Analects 8.4

Original Text:



Other Translations:

Master Zeng was gravely ill, and Meng Jingzi came to inquire about his health.

Master Zeng said to him, “When a bird is about to die, its call is mournful and touching. When a person is about to die, his words should be heeded. There are three things that are important for a gentleman pursuing the Way: by altering his behavioral demeanor, he avoids violence and arrogance; by rectifying his countenance, he welcomes trustworthiness; and in his choice of words and tone of voice, he avoids vulgarity and impropriety. As for the details of handling sacrificial vessels, there are minor officials to deal with that.”

Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.

When Master Zeng was ill, Meng Jing Zi asked how he was.

Master Zeng spoke these words: When a bird is about to die, its cries are sad. When a man is about to die, his words are good. With regard to the Way, there are three things the gentleman prizes: in his actions and manner, that he be far from harshness or arrogance; in ordering his appearance, that he stick close to trustworthiness; in his utterances, that they be far from crude or unseemly. As for the sacrificial baskets and stands, there are experts to tend to such matters.

Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.

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