THE ANALECTS (Sayings)
1.   The Master said, "He who exercises government by means
of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which
keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it."
2.   The Master said, "In the Book of Poetry are three
hundred pieces, but the design of them all may be embraced in one
sentence 'Having no depraved thoughts.'"
3.   The Master said, "If the people be led by laws, and
uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try
to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame.
"If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be
given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of
shame, and moreover will become good."
4.   The Master said, "At fifteen, I had my mind bent on
learning. "At thirty, I stood firm. "At forty, I had no
doubts. "At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven. "At
sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reception of truth.
"At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, without
transgressing what was right."
5.   Mang I asked what filial piety was. The Master said, "It
is not being disobedient."
Soon after, as Fan Ch'ih was driving him, the Master told him,
saying, "Mang-sun asked me what filial piety was, and I
answered him, —'not being disobedient.'"
Fan Ch'ih said, "What did you mean?" The Master
replied, "That parents, when alive, be served according to
propriety; that, when dead, they should be buried according to
propriety; and that they should be sacrificed to according to
6.   Mang Wu asked what filial piety was. The Master said,
"Parents are anxious lest their children should be sick."
7.   Tsze-yu asked what filial piety was. The Master said,
"The filial piety nowadays means the support of one's
parents. But dogs and horses likewise are able to do something in
the way of support; —without reverence, what is there to
distinguish the one support given from the other?"
8.   Tsze-hsia asked what filial piety was. The Master said,
"The difficulty is with the countenance. If, when their
elders have any troublesome affairs, the young take the toil of
them, and if, when the young have wine and food, they set them
before their elders, is THIS to be considered filial piety?"
9.   The Master said, "I have talked with Hui for a whole
day, and he has not made any objection to anything I said; —as
if he were stupid. He has retired, and I have examined his
conduct when away from me, and found him able to illustrate my
teachings. Hui! —He is not stupid."
10.   The Master said, "See what a man does. "Mark his
motives. "Examine in what things he rests. "How can a
man conceal his character? How can a man conceal his character?"
11.   The Master said, "If a man keeps cherishing his old
knowledge, so as continually to be acquiring new, he may be a
teacher of others."
12.   The Master said, "The accomplished scholar is not a
13.   Tsze-kung asked what constituted the superior man. The
Master said, "He acts before he speaks, and afterwards
speaks according to his actions."
14.   The Master said, "The superior man is catholic and
not partisan. The mean man is partisan and not catholic."
15.   The Master said, "Learning without thought is labor
lost; thought without learning is perilous."
16.   The Master said, "The study of strange doctrines is
17.   The Master said, "Yu, shall I teach you what
knowledge is? When you know a thing, to hold that you know it;
and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know
it; —this is knowledge."
18.   Tsze-chang was learning with a view to official emolument.
The Master said, "Hear much and put aside the points of
which you stand in doubt, while you speak cautiously at the same
time of the others: —then you will afford few occasions for
blame. See much and put aside the things which seem perilous,
while you are cautious at the same time in carrying the others
into practice: then you will have few occasions for repentance.
When one gives few occasions for blame in his words, and few
occasions for repentance in his conduct, he is in the way to get
19.   The Duke Ai asked, saying, "What should be done in
order to secure the submission of the people?" Confucius
replied, "Advance the upright and set aside the crooked,
then the people will submit. Advance the crooked and set aside
the upright, then the people will not submit."
20.   Chi K'ang asked how to cause the people to reverence their
ruler, to be faithful to him, and to go on to nerve themselves to
virtue. The Master said, "Let him preside over them with
gravity; —then they will reverence him. Let him be final and
kind to all; —then they will be faithful to him. Let him advance
the good and teach the incompetent; —then they will eagerly seek
to be virtuous."
21.   Some one addressed Confucius, saying, "Sir, why are
you not engaged in the government?"
The Master said, "What does the Shu-ching say of filial
piety? —'You are final, you discharge your brotherly duties.
These qualities are displayed in government.' This then also
constitutes the exercise of government. Why must there be THAT —making
one be in the government?"
22.   The Master said, "I do not know how a man without
truthfulness is to get on. How can a large carriage be made to go
without the crossbar for yoking the oxen to, or a small carriage
without the arrangement for yoking the horses?"
23.   Tsze-chang asked whether the affairs of ten ages after
could be known.
Confucius said, "The Yin dynasty followed the regulations
of the Hsia: wherein it took from or added to them may be known.
The Chau dynasty has followed the regulations of Yin: wherein it
took from or added to them may be known. Some other may follow
the Chau, but though it should be at the distance of a hundred
ages, its affairs may be known."
24.   The Master said, "For a man to sacrifice to a spirit
which does not belong to him is flattery.
"To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage."