1. Duke Ling of Wei (衛) asked Confucius about military tactical formations. Confucius replied, "Regarding the handling of ceremonial vessels, I have heard and studied a bit. Regarding military troops, I have not learned yet." On the following day, Confucius left Wei.
2. In Chen (陳), they ran out of food, attendants fell ill and none of them could move. Zi Lu revealed his discontent and said, "Does a noble man also suffer like this?" The Master said, "A noble man firmly suffers -- unlike the petty and the lowly who transgress when they suffer."
3. The Master said, "Ci (賜), do you think I am someone who learned a lot of things and acquired the knowledge?" Zi Gong replied, "Yes. Is it not the case?" The Master said, "No. I only have one overarching principle."
4. The Master said, "You (由), few people know what virtue means."
5. The Master said, "Shun (舜) is the one who ruled effortlessly, isn't he? What did he do? He just reverently occupied the royal seat facing South and that's it."
6. Zi Zhang asked about success. The Master said, "Speech must be loyal and trustworthy. Conduct must be sincere and respectful. You will then succeed even in barbarian countries. If your speech is not loyal or trustworthy and if your conduct is not sincere or respectful, will you succeed even in a village? When you are standing, you must see these precepts in front of you. When you are in a carriage, you must see these precepts attached to the yoke. You can then succeed." Zi Zhang wrote them on his belt.
子張問行。子曰：「言忠信，行篤敬，雖蠻貊之邦行矣；言不忠信，行不篤敬，雖州里行乎哉？立，則見其參於前也；在輿，則見其倚於衡也。夫然後行。」子張書諸紳。[行 = 成功]
7. The Master said, "Record keeper Yu (魚) was an upright person indeed! When the country was on the right path, he was straight as an arrow. When the country was on the wrong path, he was straight as an arrow. Qu Bo Yu (蘧伯玉) was a noble man indeed! When the country was on the right path, he took up a post. When the country was on the wrong path, he was able to wind up and kept a low profile."
8. The Master said, "Not to speak to those who are worth having a conversation with, is to lose people. To speak to those who are not worth having a conversation with, is to commit an error of speech. A man of wisdom does not lose people. Nor does he commit an error of speech."
9. The Master said, "Determined persons who have ethical resolve will not seek to live undermining ethical resolve. They will even sacrifice their live to fulfil their ethical resolve."
10. Zi Gong asked about carrying out ethical resolve. The Master said, "A worker who wishes to do a good job must have his tools sharpened beforehand. While you are staying in this country, serve those of the high ranking officials who have talent and befriend those of the scholars who have ethical resolve."
11. Yan Yuan asked about looking after a country. The Master said, "Adopt the calendar of Xia (夏), ride the carriage of Yin (殷), wear the crown of Zhou (周). As for music, go for Shao (韶) style and its dance. Ban the songs of Zheng (鄭). Stay away from smooth talkers. Songs of Zheng are licentious. Smooth talkers are dangerous."
12. The Master said, "If you do not plan ahead in advance, you are bound to have troubles in no time."
13. The Master said, "Alas, I have not seen a person who likes virtue as much as he likes a beauty.
14. The Master said, "Zang Wen Zhong (臧文仲) must have got his position like a thief, isn't it? He knew that Hui (惠) of Liu Xia is a talented man and yet did not recommend him for a post."
15. The Master said, "If you reproach yourself more and reproach others less, you can stay away from resentment."
16. The Master said, "Those who do not say 'how will I do it?' 'how will I do it?', I cannot do anything about them."
17. The Master said, "Suppose a bunch of people stay together all day, talk about things unrelated to righteousness and indulge in doing clever tricks. They will be in trouble!
18. The Master said, "A noble man would have righteousness as his base. He practices it in accordance with Li. He puts it forward politely. He completes it with sincerity. Such is a noble man!"
19. The Master said, "A noble man is worried about his lack of ability. He is not worried about lack of recognition."
20. The Master said, "A noble man would be mortified if he is not even once commended until his death."
21. The Master said, "A noble man seeks from within. The petty and the lowly seek from others.
22. The Master said, "A noble man has a sense of pride without being quarrelsome. He is convivial without forming a clique."
23. The Master said, "A noble man does not promote a person simply because of his words. Nor does he dismiss words simply because of the person."
24. Zi Gong asked, "Is there a saying which I should practice all my life?" The Master said, "'To be considerate', that's it! What you yourself do not want, don't do it to others."
25. The Master said, "In my dealings with others, have I done calumny or adulation? If I praise someone excessively, that is to see what he is made of. It is thanks to these people that the three dynasties of Xia, Yin and Zhou could take the upright path."
26. The Master said, "I have seen record officers omitting to record a statement. Those who had horses let others ride them. They are all gone now."
27. The Master said, "Soothing words confound virtue. Failure to tolerate small matters would disrupt greater plans."
28. The Master said, "If a person is hated by many, you must keep close watch on him. If a person is liked by many, you must keep close watch on him."
29. The Master said, "Man can broaden the Way. The Way does not broaden man.
30. The Master said, "Not to correct your errors, that is precisely the error."
31. The Master said, "Once I did not eat during the day, did not sleep during the night and kept thinking. But I made no progress. Thinking is not as good as learning."
32. The Master said, "A noble man seeks the Way. He does not seek food. When you till the land, you may sometimes end up not having enough to eat. When you learn, you may sometimes end up having a salary. But a noble man's concern is about the Way. It is not about avoiding poverty."
33.The Master said, "Suppose you have sufficient knowledge. But if you do not have ethical resolve to hold fast to what you know, then even though you may attain something, you are bound to lose it. Suppose you have sufficient knowledge as well as ethical strength to hold fast to what you know. But if you do not face people with splendour, people won't respect you. Suppose you have sufficient knowledge, you have ethical strength to hold fast to what you know and you face people with splendour. But if you mobilise people not in accordance with Li, that is not good."
34. The Master said, "A noble man does not know small matters but he is capable of accepting big matters. The petty and the lowly are not capable of accepting big matters but they know small matters."
35. The Master said, "People's life depends on ethical resolve more than water and fire. As for water and fire, I have seen people die having treaded on water or fire. But I have never seen people die having treaded on ethical resolve."
36. The Master said, "In carrying out ethical resolve, you would not give way to an army of 2500 soldiers."
37. The Master said, "A noble man is incorrupt but he is not stiff."
38. The Master said, "When you serve your boss, carry out the task sincerely before you think about the salary."
39. The Master said, "Teaching does away with class distinctions."
40. The Master said, "If you do not share the same fundamental principles, you should not plan on a project together."
41. The Master said, "As for speech, it suffices to get the message across."
42. Music Master Mian (冕) [a blind man] came to see Confucius. When the blind man was at the steps, Confucius said, "There, you have steps." When he arrived at the seat, Confucius said, "There, you have the seat." When everyone was seated, Confucius reported to him, "So and so is here. So and so is here." After the Music Master left, Zi Zhang asked, "Is that how you speak to a Music Master?" Confucius said, "Yes, that's how you attend upon a Music Master."