The Analects

Book 6 (cont.): Yung Yêy


Chapter 15.

A lament over the waywardness of men's conduct.

The Master said, "Who can go out but by the door? How is it that men will not walk according to these ways?"

Chapter 16.

The equal blending of solid excellence and ornamental accomplishments in a complete character.

The Master said, "Where the solid qualities are in excess of accomplishments, we have rusticity; where the accomplishments are in excess of the solid qualities, we have the manners of a clerk. When the accomplishments and solid qualities are equally blended, we then have the man of virtue."

Chapter 17.

Life without uprightness is not true life, and cannot be calculated on.

The Master said, "Man is born for uprightness. If a man lose his uprightness, and yet live, his escape from death is the effect of mere good fortune."

Chapter 18.

Different stages of attainment.

The Master said, "They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it."

Chapter 19.

Teachers must be guided in communicating knowledge by the susceptivity of the learners.

The Master said, "To those whose talents are above mediocrity, the highest subjects may be announced. To those who are below mediocrity, the highest subjects may not be announced."

Chapter 20.

Chief elements in wisdom and virtue.

Fan Ch'ih asked what constituted wisdom. The Master said, "To give one's self earnestly to the duties due to men, and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, may be called wisdom." He asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, "The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business, and success only a subsequent consideration;-- this may be called perfect virtue."

Chapter 21.

Contrasts of the wise and the virtuous.

The Master said, "The wise find pleasure in water; the virtuous find pleasure in hills. The wise are active; the virtuous are tranquil. The wise are joyful; the virtuous are long-lived."

Chapter 22.

The condition of the States Chî and Lû.

The Master said, "Ch'î, by one change, would come to the State of Lû. Lû, by one change, would come to a State where true principles predominated."

Chapter 23.

The name without the reality is folly.

The Master said, "A cornered vessel without corners. -- A strange cornered vessel! A strange cornered vessel!"

Chapter 24.

The benevolent exercise their benevolence with prudence.

Tsâi Wo asked, saying, "A benevolent man, though it be told him, -- 'There is a man in the well" will go in after him, I suppose." Confucius said, "Why should he do so? A superior man may be made to go to the well, but he cannot be made to go down into it. He may be imposed upon, but he cannot be fooled."

Chapter 25.

The happy effect of learning and propriety combined.

The Master said, "The superior man, extensively studying all learning, and keeping himself under the restraint of the rules of propriety, may thus likewise not overstep what is right."

Chapter 26.

Confucius vindicates himself for visiting the unworthy Nan-tsze.

The Master having visited Nan-tsze, Tsze-lû was displeased, on which the Master swore, saying, "Wherein I have done improperly, may Heaven reject me! may Heaven reject me!"

Chapter 27.

The defective practice of of the people in Confucius's time.

The Master said, "Perfect is the virtue which is according to the Constant Mean! Rare for a long time has been its practice among the people."

Chapter 28.

The true nature and art of virtue.

1. Tsze-kung said, "Suppose the case of a man extensively conferring benefits on the people, and able to assist all, what would you say of him? Might he be called perfectly virtuous?" The Master said, "Why speak only of virtue in connection with him? Must he not have the qualities of a sage? Even Yâo and Shun were still solicitous about this.

2. "Now the man of perfect virtue, wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others.

3. "To be able to judge of others by what is nigh in ourselves;-- this may be called the art of virtue."