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Book of Confucius Chapter Three

Updated on December 5, 2015

Passage Forty One

孔子謂季氏:「八佾舞於庭,是可忍也,孰不可忍也?」

English Translation

Confucius' opinion on the head of the Ji family: He is able to perform the King's ritual dance, in the front court, of his home. If he can put up with this sort of insult, then what else can he not put up with?

Passage Forty Two

三家者以雍徹。子曰:「『相維辟公,天子穆穆』,奚取於三家之堂?」

English Translation

After the three families that hold the real power to Lu nation, completed the ceremony to remember their ancestor, they start singing the song that the King use, while remembering his ancestors. Confucius said: The term "Help the King in solemn" should not be sung in the three families’ home.

Note: Prior to 221BC China was multiple smaller nations. Nations throughout China come together to form an international body similar to modern UN and the European Union, this federation is known as the Jhou dynasty. It is believed the Federation was formed in 1046BC and end in 771BC, where western nations of China pulled away from the Federation. Eastern nations of China remain as a part of the Federation until 256BC. Until the Cing nation conqueror, all of Western China and then finally defeated the ally forces of the Jhou Federation, from Eastern China. Confucius lived between 551BC~479BC.

Passage Forty Three

子曰:「人而不仁,如禮何?人而不仁,如樂何?」

English Translation

Confucius said: Politeness and music are useless in relation to a man who is anti-humane.

Passage Forty Four

林放問禮之本。子曰:「大哉問!禮,與其奢也,寧儉;喪,與其易也,寧戚。」

English Translation

Lingfang asked Confucius the nature of politeness. Confucius said: This is a very big deal! It is better to make it cheap and simple, then to make it big and expensive. In tragic, it is better to show your sadness than to make it expensive.

Passage Forty Five

子曰:「夷狄之有君,不如諸夏之亡也。」

English Translation

Confucius said: If a nation of the savages have a King, it would be better than a civilized nation which has no King.

Note: In other words, it is unwise for a country to be in an anarchy status.

Passage Forty Six

季氏旅於泰山。子謂冉有曰:「女弗能救與?」對曰:「不能。」子曰:「嗚呼!曾謂泰山,不如林放乎?」

English Translation

The head of the Ji family is planning to pray to the Ti mountain

Confucius asked Ranyou: Can you stop him?

Ranyou said: No

Confucius said: Do you think the Tai mountain would accept none sense worships?

Passage Forty Seven

子曰:「君子無所爭,必也射乎!揖讓而升,下而飲,其爭也君子。」

English Translation

Confucius said: Between two real gentlemen, there is nothing for them to fight about. If they are to fight, it would be like competing in a game. Before the competition, they bow to each other. After the competition, they bow to each other again. That is what a true gentleman is like.

Passage Forty Eight

子夏問曰:「『巧笑倩兮,美目盼兮,素以為絢兮。』何謂也?」子曰:「繪事後素。」曰:「禮後乎?」子曰:「起予者商也!始可與言詩已矣。」

English Translation

Zihsia asked Confucius: In the book it wrote "A beautiful smile, charming eyes, look extremely classy”, what is it inferring?

Confucius said: Only after having paper, can you start drawing.

Zihsia said: Do you need to be humane, before been polite.

Confucius said: Zihsia, you have understood it. Now we can start talking about poetry.

Note: Base on this statement and the previous passage of “The principle of manner is to maintain harmony” we can argue in Confucius ideology, a behaviour that is politeness and of good manners, cannot be anti-humane.

Passage Forty Nine

子曰:「夏禮,吾能言之,杞不足徵也;殷禮,吾能言之,宋不足徵也。文獻不足故也,足則吾能徵之矣。」

English Translation

Confucius said: Sia nation's polite custom, I have a rough understanding towards it. But, I don't know anything about Ci nation's polite custom. Shang nation's polite custom, I have a rough understanding towards it. Song nation's custom, I am not so clear about it. I am not clear about it because there are not enough record, otherwise, I would have some understanding too.

Passage Fifty

子曰:「禘自既灌而往者,吾不欲觀之矣。」

English Translation

Confucius said: The type of ceremony, modern King use to remember their ancestors, I can't stand watching it, right from the beginning.

Passage Fifty One

或問禘之說。子曰:「不知也。知其說者之於天下也,其如示諸斯乎!」指其掌。

English Translation

Somebody asked Confucius about meaning and politeness of praying. Confucius replied: Don't know. If we can know about it, then governing the world would be just as easy.

Passage Fifty Two

祭如在,祭神如神在。子曰:「吾不與祭,如不祭。」

English Translation

In response to the statement pray to your ancestors like they are your ancestors and pray to the gods like they are the god, Confucius said: If you don't do it yourself, then it is equal to you hasn’t done it.

Passage Fifty Three

王孫賈問曰:「與其媚於奧,寧媚於竈,何謂也?」子曰:「不然,獲罪於天,無所禱也。」

English Translation

Wangsunjia asked Confucius: How do you define the term "Instead of praying to the more powerful god, why not pray to the god whom actually have authorities."?

Confucius said: This statement is wrong, if you did something horrible, no god would answer your prayer.

Passage Fifty Four

子曰:「周監於二代,郁郁乎文哉!吾從周。」

English Translation

Confucius said: Jhou Federation era's politeness culture is influenced by Sia and Shang era. It is not under or over doing it, that make it perfect, that is why I follow it.

Passage Fifty Five

子入大廟,每事問。或曰:「孰謂鄹人之子知禮乎?入大廟,每事問。」子聞之曰:「是禮也。」

English Translation

After entering a temple, Confucius asked about everything in detail. A person said: Who said Confucius is polite? Once he entered a temple, he asks about everything.

Confucius responded saying: This is been polite.

Passage Fifty Six

子曰:「射不主皮,為力不同科,古之道也。」

English Translation

Confucius said: In an archery competition, it should be a competition of who is more accurate rather than who can break the target because some people are stronger than others that have always been the principle.

Passage Fifty Seven

子貢欲去告朔之餼羊。子曰:「賜也,爾愛其羊,我愛其禮。」

English Translation

Zihgong is campaigning against animal sacrifice in rituals.

Confucius said: Zihgong, you love animals. I love been polite.

Passage Fifty Eight

子曰:「事君盡禮,人以為諂也。」

English Translation

Confucius said: Treat your superior with the politeness he deserves, even if people call me a suck up, because of it.

Passage Fifty Nine

定公問:「君使臣,臣事君,如之何?」孔子對曰:「君使臣以禮,臣事君以忠。」

English Translation

Mr. Ding asked Confucius: How should a superior treat his subject and how should a subject treat his superior

Confucius said: A superior should be polite to his subjects. In exchange, the subject would be loyal to his superior.

Passage Sixty

子曰:「關雎,樂而不淫,哀而不傷。」

English Translation

Confucius said: Guwanwei is a poem that is happy but isn't unethical, Tragic, but not sad.

Passage Sixty One

哀公問社於宰我。宰我對曰:「夏后氏以松,殷人以柏,周人以栗,曰使民戰栗。」子聞之曰:「成事不說,遂事不諫,既往不咎。」

English Translation

Mr. A asked Zaiwo about what sort of wood, should be used, to make statues, for the god of earth.

Zaiwo said: Sia nation use loose clay, Yin nation use cypress, Jhou era use chestnuts, saying it will make the people feel fear.

Confucius said: The past is the past, don't criticize it. Don't debate about the past that can't be undone. Don't revive the past that can't be changed.

Passage Sixty Two

子曰:「管仲之器小哉!」或曰:「管仲儉乎?」曰:「管氏有三歸,官事不攝,焉得儉?」「然則管仲知禮乎?」曰:「邦君樹塞門,管氏亦樹塞門;邦君為兩君之好,有反坫,管氏亦有反坫。管氏而知禮,孰不知禮?」

English Translation

Confucius said: Guanjhong is a little man

Somebody asked Confucius: Is Guanjhong economical?

Confucius said: Guanjhong's home, not only have three safes, but also a lot of servants, how is that economical?

The same man asked: Is Guanjhong a polite man?

Confucius said: His home have a screen, just like the palace. His home has the same bar, as the state banquet, if he is polite, then who else isn't polite?

Passage Sixty Three

子語魯大師樂。曰:「樂其可知也:始作,翕如也;從之,純如也,皦如也,繹如也,以成。」

English Translation

Confucius comment on the music, of Lu nation's musician, said: The sound is very beautiful, the content is also very good, the end is pure, clear and soft and that is how it is completed.

Passage Sixty Four

儀封人請見。曰:「君子之至於斯也,吾未嘗不得見也。」從者見之。出曰:「二三子,何患於喪乎?天下之無道也久矣,天將以夫子為木鐸。」

English Translation

Yidi's Lord asked to meet Confucius and said: Whenever a gentleman come here, I would wish to meet them.

After meeting Confucius, the Lord said: People, have no worries about how big of a Lord are you. The world has lost the way of justice, for a long time, the gods want your master, to be the true saint.

Passage Sixty Five

子謂韶,「盡美矣,又盡善也。」謂武,「盡美矣,未盡善也」。

English Translation

Confucius comment on Shao music is: Beautiful and kind.

Confucius comment on war music: It is beautiful, but not kind.

Note: Shao music is a type of music in Confucius' time.

Passage Sixty Six

子曰:「居上不寬,為禮不敬,臨喪不哀,吾何以觀之哉?」

English Translation

Confucius said: How can I stand a King, who is not tolerating to his people, not respectful to the law of politeness, not sad while conducting funeral?

This article's translation of key word

倫=logic

慮-concern

行=behavior

忠=loyalty

禮=polite, manner

恕=forgiveness

義=justice, just

士=paladin, scholar

仁=humane, kind

文=culture, scholar

君子=gentleman

小人=savage

恥=shame

禮樂=ritual

敬=respect

溫=warm

良=good、

恭=respectful

儉=cheap, economical

讓=make way

信=honest, true to one's word, keep one's word, faith, believe

德=moral, kindness, ethnic

道=just, justice, principle, thinking, road

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