Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/405

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On Declining Power

Now the empire is a great trust; but not to sacrifice one's life for it is precisely where the man of Tao differs from the man of the world.

Shun offered to resign the empire to Shan Chuan. Shan Chuan said, "I am a unit in the sum of the universe. In winter I wear fur clothes. In summer I wear grass-cloth. In spring I plough and sow, toiling with my body. In autumn I gather in the harvest, and devote myself to rest and enjoyment. At dawn I go to work; at sunset I leave off. Contented with my lot I pass through life with a light heart. Why then should I trouble myself with the empire? Ah, Sir, you do not know me."

So he declined, and subsequently hid himself among the mountains, nobody knew where.

Shun offered the empire to a friend, a labourer of Shih Hu.

"Sire," said the latter, "you exert yourself too much. The chief thing is to husband one's strength;"—meaning that in point of real virtue Shun had not attained.

Then, husband and wife, bearing away their household gods and taking their children with them, went off to the sea and never came back.

When T'ai Wang Shan Fu was occupying Pin, he was attacked by savages. He offered them skins and silk, but they declined these. He offered them dogs and horses, but they declined these also.

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