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Tsze-chang asked about the government. The Master said, "The art of governing is to keep its affairs before the mind without weariness, and to practice them with undeviating consistency."
Ke K’ang asked Confucius about government. Confucius replied, “To govern means to rectify. If you lead on the people with correctness, who will dare not to be correct?”
Ke K'ang, distressed about the number of thieves in the State, inquired of Confucius about how to do away with them. Confucius said, “If you, sir, were not covetous, although you should reward them to do it, they would not steal.”
Ke K'ang asked Confucius about government, saying, “What do you say to killing the unprincipled for the good of the principled ?” Confucius replied, “Sir, in carrying on your government, why should you use killing at all? Let your evinced desires be for what is good, and the people will be good. The relation between superiors and inferiors is like that between the wind and the grass. The grass must bend when the wind blows across it."
Tsze-chang asked, “What must the officer be, who may be said to be distinguished ?”
The Master said, “What is it you call being distinguished?"
'Tsze-chang replied, "It is to be heard of through the State ; to be heard of through the family."
The Master said, " That is notoriety, not distinction.
“Now, the man of distinction is solid and straightforward, and loves righteousness. He examines people's words, and looks at their countenances. He is anxious
so humble himself to others. Such a man will be distinguished in the country; he will be distinguished in the family.
As to the man of notoriety, he assumes the appearance of virtue, but his actions are opposed to it, and he rests in his character without any doubts about himself. Such a man will be heard of in the country; he will be heard of in the family.”
Tsze-loo asked about government. The Master said, “Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs."
“ Be not weary in these things.”
“Employ first the services of your various officers, pardon small faults, and raise to office men of virtue and talents."
Chung-Kung said, “How shall I know the men of virtue and talents, so that I may raise them to office?" He was answered, “Raise to office those whom
know. As to those whom you do not know, will others neglect them?"
“If a superior love propriety, the people will not dare not to be reverent. If he love righteousness, the people will not dare not to submit to his example. If he love good faith, the people will not dare not to be sincere. Now, when these things obtain, the people from all quarters will come to him, bearing their children on their backs."
Though a man may be able to recite the three hundred odes, yet if, when intrusted with a governmental charge, he knows not how to act, or if, when sent to any quarter on a mission, he cannot give his replies unas
sisted, notwithstanding the extent of his learning, of what practical use is it?”
“When a prince's personal conduct is correct, his government is effective without the issuing of orders. If his personal conduct is not correct, he may issue orders, but they will not be followed.”
When the Master went to Wei, Yen Yew acted as driver of his carriage.
The Master observed, “How numerous are the people!”
Yew said, “ Since they are thus numerous, what more shall be done for them?” “Enrich them,” was the reply.
“And when they have been enriched, what more shall be done?” The Master said, “ Teach them.”
“ If good men were to govern a country in succession for a hundred years, they would be able to transform the violently bad, and dispense with capital punishments.' True, indeed, is this saying !”
“If a minister make his own conduct correct, what difficulty will he have in assisting in government? If he cannot rectify himself, what has he to do with rectifying others ?”
The duke of She asked about government.
The Master said, “Good government obtains, when those who are near are made happy, and those who are far off are attracted.”
Hëen asked what was shameful. The Master said, “When good government prevails in a State, to be thinking only of his salary; and, when bad government prevails, to be thinking, in the same way, only of his salary: this is shameful.”
The Master said, “When rulers love to observe the rules of propriety, the people respond readily to the calls on them for service.”
The duke Ling of Wei asked Confucius about tactics. Confucius replied, “I have heard all about sacrificial vessels, but I have not learned military matters.” On this, he took his departure the next day.*
Chow conferred great gifts, and the good were enriched.
“Although he has his near relatives, they are not equal to very virtuous men. The people are throwing blame upon me, the one man.”
He carefully attended to the weights and measures, examined the body of the laws, restored the discarded officers, and the good government of the empire took its
He revived States that had been extinguished, restored families whose line of succession had been broken, and called to office those who had retired into obscurity, so that throughout the empire the hearts of the people turned towards him.
What he attached chief importance to were, the food of the people, the duties of mourning, and sacrifices.
By his generosity, he won all. By his sincerity, he made the people repose trust in him. By his earnest activity, his achievements were great. By his justice, all were delighted
* He wished, by his reply and departure, to teach the duke that the rules of propriety, and not war, were essential to the govern. ment of a State.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PRINCES AND MINISTERS.
The duke Ting asked how a prince should employ his ministers, and how ministers should serve their prince. Confucius replied, “A prince should employ his ministers according to the rules of propriety; ministers should serve their prince with faithfulness.”
The Master said, “Is a prince able to govern his kingdom with the complaisance proper to the rules of propriety, what difficulty will he have? If he cannot govern it with that complaisance, what has he to do with the rules of propriety?"
Tsze-chang asked, saying, “The minister Tsze-wăn thrice took office, and manifested no joy in his counte
Thrice he retired from office, and manifested no displeasure. He made it a point to inform the new minister of the way in which he had conducted the government; what do you say of him?” The Master replied, “He was loyal.” “Was he perfectly virtuous ?” “I do not know. How can he be pronounced perfectly virtu
The Master said, “What is called a great minister is one who serves his prince according to what is right, and when he finds he cannot do so, retires."
“A minister, in serving his prince, reverently discharges his duties, and makes his emolument a secondary consideration."
Tsze-hea said, "The officer, having discharged all his duties, should devote his leisure to learning. The student, having completed his learning, should apply himself to be an officer."