Montesquieu

The rela­tions of China1 tell us of the cere­mony of ope­ning the land,2 which the empe­ror per­formsd every year. The idea was to incite the peo­ple to plow by this public and solemn act.3

Furthermore, the empe­ror is infor­med every year of the plow­man who has the most dis­tin­gui­shed him­self in his occu­pa­tion, and makes him a man­da­rin of the eighth order.

Among the ancient Persians,4 on the eighth day of the month named Chorem-ruz, the kings would set aside their magni­fi­cence to eat with the plow­men. These ins­ti­tu­tions are admi­ra­ble for the encou­ra­ge­ment of agri­culture.

Father du Halde, Description de l’empire de la Chine, vol. II, p. 72.

Several kings of the Indies do the same : The Kingdom of Siam by La Loubère, p. 69.

Ven-ti, third emperor of the third dynasty, tilled the earth with his own hands, and had silk prepared in his palace by the empress and her ladies : Description de l’empire de la Chine.

Mr. [Thomas] Hyde, Historia reliogionis veterum Persarum [‘The religious history of the ancient Persians’].