17.1. 阳货欲见孔子,孔子不见,归孔子豚。孔子时其亡也而往拜之,遇诸涂。谓孔子曰:“来,予与尔言。”曰:“怀其宝而迷其邦,可谓仁乎?”曰:“不可。”“好从事而亟失时,可谓知乎?”曰:“不可!”“日月逝矣,岁不我与!”孔子曰:“诺,吾将仕矣。”
Yang Huo in power wished Confucius to call on him, but Confucius would not, so he sent a sucking pig to Confucius, and Confucius paid him a visit when he was not at home. But unexpectedly they met on the way. Yang Huo said to Confucius, "Come, I have something to tell you. Is it good for a talent to leave his state in chaos? No. Is it wise for a candidate to lose an opportunity? No, The days and months pass by. The years will wait for no man." Confucius said ironically, "Yes, how could I not serve!"

17.2. 子曰:“性相近也,习相远也。”
Men are born, said the Master, nearly alike by nature, but become different by practice.

17.3. 子曰:“唯上知与下愚不移。”
Only the wisest man and the most foolish, said the Master, cannot be changed.

17.4. 子之武城,闻弦歌之声。夫子莞尔而笑,曰:“割鸡焉用牛刀?”子游对曰:“昔者偃也闻诸夫子曰:‘君子学道则爱人,小人学道则易使也。’”子曰:“二三子,偃之言是也!前言戏之耳。”
The Master came to the small town of Wu where Zi You was the ruler. When he heard sacred songs and stringed music, he said with a smile, "Is it necessary to kill a chicken with an ox-knife?" Zi You said, "Formerly, I heard you say that a cultured man well-bred in music would do good to the people, and an uncultured man well-bred in music would be easy to employ." The Master said to two or three disciples, "Zi You is right. I have just said that for fun."

17.5. 公山弗扰以费畔,召,子欲往。子路不说,曰:“末之也已,何必公山氏之之也?”子曰:“夫召我者而岂徒哉?如有用我者,吾其为东周乎!”
Gongshan Furao, holding the fief of Fei in revolt, sent for the Master who was inclined to go. Displeased, Zi Lu said, "Why would you like to go to him of all people?" The Master said, "Could he send for me without reason? If anyone were to employ me, I would make ritual and music prosper in his state as in the Eastern Zhou."

17.6. 子张问仁于孔子,孔子曰:“能行五者于天下为仁矣。”请问之,曰:“恭、宽、信、敏、惠。恭则不侮,宽则得众,信则人任焉,敏则有功,惠则足以使人。”
Zi Zhang asked Confucius, "What is a good ruler?" Confucius said, "One who can develp the five qualities in the world could be a good ruler." When Zi Lu begged to know which five, the Master said, "Reverence, lenience, confidence, diligence and benevolence. Reverent, he would not hurt; lenient, he would win support; confident, he would be trusted; diligent, he would succeed; and benevolent, he could employ people."

17.7. 佛肸召,子欲往。子路曰:“昔者由也闻诸夫子曰。亲于其身为不善者,君子不入也。佛肸以中牟畔,子之往也,如之何?"子曰:“然。有是言也。不曰坚乎,磨而不磷?不曰白乎,涅而不缁。吾岂匏瓜也哉?焉能系而不食?”
When the Master was inclined to visit Bi Xi who sent for him, Zi Lu said, "I have heard you say that a cultured man would not enter the house of an evil-doer. Now Bi Xi holds the fief of Zhongmiou in rebellion. How could you think of visiting him?" The Master said, "Yes, I have told you that. But, do you not know that a really hard thing cannot be thinned by grinding? A really white thing cannot be blackened even in black dye? Am I a bitter gourd only fit to be hung up and not fit to eat?"

17.8. 子曰:“由也,女闻六言六蔽矣乎?”对曰:“未也。”“居!吾语女。好仁不好学,其蔽也愚;好知不好学,其蔽也荡;好信不好学,其蔽也贼;好直不好学,其蔽也绞;好勇不好学,其蔽也乱;好刚不好学,其蔽也狂。”
The Master said to Zi Lu, "Have you heard of six virtues may lead to six defects?" Zi Lu replied, "No." The Master said, "Come, I will tell you. Without the love of knowledge, a lover of virtue may become a fool, a lover of wisdom may become wanton, a faithful man may be cheated, a frank man may become rash, a brave man may make a riot, and a strong man may become arrogant."

17.9. 子曰:“小子何莫学夫诗!诗,可以兴,可以观,可以群,可以怨:迩之事父,远之事君.多识于鸟兽草木之名。”
My dear disciples, said the Master, why do you not like to study poetry? Poetry may serve to inspire, to reflect, to communicate and to complain. It may help you to serve your father at home and your prince at court. Moreover, it may tell you names of birds, beasts, plants and trees.

17.10. 子谓伯鱼曰:“女为《周南》、《召南》矣乎?人而不为《周南》、《召南》,其犹正墙面而立也与?”
Have you studied, said the Master to his son Bo Yu, the Songs on Man and Wife? If not, you would be like a man standing in face of a wall without seeing anything beyond it.

17.11. 子曰:“礼云礼云,玉帛云乎哉?乐云乐云,钟鼓云乎哉?”
Ritual, ritual! said the Master, does it only mean the gifts of jade and silk? Music, music! Does it only mean bells and drums?

17.12. 子曰:“色厉而内荏,譬诸小人,其犹穿窬之盗也与?”
If an inwardly weak man, said the Master, pretends to look strong outwardly, is he not like a thief who bores a hole or climbs over a wall?

17.13. 子曰:“乡愿,德之贼也。”
A yesman, said the Master, is a thief of virtue.

17.14. 子曰:“道听而途说,德之弃也。”
To spread the rumor you have heard on the way, said the Master, is to neglect your duty.

17.15. 子曰:“鄙夫可与事君也与哉?其未得之也,患得之;既得之,患失之。苟患失之,无所不至矣。”
Could we serve the prince, said the Master, together with such pitiable people as are anxious to get what they have not and afraid to lose what they have? What would not they do if they are afraid to lose what they have got?

17.16. 子曰:“古者民有三疾,今也或是之亡也。古之狂也肆,今之狂也荡;古之矜也廉,今之矜也忿戾;古之愚也直,今之愚也诈而已矣。”
In old days, said the Master, people had three faults which are perhaps not to be found now. Then arrogance showed little consideration for others; now it goes beyond bounds. Then pride was formal; now it is quarrelsome. Then stupidity was straightforward; now it is deceitful.

17.17. 子曰:“巧言令色,鲜矣仁。”
A good man, said the Master, would rarely say what he does not believe, or pretend to appear better than he is.

17.18. 子曰:“恶紫之夺朱也,恶郑声之乱雅乐也,恶利口之覆邦家者。”
I hate, said the Master, to see the royal red usurped by the ducal purple, to hear the imperial music corrupted by licentious local songs, and to know a state or a kingdom overturned by sharp tongues.

17.19. 子曰:“予欲无言。”子贡曰:“子如不言,则小子何述焉?”子曰:“天何言哉?四时行焉,百物生焉,天何言哉?”
The Master said, "I would prefer to say nothing." Zi Gong said, "If you, dear Master, say nothing, what could we disciples record?" The Master said, "What has Heaven said? Yet the four seasons follow their courses and all things come into being. What has Heaven said?"

17.20. 孺悲欲见孔子,孔子辞以疾。将命者出户,取瑟而歌,使之闻之。
Ru Bei sent a messenger to see Confucius, who declined to see him under the pretext of ill health. When the messenger was out, Confucius took his lute and sang so that the messenger might hear him.

17.21. 宰我问:“三年之丧,期已久矣!君子三年不为礼,礼必坏;三年不为乐,乐必崩。旧谷既没,新谷既升,钻燧改火,期可已矣。”子曰:“食夫稻,衣夫锦,于女安乎?”曰:“安!”“女安则为之!夫君子之居丧,食旨不甘,闻乐不乐,居处不安,故不为也。今女安,则为之!”宰我出,子曰:“予之不仁也!子生三年,然后免于父母之怀。夫三年之丧,天下之通丧也,予也有三年之爱于其父母乎!”
Asking about the three years' mourning for parents, Zai Wo said, "One year would be long enough, for ritual and music would be lost if a cultured man did not put them into practice for three years. In one year the old grain would be exhausted and the new would spring up. So would fire be made from spring to winter. Therefore, I think the mourning may stop at the end of one year." The Master said, "Would you feel at ease to eat good rice and wear silk dress after one year of mourning?" Zai Wo said "Yes." "If you feel at ease, you may stop mourning at the end of one year. A cultured man in mourning would not enjoy nice food, sweet music and comfortable bed. If you could feel at ease, you might enjoy them." When Zai Wo was out, the Master said, "Zai Wo is not a good son. A child would not leave its parents' arms until three years old. So three years' mourning is a universal practice. How could Zai Wo belie the three years' affection of his parents?"

17.22. 子曰:“饱食终日,无所用心,难矣哉!不有博弈者乎?为之犹贤乎已。”
Difficult are those, said the Master, who cram themselves with food all the day long without applyng their mind to anything good. Are there not gamesters and chess-players? It would be better to play chess or games than to do nothing at all.

17.23. 子路曰:“君子尚勇乎?”子曰:“君子义以为上。君子有勇而无义为乱,小人有勇而无义为盗。”
Zi Lu asked whether a cultured man valued valour. The Master said, "A cultured man values virtue above valour. Valiant without virtue, a cultured man would rise in revolt and an uncultured man would commit robbery."

17.24. 子贡曰:“君子亦有恶乎?”子曰:“有恶。恶称人之恶者,恶居下流而讪上者,恶勇而无礼者,恶果敢而窒者。”曰:“赐也亦有恶乎?”“恶徼以为知者,恶不孙以为勇者,恶讦以为直者。”
Zi Gong asked whether a cultured man had dislikes. The Master said, "Yes, a cultured man dislikes those who speak ill of others, those inferior men who slander their superiors, those who are bold beyond what is right, those who take obstination for resolution." Then the Master asked Zi Gong whether he also had his dislikes. Zi Gong replied, "I dislike those who take cunning for wisdom, immodesty for bravery, and indiscretion for honesty."

17.25. 子曰:“唯女子与小人为难养也,近之则不孙,远之则怨。”
It is difficult, said the Master, to deal with women and servants. If you are familiar with them, they will be immodest; if you keep your distance, they will complain.

17.26. 子曰:“年四十而见恶焉,其终也已。”
If a man is disliked at the age of forty, said the Master, he would not change for the better till the end of his life.