These Rulers Seem To
Have Passed Their Leisure From Practical Work In Framing Moral Axioms, And
In Carrying Out A Model Scheme Of Government Based On The Purest Ethics.
They Considered That "A Prince Intrusted With The Charge Of A State Has A
The happiness of his subjects absolutely depends upon him.
provide for everything is his duty; his ministers are only put in office
to assist him," and also that "a prince who wishes to fulfill his
obligations, and to long preserve his people in the ways of peace, ought
to watch without ceasing that the laws are observed with exactitude." They
were stanch upholders of temperance, and they banished the unlucky
discoverer of the fact that an intoxicating drink could be obtained from
rice. They also held fast to the theory that all government must be based
on the popular will. In fact, the reigns of Yao, Chun and Yu are the ideal
period of Chinese history, when all questions were decided by moral right
and justice, and even now Chinese philosophers are said to test their
maxims of morality by the degree of agreement they may have with the
conduct of those rulers.
With them passed away the practice of letting the most capable and
experienced minister rule the State. Such an impartial and reasonable mode
of selecting the head of a community can never be perpetuated. The rulers
themselves may see its advantages and may endeavor as honestly as these
three Chinese princes to carry out the arrangement, but the day must come
when the family of the able ruler will assert its rights to the
succession, and take advantage of its opportunities from its close
connection with the government to carry out its ends.
Enter page number
Page 6 of 704
Words from 1333 to 1624