THE ANALECTS (Sayings)
1.   Confucius said of the head of the Chi family, who had eight
rows of pantomimes in his area, "If he can bear to do this,
what may he not bear to do?"
2.   The three families used the Yungode, while the vessels were
being removed, at the conclusion of the sacrifice. The Master
said, "'Assisting are the princes; —the son of heaven looks
profound and grave'; —what application can these words have in
the hall of the three families?"
3.   The Master said, "If a man be without the virtues
proper to humanity, what has he to do with the rites of
propriety? If a man be without the virtues proper to humanity,
what has he to do with music?"
4.   Lin Fang asked what was the first thing to be attended to
in ceremonies. The Master said, "A great question indeed!
"In festive ceremonies, it is better to be sparing than
extravagant. In the ceremonies of mourning, it is better that
there be deep sorrow than in minute attention to observances."
5.   The Master said, "The rude tribes of the east and
north have their princes, and are not like the States of our
great land which are without them."
6.   The chief of the Chi family was about to sacrifice to the
T'ai mountain. The Master said to Zan Yu, "Can you not save
him from this?" He answered, "I cannot." Confucius
said, "Alas! will you say that the T'ai mountain is not so
discerning as Lin Fang?"
7.   The Master said, "The student of virtue has no
contentions. If it be said he cannot avoid them, shall this be in
archery? But he bows complaisantly to his competitors; thus he
ascends the hall, descends, and exacts the forfeit of drinking.
In his contention, he is still the Chun-tsze."
8.   Tsze-hsia asked, saying, "What is the meaning of the
passage —'The pretty dimples of her artful smile! The well-defined
black and white of her eye! The plain ground for the colors?'"
The Master said, "The business of laying on the colors
follows the preparation of the plain ground." "Ceremonies
then are a subsequent thing?" The Master said, "It is
Shang who can bring out my meaning. Now I can begin to talk about
the odes with him."
9.   The Master said, "I could describe the ceremonies of
the Hsia dynasty, but Chi cannot sufficiently attest my words. I
could describe the ceremonies of the Yin dynasty, but Sung cannot
sufficiently attest my words. They cannot do so because of the
insufficiency of their records and wise men. If those were
sufficient, I could adduce them in support of my words."
10.   The Master said, "At the great sacrifice, after the
pouring out of the libation, I have no wish to look on."
11.   Some one asked the meaning of the great sacrifice. The
Master said, "I do not know. He who knew its meaning would
find it as easy to govern the kingdom as to look on this" —pointing
to his palm.
12.   He sacrificed to the dead, as if they were present. He
sacrificed to the spirits, as if the spirits were present. The
Master said, "I consider my not being present at the
sacrifice, as if I did not sacrifice."
13.   Wang-sun Chia asked, saying, "What is the meaning of
the saying, 'It is better to pay court to the furnace then to the
southwest corner?'" The Master said, "Not so. He who
offends against Heaven has none to whom he can pray."
14.   The Master said, "Chau had the advantage of viewing
the two past dynasties. How complete and elegant are its
regulations! I follow Chau."
15.   The Master, when he entered the grand temple, asked about
everything. Some one said, "Who say that the son of the man
of Tsau knows the rules of propriety! He has entered the grand
temple and asks about everything." The Master heard the
remark, and said, "This is a rule of propriety."
16.   The Master said, "In archery it is not going through
the leather which is the principal thing; —because people's
strength is not equal. This was the old way."
17.   Tsze-kung wished to do away with the offering of a sheep
connected with the inauguration of the first day of each month.
The Master said, "Ts'ze, you love the sheep; I love the
18.   The Master said, "The full observance of the rules of
propriety in serving one's prince is accounted by people to be
19.   The Duke Ting asked how a prince should employ his
ministers, and how ministers should serve their prince. Confucius
replied, "A prince should employ his minister according to
according to the rules of propriety; ministers should serve their
prince with faithfulness."
20.   The Master said, "The Kwan Tsu is expressive of
enjoyment without being licentious, and of grief without being
21.   The Duke Ai asked Tsai Wo about the altars of the spirits
of the land. Tsai Wo replied, "The Hsia sovereign planted
the pine tree about them; the men of the Yin planted the cypress;
and the men of the Chau planted the chestnut tree, meaning
thereby to cause the people to be in awe."
When the Master heard it, he said, "Things that are done,
it is needless to speak about; things that have had their course,
it is needless to remonstrate about; things that are past, it is
needless to blame."
22.   The Master said, "Small indeed was the capacity of
Some one said, "Was Kwan Chung parsimonious?" "Kwan,"
was the reply, "had the San Kwei, and his officers performed
no double duties; how can he be considered parsimonious?"
"Then, did Kwan Chung know the rules of propriety?"
The Master said, "The princes of States have a screen
intercepting the view at their gates. Kwan had likewise a screen
at his gate. The princes of States on any friendly meeting
between two of them, had a stand on which to place their inverted
cups. Kwan had also such a stand. If Kwan knew the rules of
propriety, who does not know them?"
23.   The Master instructing the grand music master of Lu said,
"How to play music may be known. At the commencement of the
piece, all the parts should sound together. As it proceeds, they
should be in harmony while severally distinct and flowing without
break, and thus on to the conclusion."
24.   The border warden at Yi requested to be introduced to the
Master, saying, "When men of superior virtue have come to
this, I have never been denied the privilege of seeing them."
The followers of the sage introduced him, and when he came out
from the interview, he said, "My friends, why are you
distressed by your master's loss of office? The kingdom has long
been without the principles of truth and right; Heaven is going
to use your master as a bell with its wooden tongue."
25.   The Master said of the Shao that it was perfectly
beautiful and also perfectly good. He said of the Wu that it was
perfectly beautiful but not perfectly good.
26.   The Master said, "High station filled without
indulgent generosity; ceremonies performed without reverence;
mourning conducted without sorrow; —wherewith should I
contemplate such ways?"