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Holy Confucian Analects

English translation by James Legge
taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/cfu/cfu.htm
Chinese text taken from
http://digital.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=4094

Book 14 - Hsien Wan -

Continued...

534
There is a saying, however, which people have -'To be a prince is difficult; to be a minister is not easy.'

535
"If a ruler knows this,-the difficulty of being a prince,-may there not be expected from this one sentence the prosperity of his country?"

536
The duke then said, "Is there a single sentence which can ruin a country?" Confucius replied, "Such an effect as that cannot be expected from one sentence. There is, however, the saying which people have-'I have no pleasure in being a prince, but only in that no one can offer any opposition to what I say!'

537
"If a ruler's words be good, is it not also good that no one oppose them? But if they are not good, and no one opposes them, may there not be expected from this one sentence the ruin of his country?"

538
The Duke of Sheh asked about government.

539
The Master said, "Good government obtains when those who are near are made happy, and those who are far off are attracted."

540
Tsze-hsia! being governor of Chu-fu, asked about government. The Master said, "Do not be desirous to have things done quickly; do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished."

541
The Duke of Sheh informed Confucius, saying, "Among us here there are those who may be styled upright in their conduct. If their father have stolen a sheep, they will bear witness to the fact."

542
Confucius said, "Among us, in our part of the country, those who are upright are different from this. The father conceals the misconduct of the son, and the son conceals the misconduct of the father. Uprightness is to be found in this."

543
Fan Ch'ih asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, "It is, in retirement, to be sedately grave; in the management of business, to be reverently attentive; in intercourse with others, to be strictly sincere. Though a man go among rude, uncultivated tribes, these qualities may not be neglected."

544
Tsze-kung asked, saying, "What qualities must a man possess to entitle him to be called an officer? The Master said, "He who in his conduct of himself maintains a sense of shame, and when sent to any quarter will not disgrace his prince's commission, deserves to be called an officer."

545
Tsze-kung pursued, "I venture to ask who may be placed in the next lower rank?" And he was told, "He whom the circle of his relatives pronounce to be filial, whom his fellow villagers and neighbors pronounce to be fraternal."

546
Again the disciple asked, "I venture to ask about the class still next in order." The Master said, "They are determined to be sincere in what they say, and to carry out what they do. They are obstinate little men. Yet perhaps they may make the next class."

547
Tsze-kung finally inquired, "Of what sort are those of the present day, who engage in government?" The Master said "Pooh! they are so many pecks and hampers, not worth being taken into account."

548
The Master said, "Since I cannot get men pursuing the due medium, to whom I might communicate my instructions, I must find the ardent and the cautiously-decided. The ardent will advance and lay hold of truth; the cautiously-decided will keep themselves from what is wrong."

549
The Master said, "The people of the south have a saying -'A man without constancy cannot be either a wizard or a doctor.' Good!

550
"Inconstant in his virtue, he will be visited with disgrace."

551
The Master said, "This arises simply from not attending to the prognostication."

552
The Master said, "The superior man is affable, but not adulatory; the mean man is adulatory, but not affable."

553
Tsze-kung asked, saying, "What do you say of a man who is loved by all the people of his neighborhood?" The Master replied, "We may not for that accord our approval of him." "And what do you say of him who is hated by all the people of his neighborhood?" The Master said, "We may not for that conclude that he is bad. It is better than either of these cases that the good in the neighborhood love him, and the bad hate him."

554
The Master said, "The superior man is easy to serve and difficult to please. If you try to please him in any way which is not accordant with right, he will not be pleased. But in his employment of men, he uses them according to their capacity. The mean man is difficult to serve, and easy to please. If you try to please him, though it be in a way which is not accordant with right, he may be pleased. But in his employment of men, he wishes them to be equal to everything."

555
The Master said, "The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without a dignified ease."

556
The Master said, "The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue."

557
Tsze-lu asked, saying, "What qualities must a man possess to entitle him to be called a scholar?" The Master said, "He must be thus,-earnest, urgent, and bland:-among his friends, earnest and urgent; among his brethren, bland."

558
The Master said, "Let a good man teach the people seven years, and they may then likewise be employed in war."

559
The Master said, "To lead an uninstructed people to war, is to throw them away."

560
Hsien asked what was shameful. The Master said, "When good government prevails in a state, to be thinking only of salary; and, when bad government prevails, to be thinking, in the same way, only of salary;-this is shameful."

561
"When the love of superiority, boasting, resentments, and covetousness are repressed, this may be deemed perfect virtue."

562
The Master said, "This may be regarded as the achievement of what is difficult. But I do not know that it is to be deemed perfect virtue."

563
The Master said, "The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar."

564
The Master said, "When good government prevails in a state, language may be lofty and bold, and actions the same. When bad government prevails, the actions may be lofty and bold, but the language may be with some reserve."

565
The Master said, "The virtuous will be sure to speak correctly, but those whose speech is good may not always be virtuous. Men of principle are sure to be bold, but those who are bold may not always be men of principle."

566
Nan-kung Kwo, submitting an inquiry to Confucius, said, "I was skillful at archery, and Ao could move a boat along upon the land, but neither of them died a natural death. Yu and Chi personally wrought at the toils of husbandry, and they became possessors of the kingdom." The Master made no reply; but when Nan-kung Kwo went out, he said, "A superior man indeed is this! An esteemer of virtue indeed is this!"

567
The Master said, "Superior men, and yet not always virtuous, there have been, alas! But there never has been a mean man, and, at the same time, virtuous."

568
The Master said, "Can there be love which does not lead to strictness with its object? Can there be loyalty which does not lead to the instruction of its object?"

569
The Master said, "In preparing the governmental notifications, P'i Shan first made the rough draft; Shi-shu examined and discussed its contents; Tsze-yu, the manager of foreign intercourse, then polished the style; and, finally, Tsze-ch'an of Tung-li gave it the proper elegance and finish."

570
Some one asked about Tsze-ch'an. The Master said, "He was a kind man."

571
He asked about Tsze-hsi. The Master said, "That man! That man!"

572
He asked about Kwan Chung. "For him," said the Master, "the city of Pien, with three hundred families, was taken from the chief of the Po family, who did not utter a murmuring word, though, to the end of his life, he had only coarse rice to eat."

573
The Master said, "To be poor without murmuring is difficult. To be rich without being proud is easy."

574
The Master said, "Mang Kung-ch'o is more than fit to be chief officer in the families of Chao and Wei, but he is not fit to be great officer to either of the states Tang or Hsieh."

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-- Book 14 --





 
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