One day, King Li of the State of Chu announced to the people: If any emergency occurs in our country, the drum will be beaten as a signal. The moment the people hear the drum, they must assemble outside the palace gate at once.
One day, King Li got drunk. When he passed by the drum stand, he started to beat the drum at random. When the people heard the drum, they ran from all directions to the palace gate, thinking that some emergency had occurred in the country. They stood all around in a dense mass.
King Li sent someone to tell them:
"Just now the King beat the drum, but nothing urgent had happend It was only because the King got drunk and when he passed by the drum stand, he beat the drum just for fun."
All the people returned to their homes, feeling angry.
A few months later, some emergency really occurred in the State of Chu. The drum outside the palace gate sounded from early morning until night. Though the people heard the drum, they no longer cared about it and didn't rush to the palace gate.