Of the Chi having eight rows of dancers in his courtyard,
Source: The Sayings Of Confucius
1. Of the Chi having eight rows of dancers in his courtyard,
Confucius said, If this is to be borne, what is not to be borne?
2. When the sacrifice was ended, the Three Clans had the Yung hymn
The Master said,
Princes and dukes assist.
Solemn is the Son of heaven;
what meaning has this in the courtyard of the Three Clans?
3. The Master said, A man without love, what is courtesy to him? A man
without love, what is music to him?
4. Lin Fang asked what good form is at root.
The Master said, A big question! At high-tides, thrift is better than
waste; at burials, grief is worth more than nicety.
5. The Master said, Every wild tribe has its lord, whereas the lands
of Hsia have none!
6. The Chi sacrificed to Mount T'ai.
The Master said to Jan Yu, Canst thou not stop this?
He answered, I cannot.
Alas! said the Master; dost thou think Mount T'ai less wise than Lin
7. The Master said, A gentleman never strives with others. Or must he,
perhaps, in shooting? But then, as he bows and makes way in going up
or steps down to drink, his strife is that of a gentleman.
8. Tzu-hsia asked, What is the meaning of:
Her cunning smiles,
Her dimples light,
Her lovely eyes,
So clear and bright,
The background white.
Colouring, said the Master, is second to the plain ground.
Then good form is second, said Tzu-hsia.
Shang, said the Master, thou hast hit my meaning! Now I can talk
of poetry to thee.
9. The Master said, I can speak of the manners of Hsia; but as proof
of them Chi is not enough. I can speak of the manners of Yin; but
as proof of them Sung is not enough. This is due to their dearth of
books and great men. If there were enough of these, I could use them
10. The Master said, After the drink offering at the Great Sacrifice,
I have no wish to see more.
11. One asked the meaning of the Great Sacrifice.
The Master said, I do not know. He that knew the meaning would
overlook all below heaven as I do this--and he pointed to his palm.
12. He worshipped as if those whom he worshipped were before him; he
worshipped the spirits as if they were before him.
The Master said: For me, to take no part in the sacrifice is the same
as not sacrificing.
13. Wang-sun Chia said, What is the meaning of, It is better to
court the hearth-god than the god of the home?
Not so, said the Master. A sin against Heaven leaves no room for
14. The Master said, Chou looks back on two lines of kings. How
rich, how rich it is in art! I follow Chou.
15. On going into the Great Temple the Master asked about everything.
One said, Who says that the Tsou man's son knows the rites? On going
into the Great Temple he asked about everything.
When he heard this, the Master said, Such is the rite.
16. The Master said, In shooting, the arrow need not go right through
the target, for men are not the same in strength. This was the old
17. Tzu-kung wished to do away with the sheep offering at the new
The Master said, Thou lovest the sheep, Tz'u: I love the rite.
18. The Master said: Serve the king with all courtesy, men call it
19. Duke Ting asked how a lord should treat his lieges, and how lieges
should serve their lord.
Confucius answered, The lord should treat his lieges with courtesy;
lieges should serve their lord faithfully.
20. The Master said, The poem The Osprey is glad, but not wanton; it
is sad, but not morbid.
21. Duke Ai asked Tsai Wo about the earth-altars.
Tsai Wo answered, The Emperors of the house of Hsia grew firs round
them; the men of Yin grew cypress; the men of Chou grew chestnut,
which was to say, Let the people tremble.
On hearing this, the Master said, I do not speak of what is ended,
chide what is settled, or find fault with what is past.
22. The Master said, How shallow was Kuan Chung!
But, said one, was not Kuan Chung thrifty?
The Kuan, said the Master, owned San Kuei, and no one of his household
held two posts: was that thrift?
At least Kuan Chung knew good form.
The Master said, Kings screen their gates with trees; the Kuan, too,
had trees to screen his gate. When two kings are carousing, they have
a stand for the turned-down cups; the Kuan had a turned-down
cup-stand, too! If the Kuan knew good form, who does not know good
23. The Master said to the Great Master of Lu, We can learn how to
play music; at first each part in unison; then a swell of harmony,
each part distinct, rolling on to the finish.
24. The warden of Yi asked to see Confucius, saying, No gentleman has
ever come here whom I have failed to see.
The followers took him in.
On leaving he said, My two-three boys, why lament your fall? The Way
has long been lost below heaven! Now Heaven shall make the Master into
a warning bell.
25. The Master said of the music of Shao, It is thoroughly beautiful,
and thoroughly good, too. Of the music of Wu, he said, It is
thoroughly beautiful, but not thoroughly good.
26. The Master said, Rank without beauty; ceremony without reverence;
mourning without grief, why should I cast them a glance?
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