Hsiâo again asked, 'What was the meaning of Confucius's always carrying his proper gift of introduction with him, when he passed over the boundaries of the State where he had been?'Go here to read the introductory post to this serialized version of the Works of Mencius.
'An officer's being in office,' was the reply, 'is like the plowing of a husbandman. Does a husbandman part with his plow, because he goes from one State to another?'
Hsiâo pursued, 'The kingdom of Tsin is one, as well as others, of official employments, but I have not heard of anyone being thus earnest about being in office. If there should be this urge why does a superior man make any difficulty about taking it?'
Mencius answered, 'When a son is born, what is desired for him is that he may have a wife; when a daughter is born, what is desired for her is that she may have a husband. This feeling of the parents is possessed by all men. If the young people, without waiting for the orders of their parents, and the arrangements of the go-betweens, shall bore holes to steal a sight of each other, or get over the wall to be with each other, then their parents and all other people will despise them. The ancients did indeed always desire to be in office, but they also hated being so by any improper way. To seek office by an improper way is of a class with young people's boring holes.'
~ James Legge translation via nothingistic.org ~