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1. The Master rarely spoke about profit, fate or ethical resolve.
子罕言利,與命,與仁。

2. A villager of Da Xiang (達巷) said, "Great, isn't he? Confucius. With his vast learning, he did not manage to make a name of himself." The Master heard this and told his students, "What shall I try? Shall I try carriage driving? Or shall I try shooting? I think I will try carriage driving."
達巷黨人曰:「大哉孔子!博學而無所成名。」子聞之,謂門弟子曰:「吾何執?執御乎?執射乎?吾執御矣。」

3. The Master said, "To follow the Li, ceremonial caps should be made of Hemp. Nowadays people use silk strips, which is economical. I follow the general trend. To follow the Li, bowing should be done before climbing up the steps. Nowadays people bow after climbing up the steps, which is rude. Although it is against the general trend, I follow the practice of bowing beforehand."
子曰:「麻冕,禮也;今也純,儉。吾從眾。拜下,禮也;今拜乎上,泰也。雖違眾,吾從下。」

4. The Master has severed himself from these four: sensibles did not grip him, imperatives did not bind him, permanence did not trap him and he had no notion of self.
子絕四:毋意,毋必,毋固,毋我。

5. The Master was menaced in Quang (匡). He said, "King Wen being long dead, do I not embody civilisation (wen) now? If Heaven is going to forsake that civilisation, my death will result in a world without the civilisation. If Heaven is not going to forsake the civilisation, what can the people of Quang do to me?'
子畏於匡。曰:「文王既沒,文不在茲乎?天之將喪斯文也,後死者不得與於斯文也;天之未喪斯文也,匡人其如予何?」

6. The Chief Counsellor asked Zi Gong, "Is your Master a Saint? How come he has so many talents?" Zi Gong said, "The Heaven originally sent him as a Great Saint. He has many talents as well." The Master heard this and said, "The Chief Counsellor knows me. When I was young, I was lowly. That's why I am good at many mundane jobs. Is a noble man good at many things? No, he is not."
大宰問於子貢曰:「夫子聖者與?何其多能也?」子貢曰:「固天縱之將聖,又多能也。」子聞之,曰:「大宰知我乎!吾少也賤,故多能鄙事。君子多乎哉?不多也。」[8.16, use of zhi.]

7. Lao said, "The Master told once, 'I do not have an employment. That's why I am good at many things.' "
牢曰:「子云,『吾不試,故藝』。」

8. The Master said, "Do I have knowledge? No, I don't. Once a red-neck asked me a question. I just had no bloody clue. I kept beating around the bush and then I gave up."
子曰:「吾有知乎哉?無知也。有鄙夫問於我,空空如也,我叩其兩端而竭焉。」

9. The Master said, "The phoenix does not come. The dragon does not rise from the river. I am finished."
子曰:「鳳鳥不至,河不出圖,吾已矣夫!」

10. When the Master saw a man who is in mourning or in funeral attire, or when he saw a blind man, even if he could see that the man was young, he would always stand up. If he had to pass by the man, he would [out of respect] hasten his pace on his toe.
子見齊衰者、冕衣裳者與瞽者,見之,雖少必作;過之,必趨。

11. Yan Yuan heaved a deep sigh and said, "The more I look up, the higher it gets. The more I delve in, the harder it gets. I just saw it in front of my eyes; at a blink, it is already behind me. Our Master effortlessly, magically inveigle people into the good path. He broadens me with learning and he tightens me with Li. Although I seek to strive, I cannot attain it. I have already spent all my ability but you still seem to stand high up there. Although I seek to follow you, I am still far from you."
顏淵喟然歎曰:「仰之彌高,鑽之彌堅;瞻之在前,忽焉在後。夫子循循然善誘人,博我以文,約我以禮。欲罷不能,既竭吾才,如有所立卓爾。雖欲從之,末由也已。」

12. The Master was seriously ill. Zi Lu had one of his fellow pupils serve as the Master's secretary. When his illness relented a little, the Master said, "It has been long, isn't it, that You has been cheating. He had no secretary but he acted as if he had had one. If you think you can trick me, you might as well trick the Heaven. Instead of having my funeral taken care of by a secretary, I would rather have it done by you guys. Even if I am not meant to get a big funeral, do you think I will die on the street?"
子疾病,子路使門人為臣。病閒,曰:「久矣哉!由之行詐也,無臣而為有臣。吾誰欺?欺天乎?且予與其死於臣之手也,無寧死於二三子之手乎?且予縱不得大葬,予死於道路乎?」

13. Zi Gong said, "Suppose you have a beautiful jade like this. Will you put it in a safe and keep it? Or will you seek a buyer offering a good price and sell it?" The Master said, "I will sell it! I will sell it! I am just waiting for the buyer."
子貢曰:「有美玉於斯,韞匵而藏諸?求善賈而沽諸?」子曰:「沽之哉!沽之哉!我待賈者也。」

14. The Master wanted to live among the nine barbarian tribes. Someone said, "Squalid out there, wouldn't it?' The Master said, "Where a noble man dwells, how can there be anything squalid?'
子欲居九夷。或曰:「陋,如之何!」子曰:「君子居之,何陋之有?」

15. The Master said, "After I returned from Wei back to Lu, the music became right. Ya and song each found its right place."
子曰:「吾自衛反魯,然後樂正,雅頌各得其所。」

16. The Master said, "Serving dukes and lords when I am out, serving parents and elders when I am in, not disdaining to be diligent in sorting out the funeral, not drinking myself to sloth -- would I have any problem with these?'
子曰:「出則事公卿,入則事父兄,喪事不敢不勉,不為酒困,何有於我哉?」

17. The Master was on a bridge over a stream. He said, "Moving on, moving on like this. Without a rest, day and night."
子在川上,曰:「逝者如斯夫!不舍晝夜。」

18. The Master said, "I have not yet seen a man who cherishes virtue as he would cherish a woman."
子曰:「吾未見好德如好色者也。」

19. The Master said, "Suppose I am making a mound. It is all but finished except for one last basketful of earth. If I stop there, I get nowhere. Suppose I am levelling a ground. Even though I have only covered the first basketful of earth, if I continue, I am getting there."
子曰:「譬如為山,未成一簣,止,吾止也;譬如平地,雖覆一簣,進,吾往也。」

20. The Master said, "Once explained, he would not languish. That is Hui.
子曰:「語之而不惰者,其回也與!」

21. The Master spoke about Hui and said, "How sad! I saw him advancing. I did not see him stopping."
子謂顏淵,曰:「惜乎!吾見其進也,未見其止也。」

22. The Master said, "A burgeoning plant may end up with no blossom. A blossoming plant may end up with no fruit."
子曰:「苗而不秀者有矣夫!秀而不實者有矣夫!」

23. The Master said, "The younger generation is redoubtable. You won't know whether the ones that are coming are not as good as the ones that are already here. But at the same time, those who are forty or fifty and still have understood nothing -- they need not be feared.
子曰:「後生可畏,焉知來者之不如今也?四十、五十而無聞焉,斯亦不足畏也已。」

24. The Master said, "Sayings of the proper law – can you ignore them? Reforming them, however, is more precious. Sayings offered by way of a praise – can you not feel happy? Sift through them, however, is more precious. To be happy without sifting through the praise, to conform without reforming – I don’t know how one can do that."
子曰:「法語之言,能無從乎?改之為貴。巽與之言,能無說乎?繹之為貴。說而不繹,從而不改,吾末如之何也已矣。」

25. The Master said, "The most important thing is to be loyal and to be trustworthy. Do not befriend a man who is not as good as you. When you find a fault, do not hesitate to mend it."
子曰:「主忠信,毋友不如己者,過則勿憚改。」

26. The Master said, "Even a great army may be stripped of its commander. But no one can strip an ordinary chap of his determination."
子曰:「三軍可奪帥也,匹夫不可奪志也。」

27. The Master said, "In a shabby padded coat, he would not be ashamed of standing next to a man in a fox or mink coat. That is You (由)." [Upon hearing this] Zi Lu was reciting all the time: 'Don't harm, do not desire // What use, if it's not good?' The Master said, "Well said. Is it good enough to be of any use?"
子曰:「衣敝縕袍,與衣狐貉者立,而不恥者,其由也與?『不忮不求,何用不臧?』」子路終身誦之。子曰:「是道也,何足以臧?」

28. The Master said, "When the weather gets cold, then you realise that pine and cedar are the last to wither."
子曰:「歲寒,然後知松柏之後彫也。」

29. The Master said, "A man of knowledge is not distracted by doubts, a man of ethical resolve is not plagued by worries, a man of courage is not shriveled by fear."
子曰:「知者不惑,仁者不憂,勇者不懼。」

30. The Master said, "You may all learn together but you may not all practise the Way together. Some of you may practise the Way together but even those of you may not all stand on your feet together. Some of you may even stand on your feet together, but you cannot judge together."
子曰:「可與共學,未可與適道;可與適道,未可與立;可與立,未可與權。」

31. 'Cherry blossoms // Floating and wafting // How not to think of you // Dwelling so far from me.' The Master said, "She is not thinking of you enough. Otherwise, how could she feel the distance?'
「唐棣之華,偏其反而。豈不爾思?室是遠而。」子曰:「未之思也,夫何遠之有?」

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