Analects of Confucius BOOK 1 Chapters 13-16


The philosopher Yu said, “When agreements are made according to what is right, what is spoken can be made good. When respect is shown according to what is proper, one keeps far from shame and disgrace. When parties upon whom man leans are appropriate to be intimate with, he can make them his guides and masters.”


The Master said, “He who aims to be a man of complete virtue in his food does not seek to gratify his appetite nor in his dwelling place does he seek the appliances of ease; he’s earnest in what he’s doing and careful in his speech; he frequents the company of men of principle that he may be rectified: such a person may be said indeed to love to learn.”


1. Tsze-kung said, “What do you pronounce concerning the poor man who yet does not flatter, and the rich man who is not proud?”
The Master replied, “They will do; but they are not equal to him who, though poor, is yet cheerful, and to him who, though rich, loves the rules of propriety.”

2. Tsze-kung replied, “It is said in the ‘Book of Poetry,’ ‘As you cut and then file, as you carve and then polish.’ The meaning is the same, I apprehend, as that which you have just expressed.”

3. The Master said, “With one like Ts’ze, I can begin to talk about the odes. I told him one point, and he knew its proper sequence.”


The Master said, “I will not be afflicted at men’s not knowing me; I will be afflicted that I do not know men.”

*End of BOOK I*

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