TRANSLATIONS: Analects Of Confucius Book III Chapters 1-8




Confucius said of the head of the Chi hamily who had eight rows of pantomines in his area, “If he can bear to do this, then what may he bear not to do?”


The three families used the YUNG ode, while the vessels were being removed, at the conclusion of the sacrifice. The Master said, “‘Assisting are the princes: the son of Heaven looks profound and grave’ what application can these words have in the hall of the three families?”


The Master said, “If a man be without the virtues proper to humanity, what has he to do with the rites of propriety? If a man without the virtues proper to humanity, what has he to do with music?”


1. Lin Fang asked what was the first thing to be attended to in ceremonies.

2. The Master said, “A great question indeed!”

3. “In festive ceremonies, it is better to be sparing than extravagant.

In the ceremonies of mourning, it is better that there be deep sorrow than a minute attention to observances.”


The Master said, “The rude tribes of the east and north have their princes, and not like the states of our great land which are without them.”


The chief of the Chi Family was about to sacrifice to the T’ai mountain. The Master said to Zan Yu, “Can you not save him from this?” He answered, “I cannot.” Confucius said, “Alas! Will you say that T’ai mountain is not so discerning as Lin Fang?”


The Master said, “The student of virtue has no contentions. If it be said he cannot avoid them, shall this be in archery? But he bows complaisantly to his competitors; thus he ascends the hall, descends, and exacts the forfeit of drinking. In his contention, he’s still the Chun-tsze.”


1. Tsze-hsia asked, saying, “What is the meaning of the passage ‘The pretty dimples of her artful smile! The well-defined black and white of her eye! The plain ground for the colours’?”

2. The Master said, “The business of laying on the colours follows the preparation of the plain ground.”

3. “Ceremonies then are a subsequent thing?” The Master said, “It is Shang who can bring out my meaning. Now I can begin to talk about the odes with him.”


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