When the prince has no principles by which he examines his administration, and his ministers have no laws by which they keep themselves in the discharge of their duties, then in the court obedience is not paid to principle, and in the office obedience is not paid to rule. Superiors violate the laws of righteousness, and inferiors violate the penal laws. It is only by a fortunate chance that a State in such a case is preserved.
—Meng Zi (??), The Works of Mencius, bk iv, pt i: Li Lao, sec 8 (4th century BCE)(J. Legge transl.)