Confucius - Analects

Book 1

1. It is a pleasure to try out something you've learned at due intervals. It is a joy to have friends come from a far. It is gentlemanly not to take offense when others fail to appreciate your abilities.

2. A gentleman devotes himself to being a good son and obedient as a young man, this is the root of man's character, and this person will rarely have the inclination to transgress against his superiors.

3. It is rare for a man with a cunning face and ingratiating words to be benevolent.

4. Everyday examine yourself if you have failed to do your best in what is done for others, failed to be trustworthy in what is said, passed onto others something I haven't tried myself.

5. In governing, be trustworthy in what you say, approach your duties with reverence, avoid excess in expenditure, love your fellow men, employ the labor of commoners in the right seasons.

6. A young man should be sparing in speech, love the multitude at large, cultivate friendships with fellow men, any further energy should be devoted to cultivating oneself.

7. Exhort yourself in the utmost service to your parents and your lord, a man has probably received instruction if he appreciates men of excellence rather than beautiful women.

8. A man who lacks gravity does not inspire awe. A man who studies is likely to be inflexible. Do not accept as a friend anyone who is not as good as you. When you make a mistake do not be afraid of mending your ways.

9. Conduct the funeral of your parents with utmost care and don't forget sacrifices to ancestors, these will help the virtue of the common people towards fulness.

10. Learn information by being cordial, good, respectful, frugal, and deferential.

11. Maintain father's ways for three years after his death, this is a good son.

12. Harmony is most valuable benefit from rites, but rites must be observed for harmony to work.

13. Promote good relations with relatives by marriage while not losing good will of kinsmen is worthy of being head of clan.

14. Gentleman is quick in action but cautious in speech, he seeks neither a full belly nor a comfortable home, he is eager to learn and go to men of the Way.

15. Poor and not obsequious yet delighting in the way, rich and not arrogant and delighting in rites.

16. You should not be troubled by the failure of others to appreciate your abilities but rather your failure to appreciate theirs.

Book 2

2. The odes can be summed up "Follow the right path".

3. Guide them by edicts, keep them in line with punishments, and the common people will stay out of trouble but will have no sense of shame. Guide them by virtue, keep them in line with the rites, and they will have a sense of shame and reform themselves.

5. Never fail to comply in being filial, comply with the rites regarding your parents and show them reverence.

10. Look at the means a man employs, observe the path he takes and examine where he feels at home, a man's true character is in view.

11. Keep fresh in your mind what you are familiar with while getting to know what is near, this is how to become a teacher.

12. The gentlemen is not a specialist.

13. Put words into action ASAP

14. Gentlemen enter into associations, not cliques.

15. If one learns from others but does not think he will be bewildered, if the converse he will be in peril.

17. Knowledge is to say you know when you know, and to say you don't know when you don't.

18. Use your ears and eyes widely but leave out what is doubtful and hazardous respectively, repeat the rest with caution and you will make few mistakes or put the rest into practice with caution and you will have few regrets; these will make an official career a matter of course.

19. Raisethe straight and set them over the crooked and the common people will look up to you, do the opposite and they won't.

20. Rule over the common people with dignity and they will be reverent, treat them with kindness and they will do their best, raise the good and instruct those who are backward and they will be imbued with enthusiasm.

21. By being a good son and friendly to his brothers a man can influence government.

24. Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.

Book 3

4. With the rites it is better to err on the side of frugality than extravagance, in mourning better to err on the side of grief than formality.

7. There is no contention among gentlemen, it is closer to archery with its respect.

12. Unless one takes part in a sacrifice it isn't a sacrifice

15. Asking questions is a rite

18. You will be looked upon as obsequious if you observe every detail of rites in service to your lord.

19. Rules should employ the services of subjects in accordance with the rites, and subjects should do their best in service to the ruler.

21. Do not explain what is already done, argue against what is accomplished, or condemn what has gone by.

26. There is nothing worthwhile in a man lacking in tolerance when in high position, in reverence with the rites, and in sorrow when in mourning.

A gentlmen should be: a good son, obedient in youth, trustworthy in word, not be a specialist, put his words into action ASAP, enters into associations but not cliques, never forsakes benevolence, respectful in manner of conducting oneself, reverent to service of lord, generous to common people, and just in dealing with them

The rule of virtue is constant,

Book IV

1. A wise man settles in benevolence, and is attracted to it because it is to his advantage.

2. The benevolent man feels at home in benevolence, those who aren't benevolent can't remain long in straightened or easy circumstances.

3. Only the benevolent man is capable of liking or disliking other men.

4. Set your heart on benevolence and you will be free from evil

5. Men desire wealth and high station but to remain in them they must acquire them the right way.

6. Confucius claims to have never met a man who finds benevolence attractive or unbenevolence repulsive, though he has never come across a man whose strength was insufficient for the task of being benevolent all day long.

7. Observe a man's errors and you will know the man, for his errors are true to type.

9. A gentlman is not ashamed of poor food or clothes.

10. The gentlman is not tendentious but is on the side of what is moral.

11. the gentlman cherishes benign rule and respect for law, the small man cherishes his native ? and generous treatment.

12. If one is guided by profit in one's actions one will incure much ill will.

13. A governing man will have no difficulties if he observes the rites and shows deference.

14. Worry about your qualifications, don't worry that no one appreciates your abilities, seek to be worthy of appreciation.

15. The one single thread throughout Confucius is doing one's best and using oneself as a measure to gauge others.

16. The gentleman understands what is moral; the small man what is profitable.

17. When you meet someone better than you, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal; someone not as good, examine yourself.

18. Try to dissuade your parents from wrong but always be reverent, do not complain for you wear yourself out.

22. In antiquity men were loath to speak lest their person failed to keep up with their words

23. It is rare to miss the mark through holding to essentials

24. The gentleman desires to be halting in speech but quick in action.

25. Importunate with one's lord means humiliation, with one's friends will mean estrangement.

Book V

5. A man with a quick retort will frequently incur the hatred of others, so what need is there to have a facile tongue.

9. Hui is praised for being good and for being told one thing and understanding ten.

10. Listen to a man's words but go on to observe his deeds before you trust him.

11. One who is full of desires cannot be unbending (which is to be desired) (I guess unbending to morality). Confucius said he had never met anyone truly unbending.

12. ?

15. Diligence in learning and seeking advice, eager to learn, not ashamed to seek advice from those beneath him.

17. Always treat friends with reverence.

19. Governors should neither express pleasure or displeasure about their appointments or removals, and should educate successors of affairs of the position. Wisdom is part of benevolence.

20. Thinking about something twice before taking action is quite enough

23. Forget old scores and you will incur little ill will.

25. Cunning words, ingratiating face, utter servility, acting friendly when really hostile are all shameful.

26. Bring peace to the old, trust one's friends, cherish the young.

27. I have yet to meet the man who, on seeing his own errors, is able to take himself to task inwardly.

28. Do your best for others, be trustworthy in what you say, be eager to learn.

Book VI

2. reread

3. Do not vent anger upon an innocent person

4. A gentleman gives to help the needy

8. To hold office without difficulties one should be resolute, be understanding, be accomplished.

10. Belief in Destiny

11. To be joyful under the direst of living conditions is very admirable

12. Those who fail often set limits beforehand - not exact paraphrase

16. Good looks and eloquence help one in life

18. More native substance than acquired refinement results in churlishness; the opposite causes pendantry; a balance results in gentlemanliness.

19. A man who dupes others survives because he is fotunate enough to be spared.

22. He describes some wisdom and benevolence

23. ?

26. Gentlemen can be deceived but not duped.

29. The mean as a moral virtue is supreme.

30. A sage gives extensively to and helps the common people. A benevolent man uses himself as the measuring stick for what he does for others.

Book VII

1. He says he transmits from antiquity but does not innovate

2. Store up knowledge, learn without difficulty, teach without growing weary

3. Be concerned with your failure to: cultivate virtue, to go more deeply in what is learned, to reform my defects, to move to what is right when you are told where it is.

8. This is cool.

11. Move forward when employed and stay out of sight when set aside; he wishes to associate with those who are fearful of failure when faced with a task, and is fond of making plans but also is capable of successful execution.

12. View on pursuit of wealth?

13. Fasting, war, and sickness one should exercise ?

14. Self-description

21. He didn't speak of prodigies, force, disorder, and gods

22. You can always learn from others, copy good points, correct in yourself the bad points.

23. Stoic likeness, Heaven put the virtue in me, no one can harm that.

25. He instructs ? : culture, moral conduct, doing one's best, being trustworthy in your words.

26. There are no sages or good men, and gentlemen are rare.

28. Innovation without knowledge is a fault; He used his ears and eyes and follows what is good.

30. Benevolence is here when ever I want it.

31. The gentleman does not show partiality

33. Confucius says he hasn't been a practicing gentleman.

34. He says he isn't a sage or benevolent

36. Extravagance means ostentation, frugality means shabiness, be shabby rather than ostentatious.

37. Gentlemen are easy of mind, small men are full of anxiety.

38. Be cordial yet stern, awe-inspiring but not fierce, respectful yet at ease.


2. The absence of the rites will make good things bad, profound affection for your parents will stir the commoners to benevolence, to remember friends of long standing will make commoners concerned about obligation to others.

4. Gentlemen value 3 things most: put on serious countenance to stay clear of violence, to be trusted by having a proper expression; to avoid being boorish by speaking in proper tones.

5. Good stuff!

6. Gentleman is not deflected from his purpose even in moments of crisis.

9. The common people can be made to follow a path but not to understand it

10. Being fond of courage but detesting poverty will lead men to unruly behavior. Excessive detestation of men who are not benevolent will provoke them to unruly behavior.

11. Being arrogant and miserly would make all other qualities unworthy of admiration.

12. Men who study for the sake of learning are rare.

13. Show yourself when the way prevails, hide yourself when it does not.

16. He can't understand certain men.

19. It is Heaven that is great, one should model themselves on it.

20. Talent is difficult to find.

21. Eat and drink meanest fare, make offerings to ancestors and gods with utmost devotion, wear course clothes except at sacrificial occasions, live in lowly dwellings, devote energy to public works.

Book IX

4. He refused to entertain conjectures or insist on certainty; he refused to be inflexible or to be egotistical.

5. Heavens will will be done on Earth.

6. Confucius says he is skilled in many menial things because he was of humble station when young, but he also says a gentleman need not be skilled in many things.

8. He says he does not possess knowledge.

10. Confucius showed respect to those in mourning, ceremonial garb, and the blind (even if they were younger)

12. Heaven knows all

13. Confucius is for making profitable deals

14. He believed the presence of a gentleman would change others around him.

16. He easily served high officials when abroad, served elders at home, didn't spare himself when preparing funerals, and held his drink.

17. Time is always passing away.

18. Men who value virtue more than beautiful women are rare, if there are any at all.

21. Try to realize your capacity to the full.

22. Blossom and produce fruit

23. One must be held in awe because of their possible future accomplishments until one who has done nothing reaches 40 or 50.

24. What is important is to rectify and reform oneself.

25. Guiding principle is to do your best for others and be trustworthy in what you say. Don't accept as a friend anyone who is not as good as you. When you make a mistake, mend your ways.

26. Every man has a purpose and cannot be deprived of it.

27. Not being envious or covetous is not enough to be good.

28. Integrity is tested under distress, that is only way to show fortitude is under averse conditions.

29. The man of wisdom is never in two minds about right and wrong, the man of benevolence never worries about the future, the man of courage is never afraid.

30. One can have a partner good enough in studies who isn't good enough to be a partner in the way; one can have a good enough partner in the way who isn't good enough to be a partner in a common stand; one can be good enough as a partner in common stand though not good enough to be partner in exercise of moral discretion.

Book X

Full of Formalities and signs of respect

1. Confucius was submissive and seemed to be inarticulate in local community, but spoke fluently and heavily at court and the temple

2. He was frank and respectful and composed when talking with superiors, and affable with inferiors.

3,4,5. He showed seriousness and respect in appointed tasks at court.

21. When at the Grand Temple, he asked questions about everything.

22. He offered to have the funeral at his house whenever a friend died without kin.

Book XI

5. He judges a son by what his parents and brothers say about him.

12. If you aren't able to serve man, how can one serve the dead and the gods; if you do not understand life, how can you understand death.

13. In attendance on the master look respectful, upright, unbending, and affable.

16. Overshooting the mark is just as good but no better than falling short of the mark.

18. Being forthright might be seen negatively here.

20. Good men don't follow in other people's foot steps.

22. He thinks people should find a middle ground between holding back and having too much energy.

24. A great minister is one who serves their lord according to the way, and when this isn't possible they relinquish office.

25. ?

26. He prefers a liesurely day of bathing in a spring with friends and poetry to ruling

Book XII

1. Benevolence is observance of the rites in everything you do through overcoming the self

2. Benevolence is also acting like you are receiving an important guest when abroad, behaving like you are officiating an important sacrifice when dealing with common people, don't do unto others as you wouldn't want them to do unto you.

3. Benevolence is also being loath to speak lest you are unable to live up to your words.

4. The gentleman is free from worries and fears, which only come when one examines himself and finds himself reproachable

5. Life and Death and wealth and honor depend on destiny and Heaven; the gentleman is reverent, does nothing amiss, is respectful towards others (everyone is his brother), and observant of the rites.

6. One is perspicacious and farsighted if he is not influenced by slanders or by complaints for which he feels a direct sympathy.

7. Give the common people enough food and enough arms and they will trust you. Trust is most important of these.

8. Refinement is the stuff a gentleman is made of.

10. To exalt in virtue make it your guiding principle to do your best for others, be trustworthy in what you say, and move yourself to where rightness is. Misguided judgment is wanting a man to live and then wanting him to die.

11. Each person should perform within the situation they were born as, e.g. ruler as ruler, son as son, etc.

12. Never put off fullfillment of a promise until the next day.

13. He tried to get parties not to resort to litigation.

14. Don't show weariness with daily routine, do your best.

15. Gentlemen well versed in culture but brought back to rites won't turn on what he stood for.

16. Gentlemen helps others to realize what is good in them not what is bad.

17. To govern is to set an example by being correct.

18. Bad ruler causes the common people to be bad.

19. If the ruler desires good himself, the people will follow; analogy of wind bending grass

20. "Getting through" is being straight by nature and being fond of what's right, sensitive to other people's words and observant of their expression, and always mindful of being modest.

21. Virtue is what one makes one's own by pursuit of the way, exaltation of virtue is to put service before the reward you get for it; to reform the depraved attack evil as evil not as evil of a particular man; misguided judgment is to let a sudden fit of anger endanger you or your parents.

22. It is benevolent to love your fellow man; it is wise to know your fellow man; raising the straight over the crooked will straighten them out.

23. Advise your friends to the best of your ability and guide them properly but stop when there is no hope of success.

24. A gentleman makes friends through being cultivated but looks to friends for support in benevolence.


1. Encourage the people to work hard by setting an example yourself and do not slacken your efforts.

2. Set example for your officials to follow, show leniency towards minor offenders, promote men of talent that you recognize, for they will recognize some of those you failed to recognize.

3. Gentlemen does not offer opinion where he is ignorant, and he is not casual where speech is concerned, but is careful in his naming and language.

6. A man must be correct in his own person to be ? to orders.

11. A state ruled by good men for 100 years will possibly have done away with killing.

12. It may take a generation for the people to become benevolent when lead by a true king.

13. If a man cannot make himself correct he has no business in government, and if he can make himself correct he will have no difficulty in government.

16. When governing make sure that those who are near are pleased and those who are far are attracted.

17. When governing if you are impatient you will not reach your goal, if you see only petty gains great tasks won't be accomplished.

18. He believed fathers covering for sons, and sons covering for fathers even if they have done wrong, is what is straight.

19. Qualities that cannot be put aside are doing your best when dealing with others; be reverent when serving in official capacity, and hold yourself in respectful attitude when at home.

20. A gentleman has a sense of shame in the way he conducts himself, and does not disgrace the commission of his lord. Below that is a man who is a good son and respectful in his village. Below that is a man who insists on keeping his word and seeing his actions to the end (though this is stubborn and petty minded)

21. Moderate men should be your associates, otherwise turn to the undisciplined who are enterprising or the over-scrupulous who draw the line at certain actions.

22. Show constancy in your virtue

23. The gentleman agrees without being an echo, the small man echoes without being in agreement.

24. The ideal is to be liked by those who are good and disliked by those who are bad.

25. A gentleman accepts the limits of the capacity of those who serve him but is only pleased when others follow the way.

26. The gentleman is at ease without being arrogant, the small man is arrogant without being at ease.

27. Unbending strength, resoluteness, simplicity and reticence are close to benevolence.

28. A gentleman is earnest and keen among friends and genial amongst brothers.

Book XIV

1. It is shameful to make salary your sole object.

2. A gentleman is not attached to a settled home.

3. When the way prevails act with highmindedness, when it doesn't act with high-mindedness but speak with self-effacing diffidence.

4. A benevolent man possesses courage but not necessarily vice versa.

6. Some gentlemen are not benevolent.

7. If you love someone you will make them work hard and educate them.

9,10. Do not complain even of injustice

12. To be a complete man one must remember what is right at the sight of profit, be ready to lay down one's life in the face of danger, does not forget sentiments he has maintained even in difficult circumstances.

16,17. Weird attribute of benevolence.

20. Claims made immodestly are difficult to live up to

22. Make sure you are not being dishonest with your lord when you stand up to him.

24. Study to improve yourself not to impress others.

26. A gentleman does not concern himself with matters outside of his office.

30. Trouble yourself with your lack of abilities not the failure of others to appreciate your abilities.

31. A man is superior who is first to be aware of, without anticipating, attempts at deception or acts of bad faith.

32. Flattery is impertinent, inflexibility is detestable.

34. Repay an injury with straightness and repay a good turn with a good turn.

35. Confucius says "there is no one who understands me, for in my studies I start from below and get through to what is above, if I am understood at all it is by Heaven, though I do not complain against Heaven, nor do I blame man."

36. Destiny controls whether the way prevails or not.

37. The order of first to last: Men who shun the world; shun a part of it; shun a hostile look; shun hostile words

41. When rulers are given to observance of the rites the common people will be easy to command.

42. The gentleman cultivates himself and thereby acheives reverence and brings peace and security to the people.

43. Be neither modest nor deferential when young and pass on something worthwhile when old.

44. A young man who takes a seat and walks abreast his seniors does not want to make progress but is after quick results.

Book XV

2. A gentleman expects extreme straits; the small man loses restraint in extreme straits.

3. All his learning is bound by a single thread.

4. Those who understand virtue are rare.

6. To go forward without obstruction one must be conscientious and trustworthy in word and single minded and reverent in deed.

7. A gentleman is in office when the way prevails and not when it doesn't.

8. To fail to speak to a man who is capable of benefiting is to leat a man go to waste, but to speak to a man who is incapable of benefitting is wasting words. The wise waste neither.

9. For gentlemen of purpose and men of benevolence they may have to accept death in order for benevolence to be accomplished.

10. To practice benevolence seek the patronage of most distinguished counsellors and most benevolent gentlemen.

11. Plausible men are dangerous, keep them at a distance.

12. He who gives no thought to difficulties in the future will be beset by worries much closer to hand.

14. A ruler who doesn't put those who are excellent into positions does not deserve his own position.

15. Set strict standards for yourself and make allowances on your demands of others, and you will stay clear of ill will.

16. Confucius can only dela with those always wondering "What am I to do?"

17. The gentleman has morality as his basic stuff, puts it into practice by observing the rites, gives it expression by being modest, and brings it to completion by being trustworthy.

20. Gentlemen hates not leaving a name when he is gone.

21. What the gentleman seeks is in himself; the small man seeks in others.

22. The gentleman is aware of his superiority without being contentious and doesn't form cliques.

23. The gentleman does not recommend a man on account of what he says, neither does he dismiss what is said on account of the speaker.

24. Use your self as a measure in grouping the wishes of others.

25. A man should be put to the test before he is praised.

27. Artful words will ruin one's virtue, lack of self-restraint in small matters will bring ruin to great plans.

28. Look closely at the man who is disliked and the amn who is liked by the multitude.

31. Confucius believes it is better to learn than to think.

32. The gentleman worries about the way not about poverty.

33. A man will lose that which is beyond his benevolence even though within his understanding. The common people will not be revereent unless teated with dignity even though one is wise and benevolent; but he is still short of perfection unless he sets them to works in accordance with the rites.

34. The gentleman cannot be appreciated in small things but is acceptable in great matters.

35. Benevolence is more vital to commoners than fire and water.

36. Do not give precedence even to your teacher when faced with opportunity to practice benevolence.

37. Gentleman is devoted to principle but not inflexible in small matters.

40. There is no point in people taking counsel together who follow different ways.

Book XVI

1. If the master is wrong the servant has a responsibility to guide his master to the right path gentlemen detests those who gloss over their remakrks rather than just coming out and sying what they want where there is even distribution ther is no poverty, where there is harmony there is no underpopluation where there is stablity there is no over turning; because of all this one attracts unsubmissive subjects by cultivating one's moral quality, then makes them content.

4. Make friends with the straight, the trustworthy in word, and the well-informed and you will benefit. To make friends with the ingratiating in action, the pleasant in appearance, and the plausible in speech is to lose.

5. To take pleasure in correct regulation of rites and music singing praises of other men's goodness, and having a lot of great men as friends is to benefit; to take pleasure showing off in a dissolute life, and in food and drink is to lose.

6. Speaking to a gentleman before being spoken to is rash, not to speak to him when spoken to is evasive, to speak to him without observing the experession in his fact is to be blind.

7. Three things gentlemen should gaurd against dealing with blood and ch'i; in youth, against feminine beauty; in prime of life, against bellicosity; in old age against aquisitiveness.

8. The gentelemen is in awe of the Decree of Heaven, great men, and the words of the sages.

9. 1) Those born with knowledge are the highest 2) those who attain knowledge through study 3) those who turn to study after having been vexed by difficulties 4) Lowest are commoners who don't study even after difficulties.

10. Gentlemen turns his thought to: 1) seeing clearly when using his eyes, hearing clearly...; looking cordial when it comes to his countenance; appearing respectufl with his demeanor, being conscientious when he speaks, being reverent when he performs his duties, seeking advice when he is in doubt, to consequences when he is enraged, to what is right at the sight of gain.


1. The benevolent man must not allow the state to go astry by not taking part in public life.

2. Men are close by nature but they diverge because of repeated practice.

3. Only most intelligent and most stupid are not susceptible to change.

4. The gentlemen loves his fellow me, small man instucted in the way is easy to command.

6. If a man is respectful he will not be treated with insolence, if he is tolerant he will win the multitude, if he is trustworthy in word his fellow men will entrust him with responsibility, if he is quick he will acheive results, if he is generous he deserves to be in a position ever his fellow men; whoever puts these things into practice in the empire is certainly "benevolent".

7. The gentleman does not enter the domain of bad men. Confucius contradicts himself here.

8. read original

12. A cowardly man who puts on a brave front is like a burglar who breaks in or climbs over walls.

14. The gossip-monger is the outcast of virtue.

15. A mean fellow, before he gets what he wants worries lest he should not get it; after he has it he worries lest he should lose it, and when this happens he will not stop at anything; can one work side by side with such a man?

16. ?

18. the detests clever talkers

21. When mourning the gentleman finds no relish in good food, no pleasure in music, and no comforts in his home.

22. It is no easy matter for a man who always has a full stomach to put his mind to some use.

23. Morality is supreme to the gentleman, a gentleman with courage but without morality will make trouble.

24. The gentleman dislikes: those who proclaim the evil in others; those who slander their superiors; those who possess courage but lack spirit of the rites; those whose resoluteness is not tempered by understanding; those in whom plagarizing passes for wisdom; those in whom insolence passes for courage; those in whom exposure of others passes for forthrightness.


7. Tzu-lu says the gentleman enters public life to do his duty even though he knows putting the way into practice is hopeless.

10. Duke of Chou says the gentleman does not treat those related to him casually; he doesn't give his high officials occasion to complain because their advice was not heeded; he does not abandon officials of long standing except for grave reasons; he does not look for all around perfection in a single person.

Book XIX

1. The gentleman is ready to lay down his life in face of danger, doesn't forget what is right at sight of gain, does not forget reverence during sacrifice or sorrow when in mourning.

3. The gentleman honors his betters and is tolerant towards the multitude; praise the good, pity the backward.

4. A gentleman doesn't take up minor ? for fear they may bog him down.

6. Learn widely and be steadfast in your purpose, inquire earnestly and reflect on what is at hand.

7. Gentleman perfects his way by learning.

9. From a distance the gentleman appears formal; when approached cordial; in speech stern

10. A gentleman gains the trust of the common people before he works them hard, otherwise they would feel ill used; and only after gaining tust of his lord does the former advise the latter against unwise action, otherwise the lord would feel himself slandered.

12. Teach students from superficial step by step to the basics for only the sage will attain his final goal and the others will at least have learned something.

17. No man realizes himself to the full except when mourning for one's parents.

20. The gentleman hates to dwell downstream for it is there that all that is sordid in the Empire finds its way.

21. A gentleman's errors are like an eclipse in that when he errs the whole world sees and when he reforms the whole world looks up to him.

22. Confucius learned from all he could.

25. The gentleman is judged either wise or foolish by a single word he utters, that is why he is careful of what he says.

Book XX

1. If a man is tolerant he will win the multitude. If he is trustworthy in word, the common people will entrust him with responsibility. If he is quick he will acheive results. If he is impartial the common people will be pleased.

2. Before a man takes part in government, a man must be generous without its costing him anything, work others hard without their complaining, has desires without being greedy, is casual without being arrogant, and is awe inspiring without appearing fierce, these are the five excellent practices. The first is accomplished by taking advantage of the things around the common peple that they find beneficial. The second by choosing burdens they can support. The third by desiring benevolence. The fourth by never neglecting his manners no matter who he is dealing with. The fifth by being dressed properly and dignified in his gaze which inspires people who see him with awe. The four wicked practices are: to impose death penalty without first attempting to reform is cruel; to expect results without fist giving warning is to be tyrannical; to insist on a time limit when tardy in issuing orders is to cause injury; when something must be given anyway, to be miserly is to be officious.

3. A man has no way of becoming a gentlman unless he understands destiny; he has no way of taking his stand unless he understands the rites; he has no way of judging men unless he understands words.

jen - fellow men

Benevolence - the most important moral quality a gentlemen must possess
1. Do not impose on others what you do not desire.
2. Help others to get what they went in so far as you wish to get what you want

The way of consists in chung and shu, that is all. Shu is the method of discovering what other people wish or do not wish done to them, or maybe using oneself as a measure. Chung is doing one's best.

3. Love your fellow men, our obligation towards others should be in proportion to the benefit we received from them.

Hsiao - love one owes to parents, being a good son

4. Overcome oneself (of all things likely to distort moral judgement, self interest is the strongest, most persistent, and most insidious)

5. Return to the observance of the rites

Back To Top

Back to Collected Wisdom

Home Page