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Chinese Text Project
Show translation:[None] [English]

《緇衣 - Zi Yi》

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《緇衣》 Library Resources
[Also known as: "The black robes"]

1 緇衣:
子言之曰:「為上易事也,為下易知也,則刑不煩矣。」
Zi Yi:
These were the words of the Master: 'When the superior is easily served, his inferiors are easily known, and in this case punishments are not numerous (in the state).'

2 緇衣:
子曰:「好賢如《緇衣》,惡惡如《巷伯》,則爵不瀆而民作愿,刑不試而民咸服。《大雅》曰:『儀刑文王,萬國作孚。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When (the superior) loves the worthy as (the people of old loved him of) the black robes (Shi, I, vii, ode 1), and hates the bad as Xiang-bo (hated them; II, v, ode 6), then without the frequent conferring of rank the people are stimulated to be good, and without the use of punishments they are all obedient to his orders. It is said in the Da Ya (III, i, ode 1, 7), "From Wen your pattern you must draw, And all the states will own your law."'

3 緇衣:
子曰:「夫民,教之以德,齊之以禮,則民有格心;教之以政,齊之以刑,則民有遁心。故君民者,子以愛之,則民親之;信以結之,則民不倍;恭以蒞之,則民有孫心。《甫刑》曰:『苗民罪用命,制以刑,惟作五虐之刑曰法。是以民有惡德,而遂絕其世也。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'If the people be taught by lessons of virtue, and uniformity sought to be given to them by the rules of ceremony, their minds will go on to be good. If they be taught by the laws, and uniformity be sought to be given to them by punishments, their minds will be thinking of how they can escape (the punishment; Analects, II, iii). Hence, when the ruler of the people loves them as his sons, they feel to him as a parent; when he binds them to himself by his good faith, they do not turn away from him; when he presides over them with courtesy, their hearts are docile to him. It is said in the Punishments of Fu (Shu, V, xxvii, 3), "Among the people of Miao they did not use orders simply, but the restraints of punishment. They made the five punishments engines of oppression, calling them the laws." In this way their people became bad, and (their rulers) were cut off for ever (from the land).'

4 緇衣:
子曰:「下之事上也,不從其所令,從其所行。上好是物,下必有甚者矣。故上之所好惡,不可不慎也,是民之表也。」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'Inferiors, in serving their superiors, do not follow what they command, but what they do. When a ruler loves anything, those below him are sure to do so much more. Therefore the superior should by all means be careful in what he likes and dislikes. This will make him an example to the people.'

5 緇衣:
子曰:「禹立三年,百姓以仁遂焉,豈必盡仁?《》云:『赫赫師尹,民具爾瞻。』《甫刑》曰:『一人有慶,兆民賴之。』《大雅》曰:『成王之孚,下土之式。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When Yu had been on the throne three years, the humanity of the common people was in accordance with his - was it necessary that all (at court) should be perfectly virtuous? It is said in the Book of Poetry (II, v, ode 7, 1), "Awe-inspiring are you, O (Grand-)Master Yin, And the people all look up to you." It is said in the Punishments of Fu (V, xxvii, 13), "I, the One man, will have felicity, and the millions of the people will look to you as their sure dependence." It is said in the Da Ya (III, i, ode 9, 3), "King Wu secured the people's faith, And gave to all the law."'

6 緇衣:
子曰:「上好仁,則下之為仁爭先人。故長民者章志、貞教、尊仁,以子愛百姓;民致行己以說其上矣。《》云:『有梏德行,四國順之。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When superiors are fond of showing their humanity, inferiors strive to outstrip one another in their practice of it. Therefore those who preside over the people should cherish the clearest aims and give the most correct lessons, honouring the requirement of their humanity by loving the people as their sons; then the people will use their utmost efforts with themselves to please their superiors. It is said in the Book of Poetry (III, iii, ode 2, 2), "Where from true virtue actions spring, All their obedient homage bring."'

7 緇衣:
子曰:「王言如絲,其出如綸;王言如綸,其出如綍。故大人不倡游言。可言也,不可行。君子弗言也;可行也,不可言,君子弗行也。則民言不危行,而行不危言矣。《》云:『淑慎爾止,不愆于儀。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'The kings words are (at first) as, threads of silk; but when given forth, they become as cords. Or they are (at first) as cords; but when given forth, they become as ropes. Therefore the great man does not take the lead in idle speaking. The superior does not speak words which may be spoken indeed but should not be embodied in deeds; nor does he do actions which may be done in deed but should not be expressed in words. When this is the case, the words of the people can be carried into action without risk, and their actions can be spoken of without risk. It is said in the Book of Poetry (III, iii, ode 2, 8), "Keep on your acts a watchful eye, That you may scrutiny defy."'

8 緇衣:
子曰:「君子道人以言,而禁人以行。故言必慮其所終,而行必稽其所敝;則民謹於言而慎於行。《》云:『慎爾出話,敬爾威儀。』《大雅》曰:『穆穆文王,於緝熙敬止。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'The superior man leads men on (to good) by his words, and keeps them (from evil) by (the example of) his conduct. Hence, in speaking, he must reflect on what may be the end of his words, and examine whether there may not be some error in his conduct; and then the people will be attentive to their words, and circumspect in their conduct. It is said in the Book of Poetry (III, iii, ode 2, 5), "Be circumspect in all you say, And reverent bearing still display." It is said in the Da Ya (III, i, ode 1, 4), "Deep were Wen's thoughts, unstained his ways; His reverence lit its trembling rays."'

9 緇衣:
子曰:「長民者,衣服不貳,從容有常,以齊其民,則民德壹。《》云:『彼都人士,狐裘黃黃,其容不改,出言有章,行歸于周,萬民所望。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When the heads of the people use no (improper) variations in their dress, and their manners are always easy and unconstrained, and they seek thus to give uniformity to the people, the virtue of the people does become uniform. It is said in the Book of Poetry (II, viii, ode i, i), "In the old capital they stood, With yellow fox-furs plain; Their manners all correct and good, Speech free from vulgar stain. Could we go back to Zhou's old days, All would look up to them with praise."'

10 緇衣:
子曰:「為上可望而知也,為下可述而志也,則君不疑於其臣,而臣不惑於其君矣。《尹吉》曰:『惟尹躬及湯,咸有壹德。』《》云:『淑人君子,其儀不忒。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When (the ruler) above can be known by men looking at him, and (his ministers) below can have their doings related and remembered, then the ruler has no occasion to doubt his ministers, and the ministers are not led astray by their ruler. The Announcement of Yin says (Shu, IV, vi, 3), "There were I, Yin, and Tang; both possessed the same pure virtue." It is said in the Book of Poetry (I, xiv, ode 3, 3), "In soul so steadfast is that princely man, Whose course for fault or flaw we vainly scan."'

11 緇衣:
子曰:「有國者章善𤺺惡,以示民厚,則民情不貳。《》云:『靖共爾位,好是正直。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When the holders of states and clans give distinction to the righteous and make it painful for the bad, thus showing the people the excellence (they should cultivate), then the feelings of the people do not swerve (to what is evil). It is said in the Book of Poetry (II, vi, ode 3, 5), "Your duties quietly fulfil, And hold the upright in esteem, With earnest love."'

12 緇衣:
子曰:「上人疑則百姓惑,下難知則君長勞。故君民者,章好以示民俗,慎惡以御民之淫,則民不惑矣。臣儀行,不重辭,不援其所不及,不煩其所不知,則君不勞矣。《》云:『上帝板板,下民卒𤺺。』《小雅》曰:『匪其止共,惟王之邛。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, "when the highest among men has doubts and perplexities, the common people go astray. When (the ministers) below him are difficult to be understood, the toil of the ruler is prolonged. Therefore when the ruler exhibits clearly what he loves, and thus shows the people the style of manners (they should aim at), and is watchful against what he dislikes, and thereby guards the people against the excesses (of which they are in danger), then they do not go astray. When the ministers are exemplary in their conduct, and do not set a value on (fine) speeches; when they do not try to lead (the ruler) to what is unattainable, and do not trouble him with what cannot be (fully) known, then he is not toiled. It is said in the Book of Poetry (III, ii, ode 10, i), "Reversed is now the providence of God; The lower people groan beneath their load." It is said in the Xiao Ya (II, v, ode 4, 4), "They do not discharge their duties, But only cause distress to the king."'

13 緇衣:
子曰:「政之不行也,教之不成也,爵祿不足勸也,刑罰不足恥也。故上不可以褻刑而輕爵。《康誥》曰:『敬明乃罰。』《甫刑》曰:『播刑之不迪。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When (the measures of) government do not take effect, and the lessons of the ruler do not accomplish their object, (it is because) the giving of rank and emoluments is unfit to stimulate the people to good, and (the infliction of) punishments and penalties is unfit to make them ashamed (of evil). Therefore (the ruler) above must not be careless in punishing, nor lightly confer rank. It is said in the Announcement to the Prince of Kang (Shu, V, ix, 8), "Deal reverently and understandingly in your infliction of punishments;" and in the Punishments of Fu (Shu, V, xxvii, 12), "He spreads abroad his lessons to avert punishments."'

14 緇衣:
子曰:「大臣不親,百姓不寧,則忠敬不足,而富貴已過也;大臣不治而邇臣比矣。故大臣不可不敬也,是民之表也;邇臣不可不慎也,是民之道也。君毋以小謀大,毋以遠言近,毋以內圖外,則大臣不怨,邇臣不疾,而遠臣不蔽矣。葉公之顧命曰:『毋以小謀敗大作,毋以嬖御人疾莊后,毋以嬖御士疾莊士、大夫、卿士。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When the great ministers are not on terms of friendly intimacy (with the ruler), and the common people consequently are not restful, this is because the loyalty (of the ministers) and the respect (of the ruler) are not sufficient, and the riches and rank conferred (on the former) are excessive. (The consequence is, that) the great ministers do not discharge their functions of government, and the ministers closer (to the ruler) form parties against them. Therefore the great ministers should by all means be treated with respect; they are examples to the people; and ministers nearer (to the ruler) should by all means be careful - they direct the way of the people. Let not the ruler consult with inferior officers about greater, nor with those who are from a distance about those who are near to him, nor with those who are beyond the court about those who belong to it. If he act thus, the great ministers will not be dissatisfied; the ministers closer to him will not be indignant; and those who are more remote will not be kept in obscurity. The duke of She in his dying charge said, "Do not by little counsels ruin great enterprises; do not for the sake of a favourite concubine provoke queen Zhuang; do not for the sake of a favourite officer provoke your grave officers - the Great officers or high ministers."'

15 緇衣:
子曰:「大人不親其所賢,而信其所賤;民是以親失,而教是以煩。《》云:『彼求我則,如不我得;執我仇仇,亦不我力。』《君陳》曰:『未見聖,若己弗克見;既見聖,亦不克由聖。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'If the great man be not in affectionate sympathy with (his officers) whom he considers worthy, but give his confidence to others whom he despises, the people in consequence will not feel attached to him, and the lessons which he gives them will be troublesome (and ineffective). It is said in the Book of Poetry (II, ii, ode 8), "As if I were hidden they sought me at first, At court for a pattern to shine; 'Tis with hatred intense they now bend their scowls, And my services curtly decline." It is said in the Jun-chen (Shu, V, xxiv, 4), "While they have not seen a sage, (they are full of desire) as if they could not get a sight of him; but after they have seen him, they are still unable to follow him."'

16 緇衣:
子曰:「小人溺於水,君子溺於口,大人溺於民,皆在其所褻也。夫水近於人而溺人,德易狎而難親也,易以溺人;口費而煩,易出難悔,易以溺人;夫民閉於人,而有鄙心,可敬不可慢,易以溺人。故君子不可以不慎也。《太甲》曰:『毋越厥命以自覆也;若虞機張,往省括于厥度則釋。』《兌命》曰:『惟口起羞,惟甲胄起兵,惟衣裳在笥,惟干戈省厥躬。』《太甲》曰:『天作孽,可違也;自作孽,不可以逭。』《尹吉》曰:『惟尹躬天,見於西邑;夏自周有終,相亦惟終。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'A small man is drowned in the water; a superior man is drowned or ruined by his mouth; the great man suffers his ruin from the people - all suffer from what they have played and taken liberties with. Water is near to men, and yet it drowns them. Its nature makes it easy to play with, but dangerous to approach - men are easily drowned in it. The mouth is loquacious and troublesome; for words once uttered there is hardly a place of repentance - men are easily ruined by it. The people, restricted in their humanity, have vulgar and rude minds; they should be respected, and should not be treated with contempt - men are easily ruined by them. Therefore the superior man should by all means be careful in his dealings with them. It is said in the Tai Jia (Shu, III, v, sect. 1, 5, 7), "Do not frustrate the charge to me, and bring on yourself your own overthrow. Be like the forester, who, when he has adjusted the string, goes to examine the end of the arrow, whether it be placed according to rule, and then lets go." It is said in the Charge to Yue (III, viii, Sect. 2, 4), "It is the mouth which gives occasion to shame; they are the coat of mail and helmet which give occasion to war. The upper robes and lower garments (for reward) should not be taken (lightly from) their chests; before spear and shield are used, one should examine himself." It is said in the Tai Jia (Shu, III, v, sect. 2, 3), "Calamities sent by Heaven may be avoided; but from those brought on by one's self there is no escape." It is said in the Announcement of Yin (Shu, III, v, sect. 1, 3), "I have seen it myself in Xia with its western capital, that when its sovereigns went through a prosperous course to the end, their ministers also did the same."'

17 緇衣:
子曰:「民以君為心,君以民為體;心莊則體舒,心肅則容敬。心好之,身必安之;君好之,民必欲之。心以體全,亦以體傷;君以民存,亦以民亡。《》云:『昔吾有先正,其言明且清,國家以寧,都邑以成,庶民以生;誰能秉國成,不自為正,卒勞百姓。《君雅》曰:『夏日暑雨,小民惟曰怨;資冬祁寒,小民亦惟曰怨。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'To the people the ruler is as their heart; to the ruler the people are as his body. When the heart is composed, the body is at ease; when the heart is reverent, the body is respectful; when the heart loves anything, the body is sure to rest in it. (So), when the ruler loves anything, the people are sure to desire it. The body is the complement of the heart, and a wound in it makes the heart also suffer. So the ruler is preserved by the people, and perishes also through the people. It is said in an ode, "Once we had that former premier, His words were wise and pure; The states and clans by him were at rest, The chief cities and towns by him were well regulated, All the people by him enjoyed their life. Who (now) holds the ordering of the kingdom? Not himself attending to the government, The issue is toil and pain to the people." It is said in, the Jun-ya (Shu, V, xxv, 5), "In the heat and rain of summer days the inferior people may be described as murmuring and sighing. And so it may be said of them in the great cold of winter."'

18 緇衣:
子曰:「下之事上也,身不正,言不信,則義不壹,行無類也。」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'In the service by an inferior of his superior, if his personal character be not correct, his words will not be believed; and in this case their views will not be the same, and the conduct (of the superior) will not correspond (to the advice given to him).'

19 緇衣:
子曰:「言有物而行有格也;是以生則不可奪志,死則不可奪名。故君子多聞,質而守之;多志,質而親之;精知,略而行之。《君陳》曰:『出入自爾師虞,庶言同。』《》云:『淑人君子,其儀一也。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'Words should be capable of proof by instances, and conduct should be conformed to rule; when the case is so, a man's aim cannot be taken from him while he is alive, nor can his good name be taken away when he is dead. Therefore the superior man, having heard much, verifies it by inquiry, and firmly holds fast (what is proved); he remembers much, verifies it by inquiry, and makes it his own; when he knows it exactly, he carries the substance of it into practice. It is said in the Jun-chen (Shu, V, xxi, 5), "Going out and coming in, seek the judgment of the people about things, till you find a general agreement upon them." It is said in the Book of Poetry (I, xiv, ode 3, i), "The virtuous man, the princely one, Is uniformly correct in his deportment."'

20 緇衣:
子曰:「唯君子能好其正,小人毒其正。故君子之朋友有鄉,其惡有方;是故邇者不惑,而遠者不疑也。《》云:『君子好仇。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'It is only the superior man who can love what is correct, while to the small man what is correct is as poison. Therefore the friends of the superior man have the definite aims which they pursue, and the definite courses which they hate. In consequence, those who are near at hand have no perplexities of thought about him, and those who are far off, no doubts. It is said in the Book of Poetry (I, i, ode 1, 1), "For our prince a good mate."'

21 緇衣:
子曰:「輕絕貧賤,而重絕富貴,則好賢不堅,而惡惡不著也。人雖曰不利,吾不信也。《》云:『朋有攸攝,攝以威儀。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When a man on light grounds breaks off his friendship with the poor and mean, and only on great grounds with the rich and noble, his love of worth cannot be great, nor does his hatred of evil clearly appear. Though men may say that he is not influenced by (the love of) gain, I do not believe them. It is said in the Book of Poetry (III, ii, ode 3, 4), "And all the friends assisting you Behave with reverent mien."'

22 緇衣:
子曰:「私惠不歸德,君子不自留焉。《》云:『人之好我,示我周行。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'The superior man will not voluntarily remain to share in private acts of kindness not offered on grounds of virtue. In the Book of Poetry it is said (II, i, ode 1, 1), "They love me, and my mind will teach How duty's highest aim to reach."'

23 緇衣:
子曰:「茍有車,必見其軾;茍有衣,必見其敝;人茍或言之,必聞其聲;茍或行之,必見其成。《葛覃》曰:『服之無射。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'If there be a carriage (before you), you are sure (by-and-by) to see the cross-board (in front); if there be a garment, you are sure (in the same way) to see (the traces of) its being worn; if one speaks, you are sure to hear his voice; if one does anything, you are sure to see the result. It is said in the Book of Poetry (I, i, ode 2, 2), "I will wear them without being weary of them."'

24 緇衣:
子曰:「言從而行之,則言不可飾也;行從而言之,則行不可飾也。故君子寡言,而行以成其信,則民不得大其美而小其惡。《》云:『自圭之玷,尚可磨也;斯言之玷,不可為也。』《小雅》曰:『允也君子,展也大成。』《君奭》曰:『昔在上帝,周田觀文王之德,其集大命于厥躬。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'When one says anything, and immediately proceeds to act it out, his words cannot embellish it; and when one does anything, and immediately proceeds to describe it, the action cannot be embellished. Hence the superior man saying little, and acting to prove the sincerity of his words, the people cannot make the excellence of their deeds greater than it is, nor diminish the amount of their badness. It is said in the Book of Poetry (III, iii, ode 2, 5), "A flaw in mace of white jade may By patient toil be ground away; But for a flaw we make in speech, What can be done? 'Tis past our reach." It is said in the Xiao Ya (II, iii, ode 5, 8), "Well does our lord become his place, And high the deeds his reign have crowned." It is said to the Prince Shi (Shu, V, xvi, 11), "Aforetime, when God beheld the virtue of king Wen in the fields of Zhou, he made the great decree light on his person."'

25 緇衣:
子曰:「南人有言曰:『人而無恒,不可以為卜筮。』古之遺言與?龜筮猶不能知也,而況於人乎?《》云:『我龜既厭,不我告猶。』《兌命》曰:『爵無及惡德,民立而正事,純而祭祀,是為不敬;事煩則亂,事神則難。』《》曰:『不恒其德,或承之羞。恒其德偵,婦人吉,夫子凶。』」
Zi Yi:
The Master said, 'The people of the south have a saying that "A man without constancy cannot be a diviner either with the tortoise-shell or the stalks." This was probably a saying handed down from antiquity. If such a man cannot know the tortoise-shell and stalks, how much less can he know other men? It is said in the Book of Poetry (II, v, ode 1, 3), "Our tortoise-shells are wearied out, And will not tell us anything about the plans." The Charge to Yue says (Shu, IV, Viii, sect. 2, 5, 11), "Dignities should not be conferred on men of evil practices. (If they be), how can the people set themselves to correct their ways? If this be sought merely by sacrifices, it will be disrespectful (to the spirits). When affairs come to be troublesome, there ensues disorder; when the spirits are served so, difficulties ensue." It is said in the Yi, "When one does not continuously maintain his virtue, some will impute it to him as a disgrace - (in the position indicated in the Hexagram.) When one does maintain his virtue continuously (in the other position indicated), this will be fortunate in a wife, but in a husband evil."'

URN: ctp:liji/zi-yi