Confucian Analects : texts 493 - 533 |
The Master said, "That is notoriety, not distinction.
"Now the man of distinction is solid and straightforward, and
loves righteousness. He examines people's words, and looks at their
countenances. He is anxious to humble himself to others. Such a man
will be distinguished in the country; he will be distinguished in
"As to the man of notoriety, he assumes the appearance of virtue,
but his actions are opposed to it, and he rests in this character
without any doubts about himself. Such a man will be heard of in the
country; he will be heard of in the clan."
Fan Ch'ih rambling with the Master under the trees about the rain
altars, said, "I venture to ask how to exalt virtue, to correct
cherished evil, and to discover delusions."
The Master said, "Truly a good question!
"If doing what is to be done be made the first business, and success
a secondary consideration:-is not this the way to exalt virtue? To
assail one's own wickedness and not assail that of others;-is not this
the way to correct cherished evil? For a morning's anger to
disregard one's own life, and involve that of his parents;-is not this
a case of delusion?"
Fan Ch'ih asked about benevolence. The Master said, "It is to love
all men." He asked about knowledge. The Master said, "It is to know
Fan Ch'ih did not immediately understand these answers.
The Master said, "Employ the upright and put aside all the
crooked; in this way the crooked can be made to be upright."
Fan Ch'ih retired, and, seeing Tsze-hsia, he said to him, "A
Little while ago, I had an interview with our Master, and asked him
about knowledge. He said, 'Employ the upright, and put aside all the
crooked;-in this way, the crooked will be made to be upright.' What
did he mean?"
Tsze-hsia said, "Truly rich is his saying!
"Shun, being in possession of the kingdom, selected from among all
the people, and employed Kai-yao-on which all who were devoid of
virtue disappeared. T'ang, being in possession of the kingdom,
selected from among all the people, and employed I Yin-and an who were
devoid of virtue disappeared."
Tsze-kung asked about friendship. The Master said, "Faithfully
admonish your friend, and skillfully lead him on. If you find him
impracticable, stop. Do not disgrace yourself."
The philosopher Tsang said, "The superior man on grounds of
culture meets with his friends, and by friendship helps his virtue."
Tsze-lu asked about government. The Master said, "Go before the
people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs."
He requested further instruction, and was answered, "Be not weary in
Chung-kung, being chief minister to the head of the Chi family,
asked about government. The Master said, "Employ first the services of
your various officers, pardon small faults, and raise to office men of
virtue and talents."
Chung-kung said, "How shall I know the men of virtue and talent,
so that I may raise them to office?" He was answered, "Raise to office
those whom you know. As to those whom you do not know, will others
Tsze-lu said, "The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order
with you to administer the government. What will you consider the
first thing to be done?"
The Master replied, "What is necessary is to rectify names."
"So! indeed!" said Tsze-lu. "You are wide of the mark! Why must
there be such rectification?"
The Master said, "How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man, in
regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.
"If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the
truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of
things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
"When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music
do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish,
punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not
properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.
"Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he
uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may
be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just
that in his words there may be nothing incorrect."
Fan Ch'ih requested to be taught husbandry. The Master said, "I am
not so good for that as an old husbandman." He requested also to be
taught gardening, and was answered, "I am not so good for that as an
Fan Ch'ih having gone out, the Master said, "A small man, indeed, is
Fan Hsu! If a superior man love propriety, the people will not dare
not to be reverent. If he love righteousness, the people will not dare
not to submit to his example. If he love good faith, the people will
not dare not to be sincere. Now, when these things obtain, the
people from all quarters will come to him, bearing their children on
their backs; what need has he of a knowledge of husbandry?"
The Master said, "Though a man may be able to recite the three
hundred odes, yet if, when intrusted with a governmental charge, he
knows not how to act, or if, when sent to any quarter on a mission, he
cannot give his replies unassisted, notwithstanding the extent of
his learning, of what practical use is it?"
The Master said, "When a prince's personal conduct is correct, his
government is effective without the issuing of orders. If his personal
conduct is not correct, he may issue orders, but they will not be
The Master said, "The governments of Lu and Wei are brothers."
The Master said of Ching, a scion of the ducal family of Wei, that
he knew the economy of a family well. When he began to have means,
he said, "Ha! here is a collection-!" When they were a little
increased, he said, "Ha! this is complete!" When he had become rich,
he said, "Ha! this is admirable!"
When the Master went to Weil Zan Yu acted as driver of his carriage.
The Master observed, "How numerous are the people!"
Yu said, "Since they are thus numerous, what more shall be done
for them?" "Enrich them, was the reply.
"And when they have been enriched, what more shall be done?" The
Master said, "Teach them."
The Master said, "If there were any of the princes who would
employ me, in the course of twelve months, I should have done
something considerable. In three years, the government would be
The Master said, "'If good men were to govern a country in
succession for a hundred years, they would be able to transform the
violently bad, and dispense with capital punishments.' True indeed
is this saying!"
The Master said, "If a truly royal ruler were to arise, it would
stir require a generation, and then virtue would prevail."
The Master said, "If a minister make his own conduct correct, what
difficulty will he have in assisting in government? If he cannot
rectify himself, what has he to do with rectifying others?"
The disciple Zan returning from the court, the Master said to him,
"How are you so late?" He replied, "We had government business." The
Master said, "It must have been family affairs. If there had been
government business, though I am not now in office, I should have been
consulted about it."
The Duke Ting asked whether there was a single sentence which
could make a country prosperous. Confucius replied, "Such an effect
cannot be expected from one sentence.
Confucian Analects : texts 493 - 533