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The Chinese Classics by James Legge

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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.


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
their adminis-

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.

【第七章】【一節】顏淵死、顏路請子之車、以為之(guo3 木+享、與槨
同)。【二節】子曰、才不才、亦各言其子也、鯉也死、有棺而無(guo3 木
+享、與槨同)、吾不徒行以為之(guo3 木+享、與槨同)、以吾從大夫之後、
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
ask about

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
characteristics of

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
of Pi.
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
glib-tongued people.'
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
his wishes.'
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?


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
this lesson.'

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
to fear?'
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
one's virtue.
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
about government.
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
undeviating consistency.'
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
across it.'
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
disgrace yourself.'

CHAP. XXIV. The philosopher Tsang said, 'The superior
man on grounds of culture meets with his friends, and by their
friendship helps his virtue.'


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
cautious reserve.
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
nothing incorrect.'
CHAP. IV. 1. Fan Ch'ih requested to be taught husbandry.
The Master said, 'I am not so good for that as an old
husbandman.' He

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.

【第十章】子曰、苟有用我者、(上其下月, ji1)月而已可也、三年有成。
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
I say!"
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
next class.'

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
hate him.'
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
in war.'
CHAP. XXX. The Master said, 'To lead an uninstructed
people to war, is to throw them away.'


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
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 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
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 virtue?'

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
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
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

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
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 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
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

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.'


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
are few.'
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
into practice.'
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
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 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
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,

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
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, all

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
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 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
such words.
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
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



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
be changed.'


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
eastern Chau?'
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
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
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 not.'
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
and families.'
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
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

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