If the Chinese will not learn the true principles of government, all else will be useless. Knowledge is power, and although a country may be weak, still, if it possess but a modicum of knowledge, the enemy will not be able to completely overthrow it; although that country may be in danger, the race will not be extirpated.
The dependencies of inner and outer Mongolia are the bulwarks of China. The desert of Gobi, stretching for ten thousand li, is a barrier set by Heaven to the Russians, and if they seek to invade our borders, they will find it everywhere along the Northern frontier difficult and troublesome.
If, in the schools, the classical language would no longer be taught, whom could we entrust with the writing of memorials, documents, letters and notes in the public service? How could we possibly assign important offices and heavy responsibilities to someone who cannot even write fluently?
I understand that the tendency of foreign countries in recent years has been to establish particularly close relations with one or two others among all the countries which have general relations. In time of peace, they make secret treaties in advance, and in wartime, they aid one another with military provisions and armaments.
We must assent to the will of Heaven above and conform to the wishes of men on earth below, but the government should assert the majesty of its warlike might in order to drive away the hordes of fierce and cruel men. We know that the dispositions of these outer barbarians are as ravenous as those of wolves.
If, by one determined purpose, the hearts of all the graduates, the officials, and the men of China were united, our country would rest upon a great rock, and we could defy the world to overthrow us. To attain this object, it is necessary first that every man should fulfill his duty to his parents and elders. The country would then be at peace.
If a Chinese student does not know Chinese learning, it's like a person without a surname, a horse without a bridle, a boat without a helm. The more Western learning he possesses, the more hateful of China he will become. Even if he becomes a capable man of vast learning, how can he be of any use to the state?