“Moreover, I know the depth of the obligation owed to one’s ruler far better than you do. If you really wish to show that you understand your debt of gratitude, then you should admonish the ruler from the depths of your heart and forcefully advise him. To follow his orders even when these are contrary to what is right is the act of an utter sycophant and the height of disloyalty.
“King Chou of the Yin dynasty was an evil ruler, and Pi Kan, his loyal minister. When Pi Kan saw that the king was going against what was right in ruling the nation, he vigorously admonished him. As a result, Pi Kan’s breast was ripped open, but after his death, King Chouwas overthrown by the king of the Chou. To the present day, Pi Kan has been known as a loyal minister, and King Chou as an evil ruler.
“When Kuan Lung-feng admonished his sovereign, King Chieh of the Hsia dynasty, he was beheaded. But King Chieh has come to be known as an evil ruler, and Kuan Lung-feng as a loyal minister. We are taught that, if one admonishes one’s sovereign three times and still one’s advice is not heeded, then one should retire to the mountain forests. Why do you nevertheless remain silent while the ruler commits misdeeds in your full view?"
“I have gathered together a few examples of worthies of ancient times who did in fact retire from the world to dwell in the mountain forests. Open your obstinate ears and listen a moment! During the Yin dynasty, T’ai-kung Wang hid himself in a valley called P’o-ch’i; in the Chou dynasty, Po I and Shu Ch’i secluded themselves on Mount Shou-yang; Ch’i Li-chi of the Ch’in dynasty retired to Mount Shang; Yen Kuang of the Han dynasty lived in a solitary lodge; and Chieh Tzu-sui of the state of Chin became a recluse on Mount Mien-shang. Are we to call these men disloyal? Anyone who would do so is a fool. If you understand what it means to be loyal, you will admonish your sovereign, and if you want to be filial, you must speak up."