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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.

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

Tzu-kung said, A gentleman's faults are like the eating of sun or moon. All men see them, and when he mends all men look up to him.



21. 子貢曰:「君子之過也,如日月之食焉。過也,人皆見之;更也,人皆仰之。」

Tzu-kung said, A gentleman's faults are like the eating of sun or moon. All men see them, and when he mends all men look up to him.

22. 衛公孫朝問於子貢曰:「仲尼焉學?」子貢曰:「文武之道,未墜於地,在人。賢者 識其大者,不賢者識其小者,莫不有文武之道焉。夫子焉不學,而亦何常師之有!」

Kung-sun Ch'ao of Wei asked Tzu-kung, From whom did Chung-ni learn? Tzu-kung said, The Way of Wen and Wu has not fallen into ruin. It lives in men: the big in big men, the small in small men. In none of them is the Way of Wen and Wu missing. How should the Master not learn it? What need had he for a set teacher?

23. 叔孫武叔語大夫於朝曰:「子貢賢於仲尼。」子服景伯以告子貢。子貢曰:「譬之宮 牆。賜之牆也及肩,窺見屋家之好;夫子之牆數仞,不得其門而入,不見宗廟之美,百官之富。得其門者或寡矣!夫子之云,不亦宜乎!」

In talk with the great men of the court Shu-sun Wu-shu said, Tzu-kung is worthier than Chung-ni. Tzu-fu Ching-po told this to Tzu-kung. Tzu-kung said, This is like the palace wall. My wall reaches to the shoulder: peeping over you see the good home within. The Master's wall is several fathoms high: no one can see the beauty of the Ancestral Temple and the wealth of its hundred officers, unless he gets in by the gate. And if only a few men find the gate, may not my lord have spoken the truth?

24. 叔孫武叔毀仲尼。子貢曰:「無以為也!仲尼不可毀也。他人之賢者,丘陵也,猶可 踰也。仲尼,日月也,無得而踰焉。人雖欲自絕,其何傷於日月乎?多見其不知自量也!」

Shu-sun Wu-shu cried down Chung-ni. Tzu-kung said, It is labour lost. Chung-ni cannot be cried down. The greatness of other men is a hummock, over which we can still leap. Chung-ni is the sun or moon, which no one can overleap. Though the man were willing to kill himself, how could he hurt the sun or moon? That he does not know his own measure would only be seen the better!

25. 陳子禽謂子貢曰:「子為恭也,仲尼豈賢於子乎?」子貢曰:「君子一言以為知,一 言以為不知,言不可不慎也!夫子之不可及也,猶天之不可階而升也。夫子之得邦家者,所謂立之斯立,道之斯行,綏之斯來,動之斯和。其生也榮,其死也哀,如之何其可及也?」

Ch'en Tzu-ch'in said to Tzu-kung, Ye humble yourself, Sir. In what is Chung-ni your better? Tzu-kung said, By one word a gentleman shows wisdom, by one word want of wisdom. Words must not be lightly spoken. No one can come up to the Master, as heaven is not to be climbed by steps. If the Master had power in a kingdom, or a clan, the saying would come true, 'What he sets up stands; he shows the way and men go it, he brings peace and they come, he stirs them and they are at one. Honoured in life, he is mourned when dead!' Who can come up to him?

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