The Way of Rulership
Editor’s Note: From part one of the Ta-Hio, trans. Henry D. Fohr, from the French trans. of Séraphin Couvreur.
In order to make the natural virtues shine in the hearts of men, the ancient princes first of all applied themselves to governing their own principality well. In order to govern their principality well, they first restored proper order in their families. In order to establish proper order in their families, they worked hard at perfecting themselves first. In order to perfect themselves, they first regulated the movements of their hearts. To regulate the movements of their hearts, they first perfected their will. To perfect their will, they developed their knowledge to the highest degree. One develops knowledge by scrutinizing the nature of things. Once the nature of things is scrutinized, knowledge attains its highest degree. Knowledge having arrived at its highest degree, will becomes perfect. Will being perfect, the movements of the heart are controlled. The movements of the heart having been controlled, every man is free of faults. After having corrected oneself, one establishes order in the family. With order reigning in the family, the principality is well-governed. With the principality being well-governed, the empire soon enjoys peace.