAP. V. The philosopher Tsang said, 'Gifted with ability,
and yet putting questions to those who were not so; possessed
of much, and yet putting questions to those possessed of little;
having, as though he had not; full, and yet counting himself as
empty; offended against, and yet entering into no altercation;
formerly I had a friend who pursued this style of conduct.'
CHAP. VI. The philosopher Tsang said, 'Suppose that there
is an individual who can be entrusted with the charge of a
young orphan prince, and can be commissioned with authority
over a state of a hundred li, and whom no emergency however
great can drive from his principles:-- is such a man a superior
man? He is a superior man indeed.'
CHAP. VII. 1. The philosopher Tsang said, 'The officer
may not be without breadth of mind and vigorous endurance.
His burden is heavy and his course is long.
2. 'Perfect virtue is the burden which he considers it is
his to sustain;-- is it not heavy? Only with death does his
course stop;-- is it not long?
CHAP. VIII. 1. The Master said, 'It is by the Odes that the
mind is aroused.
2. 'It is by the Rules of Propriety that the character is
3. 'It is from Music that the finish is received.'
CHAP. IX. The Master said, 'The people may be made to
follow a path of action, but they may not be made to
CHAP. X. The Master said, 'The man who is fond of daring
and is dissatisfied with poverty, will proceed to
insubordination. So will the man who is not virtuous, when you
carry your dislike of him to an extreme.'
CHAP. XI. The Master said, 'Though a man have abilities
as admirable as those of the Duke of Chau, yet if he be proud
and niggardly, those other things are really not worth being
CHAP. XII. The Master said, 'It is not easy to find a man
who has learned for three years without coming to be good.'
CHAP. XIII. 1. The Master said, 'With sincere faith he
unites the love of learning; holding firm to death, he is
perfecting the excellence of his course.
2. 'Such an one will not enter a tottering State, nor dwell
in a disorganized one. When right principles of government
prevail in the kingdom, he will show himself; when they are
prostrated, he will keep concealed.
3. 'When a country is well-governed, poverty and a mean
condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill-
governed, riches and honour are things to be ashamed of.'
CHAP. XIV. The Master said, 'He who is not in any
particular office, has nothing to do with plans for the
administration of its duties.'
CHAP. XV. The Master said, 'When the music master Chih
first entered on his office, the finish of the Kwan Tsu was
magnificent;-- how it filled the ears!'
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'Ardent and yet not upright;
stupid and yet not attentive; simple and yet not sincere:-- such
persons I do not understand.'
CHAP. XVII. The Master said, 'Learn as if you could not
reach your object, and were always fearing also lest you should
CHAP. XVIII. The Master said, 'How majestic was the
manner in which Shun and Yu held possession of the empire, as
if it were nothing to them!'
CHAP. XIX. 1. The Master said, 'Great indeed was Yao as a
sovereign! How majestic was he! It is only Heaven that is
grand, and only Yao corresponded to it. How vast was his
virtue! The people could find no name for it.
2. 'How majestic was he in the works which he
accomplished! How glorious in the elegant regulations which he
CHAP. XX. 1. Shun had five ministers, and the empire was
2. King Wu said, 'I have ten able ministers.'
3. Confucius said, 'Is not the saying that talents are
difficult to find, true? Only when the dynasties of T'ang and Yu
met, were they more abundant than in this of Chau, yet there
was a woman among them. The able ministers were no more
than nine men.
4. 'King Wan possessed two of the three parts of the
empire, and with those he served the dynasty of Yin. The
virtue of the house of Chau may be said to have reached the
highest point indeed.'
CHAP. XXI. The Master said, 'I can find no flaw in the
character of Yu. He used himself coarse food and drink, but
displayed the utmost filial piety towards the spirits. His
ordinary garments were poor, but he displayed the utmost
elegance in his sacrificial cap and apron. He lived in a low mean
house, but expended all his strength on the ditches and water-
channels. I can find nothing like a flaw in Yu.'
BOOK IX. TSZE HAN.
CHAP. I. The subjects of which the Master seldom spoke
were-- profitableness, and also the appointments of Heaven,
and perfect virtue.
CHAP. II. 1. A man of the village of Ta-hsiang said, 'Great
indeed is the philosopher K'ung! His learning is extensive, and
yet he does not render his name famous by any particular
2. The Master heard the observation, and said to his
disciples, 'What shall I practise? Shall I practise charioteering,
or shall I practise archery? I will practise charioteering.'
CHAP. III. 1. The Master said, 'The linen cap is that
prescribed by the rules of ceremony, but now a silk one is
worn. It is economical, and I follow the common practice.
2. 'The rules of ceremony prescribe the bowing below the
hall, but now the practice is to bow only after ascending it. That
is arrogant. I continue to bow below the hall, though I oppose
the common practice.'
CHAP. IV. There were four things from which the Master
was entirely free. He had no foregone conclusions, no arbitrary
predeterminations, no obstinacy, and no egoism.
CHAP. V. 1. The Master was put in fear in K'wang.
2. He said, 'After the death of King Wan, was not the
cause of truth lodged here in me?
3. 'If Heaven had wished to let this cause of truth perish,
then I, a future mortal, should not have got such a relation to
that cause. While Heaven does not let the cause of truth perish,
what can the people of K'wang do to me?'
CHAP. VI. 1. A high officer asked Tsze-kung, saying, 'May
we not say that your Master is a sage? How various is his
2. Tsze-kung said, 'Certainly Heaven has endowed him
unlimitedly. He is about a sage. And, moreover, his ability is
3. The Master heard of the conversation and said, 'Does
the high officer know me? When I was young, my condition
was low, and therefore I acquired my ability in many things,
but they were mean matters. Must the superior man have such
variety of ability? He does not need variety of ability.'
4. Lao said, 'The Master said, "Having no official
employment, I acquired many arts."'
CHAP. VII. The Master said, 'Am I indeed possessed of
knowledge? I am not knowing. But if a mean person, who
appears quite empty-like, ask anything of me, I set it forth
from one end to the other, and exhaust it.'
CHAP. VIII. The Master said, 'The FANG bird does not
come; the river sends forth no map:-- it is all over with me!'
CHAP. IX. When the Master saw a person in a mourning
dress, or any one with the cap and upper and lower garments
of full dress, or a blind person, on observing them approaching,
though they were younger than himself, he would rise up, and
if he had to pass by them, he would do so hastily.
CHAP. X. 1. Yen Yuan, in admiration of the Master's
doctrines, sighed and said, 'I looked up to them, and they
seemed to become more high; I tried to penetrate them, and
they seemed to become more firm; I looked at them before me,
and suddenly they seemed to be behind.
2. 'The Master, by orderly method, skilfully leads men on.
He enlarged my mind with learning, and taught me the
restraints of propriety.
3. 'When I wish to give over the study of his doctrines, I
cannot do so, and having exerted all my ability, there seems
something to stand right up before me; but though I wish to
follow and lay hold of it, I really find no way to do so.'
CHAP. XI. 1. The Master being very ill, Tsze-lu wished the
disciples to act as ministers to him.
2. During a remission of his illness, he said, 'Long has the
conduct of Yu been deceitful! By pretending to have ministers
when I have them not, whom should I impose upon? Should I
impose upon Heaven?
3. 'Moreover, than that I should die in the hands of
ministers, is it not better that I should die in the hands of you,
my disciples? And though I may not get a great burial, shall I
die upon the road?'
CHAP. XII. Tsze-kung said, 'There is a beautiful gem here.
Should I lay it up in a case and keep it? or should I seek for a
good price and sell it?' The Master said, 'Sell it! Sell it! But I
would wait for one to offer the price.'
CHAP. XIII. 1. The Master was wishing to go and live
among the nine wild tribes of the east.
2. Some one said, 'They are rude. How can you do such a
thing?' The Master said, 'If a superior man dwelt among them,
what rudeness would there be?'
CHAP. XIV. The Master said, 'I returned from Wei to Lu,
and then the music was reformed, and the pieces in the Royal
songs and Praise songs all found their proper places.'
CHAP. XV. The Master said, 'Abroad, to serve the high
ministers and nobles; at home, to serve one's father and elder
brothers; in all duties to the dead, not to dare not to exert one's
self; and not to be overcome of wine:-- which one of these
things do I attain to?'
CHAP. XVI. The Master standing by a stream, said, 'It
passes on just like this, not ceasing day or night!'
CHAP. XVII. The Master said, 'I have not seen one who
loves virtue as he loves beauty.'
CHAP. XVIII. The Master said, 'The prosecution of
learning may be compared to what may happen in raising a
mound. If there want but one basket of earth to complete the
work, and I stop, the
stopping is my own work. It may be compared to throwing
down the earth on the level ground. Though but one basketful
is thrown at a time, the advancing with it is my own going
CHAP. XIX. The Master said, 'Never flagging when I set
forth anything to him;-- ah! that is Hui.'
CHAP. XX. The Master said of Yen Yuan, 'Alas! I saw his
constant advance. I never saw him stop in his progress.'
CHAP. XXI. The Master said, 'There are cases in which the
blade springs, but the plant does not go on to flower! There are
cases where it flowers, but no fruit is subsequently produced!'
CHAP. XXII. The Master said, 'A youth is to be regarded
with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal
to our present? If he reach the age of forty or fifty, and has not
made himself heard of, then indeed he will not be worth being
regarded with respect.'
CHAP. XXV. The Master said, 'Can men refuse to assent to
the words of strict admonition? But it is reforming the conduct
because of them which is valuable. Can men refuse to be
pleased with words of gentle advice? But it is unfolding their
aim which is valuable. If a man be pleased with these words,
but does not unfold their aim, and assents to those, but does
not reform his conduct, I can really do nothing with him.'
CHAP. XXIV. The Master said, 'Hold faithfulness and
sincerity as first principles. Have no friends not equal to
yourself. When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.'
CHAP. XXV. The Master said, 'The commander of the
forces of a large state may be carried off, but the will of even a
common man cannot be taken from him.'
CHAP. XXVI. 1. The Master said, 'Dressed himself in a
tattered robe quilted with hemp, yet standing by the side of
men dressed in furs, and not ashamed;-- ah! it is Yu who is
equal to this!
2. '"He dislikes none, he covets nothing;-- what can he do
but what is good!"'
3. Tsze-lu kept continually repeating these words of the
ode, when the Master said, 'Those things are by no means
sufficient to constitute (perfect) excellence.'
CHAP. XXVII. The Master said, 'When the year becomes
cold, then we know how the pine and the cypress are the last
to lose their leaves.'
CHAP. XXVIII. The Master said, 'The wise are free from
perplexities; the virtuous from anxiety; and the bold from fear.'
CHAP. XXIX. The Master said, 'There are some with whom
we may study in common, but we shall find them unable to go
with us to principles. Perhaps we may go on with them to
principles, but we shall find them unable to get established in
those along with us. Or if we may get so established along with
them, we shall find them unable to weigh occurring events
along with us.'
CHAP. XXX. 1. How the flowers of the aspen-plum flutter
and turn! Do I not think of you? But your house is distant.
2. The Master said, 'It is the want of thought about it.
How is it distant?'
BOOK X. HEANG TANG.
CHAP. I. 1. Confucius, in his village, looked simple and
sincere, and as if he were not able to speak.
2. When he was in the prince's ancestorial temple, or in
the court, he spoke minutely on every point, but cautiously.
CHAP II. 1. When he was waiting at court, in speaking
with the great officers of the lower grade, he spake freely, but
in a straightforward manner; in speaking with those of the
higher grade, he did so blandly, but precisely.
2. When the ruler was present, his manner displayed
respectful uneasiness; it was grave, but self-possessed.
CHAP. III. 1. When the prince called him to employ him
in the reception of a visitor, his countenance appeared to
change, and his legs to move forward with difficulty.
2. He inclined himself to the other officers among whom
he stood, moving his left or right arm, as their position
required, but keeping the skirts of his robe before and behind
3. He hastened forward, with his arms like the wings of a
4. When the guest had retired, he would report to the
prince, 'The visitor is not turning round any more.'
CHAP. IV. 1. When he entered the palace gate, he seemed
to bend his body, as if it were not sufficient to admit him.
2. When he was standing, he did not occupy the middle of
the gate-way; when he passed in or out, he did not tread upon
3. When he was passing the vacant place of the prince,
his countenance appeared to change, and his legs to bend under
him, and his words came as if he hardly had breath to utter
4. He ascended the reception hall, holding up his robe
with both his hands, and his body bent; holding in his breath
also, as if he dared not breathe.
5. When he came out from the audience, as soon as he
had descended one step, he began to relax his countenance, and
had a satisfied look. When he had got to the bottom of the
steps, he advanced rapidly to his place, with his arms like
wings, and on occupying it, his manner still showed respectful
CHAP. V. 1. When he was carrying the scepter of his
ruler, he seemed to bend his body, as if he were not able to
bear its weight. He did not hold it higher than the position of
the hands in making
a bow, nor lower than their position in giving anything to
another. His countenance seemed to change, and look
apprehensive, and he dragged his feet along as if they were
held by something to the ground.
2. In presenting the presents with which he was charged,
he wore a placid appearance.
3. At his private audience, he looked highly pleased.
CHAP. VI. 1. The superior man did not use a deep purple,
or a puce colour, in the ornaments of his dress.
2. Even in his undress, he did not wear anything of a red
or reddish colour.
3. In warm weather, he had a single garment either of
coarse or fine texture, but he wore it displayed over an inner
4. Over lamb's fur he wore a garment of black; over
fawn's fur one of white; and over fox's fur one of yellow.
5. The fur robe of his undress was long, with the right
6. He required his sleeping dress to be half as long again
as his body.
7. When staying at home, he used thick furs of the fox or
8. When he put off mourning, he wore all the appendages
of the girdle.
9. His under-garment, except when it was required to be
of the curtain shape, was made of silk cut narrow above and
10. He did not wear lamb's fur or a black cap, on a visit of
11. On the first day of the month he put on his court
robes, and presented himself at court.
CHAP. VII. 1. When fasting, he thought it necessary to
have his clothes brightly clean and made of linen cloth.
2. When fasting, he thought it necessary to change his
food, and also to change the place where he commonly sat in
CHAP. VIII. 1. He did not dislike to have his rice finely
cleaned, nor to have his minced meat cut quite small.
2. He did not eat rice which had been injured by heat or
damp and turned sour, nor fish or flesh which was gone. He did
not eat what was discoloured, or what was of a bad flavour, nor
anything which was ill-cooked, or was not in season.
3. He did not eat meat which was not cut properly, nor
what was served without its proper sauce.
4. Though there might be a large quantity of meat, he
would not allow what he took to exceed the due proportion for
the rice. It was only in wine that he laid down no limit for
himself, but he did not allow himself to be confused by it.
5. He did not partake of wine and dried meat bought in
6. He was never without ginger when he ate.
7. He did not eat much.
8. When he had been assisting at the prince's sacrifice, he
did not keep the flesh which he received overnight. The flesh
of his family sacrifice he did not keep over three days. If kept
over three days, people could not eat it.
9. When eating, he did not converse. When in bed, he did
10. Although his food might be coarse rice and vegetable
soup, he would offer a little of it in sacrifice with a grave,
CHAP. IX. If his mat was not straight, he did not sit on it.
CHAP. X. 1. When the villagers were drinking together, on
those who carried staffs going out, he went out immediately
2. When the villagers were going through their
ceremonies to drive away pestilential influences, he put on his
court robes and stood on the eastern steps.
CHAP. XI. 1. When he was sending complimentary
inquiries to any one in another State, he bowed twice as he
escorted the messenger away.
2. Chi K'ang having sent him a present of physic, he
bowed and received it, saying, 'I do not know it. I dare not
CHAP. XII. The stable being burned down, when he was
at court, on his return he said, 'Has any man been hurt?' He did
not ask about the horses.
CHAP. XIII. 1. When the prince sent him a gift of cooked
meat, he would adjust his mat, first taste it, and then give it
away to others. When the prince sent him a gift of undressed
meat, he would have it cooked, and offer it to the spirits of his
ancestors. When the prince sent him a gift of a living animal, he
would keep it alive.
2. When he was in attendance on the prince and joining
in the entertainment, the prince only sacrificed. He first tasted
3. When he was ill and the prince came to visit him, he
had his head to the east, made his court robes be spread over
him, and drew his girdle across them.
4. When the prince's order called him, without waiting for
his carriage to be yoked, he went at once.
CHAP. XIV. When he entered the ancestral temple of the
State, he asked about everything.
CHAP. XV. 1. When any of his friends died, if he had no
relations who could be depended on for the necessary offices,
he would say, 'I will bury him.'
2. When a friend sent him a present, though it might be a
carriage and horses, he did not bow.
3. The only present for which he bowed was that of the
flesh of sacrifice.
CHAP. XVI. 1. In bed, he did not lie like a corpse. At
home, he did not put on any formal deportment.
2. When he saw any one in a mourning dress, though it
might be an acquaintance, he would change countenance; when
he saw any one wearing the cap of full dress, or a blind person,
though he might be in his undress, he would salute them in a
3. To any person in mourning he bowed forward to the
crossbar of his carriage; he bowed in the same way to any one
bearing the tables of population.
4. When he was at an entertainment where there was an
abundance of provisions set before him, he would change
countenance and rise up.
5. On a sudden clap of thunder, or a violent wind, he
would change countenance.
CHAP. XVII. 1. When he was about to mount his carriage,
he would stand straight, holding the cord.
2. When he was in the carriage, he did not turn his head
quite round, he did not talk hastily, he did not point with his
CHAP. XVIII. 1. Seeing the countenance, it instantly rises.
It flies round, and by and by settles.
2. The Master said, 'There is the hen-pheasant on the hill
bridge. At its season! At its season!' Tsze-lu made a motion to
it. Thrice it smelt him and then rose.
BOOK XI. HSIEN TSIN.
CHAP. I. 1. The Master said, 'The men of former times, in
the matters of ceremonies and music were rustics, it is said,
while the men of these latter times, in ceremonies and music,
are accomplished gentlemen.
2. 'If I have occasion to use those things, I follow the men
of former times.'
CHAP. II. 1. The Master said, 'Of those who were with me
in Ch'an and Ts'ai, there are none to be found to enter my door.'
2. Distinguished for their virtuous principles and practice,
there were Yen Yuan, Min Tsze-ch'ien, Zan Po-niu, and Chung-
kung; for their ability in speech, Tsai Wo and Tsze-kung; for
trative talents, Zan Yu and Chi Lu; for their literary
acquirements, Tsze-yu and Tsze-hsia.
CHAP. III. The Master said, 'Hui gives me no assistance.
There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight.'
CHAP. IV. The Master said, 'Filial indeed is Min Tsze-
ch'ien! Other people say nothing of him different from the
report of his parents and brothers.'
CHAP. V. Nan Yung was frequently repeating the lines
about a white scepter stone. Confucius gave him the daughter
of his elder brother to wife.
CHAP. VI. Chi K'ang asked which of the disciples loved to
learn. Confucius replied to him, 'There was Yen Hui; he loved to
learn. Unfortunately his appointed time was short, and he died.
Now there is no one who loves to learn, as he did.'
CHAP. VII. 1. When Yen Yuan died, Yen Lu begged the
carriage of the Master to sell and get an outer shell for his son's
2. The Master said, 'Every one calls his son his son,
whether he has talents or has not talents. There was Li; when
he died, he had a coffin but no outer shell. I would not walk on
foot to get a shell for him, because, having followed in the rear
of the great officers, it was not proper that I should walk on
CHAP. VIII. When Yen Yuan died, the Master said, 'Alas!
Heaven is destroying me! Heaven is destroying me!'
CHAP. IX. 1. When Yen Yuan died, the Master bewailed
him exceedingly, and the disciples who were with him said,
'Master, your grief is excessive?'
2. 'Is it excessive?' said he.
3. 'If I am not to mourn bitterly for this man, for whom
should I mourn?'
CHAP. X. 1. When Yen Yuan died, the disciples wished to
give him a great funeral, and the Master said, 'You may not do
2. The disciples did bury him in great style.
3. The Master said, 'Hui behaved towards me as his
father. I have not been able to treat him as my son. The fault is
not mine; it belongs to you, O disciples.'
CHAP. XI. Chi Lu asked about serving the spirits of the
dead. The Master said, 'While you are not able to serve men,
how can you serve their spirits?' Chi Lu added, 'I venture to
death?' He was answered, 'While you do not know life, how can
you know about death?'
CHAP. XII. 1. The disciple Min was standing by his side,
looking bland and precise; Tsze-lu, looking bold and soldierly;
Zan Yu and Tsze-kung, with a free and straightforward manner.
The Master was pleased.
2. He said, 'Yu, there!-- he will not die a natural death.'
CHAP. XIII. 1. Some parties in Lu were going to take
down and rebuild the Long Treasury.
2. Min Tsze-ch'ien said, 'Suppose it were to be repaired
after its old style;-- why must it be altered and made anew?'
3. The Master said, 'This man seldom speaks; when he
does, he is sure to hit the point.'
CHAP. XIV. 1. The Master said, 'What has the lute of Yu to
do in my door?'
2. The other disciples began not to respect Tsze-lu. The
Master said, 'Yu has ascended to the hall, though he has not yet
passed into the inner apartments.'
CHAP. XV. 1. Tsze-kung asked which of the two, Shih or
Shang, was the superior. The Master said, 'Shih goes beyond the
due mean, and Shang does not come up to it.'
2. 'Then,' said Tsze-kung, 'the superiority is with Shih, I
3. The Master said, 'To go beyond is as wrong as to fall
CHAP. XVI. 1. The head of the Chi family was richer than
the duke of Chau had been, and yet Ch'iu collected his imposts
for him, and increased his wealth.
2. The Master said, 'He is no disciple of mine. My little
children, beat the drum and assail him.'
CHAP. XVII. 1. Ch'ai is simple.
2. Shan is dull.
3. Shih is specious.
4. Yu is coarse.
CHAP. XVIII. 1. The Master said, 'There is Hui! He has
nearly attained to perfect virtue. He is often in want.
2. 'Ts'ze does not acquiesce in the appointments of
Heaven, and his goods are increased by him. Yet his judgments
are often correct.'
CHAP. XIX. Tsze-chang asked what were the
the GOOD man. The Master said, 'He does not tread in the
footsteps of others, but moreover, he does not enter the
chamber of the sage.'
CHAP. XX. The Master said, 'If, because a man's discourse
appears solid and sincere, we allow him to be a good man, is he
really a superior man? or is his gravity only in appearance?'
CHAP. XXI. Tsze-lu asked whether he should immediately
carry into practice what he heard. The Master said, 'There are
your father and elder brothers to be consulted;-- why should
you act on that principle of immediately carrying into practice
what you hear?' Zan Yu asked the same, whether he should
immediately carry into practice what he heard, and the Master
answered, 'Immediately carry into practice what you hear.'
Kung-hsi Hwa said, 'Yu asked whether he should carry
immediately into practice what he heard, and you said, "There
are your father and elder brothers to be consulted." Ch'iu asked
whether he should immediately carry into practice what he
heard, and you said, "Carry it immediately into practice." I,
Ch'ih, am perplexed, and venture to ask you for an explanation.'
The Master said, 'Ch'iu is retiring and slow; therefore,
I urged him forward. Yu has more than his own share of
energy; therefore I kept him back.'
CHAP. XXII. The Master was put in fear in K'wang and
Yen Yuan fell behind. The Master, on his rejoining him, said, 'I
thought you had died.' Hui replied, 'While you were alive, how
should I presume to die?'
CHAP. XXIII. 1. Chi Tsze-zan asked whether Chung Yu and
Zan Ch'iu could be called great ministers.
2. The Master said, 'I thought you would ask about some
extraordinary individuals, and you only ask about Yu and Ch'iu!
3. 'What is called a great minister, is one who serves his
prince according to what is right, and when he finds he cannot
do so, retires.
4. 'Now, as to Yu and Ch'iu, they may be called ordinary
5. Tsze-zan said, 'Then they will always follow their
chief;-- will they?'
6. The Master said, 'In an act of parricide or regicide, they
would not follow him.'
CHAP. XXIV. 1. Tsze-lu got Tsze-kao appointed governor
2. The Master said, 'You are injuring a man's son.'
3. Tsze-lu said, 'There are (there) common people and
officers; there are the altars of the spirits of the land and grain.
Why must one read books before he can be considered to have
4. The Master said, 'It is on this account that I hate your
CHAP. XXV. 1. Tsze-lu, Tsang Hsi, Zan Yu, and Kung-hsi
Hwa were sitting by the Master.
2. He said to them, 'Though I am a day or so older than
you, do not think of that.
3. 'From day to day you are saying, "We are not known."
If some ruler were to know you, what would you like to do?'
4. Tsze-lu hastily and lightly replied, 'Suppose the case of
a State of ten thousand chariots; let it be straitened between
other large States; let it be suffering from invading armies; and
to this let there be added a famine in corn and in all
vegetables:-- if I were intrusted with the government of it, in
three years' time I could make the people to be bold, and to
recognise the rules of righteous conduct.' The Master smiled at
5. Turning to Yen Yu, he said, 'Ch'iu, what are your
wishes?' Ch'iu replied, 'Suppose a state of sixty or seventy li
square, or one of fifty or sixty, and let me have the government
of it;-- in three years' time, I could make plenty to abound
among the people. As to teaching them the principles of
propriety, and music, I must wait for the rise of a superior man
to do that.'
6. 'What are your wishes, Ch'ih,' said the Master next to
Kung-hsi Hwa. Ch'ih replied, 'I do not say that my ability
extends to these things, but I should wish to learn them. At the
services of the ancestral temple, and at the audiences of the
princes with the sovereign, I should like, dressed in the dark
square-made robe and the black linen cap, to act as a small
7. Last of all, the Master asked Tsang Hsi, 'Tien, what are
your wishes?' Tien, pausing as he was playing on his lute, while
it was yet twanging, laid the instrument aside, and rose. 'My
wishes,' he said, 'are different from the cherished purposes of
these three gentlemen.' 'What harm is there in that?' said the
Master; 'do you also, as well as they, speak out your wishes.'
Tien then said, 'In this, the last month of spring, with the dress
of the season all complete, along with five or six young men
who have assumed the cap, and six or seven boys, I would
wash in the I, enjoy the breeze among the rain altars, and
return home singing.' The Master heaved a sigh and said, 'I
give my approval to Tien.'
8. The three others having gone out, Tsang Hsi remained
behind, and said, 'What do you think of the words of these
three friends?' The Master replied, 'They simply told each one
9. Hsi pursued, 'Master, why did you smile at Yu?'
10. He was answered, 'The management of a State
demands the rules of propriety. His words were not humble;
therefore I smiled at him.'
11. Hsi again said, 'But was it not a State which Ch'iu
proposed for himself?' The reply was, 'Yes; did you ever see a
territory of sixty or seventy li or one of fifty or sixty, which
was not a State?'
12. Once more, Hsi inquired, 'And was it not a State which
Ch'ih proposed for himself?' The Master again replied, 'Yes; who
but princes have to do with ancestral temples, and with
audiences but the sovereign? If Ch'ih were to be a small
assistant in these services, who could be a great one?
BOOK XII. YEN YUAN.
CHAP. I. 1. Yen Yuan asked about perfect virtue. The
Master said, 'To subdue one's self and return to propriety, is
perfect virtue. If a man can for one day subdue himself and
return to propriety, all under heaven will ascribe perfect virtue
to him. Is the practice of perfect virtue from a man himself, or
is it from others?'
2. Yen Yuan said, 'I beg to ask the steps of that process.'
The Master replied, 'Look not at what is contrary to propriety;
listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is
contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to
propriety.' Yen Yuan then said, 'Though I am deficient in
intelligence and vigour, I will make it my business to practise
CHAP. II. Chung-kung asked about perfect virtue. The
Master said, 'It is, when you go abroad, to behave to every one
as if you were receiving a great guest; to employ the people as
if you were assisting at a great sacrifice; not to do to others as
you would not wish done to yourself; to have no murmuring
against you in the country, and none in the family.' Chung-kung
said, 'Though I am deficient in intelligence and vigour, I will
make it my business to practise this lesson.'
CHAP. III. 1. Sze-ma Niu asked about perfect virtue.
2. The Master said, 'The man of perfect virtue is cautious
and slow in his speech.'
3. 'Cautious and slow in his speech!' said Niu;-- 'is this
what is meant by perfect virtue?' The Master said, 'When a
man feels the difficulty of doing, can he be other than cautious
and slow in speaking?'
CHAP. IV. 1. Sze-ma Niu asked about the superior man.
The Master said, 'The superior man has neither anxiety nor
2. 'Being without anxiety or fear!' said Nui;-- 'does this
constitute what we call the superior man?'
3. The Master said, 'When internal examination discovers
nothing wrong, what is there to be anxious about, what is there
CHAP. V. 1. Sze-ma Niu, full of anxiety, said, 'Other men
all have their brothers, I only have not.'
2. Tsze-hsia said to him, 'There is the following saying
which I have heard:--
3. '"Death and life have their determined appointment;
riches and honours depend upon Heaven."
4. 'Let the superior man never fail reverentially to order
his own conduct, and let him be respectful to others and
observant of propriety:-- then all within the four seas will be
his brothers. What has the superior man to do with being
distressed because he has no brothers?'
CHAP. VI. Tsze-chang asked what constituted intelligence.
The Master said, 'He with whom neither slander that gradually
soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in
the flesh, are successful, may be called intelligent indeed. Yea,
he with whom neither soaking slander, nor startling
statements, are successful, may be called farseeing.'
CHAP. VII. 1. Tsze-kung asked about government. The
Master said, 'The requisites of government are that there be
sufficiency of food, sufficiency of military equipment, and the
confidence of the people in their ruler.'
2. Tsze-kung said, 'If it cannot be helped, and one of
these must be dispensed with, which of the three should be
foregone first?' 'The military equipment,' said the Master.
3. Tsze-kung again asked, 'If it cannot be helped, and one
of the remaining two must be dispensed with, which of them
should be foregone?' The Master answered, 'Part with the food.
From of old, death has been the lot of all men; but if the people
have no faith in their rulers, there is no standing for the state.'
CHAP. VIII. 1. Chi Tsze-ch'ang said, 'In a superior man it
is only the substantial qualities which are wanted;-- why
should we seek for ornamental accomplishments?'
虎豹之(kuo4, 革+享、與鞹同)、猶犬羊之(kuo4, 革+享、與鞹同)。
2. Tsze-kung said, 'Alas! Your words, sir, show you to be a
superior man, but four horses cannot overtake the tongue.
3. Ornament is as substance; substance is as ornament.
The hide of a tiger or a leopard stripped of its hair, is like the
hide of a dog or a goat stripped of its hair.'
CHAP. IX. 1. The Duke Ai inquired of Yu Zo, saying, 'The
year is one of scarcity, and the returns for expenditure are not
sufficient;-- what is to be done?'
2. Yu Zo replied to him, 'Why not simply tithe the
3. 'With two tenths, said the duke, 'I find it not enough;--
how could I do with that system of one tenth?'
4. Yu Zo answered, 'If the people have plenty, their prince
will not be left to want alone. If the people are in want, their
prince cannot enjoy plenty alone.'
CHAP. X. 1. Tsze-chang having asked how virtue was to
be exalted, and delusions to be discovered, the Master said,
'Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles, and be
moving continually to what is right;-- this is the way to exalt
2. 'You love a man and wish him to live; you hate him and
wish him to die. Having wished him to live, you also wish him
to die. This is a case of delusion.
3. '"It may not be on account of her being rich, yet you
come to make a difference."'
CHAP. XI. 1. The Duke Ching, of Ch'i, asked Confucius
2. Confucius replied, 'There is government, when the
prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father
is father, and the son is son.'
3. 'Good!' said the duke; 'if, indeed; the prince be not
prince, the minister not minister, the father not father, and the
son not son, although I have my revenue, can I enjoy it?'
CHAP. XII. 1. The Master said, 'Ah! it is Yu, who could
with half a word settle litigations!'
2. Tsze-lu never slept over a promise.
CHAP. XIII. The Master said, 'In hearing litigations, I am
like any other body. What is necessary, however, is to cause
the people to have no litigations.'
CHAP. XIV. Tsze-chang asked about government. The
Master said, 'The art of governing is to keep its affairs before
the mind without weariness, and to practise them with
CHAP. XV. The Master said, 'By extensively studying all
learning, and keeping himself under the restraint of the rules
of propriety, one may thus likewise not err from what is right.'
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'The superior man seeks to
perfect the admirable qualities of men, and does not seek to
perfect their bad qualities. The mean man does the opposite of
CHAP. XVII. Chi K'ang asked Confucius about government.
Confucius replied, 'To govern means to rectify. If you lead on
the people with correctness, who will dare not to be correct?'
CHAP. XVIII. Chi K'ang, distressed about the number of
thieves in the state, inquired of Confucius how to do away with
them. Confucius said, 'If you, sir, were not covetous, although
you should reward them to do it, they would not steal.'
CHAP. XIX. Chi K'ang asked Confucius about government,
saying, 'What do you say to killing the unprincipled for the
good of the principled?' Confucius replied, 'Sir, in carrying on
your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your
evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be
good. The relation
between superiors and inferiors, is like that between the wind
and the grass. The grass must bend, when the wind blows
CHAP. XX. 1. Tsze-chang asked, 'What must the officer be,
who may be said to be distinguished?'
2. The Master said, 'What is it you call being
3. Tsze-chang replied, 'It is to be heard of through the
State, to be heard of throughout his clan.'
4. The Master said, 'That is notoriety, not distinction.
5. 'Now the man of distinction is solid and
straightforward, and loves righteousness. He examines people's
words, and looks at their countenances. He is anxious to humble
himself to others. Such a man will be distinguished in the
country; he will be distinguished in his clan.
6. 'As to the man of notoriety, he assumes the appearance
virtue, but his actions are opposed to it, and he rests in this
character without any doubts about himself. Such a man will be
heard of in the country; he will be heard of in the clan.'
CHAP. XXI. 1. Fan Ch'ih rambling with the Master under
the trees about the rain altars, said, 'I venture to ask how to
exalt virtue, to correct cherished evil, and to discover
2. The Master said, 'Truly a good question!
3. 'If doing what is to be done be made the first business,
and success a secondary consideration;-- is not this the way to
exalt virtue? To assail one's own wickedness and not assail that
of others;-- is not this the way to correct cherished evil? For a
morning's anger to disregard one's own life, and involve that of
his parents;-- is not this a case of delusion?'
CHAP. XXII. 1. Fan Ch'ih asked about benevolence. The
Master said, 'It is to love all men.' He asked about knowledge.
The Master said, 'It is to know all men.'
2. Fan Ch'ih did not immediately understand these
3. The Master said, 'Employ the upright and put aside all
the crooked;-- in this way the crooked can be made to be
4. Fan Ch'ih retired, and, seeing Tsze-hsia, he said to him,
'A Little while ago, I had an interview with our Master, and
asked him about knowledge. He said, 'Employ the upright, and
put aside all the crooked;-- in this way, the crooked will be
made to be upright.' What did he mean?'
5. Tsze-hsia said, 'Truly rich is his saying!
6. 'Shun, being in possession of the kingdom, selected
from among all the people, and employed Kao-yao, on which all
who were devoid of virtue disappeared. T'ang, being in
possession of the kingdom, selected from among all the people,
and employed I Yin, and all who were devoid of virtue
CHAP. XXIII. Tsze-kung asked about friendship. The
Master said, 'Faithfully admonish your friend, and skillfully
lead him on. If you find him impracticable, stop. Do not
CHAP. XXIV. The philosopher Tsang said, 'The superior
man on grounds of culture meets with his friends, and by their
friendship helps his virtue.'
BOOK XIII. TSZE-LU.
CHAP. I. 1. Tsze-lu asked about government. The Master
said, 'Go before the people with your example, and be laborious
in their affairs.'
2. He requested further instruction, and was answered,
'Be not weary (in these things).'
CHAP. II. 1. Chung-kung, being chief minister to the Head
of the Chi family, asked about government. The Master said,
first the services of your various officers, pardon small faults,
and raise to office men of virtue and talents.'
2. Chung-kung said, 'How shall I know the men of virtue
and talent, so that I may raise them to office?' He was
answered, 'Raise to office those whom you know. As to those
whom you do not know, will others neglect them?'
CHAP. III. 1. Tsze-lu said, 'The ruler of Wei has been
waiting for you, in order with you to administer the
government. What will you consider the first thing to be done?'
2. The Master replied, 'What is necessary is to rectify
3. 'So, indeed!' said Tsze-lu. 'You are wide of the mark!
Why must there be such rectification?'
4. The Master said, 'How uncultivated you are, Yu! A
superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a
5. 'If names be not correct, language is not in accordance
the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the
truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
6. 'When affairs cannot be carried on to success,
proprieties and music will not flourish. When proprieties and
music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly
awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the
people do not know how to move hand or foot.
7. 'Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that
the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that
what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the
superior man requires, is just that in his words there may be
CHAP. IV. 1. Fan Ch'ih requested to be taught husbandry.
The Master said, 'I am not so good for that as an old
requested also to be taught gardening, and was answered, 'I am
not so good for that as an old gardener.'
2. Fan Ch'ih having gone out, the Master said, 'A small
man, indeed, is Fan Hsu!
3. If a superior love propriety, the people will not dare
not to be reverent. If he love righteousness, the people will not
dare not to submit to his example. If he love good faith, the
people will not dare not to be sincere. Now, when these things
obtain, the people from all quarters will come to him, bearing
their children on their backs;-- what need has he of a
knowledge of husbandry?'
CHAP. V. The Master said, 'Though a man may be able to
recite the three hundred odes, yet if, when intrusted with a
governmental charge, he knows not how to act, or if, when sent
to any quarter on a mission, he cannot give his replies
unassisted, notwithstanding the extent of his learning, of what
practical use is it?'
CHAP. VI. The Master said, 'When a prince's personal
conduct is correct, his government is effective without the
issuing of orders. If his personal conduct is not correct, he may
issue orders, but they will not be followed.'
CHAP. VII. The Master said, 'The governments of Lu and
Wei are brothers.'
CHAP. VIII. The Master said of Ching, a scion of the ducal
family of Wei, that he knew the economy of a family well.
When he began to have means, he said, 'Ha! here is a
collection!' When they were a little increased, he said, 'Ha! this
is complete!' When he had become rich, he said, 'Ha! this is
CHAP. IX. 1. When the Master went to Wei, Zan Yu acted
as driver of his carriage.
2. The Master observed, 'How numerous are the people!'
3. Yu said, 'Since they are thus numerous, what more
shall be done for them?' 'Enrich them,' was the reply.
4. 'And when they have been enriched, what more shall
be done?' The Master said, 'Teach them.'
CHAP. X. The Master said, 'If there were (any of the
princes) who would employ me, in the course of twelve
months, I should have done something considerable. In three
years, the government would be perfected.'
CHAP. XI. The Master said, '"If good men were to govern a
country in succession for a hundred years, they would be able
to transform the violently bad, and dispense with capital
punishments." True indeed is this saying!'
CHAP. XII. The Master said, 'If a truly royal ruler were to
arise, it would still require a generation, and then virtue would
CHAP. XIII. The Master said, 'If a minister make his own
conduct correct, what difficulty will he have in assisting in
government? If he cannot rectify himself, what has he to do
with rectifying others?'
CHAP. XIV. The disciple Zan returning from the court, the
Master said to him, 'How are you so late?' He replied, 'We had
government business.' The Master said, 'It must have been
family affairs. If there had been government business, though I
am not now in office, I should have been consulted about it.'
CHAP. XV. 1. The Duke Ting asked whether there was a
single sentence which could make a country prosperous.
Confucius replied, 'Such an effect cannot be expected from one
2. 'There is a saying, however, which people have-- "To
be a prince is difficult; to be a minister is not easy."
3. 'If a ruler knows this,-- the difficulty of being a
prince,-- may there not be expected from this one sentence the
prosperity of his country?'
4. The duke then said, 'Is there a single sentence which
can ruin a country?' Confucius replied, 'Such an effect as that
cannot be expected from one sentence. There is, however, the
saying which people have-- "I have no pleasure in being a
prince, but only in that no one can offer any opposition to what
5. 'If a ruler's words be good, is it not also good that no
one oppose them? But if they are not good, and no one opposes
them, may there not be expected from this one sentence the
ruin of his country?'
CHAP. XVI. 1. The Duke of Sheh asked about government.
2. The Master said, 'Good government obtains, when those
who are near are made happy, and those who are far off are
CHAP. XVII. Tsze-hsia, being governor of Chu-fu, asked
about government. The Master said, 'Do not be desirous to have
things done quickly; do not look at small advantages. Desire to
have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.
Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being
CHAP. XVIII. 1. The Duke of Sheh informed Confucius,
saying, 'Among us here there are those who may be styled
upright in their conduct. If their father have stolen a sheep,
they will bear witness to the fact.'
2. Confucius said, 'Among us, in our part of the country,
those who are upright are different from this. The father
conceals the misconduct of the son, and the son conceals the
misconduct of the father. Uprightness is to be found in this.'
CHAP. XIX. Fan Ch'ih asked about perfect virtue. The
Master said, 'It is, in retirement, to be sedately grave; in the
management of business, to be reverently attentive; in
intercourse with others, to be strictly sincere. Though a man go
among rude, uncultivated tribes, these qualities may not be
CHAP. XX. 1. Tsze-kung asked, saying, 'What qualities
must a man possess to entitle him to be called an officer? The
Master said, 'He who in his conduct of himself maintains a
sense of shame, and when sent to any quarter will not disgrace
his prince's commission, deserves to be called an officer.'
3. Tsze-kung pursued, 'I venture to ask who may be
placed in the next lower rank?' And he was told, 'He whom the
circle of his relatives pronounce to be filial, whom his fellow-
villagers and neighbours pronounce to be fraternal.'
3. Again the disciple asked, 'I venture to ask about the
class still next in order.' The Master said, 'They are determined
to be sincere in what they say, and to carry out what they do.
They are obstinate little men. Yet perhaps they may make the
4. Tsze-kung finally inquired, 'Of what sort are those of
the present day, who engage in government?' The Master said
'Pooh! they are so many pecks and hampers, not worth being
taken into account.'
CHAP. XXI. The Master said, 'Since I cannot get men
pursuing the due medium, to whom I might communicate my
instructions, I must find the ardent and the cautiously-decided.
The ardent will advance and lay hold of truth; the cautiously-
decided will keep themselves from what is wrong.'
CHAP. XXII. 1. The Master said, 'The people of the south
have a saying-- "A man without constancy cannot be either a
wizard or a doctor." Good!
2. 'Inconstant in his virtue, he will be visited with
3. The Master said, 'This arises simply from not attending
to the prognostication.'
CHAP. XXIII. The Master said, 'The superior man is
affable, but not adulatory; the mean man is adulatory, but not
CHAP. XXIV. Tsze-kung asked, saying, 'What do you say
of a man who is loved by all the people of his neighborhood?'
The Master replied, 'We may not for that accord our approval
of him.' 'And what do you say of him who is hated by all the
people of his neighborhood?' The Master said, 'We may not for
that conclude that he is bad. It is better than either of these
cases that the good in the neighborhood love him, and the bad
CHAP. XXV. The Master said, 'The superior man is easy to
serve and difficult to please. If you try to please him in any
way which is not accordant with right, he will not be pleased.
But in his
employment of men, he uses them according to their capacity.
The mean man is difficult to serve, and easy to please. If you
try to please him, though it be in a way which is not accordant
with right, he may be pleased. But in his employment of men,
he wishes them to be equal to everything.'
CHAP. XXVI. The Master said, 'The superior man has a
dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without
a dignified ease.'
CHAP. XXVII. The Master said, 'The firm, the enduring,
the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.'
CHAP. XXVIII. Tsze-lu asked, saying, 'What qualities must
a man possess to entitle him to be called a scholar?' The Master
said, 'He must be thus,-- earnest, urgent, and bland:-- among
his friends, earnest and urgent; among his brethren, bland.'
CHAP. XXIX. The Master said, 'Let a good man teach the
people seven years, and they may then likewise be employed
CHAP. XXX. The Master said, 'To lead an uninstructed
people to war, is to throw them away.'
BOOK XIV. HSIEN WAN.
CHAP. I. Hsien asked what was shameful. The Master
said, 'When good government prevails in a state, to be thinking
only of salary; and, when bad government prevails, to be
thinking, in the same way, only of salary;-- this is shameful.'
CHAP. II. 1. 'When the love of superiority, boasting,
resentments, and covetousness are repressed, this may be
deemed perfect virtue.'
2. The Master said, 'This may be regarded as the
achievement of what is difficult. But I do not know that it is to
be deemed perfect virtue.'
CHAP. III. The Master said, 'The scholar who cherishes
the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.'
CHAP. IV. The Master said, 'When good government
prevails in a state, language may be lofty and bold, and actions
the same. When bad government prevails, the actions may be
lofty and bold, but the language may be with some reserve.'
CHAP. V. The Master said, 'The virtuous will be sure to
speak correctly, but those whose speech is good may not
always be virtuous. Men of principle are sure to be bold, but
those who are bold may not always be men of principle.'
CHAP. VI. Nan-kung Kwo, submitting an inquiry to
Confucius, said, 'I was skillful at archery, and Ao could move a
boat along upon the land, but neither of them died a natural
death. Yu and Chi personally wrought at the toils of husbandry,
and they became possessors of the kingdom.' The Master made
no reply; but when Nan-kung Kwo went out, he said, 'A
superior man indeed is this! An esteemer of virtue indeed is
CHAP. VII. The Master said, 'Superior men, and yet not
always virtuous, there have been, alas! But there never has
been a mean man, and, at the same time, virtuous.'
CHAP. VIII. The Master said, 'Can there be love which
does not lead to strictness with its object? Can there be loyalty
which does not lead to the instruction of its object?'
CHAP. IX. The Master said, 'In preparing the
governmental notifications, P'i Shan first made the rough
draught; Shi-shu examined and discussed its contents; Tsze-yu,
the manager of Foreign intercourse, then polished the style;
and, finally, Tsze-ch'an of Tung-li gave it the proper elegance
CHAP. X. 1. Some one asked about Tsze-ch'an. The Master
said, 'He was a kind man.'
2. He asked about Tsze-hsi. The Master said, 'That man!
3. He asked about Kwan Chung. 'For him,' said the Master,
'the city of Pien, with three hundred families, was taken from
the chief of the Po family, who did not utter a murmuring
word, though, to the end of his life, he had only coarse rice to
CHAP. XI. The Master said, 'To be poor without
murmuring is difficult. To be rich without being proud is easy.'
CHAP. XII. The Master said, 'Mang Kung-ch'o is more than
fit to be chief officer in the families of Chao and Wei, but he is
not fit to be great officer to either of the States Tang or Hsieh.'
CHAP. XIII. 1. Tsze-lu asked what constituted a
COMPLETE man. The Master said, 'Suppose a man with the
knowledge of Tsang Wu-chung, the freedom from covetousness
of Kung-ch'o, the bravery of Chwang of Pien, and the varied
talents of Zan Ch'iu; add to these the accomplishments of the
rules of propriety and music:-- such a one might be reckoned a
2. He then added, 'But what is the necessity for a
complete man of the present day to have all these things? The
man, who in the
view of gain, thinks of righteousness; who in the view of
danger is prepared to give up his life; and who does not forget
an old agreement however far back it extends:-- such a man
may be reckoned a COMPLETE man.'
CHAP. XIV. 1. The Master asked Kung-ming Chia about
Kung-shu Wan, saying, 'Is it true that your master speaks not,
laughs not, and takes not?'
2. Kung-ming Chia replied, 'This has arisen from the
reporters going beyond the truth.-- My master speaks when it
is the time to speak, and so men do not get tired of his
speaking. He laughs when there is occasion to be joyful, and so
men do not get tired of his laughing. He takes when it is
consistent with righteousness to do so, and so men do not get
tired of his taking.' The Master said, 'So! But is it so with him?'
CHAP. XV. The Master said, 'Tsang Wu-chung, keeping
possession of Fang, asked of the duke of Lu to appoint a
successor to him in his family. Although it may be said that he
was not using force with his sovereign, I believe he was.'
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'The duke Wan of Tsin was
crafty and not upright. The duke Hwan of Ch'i was upright and
CHAP. XVII. 1. Tsze-lu said, 'The Duke Hwan caused his
brother Chiu to be killed, when Shao Hu died with his master,
but Kwan Chung did not die. May not I say that he was wanting
2. The Master said, 'The Duke Hwan assembled all the
princes together, and that not with weapons of war and
chariots:-- it was all through the influence of Kwan Chung.
Whose beneficence was like his? Whose beneficence was like
CHAP. XVIII. 1. Tsze-kung said, 'Kwan Chung, I
apprehend, was wanting in virtue. When the Duke Hwan
caused his brother Chiu to be killed, Kwan Chung was not able
to die with him. Moreover, he became prime minister to Hwan.'
2. The Master said, 'Kwan Chung acted as prime minister
to the Duke Hwan, made him leader of all the princes, and
united and rectified the whole kingdom. Down to the present
day, the people enjoy the gifts which he conferred. But for
Kwan Chung, we should now be wearing our hair unbound, and
the lappets of our coats buttoning on the left side.
3. 'Will you require from him the small fidelity of
men and common women, who would commit suicide in a
stream or ditch, no one knowing anything about them?'
CHAP. XIX. 1. The great officer, Hsien, who had been
family-minister to Kung-shu Wan, ascended to the prince's
court in company with Wan.
2. The Master, having heard of it, said, 'He deserved to be
considered WAN (the accomplished).'
CHAP. XX. 1. The Master was speaking about the
unprincipled course of the duke Ling of Wei, when Ch'i K'ang
said, 'Since he is of such a character, how is it he does not lose
2. Confucius said, 'The Chung-shu Yu has the
superintendence of his guests and of strangers; the litanist, T'o,
has the management
of his ancestral temple; and Wang-sun Chia has the direction of
the army and forces:-- with such officers as these, how should
he lose his State?'
CHAP. XXI. The Master said, 'He who speaks without
modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.'
CHAP. XXII. 1. Chan Ch'ang murdered the Duke Chien of
2. Confucius bathed, went to court, and informed the
duke Ai, saying, 'Chan Hang has slain his sovereign. I beg that
you will undertake to punish him.'
3. The duke said, 'Inform the chiefs of the three families
4. Confucius retired, and said, 'Following in the rear of the
great officers, I did not dare not to represent such a matter,
and my prince says, "Inform the chiefs of the three families of
5. He went to the chiefs, and informed them, but they
would not act. Confucius then said, 'Following in the rear of the
great officers, I did not dare not to represent such a matter.'
CHAP. XXIII. Tsze-lu asked how a ruler should be served.
The Master said, 'Do not impose on him, and, moreover,
withstand him to his face.'
CHAP. XXIV. The Master said, 'The progress of the
superior man is upwards; the progress of the mean man is
CHAP. XXV. The Master said, 'In ancient times, men
learned with a view to their own improvement. Now-a-days,
men learn with a view to the approbation of others.'
CHAP. XXVI. 1. Chu Po-yu sent a messenger with friendly
inquiries to Confucius.
2. Confucius sat with him, and questioned him. 'What,'
said he, 'is your master engaged in?' The messenger replied,
'My master is
anxious to make his faults few, but he has not yet succeeded.'
He then went out, and the Master said, 'A messenger indeed! A
CHAP. XXVII. The Master said, 'He who is not in any
particular office, has nothing to do with plans for the
administration of its duties.'
CHAP. XXVIII. The philosopher Tsang said, 'The superior
man, in his thoughts, does not go out of his place.'
CHAP. XXIX. The Master said, 'The superior man is modest
in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.'
CHAP. XXX. 1. The Master said, 'The way of the superior
man is threefold, but I am not equal to it. Virtuous, he is free
from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is
free from fear.
2. Tsze-kung said, 'Master, that is what you yourself say.'
CHAP. XXXI. Tsze-kung was in the habit of comparing
men together. The Master said, 'Tsze must have reached a high
pitch of excellence! Now, I have not leisure for this.'
CHAP. XXXII. The Master said, 'I will not be concerned at
men's not knowing me; I will be concerned at my own want of
CHAP. XXXIII. The Master said, 'He who does not
anticipate attempts to deceive him, nor think beforehand of his
not being believed, and yet apprehends these things readily
(when they occur);-- is he not a man of superior worth?'
CHAP. XXXIV. 1. Wei-shang Mau said to Confucius, 'Ch'iu,
how is it that you keep roosting about? Is it not that you are an
2. Confucius said, 'I do not dare to play the part of such a
talker, but I hate obstinacy.'
CHAP. XXXV. The Master said, 'A horse is called a ch'i, not
because of its strength, but because of its other good qualities.'
CHAP. XXXVI. 1. Some one said, 'What do you say
concerning the principle that injury should be recompensed
2. The Master said, 'With what then will you recompense
3. 'Recompense injury with justice, and recompense
kindness with kindness.'
CHAP. XXXVII. 1. The Master said, 'Alas! there is no one
that knows me.'
2. Tsze-kung said, 'What do you mean by thus saying--
that no one knows you?' The Master replied, 'I do not murmur
Heaven. I do not grumble against men. My studies lie low, and
my penetration rises high. But there is Heaven;-- that knows
CHAP. XXXVIII. 1. The Kung-po Liao, having slandered
Tsze-lu to Chi-sun, Tsze-fu Ching-po informed Confucius of it,
saying, 'Our master is certainly being led astray by the Kung-po
Liao, but I have still power enough left to cut Liao off, and
expose his corpse in the market and in the court.'
2. The Master said, 'If my principles are to advance, it is
so ordered. If they are to fall to the ground, it is so ordered.
What can the Kung-po Liao do where such ordering is
CHAP. XXXIX. 1. The Master said, 'Some men of worth
retire from the world.
2. Some retire from particular states.
3. Some retire because of disrespectful looks.
4. Some retire because of contradictory language.'
CHAP. XL. The Master said, 'Those who have done this
are seven men.'
CHAP. XLI. Tsze-lu happening to pass the night in Shih-
man, the gatekeeper said to him, 'Whom do you come from?'
Tsze-lu said, 'From Mr. K'ung.' 'It is he,-- is it not?'-- said the
other, 'who knows the impracticable nature of the times and
yet will be doing in them.'
CHAP. XLII. 1. The Master was playing, one day, on a
musical stone in Wei, when a man, carrying a straw basket,
passed the door
of the house where Confucius was, and said, 'His heart is full
who so beats the musical stone.'
2. A little while after, he added, 'How contemptible is the
one-ideaed obstinacy those sounds display! When one is taken
no notice of, he has simply at once to give over his wish for
public employment. "Deep water must be crossed with the
clothes on; shallow water may be crossed with the clothes held
3. The Master said, 'How determined is he in his purpose!
But this is not difficult!'
CHAP. XLIII. 1. Tsze-chang said, 'What is meant when the
Shu says that Kao-tsung, while observing the usual imperial
mourning, was for three years without speaking?'
2. The Master said, 'Why must Kao-tsung be referred to
as an example of this? The ancients all did so. When the
sovereign died, the officers all attended to their several duties,
taking instructions from the prime minister for three years.'
CHAP. XLIV. The Master said, 'When rulers love to
observe the rules of propriety, the people respond readily to
the calls on them for service.'
CHAP. XLV. Tsze-lu asked what constituted the superior
man. The Master said, 'The cultivation of himself in reverential
carefulness.' 'And is this all?' said Tsze-lu. 'He cultivates
himself so as to give rest to others,' was the reply. 'And is this
all?' again asked Tsze-lu. The Master said, 'He cultivates
himself so as to give rest to all the people. He cultivates himself
so as to give rest to all the people:-- even Yao and Shun were
still solicitous about this.'
CHAP. XLVI. Yuan Zang was squatting on his heels, and
so waited the approach of the Master, who said to him, 'In
youth not humble as befits a junior; in manhood, doing nothing
worthy of being handed down; and living on to old age:-- this is
to be a pest.' With this he hit him on the shank with his staff.
CHAP. XLVI. 1. A youth of the village of Ch'ueh was
employed by Confucius to carry the messages between him and
his visitors. Some one asked about him, saying, 'I suppose he
has made great progress.'
2. The Master said, 'I observe that he is fond of occupying
the seat of a full-grown man; I observe that he walks shoulder
to shoulder with his elders. He is not one who is seeking to
make progress in learning. He wishes quickly to become a man.'
BOOK XV. WEI LING KUNG.
CHAP. I. 1. The Duke Ling of Wei asked Confucius about
tactics. Confucius replied, 'I have heard all about sacrificial
vessels, but I have not learned military matters.' On this, he
took his departure the next day.
2. When he was in Chan, their provisions were exhausted,
and his followers became so ill that they were unable to rise.
3. Tsze-lu, with evident dissatisfaction, said, 'Has the
superior man likewise to endure in this way?' The Master said,
'The superior man may indeed have to endure want, but the
mean man, when he is in want, gives way to unbridled license.'
CHAP. II. 1. The Master said, 'Ts'ze, you think, I suppose,
that I am one who learns many things and keeps them in
2. Tsze-kung replied, 'Yes,-- but perhaps it is not so?'
3. 'No,' was the answer; 'I seek a unity all-pervading.'
CHAP. III. The Master said, 'Yu, those who know virtue
CHAP. IV. The Master said, 'May not Shun be instanced as
having governed efficiently without exertion? What did he do?
He did nothing but gravely and reverently occupy his royal
CHAP. V. 1. Tsze-chang asked how a man should conduct
himself, so as to be everywhere appreciated.
2. The Master said, 'Let his words be sincere and truthful,
and his actions honourable and careful;-- such conduct may be
practised among the rude tribes of the South or the North. If
his words be
not sincere and truthful and his actions not honourable and
careful, will he, with such conduct, be appreciated, even in his
3. 'When he is standing, let him see those two things, as it
were, fronting him. When he is in a carriage, let him see them
attached to the yoke. Then may he subsequently carry them
4. Tsze-chang wrote these counsels on the end of his sash.
CHAP. VI. 1. The Master said, 'Truly straightforward was
the historiographer Yu. When good government prevailed in his
State, he was like an arrow. When bad government prevailed,
he was like an arrow.
2. A superior man indeed is Chu Po-yu! When good
government prevails in his state, he is to be found in office.
When bad government prevails, he can roll his principles up,
and keep them in his breast.'
CHAP. VII. The Master said, 'When a man may be spoken
with, not to speak to him is to err in reference to the man.
When a man may not be spoken with, to speak to him is to err
in reference to our words. The wise err neither in regard to
their man nor to their words.'
CHAP. VIII. The Master said, 'The determined scholar and
the man of virtue will not seek to live at the expense of
injuring their virtue. They will even sacrifice their lives to
preserve their virtue complete.'
CHAP. IX. Tsze-kung asked about the practice of virtue.
The Master said, 'The mechanic, who wishes to do his work
well, must first sharpen his tools. When you are living in any
state, take service with the most worthy among its great
officers, and make friends of the most virtuous among its
CHAP. X. 1. Yen Yuan asked how the government of a
country should be administered.
2. The Master said, 'Follow the seasons of Hsia.
3. 'Ride in the state carriage of Yin.
4. 'Wear the ceremonial cap of Chau.
5. 'Let the music be the Shao with its pantomimes.
6. Banish the songs of Chang, and keep far from specious
talkers. The songs of Chang are licentious; specious talkers are
CHAP. XI. The Master said, 'If a man take no thought
about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.'
CHAP. XII. The Master said, 'It is all over! I have not seen
one who loves virtue as he loves beauty.'
CHAP. XIII. The Master said, 'Was not Tsang Wan like one
who had stolen his situation? He knew the virtue and the
of Hui of Liu-hsia, and yet did not procure that he should stand
with him in court.'
CHAP. XIV. The Master said, 'He who requires much from
himself and little from others, will keep himself from being the
object of resentment.'
CHAP. XV. The Master said, 'When a man is not in the
habit of saying-- "What shall I think of this? What shall I think
of this?" I can indeed do nothing with him!'
CHAP. XVI. The Master said, 'When a number of people
are together, for a whole day, without their conversation
turning on righteousness, and when they are fond of carrying
out the suggestions of a small shrewdness;-- theirs is indeed a
CHAP. XVII. The Master said, 'The superior man in
everything considers righteousness to be essential. He performs
it according to the rules of propriety. He brings it forth in
humility. He completes it with sincerity. This is indeed a
CHAP. XVIII. The Master said, 'The superior man is
distressed by his want of ability. He is not distressed by men's
not knowing him.'
CHAP. XIX. The Master said, 'The superior man dislikes
the thought of his name not being mentioned after his death.'
CHAP. XX. The Master said, 'What the superior man seeks,
is in himself. What the mean man seeks, is in others.'
CHAP. XXI. The Master said, 'The superior man is
dignified, but does not wrangle. He is sociable, but not a
CHAP. XXII. The Master said, 'The superior man does not
promote a man simply on account of his words, nor does he put
aside good words because of the man.'
CHAP. XXIII. Tsze-kung asked, saying, 'Is there one word
which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life?' The
Master said, 'Is not RECIPROCITY such a word? What you do not
want done to yourself, do not do to others.'
CHAP. XXIV. 1. The Master said, 'In my dealings with
men, whose evil do I blame, whose goodness do I praise,
beyond what is proper? If I do sometimes exceed in praise,
there must be ground for it in my examination of the
2. 'This people supplied the ground why the three
dynasties pursued the path of straightforwardness.'
CHAP. XXV. The Master said, 'Even in my early days, a
historiographer would leave a blank in his text, and he who
had a horse would lend him to another to ride. Now, alas! there
are no such things.'
CHAP. XXVI. The Master said, 'Specious words confound
virtue. Want of forbearance in small matters confounds great
CHAP. XXVII. The Master said, 'When the multitude hate
a man, it is necessary to examine into the case. When the
multitude like a man, it is necessary to examine into the case.'
CHAP. XXVIII. The Master said, 'A man can enlarge the
principles which he follows; those principles do not enlarge the
CHAP. XXIX. The Master said, 'To have faults and not to
reform them,-- this, indeed, should be pronounced having
CHAP. XXX. The Master said, 'I have been the whole day
without eating, and the whole night without sleeping:--
occupied with thinking. It was of no use. The better plan is to
CHAP. XXXI. The Master said, 'The object of the superior
man is truth. Food is not his object. There is plowing;-- even in
that there is sometimes want. So with learning;-- emolument
may be found in it. The superior man is anxious lest he should
not get truth; he is not anxious lest poverty should come upon
CHAP. XXXII. 1. The Master said, 'When a man's
knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient
to enable him to hold, whatever he may have gained, he will
2. 'When his knowledge is sufficient to attain, and he has
virtue enough to hold fast, if he cannot govern with dignity, the
people will not respect him.
3. 'When his knowledge is sufficient to attain, and he has
virtue enough to hold fast; when he governs also with dignity,
yet if he try to move the people contrary to the rules of
propriety:-- full excellence is not reached.'
CHAP. XXXIII. The Master said, 'The superior man cannot
be known in little matters; but he may be intrusted with great
concerns. The small man may not be intrusted with great
concerns, but he may be known in little matters.'
CHAP. XXXIV. The Master said, 'Virtue is more to man
than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on
water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading
the course of virtue.'
CHAP. XXXV. The Master said, 'Let every man consider
virtue as what devolves on himself. He may not yield the
performance of it even to his teacher.'
CHAP. XXXVI. The Master said, 'The superior man is
correctly firm, and not firm merely.'
CHAP. XXXVII. The Master said, 'A minister, in serving his
prince, reverently discharges his duties, and makes his
emolument a secondary consideration.'
CHAP. XXXVIII. The Master said, 'In teaching there
should be no distinction of classes.'
CHAP. XXXIX. The Master said, 'Those whose courses are
different cannot lay plans for one another.'
CHAP. XL. The Master said, 'In language it is simply
required that it convey the meaning.'
CHAP. XLI. 1. The Music-master, Mien, having called upon
him, when they came to the steps, the Master said, 'Here are
the steps.' When they came to the mat for the guest to sit upon,
said, 'Here is the mat.' When all were seated, the Master
informed him, saying, 'So and so is here; so and so is here.'
2. The Music-master, Mien, having gone out, Tsze-chang
asked, saying. 'Is it the rule to tell those things to the Music-
3. The Master said, 'Yes. This is certainly the rule for
those who lead the blind.'
BOOK XVI. KE SHE.
CHAP. I. 1. The head of the Chi family was going to attack
2. Zan Yu and Chi-lu had an interview with Confucius, and
said, 'Our chief, Chi, is going to commence operations against
3. Confucius said, 'Ch'iu, is it not you who are in fault
4. 'Now, in regard to Chwan-yu, long ago, a former king
appointed its ruler to preside over the sacrifices to the eastern
Mang; moreover, it is in the midst of the territory of our State;
and its ruler is a minister in direct connexion with the
sovereign:-- What has your chief to do with attacking it?'
5. Zan Yu said, 'Our master wishes the thing; neither of us
two ministers wishes it.'
6. Confucius said, 'Ch'iu, there are the words of Chau
Zan,-- "When he can put forth his ability, he takes his place in
the ranks of office; when he finds himself unable to do so, he
retires from it. How can he be used as a guide to a blind man,
who does not support him when tottering, nor raise him up
7. 'And further, you speak wrongly. When a tiger or
rhinoceros escapes from his cage; when a tortoise or piece of
jade is injured in its repository:-- whose is the fault?'
8. Zan Yu said, 'But at present, Chwan-yu is strong and
near to Pi; if our chief do not now take it, it will hereafter be a
sorrow to his descendants.'
9. Confucius said. 'Ch'iu, the superior man hates that
declining to say-- "I want such and such a thing," and framing
explanations for the conduct.
10. 'I have heard that rulers of States and chiefs of
families are not troubled lest their people should be few, but
are troubled lest they should not keep their several places; that
they are not troubled with fears of poverty, but are troubled
with fears of a want of contented repose among the people in
their several places. For when the people keep their several
places, there will be no poverty; when harmony prevails, there
will be no scarcity of people; and when there is such a
contented repose, there will be no rebellious upsettings.
11. 'So it is.-- Therefore, if remoter people are not
the influences of civil culture and virtue are to be cultivated to
attract them to be so; and when they have been so attracted,
they must be made contented and tranquil.
12. 'Now, here are you, Yu and Ch'iu, assisting your chief.
Remoter people are not submissive, and, with your help, he
cannot attract them to him. In his own territory there are
divisions and downfalls, leavings and separations, and, with
your help, he cannot preserve it.
13. 'And yet he is planning these hostile movements
within the State.-- I am afraid that the sorrow of the Chi-sun
family will not be on account of Chwan-yu, but will be found
within the screen of their own court.'
CHAP. II. 1. Confucius said, 'When good government
prevails in the empire, ceremonies, music, and punitive
military expeditions proceed from the son of Heaven. When
bad government prevails in the empire, ceremonies, music, and
punitive military expeditions proceed from the princes. When
these things proceed from the princes, as a rule, the cases will
be few in which they do not lose their power in ten
generations. When they proceed from the Great officers of the
princes, as a rule, the cases will be few in which they do not
lose their power in five generations. When the subsidiary
ministers of the great officers hold in their grasp the orders of
the state, as a rule, the cases will be few in which they do not
lose their power in three generations.
2. 'When right principles prevail in the kingdom,
government will not be in the hands of the Great officers.
3. 'When right principles prevail in the kingdom, there
will be no discussions among the common people.'
CHAP. III. Confucius said, 'The revenue of the state has
left the ducal House now for five generations. The government
has been in the hands of the Great officers for four generations.
On this account, the descendants of the three Hwan are much
CHAP. IV. Confucius said, 'There are three friendships
which are advantageous, and three which are injurious.
Friendship with the upright; friendship with the sincere; and
friendship with the man of much observation:-- these are
advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs;
friendship with the insinuatingly soft; and friendship with the
glib-tongued:-- these are injurious.'
CHAP. V. Confucius said, 'There are three things men find
enjoyment in which are advantageous, and three things they
find enjoyment in which are injurious. To find enjoyment in the
discriminating study of ceremonies and music; to find
speaking of the goodness of others; to find enjoyment in having
many worthy friends:-- these are advantageous. To find
enjoyment in extravagant pleasures; to find enjoyment in
idleness and sauntering; to find enjoyment in the pleasures of
feasting:-- these are injurious.'
CHAP. VI. Confucius said, 'There are three errors to which
they who stand in the presence of a man of virtue and station
are liable. They may speak when it does not come to them to
speak;-- this is called rashness. They may not speak when it
comes to them to speak;-- this is called concealment. They may
speak without looking at the countenance of their superior;--
this is called blindness.'
CHAP. VII. Confucius said, 'There are three things which
the superior man guards against. In youth, when the physical
are not yet settled, he guards against lust. When he is strong
and the physical powers are full of vigor, he guards against
quarrelsomeness. When he is old, and the animal powers are
decayed, he guards against covetousness.'
CHAP. VIII. 1. Confucius said, 'There are three things of
which the superior man stands in awe. He stands in awe of the
ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great men. He stands
in awe of the words of sages.
2. 'The mean man does not know the ordinances of
Heaven, and consequently does not stand in awe of them. He is
disrespectful to great men. He makes sport of the words of
CHAP. IX. Confucius said, 'Those who are born with the
possession of knowledge are the highest class of men. Those
who learn, and so, readily, get possession of knowledge, are the
Those who are dull and stupid, and yet compass the learning,
are another class next to these. As to those who are dull and
stupid and yet do not learn;-- they are the lowest of the
CHAP. X. Confucius said, 'The superior man has nine
things which are subjects with him of thoughtful consideration.
In regard to the use of his eyes, he is anxious to see clearly. In
regard to the use of his ears, he is anxious to hear distinctly. In
regard to his countenance, he is anxious that it should be
benign. In regard to his demeanor, he is anxious that it should
be respectful. In regard to his speech, he is anxious that it
should be sincere. In regard to his doing of business, he is
anxious that it should be reverently careful. In regard to what
he doubts about, he is anxious to question others. When he is
angry, he thinks of the difficulties (his anger may involve him
in). When he sees gain to be got, he thinks of righteousness.'
CHAP. XI. 1. Confucius said, 'Contemplating good, and
pursuing it, as if they could not reach it; contemplating evil,
and shrinking from it, as they would from thrusting the hand
into boiling water:-- I have seen such men, as I have heard
2. 'Living in retirement to study their aims, and
righteousness to carry out their principles:-- I have heard
these words, but I have not seen such men.'
CHAP. XII. 1. The duke Ching of Ch'i had a thousand
teams, each of four horses, but on the day of his death, the
people did not praise him for a single virtue. Po-i and Shu-ch'i
died of hunger at the foot of the Shau-yang mountain, and the
people, down to the present time, praise them.
2. 'Is not that saying illustrated by this?'
CHAP. XIII. 1. Ch'an K'ang asked Po-yu, saying, 'Have you
heard any lessons from your father different from what we
have all heard?'
2. Po-yu replied, 'No. He was standing alone once, when I
passed below the hall with hasty steps, and said to me, "Have
you learned the Odes?" On my replying "Not yet," he added, "If
you do not learn the Odes, you will not be fit to converse with."
I retired and studied the Odes.
3. 'Another day, he was in the same way standing alone,
when I passed by below the hall with hasty steps, and said to
me, 'Have you learned the rules of Propriety?' On my replying
'Not yet,' he added, 'If you do not learn the rules of Propriety,
your character cannot be established.' I then retired, and
learned the rules of Propriety.
4. 'I have heard only these two things from him.'
5. Ch'ang K'ang retired, and, quite delighted, said, 'I asked
one thing, and I have got three things. I have heard about the
Odes. I have heard about the rules of Propriety. I have also
heard that the superior man maintains a distant reserve
towards his son.'
CHAP. XIV. The wife of the prince of a state is called by
him FU ZAN. She calls herself HSIAO T'UNG. The people of the
her CHUN FU ZAN, and, to the people of other States, they call
her K'WA HSIAO CHUN. The people of other states also call her
CHUN FU ZAN.
BOOK XVII. YANG HO.
CHAP. I. 1. Yang Ho wished to see Confucius, but
Confucius would not go to see him. On this, he sent a present of
a pig to Confucius, who, having chosen a time when Ho was not
at home, went to pay his respects for the gift. He met him,
however, on the way.
2. Ho said to Confucius, 'Come, let me speak with you.' He
then asked, 'Can he be called benevolent who keeps his jewel in
bosom, and leaves his country to confusion?' Confucius replied,
'No.' 'Can he be called wise, who is anxious to be engaged in
public employment, and yet is constantly losing the
opportunity of being so?' Confucius again said, 'No.' 'The days
and months are passing away; the years do not wait for us.'
Confucius said, 'Right; I will go into office.'
CHAP. II. The Master said, 'By nature, men are nearly
alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.'
CHAP. III. The Master said, 'There are only the wise of
the highest class, and the stupid of the lowest class, who cannot
CHAP. IV. 1. The Master, having come to Wu-ch'ang,
heard there the sound of stringed instruments and singing.
2. Well pleased and smiling, he said, 'Why use an ox knife
to kill a fowl?'
3. Tsze-yu replied, 'Formerly, Master, I heard you say,--
"When the man of high station is well instructed, he loves men;
when the man of low station is well instructed, he is easily
4. The Master said, 'My disciples, Yen's words are right.
What I said was only in sport.'
CHAP. V. Kung-shan Fu-zao, when he was holding Pi, and
in an attitude of rebellion, invited the Master to visit him, who
was rather inclined to go.
2. Tsze-lu was displeased, and said, 'Indeed, you cannot
go! Why must you think of going to see Kung-shan?'
3. The Master said, 'Can it be without some reason that he
has invited ME? If any one employ me, may I not make an
CHAP. VI. Tsze-chang asked Confucius about perfect
virtue. Confucius said, 'To be able to practise five things
everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue.' He
begged to ask what they were, and was told, 'Gravity,
generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. If you
are grave, you will not be treated with disrespect. If you are
generous, you will win all. If you are sincere, people will repose
trust in you. If you are earnest, you will accomplish much. If
you are kind, this will enable you to employ the services of
CHAP. VII. 1. Pi Hsi inviting him to visit him, the Master
was inclined to go.
2. Tsze-lu said, 'Master, formerly I have heard you say,
"When a man in his own person is guilty of doing evil, a
superior man will not associate with him." Pi Hsi is in rebellion,
holding possession of Chung-mau; if you go to him, what shall
3. The Master said, 'Yes, I did use these words. But is it
not said, that, if a thing be really hard, it may be ground
without being made thin? Is it not said, that, if a thing be really
white, it may be steeped in a dark fluid without being made
4. 'Am I a bitter gourd! How can I be hung up out of the
way of being eaten?'
CHAP. VIII. 1. The Master said, 'Yu, have you heard the
six words to which are attached six becloudings?' Yu replied, 'I
2. 'Sit down, and I will tell them to you.
3. 'There is the love of being benevolent without the love
of learning;-- the beclouding here leads to a foolish simplicity.
There is the love of knowing without the love of learning;-- the
beclouding here leads to dissipation of mind. There is the love
of being sincere without the love of learning;-- the beclouding
here leads to an injurious disregard of consequences. There is
the love of straightforwardness without the love of learning;--
the beclouding here leads to rudeness. There is the love of
boldness without the love of learning;-- the beclouding here
leads to insubordination. There is the love of firmness without
the love of learning;-- the beclouding here leads to extravagant
CHAP. IX. 1. The Master said, 'My children, why do you
not study the Book of Poetry?
2. 'The Odes serve to stimulate the mind.
3. 'They may be used for purposes of self-contemplation.
4. 'They teach the art of sociability.
5. 'They show how to regulate feelings of resentment.
6. 'From them you learn the more immediate duty of
serving one's father, and the remoter one of serving one's
7. 'From them we become largely acquainted with the
names of birds, beasts, and plants.'
CHAP. X. The Master said to Po-yu, 'Do you give yourself
to the Chau-nan and the Shao-nan. The man who has not
studied the Chau-nan and the Shao-nan, is like one who stands
with his face right against a wall. Is he not so?'
CHAP. XI. The Master said, '"It is according to the rules of
propriety," they say.-- "It is according to the rules of
propriety," they say. Are gems and silk all that is meant by
propriety? "It is music," they say.-- "It is music," they say. Are
bells and drums all that is meant by music?'
CHAP. XII. The Master said, 'He who puts on an
appearance of stern firmness, while inwardly he is weak, is like
one of the small, mean people;-- yea, is he not like the thief
who breaks through, or climbs over, a wall?'
CHAP. XIII. The Master said, 'Your good, careful people of
the villages are the thieves of virtue.'
CHAP. XIV. The Master said, 'To tell, as we go along, what
we have heard on the way, is to cast away our virtue.'
CHAP. XV. 1. The Master said, 'There are those mean
creatures! How impossible it is along with them to serve one's
2. 'While they have not got their aims, their anxiety is
how to get them. When they have got them, their anxiety is lest
they should lose them.
3. 'When they are anxious lest such things should be lost,
there is nothing to which they will not proceed.'
CHAP. XVI. 1. The Master said, 'Anciently, men had three
failings, which now perhaps are not to be found.
2. 'The high-mindedness of antiquity showed itself in a
disregard of small things; the high-mindedness of the present
day shows itself in wild license. The stern dignity of antiquity
showed itself in grave reserve; the stern dignity of the present
day shows itself in quarrelsome perverseness. The stupidity of
antiquity showed itself in straightforwardness; the stupidity of
the present day shows itself in sheer deceit.'
CHAP. XVII. The Master said, 'Fine words and an
insinuating appearance are seldom associated with virtue.'
CHAP. XVIII. The Master said, 'I hate the manner in
which purple takes away the luster of vermilion. I hate the
way in which the songs of Chang confound the music of the Ya.
I hate those who with their sharp mouths overthrow kingdoms
CHAP. XIX. 1. The Master said, 'I would prefer not
2. Tsze-kung said, 'If you, Master, do not speak, what
shall we, your disciples, have to record?'
3. The Master said, 'Does Heaven speak? The four seasons
pursue their courses, and all things are continually being
produced, but does Heaven say anything?'
CHAP. XX. Zu Pei wished to see Confucius, but Confucius
declined, on the ground of being sick, to see him. When the
bearer of this message went out at the door, (the Master) took
his lute and sang to it, in order that Pei might hear him.
CHAP. XXI. 1. Tsai Wo asked about the three years'
mourning for parents, saying that one year was long enough.
2. 'If the superior man,' said he, 'abstains for three years
from the observances of propriety, those observances will be
quite lost. If for three years he abstains from music, music will
3. 'Within a year the old grain is exhausted, and the new
grain has sprung up, and, in procuring fire by friction, we go
through all the changes of wood for that purpose. After a
complete year, the mourning may stop.'
4. The Master said, 'If you were, after a year, to eat good
rice, and wear embroidered clothes, would you feel at ease?' 'I
should,' replied Wo.
5. The Master said, 'If you can feel at ease, do it. But a
superior man, during the whole period of mourning, does not
enjoy pleasant food which he may eat, nor derive pleasure
from music which he may hear. He also does not feel at ease, if
he is comfortably lodged. Therefore he does not do what you
propose. But now you feel at ease and may do it.'
6. Tsai Wo then went out, and the Master said, 'This
shows Yu's want of virtue. It is not till a child is three years old
that it is allowed to leave the arms of its parents. And the three
years' mourning is universally observed throughout the
empire. Did Yu enjoy the three years' love of his parents?'
CHAP. XXII. The Master said, 'Hard is it to deal with him,
who will stuff himself with food the whole day, without
applying his mind to anything good! Are there not gamesters
and chess players? To be one of these would still be better than
doing nothing at all.'
CHAP. XXIII. Tsze-lu said, 'Does the superior man esteem
valour?' The Master said, 'The superior man holds
righteousness to be of highest importance. A man in a superior
situation, having valour without righteousness, will be guilty of
insubordination; one of the lower people having valour without
righteousness, will commit robbery.'
CHAP. XXIV. 1. Tsze-kung said, 'Has the superior man his
hatreds also?' The Master said, 'He has his hatreds. He hates
those who proclaim the evil of others. He hates the man who,
being in a low station, slanders his superiors. He hates those
who have valour merely, and are unobservant of propriety. He
hates those who are forward and determined, and, at the same
time, of contracted understanding.'
2. The Master then inquired, 'Ts'ze, have you also your
hatreds?' Tsze-kung replied, 'I hate those who pry out matters,
and ascribe the knowledge to their wisdom. I hate those who
are only not modest, and think that they are valourous. I hate
those who make known secrets, and think that they are
CHAP. XXV. The Master said, 'Of all people, girls and
servants are the most difficult to behave to. If you are familiar
with them, they lose their humility. If you maintain a reserve
towards them, they are discontented.'
CHAP. XXVI. The Master said, 'When a man at forty is the
object of dislike, he will always continue what he is.'
BOOK XVIII. WEI TSZE.
CHAP. I. 1. The Viscount of Wei withdrew from the court.
The Viscount of Chi became a slave to Chau. Pi-kan
remonstrated with him and died.
2. Confucius said, 'The Yin dynasty possessed these three
men of virtue.'
CHAP. II. Hui of Liu-hsia being chief criminal judge, was
thrice dismissed from his office. Some one said to him, 'Is it not
yet time for you, sir, to leave this?' He replied, 'Serving men in
an upright way, where shall I go to, and not experience such a
dismissal? If I choose to serve men in a crooked way, what
necessity is there for me to leave the country of my parents?'
CHAP. III. The duke Ching of Ch'i, with reference to the
manner in which he should treat Confucius, said, 'I cannot treat
him as I would the chief of the Chi family. I will treat him in a
manner between that accorded to the chief of the Chi, and that
given to the chief of the Mang family.' He also said, 'I am old; I
cannot use his doctrines.' Confucius took his departure.
CHAP. IV. The people of Ch'i sent to Lu a present of
female musicians, which Chi Hwan received, and for three days
no court was held. Confucius took his departure.
CHAP. V. 1. The madman of Ch'u, Chieh-yu, passed by
Confucius, singing and saying, 'O FANG! O FANG! How is your
virtue degenerated! As to the past, reproof is useless; but the
future may still be provided against. Give up your vain pursuit.
Give up your vain pursuit. Peril awaits those who now engage
in affairs of government.'
2. Confucius alighted and wished to converse with him,
but Chieh-yu hastened away, so that he could not talk with
CHAP. VI. 1. Ch'ang-tsu and Chieh-ni were at work in the
field together, when Confucius passed by them, and sent Tsze-
lu to inquire for the ford.
2. Ch'ang-tsu said, 'Who is he that holds the reins in the
carriage there?' Tsze-lu told him, 'It is K'ung Ch'iu.' 'Is it not
K'ung Ch'iu of Lu?' asked he. 'Yes,' was the reply, to which the
other rejoined, 'He knows the ford.'
3. Tsze-lu then inquired of Chieh-ni, who said to him,
are you, sir?' He answered, 'I am Chung Yu.' 'Are you not the
disciple of K'ung Ch'iu of Lu?' asked the other. 'I am,' replied
he, and then Chieh-ni said to him, 'Disorder, like a swelling
flood, spreads over the whole empire, and who is he that will
change its state for you? Than follow one who merely
withdraws from this one and that one, had you not better
follow those who have withdrawn from the world altogether?'
With this he fell to covering up the seed, and proceeded with
his work, without stopping.
4. Tsze-lu went and reported their remarks, when the
Master observed with a sigh, 'It is impossible to associate with
birds and beasts, as if they were the same with us. If I
associate not with these people,-- with mankind,-- with whom
shall I associate? If right principles prevailed through the
empire, there would be no use for me to change its state.'
CHAP. VII. 1. Tsze-lu, following the Master, happened to
fall behind, when he met an old man, carrying across his
shoulder on a staff a basket for weeds. Tsze-lu said to him,
'Have you seen my master, sir!' The old man replied, 'Your four
limbs are unaccustomed to toil; you cannot distinguish the five
kinds of grain:-- who is your master?' With this, he planted his
staff in the ground, and proceeded to weed.
2. Tsze-lu joined his hands across his breast, and stood
3. The old man kept Tsze-lu to pass the night in his
house, killed a fowl, prepared millet, and feasted him. He also
introduced to him his two sons.
4. Next day, Tsze-lu went on his way, and reported his
adventure. The Master said, 'He is a recluse,' and sent Tsze-lu
back to see him again, but when he got to the place, the old
man was gone.
5. Tsze-lu then said to the family, 'Not to take office is not
righteous. If the relations between old and young may not be
neglected, how is it that he sets aside the duties that should be
observed between sovereign and minister? Wishing to
maintain his personal purity, he allows that great relation to
come to confusion. A superior man takes office, and performs
the righteous duties belonging to it. As to the failure of right
principles to make progress, he is aware of that.'
CHAP. VIII. 1. The men who have retired to privacy from
the world have been Po-i, Shu-ch'i, Yu-chung, I-yi, Chu-chang,
Hui of Liu-hsia, and Shao-lien.
2. The Master said, 'Refusing to surrender their wills, or
to submit to any taint in their persons;-- such, I think, were
Po-i and Shu-ch'i.
3. 'It may be said of Hui of Liu-hsia, and of Shao-lien, that
they surrendered their wills, and submitted to taint in their
but their words corresponded with reason, and their actions
were such as men are anxious to see. This is all that is to be
remarked in them.
4. 'It may be said of Yu-chung and I-yi, that, while they
hid themselves in their seclusion, they gave a license to their
words; but, in their persons, they succeeded in preserving their
purity, and, in their retirement, they acted according to the
exigency of the times.
5. 'I am different from all these. I have no course for
which I am predetermined, and no course against which I am
CHAP. IX. 1. The grand music master, Chih, went to Ch'i.
2. Kan, the master of the band at the second meal, went
to Ch'u. Liao, the band master at the third meal, went to Ts'ai.
Chueh, the band master at the fourth meal, went to Ch'in.
3. Fang-shu, the drum master, withdrew to the north of
4. Wu, the master of the hand drum, withdrew to the
5. Yang, the assistant music master, and Hsiang, master of
the musical stone, withdrew to an island in the sea.
CHAP. X. The duke of Chau addressed his son, the duke of
Lu, saying, 'The virtuous prince does not neglect his relations.
He does not cause the great ministers to repine at his not
employing them. Without some great cause, he does not dismiss
from their offices the members of old families. He does not
seek in one man talents for every employment.'
CHAP. XI. To Chau belonged the eight officers, Po-ta,
Po-kwo, Chung-tu, Chung-hwu, Shu-ya, Shu-hsia, Chi-sui, and
BOOK XIX. TSZE-CHANG.
CHAP. I. Tsze-chang said, 'The scholar, trained for public
duty, seeing threatening danger, is prepared to sacrifice his life.
When the opportunity of gain is presented to him, he thinks of
righteousness. In sacrificing, his thoughts are reverential. In
mourning, his thoughts are about the grief which he should
feel. Such a man commands our approbation indeed.'
CHAP. II. Tsze-chang said, 'When a man holds fast to
virtue, but without seeking to enlarge it, and believes right
principles, but without firm sincerity, what account can be
made of his existence or non-existence?'
CHAP. III. The disciples of Tsze-hsia asked Tsze-chang
about the principles that should characterize mutual
intercourse. Tsze-chang asked, 'What does Tsze-hsia say on the
subject?' They replied, 'Tsze-hsia says:-- "Associate with those
who can advantage you. Put away from you those who cannot
do so."' Tsze-chang observed, 'This is different from what I
have learned. The superior man honours the talented and
virtuous, and bears with all. He praises the good, and pities the
incompetent. Am I possessed of great talents and virtue?--
who is there among men whom I will not bear with? Am I
devoid of talents and virtue?-- men will put me away from
them. What have we to do with the putting away of others?'
CHAP. IV. Tsze-hsia said, 'Even in inferior studies and
employments there is something worth being looked at; but if
attempted to carry them out to what is remote, there is a
danger of their proving inapplicable. Therefore, the superior
man does not practise them.'
CHAP. V. Tsze-hsia said, 'He, who from day to day
recognises what he has not yet, and from month to month does
not forget what he has attained to, may be said indeed to love
CHAP. VI. Tsze-hsia said, 'There are learning extensively,
and having a firm and sincere aim; inquiring with earnestness,
and reflecting with self-application:-- virtue is in such a
CHAP. VII. Tsze-hsia said, 'Mechanics have their shops to
dwell in, in order to accomplish their works. The superior man
learns, in order to reach to the utmost of his principles.'
CHAP. VIII. Tsze-hsia said, 'The mean man is sure to gloss
CHAP. IX. Tsze-hsia said, 'The superior man undergoes
three changes. Looked at from a distance, he appears stern;
when approached, he is mild; when he is heard to speak, his
language is firm and decided.'
CHAP. X. Tsze-hsia said, 'The superior man, having
obtained their confidence, may then impose labours on his
people. If he have not gained their confidence, they will think
that he is oppressing them. Having obtained the confidence of
his prince, one may then remonstrate with him. If he have not
gained his confidence, the prince will think that he is vilifying
CHAP. XI. Tsze-hsia said, 'When a person does not
transgress the boundary line in the great virtues, he may pass
and repass it in the small virtues.'
CHAP. XII. 1. Tsze-yu said, 'The disciples and followers of
Tsze-hsia, in sprinkling and sweeping the ground, in answering
and replying, in advancing and receding, are sufficiently
accomplished. But these are only the branches of learning, and
they are left ignorant of what is essential.-- How can they be
acknowledged as sufficiently taught?'
2. Tsze-hsia heard of the remark and said, 'Alas! Yen Yu
is wrong. According to the way of the superior man in teaching,
what departments are there which he considers of prime
importance, and delivers? what are there which he considers of
secondary importance, and allows himself to be idle about? But
as in the case of plants, which are assorted according to their
classes, so he deals with his disciples. How can the way of a
superior man be such as to make fools of any of them? Is it not
the sage alone, who can unite in one the beginning and the
consummation of learning?'
CHAP. XIII. Tsze-hsia said, 'The officer, having discharged
all his duties, should devote his leisure to learning. The student,
having completed his learning, should apply himself to be an
CHAP. XIV. Tsze-hsia said, 'Mourning, having been carried
to the utmost degree of grief, should stop with that.'
CHAP. XV. Tsze-hsia said, 'My friend Chang can do things
which are hard to be done, but yet he is not perfectly virtuous.'
CHAP. XVI. The philosopher Tsang said, 'How imposing is
the manner of Chang! It is difficult along with him to practise
CHAP. XVII. The philosopher Tsang said, 'I heard this
from our Master:-- "Men may not have shown what is in them
to the full extent, and yet they will be found to do so, on
occasion of mourning for their parents."'
CHAP. XVIII. The philosopher Tsang said, 'I have heard
this from our Master:-- "The filial piety of Mang Chwang, in
other matters, was what other men are competent to, but, as
seen in his not changing the ministers of his father, nor his
father's mode of government, it is difficult to be attained to."'
CHAP. XIX. The chief of the Mang family having
appointed Yang Fu to be chief criminal judge, the latter
consulted the philosopher Tsang. Tsang said, 'The rulers have
failed in their duties, and the people consequently have been
disorganised, for a long time. When you have found out the
truth of any accusation, be grieved for and pity them, and do
not feel joy at your own ability.'
CHAP. XX. Tsze-kung said, 'Chau's wickedness was not so
great as that name implies. Therefore, the superior man hates
in a low-lying situation, where all the evil of the world will
flow in upon him.'
CHAP. XXI. Tsze-kung said, 'The faults of the superior
man are like the eclipses of the sun and moon. He has his
faults, and all men see them; he changes again, and all men
look up to him.'
CHAP. XXII. 1. Kung-sun Ch'ao of Wei asked Tsze-kung,
saying, 'From whom did Chung-ni get his learning?'
2. Tsze-kung replied, 'The doctrines of Wan and Wu have
not yet fallen to the ground. They are to be found among men.
Men of talents and virtue remember the greater principles of
them, and others, not possessing such talents and virtue,
remember the smaller. Thus, all possess the doctrines of Wan
and Wu. Where could our Master go that he should not have an
opportunity of learning them? And yet what necessity was
there for his having a regular master?'
CHAP. XXIII. 1. Shu-sun Wu-shu observed to the great
officers in the court, saying, 'Tsze-kung is superior to Chung-ni.'
2. Tsze-fu Ching-po reported the observation to Tsze-
kung, who said, 'Let me use the comparison of a house and its
encompassing wall. My wall only reaches to the shoulders. One
may peep over it, and see whatever is valuable in the
3. 'The wall of my Master is several fathoms high. If one
do not find the door and enter by it, he cannot see the ancestral
temple with its beauties, nor all the officers in their rich array.
4. 'But I may assume that they are few who find the door.
Was not the observation of the chief only what might have
CHAP. XXIV. Shu-sun Wu-shu having spoken revilingly of
Chung-ni, Tsze-kung said, 'It is of no use doing so. Chung-ni
cannot be reviled. The talents and virtue of other men are
hillocks and mounds which may be stepped over. Chung-ni is
the sun or moon, which it is not possible to step over. Although
a man may wish to cut himself off from the sage, what harm
can he do to the sun or moon? He only shows that he does not
know his own capacity.
CHAP. XXV. 1. Ch'an Tsze-ch'in, addressing Tsze-kung,
said, 'You are too modest. How can Chung-ni be said to be
superior to you?'
2. Tsze-kung said to him, 'For one word a man is often
deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be
foolish. We ought to be careful indeed in what we say.
3. 'Our Master cannot be attained to, just in the same way
as the heavens cannot be gone up to by the steps of a stair.
4. 'Were our Master in the position of the ruler of a State
or the chief of a Family, we should find verified the description
which has been given of a sage's rule:-- he would plant the
people, and forthwith they would be established; he would lead
them on, and forthwith they would follow him; he would make
them happy, and forthwith multitudes would resort to his
dominions; he would stimulate them, and forthwith they would
be harmonious. While he lived, he would be glorious. When he
died, he would be bitterly lamented. How is it possible for him
to be attained to?'
BOOK XX. YAO YUEH.
CHAP. I. 1. Yao said, 'Oh! you, Shun, the Heaven-
determined order of succession now rests in your person.
Sincerely hold fast the due Mean. If there shall be distress and
want within the four seas, the Heavenly revenue will come to a
2. Shun also used the same language in giving charge to
3. T'ang said, 'I the child Li, presume to use a dark-
coloured victim, and presume to announce to Thee, O most
great and sovereign God, that the sinner I dare not pardon, and
thy ministers, O God, I do not keep in obscurity. The
examination of them is by thy mind, O God. If, in my person, I
commit offences, they are not to be attributed to you, the
people of the myriad regions. If you in the myriad regions
commit offences, these offences must rest on my person.'
4. Chau conferred great gifts, and the good were enriched.
5. 'Although he has his near relatives, they are not equal
to my virtuous men. The people are throwing blame upon me,
the One man.'
6. He carefully attended to the weights and measures,
examined the body of the laws, restored the discarded officers,
and the good government of the kingdom took its course.
7. He revived States that had been extinguished, restored
families whose line of succession had been broken, and called
to office those who had retired into obscurity, so that
throughout the kingdom the hearts of the people turned
8. What he attached chief importance to, were the food of
the people, the duties of mourning, and sacrifices.
9. By his generosity, he won all. By his sincerity, he made
the people repose trust in him. By his earnest activity, his
achievements were great. By his justice, all were delighted.
CHAP. II. 1. Tsze-chang asked Confucius, saying, 'In what
way should a person in authority act in order that he may
conduct government properly?' The Master replied, 'Let him
honour the five excellent, and banish away the four bad,
things;-- then may he conduct government properly.' Tsze-
chang said, 'What are meant by the five excellent things?' The
Master said, 'When the person in authority is beneficent
without great expenditure; when he lays tasks on the people
without their repining; when he pursues what he desires
without being covetous; when he maintains a dignified ease
without being proud; when he is majestic without being fierce.'
2. Tsze-chang said, 'What is meant by being beneficent
without great expenditure?' The Master replied, 'When the
person in authority makes more beneficial to the people the
things from which
they naturally derive benefit;-- is not this being beneficent
without great expenditure? When he chooses the labours which
are proper, and makes them labour on them, who will repine?
When his desires are set on benevolent government, and he
secures it, who will accuse him of covetousness? Whether he
has to do with many people or few, or with things great or
small, he does not dare to indicate any disrespect;-- is not this
to maintain a dignified ease without any pride? He adjusts his
clothes and cap, and throws a dignity into his looks, so that,
thus dignified, he is looked at with awe;-- is not this to be
majestic without being fierce?'
3. Tsze-chang then asked, 'What are meant by the four
bad things?' The Master said, 'To put the people to death
without having instructed them;-- this is called cruelty. To
require from them, suddenly, the full tale of work, without
having given them warning;-- this is called oppression. To issue
orders as if without urgency, at first, and, when the time
comes, to insist on them with severity;-- this is called injury.
And, generally, in the giving pay
or rewards to men, to do it in a stingy way;-- this is called
acting the part of a mere official.'
CHAP III. 1. The Master said, 'Without recognising the
ordinances of Heaven, it is impossible to be a superior man.
2. 'Without an acquaintance with the rules of Propriety, it
is impossible for the character to be established.
3. 'Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to