1. The Master said, "To govern with virtue is like being the Pole Star. You stay put and all the stars venerate you."
2. The Master said, "The three hundred poems in the Odes can be covered in one phrase: To have no malevolent thoughts."
3. The Master said, "Govern people with politics and align them with punishments, they will evade and have no shame. Govern them with virtue and align them with Li, they will have decency and things will be in the right place."
4. The Master said, "When I was fifteen, I decided to learn. When I was thirty, I had established myself. When I was forty, I was no longer distracted by doubts. When I was fifty, I realised what my calling was. When I was sixty, I was no
longer upset by calumny. When I reached seventy, I could follow my heart’s desire and yet no transgression was committed."
5. Meng Yi Zi asked about how to serve parents. The Master said, "Not to go against." Fan Chi was manoeuvring the carriage. The Master told him, "Mr Meng asked me about how to serve parents. I replied to him not to go against." Fan Chi said, "What does that mean?" The Master said, "While your parents are living, serve them according to Li. When they die, do the funeral according to Li. Afterwards, do the ancestral sacrifice according to Li."
6. Meng Wu Bo asked about how to serve parents. The Master said, "Your parents’ only worry is about your illness."
7. Zi You asked about how to serve parents. The Master said, "These days, serving the parents seems to mean to nourish the parents. But even dogs and horses manage to be nourished. Without respect for the parents, how can you tell the difference?
8. Zi Xia asked about how to serve parents. The Master said, "Hard to tell by appearances. To have your subordinates do the serving and to offer food and drinks to your superiors; is this to serve parents well?"
9. The Master said, "When I speak with Hui all day long, he just listens like a stupid man. Afterwards, he ponders alone at home and manages to develop further. Hui is not stupid."
10. The Master said, "When you see a phenomenon, you observe its causes and then you investigate how to derive comfort from it. Man is like this. This is what human-beings look for."
11. The Master said, "If you understand the new through a vivid understanding of the old, you can make a good teacher."
12. The Master said, "A noble man is not like a vessel."
13. Zi Gong asked about noble man. The Master said, "He who acts first and whose words follow afterwards."
14. The Master said, "A noble man is all-rounded and not one-sided. The petty and the lowly are one-sided and not all-rounded."
15. The Master said, "Learning without thinking leads to false knowledge. Thinking without learning is dangerous."
16. The Master said, "You end up pursuing the eccentric. That is the harm."
17. The Master said, "You, do you want me to tell you what knowing is? To know that you know and to know that you do not know, that is what knowing is."
18. Zi Zhang learned in order to seek an employment. The Master said, "When you study a lot, you can reduce doubts. If you cautiously say things which are not doubtful, you will make few mistakes. When you experience a lot, you can reduce the risk. If you cautiously do things which are not risky, you will have few regrets. When you make few mistakes in your speech and when you have few regrets in your conduct, an employment is among the consequences."
19. Duke Ai asked, "What should I do to make people obey?" Confucius replied, "If you take the straight to grind out the crooked, people will obey. If you take the crooked to grind out the straight, people will not obey."
20. Lord Ji Kang asked, "What should I do to encourage people to be respectful and loyal?' The Master said, "Face them with splendour, they will be respectful. Serve the parents and treat the little ones with compassion, they will be loyal. Take the good examples to teach the lackeys, that is to encourage."
21. Someone said to Confucius, "Sir, why are you not engaged in governing?" The Master said, "In the Documents, it is said, 'Serve your parents! Serve your friends and brothers big and small as you serve your parents. Apply the same to governing.' What I do is also governing. Is it not governing?"
22. The Master said, "If a person is not trustworthy, there is no way of knowing what he is capable of. A big carriage with no yoke-bar to tie the cow, a small carriage with no collar-bar to tie the horse; where can they go, eh?"
23. Zi Zhang asked whether ten generations from now can be known. The Master said, "Yin dynasty took over Xia dynasty's Li. What was lost and added along the way can be known. Zhou dynasty took over Yin dynasty's Li. What was lost and added along the way can be known. Whichever dynasty may continue along the line of Zhou, hundred generations can be known."
[Xun Zi, Tien, Ba wang de wei bien]
24. The Master said, "If you are not awe-inspired by ghosts, offering sacrifice to them is a flattery." The Master said, "Seeing what is right and not doing it; that is cowardice."