The Master said of Yen Yuan, “Alas! I saw his constant advance. I never saw him stop in his progress.”

Confucius (551-479 BC) Chinese philosopher [Ku'ng Ch'iu / King Qiu, Ku'ng Fu-tzu / Kong Fuzi]
The Analects [Lun Yü], 9.20 (6th C. BC) [ed. Lao-Tse, tr. Legge (1861)]
    (Source)

Probable origin of the frequently attributed "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." Alt. trans.:
  • 'Confucius remarked of the same disciple [Yen Hui]: "Alas! he is dead. I have observed his constant advance; I never saw him stop in his progress."' [tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898)]
  • "Alas for Hwui! I saw him ever making progress. I never saw him stopping short." [tr. Wilson (1900)]
  • 'The Master, referring to Yen Yüan, said: "Alas! I ever saw him make progress, and never saw him stand still."' [tr. Soothill (1910)]
  • 'The Master said of Yan Hui: "Alas, I watched his progress, but did not see him reach the goal."' [tr. Leys (1997), 9.21]
  • 'The Master said about Yan Hui, "Such a pity! I only saw his progress; I never saw where he got to."' [tr. Ames/Rosemont (1998)]
  • 'The Master, referring to Yan Hui, said, "It is a pity! I saw him moving forward but did not see him complete his journey."' [tr. Annping Chin (2014)]
  • "I saw him ever making progress. I never saw him stopping short." [tr. Jennings]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 25-Nov-20
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