Faithful Until the Last Years

When a country is strong and her power flourishes, everyone strives with sincerity. When a country is weak and her power wanes, people’s resolve is altered, they surrender to the enemy, and those who would sell their own lords out are not few. For this reason, unless one has those who are faithful until the last years of life, isn’t any amount of wits, smarts, knowledge, or skills insufficient compared to respect? Those faithful to bright lords are not rare, but those faithful to dim lords are truly faithful.
The Second Year of Ansei, The Twelfth of November. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

1日晩節を全うするに非ざれば
国強く勢盛んなる時は、孰れも忠勤を励むものあり。国衰へ勢去るに至りては、志を変じ敵に降り主を売る類寡からず。故に人は晩節を全うするに非ざれば、何程才知学芸ありと雖も、亦何ぞ尊ぶに足らんや。明主に忠あるは珍しからず、暗主に忠なるこそ真忠なれ。
安政二年十一月十二日「講孟箚記」

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