The Master said, T'ai-po may be said to have carried nobility
1. The Master said, T'ai-po may be said to have carried nobility
furthest. Thrice he refused all below heaven. Men were at a loss how
to praise him.
2. The Master said, Without good form attentions grow into fussiness,
heed becomes fearfulness, daring becomes unruliness, frankness becomes
rudeness. When gentlemen are true to kinsfolk, love will thrive among
the people; if they do not forsake old friends,
he people will not
3. When Tseng-tzu lay sick he called his disciples and said, Uncover
my feet, uncover my arms. The poem says,
As if a deep gulf
Were yawning below,
As crossing thin ice,
Take heed how ye go.
My little children, I have known how to keep myself unhurt until now
4. When Tseng-tzu was sick Meng Ching came to ask after him.
Tseng-tzu said, When a bird is dying his notes are sad; when man is
dying his words are good. Three branches of the Way are dear to a
gentleman: To banish from his bearing violence and disdain; to sort
his face to the truth, and to banish from his speech what is low or
unseemly. The ritual of chalice and platter has servitors to see
5. Tseng-tzu said, When we can, to ask those that cannot; when we are
more, to ask those that are less; having, to seem wanting; real, to
seem shadow; when gainsaid, never answering back; I had a friend
once that could do thus.
6. Tseng-tzu said, A man to whom an orphan, a few feet high, or the
fate of an hundred towns, may be entrusted, and whom no crisis can
corrupt, is he not a gentleman, a gentleman indeed?
7. Tseng-tzu said, The knight had need be strong and bold; for his
burden is heavy, the way is far. His burden is love, is it not a heavy
one? No halt before death, is that not far?
8. The Master said, Poetry rouses us, we stand upon courtesy, music is
9. The Master said, The people may be made to follow, we cannot make
10. The Master said, Love of daring and hatred of poverty lead to
crime; a man without love, if he is sorely harassed, turns to crime.
11. The Master said, All the comely gifts of the Duke of Chou,
coupled with pride and meanness, would not be worth a glance.
12. The Master said, A man to whom three years of learning have borne
no fruit would be hard to find.
13. The Master said, A man of simple faith, who loves learning, who
guards and betters his way unto death, will not enter a tottering
kingdom, nor stay in a lawless land. When all below heaven follows the
Way, he is seen; when it loses the Way, he is unseen. While his land
keeps the Way, he is ashamed to be poor and lowly; but when his land
has lost the Way, wealth and honours shame him.
14. The Master said, When out of place, discuss not policy.
15. The Master said, In the first days of the music-master Chih how
the hubbub of the Kuan-chue rose sea beyond sea! How it filled the
16. The Master said, Of men that are zealous, but not straight; dull,
but not simple; helpless, but not truthful, I will know nothing.
17. The Master said, Learn as though the time were short, like one
that fears to lose.
18. The Master said, How wonderful were Shun and Yue! To have all
below heaven was nothing to them!
19. The Master said, How great a lord was Yao! Wonderful! Heaven
alone is great; Yao alone was patterned on it. Vast, boundless! Men's
words failed them. The wonder of the work done by him! The flame of
his art and precepts!
20. Shun had five ministers, and there was order below heaven.
King Wu said, I have ten uncommon ministers.
Confucius said, 'The dearth of talent,' is not that the truth? When
Yue followed T'ang the times were rich in talent; yet there
were but nine men in all, and one woman. In greatness of soul we may
say that Chou was highest: he had two-thirds of all below heaven
and bent it to the service of Yin.
21. The Master said, I see no flaw in Yue. He ate and drank little, yet
he was lavish in piety to the ghosts and spirits. His clothes were
bad, but in his cap and gown he was fair indeed. His palace buildings
were poor, yet he gave his whole strength to dykes and ditches. No
kind of flaw can I see in Yue.