Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK XIII. * - The Chinese Classics: Vol. 1. The Life and Teachings of Confucius (Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean)
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BOOK XIII. * - 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).
Part of: The Chinese Classics
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ChapterI.1. Tsze-loo asked about government. The Master said, “Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs.”
2. He requested further instruction, and was answered, “be not weary in these things.”
II.1. Chung-kung, being chief minister to the head of the Ke 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.”
2.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 neglect them?”
III.1. Tsze-loo said, “The prince 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?”
2. The Master replied, “What is necessary is to rectify names.”
3. “So, indeed!” said Tsze-loo. “You are wide of the mark. Why must there be such rectification?”
4. The Master said, “How uncultivated you are, Yew! A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.”
5. “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.
6. “When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music will 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.
7. “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.”
IV.1. Fan Ch‘e 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 old gardener.”
2. Fan Ch‘e having gone out, the Master said, “A small man, indeed, is Fan Seu!”
3. “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?”
V. 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?”
VI. 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 followed.”
VII. The Master said, “The governments of Loo and Wei are brothers.”
VIII. The Master said of King, 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!”
IX.1. When the Master went to Wei, Yen Yew acted as driver of his carriage.
2. The Master observed, “How numerous are the people!”
3. Yew said, “Since they are thus numerous, what more shall be done for them?” “Enrich them,” was the reply.
4. “And when they have been enriched, what more shall be done?” The Master said, “Teach them.”
X. 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 perfected.”
XI. 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!”
XII. The Master said, “If a truly royal ruler were to arise, it would still require a generation, and then virtue would prevail.”
XIII. 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?”
XIV. The disciple Yen 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.”
XV.1. 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.
2. “There is a saying, however, which people have—‘To be a prince is difficult; to be a minister is not easy.’
“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?”
4.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, only in that no one offer any opposition to what I say!’
5. “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?”
XVI.1. The duke of Shĕ asked about government.
2. The Master said, “Good government obtains, when those who are near are made happy, and those who are far off are attracted.”
XVII. Tsze-hea, being governor of Keu-foo, 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.”
XVIII.1. The duke of Shĕ 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.”
2. 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.”
XIX. Fan Ch‘e 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.”
XX.1. 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.”
2.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 neighbours pronounce to be fraternal.”
3.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.”
4.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.”
XXI. 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.”
XXII.1. The Master said, “The people of the south have a saying—‘A man without constancy cannot be either a wizard or a doctor.’ Good!
2. “Inconstant in his virtue, he will be visited with disgrace.”
3. The Master said, “This arises simply from not prognosticating.”
XXIII. The Master said, “The superior man is affable, but not adulatory; the mean is adulatory, but not affable.”
XXIV. Tsze-kung asked saying, “What do you say of a man who is loved by all the people of his village?” 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 village?” 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 village love him, and the bad hate him.”
XXV. 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.”
XXVI. The Master said, “The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without a dignified ease.”
XXVII. The Master said, “The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest, are near to virtue.”
XXVIII. Tsze-loo 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.”
XXIX. The Master said, “Let a good man teach the people seven years, and they may then likewise be employed in war.”
XXX. The Master said, “To lead an uninstructed people to war is to throw them away.”
[* ]Heading and subjects of this book.—“Tsze-loo.” Here, as in the last book, we have a number of subjects touched upon, all bearing more or less directly on the government of the state, and the cultivation of the person. The book extends to thirty chapters.
[1. ]The secret of success in governing is the unwearied example of the rulers:—a lesson to Tsze-loo. 1. To what understood antecedents do the Che refer? For the first, we may suppose to “people;” “precede the people,” or “lead the people,” that is, do so by the example of your personal conduct. But we cannot in the second clause bring Che in the same way under the regimen of laou, “to be laborious for them;” that is, to set them the example of diligence in agriculture, &c. It is better, however, according to the idiom I have several times pointed out, to take Che as giving a sort of neuter and general force to the preceding words, so that the expressions are=“example and laboriousness.”—K‘ung Gan-kwŏ understands the meaning differently:—“set the people an example, and then you may make them labour.” But this is not so good.
[2. ]The duties chiefly to be attended to by a head minister:—a lesson to Yen Yung. 1. Compare VIII. iv. 3. A head minister should assign to his various officers their duties, and not be interfering in them himself. His business is to examine into the manner in which they discharge them. And in doing so, he should overlook small faults. 2. Confucius’ meaning is, that Chung-kung need not trouble himself about all men of worth. Let him advance those he knew. There was no fear that the others would be neglected. Compare what is said on “knowing men,” in XII. xxii.
[3. ]The supreme importance of names being correct. 1. This conversation is assigned by Choo He to the eleventh year of the Duke Gae of Loo, when Confucius was sixty-nine, and he returned from his wanderings to his native state. Tsze-loo had then been some time in the service of the Duke Ch‘uh of Wei, who it would appear had been wishing to get the services of the sage himself, and the disciple did not think that his Master would refuse to accept office, as he had not objected to his doing so. 2. “Names” must have here a special reference, which Tsze-loo did not apprehend. Nor did the old interpreter, for Ma Yung explains the counsel “to rectify the names of all things.” On this view, the reply would indeed be “wide of the mark.” The answer is substantially the same as the reply to Duke King of Ts‘e about government in XII. xi., that it obtains when the prince is prince, the father father, &c.; that is, when each man in his relations is what the name of his relation would require. Now, the Duke Ch‘uh held the rule of Wei against his father; see VII. xiv. Confucius, from the necessity of the case and peculiarity of the circumstances, allowed his disciples, notwithstanding that, to take office in Wei; but at the time of this conversation, Ch‘uh had been duke for nine years, and ought to have been so established that he could have taken the course of a filial son without subjecting the state to any risks. On this account, Confucius said he would begin with rectifying the name of the duke, that is, with requiring him to resign the dukedom to his father, and be what his name of son required him to be. This view enables us to understand better the climax that follows, though its successive steps are still not without difficulty.
[4. ]A ruler has not to occupy himself with what is properly the business of the people. It is to be supposed that Fan Ch‘e was at this time in office somewhere, and thinking of the Master, as the villager and high officer did, IX. ii. and vi., that his knowledge embraced almost every subject, he imagined that he might get lessons from him on the two subjects he specifies, which he might use for the benefit of the people. The last paragraph shows what people in office should learn. Confucius intended that it should be repeated to Fan Ch‘e.
[5. ]Literary acquirements useless without practical ability.
[6. ]His personal conduct all in all to a ruler.
[7. ]The similar condition of the states of Loo and Wei. Compare VI. xxii. Loo’s state had been so from the influence of Chow-kung, and Wei was the fief of his brother Fung, commonly known as K‘ang-shuh. They had, similarly, maintained an equal and brotherly course in their progress, or, as it was in Confucius’ time, in their degeneracy. That portion of the present Ho-nan, which runs up and lies between Shan-se and Pih-chih-le, was the bulk of Wei.
[8. ]The contentment of the officer King, and his indifference in getting rich. The commentators say that it is not to be understood that King really made these utterances, but that Confucius thus vividly represents how he felt.
[9. ]A people numerous, well-off, and educated, is the great achievement of government.
[10. ]Confucius’ estimate of what he could do, if employed to administer the government of a state.
[11. ]What a hundred years of good government could effect. Confucius quotes here a saying of his time, and approves of it.
[12. ]In what time a royal ruler could transform the empire. The character denoting “a king,” “a royal ruler,” is formed by three straight lines representing the three powers of Heaven. Earth, and Man, and a perpendicular line going through and uniting them, and thus conveys the highest idea of power and influence. Here it means the highest wisdom and virtue in the highest place.—To save Confucius from the charge of vanity in what he says, in chapter x., that he could accomplish in three years, it is said that the perfection which he predicates there would only be the foundation for the virtue here realized.
[13. ]That he be personally correct essential to an officer of government.
[14. ]An ironical admonition to Yen Yew on the usurping tendencies of the Ke family. The point of the chapter turns on the opposition of the phrases “government business,” and “family affairs;”—at the court of the Ke family, that is, they had really been discussing matters of government, affecting the State, and proper only for the prince’s court. Confucius affects not to believe it, and says that at the chief’s court they could only have been discussing the affairs of his house. Superannuated officers might go to court on occasions of emergency, and might also be consulted on such, though the general rule was to allow them to retire at seventy. See the Le Ke, I. i. 28.
[15. ]How the prosperity and ruin of a country may depend on the ruler’s view of his position, his feeling its difficulty, or only cherishing a headstrong will. 1. I should suppose that these were commentators’ sayings, about which the duke asks, in a way to intimate his disbelief of them.
[16. ]Good government seen from its effects. 1. Shĕ;—see VII. xviii. 2. Confucius is supposed to have in view the oppressive and aggressive government of Tsoo, to which Shĕ belonged.
[17. ]Haste and small advantages not to be desired in governing. Keu-foo was a small city in the western borders of Loo.
[18. ]Natural duty and uprightness in collision. 1. We cannot say whether the duke is referring to one or more actual cases, or giving his opinion of what his people would do. Confucius’ reply would incline us to the latter view. Accounts are quoted of such cases, but they are probably founded on this chapter. Ching seems to convey here the idea of accusation, as well as of witnessing. 2. The concluding expression does not absolutely affirm that this is upright, but that in this there is a better principle than in the other conduct.—Anybody but a Chinese will say that both the duke’s view of the subject and the sage’s were incomplete.
[19. ]Characteristics of perfect virtue, even when associating with barbarians.
[20. ]Different classes of men who in their several degrees may be styled officers, and the inferiority of the mass of the officers of Confucius’ time.
[21. ]Confucius obliged to content himself with the ardent and cautious as disciples. Compare V xxi., and Mencius, VII. Bk II. xxxvii.
[22. ]The importance of fixity and constancy of mind. 1. I translate the word “wizard,” for want of a better term. In the Chow Le, Bk XXVI., the woo appear sustaining a sort of official status, regularly called in to bring down spiritual beings, obtain showers, &c. They are distinguished as men and women, though the term is often feminine, “a witch,” as opposed to another, signifying “a wizard.” Confucius’ use of the saying, according to Choo He, is this:—“Since such small people must have constancy, how much more ought others to have it!” The ranking of the doctors and wizards together sufficiently shows what was the position of the healing art in those days.—Ching K‘ang-shing interprets this paragraph quite inadmissibly:—“wizards and doctors cannot manage people who have no constancy.” 2. This is a quotation from the Yih-king, diagram xxxii. 3. This is inexplicable to Choo He. Some bring out from it the meaning in the translation.—Ch‘ing K‘ang-shing says:—“By the Yih we prognosticate good and evil, but in it there is no prognostication of people without constancy.”
[23. ]The different manners of the superior and the mean man. Compare II. xiv.; but here the parties are contrasted in their more private intercourse with others.
[24. ]How to judge of a man from the likings and dislikings of others, we must know the characters of those others.
[25. ]Difference between the superior and the mean man in their relation to those employed by them.
[26. ]The different air and bearing of the superior and the mean man.
[27. ]Natural qualities which are favourable to virtue.
[28. ]Qualities that mark the scholar in social intercourse. This is the same question as in chapter xx. 1, but the subject is here “the scholar,” the gentleman of education, without reference to his being in office or not.
[29. ]How the government of a good ruler will prepare the people for war. “A good man,”—spoken with reference to him as a ruler. The teaching is not to be understood of military training, but of the duties of life and citizenship; a people so taught are morally fitted to fight for their government. What military training may be included in the teaching, would merely be the hunting and drilling during the people’s repose from the toils of agriculture.
[30. ]That people must be taught, to prepare them for war. Compare the last chapter. The language is very strong, and the instruction being understood as in that chapter, shows how Confucius valued education for all classes.