yǒu dé zhě bì yǒu yán 有德者必有言
Virtuous People Are Sure to Produce Fine Writing.
Virtuous people are sure to write fine works which will be passed on to later generations. According to Confucianism, the moral character of a writer determines the value of his work, virtuous people would naturally write well, but those who wrote well might not necessarily be virtuous. Therefore, authors should write to disseminate moral values; virtue and writings should be consistent. However, later Confucian scholars sometimes overemphasized the influence that ethics and the authors’ moral character had on their writings to the neglect of the characteristics and values of literary creation per se.
Confucius said, “Virtuous people are sure to have good writings or words to pass on to later generations, but it is not always true the other way round.” (The Analects)
A man of character should possess exceptional capability and his eloquent expressions should portray everything truthfully. His great wisdom should enable him to explain all things under heaven. He does not need to hide his aspirations to serve as a model of virtue. If he has come to a good understanding of Dao, he surely will disseminate it extensively. (Liu Xie: The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons)