1. Mr. Ji (季) was going to invade the province of Zhuan Yu (顓臾). Ran You and Ji Lu came to see Confucius and said, "Mr. Ji is going to have some business in Zhuan Yu." Confucius said, "Qiu (求)! Are you not at fault here too? Zhuan Yu is a province which had been designated by previous kings as the guardian of Dong Mang (東蒙) mountain's ceremony. It is also in the middle of the principality of Lu (魯). It is directly under the ruling house of Lu. How come Mr. Ji attacks it?" Ran You said, "Mr. Ji wants to do it. Neither of us, as his assistants, want it." Confucius said, "Qiu! Record Officer Zhou Ren (周任) once said, 'he who has the power to stay in formation must take his position. He who cannot, must withdraw.' If you do not offer assistance when your boss is entering in a dangerous situation and if you do not give support when your boss is about to fall, what use is there for such an assistant? Also, what you said is wrong. Suppose a tiger or a rhinoceros escapes from the cage. Suppose a tortoise shell or jade is damaged in the box. Whose fault is it?" Ran You said, "The province of Zhuan Yu is heavily fortified and it is near Mr. Ji's village of Fei (費). If it is not taken now, it will be a source of trouble for later generations." Confucius said, "Qiu! A noble man finds it appalling when people avoid saying that they want to do it and instead say things to pretend that they are constrained to do it. I have heard that those who take charge of a state or a family do not worry about shortage but indeed worry about fair distribution. They do not worry about poverty; they worry instead about instability. Fair distribution removes poverty. Conviviality removes shortage. Comfort and security remove the danger of revolt. For this reason, when people in remote areas do not submit to your rule, then you should refine your culture and virtues even more so that these people can come to you. When they come, you offer them comfort and security. Now, You (由) and Qiu, as assistants of Mr. Ji, are not capable of this. People in remote areas do not submit, and you cannot manage to make them come and settle. The country is divided and is about to fall down in pieces, and you cannot manage to protect it. Instead, you are plotting to resort to arms against people who live in the same country. I fear that the source of trouble for Mr. Ji and his descendants lies not with Zhuan Yu but within the walls of his own household."
2. Confucius said, "When the Way prevails in the whole world, decisions about Li, music and military expeditions would come from the emperor. When the whole world has lost the Way, decisions about Li, music and military expeditions come from feudal lords. If feudal lords decide these matters, such a government can barely last 10 generations before the downfall. If high ranking officials decide these matters, such a government can barely last 5 generations before the downfall. If their retinue should take charge of the state orders, such a government can barely last 3 generations before the downfall. When the Way prevails in the whole world, governing is not in the hands of high ranking officials. When the Way prevails in the whole world, common people do not debate politics.
3. Confucius said, "Salaries have been paid out of the ducal house now for 5 generations. Government has been controlled by high ranking officials now for 4 generations. For these reasons, the three Huan (桓)'s descendants are rare.
4. Confucius said, "There are three types of friends who are beneficial and three types of friends who are harmful. If you are friends with honest person, observant person or well-read person, it is beneficial. If you are friends with biased person, smooth person or silver-tongued person, it is harmful."
5. Confucius said, "There are three types of joy which are beneficial and three types of joy which are harmful. If you find joy in the appropriate measure of Li and Music, in the good deeds of an enlightened person and in a friend who has many talents, such a joy is beneficial. If you find joy in having unbridled fun, being idle and going to parties, such a joy is harmful."
6. Confucius said, "In attending upon one's boss, one may commit three mistakes. To speak when it is not the time to speak, that is, impatience. Not to speak when it is time to speak, that is, dissimulation. To speak without observing the look on his face, that is, to act blindly."
7. Confucius said, "A noble man should be wary of three things. In youth, when the physical and emotional energy is still unsettled, he should be wary of sexual desire. In adulthood, when the physical and emotional energy is at its peak, he should be wary of combativeness. In old age, when the physical and emotional energy is in decline, he should be wary of complacence."
8. Confucius said, "A noble man looks up to three things in trepidation: the mandate of heaven, great men and sayings of a saint. The petty and the lowly do not know the mandate of heaven and thus they are not afraid of it. They deride great men. They disparage sayings of a saint."
9. Confucius said, "Some people just understand. They are the top class. Some people learn and then understand. They are in the next class. Some people learn after experiencing difficulties (from lack of learning). They are in the next class. Those who experience difficulties and still do not learn; they are in the lowest class."
10. Confucius said, "A noble man's mind is directed to nine matters as follows: In using his eyesight, his mind is directed to clarity. As for hearing, his mind is directed to lucidity. As for the look on his face, his mind is directed to mildness. With regard to overall appearance, his mind is directed to politeness. As for speech, his mind is directed to loyalty. In handling affairs, his mind is directed to respectfulness. In doubt, his mind is directed to questions. In anger, his mind is directed to bad consequences (of venting it). When he sees gain, his mind is directed to righteousness."
11. Confucius said, "Seeing good deed (and admire it) as if you are not equal to it. Seeing bad deed (and recoil from it) as if you had your hand dipped in boiling water. I have seen such persons. I have heard such words too. To live in retreat and seek to achieve what one has in mind. To practice righteousness and to fulfil the Way. I have heard such words. But I have not yet seen such a person."
12. Duke Jing (景) of Qi had enough horses for 1000 quadrigas. When he died, people did not praise him for his virtue. Bo Yi (伯夷) and Shu Qi (叔齊) starved to death at the foothill of Shou Yang (首陽) mountain. People praise them even to this day. Is this what you mean?
13. Chen Kang (陳亢) asked Bo Yu (伯魚) [Confucius' son], "Has your father taught you anything special?" Bo Yu replied, "No, he hasn't. Once he was standing in the garden alone. I hastened myself across the garden. He said to me, 'Have you studied poetry?' I replied, 'No, I haven't.' He said, 'If you do not learn poetry, you would have nothing to say.' I returned to my room and studied poetry. On another day, he was again standing alone in the garden. I hastened myself across the garden. He said to me, 'Have you studied Li?' I replied, 'No, I haven't.' He said, 'If you do not learn Li, you would have no grounding to stand on.' I returned to my room and studied Li. He told me these two." Chen Kang returned to his room well pleased and said, "With one question, I got three answers. I received lessons about poetry, about Li and about how a noble man keeps a distance from his children."
14. The wife of a country's ruler is referred to as "wife" by the ruler. She refers to herself as "little child". People of the country refer to her as "Lady". When they are in a foreign country, they refer to her as "our little ruler". People of the foreign country also refer to her as "Lady".