How the ancients made archery a discipline of virtue.
The Master said, "In archery it is not going through the leather which is the principal thing;-- because people's strength is not equal. This was the old way."
How Confucius cleaved to ancient rites.
1. Tsze-kung wished to do away with the offering of a sheep connected with the inauguration of the first day of each month.
2. The Master said, "Ts'ze, you love the sheep; I love the ceremony."
How the princes should be served:-- against the spirit of the times.
The Master said, "The full observance of the rules of propriety in serving one's prince is accounted by people to be flattery."
The guiding principles in the relation of prince and minister.
The duke Ting asked how a prince should employ his ministers, and how ministers should serve their prince. Confucius replied, "A prince should employ his minister according to according to the rules of propriety; ministers should serve their prince with faithfulness."
The praise of the first of the odes.
The Master said, "The Kwan Tsü is expressive of enjoyment without being licentious, and of grief without being hurtfully excessive."
A rash reply of Tsai Wo about the altars to the spirits of the land, and lament of Confucius thereon.
1. The duke Âi asked Tsâi Wo about the altars of the spirits of the land. Tsâi Wo replied, "The Hsiâ sovereign planted the pine tree about them; the men of the Yin planted the cypress; and the men of the Châu planted the chestnut tree, meaning thereby to cause the people to be in awe."
2. When the Master heard it, he said, "Things that are done, it is needless to speak about; things that have had their course, it is needless to remonstrate about; things that are past, it is needless to blame."
Confucius's opinion of Kwan Chung:-- against him.
1. The Master said, "Small indeed was the capacity of Kwan Chung!"
2. Some one said, "Was Kwan Chung parsimonious?" "Kwan," was the reply, "had the San Kwei, and his officers performed no double duties; how can he be considered parsimonious?"
3. "Then, did Kwan Chung know the rules of propriety?" The Master said, "The princes of States have a screen intercepting the view at their gates. Kwan had likewise a screen at his gate. The princes of States on any friendly meeting between two of them, had a stand on which to place their inverted cups. Kwan had also such a stand. If Kwan knew the rules of propriety, who does not know them?"
On the playing of music.
The Master instructing the Grand music master of Lü said, "How to play music may be known. At the commencement of the piece, all the parts should sound together. As it proceeds, they should be in harmony while severally distinct and flowing without break, and thus on to the conclusion."
A stranger's view of the vocation of Confucius.
The border warden at I requested to be introduced to the Master, saying, "When men of superior virtue have come to this, I have never been denied the privilege of seeing them." The followers of the sage introduced him, and when he came out from the interview, he said, "My friends, why are you distressed by your master's loss of office? The kingdom has long been without the principles of truth and right; Heaven is going to use your master as a bell with its wooden tongue."
The comparative merits of the music of Shun and Wû.
The Master said of the Shâo that it was perfectly beautiful and also perfectly good. He said of the Wû that it was perfectly beautiful but not perfectly good.
The disregard of what is essential vitiates all services.
The Master said, "High station filled without indulgent generosity; ceremonies performed without reverence; mourning conducted without sorrow;-- wherewith should I contemplate such ways?"