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what he hates to receive on the left, let him not bestow on the right : this is what is called “ The principle with which, as with a measuring square, to regulate one's conduct.”
In the Book of Poetry, it is said, “How much to be rejoiced in are these princes, the parents of the people!" When a prince loves what the people love, and hates what the people hate, then is he what is called the parent of the people.
Never has there been a case of the sovereign loving benevolence, and the people not loving righteousness. Never has there been a case where the people have loved righteousness, and the affairs of the sovereign have not been carried to completion. And never has there been a case where the wealth in such a State, collected in the treasuries and arsenals, did not continue in the sovereign's possession.
WHAT BECOMES OF A STATE WHEN OFFICES ARE SOUGHT
PRINCIPALLY BECAUSE OF THEIR EMOLUMENTS.
The ruler will first take pains about his own virtue. Possessing virtue will give him the people. Possessing the people will give him the territory. Possessing the territory will give him its wealth. Possessing the wealth, he will have resources for expenditure.
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.*
* He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealings shall come down upon his own pate. Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished.-Scripture.
In the declaration of the duke of Ts'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 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 black-haired people ; and may he not also be pronounced dangerous to the State ?"
To see men of worth, and not be able to raise them to office; to raise them to office, but not to do so quickly : this is disrespectful. To see bad men, and not be able to remove them ; to remove them, but not to do so to a distance : this is weakness.
To love those whom men hate, and to hate those whom men love : this is to outrage the natural feeling of men. Calamities cannot fail to come down on him who does so.
There is a great course, also, for the production of wealth. Let the producers be many, and the consumers few. Let there be activity in the production, and economy in the expenditure. Then the wealth will always be sufficient.
* Black-haired people designates the middle-aged men. nese universally have black hair, until age turns it gray.
The virtuous ruler, by means of his wealth, makes himself more distinguished. The vicious ruler accumulates wealth at the expense of his life.
When he who presides over a State or a family makes his revenues his chief business, he must be under the influence of some small, mean man. He may consider this man to be good; but when such a person is employed in the administration of a State or family, calamities from Heaven and injuries from men will befall it together, and though a good man may take his place, he will not be able to remedy the evil. This illustrates again the saying, “In a State, gain is not to be considered prosperity, but its prosperity will be found in righteousness."
On the bathing-tub of T'ang, the following words were engraved: “If you can one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day. Yea, let there be daily renovation.”
In the Book of Poetry it is said, “ Profound was King Wăn. With how bright and unceasing a feeling of reverence did he regard his resting places !” As a sovereign, he rested in benevolence. As a minister, he rested in reverence. As a son, he rested in filial piety. As a father he rested in kindness. In communication with his subjects, he rested in good faith.
In the Book of Poetry, it is said, “ Look at that winding course of the K'e, with the
green bamboos so luxuriant! Here is our elegant and accomplished prince ! As we cut, and then file; as we chisel and then grind : so has he cultivated himself. How grave is he, and dignified! How majestic and distinguished ! Our elegant and accomplished prince never can be forgotten." That expression, “ as we cut, and then file,” indicates the work of learning; "as we chisel, and then grind,” indicates that of self-culture. “How grave is he, and dignified !” indicates the feeling of cautious reverence.