The mid-Ch'ing monarchs are usually considered to have been hard-headed realists, acting the way they did because they had the personal and institutional power to do so. The corollary of this, however, appears to be that they were also moral hypocrites: time-serving Confucianists who trotted out the higher ethical values only to justify their actions or to camouflage them. This part of the theorum, I believe, is at once too simple and too modern. It reduces imperial action to the level of the Big Lie and makes of the monarch either a calculating schizophrenic, able to turn his Confucianism on and off at will, or a political pervert, checked in his Legalist promiscuity only by the intermittent remonstrances of a closed orthodox community. Worse, this view makes the monarch a philistine, working the system to his advantage but somehow standing outside it, as if he were exempt from the values he was manipulating.