The Master said, "It is virtuous manners which constitute the excellence
of a neighborhood. If a man in selecting a residence do not fix on one
where such prevail, how can he be wise?"
The Master said, "Those who are without virtue cannot abide long either
in a condition of poverty and hardship, or in a condition of enjoyment.
The virtuous rest in virtue; the wise desire virtue."
The Master said, "It is only the truly virtuous man, who can love, or
who can hate, others."
The Master said, "If the will be set on virtue, there will be no
practice of wickedness."
The Master said, "Riches and honors are what men desire. If they cannot
be obtained in the proper way, they should not be held. Poverty and
meanness are what men dislike. If they cannot be avoided in the proper
way, they should not be avoided.
"If a superior man abandon virtue, how can he fulfill the requirements
of that name?
"The superior man does not, even for the space of a single meal, act
contrary to virtue. In moments of haste, he cleaves to it. In seasons of
danger, he cleaves to it."
The Master said, "I have not seen a person who loved virtue, or one who
hated what was not virtuous. He who loved virtue, would esteem nothing
above it. He who hated what is not virtuous, would practice virtue in
such a way that he would not allow anything that is not virtuous to
approach his person.
"Is any one able for one day to apply his strength to virtue? I have not
seen the case in which his strength would be insufficient.
"Should there possibly be any such case, I have not seen it." The Master
said, "The faults of men are characteristic of the class to which they
belong. By observing a man's faults, it may be known that he is
The Master said, "If a man in the morning hear the right way, he may die
in the evening hear regret."
The Master said, "A scholar, whose mind is set on truth, and who is ashamed of
bad clothes and bad food, is not fit to be discoursed with."
The Master said, "The superior man, in the world, does not set his mind either
for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow."
The Master said, "The superior man thinks of virtue; the small man thinks of
comfort. The superior man thinks of the sanctions of law; the small man thinks
of favors which he may receive."
The Master said: "He who acts with a constant view to his own advantage will be
much murmured against."
The Master said, "If a prince is able to govern his kingdom with the
complaisance proper to the rules of propriety, what difficulty will he have? If
he cannot govern it with that complaisance, what has he to do with the rules of
The Master said, "A man should say, I am not concerned that I have no place, I
am concerned how I may fit myself for one. I am not concerned that I am not
known, I seek to be worthy to be known."
The Master said, "Shan, my doctrine is that of an all-pervading unity." The
disciple Tsang replied, "Yes."
The Master went out, and the other disciples asked, saying, "What do his words
mean?" Tsang said, "The doctrine of our master is to be true to the
principles-of our nature and the benevolent exercise of them to others,-this and
The Master said, "The mind of the superior man is conversant with righteousness;
the mind of the mean man is conversant with gain."
The Master said, "When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them;
when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine
The Master said, "In serving his parents, a son may remonstrate with them, but
gently; when he sees that they do not incline to follow his advice, he shows an
increased degree of reverence, but does not abandon his purpose; and should they
punish him, he does not allow himself to murmur."
The Master said, "While his parents are alive, the son may not go abroad to a
distance. If he does go abroad, he must have a fixed place to which he goes."