Shih Ch'êng Ch'i
- Of whom nothing is known.
visited Lao Tzŭ, and addressed him, saying, "Having heard, Sir, that you were a Sage, I put aside all thought of distance to come and visit you. Travelling many stages, the soles of my feet thickened, but I did not venture to rest. And now I see you are not a Sage. While rats feasted off your leavings, you turned your sister out of doors. This is not charity. Though you have no lack of food, raw and cooked, you are stingy beyond all bounds."
At this Lao Tzŭ was silent and made no reply; and the next day Shih Ch'êng Ch'i came again and said, "Before, I was rude to you; now, I am sorry. How is this?"
"I have no pretension," replied Lao Tzŭ, "to be possessed of cunning knowledge nor of divine wisdom. Had you yesterday called me an ox, I should have considered myself an ox. Had you called me a horse, I should have considered myself a horse.
"For if men class you in accordance with truth, and you reject the classification, you only double the reproach. My humility is natural humility. It is not humility for humility's sake."
Shih Ch'êng Ch'i moved respectfully away.
- Without allowing his shadow to fall on Lao Tzŭ. Bringing one foot up to the other only. Not venturing to let it pass as in ordinary walking.