In the Book of Poetry, it is said, "Before the sovereigns of the Yin
dynasty had lost the hearts of the people, they could appear before
God. Take warning from the house of Yin. The great decree is not
easily preserved." This shows that, by gaining the people, the kingdom
is gained, and, by losing the people, the kingdom is lost.
On this account, the ruler will first take pains about his own
virtue. Possessing virtue will give him the people. Possessing the
people will give the territory. Possessing the territory will give him
its wealth. Possessing the wealth, he will have resources for
Virtue is the root; wealth is the result.
If he make the root his secondary object, and the result his
primary, he will only wrangle with his people, and teach them rapine.
Hence, the accumulation of wealth is the way to scatter the
people; and the letting it be scattered among them is the way to
collect the people.
And hence, the ruler's words going forth contrary to right, will
come back to him in the same way, and wealth, gotten by improper ways,
will take its departure by the same.
In the Announcement to K'ang, it is said, "The decree indeed may not
always rest on us"; that is, goodness obtains the decree, and the want
of goodness loses it.
In the Book of Ch'u, it is said, "The kingdom of Ch'u does not
consider that to be valuable. It values, instead, its good men."
Duke Wan's uncle, Fan, said, "Our fugitive does not account that
to be precious. What he considers precious is the affection due to his
In the Declaration of the Duke of Ch'in, it is said, "Let me have
but one minister, plain and sincere, not pretending to other
abilities, but with a simple, upright, mind; and possessed of
generosity, regarding the talents of others as though he himself
possessed them, and, where he finds accomplished and perspicacious
men, loving them in his heart more than his mouth expresses, and
really showing himself able to bear them and employ them:-such a
minister will be able to preserve my sons and grandsons and
black-haired people, and benefits likewise to the kingdom may well
be looked for from him. But if it be his character, when he finds
men of ability, to be jealous and hate them; and, when he finds
accomplished and perspicacious men, to oppose them and not allow their
advancement, showing himself really not able to bear them: such a
minister will not be able to protect my sons and grandsons and people;
and may he not also be pronounced dangerous to the state?"
Back to Top