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  2. Analects by Confucius, First Edition - AbeBooks
  3. The Analects of Confucius Quotes and Analysis
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Related Articles. Looking for More Great Reads? Download Hi Res. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Read it Forward Read it first. Pass it on! Paperback —. Add to Cart. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Related Articles. Looking for More Great Reads? If within the breast all be not correct, the pupil is dull. How can a man conceal his character? In another place Confucius contrasts the poise of the superior man with the pose of the man with low ideals, the one dignified without being conscious of it, the other constantly striving to show that control over himself and confidence in himself which he really does not possess.

Propriety of Deportment. If a man in selecting a residence do not fix upon one where such prevail, how can he be wise? Confucius is more frequently accused of paying too much attention to propriety in manners than too little. Undoubtedly, he did place great stress both upon ceremonies and upon manners, but more upon the spirit Edition: current; Page: [ ] that should inform them. How significant the ceremonies may have been in view of the traditions and customs of the people, it is impossible for men of this age living in Western countries to divine.

But the canons of good manners which Confucius set up, although subjected to most critical examination, are found to be universal in scope and quite as valid today and in Western countries as in his day and in the East. Do not saunter about with a haughty gait nor stand with one foot raised. Do not sit with your knees wide apart nor lie face down. Undoubtedly he attached great importance to manners, in part because his whole system was one of breeding.

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It was his notion that a man should care about himself and therefore that his behaviour should comport with his real dignity and his sense of dignity. One who so earnestly urged the necessity for absolute sincerity could scarcely be expected to praise that social polish which is both an affectation and a lie.

He draws, indeed, a sharp distinction between the superior man, who is approachable and far from distant in manner but avoids flattery, and the man who behaves with hauteur, intended to wound and embarrass, toward all but those into whose favour he would ingratiate himself. This counsel, it is worth remarking, was given by one who was the instructor of princes.

If you are familiar with them, they lose their humility; if you maintain a reserve toward them, they are discontented. That youth, or rather childhood, is the period when development of character and therefore of deportment should commence, is ever in his thought. That the son should admire and imitate his father, and the father should make of himself a human being whom the son, without surrendering his power to see things as they are, might admire and imitate, was fundamental in the Confucian conception of the art of living.

Whatever indicated the contrary of admiration and respect of a son for his father was to him as Edition: current; Page: [ ] to all right-minded men offensive and disgusting. I observe that he walks shoulder to shoulder with his elders. He is not one who is seeking to make progress in learning. He wishes quickly to become a man. Not one of the foregoing is inapplicable to the regrettable incivility of children in this buoyant but inconsiderate age; and surely no others are so sorely needed in these days of flippant disrespect for elders as these trenchant exposures of the inherent badness of the manners of Oriental youths of olden times.

Friendship with a man is friendship with his virtue and does not admit of Edition: current; Page: [ ] assumptions of superiority.


Analects by Confucius, First Edition - AbeBooks

The views of the sage as to what constitutes the true spirit of polite deportment seem always to square with the maturest judgment of the most recent authorities. Propriety of Speech. Therefore the superior man incurs Edition: current; Page: [ ] rather the resentment due to refusal than the charge of breaking his promise. If you find him impracticable, stop; do not disgrace yourself!

The Analects of Confucius Quotes and Analysis

Now my way is to hear their words and look at their conduct. Simplicity and directness of discourse are commended in all that Confucius says of sincerity of thought, candour of speech, and earnestness of conduct; but he rarely, if ever, put it better than in the following Analects, bk.

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That is, one must accurately understand what a man says, though it is, of course, necessary to look beneath the mere words in many cases in order to discover the true character of the man. They did not speak of old affairs nor wear an appearance of being in sport. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain secrecy and does not allow himself to speak. I also am ashamed of them. I also am ashamed of it. That is of the inferior man Edition: current; Page: [ ] and stamps him as no better than the sneak thief.

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However covert such dissimulation may be, Confucius finds it equally reprehensible and degrading. Mark his motives!

Examine in what things he rests! The other beholds him, as if he saw his heart and reins; of what use is his disguise?

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Precisely as in all else, none the less, it is in earnestness and candour possible to go to excess; Edition: current; Page: [ ] in this as in everything, to go too far is as bad as to fall short. Thus there are hidden things of life, intimate relations, tender ties, too private and sacred to be talked of. Candour may thus degenerate into indiscreet chattering. Obviously, when directed at the faults of others, it may also become incivility, unless tempered by considerate good-will and training in deportment. When the bearer of this message went out at the door, he took the harpsichord and sang to it, in order that Pei might hear him.

Propriety of Conduct. But even in the days of Confucius it had developed into a standard for human conduct, broad and of general application. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others! What he hates in those who are ahead of him, let him not therewith precede those who are behind him; and what he hates in those who are behind him, let him not therewith pursue those who are ahead of him!

What he hates to receive upon the right, let him not bestow upon the left; and what he hates to receive upon the left, let him not bestow upon the right! The contrast between this obviously correct rule of human conduct and the unedifying spectacle of the brutal struggle for success which marks and mars the picture of modern business and social life, renders this moral enlightenment of the highest importance to men of the here and now.

The inferior man does the opposite of this. They can love others and yet recognize the evil that is in them. Confucius did not, however, concur in the view that charity should be so all-embracing as utterly to lose sight of distinctions between men. On the contrary he sturdily reprobated that notion.

In the time of Confucius, the religious teacher, Lao Tsze, was laying the foundations of Taoism, the most widely resorted to of all the forms of worship of Chinese origin other than reverence for and communion with departed ancestors. Recompense injury with justice and recompense kindness with kindness! Confucius also went much further than this; for he taught that there is a duty to hate men who evince certain evil traits of character, wherever found, and that this duty is as binding as the other. He says Analects, bk. In the following colloquy are a few specimens of the courses of conduct which one is privileged to hate, as Confucius sees it:.

He hates those who proclaim evil in others. He hates the man who, being of a low station, slanders his superiors. He hates those who have valour merely and are unobservant of the rules of propriety. He hates those who are forward and determined and, at the same time, of contracted understanding. I hate those who are only not modest and think that they are brave. I hate those who reveal secrets and think that they are straightforward.

Propriety of Example. Friendship with the upright, friendship with the sincere, and friendship with the man of much observation—these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs, friendship with the insinuatingly soft, and friendship with the glib-tongued—these are injurious. When a man may not be spoken with, to speak with him is to waste words.

If you find him impracticable, desist; do not disgrace yourself. Between friends, frequent reproofs make the friendship distant. It therefore appears that he would not withhold his counsel or even reproof, if needed, although it might result in breaking the bonds of friendship; but would instead prefer to lose his friend, if need be, rather than fail of his full duty toward him. But it is reforming the conduct because of them, which is the thing. In another place he says Analects, bk. If a man in selecting a residence do not fix on one where such prevail, how can he be wise?

I will select their good qualities and follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them. If I associate not with these people—with mankind—with whom am I to associate? Why must one be so severe? If a man purify himself to wait upon me, I receive him, so purified, without endorsing his past conduct. Do I not think of you? But your house is distant. How is it distant?