1. The Master said, "The progressive ones in matters of Li and music are those from the countryside. The less progressive ones in matters of Li and music are from the nobility. In using Li and music, I am in the train of the progressive ones."
2. The Master said, "Those who followed me to Chen and Cai have all left my school now."
3. As for virtuous conduct, Yan Yuan, Min Zi Qian, Ran Bo Niu and Zhong Gong excelled. In speech, Zai Wo and Zi Gong excelled. In politics, Ran You and Ji Lu excelled. In erudition, Zi You and Zi Xia excelled.
4. The Master said, "Hui does not help me. Anything I say, he finds delight in it."
5. The Master said, "Excellent indeed is Min Zi Qian in serving his family members! People do not cavil at what his parents and brothers say about him."
6. Nan Rong would often recite the poem ‘White jade’. Confucius gave his niece to him in marriage.
南容三復白圭，孔子以其兄之子妻之。 ("Flaws in white jade mace, they can be grinded off. Flaws in speech, nothing can be done about them." 白圭之玷、尚可磨也。斯言之玷、不可為也。)
7. Lord Ji Kang asked, "Among your students, who is fond of learning?’ Confucius replied, ‘A man called
Yan Hui was fond of learning. Unfortunately, he died early. Now there is none."
8. Yan Yuan died. Yan Lu [Yan Yuan's father] inquired whether the Master could sell his carriage to pay for the outer coffin. The Master said, "This is not about money. It is about one’s son. When Li died, he was buried in a coffin without an outer coffin. I did not go on foot in order to have the outer coffin. As I am in the train of dignataries, I could not go on foot."
9. Yan Yuan died. The Master said, ‘O dear! Heaven is forsaking me! Heaven is forsaking me!’
10. Yan Yuan died. The Master wailed in great grief. The attendants said, ‘Sir, you grieve greatly.’ ‘Do I?’ said the Master. ‘If his loss does not cause grief, what will?’
11. Yan Yuan died. The fellow students wanted to have a generous funeral. The Master said, ‘You may not.’ The students gave a generous funeral. The Master said, ‘Hui treated me as his father and I am unable to treat him as my son. This is not because me. It is because of you guys.’
12. Ji Lu asked about serving spirits and ghosts. The Master said, ‘While we haven’t manged to serve human beings, how could we serve ghosts?’ ‘May I then ask about human being’s death?’ The Master said, ‘We don’t even know about life; how can we know about death?’
13. In attendance upon the Master, Min Zi would be courteous and to the point; Zi Lu was courageous and strong; Ran You and Zi Gong were calm and leisurely. The Master took delight in them. But he said, ‘A man like You (由) would not manage to die a natural death.’
14. People in Lu were going to refurbish the treasury building. Min Zi Qian said, "Why not use the old one? Do they really have to redo it?" The Master said, "This man does not talk. But when he does, he surely hits the mark."
15. The Master said, ‘Listen to You (由) playing the lute! How could it ever pass as a sound of Qiu’s school?’ Fellow students did not show respect to Zi Lu. The Master said, ‘You (由) has come to the door. He simply hasn’t entered in the room yet.’
16. Zi Gong asked, ‘Between Shi (Zi Zhang) and Shang (Zi Xia), who is better?’ The Master said, ‘Shi goes too far and Shang falls short.’ ‘Shi is better, then?’ said Zi Gong. The Master said, ‘Going too far is similar to falling short.’
17. Lord Ji was wealthier than the Duke of Zhou. Qiu worked for him and managed to accumulate and save further to enrich him more. The Master said, ‘Qiu is not our man. You guys might as well beat the drums and attack him.’
18. Chai is thick. Shen is dull and pompous. Shi is specious. You is rough and tough.
19. Hui was almost perfect. But he had nothing. Ci did not accept the heavenly mandate. He instead made a fortune. His speculation often turned out right.
20. Zi Zhang asked about the way of a good person. The Master said, "If you don't tread on others' footsteps, you won't enter into the room."
21. The Master said, "Suppose a person's discourse is sincere. Does that mean that he is a noble man or he merely has a splendid appearance?"
22. Zi Lu asked, "Sould I carry out what I heard?" The Master said, "You have parents and brothers still around. How can you carry out what you heard." Ran You asked, "Should I carry out what I heard?" The Master said, "Carry out what you heard." Gong Xi Hua said, "When You (由; Zi Lu) asked whether to carry out what he heard, you said no by referring to 'parents and brothers'. When Qiu (求; Ran You) asked whether to carry out what he heard, you said yes. I am confused. May I ask why the difference?" The Master said, "Qiu (求) is passive, so I wanted to encourage him. You (由) is full of energy, so I wanted to slow him down."
23. The Master was under threat in Kuang. Yan Yuan fell behind and appeared later. The Master said, "I thought you had died." Yan Yuan replied, "When you are still around, how dare I die?"
24. Ji Zi Ran asked, "Zhong You and Ran Qiu, can they be called great ministers?" The Master said, "I thought you would ask about something more extraordinary than You and Qiu. Great ministers are those who take the proper way to serve the ruler. When they cannot do so, they resign. Now, You and Qiu may be called ministers who are merely employable. Ji Zi Ran said, "Will they do what they are told, then?" The Master said, "If they are told to kill the father or the ruler, they will not follow though."
25. Zi Lu had Zi Gao appointed governor of Fei. The Master said, "You’re ruining a son of a decent man." Zi Lu said, "You need to look after people. You need to look after the alters of the earth and grains. Why must one read books before he can be considered to have learned?" The Master said, "This is why I hate silver tongue."
26. Zi Lu, Zeng Xi (father of Zeng Zi), Ran You, and Gong Xi Hua were in attendance. The Master said, "Although I am a bit older than you, please do not make much of it. You sit around and say, ‘They don’t know me!’ Suppose a ruler knows you and you are given an opportunity, what would you do? Zi Lu brashly responded, "Take, for example, a country of a thousand chariots caught between bigger countries. Suppose it is invaded by numerous armies and suffering from famine. If the country is put under my helm, within three years, I can make people valiant and have them figure out what to do." The Master smiled wrily. "Qiu (求; Ran You), what about you?" He answered, "If a place of 60 to 70 square miles or 50 to 60 square miles is entrusted to me, within three years, I shall ensure that people have sufficient provisions. Regarding Li and music, I shall wait for a noble man." "Chi (赤; Gong Xi Hua), what about you?" He answered, "I won't say I can do these things. But I wish to learn. In ceremonies at ancestral temples and at important meetings, I would serve as a low level minister dressed in dark robe and black linen cap." "Dian (點; Zeng Xi), what about you?" The strumming of lute was fading as Dian stopped playing. He put away the lute and stood up. He answered, "Mine is different from what these three have elaborately laid out." The Master said, "No problem. Each one says what he wishes to do." Dian said, "In late spring, properly attired in vernal fashion, I would like to go with five or six young lads and six or seven boys to the river Yi (沂). We will bathe there, enjoy the breeze at the rain altar, and return home singing." The Master exclaimed 'Wow' and said, "I am with Dian!" The three went out and Zeng Xi remained behind. Zeng Xi said, "Sir, what do you think about the three guys' remarks?" The Master said, "They merely said what they wish to do." Zeng Xi pursued, "But why did you give a wry smile at You (由; Zi Lu)?" The Master said, "He was talking about ruling a country with Li. But his speech was lacking modesty. That's why." Zeng Xi asked, "Qiu was not talking about a country?" "How do you see that a place of 60 to 70 or 50 to 60 square miles is not a country?" "Surely, Chi was not talking about ruling a country?" "If ancestral temples and important meetings are not the affairs of princes and lords, what are they? If Chi regards himself as a minor figure, then who can be regarded as a major figure?"