On Declining Power
put their prince to death. Accordingly, Shou, the son of the last prince, was much alarmed, and fled to Tan Hsüeh, leaving the State of Yüeh without a ruler.
Shou was at first nowhere to be found, but at length he was traced to Tan Hsüeh. He was, however, unwilling to come forth, so they smoked him out with moxa. They had a royal carriage ready for him; and as Shou seized the cord to mount the chariot, he looked up to heaven and cried, "Oh! ruling, ruling, could I not have been spared this?"
It was not that Shou objected to be a prince. He objected to the dangers associated with such positions. Such a one was incapable of sacrificing life to the State, and for that very reason the people of Yüeh wanted to get him.
The States of Han and Wei were struggling to annex each other's territory when Tzŭ Hua Tzŭ went to see prince Chao Hsi. Finding the latter very downcast, Tzŭ Hua Tzŭ said, "Now suppose the representatives of the various States were to sign an agreement before your Highness, to the effect that although cutting off the left hand would involve loss of the right, while cutting off the right would involve loss of the left, nevertheless that whosoever would cut off either should be emperor over all,—would your Highness cut?"
"I would not," replied the prince.
"Very good," said Tzŭ Hua Tzŭ. "It is clear therefore that one's two arms are worth more than