Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK IV * - The Chinese Classics: Vol. 1. The Life and Teachings of Confucius (Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean)
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BOOK IV * - Confucius, The Chinese Classics: Vol. 1. The Life and Teachings of Confucius (Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean) 
The Chinese Classics: Translated into English with Preliminary Essays and Explanatory Notes by James Legge. Vol. 1. The Life and Teachings of Confucius. Second Edition (London: N. Trübner, 1869).
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ChapterI. The Master said, “It is virtuous manners which constitute the excellence of a neighbourhood. If a man in selecting a residence do not fix on one where such prevail, how can he be wise?”
II. The Master said, “Those who are without virtue cannot abide long either in a condition of poverty and hardship, or in a condition of enjoyment. The virtuous rest in virtue; the wise desire virtue.”
III. The Master said, “It is only the truly virtuous man who can love, or who can hate, others.”
IV. The Master said, “If the will be set on virtue, there will be no practice of wickedness.”
V.1. The Master said, “Riches and honours are what men desire. If it cannot be obtained in the proper way, they should not be held. Poverty and meanness are what men dislike. If it cannot be obtained in the proper way, they should not be avoided.
2. “If a superior man abandon virtue, how can he fulfil the requirements of that name?
3. “The superior man does not, even for the space of a single meal, act contrary to virtue. In moments of haste, he cleaves to it. In seasons of danger, he cleaves to it.”
VI.1. The Master said, “I have not seen a person who loved virtue, or one who hated what was not virtuous. He who loved virtue would esteem nothing above it. He who hated what is not virtuous, would practise virtue in such a way that he would not allow anything that is not virtuous to approach his person.
2. “Is any one able for one day to apply his strength to virtue? I have not seen the case in which his strength would be insufficient.
3. “Should there possibly be any such case, I have not seen it.”
VII. The Master said, “The faults of men are characteristic of the class to which they belong. By observing a man’s faults, it may be known that he is virtuous.”
VIII. The Master said, “If a man in the morning hear the right way, he may die in the evening without regret.”
IX. The Master said, “A scholar, whose mind is set on truth, and who is ashamed of bad clothes and bad food, is not fit to be discoursed with.”
X. The Master said, “The superior man, in the world, does not set his mind either for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow.”
XI. The Master said, “The superior man thinks of virtue; the small man thinks of comfort. The superior man thinks of the sanctions of law; the small man thinks of favours which he may receive.”
XII. The Master said, “He who acts with a constant view to his own advantage will be much murmured against.”
XIII. The Master said, “Is a prince able to govern his kingdom with the complaisance proper to the rules of propriety, what difficulty will he have? If he cannot govern it with that complaisance, what has he to do with the rules of propriety?”
XIV. The Master said, “A man should say, I am not concerned that I have no place,—I am concerned how I may fit myself for one. I am not concerned that I am not knwon,—I seek to be worthy to be known.”
XV.1. The Master said, “Sin, my doctrine is that of an all-pervading unity.” Tsăng the philosopher replied, “Yes.”
2. The Master went out, and the other disciples asked, saying, “What do his words mean?” Tsăng said, “The doctrine of our Master is to be true to the principles of our nature and the benevolent exercise of them to others,—this and nothing more.”
XVI. The Master said, “The mind of the superior man is conversant with righteousness; the mind of the mean man is conversant with gain.”
XVII. The Master said, “When we see men of worth, we should think of equalling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.”
XVIII. The Master said, “In serving his parents, a son may remonstrate with them, but gently; when he sees that they do not incline to follow his advice, he shows an increased degree of reverence, but does not abandon his purpose; and should they punish him, he does not allow himself to murmur.”
XIX. The Master said, “While his parents are alive, the son may not go abroad to a distance. If he does go abroad, he must have a fixed place to which he goes.”
XX. The Master said, “If the son for three years does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called filial.”
XXI. The Master said, “The years of parents may by no means not be kept in the memory, as an occasion at once for joy and for fear.”
XXII. The Master said, “The reason why the ancients did not readily give utterance to their words, was that they feared lest their actions should not come up to them.”
XXIII. The Master said, “The cautious seldom err.”
XXIV. The Master said, “The superior man wishes to be slow in his words and earnest in his conduct.”
XXV. The Master said, “Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practises it will have neighbours.”
XXVI. Tsze-yew said, “In serving a prince, frequent remonstrances lead to disgrace. Between friends, frequent reproofs make the friendship distant.”
[* ]Heading and subjects of this Book—“Virtue in a neighbourhood.” The book is mostly occupied with the subject of jin, which is generally translated by “benevolence.” That sense, however, will by no means suit many of the chapters here, and we must render it by “perfect virtue” or “virtue.” See II. i. 2. The embodiment of virtue demands an acquaintance with ceremonies and music, and this is the reason, it is said, why the one subject immediately follows the other.
[1. ]Rules for the selection of a residence.
[2. ]Only true virtue adapts a man for the varied conditions of life.
[3. ]Only in the good man are emotions of love and hatred right. This chapter, containing an important truth, is incorporated with the Great Learning, comm. X. 15.
[4. ]The virtuous will preserves from all wickedness. Compare the apostle’s sentiment, 1 John iii. 9, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.”
[5. ]The devotion of the Keun-tsze to virtue.
[6. ]A lament because of the rarity of the love of virtue, and encouragement to practise virtue.
[7. ]A man is not to be utterly condemned because he has faults. Such is the sentiment found in this chapter, in which we may say, however, that Confucius is liable to the charge brought against Tsze-hea, I vii. The faults are the excesses of the general tendencies. Compare Goldsmith’s line, “And even his failings leant to virtue’s side.”
[8. ]The importance of knowing the right way. One is perplexed to translate the “way,” or “right way,” here spoken. One calls it “the path.”—i.e. of action—which is in accordance with our nature. Man is formed for this, and if he die without coming to the knowledge of it, his death is no better than that of a beast. One would fain recognize in such sentences as this a vague apprehension of some higher truth or way than Chinese sages have been able to propound.—Ho An takes a different view of the whole chapter, and makes it a lament of Confucius that he was likely to die without hearing of right principles prevailing in the world.—“Could I once hear of the prevalence of right principles, I could die the same evening.”
[9. ]The pursuit of truth should raise a man above being ashamed of poverty.
[10. ]Righteousness is the rule of the Keun-tsze’s practice.
[11. ]The different mindings of the superior and the small man.
[12. ]The consequence of selfish conduct.
[13. ]The influence in government of ceremonies observed in their proper spirit.
[14. ]Advising to self-cultivation. Compare I. xvi.
[15. ]Confucius’ doctrine that of a pervading unity. This chapter is said to be the most profound in the Lun Yu. To myself it occurs to translate “my doctrines have one thing which goes through them,” but such an exposition has not been approved by any Chinese commentator. The second paragraph shows us clearly enough what the one thing or unity intended by Confucius was. It was the heart, man’s nature, of which all the relations and duties of life are only the development and outgoings. What I have translated by “being true to the principles of our nature,” and “exercising those principles benevolently,” are in the original only two characters both formed from sin, “the heart.” The former is compounded of chung, “middle,” “centre,” and sin, and the latter of joo, “as,” and sin. The “centre heart”=I, the ego, and the “as heart”=the “I in sympathy” with others. One is duty-doing, on a consideration, or from the impulse, of one’s own self; the other is duty doing, on the principle of reciprocity. The chapter is important, showing that Confucius only claimed to unfold and enforce duties indicated by man’s mental constitution. He was simply a moral philosopher.
[16. ]How righteousness and selfishness distinguish the superior man and the small man.
[17. ]The lessons to be learned from observing men of different characters.
[18. ]How a son may remonstrate with his parents on their faults. See the Le Ke, XII. i. 15.
[19. ]A son ought not to go to a distance where he will not be able to pay the due services to his parents.
[20. ]A repetition of part of I. xi.
[21. ]What effect the age of the parents should have on their children.
[22. ]The virtue of the ancients seen in their slowness to speak.
[23. ]Advantage of caution. Collie’s version, which I have adopted, is here happy.
[24. ]Rule of the Keun-tsze about his words and actions.
[25. ]The virtuous are not left alone;—an encouragement to virtue.
[26. ]A lesson to counsellors and friends.