The Duke Ling of Wei asked Confucius about tactics. Confucius replied, "I have heard all about sacrificial vessels, but I have not learned military matters." On this, he took his departure the next day.
When he was in Chan, their provisions were exhausted, and his followers became so in that they were unable to rise.
Tsze-lu, with evident dissatisfaction, said, "Has the
superior man likewise to endure in this way?" The Master said, "The
superior man may indeed have to endure want, but the mean man, when he
is in want, gives way to unbridled license."
The Master said, "When a man may be spoken with, not to
speak to him is to err in reference to the man. When a man may not be
spoken with, to speak to him is to err in reference to our words. The
wise err neither in regard to their man nor to their words."
The Master said, "What the superior man seeks, is in himself. What the mean man
seeks, is in others."
The Master said, "The superior man is dignified, but does not wrangle. He is sociable, but not a partisan."
The Master said, "The superior man does not promote a man simply on account of his words, nor does he put aside good words because of the man."
Tsze-kung asked, saying, "Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life?" The Master said, "Is not RECIPROCITY such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others."
The Master said, "In my dealings with men, whose evil do I blame, whose goodness do I praise, beyond what is proper? If I do sometimes exceed in praise, there must be ground for it in my examination of the individual.
"This people supplied the ground why the three dynasties pursued the path of straightforwardness."
The Master said, "Even in my early days, a historiographer would leave a blank in his text, and he who had a horse would lend him to another to ride. Now, alas! there are no such things."
The Master said, "Specious words confound virtue. Want of forbearance in small matters confounds great plans."
The Master said, "When the multitude hate a man, it is necessary to examine into the case. When the multitude like a man, it is necessary to examine into the case."
The Master said, "A man can enlarge the principles which he follows; those principles do not enlarge the man."
The Master said, "To have faults and not to reform them,-this, indeed, should be pronounced having faults."
The Master said, "I have been the whole day without eating, and the whole night without sleeping:-occupied with thinking. It was of no use. better plan is to learn."
The Master said, "The object of the superior man is truth. Food is not his object. There is plowing;-even in that there is sometimes want. So with learning;-emolument may be found in it. The superior man is anxious lest he should not get truth; he is not anxious lest poverty should come upon him."
The Master said, "When a man's knowledge is sufficient to attain, and his virtue is not sufficient to enable him to hold, whatever he may have gained, he will lose again.
"When his knowledge is sufficient to attain, and he has virtue enough to hold fast, if he cannot govern with dignity, the people will not respect him.
"When his knowledge is sufficient to attain, and he has virtue enough to hold fast; when he governs also with dignity, yet if he try to move the people contrary to the rules of propriety:-full excellence is not reached."
The Master said, "The superior man cannot be known in little matters; but he may be intrusted with great concerns. The small man may not be intrusted with great concerns, but he may be known in little matters."
The Master said, "Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue."
The Master said, "Let every man consider virtue as what devolves on himself. He may not yield the performance of it even to his teacher."
The Master said, "The superior man is correctly firm, and not firm merely."
The Master said, "A minister, in serving his prince, reverently discharges his duties, and makes his emolument a secondary consideration."
The Master said, "In teaching there should be no distinction of classes."
The Master said, "Those whose courses are different cannot lay plans for one another."
The Master said, "In language it is simply required that it convey the meaning."
The music master, Mien, having called upon him, when they came to the steps, the Master said, "Here are the steps." When they came to the mat for the guest to sit upon, he said, "Here is the mat." When all were seated, the Master informed him, saying, "So and so is here; so and so is here."
The music master, Mien, having gone out, Tsze-chang asked, saying. "Is it the rule to tell those things to the music master?"
The Master said, "Yes. This is certainly the rule for those who lead the blind."