The Analects of Confucius 論語
Translated by A. Charles Muller
Table of Contents
First translated during the summer of 1990. Revised 2016-02-29
When citing, please refer to the URL of this page: http://www.acmuller.net/con-dao/analects.html
[1-1] 子曰。學而時習之、不亦說乎。 有朋自遠方來、不亦樂乎。人不知而不慍、不亦君子乎。
[1:1] The Master said: “Isn't it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned? Isn't it also great when friends visit from distant places? If people do not recognize me and it doesn't bother me, am I not a noble man?”
[Comment] “Noble man” is an English translation for the Chinese term junzi 君子, which originally meant “son of a prince”—thus, someone from the nobility. In the Analects, Confucius imbues the term with a special meaning. Though sometimes used strictly in its original sense, it also refers to a person who has made significant progress in the Way (dao) of self-cultivation, by developing a sense of justice 義, by loving treatment of parents 孝, respect for elders 弟, honesty with friends 信, etc. Though the junzi is a highly advanced human being, he is still distinguished from the category of sage (shengren 聖人), who is, in the Analects more of a “divine being,” usually a model from great antiquity.
The character of the noble man, in contrast to the sage, is being taught as a tangible model for all in the here and now. And although many descriptions of the requirements for junzi status seem quite out of our reach, there are many passages where Confucius labels a contemporary, or one of his disciples a “noble man,” intending a complement. Thus, the categorization is not so rigid. One might want to compare the term “noble man” to the Buddhist bodhisattva, in that both are the models for the tradition, both indicate a very high stage of human development as technical terms, yet both may be used colloquially to refer to a “really good person.”
[1:2] You Zi said: “There are few who have developed themselves filially and fraternally who enjoy offending their superiors. Those who do not enjoy offending superiors are never troublemakers. The noble man concerns himself with the fundamentals. Once the fundamentals are established, the proper way appears. Are not filial piety and obedience to elders fundamental to the actualization of fundamental human goodness?”
[Comment] The word ren 仁 is perhaps the most fundamental concept in Confucian thought. It has been translated into English as “benevolence,” “altruism,” “goodness”, “humaneness” etc. It is a difficult concept to translate because it doesn't really refer to any specific type of virtue or positive endowment, but refers to an inner capacity possessed by all human beings to do good, as human beings should. It is the quality that makes humans human, and not animals. In earlier iterations of this translation I have gone through various transitions: at first I attempted to use a unified English rendering throughout the text. I then pursued a strategy of leaving untranslated, as ren. Now I am presently leaning in the direction of translating the term variously, according to the context, but at present, remnants of all three strategies remain in the text. I intend to eventually sort this out.
In the Chinese “essence-function” 體用 paradigm, ren can be understood as the innate, unmanifest source of all kinds of manifestations of virtuosity: wisdom, filial piety, reverence, courtesy, love, sincerity, etc., all of which are aspects, or functions of ren. Through one's efforts at practicing at the function of ren, one may enhance and develop one's ren, until one may be called a noble man, or even better, a “humane person” 仁人. In the Analects, to be called a “humane person” by the Master is an extremely high evaluation, rarely acknowledged for anyone.
[1:3] The Master said: “Someone who is a clever speaker and maintains a contrived smile is seldom considered to be a really good person.”
[1:4] Ceng Zi said: “Each day I examine myself in three ways: in doing things for others, have I been disloyal? In my interactions with friends, have I been untrustworthy? Have not practiced what I have preached?”
[1:5] The Master said: “If you would govern a state of a thousand chariots (a small-to-middle-size state), you must pay strict attention to business, be true to your word, be economical in expenditure and love the people. You should employ them [appropriately] according to the seasons.”
[Comment] “Usage of the people according to the seasons” is extremely important in an agriculture-based society, where planting, cultivating, or harvesting a certain crop during a certain few-day period can be critical. During the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods in China, selfish and aggressive warlords frequently pulled farmers off their land at important farming times, to use them for public works projects, or have them fight in the ruler's personal wars.
[1:6] The Master said: “A young man should serve his parents at home and be respectful to elders outside his home. He should be earnest and truthful, loving all, but become intimate with his innate good-heartedness. After doing this, if he has energy to spare, he can study literature and the arts.”
[Comment] In the above-mentioned essence-function view, the development of one's proper relationship with one's parents and others around her/him is fundamental in life. Only after these things are taken care of is it proper to go off and play at whatever one likes— even if this “play” involves the serious study of some art form.
[1:7] Zi Xia said: “If you can treat the worthy as worthy without strain, exert your utmost in serving your parents, devote your whole self in serving your prince, and be honest in speech when dealing with your friends. If you do this and someone says you are not learned (xue 學), I would say that you are definitely learned.”
[Comment] In the Confucian tradition, learning (xue) is more than intellectual, academic study, or the accumulation of facts (although this aspect is included). It is the process of manifesting one's ren by developing oneself in self-reflection through the various types of human relationships.
[1:8] The Master said: “If the noble man lacks gravitas, then he will not inspire awe in others. If he is not learned, then he will not be on firm ground. He takes loyalty and good faith to be of primary importance, and has no friends who are not of equal (moral) caliber. When he makes a mistake, he doesn't hesitate to correct it.”
[Comment] The noble man still makes mistakes. The difference between him and other people is that he rectifies his errors as soon as he becomes aware of them.
[1:9] Ceng Zi said: “When they are careful (about their parents) to the end and continue in reverence after (their parents) are long gone, the virtue of the people will return to its natural depth.”
[1-10] 子禽問於子貢曰。夫子至於是邦也、必聞其政、求之與 抑與之與 。子貢曰。夫子溫、良、恭、儉、讓以得之。夫子之求之也、其諸異乎人之求之與
[1:10] Zi Qin asked Zi Gong: “When our teacher (Confucius) arrives in any country, he invariably finds out everything about its government. Does he seek this information? Or is it given to him?”
Zi Gong said, “Our teacher gets it by being cordial, upright, courteous, frugal, and humble. His way of getting information is quite different from that of other men.”
[Comment] Confucian didn't need to dig around, or press people for information. People naturally opened up to him due to his warmth and honesty.
[1:11] The Master said: “When your father is alive, observe his will. When your father is dead observe his former actions. If, for three years you do not change from the ways of your father, you can be called a ‘real son’ (xiao; 孝).”
[Comment] In terms of the development of the character of the human being, the most fundamental practice is that of “filial piety,” the English translation of the Chinese xiao, which means to love, respect and take care of one's parents. Confucius believed that if people cultivated this innate tendency well, all other natural forms of human goodness would be positively affected by it.
[1:12] You Zi said: “In the actual practice of propriety, flexibility is important. This is what the ancient kings did so well— both the greater and the lesser used flexibility. Yet there are occasions when this does not apply: If you understand flexibility and use it, but don't structure yourself with propriety, things won't go well.”
[Comment] Propriety is the English rendition of the Chinese li 禮. This is a word that also has a wide range of meaning in Classical Chinese thought, and is difficult to translate in a single word. Its most basic meaning is that of “ritual” or “ceremony,” referring to all sorts of rituals that permeated early East Asian society. The most significant of course, would be wedding ceremonies and funerals. But there were also various agricultural rituals, coming-of-age rituals, coronations, etc. Confucius was an expert on the proper handling of all sorts of rituals.
The term li however, has, in the Analects, a much broader meaning than ritual, since it can also refer to the many smaller “ritualized” behavior patterns involved in day-to-day human interactions. This would include proper speech and body language according to status, age, sex— thus, “manners.” In this sense, li means any action proper, or appropriate to the situation. For instance, in the modern context, I might go up and slap my friend on the back. But I certainly wouldn't to that to my professor, or to a student in my class whom I don't know very well.
In the Analects, li, as a general category, is clearly defined in a relationship with ren, where ren is the inner, substantial goodness of the human being, and li is the functioning of ren in the manifest world. That is to say, li is reciprocity 恕, filial piety 孝, fraternal respect 弟, etc.
[1:13]You Zi said: “When your own trustworthiness is close to fairness, your words can be followed. When your show of respect is according to propriety, you will be far from shame and disgrace. If you have genuine affection within your family, you can become an ancestor.”
[Comment] Fairness is one way of rendering of the Chinese yi 義, which we also translate in this text as Justice, according to the context. Although not quite as essential a concept as ren 仁, it is a strongly internalized human capacity. Being attuned to fairness allows people to do the proper thing in the proper situation, to give each person, place and thing its proper due. In the Analects and other Confucian texts, 義 has the specific connotations of fairness, or justice delivered in a situation when a person is in a position of power or authority. Thus, one of the greatest qualities to be possessed by teacher, a supervisor, a judge, a company owner, or the leader of any social circle is that of fairness, or justice, in treating those over whom he or she has power or influence.
[1:14] The Master said: “When the noble man eats he does not try to stuff himself; at rest he does not seek perfect comfort; he is diligent in his work and careful in speech. He avails himself to people of the Way and thereby corrects himself. This is the kind of person of whom you can say, ‘he loves learning.’”
[1-15] 子貢曰。貧而無諂、富而無驕、何如 。 子曰。可也。未若貧而樂、富而好禮者也。子貢曰。詩云。如切如磋、如琢如磨』、其斯之謂與 子曰。賜也、始可與言詩已矣、吿諸往而知來者。
[1:15] Zi Gong asked: “What do you think of a poor man who doesn't grovel or a rich man who isn't proud?” Confucius said, “They are good, but not as good as a poor man who is satisfied and a rich man who loves propriety.” Zi Gong said, “The Book of Odes 1 says:”
Like cutting and filing,
Grinding and polishing 2
“Is this what you are talking about?” Confucius said, “Ah, now I can begin to discuss the Book of Odes with Ci. I speak of various things, and he knows what is to be brought back. 3 ”
[1:16] The Master said: “I am not bothered by the fact that I am unknown. I am bothered when I do not know others.”
[2:1] The Master said: “If you govern with the power of your virtue, you will be like the North Star. It just stays in its place while all the other stars position themselves around it.”
[Comment] This is the Analects' first statement on government. Scholars of Chinese thought have commonly placed great emphasis on a supposed radical distinction between Confucian “authoritative” government and Daoist “laissez-faire” government. But numerous Confucian passages such as this which suggest of the ruler's governance by a mere attunement with an inner principle of goodness, without unnecessary external action, quite like the Daoist wu-wei are far more numerous than has been noted. This is one good reason for us to be careful when making the commonplace Confucian/Daoist generalizations without qualification.
[2-2] 子曰。詩三百、一言以蔽之、曰。思無邪』 。
[2:2] The Master said: “The 300 verses of the Book of Odes can be summed up in a single phrase: ‘Don't think in an evil way.’”
[2:3] The Master said: “If you govern the people legalistically and control them by punishment, they will avoid crime, but have no personal sense of shame. If you govern them by means of virtue and control them with propriety, they will gain their own sense of shame, and thus correct themselves.”
[2:4] The Master said: “At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts; at fifty I knew the mandate of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at seventy I could follow my heart's desire without transgressing the norm.”
[2-5] 孟懿子問孝。子曰。無違。樊遲御、子吿之曰。孟孫問孝於我、我對曰、無違。』 樊遲曰。何謂也 子曰。生、事之以禮; 死、葬之以禮、祭之以禮。
[2:5] Mengyi Zi asked about the meaning of filial piety. Confucius said, “It means ‘not diverging (from your parents).’” Later, when Fan Chi was driving him, Confucius told Fan Chi, “Mengsun asked me about the meaning of filial piety, and I told him ‘not diverging.’” Fan Chi said, “What did you mean by that?” Confucius said, “When your parents are alive, serve them with propriety; when they die, bury them with propriety, and then worship them with propriety.”
[2:6] Mengwu Bo asked about the meaning of filial piety. Confucius said, “The main concern of your parents is about your health.”
[Comment] When we are separated from our parents for long periods of time, we can set their minds at ease by letting them know that we are in good health.
[2:7] Zi You asked about the meaning of filial piety. Confucius said, “Nowadays filial piety means being able to feed your parents. But everyone does this for even horses and dogs. Without respect, what's the difference?”
[2:8] Zi Xia asked about filial piety. Confucius said, “What is important is the expression you show in your face. You should not understand ‘filial’ to mean merely the young doing physical tasks for their parents, or giving them food and wine when it is available.”
[2:9] The Master said: “I can talk with Hui for a whole day without him differing with me in any way— as if he is stupid. But when he retires and I observe his personal affairs, it is quite clear that he is not stupid.”
[Comment] Hui (Yan Yuan) was Confucius' favorite disciple, who is praised in many passages of the Analects. He died at a young age, probably around thirty, a fact which Confucius lamented.
[2:10] The Master said: “See a person's means (of getting things). Observe his motives. Examine that in which he rests. How can a person conceal his character? How can a person conceal his character?”
[Comment] People think that they are successfully hiding the devious plots that are going on in their minds. But as the Doctrine of the Mean teaches, “The sincerity on the inside shows on the outside.” When someone is deceitful, everyone knows it. When someone is good and honest, everyone knows it.
[2:11] The Master said: “Reviewing what you have learned and learning anew, you are fit to be a teacher.”
[2:12] The Master said: “The noble man is not a utensil.”
[Comment] The noble man is not a technician, to be used by others to do a single job. On another level, his mind is not narrowly oriented by a specific task. The junzi thinks broadly and does not limit himself quickly into a certain world-view, and cannot easily be used as a cog in someone else's machine.
[2:13] Zi Gong asked about the character of the noble man. Confucius said, “First he practices what he preaches and then he follows it.”
[2:14] The Master said: “The noble man is all-embracing and not partial. The inferior man is partial and not all-embracing.”
[2:15] The Master said: “To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.”
[2:16] The Master said: “To throw oneself into strange teachings is quite dangerous.”
[2-17] 子曰。由、誨女知之乎。 知之爲知之、不知爲不知。是知也。
[2:17] The Master said: “You, shall I teach you about knowledge? What you know, you know, what you don't know, you don't know. This is knowledge.”
[Comment] The stage of “knowing what you know and knowing what you don't know” is not easy to attain. It has been noted in the teachings of other religious traditions to be a very high level of attainment.
[2:18] Zi Zhang was studying to get an upgrade in his civil service rank. [Advising him about self-improvement,] Confucius said, “Listen widely to remove your doubts and be careful when speaking about the rest and your mistakes will be few. See much and get rid of what is dangerous and be careful in acting on the rest and your causes for regret will be few. Speaking without fault, acting without causing regret: ‘upgrading’ consists in this.”
[2-19] 哀公聞曰。何爲則民服 孔子對曰。擧直錯諸枉、則民服; 擧枉錯諸直、則民不服。
[2:19] The Duke of Ai asked: “How can I make the people follow me?” Confucius replied: “Advance the upright and set aside the crooked, and the people will follow you. Advance the crooked and set aside the upright, and the people will not follow you.”
[2-20] 季康子問：使民敬、忠以勤、如之何 子曰。臨之以莊、則敬; 孝慈、則忠; 擧善而教不能、則勤。
[2:20] Ji Kang Zi asked: “How can I make the people reverent and loyal, so they will work positively for me?” Confucius said, “Approach them with dignity, and they will be reverent. Be filial and compassionate and they will be loyal. Promote the able and teach the incompetent, and they will work positively for you.”
[2-21] 或謂孔子曰。子奚不爲政 子曰。書云：孝乎惟孝、友于兄弟、施於有政。』 是亦爲政、奚其爲爲政
[2:21] Someone asked Confucius: “Why are you not involved in government?” Confucius said, “What does the Book of History say about filial piety? ‘Just by being a good son and friendly to ones brothers and sisters you can have an effect on government.’ Since this is also ‘doing government,’ why do I need to do ‘doing government?’”
[2-22] 子曰。人而無信、不知其可也。大車無輗、小車無軏 , 其何以行之哉
[2:22] The Master said: “If a person lacks trustworthiness, I don't know what s/he can be good for. When a pin is missing from the yoke-bar of a large wagon, or from the collar-bar of a small wagon, how can it go?”
[2-23] 子張問：十世可知也 子曰。殷因於夏禮、所損益、可知也。 周因於殷禮、所損益、可知也。其或繼周者、雖百世、可知也。
[2:23] Zi Zhang asked whether the state of affairs ten generations hence could be known. Confucius said, “The Shang based its propriety on that of the Yin, and what it added and subtracted is knowable. The Zhou has based its propriety on that of the Shang and what it added and subtracted is knowable. In this way, what continues from the Zhou, even if 100 generations hence, is knowable.”
[2:24] The Master said: “To worship to other than one's own ancestral spirits is flattery. If you see what is right and fail to act on it, you lack courage.”
[3:1] Confucius, speaking about the head of the Qi family said, “He has eight rows of dancers in his court. If he does this, what will he not do?”
[Comment] In this passage and the following one, Confucius is complaining about a lower-level aristocrat using ceremonies that were officially prescribed for much higher-level nobility. “Eight rows of dancers,” was the amount allowable to only the most elite of the nobility. The head of the Qi family is often criticized in the Analects for similar improprieties.
[3-2] 三家者以雍徹。子曰。“相維辟公、天子穆穆。 奚取於三家之堂 ”
[3:2] The Three Families used the Yong Songs at the clearing of the sacrificial vessels. Confucius said,
Attended on by Lords and Princes:
How magnificent is the Son of Heaven!
How could these words be used in the halls of the Three Families?
[3:3] The Master said: “If a man has no ren what can his propriety be like? If a man has no ren what can his music be like?”
[Comment] Since ren is the essence of all positive human attributes, without it, how can they truly operate?
[3-4] 林放問禮之本。子曰。大哉問禮、與齊奢也、寧儉; 喪、與其易也、寧戚。
[3:4] Lin Fang asked about the fundamentals of ritual. Confucius said, “What an excellent question! In ritual, it is better to be frugal than extravagant; in funerals deep sorrow is better than ease.”
[3:5] The Master said: “The tribes of the East and North (Koreans and Mongolians), though having kings, are not equal to our people, even when lacking kings,”
[Comment] Either Confucius is an outright ethnic chauvinist, or he is pointing to a real difference in the relative level of cultural development at that time between the central Chinese kingdoms and the peoples of the outlying regions.
[3-6] 季氏旅於泰山。子謂冉有曰。女弗能救與 對 曰。不能。子曰。嗚呼 曾謂泰山不如林放乎。
[3:6] The Ji family went to make a sacrifice at Mt. Tai. The master said to Ran You: “Can't you save them from this?” You responded: “I can't.” The master said: “Alas! Does this meant that Mt. Tai is not the equal of Lin Fang?” 4
[3:7] The Master said: “The noble man has nothing to compete for. But if he must compete, he does it in an archery match, wherein he ascends to his position, bowing in deference. Descending, he drinks the ritual cup. This is the competition of the noble man.”
[3-8] 子夏問曰。巧笑倩兮、美目盼兮、素以爲絢兮。何爲也 子曰。繪事后素。曰。禮后乎。子曰。起予者商也 始可與言詩矣。
[3:8] Zi Xia quoted the following:
Her tactful smile charms;
Her eyes, fine and clear,
Beautiful without accessories.
And asked its meaning. Confucius said, “A painting is done on plain white paper.” Zi Xia said, “Then are rituals a secondary thing?” Confucius said, “Ah, Shang, you uplift me. Now we can really begin to discuss the Book of Odes.”
[Comment] Among all the ancient classical works available to scholars of the time, Confucius seems to place special value on the Book of Odes, for its strength in moral teachings as well as the intellectual stimulation it provided.
[3:10] The Master said: “At the Great Sacrifice, after the pouring of the libation, I have no further desire to watch.”
[3-11] 或問禘之說。子曰。不知也。 知其說者之於天下也、其如示諸斯乎。指其掌。
[3:11] Someone asked for an explanation of the Great Sacrifice. Confucius said, “I don't know. If there were someone who knew this, he could see the whole world as if it were this”: He pointed to the palm of his hand.
[3:12] “Sacrificing as if present” means sacrificing to the spirits as if they were present. Confucius said, “If I do not personally offer the sacrifice, it is the same as not having sacrificed at all.”
[3-13] 王孫賈問曰。與其媚於奧、寧媚於竈; 何謂也 子曰。不然; 獲罪於天、無所禱; 也。
[3:13] Wang Sun Jia asked: “What do you think about the saying ‘It is better to sacrifice to the god of the stove than to the god of the family shrine.’?” Confucius said, “Not so. If you offend Heaven, there is no one you can pray to.”
[3:14] The Master said: “The people of the Zhou were able to observe the prior two dynasties and thus their culture flourished. I now follow the Zhou.”
[3:15] When Confucius entered the Grand Temple, he asked about everything. Someone said, “Who said Confucius is a master of ritual? He enters the Grand Temple and asks about everything!”
Confucius, hearing this, said, “This is the ritual.”
[3:16] The Master said: “In archery it is not important to pierce through the leather covering of the target, since not all men have the same strength. This is the Way of the ancients.”
[3-17] 子貢欲去吿朔之餼羊。子曰。賜也 爾愛其羊、我愛其禮。
[3:17] Zi Gong wanted to do away with the sacrifice of the sheep on the first of the month. Confucius said, “Ci, you love the sheep; I love the ceremony.”
[3:18] The Master said: “If you use every single courtesy while serving your prince, the people will call you a sycophant.”
[3-19] 定公問：君使臣、臣事君、如之何 孔子對曰。君使臣以禮、臣事君以忠。
[3:19] Duke Ding asked how a ruler should employ his ministers and how a minister should serve his ruler. Confucius replied, saying: “The prince employs his ministers with propriety; the ministers serve their prince with good faith.”
[3:20] The Master said: “The Guanju 5 allows for pleasure without being lewd and allows for grief without being too painful.”
[3-21] 哀公問社於宰我。宰我對曰。夏后氏以松、殷人以柏、周人以栗、曰、使民戰栗。子聞之、曰。成事不說, 遂事不諫、旣往不咎。
[3:21] The Duke of Ai asked Zai Wo about sacred temple grounds. Zai Wo said, “The Xia emperor planted them with pines; the Xiang people planted them with cypress and the Zhou people planted them with chestnut, thinking to cause people to be in awe of these trees.”
Confucius, hearing this, said, “Don't bother explaining that which has already been done; don't bother criticizing that which is already gone; don't bother blaming that which is already past.”
[3-22] 子曰。管仲之器小哉。或曰。管仲儉乎。曰。管氏有三歸、官事不攝、焉得儉 然則管仲知禮乎。曰。邦君樹塞門、管氏亦樹塞門。邦君爲兩君之好、有反坫 , 管氏亦有反坫 。管氏而知禮、孰不知禮
[3:22] The Master said: “Guan Zhong 6 was quite limited in capacity.”
Someone asked: “Wasn't Guan Zhong frugal?”
Confucius said, “Guan had three sets of wives and his officers never worked overtime. How can he be considered to have been frugal?”
“But then did Guan Zhong understand propriety?” Confucius said, “The princes of the states have a special ritual screen at their door, and so did Guan Zhong (even though he was not of the proper rank to do this). When the princes of state had a friendly meeting, they would ritually turn their cups over on the table. Guan also turned his cups over on the table. If Guan Zhong understood propriety, then who doesn't?”
[3-23] 子語魯大師樂、曰。樂其可知也：始作、翕如也。 從之、純如也、皦如也、繹如也、以成。
[3:23] Confucius, when talking with the Grand Music Master of Lu, said, “In my understanding of music, the piece should be begun in unison. Afterwards, if it is pure, clear and without break, it will be perfect.”
[3:24] The border guard at Yi requested an audience with the Master, saying: “Whenever a noble man comes here, I never miss the opportunity to see him.” The disciples sent him in. When he came out, he said, “Friends, don't have any doubts about your master failing. The world has certainly lacked the Way for a long time now, but Heaven will use your master to awaken everyone.”
[3:26] The Master said: “Men of high office who are narrow-minded; propriety without respect and funerals without grief: how can I bear to look at such things?!”
[4:1] The Master said: “As for a neighborhood, it is its ren that makes it beautiful. If you choose to live in a place that lacks ren, how can you grow in wisdom?”
[4:2] The Master said: “If you lack ren you can't handle long periods of difficulty or long periods of comfort. Humane men are comfortable in ren. The wise take advantage of ren.”
[4:3] The Master said: “Only the humane person is able to really like others or to really dislike them.”
[4:4] The Master said: “If you are really committed to ren, you will not have resentments.”
[Comment] In the prior passage, it has been stated that the man of ren is capable of hating people. Here it would seem that although he has that capability, if he makes an effort to exercise his innate goodness, he will not hold that malice. 7
[4-5] 子曰。富與貴、是人之所欲也。 不以其道得之、不處也。貧與賤、是人之惡也。 不以其道得之、不去也。君子去仁、惡乎成名。君子無終食之間違仁、造次必於是、顚沛必於是。
[4:5] Confucius said, “Riches and honors are what all men desire. But if they cannot be attained in accordance with the Way they should not be kept. Poverty and low status are what all men hate. But if they cannot be avoided while staying in accordance with the Way, you should not avoid them. If a noble man departs from his fundamental goodness, how can he be worthy of that name? A noble man never leaves his fundamental goodness for even the time of a single meal. In moments of haste he acts according to it. In times of difficulty or confusion he acts according to it.”
[4:6] The Master said: “I have never seen one who really loves ren or really hates non-ren. If you really loved ren you would not place anything above it. If you really hated the non-ren, you would not let it near you. Is there anyone who has devoted his strength to ren for a single day? I have not seen anyone who has lacked the strength to do so. Perhaps there has been such a case, but I have never seen it.”
[4:7] The Master said: “People err according to their own level. It is by observing a person's mistakes that you can know his/her goodness.”
[Comment] No one is perfect, free from error. But when someone makes a mistake in a human relationship, we can tell by the type of mistake, and by the person's way of dealing with it, what her/his true character is like.
[4:8] The Master said: “If I can hear the Way in the morning, in the evening I can die content.”
[4:9] “A shi who is set on the way, but is ashamed of old clothes and coarse food, is not worth consulting.”
[Comment] The title shi is translated into English with such terms as “elite”, “knight”, “scholar,” etc. While the shi of later Chinese history is more definitely a scholar than a knight, in the Analects, what Confucius is referring to is a level of spiritual/moral development, as well as academic and martial cultivation which is clearly above that of the average person. Thus, we can understand the shi to be a person who is well on the way toward becoming a “noble man,” but is not quite there yet. I am reluctant to render shi, as either “scholar” or “knight” because of the limitations in meaning that occur with these English words.
[4-10] 子曰。君子之於天下也、無適也、無莫也、義之與 比。
[4:10] The Master said: “When the noble man deals with the world he is not prejudiced for or against anything. He does what is Right.”
[4-11] 子曰。君子懷德、小人懷土。 君子懷刑、小人懷惠。
[4:11] The Master said: “The noble man cares about virtue; the inferior man cares about material things. The noble man seeks discipline; the inferior man seeks favors.”
[4:12] The Master said: “If you do everything with a concern for your own advantage, you will be resented by many people.”
[4-13] 子曰。能以禮讓爲國乎、何有 不能以禮讓爲國、如禮何
[4:13] The Master said: “If you can govern the country by putting propriety first, what else will you need to do? If you can't govern your country by putting propriety first, how could you even call it propriety?”
[4-14] 子曰。不患無位、患所以立。 不患莫己知、求爲可知也。
[4:14] The Master said: “I don't worry about not having a good position; I worry about the means I use to gain position. I don't worry about being unknown; I seek to be known in the right way.”
[4:15] The Master said: “Shan, my Way is penetrated by a single thread.” Ceng Zi said, “Yes.” When the Master left, some disciples asked what he meant. Ceng Zi said, “Our master's Way is to be sincere and fair, and that's it.”
[4:16] The Master said: “The noble man is aware of fairness, the inferior man is aware of advantage.”
[4-17] 子曰。見賢思齊焉。 見不賢而內自省也。
[4:17] The Master said: “When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.”
[4:18] The Master said: “When you serve your mother and father it is okay to try to correct them once in a while. But if you see that they are not going to listen to you, keep your respect for them and don't distance yourself from them. Work without complaining.”
[4:19] The Master said: “While your parents are alive, it is better not to travel far away. If you do travel, you should have a precise destination.”
[4:20] The Master said: “If, for three years (after your father's death) you don't alter his ways of doing things, you can certainly be called ‘filial.’”
[4:21] The Master said: “Your parents' age should not be ignored. Sometimes it will be a source of joy, and sometimes it will be a source of apprehension.”
[4:22] The Master said: “The ancients were hesitant to speak, fearing that their actions would not do justice to their words.”
[4:23] The Master said: “If you are strict with yourself, your mistakes will be few.”
[4:24] The Master said: “The noble man desires to be hesitant in speech, but sharp in action.”
[4:25] The Master said: “If you are virtuous, you will not be lonely. You will always have friends.”
[4-26] 子游曰。事君數、斯辱矣。 朋友數、斯疏矣。
[4:26] Zi You said: “In serving your prince, frequent remonstrance will lead to disgrace. With friends, frequent remonstrance will lead to separation.”
[5:1] Confucius said of Gong Ye Chang that he was fit for marriage. Even though he was arrested once, he had been innocent; therefore Confucius gave him his daughter in marriage.
[5:2] Confucius said of Nan Yong that if the Way prevailed in the state he would never lack an official post. If the Way was lacking in the state, he would avoid getting into trouble. He gave him the daughter of his own elder brother in marriage.
[5:3] Confucius said of Zi Jian: “He is a noble man. If the state of Lu is really lacking Superior Men how could he have acquired such a character?”
[5-4] 子貢問曰。賜也何如 子曰。女、器也。曰。何器也 曰。瑚璉也。
[5:4] Zi Gong asked: “What do you say of me?”
Confucius said, “You are a vessel.”
“What kind of vessel.”
“A gemmed sacrificial vessel.”
[5-5] 或曰。雍也仁而不侫。子曰。焉用侫 禦人以口給、屢 憎於人。不知其仁、焉用侫
[5:5] Someone said: “Yong is a ren man, but he is not sharp enough with his tongue.” Confucius said, “Why does he need to be sharp with his tongue? If you deal with people by smooth talk, you will soon be disliked. I don't know if Yong is a ren man, but why should he have to be a clever speaker?”
[5:6] Confucius encouraged Qi Diao Kai to get employment as an official. He replied: “I am not yet sincere enough.” The master was pleased.
[5-7] 子曰。道不行、乘桴浮于海。從我者、其由與 子路聞之喜。子曰。由也好勇過我、無所取材。
[5:7] The Master said: “The Way is not practiced. I shall go ride a raft on the ocean— and I imagine You would go with me.” Zi Lu was very happy to hear this. Confucius said, “You likes daring more than I, but he lacks discretion.”
[5-8] 孟武伯問子路仁乎。子曰。不知也。又問。子曰。由也、千乘之國、可使治其賦也、不知其仁也。求也何如 子曰。求也、千室之邑、百乘之家、可使爲之宰也、不知其仁也。赤也何如 子曰。赤也、束帶立於朝、可使與賓客言也、不知其仁也。
[5:8] Meng Wu Bo asked Confucius whether Zi Lu was a ren man.
Confucius said, “I don't know.”
He asked again. Confucius said, “You could direct the public works forces in a state of 1, 000 chariots, but I don't know if I would call him a ren man.”
Meng again asked: “What about Qiu?”
Confucius said, “Qiu could be the governor of a city of 1, 000 families, or of a clan of 100 chariots, but I don't know if he is a ren man.”
Meng asked: “What about Chi?”
The Master said, “Dressed up with his sash, placed in the middle of the court, he could make conversation with the guests, but I don't know if he is a ren man.”
[5-9] 子謂子貢曰。女與囘也、孰愈 對曰。賜也、何敢望囘。囘也、聞一以知十。 賜也、聞一知二。子曰。弗如也。 吾與女、弗如也。
[5:9] Confucius, speaking to Zi Gong said, “Who is superior, you or Hui?” Zi Gong answered, saying: “How could I compare myself to Hui? He hears one point and understands the whole thing. I hear one point and understand a second one.”
Confucius said, “You are not equal to him; you and I, we are not equal to him. 8 ”
[5-10] 宰予晝寢。子曰。朽木不可雕也、糞土之牆不可朽也。於予與何誅 子曰。始吾於人也、聽其言而信其行。 今吾於人也、聽其言而觀其行。於予與改是。
[5:10] Zai You slept during the daytime. Confucius said, “Rotten wood cannot be carved; dirty earth cannot be used for cement: why bother scolding him? At first I used to listen to what people said and expect them to act accordingly. Now I listen to what people say and watch what they do. I learned this from You.”
[5:11] The Master said: “I have not yet met a really solid man.” Someone said, “What about Shan Cheng?”
Confucius said, “Cheng is ruled by lust. How could he be solid?”
[5:12] Zi Gong said: “What I don't want done to me, I don't want to do to others.”
Confucius said, “Ci, you have not yet gotten to this level.”
[5-13] 子貢曰。夫子之文章、可得而聞也。 夫子之言性與天道、不可得而聞也。
[5:13] Zi Gong said: “What our Master has to say about the classics can be heard and also embodied. Our Master's words on the essence and the Heavenly Way, though not attainable, can be heard.”
[5:14] When Zi Lu heard a teaching and had not yet put it into practice, he would be apprehensive about hearing something new in the meantime.
[5-15] 子貢問曰。孔文子何以謂之文』 也 子曰。敏而好學、不恥下問、是以謂之文』 也。
[5:15] Zi Gong asked: “How did Kong Wen Zi get the title ‘wen’”? (wen = learned, literary, refined) Confucius said, “He was diligent and loved to study. He was also unashamed to ask questions to his inferiors. Therefore he got the name wen.”
[5-16] 子謂子產, 有君子之道四焉：其行己也恭、其事上也敬、其養民也惠、其使民也義。
[5:16] Confucius said that Zi Chan had four characteristics of the noble man: In his private conduct he was courteous; in serving superiors he was respectful, in providing for the people he was kind; in dealing with the people he was just.
[5:17] The Master said: “Yan Ping Zhong was good at getting along with people. Even after a long period of acquaintance, he would continue to treat them with respect.”
[5-19] 子張問曰。令尹子文三仕爲令尹、無喜色。三已之、無慍色。舊令尹之政、必以吿新令尹。何如 子曰。忠矣。曰。仁矣乎。曰。未知。 焉得仁 崔子殺齊君、陳文子有馬十乘、棄而違之。至於他邦、則曰、猶吾大崔子也。』 違之。 之一邦、則又曰。猶吾大夫崔子也。』 違之。何如 子曰。淸矣。曰。仁矣乎。子曰。未之。 焉得仁
[5:19] Zi Zhang asked: “The Chief Minister Zi Wen was appointed three times, but never showed any sign of pleasure. He was fired three times, but never showed any sign of disappointment. He would always inform the incoming minister on all the details of the prior government. What do you think of him?”
Confucius said, “He was loyal.”
“Was he humane?”
Confucius said, “I don't know what he did to deserve to be called humane.”
Zi Zhang again asked: “When Qiu Zi assassinated the prince of Qi, Chan Wen Zi, who had a fief of ten chariots, abandoned them and left the state. Arriving to another state, he said, ‘The government here is just like that of the officer Qiu Zi.’ and he left it. Coming to another state he said, ‘They are again just like the officer Qiu Zi.’ and he left. What do you think of him?”
Confucius said, “He was pure.”
“Was he humane?”
“I don't know what he did to merit being called humane.”
[5:20] Ji Wen Zi contemplated something three times before acting upon it. When Confucius heard this, he said, “Twice is enough.”
[5-21] 子曰。甯武子、邦有道、則知。 邦無道、則愚。其知可及也。 其愚不可及也。
[5:21] The Master said: “When the Way prevailed in the state, Ning Wu Zi showed his intelligence. When the Way declined in the state, he played stupid. Someone might be able to match his intelligence, but no one can match his stupidity.”
[5-22] 子在陳曰。歸與歸與 吾黨之小子狂簡、斐然成章、不知所以裁之。
[5:22] Once, when Confucius was in Chen, he said, “I must return! I must return! My young disciples are wild 9 and unbridled. Though they are developing well, they don't always know when to restrain themselves.”
[5:23] The Master said: “Bo Yi and Shu Qi did not keep others' former wrongdoings in mind, and so there was little resentment against them.”
[Comment] Bo Yi and Shu Qi are two ministers of antiquity, famous for their virtue.
[5-24] 子曰。孰謂微生高直。或乞醯 焉、乞諸鄰而與之。
[5:24] The Master said: “Who said that Wei Sheng Gao is of straight character? Someone begged vinegar from him, and he went and got some from his neighbors and gave it to him.” (Rather than giving his own).
[5:25] The Master said: “Clever words, a pretentious face and too-perfect courtesy: Zuo Qiuming was ashamed of them. I am also ashamed of them. Concealing one's resentments and acting friendly to people: Zuo Qiuming was ashamed to act this way and so am I.”
[5-26] 顏淵、季路侍。子曰。盍各言爾志 子路曰。願車馬、衣輕裘、與朋友共、蔽之而無憾。顏淵曰。願無伐善、無施勞。子路曰。願聞子之志。子曰。老者安之、朋友信之、少者懷之。
[5:26] Yanyuan and Zi Lu were by the Master's side. He said to them: “Why don't each of you tell me of your aspirations?”
Zi Lu said, “I would like to have wagons, horses and light fur coats to give to my friends, and if they damaged them, not to get angry.”
Yanyuan said, “I would like not to be proud of my good points and not to show off my works.”
Zi Lu said, “What are your wishes, Teacher?”
Confucius said, “I would like to give comfort to the aged, trust to my friends and nurturance to the young.”
[5:27] The Master said: “It's all over! I have not yet met someone who can see his own faults and correct them within himself.”
[5:28] The Master said: “In a hamlet of ten families there must be someone as loyal and trustworthy as I. But I doubt there will be someone as fond of study.”
[6:1] The Master said: “Yong could fulfill the role of ‘facing south’ (being a ruler).”
[6-2] 仲弓問子桑伯子。 子曰、可也簡。仲弓曰。居敬而行簡、以臨其民、不亦不可乎。居簡而行簡、無乃大簡乎。子曰。雍之言然。
[6:2] Zhong Gong asked about Zisang Bo Zi.
Confucius said, “He will do. He is easygoing.”
Zhong Gong said, “Maybe if you are easygoing but abide in reverence it is all right. But if you abide in easygoingness and are also easygoing in your activities, wouldn't that be excessive?”
Confucius said, “Yong is right.”
[6:3] The Duke of Ai asked which disciple loved to study. Confucius answered: “There was Yanhui. He loved to study, he didn't transfer his anger to the wrong person, and he didn't repeat his mistakes. Unfortunately he died young. Since then I have not yet met anyone who loves to study the way he did.”
[6:6] Confucius, speaking of Zhong Gong said: “The calf of a brindled ox could be all red and have good horns. 10 But even if we decide not to use it, would nature [lit. ‘the mountains and rivers’] cast it away?” 11
[6:7] The Master said: “Hui could keep his mind on ren for three months without lapse. Others are lucky if they can do it for one day out of a month.”
[6-8] 季康子問：仲由可使從政也與 子曰。由也果、於從政乎何有 曰。賜也可使政也與 曰。賜也達、於從政乎何有 曰。求也可使從政也與 曰。求也藝、於從政乎何有 。
[6:8] Jikang Zi asked whether Zhongyou was capable of serving in the government.
Confucius said, “You is efficient. What problem could he have in handling government work?”
Kang asked: “Is Ci capable of serving in the government?”
Confucius said, “Ci is intelligent. What problem could he have in handling government work?”
“And what about Qiu?”
Confucius said, “Qiu is talented. What difficulty would he have in handling government work?”
[6-9] 季氏使閔子騫爲費宰。閔子騫曰。善爲我辭焉 如有復我者、則吾必在汶上矣。
[6:9] The head of the Qi family sent to Min Ziqian to ask him to govern Pi for them. Min Ziqian said, “Please decline for me politely. If they pursue me further, I shall have to go live on the banks of the Wen River.” 12
[6-10] 伯牛有疾、子問之、自牖執其手、曰。亡之、命矣夫 斯人也。有斯疾也 斯人也。有斯疾也。 。
[6:10] Boniu was sick and Confucius came to see him. He held his hand through the window and said, “He is dying! How awful it is that this kind of man should be sick like this! How awful it is that this kind of man should be sick like this!”
[6-11] 子曰。賢哉、囘也 一簞食、一瓢飮、在陋巷、人不堪其憂、囘也不改其樂。賢哉、囘也 。
[6:11] The Master said: “Hui was indeed a worthy! With a single bamboo bowl of rice and gourd-cup of water he lived in a back alley. Others could not have endured his misery, but Hui never changed from his happy disposition. Hui was a worthy indeed!”
Comment In Confucian and Daoist thought, the term xian (“worthy”) means “good, kind, intelligent, courageous,” etc. But it is also a technical term for a person of a high level of moral and intellectual advancement. Generally speaking, it indicates someone who is “almost perfect” but who is not a “divine being,” a sage.
[6:12] Yenqiu said: “It is not that I don't enjoy your Way, but my strength is not enough.”
Confucius said, “Those whose strength is not enough give up half way. You are now limiting yourself.”
[6-13] 子謂子夏曰。女爲君子儒 無爲小人儒 。
[6:13] Confucius said to Zi Xia: “Be a noble scholar; don't be a petty scholar.”
[6:14] Zi You became the governor of Wucheng. The Master said, “Have you got any good men working for you?”
He answered: “I have Dantai Mieming, who never takes short cuts in his work and does not come to my office unless he has real business to discuss.”
[6-15] 子曰。孟之反不伐、奔而殿、將入門、策其馬、曰。非敢後也、馬不進也。』 。
[6:15] The Master said: “Meng Zhifan is not boastful. Once he was covering the rear during a retreat, and when he was about to enter the gate, he whipped his horse and said, ‘I wasn't so brave as to be last. My horse would not run fast enough.’”
[6:16] The Master said: “Without the smooth speech of Preacher Tuo or the good looks of Prince Zhao of Song, it is difficult to stay out of trouble in the present age.”
[6-17] 子曰。誰能出不由戶。何莫由斯道也 。
[6:17] The Master said: “Who can go out without using the door? So why doesn't anybody follow the Way?”
[6:18] The Master said: “If raw substance dominates refinement, you will be coarse. If refinement dominates raw substance, you will be clerical. When refinement and raw qualities are well blended, you will be a noble man.”
[6:19] The Master said: “People are straightforward at birth. Once they lose this, they rely on luck to avoid trouble.”
[6:20] The Master said: “Knowing it is not as good as loving it; loving it is not as good as delighting in it.”
[6:21] The Master said: “You can teach high-level topics to those of above-average ability, but you can't teach high-level topics to those of less than average ability.”
[6:22] Fan Chi asked about the nature of wisdom.
Confucius said, “Working to give the people justice and paying respect to the spirits, but keeping away from them, you can call wisdom.”
He asked about the nature of ren.
Confucius said, “Ah yes, ren. If you suffer first and then attain it, it can be called ren.”
[6:23] The Master said: “The wise enjoy the sea, the humane enjoy the mountains. The wise are busy, the humane are tranquil. The wise are happy, the humane are eternal.”
[6:24] The Master said: “The state of Qi, with one change, could be at the level of Lu. The state of Lu, with one change, could attain to the Way.”
[6:25] The Master said: “A cornered vessel without corners! Is it a cornered vessel or not?”
[6-26] 宰我問曰。仁者、雖吿之曰、井有仁焉。其從之也 。子曰。何爲其然也 君子可逝也、不可陷也。可欺也、不可罔也。
[6:26] Zai Wo asked: “If you tell a ren man there is ren at the bottom of the well, will he climb into it?”
Confucius said, “Are you kidding? The noble man will go to the well but not fall into it. He can be deceived, but not to the point of serious loss!”
[6-27] 子曰。君子博學於文、約之以禮、亦可以弗畔矣夫 。
[6:27] The Master said: “The noble man who studies culture extensively, and disciplines himself with propriety can keep from error.”
[6:28] The Master visited Nan Zi (a woman known for her sexual excesses) and Zi Lu was displeased. The Master dealt with this, saying: “Whatever I have done wrong, may Heaven punish me! May Heaven punish me!”
[6:29] The Master said: “Even over a long period of time, there have been few people who have actualized the Mean into Manifest Virtue.”
[6-30] 子貢曰。如有博施於民而能濟衆、何如 可謂仁乎。子曰。何事於仁 必也聖乎。堯舜其猶病諸 夫仁者、己欲立而立人、己欲達而達人。能近取譬、可謂仁之方也已。
[6:30] Zi Gong asked: “Suppose there were a ruler who benefited the people far and wide and was capable of bringing salvation to the multitude, what would you think of him? Might he be called humane?”
The Master said, “Why only humane? He would undoubtedly be a sage. Even Yao and Shun would have had to strive to achieve this. Now the ren man, wishing himself to be established, sees that others are established, and, wishing himself to be successful, sees that others are successful. To be able to take one's own feelings as a guide may be called the art of ren.”
[7:1] The Master said: “I am a transmitter, rather than an original thinker. I trust and enjoy the teachings of the ancients. In my heart I compare myself to old Peng.”
[7:2] The Master said: “Keeping silent and thinking; studying without satiety, teaching others without weariness: these things come natural to me.”
[7:3] The Master said: “Having virtue and not cultivating it; studying and not sifting; hearing what is just and not following; not being able to change wrongdoing: these are the things that make me uncomfortable.”
[7:4] During the Master's leisure time he was relaxed and enjoyed himself.
[7-5] 子曰。甚矣吾衰也 久矣吾不復夢見周公
[7:5] The Master said: “I am really going down the drain. I have not dreamt of the Duke of Zhou for a long time now.”
[7:6] The Master said: “Set your aspirations on the Way, hold to virtue, rely on your ren, and relax in the study of the arts.”
[7:7] The Master said: “From the one who brought a bundle of dried meat (the poorest person) upwards, I have never denied a person my instruction.”
[7-8] 子曰。不憤不啓、不悱 不發。擧一隅不以三隅反、則不復也。
[7:8] The Master said: “If a student is not eager, I won't teach him; if he is not struggling with the truth, I won't reveal it to him. If I lift up one corner and he can't come back with the other three, I won't do it again.”
[7:9] If the Master sat beside a person in mourning, he would not eat to the full. If he had wept on a certain day, he would not sing.
[7:11] Confucius said to Yanyuan:
When needed, acting
When not needed, concealing.
“Only you and I can do this.”
Zi Lu said, “If you had to handle a major army, who would you choose to assist you?”
Confucius said, “I would not select the kind of man who likes to wrestle with tigers or cross rivers on foot, who can die without a second thought (like Zi Lu). It must be someone who approaches his business with caution, who likes to plan things well and see them to their completion.”
[7:12] The Master said: “If the attainment of wealth was guaranteed in its seeking, even if I were to become a groom with a whip in hand to get it, I would do so. But since its attainment cannot be guaranteed, I will go with that which I love.”
[7:13] The things with which the Master was cautious, were fasting, war and sickness.
[7:14] When Confucius was in Qi, he heard the Shao music, and for three months did not know the taste of meat. He said, “I never knew music could reach this level of excellence!”
[7-15] 冉有曰。夫子爲衞君乎。子貢曰。諾。吾將問之。入、曰。伯夷、叔齊何人也 曰。古之賢人也。曰。怨乎。曰。求仁而得仁、又何怨 出、曰。夫子不爲也。
[7:15] Yen You said: “Is our Teacher in favor of the ruler of Wei?”
Zi Gong said, “Well, I will go find out.” He entered the Teacher's room and asked: “What kind of men were Bo Yi and Shu Qi?”
Confucius said, “They were ancient worthies.”
Zi Gong asked: “Weren't they resented by anyone?”
Confucius said, “If you seek ren and attain it, what resentment can you incur?”
Zi Gong came out and said, “He is not in favor of him" 13 ”
[7:16] The Master said: “I can live with coarse rice to eat, water for drink and my arm as a pillow and still be happy. Wealth and honors that one possesses in the midst of injustice are like floating clouds.”
[7:17] The Master said: “If I could add several years to my life, I would have studied the Changes from the age of fifty and become free of error.”
[7:18] Topics which the Teacher regularly discussed were the Book of Odes, the Book of History, and the maintenance of propriety. These were the topics which he regularly discussed.
[7:19] The Duke of Sheh asked Zi Lu about Confucius. Zi Lu didn't answer him. The Teacher said, “Why didn't you just tell him that I am a man who in eagerness for study forgets to eat, in his enjoyment of it, forgets his problems and who is unaware of old age setting in?”
[7:20] The Master said: “I was not born with wisdom. I love the ancient teachings and have worked hard to attain to their level.”
[7:21] The master never discussed strange phenomena, physical exploits, disorder or ghost stories.
[7:22] The Master said: “When doing something together as a threesome, there must be one who will have something to teach me. I pick out people's good and follow it. When I see their bad points, I correct them in myself.”
[7-23] 子曰。天生德於予、桓魋其如予何 。
[7:23] The Master said: “Heaven gave birth to the virtue within me. What can Huan Tui 14 do to me?”
[7:24] Confucius said to his disciples: “My boys, do you think I conceal things from you? There is nothing I conceal from you. There is nothing that I do that is not right out in front of you. That is the way I am.”
[7:25] The Master taught four things: Culture, correct action, loyalty and trust.
[7:26] The Master said: “I have not yet been able to meet a sage, but I would be satisfied to meet a noble man. I have not yet met a man of true goodness, but would be satisfied to meet a man of constancy. Lacking, yet possessing; empty, yet full; in difficulty yet at ease. How difficult it is to have constancy!”
[7:27] When the Master went fishing, he did not use a net; when he hunted, he would not shoot at a perched bird.
[7:28] The Master said: “There may be those who can act creatively without knowledge. I am not at this level. I listen widely, select the good and follow their ways. I observe broadly and contemplate. This is the second level of knowledge. (For the levels of knowledge, see Analects 16:9).”
[7-29] 互鄕難與言、童子見、門人惑。子曰。與其進也、不與其退也、唯何甚 人潔己以進、與其潔也、不保其往也。
[7:29] Since it was hard to have a worthwhile discussion with the people of Huxiang, when one of their young men came to see the teacher, the disciples didn't know what to do with him. Confucius said, “Take people the way they come to you, not for the way they are after they leave. Why be so strict? If someone purifies his mind to approach you, accept him in his purity. Don't worry about what he does after he leaves.”
[7:30] The Master said: “Is ren far away? If I aspire for ren it is right here!”
[7-31] 陳司敗問昭公知禮乎、孔子曰。知禮。孔子退、揖巫馬期而進之、曰。吾聞君子不黨、君子亦黨乎。君取於呉、爲同姓、謂之呉孟子。君而知禮、孰不知禮 巫馬期以吿。子曰。丘也幸、苟有過、人必知之。
[7:31] The Minister of Justice in Chen asked whether the Duke of Zhao knew the rules of propriety.
Confucius said, “He did.”
When Confucius left, the minister bowed to (his prince) Wu Maqi and went up to him, saying: “I have heard that the noble man is not partisan, but maybe he can be since Prince Wu took a wife with the same surname, saying that she came from ‘the elder family of Wu.’ If this prince knew the rules of propriety, then who doesn't know them?”
Wu Maqi told this to Confucius.
The Teacher said, “I am so lucky! When I make a mistake they always find it out.”
[7:32] When the Teacher was singing with someone, and he found out that they sang well, he would make them start over again, and he would sing the harmony.
[7:33] The Master said: “In literature, perhaps I am equal to others. But I cannot manifest the behavior of the noble man.”
[7-34] 子曰。若聖與仁、則吾豈敢 抑爲之不厭、誨人不倦、則可謂云爾已矣。公西華曰。正唯弟子不能學也。
[7:34] The Master said: “I dare not claim to be a sage or a ren man. But I strive for these without being disappointed, and I teach without becoming weary. This is what can be said of me.”
Gongxi Hua said, “It is exactly these qualities that cannot be learned by the disciples.”
[7:35] The Master was very sick, and Zi Lu said that he would pray for him.
Confucius said, “is there such a thing?”
Zi Lu said, “There is. The Eulogies say: ‘I pray for you to the spirits of the upper and lower realm.’”
Confucius said, “Then I have been praying for a long time already.”
[7:36] The Master said: “Luxury leads to laxity, frugality leads to rigidity. It is better to be rigid than to be lax.”
[7:37] The Master said: “The noble man is always at ease with himself. The inferior man is always anxious.”
[7:38] The Master was mild yet strict, authoritative yet not mean, courteous, yet relaxed.
[8:1] The Master said: “Taibo can be said to have had a perfected level of virtue. He declined the rule of the kingdom three times, without the people knowing about it.”
[8:2] The Master said: “Courtesy without propriety is wasted energy. Caution without propriety is timidity. Boldness without propriety is recklessness. Straightforwardness without propriety is rudeness. When the ruler is kind to those who are close to him, the people will be moved toward ren. If he does not forget his old friends, the people too, will not be fickle.”
[8-3] 曾子有疾、召門弟子曰。啓予足 啓予手 詩云：戰戰兢兢、如臨深淵、如履薄冰。』 而今而後、吾知免夫小子。
[8:3] Ceng Zi was ill. He summoned his disciples and said, “Uncover my feet and hands. The Book of Odes says:”
He was cautious,
As if at the edge of a deep chasm;
As if treading on thin ice.
“From now, I know that I have gotten past this (sickness).”
[8:4] While Ceng Zi was ill, Meng Jing Zi went to see him. Ceng Zi said, “When a bird is about to die, its song is melancholy. When a man is about to die, his words are excellent. The Way prized by the noble man has three aspects:”
In his behavior and deportment he avoids brashness and arrogance.
When paying attention to his facial expressions he is guided by honesty.
When speaking, he avoids vulgarity and slander. As far as attending to the sacrificial tables— there are specialists hired for these jobs.
[8:5] Ceng Zi said: “Using one's ability to learn from those of less ability; using one's learning to learn from the unlearned; possessing, yet seeming to lack, being full yet seeming empty, able to accept harm without retaliation: in the past I had a friend who could do this. 15 ”
[8:6] Ceng Zi said: “A man who can be entrusted with the care of the crown prince, who can take responsibility for a district of 100 li and who can handle a major crisis without losing touch with himself: Is he a noble man? He certainly is a noble man.”
[8:7] Ceng Zi said: “To be called a shi you must be open-minded as well as resolute, since your burden is heavy and your course is long. If you take ren as your burden, is it not heavy? If you continue to death, is it not long?”
[8:8] The Master said: “Be aroused by poetry; structure yourself with propriety, refine yourself with music.”
[8:9] The Master said: “You might force people act according a certain principle, but you won't be able to force them to understand it.”
[8:10] The Master said: “A man who enjoys boldness and hates poverty will be rebellious. If a man lacks ren and his dissatisfaction reaches an extreme, he will rebel.”
[8:11] The Master said: “Perhaps you could be as handsome and as talented as the Duke of Zhou. But if you are arrogant or stingy, those good qualities will not be noticed.”
[8:12] The Master said: “It is quite rare to see someone who applies himself to the study of something for three years without having a noticeable result.”
[8:13] The Master said: “Be of unwavering good faith and love learning. Be steadfast unto death in pursuit of the good Way. Do not enter a state which is in peril, nor reside in one which people have rebelled. When the Way prevails in the world, show yourself. When it does not, then hide. When the Way prevails in your own state, to be poor and obscure is a disgrace. But when the Way does not prevail in your own state, to be rich and honored is a disgrace.”
[8:14] The Master said: “If you don't have the official position, you can't plan the affairs of government.”
[8:15] The Master said: “After Music Master Zhi took over, the finale of the Guanju was magnificent. How it filled my ears!”
[8:16] The Master said: “I really don't know what to do with those who are ardent but not upright, frank but not careful, and naive but not honest.”
[8:17] The Master said: “Study as if you have not reached your goal— as if you were afraid of losing what you have.”
8:18 Confucius said: “How sublime was the manner in which Shun and You handled the empire, without lifting a finger!”
[Comment] Here we can a similarity in Confucius' understanding with that of the wu-wei or “non-manipulation,” which is discussed at length in the Daode jing and the Zhuangzi.
[8:19] The Master said: “The rulership of Yao was so magnificent! He was so sublime that even though there is nothing as great as Heaven, he could accord with it. His greatness was so boundless it is beyond description. His efficacy was amazing, his writings were enlightening.”
[8:20] Shun, with five ministers, was able to successfully govern the empire. King Wu said, “Altogether I have ten ministers.”
Confucius said, “Their ability is the issue. Don't you think so? When the Tang and Wu dynasties combined, they had as many ministers as you, with a woman and nine men. King Wen (of the Zhou) controlled two-thirds of the empire, and with this, served the Yin. Indeed, the virtue of Zhou can be called the epitome of virtue!”
[8:21] The Master said: “Yu was flawless in character. Surviving on the simplest food and drink, yet perfect in his piety to the ancestral spirits. Normally wearing coarse clothing, he looked magnificent in his ceremonial cap and gown. Living in a humble abode, he exhausted himself in the excavation of drainage ways and canals. I cannot find a flaw in his character!”
[9:1] The master never spoke about advantage in connection with destiny or in connection with ren.
[9-2] 達巷黨人曰、大哉孔子、博學而無所成名。子聞之、謂門弟子曰、吾何執 執御乎、執射乎。吾執御矣。
[9:2] A man from Daxiang said: “How great Confucius is! His learning is so broad. However, he is not known for expertise in any particular skill.”
When Confucius heard this, he said to his disciples: “What shall I take up? Shall I take up charioteering? Shall I take up archery? I think I will take up charioteering!”
[9:3] The Master said: “The linen cap is prescribed by the rules of propriety, but nowadays they use a silk one. It is economical, and I will go along with the consensus. Bowing below the hall is prescribed by the rules of propriety, but that is presumptuous. So even if I differ from the consensus, I will bow below the hall.”
[9:4] There were four things the master had eliminated from himself: imposing his will, arbitrariness, stubbornness and egotism.
[9:5] There was fear for the Master's life when he was in the district of Guang. He said, “King Wen 16 has already died, but his culture abides within me. If Heaven intended to destroy this ‘culture,’ then it would have been unattainable for later generations. If Heaven does not want to destroy this culture, what can the men of Guang do to me?”
[9-6] 大宰問於子貢曰。夫子聖者與 何其多能也 子貢曰。固天縱之將聖、又多能也。子聞之曰。大宰知我乎。吾少也賤、故多能鄙事。君子多乎哉。不多也 。
[9:6] A high minister asked Zi Gong: “If your master is really a sage, why does he know so many skills? 17 ”
Zi Gong answered, “Heaven has granted him sagehood, as well as diverse skills.”
The master, hearing about this, said, “What does the minister know about me? As a youth my family was poor so I had to learn many worldly skills. Is skillfulness necessary for the noble man? Of course it isn't.”
[9:7]Lao said: “Our teacher said, “I didn't have an official position, therefore, I developed various skills.””
[9:8] The Master said: “Do I possess knowledge? No, I do not possess it. Yet if even simple men come to ask a question of me, I clear my mind completely and thoroughly investigate the matter from one end to the other.” 18
[9:8] The Master said: “The Phoenix has not come, the Yellow River has not produced at diagram. 19 Alas, I am finished.”
[9:10] If the master saw someone in mourning, or in full ceremonial dress, or a blind person, even if they were young, he would collect himself. If he had to pass by them, he would do it quickly.
[9-11] 顏淵喟然歎曰。仰之彌高、鑽之彌堅、瞻之在前、忽焉在後 夫子循循然善誘人：搏我以文、約我以禮。欲罷不能、旣竭吾才、如有所立、卓爾。雖欲從之、末由也已 。
[9:11] Yanyuan sighed in admiration saying: “Looking up to it, it gets higher. Boring into it, it gets harder. I see it in front, and suddenly it is behind me. My master skillfully guides his students a step at a time. He has broadened me with literature, disciplined me with propriety. I want to give up, but I can't. I have exhausted my ability, yet it seems as if there is something rising up in front of me. I want to follow it, but there is no way.”
[9-12] 子疾病、子路使門人爲臣、病聞、曰。久矣哉、由之行詐也 無臣而爲有臣、吾誰欺 欺天乎。且予與其死於臣之手也、無＜4Ｄ2Ａ＞死於二三子之手乎。且予縱不得大葬、予死於道路乎。
[9:12] The Master was extremely ill, and Zi Lu wanted the disciples to become Confucius' “ministers.” 20
Confucius, during a remission in his illness, said, “Ah, You has been deceitful for a long time. Though I don't have ministers, you would make it appear that I have them? Who would I be fooling? Heaven? I would much rather die in the hands of my disciples than in the hands of ministers. And I would prefer dying in the streets to a pompous funeral!”
[9-13] 子貢曰。有美玉於斯、韞剏而藏諸 求善賈而沽諸 子曰。沽之哉。沽之哉。我待賈者也 。
[9:13] Zi Gong said: “We have a beautiful gem here. Should we hide it away, or look for a good price and sell it?” Confucius said, “Sell it! Sell it! But I would wait till I got a good price.”
[9-14] 子欲居九夷。或曰。陋、如之何 子曰。君子居之、何陋之有 。
[9:14] The Master wanted to go and stay with the Nine Tribes of the East. Someone said, “They are unruly! Why do you want to do such a thing?”
Confucius said, “If a noble man dwells with them, how could they be unruly?”
[9:15] The Master said: “Only after I returned to Lu from Wei did the music get straightened out, with the Royal Songs and the Praises being played at the proper place and time.”
[9:16] The Master said: “When out in the world, I served my ruler and ministers. At home I served my father and elder brothers. I never dared to take funerals lightly and I didn't get into trouble with alcohol. What problems could I possibly have?”
[9-17] 子在川上曰。逝者如斯夫 不舍晝夜。
[9:17] The Master, standing by a river, said, “It goes on like this, never ceasing day or night!”
[9:18] The Master said: “I have never seen one who loves virtue as much as he loves beauty.”
[9-19] 子曰。譬如爲山、未成一簣。止、吾止也 譬如平地、雖覆一簣。進、吾往也 。
[9:19] The Master said: “It is like building a mound: If I stop before carrying a single basket of earth, it is my stopping. It is like leveling the ground: If I continue even after dumping only one basket, it is my continuation.”
[Comment] The process of self-development requires continual effort, even if only a bit at a time.
[9-20] 子曰。語之而不惰者、其囘也與 。
[9:20] The Master said: “I teach him and he never slacks off. Aah, Hui!”
[9-21] 子謂顏淵曰。惜乎吾見其進也、吾未見其止也 。
[9:21] The Master, speaking of Hui, said: “How rare is his type! I have seen him striving, and have never seen him rest.”
[9-22] 子曰。苗而不秀者、有矣夫、秀而不實者、有矣夫 。
[9:22] The Master said: “There are some who sprout but do not blossom, some who blossom but do not bear fruit.”
[9-23] 子曰。後生可畏、焉知來者之不如今也 四十五十而無聞焉、斯亦不足畏也已 。
[9:23] The Master said: “We should be in awe of the younger generation. How can we know that they will not be equal to us? But if a man reaches the age of forty or fifty and has still not been heard from, then he is no one to be in awe of.”
[9-24] 子曰。法語之言、能無從乎。改之爲貴 巽與之言、能無說乎。繹之爲貴 說而不繹、從而不改、吾末如之何也已矣。。
[9:24] The Master said: “Is anyone incapable of following words of correct instruction? But it is self-transformation according to it that is important. Is anyone incapable of enjoying words of gentle advice? But it is inquiring deeply into their meaning that is important. If I enjoy without inquiring deeply, and follow without changing myself, how can I say that I have understood them?”
[Comment] Confucian “learning” is always fully connected to self-transformation.
[9:25] The Master said: “Base yourself in loyalty and trust. Don't be companion with those who are not your moral equal. When you make a mistake, don't hesitate to correct it.”
[9:26] The Master said: “You can snatch away the general of a large army, but you cannot snatch away the will of even the lowliest of men.”
[9-27] 子曰。衣敝縕袍、與衣孤貉者立、而不恥者、其由也與。不忮不求、何用不臧 』 子路終身誦之。子曰。是道也、何足以臧 。
[9:27] The Master said: “Standing in tattered work clothes among gentlemen clothed in fine furs without any embarrassment; it is You!”
Not harming, not coveting:
How can he do wrong? 21
Zi Lu continuously chanted this. Confucius said, “With just this, how can you attain excellence?”
[9:28] The Master said: “Only after it turns winter are we aware of the survival of the Pine and Cypress.”
[9:29] The Master said: “The wise are not confused, the humane are not anxious, the brave are not afraid.”
[9:29] The Master said: “There are some with whom we can study, but with whom we cannot traverse on the same path. There are some with whom we can traverse on the same path, but with whom we cannot establish ourselves. There are some with whom we can establish ourselves, but with whom we cannot agree with on future planning.”
[9-31] 唐棣之華、偏其反而。豈不爾思 室是遠而。子曰。未之思也、未何遠之有 。
As the flowers of the aspen plum
Lean and turn,
How could I not think of you?
But your house is so far.
Confucius said, “If he does not think about the distance, how could it be a problem?”
[10:1] When Confucius was in his village, he was quietly sincere, as if he could not speak. When he was in the ancestral temple or the court, he was eloquent, but extremely cautious. When speaking to the junior grandmasters in court, he was candid and at ease; when speaking to the senior grandmasters, he was straightforward but formal. When the ruler was present, he straightened up ceremoniously, but with a calm demeanor.
[10:2] When the ruler summoned him to take care of important guests, his face took on a serious expression, and he walked briskly. He bowed as he came to the place of greeting, and with his left and right hand held his garment in front and back, keeping it properly adjusted. He moved forward quickly with his arms like wings. When the guest left, he would without fail watch, and continue to report, “the guest has stopped looking back.”
[10:3] When he came through the court door, he shrunk down deferentially, as if there was not enough space. Once inside, he did not stand in the middle, and he would not step on the threshold. When he passed in front of the ruler's position, his expression became serious, and he stepped carefully in small steps; it seemed difficult for him to speak. He lifted up the hems of his skirt when entering the hall nodding deeply in respect. He held his breath as if he could not breathe. Upon leaving, once he had gone down one step, his countenance became relaxed, and he appeared to be contented. Reaching the bottom of the stairs he began to move briskly, his arms like wings. Returning to his original position, he was deferential.
[10:4] When holding the jade scepter, he was bent over with deference, as if he could not support it. He held it from above in a folding way, and from below in an offering way. He showed a serious and anxious expression, walking in a straight line with shuffling steps. In the presentation ceremony, he showed a genial expression. In private meetings, he seemed relaxed without concerns.
[10:5] The noble man did not wear decorative cuffs colored violet and puce; for his house clothes, he would not wear red and maroon. During hot weather, he would wear thin, unlined garments made of fine and coarse vine-fiber when he went out. With a black robe he wore a black sheepskin mantle: with an uncolored robe he wore a fawnskin mantle; with a yellow robe he wore a foxskin mantle. His house robe was long, with a short right sleeve. When always slept in sleeping garments, which were half again as long as his body. At home, he sat on thick fox and badger rugs. When not in a mourning period, there was nothing he would not wear on his decorative belt sash. If clothes were not ceremonial, he would definitely adjust their length. He would not wear a black sheepskin mantle or a black hat when paying visits of condolence. He always showed up in court on the first of the month properly attired in court garb. When fasting, he always wore clean white clothes of linen. During the fast he would always change his diet, as well as his seat.
[10-6] 食不厭精、膾不厭細。食饐而餲魚餒而肉敗、不食。色惡不食、臭惡不食。失飪不食、不時不食。割不正不食、不得其醬、不食。肉雖多、不使勝食氣。唯酒無量、不及亂。沽酒、市脯、不食。不撤薑食、不多食。祭於公、不宿肉。祭肉、不出三日、出三日、不食之矣。食不語、寢不言。雖疏食、菜羹、瓜 22 祭、必齊如也。
[10:6] When he ate he was not averse to refined rice, nor to finely minced meat. He would not eat rice that was rancid or had gone rotten, nor fish and meat that had spoiled. He would not eat food that that had a bad color or smell; he would not eat food that that was not cooked to the proper level, or which was out of season; nor would he eat food that was not properly sliced, or did not come with the appropriate condiments. Even if there was a lot of meat, he would not eat it greater quantity than rice. It was only wine with which he did not limit himself, but at the same time, he never lost control of himself. He would not drink wine or eat dried meat that came from the marketplace. He would not refrain from eating food with ginger, but he would not overdo it. When there was a sacrifice for the ruler, he would not keep the meat overnight. As for sacrificial meats in general, he would not keep them more than three days, and if they were more than three days old, he would not eat them. He did not chat while eating, and did not talk after retiring. No matter what kind of simple fare it might be, such as coarse rice or broth, he would always make an offering, doing so with due solemnity.
[10:7] If a mat was not straight, he would not sit on it.
[10:8] When drinking with the townsfolk, he would leave only after the elders had done so. When the townsfolk carried out rituals for the cleansing of evil spirits, he would don his ceremonial court robes and stand on the eastern steps. 23
[10:9] When he asked some to go to another country, he would bow to him twice before sending him off.
[10:10] Kangzi sent the Master some medicine as a present. Respectfully receiving it, he said, “I don't know about this medicine, so I don't dare to take it.”
[10:11] There was a fire in the stables. When the Master returned from court, he asked: “Was anybody hurt?” He didn't ask about the horses.
[10:12] When the ruler would send a gift of cooked food, he would always sit straight and first taste it; if the ruler sent uncooked meat, he would always cook it and offer it to others; when the ruler presented him with a live animal, he would always rear it. When attending at a meal for the ruler, after the ruler makes the sacrifice, he is first to eat it. 24
[10:13] When he was sick and the ruler came to visit him, he would lie down facing to the east with his court robe on him and his sash drawn across him.
[10:14] When the ruler summoned him, he would go at once, without waiting for the horses to be yoked to his carriage.
[10:15] When he entered the great ancestral temple, he inquired about every detail.
[10:16] When a friend died, if there was no one to handle the funeral, he would say, “I will take care of it.” When a friend would send a gift of food — even horses and carriages — if it was not sacrificial meat, he would not bow.
[10-17] 寢不尸。居不容 25 。
[10:17] When he slept, he would not lie on the bed like a corpse. At home, he would not put on any special airs.
[10:18] When he saw someone in mourning clothes, even if he knew them well, he would change his expression. Encountering a person in full attire, or the blind, even if he was in his informal home dress, he would show the proper attitude. Encountering someone in mourning, he would lower his head in the carriage, and would do the same for someone carrying census boards. When delicious food was served, his expression would change and he would stand up. His expression would also change with a sudden thunderclap or violent wind.
[10:19] When he got up into the carriage, he would stand straight, holding the straps. Once inside the carriage, he didn't look about, talk rapidly or point around with his hands.
[10:20] At a change in expression the bird took off; it flew around and then joined a flock. The Master said: “The hen pheasant on the mountain bridge, what timing, what timing!” Zi Lu offered it [some bait], but after sniffing three times, it took off. 26
[11:1] The Master said: “The country folk develop their understanding of music and ritual earlier. The nobility develop these later. From a practical perspective, I suggest earlier development.”
[11:2] Among those who followed me in Chen and Cai, none have come to see me since.
[11:3] The virtuous in conduct were Yan Yuan, Min Ziqian, Ran Boniu, and Zhong Gone; the articulate were Zai Wo and Zi Gong; skillful administrators were Ran You and Zi Lu; excellent in their scholarship were Zi You and Zi Xia.
[11-4] 子曰。囘也、非助我者也 於吾言、無所不說。
[11:4] The Master said: “Hui is no help to me. He simply delights in everything I say.”
[11:7] The Master said: “How filial Min Ziqian was! Others say nothing of him different from the report of his parents. ”
[11:6] Nan Rong frequently recited the line of the “White Jade Table.” 27 Confucius gave him his elder brother's daughter to wed.
[11-7] 季康子問。弟子孰爲好學 孔子對曰。有顏囘者、好學、不幸短命死矣。今也則亡。
[11:7] Ji Kang Zi asked which of the disciples loved to learn. Confucius replied: “Yanhui did. Unfortunately he died young, and there has been no one like him since then.”
[11:8] When Yan Yuan died, Yuan Lu (his father) asked the Master for his carriage so that he could (sell it to ) buy an outer coffin. The Master said “Talented or not, a son is called a son. When (my son) Li died, we had an inner coffin, but not an outer coffin. I could not go on foot just for the sake of making an outer coffin. When I am following in the rear of the grandmasters, I can't walk on foot. ”
[11-9] 顏淵死、子曰。噫天喪予、天喪予 。
[11:9] When Yanyuan died, the master cried: “How cruel! Heaven is killing me! Heaven is killing me!”
[11-10] 顏淵死、子哭之慟。從者曰。子慟矣。曰。有慟乎。非夫人之爲慟而誰爲 。
[11:10] When Yanhui died, the Master wept uncontrollably. The disciples said, “Master, you are going overboard with this!” Confucius said, “Going overboard?! If I can't cry now, when should I cry?”
[11:11] When Yanhui died, the disciples wanted to give him a lavish funeral. The Master told them not to, but they did it anyway. Confucius said, “Hui treated me like a father. Now I have not been able to treat him as a son, and it is the fault of you students.”
[11-12] 季路問事鬼神。子曰。未能事人、焉能事鬼 敢問死 曰。未知生、焉知死 。
[11:12] Chi Lu asked about serving the spirits. Confucius said, “If you can't yet serve men, how can you serve the spirits?”
Lu said, “May I ask about death?” Confucius said, “If you don't understand what life is, how will you understand death?”
[11:14] When Min Zi waited by the Master's side, he was calm and precise. Zi Lu was always ready for action. Ran You and Zi Gong were affable. The Master was pleased, but said: “People like You can't die a natural death.”
[11-14] 魯人爲長府。閔子騫曰。仍舊貫、如之何。何必改作 子曰。夫人不言、言必有中。
[11:14] The men of Lu were rebuilding the Main Treasury. Min Ziqian said: “Why don't we keep its old style? Why do we have to change it completely?”
Confucius said, “This fellow doesn't say much, but when he does, he is right on the mark.”
[11-15] 子曰。由之瑟、奚爲於丘之門 門人不敬子路。子曰。由也升堂矣。未入於室也 。
[11:15] Confucius had said, “What is the lute of You doing at my door?” and so the other disciples had begun to lose their respect for Zi Lu (You). Confucius said, “You has ascended to the main hall, but has not yet entered the inner chambers.”
[11-16] 子貢問。師與商也孰賢 子曰。師也過、商也不及。曰。然則師愈與 子曰。過猶不及。
[11:16] Zi Gong asked who was the most worthy between Shih and Shang. The Master said, “Shih goes too far, Shang does not go far enough.”
“Then is Shih superior?”
The Master said, “Going too far is the same as not going far enough.”
[11-17] 季氏富於周公、而求也爲之聚斂而附益之。子曰。非吾徒也、小子鳴鼓而攻之可也 。
[11:17] Even though the head of the Chi family was “wealthier than the Duke of Zhou,” Qiu collected taxes for him, and made him richer. Confucius said, “He is no disciple of mine. My students, you can beat the drum and attack him if you want.”
[11:18] Zhai is simple-minded, Zeng is slow, Shi is biased, Yu is reckless. Confucius said: “Hui is completely full, yet always possession-less. Si is not wealthy by fate, so he has to contrive in order to enrich himself, and is usually on the mark.”
[11:19] Zi Zhang asked about the Way of the Good Man. Confucius said, “If you don't follow its traces, you won't enter the Inner Chamber.” Confucius said: “Someone may have profound theories— but is he a noble man? Or is he only superficially impressive?”
[11-20] 子路問。聞斯行諸 子曰。有父兄在、如之何其聞斯行之 冉有問：聞斯行諸 子曰。聞斯行之 公西華曰。由也問聞斯行諸 』 、子曰。有父兄在』 。求也問、聞斯行諸 』 子曰。聞斯行之』 。赤也感、敢問 子曰。求也退、故進之。由也兼人、故退之。
[11:20] Zi Lu asked if it was a good idea to immediately put a teaching into practice when he first heard it.
Confucius said, “You have a father and an older brother to consult. Why do you need to be so quick to practice it?”
Zanyou asked the same question. Confucius said, “You should practice it immediately.”
Gong Xihua said, “When You asked you, you told him he should consult his father and elder brother first. When Qiu (Zanyou) asked you, you told him to practice it immediately. May I ask why?”
Confucius said, “Qiu has a tendency to give up easily, so I push him. You (Zi Lu) has a tendency to jump the gun, so I restrain him.”
[11-21] 子畏於匡、顏淵後。子曰。吾以女爲死矣。曰。子在、囘何敢死 。
[11:21] During the incident of the Master's endangerment in Guang, Hui had fallen behind. Confucius said, “I was afraid they had killed you.”
Hui said, “While you are alive, how can I dare to die?”
[11-22] 季子然問。仲由、冉求、可謂大臣與 子曰。吾以子爲異之問、曾由與求之問 所謂大臣者、以道事君、不可則止。今由與求也、可謂具臣矣。曰。然則從之者與 子曰。弒父與君、亦不從也。
[11:22]When Ji Ziran asked the Master whether Zhong You and Ran Qiu could be called great ministers, the Master said: “I thought you were going to ask about someone else, but then you asked me about You and Qiu. A great minister serves his ruler by means of the Way, and if he can't, he will quit. Now You and Qiu can be called ‘stopgap ministers.’” “Does this mean that they will do as they are told?” The Master said: “If they were ordered to kill their father or ruler, they wouldn't do it.”
[11-23] 子路使子羔爲費宰。子曰。賊夫人之子 子路曰。有民人焉、有社稷焉、何必讀書、然後爲學。子曰。是故惡夫侫者。
[11:23] Zi Lu got Zi Gao installed as Prefect of Bi. The Master said: “You are damaging someone's son.” Zi Lu said: “There are people and there are national altars (to be administered). Why should it be necessary to read books to be regarded as learned.” The Master said: “This is why I don't like glib people.”
[11-24] 子路、 曾砽、冉有、公西華侍坐。子曰。以吾一日長乎爾、毋吾以也。居則曰。
不吾知也 』 如或知爾、則何以哉。子路率爾而對、曰。千乘之國、攝乎大國之間、加之以師旅、因之以饑饉、由也爲之、比及三年、可使有勇、且知方也。夫子哂之。求、爾何如 對曰。方六七十、如五六十、求也爲之、比及三年、可使足民。如其禮樂、以俟君子。赤、爾何如 對曰。非曰能之、願學焉 宗廟之事、如會同、端章甫、願爲小相焉。點、爾何如 鼓瑟希、鏗爾、舍瑟而作。對曰。異乎三子者之撰。子曰。何傷乎。赤各言其志也。曰。莫春者、春服旣成。冠者五六人、童子六七人、浴乎沂、風乎舞雩、詠而歸。夫子喟然歎曰。吾與點也 三子者出、曾砽後。曾砽曰。夫三子者之言何如 子曰。亦各言其志也已矣。曰。夫子何哂由也 曰。爲國以禮、其言不讓、是故哂之。唯求則非邦也與 安見方六七十、如五六十、而非邦也者。唯赤非邦也與 宗廟會同、非諸侯而何 赤也爲之小、孰能爲之大 。
[11:25] Zi Lu (You), Tsang Hsi (Qiu), Zan You (Ch'ih) and Gong Xihua (Tian) were sitting with the Master. Confucius said, “Although I am a day or so older than you fellows, forget about it for the time being. You are all always saying: ‘Our talents are unrecognized.’ Suppose your abilities were fully acknowledged. What would you do then?”
Zi Lu jumped to reply first, saying: “I would like to be in the position of the charge of a relatively small state which was being threatened by the armies of the surrounding larger states, and suffering from crop failure. If I were in this position, within three years my people would be fearless and know how to take care of themselves.”
Confucius laughed at him.
He turned to Qiu and said, “What about you?”
Qiu said, “Let me have the government of a territory of 60 to 70 li, or maybe 50 to 60 li, for three years, and the people would have all they need. As for handling the affairs of ritual and music, I would seek a noble man.”
“Chi, what about you?”
Chi said, “I cannot say I am capable of what the other two have proposed, though I would like to work toward it. At the services at the ancestral hall, or at the audiences with the Prince, I would like to serve as a minor assistant, dressed in the ceremonial gown and cap.”
“Dian, what about you?”
Dian set his lute down with its strings still ringing, and stood up. “What I would like to do,”he said, “is quite different from these three.”The Master said, “What harm can there be? Please speak as the others have.”
Dian said, “At the height of spring, all decked out in spring clothes, I would like to take five or six young men, and six or seven youngsters to go for a swim in the Yi river, enjoying the cool breeze at the Rain Dance Festival, and make our way back home, singing.”
Confucius sighed, and said, “Ah, lovely. I am with you, Tien.”
The three others left and Dian asked the Master: “What did you think about the words of those three?”
Confucius said, “Each just told his wish.”
“But why did you laugh at You?”
“Because to govern a state, you need propriety, and his words are totally lacking in humility. That's why I laughed at him.”
“But Qiu wasn't asking for a state.”
Confucius said, “Have you ever seen a territory of 60 or 70 li that wasn't a state?”
“At least Chi wasn't asking for a state.”
“Yes, but who besides the nobility can serve in the ancestral temple, or have an audience with the Prince. If Chi were to be a minor assistant at these affairs, who could be a chief assistant?”
[12-1] 顏淵問仁。子曰。克己復禮、爲仁。一日克己復禮、天下歸仁焉。爲仁由己、而由人乎哉。顏淵曰。請問其目 子曰。非禮勿視、非禮勿聽、非禮勿言、非禮勿動。顏淵曰。囘雖不敏、請事斯語矣。。
[12:1] Yanyuan asked about the meaning of humaneness. The Master said, “To completely overcome selfishness and keep to propriety is humaneness. If for a full day you can overcome selfishness and keep to propriety, everyone in the world will return to humaneness. Does humaneness come from oneself, or from others?”
[Comment] This passage has always provided problems for translators and commentators. Virtually all of the modern English translators either alter the grammar of this sentence or reinterpret it and in such a way as to disallow the possibility that power of the mind of a single individual to bring peace to the world. 28 I.e., we are expected to acknowledge that a single person obviously does not have the power to influence the whole world, and only one in a position of political power can do so. For this reason, I hesitate to rewrite the text in this case, and try to think further of what Confucius meant.
For instance, do we really know what it is like to “completely overcome our selfishness” for a full day, and be perfectly guided by proper action? I would like to suggest that perhaps we do not know the level of spiritual influence that may be brought about by the actualization of one's inner perfection. Also, in the case of a ruler: can political power in itself make the people become good? It is doubtful.
This is an important passage in that it shows very clearly a world-view that is common to all the philosophers whose works are contained in this volume: a world not of isolated monads, but a world that is much more transparent, unified and connected than we of modernity perceive. We now return to the text.
Yanyuan asked: “May I ask in further detail how this is to be brought about?” Confucius said, “Do not watch what is improper; do not listen to what is improper; do not speak improperly and do not act improperly.” Yanyuan said, “Although I am not so perspicacious, I will apply myself to this teaching.”
[12-2] 仲弓問仁。子曰。出門如見大賓。使民如承大祭。己所不欲、勿施於人。在邦無怨、在家無怨。 仲弓曰。雍雖不敏、請事斯語矣。。
[12:2] Zhong Gong asked about the meaning of ren. The Master said: “When you are out in the world, act as if meeting an important guest. Employ the people as if you were assisting at a great ceremony. What you don't want done to yourself, don't do to others. Live in your town without stirring up resentments, and live in your household without stirring up resentments.” Zhong Gong said, “Although I am not so smart, I will apply myself to this teaching.”
[12-3] 司馬牛問仁。子曰。仁者、其言也訒。曰。斯言也訒、其謂之仁矣乎。 子曰。爲之難、言之得無訒乎。
[12:3] Sima Niu asked about the meaning of ren.
Confucius said, “The ren man is hesitant to speak.”
Niu replied, “Are you saying that ren is mere hesitancy in speaking?”
Confucius said, “Actualizing it is so difficult, how can you not be hesitant to speak about it?”
[12-4] 司馬牛問君子。子曰。君子不憂不懼。曰。不憂不懼、斯謂之君子矣乎。子曰。內省不疚、夫何憂何懼 。
[12:4] Sima Niu asked about the qualities of the noble man.
Confucius said, “The noble man is free from anxiety and fear.”
Niu said, “Free from anxiety and fear? Is this all it takes to be a noble man?”
Confucius said, “If you reflect within yourself and find nothing to be ashamed of, how could you have anxiety or fear?”
[12-5] 司馬牛憂曰。人皆有兄弟、我獨亡 子夏曰。商聞之矣：死生有命、富貴在天』 。君子敬而無失、與人恭而有禮。四海之內、皆兄弟也。君子何患乎無兄弟也 。
[12:5] Sima Niu, upset, said: “Everyone has brothers, I alone have none.”
Zi Xia said, “I have heard this proverb:”
Life and death are up to Fate.
Wealth and honor are held by Heaven.
“If the noble man is reverent without lapse, and courteous to everyone within the frame of propriety, everything within the four seas will be his brother. Why should a noble man be concerned about not having brothers?”
[12:6] Zi Zhang asked about the meaning of “enlightenment.”
Confucius said, “One who does not experience the permeation of slander and who is not agitated by accusations can certainly be called ‘enlightened.’ Indeed, such a person may be called ‘transcendent.’”
[12-7] 子貢問政。子曰。足食、足兵、民信之矣。子貢曰。必不得已而去、於斯三者何先 曰。去兵。子貢曰。必不得已而去、於斯二者何先 曰。去食。自古皆有死。民無信不立。
[12:7] Zi Gong asked about government.
The Master said, “Enough food, enough weapons and the confidence of the people.”
Zi Gong said, “Suppose you had no alternative but to give up one of these three, which one would be let go of first?”
The Master said, “Weapons.”
Zi Gong said “What if you had to give up one of the remaining two which one would it be?”
The Master said, “Food. From ancient times, death has come to all men, but a people without confidence in its rulers will not stand.”
[12-8] 棘子成曰。君子質而已矣、何以文爲 子貢曰。惜乎、夫子之說君子也、駟不及舌 文猶質也、質猶文也。虎豹之鞹、猶犬羊之鞹。
[12:8] Ji Zi Zhang said: “All the noble man needs is to have his substance. Why should he need external refinement?”
Zi Gong said, “Amazing! You speak about the noble man, but a team of horses couldn't keep up with your tongue. Refinement is substance; substance is refinement! When the hair is taken off the hide of a tiger or leopard, it looks the same as the hide of a dog or sheep.”
[Comment] This is probably the clearest statement of the unity of essence and function that we can see in the Analects, but with an interesting twist. Most essence-function teachings, here as well as in the other texts of this volume, while emphasizing unity of essence and function, will stress the need for one to place his/her priorities on the more essential. Here, on the other hand, the message is that no matter how bright, clear or sincere you are, it cannot show through properly if you don't cultivate your manners and the various arts of expression. This emphasis on polishing the outside is something that we find in the Analects more than in other texts.
[12-9] 哀公問於有若曰。年饑、用不足、如之何 有若對曰。盍徹乎。曰。二、吾猶不足。如之何其徹也 對曰。百姓足、君孰不足 百姓不足、君孰與足 。
[12:9] Duke Ai asked You Ruo: “It has been a year of famine and there are not enough revenues to run the state. What should I do?”
Ruo said, “Why can't you use a 10% tax?”
The Duke answered: “I can't even get by on a 20% tax, how am I going to do it on 10%?”
Ruo said, “If the people have enough, what prince can be in want? If the people are in want, how can the prince be satisfied?”
[12-10] 子張問崇德、辨惑。子曰。主忠信、徒義崇德也。愛之欲其生、惡之欲其死。旣欲其生又欲其死、是惑也 （誠不以富、亦祇以異。）
[12:10] Zi Chang asked how to increase virtue and dispel confusion. Confucius said, “Base yourself in loyalty and trust and permeate yourself with fairness, and your virtue will be paramount. We want life for the things we love, and death for the things we hate. But if we have already desired life for something and now we want it to die, we are confused.”
Really, it was not for wealth.
Just for a change 29
[12-11] 齊景公問政於孔子。孔子對曰。君、君。臣、臣。父、父。子、子。公曰。善哉。信如君不君、臣不臣、父不父、子不子、雖有粟、吾得而食諸 。
[12:11] Duke Jing of Qi asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied: “Let the ruler be a ruler, minister be a minister, father be a father, son be a son.”The Duke said, “Excellent! Indeed, if the ruler is not a ruler, the ministers not ministers, fathers not fathers and sons not sons, even if I have food, how can I eat it?”
[12-12] 子曰。片言可以折獄者、其由也與 子路無宿諾。
[12:12] The Master said: “You is the kind of man who could settle a dispute with a single sentence. He never delayed in giving his answer.” 30
[12:13] The Master said: “In hearing lawsuits, I am no better than anyone else. What we need is to have no lawsuits.”
[12:14] Zizhang asked about carrying ot proper governance. The Master said: “Stay in your position without wearying; carry your policies guided by loyalty.”
[12:15] The Master said: “Studying liberal arts broadly, and disciplining yourself with propriety, it is easy to stay on the narrow path.”
[12:16] The Master said: “The noble man develops people's good points, not their bad points. The inferior man does the opposite.”
[12-17] 季康子問政於孔子。孔子對曰。政者、正也、子帥以正、孰敢不正 。
[12:17] Ji Kang Zi asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied saying: “To ‘govern’ means to ‘rectify.’ 31 If you were to lead the people with correctness, who would not be rectified?”
[12:18] Being robbed, Ji Kang Zi was upset, and questioned Confucius about what to do. Confucius said, “If you were desireless, they wouldn't steal from you, even if you were to offer them a reward to do so.”
[12-19] 季康子問政於孔子曰。如殺無道、以就有道、何如 孔子對曰。子爲政、焉用殺 子欲善、而民善矣。君子之德風。小人之德草。草上之風必偃。
[12:19] Ji Kang Zi asked Confucius about government saying: “Suppose I were to kill the unjust, in order to advance the just. Would that be all right?”
Confucius replied: “In doing government, what is the need of killing? If you desire good, the people will be good. The nature of the noble man is like the wind, the nature of the inferior man is like the grass. When the wind blows over the grass, it always bends.”
[12-20] 子張問士：何如斯可謂之達矣。子曰。何哉。爾所謂達者 子張對曰。在邦必聞、在家必聞。子曰。是聞也、非達也。夫達也者：質直而好義、察言而觀色、慮以下人。在邦必達、在家必達。夫聞也者：色取仁而行違、居之不疑。在邦必聞、在家必聞。
[12:20] Zi Zhang asked what a shi should be like, that he may be called “excellent.”
Confucius said, “What do you mean by ‘excellent?’”
Zi Zhang replied: “It means to be famous in your town, and famous in your clan.”
Confucius said, “This is fame, not excellence. One who is excellent has an upright character and loves justice. If you listen carefully to what people say, observe their facial expressions and are careful to be humble to them, you will be excellent in your town, and excellent in your clan. As far as ‘fame’ is concerned, if you put on a show of goodness and do otherwise, and are not the least bit bothered in doing so, you will indeed be ‘famous’ in your town and ‘famous’ in your clan.”
[Comment] In this passage, “excellence” is a translation of the Chinese word da 達 which has such a range of meaning in Classical East Asian languages. Its most basic meaning is to penetrate, permeate, pierce or pass through. It is used in religious and philosophical works to describe a consciousness that is able to penetrate all things and apprehend them. In its usage in the description of the operation of cause and effect in the external world, we can see the inherent understanding of the ancients of an interpermeated world, where things have a profound, (even if invisible) effect on each other through their interrelatedness. It is no accident that the word da and its synonym tong become central in the Hua-yen description of the universe a millennium later.
[12-21] 樊遲從遊於舞雩之下。曰。敢問崇德、脩慝、辨惑 子曰。善哉問 先事後得、非崇德與 攻其惡、無攻人之惡、非脩慝與 一朝之忿、忘其身以及其親、非惑與 。
[12:21] Fan Chi, while strolling with the Master among the Rain Dance altars, said, “May I ask how to heighten virtue, overcome wickedness and resolve delusion?”
The Master said, “An excellent question! If you take care of your responsibilities before you seek your own gain, won't this heighten your virtue? If you attack your own evil rather than the evil of others, won't you overcome wickedness? If, because of a moment's anger, you endanger your own life, as well as that of your parents, is this not delusion?”
[12-22] 樊遲問仁。子曰。愛人。問知。子曰。知人。樊遲未達。子曰。擧直錯諸枉、能使枉者直。樊遲退、見子夏曰。鄕也、吾見於夫子而問知』 。子曰。擧直錯諸枉、能使枉者直。』 何謂也 子夏曰。富哉言乎。舜有天下、選於紅．擧奛陶、不仁者遠矣。湯有天下、選於衆、擧伊尹、不仁者遠矣。
[12:22] Fan Chi asked about the meaning of ren.
Confucius said “love others.”He asked about the meaning of “knowledge.”
The Master said, “Know others.” Fan Chi couldn't get it.
The Master said, “If you put the honest in positions of power and discard the dishonest, you will force the dishonest to become honest.”
Fan Chi left and seeing Zi Xia said, “A little while ago I saw the Master and asked him about ‘knowledge,’ and he told me, “Put the honest in positions of power and discard the dishonest, and you will force the dishonest to be honest.” What did he mean?”
Zi Xia said, “How rich our Master's words are! When Shun was emperor, he selected Kao Yao from among the people, put him in charge, and the evil people stayed far away. When T'ang was emperor, he selected I Yin, put him in charge and the evil again stayed far away.”
[12:23] Zi Gong asked about the way of friendship. Confucius said, “Speak to your friends honestly, and skillfully show them the right path. If you cannot, then stop. Don't humiliate yourself.”
[12:24] Ceng Zi said: “The noble man uses his refinement to meet his friends, and through his friends develops his ren.”
[13:1] Zi Lu asked about how to govern. Confucius said, “Lead the people and work hard for them.”
“Is there anything else?”
“Don't get discouraged.”
[13-2] 仲弓爲季氏宰、問政。子曰。先有司、赦小過、擧賢才。曰。焉知賢才而擧之 曰。擧爾所不知、人其舍諸 。
[13:2] Zhong Gong, currently serving as prime minister to the head of the Chi family, asked about government.
Confucius said, “First get some officers; then grant pardon to all the petty offenses and then put virtuous and able men into positions of responsibility.”
He asked, “How am I going to find these virtuous and able men to get them into these positions?”
The Master said, “Select from those you know. Will the people let you ignore the ones you don't know of?”
[13-3] 子路曰。衞君待子而爲政、子將奚先 子曰。必也正名乎。子路曰。有是哉。子之迂也 奚其正 子曰。野哉、由也 君子於其所不知、蓋闕如也。名不正、則言不訓。言不訓、則事不成。事不成、則禮樂不興。禮樂不興、則刑罰不中。刑罰不中、則民無所措手足。故君子名之必可言也、言之必可行也。君子於其言、無所苟而已矣。。
[13:3] Zi Lu said: “The ruler of Wei is anticipating your assistance in the administration of his state. What will be your top priority?”
Confucius said, “There must be a correction of terminology.”
Zi Lu said, “Are you serious? Why is this so important?”
Confucius said, “You are really simple, aren't you? A noble man is cautious about jumping to conclusions about that which he does not know.”
“If terminology is not corrected, then what is said cannot be followed. If what is said cannot be followed, then work cannot be accomplished. If work cannot be accomplished, then ritual and music cannot be developed. If ritual and music cannot be developed, then criminal punishments will not be appropriate. If criminal punishments are not appropriate, the people cannot make a move. Therefore, the noble man needs to have his terminology applicable to real language, and his speech must accord with his actions. The speech of the noble man cannot be indefinite.”
[13-4] 樊遲請學稼、子曰。吾不如老農。請學爲圃、曰。吾不如老圃。樊遲出、子曰。小人哉、樊須也 上好禮、則民莫敢不敬。上好義、則民莫敢不服。上好信、則民莫敢不用情。夫如是、則四方之民、襁負其子而至矣。焉用稼 。
[13:4] Fan Chi wanted to ask about agriculture.
Confucius said, “Why don't you ask an old farmer?”
Fan Chi then said that he would like to learn about gardening.
Confucius said, “Why don't you ask an old gardener?” Fan Chi left. Confucius said, “Fan is really simple, isn't he? If the men in charge love propriety, the people can't stand to be disrespectful. If the men in charge love fairness, then the people can't stand not to follow them. If the men in charge love trust, then the people cannot stand not to respond with their emotions. If you were to govern in this way, the people would come flocking to your kingdom, carrying their babies on their backs. Why do you have to worry about agriculture?”
[13-5] 子曰。誦詩三百。授之以政、不達。使於四方、不能專對。雖多、亦奚以爲 。
[13:5] The Master said: “You can recite the 300 poems from the Book of Odes, but when you try to use them in administration, they are not effective (da), 32 and in handling the outerlying regions, you cannot apply them, then even though you know a lot, what good is it?”
[13:6] The Master said: “When you have gotten your own life straightened out, things will go well without your giving orders. But if your own life isn't straightened out, even if you give orders, no one will follow them.”
[13:7] The governments of Lu and Wei are elder and younger brothers. 33
[13-8] 子謂衞公子荊善居屋：始有、曰。苟合矣。』 少有、曰。苟完矣。』 富有、曰。苟美矣。』 。
[13:8] Confucius said of Gongzi Jing of Wei that he was good at managing his household. When he began to accumulate property, he said “it seems to be enough.” When he had a little more, he said “this will do.” When he became rich, he said “this is pretty good.”
Comment: Gongzi Jing was a senior official in the state of Wei 衛he was said to be exceptionally good at handling finances. Thus, this passage reflects his self-critical attitude toward his own accomplishment, which, for someone of lesser skills, would have been more impressive.
[13-9] 子適衞、冉有僕。子曰。庶矣哉。冉有曰。旣庶矣、又何加焉 曰。富之。曰。旣富矣、又何加焉 曰。教之。
[13:9] Ran You was driving for the Master on a trip to Wei. Confucius said, “How populous it is here.”
Ran You said, “Once there are so many people, what should be done?”
“Enrich them,” said the Master.
“Once they are enriched, what next?”
[13:10] The Master said: “If any of the rulers were to employ me, I would have control of the situation within a month, and would have everything straightened out within three years.”
[13-11] 子曰。善人爲邦百年、亦可以勝殘去殺矣。』 誠哉是言也 。
[13:11] The Master said: “If good men were to govern a country for a hundred years, they could overcome cruelty and do away with killing. How true this saying is!”
[13:12] The Master said: “Even if you have the position of kingship, it would still take a generation for ren to prevail.”
[13-13] 子曰。苟正其身矣、於從政乎何有 不能正其身、如正人何 。
[13:13] The Master said: “If you can correct yourself, what problem will you have in governing? If you can't correct yourself, how can you correct others?”
[13-14] 冉子退朝。子曰、何晏也。對曰。有政。子曰。其事也。 如有政、雖不吾以、吾其與聞之 。
[13:14] Ran Zi returned from court. The Master said “What kept you?” Ran replied: “I had official business.” The Master said, “It was a personal matter, right? If it were official business, even though I am no longer directly involved, I would have heard about it.”
[13-15] 定公問：一言而可以興邦、有諸 孔子對曰。言不可以若是其幾也 人之言曰。爲君難、爲臣不易。』 如知爲君之難也、不幾乎一言而興邦乎。曰。一言而喪邦、有諸 孔子對曰。言不可以若是其幾也 人之言曰。予無樂乎爲君、唯其言而莫予違也。』 如其善而莫之違也、不亦善乎。如不善而莫之違也、不幾乎一言而喪邦乎。
[13:15] Duke Ding asked if there were a single phrase which could uplift a country.
Confucius replied: “Words in themselves cannot have such an effect. Nonetheless, there is a proverb which says, ‘Being a ruler is difficult, and being a minister is not easy.’ If you really understand the difficulties of rulership, might this not be enough to uplift a country?”
The Duke asked further: “Is this not close to the saying ‘there a single phrase which could ruin a country?’”
Confucius answered, “Again, words in themselves cannot have such an effect, but the people also have a proverb which says: ‘I do not enjoy ruling; I only enjoy people not disagreeing with me.’ Now if you are a good man and no one disagrees with you, it is fine. But if you are evil, and no one disagrees with you, perhaps you could destroy the country with a single utterance.”
[13:16] The Duke of She asked about government. Confucius said, “If you do it right, then those close to you will be happy, and those who are far away will come to you.”
[13:17] Zi Xia, who was serving as governor of Jufu, asked about government. Confucius said, “Don't be impatient, and don't look for small advantages. If you are impatient, you will not be thorough (‘penetrating,’ da 達). If you look for small advantages, you will never accomplish anything great.”
[13-18] 葉公語孔子曰。吾黨有直躬者。其父攘羊而子證之。 孔子曰。吾黨之直者異於是。父爲子隱、子爲父隱、直在其中矣。
[13:18] The Duke of She told Confucius: “In my land, there are righteous men. If a father steals a sheep, the son will testify against him.”
Confucius said, “The righteous men in my land are different from this. The father conceals the wrongs of his son, and the son conceals the wrongs of his father. This is the correct way!”
[13:19] Fan Chi asked about ren. Confucius said, “Be naturally courteous, be respectful in working for superiors and be sincere to people. Even the barbarian tribes cannot do without this.”
[13-20] 子貢問曰。何如斯可謂之士矣。子曰。行己有恥。使於四方、不辱君命。可謂士矣。曰。敢問其次 曰。宗族稱孝焉、鄕黨稱弟焉。曰。敢問其次 曰。言必信、行必果。硜硜然、小人哉。抑亦可以爲次矣。曰。今之從政者何如 子曰。噫 斗筲之人、何足算也 。
[13:20] Zi Gong asked: “What must a man be like to be called a shi?”
The Master said, “One who in conducting himself maintains a sense of honor, and who when sent to the four quarters of the world does not disgrace his prince's commission, may be called a shi.” [...translation incomplete]
[13:21] The Master said: “Since I can't get men who act according to the middle way, I must find the adamant and the cautious. The adamant go after things, the cautious restrain themselves from doing certain things.”
[Comment] “Adamant” is a translation of guang 狂 which can also be translated into English as “crazy,” “wild,” “unbridled” etc., referring to the sort of personality we often associate with poets, painters and musicians. Important Confucian thinkers such as Mencius and Wang Yangming understood a measure of uncontrolledness to be a useful ingredient of the personality of the person who was striving for the Way.
[13-22] 子曰。南人有言曰。人而無恆、不可以作巫醫。』 善夫不恆其德、或承之羞。』 子曰。不占而已矣。
[13:22] The Master said: “The Southerners have a saying: ‘If a man is not constant in his self-cultivation, he cannot be a shaman or a healer.’ It is a good proverb. If you are not consistently developing your virtue, what can you give to others? You will not even be able to give a diagnosis.”
[13:23] The Master said: “The noble man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony.”
[13-24] 子貢問曰。鄕人皆好之、何如 子曰。未可也。鄕人皆惡之、何如 子曰。未可也。不如鄕人之善者好之、其不善者惡之。
[13:24] Zi Gong asked: “What do you think if all the people in town like someone?”
“Not too good,” said Confucius.
“What if they all hate you?”
“Also not too good. It is better if the good people in town like you, and the evil ones hate you.”
[13:25] The Master said: “The reason that the noble man is easy to work for, but difficult to please, is because if you try to please him by devious means, he will not be happy. And in his employment of people, he gives them work according to their ability. The inferior man is difficult to work for, but easy to please. Even if you have used devious means to please him, he will still be happy. And in his employment of people, he tries to squeeze everything out of them that he can.”
[13:26] The Master said: “The noble man is self-confident without being arrogant. The inferior man is arrogant and lacks self-confidence.”
[13:27] The Master said: “With firmness, strength, simplicity and caution in speaking, you will be close to ren.”
[13-28] 子路問曰。何如斯可謂之士』 矣。子曰。切切、偲偲、怡怡如也、可謂士』 矣。朋友切切偲偲、兄弟怡怡。
[13:28] Zi Lu asked: “What sort of man deserves to be called a shi?”
Confucius said, “If you are decisive, kind and gentle, you can be called a shi. With friends, the shi is clear but kind. With his brothers he is gentle.”
[13:29-30] The Master said: “Only when good men have instructed the people for seven years, may they take up arms. To lead untrained people into battle is the same as throwing them away.”
[14-1] 憲問恥。子曰。邦有道穀、邦無道穀。恥也。克、伐、怨、欲、不行焉、可以爲仁』 矣。子曰。可以爲難矣、仁則吾不知也。
[14:1] Xian asked about what is shameful. Confucius said, “When the Way prevails in your state, to be concerned about your salary is shameful. When the Way is absent in your state, to be concerned about your salary is shameful.”
Xian asked: “When one is not motivated by arrogance, pride, resentment and desire, can be he considered humane?”
Confucius said, “This can certainly be called ‘difficult,’ but I don't know if it can be called ren.”
[14:2] The Master said: “A shi who is addicted to comfort should not be called a shi.”
[14:3] The Master said: “When the government is just, you may speak boldly and act boldly; when you have an unjust government, you may act boldly, but be careful of what you say.”
[14:4] The Master said: “The virtuous will certainly have something to say, but those who have something to say are not necessarily virtuous. The ren man is always brave, but the brave man is not necessarily possessed of ren.”
[14-5] 南宮适問於孔子曰。羿善射奡盪舟倶不得其死．然．禹稷躬稼而有天下夫子不答。南宮适出、子曰。君子哉若人 尚德哉若人 。
[14:5] Nan Gongguo said to Confucius: “Yi was skillful at archery and Ao shook a whole ship 34 but neither died a natural death. You and Ji did their own farming and ended up as emperors.”
Confucius didn't answer.
When Nan Gongguo left, Confucius said, “Here is a noble man, a man of enhanced virtue.”
[14:7] The Master said: “There are some cases where a noble man may not be a perfectly humane man, but there are no cases where an inferior man is a perfectly humane man.”
[14-8 』 子曰、愛之能勿勞乎、忠焉能勿誨乎。
[14:8] The Master said: “Can you love someone without exerting yourself for them? Can you be sincere to someone without teaching them?”
[14-11 』 子曰、貧而無怨難、富而無驕易。
[14:11] The Master said: “To be poor without resentment is difficult. To be rich without arrogance is easy.”
[14-12 』 子路問成人、子曰、若臧武仲之知、公綽之不欲、卞莊子之勇、冉求之藝、文之以禮樂、亦可以爲成人矣、曰、今之成人者、何必然、見利思義、見危授命、久要不忘平生之言、亦可以爲成人矣。
[14:12] Zi Lu asked what constitutes a “perfected man.”
Confucius said: “If you have the wisdom of Zang Wu Zhong, the desirelessness of Gong Chuo, the courage of Bian Zhuang Zi and the abilities of Zan Qiu, and are also refined through propriety and music, you might indeed be called a ‘perfected man.’ But if you want to perfect yourself right now, why would you need all of that? When you see an opportunity for advantage, think of what would be the right thing to do. Encountering danger, leave it up to destiny. When you can stay in difficulty for a long time, and not forget the words that have you have lived by, you can be regarded as a ‘perfected man.’” 35
[14-13] 子問公叔文子於公明賈、曰。信乎。夫子不言不笑不取乎。公明賈對曰。以吿者過也 夫子時然後言、人不厭其言。樂然後笑、人不厭其笑。義然後取、人不厭其取。子曰。其然 豈其然乎。
[14:14] The Master asked Gong Mingjia about Gongshu Wen Zi: “Is it true that your master doesn't speak, doesn't laugh and doesn't accept anything?”
Gong Mingjia replied, “This is an exaggeration. My master speaks when it is appropriate, and people never get tired of his words. He laughs when he is happy, and people never tire of his laughter. He takes when it is right to do so, and people never get tired of his taking.”
Confucius said, “Is this so? Is it really so!?”
[14:15] The Master said: Duke Wen of Jin 36 was devious, and not upright. Duke Huan of Qi 37 was upright, and not devious.
[14-16] 子路曰。桓公殺公子糾、召忽死之、管仲不死。曰。未仁乎。 子曰。桓公九合諸侯、不以兵車、管仲之力也。如其仁 如其仁 。
[14:16] Zi Lu said, “When Huan Gong assassinated Gongzi Jiu, 38 Zhao Hu 39 followed him to his death, but Guan Zhong 40 did not. He had not fully developed his Humaneness, had he?” The Master said: “When Huan Gong unified the nobles, it was not through military force, but by the efforts of Guan Zhong. How about this level of Humaneness?”
[14-17] 子貢曰。管仲非仁者與桓公殺公子糾、不能死、又相之。 子曰。管仲相桓公、霸諸侯、一匡天下。民到于今受其賜。微管仲、吾其被髮左衽矣。豈若匹夫匹婦之爲諒也、自經於溝瀆、而莫之知也 。
[14:17] Zi Gong said: “Guan Zhong was not a truly good man; when Huan Gong executed [his own brother] Gong Zi Jiu, he was not only incapable of dying along with his lord — he became Huan's minister.” Confucius said: “When Guan Zhong served Huan Gong as minister, he made him leader of the nobles and straightened out the disorder in the realm. The people are benefiting from this down to the present day. If not for Guan Zhong, we would all be like unkempt barbarians, wearing our hair over our faces and fastening our clothes on the left. 41 Shall we exercise the sincerity of simple people, who would hang themselves to death in a ditch, with no one knowing about it? ”
[14-18] 公叔文子之臣大夫僎、與文子同升諸公。子聞之曰。可以爲文』 矣。。
[14:18] The minister Zhuan of Gongshu Wenzi rose to the rank of court officer together with Wenzi. When the Master heard of it he said: “He certainly deserved the appellation of ‘refined.’!”
[14-19] 子言衞靈公之無道也、康子曰。夫如是、奚而不喪 孔子曰。仲叔圉治賓客、祝鮀治宗廟、王孫賈治軍旅。夫如是、奚其喪 。
[14:19] Confucius was speaking about the evils of Duke Ling of Wei.
Kang Zi said, “If he is such a person, how can he stay in power?”
Confucius said, “Zhongshu You takes care of his (Kang Zi's) guests; preacher Tuo handles the temples and Wang Sunjia is his military commander. With ministers like these, how could he fall from power?”
[14-20] 子曰。其言之不怍、則爲之也難 。
[14:20] The Master said: “If your words are not humble, it will be difficult to put them into action.”
[14-21] 陳成子弒簡公。孔子沐浴而朝、吿於哀公曰。陳恆弒其君、請討之。公曰。吿夫三子。 孔子曰。以吾從大夫之後、不敢不吿也 君曰。吿夫三子。』 者 之三子吿、不可。孔子曰。以吾從大夫子後、不敢不吿也 。
[14:21] 陳成子 murdered 簡公. Confucius bathed and went to court, reporting on the incident to Duke Ai, saying: “Chen Heng has murdered his lord; I request that you chastise him. ” The Duke replied: “Report it to the chiefs of the three families. ” Confucius said: “Since I following in the rear of the grandmasters, I have no recourse but to report. My ruler has said, ‘Report it to the chiefs of the three families’ and the three chiefs have said that there is nothing that can be done.” Confucius said: “Since I follow in the rear of the grandmasters, I had no recourse but to report.”
[14:22] Zi Lu asked how to deal with a ruler. Confucius said, “If you have to oppose him, don't do it by deceit.”
[14:23] The Master said: “The noble man penetrates that which is above. The inferior man penetrates that which is below.”
[14:24] The Master said: “The ancient scholars studied for their own improvement. Modern scholars study to impress others.”
[14-25] 蘧伯玉使人於孔子。孔子與之坐、而問焉。曰。夫子何爲 對曰。夫子欲寡其過而未能也。 使者出。子曰。使乎。使乎。
[14:25] Qu Baoyu sent a messenger to Confucius. Confucius sat down with him and asked him, saying: “What is your master like? ” The messenger replied: “My master wants to decrease his faults, but is not able to do so.” The messenger left, and Confucius said: “What a messenger! What a messenger!”
[14:26] The Master said: “If you don't have an official position, you should not make plans for administration.” Ceng Zi said: “The noble man doesn't worry about those things which are outside of his control.”
[14:27] The Master said: “The noble man is humble in his speech but superb in his actions.”
[14-28] 子曰。君子道者三、我無能焉。仁者不憂。知者不惑。勇者不懼。子貢曰。夫子自道也 。
[14-29] 子貢方人。子曰。賜也、賢乎哉。夫我則不暇 。
[14:29] Zi Gong was correcting people. Confucius said, “Si (Zi Gong) must be quite talented! I have no spare time to do this.”
[14:30] The Master said: “I don't worry about being unknown. I worry about my lack of ability.”
[14-31] 子曰。不逆詐』 、不億不信』 。抑亦先覺者、是賢乎。
[14:31] The Master said: “If you don't try to anticipate deception, and you don't plan for your not being believed, yet are the first to be aware of these things, aren't you a worthy?”
[14:32] Weisheng Mou said to Confucius: “Why are you so busy running around from place to place? Is it not that you be a flatterer?” Confucius said, “I wouldn't dare practice flattery, it is just that I despise stubbornness.”
[14:33] The Master said: “A really excellent horse is called such not simply because of its physical strength, but because of its character.” 42
[14-34] 或曰。以德報怨、何如。子曰。何以報德 以直報怨、以德報德。
[14:34] Someone said: “What do you think of the saying: ‘Repay harm with virtue’?”
Confucius replied, “Then how will you repay virtue? Repay harm with Justice 43 and repay virtue with virtue.”
[14-35] 子曰。莫我知也夫 子貢曰。何爲其莫知子也。 子曰。不怨天、不尤人。下學而上達。知我者、其天乎。
[14:35] The Master said: “Aah! No one understands me!”
Zi Gong said, “What do you mean, ‘No one understands you’?”
Confucius said, “I have no resentment against Heaven, no quarrel with men. I study from the bottom and penetrate to the top. Who understands me? Heaven does!”
[14-36] 公伯寮愬子路於季孫、子服景伯以吿、曰。夫子固有惑志於公伯寮、吾力猶能肆諸市朝。子曰。道之將行也與 命也。道之將廢也與 命也。公伯寮其如命何 。
[14:36] Gong Boliao had said bad things about Zi Lu to Lisun. Zifu Jingbo told Confucius about it, saying: “Lisun (Jingbo's teacher) is certainly being deceived by Gong Boliao. But I have enough power to drag his carcass out into the middle of the marketplace.”
Confucius said, “It is up to fate as to when the Way is going to function, and when it isn't. What can Gong Boliao do about fate?”
[14:37] The Master said: “A worthy becomes free of the world, then he becomes free of his land; then he becomes free from lust; then he becomes free from language.”
[14:38] The Master said: “The worthy avoid society; next, they avoid service to a particular state; next, they leave when confronted with a disrespectful attitude; next, they leave to avoid abusive words. There were seven who did this. ”
Comment: This passage is one that reflects some overlap between “Confucian” and “Daoist” values. Normally Confucianism is understood as a tradition where one must remain engaged in society. However, in this case, Confucius' attitude is reminiscent of that of Zhuangzi, who always recommended that intelligent people not accept the norms of a decadent world, and retire in solitude instead.
[14-38] 子路宿於石門。晨門曰。奚自 子路曰。自孔氏。曰。是知其不可而爲之者與 。
[14:38] Zi Lu was staying at outer stone gate (of the capital Qufu), the morning guard said, where are you from? Zi Lu answered: “I came from the place where Confucius is staying.” The guard said, “Aah, the one who tries to do what can't be done.”
[14-39] 子撃磬於衞。有荷蕢而過孔氏之門者、曰。有心哉、撃磬乎。旣而曰。鄙哉、硜硜乎。莫己知也、斯已而已矣。深則厲、淺則揭。』 子曰。果哉。末之難矣。。
[14:39] Confucius was playing the jade chimes when in Wei. A man who passed by Confucius' door carrying a bucket, said “You really are determined — I can hear your playing of the chimes!” After a bit, he said, “How stubborn you are, playing like this! If no one understands, just stop!” “When the water is deep, just plunge in. When it's shallow, raise your skirt.” Confucius said: “That would be decisive — and not difficult!”
[14-40] 子張曰。書云：高宗諒陰三年不言』 何謂也 子曰。何必高宗 古之人皆然。君薨、百官總己以聽於僴宰、三年。
[14:40] Zi Zhang said: The Book of History says: “Gaozong stayed in mourning for three years without speaking.” Why did he do this? Confucius said: “It need not be Gaozong. The ancients were all like this. After the ruler died, all of the officials took orders from the Minister of State for three years.”
[14:41] The Master said: “If those in power love propriety, the people will be easy to manage.”
[14:42] Zi Lu asked about the qualities of the noble man. Confucius said, “He cultivates himself by comforting others.”
“Is that all?”
“He cultivates himself by comforting everyone. Now, this is something that even Yao and Shun found difficult.”
[14:43] Yuanrang was waiting for the Master in a sprawled-out position.
Confucius said, “To be young and not act like a junior; to be mature and have nothing to pass on; to get old and not die: a parasite!” He whacked him on the shins with his staff.
[14-44] 闕黨童子將命。或問之曰。益者與 子曰。吾見其居於位也、見其與先生竝行也。非求益者也、欲速成者也。
[14:44] A boy from the village of Que was working as a messenger. Someone asked Confucius, “Is he developing?” Confucius said, “I can see that he likes to sit in grown-up's places, and likes to be buddies with his elders. But he is not seeking to develop himself. He wants to grow up too quickly.”
[15:1] Duke Ling of Wei asked Confucius about military tactics.
Confucius said, “I know about the handling of ritual sacrifices, but I have not studied strategy.”
[15-2] 明日遂行 在陳絕糧。從者病、莫能興。子路慍見曰。君子亦有窮乎。子曰。君子固窮。小人斯濫矣。
The next day, he and his disciples continued their travels. By the time they got to Chen, they had run out of provisions, and Zi Lu was obviously angry about it. He said, “Must the noble man suffer such dire straits?”
Confucius said, “The noble man remains stable when in dire straits. The inferior man falls apart.”
[15-3] 子曰。賜也、女以予爲多學而識之者與 對曰。然、非與 曰。非也 予一以貫之。
[15:3] Confucius said, “Si, do you think that I am a person who studies widely and memorizes all of it?”
Si replied, “It seems that way. But perhaps not?”
Confucius said, “The answer is no. I penetrate all with one.”
[15:4] The Master said: “You, those who understand virtue are few and far between.”
[15-5] 子曰。無爲而治者、其舜也與 夫何爲哉。恭己正南面而已矣。
[15:5] The Master said: “Cannot Shun be considered as one who governed without overreaching (wu-wei)? What did he do? He permeated himself with courtesy and correctly faced South.”
[15-6] 子張問行。子曰。言忠信、行篤敬、雖蠻貊之邦行矣。言不忠信、行不篤敬、雖州里行乎哉。立、則見其參於前也。在輿、則見期倚於衡也。夫然後行 子張書諸紳。
[15:6] Zi Zhang asked about correct behavior. Confucius said: “If your speech is sincere and honest, and your way of carrying yourself is earnest and reverent, such behavior will work even if you live among the Southern and Northern barbarians. But if your speech is insincere and dishonest and your way of carrying yourself is neither earnest nor reverent, then even if you live in your hometown, you will have problems.” Zhi Zhang wrote these words down on his sash.
[15-7] 子曰。直哉史魚邦有道、如矢。邦有道、如矢。君子哉蘧伯玉 邦有道、則仕。邦無道、則可卷而懷之。
[15:7] The Master said: “The Historiographer Yu was truly of straight character. When the government was just, he was like an arrow. When the government was unjust, he was like an arrow.”
“Qu Boyu is definitely a noble man. When the government is just, he will have a position in it. When the government is unjust he can roll up his principles and keep them in his breast.”
[15:8] The Master said: “When a person should be spoken with, and you don't speak with them, you lose them. When a person shouldn't be spoken with and you speak to them, you waste your words. The wise do not lose people, nor do they waste their words.”
[15:9] The Master said: “The earnest officer with a truly humane mind (ren) will not save his life if it requires him to sacrifice of his humaneness. He will even sacrifice himself to consummate his humaneness.”
[15:10] Zi Gong asked about humaneness. Confucius said, “When a craftsman wants to do a nice piece of work, he will always sharpen his tools first. When you live in a certain district, get into the service of the most worthy officers, and seek friends among scholars who are steeped in humaneness.”
[15:11] Yan Yuan asked about governing the state. Confucius said: “Use the calendar of Xia; ride in the state carriage of Yin; wear the ceremonial cap of Zhou; for music, play that of Shao and Wu. Get rid of the music of Zheng; keep distance from flatterers; the music of Zheng is lewd; flatterers are dangerous.”
[15:12] The Master said: “If a man is not far-sighted, then trouble is impending.”
[15-13] 子曰。已矣乎。吾未見好德如好色者也 。
[15:13] The Master said: “Alas, it is over! I have not yet met someone who loves virtue as much as he loves sex!”
[15-14] 子曰。臧文仲、其竊位者與 知柳下惠之賢、而不與立也。
[15:14] The Master said: “Did not Zang Wenzhong steal the chances of others for a position? He knew the ability of Liu Xiahui, but did not recommend him.”
[15-16] 子曰。不曰。如之何、如之何』 者、吾末如之何也已矣。。
[15:16] The Master said: “If a man doesn't continually question, ‘What is it? What is it?’I don't know what I can do for him.”
[Comment] If a student is not seriously and genuinely concerned about the deeper questions of life, it is very hard to teach her/him anything of value.
[15:17] The Master said: “When a circle of people can spend the whole day together without their conversation ever touching on justice, and they like to act according to small-minded wisdom, what can be done?”
[15:18] The Master said: “The noble man takes justice as essential. He actualizes it through propriety, demonstrates it in humility, develops it by truthfulness. This is the noble man!”
[15:19] The Master said: “The noble man suffers from his own lack of ability, not from lack of recognition.”
[15:20] The Master said: “The noble man is concerned about the kind of reputation he will have after he passes away.”
[15:21] The Master said: “The noble man seeks within himself. The inferior man seeks within others.”
[15-22 』 子曰、君子矜而不爭、羣而不黨。
[15:22] The Master said: “The noble man strives but does not wrangle. He has friends, but doesn't belong to a clique.”
[15:23] The Master said: “The noble man does not promote a man because of his words, and does not disregard the words because of the man.”
[15:24] Zi Gong asked: “Is there a single concept that we can take as a guide for the actions of our whole life?”
Confucius said, “What about ‘fairness’? What you don't like done to yourself, don't do to others.”
[15-25] 子曰。吾之於人也、誰毀誰譽 如有所譽者、其有所試矣。斯民也、三代之所以直道而行也。
[15:25] The Master said: “Among people, who should I criticize and who should I praise? If I praise someone it is because I have had some way of testing him.”
“The present common people are the same material with which the rulers of the Three Dynasties 44 manifested the correct Way.”
[15-26] 子曰。吾猶及史之闕文也。有馬者、借人乘之。今亡矣夫 。
[15:26] The Master said: “I still look for the scribe who would leave some space in the text, and the man who would lend others his horse to ride. Nowadays such niceties are gone!”
[15:27] The Master said: “Clever words disrupt virtue. Lack of patience in small matters leads to the disruption of great plans.”
[15:28] The Master said: “If everybody hates something, you'd better check into it. If everybody loves something, you'd better check into it.”
[15:29] The Master said: “It is the person who unfolds the way. It is not the way that unfolds the person. ”
[15:30] The Master said: “To make a mistake and not correct it: this is a real mistake.”
[15:31] The Master said: “I have spent a whole day without eating and a whole night without sleeping in order to think— but I got nothing out of it. Thinking cannot compare with studying.”
[15:32] The Master said: “The noble man indulges in the Way and does not indulge in his stomach. Doesn't agriculture have the avoidance of starvation as its motivating factor, and study have enrichment as its motivating factor? The noble man is concerned about following the Way, and is not concerned about avoiding poverty.”
[15:33] The Master said: “If your wisdom can grasp it, but your ren is incapable of maintaining it, even though you have grasped it, you will certainly lose it. If your wisdom grasps it and your ren is sufficient to maintain it, but you don't manifest it, the people will not revere you. If your wisdom grasps it, your ren is sufficient to maintain it, and you manifest it but don't act according to propriety, you are still not perfect.”
[Comment] This is a decidedly Confucian perspective on the unity of essence and function, similar to that expressed in 12:8. Even with a deep understanding of reality (essence) and a concomitant reflection in the person, external polish is still necessary to be a complete human being.
[15:34] The Master said: “The noble man cannot act within the framework of lesser wisdom, but he can handle major affairs. The inferior man cannot handle major affairs, but he can act within the framework of lesser wisdom.”
[15:35] The Master said: “The people are more in awe of ren than water or fire. But I have seen people tread on water or fire and die. I have never seen someone walk the path of ren and die.”
[15:36] The Master said: “It is better to value ren than to passively follow your teacher.”
[15:37] The Master said: “The noble man is precise, but not rigid.”
[15:38] The Master said: “In serving your ruler, you should be concerned about your service to him first; your compensation for the work should be a secondary matter. ”
[15:39] The Master said: “In teaching people, there is no discrimination (of class, type, etc.)”
[15:40] The Master said: “If your paths are different, you cannot make plans together.”
[15:41] The Master said: “Speak enough to make the point, and then leave it at that.”
[16:1] The Ji family was about to attack Zhuanyu. Ran You (Ran Qiu) and Ji Lu (Zilu) went to see Confucius, saying: “The Ji family is getting ready to move against Zhuanyu.” Confucius said, “Qiu, are you not at fault for this? Since ancient times the former kings have maintained Zhuanyu as the site of the sacrifice at Dong Meng mountain. Moreover, it is located within our own country, and has served as the site of our national altars to the soil and grain; why should it be attacked?” Ran You said, “It is our lord who wants to do this; it is not we two ministers who want it.”
Confucius said, “Qiu, there is a saying of Zhou Ren: ‘The one who displays his power is the one who gets the position; those who are not capable give up.’ If a minister does not support his lord when he is in danger, or support him when he is about to fall, then what use is he? Moreover, what you are saying is wrong. When a tiger or wild buffalo 45 escapes from the cage, or the tortoise shell and jade are destroyed in their cases, whose fault is this?” Ran You said, “Now, Zhuanyu is strongly fortified and close to Bi. 46 If we don't seize it now, there will be trouble for the later generations.” Confucius said, Qiu, the Noble Man does not like the one who declines to say what he really wants and who must then make excuses later.
I have heard that the heads of states or noble families do not worry over poverty but instead over equal distribution of wealth; they do not worry over underpopulation, but whether the people are insecure. 47 Now, if there is equality in distribution there will be no poverty; if there is harmony in society there will be no underpopulation, and if there is security, there will be subversion. If it done like this, then if there are distant subjects who do not submit, you can attract them by cultivating refinement and virtue. Once they come, then you can give them security. Now You and Qiu, serving as advisors to your lord, have distant subjects who will not submit, and you are unable to attract them; the country is falling apart, and you can do nothing to preserve it. Yet you now plan military action within your own state. I am afraid that the trouble of the descendants of Ji lies not in Zhuanyu, but rather, within the confines of our own court.
[16:2] The Master said: “When the Way (just government) prevails in the realm, then ritual, music and military campaigns are all initiated by the emperor. When the Way declines in the realm, then ritual, music and military campaigns are initiated by the nobles. When these things are initiated by the nobles, the ruling house will usually lose its power within ten generations. When these things are initiated by the high ministers, the ruling house will usually lose its power within five generations. When they are initiated by the lower officers, the ruling house will lose its power within three generations. When the Way prevails in the realm, the common people do not debate politics among themselves.”
[16:4] Confucius said, “It has been five generations since the assignment of emoluments left the ducal house. It has been four generations since the government came under control of the Councilors. Therefore the descendants of the three Huan 48 have been in decline.”
[16:4] The Master said: “There are three kinds of friendship which are beneficial and three kinds of friendship which are harmful. Friendship with the honest, friendship with the sincere, and friendship with the learned are all beneficial. Friendship with the deceptive, friendship with the unprincipled, and friendship with smooth talkers are harmful.”
[16:5] The Master said: “There are three kinds of enjoyment which are beneficial and three kinds of enjoyment which are harmful. The enjoyment of cultivation in music and ritual, the enjoyment of speaking of the goodness of others and the enjoyment of being surrounded by friends of good character are all beneficial. The enjoyment of arrogance, the enjoyment of dissipation and the enjoyment of comfort are all harmful.”
[16-6] 孔子曰。侍於君子有三愆：言未及之而言、謂之躁』 。言及之而不言、謂之隱』 。未見顏色而言、謂之瞽』 。
[16:6] The Master said: “There are three common mistakes made by those who are of rank:”
(1) To speak when there is nothing to be said; this is imprudence.
(2) To be silent when there is something to be said; this is deception.
(3) To speak without paying attention to the expression on the person's face; this is called blindness.
[16:7] The Master said: “The noble man is on guard against three things:”
(1) When he is a young man and his physical energies are not yet settled, he is on guard against lust.
(2) When he is mature and his physical energy is solid, he is on guard against being drawn into a fight.
(3) When he is old, and his physical power is weakened, he is on guard not to cling to his attainments.
[16:8] The Master said: “The noble man stands in awe of three things:”
(1) He is in awe of the decree of Heaven.
(2) He is in awe of great men.
(3) He is in awe of the words of the sages.
The inferior man does not know the decree of Heaven; he takes great men lightly, and laughs at the words of the sages.
[16:9] The Master said: “Those who are born knowing it are the best. Those who study to know it are next; those who are limited and yet study are next; those who are limited and do not even study are considered to be the lowest level of people.”
[16:10] The Master said: “There are nine patterns which are awarenesses of the noble man. In seeing, he is aware of clarity; in listening, he is aware of sharpness; in faces, is aware of warmth; in the attitude he projects, he is aware of courtesy; in speech, sincerity; in service, reverence. In doubt, he is inclined to question; when angry, he is aware of the difficulties that may ensue. When he sees an opportunity for gain, he thinks of what would be Just.”
[16-11] 孔子曰。見善如不及、見不善而探湯。』 吾見其人矣、吾聞其語矣隱居以求其志、行義以達其道。』 吾聞其語矣、未見其人也 。
[16:11] Confucius cited the proverb:
I regard goodness as something I haven't attained. I regard evil as my deep-welling spring.
and said, “I have seen this kind of person and have heard these words. But as for:”
I hide myself away in order to fathom my own will. I act with fairness to penetrate the Way.
I have heard this said, but haven't seen this kind of person.
[16-12] 齊景公有馬千駟、死之日、民無德而稱焉。伯夷、叔齊餓於首陽之下、民到于今稱之。其斯之謂與 。
[16:12] Duke Ching of Qi had a thousand teams of horses, but when he died, there was nothing for which the people could praise him. Bo Yi and Shu Qi died of starvation at the foot of Shouyang mountain, and the people praise them up till this day. What meaning can you glean from this?
[16-13] 陳亢問於伯魚曰。子亦有異聞乎。對曰。未也。嘗獨立、鯉趨而過庭。曰。學詩乎。』 對曰。未也。』 不學詩、無以言 』 鯉退而學詩。他日、又獨立、鯉趨而過庭。曰。學禮乎。』 對曰。未也。』 不學禮、無以立 』 鯉退而學禮。聞斯二者。陳亢退而喜曰。問一得三：聞詩、聞禮。又聞君子遠其子也。
[16:13] Chenkang asked Boyu (Confucius' son): “Have you heard anything from your father different than we disciples have?”
Boyu replied, “Not yet. Once, when my father was standing by himself, I passed by the hall quickly, and he said, ‘Have you learned the Book of Odes yet?’ I said, ‘Not yet.’ So I went and studied the Book of Odes. On another day, the same scene occurred, and he asked me, ‘Have you learned the Record of Propriety yet?’ I said, ‘Not yet.’ He said, “If you don't learn propriety you will have no structure.” So I went and studied the Propriety. I have only heard these two things.”
Chenkang left, elated, saying, “I questioned on one thing and got three! I learned about the Poems, I learned about the Propriety and I learned that the noble man is not partial to his son.”
[17:1] Yang Huo wanted to see Confucius but Confucius would not see him, so he sent Confucius a piglet as a present. Confucius timed his visit of thanks when Yang Huo was not at home. They happened to meet on the road, and Yang said to Confucius, “Come, I want to have a word with you.” And he said, “Hiding one's treasure in one's bosom and letting one's country lose its way — can such a one be called truly humane?” Confucius responded, “No, he can't.” “Liking to be involved in public affairs but always missing the timing — can he be called wise?” “No, he can't.” “The days and months slip away, and time is not on our side.” Confucius said, “Ok, I'll take the job.”
Comment: A somewhat unusual narrative in the Analects, as Confucius clearly loses the argument to a higher moral ground, accepting judgment, at the same time admitting his deep desire to serve the government.
[17:2] The Master said: “People are similar by nature, but through habituation become quite different from each other.” Confucius said: “Only the most wise and the most foolish do not change.”
[17-3] 子之武城、聞弦歌之聲、夫子莞爾而笑曰。割鷄焉用牛刀。子游對曰。昔者、偃也聞諸夫子曰。君子學道則愛人。小人學道則易使也。 子曰。二三子、偃之言是也。前言戲之耳 。
[17:3] When the Master went to Wu Cheng he heard the sound of singing accompanied by lutes, he laughed a bit and said, “Why would one need an ox-cleaver to kill a chicken?” Zi Yu replied, “In the past, I heard you saying, “If the Noble Man learns the Way, he will care about people. If regular people learn the Way, they become easy to employ. ” Confucius said, “My disciple, Yan is right. What I said before was only a joke.””
[17:4] Gongshan Furao, staging a rebellion from Bi [against the Ji family], sent an invitation to Confucius, and the Master wanted to go. Zi Lu, displeased with this, said, “Indeed we may have nowhere to go, but why must we go to see Gongshan?” Confucius said, “If some invites me, how could it be a total waste? If there is someone who is willing to make use of me, shall I not make his land an Eastern Zhou?”
[17-5] 子張問仁於孔子。孔子曰。能行五者於天下、爲仁矣。請問之 曰。恭、寛、信、敏、惠。恭則不侮、寛則得衆、信則人任焉、敏則有功、惠則足以使人。
[17:5] Zi Zhang asked Confucius about fundamental human goodness. Confucius said, “If you can practice these five things with all the people, you can be called a fundamentally good person.”
Zi Zhang asked what they were.
Confucius said, “Courtesy, generosity, honesty, persistence, and kindness. If you are courteous, you will not be disrespected; if you are generous, you will gain everything. If you are honest, people will rely on you. If you are persistent you will get results. If you are kind, you can employ people.”
[17:6] The Master said: “You, have you heard the six phrases about the six distortions?” You answered that he hadn't. “Then stay a moment,” Confucius said, “and I will tell you.”
If you love being kind to others, but don't like to study, then your kindness will be distorted into simplicity.
If you love wisdom, but don't like to study, then your wisdom will be distorted into aimlessness.
If you love trustworthiness, but don't like to study, then your trust will be distorted into harm.
If you love candor, but don't like to study, your candor will be distorted into rudeness.
If you love boldness, but don't like to study, your boldness will be distorted into unruliness.
If you love persistence, but don't like to study, your persistence will be distorted into rashness.
[17:7] Bi Xi invited Confucius [to come and serve in his administration], and Confucius wanted to go. Zi Lu said, “Didn't I once hear you say that the Noble Man will not enter the place of one who has associated himself with evil? Bi Xi has taken Zhongmou 49 against its will, so how can the Master go there?” Confucius said, “Indeed, I did say such a thing. But is it not said that if you polish something hard, it will not wear thin? And it is not said that if something is truly white, if you try to dye it black, it won't change color? Shall I be like a gourd that can be hung, but never eaten?”
[17:8] The Master said: “My disciples, why not study the Book of Odes? The Odes can uplift you, can make you observant, can help you to get along with people, can help you to use your anger [in a proper way]. Applied near at hand, you can serve your father; applied at a distance, you can serve your ruler. You can learn much about the names of birds, beasts, plants, and trees.”
[17:9] Addressing Bo Yu, the Master said: “Have you studied the Zhou Nan and Shao Nan chapters? Isn't the one who does not learn the Zhou Nan and Shao Nan chapters just like someone who stands directly facing a wall?”
[17:10]The Master said: “‘Ritual,’ they say, ‘ritual,’ they say: is nothing more than jade and silk? 50 ‘Music’ they say, ‘Music’ they say: is it nothing more than bells and drums?”
[17-10] 子曰。色厲而內荏、譬諸小人、其猶穿窬之盜也與 。
[17:10] The Master said: “If you show a tough face, but are weak inside, you are a miserable fellow, like a thief burrowing through the walls.”
[17-11] 子曰。鄕原、德之賊也 。
[17:11] The Master said: “The ‘conventional townsman’ is a thief of virtue.” 51
[17-12] 子曰。道聽而塗說、德之棄也 。
[17:12] The Master said: “To apprehend the Way and lecture on it before actualization is to throw away your accumulation of virtue.”
[17:13] The Master said: “These low-lifes! How can they ever serve a ruler?! When they don't have something, they make themselves miserable in getting it. Once they get it, they go nuts about losing it. Once they are worried about losing it, there is nothing they won't do.”
[17:14] The Master said: “The ancients had three kinds of shortcomings, some aspects of which are now lost. The wild (guang) 52 of antiquity were unbounded; the wild of today are dissipated. The proud of antiquity were gallant; the proud of today are hot-tempered. The simple-minded of antiquity were straightforward; the simple-minded of today are liars.”
[17:15] The Master said: “Skillful speech and flattering expressions are seldom indicative of true goodness. ”
[17:16] The Master said: “I hate purple because it steals the role of red; I hate the music of Zheng,” 53 because it is are confused with the classical music 54
[17-17] 子曰。予欲無言 子貢曰。子如不言、則小子何述焉 子曰。天何言哉。四時行焉、百物生焉。天何言哉。
[17:17] The Master said: “I wish I could avoid talking.”
Zi Gong said, “Master, if you didn't speak, what would we disciples have to pass on?”
Confucius said, “Does Heaven speak? Yet the four seasons continue to change, and all things are born. Does Heaven speak?”
[17:18] Ru Bei wanted to see Confucius, but Confucius excused himself on the grounds of illness. When his messenger went to the door, the master picked up his lute and began to sing so that Bei could hear him.
[17:19] Zai Wo asked: “Isn't the three-year mourning period [for parents] too long? If the Noble Man does not exercise ritual for three years, the rituals will certainly deteriorate; if music is not played for three years, it will certainly vitiate. Last year's grain is already gone, this years' grain has already sprouted. And the seasonal cycle for the use of wood 55 for producing fire by friction has already passed through. One year is enough. ” Confucius said, “Are you comfortable with eating good rice and wearing fine silk [soon after your parents have died]?” “Yes, I am fine with it.” “If you are OK with it, then go ahead and do it. When the Noble Man is in mourning, he cannot enjoy the taste of delicious food, cannot enjoy the sound of music, and cannot be comfortable in his own home, and therefore he won't do such a thing. Now, if you are comfortable with it, then do it.” Zai Wo left. Confucius said, “How inhumane Zai Wo is! It is only after three years that a child avoids his parent's embrace. The three-year period of mourning is observed throughout society. Wasn't Zai Wo loved three years by his parents?”
[17-20] 子曰。飽食終日、無所用心、難矣哉。不有博奕者乎。爲之猶賢乎已 。
[17:20] The Master said: “What can be done with a man who stuffs his face with food all day, without exercising his mind. He could at least play cards or chess or something. It would be better than nothing.”
[17:21] Zi Lu said: “Does the noble man esteem bravery?”
Confucius said, “The noble man puts fairness first. If the noble man is brave without fairness, he will be rebellious. If the inferior man is brave without fairness, he will become an outlaw.”
[17:22] Zi Gong asked, “Does the noble man also have things that he hates?”
Confucius said, “He does. He hates those who advertise the faults of others. He hates those who abide in lowliness and slander the great. He hates those who are bold without propriety. He hates those who are convinced of their own perfection, and closed off to anything else. How about you, what do you hate?”
Zi Gong said, “I hate those who take a little bit of clarity as wisdom; I hate those who take disobedience as courage; I hate those who take disclosing people's weak points to be straightforwardness.”
[17:23] The Master said: “Girls and inferior men are hard to get along with. If you get familiar with them, they lose their humility; if you are distant, they resent it.”
[17-24] 子曰。年四十而見惡焉、其終也已 。
[17:26] The Master said: “One who has reached the age of forty and is disliked, will be disliked to the end.”
[18-1] 微子去之。箕子爲之奴。比干諫而死。孔子曰。殷有三仁焉 。
[18:1] Weizi left him; Jizi was enslaved by him; Bi Gan admonished him, and died for it. Confucius said, “There were three Good Men in the Yin. ”
[18-2] 柳下惠爲士師、三黜。人曰。子未可以去乎。曰。直道而事人、焉往而不三黜 枉道而事人、何必去父母之邦 。
[18:2] Hui Liuxia was chief criminal judge, and was fired three times.
Someone said, “Why don't you just leave, sir?”
He said, “If I want to give justice in serving people, where can I go where this will not happen? If I can be satisfied with handing out injustice, why should I bother leaving the land of my parents?”
[18:3] Duke Jing of Qi was trying to decide what to do with Confucius. He said, “I can't treat him the way the Ji family did. I can employ him somewhere between the status of Ji or Meng(Sun).” He said again, “I am already old. I can't use him.” Confucius left.
[18:4] The people of Qi sent Lu a present of girl musicians. Ji Huan (ruler of Lu) received them, and for three days did not hold court. Confucius left.
[18-5] 楚狂接輿、歌而過孔子、曰。鳳兮 何德之衰 往者不可諫、來者猶可追。已而 已而 今之從政者殆而 孔子下、欲與之言。趨而辟之、不得與之言。
[18:5] Jieyu, the madman of Chu, passed by Confucius, singing:
How your virtue has declined!
Your past cannot be corrected,
But your future is yet to come.
Give up! Give up!
Those who involve themselves in Government now
Will be in danger.
Confucius jumped down, wanting to talk to him, but he ran away, so Confucius couldn't talk to him.
[18-6] 長沮桀溺耦而耕。孔子過之、使子路問津焉。長沮曰。夫執輿者爲誰 子路曰。爲孔丘。曰。是魯孔丘與 曰。是也。曰。是知津矣。問於桀溺、桀溺曰。子爲誰 曰。爲仲由。曰。是魯孔丘之徒與 對曰。然。曰。滔滔者、天下皆是也、而誰以易之 且而與其從辟人之士也、豈若從辟世之士哉。耰而不輟。子路行以吿、夫子憮然曰。鳥獸不可與同群 吾非斯人之徒與而誰與 天下有道、丘不與易也。
[18:6] Zhang Zuo and Jie Ni were working together in the fields when Confucius was passing by. He sent Zi Lu to ask them where he could ford the river. Zhang Zuo said, “Who is that holding the carriage?”
Zi Lu said, “It is Confucius”
Zhang said, “The Confucius of Lu?”
“Well, if that's the case, then he knows the ford.”
Zi Lu then asked Jie Ni who said, “Who are you?”
“I am Zi Lu.”
“The follower of this Confucius of Lu?”
Jie said, “Disorder, disorder throughout the realm! And who can change it? Rather than following a shi who avoids people, you should follow one who escapes from the world!” With that, he went back to his hoeing and wouldn't stop.
Zi Lu went back and reported this to Confucius. Confucius sighing, said, “I can't form associations with the birds and beasts. So if I don't associate with people, then who will I associate with? If the Way prevailed in the realm, I would not try to change anything.”
[18-7] 子路從而後、遇丈人、以杖荷蓧子路問曰。子見夫子乎。丈人曰。四體不勤、五穀不分、孰爲夫子 植其杖而芸。子路拱而立。止子路宿、殺雞爲黍而食之、見其二子焉。明日、子路行以吿。子曰。隱者也。使子路反見之。至、則行矣。子路曰。不士無義。長幼之節、不可廢也。君臣之義、如之何其廢之 欲潔其身、而亂大倫。君子之仕也、行其義也。道之不行、已知之矣。。
[18:7] Zi Lu, having fallen behind the group, met an old man carrying a basket on a pole. He asked him: “Have you seen my master?”
The old man said, “Your four limbs have not toiled, and you can't distinguish among the five grains— who is your master?” He planted his staff in the ground and began to weed. Zi Lu stood there with his arms folded. The old man had him stay overnight. He killed a chicken, prepared millet and fed him, and then introduced him to his two sons. The next day, Zi Lu left, and he told Confucius.
The Master said, “He is a recluse,” and sent Zi Lu back to see him. When he arrived, the man was gone.
Zi Lu said, “If you don't have a position in society, how can you practice fairness? If the relationship between young and old cannot be abandoned, how can the relationship between ruler and minister be abandoned? Desiring to keep his own purity, he disrupts the great bonds of society. The noble man practices his fairness from his place in society. When fairness is not being done, he is the one who is aware of it.”
[18-8] 逸民：伯夷、叔齊、虞仲、夷逸、朱張、柳下惠、少連。子曰。不降其志、不辱其身、伯夷叔齊與 謂柳下惠、少連。降志辱身矣。言中倫、行中慮、其斯而已矣。謂虞仲、夷逸。隱居放言、身中淸、廢中權。我則異於是、無可無不可。
[18:8] Among men who have abandoned society are Bo Yi, Shu Qi, Yu Zhong,Yiyi, Zhu Zhang, Hui Liu Xia, and Shao Lian. The Master said, “Those who would not surrender their wills or humiliate themselves were Bo Yi and Shu Qi.” Regarding Liuxia Hui and Shao Lian, he said, “They surrendered their wills and humiliated themselves; nonetheless, their words were based on solid principles and they thought before acting. That is about all that can be said of them.” Concerning Yu Zhong and Yi Yi: “They left society, and in their seclusion cast off speech, they were pure in their personal activities, and their abandonment of official position was adjusted according to the circumstances.” I am different than this. I have no “shoulds” or “should nots”.
[18:10] The head musician Zhi, went to Qi; Gan, the musician for the second meal, went to Chu; Liao, the musician for the third meal, went to Cai; Que, the musician for the fourth meal, went to Qin; the drummer Fang Shu, went to the area of the Yellow River; Wu, the player of the spinning hand-drum, when to the Han River; Yang, the assistant musician, and Xiang, the player of the stone chimes, went to the sea.
[18:10] The Duke of Zhou was talking to his son, the Duke of Lu. He said: “The noble man does not neglect his relatives and does not let the High Minister develop resentment about not being utilized. Therefore, he has never fired anyone unless there was a really good reason, and he does not seek to squeeze everything out of one man.”
[18:11] . There were eight Gentlemen in the Zhou: Bo Da, Bo Kuo, Zhong Tu, Zhong Hu, Shu Ye, Shu Xia, Ji Sui, and Ji Gua.
[19:1] Zi Zhang said: “The shi who faced with danger can abandon his life; who seeing an opportunity for gain, thinks of fairness; who at rituals is reverent and who at funerals is sorrowful: he is worth something.”
[19-2] 子張曰。執德不弘、信道不篤、焉能爲有 焉能爲亡 。
[19:2] Zi Zhang said: “Keeping one's virtue without extending it; trusting the Way without enriching it. What can you gain? And what can you get rid of?”
[19-3] 子夏之門人、問交於子張。子張曰。子夏云何 對曰。子夏曰。可者與之、其不可者拒之。』 子張曰。異乎吾所聞：君子尊賢而容衆、嘉善而矜不能。』 我之大賢與、於人何所不容。我之不賢與、人將拒我、如之何其拒人也 。
[19:3] The disciples of Zi Xia were asked Zi Zhang about “associations.” Zi Zhang asked in response: “What does your teacher tell you?”
One replied, “Associate with the capable and keep away from the incapable.”
Zi Zhang said, “This is different from what I have heard. The noble man venerates the worthy but accepts everyone. He praises the good and pities the incapable. Now if I were a worthy, whom should I not accept? If I am unworthy, shall people cast me aside? How can you just push people away like this?”
[19:4] Zi Xia said, “If somewhat has just a small attainment of the way, it can be observed. But if he tries to extend it too far, it will lose its functioning. Therefore, the noble man does not do this.”
[19:5] Zi Xia said: “Someone who is aware every day of what he lacks, and every month does not forget what he has developed, can be called ‘a lover of learning.’”
[19:6] Zi Xia said: “Studying widely and thickening your will, questioning earnestly and reflecting on things at hand: ren lies in this.”
[19:7] Zi Xia said: “The artisans stay in their shops in order to accomplish their works. The noble man studies in order to actualize his Way.”
[19:8] Zi Xia said: “The inferior man always glosses over his errors.”
[19:9] Zi Xia said: “The noble man has three appearances. From afar, he appears majestic; close up, he seems warm; listening to his speech, he seems polished.”
[19:10] Zi Xia said: “After the ruler has the trust of the people, they will toil for him. If he doesn't have their trust, they will regard him as oppressive. Only after gaining his trust will they criticize him openly. If he doesn't trust them, he will take their criticism as backstabbing. ”
[19:11] Zi Xia said: “As long as you don't transgress the norm of great virtue, you may utilize small virtues freely.”
[19-12] 子游曰。子夏之門人小子、當洒掃、應對、進退、則可矣、抑末也。本之則無。如之何 子夏聞之曰。噫、言游過矣。君子之道、孰先傳焉、孰後倦焉。譬諸草木、區以別矣。君子之道、焉可誣也。有始有卒者、其惟聖人乎。
[19:12] Zi Yu said: “The disciples of Zi Xia can clean the floor, respond to questions, and come forward and retire, but these are trivial matters — when it comes to the essentials, they are lost. Why is it so?” Zi Xia, hearing of it said, “What? Isn't this a bit of an exaggeration? In the Way of the Noble Man, those who advance first are summoned, and those who are late fall away. 56 It is like the various plants that are categorized by their species. How can the Way of the Noble Man be deceptive? Who, but a sage, can both take the initiative and bring matters to their completion?”
[19:13] Zi Xia said: “After you have accomplished your job, then study. After you have accomplished your studies, then get a job.”
[19:14] Zi Lu said: “When mourning has expended itself in grief, it should end.”
[19:15] Zi Lu said: “My friend Zhang can handle difficulty, but is not yet perfect in ren.”
[19-16] 曾子曰。堂堂乎張也 難與竝爲仁矣。
[19:16] Ceng Zi said: “How imposing Zhang is. It is difficult to practice ren with him.”
[19-17] 曾子曰。吾聞諸夫子：人未有自致者也必也、親喪乎。』 。
[19:17] Ceng Zi said: “I have heard this from our master: ‘If a man has not yet fully experienced himself, he will when his parents die.’”
[19-18] 曾子曰。吾聞諸夫子：孟莊子之孝也、其他可能也、其不改父之臣與父之政、是難能也。』 。
[19:18] Ceng Zi said: “I heard our Master say, ‘In other matters, the filial piety of Ming Zhong Zi was nothing special. But his running his government without changing his father's ministers or systems— this was quite difficult.’”
[19:19] Yangfu, having been appointed Minister of Justice by the Meng clan, consulted with Ceng Zi. Tseng said, “When those in power lose their sense of justice, the people will scatter from them, and it will be a long time before they return. When you are aware of their suffering, then you should be sorrowful, never joyful.”
[19:20] Zi Gong said, “Zhou could not really have been that bad. Therefore the Noble Man dislikes residing in the lower reaches, where all the evil of the world accumulates.”
[19:21] Zi Gong said: “The faults of the noble man are like the eclipses of the sun and moon— everyone sees them. But when he corrects them, everyone looks up to him.”
[19-22] 衞公孫朝問於子貢曰。仲尼焉學 子貢曰。文武之道、未墜於地、在人。賢者識其大者、不賢者識其小者、莫不有文武之道焉。夫子焉不學、而亦何常師之有 。
[19:22] Gong Sunchao of Wei asked Zi Gong: “From whom did Confucius get his learning?”
Zi Gong said, “The Way of King Wen and King Wu (the legendary sage-kings of antiquity) has not yet sunk into the ground. The Worthies have assimilated the major points, and the less-than-worthy have assimilated the minor points. There is no place where the Way of Wen and Wu does not exist, so how could the Master not learn it? Why would he need to get it from a certain teacher?”
[19:23] Shusun Wushu, addressing the major officers of his court, said: “Zi Gong is superior to Confucius.”
Zifu Jingbo told this to Zi Gong, who commented, “Let me use a simile of a castle and its wall. My wall is only shoulder high, which you may look over and see the desirables that lie inside. My Master's wall is several tens of feet high and if you can't find the door and enter by it, you will not see the beauty of its ancestral temple, nor the splendor of its hundred officers. Those who find the door are few indeed. Are not my Master's words even more difficult to grasp?”
[19-24] 叔孫武叔毀仲尼。子貢曰。無以爲也 仲尼不可毀也。他人之賢者、丘陵也、猶可踰也。仲尼、日月也、無得而踰焉。人雖欲自絕、其何傷於日月乎。多見其不知量也 。
[19:24] Shusun Wushu's disparaged Confucius. Zi Gong said, “It is ridiculous talking this way. Confucius cannot be slandered. The virtue of other men is like a small hill, which can be climbed over. Confucius is like the sun and the moon. There is no way they can be climbed over. Even if you want to cut yourself off from the sun and moon, how can you hurt them? It is easy to see that Wushu does not know value.”
[19:25] Chen Ziqin addresses Zi Gong, saying, “You are too humble. How could Zhongni (Confucius) be more worthy than you?” Zi Gong said, “By a single word the Noble Man shows his intelligence, and by a single word he shows his ignorance. Hence, one must be careful when choosing one's words. The level of the Master cannot be reached, just as the heavens cannot be ascended to using a stairway. If our master had attained control of the state or clan, it would have been as it is said: ‘By his establishment they took their positions; when he led, they followed; due to his gentleness, they came; when he motivated them, they worked in harmony. In life he was glorious, in death he is mourned.’ Who could attain to such a level?”
[20-1] 堯曰。咨。爾舜。天之曆數在爾躬、允執其中。四海困窮、天祿永終。舜亦以命禹。曰。予小子履、敢用玄牡、敢昭吿于皇皇后帝。有罪不敢赦、帝臣不蔽、簡在帝心。朕躬有罪、無以萬方。萬方有罪、罪在朕躬。周有大賚、善人是富。雖有周親、不如仁人。百姓有過、在予一人。謹權量、審法度、修廢官、四方之政行焉。興滅國、繼絕世、擧逸民、天下之民歸心焉。所重、民、食、喪、祭。寛則得衆、信則民任焉。 敏則有功、公則說。
[20:1] Yao said, “Ah, Shun, the heavenly succession has fallen on you. Hold firm to the center. If the whole realm falls into dire straits, the heavenly stipend will disappear forever.” Shun similarly instructed Yu. [Tang] said, “I, the inconsequential Lü, dare to sacrifice the black bull, and dare to report to the illustrious Lord. When a crime is done, I will not dare to pardon it. I will I cover up for your servants, but leave the decision up to your discretion. When I am guilty of a fault, I will not blame it on all the people, and they are at fault, I will take responsibility myself.” Zhou had great gifts, which he used to enrich good men. Although he was surrounded by close relatives, they were not treated on a par equal with the Good. If there are faults among the officials, 57 I will take the blame myself. Be careful with weights and measures, scrutinize well the legal code, and restore offices that have fallen into disuse — then all the lands in the four directions will be well-governed. Raise up failed states, re-establish broken lineages, empower those had avoided service, and all the common people in the realm will put their trust in you. Place value on the common people, food, mourning for the dead, and ritual sacrifice. If you are generous you will gain the hearts of the people; if you are trustworthy, they will rely on you; if you are diligent, you will get results; if you are fair, they will be happy.
[20:2] Zi Zhang asked Confucius, saying “How should one best handle the affairs of government?” The Master said, “There are five points of excellence to be respected, and four bad points to be avoided. If you can follow these, you can handle the affairs of government.” Zi Zhang asked, “What are the five points of excellence?” The Master said, “The Noble Man is generous without being wasteful, works hard without resentment, desires without being avaricious, is proud without being arrogant, strict without being severe.” Zi Zhang said, “What does it mean, to be generous without being wasteful?” The Master said, “If you see a way to bring benefit to the common people and you carry it out, is this not being generous without being wasteful? If you select the matters where it is appropriate to work and have people work hard at them, who will be resentful? If you desire Goodness and attain it, where will there be greed? Whether dealing with the many or the few, the young or the old, the Noble Man does not dare to be conceited. Is this not indeed the meaning of being proud but not being arrogant? The Noble Man, straightening his robe and cap, is respectful in his gaze; he is severe in the gazes of the people, yet is in awe of them. Is this not the meaning of being strict without being severe?” Zi Zhang said, “What are the four bad points?” The Master said, “To execute someone without explaining what they did wrong is cruelty; to expect achievements without admonishment is tyrannical; to be late in giving orders yet expecting punctuality is injurious; to be stingy in bestowing on people their due remuneration is petty officiousness.”
[20:3] The Master said: “If you do not understand destiny, there is no way you will be regarded as a Noble Man. If you do not understand propriety, there is no way for you to be established. If you do not understand words, there is no way for you to understand people.”
1. Shijing. The Book of Odes. One of the five Chinese classics 五經; also commonly referred to in Chinese as the Mao shi 毛詩. Also translated as the Book of Poetry, or Book of Songs. It is a collection of poems, written during the 500 years between the beginning of the Zhou dynasty and the middle of the Spring and Autumn period. It is believed that Confucius selected 305 from more than 3,000 pieces and edited them into a book to be used for education. Of the 305 poems, each is usually known by its title, which are drawn from phrases found in its opening passage.
2. This simile for the process of self-perfection is found often in Confucian texts.
3. In other words: “I give him a hint and he gets the whole point.”
4. Legge's note to this passage says (with conversion to Pinyin): “The Tai mountain is the first of the ‘five mountains’ which are celebrated in Chinese literature, and have always received religious honors. It was in Lu, or rather on the borders between Lu and Ji, about two miles north of the present department city of Tai-an in Shandong. According to the ritual of China, sacrifice could only be offered to those mountains by the sovereign, and by the princes in whose States any of them happened to be. For the chief of the Ji family, therefore, to sacrifice to the Tai mountain was a great usurpation. Lin Pang, — see chap. iv, from which the reason of this reference to him may be understood. Ran You was one of the disciples of Confucius, and is now third, in the hall, on the west. He entered the service of the Ji family, and was a man of ability and resource. ”
5. The Guanju ( “The Cry of the Ospreys”) is the first poem in the Book of Odes. It begins by describing a lover's grief at being separated from his lady and ends by describing their joyful union. (Waley, 99)
6. 管仲: Guan Zhong. (? –645 BCE) Spring and Autumn period 春秋時代 statesman, originally from the area of Yingshui 潁水. Familiar name was Yi Wu 夷吾, styled Zhong 仲, also known as Jing 敬, thus also known as Guan Zingzhong 管敬仲 and Guanzi 管子. He the prime minister 宰相 who switched loyalties after the assassination of his original lord to serve Duke Huan 桓公 of Qi 齊. He is considered to be responsible for many of the duke's administrative achievements. It was based upon the recommendation of his friend Bao Shu 鮑叔 that Duke Huan took him into his service, and Huan would go on to become known as one of the Five Hegemons 五覇. He is reputed to be the author of the Guanzi 管子.
7. Legge translates: “If the will be set on virtue, there will be no practice of wickedness.” But we rarely see 惡 as an entity of “evil” or “wickedness” in texts of this period. Ames and Rosemont say: “If indeed one's purposes are set on authoritative conduct, one could do no wrong.” But 惡 is not generally used to indicate “wrongdoing.” It usually means ugliness, hatefulness, to be ugly, be hateful, or hated, etc. Arthur Waley tries — rightly I think — to maintain continuity with the previous passage by saying “He whose heart is in the smallest degree set on Goodness will dislike no one.” I prefer (as I usually do), the reading of Bruce Brooks: “If once he sets his mind on ren, he will have no hatred.”
8. James Legge takes 與 as “I grant . . .” indicating agreement, and thus: “I grant you, you are not equal to him.”
9. For the meaning of “wild” here, please see the discussion of the term guang in the comment on 13:21.
10. I.e., fit the specifications for a sacrificial animal.
11. Legge says: “The father of Zhong Gong (See V. ii.) was a man of bad character and some would have visited this upon his son, which drew forth Confucius' remark.” (186)
12. Which was out of the range of Qi's influence.
13. Legge says (p. 199): “[Bo Yi and Shu Qi] having given up their throne, and finally their lives, rather than doing what was wrong, and Confucius, fully approving of their conduct, it was plain he could not approve of a son's holding by force what was the rightful inheritance of the father.”
14. A high official of the Song, who was trying to assassinate Confucius.
15. This is probably a reference to Yanhui, Confucius' favorite among his disciples, who died young.
16. “Wen” means literature or culture. King Wen was traditionally recognized as a teacher of culture to the ancient Chinese.
17. “The noble man is not a utensil.”
18. I have diverged from Legge and Waley in taking “completely empty-like” to refer positively to the condition of Confucius' mind, rather than negatively to the mind of the simple man who is questioning.
19. Commentators and translators understand this chart/diagram variously. The most thorough and convincing explanation that I have found is that by Bruce Brooks which says: “… the phoenix omen. . . and the River Diagram (the reference is to the Yellow River). The latter is not interpreted as the magic square of order three until Han times (we are grateful to Nathan Sivin for this clarification); in the late 4c it may have been a 3 x 3 array representing the nine parts of China in Dzou Yen's geography; a symbol of universal dominion. ” (Comment to passage 9:9)
20. I.e., he wanted, in the case of Confucius' death, for it to appear that Confucius had been of high status.
21. Book of Poems, number 67.
22. According to Zhu Xi 朱煕, the logograph 瓜 here is a corruption of 必.
23. 阼階: The steps leading to the eastern door of the hall. The place where the host stands when greeting guests.
24. Following Bruce Brooks.
25. In a Tang stone engraving, this is written as 不客.
26. This passage is given a wide range of interpretations by commentators and translators. I take it as an episode in the midst of an excursion (perhaps for the explicit purpose of hunting, or not) by Zi Lu and Confucius where the opportunity shows itself for them to catch a hen pheasant.
27. A verse from the Book of Odes (256): “A flaw in a white jade tablet may be polished away; but nothing can be done for a flaw in one's words.”
28. For example, Wing-tsit Chan translates:
“If a man (the ruler) can for one day master himself and return to propriety, all under heaven will return to humanity” (Source Book, p. 38)
This rendering makes the assumption that the only way to make the people “humane” is through the enforcement of political power. There is no doubt that Confucius himself sought the employment of a king to help bring peace to the world. But there is also no indication that he is speaking to a king here, nor does the word wang appear in the sentence. James Legge says:If a man can for one day subdue himself and return to propriety, all under heaven will ascribe virtue to him. (Legge 250)
This rendering damages the force of the passage even further by interpreting the word gui (which clearly means “return” in Chinese) as “ascribe to him,” a thoroughly unnatural reading of the word. D.C. Lau stays fairly close to Legge when he translates:If for a single day a man could return to the observance of rites through overcoming himself, then the whole Empire would consider benevolence to be his. (Lau 112)
29. Waley (166) indicates that this line comes from the Book of Odes #105, from a tale of a man who leaves his wife for another woman: an example of “confusion.”
30. Other translations, following Chu-hsi, render this last line as “he never slept on a promise.” I based my interpretation on a more literal reading of the text, and on the fact that Tzu-lu, throughout the Analects, is shown to be a person who speaks his mind immediately and directly.
31. Here Confucius is punning on the fact that in Chinese, the words “government” 政 and “to rectify” 正 are pronounced the same (zhèng).
32. Please see discussion of da in reference to 12:20.
33. The rulers of Lu and Wei ( Zhougong Jidan 周公姫旦 and Kang Shu 康叔) were actually brothers, whose military tactics were similar. Confucius. Commentators suggest that Confucius was disillusioned to find that things in Wei were no better than in Lu.
34. Yi and Ao are ancient legendary figures famous for their superhuman feats.
35. Translators and interpreters of the Analects are divided into the group that takes 久要 as “an old promise” and those who take it as “enduring difficulty” with a slightly greater number preferring the former interpretation. However, we feel that this interpretation accords more closely with the thought of Confucius. See, for example, Analects 4:2: 不仁者、不可以久處約. Furthermore, the logograph 久 is not commonly used to represent something “old” or “former” (古, 故, 昔). Rather, it means to maintain an activity over a long period of time. Confusion on the part of modern interpreters may be influenced by the homophony of 久 and 舊.
36. 晉文公: Jìn Wen Gong. (Reign 637-628 BCE) Duke Wen of Jin 晉. The second of the Five Hegemons 五覇 of the Spring and Autumn period 春秋時代. The second son of Duke Xian 獻公, he went into exile for 19 years to avoid the plots of his mother-in-law Concubine Li 驪姫. As duke, with the assistance of able ministers as Zhao Cui 趙衰 and Gu Yan 狐偃, he established the supremacy of Jin as the leader of the states in central China to oppose Chu 楚. Also called 晉文 and often paired with Duke Huan 桓公 of Qi 齊 as 齊桓晉文.
37. 齊桓公: Qi Huan Gong. Duke Huan of Qi 齊, who died in 643 BCE. He was one of the “five hegemons” 五霸 who held power in the 7th century. Younger brother of Xiang Gong 襄公, first name Xiao Bai 小白, also known as Huan 桓. Since his older brother Xiang Gong was in the business of assassinating those around him, the younger brothers escaped to neighboring states, with Huan taking refuge in Ju 莒. When Xiang Gong was assassinated by his people, he was invited to return, and take up the throne. At the recommendation of Bao Shuya 鞄叔牙 he took the clever Guan Zhong 管仲 as his prime minister. Respecting the royal house of Zhou 周室, he vanquished Yi Qiu 夷秋, and assembling all the nobles, unified the realm. 論語, 憲問
38. 公子糾:Gong Zijiu. A man of Qi 齊 during the Spring and Autumn period. Young brother of Xiang Gong 襄公. When Xiang began executing those around him, the younger brothers escaped from the country, with Jiu 糾 going to Lu 魯 and Xiao Bai 小白 going to Ju 莒. When Xiang was assassinated by his people, Xiao Bai was asked to return to take the throne, and Lu raised a force and sent Jiu away, allowing Xiao Bai to arrive to Qi first and take the throne as Huan Gong 桓公. In the end, the people of Lu killed Zi Jiu in Shengdu 笙瀆. In Analects 14:16, Confucius seems to be saying that he was killed by his older brother Huang Gong. 左氏、荘、八
39. 召忽: Zhao Hu. A grandmaster of Qi 齊 during the Spring and Autumn period 春秋時代, a colleague of Guan Zhong 管仲. He was originally loyal to the older brother of Duke Huan 桓公, so when his lord was assassinated by Huan, he took his own life as well. 論語, 憲問 (DDB)
40. See note on 3:22 for bio of Guan Zhong.
41. 左衽: Fastening one's garment on the left side; a style of the nomadic tribes on the fringes of China. The Chinese (as well as Koreans and Japanese) fastened their garments on the right side. 微管仲､吾其被髪左衽矣論語, 憲問 [左袵]
42. The dictionaries gloss 驥 as “a horse that can run a thousand li in a single day.” Arthur Waley departs from the other translators by taking it to be the name of a great horse of antiquity. This seems to be to make sense, but he does not provide textual support for this interpretation, and we have not been able to locate it ourselves. It is not clear why Confucius is quoted as having said this here, but perhaps he would like to imply that even an animal has this kind of inner fortitude and dedication, so how much more in the case of human beings?
43. Also translated elsewhere, by context, as “rightness.”
44. The Xia, the Yin and the Zhou.
45. Most translators render 兕 according to its modern meaning of “rhinoceros”, in early classical Chinese this refers to a wild bovine beast with a single horn. We can also no doubt presume that there were not all that many rhinoceroses in ancient China during the Warring States period.
46. The stronghold of the Ji family.
47. As commentators and other translators have noted, and as can be discerned by the context, the logographs 寡 and 貧 have obviously been transposed here.
48. Three chief ministers 三卿 in the state of Lu 魯 during the Spring and Autumn 春秋 periods. They are Mengsun 孟孫, Shusun 叔孫, and Jisun 季孫. These three influential families were all the descendents of Huangong 桓公, also called San Huan. After the death of Wengong 文公, these three major families controlled the political power of the state of Lu.
49. A town in Wei, captured by the Jin.
50. Jade and silk clothing. In antiquity, a formal gift when the feudal lords met each other or the king. Also used as an offering to gods.
51. For a discussion of this saying, see Mencius 7B:37.
52. For the meaning of guang, please see the discussion connected to 13:21.
53. The “sounds of Zheng” 鄭聲 are also criticized in Analects 15-11.
54. I.e., the music of Ya 雅樂. I hate clever speech, because it undermines the state and the clans.
55. 改火. This refers to the various kinds of wood used traditionally as drill for making fire. The early Chinese used elm or willow in spring, jujube or apricot tree in early summer, mulberry in late summer, oak in autumn, and pagoda or sandalwood tree in winter. This is called a full cycle.
56. Those translators who read 孰 here as “mature,” seem to be ignoring basic Chinese grammatical sensibilities, as its position at the head of the phrase makes it obvious that its basic meaning of “who” is implied.
57. Most translators take 百姓 as “the common people.” However, the earlier meaning of this term is 百官. During earlier periods, the common people did not have their own surnames, and so used that of their local lord or official. Since we are speaking of Yao and Shun, this is certainly one of the earliest recorded periods in Chinese history.