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《尚賢中 - Exaltation of the Virtuous II》

English translation: W. P. Mei [?] Library Resources
1 尚賢中:
Exaltation of the Virtuous...:
Mozi said: Now, in caring for the people, ruling the state, and governing the country, the rulers desire permanency and stability. But why do they not learn that exaltation of the virtuous is the foundation of government? How do we know exaltation of the virtuous is the foundation of government? When the honourable and wise run the government, the ignorant and humble remain orderly; but when the ignorant and humble run the government, the honourable and wise become rebellious. Therefore we know exaltation of the virtuous is the foundation of government. The ancient sage-kings greatly emphasized the exaltation of the virtuous and the employment of the capable. Without special consideration for relatives, for the rich and honoured, or for the good-looking, they exalted and promoted the virtuous, enriched and honoured them, and made them governors and leaders. The vicious they kept back and banished, depossessed and degraded, and made labourers and servants. Thereupon people were all encouraged by rewards and threatened by punishments and strove with each other after virtue. Thus the virtuous multiplied and the vicious diminished in number. Such is exaltation of the virtuous. Then the sage-kings watched their words and observed their conduct, found out their capabilities and carefully assigned them their offices. Such is employment of the capable. Accordingly those who were capable to govern the country were made to govern the country, those who were capable to administer the court were made to administer the court, and those who were capable in managing the districts were made to manage the districts. All those who had charge of the country, the court, and the districts were then the virtuous of the land.

2 尚賢中:
Exaltation of the Virtuous...:
When the virtuous rules the country, he starts the day early and retires late, hearing lawsuits and attending to the government. As a result, the country is well governed and laws are justly administered. When the virtuous administers the court he retires late and wakes up early, collecting taxes from passes, markets, and on products from mountains, woods, waters, and land to fill the court. As a result, the court is filled and wealth is not wasted. When the virtuous manages the districts, he goes out before sunrise and comes back after sunset, plowing and sowing, planting and cultivating, and gathering harvests of grains. As a result, grains are in plenty and people are sufficiently supplied with food. Therefore when the country is well governed the laws are well administered, and when the court is filled the people are wealthy. For the higher sphere, the rulers had wherewith to make wine and cakes to do sacrifice and libation to Heaven and the spirits. For the countries outside, they had wherewith to provide the furs and money to befriend neighbouring feudal lords. For the people within, they had wherewith to feed the hungry and give rest to the tired. Above all these, they had means to cherish the virtuous. Therefore from above, Heaven and the spirits enrich them from without, the feudal lords submit themselves to them from within, the people show them affection, and the virtuous become loyal to them. Hence they could have satisfaction in planning and success in execution. In defence they are strong and in attack victorious. Now the way that enabled the sage-kings of the Three Dynasties, namely Yao, Shun, Yu, Tang, Wen and Wu, to rule the empire and head the feudal lords was no other than this (principle of exaltation of the virtuous).

3 尚賢中:
Exaltation of the Virtuous...:
However, if there is only the principle while the technique of its application is not known, then it would seem to be still incomplete. Therefore there should be laid down three rules. What are the three rules? They are: (1) when their rank (that of the virtuous) is not high, people would not show them respect; (2) when their emoluments are not liberal, people would not place confidence in them; (3) when their orders are not final, people would not stand in awe before them. So the ancient sage-kings placed them high in rank, gave them liberal emoluments, trusted them with important charges, and decreed their orders to be final. And all this was done not merely to reward their subordinates; it was to fulfil their trust. Thus runs an Ode: "I am instructing you to take worries and cares of the world as your own; I am teaching the order of ranks for the virtuous and talented. Who can handle heat without rinsing his hands (in cold water)?" This is to show how in the past the rulers could not do without befriending subordinates and helpers. It was like the necessity of rinsing in handling hot objects to relieve the hands. The ancient sage-kings concentrated on acquiring, and employing the virtuous - honouring them with high ranks, and assigning land to them--unwearied to the end of their lives. The virtuous men on the other hand only hoped to find an enlightened ruler to serve - exhausting all the powers of the four limbs to attend to the king's business - untired to the end of their lives. When there were any excellences and virtues they were attributed to the emperor. Thus excellences and virtues belonged to the emperor while complaints and slanders were directed against the subordinates. Peace and joy abode with the king while worries and sorrows were lodged with the officials. This was how the ancient sage-kings administered the government.

4 尚賢中:
Exaltation of the Virtuous...:
The present ruler, imitating the ancients, also want to employ the virtuous in government by exalting them. Ranks given them are very high, but the emoluments do not follow proportionally. Now, to be high in rank but receive small emoluments will not inspire people's confidence. The virtuous would say to themselves: "This is not real love for me, but only to make use of me as a means." Now, how can people be affectionate to their superiors' when they are only (treated as) means? Therefore an ancient king said: "He who is too ambitious in government will not share his tasks with others. He who over-treasures wealth will not offer big emoluments to others." When tasks are not assigned and emoluments are not given, it may be asked wherefrom would the virtuous come to the side of the rulers? And when the virtuous are not at the side of the rulers, the vicious will be on their right and left. When the vicious are on the right and left, then commendations will not fall on the virtuous and punishments will not be upon the wicked. If the rulers follow these in governing the states, in the same way rewards will not go to the virtuous and punishment not to the wicked. When rewards really do not go to the virtuous and punishment not to the wicked, then the virtuous will find no encouragement, neither the wicked any obstruction. At home the vicious are not filial to their parents, and, having left their home town, they would not recognize their elders. They move about without restraint and disregard the rules of propriety about sexes. When trusted with the administration of the court, they would steal; when trusted to defend a city, they would raise an insurrection. When the lord meets with death, they would not follow him and commit suicide; when the lord has to flee the country, they would not accompany him in banishment. In judging lawsuits they are not just, and in dividing property they are partial. In planning they are not helpful, in execution they are inefficient. Neither in defence are they strong, nor in attack are they victorious. Now, the reason that the wicked kings of the Three Dynasties, namely, Jie, Zhou, You, and Li, misruled the country and upset their states was no other than this (employment of the vicious). Why is this so? Because they understood petty affairs but were ignorant about things of importance.

5 尚賢中:
Exaltation of the Virtuous...:
When the rulers cannot get a coat made they will employ able tailors. When they cannot have an ox or a sheep killed they will employ able butchers. In these two instances they do know they should exalt the virtuous and employ the capable for business. But when it comes to the disorder of the country and danger of the state, they do not know they should exalt the virtuous and employ the capable for government. Rather, they would employ their relatives, they would employ the rich without merit, and the good-looking. But as to the employment of the rich without merit and the good-looking -- will these necessarily prove themselves wise and intelligent? To let these rule the country is to let the unwise and unintelligent rule the country. And disorder can then be predicted. Moreover, the rulers employ their minds by the attractiveness of their appearance, and show them favour without finding out their knowledge. As a result, those who are not capable to rule a hundred men are assigned to posts over a thousand, and those who are not capable to rule a thousand are assigned to posts over ten thousand. What is the reason for this? Why, such positions are high in rank and rich in emoluments. Therefore the specially favoured are picked for them. But to make those incapable of ruling a thousand men rule ten thousand is to increase their duty tenfold. The business of the government comes daily. It is to be attended to every day, yet the day cannot be lengthened by tenfold. To govern, again, requires knowledge. When knowledge is not increased by ten times, while a tenfold task is assigned, it will evidently result in attending to one and neglecting nine. Though the task be attended to day and night, still it cannot be well executed. And the reason for this is because the rulers do not understand that they should exalt the virtuous and employ the capable in government. Thus exaltation of the virtuous and employment of the capable with the consequent success in government is presented above in the earlier paragraphs. And the depreciation of the virtuous with the resulting confusion in government is presented here in these paragraphs.

6 尚賢中:
Exaltation of the Virtuous...:
If the rulers now want to govern their states so that they will be permanent and unshakeable, why do they not learn that exaltation of the virtuous is the foundation of government? Besides, is this principle merely a conception of Mozi? It is the way of the sage-kings and the tenet of "Ju Nian," a book of an ancient king. And, thus it is recorded: "(He) sought out the wise men to protect and aid you." And thus states the "Oath of Tang": "I then sought for the Great Sage, with whom I might unite my strength and mind to govern the empire." All these show how the sage-kings never failed to exalt the virtuous and employ the capable in government. The sage-kings of old comprehended onlv this -- to exalt the virtuous and employ the capable in government and nobody else; so the whole world was benefited. In times of old, Shun cultivated land at Mt. Li made pottery by the River, and was engaged in fishing in Lake Lei. Yao discovered him at Fuze. Exalting him, Yao made him Emperor and handed to him the government of the empire and the rule over the people. Yi Zhi once served in the bridal party of the daughter of the Prince of Xin, and later voluntarily served Tang as his cook. Tang discovered him. Exalting him, Tang made him his Prime Minister and handed to him the government of the empire and the rule over the people. Fu Yue once wore garments of coarse cloth tied with ropes, working as an artisan at Fu Yan. Wu Ding discovered him. Exalting him, Wu Ding made him High Duke and handed to him the government of the empire and the rule over the people. Why is it that these people starting in humility arrived at honour, starting in poverty arrived at wealth? It is because these rulers understood the importance of exalting the virtuous and employing the capable in government. Therefore, none of the people were hungry yet without food, cold yet without clothing, tired yet without rest, disturbed yet without peace.

7 尚賢中:
Exaltation of the Virtuous...:
And, the ancient sage-kings in exalting the virtuous and employing the capable in government were following the ways of Heaven. Even Heaven does not discriminate among the poor and the rich, the honourable and the humble, the distant and the near, and the related and the unrelated (to those in power). The virtuous were promoted and exalted; the vicious were kept back and banished. Now, who were those that, possessing wealth and position, still strove after virtues and were rewarded ? They were the sage-kings of the Three Dynasties, namely, Yao, Shun, Yu, Tang, Wen and Wu (12). How were they rewarded? When they governed the empire, they loved all the people universally and benefited them, and led them in doing honour to Heaven and service to the spirits. As they loved and benefited the people, Heaven and the spirits rewarded them, appointing them to be Sons of Heaven, and parents of the people. And, thereupon people praised them, calling them sage-kings even unto this day. These then were those that, possessing wealth and position, still strove after virtues and were rewarded. Now, who were those that, possessing wealth and position, yet practiced evil and were punished? They were the wicked kings of the Three Dynasties, namely, Jie, Zhou, You, and Li. How do we know they were those ? When they governed the empire they disliked all the people inclusively and oppressed them and led them to curse Heaven and the spirits. Oppressing and destroying the people, they were punished by Heaven and the spirits; their corpses were mangled and lacerated, their children and grandchildren were scattered and dispersed, their family hearths were extinguished and descendants exterminated. And, thereupon the people railed at them, calling them wicked kings even unto this day. These, then, are those that, possessing wealth and position, yet practised evil and were punished. Now, who were those that were related (to the ruler) but not virtuous and were visited by punishment? Count Gun was of direct royal descent but had degenerated in the royal virtues. So he was banished to the wilderness of Yu Yu where (in the prison) light could not reach him, neither did the emperor show any favour. Such was he who was related but not virtuous and was visited by punishment. Now, who were those that were employed by Heaven because of their capability? Yu, Ji, and Gao Tao were they. How do we know that? It is found in the " Penal Code of Lu," a book of an early king, thus: "The Emperor (Yao) inquired among his subjects, and complaints were made against the Miaos (barbarians)." Again, "As the feudal lords have been appointed without insight, even the widows and the widowers are not protected. Dignity is revered only when it is accompanied with magnanimity; enlightenment is respected only when it is accompanied with magnanimity. Thereupon three chiefs were commissioned to care for and consolate the people: (1) Bo Yi delivered the laws and statutes and taught therewith the people; (2) Yu reduced the Flood and recovered the land, and gave names to hills and rivers; (3) Ji descended (from his rank) and sowed seeds to encourage good farming. The benefits of the achievements of these three chiefs all fell upon the people." This is to say that the three sages were careful in speech, vigilant in conduct, penetrating in thought, studying and planning for every detail and benefit of the world--with this to do service to Heaven on high, Heaven will bless their virtue; to bestow it to the people below, the people will be visited by its benefits lasting beyond their lifetime. Thus said the ancient kings: "Now, this way, when followed broadly to govern the world, will not be found to be too slender; when followed narrowly, will not be too unwieldly; when followed with discretion, will benefit the people beyond their lifetime." Referring to it, the "Eulogy of Zhou" sings: "The virtue of the sage shining upon the world is lofty as Heaven, wide as earth, high as the mountain, unbreakable and infallible; luminating as the sun, brilliant as the moon, eternal with heaven and earth." This is to describe how enlightening and all-embracing, deep-rooted and, therefore, permanent is the virtue of the sage. Therefore the virtue of the sage is really inclusive of heaven and earth.

8 尚賢中:
Exaltation of the Virtuous...:
Now, the rulers want to be lord over the empire and be head of the feudal lords. But how can it be done without virtue and righteousness? Their way must be by overpowering and overawing. But what makes them adopt this? It simply pursues the people to death. But life is what the people eagerly desire, and death what they greatly dread. What is desired is not obtained, but what is dreaded befalls them ever so often. From antiquity to the present, none has yet been able to be lord over the empire and head of the feudal lords by this way. Now the rulers desire to be lord of the world and head of the feudal lords and want to have their ideas prevail all over the world, and their names established in posterity. But why do they not learn that exaltation of the virtuous is the foundation of government? This was the actual conduct of the sages.

1. 為 : Inserted. 孫詒讓《墨子閒詁》

URN: ctp:mozi/exaltation-of-the-virtuous-ii