Nonfiction > Harvard Classics > The Sayings of Confucius
   The Sayings of Confucius.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
[1]  THE MASTER said: “In learning and straightway practising is there not pleasure also? When friends gather round from afar do we not rejoice? Whom lack of fame cannot vex is not he a gentleman?”
[2]    Yu-tzu 1 said: “A dutiful son and brother is seldom fond of thwarting those over him: a man unwilling to thwart those over him is never given to crime. A gentleman nurses the roots: when the root has taken, the truth will grow; and what are the roots of love, but the duty of son and of brother?”
[3]    The Master said: “Honeyed words and flattering looks seldom speak of love.”
[4]    Tseng-tzu 2 said: “Thrice daily I ask myself: ‘Have I been unfaithful in dealing for others? Have I been untrue to friends? Do I practise what I preach?’”
[5]    The Master said: “To guide a land of a thousand chariots, honour business, be true and sparing, love the people, and time thy claims upon them.”
[6]    The Master said: “The young should be dutiful at home, modest abroad, heedful and true, full of goodwill for the many, close friends with love; and should they have strength to spare, let them spend it upon the arts.”
[7]    Tzu-hsia 3 said: “If a man honour worth and forsake lust, serve father and mother with all his strength, be ready to give his life for the king, and keep faith with his friends; though men may call him rude, I call him learned.”
[8]    The Master said: “Of a gentleman who is frivolous none stand in awe, nor can his learning be sound. Make faithfulness and truth thy masters: have no friends unlike thyself: be not ashamed to mend thy faults.”
[9]    Tseng-tzu 4 said: “Respect death and recall forefathers, the good in men will again grow sturdy.”
[10]    Tzu-ch´in 5 said to Tzu-kung 6: “The Master, on coming to a country, learns all about the government: does he ask, or is it told him?”
  Tzu-kung said: “The Master learns it by his warmth and honesty, by politeness, modesty, and yielding. The way that the Master asks is unlike other men’s asking.”
[11]    The Master said: “As long as his father lives a son should study his wishes; after he is dead, he should study his life. If for three years he do not forsake his father’s ways, he may be called dutiful.”
[12]    Yu-tzu 7 said: “In daily courtesy ease is of price. This was the beauty of the old kings’ ways; this they followed in small and great. But knowing this, it is not right to give way to ease, unchecked by courtesy. This also is wrong.”
[13]    Yu-tzu said: “If promises hug the right, word can be kept: if attentions are bounded by courtesy, shame will be banished: heroes may be worshipped, if we choose them aright.”
[14]    The Master said: “A gentleman who is not a greedy eater, nor a lover of ease at home, who is earnest in deed and careful of speech, who seeks the righteous and profits by them, may be called fond of learning.”
[15]    Tzu-kung said: “Poor, but no flatterer; rich, but not proud. How were that?”
  “Good,” said the Master; “but better still were poor, yet merry; rich, yet courteous.”
  Tzu-kung said: “Where the poem says:
        ‘If ye cut, if ye file,
If ye polish and grind’;
is that what is meant?”
  The Master said: “Now I can talk of poetry to thee, Tz´u. Given a clue, thou canst find the way.”
[16]    The Master said: “Not to be known should not grieve you: grieve that ye know not men.”
Note 1. Disciples. [back]
Note 2. Disciples. [back]
Note 3. Disciples. [back]
Note 4. Disciples. [back]
Note 5. Disciples. [back]
Note 6. Disciples. [back]
Note 7. Disciples. [back]


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