On Declining Power
Wherefore it has been said that the best part of Tao is for self-culture, the surplus for governing a State, and the dregs for governing the empire. From which we may infer that the great deeds of kings and princes are but the leavings of the Sage. For preserving the body and nourishing vitality, they are of no avail. Yet the superior men of today endanger their bodies and throw away their lives in their greed for the things of this world. Is not this pitiable?
The true Sage in all his actions considers the why and the wherefore. But there are those now-a-days who use the pearl of the prince of Sui to shoot a bird a thousand yards off.
- A wonderfully brilliant gem, of a "ten chariot" illuminating power.
And the world of course laughs at them. Why? Because they sacrifice the greater to get the less. But surely life is of more importance even than the prince's pearl!
Lieh Tzŭ was poor. His face wore a hungry look.
A visitor one day mentioned this to Tzŭ Yang
- Prime Minister.
of Chêng, saying, "Lieh Tzŭ is a scholar who has attained to Tao. He lives in your Excellency's State, and yet he is poor. Can it be said that your Excellency does not love scholars?"
Thereupon Tzŭ Yang gave orders that Lieh