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The Sayings of Confucius.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.


LING, Duke of Wei, asked Confucius about the line of battle.
Confucius answered: “Of temple ware I have learned: arms I have not studied.’
On the morrow he went his way.
In Ch´en grain ran out. His followers grew too ill to rise. Tzu-lu could not hide his vexation.
“Must gentlemen also face misery?” he said.
“Of course a gentleman must face misery,” said the Master. It goads the vulgar to violence.”The Master said: “Dost thou not think, Tz´u, that I am a man who learns much, and bears it in mind?”
“Yes,” he answered: “is it not so?”
“No.” said the Master. “I string all into one.”The Master said: “Yu, how few know what is worthy!”The Master said: “To rule doing nothing, that was Shun’s way. What need to be doing? Self-respect and a kingly look are all.”Tzu-chang asked how to get on.
The Master said: “Be faithful and true of word; let thy walk be plain and lowly: thou wilt get on, though in savage land. If thy words be not faithful and true, the walk plain and lowly, wilt thou get on, though in thine own home? Standing, see these words ranged before thee; driving, see them written upon the yoke. Then thou wilt get on.”
Tzu-chang wrote them upon his girdle.The Master said: “Straight indeed was the historian Yü! Straight as an arrow when right prevailed, and straight as an arrow when wrong prevailed! What a gentleman was Ch´ü Po-yü! When right prevailed he took office: when wrong prevailed he rolled himself up in thought.”The Master said: “To keep silence to him who has ears to hear is to spill the man. To speak to a man without ears to hear is to spill thy words. Wisdom spills neither man nor word.”The Master said: “A high will, or a loving heart, will not seek life at cost of love. To fulfil love they will kill the body.”Tzu-kung asked how to practise love. The Master said: “A workman bent on good work will first sharpen his tools. In the land that is thy home, serve the best men in power, and get thee friends who love.”Yen Yüan asked how to rule a kingdom.
The Master said: “Follow the Hsia seasons; drive in the chariot of Yin; wear the head-dress of Chou; choose for music the Shao and its dance. Banish the strains of Cheng, and shun men of glib tongue; for wanton are the strains of Cheng; there is danger in a glib tongue.”The Master said: “Without thought for far off things, there will be troubles near at hand.”The Master said: “It is finished! I have met no one who loves good as he loves women!”The Master said: “Did not Tsang Wen filch his post? He knew the worth of Liu-hsia Hui, and did not stand by him.”The Master said: “By asking much of self, and throwing little on others, ill feeling is put to flight.”The Master said: “Unless a man ask, ‘Will this help? will that help?’ I know not how to help him.”The Master said: “When all day long there is no talk of right, and sharp moves find favour, the company is in hard case.”The Master said: “A gentleman makes right his base. Done with courtesy, spoken with deference, rounded with truth, right makes a gentleman.”The Master said: “His unworthiness vexes a gentleman: to live unknown cannot vex him,”The Master said: “A gentleman fears lest his name should die when life is done.”The Master said: ‘A gentleman looks within: the vulgar look unto others.”The Master said: “A gentleman is firm, not quarrelsome; a friend, not a partisan.”The Master said: “A gentleman does not raise a man for his words, nor scorn what is said for the speaker.”Tzu-kung asked: “Can one word cover the whole duty of man?”
The Master said: “Fellow-feeling, perhaps. Do not do unto others what thou wouldst not they should do unto thee.”The Master said: “Of the men that I meet, whom do I decry? whom do I flatter? Or if I flatter, it is after trial. Because of this people three lines of kings followed the straight road.”The Master said: “Even in my time an historian would leave a blank in his text, an owner of a horse would lend him to others to ride. To-day it is so no more.”The Master said: “Honeyed words confound goodness: impatience of trifles confounds great projects.”The Master said: “The hatred of the many calls for search: the favour of the many calls for search.”The Master said: “The man can exalt the truth: truth cannot exalt the man.”The Master said: “The fault is to cleave to a fault.”The Master said: “In vain have I spent in thought whole days without food, whole nights without sleep! Study is better.”The Master said: “A gentleman aims at truth; he does not aim at food. Ploughing may end in famine; study may end in pay. But a gentleman pines for truth: he is not pined with poverty.”The Master said: “What the mind has won will be lost again, unless love hold it fast. A mind to understand and love to hold fast, without dignity of bearing, will go unhonoured. A mind to understand, love to hold fast and dignity of bearing are incomplete, without courteous ways.”The Master said: “A gentleman has no skill in trifles, but has strength for big tasks: the vulgar are skilled in trifles, but have no strength for big tasks.”The Master said: “Love is more to the people than fire and water. I have known men come to their death by fire and water: I have met no man whom love brought unto death.”The Master said: “When love is at stake yield not to an army.”The Master said: “A gentleman is consistent, not changeless.”The Master said: “A servant of the king honours work and rates pay last.”The Master said: “All educated men are peers.”The Master said: “Mingle not in projects with men whose ways are not thine.”The Master said: “The whole end of speech is to be understood.”When the music-master Mien was presented, the Master, on coming to the steps, said: “Here are the steps.” On reaching the mat, the Master said: “Here is the mat.” When all were seated, the Master told him: “Such an one is here, and such an one is here.”
After the music-master had left, Tzu-chang said: “Is this the way to speak to a music-master?”
The Master said: “Surely it is the way to help a music-master.”