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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 this!'
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 and finish.'
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! That
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 eat.'

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 COMPLETE man.'
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

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 not crafty.'
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 in

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 his?'
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 common

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 his State?'
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 Ch'i.
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 of it.'
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 it."'
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 downwards.'
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
messenger indeed!'
CHAP. XXVII. The Master said, 'He who is not in any particular
office, has nothing to do with plans for the administration of its
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
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
insinuating talker?'
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 with kindness?'
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 against

Heaven. I do not grumble against men. My studies lie low, and my
penetration rises high. But there is Heaven;-- that knows me!'
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 concerned?'

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
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 up."'
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
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.'


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 memory?'
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 are
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 seat.'
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 into
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
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 scholars.'
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 talents

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 hard case.'
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 superior man.'

CHAP. XVIII. The Master said, 'The superior man is distressed
by his want of ability. He is not distressed by men's not knowing
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 partizan.'
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 individual.
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 plans.'
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 faults.'
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 learn.'
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 him.'
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 lose again.
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, he

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.'


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 here?
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 when fallen?"
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 submissive,

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 reduced.'
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 enjoyment in

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
CHAP. VII. Confucius said, 'There are three things which the
superior man guards against. In youth, when the physical powers

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 sages.'
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 next.

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 people.'
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
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 such words.
2. 'Living in retirement to study their aims, and practising

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
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
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 State call

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


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
2. Ho said to Confucius, 'Come, let me speak with you.' He then
asked, 'Can he be called benevolent who keeps his jewel in his

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 be

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 ruled."'
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 eastern
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 others.

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 be said?'
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 black?
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 have
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 conduct.'

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 prince.
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 and families.'
CHAP. XIX. 1. The Master said, 'I would prefer not speaking.'
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 be ruined.
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 straightforward.'
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.'


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 thrice-

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
2. Confucius alighted and wished to converse with him, but
Chieh-yu hastened away, so that he could not talk with him.
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, 'Who

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 before
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
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
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
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
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 the

4. Wu, the master of the hand drum, withdrew to the Han.
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 Chi-kwa.


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
CHAP. IV. Tsze-hsia said, 'Even in inferior studies and
employments there is something worth being looked at; but if it be

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 to learn.'
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 course.'
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 his
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 him.'
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 officer.'
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 virtue.'
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 to dwell

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 apartments.
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 been

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
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?'


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 perpetual end.'
2. Shun also used the same language in giving charge to Yu.
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

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
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 towards him.
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

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
know men.'

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