论语12 颜渊篇第十二

发布时间:2019-10-08 浏览次数:95

 

颜渊篇第十二

 

本篇共计24章。其中著名的文句有:“克己复礼为仁,一日克己复礼,天下归仁焉”;“非礼勿视,非礼勿听,非礼勿言,非礼勿动”;己所不欲,勿施于人”;“死生有命,富贵在天”;“四海之内,皆兄弟也”;“君子成人之美,不成人之恶”;“君子以文会友,以友辅仁”。本篇中,孔子的几位弟子向他问怎样才是仁。这几段,是研究者们经常引用的。孔子还谈到怎样算是君子等问题。

 

121 颜渊问仁。子曰:“克己复礼(1)为仁。一日克己复礼,天下归仁焉(2)。为仁由己,而由人乎哉?”颜渊曰:“请问其目(3)。”子曰:“非礼勿视,非礼勿听,非礼勿言,非礼勿动。”颜渊曰:“回虽不敏,请事(4)斯语矣。”

 

【注释】

(1)克己复礼:克己,克制自己。复礼,使自己的言行符合于礼的要求。

(2)归仁:归,归顺。仁,即仁道。

(3)目:具体的条目。目和纲相对。

(4)事:从事,照着去做。

 

【译文】

颜渊问怎样做才是仁。孔子说:“克制自己,一切都照着礼的要求去做,这就是仁。一旦这样做了,天下的一切就都归于仁了。实行仁德,完全在于自己,难道还在于别人吗?”颜渊说:“请问实行仁的条目。”孔子说:“不合于礼的不要看,不合于礼的不要听,不合于礼的不要说,不合于礼的不要做。”颜渊说:“我虽然愚笨,也要照您的这些话去做。”

 

【评析】

“克己复礼为仁”,这是孔子关于什么是仁的主要解释。在这里,孔子以礼来规定仁,依礼而行就是仁的根本要求。所以,礼以仁为基础,以仁来维护。仁是内在的,礼是外在的,二者紧密结合。这里实际上包括两个方面的内容,一是克己,二是复礼。克己复礼就是通过人们的道德修养自觉地遵守礼的规定。这是孔子思想的核心内容,贯穿于《论语》一书的始终。

 

122 仲弓问仁。子曰:“出门如见大宾,使民如承大祭(1);己所不欲,勿施于人;在邦无怨,在家无怨(2)。”仲弓曰:“雍虽不敏,请事(3)斯语矣。”

 

【注释】

(1)出门如见大宾,使民如承大祭:这句话是说,出门办事和役使百姓,都要像迎接贵宾和进行大祭时那样恭敬严肃。

(2)在邦无怨,在家无怨:邦,诸侯统治的国家。家,卿大夫统治的封地。

(3)事:从事,照着去做。

 

【译文】

仲弓问怎样做才是仁。孔子说:“出门办事如同去接待贵宾,使唤百姓如同去进行重大的祭祀,(都要认真严肃。)自己不愿意要的,不要强加于别人;做到在诸侯的朝廷上没人怨恨(自己);在卿大夫的封地里也没人怨恨(自己)。”仲弓说:“我虽然笨,也要照您的话去做。”

 

【评析】

这里是孔子对他的学生仲弓论说“仁”的一段话。他谈到了“仁”的两个内容。一是要他的学生事君使民都要严肃认真,二是要宽以待人,“己所不欲,勿施于人。”只有做到了这两点,就向仁德迈进了一大步。“己所不欲,勿施于人”,这句话成为后世遵奉的信条。

 

123 司马牛(1)问仁。子曰:“仁者,其言也讱(2)。”曰:“其言也讱,斯(3)谓之仁已乎?”子曰:“为之难,言之得无讱乎?”

 

【注释】

(1)司马牛:姓司马名耕,字子牛,孔子的学生。

(2)讱:音rèn,话难说出口。这里引申为说话谨慎。

(3)斯:就。

 

【译文】

司马牛问怎样做才是仁。孔子说:仁人说话是慎重的。”司马牛说:“说话慎重,这就叫做仁了吗?”孔子说:“做起来很困难,说起来能不慎重吗?”

 

【评析】

“其言也讱”是孔子对于那些希望成为仁人的人所提要求之一。“仁者”,其言行必须慎重,行动必须认真,一言一行都符合周礼。所以,这里的“讱”是为“仁”服务的,为了“仁”,就必须“讱”。这种思想与本篇第1章中所说:“克己复礼为仁”基本上是一贯的。

 

124 司马牛问君子。子曰:“君子不忧不惧。”曰:“不忧不惧,斯谓之君子已乎?”子曰:“内省不疚,夫何忧何惧?”

 

【译文】

司马牛问怎样做一个君子。孔子说:“君子不忧愁,不恐惧。”司马牛说:“不忧愁,不恐惧,这样就可以叫做君子了吗?”孔子说:“自己问心无愧,那还有什么忧愁和恐惧呢?”

 

【评析】

据说司马牛是宋国大夫桓魋的弟弟。桓魋在宋国“犯上作乱”,遭到宋国当权者的打击,全家被迫出逃。司马牛逃到鲁国,拜孔子为师,并声称桓魋不是他的哥哥。所以这一章里,孔子回答司马牛问怎样做才是君子的问题,这是有针对性的,即不忧不惧、问心无愧。

 

125 司马牛忧曰:“人皆有兄弟,我独亡。”子夏曰:“商闻之矣:死生有命,富贵在天。君子敬而无失,与人恭而有礼,四海之内,皆兄弟也。君子何患乎无兄弟也?”

 

【译文】

司马牛忧愁地说:“别人都有兄弟,唯独我没有。”子夏说:“我听说过:‘死生有命,富贵在天。’君子只要对待所做的事情严肃认真,不出差错,对人恭敬而合乎于礼的规定,那么,天下人就都是自己的兄弟了。君子何愁没有兄弟呢?”

 

【评析】

如上章所说,司马牛宣布他不承认桓魋是他的哥哥,这与儒家一贯倡导的“悌”的观念是相违背的。但由于他的哥哥“犯上作乱”,因而孔子没有责备他,反而劝他不要忧愁,不要恐惧,只要内心无愧就是做到了“仁”。这一章,子夏同样劝慰司马牛,说只要自己的言行符合于“礼”,那就会赢得天下人的称赞,就不必发愁自己没有兄弟,“四海之内皆兄弟也。”

 

126 子张问明:子曰:“浸润之谮(1),肤受之愬(2),不行焉,可谓明也已矣。浸润之谮,肤受之愬,不行焉,可谓远(3)也已矣。”

 

【注释】

(1)浸润之谮,谮,音zèn,谗言。这是说像水那样一点一滴地渗进来的谗言,不易觉察。

(2)肤受之愬:愬,音sù,诬告。这是说像皮肤感觉到疼痛那样的诬告,即直接的诽谤。

(3)远:明之至,明智的最高境界。

 

【译文】

子张问怎样做才算是明智的。孔子说:“像水润物那样暗中挑拨的坏话,像切肤之痛那样直接的诽谤,在你那里都行不通,那你可以算是明智的了。暗中挑拨的坏话和直接的诽谤,在你那里都行不通,那你可以算是有远见的了。”

 

127 子贡问政。子曰:“足食,足兵,民信之矣。”子贡曰:“必不得已而去,于斯三者何先?”曰:“去兵。”子贡曰:“必不得已而去,于期二者何先?”曰:“去食。自古皆有死,民无信不立。”

【译文】

子贡问怎样治理国家。孔子说,“粮食充足,军备充足,老百姓信任统治者。”子贡说:“如果不得不去掉一项,那么在三项中先去掉哪一项呢?”孔子说:“去掉军备。”子贡说:“如果不得不再去掉一项,那么这两项中去掉哪一项呢?”孔子说:“去掉粮食。自古以来人总是要死的,如果老百姓对统治者不信任,那么国家就不能存在了。”

 

【评析】

本章里孔子回答了子贡问政中所连续提出的三个问题。孔子认为,治理一个国家,应当具备三个起码条件:食、兵、信。但这三者当中,信是最重要的。这体现了儒学的人学思想。只有兵和食,而百姓对统治者不信任,那这样的国家也就不能存在下去了。

 

128 棘子成(1)曰:“君子质而已矣,何以文为?”子贡曰:“惜乎夫子之说君子也!驷不及舌(2)。文犹质也,质犹文也,虎豹之鞟(3)犹犬羊之鞟。”

 

【注释】

(1)棘子成:卫国大夫。古代大夫都可以被尊称为夫子,所以子贡这样称呼他。

(2)驷不及舌:指话一说出口,就收不回来了。驷,拉一辆车的四匹马。

(3)鞟:音kuò,去掉毛的皮,即革。

 

【译文】

棘子成说:“君子只要具有好的品质就行了,要那些表面的仪式干什么呢?”子贡说:“真遗憾,夫子您这样谈论君子。一言既出,驷马难追。本质就像文采,文采就像本质,都是同等重要的。去掉了毛的虎、豹皮,就如同去掉了毛的犬、羊皮一样。”

 

【评析】

这里是讲表里一致的问题。棘子成认为作为君子只要有好的品质就可以了,不须外表的文采。但子贡反对这种说法。他的意思是,良好的本质应当有适当的表现形式,否则,本质再好,也无法显现出来。

 

129 哀公问于有若曰:“年饥,用不足,如之何?”有若对曰:“盍彻乎(1)?”曰:“二(2),吾犹不足,如之何其彻也?”对曰:“百姓足,君孰与不足?百姓不足,君孰与足?”

 

【注释】

(1)盍彻乎:盍,何不。彻,西周奴隶主国家的一种田税制度。旧注曰:“什一而税谓之彻。”

(2)二:抽取十分之二的税。

 

【译文】

鲁哀公问有若说:“遭了饥荒,国家用度困难,怎么办?”有若回答说:“为什么不实行彻法,只抽十分之一的田税呢?”哀公说:现在抽十分之二,我还不够,怎么能实行彻法呢?”有若说:“如果百姓的用度够,您怎么会不够呢?如果百姓的用度不够,您怎么又会够呢?”

 

【评析】

这一章反映了儒家学派的经济思想,其核心是“富民”思想。鲁国所征的田税是十分之二的税率,即使如此,国家的财政仍然是十分紧张的。这里,有若的观点是,削减田税的税率,改行“彻税”即什一税率,使百姓减轻经济负担。只要百姓富足了,国家就不可能贫穷。反之,如果对百姓征收过甚,这种短期行为必将使民不聊生,国家经济也就随之衰退了。这种以“富民”为核心的经济思想有其值得借鉴的价值。

 

1210 子张问崇德(1)辨惑(2)。子曰:“主忠信,徙义(3),崇德也。爱之欲其生,恶之欲其死,既欲其生,又欲其死,是惑也。‘诚不以富,亦祗以异。’(4)

 

【注释】

(1)崇德:提高道德修养的水平。

(2)惑:迷惑,不分是非。

(3)徙义:徙,迁移。向义靠扰。

(4)诚不以富,亦祗以异:这是《经•小雅•我行其野》篇的最后两句。此诗表现了一个被遗弃的女子对其丈夫喜新厌旧的愤怒情绪。孔子在这里引此句,令人费解。

 

【译文】

子张问怎样提高道德修养水平和辨别是非迷惑的能力。孔子说:“以忠信为主,使自己的思想合于义,这就是提高道德修养水平了。爱一个人,就希望他活下去,厌恶起来就恨不得他立刻死去,既要他活,又要他死,这就是迷惑。(正如《诗》所说的:)‘即使不是嫌贫爱富,也是喜新厌旧。’”

 

【评析】

本章里,孔子谈的主要是个人的道德修养问题。他希望人们按照“忠信”、“仁义”的原则去办事,否则,感情用事,就会陷于迷惑之中。

 

1211 齐景公(1)问政于孔子。孔子对曰:“君君、臣臣、父父、子子。”公曰:“善哉!信如君不君,臣不臣,父不父,子不子,虽有粟,吾得而食诸?”

 

【注释】

(1)齐景公:名杵臼,音chǔ jiù,齐国国君,公元前547年 ̄公元前490年在位。

【译文】

齐景公问孔子如何治理国家。孔子说:“做君主的要像君的样子,做臣子的要像臣的样子,做父亲的要像父亲的样子,做儿子的要像儿子的样子。”齐景公说:“讲得好呀!如果君不像君,臣不像臣,父不像父,子不像子,虽然有粮食,我能吃得上吗?”

 

【评析】

春秋时期的社会变动,使当时的等级名分受到破坏,弑君父之事屡有发生,孔子认为这是国家动乱的主要原因。所以他告诉齐景公,“君君、臣臣、父父、子子”,恢复这样的等级秩序,国家就可以得到治理。

 

1212 子曰:“片言(1)可以折狱(2)者,其由也与(3)?”子路无宿诺(4)

 

【注释】

(1)片言:诉讼双方中一方的言辞,即片面之辞,古时也叫“单辞”。

(2)折狱:狱,案件。即断案。

(3)其由也与:大概只有仲由吧。

(4)宿诺:宿,久。拖了很久而没有兑现的诺言。

 

【译文】

孔子说:“只听了单方面的供词就可以判决案件的,大概只有仲由吧。”子路说话没有不算数的时候。

 

【评析】

仲由可以以“片言”而“折狱”,这是为什么?历来有这样几种解释。一说子路明决,凭单方面的陈述就可以作出判断;二说子路为人忠信,人们都十分信服他,所以有了纠纷都在他面前不讲假话,所以凭一面之辞就可以明辨是非;三说子路忠信,他所说的话决无虚假,所以只听其中一面之辞,就可以断定案件。但无论哪种解释,都可以证明子路在刑狱方面是卓有才干的。

 

1213 子曰:“听讼(1),吾犹人也。必也使无讼(2)乎!”

 

【注释】

(1)听讼:讼,音sòng,诉讼。审理诉讼案件。

(2)使无讼:使人们之间没有诉讼案件之事。

 

【译文】

孔子说:“审理诉讼案件,我同别人也是一样的。重要的是必须使诉讼的案件根本不发生!”

 

1214 子张问政。子曰:“居之无倦,行之以忠。”

 

【译文】

子张问如何治理政事。孔子说:“居于官位不懈怠,执行君令要忠实。”

 

【评析】

以上两章都是谈的如何从政为官的问题。他借回答问题,指出各级统治者身居官位,就要勤政爱民,以仁德的规定要求自己,以礼的原则治理国家和百姓,通过教化的方式消除民间的诉讼纠纷,执行君主之令要切实努力,这样才能做一个好官。

 

1215 子曰:“博学于文,约之以礼,亦可以弗畔矣夫!”(1)

 

【注释】

(1)本章重出,见《雍也》篇第27章。

 

1216 子曰:“君子成人之美,不成人之恶。小人反是。”

 

【译文】

孔子说:“君子成全别人的好事,而不助长别人的恶处。小人则与此相反。”

 

【评析】

这一章所讲的“成人之美,不成人之恶”贯穿了儒家一贯的思想主张,即“己欲立而立人,己欲达而达人”、“已所不欲,勿施于人”的精神。

 

1217 季康子问政于孔子。孔子对曰:“政者正也。子帅以正,孰敢不正?”

 

【译文】

季康子问孔子如何治理国家。孔子回答说:“政就是正的意思。您本人带头走正路,那么还有谁敢不走正道呢?”

 

【评析】

无论为人还是为官,首在一个“正”字。孔子政治思想中,对为官者要求十分严格,正人先正己。只要身居官职的人能够正己,那么手下的大臣和平民百姓,就都会归于正道。

 

1218 季康子患盗,问于孔子。孔子对曰:“苟子之不欲,虽赏之不窃。”

 

【译文】

季康子担忧盗窃,问孔子怎么办。孔子回答说:“假如你自己不贪图财利,即使奖励偷窃,也没有人偷盗。”

 

【评析】

这一章同样是孔子谈论为官从政之道。他仍然阐释的是为政者要正人先正己的道理。他希望当政者以自己的德行感染百姓,这就表明了他主张政治道德 化的倾向。具体到治理社会问题时也是如此。他没有让季康子用严刑峻法去制裁盗窃犯罪,而是主张用德治去教化百姓,以使人免于犯罪。

 

1219 季康子问政于孔子曰:“如杀无道(1),以就有道(2),何如?”孔子对曰:“子为政,焉用杀?子欲善而民善矣。君子之德风,人小之德草,草上之风(3),必偃(4)。”

 

【注释】

(1)无道:指无道的人。

(2)有道:指有道的人。

(3)草上之风:指风加之于草。

(4)偃:仆,倒。

 

【译文】

季康子问孔子如何治理政事,说:“如果杀掉无道的人来成全有道的人,怎么样?”孔子说:“您治理政事,哪里用得着杀戮的手段呢?您只要想行善,老百姓也会跟着行善。在位者的品德好比风,在下的人的品德好比草,风吹到草上,草就必定跟着倒。”

 

【评析】

孔子反对杀人,主张“德政”。在上位的人只要善理政事,百姓就不会犯上作乱。这里讲的人治,是有仁德者的所为。那些暴虐的统治者滥行无道,必然会引起百姓的反对。

 

1220 子张问:“士何如斯可谓之达(1)矣?”子曰:“何哉,尔所谓达者?”子张对曰:“在邦必闻(2),在家必闻。”子曰:“是闻也,非达也。夫达也者,质直而好义,察言而观色,虑以下人(3)。在邦必达,在家必达。夫闻也者,色取仁而行违,居之不疑。在邦必闻,在家必闻。”

 

【注释】

(1)达:通达,显达。

(2)闻:有名望。

(3)下人:下,动词。对人谦恭有礼。

 

【译文】

子张问:“士怎样才可以叫做通达?”孔子说:“你说的通达是什么意思?”子张答道:“在君的朝廷里必定有名望,在大夫的封地里也必定有名声。”孔子说:“这只是虚假的名声,不是通达。所谓达,那是要品质正直,遵从礼义,善于揣摩别人的话语,对察别人的脸色,经常想着谦恭待人。这样的人,就可以在君的朝廷和大夫的封地里通达。至于有虚假名声的人,只是外表上装出的仁的样子,而行动上却正是违背了仁,自己还以仁人自居不惭愧。但他无论在君的朝廷里和大夫的封地里都必定会有名声。”

 

【评析】

本章中孔子提出了一对相互对立的名词,即“闻”与“达”。“闻”是虚假的名声,并不是显达;而“达”则要求士大夫必须从内心深处具备仁、义、礼的德性,注重自身的道德修养,而不仅是追求虚名。这里同样讲的是名实相符,表里如一的问题。

 

1221 樊迟从游于舞雩之下,曰:“敢问崇德、修慝(1)、辨惑。”子曰:“善哉问!先事后得(2),非崇德与?攻其恶,无攻人之恶,非修慝与?一朝之忿(3),忘其身,以及其亲,非惑与?”

 

【注释】

(1)修慝:慝,音tè,邪恶的念头。修,改正。这里是指改正邪恶的念头。

(2)先事后得:先致力于事,把利禄放在后面。

(3)忿:忿怒,气愤。

 

【译文】

樊迟陪着孔子在舞雩台下散步,说:“请问怎样提高品德修养?怎样改正自己的邪念?怎样辨别迷惑?”孔子说:“问得好!先努力致力于事,然后才有所收获,不就是提高品德了吗?检讨自己的邪念了吗?由于一时的气愤,就忘记了自身的安危,以至于牵连自己的亲人,这不就是迷惑吗?”

 

【评析】

这一章里孔子仍谈个人的修养问题。他认为,要提高道德修养水平,首先在于踏踏实实地做事,不要过多地考虑物质利益;然后严格要求自己,不要过多地去指责别人;还要注意克服感情冲动的毛病,不要以自身的安危作为代价,这就可以辨别迷惑。这样,人就可以提高道德水平,改正邪念,辨别迷惑了。

 

1222 攀迟问仁。子曰:“爱人。”问知。子曰:“知人。”樊迟未达。子曰:“举直错诸枉(1),能使枉者直。”樊迟退,见子夏曰:“乡(2)也吾见于夫子而问知,子曰‘举直错诸枉,能使枉者直’,何谓也?”子夏曰:“富哉言乎!舜有天下,选于众,举皋陶(3),不仁者远(4)矣。汤(5)有天下,选于众,举伊尹(6),不仁者远矣。”

【注释】

(1)举直错诸枉:错,同“措”,放置。诸,这是“之于”二字的合音。枉,不正直,邪恶。意为选拔直者,罢黜枉者。

(2)乡:音xiàng,同“向”,过去。

(3)皋陶:gāoyáo,传说中舜时掌握刑法的大臣。

(4)远:动词,远离,远去。

(5)汤:商朝的第一个君主,名履。

(6)伊尹:汤的宰相,曾辅助汤灭夏兴商。

 

【译文】

樊迟问什么是仁。孔子说:“爱人。”樊迟问什么是智,孔子说:“了解人。”樊迟还不明白。孔子说:“选拔正直的人,罢黜邪恶的人,这样就能使邪者归正。”樊迟退出来,见到子夏说:“刚才我见到老师,问他什么是智,他说‘选拔正直的人,罢黜邪恶的人,这样就能使邪者归正。这是什么意思?”子夏说:“这话说得多么深刻呀!舜有天下,在众人中逃选人才,把皋陶选拔出来,不仁的人就被疏远了。汤有了天下,在众人中挑选人才,把伊尹选拔出来,不仁的人就被疏远了。”

 

【评析】

本章谈了两个问题,一是仁,二是智。关于仁,孔子对樊迟的解释似乎与别处不同,说是“爱人”,实际上孔子在各处对仁的解释都有内在的联系。他所说的爱人,包含有古代的人文主义精神,把仁作为他全部学说的对象和中心。正如著名学者张岂之先生所说,儒学即仁学,仁是人的发现。关于智,孔子认为是要了解人,选拔贤才,罢黜邪才。但在历史上,许多贤能之才不但没有被选拔反而受到压抑,而一些奸佞之人却平步青云,这说明真正做到智并不容易。

 

1223 子贡问友。子曰:“忠告而善道之,不可则止,毋自辱也。”

 

【译文】

子贡问怎样对待朋友。孔子说:“忠诚地劝告他,恰当地引导他,如果不听也就罢了,不要自取其辱。”

 

【评析】

在人伦关系中,“朋友”一伦是最松驰的一种。朋友之间讲求一个“信”字,这是维系双方关系的纽带。但对待朋友的错误,要坦诚布公地劝导他,推心置腹地讲明利害关系,但他坚持不听,也就作罢。如果别人不听,你一再劝告,就会自取其辱。这是交友的一个基本准则。所以清末志士谭嗣同就认为朋友一伦最值得称赞,他甚至主张用朋友一伦改造其他四伦。其实,孔子这里所讲的,是对别人作为主体的一种承认和尊重。

 

1224 曾子曰:“君子以文会友,以友辅仁。”

【译文】

曾子说:“君子以文章学问来结交朋友,依靠朋友帮助自己培养仁德。”

【评析】

曾子继承了孔子的思想,主张以文章学问作为结交朋友的手段,以互相帮助培养仁德作为结交朋友的目的。这是君子之所为。以上这两章谈的都是交友的问题,事实上在五伦当中,儒家对于朋友这一伦还是比较重视的。

BOOK XII   YAN YOUAN

 

12.1 Yan Youan asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, “To subdue one’s self and return to propriety, is perfect virtue. If a man can for one day subdue himself and return to propriety, an under heaven will ascribe perfect virtue to him. Is the practice of perfect virtue from a man himself, or is it from others?” Yan Youan said, “I beg to ask the steps of that process.” The Master replied, “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.” Yan Youan then said, “Though I am deficient in intelligence and vigor, I will make it my business to practice this lesson.”

 

12.2 Zhonggong asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, “It is, when you go abroad, to behave to every one as if you were receiving a great guest; to employ the people as if you were assisting at a great sacrifice; not to do to others as you would not wish done to yourself; to have no murmuring against you in the country, and none in the family.” Zhonggong said, “Though I am deficient in intelligence and vigor, I will make it my business to practice this lesson.”

 

12.3 Sima Niu asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, “The man of perfect virtue is cautious and slow in his speech.” “Cautious and slow in his speech!” said Niu, “---- is this what is meant by perfect virtue?” The Master said, “When a man feels the difficulty of doing, can he be other than cautious and slow in speaking?”

 

12.4 Sima Niu asked about the superior man. The Master said, “The superior man has neither anxiety nor fear.” “Being without anxiety or fear!” said Nui; “---- does this constitute what we call the superior man?” The Master said, “When internal examination discovers nothing wrong, what is there to be anxious about, what is there to fear?”

 

12.5 Sima Niu, full of anxiety, said, “Other men all have their brothers, I only have not.” Zixia said to him, “There is the following saying which I have heard-’Death and life have their determined appointment; riches and honors depend upon Heaven.’ Let the superior man never fail reverentially to order his own conduct, and let him be respectful to others and observant of propriety: ---- then all within the four seas will be his brothers. What has the superior man to do with being distressed because he has no brothers?”

 

12.6 Zizhang asked what constituted intelligence. The Master said, “He with whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed. Yea, he with whom neither soaking slander, nor startling statements are successful, may be called farseeing.”

 

12.7 Zigong asked about government. The Master said, “The requisites of government are that there be sufficiency of food, sufficiency of military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their ruler.” Zigong said, “If it cannot be helped, and one of these must be dispensed with, which of the three should be foregone first?” “The military equipment,” said the Master. Zigong again asked, “If it cannot be helped, and one of the remaining two must be dispensed with, which of them should be foregone?” The Master answered, “Part with the food. From of old, death has been the lot of an men; but if the people have no faith in their rulers, there is no standing for the state.”

 

12.8 Ji Zicheng said, “In a superior man it is only the substantial qualities which are wanted; ---- why should we seek for ornamental accomplishments?” Zigong said, “Alas! Your words, sir, show you to be a superior man, but four horses cannot overtake the tongue. Ornament is as substance; substance is as ornament. The hide of a tiger or a leopard stripped of its hair, is like the hide of a dog or a goat stripped of its hair.”

 

12.9 The prince Ai inquired of You Ruo, saying, “The year is one of scarcity, and the returns for expenditure are not sufficient; ---- what is to be done?” You Ruo replied to him, “Why not simply tithe the people?” “With two tenths, said the duke, “I find it not enough; ---- how could I do with that system of one tenth?” You Ruo answered, “If the people have plenty, their prince will not be left to want alone. If the people are in want, their prince cannot enjoy plenty alone.”

 

12.10 Zizhang having asked how virtue was to be exalted, and delusions to be discovered, the Master said, “Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles, and be moving continually to what is right, ---- this is the way to exalt one’s virtue. You love a man and wish him to live; you hate him and wish him to die. Having wished him to live, you also wish him to die. This is a case of delusion. ‘It may not be on account of her being rich, yet you come to make a difference.’”

 

12.11 The prince Jing, of Qi, asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied, “There is government, when the prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son.” “Good!” said the prince; “if, indeed, the prince be not prince, the not minister, the father not father, and the son not son, although I have my revenue, can I enjoy it?”

 

12.12The Master said, “Ah! it is You, who could with half a word settle litigations!” Zilu never slept over a promise.

 

12.13 The Master said, “In hearing litigations, I am like any other body. What is necessary, however, is to cause the people to have no litigations.”

 

12.14 Zizhang asked about government. The Master said, “The art of governing is to keep its affairs before the mind without weariness, and to practice them with undeviating consistency.”

 

12.15 The Master said, “By extensively studying all learning, and keeping himself under the restraint of the rules of propriety, one may thus likewise not err from what is right.”

 

12.16 The Master said, “The superior man seeks to perfect the admirable qualities of men, and does not seek to perfect their bad qualities. The mean man does the opposite of this.”

 

12.17 Ji Kang asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied, “To govern means to rectify. If you lead on the people with correctness, who will dare not to be correct?”

 

12.18 Ji Kang, distressed about the number of thieves in the state, inquired of Confucius how to do away with them. Confucius said, “If you, sir, were not covetous, although you should reward them to do it, they would not steal.”

 

12.19 Ji Kang asked Confucius about government, saying, “What do you say to killing the unprincipled for the good of the principled?” Confucius replied, “Sir, in carrying on your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be good. The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend, when the wind blows across it.”

 

12.20 Zizhang asked, “What must the officer be, who may be said to be distinguished?” The Master said, “What is it you call being distinguished?” Zizhang replied, “It is to be heard of through the state, to be heard of throughout his clan.” The Master said, “That is notoriety, not distinction.” Now the man of distinction is solid and straightforward, and loves righteousness. He examines people’s words, and looks at their countenances. He is anxious to humble himself to others. Such a man will be distinguished in the country; he will be distinguished in his clan. As to the man of notoriety, he assumes the appearance of virtue, but his actions are opposed to it, and he rests in this character without any doubts about himself. Such a man will be heard of in the country; he will be heard of in the clan.”

 

12.21 Fan Chi rambling with the Master under the trees about the rain altars, said, “I venture to ask how to exalt virtue, to correct cherished evil, and to discover delusions.” The Master said, “Truly a good question! If doing what is to be done be made the first business, and success a secondary consideration: ---- is not this the way to exalt virtue? To assail one’s own wickedness and not assail that of others; ---- is not this the way to correct cherished evil? For a morning’s anger to disregard one’s own life, and involve that of his parents; ---- is not this a case of delusion?”

 

12.22 Fan Chi asked about benevolence. The Master said, “It is to love all men.” He asked about knowledge. The Master said, “It is to know all men.” Fan Chi did not immediately understand these answers. The Master said, “Employ the upright and put aside all the crooked; in this way the crooked can be made to be upright.” Fan Chi retired, and, seeing Zixia, he said to him, “A Little while ago, I had an interview with our Master, and asked him about knowledge. He said, ’Employ the upright, and put aside all the crooked; ---- in this way, the crooked will be made to be upright.’ What did he mean?” Zixia said, “Truly rich is his saying! Shun, being in possession of the kingdom, selected from among all the people, and employed Gaoyao ----- on which all who were devoid of virtue disappeared. Tang, being in possession of the kingdom, selected from among all the people, and employed I Yin-and an who were devoid of virtue disappeared.”

 

12.23 Zigong asked about friendship. The Master said, “Faithfully admonish your friend, and skillfully lead him on. If you find him impracticable, stop. Do not disgrace yourself.”

 

12.24 The philosopher Zeng said, “The superior man on literary grounds meets with his friends, and by their friendship helps his virtue.”