Basic English, books
Selections from the Collected Works of Confucius
The entire book is shown with translations into Basic displayed as they are completed.
There are evidently different numbering of paragraphs. Those of Dover Thrift Edition are included here.
In The Analects, or Sayings, of Confucius, readers will find a rich distillation of the timeless precepts of one of history's most influential teachers and social theorists. A Chinese philosopher who lived c. 551 to c. 479 B.C., Confucius originated and taught an ethical, socially oriented philosophy that stressed proper behavior and a sympathetic, mutually supportive attitude among individuals, their families and society.
1-1. The Master said : "If you get learning and frequently put it into operation, is that not a pleasure ? If you have friends come from far away, is that not a pleasure ? If, not highly valued by others, you however have no regret, is that not a quality right for the wise man ?"
From his teachings came a system of ethics for managing society that has influenced generations of politicians, social reformers, and religious thinkers. Indeed, the effect of Confucian philosophy has been so profound that it has become basic not only to an understanding of traditional Chinese civilization, but of Western society as well. Now the essence of Confucian teaching, contained in The Analects, is providing inspirational and instructive reading to anyone interested in the history of social thought, Chinese philosophy, or theories of ethical behavior.
1-2. Master, You said : "Uncommon are they who, ever giving respect to their fathers and older brothers, have a tendency to do wrong to their betters. There has been not one, who, having no desire to do wrong to his betters,has a desire to make trouble. The wise man gives his attention to that which is important. If the base is made solid, the teaching comes about. The respect of a son to his fathers and the respect of a younger brother to his older ones are they not the root of all good qualities?
1-3. The Master said : "Honeyed words and a false look have no connection with true quality."
1-4. Master Zeng said : "Every day I have a look at myself on three points : In doing a certain thing for another, have I now done my most possible ? In my relations with my friends, have my acts been true ? Have I now completely gotten and put into operation that learning which my teacher gave to me?
1-5. The Master said : "In the ruling of a country with a thousand war carriages, the ruler has to give very serious attention to political business, keep well his words, make payments smaller, give love to his ruled, and make use of public workforces only in an unused time of the year.
1-6. The Master said : "A young man has to respect his fathers within and older persons without. He has to give love to all and become friendly with men of good will. If he still has open time after doing these things, he needs to get knowledge of the arts."
1-7. Zixia said : "If a man takes good over beauty ; if, in help to his fathers, he may do his most possible ; if, in help to his ruler, he may give his being ; if, in his relations with his friends, his words are true ; then, though men say that he has no learning, I will certainly say that he has.
1-8. The Master said : "If the wise man is not serious, he has no self-respect and may not make solid that learning which he has gotten. Keep belief and respect as first rules. Do not make friends with those who are lesstrue than you. And if you made errors, have no fear of putting them right."
1-9. Master Zeng said : "If the covering acts to your dead fathers are done with care and the offerings to your family line are done in a true way, then men will be taken to follow in good ways."
1-10. Ziqin gave a question to Zigong saying : "When our Master comes to any new country, he gets complete knowledge of everything about its government. Does he himself make a request for the knowledge or is it given him? Zigong answered : "Our Master is kind, good-hearted, not acting over-important, fair and quiet, and in this way he gets his knowledge. His way of getting knowledge is in fact different from that of others, is it not?"
1-11. The Master said : "While the father is still living, look at the bent of the son. After the death of his father, observe his acts. If for three years he does not go from the way of his father, he may be said to be a true son."
1-12. Master Yu said : “In putting the rules of right behavior into operation, a natural way is of the most value. In the ways said by the early kings, this is the best quality, and in things small and great we keep to them. However care has not be taken in all events. If one, having knowledge of its value, observes it without keeping control of it by the rules of right behaviour, that then may not be done.
1-13. Master You said : "When a gotten agreement is in harmony with right, the words said may be put into effect. When respect given is in harmony with good behaviour, one is far from shame and a bad name. When the men upon whom one puts his belief are good enough to be friends with, he may make them his guides.
1-14. The Master said : "He who goes after being a man of complete quality takes no pleasure in food, and takes no pleasure in comfort in his house; he is true in acts, and takes care in using words; he is frequently with those who have the right way so that he may be made free from error -- such a man may in fact be said to have a love of learning."
1-15. Zigong said : “How do you judge the poor man who is not falsely kind, and the well-off man who is not self-important ?" The Master gave answer : "They are good ; but they are not equal to him who, though poor, is happy, or to him who, though well-off, observes well the rules of good behaviour."
Zigon said : "In the Book of Poetry is said, 'As you make a cut and then make it smooth, as you take out bits and then gives it a polish' – the sense is the same, is it not ?"
The Master said: "Ci, I may now have a talk with you about verse. I give you one point, and you may get another from it."
1-16. The Master said : “ I will not be in pain at men's not having knowledge of me ; I will be pained that I do not have knowledge of men."
Portions in black text are passages translatered as Basic English. Some key passages are in bold. Portions in gray text are to be translated.
2-11. The Master said : “If one keeps his old knowledge dear and goes on getting new, he may then be a teacher of others."
2-15. The Master said: "Who learns without thought, that one simply goes wrong. Who has thoughts without learning, he ever is in doubt."
2-16. The Master said: "Learning without thought is labor lost ; but thought without learning is a danger."
4-8. The Master said: "If a man in the morning gives ear to the right way,
he may go to his death before dark without regret."
4-25. The Master said: “The upright man is not left by himself. He certainly will have friends.
7-30. The Master said: “Is right behavior far ? I desire to be true, and look ! it is at hand.
9-28. The Master said: "The wise are free from doubt ; the upright from trouble ; and the strong from fear."
12-16. The Master said: "The upright man makes others able to use their good qualities, and
does not support their bad ways. The small man does the opposite of this."
13-23. The Master said: "The upright make harmony, but are not falsely pleasing; the small are falsely pleasing, but do not make harmony."
15-23. Zigong put a question forward: "Is there one word which may help as a rule of behaviour for all time ?" The Master said, “Feeling is such a word, What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
15-29. The Master said: "To have errors but not to make them right -- here is a true error."
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Last updated on August 10, 2007 . . . original, by Wang Baoguo