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3. Eight Row Dance

1. Confucius spoke about Mr. Ji (季), "To Have the eight-row dance performed in his garden! How can this happen! How on earth can this happen!"

2. The three Lords had the yong (雍) chanted at the end of their ancestral ceremonies. The Master said, "'Assisted always by Dukes and Lords, the Son of Heaven shines in splendour!' How can this song be heard in the houses of the three Lords?"

3. The Master said, "For a man who does not have the ethical resolve, what will become of Li? For a man who does not have the ethical resolve, what will become of music?"

4. Lin Fang asked about the root of Li. The Master said, "Great question! Regarding Li, you should rather be frugal than splashing out. Regarding funeral, you should rather have a genuine sentiment of poignancy than nicely decorating the graves."
林放問禮之本。子曰:「大哉問!禮,與其奢也,寧儉;喪,與其易也,寧戚。」 [易墓,非古也。(예기, 단궁 55) (易=芟治草木; 삼치초목) ]

5. The Master said, "The barbarian tribes still have rulers -- unlike us who have been reduced to chaos."

6. Mr. Ji was going to conduct the sacrificial ceremony at Mount Tai (泰). The Master spoke to Ran You (冉有), "Can you not stop him?" Ran You replied, "I cannot." The Master said, "Alas! Does that mean Mount Tai is not even like Lin Fang?"

7. The Master said, "A noble man does not dispute. If he has to, he will do it as in the archery. He will bow and give way as he mounts to shoot. Afterwards, he dismounts and will share the drinks. This is how a noble man disputes."
子曰:「君子無所爭,必也射乎!揖讓而升,下而飲,其爭也君子。」 [Li Ji Dan Gung p.90, Li Ji,  射義 11]

8. Zi Xia asked, " 'Enchanting smile, revealing the dimples; Beautiful eyes, with dark iris; Plain white, making patterns colourful.' What does that mean?" The Master said, "Painting is to be done on white." Zi Xia said, "Li comes afterwards, you mean?" The Master said, "You move me, Shang (商; Zi Xia)! Now we can talk poetry together."

9. The Master said, "The Li of Xia (夏) dynasty, I can talk about it. About the principality of Hui (杞), there isn"t enough evidence. The Li of Yin (殷) dynasty, I can talk about it. About the principality of Song (宋), there isn"t enough evidence. Lack of enough documents and learned people is the reason. Sufficient evidence would have enabled me to prove the existence of these principalities."

10. The Master said, "As for the ti (禘) sacrifice, what comes after the pouring of liquor on the ground, I do not want to watch."

11. Someone asked the Master to explain the ti sacrifice. The Master said, "I don"t know. He who can explain it can explain the whole world just like this." He showed his palm as he said.

12. Sacrifice is to experience the presence of spirits. Offer sacrifice to spirits as if they are present. The Master said, "If I don"t give myself wholly to the sacrifice, it is just as if no sacrifice is done."

13. Wang Sun Gu (王孫賈) asked, "Be nice to the innermost part of the house; but it is nicer to be nice to the kitchen staff. What does that mean?" The Master said, "It is not like that. If you are nasty to the Heaven, you have nowhere to pray."

14. The Master said, "The Zhou dynasty modelled itself upon the two preceding ones. What a splendid civilisation! I follow Zhou."

15. When the Master was inside the Grand Temple, he asked about everything. Someone said, "Who said the son of a guy from Zou (鄹) knew the Li? Upon entering the Grand Temple, he is asking about everything." The Master heard this and said, "This is Li."

16. The Master said, "Archery was not for piercing the target. Power could not eliminate the distinction. This was the Way of the past."

17. Zi Gong wanted to do away with using lamb for the beginning of the month sacrifice. The Master said, "Si, you cherish the lamb; I cherish the Li."

18. The Master said, "Serve your boss whole-heartedly with Li; people will say that you are merely flattering."

19. Duke Ding (定) asked, "How should a boss employ his subordinates and how should the subordinates serve their boss?" Confucius replied, "A boss should employ his subordinates with Li; the subordinates should serve the boss with loyalty."

20. The Master said, "The music guan qu (關雎) is delightful but not decadent. It is poignant but not hurtful."

21. Duke Ai (哀) asked Zai Wo about she (社) sacrifice dedicated to the earth god. Zai Wo replied, "People of Xia (夏) used pine, Yin (殷) people used cedar, Zhou (周) people used chestnut (li). That was to scare and menace (li) people." The Master heard this and said, "What has been done has been done. Do not go on about it, do not argue about its rights and wrongs, do not condemn it."

22. The Master said, "Guan Zhong (管仲) was indeed a man of small calibre." Someone said, "Guan Zhong was frugal, you mean?" The Master said, "Mr. Guan had three residences, each complete with a full array of domestic staff. How could he be frugal?" "Guan Zhong at least knew the Li, then?" The Master said, "Only the ruler can have the gate-screen; Mr. Guan also had a gate-screen. Only when a ruler entertains another ruler, can he have a cup stand. Mr. Guan also had a cup stand. If Mr. Guan knew the Li, who didn't?"

23. The Master was speaking with the Music Director of Lu principality. The Master said, "I know something about music. You begin, then you move on to unison, you then phase into polyphony. The sound should be clear and distinct. Yet it should be unbroken and continuous. That's how you complete."

24. A border official in the town of Yi (儀) requested an audience with the Master, saying, "When a noble man comes to this town, I have always managed to see him." He then saw the Master. When he came out, he said, "You guys! Why are you worried as if you lost everything? This world has lost the Way for a long time already. The Heaven will use your Master as the harbinger."

25. The Master spoke about shao (韶) music: "Absolutely beautiful. And absolutely good too." He spoke about wu (武) music: "Absolutely beautiful. But not entirely good."

26. The Master said, "He who occupies a high position and yet has no mercy; resorts to the Li and yet has no reverence; faces the funeral and yet feels no poignancy -- How can I bear to see that sort of man?"

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