(Translated by J. J.-L. DUYVENDAK (1889-1954))
An Order to Cultivate Waste Lands
If there is no procrastination in the creating of order, depraved officials have no opportunity of gaining private profits at the expense of the people, nor will the hundred officials be in a condition to temporise and to shift responsibilities on to one another. If the hundred officials are not in a condition to temporise and shift responsibilities on to one another (605), then agriculture will know days of surplus; and if the depraved officials have no opportunity of gaining p.176 private profits at the expense of the people, then agriculture will not be ruined. If agriculture is not ruined, but knows days of surplus, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If taxes are levied according to the measure of grain, then the ruler will have system and consequently the people will have peace. If the ruler has system, he will be a man of his word, and being a man of his word, the officials will not dare to commit any depravity. If the people have peace, they are circumspect, and being circumspect, they are difficult to move. If the ruler is a man of his word and in consequence the officials dare not commit any depravity, and if the people are circumspect and consequently difficult to move, then there will be no criticism by inferiors of superiors, nor will the officials be regarded as obnoxious. If so, then the able-bodied will be strenuous in agriculture, without changing. If the able-bodied are so, then the youthful will learn it without resting, and when the youthful learn it without resting, it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
*3b If dignities are not conferred nor office given according to deviating standards (606), then the people will not prize learning p.177 nor, besides, will they hold agriculture cheap. If they do not prize learning, they will be stupid, and being stupid, they will have no interest in outside things; when they have no interest in outside things, the country will exert itself in agriculture and not neglect it, and when the people do not hold agriculture cheap, the country will be peaceful and free from peril. If the country is peaceful and free from peril, exerts itself in agriculture and does not neglect it, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If salaries are liberal and consequently taxes numerous, then the large number of persons who live on others would mean ruin for agriculture; but if they are assessed according to the calculated number of persons who live on others and are made to work hard, then the wicked and licentious, idle and lazy will have nothing on which to live, and having nothing on which to live, they will take up agriculture; when they take up agriculture, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
Do not allow merchants to buy grain nor farmers to sell grain. If farmers may not sell their grain, then the lazy and inactive ones will exert themselves and be energetic; and, if merchants may not buy grain, then they have no particular joy over abundant years. Having no particular joy over abundant years, they do not make copious profit in years of famine, and making no copious profit, merchants p.178 are fearful, and being fearful, they desire to turn farmers. If lazy and inactive farmers exert themselves and become energetic, and if merchants desire to turn farmers, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
*4a If music and fine clothing do not penetrate to all the districts, the people, when they are at work, will pay no attention to the latter, and when they are at rest, will not listen to the former. If, at rest, they do not listen to the one, their spirits will not become licentious; and if, at work, they pay no attention to the other, their minds are concentrated. If their minds are concentrated and their spirits not licentious, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If it is impossible to hire servants, great prefects and heads of families are not supported and beloved sons cannot eat in laziness. If lazy people cannot be inactive, and hirelings do not find a livelihood, there will certainly be agriculture: when great prefects and heads of families are not supported, agricultural affairs will not suffer; and when beloved sons cannot eat in laziness and lazy people cannot be inactive, then the fields will not lie fallow.
If agricultural affairs do not suffer and farmers increase their farming, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If hostelries for the reception of travellers are abolished, criminals, agitators, conspirators and those who unsettle p.179 the minds of the farmers will not travel and in consequence (607), hotel-keepers will have no means of subsistence. This being so (608), they will certainly become farmers, and so it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If mountains and moors are brought into one hand, then the people who hate agriculture, the tardy and lazy and those who desire double profit, will have no means of subsistence. This being so, they will certainly become farmers, and so it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If the prices of wine and meat are made high, and the taxes on them so heavy that they amount to ten times the cost of production, then merchants and retailers will be few, farmers *4b will not be able to enjoy drinking-bouts, and officials will not overeat. If merchants and retailers are few, the ruler does not waste his grain; if the people are unable to enjoy drinking bouts, agriculture will not be neglected; if officials do not overeat, the affairs of the state will not be delayed and the prince will not err in his promotions. If the ruler does not waste the grain and if the people do not neglect agriculture, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If penalties are made heavy and relations (609) are involved in p.180 the punishments, petty and irascible people will not quarrel, intractable and stubborn people will not litigate, slothful and lazy people will not idle, those who waste their substance will not thrive, and those of evil heart, given to flattery, will bring about no change. If these five kinds of people do not appear within the territory, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
# If people are not allowed to change their abode unauthorisedly, then stupid and irregular farmers will have no means of subsistence and will certainly turn to agriculture. If the minds of stupid people, full of turbulent desires, have been concentrated, then it is certain farmers will be quiet; if the farmers are quiet and stupid people (turn to agriculture), then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If orders are issued for the service of all younger sons (610), without exception, the service to last their lifetime, and no high palaces to be built for them, and if orders are given to the grain-measuring officials to weigh out their grain allowance evenly, and if on the one hand they are not used for menial services, but on the other hand they do not necessarily *5a obtain high office, then the younger sons will not be idlers, p.181 and (this being so) they will certainly turn to agriculture; and if that is the case, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If the Ministers of State and the Great Officers are not allowed to occupy themselves with extensive learning, brilliant discussions and idle living, and if they are not allowed to reside, or to travel about, in the various districts, then the farmers will have no opportunity to hear of changes or see different places.
This being so, clever farmers will have no opportunity to discard old ways, and stupid farmers will not become clever, nor will they become fond of study. If stupid farmers do not become clever nor fond of study, they will apply themselves energetically to agriculture; and if clever farmers do not discard old ways, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
Women should not be permitted on the market-place of the army, but orders to be there should be given to merchants (611). Men should be commanded to provide themselves with cuirass and arms, to make the army appear in fine condition. Also if heed is given that there can be no private transport of grain on the army market-place, then there will be no opportunity to hatch corrupt schemes. If those who transport grain p.182 dishonestly, cannot, from selfish motives, be negligent, frivolous and lazy people will not loiter about the army market-place; and if those who steal grain have no opportunity of selling, and those who send grain can make no private profit, and if frivolous and lazy people do not loiter about the army market-place, then farmers will not be *5b licentious, (if they are not licentious) the government’s grain need not be resorted to, and (this being the case) it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If the administration of all the districts is of one pattern then (people) will be obedient; eccentric ones will not be able to be ostentatious, and successive officials will not dare to make changes; and if they act wrongly and abolish (the existing administration), it will be impossible to keep their actions hidden. If their mistaken actions do not remain hidden, then among the officials there will be no depraved men; and if eccentric people can not be ostentatious, and successive officials make no changes, then the official appurtenances will be few and the people will not be harassed. If the officials are not depraved, the people will not seek amusement, and if the people do not seek amusement, their occupations will not suffer; if official appurtenances are few, taxes will not be troublesome, p.183 and if the people are not harassed, farming will know days of plenty; if farming knows days of plenty, taxes are not troublesome and occupations do not suffer, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If the tolls at the barriers and on the market are made heavy, then the farmers will hate the merchants, and the merchants will be full of doubt and be unenterprising. If the farmers hate the merchants and the merchants are full of doubt and unenterprising, then it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If merchants are made to serve according to their full complement, and if their multitudes of servants and crowds of followers are obliged to be registered, then farmers will have leisure and merchants will be harassed; farmers having leisure, fertile land will not lie fallow; merchants being harassed, the custom of sending presents backwards and forwards will not pervade the various districts. (If fertile land does not lie fallow) farmers will not suffer from famines, (and if the custom of sending presents backwards and forwards does not pervade the various districts), p.184 there will be no ostentatious conduct. If farmers do not *6a suffer from famines and there is no ostentatious conduct, then public activities will be pursued with energy, and in the sphere of private activities there will be no fallow fields. (This being so), then agricultural affairs will certainly excel, and this being the case, it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If in transporting grain for official use, carters are prohibited from plying for hire and returning with private cargo (611a), and if measures are taken to ensure the registration of carts, oxen, carriages and baggage waggons, the expedition backward and forward will thus be quick and then this occupation will not harm agriculture; agriculture not being harmed, it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.
If it is not permitted to petition officials on behalf of wrongdoers, nor to provide them with food, then criminal people will have no patrons; having no patrons, crimes will not be encouraged; crimes not being encouraged, criminal people will have no hold; criminal people having no hold, farmers will not suffer, and if farmers do not suffer, it is certain waste lands will be brought under cultivation.