The Analects

Book 2: Wei Chang


Chapter I.

The influence of virtue in a ruler.

The Master said, "He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it."

Chapter 2.

The pure design of the Book of Poetry.

The Master said, "In the Book of Poetry are three hundred pieces, but the design of them all may be embraced in one sentence -- 'Having no depraved thoughts.'"

Chapter 3.

How rulers should prefer moral appliances.

1. The Master said, "If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame.

2. "If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of shame, and moreover will become good."

Chapter 4.

Confucius's own account of his gradual progress and attainments.

1. The Master said, "At fifteen, I had my mind bent on learning.

2. "At thirty, I stood firm.

3. "At forty, I had no doubts.

4. "At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven.

5. "At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reception of truth.

6. "At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, without transgressing what was right."

Chapter 5.

Filial piety must be shown according to the rules of propriety.

1. Mang Î asked what filial piety was. The Master said, "It is not being disobedient."

2. Soon after, as Fan Ch'ih was driving him, the Master told him, saying, "Mang-sun asked me what filial piety was, and I answered him, -- 'not being disobedient.'"

3. Fan Ch'ih said, "What did you mean?" The Master replied, "That parents, when alive, be served according to propriety; that, when dead, they should be buried according to propriety; and that they should be sacrificed to according to propriety."

Chapter 6.

The anxiety of parents about their children an argument for filial piety.

Mang Wû asked what filial piety was. The Master said, "Parents are anxious lest their children should be sick."

Chapter 7.

How there must be reverence in filial duty.

Tsze-yû asked what filial piety was. The Master said, "The filial piety nowadays means the support of one's parents. But dogs and horses likewise are able to do something in the way of support;-- without reverence, what is there to distinguish the one support given from the other?"

Chapter 8.

The duties of filial piety must be performed with a cheerful countenance.

Tsze-hsiâ asked what filial piety was. The Master said, "The difficulty is with the countenance. If, when their elders have any troublesome affairs, the young take the toil of them, and if, when the young have wine and food, they set them before their elders, is THIS to be considered filial piety?"

Chapter 9.

The quiet receptivity of the disciple Hûi.

The Master said, "I have talked with Hûi for a whole day, and he has not made any objection to anything I said;-- as if he were stupid. He has retired, and I have examined his conduct when away from me, and found him able to illustrate my teachings. Hûi! -- He is not stupid."

Chapter 10.

How to determine the characters of men.

1. The Master said, "See what a man does.

2. "Mark his motives.

3. "Examine in what things he rests.

4. "How can a man conceal his character? How can a man conceal his character?"

Chapter 11.

To be able to teach others one must from his old stores be continually developing things new.

The Master said, "If a man keeps cherishing his old knowledge, so as continually to be acquiring new, he may be a teacher of others."

Chapter 12.

The general aptitude of the Chün-tsze.

The Master said, "The accomplished scholar is not a utensil."

Chapter 13.

How with the superior man words follow actions.

Tsze-kung asked what constituted the superior man. The Master said, "He acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions."