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The Analects of Confucius (from the Chinese Classics)   By: (551 BC - 479 BC)

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with a translation, critical and exegetical notes, prolegomena, and copious indexes

by James Legge




CHAPTER I. 1. The Master said, 'Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application? 2. 'Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?' 3. 'Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?'

CHAP. II. 1. The philosopher Yu said, 'They are few who, being filial and fraternal, are fond of offending against their superiors. There have been none, who, not liking to offend against their superiors, have been fond of stirring up confusion. 2. 'The superior man bends his attention to what is radical.

That being established, all practical courses naturally grow up. Filial piety and fraternal submission! are they not the root of all benevolent actions?' CHAP. III. The Master said, 'Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.' CHAP. IV. The philosopher Tsang said, 'I daily examine myself on three points: whether, in transacting business for others, I may have been not faithful; whether, in intercourse with friends, I may have been not sincere; whether I may have not mastered and practised the instructions of my teacher.'

CHAP. V. The Master said, To rule a country of a thousand chariots, there must be reverent attention to business, and sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the employment of the people at the proper seasons.' CHAP. VI. The Master said, 'A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all, and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite studies.' CHAP. VII. Tsze hsia said, 'If a man withdraws his mind from the love of beauty, and applies it as sincerely to the love of the virtuous; if, in serving his parents, he can exert his utmost strength;

if, in serving his prince, he can devote his life; if, in his intercourse with his friends, his words are sincere: although men say that he has not learned, I will certainly say that he has.' CHAP. VIII. 1. The Master said, 'If the scholar be not grave, he will not call forth any veneration, and his learning will not be solid. 2. 'Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. 3. 'Have no friends not equal to yourself. 4. 'When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.' CHAP. IX. The philosopher Tsang said, 'Let there be a careful attention to perform the funeral rites to parents, and let them be followed when long gone with the ceremonies of sacrifice; then the virtue of the people will resume its proper excellence.'

CHAP. X. 1. Tsze ch'in asked Tsze kung, saying, 'When our master comes to any country, he does not fail to learn all about its government. Does he ask his information? or is it given to him?' 2. Tsze kung said, 'Our master is benign, upright, courteous, temperate, and complaisant, and thus he gets his information. The master's mode of asking information! is it not different from that of other men?' CHAP. XI. The Master said, 'While a man's father is alive, look at the bent of his will; when his father is dead, look at his conduct. If for three years he does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called filial.'

CHAP. XII. 1. The philosopher Yu said, 'In practising the rules of propriety, a natural ease is to be prized. In the ways prescribed by the ancient kings, this is the excellent quality, and in things small and great we follow them... Continue reading book >>

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