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for one word he is often deelned to be foolish. We ought to be careful indeed in what we say.”
The Master said, “The reason why the ancients did not readily give utterance to their words was, that they feared lest their actions should not come up to them.”
“ The cautious seldom err."
“What is the good of being ready with the tongue? They who meet men with smartness of speech, for the most part procure themselves hatred. I know not whether he be truly virtuous, but why should he show readiness of the tongue?”
Ke Wăn thought twice, and then acted. When the Master was informed of it, he said, “ Twice
may The Master asked Kung-ming Kea about Kung-shuh Wăn, saying, "Is it true that your Master speaks not, laughs not, and takes not?”
Kung-ming Kea replied, “This has arisen from the reporters going beyond the truth. My Master speaks when it is the time to speak, and so men do not get tired of his speaking. He laughs when there is occasion to be joyful, and so men do not get tired of his laughing. He takes when it is consistent with righteousness to do so, and so men do not get tired of his taking.”+
* Think twice before you speak once. There is a time for all things.
TAI HOH, OR THE GREAT LEARNING.
My master, the philosopher Ch'ing, says : “ The Great Learning is a book left by Confucius, and forms the gate by which first learners enter into virtue.
That we can now perceive the order in which the ancients pursued their learning is solely owing to the preservation of this work, the Analects and Mencius coming after it. Learners must commence their course with this, and then it may be hoped they will be kept from error."
What the Great Learning teaches is, to illustrate illustrious virtue, to renovate the people, and to rest in the highest excellence.
The point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined ; and that being determined, a calm and unperturbedness may be attained. To that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may
be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the desired end.
HE WHO WOULD GOVERN
WELL A FAMILY MUST HIM
SELF FIRST BECOME CORRECT ; TO GOVERN WELL A STATE, LET THE FAMILY FIRST BE REGULATED.
Things have their root and their completion. Affairs have their end and their beginning. To know what is first and what is last will lead near to what is taught in the Great Learning:
The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the empire, first ordered well their own States. Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first thought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.
Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed. Their States being rightly governed, the whole empire was made tranquil and happy.
From the emperor down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides
It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered. It never has been the case that what was of great importance has been slightly cared for, and at the same time that what was of slight importance has been greatly cared for.
What is meant by “In order rightly to govern his State, it is necessary first to regulate his family," is this : It is not possible for one to teach others, while he cannot teach his own family. Therefore the ruler, without going beyond his family, completes the lessons for the State. There is filial piety; therewith the sovereign should be served. There is fraternal submission ; therewith elders and superiors should be served. There is kindness; therewith the multitude should be treated.
Yaou and Shun led on the empire with benevolence, and the people followed them. Këě and Chow led on the empire with violence, and the people followed them. The orders which these issued were contrary to the practices which they loved, and so the people did not follow them. On this account, the ruler must himself be possessed of the good qualities, and then he may require them in the people. He must not have the bad qualities in himself, and then he may require that they shall not be
in the people. Never has there been a man, who, not having reference to his own character and wishes in dealing with others, was able effectually to instruct them.
Thus we see how the government of the State depends on the regulation of the family.
In the Book of Poetry, it is said, “In his deportment there is nothing wrong ; he rectifies all the people of the State.” Yes; when the ruler, as a father, a son, and a brother, is a model, then the people imitate him.
WHAT THE RULER WOULD HAVE HIS PEOPLE DO, HE MUST
DO HIMSELF; WHAT HE WOULD HAVE THEM BE, HE MUST BE HIMSELF.
What is meant by “The making the whole empire peaceful and happy depends on the government of his State," is this : When the sovereign behaves to his aged, as the aged should be behaved to, the people become filial ; when the sovereign behaves to his elders, as elders should be behaved to, the people learn brotherly submission; when the sovereign treats compassionately the young and helpless, the people do the same. Thus the ruler has a principle with which, as with a measuring square, he may regulate his conduct.
What a man dislikes in his superiors, let him not display in the treatment of his inferiors; what he dislikes in inferiors, let him not display in the service of his superiors; what he hates in those who are before him, let him not therewith precede those who are behind him ; what he hates in those who are behind him. let him not therewith follow those who are before him ; what he hates to receive on the right, let him not bestow on the left ;