Tsze-kung said, "What do you mean
by thus saying-that no one knows you?" The Master replied, "I do
not murmur against Heaven. I do not grumble against men. My
studies lie low, and my penetration rises high. But there is
Heaven;-that knows me!"
The Kung-po Liao, having slandered Tsze-lu to Chi-sun, Tsze-fu
Ching-po informed Confucius of it, saying, "Our master is
certainly being led astray by the Kung-po Liao, but I have still
power enough left to cut Liao off, and expose his corpse in the
market and in the court."
The Master said, "If my principles are to advance, it is so
ordered. If they are to fall to the ground, it is so ordered.
What can the Kung-po Liao do where such ordering is concerned?"
The Master said, "Some men of worth retire from the world. Some
retire from particular states. Some retire because of
disrespectful looks. Some retire because of contradictory
The Master said, "Those who have done this are seven men."
Tsze-lu happening to pass the night in Shih-man, the gatekeeper
said to him, "Whom do you come from?" Tsze-lu said, "From Mr.
K'ung." "It is he,-is it not?"-said the other, "who knows the
impracticable nature of the times and yet will be doing in
The Master was playing, one day, on a musical stone in Weil when
a man carrying a straw basket passed door of the house where
Confucius was, and said, "His heart is full who so beats the
A little while after, he added, "How contemptible is the one-ideaed
obstinacy those sounds display! When one is taken no notice of,
he has simply at once to give over his wish for public
employment. 'Deep water must be crossed with the clothes on;
shallow water may be crossed with the clothes held up.'"
The Master said, "How determined is he in his purpose! But this
is not difficult!"
Tsze-chang said, "What is meant when the Shu says that Kao-tsung,
while observing the usual imperial mourning, was for three years
The Master said, "Why must Kao-tsung be referred to as an
example of this? The ancients all did so. When the sovereign
died, the officers all attended to their several duties, taking
instructions from the prime minister for three years."
The Master said, "When rulers love to observe the rules of
propriety, the people respond readily to the calls on them for
Tsze-lu asked what constituted the superior man. The Master
said, "The cultivation of himself in reverential carefulness."
"And is this all?" said Tsze-lu. "He cultivates himself so as to
give rest to others," was the reply. "And is this all?" again
asked Tsze-lu. The Master said, "He cultivates himself so as to
give rest to all the people. He cultivates himself so as to give
rest to all the people:-even Yao and Shun were still solicitous
Yuan Zang was squatting on his heels, and so waited the approach
of the Master, who said to him, "In youth not humble as befits a
junior; in manhood, doing nothing worthy of being handed down;
and living on to old age:-this is to be a pest." With this he
hit him on the shank with his staff.
A youth of the village of Ch'ueh was employed by Confucius to
carry the messages between him and his visitors. Some one asked
about him, saying, "I suppose he has made great progress."
The Master said, "I observe that he is fond of occupying the
seat of a full-grown man; I observe that he walks shoulder to
shoulder with his elders. He is not one who is seeking to make
progress in learning. He wishes quickly to become a man."
The Duke Ling of Wei asked Confucius about tactics. Confucius
replied, "I have heard all about sacrificial vessels, but I have
not learned military matters." On this, he took his departure
the next day.
When he was in Chan, their provisions were exhausted, and his
followers became so in that they were unable to rise.
Tsze-lu, with evident dissatisfaction, said, "Has the superior
man likewise to endure in this way?" The Master said, "The
superior man may indeed have to endure want, but the mean man,
when he is in want, gives way to unbridled license."
The Master said, "Ts'ze, you think, I suppose, that I am one who
learns many things and keeps them in memory?"
Tsze-kung replied, "Yes,-but perhaps it is not so?"
"No," was the answer; "I seek a unity all pervading."
The Master said, "Yu I those who know virtue are few."
The Master said, "May not Shun be instanced as having governed
efficiently without exertion? What did he do? He did nothing but
gravely and reverently occupy his royal seat."
Tsze-chang asked how a man should conduct himself, so as to be
The Master said, "Let his words be sincere and truthful and his
actions honorable and careful;-such conduct may be practiced
among the rude tribes of the South or the North. If his words be
not sincere and truthful and his actions not honorable and
carefull will he, with such conduct, be appreciated, even in his
"When he is standing, let him see those two things, as it were,
fronting him. When he is in a carriage, let him see them
attached to the yoke. Then may he subsequently carry them into
Tsze-chang wrote these counsels on the end of his sash.
The Master said, "Truly straightforward was the historiographer
Yu. When good government prevailed in his state, he was like an
arrow. When bad government prevailed, he was like an arrow. A
superior man indeed is Chu Po-yu! When good government prevails
in his state, he is to be found in office. When bad government
prevails, he can roll his principles up, and keep them in his
The Master said, "When a man may be spoken with, not to speak to
him is to err in reference to the man. When a man may not be
spoken with, to speak to him is to err in reference to our
words. The wise err neither in regard to their man nor to their
The Master said, "The determined scholar and the man of virtue
will not seek to live at the expense of injuring their virtue.
They will even sacrifice their lives to preserve their virtue
Tsze-kung asked about the practice of virtue. The Master said,
"The mechanic, who wishes to do his work well, must first
sharpen his tools. When you are living in any state, take
service with the most worthy among its great officers, and make
friends of the most virtuous among its scholars."
Yen Yuan asked how the government of a country should be
The Master said, "Follow the seasons of Hsia.
"Ride in the state carriage of Yin.
"Wear the ceremonial cap of Chau.
"Let the music be the Shao with its pantomimes. Banish the songs
of Chang, and keep far from specious talkers. The songs of Chang
are licentious; specious talkers are dangerous."
The Master said, "If a man take no thought about what is
distant, he will find sorrow near at hand."
The Master said, "It is all over! I have not seen one who loves
virtue as he loves beauty."
The Master said, "Was not Tsang Wan like one who had stolen his
situation? He knew the virtue and the talents of Hui of Liu-hsia,
and yet did not procure that he should stand with him in court."
The Master said, "He who requires much from himself and little
from others, will keep himself from being the object of