The first chapter of the Analects

1.Confucius remarked, “It is indeed a pleasure to acquire knowledge and, as you go on acquiring, to put into practice what you have acquired. A greater pleasure still it is when friends of congenial minds come from afar to seek you because of you attainments. But he is truly a wise and good man who feels no discomposure even when he is not noticed of men.”

2.A disciple of Confucius remarked, “A man who is a good son and a good citizen will seldom be found to be a man disposed to quarrel with those in authority over him; and men who are not disposed to quarrel with those in authority will never be found to disturb the peace and order of the Sate.”
“A wise man devotes his attention to what is essential in the foundation of life. When the foundation is laid, wisdom will come. Now, to be a good son and a good citizen—do not these form the foundation of a moral life?”

3.Confucius remarked, “With plausible speech and fine manners will seldom be found moral character.”

4.A disciple of Confucius remarked, “I daily examine into my personal conduct on three points:–First, whether in carrying out the duties entrusted to me by others, I have not failed in conscientiousness; Secondly, whether in intercourse with friends, I have not failed in sincerity and trustworthiness; Thirdly, whether I have not failed to practice what I profess in my teaching.”

5.Confucius remarked, “When directing the affairs of a great nation, a man must be serious in attention to business and faithful and punctual in his engagements. He must study economy in the public expenditure, and love the welfare of the people. He must employ the people at the proper time of the year.”

6.Confucius remarked, “A young man, when at home, should be a good son; when out in the world, a good citizen. He should be circumspect and truthful. He should be in sympathy with all men, but intimate with men of moral character. If he has time and opportunity to spare, after the performance of those duties, he should then employ them in literary pursuits.”

7.A disciple of Confucius remarked, “A man who can love worthiness in man as he loves beauty in woman; who in his duties to his parents is ready to do his utmost, and in the service of his prince is ready to give up his life; who in intercourse with friends is found trustworthy in what has says, –such a man, although men may say of him that he is an uneducated man, I must consider him to be really an educated man.”

8.Confucius remarked, “A wise man who is not serious will not inspire respect; what he learns will not remain permanent.”
“Make conscientiousness and sincerity your first principles.”
“Have no friends who are not as yourself.”
“When you have bad habits do not hesitate to change them.”

9.A disciple of Confucius remarked, “By cultivating respect for the dead, and carrying the memory back to the distant past, the moral feeling of the people will waken and grow in depth.”

10. A man once asked a disciple of Confucius, saying, “How was it that whenever the Master came into a country he was always informed of the actual state and policy of its government? Did he seek for the information or was it given to him?”
“The Master,” replied the disciple, “was gracious, simple, earnest, modest and courteous; therefore he could obtain what information he wanted. The Master’s way of obtaining information—well, it was different from other people’s ways.”

11. Confucius remarked, “When a man’s father is living the son should have regard to what his father would have him do; when the father is dead, to what his father has done. A son who for three years after his father’s death does not in his own life change his father’s principles, may be said to be a good son.”

12. A disciple of Confucius remarked, “In the practice of art, what is valuable is natural spontaneity. According to the rules of art held by the ancient kings it was this quality in a work of art which constituted his excellence; in great as well as in small things they were guided by this principle.”
“But in being natural there is something not permitted. To know that it is necessary to be natural without restraining the impulse to be natural by the strict principle of art, –that is something not permitted.’

13. A disciple of Confucius remarked, “If you make promises within the bounds of what is right, you will be able to keep your word. If you confine earnestness within the bounds of judgment and good taste, you will keep out of discomfiture and insult. If you make friends of those with whom you ought to, you will be able to depend upon them.”

14. Confucius remarked, “A wise and good man, in matters of food, should never seek to indulge his appetite; in lodging, he should not be too solicitous of comfort. He should be diligent in business and careful in speech. He should seek for the company of men of virtue and learning, in order to profit by their lessons and example. In this way he may become a man of real culture.”

15. A disciple of Confucius said to him, “To be poor and yet not to be servile; to be rich and yet not to be proud, what do you say to that?”
“It is good.” Replied Confucius, “but better still it is to be poor and yet contented; to be rich and yet know how to be courteous.”
“I understand,” answered the disciple:
‘We must cut, we must file,’
‘Must chisel and must grind.’
“My friend,” replied Confucius, “now I can begin to speak of poetry to you. I see you understand how to apply the moral.”

16. Confucius remarked, “One should not be concerned not to be understood of men; one should be concerned not to understand men.”