The Master "Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant
perseverance and application?"
"Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters? "Is
he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men
may take no note of him?"
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."
"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?"
The Master said, "Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom
associated with true virtue."
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 practiced the instructions
of my teacher."
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
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."
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.
The Master said, "If the scholar be not grave, he will not call forth any
veneration, and his learning will not be solid."
"Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. "Have no friends not equal
to yourself. "
"When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them." 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."
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?"
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?"
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."
The philosopher Yu said, "In practicing 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."
"Yet it is not to be observed in all cases. If one, knowing how such ease should
be prized, manifests it, without regulating it by the rules of propriety, this
likewise is not to be done."
The philosopher Yu said, "When agreements are made according to what is right,
what is spoken can be made good. When respect is shown according to what is
proper, one keeps far from shame and disgrace. When the parties upon whom a man
leans are proper persons to be intimate with, he can make them his guides and
The Master said, "He who aims to be a man of complete virtue in his food does
not seek to gratify his appetite, nor in his dwelling place does he seek the
appliances of ease; he is earnest in what he is doing, and careful in his
speech; he frequents the company of men of principle that he may be
rectified:-such a person may be said indeed to love to learn."
Tsze-kung said, "What do you pronounce concerning the poor man who yet
does not flatter, and the rich man who is not proud?" The Master replied, "They
will do; but they are not equal to him, who, though poor, is yet cheerful, and
to him, who, though rich, loves the rules of propriety."
Tsze-kung replied, "It is said in the Book of Poetry, 'As you cut and then
file, as you carve and then polish.'-The meaning is the same, I apprehend, as
that which you have just expressed."