"A man who has Tao cannot be miserable. Ragged clothes and old boots make poverty, not misery. Mine is what is called being out of harmony with one's age.
"Has your Highness never seen a climbing ape? Give it some large tree, and it will twist and twirl among the branches as though monarch of all it surveys. Yi and Fêng Mêng
- An ancient archer and his apprentice.
can never catch a glimpse of it.
"But put it in a bramble bush, and it will move autiously with sidelong glances, trembling all over with fear. Not that its muscles relax in the face of difficulty, but because it is at a disadvantage as regards position, and is unable to make use of its skill. And how should any one, living under foolish sovereigns and wicked ministers, help being miserable, even though he might wish not to be so?
"It was under such circumstances that Pi Kan was disembowelled."
- See ch. iv. The above episode is too much even for Chinese critics, and has been condemned accordingly.
When Confucius was hemmed in between Ch'ên and Ts'ai and had gone seven days without food, then, holding in his left hand a piece of dry wood and in his right hand a dry stick, he sang a ballad of Piao Shih.
- An ancient ruler.