"The wise man," answered Complacency, "acts for the common weal, in pursuit of which he does not overstep due limits. Wherefore, if there is a sufficiency, he does not strive for more. He has no use for more, and accordingly does not seek it. But if there is not a sufficiency, then he seeks for more. He strives in all directions, yet does not account it greed. If there is a surplus, he declines it. Even though he refused the whole empire, he would not account it honesty. To him, honesty and greed are not conditions into which we are forced by outward circumstances, but characteristics innate in the individual. He may wield the power of the Son of Heaven, but will not employ it for the degradation of others. He may own the whole empire, yet will not use his wealth to take advantage of his fellows. But a calculation of the troubles and the anxieties inseparable therefrom, cause him to reject these as injurious to his nature, not from a desire for reputation.
"When Yao and Shun occupied the throne, there was peace. They did not try to be beneficent rulers. They did not inflict injury by doing good.
- They were simply natural, and good results followed.
"Shan Chuan and Hsü Yu both declined the proffered throne. Theirs was no empty refusal. They would not cause injury to themselves.
"In all these cases, each individual adopted the profitable course in preference to the injurious