Story type: Essay
The highest study of all is that which teaches us to develop those principles of purity and perfect virtue which Heaven bestowed upon us at our birth, in order that we may acquire the power of influencing for good those amongst whom we are placed, by our precepts and example; a study without an end–for our labors cease only when we have become perfect–an unattainable goal, but one that we must not the less set before us from the very first. It is true that we shall not be able to reach it, but in our struggle toward it we shall strengthen our characters and give stability to our ideas, so that, whilst ever advancing calmly in the same direction, we shall be rendered capable of applying the faculties with which we have been gifted to the best possible account.
—“The Annals” of Confucius
The Chinese comprise one-fourth of the inhabitants of the earth. There are four hundred millions of them.
They can do many things which we can not do, and we can do a few things which they have not yet been able to do; but they are learning from us, and possibly we would do well to learn from them. In China there are now trolley-cars, telephone-lines, typewriters, cash-registers and American plumbing. China is a giant awaking from sleep. He who thinks that China is a country crumbling into ruins has failed to leave a call at the office and has overslept.
The West can not longer afford to ignore China. And not being able to waive her, perhaps the next best thing is to try to understand her.
The one name that looms large above any other name in China is Confucius. He of all men has influenced China most. One-third of the human race love and cherish his memory, and repeat his words as sacred writ.
Confucius was born at a time when one of those tidal waves of reason swept the world–when the nations were full of unrest, and the mountains of thought were shaken with discontent.
It was just previous to the blossoming of Greece.
Pericles was seventeen years old when Confucius died. Themistocles was preparing the way for Pericles; for then was being collected the treasure of Delos, which made Phidias and the Parthenon possible. During the life of Confucius lived Leonidas, Miltiades, Cyrus the Great, Cambyses, Darius, Xerxes. And then quite naturally occurred the battles of Marathon, Salamis and Thermopylae. Then lived Buddha-Gautama, Lao-tsze, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, Pythagoras, Pindar, AEschylus and Anacreon.
The Chinese are linked to the past by ties of language and custom beyond all other nations. They are a peculiar people, a chosen people, a people set apart. Just when they withdrew from the rest of mankind and abandoned their nomadic habits, making themselves secure against invasion by building a wall one hundred feet high, and settled down to lay the foundations of a vast empire, we do not know. Some historians have fixed the date about ten thousand years before Christ–let it go at that. There is a reasonably well-authenticated history of China that runs back twenty-five hundred years before Christ, while our history merges into mist seven hundred fifty years before the Christian era.
The Israelites wandered; the Chinese remained at home. Walls have this disadvantage: they keep people in as well as shut the barbarians out. But now there are vast breaches in the wall, through which the inhabitants ooze, causing men from thousands of miles away to cry in alarm, “the Yellow Peril!” And also through these breaches, Israelites, Englishmen and Yankees enter fearlessly, settle down in heathen China, and do business.
It surely is an epoch, and what the end will be few there are who dare forecast.
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This then is from the pen of Edward Carpenter, the Church of England curate who was so great a friend and admirer of our own Walt Whitman that he made a trip across the sea to join hands with him in preaching the doctrine of democracy and the religion of humanity.
In the interior of China, along low-lying plains and great river-valleys, and by lake-sides, and far away up into hilly and even mountainous regions,
Behold! an immense population, rooted in the land, rooted in the clan and the family,
The most productive and stable on the whole Earth. A garden one might say–a land of rich and recherche crops, of rice and tea and silk and sugar and cotton and oranges;
Do you see it?–stretching away endlessly over river-lines and lakes, and the gentle undulations of the low-lands, and up the escarpments of the higher hills;
The innumerable patchwork of civilization–the poignant verdure of the young rice; the somber green of orange-groves; the lines of tea-shrubs, well hoed, and showing the bare earth beneath; the pollard mulberries; the plots of cotton and maize and wheat and yam and clover; the little brown and green tiled cottages with spreading recurbed eaves, the clumps of feathery bamboo, or of sugar-canes;
The endless silver threads of irrigation canals and ditches, skirting the hills for scores and hundreds of miles, tier above tier, and serpentining down to the lower slopes and plains–
The accumulated result, these, of centuries upon centuries of ingenious industry, and innumerable public and private benefactions, continued from age to age;
The grand canal of the Delta plain extending, a thronged waterway, for seven hundred miles, with sails of junks and bankside villages innumerable;
The chain-pumps, worked by buffaloes or men, for throwing the water up slopes and hillsides, from tier to tier, from channel to channel;
The endless rills and cascades flowing down again into pockets and hollows of verdure, and on fields of steep and plain;
The bits of rock and wildwood left here and there, with the angles of Buddhist or Jain temples projecting from among the trees;
The azalea and rhododendron bushes, and the wild deer and pheasants unharmed;
The sounds of music and the gong–the Sin-fa sung at eventide–and the air of contentment and peace pervading;
A garden you might call the land, for its wealth of crops and flowers,
A town almost for its population.
A population denser, on a large scale, than anywhere else on earth–
Five or six acre holdings, elbowing each other, with lesser and larger, continuously over immense tracts, and running to plentiful market centers;
A country of few roads, but of innumerable footpaths and waterways.
Here, rooted in the land, and rooted in the family, each family clinging to its portion of ancestral earth, each offshoot of the family desiring nothing so much as to secure its own patrimonial field,
Each member of the family answerable primarily to the family assembly for his misdeeds or defalcations,
All bound together in the common worship of ancestors, and in reverence for the past and its sanctioned beliefs and accumulated prejudices and superstitions;
With many ancient, wise, simple customs and ordinances, coming down from remote centuries, and the time of Confucius,
This vast population abides–the most stable and the most productive in the world.
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And Government touches it but lightly–can touch it but lightly.
With its few officials (only some twenty-five thousand for the whole of its four hundred millions), and its scanty taxation (about one dollar per head), and with the extensive administration of justice and affairs by the clan and the family–little scope is left for government.
The great equalized mass population pursues its even and accustomed way, nor pays attention to edicts and foreign treaties, unless these commend themselves independently;
Pays readier respect, in such matters, to the edicts and utterances of its literary men, and the deliberations of the Academy.
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And religious theorizing touches it but lightly–can touch it but lightly.
Established on the bedrock of actual life, and on the living unity and community of present, past and future generations.
Each man stands bound already, and by the most powerful ties, to the social body–nor needs the dreams and promises of Heaven to reassure him.
And all are bound to the Earth.
Rendering back to it as a sacred duty every atom that the Earth supplies to them (not insensately sending it in sewers to the sea),
By the way of abject commonsense they have sought the gates of Paradise–and to found on human soil their City Celestial!
The first general knowledge of Confucius came to the Western world in the latter part of the Sixteenth Century from Jesuit missionaries. Indeed, it was they who gave him the Latinized name of “Confucius,” the Chinese name being Kung-Fu-tsze.
So impressed were these missionaries by the greatness of Confucius that they urged upon the Vatican the expediency of placing his name upon the calendar of Saints. They began by combating his teachings, but this they soon ceased to do, and the modicum of success which they obtained was through beginning each Christian service by the hymn which may properly be called the National Anthem of China. Its opening stanza is as follows:
Great was our Confucius!
Before him there was no Confucius,
Since him there was no other.
Great was our Confucius!
The praise given by these early Jesuits to Confucius was at first regarded at Rome as apology for the meager success of their ministrations. But later scientific study of Chinese literature corroborated all that the Jesuit Fathers proclaimed for Confucius, and he stands today in a class with Socrates and the scant half-dozen whom we call the saviors of the world.
Yet Confucius claimed no “divine revelation,” nor did he seek to found a religion. He was simply a teacher, and what he taught was the science of living–living in the present, with the plain and simple men and women who make up the world, and bettering our condition by bettering theirs. Of a future life he said he knew nothing, and concerning the supernatural he was silent, even rebuking his disciples for trying to pry into the secrets of Heaven. The word “God” he does not use, but his recognition of a Supreme Intelligence is limited to the use of a word which can best be translated “Heaven,” since it tokens a place more than it does a person. Constantly he speaks of “doing the will of Heaven.” And then he goes on to say that “Heaven is speaking through you,” “Duty lies in mirroring Heaven in our acts,” and many other such New-Thought aphorisms or epigrams.
That the man was a consummate literary stylist is beyond doubt. He spoke in parables and maxims, short, brief and musical. He wrote for his ear, and always his desire, it seems, was to convey the greatest truth in the fewest words. The Chinese, even the lowly and uneducated, know hundreds of Confucian epigrams, and still repeat them in their daily conversation or in writing, just as educated Englishmen use the Bible and Shakespeare for symbol.
Minister Wu, in a lecture delivered in various American cities, compared Confucius with Emerson, showing how in many ways these two great prophets paralleled each other. Emerson, of all Americans, seems the only man worthy of being so compared.
The writer who lives is the man who supplies the world with portable wisdom–short, sharp, pithy maxims which it can remember, or, better still, which it can not forget.
Confucius said, “Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three.”
The true artist in words or things is always more or less impressionistic–he talks in parables, and it is for the hearer to discover the meaning for himself.
An epigram is truth in a capsule. The disadvantage of the epigram is the temptation it affords to good people to explain it to the others who are assumed to be too obtuse to comprehend it alone. And since explanations seldom explain, the result is a mixture or compound that has to be spewed utterly or taken on faith. Confucius is simple enough until he is explained. Then we evolve sects, denominations and men who make it their profession to render moral calculi opaque. China, being peopled by human beings, has suffered from this tendency to make truth concrete, just as all the rest of the world has suffered. Truth is fluid and should be allowed to flow. Ankylosis of a fact is superstition. Confucius was a free-trader.
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China has always been essentially feudal in her form of government. China is made up of a large number of States, each presided over by a prince or governor, and these States are held together by a rather loose federal government, the Emperor being the supreme ruler. State rights prevail. State may fight with State, or States may secede–it isn’t of much moment. They are glad enough, after a few years, to get back, like boys who run away from home, or farmhands who quit work in a tantrum. The Chinese are very patient–they know that time cures all things, a truth the West has not yet learned. States that rebel, like individuals who place themselves beyond the protection of all, assume grave responsibilities.
The local prince usually realizes the bearing of the Social Contract–that he holds his office only during good behavior, and that his welfare and the welfare of his people are one.
Heih, the father of Confucius, was governor of one of these little States, and had impoverished himself in an effort to help his people. Heih was a man of seventy, wedded to a girl of seventeen, when their gifted son was born. When the boy was three years old the father died, and the lad’s care and education depended entirely on the mother. This mother seems to have been a woman of rare mental and spiritual worth. She deliberately chose a life of poverty and honest toil for herself and child, rather than allow herself to be cared for by rich kinsmen. The boy was brought up in a village, and he was not allowed to think himself any better than the other village children, save as he proved himself so. He worked in the garden, tended the cattle and goats, mended the pathways, brought wood and water, and waited on his elders. Every evening his mother used to tell him of the feats of strength of his father, of his heroic qualities in friendship, of deeds of valor, of fidelity to trusts, of his absolute truthfulness, and his desire for knowledge in order that he might better serve his people.
The coarse, plain fare, the long walks across the fields, the climbing of trees, the stooping to pull the weeds in the garden, the daily bath in the brook, all combined to develop the boy’s body to a splendid degree. He went to bed at sundown, and at the first flush of dawn was up that he might see the sunrise. There were devotional rites performed by the mother and son, morning and evening, which consisted in the playing upon a lute and singing or chanting the beauty and beneficence of creation.
Confucius, at fifteen, was regarded as a phenomenal musician, and the neighbors used to gather to hear him perform. At nineteen he was larger, stronger, comelier, more skilled, than any other youth of his age in all the country round.
The simple quality of his duties as a prince can be guessed when we are told that his work as keeper of the herds required him to ride long distances on horseback to settle difficulties between rival herders. The range belonged to the State, and the owners of goats, sheep and cattle were in continual controversies. Montana and Colorado will understand this matter. Confucius summoned the disputants and talked to them long about the absurdity of quarreling and the necessity of getting together in complete understanding. Then it was that he first put forth his best-known maxim: “You should not do to others that which you would not have others do to you.”
This negative statement of the Golden Rule is found expressed in various ways in the writings of Confucius. A literal interpretation of the Chinese language is quite impossible, as the Chinese have single signs or symbols that express a complete idea. To state the same matter, we often use a whole page.
Confucius had a single word which expressed the Golden Rule in such a poetic way that it is almost useless to try to convey it to people of the West. This word, which has been written into English as “Shu,” means: My heart responds to yours, or my heart’s desire is to meet your heart’s desire, or I wish to do to you even as I would be done by. This sign, symbol or word Confucius used to carve in the bark of trees by the roadside. The French were filled with a like impulse when they cut the words Liberty, Fraternity, Equality, over the entrances to all public buildings.
Confucius had his symbol of love and friendship painted on a board, which he stuck into the ground before the tent where he lodged; and finally it was worked upon a flag by some friends and presented to him, and became his flag of peace.
His success in keeping down strife among the herders, and making peace among his people, soon gave him a fame beyond the borders of his own State. As a judge he had the power to show both parties where they were wrong, and arranged for them a common meeting-ground.
His qualifications as an arbiter were not, however, limited to his powers of persuasion–he could shoot an arrow farther and hurl a spear with more accuracy than any man he ever met. Very naturally there are a great number of folklore stories concerning his prowess, some of which make him out a sort of combination Saint George and William Tell, with the added kingly graces of Alfred the Great. Omitting the incredible, we are willing to believe that this man had a giant’s strength, but was great enough not to use it like a giant.
We are willing to believe that when attacked by robbers, he engaged them in conversation and that, seated on the grass, he convinced them they were in a bad business. Also, he did not later hang them, as did our old friend Julius Caesar under like conditions.
When twenty-seven he ceased going abroad to hold court and settle quarrels, but sending for the disputants, they came, and he gave them a course of lectures in ethics. In a week, by a daily lesson of an hour’s length, they were usually convinced that to quarrel is very foolish, since it reduces bodily vigor, scatters the mind, and disturbs the secretions, so the man is the loser in many ways.
This seems to us like a very queer way to hold court, but Confucius maintained that men should learn to govern their tempers, do equity, and thus be able to settle their own disputes, and this without violence. “To fight decides who is the stronger, the younger and the more skilful in the use of arms, but it does not decide who is right. That is to be settled by the Heaven in your own heart.”
To let the Heaven into your heart, to cultivate a conscience so sensitive that it can conceive the rights of the other man, is to know wisdom.
To decide specific cases for others he thought was to cause them to lose the power of deciding for themselves. When asked what a just man should do when he was dealing with one absolutely unjust, he said, “He who wrongs himself sows in his own heart nettles.”
And when some of his disciples, after the Socratic method, asked him how this helped the injured man, he replied, “To be robbed or wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” When pushed still further, he said, “A man should fight, only when he does so to protect himself or his family from bodily harm.”
Here a questioner asked, “If we are to protect our persons, must we not learn to fight?”
And the answer comes, “The just man, he who partakes moderately of all good things, is the only man to fear in a quarrel, for he is without fear.”
Over and over is the injunction in varying phrase, “Abolish fear–abolish fear!” When pressed to give in one word the secret of a happy life, he gives a word which we translate, “Equanimity.”
The mother of Confucius died during his early manhood. For her he ever retained the most devout memories.
Before going on a journey he always visited her grave, and on returning, before he spoke to any one, he did the same. On each anniversary of her death he ate no food and was not to be seen by his pupils. This filial piety, which is sometimes crudely and coarsely called “ancestor worship,” is something which for the Western world is rather difficult to appreciate. But in it there is a subtle, spiritual significance, suggesting that it is only through our parents that we are able to realize consciousness or personal contact with Heaven. These parents loved us into being, cared for us with infinite patience in infancy, taught us in youth, watched with high hope our budding manhood; and as reward and recognition for the service rendered us, the least we can do is to remember them in all our prayers and devotions. The will of Heaven used these parents for us, therefore parenthood is divine.
That this ancestor worship is beautiful and beneficial is quite apparent, and rightly understood no one could think of it as “heathendom.” Confucius used to chant the praises of his mother, who brought him up in poverty, thus giving a close and intimate knowledge of a thousand things from which princes, used to ease and luxury, are barred.
So close was he to nature and the plain people that he ordered that all skilful charioteers in his employ should belong to the nobility. This giving a title or degree to men of skill–men who can do things–we regard as essentially a modern idea.
China, I believe, is the first country in the world to use the threads of a moth or worm for fabrics. The patience and care and inventive skill required in first making silk were very great. But it gives us an index to invention when we hear that Confucius regarded the making of linen, using the fiber of a plant, as a greater feat than utilizing the strands made by the silkworm. Confucius had a sort of tender sentiment toward the moth, similar to the sentiments which our vegetarian friends have toward killing animals for food. Confucius wore linen in preference to silk, for sentimental reasons. The silkworm dies at his task of making himself a cocoon, so to evolve in a winged joy, but falls a victim of man’s cupidity. Likewise, Confucius would not drink milk from a cow until her calf was weaned, because to do so were taking an unfair advantage of the maternal instincts of the cow. It will thus be seen that Confucius had a very fair hold on the modern idea which we call “Monism,” or “The One.” He, too, said, “All is one.” In his attitude toward all living things he was ever gentle and considerate.
No other prophet so much resembles Confucius in doctrine as Socrates. But Confucius does not suffer from the comparison. He had a beauty, dignity and grace of person which the great Athenian did not possess. Socrates was more or less of a buffoon, and to many in Athens he was a huge joke–a town fool. Confucius combined the learning and graces of Plato with the sturdy, practical commonsense of Socrates. No one ever affronted or insulted him; many did not understand him, but he met prince or pauper on terms of equality.
In his travels Confucius used often to meet recluses or monks–men who had fled the world in order to become saints. For these men Confucius had more pity than respect. “The world’s work is difficult, and to live in a world of living, striving and dying men and women requires great courage and great love. Now we can not all run away, and for some to flee from humanity and to find solace in solitude is only another name for weakness.”
This sounds singularly like our Ralph Waldo who says, “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinions; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the Great Man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
Confucius is the first man in point of time to proclaim the divinity of service, the brotherhood of man, and the truth that in useful work there is no high nor low degree. In talking to a group of young men he says:
“When I was keeper of the herds I always saw to it that all of my cattle were strong, healthy and growing, that there was water in abundance and plenty of feed. When I had charge of the public granaries I never slept until I knew that all was secure and cared for against the weather, and my accounts as true and correct as if I were going on my long journey to return no more. My advice is to slight nothing, forget nothing, never leave things to chance, nor say, ‘Nobody will know–this is good enough.’”
In all of his injunctions Confucius never has anything in mind beyond the present life. Of a future existence he knows nothing, and he seems to regard it as a waste of energy and a sign of weakness to live in two worlds at a time. “Heaven provides us means of knowing all about what is best here, and supplies us in abundance every material thing for present happiness, and it is our business to realize, to know, to enjoy.”
He taught rhetoric, mathematics, economics, the science of government and natural history. And always and forever running through the fabric of his teaching was the silken thread of ethics–man’s duty to man, man’s duty to Heaven. Music was to him a necessity, since “it brings the mind in right accord with the will of Heaven.” Before he began to speak he played softly on a stringed instrument which perhaps would compare best with our guitar, but it was much smaller, and this instrument he always carried with him, suspended from his shoulder by a silken sash. Yet with all of his passion for music, he cautioned his disciples against using it as an end. It was merely valuable as an introduction to be used in attuning the mind and heart to an understanding of great truth.
Confucius was seventy-two years old at his death. During his life his popularity was not great. When he passed away his followers numbered only about three thousand persons, and his “disciples,” or the teachers who taught his philosophy, were seventy in number.
There is no reason to suppose that Confucius assumed that a vast number of people would ever ponder his words or regard him as a prophet.
At the time that Confucius lived, also lived Lao-tsze. As a youth Confucius visited Lao-tsze, who was then an old man. Confucius often quotes his great contemporary and calls himself a follower of Lao-tsze. The difference, however, between the men is marked. Lao-tsze’s teachings are full of metaphysics and strange and mystical curiosities, while Confucius is always simple, lucid and practical.
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Confucius has been revered for twenty centuries, revered simply as a man, not as a god or as a divinely appointed savior. He offered no reward of heaven, nor did he threaten non-believers with hell. He claimed no special influence nor relationship to the Unseen. In all his teachings he was singularly open, frank and free from all mystery or concealment. In reference to the supernatural he was an agnostic. He often said, “I do not know.” He was always an inquirer, always a student, always open to conviction. History affords no instance of another individual who has been so well and so long loved, who still holds his place, and who, so far as his reasoning went, is unassailed and unassailable. Even the two other great religions in China that rival Confucianism–Buddhism and Taoism (the religion of Lao-tsze)–do not renounce Confucius: they merely seek to amend and augment him.
During his lifetime Confucius made many enemies by his habit of frankly pointing out the foibles of society and the wrongs visited upon the people by officials who pretended to serve them. Of hypocrisy, selfishness, vanity, pretense, he was severe in his denunciation.
Politicians at that time had the very modern habit of securing the office and then leaving all the details of the work to menials, they themselves pocketing the perquisites. As Minister of State, Confucius made himself both feared and detested on account of his habit of summoning the head of the office before him and questioning him concerning his duties. In fact, this insistence that those paid by the State should work for the State caused a combination to be formed against him, which finally brought about his deposition and exile, two things which troubled him but little, since one gave him leisure and the other opportunity for travel.
The personal followers of Confucius did not belong to the best society; but immediately after his death, many who during his life had scorned the man made haste to profess his philosophy and decorate their houses with his maxims. Humanity is about the same, whether white or yellow, the round world over, and time modifies it but little. It will be recalled how John P. Altgeld was feared and hated by both press and pulpit, especially in the State and city he served. But rigor mortis had scarcely seized upon that slight and tired body before the newspapers that had disparaged the man worst were vying with one another in glowing eulogies and warm testimonials to his honesty, sincerity, purity of motive and deep insight. A personality which can neither be bribed, bought, coerced, flattered nor cajoled is always regarded by the many–especially by the party in power–as “dangerous.” Vice, masked as virtue, breathes easier when the honest man is safely under the sod.
The plain and simple style of Confucius’ teaching can be gathered by the following sayings, selected at random from the canonical books of Confucianism, consisting of the teachings of the great master which were gathered together and grouped by his disciples and followers after his death:
The men of old spoke little. It would be well to imitate them, for those who talk much are sure to say something it would be better to have left unsaid.
Let a man’s labor be proportioned to his needs. For he who works beyond his strength does but add to his cares and disappointments. A man should be moderate even in his efforts.
Be not over-anxious to obtain relaxation or repose. For he who is so, will get neither.
Beware of ever doing that which you are likely, sooner or later, to repent of having done.
Do not neglect to rectify an evil because it may seem small, for, though small at first, it may continue to grow until it overwhelms you.
As riches adorn a house, so does an expanded mind adorn and tranquillize the body. Hence it is that the superior man will seek to establish his motives on correct principles.
The cultivator of the soil may have his fill of good things, but the cultivator of the mind will enjoy a continual feast.
It is because men are prone to be partial toward those they love, unjust toward those they hate, servile toward those above them, arrogant to those below them, and either harsh or over-indulgent to those in poverty and distress, that it is so difficult to find any one capable of exercising a sound judgment with respect to the qualities of others.
He who is incapable of regulating his own family can not be capable of ruling a nation. The superior man will find within the limits of his own home, a sufficient sphere for the exercise of all those principles upon which good government depends. How, indeed, can it be otherwise, when filial piety is that which should regulate the conduct of a people toward their prince; fraternal affection, that which should regulate the relations which should exist between equals, and the conduct of inferiors toward those above them; and paternal kindness, that which should regulate the bearing of those in authority toward those over whom they are placed?
Be slow in speech, but prompt in action.
He whose principles are thoroughly established will not be easily led from the right path.
The cautious are generally to be found on the right side.
By speaking when we ought to keep silence, we waste our words.
If you would escape vexation, reprove yourself liberally and others sparingly.
There is no use attempting to help those who can not help themselves.
Make friends with the upright, intelligent and wise; avoid the licentious, talkative and vain.
Disputation often breeds hatred.
Nourish good principles with the same care that a mother would bestow on her newborn babe. You may not be able to bring them to maturity, but you will nevertheless be not far from doing so.
The decrees of Heaven are not immutable, for though a throne may be gained by virtue, it may be lost by vice.
There are five good principles of action to be adopted: To benefit others without being lavish; to encourage labor without being harsh; to add to your resources without being covetous; to be dignified without being supercilious; and to inspire awe without being austere. Also, we should not search for love or demand it, but so live that it will flow to us.
Personal character can only be established on fixed principles, for if the mind be allowed to be agitated by violent emotions, to be excited by fear, or unduly moved by the love of pleasure, it will be impossible for it to be made perfect. A man must reason calmly, for without reason he would look and not see, listen and not hear.
When a man has been helped around one corner of a square, and can not manage by himself to get around the other three, he is unworthy of further assistance.