Confucian Analects Book XX (孔夫子論語:堯曰第二十)

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

The Master said, He that does not know the Bidding cannot be a gentleman. Not to know good form is to have no foothold. Not to know words is to know nothing of men.



1. 堯曰:「咨!爾舜!天之歷數在爾躬,允執其中!四海困窮,天祿永終。」舜亦以命 禹。曰:「予小子履,敢用玄牡,敢昭告于皇皇后帝,有罪不敢赦,帝臣不蔽,簡在帝心!朕躬有罪,無以萬方;萬方有罪,罪在朕躬。」「周有大賚,善人是富。」「雖有周親,不如仁人;百姓有過,在予一人。謹權量,審法度,修廢官,四方之政行焉。興滅國,繼絕世,舉逸民,天下之民歸心焉。所重民,食喪祭。寬則得眾,信則民任焉。敏則有功,公則說。」

Yao said, Hail to thee, Shun! The count that Heaven is telling falls on thee. Keep true hold of the centre. If there be stress or want within the four seas, the gift of Heaven will pass for ever.
Shun laid the same commands on Yü.
T'ang said, I, Thy little child Li, dare to offer this black steer, and dare to proclaim before Thee, Almighty Lord, that I dare not forgive sin, nor keep down Thy ministers. Search them, O Lord, in Thine heart. If Our life be sinful, visit it not upon the ten thousand homesteads. If the ten thousand homesteads sin, the sin is on Our head.
Chou bestowed great gifts, and good men grew rich.
'Loving hearts are better than near kinsmen. All the people blame no one but me.'
He saw to weights and measures, revised the laws, and brought back broken officers. Order reigned everywhere. He revived ruined kingdoms and restored fiefs that had fallen in. All hearts below heaven turned to him. The people's food, burials and worship weighed most with him. His bounty gained the many, his truth won the people's trust, his earnestness brought success, his justice made men glad.

2. 子張問於孔子曰:「何如斯可以從政矣?」子曰:「尊五美,屏四惡,斯可以從政 矣。」子張曰:「何謂五美?」子曰:「君子惠而不費,勞而不怨,欲而不貪,泰而不驕;威而不猛。」子張曰:「何謂惠而不費?」子曰:「因民之所利而利之,斯不亦惠而不費乎?擇可勞而勞之,又誰怨!欲仁而得仁,又焉貪!君子無眾寡,無小大,無敢慢,斯不亦泰而不驕乎!君子正其衣冠,尊其瞻視,儼然人望而畏之,斯不亦威而不猛乎!」子張曰:「何謂四惡?」子曰:「不教而殺謂之虐,不戒視成謂之暴,慢令致期謂之賊,猶之與人也,出納之吝,謂之有司。」

Tzu-chang asked Confucius, How should men be governed?
The Master said, To govern men we must honour five fair things and spurn four evil things.
Tzu-chang said, What are the five fair things?
The Master said, A gentleman is kind, but not wasteful; he burdens, but he does not embitter; he is covetous, but not greedy; high-minded, but not proud; stern, but not fierce.
Tzu-chang said, What is meant by kindness without waste?
The Master said, To further what furthers the people, is not that kindness without waste? If burdens be sorted to strength, who will grumble? To covet love and get love, is that greed? Few or many, small or great, all is one to a gentleman: he dares not slight any man. Is not this to be high-minded, but not proud? A gentleman straightens his robe and cap, and settles his look. He is severe, and men look up to him with awe. Is not this to be stern, but not fierce?
Tzu-chang said, What are the four evil things?
The Master said, To leave untaught and then kill is cruelty; not to give warning and to expect things to be done is tyranny; to give careless orders and be strict when the day comes is robbery; to be stingy in rewarding men is littleness.

3. 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。」

The Master said, He that does not know the Bidding cannot be a gentleman. Not to know good form is to have no foothold. Not to know words is to know nothing of men.