Mencius. Book VII: Tsin Sin. Part II. Chapter XIV.
Legge's summary: The different elements of a nation-- the People, tutelary Spirits, and Sovereign, in respect of their importance.
1. Mencius said, 'The people are the most important element in a nation; the spirits of the land and grain are the next; the sovereign is the lightest.
2. 'Therefore to gain the peasantry is the way to become sovereign; to gain the sovereign is the way to become a prince of a State; to gain the prince of a State is the way to become a great officer.
3. 'When a prince endangers the altars of the spirits of the land and grain, he is changed, and another appointed in his place.
4. 'When the sacrificial victims have been perfect, the millet in its vessels all pure, and the sacrifices offered at their proper seasons, if yet there ensue drought, or the waters overflow, the spirits of the land and grain are changed, and others appointed in their place.'
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Translated by James Legge
, published in 1861 and revised for publication in 1895. Prepared as etext by Stephen R. McIntyre. Noded by schist
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