Analects of Confucius, Book 2

Chapter 1
子曰:「為政以德,譬如北辰,居其所而眾星共之。」
The Master said: “Governing by the power of virtue can be compared to the Pole Star, which remains fixed in place while all the other stars orbit respectfully around it.”

Chapter 2
子曰:「詩三百,一言以蔽之,曰:思無邪。」
The Master 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 3
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。」
The Master said: “If you lead through laws and regulations and maintain order through punishments, people will avoid them but won’t develop a sense of shame. If you lead through virtue and keep them in line with the rites, they will develop a sense of shame and unite behind you.”

Chapter 4
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。」
The Master said: “At fifteen, I applied myself to learning. At thirty, I set my course. At forty, I had no more doubts. At fifty, I understood how the world works. At sixty my ear was attuned. At seventy, I followed all my heart’s desires without overstepping the line.” 

Chapter 5
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 the Master about filial devotion. Confucius said: “Never disobey.” While Fan Chi was driving him in his chariot, the Master told him: “Meng Yizi asked me about filial devotion and I replied: ‘Never disobey.’” Fan Chi asked: “What does that mean?” The Master 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 6
孟武伯問孝。子曰:「父母唯其疾之憂。」
Meng Wubo asked about filial devotion. The Master said: “The only time a son should make his parents worried is when he is sick.”

Chapter 7
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。」
When Ziyou asked about filial devotion, the Master said: “These days filial devotion simply means keeping your parents fed. But that’s also how dogs and horses are looked after. Unless you treat your parents respectfully, what’s the difference?”

Chapter 8
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?」
When Zixia asked about filial devotion, the Master said: “It’s the attitude that counts. If young people just offer their help when there is a job to do or serve their elders wine and food when they need to drink and eat, how could this ever be considered as filial devotion?”

Chapter 9
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。」
The Master said: “I can talk to Yan Hui all day without him ever arguing with me, as if he is slow. But when I observe how he behaves in private after he has retired from my presence, I can see that he’s learned everything I’ve taught him. Indeed, Hui isn’t slow at all.”

Chapter 10
子曰:「視其所以,觀其所由,察其所安。人焉廋哉?人焉廋哉?」
The Master said: “Watch what they do, observe how they do it, and examine what makes them feel content. How then can they conceal their true self? How then can they conceal their true self?”

Chapter 11
子曰:「溫故而知新,可以為師矣。」
The Master said: “Bringing new meaning to the old to understand the new makes you fit to be a teacher.”

Chapter 12
子曰:「君子不器。」
The Master said: “A leader is not a mere receptacle.”

Chapter 13
子貢問君子。子曰:「先行其言,而後從之。」
When Zigong asked about leadership, the Master said: “First accomplish what you want to say and then say it.”

Chapter 14
子曰:「君子周而不比,小人比而不周。」
The Master said: “A leader creates unity without taking sides. A petty person takes sides without creating unity.”

Chapter 15
子曰:「學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。」
The Master said: “Learning without thinking leads to perplexity. Thinking without learning leads to trouble.”

Chapter 16
子曰:「攻乎異端,斯害也己。」
The Master said: “Focusing your attention only on the extremes will lead to nothing but harm.”

Chapter 17
子曰:「由!誨女知之乎!知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。」
The Master said: “Zilu, let me tell you what knowledge means. Knowing what you know and what you don’t know. That is what knowledge means.”

Chapter 18
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, 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 carefully apply the rest to your actions; that way you will rarely have reason for regret. By speaking cautiously to avoid mistakes and acting carefully to avoid regrets, your career is set.”

Chapter 19
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?” Master Kong replied: “Promote the upright and place them above the crooked, and the people will support you. Promote the crooked and place them above the upright, and the people will not support you.”

Chapter 20
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 diligent? The Master said: “Treat them with dignity, and they will be respectful. Be filial to your parents and kind to the young, and they will be loyal. Promote those who are capable and teach those who are not, and they will be diligent.”

Chapter 21
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 Master Kong: “Sir, why don’t you join the government?” The Master replied: “In the Book of Documents it says: ‘By being filial to your parents and being kind to your brothers, you are contributing to the smooth running of the government.’ Since I’m already doing this, why do I need to join the government?”

Chapter 22
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?」
The Master said: “I wouldn’t know what to do with someone whose word cannot be trusted. How would you drive a wagon without a yoke or a chariot without a crossbar?”

Chapter 23
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?” The Master said: “The Yin dynasty adopted the rites of the Xia dynasty; we know what was dropped and what was added. The Zhou dynasty borrowed from the rites of the Yin dynasty: we know what was dropped and what was added. If the Zhou dynasty has successors, we know what they will be like, even a hundred generations from now.”

Chapter 24
子曰:「非其鬼而祭之,諂也。見義不為,無勇也。」
The Master said: “Sacrificing to spirits that don’t belong to your ancestors is presumptuous. Doing nothing when rightness demands action is cowardice.”

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