Yao and Shun led on the kingdom with benevolence and the people
followed them. Chieh and Chau led on the kingdom with violence, and
people followed them. The orders which these issued were contrary to
the practices which they loved, and so the people did not follow them.
On this account, the ruler must himself be possessed of the good
qualities, and then he may require them in the people. He must not
have the bad qualities in himself, and then he may require that they
shall not be in the people. Never has there been a man, who, not
having reference to his own character and wishes in dealing with
others, was able effectually to instruct them.
Thus we see how the government of the state depends on the
regulation of the family.
In the Book of Poetry, it is said, "That peach tree, so delicate and
elegant! How luxuriant is its foliage! This girl is going to her
husband's house. She will rightly order her household." Let the
household be rightly ordered, and then the people of the state may
In the Book of Poetry, it is said, "They can discharge their
duties to their elder brothers. They can discharge their duties to
their younger brothers." Let the ruler discharge his duties to his
elder and younger brothers, and then he may teach the people of the
In the Book of Poetry, it is said, "In his deportment there is
nothing wrong; he rectifies all the people of the state." Yes; when
the ruler, as a father, a son, and a brother, is a model, then the
people imitate him.
Back to Top