The Master "Is it not pleasant to
learn with a constant perseverance and application?
"Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant
"Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure
though men may take no note of him?"
The philosopher Yu said, "They are few who, being filial and
fraternal, are fond of offending against their superiors. There
have been none, who, not liking to offend against their
superiors, have been fond of stirring up confusion.
"The superior man bends his attention to what is radical. That
being established, all practical courses naturally grow up.
Filial piety and fraternal submission,-are they not the root of
all benevolent actions?"
The Master said, "Fine words and an insinuating appearance are
seldom associated with true virtue."
The philosopher Tsang said, "I daily examine myself on three
points:-whether, in transacting business for others, I may have
been not faithful;-whether, in intercourse with friends, I may
have been not sincere;-whether I may have not mastered and
practiced the instructions of my teacher."
The Master said, "To rule a country of a thousand chariots,
there must be reverent attention to business, and sincerity;
economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the employment of
the people at the proper seasons."
The Master said, "A youth, when at home, should be filial, and,
abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and
truthful. He should overflow in love to all, and cultivate the
friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after
the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite
Tsze-hsia said, "If a man withdraws his mind from the love of
beauty, and applies it as sincerely to the love of the virtuous;
if, in serving his parents, he can exert his utmost strength;
if, in serving his prince, he can devote his life; if, in his
intercourse with his friends, his words are sincere:-although
men say that he has not learned, I will certainly say that he
The Master said, "If the scholar be not grave, he will not call
forth any veneration, and his learning will not be solid.
"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 philosopher Tsang said, "Let there be a careful attention to
perform the funeral rites to parents, and let them be followed
when long gone with the ceremonies of sacrifice;-then the virtue
of the people will resume its proper excellence."
Tsze-ch'in asked Tsze-kung saying, "When our master comes to any
country, he does not fail to learn all about its government.
Does he ask his information? or is it given to him?"
Tsze-kung said, "Our master is benign, upright, courteous,
temperate, and complaisant and thus he gets his information. The
master's mode of asking information,-is it not different from
that of other men?"
The Master said, "While a man's father is alive, look at the
bent of his will; when his father is dead, look at his conduct.
If for three years he does not alter from the way of his father,
he may be called filial."
The philosopher Yu said, "In practicing the rules of propriety,
a natural ease is to be prized. In the ways prescribed by the
ancient kings, this is the excellent quality, and in things
small and great we follow them.
"Yet it is not to be observed in all cases. If one, knowing how
such ease should be prized, manifests it, without regulating it
by the rules of propriety, this likewise is not to be done."
The philosopher Yu said, "When agreements are made according to
what is right, what is spoken can be made good. When respect is
shown according to what is proper, one keeps far from shame and
disgrace. When the parties upon whom a man leans are proper
persons to be intimate with, he can make them his guides and
The Master said, "He who aims to be a man of complete virtue in
his food does not seek to gratify his appetite, nor in his
dwelling place does he seek the appliances of ease; he is
earnest in what he is doing, and careful in his speech; he
frequents the company of men of principle that he may be
rectified:-such a person may be said indeed to love to learn."
Tsze-kung said, "What do you pronounce concerning the poor man
who yet does not flatter, and the rich man who is not proud?"
The Master replied, "They will do; but they are not equal to
him, who, though poor, is yet cheerful, and to him, who, though
rich, loves the rules of propriety."
Tsze-kung replied, "It is said in the Book of Poetry, 'As you
cut and then file, as you carve and then polish.'-The meaning is
the same, I apprehend, as that which you have just expressed."
The Master said, "With one like Ts'ze, I can begin to talk about
the odes. I told him one point, and he knew its proper
The Master said, "I will not be afflicted at men's not knowing
me; I will be afflicted that I do not know men."
The Master said, "He who exercises government by means of his
virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its
place and all the stars turn towards it."
The Master said, "In the Book of Poetry are three hundred
pieces, but the design of them all may be embraced in one
sentence 'Having no depraved thoughts.'"
The Master said, "If the people be led by laws, and uniformity
sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid
the punishment, but have no sense of shame.
"If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given
them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of
shame, and moreover will become good."
The Master said, "At fifteen, I had my mind bent on learning.
"At thirty, I stood firm.
"At forty, I had no doubts.
"At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven.
"At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reception of
"At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, without
transgressing what was right."
Mang I asked what filial piety was. The Master said, "It is not
Soon after, as Fan Ch'ih was driving him, the Master told him,
saying, "Mang-sun asked me what filial piety was, and I answered
him,-'not being disobedient.'"
Fan Ch'ih said, "What did you mean?" The Master replied, "That
parents, when alive, be served according to propriety; that,
when dead, they should be buried according to propriety; and
that they should be sacrificed to according to propriety."
Mang Wu asked what filial piety was. The Master said, "Parents
are anxious lest their children should be sick."
Tsze-yu asked what filial piety was. The Master said, "The
filial piety nowadays means the support of one's parents. But
dogs and horses likewise are able to do something in the way of
support;-without reverence, what is there to distinguish the one
support given from the other?"