The Analects/Section 2
The Master said, "A transmitter and not a maker, believing in and loving the ancients, I venture to compare myself with our old P'ang."
The Master said, "The silent treasuring up of knowledge; learning without satiety; and instructing others without being wearied:-which one of these things belongs to me?"
The Master said, "The leaving virtue without proper cultivation; the not thoroughly discussing what is learned; not being able to move towards righteousness of which a knowledge is gained; and not being able to change what is not good:-these are the things which occasion me solicitude."
When the Master was unoccupied with business, his manner was easy, and he looked pleased.
The Master said, "Extreme is my decay. For a long time, I have not dreamed, as I was wont to do, that I saw the duke of Chau."
The Master said, "Let the will be set on the path of duty.
"Let every attainment in what is good be firmly grasped.
"Let perfect virtue be accorded with. "Let relaxation and enjoyment be found in the polite arts."
The Master said, "From the man bringing his bundle of dried flesh for my teaching upwards, I have never refused instruction to any one."
The Master said, "I do not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one who is not anxious to explain himself. When I have presented one corner of a subject to any one, and he cannot from it learn the other three, I do not repeat my lesson."
When the Master was eating by the side of a mourner, he never ate to the full.
He did not sing on the same day in which he had been weeping.
The Master said to Yen Yuan, "When called to office, to undertake its duties; when not so called, to he retired;-it is only I and you who have attained to this."
Tsze-lu said, "If you had the conduct of the armies of a great state, whom would you have to act with you?"
The Master said, "I would not have him to act with me, who will unarmed attack a tiger, or cross a river without a boat, dying without any regret. My associate must be the man who proceeds to action full of solicitude, who is fond of adjusting his plans, and then carries them into execution."
The Master said, "If the search for riches is sure to be successful, though I should become a groom with whip in hand to get them, I will do so. As the search may not be successful, I will follow after that which I love."
The things in reference to which the Master exercised the greatest caution were-fasting, war, and sickness.
When the Master was in Ch'i, he heard the Shao, and for three months did not know the taste of flesh. "I did not think'" he said, "that music could have been made so excellent as this."
Yen Yu said, "Is our Master for the ruler of Wei?" Tsze-kung said, "Oh! I will ask him."
He went in accordingly, and said, "What sort of men were Po-i and Shu-ch'i?" "They were ancient worthies," said the Master. "Did they have any repinings because of their course?" The Master again replied, "They sought to act virtuously, and they did so; what was there for them to repine about?" On this, Tsze-kung went out and said, "Our Master is not for him."
The Master said, "With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow;-I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness, are to me as a floating cloud."
The Master said, "If some years were added to my life, I would give fifty to the study of the Yi, and then I might come to be without great faults."
The Master's frequent themes of discourse were-the Odes, the History, and the maintenance of the Rules of Propriety. On all these he frequently discoursed.
The Duke of Sheh asked Tsze-lu about Confucius, and Tsze-lu did not answer him.
The Master said, "Why did you not say to him,-He is simply a man, who in his eager pursuit of knowledge forgets his food, who in the joy of its attainment forgets his sorrows, and who does not perceive that old age is coming on?"
The Master said, "I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there."
The subjects on which the Master did not talk, were-extraordinary things, feats of strength, disorder, and spiritual beings.
The Master said, "When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers. I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them."
The Master said, "Heaven produced the virtue that is in me. Hwan T'ui-what can he do to me?"
The Master said, "Do you think, my disciples, that I have any concealments? I conceal nothing from you. There is nothing which I do that is not shown to you, my disciples; that is my way."
There were four things which the Master taught,-letters, ethics, devotion of soul, and truthfulness.
The Master said, "A sage it is not mine to see; could I see a man of real talent and virtue, that would satisfy me."
The Master said, "A good man it is not mine to see; could I see a man possessed of constancy, that would satisfy me.
"Having not and yet affecting to have, empty and yet affecting to be full, straitened and yet affecting to be at ease:-it is difficult with such characteristics to have constancy."
The Master angled,-but did not use a net. He shot,-but not at birds perching.
The Master said, "There may be those who act without knowing why. I do not do so. Hearing much and selecting what is good and following it; seeing much and keeping it in memory: this is the second style of knowledge."
It was difficult to talk profitably and reputably with the people of Hu-hsiang, and a lad of that place having had an interview with the Master, the disciples doubted.
The Master said, "I admit people's approach to me without committing myself as to what they may do when they have retired. Why must one be so severe? If a man purify himself to wait upon me, I receive him so purified, without guaranteeing his past conduct."
The Master said, "Is virtue a thing remote? I wish to be virtuous, and lo! virtue is at hand."
The minister of crime of Ch'an asked whether the duke Chao knew propriety, and Confucius said, "He knew propriety."
Confucius having retired, the minister bowed to Wu-ma Ch'i to come forward, and said, "I have heard that the superior man is not a partisan. May the superior man be a partisan also? The prince married a daughter of the house of WU, of the same surname with himself, and called her,-'The elder Tsze of Wu.' If the prince knew propriety, who does not know it?"
Wu-ma Ch'i reported these remarks, and the Master said, "I am fortunate! If I have any errors, people are sure to know them."
When the Master was in company with a person who was singing, if he sang well, he would make him repeat the song, while he accompanied it with his own voice.
The Master said, "In letters I am perhaps equal to other men, but the character of the superior man, carrying out in his conduct what he professes, is what I have not yet attained to."
The Master said, "The sage and the man of perfect virtue;-how dare I rank myself with them? It may simply be said of me, that I strive to become such without satiety, and teach others without weariness." Kung-hsi Hwa said, "This is just what we, the disciples, cannot imitate you in."
The Master being very sick, Tsze-lu asked leave to pray for him. He said, "May such a thing be done?" Tsze-lu replied, "It may. In the Eulogies it is said, 'Prayer has been made for thee to the spirits of the upper and lower worlds.'" The Master said, "My praying has been for a long time."
The Master said, "Extravagance leads to insubordination, and parsimony to meanness. It is better to be mean than to be insubordinate."
The Master said, "The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress."
The Master was mild, and yet dignified; majestic, and yet not fierce; respectful, and yet easy.
The Master said, "T'ai-po may be said to have reached the highest point of virtuous action. Thrice he declined the kingdom, and the people in ignorance of his motives could not express their approbation of his conduct."
The Master said, "Respectfulness, without the rules of propriety, becomes laborious bustle; carefulness, without the rules of propriety, becomes timidity; boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination; straightforwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness.
"When those who are in high stations perform well all their duties to their relations, the people are aroused to virtue. When old friends are not neglected by them, the people are preserved from meanness."
The philosopher Tsang being ill, he cared to him the disciples of his school, and said, "Uncover my feet, uncover my hands. It is said in the Book of Poetry, 'We should be apprehensive and cautious, as if on the brink of a deep gulf, as if treading on thin ice, I and so have I been. Now and hereafter, I know my escape from all injury to my person. O ye, my little children."
The philosopher Tsang being ill, Meng Chang went to ask how he was.
Tsang said to him, "When a bird is about to die, its notes are mournful; when a man is about to die, his words are good.
"There are three principles of conduct which the man of high rank should consider specially important:-that in his deportment and manner he keep from violence and heedlessness; that in regulating his countenance he keep near to sincerity; and that in his words and tones he keep far from lowness and impropriety. As to such matters as attending to the sacrificial vessels, there are the proper officers for them."
The philosopher Tsang said, "Gifted with ability, and yet putting questions to those who were not so; possessed of much, and yet putting questions to those possessed of little; having, as though he had not; full, and yet counting himself as empty; offended against, and yet entering into no altercation; formerly I had a friend who pursued this style of conduct."
The philosopher Tsang said, "Suppose that there is an individual who can be entrusted with the charge of a young orphan prince, and can be commissioned with authority over a state of a hundred li, and whom no emergency however great can drive from his principles:-is such a man a superior man? He is a superior man indeed."
The philosopher Tsang said, "The officer may not be without breadth of mind and vigorous endurance. His burden is heavy and his course is long.
"Perfect virtue is the burden which he considers it is his to sustain;-is it not heavy? Only with death does his course stop;-is it not long?
The Master said, "It is by the Odes that the mind is aroused.
"It is by the Rules of Propriety that the character is established.
"It is from Music that the finish is received." The Master said, "The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be made to understand it."
The Master said, "The man who is fond of daring and is dissatisfied with poverty, will proceed to insubordination. So will the man who is not virtuous, when you carry your dislike of him to an extreme."
The Master said, "Though a man have abilities as admirable as those of the Duke of Chau, yet if he be proud and niggardly, those other things are really not worth being looked at."
The Master said, "It is not easy to find a man who has learned for three years without coming to be good."
The Master said, "With sincere faith he unites the love of learning; holding firm to death, he is perfecting the excellence of his course.
"Such an one will not enter a tottering state, nor dwell in a disorganized one. When right principles of government prevail in the kingdom, he will show himself; when they are prostrated, he will keep concealed.
"When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of."
The Master said, "He who is not in any particular office has nothing to do with plans for the administration of its duties."
The Master said, "When the music master Chih first entered on his office, the finish of the Kwan Tsu was magnificent;-how it filled the ears!"
The Master said, "Ardent and yet not upright, stupid and yet not attentive; simple and yet not sincere:-such persons I do not understand."
The Master said, "Learn as if you could not reach your object, and were always fearing also lest you should lose it."
The Master said, "How majestic was the manner in which Shun and Yu held possession of the empire, as if it were nothing to them!
The Master said, "Great indeed was Yao as a sovereign! How majestic was he! It is only Heaven that is grand, and only Yao corresponded to it. How vast was his virtue! The people could find no name for it.
"How majestic was he in the works which he accomplished! How glorious in the elegant regulations which he instituted!"
Shun had five ministers, and the empire was well governed.
King Wu said, "I have ten able ministers." Confucius said, "Is not the saying that talents are difficult to find, true? Only when the dynasties of T'ang and Yu met, were they more abundant than in this of Chau, yet there was a woman among them. The able ministers were no more than nine men.
"King Wan possessed two of the three parts of the empire, and with those he served the dynasty of Yin. The virtue of the house of Chau may be said to have reached the highest point indeed."
The Master said, "I can find no flaw in the character of Yu. He used himself coarse food and drink, but displayed the utmost filial piety towards the spirits. His ordinary garments were poor, but he displayed the utmost elegance in his sacrificial cap and apron. He lived in a low, mean house, but expended all his strength on the ditches and water channels. I can find nothing like a flaw in Yu."
The subjects of which the Master seldom spoke were-profitableness, and also the appointments of Heaven, and perfect virtue.
A man of the village of Ta-hsiang said, "Great indeed is the philosopher K'ung! His learning is extensive, and yet he does not render his name famous by any particular thing."
The Master heard the observation, and said to his disciples, "What shall I practice? Shall I practice charioteering, or shall I practice archery? I will practice charioteering."
The Master said, "The linen cap is that prescribed by the rules of ceremony, but now a silk one is worn. It is economical, and I follow the common practice."
"The rules of ceremony prescribe the bowing below the hall, but now the practice is to bow only after ascending it. That is arrogant. I continue to bow below the hall, though I oppose the common practice."
There were four things from which the Master was entirely free. He had no foregone conclusions, no arbitrary predeterminations, no obstinacy, and no egoism.
The Master was put in fear in K'wang. He said, "After the death of King Wan, was not the cause of truth lodged here in me?
"If Heaven had wished to let this cause of truth perish, then I, a future mortal! should not have got such a relation to that cause. While Heaven does not let the cause of truth perish, what can the people of K'wang do to me?"
A high officer asked Tsze-kung, saying, "May we not say that your Master is a sage? How various is his ability!"
Tsze-kung said, "Certainly Heaven has endowed him unlimitedly. He is about a sage. And, moreover, his ability is various."
The Master heard of the conversation and said, "Does the high officer know me? When I was young, my condition was low, and I acquired my ability in many things, but they were mean matters. Must the superior man have such variety of ability? He does not need variety of ability. Lao said, "The Master said, 'Having no official employment, I acquired many arts.'"
The Master said, "Am I indeed possessed of knowledge? I am not knowing. But if a mean person, who appears quite empty-like, ask anything of me, I set it forth from one end to the other, and exhaust it."
The Master said, "The Fang bird does not come; the river sends forth no map:-it is all over with me!"
When the Master saw a person in a mourning dress, or any one with the cap and upper and lower garments of full dress, or a blind person, on observing them approaching, though they were younger than himself, he would rise up, and if he had to pass by them, he would do so hastily.
Yen Yuan, in admiration of the Master's doctrines, sighed and said, "I looked up to them, and they seemed to become more high; I tried to penetrate them, and they seemed to become more firm; I looked at them before me, and suddenly they seemed to be behind.
"The Master, by orderly method, skillfully leads men on. He enlarged my mind with learning, and taught me the restraints of propriety.
"When I wish to give over the study of his doctrines, I cannot do so, and having exerted all my ability, there seems something to stand right up before me; but though I wish to follow and lay hold of it, I really find no way to do so."
The Master being very ill, Tsze-lu wished the disciples to act as ministers to him.
During a remission of his illness, he said, "Long has the conduct of Yu been deceitful! By pretending to have ministers when I have them not, whom should I impose upon? Should I impose upon Heaven?
"Moreover, than that I should die in the hands of ministers, is it not better that I should die in the hands of you, my disciples? And though I may not get a great burial, shall I die upon the road?"
Tsze-kung said, "There is a beautiful gem here. Should I lay it up in a case and keep it? or should I seek for a good price and sell it?" The Master said, "Sell it! Sell it! But I would wait for one to offer the price."
The Master was wishing to go and live among the nine wild tribes of the east.
Some one said, "They are rude. How can you do such a thing?" The Master said, "If a superior man dwelt among them, what rudeness would there be?"
The Master said, "I returned from Wei to Lu, and then the music was reformed, and the pieces in the Royal songs and Praise songs all found their proper places."
The Master said, "Abroad, to serve the high ministers and nobles; at home, to serve one's father and elder brothers; in all duties to the dead, not to dare not to exert one's self; and not to be overcome of wine:-which one of these things do I attain to?"
The Master standing by a stream, said, "It passes on just like this, not ceasing day or night!"
The Master said, "I have not seen one who loves virtue as he loves beauty."
The Master said, "The prosecution of learning may be compared to what may happen in raising a mound. If there want but one basket of earth to complete the work, and I stop, the stopping is my own work. It may be compared to throwing down the earth on the level ground. Though but one basketful is thrown at a time, the advancing with it my own going forward."
The Master said, "Never flagging when I set forth anything to him;-ah! that is Hui." The Master said of Yen Yuan, "Alas! I saw his constant advance. I never saw him stop in his progress."
The Master said, "There are cases in which the blade springs, but the plant does not go on to flower! There are cases where it flowers but fruit is not subsequently produced!"
The Master said, "A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present? If he reach the age of forty or fifty, and has not made himself heard of, then indeed he will not be worth being regarded with respect."
The Master said, "Can men refuse to assent to the words of strict admonition? But it is reforming the conduct because of them which is valuable. Can men refuse to be pleased with words of gentle advice? But it is unfolding their aim which is valuable. If a man be pleased with these words, but does not unfold their aim, and assents to those, but does not reform his conduct, I can really do nothing with him."
The Master said, "Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Have no friends not equal to yourself. When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them."
The Master said, "The commander of the forces of a large state may be carried off, but the will of even a common man cannot be taken from him."
The Master said, "Dressed himself in a tattered robe quilted with hemp, yet standing by the side of men dressed in furs, and not ashamed;-ah! it is Yu who is equal to this!
"He dislikes none, he covets nothing;-what can he do but what is good!"
Tsze-lu kept continually repeating these words of the ode, when the Master said, "Those things are by no means sufficient to constitute perfect excellence."
The Master said, "When the year becomes cold, then we know how the pine and the cypress are the last to lose their leaves."
The Master said, "The wise are free from perplexities; the virtuous from anxiety; and the bold from fear."
The Master said, "There are some with whom we may study in common, but we shall find them unable to go along with us to principles. Perhaps we may go on with them to principles, but we shall find them unable to get established in those along with us. Or if we may get so established along with them, we shall find them unable to weigh occurring events along with us."
"How the flowers of the aspen-plum flutter and turn! Do I not think of you? But your house is distant."
The Master said, "It is the want of thought about it. How is it distant?"
Confucius, in his village, looked simple and sincere, and as if he were not able to speak.
When he was in the prince's ancestral temple, or in the court, he spoke minutely on every point, but cautiously.
When he was waiting at court, in speaking with the great officers of the lower grade, he spoke freely, but in a straightforward manner; in speaking with those of the higher grade, he did so blandly, but precisely.
When the ruler was present, his manner displayed respectful uneasiness; it was grave, but self-possessed.
When the prince called him to employ him in the reception of a visitor, his countenance appeared to change, and his legs to move forward with difficulty.
He inclined himself to the other officers among whom he stood, moving his left or right arm, as their position required, but keeping the skirts of his robe before and behind evenly adjusted.
He hastened forward, with his arms like the wings of a bird.
When the guest had retired, he would report to the prince, "The visitor is not turning round any more."
When he entered the palace gate, he seemed to bend his body, as if it were not sufficient to admit him.
When he was standing, he did not occupy the middle of the gateway; when he passed in or out, he did not tread upon the threshold.
When he was passing the vacant place of the prince, his countenance appeared to change, and his legs to bend under him, and his words came as if he hardly had breath to utter them.
He ascended the reception hall, holding up his robe with both his hands, and his body bent; holding in his breath also, as if he dared not breathe.
When he came out from the audience, as soon as he had descended one step, he began to relax his countenance, and had a satisfied look. When he had got the bottom of the steps, he advanced rapidly to his place, with his arms like wings, and on occupying it, his manner still showed respectful uneasiness.
When he was carrying the scepter of his ruler, he seemed to bend his body, as if he were not able to bear its weight. He did not hold it higher than the position of the hands in making a bow, nor lower than their position in giving anything to another. His countenance seemed to change, and look apprehensive, and he dragged his feet along as if they were held by something to the ground.
In presenting the presents with which he was charged, he wore a placid appearance.
At his private audience, he looked highly pleased. The superior man did not use a deep purple, or a puce color, in the ornaments of his dress.
Even in his undress, he did not wear anything of a red or reddish color.
In warm weather, he had a single garment either of coarse or fine texture, but he wore it displayed over an inner garment.
Over lamb's fur he wore a garment of black; over fawn's fur one of white; and over fox's fur one of yellow.
The fur robe of his undress was long, with the right sleeve short.
He required his sleeping dress to be half as long again as his body.
When staying at home, he used thick furs of the fox or the badger.
When he put off mourning, he wore all the appendages of the girdle.
His undergarment, except when it was required to be of the curtain shape, was made of silk cut narrow above and wide below.
He did not wear lamb's fur or a black cap on a visit of condolence.
On the first day of the month he put on his court robes, and presented himself at court.
When fasting, he thought it necessary to have his clothes brightly clean and made of linen cloth.
When fasting, he thought it necessary to change his food, and also to change the place where he commonly sat in the apartment.
He did not dislike to have his rice finely cleaned, nor to have his mince meat cut quite small.
He did not eat rice which had been injured by heat or damp and turned sour, nor fish or flesh which was gone. He did not eat what was discolored, or what was of a bad flavor, nor anything which was ill-cooked, or was not in season.
He did not eat meat which was not cut properly, nor what was served without its proper sauce.
Though there might be a large quantity of meat, he would not allow what he took to exceed the due proportion for the rice. It was only in wine that he laid down no limit for himself, but he did not allow himself to be confused by it.
He did not partake of wine and dried meat bought in the market.
He was never without ginger when he ate. He did not eat much.
When he had been assisting at the prince's sacrifice, he did not keep the flesh which he received overnight. The flesh of his family sacrifice he did not keep over three days. If kept over three days, people could not eat it.
When eating, he did not converse. When in bed, he did not speak.
Although his food might be coarse rice and vegetable soup, he would offer a little of it in sacrifice with a grave, respectful air.
If his mat was not straight, he did not sit on it. When the villagers were drinking together, upon those who carried staffs going out, he also went out immediately after.
When the villagers were going through their ceremonies to drive away pestilential influences, he put on his court robes and stood on the eastern steps.
When he was sending complimentary inquiries to any one in another state, he bowed twice as he escorted the messenger away.
Chi K'ang having sent him a present of physic, he bowed and received it, saying, "I do not know it. I dare not taste it."
The stable being burned down, when he was at court, on his return he said, "Has any man been hurt?" He did not ask about the horses.
When the he would adjust his mat, first taste it, and then give it away to others. When the prince sent him a gift of undressed meat, he would have it cooked, and offer it to the spirits of his ancestors. When the prince sent him a gift of a living animal, he would keep it alive.
When he was in attendance on the prince and joining in the entertainment, the prince only sacrificed. He first tasted everything.
When he was ill and the prince came to visit him, he had his head to the east, made his court robes be spread over him, and drew his girdle across them.
When the prince's order called him, without waiting for his carriage to be yoked, he went at once.
When he entered the ancestral temple of the state, he asked about everything.
When any of his friends died, if he had no relations offices, he would say, "I will bury him."
When a friend sent him a present, though it might be a carriage and horses, he did not bow.
The only present for which he bowed was that of the flesh of sacrifice.
In bed, he did not lie like a corpse. At home, he did not put on any formal deportment.
When he saw any one in a mourning dress, though it might be an acquaintance, he would change countenance; when he saw any one wearing the cap of full dress, or a blind person, though he might be in his undress, he would salute him in a ceremonious manner.
To any person in mourning he bowed forward to the crossbar of his carriage; he bowed in the same way to any one bearing the tables of population.
When he was at an entertainment where there was an abundance of provisions set before him, he would change countenance and rise up.
On a sudden clap of thunder, or a violent wind, he would change countenance.
When he was about to mount his carriage, he would stand straight, holding the cord.
When he was in the carriage, he did not turn his head quite round, he did not talk hastily, he did not point with his hands.
Seeing the countenance, it instantly rises. It flies round, and by and by settles.
The Master said, "There is the hen-pheasant on the hill bridge. At its season! At its season!" Tsze-lu made a motion to it. Thrice it smelt him and then rose.
The Master said, "The men of former times in the matters of ceremonies and music were rustics, it is said, while the men of these latter times, in ceremonies and music, are accomplished gentlemen.
"If I have occasion to use those things, I follow the men of former times."
The Master said, "Of those who were with me in Ch'an and Ts'ai, there are none to be found to enter my door."
Distinguished for their virtuous principles and practice, there were Yen Yuan, Min Tsze-ch'ien, Zan Po-niu, and Chung-kung; for their ability in speech, Tsai Wo and Tsze-kung; for their administrative talents, Zan Yu and Chi Lu; for their literary acquirements, Tsze-yu and Tsze-hsia.
The Master said, "Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight."
The Master said, "Filial indeed is Min Tsze-ch'ien! Other people say nothing of him different from the report of his parents and brothers."
Nan Yung was frequently repeating the lines about a white scepter stone. Confucius gave him the daughter of his elder brother to wife.
Chi K'ang asked which of the disciples loved to learn. Confucius replied to him, "There was Yen Hui; he loved to learn. Unfortunately his appointed time was short, and he died. Now there is no one who loves to learn, as he did."
When Yen Yuan died, Yen Lu begged the carriage of the Master to sell and get an outer shell for his son's coffin.
The Master said, "Every one calls his son his son, whether he has talents or has not talents. There was Li; when he died, he had a coffin but no outer shell. I would not walk on foot to get a shell for him, because, having followed in the rear of the great officers, it was not proper that I should walk on foot."
When Yen Yuan died, the Master said, "Alas! Heaven is destroying me! Heaven is destroying me!"
When Yen Yuan died, the Master bewailed him exceedingly, and the disciples who were with him said, "Master, your grief is excessive!"
"Is it excessive?" said he. "If I am not to mourn bitterly for this man, for whom should I mourn?"
When Yen Yuan died, the disciples wished to give him a great funeral, and the Master said, "You may not do so."
The disciples did bury him in great style. The Master said, "Hui behaved towards me as his father. I have not been able to treat him as my son. The fault is not mine; it belongs to you, O disciples."
Chi Lu asked about serving the spirits of the dead. The Master said, "While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve their spirits?" Chi Lu added, "I venture to ask about death?" He was answered, "While you do not know life, how can you know about death?"
The disciple Min was standing by his side, looking bland and precise; Tsze-lu, looking bold and soldierly; Zan Yu and Tsze-kung, with a free and straightforward manner. The Master was pleased.
He said, "Yu, there!-he will not die a natural death." Some parties in Lu were going to take down and rebuild the Long Treasury.
Min Tsze-ch'ien said, "Suppose it were to be repaired after its old style;-why must it be altered and made anew?"
The Master said, "This man seldom speaks; when he does, he is sure to hit the point."
The Master said, "What has the lute of Yu to do in my door?"
The other disciples began not to respect Tszelu. The Master said, "Yu has ascended to the hall, though he has not yet passed into the inner apartments."
Tsze-kung asked which of the two, Shih or Shang, was the superior. The Master said, "Shih goes beyond the due mean, and Shang does not come up to it."
"Then," said Tsze-kung, "the superiority is with Shih, I suppose."
The Master said, "To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short."
The head of the Chi family was richer than the duke of Chau had been, and yet Ch'iu collected his imposts for him, and increased his wealth.
The Master said, "He is no disciple of mine. My little children, beat the drum and assail him."
Ch'ai is simple. Shan is dull. Shih is specious. Yu is coarse.
The Master said, "There is Hui! He has nearly attained to perfect virtue. He is often in want.
"Ts'ze does not acquiesce in the appointments of Heaven, and his goods are increased by him. Yet his judgments are often correct."
Tsze-chang asked what were the characteristics of the good man. The Master said, "He does not tread in the footsteps of others, but moreover, he does not enter the chamber of the sage."
The Master said, "If, because a man's discourse appears solid and sincere, we allow him to be a good man, is he really a superior man? or is his gravity only in appearance?"
Tsze-lu asked whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard. The Master said, "There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted;-why should you act on that principle of immediately carrying into practice what you hear?" Zan Yu asked the same, whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard, and the Master answered, "Immediately carry into practice what you hear." Kung-hsi Hwa said, "Yu asked whether he should carry immediately into practice what he heard, and you said, 'There are your father and elder brothers to be consulted.' Ch'iu asked whether he should immediately carry into practice what he heard, and you said, 'Carry it immediately into practice.' I, Ch'ih, am perplexed, and venture to ask you for an explanation." The Master said, "Ch'iu is retiring and slow; therefore I urged him forward. Yu has more than his own share of energy; therefore I kept him back."
The Master was put in fear in K'wang and Yen Yuan fell behind. The Master, on his rejoining him, said, "I thought you had died." Hui replied, "While you were alive, how should I presume to die?"
Chi Tsze-zan asked whether Chung Yu and Zan Ch'iu could be called great ministers.
The Master said, "I thought you would ask about some extraordinary individuals, and you only ask about Yu and Ch'iu!
"What is called a great minister, is one who serves his prince according to what is right, and when he finds he cannot do so, retires.
"Now, as to Yu and Ch'iu, they may be called ordinary ministers."
Tsze-zan said, "Then they will always follow their chief;-win they?"
The Master said, "In an act of parricide or regicide, they would not follow him."
Tsze-lu got Tsze-kao appointed governor of Pi. The Master said, "You are injuring a man's son." Tsze-lu said, "There are, there, common people and officers; there are the altars of the spirits of the land and grain. Why must one read books before he can be considered to have learned?"
The Master said, "It is on this account that I hate your glib-tongued people."
Tsze-lu, Tsang Hsi, Zan Yu, and Kunghsi Hwa were sitting by the Master.
He said to them, "Though I am a day or so older than you, do not think of that.
"From day to day you are saying, 'We are not known.' If some ruler were to know you, what would you like to do?"
Tsze-lu hastily and lightly replied, "Suppose the case of a state of ten thousand chariots; let it be straitened between other large cities; let it be suffering from invading armies; and to this let there be added a famine in corn and in all vegetables:-if I were intrusted with the government of it, in three years' time I could make the people to be bold, and to recognize the rules of righteous conduct." The Master smiled at him.
Turning to Yen Yu, he said, "Ch'iu, what are your wishes?" Ch'iu replied, "Suppose a state of sixty or seventy li square, or one of fifty or sixty, and let me have the government of it;-in three years' time, I could make plenty to abound among the people. As to teaching them the principles of propriety, and music, I must wait for the rise of a superior man to do that."
"What are your wishes, Ch'ih," said the Master next to Kung-hsi Hwa. Ch'ih replied, "I do not say that my ability extends to these things, but I should wish to learn them. At the services of the ancestral temple, and at the audiences of the princes with the sovereign, I should like, dressed in the dark square-made robe and the black linen cap, to act as a small assistant."
Last of all, the Master asked Tsang Hsi, "Tien, what are your wishes?" Tien, pausing as he was playing on his lute, while it was yet twanging, laid the instrument aside, and "My wishes," he said, "are different from the cherished purposes of these three gentlemen." "What harm is there in that?" said the Master; "do you also, as well as they, speak out your wishes." Tien then said, "In this, the last month of spring, with the dress of the season all complete, along with five or six young men who have assumed the cap, and six or seven boys, I would wash in the I, enjoy the breeze among the rain altars, and return home singing." The Master heaved a sigh and said, "I give my approval to Tien."
The three others having gone out, Tsang Hsi remained behind, and said, "What do you think of the words of these three friends?" The Master replied, "They simply told each one his wishes."
Hsi pursued, "Master, why did you smile at Yu?" He was answered, "The management of a state demands the rules of propriety. His words were not humble; therefore I smiled at him."
Hsi again said, "But was it not a state which Ch'iu proposed for himself?" The reply was, "Yes; did you ever see a territory of sixty or seventy li or one of fifty or sixty, which was not a state?"
Once more, Hsi inquired, "And was it not a state which Ch'ih proposed for himself?" The Master again replied, "Yes; who but princes have to do with ancestral temples, and with audiences but the sovereign? If Ch'ih were to be a small assistant in these services, who could be a great one?