3.1. 孔子謂季氏:“八佾舞於庭,是可忍也,孰不可忍也?”
Confucius said of the lord of Ji Family, "The royal dance of eight teams are performed in his courtyard. If this can be tolerated, what cannot?"

3.2. 三家者以雍徹。 子曰:“‘相維辟公,天子穆穆’,奚取於三家之堂?”
At the end of the Three Families' sacrifice, King Wu's prayer to King Wen was sung: "The princes at the side Of the king dignified," The Master said, "What has the royal prayer to do with the Three Families? How could it be sung in their hall?"

3.3. 子曰:“人而不仁,如禮何?人而不仁,如樂何?”
If a man is not good, said the Master, what is the use for him to perform the rites? If a man is not good, what is the use for him to perform music?

3.4. 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。”
Lin Fang asked about the fundamental of the rites. "A significant question!" said the Master. "In ritual performance, it would be better to be thrift than lavish; in mourning service, it would be better to be deep in grief than minute in observance."

3.5. 子曰:“夷狄之有君,不如諸夏之亡也。”
The barbarian tribe with a sovereign, said the Master, is not so good as a civilized state without one.

3.6. 季氏旅於泰山。 子謂冉有曰:“女弗能救與?”對曰:“不能!”子曰:“嗚呼!曾謂泰山,不如林放乎?”
The lord of Ji Family was going to perform the royal ceremony of sacrifice to Mount Tai. The Master asked Ran You if he could prevent it, and Ran You answered he could not. Then the Master said, "Alas! does Mount Tai not know what Lin Fang does about the rites?" (Could it accept the royal sacrifice offered not by a prince but by a lord?)

3.7. 子曰:“君子無所爭,必也射乎!揖讓而昇,下而飲,其爭也君子。”
Cultured men do not contest, said the Master. Even in archery, the archers bow and make way for each other before the contest and drink after it. Such is the rivalry between cultured men.

3.8. 子夏問曰:“‘巧笑倩兮,美目盼兮,素以為絢兮。’何謂也?”子曰:“繪事後素。”曰:“禮後乎?”子曰:“起予者商也!始可與言詩已矣。”
Zi Xia asked about the meaning of the following verse: "Ah! Dark on white her speaking eyes, Her cheeks with smiles and dimoles glow. Colored designs are made on plain silk." The Master said, "Colors should be put on the plain ground." Zi Xia asked if the rites should be performed on some ground. The Master said, "It is Zi Xia who understands me. Now I have someone with whom to talk about poetry."

3.9. 子曰:“夏禮吾能言之,杞不足征也;殷禮吾能言之,宋不足征也。文獻不足故也,足則吾能征之矣。”
The rites of the Xia dynasty, said the Master, can be described, but I do not rely on the evidence supplied by its descendants of Qi. The rites of the Yin dynasty can be described, but I do not rely on the evidence supplied by its descendants of Song. For there are no sufficient documents. Otherwise, the rites of Qi and Song can be described.

3.10. 子曰:“褅自既灌而往者,吾不欲觀之矣。”
At the ancestral sacrificial service of the Duke of Lu, said the Master, I would not attend after the libation, for the royal ceremony should not be performed by a duke.

3.11. 或問褅之說。 子曰:“不知也。知其說者之於天下也,其如示諸斯乎!”指其掌。
Asked about the imperial sacrifice, the Master said, "I do not know it. Those who know it may see an empire as clearly as his palm."

3.12. 祭如在,祭神如神在。 子曰:“吾不與祭,如不祭。”
Sacrifice to the dead as if they were living, and to the divinities as if they were present. If I do not think they are present, said the Master, I had better not sacrifice at all.

3.13. 王孫賈問曰:“與其媚於奧,寧媚於灶,何謂也?”子曰:“不然,獲罪於天,無所禱也。”
Wangsun Jia asked if it would be better to pray to home divinities than to those in Heaven. "No," said the Master," if you sin against Heaven, what is the use of praying?"

3.14. 子曰:“周監於二代,鬱鬱乎文哉!吾從周。”
The Zhou dynasty, said the Master, has profited from the two preceding dynasties. What a wealth of culture it has accumulated! I would rather follow the Zhou system.

3.15. 子入太廟,每事問。 或曰:“孰謂鄹人之子知禮乎?入太廟,每事問。”子聞之曰:“是禮也。”
When the Master entered the grand temple, he asked about everything there. Someone remarked, "Who would say this son of a villager from Zou knows the rites? When he entered the grand temple, he asked about everything." Hearing of this, the Master said, "This is just a part of the rites."

3.16. 子曰:“射不主皮,為力不同科,古之道也。”
In archery, said the Master, the principal thing is to hit, not to pierce through. Such is the way of the ancients. For archers are not equal in strength.

3.17. 子貢欲去告朔之餼羊。 子曰:“賜也,爾愛其羊,我愛其禮。”
Zi Gong wanted to do away with the sacrificial sheep on the first day of each moon. The Master said, "Zi Gong, you care for a sheep while I care for the rites."

3.18. 子曰:“事君盡禮,人以為諂也。”
One who serves his prince nowadays in strict accordance with the rites, said the Master, would be considered as a sycophant.

3.19. 定公問:“君使臣,臣事君,如之何?”孔子對曰:“君使臣以禮,臣事君以忠。”
When Duke Ding asked how a prince should employ his ministers and how ministers should serve their prince, Confucius replied, "The prince should employ his ministers in accordance with the rites and the ministers should be devoted to the prince."

3.20. 子曰:“關雎,樂而不淫,哀而不傷。”
Cooing and Wooing (the first song in the Book of Poetry), said the Master, tells us pleasure and grief should not go to excess.

3.21. 哀公問社於宰我。 宰我對曰:“夏後氏以松,殷人以柏,周人以栗,曰使民戰慄。”子聞之曰:“成事不說,遂事不諫,既往不咎。”
When Duke Ai asked Zai Wo what symbol was used in the altar, Zai Wo replied, "The Xia rulers used the pine, the Yin rulers used the cypress, and the Zhou rulers used the chestnut, which means to chase the people off their nut." Hearing of this, the Master said, "What is done cannot be undone; what is accomplished need not be criticized, what is bygone need not be blamed."

3.22. 子曰:“管仲之器小哉!”或曰:“管仲儉乎?”曰:“管氏有三歸,官事不攝,焉得儉?”“然則管仲知禮乎?”曰:“邦君樹塞門,管氏亦樹塞門;邦君為兩君之好,有反坫,管氏亦有反坫。管氏而知禮,孰不知禮?”
The Master said, "Guan Zhong was not a great minister." When asked if Guan Zhong was frugal, the Master said, "Guan Zhong had three granaries while his official duties were not performed, how could he be considered frugal?" When asked if Guan Zhong knew the rites, the Master said, "Only the prince may build a wall to screen the gate of his mansion, but Guan Zhong had one before his. Only the prince may use a stand for cups to entertain his guests, but Guan Zhong used one. If he knew the rites, who does not?"

3.23. 子語魯大師樂。 曰:“樂其可知也:始作,翕如也;從之,純如也,皦如也,繹如也,以成。”
Talking about music with the great master of the State of Lu, the Master said, "It is not difficult to perform music. In the beginning all the musical instruments should be played in high spirit. Then the music should be harmonious, distinct and flowing without breaking up to the end."

3.24. 儀封人請見。 曰:“君子之至於斯也,吾未嘗不得見也。”從者見之。 出曰:“二三子,何患於喪乎?天下之無道也久矣,天將以夫子為木鐸。”
The guardian of the border at Yi asked to be presented to the Master, saying, "When a man of renown has come here, I have never been denied an interview." A follower of the Master presented him. After the interview, he said to two or three of the followers, "Why are you distressed at your master's unemployment? The world has gone out of the right way for long. Heaven would employ your master as an alarm bell."

3.25. 子謂韶:“盡美矣,又盡善也。”謂武:“盡美矣,未盡善也。”
The Master said of the Inauguration Music as perfectly beautiful and perfectly good, and the Martial Dance as perfectly beautiful but not perfectly good.

3.26. 子曰:“居上不寬,為禮不敬,臨喪不哀,吾何以觀之哉?”
High office filled without generosity, said the Master, ceremony performed without reverence, and mourning observed without grief, how can I bear to see such things!