posted 17 Mar 2013, 00:17 by Jim Sheng
[By K'ung Fu-Tzu B.C. 551-479. ]

THE Master said: A plausible tongue and a fascinating expression are seldom associated with true virtue. 

A youth should be filial at home, respectful abroad. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all, but cultivate the friendship of the good. Then, whatsoever of energy may be left to him, he should devote to the improvement of his mind. 

Let loyalty and truth be paramount with you. Have no friends not equal to yourself. If you have faults, shrink not from correcting them. 

Learning without thought is labour lost. Thought without learning is intellectual death. 

The study of the supernatural is injurious indeed. 

Yu! shall I teach you in what true knowledge consists? To know what you do know, and to know what you do not know, that is true knowledge. 

A man without truthfulness! I know not how that can be. 

In mourning, it is better to be sincere than to be punctilious. 

He who offends against God has none to whom he can pray. 

Riches and honours are what men desire; yet except in accordance with right these should not be enjoyed. Poverty and degradation are what men dread; yet except in accordance with right these should not be avoided. 

The faults of men are characteristic of themselves. By observing a man's faults you may infer what his virtues are. 

If a man hear the Truth in the morning, he may die in the evening without regret. 

Chi Wen thought thrice and then acted. The Master said, Twice will do. 

Man is born to be upright. If he be not so, and yet live, he is lucky to have escaped. 

Those who know the Truth are not equal to those who love it; nor those who love it to those who delight in it. 

A disciple having asked for a definition of charity, the Master said Love One Another! Having further asked for a definition of knowledge, the Master said. Know One Another! 

The Master said: Rare are they who prefer virtue to the pleasures of sex. 

The commander-in-chief of an army may be carried captive, but the convictions even of the meanest man cannot be taken from him. 

A disciple having enquired about serving the spirits of the dead, the Master said, You are not even able to serve living men. How then should you serve spirits? Having further enquired about death, the Master said. You do not even understand life. How then should you understand death?

The Master said: In hearing litigations, I am like any one else. I differ, in wishing to prevent these litigations. 

Some one asked Confucius, saying, Master, what think you concerning the principle that good should be returned for evil? The Master replied, What then will you return for good? No: Return Good For Good; For Evil, Justice. 

A disciple having asked for a rule of life in a word, the Master said. Is not Reciprocity that word? What You Would Not Others Should Do Unto You, Do Not Unto Them! 

When his stable was burnt down, Confucius left the Court and said, "Has any man been hurt? " He did not ask about the horses. 

A feudal noble said to Confucius, "The villagers of my State are upright men. If a father steals a sheep, his son will give evidence against him." Confucius replied, "The uprightness of the villagers in my State is different from that. A father will shield his son, and a son will shield his father. This is what I call uprightness."