Lun Yu Introduction Table of content – The Analects of Confucius

The Master discusses with his disciples and unveil his preoccupations with society. Tr. Legge (en), Lau (en) and Couvreur (fr).

Section 1Section 2Section 3Section 4Section 5Section 6Section 7Section 8Section 9Section 10Section 11Section 12Section 13Section 14Section 15Section 16Section 17Section 18Section 19Section 20 (All)
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Lunyu XX. 1. (510)

Priciples and ways of Yâo, Shun, Yü, T'ang, and Wû.
1. Yâo said, "Oh! you, Shun, the Heaven-determined order of succession now rests in your person. Sincerely hold fast the due Mean. If there shall be distress and want within the four seas, the Heavenly revenue will come to a perpetual end."
2. Shun also used the same language in giving charge to Yû.
3. T'ang said, "I, the child Lî, presume to use a dark-colored victim, and presume to announce to Thee, O most great and sovereign God, that the sinner I dare not pardon, and thy ministers, O God, I do not keep in obscurity. The examination of them is by thy mind, O God. If, in my person, I commit offenses, they are not to be attributed to you, the people of the myriad regions. If you in the myriad regions commit offenses, these offenses must rest on my person."
4. Châu conferred great gifts, and the good were enriched.
5. "Although he has his near relatives, they are not equal to my virtuous men. The people are throwing blame upon me, the One man."
6. He carefully attended to the weights and measures, examined the body of the laws, restored the discarded officers, and the good government of the kingdom took its course.
7. He revived states that had been extinguished, restored families whose line of succession had been broken, and called to office those who had retired into obscurity, so that throughout the kingdom the hearts of the people turned towards him.
8. What he attached chief importance to were the food of the people, the duties of mourning, and sacrifices.
9. By his generosity, he won all. By his sincerity, he made the people repose trust in him. By his earnest activity, his achievements were great. By his justice, all were delighted.

Legge XX.1.

Yao said,
Oh, Shun,
The succession, ordained by Heaven, has fallen on thy person.
Hold thou truly to the middle way.
If the Empire should be reduced to dire straits
The honours bestowed on thee by Heaven wrn be terminated for ever. It was with these same words that Shun commanded Yu. [T'ang] said, 'I, Lu, the little one, dare to offer a black bull and to make this declaration before the great Lord. I dare not pardon those who have transgressed. I shall present thy servants as they are so that the choice rests with Thee alone. If I transgress, let not the ten thousand states suffer because of me; but if the ten thousand states transgress, the guilt is mine alone.'
The Chou was greatly blessed and the good men abounded.
I may have close relatives,
But better for me to have benevolent men.
If the people transgress
Let it be on my head alone.
Decide on standard weights and measures after careful considera- tion, and re-establish official posts fallen into disuse, and government measures will be enforced everywhere. Restore states that have been annexed, revive lines that have become extinct, raise men who have withdrawn from society and the hearts of all the common people in the Empire will turn to you.
What was considered of importance: the common people, food, mourning and sacrifice.
If a man is tolerant, he will win the multitude. If he is trustworthy in word, the common people will entrust him with responsibility. If he is quick he will achieve results. if he is impartial the common people will be pleased.

Lau [20:1]

L'empereur Iao dit : « Eh bien, Chouenn, voici le temps fixé par le Ciel pour ton avènement. Applique-toi à garder en toutes choses le milieu juste. Si par ta négligence les ressources venaient à manquer, le Ciel te retirerait à jamais le pouvoir et les trésors royaux. » Chouenn transmit à son tour le mandat à Iu, son successeur.
[Tang le Victorieux, fondateur de la dynastie des Chang-In, après avoir chassé Kie, le dernier empereur de la dynastie des Hia,] dit : « Moi Li, qui suis comme un faible enfant, j'ose immoler un taureau noir1. J'ose déclarer solennellement, en face de l'auguste Souverain du Ciel, que je ne me permettrais pas d'épargner le coupable2 et que je ne laisserais pas dans l'ombre ses serviteurs. Si je commets une faute, le peuple n'en sera pas responsable. Si le peuple commet une faute, j'en serai responsable3. » Cette expression, « l'auguste Souverain du Ciel », est un terme respectueux pour désigner le Souverain d'En Haut. Tous les hommes sages sont les ministres du Souverain d'En Haut. Avant de marcher contre Kie, Tang le Victorieux dit : « Toutes les actions bonnes ou mauvaises sont inscrites et se lisent dans le cœuer du Souverain d'En Haut. [En attaquant Kie], je ne ferai qu'obéir aux ordres du Souverain d'En Haut. » (Tchou Hsi)
Le roi Ou fondateur de la dynastie des Tcheou, répandit ses bienfaits dans tout l'empire. Il n'enrichit que les hommes bons. « Bien que [le tyran Tcheou] ait beaucoup de proches parents, dit-il, ils ne valent pas les hommes pleinement humains. Si 1e peuple faute, que j'en sois le seul responsable. » Il régla les poids et les mesures, révisa les lois et les ordonnances, rétablit les charges [qui avaient été établies par Tcheou] ; et, dans tout l'empire, l'administration reprit son cours. Il reconstitua les principautés supprimées, donna une postérité adoptive aux chefs des grandes familles morts sans enfants mâles ; éleva aux charges les hommes capables qui avaient été laissés dans la vie privée ; et tous les cœurs furent à lui. Il attachait une grande importance à la subsistance du peuple, aux funérailles et aux sacrifices. Si un prince est magnanime, il se conciliera tous les cœurs ; s'il est digne de confiance, le peuple s'en remettra à lui ; s'il est diligent, il mènera toutes ses œuvres à bonne fin ; s'il est juste, il fera la joie du peuple.

1. Comme les empereurs de la dynastie des Hia.
2. L'empereur Kie.
3. En qualité de chef du peuple.

Couvreur XX.1.

Lun Yu XX. 1. (510) IntroductionTable of content
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The Analects of Confucius – Lun Yu XX. 1. (510) – Chinese on/offFrançais/English
Alias the Lunyu, the Lun Yü, the Analects, les Entretiens du maître avec ses disciples.

The Book of Odes, The Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Three-characters book, The Book of Changes, The Way and its Power, 300 Tang Poems, The Art of War, Thirty-Six Strategies
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