Analects of Confucius Book 10: new English translation

Read this new English translation of the Analects of Confucius Book 10 to learn more about how Confucius followed the conventions of ritual (禮/lǐ) to behave appropriately in different social situations.

Chapter 1
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 in his home village, he was unassuming and warm as if at a loss for words. When he was in the ancestral temple or at court he spoke with eloquence but due caution.

Chapter 2
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 chatting with officials in the upper ranks, he was direct but respectful. When the ruler was present, he was reverent but composed.

Chapter 3
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 instructed him to welcome guests to court, he assumed a serious expression on his face and walked at a rapid pace. He clasped his hands in front of his chest and bowed towards those standing beside him, turning to the left and the right, and made sure that his gown flowed backwards and forwards in perfect rhythm with the movements of his body. He approached the guests in quick, small steps, his sleeves fluttering like the wings of a bird. When seeing off the guests, he always returned to announce: “The guests have gone.”

Chapter 4
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 bowed his head respectfully as if it were not high enough. He never paused 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 ease 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 and cautious demeanor once again.

Chapter 5
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 it was too heavy to lift. When he held it high, he looked as if he was going to give a greeting; when he held it low he looked as if he was going to make an offering. He adopted a solemn expression as if he was going off into battle, and he walked in short measured steps as if he was following a straight line. When participating in a ritual ceremony, he looked dignified. When in a private meeting, he looked happy and relaxed.

Chapter 6
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 doesn’t wear purple or maroon for the embroidered borders on his gown; he doesn’t use red or purple either for casual wear. During the summer, he wears a fine or coarse linen singlet, but never goes out without wearing an undergarment beneath it. He wears a black robe over a lambskin coat; a white robe over a fawn fur coat; and a yellow robe over a fox fur coat. His casual fur robes are long and have a shorter right sleeve. His nightgown is very long. He uses thick furs such as fox and badger as cushions. Except when he is in mourning, he can wear any type of adornment ornament on his girdle. Apart from his ceremonial robes, the layers of his other robes are cut to different lengths. At funerals, he doesn’t wear lambskin coats or black caps. On New Year’s Day, he attends court dressed in full court attire.

Chapter 7
齊,必有明衣布。齊,必變食。居,必遷坐。
During periods of purification, he wore a plain robe made of coarse linen. During periods of purification, he simplified his diet and did not sleep in his usual place when at home.

Chapter 8
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。
He didn’t eat too much finely-milled 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 wasn’t served at the proper time, he didn’t eat it. If it wasn’t butchered properly, he didn’t eat it. If it wasn’t 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 liquor, however, there was no limit as long as he remained sober. He didn’t consume liquor or meat bought from the market. He was never without ginger when he ate, but used it only in moderation.

Chapter 9
祭於公,不宿肉。祭肉,不出三日;出三日,不食之矣。
After taking part in a public sacrificial ceremony, he didn’t keep the meat bestowed on him overnight. After carrying out a family sacrificial ceremony, he didn’t keep the meat for more than three days. After the third day, he didn’t eat it.

Chapter 10
食不語,寢不言。
When eating, he did not talk. When retiring to bed, he did not speak.

Chapter 11
雖疏食,菜羹,瓜祭,必齊如也。
Even if the food only consisted of coarse rice or vegetable soup, he made a sacrificial offering with the same level of respect as when he was fasting.

Chapter 12
席不正不坐。
He didn’t sit on a mat unless it was straight.
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Chapter 13
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 14
鄉人儺,朝服而立於阼階。
When the villagers carried out the ceremony to exorcize pestilent spirits and ghosts, he put on his court dress and stood on the eastern steps.

Chapter 15
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 16
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 17
廄焚,子退朝,曰:「傷人乎?」不問馬。
When the stables caught fire, Confucius returned from court and asked: “Was anyone hurt?” He didn’t ask about the horses.

Chapter 18
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 made an offering to his ancestors. When his ruler gave him a livestock, 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 19
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 20
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 21
入大廟,每事問。
Whenever he visited the Grand Ancestral Temple, he asked about everything that was happening there.

Chapter 23
朋友死,無所歸,曰:「於我殯。」
When a friend died and there was no one to take care of his funeral, he said: “Let me look after it.”

Chapter 23
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 24
寢不尸,居不容。
In bed, he didn’t lie stiffly like a corpse; at home, he was informal and relaxed.

Chapter 25
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 he was familiar with them. When he came across someone in mourning garments while riding in his carriage, he leaned over the stanchion to greet them; he would do the same when he encountered someone carrying official documents. When he was served rich delicacies at a banquet, he adopted a gracious expression on his face and rose to his feet to show his appreciation. When he heard a sudden clap of thunder or a ferocious wind an awe-struck expression came over his face.

Chapter 26
升車,必正立執綏。車中不內顧,不疾言,不親指。
Before mounting his carriage, he stood straight and grasped the hand strap. Once in the carriage, he didn’t turn to look back, talk loudly, or point with his finger. 

Chapter 27
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, hovered for a while, and then landed again. Confucius said: “The hen pheasant on the mountain bridge – How timely! How timely!” Zilu clasped his hands and bowed towards the bird, which tweeted three times and flew away.

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