Confucian Analects : texts 698 - 738 |
"I have heard that rulers of states and chiefs of families are not
troubled lest their people should be few, but are troubled lest they
should not keep their several places; that they are not troubled
with fears of poverty, but are troubled with fears of a want of
contented repose among the people in their several places. For when
the people keep their several places, there will be no poverty; when
harmony prevails, there will be no scarcity of people; and when
there is such a contented repose, there will be no rebellious
"So it is.-Therefore, if remoter people are not submissive, all
the influences of civil culture and virtue are to be cultivated to
attract them to be so; and when they have been so attracted, they must
be made contented and tranquil.
"Now, here are you, Yu and Ch'iu, assisting your chief. Remoter
people are not submissive, and, with your help, he cannot attract them
to him. In his own territory there are divisions and downfalls,
leavings and separations, and, with your help, he cannot preserve it.
"And yet he is planning these hostile movements within the
state.-I am afraid that the sorrow of the Chi-sun family will not be
on account of Chwan-yu, but will be found within the screen of their
Confucius said, "When good government prevails in the empire,
ceremonies, music, and punitive military expeditions proceed from
the son of Heaven. When bad government prevails in the empire,
ceremonies, music, and punitive military expeditions proceed from
the princes. When these things proceed from the princes, as a rule,
the cases will be few in which they do not lose their power in ten
generations. When they proceed from the great officers of the princes,
as a rule, the case will be few in which they do not lose their
power in five generations. When the subsidiary ministers of the
great officers hold in their grasp the orders of the state, as a
rule the cases will be few in which they do not lose their power in
"When right principles prevail in the kingdom, government will not
be in the hands of the great officers.
"When right principles prevail in the kingdom, there will be no
discussions among the common people."
Confucius said, "The revenue of the state has left the ducal house
now for five generations. The government has been in the hands of
the great officers for four generations. On this account, the
descendants of the three Hwan are much reduced."
Confucius said, "There are three friendships which are advantageous,
and three which are injurious. Friendship with the uplight; friendship
with the sincere; and friendship with the man of much
observation:-these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of
specious airs; friendship with the insinuatingly soft; and
friendship with the glib-tongued:-these are injurious."
Confucius said, "There are three things men find enjoyment in
which are advantageous, and three things they find enjoyment in
which are injurious. To find enjoyment in the discriminating study
of ceremonies and music; to find enjoyment in speaking of the goodness
of others; to find enjoyment in having many worthy friends:-these
are advantageous. To find enjoyment in extravagant pleasures; to
find enjoyment in idleness and sauntering; to find enjoyment in the
pleasures of feasting:-these are injurious."
Confucius said, "There are three errors to which they who stand in
the presence of a man of virtue and station are liable. They may speak
when it does not come to them to speak;-this is called rashness.
They may not speak when it comes to them to speak;-this is called
concealment. They may speak without looking at the countenance of
their superior;-this is called blindness."
Confucius said, "There are three things which the superior man
guards against. In youth, when the physical powers are not yet
settled, he guards against lust. When he is strong and the physical
powers are full of vigor, he guards against quarrelsomeness. When he
is old, and the animal powers are decayed, he guards against
Confucius said, "There are three things of which the superior man
stands in awe. He stands in awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands
in awe of great men. He stands in awe of the words of sages.
"The mean man does not know the ordinances of Heaven, and
consequently does not stand in awe of them. He is disrespectful to
great men. He makes sport of the words of sages."
Confucius said, "Those who are born with the possession of knowledge
are the highest class of men. Those who learn, and so readily get
possession of knowledge, are the next. Those who are dull and
stupid, and yet compass the learning, are another class next to these.
As to those who are dull and stupid and yet do not learn;-they are the
lowest of the people."
Confucius said, "The superior man has nine things which are subjects
with him of thoughtful consideration. In regard to the use of his
eyes, he is anxious to see clearly. In regard to the use of his
ears, he is anxious to hear distinctly. In regard to his
countenance, he is anxious that it should be benign. In regard to
his demeanor, he is anxious that it should be respectful. In regard to
his speech, he is anxious that it should be sincere. In regard to
his doing of business, he is anxious that it should be reverently
careful. In regard to what he doubts about, he is anxious to
question others. When he is angry, he thinks of the difficulties his
anger may involve him in. When he sees gain to be got, he thinks of
Confucius said, "Contemplating good, and pursuing it, as if they
could not reach it; contemplating evil! and shrinking from it, as they
would from thrusting the hand into boiling water:-I have seen such
men, as I have heard such words.
"Living in retirement to study their aims, and practicing
righteousness to carry out their principles:-I have heard these words,
but I have not seen such men."
The Duke Ching of Ch'i had a thousand teams, each of four horses,
but on the day of his death, the people did not praise him for a
single virtue. Po-i and Shu-ch'i died of hunger at the foot of the
Shau-yang mountains, and the people, down to the present time,
"Is not that saying illustrated by this?"
Ch'an K'ang asked Po-yu, saying, "Have you heard any lessons from
your father different from what we have all heard?"
Po-yu replied, "No. He was standing alone once, when I passed
below the hall with hasty steps, and said to me, 'Have you learned the
Odes?' On my replying 'Not yet,' he added, If you do not learn the
Odes, you will not be fit to converse with.' I retired and studied the
"Another day, he was in the same way standing alone, when I passed
by below the hall with hasty steps, and said to me, 'Have you
learned the rules of Propriety?' On my replying 'Not yet,' he added,
'If you do not learn the rules of Propriety, your character cannot
be established.' I then retired, and learned the rules of Propriety.
"I have heard only these two things from him."
Ch'ang K'ang retired, and, quite delighted, said, "I asked one
thing, and I have got three things. I have heard about the Odes. I
have heard about the rules of Propriety. I have also heard that the
superior man maintains a distant reserve towards his son."
The wife of the prince of a state is called by him Fu Zan. She calls
herself Hsiao T'ung. The people of the state call her Chun Fu Zan,
and, to the people of other states, they call her K'wa Hsiao Chun. The
people of other states also call her Chun Fu Zan.
Yang Ho wished to see Confucius, but Confucius would not go to see
him. On this, he sent a present of a pig to Confucius, who, having
chosen a time when Ho was not at home went to pay his respects for the
gift. He met him, however, on the way.
Ho said to Confucius, "Come, let me speak with you." He then
asked, "Can he be called benevolent who keeps his jewel in his
bosom, and leaves his country to confusion?" Confucius replied,
"No." "Can he be called wise, who is anxious to be engaged in public
employment, and yet is constantly losing the opportunity of being so?"
Confucius again said, "No." "The days and months are passing away; the
years do not wait for us." Confucius said, "Right; I will go into
The Master said, "By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they
get to be wide apart."
The Master said, "There are only the wise of the highest class,
and the stupid of the lowest class, who cannot be changed."
The Master, having come to Wu-ch'ang, heard there the sound of
stringed instruments and singing.
Well pleased and smiling, he said, "Why use an ox knife to kill a
Tsze-yu replied, "Formerly, Master, I heard you say,-'When the man
of high station is well instructed, he loves men; when the man of
low station is well instructed, he is easily ruled.'"
The Master said, "My disciples, Yen's words are right. What I said
was only in sport."
Kung-shan Fu-zao, when he was holding Pi, and in an attitude of
rebellion, invited the Master to visit him, who was rather inclined to
Tsze-lu was displeased. and said, "Indeed, you cannot go! Why must
you think of going to see Kung-shan?"
The Master said, "Can it be without some reason that he has
invited ME? If any one employ me, may I not make an eastern Chau?"
Tsze-chang asked Confucius about perfect virtue. Confucius said, "To
be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes
perfect virtue." He begged to ask what they were, and was told,
"Gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. If
you are grave, you will not be treated with disrespect. If you are
generous, you will win all. If you are sincere, people will repose
trust in you. If you are earnest, you will accomplish much. If you are
kind, this will enable you to employ the services of others.
Pi Hsi inviting him to visit him, the Master was inclined to go.
Tsze-lu said, "Master, formerly I have heard you say, 'When a man in
his own person is guilty of doing evil, a superior man will not
associate with him.' Pi Hsi is in rebellion, holding possession of
Chung-mau; if you go to him, what shall be said?"
The Master said, "Yes, I did use these words. But is it not said,
that, if a thing be really hard, it may be ground without being made
thin? Is it not said, that, if a thing be really white, it may be
steeped in a dark fluid without being made black?
Confucian Analects : texts 698 - 738