Confucian Analects : texts 739 - 779 |
"Am I a bitter gourd? How can I be hung up out of the way of being
The Master said, "Yu, have you heard the six words to which are
attached six becloudings?" Yu replied, "I have not."
"Sit down, and I will tell them to you.
"There is the love of being benevolent without the love of
learning;-the beclouding here leads to a foolish simplicity. There
is the love of knowing without the love of learning;-the beclouding
here leads to dissipation of mind. There is the love of being
sincere without the love of learning;-the beclouding here leads to
an injurious disregard of consequences. There is the love of
straightforwardness without the love of learning;-the beclouding
here leads to rudeness. There is the love of boldness without the love
of learning;-the beclouding here leads to insubordination. There is
the love of firmness without the love of learning;-the beclouding here
leads to extravagant conduct."
The Master said, "My children, why do you not study the Book of
"The Odes serve to stimulate the mind.
"They may be used for purposes of self-contemplation.
"They teach the art of sociability.
"They show how to regulate feelings of resentment.
"From them you learn the more immediate duty of serving one's
father, and the remoter one of serving one's prince.
"From them we become largely acquainted with the names of birds,
beasts, and plants."
The Master said to Po-yu, "Do you give yourself to the Chau-nan
and the Shao-nan. The man who has not studied the Chau-nan and the
Shao-nan is like one who stands with his face right against a wall. Is
he not so?"
The Master said, "'It is according to the rules of propriety,' they
say.-'It is according to the rules of propriety,' they say. Are gems
and silk all that is meant by propriety? 'It is music,' they
say.-'It is music,' they say. Are hers and drums all that is meant
The Master said, "He who puts on an appearance of stern firmness,
while inwardly he is weak, is like one of the small, mean people;-yea,
is he not like the thief who breaks through, or climbs over, a wall?"
The Master said, "Your good, careful people of the villages are
the thieves of virtue."
The Master said, To tell, as we go along, what we have heard on
the way, is to cast away our virtue."
The Master said, "There are those mean creatures! How impossible
it is along with them to serve one's prince!
"While they have not got their aims, their anxiety is how to get
them. When they have got them, their anxiety is lest they should
"When they are anxious lest such things should be lost, there is
nothing to which they will not proceed."
The Master said, "Anciently, men had three failings, which now
perhaps are not to be found.
"The high-mindedness of antiquity showed itself in a disregard of
small things; the high-mindedness of the present day shows itself in
wild license. The stern dignity of antiquity showed itself in grave
reserve; the stern dignity of the present day shows itself in
quarrelsome perverseness. The stupidity of antiquity showed itself
in straightforwardness; the stupidity of the present day shows
itself in sheer deceit."
The Master said, "Fine words and an insinuating appearance are
seldom associated with virtue."
The Master said, "I hate the manner in which purple takes away the
luster of vermilion. I hate the way in which the songs of Chang
confound the music of the Ya. I hate those who with their sharp mouths
overthrow kingdoms and families."
The Master said, "I would prefer not speaking."
Tsze-kung said, "If you, Master, do not speak, what shall we, your
disciples, have to record?"
The Master said, "Does Heaven speak? The four seasons pursue their
courses, and all things are continually being produced, but does
Heaven say anything?"
Zu Pei wished to see Confucius, but Confucius declined, on the
ground of being sick, to see him. When the bearer of this message went
out at the door, the Master took his lute and sang to it, in order
that Pei might hear him.
Tsai Wo asked about the three years' mourning for parents, saying
that one year was long enough.
"If the superior man," said he, "abstains for three years from the
observances of propriety, those observances will be quite lost. If for
three years he abstains from music, music will be ruined. Within a
year the old grain is exhausted, and the new grain has sprung up, and,
in procuring fire by friction, we go through all the changes of wood
for that purpose. After a complete year, the mourning may stop."
The Master said, "If you were, after a year, to eat good rice, and
wear embroidered clothes, would you feel at ease?" "I should," replied
The Master said, "If you can feel at ease, do it. But a superior
man, during the whole period of mourning, does not enjoy pleasant food
which he may eat, nor derive pleasure from music which he may hear. He
also does not feel at ease, if he is comfortably lodged. Therefore
he does not do what you propose. But now you feel at ease and may do
Tsai Wo then went out, and the Master said, "This shows Yu's want of
virtue. It is not till a child is three years old that it is allowed
to leave the arms of its parents. And the three years' mourning is
universally observed throughout the empire. Did Yu enjoy the three
years' love of his parents?"
The Master said, "Hard is it to deal with who will stuff himself
with food the whole day, without applying his mind to anything good!
Are there not gamesters and chess players? To be one of these would
still be better than doing nothing at all."
Tsze-lu said, "Does the superior man esteem valor?" The Master said,
"The superior man holds righteousness to be of highest importance. A
man in a superior situation, having valor without righteousness,
will be guilty of insubordination; one of the lower people having
valor without righteousness, will commit robbery."
Tsze-kung said, "Has the superior man his hatreds also?" The
Master said, "He has his hatreds. He hates those who proclaim the evil
of others. He hates the man who, being in a low station, slanders
his superiors. He hates those who have valor merely, and are
unobservant of propriety. He hates those who are forward and
determined, and, at the same time, of contracted understanding."
The Master then inquired, "Ts'ze, have you also your hatreds?"
Tsze-kung replied, "I hate those who pry out matters, and ascribe
the knowledge to their wisdom. I hate those who are only not modest,
and think that they are valorous. I hate those who make known secrets,
and think that they are straightforward."
The Master said, "Of all people, girls and servants are the most
difficult to behave to. If you are familiar with them, they lose their
humility. If you maintain a reserve towards them, they are
The Master said, "When a man at forty is the object of dislike, he
will always continue what he is."
The Viscount of Wei withdrew from the court. The Viscount of Chi
became a slave to Chau. Pi-kan remonstrated with him and died.
Confucius said, "The Yin dynasty possessed these three men of
Hui of Liu-hsia, being chief criminal judge, was thrice dismissed
from his office. Some one said to him, "Is it not yet time for you,
sir, to leave this?" He replied, "Serving men in an upright way, where
shall I go to, and not experience such a thrice-repeated dismissal? If
I choose to serve men in a crooked way, what necessity is there for me
to leave the country of my parents?"
The duke Ching of Ch'i, with reference to the manner in which he
should treat Confucius, said, "I cannot treat him as I would the chief
of the Chi family. I will treat him in a manner between that
accorded to the chief of the Chil and that given to the chief of the
Mang family." He also said, "I am old; I cannot use his doctrines."
Confucius took his departure.
Confucian Analects : texts 739 - 779