Random Quote #83 topic: confucius, The Analects of Confucius, 551BC-479BC, from the Chinese Classics, translated by Legge, James, 1815-1897

CHAP. II. 1. Tsze-chang asked Confucius, saying, 'In what way
should a person in authority act in order that he may conduct
government properly?' The Master replied, 'Let him honour the five
excellent, and banish away the four bad, things;-- then may he
conduct government properly.' Tsze-chang said, 'What are meant by
the five excellent things?' The Master said, 'When the person in
authority is beneficent without great expenditure; when he lays
tasks on the people without their repining; when he pursues what
he desires without being covetous; when he maintains a dignified
ease without being proud; when he is majestic without being fierce.'
2. Tsze-chang said, 'What is meant by being beneficent
without great expenditure?' The Master replied, 'When the person
in authority makes more beneficial to the people the things from

they naturally derive benefit;-- is not this being beneficent without
great expenditure? When he chooses the labours which are proper,
and makes them labour on them, who will repine? When his desires
are set on benevolent government, and he secures it, who will
accuse him of covetousness? Whether he has to do with many
people or few, or with things great or small, he does not dare to
indicate any disrespect;-- is not this to maintain a dignified ease
without any pride? He adjusts his clothes and cap, and throws a
dignity into his looks, so that, thus dignified, he is looked at with
awe;-- is not this to be majestic without being fierce?'
3. Tsze-chang then asked, 'What are meant by the four bad
things?' The Master said, 'To put the people to death without having
instructed them;-- this is called cruelty. To require from them,
suddenly, the full tale of work, without having given them
warning;-- this is called oppression. To issue orders as if without
urgency, at first, and, when the time comes, to insist on them with
severity;-- this is called injury. And, generally, in the giving pay

or rewards to men, to do it in a stingy way;-- this is called acting
the part of a mere official.'



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