Analects of Confucius, Book 19

Chapter I
Zizhang said: “A scholar-official who is ready to give his life when faced with danger; who does the right thing when presented with an opportunity of profit; who shows due reverence when carrying out a sacrifice, and who truly grieves when in mourning. Such a man is acceptable.”

Chapter II
Zizhang said: “If you fail to embrace virtue with all your spirit and fail to follow the Way with all your heart, does it really matter whether you exist or not?”

Chapter III
The disciples of Zixia asked Zizhang about social relations. Zizhang said: “What did Zixia tell you?” They replied: “Zixia said: ‘Associate with the right sort of people; avoid the wrong sort of people.” Zizhang said: “I heard something different: ‘A leader respects the wise and is tolerant of the ordinary; he praises the good and shows compassion to the incapable.’ If I am superior, whom should I not be tolerant of? If I am inferior, then others will avoid me; why would I need to avoid them?”

Chapter IV
Zixia said: “Although there’s a lot to see when you stroll along the byways, you risk getting get stuck in the mud if you have to travel far. That is why a leader should avoid them.”

Chapter V
Zixia said: “If you recognize day by day what you still need to learn and don’t forget month by month what you have already learned, you truly love learning!”

Chapter VI
Zixia said: “Expand your learning and stick firmly to your purpose; question everything and reflect deeply: this is how you find goodness.”

Chapter VII
Zixia said: “Artisans of all types live in their workshops to master their trade. A leader learns to master the Way.”

Chapter VIII
Zixia said: “A petty person always tries to gloss over his mistakes.”

Chapter IX
子夏曰:「君子有三變:望之儼然,即之也溫,聽其言也厲。」Zixia said: “A leader has three different aspects: from a distance, he looks stern; close up, he looks warm; when you hear his voice, he sounds serious.”

Chapter X
Zixia said: “A leader only mobilizes the people for labor after earning their trust. If he hasn’t earned his trust, the people will feel they are being exploited. He only offers criticism to his lord after earning his trust. If he hasn’t earned his trust, the lord will feel he is being slandered.”

Chapter XI
Zixia said: “As long as you don’t overstep the bounds when it comes to major virtues, it doesn’t matter if you take the occasional liberty with minor ones.”

Chapter XII
Ziyou said: “Among the students of Zixia the younger ones are well trained for sprinkling and sweeping the floor, responding to instructions, and greeting guests. But these are only details. When it comes to the fundamentals, they are totally lost. How is this possible?” When Zixia heard this he said: “No! Ziyou is badly mistaken! When it comes to the way of the leader, who is to decide what should be taught first and what should be taught last? Students should be taught according to their characteristics in the same way plants and trees are sorted. How can it be the way of the leader to turn them into fools? Only a sage, however, would be able to master everything from the beginning to the end.”

Chapter XIII
Zixia said: “When an official has time to spare from his duties, he should study. When a student has time to spare from his studies, he should undertake official duties.”

Chapter XIV
Ziyou said: “When mourning, give full expression to your grief and then stop.”

Chapter XV
Ziyou said: “My friend Zizhang is a man of great ability, but he has not yet achieved goodness.”

Chapter XVI
Zengzi said: “Zizhang is so full of himself that it is difficult to cultivate goodness by his side.”

Chapter XVII
Zengzi said: “I heard this from the Master: If a man ever reveals his true nature, it’s when he mourns his parents.”

Chapter XVIII
Zengzi said: “I heard this from the Master: The one facet of Lord Meng Zhuang’s filial piety that others couldn’t emulate was that he retained his father’s officials and continued his father’s policies.”

Chapter XIX
The Meng Family appointed Yang Fu as a judge. Yang Fu asked for advice from Zengzi. Zengzi said: “The authorities have lost the Way; the common people have been left to their own devices for too long. When you succeed in getting the true facts of a case, respond with compassion but never take any pleasure from it.”

Chapter XX
Zigong said: “Zhouxin can’t have been as evil as people say. That is why a leader hates to dwell downstream. All the world’s effluent finds its way to him.”

Chapter XXI
Zigong said: “The errors of a leader are like an eclipse of the sun or the moon. When he makes an error, everyone notices; when he corrects his error everyone looks up to him in admiration.”

Chapter XXII
Gongsun Chao of Wei asked Zigong: “From whom did Confucius learn?” Zigong said: “The Way of King Wen and King Wu has never disappeared; it has remained alive among the people. The wise have retained its most important elements; the ignorant have retained its least important details. There is not a single person who doesn’t have some elements of the Way of King Wen and King Wu. There is not a single person from whom our Master could not have learned something; and there is not a single person who could have been our Master’s only teacher.”

Chapter XXIII
Shusun Wushu said to the ministers at court: “Zigong is superior to Confucius.” Zifu Jingbo told this to Zigong. Zigong said: “Let us take the surrounding wall of a residence as a comparison. My wall is only shoulder-height; so you can simply peer over it to see the beauty of the house inside. Our Master’s wall would tower many yards higher; so unless you are allowed through the gate, you cannot imagine the magnificence of the ancestral temple and the majesty of the other buildings. But since very few people have been allowed through the gate, it’s not surprising that your colleague would make such a comment.”

Chapter XXIV
Shusun Wushu vilified Confucius. Zigong said: “It doesn’t matter. Confucius cannot be vilified. The worthiness of other people is like a hill that you can climb over; but Confucius is like the sun or the moon, which are impossible to climb over. Even if someone wished to cut himself off from their light, how would this harm the sun and the moon? At most, it would show that he had no sense of his own value.”

Chapter XXV
Chen Ziqin said to Zigong: “Sir, you are just being polite; how could Confucius be considered to be your superior?” Zigong said: “A leader can reveal his wisdom with a single phrase, and can betray his ignorance with a single phrase. That is why he must be careful about what he says. The Master’s achievements cannot be equaled, just as there are no steps that you can climb to reach the sky. If the Master been entrusted with running a country or a family estate, he would have lived up to the old adage: ‘If he helps them to stand they will stand up; if he leads them they will march; if he gives them peace they will flock to him; if he mobilizes them to work they will follow his call. In life, he is glorified; in death, he will be mourned.’ How can his achievements ever be equaled?”

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