述而第七

Book VII: Shu R

Chapter 1

  子曰:“述而不作,信而好古,竊比於我老彭。”

Confucius disclaims being an originator or maker.
The Master said, “A transmitter and not a maker, believing in and loving the ancients, I venture to compare myself with our old P’ang.”

Chapter 2

  子曰:“默而識之,學而不厭,誨人不倦,何有於我哉?”

Confucius’s humble estimate of himself.
The Master said, “The silent treasuring up of knowledge; learning without satiety; and instructing others without being wearied:– which one of these things belongs to me?”

Chapter 3

  子曰:“德之不脩,學之不講,聞義不能徙,不善不能改,是吾憂也。”

Confucius’s anxiety about his self-cultivation:– another humble estimate of himself.
The Master said, “The learning virtue without proper cultivation; the not thoroughly discussing what is learned; not being able to move towards righteousness of which a knowledge is gained; and not being able to change what is not good:– these are the things which occasion me solicitude.”

Chapter 4

  子之燕居,申申如也,夭夭如也。

The manner of Confucius when unoccupied.
When the Master was unoccupied with business, his manner was easy, and he looked pleased.

Chapter 5

  子曰:“甚矣吾衰也!久矣吾不復夢見周公!”

How the disappointment of Confucius’s hopes affected even his dreams.
The Master said, “Extreme is my decay. For a long time, I have not dreamed, as I was wont to do, that I saw the duke of Châu.”

Chapter 6

  子曰:“志於道,據於德,依於仁,遊於藝。”

Rules for the full maturing of character.
1. The Master said, “Let the will be set on the path of duty.

2. “Let every attainment in what is good be firmly grasped.

3. “Let perfect virtue be accorded with.

4. “Let relaxation and enjoyment be found in the polite arts.”

Chapter 7

  子曰:“自行束脩以上,吾未嘗無誨焉。”

The readiness of Confucius to impart instruction.
The Master said, “From the man bringing his bundle of dried flesh for my teaching upwards, I have never refused instruction to any one.”

Chapter 8

  子曰:“不憤不啟,不悱不發。舉一隅不以三隅反,則不復也。”

Confucius required a real desire and ability in his disciples.
The Master said, “I do not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one who is not anxious to explain himself. When I have presented one corner of a subject to any one, and he cannot from it learn the other three, I do not repeat my lesson.”

Chapter 9

  子食於有喪者之側,未嘗飽也。

子於是日哭,則不歌。

Confucius’s sympathy with mourners.
1. When the Master was eating by the side of a mourner, he never ate to the full.

2. He did not sing on the same day in which he had been weeping.

Chapter 10

  子謂顏淵曰:“用之則行,舍之則藏,唯我與爾有是夫。”

子路曰:“子行三軍,則誰與?”

子曰:“暴虎馮河,死而無悔者,吾不與也。必也臨事而懼,好謀而成者也。”

The attainments of Hûi like those of Confucius. The excessive boldness of Tsze-lû.
1. The Master said to Yen Yuan, “When called to office, to undertake its duties; when not so called, to lie retired;– it is only I and you who have attained to this.”

2. Tsze-lû said, “If you had the conduct of the armies of a great state, whom would you have to act with you?”

3. The Master said, “I would not have him to act with me, who will unarmed attack a tiger, or cross a river without a boat, dying without any regret. My associate must be the man who proceeds to action full of solicitude, who is fond of adjusting his plans, and then carries them into execution.”

Chapter 11

  子曰:“富而可求也,雖執鞭之士,吾亦爲之。如不可求,從吾所好。”

The uncertainty and folly of the pursuit of riches.
The Master said, “If the search for riches is sure to be successful, though I should become a groom with whip in hand to get them, I will do so. As the search may not be successful, I will follow after that which I love.”

Chapter 12

  子之所愼:齊,戰,疾。

What things Confucius was particularly careful about.
The things in reference to which the Master exercised the greatest caution were — fasting, war, and sickness.

Chapter 13

  子在齊聞《韶》,三月不知肉味,曰:“不圖爲樂之至於斯也。”

The effect of music on Confucius.
When the Master was in Ch’î, he heard the Shâo, and for three months did not know the taste of flesh. “I did not think'” he said, “that music could have been made so excellent as this.”

Chapter 14

  冉有曰:“夫子爲衞君乎?”

子貢曰:“諾,吾將問之。”

入,曰:“伯夷﹑叔齊何人也?”

曰:“古之賢人也。”

曰:“怨乎?”

曰:“求仁而得仁,又何怨?”

出曰:“夫子不爲也。”

Confucius did not approve of a son opposing his father.
1. Yen Yû said, “Is our Master for the ruler of Wei?” Tsze-kung said, “Oh! I will ask him.”

2. He went in accordingly, and said, “What sort of men were Po-î and Shû-ch’i?” “They were ancient worthies,” said the Master. “Did they have any repinings because of their course?” The Master again replied, “They sought to act virtuously, and they did so; what was there for them to repine about?” On this, Tsze-kung went out and said, “Our Master is not for him.”

Chapter 15

  子曰:“飯疏食,飲水,曲肱而枕之,樂亦在其中矣。不義而富且貴,於我如浮雲。”

The joy of Confucius independent of outward circumstances.
The Master said, “With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow;– I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness, are to me as a floating cloud.”

Chapter 16

  子曰:“加我數年,五十以學《易》,可以無大過矣。”

The value which Confucius set upon the study of the Yî.
The Master said, “If some years were added to my life, I would give fifty to the study of the Yî, and then I might come to be without great faults.”

Chapter 17

  子所雅言,《詩》﹑《書》﹑執禮,皆雅言也。

Confucius’s most common topics.
The Master’s frequent themes of discourse were — the Odes, the History, and the maintenance of the Rules of Propriety. On all these he frequently discoursed.

Chapter 18

  葉公問孔子於子路,子路不對。

子曰:“女奚不曰,其爲人也,發憤忘食,樂以忘憂,不知老之將至云爾。”

Confucius’s description of his own character, as being simply a cheerful, earnest learner.
1. The Duke of Sheh asked Tsze-lû about Confucius, and Tsze-lû did not answer him.

2. The Master said, “Why did you not say to him, — He is simply a man, who in his eager pursuit of knowledge forgets his food, who in the joy of its attainment forgets his sorrows, and who does not perceive that old age is coming on?”

Chapter 19

  子曰:“我非生而知之者。好古,敏以求之者也。”

Confucius’s knowledge not connate, but the result of his study of antiquity.
The Master said, “I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.”

Chapter 20

  子不語怪、力、亂、神。

Subjects avoided by Confucius in his conversation.
The subjects on which the Master did not talk, were — extraordinary things, feats of strength, disorder, and spiritual beings.

Chapter 21

  子曰:“三人行,必有我師焉。擇其善者而從之,其不善者而改之。”

How a man may find instructors for himself.
The Master said, “When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers. I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them.”

Chapter 22

  子曰:“天生德於予,桓魋其如予何?”

Confucius calm in danger, through the assurance of having a divine mission.
The Master said, “Heaven produced the virtue that is in me. Hwan T’ûi — what can he do to me?”

Chapter 23

  子曰:“二三子以我爲隱乎?吾無隱乎爾。吾無行而不與二三子者,是丘也。”

Confucius practised no concealment with his disciples.
The Master said, “Do you think, my disciples, that I have any concealments? I conceal nothing from you. There is nothing which I do that is not shown to you, my disciples;– that is my way.”

Chapter 24

  子以四教:文,行,忠,信。

The subjects of Confucius’s teaching.
There were four things which the Master taught, — letters, ethics, devotion of soul, and truthfulness.

Chapter 25

  子曰:“聖人,吾不得而見之矣。得見君子者,斯可矣。”

子曰:“善人,吾不得而見之矣,得見有恆者,斯可矣。亡而爲有,虛而爲盈,約而爲泰,難乎有恆矣。”

The paucity of true men in, and the pretentiousness of, Confucius’s time.
1. The Master said, “A sage it is not mine to see; could I see a man of real talent and virtue, that would satisfy me.”

2. The Master said, “A good man it is not mine to see; could I see a man possessed of constancy, that would satisfy me.

3. “Having not and yet affecting to have, empty and yet affecting to be full, straitened and yet affecting to be at ease:– it is difficult with such characteristics to have constancy.”

Chapter 26

  子釣而不綱,弋不射宿。

The humanity of Confucius.
The Master angled, — but did not use a net. He shot, — but not at birds perching.

Chapter 27

  子曰:“蓋有不知而作之者,我無是也。多聞,擇其善者而從之,多見而識之。知之次也。”

Against acting heedlessly.
The Master said, “There may be those who act without knowing why. I do not do so. Hearing much and selecting what is good and following it; seeing much and keeping it in memory:– this is the second style of knowledge.”

Chapter 28

  互鄉難與言。童子見。門人惑。

子曰:“與其進也,不與其退也,唯何甚?人絜己以進,與其絜也,不保其往也。”

The readiness of Confucius to meet approaches to him though made by the unlikely.
1. It was difficult to talk (profitably and reputably) with the people of Hû-hsiang, and a lad of that place having had an interview with the Master, the disciples doubted.

2. The Master said, “I admit people’s approach to me without committing myself as to what they may do when they have retired. Why must one be so severe? If a man purify himself to wait upon me, I receive him so purified, without guaranteeing his past conduct.”

Chapter 29

  子曰:“仁遠乎哉?我欲仁,斯仁至矣。”

Virtue is not far to seek.
The Master said, “Is virtue a thing remote? I wish to be virtuous, and lo! virtue is at hand.”

Chapter 30

  陳司敗問:“昭公知禮乎?”

孔子曰:“知禮。”

孔子退。

揖巫馬期而進之,曰:“吾聞君子不黨。君子亦黨乎?君取於吳,爲同姓,謂之吳孟子。君而知禮,孰不知禮?”

巫馬期以告。

子曰:“丘也幸,苟有過,人必知之。”

How Confucius acknowledged his error.
1. The minister of crime of Ch’an asked whether the duke Châo knew propriety, and Confucius said, “He knew propriety.”

2. Confucius having retired, the minister bowed to Wû-mâ Ch’î to come forward, and said, “I have heard that the superior man is not a partisan. May the superior man be a partisan also? The prince married a daughter of the house of Wû, of the same surname with himself, and called her, — ‘The elder Tsze of Wû.’ If the prince knew propriety, who does not know it?”

3. Wû-mâ Ch’î reported these remarks, and the Master said, “I am fortunate! If I have any errors, people are sure to know them.”

Chapter 31

  子與人歌而善,必使反之,而後和之。

The good fellowship of Confucius.
When the Master was in company with a person who was singing, if he sang well, he would make him repeat the song, while he accompanied it with his own voice.

Chapter 32

  子曰:“文,莫吾猶人也。躬行君子,則吾未之有得。”

Acknowledgement of Confucius in estimating himself.
The Master said, “In letters I am perhaps equal to other men, but the character of the superior man, carrying out in his conduct what he professes, is what I have not yet attained to.”

Chapter 33

  子曰:“若聖與仁,則吾豈敢?抑爲之不厭,誨人不倦,則可謂云爾已矣。”

公西華曰:“正唯弟子不能學也。”

What Confucius declined to be considered, and what he claimed.
The Master said, “The sage and the man of perfect virtue;– how dare I rank myself with them? It may simply be said of me, that I strive to become such without satiety, and teach others without weariness.” Kung-hsî Hwâ said, “This is just what we, the disciples, cannot imitate you in.”

Chapter 34

  子疾病,子路請禱。

子曰:“有諸?”

子路對曰:“有之。《誄》曰:‘禱爾于上下神祗’”

子曰:“丘之禱久矣。”

Confucius declines to be prayed for.
The Master being very sick, Tsze-lû asked leave to pray for him. He said, “May such a thing be done?” Tsze-lû replied, “It may. In the Eulogies it is said, ‘Prayer has been made for thee to the spirits of the upper and lower worlds.'” The Master said, “My praying has been for a long time.”

Chapter 35

  子曰:“奢則不孫,儉則固。與其不孫也,寧固。”

Meanness not so bad as insubordination.
The Master said, “Extravagance leads to insubordination, and parsimony to meanness. It is better to be mean than to be insubordinate.”

Chapter 36

  子曰:“君子坦蕩蕩,小人長戚戚。”

Contrast in their feelings between the Chün-tsze and the mean man.
The Master said, “The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress.”

Chapter 37

  子溫而厲,威而不猛,恭而安。

How various elements modified one another in the character of Confucius.
The Master was mild, and yet dignified; majestic, and yet not fierce; respectful, and yet easy.

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