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1. 子貢問曰:「何如斯可謂之士矣?」子曰:「行己有恥,使於四方,不辱君命,可謂士矣。」

2. 曰:「敢問其次。」曰:「宗族稱孝焉,鄉黨稱弟焉。」

3. 曰:「敢問其次。」曰:「言必信,行必果,硜硜然小人哉!抑亦可以為次矣。」

4. 曰:「今之從政者何如?」子曰:「噫!斗筲之人,何足算也!」


1. 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.'

2. 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 neighbors pronounce to be fraternal.'

3. 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.'

4. 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.'

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IATHPublished by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia