The 19th chapter of the Analects

1. A disciple of Confucius remarked, “A gentleman in presence of danger should be ready to give up his life; in view of personal advantage, he should think of what is right; in worship, he should be devout and serious; in mourning, he should how heartfelt grief: the above is about the sum of the duties of a gentleman.”

2. The same disciple remarked, “If a man holds fast to godliness without enlarging his mind; if a man believes in truth, but is not steadfast in holding to his principles-such a man may as well leave such things alone.”

3. The same disciple was on one occasion asked about friendship by the pupils of one of his fellow disciples. He answered by asking the pupils, “What did your teacher say on the subject?” “One teacher,” replied the pupils, “said, ‘Those whom you find good, make friends with; those whom you find not good, turn your back upon.'”
“That,” replied Confucius’ disciple who was asked, “is different from what I have been taught. A wise and good man honours worthy men and is tolerant to all men. He knows how to commend those who excel in anything and make allowance for those who are ignorant. Now, if we ourselves are really worthy, we should be tolerant to all men; but if we ourselves are not worthy, men will turn their backs upon us. How can we turn our backs upon them?”

4. A disciple of Confucius remarked, “Even in any small and unimportant branch of an art or accomplishment, there is always something worthy of consideration; but if the attention to it is pushed too far, it is liable to degenerate into a hobby; for that reason a wise man never occupies himself with it.”

5. The same disciple of Confucius remarked, “A man who from day to day knows exactly what he has yet to learn and from month to month does not forget what he has learnt, will surely become a man of culture.”

6. The same disciple remarked, “If you study extensively and are steadfast in your aim, Investigate carefully what your learn and apply it to your own personal conduct; in that way, you cannot fail in attaining a moral life.”

7. The same disciple remarked, “As workmen work in their workshops to learn their trade, so a scholar gives himself to study in order to get wisdom.”

8. The same disciple remarked, “A fool always has an excuse ready when he does wrong.”

9. The same disciple remarked, “A good and wise man appears different from three points of view. When you look at him from a distance he appears severe; when you approach him he is gracious; when you hear him speak, he is serious.”

10. The same disciple remarked, “A wise man, as a ruler, first obtains the confidence of the people before he puts them to hard work—which otherwise would be regarded by the people as oppression. A wise man, as a public servant, first obtains the confidence of those whom he serves before he ventures to point out their errors; otherwise his superiors will only regard what he says as prompted by a desire to find fault.”

11. The same disciple remarked, “When a man can keep himself strictly within bounds where the major points of the principles of morality are concerned, he may be allowed to use his discretion in the minor points.”

12. A disciple of Confucius, speaking of the pupils of another disciple, remarked, “Those young gentlemen are well enough in matters of manners and deportment, which are mere minor matters; but as regards the foundation of a true education, they are as yet nowhere.”
When the disciple whose pupils were thus animadverted upon, head the remark, he said to the other disciple: “There you are wrong. In teaching men, what are the things which a good and wise man should consider it of first importance that he should teach; and what are the things which he should consider of secondary importance, and which he may allow himself to neglect? As in dealing with plants, so one must deal with pupils and class them according to their capabilities. A good and wise man in teaching, should not befool his students. For it is only the most holy men who can at once grasp the beginning and end of principles.”

13. A disciple of Confucius remarked, “An officer who has exceptional abilities, more than sufficient to carry out his duties, should devote himself to study. A student who has exceptional abilities, more than sufficient to carry on his studies, should enter the public service.”

14. A disciple of Confucius remarked, “In mourning, the only thing indispensable is heart-felt grief.”

15. The same disciple, speaking of another disciple, remarked, “My friend can do things which nobody else can do, but he is not quite perfect in his moral character.”

16. Another disciple of Confucius, speaking of he same disciple alluded to above, remarked, “What a style that man carries about with him! It is really difficult to live out a moral life along with such a man!”

17. The same disciple remarked, “I have heard the Master say, ‘Men often do not themselves know what is really in them until they have to mourn the death of their parents.'”

18. The same disciple remarked, “I have heard the Master, speaking of the filial piety of a nobleman, say, “What other things he did on the occasion of the death of his father, other men can do. But what he did in keeping the old servants of his father, and in following out the policy of his father, men will find it difficult to do.”

19. The Prime Minister in Confucius’ native State having on one occasion appointed an officer to be Chief Criminal Judge, the officer came to a disciple of Confucius for advice. The disciple then said to the officer: “Rulers have long failed in their duties, and the people have long lived in a state of disorganization. If you should discover enough evidence to convict a man, feel pity and be merciful to him; do not feel glad at your discovery.”

20. A disciple of Confucius, speaking of an infamous emperor and tyrant of ancient times, remarked: “His wickedness was, after all, not so had as tradition reports. Therefore a wise man will not persist in a low, disreputable life in defiance of what men may say: for otherwise, people will give him credit for all the wickednesses that are in the world.”

21. The same disciple remarked, “The failings of a great man are eclipses of the sun and moon. When he fails, all men see it; but, when he recovers from his failing, all men look up to him as before.”

22. An officer of the Court in a certain State asked a disciple of Confucius, “From whom did Confucius learn the principles he taught?”
The disciple answered, “The principles of religion and morality held by the ancients have not all disappeared. Even now among men, those who are wise and worthy understand the great principles of the system, and those who are not wise, and even unworthy men, understand the lesser principles. As to our Teacher, he had no need to learn; and even if he had to learn, why should he necessarily have had one special teacher?”

23. An officer of the Court in Confucius’ native State, expressing admiration for a disciple of Confucius, remarked in presence of the other Court officers: “In my opinion this disciple of Confucius is superior to Confucius himself.”
Afterwards, when somebody reported what the officer had said to the disciple above referred to, the latter said: “Let me use the comparison of two buildings. The wall of my building only reaches to the shoulders; one has only to look over and he can see all that is valuable in the apartments. But the wall of the Master’s building is hundreds of feet high. If one does not find the door to enter by, he can never see the treasures of art and the glory of the men that are in the holy temple. Perhaps, however, there are few men who have found the door. I do not therefore wonder that the officer spoke as he did.”

24. The same Court officer was once heard to abuse the character of Confucius. The same disciple o hearing of it, said: “It is no use for him to do that. Confucius can never be abused. The moral and intellectual endowments of other men as compared with those of Confucius are as hillocks and mounds which you may climb over. But Confucius is like the sun and moon. You can never jump over them. You may break your neck in trying to do it, but the sun and moon will remain as they are. In trying to do that, your only show your want of sense in not knowing what you can do.”

25. Another man on another occasion said to the same disciple, “But you are too earnest and conscientious. How can Confucius be superior to you?”
“For one word,” replied the disciple, “an educated man is held to be a man of understanding, and for one word he is held to be foolish. You should therefore be careful indeed in what you say. Now Confucius cannot be equaled, just as no man can climb up to the sky. If Confucius, our Master, had been born an emperor or a prince, he would then have done those things told of the holy kings of old: ‘What he lays down becomes law; what he orders is carried out; whither he beckons, the people follow; wherever his influence is felt, there if peace; while he lives, he lives honoured by the whole world; when he dies he is mourned for by the whole world.’ How is it possible for a man to equal Confucius, our Master!”