Exemplarious translation of Lunyu论语 “The Analects of Confucius”


1.1.子曰:「学而时习之,不亦说乎﹖有朋自远方来,不亦乐乎﹖人不知而不 愠,不亦君子乎﹖」
The Master said, “Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application? Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters? Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?”

3.9.子曰:「夏礼,吾能言之,杞不足征也;殷礼,吾能言之,宋不足征也。文 献不足故也,足则吾能征之矣。」
The Master said, “I could describe the ceremonies of the Xia dynasty, but Qi [the town where the descendants of the Xia rulers lived] cannot sufficiently attest my words. I could describe the ceremonies of the Yin [Shang] dynasty, but Song [the town where the descendants of the Shang dynasty lived] cannot sufficiently attest my words. They cannot do so because of the insufficiency of their records and wise men. If those were sufficient, I could adduce them in support of my words.”

The Master said, “A transmitter and not a maker, believing in and loving the ancients, I venture to compare myself with our of Peng [Laozi? another Taoist teacher names Pengzu? or Peng Xian, a mythical scribe of the Shang dynasty?].”

The Master’s frequent themes of discourse were the Odes, the History, and the maintenance of the Rules of Propriety. On all these he frequently discoursed.

The Master said, “When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers. I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them.”

Confucius, in his village, looked simple and sincere, and as if he were not able to speak. When he was in the prince’s ancestral temple, or in the court, he spoke minutely on every point, but cautiously. When he was waiting at court, in speaking with the great officers of the lower grade, he spoke freely, but in a straightforward manner; in speaking with those of the higher grade, he did so blandly, but precisely. When the ruler was present, his manner displayed respectful uneasiness; it was grave, but self-possessed.

The superior man did not use a deep purple, or a puce color, in the ornaments of his dress. Even in his undress, he did not wear anything of a red or reddish color. In warm weather, he had a single garment either of coarse or fine texture, but he wore it displayed over an inner garment. Over lamb’s fur he wore a garment of black; over fawn’s fur one of white; and over fox’s fur one of yellow. The fur robe of his undress was long, with the right sleeve short. He required his sleeping dress to be half as long again as his body. When staying at home, he used thick furs of the fox or the badger. When he put off mourning, he wore all the appendages of the girdle. His undergarment, except when it was required to be of the curtain shape, was made of silk cut narrow above and wide below. He did not wear lamb’s fur or a black cap on a visit of condolence.

He did not dislike to have his rice finely cleaned, nor to have his mince meat cut quite small. He did not eat rice which had been injured by heat or damp and turned sour, nor fish or flesh which was gone. He did not eat what was discolored, or what was of a bad flavor, nor anything which was ill-cooked, or was not in season. He did not eat meat which was not cut properly, nor what was served without its proper sauce. Though there might be a large quantity of meat, he would not allow what he took to exceed the due proportion for the rice. It was only in wine that he laid down no limit for himself, but he did not allow himself to be confused by it.

12.1.颜渊问仁。子曰:「克己复礼为仁。一日克己复礼,天下归仁焉。为仁由 己,而由人乎哉﹖」颜渊曰:「请问其目。」子曰:「非礼勿视,非礼勿听,非 礼勿言,非礼勿动。」颜渊曰:「回虽不敏,请事斯语矣!」
Yan Yuan asked about perfect virtue. The Master said, “To subdue one’s self and return to propriety, is perfect virtue. If a man can for one day subdue himself and return to propriety, all under heaven will ascribe perfect virtue to him. Is the practice of perfect virtue from a man himself, or is it from others?” Yan Yuan said, “I beg to ask the steps of that process.” The Master replied, “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.” Yan Yuan then said, “Though I am deficient in intelligence and vigour, I will make it my business to practise this lesson.”

Duke Jing of Qi asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied, “THere is government, when prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son.” “Good”, said the duke, “if indeed; the prince be not prince, the minister not minister, the father not father, and the son not son, although I have my revenue, can I enjoy it [in spite of insubordinate officers]?”

13.3.子路曰:「卫君待子而蚌,子将奚先﹖」子曰:「必也正名乎!」子路曰 :「有是哉,子之迂也!奚其正﹖」子曰:「野哉,由也!君子于其所不知,盖 阙如也。名不正,则言不;言不,则事不成;事不成,则礼乐不兴;礼乐不兴, 则刑罚不中;刑罚不中,则民无所措手足。故君子名之必可言也,言之必可行也 。君子于其言,无所苟而已矣!」
Zilu said, “The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consicer the first thing to be done?” The Master replied, “What is necessary is to rectify names.” “So, indeed!” said Zilu. “You are wide of the mark! Why must there be such rectification?” The Master said, “How uncultivated are you, You! 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 will 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 now 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 incorrect.”

The Master said, “My children, why do you not study the Book of Poetry? The Odes serve to stimulate the mind. They may be used for purposes of self-contemplation. They teach the art of sociability. They show how to regulate feelings of resentment. From them you learn the more immediate duty of serving one’s father, and the remoter one of serving one’s prince. From them we become largely acquainted with the names of birds, beasts, and plants.”

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