The Analects, Section II


Note: This follows Section I previously translated. In this section, a discussion takes place regarding two subjects: one, how propriety translates from the personal sphere to governance; two, how to conduct oneself so as to be taken up by a state and have an influence on court life.

1. 子曰:「為政以德,譬如北辰,居其所而眾星共之。」
Master said: “Conduct politics according to virtue, analogous to the Northern Constellation, residing in its station while multitudinous stars surround it.”

2. 子曰:「詩三百,一言以蔽之,曰『思無邪』。」
Master said: “As for the three hundred Odes, one speech used to cover them is said as ‘Contemplate no crookedness.’”

3. 子曰:「道之以政,齊之以刑,民免而無恥;道之以德,齊之以禮,有恥且格。」
Master said: “Guiding the state according to imposition, putting it in order according to penal example, the masses refrain but have no shame; guiding the state according to virtue, putting it in order according to propriety, they have shame and indeed restrain themselves.”

4. 子曰:「吾十有五而志于學,三十而立,四十而不惑,五十而知天命,六十而耳順,七十而從心所欲,不踰矩。」
Master said: “At five of teens I willed to learn, at thirty to stand, at forty to be unbewildered, at fifty to understand heaven’s mandate, at sixty to be sagacious, at seventy to follow that which the heart desires without overstepping the rules.”

5. 孟懿子問孝。子曰:「無違。」樊遲御,子告之曰:「孟孫問孝於我,我對曰『無違』。」樊遲曰:「何謂也?」子曰:「生事之以禮;死葬之以禮,祭之以禮。」
Viscount Meng Yi asks of filial piety. Master said: “Without departure.” While Fan Chi drove, Master announced to him and said: “Meng Sun (Viscount Meng Yi) asked filial piety of me, I replied with ‘without departure.’” Fan Chi said: “What is called that?” Master said: “In life serve them according to propriety; in death bury them according to propriety, sacrifice for them according to propriety.”

6. 孟武伯問孝。子曰:「父母唯其疾之憂。」
Count Meng Wu asks of filial piety. Master said: “For one’s father and mother, let only one’s illness be their concern.”

7. 子遊問孝。子曰:「今之孝者,是謂能養。至於犬馬,皆能有養;不敬,何以別乎?」
Disciple You asks of filial piety. Master said: “Today’s filial piety, some say, is being capable of providing; coming to dogs and horses, all are capable of having provision; without being reverent, what is used to differentiate?”

8. 子夏問孝。子曰:「色難,有事弟子服其勞,有酒食先生饌,曾是以為孝乎?」
Disciple Xia asks of filial piety. Master said: “With outer bearing afflicted, when there is duty and juniors comply with their toil, or when there is wine and food and seniors are served, even are such taken to be treated as filial piety?”

9. 子曰:「吾與回言,終日不違如愚。退而省其私,亦足以發。回也,不愚。」
Master said: “When I speak with Hui, till the end of day he does not contravene, like a fool. But retreating and scrutinizing his private thoughts, it is also enough to be used for setting out. Hui, he is not foolish.”

10. 子曰:「視其所以,觀其所由,察其所安。人焉廋哉?人焉廋哉?」
Master said: “Look at what he uses, observe what he conforms to, inspect what he is contented with. Where does a man hide? Where does a man hide?”

11. 子曰:「溫故而知新,可以為師矣。」
Master said: “He who collects the past and understands the new could be used as a teacher.”

12. 子曰:「君子不*。」
Master said: “A princely scholar is not arrogant.”

13. 子貢問君子。子曰:「先行,其言從之。」
Disciple Gong asks of princely scholar. Master said: “Advance action, the speech of which follows it.”

14. 子曰:「君子周而不比,小人比而不周。」
Master said: “A princely scholar is circumspect but not intimate. A trifling man is intimate but not circumspect.”

15. 子曰:「學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。」
Master said: “Emulate without contemplation and be puzzled. Contemplate without emulation and be idle.”

16. 子曰:「*乎異端,斯害也已!」
Master said: “Putting service into different ends, this is already injurious!”

17. 子曰:「由!誨女知乎?知之為知之,弗知為弗知,是知也。」
Master said: “You (Disciple Lu)! Instruct I thee of knowledge? Treat understanding a thing as understanding it, treat a thing not being understood as it not being understood, such is knowledge.”

18. 子張學干祿。子曰:「多聞闕疑,慎言其餘,則寡尤;多見闕殆,慎行其餘,則寡悔。言寡尤,行寡悔,祿在其中矣。」
Disciple Zhang learns about taking part in salaried office. Master said: “Listen more and remove doubtful speech, be attentive to speaking on those remaining, accordingly scant are mistakes; see more and remove useless acts, be attentive to carrying out those remaining, accordingly scant are regrets. Speak scant mistaken speech, carry out scant regretful acts, the commission has been in those midst.

19. 哀公問曰:「何為則民服?」孔子對曰:「舉直錯諸枉,則民服;舉枉錯諸直,則民不服。」
Duke Ai asking, said: “How to act so the masses comply?” Confucius replying, said: “Raise the just and grind away all the unjust, accordingly the masses comply; raise the unjust and grind away all the just, accordingly the masses do not comply.”

20. 季康子問:「使民敬、忠以勸,如之何?」子曰:「臨之以莊則敬,孝慈則忠,舉善而教不能,則勸。」
Viscount Ji Kang asks: “Mobilizing the masses to be reverent and devoted so as to strive, how to be like this?” Master said: “Supervise them using seriousness and accordingly they are reverent, be filial and kind and accordingly they are devoted, raise the endowed and teach the incapable, accordingly they strive.”

21. 或謂孔子曰:「子何不為政也?」子曰:「《書》云:『孝乎*孝,友于兄弟。』施於有政,是亦為政。奚其為為政也?」
Someone called Confucius and said: “Why does Master not conduct politics?” Master said: “The Book of History states, ‘Thou art … filial in keeping piety and fraternal to brothers.’ When displayed in holding court, such is also conducting politics. Why is his way taken to be conducting politics?”

22. 子曰:「人而無信,不知其可也。大車無輗,小車無軏,其何以行之哉?」
Master said: “A man without being true, I don’t know what he is able to do. A large carriage without yoke swivel, a small carriage without yoke pin, what do those use to run themselves?”

23. 子張問:「十世可知也?」子曰:「殷因於夏禮所損益,可知也;周因於殷禮所損益,可知也;其或繼周者,雖百世可知也。」
Disciple Zhang asks: “Can the tenth generation be understood?” Master said: “The Shang built upon the Xia customs with deletions and addenda, it can be understood; the Zhou built upon the Shang customs with deletions and addenda, it can be understood; that which continues from the Zhou, although it may be the hundredth generation, can be understood.”

24. 子曰:「非其鬼而祭之,諂也。見義不為,無勇也。」
Master said: “If not his spirit yet he makes sacrifice for it, it is fawn. If seeing the appropriate thing and he does not act, it is absence of courage.”

Partial gloss:
<: etymological derivation
<-: phonetic loan only
=: logographic calque
(cf. ...): related
(vs. ...): unrelated

  • analogy, metaphor < 譬 analogize
  • celestial division <- 辰 (蜃) clam
  • 共 (拱) [kjoŋʔ] cup, surround, fold (cf. 共 [koŋs] be surrounded, together; 恭 (供) [kjoŋ] offer sacrifice)
  • cover
  • 邪 (斜) [zjᴀ] be oblique, be slanted
  • line up, be in order, order < 齊 arrange, put in order
  • punish, set example < 刑 cut down the middle
  • take off, refrain <= 免 (冕) headdress
  • conjunction and indeed <- 且 (祖) ancestor
  • check, resist, restrain
  • [gʷja] preposition to < 于 [gʷja] pre-Classical go to < 往 [gʷjaŋʔ] go off
  • be bewildered, be muddled
  • mandate, transmit order
  • be along, be in the direction of
  • follow (cf. 從 follower; 縱 set free)
  • desire, sense
  • go beyond, cross over, exceed
  • rule < 巨 carpenter's tool
  • [gʷjəj] contravention, departure < 韋 [gʷjəj] leave, depart, go against
  • drive
  • make sacrifice for
  • be only < be, yes, so
  • pain
  • worry < 憂 worry about, be concerned about
  • provide for
  • separate, part, distinguish
  • comply with
  • toil
  • serve food
  • particle even, already < 曾 (層) be overlaid, layer < 曾 (增) overlay, increase < 曾 (甑) steamer deck
  • 退 retreat
  • private things < private plot of field
  • [tsjok] be enough, be sufficient = 〇 whole + 止 [tjəʔ] foot (vs. 乏 [bjop] = 一 nothing + 之 [tjəʔ] reversed foot)
  • [pjat] start off, set out < shoot, fire, emit <- 癹 [phat] stomp + 弓 bow
  • look at
  • inspect
  • hide (cf. 搜 search for)
  • 溫 (蘊) accumulate, store up
  • be new < 新 make new, renew < 新 (薪) cut tree
  • teacher, commander <

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