Analects of Confucius: on ritual

Ritual (禮/) consists of a combination of elaborate ceremonies and unwritten rules of behavior that govern smooth social interactions. The term has also been translated as “rites”, “rules”, “rules of proprietary”, “rules of behavior”, “courtesy”, “manners”, “etiquette” or “ethics”. Numerous references to the rites can be found in The Analects.

Book 1, Chapter XII
Book 1, Chapter XIII
Book 1, Chapter XV
Book 2, Chapter III
Book 2, Chapter V
Book 2, Chapter XXXIII
Book 3, Chapter I
Book 3, Chapter II
Book 3, Chapter III
Book 3, Chapter IV
Book 3, Chapter VI
Book 3, Chapter VII
Book 3, Chapter VIII
Book 3, Chapter IX
Book 3, Chapter X
Book 3, Chapter XI
Book 3, Chapter XII
Book 3, Chapter XV
Book 3, Chapter XVII
Book 3, Chapter XVIII
Book 3, Chapter XIX
Book 3, Chapter XXII
Book 3, Chapter XXVI
Book 4, Chapter XIII
Book 6, Chapter XXVII
Book 7, Chapter IX
Book 7, Chapter XVII
Book 7, Chapter XXX
Book 8, Chapter II
Book 8, Chapter VIII
Book 9, Chapter III
Book 9, Chapter X
Book 9, Chapter XI
Book 9, Chapter XII
Book 9, Chapter XV
Book 9, Chapter XVI
Book 10, Chapter I
Book 10, Chapter II
Book 10, Chapter III
Book 10, Chapter IV
Book 10, Chapter V
Book 10, Chapter VI
Book 10, Chapter VII
Book 10, Chapter VIII
Book 10, Chapter IX
Book 10, Chapter X
Book 10, Chapter XI
Book 10, Chapter XII
Book 10, Chapter XIII
Book 10, Chapter XIV
Book 10, Chapter XV
Book 10, Chapter XVI
Book 10, Chapter XVIII
Book 10, Chapter XIX
Book 10, Chapter XX
Book 10, Chapter XXI
Book 10, Chapter XXII
Book 10, Chapter XXIII
Book 10, Chapter XXIV
Book 10, Chapter XXV
Book 10, Chapter XXVI
Book 11, Chapter I
Book 11, Chapter VIII
Book 11, Chapter X
Book 11, Chapter XI
Book 11, Chapter XXVI
Book 12, Chapter I
Book 12, Chapter II
Book 12, Chapter V
Book 12, Chapter XV
Book 13, Chapter III
Book 13, Chapter IV
Book 14, Chapter XII
Book 14, Chapter XL
Book 14, Chapter XLI
Book 14, Chapter XLIV
Book 15, Chapter XVIII
Book 15, Chapter XXXIII
Book 16, Chapter II
Book 16, Chapter V
Book 16, Chapter XIII
Book 17, Chapter I
Book 17, Chapter IV
Book 17, Chapter XI
Book 17, Chapter XX
Book 17, Chapter XXI
Book 17, Chapter XXIV
Book 20, Chapter III

Book 1
Chapter XII
有子曰:「禮之用,和為貴。先王之道,斯為美,小大由之,有所不行,知和而和,不以禮節之,亦不可行也。」
Youzi said: “When practicing ritual, harmony is the key. This is what made the Way of the ancient kings so beautiful and inspired their every action, no matter how great or small. But they also knew where to draw the line, recognizing that if harmony is not governed by ritual everything will fall out of balance.”

Chapter XIII
有子曰:「信近於義,言可復也。恭近於禮,遠恥辱也。因不失其親,亦可宗也。」
Youzi said: “Trustworthiness is close to rightness because it means that your word can be counted on. Reverence is close to ritual because it means that you avoid shame and disgrace. Never losing sight of these virtues is worthy of respect.”

Chapter XV
子貢曰:「貧而無諂,富而無驕,何如?」子曰:「可也,未若貧而樂,富而好禮者也。」子貢曰:「詩云:『如切如磋,如琢如磨』,其斯之謂與?」子曰:「賜也,始可與言詩已矣,告諸往而知來者。」
Zigong said: “’Poor but not subservient; wealthy but not arrogant.’ What do you think of that?” Confucius said: “Not bad, but this would be better still: ‘Poor but content; wealthy but loves ritual.’” Zigong said: “In the Book of Songs it is said: ‘Like carving and polishing stones, like cutting and grinding gems.’ Is this not the same idea?” Confucius said: “Wonderful, Zigong! At last I can discuss the Book of Songs with you! I only have to tell you what came before, and you can work out what comes next!”

Book 2
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 govern people by laws and regulations and keep them under control through punishments, they will evade them and have no sense of shame. If you govern them by the power of virtue and keep them in line with the rites, they will develop a sense of shame and unite behind you of their own accord.”

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 be disobedient.” While Fan Chi was driving him in his chariot, Confucius told him: “Meng Yizi asked me about filial piety and I replied: ‘Never be disobedient.’” 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 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.”

Book 3
Chapter I
孔子謂季氏,「八佾舞於庭,是可忍也,孰不可忍也?」
When he heard that the head of the Ji Family used eight rows of dancers to perform in the ceremonies at his ancestral temple, Confucius commented: “If he is capable of that, what isn’t he capable of?”

Chapter II
三家者以雍徹。子曰:「『相維辟公,天子穆穆』,奚取於三家之堂?」
When the Three Families performed the Yong ode while the vessels were being removed at the end of their ancestral sacrifices, Confucius said: “‘The lords are in attendance, the Son of Heaven sits solemnly on his throne.’ How can such words be used in the halls of the Three Families?”

Chapter III
子曰:「人而不仁,如禮何?人而不仁,如樂何?」
Confucius said: “If a man has no goodness, what can he have to do with the rites? If a man has no goodness, what can he have to do with music?”

Chapter IV
林放問禮之本。子曰:「大哉問!禮,與其奢也,寧儉;喪,與其易也,寧戚。」
Lin Fang asked: “What is the essence of the rites?” Confucius said: “That is a big question! For festive ceremonies, simplicity is better than extravagance; for funerals, genuine grief is better than excessive formality.”

Chapter VI
季氏旅於泰山,子謂冉有曰:「女弗能救與?」對曰:「不能。」子曰:「嗚呼!曾謂泰山不如林放乎?」
The head of the Ji Family was about to set off to carry out a sacrifice on Mount Tai. Confucius said to Ran Qiu: “Can you not stop this?” Ran Qiu replied: “I cannot.” The Master said: “Oh no! Has it ever been said that the spirit of Mount Tai have even less knowledge of the rites than Lin Fang?”

Chapter VII
子曰:「君子無所爭,必也射乎!揖讓而升,下而飲。其爭也君子。」
Confucius said: “A leader avoids competing with others. But if he does have to compete, it should be at archery. As he bows and exchange courtesies before the contest and enjoy drinks after it, he still remains a leader even when competing.”

Chapter VIII
子夏問曰:「巧笑倩兮,美目盼兮,素以為絢兮。何謂也?」子曰:「繪事後素。」曰:「禮後乎?」子曰:「起予者商也!始可與言詩矣。」
Zixia asked: “What do these verses mean: ‘Ah, the lovely dimples of her artful smile
Ah, the black and white of her beautiful eyes! It’s on plain white silk that colors sparkle.’” Confucius said: “Painting comes after plain white silk.” Zixia said: “Are the rites also something that comes afterwards?” Confucius said: “You have opened up my eyes to true meaning of these verses! It is only with a man like you that I can discuss the Book of Songs!”

Chapter IX
子曰:「夏禮,吾能言之,杞不足徵也;殷禮,吾能言之,宋不足徵也。文獻不足故也。足,則吾能徵之矣。」
Confucius said: “How can I talk about the rites of the Xia Dynasty? The state of Qi has not preserved sufficient evidence. How can I talk about the rites of Yin Dynasty? The state of Song has not preserved sufficient evidence. There are not enough written records and learned men; if there were, I could obtain evidence from them.”

Chapter X
子曰:「禘自既灌而往者,吾不欲觀之矣。」
Confucius said: “After the opening libation has been performed at the sacrifice to the great imperial ancestor, I have no desire to watch the rest of the ceremony.”

Chapter XI
或問禘之說。子曰:「不知也。知其說者之於天下也,其如示諸斯乎!」指其掌。
When someone asked about the meaning of the sacrifice to the great imperial ancestor, Confucius replied: “I do not know. Anyone who knows that would rule the world as easily as I can put this here.” Then he pointed his finger towards the palm of his hand.

Chapter XII
祭如在,祭神如神在。子曰:「吾不與祭,如不祭。」
Sacrifice requires presence: you should sacrifice to the spirits as if they are there. Confucius said: “If I am not fully present at the sacrifice, it’s as if I didn’t attend the sacrifice at all.”

Chapter XV
子入太廟,每事問。或曰:「孰謂鄹人之子知禮乎?入太廟,每事問。」子聞之,曰:「是禮也。」
When Confucius visited the Grand Ancestral Temple, he asked about everything that was happening there. Someone said: “Who said this guy was an expert on the rites? When he visited the Grand Ancestral Temple, he had to ask about everything that was happening.” Hearing this, Confucius said: “Exactly, this is the rites.”

Chapter XVII
子貢欲去告朔之餼羊。子曰:「賜也!爾愛其羊,我愛其禮。」
Zigong wished to do away with the sacrifice of a sheep for the ceremony welcoming the new moon. Confucius said: “You love the sheep; I love the rites.”

Chapter XVIII
子曰:「事君盡禮,人以為諂也。」
Confucius said: “When someone serves his lord in full accordance with the rites, people regard him as a sycophant.”

Chapter XIX
定公問:「君使臣,臣事君,如之何?」孔子對曰:「君使臣以禮,臣事君以忠。」
Duke Ding asked: “How should a leader treat their ministers? How should ministers serve their leader?” Confucius replied: “A leader should treat their ministers in accordance with the rites; ministers should serve their leader with loyalty.”

Chapter XXII
子曰:「管仲之器小哉。」或曰:「管仲儉乎?」曰:「管氏有三歸,官事不攝,焉得儉?然則管仲知禮乎?」曰:「邦君樹塞門,管氏亦樹塞門。邦君為兩君之好,有反坫,管氏亦有反坫。管氏而知禮,孰不知禮?」
Confucius said: “Guan Zhong was a man of truly mediocre capabilities.” Someone objected: “Wasn’t Guan Zhong frugal?” Confucius replied: Guan Zhong had three households, each one staffed by a huge retinue. How could he be called frugal?” “But didn’t he know the rites?” “Even though only the ruler of a state can place a screen to mask the view of his gate, he also had one installed. Even though only the ruler of a state can use a special stand to place his inverted cup on when meeting with another ruler, Guan Zhong had one too. If you say Guan Zhong knew the rites, then who doesn’t know them?”

Chapter XXVI
子曰:「居上不寬,為禮不敬,臨喪不哀,吾何以觀之哉?」
Confucius said: “How can I bear to even contemplate a person who lacks tolerance when in high office, reverence when performing the rites, and grief when in mourning?”

Book 4
Chapter XIII
子曰:「能以禮讓為國乎,何有!不能以禮讓為國,如禮何!」
Confucius said: “If a ruler is able to govern a state by observing the rites and showing deference, what difficulties will they encounter? If a ruler is unable to govern a state by observing the rites and showing deference, what use are the rites to them?”

Book 6
Chapter XXVII
子曰:「君子博學於文,約之以禮,亦可以弗畔矣夫!」
Confucius said: “A leader expands his learning through culture and keeps his behavior in check through the rites; as a result, he is unlikely to go wrong.”

Book 7
Chapter IX
子食於有喪者之側,未嘗飽也。子於是日哭,則不歌。
When Confucius dined next to someone in mourning, he never ate his fill. On a day when he had been weeping, Confucius never sang.

Chapter XVII
子所雅言,詩、書、執禮,皆雅言也。
Occasions when Confucius used standard pronunciation: when reciting the Book of Songs and the Book of Documents, and when carrying out ritual ceremonies. On all these occasions, he used standard pronunciation.

Chapter XVIII
葉公問孔子於子路,子路不對。子曰:「女奚不曰,其為人也,發憤忘食,樂以忘憂,不知老之將至云爾。」
The Duke of She asked Zilu about Confucius. Zilu did not reply. Confucius said: “Why did you not say, ‘He is the kind of man who gets so lost in his passions that he forgets to eat and so caught up in his happiness that he forgets his worries while refusing to accept that he is growing old’?”

Chapter XXX
陳司敗問昭公知禮乎,孔子曰:「知禮。」孔子退,揖巫馬期而進之曰:「吾聞君子不黨,君子亦黨乎?君取於吳,為同姓,謂之吳孟子。君而知禮,孰不知禮?」巫馬期以告。子曰:「丘也幸,苟有過,人必知之。」
Chen Sibai asked: “Did Duke Zhao understand the rites?” Confucius said: “Yes, he understood the rites.” Confucius withdrew. With a bow, Chen invited Wuma Qi to come forward and said to him: “I have heard it said that a true leader is never biased. But isn’t your master biased after all? The Duke took a wife from the state of Wu, but since she belonged to his own clan he changed her name to Wu Mengzi. If the Duke understood the rites, who doesn’t understand them?” Wuma Qi reported this to Confucius. Confucius said: “I am fortunate indeed: whenever I make a mistake, there is always someone on hand to let me know about it.”

Book 8
Chapter II
子曰:「恭而無禮則勞,慎而無禮則葸,勇而無禮則亂,直而無禮則絞。君子篤於親,則民興於仁。故舊不遺,則民不偷。」
Confucius said: “Reverence without the rites descends into indifference; cautiousness without the rites descends into timidity; boldness without the rites descends into disorder; frankness without the rites descends into hurtfulness. If a leader is devoted to his family, the people are inclined towards goodness; if he doesn’t forget about his old friends, the people will not shirk their obligations to others.”

Chapter VIII
子曰:「興於詩,立於禮,成於樂。」
Confucius said: “Find inspiration with the Book of Songs; establish your character with the rites; reach fulfillment with music.”

Book 9
Chapter III
子曰:「麻冕,禮也。今也純儉,吾從眾。拜下,禮也。今拜乎上,泰也,雖違眾,吾從下。」
Confucius said: “According to the rites, the ceremonial cap should be made of hemp; these days it is made of silk. This is more economical and I follow the general practice. According to rites, you should make your bow at the bottom of the steps; nowadays people make their bow on top of the steps. This is excessive, and even though it goes against the general practice I make my bow at that bottom of the steps.”

Chapter X
子見齊衰者,冕衣裳者,與瞽者見之,雖少必作,過之必趨。」
Whenever Confucius saw someone in mourning dress, or a grandee in ceremonial robes, or a blind person, even if they were younger than him he would always rise to his feet or quicken his step if he had to pass by them.

Chapter XI
顏淵喟然嘆曰:「仰之彌高,鑽之彌堅,瞻之在前,忽焉在後!夫子循循然善誘人,博我以文,約我以禮。欲罷不能,既竭吾才,如有所立,卓爾。雖欲從之,末由也已!」
Yan Hui said with a heavy sigh: “The more I contemplate it, the higher it seems; the deeper I probe it, the harder it becomes; when I catch a glimpse of it in front of me, it is suddenly behind me. Our master knows how to lure people skillfully and methodically. He broadens my mind with literature and culture and restrains me with the rites. Even if I wanted to stop, I could not. Just as all my talents are exhausted, there seems to be something new towering above me. But although I long to follow it, I cannot find it.”

Chapter XII
子疾病,子路使門人為臣,病間曰:「久矣哉,由之行詐也!無臣而為有臣,吾誰欺?欺天乎?且予與其死於臣之手也,無寧死於二三子之手乎?且予縱不得大葬,予死於道路乎?」
Confucius was seriously ill. Zilu had the disciples act as if they were retainers of a lord. When his illness went into remission, Confucius said: “Zilu, this deception has lasted long enough. Who do I deceive with these bogus retainers? Do I deceive Heaven? Rather than die among retainers, I would prefer to die in the arms of my disciples. I may not receive a grand funeral, but I shall not die by the side of the road.”

Chapter XV
子曰:「吾自衛反魯,然後樂正,雅頌,各得其所。」
Confucius said: “It was only after I returned to Lu from Wei that the music was reformed and the court songs and sacrificial hymns put in the proper order.”

Chapter XVI
子曰:「出則事公卿,入則事父兄,喪事不敢不勉,不為酒困,何有於我哉!」
Confucius said: “I have never found it difficult to serve my superiors abroad; show respect to my elders at home; mourn the dead with proper reverence; and not be overcome with wine.”

Book 10
Chapter I
孔子於鄉黨,恂恂如也,似不能言者。其在宗廟朝廷,便便言,唯謹爾。
When Confucius was at home in his native village, he was unassuming and warm and seemed reluctant to speak. When he was in the ancestral temple or at court, however, he spoke with eloquence but due caution.

Chapter II
朝與下大夫言,侃侃如也;與上大夫言,誾誾如也。君在,踧踖如也,與與如也。
When he was at court chatting with officials in the lower ranks, he was genial; when he was conversing with officials in the upper ranks, he was respectful. When the ruler was present, he looked dignified and serene.

Chapter III
君召使擯,色勃如也,足躩如也。揖所與立,左右手,衣前後,襜如也。趨進,翼如也。賓退,必復命,曰:「賓不顧矣。」
When the ruler ordered him to welcome guests to court, he assumed a serious expression on his face and walked at a rapid pace. As he bowed and saluted to the left and the right, he made sure that his gown flowed backwards and forwards in perfect rhythm with the movements of his body. When he rushed forward, his sleeves fluttered like the wings of a bird. After seeing off the guests, he always returned to announce: “The guests have gone.”

Chapter IV
入公門,鞠躬如也,如不容。立不中門,行不履閾。過位,色勃如也,足躩如也,其言似不足者。攝齊升堂,鞠躬如也,屏氣似不息者。出,降一等,逞顏色,怡怡如也;沒階趨進,翼如也;復其位,踧踖如也。
When entering the gate of the duke’s palace, he walked in stealthily. He never stood in the middle of the gateway, nor did he step on the threshold. When he passed in front of the duke’s throne, he adopted a serious expression on his face, quickened his step, and showed great reluctance to speak. When he lifted up the hem of his gown in preparation for walking up the steps of the audience hall, he inhaled deeply as if he didn’t dare to breathe. On leaving, after descending the first step, an expression of relief enveloped his face. When he reached the bottom step, he walked swiftly, as if on wings. On returning to his original position, he assumed a respectful look again.

Chapter V
執圭,鞠躬如也;如不勝。上如揖,下如授,勃如戰色,足縮縮如有循。享禮有容色,私覿愉愉如也。
When carrying a jade tablet, he bowed as if bending under its weight. When he held it high, he looked as if he was bowing, and when he held it low he looked as if he was going to make an offering. He adopted a solemn expression, and he walked in short steps as if following a straight line. When participating in a ritual ceremony, he looked refined. When in a private meeting, he looked happy.

Chapter VI
君子不以以紺緅飾,紅紫不以為褻服;當暑,袗絺綌,必表而出之。緇衣羔裘,素衣麑裘,黃衣狐裘。褻裘長,短右袂。必有寢衣,長一身有半。狐貉之厚以居。去喪無所不佩。非帷裳,必殺之。羔裘玄冠,不以弔。吉月,必朝服而朝。
A leader does not wear purple or maroon decorations on his gown; red and purple should not be used for casual wear at home. During the summer, he wears a fine or coarse linen singlet, but never goes out without wearing a gown. With a black robe, he wears lamb skin; with a white robe, he wears fawn skin; and with a yellow robe, he wears fox skin. The fur robe he wears at home is long and has a shorter right sleeve. His nightgown is very long. Thick furs such as fox and badger are worn at home. Except when he is in mourning, he wears all the ornaments on his girdle. Apart from his ceremonial robe, the layers of his other robes are cut to different lengths. At funerals, he does not wear lamb skin or black caps. On New Year’s Day, he attends court dressed in full court attire.

Chapter VII
齊,必有明衣布。齊,必變食。居,必遷坐。
During periods of abstinence, he wore a plain robe made of coarse linen. During periods of abstinence, he changed his diet and did not sit in his usual place when at home.

Chapter VIII
食不厭精,膾不厭細。食饐而餲,魚餒而肉敗不食,色惡不食,臭惡不食,失飪不食,不時不食,割不正不食,不得其醬不食。肉雖多,不使勝食氣。惟酒無量,不及亂。沽酒,市脯,不食。不撤薑食。不多食。祭於公,不宿肉。祭肉,不出三日;出三日,不食之矣。食不語,寢不言。雖疏食,菜羹,瓜祭,必齊如也。
He ate high-quality rice and finely-cut meat. If the food was rotten or rancid, if the fish wasn’t fresh, and if the meat was spoiled, he didn’t eat it. If the food was off-color, he didn’t eat it. If it smelled bad, he didn’t eat it. If it was undercooked, he didn’t eat it. If it was not served at the proper time, he didn’t eat it. If it was not cut properly, he didn’t eat it. If it was not served in its proper sauce, he didn’t eat it. Even if there was plenty of meat, he didn’t eat more meat than rice. As for wine, however, there was no limit as long as he remained sober. He didn’t consume wine or meat bought from the market. He was never without ginger when he ate, but used it only in moderation.

Chapter IX
祭於公,不宿肉。祭肉,不出三日;出三日,不食之矣。
After assisting at the duke’s sacrificial ceremony, he didn’t keep the meat overnight. When carrying out routine sacrifices at home, he didn’t keep the meat for more than three days. After the third day, he didn’t eat it.

Chapter X
食不語,寢不言。
When eating, he did not talk. When retiring to bed, he did not speak.

Chapter XI
雖疏食,菜羹,瓜祭,必齊如也。
Even if the food only consisted of coarse rice, vegetable soup, and melons, he made a sacrificial offering in a grave and respectful manner.

Chapter XII
席不正不坐。
He didn’t sit on a mat unless it was straight.
.
Chapter XIII
鄉人飲酒,杖者出,斯出矣。
When the villagers were drinking together, he didn’t leave until the elders had departed.

Chapter XIV
鄉人儺,朝服而立於阼階。
When the villagers carried out an exorcism ceremony, he put on his court dress and stood on the eastern steps.

Chapter XV
問人於他邦,再拜而送之。
When sending his greetings to someone in another state, he would bow twice before sending the messenger on his way.

Chapter XVI
康子饋藥,拜而受之,曰:「丘未達,不敢嘗。」
When Ji Kangzi sent him some medicine, Confucius bowed as he accepted the gift but said: “Since I don’t know what this substance is, I dare not taste it.”

Chapter XVIII
君賜食,必正席先嘗之。君賜腥,必熟而薦之。君賜生,必畜之。侍食於君,君祭先飯。
When his ruler sent him a gift of pre-cooked food, he straightened his mat and was the first person to taste it. When his ruler sent him a present of raw meat, he cooked it and offered it to the spirits of his ancestors. When his ruler gave him a live animal, he reared it. When dining with his ruler, he was the first one to taste the food after the ruler had performed the sacrificial offering.

Chapter XIX
疾君視之,東首,加朝服拖紳。
When he fell ill and his ruler came to visit him, he had himself laid with his head facing the east and his body covered by his court dress with a sash laid across it.

Chapter XX
君命召,不俟駕行矣。
Whenever his ruler summoned him, he would set off without waiting for the horses to be harnessed to his carriage.

Chapter XXI
入大廟,每事問。
When visiting the Grand Ancestral Temple, he asked about everything.

Chapter XXII
朋友死,無所歸,曰:「於我殯。」
When a friend died and there was no one to take care of their funeral, he said: “Let me look after it.”

Chapter XXIII
朋友之饋,雖車馬,非祭肉,不拜。
When receiving a gift from a friend, he wouldn’t bow even if it was something as valuable as a horse and carriage. The only gift he would bow for was one of sacrificial meat.

Chapter XXIV
寢不尸,居不容。
In bed, he did not lie stiffly like a corpse; at home, he was informal and relaxed.

Chapter XXV
見齊衰者,雖狎必變。見冕者與瞽者,雖褻必以貌。凶服者式之;式負版者,有盛饌,必變色而作。迅雷風烈必變。
When he saw someone in mourning clothes, he adopted a solemn expression on his face and remained distant even if he knew them well. When he saw someone wearing a ceremonial cap or a blind person, he was courteous even if they were in an agitated state. When riding in his carriage, he expressed his condolences to anyone he passed who was in mourning, even if they were a mere street hawker. When offered rich delicacies at a banquet, he showed his deep appreciation. When he heard a sudden clap of thunder or a ferocious wind an expression of awe came over his face.

Chapter XXVI
升車,必正立執綏。車中不內顧,不疾言,不親指。
When climbing into his carriage, he stood and faced it squarely and then grasped the hand strap. Once in the carriage, he didn’t turn to look at those standing behind him, talk loudly, or point with his finger.

Chapter XXVII
色斯舉矣,翔而後集。曰:「山梁雌雉,時哉時哉!」子路共之,三嗅而作。
Startled by a sudden movement, the bird flew off and then landed again. It is said: “The hen pheasant on the mountain bridge; what perfect timing, what perfect timing!” Zilu motioned towards the bird, which sniffed three times and flew away.

Book 11
Chapter I
子曰:「先進於禮樂,野人也;後進於禮樂,君子也。如用之,則吾從先進。」
Confucius said: “The first people to advance the rites and music were people living in the wilds; members of the ruling class didn’t advance them until later. If I had to put them to use, I would follow the ones who advanced them first.”

Chapter VIII
顏淵死,顏路請子之車以為之 。子曰:「才不才,亦各言其子也。鯉也死,有棺而無 ;吾不徒行,以為之 ,以吾從大夫之後,不可徒行也。」
When Yan Hui died, his father, Yan Lu, asked if he could use the wood from Confucius’s carriage so that he could make an outer coffin for his son. Confucius said: “Talented or not, everyone speaks highly of their own son. When my own son Li died, he was buried in an inner coffin only but there was no outer coffin. I did not walk on foot in order to provide an outer coffin. Because I am following right behind the grandees, it is not proper that I should go on foot.”

Chapter X
顏淵死,子哭之慟。從者曰:「子慟矣!」曰:「有慟乎!非夫人之為慟而誰為!」
When Yan Hui died, Confucius dissolved into paroxysms of grief. His followers said: “Master, such grief is excessive.” Confucius said: “Is it excessive? If I don’t grieve for this man, who else should I grieve for?”

Chapter XI
顏淵死,門人欲厚葬之,子曰:「不可。」門人厚葬之。子曰:「回也,視予猶父也,予不得視猶子也。非我也,夫二三子也。」
When Yan Hui died, the disciples wanted to give him a grand burial. Confucius said: “This is not right.” When the disciples gave him a grand burial, Confucius said: “Yan Hui looked upon me as his father, but I was not given the chance to treat him as my son. This is not my fault, but yours, my friends.”

Chapter XXVI
子路、曾皙、冉有、公西華侍坐。子曰:「以吾一日長乎爾,毋吾以也。居則曰:「不吾知也!」如或知爾,則何以哉?」子路率爾而對曰:「千乘之國,攝乎大國之間,加之以師旅,因之以饑饉,由也為之,比及三年,可使有勇,且知方也。」夫子哂之。「求,爾何如?」對曰:「方六七十,如五六十,求也為之,比及三年,可使足民;如其禮樂,以俟君子。」「赤,爾何如?」對曰:「非曰能之,願學焉!宗廟之事,如會同,端章甫,願為小相焉。」「點,爾何如?」鼓瑟希,鏗爾,舍瑟而作。對曰:「異乎三子者之撰。」子曰:「何傷乎?亦各言其志也。」曰:「莫春者,春服既成;冠者五六人,童子六七人,浴乎沂,風乎舞雩,詠而歸。」夫子喟然嘆曰:「吾與點也!」三子者出,曾皙後。曾皙曰:「夫三子者之言何如?」子曰:「亦各言其志也已矣!」曰:「夫子何哂由也?」曰:「為國以禮,其言不讓,是故哂之。」「唯求則非邦也與?」「安見方六七十,如五六十,而非邦也者。」「唯赤,非邦也與?」「宗廟會同,非諸侯而何?赤也為之小,孰能為之大!」

Zilu, Zeng Dian, Ran Qiu, and Gongxi Chi were sitting with Confucius. Confucius said: “Forget for a moment that I am your elder. You often say: ‘People do not recognize our talents.’ But if you were given the opportunity, what would you wish to do?”

Zilu eagerly replied first: “Give me a middle-sized country wedged between powerful neighbors that is under attack from invading armies and gripped by drought and famine. If I were to govern it, within three years I would give its people courage and set them in the right direction.”

Confucius smiled at him: “Ran Qiu, what about you?” Ran Qiu replied: “If I was allowed to run a territory of sixty or seventy or, say, fifty to sixty li, within three years I would secure the prosperity of its people. As for the rites and music, they would have to wait for a true man of character to take over.”

“Gongxi Chi, what about you?” “I am not saying that I would be able to do this, but I would like to try: in the ceremonies at the Ancestral Temple, such as a diplomatic conference, wearing ceremonial cap and robes, I would like to act as a junior official.”

“And what about you, Zeng Dian?” Zeng Dian plucked one final chord of the zither he had been playing and put it down by his side. He replied: “My wish is very different than those of my three companions.” Confucius said: “What harm is there in that? After all, each one is simply speaking from his heart.”

Zeng Dian said: “In late spring, after all the spring clothes have been made, I would like to go out together with five or six companions and six or seven boys to bathe in the River Yi, enjoy the breeze on the Rain Dance Terrace, and then return home singing.” Confucius let out a wistful sigh and said: “I am with Dian.”

After the other three disciples had left, Zeng Dian stayed behind and said: “What did you think of their wishes?” Confucius said: “Each was indeed speaking from his heart.”

Zeng Dian asked: “Why did you smile at Zilu?” Confucius said: “You should govern a state according to the rites, but his words showed no such restraint. That is why I smiled.”

“Ran Qiu was actually talking about running an independent country, wasn’t he?” “Of course. Have you ever seen ‘a territory of sixty to seventy, or fifty to sixty li?’”

“And Gongxi Chi? Wasn’t he also talking about running a country as well?” “A diplomatic conference in the Ancestral Temple! What could this be but an affair of state?” And if Gongxi Chi were there merely to act as junior official, who could possibly be qualified to act as the senior one?”

Zilu, Zeng Dian, Ran Qiu, and Gongxi Chi were sitting with Confucius. Confucius said: “Forget for a moment that I am your elder. You often say: ‘People do not recognize our talents.’ But if you were given the opportunity, what would you wish to do?”

Zilu rushed to reply first: “Give me a medium-sized country squeezed between powerful neighbors that is under attack and in the grip of drought and famine. Put me in command and within three years, I would revive the courage of the people and guide them in the right direction.”

Confucius smiled: “Ran Qiu, what about you?”

Ran Qiu replied: “Give me a domain of sixty or seventy – or, say, fifty to sixty li (miles); within three years I would secure the prosperity of its people. As regards the rites and music, I would have to wait for the intervention of a true man of character.”

“Gongxi Chi, what about you?”

Gongxi Chi replied: “I’m not saying that I would be able to do this, but I’m willing to learn! During the ceremonies at the Ancestral Temple, such as a conference for instance, I would like to serve as a junior assistant wearing a dark square robe and black linen cap.”

“And what about you, Zeng Dian?”

Zeng Dian, who had been softly playing his zithern, plucked one last chord and put his instrument aside. He replied: “I’m afraid my wish is not up to the same level as the wishes of my three companions.” Confucius said: “What is the harm in that? After all, each is simply expressing his own personal wishes.”

“In late spring, when the making of the of the spring clothes has been completed, together with five or six friends and six or seven boys, I would like to bathe in the River Yi, and then enjoy the breeze among the rain dance altars and return home singing.” Confucius heaved a deep sigh and said: “I am with Dian.”

After the three others had left, Zeng Dian remained behind and said: “What did you think of their wishes?” Confucius said: “Each simply confided his own personal wishes.”

Zeng Dian asked: “Why did you smile at Zilu?”

Confucius said: “You should govern a state according to the rites; yet his words weren’t humble.”

“As for Ran Qiu, wasn’t he in fact talking about a real state?”

“Indeed. I have never heard of ‘a domain of sixty to seventy, or fifty to sixty li (miles)’”

And Gongxi Chi? Wasn’t he also talking about a state?”

“A conference in the Ancestral Temple! What could it be but a major gathering?” And if Gongxi Chi were there just to serve as a junior assistant, who would be qualified to be in charge of it?”

Book 12
Chapter I
顏淵問仁。子曰:「克己復禮,為仁。一日克己復禮,天下歸仁焉。為仁由己,而由仁乎哉?」 顏淵曰:「請問其目?」子曰:「非禮勿視,非禮勿聽,非禮勿言,非禮勿動。」顏淵曰:「回雖不敏,請事斯語矣!」
Yan Hui asked about goodness. Confucius said: “Overcome the self and restore the rites. This is what goodness is all about. If you overcome the self and restore the rites for just a single day, the whole world will respond to your goodness. The practice of goodness comes from the self. How can it come from others?” Yan Hui said: “May I ask what steps I should follow?” Confucius said: “Don’t look at anything that doesn’t conform with the rites; don’t listen to anything that doesn’t conform with the rites; don’t say anything that doesn’t conform with the rites; don’t do anything that doesn’t conform with the rites.” Yan Hui said: “Although I may not be quick to understand it, with your blessing I will strive to follow your guidance.”

Chapter II
仲弓問仁。子曰:「出門如見大賓,使民如承大祭。己所不欲,勿施於人。在邦無怨,在家無怨。」仲弓曰:「雍雖不敏,請事斯語。」
When Ran Yong asked about goodness, Confucius said: “When you are away from home, act towards everyone as if you are meeting an important guest. Manage people as if you are conducting a great sacrifice. Do not do to others what you would not wish done to yourself. Allow no resentment to enter your public affairs; allow no resentment to enter your family affairs.” Ran Yong said: “I may not be particularly bright, but with your blessing I will strive to follow your guidance.”

Chapter V
司馬牛憂曰:「人皆有兄弟,我獨亡!」子夏曰:「商聞之矣:『死生有命,富貴在天』。君子敬而無失,與人恭而有禮;四海之內,皆兄弟也。君子何患乎無兄弟也?」
Sima Niu was full of sorrow: “All men have brothers; I alone have none.” Zixia said: “I have heard this: life and death are ordained by Fate, wealth and honors are assigned by Heaven. An exemplary person always shows respect and courtesy to others. Within the four seas all men are his brothers. How could an exemplary person complain that he has no brothers?”

Chapter XV
子曰:「博學於文,約之以禮,亦可以弗畔矣夫。」
Confucius said: “If you expand your learning through culture and keep your behavior in check with the rites you are unlikely to go wrong.”

Book 13
Chapter III
子路曰:「衛君待子而為政,子將奚先?」子曰:「必也正名乎!」子路曰:「有是哉?子之迂也!奚其正?」子曰:「野哉,由也!君子於其所不知,蓋闕如也。名不正,則言不順;言不順,則事不成;事不成,則禮樂不興;禮樂不興,則刑罰不中;刑罰不中,則民無所措手足。故君子名之必可言也,言之必可行也。君子於其言,無所茍而已矣!」
Zilu asked: “If the ruler of Wei were to entrust you with the government of his state, what would be your first priority? Confucius said: “It most definitely would be to rectify the names.” Zilu said: “Really? Isn’t that a little strange? How would that make things right?” Confucius said: “How dense can you get! If an exemplary person doesn’t understand what he is talking about, they should remain silent. If the names are not correct, language does not accord with the truth of things. When language does not accord with the truth of things, nothing can be carried out successfully. When nothing can be carried out successfully, the rites and music will not flourish. When the rites and music don’t flourish, punishments and penalties miss their mark. When punishments and penalties miss their mark, the people do not know where to place their hands and feet. Therefore, an exemplary person must be able to give the appropriate name to whatever they want to talk about, and they must also make sure they do exactly as they say. When it comes to speaking, an exemplary person doesn’t allow any carelessness.”

Chapter IV
樊遲請學稼,子曰:「吾不如老農。」請學為圃,曰:「吾不如老圃。」樊遲出,子曰:「小人哉,樊須也!上好禮,則民莫敢不敬;上好義,則民莫敢不服;上好信,則民莫敢不用情。夫如是,則四方之民,襁負其子而至矣;焉用稼!」
Fan Chi asked to learn about cultivating grain. Confucius said: “You’d be better off asking an old farmer.” Fan Chi asked to be taught about raising vegetables. Confucius said: “You’d be better off asking an old gardener.” After Fan Chi had left, Confucius said: “What a small-minded man! If a ruler loves the rites, the people would not dare to be disrespectful. If a ruler loves rightness, the people would not dare to be disobedient. If a ruler loves trustworthiness, the people would not dare to be deceitful. If such a ruler existed, people would flock to him from everywhere with their children strapped to their backs. What need would there be to know about farming?”

Book 14
Chapter XII
子路問「成人」。子曰:「若臧武仲之知,公綽之不欲,卞莊子之勇,冉求之藝,文之以禮樂,亦可以為成人矣!」曰:「今之成人者,何必然?見利思義,見危授命,久要不忘平生之言,亦可以為成人矣!」
Zilu asked how to define a “complete man”. Confucius said: “Take a man as wise as Zang Wuzhong, as abstemious as Gongchuo, as brave as Zhuangzi of Bian, and as proficient in the arts as Ran Qiu, as well as being accomplished in the rites and music, and he may be considered a complete man.” Then he added: “But must a complete man be exactly like this today? Someone who thinks of what is right at the sight of profit, who is ready to risk their life when faced with danger, and who can endure hardship without forgetting the teachings that have guided his daily life may also be considered a complete person.”

Chapter XL
子張曰:「書云:『高宗諒陰,三年不言』何謂也?」子曰:「何必高宗?古之人皆然。君薨,百官總已以聽於冢宰三年。」
Zizhang said: “In the Book of Documents it is written: ‘When King Gaozong was mourning his father, he did not speak for three years.’ What does this mean?” Confucius said: “This did not apply only to King Gaozong; all the ancients did the same. When a king died, all the officials gathered together and took their orders from the prime minister for three years.”

Chapter XLI
子曰:「上好禮,則民易使也。」
Confucius said: “When their rulers love the rites, the people are easy to manage.”

Chapter XLIV
闕黨,童子將命。或問之曰:「益者與?」子曰:「吾見其居於位也,見其與先生並行也;非求益者也,欲速成者也。」
A boy from the village of Que came bearing a message. Someone asked about him, saying: “Is he likely to improve himself?” Confucius said: “I have noticed that he seats himself among others and walks alongside people older than himself. He is not looking to improve himself; he wants to grow up too fast.”

Book 15
Chapter XVIII
子曰:「君子義以為質,禮以行之,孫以出之,信以成之,君子哉!」
Confucius said: “A leader takes rightness as his essence, practices it in conformity with the rites, enacts it with humility, and faithfully brings it to fruition. This is how a leader behaves.”

Chapter XXXIII
子曰:「知及之,仁不能守之,雖得之,必失之。知及之,仁能守之,不莊以 之,則民不敬。知及之,仁能守之,莊以 之,動之不以禮,未善也。」
Confucius said: “Power acquired through knowledge that cannot be maintained through goodness will inevitably be lost. Power acquired through knowledge and maintained through goodness will not be respected by the people if it is not exerted with dignity. Power acquired through knowledge, maintained through goodness, and exerted with dignity is still not perfect if it is not implemented in accordance with the rites.”

Chapter XLII
師冕見。及階,子曰:「階也!」及席,子曰:「席也!」皆坐,子告之曰:「某在斯!某在斯!」師冕出,子張問曰:「與師言之道與?」子曰:「然,固相師之道也。」
Mian, the (blind) music master, came to visit. When he reached the steps, Confucius said: “Mind the steps.” When he reached the mat, Confucius said: “Here is the mat.” When everyone was seated, Confucius told him: “This person is here; that person is there.” After the music master had left, Zizhang asked: “Is this the way to talk to a music master?” Confucius said: “Yes, this is the way to assist a music master.”

Book 16
Chapter II
孔子曰:「天下有道,則禮樂征伐自天子出;天下無道,則禮樂征伐自諸侯出。自諸侯出,蓋十世希不失矣;自大夫出,五世希不失矣。陪臣執國命,三世希不失矣。天下有道,則政不在大夫。天下有道,則庶人不議。」
Confucius said, “When the Way prevails in the world, the rites, music, and punitive military campaigns are initiated by the Son of the Heaven. When the Way does not prevail in the world, the rites, music, and punitive military campaigns are initiated by the feudal lords. When they are initiated by the feudal lords, it is rare if they have not lost power after ten generations. When they are initiated by the grand families, it is rare they have not lost the power after five generations. Once junior officials take control of the fate of the state, it is rare that they have not lost power after three generations. When the Way prevails in the world, governance does not lie in the hands of the grand officials. When the Way prevails in the world, the common people do not criticize governance.”

Chapter V
孔子曰:「益者三樂,損者三樂。樂節禮樂,樂道人之善,樂多賢友,益矣。樂驕樂,樂佚遊,樂宴樂,損矣。」
Confucius said: “Three kinds of pleasure are beneficial to you; three kinds of pleasure are harmful to you. The pleasure of performing the rites and music properly, the pleasure of praising the qualities of other people, and the pleasure of having many wise friends; these are all beneficial. The pleasure of wild extravagance, the pleasure of idle wandering, the pleasure of lavish feasting; these are all harmful.”

Chapter XIII
陳亢問於伯魚曰:「子亦有異聞乎?」對曰:「未也。嘗獨立,鯉趨而過庭。曰:『學詩乎?』對曰:『未也。』『不學詩,無以言。』鯉退而學詩。他日,又獨立,鯉趨而過庭。曰:『學禮乎?』對曰:『未也。』『不學禮,無以立。』鯉退而學禮。聞斯二者。」陳亢退而喜曰:「問一得三,聞詩、聞禮,又聞君子之遠其子也。」
Chen Gang asked Confucius’s son Boyu: “Has your father given you any special teaching?” Boyu replied: “No, he hasn’t. Once, when he was standing on his own and I was hurrying across the courtyard, he asked me: ‘Have you studied the Book of Songs?’ I replied: ‘Not yet.’ He said: ‘If you don’t study the Book of Songs, you won’t be able to speak.’ I retired and studied the Book of Songs. On another day, when he was again standing on his own and I was hurrying across the courtyard, he asked me: ‘Have you studied the rites?’ I replied: ‘Not yet.’ He said: ‘If you don’t study the rites, you won’t be able to take your place in society.’ I retired and studied the rites. These are the two lessons I received from him.” Chen Gang left delighted and said: “I asked one thing and learned three. I learned about the Book of Songs, I learned about the rites, and I learned how a leader keeps his distance from his son.”

Book 17
Chapter I
陽貨欲見孔子,孔子不見,歸孔子豚。孔子時其亡也,而往拜之。遇諸塗。謂孔子曰:「來!予與爾言。」曰:「懷其寶而迷其邦,可謂仁乎?」曰:「不可。」「好從事而亟失時,可謂知乎?」曰:「不可。」「日月逝矣!歲不我與!」孔子曰:「諾,吾將仕矣!」
Yang Huo wanted to see Confucius, but Confucius would not see him. Yang Huo sent him a suckling pig. Confucius chose a time when Yang Huo was not at home to call on him and give his thanks, but ran into him on the way. Yang Huo said to Confucius: “Come! I have something to say to you.” He continued: “Can a person be called good if they keep their talents hidden while their country has gone astray? I don’t think so. Can a person be called wise if they are eager to take part in public affairs, but constantly miss the opportunity to do so? I don’t think so. The days and months fly by; time is not on our side.” Confucius said: “All right, I shall take office.”

Chapter IV
子之武城,聞弦歌之聲,夫子莞爾而笑曰:「割雞焉用牛刀?」子游對曰:「昔者,偃也聞諸夫子曰:『君子學道則愛人,小人學道則易使也。』」子曰:「二三子!偃之言是也,前言戲之耳!」
Confucius went to Wucheng. When he heard the sound of stringed instruments and singing, he was amused and broke out into a smile: “Why use an ox cleaver to kill a chicken?” Ziyou replied: “Master, in the past I have heard you say: ‘an exemplary person who has been instructed in the Way loves all people; common people who have been instructed in the Way are easy to govern.’” Confucius said: “My friends, Ziyou is right. The remarks I made a moment ago were just a joke.”

Chapter XI
子曰:「禮云禮云,玉帛云乎哉?樂云樂云,鐘鼓云乎哉?」
Confucius said: “The rites, the rites, surely there is more to them than just jade and silk! Music, music, surely there is more to it than just bells and drums!”

Chapter XX
孺悲欲見孔子,孔子辭以疾,將命者出戶,取瑟而歌,使之聞之。
Ru Bei wanted to see Confucius. Confucius declined due to illness. As Ru Bei’s messenger was leaving, Confucius picked up his zither and sang loudly enough for him to hear.

Chapter XXI
宰我問:「三年之喪,期已久矣!君子三年不為禮,禮必壞;三年不為樂,樂必崩。舊穀既沒,新穀既升;鑽燧改火,期可已矣。」子曰:「食夫稻,衣夫錦,於女安乎?」曰:「安!」「女安則為之。夫君子之居喪,食旨不甘,聞樂不樂,居處不安,故不為也。今女安,則為之。」宰我出。子曰:「予之不仁也!子生三年,然後免於父母之懷。夫三年之喪,天下之通喪也;予也,有三年之愛於其父母乎?」
Zai Yu asked: “Three years of mourning for your parents: this is a long time. If a leader doesn’t practice the rites for three years, the rites are sure to decay; if he doesn’t practice music for three years, music is sure to collapse. As the grain from last year’s crop is used up, grain from this year’s crop ripens, and the flint for lighting the fires is changed with each season. One year of mourning is surely enough.” Confucius said: “Would you be comfortable eating your fine food and wearing your fine clothes then?” “Absolutely.” “In that case, go ahead! When a leader is in mourning fine food is tasteless to him, music offers him no pleasure, and the comforts of home give him no peace, so he prefers to do without these pleasures. But if you think you will be able to enjoy them, go ahead.” Zai Yu left. Confucius said: “Zai Yu has no goodness! During the first three years after a child is born, he doesn’t leave the arms of his parents. Three years of mourning is a custom that is followed throughout the world. Didn’t Zai Yu receive three years of love from his parents?”

Chapter XXV
子貢曰:「君子亦有惡乎?」子曰:「有惡。惡稱人之惡者,惡居下流而訕上者,惡勇而無禮者,惡果敢而窒者。」曰:「賜也亦有惡乎?」「惡徼以為知者,惡不孫以為勇者,惡訐以為直者。」
Zigong said: “Does a leader have things that he can’t stand?” Confucius said: “Yes. He can’t stand those who point out the evils in others. He can’t stand those in inferior positions who slander their superiors. He can’t stand those whose courage is not tempered by the rites. He can’t stand those who are impulsive and stubborn.” Confucius continued. “Do you have things that you can’t stand?” “I can’t stand those who pretend to be learned by plagiarizing. I can’t stand those who pretend to be brave by acting arrogant. I can’t stand those who pretend to be frank by being malicious.”

Book 20
Chapter III
子曰:「不知命,無以為君子也。不知禮,無以立也。不知言,無以知人也。」
Confucius said: “If you don’t understand fate you cannot become a leader. If you don’t understand the rites, you cannot become a complete person. If you don’t understand the meaning of words, you cannot understand people.”

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