Confucius remarked, “It is indeed a pleasure to acquire knowledge and, as you go on acquiring, to put into practice what you have acquired. A greater pleasure still it is when friends of congenial minds come from afar to seek you because of your attainments. But he is truly a wise and good man who feels no discomposure even when he is not noticed of men.”
A disciple of Confucius remarked, “I daily examine into my personal conduct on three points: —First, whether in carrying out the duties entrusted to me by others, I have not failed in conscientiousness; Secondly, whether in intercourse with friends, I have not failed in sincerity and trustworthiness; Thirdly, whether I have not failed to practice what I profess in my teaching.”
Confucius remarked, “A young man, when at home, should be a good son; when out in the world, a good citizen. He should be circumspect and truthful. He should be in sympathy with all men, but intimate with men of moral character. If he has time and opportunity to spare, after the performance of those duties, he should then employ them in literary pursuits.”
Confucius remarked, “A wise man who is not serious will not inspire respect; what he learns will not remain permanent.”
“Make conscientiousness and sincerity your first principles.
“Have no friends who are not as yourself.
“When you have bad habits do not hesitate to change them.”
A disciple of Confucius remarked, “In the practice of art, what is valuable is natural spontaneity. According to the rules of art held by the ancient kings it was this quality in a work of art which constituted its excellence; in great as well as in small things they were guided by this principle.“But in being natural there is something not permitted. To know that it is necessary to be natural without restraining the impulse to be natural by the strict principle of art, —that is something not permitted.”
Confucius remarked, “A wise and good man, in matters of food, should never seek to indulge his appetite; in lodging, he should not be too solicitous of comfort. He should be diligent in business and careful in speech. He should seek for the company of men of virtue and learning, in order to profit by their lessons and example. In this way he may become a man of real culture.”
A disciple of Confucius said to him,” To be poor and yet not to be servile; to be rich and yet not to be proud, what do you say to that?”
“It is good.” replied Confucius, “but better still it is to be poor and yet contented; to be rich and yet know how to be courteous.”
“I understand,” answered the disciple:‘We must cut, we must file,‘Must chisel and must grind.’
“That is what you mean, is it not?”
“My friend,” replied Confucius, “now I can begin to speak of poetry to you. I see you understand how to apply the moral.”
Confucius remarked, “One should not be concerned not to be understood of men; one should be concerned not to understand men.”
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