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Analects Seven, Eight and Nine

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1.7.

 

Zi-Xia1 said: "He who loves worthy men instead of beautiful women2; who, in serving his parents, can exert all his energy; who in serving the sovereign, can exhaust his talent; and who, in associating with friends, is truthful to his word - although others may say he has not learnt, I will surely say he has learnt."

 

 

1. Alias of Bu Shang, one of the Master's prominent disciples.

2. A variant reading says; "He who, in choosing a wife, values her virtue more than her beauty."

 

 

 

1.8

 

The Master said: "If a gentleman is not grave, he will not be awe-inspiring. If he learns, he will not be benighted.1 He keeps wholehearted sincerity and truthfulness as his major principles and does not befriend those beneath him.2 When he makes a mistake he is not afraid to correct it.

 

1. Ignorant about the rituals. A variant reading of this sentence is "...and what he learns will not be solid."

2. I.e. inferior to him in virtue.

 

 

 

1.9

 

Master Kong said: "Show genuine grief at a parent's death1, keep offering sacrifices to them as time goes by, and the people's moral character shall be reinforced.

 

1. This was said about a ruler.

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