Confucius, speaking about the head of the Ch'i family said, "He has eight rows of dancers in his court. If he does this, what will he not do?"
The Three Families used the Yung Songs at the clearing of the sacrificial vessels. Confucius said, Attended on by Lords and Princes: How magnificent is the Son of Heaven! How could these words be used in the halls of the Three Families?
Confucius said: "If a man has no jen what can his propriety be like? If a man has no jen what can his music be like?"
Lin Fang asked about the fundamentals of ritual. Confucius said, "What an excellent question! In ritual, it is better to be frugal than extravagant; in funerals deep sorrow is better than ease."
Confucius said: "The tribes of the East and North (Koreans and Mongolians), though having kings, are not equal to our people, even when lacking kings,"
[Comment] Either Confucius is an outright ethnic chauvinist, or he is pointing to a real difference in the relative level of cultural development at that time between the central Chinese kingdoms and the outerlying peoples.
Confucius said: "The Superior Man has nothing to compete for. But if he must compete, he does it in an archery match, wherein he ascends to his position, bowing in deference. Descending, he drinks the ritual cup. This is the competition of the Superior Man."
翻譯：Tzu-hsia asked, 'Her entrancing smile dimpling, Her beautiful eyes glancing, Patterns of colour upon plain silk. What is the meaning of these lines?' The Master said, 'The colours are put in after the white. 'Does the practice of the rites likewise come afterwards?' The Master said,' It is you, Shang, who have thrown light on the text for me. Only with a man like you can one discuss the Odes'
Tzu Hsia quoted the following: Her tactful smile charms; Her eyes, fine and clear, Beautiful without accessories. And asked its meaning. Confucius said, "A painting is done on plain white paper." Tzu Hsia said, "Then are rituals a secondary thing?" Confucius said, "Ah, Shang, you uplift me. Now we can really begin to discuss the Book of Odes."
Confucius said: "At the Great Sacrifice, after the pouring of the libation, I have no further desire to watch."
Someone asked for an explanation of the Great Sacrifice. Confucius said, "I don't know. If there were someone who knew this, he could see the whole world as if it were this": He pointed to the palm of his hand.
"Sacrificing as if present" means sacrificing to the spirits as if they were present. Confucius said, "If I do not personally offer the sacrifice, it is the same as not having sacrificed at all."
Wang Sun Chia asked: "What do you think about the saying 'It is better to sacrifice to the god of the stove than to the god of the family shrine.'?" Confucius said, "Not so. If you offend Heaven, there is no one you can pray to."
Confucius said: "The people of the Chou were able to observe the prior two dynasties and thus their culture flourished. I now follow the Chou."
When Confucius entered the Grand Temple, he asked about everything. Someone said, "Who said Confucius is a master of ritual? He enters the Grand Temple and asks about everything!" Confucius, hearing this, said, "This is the ritual."
Confucius said: "In archery it is not important to pierce through the leather covering of the target, since not all men have the same strength. This is the Way of the ancients."
Tzu Kung wanted to do away with the sacrifice of the sheep on the first of the month. Confucius said, "Tz'u, you love the sheep; I love the ceremony."
Confucius said: "If you use every single courtesy while serving your prince, the people will call you a brown-noser."
Duke Ting asked how a ruler should employ his ministers and how a minister should serve his ruler. Confucius replied, saying: "The prince employs his ministers with propriety; the ministers serve their prince with good faith."
Confucius said: "The Kuan Tzu ("The Cry of the Ospreys") is the first poem in the Book of Odes. It begins by describing a lover's grief at being separated from his lady and ends by describing their joyful union. The Kuan Tzu allows for pleasure without being lewd and allows for grief without being too painful."
The Duke of Ai asked Tsai Wo about sacred temple grounds. Tsai Wo said, "The Hsia emperor planted them with pines; the Hsiang people planted them with cypress and the Chou people planted them with chestnut, thinking to cause people to be in awe of these trees." Confucius, hearing this, said, "Don't bother explaining that which has already been done; don't bother criticizing that which is already gone; don't bother blaming that which is already past."
Confucius said: "Kuan Chung was quite limited in capacity." Someone asked: "Wasn't Kuan Chung frugal?" Confucius said, "Kuan had three sets of wives and his officers never did overtime. How can he be considered to have been frugal?" "But then did Kuan Chung understand propriety?" Confucius said, "The princes of the states have a special ritual screen at their door, and so did Kuan Chung (even though he was not of the proper rank to do this). When the princes of state had a friendly meeting, they would ritually turn their cups over on the table. -Kuan also turned his cups over on the table. If Kuan Chung understood propriety, then who doesn't?"
Confucius, when talking with the Grand Music Master of Lu, said, "In my understanding of music, the piece should be begun in unison. Afterwards, if it is pure, clear and without break, it will be perfect."
The border guard at Yi requested an audience with the Master, saying: "Whenever a Superior Man comes here, I never miss the opportunity to see him." The disciples sent him in. When he came out, he said, "Friends, don't have any doubts about your master failing. The world has certainly lacked the Tao for a long time now, but Heaven will use your master to awaken everyone."
翻譯：The Master said, 'What can I find worthy of note in a man who is lacking in tolerance when in high position, in reverence when performing the rites and in sorrow when in mourning?'