Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK XIX. * - The Chinese Classics: Vol. 1. The Life and Teachings of Confucius (Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean)
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BOOK XIX. * - 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. Tsze-chang said, “The scholar, trained for public duty, seeing threatening danger, is prepared to sacrifice his life. When the opportunity of gain is presented to him, he thinks of righteousness. In sacrificing, his thoughts are reverential. In mourning, his thoughts are about the grief which he should feel. Such a man commands our approbation indeed.”
II. Tsze-chang said, “When a man holds fast virtue, but without seeking to enlarge it, and believes right principles, but without firm sincerity, what account can be made of his existence or non-existence?”
III. The disciples of Tsze-hea asked Tsze-chang about the principles of intercourse. Tsze-chang asked, “What does Tsze-hea say on the subject?” They replied, “Tsze-hea says:—‘Associate with those who can advantage you. Put away from you those who cannot do so.” Tsze-chang observed, “This is different from what I have learned. The superior man honours the talented and virtuous, and bears with all. He praises the good, and pities the incompetent. Am I possessed of great talents and virtue?—who is there among men whom I will not bear with? Am I devoid of talents and virtue?—men will put me away from them. What have we to do with the putting away of others?”
IV. Tsze-hea said, “Even in inferior studies and employments there is something worth being looked at, but if it be attempted to carry them out to what is remote, there is a danger of their proving inapplicable. Therefore, the superior man does not practise them.”
V. Tsze-hea said, “He, who from day to day recognizes what he has not yet, and from month to month does not forget what he has attained to, may be said indeed to love to learn.”
VI. Tsze-hea said, “There are learning extensively, and having a firm and sincere aim; inquiring with earnestness, and reflecting with self-application:—virtue is in such a course.”
VII. Tsze-hea said, “Mechanics have their shops to dwell in, in order to accomplish their works. The superior man learns, in order to reach to the utmost of his principles.”
VIII. Tsze-hea said, “The mean man is sure to gloss his faults.”
IX. Tsze-hea said, “The superior man undergoes three changes. Looked at from a distance, he appears stern; when approached, he is mild; when he is heard to speak, his language is firm and decided.”
X. Tsze-hea said, “The superior man, having obtained their confidence, may then impose labours on his people. If he have not gained their confidence, they will think that he is oppressing them. Having obtained the confidence of his prince, he may then remonstrate with him. If he have not gained his confidence, the prince will think that he is vilifying him.”
XI. Tsze-hea said, “When a person does not transgress the boundary-line in the great virtues, he may pass and repass it in the small virtues.”
XII.1. Tsze-yew said, “The disciples and followers of Tsze-hea, in sprinkling and sweeping the ground, in answering and replying, in advancing and receding, are sufficiently accomplished. But these are only the branches of learning, and they are left ignorant of what is essential.—How can they be acknowledged as sufficiently taught?”
2. Tsze-hea heard of the remark and said, “Alas! Yen Yew is wrong. According to the way of the superior man in teaching, what departments are there which he considers of prime importance, and therefore first delivers? what are there which he considers of secondary importance, and so allows himself to be idle about? But as in the case of plants, which are assorted according to their classes, so he deals with his disciples. How can the way of a superior man be such as to make fools of any of them? Is it not the sage alone, who can unite in one the beginning and the consummation of learning?”
XIII. Tsze-hea said, “The officer, having discharged all his duties, should devote his leisure to learning. The student, having completed his learning, should apply himself to be an officer.”
XIV. Tsze-hea said, “Mourning, having been carried to the utmost degree of grief, should stop with that.”
XV. Tsze-hea said, “My friend Chang can do things which are hard to be done, but yet he is not perfectly virtuous.”
XVI. Tsăng the philosopher said, “How imposing is the manner of Chang! It is difficult along with him to practise virtue.”
XVII. Tsăng the philosopher said, “I have heard this from our Master:—‘Men may not have shown what is in them to the full extent, and yet they will be found to do so, on occasion of mourning for their parents.’ ”
XVIII. Tsăng the philosopher said, “I have heard this from our Master:—‘The filial piety of Măng Chwang, in other matters, was what other men are competent to, but, as seen in his not changing the ministers of his father, nor his father’s mode of government, it is difficult to be attained to.’ ”
XIX. The chief of the Măng family having appointed Yang Foo to be chief criminal judge, the latter consulted the philosopher Tsăng. Tsăng said, “The rulers have failed in their duties, and the people have consequently been disorganized, for a long time. When you have found out the truth of any accusation, be grieved for and pity them, and do not feel joy at your own ability.”
XX. Tsze-kung said, “Chow’s wickedness was not so great as that name implies. Therefore, the superior man hates to dwell in a low-lying situation, where all the evil of the world will flow in upon him.”
XXI. Tsze-kung said, “The faults of the superior man are like the eclipses of the sun and moon. He has his faults, and all men see them; he changes again, and all men look up to him.”
XXII.1. Kung-sun Ch‘aou of Wei asked Tsze-kung, saying, “From whom did Chung-ne get his learning?”
2. Tsze-kung replied, “The doctrines of Wăn and Woo have not yet fallen to the earth. They are to be found among men. Men of talents and virtue remember the great principles of them, and others, not possessing such talents and virtue, remember the smaller. Thus, all possess the doctrines of Wăn and Woo. From whom did our Master not learn them? And yet what necessity was there for his having a regular master?”
XXIII.1. Shuh-sun Woo-shuh observed to the great officers in the court, saying, “Tsze-kung is superior to Chung-ne.”
2. Tsze-fuh King-pih reported the observation to Tsze-kung, who said, “Let me use the comparison of a house and its encompassing wall. My wall only reaches to the shoulders. One may peep over it, and see whatever is valuable in the apartments.
3. “The wall of my master is several fathoms high. If one do not find the door and enter by it, he cannot see the ancestral temple with its beauties, nor all the officers in their rich array.
4. “But I may assume that they are few who find the door. Was not the observation of the chief only what might have been expected?”
XXIV. Shuh-sun Woo-shuh having spoken revilingly of Chung-ne, Tsze-kung said, “It is of no use doing so. Chung-ne cannot be reviled. The talents and virtue of other men are hillocks and mounds, which may be stept over. Chung-ne is the sun or moon, which it is not possible to step over. Although a man may wish to cut himself off from the sage, what harm can he do to the sun or moon? He only shows that he does not know his own capacity.”
XXV.1. Tsze-k‘in addressing Tsze-kung, said, “You are too modest. How can Chung-ne be said to be superior to you?”
2. Tsze-kung said to him, “For one word a man is often deemed to be wise, and for one word he is often deemed to be foolish. We ought to be careful indeed in what we say.
3. “Our Master cannot be attained to, just in the same way as the heavens cannot be gone up to by the steps of a stair.
4. “Were our Master in the position of the prince of a State or the chief of a Family, we should find verified the description which has been given of a sage’s rule:—he would plant the people, and forthwith they would be established; he would lead them on, and forthwith they would follow him; he would make them happy, and forthwith multitudes would resort to his dominions; he would stimulate them, and forthwith they would be harmonious. While he lived, he would be glorious. When he died, he would be bitterly lamented. How is it possible for him to be attained to?”
[* ]Heading and contents of this book. “Tsze-chang—No XIX.” Contueius does not appear personally in this book at all. Choo He says.—“This book records the words of the disciples, Tsze-hea being the most frequent speaker, and Tsze-kung next to him. For in the Confucian school, after Yen Yuen there was no one of such discriminating understanding as Tsze-kung, and, after Tsang Sin no one of such firm sincerity as Tsze-hea.” The disciples deliver their sentiments very much after the manner of their master, and yet we can discern a falling off from him.
[1. ]Tsze-chang’s opinion of the chief attributes of the true scholar.
[2. ]Tsze-chang on narrow-mindedness and a hesitating faith. Hing Ping interprets this chapter in the following way:—“If a man grasp hold of his virtue, and is not widened and enlarged by it, although he may believe good principles, he cannot be sincere and generous.” But it is better to take the clauses as coordinate, and not dependent on each other.
[3. ]The different opinions of Tsze-hea and Tsze-chang on the principles which should regulate our intercourse with others. It is strange to me that the disciples of Tsze-hea should begin their answer to Tsze-chang with the designation Tsze-hea, instead of saying “our Master” Hing Ping expounds Tsze-hea’s rule thus:—“If the man be worthy, fit for you to have intercourse with, then have it, but if he be not worthy,” &c. On the other hand, we find:—“If the man will advantage you, he is a fit person, then maintain intercourse with him,” &c. This seems to be merely carrying out Confucius’ rule, I. viii. 3. Choo He, however, approves of Tsze chang’s censure of it, while he thinks also that Tsze-chang’s own view is defective:—Paou Heen says:—“Our intercourse with friends should be according to Tsze-hea’s rule; general intercourse according to Tsze-chang’s.”
[4. ]Tsze-hea’s opinion of the inapplicability of small pursuits to great objects. Gardening, husbandry, divining, and the healing art, are all mentioned by Choo He as instances of the “small ways,” here intended, having their own truth in them, but not available for higher purposes, or what is beyond themselves.
[5. ]The indications of a real love of learning:—by Tsze hea.
[6. ]How learning should be pursued to lead to virtue:—by Tsze-hea.
[7. ]Learning is the student’s workshop:—by Tsze-hea. A certain quarter was assigned anciently in Chinese towns and cities for mechanics, and all of one art were required to have their shops together. A son must follow his father’s profession, and, seeing nothing but the exercise of that around him, it was supposed that he would not be led to think of anything else, and would so become very proficient in it.
[8. ]Glossing his faults the proof of the mean man:—by Tsze-hea. Literally, “The faults of the mean man must gloss,” i.e., he is sure to gloss.
[9. ]Changing appearances of the superior man to others:—by Tsze-hea. Tsze-hea probably intended Confucius by the Keun-tsze, but there is a general applicability in his language and sentiments:—The description is about equivalent to our “fortiter in re suaviter in modo.”
[10. ]The importance of enjoying confidence to the right serving of superiors and ordering of inferiors:—by Tsze-hea.
[11. ]The great virtues demand the chief attention, and the small ones may be somewhat violated:—by Tsze-hea. The sentiment here is very questionable. A different turn, however, is given to the chapter in the older interpreters. Hing Ping, expanding K‘ung Gankwŏ says:—“Men of great virtue never go beyond the boundary-line; it is enough for those who are virtuous in a less degree to keep near to it, going beyond and coming back.” We adopt the more natural interpretation of Choo He.
[12. ]Tsze-hea’s defence of his own graduated method of teaching:—against Tsze-yew. 1. The sprinkling, &c., are the things boys were supposed anciently to be taught, the rudiments of learning, from which they advanced to all that is inculcated in the “Great Learning.” But as Tsze-hea’s pupils were not boys, but men, we should understand. I suppose, these specifications as but a contemptuous reference to his instructions, as embracing merely what was external. The general scope of Tsze-hea’s reply is sufficiently plain, but the old interpreters and new differ in explaining the several sentences. After dwelling long on it, I have agreed generally with the new school, and followed Choo He in the translation. Tsze-hea did not teach what he taught as being in itself more important than what he for the time left untouched. He communicated knowledge as his disciples were able to bear it.
[13. ]The officer and the student should attend each to his proper work in the first instance:—by Tsze-yew.
[14. ]The trappings of mourning may be dispensed with:—by Tsze-yew. The sentiment here is perhaps the same as that of Confucius in III. iv., but the sage guards and explains his utterance.—K‘ung Gankwŏ, following an expression in the “Classic of Filial Piety,” makes the meaning to be that the mourner may not endanger his health or life by excessive grief and abstinence.
[15. ]Tsze-yew’s opinion of Tsze-chang, as minding too much high things.
[16. ]The philosopher Tsang’s opinion of Tsze-chang, as too high-pitched for friendship.
[17. ]How grief for the loss of parents brings out the real nature of man:—by Tsang Sin.
[18. ]The filial piety of Mang Chwang:—by Tsang Sin. Chwang was the honorary epithet of Suh, the head of the Măng family, not long anterior to Confucius. His father, according to Choo He, had been a man of great merit, nor was Chwang inferior to him, but his virtue especially appeared in what the text mentions.—Ho An gives the comment of Ma Yung, that though there were bad men among his father’s ministers, and defects in his government, yet Chwang made no change in the one or the other, during the three years of mourning, and that it was this which constituted his excellence.
[19. ]How a criminal judge should cherish compassion in his administration of justice:—by Tsang Sin. Seven disciples of Tsăng Sin are more particularly mentioned, one of them being this Yang Foo. “Disorganized,” literally “scattered,” is to be understood of the moral state of the people, and not, physically, of their being scattered from their dwellings.
[20. ]The danger of a bad name:—by Tsze-kung. “Not so bad as the name implies,” is, literally, “not so very bad as this,”—the this is understood by Hing Ping as referring to the epithet Chow, which cannot be called honorary in this instance. According to the laws for such terms, it means “cruel and unmerciful, injurious to righteousness.” If the this does not in this way refer to the name, the remark would seem to have occurred in a conversation about the wickedness of Chow.
[21. ]The superior man does not conceal his errors, nor persist in them:—by Tsze-kung. Such is the lesson of this chapter, as expanded in the “Daily Lessons.” The sun and the moon being here spoken of together, the term must be confined to “eclipses,” but it is also applied to the ordinary waning of the moon.
[22. ]Confucius’ sources of knowledge were the recollections and traditions of the principles on Wan and Woo:—by Tsze-kung. 1. Of the questioner here we have no other memorial. His surname indicates that he was a descendant of some of the dukes of Wei. Observe how he calls Confucius by his designation of Chung-ne or “Ne secundus.” (There was an elder brother, a concubine’s son, who was called Pih-ne). The last clause is taken by modern commentators as asserting Confucius’ connate knowledge, but Gan-kwŏ finds in it only a repetition of the statement that the sage found teachers everywhere.
[23. ]Tsze-kung repudiates being thought superior to Confucius, and, by the comparison of a house and wall, shows how ordinary people could not understand the Master. 1. “Woo” was the honorary epithet of Chow Kew, one of the chiefs of the Shuh-sun family. From a mention of him in the “Family Sayings,” we may conclude that he was given to envy and detraction. The term rendered “house” is now the common word for a “palace,” but here it is to be taken generally for a house or building. It is a poor house, as representing the disciple, and a ducal mansion, as representing his master. Many commentators make the wall to be the sole object in the comparison; but it is better to take both the house and the wall as members of the comparison. The wall is not a part of the house, but one inclosing it.
[24. ]Confucius is like the sun or moon, high above the reach of depreciation:—by Tsze-kung.
[25. ]Confucius can no more be equalled than the heavens can be climbed:—by Tsze-kung. We find it difficult to conceive of the sage’s disciples speaking to one another, as Tsze-k‘in does here to Tsze-kung; and Hing Ping says that this was not the disciple Tsze-k‘in, but another man of the same surname and designation. But this is inadmissible, especially as we find the same parties, in I. x., talking about the character of their master. I think it likely the conversation took place after the sage’s death, in which case the tenses in the translation would in several cases have to be altered. Unfortunately the Chinese language has no inflexions of any kind, and in concise composition such as that of these Analects the adjunctive indications of mood and tense seldom occur.