Dec. 21, 2012 Countdown - Day 38: Confucian Analects Book II (孔夫子論語: 為政第二)

Author: Confucius (孔夫子); translated by James Legge

1. 子曰:「為政以德,譬如北辰,居其所而眾星共之。」

The Master said, He that rules by mind is like the north star, steady in his seat, whilst the stars all bend to him.

2. 子曰:「詩三百,一言以蔽之,曰:思無邪。」

The Master said, The three hundred poems are summed up in the one line, Think no evil.

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, Guide the people by law, aline them by punishment; they may shun crime, but they will want shame. Guide them by mind, aline them by courtesy; they will learn shame and grow good.

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 had the will to learn; at thirty, I could stand; at forty, I had no doubts; at fifty, I understood the heavenly Bidding; at sixty, my ears were opened; at seventy, I could do as my heart lusted without trespassing from the square.

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 Yi asked the duty of a son.
The Master said, Not to transgress.
As Fan Chi'ih was driving him, the Master said, Meng-sun asked me the duty of a son; I answered, Not to transgress.
What did ye mean? said Fan Chi'ih.
To serve our father and mother with courtesy whilst they live; to bury them with courtesy when they die, and to worship them with courtesy.

6. 孟武伯問孝。子曰:「父母唯其疾之憂。」

Meng Wu asked the duty of a son.
The Master said, He should not grieve his father and mother by anything but illness.

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。」

Tzu-yu asked the duty of a son.
The Master said, He that can feed his parents is now called a good son. But both dogs and horses are fed, and unless we honour our parents, what is the difference?

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?」

Tzu-hsia asked the duty of a son.
The Master said, Our manner is the hard part. For the young to be a stay in toil and leave the wine and food to their elders, is this to fulfill their duty?

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, If I talk all day to Hui, like a dullard, he never differs from me. But when he is gone, if I watch him when alone, he can carry out what I taught. No, Hui is no dullard!

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, See what he does; watch what moves him; search what pleases him: can the man lie hidden? Can the man lie hidden?

11. 子曰:「溫故而知新,可以為師矣。」
The Master said, To keep old knowledge warm and get new makes the teacher.

12. 子曰:「君子不器。」

The Master said, A gentleman is not a vessel.

13. 子貢問君子。子曰:「先行其言,而後從之。」

Tzu-kung asked, What is a gentleman?
The Master said, He puts words into deeds first, and follows these up with words.

14. 子曰:「君子周而不比,小人比而不周。」

The Master said, A gentleman is broad and fair; the small man takes sides and is narrow.

15. 子曰:「學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。」

The Master said, Learning without thought is naught; thought without learning is dangerous.

16. 子曰:「攻乎異端,斯害也己。」

The Master said, To fight strange doctrines does harm.

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, Yu, shall I teach thee what is wisdom? To know what we know, and know what we do not know, is wisdom.

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。」

Tsu-chang learned with an eye to pay.
The Master said, Hear much, leave all that is doubtful alone, speak warily of everything else, and few will be offended. See much, leave all that is dangerous alone, deal warily with everything else, and thou wilt have little to rue. If thy words seldom give offence, and thy deeds leave little to rue, pay will follow.

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 people?
Confucius answered, Lift up the straight, put away the crooked; and the people will be won. Lift up the crooked, put away the straight; and the people will not be won.

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。」

Chi K'ang asked how to make the people lowly, faithful and painstaking.
The Master said, Meet them with dignity, they will be lowly; be a good son and merciful, they will be faithful; lift up the good and teach the unskilled, and they will take pains.

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?」

One said to Confucius, Why do ye not govern, Sir?
The Master said, What does the Book say of a good son? 'To be a good son and a friend to thy brothers is to show how to govern.' This, too, is to govern. Must one be in office to govern?

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, A man without truth, I know not what good he is! A cart without a crosspole, a carriage without a yoke, how can they be moved?

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。」

Tzu-chang asked whether we can know what is to be ten generations hence.
The Master said, The Yin took over the manners of the Hsia; the harm and the good that they did them can be known. The Chou took over the manners of the Yin; the harm and the good that they did them can be known. And we may know what shall be, even an hundred generations hence, whoever follows Chou.

24. 子曰:「非其鬼而祭之,諂也。見義不為,無勇也。」

The Master said, To worship the ghosts of men not akin to us is fawning. To see the right and not do it is want of courage.