The Master said, "Respectfulness, without the rules of
propriety, becomes laborious bustle; carefulness, without the rules of
propriety, becomes timidity; boldness, without the rules of propriety,
becomes insubordination; straightforwardness, without the rules of
propriety, becomes rudeness.
"When those who are in high stations perform well all their duties to
their relations, the people are aroused to virtue. When old friends are
not neglected by them, the people are preserved from meanness."
The philosopher Tsang being ill, he cared to him the disciples of his
school, and said, "Uncover my feet, uncover my hands. It is said in the
Book of Poetry, 'We should be apprehensive and cautious, as if on the
brink of a deep gulf, as if treading on thin ice, I and so have I been.
Now and hereafter, I know my escape from all injury to my person. O ye,
my little children."
The philosopher Tsang being ill, Meng Chang went to ask how he was.
Tsang said to him, "When a bird is about to die, its notes are
mournful; when a man is about to die, his words are good.
"There are three principles of conduct which the man of high rank should
consider specially important:-that in his deportment and manner he keep
from violence and heedlessness; that in regulating his countenance he
keep near to sincerity; and that in his words and tones he keep far from
lowness and impropriety. As to such matters as attending to the
sacrificial vessels, there are the proper officers for them."
The philosopher Tsang said, "Gifted with ability, and yet putting
questions to those who were not so; possessed of much, and yet putting
questions to those possessed of little; having, as though he had not;
full, and yet counting himself as empty; offended against, and yet
entering into no altercation; formerly I had a friend who pursued this
style of conduct."
The philosopher Tsang said, "Suppose that there is an individual who can
be entrusted with the charge of a young orphan prince, and can be
commissioned with authority over a state of a hundred li, and whom no
emergency however great can drive from his principles:-is such a man a
superior man? He is a superior man indeed."
The philosopher Tsang said, "The officer may not be
without breadth of mind and vigorous endurance. His burden is heavy and
his course is long.
"Perfect virtue is the burden which he considers it is his to
sustain;-is it not heavy? Only with death does his course stop;-is it
The Master said, "It is by the Odes that the mind is aroused. "It is by
the Rules of Propriety that the character is established. "It is from
Music that the finish is received." The Master said, "The people may be
made to follow a path of action,
but they may not be made to understand it."
The Master said, "The man who is fond of daring and is dissatisfied with
poverty, will proceed to insubordination. So will the man who is not
virtuous, when you carry your dislike of him to an extreme."
The Master said, "Though a man have abilities as admirable as those of
the Duke of Chau, yet if he be proud and niggardly, those other things
are really not worth being looked at."
The Master said, "It is not easy to find a man who has learned for three
years without coming to be good."
The Master said, "With sincere faith he unites the love of learning;
holding firm to death, he is perfecting the excellence of his course.
"Such an one will not enter a tottering state, nor dwell in a
disorganized one. When right principles of government prevail in the
kingdom, he will show himself; when they are prostrated, he will keep
"When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are
things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and
honor are things to be ashamed of."
The Master said, "He who is not in any particular office has nothing to
do with plans for the administration of its duties."
The Master said, "When the music master Chih first entered on his
office, the finish of the Kwan Tsu was magnificent;-how it filled the
The Master said, "Ardent and yet not upright, stupid and yet not
attentive; simple and yet not sincere:-such persons I do not
The Master said, "Learn as if you could not reach your object, and were
always fearing also lest you should lose it."
The Master said, "How majestic was the manner in which Shun and Yu held
possession of the empire, as if it were nothing to them!
The Master said, "Great indeed was Yao as a sovereign! How majestic was
he! It is only Heaven that is grand, and only Yao corresponded to it.
How vast was his virtue! The people could find no name for it.
"How majestic was he in the works which he accomplished! How glorious in
the elegant regulations which he instituted!"