If there be Tao in the empire, he and all things are in harmony. If there be not Tao, he cultivates virtue in retirement. After a thousand years of this weary world, he mounts aloft, and riding upon the white clouds passes into the kingdom of God, whither the three evils do not reach, and where he rests secure in eternity. What is there to put up with in that?"
Thereupon the border-warden went off, and Yao followed him; saying, "May I ask——," to which the warden only replied "Begone!"
- The style of the above episode varies enough from Chuang Tzŭ's standard to make its authorship doubtful.
When Yao was Emperor, Poh Ch'êng Tzŭ Kao
- Lao Tzŭ under a previous incarnation. See the Kuang Ch'êng Tzŭ of p. 125.
was one of his vassals. But when Yao handed over the empire to Shun, and Shun to the Great Yü, Poh Ch'êng Tzŭ Kao resigned his fief and betook himself to agriculture.
The Great Yü going to visit him, found him working in the fields; whereupon he approached humbly, saying, "When Yao was emperor, you, Sir, were a vassal; but when Yao handed over the empire to Shun, and Shun to me, you resigned your fief and betook yourself to agriculture. May I enquire the reason of this?"
"When Yao ruled the empire," said Tzŭ Kao,