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."
Fan Ch'ih 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?"
Fan Ch'ih 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 Ch'ih 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 Ch'ih retired, and, seeing Tsze-hsia, 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?"
Tsze-hsia said, "Truly rich is his saying!
"Shun, being in possession of the kingdom, selected from among
all the people, and employed Kai-yao-on which all who were
devoid of virtue disappeared. T'ang, being in possession of the
kingdom, selected from among all the people, and employed I
Yin-and an who were devoid of virtue disappeared."
Tsze-kung 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."
The philosopher Tsang said, "The superior man on grounds of
culture meets with his friends, and by friendship helps his
Tsze-lu asked about government. The Master said, "Go before the
people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs."
He requested further instruction, and was answered, "Be not
weary in these things."
Chung-kung, being chief minister to the head of the Chi family,
asked about government. The Master said, "Employ first the
services of your various officers, pardon small faults, and
raise to office men of virtue and talents."
Chung-kung said, "How shall I know the men of virtue and talent,
so that I may raise them to office?" He was answered, "Raise to
office those whom you know. As to those whom you do not know,
will others neglect them?"
Tsze-lu said, "The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in
order with you to administer the government. What will you
consider the first thing to be done?"
The Master replied, "What is necessary is to rectify names."
"So! indeed!" said Tsze-lu. "You are wide of the mark! Why must
there be such rectification?"
The Master said, "How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man,
in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.
"If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the
truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth
of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
"When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and
music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not
flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When
punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how
to move hand or foot.
"Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names
he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he
speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man
requires is just that in his words there may be nothing
Fan Ch'ih requested to be taught husbandry. The Master said, "I
am not so good for that as an old husbandman." He requested also
to be taught gardening, and was answered, "I am not so good for
that as an old gardener."
Fan Ch'ih having gone out, the Master said, "A small man,
indeed, is Fan Hsu! If a superior man love propriety, the people
will not dare not to be reverent. If he love righteousness, the
people will not dare not to submit to his example. If he love
good faith, the people will not dare not to be sincere. Now,
when these things obtain, the people from all quarters will come
to him, bearing their children on their backs; what need has he
of a knowledge of husbandry?"
The Master said, "Though a man may be able to recite the three
hundred odes, yet if, when intrusted with a governmental charge,
he knows not how to act, or if, when sent to any quarter on a
mission, he cannot give his replies unassisted, notwithstanding
the extent of his learning, of what practical use is it?"
The Master said, "When a prince's personal conduct is correct,
his government is effective without the issuing of orders. If
his personal conduct is not correct, he may issue orders, but
they will not be followed."
The Master said, "The governments of Lu and Wei are brothers."
The Master said of Ching, a scion of the ducal family of Wei,
that he knew the economy of a family well. When he began to have
means, he said, "Ha! here is a collection-!" When they were a
little increased, he said, "Ha! this is complete!" When he had
become rich, he said, "Ha! this is admirable!"
When the Master went to Weil Zan Yu acted as driver of his
The Master observed, "How numerous are the people!"
Yu said, "Since they are thus numerous, what more shall be done
for them?" "Enrich them, was the reply.
"And when they have been enriched, what more shall be done?" The
Master said, "Teach them."
The Master said, "If there were any of the princes who would
employ me, in the course of twelve months, I should have done
something considerable. In three years, the government would be
The Master said, "'If good men were to govern a country in
succession for a hundred years, they would be able to transform
the violently bad, and dispense with capital punishments.' True
indeed is this saying!"
The Master said, "If a truly royal ruler were to arise, it would
stir require a generation, and then virtue would prevail."
The Master said, "If a minister make his own conduct correct,
what difficulty will he have in assisting in government? If he
cannot rectify himself, what has he to do with rectifying
The disciple Zan returning from the court, the Master said to
him, "How are you so late?" He replied, "We had government
business." The Master said, "It must have been family affairs.
If there had been government business, though I am not now in
office, I should have been consulted about it."
The Duke Ting asked whether there was a single sentence which
could make a country prosperous. Confucius replied, "Such an
effect cannot be expected from one sentence.