Analects of Confucius, Book 2

Chapter I
子曰:「為政以德,譬如北辰,居其所而眾星共之。」
Confucius said: “A ruler who governs by the power of virtue is like the Pole Star, which remains fixed in place while all the other stars orbit respectfully around it.”

Chapter II
子曰:「詩三百,一言以蔽之,曰:思無邪。」
Confucius said: “There are three hundred poems in the Book of Songs, but the meaning of them can be summed up in a single phrase: ‘Hey, do not stray from the right path.’”

Chapter III
子曰:「道之以政,齊之以刑,民免而無恥;道之以德,齊之以禮,有恥且格。」
Confucius said: “If you rule people by laws and regulations and keep them under control through punishments, they will evade them and have no sense of shame. If you lead them by virtue and keep them in line with the rites, they will develop a sense of shame and unite behind you.”

Chapter IV
子曰:「吾十有五而志于學,三十而立,四十而不惑,五十而知天命,六十而耳順,七十而從心所欲,不踰矩。」
Confucius said: “At fifteen, I applied my mind to learning. At thirty, I set my course. At forty, I had no doubts. At fifty, I knew the will of Heaven. At sixty my ear was attuned. At seventy, I followed all my heart’s desires without overstepping the line.”

Chapter V
孟懿子問孝。子曰:「無違。」樊遲御,子告之曰:「孟孫問孝於我,我對曰,『無違。』」樊遲曰:「何謂也?」子曰:「生,事之以禮;死,葬之以禮,祭之以禮。」
Meng Yizi asked Confucius about filial piety. Confucius said: “Never disobey.” While Fan Chi was driving him in his chariot, Confucius told him: “Meng Yizi asked me about filial piety and I replied: ‘Never disobey.’” Fan Chi asked: “What does that mean?” Confucius replied: “When your parents are alive, serve them according to the rites. When they die, bury them according to the rites, and make sacrifices to them according to the rites.”

Chapter VI
孟武伯問孝。子曰:「父母唯其疾之憂。」
Meng Wubo asked about filial piety. Confucius said: “The only time a son should make his parents worried is when he is sick.”

Chapter VII
子游問孝。子曰:「今之孝者,是謂能養。至於犬馬,皆能有養;不敬,何以別乎。」
Ziyou asked about filial piety. Confucius said: “These days, men regard themselves as dutiful sons simply by feeding their parents. But they also feed their dogs and horses. Unless they show their parents due respect, what’s the difference?”

Chapter VIII
子夏問孝。子曰:「色難。有事,弟子服其勞;有酒食,先生饌,曾是以為孝乎?」
Zixia asked about filial piety. Confucius said: “It is the attitude that counts. If young people just offer their help when there is work to do, or serve their elders wine and food when they need to drink and eat, how could this ever be considered as filial piety?”

Chapter IX
子曰:「吾與回言終日,不違如愚。退而省其私,亦足以發,回也不愚。」
Confucius said: “I can talk to Yan Hui all day without him ever arguing with me, as if he is stupid. But when I take a close look at how he behaves in private after he has retired from my presence, I can see that he has learned everything I have taught him. Indeed, Hui is not stupid at all.”

Chapter X
子曰:「視其所以,觀其所由,察其所安。人焉廋哉?人焉廋哉?」
Confucius said: “Observe a man’s motives, examine how he pursues them, and find out what makes him feel at peace. How then can he conceal his true character? How then can he conceal his true character?”

Chapter XI
子曰:「溫故而知新,可以為師矣。」
Confucius said: “A man who brings new meaning to the old in order to understand the new is worthy of being a teacher.”

Chapter XII
子曰:「君子不器。」
Confucius said: “A leader is not a vessel.”

Chapter XIII
子貢問君子。子曰:「先行其言,而後從之。」
Zigong asked what constitutes a leader. Confucius said: “Someone who practices what he preaches.”

Chapter XIV
子曰:「君子周而不比,小人比而不周。」
Confucius said: “A leader looks at a question from every perspective. A small-minded man looks at a question from his own perspective.”

Chapter XV
子曰:「學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。」
Confucius said: “Learning without thinking is futile. Thinking without learning is perilous.”

Chapter XVI
子曰:「攻乎異端,斯害也己。」
Confucius said: “To attack a question from the wrong starting point is harmful.”

Chapter XVII
子曰:「由!誨女知之乎!知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。」
Confucius said: “Zilu, let me teach you what knowledge is. Recognize what you know as what you know and what you don’t know as what you don’t know. That is knowledge.”

Chapter XVIII
子張學干祿。子曰:「多聞闕疑,慎言其餘,則寡尤。多見闕殆,慎行其餘,則寡悔。言寡尤,行寡悔,祿在其中矣。」
Zizhang was studying with the aim of securing an official position. Confucius said: “Listen for as much information as possible, but ignore anything that is suspect, and be cautious when talking about the rest; that way you will only rarely say anything out of place. Observe as much as possible, ignore anything that is dangerous, and be cautious about applying the rest to your actions; that way you will rarely have reason for regret. By making few mistakes in what you say and minimizing the number regrets for missteps, your career is set.”

Chapter XIX
哀公問曰:「何為則民服?」孔子對曰:「舉直錯諸枉,則民服;舉枉錯諸直,則民不服。」
Duke Ai asked: “What should I do to win the support of the people?” Confucius replied: “Promote the ethical and place them above the unethical, and the people will support you. Promote the unethical and place them above the ethical, and the people will not support you.”

Chapter XX
季康子問:「使民敬忠以勸,如之何?」子曰:「臨之以莊則敬,孝慈則忠,舉善而教不能則勸。」
Ji Kangzi asked: “What should I do to make the people respectful, loyal, and eager to follow me? Confucius said: “Treat them with dignity, and they will be respectful. Show you are a good son and a loving father, and they will be loyal. Promote the good and teach those who lack ability, and they will be eager to follow you.”

Chapter XXI
或謂孔子曰:「子奚不為政?」子曰:「書云:『孝乎惟孝,友于兄弟,施於有政。』是亦為政,奚其為為政?」
Someone asked Confucius: “Sir, why don’t you take part in government?” Confucius replied: “In the Book of Documents it says: ‘Simply by acting as a good son and being kind to your brothers, you will be contributing to the smooth running of the government.’ In doing this, you are already engaging in government; why do you need to make a conscious effort to actively take part in government?”

Chapter XXII
子曰:「人而無信,不知其可也。大車無輗,小車無軏,其何以行之哉?」
Confucius said: “I wouldn’t know what to do with someone whose word cannot be trusted. How would you pull a wagon without a yoke-bar or a chariot without a collar-bar?”

Chapter XXIII
子張問:「十世可知也?」子曰:「殷因於夏禮,所損益可知也;周因於殷禮,所損益可知也。其或繼周者,雖百世,可知也。」
Zizhang asked: “Can we predict the future ten generations from now?” Confucius said: “The Yin dynasty adopted the rites of the Xia dynasty; we know what was discarded and what was added. The Zhou dynasty adopted the rites of the Yin dynasty: we know what was discarded and what was added. If the Zhou dynasty has successors, we know what they will be like, even a hundred generations from now.”

Chapter XXIV
子曰:「非其鬼而祭之,諂也。見義不為,無勇也。」
Confucius said: “To sacrifice to spirits that don’t belong to your ancestors is presumptuous. To do nothing when rightness demands action is cowardice.”

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