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Ancient Classics -> Shang Shu -> Shang Shu -> Instructions of Yi -> 1.3

'Oh!
the former king began with careful attention to the bonds that hold men together.
He listened to expostulation, and did not seek to resist it;
he conformed to (the wisdom of) the ancients;
occupying the highest position, he displayed intelligence;
occupying an inferior position, he displayed his loyalty;
he allowed (the good qualities of) the men (whom he employed), and did not seek that they should have every talent;
in the government of himself, he seemed to think that he could never (sufficiently) attain.
It was thus he arrived at the possession of the myriad regions.
How painstaking was he in these things!
He extensively sought out wise men,
who should be helpful to you, his descendant and heir.
He laid down the punishments for officers,
And warned those who were in authority,
saying,
"If you dare to have constant dancing in your palaces,
and drunken singing in your chambers,
that is called the fashion of sorcerers;
if you dare, to set your hearts on wealth and women,
and abandon yourselves to wandering about or to the chase,
that is called the fashion of extravagance;
if you dare to despise sage words,
to resist the loyal and upright,
to put far from you the aged and virtuous,
and to seek the company of procacious youths,
that is called the fashion of disorder.
Now if a high noble or officer be addicted to one of these three fashions with their ten evil ways,
his family will surely come to ruin;
if the prince of a country be so addicted,
his state will surely come to ruin.
The minister who does not (try to) correct (such vices in the sovereign)
shall be punished with branding."
。’ These rules were minutely inculcated (also) on the sons of officers and nobles in their lessons.'


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