Confucian Analects, Confucius, 500 B.C., Part 3
Confucius said of the head of
the Chi family, who had eight rows of
pantomimes in his area, "If he can bear
to do this, what may he not bear to do?"
The three families used the Yungode,
while the vessels were being removed, at
the conclusion of the sacrifice. The
Master said, "'Assisting are the
princes;-the son of heaven looks
profound and grave';-what application
can these words have in the hall of the
The Master said, "If a man be without
the virtues proper to humanity, what has
he to do with the rites of propriety? If
a man be without the virtues proper to
humanity, what has he to do with music?"
Lin Fang asked what was the first thing
to be attended to in ceremonies.
The Master said, "A great question
"In festive ceremonies, it is better to
be sparing than extravagant. In the
ceremonies of mourning, it is better
that there be deep sorrow than in minute
attention to observances."
The Master said, "The rude tribes of the
east and north have their princes, and
are not like the States of our great
land which are without them."
The chief of the Chi family was about to
sacrifice to the T'ai mountain. The
Master said to Zan Yu, "Can you not save
him from this?" He answered, "I cannot."
Confucius said, "Alas! will you say that
the T'ai mountain is not so discerning
as Lin Fang?"
The Master said, "The student of virtue
has no contentions. If it be said he
cannot avoid them, shall this be in
archery? But he bows complaisantly to
his competitors; thus he ascends the
hall, descends, and exacts the forfeit
of drinking. In his contention, he is
still the Chun-tsze."
Tsze-hsia asked, saying, "What is the
meaning of the passage-'The pretty
dimples of her artful smile! The
well-defined black and white of her eye!
The plain ground for the colors?'"
The Master said, "The business of laying
on the colors follows the preparation of
the plain ground."
"Ceremonies then are a subsequent
thing?" The Master said, "It is Shang
who can bring out my meaning. Now I can
begin to talk about the odes with him."
The Master said, "I could describe the
ceremonies of the Hsia dynasty, but Chi
cannot sufficiently attest my words. I
could describe the ceremonies of the Yin
dynasty, but Sung cannot sufficiently
attest my words. They cannot do so
because of the insufficiency of their
records and wise men. If those were
sufficient, I could adduce them in
support of my words."
The Master said, "At the great
sacrifice, after the pouring out of the
libation, I have no wish to look on."
Some one asked the meaning of the great
sacrifice. The Master said, "I do not
know. He who knew its meaning would find
it as easy to govern the kingdom as to
look on this"-pointing to his palm.
He sacrificed to the dead, as if they
were present. He sacrificed to the
spirits, as if the spirits were present.
The Master said, "I consider my not
being present at the sacrifice, as if I
did not sacrifice."
Wang-sun Chia asked, saying, "What is
the meaning of the saying, 'It is better
to pay court to the furnace then to the
The Master said, "Not so. He who offends
against Heaven has none to whom he can
The Master said, "Chau had the advantage
of viewing the two past dynasties. How
complete and elegant are its
regulations! I follow Chau."
The Master, when he entered the grand
temple, asked about everything. Some one
said, "Who say that the son of the man
of Tsau knows the rules of propriety! He
has entered the grand temple and asks
about everything." The Master heard the
remark, and said, "This is a rule of
The Master said, "In archery it is not
going through the leather which is the
principal thing;-because people's
strength is not equal. This was the old
Tsze-kung wished to do away with the
offering of a sheep connected with the
inauguration of the first day of each
The Master said, "Ts'ze, you love the
sheep; I love the ceremony."
The Master said, "The full observance of
the rules of propriety in serving one's
prince is accounted by people to be
The Duke Ting asked how a prince should
employ his ministers, and how ministers
should serve their prince. Confucius
replied, "A prince should employ his
minister according to according to the
rules of propriety; ministers should
serve their prince with faithfulness."
The Master said, "The Kwan Tsu is
expressive of enjoyment without being
licentious, and of grief without being
The Duke Ai asked Tsai Wo about the
altars of the spirits of the land. Tsai
Wo replied, "The Hsia sovereign planted
the pine tree about them; the men of the
Yin planted the cypress; and the men of
the Chau planted the chestnut tree,
meaning thereby to cause the people to
be in awe."
When the Master heard it, he said,
"Things that are done, it is needless to
speak about; things that have had their
course, it is needless to remonstrate
about; things that are past, it is
needless to blame."
The Master said, "Small indeed was the
capacity of Kwan Chung!"
Some one said, "Was Kwan Chung
parsimonious?" "Kwan," was the reply,
"had the San Kwei, and his officers
performed no double duties; how can he
be considered parsimonious?"
"Then, did Kwan Chung know the rules of
propriety?" The Master said, "The
princes of States have a screen
intercepting the view at their gates.
Kwan had likewise a screen at his gate.
The princes of States on any friendly
meeting between two of them, had a stand
on which to place their inverted cups.
Kwan had also such a stand. If Kwan knew
the rules of propriety, who does not
The Master instructing the grand music
master of Lu said, "How to play music
may be known. At the commencement of the
piece, all the parts should sound
together. As it proceeds, they should be
in harmony while severally distinct and
flowing without break, and thus on to
The border warden at Yi requested to be
introduced to the Master, saying, "When
men of superior virtue have come to
this, I have never been denied the
privilege of seeing them." The followers
of the sage introduced him, and when he
came out from the interview, he said,
"My friends, why are you distressed by
your master's loss of office? The
kingdom has long been without the
principles of truth and right; Heaven is
going to use your master as a bell with
its wooden tongue."
The Master said of the Shao that it was
perfectly beautiful and also perfectly
good. He said of the Wu that it was
perfectly beautiful but not perfectly
The Master said, "High station filled
without indulgent generosity; ceremonies
performed without reverence; mourning
conducted without sorrow;-wherewith
should I contemplate such
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