Tsze-kung asked, saying, 'Wha...

Tsze-kung asked, saying, 'What qualities must a man possess to entitle him to be called an officer? The Master said, 'He who in his conduct of himself maintains a sense of shame, and when sent to any quarter will not disgrace his prince's commission, deserves to be called an officer.'

Tsze-kung pursued, 'I venture to ask who may be placed in the next lower rank?' And he was told, 'He whom the circle of his relatives pronounce to be filial, whom his fellow-villagers and neighbours pronounce to be fraternal.'

Again the disciple asked, 'I venture to ask about the class still next in order.' The Master said, 'They are determined to be sincere in what they say, and to carry out what they do. They are obstinate little men. Yet perhaps they may make the next class.'

Tsze-kung finally inquired, 'Of what sort are those of the present day, who engage in government?' The Master said 'Pooh! they are so many pecks and hampers, not worth being taken into account.'