The Analects

Book 12 (cont.): Yen Yûan


Chapter 11.

Good government obtains only when all the relative duties are maintained.

1. The duke Ching, of Ch'î, asked Confucius about government.

2. Confucius replied, "There is government, when the prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son."

3. "Good!" said the duke; "if, indeed, the prince be not prince, the not minister, the father not father, and the son not son, although I have my revenue, can I enjoy it?"

Chapter 12.

With what ease Tsze-lû could settle litigations.

1. The Master said, "Ah! it is Yû, who could with half a word settle litigations!"

2. Tsze-lû never slept over a promise.

Chapter 13.

To prevent better than to determine litigations.

The Master said, "In hearing litigations, I am like any other body. What is necessary, however, is to cause the people to have no litigations."

Chapter 14.

The art of governing.

Tsze-chang asked about government. The Master said, "The art of governing is to keep its affairs before the mind without weariness, and to practice them with undeviating consistency."

Chapter 15.

Hardly diferent from Book 6 Chapter 25.

The Master said, "By extensively studying all learning, and keeping himself under the restraint of the rules of propriety, one may thus likewise not err from what is right."

Chapter 16.

Opposite influence upon others of the superior man and the mean man.

The Master said, "The superior man seeks to perfect the admirable qualities of men, and does not seek to perfect their bad qualities. The mean man does the opposite of this."

Chapter 17.

Government moral in its end, and efficient by example.

Chî K'ang asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied, "To govern means to rectify. If you lead on the people with correctness, who will dare not to be correct?"

Chapter 18.

The people are made thieves by the example of their rulers.

Chî K'ang, distressed about the number of thieves in the state, inquired of Confucius how to do away with them. Confucius said, "If you, sir, were not covetous, although you should reward them to do it, they would not steal."

Chapter 19.

Killing not to be talked of by rulers; the effect of their example.

Chî K'ang asked Confucius about government, saying, "What do you say to killing the unprincipled for the good of the principled?" Confucius replied, "Sir, in carrying on your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be good. The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend, when the wind blows across it."

Chapter 20.

The man of true distinction, and the man of true notoriety.

1. Tsze-chang asked, "What must the officer be, who may be said to be distinguished?"

2. The Master said, "What is it you call being distinguished?"

3. Tsze-chang replied, "It is to be heard of through the state, to be heard of throughout his clan."

4. The Master said, "That is notoriety, not distinction.

5. "Now the man of distinction is solid and straightforward, and loves righteousness. He examines people's words, and looks at their countenances. He is anxious to humble himself to others. Such a man will be distinguished in the country; he will be distinguished in his clan.

6. "As to the man of notoriety, he assumes the appearance of virtue, but his actions are opposed to it, and he rests in this character without any doubts about himself. Such a man will be heard of in the country; he will be heard of in the clan."

Chapter 21.

How to exalt virtue, correct vice, and discover delusions.

1. Fan Ch'ih rambling with the Master under the trees about the rain altars, said, "I venture to ask how to exalt virtue, to correct cherished evil, and to discover delusions."

2. The Master said, "Truly a good question!

3. "If doing what is to be done be made the first business, and success a secondary consideration:-- is not this the way to exalt virtue? To assail one's own wickedness and not assail that of others;-- is not this the way to correct cherished evil? For a morning's anger to disregard one's own life, and involve that of his parents;-- is not this a case of delusion?"

Chapter 22.

About benevolence and wisdom;-- how knowledge subserves benevolence.

1. Fan Ch'ih asked about benevolence. The Master said, "It is to love all men." He asked about knowledge. The Master said, "It is to know all men."

2. Fan Ch'ih did not immediately understand these answers.

3. The Master said, "Employ the upright and put aside all the crooked; in this way the crooked can be made to be upright."

4. Fan Ch'ih retired, and, seeing Tsze-hsiâ, he said to him, "A Little while ago, I had an interview with our Master, and asked him about knowledge. He said, 'Employ the upright, and put aside all the crooked;-- in this way, the crooked will be made to be upright.' What did he mean?"

5. Tsze-hsiâ said, "Truly rich is his saying!

6. "Shun, being in possession of the kingdom, selected from among all the people, and employed Kâo-yâo, on which all who were devoid of virtue disappeared. T'ang, being in possession of the kingdom, selected from among all the people, and employed Î Yin, and an who were devoid of virtue disappeared."

Chapter 23.

Prudence in friendship.

Tsze-kung asked about friendship. The Master said, "Faithfully admonish your friend, and skillfully lead him on. If you find him impracticable, stop. Do not disgrace yourself."

Chapter 24.

The friendship of the Chün-tsze.

The philosopher Tsang said, "The superior man on grounds of culture meets with his friends, and by friendship helps his virtue."