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 upsettings.
"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 own court."
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 three generations.
"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
upright; 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
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
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 covetousness."
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
"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 righteousness."
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, praise them.
"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 Odes.
"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
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 office."
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
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 go.
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