With a translation, critical and exegetical
notes, prolegomena, and copious indexes
By James Legge
IN FIVE VOLUMES
THE GREAT LEARNING
THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN
BOOK I. HSIO R.
CHAPTER I. 1. The Master said, 'Is it not pleasant to learn with
a constant perseverance and application?
2. 'Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant
3. 'Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no
discomposure though men may take no note of him?'
CHAP. II. 1. The philosopher Yu said, 'They are few who, being
filial and fraternal, are fond of offending against their superiors.
There have been none, who, not liking to offend against their
superiors, have been fond of stirring up confusion.
2. 'The superior man bends his attention to what is radical.
That being established, all practical courses naturally grow up. Filial
piety and fraternal submission! - are they not the root of all
CHAP. III. The Master said, 'Fine words and an insinuating
appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.'
CHAP. IV. The philosopher Tsang said, 'I daily examine myself
on three points: - whether, in transacting business for others, I may
have been not faithful; - whether, in intercourse with friends, I
may have been not sincere; - whether I may have not mastered
and practised the instructions of my teacher.'
CHAP. V. The Master said, To rule a country of a thousand
chariots, there must be reverent attention to business, and
sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the
employment of the people at the proper seasons.'
CHAP. VI. The Master said, 'A youth, when at home, should be
filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and
truthful. He should overflow in love to all, and cultivate the
friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the
performance of these things, he should employ them in polite
CHAP. VII. Tsze-hsia said, 'If a man withdraws his mind from
the love of beauty, and applies it as sincerely to the love of the
virtuous; if, in serving his parents, he can exert his utmost strength;
if, in serving his prince, he can devote his life; if, in his intercourse
with his friends, his words are sincere: - although men say that he
has not learned, I will certainly say that he has.'
CHAP. VIII. 1. The Master said, 'If the scholar be not grave, he
will not call forth any veneration, and his learning will not be solid.
2. 'Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
3. 'Have no friends not equal to yourself.
4. 'When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.'
CHAP. IX. The philosopher Tsang said, 'Let there be a careful
attention to perform the funeral rites to parents, and let them be
followed when long gone with the ceremonies of sacrifice; - then
the virtue of the people will resume its proper excellence.'
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