1. The Master said, "I transmit; I do not create. I lay my trust and find pleasure in the old. I even compare myself to Lao Peng (老彭)."
2. The Master said, "Not to boast about what I know; to learn without finding it irksome, to teach people diligently -- Do I have any problem with these?"
3. The Master said, "To fail to cultivate virtues, fail to teach what I have learned, fail to follow what I have realised to be right, fail to reform what is not good -- these are my worries."
4. In his moments of leisure, the Master was relaxed and radiant.
5. The Master said, "Seriously, I must be getting old. It has been quite a while since I cease to see the Duke of Zhou in my dream."
6. The Master said, "Have the determination to practise the Way, stick to the good things which you have figured out, abide by ethical resolve and give yourself freely to liberal arts."
7. The Master said, "Anyone who came of his own accord with a bundle of dried meat or more, I have never refused to teach."
8. The Master said, "Without a heart seething with rage, you won't understand. Without gnashing your teeth, you won't develop yourself further. When I raise one corner and if you don't respond by raising the remaining three corners, I won't repeat again."
9. When the Master was eating next to a person who is in mourning, he did not have his full.
10. On the day when he wailed at a funeral, the Master did not sing.
11. The Master spoke to Yan Yuan, "To get things done when hired and to lie low when fired; only you and I are like this!" Zi Lu said, "If you are to be in command of three armies, with whom will you be doing it?" The Master said, "He who beats up a tiger, dares to swim across a river and would not mind dying -- I won't be with that sort of man. I will certainly be with a man who faces the affair with trepidation, who likes to plan ahead and who manages to get things done."
12. The Master said, "If wealth is something that can be obtained by pursuing, I too would work even as a caning officer. But it seems that wealth is not something that can be obtained by pursuing. So I do what I like."
13. The Master paid a great deal of attention to the following: pre-ceremonial purification, war and illness.
14. When the Master was in Qi (齊), he heard shao (韶) music. For three months, he did not notice the taste of meat. He said, "I never thought music could reach such a height."
15. Ran You (冉有) said, "Is our Master supporting the ruler of Wei (衛)?" Zi Gong said, "OK, I will ask him." He went in and said, "Bo Yi (伯夷) and Shu Qi (叔齊), what kind of men were they?" The Master said, "They were superior men of the olden days." "You mean, they put their grievances behind?" said Zi Gong. The Master said, "They sought ethical resolve and they got it. What grievance, then?" Zi Gong came out and said, "Our Master is not supporting the ruler of Wei."
冉有曰：「夫子為衛君乎？」子貢曰：「諾。吾將問之。」入，曰：「伯夷、叔齊何人也？」曰：「古之賢人也。」曰：「怨乎？」曰：「求仁而得仁，又何怨。」出，曰：「夫子不為也。」 [Ruler of Wei at the time (輒; Zhe) was fighting against his father (蒯瞶; Kuai Wei) who was trying to get to the throne. Perhaps Confucius supported neither Zhe nor Kuai Wei, as both of them were greedy for the power.]
16. The Master said, "To have a simple meal followed by water; and then to lie down resting your head on your bent arm. The joy of life is also there. Unjustly acquired wealth and honour are, for me, just like floating clouds."
17. The Master said, "If I had a few more years, I could complete the study of the book of changes (周易). I shall then be free from big mistakes.
18. The Master always talked about the Poems, the Documents and observance of Li. He always talked about all these.
19. The Duke of She (葉) asked Zi Lu about Confucius. Zi Lu ignored him. The Master said, "Why didn't you say that he is the kind of man who would forget about eating when he is outraged, forget his worries when he is happy and he does not know that old age will eventually get to him."
20. The Master said, "I am not a person who knew from birth. I am a person who is fond of the old and who diligently seeks the knowledge."
21. The Master did not talk about supernatural forces and disturbing spirits.
22. The Master said, "Suppose I am in a group of three men. There is bound to be my teacher. I choose the good one to emulate him. And I choose the bad one to correct myself."
23. The Master, "Virtues of Heaven are given to me. What can a guy like Huan Tei (桓魋) do to me?"
24. The Master said, "You guys, are you hiding something from me? I don't hide anything from you. I don't do anything without you guys. This is my style."
25. The Master taught us through his learning, his conduct, his loyalty and his trust in us.
26. The Master said, "As for the Holy man, I cannot find such a man. But I can find a noble man. As for the Angelic man, I cannot find such a man. But I can find a constant man. There are people who pretend to have it while they don't, pretend to be full while they are empty, pretend to be at ease while they are constrained. They can hardly be constant.
27. The Master would go fishing but would not use a fishing net. He would go hunting but would not shoot a bird in the nest.
28. The Master said, "Perhaps there are people who say things they know nothing about. I don't do that. I gather a lot of information and then choose the good things and follow them. I accumulate a lot of experience and then I understand. This is the way to knowledge."
29. People from the village of Hu (互) were difficult to talk to. But a servant boy from the village had an audience. The pupils were dismayed. The Master said, "You go with those who are advanced and you stay away from those who are backward. What's so wrong with that? He purified himself and came to me. I appreciate his purity. I do not vouch for his past."
30. The Master said, "Is ethical resolve far away from me? If I only want it, I can have it right away."
31. A judicial officer of Chen (陳) asked whether Duke Zhao (昭) of Lu (魯) knew the Li. Confucius said, "He knew the Li." Confucius left. The officer greeted Wu Ma Qi (巫馬期) and went up to him. The officer said, "I heard that a noble man does not form a faction. Has your noble man nevertheless formed a faction? The Duke took his wife from Wu (吳) and she has the same surname as his. He concealed this by calling her 'Wu Meng Zi (吳孟子)'. If the Duke knew the Li, who didn't?" Wu Ma Qi reported this. The Master said, "I am lucky! If I should ever make the slightest mistake, people surely notice!"
32. When the Master was singing with others, if there is a good piece he would always have it repeated and then he would join in polyphony.
33. The Master said, "As for erudition, I am incomparable. As for actually practicing a noble man's conduct, however, there are things I still have not figured out."
34. The Master said, "Sainthood and ethical resolve: how dare I lay claim on such things. But I do endeavour to attain them without finding it loathsome and I teach people without being remiss. That is what I can claim to be doing. Gong Xi Hua (公西華) said, "That, precisely, is what we pupils cannot learn."
35. The Master was seriously ill. Zi Lu wanted to pray. The Master said, "Is it usual to do so?" "Yes," said Zi Lu, "in a prayer, it is said, 'I pray for thee, to the spirits of the above and of the below, with reverence.'" The Master said, "I have been praying like that for a long while already."
36. The Master said, "Affluence will make you arrogant. Frugality will make you stubborn. It is better to be stubborn than to be arrogant."
37. The Master said, "A noble man has a big heart. The petty and the lowly have endless worries."
38. The Master was warm yet firm. He had authority but he was not ferocious. He was modest and comforting.