The Master said: Guide the people by law, subdue them by punishment; they may shun crime, but will be void of shame. Guide them by example, subdue them by courtesy; they will learn shame, and come to be good.
The Master said: At fifteen, I was bent on study; at thirty, I could stand; at forty, doubts ceased; at fifty, I understood the laws of Heaven; at sixty, my ears obeyed me; at seventy, I could do as my heart lusted, and never swerve from right.
As Fan Ch´ih1 was driving him, the Master said: Meng-sun2 asked me the duty of a son; I answered Obedience. What did ye mean? said Fan Ch´ih. To serve our parents with courtesy whilst they live, said the Master; to bury them with all courtesy when they die; and to worship them with all courtesy.
Tzu-yu3 asked the duty of a son. The Master said: To-day a man is called dutiful if he keep his father and mother. But we keep both our dogs and horses, and unless we honour parents, is it not all one?
Tzu-chang6 studied with an eye to pay. The Master said: Listen much, keep silent when in doubt, and always take heed of the tongue; thou wilt make few mistakes. See much, beware of pitfalls, and always give heed to thy walk; thou wilt have little to rue. If thy words are seldom wrong, thy deeds leave little to rue, pay will follow.
Duke Ai7 asked: What should be done to make the people loyal? Confucius answered: Exalt the straight, set aside the crooked, the people will be loyal. Exalt the crooked, set aside the straight, the people will be disloyal.
Chi K´ang8 asked how to make the people lowly, faithful, and willing. The Master said: Behave with dignity, they will be lowly: be pious and merciful, they will be faithful: exalt the good, teach the unskilful, they will grow willing.
One said to Confucius: Why are ye not in power, Sir? The Master answered: What does the book say of a good son? An always dutiful son, who is a friend to his brothers, showeth the way to rule. This also is to rule. What need to be in power?
Tzu-chang asked whether we can know what is to be ten generations hence. The Master said: The Yin9 inherited the manners of the Hsia;10 the harm and the good that they wrought them is known. The Chou11 inherited the manners of the Yin; the harm and the good that they wrought them is known. And we may know what is to be, even an hundred generations hence, when others follow Chou.