Confucian Analects, Confucius, 500 B.C., Part 7
The Master said, "A transmitter
and not a maker, believing in and loving
the ancients, I venture to compare
myself with our old P'ang."
The Master said, "The silent treasuring
up of knowledge; learning without
satiety; and instructing others without
being wearied:-which one of these things
belongs to me?"
The Master said, "The leaving virtue
without proper cultivation; the not
thoroughly discussing what is learned;
not being able to move towards
righteousness of which a knowledge is
gained; and not being able to change
what is not good:-these are the things
which occasion me solicitude."
When the Master was unoccupied with
business, his manner was easy, and he
The Master said, "Extreme is my decay.
For a long time, I have not dreamed, as
I was wont to do, that I saw the duke of
The Master said, "Let the will be set on
the path of duty.
"Let every attainment in what is good be
"Let perfect virtue be accorded with.
"Let relaxation and enjoyment be found
in the polite arts."
The Master said, "From the man bringing
his bundle of dried flesh for my
teaching upwards, I have never refused
instruction to any one."
The Master said, "I do not open up the
truth to one who is not eager to get
knowledge, nor help out any one who is
not anxious to explain himself. When I
have presented one corner of a subject
to any one, and he cannot from it learn
the other three, I do not repeat my
When the Master was eating by the side
of a mourner, he never ate to the full.
He did not sing on the same day in which
he had been weeping.
The Master said to Yen Yuan, "When
called to office, to undertake its
duties; when not so called, to he
retired;-it is only I and you who have
attained to this."
Tsze-lu said, "If you had the conduct of
the armies of a great state, whom would
you have to act with you?"
The Master said, "I would not have him
to act with me, who will unarmed attack
a tiger, or cross a river without a
boat, dying without any regret. My
associate must be the man who proceeds
to action full of solicitude, who is
fond of adjusting his plans, and then
carries them into execution."
The Master said, "If the search for
riches is sure to be successful, though
I should become a groom with whip in
hand to get them, I will do so. As the
search may not be successful, I will
follow after that which I love."
The things in reference to which the
Master exercised the greatest caution
were-fasting, war, and sickness.
When the Master was in Ch'i, he heard
the Shao, and for three months did not
know the taste of flesh. "I did not
think'" he said, "that music could have
been made so excellent as this."
Yen Yu said, "Is our Master for the
ruler of Wei?" Tsze-kung said, "Oh! I
will ask him."
He went in accordingly, and said, "What
sort of men were Po-i and Shu-ch'i?"
"They were ancient worthies," said the
Master. "Did they have any repinings
because of their course?" The Master
again replied, "They sought to act
virtuously, and they did so; what was
there for them to repine about?" On
this, Tsze-kung went out and said, "Our
Master is not for him."
The Master said, "With coarse rice to
eat, with water to drink, and my bended
arm for a pillow;-I have still joy in
the midst of these things. Riches and
honors acquired by unrighteousness, are
to me as a floating cloud."
The Master said, "If some years were
added to my life, I would give fifty to
the study of the Yi, and then I might
come to be without great faults."
The Master's frequent themes of
discourse were-the Odes, the History,
and the maintenance of the Rules of
Propriety. On all these he frequently
The Duke of Sheh asked Tsze-lu about
Confucius, and Tsze-lu did not answer
The Master said, "Why did you not say to
him,-He is simply a man, who in his
eager pursuit of knowledge forgets his
food, who in the joy of its attainment
forgets his sorrows, and who does not
perceive that old age is coming on?"
The Master said, "I am not one who was
born in the possession of knowledge; I
am one who is fond of antiquity, and
earnest in seeking it there."
The subjects on which the Master did not
talk, were-extraordinary things, feats
of strength, disorder, and spiritual
The Master said, "When I walk along with
two others, they may serve me as my
teachers. I will select their good
qualities and follow them, their bad
qualities and avoid them."
The Master said, "Heaven produced the
virtue that is in me. Hwan T'ui-what can
he do to me?"
The Master said, "Do you think, my
disciples, that I have any concealments?
I conceal nothing from you. There is
nothing which I do that is not shown to
you, my disciples; that is my way."
There were four things which the Master
taught,-letters, ethics, devotion of
soul, and truthfulness.
The Master said, "A sage it is not mine
to see; could I see a man of real talent
and virtue, that would satisfy me."
The Master said, "A good man it is not
mine to see; could I see a man possessed
of constancy, that would satisfy me.
"Having not and yet affecting to have,
empty and yet affecting to be full,
straitened and yet affecting to be at
ease:-it is difficult with such
characteristics to have constancy."
The Master angled,-but did not use a
net. He shot,-but not at birds perching.
The Master said, "There may be those who
act without knowing why. I do not do so.
Hearing much and selecting what is good
and following it; seeing much and
keeping it in memory: this is the second
style of knowledge."
It was difficult to talk profitably and
reputably with the people of Hu-hsiang,
and a lad of that place having had an
interview with the Master, the disciples
The Master said, "I admit people's
approach to me without committing myself
as to what they may do when they have
retired. Why must one be so severe? If a
man purify himself to wait upon me, I
receive him so purified, without
guaranteeing his past conduct."
The Master said, "Is virtue a thing
remote? I wish to be virtuous, and lo!
virtue is at hand."
The minister of crime of Ch'an asked
whether the duke Chao knew propriety,
and Confucius said, "He knew propriety."
Confucius having retired, the minister
bowed to Wu-ma Ch'i to come forward, and
said, "I have heard that the superior
man is not a partisan. May the superior
man be a partisan also? The prince
married a daughter of the house of WU,
of the same surname with himself, and
called her,-'The elder Tsze of Wu.' If
the prince knew propriety, who does not
Wu-ma Ch'i reported these remarks, and
the Master said, "I am fortunate! If I
have any errors, people are sure to know
When the Master was in company with a
person who was singing, if he sang well,
he would make him repeat the song, while
he accompanied it with his own voice.
The Master said, "In letters I am
perhaps equal to other men, but the
character of the superior man, carrying
out in his conduct what he professes, is
what I have not yet attained to."
The Master said, "The sage and the man
of perfect virtue;-how dare I rank
myself with them? It may simply be said
of me, that I strive to become such
without satiety, and teach others
without weariness." Kung-hsi Hwa said,
"This is just what we, the disciples,
cannot imitate you in."
The Master being very sick, Tsze-lu
asked leave to pray for him. He said,
"May such a thing be done?" Tsze-lu
replied, "It may. In the Eulogies it is
said, 'Prayer has been made for thee to
the spirits of the upper and lower
worlds.'" The Master said, "My praying
has been for a long time."
The Master said, "Extravagance leads to
insubordination, and parsimony to
meanness. It is better to be mean than
to be insubordinate."
The Master said, "The superior man is
satisfied and composed; the mean man is
always full of distress."
The Master was mild, and yet dignified;
majestic, and yet not fierce;
respectful, and yet easy.
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